Wednesday, December 25, 2013


 On my 10th Christmas I saved the big square rectangular box under the tree for last. I just knew It had to be the three piece denim suit I had been dreaming of and had begged Santa for.

I couldn't get that pantsuit out of my head that year. I had been day dreaming about it for months. The way I would step out in that ensemble. Strutting my 10 year old self down the street or at least down the aisle at church on Sunday! I knew that I'd feel like Annie Hall and Kate Jackson rolled into one the minute I put it on. I just wanted to be one of those leggy badass babes, walking...somewhere.

As it turned out, that year Santa thought I needed a dollhouse, requiring assembly no less, more than a three piece suit. And the disappointment has lingered with me to this day. How could Santa be so unintuitive and deny me that simple request? It hasn't been the same between Santa and me since.

There is just something so complete about a pair of slacks a vest and a blazer. The togetherness of it, the sexy 70's of it, the instant outfit of it. 

I managed to get over that disappointment somewhere between Junior High Home Ec and my first shopping spree at The Limited. Life taught me that sometimes you just have to take matters into your own hands.

Although the pantsuit remains my waredrobe star over Bethlehem, I have learned that the Jumpsuit makes a perfectly suitable stand-in. Here are a few shining examples of how single-handedly one item can an outfit make. And some that can actually strut their way through New Years Eve and beyond!

                                 Stella McCartney Denim Jump/Pantsuit 
                                                (On sale. Last one. I couldn't resist)       

                                  Versatility and only $49.00 

                               Jogger style and Deal of the Day!

Musician Jack Novac in Missoni jumpsuit at Cielo Farms

                                  Jumpsuit fromTokyo. Girl from Kohler Wisconsin

And look what I found in a big rectangular box under the Christmas Tree this morning?! A Vintage Tahari three piece suit! Santa you are alright with me!

Happy Holidays and may all your Christmas dreams come true.

P.S. I think I gave that Dollhouse to my sister after playing with it once. I have to admit that year Dollhouses and guinea pigs had the same appeal for me. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Find the Magic

It's a Saturday night and I have just returned from an exhilarating, invigorating evening of "Vinyasa and Vino" at Yogaworks with a digerydoo-ist, a percussionist/flutist/guitarist and my sweetYogi/teacher Holli Rabishaw. As we flowed to the beat Holli reminded us that there is magic in the things that we neglect. 

Well that got the gut. 

So simple and yet so profound. It immediately brought to mind the abundant neglect I had recently bestowed upon my husband...and my Blog. How many other magical things have I been neglecting? The flowers, the laundry, my creativity? Not neccesarily in that order. Hmmm? Why is it so easy to take for granted or neglect the things that are right in front of our eyes? Well, distractions of course. Work, growing children, moving out of the house adult children, children with homework, children with projects, children in general.

Not that I am blaming children. Or considering them to be distractions. God knows that they are so much more than that. And blaming them would be as bad as or just another form of neglecting. So cancel that, because in my world children aren't the things that usually get neglected. Their "magic" is just too evident. But sometimes, as a Mom, in order to balance the other areas of my life, putting their "magic" off to the side and out of reach momentarily, helps me focus on the other things that I have been neglecting and need to attend to.

So, with our grown daughter Wyni back from New York City and living here in Los Angeles on her own, and Zeut at his drum lesson, I had the perfect opportunity to get back to those neglected things. I went on a date with my husband, I planted flowers in the yard, I did the laundry. And hey, I’m writing this Blog!

Huh? What do you know?! When I began to look upon those neglected items it was then that the "magic" appeared. 

Now, not to get too materialistic, but since this is "160gotitfor12" everything must circle back to style. So, what about my closet and "it’s" neglected items? I realized that since my recent closet organization I have in fact found the "magic" in a few previously neglected items of clothing. Ironically, this is causing me to create new fun outfits to wear, hence taming my impulse to go shopping to find new unworn items to add to the mix. Which yes, is always fun but can be a never ending cycle. 

So here are some of my recently neglected magical finds. Photographed by my never neglected son Zeut. 


My Grossgrain cotton cardigan from the Gap, worn with the ever neglected Jcrew "Minnie" pant and Madewell leopard ankle strap flats

This Eyelet skirt from a commercial I did years ago, feels fresh for spring with a sheer black sweater from Alternative Apparel and ankle strap sandals from Zara

My long forgotten Bulldog sweater from Target, worn with Converse fatigues with asymetrical pocket styling

JCrew vintage inspired 3/4 sleeve sweater and gap skinny jeans, worn with Timing sheer blouse and Sigerson Morrison boots, both discovered at Crossroads

My son Zeut Pierre Landry as photographer
                               What have you been neglecting?

Thursday, April 25, 2013


As I have established in my earlier posts, I love a good field trip and I am hard pressed to turn down anything that has to do with hair. Especially if it involves a great salon.

Well my two worlds could not have more comfortably collided last week when my good friend Lori invited me to join her for her haircut at of all places Cristophe of Beverly Hills, a gorgeous salon on Beverly Drive that is practically an institution. She was going to indulge in a great haircut and having never been, I wasn’t going to miss it. 

Cristophe is quite the modern scene: a long alleyway of a salon with two floors and over 20 fashionable stylists everywhere. Lori had been referred to Joan (pronounced Ju-aan, French for John), below, by a friend. A lovely Frenchman who took his time layering Lori’s long locks, Joan played with her hair in a way that only a Frenchman can. Blending, lifting, caressing the lengths of her hair around her neck and shoulders. The results were stunning! One of the best long layered cuts I have seen.

I made many discoveries that day at Cristophe. Joan being one of them. I took his card and may just return for a cut, even though the price is not very "160gotitfor12." But what I was most excited about were the brushes Joan used. These were fabulous round, Japanese, hand-carved, wooden-handled brushes with a ceramic core and plastic bristles, the likes of which I had never seen. 

The Y.S. Park Crazy Hot Iron Ion Brush 38H7 is antistatic, antibacterial and deodorizing with heat-resistant bristles. They come in a variety of sizes to suit all of your blowdrying needs. And faster drying means less heat damage. While blowdrying, the brushes' red aluminum barrel becomes the same temperature as the hot air from your hair dryer and the barrels' wooden inner layer serves as a heat insulator. This creates a sort of thermal storage, giving the brush properties of an electric iron. These brushes are nothing short of a dream come true for me.

Joan let me try a couple, and they were magic. He actually used the smallest size brush on Lori's long hair, which was surprising. I usually use a two-inch barrel brush on my short hair.

Now I don’t know about you, but the right round brush can make or break a good blow dry. And since I am normally at the mercy of my own, blow dry that is, a good brush is not only essential it is critical.
These brushes aren't necessarily cheap, but the value and the savings they bring are priceless. I was so inspired that I made my way home and I placed my order. Then I cut my own hair. Sorry, Joan.

Saturday, March 23, 2013



There is nothing more powerful than someone on a mission. And the septuagenarian cofounder of the eco-friendly beauty brand Burt’s Bees, Burt Shavitz, is one such person. He started the company in 1984 with a handmade beeswax lip balm that he sold at craft fairs, and the rest is history!

Burt is tireless in his campaign to forward a company that maintains environmental sustainability and is relentless in calling attention to “Colony Collapse Disorder,” otherwise known as CCD, the drastic ongoing decline in honeybee populations. 

Or as defined at 

a pathological condition affecting a large number of honeybee colonies, in which various stresses may lead to the abrupt disappearance of worker bees from the hive, leaving only the queen and newly hatched bees behind and thus causing the colony to stop functioning. Abbreviation:  CCD
Otherwise known as HBDS; Honeybee depopulation syndrome.

In Burt Talks to the Bees, Burt has created, along with the dazzling and self-effacing Isabella Rossellini, educational videos to help us understand bees and their place in the world.

                               Rossellini as both Burt Shavitz and the Queen Bee        

I am currently in love with everything Burt's Bees is doing. Recently they have come out with a line of Intense Hydration productsI don’t know about you, but on the heels of winter, I am in need of some super intense hydration. Maybe it is the honey or maybe it is the royal jelly, but Burt's is doing me right these days. My skin had been feeling so dry and dehydrated and now it feels so plump and moist. Thanks Burt!

                                   Burt's Bees Intense Hydration products  

I have also been a longtime fan of their tinted lip balms. These balms are not really a lipstick, and not really a chapstick, but some kind of magical moisure, hint of color, somethin' somethin' in between. Who could ask for anything more!? Truly the best of both worlds.

And check out Burt's happy animated video on how his lip balms are made.

I also love Burt's sweet Baby Bee line of natually scented baby products, designed for baby's sensitive skin. What great gifts for a new mommy or baby. From you or the Easter Bunny.

I found great deals on these products at the sites in my links! Happy shopping and stay hydrated!!                              

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Spring ahead with Katharine McPhee

Katharine McPhee
If you are having a hard time adjusting to the time change then this fresh yet polished look for spring might wake you up!  Pulled together nicely by Katharine McPhee, and perhaps her stylist. And her hair is a must for the Hair Files.

Below find the pics for Katharine's look and then my pics for the Alternate Universe, where you can find this look for less.

Alice Olivia short lace skirt
$315 -

Casadei high heels

Stella mccartney

Oscar de la Renta clip on earrings

Lanvin jewelry

                                 THE ALTERNATE UNIVERSE

H&M panther ring

Wednesday, February 27, 2013




If you know me, even slightly, then you know that one of my favorite subjects is hair. Haircuts, hairstyles, hair color, hair anything. You need a haircut, a trim, highlights or an update??  I'm there. I have been known to travel to the salon with a friend as a self-assigned liaison, assistant or quasi-stylist, sometimes much to said stylist’s dismay. I can talk the talk: weight-line, bulk, layers, point cut, bangs, and I can walk the walk.

My mom went to beauty school when she was 17 and cut hair in a salon and then in our kitchen and dining room for my entire childhood. So I believe that I come by it naturally. I love to watch a good haircut almost as much as a good movie. 
                                     My mom cutting our neighbor Dean's hair

I come from a long line of big hair. Passed down from my grandmother, Ginny, to my dad, to us four kids. "More hair than God," as Gramma Ginny was known to say. 

                                            Gramma Ginny and her "hair-looms"

I have been known to cut my own hair, often in the middle of the night, and upon ever so slight urging, cut friends’ and family’s hair, not always with stellar results.

One summer while on a family vacation in Minocqua, Wisconsin, inspired by our boredom and a pair of scissors in the cabin kitchen drawer, I convinced my sister Lorijo that she needed a make-over and a change. (Meg Ryan was on As the World Turns at the time. This was pre-pixie and pre-America’s sweetheart. She was sporting a bulky, helmet-like shag. Her texture was similar to Lorijo’s and that was inspiration enough.) I gave Lorijo a haircut out on the dock. Her hair was thick and unruly that summer and I was convinced that I could transform it into something silky and smooth. The results weren’t too spectacular and she was furious with me. Unlike my older sister Kim and me, Lorijo didn’t have curly hair. She had straight thick hair that didn’t hide my mistakes so well. Oopsie...she wasn’t happy.

I decided to bake Lorijo a cake and as a peace offering brought her a bowl of leftover batter to our bedroom where she was crying and hiding. She shoved the bowl in my face and hair and told me I ruined her life. I knew she must have been mad because, who refuses batter?! Surprisingly, years later she trusted me to henna her hair in my dimly lit New York City apartment. The results were equally horrifying but since I was almost nine months pregnant, she contained her wrath. When we made our way to the sunlit street I couldn’t stop laughing: Her hair was the color of carrots. Not what we were going for.

Now, years later and still sans training, I remain unwavering. Somehow I always trust myself with a scissors. Especially on my own head. I’m a change junkie and even though my hair has probably remained a variation on a theme for the last 12 years I would like to think that I have experimented with those variations. Often with the help of a stylist and many a photo.

Although I admire the longer locks, I have always been a fan of shorter hair and am constantly on the lookout for cute ways to update the bob and the shag. Or what I have come to know as the shaggy-bob.

                                 Audrey Tautou with the most adorable shaggy-bob

Over the years I have collected what I now refer to as the "Hair Files": a prized collection of magazine tear sheets and photos. They are prized, but I share, and if I loan them out they are signed out on a log just like a library book. For the record, my son Zeut has had his own "Hair File" since he was one. Call me obsessed.

                                                    Hair files unearthed

Since the beginning of the year is a great time to embark on change, and short hair and its many variations on a theme are my main hair obsession, I thought it appropriate to post a few great haircuts. I have a grand selection of cuts at Pinterest on my "Hair Files" board as well for your viewing pleasure.

If you are looking for something low maintenance check out a few of these short-hair variations for some update inspiration. 

Arizona Muse's choppy bob

Charlize Theron's daring pixie at the Oscars

Meg Ryan: an oldie but a goodie

What are your favorite styles? Post 'em here.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

ORGANIZING, PART TWO: When the Professional Organizer Leaves

Taking Life One Drawer at a Time

On the heels of the meteor crashing in Russia and Downton Abbey’s devastating season 3 finale, I probably have very little to complain about. I mean, my room is messy with piles of items that have nowhere to live but, my house and my husband are still here and there are no crater-shaped holes in the neighborhood. 
Be that as it may, I have been experiencing my own fallout in dealing with the aftermath of what happens after the organizer goes home. I now know that organizing isn’t for sissies. I have agita. And my son Zeut just called my blog “stupid!” He's grounded. And where is my sister Lorijo when I need her?!

I am not good at this. I think I made that clear in my last post. Posting a “part two” is really just an exercise in masochism. Can’t I just go shopping and forget about it?! Or take a nap?! This is my idea of hell! I think I was happier before I took this plunge. But at this point freaking out isn’t solving anything and turning back doesn’t seem to be an option.

Since organizer extraordinaire Teresa Nicola of Collected Spaces left to go back home to Portland I have been sorting through my stuff. Stuff that has taken me years to accumulate. I am talking a lot of stuff. 

Where has all of this stuff come from?! It’s not just the clothing and shoes and purses. I have costumes and props from past shows and murder mystery parties! And there are the endless hatboxes filled with photographs and old letters and cards. Now that is a rabbit hole of its own. And down it I went. While I was supposed to be organizing drawers and throwing things away I took a long journey down memory lane. Oh Alice, have I learned nothing from you?!

Luckily, I had someone to pull me out of that hole: Teresa, who has been advising me remotely. And thank God for that. When she checked in with me I started whining about my feelings of overwhelm and the tornado remains of my room and my mood swings. She calmly advised me from a distance. 

She said: “Book hour increments to work on the undecided piles and the drawers that need organizing. Book two hours to make the returns and drop off the discards for donations. The key is to schedule it. Small steps, tiny actions to stay on top of it all. Even one drawer a day. And be realistic about the things you need and wear. Just because something was a good deal or conversely if it was expensive, is not a good enough reason to keep it.”

Okay, I can do this. Take a deep breath and get it together. I began sorting through my drawers and creating more bags of items to donate. 

Then back to the Container Store I went to return my unused items and purchase a few others. On this trip I met Tree, a very helpful employee who led me to these particular items. A 32-compartment drawer organizer, a back-of-the-door, 10-hook rack and another box for my purses. 

                                  Me and Tree at the Container Store

This translucent honeycomb-like drawer organizer is helping me keep my yoga tops and  T-shirts organized. It is an assembly required puzzle piece made to accommodate your particular drawer size. Scissors are needed. I like the way that everything is separated in little coils. 

                                    compartmentalized drawer organizer

This darling 10-hook, over-the-door bird hanger was great in theory to hang up clothes, but it wouldn’t allow me to close the door. The 7-day rule applies so back it goes and back I go in search of a replacement. 

                                         back-of-door bird hooks

On separate excursions to Home Goods and Urban Outfitters, I found this cute bird hook hanger for my belts and these darling owl jewelry hangers for my necklaces and bracelets. 

                                             belt hanger

                                              jewelry organizer

                                                              coordinating hangers inside my closet 

I am loving the new closet system and all of my coordinated hangers. I can find everything so easily and have been wearing combinations of things I hadn’t thought about before.

My husband even got in on the action and brought home two 35-pack boxes of the black no-slip hangers from Costco for $9.99 a box. As well as  couple of bamboo shoe/storage racks for $24.99 a piece. Score!

                                                     bamboo shoe organizer

Teresa also introduced me to a file folding system that not only saves room but allows you to see your items more clearly. What a concept. T-shirts and lightweight sweaters are folded into envelope sized shapes and then filed, one against the other in an upright position.

                                            file folding system

Perhaps this post will make those of you who haven’t managed to get organized this year feel a bit better. The rest of you may just be taking pity on me and my missing organizing gene. But I am actually starting to feel more organized, sophisticated and grown-up. I really am.  For now, I am taking it one drawer at a time.

If any of you have any organizing tips, please feel free to share.

I'm going to take a nap now. I hope this was helpful!