Clarity

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I woke up at 3:31 am on Wednesday to the news that Donald Trump was our next President. The emotions that came over me were ones I haven’t felt since another date etched in my memory: Tuesday, December 6th 2005, the day I discovered my then-husband was cheating on me. When I saw the results, I started to shake uncontrollably. I ran to the bathroom as the feeling of nausea set in. And I cried. For the second time in my life, it felt like the very core of my existence was being taken from me. Everything I knew to be right and true in the world no longer existed.

I studied politics at Mount Holyoke College. The oldest all-women’s college in the country. As a double major in Politics and African-American Studies, my studies focused on the vast inequalities that exist in this country. I chose this course of studies because I believed it was our responsibility as a country to take care of those less fortunate, especially our children. I spent four years sharpening my view points, attending lectures by the likes of Cornell West, Lani Guinier, Jonathan Kozol, Bernie Sanders and even Wayne LaPierre of the NRA. I thought it was important to hear all sides. It helps with critical thinking and understanding that many times the answers aren’t black and white.

The plan was to become a lawyer, after devoting two years to Teach for America. But I graduated school with over $80,000 worth of college debt in the form of private loans that wouldn’t be forgiven if I went into public service. My monthly loan payments were over $1,000 and thus I had to join corporate America after graduation and work a second job on the weekends to make ends meet. I landed my first job after college at a prestigious law firm because my then boyfriend’s father golfed with an executive at Gillette who was friends with a partner at the firm. My credentials weren’t really important; it was just one white guy trying to help another white friend out. And this, dear readers, is why I am where I am today.

The role of our government is this: to form a more perfect union; to establish justice; to insure domestic tranquility; to promote the general welfare; and to secure the blessings of liberty. I voted in the Democratic primary for Bernie Sanders because I believed he was the best candidate to ensure the role of government. I knew firsthand that not everyone has a story like me or could make the choices I have made based on where I lived and the people I knew. Many around me, including my mother, were shocked to hear I wasn’t supporting Hillary Clinton. Yes, it would be amazing to nominate the first female president, but I believed she was engrossed in the business of Washington, D.C. To be honest, the fact that she stayed with Bill after the Monica Lewinsky scandal {and others} made my heart break for her. But to think she needed to stay with a man to rise to political power questioned my ideas of feminism.

However, when Bernie lost the nomination, I knew what I had to do. Support our candidate. Because, whether we want to admit it or not, to stay home on Election Day would send a sexist, bigoted, racist, homophobic man to the presidency and that just wasn’t an option. I thought that everything Trump said and did during the campaign went against the moral compass of what this country was founded on.

How shocked I was to be proven wrong. Nearly 46% of Americans didn’t show up to the polls to vote on Tuesday. People. As citizens in this great country of ours, it is OUR DEMOCRATIC DUTY to vote. If you don’t like either candidate, I get it. I didn’t either. But I knew that if I didn’t use my voice to vote, the other side would win. And now three days into a Trump-elect reality, the hatred and bigotry has become rampant. I think about it and tears just start to flow.

Moments ago I saw a clip of a man who said he wrote in a candidate and left the poll with a clear conscious. How anyone could have a clear conscious after the hatred and bigotry that has transpired since Trump’s election is beyond me. The truly mind-blowing piece of this all is that 53% of white woman voted for Donald Trump. A man who has been married three times, has had numerous allegations of sexual harassment filed against him and who literally said “grab them by the pussy” when video cameras were around. I know Hillary is part of the establishment and has an email problem, but really? Couldn’t we have taken one for the global team here?

The most important thing to remember is that we elect a President who surrounds him or herself with a group of advisers who help shape policy change in this county. And nominates individuals to the Supreme Court. Because of inaction, everything is now on the table. Universal healthcare, gun laws, climate change, disability benefits, political asylum.

We are a divided country. People have lost their jobs. Have less than ever before. But we are part of a global community. We need to participate. We need to listen to those around us. We need to open our hearts and our eyes to what suffering is and looks like. We need to act {here is a list of organization that need our help}.

For all those who didn’t participate, I am not blaming this one on you. But please take the time to understand how our system works. One day I hope we will have proportional representation in our elected offices and that third-party candidates won’t take from the popular vote. Until then, please understand the rules of the game and what your inaction means. Let’s be honest. For many of us, life won’t change much. Count your blessings. But for others, everything changed Tuesday night. Let’s understand that and help them through these next four years.

*Photo Credit: image from Instagram from notes left in the New York City subway to inspire hope. 

 

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Create

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Hello, dear readers! Wow, I can’t believe it has been so long since I last posted. I know I’ve promised you again and again that I would be better at this whole blogging thing. Truth is, there just aren’t enough hours in the day. My promise to you is this… when I have something exciting to share, I will do so here. Deal?

Now onto some exciting stuff… The Atelier Workshop, which I had the pleasure of attending in NYC earlier this fall.  I first learned of it through the Instagram feed of Joann Pai of Slice of Pai. I discovered her feed while doing my research for our spring trip to Paris and instantly fell in love with her aesthetic {and her passport stamps}. After confirming I was free the first weekend of October, I signed up and counted down the minutes till the class. I was a little nervous as I’ve never taken a photography class in my life. But, my  little sis’ let me borrow her ‘fancy’ camera so I wouldn’t be the only one in the class with my trusty iPhone 6.

Although there were a few changes to our itinerary, I just had a feeling that this workshop was going to be everything. And I am pleased to say, IT WAS! The other teachers were Gabriel Cabrera, food stylist guru from Vancouver and Jodi Moreno, natural food chef and blogger at What’s Cooking Good Looking. Here they are… the best teachers ever!

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The workshop kicked off at Jodi’s apartment in the Village on Saturday morning. I, of course, was the first to arrive as I was a little nervous, but instantly felt at home when I walked through her door. Of course the breakfast spread was to-die for and her home, beautiful. There were seven additional students, who traveled much farther than Boston {San Francisco + Oklahoma} and they could not have been sweeter.

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The first day we talked quite a bit about light and composition. Two key factors to taking the perfect photo. After an amazing lunch by Jodi, we ventured to the Union Square Farmers Market, where our assignment was to pick some products that inspired us. My partner and I decided on the beautiful radishes and decided to make the traditional french bite of radishes, butter, bread and some sea salt. With a little style direction from Gabriel, I was quite pleased with the finished product.

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Our Sunday session was held at an amazing studio on the Lower West Side/Chinatown. The white walls, white brick, it was a dream. The morning focused on creating your own style. Gabriel and Joann both shared their personal styles and how they developed them over time. Their suggestion – start gathering images that you like and create your brand/vision. I’ll share my inspiration book with you shortly.

Next, it was all about styling a pie. With a few tips on using the ‘fancy’ camera, I was shocked by the difference in quality. Just take a look at the two images below. One taken with my iPhone and one with my sis’ camera.

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Clearly a new ‘fancy’ camera is on my Christmas list.

Here are a few more snaps from the workshop. I hope you like them!

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Not bad for a newbie, right? I can’t wait to see how my skills unfold and all that I’m able to create. Thanks for being part of my journey!

Book Club

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There are stories that will forever remain in your heart. This one, by Paul Kalanithi, is one of those. Imagine being on the cusp of your dream job. Years of school and training and residency. The finish line so close. And then, to be diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. It was through this unfortunate turn of events in which this memoir was born. Take the time and read this moving story. Discover for yourself what makes a virtuous and meaningful life. Time, as Paul shares with us, is fleeting. No amount of schooling or training or praying can change that.

“There is a moment, a cusp, when the sum of gathered experience is worn down by the details of living. We are never so wise as when we live in this moment.”

 

Jubilee

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The Cherry Bombe Jubilee was certainly the bomb! A full day surrounded by incredible women in a beautiful space talking about my favorite thing{s}. A special thank you to Farm & Fable for inviting me to tag along.

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I mean, look at this place. The High Line Hotel. A former Theological Seminary, apple orchard and cathedral all located on the west side of New York City on 10th Avenue. The Gothic brick reminded me of my days at Mount Holyoke. And while we weren’t able to secure a room for the night, I certainly know where I’ll be staying on my next jaunt to NYC.

The event itself began at 10:30 am with a kick-off by two of my favorite Brits Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley: sisters, home cooks, food lovers, health advocates and authors. Their newest cookbook Good + Simple was released in the states on Tuesday. Their fist is one of my favorites. I highly recommend it.

The sisters are full of energy and were the perfect start to the day. They shared their Top 10 list for creating a Good + Simple life:

  1. Follow your bliss.
  2. Dream and dream big.
  3. Grow slow and be ok with saying no.
  4. Get with your gut. Follow your intuition.
  5. Meditate.
  6. Detox your life.
  7. Fight for what you know is right. Love always gets you to where you want to go.
  8. Sleep more.
  9. Work with people greater than you.
  10. Make soup!

Don’t you agree this is a terrific list?!

The day continued with panel discussions on a wide range of topics, from how to be a boss, to farming, to the next wave of chefs in NYC. There were two incredible talks, one by Kat Kinsman on Feeding the Beast {a discussion on mental health issues in the restaurant industry} and one by Mimi Sheraton, the first female food critic for the New York Times discussing how it once was to be a woman in the restaurant business.

I was excited to learn of a late addition to the roster. Padma Lakshmi confirmed last week to do a reading from her new memoir, which I’m almost done with. A full Bo0k Club review will be on the site next week, I promise.

Jubilee concluded on a high note with the one and only Martha Stewart. Her greatest piece of advice “it’s hard to have it all but it’s very important to have as much of it as you can.” She talked about regrets of not having more children, her need to always drive in the front seat and her trick for the perfect scrambled eggs. And that trick will only cost you $5,000. Can you guess what it is?

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As you can imagine, one of the many highlights of the Jubilee was the food itself. Lunch bowls by Dig Inn, snacks created by some incredible female makers {including Amy Chaplin, Anita’s Yogurt, Eric McKenna, Fourt & Twenty Blackbirds, Hot Bread Kitchen, and Yossy Arefi}.

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I can’t wait for #CBJubilee 2017!

Photo credits: Photos 1, 3 and 4 (Cherry Bombe)

 

 

Travel

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Hi there! Hope you’ve had a great week. We returned last night from Tulum and what a time we had. I can’t wait to share our trip in next week’s Tuesday Travel post.

I seem to have developed an airport ritual as of late. I print out my boarding pass {yes, I still like a paper copy}, get myself through the security line and hit up the closest Hudson News to pick up Conde Nast Traveler. I know, I know. I should get myself a subscription to save some cash. But the truth is, I fear it will get destroyed going through the post, as so many of my magazines do.

Anywho… this month’s Traveler includes an important message. The importance of travel in these uncertain times. Editor and Chief Pilar Guzman, gets personal in her beautiful Editor’s Letter and over twenty global influencers share theirs in a thought provoking piece, featuring an inspiring essay by author Elizabeth Gilbert, who recounts her time in a tiny fishing island in the middle of Indonesia. As she says, “you’ll be amazed by what the world gives back to you.”

After last fall’s Paris attacks, we questioned canceling our upcoming trip in May. And ultimately we decided that the risk is worth the reward. Growing up on a small island thirty miles out to sea, I was anxious early on in my life to travel. But after my divorce, I decided to throw fear to the wind and open up my eyes {and heart} to the world. For me, travel taught me to love again. And that is why I believe it’s so important to continue to travel whether it be across state lines or to the most remote far away island. Each journey will fill you with so much love. You’ll never be the same again.

Here are a few of my favorites reasons cited in the article:

“Traveling enables us to see the world through the eyes of someone else, and to undestand their aspirations and assumptions. It’s about empathy, which is not only important to the work of our diplomats but to all of us as we seek to understand different cultures as well as our own.” Secretary of State John Kerry

“To understand what’s going on in the world, you have to see the world.” Aerin Lauder

“Travel unlocks a world of flavor.” Chef Marcus Samuelson

 

 

Post

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Hi. My name is Maybeth. And I’m a paperholic. A few weeks back, I shared my commitment to the Write On Campaign and my intention to write 30 letters in April in honor of National Letterwriting Month. And while my donation earned me 10 beautiful cards, I had to find some additional resources. And that’s when I uncovered POST by Katie Leamon.

You all know about Birtchbox, right? Essentially POST is the same thing but with paper goods. Each month, subscribers receive a package of beautiful paper goods, hand selected by the team at Katie Leamon. And if you aren’t familiar with Katie Leamon, let me tell you, you should be. The brand launched 5 years ago, is based in London, and is a reflection of Katie’s love of typography, stationery and vintage curiosities. Just look at the products below… perfection! Katie’s goal with POST was simple: to reintroduce the magic of a hand written letter and evoke the the joy in receiving a surprise parcel in the post, which can then be shared as you pass on the pleasure of the hand written word.

March is the first month that POST will be shipping to the US. I am anxiously awaiting my first package. And remember, if you want to receive a letter from me in April, please leave a comment below.

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Image Credits: POST by Katie Leamon

The End

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Happy Monday, dear readers. Hope you had a lovely weekend. Did you watch last night’s final episode of Downton Abbey? Don’t you agree it was the best series ending ever. I was in tears from start to finish. To help me deal with my grief {I’m not sure my Sunday’s will ever be the same}, I wanted to collect my favorite quotes from this amazing series in one place.

“You’re a woman with a brain and reasonable ability. Stop whining and find something to do.” 

“Forgive, perhaps. Forget, never.”

“We’re sisters. And sisters have secrets.”

“The business of life is the acquisition of memories. In the end, that’s all there is.”

“I should hate to be predictable.”

“My dear. A lack of compassion can be as vulgar as an excess of tears.”

“We all have chapters we would rather keep unpublished.”

“Vulgarity is not substitute for wit.”

“I’m not a romantic, but even I concede that the heart does not exist solely for the purpose of pumping blood.”

“In the end, happiness is a matter of choice.”

And my favorite…

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Image credit: Vogue and Pinterest

Choice

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“The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.” Words by Albert Einstein.

I believe in the people of this country. I believe that we want to live in a world where we accept all people. We listen to all people and we all want each other to succeed. I also believe that we need to help our brothers and sisters who are less fortunate. Together we can make a difference. Please have your voice be heard today. Believe that change can take place. And remember “the ones that are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones that do.”

Movie Monday

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Happy Monday, sweet readers! What did you do this weekend? We spent ours in the Constitution State visiting dear friends and attending a film festival that blew me away. Have you heard of the Banff ? If not, no worries. I hadn’t till last week.

The Banff Film Festival takes place each fall and features films exploring ground-breaking expeditions and journeys told by filmmakers from around the globe. The World Tour begins days after the Festival and sets out to bring films to fans in over 40 countries. We attended the World Tour stop in Hartford, Connecticut at the Belding Theater. The night was made up of six short films including: 55 Hours in Mexico, Climbing Ice: The Iceland Trifecta, Operation Moffat, Pretty Faces, Unbranded, and Salween Spring. My two favorites included Climbing Ice and Unbranded, which is now available on Netflix. Interested in seeing a film in your state, check out their tour dates here.