Palm Beach Preppy

IMG_0301I’m writing this post at the wee hours of our first day back. With a big 9am presentation looming. But my brain is on overdrive. Speaking of drives. It was a 14 1/2 hour one back to Jersey City from Savannah. Who knew Virginia had that much traffic? Yikes. I drove for maybe 1 1/2 hours? Chris was Superman. All in all, it was a great adventure, though next time (?!?) I’m pretty sure I would vote for breaking the drive back up north by one more stop.

We loved our time in Delray and love the beach but try to stay out of the sun from 12-4pm. So besides naps (or work), we decided to make a getaway to Palm Beach and wander around Worth Avenue. Of course, my DIY PomPom bag had to make the trip. And it made quite a splash. Really. I got stopped so many times. I almost thought I should be selling them! But I do have a card for Life’s a Spritz that I try to always have on hand, so perhaps I’ve got a few new followers.

My inspiration? We were at the beach, it was super hot, I kept my look simple. A crisp, blue-and-white gingham top, white Bermuda shorts and, of course, Jack Rogers. The difference was in the details: the buttons up the back of my top add a subtle but stylish difference, the shorts are cotton with just a bit a stretch for fit and comfort, and the JRs are, for me, a casual summer wardrobe must. These are in platinum, and I never say no to a touch of sparkle. I have them in black patent, navy and white (monogrammed!), orange and white and snakeskin, too. If I can I add a new pair every summer or two. They go with everything. And hey, just get better with age.  I didn’t shop much on this trip, but I picked up a pair of gorgeous white enamel bangles at Sequin, the PB outpost of an NYC-based Jewelry Design Studio. Founded by two sisters, they have a rainbow of options to choose from and support a rainbow of good causes!

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Top: (old, J. Crew) but similar here (on sale!) and here

Shorts: J. Crew, pretty much sold out in white but love them in yellow!

Sandals: (old, Jack Rogers) but take your pick here! And monogram options here!!

PomPom Bag: (DIY here) but fun options here and here

Bangles: Sequin

All Photos by Chris & MP Allegaert

DIY: PomPoms for President!

IMG_0021I wish! Chris and I are about to take off on a looooooong road trip — JC to Delray Beach, Fla. Bowie is coming along too. Call me nuts but I hope this will be a fun hang out, not an I-can’t-stand–you experience. We’ll see…

Since the beach is calling and pom poms are basically raging all over the fashion scene, I decided to perk up this cool straw bag I bought at  my favorite consignment store in Keene.

So…all you need: hot glue gun, pom poms, bag of your choice. Go for it!

IMG_0011BEFORE

IMG_0007Pom Poms! Found at Target. All sizes, all colors. As cute as candy! At the moment, here’s what they have. I did find mine in-store. And for not a lot of change.

IMG_0019Map out edge pattern. I went for a rainbow line-up that used each color palette. And random tinies for the pocket.

IMG_0029Voila! Decided big and small pom poms were the right proportion. I will be sporting this on our road trip. You tell me if it works!

If you’re not into DIY, love these: saks, shopbop and intermix. I think they are all cool. But my bag cost under $20!!!

All photos by MP Allegaert.

 

DIY: Pom Poms & Pedicures

IMG_3447‘Tis the season to get your tootsies out there. But first…a confession. This isn’t a complete DIY. Yes for Pom Pom sandals, kind of for pedicures.

From fashion runways to getaway shorelines, pom poms are on the march! I LOVE them. You have got to get them in your wardrobe. Or like this post make them for your wardrobe.

IMG_3440Fashion sacrilege for some, but I was  simply not wearing these super cool nude leather Elizabeth & James sandals. Solution? Pom pom them!

IMG_3444So yes I was potentially “ruining” an expensive pair of sandals. But a bag of pom poms for $1!?! (Thank you, Target). Game on!

IMG_3445Set up your work space. Newspaper (with the perfect headline…wink, wink), shoes, pom poms, hot glue gun.

IMG_3446Map out your pattern. I tried to do mirror image on each shoe. Actually messed up but no one ever notices. All they notice are the pom poms!

IMG_0302So now that you’re going to put your feet first, you need to treat them right. I love getting pedicures…on my own terms. Plus there are some great DIY tools out there, as in this Amope Pedi Perfect Foot File, as well as this Revlon Pedi-Expert. Not to dwell on salon nightmares, but I do have a friend who was infected with a life-threatening staph infection when she had her feet “scraped” at a pedicure. Please…don’t do it. I never let them cut my cuticles. I bring my own polish, top and base coat (touch-ups made easy). I don’t care if they think I’m nuts. But I do think I should get a discount. Hasn’t happened. Keep ya posted. Last tip, at bedtime slather this Beauty Counter Baby Daily Protective Balm on your feet, then put on a lightweight pair of cotton shorty socks. When you wake up…baby soft feet. (Great for lips, cuticles, elbows too…)

All photos by MP Allegaert

Pretty Little Spring Things

IMG_2386Spring is definitely in my dreams, if not quite in the air. Here in Jersey City we’re still waiting for all of Storm Stella’s now dirty snow to melt. But I love how much warmer the sun feels, how much longer it stays light outside. Don’t you?

In this post I’m sharing some of my favorite finds for Spring. I would love to have styled some head-to-toe looks with them, but it’s still just too darn cold. Because they are so special, at least to me, I’m pretty sure they will sell out fast. If they’re not exactly right for you, I do hope you’ll find some fun, pretty inspiration for your wardrobe.

But before I share, I have to thank Casa Mona for allowing me to shoot this post inside their jewel box of a flower and home decor shop. Designers Carlos Riva and Antonio Vieira are the co-owners of this new and not-to-be-missed JC spot. Not only do they have a rainbow selection of classic and unusual cut flowers and orchids, they also have the coolest cacti. Take your pick too of beautiful baskets, sleek vases, even treats and treatments for your pooch (we love their Harry Barker Oatmeal Shampoo for Bowie). They also stock coffee, jams and other delectables from Kerber’s Farm — a historic and recently restored farm in Suffolk County, New York. (Think great gifts.) And they’ll be heating up their state-of-the-art coffee service any day now. Go!

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IMG_2331IMG_2328Now this my kind of baseball hat! So, so pretty and it comes in S, M or L, which if you have a peanut head like I do is good news.

IMG_2384IMG_2359IMG_2358Ballet slipper inspired flats are a big trend for Spring. And these are pirouette-worthy as far as I’m concerned.

IMG_2377IMG_2379IMG_2381Don’t these earrings look like something a fairy would leave behind? And they’re light as a feather too. Good news for over 50 ear lobes!

IMG_2389IMG_2362IMG_2363Embroidered flowers, leafy tendrils and hummingbirds…I can’t wait  to wear this top. With a cami or tank underneath, of course.

IMG_2339IMG_2375IMG_2344As you can see, this gold-and-diamond bangle and matching ring (gifts from Chris) look beautiful anywhere…and everywhere. They are from one of my favorite jewelers. Details below.

IMG_2332IMG_2334My new favorite nail color, courtesy of the latest Rachel Zoe Box of Style. Mani Pedi, please!

IMG_2392And here’s Mona, Carlos and Antonio’s rescue chihuahua from the Dominican Republic and namesake of their new store. She’s snuggling with her big brother Diego. Precious!

IMG_2396IMG_2403IMG_2406And the picture-perfect roses I could not leave Casa Mona without. Love!

Baseball Hat: H&M (I could only find it in-store) but similar here and here

Ballet Flats: Zara (in multiple hues). As always, other must-have options here and here

Earrings: J Crew but check out these and these

Top: Zara, now in black but also like this and this

 Jewelry: Ginette NY bracelet and ring

Nail Polish: Piece of Cake by Butter but LOTS of delicious shades to choose from!

All photos by MP Allegaert

Old is the new New

IMG_2192I grew up in a classic PreWar apartment on Washington Square Park. Its black and white tile bathrooms with massive tubs still looked Pottery Barn cool when my Father died this past August. Chris grew up in a Turn-of-the-Century Colonial in Scarsdale, NY, which his parents meticulously restored over the many years they lived there. So while sometimes a “Gut Reno” is called for, preservation has its place too.

Our mountain log cabin was no exception. A kit house from Maine, it was built in the early 70s. Once we stopped gaping at its spectacular view, we explored inside. Not so pretty. Corners had been cut, bad design decisions abounded. BUT…the potential! Buying it would mean selling our (lovingly restored) suburban NJ home, paring down, keeping what we could for the cabin while moving to a modern apartment in Jersey City.

One of the best things that came out of this seismic change was what family heirlooms and well-loved antique/vintage finds we could repurpose in their new mountain abode. And how they made this new place feel like home. Of course we needed those rustic touches that would make it Adirondack-perfect, not “Adiron-dorky.” And I don’t mean taxidermy. That sent us on the hunt. The hunt for unique, well-loved, purposeful pieces that would enrich our new space and our new lives. With their age-old patina, their mysterious stories, their timeless beauty.

So…”treasure hunting” in the vintage and consignment shops of Northern NY has become a favorite time-together thing to do. And last weekend was no exception. Here’s what we found and why we just had to have them.

How handsome is this binocular and leather case set! We had been wanting binoculars to scan the mountains when we’re out on our porch. Chris spied these. Made in Germany in the 1930s, they were in perfect working order. The case has some worn leather, but that only adds to its charm. Asking price? $95. Chris offered $75 and was accepted. Way to go!

More from the 30s. This railroad lantern is just the perfect combination of color, form and finish. Originally kerosene was used to light it. We’ll be using faux votives inside. I can just see it out on our porch in the summer evenings ahead. Oh…and there was a cool yellow one we might just have to snag too. Priced at $44, we got a 10% discount because it was the same vender as the binoculars. Score!

IMG_2189This vintage Rudyard Kipling storybook was published in 1947. Since our son Pierre and his girlfriend April recently adopted a rescue cat they are training to walk on a leash, I couldn’t resist it. I’m encouraging them to frame the book jacket and keep the actual book around as a conversation piece. Happy to report they thought it was pretty cool.

As much as I love my fashion finds, this trove of untold stories and new stories to come somehow felt more satisfying. And meaningful.

If you’re (way) up North, here are our favorite places to peruse:

Plattsburgh NY

https://www.facebook.com/RedRoosterMrkt/ (source for everything from this post)

https://www.facebook.com/Antique-Variety-Mall-209243055772556/

http://www.furnitureanddecorny.com/

http://traderpetesny.com/home/2583451

Keene NY

https://www.facebook.com/thriftstoreadk/

All Photos by MP Allegaert

 

 

Style DIY: Furry Feet

img_9626It’s possible you missed fashion’s insane passion for Gucci’s fur-lined Princetown Slipper. I succumbed to its wild style and ordered it multiple times, only to return it each time. Aside from the steep price tag (Kangaroo fur?!?), it just didn’t flatter my 50-something feet. Then I had an “Aha!” moment and decided to make my own version.

I already owned a pair of (very!) white leather Emerson Fry slides I ordered last summer, never wore, but knew fit like a glove. Next up? Finding my fur accents. After deciding to go all white, I found a rabbit pelt at Big Crow Trading, one of our favorite haunts up in the Adirondacks where hunting/trapping/skinning are still a way of life for many people. The fox fur pompoms were an easy find at M & J Trimming in NYC’s garment district. Both, super affordable versus stratospheric. Lastly, I had to muster up my courage to break out my hot glue gun. I can report that my new high style slippers look super chic. I can also report that I got quite a bad burn. So…unless you are Martha Stewart, take your time and be very…very careful.

In the end, this pretty wasn’t painless. But they do suit me perfectly. And while I did use leather slides and real fur, I think these could be super cute in a faux version as well.

Step 1: Assemble your components: slides or slippers, fur for lining, pompoms.img_9513

Step 2: Flip over fur and trace the outline of each shoe.img_9518

Step 3: Put down newspaper or magazine to protect work surface from drips and heat up that glue gun. While you wait, cut out fur shapes.img_9525

Step 4: Start glueing. Through trial and error, I found that sticking the glue gun into the shoe and applying glue to the front half of the insoles first worked best. You have a few seconds to manipulate the fur into place before the glue sets. Once the front half is in place, you can do the heel half.img_9526

Step 5: Fur lining done…now for the pompoms. I eyeballed placement and made a pencil mark for reference. Then just applied a dime-sized dollop of glue, placed the pompoms on their spot and pressed them into place for 30 seconds. img_9529

Step 6: Take a walk on the wild side…indoors or out!img_9532

All photos by MP Allegaert on iPhone 6.

Hello 2017!

img_9631It’s January 2nd and I don’t know about you but I feel like the year is off to a fast and furious start. I am booked solid on a slew of exciting TV and Digital projects, which as a freelancer is the best start to your year. But I also don’t want to ignore LAS. It will be hard for me for the next month or so, so I hope you’ll hang in there. It means so much that you do!

I thought I’d take this post to highlight my 9-day Christmas/New Years getaway to our Adirondack cabin. It really re-set me…no TV, limited wifi, a focus on the outdoors not the internal. And long walks in the woods (any time of year) are for me the best mid-opening experiences…on every level.

So here’s a little compilation of the waning days of 2016, the first days of 2017. Hope you’ll stay on this journey with me. Let’s see where it takes us!

I don’t now about you but for us the holiday  season is filled with an abundance of food and drink. What’s not to like? Here, Brioche French Toast and Bacon, Sugar Cookies, Cheesy Meaty Lasagna, and of course, Champagne.

I skied for the first time at 50! In the Swiss Alps!! Many years ago!!! And I lived to tell. That being said, I’m not sure if/when I will leave Mixing Bowl on Whiteface for more challenging runs. I leave that to the Black Diamond Hubs & Sons. Bowie stays home and stays cozy. By the way, I love my Himaltec Climbing Pants from the Mountaineer, now ski pants when paired with Uniqlo’s HEATTECH Leggings.

As often happens, the best laid plans go awry. The Hubs did not feel well on New Year’s Eve, so he went to bed before I could get him to take a pic of me in my “sparkly” outfit. I was seriously worried that he was having a heart attack…no kidding. I can report that he’s fine. And that I stayed up drinking a wee bit more wine, doing the NY Times Mega Puzzle, stoking the fire. It was peaceful and fun…once I knew my husband was fast asleep after suffering severe indigestion and not dying.

Deer Top: Two Harts in Lake Placid

Jeans: Paige, old. But nice skinnies here and here.

Ugg Boots: Love love love these. But if you are not a size 6, how about these or these.

We did two amazing winter hikes. One on New Year’s Eve Day to Ausable Lake (and back) on the spectacular grounds of the Ausable Club (that’s me trespassing right on the lake). And on New Year’s Day, we just hiked our driveway (.7 miles of “tobagan” run), walked to town and along one of our favorite roads (Hulls Falls Roads). Day 1: 17, 544 steps, 42 floors, 8.8 miles. Day 2: 10, 492 steps, 25 floors, 4.7 miles. Advil, anyone?

We also threw our first party at the cabin, built a couple of bonfires in our new firepit, put our “shotski” to good use  (note to self: stock up on Tequila and Bourbon), actually went to the movies (Manchester by the Sea…sad but must see), and caught our uber-talented friend Dave Keyes playing live in Lake Placid at the Northwoods. So after all the eating and drinking and napping, I only gained 1.5 pounds. Woo hoo! It was totally worth it!!

2017? Stay tuned!

All Photos by MP & Chris Allegaert on iPhone 6.