Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Spousey GTH jackets

In the ongoing series on Spousey's sartorial resplendence...

I present the Go-to-Hell jacket, sometimes a bleeding mad, sometimes not...

The GTH is essentially a can't-be-missed shade or pattern that works well on a certain type of gentleman: confident, with a sense of humor, and comfortable on the dance floor.

These are not to be confused with the obligatoire tropical-weight navy blazer, poplin, or even his blue seersucker and blue cord.

I can always spot Spousey in a crowded room!

With full go-to-hell jacket,

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Spousey ped-drobe

Classic Gucci loafs

Allow me a brief diversion into the closet of the male of the species. (Yes, they have them, too.)

In my case, it's Spousey, who also has developed a healthy appreciation for the fine art of the well-cobbled shoe.
After all, a gentleman truly does need a certain baseline collection for all occasions.

I submit...

Church's two-tone spectator, perfect for Easter

Your standard Spectator, from Church's...

The dependable white buck...

RL alligator loafs

Stubbs and Wootton velvet slipper

Cole-Haan tasseled loaf

Lobb monk strap

Brooks fox slipper...worn by all groomsmen at our wedding eons ago

Trusty Bass weejun

Gucci nouvelle horse-bit loaf

Cable lace-up

Sperry topsider

Cole-Haan tuxedo pump

Belgian loaf

This is in addition to golf shoes, garden shoes, flip-flops (both leather and Vineyard Vines), sneakers of all types, paddock boots, LL Bean rubber ducks of two heights (low and above the ankle), Hunter wellies, and assorted others.

As you can see, it gallops in the family.

If the shoe fits,

Monday, May 17, 2010

Centennial Peonies

This has to be one of my top three fleurs--along with the previously noted hydrangea, and my ultimate: Stargazer lillies.

I have numerous bushes, but the most prized is this one...

Over 100 years old...in my family...transplanted from Connecticut three times...

There is something most poetic about the peony. Unlike the rose, its blooming season is so short. Its scent is superior, I believe, and it appears more delicate and multi-faceted in the glory of its petals. More translucent, somehow. And of course, the absence of thorns reveals the engagingly positive nature of the peony: no downside, just upside. The rose, with its potential for drawing blood, is the bipolar bloomer by comparison.

This particular color is just ravishing. I have often clipped one in full bloom and added it to a straw hat for extra punch. The pink is just perfection--not too-too.

An arrangement of peonies says so much about the person...all of which is probably just a mite too exclusive for democracy.
A peony-lover is a fellow appreciator of all that is rare and lovely and all-too-fleeting.

Enjoying them while they last,

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I think summer is all about hydrangea. Spring is peony time--which I adore, and soon I will post about my 120-year-old peonies--but it's time now to plant additional hydrangea, and you can never have too many.

Mother's Day was a chance for me to add to my ever-growing collection. I prefer the blue.

Hydrangea is also bursting forth elsewhere...

My love of these beautiful plants dates back to my New England family roots...summers on the Cape featured the most magnificent hydrangea. There's just something about the soil and salty air there that really make hydrangea-growing almost effortless. No need for acids to turn the blooms blue.

Our Cape handiwork: Have you ever seen them this enormous?

They're ideal as a walkway complement...this house was a neighbor of ours on Shore Road in Chatham...and it became famous as the "hydrangea house."

This new batch of four plants will likely go in a solid line down near the patio. This year I am also updating all the cushions on the cast-iron chairs and chaises, along with the porch wicker. I have ordered a perfect hydrangea-blue.

They also make a gorgeous addition to a bouquet or cut flowers in a vase. My daughter loves to put them with lilacs.

Planting away,

Friday, May 7, 2010


My mother, 1930, West Hartford

Sunday is Mother's Day, and I celebrate it as the Sandwich Generation gal I am: I have a mother who is older now, and I am a mother myself. In the classic tradition of selfless motherhood, I gear the day toward my mother rather than myself.

We will probably have brunch at the club, which my mother likes. And we will probably then go for a drive, which she also likes. My children (18 and 13) are quite patient with this tradition, although they realize it supercedes what they might otherwise plan for their own mother for the day.

I remind them that their grandmother was once young, too.

She is a very old-school New England lady from West Hartford CT, when it really said something to be from West Hartford. She is the real deal, and continues to be a reminder of what truly matters: character, character, character. All my frivolousness certainly has no origin with her.

My own journey to motherhood has been an adventure...one for another post. But my adventure as a daughter continues, and for that I am thankful.

Mummy, New York, 2008

Love you Babsy,

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Neck candy

A delightful last week or so...a bit of it spent amidst one of my favorite pursuits: fun jewels!

First up, my dear friend Sarah of the New York, Palm Beach and New Canaan Magrino girls...a beauteous foursome of fierce females if there ever was one...but back to the jewels part!

Sarah is having a great time of it with her Stella and Dot jewelry business. In case you're not in the know, this is the very hot collection with a very Palm Beach twist...fab enamels and what my grandmother used to call "paste"--earrings, necklaces and the like. Sarah was there at our club "Ladies Night" fundraiser with her delicious things...

I am happy to have been one of Sarah's first clients--once I saw the line included bee motifs. I have long had a bee thing, and am a sucker for anything with the elegant Napoleonic bee. Take a looky...

There was much fun shopping, swizzling and snacking on salmon, mini-quiches, shrimp and bite-size desserts. The cocktail du soir was even in the theme: a pink-hued "Shopaholic" along with Woo-Woos.

Also there were my friends Elizabeth and her wonderful shop Coast, inspired by the ocean, where I fell victim to this charmer:

Thank you Elizabeth!

But the week was just beginning! Today the very lovely Meg Carter of the incredible sea-inspired gems finally made her way to my backyard with her trunk show at the Wayne J McLaughlin store.

Ever-intepid on the trail, I had wisely called Meg the week before to make certain she came packing some heat: the long-lusted Chatham necklace, with matching lobe candy.

And so that I was not slighting my gracious J Mac hostess Carolyn, I had no resistance to the tulip-laden Harbor dress while I was at it.

Phew! For a blogger with a commitment to not blogging about purchasing, I certainly left my standards at the (shop) door.

Hiding the cards,

About Me

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Living well is the best revenge...and a choice we make every day. Join me as I celebrate the bounty of beauty in all its forms: fashion, homestyle, accessories and everyday richness...as I juggle the roles of Mommy, wife, daughter, dog mommy, creative director, Zumba instructor, volunteer...all with more than a passing glance backward to an old-school, classic time when style was a way of life