A very smart lady once advised: "surround yourself with what you love." As one who has always been drawn to design and beauty, doing so came naturally to me, but so did guilt for I am also inherently concerned with the wellbeing of mankind and social inequality, concepts which were further underscored in my family growing up, where I was taught to not want. For years I grappled with the conflicting notions of gratitude and shame with regard to life's bounty. Always a late bloomer, I have let go of that guilt a little in favor of embracing the very things I love: flowers, architecture, decor, cuisine, travel, fashion, a good book, and of course, my family and friends. I am still concerned about human suffering and social injustice but I don't let it consume me or my children for I have discovered that when we experience joy, there is more to share with others and that happiness keeps on giving.
Speaking of beauty, my new city has a lot of it: the Palace of Fine Arts, the Japanese tea garden, Lombard Street (almost every street really) and in my neck of the woods, Fillmore Street with uber-chic boutiques and delectable eateries. Elizabeth Charles is hands down my favorite shop with an ever changing window display which is always chock full of eye candy. Today I delivered a few new pieces from my minimalist diamond collection and was romanced by the fabulous assemblage of reds just in time for Valentine's Day. Ms. Charles's website also sports a new face from time to time, and lately the home page is logo-clad including Designs by Alina:
Catch me Ralph, I'm swooning!