Sunday, October 19, 2014

A Few of My Favorite Things

There are some things that you become accustomed to having in your life, your own essentials, so to speak. We all have them. These are the things that you use every day, or every season.  What are yours?  Here are some of mine:

1. Lafco Candles
I have several of these placed around the house and they are just the best candle.  They last forever and come in so many colors, fragrances, one for every room in the house.  It's hard to pick there are so many options.  See more here.

2. Christian Dior Mascara
I don't wear a lot of make-up but the one thing I use every day is this. I feel naked without my trusty Dior mascara.   See it here.
3. Dubarry Boots
In winter I wear these all the time.  I like the shorter model like the one shown below.  Some prefer the taller boots. They are warm, waterproof, stylish in a country sort of way.  See them here.

4. Belgian Loafers
These are the most comfortable shoes on the planet. I have a new pair for fall and cannot wait to wear them. And they last forever. See them here.
5. Monogrammed Stationary
People don't use snail mail anymore but I do.  I love personalized stationary, engraved is best.  There is something old fashioned about having your own monogrammed stationary.  I don't like stationary with your name on it, just the monogram. See it here.

6. Arcteryx Anything
After a few ski trips to the Canadian Rockies in January you learn what to wear.  Nothing is warmer than Arcteryx.  It beats Patagonia and Marmot hands down. North Face is not warm (ask me how I know).  I love this vest and wear it all winter.  It also comes in long sleeves which I also have and a hoody.  See it here.

7. A Good Handbag
Just like cheap shoes, a bad handbag cheapens everything else you wear.  Have at least one in brown and black. I have owned this Gucci model for 20 years and still going! See it here.

8. Linen Napkins
I rarely serve a meal without a cloth napkin.  There's something about having a linen napkin or a good quality cotton one when you dine. This is my favorite brand and they made tons of colors. See it here.
9. Erno Lazlo Normalizer
I use this as foundation and it's not heavy, greasy.  Jackie O used it, as did Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe. Hey, it worked for them.  No kidding, this stuff has a cult following and once you use it you'll definitely understand.  And it can be hard to come by.  Wonder if they are rationing it or it really is in that much demand.  See it here.


10. Marmot Rain Jacket
In the country you spend a lot of time outdoors, regardless of weather.  And the golden rule of horse showing is that if it can rain, it will.  Never go to a show without rain gear.  I love this jacket and it hangs in my mudroom or it's with me when I am showing.  This is my favorite. See it here.

Enjoy your day!

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Age of the Cocktail Party

Why have we become so informal?  I miss the age of the Cocktail Party.  Growing up my parents went to cocktail parties routinely and one old family friend used to have this extravagant party every year on Christmas Eve. We'd get dressed up, the house was packed.  Waiters everywhere served drinks off real silver platters.  It was divine.  When the head of the household passed probably 7-8 years ago the parties declined, moved to the daughter's house which was smaller and could not accommodate us all, everyone showed up.  No one wanted to miss the coveted invitation.

Why have we gotten away from dressing up, having a nice cocktail party?  I would love to host a fabulous cocktail party, IF everyone would dress stylishly and come like we all used to do. Why don't we do this anymore?  Do we not appreciate a nice stylish function? 

There are some great clothes out there now just waiting for an invitation like this tunic from Tory Burch.  Tory probably goes to a lot of parties in New York and needs an entire cocktail wardrobe.  Many years ago when I lived in DC, I had a cocktail wardrobe although I didn't use it as much as I would have liked.

I despise the informality of our lives now.  Jeans to work, sweats to work, grunge everywhere. Just look at J Crew now, all sweats, sport shoes, nothing tailored and nice like they used to produce en mass.   I wore panty hose, dresses and heals when I worked in DC and never wore pants to work.  We just didn't do it and were expected to look nice. But I did work in a big law firm.  But still, why have we become so slovenly?

New resolution - party on the horizon, formal cocktails or bust.  Spread the trend, please!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

My Secret Wish List

We all have a secret wish list, don't we?  Things we'd love to own one day, only if...........
When I was a little girl, the Talbots catalog would arrive and I'd thumb through it circling everything I'd love to own, one day: Herman Geist t-shirts in every color.....This was when Talbots and Carroll Reed were the places to shop.  I still have a list and unfortunately, my taste has skyrocketed in price...

1) Elizabeth Locke Anything
I don't covet jewelry like many do but one day I'd love to have a piece made by Elizabeth Locke.  Everything she produces is just divine.  

 2) A Chanel Jacket
I'm hoping I will find one of these one day second hand, maybe in Paris.  This would get worn every week.
 3) This Hermes Scarf
I'm not sure why I love this pattern so much. If I see one, I'll scoop it up for sure.

 4) Monogrammed Napkins from Madison in Dallas
I almost pulled the lever on these last year but not quite, in pink.

 5) County Estate China
Would just love to own a set of this in the beige color.
 6) Roger Vivier Shoes
I don't know if these would fit, but I adore them.  Any color will do.

 7) This Tory Burch Bag
This reminds me of a "ladies who lunch" bag but I love it.  Any color.
What's on your secret wish list? Santa? 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

T is for Tartan

I am loving the tartan look this fall in tunics and dresses.  A Devon Baer tunic has been on my wish list for quite some time.  This will look great with jeans, wool pants, whatever!

This adorable wool dress is on sale at Brooks Brothers. Great dress for the holidays!

And this Marc Jacobs number is a must for spring or cruise if you are heading south later this winter, or if you live in a warm climate.

We survived the weather last night, howling winds, rain, rain and more needed rain.  Enjoy your Wednesday in style!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Autumn Dinner Party

A cold front moves in today, the leaves are coming off the trees, it's damp, browns, golds, and orange permeate the landscape.  Definitely time for a fall soiree......

Pumpkins make the best centerpieces.  Easy, inexpensive, even a caveman can do it. Sometimes I spray paint them gold to add a little lustre and shine.

Since china (and coats) are my weakness, in my book you can never have too much of it.  I'd start with these dinner plates from Juliska. This is their most popular pattern.

 I'd use these plates also from Juliska for the salad and accents:
 I also like the orange plates but they only come in one size and I can't decide if I would tire of them. Likely not.

I have these chargers from the Caspari store in Charlottesville and they get used a lot.  Great for outdoors too.  And they are reasonable.Use them on the bottom just for looks.
 This flatware has been mentioned before.  Love, love it, from Ballard. I am sure this will sell out.

These napkins from Horchow in orange:

These placemats are interesting, from Williams Sonoma but you'd need another napkin, not the orange ones. 

Or use these placemats from Barneys:

More glassware also from Juliska:

 Happy fall entertaining!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Hunt Club Linens

There's plenty to love at Pomegranate, a great company based in Kentucky that must have a horse owner/rider/lover involved.  I just picked up these napkins last week:

 I did not go for the placemats but instead paired them with a French blue linen one piped in white. Red works well too but not a bright Christmas red.  Green also looks nice.

There is also a matching apron:

And I am loving these for the holidays:

Want to see more adorable linens at a great price?  Go here.  Happy Monday!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Make Mine Quilted

If you've read this blog for long you'll know that the writer has a coat fetish.  Some love shoes, handbags, jewelry, here it's coats.  Not sure why as winter is my least favorite season but maybe the coats help me like it a little bit more. My newest fascination is with a Burberry quilted coat.  I just adore these.  Navy is my favorite, but really how could you chose?

If you don't feel like spending $700 there are many other options.   Joules is now available in the US.  This cute little number comes in four colors. You can get all four for less than the Burberry.

You can find the Joules coat here.
Boden also makes a reasonably priced quilted coat:

You can find the Boden coat here.

Surprisingly Banana is making a cute one too, more city chic than country, IMHO.

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