Marcel Proust wrote “Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom”. The “charming gardeners” for artist Sahba Shere, must surely be her busy accomplished Canadian family, her beloved mother, dynamic brothers, and her adoring and impressive (American) teenage sons. As she chats about her childhood, the travel and living abroad she has done, an easy gratitude emanates from her every pore. This creative listed her various homes over the years this way: Canada - Cleveland - Atlanta - Minneapolis - Paris, France - Bangalore India, and finally Palo Alto. But it was in India that she discovered her love of painting and her ability to do it well.Read More
At Christmas time when I was small, I used to wake up very early in the morning and sneak down the stairs to the living room. I loved gazing at the wonderfully decorated Christmas tree and I remember as a child that the simplicity of its beauty and magic really struck me. It would be dark and snowy outside while inside the tree was silent and sparkling. Our English Setter Kicker, with a gorgeously affectionate nature, would join in and keep me company, always laying his head on my lap as I continued to bask in the radiance of the tree in all its splendor.Read More
Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, you would have to agree that the Scandinavians have a beautiful approach to the season. As my Swedish friend Susanna Bolander Oscarson, now residing with her family in Beijing always says, the Swedish love white, white and more white! Candles everywhere, a simple, fresh wreath on the door.Read More
We can't wait to visit this new space in Cambridge, MA, the combined brainchild of Mathieu LeHanneur and David Edwards, founder of Le Laboratoire. It appears to be an intriguing combination of restaurant, auditorium, bar, concept store and art gallery.
Open all day serving, breakfast, lunch, dinner and cocktails in the pm, Monsieur LeHanneur himself says on Facebook, "Café ArtScience is the missing link between scientific laboratory and literary café, already appealing to scholars, artists, students and investors gathered around the same dishes, to hash out tomorrow’s world".
Location: between MIT and Harvard at 640 East Kendall Street, Cambridge, Massachussetts.Read More
In celebration of Meditation Month at Earth YogaNYC, DV Blog recently spoke to John Kwaku Miller, a New York acupuncturist with an athletic past.
Born and raised in Massachusetts, John Kwaku Miller is a graduate of Dartmouth College. His youth was spent playing competitive basketball and after an opportunity to try out for the Boston Celtics, he pursued a professional basketball career in Europe. Playing all over Europe led to a decade in India from the mid 90's, offering service at an international not-for profit Charitable Trust. During this time in India, his interest in healing and medicine was piqued, and he returned to the U.S.A. to attend The New England School of Acupuncture in Boston where he earned a Masters in Oriental Medicine. He has been practicing in New York and Massachusetts since 2007.Read More
Sometimes the advice a Dad shares with his son is profound. Other times it can be useful but plain silly, (guys bond when they laugh together). And the rest of the time they are simply wise words to live by.Read More
Remind your daughters that the Halloween menu includes both male and female characters!Read More
I recently sat down with my twin sister Yanti and she asked me these questions. And I created these visuals to paint a picture of who I am.
Why has it taken so long for you to profile yourself on our blog? I mean we’ve had the blog for about a year now.
Ultimately I think I’m more comfortable focusing on interviewing people I’m interested in or on my own creative output than talking about myself.
Borrowing from Proust here, but what is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
My lack of tidiness. I’m a pretty messy person.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Conformity. And laziness.Read More
Other than the basics we need in a first aid kit (like band aids, Neosporin antibiotic cream, anitseptic wipes, roller bandages etc), over the years I've added these items. I try to have them with me when attending sports events that my kids are participating in, either in my tote bag or in the car. Hope these ideas are helpful!Read More
Ever since my now 12 year old daughter was 8, we've been going up to the pasture to spend time with Sunshine. "Where is she?" I ask. Talia would squint her eyes and point to the top of the hill or to the far side of the field under the eucalyptus trees, a good 10 minute walk away. Once there, we would spy the palomino mare chomping at the grass, head down, always accompanied by several protective companions. She would lazily raise her head as if to say "Oh it's you" and Talia would reach up and with a little help from me, put on the harness, and lead Sunshine to the gate with a gentle tug and soft "I've missed you" words. What always follows to this day, is a slow loving groom and a painstaking braiding session, a lesson or trail ride, a workout in the arena, and a secret cookie.Read More
"I am so obsessed with raw coconut oil. I like the Dr Bronner's brand which you can get at Whole foods. If you leave it by your shower it melts into oil and is great for moisturizer and natural chapstick. I also put it in my smoothies because it's a wonderful source of fiber and helps with digestion. Another great trick is adding salt to it and using it as an exfoliant in the shower. Its purposes are endless and it's really inexpensive. I don't think people realize coconut oil contains a unique combination of fatty acids with powerful medicinal properties.
Omg I forgot it's also great to use on the ends of your hair after the shower. Makes your hair shiny and reduces split ends. It's my Must-have and Go-to product!"
As women we are a mass of contradictions. We want to look amazing and want to be respected for our brains. Last week we asked powerhouse blogger, femme-preneur and mother of three, Stefania Pomponi to tell us a little about her beauty regimen. Little did we know she could write an entire book on the topic if she wanted to!
Here are her Beauty Favorites and her Daily Must Haves including her Favorite Drug Store Finds.
Don't forget to leave a comment and tell us your own favs! (Click on the collages to enlarge)
Below is Stefania's complete list, (asterisks indicate all her important drug store finds!) :
Shampoo & Conditioner:
Kevin Murphy Born Again Wash
Kevin Murphy Born Again Essential Treatment
Proof Satin Hair Serum (best defrizzer)
It’s A 10 Miracle Leave-In Product*
Drybar Money Maker Flexible Hairspray
Dove Deep Moisturizing Body Wash* [I get this at Costco]
Clarins Tonic Body Treatment Oil (apply on damp skin while in shower)
La Mer The Reparative Body Lotion
Bliss Lemon & Sage Body Butter (I use the La Mer every other day because it’s pricey--but its effects can last two days) [Bliss is often found at Nordstrom Rack for a great price!]
Sulwhasoo Gentle Cleansing Foam
Sulwhasoo Snowise EX Ginseng Exfoliating Gel or (2x week)
Olay Regenerist Detoxifying Pore Scrub*
Neutrogena MakeUp Remover Cleansing Towelettes* [I get these at Costco]
L’Oreal Revitalift Face & Neck*
AmorePacific Rejuvenating Eye Treatment Gel
Neutrogena Ultimate Sport Face Sunblock Lotion*
AmorePacific Moisture Bound Rejuvenating Serum
AmorePacific Moisture Bound Rejuvenating Cream
Note: I alternate AmorePacific with:
La Mer Serum de La Mer The Regenerating Serum
La Mer Creme de La Mer Ultrarich Cream
Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Night*
Depending on day/night I use one of these primers:
Smashbox Photofinish Primer
Revlon Revitalift Moisture Blur*
Revlon Skinlights Face Illuminator* (night)
Makeup Forever HD Foundation
Bobbi Brown Corrector
YSL Touche Eclat
Urban Decay Razor Sharp Ultra Definition Finishing Powder (loose)
Makeup Forever HD Powder (pressed)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion
Urban Decay Naked Basics & Naked2 Palettes
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil various colors (“Perversion” is the darkest, blackest black around...LOVE)
L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara “Carbon Black”*
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Fix
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Whiz (the best eyebrow pencil you can buy)
Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow
Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel
NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder*
MAC “Russian Red” (classic red)
NYX Butter Gloss* various colors
Revlon Colorburst Lacquer Balm, Matte Balm, and Balm Stain* (amazing)
Maybelline Baby Lips* (for sheer, moisturizing color)
Other fun tips:
Urban Decay All-Nighter Makeup Setting Spray helps keep your finished makeup in place and looking fresh.
NYX Roll-on Shimmer: I mix this with lotion and rub on my legs when I wear dresses at night. Give them a bronze sheen that looks like you are wearing nylons but you’re not.
Ardell #110 false eyelashes are a staple of my night-time look. Very light and natural looking but still makes your eyes pop!
LIT Cosmetics Holograph Lit Kit (essentially glitter powder that you can use on eyes/face/body) is also a staple of my night-time look. It’s the very best glitter-shadow.
Selfies by Stefania.
Artwork by Wati.
Every day we hear news of the the Syrian refugee crisis and the unprecedented suffering of the Syrian people. We asked our friend Laila Munif to share her feelings about her Syria.
When we discussed the pictures that might be included in this post, she wistfully remembered the beautiful ancient theater at Bosra. "At night we would drink our arak (Arabic pastis) in the Amphitheater, sing on the stage & watch the stars. How I miss those days! Now...not one day goes by without a tear."
Here is her reflection
When I was growing up in the Middle East, my family had to flee from wars twice. First due to the Lebanese civil war in 1975, and again shortly after when we were living in Iraq and the Iran/Iraq war started in 1981. My Dad was the editor-in-chief of a petroleum journal at the time. He had few options available to him. Either return to Syria and live under a dictatorship, or find a new country to settle in for few years with a wife and 4 kids. My father, an ambitious novelist decided to transit somewhere in Europe.
We landed in Paris when I was 6 years old and we stayed there for six years. It was in Paris where my Dad wrote his masterpiece novel ”Cities of Salt” in 1986. This five volume novel depicts the impact of oil in the Arabic Peninsula and its repercussions on the Bedouin society.
France was a safe place for us to grow up. We became fluent in French and my Dad was very productive with his writings. But it was not home for my parents. They felt the urge to be closer to their families and friends. My Dad was ready to end his life in exile. It was crucial for him to describe the plight of his people while living amongst them. In 1986 we returned to Damascus and he wrote three novels depicting prisons and the torture endured by the political detainees.
I was 11 years old at the time. My siblings and I started to build a deep affinity for our country of origin and our Arabic language skills quickly improved. We discovered a passion and interest for this rich culture.
I spent most of my time with my schoolmates who were mostly from France and other European countries. After school I had lots of free time to go to the old market, or souk, visit landmarks like the Umayyad Mosque, and wander in the old neighborhoods. I would sip cup after cup of tea in old Damascan courtyards with friends. I have such fond memories of those days. I would then return to our home that had become an intellectual oasis where novelists, painters and drama writers would meet and discuss their concerns and their love for their region. In the typical fashion of the region, my Mother would often cook fantastic dishes for the multitude of guests that showed up every night.
We met many persecuted artists living far away from their countries because of their political affiliations and ideas.
Those special relationships with artists from Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Jordan was the way I was introduced to Arabic contemporary art. My Dad collaborated with some of these friends and wrote books about their artistic journeys.
Archeology was also another of my Dad’s passions. He transmitted that passion to me by taking us to archeological sites in both Iraq and Syria. During holidays we would drive and discover the History of the People of Ugarit where the first alphabet in the world was discovered. We would also visit the Roman amphitheaters in Jerash and Bosra, as well as the Byzantine ruins, citadels, fortresses of the crusaders, and other Islamic archeological sites. As a result, I ended up majoring in Archeology in 2000 from the Lebanese University of Beirut.
Despite the political oppression, we grew up feeling happy, secure and with very strong family ties. I enjoyed my childhood tremendously. I’m proud of my Syrian heritage, its history and culture. And these days, it is with deep sadness that I witness its destruction.
Personal family photo provided by Laila.
Other photography by AWIB (Ancient World Image Bank) Erik Hermans.
As a leader at Parallax Press (a non-profit publishing house founded and inspired by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh), Rachel Neumann publishes books on mindfulness in daily life and is committed to making these teachings accessible to readers of every persuasion, while preserving them for future generations. Her paradigm-changing approach makes her someone who respects the boundaries of establishment thinking, but at the end of the day, she’s essentially a rule breaker. She walks the walk when she says the mission is to “alleviate suffering and contribute to a more just and joyful world”.Read More
STOP PRESS STOP PRESS
We at DoubleVisiontwinsblog are happy to announce our new weekly column on Good-Business New York (Good-b.com). Taken from our weekly contributions on DoubleVision, the blog posts will focus on women & the economy with a particular view of female entrepreneurs.
Our pieces are jointly curated and a true collaboration: Yanti, former international lawyer for global investment banks in Asia and now the proprietor of highly successful EarthYoga on the Upper East Side, is the writer of the family and acts as Editor, while Wati Grossman, who lives on the “other coast” a.k.a Silicon Valley, is our Head of Layout and Design and all visuals. The founder of a popular national girls’ clothing design company (WatiDesign) and mom of two, Wati is the Artist-Creative Guru of the family. Originally from Australia, we love travel, health, style and business. We are delighted to bring you memorable posts about women of all ages and persuasions who inspire, question, interpret, and lead through entrepreneurship.
Thanks to these sources for some lovely images of women on the go: http://www.whowhatwear.com/ & http://www.lovely-pepa.com/
As a 4 year old, Louise Strøe’s dream was to have her own flower shop in Copenhagen. Today, this jewelry designer, fine artist and interiors specialist is a multi-talented hands-on woman, helping her clients bring to life their lifestyle ideas and expressions of taste through color, texture and multi-media. Ever the entrepreneurial sleuth, I am fascinated by the fact that Louise does not see herself as a businesswoman at all, though success in her own niche market has clearly not eluded her. She is first and foremost an artist and perhaps second or in equal first place, mother.Read More
Unless you’ve been banished from civilization, or live off the grid not having a clue about the women’s blogging scene, you’ve little excuse for not knowing about Stefania Pomponi. Stefania is Babble.com’s #1 “Most in the Know” Twitter Mom and one of their Top 50 Mommy Bloggers. Parents’ Magazine named her a “Power Mom” and she was nominated “One of 10 Social Media Women That Deserve a Vanity Fair Article. Her award-winning personal blog “CityMama” won SheKnows.com’s 2010 Parents’ Choice Award for Best Website for Parents. The accolades go on.Read More
Like a beloved family member I am possessive and protective of Bali. Bali, Yanti, and I, share old memories. At seven years old the island itself seemed to urge me to purchase my first piece of art, a beautiful carved owl sprouting the finest feathers. My sisters and I learned to haggle for pretty silver bracelets and finely woven baskets at the local beach market and were introduced to the serenity of her sawah rice paddy fields, sacred temples, frighteningly chaotic roads and mesmerizing dance dramas.Read More
Nothing like mud on your face, artfully flicked there by Mother Nature herself. And there is nothing like the smell of rain and trees and cantering through a forest, face splattered Pollock-like, your trusty steed snorting beneath you, nostrils wide, as he glances sideways at his fellow four-legged gallopers.Read More
My first experience of the famous Parisian cafe Les Deux Magots was in the late 90's. An expat in Paris, imagining the faces of the literati and intellectual elite which once occupied its tables, I practiced my halting French with impatient waiters.Read More