School’s in Session!


It’s hard to believe but Summer of 2015 is quickly coming to an end here and at the Pug Palace, we couldn’t be happier than ever. Autumn is our favorite season of the year and we are so looking forward to the brisk, cool days ahead that get shorter and shorter by the minute, the falling leaves in every color imaginable, apple picking, pumpkin carving and one of Mamma Biscuit’s favorite holidays of the year, Halloween! But before we jump the gun to Halloween here (and boy will you all be impressed with her costume this year) Mamma Biscuit has finally decided what she was going to do this Fall to continue her education and she would like to share it all with you. It took a while for her to make up her mind considering this isn’t her first time at the rodeo when it comes to going to school for our little gremlin. It’s hard to believe but our Biscuit Lady has behavioral problems and does not do well in a classroom setting. She’s easily distracted, falls asleep at the drop of a dime, she pants excessively when she’s around male bull dogs, is always looking to hop into open car doors and seems to have lunch on her mind at all hours of the day. She’s like Dawn Davenport from Female Trouble except Mamma Biscuit wouldn’t dare topple the Christmas tree over my limp, lifeless body if I didn’t make sure that Santa brought her a pair of Cha Cha heels. OK, maybe she would trash the tree if she didn’t get a stocking full of peanut butter treats but I digress. The point here is that Mamma Biscuit has a problem with authority. She tried her paw at beauty school many years ago only to become a beauty school drop-out after trying to give a shampoo job with her tongue. I tried to speak with her hair and make-up teachers but they just felt that hair styling wasn’t her calling. We then tried to send her to finishing school to see if we could refine her ways to match her impeccable wardrobe and boy was that effort fruitless. Bitch would give anyone the side-eye, pee on their leg and walk off as if nothing ever happened—and don’t even get me started on having her try to walk with a book balanced over her head either because she failed that test a long time ago. In fact, Mamma Biscuit would show up to etiquette class with ripped fishnet stockings as if she were Madonna circa 1982 which ultimately got her kicked out completely. The only good thing to come out of finishing school was that she befriended a gay teacher on staff who encouraged her to become a fashion muse instead of a refined New York City socialite which I think Mamma ultimately fulfilled here with her blog, successfully, don’t you think?


Mamma Biscuit is definitely a pug that walks to the beat of her own drum so when she came to me this year and barked up a storm to say that she wanted to enroll in classes at the Fashion Institute of Technology to become a fashion designer, I thought maybe we had potential here for something new and exciting. Being the good parents that Tommy and I are, we didn’t want to discourage our little gremlin by reminding her of her previous failed academic endeavors (especially since she’s a bit senile these days) so instead, we showed much enthusiasm as we quickly enrolled her in a class entitled, “Fashion Design 101” and I personally whipped up a fabulous pin-cushion brooch that Mamma could wear for her first day of classes to give her the confidence boost of making her feel like Diane Von Fürstenberg or even John Galliano rather than some old pug broad hitting night school to take a stab at dress making.


Before she headed out to her very first class, I decided to take some back-to-school photos of her in the park. Decked from head to brisket in all pink, Mamma Biscuit was sure to turn heads at FIT looking like she was about to take over the world in this ensemble! Despite her constant yawning and general boredom of it all, I believe she makes the Think Pink segment in Audrey Hepburn’s Funny Face seem practically beige by comparison!


After snapping a few photos of her I thought I would quickly leaf through Mamma’s black leather bound sketch book to see what has been inspiring her lately and this is the kind of shit she’s been doodling.


I mean really, after looking at these sketches, I give her three attended classes before she wanders off to the dog run to hang out with the other delinquent dogs to smoke cigarettes and look for some poor schlub who will give them peanut butter treats or worse, I’ll find her hanging out in the East Village spray painting some of these illustrations on a brick wall!


At any rate, wish Mamma Biscuit good luck at school and keep an eye out for our upcoming posts this September. We have so many exciting things lined up for you all!


Posted in Fashion, NYC Life, Portraits | 7 Comments

Mamma’s Quinceañera . . . Not Really!


It’s been such long time since we’ve given you all an update on Mamma’s life but we are back(ish) to say the least. I have no doubt that you all thought that Mamma’s little corner on the web here was tapering off, or worse, that she fell seriously ill but fortunately, neither of those two thoughts are true. You see, on New Years Eve, I made a resolution of giving myself a much needed blog hiatus. We have been trucking along, nonstop, since 2011 and I just needed some time off to relax, regroup and find some new inspiration. It’s also been a very busy four months for me professionally (working on Grace Jones’ memoir has been taxing to say the least) as well as socially, and blogging is like having a second job. So I hope you all can forgive us although after viewing this post, I have a feeling you won’t even remember our absence. A few things have changed since our last encounter with the Easter bunny. For starters, I shaved my giant beard off. I woke up one morning and simply decided to buzz it off. When I was finished, there was hair everywhere in my bathroom and Mamma Biscuit was standing by the doorway with glassy eyes as if she had been sobbing under the noise of my buzzer. That little gremlin of ours really enjoyed warming up her snout within the folds of my facial hair all Winter long so my bare face traumatized her. To console her, I had to remind her that I’m Italian and within a week or so, half of what I had shaved off would be right back on my face. And so here I am now, writing about a shaved beard that is practically back on my face, and Mamma is happy as a clam about it although with this Summer heat, she just admires my facial hair from a distance.


But enough about me. After visiting the Easter Bunny in late March, all Mamma Biscuit could do for the next four months was bark on and on about wanting an extravagant Quinceañera for her birthday this year. Seriously, the arguments at the Pug Palace have resembled several from a few episodes of MTV’s Sweet Sixteen. You see, this is exactly what happens when you live in the little Dominican Republic of New York City, and for me, the thought of spending all of that money on a Quinceañera makes me want to vomit. The money is an obvious issue but then all of these horrible vignettes of aggressive brides alla “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding” flood my head when I think of such an event leaving me just as frustrated as Mamma Biscuit was when I flat out denied the request. Somehow though, Mamma got it in her head that she wanted one. I bet it had something to do with that pack of female chihuahuas she hung out with at the dog run several months ago. They were yapping in her ear, setting off all sorts of expensive ideas about how we should celebrate Mamma’s 15th birthday. At one point, I had to sit her down and give her a talk about how it’s not a good idea to have people tack money to her dress at her birthday party—money that I would inevitably use to pay for the party because we do not belong to the 1% of the Latino community. On the bright side though, the only thing I would sincerely approve of is having a piñata in the shape of Donald Trump at her party so that we can honor the Latino culture the right way (by violently bashing the head of that comb-over bigot) instead of appropriating it the wrong way. Thankfully, the moment I put Mamma Biscuit into one of those frilly, cake-like gowns, she frowned in disapproval. Thank goodness she has impeccable taste in clothing because I entertained the thought long enough for her to see that it was a bad idea and a typical Quinceañera dress really put everything in perspective for our little Biscuit Lady.


So after much debate, we all settled with the idea of having a small and intimate celebration for Mamma Biscuit instead of a crazy Quinceañera and I found this amazing mint green seer sucker dress with peach flower accent and dramatic balloon neckline (a Martha Stewart original) to mark the special occasion—all without compromising her Halloween costume budget. I know, I’m good like that! Now this dress is part Vivienne Westwood and part wealthy-woman-at-the-vineyard-in-the-Hampton’s. Mamma Biscuit is ready to ring in her 15th birthday with tons of style and panache wearing this number, don’t you think?


On a reflective note, I cannot believe that Tommy and I have had this little gremlin in our lives for the last 8 years and I could never imagine life without her. Mamma Biscuit is so much a part of who Tommy and I are, not only as people, but as New Yorkers. She’s an incredibly special pooch who captures the hearts of the young and the old and can bring even the most masculine of men to their knees from her unbearable cuteness.


After taking these portraits of Mamma Biscuit wearing her fabulous frock in the park, Tommy decided to surprise her with a wild berry doughnut from Dun-Well Doughnuts, a vegan doughnut bakery in Brooklyn. My mom, dad, brother and Tommy sang Happy Birthday to our hungry Biscuit lady who looked on with bulging eyes at the sugary concoction and bowl of honeydew melon, waiting to be devoured after our song was through.


So here’s to Mamma Biscuit and her 15th birthday. The actual day is July 11th, the day we picked her up from Curly Tail Pug Rescue 8 years ago. We decided to celebrate and post something a week early so you all can enjoy the festivities of Mamma’s 15th birthday. Make sure you all go out and do something special to mark the day your favorite toothless pug on the Internet found true family love, and the day this very creature rescued us!


Happy Birthday Mamma Biscuit!

You’re only fifteen
But you’re my teenage queen
You’re the prettiest, loveliest girl Ive ever seen


Posted in Fashion, Holiday | 13 Comments

Easter Bunny Madness!


I’m not sure how we managed to make our way out to Long Island to visit the Easter bunny this year but I’m so glad we did. Aside from just being super busy this entire Winter and feeling like time has just escaped us from every single direction, the weather itself has been uncooporative as well! Our days have been unseasonably cold and snowy that even shopping for an Easter dress for Mamma Biscuit alone seemed to be uninspiring. I thought that maybe putting up our annual Easter tree would bring some Spring cheer into our home but with each passing snowfall, the rock salt, scarf and gloves seemed to infringe on our Easter eggs. It seems like Mother Nature is going to continue to be an unyielding bitch with her Wintry tendencies so last weekend, I decided make my own plans. We packed up our little gremlin along with one of her adorable Spring frocks and headed to The Dees’ Nursery & Florist out in Oceanside, Long Island to take a bunch of awkward and creepy portraits of Mamma Biscuit on the Easter bunny’s lap! This is seriously the only way we know how to celebrate the betrayal, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ!


The staff at Dees’ simply cannot get enough of Mamma Biscuit and her impeccable style and look forward to our visits during Christmas as well as Easter. So come along and take a look at some of our fun and silly photographs of Mamma Biscuit stealing the Easter bunny’s heart while making love to the camera. I swear, our little pug must have been a super model in her passed life because she is working every angle of her face here—like she needs to pay the rent!


It was almost a novelty to walk around the nursery and look at all of the beautiful flowers in bloom considering it was below freezing outside the greenhouse walls. Here’s hoping some of these floral photos can bring you a sense of Spring through the computer screen.


Now onto the most important aspect of the Easter holiday, Mamma’s annual Easter tree! You’ve been waiting all year for this and the time has finally come. Mamma’s tree stands in our living room corner in all of its Easter glory bringing us a much needed Springtime cheer in the never-ending Winter we’ve been having.


So that’s it folks. The Biscuit family would like to wish you all a very Hoppy Easter. Hopefully, Spring will show up soon—any day now, right?!? sighhhhhh


Posted in Fashion, Holiday | 10 Comments

Spring Anyone?


Does this look like a portrait of Spring to you? Seriously, this Winter does not want to go away. It’s one of the most confusing Winters we have experienced here in the Northeast in a really long time. One day it’s 47 degrees and the next day, it drops down to -11 degrees. How the hell am I supposed to deal with the depression that sets in this weekend when I have to move the clocks one hour ahead to usher in the new season when the forecast calls for snow, snow and more snow? If that’s bad enough, I had intentions of decorating the Pug Palace this weekend with Mamma’s annual Easter tree yet the 8 inches of snow on the ground has me wanting to drag out the Christmas tree instead. I promised Mamma Biscuit that I would make her home more Spring-like to cheer her up so despite what’s going on outside, the Easter bunny is coming out this weekend—snow or shine! At any rate, I did take the day off from work yesterday when our entire city turned into a magnificent snow globe and found enough time in the morning to take a long walk through Fort Tryon Park with Mamma Biscuit to take some portraits. I have been meaning to photograph Mamma sporting her new pink puffer jacket and a blizzard backdrop seemed to be the right time to do it. So bundle up and come take a virtual tour with us through the park. Johnny Mathis was right, it truly is a marshmallow world in the Winter!


After slipping and sliding all over a few park benches, Mamma decided she was going to prance her way through the park and get her paws into some fluffy white snow! I loved every moment of her snorting through the 8″ of snow and snowflakes falling diagonally across her face as she occasionally stuck her tongue out to taste a few. My girl, any chance she can get to eat something!


We hope you had a fun snow day! Here’s hoping for a warm-up next week so we can actually feel good about hanging Easter eggs on a tree!


Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments

Living for Love!


WE’RE BACK! Yes, that is the short and sweet answer to the question “where the fuck have you been?” that I assume everyone has been asking themselves for the past month or so. Seriously though, it’s been a whirlwind of life since the ball dropped in Times Square and we rang in the new year and I feel just awful for abandoning Mamma’s little corner on the web. For starters, I worked feverishly for two weeks to try and dismantle Mamma’s Christmas extravaganza at the pug palace before comfortably taking off on a glorious week vacation to Costa Rica to celebrate Tommy’s 39th birthday. That’s right y’all, Tommy is officially 39 and will be until he reaches 80, the year any normal human being stops being ashamed and begins to brag. Now to summarize Costa Rica briefly, we had a fun filled adventure throughout the playas of Tamarindo where I actually got my New York City ass to stand up on a surf board . . .well, for at least 2-seconds before I plummeted to the bottom of the rolling sea as my friends looked on, laughing at my expense. We zip lined in a superman position across the second longest zip line in the world and the longest in Latin America over the jungle canyons in Monte Verde before taking a Tarzan jump off a 150-foot cliff to end our death/torture tour. We hiked to see a 500-year old tree on the grounds of a Yoga retreat off Arenal Lake and we soaked in cold and hot springs off the active volcano in La Fortuna—all while enjoying 90-degree sunny weather the entire time. Oh, and while we were gallivanting around Central America, Miss Biscuit spent her week keeping grandma warm and cozy between her long naps, her obsessive licking and her diva demands for soft chew peanut butter treats here in New York! To say it sucks that we have returned to “historic” blizzard conditions, sub zero temperatures and an apartment full of sand and rock salt is an understatement! The only hope we have from this horrible realization that we are still in the depths of Winter and my fading suntanned skin is Valentine’s Day!


So after all the unpacking and all of the laundry and catching up with my emails, I had the strength and time to put up Mamma Biscuit’s annual Valentine’s Day tree—and boy is it a beauty. You know me, any excuse to trim a tree and I’ll find it. Actually, we have been collecting vintage Valentine’s Day cards for several years now and have turned them all into ornaments. This year, I have placed some pretty dramatic and vintage honeycomb, 3D fold-out cards in the mix! But before you scroll down to see this magnificent display, let’s talk about how utterly fabulous Mamma Biscuit looks in her new coat.


Furnished from Home section at Restoration Hardware, Mamma Biscuit is sporting this fabulous faux fur coat on the most romantic holiday of the year and leaving her daddies very worried that she might grab the attention of a gentleman pug caller in the neighborhood. I know, I’m an overbearing father so just deal with it! If the faux fur isn’t glamorous enough for you, I bet pairing that coat with a pearl pin brooch in the shape of a heart will make you change your mind.


I mean really, Mamma is giving us Drama for days despite it being so damn cold outside when we took these portraits. I hope they will make your Valentine’s Day warm and full of love!

Now onto Mamma’s epic Valentine’s Day tree. Keep scrolling people!


So that’s it folks. Mamma Biscuit and family want to wish you all a very romantic and Happy Valentine’s Day!


Make today and every day about Living for Love!


Posted in Fashion, Holiday | 7 Comments