5/30/16, Memorial Day

Posted on May 30, 2016

Hi Everyone,

I hope that wherever you are, you have a holiday, and are taking the day off today!! The Memorial Day weekend is special because it is the unofficial start of summer, even though summer doesn’t really start until June 21st. But this is the first long weekend of warmer days, with the promise of real summer just lining up. Kids are almost finished with school, college kids already are. Summer plans, summer jobs, summer days, summer camp, we have all of that still in store for us!!

I’ve been to two graduations in the last week, both of which meant a lot to me. One was the business school graduation of a young man who is very, very dear to my family, and to me. He has been part of our family for the past fifteen years. So I went to LA last week to attend his graduation. He worked hard for that degree, and I wanted to be there to cheer him on, and watch him receive it. I got up at 4 am, to be sure I wasn’t late, left my hotel at 6am, for the drive to his University, and be at the graduation when it started promptly at 8 am. I had lunch with him afterwards, with him and his friends and family, and then went back to San Francisco, with cherished memories of a special day, and very very proud of him.

Two days later, another graduate who is dear to my heart had her high school graduation. And I was watching young people in caps and gowns lining up for their diplomas once again. The high school seniors were livelier than their graduate school counterparts, and it was fun, an exciting moment that I felt privileged to share.

So with two graduations under my belt, summer is definitely just around the corner!!!

I’m spending this Memorial Day quietly working. I’ve never been exactly sure about the meaning of Memorial Day, if it was to remember one’s lost loved ones, or about Veterans, so I looked it up, and as you all probably know, it is to honor the men and women fallen in wars. And apparently the tradition began after the Civil War. So today, we honor the brave men and women who have defended us, and lost their lives in the wars, in service to their country. We are grateful to them for the freedoms they have protected and gave their lives for, and for keeping us safe. It’s a serious holiday, with a noble purpose.

I hope that you’ve had a wonderful day, and will have a happy week ahead. I still have lots of work to do, before I can abandon myself to the lazy days of summer a little later. I have to earn some time off first!!!

Take good care, and have a great week!!

love, Danielle

5/23/16, Shoe Confessions

Posted on May 23, 2016

Hi Everyone,

I was packing for the summer, surrounded by tee shirts, bathing suits, light clothes, and mostly shoes, when I decided to make a confession to you. I’m not addicted to gambling, and have never been interested in it. Not addicted to any special past times, and never fooled around with booze or drugs…..but SHOES!!! I am confessing: I am totally addicted to shoes. Nothing makes me happy or cheers me up like a pair of pretty new shoes. I know this is not an area of great fascination to men, and their comment to any shoe purchase is usually, “but you already have a pair of black shoes”. Yeah, so??? That has never stopped me!!!! A girl can’t have too many shoes. Or I guess we can, but if it makes me happy, it’s not hurting anybody. I’m always finding some pair of shoes I love, and sometimes, some really crazy ones!!  My father always said that my first word was “shoe”, so apparently I started early!!

In the past, when the world was more formal and people dressed up more, I wore suits and dresses, but as the world got more informal, and we all live in jeans and people wear running shoes and flip flops even to work, I have settled into a sort of uniform: black pants and a black sweater (or black tee shirt in the summer), and I wear a lot of black loafers, or flats in the daytime. If I go out to dinner, I wear black pants and a nicer sweater. A coat, a bag, and a great pair of shoes I love. For me, shoes make the outfit. I love the black jeans at Zara, for about $20, I live in them almost daily, and reasonable black slacks that I find in Paris, but I go all out on shoes. I can’t resist!!!And I have much smaller feet than all 5 of my daughters, so my shoe wardrobe is safe!! I keep some shoes for years and years, and some of them still look great. I can wander through a store and not go crazy buying clothes….but the shoes snag me every time!!! I wear super high heels sometimes when I go out at night, am grateful for the little kitten heels that are in fashion right now, and most of the time I wear flats in the daytime, to run around in. And I am scared to death of platform shoes, terrified I will fall and break a leg or fall flat on my face. And there are still a lot of cobble stoned streets in Paris, even right outside my house, which don’t seem like a good mix with platforms!!

Anyway, as I packed this morning, I decided to share my shoe addiction with you, a lot of women seem to love shoes, and I thought you might get a good laugh out of some of my shoes!!!

The brands I seem to wear most are Chanel (some very classic, and their ‘ballerina flats’ are super comfortable!! And they do some very modern looking shoes too), Stubbs and Wootton (from Palm Beach and New York), and Charlotte Olympia (from England) are THE MOST comfortable. Their sizing is so consistent, you can buy them online and know they will always fit in your size. You can wear them for 18 hours of running around on the first day. Manolo Blahnik, are my most elegant, Gianvito Rossi the sexiest.

The Craziest:
-These are by Balenciaga, they are an architectural wonder. I bought them as a work of art, not to wear them. I can’t walk across the room in them, and have never worn them. But they are ‘cool’ to look at. I have another crazy pair too, in brown leather with wooden soles and orange laces, with antique buttons on them, they’re very exotic and strange, by Manolo Blahnik, they were a sample and were never produced. I couldn’t resist them at a sample sale. I wore them once, and felt like I should be riding a yak when I wore them. But I’ve kept them, because they’re unique!! (my children screamed at me when I bought them.)

Craziest

The Most Comfortable:
– Stubbs and Wootton: The “I love U” shoes one of my daughters gave me for Valentine’s Day, I wear them all the time.  The black velvet ones with my initials on them. I love them!!! Also incredibly comfortable. And their fancy ones for this past Christmas, with big rhinestones on them.

 

mostcomfortable mostcomfortable_2

 

The Cutest, ‘Fun’-est:
– Charlotte Olympia: They do a lot of very high platform shoes that I don’t wear, and some pretty evening shoes. But what I love are their “Kitty shoes” I have a lot of them, and I think they’re soooo cute. AND so comfy. Great running around fun shoes.

 

Funest:Ctest

 

The Silliest:
-These are by Celine, silly but fun!

Silliest

 

The Highest/Tallest:
– A pair of beautiful Chanel platforms, the only ones I own. REALLY tall!! I wear them at home.

Highest

The Sexiest:

– by Gianvito Rossi, classic shapes, high heels. Really pretty to wear in the evening or to go out to dinner.

Sexiest

The Newest (that I couldn’t resist):
– in the middle, a multi colored pair of Prada, on a low heel, that I’ve already worn a lot.
-The other four are all Chanel, my favorites are the pearl sandals. I can’t wait to wear them, and will wear them this summer in the evening, soooo cool!!

Newest

The Most Elegant:
-Manolo Blahnik are always my most elegant shoes, comfortable even in a high heel. They look so pretty. I wear some of their flats in the daytime, which are always very feminine looking, and their evening shoes are gorgeous.

Manolo

The Most Classic:
– Hermes: they make some ‘hot’ sexy shoes, but they also make wonderful loafers, and pretty flats and sandals, and some evening shoes. Beautiful quality. And I wear them forever, year after year. They never go out of style.

 

Classic

most_classic

 

 

My Oldest:
– Chanel sometimes makes beautiful classics. The little flat denim pumps, I have worn for about 25 years, and I just love them, and still wear them all the time with jeans. The combat boots are also Chanel. I wear them whenever I have some ‘mission’ that requires solid shoes. I wore them for 11 years on the streets when I worked on a homeless outreach team. So comfy, solid and sturdy. I’ve had them for about 25 years too and still wear them a lot. And the denim loafers are by a company I loved in Paris that is no longer in business, Harel. I’ve worn them with jeans for at least 20 years and still love them.

oldest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So now you know one of my worst vices and indulgences. Superficial and naughty, and sometimes expensive, but shoes just make me happy!!!

love, Danielle

Filed Under Fashion, Shopping | 6 Comments

5/16/16, Memories

Posted on May 16, 2016

Hi Everyone,

I hope you had a good week, and that good things are happening for you.

I had a letter from a friend this week, which brought back memories I’ll share with you. I don’t usually dwell on the past, I’m busy living life every day, meeting deadlines, talking to or visiting my children. We all have enough to think about with our jobs, our work, our families, and I realize now, when I do look back, that I have had some golden moments in my life. The friend who wrote to me was reminiscing about the parties I used to give, which seemed ‘normal’ to me at the time, and I realize now how special they were, and the memories they provided for the people we shared those moments with.

I was married to my husband John then, (the father of 8 of my 9 children), he was the most dashing man I’ve ever met, dazzling, elegant, incredibly handsome, movie star handsome. I led a very quiet life when I met him, writing my books, working hard. I didn’t go out much, and my life was certainly not glamourous. I met him, and he swept me off my feet. He was 20 years older than I, but dashing and youthful. blog.picMay16.2He loved parties, life, entertaining, going to grand events, and married to him, my life became very exciting. It was a different time, when entertaining lavishly wasn’t shocking. I’m not sure that people had more fun, but they were more daring about it. We lived in a Victorian house built in 1895, and restored it. And as our family kept growing—-every year!!—-until we had 9 children, he had his eye on a wonderful old house still owned by the original family, but no one had lived in it for about 40 years. The house was like a beautiful grande dame, that needed to be dusted off and brought into the light again. It was built in 1910, and once again we restored it and returned it to what it once had been. We filled it with our 9 children, their friends, and our friends, John loved to entertain, and I enjoyed it with him. He was the original Prince Charming, and at his side I always felt like Cinderella. He lifted me from my more mundane life to a more glamourous, sophisticated one. It took me by surprise at first, and I eventually came to enjoy it, and we gave some wonderful parties together, with music and dancing, and a band, 100 people for dinner, and afterwards people would stay until the wee hours dancing. It was very romantic!!! At the beginning of the evening, our children would come to say hello to the guests, and then they disappeared when we sat down to dinner. It sounds silly now, but for our Christmas dance, we had a snow machine on the roof, so it would look like it was snowing, as the snowflakes drifted past the windows. We had some wonderful times, and I’ve never danced as much since. People don’t give parties like that anymore, and I don’t either. It wouldn’t feel right today, but it was acceptable then.
blog.pic.May16 blog.pic.May16.4 blog.pic.May16.3

We were married for 18 years, but even fairytales end. Mylife changed, more importantly the world has changed. These are troubled times of poverty and anguish and danger in the world, of people struggling to survive, and economies shaky worldwide. Our marriage ended, my son Nick died as you know. I spent 11 years on the streets working with the homeless, and you see homeless people on the streets everywhere now, we live in a troubled world. My children grew up, and the world is such a different place. The kind of glamour we indulged in then is rarely, if ever, seen today. We all live in jeans. I have the beautiful gowns I used to wear at our parties, and haven’t worn them in years, and have nowhere to wear them, but I’ve saved them for my daughters as a piece of history. Even if I were still married, I can’t imagine giving parties like that today, with 100 people and a band, dancing the night away, with a snow machine on the roof. But what fun it was then. The friend who wrote to me, was reminiscing about how beautiful those parties were, with the snow falling past the windows. I never realized then how magical those nights were. But I do now, as cherished memories. My children remember them too, as part of their childhood. It’s a time that will never come again, and we were fortunate to enjoy those days. The world is a more serious place now, and so am I. We’ve all grown up…..but how pretty it was, how lucky we were to live it and share it with friends, who remember it too. If I go out for an evening now, I wear black slacks and a sweater, not a ballgown. There is no snow machine on the roof. We have family dinners, in the same house, on holidays, and I cherish these times too. But the memories, and the echoes of the music are very sweet. I just wanted to share that with you, and these old photographs of John, and me, and the children……sweet memories of a fairytale time…Now back to real life today!! Have a great week!!!

love, Danielle

PS. In response to a comment to last week’s blog, someone had heard that I passed away recently, and wanted confirmation that I didn’t. I’m happy to confirm that I am alive and kicking (in cute shoes, see the blog above). I think the confusion stems from the passing of the writer Jackie Collins a few months ago, and right afterwards a number of people got confused and thought it was me. She was a wonderful person and a good friend. People often confused us with restaurant reservations. We didn’t look anything alike, but maybe people just thought ‘writer’ and her name popped into their heads. I once got stood up by an airline VIP greeter who told me she couldn’t help me, because she was waiting to help Jackie Collins….she was really waiting for me, but was confused. Jackie wasn’t there, and I wound up having to drag my bags off the luggage belt myself!!! They apologized later. So we all miss Jackie…but I’m alive and well. Thanks for checking it out, love, Danielle

Filed Under Family, Parties | 9 Comments

5/9/16, Not Perfect But Wonderful!

Posted on May 9, 2016

Hi Everyone,

I hope that where appropriate, you had a lovely Mother’s Day. I realize every year, that after Christmas, it’s my favorite holiday!!! I really enjoy it with my kids. I spent it between two cities, and two countries, in my “double life”. For many, many years, with 9 children, I was rooted and planted in one spot, we went away in the summer for vacation, but the rest of the time, I was solidly planted in one place, driving kids to school, ballet classes, baseball, lacrosse and soccer games, organizing birthday parties, sleep overs, play dates, buying school supplies, and dropping off forgotten lunches. My life revolved totally around my kids, their school vacations, school plays, dance recitals, track meets, etc. multiplied by 9. It was a super busy life, beyond busy, I was always running to pick someone up, drop someone off, get their sick dogs to the vet, get baseball uniforms, all the things that fill and rule one’s life when you have kids, and I have a lot of them!!! I hardly traveled at all, never in fact, except in the summer with the kids And then one day the kids grew up, several moved to other cities to pursue their careers (for my 3 in fashion, they had to be in the cities where fashion is made, one went to LA to produce movies,) the chicks flew away, the husband left, and I found myself in an almost empty house, looking into empty bedrooms, and waiting for them to come home for holidays. I still have one child at home, fortunately, but she’s always busy, work, gym, concerts, friends. They all have their own lives now. So I flew away too, and began living in 2 cities, in 2 countries, flying back and forth between the 2, every few weeks, to my two home bases, and to visit my kids along the way in their cities. It has evolved into a nomadic life of constant travel, I see new movies on planes, work in both places, I have a typewriter in both houses, and fly away, land, unpack that night, and start work the next day (sometimes I wake up in the morning, and in the first few minutes, wonder which city I’m in). It’s a very different life than I used to lead when my kids were little, but with grown kids busy with their own lives, and unmarried myself now, it’s a wonderful way to live life, and not feel the absence of my old life quite so much!!! And on special days, like holidays, I realize what a gypsy I’ve become. I’m always packing and unpacking, flying, visiting kids, or working/writing in my 2 cities. It’s a crazy life, but I love it. » read more »

Filed Under Family, Holidays, Kids | 6 Comments

5/2/16 “Happy May Day!”

Posted on May 2, 2016

Hi Everyone,

I hope you’re doing well, and enjoying spring somewhere. It snowed briefly in Paris last week, and has been freezing!!! So much for April in Paris. Now on to May, which is off to a sweet start, and very busy!!!

First, before anything else, so many of you have very kindly asked about my niece, who was severely injured in the attacks and explosion in Brussels exactly a month ago. She is doing well and hanging on bravely, undergoing many (daily) surgeries. Unfortunately, she lost both legs from the damage, which is very hard at 17. But little by little she is healing from her many injuries (hand, spine, burns, shrapnel throughout her body, much of which can’t be removed). My hope for her is that in time, she will recover and be able to lead a good and full life again. I am VERY, VERY grateful and touched by your good thoughts and prayers. I didn’t want to write the blog without thanking you, and letting you know how she’s doing, since you’ve been kind enough to ask.

Yesterday, May 1st was May Day, which is a big national holiday in France. It is Labor Day, but May Day has always been an important holiday in France. There were flower stands set up on every street, to sell little sprigs of lily of the valley, which people give each other for good luck. Everyone exchanges them, lovers, friends, relatives, employees and employers. Every street is filled with the delicate fragrance of lily of the valley, and the tradition of giving it to everyone is wonderful. The day also has special meaning for me, because May 1st was my late son Nick’s birthday, so the day is tied to sweet memories of him and his May Day birthday. The day is always somewhat bittersweet for me because of him, so I spent the day quietly alone, getting calls and emails from my children and close friends. And then in the evening, I had dinner in a group with 9 friends, at a restaurant I like (and gave them each a tiny vase of lily of the valley, and a box with a chocolate lily of the valley in it). I had a really nice time with them, and it made the day easier for me. We enjoyed the conversations, and just being together, until midnight. People stay a long time after dinner to talk in France. No one is in a rush to go home. It was a really lovely, long congenial evening!!

I was writing all last week, so didn’t go out too much, and I saw family for dinner on Saturday, my friends on Sunday night, and next week, I have some lunches and dinners planned with friends.

And major publishing news this week, On Tuesday May 3rd, my new novel “The Apartment” comes out, and I’m really looking forward to it. And my new children’s book “Pretty Minnie in Hollywood” comes out on the same day. I hope you get them both and LOVE them!!! The Apartment will make a great Mother’s Day gift, and the children’s book is perfect for any little girl who likes pretty clothes!!

Preorder THE APARTMENT: http://bit.ly/1XqGf0x

Preorder PRETTY MINNIE IN HOLLYWOOD: http://bit.ly/1Sc1fdm

Take good care of yourself and have a GREAT week, filled with joy and blessings. And I hope your Mother’s Day on Sunday will be fabulous!!!

love,
Danielle

4/25/16, “Pretty Minnie in Hollywood” & “The Apartment”

Posted on April 25, 2016

Hi Everyone,

I hope everyone is fine and doing well. I have Book News for you today—–two new books!!!! Both are coming out next Tuesday, on May 3rd.

I have a new hardcover coming out, “The Apartment”, about four young women who meet each other when they become room mates, sharing an apartment in Hell’s Kitchen in New York. Many, many years ago, Hell’s Kitchen was one of the most dangerous neighbourhoods in New York, home to several conflicting gangs who clashed regularly. It was an area no one respectable wanted to live in, or even walk through, on the West Side of New York, and deserving of its name. Today, all those once bad neighbourhoods, Hell’s Kitchen, the Bowery, parts of the lower East Side, have become gentrified, even fashionable, rents and sale prices have skyrocketed and they are highly desirable. Today, Hell’s Kitchen is an interesting mix of renovated old buildings, some of which were warehouses, and some beautiful newer buildings. It’s near the theater district, ballet schools, and some of the more creative areas in New York. So the apartment in the book is there, there is even a terrific produce market and flea market there on the weekends to add local color. The four young women in the book meet when they get together to share the apartment, and most of them didn’t know each other before. One is a young writer/playwright, involved with a much older Off Off Broadway theatrical producer, who is clearly taking advantage of her naiveté and her talent, and she is foolishly and madly in love with him. She grew up in LA, and is the daughter of successful TV producers. The other room-mate is a young shoe designer from San Francisco, with lots of talent and ambition and a horrible boss in a shoe company going nowhere. Her mother scrimped and saved to put her through design school, the young designer has very little money, and needs to share the apartment, a loft in an old building. The third room mate has a very successful job in the financial world, and a very dashing, handsome boss. And the fourth room mate is a Resident/medical student, who has no time for anything except her shifts at the hospital, and she has an identical twin who is a very successful and daring top model, with a slew of bad, dangerous boyfriends. The mischievous twin loves to show up with her own key, and fool the other room mates, as to which twin she is, often masquerading as her medical student sister. One twin naughty and one nice, which adds some spice to the group in the apartment. The room mate who works on Wall Street has a really great boyfriend who owns a restaurant in the neighbourhood, and keeps them well fed, and they host a family style dinner at the apartment every Sunday night for their friends. The book is really about the relationships that form among friends once they leave home and set out on their adult lives and careers. The four women are in their twenties and early thirties. All are from other cities. The young woman in finance grew up in Boston in a fairly broken family (her brother also moved to New York and works in PR). And the medical student/Resident moved to New York from Atlanta (Her parents hate each other after a bad divorce, and her father is remarried to a very young woman). The book is about the room mates’ hopes, dreams, and lives in New York, and who they become as they grow up, in the same apartment, and become good friends. It talks also about their families at home, and how their families affected them growing up, as is the case for all of us. Our original families leave their mark on us, both good and bad. The book is exciting and fun, warm and real as they face victories and disappointments, and some shocks as they learn more about the men they date, the people they meet, and those in their immediate circle, and at their jobs. It is a time in life which is important and forms us all as we become independent and grow up, often far from our original homes. I really hope you love the book, and reading about the four women in it and all that happens to them.

The other book coming out on May Third is my second ‘Pretty Minnie’ book, an illustrated children’s book, inspired by my white long haired teacup Chihuahua Minnie. The illustrations are just adorable, by a talented illustrator, Kristi Valiant. This second Minnie book is “Pretty Minnie in Hollywood”. Minnie lives in Paris, goes to Hollywood, and stars in a movie. She gets to wear lots of pretty clothes, stay at a fancy hotel, and wear a sparkly gold dress in the movie. Little girls will love this book and Minnie’s adventures. I LOVE writing children’s books. This is a huge splash of happiness, and fun, watching Minnie on all her adventures, in her adorable clothes. Lots of glitter, and the cutest illustrations ever. If you have a little girl in your life, she will love it—-I even give the Minnie books to my grown up friends who love clothes or dogs or know my Minnie. I really hope you love it!!!

KODAK Digital Still Camera

KODAK Digital Still Camera

KODAK Digital Still Camera

KODAK Digital Still Camera

So I hope you enjoy my new books as much as I did writing them. I am thrilled to share them with you.

Lots and lots of love, Danielle

theApartment

Preorder: http://bit.ly/1XqGf0x

Pretty Minnie in Hollywood

Preorder: http://bit.ly/1Sc1fdm

Filed Under Dogs, Fashion, Friends | 6 Comments

4/18/16, Internet Manners

Posted on April 18, 2016

Hi Everyone,

I recently had an experience, which I wanted to share. Times have changed with modern communications. Most people don’t write letters anymore, they send texts and emails. I miss the fine art of letter writing. I love books with love letters in them, or funny letters. Writing a great letter used to be an art, which almost no one bothers with anymore. Some people worked hard on the letters they sent, and I’ve always loved books which include letters, and am sorry letters have gone by the wayside. It’s a lost art now. And text and email is certainly faster and often more convenient, though less eloquent and less elegant. My agent writes some wonderful letters, and I always admire the elegance with which he can turn a phrase!!! My own letter writing is a little rusty these days. Who has time to write a great letter? Most of us don’t. » read more »

4/11/16, Fun Evening

Posted on April 11, 2016

Hi Everyone,

I hope that all is well with you, and relatively peaceful. We seem to be marching into Spring. I had such a fun evening recently that I had to share it with you!!!

A friend invited me to the Symphony, which was very tempting. I’ve been writing a lot lately, there has been so much unrest around the world, which touched close to home for me. I hesitated before accepting, I had a book to edit, and also because I work so hard, and keep such late hours when I’m writing that if you put me in a dark place, movies, symphony, theater, ballet, I fall asleep in the first five minutes, especially with good music!! I’m usually not a big symphony-goer, and prefer theater and movies, but the invitation was so nice and so unexpected that I decided to go. So I accepted and off I went, and it felt like a real treat to be “out in the world” and not working at night for a change. I was expecting serious classical music, and had a terrific surprise when I got there. The performance that night was a showing of the movie “E.T.”, which I hadn’t seen since it came out, but loved then—-they were showing the movie at the symphony and the whole philharmonic orchestra was going to play the music score. What a fantastic idea, and instead of the serious crowd of classical music lovers, the audience was filled with young people, families and kids—-right up my alley, and it seemed like so much fun!!! Everyone was in a great mood.

I loved the movie…ET, phone home….the whole thing is so sweet, Drew Barrymore was an adorable little girl then, and I totally enjoyed it. The music wasn’t distracting, and it added depth to the movie. And I thought it was brilliant of them to show something that the masses can enjoy, and a less sophisticated audience, and make it appealing to everyone. I didn’t even fall asleep, I loved it so much and had so much fun!! It was a totally unexpected evening and a real treat, and I LOVED the concept of a popular movie with the philharmonic orchestra playing the score in full force. It was fantastic and the most fun I’ve had in a long time. It was a real gift from the friend who took me, and I had a ball!!! If they do something like that again, I will run to be there!! I can think of so many movies where that would be fun, and it introduced a whole new group of people to the symphony who never would have gone otherwise….Pure genius and a really, REALLY fun time!!!Have a great week!

love, Danielle

4/4/16, “Compassion”

Posted on April 4, 2016

Hi Everyone,

I hope that all is well with you. I’m having a serious moment. When very serious or bad things happen, it sometimes takes me a while to talk about them. I have to digest them first. And some things take longer than others. I am feeling rocked to the core by the act of terrorism that occurred in Brussels on March 22nd. Destruction of that nature is so huge, as an act, a message, and in its results, that it’s hard to get one’s mind around it. The recent acts of terrorism in Paris last November were like that, so shocking, such a wake up call (but to what?) that it sombered the city, the country, and the world, as we witnessed the events and the results on TV. There is something mesmerizing as well as heart breaking about events of that nature. You can’t tear yourself away from it once you start watching, as again and again you ask yourself why. And now it has happened again in Brussels, in Pakistan, in other countries, a steady stream of attacks on innocent people. And I have discovered now that as we read the statistics, we don’t fully understand what they mean. We read the death toll with horror and grief for the families and loved ones of those who died, and sadness and relief about the numbers of injured, thinking that at least they survived. But survival is no longer so simple with the kind of bombs and weapons that are used. And sometimes the event comes tragically close to home. This time it did for me and my family.

Among those wounded at the airport that was blown up in Brussels was a 16 year old member of my family, a young girl left in devastating condition, still alive, in a coma and hanging by a thread. Her body riddled with shrapnel and metal from the explosion, her internal organs damaged, limbs injured, her face and body burned. Suddenly this is not just news or a statistic or a video, or a political act that makes no sense. Suddenly it is a child, a loved one, family, and for some a friend. It becomes an act that is all too real and makes no sense. Women, children, babies, young people, men, their lives destroyed or forever affected by those who wish to deliver a message, an angry statement and hurt us by killing or injuring the people we love. It is shattering to think about, and not what we expect of our fellow humans, this wanton destruction of young lives, and even old ones. It truly makes no sense.

My heart aches as I share this with you. I have no message, no conclusion, no answers, no solutions. No idea how the world can turn back to something more civilized and humane again. I have never focused on politics personally or professionally. I care about people, families, children, the human race. I try to live and write about a message of hope, that transcends the hard things that happen to us. Losing someone we love is always hard to understand. But losing loved ones, or seeing them so devastatingly injured so needlessly, so wrongly, so cruelly and wastefully shocks us to our core. Not knowing what else to do, I turn to prayer at times like this, and I turn to you, baffled, saddened, crying, confused. How can this happen? How can something so wrong take place again and again, all over the world? As Mother Theresa said, “We cannot do great things, only small ones, with a great deal of love”. I pray for you, for your families and your loved ones, for your safety and well-being. I pray for wisdom in those who would hurt us, for compassion among all of us, for lives to be saved not lost. And I pray for the child of our family, that she may live and be whole again. I pray for your protection, for all our protection from acts of terrorism and hate. May there be more light and love and hope in the world.
With all my love, Danielle

3/28/16, Robin Rocks!!

Posted on March 28, 2016

Hi Everyone,

I hope you had a lovely Easter, if that’s something you celebrate, or maybe even got to organize an Easter Egg Hunt, if you have little kids, or dyed some eggs in cool colors. This is the first year that I didn’t spend at least 2 weeks after Easter with purple, pink, red, green and blue fingers, from dyeing Easter eggs. I miss it!! That’s always so much fun. I had brunch with my children, which is how I like to spend it, a quiet, low key day, with an excuse to spend time with my kids. When I was a little kid, my parents gave a very fancy Easter brunch for their friends, everyone got very dressed up and there was dancing with a band. I used to dance with my father, which was fun for me, and my mother always wore a fabulous hat for Easter, the lunch they gave was very formal. She was very beautiful, and I always remember the gorgeous hats she wore. She had been a model, and was a very striking looking, remarkably beautiful woman all her life, and her hats were very glamourous!!! No one gets that dressed up for Easter anymore, but it was fun then.

I had THE MOST WONDERFUL experience a week ago. About once a year, if I’m very, very lucky, I get invited to be on Good Morning America, to promote one of my books, and the best part of it is being interviewed by Robin Roberts, who is truly one of THE NICEST people I’ve ever met. She exudes warmth and kindness, and is truly one of those people who just shines from within. She makes the guest feel totally at ease, warm and comfortable, and interviews you so kindly that she makes you feel ten feet tall, and so at ease you can put your best foot forward. Many interviewers have big egos, and the show is really more about them, and they are not particularly warm and cozy with their guests. Robin makes you feel like the most special person in the world. She is an absolutely beautiful woman, and she makes the whole experience fun and happy and exciting, you feel like a fairy princess for the minutes that you’re on.

The whole positive experience begins from the minute you arrive at the show, everything is set up to perfection, the producers are kind and welcoming, their assistants equally so, and then, there is the absolutely fantastic experience of sharing a few minutes with Robin. She makes every moment you are with her fun.

I had to be at the studio at 7:45 am, which is about a half hour from my hotel. So I had to leave the hotel on a snowy day at 7:15 am, and in order to be ‘camera ready’, the hair and makeup people came to my hotel at 4 am—-after I had just flown in the day before from Paris, so I looked and felt bleary eyed at 4am while getting my make up done. But by the time you get to the show, and stand in Robin’s remarkable aura, you no longer care how early you got up, how little sleep you had, how tired you are, it’s all worth it when you’re at the show with her!!!

I can’t say enough about Robin’s kindness, I have enjoyed the interview every time we’ve met, and I just hope I am lucky enough to see her again sometime soon. And until then, as my children would say, She ROCKS!!!! I just had to share that with you!!!

love, Danielle

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