Monday, May 9, 2016

15 Minutes of Fame

1.  My husband in Iraq assisting with reconstruction efforts in IRAQ and made Bill Khakis Free Press.
Bills Khakis Free Press Fall 2004

2. My husband is credited for getting the Chinese to release the US spy plane and is featured on the front page of the New York Times.

"Standoff Brings Calls to Boycott Chinese Goods "

3. There is even a cartoon in the NY Times about him.

Political Cartoon Illustrating His Meeting with the Chinese Ambassador

(I purchased the original cartoon from Denziger for my husbands 40th birthday)

Well, my husband has been:

1. Interviewed and quoted above the fold in the NY Times;

2. Had a political cartoon made about him and his actions while meeting with the Chinese Ambassador when our plane was being held hostage;

3. Has been featured in a national Bill Khaki's Newsletter (Bill Bradly was the quarter before) while in Iraq;

4. Testified in front of congress

5. Has run for political office

6. Received the Order of the Arrow award for Boy Scouts

7. and was one step away from being the Ambassador to the Dominican Republic in 2002.

I guess he has had more than his share of fame don't you think?

15 minutes of Fame

It this important to us?
Me, I run a successful business for 18 years, MSU Dance team in college, community leader and PTO president, chosen for Leadership Michigan when I was 22years old, etc. Not above the fold in the NY Times that's for sure, but I feel fairly accomplished, but have many years to go.

Is fame important for self-actualization?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Big Excitement in Sorority World--AXO Gets a Lilly Pattern!

Being a Kappa girl with know a Tri Delta daughter,  we just love the Lilly patterns.  Lilly P. took a poll to determine the next sorority deemed worthy of a pattern and those darling AXO gals came out in full-force to make sure they were the winners!  Big excitement for the AXO's.  

Again, sorority rush is in full force at the major Universities. The University of Alabama again publishes its 96 page Greek Chic book about sorority rush at Bama. The University of Texas book only is 44 pages. Sororities rush is big business down in Alabama.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Well, another prom...done!  Dress, date, hair, nails, shoes, make-up, boutonniere,  photographs and pre-party; what a busy day!  Most of the girls at my daughter's prep school are BCBG MAX AZRIA dress fans, so because BCBG MAX AZRIA has such few styles, the girls even have a facebook page to post their dresses so there are no repeats.    Also, BCBG dresses seem to be well made and you can get a variety of sizes.  The girls at my daughter's school tend to dress conservatively for prom--not a lot of glitter, diamonds or shiny material.  As a group, the girls and the boys looked really great!   Most of the boys wear black tie too-my daughter's date actually tied his own bow tie and wore his dad's Gucci loafers; he was very cute!   No white tuxes or strange ties here!  The prom is at the Henry Ford Museum in Greenfield Village.  Our school is one of two proms that are held there each year.  It is a very nice and special event.

Black prom dress... well I am not crazy about black for young girls since as a woman,  it seems like you have to wear black your entire life, but this is the dress, color and size that worked.  We returned the first dress 3 days before the prom and at the last minute, there were very few (no) options. The good news is that dress, shoes and jewelry were all on sale!   Sometimes if pays wait until the last minute. My daughter looked beautiful.

Shoes: My daughter wore a flat sandal (my other daughter cannot wear high enough heels). 

Make-up: Dior

Purse: BCBG Max Azria Lulu

Dress: BCBG Max Azria Alai Banded Knit Dress

Shoe: Vince Camuto Malinda Thong (black with gold bow)

Earrings & Bracelet:  Carolee Pave

Nail Polish & Lipstick: Red

Greenfield Village Henry Ford Museum


Pretty Little Liars Actress Wear Dress

  • Monday, April 1, 2013


    After attending many graduation parties in my day, one thing that I like is a nice photograph display.
    Everyone gets very emotional about their children's photographs as they grow up, hence huge display boards at graduation parties with 100's of photographs.  Maybe grandma and grandpa will take the time to look at all the photographs you displayed of your little darling, but most of the world really does not care about the picture of your child loosing their first tooth.  I actually had an email from a reader asking me what I did for my graduation party last year, so here is what I did:

    1.  SHADOW BOXES (for permanent display my daughter's room) displaying her tennis varsity letter with a few photographs, etc.; one of her senior project which was a dog collar line, and one of her Prudential Award she received.   I displayed these on the piano in our living room.

    2. PHOTOGRAPHS: Selected 14 of my favorite photographs of my daughter and blew them up to 14 x 17 and made them black white-about $1 each,  and framed with inexpensive frames from Michael's. I attached these frames to the walls with magic hooks. They decorated the dining room.

    3.  SLIDE SHOW--for our family graduation day lunch (which was a separate event), we put together a slide show of family members with my daughter and a few key photographs. Our family watch it during our family lunch and really enjoyed it. We put this on our huge computer during graduation party-but no one (besides family and close friends) really looked at it--KEY include your family members and close friends in the slides.

    Monday, February 18, 2013

    Sorority Pins-Who Has the Best?

    Well, I am starting to help again with our local Kappa Kappa Gamma chapter.  I decided I better find my pin--ok, it is on my wedding garter belt (why did I wear one of these?) along with my husband's Sigma Chi pin.  I left my wedding dress and garter at my mother's house 20 years ago and have not bothered to look at them since my wedding day.

    I must say, the Kappa's have a great pin; you can recognize it a mile away. You may have it embellished with diamonds, sapphires (2 colors now), pearls, plain or a combination.  My pin (well, that is if I can find it) is sapphires and pearls.  Pi Beta Phi & Delta Gamma are pretty nice and easily recognizable. 

    I like those that you can put jewels on-and so, there you have it! 

    What do you think?

    Great little website that shows old sorority NPC Sorority Badges

    Thursday, February 14, 2013


    I try never to really talk about politics with people because people tend to want to win a political debate with you verses exchange ideas and frankly where we live, people get rather nasty!  I just "disengage, dis-en-gage!"--from the movie, The Incredibles. 

    Here are some belated highlights from the Republican Convention.  We were in a suite overlooking the convention floor--the only way to do it, and frankly the only reason we legally crashed the convention.  Our DD #2 was 1 of 4 high school interns for the convention (another reason we went was to drive her to work).   One of her big jobs was finding a steamer and steaming the Olympian's coats.  I think they did not even end up wearing the jackets after all that. Don't get into a debate with her on politics, you would be sure to loose!

     My son-13 years old

    Gov. Chris Christie

     Fox News Megyn Kelly
    Because our booth was the fundraising booth, it has some really good wine available.  Also, all the politicians stop by to meet the donors, etc.  We could see the Fox News broadcast and had a great view.  And yes I know, Mitt Romeny lost--the party was still great though.


    Wednesday, February 13, 2013


    Yes, this is what was in my email that I finally checked yesterday.  I have 3556 emails (mostly junk) and this one happened to survive my arbitrary, mass deleting.  Even though this email is over a year old, it still feel good that my opinions are valuable to someone out there. NOTE THE DATE:

    I assure you that I have a lot of new juicy material and am currently being sequestered by my darling daughter who is far more kind than me.  Yes,  more to come later.....

    Feb. 6, 2012


    I am a producer at ABC News, Nightline. I just read your blog and post on peanut allergies. I was wondering if you had some time to chat with me. We want to do a story investigating peanut allergies and how they are handled. I think you have a really interesting perspective, and would love to talk to you further about this. Let me know what is  a good time and number to reach you on. Thanks so much!

    All the Best,

    Cassandra Arsenault
    ABC News Nightline
    Office: 212-456-4977

    Tuesday, December 11, 2012

    Christmas Gift for the Over-Achieving Boy Scout Mom and Why I am a Boy Scouts Fan

    Well, I had the pleasure of purchasing for my fashion conscious friends,  a "designer" (in the Boy Scout world), mother's ribbon necklace.  Typically when the boys go up in rank, mother's get a pin attached to a little 6 inch piece of red ribbon that they wear on their shirt.  The necklace and charm makes this special!

     Well, I ordered four of these for my picky girlfriends.  The woman I order this from was so accommodating and even thanked me for my order because it allowed for her to pick-up and pay the co-pay for her sick child's prescriptions.    Ok, I am devoted--and want to spread the word!

    Boy Scout moms out there, purchase one of these!  They are nice and only $7. Have your darling son give it to you for Christmas.

    Just to give your my unsolicited opinion again....Why I am a Boy Scout fan (in spite of the gay policy and uniforms)?

    According the "Creating Innovators", by Tony Wagner, after interviewing several parents of innovators including Kirk Phelp's parents (inventor of the iPhone), Tony identified the skills your child will need for the 21st Century:

    1. Collaboration;
    2. Multidisciplinary learning;
    3. Thoughtful risk-taking, trial and error;
    4. Creating; and
    5. Intrinsic motivation: play, passion and purpose.

    Very few academic settings actually help foster these skills.  If your child is spending all their free time playing video games and watching TV,  they are definitely not getting these skills ( my son would argue though).    Get those boys outdoors, have them create a project for their Eagle Scout award, learn something new,  give them leadership opportunities and accomplishments.  In the next few months, my son is going to get/received a badge in Auto Mechanics, Aviation and Cooking! I assure you that there is not lessons being taught at home in these areas!  He is in charge of running all the volunteer activities for the troop too. The exposure and education that the Boy Scout's provides is incredible!

    Saturday, December 1, 2012

    St. Joe Ball -Alice In Wonderland Theme

    Well, another year of a great committee decorating the bathrooms at the St. Joe Ball (or more formally called the Lounges).  This year, the theme was Alice in Wonderland and raised almost $800,000 for the NICU department at St. Joe Hospital in Ann Arbor.   We had many highlights in our decorations including a graffiti artist from Detroit (SINTEXT) creating the shrinking room, a silhouette artist, Isabel from  Cut Away- Art by Isabel Talsma on Etsy, making four commission silhouettes of Alice (check out her work, it is pretty amazing!), and a Queen of Hearts dress made out of duct tape by my friend Jane G.  It is funny how the bathroom committee is composed of Drs., politicians, politician's wives (yes we had 2 body guards present), moms, and business people all wanting to make the ugly stadium bathrooms at little nicer.  Here are the four bathrooms we decorated.

    Shrinking Room

    Alice's Dressing Room

    A Matter of Time (Men's Lounge)
    Queen of Heart Lounge
    (Duct Tape Dress by Jane G.)

    Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum

    Friday, August 24, 2012

    Wednesday, August 22, 2012


    Well, DD#2 (16 years old) is an intern for the National Republican Convention in Tampa.  We had just returned from Florida after dropping DD#1 at Stetson, in Deland, Florida and my hubby just took a plane 24 hours later back to Orlando (car is in the parking lot) and over the Tampa. Yes, we are nuts!

    The rest of us are flying out Sunday and we are hitting Harry Potter at Universal (VIP Tour) and Legoland.  I may go to a few of the parties at the convention and watch a few events from our friend's suite, but the hanging around the delegates is a little too crazy for me.  Wish I had time to order one of these phone cases from etsy.

    Wednesday, August 15, 2012

    British Invasion--Hunter Wellies

    Love these.  Darling daughter is going to get either the red or gold (not pictured due to technical difficulties).  Surely needed for that hurricane weather in Florida!

    Wednesday, August 8, 2012

    Jeep Wrangler 4 Door Hot Preppy Girl Car!

    Well, driving around the University of Michigan campus last fall, I started to notice a few more Jeep Wranglers(the 4 door version) being parked at the Kappa Kappa Gamma and Tri-Delt house. We all know that Lilly P choose the Wrangler as her car of choice to plaster her print all over, but now it is becoming the HOT CAR FOR PREPPY COLLEGE GIRLS.

    While at Trader Joe, I saw this girl who looked almost exactly like my daughter, long brown hair, wearing a Barbour coat, brown boots, Rayban Aviators and  carrying a Starbucks coffee driving this car, and we knew it was the vehicle for my daughter.

    No longer the calling card for certain types of women (edited), this car is becoming the new hot item for the twenty-something girls--replacing the Land Rover and BMWs that we would see parked in the sorority lots. I am mainly seeing  4 door version these day, but the 2 door is still cool!-.Jeep Wrangler Website

    PS:  A friend of mine husband is CEO of a major corporation has the exact Jeep we do!  She can afford any car she wants and choose the Jeep Wrangler 4 Door in black.  She is also very fashion conscious and stylish.  Ok, maybe the 50 something women are driving this too.   

    Sunday, July 22, 2012

    Sorority Rush-Southern Style-and Why I like It!

    See below for link

    Well, I am busy writing recommendations letters for Kappa Kappa Gamma for my DD's friends.  One of the letters went to the University of Alabama.   I checked out the rush website, and I must say,  Sorority Rush is big business for the Crimson Tide (my daughter was accepted here too--but loves that Stetson U!).  I am sure other schools are the same, but I have yet to see a 30 page guide with advertisements  and a promotion for dorm meal service during rush week.  Check out this book--rush participation at University of Alabama is $150.

    While I know that a lot of people are not fans of sorority rush and sororities, I do believe they give young women and men (fraternities) some valuable life lessons that I am sure the panhelletic council would not like me to promote.  Well, here they are:

    1.  You have to make a good first impression, be likable and be good at small-talk with someone you do not know or you will get cut.  You have about 1 minute to make an impression.

    2.  You need to conform at little to how sorority girls dress and look good!

    3.  People will judge you based on your first impression.  Sorry, they will do this your whole life!

    4.  If you know people in the sorority, it may positively or negatively influence your chances of getting in.  Good PR is important--this is an the ultimate example of marketing a person to teen girls.

    5.  The sorority house will vote on you, so you need to meet as many people as possible.  The more you can meet before rush, the better.   People like to vote for what is unfamiliar too--look I found a new shiny penny, so this can work in your favor too.  Knowing people too well in a sorority can be bad too--history is not always a good thing.


    1.  You need how to dress in this world--brown socks with sneakers, a wrinkled t-shirt, cargo hiking shorts on the treadmill looks horrible at the gym.  --I saw this yesterday.

    2.   People evaluate you before they even meet you by your appearance.  A first impression in a job interview is critical.

    3. Small talk is very valuable to learn in making friends and networking, etc.

    4.  Gosh, you need to know how to market yourself!   Politics are important and in the case of rush, you are trying to get a vote from a group of women for yourself.

    5.  Most importantly, being a sorority, you learn how to deal with women.

    One more thing about the Greek Chic--these college girls have put together the equivalent of an annual report for a company (minus the detail financial statements and SEC filings).  Pretty impressive for college girls. Also, rush which involved over 1500 girls is a big deal and big business.

    Monday, July 16, 2012

    Graduation Gift for Teen-Travel Wallet

    What do you get the high school or college students for graduation?  Well, I made my daughter a picture book on Shutterfly of her senior year and gave her a monogrammed travel wallet from Asprinal of London.  She actually really liked it and my second daughter said what color she wants when she graduates too.  I chose the black (with a red interior) because I thought it would be good for a lifetime of use.  Red interior added a little something extra!

    The British really love travel wallets which make currency management and travel paperwork very easy to manage.  We really spent a lot of time looking at travel wallets last summer when we were in London and Paris.  This was my favorite brand which is at Harrod's too. 


    Thursday, June 28, 2012

    Graduation Brunch for 200

    We used this same invitation for the brunch which was from 11-2pm

    Center pieces--lantern from Z-Galleries

    Custom cut-out sign greeted guest from Etsy

    Made to order crepes and omelets

    In addition to wine, mimosas, and bloody-marys, we had flavored waters and juices.

    Shadow box displays of some high school activities
    Instead of foam boards with tiny little pictures, I selected 15 of my favorite photos, converted them to black and white,
    and the framed them and put them around my dining room.

    Hand towels made for the event

    Custom cake included my daughter's love of tennis, the dog collar-line she developed (Rover's), and a crown representing her 7 years of Princess Camp she put on at our home and Princess & Pirate Day she developed for C.S. Mott Hospital.