A Mother and Her Child

Do you like how I made this big deal about starting to blog again and then barely blogged ever since? I've had good reason.

Our beloved english bulldog, Meatball, passed away unexpectedly in late August.
I've never given birth. I don't know what it's like to change diapers, stay up at all hours of the night soothing a crying baby, teaching them how to walk and speak their first words.

I do, however, know what it's like to be a mother. Meaty was my baby.

I know what it's like to feel love like a mom. The first time I laid eyes on Meaty I decided it was my purpose to take care of this little creature. To clean up slobber & bulldog vomit. To find little dog hairs in everything I own. Feed him better than we feed ourselves. To deal with it when he damn near singed my nose hairs with his farts. Shower him with toys, love and affection. There was absolutely nothing in this world I wouldn't do for him. No matter what I did in life, my adventures, opportunities & successes - nothing quite compared to seeing his handsome face when I got home and cuddling with the cuddlemaster himself.
Meatball was amazing. I know every owner says this about their pet but he seriously was the most handsome dog on planet Earth. He had facial expressions and personality like you wouldn't believe! And for a bulldog, he was so athletic - energetic and full of life.

Now I can say that I know the true depths of loss. Of pain. Of anguish. Of heartache. In my lowest moments I can't understand how life could possibly be so unfair. Why did you take my baby from me? Why?

Then I remember how much sheer joy, love and happiness Meaty brought into our lives - mine, my boyfriend's, our family and friends, even random people we'd see on the street during our walks. People would stop and take pictures with the little guy! I tell myself that these are the memories I need to hold on to. Not of losing him. He was the most incredible dog, pet, companion, friend, SON and he meant - means - the world to me. Like the craziest of hurricanes, he came into our lives and out with a bang, leaving behind pawprints in many people's hearts.

We started a PAWS fund in Meaty's name, and I now have his name tattooed on my left wrist - close to my heart and where I can see him all the time. I love you Meaty. Thank you so much for blessing us with your presence for a little while. You're my angel now. Keep heaven on their toes my crazy baby :)



The World Revolves Around Fashion: NYFW & Fashion's Night Out

Though I decided to stay home this Fashion Week, it's got a little spot on my mind. This blog post was originally posted for my firm, Banyan Branch. Enjoy!

Fashionistas from around the globe are convened in New York this week for the bi-annual Fashion Week, sponsored by Mercedes Benz. With each Fashion Week, style hunters are getting more access than ever before, both in New York (with the move from the tents at Bryant Park to the much more spacious Lincoln Square) and across time zones - thanks to social media.

Over the past two years, social media has slowly but surely injected itself in the heart of the fashion world, and particularly on New York Fashion Week. New York Times was among the first of major publications to recognize bloggers' growing presence in prime seats at shows. The picture below shows a 2009 Milan fashion show where prominent fashion blogger Bryan Boy is seated two spots away from Anna Wintour herself!

photo credit: Dennis Valle & New York Times

The Independent Fashion Bloggers, an online community, has grown immensely alongside fashion weeks. Jennine Jacob, founder of IFB and of the highly-popular style blog The Coveted, hosted her fourth IFB "Evolving Influence" Conference yesterday in New York. Jacob and the Evolving Influence conference have taken social media at NYFW light years ahead of itself. Beyond the whirlwind of attending shows and presentations around the city, fashion bloggers also get together at Evolving Influence to hear from industry representatives spanning media, news, brands and of course, fashion. They are purposefully gathering to discuss how their work impacts the future of fashion, and they're doing it with the people who will be most impacted by them. For many of these bloggers, their blog isn't just a passion - it's become a major part of their career and for some, their full-time job. View live blogs from yesterday's Evolving Influence Conference here.

Twitter is recognizing its own effects on Fashion Week. For the first time, tweeters can visit a sponsored microsite that captures tweets from shows and presentations during NYFW. Though the content doesn't stream live, it's a clean, easy to navigate site that allows the world access to designers, runway, beauty and the parties that shape Fashion Week. An incredible amount of information breaks from NYFW onto Twitter first, with designers like Project Runway winner Christian Siriano sending twitpics to his followers during his own runway show. The site caters to this audience while pursuing ways to monetize itself.

Fashion Night Out was created last year as a way for retailers and designers to give back while having fun during Fashion Week. Stores in New York stay open all night, with exclusive deals, giveaways, presentations, runway shows and full-on parties all in celebration of fashion. While most do not stay open all night, Fashion Night Out has spawned to other cities around the world, including Seattle, L.A., London, Paris, Sydney, New Delhi and Miami. See if your city is participating here.

Whether you're into fashion, dabble into it or are against it completely, there's no arguing that social media is truly making a global community out of it!