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The Greatest Color Combo

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It’s another chilly morning here in Thorne Bay, Alaska.

As usual we layered up and headed out… This time for a day on the pacific.

Quickly we were in the perfect fishing spot.

King Salmon and Silver Salmon stacked up in the cooler before lunch.

Halibut was more of a difficult catch.

My husband landed one but I was not so lucky.

As we prepared to return to the lodge we ran into a pod of killer whales.

Nothing can express the sheer size of this spectacular animal nor the  joy of seeing them in the wild. 

Black and white…

Always a good idea in fashion, stolen from nature.

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What A Day!

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We geared up in waders and special boots …. Clipping water guards to our boots to keep the rain out.

We then topped our gear with rain jackets, loaded into a suburban truck and headed out.

Staney creek was our goal.

We hiked down for 20 minutes, through mulch like soil… Squishy with moss covering every inch.

Finally we arrived, the river gleaming at the bottom of a large ravine.

Salmon jumped and splashed all around us.

Although it sounds easy the next few hours were very tiring, yet extremely thrilling. 

10 pink salmon later, we are back at our lodge.

Could not be happier.

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Alaska's Boardwalk Lodge

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We woke this morning at 4:15 to a chilly and rainy sunrise…

Actually the sun was up.

Everyone was excited for the rain because it brings in the salmon.

So we were jazzed as well!

I am very happy I spent the time at Travel Country purchasing rain gear (Marimont) and water proof boots.

The ground here is covered with moss. Natures thick soft carpet.

We sat watching a pair of eagles swoop over the bay while drinking steaming thick black coffee.

The guides are up and checking people in at the small office. This place has a magical character to it.

Quiet… yet brimming with life.

I have just finished breakfast and packing our lunches for a long day of fishing.

We are going salt water fishing for Halabit and Salmon.

I will keep you posted on how it goes.

I love being on the water anywhere… but here the solitude it strikingly different.

P.S. I have left my blow dryer, make up and any sort of fashionable bag at home…

Choosing a day pack, ear warmer head ban and hiking boots instead.

Probably no photos of that to come. Ha ha ;) 

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America, The Beautiful

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Vail, Colorado… what a stunning place!

America has so many diverse places to see.

My goal this next year is to stay in the USA and see what our amazing country has to offer.

Got any travel plans? Any great spots you think I should see?

Let’s make a bucket list together.

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Dramatic Beauty

If you happen to be in Denver between now and November 30th you must make it a point to go to Denver’s Botanic Gardens

They are featuring an artist by the name of Dale Chihuly. His sculptures, with their bold color, provide an absolutely breathtaking element to this urban oasis.

If you don’t make it in time to view Chihuly’s exhibition, no worries. The gardens themselves are as equally amazing… the flowers, their colors… to just get lost in nature.

Click here to learn more about the Denver Botanic Gardens.

What are some amazing places you have come across during your summer travels?

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Heaters

July… Thick, rainy, hot, steamy July.

The lighting and thunder arrive each day, shaking us a bit and reminding us that we are small and not really in control of anything.

Those of us who stay here in Florida for the summer are a special breed.

Heaters” is what I call us.

Mainly we are here because we work through the summer months.

Some of us still play tennis and golf no matter what the temperature….

Soaking in the humidity and sweating out every little thing in our system.

I love the heat. I wake up early and sit outside to see the quiet morning slip into a new day.

After the rain passes through in the afternoon I sit outside soaking in the sultry evening air drinking chilled white wine, instead of my favorite thick red, eating Cheez-its.

It’s pretty glamorous.

Last week I saw this incredible double rainbow right after a terrible storm.

No designer has ever come close to making something this spectacular.

Heaters get to see amazing things like this here in summer…

Double rainbow, Sauvignon Blanc and Cheez-it’s? Gosh.

Heaters also get better tables at restaurants.

So many people are gone that those of us who live and work here can easily get a dinner reservation.

See! There are all kinds of fun stuff about Florida summers. Right?

As I write this, this heater is headed to Alaska for a quick break from the liquid sunshine of Florida.

Alaska expects rain each day… so I will not be home sick.

Perhaps after this visit I won’t ever want to spend another summer in Florida… but I doubt it.

Who would want to miss the little brown creepers that come each morning to the bird feeder in summer?

There is one more great thing about this season, the birds.

So as we heaters soak in the summer, don’t envy us.

The warm weather will still be here for three more months.

You can come back from the mountains and still get a last little snap of it.

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Pretend VS. Real

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I was sitting in a doctor’s office this morning, with nothing to do other than watch TV…

It’s been years since I’ve watched morning TV.

Most of the show was devoted to the entertainment industry.

During the first segment they reviewed a movie and introduced a super star with an upcoming TV show.

The following segment featured an interview with a model and her best friend. In this interview they talked about how they do swimsuit photo shoots…

It was entertaining, even if just for a few moments… After those few moments I kept having a recurring thought… That isn’t real life, it’s all pretend!

Most of us have a real life that consists of going to work, cooking dinner and planning a summer get away, all while keeping the spinning plates of life in the air.

Sometimes when we shop, we shop for our pretend life. Not the life we lead.

We need items to wear to book club, and to the spring luncheon… a great dress for a summer wedding as well as a charity luncheon… figure flattering white pants and several tops that don’t show flaws.

Shoes that can be worn all day while still keeping “my look.” (Not the look of the grandmother that I am.)

Ok, here is the only place you can pretend a little.

I am absolutely happy that I know all about how not to be distracted during a photo shoot… in a bathing suit… in the cold weather, but…

Most women really want to know how to find jeans that you don’t tug on after an hour.

Our real life is just that… real! So let’s shop like it is.

Great Dress: Kay Unger // Jeans that you don’t have to tug on: Red Engine

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A Full Stomach and A Happy Heart

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We are leaving Alaska.

What a great adventure it was all the way around…

The food was hearty yet healthy.

Grilled Halibut, Salmon on ragout of white beans and tomato stew,  homemade yeast rolls, fresh jams made from salmon berries…

Mmm just thinking about it now. 

We met many amazing people while enjoying our time in Alaska.

One of our new friends, in particular, was doing something that caught my attention.

He was protecting mergansers ducklings from eagles…

Nature!

 It’s big and bold here… And very much respected. 

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The Middle

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On my latest flight I had the pleasure of sitting beside a very sophisticated woman.

She seemed to be in her sixties and very well-dressed… a lovely navy sweater and white jeans.

All in all an attractive and well put together woman. Her finger nails were well groomed and painted a neon yellow.

Wait…What?

I know it’s ALL the fashion. I get that. But, is it always appropriate to go with the latest fad?

REMEMBER when the “let your bra straps show” first came along?

It was probably more than 10 years ago now.

I thought that was just a fad, but now I see 70 year old women wearing a black bra under a white blouse… showing straps with ease.

What about leggings?

We were all a bit overwhelmed by that look, now it’s part of our wardrobe.

So when do you take part in a fad? And how to do you make it part of your lifestyle?

Somewhere in between the “total fad” and the fashionable look is where I think we should stay.

Bright nail polish? Sure, but maybe not the brightest… just bright.

Skinny jeans? For sure! But maybe not the skinniest of the skinny.

High-low? When the back of a garment is longer than the front? Sure, but maybe just a slight high-low and on a top.

Middle age may bring us to middle ground.

Oh gosh the thought of it…

Wait, who am I kidding!?!

Throw away all of this advise and go for it!

You only live once… and on that note I am going to go get my nails done.

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The Joy Of Being A Buyer

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I return from gift market, overloaded and overjoyed with all that I have seen and plan to purchase.

I study the photos and lists, checking and rechecking delivery dates and shipping costs…

The giant peacock that reminds me of Winter Park, shiny silver square clocks from London, soft hand towels with images of days gone by…

Many people attend gift market. They scan showrooms to see if they can find a deal on items or see if a showroom will sell to them without owning a store.

For me it is different, I am a professional shopper.

It is my job is to find something very special that someone will want for themselves, determine if it has value for the price…

I must purchase items that my clients will give to a dear friend for a special occasion, perhaps their birthday.

It may be an item that fills a most precious place on a coffee table or an item that welcomes a guest into their home.

So how do buyers do that? Time after time?

Staying true to what they love. That’s it!

Simple and yet so difficult…

The trick is to choose things you love, that you wish were in your home… That would THRILL you if you received them as a gift!

Stay true to yourself and you’ll find the answer to most questions.

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Sometimes good enough is really good enough

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Our lives as women can be so busy.

This week I will be in NYC for a day of work, return to spend several days in the store, host a luncheon for a charity event and finish up with a weekend at the gift show.

How can we keep all of our plates in the air spinning with ease?

Sleep!

I think that is the ticket… for me anyways.

When life gets busy I need my sleep.

(Oh yes and a very simple wardrobe.)

On weeks like this one I try and take a few minutes on Sunday to think about what my week will look like.

Then I pull from my closet the items that I love the most and that I know I have shoes that go (comfortably) with them.

I have two or three travel outfits I almost always wear, so that takes three days out of the mix…

Oh and a new handbag makes life a bit more fun in general!

I love my new Kate Spade market/travel bag. I will take that along this week.

I can’t forget my eye cream, Chanel has a wonderful one.

I know I will need that after waking at 4:00 am for that early flight.

The only way to get through these busy days is to keep it simple and stick with the comfort items

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Color and Culture

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I looked at my nails, my dress and the shoes I was wearing, all color!

Hot pink dress, light pink nails and printed pink sandals.

It is the year of color!

Summer has exaggerated that trend and Florida puts it on steroids.

Have you ever traveled somewhere, New York? LA? Atlanta? And felt like you had “Winter Park” stamped on your forehead?

You looked so “Florida.” Maybe a bit too conservative?

Several years ago my daughter and I arrived in NYC to see a collection of dresses at a new show room.

 The designer suggested we have dinner at a new restaurant that featured a very large “in vogue” bar.

She called her friend at the front desk and made a reservation for us. We were so excited to visit the new hot spot and get a table.

Upon our arrival the music boomed through the front entry, the bar was exquisitely decorated and beautiful people held cocktails as they chatted about business.

Ellie and I stood looking at the crowd as we ordered a glass of wine and observed the scenery.

A few moments had slipped by when Ellie shouted over the loud strum of music, “do you feel like you have Winter Park stamped all over you?”…

Meaning Florida. Easy, casual and colorful.

The lifestyle we so enjoy here is hard at times to translate to other sub cultures in other parts of the country.

Even going to Miami for a weekend is a bit different then central Florida, especially in winter. White is the dominate color there all year round.

A client told me after a recent trip to Spain she felt awkward in print shorts. The color pallet was muted in the city.

As you pack for that dream trip this summer keep these three small guidelines in the front of your mind:

-Black or white bottoms always work.

-You can never go wrong in a simple dress.

-A beautiful colored scarf can save a outfit, cover up a small spill and keep you warm in case of weather change.

Black or White Bottoms: Elliot Lauren, Peace of Cloth, Red Engine // Simple Dress: Jude Connally, Lilla P 

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Shoes, Shoes… Do I Have To Stop Loving My Shoes?

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I am a woman who loves high heels. I have worn them daily for years and years. My feet have never hurt and I have never really given it any thought.

I just purchase the ones I love and slip into the world in fantastic shoes.

Until now… Out of the blue, out of nowhere, my foot began to hurt. I didn’t pay much attention to it the first few weeks, but then I had no choice.

My foot hurt. It hurt when I woke up, it throbbed in stunning heels, ached in wedges and I whimpered barefooted.

Yes, I did go see the foot doctor, got a shot and waited for my foot to feel better. I put on comfy shoes while I waited for the silly foot to… to stop hurting.

You know where this is going right?

Lifestyle change is where it’s going.

Flats and Flip Flops.  I can hardly bare to say it.

I spoke to my daughter, explaining that perhaps it was time for me to retire.

“What?” she gasps, “why would you say that? I thought you loved your work… The store is a big part of your life” she continued.

“I can’t wear high heels any more,” I quipped.  “It’s too hard on my feet.”

As I heard myself talking, I was mortified. What? Poor you, hurt foot…

So now this is the new me… A bit more, shall we say, sensible?

This is what I have learned:

First, a hurt foot is no big deal.

Second, there are cute small heels and smaller wedges that look fantastic, especially if you wear your hem line just a bit shorter.

Third, no one feels sorry that you can’t wear Jimmy Choo shoes every day that you feel like it.

Lastly, it’s about aging with some grace.

I am trying that on for size and it seems to be fitting.

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A Glimpse Of Fashion In The Islands

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We have just returned from a few days at the “One and Only” in the Bahamas.

Life is easy there, breakfast overlooking the beach, lunch with your feet in the sand and dinner listening to the roar of the ocean by candlelight.

One evening there was a gorgeous sunset wedding. Another evening there was a very lively 50th birthday party.

As is my habit I watched what the women were wearing… taking mental notes at each event and in the restaurants.

My very non-scientific results are as follows:

Not one person was wearing the tradition Lilly Pulitzer type prints. No pink and green.

Maxis are still extremely popular, about half of the women, I noticed, were wearing them. Caution: When worn too long they can look sloppy.

Bright coral dresses are very “in”… the most popular color by far, not to mention, it looks great on everyone.

Cream, not stark white, is very sophisticated and a great look, especially if you’re smaller in size.

On the beach:

Fedora hats were worn by both men and women.

A Taupe color was the biggest surprise… crocheted cover ups in taupe, taupe slim dresses… very pretty!

Striped bags of every size are a must have! 

Lots of very chic one piece bathing suits.

Don’ts for a vacation at the beach:

A strapless cover up or a halter bathing suit.

White linen pants that fit too tight. They need to be a bit loose.

A black cocktail dress to dinner on the beach… Keep it casual, even in the best venues.

Don’t overdo an outfit, i.e. red suit, red cover up, sparkling red sandals, big red bad, etc. 

Sometimes “not enough” is just the right amount!

Striped Bag: Kate Spade // Maxi Dresses: Donna Morgan // Casual Beach Dress: Calypso

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Earrings.. The Exclamation Point!

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A couple days before attending a runway show I found a small article tucked away in the wall street journal about earrings.

I didn’t think too much about it until I was at the show and saw what had been talked about right there in front of me…. Earrings reigned supreme.

Long, dripping, dangling chandelier earrings brushing the edges of the models shoulders, sparkling with chains and crystals…

One collection had a very long earring in one ear and a small stud in the other ear.

As most things are in high fashion, runway looks are always a bit over the top.

It should give you a hint of what we will all be wearing next year….

Longer earrings, as well as earrings that are more dramatic.

Sometimes I hear my clients say they only wear their diamond studs.

They love them and just can’t get into anything else.

I say you’re missing half of the fun in life… well maybe not half the fun in life…

but you are sure missing out on the exclamation point of fashion life.

Jewelry is just that…Fun!

When you can add a fun long necklace with a little sparkling tassel or a big bold string of deep blue beads, it compliments who you are that day.

Yes fine jewelry is just that… fine! But don’t miss out on a little added bonus of a jewelry trend that can make you smile and look exciting.

Let the fun begin, take a look the runway photos for fall and fall in love with something just a little wilder then your usual self.

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Summer Sandals are Like a Small Bite of Chocolate

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I was sitting at the hair salon at 6:00 a.m. the other morning… I know it sounds crazy but I love to go early and sip coffee, then get back home in time for my trainer and breakfast.

There sitting in the chair across from me was a woman covered in a smock with only her feel showing.

Poking out of the fabric was sparkling silver sandals, little straps covered with gleaming stones.

Her outfit was simple, her sandals stunning… just the right amount of bling.

And by the way bling is a must for the perfect summer look.

When else are you going to have the chance to wear sequins or jewels this summer?

So come on girls get some bling on your feet while you can… In September you just can’t pull it off!

When I think of summer and the things I love about summer, my list is long…

To name a few…

Summer rain storms, pale pink toe nail polish on tanned feet after a day at the beach, lobster salad and glittery sandals with a soft dress.

Sparkling Summer Sandals: Mystique

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