Posts Tagged ‘personal style’

Why Not… Write a Letter?

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

I love to send handwritten notecards.

Why Not? Two little words with limitless possibilities.

The other day I was rooting through a drawer in search of a pair of earrings (I admit I am obsessed with earrings) and I came across a dogeared journal. I sat down on the floor and ran my hand over the leather binding. I had forgotten I had it. Life gets busy and years slip by quickly. Inside were the scribbles of a young woman, a few sweet attempts at poetry, and a section where she outlined simple hopes and dreams for her future.

Another time, a stack of cards revealed personal notes from relatives long gone. Their words of encouragement and love were a precious reminder of how many people have come and gone in my life.

When is the last time you wrote a letter? Our fast-paced society celebrates our new-found ability to communicate in 140 characters or less. But this month, I am challenging myself to write more than a burst of brilliance to be gobbled up on social media. Instead, I will write a letter to someone who has touched my life.

You can take this joyful exercise even further, and a journal is a wonderful way to leave a lasting gift. If you are a parent, your handwritten thoughts will one day be precious to your child, the same way my mother’s journal is precious to me.

Click on the picture above to check out the beautiful notecards available on Amazon. And the journal below is just one example of the many choices. I wish you great inspiration as you create a lasting memory for someone who has touched your life. Why Not?

P.S. Happy birthday, Mom.

Be a Caller Not a Callee

Friday, January 8th, 2016


Do you know that I think about you?

Probably Not.

We haven’t established a psychic connection that I’m aware of. My inability to communicate with you in the manner of Charles Xavier of the X Men has forced my hand.

My first New Year’s Resolution is one that will add great pleasure to my life. I have resolved to scour my phone contacts and reach out to those people I miss. The communication may be a text. It may be a phone call. It may be a silly card that I see in the store. Most importantly, there will be one person every week that I will check-in with.

I’m not particularly good at outreach. I admire those people who seamlessly juggle this type of social activity.  I have a small group of close friends I cherish and I wouldn’t change that for the world.

This ground-breaking idea was a topic of conversation on Wednesday night as I enjoyed dinner with the lovely lady in the photo. We dined at Edison In Tampa, an event that required planning because of the holiday season and our work schedules. What I realized as we conversed easily was how much I missed her, and that I needed to plan my social life as much as I planned my work and writing projects.

So here goes, 2016. My first resolution is to add the richness of friendships rekindled. Life is precious. I am planning on experimenting with the options available in my phone as well as investigating a variety of phone apps that may help.

And if you have felt any tingling of a psychic connection, please let me know. My powers of communication have been re-awakened.

Jewelry Collecting

Thursday, May 14th, 2015
Chanel in a photo from Sleeping with the enemy by Hal Vaughn

Chanel in a photo from Sleeping with the Enemy by Hal Vaughn


I am currently reading a biography of Coco Chanel entitled, Mademoiselle. It is a fascinating book, thorough in its coverage of one of my fashion heroes. I highly recommend it. Chanel broke all established rules of design, and her brilliance in creating a new modern style has been well covered by her fans. Her love of costume jewelry was even more interesting considering she owned many precious gems and fine jewelry. She loved her fake pearls and wore them proudly, even defiantly, and often left her real strands in her jewelry box.

I adore jewelry. My short time working at a luxury retailer has brought to my attention an interesting observation—many women have no idea how to collect jewelry. The jewelry is treated as a disposable pleasure, and their frenetic lack of planning results in a mish-mash of pieces that don’t flow together. In my last post I wrote about organizing your jewelry. If you’ve done that now is the time to add a few key pieces to your jewelry collection.

  1. Pearls are a staple in every well-dressed woman’s collection. It doesn’t matter whether they are real or faux; they coordinate with all types of outfits. I love to pair my seventeen-inch necklace with a simple top, jeans and high heels. The same pearls work with a navy or black sheath dress. Incidentally, pearls need to be worn, and should not be stored in your jewelry box because they will dry out. They will darken, and once this has happened there is nothing you can do about it. Because they are a porous shell, nacre, they absorb perfume and lotions, too. Therefore, put them on last, after you have used your hairspray, etc. Add pearls to your jewelry and wear them proudly, just like Coco.
  2. Diamond stud earrings, real or a cubic zirconia substitute, are my second suggestion for an addition to your jewelry collection. I have both, and wear them depending on my mood. My czs are a simple brilliant cut stud, about two carats total in size, and I receive compliments on them all the time. My diamonds are set in a 14k yellow gold and are a bit smaller.
  3. A bracelet stack is the big trend and here is where you can have some fun. You can mix whatever you like—silver and gold, real and faux. Express yourself! I have a couple of different stacks and I love mixing and matching. There is a famous photo of Babe Paley smoking a cigarette, the elegant simplicity of her white dress a backdrop to her elbow high stack. I cannot place the photo in this post, as it is copyright protected. Google it and see.
  4. Your watch is a personal expression of your taste. I sell a lot of watches and am fascinated at how my customers will stare at the watch face as they make their decision. The younger generation is beginning to embrace the watch as an accessory, even as they carry their phone in their hand and can always find the time easily. I also have met people who collect watches, and their inventory shows their appreciation of one of the most important accessories a woman can have.
  5. Silver and gold… you need both! Fashion has for years pushed silver and white gold, but designers like Lana, favored by celebrities and those looking to invest in a special piece, are leading the charge back to yellow gold. I like both silver and gold, and make my choice depending on the outfit.
  6. Fashion jewelry that is trendy is the fun part of the collecting equation. Fashion jewelry doesn’t mean cheap jewelry—it simply means the stones won’t be precious gems, and the metal may be gold vermeil, or plated. The stones can be man made, which is just fine when you’re talking about a line like Kendra Scott. Her jewelry is highly collectable. In this category you can add fabulous statement necklaces, cool cuff bracelets, midi rings—whatever intrigues you.
  7. And speaking of statement jewelry…you need it! It can be the oversized earring or a truly fabulous necklace. Once you have it don’t hide it in a drawer, display it using my suggestions from the post of organizing your jewelry.
  8. Vintage pieces are highly collectible. Brooches, odd necklaces and earrings, whatever catches your eye. Drop a hint to the older women in your family. They probably have drawers full of of pieces they no longer wear. Flea markets and consignment stores are another great place to look for unique pieces.

Have fun and let me know what great pieces you collect.




Emoting With Style

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

This post appeared previously at Indies

Posted on: April 2nd, 2012 by 
Archive files/Getty images

I never let an opportunity escape to express myself with personal style. Developing a consistent, signature style is key to branding yourself, a necessity for successful long term promotion. At the end of this post you will have a style assignment, a personal mission if you will, to express yourself with your own unique emoticon. Let’s do some research first.

The exciting thing about American English is its acceptance of new words. Sites like the Urban Dictionary allow anyone to post a word they’ve made-up. Look under my user i.d., sassy/swag, and you will see the word Cheneyesque. Definition: A cold, uncaring attitude. Callous, unsmiling, condescending. Example of usage: I knew Bob wouldn’t care about the starving children in Ethiopia, he is completely Cheneyesque. I was annoyed with Dick Cheney that day so I decided to immortalize him.

The Urban Dictionary is not for sensitive types. It is a completely uncensored, gritty place where language smolders, festers and thrives like a virus. Don’t go there if you can’t handle an f-bomb.

Americans don’t attempt to protect our language like the French, for example. L’Academie Francaise has one overriding goal – to protect the purity of the French language at all costs. Franglais, the Hollywood influence, and even regional dialects are not accepted easily. Frequently, the Academy makes up a word in French to squash a foreign language threat because, well, they are French. Those forty appointed ministers need something to do. As many of you know I was a French minor in college, I read and studied the literature intensely, and I cannot argue against its beauty. My point is, Americans let the language grow and flourish, and we see this maturation as a plus, not as a threat to our national unity.

Recently, my daughter sent me an email and at the end was a little kiss. I went crazy

Some basic emolji examples.

– how did she do that? It turns out there is a program called Emolji, which is free by the way, that allows you to send the cutest emoticons. Unfortunately, you can only send them between iPhones. This made me think – how can I show some style to my friends who have not yet embraced the Apple Kingdom?

In the interest of personal style, I am designing my own emoticon. I will reference the pages that Wikipedia lists, but ultimately my signature will be unique. In the same way that one might sign a letter, Fondly, Sincerely, or Ciao, I will sign  } ; P  if I’m feeling sassy, which is frequently. Otherwise, ) :> D may be what you see. Can’t you tell I’m happy? And that it’s a good hair day?

Let’s play a little game. Make your own emoticon and put it below. Have fun.