winter capsule

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Our team is rounding in the fall winter 18 fashion season while feverishly prepping to enjoy all holiday gatherings and the ringing in of the new year. Everyone is on the go go – shopping, cleaning, cooking, baking, decorating, travel, getting kids home from school, work work work. Doing all this stuff requires clothing (optional?), and sometimes it’s best to keep it tight. 

A capsule wardrobe is a collection of a few essential items of clothing that can be worn over and over.  The term capsule wardrobe was coined by Susie Faux, owner of the London boutique ‘Wardrobe’, in the 1970’s. Donna Karan popularized it here in the 80’s by releasing a capsule collection of seven interchangeable work-wear pieces. While not shiny or colorful, the concept works.  You can always mix in a few trend pieces. 

black turtleneck, black skinny trouser
Worth New York

black silk blouse with tie, black silk skirt
Worth New York
ultra luxurious black suede dress, feel free to layer a blouse, tee, or bodysuit underneath
thank you Michelle of Black White + Kuhl  

You know we love black, so here are a few of our current picks for this busy, challenging, and most wonderful time of the year, eye roll. 

silk blouse with tie as belt
silk skirt woth graphic tee
and now for some fun add a sequin mini t-shirt dress, wink wink

routine and habit

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While working corporate in the fashion world as a recruiter decided to start a blog. Being a homebody yet also required to be on the road thought it would be a way to create community, and maybe motivate and inspire. Working with primarily women, my writing and content is focused on wardrobe, food, home, and family.

The name, every day dress, is based on pursuing an elevated lifestyle, reaching up and out to make the every day just a bit extra. It’s premise, that by creating daily habits and routines based on some simple practices, life can be rewarding, rich, and more beautiful. What we’re big about: make your bed, walk the dog(s), eat protein for breakfast, wear good clothes, try a little makeup, make some dinner, enjoy a glass of wine, spend time with those you love.

A new year typically brings in a round of resolutions for most, and then maybe a hangover or regret when not resolved. Never fond of or a keeper of resolutions, we just can’t seem to make them stick. We rely instead on routine and habit. And trying things again day after day.

A usual order and way of doing things keeps us steady. Every morning, without fail, we make the bed, setting a feeling of calm, and organization. This simple task, requiring only minutes, starts the day with accomplishment.

Our morning routine also includes coffee, as habit. Two cups for sure, maybe more, maybe less, yet always coffee.

We’ve been exercise addicts since childhood, when standing upside down on our head and turning a somersault felt simply joyful. Now we know we’re really only one good workout away from a good or better mood, and why not grab this first thing. For sure workout routines evolve, and we’ve practiced many: running, weight-lifting, yoga, kick-boxing, personal training sessions, long walks outdoors with the dogs or without and even active time in the garden and house-keeping. Whatever it is, being active, and most often first thing before breakfast, is mind and body beneficial. 

Breakfast is most often eggs, cholesterol whatever, a piece of toast, and any greens we can find. Leftover salad is good, honestly, cold from the fridge or heated in a pan. Bacon when we’ve got a big day or when we’re being fancy.

We believe in the power of good clothes, and that when you feel good in what you wear you have a better day. A better day could be more productive, more memorable, more comfortable in any situation you find yourself in, or simply an easier, more graceful day. What you wear counts, so we like to wear nice clothes, and encourage those in our tribe to do the same.

Makeup is good too, or any regular grooming habit. Taking time for self-care, while feeling good for yourself, actually shows respect for others. The act itself of applying makeup is kind of like taking extra care in setting the table when expecting guests, it just shows extra care. We’re not about going overboard in makeup or tables capes, simply about putting a little effort into the every day.

The time between the morning routine and the evening meal is generally the work day. Hopefully we’re all engaged in work we find meaningful, and then comes dinner.

If I’m being honest I can tell you I think about dinner upon waking or even the night before. In our world making and having dinner is often the absolute highlight of any given day. Add people, and wine, and bingo, the perfect trifecta. The coming together for a shared meal trumps any restrictive new year resolution. Instead of resolving to lose weight, spend less, exercise more, we’re about taking the daily stuff and adding to it and making it better.

Regular routines and habits are the solid foundation of living well. We all need dinner, let’s come together and make it nice. After, of course, making our bed, first thing.

Happy New Year, Happy New Day.

 

trimmed and tied, always ongoing

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black sweater, blue denim, suede flat, lots of green

Still getting settled after Thanksgiving week and now entering holiday mode, oh, boy. We’ve done this before, yet there’s always those moments of uncertainty when you think you just can’t get there. One year when staging and decorating for husband’s office Christmas party with major event designer sister from CA, she said, ‘you can never be done’, and I still think of that. Any party or event or dinner or holiday or even wedding planning could just keep going and going. Now I tell myself to give it a really good strong effort and then at some point just let it be enough.

We’ve got trees, some decorated, some not. Some with skirts, and some without. Twenty year old daughter hung some of the ornaments while home from break and I wasn’t even in the room with her. We chatted, room to room, her hanging, me cooking, and I just let her be. Years past or even recent years I might have micro-managed, this tree decorating I can totally let go.

Card writing is giving me anxiety, and we’ve even got a great photo or two this year. The actual card is on order, and that’s two steps ahead of where we usually are in this production process. We’ve looked at stamps, no decision yet. Details details.

easiest dinner ever is to have your butcher trim and tie a whole tenderloin, pop it in a super hot oven for 22 minutes or so, let rest, and carve

We had a full house, and I cooked and baked my head off. Tenderloin, ham, turkey. Potatoes, beans, pasta. Cinnamon rolls, pies, cakes. Bacon bacon and bacon. Wine wine and more wine. Can you tell where this is going?

probably spent 16+ hours or so in an apron

new French food processor, needs to go back, Pulse button not working!

This most wonderful time of the year is by any stretch not easy. Trimmed and tied, perhaps, yet always ongoing….

big chunk of blue and chopped tarragon

birthday wedge and bolognese for fourteen, kind of standard. this was after Thanksgiving and there wasn’t a clean white linen left in the house, so, mismatched it was

bought two $40 bouquets at grocery and had oldest daughter cut them down into 11 small arrangements in canning jars, a look she totally dismissed for wedding vibe, hahaha (and agree) 

Merry merry, hustle hustle.

always happy and forever in blue jeans baby

Every day dress, xoxo.

 

set stylist

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While my first inclination was to name this post ‘home stylist’, couldn’t get myself to do it while I’m being extravagant in wake of the California wildfires. We’ve been dealing with  house-wide flooding issues and some serious health stuff, yet nothing comes close to neighborhoods being leveled, lives being lost, children wearing face masks, and our hearts are with those in one of our favorite states.

You know we’re about good clothes and great food, and creating a lifestyle that speaks to luxury, whatever that may mean to each of us. One of our current favorite aspirational brands is Gucci, and their recent statement to me by email reads:

In solidarity with Gucci employees, clients, and friends in California, we are supporting the relief efforts in the local communities that have been affected by the devastating California wildfires.

Gucci has donated to the following organizations, and you can join us by making your pledge to the charity of your choice.

American Red Cross

Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation

The Humane Society of the United States

Malibu Foundation

United Way of Northern California

Gucci Equilibrium

This is the heart of Gucci’s mission to bring positive change in order to secure our collective future.

Gucci, you moved me to give. Please know you’re in the lineup for some of my Christmas gift spending dollars, thank you.

We here at every day dress can’t move mountains or put out fires, we do want we can and always try to make small things better. Wardrobe, food, home, or set stylist, it’s kind of our thing.

Two college daughters and newlyweds arrive home tomorrow to celebrate Thanksgiving, and we just can’t wait to put our arms around them and be in their face.

In preparation I almost get manic, try to make things nice, and runaround securing supplies for both indoor and outdoor spaces. As a ‘set stylist’, current project is the 10 outdoor planters scattered about the city house. Thought long and hard and even pulled the trigger on pre-made and decorated grocery planters, and bought 10 yesterday morning while at market. Got them home, and while beautiful, they just weren’t giving me the look or feeling I was after. Back they went, all within an hour and 15 minutes.

Decided to YouTube outdoor planters, and with some new inspiration pulled out the iPhone and called around to local nurseries for fresh-cut greens, and in particular red twig dogwood branches. Found a source, thank you Elber’s, and off we went. An SUV full later, two planters in, and we’re on our way to a natural, pretty, and evergreen holiday look for the outside of our still standing home.

California, wishing you peace, calm, and recovery.

Every day dress, xoxo.

all photos iPhone / MacBook Pro went black / in for video card repair

 

dressing the bird

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Yeah, the blog has taken a backseat to life’s happenings, and I miss it. Writing here is honestly a bit of a creative exercise, and exercise is always better when it’s a regular thing, wink wink.  

With Thanksgiving Day a week from tomorrow, thought it might be a good time for reentry by sharing my first published piece, Dressing the Bird. Never mind it’s a neighborhood publication, it feels good to have something I wrote actually in hard copy print, thank you Megan. We’re all about trying new things, putting yourself out there a little, and taking small risks. So, here we go, sharing with you my submission for Delaware Park Living magazine:

Dressing the Bird

First Thanksgiving dinner thirty-one November’s ago we brought to the table a partially frozen bird. Who knew you couldn’t make the Wednesday night bar rounds, sleep a few hours, wake up early, run the oldest foot race in America and do Thanksgiving dinner soup to nuts all in a few hours?
That was our first married holiday meal, and we invited guests. Mom showed up early afternoon and wondered why the turkey wasn’t in the oven and I really didn’t know why either. Simply jumped in with no experience and went to town. Can’t remember how I ever got dinner on the table and fed my people, yet it did happen, and it was memorable.
Now, three decades later, six kids, a new son-in-law, and we’ve got it down. There’s got to be two turkeys, (and now we cook them just fine), good old-fashioned bread stuffing, cooked cranberry sauce with cinnamon and orange, green beans, double amounts of mashed potatoes, candied yams with of course marshmallows on top, roasted Brussels sprouts, soft, buttery dinner rolls, triple amounts of scratch gravy, pumpkin, blueberry, and apple pies. When the kids were little I used to make them pick the berries, and froze them for our November and December holiday pies. Now I call the farm, order a flat or two, and freeze them in 6 to 8 cup zip-lock bags for pie on the ready. Crust has got be scratch, and only with butter, no white shortening in this kitchen, and that can be done early, and frozen before rolling out as well.
One turkey to carve and one to look at until dinner is done. The second bird is so we can send hearty leftovers home with family and friends and for sandwiches the next day. In the early years when Gourmet magazine was still a thing we jumped around with the stuffing, adding chestnuts, or weird things, always with complaints if there wasn’t old fashioned bread stuffing as well. Now we just go with the tried and true, cutting the crusts off of two or three loaves of Pepperidge Farm white and letting the bread dry on the countertop for a few days. In a pinch we’ve been known to throw it in the oven for the speedier version.
The only Thanksgiving dinner I didn’t cook in the last three plus decades was the year I was pregnant with our fourth child, it was her real due date on the big turkey day, and husband and I with our eldest son and our twins were invited for dinner at mom’s house. Walked the Turkey Trot that day, (no drinks the night before), me pushing a double stroller and husband pushing a single, and went for dinner. Second son Maxwell who was two then pushed back from the table after it was all over and declared, ‘I’m loaded’: we still laugh about that today. Helped with dishes that night, told husband it was time to go, left the three wee ones with the grandmom, went and birthed Sarah. Sarah is now turning twenty-six this Thanksgiving season, and we are forever grateful, and still serving basically the same meal.
This family of ours now depends on tradition, and the food that goes with it. They can come home and know the bird will be dressed with old-fashioned bread stuffing, and that there will be gravy and pie, and all the fixings. It’s a secure feeling, and we are thankful for the bounty of this beautiful land, and for the soulful and good feeling of coming to table and breaking bread with those we love.
Wishing you all a holiday season of honest food, and a full heart.
Every day dress, and dressing the bird. xoxo

everything takes longer

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tomato and roasted red pepper soup

Okay, so we’re desperately working on finishing professional plant-based cooking curriculum at Rouxbe, and it’s as expected in our world taking longer than what’s expected. We even paid extra for extra time to finish, a 30 day extension for $129.99 to be precise. As we have only 9 days left to finish, upload and send 28 graded activities, we’re most likely definitely looking at another extension for another chunk of cash. We’ve got life to tend to, the fall garden, the small business, and the family.

We’ve always been a non-traditional student. Night school non-matriculated courses at State University of New York at Buffalo served as our college introduction, and that entire process evolved over seven years, with an eighteen month old and twin newborns in the arms of my husband on graduation day.

This Professional Plant-Based Certification Course is intense. Designed as a six month foundational instruction in plant-based culinary arts, it focuses on the core techniques found in a plant-based kitchen. The course forces me to explore and practice a variety of recipes and flavors from around the world that I might never experience without having to leave my home. It’s all online, love that, and you receive ongoing chef instruction and support. I am consistently challenged to master technique, and those skills will now stay with me forever.

You might recall I was enrolled in the Rouxbe Professional Cook Certification, and that course took me longer to complete than the expected six-months as well. For us, everything seems to take longer, and that’s okay. A few of the lessons are repeated in the Plant-Based curriculum, such as knife skills and dicing practice, and I could upload my earlier work to move the process along. Thought about it, and then thought not. I’m here to learn, and get better, and by doing it again I’ll only get better. Doing things again and over and over to make a more pleasing, satisfying outcome, is the basic tenet of our every day dress lifestyle. It takes work, and it can take a long time, and like I said before we don’t always get it right.

simple cabbage soup with heat from cayenne

confetti quinoa salad – big hit with twenty-six year old daughter

While prepping plant-based soup and salad a few days ago I’m sure I swore and eye rolled a few times as plant things seem to take way longer to bring to table than throwing a tenderloin of any kind into a hot oven. Simple Cabbage Soup with scratch vegetable stock and Confetti Quinoa Salad with garlic fried quinoa will take every flat surface and probably every bowl and several pots and pans in your kitchen.

It’s a journey, and we’re definitely learning new things, and that’s kind of what life is all about anyways.

 

As for the what to wear where, we’re about adding some color to the rotation. If we’re doing new things in the kitchen why not add some new dimension to the wardrobe.

Every day dress all the time and why does everything always take longer than what we expect?

kitchen escapades

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Recently I threw salt and flour on a fruit pie. While it looked okay, it was a kosher salt granulated sugar mix-up, and a bad salt peach pie. Kind of like when you’ve got good stuff in your closet and you simply can’t put it together for the life of you to get yourself out the door, and you’ve just got to go. Cooking and baking have similar qualities to dressing, you assemble good ingredients, read and study if that’s your thing, and continually try to make it better.

We did manage to put together a pretty sweet carrot cake, nasturtiums are from the fall country garden and edible, and a nice little charcuterie thing.

 

Stretch home garden goal is to always have simple, fresh-cut flowers.

Love that you usually get three times a day plus to feed yourself and those you love, and oftentimes just as many times to wear different stuff if you do different things during the course of your day. As simple as that may be, we here love food, think about it when we’re not with it, and are constantly trying to get the what to wear where thing right for ourselves and those in our mix.

We’re constantly cooking and dressing, and it’s not always good. Here’s to the every new brand new day.

Happy Monday all.

xoxo

 

out for a while

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To cap off summer shenanigans, thank goodness as it’s been a long one, husband and I did a two-day getaway at The Red Horse Inn before hitting Greenville SC for Furman University family weekend.

we stopped at a small Amish store and bought ham off the bone, hot pepper cheese, a jar of mustard and mayonnaise and a loaf of bread

Hiking the foothills of the Blue Ride Mountains and making grilled ham and cheese sandwiches in the petite cabin kitchen were the activities, perfect. The new terrace of the main house was a great spot for a glass of wine or two.

denim shirt with wide legged navy pant

new season square toe lace up boot, a season or so ago bag

Yeah, we’ve been out for a while, and looking to get back in. Two life changes, a marriage and somewhat of an empty nest after sending youngest of six off to Providence College this fall and just gotta say the tank feels low. Things that got us going like writing, and cooking, and even dressing haven’t had the same pull. That’s a problem, as we named this site every day dress, not only to talk about clothes, but more about the idea of getting up, showing up, taking risks and putting yourself out there, and to perhaps help inspire a few women to do maybe a little of the same.

Simply putting this post up on this first day of October feels awkward, as we’ve fallen off the habit, kind of like the first day of school or the first day back at the gym after a too long hiatus. We know we like it, and that it’s good for us, it’s just that we’re out of the routine.

In talking with a client today she reminded me that research suggests it takes thirty days of regularly doing ‘a thing’ to make ‘a habit’. So here we are, with an awkward feeling post, hoping to get back to regularly writing, cooking, dressing.

All I can say is every day dress. xoxo

 

thirty one

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Woke up this morning, had some coffee, hit the gym, and made the bed. Thirty one years ago today and almost all of those days in between I’ve followed pretty much the same routine, although that specific day I married the man of my dreams, the love of my life.

I knew at first sight that he was the one, he thought I was way too young. Kind of positioned myself so he would notice. Notice he did: a bride at twenty-two, a mom at twenty-three; we’re still here, still loving.

Good habits and aligned values have helped us endure. Family first, lots of exercise, shared meals.

taller than my man, and wore Azzedine Alaïa for church ceremony

We created our wedding day and have created every day since. Even then I loved clothes, and made the wedding dress, and the dresses for five bridesmaids, and two flower girls. Sewing my clothing was a self-taught skill, a hobby, and a necessity back then. Crazy girl, yet crazy kind of got me here today, thankful. Still love clothes, yet finding I need less, and want better. Even so I’m often most comfortable in husbands shirt, rolled sleeves, and worn in blue jeans.

Sure we still love to dress up, and celebrate. We celebrated large for oldest daughter’s wedding a month or so ago, and felt it fitting to share photos of that day, on this day, as both days celebrate love.

Thirty one and more, and every day dress. xoxo

all photos | Sarah Bridgeman

Yes, I wrote this post on our thirty-first wedding anniversary day, yesterday. Sarah Bridgeman, our daughter’s wedding photographer, compiled over 1,700 photos for us, each one seemingly better than the last. As you can imagine it takes hours to sort through, and wanted to post some of her images here, as to us they are just so magical. We hope you too can feel the love. Thank you, Sarah. 

always a crumble

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The men in my life are out west fishing and doing man things, happy for them. Happy for me too as I’m basically home alone and not doing much.

Love them to infinity and beyond.

Even so every day stuff is always a crumble, kind of going and doing and making good things happen, kind of on the fly.

You know we’re all about what’s fresh and peaches are peak: sliced them up, added a little extra sweetness and butter is love and it was all beautiful and delicious, even if home alone.

xoxo

 

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