The inspirational journal of rising NYC jewelry designer, entrepreneur, violinist, and pastry chef, Yumi Chen.

NYC Jewelry Designer, Violinist, Pastry Chef, Small Business Owner, Free-Spirit, Positive Thinker!

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Archive for April, 2009

“Kiss The Earth”, Especially Today!

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009


Walk and touch peace every moment.
Walk and touch happiness every moment.
Each step brings a fresh breeze.
Each step makes a flower bloom.
Kiss the Earth with your feet.
Bring the Earth your love and happiness.
The Earth will be safe
when we feel safe in ourselves.
- Thich Nhat Hanh

Happy Earth Day!

A Tree Grows In…

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009


It’s Spring time! Which in New York means Magnolia and Cherry blossom trees, tulips and the fresh smell of rain. And this week, especially, there will be even more trees added to the mix, with Earth Day falling on April 22 (Wednesday) and Arbor Day following it on April 24th (Friday).

An organization called Million Trees NYC has set a goal of planting one million new trees across the city’s five boroughs by 2017. Apparently, the city will plant 60% and the other 40% is up to people like you and me. Keep in mind that 40% of one million is still 400,000! So we better get to it!

I admit: it’s not exactly easy to just go outside and dig a hole through the concrete on the sidewalk outside my apartment. But don’t worry, this organization, and others, makes it easy to either volunteer or donate the funds to help get trees planted in public places.

I have a special Tree of Life necklace, in honor of Arbor Day. And while I think it’s lovely any time, anywhere, it is especially relevant this week! So in order to do my part to meet the million tree goal, I am offering an incentive. For every online order over $75 at, from now until April 30th, we will plant a tree through the Arbor Day Foundation.

Not quite the same as getting your hands dirty… but making a difference nonetheless!

From Start to Finish

Friday, April 17th, 2009


Any musician will tell you that an album is intended to be listened to straight through, in one sitting, preferably through some high-quality headphones. Why? Because it is arranged as a sort of journey, to take the listener from beginning to end.

Case in point: the latest from an Australian band, Grand Salvo, an album with the somewhat foreboding title “Death”. But don’t let the semantics deter you; this is some serious magic. Like a hybrid between the radio plays of old and a concert by a string quartet, these Aussies have story-telling down to an art.

Even if the classical conventions of the songs aren’t to your liking (the sound leans heavily on stringed instruments, particularly the acoustic bass, violin, guitar, and a harp and is accented occasionally with a xylophone and flute), the smooth, deep voice of the narrator as he weaves in and out of the songs, guiding the story, will surely win you over. His gentle and charming Australian accent can soothe the most broken of hearts and put a smile on any face.

The songs are beautiful in and of themselves, but upon further listening, you’ll start to get a sense of the story and the lyrics hidden amongst the swelling of the strings.

So do yourself a favor: turn off the TV, put down your book and sit down and listen to this album. From start to finish. And wait for the day when Grand Salvo crosses the big pond to play in America!

* photo credit: *