Nico Guilis Finds Her California, And Ours Too …

Find Your California, launches

Find Your California, launches: Photo Credit, Nico Guilis

I lived in Southern California for just a few years in the early 70s, but the memories of my life there, run deep. There is a huge part of me who will always be a California girl. So when I read the Harper’s Bazaar interview with artist and photographer Nico Guilis, about the November 3 launch of her new website, Find Your California, I had come home. Nico grew up in Malibu, California: a self-described, “hippy, surfer, artist chick … Find Your California was a mark of independence for me and something that I created on my own that quickly became an inspiration to other girls who are like-minded. I call it the stoke. Sharing the stoke about life. It circles back to a point to happiness,” says Nico. Find Your California will be a collection of travel diaries and beauty stories, all female, with inspiration and positive, empowering messages for girls everywhere.

Love this! Nico, you are gnarly. I am stoked. And I am buying it … For sure!


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Joan, on the meaning of true beauty

Joan (center) with her dad and her sister, Ellen

Joan (center) in a recent picture with her dad and her sister, Ellen

I met Joan in Southern California, in the early 70s, when my family moved there for a few glorious years. We became fast-friends and found wonderful things to do in the California surf and sun. In fact, Joan and I were part of a club, which I will remember forever as one of the highlights of my youth. I think of Joan as a typical California beauty, with long, brown hair, sun-kissed cheeks and a wide-smile that says, “I am ready for adventure!” I moved back East way-too-soon, and Joan and I kept in touch for a while, but we eventually lost touch. I had heard that Joan moved to Alaska, had married and had a son, but that was all I knew. So, when I discovered her on Facebook a few years ago, I was delighted to re-connect with my childhood friend.

Just as we reconnected, I discovered that Joan was diagnosed with cancer and was about to begin her treatment. I was too far away to be of much help, except to share words of love on Facebook, and follow her news and progress. Today, Joan has completed her chemo treatment, and I hope, is feeling better and more of herself again. Joan talked to me about the experience, how it has affected her, and ultimately, what true beauty means to her, now. I am forever grateful to Joan for sharing her story. Here is Joan, on the meaning of true beauty …

MKG: Joan, it is so kind of you to spend time talking about this very personal journey. Thank you. Let’s go back for a moment: would you describe how you saw yourself as a child and a young woman? What did being a Southern California girl mean to you, in terms of health and beauty?

JOANI feel that I was very lucky growing up to have had the foundation of a loving, fun, and humorous family. Our upbringing was a balance of respectful politeness, while, at the same time, being empathetic and ‘down to earth’. We were reminded (especially during our teen years) of how lucky we were to have what we did. Continue reading

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When in Rome, do as Laurie does …

Laurie, in her red and black sleeveless, pleated Italian knit dress, photo credit: Connor Smith

Laurie, in her red and black sleeveless, pleated Italian knit dress. Bella!                                            Photo credit: Connor Smith

Laurie, photo credit: Connor Smith

Laurie – Bella!  Photo credit: Connor Smith

Laurie just returned from her first visit to Rome. Knits were big and Italian flare for fashion hit this casual and relaxed Southern Californian hard. She was so inspired that she bought this red and black pleated Italian knit dress. I will let Laurie tell you in her own words:

Although we had beautiful, warm sunny weather for most of our visit, fall was in the air.  I guess Italians are known for their knits and beautiful displays of knit dresses were everywhere. I noticed that the young women on the streets creatively layered their clothes, including skirts with blouses underneath beautiful knit sweaters or boleros. It’s a treat to wander the streets and see such sophisticated style, especially when I am used to the casual and laid-back look of Southern California: jeans, shorts and t-shirts.” ~ Laurie

Bella, Laurie! When in Rome, do as Laurie does … Continue reading

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