Get Beautiful and Raise Money for Clean Water

You know water is a critical issue in San Francisco and all of California, and will be for the foreseeable future. And it’s Earth month, so Aveda is doing its part by hosting a ‘Cut-A-Thon’ to benefit the Clean Water Fund at its salons around the world. In San Francisco, tomorrow, April 14, head to Cinta Aveda Institute (305 Kearny), where 100% of proceeds from all services will be donated towards Aveda San Francisco’s local clean water partner, Clean Water Fund.

Whether you need a haircut, blow dry, color, facial, or wax, all of the money will go towards clean water.

Last year’s Cut-A-Thon at CAI San Francisco, raised $18,000. This year they’re hoping for $20,000 this year. Help them out, won’t you? The prices are pretty amazing, check out the menu below:
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Closet Elimination Project Steps 4-5: The Joy of Custom Wallpaper

With the first three phases of grief behind me, I’ve moving on to the step four of seven: depression, reflection, and lonliness. I am a bit depressed, mostly because every morning when I wake up I’m staring at a giant pile of my clothes, shoes and bathroom “necessities” that I’ve been putting off organizing for a week. Reflection? I am reflecting on how much clothing and makeup I purged—several large garbage bags worth—and how I still have piles with no home. Lonely? I do feel that ironic loneliness that happens when you’re surrounded by so much, but still feeling alone this world. And I am indeed alone in my responsibility to get it all in order.

But let’s take a baby step towards step number five, “the upward turn,” by celebrating the amazing custom wallpaper we’ve installed in The Teen’s room. Truth be told I didn’t lift a finger to install it. The kind folks at NousDecor recruited celebrity interior designer Mark Cutler (he did JLo’s house!) to design a wallpaper featuring all of our boy’s favorite things, plus a design for the rest of the room! Read more about it here.


I’m focusing for now on the wallpaper because 1. It’s the coolest thing in the room, 2. The Teen called it “sick” when he saw it for the first time, which cool/young people in my life tell me is a positive review, and 3. We still have a little work to do on the rest of the room.

But stay tuned, because I have a deadline. is filming our home at the end of this month, so both my room and The Teen’s must be ready by then! This is a good thing, because otherwise things may continue as is, with my bags of bags (Yes I have several bags that contain nothing but other bags. At least they are together with their kind) piled atop bags of shoes which are wedged in between my bags of beauty products.

Toddler Poop Is the Worst Poop


At 2.5, there is some real incentive to get your toddler potty trained. I don’t think I need to go into any more detail than I already have in the headline. Unfortunately, the incentive is typically felt mainly by the parents, and toddlers will continue on pooping in their diapers until you instigate some serious change.

Meanwhile, I apparently got a little too aggressive with our previous diaper pail and busted it. So when Munchkin got in touch to collaborate on a post about the Arm & Hammer Diaper Pail, I was all in.


I found these stickers at the dollar store (bonus: they are made in the U.S.A. of eco-friendly materials—even the dollar stores are getting green!), and thought they’d be a fun way to help Frida personalize her new diaper pail.


We were literally saying cheese in this photo. The great thing about this pail is that when you insert the dirty diaper and close the lid, a mechanism twists the bag to seal it off and mitigate any stinky odor. It also has a refillable Arm & Hammer Baking Soda capsule for that same purpose. Thank goodness because we need all the help we can get!


Frida could care less about her stinky poop, she just wants to dance.


She wanted to investigate the inner workings of the pail, but luckily that door stays securely shut against curious toddlers.


Our finished work of art :) This pail is a life saver at the moment, but I do have to admit that I hope we won’t need to use it too much longer!!

This post was sponsored by Munchkin.

Use White, Not Brown Eggs for Easter Coloring and Other DIY Lessons


I was so excited to color Easter Eggs this year, because Frida kind of got what was going on (though her coordination when it comes to using dye needs some work), plus we’ve been spending weekends with her older brother Joel, and I figured it was something fun we could all do together.

I stocked up on dye last year, but only had a basic kit, nothing fancy. So I hit the internets for some DIY ideas and found this tutorial on using flowers and plants to make designs on the eggs. We headed outside and collected flowers, clover, rosemary and random weeds from our backyard.


The next step was the most laborious: cutting a nylon into pieces and fastening it around the foliage and egg. I used those teeny, clear hair fasteners you can buy at the drug store. At this point the kids lost interest. Too complicated! But I persevered and dunked each one in dye.


They looked kind of pretty—before I removed the hosiery.


When I removed it, I learned a lesson that you probably already knew: egg-dying doesn’t really work with brown eggs. Alas! So, I went to the store, bought some white eggs and boiled them up.


This time we used crayons to color on the eggs (if you do it when they’re still pretty warm, the crayon melts onto them) and then dunked them. I used the nylon method for a few, just to see if it would work better with white eggs.


Things got a little messy but who would be surprised by that??


The results may not be the stunning designs of my dreams, but I wouldn’t call them unappealing. I wonder if the dye lost some of its effectiveness over the past year, because it lacked saturation even on the white eggs. Also, only the relatively thick and sturdy plants made noticeable patterns on the eggs. The others were too thin and flimsy to block the dye.


Lessons learned:

  • Use white eggs
  • Use fresh dye
  • Use sturdy plants/flowers
  • Egg-coloring is fun even if the results are not Martha Stewart worthy

Let’s eat some chocolate! HAPPY EASTER!

I Finally Found the Perfect Curling Iron

Hair by Barbara at Barrow Salon in SF

Hair by Barbara at Barrow Salon in SF

I’ve talked a lot here on the blog about how I do my hair, and I’ve talked about it elsewhere. I used to wash my hair pretty often, because I dance a lot and get sweaty. But over the past two years, my hair-washing frequency has significantly decreased, which likely has a lot to do with the small human in my life.


That would be her! That means my previous technique of letting my hair dry in twists to create a beachy wave now has its limits. After a few days, the curls gets a bit frizzy and flattened and needs some attention. So I’ve taken to using a curling iron to clean things up, but I’ve never found one that creates a shape that I’m in love with. Until now! Barbara Thompson at Barrow Salon introduced me to the Hot Tools 1.25-inch curling iron, and I’m finally happy with my dirty, iron-curled hair. Previous irons were too big, too small or weirdly tapered (I still dont get the point of those). Also, they didn’t get hot enough. This one solves all of that, it’s pretty, and it only costs $40 (on sale on Amazon now). It’s less expensive because it’s not made of fancy ceramic or tourmaline, which the experts say is healthier for your hair. But I haven’t experienced any damage, yet. Just be careful not to burn off your hair like this poor girl.

hot tools

What’s in Your Bag for Spring Break?

bag contents

I’ve collaborated on a video with Glam to talk about a topic near and dear to my heart: spring break. The truth this year mine will be spent welcoming a new member of our family in to our home and my vacation will likely come in July, when I’ll finally pack up this cute BluKicks bag with my favorite Mara Hoffman kaftan and a few other essentials and lounge for hours on the warm sand.

Watching the video made me realize some serious sunscreen would also be vital, like Maria emphasized in her segment, and a giant hat like Nkechi mentions. Both of them and the Glam crew were so much fun on set, can’t wait to do it again! What are your essentials for spring break?

One Reason for Wearing a New White Shirt to Play With a Toddler

Photos by Kourosh Karimkhany

We’ve had a lot of house guests recently, one of which will soon become permanent. My office/closet is the default guest room, so when someone is visiting, I have to grab everything I’ll need out of there for the length of their visit. I always, always forget something (of course I do), and end up sneaking back into the room for underwear or deodorant or whatever. On this particular day, we were trying to get out the door for a walk and I realized I had no shirts available, except for this Tommy Hilfiger one I had just bought at Nordstrom (on sale!). I threw it on even though it was pristine white and we were heading to the park with Frida. File it under reasons why a mom might wear a crisp white button down to the park with her toddler. I’m happy to report it survived the trip shockingly dirt-free.

It’s all good incentive to get started on the massive reorganization in my near future. It’ll be much easier when everything is in one place. Danny of Key & Kite Woodworking is building me a clothing rack that I’m pretty excited about, and I have some Ikea visits that I’m much less excited about in my future!







Wearing: White shirt by Tommy Hilfiger, similar here,The Stevie Jeans by Goldsign, Stella McCartney for Adidas shoes, similar here, Ralph Lauren sunglasses, similar here.

Join Frida and Me for a San Francisco Screening of Cinderella (Giveaway!)

cinderella Photo via Disney

Leave a comment below to win guaranteed seating at a free screening on Tuesday in SF!

So, I’m torn about the princess thing. Frida LOVES Frozen. And Elsa. And Olaf. And especially Anna! The Frozen story is a bit different, though. The princesses are strong characters doing it for themselves. (SPOILER ALERT!) They save each other, they don’t need a male figure to survive.

Cinderella is certainly a different story, but I adore Lily James on Downton Abby, and I’m hopeful that she and director Kenneth Branagh have worked some modern-day magic with their new Cinderella movie. The prince may be the hero in the end, but check out the trailer below, it looks stunning and I can’t resist Cate Blanchett as the wicked step-mother or Helena Bonham Carter as the fairy godmother.

That’s why I’m partnering with Fandango Family, which is hosting an advanced screening of Cinderella (PG) in San Francisco on Tuesday, March 10 at 7pm at the Cinemark/Century 9 Theater at the San Francisco Centre, 835 Market Street (next to Bloomingdales). The screening is free, but it’s first-come, first-served, so they’ve offered up a 4-pack of VIP tickets to giveaway to my readers that will guarantee you get a seat. First, register here, then leave a comment below and I’ll choose a winner on Monday morning.

The screening is little kid friendly—Frida will be staying up late to attend, but I have a feeling she’ll be riveted (fingers crossed!!).

The Importance of Being Nice

Erin Kleinberg with her The Coveteur  co-founder Stephanie Mark in 2011 at Lucky FABB.

Erin Kleinberg with her The Coveteur co-founder Stephanie Mark in 2011 at Lucky FABB.

Yesterday’s Huffington Post interview with Erin Kleinberg is short and super sweet. I love her tips on succeeding in fashion, in particular the parts about being nice and doing time in retail.

I hate to admit it, but it hasn’t always been easy for me to be nice. I’ve worked in many jobs in the service industry including as a waitress and barista, and sometimes I wanted to tell my customers to shove it. Especially the caffeine addicted coffee people! There was one guy who came in every day and barked his order like a Marine colonel: LARGE DOUBLE CAP LOW FAT NO FOAM! No please, no thank you, just the tiny cafe filled with his bass vocals. After a couple weeks days I really could not muster a smile for this guy. As a waitress, I was hopeless. My customers were as miserable as I was and my attitude sucked.

I also worked in retail, where you had to at least paste a fake smile on your face. I tried to be genuinely happy—after a 12-year career in tech and science journalism I was working in fashion! I learned quickly that this was not my place in the industry. Bossy, cranky shopper vibes and intensely sore feet and legs were not my jam.

I think it was my job as an administrative assistant that taught me that you get farther, faster by being nice—genuinely nice. I still have a troublesome weakness for road rage, but when it comes to work, I am nice (I swear!). It has a lot to do with the fact that I now like what I’m doing.

So I get what Ms. Kleinberg is saying—being nice has major perks, and working in retail is important, if only to figure out that you hate it.

Team Seventies!

The trend everyone (including myself) is talking about the most coming out of fashion month is the seventies trend. It’s music to my ears, because seventies style lives on in my heart and mind forever and always. But knowing that I’ve got lots of people on my team makes it even more fun.

Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 10.09.09 PM

And even though the February shows were for fall, I’m ready NOW to rock my wide-leg denim and billowy blouses. I’m also seeing turtlenecks everywhere, and I never thought I’d say it, but I’m excited to rock some turtlenecks! Here are some items I’ll be stocking up on for San Francisco’s spring, summer/winter, Indian summer—basically the rest of the year, which regardless of our complaints, doesn’t fluctuate in average temperature more than 10 degrees in a year.

Line Cove Turtleneck, $74

Weekday Cut-High Flared, Cropped Jeans, $65

Freda Salvador Free Fringed Suede Sandals, $495 (on sale!)

Etro long beaded necklace, $261

American Apparel iridescent clutch, $71 (on sale!)