Friday, December 28, 2012

Happy Holidays

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, and are getting ready for a great New Year!

I always start my New Year's resolutions before the big day, and am busily getting started this week. Here they are:
 1. Be as healthy as I can, including losing the extra pounds that have come with "middle age."
 2. Continue to organize my life, focusing on the challenging areas of my house (master bedroom, kitchen and office) and on my photo/genealogy files. This is the year to get those photo albums and scrapbooks together!
 3. Give the best I can to all the organizations I volunteer with, but be realistic about just how much I can do. This year I find myself on five boards, with other volunteer work to boot....and something has to give! I don't want that something to be me!! LOL

Happy New Year!!....I will also be working on changes to the blog, so you might be seeing a number of different backgrounds, etc. in the days to come. Cheers, Liz

Friday, December 14, 2012

Friday Thoughts

This has been a tough week.  A family member in the hospital (in Atlanta), friends who have suffered a death in their family.....and the first Christmas season without a loved one for dear friends of mine.  All of this has weighed so heavy on my heart.  I have been trying to think about bright and cheerful things to write about this week.....

And then the tragic shooting in Connecticut.  As I write this, they are announcing that 27 are confirmed dead, with more than a dozen of those being children.

I feel sick.  I think I will spend today re-reading the wonderful book, Hope and Healing, by Martha Kalichman.

Pray for this country, which seems to be descending into madness....

More next week....


Monday, December 10, 2012

"Don't Miss" Monday

Just got back from Palm Beach.....So while I unpack and get some things done, here's a new "Classic Preppy" feature: "Don't Miss" Monday.

On these Mondays, I will post things that I find fun and/or interesting, which I think some of you might have missed in the past.  Today's post is a wonderful film from the mid-90's with Barbra Streisand and Jeff Bridges, The Mirror Has Two Faces.  I noticed that the Encore cable movie channel was playing it this month, so wanted to point if out to you!  It will be shown again this Wednesday, December 12th (Miss Betty's birthday!) at 10:50am, 1:50pm, 10:45pm and 1:45am Thursday.  (All times are EST.)  Set your DVR for two hours of fun!!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Fun Friday

Come along with me today......Let's go on a little adventure!  We'll do a digital collage via FacebookTwitter and Instagram.....Charlotte Moss says it is perfectly fine to do your collages and memory books that way, although she and I are in agreement that paper is nice as well.  I have the Classic Preppy Facebook page set to automatically post to Twitter, so you can check things out either way.....

Not quite sure where we're going....but I know it's going to be fun!

Thought you might enjoy the vintage postcards from Worth Avenue.  This is more how I remember it growing up.  I spent a lot of time there, since Miss Betty bought my clothes at The Lullaby Shop and my brother's at The Prep Shop.  For your Visual Life, check out the vintage postcards on Ebay and from CardCow.  They're both great sources for vintage fun!

There's even a little more Visual Life planned for next week!  I just got too many ideas at the workshop not to keep sharing....

See you soon!!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Thursday Thoughts

Magnificent.  Modern.  Cutting edge...yet fabulously retro.  HMF at The Breakers has been worth the wait!  I could go on and on....and on....and still not find enough superlatives to describe HMF.  I think The Breakers' press release for HMF is spot on, and exaggerates nothing.  So, with their permission, I have asked to borrow it to share with you, my readers. You need to read the details...and then come for the experience!

Photo courtesy The Breakers
HMF, located at The Breakers Palm Beach, introduces a thrilling and refreshing new take on the alluring, classic Palm Beach cocktail culture -- a destination for modern ‘social drinking and eating’ unlike any other on the island, and unlike any hotel lobby bar in the U.S.     In a setting drenched in timeless American glamour and the cool of modern nostalgia, HMF restores the social rituals of cocktail culture in a lively, high-style atmosphere.  Internationally-renowned hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany (Per Se, Restaurant Daniel, Le Cirque 2000, MO Bar London), acting as design consultant to Peacock + Lewis Architects, was enlisted by The Breakers Palm Beach to re-imagine the resort’s historic Florentine Room as a contemporary, Palm Beach cocktail soirée, an artful blend of high life, then and now.   “The nostalgia and the glamour of yesteryear are quite en vogue, while palates continue to become more sophisticated,” said Tihany. “We conceived HMF to be an open, interactive arena of decadent delights, and to cultivate a distinctly social, dynamic and inviting environment for the resort’s savvy clientele.”   Named for The Breakers’ founder Henry Morrison Flagler, HMF is where those who appreciate the art and intimacy of an exhilarating cocktail party can satisfy their discerning appetites for sensational food and drink in unexpectedly fresh ways.  Its extensive menus feature an innovative take on sharing plates representing a variety of authentic, globally inspired cuisines, with focus on the freshest, seasonal ingredients incorporating organic and locally sourced items; handcrafted, rave-worthy cocktails ranging from the vintage to the experimental; and an award-winning, 40-plus page, 1,600-selection wine list of varietals from around the globe – Bordeaux to Burgundies, Riojas to sakes,  carefully curated by The Breakers’ master sommeliers – all designed to surprise and delight the senses.  Inspiration is effusive behind the bars, in the wine displays and the theatre-style kitchen, thanks to esteemed master sommelier, Virginia Philip, and newly minted HMF chef Joey Tuazon (formerly of Acqua at the Four Seasons Miami) working with resort executive chef Anthony Sicignano. 

HMF guests are tended by an engaging, highly intuitive team, each skilled in the art of cocktail culture and stylishly dressed in striking, custom-tailored attire.  Vibrant music galvanizes the mood, with HMF’s own music and entertainment director, Kirill Basov, crafting and spinning custom playlists and eclectic blends, and heightening the interactivity of the guest experience so that everyone feels connected to the scene; he also oversees special events at HMF.   A Cigarette Girl, inspired by the social theatre and atmosphere of cocktail clubs of the 50s and 60s, will move through HMF nightly offering various tastings of specialty items for sale…an aperitif, culinary sampling or dessert or to take guest photos, all to enhance the HMF experience.   

Tastes and Sips / A Sampling of Signature Drinks and Sharing Plates  

 Signature cocktails with innovative twists, featuring home-made ingredients/mixers, sodas and an unexpected array of fun, whimsical garnishes … Railcar #91 features Courvoisier VSOP, fresh lemon juice, local honey and orange foam; the classic Daiquiri with Bacardi rum and home-made lime cordial, the GT, our version of the classic gin and tonic, infused with rosemary and Kirby cucumber, Chanel #6 with vodka, Chambord and pineapple juice; martinis and dirty martinis with novel tastes of vermouth, the Grand Mimosa, a luxe turn on a Breakers’ historic favorite but made with fresh-squeezed, local Florida oranges and a splash of Grand Marnier…      

* Wine selections from all over the world...from Australia to France, Italy to South America, Spain and Portugal to Israel and Lebanon, Germany, Austria and Greece…with a master sommelier presiding to share insights and recommendations on bottles or exceptional wine-by-the-glass offerings, to enjoy on its own or to pair brilliantly with sharing plates…   

 Savory sharing plates such as Warm Onion and Reggiano Dip, House Made Fingerling Chips; Wood Roasted Asparagus and Burrata; Orecchiette, Duck Sausage and Wild Mushroom; Churrasco Steak Chimichurri; Lamb Meatballs, Spanish Mole, Wood Roasted Peppers; Chicken Albondigas Tacos...     

Full spectrum of craft beers, including two local breweries such as Florida Lager and Orange Blossom Pilsner, to complement with HMF’s food items or enjoyed on their own… 

For oenophiles, the main attraction is the stunning Wine Wall, a 7,000-bottle showcase of The Breakers’ 28,000-bottle collection.  Made of polished stainless steel and clear glass, it was designed to exquisitely contrast with the room’s original architecture.   Tihany conceived this Wine Wall as a Master Sommelier’s dream, satisfying the resort’s two such certified wine experts, Virginia Philip and Juan Gomez, who carry the legacy of Wine Spectator’s Grand Award since its inception in 1981.  In addition, a premium collection of cigars, housed in a Tihany-designed custom humidor of clear glass with ribbon mahogany, are available to enjoy just outside HMF in the Mediterranean Courtyard or on the Seawall while enjoying ocean breezes.   Yet for all its night life accoutrements, HMF is an alluring and versatile, day-to-evening destination.  It entices guests for a morning latté with freshly baked pastries, an afternoon respite of delectable refreshments and engaging conversation, or, after sundown, an impeccably made cocktail or Master Sommelier-selected wine by the glass that perfectly pairs with an array of mouthwatering specialties.   HMF’s mantra of social drinking and eating is much for those who relish its all-day iced tea bar as its spirit-based cocktails.   More than just a founder’s moniker, HMF pays homage to legendary railroad and oil magnate Flagler, developer of the resort town of Palm Beach and much of Florida (circa 1890s and early 20th century).  He originally built The Breakers in 1896 and set it on its path to modernity as a one-of-a-kind classic – one that would always appeal to the “jet set” of the times.  HMF appeals to the same luxury-lifestyle audience of today, who covet social connection and unique aesthetic experiences that contrast with their highly digitized and impersonal world.     Tihany’s Design Brief Knowing design’s vital role in formulating a new rendition of glamorous, golden-era Palm Beach, The Breakers turned to Tihany, the creative visionary behind many of the best restaurant venues around the globe.  He was challenged with the task of re-creating the historic Florentine Room (formerly home to the resort’s Tapestry Bar and L’Escalier restaurant) as a captivating destination, stylish and sophisticated, yet incredibly comfortable, warm and welcoming.   The transformation focused on changing the usage of the room rather than the room itself, to make it less intimidating and more engaging, while balancing sensitivity to preserve the Florentine Room’s historic elements.   Tihany was mindful that The Breakers’ significant architectural venues (circa 1926 reconstruction) were inspired by palaces and gardens of the Italian Renaissance.  Accordingly, the Florentine Room was patterned after the 14th-century Palazzo Davanzati in Florence, richly decorated with ornate, intricate details; a hand-painted, high-beamed ceiling and wrought-iron chandeliers. Within the walls and ceiling of this spectacular space, Tihany’s custom furnishings, innovative food displays and open kitchen create a new energy and style. 

After a seamless arrival experience from valet to just a few steps off the main lobby, guests enter HMF and are welcomed by two contemporary bars featuring ribbon mahogany with bronze accents:  one beckons guests to enjoy cocktails, while the other offers the finest sushi fare.  Stylish, modern furniture bathes the room in rich tones of cognac and cyprus green, and a bold carpet covers the floor in a luxurious jewel palette.  The room is illuminated with a soft radiance by over-sized floor lamps and wall sconces lining each column around the perimeter.   The prominent, 7,000-bottle Wine Wall anchors the space and provides a majestic backdrop for guests of the private dining room, a sumptuous and exclusive setting for up to 18.   “We envisioned HMF to be the most fabulous place to meet for drinks, anywhere,” said Nick Velardo, director of food & beverage of The Breakers Palm Beach. “It is incomparable to any lounge or restaurant, a place that goes way beyond where cocktails and dishes are simply prepared and served.  HMF will independently revive the joie de vive yet refined spirit of classic Palm Beach cocktail culture and restore social drinking and eating as an enduring tradition.”   Visit HMF 7:00am – 11:00am for small-batch coffees and bakery items, 11:00 – 5:00pm for a heavenly daytime menu, including afternoon tea 3:00pm- 5:00pm featuring traditional and exotic selections; 5:00pm – 2:00am offering an informal and inventive menu that draws from global cuisine, seasonal eating and the gourmet food truck movement.     For more information, call 561.659.8480, or visit      

It is my understanding that the daytime service will start just after Christmas Day.....but if you are in the area....and you should definitely stay at The Breakers when you are! must visit HMF. This is reminiscent of the Old Florida where I grew up.  This is glamour and sophistication mixed with modern elegance.  It is a Classic Preppy Five-Star recommendation!!

Now, how does all this fit in with this week's theme of a Visual Life? pictures from HMF will be simply perfect with all the (many) other pictures I have of Miss Betty and her sister, Frances, on board ship (the Queen Elizabeth)....nightclubbing in New York in the 40's and 50's (El Morocco, the Stork Club, etc.),...and even at tea dances at the Cavalier Beach Club..  I have never been sure how to put all of that together, but I think a narrative of sophisticated nightlife fits their activities as well as my trip to HMF!

Now, off to Worth Avenue!!  Cheers, Liz

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wonderful Image Wednesday

These are images from Charlotte Moss' Visual Life book...all courtesy Google (found on bookstore sites and blogs)...and all wonderful images.  I find I am drawn to all of them, but for very different reasons.

How about you?  What makes you want to get started putting things together? I am interested in anything that has to do with travel.  That's my next big project (scrapbook-wise), and I will write more when I return from my next trip....which starts today.  Right now.  Early this morning!

I am heading to The Breakers in Palm Beach for a few days of fun with a dear friend.  What a delight to show her all the places that were my haunts growing up...and share with her some of my newer finds, as well.  Ms. Moss says to never be afraid to record those moments...with a photo, a sketch, or a line or two quickly jotted down.  So, I will do my best to do just that!

Photo courtesy The Breakers
If I can blog from my iPad, I will do so and if not...I will keep you up to date via Twitter and Instagram, (Please click on those links to follow me!!) and will continue my Visual Life series on Monday and Tuesday of next week.  In the is where I am going tonight:  HMF.  (Gosh, that sounds "rawther" like Eloise of The Plaza).  I will share more about that tomorrow!!

In the meantime, have a great Wednesday!
Cheers, Liz

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tuesday Thoughts: Cut and Paste

One of the first slides in the Visual Workshop simply said, "Cut and Paste."  That immediately drew my attention. "Miss Betty" (my mother, whom I have written about often!) was a big believer in the "cutting" part....but not so much the "pasting."

For years, Miss Betty ripped pages out of magazines and added her own hand-written commentary....but she never did more than shove them into a folder or occasionally separate them into large Ziploc bags.  The same applied to family photos.  I am a huge believer in three-ring binders and those wonderful slip-sleeves that you can slide things right into, so I have been taking what Miss Betty gave me and am organizing it that way.  Later this week, when I write about "My" Visual Life as it relates to home and family, I will share even more pics!

Today I wanted to share an idea....a way of working that I have found to be do-able for me....and one that Charlotte Moss also said worked for her!  (Joy sprang to my heart when I saw one of her leather-bound books that she so graciously brought down from New York....It was arranged much like I arranged the couple of books I have done.)'s the idea:  Cut/clip/photograph, etc.  Gather your items together in categories that make sense to you and then put those together to tell a story....tell your story.  It can be family photos, photos and post cards from your travels, decorating name it!  It's all up to you!!  Then, start editing (very important!!) and put those together in a flow that will be interesting.  It's not hard.  I promise! If I can do it, anyone can....

Before Miss Betty died, she gave me all of our family photographs and I sorted through them (over several weeks) and decided to start with three albums.  First, I did one for my cousin, whose dear mother (Miss Betty's sister) had died when he was only a baby.  Second, I took all my parents wedding/honeymoon and young married couple photos and memorabilia and put those together.  Finally, I took my baby pictures and memorabilia and put it together.  That was actually the easiest...because Miss Betty had bought a beautiful Mark Cross leather album, had my name gold stamped on it....and then had never used it! It was right there waiting..... So, I replaced it's 1960's non-archival pages with some proper ones and set about putting the pictures in order.  That was challenging because they were not ordered by date in any way, shape or form.  So, I got out my trusty jeweler's loupe (which everyone should have!) and started looking at the pictures very closely for clues as to my age, the houses we lived in, etc.....and low and behold....a narrative developed!

Hospital pictures, cards from flowers and
 my first engraved calling card (upper right).

I even found the paperwork from
Norfolk General Hospital!

This is what it cost to have a baby and
stay in the hospital for five days back in 1959!

My parents belonged to the Cavalier Beach Club, so I hit the beach at a very early age!
The picture on the left is an old postcard I found tucked away in Miss Betty's pictures.
Charlotte Moss also loves using postcards in her scrapbooks and collages!

Outtakes and the final photo and actual card
 from my family's first Christmas card!

Think of a time in your life that was special.  Even one occasion....or maybe your own baby pictures.  What kind of story do those pictures and memorabilia tell?  Ms. Moss said that all we need is a "kick in the pants" to get

This is our Kick-Off Day!  Have at it!


Monday, December 3, 2012

Charlotte Moss Monday

There is simply too much to write for one post......So I am going to spread this post out over the entire week and make five entries out of one (combining the last two days with updates from Palm Beach).
Stay tuned all week long.....

If you look at the side bar in my "Inspirational Websites" column, you will find the website of Richmond native Charlotte of this country's most revered interior designers and lifestyle experts.  Ms. Moss is an inspiration herself and I have almost all of her wonderful books! I simply adore her website, and upon checking it a few weeks ago, found that she would be leading a workshop based on her new book, Charlotte Moss: A Visual Life ~ Scrapbooks, Collages and Inspirations, at one of my favorite sites, Thomas Jefferson's Monticello!  Score!!

I immediately emailed my decorating partner-in-crime, a.k.a. my sister-in-law who lives in Baltimore, and we arranged to meet and learn more from Ms. Moss.

Starting tomorrow, you'll find out what we learned and be inspired yourself!  By Friday, you'll feel like I do today...Ready to take on the world, and record it in your own book!!