Sweet California – Part 2

The most striking part of Monterey and Carmel Bay is its phenomenal photo-worthy landscapes, filled with mountains and abundant plant life.

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Carmel Bay, is a resort town, just 15 minutes away by car from Monterey. It is a unique natural wonder. The town is also rich in vintage and bohemian boutiques, which will satisfy any shopping connoisseur, who loves the California, laid-back style.

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Galerie Blue Dogn opened by cajun artist,  George Rodrigue in 1991.

Galerie Blue Dog in Carmel-by-the-Sea opened by Cajun artist, George Rodrigue in 1991.

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At the end of the trip, my friend gave me a peach. She added sarcastically, “It’s a good one. California peach; only for California people…The ones that are transported for commercial purposes never taste alike.”

And thanks to my friend, I’ll never forget that taste. I can still taste its melting texture and phenomenally sweet flavor.

Later on, I discovered that the ripe peaches are too delicate and bruise easily. Therefore, they are picked green in order to transport them to different states. So, they end up never ripening well.

And here I am, back in New York, with a longing to visit the West Coast again.

Have you ever experienced the same thing? Do you very often, no matter where you are, want to be where you are not?

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Spice Up Your Outfit with a Thai Bag

Isn’t it the best after a long day at work or school to find something new, fresh, at a great price? Something exquisite made by artisans from the other part of the globe?

I just discovered a fabulous gem on etsy.com store, Thaihandbags. It offers a terrific variety of colorful handbags featuring the traditional craftsmanship of Hmong women artisans from the Northern Thailand Hill Tribes. Hmong means “Human Being” or “Free People” in the Hmong language. A few centuries ago this ethnic group who have origins in Siberia have migrated south. Today the Hmong live in mountainous regions of China, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand.

The online store’s selection includes chic iPad cases, beauty bags, hill tribe cushions, yoga bags and many other unique accessories. The pieces feature an exciting splash of color, fun, playful pompoms and exotic embroidery that will spice up any boring outfit.

What is really amazing about this store is that it also offers DIY sewing materials, so you can create your own handbag or design a fantastic gift for your friend or family member.

In case you decide to purchase a purchase a piece from this store, use the coupon ONTHEEDGE to receive 20% discount.

All best,

Lena

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Sassique Giveaway: Bally Leather Cable Pouch

A fast life pace requires organization.

Imagine this scenario. You’re rushing. You end up pulling cables out of your purse and the rest of your belongings with them. Think about it. How many times have you lost or broken your earbuds?

 

I was excited to receive Bally leather travel pouch from a style curation social media platform for fashion enthusiasts Sassique (the big thank you!)

It is a perfect solution for my gadgets. I didn’t know what the company was going to send me, so it was quite a pleasant surprise to open a package and discover a nice cylindrical piece made of a fine soft leather. Simple, yet elegant, this piece fits nicely into my lifestyle.

 

 

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Traveling? Five Reasons to Hire a Personal Shopping Assistant

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  1. Shopping is time consuming. If you are on a business trip, the professional meetings and projects remain a top priority. You have to use the time wisely. Instead of spending time researching the city’s best local shops, you may take advantage of the local personal shopper assistant-concierge. He or she can help you find gifts for your six wives or find a chic pair of shoes for your upcoming happy hour.
  2. You travel alone and have plenty of time. Find a companion who has a great eye for style and is knowledgeable about city’s best local shops. Such an assistant will take you on a voyage of unique, fun shopping excitement and ensure that you have an overall enjoyable experience in the city. Such shopping assistants are typically very knowledgeable about designers/brands. They will help you in finding the right product; in addition, they will prove to be a great educational resource regarding  designers and the history of fashion and style.
  3. You are going through a major change in your life. Occasionally, we all do. This is life. Whether it’s a career or personal life transition, you may want to update your wardrobe as well. New life. New you. Choose an assistant you can trust. A person with whom you can relax and share your struggles. A new image can make a magical change in the way you perceive yourself. Forget about the trips to psychologist. Go on a shopping tour.
  4. You’re an entrepreneur and looking for wholesale opportunities. Time constraints continue to press you. You don’t know the city. In this case, connecting with the right personal aide could save you time and money.
  5. Some personal shopper assistants serve as incredible problem-solvers. They could be interpreters to assist you on your travel. In case an airline looses a piece of luggage, a personal shopping assistant can be a lifesaver. Some of them extend their services beyond just shopping. Whether it’s sending your dress to local tailor to fix a button or finding the right business meeting site, they are a treasure trove of information. They ensure that your trip remains efficient and effective.


High Line: A Hidden Runway In New York City

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Culture Melds

Every country, as every individual, has its unique personality. Every culture has flaws and fascinating attributes we can learn and adopt.

I was always sort of a sponge. I absorbed these values quickly. Of course, they were positive values, the type that make you search deep within yourself, question, grow and develop as a person. It became a habit that comes with the experience of traveling and living abroad. You are becoming like water— flexible and adaptable.

When I lived in Italy, the most important thing I learned was to stay in the moment. In the United States, one is forced to think about tomorrow. Sometimes, you simply forget to live. Working hard to accomplish your dreams is important.

Still, 30 years from now, you want to say: “My life was so interesting. Yes, I went through ups and downs, but all those events made me that beautiful and strong person I am today. ”

We must learn to enjoy the present. When did you last spend time with your friends? When was the last time you tried doing something new?

When I studied in Italy, I met many interesting people. Suddenly, my world burst forth with color. I started to appreciate the quality of food, the quality of communication, the quality of family relationships. I wore bold, rich colors like Italian girls.

Interestingly, the Italian’s love for these colors are rooted in the images of the Harlequin, a comic servant character from the Italian Commedia dell’arte and its descendant, the Harlequinade.

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Bristol Renaissance Fair

The Harlequin represents the lively, younger generation of the Commedia. In the minor intrigues he is associated with, he has a satirical voice. Clever, but somewhat buffoonish, he is known for the bright diamond lozenges he wears.

And because of a 16th century clown, I was inspired to incorporate bright, bold colors to my wardrobe.

I’m on my way to Festa Italiana to celebrate Italy and her culture, and especially, her fashion. By the way, what are your thoughts on wearing bright colors?

admirationphoto by flickr user The Purple Pants

skittlesphoto by flickr user The Purple Pants

11 Via Montenapoleone, Milanophoto by flickr user Dimitry B.

le vicine di casaphoto by flickr user Fabiana

Trip To San Francisco

Place We've Rented Through Airbnb.com

“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”
― Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky

Golden GatePlace We've Rented Via Airbnb.com The Great Ideas TodayDavid Hume, Treatise Of Human NatureThe Timetables Of History Place We've Rented Via Airbnb.com Place We've Rented Via Airbnb.com Asian Art Museum, San Francisco Asian Art Museum, San-FranciscoAsian_Art_Museum_San-FranciscoAsian Art Museum, San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge

San Francisco Japanese Tea Garden, San Francisco

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Japan Town, San Francisco

Japanese Tea Garden, San Francisco

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Place We've Rented Via Airbnb.com

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ― H. Jackson Brown Jr.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
― H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Exploring Italy: Summer Courses At Marangoni, Milan

Have you ever lived in another country for at least two months?

I have lived in the United States for almost nine years, and I miss the fresh experience of visiting a country, exploring new customs and cultures, meeting new people.

About a year ago I enrolled in the Istituto Marangoni in Milan.

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Summer Courses at Marangoni, Milan

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Italy: Subway
Alexander McQueen Long White Dress W/ Leather Harness - Fall 2011 Collection

I have to say, it was one of the best experience in my life. Not only did I learn a lot about the culture, but also I had the incredible opportunity to meet interesting people. Students came from Israel, Venezuela, Korea, Peru, Brazil, Greece, Japan, Argentina, the United Sates and a few other countries. They came from different professional backgrounds. There were models, designers, photographers, sales professionals and many others. Despite all of our differences, we shared one thing — love and passion for the fashion and apparel industry.

The long classes began at 8:30 a.m. and finished nine hours later. Still, the time passed like the speed of light. I think even a person who is indifferent to fashion would find these classes extremely interesting because they incorporate diverse topics like worldwide history, music, cinematography, economy and even politics. All of these subjects affect trends and it is essential to know about them in order to analyze current trends and be able to apply this knowledge when forecasting upcoming trends. As an entrepreneur who sells vintage apparel that is primarily representative of top European brands, I found these classes to be invaluable. Not only have I mastered brand awareness, but learned many insights into the luxury industry, thanks to the incredible local Italian instructors who were very patient about my extreme curiosity.

Here are a few things that I gleaned from my studying experience in Italy:

  • Instead of renting a hotel rooms with your friend/partner book a room with a local family. You will have an invaluable cultural learning experience. In addition, a great host will help you to get around the city and provide many tips and insights into local customs and sights. I like to use airbnb.com, which provides host review/feedback, along with detailed information about the place.
Place I've booked through airbnb.com

Place I’ve booked through airbnb.com

  • Instead of hanging out with tourists, meet locals. Look for events attended by expats by registering at Internations.org. If you don’t know the local language, you might want to check the LinkedIn events and see if people from your native country are living and working around the city. It’s a great opportunity for networking and learning from their experiences of working/studying abroad.

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Piccolo Theater, Milan

  • Forget about tourist excursions, which remind me of a flock of sheep following the tour-guide with a flag. Instead, explore the city on your own or with local people. Don’t be afraid to get lost and meet new people, even if you don’t speak the local language. Overcome your fear. Look at your experience as a learning opportunity and a challenge. There is nothing more satisfying than learning to be comfortable in unknown places.
  • It’s much more affordable buy a local phone than to use international plan rates when staying for a substantial time abroad. If you decide to use an international plan and own a smartphone, be careful how you use your data. Watching YouTube videos and surfing the social network sites is extremely expensive. You might end up with a bill for more than  $1,000. It’s a hard lesson to learn.
  • Don’t trust people who offer to take your picture, especially in a tourist zone. They may simply steal your camera or ask too high price for your “photo-shoot session”.
  • When it comes to dining, the service is much better outside the tourist areas. The waiters and owners are nicer and more polite, and the food itself is much more affordable and not of a lesser quality.
  • Don’t rely on the availability of wireless cafes/restaurants. Unlike the United States, in Italy free Wi-Fi is not readily available. This is another reason to book a room through airbnb.com. Find a room/apartment with Wi-Fi availability.
  • Watch out for cheap, designer-looking clothes, which are labeled “Made In Italy.”  They are usually made in factories owned by Chinese immigrants and are not of the same quality as traditional “made in Italy” products.
  • If you have a chance to be in Bologna, try local Bolognese lasagna, the best lasagna I’ve ever had!

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Bologna, Italy
Bologna, Italy
Bologna, Italy

Bologna, Italy: Lasagna Bolognese

  • If you have an opportunity to visit a small town or village in Italy, go for it! I had an incredible experience being at Morbegno, a beautiful village on Vatellina Mountains. Not only I’ve learned a lot about wine during the local wine festival there, but also acquired a broader perspective on Italian customs and traditional Italian food.

Valtellina Mountains, Morbegno, Italy
Morbegno, Italy

Wine Festival at Morbegno
Wine Festival at Morbegno
Wine Festival at Morbegno
Wine Festival at Morbegno
Wine Festival at Morbegno

Wine Festival at Morbegno

Wine Festival, Morbegno
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What is your experience of living abroad?

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Вам приходилось жить за границей, по крайней мере в течении двух месяцев?
В Соединенных Штатах я живу почти девять лет; должна признаться, время от времени я скучаю по ощущениям начальной стадии проживания в новой стране, с её новыми обычаями и укладами.

Около года назад я поступила в Миланский институт, Марангони. Должна сказать, это был один из лучших опытов в моей жизни. Я не только узнала многое нового об итальянской культуре, но у меня также была невероятная возможность познакомиться с интересными людьми. Студенты приехали из Израиля, Кореи, Перу, Бразилии, Греции, Японии, Аргентины, Соединенных Штатов и некоторых других стран.  Это были в основном девушки разных профессий, включая моделей, дизайнеров, фотографов, специалистов по продажам и многих других видов деятельности. Несмотря на все наши различия, мы разделяли общее – интерес и страсть к индустрии моды.

Занятия начинались в 8:30 утра и длились около девять часов. Тем не менее, время пролетало незаметно.  Я думаю, что даже человеку, который равнодушен к моде, эти классы бы показались чрезвычайно увлекательными, т.к. они включают множество разнообразных тем: мировую историю, музыку, кинематографию, экономику и даже политику.  Все эти сферы, как правило, влияют на тенденции моды, и знание их просто необходимо для того чтобы уметь анализировать текущие тенденции а также уметь применять эти знания при прогнозировании будущих трендов. Как предпринимателю, который занимается и-коммерцией в сфере моды, эти классы сыграли не маловажную роль в моей деятельности. Благодаря местным итальянским инструкторам, которые были невероятно терпеливы к моему чрезвычайному любопытству, я не только освоила известные бренды, но также глубже познала специфику индустрии моды.  

Итак, я хотела бы поделиться несколькими советами,  почерпнутыми из моего опыта пребывания в Италии:

  • Вместо аренды гостиничных номеров с вашим другом / партнером забронируйте комнату или квартиру через airbnb.com.  Таким образом, вы не только почувствуюте особенности жизненного уклада в стране, но и вполне вероятно хост квартиры  поможет вам в перемещении по  городу или предоставит множество советов по поводу местных достопримечательностей.  Немаловажно учитывать тот факт, что airbnb обеспечивает характеристику владельца квартиры наряду с подробной информацией о месте проживания.
  • Вместо того, чтобы болтаться с туристами, стремитесь познакомиться с местными жителями.  Сходите на мероприятия экспатов, зарегистрировавшись на Internations.org. Если вы не знаете местного языка, вы можете проверить LinkedIn мероприятия и посмотреть, присутствуют ли экспаты из России.  Это отличная возможность познакомиться с интересными людьми и просто узнать большее о стране.
  • Забудьте о традиционных туристических экскурсиях, которые напоминают мне стадо овец, следующего за гидом с флажком.  Вместо этого, исследуйте город самостоятельно или с кем-нибудь из местных друзей.  Не бойтесь заблудиться и познакомиться с новыми людьми, даже если вы не говорите на местном языке. Пользуйтесь возможностью преодолеть свои страхи.  Посмотрите на свой опыт, как на вызов.  Ведь это весьма удовлетворяющий опыт – научиться чувстовать себя комфортно в самой неизвестной обстановке.
  • Гораздо более экономично купить местный телефон чем использовать международные тарифы, в особенности если вы проживаете значительно длительное время за границей.  Если вы решите использовать международный план и у вас смартфон, будьте осторожны при использовании интернета.  Просмотр YouTube видео и серфинг в социальных сетях вам обойдется сногшибательно дорого.
  • Не доверяйте людям, которые предлагают вам сделать снимок вашим фотоаппаратом, особенно в туристической зоне.  Вполне возможно “фотограф” либо незаметно исчезнет оставив вас с пустыми руками или попросит слишком немыслимую цену за “фотосессию”.
  • Отдайте предпочтение ресторанчикам вне туристической зоне. Очень часто обслуживание в них намного лучшего качества: официанты и владельцы ресторанов более вежливые, да и итальянские спагетти более изысканнее и обойдутся вам гораздо дешевле.
  • Не полагайтесь на наличие интернет-кафе / ресторанов на каждом шагу.  В отличие от США, в Италии бесплатный Wi-Fi не так доступен.  Это еще один повод чтобы забронировать номер через airbnb.com. Забронируйте комнату / квартиру с Wi-Fi.
  • Будьте осторожны при покупке одежды которая по дизайну напоминает высоких дизайнеров, с маркой “Сделано в Италии”.  Они обычно делаются на заводах принадлежащих китайским иммигрантам и абсолютно иного качества, нежели традиционная “сделано в Италии” одежда.
  • Если у Вас есть шанс быть в Болонье, попробуйте местную Болоньезе лазанья – это самая наивкуснейшая  лазанья, которую я когда-либо попробовала в своей жизни!
  • Если у вас есть возможность посетить  какой-нибудь небольшой городок в Италии, дерзайте.  У меня был прекрастный опыт в Morbegno, красивый маленький городок на горах Vatellina.  Я не только узнала многое о вине и принципах виноделия во время местного фестиваля вина, но и в целом, Morbegno позволило мне расширить кругозор в области итальянских обычаев и традиционной итальянской кухни.

А каков ваш опыт жизни за границей?

Italy (2011-2012)

Lake Como, Italy

Milan

Milan

“The use of traveling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.” – Samuel Johnson

“The use of traveling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.” – Samuel Johnson

Lake Como, ItalyBologna, Italy Valtellina Mountains, Italy

“When you’re traveling, you are what you are right there and then. People don’t have your past to hold against you. No yesterdays on the road.” – William Least Heat Moon

“When you’re traveling, you are what you are right there and then. People don’t have your past to hold against you. No yesterdays on the road.” – William Least Heat Moon

Italy Lake Como, ItalyVenice, ItalyMorbegno, ItalyMorbegno, ItalyMorbegno, ItalyBologna, ItalyMicromega Ottica, VeniceVeniceVeniceVeniceVeniceVeniceVeniceVenice