Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Five Year Old Honesty

If there is one thing I admire about my 5 year old daughter, Charlotte, it is her completely candid comments. This girl does not sugar coat anything, and she does not possess a filter for her thoughts. She calls it as she sees it, and she sees it for what it really is.  
I marvel at her positive spin on her vision. She never sees the negative and instead, verbalizes whatever aspect she perceives as good. I know she gets that from her mother. Wink Wink.   That being said, I respect Charlotte’s own, personal views on fashion appropriateness. She believes more is more, and too much is never enough when it comes to pink, sequins, twirly tutu skirtings and anything sparkly. She is five so that works for her. She has truly developed her own sense of style, and I admire that.  
When Miss Charlotte sees me getting ready for work in the morning, she tells me how I look. She makes her opinion known by verbalizing her thoughts on my outfits and accessories. Charlotte chooses her words wisely and never lies to me. If she does not like something, she says so. I can depend on her for the truth, even if it is not what I want to hear.  
This past summer as I was getting ready to head off to the store, Charlotte stopped and gave me the morning once over. She nodded several times as if she was taking it all in- then she cocked her head to the side and said, “Mommie, are you going to your office now?” I said, yes, I am.
Without skipping a beat, she softly said, “Well, you look like you work on the highway!” It was at that exact moment when I realized, my orange knit top, white linen pants, orange Hermes leather belt, and rope wedge sandals might be a bit out of my typical all black comfort zone. I thought I looked all summery and festive and my daughter thought I belonged to a construction crew on the freeway.

The kids often come up on the weekends and we have lunch together. Because taking four, loud, and excitable kids into Saks Fifth Avenue is a bit overwhelming to the quiet, serene atmosphere, I often divide everyone up and bring them into my office one at a time. This gives them each some solo Mommie time, and it helps keep the chaos to a minimum. Charlotte loves looking at all the above mentioned pink, sparkly, frilly, froo froo items.

On her most recent visit to the store, Charlotte walked through cosmetics and stopped dead in her tracks. In her most shrill, squealing voice she shouted, “MOMMIE LOOK! MOMMIE LOOK, (pointing) THERE IS A CHANEL MUSEUM HERE!” Everyone in the vicinity heard her, and they were all cracking up. In all honesty, the Chanel Boutique at Saks Fifth Avenue
looks like a museum. The handbags are all on display- you look but do not touch. It is a fancy but sterile viewing of the highly collected Chanel merchandise. It is a Chanel museum. The kid nailed it. It is the truth.

This morning, Charlotte was at it again. I put on a new brown tweed Carlisle skirt (from my trip to Primm) with a great brown knit sweater and coordinating wool tweed Fendi pumps.
As I looked in the full length mirror, I thought that perhaps I needed to shorten my hemline. My skirt was a tad longer than I typically like, but it was not a deal breaker to me. It was not a deal breaker until my five year old fashion police officer said, “Mommie, that looks like a Jewish skirt!” This implied that my skirt appeared to be long and frum, covering me below the knee, like the Orthodox women at her school. While there is nothing wrong with dressing modestly, it was not the look I was going for. At all.

Sometimes, even a professional stylist needs a little reality check. Just when I think I am looking my best, leave it to my Charlotte to knock me off of my pedestal. This is my everyday life, with a five year old diva.

I can’t predict the future, but I know I am so screwed. This five year old honesty is brutal.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Classic Statements

While Jeff and I were celebrating our ten year anniversary together in Las Vegas, my children were with Argenida and Edgar at the 2012 New Albany Classic. They spent the entire day enjoying the crisp fall air, spinning on moving rides, seeing the equestrian show, and sampling all kinds of foods. 

Periodically throughout the day, Argenida texted me photos. She wanted me to know that the kids were so terribly upset, sad, and bored. They were "forced" to attend this amazing day of family fun.
Insert dramatic and sarcastic eye roll here. As if they were missing us- yeah right, these photos look like they were tramatized that we left for the weekend, I know, I know! 

The Tween Brands concert this year featured boy band, Hot Chelle Rae.
The crowd of screaming tween girls was bigger than ever, and my kids wanted to ride on the carnival rides during their rock band performance. According to Argenida, they saw this as an opportunity to by pass long waiting lines since everyone was over at the stage show. Charlotte told Argenida, "Why do we have to stand in the crowd of yelling girls? Can't we still hear the band from the big speakers? Let's just ride on stuff and listen to them singing while we are on the ferris wheel, cause we can see them if we are high up!" Spoken like a classic five year old. You can't argue with that statement. 

 This is Natalie on a date at the New Albany classic car show. This precious photo
was taken in front of her dream car, she liked it because it had television screens built in to the head rests. It is a Rolls Royce. Enough said. Her date was Eric Edgar's little nephew who has a wicked crush and vice versa. He posed with his arm around her as if he was making the moves. Clearly, Natalie was digging it, otherwise, she would have hauled off and cold cocked him one, like she does her brothers when they are in her space. 

When we got back, we looked through the photos and Eli reported that Natalie has a Latin boyfriend. CJ pipes up, "Ummmm....he's not Latin, he is from Mexico and that means he's Mexican. If he were from Latinland he'd be Latin." 

When it comes to classics, my children are full of them.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

It was a Wynn-Win Weekend

It was a Win-Wynn situation. Jeff was booked to deliver a keynote speech in Las Vegas, one day after our 10th wedding anniversary. The client’s program was at the Wynn Resort and I saw this as a chance to tag along, get some R&R, and make a mini vacay out of it. With just a long weekend away, Jeff and I are able to re-connect as a couple. 

 When you live with 4 energetic kids, a Jack Russell Terrier and a 19 year old Au Pair, even the quiet days are not so quiet. Being alone
in a King Suite, on the 55th floor with a view of Saks Fifth Avenue- with a soaking tub, 24 hour room service and daily housekeeping can do wonders for a marriage. I highly suggest it. To quote Ferris Bueller, "It is so choice!" 

 While Jeff was working, I got to spend some quality, retail therapy time with Michele S. We dropped off her four triplets at school, drove out to Primm, Nevada and got a vanilla latte before the stores even opened. I prepared her to hit it hard, and we did. She stocked up on the essential pieces
she needed for her upcoming cruise and I worked my magic on some basics for Fall in Columbus. I think Michele enjoyed having a sassy personal shopper and stylist in the fitting room- it sure beats scrounging around at Savers by yourself. While we were driving back to Las Vegas, Michele facebook updated her friends on her amazing deals and finds. We listened to her i-phone bing-bing-binging with comments for the entire 45 miles back into town. I guess everyone was envious of the $219 Carlisle dress we found for $9. Nothing pleases us more than to entertain our friends and shove photos of our bargains in their face. YES, as a matter of fact, we are that shallow and petty. Perhaps that is why we are friends who can see each other once a year, and pick up right where we left off. Bada boom, bada bing, BABY! 

 The rest of my stay in Las Vegas was just as fun. Jeff and I hung out with Uncle Silvan who was in town on an all boys’ weekend. I rather enjoyed being the only woman among 7 wild and crazy guys
when we celebrated Silvan’s birthday and our anniversary at Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion restaurant. Their Aloha happy hour menu is a must do in Las Vegas by the way. Nothing says Aloha like $5 cocktails and appetizers. 

 We moved from the bar to a table and had a lovely dinner completed by
custom decorated desserts, before we saw Carlos Santana at the House of Blues. I will just say that at age 65 the guy can ROCK.
He played for more than 2 hours and it was absolutely electrifying. Sixty Five is the new forty if you are a rock and roll legend. 

 I probably should clarify a few things. Jeff gets me. He understands that when I say I need to go across the street to Fashion Show Mall to "do research," he knows I am simply shopping. Investigative research, is part of MY JOB, I am like a designer fashion scientist or something. My metrosexual husband even accompanied me to Neiman Marcus, where I added a fresh mojito to my chicken stock palette cleanser, popover and strawberry jam aperitif, followed by a delicious crab salad.
Jeff is the beneficiary of the euporhia and high I get from surveying all the various Chanel boutiques. For me, hitting up 4 different Chanel boutiques in one afternoon is like some serious foreplay. 

 It is times like these that I realize how fortunate I am to have a husband that is fun to be with even after ten years of marriage and a lot of insanity. As much as I gripe about his dufus ways, I admit, going to Las Vegas for a blind J-date 10 plus years ago, was the best decision I ever made. Now, I look back at our time together and recall nothing but the fondest memories. 

 It was a Wynn-Win weekend all the way around.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Morning Coffee Kids

While we are making references to monkey see, monkey do this week, let's talk about my morning coffee.  And let's talk about my kids. When they were born, I became a coffee drinker- it is triplet mom, course 101, for beginners.  Once the triplets were mobile and talking, I graduated from the advanced program, espresso 310.  Coffee and multiples go hand in hand.

It is no secret that you don't mess with Mommie before coffee.  My kids know better.  With this in mind, it is no wonder that my own children have a keen interest in drinking coffee.  When they first asked to sample from my cup, I allowed it.  I assumed they would hate it, and that would be the end of it.  I made an ass out of you and me when I assumed.  I was wrong.

My children love coffee.  It is weird.  They enjoy coffee and consider themselves coffee drinkers.  Last year at the parent breakfast, CJ poured himself a cup of coffee and his kindergarten teacher quickly swept in and told him that was for adults.  CJ tried to plead his case, but to no avail.  For the rest of the school year I heard how Morah Rachel did not let him have coffee.  He was so disappointed.

This summer when Netanya was visiting, we went to the market district at Kingsdale.  Before we left to go home, all four kids asked we could stop and get a coffee.  Netanya thought they were joking.  She was wrong.  They wanted a cinnamon latte with cinnamon sugar on top of the whipped cream.  Of course, Netanya was blown away when the actually drank it- to her that was completely facebook status update worthy.  Four kids under 7, sipping a hot coffee drink- that is truly weird.

I have learned to buy one enormous sized serving and divide it up into individual child sized portions.  Buying one large versus four smalls is a huge savings.  I'd be broke if each kid got to order their own.  There are some days when can't even justify spending the money on mine.

Charlotte has been drinking coffee since she was little.  Her special treat has always been to hang out with Mommie at Starbucks while the triplets are doing something else.  Charlotte can order at Starbucks by herself, as she has done since she was about 3 years old. This morning I was making myself a vanilla chai latte when the scent of my creation wafted toward the breakfast table. My four moochers were quick to ask for their own cup. I brewed the nectar of the morning gods and poured them each a mug. They quickly posed for photos

of themselves, randoming sipping, doing peace signs, bunny ears and fake wieners, all while drinking their brews.  All this excitement before 8:00 a.m. on a school day.  Good times.

For the record my children drink their coffee 80% milk, 20% coffee with a splash of sugar and or a flavor syrup.  Now, they are coffee snobs- last week CJ told me his coffee was too milky and it was not coffee tasting enough for his liking.  I was not sure whether to be proud of his grown up taste buds or worried for my future.

I only wish this post was financially sponsored by Starbucks, I can barely afford to buy my own coffee drinks, yet alone, four more.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Secret Videos

When it comes to technology and gadgets my children have never taken lessons or classes. Somehow, they educate themselves on how to operate remote controls, computers, i-phones, and all other screened electronics. 

 If I ever need a setting changed on my phone, I ask one of my 6 year olds. Within seconds, I can find the answers to my questions and receive a personal tutorial. How they know this is beyond me. But they do. 

My little tech freaks are interested in all aspects of the i-phone functions. These miniature film makers make random videos too. All too often, I discover a secret video that was recorded without my knowledge or permission. Fortunately, these are innocent clips that offer a glimpse into the minds of a 6 year old. 

This is a video that Natalie recorded for Jeff. It's obvious that she swiped his phone at night, when she was supposed to be in her room sleeping. She has never seen the Blair Witch Project but her style is similar, right? 

Her secret thoughts are now captured and broadcasted on you tube thanks to this blogging Mommie who has no filter for private moments. 

I know that Jeff was touched with her sincere message. While we do not condone the stealing of our electronics without our permission, it is difficult to get pissed off when the message is so flippin sweet. Clearly, her intentions were good, not evil. 

The secret videos are safe with you, me and the world wide web.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

It is a nice place to visit, but I would not want to live there

This week the city of Prairie Village, Kansas passed an ordinance that will make it nearly impossible for my former neighbor, Mike Babick to continue his annual Christmas display. While this can seen as controversy for some, it is a win for the people who live on Falmouth. I am not going to sugar coat my feeling about this. I am happy to that the city of Prairie Village has finally taken a stand against a nuisance to its’ other tax paying residents. You can read my previous blog posts about this whole scenario here, and you can read the article published today to learn more about this new ordinance and what it means to the topic.

As a disclaimer, I should state that I am Jewish. I do not celebrate Christmas, but I have friends and family members that do. My thoughts and feelings about the Falmouth Holiday display do not have any relation to my own religious beliefs. My internet vent is solely based on the extreme inconvenience that was living next door to Mike Babick and his so called homage to Christmas as a holiday.

 I want to make one thing perfectly clear, this is not about Christmas. It is not about religion, Jesus, freedom of speech, or ACLU issues. This is about causing a disturbance and reeking havoc on a residential street for 7 weeks out of the year. When Mike Babick publicly stated that the city killed Christmas, his ignorant comment was designed solely to garner attention, cause drama and get people to pay attention to his pathetic plight. The city did not kill Christmas, they just protected Mike’s neighbors from what had started as a residential display but had grown into
this twinkling, bright, festive and over the top, public nightmare.

Let’s take Christmas completely out of the equation. Let’s pretend that Mike Babick put up an over the top celebratory display for the Fourth of July. There are flags, stars and stripes, lights, music, and moving parts on Uncle Sam’s hat- and all of this so called patriotism drew the crowds of people, tour buses, limos and general traffic gridlock consistent with the current December display. Do you think that Mike Babick could say that the City of Prairie Village killed America?

While we are at it, what if the gay couple two blocks over decided to decorate and show their enthusiasm for gay pride? Their home became the poster child for embracing their sexual orientation. With Broadway show tunes blaring from the shutters, rainbow light shows, a life size statue of Cher, and Judy Garland this home depicted everything glorious about being gay. Word gets out that the gay house on Granada Lane is so amazing that people from all walks of life decide to visit. I guarantee that if the display of pride caused the same problems that the Christmas house on Falmouth does, Prairie Village would feel the need to enforce the same ordinance. I doubt you could claim that the city of Prairie Village is homophoebic.

Let’s go even further into my rant, and take all holidays, religions, and reasons off the table. Let’s suggest that I had a nightly party, every evening from Thanksgiving until New Years. What if my invited guests parked on the street where no parking signs were clearly posted, made traffic impossible for the neighbors, caused a noise complaints, and turned my quiet residential street into a massive chaotic free for all? Don’t think for one second that the city wouldn’t have broken up my party and made me corral my guests onto my own property. I am sure that there would be warnings and if I ignored them, they would issue fines or citations for public disturbance, disorderly conduct, and excessive noise. No one would even bat an eye that my own actions were harming my fellow neighbors.

The whole issue is not about anything but making a residential neighborhood a great place to live. It is all fine and good on Falmouth unless you live next door to this craziness. Anyone who believes this is outrageous for Mike and his Christmas spirit should be asked to live next door to him. Whenever I would give out my former address, people would say, “Oh yeah, that is the street with the tacky Christmas house, I know that street!” When I would say, that is my next door neighbor, there was a genuine sigh of pity or compassion. Most folks sympathized with my geographical misfortune. I lived there 10 Christmas seasons ago, and I still get all bent out of shape recalling the late night nuisance outside my bedroom windows. It was this frenzy that made me realize I should be medicated, lest I go all postal and become a raving lunatic on my front lawn.

 I am sure there are those who can relate to my feelings and those who side with Mike Babick. Regardless of what side you are on, you have to admit, 76th and Falmouth is a nice street to visit, but you would not want to live there!
e there.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Three Poses

Having a much older brother that you idolize is a good thing. In the case of the four triplets, having Mitchell Slutsky as your older brother is, AWESOME. Mitchell is constantly teaching them all kinds of wrong, and they know it. 

Back when they were too little to even know what Michigan, Ohio State and a rivalry are, Mitchell taught them to like OSU and boo Michigan. They could spell O-H-I-O before they could spell their own names. Mitchell even taught them to say Poop On Michigan, which they repeated at the most inappropriate of times. As a big brother, he could do no wrong. The same is still true today.

In addition to not liking the Michigan Wolverines, Mitchell has taught my children “the three poses.” Until I asked for additional clarification, I did not know what the three poses were, or why he felt the need to constantly reference them.

The three poses are a Comedy Central, South Park phenomenon, based on dialogue for Meme-rs- the side bar photo captions on line. A script quote from the South Park episode states; “When they posed for pictures they should have remembered there are only three approved memes: peace signs [puts his index and middle fingers up], bunny ears [raises his arm while keeping the previous gesture] and fake wiener [bends his left arm and leg]”

In about seventy-five percent of all the photos I saw from Semester at Sea depicted Mitchell and his friends, doing the above mentioned approved three poses.

The three poses posed all over Europe and Northern Africa. Peace sign, bunny ears, fake wiener

around the world!  Peace sign, bunny ears, fake wiener...over and over again.

When Mitchell taught the little ones how to do the now infamous three poses, they memorized the song, and were all too proud to do repeat it until I was insane. 

Monkey see, monkey do, my four Monkeys love Mitchell too.

Now, when I go to take a photo of them for any reason, they immediately break into the three poses. Oh great, now in addition to a collection of historical sites, famous cathedrals and bodies of water, I have photos of the my younger kids doing, peace sign, bunny ears, fake wieners!

It all started with poop on Michigan and I know it does not end with the three poses.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Jewish New Year is Here

It's the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana. The family Slutsky celebrates with the traditional holiday foods, brisket, apple desserts, with a side of Mommie guilt. Why should tonight be different from all other nights? Oh wait, that is the Passover saying, never mind.

The kids already know more Hebrew than I do, which is not setting the bar all that high mind you. They posed for the obligatory photo,
complete with seasonal props. I did not officially send out greeting cards this year, so this staged photo image
and message will be emailed and Facebook posted along with my best wishes here on the blog. It's better than nothing, but I'll admit the Martha Jewert in me is sorely disappointed that I was unable to execute through the US Mail this time. Next year in Jerusalem is the appropriate saying here, but I can assure you that is not gonna happen- I can't even afford to fly us all to Orlando, so I am thinking Tel Aviv is out of the realm of possibilities.

I have good intentions well in advance of the holidays. In spirit, I am still overachieving but in reality it's a fail. I can't do it all anymore, lest I wear a white straight jacket. Until Giorgio Armani makes one in a size Euro 48, I have to eliminate the filler fluff and stick to what is most important. Mailing photo cards did not make the cut. Same guilt, new year. Go figure.

In the secular world, new years have resolutions. Why wait for a new year? There is no time like now! So instead of making a long laundry list of goals and action items, I am gonna wing it. I plan to blog when I can, stay properly medicated, schedule appropriate spa treatments and drink wine, until the kids and Jeff drive me officially batshit crazy and I end up committing myself to some serious retail therapy- maybe even at full retail, G-d forbid.

Tonight, I'm just enjoying leftover brisket, dipping it in guilt and moving along. Welcome to the annual Rosh Hashana madness, or as my kids say, with proper annunciation: L'Shana Tovah Tikatevu.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

I have friends in ALL PLACES

Garth Brooks might prefer his friends in low places, but I prefer to have friends in all places. High, Low, Republican, Democrat, Jewish, Catholic and everything in between… I like to know that all my bases are covered in a crisis.

One of the most satisfying parts of my job is working with a variety clients of all shapes, sizes, and walks of life. Obviously, this keeps me on my toes, makes it more interesting and presents a challenge. If everyone had the same taste, and wore the same size, we’d be in trouble.

Lately, I have been living vicariously through some of my client friends. While I help them find the perfect look for an event, or style them for a presentation or photo shoot, it is like I am there with them. When I see them posting photos on facebook, I see the clothes and accessories in action, and that makes me smile.

Last week, I was facebook tagged in pictures from the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC. My client was pleased to debut her gorgeous white and black knit Pink Tartan sweater as she waited to hear Michelle Obama address the nation. There was a little piece of me, tucked into the fibers of that jacket, and Suzanne made sure I saw how close she was to the stage.

When Suzanne was featured on C-span, PBS and NBC she was styled by moi. How cool is that? I thought C-Span should have scrolled the details at the bottom of the screen, but I suppose there were other, more relative topics that night.

This week, I am going to Italy with another client who had me select her entire travel wardrobe for the trip. As a mom of three kids, it had been years since she bought anything for herself. I felt good knowing that she purchased simple, easy to wear pieces that would serve her well as she toured Milan, Tuscany and Rome with her family. She even told me that her sister was going to be so proud of the way she looked, and I could relate to that. I made it crystal clear that a wee part of me would be with her on the trip, just in spirit and style-- so if she ran into George Clooney in Lake Como, she needed to kiss him for me. She owed it to me.

I am pleased to report that while Jeff and I are not officially members of a local synagogue, my presence will be felt at all Rosh Hashana services in Columbus. My Jewish clientele will be dressed in the latest Helene approved clothing, and I can ring in the Jewish New Year knowing that a part of me attended services all over town. That is my story anyway-no need to go and see who is there and what they are wearing- I already know.

As a personal shopper and stylist it is important for me to network with all people- my friends, neighbors, doctors, lawyers, and family are all potential clients. Everyone needs clothing and accessories. It’s a fact that once I work with people in a fitting room, once I help them step out of their comfort zone, and once they see their image change for the better, we become friends. It is my job to have friends in all places.

Garth Brooks can keep the ones in low places- I get everyone else!

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Killer Queen at the Grand Opening of the Louis Vuitton Store

Sometimes the lyrics to pop music play in my head at the most appropriate and inappropriate times. It's like a soundtrack of moments in time, tunes and lyrics piped into my brain, in stereo surround sound.

I recall a time in the late 1980’s when I decided that if I ever had a big formal wedding ceremony, Elton John’s “The Bitch is Back” would play as I sashayed down the aisle. Festive and spot on! These are the kind of thoughts I have. Go figure.

Anyway.....I digress, as Jeff and I arrived at the private grand opening party for the new Louis Vuitton boutique at Easton last night, I had one of my musical moments. Killer Queen. It was almost surreal even for me, so just follow along as best you can. Killer Queen in stereo surround sound.

Ever since I was barely a teen my father and close friends have lovingly(?) referred to me as the queen. This is actually a double reference to both my holier than thou, ritzy attitude as well as my dubious title of Matzo Ball Queen 1983.
Let's just say I got a tiara and leave it at that. I am the Queen, fair enough. Fair Enough!

It is no secret either- some even call me "Queenis"- you know who you are. Last night, at the velvet rope entrance to the fancy Louis Vuitton soiree, I was tempted to jokingly say, "I present, Her Royal Highness the Queen Helene and her skinny ass husband, Jeff Slutsky!" as the party planner scanned her guest list for admittance. It was that kind of an event, with that kind of guest list. I refrained. I wanted to announce my arrival with regal authority, but did not. Would it have been wrong to say, party of two, Jeff Slutsky and the Killer Queen?

Once inside Louis Vuitton, the festivities were quite grand. I quickly took a gander around the room. Architecturally, it was stunning.

This was a retail store, not the lobby of a swanky hotel, yet I was mesmerized at all the glorious details. Oh yes, there were purses and accessories everywhere. Handbags, sunglasses and belts- OH MY! It was a boutique, cleverly disguised as a party.

Since Moet & Chandon owns Louis Vuitton, the champagne was flowing freely in shimmering crystal flutes. Cue the music...

“She keeps her Moet et Chandon
In her pretty cabinet
'Let them eat cake' she says
Just like Marie Antoinette”

As with any shopping adventure, I played a little game with myself. If money were no object, what would I buy? Tempting as this may sound, I played for almost 30 minutes before deciding on this runway edition
of the famous Speedy handbag. It is still in the store if anyone needs ideas, you know who you are.

The evening had a signature cocktail called the “sweet speedy” which was crafted of citrus vodka, peach liquor, lemon twists and a splash of the ever present, Moet & Chandon champagne. I savored every drop of the first one, and proceeded to suck down another one. There were teeny tiny appetizers of all kinds, some with caviar garnish.

“Caviar and cigarettes
Well versed in etiquette
Extraordinarily nice
She's a Killer Queen”

As I snapped images on my i-phone,

I was taken aback by my svelte husband standing next to the vintage Louis Vuitton steamer trunk. Jeff looked fabulous and I joked that the luggage was made the year he was born. I posed for the mandatory party pics, and Jeff and I stepped onto the red carpet for the house photographer.
These cardboard frames and digital images were the take home party favors and I admit, I barely recall donning a Louis Vuitton silk scarf, dark shades and the Bordeaux Alma bag for the photographer.

As my alcohol intake increased, my inhibitions decreased. By George, I believe this queen was just a little drunk. Suddenly, the music in my head was playing louder and louder.

“Perfume came naturally from Paris (naturally)
For cars she couldn't care less
Fastidious and precise
She's a Killer Queen”

Jeff had to take me to get something real to eat before I embarrassed myself or worse, embarrassed him. The darling miniature hors d'oeuvres from the silver trays were not gonna cut it, unless I ate 422 of them. Once we were in the car on the way home, I got all frisky as the sweet speedy cocktail was still making me feel quite sweet and a little sassy. My husband helped me up the stairs and into our room where I don’t recall the rest of the torrid and intimate details.

“Drop of a hat she's as willing as
Playful as a pussy cat
Then momentarily out of action
Temporarily out of gas
To absolutely drive you wild, wild..
She's all out to get you
She's a Killer Queen”

And just like that, the music quit playing and I passed out cold, still wearing my mascara and tiara.

Killer Queen, Killer Evening at Louis Vuitton.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Love Letters to Treasure

It is not often that I receive unsolicited love letters. While my husband is a published author, he is not exactly the kind to write me poetry, mushy love messages and express his deepest feeling to me on paper. Unless of course, I request it and give him hints and suggestions on what to say.

In the past, we were not able to afford lavish gifts at important gift giving milestone celebrations. As a way of honoring our relationship with something meaningful, I deemed that in instead of buying presents we write each other a love letter and exchange them on the holiday. This was a brilliant way for me to get Jeff to pen something other than his usual character drawings, and signed Hallmark cards from his desk drawer. (Yes, he has an inventory of cards perfect for giving to "the wife"- Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Anniversary, Birthday, you name it- he has a variety to select from. I know this for a fact because when the Hallmark store in Gahanna went out of business, I bought him a 5 year supply for future use. I am that kind of wife.)

Imagine my surprise when I found a hand written love letter sitting on the keyboard of my computer. This was written by Eli right after our special sushi date a few weekends ago, and I am just now able to form clear sentences without tearing up. It was signed "by Eli Slutsky" in his current version of a script signature.

Since most of you can't read without glasses, and his spelling is that of a six year old, allow me to translate:

"I had a great time. It was fun. Please take me again. I love you. You are the best and you break my heart. I just can't believe you love me so much and I am lucky that I have a mom like you and she is the best and I love you."

Can you believe this? I am serious when I say, it blew me away. This is why I spend time with them individually- without siblings. Obviously I will treasure this forever. It does not get more authentic than this. Suck it Hallmark.

I challenged Jeff to top this for our upcoming anniversary. He might be a best selling author but when it comes to love letters, he could take a lesson from Eli.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Career tips from Coco Chanel

How do I know I am working in the right place? This is a question everyone asks themselves when they are either ecstatic in their employment or miserable.

Today, I saw that the career center at Saks Fifth Avenue posted this photo
and applicable quote. I have never really questioned my place here, but now, I know it was meant to be.

When the human resources department publicly quotes Coco Chanel, it is like an ^AHA^ moment. Pinch me- I must be dreaming.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Gluten Free, Kosher, Vegan Minestrone Soup

This is the easiest recipe for an Italian soup that is loaded with vegetables and hearty goodness. Minestrone is a recipe that can be adapted to be kosher, gluten free, vegan and still filling. If you are kosher, use kosher broth. If you are vegan use vegetable stock. If you are gluten free just use gluten free broth and pasta. Simple math. Add and subtract accordingly.

I make this in the crock pot so that it cooks all day while I am at work, then I can add the cooked gluten free pasta to the hot soup right before serving. Since gluten free pastas can overcook and become mushy, I prefer to add it last minute.


2 stalks celery, chopped
1 red onion chopped
2 roma tomatoes chopped
1 medium zucchini squash cut into bite sized pieces
3 cloves minced fresh garlic
4 cups frozen mixed veggies (carrot, corn, green beans, peas)
16 ounces tomato herb soup
32 ounces chicken broth
1 large can kidney beans drained and rinsed
2 T Northern Italian herbs- (basil, oregano, thyme)
gluten free small shaped pasta
Salt and Pepper to taste

Add everything into the crock pot
and cook on low all day. Just before serving, cook the pasta to al dente and drain, rinse in cold water and spoon into the soup terrine or directly into the serving bowls. Stir the hot soup to incorporate the cooked pasta. Serve with Parmesan cheese and a hot crusty bread or breadsticks.

Blog Archive

The older crowd

The older crowd
Amanda and Mitchell

A blast from the past...makes it all so real now