Nov 21, 2014 @ 08:34 pm Marisa Sung
I just returned home from a few weeks in The Big Apple where most of my closest friends live. I was very disappointed to learn that so many of them are either in the process of divorce or about to file for divorce. Too many to be exact! I think a lot of it has to do with how rough the last recession was on them and also the duration of their marriage. It is very hard to stay with the same person for 20 plus years unless they are truly your perfect match and soulmate=unfortunately, this is not the case with the majority of married couples! Even Mark Sanford is separated from the woman who he ended his marriage for! :(
Ask a newly divorced person what went wrong in their marriage and you're likely to get a polite, pat version of the story: We simply grew apart. We wanted different things in life. I couldn't live with him anymore. It's not every day you get to hear the frank, no-holds-barred version of what led someone to divorce, but earlier this week, divorcés on Reddit revealed those details. The answers were as honest and unflinching as you'd expect from an anonymous forum.
1. She couldn't imagine having kids with him.
"I realized that I wouldn't trust him to take care of any kids we might have someday. And then I realized, if I felt that way, why would I trust him around me?"
2. He married a narcissist.
"We divorced because she knew I had her figured out. She couldn't manipulate me and control me anymore. Once I understood narcissism, it was over."
That goes both ways folks! Statistically speaking, many more men are narcissists than women!
3. They really did just grow apart.
"We were married for eight years. I think we both knew it wasn't forever. I loved her dearly and she loved me. However, there was always something we couldn't provide each other. We just ended up growing apart and fell into gap that was never going to close. I have no regrets with the marriage. I have two wonderful girls, one of which I adopted that was hers with another man. We are still good friends and talk daily. We have our arguments but for the most part, we get along great for ex-spouses and people are always impressed by it. I still spend the holidays with her family even though she is in another relationship. I get along great with him, too."
4. She cheated.
"We found out that I couldn't have kids without some expensive science getting involved. She couldn't handle that, and took matters into her own hands and got pregnant by someone else. I was prepared to forgive her behavior up until that point. She wanted to come back later, but burned bridges and all..."
Or he cheated which again is statistically much more common! :(
5. They got married too young.
"I was too young (married at 23 to a 30-year-old) and we simply couldn't make it work. We became different people from who we were when we first met and had a fairly amicable split. One of our main problems was that we had never really discussed the future properly (in detail, not just 'oooh, won't it be nice when we're old!') and I think we both assumed a lot about each other's priorities. For example, I am very urban and he wanted us to move to the countryside. Neither of us was 'wrong,' we simply weren't right for each other."
6. He was too dependent on her.
"During the 10 years we were together (married for six), he never held a job for very long. At first, I believed his excuses -- it was never his fault -- and I tried to be supportive. But it got to be too much. I got tired of him never taking responsibility for being late or for being lazy. The last two years we were married, I was working two jobs (one full-time and one part-time) and he was unemployed for about a year. Did he help out at all around the house? Nope. I'd get home at 11 p.m. at night after having been gone since 7 a,m. and he'd demand dinner. He never did the laundry or cleaned anything. He spent all day playing video games and draining our bank account. I finally got smart and left."
Or she was too dependent on him and would amount to less than zero without him! :(
7. They realized they had married for the wrong reason.
"We got a divorce because we never should have gotten married in the first place. But we wanted 'the dream.' It's amazing how many people of my generation this happens to. Thankfully, we realized it for ourselves before children were involved."
What else is new?? :(
8. He couldn't trust her.
"For one, a lack of trust (on my part). I caught her in too many lies and ended up second guessing everything she told me or failed to tell me. Basically, I ended up reading too much into everything she did because I never knew or trusted what she was saying or her motives. She got sick of it and left me."
Or she didn't trust him which again is much more common and the reason for my broken engagements! :(
9. She could no longer stand the criticism.
"We stopped wanting the same things in life and I grew tired of constantly being criticized. I didn't think the commitment [of marriage] required me to feel broken."
That goes both ways too, but women tend to verbally criticize men more as women are much more vocal about their feelings.
10. He wanted out for the kids' sake.
"I married her when I was young and my mother had just died. I felt I needed someone. It was a marriage of convenience for the next ten years. It was when we had kids and were forced to interact with each other that I could not stand it anymore. I asked out of the marriage when the kids (twins) were 3 years-old because I felt if they were any older it would affect them too much and I would not be able to leave. I am very happy I did it. Although the financial strain of child support and alimony has been difficult, I feel it was the best thing for me and the children. I remember actually thinking that I have one life to live and there is no 'do over' unless I did it when I did."
11. He grew up. She didn't.
"We were incompatible on an emotional level. I kept hoping she would grow up. She didn't. She stayed the same person I married. Go figure. A year of couples therapy, six months of personal therapy for me, 15 years and three kids later...we got divorced."
I keep hearing "I grew up but HE didn't. The Peter Pan syndrome! :(
12. Their marriage was virtually passionless.
"I had a comfortable and 'nice' marriage for 11 years. I'm not sure if we were ever passionate, but by the end, we were much more like good companions who had maintenance sex once a week. Then she had an affair with a co-worker and I realized I wasn't really in love and happy anymore."
That passionless comfortable union ends the second you fall head over heels in deep passion with your soulmate! At that point, it becomes unbearable to stay in the marriage! You really need to live in a very structured environment to be satisfied with just good companions! Living in an isolated vacuum allows for security without temptation! Kind of like being very happy to get a Hershey Bar all the time because you never got a Godiva! :(
The War of The Roses
Nov 21, 2014 @ 08:14 pm Marisa Sung
With the season come the party invitations. And between late nights at the office and shopping for gifts, there is little time left for pre-party grooming. Whether you're hosting a festive gathering or simply attending one, these easy steps will have you ready for any event!
1. Sleek Strands
The Harry Josh Flat Iron heats up in just 45 seconds and the infrared heat adds shine to hair! The model has a charming vintage look.
2. A Gleaming Smile
While you're putting on your makeup or doing your hair, leave in Crest's new 3D White Whitestrips 1 Hour Express to brighten teeth.
3. A Palette that has it All
This Bobbi Brown palette expands to reveal ten eye shadows, from sparkly silver to charcoal, that can create shimmery yet natural smoky eye makeup. And while we love red lipstick for the holidays, the upkeep in the midst of cocktails and appetizers can be overwhelming. The neutral lip gloss colors here are easy to maintain throughout the evening.
4. A Merry Manicure
We can't get over the glamorous packaging of this Dior nail polish in Marilyn. The bright, candy red shade flatters all complexions.
5. Boozy Perfume
Nest's White Sandalwood is creamy and sweet, plus it has a hint of amaretto in the formula.
All I Want For Christmas
Nov 21, 2014 @ 07:55 pm Marisa Sung
Pedestrians walk past an Hermes store, operated by Hermes International SCA, in Beijing, China, on Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang pledged to open the economy to more market forces and strip power from the government to achieve 7.5 percent annual growth through 2020 and spread the benefits of the nation's expansion.
Hermès is all about the long view. It takes a long time to train its craftsmen. It has a long waiting list for its Birkin handbags. And it took seven long years to open a new Hermès “Maison” in Shanghai – years in which the luxury market in China went from good, to great, to shaky.
By the time the Shanghai Maison finally opened last week, China’s luxury market was under full-blown attack by the pro-abstemiousness forces of President Xi Jinping. The Chinese leader has made it dangerous for government officials to be seen wearing, owning or even eating anything really expensive – from watches to cars to jewel-bedecked mooncakes.
This might seem like the worst possible moment to open a standalone historic mansion-cum-luxury shop on one of the most expensive retail streets in Shanghai. But Axel Dumas, Hermès’ chief executive since February, says time is actually on the company’s side in China.
Retail analysts agree: Chinese consumers are keener on niche top-end brands such as Hermès now than they were two or three years ago (and less and less keen on logo-laden, mass luxury rivals such as LVMH and Gucci).
Even the Communist party’s most determined austerity campaign has yet to put much of a damper on Hermès’ popularity. The company does not break out mainland sales, but Mr Dumas, sixth generation scion of the founding family, says “so far we haven’t seen any impact on our figures”.
Sales of watches, now almost a cliché in the world of “gifting” to government officials, did fall by 7 per cent in value terms in the first half, year on year, which Hermès attributes to Beijing’s influence. Overall, however, sales in Asia excluding Japan rose by 17 per cent. In comparison, LVMH’s first-half organic sales growth in Asia excluding Japan was only 3 per cent.
Whether it gives Mr Dumas any pleasure to note the vicissitudes of his close rival, which earlier this month abandoned its four-year battle to wrest control of Hermès’ from the family shareholders, cannot be known. No one is allowed to ask him at the Shanghai opening – a Hermès public relations officer had warned in advance that questions relating to LVMH would not be countenanced.
Still, the boyish Mr Dumas is happy to reflect on the ways in which his brand is different from the hoi polloi of other luxury marques in China. “Hermès has always been quite resilient in times of risk,” he says, pointing out that the 177-year-old company has faced headwinds before, and it will face them again, in China and elsewhere. “It’s important to take the long view,” he stresses.
Hermes: Fighting For Luxury
I bought my last serious boyfriend The Hermes Bull and Bear Tie=it is a great gift! :)
Nov 21, 2014 @ 07:44 pm Marisa Sung
China is well known for its pirated DVDs and fake iPhones, but this "copycat culture" extends to architecture too - with whole towns sometimes replicated. As you enter Thames Town, the honking and chaos of Chinese city life fall away.
There are no more street vendors selling steamed pork buns, and no more men hauling recyclables on tricycles. The road starts to wind, and then, in the distance, you see what looks like a clock tower from a Cotswold village. "It has this almost dreamlike quality of something European," says Tony Mackay, a British architect, and the master planner for the Thames Town housing scheme and the surrounding district of Songjiang.
When local officials hired Mackay in 2001, he found farms and ducks here. Today, there are cobbled streets, pubs and half-timbered Tudor houses. There's even a statue of Winston Churchill, and a medieval meeting hall that advertises chicken wings and beer in Chinese characters. But Mackay is not happy. "It doesn't look quite right," he says. "It looks false."
Mackay says the architects who took on the designs for the buildings created a pastiche, throwing together different styles, and abandoning authenticity. Some of the half-timbered houses are six storeys high, for example, and the windows on the church just don't look right, he says. "The proportions are wrong. The use of the different stones is all wrong. It would never be used like that in the genuine English church," he says.
The houses in Thames Town were largely bought as investment properties, so the town has always been quiet. It is only just beginning to develop a real sense of life and community. To Mackay, the place looks like a film set. In fact, one Western blogger said it reminded him of the film, The Truman Show.
But Fan Yu Zhe couldn't care less. I found Fan and his bride Sun Qi Yao looking deeply into each other's eyes as a photo assistant showered them with flower petals. Thames Town is crawling with young couples who want to have their wedding photos taken here. "I really hope I can visit the real Thames River one day, sit along the banks, drink a cup of coffee and enjoy the British sunshine."
Nearby, a woman named Zhang Li snacks on tangerines and plays cards with her mother and aunt. Zhang says she has come here on her day off because Chinese towns are so crowded and commercial, but here it's green and pleasant. And as an office administrator, she can't afford to travel to England. "Usually if you want to see foreign buildings, you have to go abroad," says Zhang. "But if we import them to China, people can save money while experiencing foreign-style architecture." There's plenty of that in China. Thames Town was built as part of Shanghai's "One City, Nine Towns" scheme, which saw a cluster of satellite towns built around the city, each in a different international style.
Elsewhere in China, there is a replica Eiffel Tower, a mock Tower Bridge - even a recreation of Stonehenge. And last year, a replica of the entire Austrian alpine village of Hallstatt sprung up in the province of Guangdong. The original is a Unesco World Heritage site.
A Foggy Day (In London Town)
Nov 21, 2014 @ 09:55 am Marisa Sung
If you want to know someone's character, look at the friends he keeps.
Nov 20, 2014 @ 05:54 pm Marisa Sung
Mike Nichols died suddenly on Wednesday, thus bringing an end to the Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf and The Graduate director's illustrious Hollywood career — and his sweet romance with his wife of 26 years, Diane Sawyer.
In a letter ABC president James Goldston sent to staffers Thursday announcing the movie maker's passing, he wrote that Mike, 83, and Diane, 68, shared a "true and beautiful love story." And they did.
It began in 1986 when Diane, then the first female correspondent on 60 Minutes, met Nichols — one of the few EGOT winners (that would be an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony) — in the Concorde lounge at the Paris airport. She wasn't at her best — she was traveling with her mother, who had a health scare while they were away — and was underdressed in ratty jeans and a stained turtleneck. Nichols introduced himself.
"I knew before he spoke, I knew before he was walking across the room," Sawyer told Harper's Bazaar last year of their initial connection. "I knew something was happening, and maybe it's that beautiful hallmark. Cue the violins? But I knew my life was changing."
Nichols, whose third marriage was ending (amicably, according to his ex), was instantly smitten with the beauty queen turned newswoman.
"If you want to talk about glamorous," Nichols recalled to the Hollywood Reporter in 2012. "She was hiding in the lounge because she hadn't done her hair or something. I found her and said, 'You're my hero.' And she said: 'No, you're my hero. Do you ever have lunch?' She wanted to interview me for 60 Minutes. I pretended that I was up for it, and we had about 14 lunches."
Despite his impressive résumé, Nichols had been in a slump prior to meeting Sawyer. A minor heart problem had put him in the hospital, where he was given the sedative Halcion to sleep and became addicted, depressed, and delusional. Kicking his addiction and falling in love with Sawyer gave him a new lease on life.
"My life began at 54," he continued. "I had loved other women before, but not like this."
He said that it was during their getting-to-know you lunches when his eyes truly opened.
"I thought we were the two greatest bulls--ters," he told Vanity Fair in 1994. "I thought we were brilliant but totally full of s--t, so smart and such good talkers and so modest, so wise. It took me a long time to realize that, in the first place, she wasn’t bulls--tting, she was real, and then — to my astonishment — that I was, too. And it was because of her. The way she saw me let me finally see that I was real, too."
He gushed, "True love made Pinocchio a real boy. It really happened, because she loves me and accepts things about me I can’t imagine anyone accepting. I was astounded — I kept saying, ‘Me?’ I thought there wasn’t enough of me for a whole person."
Their wedding took place on Martha's Vineyard in April 1988. Diane, who had never been married and had no children, said "I do" to the father of three in a private ceremony at a church and they held their small reception at Carly Simon's nearby home.
When you wait as long as I did, Mike is a kind of miracle," a newlywed Sawyer told the Philadelphia Inquirer in 1989. She added that while it was her husband's fourth time down the aisle, it was the last one for both of them. "An absolute commitment," she called it.
Related: Hollywood Mourns the Loss of Mike Nichols
Because of her career, Sawyer didn't really have firm roots — and joked that she "had only a mattress on the floor for furniture." Marrying Nichols changed that. He had a Manhattan townhouse, a home in Santa Barbara, California, and a Connecticut country home, and she embraced it all.
"I thought I'd died and gone to heaven when I moved in with Mike and discovered his homes actually had extra light bulbs and toothpaste," she told the newspaper. "My idea of paradise."
They later added their own Martha's Vineyard home – a 17.5-acre estate called Chip Chop — to their real estate portfolio and started summering in the spot where they married.
The couple never had children together, a topic Sawyer, who was 42 when they married, addressed during a 2010 interview with Time magazine. "I've always thought that was a curious idea — that if you have more time, then you decide to have children. That's not the way it happens. I have stepchildren, and I have — what do the Quakers say? — a basket filled with children whom I adore," said Sawyer, who was stepmom to Daisy, Max, and Jenny and step-grandmother to four. "I wish I'd met my husband earlier [though]. That would've been great."
Nichols and Sawyer never had their own children, but enjoyed their large family, including his three children and four grandchildren.
Despite their big careers, the couple made a point not be apart for long stretches over their two decades together – and they supported one another's professional endeavors. In a 1994 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Nichols talked about a meeting he had with the producers and cast of his movie Wolf, which Sawyer attended.
"People seemed surprised to see Diane pouring iced tea for everybody," he recalled. And while it was nice that his wife was supportive, he didn't want to hold her back or slow her down from her own goals, quipping, it "would be like taking a Ferrari to go shopping." He added, "She is the kindest, smartest, most beautiful woman I've known. I love her entirely."
The Graduate=My favorite of all the Mike Nichols Films even though there were so many! :)
Nov 20, 2014 @ 04:09 pm Marisa Sung
All of the following appetizers are for specialty cheeses. I serve these cheeses with homemade bread sticks and an assortment of crackers. Enjoy! :)
Marinated Manchego Cheese on Sourdough
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
3 green onions, chopped
1 shallot, minced
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
10 ox. Spanish Manchego Cheese
1/2 cup roasted red peppers
12 sourdough baguette slices, 1/2 inch thick
Whisk oil, green onions, shallot, and cumin seeds until blended. Season with salt and pepper.
Cut cheese and roasted red peppers into 1/4 inch thick slices. Arrange cheese slices in single layer in a 13 X 9 inch dish. Place 1 pepper strip on each cheese slice. Pour dressing over cheese, cover and refrigerate overnight.
Let stand at room temp. 1 hour before using.
Top bread slices with 1 cheese and pepper stack. Drizzle with dressing from cheese.
Serve with Carletto Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2012!
Morel Mushroom and Leek Monterey Jack
Morel Mushrooms add an earthy flavor to this leek studded smooth white cheese. Every bite includes a mouthwatering melange of woodsy mushroom and sweet and savory leek. Made in Wisconsin, this cheese is delicious served on a variety of crackers accompanied by Carletto Pino Grigio 2011 Wine!
Honey Goat Cheese
Handcrafted in Wisconsin from fresh high-quality milk. This mild, tangy cheese enhanced with sweet white organic Indian Honey is sure to please your palate! It makes a perfect appetizer with a melange of crackers or a delightful snack served with fruit and nuts! :)
Best served with Carletto Wines!
Nov 20, 2014 @ 03:39 pm Marisa Sung
I often serve specialty drinks in celebration of The Holidays which begins right before Thanksgiving and ends on New Year's Day! These delicious drinks do contain alcohol and should be consumed with food and in moderation = 1 or 2 at the most! My all-time favorite "The Ginger Snap" and the equally interesting "Naughty and Nice" cocktails.
3/4 oz spiced rum
1/2 oz ginger brandy
4 oz. low fat eggnog
Gluten free low-fat ginger snap for garnish
Add spiced rum, ginger brandy, and eggnog in a blender.
Blend to desired consistency and pour into glass.
Garnish with ginger snap for dunking.
Naughty and Nice
1 1/2 oz vodka
3 raspberries, plus extra for garnish
1 1/2 oz lemon sour
2 dashes of anisette
1/2 oz Carletto champagne
Pour over ice.
Garnish with remaining raspberries.
Down the hatch=here's to the Holidays! :)
Michael Bublé | Cold December Night
Nov 20, 2014 @ 10:26 am Marisa Sung
Love me, love my dog.
For my adorable dogs and best pals, Fred and Pepper! Fred is a super smart Schnauzer and Pepper a very feisty Spaniel. I adopted both of them from the ASPCA! :)
Please go to www.aspca.org to make a donation or adopt a pet.