It looks like LGBT youth and students who feel bullied or unable to be themselves at traditional schools may now enroll in Pride School Atlanta. The $13k per year private school will be open to all but will primarily serve as an educational safe haven for those students finding it hard to transition or come out.

Children and teachers will have full permission to be themselves and the hope is to create a more tolerant environment within the entire community. Georgia Equality successfully lobbied the state to creat such a school back in 2010. At the time, the district found that fewer than 30% of schools had anti bullying policies directly affecting LGBT youth.

Congratulations Atlanta, Georgia for moving the conversation about LGBT equality that much more forward!




The Israeli Ministry of Education has come under criticism for its decision to ban a book about the love affair of a Jewish woman and Arab man. But rather than respond with attacks and criticism, ‘TimeOut Tel Aviv’ responded with love.

The organization posted a video of gay and straight couples of Jewish and Arabic descent kissing to show that love is indeed more powerful than hate. Some of the kisses were from those who knew one another. Others were done by complete strangers.

Either way, we applaud ‘TimeOut Tel Aviv’ for choosing to respond with love. Let’s hope that during a time when so many in the world are warring over differences, this one little video can cause just a few to celebrate the beauty of what makes us all different.



It’s that time of year when folks begin to feel a bit more charitable in their ways. Perhaps it’s a result of realizing how much one truly has to be grateful for after a large Thanksgiving meal. Or, maybe a bit of guilt settles in after checking those Black Friday receipts. And of course, we’ve already started seeing more solicitations in the mail for donations to any number of worthy causes.

But whatever the reason is that you decide to be charitable, try and do so out of the spirit of giving; not to be recognized or applauded for it on social media. Giving should come from the heart and shouldn’t require acknowledgement or praise for doing so. Unless of course you’re Kenya Moore and posting your check on Twitter is a prerequisite.

But don’t let that discourage you from promoting a worthy cause on your Instagram or Facebook accounts. It’s always great to call out a worthy organization or encourage others to be giving. But how about posting an image of your favorite non-profit along with a few sentences about the work they do… As opposed to a selfie of you down at the shelter.


Feel Fabulous Friday: Angelic Grove Inspirational Floral Design

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Elegant floral arrangements can make even the most casual affair spring to luxurious life. These arrangements, beautifully put together by Phoenix, Arizona based Angelic Grove, are perfect for any Autumn get together. I could even see something like this for a fabulous fall wedding. Kudos to Angela and Mark Karp for always presenting such lovely designs for their West Coast clientele.


Irucci Irina Hollywood Fashion Show Stuns

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Armenian fashion designer, Irucci Irina, staged a fashion show unlike any other in recent memory this past week in Hollywood. Known for her unique and avant garde designs, the designer was celebrated on the red carpet by her peers, fashion followers, entertainers and none other than Max Azria (BCBG, Herve Leger) himself. If it’s one thing Armenians know how to do is put on a great show. Before the models even hit the runway there was an opera singer, classic dance couple and an Australian Pop Star. But the true head turners were the stunning looks. Noteworthy were the unique swimwear looks, a blown up daisy print dress, black sleeveless blouse with white ruffles and a gorgeous black and white gown with red fur detail. Television host, Tanya Young Williams hit the red carpet in an Irucci design and has been a long time supporter of the designer and raved to USArmenia Network about the unique and red carpet ready looks. And many guests were overheard taking notes on the pieces they liked and would wear to Paris, Capri and the next event. At a time when fashion can seem like the same old thing year after year, it was refreshing to see someone go all out and over the top with fashions that are actually wearable. Watch out Max, Irucci has arrived!


Italian Vacation on Lido Di Jesolo Takes the Work Out Of Holidays in Venice!

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When it comes to vacations abroad, this Californian prefers to relax and recharge rather than spend days on end visiting historical sights. Not that I don’t appreciate the historical aspects many of Europe’s top cities have to offer, the amount of effort and time it takes to visit monuments can quickly turn a vacation into something that feels more like work. Which is why a most recent trip to the Veneto region of Italy had me staying at a quieter locale away from the hustle and bustle of Venice. Located on the Adriatic Sea on one of the best beachfront properties, four start Hotel Excelsior, Lido di Jesolo offers the kind of relaxation many look for but don’t often find when on holiday in Europe. And while the beach town can get a little bit noisy in the evening, it takes very little away from enjoying the pleasures this classic hotel has to offer. The rooms are clean and tidy and if you are fortunate enough to book one with a sea-facing view you’ll be treated to spectacular views on both sunny and overcast days. The breakfast, lunch and lounge areas in the courtyard offer beautiful and serene moments in the off season. And surely, during high season, the generous space gives ample room for everyone to take in the sun or lounge poolside. But what truly makes this place unique is the staff and the attention to detail. Breakfasts on the patio required nothing more than for me to choose from the lovely buffet. The waiters remembered where I preferred to sit and had that exact table prepared the moment I arrived. They even remembered I take milk with my morning tea! Lunch and dinner were just as memorable as the chef created the sort of Italian meals you’d pay a fortune for stateside. And just like breakfast, drinking preferences (pinot grigio and sparkling water) were recalled. A daily trip to Venice by quick boat ride is rewarded with a return to the hotel’s Excelso Bar. Once again, I was greeted with preferred Proseco. Staying at Hotel Excelsior Lido di Jesolo definitely takes the work out of an Italian getaway and I cannot wait to return!


Published in: on June 8, 2014 at 11:07 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Artistic Endeavors

On a rainy weekend one of my besties and I decided to head to LACMA to soak in a little artistic culture. Fortunately, the weather cleared upon arrival and our privilege of membership had us oooing and aaahing over works in no time flat. What surprised me was just how large the complex is and how much was on display. But I have to say the above horse-bit adornment was one of my favorites. Only the ancients of the Middle East could create something so inspiring. I certainly wouldn’t mind having one of these in the mouth of my favourite pony… Especially if it will get him to pay closer attention. After sharing such a great afternoon art-hopping, though, I’m sure to be little more relaxed in the saddle either way. Of course, that could have something to do with the cocktails from the ABBEY that evening… BAM!


divaD 😉

Published in: on January 25, 2012 at 6:16 am  Leave a Comment  
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Got (Bottled) Milk…?

Ahhh… There’s nothing better than the taste of cold, fresh milk. Home deliveries of bottled milk are all but a distant memory. But you can still enjoy the fresh taste June Cleaver, Laura Petrie and Lucy and Ethel enjoyed from your local dairy farms. Bottled milk is popping up all over the country, my SoCal favourite has to be Broguiere’s of Montebello, CA. I couldn’t resist grabbing one of these 1950-style bottles on a recent visit to Sprout’s. The bottles just looked so damn CUTE! AND, I could add the fun red top to my vase of wine corks and Pellegrino caps. Even better than the look was the taste. Almost as natural as milking the cow yourself with none of those pesky hormones. I swear I’ll never go back to cartons or plastic containers again. Plus, Sprout’s gives you $1.25 for every bottle you bring in for recycling. Being green never felt so, well, green… CHA-CHING!


divaD 😉

Published in: on January 18, 2012 at 6:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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I’ll Have a Double…!

The bar in my home was looking a bit barren so it was off to for something substantial but not too expensive. I came across a familiar set of highballs and double old-fashioneds by Ralph Lauren… In German crystal, no less! My last encounter with these sparklers was poolside at the home of client in Paradise Valley, Arizona. After calculating the price for a dozen of each style I decided to slow my roll and order just four of each — I do still have my eye on that Bernhardt chair.  Three days later they arrived on the patio just in time for weekend cocktails with the neighbors. After tearing into them, cleaning and swiftly filling the “bare” area on the bar, I raced upstairs and ordered another set of each! Now if I can only decide between Scotch on the rocks or Gin & Tonics to break ’em in…!


Published in: on October 29, 2011 at 8:45 am  Leave a Comment  
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Finally, My Cocktails Over Ice Get Some Respect!


My first trip to Paris to visit my favourite French friend was memorable for many reasons: a penthouse view of Notre Dame; shopping for my first Lancel bag; and waking at noon after a night and morning of partying. But perhaps the one memory that sticks in mind was from the first night when we dined at Buddha Bar. Before I could even look at the menu, mon petite Animale, looked me dead in the eye and warned me not to be picky. “This isn’t L.A.,” he scolded. “You can’t switch this for that; none of your picky bullshit! Don’t do it,” he challenged. Well, you know a diva never backs down from a challenge. I switched that for this and ordered a glass of white wine with ice. Much to his surprise no one scoffed. It seems I may have been early on a trend almost a decade ago. Now, none other than venerable Moet & Chandon has produced a Champagne to go over ice; perfect for this picky, non-conforming diva. In the words of my favourite New York Housewife, “Chic, c’est la vie!”


divaD 😉

Published in: on July 1, 2011 at 5:15 pm  Comments (1)  
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