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

Beach Boho

IMG_0193Chris and I haven’t had a just-the-two-of-us vacation in, well, I really can’t remember. And technically we aren’t right now either, since Bowie is along for the ride. But so far our road trip South, from Jersey City to Delray Beach, FLA has been lots of fun (and lots of driving….thank you Road Warrior/Husband!).

We started out last Thursday and drove to Virginia Beach to stay with my college roommate at her lovely beachfront home. Chris had never been there, so I was excited for him to see it. Unfortunately the weather was monsoon-like, so we hightailed it back to Williamsburg and Kathy’s equally lovely home there. More rain and chilly temps, but we had a lot of fun (and a lot of wine) just hanging out with Kathy, her husband Bruce and son Keith.

Early Saturday morning we set out for our next stop, Old Town Bluffton, South Carolina. Our plan was just one night there, and we definitely got lucky with a charming Airbnb Carriage House . We arrived just as the clouds cleared after another “all-day monsoon.” Being just a walk away from town was fantastic. We checked out as much as we could before dark, then enjoyed a super farm-to-table dinner at FARM (duh). Chris and Bowie took another long walk early the next morning, then it was time to hit the road. There was too much history and charm to take in in one night, so Bluffton we will be back!

Sunday was a full day of driving…for Chris. Thankfully he was a man on a mission. We took a couple of breaks, mostly for Bowie who is not used to being in the car for hours….and hours and finally made it to Delray around 6pm. Our Airbnb Bungalow is adorable and could not be more convenient to the beach, restaurants, tennis, well, everything.

So this post is from our first night. We were racing against sunset so apologies for the pics being a bit dark. But I wanted to share this look, especially since fashion is all about “festival vibes” right now. You don’t have to go to Coachella to rock any or all of these pieces!

How many white shirts are too many? Hmmm….I couldn’t tell you. I’m always on the look for one with a fresh take. I love the ruffles and swingy shape of this one. I’m wearing it loose here since I still need to get rid of some of the lbs I put on while recovering from a stress fracture in my knee, but it would look great tucked in too. The jeans are a DIY that combined a pair I already had with the embroidered pompom hem. Accessory-wise I kept it pretty simple — a statement watch, some stretchy beaded bangles in beachy turquoise, fun rainbow donut clutch (Bartenders at Deck84 loved it), and Valentino Rockstud gladiators (LOVE! You will be seeing a lot of them…).

We’re in Delray until Friday, then it’s on the road again with two nights in Savannah. Stay tuned!

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Shirt: Zara and as usual they have some other really fab options here, here and here. (See what I mean about white shirts…)

Jeans: (old, DIY) but love this splurge and this steal

Watch: (old, Cluse) but love this from the new Rebecca Minkoff for Movado collaboration, coming Summer 2017!

Bracelets: (old) but fun boho options here (want!) and here (this set too, please!)

Clutch: (old, Terez) but rainbows here and here

Sandals: (Valentino, found on sale at Nordstrom Rack!) but similar here and here

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!

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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: Stickers for Grown-ups

IMG_0438I bought this Gucci bag (with the real deal bamboo handle) in 1994 when I was a Copy Director for Elizabeth Arden. I was a 30-something full-time-commuting-working Mom of two with #3 on the way. I was proud of my ability to multi-task (hah!) and earn some serious cash but also quite often overwhelmed and exhausted and putting myself last.

So one day at lunchtime I marched over to the Gucci flagship store on Fifth Avenue and, well, said “F@!* this, I deserve this.” Ummm…not out loud mind you, but you know what I mean. I’ll confess that the splurge kind of scared me but not enough to say no. And I truly felt like a million bucks every time I walked off to the NJ Transit train to start my day — armed and dangerous with a designer bag. Then a year or two later trends changed, life changed and this bag went into the closet. Pretty much until today.

I was actually inspired by what Gucci is doing this season with their bags and shoes. I had the bag, I had the stickers. So…

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IMG_0438Map out placement. This took a bit of time because the bag naturally folds over. I also wanted to leave room for some possible additions…

IMG_0446Good to go!

I know this may be fashion sacrilege for some, but it was this or bye bye for this bag. Now I feel like we’re both hitting the streets with a new perspective. And that makes me smile.

Anya Hindmarch has a whole Sticker Shop for bags. (My rainbow heart and star). Check it out! And here’s one of her amazing bags for inspiration to try your own.

All photos by MP & Chris 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

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.