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Sunday, August 30, 2015


K. Cooper Ray, of Social Primer, is retiring from the apparel business, at least for now.  I have to admit that I am feeling a little sad at this news.  While I’ve not been overly excited about some of their tuxedo and blazer collections, I have absolutely loved their bow ties.

I was first introduced to Social Primer through their collaboration with Brooks Brothers, and all of my Social Primer bow ties have come from that partnering.  What I’ve always loved about these bow ties is that they have always found a way to be both innovative and classic at the same time, while maintaining a high standard of quality.

As is often the case, competition can sometimes destroy a good thing.  Social Primer has always insisted that their products be made in America which, of course, adds to the production cost, and simply can’t compete with lesser quality, cheaper made, products manufactured overseas.  In the end, the finer product bows out, and we all lose.

K. Cooper Ray, has prefaced his farewell with the words “For now,” which gives us all hope that he will one day return with more of his amazing ties, but for now we must say “Goodbye” to this great company, and that makes me sad.  Farewell Social Primer.  You will be missed.

***Do you own any clothing from Social Primer?

Saturday, August 29, 2015


Welcoming and protective at the same time.

Thursday, August 27, 2015


The forecast for today is for rain. Even though our temperatures have been cooler and fall-like, we are still in summer, and with that, comes the summer rains which necessitate the use of an umbrella. With that in mind, my pick this week for Bow Tie Friday easily fills that need.

My choice is this beautiful umbrella with small flower print bow tie from Brooks Brothers.  I found this tie as I was looking online at the sale items on their website, and immediately ordered it.  The colorful umbrellas on the field of yellow are light and cheery, and are the perfect complement to the aqua blue background with tiny white flowers.  This bow tie is, quite simply, colorful and fun, and an excellent response to a dreary rainy day.

I am reminded, though, that fall is just around the corner, so I know the importance of wearing this tie before the weather changes too drastically. I’m also aware that our weather in Minnesota often stays warm and humid through September so we can sometimes bend the fall clothing “rules” a little bit.  Either way, I’m loving this great tie, and will be wearing it now while I can, and then will have it ready to go again once spring returns.

This amazing bow tie is currently on sale online at the Brook Brothers website, but will definitely sell out, so you will want to order yours right away so you don’t miss out on this great deal.

***Do you bend any of the summer/fall clothing rules?

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


One of my favorite food combinations is classic fish and chips. These two foods, so simple by themselves, are shear enjoyment to my pallet when paired  together ... provided they are done right. I’m always amazed at how difficult it is to find good fish and chips. Either the fish has an odd taste, or the batter is of a strange consistency, but rarely do restaurants get right.

One of the portholes on the wall between the restaurant 
and the hallway to the restrooms.

The one exception that I’ve discovered in Minneapolis is Anchor Fish and Chips. Anchor is most definitely my favorite fish and chip destination in the city, and I am always pleased with my meal. Located in a small pub in Northeast Minneapolis, an environment that adds to the charm of the experience, they consistently get it right, which accounts for the long line of customers waiting to be seated. You can usually plan on a 30-minute to an hour wait, but it is so worth it!

The always delicious fish and chips.

Over the weekend I was there with my friends Cynthia and Robert to celebrate Cynthia’s birthday. As it turned out we got there just in time to avoid the rush and were seated right away – once we were seated though, the line began to form. Even though they have several items on their menu, we all ordered the Fish and chips, which was once again delicious. This was Cynthia’s first time in Anchor’s restaurant. They also have a food truck which, up until this weekend, was the only place Cynthia had eaten their food. Her experience was wonderful.

The obligatory birthday photo through the porthole.

Anchor Fish and Chips is by far once of my favorite places to eat, and their food is always delicious, making it the perfect place to celebrate Cynthia’s birthday. If you like fish and chips, you will definitely want to check them out.

Photo Update: Anchor Fish and Chips also has a food truck.

***Where is your favorite place to eat fish and chips?

Monday, August 24, 2015


The 2015 Irish Fair of Minnesota once again reigned (or should I say rained) supreme over Harriet Island in St. Paul earlier this month.  Even though it was cloudy and rained on the day I attended it it, the Irish Fair was just as amazing and fun as every.

The band shell hosted music throughout the weekend.

Kilts and sporrans.

My friends from Boars Head Leather were there this year.

Michael Hayman is one of my favorite celtic jewelers.

The food booths are always busy.

Pipes and drums greeted us as we entered the festival grounds.

The Cathedral of St. Paul stood guard over the festivities.

The University of Minnesota's Showboat Theater.

A few Irish dogs!

***What types of festivals take place in your area?

Friday, August 21, 2015


Madras:  The perfect summer plaid!

***How do you like to wear madras?


Nothing says summer fun quite like madras.  This bright, colorful, plaid material is light-wieght, and is the perfect balance for the warm, humid, summer days.  Unfortunately, the cooler temperatures that we've been experiencing here in Minneapolis this week, remind us that the end of summer is fast approaching, and fall is just around the corner.

Before summer ends, I plan to get some good wear out of this beautiful Multicolored Madras Plaid Bow Tie from Renee Larson, at The Bow Tie Shoppe, and it's my pick for Bow Tie Friday this week.  Renee has once again crafted the one of the most amazing bow ties that I've seen this summer.  The colorful madras fabric, makes this a versatile bow tie that will compliment all of your summer outfits, and carry you all of the way through to fall.

This tie is classic, and will look equally at home dressed up with a blazer or suit, or worn more casual with a button down and khakis.  The Bow Tie Shoppe is turning out some amazing ties right now and these quality bow ties are making a big stir.  Many of Renee's creations are one of a kind, while others are limited run pieces, so you will want to check the website often and buy immediately before they sell out - which they will.  Trust me, you will want to add several bow ties from The Bow Tie Shoppe to your collection.

***Do you currently have any madras bow ties in your collection?

Thursday, August 20, 2015

After two weeks of very warm and very humid weather, this week things have cooled off quite a bit.  While the humidity is much lower and the temperatures have dropped, it is still only August, and I know that the warm humid weather will return.  Even though these pleasant temperatures won’t last for long right now, they do remind us of the beautiful fall days just ahead.

Several people at work have been wearing light weight sweaters and jackets already, which has me know anxiously awaiting the arrival of fall.  I love fall!  I love being able to layer on sweaters and jackets, swapping out shorts for cords, and enjoying the crisp cool air as the trees progressively change from green to shades of red, orange and yellow.  But most of all I love the sweaters.

Since spring, I have been taking advantage of the “change of season sales” as I picked up a number of new sweaters.  Featured here are two beautiful cotton sweaters from Jos. A Bank, in shades of blue, and since I tend to wear a number of V-neck sweaters for work, these are welcomed additions to my wardrobe.  The first is a lovely muted teal that will easily transition into fall, while the other is a beautiful shade of royal blue that will fill my need for color in all seasons.

My late summer/fall sweater collection was sadly in need of an update, and these two sweaters from Jos. A Bank are perfect for this transition time of year.  I also managed to pick up a few other sweaters that I will be featuring in future posts, but for now I can’t wait for sweater weather to begin.

***Have you added any new sweaters to your collection this year?

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


The 52nd Annual Uptown Art Fair took place earlier this month.  Each year, I look forward to the Art fair, which happens just a few blocks from where I live, but it also always makes me a little sad, as it reminds me that summer is rapidly coming to a close.

The Art Fair begins a series festivals and celebrations that follow each other, week after week, for about two months, carrying us well into fall.  They are sort of the last “hurrahs” before school starts and we begin to layer on sweaters and jackets, anticipating the snow that is sure to come.

The attendance at the Uptown Art Fair is nearly 400,000 people annually over the course of three days, making it the second largest attended event in Minnesota (the State Fair is still number one).  The quality of artwork offered at the fair is first rate, and some pieces approach museum quality.


Whether you’re browsing, buying, or just enjoying the day, the Uptown Art Fair has something for everyone.  This premier event happens the first full weekend of August (Friday through Sunday), and is not to be missed.

***Do you have outdoor art fairs where you live?