May 18, 2023
Amsterdam—In Full Bloom—Artful & Majestic
When I visited the Netherlands, the legendary tulips were in bloom and full of majestic, artful color. At Keukenhof—one of the most beautiful garden parks in the world—you’ll discover and admire many statues made by Deutsch and international artists. The sights and sounds of the flowering park are stunning; magnificent art and sculptures appeared at every turn.
Upon arriving into Amsterdam, consider settling in with an hour-long wooden boat cruise along the iconic canals; float by the centuries-old townhomes and historic landmarks. Or rent a bicycle and peddle your way along the cobblestone lanes taking in more sights, and stop at one of many cafés for a delicious Pannenkoeken. After breakfast meander along the cobblestone lanes to the center of Amsterdam for more Dutch history at the Royal Palace; originally built, not as a palace, but as Amsterdam’s town hall. The marble sculptures were a favorite to see as were the paintings by many of Rembrandt’s students, Govert Flinck and Ferdinand Bol. Do save an afternoon to spend among the architectural gem the Eye Film Museum IJ harbour; with which it is connected to the North Sea and is the fourth busiest port in the world. Plan your trip between late March and early May to experience in full bloom.
ART & CULTURE ///
Eye Film Museum
This architectural gem is located on Amsterdam’s IJ harbour. An absolute must-see for anyone who is interested in film and film culture, with more than 54,000 films from all genres. Plan four hours or more—much to experience.
The most beautiful garden in the world—7 million spring-flowering bulbs. In addition to the gardens, the Keukenhof is also the largest statue garden of the Netherlands. You’ll discover and admire many statues made by national and international artists—Keukenhof is currently collaborating with twenty-fine artists. The sights and sounds of a flowering park and visual art is stunning. Plan your visit between late March and early May to experience the legendary tulips in full bloom.
Royal Palace Amsterdam
In the middle of the capital stands the Royal Palace Amsterdam. Originally built, not as a palace, but as Amsterdam’s town hall. Architect Jan van Campen designed a building which would reflect the power and wealth of Amsterdam in the 17th century. In the heart of the building, the grandeur of the Golden Age is still alive in the Citizen’s Hall and marble galleries. Sculptures and paintings by several famous artists—such as Rembrandt’s students, Govert Flinck and Ferdinand Bol.
DEVOR & SAVOR ///
These delicious Dutch pancakes are flat, savory, and fill the plate. A Pannenkoeken is often topped with cured meat or smoked salmon, powdered sugar, and drizzled with Stroop, a thick caramel-like syrup. Best enjoyed with coffee; then a long stroll around Amsterdam’s Royal Palace or the Eye Film Museum to walk off the deliciousness.
March: 36°F to 49°F
April: 40°F to 56°F
May: 47°F to 63°F
January 7, 2023
Lifestyle Influences Your Petstyle
First shared in Petcetra magazine, Summer 2018
I’ve always been a dog and cat lover. At age five, dad brought home an Old English Sheepdog puppy, which I named Buffy. Later, we had two black Labrador Retrievers. Like most children, I asked for a kitten (along with the reoccurring request for a pony). My parents’ remedy was I should have the most purr-fect grey kitty repeat pattern bedding complete with matching sheets, pillows, and curtains. At age eleven, I learned we were dog people who appreciate cats.
In my twenties, my first rescue cat, Spencer found me—we quickly bonded. Happily greeting me anytime I arrived home—never tapping his paw or looking at his cat watch. He did not the mind my long work hours or week-long trips to NYC and CA. We had our routine—he slept in the sun, followed by all the love and attention he needed. The same routine applied with another rescue, Bailey, with whom I shared sixteen years of endless fur love.
Since Bailey’s passing, I’ve been wondering if I’m ready for a puppy or another kitty. So, I offered to pet-sit my Mom’s dog during her twelve-day vacation. Maggie, my fur-sister, a 75 pound Labradoodle arrives with all her gear and a detailed schedule. Sheesh Mom… I need all this stuff?
The first few hours are easy we settle into our routine. I work at home though Maggie doesn’t quite get the concept of conference calls and wanted to be a part of the conversation. I make her stay on her blanket in the living room and continue the call. After the call, I think wow this is going well…she’s so quiet. I peak around the corner to find her on the sofa on her back, paws up in the air—ever so comfy. I wake her and make her return to the blanket.
Our first day ends with a walk, a treat, and a snuggle on her blanket next to my bed. I settled in, turned off the light and was immediately pounced upon, her head onto my pillow wanting to sleep in my bed. Nope! On to the floor…on your blanket! This is a problem because she always sleeps with Mom. I’m so tired that I consider letting her, but I just cannot, I’m not a pet-in-the-bed person.
Morning arrived with several inches of snow. I dress putting on my parka, snow boots, hat and gloves, way earlier than normal. We go into the snow, doing our doggie business, returning to the house with snow caked paws. Maggie looks patiently at me with her huge puppy-like brown eyes. I look at her with groggy eyes asking for her next paw gently removing the caked snow and carefully drying each paw, thinking…okay, okay we can do this, just eleven more mornings before mom returns.
Now I know that I am most definitely a cat person who appreciates an occasional dog visit.
Since writing this short story for Petcetra, I adopted a tabby with mackerel markings in late fall of 2019. London adores lounging upon fur throws and afternoon perches high atop the curio cabinet. He is also quite vocal on conference calls and full of mischief. His monkey-like mischief has caused me to forego a once favorite tradition of decorating my Christmas tree full of gilded glass ornaments. Despite his mischief, he has been a time-saving influencer in disguise. I thought I’d miss this decorating tradition, although after designing and styling for clients during an already busy time of year— I can now come home and relax in my living room with a cup of coffee in hand and admire my nouveau Christmas tree composed of three apothecary jars (that go right back in storage “as is” in minutes). I’d say I’m winning and thankful for my lifestyle influencer—here to stay till death do us part mischief-maker.
May 31, 2022
Candles are Living Lights | Home Fragrance
Add ambiance and elevate your décor by displaying candles in monochromatic groupings in varying heights and diameters of three or more to create a candlescape. I adore styling with over-sized unscented cathedral candles (the taller the better), unscented candles housed within glass hurricanes, and unscented clear glass votives sprinkled throughout a room will turn a dinner party into an event within minutes.
It’s patio season so why not, take your next outdoor garden party up a notch with thirty or more candles for a dramatic effect. Light a pathway with hurricanes or greet your guest with a birdbath filled with votive candles. Dine alfresco with friends or get romantic with the one you love under the moon with a candle lit seaside picnic—the possibilities are endless.
While unscented candles are my go-to for creating candlescapes at home—I prefer to choose a home fragrance that is all-enveloping—I want the scent to impart a pleasant smell, evoke a feeling, and complement the room and the time of the day in which the candle will be aglow. I like scents that remind me of places I’ve been, trips I’ve taken— places and gardens I’ve explored. When selecting fragrances for clients I will often ask about their memories of favorite destinations and scents they find appealing to explore and suggest for their signature home fragrance scent(s). I will often suggest one for day and one for night—and room by room we just might choose a different scent to capture a particular mood. I always curate a selection specifically to their needs and function with a distinct point of view.
I’m currently loving home fragrance ceramic vessels from Fornasetti and Gucci, and single-wick filled candles from Jo Malone (Pomegranate Noir is warm and inviting), Diptyque (Tubéreuse is always lovely), Tom Ford and Christian Dior. Personally, I have my eye and nose fixed upon Jardin d’orangers by Christian Dior and a Gucci Black Herbarium candle for my next purchase.
Enjoy the living lights and finding your favorite home fragrance. Need help? Just ask.
October 5, 2021
BREaD Bakery + Café
2021 welcomed the newest addition to the North Market Bridge Park, Dublin, Ohio with BREaD Bakery + Café. I was honored to work in collaboration with William Hodges Hendrix of Hendrix Studio and Bass Studio Architects on this project to help Kim Hendrix of Fromagerie bring this brick & mortar concept to life.
Do find time to visit Kim and her team—the French baguettes and croissants are my absolute personal favorites.
February 11, 2020
It was a pleasure to work in tandem with the Vantage Point Logistics (VPL) Leadership Team, Dupler Office, and Mode Architects to help define and articulate VPL’s brand, culture, look and feel in this spacious office environment for their growing team.
Read the metropreneur article here: