Los Angeles Heat Wave: It’s Getting Hot In Here. . .

Remember this photo from a few cycles back on ANTM? Appropriate, ain't it?You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. Truer words were never spoken. Especially when you’re shvitzing your behind off in an office with a broken a/c in the middle of a massive LA heat wave. Right now, I’d probably take a bath in freon were the option presented to me. It is literally so hot that the fan on my desk is only adding insult to injury – it’s like moving the hot air of a convection oven around, which ain’t doing so much for my sweaty self.

It’s times like these that you really need to remind yourself how lucky you are. I may be miserable, but at least I’ve got plenty of water to drink – and an ample supply of Diet Pepsi to boot. I may be soaked in my own sweat, but at least I’m going home to a house with a roof (and blissfully, a working air conditioner) tonight. I may be having trouble focusing on my computer screen as the heat headache pounds out what sounds suspiciously like a Brazilian samba beat in my head, but at least I have my Twitter and Facebook friends to periodically distract me throughout the day. I may be literally slipping off my desk chair because of the sweat pooling under my skirt-clad thighs, but at least I’m losing weight from all this sweating…or at least, I sure hope I am. I may be stuck in a stuffy office with no a/c in the middle of a damn heat wave during what is supposed to be the first freakin’ month of fall, but when all is said and done, I’m still pretty darn lucky.

Now, would someone please pass the popsicles?

Los Angeles Tech + Social Media Group Seeks Advisory Board Members

Note: This post originally appeared on the Girls in Tech site

Wanted: People who believe in the Girls in Tech mission of educating, empowering and advancing women in technology across all sectors of business, media and tech. We have openings on the Girls in Tech LA Advisory Board for men and women who want to help us plan and promote our events, recruit new sponsors and members, build our brand and grow our organization. It’s a purely volunteer position but the rewards – including exposure for your personal and professional brands, access to some of the best and brightest in the LA tech scene  and the satisfaction of knowing you are helping to create a powerful platform for local women in technology – are invaluable.

Requirements: Must be able to commit to at least a few hours of work each week, as well as a single 20-minute conference call each month. Must be passionate about promoting our group, and eager to work on all of the exciting panels, events and partnerships we’re building. Must love working closely with a fantastic team of amazing, inspiring women to build a truly great brand.

Responsibilities: Doing what you do best – whatever that may be – to help us take Girls in Tech LA to the next level.

To Apply: Email mollievandor@girlsintech.net with your name, area of expertise and the amount of time you think you’ll be able to commit to GIT LA.

Social Media + Ashton Kutcher + Malaria = Major Social Good

Today, Mashable ran an article titled How Social Media Helped 174 Million People Get the Message About Malaria. The gist of it is that massive amounts of money and awareness have been raised by the social media efforts of Ashton Kutcher, CNN and the UN in the battle to stop the spread of malaria.

And how did all this social good happen? Social media. Specifically, a whole heck of a lot of Tweeting. Which just goes to show you that Twitter can be used for spreading a whole lot more than #BieberFever. Here’s hoping Kutcher’s efforts continue to fuel the growing social good + social media trend. Hey, if the guy could singlehandedly bring back the trucker hat, maybe he can make charity and social action just as hip. They’re far more flattering on most people anyway. . .

Things I Love Thursday

It’s Fashion Week, and in case you haven’t been following me on Twitter, you know I’m pretty much obsessed. I love the promise of a new season, the luxury of a whole week dedicated solely to the pursuit of dramatic design. Fashion week for those of us who can’t actually afford high fashion is a time to be inspired – at least in my opinion. Inspired by the fantasies of fashion designers, whose moods and motifs often reflect a greater sea change in society. Inspired by the glamour of an impossibly-proportioned goddess gliding down an impeccably lit runway. Inspired by the sheer fabulousness of the whole thing.

I’ve considered myself an aesthete since I was old enough to spell that word. Not in a haughty way. Just in the sense that one of my favorite pastimes is looking at pretty things – be it the hauntingly beautiful cinematography of Gregg Toland, the sleek modernism of Mies Van der Rohe or the gorgeous gowns of Galliano and McQueen. Fashion week is like taking what is usually a stylish snack – a glimpse at a design blog during lunch, a Saturday afternoon spent on the couch with my copy of Vogue – and making it into a week-long, multiple course feast. And I am loving every gluttonously glamorous second of it. Especially now that designers are starting to move past the gloom and doom of the last year, and we’re well beyond the tacky and trashy trends of the year before that. It’s finally feeling like fashion week is getting back to what fashion designers do best – showcasing beautiful clothes in a witty, intelligent way. And that’s why Fashion Week is the thing I’m loving most on this particular Thursday.

Some other tidbits I’m treasuring right now:

Lettuce wraps from PF Changs | the Baldessari exhibit at LACMA, which I saw last weekend and loved every second of | the current season of Mad Men, which just keeps getting better and better | planning panels and even more exciting stuff for Girls in Tech LA | the new Ranker.com blog, which I just finished designing a day or two ago |  Diet Dr. Pepper, because it really is as good as the commercials say it is | the fact that Jewish holidays two weeks in a row means lots of catching up with all the old family friends I never get to see | West Wing reruns while I’m getting dressed in the morning (thanks, Bravo!) | the smell of fall that’s in the air at night now | football season being back & giving me a great excuse to hit my favorite sports bars on a Saturday afternoon | my new, shorter haircut and the massive amounts of time it saves when I’m getting ready to go out | the vast collection of vintage blazers my mom gave me last week – they’re gorgeous and I can’t wait for cold weather so I can wear one every day | my dry cleaner, who charges like next to nothing and always does a fantastic job | my new blog & Twitter backgrounds | The Rachel Zoe Project – what can I say, I love her. And, I have to say, I relate quite a bit to her issues with career + personal life balance. Not to mention I covet pretty much everything in her closet | Having so many things to list here, I’m having to force myself to stop…after all, it’s the little things that make life livable. Well, the little things & the new collection from Michael Kors (love!)

Fashion Week On Twitter, Foursquare, Facebook & More: The Savvy Stylista’s Guide To Getting A Front Row Seat From Your Computer Screen

This post originally appeared on The Girls in Tech blog

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – fashion week. And, from fashion blogs to the New York Times , everyone’s talking about all the sensational styles currently making their way down the runways of Lincoln Center. Of course, not everyone has a front row seat for all that fabulous fashion.

Fortunately, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, you don’t need a ticket to check out the latest trends on the runway. All you have to do is turn on your computer. Which is way easier than navigating the steps of Lincoln Center in your stilettos anyway.

Speaking of navigating, I’ve rounded up the best sites for finding fashion coverage on the web in this handy guide – How To: Find Fashion Show Videos & Fashion Show Pics Online. It’s full of the best places to find fashion show videos, behind the scenes coverage of fashion week, runway show reviews and more.

And the best part? These resources will last well beyond the trends they’re covering, so you can keep checking back for fresh fashion coverage during the rest of this season and beyond. Because the best fashion statement is the one that’s always in style. Well, that and pretty much anything by Chanel.


Vogue.com Website Redesign: I’m Head Over Heels

I love the new Vogue.com. Seriously, love. It manages to be bright and bold, clean and catchy, strong but sleek – all of the things I love in a good design. It’s viscerally evocative of the emotion of high fashion – it’s got the sense of drama inherent in any great design, tempered by the tailoring of clean lines and clear layouts. It’s creative, but not chaotic. In short, I think it’s gorgeous.

And, even though I’m someone who will always love the luxury of sitting on a Sunday afternoon, slowly turning the actual pages of a fresh copy of Vogue, I have to admit that I’ve never been one for browsing their site. To me, Vogue is like a long bath or a face mask, a ritual I do to pamper myself with pretty pictures and interesting articles, not necessarily something I need to keep up with content-wise in the same way I keep up with the million other websites in my google reader, google alerts, Twitter and Facebook streams, regular lunchtime blog browsing, etc.

So, the fact that I am so head over heels (fashion pun intended) for this redesign actually says something. Because now, visiting Vogue online feels that much closer to the experience of turning those glossy pages in my monthly magazine. Which means I may start actually using the website – at least in the weeks between issues.

Dissecting the New Vogue.com: How One Magazine Did the Web Right.

Google Instant Search Gets Up & Running

In case you haven’t been on Google yet today (aka: in case you either live under a rock with no internet or you really got to sleep in this morning),  they rolled out a major change to their search functionality this morning with Google Instant Search.

Basically, it predicts what you’re searching for, and shows you these predicted results as you’re typing, rather than waiting for you to hit the ‘go’ button. Here at Ranker, we do something similar when people are searching our 6 million+ item database for things to rank, and I have to say it’s a pretty handy way to find stuff. Especially when you’re searching a field of data as massive as Google’s (or as Ranker’s, for that matter).

I also love that they demoed it at San Fran’s Museum of Modern Art – one of my favorite places in the bay, and a great illustration (pun totally intended) of the power of a well executed web search to hone in on the kinds of data-driven details that make pretty much every experience more enriching. After all, what would a great piece of art be without the context behind its creation? And what would watching TV be like if you couldn’t find out all the behind the scenes gossip you need to really appreciate the Real Housewives of DC (a highly underrated piece of art in and of itself, at least imho). Now you can find those deets, and find yourself wandering the web of related results a lot more quickly and easily, thanks to instant search.

So, bravo Google. So far, I’ve really enjoyed playing with instant search and I’m excited to see how it develops from here. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some more Salahi gossip to Google.

Fashion’s Night Out

We all know what it feels like – that awful sinking feeling that you’re underdressed, out of your element and in way over your head. You could be the most competent, confident career woman in the world, but when that feeling comes bubbling up from the pit of your stomach and the back of your head, you can’t help but crumble a little bit.

It seems antithetical, but to me, that’s the best illustration of the power of fashion. That feeling that can bring you to your proverbial knees. Because, of course, it goes the other way too. Few things can make you feel more powerful and in control than feeling like you’ve got the perfect, pulled together outfit going on.

And that’s why I so admire the work that Dress For Success does in outfitting low income women with the work wardrobes – and career skills – they need to succeed. And, it’s why I’m so proud that we will be helping to raise money for them as part of our Girls in Tech Fashion’s Night Out event at Saks Fifth Ave. on September 10.

I know I’ve written about this event here before, but I cannot stress enough how much good Dress For Success can do with the money we raise. So, if you’re going to buy any new clothes, shoes, beauty or accessories for fall, why not buy them with a 15% discount, knowing that five percent of the profits from your purchase are going directly to Dress For Success?

Plus, just for showing up at our big Fashion’s Night Out event on Friday, you’ll also get a swag bag with $300 worth of goodies from places like Beverly Hills Plastic Surgery, Blow LA, Sports Club LA, Physique 57, Showstoppers, Frosted Cupcakery, LA Magazine, and Bellacureous. Not to mention free wine and bites from Malibu Wines, makeovers and style seminars from Saks’ experts and much more.

A good cause, a goodie bag full of glam goods, good style advice and great food…not a bad way to spend a night. Or the $30 it costs for a ticket.

Get yours today here. I’ll see you there! (As soon as I can pick out the perfect outfit, of course).

Things I Love Thurs. . .er, Friday

Oops, I did it again. No, I didn’t play with your heart – at least not that I’m aware of. What I did do was fail to post Things I Love Thursday on, well, Thursday. So, it’ll have to be Things I Love Friday this week. C’est la vie.

Luxist is like the website equivalent of one of those $1,000 ice cream sundaes from Serendipity in New York – unabashedly over the top and almost disgustingly decadent. I just found it, and I’m loving it for a lunchtime luxury fix, especially the real estate listings | My newest Mashable article about scoring social media bargains on fab fashion | And speaking of fashion, I’m getting very excited about the upcoming Girls in Tech LA Fashion’s Night Out event at Saks Fifth Ave. in Beverly Hills | Podcasts. I know I’ve come late to this party, but I just recently started downloading podcasts to listen to at work and am loving having This American Life, Marketplace and The Dinner Party Download on as background noise while I work | The fact that after Labor Day, all the good fall TV comes back, meaning I can finally look forward to watching something other than Real Housewives of New Jersey re-runs | My new Twist Stepper, which is going a long way towards keeping me on track fitness-wise on days when I don’t have time to get to the gym | Looking forward to Labor Day weekend, and sun, sand + s’mores with my friends and family…

Fall Into Fall: Autumn Leaves Mean Fresh Starts, New Beginnings

It’s the first day of September, and the first day of what is arguably one of my favorite times of year – fall. Even if you’re not in school anymore, there’s just something about fall that feels like a fresh start. Maybe it’s the sudden switch from hot summer nights to cool, crisp evenings, maybe it’s fall fashion week and the reemergence of sweaters and scarves, or maybe it’s just the simple fact that the fresh-books-and-backpacks feeling is so ingrained from childhood that you just can’t shake it. As a Jew, fall also means the new year – a time of repentance and reflection. Which, if you’ve lived the year I’ve lived, is probably best left to another blog post.

But, the point is, it finally feels like summer is coming to a close in favor of fall. And, I don’t know about anyone else, but it’s been one heck of a stressful summer. Fall feels like a much-needed breath of fresh air. A cool breeze to wash away all that stale, stagnant summer stuff and replace it with something crisp and clean and invigorating. Fall also means a return to a few of my favorite things – pumpkin patches, holiday decorations, cold winter nights spent curled up with thick blankets and even thicker books…the list goes on and on. Suffice it to say, I couldn’t be happier to see the calendar say September 1st.

So happy first day of fall everyone. To celebrate, here are a few gorgeous fall pics from my former employer (and still one of my favorite landscape photographers) Dan Merkel. Can’t you just smell the leaves crunching?