Monday, April 30, 2012

Instagram Weekend

Copyright Monica L. Shulman
One of my favorite corners of New York.  Staple Street in Tribeca.

We're on holiday! While I'm away I scheduled a few fun posts but until next week I will be on the beach in Florida with my little family. I'll probably be on Instagram if you'd like to see what we're up to while we're away.

Happy Monday!

Copyright Monica L. Shulman
Choosing a color for my nails is my least favorite thing to do.  Too many to pick from!  I went with Essie Tangerine on my toes and Sugar Daddy plus Gucci Mucchi Pucchi (these names are crazy) on my hands.

Copyright Monica L. Shulman
This is my little corner of mirrors in my apartment.  I did a little how-to for curating your home.  Stay tuned for it later this week!

Copyright Monica L. Shulman
Hi from Lucia

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Friday, April 27, 2012

Fridays

Copyright Monica L. Shulman
I really love it here. The view of lower Manhattan from DUMBO.

One of the things I love about New York is that whenever I leave I miss home.  I leave New York and I have the best time I possibly can while I'm gone but there's nothing like going back to the most exciting and fascinating city in the world and knowing you get to live there.

Tomorrow we're heading down to Florida for a little vacation and I just can't wait to take the baby to the beach, take afternoon naps with her, spend the days together as a family and relax.  And in a week I know this place will be waiting to welcome us back....but let's not rush our time away.  Happy weekend, and here are some fun links from around the web.

The most awesome DIY ever. 

Paris in Color (would make a lovely Mother's Day gift).

I'm excited to take my Diana lens with me to Miami and checked out the lomography site for some major inspo.

Lucia LOVES ice cream sandwiches.  Usually I buy them with coconut milk ice cream at Whole Foods but I am so making these this summer.

Obsessed with this Vogue editorial styled by Grace Coddington.

A dad did a really amazing time lapse video of his daughter from birth to 12 years old all in 2 minutes, 45 seconds.  Super ambitious and absolutely worth it.

Did you catch my post about dealing with haters?

On plagiarism and theft.

40 items every photography assistant needs.

I've been busy pinning and being inspired by portraits lately.

Marilyn with a Nikon.

Inspiring quotes.

Museum touch tours.

OMG this chandelier!

Copyright Monica L. Shulman

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

New York Must Do: There's something happening at the Zoo!

Copyright Monica L. Shulman

My sister and I have a list of all the places we plan on taking the girls to visit this summer.  The activities and places on it are pretty fantastic so I decided to make a New York Must Do series on the blog.  First up: The Bronx Zoo!

Last month, on an unusually hot day, we packed up the car (well, two cars since we were 8 people) and drove up to the Bronx Zoo.  Seeing the babies and my parents having so much fun made me feel like a kid again.  It was an adventure-packed afternoon for all of us.  It's only a 30-minute drive from Manhattan but you can also get there by subway and bus.  Super convenient!

Copyright Monica L. Shulman

PS--Small tip: I would recommend calling in advance if you have any questions about which animals will be out that day.  We got there on a day when the giraffes were resting (mommy just gave birth!) and the camels weren't out and the petting zoo was closed.  There was still PLENTY to see and do and everyone was happily exhausted but seeing the giraffes was a big deal since Lucia LOVES them (check out her nursery).

Copyright Monica L. Shulman

Copyright Monica L. Shulman

Copyright Monica L. Shulman
This poor polar bear.  It was SO hot out and the guy was just sleeping.

Copyright Monica L. Shulman
Lucia and me on the bug carousel.  She loved it!

Copyright Monica L. Shulman

Copyright Monica L. Shulman

Copyright Monica L. Shulman
She was SO close to the peacock and not at all afraid of it.  I, on the other hand, was freaking out that she was going to run over to it, try to pet it, play with it, etc.

Copyright Monica L. Shulman

Copyright Monica L. Shulman

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Forest Fairy

mr kate

Looking at these photographs is like imagining walking into a fantasy world where the trees talk to you and fairies are flitting about.  They're from the Mr. Kate lookbook and I can honestly say she has a new fan over here.  These golden jewels are so whimsical and beautiful.  Also, I miss my long hair and I'm so glad big eyebrows are back!

mr kate

mr kate

mr kate

Via Honestly WTF.



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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

How to deal with the Haters.


Copyright Monica L. Shulman

What is WITH people who just want to bring other people down?  In high school my guidance counselor told me that I should give up on applying to certain schools because I would "never get in" - talk about buzzkill (to put it mildly).  He looked right at me and told me "not to bother".  Years later when I was applying to law school the attorney father of a friend told me "not to waste the school's time" and  maybe I "wasn't meant to be a lawyer" when my LSAT scores were low.  Sadly, these are true stories.  Imagine what 17-year-old me must have looked like sitting across the desk from a teacher who was supposedly there to guide me.  Imagine what the 24-year-old version of myself must have been thinking when I was basically told to give up.  Think about what those words, the polar opposite of encouragement, could do to a person.

We all have them.  Those horrible voices talking at us rather than with us -- bringing us down, making us feel terrible, forcing second-guesses when they weren't there before and generally sucking the excitement out of your day and/or life.  Sometimes the source of all that negativity is another person and sometimes it is yourself (hello, worst enemy) but either way, it's no fun to be attacked by haters.

The best way to learn the hard lessons in life is by experience and I've been thinking about the toughest ones a lot lately.  Here are some ideas that have been helpful in keeping myself on track and not letting the haters get to me. 

1.  Start with yourself

You need to be your own cheerleader.  Are you your own worst enemy who tends to focus on all the reasons why you can't do something?  Stop repeating all the reasons why you think you can't.  You need to remind yourself, all the time, that if you want to be you're in control of everything in your life.  This isn't to say that you should be delusional (a lot of people are) about what you can achieve or what your talents are but if you're realistic about your goals, make plans and work hard, then who's to say that you can't have some level of success? 

2.  Ignore them

When I was 17 I wondered whether my guidance counselor was right.  I went home and told my parents that maybe I should just give up.  They looked at me like I was crazy.  Maybe I was.  A few months later when I got an acceptance letter to my first choice school I knew that not only was he wrong but he was negligent and ignorant (awesome combination).  For some reason he decided to pick on me and put me down.  If it wasn't for my parents and my favorite high school teacher he could have done some serious damage not just to my self-esteem but also to my entire future.  I won't even get into the "are you sure you should quit" questions I got when I left my job as an attorney except to say that every single time I told someone my plan it was immediately followed by a feigned concern over whether I was sure I knew what I was doing.  Suffice it to say I didn't let them get to me...too much...I am human after all.

3.  Use them

I know I just said to ignore them but sometimes my biggest source of motivation is listening to the haters and turning their words into the motivation I need to move forward.  Don't let people push you around.  Obviously what these two people said to me years ago haunted me but they've since become reminders of moments when I took control of my own future.  I saw that bully attorney at a networking event after I had graduated from law school and working at one of the top firms in New York.   I'm pretty sure I detected unhappy surprise on his face and I knew he remembered our conversation.  The "you were wrong" tone in my voice was probably a bit more passive aggressive than necessary but a small part of me was glad he felt embarrassed.

4. Accept that you might fail

This isn't to say that you should believe the haters.  It's a fact of the world that not everything works out the way you hoped.  I make myself feel better by reminding myself that at one point or another, the people who I admire, have been brought down by someone and had some kind of failure or rejection in their life.  Yet, somehow, they were able to peel themselves off the floor, ignore all the noise and move on to the next thing. 


5.  Surround yourself with people who can bring you up

It sounds cliche but some people are just jealous and angry and cannot see past themselves.  So when they look at someone who is a little vulnerable, trying to make their life better or trying to evaluate their dreams and hopes, they try to bring those people down.  The words and comments hurt (I'm human after all) but I have to remind myself that all that bitterness and contempt can't possibly be just about me.  I end up feeling sorry for them instead of believing their hateful words toward me.

Cut all the haters out of your life, even the ones who are masquerading as friends.  When I was in my 20s I had a friend who was so awful it seemed like there was a black cloud hanging over her.  She was cynical and bitter.  I tried to be positive but she thought I was overly optimistic and she always found a way to bring me (and everyone else) down.  She was such a gossip that I secretly wondered what she must say about me when I wasn't in the room.  Our friendship ended for a number of reasons but I can honestly say that not having her in my life is so uplifting.  A bad friend can be like a bad habit that needs to be broken.  It's never easy to end a friendship but when you're on the other side of it you realize that you're better off. 

What about you?  Do you have any tips for dealing with haters?  I'd love to hear.

Also, what to do if you want to change careers and 10 things to think about on the road to success.



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Monday, April 23, 2012

Instagram Weekend

Copyright Monica L. Shulman

There's nothing like an extra long weekend to motivate you for the week ahead.  We drove out to East Hampton on Friday morning and went to the beach, took long walks, ate a lot of dessert and even squeezed in a few naps (the baby always takes hers but this time, I joined her).  My iPhone was there to capture the brightest moments and here are a few from Instagram.  By the way, if you ever want to take photos to apply the fun filters on Instagram but don't want to share them online, you can just put your phone on airplane mode before taking the photos and using the app.  They get saved on your camera roll and then you can have them for yourself.  I don't like to share the same photos on every social media channel so you can check here and there for more, if you'd like.

Copyright Monica L. Shulman
We love the beach...like, a lot!

Happy Monday!

Copyright Monica L. Shulman

Copyright Monica L. Shulman



Copyright Monica L. Shulman
A slightly different version here.

Copyright Monica L. Shulman
My mom loves these simple, little flowers and they always remind me of her.

Copyright Monica L. Shulman
My favorite part about this picture is the way she is resting her tiny hand on my husband's leg.

Copyright Monica L. Shulman
Mmm

Copyright Monica L. Shulman

Copyright Monica L. Shulman

Copyright Monica L. Shulman

Copyright Monica L. Shulman

Copyright Monica L. Shulman
A rainy end to the weekend.

Copyright Monica L. Shulman

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Just yesterday and today

Copyright Monica L. Shulman
Lucia, exactly one year ago.

There were a lot of extra cuddles last night thanks to a bad cold that has infiltrated our home.  I didn't mind the hugs -- the sniffles and sneezes, I can do without.  These days I will take my hugs and squeezes whenever I can get them since I have a very active toddler.  I think her favorites are her first thing in the morning hug and the very last snuggle just before she goes into her crib at night.  I rocked her for extra long and rubbed her little back as she tickled my arm with her tiny fingers.  It reminded me of my great grandmother who would indulge me for hours and hours with back tickles -- even when she would start to doze and I would give her my not-so-subtle "shake" so she would see that I was still up.  It seems that a love of snuggles is something that gets passed on between generations.  Last night it was just my baby and me and the flood of a million memories from since she was born and long before that day.  Time goes by too quickly.  I have to work harder to preserve these moments.

Copyright Monica L. Shulman
Lucia last week.



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