Friday, December 24, 2010

Decisions --- The Giving Tree

The Giving Tree
by Shel Silverstein

"Once there was a tree....and she loved a little boy."  So begins a story of unforgettable perception, beautifully written and illustrated by the gifted and versatile Shel Silverstein.

This is a tender story, touched with sadness, aglow with consolation.  This book is for all ages offers readers an interpretation of the gift of giving and a serene acceptance of another's capacity to love in return.

I have bought this book many times as a gift and also for my own children....the message in this book is incredible and touching. 
Happy Holidays --

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

F A M I L Y = the early days

Grandma's Front Yard - Los Angeles, Ca 1963
this is one of my most favorite picture taken of myself with my brother and cousins and Grandma Gertie.  I am standing in the front row between my two cousins, Howard and Paul Zager.
Behind me is my Grandma and older brother Gary Zager and now famous cousin Lynnanne Zager

This photo is taken in Grandma 's backyard - 1981
For different reasons this is one of my favorite photographs of myself with my cousin Howard Zager, my brother and cousin Lynnanne. I am on the left side wearing a cowlneck blue sweater dress and I think it's Thanksgiving Day 1981.

Everyday answers to everyday questions....

Men - you may think you're doing your  sweaters a favor when you leave them on hangers, in dry cleaning bags, until you wear them next.  This is not the case.  Its important to remove them from the hanger and the bag as soon as you get them home.  Sweaters need to be exposed to the air, and folded, not hung. so they don't lose their shape.

Style tip:
Don't be afraid to let your favorite sweater add interest to an outfit in an unexpected way.  You can always layer a fine-gauge hoodie under a blazer or wear a cashmere pullover as a stylish alternative to a sweatshirt.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Handbags, purses, retro, beaded an Accessory with a delicate balance than can make or break an Oufit !!

A bag that's chic is a bag that you can wear everywhere, day or night,  office or date night.

I first fell in love with handbags at age 16....I had always admired my Mother's bags.  Her purses sometimes reminded me of Doris Day or Mary Tyler Moore.
when I was able to afford my own purses, my standard favorite was Dooney & Bourke, or back then the everyday purse was called the Duck purse, since it repelled water.
when my children were little - I carried a Dooney & Bourke saddle stitched, riveted and all leather bag.  It was sturdy and appealed to Soccer Moms that drove Volvo wagons -- which was myself in the 1980's.
Gucci bags were the rage in the mid 1970's with the traditional stripe down the middle of forest green and red.  I was a graduating senior in 1975 and my parents bought me a Gucci purse bucket bag with a metal clasp in the middle, and I still have it to this day.
Later on in the mid 1990's we all grew up and wanted our own Louis Vuitton with the famous logo.
We love our Fendi bags also -- 

Class Acts: ...Elegant Icons
Purses equal power, remember former parliamentary power Margaret Thatcher she never went anywhere without her chunky purse. which she called her trusty companion, more that just political power - a great purse can define a lady.  Grace Kelly is the most famous and fabulous example of this.  Grace  carried a Hermes bag in 1956 to shield her pregnant belly from photographers.
today regardless if you wear a novelty handbag or carry an American classic - we all are obsessed with grand handbags.  It gives us the illusion that a commoner can become a princess with the right BAG!!
Here's hoping you get your favorite bag this Holiday season from your special sweetheart.

Here is a picture of a Birthday CAKE, made to look like a Louis Vuitton,  even the zipper and the handles on the cake look like the real deal.
Updated version of the Dooney & Burke circa: 2010, brought to you my the Mouse. Colorful and practical with Mickey Mouse whimsical and fun.

My every day go to bag -- COACH.....looks classic and holds much of what I need.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

How do I love thee?

Start a Tradition

In between tucking into the turkey and tossing the pigskin, create a new tradition.
Give your house Guests and family strips of colorful paper, have each person write a few words or lines of thanks and sign his or her name, and drop the strips into a clear bowl.  Use the bowl as a centerpiece; then , after the feast, pass it around and ask each person to read one note out loud.  You may discover that your teenage son is grateful for you after all.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Merci Beaucoup ...or a memorable outfit for Thanksgiving day

Thank you Elena 
Houndstooth Skirt - Black and white 
with riding boots, paired with a black cashmere sweater

Thank you Patti 
Seen here is lovely Patti wearing a wool animal print cloche hat

Thank you Linda 
Beautiful Linda wearing a black and white bamboo cardigan.

How does life get any better than wearing a Cashmere sweater?  Perhaps wearing riding boots with a Houndstooth skirt, or sporting a classy fedora hat?  Ladies its cold outside, thanks for bundling up !!  Thanks for being beautiful women making an outstanding fashion statement! The better we look, the better we feel. Black and white always one of our favorites to take us through the autumn and fall.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Motherhood and other things.....such as the "Main Street Electrical Parade"

It was 1983, and I was 25 years old and I was happily married to a hometown guy.  I was working as an hourly Tour Guide at Disneyland, in Anaheim.  At the time I had not realized the impact of giving birth to my first son would be.  I attended classes for natural childbirth Lamaze and also attended classes at the nearby hospital on breastfeeding.  But nothing prepares for the moment when the nurse places that small tiny infant into your arms.  Also to my that they let you leave the Hospital with the newborn baby, thinking that you know what you are doing.  How amazed I was that the motherly instinct comes into play and somehow you figure it out.  I used the call my first son, the experimental baby because everything you are doing is for the first time and you are learning at a very fast rate.

We brought our new baby home to our small Condo in Anaheim and we lived next door to a music composer, Don Dorsey who originally composed the music to Disney's "Main Street Electrical Parade", called the Baroque Hoedown.  Each night my small son would falls asleep listening to sounds coming from the wall next door (we shared a common wall) it was Don Dorsey's electronic arrangements lulling my baby asleep each night in 1983.  Little did I know that  later on over 100 million Guests from all of the Disney parks would enjoy his music over the next 25 years.  I consider us lucky to have rented that Condo next door to Don Dorsey.  Most recently I ran into Don (freelancing) at work and I stopped by his lunch table to re-introduce myself and say thank you for his fantastic music and helping my son Cameron fall asleep each night.  Cameron is now 27 years old and is living and working in Santa Monica. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Older dogs, senior dogs, slower dogs

Miss Touchdown Leilani
nine years old
What's her secret for longevity? By her looks - she appears younger than most dogs her age.
Touchdown loves the camera and poses all the time !!

She loves bedtime belly rubs
Family hugs
Her brothers
Her favorite toy "Winnie the Pooh"
sleep soundly, and snore loudly
never miss a chance for another nap
protect the house
protect the yard
Car rides are always the best !!
To sum it up, how come we love our dogs so much?
Sometimes I would rather spend time with my dog than anyone else...
she always understands me with unconditional love

Saturday, October 30, 2010

holiday inviting..... Let's throw a party...a guide to invitation etiquette

Holiday Open House

  • You have decided to throw a party  -- but WHO to invite?
  • Asking someone to an event may seem less important, but how you extend the invitation gives Guests the first clues about what to expect from the party
  • An Evite, (email) suggests a casual affair as opposed to an engraved invitation sent by U.S. mail.
  • How do you set the scene for the kind of event you want - but you don't want to offend anyone.
  • Here's the information, scoop for your next Holiday Party.
  1. WHOM should you invite? Basically invite anyone you feel will have fun at the party and may have something to add.  Always include people from different groups of your life.  Such as neighbors, work friends, your son's Coach, church friends.
  2. When should you write "Regrets only" instead of RSVP on an invitation? RSVP is french for an acronym for Repondez s'il vous plait, (Which is ...please respond if you please).  While "regrets only" certainly makes it easier on your Guests, using it can wreck havoc on your planning. Theoretically no responses mean that everyone is coming.
  3. What about people who don't reply and then show up?  Its your job to make everyone feel comfortable in your  home, so just grin and bear it and greet the Guest graciously in your home.  And remember the 67% percent rule for any party large or small. 67% percent will show up no matter what and no matter how many replied.  So if you having a seated event, have a backup plan - extra tables and chairs - just in case.  Getting upset will kill the party so just know this ahead of time and smile and keep your happy face on.
  4. So - if you are the Guest, how to get invited back? Always bring a small hostess gift that's low maintenance such as cocktail napkins or bar of fancy soap.  Also take the pressure off the Hostess by self-mingling with new comers to the party.  You could also pinch in to help clean up the kitchen  or refilling the ice bucket or taking some dirty plates into the kitchen.  I have a good friend (Teresa S) who always jumps in and starts the dishes. She is a lifesaver to me.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Let's get dressed !

Attention to detail --

Each morning we have a choice when we go to our closets to get dressed.  We tell a story when we choose the fabric, the style and the coordination of how we fit our clothes for our lives.  Inappropriate workplace attire would be any fabric that is faded or soiled and in need of repair. Clean, pressed clothing with polished shoes speaks volumes of who we are as a person.  Selecting quality fabrics is half the battle, and dress for the body that you have today and not the body you hope to have one day.  Choose undergarments that are nude colored or color coordinated with your outfit for the day.  Have a full length mirror available to check from head to toe and front to back your appearance for the day.  If you ever have a second thought or doubt in your mind on your appearance - don't wear that outfit.  Have you ever wondered why sometimes your day went so wrong and then you play back in your head the "tape" of choosing your outfit.  Less skin = better presentation

  • classic solid colored outfit of well made fabric is better than trendy clothes
  • tuck blouses into pantyhose to avoid seams or colors showing through pants or skirt
  • Strappy sandals are inappropriate for the work environment
  • get to know your Dry Cleaners - OR - learn to iron well
  • matched suits should be dry cleaned at the same time together to eliminate uneven fading
  • purchase the best quality of clothes you can afford in items that are classic

Monday, October 25, 2010

How to eat certain foods

How to eat certain foods -

  • Avocados: If an avocado is served in its shell, it is eaten with a spoon.  If it is served in slices, it is eaten with a knife and fork.
  • Caviar:  Caviar is meant to be spread on bread and then the bread is eaten with the fingers.
  • Crabs: Hard shell crabs are eaten with a knife and fork.
  • Doughnuts: These are eaten with your fingers but remember, no dunking allowed in public !  At home dunk to your heart's delight !
  • Grapes: Take a small bunch of grapes from the large bunch and put onto your plate.  Eat your grapes one at a time and discard any seeds or skin you do not wish to eat into your hand and place these on the side of your plate.
  • Eggs: Hard boiled eggs are cut with your knife and fork and then eaten with your fork.  If you are served a soft boiled egg in a cup, slice the top of egg with your knife and use your spoon to eat the rest of the egg from the shell.  The egg can also be put into a bowl and eaten with a spoon.
  • Lemon Wedges:  The wedge is squeezed onto your food with one hand and the other hand is used to shield the juice from hitting your neighbor.
  • Peas: These are a little difficult to deal with if you are eating American style.  The best way to eat them is to push them onto your fork with a little piece of your roll.  Never use your fingers !! If you are eating European style, you can spear the little devils with your fork.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

How to tie a Scarf

We want to make wearing scarves easy, with these step by step instructions.... Experiment with them and see just how effortless it is to personalize your style. If you'd like more information - call me.
How to tie a square knot - 1. Cross right over left bringing it under , up, and over the top.
2. Cross left over right and tie in the same manner.

Scarves, Scarves, fun adornment

The Scarf. a simple length of fabric, of no particular form. But when worn with confidence, the results are striking.
FABRIC makes the key distinction in how a scarf drapes. Because of its simplicity of shape, a scarf derives its beauty from fabulous textures, patterns, colors and fibers.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Making new friends in a very busy world....


In order to meet new friends and to be happy and to attract others knows that friends are an absolutely necessary ingredient in the recipe of life.
Here are some tips for attracting new Friends -

➔Walk down the street with a smile on your face and smile when you see people.

➔Don't complain to others at a party or a dinner -- be positive and be "UP".

➔Join a church group or temple - be social

➔Act fascinated by new people you meet, even if they look like they are boring.

➔Try to learn a new skill, maybe volunteer at your child's school.

➔Maybe volunteer for a non-profit group or project?

➔Go to sporting events, help plan your College Reunion, walk a pet for a shut in.

➔Basically - get out there and live life -- and meet new people. Its never too late.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Shoe Shopping -- for non-killer shoes

Shoes, shoes, shoes....

Here is your cheat sheet to Heels that don't hurt that much...

☛ Stuart Weitzman- style, style and shoes that will last all night, for your next big event

☛ Salvatore Ferragamo- full range of shoe widths -- and the latest Trends....(my favorite)

☛ Aeorsoles- cute shoes and very comfortable --

☛ Easy Spirit -- in the 80's this line had an ad.."looks like a pump, feels like a sneaker".

Fundraiser - CASA YOUTH SHELTER 32nd Commander's Ball

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Etiquette 101 - Every Country has its subtle taboos

Every Country has its subtle taboos and unspoken codes, but when you get down to it, it's what you say, not how you say it, that really gets you in the door. (or kicked out of the door). Any Japanese businessman will let it go if you fail to receive a business card with both hands, but bringing up uncomfortable subjects (gender relations) will lead to awkward silences and maybe even a fatal lack of trust. It's easy enough to follow such tips as "Use common sense on your home turf, but its sometimes the best intentioned questions that can land you in the most trouble abroad". In all likelihood, these and other questions will not get you banned from the family table or the conference table. But wandering into a minefield might lead to kind of awkwardness that festers beneath all the cross-cultural politeness.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Many people, especially young people today, see polite behavior as fake?

Many young people today see polite behavior as being fake?

●Today it is especially important to be considerate and respectful, honest and kind to all.
● If we are kind to all around us - than our actions will not be seen as fake.
● With today's economy, we cannot afford to not be authentic, positions are hard to come by.
● We all want to get ahead in our professional life and our personal life, good manners are always in style.
● Pay attention when you meet new people and remember that first impressions are very important.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The term "high tea" is often misused

The term "high tea" is often misused by those who like to gild afternoon tea to make it seem exclusive and refined.
Consequently, both consumers and dispensers of tea often mistakenly tack the word "high" onto what should be simply called tea or afternoon tea.

Although often confused with afternoon tea, high tea is not a dainty affair, neither is it synonymous with highbrow. The distinction is important if you wish to convey a certain degree of sophistication. High tea is NOT finger sandwiches, scones and sweets. That, of course is tea or afternoon tea.

High tea is a hearty, simple and sit down meal that originated during the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century. High tea was the main meal of the day for workers who returned home very hungry after a long, hard day in the fields.

Everything is placed on the table, family style, and dishes are passed from person to person. The menu offers hot or cold hearty and traditional foods such as meat pies, steak and kidney pies, sausage, cold meats, breads, cheese, desserts, fruits and tea.

Here are some helpful hints to remember when handshaking

Helpful tips to remember when handshaking

✺ Always be ready to initiate or receive a handshake

✺ Don't carry anything in your right hand. It should be free for handshaking.

✺ Hold your glass in your left hand to avoid a cold, wet handshake.

✺ Extend your hand with the thumb up and out so the other person can get in to connect.

✺ Use fragrance sparingly in the business arena, it can be offensive.

✺ Don't wear rings on the right hand in the business arena. It interferes and can be painful.

✺ Most of all, no one should refuse a handshake, if you must - say "I'd like to shake your hand."

Monday, June 14, 2010

American Mannerisms

Common Courtesy

Listed are common courtesies that are important and should be taught at home to our children:

❁ Introduce people to each other

❁ Cover your mouth when you sneeze or yawn

❁ Do not chew food with your mouth open

❁ Wipe your nose with a tissue or Kleenex, do not swallow your snot

❁ Respond with a proper "yes" or "no" rather than ignoring another person.

❁ Do not blow your nose at the table

❁ Do not comb your hair at the table, regardless if your home or in public view

❁ Do not apply lipstick or any other makeup at the table

❁ Do not cut your fingernails in public with any type of instrument

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Don'ts of Tea Etiquette - Business and Social

✿ Don't place items on the table. This protocol extends to keys, hats, gloves, eyeglasses, eyeglass cases, anything that is not part of the meal.

✿ Don't overload the fork when eating the foods served at tea.

✿ Don't chew with your mouth open.

✿ Don't smack your lips.

✿ Don't touch your face or head during teatime.

✿ Don't tip up the cup too much when drinking tea, but keep it at a slight angle.

✿ Don't extend a pinkie when holding a cup.

✿ Don't reach across the table or across another person to get something.

✿ Don't try to remove food from your teeth in the presence of others. If something gets caught in your teeth, excuse yourself and take care of the problem in the restroom.

✿Don't place your napkin on the table until you are ready to leave.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Leave your real legacy behind you.....

Leaving your real legacy behind you....what an idea.

Write your own memoirs, or get some thoughts down using a tape recorder. Put captions on the photos you have taken, never mind stuffing them in a box some where. With today's technologies it easier to record your past positions, your families celebrations and many wonderful memories to tell about "you".

I get so much entertainment and pleasure when looking at my past snapshots from the years in raising my children. Or the old photos from high school or college years. In other words, leave your mark behind for future generations to come.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Meeting Manners

As an attendee at a meeting, its your job to :

✿ Arrive on time, even a few minutes before.

✿ Introduce yourself to anyone new before the meeting starts.

✿Turn off your cell phone completely.

✿ Bring all the proper materials connected with the subject to the meeting.

✿ Do not interrupt - ever. Wait your turn.

✿ Raise your hand, informally, when you want to say something wait to catch the leader's eye, and wait for a signal to begin.

✿ Do not bring food to the meeting. It is rude to eat to in front of others when the meeting does not call for a meal.

✿Remember to congratulate a coworker who made a fine presentation to the room. A quick four word email will do it: " Nice job today Erich !

Saturday, May 29, 2010

the 3 F's: Feel, Felt, Found

Handling Conflict over the Telephone -

Be especially aware of your tone of voice. More than ever, it needs to be pleasant, concerned, patient, informed and caring. Lower voices are perceived to be more mature, confident and in control.

Listen very carefully so you understand exactly what happened. Often the details can tell you just how deeply the Guest has been offended, and they can give you ideas for what action you need to take next.

Empathize with their feelings, regardless of whether or not you agree. You can still relate to the fact that they are feeling hurt, offended, or wronged in some way.

Propose a plan of action. Offer some next steps that may keep the Guest from having the problem in the future, or will at least let the Guest know that the appropriate people will be notified so it doesn't happen again to anyone else. You could offer some kind of compensation, if it is warranted.

The 3 F's: Feel, Felt, Found-
I understand how you could feel that way. Others have felt that way too, and they found, after an explanation, that guideline made sense.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Proper business and social etiquette needs to be practiced in visual, verbal, and written communication. As business becomes more socially-oriented, companies are looking increasingly to those men and women who possess class and style, as well as technical skills.

Proper business etiquette begins with introductions. Effective introductions are staged in three parts:
1. Entrance (good posture)
2. Verbal introduction
3. Handshake (firm)

Who gets introduced to whom is determined by precedence (pecking order).
An easy rule to remember is to always say the more important individuals name first. example - "Mr. Guest , may I introduce Dave Omel, our director." The Guest (or client) is always the more important person. Finally, always rise for an introduction, to show respect.

About gender-based introductions: Men and women should be treated according to the aforementioned protocol. Special treatment according to "gender" is out. In business world there are no genders; we do business with professionals.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Restaurants - Picking a Good One

Peter Meehan, the New York Times "$25 and Under" Food Critic, shares his secrets for finding great authentic local fare.
1. Talk to a local - A local's opinion about which fish shack is best is almost always a sure bet. Try asking a shopkeeper or even your taxi driver.

2. Do your homework - Pick a location the way you might pick a racehorse at the track. Gather up all the information you can find using tip sheets. Tip sheets in the world of food are the guidebooks, magazines, blogs and other online communities where folks share their opinions of meals and restaurants.

3. Give way to the diner's serenity prayer. Accept that you will eat some disappointing food. Ask for courage to leave a restaurant midmeal if it's a lost cause and there's another place nearby and for the wisdom to drink deeply and eat fully on the fine occasions when you do find what you're looking for.

Friday, January 15, 2010

When you're are traveling and taking a plane

Manners for airline travel

- Dress comfortably but nicely. A well dressed American makes an instant favorable impression.

- Check your large pieces of baggage, instead of carrying it on board. If you do carry it with you, be careful not to hit passengers in aisle seats as you walk through the cabin.

- If you are traveling with a baby, change your infant's diapers in the privacy of a lavatory and not in the empty seat next to you !

- When the flight attendant comes by with the drinks cart, have your credit card ready or give him the exact change.

- Help keep the lavatory presentable. Everyone appreciates it when you wipe the sink before you exit the location.

- Leave your litter in a neat pile on your seat when you leave the plane, in consideration for the cleaning crew.
As you disembark, always thank the lined up Flight Attendants. They are rarely thanked and they usually try very hard to please the passengers.

- If the captain or co-captain is standing in the doorway to the cockpit, thank him for a " a good flight".

- Many passengers ignore the pilot and crew - so go out of your way to praise them for their hard work.