lighten up

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Light grey jeans, pale heather grey cashmere pullover, black puffer, grey and gold handbag, guessing it’s time soon to lighten up. Photo taken last day in La Jolla before heading back east.

Got weighed at the doc’s yesterday, oh, boy. Highest number we’ve seen since pregnant with the twins, twenty-four years ago. Thinking this higher number is not a unique phenomenon this time of year. It’s been fun.

Move some more, walk the dogs longer, eat and drink some less, wear some great clothes.

Every day dress, and this is a sensitive one, lighten up.

Thanks for reading everyone. As we all head towards 2015 may the year ahead bring you health, wellness, and good looks. 🙂


Oldest daughter, one of those twins, shared the above from her Instagram. Pretty much sums things up.

Instagram | 25park

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.


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.


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.


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.


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


basket up

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Now on the west coast, but before leaving town husband wanted me to prepare a quick gift for some close friends. Always  under the wire, but luckily we already had about a zillion Christmas cookies on hand and a few extra bottles of wine.

Cellophane bags, ribbon, greens and boxwood from the office party the night before, plus second hand baskets brought down from the attic, and French wine = basket up.


Traveled coast to coast with no make-up, and despite a few last minute holiday things to do, now we’re having fun.


Basket up everyone, holiday time is here.



baked like crazy

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For three nights straight, baked like crazy. Crazy stuff is going on all around in kitchens and beyond everywhere, busy time of year. Love the personal touch the hand can lend to gatherings large or small.


Baked like crazy when blessed by being home with a houseful of young children. Now four of them are out, two of them in, and youngest daughter said she loves when the house smells like Christmas.


For husband’s annual office Christmas party, this year in a space that was moderate and new, loaded the car with cookies and greens candles and decorations all from home. Dressed it up nicely.


Just as the clock hit six, slipped on super simple black dress. No manicure, no pedicure, no jewelry, thinking we’re all a bit baked like crazy. Client and friend told me yesterday the week before Christmas is one of the busiest of the year. Agreed.


Every day dress, baked like crazy.

Let’s all hang in and keep the faith. xo


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.


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


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.


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. 


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


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


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.


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.


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


sole me

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Went to the Canyon Ranch in Tuscon AZ for two days and two nights and honestly barely left the room. Needed some grounding and it was there.

Alcohol free? Check. No wine induced self slide into night at the end of a long day.


Healthy, delicious food? Check. Kind of funny but was actually looking at the posted calorie counts and ordering the highest on the menu. 🙂 Sweet potato pancakes for breakfast two mornings in a row.


Gym? Multiple, never went. Ditto for hiking, swimming, and anything else exerting. Did do a couple of yoga poses while waiting for the clairvoyant. Read a fiction book, was an hour late to a two-hour cooking class, never once turned on the television or even took a photo until here, at the end when waiting curbside for the airport shuttle. Bought not one thing new.

Modern life can wear you out. Was gifted this getaway for good performance by the company I work for. Wasn’t going to go, Tuscon is a hell of a long way from upstate NY for a deep tissue massage and an anti-aging facial. Turns out it was just what was needed: a lot of nothing. Sure, the moon and the stars and pretty much anything that was health enriching could be experienced, it was not having an experience was what I liked best.

Here’s an intimate thought: when having babies there were times I couldn’t wait to deliver to be in that room and to have three meals a day delivered on trays. No thinking, no getting, no doing.

Love life and all its bigness. Love too two days of nothing. Canyon Ranch and Worth New York, thank you. Wishing everyone everywhere a bit of soul now and again.


Simple style notes and play on words: Packed light for this getaway, some exercise clothes that get worn all the time back home and that are going back clean, sneakers, one black blouse worn both nights to dinner. For travel both ways, blue jeans, of course, same cashmere sweater and black leather jacket. Yes, needed all those layers in the desert in December. No jewelry, minimum makeup, and one fancy belt. The black boots with fringe? Sole me: took those pre-trip to the cobbler for rubber soles. It’s good to be grounded. While a beautiful leather sole on a good shoe or boot is luxurious, taking the time when you live in the northeast to protect that beauty from modern runaround is a very good thing. Damage control, ha, clairvoyant said you can end up stripped.

Every day dress, soul me.






go to the gym

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After a full-out four-day weekend of merriment, with more yet to come, the best way to deal, besides being back in the office, is to go to the gym.

Whatever that may be for you, and yes it does change over time, to get to the gym is a very good thing.


Happy Monday, December 1.

Simple style note: first time out with the leather culottes, really kind of liking the shape in a sea of skinny leather legs. Kind of fun to wear an unexpected shape.

Every day dress, go to the gym, whatever it may be for you.

and so it begins…

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always keep moving…


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.


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…



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. 🙂


wool scarf worn as halter keeps things easy | Christian Dior

more hours please

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photophoto 1Every day dress has been busy at work dressing others and putting on a local runway show to benefit women and children in our community. It’s a good gig.

Here’s some behind the scenes shots taken yesterday with the lovely iPhone. Brought the good camera, simply couldn’t get to it with all the activity, and there were professional photographers on site so better photos on their way. Made friends with one of them, Joe, by ordering him a Bloody Mary at the bar and a burger and fries. In addition to beautiful clothing we’re all about feeding others and providing food and drink, too. He was busy all day and he’s got the good photos. Can’t wait to see the upload.

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Event was completely sold-out with a waiting list, way to go WNY Women’s Foundation. Two runways were needed, and these pictures are from the ‘overflow’ room, so funny that this event is so successful that the ‘overflow’ room is actually the down-low kind of place to be. 🙂

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Morning of the event baked cookies for client/guests and put some nice ‘dress’ labels on the wine bottles. Underage models, there were two, got the new Essie Holiday Nail Collection instead.

Cinched the wardrobe addition of some great fur cuffs for a client that has thought about a winter white dress coat combo since July. Finally put the coat on, it was a sample brought in for a special Trunk Show, added the cuffs, had a colleague take the picture and texted her and said, Susan, you need these, they are so you and you will have them forever. Sold. She will be beautiful in them. Thinking we are all now feeling that yes it truly does get cold in winter and yes there are places to go and oh, boy, what are we going to wear.

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Every day dress, more hours please. Thank you models and clients, love what I do.

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