Friday, June 28, 2013

Just Peachy!

One of my favorite drinks is a Peach Bellini, which is especially refreshing on a hot summer night!
Here is a very simple recipe for this yummy drink
(there are far more elaborate recipes for this drink, but at this point in my life I need fast and easy)
6 oz Asti Spumante
 1 oz peach schnapps
1 can frozen Bacardi peach daiquiri mix
Blend in blender!

I also love Peach Sangria...
Here is a recipe for Caroline Peach Sangria
1 bottle of rose wine
3/4 cup vodka (you can use peach vodka)
1/2 cup peach nectar
6 T of thawed frozen lemonade concentrate
2 T sugar
1 lb ripe peaches, peeled and sliced
1 cup frozen raspberries
2 cups club soda, chilled

Combine first five ingredients in a pitcher; stir until sugar is dissolved.
Stir in peaches and raspberries
Cover and chill eight hours
Stir in chilled club soda just before serving
What are your favorite cocktails in the summer months?
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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Bring on the Bling!

I don't wear a lot of jewelry. Most everything I have is pretty Angela Moore bracelets are probably the most outrageous pieces of jewelry I get the picture.
That being said, I do like my jewelry to make a statement. Not a statement like the statement necklaces that are in style right now (which I happen to like...just not on me) but a statement about my style. If you follow my blog, I am sure you know what my style is!
Everyone needs a wish is mine...
 Chrysoprase and Diamond Earrings

Hermes Clic-Clac H bracelet


Signet Ring

Pink Sapphire and Diamond Ring
USNA broach
All images are from my Pintrest Board titled "Bling"
What's on your wish list?
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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Field Trip: The Army Navy Club

Monday night I drove up to Washington DC to have a date night with my husband. He was out of town this past weekend so I had not seen him in about 10 days. He took me to the Army Navy Club for dinner and we had a lovely evening!

The  Army Navy Club

Entering the Club, which is two blocks north of the White House 

The Main Dining Room where we had dinner

 One of the hotel rooms for members and guests of the club

View of the club on Farragut Square

The Library

The Eagle Grill Room

This is a very special guest room with a hand carved bed from China...can't appreciate the detail on this bed from my picture!

Another view of the Library

 D and I after we look tired or what??? But it was a WONDERFUL evening!

View from our table...we had the first seating and it was like private dining until about 7:00pm!
 View from my seat at dinner

 The Reading Room

It was a perfect evening, the food was magnificent, and the club is just beautiful.
The best part of the evening is that my husband and I got to spend time together, just the two of us, really connecting without the usual interruptions of every day live.

Funny story....I commented to D at dinner that I knew we were at a "nice" restaurant because there were not prices on the menu. He laughed and told me there are always prices on his menus when he takes me out to dinner...apparently there are "ladies' menus" and "gentlemen's menus"...clearly assuming the gentleman will be paying....old fashion and I love it! 

After spending the night at my husband's man cave, I headed back to RVA super early this morning, back to my crazy busy life. It was sure a wonderful little respite.

And MANY thanks to my Virginia parents for keeping the kids overnight so I could go!

Hope you enjoyed my tour of the Army Navy Club!

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Wardrobe Staples Part I

I recently shared my thoughts on Investment Dressing here and now want to share my thoughts on wardrobe staples. I consider the items I listed on my Investment Dressing post as wardrobe staples, but they are also quite expensive, so those are things you would accumulate over time...these wardrobe staples are less expensive and need to be replaced as they wear out.
Here are the first five of my wardrobe staples:
A White Shirt
This is the J Crew Stretch Perfect Shirt and I like it because it has a slightly tapered fit and it has STRETCH! I actually have three of these because one is always dirty and one is always at the cleaners.
Black Pants
I would select a fabric that is seasonless, such as wool gabardine. I get most of my pants at Talbots, as they have classic styles, many different fabrics, and several different fits. Here is a pair of black pants from Talbots that are similar to the ones shown. I suggest getting a pair in taupe as well and navy blue (I wear navy almost more than black).
Cardigan Sweater
I have a million cardigan sweaters because I am cold all of the time. I prefer cashmere, but also like the cotton ones with some stretch. I love this J Crew Featherweight Cardigan in this beautiful shade of blue. I would select a bright shade that is flattering to your coloring. Camel is also a good choice.
Pencil Skirt
Again, I would suggest purchasing this in a seasonless wool so you can wear it year round. This is a J Crew Pencil Skirt and it comes in many colors. It has stretch and sits just below the waist, which I prefer. These skirts are timeless and never go out of style...they just happen to be IN style right now so you can find them everywhere.
Cable Knit Sweater
Ralph Lauren makes cable knit sweaters in a million colors and several different fabrics. You can get these in a crew neck style or a V-neck style, and there are different sizes of cable stitch as well.  Other great places to find cable knit sweaters are Brooks Brothers Women and Lilly Pulitzer (especially if you are looking for bright colors). If you are not a fan of cable knits, then a fine gauge knit sweater is a good alternative.
I would call these five pieces the bare bones of a wardrobe. Once you have the bare bones, you can start to add fun or trendy pieces to your wardrobe and you will already have something to make it an outfit!
What are your wardrobe essentials?
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Monday, June 24, 2013

Common Scents

Is there anyone (in my generation) who did not start their perfume collection with this?
You can still find Love's Baby Soft at Walmart and a few other places. I wore this in junior high and early high school until I changed to my "mature" scent...
I wore White Shoulders my senior year of high school and the first few years of college. I still like this is flowery and fresh...but I have not worn it for over 20 years now.
Then I made a radical change and wore this...
This is a more sophisticated scent and I wore it in my early 20's to early 30's.
Enter Jo Malone....
I got a bottle of Jo Malone Honeysuckle & Jasmine Cologne for one of my birthday's in my 30's and I have been wearing this scent ever since. I LOVE it! The fragrance lasts all day, yet this cologne is not overpowering, and is fresh and flowery.
Jo Malone discontinued this scent back in 2011.
Funny story...I was in Houston in the spring of 2011 and was shopping the Jo Malone counter at Neiman's to try and find a new scent since my bottle was almost gone. I mentioned to the woman at the counter how disappointed I was that Honeysuckle & Jasmine had been discontinued and she said
"Well today is your lucky day!"
Turns out she had ordered the last four bottles of Honeysuckle & Jasmine in all of Neiman's inventory for a customer over a month ago and the customer had never picked them up. The sales woman still had the perfume in the back! She offered them to me and I bought all four.
I am on my last bottle of those four...I am going to have to change my scent. I hate when cosmetic and fragrance companies discontinue products I love. I will probably stick with a new Jo Malone scent, and fortunately it is easier to find Jo Malone now than it used to be.
Here are the ones I am considering...
French Lime Blossom is described by Jo Malone as "The scent of sweet lime blossoms with a twist of bergamot and tarragon is evocative of the first day of spring." Jo Malone also makes bath oil, bath gel, body cream, and other goodies.

Orange Blossom is described by Jo Malone as "The scent of clementine leaves in the morning dew sparkles above a heart of orange blossom and water lily..."
One of the things Jo Malone encourages is The Art of Fragrance Combining, where you layer several different colognes. I have tried this in the store, but combining the scents was too powerful of a smell for me (and my allergies).
I know many people have several perfumes and wear different perfumes for different moods or occasions...I am a "one scent woman" and always have been. One reason I like this is because my kids associate my scent with me. I love it when my kids are cuddled in a blanket I was using and I hear one of them say "this smells like mom"...My mother wore Shalimar perfume when I was growing up, and to this day I think of her whenever I catch that scent when I am out and about.
Do you have one go-to fragrance?
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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Finishing Touches

In my opinion, putting the finishing touches on a room I'm decorating is the hardest part of the project.  I'm currently trying to finish my powder room, which is driving me crazy.

When I started my powder room project, I selected my wallpaper first...I know wallpaper is not "in style" right now, but I love wallpaper.  I decorate based what I like, not based on the current trend. My home tends to be decorated far more traditionally than most of my friends, and while I love some of the current trends and colors, they are just not "me".

I digress....
Thibaut has some of my favorite collections of wallpapers and fabrics. I think I am attracted to their rich and vibrant colors. Here is the wallpaper I selected for the powder room...

 This wallpaper is a golden yellow lattice pattern called Bay Head, from the Barbados Collection.
Here is the powder room "before"...

And here it is "almost " done...

Notice the light fixture (which had to be re-hung upside down so it would not hang over the new mirror) is the original one, and I can't find a new fixture I like.

Here is what I am looking at...
I love this pineapple light fixture, but am not totally sure that it's the look I want. I just can't find anything I like better.

Here is a horrible picture of the window, but I couldn't get the lighting right to show the new plantation shutter. The powder room is in the front of the house and I hated always having the blinds closed for privacy. Now I can leave the top open for light.

In addition to the light fixture, I also need to find a small rug. I don't want an oriental... I was thinking maybe a needlepoint rug or a wool hooked rug. I've been frequenting the consignment shops and have looked at Homegoods and several interior design shops with no luck. Considering it took me two years to find an oriental rug I liked for my foyer, I am not optimistic that I will be finding the perfect rug any time soon.
I also have to find bathroom accessories....tissue box cover, soap dispenser, and I have a towel ring in a "champagne bronze" ordered. I am ordering some monogrammed hand towels and also have my eye on these from Leotine in golden yellow.

 Finally, I need to find some framed prints for the walls....I am looking for some botanical prints with blues and greens in them. There are a few shops around town that may have what I am looking for...I haven't found a good source for botanical prints online...any suggestions?
What part of the decorating process do you find the most difficult?

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Kelly Bag - A Classic

As I have previously mentioned on my blog, I am a bag addict. There is one bag I have yet to add to my collection, and that is a Kelly Bag, named after Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco.

Grace Kelly, along with Audrey Hepburn and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis are all, in my opinion, fashion icons of their time. I find their style to be classic and timeless, and love to page through photographs of those lovely ladies.

Here is Grace Kelly carrying the bag that was named after her...
Here is her bag today...
This bag is a Hermes and retails for around $10,000....clearly this will not be finding its way into my closet, but I wanted to post a picture of the original.

Here is Chanel's version in black...still quite pricy at over $2000.

Louis Vuitton version of the Kelly Bag...again, quite pricy.

This version is Gucci...also with a pretty steep price tag.

Burberrys version....clearly I love expensive bags.

Here is a vintage Coach version of the Kelly Bag.

I LOVE this Ferragamo version...perfect for cocktail parties, luncheons, or even church.
As you can see, many different brands have copied the classic style of the original Kelly Bag. You can find reasonably priced "Kelly Bags" in every color imaginable at any department store, as well as TJ Maxx or Marshalls.
If I win the lottery, this ADORABLE Chanel would have to find its way to my's PINK!
All of these bags can be found on my Fabulous Bags Pintrest Board.
Do you have a Kelly Bag?
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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Summer Reading List

I had to LOL when I titled this post because the only reading I'm going to have time to do this summer is during the one week I am at my Michigan parents' house while the triplets are in sailing school. I might be able to sneak some in between baseball games during the week I'm in Cooperstown, NY with my twins in August....not yet sure what the schedule will be for that week.

Here are the books that are on my list...they are from all genres so it is a pretty random list!

I'll See You Again is a memoir written by a mother who lost her three daughters in a tragic accident. It details her journey through grief and how she found her way back to hope and love. I have a personal and professional interest in the area of grief, and find stories like these to be both educational and inspirational.
How Lucky Are You is a story about three friends and how they struggle to keep their friendship alive through loyalty and betrayal...this is definitely some "chick-lit" but looks to be in the same genre as the Emily Griffin books, which I LOVED!
The Weekend Makeover looks interesting as I am horrible about scheduling "me" time, and I often feel just as overwhelmed at the end of the weekend as I did on Friday.
That's My Son is a book that I definitely need to read...the subtitle speaks for itself "How Mom's Can Influence Boys To Become Men Of Character" and they have sequel called That's My Teenage Son (which I will be reading next year when my twins boys turn 13)
The Gift Of An Ordinary Day is a mother's memoir about a family during times of transitions...changes in jobs, children growing up, etc. and finding time to enjoy the moment. Another thing I need to work on...enjoying the moment.
One Thousand Gifts is a book that my friend, S, recommended and it is about finding the blessings in our every day life. It is a spiritual book, and there is also a Devotional and a Study Guide that you can purchase to go with this book. I have been buying most of my books on my Nook, however I think this is a book I want a hard copy of.
 What is on your summer reading list? I am always looking for new books!

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