*NEW YEAR — Looking Forward — Being Present*


Happy New Year, Ladies & Gents! — Excited to begin one? — Get dressed already!

Time is relative, as Einstein proved, so what makes the year new? What has changed other than the calendar? It has always struck me as strange that a new year begins in the midst of winter, (or summer - on the other side of the globe). I don’t know how or why this was decided, but would it not make more sense to begin a new year with a new season, say, spring? (New life beginning, etc.) Or maybe autumn. (Season of harvest) Why January? — Anyway, let us make the best of it!  Let us look forward, but also be present — harder than it sounds. What are you looking forward to? Are you able, in your day to day, to be present? Are you an optimist?  Thoughts...?

Let’s talk about that and more... I’m trying to keep it brief, after all it’s a new year and there’s much to do…! BTW, we’ve got some wonderful new pieces in store for you for this year, and it’s important to have things to look forward to. It is equally, if not more, important to be present in your life. (This can be a relosution if you like.) Presence inspires peace-joy-growth-appreciation. A resolution, as far as I'm concerend, is knowing there's room for improvement and taking steps (small or big) toward desired improvements, throughout the year. We may resolve to improve areas in our life that will serve us better or create more joy... The future is a mystery — The present is a gift. So, let’s do it already.

“What is optimism? It’s a state of hopefulness and confidence about the future. It's also a state we can train ourselves to adopt. We can resist pessimism, assert control and learn to appreciate setbacks as what they really are - opportunities.” — Bill Murphy Jr. (More on this topic below)


Also, let’s break the rules, do things our way, when and where we can. Even fashion is heralding that call… I just hope it also means the end of the outdated ‘trend’ — fingers crossed.

“BE YOURSELF! — Fashion’s New Freedom” — declares Vogue. Apparently, it is the Time of the Individual. (You may recall, I covered this some months back.) No longer will we be dictated to by fashion rules — there are no rules, anything goes, and we can wear whatever we want, according to the 2016 runways, etc. (we've kind of felt that already, but there's always room for improvement). I think the sentiment has been been this way for quite some time, perhaps the fashion world is playing catch up. And as hard as the fashion-machine tries to pin down those ‘trending’ things, it may finally be futile, I hope. (Meanwhile, designers showed ‘Pre-Fall’ 2016 collections, because fall-winter is no longer enough? WTH is pre-fall about? I’ve been asking…but I digress…) The message: Go ahead, have no fear, let your fabulous personal style shine! Forget trends — trust your gut* (And feel free to ask us for advice)


*Get Dressed (up, that is). I've been feeling that perhaps we CAN stop waiting for special occasions in order to get dressed-up. (Resolve to improve, perhaps? -- I know I will certainly try, as my own, often lazy, attire has room for improvement.) Don’t let that beautiful thing, (dress or whatever) linger sadly in your closet…waiting for the ‘right time’…which may or may not come. Have something made because it’s beautiful, wonderful, will look fabulous on you, and make you feel good — for no occasion at all, but simply because life itself is enough — then wear it to wherever you like…seriously! Like, to a friends house, out to lunch or dinner, maybe to work, to a movie, to you parents house, the grocery store, while having people over, etc. Life is one big occasion, it is up to us to make it as special as we can, no? And I bet your winter wardrobe could use some cheer! — Add something lux to the mix, (that’ll take you into spring, maybe). Something silk, a pop of color, a little beading, whatever floats your boat.

“An excuse to get dressed up that is not mutually exclusive with doing something that requires you to get dressed up. This is the important one — and I don’t know if this is the case for you, but often times I will quite frankly make plans just to have an occasion to wear a new dress, or head band, or robe.” — Leandra Medine (Amen sister!)


*NewYear-NewDress — this style is great for its seasonless & timeless good looks — it’s sexy & sweet — meets occasion & non occasion criteria* In other words, a perfect starter. However, feel free to explore & pick out your one perfect starter, if this dress is not your style. High-Neck-Sheath with Quilty-Obi-Belt


More behind the scenes ‘sneak-peeks’ of collection 2016*
   (Made-to-Order and available starting February)

 Now…WHAT ARE YOU WEARING? — I’m doing this so that you will join the convo and share your own photos, (and thoughts). I hate posting pics of myself, but I’m hoping to inspire you a little. As you can see, I’ve even gotten some wonderful friends to join in on the fun — hope you will too.

Pics of New Years Eve & Day 2015-16


1. Stefanie, (in New Zealand) in her new (kaj.ani) silk keyhole dress with beaded obi — getting ready for NYE w/her beau.


4. Billy, (NYE) hamming it up w/Nicole’s fur and vintage beaded purse ;-)

2. Me, (NYE w/friends) in metallic silk (kaj,ani) swing dress & vintage tattered cardi, vintage earrings, Clergerie boots.

5. Me, homebound (NYD) in my button-up collar peplum cardi-sweater.


3. Nicole, (NYE) is her fab 70’s glam ensemble of fur, sequins, and Givenchy boots.

How to be Optimistic in 2016 — by Brad Hoppmann

Optimism may come more naturally to some than it does to others. But no matter what your level of optimism, I think you can boost it with a few simple action steps to focus your thinking ... and to appreciate the universal uniqueness that we're fortunate to share. Here are my thoughts on how to be optimistic in 2016.

1. Practice conquering difficult obstacles.  When you're learning to play a musical instrument (or any skill), you can't just keep playing the chords and notes you already know. That's not going to push you to improve. To get better, you have to constantly challenge yourself to play new, more difficult pieces. It's the same with anything in life. When you practice conquering difficult obstacles, you become a conqueror.

2. Have a productive purpose. A productive purpose is one of the most important ingredients in cultivating optimism. A productive purpose — such as a career goal, an investing goal, operating a successful business or just making the most out of your golden years by taking care of the things that matter to you most — is a requirement for a rational life. This is the proverbial "reason to get up in the morning" that's so often cited as a key to happiness. Having a productive purpose means you're navigating the world on a path that you've created, and that gives your life meaning. As you might expect, the possibilities here are endless in terms of the particulars. But the common denominator is that having a productive purpose allows you to focus on your goals. Achieving those goals is what boosts your sense of optimism.

3. Treat yourself right. A big component of optimism is having confidence in yourself and your abilities. Yet many of us fail to treat ourselves in a manner that supports this confidence. Whether it's physical, emotional or spiritual neglect, a failure to make sure you are treating yourself right can seriously sabotage your ability to conquer obstacles and achieve your productive purpose. Practically speaking, this means eating right ... not overindulging in bad habits ... exercising ... reading uplifting literature ... spending time with people who support you ... and engaging others who share common goals. Here again, the particulars of how you treat yourself right are endless. But the common principle is that you must cherish your own value. A failure to do this will undermine the next key to optimism on my list.

4. Help others. Before you can do things for others, you must first be the kind of person who can get things done. This means you have to treat yourself right. An empowered you will have the energy, creativity and self-confidence to do the thing that makes us all feel optimistic about society. That is, to help others. I can't think of anything that gives me more pleasure than helping others. Whether it's helping you with investment ideas via one of our daily newsletters ... or whether it's giving you fuel for thought on subjects such as happiness, nutrition or any of the myriad topics we write about ... doing my part to make the world a better place makes me feel more optimistic than ever. If you want to really feel optimistic, take action to help others.

5. Realize how lucky you are. If you really want to be optimistic about the year to come, and throughout your entire life, gratitude goes a long way. First off, you're alive. You're a congregation of atoms configured in such a remarkable way that you are self-aware. You can speak, read, think abstract thoughts, experience intense emotions and plan for the future. You are aware of both the enormous expanse of the universe, and the fact that you are here for the ride. These realizations alone should make you realize how lucky, how unique and how privileged you really are in the cosmic sense. Moreover, knowing that you possess a sense of agency ... and knowing you have the ability to alter your life and lives around you ... should reinforce your sense of gratitude, and bolster your sense of optimism.

You may attribute the luck of your being to natural processes, divine intervention or a combination of both. However you look at it, the fact is that you are here, you know it, and it's up to you to make the most of it.  Here's to an optimistic year to come.

Any other thoughts…? Go on, tell us...