keep it simple

now here is a look I can get behind: single stem, single color. This photo was taken by son Maxwell in a fancy restaurant. The vibe felt approachable, doable

Yesterday afternoon I sat on the couch and read the November issue of a high-end interior design magazine and got promptly overwhelmed. I should have been doing any number of other things besides sitting on the couch yet I was feeling overwhelmed in general and it was Monday so I thought I would take a little rest. Not a good idea.

I think some of the ‘overwhelmed’ feeling was coming from the impending end of October and then the impending beginning of November. Yes, that most wonderful time of the year. 

So, I took a very long walk with my two unmanageable dogs and had a good talk with myself. We’ve done this before, (now like 33 times at least), and we will do it again. Keep it simple I tell myself. 

I know that this simple here might be different simple for others, and that’s okay. For me it’s about doing things myself and being hands on. Hands on the food, hands on the flowers, hands in the garden. It’s never quite like the magazine yet I give it a good go. 

my weekend activities with husband and dog

This past weekend while out in the country I wrestled with the annuals, I’m actually overwintering all of our geraniums, and I think I’m getting better at it, and it’s actually very satisfying. Those overwintered geraniums come back even better the next season out. 

this is what my kitchen really looks like…
grocery store roses, all kind of one color
this is what I do, all white

I’ve yet to branch out with multiple color schemes, it’s always red geraniums or a whole little vessel of lavender or big bunch of white roses, or a whole lot of one thing all in one color or texture, I can’t seem to manage a mix. 

cut the lavender from the garden and stuck it in water glasses
we had fun at that table and then I packed up that lavender and we moved houses
you can’t really see it yet it’s the same weeks old lavender down the center of the table in the second rental house

While in France during the month of June I cut fresh lavender from the garden, placed it in five water glasses here and there down the table, and then took all of that lavender with me when we moved to a new spot. Husband thought I was crazy, all of that lavender wrapped in paper towels while moving from one rental house to another. It wasn’t fancy yet it really looked quite amazing, and it was honestly very simple. 

here I cut white garden roses and stuck them in wine empty wine bottles, of which we had plenty 🙂
I could only find these tiny lights, no glass holder, simply wax on the linen
husband checking me out, oops, didn’t iron the linen, don’t really care

If you too might be feeling a sense of unease, of all that’s expected, I say take a big armful of whatever is in season and fresh around you and lay it all down. Lay it on the table, fill an odd number of water glasses, simply make it simple. High-end interior design magazines, oh you’re good, yet you make me feel like I might not ever get there, (The 101 best gifts list with items starting in the upper thousands really didn’t feel right). It’s just me here, and the humans I hold close. November and December, we’re looking at you, and yes, time to move off that couch. Let’s try and keep it simple. 

gotta love a wall of red hanging geraniums

Moving On

every day dress
moving on while wearing all black

Last Saturday I spoke at a sold-out wellness workshop alongside friend and style colleague Emily Doren of Lace & Day. We were part of a panel of women experts each offering tips and techniques in how to incorporate beautiful balance into our daily lives, a lifestyle concept you know I’m all about. 

Okay, so I spoke, and I touched on many different topics, not really addressing anything I was talking about in detail, and I laugh out loud as I write this, because I know I need some work. My topic was ‘Reignite Your Confidence and Style’, wow. I didn’t practice enough. I even dressed in all black as if ‘don’t look at me I’m not really sure about all this’. It was challenging and uncomfortable and fun and good all at the same time. 

I think it’s good for us all to try things were not really good at and to let the results rest and then to come back and to try again. 

We were seven women all with different stories all communicating different ideas each of us with varying degrees of proficiency speaking in front of a group. I had the least amount of experience and practice and wandered about in topic the most, and I’m letting myself know that that’s okay. 

It’s kind of like my weekly 5:30am ½ mile lap swim. I knew I needed to stretch my fitness routine and to do something different. At first it was horrible, sliding into that pool and swimming laps alongside former collegiate swimmers and needing to switch between freestyle and breaststroke just to keep up and stay afloat. Each week that I put myself in that pool I got a little bit better, and the swim got easier. I simply kept moving on. 

try new things and practice

Here’s my message: try things outside of your comfort zone, and just keep trying. Practice. Don’t pay too much attention to what you think others might be thinking. Time moves fast, and we’re all moving on. I’m coming for you public speaking. 

casual looking

cashmere and suede in two different shades of green, tone on tone is fun

Yesterday we opened our Fall Winter Trunk Show, please know we’re all about casual looking or full out mission shopping. The clothes we wear are a very personal expression of who we are, and I believe the things in our closet should be chosen with thought and care, worn often, even on continual repeat. 

Trunk Show space at 651 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo

My team and I work one on one with our clients, offering personalized service, wardrobe suggestions, positive affirmation. From sustainable denim to full out glamour, we can assist with what to wear where. Here are details: Fall Winter Trunk Show now through Monday, October 21st. 651 Delaware Avenue, suite 101, Buffalo. By appointment. Call, text, email.

tweed jacket, white blouse, suede pant, sneaker: casual looking

In addition, on Saturday, October 21st, I’ll be speaking about how to Reignite Your Confidence and Style along with Emily Doren of Lace & Day at a wellness workshop with five other lifestyle experts hosted by Patti Green. It’s all about creating a beautifully balanced you. For more information or to register please visit:

sure you can pair leopard with plaid, it’s all about feeling confident
all styles Carlisle | Per Se

From casual to creative to professional to stay-at-home, looking good, feeling good, and doing good is what we’re all about. Come hang with us for a while. Trunk Show, now through October 21st, by appointment. Wellness Workshop, Saturday, October 19th, 8am to 1 pm, register here at:

Out of Office

early morning sun

Summer 2019 in our Northern Hemisphere ends astronomically on Monday September 23rd and I’m holding on tight. 

Fifth child is off to the UK for her junior year semester abroad and we dropped sixth child at Providence College in RI for her sophomore year. Husband looks forward to and expects regular phone calls and texts from the sophomore, and she is not obliging. Older siblings report she’s on a bit of the party circuit, probably doing exactly as the same as the majority of the college population first week or so of back to school. When pressed she simply typed back on her iPhone to dear dad: THRIVING. Good for her. 

Four older kids are easing into adulting, all doing it in their own unique way, the world is good. 

This is the first-time husband and I have experienced what some call an ‘empty nest’, and I must say I enjoy the benefits. 

Last fall our second daughter had debilitating health issues and she remained at home with us while we assembled an exquisite care team to help see her through. She has come out of the abyss and is rebuilding her life. When your child suffers, she doesn’t suffer alone, we all felt the pain. 

So now, with a little newfound autonomy, we’re kind of landing where we want to land- and I’ve been a little more than ‘out of office’.

Black Point Inn
sandy quiet beach
rugged coastline
cliff walk

We’ve been in Boston MA and took a short road trip to Maine to revisit the coast we used to vacation on thirty-four years ago as singles. It was beautiful. Our stay at Black Point inn offered the best of both worlds, sandy beach and gentle bay on one side, and rugged gorgeous cliffs, rocks and surf on the other. Our room was old school, (like the food), and we spent hours simply looking out the windows and enjoying the view. 

lobster Benedict, food was okay

I chose lobster on the regular, lobster benedict for breakfast, lobster roll for lunch, and lobster ravioli for dinner. The wine pours were generous, it all made me happy. 

Ten hours of driving and back on the home front and of course I had to clean out the fridge, details, and then prepped for Labor Day weekend company. 

all this gorgeous color
can they get any better?
peppers and onions
starting to simmer
stirring in the minced thyme

I find solace in the kitchen and have learned to love an organized mise en place. Husband still can’t get his arms around my preoccupation with good food and what’s next for dinner- not sure if that thing about me will ever stray. 

On the style front I have things from summer I haven’t even worn yet, shame, and have started to slowly move towards fall, incorporating more fall ‘looks and feels’ into the rotation. 

We have a trip to London, Amsterdam, and the Scottish highlands on the very near horizon, and for this I bought a natty plaid pant suit, two cashmere sweaters, a pair of Italian stretch suede pants, two merino wool sweaters, a wide brown leather belt , and a gorgeous pair of black boots. They are all lined up and waiting to be put on the ‘packing rolling rack’, a system I designed that works exceptionally well when culling the closet for travel. 

smashed red potato salad with red onion and dill

Today we’re at the country house, and yesterday I made delicious dill potato salad and classic French ratatouille. Yesterday I made scratch blueberry pancakes and the day before that a blueberry pie, triple batch of Bolognese, scratch Caesar dressing, garlic croutons and chocolate chip cookies. You could say I like to feed those around me. 

Essie polish | Geranium

We will be vacillating between city and country, sleeping where we want to sleep. 

Professionally I’m debating whether to jam in a short quick fall trunk show this month of September, or simply go full out for the one on deck October 12thto the 22nd. I’ve also got a talk on the line for an upcoming wellness workshop, ‘Creating a Beautifully Balanced Lifestyle’ where I will be speaking about how to ‘Reignite Your Style and Confidence’, very good stuff. 

This post has been kind of a brain dump, if you’re reading this far, wow, and thank you. I love that with age now I know I can take time off and that I will do what needs to be done when the time calls for it. For now, we’re still soaking up the warmth…every day dress.

morning routine

two cups of coffee before anything else

In the online world there’s a ton of talk about morning routines. You can google ‘morning routine’ and a whole slew of articles, opinions, books, tips and tricks will flood your desktop. Here at the every day we keep it kind of simple:

Upon waking the very first thing is to brew some coffee. Feed the dogs while the coffee drips. Drink two cups with half & half, maybe check email, maybe check bank balance, maybe check Instagram, maybe check the blog and maybe check the business. If there are humans up and about, I’ll forgo all of the above and drink coffee with them which is so much better. Click this link here to read Why Social Media is Ruining Your Life.

My very favorite thing is to hit the gym first thing several times a week and, on most days, I’ll walk (or run) with the dogs. 10,000 steps plus a day here we come.

An absolute non-negotiable for me is to make the bed. I’ve been making the bed every single day for as long as I can remember. If I do some simple math that means I’ve made the bed approximately 30,000 times as I’ve made countless kids beds too. The best thing about making the bed is that even if your day goes to hell you can feel good about getting one thing exactly 100% right. 

I like to spend some time settling the house because I really can’t be my best when stuff is all over and dishes are undone. This could literally take me all day and absolutely all of my time as running a household (or two) is never ending. Sometimes I put a timer on and race the clock just to see how much I can get done in an hour or two. 

Next up is breakfast, and that’s usually some kind of eggs, with greens if I’m working it, and definitely some buttered toast of some sort. I’ve been playing with intermittent fasting and postponing breakfast for as long as reasonable.

Three of four daughters and I do morning pages: three free hand written pages of semi-conscious streaming. Once the words are on the page most everything else feels a bit better. Click here to see Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way.

After all that it’s time to get dressed, put some makeup on, brush the hair, and get out the door or work from home. It’s really a pretty routine thing, coffee, dogs, exercise, bed, house, food, clothes. When all that is done it’s the start of a really good day. 

Would love to hear about how you all get your day started, is coffee in the mix, making the bed, or intermittent fasting?

black white and blue in Chicago

beautiful blue sky, and we walked miles
black dress, white sneakers, white bag outside of Carlisle | Per Se showroom
The Burberry building caught our eye, great looking, and nice things inside

Predictably one of my favorite color palettes is black, white, and shades of blue, (hello Caroline). For touring around the beautiful city of Chicago wore a black silk maxi dress, white sneakers, and carried a white bag, it felt right for a summer city look. That long dress endured 17k steps, up and down and all around the miracle mile, river walk, and even held up for the late afternoon flight home. I’m not afraid in the least of outfit repeat, wore that same dress the night before with a pair of sandals for dinner down in Lincoln Park at North Pond.

the view outside our room
morning room service
we had a suite, home away from home
I spy three handsome men :), and he is all of them

We stayed at The Langham, and absolutely loved it. Great gym, spa, food, room, service and location, would return in a heartbeat.

If you’re in Buffalo you can shop the L’Agence dress locally at Tony Walker & Co., everyone on the floor is helpful, my particular favorite is Lexi.

Every day dress and black, white, and blue while in Chicago.