• Warm & Toasty!

    New York City…it’s getting colder as Christmas approaches and I re-birthed an old favorite of mine! Years ago, I started “Full Needle”…a collection of colorful luxury hand knit cashmere booties!

    They were an instant hit and I counted Oprah amongst one of the many devotees of these perfect cozy booties to snuggle by the fire in! I had knitters making hundreds for Oprah to send to her celebrity friends!

    When another friend opened a cool store in Springfield, Missouri named Shipley and Salvage, a lightbulb went off and I thought it was a perfect opportunity to relaunch Full Needle just in time for the holidays!

    These booties remind me of my childhood and were inspired by the acrylic ones my mother used to hand knit for me as a kid! Now they have matured into true luxury in thick sumptuous cashmere!

    Get a pair, you’ll be hooked!

    Shipley and Salvage
    2005 C East Kearney Street
    Springfield Missouri

    ***you can always order by phone: 417 569 6968

    Get cozy this winter!!


  • SIMply Fantastic!

    New York City, NY…I AM HOME!

    After 4 1/2 months I have returned to New York post Hurricane “Sandy”…luckily all at my apartment in Chelsea is ok! My roof deck garden didn’t fare as well, but it’s far from a disaster!

    I departed on this journey June 26 and covered 25 countries:
    Czech Republic
    United Kingdom
    South Africa
    New Caledonia

    One of my saving graces and best investments was my unlocked IPhone I picked up in Hong Kong used! This unlocked phone allowed me to buy prepaid SIM cards in each country so I could always be connected and utilize lifesaving travel apps and tools like GPS as I walked around unknown cities! Doing this also saved me thousands of dollars in roaming charges that Verizon or AT&T charge travelers!

    Jet lag has taken hold, but I still adjusting to being back home…Where to next??


  • A Walk that Matters!

    At Sea…today was a very special day as we sailed towards Australia!

    Holland America Line hosts “On Deck for the Cure” ….a 5K walk around the ship’s deck that raises money for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation! The cruise line has been doing this event on every sailing for the past 5 years, raising over 3 million dollars to date! For every $15 collected, $11.25 goes to finding a cure for breast cancer…

    For me, it was a must do! I walked this 5K in honor of a survivor…a very special one to me! My best friend, Shelly fought and won her battle against breast cancer several years ago! I can remember the call when she shared the news, my silence, and her brave painful struggle to fight her shocking diagnosis!

    I am so happy she will join me for the end of my 4 month journey…she has been an important part of my life and I am grateful to say she continues to be…but others are less fortunate! This walk is for you, Shelly, and of course the countless others that continue to fight this debilitating disease!

    The walk was 11 laps around the ship and we had 5 survivors walking with us! It was emotional to see everyone dressed in their white tees and pink wristbands come together to walk against a disease that affects someone we all know! As the laps got less and less, the group finished proud of our collective accomplishment and we were treated to a lot of cheering and delicious pink lemonade!

    October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month…I am glad I could do my tiny part to honor that and my best friend and survivor!








  • Thoughts on Legacy!

    At Sea…during this long voyage, Holland America has tried to up the ante on entertainment; Lorna Luft and The Drifters have been headliners. These entertainers are not of my era and I was not particularly drawn to either of them.

    Surprisingly, I was struck by Lorna Luft’s personal insight. She is the daughter of Judy Garland and the sister to Liza Minnelli. She has written a best selling book, produced an Emmy award winning mini-series, and starred on Broadway. Yet it wasn’t her accolades that struck me, rather it was her candid conversation about “Legacy” and her difficulties in coming to terms with her own Legacy that has sorta hit me smack dab between the eyes!

    Legacy is a funny yet larger than life word, one I don’t use much in my own vocabulary. Ms. Luft discussed how she ran from being defined as the daughter of an American Icon and for years ignored the huge legacy that bestowed on her. Once she faced that daunting task, she needed to stop running and stake her own personal legacy, independent of the one of her birth! She said it’s not until people are in their 40’s that they begin to understand their parents and it’s then they really face their own issue of personal Legacy! Wow, how true!

    This trip in a way has been my own journey towards understanding my own Legacy! First by traveling to Poland to see where my father came from and then having serious “me-time” to come to terms with the reality of how far I have come…

    Now I look forward to where I am going; my passions, my talents, my observations, and my desires coming together to form the next step of my life. Getting away and wandering the world is getting me ready to start the course towards cementing MY OWN LEGACY!


  • Nautical Family History

    At Sea…when I was visiting my parents recently in Chicago, my mother was telling me stories about her 1954 immigration journey to the United States aboard the cruise ship Rotterdam.

    The rough seas, her sister’s sea sickness, and their eventual arrival in the then seedy port of Hoboken make for an interesting story. I think the bravery of leaving a familiar small home town and arriving in a big unknown country whose language you don’t speak as a young naive 20 year old is really awe inspiring!

    I walked down the hall of the ship I am sailing and realize the walls feature a photo documentary of the exact ship my mother sailed from that same era! The m/s Rotterdam is a historic vessel in the fleet of the sailing company that has grown over the years into the cruise-line, Holland America.



  • Sketching on the High Seas!

    At Sea…I am finding something much more valuable besides just plain relaxing. These several days as we make our way to the South Pacific are allowing me to reconnect with my own passions!

    As a fashion designer for a large label, I rarely had time to do one of the things I loved so much about the fashion business that I have been in for almost 25 years: drawing & sketching! There were illustrators or other staff to do that…I spent my days conceptualizing big ideas, working on colors, picking fabrics, monitoring the design flow, pitching ideas, fitting, and setting the direction. I love all those things as well, but the thing I have done since I was a kid was draw! It was that innate ability to draw that drove me to my career as a fashion designer! I have no idea why at the age of 5, I was able to lie for hours on the floor sketching, while other kids played games and such!

    I am grateful for my talent; it has been this talent that I have relied on my whole life to get by…winning art contests in grammar school, being the artsy kid in high school, and setting myself apart in fashion design school! Getting this uninterrupted time to just sit and doodle, sketch, illustrate, etc. has really reminded me of the gift I have been given! No pressure to create anything that will sell, no pressure to get accolades, and no pressure to impress my fashion peers…just me escaping to my own world of creativity to reconnect with my own self and my craft and skill!

    I love living in fast paced NYC, but being able to check out and get to be somewhere where no one can find me is a another part of this journey to reclaim myself!20121007-145423.jpg20121007-145437.jpg


  • Do What You Love!

    Ionian Sea…after setting sail from Italy, we had a lovely yet hot day at sea as we headed towards our first stop in Mykonos…a great way to start the cruise just lazying poolside all day and then dancing all night!

    The Atlantis team have arranged for some unique entertainment for us while on board. One of the first entertainers from England amazed me; his ability to morph into different voices and impersonations were very well done, but it was his utter love for what he did that struck me! He spoke of how he has been mesmerized by music and divas his whole life and knew singing was his calling since his mother bought him used albums when he was a child. He just seemed to live for it, his genuine appreciation for our applause was palpable! He spoke of his gratitude that at the age of 44 he is able to do what he loves for so many people.

    For some reason, his words and actions affected me; how this man created a one of a kind and compelling act all based on his passion! Because he loves it, he has succeeded in so many ways…he may not be a super star, but his unconventional act allows him to live his dream every day!

    He just kept soaking up the crowds adoration and performed his heart out…I walked out of the theatre realizing the power of doing what you love! I am lucky enough to live that life as well, but I realize I need to mold my passion to truly feed my talents to new levels of success!

    Listen, watch, and feel every moment and messages just come to you…my journey is still telling me so much!

  • Change of Plans!

    Experiences teach you lessons!

    I am a firm believer in being fluid and not over planning a trip. The worst is to feel “stuck” in a place you don’t like, a hotel you hate, or a setting that doesn’t interest you!

    I hit a snag in the road and needed to do an about face…I loved the hotel in Vienna, but I suffered miserably through a night of unbearable heat and I needed to make a change! And QUICK!

    I plotted out my entire trip and made sure to book hotels throughout, but I used booking.com which doesn’t make you pay upfront and I made all reservations that were fully cancelable…so in this instance, I was able to break free from the idea of 3 nights sweating it out! I got a great last minute deal on hotwire.com and made the switch. Ahhh!!! The comforts of air-conditioning!

    I double checked my upcoming hotel in Budapest, it too was un-airconditioned! So I quickly canceled and rebooked an amazing last minute flash sale on booking.com…

    Don’t let travel freak you out and definitely don’t allow yourself to become a victim to a booking mistake, we all make them, just be flexible!

  • Lessons learnt the hard way!

    I am so ready for a few days of chill beach time! I have learned this important trick the hard way when planning any trip…I always intersperse some chill time amongst all the sightseeing! I know people forget that a vacation is just that and they make this mistake and their trip becomes more like work than the fun it should be. I see tourists who are constantly on a treadmill of sightseeing all they can cram into the trip…DON’T DO IT!

    Oh and don’t overpack! I am guilty as charged! I am the worst and I am so sorry because I am lugging 2 roller bags up and down train station steps, along cobblestone streets, into small elevators, etc…I wanna look cute but I needed some serious editing! After years of doing this, my love of fashion always wins out over practicality and I bring all these outfits and shoes that I never wear…

    I have discovered those vacuum travel bags that allow you to roll out the excess air, sorta vacuum packing your clothes…they help alot with bulky items. You can buy them at the Container Store. I never travel without a power strip; there are never enough outlets in rooms and this allows you to use 1 adaptor in order to plug everything into.

    Luckily, Europe is very WiFi connected…but TURN OFF your roaming! It’s crazy expensive!! I travel with an unlocked IPhone and buy prepaid data micro sim cards in each country that allow me to call and stay connected! The ability to use google maps to get directions and navigate in new locales really comes in handy…

    Ok, time to drag these bags again…Sitges here I come!