Ivy is Resting in Heaven

Ivy, my beautiful black lab, passed away today. Her throat tumor got the best of her but I hope, wherever she is, she’s relieved from pain.

Amidst my painful tears and feelings of loneliness, I can’t help but relive all those special moments we shared together.

I remember when I got her. Little Ives and her puppy siblings were running around the yard where they were born. I loved them all and it was impossible to choose one. I sat down, legs crossed and little did I know, Ivy would end up choosing me. A tiny puppy came to me and rested her head on my crossed legs and fell asleep. I knew then, we had chosen each other.

I remember when I took her home, took care of her as she struggled with the feeling of separation from her family, until we were lucky enough to eventually be called her family.

I remember her sleeping in my bed. She used to take most of the space for herself, sleep belly up and tongue out. What wouldn’t I give to fight for my space in bed with her one last time.

I remember my first heartbreak. And all the subsequent ones where I would close myself off to the world in my bathroom and cry my heart out. I would eventually hear her sniffing outside asking me to please open up the door to let her in. She was the only one I’d let in. I hugged her and she licked my tears away. I always wondered how dogs, or her, seem to have a sixth sense.

I remember her mischievousness. Like any good lab, she ate everything and anything. Sometimes it was the leftovers, other times the food I managed to sneak out for her. One time it was a plastic bag. I remember her pooping that out! How she made me laugh. She had no limits, apparently.

I remember her first and only litter of puppies. We had built a special bed for her to deliver her pups. The night before they were born she hesitated but made sure to let me know they were coming. In the middle of the night she gave birth to 11 gorgeous puppies. I remember one being born without breathing. I had prepared myself for the birth and was lucky to save her. I still remember Ivy’s concerned yet relieved expression as if it was yesterday.

Over the years, I regret to admit we began to drift apart. My walks of life took me abroad for the better part of the last 9 years. However, I still remember her reaction and welcome every time I came home. It’s as if I had just left for a few hours to run errands. I could tell she missed me terribly.

I remember everything about her. Her loyalty, her wagging tail, her soft tummy, her kind eyes and her sense of humor. What I regret is I will not be able to remember her last minutes on earth. Being away from home, Ivy died alone without me next to her, holding her paw and caressing her soft cheek as I’m sure it would have been, had I been there.

Despite my suffering, despite my disbelief of the situation, I know heaven has gained another angel today.

RIP Ivy Suriano
25 October 2002 – 31 May 2014

“Those we love don’t go away
They walk beside us every day
Unseen, unheard but always near
Still loved, still missed and very dear”
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Use Fashion To Express Your Best Self – Advice from Jamie Chung

Ever wonder what your clothes and what you wear say about you? I had the opportunity to interview Jamie Chung, mostly known for her acting in the Hangover II and Sucker Punch, amongst other films. Jamie is also a fashion enthusiast like myself, and together we want to give you tips on how to use fashion to express your best self!

1. Be creative: Did you know most of us use 20% of our wardrobe 80% of the time? Be inventive in how you use your wardrobe. Roam around for that patterned item you bought a few months (years?) ago and dare to wear it out! Also, fashion is fun so have fun with it: “Don’t be afraid to try new trends and styles – you never know until you try it!”, Jamie recommends.

2. Be yourself: Fashion is about personal expression, thus it is important to be yourself. Add your personal touch whether that be wearing your favorite garment and dressing it up or down depending on the occasion.

3. Make it comfortable: Whatever you wear, you need to be comfortable with it. Your assertiveness and personality will shine through when you truly own your outfit!

4. Go for quality: As Jamie suggests, it is worth investing in quality and versatile pieces such as that perfect Italian leather handbag or those form-fitting designer jeans. These are basic staples in your wardrobe that can be used in the many facets of your life. “Places like T.J.Maxx carry quality pieces at incredible prices so you don’t have to break the bank to look like a million bucks” says Jamie.

5. Make it transformational: Feeling dreary? Bad weather outside? Use bold colors and pieces to transform your day from dreary to fabulous! A white plain t-shirt and jeans can be transformed into a great outfit by adding heels and a bold, colorful blazer! You can also tie up a maxi jersey dress at the bottom on one of the sides to add some edge to one of this spring’s must-have items!

6. Use accessories and shoes: Statement necklaces and bold, bright colored shoes can change a simple outfit to make it your own, letting your best self shine through. Jamie agrees, “Polished and classy with a little bit of spice!”. Not a fan of large jewelry and colorful shoes? You can keep it classy by adding a subtle necklace and classic and clean-styled shoes.

7. Follow your favorite brands for inspiration: Finding and following a handful of favorite brands allows you to stay on top of fashion trends that allow you to express your own personal style. This is especially true if you don’t necessarily follow fashion. Your choice of favorite brands will change as your style evolves. For Jamie, she had a period where she was even inspired by the tomboy look (ok, who hasn’t been through that stage?!) and now she’s in love with Isabel Marant, Cameo the Label, Rebecca Minkoff, Chanel, Stuart Weitzman, For Love and Lemons, Lovers and Friends, etc. “Isabel Marant and Chanel because they make my staple investment pieces. I love the other labels because they make the best of top trends. But they always add a unique personal touch. They all have a laid back California vibe, and that’s my thing.”

Whether you are a newbie to fashion and follow brands for inspiration or are a serious fashionista and prefer edgier ensembles, how you dress reflects a lot about you and your personality. So remember to apply these tips and use fashion to reveal your best self.