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How to Improve (or Create) Your Website for Free

I was browsing the web looking for cat rescue charities to donate to for my dad’s birthday (we have a tradition of making donations instead of buying gifts), and I noticed that most charity or animal shelter websites were –sorry to say– pretty ugly. On top of it, they didn’t have a proper store set up, or social media share buttons.

So I decided to email one to help them out. I told them about the free website builders that are out there, and how they can make a new website quickly and easily (no, really!), which would look much more slick than the site they have now.

Then I thought? Why not give this advice to everyone??

Here are some of the website self-build services I’ve found. Read more

5 Videos I Really Love

I’ve come across some really amazing videos lately, and felt I had to share them. Here are five of my favorites: Read more

Art Basel Miami, Go-Go Dancers, & Almost Getting Mugged

Mike and I flew to Florida on Saturday for our yearly family trip. Every December at around this time, my parents, and now Mike and I, meet up in Palm Beach and rent a bungalow on the beach. I’m very fortunate to have a super close relationship with my parents (and my brother Simon, who lives in Toronto), so it’s always a treat to hang with them for a week. Luckily, Mike gets along with them as if he was their own son.

art-basel_Fotor_Collage

On Sunday, we headed down to Art Basel in Miami to check out a couple of art exhibitions we love: Pulse and Scope. Just the two of them take at least six hours to go through, and are enough to exhaust me. There are so many shows going on during Art Basel that it’s a bit overwhelming. Some are exciting and some are underwhelming, and unless you have recommendations, it’s hard to know which ones to go to. If you have any recommendations for next year, please let me know!

south-beach

South Beach is a rowdy place. It’s become a very commercial destination that lacks the warmth and character of many other vacation spots in this country. There’s an all-day aggressive party atmosphere that I wasn’t anticipating. It struck me as the kind of place people go when they’ve given up on finding their match on Grinder or Tinder. The streets are filled with people sucking on bowl-size margaritas, getting sloppy drunk and unabashedly gawking at naked go-go dancers who are shaking their backside to thumping club beats, seeking attention from anyone who cares to look. Read more

The Mayflower: Heaven is only 90 min from NYC

This past weekend my hubby and I were invited to stay at The Mayflower Inn & Spa for a few nights. I was super excited, of course, because I’d heard from several people that it’s one of the best hotels in the country. What I didn’t expect is that the spa would be world-class as well.

The moment we arrived and stepped into the overwhelmingly luxurious lobby, with several cozy sitting rooms to our right and left, we realized that this hotel is one of those where it has to be seen to be believed. No website, video or photos could ever do the property justice, because the luxury of the Mayflower is not only in the details, but in the ambiance.

We decided that it’d be fun to stay in two different rooms (both in the Allerton building, next to the spa), in an effort to trick our minds into thinking our stay was a bit longer (I’d live at the Mayflower if I could!) Here are some photos:

Mayflower Inn, CT suite

The hotel’s decor can be summed up in two words: Glamorous Luxury. Embroidered silks everywhere, Frette everything, heated bathroom floors… you get the picture. We basically wanted to lock ourselves in the room for our entire stay (and we almost did – ordering room service twice and watching more movies than I’d like to admit) Read more

How to Overcome Haters

Over the years, I’ve come to the realization that, if you stand out in some way, having haters is inevitable. There are people out there who approach others with love and benefit of the doubt, and there are people out there who snap to judge, like to put people in boxes, and have very little empathy. That’s just how the world is. If you don’t fit in, there are people out there who will notice and decide they hate you without even giving you a chance — without even having met you.

Years ago, a slimy online tabloid wrote some stuff about me that wasn’t based on reality. In fact, the three writers were all based in San Francisco and had never met me, nor had they talked to any of my friends. They still found me fair game to write about, and since they didn’t know me from Adam, and didn’t have any actual context, they made stuff up, including supposed encounters, which I know for a fact I never had. For example, they said that I was at a cocktail party and kept talking about my career, starting from the beginning each time someone new came into the group I was fictitiously talking to.

Now, if they’d ever met me or talked to any of my friends, they’d know that Read more

Weekend Getaway in Vermont

I woke up this morning wishing I was still at the Windham Hill Inn. We spent the past weekend at this charming Vermont B&B, and felt as if we were a thousand miles from home.

Me being a little camera-happy, and Mike looking very comfy...

Me being a little camera-happy, and Mike looking very comfy…

Luckily, a reader suggested I start doing videos, and I took his advice, so I can re-live the Windham Hill Inn experience a little bit. Let me know what you think of my first video, and if you have suggestions for me:

Me, about 10 minutes after waking / rolling out of bed and heading straight to breakfast.

Me, about 10 minutes after waking / rolling out of bed and heading straight to breakfast.

Incredible food = Mikey happy :-)

Incredible food = Mikey happy :-)

windham-hill-inn-3

It was very foggy our first day there. The views were breathtaking.

feeding-animals

There is something so nice about getting out of the city and heading into nature. I think it’s easy to lose your connection to what’s “real” if you spend too much time in Manhattan, or any city for that matter. Central Park is wonderful, and one of my favorite places on earth, but there’s nothing quite like packing up the car and driving off for some northern exposure. The air is cleaner, the people are nicer, and all the troubles of the world seem to drift away. I can’t wait for the snow to arrive, so we can head back up for a ski trip with some of our close friends. It’s a great way to bond together. A full day on the mountain, followed by apres ski until everyone passes out. Vermont is officially on my “favorites” list, and I highly recommend you make plans to visit over the winter. It’ll make the brutal cold weather during the next few months something to look forward to…

Read more

I Love This Crazy Stunt Video/Ad

I was having dinner downtown with a few friends yesterday and one of them showed me this absolutely incredible Volvo ad. It looks fake, but it’s not! Those trucks are actually moving backwards – I sh*t you not. I hardly recognized Jean-Claude Van Damme, his face looks so, uhm, altered. Pretty impressive though, I must say.

It sounds like he says he’s been down his fair share of dumpy  roads, no? LOL It’s also pretty funny how much he talks himself up… Body crafted to perfection? I mean, come on! 😉

New York – Shrunk

I was poking around on the web today, looking for cool stuff to share, and I came upon this really neat short film about New York City. It was made out of 35,000 still photos over 5 days. It kind of reminded me of the feeling of being in an airplane and looking down at all the little miniature-looking houses and cars. It always makes me feel like such a super tiny piece of a much, much bigger picture. Travel in general is good for that, and I think it’s healthy. Keeps it all in perspective.

Danger in sending your kids to college…

college-loansSending your kids to college has to rank pretty high on the wish list of most parents. Much like owning a home, a college degree has been sold to the American public as a “dream.” Few would argue (including me) that attaining a degree provides an advantage for graduates to get the job they want. That was before I read the articles in Mother Jones and Rolling Stone (by Matt Taibbi, one of my favorite investigative journalists) on the college loan scandal playing out before our very eyes.

Read more

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