Nov 292012
 
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Living a truly blessed life, I am on a chartered yacht for a birthday party in South Beach. I see this girl and people tell me we look so much alike we could be sisters.  Clearly I must meet her and talk to her. Immediately.

Introductions are made to Ms Cara Garbarino–A Chicago based photographer, owner of The Atelier.  Cara’s images have graced Town and Country, Forbes and all the top wedding publications. We click instantly.  I mention the Champagne Year and my commitment to 12 new things and her actual sister, the lovely Genessa, declares that I must have Cara take boudoir photographs of me.  Boudoir photography is Cara’s focus and expertise.  Cara is able to turn you into an icon. Her work is in such high demand, there are waiting lists to get a session.

The Germ catches wind of this conversation and immediately wants to have a calendar.  He’s serious.  I think this is going to be the best birthday gift ever.

I was scheduled to be in Chicago a few weeks later.  I changed my flight plans and take Cara up on her gracious offer to squeeze me in.  Enter stage right glam squad.  First, a makeup artist starts working magic.  Next, a hair stylist takes over and turns me into Brigitte Bardot meets playboy bunny.  Champagne provides me with the liquid courage I need to strip right down.  It is the champagne year!

I take an ok picture and usually feel comfortable in front of a camera.  That said, I am always wearing clothes and smiling. In the Atelier studio, I flip between wearing absolutely nothing to wearing sexy lingerie.  It feels like an editorial shoot with no toothy grins.  Definitely out of my comfort zone.  More champagne please. Yes, please give me a serious pour–fill it right to the top…

The shoot was nothing short of amazing.  I had an absolute blast and the final product is like nothing I have ever seen.  These pics are of me?  I can’t believe it.  The Germ LOVES his birthday calendar. I loved being Brigitte Bardot.

Here is a sample of some of the images from the calendar…

Cara is an incredibly gifted artist, outstanding artistic director and nothing short of fabulous.

Anyone going to Chicago or looking for any excuse beyond the magnificent mile to visit the Windy City needs to put a photo shoot with the Atelier on their to-do list.  It must be booked.  You can’t afford not to do it and you certainly won’t regret it. Cara’s approach, the super fun, out of the box experience and most importantly–the final product will leave you beyond satisfied. And a little breathless.

I am now officially a calendar girl.  Please call me Ms April.

With my highest of recommendations…

www.theatelierchicago.com

1500 West Augusta Boulevard  Chicago, IL 60642, United States

(773) 661-9011

 Posted by at 10:32
Nov 092012
 
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We are in Las Vegas and have signed up to indoor sky dive.

We arrive and immediately get on the scale to get weighed in. The maximum weight for women is 180 lbs and for men it is 220 lbs. After signing our waivers, we are led into a different holding room and are then shown the instructional video.

The video is making everyone in the room very nervous.  My mother, wide eyed, is starting to panic. The video footage is of real sky divers, jumping out of planes, practicing the serious moves which they have perfected in the simulator tunnel.

We are also shown a series of hand signals which become overwhelming and were never used.  The only sign used was thumbs up and not featured here.

Admittedly,  when they begin to focus on our “landing” with details of the tuck and roll technique,  my level of anxiety grows.  You literally drop from flight into the surrounding foam bumpers.

We put on our jump suits, ear plugs, googles, and helmets. My mother has opted to sit out.

Me, my father and the Germ enter the padded round room that has a monster fan underneath a metal grill.

We each take turns lying down on our bellies and then we are off.  We are flying.  I am laughing and smiling the entire time.

I love this picture–I am in a pilates full swan.

Who doesn’t love a flying Germ?

My father loved getting high.

I can’t describe how much fun we had.  One of the most fun things I have ever done.

This new thing comes with my highest of recommendations.  if you are in Vegas, just a short drive to the end of the strip (past Wynn and Encore) and there you are.

Take flight!

 Posted by at 17:34
Oct 302012
 
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I am in Montreal for my oldest friend, Colette Campbell-Moscrop’s wedding.  We grew up spending every holiday together.  We are family. Colette is marrying Subibe.  Colette is a white toast (like me), has a British father and a French mother.  Subibe is Indian and they are having a traditional Indian wedding.  FUN!  My very first Indian wedding!

It is just so happens that I have a sari.  While travelling through India, the Germ was adamant about buying me one. I didn’t want a sari, but he insisted.   When I received the invitation to Colette’s wedding, I was very happy that he did.

The Germ is concerned about the end result and really wants me to bring a back up outfit.  I insist that even if it looks like a fancy toga, I am wearing it.

We leave our hotel and arrive at Dr King’s house at exactly 4:20, the day of the wedding.  I met Dr King at grad school.  She is a kindred spirit and an official bestie.

Since it is the champagne year and since I was tackling another new experience, there was no question that we needed some serious champs.  Because Dr King is a fellow champagne hound and the germ and I can hold our own, it seemed only fitting that we start the sari tying party with a magnum of veuve.  What else?

Armed with a youtube video from goodIndiangirl.com, we had some basic instructions on how to tie this monster piece of fabric.  To get the party started, we popped our magnum of champagne paired it with some delicious lobster rolls.

Everything was so delicious and we were having so much fun that we lost track of time. The Germ, always the voice of reason, put an end to our partying ways and insisted we get started on tying the sari.

The adventure begins.

There is a lot more fabric than we expected.

I didn’t purchase the petticoat that is called for underneath the sari, but I put together a make shift tunic with a tank and slip to ensure the waist band would secure the folder fabric.

We knew this new thing had to be captured on video.  Dr King lost the job of chief sari wrapper and the Germ took over.

After a few attempts, we were good to go.  So pleased.

At the wedding, a lovely older Indian woman approached me, asked to help me and retied the entire thing.  She was shocked I was not wearing a petticoat, but impressed with our effort.

All said, I absolutely loved wearing a sari.  The fabric was gorgeous, it was surprisingly comfortable and I felt quite glamorous.

We also had an amazing time at such a fun, festive, joyful wedding.

Thanks Dr King!  Thanks Colette!

 

 

 Posted by at 13:13
Oct 102012
 
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Arguably, it is one of the most iconic scenes in movie history. Rocky Balboa downs 6 raw eggs, then the Italian Stallion, wearing a grey hoodie, track pants, black tuque and converse begins running through the streets of Philadelphia.  He effortlessly hurdles park benches and picks up an entourage en route.  He arrives at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, flies up the stairs, reaches the top with a grand leap to start his triumphant victory dance.  The iconic scene closes with a satisfying panoramic view of the Philadelphia skyline.  This scene is not only one of the most memorable of the film and puts the stairs on the map, but more significantly, it  introduced the revolutionary steady cam technology. Rocky’s run is captured with smooth, breakthrough footage.  Cinematic history is made!

On my list of things to do for the champagne year is to watch 12 classic movies.  I had never seen Rocky from start to finish, but I did know the infamous stair run.

After watching the classic film, I decided that I had to make my way to the city of brotherly love to pay homage to the run, the stairs, the movie and its huge role in pop culture. ADRIENNE!

The original plan was to go in the late fall, wear a tracksuit and a hat. A chance however presented itself  to go in August.  Since opportunity rarely knocks twice and is never a lengthy visitor, I figured why not?

The city is impressive.  It is known for its wonderful collection of out door sculptures and public art, museums, architecture, cuisine and rich history.

The Rocky sculpture which was commissioned for the film series was later donated by Sylvester Stalone to the city of Philadelphia.  After public outcry, they moved it from the top of the stairs (where it was during the movie) to the base of the museum where it remains today.

We make our way over to the infamous stairs.  The Germ remains fully committed to doing the run in costume as originally planned.  I on the other hand called it off when we signed on for August.   I am sweating already.

I am pleasantly surprised that I love Philadelphia so much.  We had a ridiculously fun time on our pop culture pilgrimage in a great city that we can’t wait to visit again!

 

 Posted by at 09:29
Jun 152012
 
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I dedicate trying this new thing to Dr King and Jenny Freakout for their role in getting me to do what I thought was the impossible–considering that it is the most crazy ass thing I could ever imagine doing.

This is how it started.  During a phone conversation with Dr King:

“Jenny and I were talking, and as much as we love reading about champagne and cheese, what we love the most and want more of is when you do your crazy things.  Everyone loves crazy Kitty adventures”

I relay this conversation to the Germ.  It goes something like this:

–Dr King and Jenny Freakout want to see and read about me doing really crazy things.

–I can think of  a crazy thing you could do

–I can think of one super crazy ass thing, but it is too crazy

–Really Crazy?

–Are we both thinking the same thing?

–I think so

In unison:

–The EdgeWalk.

We mentally decide in February that we are going to do this walk.  For months, every time I see the CN tower, my heart skips.  I feel sick. The EdgeWalk re-opens for the season in May.  Our anniversary is May 16.  Seems like a fitting thing to do on an anniversary non?

A few days before May 16th, we book on line.  The walk is non refundable and expensive.  We are now committed.

The Germ has specific instructions–If I fall off, he is to to unclip immediately and jump after me.  Ditto goes for me.

So here we go EdgeWalk, Kitty and the Germ style.

We make our way over to the base camp inside the CN Tower (right beside the gift shop).

Once taken into the change room area, we are instructed to remove all jewellery including wedding bands and earrings.

We are given read jumpsuits and were breathalized (no drunks permitted).  We get put into harnesses.

We ride in a special elevator all the way to the top and walk right out. I am in full prayer mode.  It is super windy outside, but not windy enough that we can’t go.

The Germ, as per usual gets outside and is fearlessly brave and hanging/dangling over the edge at every opportunity.  Me?  Not so much.  I did not sign on for the additional activities.  I just signed on to walk around the edge.  It was also just us two, so peer pressure wasn’t applicable.

To some, this may not be the craziest thing, but since I am not a fan of heights, this really was the most crazy ass thing I could imagine.

Attached is the video.  Proves we were there!

 Posted by at 10:47