Friday, May 29, 2009

Up popped the daisies!

Talk about coincidences but I've had two come up recently. While watching a DVD & while looking for a new home. If you haven't read the short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald or had a chance to see the movie, I recommend looking into The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
I could dissect this film & get very philosophical & write flowery verse about this film but that's not my purpose. I'm much more shallow than that.;)
In the film the leading lady is a woman named Daisy. Ken doll and I only knew of one other book by FSF that had a character named Daisy in it. Maybe there are others, I'm only part way through The Beautiful and the Damned right now and so far no appearance of any Daisy characters.

Then a few days later in my search for a new place to hang our hats, I stumbled upon a coach house for sale. It's address is 290 Ridge Road Lake Forest, Illinois. It is for sale for $1,400,000. and it is said to be the house where Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby. In the main house resided Ginevra King, rumored to be the real life inspiration for Fitzgerald's character Daisy Buchanan.
The main house (I did a little research and in 2007 the main house was for sale for $6 million). I don't know if the main house sold, I guess I could find out but I'm not all that interested. I'm not buying it and I'm not buying the coach house either. But it's just one of those funny little life's coincidences.
And speaking of coincidences another famous house in the the north burbs of Chicago just went on the market, see if you recognize it. It was built in 1953 (370 Beech St. Highland Park, Illinois)and is for sale for 2.3 million and was in a very famous movie.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event

I just watched this last night although it happened last month. Lucinda Fredericks (Australia)and Headley Britanna, together, powered to the lead at the 2009 Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event. It was this clear round in the jumping phase that took them to the lead. Gotta love the elegance and grace!
I'm singing to the tune of "horses, horses horses" as I post this. My sister would crack up right now. The horse thing being a family joke (literally) and we often sing "horses, horses, horses" to each other. That line comes from that scene in Sleepless in Seattle remember? Right at the beginning where Meg Ryan's had her little moment singing along to the holiday tune in her car?
Horses, horses, horses..

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Logos and Labels and Gas Masks, oh my!

Yesterday, while reading a blog written by the Preppy Princess I was inspired to post these pics. She had a picture of brand recognition going too far. It was a car with the Louis Vuitton logo all over it. I'm not going to show a pic of the car you are going to have to visit her intriguing blog yourself. Go now..
Are you back yet? I know it's a good blog..Lot's to read and you can go back to it later, you're reading my blog now, remember?
Now believe it or not Gucci used to make wall paper (I don't know if they still do) and I had a client about 4 years ago who wanted Gucci wall paper on the walls of his bedroom and "with the G's".
Labels have their place in the world. I have a few that I "can't live without" but I also appreciate the fine tailoring or the unique designs of clothing that happens in many times to be accompanied with a label.
Shown below are some brand named items that I can do without, I mean I hope to never need one and then is sporting Gucci REALLY going to be relevant?
As for the former client with the Gucci wallpaper by the time I showed him the total cost and compared it to all the lovely leather goods available at Gucci and all the beautiful options available in fine wall coverings, he ended up with a beautifully designed bedroom & a year supply of loafers to accompany each season!
Thank you Diddo Velma for the pic of your masks. Shown are Bling, Gucci and Louis Vuitton.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Summer gatherings and potato chips

Good Morning! Happy belated Memorial Day! I hope that none of you found yourself waking up as face down lawn ornaments over this past weekend.
I understand that holidays can sometimes get out of hand.
I wanted to thank all of you for your supportive comments and emails regarding my Friday post. Being well mannered never goes out of style. Period! Unless you are a comedian or a political/social satirist then.. go for it! The world is your oyster, there's a lot to comment on, other than that, it just comes out wrong.
Speaking of wrong, did you want to hear about my tummy troubles with the Mexican Layer Dip Flavored Pringles? Probably not, but here it goes.
When I was just a young deb (Yes, I said it, I'll post a pic of this monumental moment of my life (it really wasn't) sometime when I can find the photo album. **NOTE**Let me just add that I'm not a snob or stuck up, my parents were traditional people and this is just what you did for your daughters when they became of a certain age. My parents were very old fashioned. Anyway, following this event I went to Europe where I traveled, experienced European culture and discovered the fun and deliciousness of Walker's Crisps.
Have you ever had them? My first flavors were pickles and then pot roast dinner. Not bad for a potato chip! Over the years I have sought out markets that sell European products here in the states or ordered the chips on-line. They have flavors such as: roast chicken, steak & onion, prawn cocktail, chili & chocolate, crispy duck & hoisin sauce, fish & chips, etc.
Pringles have recently gotten a little daring with their flavors. I spotted two new flavors that I had never seen before. Mozzarella & marinara sauce and Mexican layer dip flavored chips. We selected the MLD. We avoid products with MSG but I just had to try them!! HAD TO! Knowing fully that this was going to end badly.
It did and I'm not quite myself today, so my apologies if todays blog is plain and original flavored.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Distasteful Blogging

I joined the blogger world less than a month ago and today I unsubscribed to one of the first blogs I joined.
Let me take you back many years ago when I first joined the Junior League. After a few letters, written by friends and friends of friends about my character and commitment to helping to give back to the community were submitted, I became a provisional member, then later an active member, sustainer comes next. We were a group of ladies who without a question had the character of women who were or tried to be above all else, good human beings. Membership requirements were different then. Now because of declining membership the formality has changed and anyone can join as long as you fulfill your hours of volunteerism and pay annual dues. The group of knowing one another through friendships, families, business, clubs, etc. is smaller and the intimacy is different, it's bigger and less private. Socially different but financially this is good, that means we can raise more money for people in need.
With that said, we did not wear our membership of the league like a label of status on a shirt.
I was following a blog of woman who writes about shopping, new products, vacations and her league membership (all thing of interest to me, I enjoy seeing how other people live, it's human curiosity). Today I have unsubscribed to her blog. WHY you ask? Today she made fun of an ethnic cultural group and somewhat mocked their idols of worship, their dress, their "street" culture. I'm aghast and appalled. I am saddened. With the economy changing I thought more people were "getting it". Letting people live and not focus on our differences but what brings us together as humans. (Trust me, I'm not a liberal nor am I going to ask you to hold hands and sing with me but give me a sec, please).
I've had and had not in my lifetime and it certainly NEVER made me feel superior to any person. Money may have given me a sense of financial security but never "better" than anyone.
As an avid volunteer, my charitable energy has been to help people and I just kind of ignore what's on the outside because we are human beings with the same needs (food, shelter, clothing, kindness, optimum health, love) and the same hopes (education, monetary satisfaction, continued security & success). I find her blog today completely distasteful and I have unsubscribed.
I laugh because although my world is aesthetics and I earn a living from changing the way things look and manipulating space, I must emphasise why I became an interior designer. "IT'S WHAT'S INSIDE THAT COUNTS".

Cheers and Happy Blogging! (I'm on the right)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The ABC's of moi!

A - Age: La di da da..Was that the door bell I just heard?
B - Bed size: Queen
C - Chore you hate: Chores..What are those? Ok, I dislike all domestic cleaning duties but I do them. Opening windows helps blow dust onto the carpet & rugs for a quick one stop vacuuming sweep. lol..
D - Dog's name: If I had a dog, he would be a White Highland Terrier named affectionately, Waffles.
E - Essential start your day item: My morning kiss from Ken doll
F - Favorite color: Pink!
G - Gold or Silver or platinum: Depends on the ensemble of the day. Metal depends on textures and textiles worn
H - Height: 5'2 1/4"
I - Instruments you play: Nothing anymore
J - Job title: Interior Designer (this may change, I know how exciting a career change. Looking into something in historical preservation and antiquities).
K - Kid(s): None, maybe one day or maybe I'll become a foster parent in the near future
L - Living arrangements: Ken doll & Cassie the cat along with 2 very quiet goldfish.
M - Mom's name:
N - Nicknames:
O - Overnight hospital stay other than birth: ah ha..the secret comes out, Very very recently I was involved in a pretty serious car accident in January, hence the blog and free time to write. I'm almost fully recovered!
P - Pet Peeve: Lot's but who wants to hear me complain?? Let's move onto Q
Q - Quote from a movie: "That's some good iced tea".
R - Right handed or left handed: right
S - Siblings: Sister
T - Time you wake up: 7ish
U - Underwear: TMI, who makes up these lists?
V - Vegetable you dislike: Not too crazy about the lima bean, the brussel sprout or that slimy one - Okra
W - Ways you run late: Changing outfits after being fully dressed
X - X-rays you've had: Recently far too many to count, I probably glow at night
Y - Yummy food you make: I'll have another one, please!
Z - Zoo favorite: Getting back into the air conditioned car after leaving

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Hi bloggers! I need your help! I just went to the "edit my blog" section and there you were. You lovely people have written me such nice things and I didn't even know your comments were there. OK, so I feel really dumb here. Help! I need blogger assistance. How do I know when someone has left a comment? I see other blogs and their comments are there for all to see. Secondly, I love free stuff & love to give things away, other blogs have contests for free stuff, what is this all about? Then there are two other things, paid to advertise on your blog? Is this a good idea? Is this a scam? Will I invite more harmful viruses to my computer? Then there is that whole going public thingy? Does this REALLY change how many people read your blog? I'm on the fence about that last one. I like the profiles of my whole 6 followers (let's meet & have drinks) and it's ok if that's all I ever get in the quantity of readers but this could be my big break to get famous! LOL..If you have any answers, please be so kind and respond for me.
I am posting a pic of Ken doll taken about 8 years ago. He still has great hair just not so 2001 Fluffy. We aren't camera people, I don't know why it just is one of those things so pics of us are scarce. Thanks again for your help in advance!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Steve the bartender

Hello to you! Ken doll and I went out of town for a few days to attend a wedding. I did not get online for the last 4 days because I had to conserve all my energy for trying to get into my Spanx. I'm also a bit leery of announcing on-line "hey, our home is going to EMPTY for the next 4 days" it sounds so much like "hey, come over and rob us". Maybe I'm starting to loose my hearing but the two sound frighteningly similar.
The wedding was lovely, the bride beautiful, the weather perfect, the drinks as with every wedding were.. NOT STRONG ENOUGH! My drink of choice on Saturday was the Sea Breeze, similar to a Cape Codder but with a splash of grapefruit juice. By drink #4, I asked Ken doll to ask the bartender for a "Tsunami" because the breeze coming off of the sea was just too light. Steve (it's always good to know the bartenders name) didn't get our joke and I get another "Shirley Temple".
Now let's see..I have issues with weddings. Reception traditions are weird for me but hysterical to watch. The bride refused to have anyone force them to kiss so it was announced that if you wanted to see the couple kiss, you had to sing a line from a song that had the word love in it. At this announcement Ken doll raced to the microphone and sang "I love chicken, I love liver, Meow Mix, Meow Mix, please deliver". His adult beverages appeared to be working just fine!
Darn that Steve!
So now it comes time for the bridal bouquet toss and the cheesy garter belt exchange (I really thought no one did this anymore). Why on earth would any mother would let her 12 year old daughter into that arena is beyond me (see what I mean by hysterical?)but yes up there in front is a 12 year old little girl waiting to catch the pretty flowers & have a 25 year old man catch the garter. The only logical explanation is Steve the bartender is making her mothers drinks VERY TALL. Now I want no accusations that I'm trying to knock out the competition because I'm not married and this 12 year old can jump & catch faster than me..I must declare that I have never caught a bouquet and I usually try not to. Especially since I am wearing Spanx..Can you imagine? DON'T!!!!
So lets progress to the very end of the evening. I'm in the bathroom and I hear all this snapping & soft cursing. Then I hear "Damn, these Spanx!" So at the washbasins I meet this mysterious stall creature. She is about 5'8" and a whole 125-135 lbs. I laugh and recite a line from that old movie Clueless. "Party clothes are so binding". She cracks up and then proceeds to lift her dress and show me her Spanx!!!!

I know..I had the same reaction. I gave you some space to really take that in. She then starts talking about being fat (so not fat from what I could see and I did see a lot) and some other nonsense..while she is babbling on and on I heard a dull huming in my head & I only had one thought "Who was her bartender????"

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Going green, what's in your garden?

I am eagerly awaiting the growth of my tiny garden. I have tomato & green pepper plants sprouting. Knowing that a molten chocolate cake bush was not possible I dabbled around with other delicious ideas. Then I heard someone mention a cupcake tree! Sadly, the cake mix washed away from the soil when we had a big rainfall last night. BOO..

Yesterday 5-12-09

Here's when I know that I'm under the weather and not leaving my bed. This is my sickness parameter. I have a fantasy... I say to myself "Self, if your sister called you right this very minute from a nearby T.J.Maxx & told you that there were racks & racks of Lilly Pulitzer items marked "SUMMER SAVINGS $19.99" and she also said most of the items were in my size AND the racks showed no sign of any horizontal striped clothing, would I get out of bed & run to the sale? If my answer is "No, I can't move" then I know for sure I have a virus.
This virus must be catchy because my computer came down with it too. Our similarities were moaning noises & we both kept shutting down & not functioning. Today, I am better and my computer ($80.00 later) is better too.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Chicago Tribune May 10th, 2009

This had me cracking up! Remember when Jay Leno would go over misprints in advertising? Well I found one. Had they remembered some of these: ////////// to divide the career titles this would have been one boring ad. My favorites are Child Care Manufacturing and Culinary Plumbing. Wow..

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mothers Day, my red headed step child

Ken doll came as a package deal. No kitty, no Ken doll. As a child I had a Persian long haired grey cat named "Shadow" but affectionately called "Uggums". I loved that cat but I was very allergic to her. Cassie is a very sweet marmalade cat. She is a ginger cat or an American orange tabby. Nothing exotic or fancy but LOVING..oh so loving. So when we moved to Illinois, I became a step mother. I have the official "red headed step child". BUT BUT BUT..I adore her! The allergies are not as bad now & she has become my very affectionate little friend. I do not have pictures of her but I have clipped some pics to show you how my little one resembles baked goods. Like any living statue, she has many poses but these are her cutest.

I love baked goods and sometimes when Ken doll is a bit peckish & begins to pout he shouts out like a five year old things like "I want hot snacks" or "I want bake goods". So our association of baked goods to our cat was natural. You will see 1)Croissant 2)Loaf of Bread (pronounced like a Yoga move) 3)Cinnamon Swirl and 4) I can not post a pic of this but when Ken doll pets Miss Cassie (not when I pet her which is just weird & disturbing) her little behind goes up in the air. This position is called "butter my muffin". A picture of that will not be shown. Other than that enjoy and Happy Mothers Day!

Baked Goods

Friday, May 8, 2009

Shutting Detroit Down

While playing with the Sirius radio I stopped on a country music station and the song playing was called "Shutting Detroit Down". Wow, it was powerful. My family did not work for the auto industry nor did any relatives of mine that I can think of (nor in Ken dolls family) but essentially if you're from the metro Detroit area the auto industry effected your business. As a former Michigan designer, my clientele was mostly engineers that worked for the auto companies & one client was the private pilot to former CEO Rick Wagoner. I remember in high school a classmate & friend whispered to me "look what I have with me" as he slid a magazine under the table towards me. His father was on the cover Newsweek, a key figure for Ford. Former president Bush (#43) was friends with the neighbor of one of my childhood best friends. Her neighbor was very influential in the auto industry. Many times secret service blocked the street & we had to pass security clearance before we could get to my friends home. The auto industry was all around us then as it is STILL around everyone in the suburbs of Detroit today. If your a physician most of your patients work for the big 3, a teacher, your students are the children of people employed for the car manufactures. Detroit, historically never recovered from the 1967 riots and it has been a "shell" of city for years but knowing that the metro area may soon become a ghost town is heartbreaking. Really it is.
If you read this blog post, let me know what you think- The picture I posted is not of Detroit but of my favorite Detroit landmark, The Detroit Yacht Club. I have many great & some very foggy memories of DYC.

Front Porch Culture

I just read a book that was written by a woman who had lived her entire life in the south and she wrote briefly about the importance of the front porch. I am a northerner but I have very fond memories of the love & friendship that cultivates on a front porch.
As a child, our neighbors across the street from our home were our only neighbors (lots were very large) and our association with them united us as a "family". The J family had lived in our community since the days that their relatives had purchased their property from the Indians. Early settlers that built "ribbon farms". Lake front (to provide water) extending inland for a few miles. Eventually selling lots of land to provide new comers space where they built elaborate homes for their retreat in the summer. Summer homes turned into year-round residences. The J family had a substantial yard but even better they had a historical home with a wrap around porch.
Mr. J (I'll call him T) was epileptic & the family will provided him w/a live in nurse for his lifetime. M, his live in nurse was a divorced woman who had one grown daughter & never re-married because her ex-husband was "to pay alimony until she died." They were in their 60's -70's when we became friends. They had a beagle, Pepper and a housekeeper who was not a live in but was required to wear a uniform when she came once a week. Her name was Cora, she was a colored woman who's family drove her to the J's home from Detroit. She ate her lunch in the kitchen while she watched her "stories." This was in the late 70's & 80's. Time stood still where I lived.
T & M became our closest friends and the grandparents that I did not have (mine had passed on long before).
T would call us up "Girls (my mother, sister & myself) Cora just made a white cake w/coconut frosting & some fresh lemonade, meet us on the front porch". Phone calls like this beckoned us over all summer long. My mother would reciprocate with dinners & desserts but one thing remained all spring & summer..we always met on their front porch.
This front porch was covered by shrubbery so any person walking by could be seen but we could not be seen or heard. Ahh..the gossip. I'm sure you can imagine. My hometown (back then)was the kind of place that if you mentioned someones last name. You heard it all..everything from as far back as anyone could remember. So you not only heard that Mrs. Something or other was divorcing you also heard what her great grandmother had done. Unbelievable..I smile as I recall all of this because it might sound vicious but I assure you, it wasn't.
Some of my happiest memories are of the 5 of us relaxing together & enjoying each others company on that front porch. Our friendship was love.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Changing the look

Well, I spent most of today shopping on line. Which I don't understand why I've made that such a DECLARATIVE sentence. I spend most of my days shopping on line. I like to call it "window shopping" because I'm not an Apple girl.

My places of residency have had quite a few costume changes over the years. I've had traditional hunter greens & cranberry decorating my space in my early days of college. This was followed by a very white/south Florida look in my last college years. Then I moved back home to Michigan where I favored Scandinavian Modern but with a softness. Sage greens & butter yellows. This Nordic trip has lasted me for the last (gulp) 10 years. Put the calculator down (do not try to figure out my age, you should be more concerned with how did a college student have such grown up furniture). That's easy, I worked and usually got a great discount. Now, just stop adding and's not good for you!

Anyway, my beloved butter yellow, rolled arm, tight back, two cushion sofa is looking tired. Whew..that's some serious interior designer babble. We will be moving closer to the lakefront this August so I'm thinking cottage beach house with a little elegance. I think the most cost effective and quickest fix is..Lean in..I'm whispering here..slipcovers.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Fast Food

Since I just sent all of you to your local Fried Food Emporium..I was hoping that this picture might redeem my sense of style. Better bunnies? Tee hee I think so!

Free KFC dinner on Oprah

Oprah comes on at 9 a.m. here in Chicago and well I have a sort of love/hate relationship with Miss Oprah. If you get me on my political soap box, I won't say nice things BUT I watch her show every day from 9-10. Despite my being a hypocrite (Ken doll doesn't let me say her name anymore because of his frustration that I'm so two faced concerning Oprah and the Oprah show), I watch her show pretty faithfully. I admit there are things about what she has said and done that works my blood pressure into a near boiling point but then I'm drawn like a moth to a flame at nine each day. It's sick, I know but ok..I know. Anyway.. back to the show. If you go onto and download the coupon printer you can print up to 4 coupons for free KFC. I guess KFC wants America to try their grilled chickie, clog their arteries and keep the medical industry employed. So you get 2 pieces of chickie little, 2 sides and a biscuit for FREE! I love free anything. It could be a dang key chain and I'd be all yippie skippie over it. Now, I know that fast food is BBBBBBBBBAAAAAAAAAADDDDDDDDDDDD for you and I'm also aware that KFC is like the crack of the fast food world but not cooking and free together??? Totally works for me.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Derby Day is over onto Cinco de Mayo!

Well with Derby Day over it was onto the next event. Cinco de Mayo. I had some relatives come into town on Sunday and we decided to celebrate Cinco de Mayo a day or two early. We went out to our favorite Mexi-restaurant and had a late lunch and it was delish! YUMMY! I would love to see famous designers do a line of pinatas for the 5th. Wouldn't it be great to see a LV bag pinata? A Lacoste gator pinata? How about a Vineyard Vines whale pinata? Cute idea, don't you think? I would like to see new, fun, creative pinatas but as long as the pinata isn't a replica of myself. How gastly would that be? People wanting to beat you with a stick. Maybe a pinata of former boss would be funny/therapy. lol

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Kentucky Derby

Well, since my move to Illinios it has been a bit slow getting back into my groove of having a small social circle like what I had when I lived in Michigan. Let me tell you, when you move and you don't no anyone but your beloved beau, making new friends is a bit harder than NOPE..cultivating your new "tribe" is a bit harder than it sounds. Part of that reason is that I took a leave of absence from the JL this year and that left me without volunteer friends. This meant no book clubs, wine clubs, food clubs, etc. I also don't know one person having a Kentucky Derby day party. If a friend of mine in Michy wasn't having a party, I could always count on a gal from the league to have a fete. So I will sport a lt. pink/hot pink and white argyle short sleeved sweater and pink skirt today while wearing my equestrian necklace and pin. Ken doll and I will sip mint juleps (my first year making them) until we begin speaking southernese. We're going to make the best of it!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Miss Trish of Capri & Felix Ray

These are my two summer bargains. Today is my first blog. These items may have been out for a little while but I figured it's a good way to start my blog. I may not always write but I will fill my blog with pictures of things I think are great. I love Miss Trish but her darling sandals can put a little dent in the old pocketbook. These are $29.99 a pair at Target and I bought 2 different pairs. (The white ones and the lion head sandals). The $29.99 doesn't even come close to what her little treasures sell for normally.
But wait there's more..Felix Ray also designed a few little gems for us at a bargain price. Check my summer tote out. Cute with a khaki skirt, white cotton shirt and a coral branch necklace huh?