Muchness in The Prison Yard….

Sometimes, something happens that just NEEDS to be shared.

Remember the guy at the grayest job on earth who said he felt like he was “rotting from the inside out”? Remember how I wrote that I decided to make it my mission to help him tap into his Muchness?

The truth is, he was already tapping into his Muchness, he just wasn’t giving it the “honor” it deserved… (i.e. owning it & declaring it to be his Muchness.)

See, this guy would light up when talking about his garden. He said he worked on it every weekend with his three daughters and it was one of his favorite things to do. I thought to myself “ok- he mows the lawn and maybe plants some stuff.”

…little did I know…

In the weeks that followed, I heard a bit more about the garden in the small talk co-workers make. “What did you do this weekend?” “Hung out with my family and worked in the garden.”

Sounded lovely.

Then we started joking about planting a vegetable garden in the concrete “prison yard” where we ate our lunch. It was the kind of conversation thick with the sarcasm of an idea that would never happen.

Shortly before my last day there, they asked permission to build a veggie garden. I NEVER, in a million years, imagined that two weeks later I’d be seeing this:


“At the same time I believe that with a little bit of positive energy and effort, the garden at “The Yard” will prove that you can grow food anywhere and better yet give people hope.” -Arnulfo Toro


I was so happy to see it. I felt a little blush of pride knowing that my jumping around that place in my sparkly skirts and colorful shoes had, in some small way, contributed to the birth of a bit of Muchness in what was formerly the Grayest Place on earth.

I hope that garden blooms boatloads of fresh tomatoes and cucumbers and all sorts of goodies that make lunchtime for everyone there much muchier.

And then, yesterday, BONUS! 

I saw on Facebook the most awesome-sauce thing.

He started a blog.


And a business. And I got to see pictures of his garden. And this is nothing like a “mow the lawn and plant some stuff on the weekends” garden. It is incredible! Behold:



Am I right???

And here’s the thing: He is sharing his Muchness with people and building “GardenBox Farms” for other people so they can grow healthy, hormone and drug free foods in their own gardens, wherever they are!

He’d said this was a “work in progress” for a year and a half- and I believe him.

How often do you get an idea in our head that we know is awesome or empowering or will feel fulfilling on a completely different level than the one we are used to vibrating at…. and then don’t do it?

I know I am so guilty of that, many times over.

It becomes some big, insurmountable concept or we talk ourselves out of it for any number of reasons- and there are many. Eventually, we beat ourselves up over it and then get back into default mode of not even allowing ourselves to have big ideas anymore… lest we fail to follow through.

Let me tell you…. when you get a glimpse of where your Muchness lives inside you- whether it’s gardening, or sparkles, or cooking or art or reading or writing – WHATEVER it is — the biggest crime you can commit is NOT paying attention to it. That stuff is the fuel that guides your spirit to the places and things you are put on this earth for. The second biggest crime is keeping it to yourself because sharing YOUR Muchness is also the fuel that sparks others’ to look inside themselves and find their Muchness.

Could you imagine what this world would be like if everyone was In Touch With Their Much?

Guided by their Muchness, instead of their fear, insecurity and feelings of being a being a victim of circumstance? Could you picture what that would look like? The world would feel colorful, alive and optimistic! People would be sharing their gifts, their joys and feeling empowered to express themselves because they’d know that in expressing their truest, muchiest selves they can achieve anything.

When I write posts like this, they are as much a message to myself as they are to you, my cherished reader. (I want to hate the sappiness of that term , but I can’t, because it’s true.) 

It’s been a challenging and scary few weeks here at Casa dé Gold. Let’s all keep our Muchness Magic flowing together.




DIY- Memorial candle for my grandfather + a story

Tonight is the 6th anniversary of my grandfathers passing. When I was pregnant with the twins, I would often think of my grandfather, who was a well known and very well respected Hassidic Rabbi, and I would think about his ancestors, which included some of the most famous rabbis in the last few hundred years of Jewish History, and I thought “No way my babies are going to die. He won’t let them.”

Well, I guess he had only so much say in the matter.

He died a year before Molly was born. He’d met Elie once. Actually, twice, but he could only communicate the first time. Elie and I had been dating for 5 months when he came with my family to Florida to celebrate passover. My grandfather called Elie to his house and told him to propose to me. Like, that day. Elie, who’d not yet even met my dad yet, assured him it was going to happen, but not that day.

The truth is, in some way, my grandfather was maybe responsible for me meeting Elie. I’d been dating a guy for almost 5 years and inside I knew it was a dead end but couldn’t admit it to myself just yet. My grandfather took it upon himself to call my boyfriend and tell him, basically, shit or get off the pot. It was that action that basically let me know, internally, I didn’t care if he shat or got off the pot. I wasn’t supposed to be there. So I left.

Two weeks later I met Elie.

11 months later, we were married. My grandfather, too sick to travel, listened to the ceremony via cell phone. He passed away 5 months later.

Anyway, I guess I just feel like he’s still looking out for me. Tonight my mother texted me that it is the anniversary of his passing – his yartzeit, in yiddish, and we should light a candle if we have one.

They make special memorial candles, but most of them are effing ugly. And I don’t have one anyway. So I decided to make one myself. I remembered my mom made one herself for my stepdad when I was a teenager. She used a really pretty cut crystal goblet and it reflected beautiful dancing shapes of light on a white tablecloth. But I also remember when the candle got down to the bottom of the glass, it got too hot and the goblet shattered into a million glass shards, and that was really kinda sad, on many levels. So I added a votive holder at the bottom. and used something less delicate.

Here’s what I did:

What I Used: Pretty durable Glass + 6 White unscented (shabbat) candles + Microwave safe dish + Glass Votive holder. Not Shown: Wooden shish kabob skewers


I microwaved 5 of the candles for about 5 minutes. Then I fished out the wicks with the skewer.

***edited to add: The candle didn’t burn well. It was very dense and kept going out. I made another one and mixed about 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the melted wax. That made it the perfect texture an it burned beautifully.


While it melted I prepared the center candle.


Then I poured.


I should have then put it in the freezer but I didn’t. I put it in the fridge.


Then I ran into some trouble.



Then, I ultimately did put it n the freezer.

***edited to add: on the second version I just melted the wick to the skewer at the outset by dripping a candle onto the wick before I poured the hot wax.

After it was solid, I took it out and lit it. BEHOLD:


I decided to light Sunshine and Daisy’s candles too. It just seemed like the thing to do.

It was really so simple and quick and I LOVE the idea of making custom memorial candles in meaningful glasses or cups that are etched or even just painted with names and dates…

As an aside, I need to share that while writing this blog post I heard Elie sneeze downstairs so I grabbed my phone to text him a “bless you” (yes, you read that correctly) and while checking an email that arrived just then from Still Standing Magazine, this popped up on my phone.


I really can’t begin to get into the meaning of this… I’m really just sharing it for my cousin L’via, and because I feel like I’m just supposed to be sharing it.

Muchness, X-Factor Style

So, remember when I posted about Paige Davis on The X-factor, and how she lost her Muchness? Well, I’m back for round two. Girlfriend has officially found her Muchness.

Ya think? I thought people only used rhinestones on their lips for photos. Not for singing extravaganzas!

Other notes of interest:

Love this Diamond chics jacket. And her name. Daimond. I mean really?

and that 13 year old Carly Rose is un-friggin-believable. Her voice and talent is what Muchtastic about her. Holy crap, she’s good.

In touch with The Much!!

I was gonna steal a pic of this MUCHTASTIC chic I saw in the city today… But then I realized, there’s no way someone who dresses so colorful and muchy would give me attitude or say no to a pic. I hope she remembers my website name! She totally reminded me of like, a Strawberry Shortcake doll from the 80s. I betcha if you get close, her hair smells like strawberry pink whipped cream. 😀

(by the way, she was carrying another green and pink muchy bag over her shoulder, and her wellies and sunglasses were PINK!- what a way to brighten up a rainy Wednesday. 🙂 )

How Being Muchy (sorta) inspires others to be Muchy!

Today was a pretty craptastic day at work. Stick around and maybe I’ll blog about it. It was so stressful that I didn’t have an appetite and skipped lunch. Then I got drawn into a meeting which ran late and I had to call my sister to pick up the kids. By the time I left my office it was close to dinner time and I was starved.

So, I went into some overpriced chic deli-like place near Port Authority and bought something to eat. I was not feeling particularly Muchtastic. In fact, I was feeling rather pissed. And then, this woman caught my eye.

Her cheerfully yellow bag and flats really brightened my day! It wasn’t even a particularly nice weather day (as you can see by her coat) but she just looked spirited and fun and (little did she know) her Muchness impacted me and cheered me up a bit and I thought that was cool.

Another thing I noticed about her was that she had really nice eyebrows. Yeah. Eyebrows.

These are not cheerful yellow chics eyebrows... but they are similarly perfectly shaped and yet approachable and friendly.

I don’t know why but I’ve alway had a thing for nice eyebrows and yet, I admittedly neglect mine and convince myself that they are fine just the way they are. But that’s silly. “Fine” isn’t really good enough, especially since I generally don’t wear a stitch of makeup (we can discuss that another time) and nice eyebrows would go a long way towards making me look more polished.

So that’s my next plan to Muchify myself.

I’m gonna do my eyebrows.

And it’s gonna make me feel muchy.

All because a stranger wore a matching yellow bag and shoes. ‘Cuz I never woulda noticed her eyebrows if her bag and shoes were black. Or worse, tan.

See how that works?!? Muchness is unstoppable!

So…. Any eyebrow grooming tips?

Disco ball Muchness

There’s just something muchy about a disco ball that cannot be denied. Granted, you may not want them as a cornerstone of high concept design in your living room. (see how that might work here)

But adding a disco ball in an unexpected spot ain’t gonna do nothing except make you smile. I was reminded of this as I walked to the bus from my office and nearly got run over by the muchiest rickshaw in the city. By the time I caught my breath and grabbed my phone he was kinda far away. Lucky for you, disco balls have a tendency to stand out against the concrete gray that devours much of manhattan.

It made me smile. 😀

…and while looking online for a better picture if that disco balled bicycle taxi, I found this.

Could u just plotz?? Love!!!


Ya know those days when you roll out of bed, drag yourself, eyes still shut, into the shower, grab whatever clothes are clean and head out the door, only to realize halfway to work what you are even wearing that day? I had one of those mornings. But when I looked down, instead of seeing the beaten old jeans that hung too low on my tush, the ratty old t-shirt that clung too tight on my belly, and the dirty old sneakers that made me feel invisible (My go-to outfit pre-Muchness) I saw this:

Going on a head trip — Circa 1986

Originally posted by Tova October 8, 2011 / Reposted after The Great Server Crash of 2011

I came upon this picture online and was immediately transported back through time. It was literally like looking down at my own two feet more than 15 years ago. I bought these boots a few weeks before my first day of college. I wasgoing to FIT. The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. My mom went there. My dad’s mom went there. And I needed cool shoes to go there too.

I’d been to the campus for the first time in 6th grade. My mom was working as a pattern maker for Bob Mackie. I didn’t know it at the time but Bob Mackie is aHUGE DEAL!!!! He is, like, KNOWN – by OTHER PEOPLE- as the Sultan of Sequins!!! He’s the original king of bling, the maestro of Muchness! People, he has his own collection of Bob Mackie Designed Barbie Dolls!!

I mean, what’s BIGGER than that??? (Am I right or am I right, Stephen Sumner?)

Anyhow, Bob Mackie was having his Bridal Collection fashion show at FIT. Mymom let me take off from school that day and go to the show. I went with mygrandmother. We got there early. Models were just getting there. They looked like regular, tall people in their street clothes in an Amphitheatre. But, when the show started it was like everything was transformed. The stage was lit like an aurora borealis phenomenon. The Models were statuesque and glamourous. Even the theatre seemed somehow elevated. But the dresses. Oh, the dresses. It was a bridal collection. In 1986. I mean, there were big dresses. And Little dresses. And BIGGER dresses, and Littler ones…. and some that were somehow both big and little at the same time. And. They. Were. ALL. Bejeweled. Spangled. Sequined. Rhinestoned. Feathered. Other, unidentifiable Muchification that made my still very much pre-pubescent heart soar.

After the show, I went backstage. I met the man. He shook my hand. Asked me if I wanted to be a Fashion Designer. I said Yes. And then I was hastily distracted by all the models walking around bare assed naked. That, somehow, left a huge impression in the mind of a 4’8″ 11 year old girl. Imagine that.

So that’s it. I started my fashion portfolio right after that life altering day. I graduated junior high and started high school with the mindset “I just have to get through four years of this place and then I can go to FIT.”

And it’s exactly what I did. Seven years of waiting to go to that school. Four years of cheating my way through high school homework assignments- skimming by with a C average (if I was lucky) just so I could go to FIT. And the very first day? I wore those boots. My glitter Doc Martens. With blue jeans and an oversized hooded red sweatshirt. The boots were pretty muchy and I didn’t want to appear like I was trying too hard on the first day of school. Therefore, the lame red sweatshirt. Always a secret regret. But I did get a compliment on the boots that first day from a stranger. And 17 years later I still remember. Funny how our brains hold onto Muchy memories even when we don’t even realize. I wore those boots to shreds. Literally. They were falling apart aroundmy feet, the fibers disintegrating at wear spots. I went looking online if they still make them. Nope. The few pics online are all of the ‘remember when?” variety. Oh well. What’s past is past.

Maybe one of these days I’ll upload some of my old fashion stuff from school. The more time that passes, the more perspective I have on whether it was any good.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Tzippora October 9, 2011 at 11:48 pm
Love it! What a great story! Is there a youtube link to that show?? There’s nothing like the memories of an 11 year old…


Tova October 10, 2011 at 1:09 am
OMG- what a genius thought! I found this fashion show clip from 1985. The DRAMA! The DYNASTY Music! The lifted arms!!! oy. Too, too much— in all the good ways!–MsWyY&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PL2229D008FD14CBF1


Tova October 10, 2011 at 1:17 am
in THIS amazing peice of history, Bob Mackies showstopper is at about 5 minutes in.


Originally posted by TOVA on SEPTEMBER 19, 2011 / Reposted after The Great Server Crash of ’11

We often hear that there is no word for a parent that loses a child. A child that loses a parent? Orphan. A woman that loses her husband? Widow. But a parent that loses a child? Best they’ve come up with in the english language is the term babyloss mom / dad / parent. When I type babyloss I get little red dotted line under it because my computer thinks there must be an error. There is an error. It’s called babyloss and it’s a problem far bigger than my computer can solve with a spellcheck button.

Tonight I learned that there is a word for it. A word for a woman that loses a child. Two years I have been a babyloss mom. And I never knew there was a word for it. The word is Mishakayla. It is hebrew. The  hebrew language has a pre-existing word for us. It’s an acknowledgement of our status. I like it.

I also like that today my factory gave me a whoooole bunch of new Muchness bands that I’d been waiting for!!! New colors!! New prints!!! New Causes!!! I’m working on some stuff on and as soon as it’s ready, I’m gonna have a MAJOR re-launch event!!! Stay tuned!!

Mishakayla written in Muchness Bands. Just seemed kinda appropriate!

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }


Tine September 20, 2011 at 12:47 am

I love it! And I can’t wait to order one icon_smile.gif
And really, how wonderful that there is a word for us icon_smile.gif



Tova September 20, 2011 at 8:17 pm

Tine- you can order one- I’ll be sending out a few on Friday so if u make it in under the buzzer….. icon_smile.gif



JenM September 20, 2011 at 9:13 am

One thing that I found is that there’s a special word for a woman who has given birth to twins- gemellipara. I like it because it doesn’t say anything about parenting twins, and it makes me feel special because no one can argue with the fact that I have given birth to twins.



Tova September 20, 2011 at 2:31 pm

Wow- I never knew that. I love it!!! That english word might be more difficult to pronounce than the hebrew one! haha



Heather September 20, 2011 at 10:14 am

Oh i love this….i have always stumbled on the word babyloss for the reasons you posted. is this pronounced Mish-uh-kay-lah or Mish-uh-kai-luh? great post. great use of the muchness bands. xoxo



Tova September 20, 2011 at 2:29 pm

Heather- The first one… icon_smile.gif I was planning to do this with the word MUCHNESS for a Muchness Madness Post…I just didn’t have enough bands in stock. Now I can do it! icon_smile.gif



LellowOne September 20, 2011 at 3:24 pm

Ilove all the colors and I love that word. It sounds soft and stronger the same time. Can’t wait to order mine!


So, shortly before we lost power, (Thanks again Irene!) I found myself inexplicably drawn to the television to watch the profound reality of two of TV’s most radiant reality stars, IceT & his delicate wife, Coco.

I know it sounds a little like I am judgmental, and well, in certain ways, I am. But mostly just because they are such characters that they, well, that they have a friggin’ reality show! But the truth is, of the little bit I saw of them on the episode I watched, I kinda liked them. They seem to have a really pleasant rapport with one another, and there is a certain genius, I believe, to using the media like the well oiled money machine it is, to line your pockets. It is why I will always secretly love The Spice Girls. (Every boy and every girl- Spice up your life!)  But, of course, all of this is weeeell besides the point.

The point is, I want her laptop cover.

...But I want mine to say MUCHNESS.

Encrusted with pink gradient crystals on every square milliliter!? PINK GRADIENT CRYSTALS???? Those are, without a doubt,  three of my most favorite words in the english language.

I can prove it to you. Check out the shoes I wore to my wedding:

SEE? Pink. Gradient. Crystals.

I didn’t even care about anything else when I married the love of my life.
Table linens? Peh.
Bridesmaids Dresses? Wear what you want.
Menu? Whatever, just no stinky cheese table.
My Dress? Not so important, as long as it highlights my waist and shoes.
Shoes?  16 hours of watching Law & Order SVU, late at night, while glueing rhinestones, one, by one, by one. 
….And it alllll comes together…