30 April, 2009

ER Event Du Jour

Welp...the week wouldn't be complete without a natural pet disaster in our home. Tuesday night, minutes after I had two burners running on high, steaming broccoli and boiling pasta, George jumped up onto the stove top and burned his little mitts.

Fortunately, the burns were superficial enough that Babe, M.D. was able to treat our patient at home. And, when the doctor wasn't looking, mummy (who isn't an RN but plays one in real life) rubbed some organic lavender oil on Pilgie's pads.

Daddy is generally a little snotty when it comes to holistic health practices so we sometimes deem it necessary to run covert medicinal operations.

And Mummy, who wouldn't be surprised if Dr. Morgan at Georgetown Vet and the kind physicians at Friendship Hospital for Animals didn't have her name on a list for suspicion of Münchausen by proxy, was relieved to bypass her weekly emergency visit.

But for now, our tlc (and a smidge of lavender oil) seem to have our little nutcracker on the mend. By tomorrow I'm sure he'll be back to screaming around in his 500 sq ft circus tent.
PS...Don't forget the Bonanno sale started yesterday and only runs thru Saturday!

29 April, 2009

This Request Goes Out to Shelly and PVE

Several months ago, during an open house, Babe and I seized the opportunity for a peek-see inside one of the homes we had been admiring/stalking down the street.

I became instantly obsessed with the beautiful paper they had covering all their books and the following morning slipped their cleaning lady a properly written note begging for insider info regarding the materials used. I was pleasantly thrilled when one of the men of the house called me within 30 minutes of my covert operation and generously gave up his trade secret.

My little project would require an X-Acto knife, a cutting mat and a 36" ruler for cutting precise lines.

And rolls and rolls of vellum all of which were found at Pearl Paint.

My new acquaintance Paul was lucky enough to have one of his assistants in NYC do all the labor. I, on the other hand, could not keep my help from laying down on the job.

So I called on my old high school book covering talents (minus the doodles of polo ponies and Madison Clark's initials) to get the job done.

I won't lie, it took me weeeeks...

And, naturally the dénouement was much more striking in Paul and Eric's floor to ceiling built-ins...

But, j'adore how it dressed up our little Parsons shelf. And, all my toiling has paid off in compliments and drools received from friends and guests.

Kindness of Paul Sinclair and Eric Berthold for so generously sharing their design secret.

28 April, 2009

Dirty Little Obsession

I have asked Babe for an Hermes beach towel for the past four birthdays and have yet to receive nary a one.

He is petrified of ending up on American Greed one day as "the former CEO whose wife collected $500 beach towels".

I even had a friend stop sitting next to me on the beach one summer after I mentioned my desire for these luxury items. Other's were too polite to tell me what was being said behind my tanned Melissa Odabash wearing back, but I could only imagine. Probably, something along the lines of the above mentioned American Greed transcript.

Pshaw...no one gives Elle Macpherson grief for collecting them!

Well, this year I'm logging in a smidgeroon early with my (above) birthday request in the hope that four months is plenty time to allow Babe to come to terms with his eventual fall from grace.

27 April, 2009


Upon the recommendation of Mel I recently replaced my desktop with a Sony Vaio laptop which, so far, I love. This new purchase freed up some much needed space on my little Parsons desk to design a writing area or escritoire (which sounds très more chic).

Elle Decor's "Tory Burch and 12 Things she can't live without" culled from the archives for inspiration.

Included on her list was Plexi-Craft desk accessories.

This ringing endorsement from Tory combined with my love of all things Lucite led to my inaugural Plexi-Craft purchase.

Perfect for holding my prep reference library and all important tear outs with one little eensie slot devoted to bills. Bills even ruin aesthetics.

A rescue orchid from the Whole Foods "Charlie Brown Christmas tree" giveaway pile and my Iomoi coaster complete my little desk scape.

All that's missing from this vignette is the Pilge, full Penthouse in a patch of sunlight, at the foot of the chair.

24 April, 2009

Belgian Loafers

" Belgian Shoes...like a bowl of biscuit batter in the South or a hanky about to be inserted into a breast pocket...can smell fear a mile away. They all have strong characteristics that must be dealt with confidently. You've gotta step up to all three with the same approach...treat 'em like you own the hell out of 'em...let 'em know who's boss...handle them with strength and aggression or the outcome will be embarrassing. They'll walk all over you" Maxminimus

Last weekend at the Lilly shindig, what has to be the most fashionable girl in G'town walked into Sherman Pickey. A friend of the store, Lele was sporting Belgian's in zebra. Now, I would never in a million years have gravitated towards that print on my own but she wore them so well that I left thinking, "sign me up for the zebra!".

Belgian loafers are to shoes, what McKinsey is to consulting. They're a fly under the radar, those in the know, we don't stoop to advertising, kind of cult item. And, over the years my much cherished Belgian collection has dwindled down to 4 pair...which somehow makes me feel as though I'm on the cusp of being bumped down to Junior Varsity level. Unfortunately, 3 pair went by the wayside after I realized I had been ordering a half size too small.

Cousin Kathleen was the recipient of my much loved, and well worn, navy with white trim. According to Lele, there is now an 18 month wait for this combo. Hmmm...now let us rethink this bad rap Indian givers get...

My first ever, and signature, Leopard pair went to one of the Phillips sisters of previously mentioned Lilly fame.

My très loud pink and green babies found a new home with my dear friend, and the origin of my Belgian knowledge, Joanie. Ohhh boy...did we go to the mat many moons ago over whether or not I would be allowed to "copy" this feature item in her enviable wardrobe.

I think I may have to put the navy with green trim at the top of my list for sentimental reasons. When my Nana passed I had hoped to inherit her pair but, alas, I was low granddaughter on the totem pole and my aunt ran off with them. That Aunt Carol gets all the good family stuff...

I've also been eying these summery beauties since a friend donned them one 4th of July at the club. Decisions, decisions...I think Babe may have been using his fortune telling skills when he mused, "now this blog is costing me money???"...

"The brilliance of the shoes was how they resembled a simple pair of penny loafers but instead of a slit to hold Lincoln's copper likeness, there was a tiny leather bow. So elegant, so correct, and so very desirable." Maxminimus

Kindness of my newest blog discovery Maxminimus for turning a blind eye towards my lifting of his brilliant Belgian quotes. And, most importantly, kindness of the très chic Clark sisters, Joanie and Allison, for bringing me into the Belgian fold all those years ago

23 April, 2009

Summer Closet Logistics

Earlier this week the interior of our closet was featured on the blog Bonanno's or Barefoot! Vivian's post was titled "It's All About the Closet Space" and she invited readers to share pics that hopefully, included one of how they stored (displayed!) their Bonanno's.

Being the true Leo that I am, I jumped at the chance to showcase my summer closet organizational wizardry. Babe is fond of telling people that I'm a "logistics expert" which is a très fancy way of saying my wife has major OCD.

My friends used to hire me to organize their closets and the S.O.S. usually came in at least twice a year. Now, I'm not naming names (Joanie, Mary, Melissa, Kimba...) but some of my past clients/pupils required more frequent overhauls. And, in response to some recent requests I will impart some of my organizational wisdom/disease.

Above is my Hable laundry bushel that endures hefty trips down to the laundry room carrying multiple loads, detergent, fabric softener, stain remover, whitening booster and sometimes a bag of trash. Or two.

Just a cheapo belt hanger from The Container Store but, swanked up a little with a framed signature of Ralph Lauren (a moment of reverence please...), a much appreciated gift from my father-in-law.

One of my favorite tricks of the trade are my Joy Mangano Huggable Hangers from HSN. I have all black (just like the ones Nate Berkus outfitted Katie Lee Joel's NYC closet in) and they have been a godsend in small spaces. And, Joy's right, the clothes don't slip off! I outfitted Emma's dorm closet in all pink ones which look really pretty holding her sorority de rigueur Lilly's.

A little humor injected along with some Benjamin Moore Pink Cloud #887 paint...

Pottery Barn baskets are the best at durability and I use them to contain smaller items such as...

Scarves, small clutches, handkerchiefs, soft belts, my Bonanno leather color swatch...

Travel kits and shoe bags...

And, bathing suits and beach bag sundries, ahhh...

In Babe's little neck of the woods, or what I affectionately call his dogleg portion of the closet, a Bed Bath and Beyond cedar tie and belt rack has gone the distance with us through 4 different homes.

And, even though it's the back of the closet (it's a walk-in, that's my story and I'm sticking with it!) I still feel it's important to make it personal. The fact that it's too dark for him to see any of my special touches is secondary to the thought counting.

And finally, a sentimental photo overlooks a collection a containers to separate the family jewels from the junk and receipts that accumulates in Babe's pockets each week.

Kindness of all my above mentioned friends who know that I mock from the heart...

22 April, 2009

Bonanno's or Barefoot

I was 13 pair deep when I learned the devastating news; Jack Rogers are knockoffs. Turns out, Stephen Bonanno Sandals is the original, real deal. And, here I had been traipsing about like a preppy fraud (gasp!) for yearrrs and didn't even know it!

The history of the Navajo, as us old schooler's still refer to them (kind of like a turtleneck is still a Skyre), is that it was originally designed for Jac-waa-leeene Kennedy in the early 1960's by Luigi Pucillo (the designer) and Benny and Eva Bonanno (the cobbler and his wife). Today, their son Stephen continues hand-crafting the "Palm Beach Classic", along with many other styles, one pair at a time.

In 2004 Stephen's sister Vivian and her husband Dominick opened the first signature Stephen Bonanno store in historic downtown Stuart, Florida.

Stephen Bonanno specializes in custom sizing and they have beaucoup colors to choose from.

You will lose sleep deciding over which color combinations to get.

Vivian and her husband are très, très friendly and helpful if you find yourself pulling hair out over these decisions.

The Emma Classic Monogram also has a certain cult following although, I have not yet had any of that lemonade.

You know...HRH of Prep, Lilly Pulitzer only wears Bonanno's...

So, what did I do with my 13 pair of JR's? Lucky size 9 Emma received a huge care package and, after 2 years I am more than halfway through rebuilding my collection with Bonanno's.

Right now Stephen Bonanno is holding their Sunfest Sale and from April 29 - May 3 you may take $20 off every pair. But, I must mention that custom orders placed during the sale may take up to 15 weeks in production due to volume and the fact that they are all handmade. There is no assembly line here!

Kindness of Melissa C. Morris for cluing me into to my sandal faux pas...