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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.

 

 

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Visit the “D”

12 May

 

Detroit is a hot destination! This New York Times article, 36 Hours  mentions some great spots, but only highlights some of the restaurants. All the new Detroit restaurants are making it quite the foodie capital. Come visit my hometown! Click here for the original story.

 Photo : Kevin Miyazaki

 

 

A Fashionista Bargain

3 May

Who can resist a fashionable bargain? Not me. I purchased this dress at Target for $35. It’s from the Victoria Beckham Collection. The clothes are fun and chic. There are pops of fuchsia and orange and even some honeybees and flowers. Check it out here.  And there is a sale.  (My dress is now $24.50.)  A bigger bargain !

 

Online Shopping in a Store?

17 Apr

Touch it. Try it on. Purchase it online? Yes, that’s the concept of the Guideshop for Bonobos. It’s an untraditional store, where customers try on clothes and salespeople order it online. The merchandise is sent directly to your home. The staff can even take your measurements, if needed.

I had the opportunity to visit the Bonobos Guideshop store in D.C. recently with my husband. Since he hates shopping, this works for him.

So, what will shopping be like in the future? New York Times writer Elizabeth Patton believes the possibilities are endless. Perhaps there will be robots and virtual dressing rooms. Read her article here.

Many articles have been written about the demise of the shopping malls. Personally, I love shopping at malls and looking in the windows, but I realize the ease of online shopping. My first priority is always shopping local.

What do you think about the future of shopping malls?

 

 

 

View the Glass Half-Full

5 Apr

I always enjoy writer Jane Brody of the New York Times. Her recent column “Turning Negative Thinkers into Positive Ones,” provides food for thought. It’s scientifically proven that positive thoughts can help with physical stress, depression and overall health. There are even some tips she garnered from the experts she quotes in the article. The tips are below, and here is the link for the entire article.

Do good things for other people. In addition to making others happier, this enhances your own positive feelings. It can be something as simple as helping someone carry heavy packages or providing directions for a stranger.

Appreciate the world around you. It could be a bird, a tree, a beautiful sunrise or sunset or even an article of clothing someone is wearing. I met a man recently who was reveling in the architectural details of the 19th-century houses in my neighborhood.

Develop and bolster relationships. Building strong social connections with friends or family members enhances feelings of self-worth and, long-term studies have shown, is associated with better health and a longer life.

Establish goals that can be accomplished. Perhaps you want to improve your tennis or read more books. But be realistic; a goal that is impractical or too challenging can create unnecessary stress.

Learn something new. It can be a sport, a language, an instrument or a game that instills a sense of achievement, self-confidence and resilience. But here, too, be realistic about how long this may take and be sure you have the time needed.

Choose to accept yourself, flaws and all. Rather than imperfections and failures, focus on your positive attributes and achievements. The loveliest people I know have none of the external features of loveliness but shine with the internal beauty of caring, compassion and consideration of others.

Illustration by Paul Rogers

Crazy Moms. . .

31 Mar

Do you have a crazy Mom? Kate Siegel does, and she wrote a book  Mother Can you NOT? 

Siegel created an Instagram account Crazy Jewish Mom, because her mom would text her nonstop about everything from her expiring fertility to sex to prospective husbands. Her mom even stalked the Princeton admissions representative. But, it’s working. . .Siegel graduated from Princeton and the mother/daughter duo is on the road promoting the book.

Siegel, a social media guru, is working on another book, and there is a possibility of a TV show. They are both talented and funny. That Crazy Jewish Mom, Kim Friedman is a trailblazer in Hollywood. She’s a TV and movie producer and director who began directing in the late 70s.

I had the opportunity to meet author Kate Siegel and her “crazy mom,” Kim Friedman. We bonded at the Blue Martini restaurant in West Palm Beach as part of the JCC Book Festival. In the photo top left, I’m between Kim Freidman and Kate Siegel. The bottom photo are my friends enjoying the Girls Night Out.

Seigel describes her mom as the ultimate helicopter mom.  Friedman describes herself as a drone mom. Hilarious.

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?

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