Diane von Furstenberg interview (ish) on Self Reliance, Beauty Tips, Motherhood & Becoming the Woman She Wanted To Be

While vacationing in St. Lucia, last week, I completed The Woman I Wanted To Be by Diane von Furstenberg, a woman I have idolized for much of my adult life.

Confidence, grace, and strength are why I admire Mrs. von Furstenberg. She always seems comfortable with herself, sure of her words and settled in her skin. In many ways, she is the woman I want to become! (My current Inspiration Board says it all.)

In honor of Women’s History Month and the recent International Women’s Day – a holiday celebrated in my home because it was celebrated in the former Soviet Union by my family, and my father continued the tradition when he and my mother came to the United States in 1977 – I’m kicking off a series of interviews with powerful women, with a faux q-and-a with Diane von Furstenberg.

Like the other women that I hope you’ll enjoy hearing from in coming posts, Mrs. von Furstenberg inspires me to be greater, climb higher, and trust my inner voice. I hope her wisdom will uplift you to Always Be Your Best You, love yourself, trust yourself and never leave home without a layer (or two) of mascara.

Legal Note – The below interview with Diane von Furstenberg is not real. I never spoke to her. Quotes are taken from her book. I structured the questions to put the quotes in the context that they appeared in the book.


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P2: How did the wrap dress change your life? How did it make you the woman you are today?
DVF: My main goal was to be free and independent. With the first money I earned, I bought Cloudwalk, a property in Connecticut for my twenty-seventh birthday, so the family could spend relaxed time together in a setting where we could also feel free. … While on the road to promote the cosmetics and the [wrap] dresses, I realized from my conversations with women how many had insecurities. By listening to their insecurities and sharing my own, we all felt stronger. The stronger I became the stronger I wanted others to be. (page 42 and page 164)

P2: Strength and confidence are how I feel in your clothing. What do you think the DVF brand exudes and how does that reflect your personality?
DVF: Effortless. Sexy. On-the-go. If it isn’t effortless, if it isn’t sexy, if you cannot put it in a little suitcase, it’s not DVF. … My personal style and designs [are] one and the same – simple, happy, sexy … (page 225 and page 199)p2lifestyle_1

P2: What advice would you give to young women who don’t have a clear direction / professional focus?

DVF: Listen, always listen. Most people at the beginnings of their lives don’t know what they want to be unless you have a real vocation, so it is very important to listen. Sometimes there are doors that will open and you think it is not an important door and yet it is – so it’s very important to be curious and pay attention, because sometimes you learn and you don’t even know you’re learning. (page 149)

P2: What’s your one, big business tip for young entrepreneurs?
DVF: Passion and persistence are what matter. Dreams are achievable and you can make your fantasy come true, but there are no shortcuts. Nothing happens without hard work. (page 154)

P2: From your book, The Woman I Wanted To Be, it’s clear your mother played an epic role in your life. What is the biggest lesson she taught you?
DVF: Never, ever, blame others for what befalls you, no matter how horrible it might be. Trust you, and only you, to be responsible for your own life … She wanted me to be independent and responsible for myself. (page 7  page 9)p2lifestyle_031215_4

P2: What was the key to your own parenting success? Please share with this new mom!
DVF: I never talked down to my children, Alexandre and Tatiana. I encouraged them to express their opinions and take responsibility for themselves. I also involved them in every facet of my life, including my business. “I have my job and school is your job” I told them. “We all go to work, we all have our own lives, we all have our responsibilities. You deliver on yours and I’ll deliver on mine.” (page 43)

P2: Being a working mom is a challenge. Looking back, how do you view that time in your life?
DVF: I have a great empathy with working mothers and the tug of war they feel. It was always wrenching to walk out the door. Once, outside, however, I felt free, energized and focused on making a good life for all of us. (page 42)

P2: Describe your relationship with your children, today.
DVF: My children are the bookend that support me. (page 45)

P2: You’ve had so many reincarnations in your life. Do you wish you could undo certain choices that you now know were really not ideal for your journey to becoming the woman you wanted to be?
DVF: No one goes through life with one rigid personality. We are far more complex with various needs and desires that present themselves at different stages of our lives. … I’ve often asked myself what sort of woman I’d be today if I hadn’t experimented with such greatly different lifestyles … I needed to try on different versions of myself to see which one fit me best. (page 86)

P2: Right now, it seems you are wearing the philanthropic and motivational hat quite a bit, especially when it comes to empowering women. Tell me about the DVF Awards.
DVF: The DVF Awards were established in 2010 to honor and support extraordinary women who have had the courage to fight, the power to survive and the leadership to inspire; women who have transformed the lives of others through their commitment, resources and visibility. (page 116)

P2: You’ve inspired so many women over the years, myself included. Who inspired you?
DVF: Jackie Kennedy Onassis inspired me with her elegance, her beauty, and her incredible style. Style has so much to do with the way one handles oneself and I always admired Jackie’s dignity at all moments of her tragic life … Angelina Jolie is another woman I find both ravishing and interesting … What makes Angelina uniquely beautiful is her substance and her wanting to give voice to those who have none. page 104 and 105

P2: In a recent interview with Nina Garcia, she said “fashion has power to transform”. I used the power of fashion myself when I need to get our of a year-long slump following the loss of my father. Can you recall at time when fashion and beauty were your weapons for a wa
y to Carpe Diem and laugh in the face of adversity?p2lifestyle_031215_6
DVF: In the middle of my  [cancer] treatment my friend Mort Zuckerman invited me to go the White House for a state dinner the president and Mrs. Clinton were giving for the emperor and the empress of Japan … In spite of the radiation burn shadings on each side of my face, which I managed to hide with makeup, I ended up looking beautiful … I loved my voluptuous [John Galliano] dress … Feeling frivolous and beautiful in the middle of my painful treatment was a wink to myself. It felt great. (page 122)

P2: You live in a world centered around beauty. How do you define beauty?
DVF: Character. Intelligence. Strength. Style. That makes beauty. All these attributes form beauty and personality, that elusive state of being that is not necessarily perfect. It is our imperfections that make us different. Personality, not traditional beauty, is always what I’ve looked for in my models. (page 106)

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Sulwhasoo Beauty Secrets & Why Korean Ginseng Is Anti Aging Gold, Oh and Happy Lunar New Year

Happy Lunar New Year!

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It turns out, Bloomingdales loves a good parade and costumes just as much as I do. Happy Lunar New Year 2015!

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Posing in Bloomindales. Yes, this photo is blurry. My mother has many talents. Taking photos isn’t one of them.

Did you know that Koreans, as well as the Chinese, celebrate the Lunar New Year? I only recently discovered this, as I’ve become very infatuated with all things Korean – food, milk tea, and beauty rituals.

The latter came about when I went to a Sulwhasoo event back in November to learn more about the brand and it’s approach to beauty (which is much more big picture and holistic, as compared to most western brands).

While I may have been a human potpourri before I got pregnant with Ilana – it’s hard not to try everything when you’re in this business – I became quite picky once I realized my body was now her home, and that home needed to be in tip top shape. So, out went all products with ingredients I couldn’t pronounce and in came Naturopathica. It’s the only brand I have put on my face for the past two years.

Ya, so why bother going to learn about product launches at Sulwhasoo, a company I had never heard of until the event invite hit my inbox?

  1. there was a pretty cool panel of power women from various corners of the health and wellness industry
  2. I love the pr girls hosting the event
  3. mama wanted to get out of the house

Needless to say, I left rejuvenated, inspired to infuse more yogi principles into my life and convinced that Sulwhasoo’s new Capsulized Ginseng Fortifying Serum (which just hit stores this month) had to become part of my daily, beauty routine.

I am beyond thrilled with the visible results of more elasticity, less happy wrinkle lines and the Jlo glowing skin. No, seriously. I’m not feeding you PR bulls^#t. This stuff is no joke. Putting it on, at night, and feeding my skin ginseng goodness (usually after I’ve enjoyed a cup of white tea) is one way I get centered and carve out a Meaningful Me Moment at the need of a long day. 

I know it’s pricey ($150 1.2 fl oz), but it’s worth every penny for you to Always Be Your Best You. Here’s why ginseng will rock your world:

  • It’s considered the king of all Korean herbs, celebrated for its multitude of healing and beautifying benefits – Improves skin volume and firmness, Minimizes lines and wrinkles, Strengthens skin’s ability to recover from the aging process, Antioxidant benefits
  • In Korean history, young ladies in noble families would bathe in ginseng water before their wedding to refine, brighten and purify their skin. They also enjoyed fresh-drawn ginseng tea to prevent freckles and fine lines.
  • Not all ginseng is the same. Korea’s mineral rich mountain regions are ideal to cultivate this sensitive plant that is highly affected by the soil that it is grown in. Korean Ginseng is more precious and sought after than any other type of ginseng.

The powers that be at Sulwhasoo are super clever and utilize all parts of the Korean Ginseng plant – from the root to the berries – harnessing the unique benefits of each part. They’re also quite picky and only use Korean Ginseng that is 6-years-old, which is when the plant produces berries and has the most energy and potency.

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This is my skin after using Sulwhasoo Capsulized Ginseng Fortifying Serum for about two months. No filters or touch ups have been done. Also, in the bottom right photo I’m wearing minimal makeup.

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Ginseng, it’s really that amazing!

Here’s the big beauty bonus:

Korean Ginseng, as used in Sulwhasoo formulations, has significantly more saponins than other ginseng, which is what works to increase immunity levels, as well as the regenerating, anti-aging and antioxidant effects this herb is known for.

Basically, you’re getting the best of the best of ginseng. Don’t walk, ram (get it? ram, aka Year of the Ram, aka Lunar New Year 2015) to the store and get your hands on this serum and other offering from Sulwhasoo’s concentrated ginseng collection.

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PS Hey, sexy, 28 year olds, you need to incorporate ginseng into your beauty routine ASAP.

Why?

In Korean Herbal Medicine, it is believed that the body undergoes internal changes every seven years. Around the age of 28, the aging inertia of the skin begins to increase while the youthful inertia begins to decrease, meaning skin begins to lose strength and elasticity which contributes to the visibility of early signs of aging on the skin.

Bummer. What’s a gal to do?

Capsulized Ginseng Fortifying Serum is liquid gold, chicas. Use it. Also, I strongly advise you to avoid heavy drinking of hard liquors, and eliminate sun exposure between the hours of 11am-3pm. Those two beauty tips come to you from my mother!

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This is me the day after my birthday. I’m a VERY happy 31-year-old. Healthy habits, a solid beauty routine and passion are essential ingredients for a full life. #AlwaysBeYourBestYou

 

Nina Garcia on Motherhood, Style, Cinderella & Confidence

Nina Garcia is the Creative Director of Marie Claire Magazine, a Project Runway judge and the style voice of JCPenney. Perhaps her most important role is that of mom to two young boys. I caught up with her at the majestic Drawing Room at The Palace Hotel, where JCPenney hosted a brunch in celebration of their collaboration with Disney’s Cinderella, a live-action feature film inspired by the classic fairy tale in theaters March 13.  Of course, I had to talk motherhood and fashion because if anyone understands my need for Meaningful Me Moments and living with an Always Be Your Best You mentality, it’s this lovely lady.

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Nina Garcia in Calvin Klein. Me in Elizabeth Daniel NY shirt and Tees by Tina skirt

Pamela Pekerman: How does the story of Cinderella appeal to you?

Nina Garcia: Cinderella is all about transformation and an iconic story about confidence. It’s about the power of fashion to transform a woman. The scene when Cinderella is in her gown, that’s the wow. It’s really a story that happens every day.

PP: Speaking of every day, many moms sometimes lose themselves after giving birth. What can they learn from the movie?

NG:  Moms might lose their mojo for a few months because we’re in a bubble. And it’s a beautiful bubble, but that’s where fashion really helps. Fashion has that lure. We want to get back into that dress and we want to be able to wear that beautiful skirt.

P2: Any advice for getting out of the bubble?

NG: Try to keep current and go out there. Yes, it’s nice to be in the mommy bubble, but eventually you need to come back to the real world, and this is when we are here to help. Fashion is here to help you get back into it, to inspire, to give you confidence to help you through those months when your body is transitioning from one shape to another. That’s how it happened to me. It was that moment when I said, “Wait, I want to get back into fashion and I want to be able to wear that dress.” That’s the power and beauty of being in this business.

P2: I love that you used the word “inspire”. I couldn’t agree with you more about the value and need for a style and beauty routine.

NG: Absolutely. It’s always important to be your best.

P2: In order to be your best, I think a mom needs time for herself. With your busy work and home life, how do you find time for Meaningful Me Moments?

NG: It’s really hard to find time for me because I want to be with the kids all the time. But, I do find the time. And it’s when I go for a facial, or get my hair done, or a massage, or I’ll treat myself to shopping, or go to see a beautiful exhibit. When I get back home, I feel more in tune, more confident, more relaxed, and more enriched.

P2: What’s the one item that makes you feel like a princess?

NG: Jewelry!

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This crisp white suit was so elegant and on-point for spring 2015. She looked amazing!

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The actual dress from Disney’s Cinderella movie, hitting theaters March 13, 2015.

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The classy, cool and confidence-inspiring ambiance at JCPenney’s event marking their collaboration with Disney’s Cinderella.

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Friday Five Finds – new accessories, chickpea pasta & more

TGIF!

I’ve had a jam-packed week of taking care of the kids, trying to squeeze in writing, meetings and previews in the city, and hints of Meaningful Me Moments (example: last night’s Self Love Celebration hosted by my dear friend Nitika Chopra). Despite the fast-pace, high-voltage week, I’m super energized and happy for all the amazing personal and professional developments that are brewing. There will be so much more to share in the coming weeks and months; for now, here is a very happy themed Friday Five Finds. Enjoy and have an amazing weekend!

PSA: Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. Take a little time and practice Self Love. Check out my Self Love V-Day Gift Guide. Also, look at these amazing companies run by women who eat, sleep and breath self-love, confidence and the power of transformation: YourBellaLife.com, BeWellWithArielle.com, and MamaGlow.com.

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1. Black Sea Greenwich Clutch in Navy, Aqua and Wheat $595
Nothing makes me happier than a new handbag find. This is a brand to watch if you enjoy sleek, bold design.

2. Eye of the Sea Green Agate Bracelet $78
I’ve gotten so many compliments on my rose quart bracelet, this week, so I’m getting this color, too. Green Agate is for re-balancing mind, body and spirit. It’s calming and healing energy offers protection from stress and enhances self-confidence and creativity. Sign me up for that happy ride.

3. Happy Mat all-in-one plate & placemat $24.99
The silicone, which is non-toxic, PVC, BPA and phthalate free, suctions directly to the table making meal time happy time, once again.

4. Bullet Pocket Acne Aid $7.95
This magical cream got me out of a nasty acne jam this week. I wasn’t too happy Wednesday morning, come Thursday evening I was nearly blemish free.

5. Banza Chickpeas Pasta $30 for 6 boxes
Pasta makes my daughter very happy, but I’ve been on the hunt for yummy pasta that also loads her up with more goodness and less empty carbs. Ask and ye shall receive. Last night, at the Self Love Celebration, I had four plates and several interesting conversation with two brothers behind this pasta-made-out-of-chickpeas revolution.

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Self Love Valentine’s Day Takeover & Gift Guide

Valentine’s Day is a joke. If you are properly loved by your significant other every single day of the year, then you should not put pressure on him to plan an elaborate “Valentine’s Day Date”. The results are usually tacky (flashing red flower roses anyone?) or overpriced meals (“special menu” alert). And, ladies, if February 14th is the only day you are putting on extra fancy, kinky lingerie, that’s also a relationship no-no. Keep it sexy and romantic all year long!

So, let’s refocus Valentine’s Day on the one person that probably doesn’t give you enough love, the one person that can be extremely harmful to your self-esteem, the one person that needs to constantly be reminded to be good to you. I’m talking about YOU!

Ladies, we are our own worst enemies. Let’s use Valentine’s Day as a day to recommit to Self Love, to harboring positive thoughts about yourselves, to acknowledging that you deserve to be loved, and to reinforcing that you should Always Be Your Best You.

Below is my Self Love Valentine’s Day Gift Guide full of beauty items for pampering, accessories for indulging and tea because that’s how I create Meaning Me Moments.

I’m wishing you an amazing, loving day. Find me on Twitter and Instagram and let me know how you plan to reignite Self Love this Valentine’s Day.

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1. Sequin Capricorn 3-Charm Necklace $98

2. Jill Haber Campari Hair Calf Box Clutch $1695

3. Everything I Need To Know I Learned From a Little Golden Book by Diane Muldrow $6 (this already rests on my nightstand and is often opened in the morning for words of wisdom. Can you really go wrong if you “Dress up and go dancing” or “Be a hugger”?)

4. Naturopathica Plant Stem Cell Booster Serum $84 1oz

6. Chloe Ellie Pink Marble Cocktail Ring $560

5. Fine Fragrance Body Wash, Love Forever $6

7. Wedgwood Cuckoo Tea Collection $50-$100

8. Fortnum & Mason Rose Biscuits $17

9. Kelly Wearstler Classic Bronze Mini Kiss $125

10. Sequin Bliss Beaded Bracelets in Coral $38

11. Thymes Kimono Rose Candle $35

** At the top, the image of the heart is actually a lazer cut heart with crystals from Black Lace Jewelry. The Passionate Red Valentine’s Day Heart retails for $26. They stick to your skin and last for about 2-3 days even with washing. I’m wearing one tonight!

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Friday Five Finds – Go Red For Women Heart Health

In honor of National Wear Red Day which is part of the American Heart Association’s campaign to educate women on simple changes that promote a heart-healthy lifestyle, today’s Friday Five Finds are all red.

Have a healthy,  happy, heart-fabulous weekend.

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1. Calvin Klein Go Red For Women Cap-Sleeve Ponte Dress $80 (Now through February 28, 2015, Macy’s will donate 10% of the sale price from this dress to the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women)

2. Bling Go Red iPhone Case $12 (Proceeds benefit the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women)

3. L’Objet Coral Bookend $850 each

4. American Heart Association The Go Red For Women Cookbook: Cook Your Way to a Heart-Healthy Weight and Good Nutrition $18

5. Janie and Jack Patterned Sweater Vest $11

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Ladies Lunch & The Power of Women Supporting Women

One of the challenges of being a sorta-kinda, stay-at-home mom is that I’m not surrounded by my power women friends that kept my mojo sharp and motivated. Fearing the scenario of what happens to the brain when you complete formal education and don’t engage in anything intellectually stimulating thereafter (aka if you don’t use it, you could lose it) I needed to recharge and reconnect with my hustle girls.  Oh, and I needed to maximize my time given that I only have extra help twice a week.

Last Thursday, I gathered some of my gals for a ladies lunch. FYI The idea came to me while I was pumping milk months ago and desperate for an escape from being a milk factory!

But, that’s neither here nor there.

The lunch …

To say that the two hours we spent together was magical is an understatement. The collective energy of these inspirational, hustling, brainy and beautiful women could light up the New Year’s Eve ball in Times Square.  It felt like a power house sorority, if your sorority included published authors, major TV producers and anchors, magazine publishers, top fashion designers … you get my point.

Here’s the most beautiful part – it wasn’t about me, me, me. The vibe was so much about sharing and what you can do for the lady sitting next to you. We all just wanted to connect with other women and see what cool projects they are creating.

Left to right, clockwise: Dr. Robi Ludwig (oh and she designs jewelry. I’m wearing her necklace in all photos), fashion designer Ramy Sharp of Ramy Brook, TV producers and media coaches Elise Silvestri and Amy Rosenblum, me, PIX11 News Anchor Tamsen Fadal

Sometimes, you need to be in the company of greatness to find your own greatness.

Left to right, clockwise: celeb chef Candice Kumai, beauty guru & Pride & Glory founder Jennifer Walsh, Talk Show host Nitika Chopra; Jen with TinShingle founder Sabina Hitchen; kids etiquette coach and my mom Malvina with NBC entertainment reporter Joelle Garguilo; me and my wine

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more of the same pretty faces from #P2LadiesLunch at Hunt & Fish Club NYC (photo credit: Dr. Robi)

I gave a little toast to the group and my key point was that I believe your network in your net worth. And, with this table of women, I felt like a billionaire.

Women supporting women is such an important part of our professional AND personal success. It’s another way for us to be reminded we should Always Be Your Best You. I encourage all of you to form groups, meet regularly. If that’s not an option, connect socially via FaceBook groups and other avenues. Brainstorming with a group, opening up about your life, learning from others, that’s how you will be the best working mom you can be. We are SO much better when we grow together. Sorry, I know I sound like a poster from 1983, but it’s true!

Socializing. Sharing. Succeeding. #P2LadiesLunch

A special thank you to Hunt & Fish Club NYC for hosting the first #P2LadiesLunch. Um … feel free to offer to host the next one. Also, thank you to my beloved friend Linsey at Behrman PR for putting together a great swag bag for the ladies full of some of my favorite products from ItCosmetics, Kid Lid and The Wet Brush.

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Pam’s Postcards from Delhi, India – Part 1

After surviving a nasty bout with Delhi Belly, aka traveler’s diarrhea, followed by New Year’s Eve lets-pack-the-kids roadshow, and my current cold, I’m finally able to sit in my chair long enough to write this post. But, let’s focus on the bling and the Bollywood bonanza that was the four-day, wedding extravaganza in Delhi, India.

My husband’s colleague and his new bride treated us non-Indians to a wedding unlike any other. It overflowed with colorful fabrics, floral garlands, invigorating music, golden jewelry, flavorful food and warm hearts. It’s the latter that will remain the biggest part of my moveable feast.

The groom’s parents treated us like family. Their words of admiration for my husband, planned excursions, personal drivers and overall desire to constantly accommodate, were lovingly, overwhelming. And, let’s not even get into the pashmina scarf his mom gifted me, on top of the other scarves and beaded handbags she’s already sent to New York.

The rest of the family, both the groom’s and the bride’s were equally as welcoming. On the first night, we went to the bride’s parent’s home for the mehndi (henna party). The home was lit up with club lighting; there was a beautiful tent erected in the backyard where a band played Indian songs that we all enjoyed way too much. I got hennaed out and then picked up extra sparkle to wear for the following night, thanks to the Bangle Bar. My outfit that night: a hand-embroidered, silk tunic purchased that afternoon in Delhi.

Dancing with candles on my head. Delhi, India

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Fashion selfie at henna party. Delhi, India

When in Rome … Henna artists do their creative magic. Delhi, India

Henna arm candy mixed with Kanupriya elephant ring. Delhi, India

Accessories heaven! We should all gift wedding guests jewelry. Delhi, India.

Turbans, saris and gold earrings, oh my. Wedding fashion in India. Delhi, India

Night two was the ceremony, aka wedding. Arranged by the groom’s mom, a lovely girl came to my room at The Imperial New Delhi Hotel, to help me put on my sari. We then headed to the groom’s parent’s house, where my husband and all the other men, were wrapped in turbans. And then there was the twenty-person band that escorted us several blocks, while the groom rode a decorated horse. After dancing back to the house, we got into our cars and went to the venue. (In olden times, we would dance all the way to the venue). Upon arrival, we were dropped off several blocks away from the venue, where we once again were accompanied by a band, this time with chandeliers on people’s heads! The groom was now in a chariot. At some point, my husband was asked to join him. I think that means he’s important or really loved?!? I wore a purple and fuchsia pink sari from Exclusively.in.

Wedding Decor. Delhi, India

The Bride and Groom sit with their parents and a priest inside the wedding canopy. Delhi, India

Thanks to my preparations – Hindu Wedding Rituals Symbolism and Significance – I understood some of the rituals taking place in the mantapa, aka wedding canopy. Like most wedding ceremonies, first the kids go through the traditional part, and then we party. The music was mostly ethnic, with a few modern beats. The food was mostly ethnic, with a few Asian and Italian dishes. On both fronts, I preferred the ethnic option.

Enjoy the images and check out Pam’s Postcards from Delhi, India – Part 2 for a recap of the last two nights of the wedding and our adventures in Old Delhi.

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31 Tips for a Happy Life from a Happy 31-year-old

Somebody turned 31-years-old a few days ago. Capricorn power!

I love my birthday and I love getting older. Getting older, continuing to evolve and seeing my family expand is a gift. As I walk into my forth decade, following what was the BEST YEAR OF MY ADULT LIFE, I want to share some tips that I feel made last year amazing. I want every one of you to feel fabulous about where you are in your lives. If, you too, are in your 30s, embrace it. Life is more pleasant when you accept the present as a present, a gift.

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1. Never Act Your Age. I get this trait from my late father. It’s one of the best, lasting gifts he gave me. It’s why my current, Birthday Manicure is neon green, with index fingers that have various neon color balloons.
2. Marry Your Best Friend. The only downside is you may laugh so hard over the years, you’ll develop early wrinkles around your mouth … I take it! (FYI  Here are some tips for a sexy, happy marriage.)
3. Look Up. Sometimes I think I’m the only person in Manhattan that knows the sky is blue and the building are as breathtaking as any painting you’ll find at the MET
4. Wear sexy lingerie, just because.
5. Laugh a lot. When in doubt if something is worth a laugh, refer to tip 1.p2lifestyle_010815_2
6. Wear more color. I think it’s why Latin American women are so fabulous and zesty
7. Own at least one pair of Did-I-Really-Spend-That-Much pair of shoes. If you found those shoes at the Saks post-Christmas sale and you didn’t pay the Did-I-Really-Spend-That-Much price, all the better!
8. Every now and then, do something that scares you.
9. Never go to bed angry at anyone. Find a way to minimize the damage/pain, unless you prefer never to speak to this person again.
10. Stop and smell the roses, or the peonies, or the pine trees. It’s about connecting to the now.
11. Have a fancy dinner date, with yourself.
12. Travel as much as possible.p2lifestyle_010815_3
13. Be a tourist in your own city. No matter where you live, you can always find something new to explore and discover.
14. Don’t stop educating yourself. When college ends, many of us focus on our careers and our families. It’s equally as important to still expand our minds. Even if it’s one hour a week, learn a language, read a book, or take an art history class at a community college.
15. Always Be Your Best You. This is my life philosophy and it should be yours as well. There is never a time when you shouldn’t look your best. It’s one of the easiest ways to pick yourself up and get through whatever life has in store for you today. It’s much easier to smile in the mirror when the face staring back at you is well coiffed.
16. Learn to bake at least one thing really well. On a really bad day, there’s nothing like putting kids to sleep and whipping up hazelnut macaroons with chocolate ganache. (That’s my big baking success, thus far.)
17. Trust in fortune cookies. If this doesn’t make sense, refer to tip 1.
18. Get a big sister. I’m lucky enough to have one and can attest to the immense comfort it is to have someone to share in my joys and to split my sorrows with. Michelle, my sister, experiences everything first and then trickles down her wisdom to me. I recently offered myself as a faux big sister to my friend MK because I got the sense she needed big sis wisdom. If you know someone that needs a big sis, offer yourself up. We only get stronger when we share our personal and professional wisdom.
19. Create a spa oasis in your bathroom. Even in a tiny, Manhattan apartment, use artwork, lighting, little elephants, candles, oils, pretty curtains, whatever and create a zen retreat. You’ve 30s are going to be way more fabulous than your 20s if you indulge and pamper your body regularly. You deserve it!
20. Invest in good sleep. You’re not living on campus anymore. Get a top notch mattress, high-quality pillows and a good comforter. Good sleep is essential for a healthy, happy you.
21. Create a Carpe Diem List and seize the day.
22. Be present for your children. Disconnect from your smart phones and tablets. If you can’t, then let your kids know they aren’t going to get your full attention. If your kids are too young to understand, like my 21-month-old and 6-month-old, don’t enter their space until you can disconnect.
23. Give of yourself. We hear this all the time, especially from our respective religions. But, how many of us actually give our time to a cause? Signing a check is great, but rolling up your sleeves and working a soup kitchen or lending your marketing skills pro bono to a small non-for-profit, is going to be a win-win all around. (Please check out my charity Ilya Peckerman Fund for Vasculitis Disease.)
24. Forget about balance. Some days you’ll be an awesome mom; some days you’ll be a kick-ass CEO; some days you’ll bake up a storm. But, you will not be Martha Stewart, Hillary Clinton, Jenna Jameson and Mother Teresa every day, all day. Deal with it. (FYI Check out my 5775 Inspiration Board where I ask for ‘quite mind’ and ‘focus’ NOT balance.)
25. Stop chasing trends. Personal style is much more fashionable. That’s why I’ve avoided crop tops, harem pants and purple hair accents.
26. Commit to dancing like a fool. If this doesn’t make sense, refer to tip 1.
27. Know that not everyone has to like you, but everyone should respect you.
28. Know that nobody, accept you, can make you feel small.
29. Know that you deserve to be loved – especially by YOU.
30. Know that life is as rosy as you want it to be. Just put on the right glasses.
31. Know that when you turn 41, you may need a new set of tips.

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Sari Shopping on Exclusively.In & How To Wrap a Sari

As a non-Indian, knowing for nearly two years that I’ll be traveling to India has been thrilling and daunting. It’s thrilling for the obvious reason that anything new is always exciting – new sights, bold colors, spiritual sensations. And, it’s daunting because I want to make sure I don’t make any cultural goofs. For months, I’ve been reading up on Hindu wedding customs, listening to Hindu prayers on YouTube and asking my Indian friends for dos and don’ts tips.

Cultural education aside, I also wanted to find the perfect sari to wear for the wedding ceremony. That’s when I turned to the experts at Exclusively.In, a website that sells high-end saris and other Indian fashion wears. Clothing is custom made and takes anywhere from 4-8 weeks to arrive stateside. But, given my hectic work and baby schedule, I popped into the NYC showroom, and pulled three saris they had on hand (thank goodness for good tailors) that caught my eye. Naturally, a photo shoot had to follow.

Lina, my fabulous photographer (who happened to grow up on Bollywood movies in Russia – go figure), and I, had an amazing time shooting these photos. I think she also got a kick out of me figuring out how to wrap, fold, tuck and drape my sari.

Thank you to Shikeen and this how-to- video for helping a Caucasian navigate the complex task of sari wrapping.  Fortunate, when I get to Delhi, someone is going to drape me.

Which sari do you like best? Which one should I wear? Check back in two weeks when I reveal photos from the wedding and my magical trip to India. You can also follow my travel adventures on Instagram.

First you wrap the sari once around, tucking into petticoat.

Then, folder sari pleats around the navel area. Tuck pleated fabric into petticoat.

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Examine your pleats to make sure they are fabulous. Wrap sari around left shoulder.

Monika Nidhi, Royal Blue Bandhani Sari with Brocade Blouse $349

Monika Nidhi, Royal blue bandhani sari with neon pink panel at the border, and silver brocade blouse

Payal Singhal, Lemon Yellow Mukaish Frill Sari $825

 

Payal Singhal sari with embroidered petticoat and crystal necklace

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