If you’re looking for a fun and fast read, check out the The Dinner Party by Brenda Janowitz. I recently met Janowitz and heard her speak about the book. It’s about a family anticipating the upcoming Passover dinner; however, it can resonate for any family gathering. The story deals with an overbearing matriarch preparing to impress some guests who are wealthy and might possibly join the family as in-laws.
The relationships between the siblings and the parents are poignant and stressful. Forgiveness, disappointments and expectations unfold throughout the novel with a tender tone, but overall the book is laugh-out-loud funny.
Janowitz is as funny and endearing as her book. She left her high powered law career to become a novelist. It turned out to be a great choice.
I recently had the opportunity to hear Liz Murray at the National Council of Jewish Women Palm Beach Section luncheon. Murray has a compelling story. As the child of drug addicted parents , she was living on the streets as a teenager. When her mom died, she realized she needed to make a change and take charge of her life. She tried to enroll in many high schools and found an alternative school with a mentor. She finished high school and with the encouragement of her mentor applied and was accepted to Harvard. But, Murray had a secret — she was homeless. After winning a New York Times scholarship, her homelessness was revealed and her story became known.
Her journey was made into a Lifetime TV movie, and she is the author of the best selling book Breaking Night.
Murray spoke without notes and told her riveting story to more than 400 one afternoon with a standing ovation.
She asked the question “What does it take to make a difference in one person’s life?”
For Murray’s triumph over adversity is was a mentor. And for you?
Here’s an interesting way to ring in the New Year with paper cranes. Write down or reflect upon your unpleasant thoughts from 2016 that you want to release. Then contemplate your positive intentions and good thoughts for 2017. As a symbolic and therapeutic gesture, toss them into a fire. While you’re at it, make a toast with a glass of champagne. Of course, combine it with a warm evening on the beach and the serenity of the ocean.
Thanks to the Juno Beach Civic Association and the ingenuity of therapist Jennifer Behnke (above), many Juno Beach residents participated in this experience and are energized for 2017.
For 2017, may we all have health, happiness and peace!
(Floral arrangement from Juno Beach Florist)
I just published a review of Ina Garten’s new book Cooking for Jeffrey (Clarkston Potter; $35) in the Detroit Jewish News.
The book cover is a sweet photo of Garten and Jeffrey with one of his favorite desserts. The Devil’s Food Cake with Coffee Meringue Buttercream is a “showstopper,” according to Garten, who loves the combination of moist chocolate cake and the light buttercream frosting — although the Pecan Rum Raisin Ice Cream and the Chocolate Creme Brulee look equally scrumptious. The book’s dedication sums up the premise: “For Jeffrey, who makes everything possible.”
Here is a link which features recipes for perfect potato pancakes and the most Googled brisket recipe ever.
The Pantone Color Institute has spoken for 2017, and green will be the color trend of the year in fashion and decor. It’s neither hunter green nor kelly green, but a leafy green like nature. So don’t be green with envy. Be like Kermit — “It’s easy being green.”
Here are the thoughts from Pantone:
Want to read a fashionable, fun book? Then, I recommend Nine Women, One Dress by Jane L. Rosen. I had the opportunity to meet Rosen (above, left) at Bloomingdale’s in Palm Beach Gardens and then hear her speak at the JCC lunch at the Kravis Center. The book is written like a screenplay and is a fast read. Every chapter has a different narrator with a story about the same black dress. Some of the narrators are a runway model, a movie star, a salesperson, a pattern maker, a Broadway diva, etc. The true star of the story is the little black dress which is the “it” fashion statement of the season.
I understand the audio book is just as charming as the print version with all the distinct character voices.
The book begins with this apt quote from Yves Saint Laurent: “What is important in the dress is the woman who is wearing it.”
Here I am, (far right) with my friends all wearing little black dresses.
As the the former president of the West Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce in Michigan, I was excited to see a hometown boy on the cover of Forbes magazine. Jeff Lawson graces the cover as the CEO of Twilio. Twilio adds messaging, video and communications to web and mobile applications. As you can see, it’s touted as the “The World’s Sexiest Stock.” Some of the companies that utilize Twilio are Uber, Match and Airbnb.
Jeff grew up around the block from me. Although I do not know Jeff personally, I know his parents. The fascinating article describes Jeff as down-to-earth and humble. It also describes his entrepreneurial spirit and his emotional intelligence in the business world– perfect for a motownsavvy post!
(P.S. Back to fashion, next post.)
Every fall the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan transforms into an art paradise for artists and art lovers. It’s all because of ArtPrize — an open competition for artists to submit their work and have the opportunity to win more than $500,000 worth of prizes. Artists’ works are displayed throughout the city, and the venues are open to the public for free. The artists connect through the official ArtPrize website.
Here is the mission statement: “ArtPrize is an international art competition and festival open to all and determined equally by public vote and expert jury. ArtPrize encourages critical discourse, celebrates artists, transforms urban space and promotes cultural understanding.”
This is the eighth year, and I’m proud to announce that two of my friends are part of the 2016 ArtPrize competition.
Janet Kelman’s glass sculptures are spectacular and the piece “Oracle” (above) is no exception. The aqua hues are breath taking.
Photographer Gene Meadows does not disappoint with his edgy work “de-con-struct,” which is below. Although I also like his traditional photos of home interiors along with his beautiful series of Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
The Detroit Free Press included Janet and Gene in an article highlighting metro Detroit artists at ArtPrize.