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Anguilla is quite the A-list celebrity/VIP destination these days.  However, the small island has managed to retain it’s relaxed, quiet charm.

My most recent piece for FATHOM Magazine went live today.

 

ANGUILLA – I wish I could say I have always appreciated this beautiful island. That would be untrue.

When my family moved from New York City to the leafy suburbs of Verona, New Jersey, I knew I had to become a true American teenager. I was hampered by my parents’ insistence on raising their children as if we were a family living in the Caribbean.

My parents are from St. Martin (totally different from the Dutch side, St. Maarten) and both my grandmothers were Anguillian. Whenever we went to St. Martin to stay with my paternal grandparents, we ferried over to Anguilla to visit family and friends. When I was a child it, was fun to hang out with my cousins, go the beaches, and stuff ourselves on Johnnycakes, rice and peas, and salt fish cakes. But as for the stunning white beaches of the island, they were lost on me when I was older. I mean, I was a teenager. Visiting relative after relative while sitting on their verandas for hours drinking Ting was boring.

The final anti-island straw happened one night when I was walking back to my aunt’s house and a mongoose ran across my foot. I was done. I thought, “I could be chilling at the Short Hills Mall with my friends instead of being stuck on this tiny island.”

It wasn’t until my parents moved to back to St. Martin after retirement and I moved to Rome that I began to understand why those trips back home were so important.

To read the rest and see more pictures, click HERE.

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The beach at Cap Juluca with the island of St. Martin/St. Maarten in the background.

Photo: Me and my iPHone

The award-winning Fathom Magazine is celebrating Sicily this week.  I’m trilled that I get to join in the festivities.

IMG_4629My article is about Sicily and the solo traveler.

When I booked my trip, I didn’t think it was a big deal that I was traveling alone.   Then once everyone and their mother kept saying, “Wow, you’re going to Sicily by yourself?!”, I started to get nervous.

You can read about my Sicilian adventures HERE.

The entire series is fantastic.  I want to book a trip now.

 

In the States we tend to define ourselves by what we do for a living.  Therefore, working in any creative field is not easy.  There’s the whole art vs business debate, the struggle to actually make a living, and the fact that most people have no idea what it is you do day-to-day.

I sometimes buy into this, feeling unanchored because I cannot be put into a specific category.   The last time I was in Los Angeles, I was speaking with a friend who’s an agent at CAA.  He  told me that I was over-thinking everything.  I could decorate and write.  I didn’t have to choose one over the other.

My brain couldn’t process this.  How could I BE two things at the same time?!

Thankfully, several of my very talented friends reminded me that creative people are creative.  Basta.   If you’re a truly creative person, you will not be fulfilled unless you are able to do the work that inspires you. It doesn’t matter what the medium is.  They also told me to stop confusing what we do with who we are.

Robert Downey Jr acts.  He also sings… well.  This confuses some people.  I don’t know why.  This is not a Paris Hilton “Stars Are Blind” situation.

Here he is singing one of my favorite Police songs.   I love his little dance move at the end.  I do that too but in the privacy of my own home.

Buon weekend!

All over my neighborhood are signs like this:

siamoferieBefore I was on Hollywood’s schedule, so August was a busy time for me.  While all my friends and neighbors fled the August heat and tourists, I stayed behind in Rome writing and pitching TV projects.

Now I’m on a local schedule and it’s a trip.   Last week I was running around town making sure to touch base with my vendors before they closed up shop for the month.

There will be NO furniture deliveries in August.

September will be out of control.  Everything is being pushed to that month.

In the meantime, I’m going to use this period to catch up on office paperwork. I also need to find more space in my tiny apartment for all the new books I have.  I’m literally running out of room.

One friend (who just left town for the rest of the month) suggested I see a few movies.  Then we started laughing because most of the movie theaters are closed too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Felicia and I met a few years ago through a friend in NYC.   She’s wicked smart, funny, and has a killer sense of style.  Along with being a ridiculously talented writer, Felicia is also a gifted photographer, baker, and cook.

Felicia recently left her high-powered/profile job and is traveling in Italy and France for three weeks.  It’s not easy to walk away from something that looks great on paper (especially in this economy).  It takes a certain kind of fearlessness to step toward the unknown.

I love her blog. The way Felicia writes about life, love, food, etc. is extraordinary.

I just read her Florence dispatch and I all I have to say is, “I need to book a train ticket pronto.”  I hope her writing and her photos will inspire you.

Buon Weekend!

 

I was at a Rome Bloggers meet up a few months ago and one of my fellow bloggers told me she missed my old blog.

My former blog was more personal and a bit all over the place.  One day I would write about politics , or my friend’s big Italian wedding, and the next day about some silly pop-culture thing like the horrific “Kwanzaa Cake” made by Sandra Lee.

The blogging world has changed a great deal since 2005.  It’s become a big business and very niche.

When I first started this blog I felt a lot of pressure to keep it extremely focused.  I understood the advice from my social media savvy friends.  They would ask me questions like,”What’s the point of your blog? What are your goals for the blog?  What IS your blog, personal, design, lifestyle, expat?”

Something clicked when I read my friend Felicia’s recent post.

I should worry less about labeling my blog or trying to shoe-horn it into a very narrow space.

Design blogs are more than pretty pictures. The popular ones have a POV or narrative that’s engaging.  They have to be, thanks in part to the explosive success of Pinterest.

Interior design is influenced by many things… art, fashion, music, film, travel, the list goes on.   I like to write about those subjects as well and I will.

It’s a new year and time to loosen the strings a little.

 

 

 

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