Archive for the ‘Contained Beauty’ Category

celebrating loved ones who have passed but continue to inspire us

Friday, November 29, 2013
Debbi DiMaggio

Remembering those we have lost. [Read More..]

dreams

Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Debbi DiMaggio

remembering your dreams

wake up

take note

identify

research

discover

I am on a fact finding trip in LA and found myself dreaming, once again.  Away from the cluttered life of home, work and just the day to day stuff that keeps us so uber occupied, mind, body and soul.  I found myself waking up every now and again throughout the night.  My mind filled with dreams.  Dreams that woke me enough that I had to get up and start penning my thoughts so I could share them with you.  I rolled over and felt for the hotel note paper and pen that laid on the bedside table.  It was dark.  I did not turn the light on but began to jot down short phrases and words so that I could remember.

The most vivid of the various snapshots, which were my dreams, was of a baby.  I was holding a baby in a hospital.  He was asleep.  He woke up and smiled at me.  He was frail and I knew instinctively he was hungry.  Although frail and unsure who I was he was smiling.  We connected.  I was looking down at him with pure joy.  I knew I had to feed him and that he nor I could wait for the doctor or nurses to arrive.  Adam sat calmly in the corner waiting, not phased, as he is used to the craziness of the situations to which I find myself.  I drew the baby closer to me and began to nurse him.  He continued to smile and I even produced milk for him to drink.  My parents came in and my mom quickly responded as I asked for assistance with his diaper.  It was too big and falling off.  He needed to be cared for and I suppose, I needed to be needed.*

I’ve been wanting a third child for sometime.  After 40 I knew it wouldn’t happen.  Now I find myself old enough to be a grandma!  But my daughter is no where near ready nor should she be at 20.  I now understand how women get so excited and antsy for their children to have babies.

I understand that my many ideas, projects and the products I have created, such as my skincare line, my book and my t-shirt line, to name a few, stem from a desire to do more.  I always felt I needed something more or more to do on top of just selling real estate and raising a family.  Not that that isn’t a lot, it is, but I still need something more.  I’m still trying to figure out what that something more is.

I’ve longed to have another baby, at least I think that’s what I have wanted.  Someone to love, to care for and to nurture, just like the baby in my dream.

Having awoken from this vivid dream of loving and caring for and smiling at this darling, frail baby boy I couldn’t remain in bed or have gone back to sleep.  My eyes popped open, this time, around 4:15 AM – it was a restless night and I continued waking up and going back to sleep again.  The first time I just made a few notes in the dark – I haven’t looked to see if my writing is even legible.  I tried to remain in bed with the lights out and even tried to go back to sleep, but I was just so curious about the meaning of this baby that I had to get up and turn on my computer.  It’s still dark outside.  I began my research online.  I turned on the TV which is playing soothing meditation music on the hotel channel and I begin to write.

Here is what I found on line — upon my first Google search.

Baby

To see a baby in your dream signifies innocence, warmth and new beginnings. Babies symbolize something in your own inner nature that is pure, vulnerable, helpless and/or uncorrupted. If you dream that the baby is smiling at you, then it suggests that you are experiencing pure joy. You do not ask for much to make you happy. If you find a baby in your dream, then it suggests that you have acknowledged your hidden potential.

The moral of this story is that I am here in LA – Beverly Hills on a fact finding mission to learn how I can publicize my book and develop my brand.  I am here in search of what’s in store for me this year.  As each year I embark on a new project, and it’s that time once again.  The ideas start to pop up in my dreams while I sleep.  And when I awake I have a new mission.

Stay Tuned for More!

Please email me your comments, thoughts, questions and/or personal stories here or directly to debbi@debbidimaggio.com

As always,

Dream Big and Believe!!

XOXO! Debbi

PS.  Here’s to new beginnings!

I just love change, the journey and the unplanned experiences in life.

*being needed: my children are fast approaching age 17 and 20 and myself, 48!  They are mature and capable kids but I miss not being able to help and do more for them.  Right now our son Chase is in Chicago at a lacrosse tournament.  It’s the first tournament we have not attended.  We know it is important for him to go with his team, on his own.  But as a mom who wants to cheer him on, offer him encouragement and is able to be there, it’s simply difficult not to be there with him.  And our daughter Bianca is almost 20 and is working at Pandora. We are so proud of her!  The other day I cried when she told me that her friend would be taking her to the doctor.  I was stunned. I didn’t mean to cry nor did I think I would cry.  But as I drove down the street headed to my own appointments I was saddened by the fact that she didn’t need me and would go it alone, without me.  In the end both Bianca and Chase are capable and self-sufficient and it is time for me to let them continue to grow and blossom.  Chase and his 5 buddies almost missed the flight to Chicago.  I suppose if my husband Adam and I were there we would have been monitoring the boys and it wouldn’t have happened.  But then what lesson would they have learned?  Life is about many, many small lessons and mistakes.  And so it is. HO!

With Gratitude and Thanks to Our Chic Local Boutiques

Thursday, December 6, 2012
Debbi DiMaggio

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

Thank you to LOOT, Maison d’Etre and Rue Atelier on College Avenue, Elegant Clutter in Danville, A Great Good Place for Books and Daisy’s in the Montclair Village and to Printed Affair off of Grand Avenue — Thank you so much for believing in Contained Beauty, Photographs, Reflections and Swimming Pools.  Each of your businesses are so unique and beautiful!

I would like to encourage everyone to shop local and visit these fabulous stores.

Click Here to preview  Photos from my book signing with CYAM at Daisy’s Montclair on December 5th

 

Mom and Friends at the Elegant Clutter book signing in Danville.

Thanks Mom for always being so supportive!!  XOXO!

 

 

Net Proceeds from the Sale of Contained Beauty benefit the George Mark Children’s House

 

Photos by Jennifer Fox

My Story // Contained Beauty: Photographs, Reflections and Swimming Pools // The Empty Nest

Thursday, September 20, 2012
Debbi DiMaggio

My Story

This is my story as to how Contained Beauty came to be…

As you know, my name is Debbi DiMaggio. I am Midge and Vince’s daughter, Michael’s sister, Adam’s wife, a mother of two amazing children, Bianca and Chase, a Realtor, an avid volunteer and now an author.

Reflections

The first question I am asked most frequently is just how Contained Beauty came to be and what does the title mean. Contained Beauty: Photographs, Reflections & Swimming Pools.

In my book, the word “Reflections” refers to both, the reflections in a swimming pool and the reflections in my life.

Swimming Pools are Contained. For me, they are a place of beauty and comfort. Throughout the journey and putting this book together, I realized that I was like a swimming pool. I was living contained trying to keep a tight hold on my life and everything in it.

If you know me well, then you will know that when I get an idea I have to follow through with it or it will stay with me, keep me up at night and will occupy my mind until I do something about it.

A coffee table book about swimming pools was one of those ideas that kept repeating. I could picture my coffee-table book in hotels and resorts around the world and in people’s homes and in all of my real estate listings.

It wasn’t until Bianca’s junior year in high school, when she was busy considering colleges, and Chase was becoming more independent with friends, sports and school when things started to change… I felt a void, similar to that, of an empty swimming pool.

Empty Nest

As they got busier in their own lives, all I could see was an empty nest in my future. I wasn’t prepared for what was to come and the emotions I would feel. It was during this time I began searching. I needed a project to move me forward. I just kept thinking, we were once a family of four, soon to be a family of three. It was really, all too overwhelming. ( What I experienced was very different than what I had understood about the Empty Nest. My sadness and Empty Nest feelings did not begin when my last child left, but occurred when Bianca, my first child left, realizing that soon our son Chase and all of his friends would be gone too. )

One evening at a high school senior going away party a father said, “it’s not like she is going off to war”. As crazy as it sounded, his comment really put things into perspective and actually made me stop and think.

However, I was still reminiscing. I was still sad.  I spent time going back through our family photo albums, assembling a collection of meaningful photographs and creating a memory book for Bianca.

As I pulled together photographs of family, friends and Bianca’s travels, I wrote captions, sharing words that would hopefully help her with her transition to college and what she meant to me. The captions were as much for me as they were (hopefully) for her.

I titled it, “What to Share with Your Senior Before they Leave for College.” I wrote things like… I love you, we are just a phone call away, try new things, get involved.  I cried as I put the book together.

When you are one less in the household, time opens up. One early morning, after Bianca had left for college, I began to re-read and write in my personal journal.

I had been adding to my journal over the years when I was inspired. I tend to write in the morning before my family gets up, and when the house is quiet and my mind is clear. And I love to write when I travel.

Over the years I have been assembling a “believe” handbook, filled with my inspirational words of wisdom. It is something I hoped to share with my children and their friends, and to inspire others who might read it.

Swimming Pools

Also, you may ask – Why a coffee table book on swimming pools?

Swimming pools inspire me. When sitting next to a swimming pool I feel renewed and peaceful and open to new possibilities. And it is also a place where I find balance.

Looking at water helps me clear my mind and allows new ideas to seep in.

When I started this project I didn’t realize just how contained I was living. Just like a swimming pool.  I was living my life in the shallow end of the pool but knew there was so much more. As I tried to push out to the deep end, it was challenging.  In order to do that, I had to release the boundaries that I was living within.

It was then that I began to notice that the people around me were also doing the same thing. I started seeing life and people differently.

It was then when I decided that I had to finish my book, for all of us who need to remove our boundaries, follow our own path and loosen the control we try so hard to keep.

Emotions would follow, as I reflected…

In writing this book, I learned and understood that for myself it is difficult to really open up, and to deal with sadness and disappointment. I was surprised to find the healing that would transpire through my willingness to be open and to allow myself to feel.

I do understand, so much more now, that I try to control life in an attempt to keep everything contained in a neat, tidy, little box.  And when I don’t find success, I get frustrated and sad.

I have identified that when I do this, I really don’t have control at all.  But, I am still a work in progress.  I believe my journey has really just begun. I have IDENTIFIED something I want to change.  “Identify” is the key word.

One of the passages in my book says, when you are working on your dreams and goals, that you must first IDENTIFY just what those dreams and goals are. That is the first step towards achieving your goals and making your dreams come true.  I’m living my writing now.

Visual Inspiration

I also am a very visual person. I memorize information visually, whether a home, a hotel or a book. I even recall my conversations, visually.

Images speak to me, and stick with me. I created Contained Beauty for others who might do the same.

Contained Beauty is a visual journey. It is a blend of stunning photographs from my favorite places around the world interlaced with my personal journal writings.

I created my book so you could travel from the comfort and ease of your own space, while being inspired through images and words.

Giving Back

Helping others is a value that is deep in my heart. I believe so strongly in giving back that the proceeds of Contained Beauty will be donated to the George Mark Children’s House.

George Mark Children’s House supports and provides medical care for children with life-limiting illnesses and their families living with such challenging circumstances.

It is a place of healing and a mission that tugs at my heartstrings.

Gratitude

I want to take a few moments to thank the many people who have made my Contained Beauty journey complete.  First and foremost, my editor, photographer and dear friend, Jennifer Fox. Without her Virgo organizational skills and extreme follow up, patience and desire to make sure I followed my dream to fruition, this book would not be possible.

Toula Victor, my marketing coordinator and organizer who continued to smile as we worked on my many lists and lists and lists.

Rob Bond, my publisher who said it was possible and introduced me to PGW Distributors, Four Colour Printers and the book publishing business.

To all the photographers, property owners and models who worked on this project from their hearts, for George Mark.

Angie, my graphic artist, who dealt with the perfectionist in me as she endured my numerous edits.

And to Michelle Bakken Whitaker, an amazing designer, who brought in her expertise, in the nick of time, just before Contained Beauty went to press.

My husband Adam, my rock, for his love and support, and to my amazing children, Bianca and Chase, who are my inspiration and my life.

Jennifer’s daughters, Jessica and Chelsea who traveled with Jennifer and I and acted as my mini assistants. To Steve, their dad, Jennifer’s husband, for his patience and understanding as we spent hours and hours on the book.

And a huge thanks and gratitude to my Believers, including Jennifer and Steve Fox; Kathy Hull, Visionary of the George Mark Children’s House; Rasheed Alli of X2Media; Sherry Paterra, my mentor; my new friends, Linda and Bruce Titus; our real estate partners and friends, Ed and Kathy Krafchow; my longtime, dear friend, Mindy Sun; and of course, my loving husband, Adam and my parents who have supported me throughout my life and allowed me to change my career as many times as I changed my mind. And to all of you…

In Closing

I now understand that I was living with constraints, just as a swimming pool, with restrictive borders, that slowed me from living my dreams. I put up boundaries because of my own doubts and fears.  I stopped short of doing for myself as it always is much easier for me to do for, and to believe in, my children and in others…

Contained Beauty is for me and for you.  It is a reminder for you too, to let go of what holds you back and to find your passion and follow your dreams.

Believe in yourself, seek inspiration and keep going even when things are less than perfect.

And should you purchase a copy of Contained Beauty, The George Mark Children’s House thanks you, just as I do. Please go to Barnes and Noble.com Amazon.com or call your local book store and ask them to order you a copy. Contained Beauty can also be purchased at Rue Atelier Boutique on College Avenue.

If you would like more information on the George Mark House, please go to George Mark.org.

Thank you!  XOXO!!

Debbi

DebbiDiMaggioPR

For Author Events or Book Signings, please contact Jennifer  Jenn-Fox.com

Imagine. Believe. Visualize. Dream. Achieve.

friday nights & football // gets my heart beating fast!!!

Sunday, September 2, 2012
Debbi DiMaggio

Friday Nights & Football–Gets my heart beating fast!!

For me that means watching my son, Chase, and his teammates play under the
lights for Piedmont High School (PHS).

This last Friday night the PHS Varsity Football Team set the night on fire.
Team work and awesome plays, including a few interceptions, made the game.
Final score: 28-25 PIEDMONT!

Unfortunately for some of the team’s first-string varsity players, their
injuries had them sidelined; however, that gave an opportunity to others.
It was just the second game of the season and already a few key players down, but that
didn’t stop them. Adrenaline pumping, the fans cheering–nothing was going
to shut Piedmont out.

In an amazing turn of events and multiple exciting plays later, the Piedmont
Varsity Football Team ended the night just 3 points ahead. It was a huge
night for all.

A few highlights I recall:

Incredible #81 Andy Slabaugh was injured in the first quarter and hopped off
the field. I had just turned to my friend and said, “keep an eye on #81
tonight because he’s fantastic and fun to watch!”

With Andy out, my son #80 got the nod – an opportunity to play the game. Thrown into the mix for his second varsity game, and only a sophomore, it was an exciting surprise for his dad and me. And Chase made an awesome catch and played most of the game! No doubt that single catch must have helped diminish the notion of being on the sideline and waiting for his
chance next year… I’m guessing that connected him even more to the sport
and to his teammates, both on and off the field.

I believe it is nice to get a chance, and even better when you are able to
rise to the occasion and make the play. (Congrats Chase!!)

Quarterback #8 Spencer Kim, who never gives up and always keeps on searching
for the best in himself, had to leave the field after a play due to an
injury (and later was able to return to the game).  That meant the back-up,
back-up QB, #25 Ryan Ellis, was going in. All of us in the stands were in a
panic. I looked over to his mom who simply threw her hands up in the air
seeming to say oh well – whatever happens, happens. What can we do? She
simply took it in stride. (I don’t know if I could have remained so calm.)

So, what does a linebacker do when faced with an unexpected position change?
You’re right. He did not throw. He ran! He plowed right through the opposing
team and scored a T o u c h d o w n!

The fans went wild!

I also want to call out #45 Charles Tuan. He made multiple fearless and
incredible plays, including an interception or was it a punt return? I’m not
a football expert, but I think you get the idea. Either way Charles added to
the win.

Another player, #99 Ale Chiodo, successfully completed all three extra points!

To note: Chase Betta, Ryan Ellis, Ale Chiodo and Charles Tuan are all
Varsity Lacrosse lettermen.  Every football game, their LAX coach is riddled
with anxiety. He hopes and prays his boys do not get injured. I suppose
receiving my play-by-play texts didn’t help his stress level either. Of
course, my phone died before the game ended… The coach had to wait to hear
the winning score– the following morning!

It was #38, William Meredith, who truly knocked it out of the park running
and pushing all who crossed his path out of the way only to make an amazing
TD!  It was then when I thought I was about to faint from all of my
screaming and cheering. Who would have thought?

Sack after sack each lineman did their job with fury and determination. But
if I had to highlight one defensive player I’d have to say #44, Aaron Fahey.
There were so many more awesome plays by each and every player who took the
field; I wish I knew and had the time to comment on each one.

It takes a team to do what the boys did last Friday night. The cool thing is
they all get it. They truly understood it was the team that won the game, and not
just one individual. Congratulations to each and every player.

I am also grateful to the incredible and dedicated coaches who spend so much
time with, and give so much heart, to our boys.

And to include a favorite quote of Wide Receiver #19 Jake Pacheco, who also
had an amazing night,

“To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.”  Well said, Jake.

Remember this one forever.

XOXO! Debbi
A very proud mom

PS. A second quote to share, from my upcoming book Contained Beauty, “learn
the playbook; visualize your dreams… and share it with others.” Go to
www.debbidimaggiopr.com to learn more.

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