Mindful New Year

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Taken from Mindful, Healthy Mind, Health Life, here are a few tips to spark your resolutions with passion, not pressure.


Recognize a yearning for change

You are the one who already has what you need to start making changes in your life.  Only you can make it happen.

Engage all your resources

Learn to tune into your body, thoughts, and become friendly with your emotions.  This helps develop our inner resources that we can use to create a feeling of stability.

Slow Down

Impatience can be a tremendous drain on your motivations.  Learn as you go.  Adopt a relaxed pace to explore and learn what you are experiencing.

Open up to what matters to you

Let yourself feel why this is worth the effort. Recall that you chose this route because you were determined to grow your resolve. Return to this initial inspiration whenever you need a boost of motivation.

Learn to make allies of your obstacles

Sometimes the greatest obstacle is the fear of change itself. Awareness will feed our resolve.

Value your efforts

All will serve to strengthen your ability to trust yourself and your ability to stand up for what you want.

Enjoy the journey

Learn to adapt your route as your resolve propels you forward. The curve balls and surprises are what make life such a titillating adventure.

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Neue Galerie and Holiday Delights

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By Elizabeth Sobieski


When New Yorkers seek winter holiday glamour, joy and glorious exhibitions in a museum, their first thought is frequently of the Metropolitan Museum’s medieval sculpture hall, with its twenty foot spruce Christmas tree adorned with antique cherubs, towering above the baroque crèche, while classic live and recorded seasonal music wafts through the hall.

But there is a smaller museum, also on the Upper East Side, set within a Beaux Arts mansion on 86th and Fifth, which celebrates the season even more glowingly than the Met.

The Neue Galerie, with its focus on early twentieth century art and design from Vienna, Berlin, and other parts of mitteleuropa, creates an old world Christmas unique in New York.  Even its most famous artwork, Gustav Klimt’s  “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer”, one of the most revered paintings in the world, appears created  for the holidays, with its rounded gold embellishments reminding one of traditional Christmas decorations.

The Neue is also one of the most unique places in the city to shop; the warm wood paneled bookstore and gift shop are laden with Central and Eastern European tree decorations and beautifully boxed glazed gingerbread ”liebkuchen”.  Of course there are fantastic art books, but also stunning dishes and jewelry, often based on designs from before the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.  Even a Wiener Werkstaette (from the legendary artisanal Vienna Workshop which lasted from 1903-1932) book on flowers has a red and green cover that subtlety references the holiday.  Handsome leaping stags appear on green hot chocolate mugs.  Festive dog biscuits attract my attention, even though I am canine-less at present.  Aerin Lauder‘s Nendez Cypress candle provides the perfect winter scent.

The excellent and brilliantly styled restaurants at the Neue Galerie are imprinted with the atmosphere of a Vienna winter with various goodies under glass and drinks served upon silver platters.  The Café Sabarsky is named for the late art dealer Serge Sabarsky, who conceived of the museum along with the philanthropist and former United States ambassador to Austria, Ronald S. Lauder.  I can’t keep my eyes or mouth from relishing the irresistible Sachertortes, apple strudel, linzertortes, viennoiserie, and apricot crepes.  The Sabarsky is only open to museum members for lunch, but open to the public at dinner, while the lower level Café Fledermaus is open to all for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Both serve some of the best coffee drinks in the city, and in my mind I hear Julie Andrews singing about her favorite things.   There is also excellent savory food, including such specialties as chicken paprikas and wiener schnitzel, and live cabaret performances on certain evenings.

I attended a recent function at the Neue celebrating the generous Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies, which donates contemporary art to US embassies and consulates, and was handed freshly opened chestnuts that had been roasted on an open fire.  You see what I mean about the Neue being so of the season.

The exhibition on display through January 21 (The masterpieces by Klimt, Kandinsky, Klee, Kirchner, and other artists like George Grosz and Otto Dix, whose names don’t start with a ‘k’, are on permanent display), is of two extraordinary and under known German Expressionist artists, who often employed a Christmas hued palate, Franz Marc and Auguste Macke, both killed as young men during World War I, reminding us that our most important holiday wish should always be for peace.

Blond-It’s Guide to the Holidays

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‘‘Tis the season to be kind, loving, generous and ready for anything…. actually, ’tis always the season for that….”
-Lori Shabtai

Here are our holiday gift suggestions for everyone on your list!

GIFT GIVING: For those who truly are committed, for the people who you know who would appreciate this

1. Search through your photos and find one fabulous image portraying a moment when life was special, or one that indicates a secret between you and another, or even one that is a reminder of a funny memory with a dear friend. Place the picture in a lovely frame, either new or vintage, and let the dear recipient of the framed photo know they are in your heart forever.

2. Write a heartfelt letter to someone who may not expect it or whom you think could use a little extra love at this time of year.  Place your kind words on gorgeous stationary, seal it, spray it with your favorite scent, and send it attached to a box filled with Hershey’s Kisses.

3. Donate toys for children in hospitals (Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles).  Or those left homeless by the recent California fires (Spark of Love toy drive).  They must be new, unwrapped and sealed, so they go to the appropriate age child.  A little sticky bow may be added.


Why not make a small but meaningful donation to a recipient’s favorite charity?

4. Some believe LA chocolates are the best in the world. Hand-dipped fruit and nuts from Diane Kron in Beverly Hills.

5. The most gorgeous and long-lasting orchids are always available from Simpson and Co., The Flower Studio, New York, And long-stemmed roses from Muguet Florist in Beverly Hills are extraordinary.

6. For her: A Tiffany lead crystal Elsa Peretti heart box is a heartfelt and memorable gift.

7. For him: Tiffany’s Wave Pencil Holder, by Elsa Peretti, adds masculine elegance to   any desk.

8. Order small batch chocolate perfection from John Kelly in Santa Monica or Hollywood.


9. For LA ladies – Why not a gift certificate for a fantastic blow-dry at Jose Eber salon -ask for Joey or Gregory.

And for their NY counterparts, Valery Joseph Salon is an extraordinary treat.

Then there’s a way to gift her with many a VIP ‘s little secret townhouse get-away. “Joey” or Joey Battisti is a name whispered (but world famous) in light of his incredibly natural hair extension techniques, his delicate attention to color, and his availability at super early or beyond late hours, and readiness to travel to your destination …. for a little extra cost.

10. If you really want to do something special, La Perla has created a gift box of panties that’s like a little travel case – so indulgent.

11. For our lovely and loving friends: Beverly Hills dermatologist Dr. Harold Lancer’s creams are the secret to gorgeous skin.

12. For close gal pals: Hanky Panky colorful panties in assorted colors – so much fun. (And one size fits most).

13. For remarkable fragrances and beauty products, purchase anything Guerlain, but especially Orchidee Imperiale facial moisturizer.

14. Or how about those sexy Manolo Blahnik slides, the ones with the invisible double straps, the ones you’ve been desiring?  She wants them too.

15. This is an easy one, but always a pleasing one: a mani, pedi gift certificate to their favorite nail spa.


Most men truly enjoy the esthetics of various items they need but often are somewhat oblivious, not quite able to snoop around to locate the coolest objects for themselves.

16. A suit press.

17. A clothes steamer.

18. Ugg’s slippers

19. Ralph Lauren’s Brennan Mouse Pad in black is a fine asset for any dude’s desk.  As is Ralph’s black leather and steel Cody Desk Object, which I gather is another name for a paperweight.  And Ralph Lauren’s Brennan leather pencil cup is an additional handsome choice.  These can be gifted separately or packaged together.

20. Socks in unusual colors and patterns that he’ll never choose for himself, but will wear and enjoy.  Sweden’s Happy Socks supply charming holiday packaging.

21. How about some bright new boxers (but not briefs, unless he is your nearest and dearest)?

22. Cuisinart’s electric wine opener turns an entertaining fellow into Cary Grant. Or James Bond.

23. And why not a gift certificate or gift card that can range from anything a la Hermès to movie theater tickets?

24. Allbirds, environmentally correct footwear (they can always exchange them for a better fit) or Nike flip-flops

(Women would appreciate most of these gifts as well, although the boxers may only appeal to the creative class of females.)


25. How about a couple of Baccarat champagne, wine or water glasses with a promise of an additional two every year until a set of four of each is complete?  It’s both a commitment and a joy to keep on giving.

26. A subscription to the Wall Street Journal is a daily reminder of your friendship.

27. Always keep some extra boxes of chocolate on hand:  Godiva, or Kelly Kron is always a pleasurable gift for the last-minute person you inadvertently left off your shopping list.

28. Any scenes from “A more rarified age” coffee table book from the late photographer Slim Aarons: “Poolside”, “Once Upon a Time”, or “A Place in the Sun,”

29. Who doesn’t appreciate a scented candle…. not too sweetly scented though.  Highly recommended are Votivo’s Black Ginger and Monoi and Jaipur by NARS.

30. Then there’s the gift of TM training – the gift of a lifetime, in both New York and Los Angeles. Contact:

31. Discreetly find out during conversation the recipients’ favorite wine and send a bottle.

32.Everyone loves the gift of a great massage – with a masseuse or masseur you trust.

33. An Amazon ECHO, if someone isn’t already hooked up.

34. It’s always a pleasure to receive a soft but short and sexy terry robe for her and a matching calf-length one for him.


A weekend at a charming inn:
35. On the East Coast, there are so many to choose from, but Blond-it couples adore the Mayflower Inn & Spa in Washington, CT, a bucolic luxury hideaway.

36. And much romance is to be found at Twin Farms in Vermont.

37. For West Coasters, Ojai offers a number of fabulous yet tranquil retreats including Ojai Valley Inn and Spa, Ojai Wellness Retreat and The Oaks at Ojai.

38. The Parker in Palm Springs is a chic getaway. And the most breathtaking spot imaginable is the Amangari Resort in Utah.  Absolute magic!

Blond-it – How To Set A New Year’s Intention

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The best period to reflect on everything you’ve learned about yourself in the past year is the
beginning of the new year. This is the best time to decide on how you want to grow in the New
Year, and instead of following the crowd of people who set resolutions that can quickly come
and go, it is advisable that you set intentions that will help improve and be the best version of
yourself. Doing this will help you prioritize what’s most important, focus your mind, and start
making transformations within yourself. Setting intentions gives us the purpose of carrying on
even when we lose sight of our purpose. Concentrate on your heart and what’s important to you
creates clarity and self-discovery.
Here a few tips for deciding on your intentions in this New Year:

  1. Self-compassion
    Self-compassion is no doubt an appropriate intention. Self-compassion helps us remember that
    we are merely doing the best we can and our flaws make us relatable evem when we go down
    the rabbit hole of shaming. Doing this every time we are faced with one or two challenges we
    will be ready to embrace all that is good and inspire us to face the coming months.
  2. Drop the negative self-talk
    Negative self-talk is exhausting. self-compassion practices, mindfulness loving kindness, and
    having a healthy sense of humor, can help us avoid the negative stories and see the bigger
  3. Connect with the elements of your life
    Connecting with the elements of your life tend to bring along the greatest joy, energy, and
    satisfaction. Do you listen to your own inner voice? If not ask yourself what exactly gives me
    passion and feel with a sense of purpose? Ask yourself this question, take your time to listen to
    that inner voice that connects you to truth and deeper meaning. Everyone deserve to live a life
    that has purpose and connects us to the world we want to live.
  4. Make a list and share with people that can hold you accountable
    Find someone supportive in your circle and share your list of intentions with them. Do something
    today to help you demonstrate your commitment to your intention.
    • What is going right in your life? What are you passionate about?
    • What do you want to cultivate more of in your life?
    • What seems to be working well?
    • What is not going right and how can you make changes?
  5. Make alone time a priority
    There is a saying that says “money can’t buy happiness.” This is relatively true as most material
    things do not exactly bring us happiness. However, taking time alone to cultivate your
    relationship with yourself is key to find who you are and find inner peace.

Blond-It’s Survival Guide For This Holiday Season

Posted on 2 min read 68 views

The holiday season is upon us, and for most people this season is probably the most stressful
time. It is easy to get caught up in the ‘stress’ of getting everything completed without finding
time for yourself to recharge. One thing you should know is that feeling stressed is normal,
especially at this time of the year. But Holidays do not have to be something you dread. You can
take steps to avoid all negative emotions and savor this season. Here are a few tips to enjoy
this special time:

1. Don’t Derail Your Fitness Routine

It’s easy to get cut up at the moment and drop exercise from our todo list. However, make sure
you find time for yourself and exercise. Not only will this help you burn excess calories and also
boost your metabolism, but it will also help you keep fit mentally as well. Exercise is a great
stress reliever so commit yourself that you will continue to exercise through the holiday season.

2. Sleep

Well, this might sound funny to you, but you need to make sure that you get enough time to
sleep so that your body get time to recharge. Due to the cold weather, you might be having a
hard time getting enough sleep, so make sure you set the pace. Keep your home warm and not
too cold so that the temperature can aid in your health and those all-important sleep patterns.

3. Take a Dose of what’s good for you

Take healthy foods like fruit, veg and supplement your diet with vitamins and minerals. Taking
the recommended dose of vitamin C staves off and shortens colds – ensuring that you’ve got
plenty of fruit juice in your house.

4. Learn to say No

Because its holiday season and you want to please or make everyone happy, does not mean
you should overuse yourself. We cannot do everything, and where it’s great to ensure you’re
doing as much as you can, its also a good idea to know where to draw the line. Doing this will
allow you to get time for yourself and also enjoy the holiday period.

5. Know when to Leave

If you are visiting anyone during this period, then you need to learn how to judge the mood and
know when to make your exit, because there is nothing worse than the guest who won’t leave.
Don’t let the important stuff sneak up on your – plan and be pro-active about it. The key here is
to increase our ability to cope; to take control where we can and be more at choice about how
we respond to stress.

Blond-It’s Must Haves For Travel

Posted on 1 min read 71 views

Arlo Skye, The Aluminum Carry-On

When Arlo Skye launched in 2015, its founders (former Louis Vuitton and Tumi execs) promptly hailed it as “the perfect piece for the design-obsessed traveler,” and, thankfully, The Carry-On still hasn’t disappointed. Made with a lightweight aluminum-magnesium alloy, it has a built-in portable (and removable) charger and the ability to open with a single touch (there are no unsightly zippers, either). Choose from shades of black, silver, and champagne.

No more playing “find the power outlet”

The removable portable charger with built-in surge and short-circuit protection lasts for days. It’s slips out from the exterior with just a push of a button. Talk about convenience!