Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Grace Coddington Makes Me Love My Hair

I know I am way past the expiration date on this half gallon of soy milk, but I feel the need to preach after stumbling upon A & E's random showing of R.J. Cutler's documentary The September Issue last week. Like every good fashionista who's been reading Vogue since the age of 13, I thought I knew everything I needed to know about Anna Wintour and co. Furthermore, the countless (and some might say, unhealthy) number of times I've watched The Devil Wears Prada makes me feel like I'm even more of an authority on all things Anna. Boy, was I wrong. And thankfully so.

This documentary about two completely self-actualized women - editor in chief Anna Wintour and creative director Grace Coddington - is nothing short of awe inspiring. Wintour knows who she is, what her job is, and oh yeah, what you think of her too, so she's gonna live up to every iota of that expectation. An Italian reporter rudely asks her as she's sitting front row waiting for the runway show to begin why everyone refers to her as an "ice woman." Without waiting a second, she replies, "Well, this week it's been pretty cold." She knows her role and plays it like Meryl Streep. But more Sophie's Choice Meryl than Prada. I also adored when she talked about being young and filling out an application that asked for her goal in life. Her father - an English newspaper editor - told her to write "editor of Vogue." So she did. And the universe listened. The importance of specifics, darlings.

The crown jewel of Wintour's empire, no doubt, is Coddington. Her frizzy red locks and gorgeously artistic soul are the true spirit of the magazine. The love and care she puts into the photo shoots is mind numbing. And as Fred says, she's just so damn cool. New York Times uber scribe Maureen Dowd calls her the Keith to Wintour's Mick. I couldn't love that comparison more. Her comment on no one seeing the beauty in a blurry or out of focus photograph spoke to me on so many levels. Everyone wants everything so "sharp and crisp," she states. It's a comment that can be applied to the entire state of our artistic culture. Music, film, and even books, have lost all their depth because of all the automated fine tuning that goes into everything appearing and sounding "perfect." What the hell is perfect anyway? Certainly not Coddington's hair, or mine either. Watch this film.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Here Comes Now

First, I must openly admit that I stole this title from a song my Freddie recorded a few years back with a tremendous artist he has played with for a long time. I love the song but more so, the sentiment. And it couldn't apply more to my life than it does this week.

I've been a mom for the past six and a half years (!) and to say that it's been "life changing" would feel cliched and more so, lame. I fortunately never experienced debilitating post-partum depression; however, I do distinctly recall a brief blanket of sadness directly after Truman was born that felt like a mourning period. I felt selfish but I also knew what I was feeling - I knew that pre-mommy Melis was gone. Furthermore, who in the hell was this new Melis?

For the first time in the aforementioned six and a half years, I feel like she is here. After many highs, lows, ups, downs, and even hitting a serious iceberg, I've arrived at a beautiful place where I finally feel like, "Oh. THIS is my path." I thank circumstance, soul searching, and of course, my spiritual course of yoga for this gift.

I start yoga teacher training this Thursday with my fairy godparents at Sanctuary in Green Hills. I'm nervous, anxious, a little scared, and a lot looking forward to it. I don't possess a deep seeded burning desire to teach yoga. Many people tell me I should and maybe they know more about my destiny than I do? But I do want to learn as much as I can about it, spread its gospel, and prove my mantra that yoga indeed changes (and saves!) lives. All I know is that every time I am on the mat, I inherently know in my heart that it is where I am supposed to be.

Here. Comes. Now.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

J. Lo and Jumpsuits and Steven Tyler's Shirt?, Oh My...

With everything going on in the world, I'm still as intrigued as any other pop culture devouring whore about the upcoming Simon Cowell-less season of American Idol. "How will they ever replace him?" I wondered. I also thought, "How could the dreck 'talent' get any worse?" Like the proverbial trainwreck we all can never look away from, I pretty much watch A.I. religiously from January to May. And even though Simon was a sharp jerk at times, Fred and I always 100 percent agreed with his "constructive" critiques. (Cowell will also always have a special place in my heart as well because I had a vivid dream of, ahem, a sexual nature about him when I was preggers, but that my darlings, of course, is for another blog at a another definitive time).

The official announcement today of Jennifer "J. Lo" Lopez and Steven "Awesomely Aerosmith" Tyler's appointment to the A.I. judges table was not a shock to anyone in the western world. These names have been floating around for months and they are already past the point of water cooler banter. Howevs, nothing could have prepared me for the outfit choices La Lopez and El Tyler thrust upon the world at the press conference. First, you know you are in trouble when Randy Jackson outshines you in the couture department. His silver shoes are slammin.' Unfortunately, nothing about Jenny or Steven is. She is - AGAIN (remember New Year's Eve?) - sporting an ultimately disappointing JUMPSUIT! I hate these f-ing things. So unflattering and my god, the pants are TAPERED at the ankles. W.T.F??? Furthermore, what the F is Steven sporting? Where are the scarves? Where are the obscenely tight pants? Where's the funky footwear? I know you have them because I distinctly remember you buying a pair of cuban heels at Fluevog on Newbury Street when I worked there. Oh, it's all been replaced by a black blazer with a black floral shirt and some basic black shoes. The horror...the horror...Lulu for once has been rendered speechless.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Anyone and everyone within a 3000 mile radius of me and my being knows that in the past 18 months, yoga has become the center of my universe. What can I say? I simply love it.I call it my mid-30s-crisis-Madonna-Ray-of-Light moment. The mental clarity combined with the most rockin' muscle liberation my body has ever known makes for a happy mommy and wife.

Of course, yoga is about letting go of the material and embracing the communal spirit of peace, love, and light; however, I did grow up in the 80s so I have also come to terms with being a material girl in a material world. i.e. I LOVE TO SHOP! Yes, it's completely typical, obnoxious, and predictable but I just can't help it. Which is why when I noticed last year that there is a certain type of "apparel" certain types of "yoginis" embrace, I didn't know which way to run.

At first, practical Lulu took over. I hauled ass over to Old Navy and grabbed a few pairs of their yoga pants on clearance. They were comfy, flattering, and let's face it - CHEAP! Paired up with some tanks and tees from Goodwill, I was all set. Or was I?

After months of pondering sports bras and actual yoga tanks, in addition to an actual boob almost falling out at a workshop where I thought wearing a purple Calvin Klein demi satin bra would suffice, I decided it was time. Even though a rebel yogi friend had repeatedly declared: "Fuck yoga wear!," I bought a black sports bra. O.M.G. Me and my chataranga'd life would never be the same.

Then, a few months later, my bff cleaning out her closet gifted me with a tank and pants from Lululemon. Again, O.M.G.!!! Any yogini worth his or her weight in OMs knows that Lululemon is the creme de la creme of yoga wear. A Canadian company with its heart on the pulse of everything yoga, they make flattering and gorgeous yoga wear that is worthy of its cult-like status. For months, I fought the urge because A. it's really expensive and B. it's really expensive. However, as soon as my buns slipped into the hand-me-down pair of Groove pants, I was sold.

I went to the showroom on Friday and the shop on I experienced did not disappoint. Like my good friend who generously passed down her Lulus to me and who always mysteriously has a new Lululemon "something" on every time I see her, I am now a devout follower/fan/worshipper. And besides, Lulu is in their name. I'm gonna chalk it up to karma, fate, and the fact that I can't stop staring at my butt in their Gather & Crow capris.

Monday, February 1, 2010


One of the benefits of having moved four times cross-country over the past ten years is that I have a handful of beautiful friendships that have been established in each place I've lived. I look at it in a Forrest Gump fashion - a box of chocolates from Boston, L.A., New York, and now Nashville. I find it incredibly flattering and precious when such friends grace me with their presence with a surprise weekend visit, which one of my greatest bffs did this past weekend. Liza and I met over ten years ago working together in Boston. We immediately clicked and proclaimed that we were soul sisters. A decade-plus later and a lifetime's worth of jobs, travels, and relationships, we still have the connection. Which is why I had a jam-packed itinerary for us beginning with her arrival on Thursday night. Pick up from the airport. Check. Dinner at the spectacular Berry Hill restaurant The Yellow Porch. Check. A bottle of wine (or two?) back at the house with Fred and another friend. Check. Wake up early Friday morning for back-to-back balletone and yoga classes. Uhhh, we slept late and were a little hungover. How about the planned lunch at Fido? Again, uhhh, there's a snowstorm on the way. Stay off the roads. Really? Snow? Just a dusting, right? Uhhh, WRONG! We were snowed in. The entire weekend. What to do???

First, we sent Fred to the packie (New England-speak for "liquor store" - for some reason, they are called "package" stores "on Cape"). He picked up a gorgeous Argentinian red, a white that I never had the chance to taste, and the all-time best named rose champagne - BUBBLY BITCH. In the meantime, the short ribs were cooking in the crock pot and we spent the entire day with the kids laughing. After dinner, an impromptu salon broke out in the kitchen and the entire mood for the weekend was set: instead of shopping and site-seeing, we would get all Oprah-ized on our asses and delve into some poetry, yoga, and self-help. Break out the wine, Freddie, here comes Rumi!

Friday and Saturday night were two of the most thought-provoking, soul searching and nurturing moments of my adult life. We talked about everything and found a quote to go with it. We took notes. We listened to inspiring music. We even did a little zumba choreography. Even though I had previously had my heart set on shopping away and running around town, this forced time indoors was more fun than I could have ever hoped for. Again, I'm so thankful for my friendships but as another great bff told me today, we all deserve them.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Something Completely Unoriginal: POLITICS

The recent election of republican Scott Brown to fill STAUNCH-as-little-Edie-Beale democrat Ted Kennedy's vacant senate seat stirs up many emotions in me. I moved to Massachusetts just prior to turning 14 and lived both in Cape Cod and Boston for the next 12 years. As much as Kennedy stirred up mixed feelings from New Englanders, no one can deny the fact that the man spent a lifetime in the U.S. Senate trying to help people. A lot of conservatives who argue this fact (who, let's face it, will argue anything sane, reasonable, and true) have never stepped foot in Massachusetts. I feel these "citizens" should shut their lids. It's the same as a man arguing abortion or a male gynecologist telling a childbirth patient that she will experience "strong pain." There is no way, shape, or form of relating so please do us all a favor and don't bother.

I took great pride in wearing the blue state liberalism of Massachusetts on my sleeve the entire time I lived there. And I find it extremely sad that a few health care reform "rumors" tragically transformed a sure democrat seat to republican. However, I can't help but argue that sexism played a major role in this weird turn of events. Today I found out that Scott Brown not only lists his prior experience as a lawyer but he also includes actor/model. WTF? Furthermore, he soft-core porn posed in an issue of Cosmopolitan magazine in 1982 to help offset the cost of law school. WHAT? THE? FUCK? If Hillary Clinton or Nancy Pelosi or even that pathetic-excuse-of-a-female Sarah Palin had anything even remotely soft-core in their past - like a black lace bra, for example - they would have been kicked up and down Pennsylvania Avenue faster than you or I can say "impeachment."

On that note, I believe in giving people chances, which is something this country clearly does not want to give our current President. If Scott Brown is conservative, good for him for having something to believe in. However, if he just uses his point-of-view to become another moron pundit on Fox News, I would hope we will all be deeply disappointed and boot his well-toned ass out. I hope Brown takes a cue from Kennedy (and all the Kennedys) and uses his new appointment as a vessel for helping the citizens of Massachusetts. It's time to stop gloating and start working.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Another Covetous Jewelry Line

After perusing every issue of "O" and "Better Homes & Gardens" during a four hour stint at the lovely Baptist Hospital breast clinic yesterday, I decided to challenge myself with a little decadence by perusing an issue of "Town & Country." The September 2009 date shocked me as I didn't think this magazine was even in existence anymore. My dear nana always had her coffee table stacked with them and I think 1993 was the last time I was at her apartment so I was excited to see what society had to offer me today. The ads and the articles were like every other high-end extolling publication - Gucci, Prada, Tiffany "celebration" rings. But the ads in the back intrigued me with their requests for designer handbags like old Louis Vuitton steamer trunks and vintage Hermes Birkins. There was also an ad for the "highest quality" cubic zirconia jewels (perfect for travelling - don't want to risk losing granny's heirloom Cartier while you're out on the yacht). Then, and ad for Heather Moore's initial emblazoned charms grabbed me. And as the story goes, they had me at "hello." I quickly grabbed a pen and my day planner to write down the web address.

Excitedly, I told Fred this morning that I had a new jewelry request. However, this was before I saw the prices. Oy gvalt. The scripted "m" charm, complete with channel set diamonds all around was just under 5k. 5k. For a charm. That's not including the chain. The necklace shown above, with your entire family history, astrological signs, etc, comes it at a little over 30k. 30k! That's a new VW Passat around your neck. Damn. Damn. DAMN!

A girl can dream...a girl can dream...


Sunday, January 3, 2010

My Favorite Jewels: HELEN FICALORA

I love costume jewelry as much as every other mid-30s mama at Forever 21 drooling over their insanely cheap and adorable baubles. Furthermore, when I lived in NYC, nothing cheered me up more than a new pair of earrings purchased off of a Prince Street vendor (haggled, of course, for at least a few bucks less than the asking price - when in Rome...). And I proudly admit that Joan Rivers sucks me into QVC each and every time I catch her on with her ridiculously gaudy pieces. I've never made a purchase but my hand has reached for the phone a few times. Anyhow, there comes a time in every girl's life when she deserves a real piece of gold. Engagement rings and wedding bands are a given so I'm not going to waste my time going there (even though Tacori is by far my favorite ring line - Tony at Valley's Gem on Ventura Boulevard in Studio City, California does an incredible job replicating their pieces with his own twist. I have two of his rings and they are GORGE!). After my second son was born, Fred surprised me - after a bit of nudging towards her store from me - with two initial charms from the often imitated, never replicated Helen Ficalora. Freddie earned may-jah brownie points for opting for the diamond initial pendants - I only wanted the engraved gold pendants, but I'll never complain about a diamond splurge. They are delicate, elegant, and completely original. Two years later for my birthday, he surprised me with a heart charm (again, in diamonds - the man is G-O-O-D) and I wear them all together almost every day. And I always get complimented on them.

I've also had the pleasure of personally visiting the Helen Ficalora store in NYC off of Lafayette in Soho and it is nothing short of a girly girl's dream. Everything is pink and the jewels are all dainty and so so purty. I bought a pair of the white gold carved rose earrings and made a wish list in my head of about twenty other pieces I want. Go to www.helenficalora.com and check it out!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Celebrities - what else???

I even surprise myself with the inordinate amount of interest and time I spend on pop culture. I can't help it. Andy Warhol said that when he got his own television set he had much less interest in spending time with actual people. Thankfully, I'm not that far gone but I can understand the escapism it provides us. And being the opinionated Virgoan that I am, I must espouse my thoughts on two men who leave me both disgusted and bewildered: TIGER WOODS and CHARLIE SHEEN. I know my feminist heart will hate me for this, but I consider Tiger to be much further up the moral echelon than Charlie. Yes, he is a liar, a cheater, an adulterer. However (and this is a HUGE "however"), he is not a wife beater. He does not hit women. He does not have a proven history of physically threatening women's lives. His and Elin's story will never closely resemble "The Burning Bed." How brave of AT&T and countless other companies to drop Tiger and yet they all keep their ads on CBS for Charlie's pathetic excuse of a painfully un-watchable sitcom. Why doesn't CBS stand up for the women of the world and can that fucker's sorry ass? I know the answer is money, but how sad is that? The only glimmer of hope from the whole pathetic scenario is that Denise Richards, who Charlie disgustingly smeared as "crazy," is now vindicated after he was arrested on Christmas day. Karma is real.

Now, on to something much lighter and trashier: J. Lo. I know she's now trying to be known as "Lola," which is beyond laughable, but at this moment, I have a serious bone to pick with Jenny from the block. First, what the hell was she wearing to Disneyland with her fam on Christmas? It looked like a festive Quacker Factory sweater. I mean, come on. You are JENNIFER LOPEZ! Just because it's a casual family day at the park with your babies Max and Emme and that troll husband Marc Anthony (who's celeb factor I will NEVER comprehend), doesn't mean that you have to forsake the glam. Some booty-accentuating J. Brands and a cute pea coat (isn't Michael Kors your bff - have him whip you up one!) would have been so much more appropriate. And sexy. And movie-star-esque. I can't wait to see what the gofugyourself girls have to say about this one.

As if xmas at Disneyland wasn't enough, La Lopez had to pull a complete 360 on Dick Clark's rocking New Year's Ever special with the world's most unflattering and hideous catsuit. Yes, a CATSUIT. A one piece monstrosity that unbelievably, no one told her looked like ass. Even with her ass. The performance was just as bad as the outfit. She can't even lip synch right. And the routine with her plethora o' gay dancers just felt dated. Fred is right - Lady Gaga puts all these other girls (or in J. Lo's case forty-somethings) to shame.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Eat Pray Love

I picked up a copy of Elizabeth Gilbert's bestselling Oprah-ized memoir EAT PRAY LOVE at a yard sale two years ago for one dollar and placed it on my night stand with the full intention of an immediate read. I perused through it once or twice, re-reading the first chapter and became a fan of Gilbert's witty and acerbic prose. However, this wasn't enough for me to actually finish the damn thing because it took me this past November to pick it up and complete it. Fate, destiny, whatever, brought me to this book at this time because every morsel of it fed into my being. The clusterfuck of 2009's end left me in a bit of a tizzied soul search and this book calmed me like nothing I could have imagined. This is required reading of every woman in her 30s. I now want to go to Italy, study at an ashram, and meet the enchanting medicine men and women of Bali. There are tons of one cent copies on amazon so pick up one (or three!).