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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.

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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.

 

 

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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?

 

 

 

Mara Movies

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

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Interesting stories about everyday moments.

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

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