Wrapping up 2018


Another year is finishing up. Hard to believe. The years just keep going faster and faster. As we move into a new year, it is a perfect time to reflect on what has happened and what you expect and want for the next year. Do you feel that in this year you achieved something that was important to you?

Hoda Kotb had a terrific interview with Maria Shriver in the fall. Maria Shriva was talking about “manifesting your life forward”. This made an impression on me. In order to manifest your life forward you have to envision your life in the future. What do you think will be there for you and who do you want with you. You have to envision it to achieve it. The possibilities are endless. Just allow yourself to see it.

Somewhere along the way this year I read something that I think is perfect when thinking about resolutions for the new year. “Those who understand don’t judge. Those who judge don’t understand”. There is no reason that we should judge each other. We need to support each other and learn to live harmoniously. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone felt this way? Let’s all try to make that happen.

I hope that each day surprises you this year. Be Happy.


A Look Back on 2018 on the Road

We spent a lot of time on the road in September and October of this year.

The destination for the BIG road trip for the year was Orlando Florida to go to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival at Disney World. We love going to Disney and we love to make it a road trip. This year was complicated by Hurricane Florence which was going to be right in our path. But, nothing stops us! So we headed in west and then went south. This just added to our adventure. Our first planned stop was Johnson City Tennessee.

We left NJ and went into Pennsylvania. We made a stop at a Cracker Barrel for breakfast. Walking in to their store was a Holiday Trifecta! They had Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas merchandise. Something for everyone!! After breakfast we continued the drive. Loved some of the billboards along Interstate 81. There was a large sign directing you to an “adult store”. A minute later was a sign telling you that “Lust Leads to Hell”.

We continued into Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia. In Virginia we started seeing a lot of power service trucks heading to the Carolinas to be ready to help. The plates on the trucks were NY and Massachusetts. The sky went from beautiful blue to black clouds. The sky was reflecting the changes to come. We were in Bristol Virginia for Rush Hour. We were doing 78 mph. Not like the rush hour traffic we are accustomed to at home. Next we entered Tennessee and hit Johnson City 30 minutes later. We were ready to stop for the night. It was Happy Hour and we were hungry for dinner. We stayed at the Doubletree Hilton. Hiltons are always my first choice. We settled in and went to the bar for dinner. We love having dinner at the bar especially when we travel. I think the bartender was looking for a good tip when she asked for proof before serving our drinks. We all had a good laugh! Met interesting people at the bar as we always do.

The next day the weather was beautiful. Sunny and 83 degrees. Perfect. Our next stop was Warner Robbins Georgia. The route we took was so scenic. We drove into North Carolina and passed through The Cherokee National Forest heading toward Ashville. This stretch of the drive was so mountainous that there was a long period that Tom didn’t have his foot on the accelerator. We passed a field of wild poppies and sunflowers in Weaverville North Carolina. Soon we entered South Carolina. Another fabulous billboard read “Don’t Wait. Communicate”. Hope everyone passing reads that one.

We arrived at the Hilton Garden Inn in Warner Robbins Georgia (outside of Macon) just in time for Happy Hour. We checked in and headed to the bar for dinner. We got happy hour drinks and a delicious dinner. The bar was hopping. Totally full. We met 3 men who were pilots waiting to be deployed after the hurricane comes on land. They then do searches for people, ships, aircraft. We also met some other business travelers who stay there frequently. Very lively conversation. Did I mention how much fun it is to have your dinner at the bar when you are on the road?

The next day we headed to Ponte Vedra Florida to spend the weekend with our friend Maria. We had a terrific weekend of food and wine and great conversation with Maria’s friends. We also took a ride to Amelia Island for lunch one day.

Then it was on to Disney World. We always stay at the Boardwalk. What is so good about staying on property is that once you get out of the car you don’t get back in it until you leave. Disney always says “welcome home” and you know what, they really make you feel like that.

Our friends Carol and Tony joined us for a couple of days to go to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. We enjoyed the wine lecture and tasting we attended. It was given by Ana Balbo from the Susana Balbo vineyard in Argentina. Very interesting presentation and the wine tasting was good. There were food kiosks all around with small plate tastings from all over the world. But, I have to say, it was so hot that we had to keep going in and out of air conditioning because I thought I would vaporize! Epcot also had a concert series for the event called “Eat to the Beat”. We saw Sheila E and she was fabulous. Very high energy! All in all it was a great week. We spent time at the Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Disney Springs. We had amazing dinners at many restaurants at Epcot (my favorites are France and Morocco) as well as on the Boardwalk (Trattoria and Flying Fish) and Disney Springs (The Boathouse). We did lots of shopping for Christmas at a variety of shops at Disney Springs.

By the time we were leaving Interstate 95 had reopened after the hurricane. We made a stop the first night at a favorite place. Clark’s Inn in Santee South Carolina is a perfect stop on your drive. They have a really nice restaurant and bar and with your night’s stay there is a full breakfast included. There is also a beautiful gift shop. Is there anywhere that I can’t find a place to shop?

The second night we stopped in Manassas Virginia. Originally we thought we would drive straight home but there was traffic and we decided to make a stop. We stayed at a nondescript Best Western that was the only place available. Won’t do that again. The next day we rolled into the driveway at our home. It was a great road trip.

Usually when I travel there is something that peaks my interest and I come home with a flurry of photos. This trip it was clouds. All of the changes going on in the atmosphere made for some spectacular clouds to look at. It also reminded me of when I was a kid and how my mother and I would sit out on our front lawn and look up at the clouds and tell each other what we thought we saw. It made me smile to think about this . I think that is why my head is always in the clouds!! Here is a sampling of the photos I took.

No more than a week later we got back in the car to go to a suburb of Chicago to see my friend Susan who had recently moved there. She moved to be near her mom who is 100 years old. She is just the best daughter. On the way we stopped in Cleveland. We stayed at The Cleveland Hilton Garden Inn. We had made a date with Mel and Merle for dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, Lola Bistro. How great is it to be able to meet a friend from high school and have a fabulous dinner in Cleveland? The next morning we drove on to Chicago. This road trip was geared to just having a visit with Susan and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

We really had a good time on both of these road trips. I am trying to decide what our song should be for the trips. Choices are “On the Road Again” or “Get Off my Cloud”. What do you think?

COLOR OF THE YEAR 2019

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THE color for 2019 has been selected. Coral, and all variations,  has always been a favorite of mine. It is so warm and inviting. “Coral Sands” brings to mind beautiful beach resorts. It is sociable, optimistic and full of joy. Coral is a color found in nature. It is a sunset color.

I’m thrilled that this color will permeate all areas in 2019.  My personal choices for color are in the Sunset Palette. According to Leatrice Eiseman in her book More Alive With Color, the elements of fire and earth underscore the Sunset palette. These are the colors that make me happy.  There is so much to the psychology of color.  I think everyone should take the time to analyze how they feel when they are wearing certain colors or look at colors. It is very telling!

Living Coral will warm up our visual field this year. I hope that we see it in home décor.  It is a natural for apparel because it is such a cosmetic  color. Who wouldn’t want to be warmed up with coral?

And all of a sudden it’s Fall…

Of course, this is no surprise. It is, after all, almost Thanksgiving. The weather is finally changing. The leaves have changed colors and the temperatures are dropping, but my sweaters are not all unpacked yet. We have been busy taking road trips (blogs on that will be coming soon), but let’s first take a look at what you need to think about, add or pull out of your closet for fall.

Bold color is a major statement this fall. The magazines have been loving Hot Pink and bold gold (Wall Street Journal market report referred to it as the “gold standard”).  The neutrals for the season are charged with bolts of color.

Suiting is a big statement. The blazer is “having a moment” again. Oversize blazers are having a major moment. Suit jackets for 2018 give us a variety of lengths. There are knee length jackets, double breasted jackets and single or two button closures. The best looking ones are in soft gray Glen plaids, houndstooth checks and you’ll even see gangster stripe black and white. These suit jackets are often paired with loose cut trousers.

Dresses continue to hold their position for a Must Have. Midi lengths are strong. Prints are the big story. Strong boots give these very floating feminine styles and prints an edge.

As far as prints go, select anything leopard and you will be all set. Stripes are very happy and popular this season is a rainbow stripe. These are shown in dresses tops and sweaters.

Midi skirts in plaids or solids with knee boots give you instant style as does an oversize cardigan with a skinny belt.

Coats for 2018- trench coats are prevalent as are faux furs and cuddly coats.

As I always say, shop your closet, then add pieces to update your look.

The Colors of Fall 2018

We already know that the CHOSEN color for 2018 is Ultra Violet (Pantone 18-3838). Now let’s look at colors specific to Fall/Winter.

Pantone has broken it down to the Top 10 colors and in addition they have given us 5 core colors. I think that the colors selected for this Fall/Winter are very wearable and allow us to express our individuality and be a bit creative.

As we are seeing in apparel, colors are extending across seasons in order to give extended life to what we are wearing. Today, most of our closets span the seasons. We no longer go into complete closet switches twice a year. There is a lot of cross over and layering to change the way you wear something.  It also allows you to mix it up and combine unexpected color and then call it your own.

Here are the Top 10 Colors for Fall/Winter 2018:

Left to right: Red Pear, Valiant Poppy, Nebulas Blue

Left to right: Ceylon Yellow (spicy yellow), Martini Olive, Russet Orange, Ultra Violet

Left to right: Crocus Petal, Limelight (yellow-green), Quetzal Green (blue green)

CLASSIC COLOR PALETTE: Worn for all seaons

Top Left to right: Sargasso Sea, Tofu (cream), Almond Buff.  Bottom left to right: Quiet Gray, Meerkat (toasted brown).

Let yourself go and combine some colors that you might not ordinarily have put together. You can also let your color story be one color standing alone.   It’s all good!

Heavenly Bodies

The exhibition Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC through 10/8/18. It is well worth a visit.

Heavenly Bodies features the work of designers who were raised in the Roman Catholic tradition. They are not necessarily practicing now, but most acknowledge its influence on their imaginations. On the surface, this is expressed through Catholic imagery and religious orders.

Cassocks, soutane, Cappa Magna (the great cape) worn as choir dress by  Cardinals and Bishops for special and solemn liturgical occasions influenced these dresses (left Alexander McQueen, right Valentino)

 

Habits: these are ensembles and accessories from female religious dress. They influenced the styles below.

Left by Rosella Jardine (House of Moschino- Spring summer 2014). This one is very theatrically expressed in the veil that recalls the iconic white winged headdress of the Daughters of Charity popularized by Sally  Fields in the Flying Nun.  Center by Dolce and Gabbana (Spring/Summer 2016).  Right by Thom Brown (Autumn/winter 2011-12) inspired by The Sound of Music.

There were many gowns showing the religious influence on the designer’s creativity.

Left to right-Yves Saint Laurent, Riccardo Tisci, John Galliano for Christian Dior, Christian Lacroix.

These are easily translated to evening wear

By far my favorites were “Madonna” wedding ensemble from John Galliano (House of Dior) autumn/winter 2005-06 (below)

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And “Madonna” evening ensemble by Thierry Mugler  autumn/winter 1984-85 (below)

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This Mugler creation was shown at his show on a model as she was lowered from the ceiling on a cloud of dry ice as if she was descending from heaven.

There were so many glorious gowns to see. So much eye candy! If you can, go to see the exhibition. It runs until 10/8/18 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

 

Tips and Trends

Last night was a workshop at Nordstrom to tie in with their Pre-Fall Sale. The workshop was conducted by Sherice, an assistant manager/stylist at the Paramus location. Here are some highlights from the presentation.

The theme for this workshop was tips to build your wardrobe to get multiple uses out of your purchases. She started with a sleep shirt and showed  you how could get multiple uses from it. This was a perfect spot to start for me because Intimate Apparel/Loungewear was the longest part of my career. This year it seems like many women will be taking it to the streets! Sherice took a raspberry and white cotton sleep shirt from Rails (on sale for $98.90) and dressed it for the street.  Add a sneaker (Ugg has a sneaker now with a textured and leather upper on sale for $79.90.), a belt and a handbag. Then as the weather gets cooler, add a cardigan, a legging (try Spanx Moto legging on sale $72.90), a short boot or a knee boot.                          img_2723

The next look to build on is a color block fit and flare sleeveless dress from Vince Camuto on sale for $78.90. Wear it as is now with either a sneaker or a dressier shoe. Transition this with a moto leather jacket and later add a long cardigan (Sherice showed us a gorgeous cashmere cardigan from Halogen on sale for $199.99) add some jewelry, a low boot or a knee boot.

We saw a Tahari jacket in gray with pink woven into the plaid portion of the jacket. This can be worn as a blazer substitute or, when closed and a scarf is added, it is outerwear. This is on sale for $179.90.

Other items of interest in the store were kimono styles in chiffon or silk. Again, intimate apparel robes leaving the house!

It was an interesting workshop. With the ideas presented you can shop your closet, other retailers and online to create the looks at price points and comfort levels that work for you. Enjoy.

Checking up on my “rewiring”

Three years ago I wrote a blog “Don’t consider it retiring…consider it rewiring”.  It is a big deal going from a long, satisfying career to not having one any longer! Adjustments must be made. You need to rewire. I have been thinking about this lately and decided to do a quick evaluation on my own “rewiring”.

My retirement started off taking care of my parent’s needs.  Many of us experience this as their first phase of retirement because our parents are living so much longer now. After my Dad passed away, Mom moved into a great assisted living residence in a town next to mine. We all became very active in what was going on in Mom’s life. There was never any hesitation that this is what I was meant to do.

I consider myself  an “organizer”.  Anyone who knows me knows that I have been an organizer since grade school! I enjoy putting activities together for everyone and apparently I’m good at it since people still expect that I will be the one to organize what ever needs organizing.

It seemed perfectly natural to me start a “daughters” group at Mom’s residence. I called it a daughters group, but I had some sons involved too.  I started by chatting with 4 other daughters who I saw there on a regular basis. I thought it would be great for all of our parents if we were there to advocate for them. This residence was very well run, but there are always things that need tweaking. After getting to know each other a little bit we made a date with the administrator. We discussed things we wanted to see happen. As time went on our meetings became very meaningful. Other staff members were attending our meetings too. This included the chef and food services, head of nursing, activities directors, housekeeping managers. We were known by all as “the daughters”. The highest number the group reached was 20. This represented a huge monthly income to the residence so we were taken very seriously. We met on a regular basis with the administrator. We got lots done for our parents.  Along with this came new friendships with people who truly understood the journey we were all on. Through our time at Mom’s residence we got to know some very interesting people. We met people with very diverse backgrounds. Over the course of 3 1/2 years, we met business executives, business owners, musicians (to include one of the first female drummers who played on the Ed Sullivan Show), one of the Bozo the Clowns from the 50’s (my husband loved to chat with him!!), therapists, nurses, homemakers and Holocaust survivors. If you take the time to talk to people it is amazing to see how happy you make them and how happy it makes you! I hope that from all of this that I had a positive impact on the last chapters of someone’s life.

People say that from this journey with Mom I could write a book. Perhaps I will. The emphasis would be on the dynamic of AGING children taking on the responsibilities of parenting their parents.

Now that Mom has passed away I am shifting my purpose. We are now involved with start up of a 55+ group at our church and have joined the Historic Society in our county and plan on volunteering in some capacity there. Our traveling continues at an even more stepped up rate since we have more flexibility now.  We have taken up Bridge and are enjoying that too. And we are also enjoying our grandchildren who are a constant source of wonder and delight.

There continues to be lots on my plate which is just the way I like it. I think my “rewiring” is going very well. How is yours coming along??