“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”
– Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
“The most successful people recognise that in life, they create their own love, they manufacture their own meaning, they generate their own motivation.”
– Neil deGrasse Tyson
Big fan of Adam J.K’s Unsolicited Advice 2022 Weekly Planner and Journal. The cover alone is making me want to buy it.
“Ninety-nine percent of who you are is invisible and untouchable.”
– Buckminster Fuller
I had the pleasure to meet the impressively talented photographer Andrew Moore in a dogpark last week. As a lover of space, architecture and seeing beauty in the mundane, his photography makes my heart sing.
It never ceases to amaze me how many incredibly talented, creative humans live in NYC. Also, dogs are friend-making machines.
These are things I lovingly own:
My all-time favorite object in my house at the moment is this acorn vase.
Zena Swiss Vegetable Peeler. It might not look impressive, but let me tell you, this thing WORKS!
This LED light that can hold a charge for about 10h. I use it as a desk lamp and nightstand light. (My kids are each getting one for Christmas)
The Vava short-throw home theater projector has changed our life. I honestly don’t know why I ever need to set foot into a theater again. It’s expensive but oh-so-worth-it!
This acrylic bird feeder has brought endless hours of delight to both me and my cat. (I am looking at a BlueJay in it while I am typing this.)
I have had this cat litter box for a few years but have a new found appreciation for it now that I have adopted a dog and she can’t get to the cat’s poop. It’s such a sculptural and beautiful design, I don’t mind it sitting in the corner of my living room.
One Line a Day: A Five-Year Memory Book. I write a sentence or two every night, and in a year I can see where I was the year prior and travel in time every night. Fun!
This Ginkgo Leaf Shaped Dog Blanket/Bed. (That’s my rescue pup. I adopted her 3 weeks ago. I love her.)
Onsen bath towels make me happy. I ilearned about them because they sponsored my blog years back. I was curious and ordered a bunch of towels and loved them so much I replaced ALL of my towels in my house. I swear by the gray Bath Towel. My kids approve of them too.
If you’re looking for more gift ideas, click through the Great Gifts category.
“I want to live
the rest of my life,
however long or short,
with as much sweetness
as I can decently manage,
loving all the people I love,
and doing as much as I can
of the work I still have to do.
I am going to write fire
until it comes out of my ears,
my eyes, my noseholes-everywhere.
Until it’s every breath I breathe.
I’m going to go out like a fucking meteor!”
– Audre Lourde
I am in love with the ornate rugs by artist Faig Ahmed Ooze that ooze onto the floor in drippy fabric puddles.
Enamored with these peculiar looking candles by Piera Bochner. Brooklyn made!
“Men are like waffles because they are better able to compartmentalize. They have little waffle squares which they pour syrupey information into. And each square can contain a different subject. Making it much easier for men to think of one thing and one thing only at a time.
Women on the other hand are spaghetti brains. Meaning all of the noodles of information touch each other. So while thinking of work, a woman can be thinking of the errands she has to run and what she’ll have for dinner and a myriad of other topics.”
Yes, this is a ridiculous simplification but it made me chuckle. Men are like Waffles, Women are like Spaghetti, by Bill and Pam Farrel
In summer of 2020 I was unexpectedly offered to buy my dream home in the Hudson Valley. November 12th marked the one year anniversary of me owning this house, I would like to share this magical story:
In fall of 2015 I found the listing for Maitopia on Airbnb. I gasped and within minutes booked a stay that was a good 6 months out, the first weekend I could get my hands on. I’ll never forget the moment when we entered the driveway, in spring of 2016. There she was, this modern, tiny beauty. I could barely breathe of excitement. As we got out of the car my daughter noticed the Swiss cross flag on the shed and jokingly said: “This house was waiting for you, mommy!”
We kept coming back to Maitopia, 1-3 times a year, for long weekends and I became Instagram-DM friends with the owners. Every time I stayed, I would post about the house, gushing about how perfect it was and thanking the internet for the sharing economy. What a magical world we live in!
Then, on June 17, 2020 the owners messaged me saying “We are thinking about selling the house!”
I remember jumping from my chair, screaming “OMG!” My daughter thought something bad happened and looked at me with a look of horror. “What’s wrong, mommy?” I said “Heath and Sarah-Mai want to sell Maitopia!” I typed back, in all caps: I WISH I COULD BUY IT!
Their response blew me away: “Well, we were hoping you’d say that, as we can only sell the house to someone who loves it as much as we do and we think that person is you. We won’t put in on the market!”
I felt so many feelings.
I was in no place of buying a house. Or so I thought. With the pandemic raging in NYC, I was terrified of losing everything I had built over the past 15 year. The last thing on my mind was buying a house. I was sure I couldn’t afford it.
Yet I knew in my heart of hearts that this property found me. So I examined my limiting beliefs, tried to find solutions on how it could work, and things started falling into place.
About a week later, I asked the owners, whom I had never met, if they’d meet me on the sidewalk outside their Upper West Side home. I shared with them that I didn’t take it lightly that they offered the house to me. After all, it was their labor of love. They designed it. They built it. It was an extension of them.
I handed them a plant and my offer (love) letter, which was wrapped in drawings of the house that my kids made.
It was a powerfully loving moment. On both ends. Some tears were shed.
(This process taught me so much, as it made me think that if I ever were to sell one of my companies or anything else I have built, this is how I would want this transaction to go down. Loving. Heart-centered. Thoughtful.)
A few days later they let us know they accepted our offer. My kids and I were estatic, dancing through our Brooklyn apartment!
The mortgage journey that followed after was not the most pleasant but we got there eventually. Lots of lawyer-y non-heart-centered stuff followed too. Part of the process, I guess. Deep breaths.
And here we are, a year later.
I have been a homeowner for 365 days. I admit, I have dealt with more broken things than I want to acknowledge, but I am starting to really understand the house. My friend Sue once said that the house is teaching me how to take care of it. I feel that.
This also means I have been an Airbnb host for 365 days straight. And let me tell you, I have grown as a host. (I have so much to share on this front, but that’s for another time.)
Today, I just want to revel in the fact that this house found me. It is my happy place. My heart swells up every time I enter the driveway.
Thank you for choosing me, Maitopia.
PS: Yes, I do rent the house, you can see the listing here. Please note I am slow about opening up the calendar, I do it a few months at a time. If you want to see more photos, you can check the Instagram account here and a walk through of the house is here. Sarah-Mai and Heath who built the house have since created a new magical home in the Northfork and are soon going to be renting that one out too. You can see it here.
I keep cracking up about this. One of my favorite Schitt’s Creek scenes.