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 cliché 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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and so it begins…

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always keep moving…


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From now until about the second week of January, it’s all systems go. Family, friends, food, home, we’re all about it in one way another, thinking that one of life’s greatest pleasures is sitting at table with those we hold close.

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And so it begins, knowing to have great moments we need to put the time in up front. Creating special times can be hard work, therapeutic, often expensive, and sometimes downright exhausting. We had ten yesterday, not the biggest and not the smallest, simply right for this time. Celebrated second daughter’s twenty-second birthday as well, remembering that special day pushing three babies among the two of us down Delaware Ave in Buffalo NY, in America’s oldest foot race, the Turkey Trot, a 5k race/run/walk that now closes out at 14,000 participants. That day is like many of these days, long walks outdoors to nourish the body, mind, soul, spending time with loved ones, and cooking and breaking bread at table. Except that day twenty-two years ago finished with a trip to the delivery room to greet our fourth child, now there are six. Good habits. 🙂

Wishing everyone special days and special nights, with all those you hold close.

Every day dress, and so it begins…

xoxo

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her first scratch pie

simple style notes: like a little black dress, white candles, linens, and roses always look good, now and later. Really don’t want to deal with gourds and leaves the morning after when we’re moving to all things green, silver, white. Hand-made glittered, ombréd place cards (second and fourth daughters made those day of) and personal salt cellars with small spoons make things personal and special. Let some things go, put fifteen year old third daughter in charge of setting table and buffet, she succeeded brilliantly. Leave the mess and dishes go, so much more fun to sit at the table hours on end sipping wine and naming all fifty states, the dishes don’t go anywhere anyways, table guests move on. 🙂

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wool scarf worn as halter keeps things easy | Christian Dior

phone home

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Kids think we’ve been out of touch: after a quarter century or so of doing it all every day, feeling okay with not always phoning home. After putting down a good solid foundation why not take off for a while, good for us, good for them. We’re here barely speaking the language, they’re home figuring stuff out without us.

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For visiting French provincial hill-top villages, wore the same black jeans as the day before, black tank for when it was hot, flat boots, and of course, like the women of France, added a scarf.

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New black leather quilted jacket came out later, love this new piece and it will get plenty of wear, maybe another quarter century? and it goes with absolutely everything. Fun to throw over a dress too.

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Love in France, celebrating twenty-seven years of marriage, yes, we will phone home, and we’ll be back at it with you all sooner than you think. 🙂

Quilted Black Leather Jacket | Worth New York Fall Winter 2014

 

this is my crew

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Everyone was all in for the last week and it’s a wonder we’re all standing straight.

This is my crew: LOVE, feed, educate, house, and clothe them. Big team, big effort, big payoff.

Thanks, husband, you make this all work. xoxo

Every day dress, take care of your crew.

off duty travel

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photophotophotophotoSeems the more you go, the less you need, especially off duty. For west coast on the go trip, essentials included:

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Cashmere wrap and silk scarf, blue jeans and white jeans, denim skirt, black blazer and black workout jacket, black boatneck sweater, white shorts and black exercise pants, tanks and tees, mostly on the black side, one pair of sandals, two pairs of sneakers but really only needed one, one pair of black boots.  One bright handbag, and most important, handsome husband and two teenaged daughters.

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Started in LA and drove up the coast and flew out of San Francisco. Temperatures ranged from 102 to below 60.  Really into this carry on thing and keeping it light. Such a drag to haul so much stuff all over.

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For off duty travel, cashmere, denim,white, and black. Easy.

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Now it’s all on duty for Fall 14 Trunk Show. Starts tomorrow, Wednesday, and goes through next week Wednesday, August 13th.

You can do it. With the right stuff off duty travel for seven or eight days with only a carry-on is so possible.

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Every day dress, off duty travel.

group like things

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IMG_8613IMG_8616IMG_8620IMG_8622IMG_8626IMG_8631Friday night and we’re in the country and I’m hanging with my two youngest daughter’s, you know, group like things. 🙂

Worked all week with luscious Fall clothes and now it’s time to get away. Snapped these photos quick upon arrival before 45 minute hill walk with the dogs and here’s what I’m thinking: even though it’s so simple we are all so busy it’s sometimes so easy to let it go. Life is so much easier when you group like things.

Plants of one species like to hang together and look their best when grouped. Only took me 30 years to finally get the Portmeirion in one place all together and now it sits nicely out at the country house above the stove. Been kind of collecting that stuff since the age of nineteen, lots of breaks along the way.

Clients have told me all week that it’s tough to make sense of their wardrobe and they kind of forget sometimes what they have going on. Here’s the simple every day dress solution: group like things. That way you know if you need some new stuff to fill in the holes.

Every day dress, grouping like things, out in the country after a great long work week.

 

 

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