Warm Me Up!

January 28, 2011

If you’re reading this from anywhere on the East Coast it just snowed. A lot. Which means you’re ready to get to a beach. Here comes guest blogger Rebecca to the rescue with a report on the latest and greatest in Miami:

Last month I traveled to the warm, sunny destination of Miami, Florida.  I am planning a conference for a banking group, so I just had to conduct a site survey.  My trip lasted all of 24 hours and what a whirlwind 24 hours it was.  I stayed at a new property that had opened 30 days earlier in downtown Miami, called the JW Marriott.  This Marriott is part of the Beaux Arts hotel division of Marriott.  The amenities were INSANE for a business hotel.  They had a state of the art indoor basketball arena.  As I found out on my tour from the Sales Manager, one of the investors in this hotel owns the Miami Heat, so of course they needed a place to hang and practice when they have fellow basketball friends in town.  There was an indoor bowling alley and a golf analysis company.  As well as a whole floor devoted to the spa, Rik Rak.  In the lobby of the hotel was DB Moderne – a Daniel Bouley restaurant.  Each room of the restaurant had a different color scheme.  How very moderne!  My favorite part of the hotel was in the bathroom of the hotel rooms.  There was a television imposed in the mirror with no division between the mirror and the television.  I’m sure some of you well traveled readers have come across this before, but it was a first for me.

The next hotel I went to see was the Viceroy.  Fabulously chic!  On the 42nd floor of the hotel with views of Biscayne Bay and Miami there is a restaurant, EOS, that opens onto a pool area.  A few nights a week, EOS turns into a nightclub. (But isn’t that true for all of Miami???)  The hotel also has an all white spa area that has indoor pools that you can look down onto from a higher floor.  The downtown area is home to a great Italian restaurant, Il Gabbiano.  Il Mulino’s (New York) former owners sold Il Mulino, as I learned from Gino (one of the owners), got out of the New York rat race, moved to Miami and opened Il Gabbiano’s right on the Bay.

I also toured the Epic Hotel.  A very downtown chic hotel.  The guests hanging around the lobby looked as though they were transported from a hip, downtown Manhattan scene.  There is a great, hot sushi restaurant there called Zuma.  I had no idea how hopping and happening downtown Miami had become.  Not sure you need to travel to South Beach anymore.  Well, there is no beach in Miami, so South Beach isn’t out yet.

The Forge was the one restaurant I did eat at in South Beach.  I was a guest of a friend and our foursome was seated on a stage that was flanked by beaded drapes while the entire restaurant could look up at us.  The restaurant was an old South Beach institution that had recently been renovated to fit in with the swanky South Beach scene.  If I recall correctly the food was excellent.

My 24 hour tour ended the next day at the Boca Beach Resort in Boca Raton.  The property is colossal and beach side, but hard to hold a candle to after my chic Downtown Miami hotel and restaurant tour.

Single of the Week

Here’s Ken, breakin’ it down:

I have two short-term goals in life. The first is to be the world’s pre-eminent U.S. Civil War denier. Where is proof of this all-out “war”? Was there some fighting? Maybe, but it was probably just a handful of hee-haws who didn’t know the War of 1812 was over. Book deal, come to papa.

The second goal is to tell artists what songs they should have written. M.I.A. should have written “Bad Girls,” this week’s single, years ago. Perhaps with the near obliteration of the Tamil Tigers, she’s no longer distracted by Sri Lanka’s civil war (a real one!) and is able to concentrate on creating something a little raw and layered with some sort of morse code and sweet synth hook right out of the medina. Download the whole mixed tape at vickileekx.com. But check out the best track here:

Etc.

Once again. all of the Manhattanites and most Brooklynites showed up for work, and the rest were home chillin’ with some hot cocoa. It’s gotten to the point where one of our assistants brought in Munchkins for those of us who show up. Oh, snow! It was quite pretty on my street early this morning. My kids headed up to the roof early on to build a snow cave. And I went to Toys R Us in Times Square and was just about the only person there.

Stay warm and don’t slip on the ice!

Let Me Entertain You

January 25, 2011

I’m not sure how it happened, but somehow I was scheduled to take my children to 2 Disney extravaganzas in the same weekend. And I survived.

First up was Disney on Ice: Princess Wishes at Madison Square Garden with Addison and our friends Suzanne and Sabrina. Here’s a tip: I’m not sure why but opening night, all tickets except the floor are $12. A bargain! I’m assuming they do that everywhere, not just the Garden. And if you can move to some empty, better seats…even better!

The girls loved the show (and Suzanne did too!). I thought it was entertaining and, for an ice show, well done. The skating was good, they threw in Tinkerbell (not a princess, but a fairy) for good measure, and Mickey and Minnie served as hosts to get from one vignette (the marketplace scene from Aladdin) to another (going under the sea with Ariel from The Little Mermaid). All of the princesses had their moment, leading up to the top tier of Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella, complete with carriage. With the girls dressed in their princess costumes to watch the show, it really is cute.

Unlike Princesses on Ice (and let’s be honest, with the temperature here lately, there are a whole lotta princesses on ice in Manhattan) which was cute for the kids, I thoroughly enjoyed Mary Poppins on Broadway. While it’s not an exact adaptation of the movie, it’s a faithful one. And I loved the staging — so clever and engaging, just as Broadway should be. The sets really bring the audience into the story, and the leads are very good, both with delivering their lines and with belting out the familiar songs. Austin loved it — he was on the edge of his seat and, at 6 1/2, was truly enthralled for all 2 hours and 45 minutes.

My only quibble is that because it’s a “kid” show, people bring very young children to the theater. And let’s be honest parents (and grandparents): they can’t sit through an almost 3 hour show, so why force them to try and make everyone around them miserable? The family next to us had 2 young boys. I would have said the younger one was 3 but the father said he was 4. From the start he wanted to sit on his mother’s lap right next to me, where he proceeded to kick me all through Act 1. So I waited til intermission, and very nicely turned and said, “I know it’s hard, but he has been kicking me all through the first act.” The mother looked down and saw his leg invading my space. She apologized and then started to get flustered, saying that “it’s hard — he’s only 4.” To which I wanted to respond, “I know, I have a 3 and 1/2 year old at home. AND THAT’S WHY I DIDN’T BRING HER!” But I didn’t. She then moved their coats to the seat next to me and moved down a seat. But the whole point became moot when the little kid freaked out when the curtain came up for Act 2, so the dad had to leave the theater with him under his arm. Oops! There goes those $100 tickets.

Anyway, maybe the kid thing isn’t as bad at night — we were at a matinee. Even still, I thought it was fun, well done and well worth seeing.

Even More Entertainment

As if 2 Disney shows were not enough, I saw two movies: Black Swan, which, by the time you’re reading this, was probably nominated for a bunch of Oscars Tuesday morning, and The Other Guys, with Will Farrell and Mark Wahlberg, which will not be nominated for anything but is a very funny movie. Black Swan was not as good as I thought it would be. It was fine, and Natalie Portman was good, but I had a hard time figuring out what was really happening and what was in her head. I talked to a bunch of people at work today who have seen it and they said the same thing…The Other Guys is just funny. We got it On Demand and it was a perfect “kids-have-gone-to-bed-let’s-watch-something-funny-to-relax” kind of flick. Farrell and Wahlberg play partners on the NYPD, relegated to desk jobs, Wahlberg’s character because he accidentally shot Derek Jeter, costing NY a World Series. See? Even that’s funny.

Etc.

OK, I get the whole things about due process and innocent until proven guilty, but really, Jared Loughner? Not guilty? Can’t we just wrap this one up and call it a day? Doesn’t seem worth it to spend all of that money on something that seems incredibly cut and dry. I’m just sayin’.

Just when I was bitching and moaning about the 20s, it goes and drops into the single digits. So cold! As David Letterman would say, it keeps the comedy fresh.

Stay warm!

You’re Hired!

January 21, 2011

We’re always happy to hear about good news here at Family Favs, and when it’s about one of our own, well, we kvell a little harder. Guest blogger Bret reports for duty and brings us some closure to his story:

Last year, right here on Family Favs, I offered my two cents on searching for a job (https://familyfavs.wordpress.com/2010/04/07/work-it/).  I’m happy to report that last month, after following my own advice, I landed the perfect gig as Vice President and Associate General Counsel at Elizabeth Arden, Inc. (www.elizabetharden.com).  It’s still the honeymoon period, but so far it’s amazing – a great company, talented people, famous brands, nice culture and a cool Union Square location (plus no more horrible daily commute back and forth to New Jersey).  It’s a broad role handling all sorts of legal issues so every day brings something new and exciting.

I wish I could point back to my job search tips and tell you what sealed the deal, but it was probably a combination of all of them along with some extremely good luck.  Amazingly, I got the job after responding to an advertisement on the Association of Corporate Counsel web site.  (http://www.acc.com/)   And guess what?  We’re hiring another attorney so check out the ACC web site (listing going up soon) and spread the word!

Single of the Week

Here’s Ken:

Ever since Will Smith had the foresight to abandon a thriving music career to play the black lead in sci-fi blockbusters (talk about a niche!), one rarely described a hip-hop song as charmingly good-natured. The genre became all bones, thugs and disharmony, with love expressed as lurid sexual endeavors and smiles filled with menacing gold grills. Fresh-faced Young MCs with a healthy dose of self-possession twisted into Lil’ Waynes serving time at Rikers for possession. Then came Chiddy Bang’s “Opposite of Adults.” Sampling a tune from MGMT, Chiddy Bang exults in the life of a rap star, and shuns the usual trappings of vice for an apology to his mom. Hell, he even makes reference to a Roth IRA financing college. (You know who pays for college with a Roth? Someone who can’t rhyme something with 529.) The video also captures this life-as-a-playground ethos, so help yourself to one of the past year’s sweeter singles:

Etc.

I’ve spent the week waiting for Hollywood to get over itself, after Ricky Gervais’ take no prisoners hilarity at the Golden Globes.

I can’t wait for it to snow AGAIN this weekend. Enough already! And I don’t even shovel, city gal that I am. (Thanks doormen!)

Stay warm!

A Sprinkle A Day

January 18, 2011

When I run at the gym I have an even stronger aversion to commercials than I typically do, so I am forever flipping between 4 different network morning shows and C-Span. Good Morning America frequently has Dr. Oz as a guest and he has been pushing cinnamon pretty hard, as something that helps the body regulate insulin (i.e. sugar). I find cinnamon delicious, so I started doing a healthy sprinkle on my breakfast cereal in the morning. Turns out it has even more health benefits: just 1/2 teaspoon a day can lower LDL cholesterol; it has an anti-clotting effect on the blood; weirder still, it has been shown to combat yeast infections.

My feeling is if it’s easy enough to incorporate, and it has even a little bit of a benefit, why not? There’s no side effects (like a cinnamon hangover), so I say: sprinkle away!

Try it, you’ll like it

I felt like we were going out to our same favorite restaurants over and over, so I am on a kick to try some of the newer ones that have opened in the last year or so. Ken took me out last night to Locanda Verde in Tribeca, which is part owned by Robert De Niro. It’s a cool space — the decor is funky and it’s a bit on the darker side, making it feel more intimate than it is. The food is very good. We had blue crab and jalapeno crostini; white tuna with pesto; a rigatoni with lamb bolognese, fresh ricotta and mint; and for dessert we had a maple budino with carmelized pecans that was especially tasty. (Our waiter told us Sam Sifton in the Times called it the best dessert of the year; I’d have to think about that, but it was particularly yummy.) They serve all the food as it’s ready in the center of the table, so the message is to share, which is great with your significant other or close friends, but might be dicey for a biz dinner.

I’ve come to appreciate when restaurants have their own cocktail menu. I’m not a big drinker, but if I’m in the mood, I do like a unique drink to start things off. I’m not sure what I had but it was some concoction with pineapple juice and tequila and it did live up to its $14 price tag. (Those of you who read this in other parts of the country are probably horrified at a $14 drink, but this is the state in NYC these days. When I travel elsewhere and drinks are much less, I’m always pleasantly surprised.)

All in all I recommend Locanda Verde. I wouldn’t say the place is brimming with warmth, but such is the case with any hot, of-the-moment establishment. It’s a nice night out with good food and a happening crowd.

MLK Day

It was nice to have an extra day off and it’s good to think about the great man whose actions and words are responsible for the day: Martin Luther King Jr. I saw a woman on C-Span this morning who said in honor of the 25th anniversary of the MLK Day holiday, they are inspiring people to commit 25 acts of service this year. I was thinking about it: even 25 acts of kindness would be great. Do a favor for your neighbor, rake some leaves in Central Park — heck, I’ll even take giving up your seat on the subway for someone. I’m inspired to do it and I hope you will too.

Etc.

I enjoyed the Golden Globes last night. I know everyone is down on Ricky Gervais, but come on, when you hire him to host, you have to know he’s going to be snarky. That’s his schtick. And you know what, Hollywood? If Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp can’t take a joke (and by the looks of things, they were fine), they need to get over themselves.

Hope you all had a great, long weekend. Enjoy the week!

Escapism

January 14, 2011

Every time I read about that little 9 year old girl who was killed in Arizona, I tear up. She seemed like quite a wonderful person, and I can only imagine what her family is going through. Heartbreaking.

I think after all that has happened, we could use a little escape from reality. A movie, perhaps. I recommend The King’s Speech. The plot isn’t twisty or profound, but it’s a great true story, and the acting is first rate. Colin Firth plays Bertie, a monarch with a speech impediment who, due to his father’s death and his brother’s surprise abdication (he wanted to marry Mrs. Wallis Simpson, a divorcee), becomes King George VI. (King George VI was Prince Charles’ maternal grandfather, the Queen Mum’s husband and Queen Elizabeth’s father, for those of you modern royal watchers.) With World War II on London’s doorstep, Bertie needs to find his voice to become a leader for his country. His wife finds Lionel Logue, played by Geoffrey Rush, a speech therapist who uses unorthodox methods to treat his patients. A rocky relationship becomes an unbreakable bond as Bertie steps up to the mic to deliver a radio address in 1939 to unite his country against the coming enemy.

Firth and Rush are at the top of their games, and the supporting cast works well too, except for the guy playing Winston Churchill, who becomes a bit of a caricature.

After you see the movie, continue your escape from reality and watch the Golden Globes on Sunday night, hosted by the very funny Ricky Gervais and featuring all your favorites from film and television, most of ’em liquored up from the free bar. The King’s Speech is nominated for many awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Firth) and Best Supporting Actor (Rush). Some think it’s a predictor of the Oscars, I just think it’s a silly good time where you can trash the dresses and spot the bad plastic surgery.

Single of the Week

Oh, Ken:

This Katy Perry song is the B-side to one of her latest singles. But how do you have a B-side, when there’s no A-side? Or any side at all for that matter? And if there are no sides, then there is no tangible product, so where did this song come from? And how did I hear about it? Do B-sides just appear in cyberspace like mushrooms on a forest floor – in clumps, unplanned for and with no fanfare? And what now? Where does this song go? On a CD? Mini-CD? Soundtrack of a movie starring Minnie Driver as a frustrated bridesmaid ready to find her voice in order to find her man? One place I can guess it’s going is oblivion, because the record company is pulling the song down from the web faster than a Giants fourth quarter collapse. But thank god for French bloggers.

Clickety Clackety Here.

Et vous?

Every once in a while a restaurant opens up and I become obsessed for a bit, and then I move on. Right now it’s Todd English’s Ca Va in the new Intercontinental Hotel on 44th Street. The decor is slick but not cold, especially with a large fireplace in the bar area. There’s a $26 three course prix fixe, with great choices and filling portions. People love his take on French onion soup, but I thought the gnocchi was better. The salmon with asparagus and chickpea cake is tasty, but the waiter also raved about the short ribs. And the dessert is ever-changing — one day it was profiteroles, another blueberry cheesecake. If you need a place in midtown pre or post theater, it’s a tasty option.

And speaking of prix fixe, restaurant week is a comin’ to NYC…January 24 – February 6. Check it out here.

Etc.

I’ve had this Keri Hilson song stuck in my head for days.

I’m very excited for the three day weekend. We have a few activities and dinners planned, but mostly we just want to hang. Hope you have a good one!

Vacation Nation

January 11, 2011

Kind of gives politics and Washington a different spin after the tragedy this weekend in Arizona. But here is a guide to visiting our nation’s capitol:

President Obama left town just when we came to visit Christmas week. And maybe it’s just a well — the giant hawk we ran into in front of the White House, near the giant “JOBS” banner hanging on the Chamber of Commerce building, both seemed like bad omens…but we had a grand old time in Washington, seeing some friends and family and visiting some great museums…all free! (Plus, miraculously, we missed snowmageddon.)

As far as where to stay, there are a bunch of nice hotels, this being the land of lobbyists and subpoenas. We chose the Park Hyatt, which is near Georgetown and DuPont Circle. It was a lovely hotel, modern, clean decor, and on the American Express Platinum deal, you get breakfast every morning and a $100 food and beverage credit. My kids loved that they had a bench in the elevator; we loved that they upgraded us to a two room, two bathroom suite.

As far as what to do, there are a slew of options. People love the Spy Museum and the Newseum; because our kids are smaller we opted to wait on these. The Holocaust Museum, which I’ve been to, is also well done but better for an older crowd. We hit the Air and Space Museum, American History, National Gallery (which never fails to enthrall with its indoor waterfall), National Building Museum (which has a kid-friendly Lego exhibit at the moment), American Indian (which has the best cafeteria of all the Smithsonians) and African Art (where the kids sent messages to the children of Haiti). We also saw the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial and the White House, with said hawk. The kids even hit the carousel on the Mall, along with their pals Julia, Sophia and Anna, which was a nice treat.

We didn’t do it but a nice cashier in the American History Museum told me that for $19 you can join the Smithsonian, and it gets you 10% off at all the cafeterias and gift shops, plus a subscription to their magazine. Apparently it’s cheaper to join in any of the gift shops than to do it online before you go. The food isn’t so cheap (perhaps it needs to make up for the free admission) so 10% could pay off if you eat at a few of them. My friend Lynn said there is good gelato at the National Gallery, and she’s an expert on anything Italian!

As for other places to eat, we liked Clyde’s in Georgetown. We got a cozy booth by the window and the food is comfort-variety and reasonably priced. The Blue Duck , which is in the Park Hyatt, was very good but pricey — apparently it’s always hard to get a table, but as a hotel guest they’ll serve you the food in the smaller restaurant/lounge. Lebanese Taverna has a few outposts — we hit the one in Silver Spring and the food is very fresh and tasty. Pizza Paradiso is a step up from California Pizza Kitchen with unusual combinations — there was a wait at the one in DuPont Circle, but if it’s not too bad, it’s worth it. Founding Farmers by the campus of George Washington University has an expansive menu and a bustling crowd. Probably the best food we had was at Filomena’s on Wisconsin — all homemade Italian, complete with stories on the menu of how Bono and Clint Eastwood love the red sauce. But while the food was great, the decor is annoyingly tacky and given its popularity, there’s a palpable sense of being given the bum rush. When a plate of pasta is $28, that shouldn’t happen.

The metro makes it pretty easy to get around, although if you’re used to other big-city subways, it isn’t as extensive.

All in all I give it an A as a vacation spot for families — we didn’t even hit the zoo on this trip. We’ll definitely go back again when the kids are older and ready for a whole new set of museums.

New Year, New Favs

Last week was the second anniversary of Family Favs. I want to thank all of you loyal readers for supporting this blog and really hooking in to the tips, suggestions and recommendations. We love hearing from you! For 2011, all of our guest bloggers that you’ve come to know and love are back for the year, which is great. You will see most of them again on a monthly basis. And, Favs will now be twice weekly, on Tuesday and Friday mornings, with maybe a third day per week thrown in as an added bonus here and there. For those of you who subscribe by email, you’ll continue to get an email whenever there’s a new post. (If you’d like to subscribe by email, click the handy link at the right.) We hope you continue to enjoy Family Favs and spread the word.

Thanks!!

Recovery

January 7, 2011

You may have noticed there was no post yesterday — I don’t know if I had a migraine or what but I was incapacitated last night, big time. I thought I was getting a stomach virus but I went to bed at 9pm and luckily woke up ok at 8am. Anyway, what this means for you is that Washington DC recs will come next week.

For now feast on this:

— Next collection up for Target? Calypso St. Barth’s…could be good, just in time for summer.

— Jennifer Lopez is so overly retouched on the new cover of Entertainment Weekly. Why is it that men can have forehead lines but women have to go all Nicole Kidman?? (I’m totally curious if anyone is going to watch this iteration of Idol. Paging Simon Cowell!)

— Reading the sanitized Constitution is just one big colossal waste of everyone’s time. Here’s a novel idea: Stop with the theatrics and get to work actually making things better for Americans.

— Elton John and his partner just had a baby boy, which is great. But when you have to release a statement saying that you don’t want your son to be raised by servants, maybe you need to re-examine things.

— Dear Johnny Weir: Everyone knew, but thanks for clarifying.

Single of the Week

Ken wasn’t sick, so here he is, getting all geeky on us:

A piece about Renaissance polyphony in this week’s New Yorker got me thinking about one of my favorite liturgical choral works – Bach’s Magnificat. It’s based on a canticle pulled directly from the Gospel of Luke and written in the New Testament language of Koine Greek. It was eventually translated to Latin – thankfully, since my Koine Greek is super rusty – and then composed to an orchestra and choir by Bach in the 1700s, when the seed drill was the iPad of its generation. He originally wrote it in E flat major, but for reasons unknown to me and the entire population of Dallas Cowboys fans, he transposed it half a step to D major. This composition and ham sandwiches with mayo – makes me wistful for my Christian days. Check out my favorite movement of the Magnificat here:

Etc.

The first week back is always the hardest…just one more day til the precious weekend. Hopefully the snow won’t be too bad. Get out yer boots!

Oprah's getting into it

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: if you missed the Kennedy Center Honors, which aired last week on CBS, you missed out on one of the best specials of the year. It honors those that have had an impact on the culture of America and the world. This year’s honorees were Oprah Winfrey, Merle Haggard, Paul McCartney, Jerry Herman and Bill T. Jones. (I have a bit of an issue with Oprah — I mean, what is her talent, exactly? But I won’t quibble.) Inevitably, there are the tributes that you know will be good, and they don’t tell the recipient who’s coming out to honor them, which is a nice surprise and sometimes you actually get some real emotion which is rare on television these days. Julia Roberts, John Travolta and Barbara Walters were among those who saluted the talk show queen, but Oprah seemed most touched when Jennifer Hudson belted out a showstopper from the Broadway show The Color Purple, which Winfrey produced, and was joined by the choir from Oprah’s Tennessee alma mater. I laughed hardest when Chris Rock said Oprah was more powerful than Obama. When people laughed, Rock snapped, “She got him a job; he didn’t get her a job!”

And from the ones you don’t think you’re so into, you always learn something new. Like that Merle Haggard was bad news and was serving time in San Quentin when Johnny Cash came to perform, inspiring Haggard to pick up a guitar and turn over a new leaf. I mean, you can’t make this stuff up! The dancer and choreographer Bill T. Jones was on a track scholarship to college when he took a dance class, which changed everything. He formed a dance troupe with his lover, who then succumbed to AIDS six years later and left Bill to deal with grief in his work and rise to even higher heights, winning Tonys for Spring Awakening and Fela. Jerry Herman was a boy wonder who penned Hello Dolly and Mame and then hit a drought, with failure after failure, until La Cage aux Folles. It was touching to see all of the current bright lights of Broadway paying him tribute.

And then, of course, there’s the big one that everyone wants to see. This year that would be McCartney. It was worth tuning in just to see Colin Powell getting his groove on to a few of the tunes. No Doubt, Dave Grohl, Norah Jones and Stephen Tyler did the hits proud — and it’s hard to believe how  many hits there have been from one genius. Paul seemed genuinely touched when James Taylor and Mavis Staples took on Let it Be, complete with every member in the audience holding up a light. Oprah knew every word to every song. And I learned that McCartney’s father had given him a trumpet for his birthday as a kid, but Paul exchanged it for a guitar. Talk about a watershed moment. And when they penned She Loves You Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, his father thought they should stop the spread of “Americanisms” and make it “She loves  you yes, yes, yes.” Luckily they didn’t take that advice.

It’s a well produced show, and truly a one-of-a-kind experience. It’s always on the week after Christmas — so really, what else are you doing? Root around on the www and see if you can catch any bootleg outtakes of this year’s show. Otherwise mark your calendar!

Not Resolutions; Goals

I got some people writing in that they liked the “eat more fruit” idea from yesterday. So all week I will suggest a doable yet rewarding idea. Today’s: Clean a closet! I went through my shoes a couple of weeks ago and it is now a pleasure to go in my closet. I love it! So pick a closet, pick a drawer — whatever you can manage — and get rid of the crap you don’t use. Better yet, donate it and get a tax deduction. You’ll feel so much better.

Etc.

Tori has been sending me more info on birds dropping from the sky and dying in Arkansas and Louisiana. Is anyone else concerned? It’s like the canary in a coal mine.

Hope your week is going well!


I Do Not Resolve…

January 4, 2011

Here’s the thing about resolutions…no one ever keeps them. I know, you’ll tell me about someone who did — only to realize that in the end they didn’t. Which is why they are stupid, and I get annoyed with all of the posers who show up at the gym on January 2nd, crowding me out of my favorite treadmill, only to be gone by January 15th. So do us all a favor and skip it this year.

BUT, I do think these times are good times to check in with oneself, take stock and figure out what you may need for the year ahead. Call them goals if you must, but not resolutions. And they should be doable, so you can actually achieve them.

I’ll give you one example from my list: Eat More Fruit. It’s much easier for me in the summer when berries are plentiful, but in the winter I realized I can go a few days without any fruit entering my system. I eat a lot of vegetables, but the more variety the better, so I am making a conscious effort with clementines, apples, pears, grapefruit — even throwing a few blueberries into my oatmeal.

It’s doable, somewhat pleasurable and will make a difference in my world — the perfect way to start 2011. So get to it — and remember: no more than five goals. More than that and you’re setting yourself up for ultimate failure. Good luck!

Coolness

I was going to put something in about the world potentially running out of bananas and thousands of birds falling out of the sky in Arkansas (thanks for bringing that to my attention Tori), but it’s a new year. Let’s go more positive with video of Tom Ford’s new women’s line fashion show. I like the way this is shot, and it gives you a sense of the intimacy of the presentation. I wouldn’t say the clothes break any new ground, there’s a little too much boob-age (which might be a plus for some of you) and the editors are a little too ga ga over him, but he does do nice work and I love how he gets some fab women to walk the runway. Check it out here.

Etc.

I had a great celeb sighting today at lunch: Tracy Morgan. He’s hilarious. I believe he just had a kidney transplant, so it’s good to see him out and about. He looked good and was enjoying a nice lunch at Junior’s with a friend.

We’re back from a family trip to DC and so we missed the great blizzard to end ’10, thank goodness. I’ll be back this week with some recommendations for the Beltway area…hope you all had a lovely holiday and you’re ready for a fantastic 2011!