F. Scott Fitzgerald is one of my all-time favorite authors. His words are prose as poetry, and from that standpoint, The Great Gatsby is considered is best work (albeit I'm partial to the book he was still writing upon his death, The Last Tycoon.

If the film is as good as the trailer, Baz Luhrmann, the director of the cinematic musical Moulin Rouge (talk about a fully encompassing cinematic experience, despite the tongue-in-cheek pop music mashup) may very well consider this his masterwork.

The movie stars Leonardo Di Caprio, Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire, and the usually funny Isla Fisher in a very serious role. Oscar nods all around.

Depicting the roaring twenties the way Fitzgerald wrote about it (or, I should say fantasized about it) does the author proud.


— Josie


  HAH Hanging Man V2

The Housewife Asassin's Handbook

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"You've got a book that won't be putdown – so go pick it up now!"  — Cat's Thoughts
"As a housewife myself, this book was a fantastic escape that had me dreaming "if only" the whole way through. The book doesn't take itself too seriously, which makes for the perfect combination of mystery and humor…" –Curled Up with a Good Book and a Cup of Tea


Purrrrrfect! W lets Kristen Stewart’s kitten out of the bag.

When we were little, we all played dress up in our mother's clothes and makeup. I don't know a mom who doesn't enjoy acting as her daughter's makeup artists and and wardrobe mistresses. Live Barbies are more fun to play with, right?

The stylists and editors of fashion magazines get to do it for a living, with some of the most celebrated personalities of our time. Talk about fun!

Just ran across the September 2011 cover of W magazine, which features the hardworking, no-nonsense actress Kristen Stewart. Unless you've been underground for the last five years (werewolf in a cave, vampire in coffin, hint hint…bad analogies, I know) you'll recognize her as the female lead in the TWILIGHT movie series. What I love about this video interview (to learn the exact questions she was asked, click through to the text version as well) is how unassuming she is. There is no "playing to the camera", but an honesty and forthrightness about her background and her craft. She makes it sound as if she's an "accidental" actor. Having seen her in several non-Twilight movies over the years – Panic Room, Into the Wild, Adventureland, and The Runaways, where she played musician Joan Jett –  I think she has aptly proven that this is so not the case.

W used that renowned photographic team of Mert & Marcus show us a side of Kristen we've never seen before: a throwback to 1960s Bardot/Fonda sex kitten sensuality, giving her blown-out-to-there hair and real cheekbones. It may not have been her typical demeanor, but she certainly went with it: more proof that she's a great actress — and good sport to boot.

No need to pout when you can purr,

– Josie

HAH Hanging Man V2

Murder. Suspense. Sex. 
And some handy household tips.

Signal Press – Digital eBook 

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Housewife Couture: Dior’s Fantasy Was Not the Reality

DiorNewHousewife I love looking at my mother's photos of her in the 1950s, when she was a newlywed, albeit pre-children. In the one I'm looking at now, her hair is pulled back in an elegant chignon. At her neck is the requisite  strand of pearls. She wears fitted below-the-knee dress.

When at play, photos show her in Capri pants and crisp sleeveless blouses.

She had the figure to do it all justice.

She was a Dior housewife.

When the war ended, Rosie the Riveter gave her factory gig back to the man in her life so that he could bring him the bacon, and she could fry it up — obviously not in the couture concoction seen here.

That's okay. Labeled "The New Look" by the media, Christian Dior was selling a wonderful dream that went hand-in-glove with the white picket fence every woman supposedly craved: fitted jacket, flared skirt, chapeau perched at an appealing angle…

And the eyes of every man in sight mesmerized by the vision of you.

DiorNewLook2 It helped that the end of war meant freedom for fabrics, too, to be used in clothes that made women—well, more womanly. Out with the overalls, in with crepe or chiffon cocktail dresses, shirtwaist dresses, and the hostess apron.

Martinis and hors d'oeuvres, anyone?

Now, five decades later, I — and the rest of my restless generation — live for comfort, not luxury. This means yoga pants and hoodies. For an evening out, I up the ante to jeans, a nice top, and slouchy boots.

Obviously, I (or my wardrobe) lack my mother's elegance.

Do I blame myself, or the fashion gods?

Neither. To paraphrase Trollope, it's the way we live now.

I'll have what she's having…and make mine a double,


SecretLives400  Josie' s Next Book: Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives

Simon & Schuster/Downtown Press

(ISBN: 9781439173176)

Look for it in bookstores June 1, 2010

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