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An Interesting Dinner Party

28 Feb

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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.

 

Pawn Chick Shopping for All

30 Jan

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In addition to reading chick lit, watching chick flicks, you can now shop with style at pawn chick shopping.

If you’re wondering about the name, it certainly has meaning. Pawn Chick Shopping, a website, is owned by Ashley Gold. Gold, a Motown resident, appeared on the reality TV show “Hardcore Pawn” with her family. Deal making and selling jewelry comes naturally to Gold, because she has grown up in the business.

“I took five items to 500 items on a website in over year,” says Gold. Her pawn broker mentality is evident in her website today www.pawnchickshopping.com

“I reach out to the trendiest and hottest designers,” she adds. One of her designer’s is Jolie Altman who was featured on Motown Savvy.

She also designs her own jewelry and manufactures everything in the U.S.

“I believe in deals, and everyone should get a good price.”

Gold has quite the social media empire. She has a weekly radio show with podcasts, often featuring celebrities and a blog. Her recent blog has wonderful Valentine’s Day choices for all at affordable prices.

Yes, there is life after reality TV.

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Liz Murray’s Inspirational Story: Homeless to Harvard

20 Jan

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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?

Positive Thoughts for 2017

2 Jan

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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.

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For 2017, may we all have health, happiness and peace!

 

(Floral arrangement from Juno Beach Florist)

Lovin’ Spoonful

16 Dec

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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.

Think Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

19 Oct

October is breast cancer awareness month. Kelly Donlin of sparkles and shoes compiled a lovely collection of pink items to purchase where the vendor donates some of the profits to breast cancer research.

Here are Kelly’s pink picks:

“I can not make it through an October without a post about Breast Cancer Awareness and all of the great ways you can give back!”

Sparkles and Shoes Think Pink Shopping October 2016

1 | S’well Bottle in Bikini Pink $35   (20 percent of every purchase will be donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation)

2 | Pink Grace Bouquet $55  (15 percent of the purchase price from each sale to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation)

3 | Drybar pink mini Detox Dry Shampoo $13   ($1 from every sale of their  to City of Hope, a leading treatment and research center for cancer and other life-threatening diseases)

4 |  Amelia Rose Design Earrings, $69 (50 percent of all sales will benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure.)

5  | ghd Vintage Pink Styler Set $225  ($5 from the purchase price will be donated to Look Good Feel Better.)

6 | C.O. Bigelow Freesia Candle  $42 (10 percent of all sales of their Freesia Candle to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation)

7 | Eos Lip Balm Duo, $6.59 ( 100 percent of the net profits are going toward breast cancer research at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center)

9 | Keep Collective Double Leather Band Set $39  (100 percent of net profits will go to Bright Pink)

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Terrific Twilio

13 Oct

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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.)

 

 

Master Chefs for a Cause

27 Aug

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Combine a popular TV show with gourmet food, and you will have a spectacular event — especially it’s for a good cause like the Friendship Circle.

The Friendship Circle is an organization for children with special needs. With over 79 locations worldwide the Friendship Circle has cultivated friendships between 5,000 special children and close to 11,000 teen volunteers. Each independent Friendship Circle is operated by its local Chabad Lubavitch Center, and entirely supported by each local community to benefit local children with special needs.

On Monday, Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. in metro-Detroit, three professional chefs will compete in an exciting culinary battle to test their creativity and cooking skills. Like in the television show MasterChef, these stars in the kitchen will be presented with an astonishing assortment of ingredients and quick-fire challenges (including inexperienced sous chefs) as they battle before your eyes.

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The three chefs competing in the competition are Chef Reva Constantine (above) of the Great Lakes Culinary Center, Chef Derik Watson of Bistro 82 in metro-Detroit and Chef Sarah Welch of Republic Tavern. The emcee is Michelle Bommartio (below), a renown cake designer and TV personality.

 

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All proceeds from this event will benefit the Friendship Circle in West Bloomfield. For more information about the event in West Bloomfield, MI, go to this site. http://www.friendshipcircle.org/events/masterchef/

 

 

Fresh Peach Oatmeal Muffin Cups

19 Aug

A healthy, delicious muffin — no oil, no sugar and no flour!

Ann Arbor Vegan Kitchen

Fresh Peach Oatmeal Muffins

Glorious fresh peaches are the star here.

Rolled oats, bananas, and applesauce combined with juicy peaches create these very portable little muffin cups. I’ve fallen in love with them, and have been making a batch or two weekly.

Here’s the bonus – NO sugar, flour, or oil. Yes, this is good, good stuff.

These are lovely warm from the oven, and perfect for breakfast, of course, but I think they’re an ideal afternoon snack as well.

When fresh peaches are not in season, frozen peaches work great. Fresh or frozen blueberries or/and cherries are a delicious swap, too.

One more thing…I recently purchased a silicone muffin pan to eliminate the need for so many parchment paper liners. If you’re on the fence (as I was), I can report that I’m very pleased with how well it performs. If you don’t have one, no problem. Just use paper liners instead.

FRESH PEACH OATMEAL MUFFIN CUPS
Inspired by Chef AJ’s “Just…

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Revolutionary Bra

11 Aug

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Workout aficionados, yoga devotees and women everywhere, there’s a new bra in town. Elyse Kaye, a former Motowner, is founder and CEO of Bloom Bras. Kaye enlisted the help of celebrity corset designer Camilla Huey to develop a patented design to make an adjustable and comfortable bra. Kaye just launched on Kickstarter to lift this company to new heights.  Not only does Kaye have the entrepreneurial spirit, but she is philanthropic as well. Some of the proceeds will go to breast cancer research. Look at all the support (pun intended) and check out this unique design.

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