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Monday, January 28, 2013


I love this vintage tie from my college with its coat of arms.  It's the little things like this that keep the ties to my alma mater alive.

Monday, January 21, 2013


Today would have been my Dad’s 89th birthday.  

He was born on a farm near Worthington, Iowa on January 21, 1924 (his baby photo is above), and died on March 27, 1986, at the age of 62.  I believe our loved ones are always present with us on some level, and so I know my dad is here with me as I remember his birthday today.

While scanning some old photographs from my family, I came across these wonderful “sweater” photos of my dad.  Given my love for sweaters, I thought I’d share them with you here. 


Dad's fifth grade class photo.  He is in the center of the front row.

Dad's tenth grade photo.

As a young man in front of the house on the family farm.

Monday, January 14, 2013


One of the Holiday gatherings I was planning to attend in December was a political fundraising event here in Minneapolis, however, on the day of the festivities, the shootings took place in Connecticut, and the event was postponed.  The decision was made late in the day, and many people, my friends and I included, were already on their way to the fundraiser.  Needless to say, everyone was very disappointed, but in the end, everyone could see the wisdom of the decision.

The fundraiser was reschedule to this past weekend and my friends and I were in attendance, as were hundreds of others.  It seems that postponing the event actually helped to make it more successful.  Since we were well into the new year, and people were no longer forced to juggle and choose between conflicting Holiday invitations, the event that originally had been planned for 250 people, now played host to 400 people.  The result was not only a successful turn out of guests, but a wonderfully fun and enjoyable evening.  The entertainment was first rate, the food was delicious, and a truly delightful time was had by all!

Since this was no longer a “Holiday” fundraiser, my original outfit needed to be tweaked some since Christmas motifs wouldn’t be appropriate anymore.  For the evening I paired a navy wool blazer with gray flannel pants, then added a pink cotton spread collar shirt with a vintage cotton tie in a tapestry design.  My favorite cordovan cap toe shoes with pink socks from Polo by Ralph Lauren completed the outfit nicely, and I received several compliments.  It was the perfect look for a perfect evening.

Sunday, January 6, 2013


When it comes to style, for me, one of the most important figures of the Twentieth Century is the Duke of Windsor (formerly King Edward VIII of Great Britain).  He is both intriguing and controversial all at the same time.  Intriguing for his resolve to follow his heart, and controversial for his numerous affairs with married women, his rumored Nazi sympathizing and, of course, his great romance with the twice divorced, American socialite, Wallis Simpson - the woman he loved, and would eventually marry.

As you can well guess from these items, Edward was notorious at bending rules.  As King it didn’t serve him well, as he refused to follow procedure and protocol at most every turn, but when it came to his clothing choices, his style was nothing short of genius! If the Prince of Wales wore something, you were guaranteed that everyone would be wearing it shortly!

One of the best articles I’ve ever read on the Duke and his influence on men’s fashion appeared in a 1950 issue of Mens Wear Magazine, and may be found here.

In the meantime, I leave you with a few more glimpses of Edward, Duke of Windsor, and "Duke of Style"!

Thursday, January 3, 2013


 The one Holiday decoration that I wanted to post, but didn’t have a chance to before now, is my Christmas village from Department 56.  I have been collecting these buildings for a number of years and have quite a few pieces I must admit - quite a few!  I collect mostly their Dickens Village but add in pieces from some of the other D56 villages.  For me it’s all about a certain look and if I feel a piece works, or I can make it work, it gets to live in my village.

This year, as I looked at my village display (it’s always a little different each year depending on what pieces I set out), I found myself thinking about what a village is.  More particularly about the phrase, “It takes a village”.  For me this brought on whole new insights and understandings in my own life.

The Holidays are a very busy and social time of year for me.  They are filled with a number of diners and parties that I host, as well as dinners, parties, and events hosted by others.  While this social schedule is most intense at the Holidays, it does keep pace throughout the year.  What I have been most keenly aware of this year though, are the multitude of wonderful friends and acquaintances in my life that all of these opportunities surround.

I feel so blessed with the amazing friends that sit at my dinner tables, who attend my larger Open House gatherings, or who accompany me to the various events I attend throughout the year.  These people are all such an important part of my life.  They laugh with me, cry with me, grieve with me, and rejoice with me.  They are the solid rock that sustains me all year long and I am so thankful for their presence.

As I bid the old year farewell and enter firmly into the new year, I do so with profound gratitude that I will not be journeying through this year alone.  I will be surrounded by a “village” of friends and acquaintances who love and support me.

In life, it really does “Take a village”, and I am so grateful for mine.  Many blessings to you all this year!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Sometimes later Christmas gifts come in the best wrappings!!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Every New Year’s Eve I host an open house and game night for friends.  This tradition has become a wonderful way to welcome in the new year while being the perfect ending to what has been a very festive Holiday season.

The gathering is fairly casual and relaxed and so my clothing was a bit more relaxed as well.  For the evening I wore a light yellow cotton button down shirt with an olive wool cardigan sweater and tan cotton chinos.  The cordovan cap toe shoes, holiday socks, and another awesome vintage Christmas tie from the Amana Woolen Mill in the Amana Colonies, Iowa, completed the look.  The outfit was ideal for the evening, and the guests made the party even more special.  It was the perfect way to welcome in 2013.

I hope all you have wonderful and prosperous new year!