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Wishing you lots of love, lust & butterflies,

It’s Sunday, August 26th and I’m frantically working down my long list of things to do before I go off the grid for a week.  Sending this post out into cyberspace to be posted on my sister Val’s 40th birthday is on my list.  (I love the WordPress “Schedule” option!)

Happy, Happy 4oth Birthday Valerie Russo!  How in the heck did we get to be in our 40’s already?  One of my fondest memories of us as kids is riding you around our neighborhood on my banana seat bike!

We are sisters and I love you!  I’m toasting to you today on the playa in my own special way and sending you lots and lots of love and wishes for many firsts this year and always…


I’ve been prepping in a craze for my week on the playa that begins today and many friends have wished me well and expressed that they cannot wait to see my updates from Black Rock City. Sorry to disappoint, but I’m taking the whole week to completely unplug myself from all of the stuff that I’m normally (very) plugged into.

Like many, I tweet, I have facebook pages (both personally and for this blog), I capture every drink, new boutique find and yummy lunch on my Instagram profile and I pin things to my Pinterest boards… Some of this I do in the name of marketing, but most of it I do in the name of me. As my dearest friend Bari pointed out when I told her that I was giving myself this gift of unplugging for a week, taking photographs and chronicling my surroundings – and writing about it – is the way I move in the world, how I digest and process things I see, love, am moved by, etc. I assured her that I was going to do a bit of this; I am brining a camera and a journal but I won’t be sharing any of it live. And, I definitely won’t be online or concerned about AT&T’s horrible cell reception.

A whole week of being completely unplugged. A cleanse. A gift. A reboot. I’ve never done this in my life. I need it now more than ever and I look forward to my re-entry with a renewed perspective, leaning on the experience of how it felt to be in the silence. Just being.

I say all of this, and my plan was pretty solid until Saturday when I popped into Mike’s Bikes in Sausalito and one of my favorite shop boys told me he was also going to Burning Man and mentioned the Rockstar Librarian app. He mentioned it quickly, assuming I had it and then his mouth dropped open when he saw that I had no idea what he was talking about. I didn’t even make it to my car before Googling the app and downloading it – it is AMAZING! The “Time to Burn” app was created by Kate as a playa gift and it has every event for the whole week listed with descriptions and locations, the playa map and a list of camps. I didn’t leave the parking lot for 30 minutes and laughed aloud numerous times at all of the zany, fun and completely outrageous things in store for me this week – all carefully collected and presented in this perfect app, FOR the playa…

Thanks to the marvels of WordPress I’m writing this ahead of time and scheduling it to post; as you read it I will be on my way to the playa giggling with my playa playmate at the list we have PRINTED OUT (from Kate’s app) for our week of being completely unplugged!

Wishing you lots of love, lust, butterflies…and quiet unplugged time this week!


Remember this?  My vintage Hawthorne cruiser from the Alameda Flea Market the first Sunday of the month?  The newest addition to my bike collection got a facelift today, just in time for playa lift-off on Monday morning!

I spent a lot of time in JoAnn Fabrics yesterday, I knew I wanted to cover the old seat and I maybe should have done something more practical but that’s almost never the case with me.  I fell in-love with this pink and green brocade fabric and the matching pink tassels.  And the very first thing I was certain about was that the frame had to be “bling-ed.”  Instead of encrusting the entire thing (which mostly had to do with my hot glued finger tips and lack of time) I picked spots to highlight with various shaped and colored bling, throwing in a matching pink sparkle here and there.  I created the ribbon streamers with tiny ribbons and a quick knot – these remind me of the real ones I had on my very first bike as a kid!

One thing I did not have on my childhood bike but that I had to have on this one is skulls, lots of blingy skulls! I hot glued one on the handlebars for sure and then picked up a few for the tire valves at Mike’s Bikes in Sausalito.

Of course I have the Divine Electric mudflap girl sticker on the back; I added a little bit of bling to it and I think my new playa cruiser is ready to go!


What IS Burning Man?

I fell hard, madly in-love today with this beautiful playa image by Peter Ruprecht, taken at Burning Man a few years ago.  Okay, instantly it was the wedding planner in me and then the hopeless romantic girlie kicked in a little…and I’M GOING!  I want a cutie pic of me and my partner in crime, capturing that we are over the moon about each other and feeling happy and free.

We leave for the playa on Monday and I just read this great article entitled “The Misconceptions of Burning Man,” by Mary Polizzotti of 7×7 Magazine this week which resonated with me because I’ve been sharing where my “vacation” is with my work peeps and others and while most people here know what Burning Man is I think there are many misconceptions.

Of course every experience is what you make it but the essence of Burning Man is: “once a year, tens of thousands of participants gather in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert to create Black Rock City, dedicated to community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance. They depart one week later, having left no trace whatsoever.”  And, as Mary points out in her article it’s a week of no technology, people of all ages, surviving the elements…

I cannot wait to be a citizen of Black Rock City this year, where we will be the only living creatures for miles and the sky is a big, beautiful desert sky that makes you feel small.  Where we get back to the basics of love and giving thanks and freedom of expression is encouraged and appreciated.

There is something magical about a city of love appearing out of nothing – and then vanishing a week later, like it was never there.

Fashion Issue Plaid

There’s a chill in the air, typical August weather in Northern California, and it’s alright with me because it means I can wear my high-waisted vintage wool plaid pants a little early.  I wore them tonight with a black short sleeve turtleneck knit top and some red paten leather Nine West heels and my go-to sparkly black clutch from Gap.  It was the perfect look for the 7×7 Fashion Issue Launch Party at Neiman Marcus in the city!


I’ve been in-love with butterflies for a long, long time. My first business was called “social butterfly” and I had many “little butterflies” that helped me with my weddings and events each year. I have journals and cards with butterfly quotes on them and the transformation of the caterpillar to a butterfly resonates with me.

Today I’m crushing on one of my favorite butterfly bracelets made of leather. It goes perfectly with my mala and a special birthday bracelet I got from a friend a few years ago.

“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.” – Proverb

I spent a quick second (not really) grinning, not grinning, looking professional, being silly and posing for (and with) Dickson Bueno a few weeks ago and had so much fun!  My sweet friend Michael Chu is the Editor of Beverage Industry News Magazine and gives me lots of love when the focus of the issue is vodka.  The new issue, the VODKA ISSUE, came out today and I was so happy to be there with Ultimat and Patron!

The full page coverage was mighty generous and the showcase of our partnership with Riedel was a first splash for us!  I’m excited to be the new face of Ultimat Vodka in San Francisco and so thankful to Michael and the entire BIN Magazine staff for including us in this issue!  For a quick peek at the issue you can view it online here!  And, while you’re at it, “LIKE” them on facebook too!

Crushing on Texture

I’m crushing on some of my very favorite textures today.  I wore my off-white lace Mariposa Shorts from Urban Outfitters with a ruffled black top and carried my favorite vintage tooled leather bag from the flea market to a party I hosted.  I love the way mixing textures gives any look richness and depth.

One of my favorite, go-to little black dresses came from Forever 21 many moons ago and the fun, cotton lace texture makes it go from daytime work to nighttime play very easily.  It’s a short cotton dress with a scallop edge and pockets, something I found for nearly nothing and I’ve worn it a million and one times.


Little Things…

I’ve had a big week with a lot of hustle and I’m a few days behind on my posts as a result.  This is perfect because I want to stop, and take time today to think about some of the “little things” that have made my heart happy lately.  Some not so little but you get the idea…  Like, a friend back home sending me a sweet note and a picture of something I did with my students many years ago that still hangs in the library of the high school where I taught.  Finding a really cute fishie necklace that I forgot I had and adding it to my playa collection for Burning Man.  Weekend date nights with my main squeeze and happening upon the most perfect flea market find with my name on it!

Trying on funky green suede fringe designer shoes at John Fluevog on Haight Street, finding cute skull patches for Burning Man craft projects…and maybe other things too?  Appreciating a new way to view the world through my MarbleCam app and getting blue flippers from my friend Abbie for my time on the playa.

Living in a city where I can enjoy a simple butter lettuce salad with in-season cherries, blue cheese and red wine vinaigrette.  Pretty gates outside of my account in the Mission.  A quote I love from the deck of quotes I have from old movies and a juicy piece of watermelon with salt for breakfast with my mocha.

Gumball machines with cool necklaces instead of gum, bartenders that light lemon peel on fire, colorful make-up at the Dollar Store (so that I can justify getting one of each of everything!) and…the little thing that’s not so little, the newest member of our family – little Mae, my niece.

Wishing you lots of love, lust & butterflies on this happy, happy Friday!


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