The Art of Christmas!


It’s that special time of year again when Tommy and I head out in the middle of the night to Midtown to visit the most spectacular holiday windows at Bergdorf Goodman. Now if you’re looking for high fantasy, dramatic surprises, extraordinary fashion, and captivating storytelling then make it an annual tradition to see these holiday window displays—they are the best New York City has to offer if not the world! Of course we never take Mamma Biscuit with us when it comes to this holiday excursion but we did leave her curled up in her toile bed right below our revolving Christmas tree with Vince Guaraldi’s A Charlie Brown Christmas playing softly in the background. As our little gremlin drifted into Christmas La La Land, Tommy and I made our way down to 5th Avenue on one of the warmest nights I could recall ever having in December. I literally could not tell what excited me more, the prospects of viewing these dazzling windows or the fact that I left the house without a scarf and felt completely comfortable–all leading me to believe that for once, just once, I would not feel like I was going to lose a finger from frost bite while photographing each window. Now onto the good stuff. There is just one word, one all encompassing word that defines the Holiday windows of 2014 and that word is ART! Let me be more specific here. Art defines the very essence of the human experience and is the end product of all inspiration (not to mention that Mamma Biscuit herself is a canine work of art) so It’s no surprise that David Hoey (the store’s senior director of visual presentation and the man behind these legendary windows) has drawn equally from the fine arts, performing arts and applied arts to create a thematic homage to art!

For the main windows, the team settled on literature, architecture, theater, painting, music, dance, sculpture and film and the secondary windows focused on intimate portraits of photography, cartography and the culinary arts. Each window was designed independently from the others and each would be made from its own set of materials. The entire set of windows would constitute a sort of eight-lesson course in art appreciation—and boy did we appreciate it. So come along and let’s take a tour of the most fabulous Holiday windows you will ever see. Just be warned, this is a long post!

We start our tour with the Literature window.


A vision in red, this vitrine showcases a detailed collection of portraits of celebrated writers rendered in tapestry, needlepoint, macramé and felt appliqué. Over 100 artisans worked on these pieces and at the center of it all is a mannequin dressed all in red sitting beside a sheep dog overlooking this magical library of literary inspiration.


From Literature we move to Architecture, a vitrine dressed entirely in blue.


Taking the blue print to the max, this window is a paper masterpiece. Thousands of building models layered one on top of the other frame a mannequin wearing a stunning blue and white lace gown with matching blue wig and opera gloves.


The highlight of this window is the lion and eagle, all made from a million bits of paper intricately cut with an X-Acto knife. I’m almost positive David’s team went blind creating this room and a few must have lost a finger or two with the amount of paper cutting involved. Job well done, no one is left blue after viewing this stunner!


From Architecture, we move to the Painting window.


Clean as a canvas, this entire window is white save for the bottom left hand corner of the canvas sitting in the room of a colored painting inspired by the window itself. It’s a painter’s studio with all the works; paint brushes, paint cans and model busts and off to the side is a giant wooden horse with a mannequin dressed in a gorgeous couture gown perched on top. There is something about an all-white window that inspires me more than anything else!


From the Painter’s studio, we head straight to the Theater window which is a dazzling neon vignette of flashing Broadway lights.


You can’t miss this baby nor can you miss the female lead in mid song wearing an exquisite gold gown center stage, framed by the blinding lights. It would have been great to see more detail in this window, like an audience of some sort, possibly viewers in box seats flanked on either side but the neon light stage is a masterpiece all by itself and lucky for me, it was warm enough outdoors for me to look at the different blinking stages of the lights without freezing my ass off!


Naturally, from Theater, we head to the Music window which is a show stopper in my opinion.


What a blinding background of thousands of horns and tubas mangled together to make one impressive stage for the featured mannequin blowing her French horn while wearing a diamond encrusted jumpsuit with matching opera gloves. WOW, just WOW!


Before we head to the final main windows, it’s worth highlighting some of the smaller windows such as the Calligraphy, Photography, Culinary Arts and Cartography windows. Small and intimate but just as detailed and dramatic as the bigger windows!


As we turn the corner and head toward the Paris Theater, we move from the Music window to the Sculpture, Dance and Film windows. All smaller than the main windows but beautifully detailed and highlighting some really gorgeous fashion. We’ve got ice sculptures, a moving screen background with stuffed Siberian huskies pulling a sleigh and a rotating mannequin in McQueen showcasing the mechanisms of dance.

The Sculpture window.


The Film window.


The Dance window.


So that’s it folks, the Bergdorf Goodman Holiday Windows of 2014. Forget Saks 5th Avenue, Macy’s or Lord & Taylor, these windows are where it’s at!


Posted in Fashion, Holiday, NYC Life | 2 Comments

And the Season Begins . . .


City sidewalks busy sidewalks
Dressed in holiday style
In the air
There’s a feeling
of Christmas
Children laughing
People passing
Meeting smile after smile
And on every street corner you’ll hear

Silver bells silver bells
It’s Christmas time in the city
ring-a-ling hear them ring
soon it will be Christmas day

Silver bells ringing on every street corner is not the only indication that the most glorious Holiday on earth is upon us. Some people say that the stampede of shoppers and deal-seekers killing security guards nationwide on Black Friday is the start of the season while others say that the lighting of the giant Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center is when everything really gets into high gear, but we at the Pug Palace say that the official start to the Christmas season worldwide is when Mamma Biscuit makes her annual visit to the North Pole (also known as Dees’ Nursery out on Long Island) to sit on Santa’s lap and snort her long list of wants into his ears. Mamma was sure to give Santa many pug kisses while looking extra cute to make up for her Diva behavior lately—all in hopes of getting her name on Santa’s VIP list! She’s got her eye on a yacht, and really, that’s not a lot. However, she needs a new wardrobe to wear while lounging on that yacht and Santa better have Chanel on speed dial! Chanel and Vivienne Westwood for that matter! Problem is, she’s been barking on the spot for peanut butter treats when the mood strikes her and of course, I cave into her every wish when she twinkles her marble eyes in my direction between pug growls and gremlin barks. She’s got a lot of nerve damn it. Even her foster mother once told me that Mamma Biscuit is all “attitude and sass.” I often wonder, “where does she get all of this attitude from” as I drape a gorgeous vintage pearl collar around her fat neck and fit her into a sateen green and maroon Holiday dress!


Now the moment we stepped foot in Dees’ the place literally shut down. It was like Mamma Biscuit mania in there. I haven’t seen that many screaming people since The Beatles landed in our country during the British Pop invasion! Everyone from all departments migrated to Santa’s workshop in the rear of the store for some personal time with our infamous pug! They must have turned the sign around to read, “Sorry, we’re temporary closed, MAMMA BISCUIT IS IN THE HOUSE” on the front door because business seriously came to a screeching halt! As we walked up to Santa, we stumbled upon him having a conversation with the girls running the camera. They were speculating whether Mamma Biscuit was going to show up on the day we showed up (which was Black Friday) or the following day. How great is it that Santa is concerned about the arrival of Mamma Biscuit. I wouldn’t be surprised if he put out some peanut butter treats and a bowl of milk in anticipation for her arrival—and she doesn’t even have to stuff wide butt down anyone’s chimney! It was also great to see that so many people brought their dogs along with their children to visit Santa although the only dog Santa seemed to be concerned with was our little Biscuit Lady!


So there she was, in Santa’s loving embrace dressed in her finest Christmas attire accented with vintage jewelry as she barked her list of wants in his ear in between a few tongue rolls, some wet kisses and a couple of pug snorts! Mamma Biscuit is such a pro when it comes to luring Santa into giving her the green light on a huge list and this year, her list is beyond ridiculous! It started with a whole new wardrobe furnished by Chanel, a trip to China to get more acquainted with her roots, a lifetime supply of peanut butter treats, the deed to a platinum mine and ended with a stocking full of diamonds and a Black American Express card with an unlimited credit line! In other words, our little bitch has turned into a very big bitch!


If there is one thing we love to do during the holiday season (besides scouring the streets looking for badly decorated homes) it’s hitting the local nurseries to check out their holiday wares—and boy were they a-plenty here at Dees’. So after our photoshoot with Santa and catching up with the store owners and workers, business resumed as usual as Tommy and I roamed around with Mamma Biscuit in our arms—taking in the Christmas scenery! We totally got lost in their fresh wreath and garland section and took some gorgeous holiday portraits!


We bid farewell to Santa and the entire staff at Dees’ and spent the rest of the day gathering up gifts for family and friends. Who says you can’t enjoy Black Friday?


So that’s it folks, Mamma Biscuit’s Santa portraits for 2014! The special day is only 20 days away, are you prepared?


Posted in Fashion, Holiday | 8 Comments

Giving Thanks, 2014!


Today we pause from our whirlwind of a life to reflect and give thanks to the many wonderful friends, family and animals that surround us every day. It’s also a time to be grateful for the luxuries and securities that we have an to never take any of our material privileges for granted! Mamma Biscuit has so much to be thankful for in 2014. Aside from the fact that she is 14 years old and still has the spirit, health and energy of a puppy, she’s also incredibly grateful for the fabulous wardrobe she has amassed in the six years she’s been with us—and her outfit today is a testament to just how flawless her Autumnal style really is. No other pug can work a two-pumpkin-park-bench-set quite like our little gremlin—and no other pug ever will. The Biscuit Lady is also very thankful for the plethora of yummy peanut butter treats she gets every single day just for being so damn adorable. Most of all, she’s thankful for having two loving daddies who practically worship her and go through great lengths to provide a pampered life she deserves.


So in the spirit of being thankful and actually applying it to our lives, Mamma Biscuit has decided to change Thanksgiving to Thanksliving—because in our opinion, appreciating what we have while we have it is what can cultivate true happiness in our lives. Having Mamma Biscuit in my circle-game of life has truly made me reflective about her life, her horrible past and of course, our lives before this beautiful creature became the lady of our home. I have a mini thanksliving holiday in my head every day of the year when I look into her eyes—and what eyes she has! Big, wet, expressive marble eyes that can either endear or stare down even the toughest kitchen-keeper around. Just knowing that this beautiful creature is all mine, ready to give and receive love is what brings true comfort and joy in my own life!


So the Lady of our house has been pacing back and forth throughout the Pug Palace working her nose into a frenzy. She throws her nose in the air at every corner, sniffing the scent of baked goods wafting from the oven in our kitchen. She knows the drill. The days get shorter, the air becomes crisp and cold and before she knows it, that day of over-eating followed by a visit with Santa Claus on Black Friday has arrived! On a side note, Thanksgiving to me has always been a road block between Halloween and Christmas. I know it may sound harsh but aside from the actual meaning of giving thanks, the rest of the holiday revolves around food and whether or not I can control my growing waistline! Of course Mamma Biscuit loves Thanksgiving for the exact reasons why the holiday gives me anxiety—FOOD!


So to calm the Biscuit Lady down from the impending feast, I thought it would be a great idea to throw her into her finest knitted sweater, grab a couple of table pumpkins and head out to the park to take a few Autumnal portraits to commemorate Thanksliving, 2014. Doesn’t she look absolutely stunning in this shade of orange? The crowds spilling out of Fort Tryon Park could not handle how cute Mamma Biscuit looked perched upon this bench and of course, being the consummate professional that she is, she always gives 150% back to her fans. Getting Mamma out of the house for an hour or so was the least I could do to give Tommy a chance to bake for the holiday without having a pug shadow at his feet. Our pug can be quite the bully in the kitchen, barking at the drop of a crumb! At any rate, I’m always happy when I can capture our gremlin in her element through photography.


Expressing true gratefulness is difficult in one day, for grateful deeds span throughout the year, however, the abundance of joy and love that Mamma Biscuit brings to us everyday allows us to feel the gratitude we feel most on this very day—all year long. May you all enjoy a delicious meal with your loved ones—Mamma will sure be feasting on some Tofurkey during ours!


Happy Thanksliving


Posted in Fashion, Holiday, Knitware, Portraits | 4 Comments

Pugs in Costumes!


To say that we’ve been decompressing from Halloween within the past two weeks is an understatement because Mamma Biscuit is totally exhausted from all of the fun and festive Autumnal activities of October. From apple picking up at Wilklow Orchards to decorating the Pug Palace with all of our spooky delights to concluding the season with her annual Halloween costume, our little gremlin is spent. She’s been streaming in and out of one really long nap for the last two weeks which actually works to my benefit because she hasn’t been at my feet like a shadow while I begin the long, arduous task of erecting Christmas Land at the Pug Palace. Don’t even give me the side-eye people, the sheer volume of seasonal decor is so daunting that it’s like playing an intricate game of tetris in our apartment. I have to start this early in order to get everything up and running at a decent date —and besides, who doesn’t want Christmas to simply materialize with a flip of the switch on Black Friday? I have other plans on Black Friday that revolve around trampling a security gate officer at the mall to get my hands on a free flat screen televisions—Jesus wants it that way! At any rate, coming off of the high of Mamma Biscuit as Stevie Nicks for Halloween, we have some really exciting news to share with all of you guys. Mamma Biscuit has been featured in a book aptly titled Pugs in Costumes published by Ebury Publishing/Virgin Books in the U.K. Pugs in costume is a collection of the best-dressed pugs from around the world, so naturally, Mamma Biscuit would be a part of it. From Marilyn Monroe to Vivienne Westwood, there isn’t a breed on earth that can rock a costume quite like a pug and this book is a testament to that fact. There are three sections to this book that will keep you howling with laughter and squealing from the unbearable cuteness of pugs dressed in costumes. Section one is entitled Puggywood which focuses on pugs dressed as icons of the stage and screen. Section two is entitled Pugoween which focuses on those little gremlins of the trick-or-treat variety. The third and final section is entitled Pug Couture which focuses on the best-dressed pugs in town. Of course Mamma Biscuit is featured five times within the Pug Couture section—a natural spot for our high fashion gremlin. Here are the spreads. . . .


Glamour Pug!


Vivienne Westpug!


Bjork Pug!


Pug Life!


And last but not least, Pug No. 5!


We are so excited to have Mamma Biscuit published in a book but this isn’t her first time at the rodeo. Back in August of 2012, Mamma Biscuit graced the cover of The Royal Treatment by Dr. Barbara Royal. All I can say is that it pays to be a book cover designer and an art director. Remember this?


At any rate, The Biscuit family implore each and every one of you to go out and buy Pugs in Costumes. It makes for the perfect Christmas gift not to mention a perfect addition to the avid Mamma Biscuit memorabilia collector!


Happy Friday y’all!

Posted in Book Club, Fashion, Media | 1 Comment

A Leather and Lace Halloween!


Mamma rings like a bell through the night
And wouldn’t you love to love her?
Takes to the park like a pug on the run
And who will be her lover?

All your life you’ve never seen a Pug
Taken by the wind
Would you stay if she promised you heaven?
Will you ever win?
Will you ever win?

Let’s face it, the question “will you ever win?” does not bear repeating in the chorus to this magical song entitled Rhiannon (written by Stevie Nicks and originally recorded by Fleetwood Mac in 1975) because when it comes to Halloween, Mamma Biscuit always wins! That’s right people, Halloween 2014 is all about highlighting one of our favorite (and sometimes unfairly overlooked) music and style icon in Mamma’s pantheon of icons—Stevie Nicks! If songs like Gypsy, Little Lies, Sarah, Dreams, Edge of Seventeen, Landslide or Silver Springs aren’t enough for you to love Stevie Nicks then perhaps discussing how incredibly romantic, magical and bohemian her personal style has been throughout her impressive career will do the trick. Oh who am I kidding, if you don’t find any of Stevie’s songs to be brilliant then you’re wasting good oxygen on this earth! Oh, and if you have the audacity to even bring up Taylor Swift in the same sentence as Stevie Nicks then I’m sorry, you and Mamma Biscuit could never be friends!


“Personally, I think that sexy is keeping yourself mysterious,” Stevie Nicks told Rolling Stone in 2002. “I’m really an old-fashioned girl, and I think I’m totally sexy.” You know what? Mamma Biscuit is also an old-fashioned girl who maintains a similar level of sex appeal and mystery behind her long, epic tongue and stout yet curvaceous legs—and she looks damn good in antique lace too, don’t you think?

© Copyright 2013 CorbisCorporation

For over 40 years, Stevie has embodied bohemian mystique while fronting Fleetwood Mac and pursuing a solo career in billowing sleeves, Victorian lace and dark, draping stage costumes. Oh, and let’s not forget about that iconic tambourine with a rose or two going through it because that alone is amazing!


Stevie joined Fleetwood Mac at the end of 1974 and quickly became known for her Grammy award-winning raspy vocals and her always-tumultuous romance with Lindsey Buckingam. I mean, the appropriately titled album Rumors marked that hedonistic time of interpersonal strife between Fleetwood Mac members that everyone speculated upon while simultaneously being a commercial success in 1975! But back to Stevie’s style, she achieved her memorable aesthetic with the help of stylist Margi Kent, who designed most of her epic ensembles. The costumes are works of art in and of themselves and have been exhibited at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and DC’s National Museum of Women in the Arts, among others. In other words, we had really big paws to fill here this year at honoring such a goddess and I think we nailed it, wouldn’t you agree?


You know, Stevie to me has always been like the American version of Kate Bush. She’s eccentric yet totally unaffected. She’s natural and unassuming in her highly referenced Victorian style which ironically makes her the unlikely Godmother of Goth. There just isn’t anything pretentious about her personal style. It just seems to come off effortlessly, like it is an extension of her fabulous self. The unique sound of her voice has always added to the intrigue and obsession along with her incredible song-writing skills. Stevie’s cult-like following has extended out into far reaching places and has culminated into such events as A Night of a Thousand Stevies—the mammoth gathering of costumed fans and inspired performers who convene in New York City each Spring to snort a whole bunch of cocaine and work their own personal Gypsy 83 moments in leather and lace—all in one room. And now, she’s reaching new territory within the canine world via Mamma Biscuit!


So when you’re blasting Tusk (hopefully on vinyl) and layering your scarves to get your Stevie Nicks fix, think about Mamma Biscuit in this antique lace gown and feathered-accented frizzy wig! That’s exactly what Mamma Biscuit has on her back people, an exquisite handmade lace gown in antique lace (aged three decades or more) with a 3-foot detachable lace train. Stevie was known to twirl in her lace dress so it’s only fitting that a pug do the same considering the breed is notorious for running around in circles.


The first time I put this gown on Mamma Biscuit, she got tangled up and mummified within seconds and I had to carefully untangle her like a brain surgeon removing a tumor—that’s how delicate this lace is. How about that bodice, folks? If that neckline doesn’t scream “Medieval Festival” then I don’t know what would! The only thing missing from this ensemble is a cocaine vial and a spoon on a necklace around Mamma’s neck . . . oh, and maybe a real-life dove or two! What I love most about this gown is that if I took a pair of scissors and hacked away at the train and smeared red lipstick all over Mamma Biscuit’s face, we could go from Stevie Nicks to Courtney Love—or even better, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

So Stand back stand back
In the middle of Mamma’s room
she did not hear from you
It’s alright it’s alright
To be standing in a line
Standing in a line
I would cry

Stevie Nicks is a true hero and icon to Mamma Biscuit and family and it was a pleasure to reinterpret our favorite white witch and Fleetwood Mac member for the 24th Annual Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade. The event took place over the weekend on Saturday, October 25th in Tompkins Square Park in the East Village and Mamma Biscuit, once again, delivered an epic costume for the elite dog crowd of New York City to chew on.


For starters, we scored a major interview with the host of the parade, Ross Mathews, who literally loved Mamma Biscuit so much that he had to Instagram and Tweet out a selfie posed with our little lacy chanteuse! I told him that the photo might break down the internet, hopefully superseding the epic Ellen Degeneres selfie she took at the Oscars earlier this year with all those A-list stars of Hollywood!


You know I’ll be scouring the internet for the next few weeks, searching high and low for the video interview that we filmed because it was just so good. In full Ross fashion, it was nothing but sass, witty banter and laughs along with getting to share Mamma Biscuit’s puppy-mill-to-riches story—and there wasn’t a dry eye among that film crew!

Now when we hit the stage for the judging, Ross gave Mamma Biscuit a “Ross Choice Award” which was a Beggin pendant attached to a yellow ribbon—and at that moment, I had felt that we already won. I even twirled Mamma Biscuit around while holding her in my arms to give the crowd (and Ross) a quintessential Stevie Nicks moment. I may have even told Ross that Mamma Biscuit is “gone with the wind fabulous” before walking down that runway to the cheers of the crowd!


The entire day in the park was filled with interviews and photographs by every news outlet known to man. We mingled with spectators and fans alongside other dog owners and their dogs. It was official, Mamma Biscuit seemed to nail down the people’s choice for best costume because everywhere I turned, someone was chewing my ear off about how our little gremlin was going to take home the prize.


Well folks, that didn’t happen. Not only did she not win best in show, she didn’t even place! How dare they?? LOL I began to speculate that there was a Stevie Nicks hater on the judging panel and would yell out, “she was robbed” to any passerby who would listen. It just seemed like something was rotten in Denmark and it wasn’t the damn cheese! All kidding aside though, we don’t enter this costume contest for the prizes or for winning, we enter because it’s just so damn fun. I’m totally serious y’all. This contest and parade is such a New York City Halloween event and it’s just great to have Mamma Biscuit be a part of it!


It was a media storm and already, the coverage is pouring in. Mamma Biscuit has been highlighted in New York Magazine, Gothamist, Dogs and the City, Observer, The Village Voice, Mashable, Buzzfeed , PIX 11 and Bark and Swagger. I’m sure many more articles will pop up as we get closer to Halloween day!


After a super fun lunch at Dojo in the East Village, Mamma Biscuit and her crew of friends walked on over to the Stevie Nicks 24 Karat Gold exhibit at Morrison Hotel Gallery. If you live in New York City, I would suggest on running over to this gallery to see this exhibit because it’s simply amazing! In search of the perfect cover art for Stevie’s upcoming album 24 Karat Gold, Songs From the Vault, she came up with a trove of ‘70s-era selfies—otherwise known as polaroids—taken at home and on tour in hotel rooms around the world. Dubbed now as the Original Queen of Selfies, Stevies iconic styles are captured in this collection of polaroids.


“Some people don’t sleep at night—I am one of those people,” the singer explained. “These pictures were taken long after everyone had gone to bed—I would begin after midnight and go until 4 or 5 in the morning. I stopped at sunrise—like a vampire . . . I never really thought anyone would ever see these pictures, they went into shoeboxes, where they remained. I did everything, I was the stylist, the makeup artist, the furniture mover, the lighting director. It was my joy—I was the model . . . ” OH STEVIE, YOU ARE EVERYTHING!


The moment we walked into the gallery holding Mamma Biscuit decked out in her lace gown, the gallery owner couldn’t contain himself. Everyone seemed to enjoy Mamma’s presence as Stevie while looking at the amazing prints on the wall and pondering whether they should blow their entire 401K to take one home!


This exhibit will be up until October 31st, so run out and see it people, it’s fabulous!

As if the day couldn’t get any better, on our way out from the Gallery, we ran into Andy Cohen walking his dog who did a double-take at Mamma Biscuit in my arms wearing her amazing lace gown.


We stopped to chat with Andy who just had to take a photo of our little gremlin in my arms. He thought it was hysterical and I thought the whole vignette was hysterical! There I was with a pug in my arms dressed in her Victorian best while chatting with Andy Cohen about Tommy’s sunglasses and Bethany’s return to the Real Housewives of New York—in other words, WE WON!


So there you have it folks—Mamma Biscuit as Stevie Nicks for Halloween 2014!


Mamma Biscuit, may you forever stay a gypsy at heart!


So I’m back, to the velvet underground
Back to the floor, that I love
To a room with some lace and paper flowers
Back to the gypsy that I was
To the gypsy . . . that I was
And it all comes down to you
Well, you know that it does
Well, lightning strikes, maybe once, maybe twice
Ah, and it lights up the night
And you see your gypsy
You see your gypsy



Posted in Fashion, Holiday | 14 Comments