Finding the fakes


I don’t remember exactly when I started to love high end purses. My dear husband bought me my first, a black suede Prada with an incredibly cool hook style clasp. He has also bought me all of my subsequent expensive bags with the exception of one we got together while vacationing in Rome. I have bags designed by by Prada, Michael Kors, Burberry, Jimmy Choo, and Valentino. I know this because of the iconic branding on the purses, the card of authenticity in the inner pocket, the logo’d dust bag it came in, and the fact they were all bought either at the actual store bearing the designer’s name or at a reputable dealer, such as Neiman Marcus or Bloomingdale’s. That last requirement is the one that matters most as I’ve come to find out in a special report of mine airing tonight on counterfeit goods. Purses are the most counterfeited items in the world. Shoes, clothing, and other accesories, men’s too, are a close second. Every designer brand is a target but the ones that show up most often are Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel, and Nike. And good counterfeiters will copy it all; logo, authenticity card, dust bag, everything, so they can get your money. Most purses and shoes have a date and country code showing when it was made and where. Reputable dealers will know how to spot a fake code immediately. That may be harder for you and I but we can learn to pay attention to the other details that will tip you off that your Gucci is a “gotcha!” First, fakes will usually have plastic around the handles. Real designer bags will not. Look for sloppy or inconsistent lettering on the logo. Did you know the letter O in Louis Vuitton is a perfect circle, not an oval? Or that the left side of the M on Jimmy Choo is slimmer than the right? Also, how does the bag feel, look, even smell? A $1000 – $5000 leather purse is going to smell wonderful, feel buttery soft and the hardware on the handles, zipper, and pockets will be impeccable. You can use the same checklist on designer shoes. The iconic red sole of a Christian Louboutin will round off perfectly into the leather of the shoe, will be shiny and have a crisp imprinted logo with the country of origin below it. The list works for menswear and luggage. Zippers that don’t line up, a Louis Vuitton duffel bag with Italy as country of origin (it should always read France). Always make sure to buy designer items from the actual designer’s store or an authorized dealer. Chanel being sold on the street corner should be a big red flag. Louboutins in a box in someone’s trunk, probably not legit. When it comes to spotting counterfeits, trust your gut, know the tip offs, and protect your money. And then enjoy your purchase. Because a real designer item will last you a lifetime.


My all time favorite purse hubs and I got in Italy at Valentino. The suede on mine is worn, there are now pen marks inside, and the large bow makes the clasp completely impractical, but I LOVE carrying it. It’s beautiful, never fails to get a compliment, and as a bonus, reminds me of our wonderful trip to Rome and Florence.

To my daughter on Mother’s Day


When our only child does something crazy my husband turns to me and says “What have you birthed?” It never fails to make me, and her, laugh. The answer to this depends on what she’s done because she has bits of our personalities within hers. She shows mannerisms and traits not just of me and her dad but of both of our families. I realize all of us do and that we are equal parts nature and nurture. On car trips or in our bed on Sunday mornings the three of us have been known to play the “What do you get from Dad?” “Who do you look like?” “What traits do you share with Mom?” game. She is all of us and yet, still her own person and a wonderful one at that. So, on this occasion of celebrating mothers I want to give thanks for my daughter who posesses the best of all who have come before her.

My sweet Lucy, you have:

The big heart of Grandpa Ray.

The wit of Nana Nancy.

The brains of Papa Bill.

Lucy, you love cooking and food – like your Uncle Joel.

You are compassionate like Nana Kris.

Protective of those you love like Papa Dick.

Sensitive to others like Aunt Bonnie.

And playful like Uncle Terry.

My sweetie, you are fiercely loyal like your namesake Mama Cille.

And reflective like Uncle Bob.

All the things about your Dad that made be fall in love with him, reside in you. Wicked sense of humor, intelligence, gentle, honest, a love of animals, even that stubborn streak.

As for me, the woman lucky enough to have “birthed you” – I swell with pride whenever anyone says “Lucy looks just like you.”

For you are the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.


I’m thankful every day I’m your mother.

Time to ditch the dinner


I think journalists should be in the field or behind the news desk, not on the red carpet. There, I said it. I do not understand the fascination with the White House Correspondent’s Dinner held in Washington every spring. If you are not familiar with this event, consider yourself among the millions who could care less, no, seriously it is a dinner/”open mic” night with tables full of politicans, news people and execs, and celebrities. A host, typically a comedian, roasts the President of the United States and everyone in the room. The unfortunate target this year was New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and his weight. Really? Predictable and offensive. Then, the President proceeds to tell jokes, clearly written for him, skewering all the big news outlets, CNN, FOX, MSNBC, et al. I have a sense of humor. I appreciate people, even the President, who don’t take themselves too seriously. But how has a dinner I assume originated as a way to bring journalists who report from the White House together so they can swap stories with politicos they cover to a Kardashian-filled, borderline offensive, news personality-as-celebrity ego stroke? Former NBC Nightly News anchor and one time White House correspondent himself Tom Brokaw said it best “What kind of image do we present to the rest of the country? Are we doing their business, or are we just a group of narcissists who are mostly interested in elevating our own profiles?” Maybe it’s time to scale this one back to a non-televised small dinner that leaves Lindsay Lohan off the guest list. Network news people should not be elevated to movie stardom. They are recognizable, they are often attractive and charismatic, they are paid well. But they are charged with covering the very people sitting to their left and right, of maintaining a balance between serving the public and it’s need to know and serving that always hungry beast, ratings. I’ve written on here about my discomfort of actors, particularly those portraying news people, showing up on newscasts in character to essentially mock our line of work or of news people appearing in movies as news people. I’m sure there are enough starving young actors who would jump at the role of news anchor or reporter in order to put food on the table.

Being on television or being pointed out at the local mall does not make you Lupita Nyong’o. As journalists we have a responsibility to those who pay the bills to make sure we remember that when the cameras are rolling.

Marry smart



That was the cheeky headline on Slate this week as news spread that America’s (the world’s?) most eligible bachelor, George Clooney, put a ring on it. “It” being the finger of Amal Almamuddin, an Oxford educated lawyer, activist, multi-lingual, beautiful woman that – gasp! – none of us had heard of. I, like most of the country, like Clooney. I enjoy his movies very much. I enjoy equally his off-screen persona as a genuinely nice guy prone to the ocassional prank. He seems to like being George Clooney and I admire that. He doesn’t wallow in any woe-is-me celebrity privacy pleas, doesn’t take himself or his line of work too seriously, and despite an early failed marriage and a succession of model/actress girlfriends, no one has a bad word to say about him. Many a tabloid has been filled with speculation about “Will George every marry again?” or “Did girlfriend’s demand of a ring end Clooney’s relationship?” and “Is Clooney a committment-phobe?” I’ve long thought it was much ado about nothing. The man is a movie star, rich, and good-looking. Don’t feel too sorry for him or the ladies on his arm. What I love most about the news of his engagement though isn’t that he has decided to settle down, it’s who he’s decided to settle down with.

princeton mom

The book “Marry Smart” has gotten a lot of attention lately for many reasons, not the least of which, is the author writing a letter to the Princeton Review advising young women to use their college years to find a husband. Part of it reads: “Work will wait. Your fertility won’t. So yes, I’m saying, double down. Spend 75 percent of time planning your personal happiness, putting in place the things you need to ensure you reach your personal goals.
If that means getting cosmetic work to ensure they are “as socially successful in college as possible.”
I don’t know what offends me more, that women should alter their appearance to attract a man, that women should put education on the back burner in favor of finding a man, that men are so shallow the only requirement a future partner fulfill is looking good, or that men don’t find smart women attractive. This is certainly not to suggest the two attributes, intelligence and beauty, are mutually exclusive. Or that Clooney’s other loves have been dummies simply because they chose acting or modeling as a career. I’m not saying that at all. What I am getting at is I believe men like smart, successful women. They like women who don’t look entirely to them for their happiness or fulfillment. Women who have their own thing going on. And are open to sharing that thing with the right man. I find that wrapping your worth/happiness/value/fulfillment in one person is waaaaay too much pressure on them and really, you, too. I will reluctantly agree with one part of what the “Princeton Mom” has to say. Work on yourself. And not just in college. Do it not to snag a husband though, but a life. Educate yourself, find a job that fulfills, cultivate interests and friendships of your own. You may find that wanting a man, but not needing him, is the best way to attract one. That is the definition of “marrying smart.” Just ask Amal Alamuddin.


Actress & Addict


“I think there’s a huge misconception that if a doctor gives you a pill it’s okay to take it and if the doctor says you have to take it for the rest of your life that that’s okay too. I think people are getting cheated out of a really, really wonderful experience on this planet by taking drugs.”

Those are the words of award winning actress and recovering addict Melanie Griffith.


By now you are familiar with her background. The daughter of Alfred Hitchcock muse Tippi Hedren, child bride of Don Johnson, baby-doll voiced star of “Working Girl”, wife to Antonio Banderas, and mother of 4. Her struggle with addiction has shadowed all of that. Alcohol and drugs, illegal, and prescription. Griffith, who turns 57 in August, is in Atlanta to speak at the largest prescription drug abuse conference in the country. In our conversation today she half-joked that she’d “taken enough drugs to know” how wonderful a drug free life can feel. She describes her recovery from decades of substance abuse as being released from prison. Her impossibly girlish tone belies the very serious demons she has tackled. She shared with me that five years ago, her oldest daughter Dakota Johnson and youngest daughter Stella Banderas came to her during one of her dark days and said “Mom, we’re afraid you’re going to die.” It was that moment Griffith began her recovery. She candidly told me while choking back tears:

“My family, my kids especially who are 17, 24, 28, and 31 are proud of me today, you know? It was not that way five years ago.”

Griffith said coming to terms with her addictive personality and facing a sort of unknown fear she felt saddled with were integral parts of sobering up. And that having spent her life acting like someone else for a living it was time to be herself saying:

“I think the biggest problem with addicts and taking drugs is that you don’t know yourself, you don’t love yourself. And I don’t think any kind of pill or drug or alcohol can help you do that.”

I admire Griffith for exposing her weaknesses in order to grow stronger and help strenghten others. To insist that if people are going to feed off the low points of her life then they must pull up a chair at the table of celebration for the high ones.

melanie family

L to R – Dakota Johnson, Tippi Hedren, Melanie Griffith, Stella Banderas

To watch my entire interview with Melanie Griffith – click here

On my mind – 4/10/14


Sorry it’s been so long since we spoke. The Fisher group got extremely sick right after the Georgia marathon. Coincidence? Hmmmm. That will teach me to participate in this so-called “physical activity.”

Actually, Lucy and I had a great time in the marathon’s Luckie 5K. She wore a GoPro camera so the station could have a runner’s view of the race. It was a mild morning, we caught MARTA to avoid traffic, and celebrated with a delicious brunch after it was over. There was no indication on that day we would all get so sick.

luckie 5k

The only benefit to being sick is lying very still and catching up on TV shows. I devoured the entire 5 seasons of ‘Breaking Bad.’ I don’t know why I was so late to that party. What a show. Wow. Now I see why Bryan Cranston was nominated EVERY YEAR for an Emmy and Golden Globe. It wasn’t always easy to watch and yet I could not turn away.

breaking bad

I also recently binge watched ‘American Horror Story’ at the request of my daughter who loved it. Also not always easy to watch but the great Jessica Lange is everything in this series.

ahs lange

Speaking of TV, I’m eager for ‘Mad Men’ and ‘Newsroom’ to resume for their final seasons. Hate that both are ending though. Even after being blown away by Cranston in ‘Breaking Bad’, I’d still vote for Jeff Daniels for best actor in a TV drama. His Will McAvoy in ‘Newsroom’ is such a great character. Although one could argue Jane Fonda steals the series away from him and everyone else.

Saw where Netflix is debuting an original series on Pablo Escobar. That may be the perfect fix for my ‘Breaking Bad’ withdrawals. If it’s anywhere as good as Netflix’s other baby ‘House of Cards’ I won’t be disappointed.

Don’t let this insane amount of TV viewing lead you to believe the weather has been lousy or that I haven’t had anything to do. Spring is here and it’s glorious. After this epic winter, it’s time. It has gotten me excited for our annual trips to the river and beach. And has me out walking our dogs at every opportunity. Bring on that southern sunshine!


The sunshines of my life have had some disappointment this spring. Hubs traveled to Augusta Monday to watch the first practice round of The Masters and was rained out. That hasn’t happened for 11 years!

And my little angel did not make the cheerleading squad for next year as she had hoped. She prepared, practiced hard, and said she nailed the tryout but unfortunately she did not make the cut. My stellar parenting advice was that “sometimes life sucks” because really sometimes it does.

This child is nothing if not resilient and confident. There were tears, yes. But those dried quickly as she made plans to try out for the basketball cheer squad when school begins. Keep trying, baby. Keep trying.


I’m trying right now to get ready for May sweeps, my hubby’s big birthday next week, and yes, for the next TV show worth my time. Any suggestions…?

game of thrones

Your turn.

Racing toward spring


Today is the first day of spring. A certain sign of this most welcome season change is the Georgia Marathon. It is Sunday in downtown Atlanta and once again CBS46 is a proud sponsor. This not only means we have been pimping it like mad for months, that our logo is proudly displayed on the runner’s shirts, and that we are hosting a health fair at the Georgia World Congress Center Friday and Saturday, but that I am participating in the race this year! Now hold on, I’m not running a marathon. Nor am I tackling the half-marathon. But rather me and my daughter are running the 5K. And by running I mean walking. I have never been much of a runner and I passed that skill right along to her. But we do enjoy walking, breathing in fresh air, feeling the spring sunshine on our faces, and being together, albeit this time with about 20,000 people. My teenager has volunteered to strap a Go Pro camera to her body for the race so we can show our viewers what it was like to be part of the event. I’m certain she will be interviewed after the race too so we can put together a story of the entire day. (I passed that trait onto her too!) Several of my collegues will be alongside us Sunday morning at 7:30 as we wind our way through the expanse of Centennial Olympic Park, the historic southern neighborhoods that surround the city, and the shadows of the skyscrapers of Midtown.

We have race shirts to wear that show a runner’s form comprised of all our names.

marathon shirts

We have jerseys to wear to the health expo as we invite viewers to be on “Team 46.”


And we will have a large booth at the start line with water, fruit, and CBS46 swag. After an ice storm, snow storm, and epic traffic gridlock I for one am ready to usher in springtime as I cross the finish line Sunday with thousands of Atlantans, my friends, and my girl.

lucy walking
Lucy and our cocker spaniel Sadie at the Alpharetta Greenway