With Valentine’s Day coming soon. I decided to share some Valentine’s Day Gift giving suggestions from some great small businesses!
If you are a fan of puzzles or what to cute date idea. May I recommend this cute 500 piece puzzle from Le Puzz Puzzles? As a fan of puzzles myself I couldn’t pass up on the opportunity of adding a puzzle to this Valentine’s Day gift idea guide. Plus if your one and only is over the flowers and candy thing. Then a puzzle is sure to be a unique gift.
I am a huge fan of Sister Palm . I was curious last summer on getting my palm read and found her through Instagram ( @sisterpalm). I really enjoyed my session with her because she is so thorough throughout the session and answered all of my questions. Right now she is offering a Valentine’s Day discount through her Esty store. If you buy a gift certificate for an online reading session used promo code: LOVE25 to get 25% your read. Honestly you won’t regret it!
Palm Tree Priestess tarot and Healing ( @palmtreepriestesstarot )- Every wanted to know more about your love life? Jessica is a wonderful tarot card reader and offers 30, 1 hour and 2 hours tarot card reading sessions. Please contact her for pricing and appointment set up. She is an amazing and caring reader>
AlwaysFits has always been my stand by store if I ever need a funny card to mail out or a unique gift to buy for my amazing friends. So it’s no surprise that I added this amazing store to this guide. The card picture is just one of many great card selections that they offer. If you have a love one that has a good sense of humor then cards from here are a must buy!
DECADENTWEST makes amazing items. She makes patches, shirts, and prints so while I was looking at her store. This Anatomical Heart Print caught my eye as a great Valentine’s Day gift! The shipping deadline to get it by Valentine’s Day is 2/7!
Signals From Space makes these super cute cookie cutters!!! Some are Stranger things theme and others have a space theme. Either way if you or you know someone who loves to bake ( and who doesn’t for Valentine’s Day?!) then these cookie cutters are a cute gift to grab! Hurry though the shipping deadline to get them in time for Valentine’s Day is February 1st!
Greenwich Letterpress is probably my most talked about store on my blog for a good reason. They always have the BEST selection of cards that captures a mood. Currently they have these vintage Valentine’s Day cards on their website!! They are beyond adorable and I might have to buy all of the different versions they currently have in stock!
There are few people in my life that I truly love that is outside of my immediate family. I tend to over love with him not because to make my presence known. Its because my heart can’t hold it inside and let it rest. whether it was watching tv with him or waking up next to him, him not reaching out or not talking to me for a year. I love him.
I know that love is a strong word. But when you meet someone and they feel like home. You cannot find it with anyone else. your definition of love changes, its expands. It’s more than just a four love word it becomes part of your soul.
This week I had the pleasure of interviewing @travjames !
Tell me about yourself:
” I’m a cabaret, concert and recording artist living in NYC. I grew up in a small town called Slippery Rock, which is on the border of Pennsylvania and Ohio. I’m an only child, which explains my desperate need for attention at any cost. I wasn’t your typical kid from a small town.
For example, after seeing Carol Channing in her last tour of Hello, Dolly!, I brought in the souvenir program from the show and made a presentation about Carol Channing and her career for show and tell. I’ve always been obsessed and addicted to theater, performers and everything showbiz.
Every child loved the Disney Channel growing up, but I loved it because they used to show The Judy Garland Show at night!
2. What made you interested in singing?
“I started taking voice lessons when I was about 15 years old and then I majored in Musical Theater at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA, so I’ve been singing for a long time!
I’ve always loved music and became an obsessive Barbra Streisand fan in first grade when my Mom showed me the film version of Funny Girl! I was fascinated with the things Streisand could do with her voice and I wanted to learn more! I also idolized my first voice teacher, Judy Hughes. She had been a professional opera singer and was a true eccentric; so different from everyone else in the town I grew up in and I was obsessed! “
3. What has been your most memorable performance?
” There are SO many, but there are two that come to mind. Another one of my biggest inspirations is Elaine Stritch. When she passed, I was asked to perform in one of the tribute concerts celebrating her. I sang “Fifty Percent,” which I later recorded.
The cast included superstar Annaleigh Ashford, Tony Danza (of all people), Marilyn Maye (considered one of the best singers who has ever lived) and camp icon Pia Zadora, if you can believe it…lol! It was a magical night and I was thrilled to be able to honor the memory of an idol of mine. The other performance that pops to mind is from this past June when my solo show, Just One Look: The Songs of Linda Ronstadt, was one of the first shows to open The Green Room 42 back up here in NYC after the shutdown. To hit that stage with musical director Drew Wutke, my special guests Jack Bartholet, Lillian Andrea De Leon and Elijah Caldwell and a full band after such a long time was a thrilling out of body experience! The shutdown was the longest I’ve ever gone without performing in front of an audience and it felt so good to be back!”
4. What was your first Broadway show you remember seeing?
“The first professional show I saw was Annie starring Jo Anne Worley at the Pittsburgh CLO. I was in kindergarten or first grade and you would have thought I was seeing Beyoncé or Adele. I had seen Jo Anne Worley in reruns of Laugh-In (again on the Disney Channel) and it was my first-time seeing a celebrity live. I was hooked after that. The first Broadway shows I saw were The Last Night of Ballyhoo (which won the Tony for Best Play that year), the musical The Life starring Lillias White and the revival of Chicago with the original cast. The whole experience was so thrilling and surreal. I basically saved every flyer and Playbill I could get my hands on. On our way home, I told my parents I was going to live there one day and here I am!”
5. If you had to make a 2022 winter playlist that best describe your current mood. What five songs would you put on the list and why?
“Well, first of all, I want everyone to add my BroadwayWorld Award Winning album So Many People: The Sondheim Sessions and all of my other albums and singles to their Spotify and/or Apple Music playlists! Every single one…lol! However, taking all of that out of the equation, here is my 2022 winter playlist:
Sweet Talker” by Years and Years: While it’s freezing and we’re hiding from Omi, we have to stay sharp for the bars this summer! This is such great song and I love Olly Alexander!
The entire Brandi Carlile album, “In These Silent Days,” but specifically “This Time Tomorrow,” because if we’ve learned anything, it’s that we have to live NOW, hunni!
“Easy” by Troye Sivan, featuring Mark Ronson and Kacey Musgraves: This didn’t get it’s due when it came out and it’s the perfect song for those happy/sad days that are heading for us in February!
“When I Was a Girl in Colorado” by Judy Collins: This folk/pop LEGEND doesn’t get her due! She’s currently on a worldwide tour and has a new album coming out in February at the age of 82!!!!!! I just saw her at Town Hall here in NYC and she looked and sounded incredible!
“The Ladies Who Lunch” sung by Patti LuPone on the London cast recording of Company: I just saw the Broadway version of this production here in NYC and LOVED. It’s the perfect song to have in your head while you’re judging everyone at brunch.
If you like to learn more about @travjames Here is the following contact information:
I love to read but lately I am finding less time to read physical books and having more time with audiobooks. So I made a promise to myself to read more books in general. I am aiming high this year by saying that I am reading a 100 books for 2022.
In the spirit of my goal I decided to share some of the books that I am currently reading or that is on my to read pile:
Taste: My Life Through Food by Stanley Tucci: this is my current read. I am not much of reader of food theme books however this book was more than just recipes. It was a good blend of personal life stories and recipes which made it more entertaining than I thought it would be.
Olga dies dreaming: A Novel by Xochitl Gonzalez. When I look at various lists of books to read for 2022. This books was a constant staple of books to read for 2022. Plus the plot and book cover sold me on adding this to my to read list.
We Believe the Children: A Moral Panic in the 1980’s by Richard Beck.
I vaguely remembering living through this panic in the media but I never really research on the subject. The only in depth information I remember doing is watching that one episode of the original version of Unsolved Mysteries. There was one segment that discussed “Santanic Panic” and the effects of it. So excited to finally put this book on my list and learn about the origins, the chaos and the after effects of this movement.
The Chiffon Trenches: A Memoir by Andre Leon Talley. The amazing and impeccable person that was Andre Leon Talley was one of my forever Icons but I never knew much about his life story. I decided to do the audio version of this book because what better way to heard someone’s life story than hearing that actual person read it? It is like having a private conversation with a friend.
Rose Nylund you are this month’s… WOMAN OF THE MOMENT!!!!
Betty White’s birthday is today!
I thought in order to celebrate the occasion. I would talk about one of my favorite TV characters ever: Rose Nylund.
Rose Nylund was born on March 12, 1930 in St. Oflaf, Minnesota. A town that she remembers fondly and loved to share with her roomates:
Little is known about her mother however her dad was part of a monastery. She spent her baby to early childhood years at an orphanage. And at the age of eight she was adopted by a dairy farmer and his wife You can tell that she loved growing up on the farm. Due to her passionate devotion towards all animals, anything dairy related, the love of outdoors and sense of helping others.
During her teenage years her claim to fame was being the valedictorian of her high school class by picking the biggest straw. Although one of her biggest regret was not being crown St. Olaf Butter Queen due to some controversy of tampering of the butter turn.
She married one of her childhood friends in 1948 named Charlie Nylund. She loved him ever since they were seven years old when he sold her an insurance policy on her red wagon she had. Not surprising at all that Charlie become an insurance salesman when he got older.
The couple had five children but you only meet two out of the five during the show. They were married for twenty two years until Charlie’s death and shortly after that Rose decided to leave her beloved St. Olaf in 1976 and to made a full move Miami, Florida.
She got a job as a grief consular and by happenstance ran into her future roommate Blanche at a supermarket.
And the rest is Golden Girl history.
The reason why Rose Nylund is one of my favorite TV characters is because regardless of how down she feels she is always there to support and help her friends. Also as random as her stories are they are a source of comfort to those who are listening to them.
I know how I am spending my day today: Watching the golden girls!
Hello everyone! I am kicking off my first interview of 2022 with fellow co-worker and instagrammer @loxystyles!
Tell me about yourself:
“My name is Roxy Young. I enjoy carbs, drinking coffee and sweat pants. I also wear my hair in a big giant messy bun while listening to the Queen B (Beyoncé). I do what I do best: being a creative diva! I am an international published creative director better known under the social media handle as @loxystyles. I wear many hats in the fashion industry from film to aesthetic set designs. Being a creative is what I’m best at and most known for.
I am originally from a small town in the Appalachian hills of WV called Lost Creek. I came from a very humble blue collar family . My father passed away in 2011 from cancer. He was an extremely hardworking, smart , & humorous guy.
My work ethic and all my good poop jokes I got from my dad. My mom and sister are both artistic people. My mother made ceramics as I was growing up and my sister became a journalist before returning to West Virginia to help take care of my mother and father. She is one of the strongest people I know amongst being such an amazing writer. I did not inherit the good genetics of spelling in my family.
In 2013 while living in West Virginia I was in a terrible car accident that completely changed my life. The car flipped over a guardrail and went down a 50 foot decline before hitting a tree that would eventually stop the car from rolling. I was in the passenger side with no seat belt on. I broke my neck (c2 vertabre), had a bruised spinal cord , 5 broken ribs, a stage 4 lacerated kidney, a collapsed lung, and a torn pcl (knee). It’s a miracle I am able to walk let alone I that I am alive. God spared my life that day and it’s something I’m extremely grateful for & blessed.
After 3 months of bed rest from the accident I started to gain an interest in photography. I started a small business and became part of an organization called RAW. It’s an organization that helps struggling artists. My sister would drive me from WV to Pittsburgh for RAW shows to showcase my photography. I started to realize between photography concepts & Modeling that I had a nitch for creativity. This is where the idea for LoxyStyles began.
In October of 2017 I made the bold decision to leave everything I had ever known to pursue a better life. I packed my car and with $70 in my bank account , not really knowing what the hell I was doing , I moved to Virginia taking a job as a nanny for 2 of the coolest kiddos I could have ever been blessed with to watch over.
Fun fact: coco Chanel was also a Nanny.
In 2019 while still working as a nanny & building LoxyStyles I took on a part time job at Neiman Marcus while doing fashion school through a program from Parsons The New School & Teen Vogue. The hustle and work ethic was at an all time high but I loved every minute of it.
In January of 2021 I embarked on the journey of a film school program through NYU. It’s been a year long program and in a few days I will finally have a film school program under my belt. I plan on creating films to submit into film festivals in the very near future. I feel like creating in film is where I want to be and it’s what I’m good at. We don’t have enough female directors in the film industry and I’m totally up for the challenge.”
2. What is loxystyles?
“LoxyStyles is known for creativity and aesthetic. It’s not so much about just the style and design. It’s a way that story telling is conveyed through fashion while also being able to promote and market brands. That’s what LoxyStyles is. It’s associated marketing while creativity associating marketing & an outlet for creativity. I created on my own along working with different models & photographers to help them creatively promote different products for brands, designers, and social media content. I build sets , design aesthetics and create shoot boards. Currently, my favorite thing is being able to do those things through film.
In 2017, LoxyStyles had originally started out to be a fashion blog & t-shirt company. I had a friend who was an amazing artist who recently passed in 2020. His name was Luke Steffan. The L was taken out of his name and the R was removed from Roxy and there the name Loxy was born. He would design the shirts and I would find a creative way to market them. The t- shirt business didn’t work out the way I had hoped and by the end of that year we both had went our separate ways and I was left with the name for a brand that I had no idea what I was gonna do with. I’m not the type of person who just gives up on things easily so I kept the name and decided I would make it into something on my own. The name Loxy holds sentimental value to me especially after Luke’s passing. I went back to the drawing board in 2018 with the thought of keeping Loxy as a fashion blog but I was not a very consistent writer.”
3. If you had to invite 3 pop culture figures to a dinner who would you invite and why?
“That’s a super great & hard question because I would want to invite everyone like Beyoncé, Muhamed Ali ,Yves St Laurent, Grace Coddington , Robert Dinero, Nipsey Hustle Sophia Loren, Sinatra , etc…. I could go on and on. I have a huge list for that dinner party!!
I hope Beyoncé forgives me for this , but I think My top 3 guests for this dinner would be Jayz , Franca Sozzani & Mother Teresa. One guest to keep me gangsta , one guest to keep me creative , and guest to keep me holy.
I would invite Jayz because I feel I can relate to his life. That man goes hard at everything. I didn’t grow up in the projects , but I did grow up in one of the poorest states in the U.S. Poverty is a very real thing as well as the drug epidemic in West Virginia. What I admire about Jayz is the fact the people always doubted his ability to make it. He came from a place where not many people make it out of . As well as being crazy intelligent and doesn’t let people tell him what he can or can not do. He beat the odds that were against him. He knows his capabilities as a person and an artist. It resonates with me a lot. He has also stayed himself through out his whole career. That’s real and that respectable. He gives back to his community which is something I also admire and plan on being able to do.
Secondly, I would invite Franca Sozzani. When Franca was alive she was the editor and chief of Vogue Italia. She challenged the industry and that’s why I love her and her work. The fashion industry is very cut throat especially for women. She was controversial and not afraid to be controversial within her work. She didn’t really give a shit who liked her work or not by her statements and concepts about what was going on in the world.
Two of my favorite editorial shoots she did was on women having plastic surgery and the other on domestic violence. The photos and her work speak for itself. I love how she took the concepts of real things going on in the world and made them important in a industry where image is considered everything. It challenged the perception of the industry and society. She was an amazing creator to whom I have much respect and admiration for. I’m not in my industry to be liked but I know that with my artistic creativity I’m in this industry to make a difference and at some point in my career I think my work and path in this industry will be much like that of Francas.
And last but certainly not least I would invite Mother Teresa. I think it’s important for people to be kind & to give back. She did a lot for people and helped many. As well as aided people that others deemed as unwanted and uncared for. She knew that there was more to life. She knew that people matter, along with their struggles. She dedicated her life to making life better spreading love. That makes her a true humanitarian.”
4. What was the most memorable project you worked on and why was it so memorable?
“Hands down the short fashion film projects for my new business ilox are the most memorable projects thus far. I’ve gotten to work with a lot of really phenomenal people in this industry but I think by far my favorite person to work & collaborate with is 1000% Tommy Maksanty. We first started working together about a year ago on a collaboration at the Watergate. Tommy is an extremely talented individual & person. I don’t think he truly realizes his talents and gifts yet but he is a lot more than just a good looking male model. I’m so excited to see the things he accomplishes in the future within his career. We work pretty well together and both have fun creating film work. He works really well in front of the camera along with taking direction and his Instinct to know how to improvise while thinking on his feet are pretty on point.
We were putting together a short film for Halloween at an old retro motel in Fairfax Virginia called the Breezeway Motel. The management on the property of the location was not happy with us filming outside. We were told we could not film anywhere on the grounds of the hotel except for the room we had booked to get ready in. The film being produced was mainly mapped out for filming outside of the hotel. It put everybody working on the production in a not so great spot of
….what do we do now? We couldn’t shoot outside the motel so we had to stay in the room and think how we would be able to film. Tommy was going to be wearing wardrobe from a suit shop located in Springfield Virginia called Lawrence Clothier. The wardrobe was specifically picked to fit the design and aesthetic of the outsiders the motel. The hair and make up was set to go with the wardrobe & aesthetic of what was already planned to film for the outside scenes.
Since we were restricted to the room, Tommy & I had to be resourceful in order to figure out how we would re style the wardrobe, looks, and also how the new room location would effect the story line of the film. Tommy put his best actors hat on and we were able to get creative with under the circumstances. We had to make what we were filming fit with everything that had previously been filmed for the story line. He did an amazing job and went all out on his acting abilities. We were able to make the setting we had flow with the film. I ended up naming the film “Room 212“. I thought it was fitting Title seeing how crazy of a day that had been with the property owners. I think my favorite part of that day was ordering delivery food and the delivery guy showing up to the motel door with two crazy looking people that had giant teased hair that were wearing creepy white contacts. We didn’t get kicked out of the motel but we did create a pretty badass fashion film for Halloween.”
5. Do you have any upcoming events or news you would like to share?
“I’ve opened up a creative one of a kind film business under Loxystyles and its called ilox. It’s for creating creative films and content for contracted clients. We help our clients plan a creative approach to what they are wanting to showcase. We welcome all but mostly our aim to work with fashion, arts, & entertainment. We give our clients the option of creating 1 minute video clips or 30 second video clips for their social media’s to help promote their selves, their brands or whatever they love and love to do. It’s similar to creative directing & associated marketing I do with Loxystyles. However this is only with film & video work.
Through ilox, I will also be working on creating short fashion films to send into film festivals this year, one of which will be Fashion Film Festival Milano. I’m excited to see what will happen with that as it will be my first submission to a film festival. Clients looking to book with ilox can book through DM @loxystyles or @ilox.”
Hello my name is Clarissa. The month is January and we had just entered the year 2022.
I had one major surgery, eight months of being unemployment, four intense months of work, and one fragile broken heart.
I took one trip to Nebraska to see the man I absolutely love. He felt like home.
Also in 2021….
I’d found a new full time job.
Met nice people.
Interviewed over 20 people for this blog.
Mailed out over 250 cards and mailed them to almost every state on the map.
Watched some great new shows. Too many to list.
Listen to many podcasts and audiobooks. Again too many to list.
Listen to The Cure on full rotation for a full 24 hours. Because since I was six I thought Robert Smith was a super hero. (I still believe he is:) )
In 2021 I also…..
posted more than 50 blogs posts.
Spent countless hours laughing, crying, fighting:
So what is left for me to do in 2022:
I am going to shift this blog a bit of a personal direction. I will write about more personal experiences. But first I need some down time. The winter months will hopefully let me slow down a bit and be able to spark my excitement for things and finally get to that big pile of books I want to read.
Self care is important. The first person you should not be at odds with is yourself. Be kind of others and also yourself.