really bad dinner

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always candles, always flowers

Snowed in and thinking about food, and clothes, obviously. We’re in spring trunk show mode and traffic is light, especially when everything is closed for three days and counting. Kind of love snow days, time is at a standstill.

Thinking too about the blog, and what I need to do to inspire myself. Yesterday got myself up, dressed, made the bed, packed up some ice for the drink bin and grabbed fresh flowers off the kitchen counter, headed downtown for client meetings, and with the snow falling the cancellations rolled in. Headed home, and all I could do was double denim, blue jeans and a blue shirt, and contemplate what could be had for lunch.

Sautéing the cabbage which I sliced to make like wide egg noodles, did not work
steaming the ‘farm raised’ yet ‘organic’ salmon, I totally know better
forgot to grab fresh dill, so parsley in a pinch
the only thing we ate was the salad, yet there was plenty of wine
Friday night lights

Last Friday night, in an effort to be new year healthy, picked up four salmon fillets and a head of green cabbage on the way home from the studio, having had worked with new spring clothes all day. Salmon and cabbage? Kind of spring like; and even though the cooking, technique, plating, and presentation were on point, it was a really bad dinner. The thing is it’s just not spring yet, and not even close to being spring like. So, while I might be dressing myself and my women in new spring clothes for the season ahead, the food correlation is just simply a no-go. It was a dinner for three, and not one of us could get through it. Instead, we tucked into the wine. Started with white, because you know white with fish, ha-ha. Took a look out the window, snow blustering all around, and poured some red. Ate some of the cabbage and simply pushed the farm raised pink stuff around the plate. I should and do definitely know better: do not buy farm raised fish, but I did. So, no dinner and over served on the wine. Went to bed hungry and spinning. It was for sure a really bad dinner.

what we should have had, two nights in a row

Having made meatballs and sauce the day before served that up for lunch the next afternoon. That was the dinner we were looking for on a cold snowy night, live and learn. When you get it right it should go on repeat? We can do meatballs and sauce two nights in a row, especially and particularly in January.

vegetable stock mise en place, usually use Spanish onions, red was what I had
mise en place for hearty Minestrone, no canned tomatoes on hand, only crushed, soup was excellent
soup, sandwich, white, could have grilled the bread and cheese a little longer, I was anxious

Still trying to do healthy, yet wanting warmth, and comfort. Simmered up a double batch of vegetable stock, some for a hearty minestrone soup, and some for the freezer. A bowl of soup, combined with a grilled cheese sandwich, butter is still love, be still my January heart. See you later bland, pink fish.

As for spring clothes, we put in our order: a tailored single-breasted glen plaid blazer, for denim in all configurations, dark, distressed, white. Added the matching glen plaid trouser, not for a pant suit look but maybe, simply for having a nice trouser in the wardrobe. Try as I do denim can’t take you everywhere and felt a grown-up trouser for spring 19 was a must have. Also did a white blazer dress in a beautiful crepe with princess seaming, a bit of an asymmetric hem, to be worn as a dress, and as a coat. A black ballet inspired tee, semi-fitted, extended cap shoulder, because again, try as I do sometimes a tank is simply feeling a little too exposed. Added a beautiful navy unlined crewneck cardigan, with six silver buttons, a little fringe detail, tonal stitching, and long, cuffed sleeves, it’s stunning. For underneath a white pique blouse with silk chiffon trim, very classic and luxurious, hidden button front and long sleeves with deep cuffs and two rows of buttons. Of course, there is denim, a new pair of white, always need to refresh those to look best, a cool textured jacquard pair done in a black and navy texture, and a color block one with a cool fringed hem. Yeah, three pair of jeans yet that’s what we wear. To top it all off added a little iridescent jacket in a jet black and navy Moiré cotton, with silk habotai hem and cuffs. All great pieces can’t wait to get them, hopefully UPS is snow-proof. 

color version is on the Instagram, great Sarah Flint boots

As for the blog, they say write what you know, so food and clothes. Not for all, I know. If you like what we’ve got, thanks for hanging around. My in-house photographer grew up and went to college so the clothing shots have been lacking, only so far I can push the husband, and selfies feel a little weird. Speaking of selfies, here’s one in the studio, while snow swirls all around. A few DM’s about the taupe suede boots: they are Sarah Flint, a direct to consumer brand. Sarah makes great footwear using some of the same production sites as Hermes, Louboutin, and Blahnik, and counts the likes of Meghan Markle, Lady Gaga, Jane Fonda and Cindy Crawford as fans. I’m trying a little six month ambassador thing with them, and in return they’ve given me a code for clients and friends, RCOLLINS50, to use at checkout for $50 off your first pair. I do like her shoes and boots, have three pair now.

That’s all for now, I’ve broken the ice and re-fed the blog. Off to take an afternoon bath, time stands still on snow days, and then back to work on wardrobing women in new spring things. Really bad dinner, see you later. xoxo

some needed self-care

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Given the choice between a week down in Florida for a little rest and relaxation with family or a week alone at home working my new line, chose the work.

Not really sure if it was the home alone or the work that was calling me, simply knew I needed some down time, and self-care.

Twenty-six year old daughter wrote a college paper about the benefits of living alone, and her belief that all humans should experience living alone at least once in their lifetime. I’ve never had that, went from living with my mom to living with my man.

When our oldest son was applying to college, I traveled alone with him to Wake Forest for accepted students day. He stayed in a dorm, I was in a hotel. I remember barely leaving that room, I craved sleep, and solitude. Couldn’t even gather myself to go for dinner, bought Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups from the vending machine, ate them in bed with wrappers strewn, and called it a night.

This next memory is bazaar: when he was a baby and we had twins 18 months behind him and I was very pregnant with my now twenty-six year old I was in the kitchen trying to feed them all and had this urge and desire to go to the hospital so I could give birth, have a room of my own, and be served 3 meals a day on a tray.

This beautiful twenty-six year old woman has struggled, suffered deeply, has been vulnerable, emotional. During the month of November, she was in the ER twice by ambulance in one horrific day, and when safely home I was serving her 3 meals a day on a tray. Mental health issues, so complex, and scary threatening. Husband and I assembled a recovery team, and she recently posted to her Instagram thanking her tribe for helping her to get back on her feet again, with the caption mental health matters. 

Mental health matters. Three words, and you can go from black to white in a heartbeat, while longing for grey, that in between time when it might not be good but certainly not bad.

home alone, and bitter cold out there

This struggle wasn’t new, or shocking, simply this time heart-wrenching. Sarah in college had husband checked into a Boston hotel room for weeks at a time, working remotely, to get her out of a locked bathroom door and into a classroom. Her older soul sister was married this August and she stood by her throughout and stood strong; three days after she basically flat-lined. Oh, we look good, we dress well, we photograph well, and we work. We work at it all. Getting out of bed, making the bed, getting dressed for the day, you name it, sometimes not easy, and some days it might just not even happen.

November had us on tag-team, no alone time for Booie, none whatsoever. December brought in family, and tons of dynamics. I could just feel her trying to opt-out. We held it together, just barely. Early January sent them all home, and she finally, slowly, painstakingly, stabilized.

Mid-January husband likes to go south, as she’s not working, or driving, she went with. I chose not, wanted some down time, some quiet, a little self-care. They had father daughter time, without me there she cooked, regained some confidence. I cooked too, alone; stock, and soup.

slept 6 hours 52 minutes and clocked 17,278 steps, thank you Motive

this was today, 6:30 am at the gym, wearing the Motive ring

In those eight days I met a friend out once and learned a new line by trying on 188 pieces of clothing in all different sizes on a Saturday afternoon. Manicure, pedicure, haircut, and facial, no one to answer to, no place to be. Cleaned out the laundry room, the cleaning closet, polished silver. Changed the beds, and washed and ironed the sheets. Clocked 17,000 plus steps in one day without ever leaving home. Sometimes drank wine alone with my lunch, sometimes went to bed by 8 pm.

Mom always told me that to care for others we need to care for ourselves. My daughter, my life. Any of my kids, my life, my breath.

I write here, I think, for women. As women we love, we give, and at times, run on empty. My sister in northern CA knew I was home alone, and she said, ‘you’re not even blogging’. No, no blogging, we were running on low, and needed some self-care.

Booie, love you forever. You are beautiful, and one in a zillion. Love your honesty, love your struggle, and love your soul. You teach me what’s precious: you, and your life, and of those around you. Keep the faith, please. xoxo

same gig, new line

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watercress and endive salad, fettuccine with shrimp. notice the motive ring? separate post coming soon… 
dishing it out, merci
yeah, no KETO, sorry
totally missing her…

Spent the weekend cooking, shocker, and getting two college girls back to school, and setting up new clothes.

Cooking and clothes, same gig, new line.

Sure, change, not easy. Loved having them home, yet they need to go.

all about a v-neck
folded knits…
leather pants and spring sweater on a Sunday afternoon in January, thinking this piece needs a swimsuit and a yacht, hahah
Miriam, thank you.

Kind of like work, you’ll never know until you try. Carlisle, here we come. In town until February 11th.

Short post, it’s Monday. xoxo

the long run

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Never a huge jewelry person, I wear a few special pieces round the clock and only on occasion change it up. Dear husband has gifted practically the entire lot to mark time and special occasions. Only once did I buy precious earrings, and that was when I thought I lost one of the diamond studs I wore daily for twenty plus years. Didn’t have the heart to confess the missing stone, so bought a small pair of hoops to fill the holes for several months, and then found the missing earring under a chair in the bedroom while vacuuming. Passed that small pair of diamond hoops onto fourth daughter when she started her first semester of college this past fall.

While raising a half dozen babies changing earrings for the day never really crossed my mind, and who really had the time or the energy. Factor in taking something small off of value and the risk of losing or misplacing it simply hugely escalated, it was a very busy time.

Engagement ring, wedding band, watch, simple earrings, and a stunning diamond ring husband gifted me when he turned fifty are my tattoos of choice – they are the daily forever look. While in NYC for thirtieth wedding anniversary, that’s a big one, purposely walked arm in arm into Cartier on Fifth Avenue to peruse the goods. We were celebrating love, so the Love Bracelet was my desire. Dear husband likes to fulfill desire, so a white gold Love Bracelet with four small diamonds marked our three decades of marriage.

In turn, we gifted our oldest daughter the yellow gold version for Christmas last year. She was newly engaged, and we wanted to commemorate this special time in her life with something lasting, and that she could wear on her wedding day. I knew the classic look would complement any dress she chose, and we wanted to bless her pledge to love and marriage, and inspire her in going for the long run.

This piece of jewelry, designed in 1969, has a locking mechanism and requires the small included screwdriver to wear and remove the bracelet. The playful permanence of wearing this speaks to my heart, and of our commitment to love and family.

The long run is not easy, like our tenets of every day dress; making the bed, protein at breakfast, putting on good clothes and maybe some makeup, walking or exercise or anything that moves your body, work that feels meaningful, making some dinner, and most importantly spending time with those you love, it requires consistent effort and attention. In our world it’s this daily effort and attention that yields the far biggest reward, a rich life of family togetherness.

Like that bracelet, our family feels secure, sure there is struggle and tears and vulnerability and change, yet the circle continues with goodness, and joy.

And now, I digress: personally, I am fully and deeply committed to husband and family and passionate about feeding those I love. Professionally, and also personally as there is for sure crossover, I help dress many beautiful women. For eighteen years, since the birth of our youngest daughter, I’ve been aligned with Worth New York, and it’s been a good, long run. Not married to the company, and after much thought and reflection, I’ve chosen in this new year to venture out try something new; a new challenge, a new line, a new look, a new company.

Yesterday, my colleague and I met in our studio and outlined our launch. These first strides are unsteady, and a little uncertain. Carlisle, thank you for the opportunity. We’re digging in, and giving it a solid good go. Let’s see how we do.

Every day dress, the long run.

all photos: Sarah Bridgeman

a birthday crown

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Seven years ago while in Sonoma CA bought a paper crown for Lizzie’s thirteenth birthday. She wore it when we returned home for a New Year’s Day family brunch celebration, wore it again for a more formal sweet sixteen at a private dance party with all her teenage friends, and wore it last night for a small family dinner to celebrate turning twenty.

Like a special dress you can take out and wear again and again for special occasions, love that she checked into the china cabinet where this special paper crown is kept and displayed, and topped it on her head. Love that at twenty she wears what she wore at thirteen. Simple style endures.

As for me, I’m wearing this year’s black silk blouse, sleeves rolled for cooking, and new higher waisted black leather jeans. Last year’s silk scarf tied at the waist as a belt, and good to go. Simple style works.

coconut cake
she set the table, yellow roses are so her

Happy Birthday dear Elizabeth. May your twentieth year be as brilliant and beautiful as you are. xoxo

just like that

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We’ve been settled in city-side eating, drinking, and making merry, and just like that it’s a brand new year. Every day dress has been on the mind every day and so today thought I would give it some love first thing before anything else because tomorrow this sharing will probably be a day too late.

I’ve been in the kitchen with king crab legs, rack of lamb, beef tenderloin, mashed potatoes, haricots verts, roasted tomatoes, scrambled eggs, ham, cinnamon rolls, cookies no one eats, bolognase, beef bourguignon, celery and apple salad, and creme brûlée. Oh, and a chocolate cake too, yikes.

yeah, I made all tbis food , crazy
photo is off center,  oh,  well
celery and apple salad to off-set twelve creme brulees
New Years Eve dinner at home in the kitchen

Obviously I have a deep need to feed those I love.

Checked a cold off the list too that had me leveled for two days straight but not talking about that anymore.

Today is fifth child’s twentieth birthday and like most family birthdays for us we’re celebrating at home.

Sending love all over to wherever and however you celebrate to you and yours and best wishes for a bright new year.

xoxo

Oh, and Word Press has auto updated to a block format that I have no idea how to use and this post has been done from my phone as it’s the only way I can get it to work. So much to learn….

state of affairs

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Let’s not be fooled, Christmas time can be one hot heck of a mess. Cards, gifts, food, decor, a party or two, what to wear, and if you’re like us you kinda hustle and make it all happen.

I did the indoor trees with lights, husband did the outdoor. Went to market this morning fresh out of bed and spent everything I had.

Expectations, feelings, fleeting moments, it’s all happening now and then boom, all done.

Merry little Christmas everyone.

Xoxo

gift wrap, simple colors

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.

 

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