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Tuesday, September 30, 2014


While we are still having a few warm days here in Minneapolis, the temperatures are definitely cooling off.  Fall has arrived, and I'm finding my self layering on lightweight sweaters.  I love this time of year when the season is just starting to change, and there is a cool crispness to the air.  We start the layering with beautiful cotton sweaters now, but all too soon we'll be switching to the warm, wool shetlands.  In between there is cashmere.  Lightweight and comfortable, yet very warm, it is the perfect sweater for this time of year.

I've shared before how much I love thrifting, and I must confess that I have spent hours searching through stores only to come up  empty handed, but then there are those moments when you find a rare treasure in the middle of the racks, like the sweater pictured above.  It caught my eye immediately as it was the perfect shade of blue for fall, was in flawless condition, and when I tried it on it fit amazingly.  It was love at first sight, but I was certain that the $10 price tag had to be a mistake, but sure enough, when I checked out that was indeed the correct price.  What a bargain!

I'm the first to admit that I often spend hours searching through thrift stores to no avail, but that is all wiped away when I find that one great treasure.  Thrifting can be time consuming, but if you're patient, it can also be an excellent way to add some great pieces to your wardrobe without breaking your bank account.

***Do you like to shop at thrift Stores?  Tell me about some of the                treasures you've found

Monday, September 29, 2014


Yesterday I posted a photo of my Mom's childhood tea set, so today I thought I should give equal time to my Dad.  This tarnished and dented treasure is my Dad's baby cup.  Through use and abuse over the years it has sustained many dents and bangs, and the silver plating is worn and doesn't shine as it once did, but none of that matters to me.  In fact it's these imperfections that make it so endearing.  This is an antique showing that it has lived a good life, and the memories it carries are precious.  Just like my Mom's tea set, I treasure this wonderful gem from my Dad's childhood.  These small momentos give more depth to their lives, and keep their memories alive for me.

***What items keep the memories of loved ones alive for you?

Sunday, September 28, 2014


One of my favorite possessions is this small tea set, which is all that remains from Mother's tea set when she was a little girl.  Over the years as she played with it, and it was moved from packing box to packing box, pieces were broken or lost, and so all that is left now are two cups and saucers, the teapot, and the creamer and sugar.  While this tiny tea set may be incomplete, it is definitely one of my treasured momentos from my Mom.

***What are some of your treasured momentos from loved ones?

Friday, September 26, 2014


This month my cat Beatrix celebrated her first birthday.  While I have published photos of her off and on over the year, I’ve never gone overboard with them.  Today is the exception as I celebrate her birthday.  So please forgive me for the way too many photos of her first year!

Her baby picture.

"Can you see me now?"

And just a few more . . .

 The Huntress!


Beatrix LOVES Bow Tie Fridays.

One thing that was clear early on, is that Beatrix is a preppy cat with impeccable taste!

When she was just a kitten she showed a natural love for Sperry Top-Siders 
and L.L. Bean Rubber Mocs.

Soon she was loving Brooks Brothers almost as much as I do.

So taking all of that into consideration, only a Lilly Pulitzer collar would do for her.

 ***Tell me about your favorite pet.

Thursday, September 25, 2014


This week Boat Shoes And Button Downs celebrated its second anniversary!  As I’ve mentioned over the years, I started this blog to share my love of classic, traditional, preppy clothing and its related lifestyle, while also introducing people to a number of the social events that take place here in the Twin Cities.

For me, being a true gentleman is about living a well rounded life.  Not only in what we wear, but also in the events we attend and the lifestyle we lead.   These are values that were instilled in me by my parents as I was growing up.  While my parents were far from “well off”, they taught me the importance of dressing nicely, and the need for good manners.  These two items would serve me well in any social setting I would encounter.

As I now enter year three of my blog, I will continue to provide a balance of fashion, lifestyle, and entertainment pieces, and as always, I hope that you will enjoy at least some of what I am about to share.  Thank you for your support over these past two years.

In The Photo Above:  
               Shoes:  Allen Edmonds Shelton Saddle Oxfords
               Bow Tie:  The Bow Tie Shoppe
               Muffin:  Salted Caramel Muffin From Lund's Bakery

***How do you celebrate milestones in your life?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


The Rose Ensemble opened their 19th Performance Season last week with a wonderful concert at Central Lutheran Church here in Minneapolis.   As many of you know, I am a huge fan of The Rose Ensemble, an internationally acclaimed choral group based here in the Twin Cities. 

They open each season with a free concert - sampling music from past performances - that is designed to introduce new audience members to the group, as well as to entertain their loyal following.  This year I introduced my friend Deanna to the group and she loved them.

I was first introduced to The Rose Ensemble roughly twelve years ago, and have been attending their concerts ever since.  The professionalism of the group and the quality of their music is top-notch, and yet they maintain a very down-to-earth, friendly, and approachable manner.  It’s this authentic welcoming, along with their amazing music, that makes this group so special.  This balance of hospitality and professionalism is difficult to achieve, and yet The Rose Ensemble seems to have perfected it. 

Central Lutheran's bell tower against the Minneapolis night sky.

Their 2014-2015 Concert Season has just begun, and I encourage you to check them out.  You won’t be disappointed.

What to wear to an autumn concert:  
               Shirt:  Polo Ralph Lauren
               Bow Tie:  Mill City Fineries
               Sweater:  Brooks Brothers
               Khakis:  Tommy Hilfiger
               Shoes:  Sperry Top-Sider
               Phone Case: Fossil

***What are your favorite autumn concerts?

Monday, September 22, 2014


Today is the Autumnal Equinox, the official first day of fall.  Even though I long to hold onto summer as long as I can, I know that it has come to an end, and that fall is indeed here.

Actually, I have to admit that, while I love all of the seasons, fall is probably my favorite.  I love when the air turns cooler, and I need to pull on a sweater for the first time.  There’s something magical; even romantic about this time of year, and I am in awe of the beauty that will soon be surrounding me.  I’m especially struck by how the trees in my neighborhood are already starting to change color, and soon they will be ablaze in shades of yellow, orange, and red.

We have already been experiencing some cooler days, and summer is now pretty much over.  Part of me is sad about this, because I know that winter will come much too soon, but for now I’ll enjoy all of the beauty and splendor that fall brings.

***Which season is your favorite?

Sunday, September 21, 2014


This sculpture by Jacob Fjelde is located near Minnehaha Falls here in Minneapolis.  It commemorates Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's 1855 epic poem, The Song Of Hiawatha, which tells the story of the fictitious Hiawatha and his lover Minnehaha.  

Not so coincidentally, Minnehaha Falls is located in Minnehaha Park, which is located on Hiawatha Avenue.  The legend truly continues to this day.

*** What are your favorite epic legends?

Friday, September 19, 2014


Summer is winding down, and these are two of the best seats on Lake Calhoun for watching the transition into fall.

***Where are your favorite spots for watch the seasons change?

Thursday, September 18, 2014


Last week I had the opportunity to attend the Multi Housing Achievement in Design Advertising and Community Support Awards (MADACS) as my friend Marisa’s date – an affordable housing building that she is associated with was up for two awards.  The MADACS are the most prestigious awards recognizing superior contributions to Minnesota’s multi housing industry.

Marisa Accepting her second award.

Winning both categories her building was nominated it.

Refections on the evening!

I wasn’t familiar with these awards so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but as it turned out I was quite impressed with the evening.  The program began with a delicious dinner, which was followed by the awards presentations.    Minnesota Multi Housing Association’s website tells us that the purpose of the awards “Is to recognize owners and associates who have made significant contribution to multi housing marketing and management through exemplary achievements.”  The importance of those recognitions were clear that evening

Hanging out with a winner!

Post-awards celebratory dessert!

Perfect accessory for the evening from Brooks Brothers.

I had a great time and was impressed by how smoothly everything went and the timely manner in which it was executed.  It was a truly delightful evening, made even more wonderful when Marisa’s building won both of the awards it was nominated for.

***What are your favorite awards celebrations?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


I’m not a big fan of Mondays.  I never have been and I suspect I never will be.  Maybe I’ve just given into the cultural philosophy that Mondays are the end of the fun weekend and the beginning of a dreary workweek.  I’m not sure, but what I do know is that they can, at times, leave me feeling lethargic as I face the week ahead.

Yesterday was a Monday that fell at the end of a particularly stressful weekend, in fact the end of a very stressful week, and I woke up with a serious case of the Monday Blues.  Recognizing this I decided to attack that feeling with my own “Monday Blues.”  I have discovered over the years that what I wear can effect how I feel, so when I’m feeling down, I make sure to choose an outfit that will perk me up and help me feel better.  It’s funny, but this plan usually works, and I end up with a much better attitude and no longer dread the day, which sets my week off to a great start.

The perfect outfit for beating the Monday Blues!  
               Blue Gingham Shirt:  Merona
               Sweater Vest:  Brooks Brothers
               Bow Tie:  Bruno Piattelli
               Khakis:  Tommy Hilfiger
               Shoes:  Hush Puppies Navy And Tan Saddle Shoes
               Socks:  Brooks Brothers
               Watch: Timex
               Watch Band:  Timex
               Phone Case: J. Crew

***What are the things that you do to cure a case of the Monday Blues?

Monday, September 15, 2014


"Never be afraid to sit awhile and think."
Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin In The Sun

***Where are your favorites places to sit and think?

Sunday, September 14, 2014


In the summer of 1974, a group of neighbors met in a basement apartment to form a store that would provide them with whole and natural foods, in bulk, that would also save them money.  That summer gathering was the founding of what is now known as The Wedge Co-op.

In 1979 The Wedge moved over to Lyndale Avenue, and in 1997 its current store was built at that location.  The Wedge, which was the first organic certified grocery store in Minneapolis, takes its name from the pie-shape of the neighborhood in which it’s located.  This “wedge” neighborhood is definitely the heartbeat of the Uptown area, and the co-op rose to the challenge of meeting the grocery needs of the community.  

In honor of their 40th Anniversary, the Wedge hosted a block party last week, to celebrate its neighbors and customers.  Hundreds of people circulated through the many booths, sampling products and learning about the benefits of whole, natural and organic foods.  Local farmers also brought in animals to talk about the benefits of organic meats and eggs, and there was even a sheep shearing demonstrations in the afternoon.

Throughout the day, local bands and musicians provided a wide array of music to entertain the crowd, while food trucks served delicious food and beverages.  The Wedge Co-op is an integral of the Uptown neighborhood, and their 40th Anniversary celebration was the perfect way for them to say “Thank you” to everyone for their support over the years.

***Do you like to shop at Co-ops?  Please tell me why or why not.