44 days…

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6:59 am text to oldest daughter, bride to be, ‘is it really 44 days away or did I count wrong’. Her immediate reply, ‘you counted correct’. Holy moly.

Tuesday we planted 5 more hydrangea, weeded a ton, organized furniture, and did basic life. Wednesday we went and got more hydrangea, weeded forever, (even the driveway because no one I know is going to weed the driveway), and loaded in 15 cases of wine that arrived from last out-of-town excursion until after this wedding day. Now Thursday, and we’re staying put, and head is down.

We love doing parties, and this will be our biggest yet. Nothing like throwing a party to get you in gear to do stuff you’ve thought of doing. We’re renovating, for sure. Completely redoing a barn, recovering cushions, digging a second well, redoing decks, establishing new garden beds. It’s not every day we get to receive 200+ most favorite humans, some from as far away as Brazil, for a celebratory dinner out in the country-side. Kind of feel like I’m living my best life, because really I like my hands in the dirt.

While in the weed patch today I was thinking of this site, and thinking I should simply chronicle what’s going on for the next 44 days as weddings are big life events. Thank you for hanging in, we’ve kind of got mountains to move, and when I blink I know it will have come and gone, and that’s the circle of this wonderful life.

all photos by Alexis, dear friend of the bride to be, coming to celebrate with us from San Diego

dress | W by Worth

shoes | Christian Louboutin

ps. turning 53 in a week or so and have decided here, in this space, it can be what it needs to be, different at different times, kind of like when you roll through the decades. Also, no filter. 🙂

Every day dress, 44 days…..xoxo

 

gone fishing

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Normally we’re checked out in July and/or August, this year it’s June. Big at-home shindig late summer, so oldest daughter/bride to be headed to Wyoming, and I did Food & Wine Classic in Aspen CO, thank you Jackie, than met husband for more wine in CA.

When home Wednesday it will be head down, all systems go. 200+ for dinner and dancIng in the back yard is a big lift, so, for the time being we’ve gone fishing.

xoxo, always, every day dress.

arts and crafts

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We’re up to our eyeballs in all kinds of projects: youngest daughter graduated high school last week Monday and oldest daughter getting married this August.

bought a bunch of pink roses and tulips at grocery

one of her favorite candies is Sour Patch Kids and we had those little plastic cups on hand, instant party favor

 

cut the flowers and in about 10 minutes had 5 small vases for restaurant dinner

For high school graduation dinner we dined out- not our usual, yet the groom was coming from out of town. He wanted to dine out with our caterer, and Giancarlo’s did a fantastic job. Post coming, as soon as photos are uploaded. When we dine out for special occasions I always like to bring flowers, candy, and votives, it simply sets the scene and personalizes things a bit. We have a love of all white flowers, this graduation Monday there wasn’t a white flower to be found- it was the Monday after the royal wedding and there wasn’t one single white flower at the market. So, we went with pink. And Sour Patch kids. And white votives.

scrappy iPhone photo, it was late, and getting dark, and we we’re getting hungry

style note: resurrected the Valentino rockstuds, and they felt right

She wore a white dress I made for her oldest sisters high school graduation years ago, and she looked great.

House and garden at reception site are in major overhaul mode, there’s nothing like having a party to get your butt in gear for things that have been idle on the wish/to-do list, thank you Caroline and Sean.

before I decorate I pencil out ideas after tracing cookie cutter

at the last minute switched to pink icing details instead of blue

groom is wearing Louboutins for wedding, so pink icing on his soles as a nod

edible gold glitter

I’ve been crazy baking too. Bride, groom, and bouquet cookies, blah blah blah.

another iPhone pic, husband stocking one of two ponds with fish 

last night’s full moon rising, LOVE

Every day dress, arts and crafts all around. xoxo

showering linnie

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Of course we’ve been watching all things royal, adoring her sartorial choices, and couldn’t be happier for the beaming bride and groom. Love too that it’s a modern-day fairy tale, and reminds us that with love, and persistence, all heights are possible.

the everything shoe

Honestly I don’t even know what day it is, as our own little wedding story has been wonderfully encompassing: in just under twelve weeks we’re bringing together two large and joyous families for a union that simply feels right, and good.

Peanut on the bride cookies

Stephanie on flowers and balloons, 100+

setting the stage

Last weekend (or was it the one before that?), twenty of us came together at Bobo in NYC for showering Linnie. We laughed, and cried, and shouted out a little with Taylor Swift, all in a glorious Saturday afternoon of celebration.

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Every day dress, showering Linnie, and loving everyone and every moment. xoxo

a mom in love

Linnie and her twin brother

sent as many guests as we could home with flowers, love you Taylor

I’ve been MIA as doing it all is seemingly not possible, so blogging slipped, sorry. Gotta do what’s necessary, and getting through the days is top of the list, even though settling in with the laptop and the keyboard is pulling, and consciously unsettling…

waiting on spring

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brunch at The Obstinate Daughter | community table 

Six years ago today we put our first post up here, and if we’re completely honest with ourselves we’re looking to reclaim some of our mojo. It’s kind of funny, no one is really out there waiting for a new entry. Yet when we don’t write I feel anxious, and let it go for a while, and then feel more anxious, and then it feels even harder to get back to it. Kind of like the gym, when you’re in the habit it’s a daily do, and you feel better, even when you don’t.

yeah, that’s me styling oldest daughter, pink bag, pink charm, pink scarf, floral shoe 

So, here goes: writing and posting here keeps my brain engaged, even if it’s simply content about food and clothes. We’ve had a love affair with both for as long as we can remember, and we’ll need to be fed and dressed for as long as we’re here so content continues. If you’ve been a reader for a while thank you, I like sharing my space.

Several years ago through my professional work with Worth New York I heard Tom Black, entrepreneur and wine collector, speak. Motivational, yes, and since then I’ve subscribed to his Success Quotes for Daily Living. Yesterday, this landed in my inbox:

Ignore all hatred and criticism. Live for what you create, and die protecting it.  – Lady Gaga

And with that, we continue. Every day dress, and every day cook. Food and clothes, in any order, with as much style as we can gather.

of the several group photos this one’s a favorite, as it shows love, laughter, movement, and no perfect posing

Photos here are of recent visit to Charleston, South Carolina. Easter Sunday we brunched at The Obstinate Daughter, Sullivan’s Island, and did a beach walk afterwards, thank you, Lucy. There were eleven of us in total, now ten of us are back in the northeast and we’re all waiting on spring.

Every day dress, waiting on spring.

an easy dress

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Recent Instagram posts feature a dress and a tee by JCrew, a brand I haven’t worn in years. JCrew used to be our family go-to for outfitting five of our six kids, one just didn’t get it and still doesn’t and probably won’t ever, talking about you, Booie. As it often goes we’ve circled back. During holiday time oldest daughter and I stepped in to their Madison Avenue boutique and picked up some sweaters, one cashmere, one not, and both of those sweaters have been regular players in each of our wardrobes. The recent purchases they made quite easy, with an email online thing offering a discount of I think 20% or 30%, so picked out a few things and hit submit. The box with a few tees, a dress, and a pair of sunglasses arrived a few days later.

Their tees don’t need any double thinking, they can be worn out, to they gym, and for coffee in the morning, and really don’t impact the clothing budget or the overall aesthetic. A dress, however, can be a game changer, and a commitment. Wasn’t sure I was going to keep it or not, and threw it in the carry-on for little Florida getaway.

Late yesterday afternoon we headed to St. Petersburg, and the dress offered the ‘what to wear’ solution, thank you, JCrew. In my idealized world I’d be living in the Tuscan countryside and wearing Cucinelli, yet in the now we’re living in upstate New York, wearing most often Worth New York and W by Worth, and traveling wherever, and life is good.

So, we kept the dress, because it was easy. And wore it with leather. A dress is one and done. We’re heading home tomorrow, and moving into trunk show mode. Here we come Worth New York and W by Worth, we’re so looking forward to our women and some new season spring clothes. Trunk dates: tomorrow, Friday, February 23rd – Thursday, March 1st, and Tuesday, March 6th – Monday, March 12th.

An easy dress, and so many good dresses to come.

xo

 

 

 

1955

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Sixty years and two days ago dear husband arrived in this world. Celebrated, of course, with family dinner at home.

No Rolex, or fancy cocktails for a hundred or so, simply flew two Boston MA girls home for his surprise.

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Osso Bucco was a whole day affair, that with work and all. Thankful for good clothes, never had a chance to think about what to wear. Printed silk blouse (black lace bra underneath, something needs to be fancy), sleeves rolled up, ubiquitous blue jeans and flat black boots, good to go.

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Went without the clichĂ© of fresh flowers, this was a man’s party, and put three small pots of ivy down the table. (So much less than fresh flowers too, being January and broke and all). White tapers, this time no votives.

You’d think with a milestone like this for the man I love deeply I would have it together a bit more. Knew what I wanted and needed to do, took a deep breath, anxiety and all, and went forward. Had visual memories of three photos from recent travels, at 4 pm dropped them in a thumb drive, headed to Kinko’s FedEx and printed them out, and then to Target, I know I know, to grab a frame. Here it is ready for the red room, haha.

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This is how it looked at 5 pm, and dinner was at 8: carrot cake baked, cream cheese frosting on the counter, haricot verts blanched, veal shanks wrapped and on a tray, onions out for the risotto. One great thing about doing things time and again is that you don’t really have to measure things like chopped vegetables: simply feel the amount needed for onion, celery, carrots, tomato, garlic. Spinach and artichoke dip to go with the champagne, and caesar salad for some more green.

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Green continued with wine bottle-shaped sugar cookies, hand embellishment with his birth year as vintage. 🙂

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There were eight of us plus one, second son’s girlfriend, always make room for more love at the table.

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Happy 60th dear husband. 1955 was a very good year. xoxo

 

dialed down

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After years of matching velvet and or taffeta dresses, black patent Mary-jane shoes, miniature red blazers, coordinated gift wrap and fifty plus relatives for Christmas eve dinner, we have now pretty much dialed it down.

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For five of the last six years have flown all six kids out west, northern CA and this year for the first time southern CA, La Jolla. Rent a house with as many bedrooms as we can find, settle in and dial down.

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So great after decades of fancy cooking, elaborate gift wrap, staged professional Christmas photos, we all now kind of just come together and get it done. Cards hand-addressed on the flight and in the restaurant, photo taken once when we’re all in town, (so what if they arrive after the perceived big day), and all hands on deck for wrapping and meal prep.

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It’s really all about spending time with those you love. And while we can at times be all about fancy clothes and pressed starched linens, now it feels just right to be dialed down.

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Every day dress, dialed down. Merry Christmas everyone. We’re keeping the celebration going. xo

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simple will do

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One good thing about doing things many times is that you begin to understand that simple will do. This time of year, white lights, white flowers, (from her date’s mom, how nice!),white candles, fresh greens, good to go. A few ornaments and some glittered nutcrackers dress the table.



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Youngest of six, high school date dance. Done this a time or two. 🙂

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Even served super simple food. Punch, chips, dip, and cookies. They didn’t really eat a thing, it simply looked and felt special. Way too much excitement in the air, simple will do.

After the drive down, made some simple dinner and sat among the cranberry ginger ale topped with a cherry glasses.

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One thing the chef talked about at Canyon Ranch cooking class was the single idea of keeping your oven at 400 degrees. Instead of adjusting the oven temperature, you simply adjust the cooking time. Much like perceived exertion when exercising, it’s really kind of a feel. Have been keeping that oven at 400 degrees this week, simple it is, simple will do. Cod, asparagus, tomatoes, all roasted, 400 degrees. (Not for baked goods, that gets more precise).

Every day dress, simple will do. Sister in CA messaged me at 4:28 am, ‘just caught the spirit – it always takes a little time but it’s good when it finally gets ya…

Love to all. 

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Style note: thinking all seven young women shortened their dresses with packing tape from the home office, how sweet.

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This is what was ordered in afterwards, thank you Dante and La Nova Pizzeria, huge hit.

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three weeks ago

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Back on the east coast and back at it at work. Doesn’t really feel like work at all when you get to be with great women and do things that empower others.

Three weeks ago put together a small runway show in support of the WNY Women’s Foundation, its’ mission is to invest in innovative solutions to issues and needs of special significance to women and girls in Western New York. It was their 11th annual Fall in Fashion Luncheon, and we were there.

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Bonus? Not only got to work with amazing women and in support of a very special not-for-profit, third daughter was off from school and her being there made everything that much better.

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Every day dress, three weeks ago, black sweater, black and gold belt, black pants, current go-to all day long outfit. Daughter seems to like the all-black too. 🙂

All photos | Joe Cascio Photography

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