white things and grilled cheese

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how about this white and black outdoor seating arrangement?
we visited Restoration Hardware Tampa yesterday, this is upstairs outside on their 4th floor

It’s Monday and we heard it’s snowing again up northeast and we’re wondering what to write on the blog that might inspire, so we’re going with some year-round classic basics, white things, and grilled cheese sandwiches.

making grilled cheese in cast iron with cast iron press wearing white denim, sliver tank, camisole straps are okay, it’s a good one
good olive oil and balsamic are always on hand….and butter is love
white denim, silver tank, black scarf, simple makeup, rooftop at The Canopy at the Birchwood, downtown St. Pete’s

We love white denim twelve months a year, and grilled cheese. Here we added spinach to get those greens in and sliced figs to a simple green salad. We always love a tank; white, black, or even silver.

grilled cheese on sour dough, mixed greens with figs
new votives I picked up at Restoration Hardware outlet

White flowers are also are go-to. Husband and daughter are convinced these ruffled tulips are past their prime yet I’m holding on. Wrinkles and imperfection have got to be okay.

white tank, same white denim, tweed duster


white on white and sorry some of these images are huge, remember cottage industry here and can’t figure out how to resize, eye roll…


White denim and tweed from Carlisle | Per Se, heading back to work trunk show later this week.

Every day dress, white things and grilled cheese, our favorites. xoxo

some simple things

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Alfresco pasture-raised Vital Farms eggs, Italian washed linen napkins
farmers market fresh flowers in brown paper
farmers market haul from Saturday morning
no salad spinner yet, hand washed the greens and wrapped them in dish towels to store in the fridge
vegetables, up close and personal. our goal is to incorporate them in all meals, 3 times a day
sometimes a chocolate croissant wins 🙂

Even when we’re home away from home we keep our routine pretty much the same. Eggs, the best we can get our hands on, fresh flowers, farmers market vegetables, white denim and a black tank. These are some of our tried and true.

these jeans are pretty see through so I cut front pockets out and sewed the seam closed
I also hemmed them just above the ankle, showing a slash of skin

Simple style notes: white denim is best with a seasonal refresh. Sure, we can wear last year”s pair, it simply feels better when they are new. Last years white’s can do the dog walk and the garden tour. The pair you see here I cut the front pockets out and stitched the seam closed. It’s a cleaner look, especially if you don’t like to distract the eye with funny pocket linings that you can invariably see when wearing white denim.

Happy Monday, some simple things, and every day dress. xoxo

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

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

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.

 

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

 

where we’re at

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late summer quick chicken with tomato garlic compote | all vegetables from farm share

2000 miles via auto and air and 8 states in 7 days and now we’re back in the studio and making dinner at home, woot woot.

today in the studio trying on plaid, these are size 6

love this look 

leopard and plaid denim and red pumps, yes please

I’ll be in the studio until the morning of September 11th, and for the record kind of all about these plaid denim pants.

Hoping everyone out there is hitting their stride with all new season stuff: back to school, back to work; and the world spins on….

molasses cookies with vanilla and sea salt caramel ice cream, why not, still summer, still living, this was desert for 3

kitchen goods | me

clothing items | Worth New York 

xoxo

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