Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Interiors and Decoration

Charlys Style Of Life

Planète Deco 

This is just an experiment.  I love this format for blogging sooooooo much better than wordpress. But I don't know what the blogger/blogspot/google app is like on the phone, I don't know what the themes are like, I don't know anything except for i LOVE how comfy/easy and intuitive it is [better than] compared to stupid wordpress.  Everything free, too.  Right?  No one's asking me for bits of icky code, too.  I don't even have to LOOK at code if I don't want to. . .  YAY YAY YAY!!!!  and I can write in COLOR!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

I am NOT without REGRET!

omg, I like this better.  SO MUCH BETTER.  but i paid for stupid wordpress.  i'm trying to think of the cool things about wp, but the thing is I really liked that responsive (mobile advantage for sure) thing and I LIKED THE BALLOONS THEME.  but i don't even use that now.  i switched to "MISTY LAKE"and I can't even change colors.  Even after I poked around with in the code and searched the horrible mess of wordpress support forums....

serenity now.

Friday, August 2, 2013

I Moved! And Don't Ask Me Why. (But I Could Whip Up Some Answers)

I moved to BANANAMAP.
It's more fun there.  I mean it.
There are B A L L O O N S.  No kidding.  Yeah, I knew I could entice you!

(Laura George, Etsy)

But, cuz I like the blogger setup so much (better than ahem wp), I may return someday... (I'm looking off into the distance)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Y B a B Corp?

We are in the business of preserving and improving human life.  All of our actions must be measured by our success in achieving this goal.
From the Merck (founded 1891) Internal Management Guide, 1989

This post is a kind of a Part 2 to my previous post:
Can you imagine a company like Merck, staying true to their core ideology for more than 100 years?  
I am inspired by all the ideas in Built to Last.  

We have decided to be a Benefit Corp ("B Corp"), to be held to the highest standards of public benefit, monitored by a third party. 
Here's what B Lab says: 
Benefit Corporations are a new class of corporation that are required by law to create a material positive impact on society and the environment and to meet higher standards of accountability and transparency.

Profile Health Systems (We make products that personalize healthcare and help you make the best decisions about your health) will be the first Delaware B Corp -- the law will be signed on July 17th

Our Mission: 

Through social entrepreneurship, spirit of cooperation, and a dedication to people over profits:
  • Give everyone in the world access to, and benefit from, the sum of all health knowledge.
  • Provide an intelligent health management system whose logic evolves from impartial crowd-sourced data input, providing personalized guidance to help people understand and take control of their health.
  • Help healthcare providers engage and empower their patients — improve communication, diagnosis, and follow-up, while reducing the workload on providers and lowering healthcare costs.
  • Strive to cause no harm to people or the environment and improve the health of both.
  • Illuminate the connections between personal and environmental health and enable our patients to take action to improve the health of both.

Surprising Yourself About Yourself (and, Niceness is Profitable)

I am the most shocked to say that the old chestnut (first published in 1994) Built to Last is my new bible -- and very sincerely I say to you: it IS spiritual.

Did you know that the company Sony, even though it defined itself from the beginning as an electronics/technology company, first made rice cookers, sweetened bean-paste soup, and heating pads?

It's more than fascinating how these 50+ year companies have lasted not because they were the best at maximizing profits and knowing their market better than their competitors or any other "business savvy"-type reason.  They seemed to have lasted through the years because they established and continually reinforced certain similar values -- employees and products before stakeholders and profits, research and academic, scientific study over market potential, the best quality and ever-innovative products (even at high financial risk) before lowered standards and/or "safe" copycat products, and an almost mushy emphasis on PEOPLE as their most valued and valuable resource.  

The founders of these 18 companies felt a responsibility to their employees at a level never seen before in business.  These were the companies that first instituted employee profit-sharing and stockownership, company-wide health insurance and retirement (percentage-based, from janitor to CEO) -- all unprecedented. And nearly all of them instituted this primary responsibility to their employees -- codified it -- in official culture or vision statements which were not just lip-service but really practiced and reinforced at all levels of the company.  You can see that their decisions were all aligned with their values, and they never veered. 

These company visions were so important to the founders -- to design and establish a workplace structure that prioritized the individuality and contribution of each employee, and encouraged innovation and respect for the creative process -- that most often they were formally written even before a single product had been made.  For example, Sony had their philosophy (a passionate document, apparently very lengthy, written in 1945 Japan -- the end of World War II -- by the founder, Masaru Ibuka) codified back when they were making bean-paste soup, way before they were even profitable.  Motorola (founded 1928), IBM (1911), 3M (1902), Merck (1891), among others, formalized a philosophy of the company from its formation.  

It's a total switcheroo:  the product created is the company itself.  Products were irrelevant, or at least subservient to the principles and structure of the company.  (Marriott started out making root beer at a nine-seat location.) What is also remarkable is that these founding statements, often in their original wording, survived CEO after CEO over decades, because of the strength of belief and their wide-spread indoctrination throughout the institution.  (Also, upper management was nearly always promoted from within the company.)

It seems illogical (and definitely un-business-school-like) that any company would put human value and real ethical responsibility over "business"; I never would have believed it.  I have never been the tiniest interested in anything business-related, because it seemed coldly calculating all the way to the core.  But this rigorous six-year research study at the Stanford GSB (Graduate School of Business) -- Thank you, Jim Collins and Jerry Porras! -- proves the connection between commitment to the highest human ideals and market leadership and success. They held to their own standards, weathering some very hard periods of history and turns in the market.  Reading their founding documents, it's amazing how idealism and ethical responsibility really were chief in their motivations for starting a company.  You'd think it would be seen cynically, like Yeah sure, ethics and responsibility wins out over maximum profits? It's hard to believe, and there's a natural skepticism about companies as only profit-driven.  "Corporation" is now pretty much synonymous with "Corruption"-- a cold and cruel, morally bankrupt pursuit of money and power.  However, in the case of these 18 companies at least, their ideologies of values and purposefulness (to all humans) are really not meaningless platitudes.  

Now everyone hears and reads of all the B.S.-y "vision statements" and "values" that companies tout, and I was the first to scoff and be cynical.  I read this one company's statement of values --  pure nuggets about humility, integrity, authenticity -- then thought of the company's snobby founders and almost threw up from the insincerity.  But this book made me believe again.  Maybe I'm naïve, but it renewed my "youthful idealism" (see how cynical I still am, putting in quotes!).  It's just so GENIUS that this proof exists! For me, it's like officially finding out that actions matter, intentions matter, that we are meant for more than surviving and getting by.  Of course I can't hang out that long in this idealistic bubble, I know that some of these companies have veered off course a bit (or completely), but the pure long-term sustainment of vision (decades!) is commendable, admirable, and makes me stretch my own idea of what human capacity really can be.  Caring about people and being competitive are not mutually exclusive.  

Because we didn't have fear, we could do something drastic.                 Masaru Ibuka, Founder of Sony Corporation, 1991

Thursday, June 20, 2013

I planted a tree... my APARTMENT! and I didn't screw it up!

$5 decal from Kmart

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Cats Always Don't Care About Anything.

Just browsed Omoi Zakka Shop.  It's Japanese and some Swedish stuff (WeSC), and a random assortment of cool things seemingly designed to tempt me. I want all their notebooks. And can one rationalize acquiring 5-6 amusing tape dispensers? Just say NO! (I'm saying this to myself. ) This shop has a storefront in Philly, of all places !

Pocky chopsticks!!

Stationery set!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Best of Facebook

Thank you, Ann, for posting so many day-brighteners!  I haven't been to NY in two years (!), but next time for sure, I'm meeting your kiddies!
Of course Facebook has cute kids galore, but here ya go, the cutest, personality+ (EXUBERANT!) pretty little sisters in NY:

Can we bottle this ?  I'd buy it!

Carolina--so fashionable, non? Is she wearing Missoni?

Just a great picture--dog bigger than Elisa, the awesome headband!

ANN! One of the Great MOMS.
(Sorry I didn't include Nacho, one of the Great DADS!)

I Concur

both by Laura George (Laura Berger, Chicago)
(I found on

Thank you, Gretchen Rubin

"To be mature you have to realize what you value most.  It is extraordinary to discover that comparatively few people reach this level of maturity.  They seem never to have paused to consider what has value for them.  They spend great effort and sometimes make great sacrifices for values that, fundamentally, meet no real needs of their own.  Perhaps they have imbibed the values of their particular profession or job, of their community or their neighbors, of their parents or family.  Not to arrive at a clear understanding of one's own values is a tragic waste.  You have missed the whole point of what life is for."         (Eleanor Roosevelt)

I just started subscribing to Gretchen Rubin's "Moment of Happiness"-- daily quotations sent to your email.  Have you read The Happiness Project?  A lot of it is helpful and inspirational (and motivational).  I'd say (for myself, of course) that all of it all at once is a bit overwhelming...I took a few chapters at a time, skipped ahead, and went back to review.  Recently I went to her blog, and it's a bright and optimistic place, full of personal anecdotes and reader sharing, and lots of great ideas to try.

[I especially appreciate that she (Gretchen Rubin) is a fan of children's literature and actually started a children's lit reading group for ADULTS.  Now I can come out of the closet! I love re-reading Lucy Maud Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables), Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Chronicles of Narnia...I know there's lots of us who loved Laura Ingalls Wilder and cried reading Charlotte's Web.  The fun books that got me reading when I was really little were of course Ramona Quimby, this Betsy book series --by Carolyn Haywood (I just looked it up) and of course Judy Blume -- those books were SO fun!  They were my escape and comfort -- immediate comfort -- and I bet they still work better than Valium.  When I work with the kids in the literacy program in middle school it seems like reading (to them) is not a comfort, but a constant struggle.  There are all these easy-access (for adults and children) books now like Harry Potter, tons of vampire books, the Hunger Games...(but they can't compete with all the other distractions, iPad minis, the latest apps everyone's into, etc)...and I wonder how these sensational magicky books compare to the older kid lit books, the classics.  Did you ever read Tuck Everlasting?  That book totally haunted me.  And what about Madeleine L'Engle, HOLY.  I didn't really read much, just my favorites over and over.  I didn't get into the Hobbit when all the kids were schlepping it around, but I think it's cool now.  Oh, I read some Lemony Snicket cuz it's so weird! he writes such crazy stuff for kids!
Ok, that was the longest tangent ever.]

Monday, June 17, 2013



Have you ever looked at the Top Sellers at Shopbop? These are supposedly the most popular items of the week...but I think they must make them up.  Right?

Teddy Bear iPhone cover?

I admit, ok, that if someone got this for me, I would be HAPPY... 
But here are the reasons why I just COULDN'T accept:
  1. for iPhone 5 (i have 4S)
  2. it's $75
  3. self-respect

alice + olivia 
[nudie] lace shorts

  1. omg
  2. omg
  3. $385

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Kid of the Year

I tutor a few middle school students (an hour each, once a week) through Teton Literacy Center and maybe one shouldn't play favorites, but...ALAN IS MY FAVORITE !!!  He's in sixth grade and has a Russian tortoise named Sandy. We both like black ink pens that are made in Japan.  Isn't he cute?

A super nice kid who asks great questions and says "thank you."

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Why do I write a blog?
  • Share what I think is interesting in the world
  • Reach out in a small way, to anyone who needs...distraction?
  • Sometimes I have something I need to tell someone and the right person isn't there
  • For people who seek me out (maybe three or four?), this is a warmhearted HELLO
  • Practice writing freely
  • A bridge between anonymous scribble and public release
  • It's fun to have something [small] on the web that's yours [even though Google no doubt collects all sorts of data from everything I write], not just your FB page
  • To ask important questions like, Is there a Uniqlo in SF? LA?