Monthly Archives: November 2013

Candy Cane Lane: a taste-tea holiday treat

Latest post up on my blog.

The holidays are just around the corner– which means great food and delicious desserts. And a tasty meal or snack is not complete without the perfect cup of tea. Celestial Seasonings’ “Candy Cane Lane” Holiday Tea is a naturally sweet peppermint decaffeinated green tea that brings nostalgia with its holiday taste.

To prepare this beverage, take one tea bag and place it in your favorite tea cup or festive mug. Heat up your water to almost boiling, then pour onto the tea. Add sweetener or honey if you desire, but the tea’s vanilla mint blend is naturally on the sweeter side, so it tastes great even without. Drink it hot to warm up after a day in the cold, or add ice and more tea over four cups water to prepare a pitcher of the fresh, cold drink.

Living up to its name, the tea almost tastes like liquid candy…

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Pure Environment: Everybody can help save the planet

For Laughter as Therapeutic Modality, we had to choose a topic to create a public service announcement commercial for. We chose environmental conservation. Our Pure Michigan Spoof shares a message about the need to make an effort to improve the environment.

Dreaming of denim

Latest post from my blog

One of fall’s biggest trends is denim. Carried over from last summer, the look still remains a hit in many stores, where shelves are stocked with denim button-downs and jackets. Options for denim are endless. Layer your favorite summer-style denim items for a stylish look, wear a comfy denim button-down for effortless style or add a jean jacket to structure a simple outfit.


Button-down denim shirts, like these chambray tops from Madewell, are essential to any wardrobe. Denim shirts are sold in a variety of washes, in prices to fit any budget. A bright scarf is a great way to accentuate the look, adding a pop of color and warmth.


Longer denim button downs, like this top from the Gap outlet, are great when styled with leggings, for a 1980s vibe. If the shirt is too lose, a belt accentuates the waste and adds structure. This look is great…

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Sweater weather

Chilly breezes and snowy skies can only mean one thing– it’s sweater weather. This time of year, there’s nothing better than bundling up with a nice cozy sweater, comfy boots and drinking a hot cup of tea. Stores are stocking up on more and more sweaters as the holiday season approaches, and with the variety of styles, there’s something for every look.

Lacy looks

With the lace trend still going strong, many sweaters follow suit this season. The embellishment adds a sense of femininity to a warm layering piece. Cardigans like this one from Nordstrom look great with dress pants and a casual tank, or also work well with a long dress and tights.


Trying to snazz up your outfit for that holiday office party? Looking to shine on a dreary November afternoon? Sequined Sweaters are fabulous for late fall and winter.  This one is great because the sequined neckline takes care…

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Goodbye Leaves

Fall is winding down– where did the time go? With the change of season, comes the disappearance of leaves.

leaf 4

The funny thing about leaves is, they are at their prime right before they die. Living in Michigan, we’ve fallen into this annual routine, where leaves are born in the spring, coming onto trees as little buds, ready to grow into greenery and take on the world. As the weather heats up, these tiny baby leaves evolve, like a caterpillar, transforming from seedlings into green glory on the trees.

leaf 7

This phase lasts a few months, and then the leaves change, again. The air gets a chill, and the leaves react by becoming passionately vibrant in shades of bright orange, sunny yellow and fiery red. They stay this way for a little while, amazing to those that notice them, and deceiving those unfamiliar to think that something wonderful is about to happen.

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Farmington Hills filmmaker busy with Michigan features

Stephanie Sokol for The Oakland Press

After eight years of writing and submitting screenplays, Michigan filmmaker Lance Kawas got his first script published in 2005 for his work on “Silent Scream.”

Later this year, the Farmington Hills resident plans to release two films and a music video that he wrote and directed in Michigan.

He attended the University of Michigan for management and finance, then worked on Wall Street for a few years, but did not find passion in his work. So he began writing screenplays. Following 138 rejection letters, Kawas landed his first film.

“(The film industry is) full of hardship and heartache,” he said.

Since then, Kawas has written and produced six titles, directed nine and acted in four, producing through his company, Washington Street Productions.

One of his upcoming movies being released this year, “Golden Shoes,” was shot here in 2012, and stars John Rhys Davies, Vivica A. Fox, Montel Williams, Eric Roberts, David DeLuise and Dina Meyer. The movie tells the story of a boy who plays soccer as an escape from issues at home.
The other film being released, “Fractured,” starring Eric Roberts and Jake Busey, is what he calls a psychological thriller about a murder investigation.

“Fractured” was picked up by a sales agent in Los Angeles and will be shown at the American Film Market this month, with showings at local art house theaters, including the Maple Art Theatre in Bloomfield Township on Nov. 24-25.

It has been nominated for best Michigan Feature Film in the Uptown Film Festival where it also will be shown this month in Birmingham. It will also be playing the festival circuit around the country.
Kawas is already looking to his next feature.

“Scott Rosenfelt, producer of ‘Home Alone,’ ‘Teen Wolf,’ ‘Mystic Pizza,’ has signed on to produce the critically acclaimed script ‘The Violinist,’ which I wrote, and I will also direct,” he said, adding the project is in development and he expects to start shooting next fall.

He also said he’s signed on to direct a thriller called “Pound of Flesh,” also to be shot in 2014. It’s a revenge tale in pre-production.
As if all that were not enough, his company, is putting together reality shows, and a comedy TV show to pitch to networks.

The two films he just completed are thematically contrasting, but Kawas said it provides him with a creative outlet to write about such differing subjects.

“‘Golden Shoes’ is light-hearted, so I feel that and I bring it to the table, while ‘Fractured’ is a psychological thriller, filled with drama and emotion,” Kawas said. “You write what you feel, and you write what you think about. And I love the fact that I don’t have to write one genre. Writing is therapeutic, exhilarating and thrilling. At the end of the day when the films come to the screen it’s a beautiful thing and I feel very fortunate about it.”

Another project Kawas will be releasing this year is his first music video, a piece for Detroit singer Majid Kakka’s “ILAMATTA,” a song about love. Kawas said the video was an interesting experience, fitting so much into a small time slot.

For Kawas, writing is one of his passions and something he has done for two hours every day for the last 10 years. Combining it with visuals to share stories with an audience is something he said he enjoys doing.

“I enjoy taking still pictures and making them move,” Kawas said. “Motion picture has always been a beautiful medium for me. Writing itself is my greatest expression of freedom — it is my escapism.”

FYI: Lance Kawas’ production company is Washington Street Productions: You can read his movie credits at
To learn more about the Uptown Film Festival in Birmingham, visit