Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Perks

One of my most star struck moments was at my brother’s most recent fashion show. I almost melted when I met the CEO of Payless ShoeSource, LuAnn Via. My brother’s has designed a collection, Christian Siriano for Payless, and it is coming out this September. At the New York Fashion Show all the representatives from Payless sat in our row. We had the chance to mingle with them for a while and LuAnn told me and my mother that she would send us the shoes in the line when they come out. I thought that was a very nice offer and imagined that she would have an assistant make a note of it and we would get a package in September. A few days after the show, my brother’s manager emailed my mom, saying that LuAnn had asked for both of our shoe sizes. I was surprised to hear something so quickly and through such an official channel. My brother’s management office was asking for this information, not my brother. A few more days later, my mother gets a box on her doorstep. She opened the box and there were four pairs of shoes, two pairs of heels in a size 6 and two pairs of flats in a size 8. Also included was a hand written note, from the CEO.

“Joye and Shannon, It was a pleasure speaking with you at Christian’s very successful show. We love working with Christian and are very excited to see his designs come alive in our stores this fall! We thought you might enjoy a few Payless styles while you wait for Christian’s much anticipated collection. There are amazing flats and heels in this forthcoming line for each of you! Until then, LuAnn Via”

Is that not fabulous!?! A hand written note from the CEO! I don’t care if she, personally, didn’t write it. It was extremely thoughtful. I have a strong feeling that she did write it. I just got that feeling from her. She sent some of the styles from the already available collections done by designers. I received alice + olivia for Payless black peep-toe sling backs and tan strappy heels by Abate for Payless. Mom got these adorable plaid flats by Lela Rose for Payless and Dexter silver flats with a buckle. It was a really nice surprise to receive these shoes. We are definitely excited for his line in the fall and these are the perfect styles to hold us over until then. Doesn’t it feel good to pay less (or nothing)?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Movies and Books

Now that the Spring weather is upon us, I hope to get out an about much more than I have during these long winter months. In the last few weeks of cold and darkness I have been able to finish a couple good books and see some beautiful movies. I am not a very good movie/book reviewer, but wanted to share some of my favorites if you are looking for something to see/read.

Vicky Christina Barcelona – When I first saw previews for this movie, I thought that it would be a very sexual. After all, Javier Bardem suggests a threesome with the two leading ladies. I was pleasantly surprised by how thoughtful and entertaining (and not pornographic) the movie was. It’s rated PG-13 after all. I could identify with every character and their struggle to find the meaning of love and find themselves. Javier Bardem is perfection and I though Penelope Cruz was fantastic as well. I usually am not a big fan of hers, but loved her in this role. Evan really liked this movie which was a surprise to me as he is not really in to movies. To convince your boyfriend/husband to watch it with you, just tell them that Scarlet Johansen and Penelope Cruz makeout. They will be up for it.

Slumdog Millionaire – I am so happy that Slumdog won the Oscar. This is a wonderful movie. If you haven’t seen it, GO. The soundtrack is pretty fantastic, too.

The Other Boleyn Girl – I know this came out last year, but it was On Demand this weekend and I have wanted to see it for a while. I never really knew the story of Ann Boleyn and am not exactly sure if the movie depicts the actual events as they happened, but I absolutely love Natalie Portman and thought she was great.

The Reader – I haven’t seen the movie, but picked up the book, by Bernhard Schlink, a few weeks ago. I am not usually into war time stories, but with all the fuss about Kate Winslet’s performance in the film, the book caught my eye at the bookstore. It was hard for me to relate to the beginning of the story because I’m a girl and don’t understand how adolescent boy’s minds work. Even though, I couldn’t really relate to either character, I was still curious about their relationship. Once I got to the Part Two, I stayed up all night to finish. This is very out of character for me. I wouldn’t consider it a “page turner”. I was just so interested in how things were unfolding that I wanted to know more about the characters. Plus I couldn’t wait to discover what her secret was.

Gang Leader for a Day – This book, by Sudhir Venkatesh, I picked up in the train station in New York and am so glad that I did. It is an incredible account of life in the Chicago Projects told by a Sociology student who befriended a gang leader while attempting to conduct research on poverty. My favorite course in college was my Anthropology course where I got to read about indigenous cultures and how other people live on this planet. To me, an upper middle class white girl in the suburbs, the life of poor people in this country is almost as foreign as the lives of the indigenous Tongans. I loved this honest portrayal of how people survive in the projects and how difficult it is for those people to make their lives better even when they have the will to work and the brain power to run a successful business. It really made me appreciate what I have and understand a little better how difficult life is for those who do not have opportunities that I have had.

Next on my list to read is Her Last Death a Memoir by Susanna Sonnenberg.

Next on my list to see is Milk. I think it comes On Demand in a couple weeks.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Love, Mom

I just came across this blog that I’m sure everyone has already heard of. I thought I would share it anyways in case anyone hasn't seen it. This is the funniest blog I have ever read. Postcards From Yo Momma, is a collection of emails, text messages and IM chats between mothers and their adult children. I sat reading this site on Friday afternoon for about an hour and was hysterically laughing aloud to myself, trying not to fall out of my seat. I can see my mother in so many of these messages.

The ladies that put together the site are publishing a book coming out in a few weeks. You can preorder on I just did. Brad did the author’s photo for it and I think my brother shared some of our mom’s notes. I can not wait to see it. I spoke to my mother about it and she had a guess of what email he would want to share with this site. A few years ago she sent my brother a message something like this, “I am so incredibly proud of all that you have accomplished and am so thankful for such a wonderful daughter.” The actual message was much longer and intended for me. She accidentally typed in my brother’s email address. Oops.

I sent in one of the emails that Evan’s mother sent a week or so ago. The email was quite clever and perfectly accurate of how she conducts day to day life. Now it is immortalized online. (I hope you don’t mind, Jane.)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

My Birthday Cake

Yesterday was my birthday. I didn’t have big plans. I really just wanted a day to relax. I woke up uncharacteristically early and Evan was busy in the kitchen making me a birthday cake. It turned out just perfect and I had a really nice day.