5 Styles to Enjoy Before Summer Is Officially Over

end of summer


I had been ignoring all the back-to-school, end-of-summer, fall-is-coming media. I suppose I can’t live in denial forever—the teenager is back in school for his first year of high school, and August is more than half over. However! We can all appreciate the summer to its full extent, which exists for another full month. Fall doesn’t officially begin until September 23. So relish these next five weeks with some whites, sandals, and exposed shoulders.

Paige High-Rise Canyon Flare in Powell, $229

It’ll be time to rotate out those light washes once summer and winter hits, so get your fill of nearly-white denim with flowy tops while temps are still high.

Tibi Silk Crepe de Chine Navy Top, $350

My one regret of the summer (besides not taking a month-long vacay in Paris) is that I did not buy an off-shoulder, flowy top like this one! I might just have to snap this one up for the final days of August. You could definitely wear this into fall and dress it up for special occasions in the winter.

Freda Salvador Open Toe City Sandals, $285 (on sale!)

It’s no secret that I’m a major Freda fan. These neutral sandals with their walkable heel are perfect for every day of the week.

Karen Walker Intergalactic Sunglasses, $171 (on sale!)

Sir Elton John would approve.

Factory Chroma White Tote, $48 (on sale!)

I’ve been so obsessed with rainbow motifs this summer, what with the Supreme Court ruling and all! The price is right on this white vegan leather bag.














Citizens of Humanity Culottes, Gauchos, or Ankle Pants for Shorties


Shorties like me, that is. But I’m not complaining.

Back story: some of you may know that lately I’ve been blogging about jeans at Eat Sleep Denim, thanks to my pal Jennine who gave me all her jobs she didn’t want anymore, bless her. Because of that gig, I received an email from Citizens of Humanity about these amazing, high-waisted culottes (The Melanie), which were to be available later this summer. I wrote about them then, and I loved them so freaking much that I begged the Citizen’s rep to send me a pair and she did. Here they are in all their gaucho glory.



I’ve been a Citizen’s fan for, like, ever. They always make room for my thighs and don’t gap at the waist, which are two real challenges my hourglass/curvy body type presents for pants. I always take a 28 in every CoH style — and even now at my slightly larger girth, I can still squeeze into that same size. Granted they will be a bit more comfortable if I drop a few pounds.

melanie gauchos
If you’re as nuts about them as I am, they’re available at Need Supply Co.

Shirt: Mollusk, shoes: Freda Salvador, bracelet and necklace: Eddie Borgo for Target


13 Things Foster Parents Wish Everyone Knew

Baby Frida

I came across this essay recently at Casaubon’s Book, part of the ScienceBlogs network. The author, Sharon Astyk, generously published it in 2013 as the result of a collaborative discussion on a foster parenting list. She generously offers it up as an informational resource to be shared: “I care much more than people know this than that I get credit – and most of the credit goes to a lot of other wonderful people who want to remain anonymous, most of them wiser and more experienced than I,” she writes in her original post. But I’m happy to give her credit for organizing this extremely useful info. As a foster parent myself, I appreciate what she says, and, as a fairly new and inexperienced foster parent, I learned a lot. 

I made some additions and notes to reflect my own experience. I hope you find this as interesting and helpful as I did!

1. We’re not freakin’ saints. 

We are doing this because it needs doing, we love kids, this is our thing. Some of us hope to expand our families this way, some of us do it for the pleasure of having laughing young voices around, some of us are pushed into it by the children of family or friends needing care, some of us grew up around formal or informal fostering – but all of us are doing it for our own reasons because we love it and/or love the kids and we are the lucky ones. We get to have these great kids in our lives.

We dislike being told we must be saints or angels. We’re doing something really ordinary and normal – that is, taking care of kids in need. If some children showed up dirty and hungry and needing a safe place on your doorstep, you’d care for them too – we just signed up to be the doorstep they arrive at. The idea of sainthood makes it impossible for ordinary people to do this – and the truth is the world needs more ordinary, human foster parents. This also stinks because if we’re saints and angels, we can’t ever be jerks or human or need help, and that’s bad, because sometimes this is hard.

*I have felt similarly on this point, because in a world where I’m angel I would hate to meet the devils. But I also have to say that while the people who regularly take in foster children may not be saints, they are extraordinarily generous. My husband and I have only fostered kids we hoped and intended to keep in our lives for a long time and I have to say I think it must be more difficult (but also rewarding and wonderful) to have kids coming and going for many years. [Read more…]

The 6-Step Beauty Kit for Back-to-School Days

get out the door fast beauty

School starts this week! Yesterday I discussed the issue of getting up early again after a summer of luxurious sleeping in. I provided some tips on how to get dressed and out the door fast, while maintaining some semblance of style. In addition to getting dressed, there is also the matter of the face. I do not have time for extensive makeup, well, ever, let alone when I’m schlepping kids off to school or daycare. But I don’t think anyone wants to see me when I’ve actually woken up like that.

So I’ve narrowed my beauty routine down to a half-dozen items that are quick, easy, and effective — and some even allow you to plan ahead. The less you have to think about on school-day mornings the better, right?

1. Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pads, $35: Apply one of these to your face and neck in the evening and you’ll wake up with a glowing face that requires little to no makeup. Note: You might want to opt for a darker-colored pillow case.

2. Tarte Cheek Stain in Flush, $30: If you do want to add a little something extra, this all-purpose stick will do the trick. You can also use it on your lips and eyelids!

3. Burt’s Bees Soothing Lip Balm With Eucalyptus and Menthol, $3.29: If you use the cheek stain on your lips, there’s a chance it could make them feel a bit dry. I always like to swipe a balm over my lip color anyway, and this one has a minty tingle that will wake you right up.

4. Yes to Blueberries Age Refresh Eye-Firming Treatment, $16: I got this as a gift when I attended an event about a year ago. I’ve used it almost daily, it’s still not gone, and I swear the puffiness under my eyes has been minimized.

5. Kevin Murphy Motion Lotion, $30: Finger-comb this through your hair when it’s damp, then twist it into ringlets and let it air dry. If you’re lucky you’ll get a few days out of the beachy-waves style. Plus it smells amazing!

6. Demeter Dirt Cologne Spray, $20: If you’re like me you probably won’t have time to shower in the morning. I have been a fan of this scent for about 20 years. It reminds me of playing in the dirt as a kid but is also strangely fresh. And it’s subtle enough that it won’t overpower the carpool.


How to Get Out the Door Fast and With Style When School Starts

get out the door fast when school starts
Unbelievably, our teenager starts high school this week. Which means I have to start getting up early again to get everyone’s shit together. And that’s not going to be easy because not only does said teen currently sleep in until well after noon o’clock, even our little one has gotten into the habit of sleeping in until 9, sometimes nearly 10am!

In a way it’s a dream come true for a 3-year-old to sleep so late. But I fear it’s a bad habit to get into, and that she’ll have a hard time later in life trying to wake up for school. So, this week, everything changes. And it’s gonna hurt.

Living in the suburbs for the past four years, I’ve gotten into some pretty lazy habits getting-dressed-wise. I have zero qualms about wearing sweats to the grocery store, and I’m sure I would not want a street style review of my daycare dropoff outfit.

But it’s time to step things up, because whereas toddlers don’t really notice a lazy mom’s getup, teenagers might. And the less I can embarrass mine, the better (although I realize that by definition this is already a lost battle). In any case, I’m doing it for my own self-esteem as well.

Above are some building blocks for getting out the door quickly, stylishly, and hopefully happily. Details below!

1. Current/Elliott ‘The Fling’ Patchwork Boyfriend Jean, $129 (on sale!): No one will notice if you spill coffee on these.

2. Steven Alan ‘Minnie’ Slouchy Crew Neck Sweater, $160 (on sale!): Comfy, cozy, and casual-chic—it also comes in white, if you’re brave.

3. Opening Ceremony ‘Grunge’ Slip-On Platform Sneaker, $195: To give your look a little edge and a pop of color.

4. Stella McCartney Fuchsia Match Key Chain, $165: This is, perhaps, a ridiculously expensive key chain. But it will make you smile as you grab your keys. Plus the bright color might help you find them: priceless.

5. Roxy X Pendelton ‘Turrain’ Tote, $78 (on sale!): Relaxed, bright, stylish, practical—all bases covered.

What to Wear: Happily We Won’t Need Rubber Boots for Outside Lands

gov ball hunter boots
In June I was in New York to visit my bestie Robyn, and to attend the Governor’s Ball Music Festival. The first night of shows was a muddy mess and I regretted wearing a favorite pair of Freda Salvador booties. So the next day I hit the streets of Brooklyn hunting for Hunter rubber boots, and I found them at DNA Footwear. I was so pleased with myself!

Until it ended up being pretty hot and mostly dried up on Saturday at the shows. And until I had to figure out a way to lug those monsters home in my suitcase.


But I kind of liked how quirky they looked with this thrifted dress from Wallflower SF — and I was protected from the remaining mud. The bag is Fjallraven, a gift from Mother magazine — and boy has it come in handy!

Anyway, festival outfits are on my mind since Outside Lands starts TOMORROW! Are you going? I’m so excited for Elton John, OMG.

Also check out my Outside Lands shopping and beauty lists!

About That Unibrow

frida unibrow 1

Today I’d like to tell you all about a bizarre phenomenon that’s been happening lately with our daughter, Frida.

We named her after the artist Frida Kahlo. Though we don’t have any of her art hung in our house, I do have her biography on my nightstand, which bares an image of Salma Hayek playing the artist in the film Frida (which I highly recommend!). We also have a children’s book entitled Me, Frida, which tells the story of the artist’s time in San Francisco with her famous husband Diego Rivera, and features cartoon-ish drawings of the two of them. Our daughter Frida also has a beautiful wooden jewelry box festooned with images of the artist. That is the extent of the Frida Kahlo imagery in our home.

I tell you this to let you know that we’re not some kind of crazed Frida Kahlo fans with pictures of her everywhere.  I mean it could be worse.

In any case, our daughter was somehow inspired to use my mascara to fill in the space between her eyebrows. The first time she did it I was a little scared, like, what possessed that? IS FRIDA KAHLOS’S SPIRIT PRESENT?? Then I came to my senses and I chased her around the house for photos because probably no one would believe me. I imagined myself telling the story while people looked at me like they do Crazy Eyes on Orange Is the New Black. Evidence above.

After that I tried to keep my makeup out of reach (even though part of me wanted to make it accessible so she could DIY her unibrow on the daily). Then we spent a few days at our friends’ house at the Russian River, and my makeup bag was out on the bathroom sink. She saw her chance and went for the mascara again. This was her most convincing attempt. I chased her around for a photo like a mentally unhealthy stage mom but she would not have her photo taken. This was the best I could get:

frida unibrow

We washed it off in the shower that evening, but then the next morning as Kourosh was cooking breakfast (his first chilaquiles attempt: time consuming but delicious), she came out with yet another black unibrow. For better or worse, the girl was determined to to have a single caterpillar of hair beneath her forehead. This time the unibrow was a little rougher, but the intent was clear. And she cooperated for a photo: [Read more…]

Outside Lands Beauty Survival Kit

The three day music festival that is San Francisco’s Outside Lands is one of the best times you can have. With music from noon until night, a land dedicated to chocolate, and even shopping (!), a good time is practically guaranteed.

But it can also get challenging in the beauty department. The sun may be beating down on you, but even if the fog is thick, you need sun protection. Overindulgence (at Winelands, perhaps?) can lead wooziness, not to mention dry skin and lips. And you’re bound to get dusty and dirty. But if you pack your makeup bag wisely, nothing can ruin your fun. These are some must-haves that will keep you looking and feeling fresh, even during the final headliner show (ELTON JOHN!) on Sunday.

Dot & Bo In Love With Life Canvas Bag, $17

in love with life bag

Any makeup bag decorated with a Jack Kerouac quote is OK by me. And every time you break it out you’ll feel even more justified to have dedicated an entire weekend to music, eating and drinking.

California Naturel Sunscreen SPF 30, $35

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This is the first sunscreen I’ve ever actually enjoyed using. The scent is lovely, and the consistency is dense but blends easily.

BareMinerals Natural Sunscreen SPF 30, $39

bareminerals natural sunscreen

It’s a lovely way to temper any shine that might develop, and it will keep you looking sunkissed. It also prevents powder spillage all over your bag.

Zoe Organics Refresh Oil, $14

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If the aforementioned overindulgence does indeed occur and you need a little pick-me-up—or something to recalibrate your equilibrium—this stuff will help. Just apply a bit of the roll-on under your nose, behind your ears or at your wrists and you’ll be ready for the next show in no time.

Sam Roberts Hat (if you can get your hands on one! keep an eye on their Instagram feed for new designs), ~$200

sam roberts hat

You can’t overdo it when it comes to sun protection. Double up on your skin protection with one of these freaking amazing hats. If you’re in San Francisco, Reliquary carries them.

The Balm Stainiac in Beauty Queen, $17

the balm stainiac

This color is perfect every time! It lasts a long time, but days are long at Outside Lands so it can’t hurt to pack some along. Bonus: it doubles as blush.

True Nature Botanicals Pacific Lip Treatment, $68


Between this and the Stainiac, your lips will be pouting perfection.

Naty Baby Wipes, $30 (for a case)

naty wipesI discovered these when hunting for biodegradable wipes for my baby, and then I discovered that I love them for myself, too. No weird smells, totally biodegradable and flushable, and the perfect way to freshen up your face after a few hours of tramping around Golden Gate Park with 60,000 of your closest friends. And you’ll be psyched you brought them if the bathrooms run out of toilet paper, which they will.

Thank you to Credo Beauty for the California Naturel Sunscreen and Zoe Organics Refresh Oil. Thanks to True Nature Botanicals for the lip balm, and to The Balm for the lip stain!

Also check out my guide re what to wear to Outside Lands!



What to Wear to Outside Lands Music Festival

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Too many stripes? No! Not possible. Especially when we’re talking about a music festival. You really can’t have too much of anything when it comes to your outfit. And these are some things you will definitely want to have for a stylish and successful weekend at Outside Lands music festival in Golden Gate Park.

I’m SO EXCITED this year because Elton John is playing. I sang so many of his songs as a teenager while sitting in the back of my parents’ car, and while holed up in my bedroom listening to the radio. Tiny Dancer? Benny and the Jets? Your Song? Rocket Man? Crocodile Rock??? Holy shit he has so many hits — I’m getting even more excited as I list them. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road!!!

Are you going? I hope so! I’ll be writing about the festival here as well as on  my page at Forbes so stay tuned!

Miguelina Vega Striped Knitted Poncho, $350

Paige Denim High-Rise Bell Canyon Flare in Frenchie, $167 (on sale!)

Amour Vert Peonie Top, $85

Freda Salvador Fringe Chelsea Ankle Boot, $417 (on sale!)

Ray Bay Original Aviators, $150

Jansport Heritage Collection Adobe backpack, $55

Sarape Blanket, $26

Osei-Duro’s 25% off Summer Sale Is NOW

Desktop1I love this brand! I first encountered Osei-Duro at Gravel + Gold in San Francisco, and I still wear the pieces I bought years ago. Many of the garments are hand-dyed and made in Ghana. So I was pretty thrilled when I got the alert this morning that they’re having a 25% off summer sale. Now that I’ve secured the items on my wish list, I thought I’d share the good deals with you all :) The sale code is SSALE15.