Hicham Aboutaam’s Antique Jewelry

It’s interesting how one’s tastes change as they age. I used to always love everything modern: modern TV shows and movies, artwork and jewelry. I’ve changed in middle age. I’ve started really enjoying period dramas on TV and now I just dream of ancient art.

As such I recently came across some beautiful pieces from Hicham Aboutaam’s Phoenix Ancient Art. The first one I liked (I kept the computer open on the page for my husband to ‘get the hint,’) was this unique necklace with semi-precious stones and animals. From somewhere between 1st century BC and 1st century AD, the crouching animals with front and rear legs tucked underneath are so unusual. I love the lion (although I see they are lion-griffins) and the turquoise is so striking.

Then there is the Roman Imperial Carnelian and Gold Bead necklace that manages to be both delicate and striking at the same time. Diamond shaped sheet gold beads go back to the Roman period of 2nd-3rd century AD. I simply adore that Carnelian color.

Paid Paternity Leave

fatherhoodA new policy was adopted in Portland recently by the City Council to ensure parents with a new child can get six weeks paid parental leave. This is also the case in an adoption or fostering. I do agree with Portland’s City Human Resources Director, Anna Kanwit’s statement that “parental leave has a positive impact on parents bonding with their children.” Yes, indeed; would have been nice if that would have been the law when I had kids! I think Daniel would have been much better to have been at home with the kids. I found it very hard.

Apparently this policy will cost Portland between $413,000 to $502,000 annually. It is due to be put in place in January 2016.

The Peacefulness of Portland

commuteI always knew that Portland was a great place to live, offering a high standard. But now that has just been proved – yet again I should say. In a survey conducted of the country’s 30 largest cities, Portland (along with Austin, TX), has “the highest proportion of workers who don’t commute at all.”

The study was put together by Director of the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute, Michal Sivak.

Commuting can be so stressful. I remember back in the days I lived in the upper west side in New York and the commute I made to Patterson. It was awful. By Friday I was just exhausted. I had no energy to go out and all I did over the weekend was recharge myself for the next week! Talk about feeling like being part of the rat race!

Since moving to Portland, I have totally given that up. As has Daniel. Occasionally we meet clients for meetings (maybe at a local coffee shop or in the park) but that’s about as far as it goes. No commuting definitely makes for a more peaceful way of life.

Professional Women’s Network

working-womenA little while ago I got together with a bunch of hip, talented women for a networking session.  Casa del Matador hosted the NAPW Portland Chapter and we discussed an array of different topics with a focus on stress management.  Portland Chapter President Franchesca Vermillion, D.C., discussed the four types of stress that exist: chemical stress, emotional stress, physical stress, and mental stress. All these can lead to: blood pressure issues; mood swings; difficulty sleeping/eating, etc.  People deal with these stresses in different ways and the most popular method seems to be caffeine, which is actually a drug and can have side-effects if used long-term, including osteoporosis, which is more commonplace amongst women.

Well, that was definitely food for thought for me. I know that I consume way too much caffeine, and, some years ago, was diagnosed as having borderline osteoporosis back from when I was in college and had terrible eating habits and was probably under-nourished.

However, the thing with me is that I don’t use caffeine as a stress-crutch.  But according to Vermillion since many people do (especially women who seem to want it all), it is time to figure out how to combat the problem.  She said that we must first take care of ourselves and then worry about others.  But, as Daniel always likes to point out “you’re usually Number One on your list!”

Still, although I didn’t really relate to too many stresses in life which seemed to be the seminar’s focal point, I did have a tremendous opportunity to connect with new people.  I now feel that I can actually use the connections to further some of my potential business ideas.  Plus, there could be more women with whom I can rotate for my “ladies who lunch” rotation!

Burnside Street Gets New Bar: Zarsha Leo

Evan Burschkopf, CEO of Zarsha Leo, has recently opened a new branch of his restaurant-bar on E. Burnside Street.  Located at the other end of the road from Fire on the Mountain, this new eatery is attracting a lot of college students in Portland.

According to Burschkopf, “it seems like the youngsters like Zarsha Leo because it contains lots of fun things, like the dart board, a pool table and a Foosball Table.  As well, the sliders and spicy chicken wings are a real hit because it’s a recipe I got from a friend who worked as head chef in a bar some years ago.”