Today is the day that Barak Obama is no longer the president of the United States.
Much like when someone you love passes away, today I am filled with memories from the past and I am filled with gratitude for the person we have lost.
These past 8 years have been what I would certainly call my most formative years. I became a woman in the world during this time.
I was 23 years old when the first black President was elected. That was the first time in my life that I felt a real fire ignite in me. This was the first time I REALLY felt that I was a strong voice. Yes, one voice but with enough courage this voice could feel like strength of thousands.
I campaigned for Obama in the middle of West Virginia where people pulled their guns out on us. I felt such certainty about this man as my leader that I stood on porches and had discussions about education, the Iraq war and changing our healthcare system. I had a HOPE poster in my bedroom and I remember jumping up and down as if my heart might burst when he was elected into his first term.
Today, it scares me how unwilling I am to face the facts of what is actually happening. I am surprised by how unsure I am to use the voice I once felt could be so powerful. But in this moment all I can feel is gratitude for Barak Obama, his wife Michelle and their morality, self assuredness and positivity. This rubbed of on the whole world and most certainly on my generation.
Maybe he didn’t change the world in all of the ways that we hoped – but with him in office as the leader of our country – it gave myself and my peers the safe and supported space to develop who we actually have become. And trust me, we are powerful.
I know this feeling might change, but here and now I know where I stand. I know who I am. I know what I believe in. I am not going to say this is all because of Barak Obama but today is when I realized he certainly played a part in it.

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Last Thursday I caught that darn cold that has been going around this season. It has not been too bad but it is certainly lingering. One thing that has soothed my throat has been warm drinks of any kind. Since I was sick over the weekend, I let myself live a little and whipped up some hot toddy’s and now I am hooked!

Here is my recipe:

  • 1 oz (2 tablespoons) bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon mild honey
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup boiling-hot water

Canopy Collective Storefront

Earlier this week I moved The Disco Emporium into a studio space at Canopy Collective in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood and I couldn’t be more psyched to be here!  In addition to selling a selection of my pieces in Canopy’s storefront, I’ll be able to refocus on photographing my clothes and developing my online store.  My studio space is definitely in its initial stages but a sneak peak of is below.  I can’t wait to show you more as it comes together!


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Mari Agory & Mari Malek for Suited Magazine, Original photo by Paul Jung


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BRAINSTORMING on ways to pre-make my Christmas gifts for my family before I arrive into the madness.

THINKING about what to wear to my friends pajama party Christmas/birthday party. So fun!

MISSING Suz a lot these days.


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FEELING such a sense of freedom and order after applying the Kondo method to organize and de-clutter all my things.

ATTEMPTING to recreate the most delicious cocoa bean, date, cashew, sunflower seed and banana smoothie I had in Bali.  So far I have not be successful!

ANTICIPATING the arrival of siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins all heading to Cleveland over the next week.

Wow, can you believe it’s already almost mid-December?!  This month is flying by and heading full speed ahead into the holidays.  We hope that you are enjoying the season.  Here are a few bits and pieces of our weekends.


Lauren – Cleveland, OH

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Friday lunch at the West Side Market

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Santa outside our grandmother’s house

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Packing up after my last flea of the year


Farrell, Los Angeles, CA


Watching O for the weekend


Reading the final draft of Albert’s screenplay, Caballo Blanco


Quick beach trip on Sunday morning

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F: Tell me about how your re:COLLECTION event went last weekend?

L: It was wonderful! We organized the event in just a couple of weeks and it really came together well. It was fun to do and I’m excited about where things will go from here.

F: What was something fun you found when you were re-organizing?

L: I brought back a lot of things from my apartment in NYC when I came back a few weeks ago and finally spent a full day this week going through everything. I found the Save Water print above that I actually bought at the 78th Street Studios in Cleveland but took to New York.

F: Are you reading anything right now? Big Magic?!

L: I haven’t started Big Magic yet but am really looking forward to reading it. I’m still slowly making my way through Women Who Run With the Wolves but I think I may also start Big Magic before I finish that one.

F: On a scale of 1-10 how do you feel about your life right now?

L: Ha! This is a funny question to me for some reason. I feel really good about my life right now; it’s maybe at an 8.5 or dare I even say 9?! Don’t get me wrong, I have my days like anyone else does but overall there are very few things in my life lately with which I am unsatisfied. (Knock on wood).

F: What is your drink of choice at the moment?

L: I had a Manhattan the other night at Michaelangelos in Little Italy that was delicious.


Sonia Delaunay beachwear, 1927


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DRINKING Bulletproof Hot Chocolate and it’s hitting the spot.

SPENDING quality time with my friends and realizing how rare that has been lately.

ANTICIPATING an awesome, fun and loving Cleveland Christmas.


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SITTING under the picture window at my grandmother’s house while she sleeps in the other room.

WONDERING how it is almost Christmas?!  Time to start focusing on my presents.

LISTENING to this playlist I made for the re: COLLECTION event last weekend.


L: What are you going to do this weekend?

F: There is not a lot on the agenda for this weekend. I might go hiking, will have dinner for Teddy’s birthday on Sunday, might go to the beach, maybe I will work on my Christmas presents. It is all kind of up in the air and I feel good about that. I wish I could be in Cleveland for your event. Good luck!

L: Did you end up starting, “Reading Lolita in Tehran” on the plane?

F: No, I actually ended up organizing my computer and photos and getting some work done. The plane ride went by so fast and I really felt like I accomplished a lot. I will start reading it soon. Unless anyone else has any book recommendations? Let me know!

L: Do you have any thoughts on how we should be handling all the craziness that’s happening in the world lately?

F: I feel pretty upset about the shooting that happened on Wednesday. I can’t stop thinking about it and I am certainly trying to hold back on being obsessive about the news updates. It is really hard not to read about it. I think there is a fascination in these horrific events and also a need to understand WHY people would do something like that. I have a lot of thoughts about it. I feel passionately about limiting access to guns. I wish they were illegal all together. Of course, I understand that America was built on the right to bare arms, but that was a different time. I know that limiting gun access would not stop every shooting, but I think it would certainly help. There are so many times when I am in a public place or at the movies and I feel unsafe. What I do know is that I want a change. I do not want this to be the normal. I don’t want this conversation to simply go away until the next shooting. On how to handle it? I am going to start with the good ol’ trust in yourself and see where it takes me.

L: Where/how do you come across new music?

F: I like to listen to All Song Considered on NPR or if I am really feeling like diving in and finding something new I head over to La Blogotheque.

L: What’s your favorite time of day?

F: For me, morning time is when I am the most productive but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is my favorite time of day. I also really like after dinner time when I feeling full and sleepy. 


Lakewood Park

I just got back from spending some time with both of my families – my Colorado family and my Cleveland family. I can’t tell you how nice it is for me to be around so many people that I love. I am truly someone that gets energy from being around others. I am sure that I have mentioned this before, but one thing that my life in Los Angeles lacks is a mutli-generational community of people. I forget how much it means to me to spend time with my grandmother or act like a kid with my cousins. It is the best to take a step out of your peer group and try on a different role in an interaction. We are all so many things – the aunt, the daughter, the friend, the babysitter, the pupil, the teacher, the customer, etc. And I realize time after time that it is so important to me to be able to be those things.

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