Thursday, May 30, 2013

Lean In

I recently read the book of the Facebook COO, Cheryl Sandberg. The book is called Lean In, with the subheading "Women, Work, and the Will to Lead". It has been widely discussed in the media, with some of the comments encouraging, and others less so.

I personally would like to recommend this book to any woman who is serious about having a career. I wish that men would read it too. This book goes deep in the discussion of why women have not made greater advances to garner more leadership positions in business, politics, academia, etc. It is not a popular topic, and I applaud Cheryl for speaking about this issue.

As a woman working in the financial industry, I have been the only woman in many conference room meetings. Just last week I was in a meeting with ten guys and myself. It has got better through the years, but not good enough. I have not encountered blatant sexism, or sexual harassment, but the hidden gender bias is there, and Cheryl's book really explains that very well.

I am truly an anomaly in my field, being a working mother of three. It is so much harder for a woman than a man to be a working parent, even though I have a partner who really supports me and is just as hands-on parent as I am, if not more at times, when needed. I don't discuss my kids much at work so as not to be labeled as the "mommy type". Of course I do respond if people ask how my girls are doing, but I don't bring them up myself. This is very different for men, who get points for discussing their kids, not second-guessing about their ability to do their jobs.

Cheryl's book also discusses the "ambition gap", or women not seeking out leadership positions as eagerly as men. There are many reasons for this, but the family issue is one of the biggest obstacles, as many women feel that they cannot handle the pressures and long hours of a high profile job, in addition to being there for their families. I definitely recognize this personally as one of the biggest issues holding me back. I have put off looking for better positions because I felt that I was already stretched to the limit with the amount of work and responsibility. I don't see this changing anytime soon, as long as I have small children, but I have accepted that this is where my career now is, and made peace with the fact that it's a bit stagnant. Maybe at some point in the future I can put more of my energy and focus in advancing my career and finding more challenging and rewarding positions.

In any case, the book is very well written, very well researched and the personal anecdotes make it more interesting. This is an important topic as the woman's dollar is still only 78 cents. There are ways to go to equality, and this book takes a step forward and forces recognition and discussion of the issue.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


I celebrated Memorial Day throwing a back yard barbecue party for the best company consisting of family and friends (27 guests all in all).  The weather co-operated with lots of sun shine and hubby and I didn't even have our usual pre-party nervous breakdown... Everyone had a good time, and nobody broke any body parts on the trampoline, the hammock or the swing. I was so busy entertaining and having fun that I did not have time to take any pics. This one is via courtesy of my lovely ex Au pair, now friend, and mother of this young little heart breaker... 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Happy Memorial Day

Here's to the start of the summer and the barbecue season. Yesterday we were at a friend's party in this gorgeous scenery and today we are hosting our own party. I fit right in at yesterday's crowd with my maxi dress, cardigan and flip flops (it was the unofficial dress code for the ladies). Today is probably a ripped boyfriend jeans kind of day...

Sunday, May 26, 2013


These tulips were blooming in Old Westbury Gardens when we visited a couple of weeks ago. I have some tulips in my front yard too, but they are nothing like these amazing huge flowers in so many different shapes and sizes, with colors so vivid and deep. This certainly gives some inspiration to plant more tulip bulbs this fall...  

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Favorite Places - Old Westbury Gardens

One or my favorite places in Long Island is the Old Westbury Gardens. The site includes the grand old Gold Coast era mansion of the Phipps family, which made its fortune with the Carnegie steel company, and the amazing gardens. The house is maintained as a museum with original furnishings, but my favorite part of the place is the grounds including the formal gardens. The gardens are beautiful any time of the year, with a different charm each season. During spring, summer and fall there are various flowers taking turns blooming. On our visit a couple of weeks ago this May there were still some daffodils, gorgeous tulips, lush lilacs, and lots of other pretty flowers. Luckily my daughters love to go there as well and proudly show our guests around, almost like they own the place...

You're not supposed to take photos inside the house, but I sneaked this one. I love the portrait of this lovely young Phipps family lady. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Friday Outfit

 Print, denim, silver necklace, cork wedges, and a white LV. That's what a rainy Friday outfit is made of. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

First Picnic of 2013

My daughters love to go to picnic and I love to take them. And we live in an area that is full of gorgeous places for picnics. Our first picnic this year took place early May, or maybe it was late April, on a sunny but windy day. Or at least it was sunny until we got to our picnic park. It was so windy that my little one got frustrated, and sat underneath our picnic table to eat her strawberries and crackers with hummus... Eventually it got so windy we had to cut the picnic short and go home. But before that the girls had lots of fun blowing some bubbles and running around the field like young fillies enjoying the freedom of the spring.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Recent Instagram Snapshot

Last few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity. So happy it's Memorial Day on Monday which means an extra day off. Maybe I'll get to catch my breath a bit! Here are random pics of the last couple weeks. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Cool Eyes

I am not big on product endorsements, as what works for one person may not work for someone else, but this Bakel Cool Eyes stuff is so amazing that I can't help but gush about it. A bit expensive, and not easily available (at least in the US I have only found it via but well worth it. It does what it promises. Erases puffiness and purpliness in an instant. A heaven-sent for a busy, sleep deprived and stressed out 40-year old!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Today's affirmation

You may not choose all the events that happen to you, but you may choose not to be reduced by them. 
                           By Maya Angelou

Monday, May 13, 2013


Today's print at the office is paisley, paired with black pants and a white ruffle front shirt.

I hope I get a chance to upload some recent pics soon. Been having a lovely time enjoying the best kind of guests from Finland and doing all kinds of fun things with them. It's just been so busy that there has been no time for blogging..but I am not complaining, the time will come when I have nothing to do but look at the photos and reminisce...and then I'll blog about it and post some pics here on my "diary".

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Mixing Patterns #2

Flowers and stripes for the office. Serious enough business outfit, and body language too. I'm all about getting things done and crossing things off my list today!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

My Saturday Night

I went for a dinner with a pair of friends from my old home town where I grew up. It's always interesting to see old friends because even though life has taken you apart, and we are living quite different lives these days, and may not know the daily details of each other's lives, we still know each other on a very intimate level. Where you come from, who your family is, how you looked as an awkward teenager, who was your crush in high school, etc..

I guess there is some truth to the saying that people don't really change. I mean of course we have matured and our life experiences have shaped us, but to some extent we are still those same high school girls who used to party together, and created life long memories.

So anyway, I drove into the City on a Saturday night, which I would only do for some VIPs (the traffic is a nightmare!) (and don't even mention trying to find parking!) and took my girls to SushiSamba. It features sushi (obviously) and Brazilian food, which happens to be a big favorite. I had the Moqueca, a Brazilian seafood stew with coconut milk..yummmyyyy...and filling! Unfortunately I did not take a picture of our entrees (my friends had some wonderful sushi rolls), but just snapped photos of my friends' desserts (I was too full to indulge). Gelato with a rice dough crust, and whiskey / chocolate / mousse with vanilla cream.

I wore a brand spanking new outfit too..."statement" pants and a comfy but colorful coral top from Anthropologie, found there earlier on the day (I can't go into the store without buying something!). Dr. Scholl sandals, and LV bag finished off the ensemble. I think I will get lots of use out of these pants this summer!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

My Saturday Morning

I love my neighborhood and am so happy with myself when I get myself out the door for a little walk/jog. I have learned that if I don't go first thing in the morning there's a huge chance it won't happen. The day and all its activities just takes over. But when I go it gives me energy for the whole day! I don't kill myself, obviously, I am not the most athletic type, but I try to get a bit warm and think of these little outings as more of stress busters and relaxation...

Friday, May 3, 2013

Mixing Patterns

About a year ago I got this plaid Burberry jacket for Mother's Day, now I'm pairing it with my H&M spotty pants... I like the combination - the neutral tones keep it low key enough for me.