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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!

 

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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?

 

 

 

 

Free Make-up Gift Addiction

21 Aug

When I walk by a make-up counter, and a free gift with purchase is advertised, I stop. Maybe there is a make-up magnetic field that attracts weak customers. I pretend to browse, check out the the free gift, and then I know I’m hooked.  It happened the other day at Nordstrom. I went to purchase those Estee Lauder make-up wipes that remove your waterproof makeup with ease, but, I needed to spend more money to qualify for the gift. So, I asked for the newest skin care product. The salesperson showed me the new advanced Eye Repair Concentrate Matrix. She rubbed it into my skin ever so gently, and I was sold — even at $69. Why does it always look so good in the store?  I will try it and review it here in a month or so. .

But, let’s talk the gift. That’s my guilty pleasure. So I received a make-up bag, that my husband really liked because it reminded him a Jackson Pollack painting. (It’s black and white behind the make-up in the photo.) So here are the FREE products: Radiant Vitality 2-in-1 Foam Cleanser, Radiant Moisture Creme, Sculpting Eye Shadow kit with 9 colors, one lipstick and one mascara. The salesperson also gave me a gold metallic bag and an additional red lipstick, not part of the gift. (Yes, now there is loyalty that I will return!)

Anyone else addicted to the “free” gift with purchase?

 

A Natural Path

27 Jul

Some months, like June and December, denote a fleeting romance, but these months are the name of a motown business for Katie and Nick Forte. The couple’s website junedecember.com and business is named after the months in which their children were born.

The company, based in Michigan and produced in Michigan with mostly all American-made products, is a home decor and paper goods business with many themes of nature. They sell napkins, pillows, notepads, desk pads and pencil sets. Their newest product is a pencil terrarium.  This set includes five fern patterned pencils packaged in a glass tube. The glass tube can be turned into tiny terrarium.

In their previous work lives, Katie worked in advertising and graphic design while Nick was a restaurateur.

Katie designs the many kitchen style motifs and paper good products. Some have catchy phrases like Smitten with the Mitten. (Michiganders know that we carry a map of the state with us at times and show where we live on our hand.)

Michigan is more than a place to live for Katie and Nick, “It’s where we share our journey with children and where our roots go deep.”

The business started out at the NYNOW trade show and now is nationwide in many boutique stores.  For more information, go to junedecember.com

 

 

Artful Bargain

30 Jun

 

Dollar store materials and art collide at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Detroit (MOCAD) in the newest exhibit”99 Cents or Less.” The museum invited artists to create works made from items purchased at dollar stores.

The New York Times featured the exhibit in an article aptly titled, “Riches of the Dollar Store.”  More than 100 artists from across the country participated. Motown artist Scott Hocking, known for using decayed objects in his exhibits, strung together old empty shopping carts. Another exhibit featured candles.

Kudos to curator Jens Hoffman and the Leadership Circle of MOCAD.

Not only will your next dollar store experience be filled with bargains, it will also be artful.

Amazon Bookstore: It’s Not Online!

23 Jun

While I was in Chicago last week, I visited the Amazon bookstore — a bricks-and-mortar store.   Amazon, the king of online purchasing, now has a storefront. How ironic!  The store was packed. There was a coffee shop –just like Barnes & Noble — and lots of books to browse. I also noticed all the Amazon tech products like Alexa and Kindle. It has a wide range of merchandise for all ages, including some toys. (Again, just like Barnes & Noble.)  Will this strategy work?

For sure, I will not give up my loyalty to independent bookstores, which are having a resurgence. Check out this article on Indie Bookstores. Authors Emma Straub, Ann Pachett, Jonathan Lehem, Jeff Kinney, Louise Erdich and Judy Blume all own bookstores. The New York Times featured a profile on the authors and their recent book suggestions here.

My favorite local bookstores are: Bookbeat in Oak Park, Mich., Barbara’s Bookstore in Chicago, and East City Bookshop and Politics and Prose, both in D.C., Palm Beach Bookstore and Classic Bookshop, both in Palm Beach.

What’s your favorite independent bookstore?

 

At the Movies with Mara

16 May

Here’s the newest and best site for movie reviews. It’s www.maramovies.com

Yes, this is the source for everything cinema. Why? Because, it’s written by Mara Reinstein, the former movie critic at Us Weekly. She’s talented, witty and spot-on brilliant when it comes to movies and pop culture.

Catch all of her summer previews now on her site.

Pass the popcorn, please.

 

 

Mara Movies

Fun, Fashion, Frivolity: An insider guide to Metro Detroit and beyond

snapshotsincursive

Interesting stories about everyday moments.

Motown Savvy

Fun, Fashion, Frivolity: An insider guide to Metro Detroit and beyond

lark & linen

interior design blog

Chevrons & Éclairs

Fun, Fashion, Frivolity: An insider guide to Metro Detroit and beyond

Mara Movies

Fun, Fashion, Frivolity: An insider guide to Metro Detroit and beyond

snapshotsincursive

Interesting stories about everyday moments.

Motown Savvy

Fun, Fashion, Frivolity: An insider guide to Metro Detroit and beyond

lark & linen

interior design blog

Chevrons & Éclairs

Fun, Fashion, Frivolity: An insider guide to Metro Detroit and beyond

Mara Movies

Fun, Fashion, Frivolity: An insider guide to Metro Detroit and beyond

snapshotsincursive

Interesting stories about everyday moments.

Motown Savvy

Fun, Fashion, Frivolity: An insider guide to Metro Detroit and beyond

lark & linen

interior design blog

Chevrons & Éclairs

Fun, Fashion, Frivolity: An insider guide to Metro Detroit and beyond

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