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A Trip to Remember

5 May

My first trip, after not travelling since the pandemic, was to the country of Jordan. I chose this country because my family relocated there. I hardly knew anything about Jordan, and I was stunned to find a beautiful country, wonderful people, fabulous food and exhilarating sites. We stayed in Amman and visited Petra, Wadi Rum, the Dead Sea and Aqaba.

Amman is a typical bustling, major city except for the archaeological site the Citadel perched on a hill. I did not visit it personally, but it was beautiful to see from afar.

A trip to Jordan must include the ancient city of Petra. Although the architecture seems to be Greek and Roman inspired, Petra was built by the Nabateans, an Arab Bedouin tribe. The Romans eventually ruled the city. When you arrive to Petra, the entrance is breathtaking (see photo below).

My family rode on a donkey with a Bedouin guide (below), while I zigzagged through the mountains on a golf cart before I walked the open terrain. For an interesting historical article about the area, read this article from the History channel.

Wadi Rum is the desert with rich, orange sand. The classic movie Lawrence of Arabia was filmed there. We took an all-terrain vehicle on bumpy ride with the backdrop of a mountainous view worthy of a picture postcard. Then we arrived at geodeisic domes (see below) or bubble tents. I guess you can see we went glamping. The arches, mountains and cliffs were breathtaking. Sleeping under the stars was beautiful.

The resort towns in Jordan are luxurious. We stayed in Aqaba with a view of the Red Sea. Then it was off to the Dead Sea, to swim and spa at at a luxury hotel. We treated ourselves to mud baths and sea salts. Please see a photo of my son below. After our spa treatment, my son described us as “glowing.” The photo below does not do it justice as I think we looked washed out!

Even if we did not sparkle, in my opinion, the trip and the adventure did!

Detroit: Fashion Central

27 Feb

My friend and colleague, Chuck Bennett (above), celebrated Black History Month with a presentation of Detroit designers on Fox2Detroit. Some of the designers include: FlyTy, Donovan Dewberry, and William Palmer Homme.

The New York Times recognizes the fashion acumen of Motown. Jessica Iredale wrote about it in the article “Could Detroit be the Next Fashion City,?” Iredale showcases some happenings in Detroit and mentions fashion icons. Of course, there’s Linda Dresner, who ran boutiques in Birmingham, Michigan and New York and promoted designers that become famous. I’ve featured her on my blog here. Iredale talks about how Gucci collaborated with the Detroit Vs. Everybody collection.

Motown is home to many fashion designers including: Tracy Reese, Anna Sui, John Varvatos and the upcoming fashion phenom Carter Altman. Detroiters have always known about Carhartt, based in Dearborn, Michigan since 1889.

If you’re not sure that Detroit is a fashion city, check out Detroit Sewn. Or ask my buddy Chuck Bennett. He can be found on Facebook, Instagram (chuck_bennett) or Mr. ChuckBennett on Twitter.

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Pampering with Heart & Soul

14 Feb

Simply from the Heart is a non-profit foundation that brings complimentary bedside, beauty pampering to patients who are terminally ill or undergoing prolonged hospital stays. Founder Jackelyn Kastanis started the the foundation after the death of her childhood friend Brooke Bolley. Kastasnis was able to lift Booke’s spirit with a glam makeover. The addition of lipstick, hair styling, a coat of nail polished and mini-massages added pleasure and color.

Today Simply from the Heart has served more than 7,000 patients since its inception in 2014. The “Glam Squad,” a group of volunteers, visits the patients with pampering services and then leaves a “Glam Box” filled with more than 25 beauty products.

“We bring a distraction from the treatment and diagnosis and provide human connection and interaction.” says Kastanis.

I personally know Jackelyn Kastanis, and she is a dynamic, passionate founder with a huge heart! And, they service Beaumont Children’s Hospital in Michigan where I was the former director of community affairs for the hospital system.

You can touch the lives of ill children by participating in the upcoming Night of Giving event on Friday, February 18th at 6:30pm located at Paul Labrecque Salon and Spa in The Royal Poinciana Plaza. https://e.givesmart.com/events/p7d/

If you don’t live in the Palm Beach area, you can donate or get involved. Visit the link https://sftheart.org/

Take an Enjoyable Detour

10 Dec

Four of the five writer, (left to right): Marion Phillips, Rosemary Gensler, Nancy Sims and Ellyn Horn Zarek

Make a sharp right turn and get lost in the pages of the novel Detours by five authors. Yes, five–Rosemary Gensler, Phyllis Hoffman, Marion Phillips, Nancy Sims and Ellyn Horn Zarek,

The authors call themselves The Inkslingers as they weaved a story of sisterhood and bonding. Their real-life experience of meeting at a writing workshop became the setting for their book. The five authors collaborated over coffee, jellybeans and other delectable treats.

The women recently spoke at the Mandel JCC in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. This unique collaboration was a labor of love. The authors reminded the audience that the word labor is inside collaboration.

So, start the journey. . .

Oh Savannah

4 Nov

I just returned from Savannah, and I was enthralled with the city. The cultural and historical sites are plentiful. The town squares with the beautiful trees and all the flora and fauna are breathtaking.

As a savvy shopper, I loved the local stores — particularly, Satchel, Savannah Bee Company, Savannah Coffee Roasters and E. Shaver Booksellers.

Satchel is a favorite local store.

Satchel was established in 2006 by Elizabeth Seeger. It’s a hybrid store because it’s part studio and part retail. You can actually watch the leather being cut (see above). What’s great about the handbag is the customization from the color to the leather to the lining to size of the strap.

Next on the shopping trip was the Savannah Bee Company. There is an array of specialty honey from orange blossom to lavender and so much more. I purchased whipped honey with chocolate. (Yes, chocolate!) The Savannah Bee Company made the 2021 list of Oprah’s Favorite Things.

With all the shopping, the perfect caffeine boost is at Savannah Coffee Roasters. It’s a lovely, casual place to dine as well.

Before I went to Savannah, I read Surviving Savannah by Patti Callahan. This historical fiction book about a shipwreck was interesting. I learned the saying “Keeping up with the Joneses” is from Savannah. I went to Jones Street where the homes were beautiful. In the book’s acknowledgements the author mentions the bookstore E. Shaver. So, I went there and was greeted by the booksellers and the cats that live there.

Several years ago I read the Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt, a non-fiction book about a murder which was made into a movie.

I highly recommend Savannah as a place to visit.

My Fake Vintage Gucci

8 Sep

This handbag has a story that began a few decades ago. My Mom, who died in 1990, was a shopper. She would buy and return as a pastime. Her favorite store was Hudson’s, and if you are from Motown, and of a certain age, you remember it well. (Hudson’s later became Dayton-Hudson’s, Marshall Fields and now Macy’s.)

Although she did not buy this purse at Hudson’s, she bought it at Northland, a mall that no longer exists. She showed it to me, and said it was a Gucci purse. I really didn’t want it at that time, so she said she would put it away for me. When she passed away, I rediscovered it and kept it.

My daughter enjoys designer handbags, and I told her about the Gucci purse. I really built it up, saying it was a vintage handbag that’s probably valuable. She was excited, and the last time she visited, I pulled it out. She looked at it, and started laughing. “Mom look at the G’s–they’re not G’s, they’re E’s.”

So, I have a fake Gucci. My mom was bamboozled. It’s probably one of the first dupes. I’m really not sure what to do with it. Any ideas?

Stunning Corvette

11 Jul

Aretha may have her Pink Cadillac, but my friend has the finest, red Corvette. It’s candy-apple red, and it’s just as delicious as that juiciest fruit. The interior is a rich, caramel color. Being from Detroit, cars are just a part of my psyche.

When I worked in Detroit as a journalist, I had the opportunity to write about cars. I interviewed the late Kenneth Neumann of Neumann Smith & Associates, an architectural firm. He designed the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, which opened in 1994.

The car rides exactly as it looks–fantastic

Zooming It

11 Jun

Yes, we are leaving a post-Covid world and venturing outside. But, I must admit that I have enjoyed my Zoom experiences with best-selling authors.

I have had the opportunity to listen to President Bill Clinton, James Patterson, Jennifer Weiner, Jodi Picoult, Walter Mosley, Kristen Hannah, Dan Abrams and more.

Better yet, most of the talks have been free. I was able to access many authors through the Streicker Center and my local JCC. In fact, here is the recording of President Clinton and James Patterson talking about their new book The President’s Daughter, where the President’s daughter is kidnapped. (It’s fiction!) Click here to view their dynamic talk with moderator Walter Mosley.

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

Have you heard any interesting book talk?

A Fashionable Ending

12 Apr

Retail maven and fashion icon Linda Dresner closed her Motown store recently. Linda was a “Stylemaker,” when I was editor of Style magazine (now defunct). As I wrote several years ago, she exudes a quiet elegance just like her posh stores. She previously had a retail establishment in New York, which closed in 2008.

Linda has a passion for making women look beautiful. Her store in Birmingham, Mich., was minimalistic in black and white and like her clothing, it never seemed dated. As she stated in a New York Times article, she just didn’t feel comfortable renewing her lease at her age.

Many fashion designers owe Linda’s fashionable eye to their successful beginnings. She was the first retailer to highlight Jil Sander, Claude Montana, Commes des Garcons and Yohi Yamamoto in the Detroit area.

Her store closing is a loss to all fashionistas, but let’s look forward to the next fashion icon retailer. If you know of anybody, please let us know.

And to Linda. . .You are always in vogue!

Photos by Glenn Triest

Pin It!

27 Mar

Have you noticed brooches and pins are back? The New York Times just ran an article in the Style Section titled, “The Brooch is Back, Baby,” If you watched Bridgerton, you saw the Duke wearing a pin, and if you watched the inauguration, Lady Gaga wore a huge dove brooch.

Photo: Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press

So I dug out my pins (above) that I have not wore in a decade, and I hope to wear them soon. They add pizzazz to an outfit.

Do you have any pins tucked away in a drawer?

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