Set Design

IMG_4001Julian, our 14-year-old, is the Halloween man. He’s been into the holiday since he was very small, collecting decorations and storing them in the attic from year to year. He used to run a lemonade stand and would often save the profits to pour into October 31.What started as run-of-the-mill ghosts-out-of-sheets in trees has morphed into a design worthy of any magazine cover for creepy places.

This year he outdid himself. When informed that he actually had no “budget” this year (meaning no parental coffers would be emptied towards this addiction of his) he initially went into a deep pout, threatening to pitch every other decoration he’d amassed. We looked at him. He backed off.

And two days later, he broke out the jigsaw (yes, power tools were involved) and the hammer and got to work.

Someone came in with their eyes open big as moons. “You guys really do it up!”

“It’s Julian,” I said. “All him. My work? It’s inside.” I gestured to the dining room table filled with food. Veggies and dips, shrimp and sauce, chips, cheese, crackers . . . everything except dessert – after all, it WAS Halloween!

And I realized that set design, good set design, is about playing to your strengths. It’s creativity and finding the small details and putting them in the right place, but it’s also in trusting yourself enough to let it fly.

I’ll set design a party table any time. Julian will reel them in – I’ll feed them. We make a badass team.


Don’t go getting all kinds of ideas about this post. I’m not pontificating on major life decisions here, or getting political either. There’s enough of that in the news these days.

Nope, today is about picking out what to wear.

Ever had a day where you just feel blah? Like nothing is going particularly well, or where the clothes you loved three days ago just make you feel UGH and not your best? Stop! Don’t pull out the sweatpants and feel sorry for yourself all day!

Well, maybe. Sometimes that’s the best strategy, particularly when you’re feeling sick.

I had a day like that yesterday. I’m not a clothes horse. My closet is filled with items that I bought ten years ago. Yesterday I could not find anything I wanted to wear. The jeans felt yucky. The top I picked out first made my hips look huge. The sweater I picked after that just sagged. The final combination of a t-shirt and long sweater-jacket-thing (I have no idea what to call it) made me look like I’d spent the year under a rock, washed out and exhausted.

So I spent a fair amount of the day feeling washed out and exhausted.

Want to find your inner badass today? Wear something that makes you feel FABULOUS. You’ll walk taller. And people will notice.


PS. This is my outfit for the day. I love it.Image



September 17

I've been thinking about what headshot to use as my avatar on any/all social media accounts I have. I'm sort of surprised at the different ones I can choose from - ranging from silly (see above) to glamorous cookingImage

to exercising



to completely random



Not supposed to show anyone else, right? (never want to confuse someone by having them have to choose between 2 people in a picture). 

I'm amazed at how hard it was to choose one. Not that I have a ton of them, for sure, but each one showed something else about me. I want to show that I am fun. Trustworthy. Pleasant. Badass, too. Worth getting to know.

That's a tall order for one little picture. It's a tall order for my brain, to try to think about what I want to portray to the world who might only decide to read a post, or get to know me, from a picture.

Talk about a headshot.

Tasty Thursday strikes again!


September 12, 2013

Today's video is on Thai spring rolls - a recipe, how to make them, and some fun tips about them. Have you watched it yet? Tasty Thursday - Thai spring rolls!     

I've been making these videos for almost a year now. Almost 52 weeks of never missing a Thursday (not even Thanksgiving!) Someone, astounded that I spend a few hours every week putting these videos together and posting them, asked me why I make them. The answer is simple, though I can be more or less flip about it depending on the person asking and my own mood at the moment.

I like to help people. If I can help ONE person learn something, or smile, or try a new recipe or a new ingredient or a new tool or a new way of looking at things . . . it's worth it. 

Does this make me a badass? 'Cause I'm working on it.

Let me know what you think - ask questions - share ideas for this video series of mine - watch and enjoy and share and learn and laugh.

Happy Thursday!!!