Monthly Archives: February 2012

Our heroes

There are many definitions of heroes. There are superheroes, sports heroes, political heroes, childhood heroes. There are people whose actions and accomplishments promote them to a place that is honored among their peers and awed by those who look up to them. Then there are the heroes who are heroes simply for living to the next day because every day is a new fight.

I am lucky to know an entire family of such heroes. Some babies are born without much ado; maybe a long labor, maybe a loud, screaming delivery. Other babies come out with more difficulty, umbilical cords unfortunately wrapped, hidden weak internal organs, some babies don’t come out screaming. When things get difficult, heroes are born, whole families of heroes. Children who grow up with odds against them grow into young adults with big hearts, hearts large enough to take in the whole world around them. They see more than most of us can, and they feel more than most of us allow ourselves. Their parents are challenged to be patient, understanding and strong beyond belief. Their siblings are given a crash course in acceptance and loving one another for their differences and respect for the contributions we are all capable of.

Heroism knows no bounds. No matter how long the fight, how hard the struggle, how seemingly impossible, a hero will never throw up their hands and give in. There will always be another hill to climb, the hero charges it. And a family of heroes- unstoppable.

The hero I know, he just got himself the anatomical heart that might just match the love he has been giving us all for so many years. And his family of heroes, that amazing, inspiring group of people who would never give in; their legacy is their love within each other, an honor no one else could ever bestow.


A 5-inch Recommendation: The Parisian Flea

In honor of this holy Hallmark holiday, today’s 5-inch Recommendation is all about those pretty sparkly things some of us love to see nestled in a bit of tissue, cotton or velvet. Not just any sparkly things, but VINTAGE!

This time of year, you can go anywhere and find a mass-produced over-priced gimmick selling you happily ever after if you just shell out enough cash. Isn’t it refreshing to give your sweetheart something where the phrase “it’s the thought that counts” actually means something? At the Parisian Flea you can.

With prices for every budget and sparkles for every girl, you will find something unique for your love, be it budding, in full bloom or a garden lovingly tended over the years. Andrew, the owner of the Flea has been to jewelry shows, Estate sales, auctions- everywhere to find, restore and bring you the best of vintage jewelry. Every piece is special, has been lovingly restored and is surprisingly priced! You will find vintage costume and fine jewelry at the Flea. Even tiaras! And what princess is complete without a tiara? (You know this fashionista owns her own 1930’s tiara- yes, from the Flea!)

You can find a unique piece of vintage guaranteed to take the breath away at the Parisian Flea’s two local locations: Avenue Antiques in Hampden (901 West 36th St, Baltimore MD) or Antique Depot in Ellicott City (3720 Maryland Ave, Ellicott City MD), or online on Ebay and Etsy.

Like the Parisian Flea on Facebook,, to keep up with the latest additions to his collections or email Andrew at if you are interested in something specific.

A small preview of the selection at Avenue Antiques- Look for the Wedgwood case for the collection from The Parisian Flea.

A chick flick that’s too honest for the critics

After receiving intense criticism for being too vapid or too one-sided, let alone the venom spit at SJP, not many flocked to see I Don’t Know How She Does It (IDKHSDI) in theaters. Which is a pity. The Hollywood story line diverges from the English novel it’s based on, creating a protagonist who is less conflicted in her marriage and instead more frazzled trying to hold it all together. Critics claim this was a mistake. I think it created an even more honest biography of the working mom.

Descriptions of the protagonist, Kate Reddy , played by Sarah Jessica Parker, range from insipid to self-absorbed. Complaints include the fact the story line doesn’t include in-depth development of secondary characters and their POV. Of course, the title of the movie is I Don’t Know How SHE Does It; not, I Don’t Know How They Do It. This is a glimpse into the overwhelming life of a working mom with a high-powered career. However, I would argue we do get a very good idea of Richard Reddy’s (Greg Kinnear) POV from the many interactions husband and wife have in the movie.

IDKHSDI was a great movie, it was also infuriating at times. The challenges of a woman out to “have it all,” as some would say, is illustrated in a whirlwind of kids’ parties, board meetings and stolen moments between husband and wife. Throughout the movie, SJP portrays a character who clearly is eternally thankful for all she has, a boss even tells her to stop saying “thank you.” Meanwhile, you never once hear Kinnear’s character utter thank you. He’s too busy complaining about the inconvenience of his wife’s success even while he attempts to develop his career by taking on a project which will result in a higher time commitment but less pay. In one scene, SJP promises again and again she will make things work, she will keep work and family organized, she tells Kinnear it will be fine. His reaction- he accuses her of yelling at him. Well, I would yell at his simpering ass, too. Where are his promises to make things work? Why doesn’t any of this career-family balance fall on his shoulders?

In fact, never at any point in the movie do you see Kinnear work to create solutions to a family with two hard working parents. Instead, working out the balance all falls on SJP. This story, as rewritten for Hollywood, is an attempt at a light-hearted view of the second shift, the big sell to career women of childbearing age of having it all. Except having it all means after you come home from a full day at work, you’re expected to then execute all household needs as if you haven’t just spent 10hrs outside the home, as a financial contributor to the household.

Finally, in the 11th hour, SJP bites back and lets Kinnear know he’s expected to contribute to raising his kids too, more than a paycheck and cutting the cake at parties. He writes a list. SJP’s character demands more flexibility in her work schedule from her boss… yeah, that seems balanced. I don’t think the critics had as much a problem with SJP or the screenplay as they had with the experience of having the second shift laid out before them, in all it’s messy and undeniable glory. In an environment where women’s rights come under fire every election year while at the same time we’re reminded of how much we have, how much we are allowed to do, in comparison to past generations, a film which quite blatantly suggests something is just not up to snuff has less than a prayer of being widely accepted.

High Style: Return of the Goddess dress

Among the old Hollywood Glamour and the mermaid silhouettes found on the red carpet of the 2012 Golden Globes, the Goddess dress was seen making a come-back in traditional and decidedly daring forms. Busy Phillips kicks off our goddess list with a traditional style, topping off the Grecian look with a simple skinny silver headband on a high-volume style. A look that only tall women should attempt, this goddess style can be striking, though it does hide, well, everything!

Loving Viola Davis in her Pucci showing us some well-toned legs. This goddess dress gives Viola nice shape without corsetting the woman’s body as many of the other styles on the carpet this year. Elegance with moment, Viola looks radiant; probably because she can take full breaths in her dress!

Mila Kunis in Dior gives black a new meaning with this mutli-dimensional look. Looking as fierce as the Dior model who wore the dress down the runway for the Spring show, Kunis doesn’t overshadow the drama of this structured goddess with too-big jewels. Her earrings are a beautiful dainty sparkle mirroring the swing of the skirt of the dress. And, come on, nice rock!!

Finally, I’ve saved the best for last. That firey redhead Emma Stone dares to bare- just enough- in the impeccable Lanvin. With peekaboo sides that are just the right amount of sultry, the beautiful stripe of true red down the sides, as if in homage to the wearer’s hair, and the finishes of the belt and studded shoulder tucks; this goddess revives the style in a truly fresh and fascinating way. With her bold style and mature sense of what works, Emma will come to define herself as a style icon in years to come.

Thank you, HuffPost Style, for the following photos of these Goddess dresses.

Busy Phillips

Viola Davis, Emilio Pucci

Mila Kunis, Christian Dior

Emma Stone, Lanvin