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Saturday, January 31, 2015





SOLO SHOT SATURDAY - PEACE WREATH

At a time when our media tells us that the world is overrun with violence, quiet, unexpected moments of peace continue to fill our hearts.


***What unexpected moments have you had?








Friday, January 30, 2015





THE BOW TIE SHOPPE ON WCCO

This week my friend Renee Larson, of The Bow Tie Shoppe, was featured on our local CBS affiliate, WCCO, so in honor of that, The Bow Tie Shoppe is my choice today for Bow Tie Friday.

As I’ve mentioned before, Renee is one of my favorite local bow tie manufacturers, so I was very excited to see her featured on our local morning show.  I first discovered her bow ties in the Minneapolis Institute of Art’s gift shop and have been a fan ever since.

(Photos from The Bow Tie Shoppe)

The interview did a wonderful job of highlighting her products – which also include handbags, pocket squares, and her new “bowlet” bracelets – and her sources of inspiration.  One source, her long standing love of classic vintage items, carries through today in the vintage fabrics she chooses for her bow ties.  

I own a few of her wonderful bow ties, and just last month, she made a custom bow for me to wear to one of my holiday events.  The tie was a great success.  

Renee makes all of the products herself, and The Bow Tie Shoppe is well on it’s way to becoming a Twins Cities standard.  I encourage you to stop by her website and check out all of the wonderful products available.  You’ll be happy you did.


***Are there local bow tie manufacturers in your city?











Thursday, January 29, 2015





L.L. BEAN RAGG WOOL SOCKS
Winters in Minnesota can be pretty cold, especially in January, and so it’s really important to make sure that you’re wearing warm clothes.  Nowhere is that more essential than on your feet, and to combat the frigid temperatures, I’m a big fan of the ragg wool socks from L.L. Bean.


I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been wearing Bean products most of my life, and these socks are simply the best I’ve found to keep my feet warm in the winter.  Made from itch-free Australian merino wool, with just a hint of nylon/elastic for durability, these socks can easily take on whatever cold weather Mother Nature throws at us.


They are soft and comfortable, and stand up beautifully to the constant use they receive during the winter months.  Each year I need to replace several pairs of these socks, so I was especially happy when L.L. Bean opened a store here in Minneapolis.  While I don’t mind shopping online at their website, I really do enjoy the convenience of having the store here – and let me just say that their customer service is amazing as well.


When it comes to keeping my feet warm during our Minnesota winters, my socks of choice are the ragg wool socks from L.L. Bean.  They are comfortable, reasonably priced, and have been keeping my feet warm and dry for over thirty years.  They are definitely one of my winter “go-to” items.



***Where do you buy your favorite winter socks?
















Tuesday, January 27, 2015





LION IN WINTER

It may not be Henry II or Eleanor of Aquitaine, or even involve Peter O'Toole or Katherine Hepburn, but this regal lion faithfully stands guard outside the Minneapolis Institute of Art, defying the cold of winter.




***How do you defy winter's cold?








Monday, January 26, 2015





THE JUNGLE THEATER

One of the things I enjoy most about living in Uptown, is the Jungle Theater.  Located near the corner of Lake Street and Lyndale Avenue, it is one the best know landmarks in the neighborhood and one of my favorite venues.



The Jungle Theater was founded in 1991 by Bain Boehlke, and was originally located in a storefront space in south Minneapolis.  In time, it quickly established its place among Twin City Theaters, and in 1999 moved to its current location in Uptown.  The theater successful transformed a run-down bar space into the iconic 150 seat venue it is today, and produces five shows each year. 


This year the Jungle Theater celebrates it 25th Anniversary, and is kicking off the festivities with a new production of Gertrude Stein And A Companion.  This is the seventh time they have produced this show over the years, and it is by far their most successful and popular offering.



I attended a preview of the show last week and was very impressed.  The show itself is a strong piece to work with, but this performance was superb, once again living up to quality I’ve come to expect the from the Jungle.  The show officially opened over the weekend and I highly recommend you see it.



Waiting for the show to start.

Since moving to Minneapolis I have attended theater productions in numerous locations, but I must admit the Jungle Theater has become my favorite venue.  Their productions are so well done, and the quality is always first rate.


**Do you have a favorite theater?










Saturday, January 24, 2015





SOLO SHOT SATURDAY - MAN OF SNOW

Earlier this week we received a light coating of snow, and that was just enough!


***How does your playful side come out in winter?








Friday, January 23, 2015






MORE YARN BOMBINGS

Last summer I posted about the “Yarn Bombing” that is happening in Minneapolis.  This is the phenomenon where trees, street signs, and bus stops are randomly covered in knitted sleeves.  I first noticed them at Tower Park early last summer, and then started seeing them appearing throughout the city.



The majority that I’ve seen in Uptown have been on bus stop poles, but lately I’ve been seeing them more places.  Recently friends and I had lunch at Bluestem, and I was struck that the tress outside of the restaurant were covered with the brightly colored  knitted sleeves. 


While some may see this as a form of graffiti, or maybe even tagging, I find them very enjoyable.  They add a bit and color and whimsy to what can too often be an overly serious day, especially in winter.  I always smile when I seem them, and my mood instantly lightens up.  Kudos and many thanks to the people responsible for these.


***What sights brighten up your dreary winter days?












Thursday, January 22, 2015





NEW POLO SWEATER VESTS

During my post-holiday sales shopping adventure with my friend Connie, I managed to pick up two new sweater vests from Polo Ralph Lauren.  I love sweater vests and wear them often, so I’m always excited when I’m able to add new colors to my rotation.  I also love Ralph Lauren’s Polo line, and I’ve been wearing these clothes since college.  They are one of the brands that I am loyal to and frequent often.
 
 

I found these two cotton sweater vests while shopping at their outlet store in my area.  Those of  you who know me, know that I have a great love for bright colors, so these two may seem a bit subdued for what you would expect to see from me.  Fear not, while I still love vibrant colors, I also like very basic colors that are versatile and become foundational when putting together great outfits.
 
 

These sweaters in tan and ivory, are amazing neutrals that will highlight whatever they are paired with, making them perfect choices.  I especially like the colors in this palette for fall and winter.  Nothing to over the top, just basic and classic. 

Sweater vests are definitely one of my favorite clothing items for fall, winter, and spring, and these two vest from Polo Ralph Lauren are the perfect additions to my collection.

 
 
***Do you like to wear sweater vests as much as I do?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015





CLASSIC STYLE BEGINS EARLY

Today would have been my Dad's Ninety-first birthday. 

I love this photo of him because it shows what a great dresser he was even as a youth.  I'm not certain, but I think this was his freshman year in high school, and already I can see the beginnings of his style showing through. 

Dad loved to dress up.  In fact I don't think that I had ever seen him leave the house for an event without wearing a tie, and most likely a jacket.  Even at this young age, he knew the importance of looking good, and this was a lesson he passed down to me.  Something as simple as shining my shoes or putting on a tie, made such a difference.  He knew that taking the extra effort to look good was a sign of respect to others, and needless to say, I've inherited that philosophy - and his love of ties.

As I remember my dad on his birthday, I am truly grateful for the lessons he taught me about dressing up, and for the role model he was in my life.  Happy Birthday Dad!

Cyril John White
(January 21, 1924 - March 27, 1986)


***Who were/are your style role models?







Monday, January 19, 2015





Darkness cannot drive out darkness; 
only light can do that.  
Hate cannot drive out hate; 
only love can do that.

Dr. Martin Luther King











YESTERYEAR’S KITCHEN

January has been fairly cold so far with temperatures hanging in the sub-zero range for most of the month, but now we warming up into the 30’s for a few days.  While 30-degrees sounds cold to many people, it’s actually a heat wave at this time of year in Minnesota.


The Turnblad Mansion at the American Swedish Institute.



When the weather turns cold like this, one of my favorite places to be is in the kitchen.  The heat from the stove and oven, combined with the wonderful aromas of the food I’m making, warms me up and I don’t mind the cold at all.  While I like being in my own kitchen, it’s even more fun for me to be in someone else’s kitchen, so much so, that even when I visit historic homes, I’m always interested in seeing their kitchens and learning how they worked.

I love this beautiful, classic, old stove.


I’ve mentioned before how much I love the Turnblad Mansion here in Minneapolis, which is part of the American Swedish Institute.  The home is absolutely gorgeous, and I’m struck anew by its beauty each time I visit.  A little over a year ago, while I was visiting there, I was pleased that they had opened up a new section of the house – the kitchen.

I'm jealous of the ample storage space in this kitchen.


There are several aspects to the kitchen that I find especially appealing.  First I love the beautiful old stove.  It’s such a classic, and so perfect for the house, but while I love the stove, I was more impressed by – and a little jealous of – the pantry.  This area housed all of the backing supplies with ample counter space to work at, and to prep the final presentations. 




Even more important to me was the cupboard space for storing china.  As someone who entertains a lot, and who has several sets of china and dishes, I appreciate having adequate space to store them.  I never seem to have enough cupboard space in my apartment.




The Turnblad mansion at the American Swedish Institute remains one of my favorite homes in Minneapolis, and it became even more special for me, when I was finally able to glimpse the kitchen that served at its heart.  The kitchen truly is the working heart of a home, and this beautiful lovely kitchen fills that role perfectly,


***What are your thoughts on the kitchen’s role in a home?








Sunday, January 18, 2015





UNDIE SUNDAY

My friend Judith volunteers with several homeless shelters and also helps with clothing drives to support those shelters.  A couple of Sundays each year she coordinates a drive through local churches to collect underwear for a men’s shelter.  The drive is affectionately known as “Undie Sundy.”

Over the years I've become a huge fan of boxers from Polo Ralph Lauren.

This term came to mind during my post-holiday shopping trip with my friend Connie, as I needed to replenish my own supply of boxers, and was pleased to find several pairs on sale.  While it may sound embarrassing to some, I will tell you that there is nothing quite like the feeling you get from pulling a brand new pair of underwear. 

I couldn't resist the sale on these great boxers from Calvin Klein.

I also find that better quality underwear will last longer than less expensive brands, especially when you have several pairs in the rotation – thus lessening the frequency of purchases.  So as I continue to feature my “new year” additions to my wardrobe, here’s a shout out to that most foundational of garments.  Happy Undie Sunday everyone!


***Do you have favorite brands of underwear?









Saturday, January 17, 2015





SOLO SHOT SATURDAY - HOLIDAY HANGOVER

The "downtime" I experience after the Holidays, can leave me feeling a bit lethargic.  Maybe it's all of the food and beverages I consume that aren't part of my normal routine, or maybe it's just the cold dreary weather of January.  No matter what the cause is, I'm definitely feeling the Holiday Hangover.


***Do you ever feel out of sorts after the Holidays?







Friday, January 16, 2015





BROOKS BROTHERS SIGNATURE TARTAN LOUNGE PANTS

During the cold winter months in Minneapolis we definitely appreciate the need to stay warm and comfortable.  Venturing outside requires layer upon layer of clothing to shield us from the sometimes brutal wind chill, and we can’t wait to return to our nice, warm homes.

Once home, our clothing needs change, and we long for something a bit more casual and comfortable, and but also warm.  Brooks Brothers signature tartan lounge pants fill that need perfectly.  It’s no secret that I love their signature tartan pattern which debuted two ears ago, and I own several items in all three shades - navy, red, and green. 

(Image from Brooks Brothers website)

Made from cotton flannel, these lounge pants are sturdy and soft, which adds to their comfort, and let’s face it, after a long day at work, we just want to stay cozy and warm on a winter’s evening.  Brooks Brother’s signature tartan lounge pants are the perfect solution for that, and right now they are 50% off at their website. That’s a cozy win all around.


*** What are some of your “go-to” comfortable winter clothes?











Thursday, January 15, 2015







SUMMER PORCH

As our temperatures stay quite chilly here in Minneapolis, I find myself longing for those warm summer days on the Porch.  This porch belongs to my friend John, and just seems to be calling us to grab a book and stay for a while.


***Where your favorite summer nooks?






Wednesday, January 14, 2015





COACH BUFFALO CHECK SCARF

For the past few months I’ve found myself being drawn more and more to buffalo check clothing.  It began with a phone case purchased last summer (remember that I view phone cases as accessories) and carried through to a holiday bow tie.  In fact, buffalo check is so much on my radar that I tend to notice it everywhere.

After the holidays I was shopping with my friend Connie, who visits from Iowa two or three times a year - we do massive shopping while she’s here.  This year her visit timed perfect with all of the post-holiday sales so she was very excited.


Every visit involves her buying one or more purses, with at least one of them usually purchased at our local Coach outlet, so every shopping excursion includes a visit that store.  There is a new outlet mall that opened near me last fall, and their Coach store caters to both men and women, so while Connie was checking out the purses and wallets, I started perusing the men’s section.  My eye was quickly drawn to an amazing buffalo check scarf on one of the mannequins.

Our weather in the Twin Cities has turned decidedly colder after the holidays with temperatures hovering in the sub-zero area, and since I bus to work every day, warm scarves are a welcomed and much needed item.  This beautiful wool and cashmere scarf, in rust and charcoal gray, is the perfect item for those frigid mornings.  Not only is it extremely warm, it’s also incredibly soft.


While I had never purchased anything for myself at Coach before, that may change going forward if they continue to offer quality men’s items.  As for now, I’m extremely happy with my scarf, and will enjoy its benefits as our cold winter weather continues.


***Where is your favorite winter scarf from?