New Year’s Tree, Santa Claus, and Pizza

My family is from the Soviet Union, a country where Christmas celebrations were prohibited since its foundation in 1917.  Thankfully, Russians are smart, and so instead of displaying Christmas trees, they displayed New Year’s trees! Instead of bringing gifts on Christmas, Santa Claus would crawl down the chimney on New Year’s so that all the little tykes can be overjoyed on January 1st. All the wonderful traditions of Christmas became New Year’s traditions. For that reason, New Year’s has always been my favorite holiday. A few days before the year’s end, before the family got together, I would write a program of activities for the evening. With the same spirit of ingenuity as my ancestors, for one whimsical reason or another, one year I decided that we must serve pizza at the center of a table replete with Russian delicacies.  “9pm”, my program would read, “Pizza is served.” This tradition continues to this day whenever I am fortunate enough to spend New Year’s at home and is the inspiration for the beautiful “Holiday Pizza” sticker pack, now available on the Apple App Store.

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https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/holiday-pizza/id1187747847?mt=8

 

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A Glimpse of Chasing Butterflies

When I was in grade school, my brothers and I would walk to a park nearby and explore butterflies. Surprisingly, butterflies fly at a constant speed – not as fast as children, but they are catch-able.

That’s what we did. We had a clear mason jar, chased butterflies and placed them into the jar. We would look at them with the curiosity of a child – Why are they colorful? And why do they hang out at the most beautiful places?

Look at their wings. Enjoy the colors. Appreciate their freedom. I named this sticker pack Butterflies. And they are glittered, of course.

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https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/butterflies-glittered-stickers/id1187828689?mt=8

Why I Buy Me Flowers

I love childhood stories of prince and princesses. Princes are generally giving, and princesses generally allow love. Fast forward to years later to today, I thought:

Are you happier if you receive flowers or a Chanel bag from a man? Are you happier if you give flowers or a Chanel bag to a woman?

Every morning, unless you live in the country, we see concrete and walls, tall buildings and fast automobiles, brands and more brands. Yet, there are flowers.

Every time a man gives a woman (or another man) flowers, it reaches deep into our hearts, as if something else in it burns – makes it living, alive, on fire. It softens our whole.

Every time I buy me flowers, I am reminded of my own grace. People call it self love. Surrounded by one of the beauties of the world, there is a certain unexplainable delight.

I called it Delightful Flowers.

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https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/delightful-flowers/id1186577327?mt=8

Seashells and Unicorns

The last time I was at the beach, it was summer, and my friend wanted to visit a dive at Pescadero, a small town right next to a beach with a handful of sea shells. Each one has a different color but I notice a particular green one, and a shiny white one. Besides the sounds one hears from the shells and their beautiful texture, I later learned that each shell represents an unicorn – just like a rhino.

And this Apple iMessage Sticker Pack for iOS10 is named after the sacred geometry of shells and unicorns. It’s called Shell Unicorns.

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Since then, I haven’t been to the beach. Yet, I remember very vividly the color of sunset, the shadow it creates on the world around it, the stacking rocks and those that dance on water and the beautiful colors of seashells — and their magic.

We Are All Pizza

One of the simplest pleasures in life is eating a slice of pizza. Bread, sauce, cheese and our tasted buds are in heaven. But if we think about it for a moment, there is a pizza for everybody. Are you a voracious carnivore? Pile on the pepperoni, sausage, and bacon. Strictly vegan? Eggless dough, cashew cheese, and all the veggies Mother Earth has to offer for you then. Miss Mom’s cooking? Throw on some chicken tikka, brisket, or steamed broccoli. From Italy? Make it thin as paper. From Chicago? As thick as a brick. Don’t eat carbs? Put it on a lettuce leaf. Out of your mind? I guess you can have your ham and pineapple then! Wherever you are from or wherever you may go, there is a pizza for you. Pizza is as diverse as we are. Cheesy? Yes, but that’s the way we like it. Enjoy!