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Detroit’s Architectural Legacy

4 Apr

We, Motowners, recognize the beauty of Detroit’s architecture. Now, others are finally acknowledging. The New York Times article, “Detroit’s Looking Up” by John Dorman, highlights the grand buildings from the Fisher Building to the First National Bank Building. The article delves into the famed architect Albert Kahn. Be sure to check out the NY Times story here.

But, there is so much more. Frank Lloyd Wright, Yamaski and Saarinen have a large footprint in the city.

As a former magazine editor in Detroit, I had the opportunity to work with the late Balthazar Korab. His architectural photography is outstanding. Here is his photo of the fountains at Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

Michigan Modern, by Brian Conway and James Haefner is a new book eleased last month and features a Frank Lloyd home located in Detroit. On the cover is the General Motors Tech Center designed by Eero Saarinen.

 

 

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Doesn’t Everyone Have a Crazy Aunt or Uncle?

8 Mar

 

Well, meet The Mighty Franks, a memoir by Michael Frank. With wit and charm Frank weaves the tale of his storybook Hollywood family. They are all a bit wacky and mostly loving at times.  His parents, aunts and uncles are all siblings, while the grandmothers live together.  Everyone lives close by, and it’s an eccentric enclave. The family dynamics are compelling, comical and hurtful, which is why there is a possibility of a TV mini-series. Without giving away the plot, let’s just say the special aunt goes overboard.

I had the opportunity to meet with the author on his recent book tour. He is a charming as the book. He tells me his next book is fiction. I’m looking forward to more zany characters.

Superhero Alert! It’s a Dad with MS

22 Feb

Max Melamed, age 13, wrote and illustrated the book Who is El Pitlum Rossicles? He wrote the book as part of his Bar Mitzvah project. (When Jewish children are 13, they often choose or are required to complete a social action project to make the world a better place.)  The story of “grit and perservance” is about a superhero who has Multiple Sclerosis (MS). The superhero is actually the father in the story, who is underestimated by the family because of his disease. He helped everyone in the town, and no one suspected him because of his condition.

It’s a personal story for Max because his father does have MS. Another reason Max wrote the book was to inspire others who might have a family member with this disease. Profits from the book go to help find a cure for MS. Max will personally send a copy of his book to anyone who donates $18 or more to the National MS Society.  For more information about Max’s book click here.

As Max states, “If your mom or dad has MS, don’t stress because they can be heroes and you can help too!”

The title of the book is an anagram. What do you think it spells?

 

The New Fashion Statement

10 Jan

As a former lifestyle and fashion editor, I’ve written about the stylish “little black dress” on numerous occasions. It’s timeless, classic and yes, ever so slimming. I even reviewed a book with the same title.

But as I watched the Golden Globes the other night, I was proud that the little black dress made a statement for the Time’s Up movement addressing sexual harassment.

Black is bold, elegant and now empowering.

Can we ever have too many black dresses?

 

 

Above: Oprah Winfrey wore a black Versace gown at the Golden Globes. Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Accent on Détroit

22 Dec

So you’ve heard Orange is the New Black, but now Détroit is the New Black. Détroit is the New Black is the brainchild of Roslyn Karamoko. Karamoko was featured in the January 2018 issue of Elle magazine as an influencer contributing to the fashion scene in Motown.

She moved to Detroit in 2013 after spending six years as a retail buyer in New York and Singapore. She coined the phrase Détroit is the New Black and put it on T-shirts. She expanded the line, above, in this holiday hipster guide. In addition she features established designers like Tracy Reese and other labels from the local fashion scene.

Karamoko adds panache to Motown’s stylish scene. It’s not surprising that she was named Time magazine’s hottest Motown designer last year.

Stylin’ With Detroit Legs

29 Nov

These Detroit leggings are silky, sexy and fabulous. There’s the perfect amount of spandex for a jog, a walk or hot yoga. Yes, they are made in the U.S.A. by skinnytees.

The creative force behind skinnytees is Linda Schlesinger. I’ve known Linda for years, and her creative, fashionable spirit is boundless. And she has a personal and entrepreneurial story that’s compelling. Her messy divorce left her impoverished and depressed, but she overcame her obstacles.

Writer and blogger Suzy Farbman relates how Schlesinger scores and soars with skinnytees. Read it here.

Linda relied on her fashion experience to reinvent herself with skinnytees. Years ago she started out with a children’s boutique and then designed knitwear. Skinnytees began with a simple tank top for women of all sizes. Today there are more than 120 colors and 60 plus styles including tanks, tees, skirts, leggings, etc.

These Detroit leggings are a Motown collage featuring city icons. From the main streets of Woodward to 8 Mile, from the tourist attractions of the Motown Museum and Greenfield Village to the Ambassador Bridge and the tunnel to Canada, these themed leggings are fashionable, stylish and active- wear friendly.

A bonus is that all the profits from the Detroit has Legs collection will benefit the nonprofit Cass Community Social Services, to help support their projects with food, housing, health services and job programs in the metro Detroit area. (Yep, let’s add philanthropic spirit to Linda’s character traits.)

Detroit Has Legs is the first of many themed clothing lines expected from the brand.

I can’t wait for more. Paris, New York? Or maybe Nashville, Palm Beach or Silicon Valley!

 

Smitten with a Book in the Kitchen

8 Nov

 

Deb Perelman is multi-talented. She’s a blogger, author, chef, photographer, mother and wife. I discovered her through her blog smittenkitchen. Her second cookbook is Smitten Kitchen Every Day ($35, Alfred A. Knopf), with easy recipes that can fit into a busy life. Or as the subtitle says, “triumphant and unfussy.”

All the recipes look yummy, and of course, Perelman was the photographer. From the sticky toffee waffles to the pizza bean bake (recipe below) to the peach melba popsicles, many recipes are kid- friendly. For the veggie lovers, the succulent salads and the 18 vegetarian main courses are delightful.

Perelman is as amazing as her book. Here is a list of the cities for her book tour. I wonder, can she sing or dance?

Pizza Beans / Tomato and Gigante Bean Bake

I like to think of this as a vegetable-rich (but not overwhelming, should you be trying to entice the hesitant) baked ziti where the ziti is replaced by giant beans. I used Royal Corona beans from Rancho Gordo but you might find large white beans such as these sold as fagioli corona or gigante/gigandes bean at an Italian or Greek grocery store. Regular-sized white beans will work too, they just have a less distinctive and dramatic texture. While it’s good solo, we often serve this with garlic bread for extra luxury. It reheats well from the fridge or freezer. For a meaty variation, brown some fresh sweet or spicy Italian sausages (about 3/4 pound or 340 grams) with the vegetables.
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 large or 2 regular carrots, diced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper or red pepper flakes
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) dry white or red wine (optional)
  • 4 ounces (115 grams) curly kale leaves, chopped or torn
  • 2 1/4 cups (550 grams) crushed tomatoes (28-ounce or 800-gram can minus 1 cup; reserve the rest for another use)
  • 1 pound (455 grams) cooked firm-tender giant white beans
  • Up to 3/4 cup (175 ml) vegetable broth
  • 1/2 pound (225 grams) mozzarella, coarsely grated
  • 1/3 cup (35 grams) grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons (5 grams) roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish (optional)

Prepare the beans and vegetables: Heat the oven to 475 degrees. In a 2 1/2-to-3-quart (ideally oven-safe) deep sauté pan, braiser, or shallow Dutch oven, heat the olive oil on medium-high. Add the onion, celery, and carrots.Season well with salt and black or red pepper. Cook, sautéing, until the vegetables brown lightly, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook for 1 minute more. Add the wine, if using, to scrape up any stuck bits, then simmer until it disappears, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the kale, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until collapsed, then add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Add the beans, and, if the mixture looks too dry or thick (canned tomatoes range quite a bit in juiciness), add up to 3/4 cup broth, 1/4 cup at a time. Simmer the mixture together over medium for about 10 minutes, adjusting the seasonings as needed.

If your pan isn’t ovenproof, transfer the mixture to a 3-quart baking dish. If it is, well, carry on.

Bake: Sprinkle the beans first with the mozzarella, then the Parmesan, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until browned on top. If you’re impatient and want a deeper color, you can run it under the broiler. Finish with parsley, if desired.

Shopping for a Cause: Breast Cancer

23 Oct

October is breast cancer awareness month, but for women it’s everyday. Many of our mothers, sisters, daughters and friends have it. The statistics are staggering: About 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer. (link)

Saks Fifth Avenue and the Women’s Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) team up  for the 2017 Key to the Cure Campaign and create a T-shirt worn by a celebrity. Jennifer Lopez wears this year’s Missoni designed shirt. Here’s my purchase below, along with a jar of granola from Laurie’s Pantry. I bought the granola at my local green market. I love how retailers large and small are donating to breast cancer.

Last year, I reposted Kelly’s picks from her blog Sparkles and Shoes. Here they are again. She does a great job of finding special products.

ONEHOPE Pink Glitter Edition California Chardonnay $59 |  ONEHOPE works with Gateway for Cancer Research, and every two bottles sold funds a clinical trial for a woman with breast cancer.

Ralph Lauren Tender Romance Pink Pony Eau de Parfum Limited Edition $96 | 100 percent of the profits from this limited-edition version of RL’s classic scent will be donated to the Pink Pony Fund.

Sigma Beauty PInk F80 Flat Kabuki Brush  $25 |   Sigma is donating 20 percent of the profits from this brush to Bright Pink.

Bumble and Bumble Pink Ribbon Bb.Thickening Spray $29 |  In support of The Estée Lauder Companies’ Breast Cancer Campaign, Bumble and bumble is donating 20 percent of the proceeds to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Athleta Power of She Bra $54 |  Twelve percent of sales from this bra will be donated to Recovery on Water (ROW), an organization and rowing team that empowers women with breast cancer to connect with other survivors and “become active in their recovery.”

Privé Revaux The Escobar $30 | 50 percent of proceeds of all four pink BCA sunglasses go to Susan G. Komen Foundation.

La Mer The Breast Cancer Campaign Crème de La Mer  $85 |  Until December 31st, La Mer is donating $10 from each sale of its limited-edition cult-favorite moisturizer to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Beautyblender Bubble  $20 |  For the entire month, 50% of the proceeds of the original and mini makeup sponges will support breast cancer patients through the Good Feel Better Foundation.

S’well Bottle in Bikini Pink $35  | During the month of October, 20% of the purchase price for this color will go to the BCRF.

Naked Cashmere Superluxe Scarf in Antique Pink  $165 |  Fifty percent of net proceeds go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Jack Rogers Exclusive Lauren Sandal $128 | Now through October 31st, Jack Rogers will donate 10% of sales of the Exclusive Lauren Sandal in Blush to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Venus et Fleur Box  $139 to $399 |  Venus et Fleur is donating 20 percent of the proceeds on the sale of its pink-collection boxes for the month of October to breast cancer research at City of Hope.

 

You’re Invited

4 Oct

If autumn is here, the holidays are not far behind. So, it’s not too early to think about holiday greeting cards or party invitations. The online company Basic Invite offers more than 180 color options, and you can customize any detail. The designs range from classic to hip. But here’s one of the best features: All your addresses can be captured from a social media site directly to Basic Invite for free. There is a chat service for help. So forget the holiday or wedding spreadsheet you used to make. No more licking or  using a glue stick to seal the envelopes  — all the envelopes are peel and seal.

It’s one of the only stationery sites that allows customers to order a printed sample of the actual invitation so can see the card stock and the quality.

So take your family photo now and use the coupon code holi36 to order.

 

Note: I received business cards in exchange for writing this post.

Check out these Czech Fashions

26 Sep

I was recently travelling in the Czech Republic, and as a fashion aficionado, I noticed the stylish couture.

The Czech designed sneakers are fabulous. There is even a USA website for Botas66.

I was immediately drawn to the Scura store, where the  comfy, fashion-forward athletic wear spoke to me. I purchased a black sweatshirt hoodie jacket, with an asymmetrical zipper and pockets with button flaps. It comes in gray and in a two-tone gray and black. The skirts and tops are equally stylish. Click on Scura  for the website. I’m wearing it at the Prague Castle courtyard, but I also included a photo from the store’s website where the detailing is prominent.

And please don’t answer the question, who wore it better?

 

 

 

 

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