fashion. wine. design... and my life.

Archive for October, 2011|Monthly archive page

At the end of the tunnel…

In Uncategorized on October 27, 2011 at 10:45 pm

There is always a light… right?

The eternal optimist would agree… eagerly encouraging, maybe even insisting one to believe that any difficult period will conclude with a light – a bright side – a positive outcome.  One way to look at it, eh?  I don’t disagree.  I find that optimistic mindset appealing and try my best (some days being better than others) to emit those positive vibes with the hope of attracting the same.


Betcha thinking that I’m about to preach… naaaah, not even!  Truth is, a weekend trip back to an area that I called home for almost 17 years had me nostalgic  – especially the drive across a bridge and through a tunnel.  Funny how random things can trigger the deepest thoughts.  Spark daydreams.  Even bring back memories.  Haha – far from any figurative explanation of what lies at the end of the tunnel – my interpretation is “matter of fact”… literal… straight to the point.  At the end of the tunnel, there is always an EXIT!

So here is the scenario…

While living in the Hampton Roads area, there was a period of time that I commuted to work.  In total, 60 miles driven 5 days a week… which included, a drive across a bridge and through a tunnel.  The Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel – coined “HRBT” by the locals – was both friend and foe.  A 3.5 mile structure with a 1500 foot tunnel placed almost at mid-point, greeted me in the morning and closed my commute in the evening.  A bridge?  A tunnel?  Pretty basic and expected, eh?  Yes… especially considering that I did live on a peninsula.

At any rate… during my commute, I always looked forward to driving across the bridge.  Side note:  this bridge has absolutely no elevation… insert elevation plus a bridge – OH BOY – then I have difficulty… memories of a drive across The Delaware Memorial Bridge suddenly flashed through my mind – WHOA!

Unlike that beast in Delaware, the HRBT was easy… friendly and welcoming.  Perhaps odd to some, but as I drove across,  I would always look to the water as a gage… thinking that the rhythm of the waves might possibly indicate how my day would progress or close.  The days in which the water was perfectly still were equally as amazing as when it was wild and choppy.  But it never failed, each time that I found myself transfixed on the water, deep in thought, it would happen… time to drive through that damn tunnel!

Haha!  I really don’t have a fear of tunnels… nor am I afraid to drive through one.  I just prefer not to be enclosed, under-water AND in a vehicle.  What if…   Ummmm… yeah.  That and ALL of the possible predicaments kept my mind wandering and me looking for the light at the end of the tunnel!

The light for me was the exit – the portal – my means to get back to the attraction of the bridge and the awe that the water possessed.  I swear, in that tunnel, 1500 feet was the shortest yet longest drive I ever had to make.

This past weekend, having been a little over a year since my last drive across, I found myself reminded of and humored by my ritual.  Apparently, it was a habit that was not forgotten – for upon approaching the bridge, I immediately went back into my routine.  And upon entering the tunnel, as expected, I kept a steady eye on the light!

Surely I am not the only one with peculiarities.  Hmmm… maybe I’m just the only one who reveals them?!

Nonetheless, now that I have relocated, it’s only fitting that I am now the prowl for my next driving fixation…




Members of the jury…

In Uncategorized on October 18, 2011 at 8:52 pm

My number:  143.

Subconscious observation and comically irrelevant:  136 digits away from my all time favorite and lucky number 7.  But… nonetheless, #143, assigned to me as I wait to perform my civic duty as a juror.

I am actually surprised that I am just being called (or as the orientation leader suggested) invited to perform this duty.  Perhaps had I not moved closer to the nation’s capital, I might still be void of the experience.  At any rate, I eagerly accepted the call and with what most would probably consider an abnormal excitement, I was looking forward to the responsibility.  Haha – even showed up to the judicial center a whopping 40 minutes before the assigned “check-in” time.  The blame for that:  a stifling obsession for being prompt and the regimented me needing to scope out “the space” prior to an event.  Yep… peculiar.  Trust me – ALL of my friends tease and poke fun at this quirk – it simply is what it is!

Disappointed, and sad to say…

I wasn’t chosen as a juror.  Made it as far as the courtroom to hear the specifics of the civil case and rose when appropriate during the 22 questions that the judge asked of the potential jurors.  As we know, everything happens for a reason.  The judge did mention that the case would span at least 8 days – truth be told, there was no way in hell that my personal and work schedule could accommodate that commitment.  So, although my time as a juror was short-lived, it was an adventure.  I had no qualm about rearranging my schedule for the day or even the 5 hours spent waiting here and there for my next instructions.  Hmmmmm, if I had to think about a complaint… my ONLY pet peeve would be the lack of care that was spent on personal appearance and the fashion choices made by the vast majority of those selected for jury duty.


I have never seen so many inappropriately dressed folks… especially since they knew they were going to be in a professional judicial environment!  If a percentage needed to be provided… at least 60% of the crowd was a hot mess!  I had no idea that when I sat in the front row chair, in the far corner of the left side of the room, that it would be the very spot that each potential juror would pass before taking a seat.  WOW!  I saw it all!  Disclaimer:  if any of the following statements offend you (or if you find that you have committed what I deem to be a faux pas)… my apologies.  The following is merely my observation.  I know that I am not a sought after fashion advisor but I do have a an apt for the field.  Basically, there is a right and wrong for every scenario – and the following three things are just WRONG!

One:  When coming into a courtroom, knowing that  more than likely you are going to be appearing in front of a judge, flip-flops and sneakers are never an option.

Two:  As much as I love them (truly a MAJOR INFATUATION) jeans – regardless of the style and finish – should be reserved for another day.

Three:  Tattered clothing, especially tee-shirts, that could possibly be used as pajamas – should never, NOT EVER, be considered courtroom attire.

Simple, no brainer, eh?!  Or wait…you think too judgmental?  Humph.  I say that I am only stating the obvious.

Who knows… it very well could have been me that some found to flout the “what to wear to jury duty” practices – maybe they considered the fitted tank, cardigan and animal print pointed-toe heels that peeked from my pants over the top?!  

Not sure… but I do know this; the situation should determine the dress code… and this professional environment demanded more.

To be fair, there were definitely those that dressed accordingly and stood out in the crowd.  I did see a noteworthy assortment of blazers, slacks, sweaters, crisp woven shirts, neckties and nicely polished shoes.  One chick had on a striking houndstooth pencil skirt – haha – if she were sitting closer to me, I guarantee that I would have asked where she had purchased such a fantastic staple!

In closing (wink, wink – lawyer speak), from getting a refresher lesson on the judicial system and the jury selection process, to a hefty dose of people watching, I would say that the day was both humorous and enlightening.  I will not be called again for service for at least 5 years… but next time, in a perfect world, all will read my blog and follow suit – right?!

Yes, I know.  The percentage on that:  0% !



Nailhead… my nonnegotiable.

In Uncategorized on October 13, 2011 at 11:37 pm

Luscious.  Decadent.  Scrumptious.

At first glance, one would think that my adjectives are describing some irresistible and savory entrée.  Yep, calculated and intentional.  My word choice is meant to arouse your taste buds – but definitely not for food.  The goal; to whet your appetite and make you hungry for one of the best ways to adorn and accent your furniture.  My nonnegotiable — Nailhead!

Ooh-la-la!  I really can’t help myself!

Nailhead on furniture is like that tall, dark and handsome (or beautiful) stranger in the corner – your eye is just naturally drawn their way and the connection is inevitable.  Nailhead is a sensory treat and the ultimate chameleon.  Available in an array of finishes and design applications, it can be interpreted as sultry, masculine, elegant  – even rugged.  Haha – the candid me would imply that nailhead immediately elevates your “wow” furniture to a tantalizing “WTF” status!  Seriously?!  Have you ever taken your fingers and traced the path of nailhead — the rhythm, the texture and the sound are enough to make you want to apply nailhead to everything you own!

For those unfamiliar; nailhead is ornamentation, resembling the head of a nail, that is applied to upholstered and wooden furniture — probably most commonly applied to sofas, chairs, benches, ottomans and headboards.  Basically, it highlights and enhances the silhouette of the furniture.  Dating back to 1560 with the introduction of the French Country style, nailhead are still applied to the furniture in the original manner – hammered in one by one.  The nailhead can vary in size, shape and metallic compositions… it is all determined by the scale and proportions of the furniture on which it is applied.

As you shop, you will find that many retailers and design centers offer this fantastic option for their furniture.  For me, the difference rests on customizing the nailhead for your design project.  In other words, walking into a retailer and being offered a limited assortment versus (mainly with upholstered furniture) going to a retailer in which you choose options based on your design project.  You create a custom piece.  You select the fabric, the finish of the legs, etc… including the style of nailhead.  Obviously, I prefer the latter.  As a designer, I can assure you, nailhead makes a difference!  It aids in adding character and personality to your design.  And lucky for us, since design is so very subjective, it works with each and every design style!

Do I dare tell that I might be a wee bit addicted to nailhead?  Perhaps even subconsciously, I steer my clients towards this option.  I think it should be a nonnegotiable for every design.  Every home should have at least one item in it that is embellished with nailhead.  Honestly, it absolutely makes THAT much of a statement!

Maybe you are curious, so I will share… so far, I only own three items containing nailhead – a sofa, a tufted bench and an incredibly rustic console table.  You did see that I said “so far” – haha – indeed I do have a detailed list of several items that must be added to my collection!

Naturally, I do encourage you to follow suit.  Yes… I know, design is individual – to each his own.  I get it.

But… it would make such an impact.  More than likely, many of you share my passion, eh?!  For those still contemplating, I say, be bold and daring — take a chance and be adventurous with your next purchase.  Add a lil’ spice with nailhead!



EXTRA! EXTRA! Read all about it!

In Uncategorized on October 3, 2011 at 1:44 pm


On my side of the globe, the crisp air of fall has already got me chilled to the bone.  Not complaining.  Actually thrilled.  So much so, that I am sounding off as if I were telling the world of some ground-breaking news… news of what just hit the press.  People… it’s time!  The weather has dictated their return!  And I could not be more please to see them make their appearances – for they are BY FAR one of the most enticing and distinguished looks of the season.  “What is it?” – you say?  With a burly roar I’m screaming… “EXTRA!  EXTRA!  Read all about it!  The newsboy cap is back!!”

Alright… alright… alright!  Not the reveal you expected?  Hey – with me, there is an unyielding appreciation for the little things.  I love presentation and I am a sucker for those that are well-dressed.  Especially those who are confident in their clothing, have a stylish edge and they comprehend the importance of fit and color.  It is inevitable — they have an aura that oozes swagger!  Nonetheless… there is something about a man rocking a newsboy cap that is bound to capture my attention.

The newsboy cap, generally associated with the newsboys of the early 1900’s, has evolved and now open to a much broader audience.  Know by a variety of names – cabbie, baker boy, apple cap… even eight panel – this cap is incredibly flattering on all who don it!  Comprised of a full rounder body with a stiff peak, the newsboy can be constructed in a variety of fabrics, even leather.  It’s close cousin, the flat cap, is a show stopper as well – the only difference being the full flat panel on the top of the head versus the pie shaped panels and finishing button.

So… what is it about the caps, eh?!

One word:  dapper!

Ladies, the intent is not to be biased – for I know that we too can rock these caps with flair!  But… BUT, when I see a man wearing this cap – and he has got his look pulled together – haha… there is this essence, this stateliness – for lack of better words – the look is both handsome and dignified!  Whew… you know how some things can just take you there?  Well… this is it!

Perhaps it is just me, especially since I am attracted to the look, but I find that the caps are incredibly popular – worn by actors, athletes, musical artists (cough, cough… Common) and a plethora of us “every-day” folk!.  The beauty… each person wearing it in such a way that it appears to be monogrammed with their personal style.

And… since I am so fond of the look, I bet you can’t even imagine how I feel when my husband pulls his collection out of his fall/winter storage bin and preps it for the wearing.  YAWZA!

Enough of the babble.  Leaving it at this.

If you own one cap or some — FANTASTIC!  Build your collection for they truly add to your charm… and because I said so!  If you have yet to give this look a go… consider yourself now in the know and RUN to your favorite retailer or your “go-to” on-line shop and make a purchase.

Need some help?  Well… I am only an email away and you know that I would love to offer an opinion!



“I’m going back to Cali…”

In Uncategorized on October 2, 2011 at 12:15 am

“…Cali, Cali.  I’m going back to Cali… hmmmm, I don’t think so!”  Memorable lyrics by LL Cool J, eh?  Back in 1991… right?!  At any rate, I recall the song and, truth be told, I am going back to Cali — especially since discovering Beaulieu Vineyard’s Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon!  My BV cab, (Haha… pet-name established immediately) has suddenly inched it’s way up on my “GOT to have this again” list!

What a welcome surprise… Saturday night, after a loooooong day at work and a very hot HOT shower – a glass of red was just what the doctor ordered!  Ummmm… my doctor (wink, wink)!  The BV cab was gifted to me… and because I wasn’t familiar with the label, it had been sitting in my wine rack, patiently waiting its turn.  Had I known what was hiding behind that dark green glass, I would have certainly uncorked it sooner!  Robust… flavorful, spicy and smoooooooth!

Naturally, we had company.  And my sister-in-law was sipping on her “brown paper bag” favorite — Beringer White Merlot (ironically, a Cali native as well).  WAIT!!!  Please refrain from judgement.  If you are a Beringer fan, my apologies.  Leaving it simply as this — to each his own.  She and I constantly bicker (in the most loving way) about her wine, and what I have fondly coined as her “water”.  Stubborn, like I, she has her favorites and I have mine.  But, I will say this — she is now a convert!

Yes.  I was the conduit.  I was relentless.  I was her pusher… and it was easy – one taste was all it took!  With her, I have been trying to sway her towards a wine with more substance.  You know – more grip.  Hmmm… am I being opinionated?  Perhaps.  But, apparently, my BV was the answer!  Sooooo… if I am still pulling from songs by my boy LL — the moment of my BV conquering her Beringer could easily be summarized by “Mama Said Knock You Out” or “Phenomenon“!

This cab is, at the minimum, worthy of all lovers of “reds” to give it at least one a try.  Packed with layers, upon layers of blackberry, plum and chocolate.  Great body and ohhhhh so fabulous legs.  Did I mention body?  Once again, VERY nice body with a residual that is even tastier than the sip.  I feel it – you want some.  Right?!  Hopefully you do  — for that is the goal!

No worries about locating this tasty treat.  Information about my BV cab can easily be found at  Incredibly delicious!  So much so that I am growing sad that my last sip is about to be consumed!  Well… at a price point around $27.00, I am thinking that maybe if you forego milk, bread, eggs and cheese, you too could enjoy a bottle.  Really?!  Seriously?!  You thought that I would imply substituting staples for wine… haha — not yet!

Interested thou about your opinion…

since I am sold, the expectation is that you too will join — can’t wait to hear about your trip to Cali!