Tag Archives: gift

Appreciate the Ones You Love


Pandora Jewelry is all about appreciating the ones that you love and when they approached me about gifting charms to someone in my life I immediately thought of two of my best friends, Claire Mazur and Erica Cerulo, who have impacted my life greatly over the years.


We first met back in 2010 at a little coffee shop on the Upper West Side and they told me about their dreams of starting an emerging designers platform called Of a Kind. Not only did I come to learn these were two of the most intelligent, visionary women I have ever met, I would also find out that bonds between women are so important and powerful not only in our personal friendship but in the bond these two share.

We shot together, we shared the original Ann Street Studio in the financial district together, I photographed Erica’s wedding (something I never do – but for her, anything), unofficially Claire’s and even all the way down to Texas for SXSW. We’ve laughed and cried, swapped beauty tips and fashion tricks, and seen each other though relationships and moves, business ups and downs, and endless conversations about that future of our lives. I even bought one of Claire’s Grandmother’s paintings!

10 Things

This is all very personal, so what do you need to know? First off, aside from being women entrepreneurs in New York City (BRAVO!) they write THE BEST NEWSLETTER ON THE INTERNET. It’s called “10 Things” and comes out once a week. I’ve literally been on photo-shoots where art directors have stopped the shoot because “10 things” that week just arrived in their inbox and they needed to “know what’s in the know”. It’s full of everything from the best chickpea kale salad recipe of the week to where to rolodex your go-to restaurants and the best new beauty products in the industry.

On being friends

Being the good friends they are they are always up for my antics. I’ve shown up to shoots with my hair in rollers, or that time I got bangs (MISTAKE) or my bachelorette party at the 21 club somehow got very fuzzy towards the end. I got them to join snapchat, which proudly I will state on the record it is now the main form in which we communicate. Then, they were brave enough to have me on their radio / podcast show (an extension of “10 things”) knowing the loose canon I am.

Growing together

It’s a funny thing to take a step back after five years of growing together, growing businesses, growing friendships, growing relationships, and put that into powerful words such as “loyalty“, “heath“, “creativity“, “courage” and think about what these two inspiring women mean to me on a greater scale. To go back to the beginning when I was emerging in the digital space, they were two of my biggest champions and I realized with this project I have never taken the time to tell them how special I think THEY are.

As they have been my champions I hope, in my own weird way, I have been theirs. I’m happy Pandora offered this opportunity for me to tell them how much they mean to me, something I don’t think we regularly take the time enough to do. I gifted them each 6 Pandora Essence Collection charms that to me, represent which each of these women are… and isn’t it nice sometimes to have someone say, “Hey, you’re special for these reasons and here’s why….”

See below for a window into the soul of two friendships I couldn’t have made it through life in New York without and I encourage you to do the same with ones in your own that mean a special something to you.


Claire Mazur

Here are the charms I felt most represented what I appreciate so much about Claire and admire:

Courage– her ability to start her own company and the courage to get it out there to anyone she could talk to

Strength– always problem solving solutions instead of letting them bring her down

Generosity– I’ve received so many special gifts from Claire for birthdays or Christmas to even thank you flowers for shoots, her thoughtfulness and generosity is so wonderful.

Health– Claire runs everyday and makes the most healthy food at home with recipes that appear constantly in “10 things” and makes me want to make healthier choices in my own life.

Passion– She has such a vision and ideas for business and then comes at them with so much passion and energy you can’t help but get behind her in whatever next thing she dreams up.

Appreciation– I have a lot of appreciation for Claire, the way she championed my own career in the beginning while giving me the consistent opportunity to shoot for Of a Kind.

Pandora_Claire_Erica_ofakind__11 Pandora_Claire_Erica_ofakind__18 Pandora_Claire_Erica_ofakind__12 Pandora_Claire_Erica_ofakind__15 Pandora_Claire_Erica_ofakind__13    Pandora_Claire_Erica_ofakind__17 Pandora_Claire_Erica_ofakind__16


Erica Cerulo

Here are the charms I felt most represented what I appreciate so much about Erica and admire:

Patience– It takes a lot of patience to start a company with your best friend. In a great balance to Claire’s energy- Erica’s patience keeps it all running smoothly.

Loyalty– I’ve never met someone with as much loyalty in her friendships and relationships. With Erica, you know you have a loyal friend on your side

Trust– I always know I can confide in Erica with anything going on in my life and work.

Creativity– Erica is one of the most talented writers online and in print. She contributes regularly to magazines and is one of the reasons the editorial side to Of a Kind is so amusing to read. Also, her email responses are spot on.

Stability– She never really has ups and downs, she has great emotional stability and mental strength.

Dignity– You’ll never see Erica acting poorly, drinking too much, treating someone badly. She has such a grace and dignity to herself I find wonderfully admirable.

Pandora_Claire_Erica_ofakind__19 Pandora_Claire_Erica_ofakind__25  Pandora_Claire_Erica_ofakind__21     Pandora_Claire_Erica_ofakind__24

Claire & Erica

Pandora_Claire_Erica_ofakind__03Claire & Erica’s makeup was provided by Chelsa Crowley for Stowaway Cosmetics

Claire wears a top by Theory, shorts by 3.1 Phillip Lim, Loeffler Randall shoes, Morgan Parish for Of a Kind handbag, Tamaki Niime scarf and Ray Ban sunnies

Erica wears a dress by Jonathan Simkhai, Alice & Olivia shoes, Madewell jean jacket, Atelier Delphine for Of a Kind handbag and Raen sunnies

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Thanks to PANDORA Universe for making this possible.

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10 Beauty Products for your Retro Diva

You know my affinity for all things vintage and classic… well here are the 10 beauty products I use everyday to transport myself to a world of silver screen gents and sparkling lights…

If your girl is anything like me these will be home runs

1. Start Blissful! Everyday I take care of my skin with these steps (their products smell so good!) and every night I protect it with this

2. Flawless skin! Inspired by old Hollywood movie stars, I even out my skin tone with MAC Studio Fix Fluid. 

3. Let Secrets be Secrets. Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage for under eyes and little “problems”… for extra umpth I use the light side as a highlighter on the top of my cheek bones, eye brow bones, down the bridge of my nose and center of the chin for some photo-perfect contouring

4. Power Puff. I finish out the contouring by using this MAC Blot Powder (I use the tone “Dark”) on my cheek bones, creases of my eyes, down the sides of my nose and under my jaw line. 

5. Apple Cheeks! Right in the apple of my cheeks and give it a nice healthy pop of red with this NARS Powder Blush in Exhibit A, makes you look like a doll!

6. The Framery. Eyebrows frame the face, just look at Hepburn or Bacall, so I give them the Hollywood shape with Laura Mercier Eyebrow Pencil!

7. All about Eyes. I keep it simple, Le Métier de Beauté in Sugar all over and Tamarack in the crease and at the lash line. For night time I do an extra application of Tamarack for very hooded eyes… ooo la la

8. Play ‘em up. Mascara, mascara, mascara… I love mascara! I do lots of coats of MAC False Lashes mascara which I love because it makes big glossy lashes that don’t smudge around the eyes yet washes off at night easily. 

9. Flirty Eyes. This is where it gets good. It doesn’t take much, just 5 to 7 flares per eye to fill it in but it makes all the difference especially in photographs! I do this almost every single day. 

Step by Step:

  1. Squeeze a TINY drop of Duo Eyelash adhesive (I use dark tone and prefer Duo as it does not damage your natural lashes and washes off easily)
  2. Using tweezers pull 1 flare and lightly dip the base end in the glue. 
  3. With the tweezers holding the flared end set them on top of your eye lashes as close to the base as possible but not on the eyelid. 
  4. Repeat as much as you like! 
  5. Let dry for 5mins or so then apply a final layer of mascara then gently pinch the false lashes to your real ones to give a seamless illusion. 
  6. Bat those babies and break hearts.

10. Paint it RED. What is a retro diva without red lips?! This is my go-to, all time favorite combo. Start on the outside of lips with Cargo Reverse Lip Liner (I use “light”), draw the shape and fill in the lips lightly with MAC Lip Liner in SPICE, Then top it off for show with MAC lipstick in LADY DANGER. VOILA!

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10 Great Gifts for the Man in your Life

Guys are hard to shop for right?! That’s why this list is curated with his help! I can tell you, I live with most of these dude things around me so they are From Me To You approved and even at times borrowed because I like them myself!

Here we go:

1. Brompton – Guys love transformers and this is that in real life. A bike perfect for a city dweller meaning you never have to leave it chained up outside to inevitably be stolen. #HardFacts

The best place to buy it from in the US! NYCeWheels

2. Rare Beer Club – Make your beer guy happy at least once a month. This beer club (I mean, can’t you already hear the men grunting) will send your guy 2 rare beers a month… hopefully he will share.

3.  Pro-Ject Debut III – the simplest record player on the planet (from a woman’s perspective) but men love it…. at least mine does

4. Of a Kind – Falling line tie bar by Nikolai Rose, make him your modern day Don Draper. Enough said.

5. EVRT – City Towel – some men like to cook and these are designed smartly by a man who does. OR perhaps if he doesn’t stir the pot then having cool kitchen towels will get him in there with you….

6. Bosca – Old leather toiletry kit – uber classic so he can use it forever. Psst- have it monogrammed for extra umpth somewhere local or Things Remembered can usually monogram anything.

7. Brooks Brothers –  Monogrammed cuff links… I gave him a pair as a thank you gift after this because I told him he will wear them 20 years from now and think of me.

8.  Echo – Echo Touch Gloves because men love gadgets and this way they can look up directions to dinner in the cold while on a date with you :)

9. Marshall Minor – Earphones guys love because they are “comfortable, sound great and easy on the drums… of the ears that is”.

10.  Restoration Hardware – Artisan Leather Laptop Sleeve. Makes him look like money. 

I’d love to hear what your guy’s favorite gifts are!…

Now let’s get back to shopping for the girls. 

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10 Great Stocking Stuffers for Your Favorite Girl

Stockings are a B-I-G deal at my house, they totally outshine the other gifts.. maybe it’s because you can be more creative, or it’s because it comes in an oversized sock that it’s way awesome but I take this very seriously.

I was so lucky to experience a lot this year and travel to so many wonderful places. Along the way I picked up tips, tricks, and perfect holiday gifts for my friends and family! Here is what I loved in bite sized pieces, perfect for a stocking stuffers this year:

1. Deborah Lippmann Nail Care set – The basics which I discovered during NYFW, this is her most popular but THIS has become my color ALL-YEAR-LONG. Loooovvveee.

2. Jo Malone – While shooting in Malibu I became exposed to the world of Jo Malone… which I ordered  for my own home….. in-between shots.. on her kitchen counter… with his credit card (muwhhaaa) PS- This is my fav.

3. Patrick Roger –  While in Paris I fell hard for chocolates… THESE chocolates to be exact. *licks fingers*

4. Kate Spade – Diamonds are a girl’s best friend!… but these are a guys- they don’t break the bank! While shooting Katie Ermilio’s Spring lookbook, she outfitted model Rosie in the simplest Kate Spade diamond studs which were just trés chic!

5. Echo Design –  Winter gloves that work with your touch screen devices so you can INSTAGRAM with warm fingers!I discovered these in Boston just as the air started to turn crisp for fall.

6. Oscar de la Renta –  Esprit d’ Oscar Solid Perfume Ring. While backstage shooting at Oscar de la Renta’s NYFW show (ok… I do just love saying that) all the girls were wearing this ring, not to mention SHE always smells so good and that’s a good way for people to remember you.

7. Of a Kind – Buy limited edition, from an artist. Every month I shoot with these girls who run this awesome site that collaborates to make limited edition pieces with designers made by hand. Perfect stocking stuffers would be this or this or that. oh yeah.

8. Savannah Bee –  I popped down to Savannah, GA for some R&R and to stock up on their winter white honey! In tea, on cheese, on a spoon in my mouth… it’s perfect.

9. Kiehl’s Rosa Arctica – Shhhhhh! Beauty secret! While over at her place to shoot some beauty stories I met Kiehl’s Rosa Arctica & fell in love. It’s a pretty penny but it will make you look like one too 😉

10. Charm Co. – This is a special one… one you keep forever. Fathers to daughters, husbands to wives, boyfriends that want to get lucky.

PS- Beer, Wine & Liquor would be on this list but it seems the internet is a little old fashioned… 

Happy Holidays!

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