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Campari & Sofa Posts

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Rites of Spring

Posted in Food & Entertaining

In the days before email was the communication norm, waiting to find out when my appointment for a green card interview was to be scheduled, I would wake up before dawn to call the American Consulate in Naples, where my application was being considered. My attorney had suggested I called, repeatedly, as, by the time I would get the letter, the appointment date would be too close to book a reasonably priced flight (or even past – the Italian mail is notorious).

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(5) Things we love…#125

Posted in Things We Love

I don’t know about you, but I am becoming a pro at concentrating on what is good, while so much around us is dire. Maybe gathering the strength for something momentous? Maybe. Maybe just trying not to take myself so seriously. Work again this weekend but not too much. Thinking of trying a new Indian restaurant on Sunday. You?

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A healthier alternative to chocolate truffles

Posted in Food & Entertaining, and Uncategorized

I have been off refined sugar for nearly 18 months now. Well, let me re-qualify the statement: I do not eat, not even close, the same amount of refined sugar I used to but I still indulge in a proper sweet treat once or twice a month. This long-term experiment is working out well: I thoroughly enjoy what I eat – mostly made by me, and pretty much never with white sugar – and I don’t have cravings anymore.

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(5) Things we love…#124

Posted in Things We Love

Yes. The weekend again! One I can enjoy in full, assuming the plumber restores water to my abode. I have a long hike planned, and a peek into a Trisha Brown performance on Sunday. To satisfy both the bucolic and the city girls who reside in me. My week was punctuated by a few chuckles here and there and some mindless tv enjoyed in my pjs (having a proper excuse for not washing). I am passing it all along.

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Reframing what it means to cook

Posted in Food & Entertaining, and Women's issues

Until she divorced, when I was already in my 20s, my mother was a homemaker. Being the disgruntled teenager that I was, I criticized her to martyrdom for her choice not to work, as I saw it, and spend her time cooking two meals a day, shuttling my sister and I all over town and, the worst offense of all in my book, waiting on my father hand and foot.

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How I developed my personal style

Posted in Style & Travel

I have this long-standing habit of leafing through fashion magazines or catalogues and asking myself, on every page, “Out of the selection on these two pages, what would I buy?”. It’s a tad compulsive habit at this point, probably because I have been doing it for so long, but it’s a cheap and engaging way of spending twenty minutes.

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(5) Things we love…#123

Posted in Things We Love

The miracle of Spring has reached our shores. Not that I will have any time to frolic in the sun or  green grass this weekend, as I am working solidly for what feels the longest, uninterrupted stretch ever. To keep me going, and to brighten your, hopefully lazy, weekend here are some feel good and funny stories. Even the one about coffins.

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Things I lost to the dogs and the lessons I learnt

Posted in Life & Love

PortiaLooking at Portia now, peacefully napping on her bed, the mischief that is perpetually swirling in her brain is not apparent. Yet, that scoundrel, aided and abetted by her brother, Ottie, have caused their share of havoc. Neither of them has ever chewed shoes or furniture, and long ago I learnt the trick of scattering a couple of cardboard boxes with a small treat inside before leaving the house, to be sure I will return to everything as I (mostly) left it.

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Hair and skincare fatigue

Posted in Beauty, and Health

Graffiti by Anastasia Brennab
Graffiti by Anastasia Brennab

A couple of years ago, once I got home after a fundraising lunch, I looked in the goodie bag that had been left under my chair, and found a pair of attractive bottles of shampoo and conditioner. I had read about these products online, in passing – clearly a well orchestrated media campaign, if even I took notice.

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Double chocolate cupcakes for grown-ups

Posted in Food & Entertaining

chocolate cupcakesI have a strong antipathy towards cupcakes, for no other reason that they became so popular and I never quite understood why. A cupcake is just a piece of cake baked in a cup with frosting on top. Like cakes, they come in all sorts of flavors and decorations and colors. And, since the cupcake craze started, ridiculous looking and ridiculous tasting options have proliferated.

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Robert Mapplethorpe – The search for perfection

Posted in Things We Love

Self-portrait 1975
Self-portrait 1975

Los Angeles is currently enveloped in Mapplethorpe mania. Two companion exhibitions are on view at the Getty Center and at LACMA, and a new documentary titled “Look at the Pictures” just opened on HBO. Twenty seven years after his death, it seems it was time to rediscover the work of an ambitious and provocative photographer who started taking pictures by accident.

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Be not afraid – dealing with anxiety and fear.

Posted in Relationships, and Women's issues

10437609_10153038959378907_433491740597971405_nFear is padding around on little cat feet in the lives of too many people I love.

The first email I opened on Tuesday morning was from camparigirl. We’d had a conversation a few nights before about managing the disquiet we felt about a future that suddenly seemed so unpredictable and malevolent.

“Let’s embrace the possibility of possibility”, we’d agreed.  “Look outward with optimism. Can only help. We’re all going to die at some point anyway – may as well live until then.”

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(5) Things we (love to eat in NYC)…#67

Posted in Food, and Things We Love

Bright lights, Big City
Bright lights, Big City – the central hall at the new Whitney Museum

This week we are going to tell you about some fabulous food we had during our most excellent vacation in NYC.  We are not going to bother with the restaurants that let us down (yes Shake Shack, we’re referring to you) – because that would be the wrong way to remember our adventure. Instead we are going to tell you about some restaurants or food stalls that will have us remembering them with love, smacked lips and happy discovery.

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Dos and don’ts around your friend with cancer

Posted in Health, and Women's issues

banksy-out-of-stock

How many people do you know? Seriously, think about it. Between your friends and family, close acquaintances and all those you keep in touch via phone and social media, how many are there you share tidbits of your life with? Hundreds?

On the same day I received my breast cancer diagnosis, I was struck by a variety of thoughts I never imagined would pop into my mind at such a time.

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