REI saved my Chanel Bag, & more Deep Thoughts….

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Napa County. California. October 2016. Soccer Tournament.

When we first moved to Marin County three years ago, my son joined a traveling soccer team. I showed up to practices in my “Miami Glam” look, and learned quickly that the weather at games and practices require practical dressing. Being practical has never been my “thing”, but the other soccer moms openly accepted me, and continually (three years later) take care of me, in all weather conditions. But besides that, we’ve developed  friendships and bonds while watching our kids play.

I don’t like to show off about kids, but these amazing parents are always telling me positive things about my kid’s soccer skills, I always say I can’t reciprocate, because I have no idea what to even say, it’s the other soccer moms who point out when Neal does some amazing move – and I later tell him things like “Neal, awesome hat trick” – to which, he says “yea mom, and describe what that is?”

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Here I am today, watching the game in the pouring rain.  Shannon, my friend who is organized and efficient – she’s married to a rock star photographer and spent her life being the practical one, in a world of artists. So Shannon runs back to her car, and provides all of us with some shelter from the rain.

Because she rules, Shannon grabs my Chanel bag, and holds it on her lap. It’s being protected by rain equipment from REI.  Because of this, I would like to I formally thank REI and its outdoor material engineers for creating products that protect designer handbags. I’m sure that’s what the material designers had in mind when creating REI’s outdoor equipment. No matter, they did a great job.

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Shannon and my Chanel Bag..

My point in all this writing – is that as the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah approaches, I’m reflecting more than my usual neurotic self. I feel so grateful, for the little things – like watching my kid play soccer, and feeling the pouring rain on my body. I’m amazed at how accepting humanity can be…in my hippie home of Marin County, my soccer mom friends find something shallow like protecting my Chanel bag in the rain, funny and don’t judge.

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We all enjoyed life this morning, we laughed, smiled and watched our kids kick a ball around. And I looked down at my phone after the game, with a text from my mama, “So grateful for having you”…. Happy and Healthy New Year!!

1990’s called, they want their knitted beanies back…

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Like I said previously, my Grandma Sylvia knitted me this skull cap in the 1990’s when they were all the Grunge rage. Every “it girl” from Kate Moss to Drew Barrymore were wearing these things & design houses were charging a hefty price. I wanted one, I was convinced my face with adequate cheeks, would somehow transform into a waif looking Kate Moss if I had access to a skull cap.

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So my amazing Grandmother asked me what colors I wanted, and began knitting me this hat. I’ve saved it all these years, and now they are back in style & I finally have made the admission that wearing this hat will never morph me into a Kate Moss – but it makes me smile, thinking about Sylvia, and how much we loved each other.

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I never knew how to wear the skill cap best – to the back, which felt like a Kippah, which my Jewish brothers wear at Temple or on top of the head like Muslims wear to Mosque. Obviously, this was about fashion not religion & I appreciated this skull cap so much more than if I bought a designer one myself – – this was truly made with love by one of the greatest loves in my life, my Grandma Sylvia.

NYC Mama in the Bay.

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Nancy. Mom. Writer. Lawyer. Singer. New Yorker. February 2015. Marin County.

If you know me at all, you will know I’m a jean jacket freak, I have so many, but usually wear the same one on repeat for a month and switch to the next denim jacket perfection. One of the reasons I moved out of Miami, was so I could wear my jackets every day – oh and because my hair looks so good in California (I’m kidding).

Nancy is wearing an insane fringe jean jacket from the store Calypso, http://www.calypsostbarth.com  – Calypso has stores in several locations, Nancy purchased this bad boy at The Marin Country Mart..an outdoor shopping/eating spot with some seriously good and expensive stores, like Intermix, www.intermix.com

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Nancy’s bag is a classic and funky Balenciaga “City” Bag. I always loved this Balenciaga pocketbook, http://www.balenciaga.com/, because it makes any look a little more urban cool.  When you are wearing work out clothing, this bag adds excitement to what can be boring.

Remember all this excitement, doesn’t come cheap.  Balenciaga handbags start at around $1,000. The best shoppers I know, aren’t rich – but they usually (unlike impulsive me) buy a few good pieces, and it’s worth the investment. I’ve never sold a bag before, but people have great success consigning designer handbags. And I’ve had great success buying used designer goods.

Nancy’s motorcycle boots are by Ash, www.ash.com – the same brand that designed my famous gold studded kicks.

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Nancy is a writer, attorney and singer. I just saw her perform on stage singing an incredible version of Corinne Bailey Rae’s Like a Star.  Nancy is a New Yorker through and through, and now makes Marin County her home, with her family, including two young kids. When my kid’s music teacher told me about Nancy’s website, I immediately started stalking…I needed her as a friend, and it worked.  Check out Nancy’s take on living in the Bay Area, she gives great tips, shares some pretty deep stuff, and the not so deep.  www.nycgirlbythebay.com

Haute Humans. Purple on the Pavement.

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Tempe. San Rafael, California. January 2015.

“I need to move back to the city, I don’t drive”, said Tempe.  After taking a photography class last week, I spotted this amazing woman dressed in head to toe purple.  Selfishly, I held up traffic, while ignoring the honking of cars I was blocking.  As usual, they couldn’t understand the photographic emergency taking place.  Eventually, when Tempe told me I could take a few shots, I illegal parked and did my best.

I have a personal connection to the color purple.  Now, I wouldn’t go near it, but as a kid, like Tempe, I wore it from top to bottom.  And would re-wear the same outfit every day, because it had to be purple…not much has changed.

Obviously, I’m a much better conversationalist then a photographer. With gold sneakers, purple tinted hair and a willingness to talk to me – – this woman had me hooked.  And what city does she love the most? NYC — Temple loves the colors, the people and energy.  Not knowing her situation, but having an idea..I am pretty sure she’s in transition and alone.  With tons of bags on her back and shoulders, Tempe is carrying around a lot of weight..but does so with style and class.

Clothing means a lot more than we think.  I appreciate the effort it takes to express yourself – especially when life is not easy.  Tempe turned and looked at me, as I walked away to avoid being ticketed, and said “I really do love purple and I really enjoyed our talk.”

 

Mara Menachem, The Bill Cunningham of Parent Fashion

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Well Guys, I’m pretty excited because this really authentic, cool and stylish Miami mama is giving me mad props (I know people don’t say that anymore, I’m bringing it back).  Annhy is like many of my “sisters” who are proud of me, and show me off – usually it involves some weird dorky dance move.  But Annhy who hardly knows me, has taken how embarrassingly describe Haute Drop-Off – usually in a low voice, to not get heels hurled in my direction, and vocalized it loudly.  And I love her for that. We should all, including me, stop being so afraid of exaggerating our skills….Gosh Darn it, I am the Bill Cunningham for Parent Style, and soon enough, The New York Times will add me to their fashion section and my mother will be able to properly show me off.

So Annhy started a great blog, I mostly love it because she’s so honest and funny, and she’s a looker – which always helps. So enjoy this piece about your very own Mara, and read about why I feel guilty at Guilt Free Mom Moments, http://fomib.com/2015/01/23/hooray-haute-drop-off/

Haute Art Basel. Cara Bloch’s Artsy Footage.

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Art Basel 2014. Images by THE Cara Bloch. Above photo not by Cara.

Miami in early December is the most fashion stimulating time to walk the Art Deco streets.  Besides being the world’s premier international art show for modern and contemporary art, Art Basel’s presence creates the most amazing parties in the universe – hosted by the most glamorous and artsy.  The Sagamore Hotel, Miami’s Art Hotel hosts an annual brunch during Art Basel, where art, fashion and food fuse together.

Cara Bloch, my friend and rock star photographer (I’m such a name dropper, I know – I’m just proud) documented Art Basel week, and the stylish brunch guests at The Sagamore.

Miami is such a fun city, and when the world comes for a visit during Art Basel..Miami residents make sure they have the time of their lives.  Enjoy the photos!!!

www.artbasel.com and www.carabloch.com

HuffPost Comedy. Bumper Stickers, Original Status Updates.

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“Before status updates on social media, bumper stickers on cars acted as a person’s semi-permanent status update. Growing up in a family who all drove Volvos, bumper stickers of the liberal variety would have been a perfect accoutrement to our vehicles. But adorning your Volvo with stickers was an unwritten “no no” in the Menachem household. Because of that, I admired the various messages people displayed..” Read the rest by clicking on the link below:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mara-menachem/bumper-stickers-the-origi_b_6313254.html

Over the Knee Boots..

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Mara. Fall 2014. Marin County.

Fashion Notes: Skirt/Bag: Zara, Boots: Miss Sixty, Top: Isabel Marant

Please visit the brilliant and amazing,  www.thesartorialist.com for more images of over the knee boots. They’ve included different photos, some that are quite street and sexy.  I worship boots, they are more comfortable and add an edge. But with this sexy style, I tread lightly – the line is fine, and it’s one I don’t like crossing.

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South Beach Drop-Off. Over the Knee Boots via Socks.

Mara’s Tips for Over the Knee Boots:  Wear boots over legging, jeans or with a skirt that’s like the one i’m wearing (maybe longer).  The key is to choose a skirt that loose, or a distressed jean skirt, which hits above the knee. I don’t recommend a tight skirt or dress.  Try a long blazer or cardigan on top, with a long strap bag -all will elongate your body.  A loose, short dress with a blazer or jean jacket also looks incredibly cool paired with over the knee boots.  The image below from The Sartorialist shows a great way to pair an over the knee boot during the day, she’s only showing a little leg, and the rest is 1970’s preppy.

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Music and Fashion. Motel Drop-Off gets Glamorous.

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Cara.  Photography Rock Star.  Aunt to lots o’ kids.  Miami, Florida.  October 2014.

Name Dropping: Cara’s images of rockstars and other popular musicians have appeared in many of the most important music and culture magazines of the day (think Kanye, Jack White, Timbaland, My Morning Jacket, David Grohl).  You can see Cara’s shots in Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Time Out and The Village Voice to name a few.  She has worked with the most prestigious names in the music industry;  MTV, Universal Music, Geffen, Sony, Roc Nation, and Rock the Vote.  Cara’s fine art photography is displayed in several galleries in the States. Check out her inspiring work (especially if your a fan of music and fashion) at www.carabloch.com 

Fashion Notes: Suit: Vintage 1960’s custom made Bill Blass suit, all clothing and accessories, including the suit from Hollen and Jen Show Room, www.hollenandjenshowroom.com, Hollen and Jen have an eye for vintage across all decades..for a lover of all things old, this place is pure fashion candy. Check out their Facebook page, and you will drool over the latest vintage finds.

Photo: This shot is a throw back to another time in Miami, the motel as the background with a tailored vintage 1960’s Bill Blass number is beyond brilliant.  I met Cara through my close friend Shandi, founder of Shandi Levy Jewelry.  Cara and Shandi are jet setters, who always hang out with NYC and Miami’s most stylish and they usually (well Cara) capture it all on film..you may even spot me lurking in the background.

Mara Likes it: As a huge fan of fashion and music, I especially am drawn to the creative works of Cara Bloch.  Cara is an incredibly gifted and imaginative photographer, and I personally worship everything she does.  Her work is cool, stylish and stare worthy.  And no matter how long you look, Cara’s photographs cause you to look one last time, just in case you missed a detail.

Haute: I get that Cara doesn’t meet Haute Drop-Off’s usual “criteria”, but I’m a rule breaker, and Cara is an amazing aunt (she is always using her friend’s kids in her shots), who is also a photography rock star…of course she had to be featured on Haute Drop-Off.