Book Review: Goddess of Love Incarnate

After finishing the book last night, I thought it was due time to get rolling with my late review. (I have a new respect for Kindles’ though – the book was heavy to cart around on transit). All the stories and the photographs included in the book made for an interesting read. Lili had lived and Leslie Zemeckis did a fantastic job capturing her roller coaster of a life.

Before the book, I had never heard of Lili St. Cyr and the differences between us are obvious. But after reading Lili’s bio I couldn’t help but to pull some similarities:

  • We both have affection for white roses, pearls, and champagne. I know Instagram accounts built on this love.
  • Fans of great fashion designers like Balenciaga and Dior (Although my goal is to actually wear the clothes one day like Lili – My Dior espadrilles are magnificent. The perfume they sprayed on them at Le Bon Marche in Paris lingered all the way home).
  • We like to keep busy, are disciplined and are always working on something. Lili was continually trying to improve and worked hard to be stand out.
  • We don’t like the feeling of being claustrophobic or tied down. Lili did have 5 or 6 marriages by the time she was my age, which seems like a lot – but I figured she was into the euphoria of romance rather than a lifelong commitment.
  • We like adventure. I seem to enjoy international travel more than Lili did but then again I’m also not carting around vintage trunks when travel either.
  • We both have been to the Roosevelt Hotel, Hollywood and the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco (it’s now the Westin St. Francis – but it’s kept it’s charm) and Bergdorf Goodman.
  • She spent a large amount of time in Canada – Montreal to be exact. I’m from the west coast of Canada.
  • Lili made a Love List (sort of)! On page 329, I was delighted to read that for an interview she broke down her lovers/friends and the qualities she admired about them such as wit, sex appeal and generosity.

At the high point in her career, Lili was pulling a 6-figure salary (maybe the equivalent of almost a million now?) but sadly spending through all her earnings at a rapid rate. Like a bad business case, if she only invested a small portion of her millions she wouldn’t have to sell her beloved house. A collaboration with a company like Agent Provocateur or Dom Pérignon would have been a lucrative deal (this is easy to propose as an outsider!). She did have her own lingerie line at one point. It’s a shame her club in NYC, Boudoir never made it. I’m sure the décor and design was amazing. Many opportunities sadly lost.

I enjoyed reading this well written biography full of details and packed with research. And although her demise was tragic and unpleasant, the story of the stripteuse can live on in The Goddess of Love Incarnate, as glamorous, passionate and full of joie de vivre as Lili St. Cyr herself.

ELENA:) ps: I had a short 5 minute 5 question interview with author, Leslie Zemeckis posted on my News & Events page.

 

LeslieFinalKelly Rutherford, Leslie Zemeckis, Susan RockefellerBook cover

NYC Photo shoot

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas. I’m actually enjoying catching up on old TV episodes and sleeping. I have finally finished the Lili St. Cyr biography I have been reading as well (read all about it in a future post).

Back in NYC, I teamed up with my friends from Flytographer to shoot in the streets of Soho. This time, the fabulous Mayleen was behind the camera and we had a lot of fun. She schooled me all about Miami, shooting notable clients and how to be fearless in a “coat that looks like a shag bear that didn’t stand a chance.” Here are some shots with hair and makeup by Bianca and Anthony. As you can see, I’m a fan of the profile shot;)

ELENA:)

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NYC in December

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I can’t believe that there is 5 days until Christmas!!!

I used the last of my vacation time to venture off to NYC in early December and I thought you might want to know a little about my adventures. This is a short summary with more details to follow!

TUESDAY: Checked into The Renwick, (a cool new boutique hotel on east 40th in between Park and Lex) and went to visit my friend Nizim from Labeling Men and had dinner at Bill’s Food & Drink on 54th. Bill’s Food and Drink is one of Chef John Delucie’s restaurant. Bedford & Co is his latest venture at the Renwick which is slated to open very very soon! (Comment: Actually it’s not going to open until spring 2016) Things to note – my room had a lovely floral arrangement from Uprooted Flower Truck (NYC’s first flower truck) to brighten my stay and I got to snack on some yummy ginger people made by Sweets by Olivia (which only lasted a night!).IMG_8612IMG_8602

WEDNESDAY: Hair and makeup with Anthony and Bianca for a Flytographer shoot in Soho. I got to wear my new Christmas/Birthday present to myself, a Proenza Schouler cashmere coat which I love. (More photos in a future post). Uber was crashed when I needed to rush to an important meeting at the Surrey Hotel but I managed to get there eventually after walking 20 blocks in heels and paying $30 for car service. Sheesh. Dinner at Marta with a friend from BluBird Vancouver.

THURSDAY: A breakfast meeting at Le Pain Quotidien followed by an amazing tour of Ciner manufacturing (future post coming up) was on the schedule. In the evening, I surprised the creative fashion illustrator Elaine Biss at her French Connection event. After, I got to meet Alexis Bittar at his holiday meet and greet. Then finally, to my trainers delight, I got to eat a chicken burger at Fuku.

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FRIDAY: A breakfast meeting at The Smith (I totally recommend) and a stop in with Editor-In -Chief, Courtenay C. Hall from Bella New York Magazine. I made a pit stop at Century 21 of course and had a few moments uptown to take some photos of beautiful Bergdorf window displays before heading downtown to dinner at Hundred Acres.

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SATURDAY: A stop into Creeds Collective Pop Up Shop which was conveniently located across the street from the brunch spot Santina under the High Line.  I managed to pick up some salt water taffy from Salty Road from Brooklyn. With an hour to spare to leave to airport, I went to & Other Stories new 5th avenue spot and bought a pair of booties.

ELENA:)

L’Oreal Paris Canada Photo Shoot for LouLou Magazine

I won a chance to be in LouLou Magazine and model my new blue black hair courtesy of L’Oreal Paris Canada. So, before Paris – I took a side trip to Toronto for the shoot for the weekend. Hair, makeup, wardrobe. I had so much fun and was happy to be part of the spread. For a person who travels a lot – this was the first time I actually spent some time in Toronto.  I did it in style and stayed at the Shangri-la. I had dinner at Momofuku, which was also amazing. What an awesome way to start my vacation.

ELENA:)

NYC Trip

This was my fifth time this year to head over to NYC. And i definitely had fun but full schedule. I checked into the lovely Ace Hotel  and for all the places I have stayed this year, I would actually stay there again. Great Flatiron area, Stumptown coffee and the Breslin. Although I was unable to eat at the Breslin (it’s definitely on my list for a future – that actually is one criticism I have for they Ace – they need to have tables for people staying in the hotel!).

I managed to check a few holiday parties including one for the Centre for Social Innovation NYC and BellaNYC Magazine. Also some great new restaurants including Rosemary’s (where I had brunch with the funny,talented and sweet Alex of What’s Bakin’ NYC) and Chalk point Kitchen which was the most vegetable filled meal I have EVER had in NY. And it wasn’t the normal lame veggies either. I would definitely make sure to put them back on the list for a revisit.

ELENA:)

Holt Renfrew Valentine’s Day

The Agents @amyleagil and #Kim stopped by yesterday. We are matching! @holtsvancouver @holtrenfrew #thelovelist Thanks for the support ladies!

Happy New Year!

In reflection, 2013 was more about celebration for me. I had a great fair themed birthday, went on a few trips, published my first book and graduated with an MBA.

Now what? I believe 2014 will be all about building on the foundation of 2013 and taking everything further. New job, launching my book in other cities, getting back into traveling. All stuff like that.

I’ve become smarter with matters of the heart. Doesn’t make it any easier though. I’ve consciously said goodbye to three individuals within the last few days. It goes back to my string vs ribbon concept. I was stringing them along because they were 50% or more of my list. But in some way or another – they weren’t right. And holding onto them and wishing that certain facts were going to change isn’t going to help either. Waste of my time.

The little time I had left, because I was so busy accomplishing two huge goals that the year zipped by.

I think I want to be forthcoming with all that I have accomplished this year. Really relish in it. Not bragging. But owning it.

I also need to be gracious and more kind to everyone.

I can’t wait for 2014 to start.

ELENA:)

Chapters Book Signing!

So much fun! My book signing at Chapters.

ELENA:)

Thank You!

Long over due thanks to @queensberryflowers and @beyondthescope for my @chaptersindigo book launch for #thelovelist! (at Chapters, Granville and Broadway)

Two Goals in Two Years

Two goals in two years. What’s next? #thelovelist #ubcgrad

Unexpected Love

Unexpected love. Thanks everyone for the well wishes and gifts 🙂 Thanks @theexperienceevents! Couldn’t pull it off without you! #thelovelist #book #booksigning (at Shangri la vancouver )

Book Launch Outfit

Book launch party ready #thelovelist @theexperienceevents @maisonvalentino (at Shangri la vancouver )

Stood Up

Having Brunch with myself at Eveleigh.

ELENA:)

Manslations Book Review

MANSLATIONS!!! Best book to decoding the secret language of men….thank you Jeff Mac!

I’m not going to ruin the book for you but there is this thing called the Anger Smokescreen that a guy used on me… multiple times actually….

“It goes like this: You catch him doing something wrong; you have all the evidence; and yet he flips out as if you’re the one being outrageous. He’s banking on you not being confident enough to defend your point in the face of furious anger” (or in my case a wagging water bottle).

“So what he’ll do is this: He’ll get twice as mad at you as you are at him. His hope is that you’ll suddenly wonder if it isn’t all your fault after all.”

“Usually the guys who are heavy into this one date women with terrible enough self-esteem that is actually works – he can actually convince these ladies that it’s all their issue and he’s the victim. Oftentimes they will even apologize to him!”

Wow… sounds all too familiar doesn’t it 😉

ELENA:)

Dear Fiancé

The other day i was proposed to. In a dream. With earrings. Now, the majority of ladies want a rock to go on the finger. Not me. I want engagement earrings. Preferably something that goes with everything because i will wear them all the time. So i decided to do some pre shopping. You know, see what’s out there. Here are the choices in no particular order. Surprise me.

1) Cartier: Earrings with blossom motif

2) Harry Winston: Sunflower Earstuds

3) Birks: Diamond earrings

4) Tiffany’s: Garden flower earrings

ELENA:)

Speed Dating

Here is the equation…

I’m Single + My friend who owns a restaurant (Terracotta) wants Thursday traffic = Speed Dating Event

Sounds simple…. but it wasn’t.

First of all, you need a mix of people. Do not get your friends to invite their friends because everyone just knows each other. The 6 degrees of separation turns into 2 and you end up wondering why you weren’t invited to a certain party when everyone starts talking.

Second, the room needs to accommodate a large amount of people who all will be talking at the same time. I think i lost my voice because i was screaming so much. There needs to be a flow to the room. People shouldn’t have to wonder where they have to go next.

Let’s talk about hand shakes and lotion. They go hand and hand. I know it’s winter and it’s cold outside. But the dryness of guys’ hands was incredible. Also, if you were planning to shake some persons hand…. shake it firmly – no wimpy half handshakes please.

The guys weren’t bad. There were some nice guys. Maybe 1 that i would consider hanging out again. 1 out of 20… not bad. There was one guy who kept checking his phone and could not do any amount of eye contact. The same guy asked me if i liked guys to wear boxers or briefs. Really?

The topics of conversation were light… but I will say this, i agree with the play ThisAsking a person, what they do really equates to… how much money do you make and do i make more you?

My friends friend was telling me he thought that there were alot of girls with walls up. While washing my hands in the bathroom, this girl approached me and asked if i was having i fun. I was like, “Sure… it could be worse” Her reply was, “You’re a really good hearted person.” I didn’t think it was THAT bad. Or maybe I’m that nice.

ELENA:)

My New List (Jan 27 2011)

Ok in honor of my birthday in 2 days… i have cut down the list… made it more succinct…

1) Educated

2) Loves everything about me

3) Witty, Funny, Goofy when appropriate

4) Does not lie, can tell the truth, honest, trustworthy

5) Can handle confrontation, forward/direct

6) Ambitious, will enrich my life, encouraging and supportive

7) has self esteem, not too cocky

8) well paying job

9) has hobbies, reads

10) friendly, affectionate, PDA
11) open minded thinks outside to box, creative, adventurous and likes to try new things

12) outgoing/social

13) compassionate/understanding/patient/ thoughtful/respect

14) good communication

15) warm/caring/genuine/considerate

16) short hair

17) Taller than 5″9

18) lean (not skinner than me)

19) keep up with hygiene

20) loves to travel

21) great relationship with friends/family

22) has a sense of style

23) 29-35

24) healthy, likes to exercise

ELENA:)

Top 5 Things I learned on my Trip #1

TOP 5 Things I learned on my trip…

1) Learn something new. Sounds simple? It is, but really travelling to a whole new country gives you ample opportunities to try something completely different. Learn something new and enhance your travelling experience. As much as i loved shopping, my feet needed a break. I took a short class on Ikebana (Japanese floral design) at the Ichiyo School of Ikebana in Nakano and learned about technique and function. Very interesting and fun!

ELENA:)

Top 5 things I learned on my Trip: #5

TOP 5 Things i learned on my trip…

5) Sometimes travel without an itinerary can be helpful. I usually plan things to a T especially if i haven’t been to the place before which can be draining … but nothing is more staisfying than crossing off things off the old list. Or in my case, it would be a spreadsheet. Having no itniterary allows you to be spontaneous, and if you want to spend more time in a certain place – or if things were closed you will always have time to check them out.

When i was in Tokyo, i was lost. Thankfully my trust friend knows the city like the back of her hand. But without my map or guidebook, i was really at the mercy of my friend. It definitely makes you more dependant for sure.

ELENA:)

Day 8: Shopping in Tokyo

No matter how many times you visit a place – things can always change. Today we hit the area of Harajuku and realized that alot of the stores had either closed down or moved locations. I guess it was totally a sign of the Japanese economy. Kitson and TopShop have found their way to the streets of Tokyo – unfortunately both had a lame selection of goods. Of course we had to visit Marc by Marc Jacobs and I did contemplate purchasing a plaid scarf but I actually couldn’t justify the shopping purchase.

The day started by visiting a “donut shop” called Love Sweets Antique. The donuts were actually flavored ice cream. I ended up having a green tea cream puff instead. After purchasing a jacket at Laforet we had some ramen. Though I’m not a big fan of pork – I love noodles it filled us up so we could tackle Kiddy land, Anna Sui and Omotesando Hills.

Did you know prescription eyeglasses are cheap in Tokyo? Not designer brands but at the local eye glass shops you can buy fashionable frames, lenses and get an eye exam for less than $100. We checked out Zoft. I may have to purchase a pair.

We walked from Harajuku to Shibuya where we crossed at a famous crosswalk where you can cross diagonally. We had dinner at this super cheap/ super fast place called Pepper Lunch. You buy a ticket and then your beef meal cooks on a hot plate in 4 minutes or less. I got beef with rice and corn. So tasty.

After dinner we checked out one more department store where I found a Tsumori  (local designer) wallet that may replace my old one. Can’t wait. Today we will be heading over to Shinjuku for more department store shopping…. i think that i need to buy another bag.

ELENA:)

Day 7: Today in Tokyo

After a really early flight from Manila, we were off to Tokyo! Yeah! I love Tokyo. So different than any other large city around. There are even subtle differences, for example…. a little boy on the train wanted to see out the window. Normally, at home the boy would jump on the seat and away we go… but not here. The boy took off his shoes to kneelon the seat to see out the window. Amazing respect for the environment.

So many people everywhere. So busy. It’s acutally kind of nice.

We checked into are hotel and settled into our very small room. We aren’t at the Shangri-la anymore! But this is Tokyo…. why would we stay in our room?

For dinner we met up with some of my friends friends at an izakaya. Not so smokey thank goodness…. the food and the company was outstanding. Bacon wrapped scallops with asparagus, Caesar salad with noodles and egg, and Cassius cola.

We sat and talked for hours about the engagements and popping the question. Their stories gave me shivers. It’s interesting to talk to couples from all walks of life of how they got together. For the longest time i thought that i should hold off on marriage until i complete some of my goals (get my own TV show, buy my first place etc. etc.), but since the breakup was i really reconsidering my stance on everything, including marriage? I don’t know. Actually… i do know what it is. I think that I’m kind of worried that because i have become so goal orientated things that want in the future (marriage, 1 or no children) might pass me by. Funny thing is, i want it all and i have no doubt in my mind that i will get it all. So this feeling that i have is almost like a passing cloud.

It’s almost midnight here…. tomorrow is shopping (therapy) better rest up.

ELENA:)

Day 4 & 5: Relaxation 101

Day 4: Four Hour Spa Treatment

I slept for the entire night for the first time since I arrived in in the Philippines. Usually I’m up around 3 or 5am But not this night. Even with my sporadic cough, I was out….

After hanging poolside for two hours (my first sunbathing session ever) we were escorted into our spa villa for our four hour Himalayan Blue Ritual. To get the time slot we wanted, we had to booked as a couple.

In the changing room I put my housecoat on the counter as I took a steam shower. When I came out, my friend told me that she smelled something burning and she found that I had put my housecoat on an incense burner and it had burned a hole through the sleeve! Eek. We hid the evidence under a mass of towels like little girls.

After the shower, we had a Sea salt scrub on this huge heated marble stone. Note: salt and shaving do not mix. I had shaved my legs in the morning so my legs were burning. Two and half hours later, we had a red mud body mask and an avocado cucumber hair mask. Then before we knew it, we were covered with towels because the fire alarm went off (no one said we had to shut off the steam shower) – oops!

Here’s a question…when was the last time you have been naked with your friends? There is a purpose to this question… Read on. We were escorted to sit in a cool bath of water with oranges and rose petals to wash off the hot mud. There we sat not looking at each other for 15 min in our perspective corners as we ate fresh fruit. The ambiancewas rather romantic that it was funny. We thought it was funny. We laughed the whole time we were in the tub. So not spa etiquette. After showering, we had an epic massage that put both of us in comatose state and we floated back to our room.

Day 5: The beach

So I had to get my nails redone after I realized that my concoction of bug spray and sunscreen was peeling my nail polish. Yuck.

We walked to the beach from our room and for 3 hours and watched this ridiculous couple do a “photo shoot”. Each pose was done twice on a left and right angle. I couldn’t believe the guy who was side lying in the sand with one hand behind his head and his other hand caressing the sand. Later, the couple got adventurous using the surrounding rock wall to lean against and pose. We continued to watch from afar eating our Halo Halo. I had to take a picture for some evidence which i will post later.

ELENA:)