Archives for 2009

Me and Oprah


Yes, you can still watch yours truly on the Oprah Book Club Webcast for Uwem Akpan’s SAY YOU’RE ONE OF THEM. I made a record 5 appearances on Oprah this year! I am the first guest and appear within the first six minutes or so…and yes, Oprah and I proclaim or “best friend” status…even though it looks like she’s yelling at me in the picture above.

{Sorry for the weak screen capture…this is actually the image from The Story of Edgar Sawtelle webcast…but I didn’t change much in 4 months.}

Sex and the City 2: The Trailer

Pear-y Cute Bento Boxes

modclothpearLunch just got a whole lot cuter! I just received these unbelievably adorable bento boxes from Mod Cloth! Bento boxes are containers that are perfect for keeping your sandwiches, fruit, bread and snacks safe from the crushing factors of bags, briefcases, purses and the general jostling of travel.

What I love about these boxes are that they elevate a simple lunch and will certainly bring smiles to the faces of everyone around. Who says a packed lunch can’t be stylish and charming?

The boxes are so cute and retro that they don’t even have to be used for food. You can use them to store practical, every day items like stamps, paper clips, notes or receipts.

I just discovered Mod Cloth the other day and have found myself completely captivated by all of the fantastic and retro items they have for sale.

Beauty Tip Tuesday: Moisturizer


I am a product junkie. I am always looking for the “miracle” product that is going to give me Gisele Bundchen’s complexion. I am learning, slowly but surely, that there really is no such thing as a miracle product and what works for one person, may not work for another. I have become a fan of Aveeno’s Positively Radiant Moisturizer (with an SPF!) and it has remained a staple in my beauty routine.

I don’t know what it is about this moisturizer (the website says it has a “total soy complex” that evens skin tone) but it makes me “Positively Radiant!” Okay, okay, that was a cheesy shot, but in all seriousness, it is an amazing moisturizer. It goes from summer to winter, which is a hard thing to find in a moisturizer, and it does not leave me feeling greasy or shiny and I never break out when using it.

I did not receive this product for free and am in no way being paid for my endorsement here. I simply purchased it at my local CVS last summer and have been hooked ever since.

So that’s my Beauty Tip Tuesday!

Hitting the Mall


With more and more people doing the majority of their shopping online, the malls have become a little less daunting to those few shoppers who still like to pick things up and hold them in their hands before purchasing. Personally, I do a little bit of both. What are your favorite online shopping destinations? Do you still hit the mall to grab those last minute gifts?

Holiday Entertaining

With the cold winter months ahead of us, more and more people are choosing to stay home and invite their friends over instead of venturing out into the frigid winter wonderland. The kind people at President Cheese helped me get my holiday party in full gear and they have some extremely useful and charming tips for home entertainment! Their website even has “How To” videos to help you create a perfect party. Whether you are hosting an impromptu get together or a formal gathering, one of the best things (and most often the biggest crowd pleaser) is a platter of cheese and crackers. It’s easy to create and doesn’t weigh heavily on your party budget.


With more and more people becoming wine connoisseurs, hosting a wine and cheese party is also a great, no-fuss party idea. Conversation will start flowing faster than the wine and memories will be made.


Do you have any great party planning ideas? What was your most memorable party?



In trying to stay one step ahead of the “Race to Christmas Eve,” I thought I would do a little wrapping. It’s a good way to do a final tally on what you have purchased and to make sure you didn’t forget anyone or short change a loved one in the gift department. I know a lot of people who leave Christmas shopping until the days (or DAY) before Christmas (ahem, MEN!) and this just doesn’t seem sane to me, at all!

Is anyone still looking for gift ideas? Do you have people on your list that are impossible to buy for? Something that works well as a gift are things that people need or use every day, but put together in a basket and planned out, makes it a thoughtful and useful gift.

For the men in your life, do a theme basket with all of their bathroom essentials, razors, towels, a bathrobe, a shaving mirror, nail scissors, a comb, all placed inside a bathroom caddy or basket.


Gift baskets make a great present because we all love the treasure-finding aspect of being given a complete package of useful items there for us to discover.

Holiday Postcards


I am always drawn to the personal, handwritten note, even more so when it comes time for the holidays. We are becoming more and more impersonal as we become more technologically advanced. I am still a sucker for the photo Christmas/Holiday cards, but I also like the handwritten note inside the card. Some people just sign their names, like they are signing a check. Or worse, they have their names printed on the cards. Some people even send a list to the printers, who print the cards, seal them, and apply postage. I want something more meaningful. Give me a quick update, a note to say “hi” and spread some holiday cheer. Maybe if we all slowed down a little and took the time to personalize our holiday cards, it would benefit our hearts and souls and bring joy to others, as well.

I am really loving the Holiday Postcard idea!

{photo courtesy of Rifle Paper Co.}

What are you Reading?


What are you reading? I am looking for some great recommendations to read over the holidays. What’s on your nightstand?

{Photo Courtesy of Barca}


My Journal

About two years ago I started keeping a different kind of journal. Now let me state, right off the bat, that I have been keeping a diary, religiously, since I was nine years old. I’ve recorded virtually every major moment of my life and every minuscule detail. (How many times did I really need to tell myself to “be more positive” or “act confident”?) It was almost like I was writing my own personal self-help book in the form of a diary. Then one day I found an old birthday card that a relative had sent me. Not knowing exactly what to do with it, I decided to tape it inside a simple spiral notebook, nothing fancy. Then my niece gave me a cute drawing. It went in the book. An invitation to a wedding. A ticket stub from a funny movie. A receipt from a fun day shopping with my mom. Tiny little pieces of my life, evidence of a life well-lived and brimming with details. Everything important, significant or poignant made its way into this notebook. Now, when I pick up this purple notebook, I can’t stop flipping through it. It IMMEDIATELY brings me back to every single moment. This journal is one of my most favorite possessions, it is the first thing I would grab if there was a fire and it something I am proud to share with people. Yes, I still have the *private* diary where I can record my insecurities and hopes, fears and anger, but this treasure-filled journal is the one I love! It is a guaranteed mood booster and something I will certainly show my future children.

How many people keep diaries or scrapbooks of their lives? (And by scrapbook, I don’t mean the structured, linear, measured out kinds of scrapbooks…I mean the ones that actually hold scraps of a life well-lived.)

In truth…

In truth, I have tried before to write things that I thought people wanted to read. I’ve posted images that I thought would pull people in, entertain them, amuse them, inspire them. I’ve linked and tagged and shouted from the rooftops, “COME READ MY BLOG.” And then I realized, I was writing for other people. Why in the world would I, an independent and creative thinker be doing that? Is it the same reason we are polite and friendly to people we don’t even like? Is it because we feel if we let the truth out there, we will be shunned and alone? We want to build bridges not burn them down. So we all wander around, never really being real with anyone. But maybe, if we’re lucky, there are a few people out there who we can be really real with and not worry that they will walk away, or run. I have a handful, and by handful I literally mean hand-full, of people that I can count on and depend on and open up to without any fears.

Last week, I lost one of those people. She died without warning, without illness or accident. I still don’t even know what happened but the word brain aneurysm has been whispered about and that seems to be the cause until further tests are run and answers are given. She had been my best friend “officially” since the sixth grade, even though we had known each other for years before that, tiptoed around each other and sat in the same circles of duck-duck-goose and operator. But it was in the sixth grade when broken necklaces were shared along with secrets and laughter. She was the one I would call if the boy I liked looked at me in the hallway and she would be thrilled for me…for a look! I don’t have a memory that doesn’t include her and that I didn’t share with her. What happens to all of those memories? The memories that made us laugh hysterically are now drowned in sadness and sorrow of a life cut short.

I am still in a state of shock that seems nowhere near wearing off and I don’t think I want it to. I don’t want to accept something that is so blatantly wrong and horrible. And yes, this post seems like it came out of nowhere…too personal and not cohesive. But isn’t that what life is all about? I think we need to be more personal, less perfect and more honest with ourselves and everyone around us. Maybe someone will read this and feel less alone because they are going through something similar. This life we are all living is one big shared adventure filled with obstacles and triumphs. So, in truth, I am hopeful that good things will happen, that darkness will pass and that we will all meet up again someday.

Ted Kennedy

Ted Kennedy

I’m having trouble posting images…and I don’t have the time or patience to deal with that issue right now. So imagine that you are seeing a stoic image of Senator Ted Kennedy or one of the thousands of touching and emotional photos of his memorial service or funeral. We have lost a part of our history. Here is just a tiny piece of Obama’s touching eulogy.

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“The world will long remember their son Edward as the heir to a weighty legacy, a champion for those who had none, the soul of the Democratic Party, and the lion of the United States Senate — a man whose name graces nearly 1,000 laws, and who penned more than 300 laws himself….Mr. Kennedy had suffered more pain and loss than most people will ever know, yet he never succumbed to self-pity or abandoned his dreams and principles. The greatest expectations were placed upon Ted Kennedy’s shoulders because of who he was, but he surpassed them all because of who he became. We do not weep for him today because of the prestige attached to his name or his office. We weep because we loved this kind and tender hero who persevered through pain and tragedy — not for the sake of ambition or vanity, not for wealth or power, but only for the people and the country that he loved.”

Happy Weekend!

Just had to post some new blogs that I discovered this weekend.

Design Crush : pure eye candy!

Mer Mag : brilliant illustrator, painter, designer.

Oh, Hello Friend : an inspiration blog.

Desire to Inspire : decorating inspiration.

A Field Journal : because the moment I opened her site, I gasped. Love!

A Cup of Jo : one of my all time favorites!


I’m still here! I swear! I’ve just been so busy working and any free time has been devoted to enjoying any tiny glimpse of the sun. I may have begged a little too much for some sunshine because now we are sweltering in the 3 H’s. Hazy, Hot & Humid. Oh boy is it a hot one! Today it’s about 98 degrees and the humidity makes it feel like 110!! I hear there is a hurricane off the coast and it is just waiting to crash down on us. Not sure if I’m too excited about that either.

Yesterday I spent part of the day at the beach and it seemed to be filled up with toddlers and babies. And I swear they all seemed to be at that too cute age…somewhere between one and a half and three and half…when they have a lot to say but can’t quite get the words out. One, in particular, was named Ayla and she was 3 and Oh My God, she was like a little me…! She asked my sister to put sunblock on her. Just walked right over after she watched my sister get my niece all sunblocked up and said, “Can I have some?” So trusting but so cute! She had her hair in this tiny little curly ponytail and these adorable cheeks and I just seriously wanted to take her home! Her grandmother was babysitting her and said that Ayla had actually put herself down for a nap earlier in the day…on her own. Didn’t even have to be told to do so. So yes, I think I caught a tiny bit of baby fever out in the hot sun…and it was adorable!

How the Designers Live

This is the gorgeous San Francisco home of Monelle Totah, the vice president of design for Williams-Sonoma Home.

Dream Kitchen

I am actually working on remodeling a bathroom, and was supposed to be searching for bathroom inspiration, but somehow stumbled upon this dream kitchen!

The dark walnut island is a workhorse not only from the standpoint of everyday kitchen duties but also from a design perspective. Its dark color contrasts with the white cabinets and backsplashes, providing a visual anchor. The finish also acts as a transition from the cabinets to the Brazilian-walnut floor.

Catskills Couple

I might be a little obsessed with this couple. Read about them here.

500 Days of Summer

I can’t wait to see this movie! It looks adorable!!

The September Issue