Thursday, January 30, 2014

Music and lyrics by Isobel Salaff

When this beautiful creature entered my life I realized the opposing traits of "fierce" and "sweet" could indeed reside inside one body. The more I get to know Izzy, the more my heart fills with awe. She is a true princess warrior. 

Take this recent afternoon in our kitchen. Part Ethel Merman, part Cinderella, Izzy belted out an original song about the gloriousness of naps. I must say, it was pretty impressive.

But you be the judge. :)


Monday, January 27, 2014

Links jan27

Hail to the chief.


  • High school student Chaz Rorick has the best Instagram account, ever. (Mental Floss)
  • Best and worst of last night's Grammys. (Time)
  • A man and his cartoons. (The Atlantic)
  • Period piece vs. street style (Miss Moss)
  • A wedding story in Namibia. (Messy Nessy Chic)

This week's obsession: mud and tea leaves

Glow and be glamorous.

This amazing facial-in-a-jar boasts French sea clay, volcanic rock, green tea leaves and extracts of chamomile, marigold and comfrey herb. Slather a spoonful all over your face: it smells fantastic, you'll feel a slight tingling sensation while it works its magic, and I promise after 10 minutes your skin will look and feel smoother, softer and brighter.     

Here's mud in your eye.  

Friday, January 24, 2014

When you're angry

Everyone has that something they do when they're angry. Some drink. Some rage. Some plot revenge.

And some people dance. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Hot wheels

The little engine that could: a souped-up '72 Dodge Colt on display at
the Western Reserve Historical Society. Surprisingly, this was my fave.

Contrary to popular belief, a lot of awesome things made their design debut in the 1970s -- "the decade that taste forgot." 

Take a moment and forget about linoleum, polyester jumpsuits and that horrid green-and-gold color combo (Why, I ask. Why?) and instead remember shag carpet (when done right like this), the modular dinette set, and Diane von Furstenberg's famous wrap dress (which celebrates its 40th birthday this year). 

Unfortunately when it comes to cars, the 70s was a lost decade. Ugly, overwrought and hideously out of proportion, even the memorable ones (like the Ford Pinto) are unforgivable

That is... until I met this adorable, bad-ass beauty. A miniature muscle car with undeniable street style.

How could you not love a face like this?

We recently spent an afternoon at the Western Reserve Historical Society -- a treasure trove of Northeast Ohio culture and history. Tucked in the corner of the museum's Crawford Auto Aviation Collection, this muscled-up 1972 Dodge Colt shares company with approximately 150 other vehicles and aircraft ranging from an 1899 Baker Runabout to the 1982 DeLorean DMC-12 Coupe.

What I found most fascinating is Northeast Ohio's rich and vital role in the auto industry. In fact, Cleveland was once known as a thriving motor city with more than 80 (yes, 80!) car and motorcycle makers between 1896 and 1931.

Classic cars: ads from some of Cleveland's biggest auto makers.

Sadly, the car industry here died when the stock market crashed in 1929. Though Cleveland enjoyed a glorious but brief moment in auto making history, the city never managed a comeback.

With a growing artisanal movement and emerging technologies like 3-D printing, I have hope that modern coachbuilders will transform manufacturing the way Peerless, Hoffman and the Cleveland Motor Car Company did.  

Things are just starting to get revved up...

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

This week's obsession: butterscotch nails

All you need is love. But a little
chocolate now and then doesn't hurt.

Kind of having a moment with OPI's Chocolate Moose nail color. It's rich, buttery and looks great on almost any skin tone. 

Almost good enough to nibble on.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

SJP + shoes = l.o.v.e.?

Sarah Jessica Parker's highly-anticipated SJP shoe line hits Nordstrom on Feb. 28.

It's only natural Sarah Jessica Parker is coming out with a Carrie Bradshaw-inspired line of footwear. My only question is, "What took so long, SJP?"

"I've been thinking about doing this for years but never found the right fit," SJP tells (with pun intended, I'm sure). "Everything needed to align. From quality to price point."

For fashion lovers and Sex and the City fanatics this is intriguing news, indeed. Though the market is already saturated with celebrity-designer collaborations, we unashamedly can't get enough of SJP. 

We root for her when she announces yet another creative endeavor. Whether it's a fragrance collection (Lovely is, I must say, quite lovely), her Bitten clothing line (which unfortunately bit the dust shortly after the economy went south) or collaboration with Halston (which also bombed after Parker and the big wigs at Halston apparently couldn't work out their creative differences), hit or miss we want more. 

If SJP is anything like her on-screen alter ego, Carrie Bradshaw, then she knows shoes. Click here for a sneak-peek.

While the shoes look classic and the designs are beautiful (I can't wait to try on a pair myself), prices range from $195 to $485 and handbags go for $375 and under. Parker calls these prices "reasonable." 

What do you think? 

How much would you spend on a well-made, beautifully-designed shoe or handbag? What do you consider affordable vs. splurge? Does it matter to you if a product is backed by a celebrity? 

Come Feb. 28, I'll give a full report. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Mother of invention

Gilat Miller wanted her kindergartener to feel loved when he was at school.
So she started personalizing his snack bags with adorable, smile-inducing designs.
(All photos courtesy of Gilat Miller) 

Imagine you're five years old and it's your first day of kindergarten. In fact it's your first day ever, in your whole life, to be apart from your family for longer than a few hours. New environment, new building, new routine, new rules and a new classroom filled with 20-some kids you have never met before. 


New Jersey mother-of-two Gilat Miller wanted her son, Kai, to know mama was thinking of him. But rather than stuffing love notes into his backpack ("He can't read yet, anyway,") Gilat employed her more artistic sensibilities and started drawing cute designs on Kai's brown paper snack bags.

Inspiration comes from the holidays, something Kai is into (robots, super heroes, rocket ships, dinosaurs), a specific after-school activity (swimming, cooking) or a special request.

"I'm not good at drawing my own stuff, so I look for ideas online," Gilat says.
"I copy what I see and sometimes make small changes."

What started as a fun, therapeutic activity quickly turned into an all-consuming, up-all-night event. "I was making them EVERY DAY and really got burnt out," Gilat says. "The drawings take up a lot of my free time in the evenings. After making lunches and everything else, I ended up going to bed at like midnight every night, and I thought that was too much."

These days, she's saving the drawings for Fridays and other special occasions.

Gilat chronicles her adventures in snack bag artistry on Facebook and the responses range from admiration ("You will be a famous illustrator by the time Kai is in first grade!") to ideation ("You should start a business in the neighborhood. I'm sure a lot of children would love to take cool-looking lunch bags to school.") to half-joking envy ("I'm going to start blocking this photo album because it makes me feel bad about myself as a mom!"). 

A few of her favorite designs:

A friendly dragon barbecues Kai's hot dog.

A bicycle with a very love-ly seat.

"I love when Kai gets excited about them and when the drawings come out nice I feel proud," she says. "I want him to look at the special bag and remember how special HE is to me!"

We think you're pretty special too, Gilat.

Gilat and her sons,
Etan, 2, and Kai, 5.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Links jan10

One haircut and Shaun White is suddenly hot.


  • He lopped off his famous long red hair and doesn't want to be called The Flying Tomato anymore. Does that mean Shaun White is all grown up? (The New York Times Magazine)
  • Malcolm Gladwell discusses how he re-discovered faith. (Relevant Magazine)
  • A Long Way Down, The Fault in Our Stars and Wild will all get the book-to-movie treatment this year. (BuzzFeed)
  • Mindy Kaling on why she loves her "controversial" ELLE cover photo. (Flavorwire)
  • J Crew's Jenna Lyons proves being a powerful female doesn't mean you have to be a b*tch. (The Cut)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Houston, we have landed on Hoth

Negative 17 with a wind chill of -40. Those are just numbers 'til you step outside.
(Frosted Window by Jeffrey Goodman)

"What does minus eight degrees actually feel like?" a good friend of mine asked me today. I'm assuming the source of his fascination comes from the fact that as he's basking in 74 degrees of perfect Southern California sunshine the concept of Freezing 'Til Your Ass Hurts is just that. A concept.

So I wrote back:

Negative eight is brutal (last night it dropped to -17). But it's the wind chill that's the killer. Makes it feel 30 degrees colder. The wind whips at your face. You have no choice but to put your head down and submit to it. Hands and fingers tingle within seconds which makes even the most rudimentary movements almost impossible. You hurry like hell to de-ice the car and then are forced to sit in your car, freezing your ass off, while the car warms up (last night after work, it was 30 minutes). 

Our heaters are working overtime and my kids are going f*cking nuts (I'm kind of going nuts, too). They are stir crazy and need to go back to school. I need to produce some meaningful work and have a chunk of the day to do it (for instance, I'm trying to work right now but the kids are fighting in the basement for a toy-- ugh).

To sum it up: negative 8 can suck it. ;)

Thanks to this polar vortex, we're experiencing record-breaking sub-zero temperatures here in Cleveland and all the way up the Northeast. Making the best of it means simmering soup on the stove, pouring a third or fourth cup of coffee, piling on the sweaters, and stealing kisses from the kids (no matter how much they drive you nuts).

Stay warm, friends!