Ways to Spending Christmas This Year


Many are the ways of Christmas, changing from country to country taking on numerous shapes and colors as diverse as the peoples who first started them for those who through the course of time turned them in to traditions. It is strange and wonderful how dissimilar all these Christmas habits are, ranging from waiting till January 6, “Dia de Los Reyes” (Day of Kings) to open up ones presents (tradition practiced in Spain) to Poland where people do not even delay till Christmas day; as their presents are opened as soon as the first star makes its appearance in the sky on the evening of Christmas. There are even those countries such as Russia and Greece whose orthodox churches have not adopted to the Julian calendar and are still using the Gregorian calendar; making their celebration of Christmas take place about a fortnight after the 25th of December.

As for myself I have been fortunate enough due to my many travels to spend Christmas in many a country where this holiday is upheld and thanks to this fact I have seen for myself the many ways people in the United States, Poland, Peru, Argentina, Ecuador, Italy, Hungary and the Soviet Union celebrate Christmas. The customs I have seen in these lands were of true beauty as I was invited to people’s homes in all of the above mentioned countries well with the sole exception of Soviet Union. It was in this last country where I spent this day in a hotel (Cosmos) in Moscow in the year 1988 during the time when the words glasnosts and perestroika were becoming known to most Americans; thanks Gorbachov. This being a man whose popularity in America at the time could match that of any other politician or actor.

With Regards to Christmas I can not say much about what it is that Russians did or ate on this day, as the hotel did not offer anything special on the menu. In truth the only thing I learnt about Russian Christmas while in the Soviet Union was from our Russian tour guide who told us that in the Soviet Union Christmas was not celebrated; as in her country New Year’s Day served as a combination of the two. She also told us how people gave presents to each other on that day and how her and her husband would pay a man to dress up as “father Christmas” and go to their home to give their son his presents. Of course needless to say times have changed since my visit to the Soviet Union. As this “empire of evil” as Ronald Reagan called it was eventually eradicated by history.

As for the other countries where I spent Christmas, Hungary was also unique in the fact that it was the first country (the Soviet Union being the 2nd) where I spent Christmas with no family or relatives of any kind. The year was 1987 but unlike in the Soviet Union I spent the day in a pension which was the apartment of a Hungarian family which out of some sort of kindness perhaps seeing that I was completely alone invited me to join them for their Christmas Dinner.

It perhaps was the oddest feeling I had ever had sitting down to dinner on Christmas day with people whose language was as foreign to my ear as mine (me speaking Italian, French and Spanish apart from English at the time) was to theirs. The meal I must say was not bad in its humble way though for the life of me I knew not what I ate as my hosts were unable to explain to me what I was eating which was some sort of meat which was probably pork. In a way I felt honored because this family which was far from being affluent had invited me, a person who was only renting a room in their apartment to share in their Christmas meal which I could imagine based on what I knew of eastern block countries had cost them a lot of money. It was while sitting down with them at the table that I noticed a certain dignity in this middle aged couple, infused with the tremendous joy and pride they took in not only the way they ate their simple meal which I could see in their faces but the way they spend this day. I must however say that I felt rather relieved when they opened their presents that they had not bought me anything, for I given that I had not expected to be invited to Christmas dinner had not bought them anything either.

I felt good after the meal and it was not because I had eaten something but because it had been that feeling of Christmas that makes people a little nicer that had propelled them to invite me so I would not spend this day alone in my room or walking through what was probably a very empty city. The following day came which was the 26th and leave early I did as I had to catch a very early train to Warsaw so it was on the night table in my bedroom that I left the key along with a ten dollar bill. It is funny how that might not seem like much to the average American or Hungarian now a days but then 10 dollars was the average weekly salary for many a person in Hungary. The money I left not as payment for the meal but as a small present which I feared to give directly, as hurting the feelings of someone who had invited me to Christmas was the last thing my heart desired; so I did it in a way that might be understood hopefully as a traveler in a rush giving what he can.
The country which saw me spend the most Christmases is the United States which does not really celebrate the evening of Christmas but uses it as a time to get ready for the day to come. It is generally on this eve that food is prepared or people (those who have one) sit in front of their fire places listening to Christmas songs or watching one version or another of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”.

It is the day of Christmas itself, the 25th of December and only this day that is of real consequence in the USA. As it is on this day that children along with their families rise early from their slumber to those presents under the tree and in their stockings. On this day after going through an emotional round of Christmas present opening, the turkey is carved for young and old; as families go about eating their meal. As a personal comment I must admit that I always found having turkey for Christmas slightly tiring specially after having had it less than a month before for Thanksgiving.

Some around the world may find it strange how Americans (well some any way) go shopping on the 25th as many though not all the stores are open. It is with the intension of getting those truly last minute presents or getting those boxes of Christmas cards at half price (to give out next year) that arouses many an American to leave the comfort of home to go to one of those department stores. Naturally there is also the case of those teenagers whose wish is none other than to spend their present which was given to them in the form of cash or gift certificates. I even recall how 21 years ago I bought my first camera on the day of Christmas in a store on 5th avenue in New York. There are also those who take advantage of open grocery stores to get those items they might have run out off or forgotten in all the rush of the season.

After myself the second biggest traveler in the family is my older sister Mili (though not my oldest) who has also spent Christmas in several different countries given the many places her Spanish husband was posted to by his former employer Columbia Pictures. It was in Ecuador (in the city of Guayaquil) in the year of 1984 that I spent one of the most memorable Christmases due to the tropical weather. I if truth be told never felt the need to see snow on Christmas for New York contrary to popular concept does not show off snow covered streets every year but however it was not beach weather that I was used to either.

As for the celebration of Christmas itself I can not claim to have noticed anything that distinguished it from the way the same festivity is carried out in Peru or Argentina. People in Peru and Argentina like those in Ecuador also stay up till midnight on the 24th to wish each other a merry Christmas with a big hug after which they tear in to their presents and then at their turkey dinner. It was with great hunger I noticed the meal is consumed in these countries as they abstain from victuals till midnight and for the most part have not eaten since lunch. This appetite in some is even further increased by the tragos (drinks in Spanish) they drink in the lead up to that minute that turns Christmas eve to Christmas day. Another thing about Peru, Argentina and Ecuador that I found unique was the way in which fireworks are used at midnight to light up the sky. I being American was only used to seeing such displays on the 4th of July.

As for Italy, the country of birth of my grandmother and where part of my heritage comes from, it is strange that I have only spent Christmas there once and it being not long ago in the house of my daughter’s Godfather Erico Jannone; (who sadly passed away earlier this year) who lives near Torino which in English is known as Turin. As for Italian Christmas, the only thing that really separates it from the American version is that they eat seven types of seafood. Apart from this there is not much difference between Americans and Italians as they both wait till the 25th of December to both celebrate and open presents though they part company when it comes to going shopping; for Italian strict social laws do not allow businesses to open on this day.

The country where we spend Christmas can not help but influence how we spend it but one thing that we must never forget is the people who we celebrate it with us. It was in the company of my now late “compadre” and his daughter and son that my wife, daughter (The Little Opera Singer) and I spent this most special of days on the Christian calendar. It was his pleasant demeanor added to his regional Neapolitan charm that made this day so grand as he told my daughter all about the befana. Befana being the name given to the gift bearing witch who visits toddlers on Christmas.

Last but not least I will describe my Polish Christmases where people also have their distinctive way of celebration and that being to perform all the rituals of this holiday on the 24th of December on the day they call Wygilia. It is at the moment when the evening’s first star lights up in the sky that Polish people start in. First by sharing a wafer of some kind with each other as they exchange season wishes. As far as I am concerned, I can not in earnest claim to have taken a fancy to this almost ceremonial act though I have nothing against it either as I simply do not take part in it; as I do not feel any emotional connection with it. It is after the sharing of this wafer that Polish people start in on their meal that includes twelve dishes, one to symbolize everyone of the Jesus’ apostles. The dishes are for the most part cabbage composed along with other things that do not include meat as the Polish tradition (though not of the Church’s) does not allow the eating of any meat that is not fish. I in my personal preference prefer not to eat each dish, therefore I concentrate on just three or four of them; as my taste buds prefer to concentrate on fewer foods at a time.
It is following the meal that presents are opened though in my case I save the presents I am giving, not only to my wife and daughter but others for the following day and how could I proceed other wise than also saving the presents which have been given to me for the same day?

As one can see there are many ways to spend Christmas and I have been blessed to see several of them thanks to my multicultural family and travels, so it is with the truest sincerity that I state that all of the methods of celebrating Christmas are great in their own way. This making it that none be better for that would make some worse, none be more special for that would make some less; as they are equal in their differences and similarities. After all do they not carry the same purpose behind them which is sharing with one another? It is with this thought that I end this article by saying that no matter how one chooses to spend one’s Christmas eve or day; may it be joyful as that is the purpose of this day to my way of seeing things.

20 Tips to get more traffic from Pinterest

The internet is getting more visual every day.  We spend hours every day staring at the screen, for work, for emails, for leisure and gaming, for entertainment, for TV and more.  Our eyes can get tired from too much close up work, too much reading text and are inevitably drawn to images. Big, bright, bold images.  That’s why so much advertising is image based rather than text based.  And Pinterest is the ultimate image-based way to browse the internet.  Done right, it should also be in your top 5 traffic referrers to your blog.  So spruce up your boards, get busy with commenting and tracking, and see how can you get more followers and traffic from Pinterest.
1. Be neat and tidy and organised
Spend a few minutes a day over the next few days tidying up your boards.  Make sure you don’t have two boards the same, make sure your pins are in the correct boards, go through and edit each board to give it a description, and a short but appealing title, remove empty boards.  Rearrange your boards with those most important or most appealing or most popular along the top line.  Give each board a relevant and attractive cover.

2.  Give yourself a shout out
Your top row of boards is your most valuable real estate and those that are immediately obvious to new visitors.  Make sure that any boards you have that feature your own products or posts are along that top line – give yourself top billing in your own show.

My Pinterest Page – I’ve done pretty well in the last 9 months with over 12,500 followers.

3.  Use group boards to your advantage
Group boards are really popular among bloggers and internet users with the same interests.  Join group boards to showcase your own work to the board followers and set up your own group boards to attract new followers to your Pinterest account.  You get a nice full board without having to do any of the work!  Monitor any of your own group boards carefully for spammy or inappropriate content and remove it quickly and remove the offending pinner.  You can find group boards in this directory.

4.  Learn what images your readers like
Check what content is being pinned and note the types of images that are picked most often.  You can find pins from your own site using this address  

5.  Watermark your images
Not everyone will necessarily pin your image from the original source, sometimes by mistake.  Make sure the content can still be found by adding your website address to your images.  Have a search box on your site so a reader can find the correct content in case a pin has the site address rather than the post address linked.

6.  Interact with pinners and leave comments
If someone pins your content or leaves comments on your pins, join in the conversation.  Thank them for pinning, add a comment and be sociable.  However, take care.  Pinterest can suspend your account for spamming the boards if you simply go through and Like all the pins and comment with ‘thanks for pinning’ in a short space of time.  Reserve your attention to the pins that bring in the most re-pins or traffic.

7.  Learn Pinterest Tips from the experts
New to Pinterest and need some help?  Learn from the best with this book - Pinterest Savvy: How I Got 1 Million+ Followers (Strategies, Plans, and Tips to Grow Your Business with Pinterest) (affiliate link)

8.  Create niche boards Pinterest can be overwhelming with its content.  Help your visitors find exactly the content they want by breaking down your large boards into smaller niche boards.  Don’t have a board for food if you can split it into cocktails, desserts, crockpot recipes, appetizers, BBQ etc.  It will make it easier for you to find the content you want too.

9.  Brand your page 
If you are primarily using Pinterest in conjunction with your blog, website or business, then make sure your user name and profile reflects this.  You can change your name to your name plus your blog name, or just the blog name or whatever seems best to you.  Do add your blog address to your profile and write a brief description of what your boards might feature. Search engines do index this page and your other boards so make your descriptions keyword rich to appear in search engine results.

10.  Add your own pin description
The description for your pin can be almost as important as the image.  Add a caption or alt tag description to your blog images that will become the default description if that image is added to Pinterest.

11.  Have a PIN IT button
Encourage your visitors to Pin your content by having a Pin it button with every post.  Each post should ideally feature a range of social sharing options – make sure Pinterest is one of them.  The more times your image is pinned, the more visits and repins you will get.

12.  Pin your own material
Don’t go mad and spam your own Pinterest boards simply with your own blog posts and images.  Think that a comfortable ratio would be one pin for your own content with every 10 pins of  other content.  You can have self-promotion boards such as my ‘I made these‘ board but don’t bore your followers by making all your boards about you.  Or you won’t get many followers, just your Auntie Pam.

13.  Pin more tutorials
Tutorial pins see a 42% higher click-through rate than the average pin. [Source: Pinerly]  So if you feature tutorials on your blog, make sure to pin them and make it obvious there’s a tutorial behind that picture.  80% of pins on Pinterest are re-pins, so you need to pin your own stuff and get your stuff pinned and re-pinned in order to get those re-pins in front of a wider circle who will see and re-pin and so on.

14.  Be topical, timely and trending
If it’s February how many clicks do you think you will get on your Christmas recipes board?  Not many.  But get a Valentines Gift ideas pin in front of visitors at the beginning of February and it has a much higher chance of getting pins and click throughs.

15.  Include a Call To Action
If you want something, then ask for it!  Include a Call to Action in your pin, such as “comment below”, or “click here”.  The graphic at the top of this post was designed especially for Pinterest.  It’s in a vertical format so it takes up more room, and it includes a CLICK HERE call to action.  I don’t just want people to pin it and save for later (which might never come), I want them to click it now and come visit this post.

16.  Try out different sorts of images
There are several ways you can make your images more pinnable.  Try a vertical format rather than horizontal to give your image more space on the boards and feed.  Include a title on the image itself, especially if the image is the end result and you are featuring a tutorial – make it clear what’s behind the image.  Make a storyboard image showing several of the steps and the end result – again this identifies a popular tutorial post.  There is a great post on Sverve with examples that you will find really useful.  Try to include at least one of these options for every post.

17. Make your images find-able
As Pinterest grows with more than 30 million users, and countless pins being added every day, it is also an excellent visual search engine.  Keep this in mind when describing your pin.  Include rich keywords.  Is your post about a recipe for BBQ sauce?  Then make sure BBQ sauce recipe is included in the description.  Hashtags aren’t as widely used on Pinterest as other media – a well crafted description and an eye-catching image are all you need.

18.  Verify your account
This is easy to do and gives you another opportunity to brand your page and attract visitors to your site.  Your URL is right there in your page header and is clickable.

19.  Create great content behind your pin 
Pins come from readers.  A reader must like what you have written and want to share it or save it in order to even think about adding it to Pinterest in the first place.  So make your content Pin-worthy.  Show how to do something faster, cheaper, better or easier than ever before and write a post that deserves to go viral.

20.  Be cautious about monetizing Pinterest
I don’t think for most pinners this is a big issue, but I do know that bloggers can be approached by brands to pin their products for money.  You can also join sites like Viraliti to be paid to pin.  Exercise discretion and only pin those products or sites that you believe would appeal to your readers.  And don’t forget to follow the FTC disclosure requirements and mark your pins as an advert.
I’m sure you have lots of other Pinterest tips too.  How do you use Pinterest to bring traffic to your site?

Loaded Cookie Bars

I hope you all had a great weekend (and fun celebrating Halloween if you do so).  Post Halloween there is usually lots of candy and treats lying around, so it's a great time to make these cookies.  The base dough stays the same, but you can basically chose your mix-ins, depending on what you have on hand, leftover, or whatever sounds good!  Oreos or graham crackers add a perfect crunch, and M&Ms, chocolate chips, or a variety of bit sized candy bars add some sweetness.  These cookies really leave it up to you! 
These make up in no time at all and are great treat to share, or enjoy on your own with a tall glass of milk.  I took them to work with me and they lasted just minutes!
Loaded Cookie Bars
Recipe Adapted from Averi Cooks
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 egg
1 cup brown sugar
1 TBSP vanilla
1 cup flour
2 cups/12 chopped Oreos (or grahman crackers, or pretzels, or other cookies)
1/2 cup M&Ms (or other candy/chocolate chips)
To begin, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Then prep an 8x8 pan with foil and spay with cooking spray.
Begin making the cookies by melting the butter.  Let cool slightly, then add egg.  Mix in brown sugar and vanilla and mix until smoother.  Next, add the flour and stir until just combined, being careful to not overmix.  Then it is time to fold in your add ons.  I used Oreos and M&Ms but you can use whatever you want!  I mixed in half of my M&Ms and held back the other half.
Place batter into pan and smooth or pat out as best you can (dough will be very very sticky).  Then sprinkle remaining M&Ms or candy on top of the batter. 
Bake for 20 to 22 minutes.  Top should not look doughy and the edges should be just barely browning.  If you can, use a toothpick to test the center.
Make sure to let the bars cool in the pan for at least a half hour before slicing.  Store in an airtight container. 

Manly Happy Birthday

I know I have been absent from the craft posts for quite awhile.  I've been working on lots of little things, but keep forgetting to take pictures!

November is a busy month for birthdays in my family.  My dad, brother in law, father in law, husband and godson are all born in November - it's a busy month!  Today, I wanted to share some cute cards I made for my dad and father-in-law for their birthdays.  These cards would also make great Father's day cards!
The idea is based off of a cardmaking class I took once, but I adjusted it based on what I had on hand.

First you will need to cut your "suit" fabric.  One piece should be 3 1/4 inches by 5 1/2 inches.  The other side should be 1 1/2 by 5 1/2 inches.
Inked edges of both pieces of paper.
Now you need to create the fold for the lapel.  To do this, on the top of the larger piece of paper, make a mark 2 inches from the top left corner, and a mark 3 inches on the left side from the bottom.  Score along this line to connect the two marks and fold back.
If you are using double sided designer paper - you are all set.  I was using designer paper, and didn't like the coordinating side, so I cut a piece of the teal paper to cover up the folded back piece.
On the smaller piece of paper, make a mark on the left edge, five inches from the bottom.  On the right side, make a mark 3 inches from the bottom.  Score between the two marks and fold back.
Using a tape gun or your adhesive of choice, adhere the narrow piece of paper.  Then apply the larger piece of paper, overlapping the smaller piece of paper slightly.
Trim off the overhang from your lapel on the smaller piece of paper.
Stamp on your Sentiment.
Adhere buttons using glue dots.
For the bow tie, use a punch or trace a bow tie shape and adhere using foam squares. I traced mine as I don't have a bow tie punch!

Buttons are from Jo-Anne's
Sentiment is Paper Smooches

Days of Christmas, Woodland Christmas Centerpiece

So, it is confession time--centerpieces have never been my forte.  A bowl of fruit in the middle of the table, some mail scattered around it and I was good.  

But, the last few years I have had fun creating unique, SUPER inexpensive centerpieces with items I find around the house.

This year was no different. After making my Christmas table runner and picking my woodland theme, I knew a centerpiece to fit the theme would be easy. This year's centerpiece took less than 30 minutes to gather and put together.

Christmas, candles, pine branches, copper paint, centerpiece, DIY, woodland, logs, pinecones, fusion mineral paint, http://bec4-beyondthepicketfence.blogspot.com/2015/12/12-days-of-christmas-day-8-woodland.html

I picked up this great set of Eddie Bauer candles in a cute wood box for $5 at the thrift store.
I used 3 logs from our wood pile cut to three different lengths for the candles.  I did nail a small nail in the middle top of each log to keep the candles in place.
logs, use what you have, DIY, copper paint, candles, Christmas centerpiece, http://bec4-beyondthepicketfence.blogspot.com/2015/12/12-days-of-christmas-day-8-woodland.html
I cut some branches and some evergreen pieces from our yard.
I painted the branches and some pine cones with Matthew Mead's Copper paint from Fusion Mineral paint.  This color has been another huge inspiration for my Christmas theme this year.
woodland, fusion mineral paint, branches, pinecones, DIY, centerpiece, Christmas, http://bec4-beyondthepicketfence.blogspot.com/2015/12/12-days-of-christmas-day-8-woodland.html
I put the branches in an ironstone pitcher from the thrift store.
I put it all on a garage sale tray painted with Fusion Mineral's Fort York Red.
Simple, woodsy, perfect for my Christmas home. 
Christmas centerpiece, woodland, branches, pinecones, logs, candles, Christmas decor, http://bec4-beyondthepicketfence.blogspot.com/2015/12/12-days-of-christmas-day-8-woodland.html
Look around your home for easy items to use in your centerpiece this season.

I've been away much too long!

After being away from my blog for quite some time I thought I needed to get back into it because I've missed it and all of my blog friends.  Hopefully those of you who have been my loyal readers will comment and say "Hi".

I guess you could say "Life has given me lemons these past months and I finally decided to make
some Lemon Aid and get myself back together.... but, I went to look at my Lemon Tree and several new Lemons were missing!  The critters have taken them and all I have is one green Lemon left
 As I wandered through my soaked back yard I noticed the Hummer Feeder was still full, "Where did they go?"  I have not seen any this year?
 My home is one of may Town Houses on this block and it's being painted now for three weeks so I've had to move so many potted plants but this one hanging basket with a succulent  I found in a garage sale over a year ago has a bud poking out,,, I had no idea it would flower!!
If anyone can tell me the name of this beauty I'd be ever grateful!  I'll do my best to not let anyone bother it until I can get a photo of the actual flower in bloom.
While searching I found the same plant, in bloom.  How pretty
 The butterflies have been flittering around the Pony Tail plant for weeks now and that is due to the many flowers growing all around it.   Look how tall this Pony has gotten.  It was about 12" tall in a little pot when I first planted it out in the yard.  Taller than me now!
 Of course the Black Eyed Susan's are blooming... for some reason they normally thrive in  my garden but this year not too many came back?  Rainy season here in South Florida reeks havoc on my garden each year and we have been into the third week of daily Thunder Storms and heavy rain that knocks all the plants down. Some days you can find me out there while the rain falls with sticks and wire trying to save some.. it's rather funny to see really but I'm so afraid the lightening will get me one day
I  have missed blogging and will do my best to keep it up when I can.
I'm sure it will not be as often as in the past but I've missed my friends here and today will be reading all your blogs and hopefully leaving a comment on each.

How To Apply Dark Eye Makeup on Asian Eyes

I have always wanted to know how to apply dark makeup without closing up the eyes like stars in Hong Kong. Will you be able to tell me how to create an evening look, like how Kathy Chow has it please?

Smoky dark eye makeup can add a hint of mystery to your peepers and drive them boys crazy. But unlike Caucasians, us Asians often do not have deep-set eyes to pull off the look. So how can we wear dark eye makeup without making the eyes look smaller? Check out these tips below:

* Pick the right color. If you look at pictures of Chinese celebrities, they seldom use black all over the eyelid. Instead, try something a little softer like deep navys, plums, emeralds, coppers or charcoals. These colors will make dark brown eyes pop without looking too harsh. If you insist on using black, make sure you keep the color close to your lashline and crease.

* Opt for eyeshadows in shimmery and metallic formulas over matte ones to help add extra sparkles to your eyes.

* Always highlight the inner corner and brow bone with a lighter color to open up the eyes.

* Make sure you blend and blend the edges. Slapping on a really dark color without blending will only make you look like The Grudge – SCARY!

* Avoid lining your waterline with a dark color if you have small eyes. It will make them look even smaller. Instead, apply extra coats of mascara on your lower lashes and use a charcoal color to line if necessary.

* Never forget to apply false lashes when you are working with really dark colors. It will help make your eyes look a lot bigger and balance the whole look. Some of my favorite brands are Ardell, MAC, Shisem and generic Taiwanese brands.

* Skip brow powder and brush a tinted brow gel on your eyebrows to keep them neat and understated. You will never see Chinese celebs with dark eyebrows and dark eye makeup.

In Love With My Girlfriend

Cara Delevingne is making the leap from the runway to the big screen — and her latest accomplishment is landing the July cover of ‘Vogue’ magazine, where she opens up about her relationship with girlfriend, St. Vincent, ‘Paper Towns,’ her childhood and her sexuality.

Cara Delevingne, 22, looks stunning in the July 2015 issue of Vogue magazine, as the major model poses in a series of shots for famed photog Patrick Demarchelier — but seeing Cara smolder in front of a camera is clearly nothing new. What is new, however, is her first solo cover shoot for Vogue magazine, right on the brink of the release of Paper Towns. She might be known for her modeling work, but Cara is ready to take the big screen, (and the box office!), by storm. Inside the mag, she opens up about her love life with girlfriend, St. Vincent, and discusses her sexuality.

“I think that being in love with my girlfriend is a big part of why I’m feeling so happy with who I am these days. And for those words to come out of my mouth is actually a miracle,” she tells the mag, while also addressing her sexuality. “It took me a long time to accept the idea, until I first fell in love with a girl at 20 and recognized that I had to accept it,” she explains. “But I have erotic dreams only about men. I had one two nights ago where I went up to a guy in the back of a VW minivan, with a bunch of his friends around him, and pretty much jumped him.”

Cara’s parents think girls are just a phase for the supermodel, while she acknowledges the fact that she’s attracted to both men and women. “Women are what completely inspire me, and they have also been my downfall. I have only been hurt by women, my mother first of all. “The thing is,” she continues, “if I ever found a guy I could fall in love with, I’d want to marry him and have his children. And that scares me to death because I think I’m a whole bunch of crazy, and I always worry that a guy will walk away once he really, truly knows me.”

Cara Delevingne’s Childhood:

Cara grew up in a prominent family in London, but it was her mother’s relapsing heroin addiction that really impacted her childhood. “It shapes the childhood of every kid whose parent has an addiction,” she says. “You grow up too quickly because you’re parenting your parents. My mother’s an amazingly strong person with a huge heart, and I adore her. But it’s not something you get better from, I don’t think. I know there are people who have stopped and are fine now, but not in my circumstance. She’s still struggling.”
Some may wonder why a model at the height of her career would want to dive into the acting world — but that was her plan all along. “The thrill of acting is making a character real. Modeling is the opposite of real. It’s being fake in front of the camera,” she says.
For more from Cara’s stunning shoot and interview, be sure to pick up the July 2015 issue of Vogue magazine.