This Thursday my thoughts turn to my own anniversary (last Friday, April 22nd) and our wonderful wedding, 22 years ago, as well as to the Royal Wedding, less than 24 hours from now. April is a magnificent month in which to be married, for spring is the perfect setting!
It was a complete surprise to her (and Dear Husband couldn't believe I actually did it.....but I simply had to)!!
Weddings are wonderful....and I hope William and Kate enjoy every minute of their special day. I will never forget our special day, all those years ago, and the details of it....everything from a bouquet made of my favorite flowers (gardenias, lilies of the valley and roses), to wearing my family's amazing dress, to walking down the aisle to the wonderful music of "Jerusalem" (in honor of my dear English friend, who could not be there for the wedding, and which is a closing hymn in the Royal Wedding tomorrow).
Kate's processional..."I Was Glad" by Charles H.H. Parry. (This is from St. Paul's cathedral during the Queen's Jubilee...but it gives you an idea of how majestic Kate's approach to the front of Westminster will be!)
Now....let's all pray for good weather tomorrow for the happy couple (as well as for their continued safety)!!
Saw this question posed online about how one would "dress preppy,"and was appalled...
"I'm going classy preppy and I need some tips...."
Well....here are some tips from The Classic Preppy!
Never, ever, ever, ever use the word "classy." It is tacky, tacky, tacky.
"Elegant," "glamorous," "sophisticated"....all of these and more are great options! There are some words that are not in a "classic" preppy's vocabulary!
Not "den"....but "library"
Not "drapes".....but "curtains"
Not "couch".....but "sofa"
Not "half-bath"...but "powder room"
Not "wealthy".....but "rich" (if you must refer to someone's money....which in itself is not done)
And there are a lot more.... Can you think of some?
Paloma Picasso started with Tiffany and Co. just before I did, and was an amazing addition to their stellar group of designers, which included Angela Cummings, Elsa Peretti and Jean Schlumberger. Hear from Paloma about her association with Tiffany's by clicking on this video...
This past weekend I was on a mission. A mission to find an ice crusher. Yes, it seems a silly thing, but I love, love, LOVE crushed ice, and I was determined to find something that would do the job at home. I went to Bed, Bath and Beyond (with my 20% off coupon in hand) to look at this, although the reviews it received weren't very encouraging. It wasn't too expensive, and I thought that even if it got me through the summer, it would be ok.
As hard as I looked, I couldn't find it....and I did the Bed, Bath and Beyond "circle" a couple of times.
I was in what I thought would be the best location for said ice crusher when I saw this. On the front of it was a big label that said, "CRUSHES ICE." I was hooked.....Well, actually Younger Daughter was hooked, because she noticed that said machine also had individual travel cups which would let you blend a smoothie-to-go. Healthy breakfasts! It was getting better and better!! At $69.99 it was more than I wanted to spend, but I had my coupon, so up to the register we went. The cashier was very excited to see us, and said, "Oh! You are getting one of those! They are great...and they have a $20 rebate on them right now!"
So for less than the retail cost of the original item, I got a multi-purpose machine......and it makes the BEST crushed ice. (I went home and made a Skinnygirl margarita just to test it out. It worked just fine!!)
On my way through Macy's, to pick up something from Clinique, I happened to spot a pair of shoes that were almost the exact shoes I have been trying to replace for years....and they were on sale! Jackpot!!
I am on the run this morning, so will take some pictures to share later....
I then noticed that Macy's was having a special sale through the weekend that took up to an additional 30% off what was already on sale....and there was a lot on sale!! I quickly picked these....classic preppy style....and bought a pair in every color they had. The whole bill was about what one good pair of shoes cost....and I got four!!!!
Hope to write more later.....off to errands and lunch!
There has been a lot of buzz about TLC's new show, Extreme Couponing. Have you seen it? What do you think? I personally think that it's quite ironic that it is followed by the show, Hoarding: Buried Alive, because some of these "extreme coupon-ers" (by the way, it's not a verb, so I wish people would stop referring to it as "couponing") seem like very organized hoarders to me.
Yes, it's good to have supplies on hand in this up and down world we live in today. You never know what your circumstances will be, nor do you know if you will have a chance to stock up in case of a natural disaster, etc. Having volunteered in a domestic violence shelter for many years, it made me sad to think of the hundreds of deodorants, paper products and canned goods people had gotten for nothing, that were just sitting there. What great donations those could be!
Now, having said all that, we preppies do like to save money, especially because we almost always spend what we save on the little things on something more extravagant. I have a Visa card that is tied into a hotel chain's points program, and the rooms I have gotten for nothing or next to nothing, not to mention the upgrades, are terrific. I also have a card for every "frequent flier/buyer's" club there is, and those are great, too!!
In the past, my use of coupons has been spotty at best. For a year or so, when I first retired and had my children, I would cut some out of the paper and read where the best sales were. But then I got lazy. After seeing the TLC show, I decided to pull my coupons out of the recycling bin, and match them up to the store ads for last week.....just to buy things we needed/used.
From my two trips to the grocery store (Martin's, here in Richmond), I bought about $375 worth of groceries and cleaning supplies (I was really low on the latter). I ended up paying $246 for all that, saving about $130. (It's really better than that, as I will also get a $10 Mastercard and with the $1.20 off per gallon of gas, that's another $24 or so. So I guess all in all, I saved almost $165!! I did get two or three of some of the cleaning supplies, but they always come in handy, and I am always running out at the last minute to get something because I am "out.")
Today I have a lot of errands to run, and I have my little notebook all ready to go! Should be another great day of savings....not 75 bottles of mustard or anything like that.....but enough to put in my Tiffany & Co. fund for a new bauble!
I don't speak German, but I do speak "blazer" and "twin set." These good people are close, but not quite there when it comes to preppy. The Madonna inspired desert boots and the striped v-neck under the blazer don't quite fit the classic preppy definition!
I remember once going somewhere with Miss Betty where we got to see a plethora of bolts of Lilly fabric. I also remember going to a little workshop where you could buy other prints that were like Lilly's, but didn't have the Lilly name in them. There was a lot going on in the Keys and South Florida back then....just wish I had paid more attention as a youngster. As I said in one of my first posts (Growing Up Lillified), I just didn't get it!
Now for our tips of the day.....and speaking of Lilly.....
Tip #1: It's time to get those closets changed over from fall/winter to spring/summer. Let's do it....Maybe if we all band together and ban winter, proclaiming that spring is here, we will banish this cold weather. I am blessed to have two large closets all to myself, so one is for fall/winter and the other for spring/summer. I am not changing closets, but I am rehanging clothes. LOVE the new skinny hangers (on left in photo) that I am starting to use. As you can see, this part of the closet is still in progress! Thanks to the Clutter Diet, I am well on my way to an organized spring. It's not easy. I go a mile-a-minute, often leaving a paper trail behind me, and I spend many of my days praying my housekeeper won't quit. My plan is to get things in order, so she can actually clean, not just move the clutter.
So, off go the winter clothes....coats into storage.....and a special Preppy shout out to my favorite cashmere coat. I have had this since Miss Betty and I flew to Atlanta for the day in January of 1977, to check out the winter sales and get me outfitted for my journey "north" to college the following fall. We found this beautiful cashmere coat at Rich's. I was so excited to be getting a winter coat (south Floridians don't generally need them), and wore it proudly for years. Still do, as a matter of fact! It's in great shape and about 10 years ago, I took off the old buttons and changed them with these amazing Italian tortoise shell buttons. This coat has a lot of stories to tell... One day, when I have nothing better to write about, I will tell you the story of the college fire drill and the Classic Preppy's coat dilemma!!!
Tip #2: It's not just clothes that need changing, either! Change your accessories and feel the difference in your attitude. Promise!! Just changing my iPad cover and drink cup (hot to cold) was enough to cheer me up! Thank you, Lilly Pulitzer!
Yesterday I mentioned that I would tell you more about how Preps can save money. Think I will hold that post for Thursday, but believe me.....whether we live in cottages or castles, we like to save on some things so we feel good about spending full price on others!!
Are you a regular Brooks Brothers shopper for instance? Dear Husband and I are, and having a BB charge card means we get all kinds of gift cards and discounts in the mail! I'll tell you more about being "Prep-ared" to save while shopping on Thursday, but in the meantime, here is a glimpse of the little notebook I keep with me....and tucked into its pocket, ready to go in my wallet....a $25 off promotion card for my next trip to BB. Life is good!
I received a wonderful question from a reader (and friend) this weekend and wanted to share it with you all. This is from a very discerning man with excellent taste. Southern, of course, and a dear friend from my Atlanta days. He is now an executive at one of Hollywood's largest movie and television studios. I am so proud of him for all he has accomplished....and yet, he still remembers the important things in life! For privacy's sake, I will not use his picture nor mention his name. He calls me "Bootsy" and I call him "Chip." (You can tell we were friends when The Preppy Handbook came out!)
"I'm attending a wedding in Sarasotta in June and of course I must prep out. I've got a nice blue seersucker suite, but sadly, my white bucks have seen their last year. It is nearly impossible to find white suede bucks. Are you familiar with "nubuc?" As best I can tell, it is a leather exterior rather than suede. All the classic labels have white oxfords in such material. Will I be laughed off the plantation with such a modern twist?"
I immediately tweeted my contact at Brooks Brothers (or as another blogger calls them, The Brethren Brooks), and received an "ok".....along with a link to their very own bucks, in case Chip wanted to consider those. Tres chic! See them by clicking here.
An outstanding preppy wardrobe takes planning, purchasing and proper maintenance.....but in the preppy world, things last forever. "Worn" can be quite elegant on its own, so we get a lot of mileage out of what we buy. (I am talking old-school prep here...) However, if you don't live in a part of the country where you would wear seersucker and its accompanying accessories much, you need to think about how much you want to commit. Hmm......Even if seersucker/white bucks aren't LA movie chic, I am betting my friend could start a new trend. What I do know is this: Brooks Brothers is always a great investment and I bet those bucks (with proper care) will last forever!
Found this image on Google images, and discovered a great new blogger.
Oooh.......spring is here, and summer is on the way. Lots more to say about that this week! Come back tomorrow for a look at being "Prep-ared"....we're even going to look at Preps saving money and Preppy coupons.....a whole different kind of "extreme couponing!" (Including amazing deals at Brooks Brothers!!!)
We had company last night and will again tonight....and there is nothing I love more! Although our bedroom and the girls' rooms may get pretty cluttered, the guest rooms are always immaculate, and ready for the next guests!!
Today I want to share with you a little secret find of mine.....one of the things that my friends refer to as one of my "Lucy Ricardo" ideas. (They think I am wacky....I just like to think of it as thinking "outside the box.")
A few years ago, on a return train trip from a weekend in New York, I was going to wash my hands in the sink in our compartment. (Miss Bettytravel rules.....always travel first class on the train, and always book a compartment if one is to be had.) When I opened the soap, I inhaled the most wonderful scent.....something that took me straight back to the happy days of my youth. No....it couldn 't be........but....Yes!!!!.....it was......my grandmother's favorite soap, Cashmere Bouquet. I hadn't seen this in the stores in ages, and immediately became obsessed.
When I returned home, I went online and found some through Amazon.com, which I quickly ordered. When it arrived I was a little dismayed to find that although it had a similar scent, it wasn't exactly what I remembered. So, the search continued. I was on a quest to find the exact label, figuring that would be the exact scent.
What I found was the company that provided the exact same product that had been in my compartment, in the exact same size.....and I could buy 500 bars for about $35! So, I bought a case of 500, and was thrilled to have found what I was looking for. (The prices for these cases really varies online, and I bought mine several years ago.) We haven't bought soap in years....and won't run out anytime soon, either!
My linen closets are stocked and ready to go. When you come to visit us, you will find several individual bars (half ounce/personal size) waiting for you in your private bathroom. If you express a liking for said soap (seems like it was the favorite of a lot of grandmothers!), you might find yourself leaving with a little gift bag. In any case, with as many guests as we entertain on a regular basis, having soap in this size ("disposable") surely make life easy!
More in our Classic Preppy People Week.... This was one of Miss Betty's favorite "Classic Preppy" types and mine as well. His name? It's preppy, too..... Baker Harrison. "Uncle Baker" was one of my dad's best friends, and he owned an amazing clothing store called Harrison-Payne. Harrison-Payne was in Delray Beach in the "winter season" and in Kennebunkport, Maine in the "summer season"....and in Virginia Beach as well.....although that store closed in the 60's I believe, and Baker and Mr. Payne focused on their other stores after that. (Baker is on the left in the picture. Love his outfit for deep sea fishing in Florida, mid 1950's....)
Miss Betty had a Harrison-Payne navy cashmere blazer (that I greatly admired), which she let me "borrow" when I lived in Atlanta, and which I still have to this day.....although I have outgrown it (temporarily). I believe it is actually older than I am, but it still looks great....and is the softest cashmere you can imagine. It along with my engagement and wedding rings are great "snug" reminders to stay on my eating and exercise program! (*Side note.....Miss Betty also put on a little middle age weight, and Baker, who was prone to the funniest remarks and over-dramatization/exaggeration, came for a visit once.....and when he caught sight of Miss Betty, said.... "Well hello, Miss Plump!" She thought that was priceless and repeated it endlessly....always with a twinkle in her eye!)
Baker loved the state of Virginia, too.....After all, it is a preppy paradise! Remember when I shared the photo gallery from Virginia Living's latest issue? Well, the article came online this week, too. Enjoy!! Click here. (I think there are also more pictures online than there were before....In any case, it's a don't miss article.) "Forever Prep"....that's how I will always remember my "Uncle Baker!"