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Experiences & Adventures Which Epitomize The Rugged Elegance Lifestyle
June 6, 2006
Building A "Foundation House" for Kids in San Francisco: So Urban Youth Can Thrive!

Once in awhile an opportunity comes along where there is no other response than "I must grab it." With other opportunities, they grab you. The following story is of the latter ilk.

But before I get started I must address the 600,000 monthly visitors who had been coming to Rugged Elegant Living on a regular basis and must be wondering where I went for the past nearly four months. A special expression of thanks to Wes, who took the time to pick up the phone and call to make sure I was simply o.k.

I told Wes that I hadn't been writing because I had gone through surgery, that we had been working on the e-commerce side of our business, and that my husband and I had bought a new house. However, what I wanted to tell him is what I am about to tell you now. The most significant reason I have gone offline is that I have been working on a project that has grabbed my heart, my soul and my attention, and now I am finally ready to tell the world about it.

I hope if this story touches you in any way, you will think about the resources you have that you can bring to the table. Whether you have creative ideas, financial means, mainstream media contacts, experience in this arena, or practical knowledge you'd like to share, we are all ears.

Building A "Foundation House" for Youth ... So They Can Thrive

Having unexpectedly bought a new home and moved our Rugged Elegance headquarters further west of the city near what is called "Land's End," Tim and I began the process of selling our previous home through a traditional real estate agent.

Until this week, we thought it was likely that this fabulous property, located in the center of the city, would have gone to another single family. Perhaps eventually, it will.

For the past year, we were getting prepared to remodel our home to better serve the needs of our own two children. However, friends kept telling us that if we were planning to invest a significant amount of money in our current property, we should first look at what else is on the market. As far as I was concerned, this house could have been "it" for our family, forever. It had plenty of space for our two children, our dog and our lifestyle media business. It has a pool, which is very unusual for San Francisco. The roof deck offers a 360 degree panoramic view of the city. We just needed an inside space from which to enjoy that view. One of the best features is that the house is located in an unpretentious part of the city, on a street we call our "Two Block Secret Neighborhood."

While we would have rather not moved, we nonetheless heeded our friends' advice. One weekend in February, we went out to a neighborhood called Sea Cliff and took a look at one, and only one property. By the end of March we owned it. That same day we hired an innovative architect by the name of Bernardo Urquieta of BRU Architects.

At that same time, our home in the Anza Vista / Western addition area was formally put on the market.

However, before doing so, our friend and trainer Anthony Thier of HealThier Fitness, came to us and suggested an alternative path to selling the house to a private party as a single family home.

He suggested we instead turn the house into a creative haven for under served kids in the city.

My immediate reaction?


During the fifteen years we lived in the neighborhood, we had always wanted to find an effective way to reach out to the kids living in the Pitts Plaza development, a block away.

From the moment Antony recommended we make the house into a place where kids come together from all walks of life to be taught positive life skills, not only were we sold, nearly everyone we spoke with about it said they wanted to help.

Antony's first thought was to create a unique place for kids to hang out with their mentors where together they can cook, swim, work out, as well as create art, music, theater, etc.

We first met Antony in September when he became our three-times-a-week personal fitness trainer. Over the past year, he has also become our kids' ski instructor. After four trips to Tahoe this past season, the girls are now proudly tackling Black Diamond runs. In addition, Antony has inspired all four of us to get into biking. Before we know it, we'll all be doing triathalons together.

Having someone like Antony in our lives is especially significant because we have two children with Type 1 Diabetes. As a result, we are always looking for ways to stay healthy. Having been a professional chef, Antony is both a guide and an inspiration when it comes to good nutrition.

Needless to say, he has quickly become an uncle figure in our kids' lives.

So, when Antony came up with this generous idea for our house and then added, "I would even consider becoming the live-in director," my immediate reaction was, "I'm even more sold!"

more ...

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Posted by jck at 11:59 AM
January 18, 2006
2006 Golden Globe Awards Best Dressed, Most Rugged Elegant Movie & Television Stars

The 63rd Annual Golden Globe Awards celebration attracted American television, movie and music stars to Los Angeles on Monday, January 16th, 2006. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), NBC, Dick Clark Productions and Hollywood were the hosts of the annual show, which honors achievement in the film and television industries. 18.7 million viewers (about 2 million more than last year) tuned into the three-hour "Golden Globes", according to preliminary Nielsen Media Research figures.

NBC's broadcast of the Golden Globe Awards generally ranks as the third most-watched awards show each year, behind only the Oscars and the Grammys. The 2006 show was aired in 150 countries.

The Golden Globes are based on votes from more than 90 journalists living in Hollywood who are affiliated with international publications based outside the United States.

1,300 of Hollywood's elite were invited to the party.

Golden Globe winning "Best Director" Ang Lee, whose film also won the award for Best Picture of the Year, called it "an amazing year of American cinema."

Johnny Depp

Rugged Elegant Living's choice for best dressed, most "rugged elegant" soul celebrities of the 2006 Golden Globes included Sir Anthony Hopkins, "The Man" Clint Eastwood, John Travolta, Denzel Washington, as well as Reese Witherspoon, Emma Thompson, Teri Hatcher and Felicity Huffman.

The one star who exuded soul -- no matter what they said or wore -- was Johnny Depp. The only way to describe the talented actor, who was up for a nomination for his role in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? "Oooh Baby!"

The HFPA's Golden Globes attracted other notables including The President of The United States, i.e. an award-winning actress who plays the role of the first woman American president. Geena Davis came to the celebration already sparkling.

Geena.Davis.06.Globe.jpg Commander in Chief Award-Winner

At the 2006 Golden Globes she went home with the award for Best Female Actress in a television series drama.

The new ABC/Touchstone drama she stars in, called Commander in Chief, is an inspiration to many young girls.

In this household, she has inspired a 10 year-old to consider one day becoming president of the free world. No kidding.

If they had been in Hollywood near the Red Carpet my daughter would have been that little girl Geena spoke of during her acceptance speech.

more ...

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Posted by jck at 9:15 PM

Summaries of Other Recent Posts
December 13, 2005
Miss World 2005: Iceland's Unnur Birna Vilhjalmsdottir Crowned The Most Beautiful, Talented, Altruistic Woman

Who is the most beautiful, talented and altruistic woman in "the world"? She speaks the ancient language of the Vikings. Her career ambition is to become a criminal lawyer. She is twenty-one years of age. She loves to hike, camp and play the piano. She has a passion for children. Her motto is, "You are what you do." And her mother shared the same title as the representative for her nation in 1983. Can you guess? Her name is... more

December 7, 2005
Angelic 2005 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show: Getting "In The Spirit"

On Tuesday, December 6th, 2005, Victoria's Secret fashion models were the stars of the ten year anniversary glamorous, intimate and powerful television event which took place two weeks earlier "live" in New York. It was the making of another The Rugged Elegance World Marketplace | Software : Victoria's Secret Lingerie Movies " href="">Victoria's Secret Lingerie Movie. International fashion models like Gisele Bundchen, Tyra Banks, new mom Heidi Klum, and Adriana Lima wore bras, nighties, corsets and other stunning lingerie.... more

November 28, 2005
The Cirrus SR22-G2 Aircraft: Flying & Fun in Northern California

On Saturday, November 26th, 2005 I laid eyes on one of the most beautiful airplanes I've ever seen: a CIRRUS SR22-G2. Timothy Charles and our ten year-old daughter, Jessica had the privilege of riding in N45OAP from San Carlos down to Monterey for lunch and back. Our friend Randy Dilena, the pilot and owner of the plane, gave me "a tour" of his plane, while Randy's daughter gave Jessica a tour of San Carlos' "SQL" Airport. (The airport is... more

November 19, 2005
2005 CMAs: Best Dressed, Most Rugged Elegant Men & Women at The Country Music Awards

New York City does not have a Country Music station, but that did not stop the Big Apple from hosting the 39th Annual CMA Awards for the first time ever on Tuesday, November 15th, 2005. The festivities took place at Madison Square Garden in the heart of Manhattan rather than Nashville, Tennessee. Nashville had been the host the previous 38 years. Country Music stars were honored for their excellence in the studio and on stage. 3,000 miles away we... more

November 9, 2005
Roberto Cavalli Mobile Phones & Kate Moss Modeled Underwear: Say "Pronto" In Style

The Rugged Elegance World Marketplace | Items : List " href=",B0006UD5YW,B000699HPE">Roberto Cavalli bras now have a mate for women. The famous Italian fashion designer, who has dressed his wild male customers from head, to The Rugged Elegance World Marketplace | Search : Roberto Cavalli Tie " href=" Cavalli Tie&SearchIndex=Apparel&searchFormImage.x=39&searchFormImage.y=2">neck to toe, has decided to give a glam-rock product to the female population. Of course, men daring enough to "call it" their own are certainly welcome to go there. Cavalli... more

July 11, 2005
Rugged Elegant 2006 Best Products: Giorgio Armani Prive Couture Clothing, Mercedes-Benz Car & Bianchi Bicycle

On July 6th 2005, the couture shows began in Paris. For the second time, world-renowned Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani was in France to share his latest haute couture collection called Prive. While his first collection was everything his fans hoped it would be, Armani's autumn/winter 2005- 2006 collection of animal prints, satin and velvet was even more extensive and alluring. At the end of the show, Mr. Armani revealed a custom-designed bicycle made by Bianchi, the Italian high-performance... more

July 1, 2005
Affleck No Longer Alias To Marriage: Ben Marries Jennifer Garner in Top-Secret Caribbean Wedding

A Sunset Wedding at The Parrot Cay Island Resort On Wednesday, June 29th 2005, Academy award-winning screenwriter and movie star, Benjamin Geza Affleck wed Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe winning actress, Jennifer Anne Garner in a top-secret Caribbean ceremony. Ben and Jen's "I Dos!" are a first for Affleck. The thirty-two year-old groom previously had high profile relationships with Jennifer Lopez and Gwyneth Paltrow. Thirty-three year-old Garner was previously married to actor Scott Foley. Garner and Affleck exchanged... more

April 5, 2005
Rugged Elegant Photo of The Day: Greece Fashion Show Suits Up Kathy Heyndels Athens Atelier

The place to be on April 4th 2005, if you love fashion, was in Athens Greece. Kathy Heyndels was one of the top Greek designers who showed off her Spring/Summer 2005 collection which included a gold bathing suit and trench coat that looked more like a smoking jacket. The whole outfit, including the shoes, were smokin'. Reuters photographer Yiorgos Karahalis captured one of Heyndels' models strutting her stuff on the run-way on Tuesday.... more

March 31, 2005
Springtime in Paris: Get Hooked on Crochet Fashion Designs

Whose celebrity body would wear this crochet dress best? Halle Berry? In our "rugged elegant world" do you know anyone who could pull it off? I do. My college roommate, Sandy Norton Henningsen. Or my godsons' mother, Ellen Warila. Or my sister-in-law, Dr. Pamela Jean Ebstyne King. If you or someone you know "has it" this would be the weekend to take them to Paris. AFP Photographer Martyn Hayhow captured the above model on the catwalk in 2003. This... more

February 1, 2005
Giorgio Armani Prive 2005 Haute Couture Collection: First Stop Paris, Then Hollywood

Paris was alive with haute couture fashion this past week. Designers showed their spring-summer 2005 women's collections. This was the first time Giorgio Armani, the Italian fashion king, presented his new Prive collection here. Traditionally, Mr. Armani has elected to show his collections where they are designed -- in Milan. On Monday, January 24th 2005, the 70 year-old designer, who is going as strong as ever, joined Chanel, Christian Lacroix, Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier and Valentino in Paris. Mr.... more

January 4, 2005
Booming Blogs! Web Log Traffic Is Up, But Are Bloggers Making Money?

Booming, Blooming Blogs! As reported in Rugged Elegant Living on Monday, according to a recent study by Mr. Lee Rainie of the Pew Internet & Family Life Project, those who went online in November for news, current events, unique stories, insight and commentary turned to web logs (aka "blogs") 58% more often than they had in February 2004. In addition, 27% of all Internet users say they rely on this niche of writers called "bloggers", also called micropublishers, to... more

October 15, 2004
Commission goldberry Jewelry Designer, Margie Rogerson To Create A Holiday Gem or Visit The Carmen Lucia Ruby Ring at The Smithsonian

Carmen Lucia Ruby Photo by The Smithsonian Tomorrow, October 16th, for the first time, the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C. invites you to see the Carmen Lucia ruby. The 23.1 carat red ruby goes on display as part of the National Gem Collection. Curator, Jeffrey Post said, "It is the largest and finest faceted ruby on public display." Post said that when he first saw the stone, it took his breath away. He added, "The... more

October 6, 2004
It's Official: Tiger Woods Weds Elin Nordegren in Barbados

Att 5:48pm Barbados time on Tuesday, Tiger Woods, 28, married his twenty-four year-old fiancee, Swedish beauty Elin Nordegren at the exclusive island resort called Sandy Lane - Luxury Golf and Spa. The bride wore an off-white sleeveless gown with a veil covering her face, according to those who were able to get close to the sunset ceremony, while Woods wore a beige suit. Nordegren had three bridesmaids dressed in light green. Woods' best man was said to be a... more

October 5, 2004
A Taste of What to Expect from Roberto Cavalli's Spring/Summer 2005 Collection

Photograph by Reuters' Alessandro Bianchi Roberto Cavalli's Spring/Summer 2005 collection is red hot. The Italian designer's women's collection was recently presented during Milan Fashion Week. Roberto Cavalli Chiffon Silk Shawl For those of you inspired to wear Roberto Cavalli this year, consider his Native Americans Chiffon Silk Shawl available for $265 - at the time of this story post. Roberto Cavalli Animal Print Bra Another find: His Cavalli's Animal Print underwire bra (regularly $52) on sale currently for $26.00.... more

September 26, 2004
Actor Kevin Costner Marries Cat Bag Couture Designer Christine Baumgartner in Aspen Colorado

On Saturday, actor/director/producer Kevin Costner and his girlfriend, Christine Baumgartner were married at Costner's ranch in Aspen, Colorado. The ceremony took place against a backdrop of snow-capped mountains. A Roman Catholic priest married the 49 year-old groom and the 30 year-old bride. 300 close friends and family attended the four day celebration, including Oliver Stone, Tim Allen, Bruce Willis, Oprah Winfrey, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Michael Douglas, Jack Nicholson, Don Johnson and Mary McDonnell. The theme of the wedding: "Country." Guests... more

July 8, 2004
Daring Haute Couture Wedding Gown by French Designer Jean-Paul Gaultier

Jean-Paul Gaultier Wedding Dress In Paris this afternoon, French designer Jean-Paul Gaultier showed off one of his daring wedding gowns from his Autumn/Winter 2004/2005 collection. Traditionally, a couture show finishes with a wedding gown. However, this one was anything but traditional. Gaultier's "bride" wore a dress that was entirely backless, save for a white satin thong. At this year's haute couture fashion show, Gaultier was one of only nine of the most feted designers who presented their collections in... more

June 14, 2004
Richard Branson Celebrates Virgin's 20th By Crossing The English Channel in His Aquada

Today, Sir Richard Branson, the Virgin Group chief completed the 22-mile crossing in his shiny black Gibbs Aquada amphibious craft in 100 minutes and six seconds, well below the previous record of six hours held by two Frenchmen in the 1960s. Dressed in a dinner jacket and bow tie, the British tycoon drove his $115,000 James Bond-like sportscar — which transforms into a speedboat — straight into the Guinness Book of World Records. The sleek grey Aquada amphibious car,... more

May 28, 2004
At the Samsung Tower Palace in South Korea Even the Refrigerators are Logged onto the Net

CNET The luxury apartment complex here is a showcase for Samsung Electronics' burgeoning digital home business--an idea that once was dismissed as a pie-in-the-sky but now is starting to gain traction. Besides refrigerators, Samsung Tower's $1 million-plus apartments are outfitted with Internet-enabled ovens, security cameras and wall-mounted flat-panel displays. Samsung has sold more than 6,000 networked homes in South Korea, and now it's eager to export its success. The company has tests under way in Canada, Australia and Europe,... more

February 23, 2004
2004 Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards Best Dressed, Most "Rugged Elegant" Celebrities

Most Rugged Elegant Women Honored on Sunday Night Mariska Hargitay Super Model Natasha Henstridge, of Canada Andie MacDowell Poppy Montgomery, from the nominated series 'Without a Trace' Charlize Theron won the award for best female actor in a leading role for transforming herself into serial killer Aileen Wuornos in 'Monster.' Liv Tyler, star of 'The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King' - for her look and her red sash in back but not her entire dress Catherine... more

February 22, 2004
Giorgio Armani to Launch Worldwide Collection of Armani Luxury Hotels & Resorts

Giorgio Armani AME Info Business News: Giorgio Armani S.p.A and EMAAR Properties PJSC today announced that they have signed a Letter of Intent for the establishment of an innovative worldwide collection of Armani luxury hotels and resorts. The Letter of Intent, signed by Giorgio Armani, Chairman and Chief Executive of Giorgio Armani S.p.A., and Mohamed Ali Alabbar, Chairman of EMAAR Properties PJSC and EMAAR Hotels & Resorts LLC, describes a collaboration that will see the opening of ten luxury... more

January 30, 2004
Cadillac's 2004 Luxury SUV is All "SRX"

Cadillac 2004 Cadillac SRX V-8 Post-Gazette: For once, I've found a car that lives up to its advance billing. It's Cadillac's new 2004 SRX. Caddy prefers to see it as an SUV or crossover. But I think "station wagon" is closer to the truth. And that's OK. Whatever it is, many jaded auto writers have hailed it as a thoroughly exciting, elegant car that more than meets its European competition halfway. SRX is truly a landmark, and it's only... more

January 28, 2004
Krug: The Champagne of Champagnes

New York Times: I like to see people drinking Krug at picnics," said Rémi Krug, the man who makes Krug Champagne. "The wine is too revered, overworshiped. How often have I heard someone say: `I've had a bottle of Krug for years. I'm saving it for something special'?" We were sitting in an austere reception room at the Krug winery here one January day, Rémi, 62, and his less voluble brother, Henri, 65, and before us on the table, like... more

January 26, 2004
Most Rugged Elegant, Best Dressed Men at The 2004 Golden Globe Awards

Photo courtesy of The New York Times Eight gentlemen stood out tonight as the most "rugged elegant" chaps at the 2004 Golden Globe Awards: #1) Ken Watanabe - The Last Samurai #2) Tom Cruise - The Last Samurai #3) Clint Eastwood - Mystic River #4) Jude Law - - Cold Mountain #5) Sting (even though we couldn't tell if you were wearing a shirt underneath) - Cold Mountain Best Song You Will Be My Ain True Love #6) Johnny... more

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