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Thursday, October 29, 2015


How could I not celebrate Beatrix on 2015 National Cat Day?

***Do you have a favorite cat in your life?

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


This is a wonderful fall window display by my friend Renee, featuring lovely shades of moss green.

***What are some of your favorite window displays?

Friday, October 23, 2015


As I was updating my fall wardrobe, pants were high on the list. I love the great colors of fall, and so it's only natural that I like to have those colors reflected in my wardrobe. As I was shopping a month ago, I came across these great chinos from Tommy Hilfiger. I was immediately drawn to all of the great colors, but was more impressed by how well they fit. It's difficult for me to find chinos that I like and that fit well, so when I do, I tend to want them in as many colors as I can.

I picked up four pairs in navy, tan, olive and caramel, and couldn't be more pleased with them. I'm also hoping to get them in burgundy and gray, but there has been a slight problem with that. There is a manufacture's flaw which makes the button on some of the pants very difficult to button. The interesting thing is that this flaw is not universal, and with any two pairs, side-by-side, one might have the flaw while the other doesn't. It took a few attempts to find the olive pair without the button issue, but I did find them. That is the delay in finding the burgundy and gray chinos. Even though they have my size, the button doesn't fit the buttonhole smoothly. I'll keep looking and hopefully still find them.

All things considered, even though the button issue makes it more challenging to find them, these chinos are really great. They fit wonderfully, are very comfortable, and come in some amazing colors that are perfect for fall.

***What are you favorite fall colors for chinos?

Thursday, October 22, 2015


The folks from The Bow Tie Club asked if they could send me one of their bow ties, and would I review it for them. I said I'd be happy to, and a few days later I received a package from them. Enclosed inside was the Pulsar, a radiating bow tie in shades of brown and gold that, when tied, gives the illusion of pulsating color.

Made of all silk, the color combination will work well with many of your fall outfits, and the quality of the tie is very good. I'll admit that this pattern wouldn't have been one that I would have chosen for myself, but now that I see it in person, I think it is a bow tie that is versatile enough to be worn throughout the entire fall season. Be sure to check out their website for the many other patterns they offer (I know there are few that I may need to think about getting). One thing for certain though, is that there is something there for everyone.

***What qualities do you look for in a bow tie?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


One of the most beautiful areas in Minneapolis is the Rose Garden, which is a lovely combination of flowers, walkways, and fountains. Across the drive from the Rose Garden is the Peace Garden and the Bird Sanctuary. Taken together, these three gardens create a very, meditative and reflective place to commune with nature.

Designed by park superintendent, Theodore Wirth, and built during 1907-08, this is the second oldest rose garden in the United States. The garden features over 4000 plants and 250 species on a one-acre plot, and can, at the height of its season, boast over 60,000 blooms. Two fountains are located in the garden including the Heffelfinger Fountain, which once graced the grounds of the Villa Montalto near Florence, Italy, and was donated to the Park Board in 1944 by Frank Heffelfinger.  This fountain is noted for the cherub surfing on a dolphin that adorns the top.  The cherub is surrounded by saytrs, and human faces that grace the fountains pedestal, depict the progress of age.

The Heffelfinger Fountain.

Just north of the Rose Garden is the Peace Garden and the Thomas Sadler Roberts Bird Sanctuary. The sanctuary is named for Thomas Sadler Roberts, who was a founding member of the Minneapolis Young Naturalist Society, as well as the American Ornithologists’ Union and a member of the Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union.  Primarily, the Bird Sanctuary is for migratory songbirds in the spring, but throughout the rest of the year, it is also a quiet nature walk, in the midst of a busy city.

Connie and Cynthia were having way too much fun at the Bird Sanctuary.

The quiet, peaceful, style of the Bird Sanctuary, blends perfectly with the Peace Garden next to it. The Peace Garden’s Zen-like nature is both calming and reflective, and the two gardens together, are truly beautiful.

Minneapolis offers many wonderful opportunities for people to enjoy, and commune with nature, and the Rose Garden, along with the Peace Garden, and the Thomas Sadler Roberts Bird Sanctuary, are three of the most beautiful places to do that.

***What are some of your favorite public gardens?

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


As the weather turns cooler in the fall, I really appreciate having a number of wonderful sweaters to layer on. I spent quite a bit of time updating my fall wardrobe this year, and one of the items I've added is this amazing orange merino wool sweater from Brooks Brothers.  

This sweater is from their Red Fleece line, and I must say that I really like several of the pieces in this collection. They maintain a more traditional look, while at the same time feature a few modern touches. The clothes are a bit slimmer without becoming tight (at least the items that I like) which is important to me. So many manufacturers today offer clothes that are so slimmed down and trendy, that they hardly resemble the original items that inspired them. I don't however feel that way about many of the pieces in the Red Fleece line.

I've been very pleased and happy with this orange merino wool sweater from Brooks Brothers' Red Fleece collection, so much so that I just ordered it in navy as well. I can't wait for it to arrive, and to feature it here. As always, with my love of tradition, I have to watch the "look" of the clothes I buy from any line, but I can tell you that this collection boasts several items that will find a home in my wardrobe.

***Have you checked out the Red Fleece line from Brooks Brothers?

Sunday, October 18, 2015


One of my favorite things to do in the fall is to go apple picking.  For me, it’s a sure sign that fall is definitely here. What is perhaps most interesting for me, is that this wasn’t something my family did as I was growing up. In fact, I really only discovered this in my adult years. Sure I knew people went apple picking, but it wasn’t something that had I done, however, now I look forward to it every year.

The orchard was huge.

The trees were filled with apples.

There was a wedding at the orchard while we were there.

Apple picking is a great social activity. It’s fun to team up with friends, drive to the orchard, and pick a variety of apples. On top of that, you’re able to choose from several apple pastries to buy and eat, as well as great apple cider. You may also purchase pre-bagged apples, which is a wonderful way to get varieties that are not currently available for picking.

We purchased our apple bag, and then headed out to the orchard.

Marisa and Sarah were busy filling their bags with apples.

The sunflower maze was a unique offering.

This year we went to Minnesota Harvest Apple Orchard, just southwest of the Minneapolis. The day was beautiful, as we were blessed with the perfect weather to be in the orchard.  It was sunny and warm, with just a touch of crispness in the air. Perfect in every way. Minnesota Harvest also offers a variety of other fun activities, including an apple launcher (think giant sling-shot with apples), and a sunflower maze.  The sunflower maze was okay, but I think it would have been much more fun had it been a corn maze.

Delicious apple pastries.

The main building also served up all sorts of apple themed sweet treats, and we made sure to experience them. In addition, to the apple products, there was also an area designed to be a street market, complete with several shops. I was little bothered by that, because most these shops were not related to the orchard and its products. They were merely selling commercial gift items.

I have to admit that I kind of want one of these goats.

Going apple picking is something I look forward to every year. It’s a great way to spend time with friends, while reaping some of the delicious bounty of the season.

***Do you have a favorite place to go apple picking?

Friday, October 16, 2015


It may not be the Head of the Charles, but it's how we row in Minneapolis.

***Have you been to the Head of the Charles event?

Thursday, October 15, 2015


I really love the colors and textures of fall. From the bright colored trees, to the bountiful apple orchards, to the pumpkins and gourds that decorate our homes, fall is such an amazing time of year. As beautiful as the fall foliage is, I also love the colors and textures of fall clothing.

Since today is Friday, that calls for a Bow Tie Friday post. I haven’t posted a tie from The Bow Tie Shoppe lately, so I’m thinking this is the perfect time to feature their Glen Plaid Reversible Bow Tie. I love this great Glen Plaid pattern in shades of yellow, orange, and brown, with a complimenting cream with orange pattern on the reverse side. This tie, quite simply, just says fall!

Renee Larson, at The Bow Tie Shoppe, has an amazing eye for making limited run, and one-of-a-kind bowties. Her artistic expertise guarantees that you will have a quality bow tie that is sure to receive lots of compliments when you wear it. Stop over at her website and check out the wonderful bow ties that are available now, but remember, they will sell quickly so purchase your favorites now.

***What are your favorite fabrics for fall?


Today our temperatures are fairly cool, with consistent gusts of wind. Yes, fall is definitely here which means it's time to pull out the corduroy pants. I needed to add a few new pairs this year so was on the look out for what might be available.

I came across these great cords from Ralph Lauren at Macy's a few weeks ago, and picked up three pairs in brown, tan, and navy. I like the look of these cords, and really like the way they fit, but the best thing though, was that they were also on sale! Seriously, who ever heard of cords going on sale at the beginning of the season?  Needless to say I was very pleased and excited.

I'm still on the hunt for more colors, and hopefully some great wide-wale cords, but this is an excellent beginning to my fall wardrobe update.

***Do you have a favorite place to buy your Corduroy pants?

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis

Need I say more?

Sunday, October 11, 2015


One of the most exciting things for me is to stumble upon a lone country building.  These structures randomly dot the rural countryside and are always a pleasant surprise, and a joy to find.  Many of these are old school houses or township halls. but oftentimes, you will find a lone standing church that fills the imagination with wonder.

Whatever the use of these buildings, past or present, they always fill me with excitement when I com across them.  These wonderful structures are truly hidden gems.

***Do you have any "hidden gems" in your area?

Friday, October 9, 2015


Beatrix always sleeps much better knowing that Brooks Brothers is near by!

Thursday, October 8, 2015


This is Farnsworth T. Fox, fox debonair and model extraordinaire. He is the newest member of the Boat Shoes and Button Downs team.

Farnsworth T. Fox

Farnsworth is here to help show off one of my favorite fall bow ties. This is a pure silk bow tie from Brooks Brothers that caught my attention the moment I saw it. The narrow stripes in navy and royal blue overlap, creating a great plaid pattern on a beautiful harvest gold background. Its design is versatile enough to fit in with many of your fall ensembles, making it the perfect addition to your wardrobe.

When it comes to choosing great bow ties for fall, I'm following Farnsworth's lead, and going with this amazing bow tie from Brooks Brothers.

***Do you have a favorite fall bow tie?