"Those who have experienced Paris have advantage over those who have not. We are the ones who have glimpsed a little bit of heaven, down here on earth." - Deirdre Kelly

Friday, July 10, 2015

one less...

Photo: Claudio Porcarelli

“You and I, it's as though we have been taught to kiss in heaven and sent down to earth together...” 
― Doctor Zhivago

Omar Sharif. An elegant, classy gentleman; who exemplifed a mood, music, fashion, discourse. So few from that magical era are left, now there is one less.


Thursday, July 02, 2015

ready or not, here I come

"I get ideas about what's essential 
when packing my suitcase."
- Diane von Furstenberg

A vintage Kimono, lace lingerie, a clutch made of raw silk roses, three short dresses/two long, a satin hand embroidered Chinese jacket, a pair of skin-tight Pixie trousers (in red, bien sur), travel journal, sky high heels, a cashmere wrap, red lipstickcamera, passport, a bit of fringe. Yeah, I'm ready. Montreal je veins ici

Stay tuned...

Vivre! Rire! Aimer!


Thursday, June 25, 2015

cherries, a bowl full

"Life is just a bowl of cherries.
So live and laugh, aha!
Laugh and love at it all!"
- Ethel Merman, 1931

 Mr. Gorgeous and I are all about our life - our children. Our three are damn fantastic, so it's not a hardship by any stretch of the imagination. But that also means that, while we always make time for each other, those slices of time away are pretty thin (we haven't spent a night away from them since 2012). 

The glorious Matt & Neal

"To be rich in friends is to be poor in nothing." 
- Lilian Whiting

With Mr. G's birthday fast approaching, I began to scheme, plot and plan to kidnap him for a weekend (by 'weekend' I mean 2 days and 1 night). Our dear friends - Matt & Neal - were my co-conspirators. And they knew the perfect place - their treehouse on the shores of Lake Michigan. Yeah, these gents know how to live! We packed a bag, kissed mom and the kids, grabbed Coco, put the top down, and hit the road.

The trip took 1 1/2 hours. The weather was so beautiful - balmy, sunny, a cool sweet breeze, just the two of us and a Coco. And as the miles went by, little by little, we left the hustle and bustle behind  and drove into the quiet, the wind, the green. 

^From a six-lane concrete expressway, 
to a four-lane asphalt highway, 
to a two lane tree-lined road. 

^Matt filled the house with stunning Peonies.
Their sweet fragrance filled every room.

^After we changed into our swimsuits 
it was time to hit the beach. Our chariot awaited.

^The road to Shangri-La

"A simple life is good with me...
a T-shirt, a pair of shorts, barefoot on the beach
and I'm happy." - Yanni

After sunset: dinner by candlelight, music, dancing, birthday cake...

Happy Birthday, beloved

The next day, after a Bloody Mary brunch, back to the beach...

^Coco leads the way...

The perfect spot to work the New York Times Crossword

During the last hour of my romantic birthday getaway with Mr. G, we walked the beach, holding hands, Coco happily trailing behind. It was...perfect. Thank you so much Matt & Neal for sharing your treehouse, for being our friends. 

"You have two lives. The second one begins
when you realize you only have one."
- Confucius

Sometimes (maybe often times) this world can be a scary place, with people who espouse and do hateful terrible things. But I truly believe that the vast majority of us who inhabit this beautiful Earth are kind and good. And we are the lucky ones. We gain strength and sustenance from those who love us and by giving in kind to those we love. We find joy in the simplest of things - a 7th grade basketball game, birthday cake, a drive through the countryside, time with friends, a good meal, the bubbles in a glass of champagne, the grit of sand between our toes. And the accumulated positive karmic weight of these simple things, by their very existence, and our insistence that these things continue to exist, change our world for the better - and always will. 

As we drove back down that two-lane treelined road, ready and eager to return to our three, the hustle and bustle, I thought: yeah, I'll take this life, love it. Because, even with the pits, life is just a bowl of cherries. 

Vivre! Rire! Aimer!


Tuesday, May 05, 2015

life is a circus...

"Something about the circus stirs their souls,
and they ache for it when it is absent."
- Erin Morgenstern

The other day I met the subject of my next 'Postcard to Paris' for Belle Inspiration Magazine. Our photo-shoot/interview is in 2 weeks and I can't wait to share my adventure with you. In the meantime, in addition to these photos, here are a few hints: a boy who ran away from home to join the circus, Cava Brut Rose, stone cellar, jazz.

Vivre! Rire! Aimer!


Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Rory's 1st Crepe [rue Cler (Autumn,  2009)]

Taxi to rue Cler
Butter Crepe sprinkled with sugar
Sailed on the Seine
- Rory Hills

Vivre! Rire! Aimer!

Mr. Hills and I (2014)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

the shoes. Honey, the shoes!

"Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world."
- Marilyn Monroe

Giving my Diva full and free reign has been a revelatory adventure. Under Jane's patient tutelage (and embracing the maturit√© that only living can bestow) I have learned to love and showcase my unique assets and camouflage my...problem points ;-} Integral parts of my Diva-tude are being a mother and a professor - I'm always on the run - so my everyday footwear are Chucky T's, ballet flats and funky flat sandals. Stylista-me has clear and definite requirements: fantabuluosity, fierce elegance (with just a touch of trendy) - oui, absolument! fussy/complicated makeup, hair and wardrobe - absolument non

But there's one aspect of the Diva that I absolutely love (always have). It's something I refuse to live without - sky high heels!

Stilettos & Rose Petals

"You put high heels on and you change." - Manolo Blanik

Yes, sky-high heels are impractical - but when did the Diva give a hoot about practicality? Sky-high heels elongate the leg (to truly epic proportions), tantilizingly lift the bust and beautifully push the booty up and out - generating a saucy/sensual sway to said booty in the process.  And yes, sky-high heels were painful...until the glorious invention of 'the platform' and the 'cork wedge. 4+ inches magically transformed into a comfortable 3'! Have your Diva cake and eat it too!

"Lady Peep - Nude" Christian Louboutin

Yes, platform sky-highs are extremely comfortable

"Patent Banded Wedge" - Boston Proper

Granted even though, in my humble opinion, platform sky-highs are superior to any other form of high heel, there is an art of survival to/for wearing them an entire night in comfort: 1. Only wear them to a place where you know you'll be able to sit at will (and, yes, I have no problem in making sure of that when I arrive - remember, diva). 2. Once your feet are under the table (out of sight), take your shoes off and rest your feet for the strut (survival points 1 & 2 don't apply for wedges - they're that comfortable ;-} Summer is just around the corner and I can't wait. 

Wear those heels honey!

Vivre! Rire! Aimer!


that time of the year, again...

Even at my daughter's Tennis class, 
a professor's work is never done...

"But I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep."
- Robert Frost

Bonjour mes lovelies,

I'm nearing the end of another semester - filled with term paper reading, correcting, and final grade tabulating. It leaves me no time for blogging. Thank goodness you are understanding and forgiving. Unfortunately, the prospects for professors in the States continue to become increasingly dire. Tenure is officially a relic of the past. Salaries, benefits - even an office space - are, I suspect, now and forever out of reach. Thus, I have decided to only teach one class per semester, while continuing to hammer out a new more promising, and infinitely more satisfying, career. You may ask: 'Temple why do you stay at all'? It's a question I often ask myself until nights like tonight, when I read term papers so good, they inspire me to hop into my T.A.R.D.I.S....

Did you know that the hymn Amazing Grace is an anti-slavery song written by an enslaver turned abolitionist? Or that Mexico was a silent member of the Allied Forces of WWII? Or that nearly 2.5 million Mexicans (and Puerto Ricans) immigrated to the U.S. specifically to join our Air Force, Army an work in agriculture at the behest of President Roosevelt? Yeah, I didn't either. Another of my students wrote a history of the Holocaust using no dates, battles, or treaties as rubrics, only the first hand accounts of survivors - and it's freaking amazing! Do you have any idea how hard that is to do? I just finished reading a student's bio of Voltaire that is so fresh and innovative, so excellently researched and written, I'm going to use it as a directed reading for future classes.

My kids are finding their voices and it's a wonderful thing to experience. My only regret is that this semester will be over in two weeks :-{ We didn't have enough time. We needed more time. But most of them have enrolled in my 'Part Two' of this class next fall and I can't wait. It's at moments like this I'm reminded why I love teaching so, in spite of it all.

But the soon approaching end of my 'professor-semester' also means that, in a few days, I'll have the rest of Spring and the entire Summer to 100% focus on you and my other soul replenishing/soul satisfying pursuits. 

Posts in the works: 
- the Adventures of a Personal Concierge (Postcard to Paris)
- Vieux Montreal (Paris Inspired
- Sounds of Summer Soundtrack (Paris Playlist

Vivre! Rire! Aimer!


Here I come!
You ready?
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