How Not to Feel Unhip in LA.

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Los Angeles. November 2015.

I spent the week in Los Angeles for Thanksgiving. I love LA, it’s fashion eye candy, people  make an effort and usually are pretty darn attractive.  I grew up in an environment similar to LA, Miami. Miami is ridiculously sexy – sexy overrules style, and nothing is off limits. In LA, fashion is competitive – walk out the door and you’ll learn quickly what’s “in”.

When I was packing for my trip to LA, I thought about this. What should I bring? I even perused my favorite fashion blogs like The Sartorialist, www.thesartorialist.com, I mean no one wants to feel “unhip”in a vast sea of majorly hip, It only serves as a reminder of those awkward teenage years. And then I found this hysterical video of the brilliant Amy Schumer articulating my feelings, “I don’t fit in here.. Straight up body type”, she joked to Ellen about LA, …https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgX2HY2iyVQ

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I ended up feeling great in LA, because obviously I have naturally cool style! Here’s an LA mama looking so fine. What a flattering dress. The fit is perfect – showing curves, but allowing comfort.

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This mom is using a Prada nylon skull bag as her diaper bag. Prada makes the best nylon bags, that can get dirty and be cleaned quickly with a baby wipe.

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Sexy hair..I love when hair looks natural and “undone”

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One of my favorite looks. I still get weird stares when I rock black ankle socks with heels or flats. But it’s so cool looking, and adds comfort. Parisians started this trend, probably with the desire to wear heels on those cobble stone streets.

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Over the Knee Boots are PREPPY.

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Son-Hee. Mill Valley, California. November 2015.

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She’s rocking over the knee flat boots at Sunday soccer.

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Rebecca Minkoff Collection handbag

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Son-Hee almost looks like she’s dressed to ride horses at a Polo match. I love the idea of wearing a button down short sleeve shirt underneath a cap sleeve knit. Especially, if you are like me and can’t stand the way you look in a cap sleeve.

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Try Me? Vulva Balm.

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It said try me, and the next thing I know I’m being escorted out of the store

So I’m not a GYN, but I do have a Vulva and used to have a Volvo.  I’m pretty confident that access to ones Vulva is not easy, and couldn’t be causally accessed in a grocery store.

Strolling through the beauty/vitamin/health section at Good Earth in Fairfax, California – an amazing grocery store, filled with integrity in all their products, I start slathering on all the sample creams. I’m obsessed with my skin feeling dewy and greasy, ask anyone how many leather couches I’ve ruined. My own therapist had to charge me a security deposit, which i’ll never get back, for the damage I would obviously do to his fancy Design Within Reach sofa.

First, I opened the vulva cream to smell it, obviously not knowing it was vulva cream – then I read the label!! “try me” “vulva cream” – nothing surprises me in the land of milk and honey – I quickly closed the top and made sure no one spotted me sniffing cream meant for ones vulva. And so I had to share & make a joke: here were some of the comments:

Andrea: But isn’t your vulva already da bomb? #sorrynotsorry

Bunmi:  oy-e vay!

Lori: Lmao! Are you sure it wasn’t the camel toe that offended them?

Erika: You absolutely won the Internet today. Like 1,000 times you did.

Erika: And as a side note, what the hell is vulva balm?

Mara Menachem: Exactly Erika – and why would a grocery store have a “try me” sticker on vulva balm , so by “winning” this so called “internet”, do I get some sort of academy award

Erika: A lifetime supply of vulva balm, ensuring you’ll never have chapped “lips” again.

Mitch: People are so touchy about their vulvas

Andrew: Oxford Dictionary: Definition of try me:
Used to suggest that one may be willing to do something unexpected or unlikely:

Andrew: A store filled with groups of women applying vulva cream is “something unexpected and unlikely.” By any chance, was Ashton Kutcher nearby?

Mara Menachem: Ha!!! Why Ashton?

Mara Menachem: It’s a grocery store with a holistic section –

Andrew: Uh Punk’d. How long exactly has it been since you’ve owned a television? I know it’s frowned upon in Marin.

Andrew: Holistic or whole finger? Too soon?

He’s so Cool. Rock-n-Roll Daddy.

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Toby. San Rafael. 2015.

Doesn’t Toby look like a rock star?  He is, he’s a 5th grade teacher with a tremendous passion for music.

We met Toby at The Sweetwater Music Hall, owned by Bob Weir of The Grateful Dead. It was before moving to Marin, and I couldn’t believe my luck to find such an amazing music venue – Miami had hardly any. It was comforting to meet Toby, and realize he had hung at my childhood house with one of my brothers – probably listening to punk and jamming on my brother’s Ludwig (I can’t use the word “jamming” without sounding like a total dork).

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Originally from Miami, Toby carries that Miami swagger in combination with a Rock-n-Roll look, very present in Northern California.

Toby, his wife Kathleen and his crew continue to be active in the Bay Area music scene – and having kids hasn’t slowed them down – their daughter is exposed to huge amounts of music and has been a part of the music community since inception. Wouldn’t you love to have this guy as your teacher?

Toby proves you can be a dad and a rock star -it’s amazing to see a passion like music shared with the next generation. It’s kind of like me sharing my love of donuts with my boys – it’s such a passion of mine, and I feel like I’m giving them so much – sprinkles, sugar, fat, stomach aches…. 

Meringues, the Supermodels of Cookies.

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Janet. Mill Valley, California. Fall 2015.

Janet is a fashion veteran turned baker. She and her business partner Jane, founded The Grand Meringue, http://www.thegrandmeringue.com. It’s no surprise fashionable Janet is in the Meringue business, after all they are the “supermodels” of cookies. The Grand Meringue started based on an old family recipe that was conceived at Janet’s great grandmother’s hotel in South Africa.

The meringues are not only delicious, but also act as accessories.  They are the kind of thing you would see at a New York Fashion Week event  – this high styling desert may be used in place of flowers at any party. The meringues are so cool looking, it’s no wonder Jane and Janet’s creations are so coveted.  And for all you skinny people, Meringues are carb free – well, except the sugar.

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Fashion Notes: Dress: Free People, Wedges: Pedro Garcia, Cuff: Dannijo

Janet is a mother of three, business owner and a self described lifestyle and design addict.  She knows how to wear clothing – this long dress, has become less bohemian and more sophisticated with Janet’s touch.

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I love the light accessories and this Dannijo cuff.  I seem to overload, this is pretty and tasteful.

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I never buy sheer dresses because I know I’ll never make the effort to find a slip, or I’ll just expose myself and hope no one notices!  This Free People dress has a sheer layer to protect from any possible “skin” sightings.

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A slight Pedro Garcia wedge to navigate Mill Valley’s hills. Blue polish is always a little funky.

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Aren’t they gorgeous?

 

Haute Drop-Off Israel

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Jerusalem. June 2015.

It was a fun summer. And Israel was on the places visited. I’ve spent time in Israel, but not as much time in Jerusalem, “the old city” – here I tried to capture Israeli Drop-Off style…

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Bread stand. A dad and his two sons run the family business.

Haute “hot” bread. After eating hummus, I pretty much ate a loaf myself. The food in Israel is mediterranean, so vegetables, hummus, olive oil  – ice is still not so common.  I have to say it was touch finding food for my youngest, he lived on nutella, bread and fruit.

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Sun coverage at the Western Wall (one of the holiest spots in Jerusalem) Women have to be covered and they even have hospital fabric skirts and tops, in case you show up in booty shorts.

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Is that a San Francisco dad? Certainly looks like one.. but this is Jerusalem. Yes, Jews do get tattoos.

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Rushing to the Western Wall before the sunset

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Over the knee skirts, kind of chic…

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Young boys hang out at their dad’s barber shop in the Arab market, Jerusalem. PEACE sign, universal baby.

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Shift Dress at the Wall

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Wedge clogs and head wrap

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Chanel head scarf at the Wall

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Showing respect at the Western Wall, families get dressed nicely for Shabbat

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Father and son in the market

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Long skirts..

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This photograph was taken in my favorite town in Israel, Tsfat. Tsfat is home to Kabbalah, Jewish Mysticism made popular by Madonna. This city has a spiritual/bohemian feeling about it – it kind of reminds me of Marin County, but the Israeli version. Tsfat is where people pass out red strings. The red string is worn on the left wrist, and its purpose is to ward off misfortune brought on by the “evil eye”.  As an American-Jew, this is part of our upbringing – -my grandmother would bite her tongue if someone said something to provoke the evil eye – I still do this.

Fedora Baby. Soccer Drop-Off.

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Fairfax, California. Soccer Season. November 2015.

I’m on the soccer field a lot, this is true. I’ve learned to wear flat shoes, I’ve learned to bring sun protection and water – but the people around me, who taught me all of the above, have not learned how to have a little fun with clothing (well except one mom, who wore a bikini on the field) – this dad, although not dressed like a style icon, had some fun – and I give him mad credit.

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I loved seeing this dad on the sidelines of the soccer field. Maybe it’s because he brought a little personality to the somewhat blandness overtaking Marin County – don’t be all offended, but I think all of us, including me have no time to make an effort  -especially when we’re running from game to game.

This is what I wore to soccer this week, I’ve been very paranoid of the sun and its aging properties. Lets just say, I had sun gloves with me. Note my slight fashion effort – which is minimal, due to lack of time and lack of appreciation by the fans and soccer players.

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Obviously, this dad also is protecting his skin from the sun. I forgot to put on pants though – oops.

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Haute Halloween. Decades in Costumes.

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Araceli. Fairfax, California. Halloween 2015.

I wish it was Halloween every day, or Burning Man mentality every day. Some days I want to drape myself in gold chains, and look like a 1980’s rapper. Let’s be honest, every day I want to drape myself in gold chains, and dress like a 1980’s rapper.  Why don’t I?

Maybe it’s because of the confusion that dressing a certain way is to get attention, when for me it’s all about being creative. Putting together clothing and accessories, is a way for me to be artistic daily – so the next time you see me with my gold pointy nails and other ridiculously large gold accessories – just know this is another day of me executing my creativity.

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I love how as adults we like to dress up for Halloween, but in clothing worn during a specific era. Araceli is dressed in her favorite Flashdance 1980’s look. Leg warmers and off the shoulder grey sweatshirt. A lot of us love that film, Jennifer Lopez made a video replicating the famous audition scene (and I can write a thesis paper on the influence of a welding/stripper/professional dancer on me).

When Araceli leaves the welding plant, she teaches yoga at Marin Power Yoga, an amazing studio with Spinning and TRX. Unfortunately for me, I kicked Jamie, the owner in the face after an overenthusiastic “Airplane” pose. Jamie is currently undergoing nose re-construction surgery.  I keep telling him in Yoga, it’s all about positive thinking, as he has taught me – and basically he should be thanking me, for his new nose.

Obviously, I’m trying to be funny here, but if you want a booty that looks good in a high waisted 1980’s leotard like my gorgeous subject above, and you live in this part of the world, contact Marin Power Yoga immediatelyhttp://marinpoweryoga.com

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Barb. San Rafael, California. Halloween 2015.

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Barb spends a lot of time designing sets and creating amazing holiday visuals. She is the lead designer behind The Christmas House, a local favorite in Marin, at The West End Nursery, http://www.westendnursery.com.

Barb has a lot of costumes from her styling days, and what is annoying for me – is I can’t fit into any of them – it seems they are only made for “leggy models”. But I can appreciate from afar, and here is an amazing Gold Lame jumpsuit paired with a serious cwig. Her look seems like the early 80’s, when disco was reaching its end.

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It’s so fun playing dress up. When people are in costume, something magical happens. We let go of the person we think we are – we experiment and step outside of our comfort zone.

Meanwhile, if I had the genetics of Barb,  I’d be pulling off gold lame jumpsuits every day. We all know how jumpsuits look on the short and curvy…