The Ultimate Gift Guide

The Ultimate Gift Guide

We are in full swing of the Holidays, and I’ve been compiling a list of unique gifts for the hard to shop for people on your list from artisanal gifts that give back to the community to gifts that wow the music lover in your life. Enjoy this collection and let me know what your favorite gifts to give this season are. 

Gifts That Give Back 

 

All of these women run companies are dear to our heart and we do our best to support them every year. These companies EMPOWER other woman, immigrants and refugees through creation and accomplishment. 

 

“Studies show that unlocking a woman’s potential can cultivate a brighter future for not only herself and her children, but for the community as a whole.” Now that’s something that we can get behind. 

Etkie Beaded Glass Cuffs from $215-$275

Salt Detachable Purse Straps $138

JadeTribe Brigette Bag $598.00

Gaia For Women Marilyn Clutch $84.00

Ecuadane Blanket $149

photo: Hope Kauffman @hkcameraface 

Gifts For The Artist  

Many people shy away from giving art as a gift because it is personal and subjective but so are a lot of other things people give as gifts. Giving art is just a bit scary because it is art but it is one of the most original, thoughtful and fun things you can gift (other than a puppy).

 

Here are some other thoughtful ideas for your artist or appreciator this holiday that won’t break the bank or any boundaries!  

Salvador Dalí’s surrealist cookbook $60

Mark Rothko: The Decisive Decade: 1940-1950 $50

I love giving the gift of an experience, and there is nothing like experiencing great art.  If you or your loved ones are fortunate to live in a city with cultural offerings like LACMA, or MOMA I encourage you to encourage your friends and family to partake. Click here to find a museum nearest to them. The price of membership is often comparable to the cost of admission and makes a great gift that will last the year. 

Sonia is wearing a caftan from Ocean + Main 

Staggered Vase $28.00

Gifts For the Audiophile 

I have many passionate music fans in my life, and I know that they can be the hardest nuts to crack because they have a strong opinion on what they like and don’t like. 

This year we’ve turned up the thermostat to woo your audiophile with the coolest of the cool. From wireless turntables, curated album covers to a hot pink Vinal and soundtrack from Thom York (hello Radiohead). Make a musician smile this holiday season. 

Wireless Yamaha MusicCast Vinyl 500 Turntable $700

Alex Steinweiss. The Inventor of the Modern Album Cover $20

Suspiria Soundtrack (2018) Thom Yorke $33

Personalized Amp Doormat $35

Gifts For the Traveler  

The biggest take away in traveling is making the memories and experiences that shape your life.

 

Whether it’s streamlining your travel bags or remembering where you’ve been, these will make meaningful gifts to the adventurer in your life. 

5-Piece Packing Cube Set CALPAK $70

Birchbox Beauty Subscription (form Men & Women) $30 for three months 

The Bucket List: 1000 Adventures Big & Small $15 

Rose Quartz Workout Kit $49.00

Santal 33 Eau de Parfum $80-$270

What Art Means to Me

What Art Means to Me

How do you experience art?

When I first met my husband we took a trip to Santa Fe. We walked through the art galleries had beautiful dinners and made wonderful memories. During that time we bought our first piece of art. I thought it was an extravagance and now I know it was. Every time I look at it, I remember that day, and it brings me joy.

Sonia and Jen Idol

Lina Crespi 

My great grandmother Lina Crespi was an artist. My mother’s home was full of her beautiful oil paintings set during her life in Italy and then in the mountains of Patagonia. Some of them are stored now, but I brought a few to my home in Montana. Every time I look at them it reminds me of the past I miss so much and the women in my life that molded me.

While in Montana we would go to the Dick Idol Gallery in Whitefish to admire a painting that glowed. It is a series of teepees that eventually came home with us. Since then we commissioned two others by Colt Idol. It has been interesting to watch my husband be involved in creating his vision with an incredibly skilled artist. Every time I look at these paintings I see that collaboration between the imagination of one and the skill of the other.

I fell in love with a bronze sculpture of a grizzly bear. Eric Thorson is a beautiful sculptor of animals. We would visit his gallery every time we went to Big Fork, I would caress the life-size sitting bear with his paw in the water. For some reason, it always reminded me of my wonderful dog Duke. Finally, I committed to having one cast. It took me a year to pay for it, and it was worth it. Still, as I was waiting, I would go in and kiss the one at the gallery. In the end, all of that energy came home to me through an odd chance, and I ended up with the original I had developed a relationship with.

I went through a period where I played around with acrylics. I would exhaust myself on a large canvas. I can’t replicate anything but what would come out would be part of my soul. Pseudo art I would call it. Painting feels a lot like life in so many ways. You start with an idea, and it begins to flourish. Then it looks like hell, and you start tweaking it. Back and forth it goes, and in the end, you are “satisfied.” But, you always see that one thing that didn’t quite work out.

Sonia Lovett “Pseudo Art”

Art is an expression of life and life is an expression of art. There is history and wonder in all of it. Keep yours out in a prominent place. It reminds us of our history and the majesty of the human spirit.

Why Do Some Aging Women Feel Invisible

Why Do Some Aging Women Feel Invisible

Approximately 10 months ago I was taking my first foray into a Facebook and I found a group.

Forever Fierce, The Midlife Revolution. I got in touch with its founder Catherine Grace O’Connell and started on a journey that I could never have guessed would lead me to 24 hours in LA. Catherine was helpful personable and charming. Little did I know that she is so busy that taking the time to talk to me seems now to be miraculous.

I joined the Facebook Group and started connecting with women mainly through my Instagram account, Stylebeyondage. We “like” each other’s pictures and leave each other notes, we read each other’s Facebook posts and share our hurdles and successes. I was driving to LA to see my daughter, creative director and muse. Since I’m her mother, I’ll include a shameless plug to her swimwear line, Evoke Serena.  And it occurred to me, why don’t we reach out to see if any of these ladies would meet us.

What I found was a great gift.

My first meeting was at a Kundalini Yoga class Serena was teaching and plant-based cooking lesson held in Burbank.

My first meeting was at a Kundalini Yoga class Serena was teaching.  I invited Angie Weils, (IG: @theAgelessRebellion) to meet me there. After chanting and breathing routines, we had a wonderful meeting over vegan lunch. We talked about health, children and why women of our age in this culture say they feel invisible. Angie is whimsical, playful and seriously devoted to communicating her own brand of joy. She’s a very smart lady with a lot to say. 

Angie has written an interactive and playful planner which she calls a journey into agelessness. A flashlight to your soul, link to your spirit, and a badass coach for your mind and fab fit body. It’s available on Amazon.

My second meeting was with Wendy Packer

We met at Neiman Marcus (stomping grounds for her) and her mother before her. She has a huge following on Facebook, Instagram, and her blog. Why? Because she is an astute businesswoman, mother of two young men, and a hard-working innovator. Case in point her work with Palm Springs Fashion Week among many other endeavors. Follow her on @fashionoverfifty.wendy to learn more.

We had a great discussion about reinventing ourselves in the age of social media, keeping our identity in the face of obstacles, and yes – why do women of our age sometimes say they feel invisible.  I hope you’ll comment and share your experience or your opinion with us.

My third meeting was with Julie Liams, pictured at the top

We met at Chado Tea House inside the iconic Dolby theater complex in Los Angeles. Beautiful and charming. Down to earth and funny. Julie has managed to work in Hollywood for over 25 years . She has a wonderful husband, three children and a great life attitude. And again, the topic comes up: Why do you think some women in our culture are feeling invisible after a certain age. And again, I ask that you comment, and share any feeling or experiences you have on the topic of invisibility.

Be sure to follow Julie on Instagram, and subscribe to her blog.

In the end, the answer to that question turned out to be remarkably simple and found in our social media feeds.  American culture honors youth above all.  Other cultures honor age and experience.  Here, Women are marketed to by youth and beauty.  There, they are honored and revered as matriarchs.

Luckily, we have some prime examples on how to age youthfully. My personal muse is Dorrie, an 83 year young former Playboy Bunny turned fashion blogger. Check her out on IG @seniorstylebible and on her blog Senior Style Bible.

My question for you is this: How do We, as a society, adapt ourselves in a youth driven culture? I’d love to here your thoughts

A Podcast! Who me?

A Podcast! Who me?

 A few months ago I a received an email from a lady called Elaine Benoit. To my shock, she was requesting and interview regarding my entry into the Instagram platform specifically because of my age and relative success.  I have never done a Podcast and technically speaking It was a challenge. I know this sounds silly. By now it is expected I would be on Skype or something which I have not. I was in the California Desert at the time, with  no tech support and sketchy internet. I delayed. Performance anxiety I think they call it; what do I say, how do I sound ?…. What if I end up sounding like a fool (not too unusual really)

Elaine Benoit has started a podcast called MaturePrenurial. As the name suggests, she interviews “mature” entrepreneures who started their current businesses after 40.  The goal is to show that it is possible to achieve success at all levels of life and shed some light on how. 

Listen Here!

 

 

In the end, the interview took place here in Montana at Glacier IT. I was assured of good internet and the most capable ladies who help me with my tech “issues” .  OK it was a phone call and I had earphones. So much for stressing out. Another lesson in making a big deal out of essentially nothing. Have you caught yourself doing that?

I can’t express enough my thanks to Elaine.  She is so easy to talk to. I never felt any stress, we could have been chatting on the sofa between friends.  I have not heard the podcast yet, it comes out on April 2 and we will all be hearing it at the same time.

My hope is that you find some grains of wisdom, amusement and inspiration in our conversation. And that you continue listening to Elaine’s podcast to learn, as I have, through her inspired pointed questions.

Harlette Winter in Whitefish, Montana

Harlette Winter in Whitefish, Montana

Harlette: A sophisticated store for shopaholics

Before I take my winter flight I wanted to flashback on a collaboration I did with the lovely Whitefish boutique, Harlette. Harlette is a sophisticated and feminine boutique with a spirit of fashionable fun. For those of you familiar with Whitefish, Montana, she is also Harlow’s big little sister.

The wind was blowing, the snow was falling, but through it all we managed to have a little fun with fashion and a glass of champagne at the end.

Hope Kaufman as my photographer braved the weather with me and in the end, (as we always) a great time was had by all!

Between Becky’s beautifully curated items from Joie, Zadig and Voltiare, Mother Demin, Frank and Eileen and Superga (to name a few) there is a bit of everything for everyone!

As costumers came in for their pre New Years purchases, we spend time at the Underscore Art Gallery adjacent to the store where we found some of the most creative gold and diamond jewelry I have seen in ages.

If you’re ever in Whitefish don’t miss out on the unexpected fashion treats you will find at Harlette and the beautiful contemporary art and jewelry at Underscore Art Gallery.

Whitefish Weekend

Whitefish Weekend

It looks  like I ran away from home and this is my first cappuccino!  Maybe that is why I brought along that book? 

I am so thrilled that Kimonos  are back.  Actually,  they have always been part of my wardrobe.  I love the ease of throwing one over a pair jeans and a tank.  Some signature jewelry and you’re off.  Wearing basics with a pop of color makes for a casual chic combination.

Again a robe like dress with a short neutral slip dress makes for a comfortable dinner look.