July 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

So, I am back from a little trip to Southern California for a proper get together with some of my good friends. You probably already know this, but concentrated time with your Besties is very important on the Life Worth Living Front, and I am so glad that we are all able to make it happen on a semi-regular basis, especially when breakfast overlooked this view…

In addition to having a lovely time just hanging out and catching up on the Important Issues of Our Times (managing your triceps, avoiding bad feet later in life, whether or not Ballet Slippers has been reformulated…), I could not help but notice that the spa grounds were covered in marigolds. Not a flower I typically enjoy, but in such concentrated amounts, with dashes of brilliant purple, I was kind of digging them…

This was a reflexology path, which none of us walked on since it looked kind of hot and burned feet were not going to help us relax.

And one closeup of the combo. Not sure if it does it justice, but trust me, it was cool.

Marni Girl that I am, I was also thinking that maybe this is a color combo I can try as summer reaches its peak and rounds into early fall. (Mrs. Roper gave Color a bad name, I fear.) I think carefully planned, this may look kind of fantastic. Full report to come. Until then, mix it up a bit…no better time than the present.


(Photos: Some Cozy Night)


June 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

You know me by now: I get just as excited about finding a new painting that knocks my socks off as I do about a really fresh Oreo. So, it should come as no surprise to you that last week, Mr. H and I made plans to see the Paris Opera Ballet perform Giselle while they are in town this summer, and also went to the County Fair to go try a ride or two and then eat fried dough. (Yes, yes….we went to the gym that day. Really!)

Not much to say about the Paris Opera Ballet just yet, as we haven’t seen them perform before. But I am looking forward to it. And Giselle is one of those classics where the premise kind of cracks me up: Gisele’s mother warns her not to fall in love because she is fragile. But Giselle falls in love with Count Albrecht of Silesia anyway. And then she dies.* There is more, but I won’t spoil it for you.

Now, about that Fair. It was the perfect night to go: Slightly warm with a cool breeze and a very silvery moon. But that lovely moon was a bit overshadowed by the fantastic lights of the fair, and this scary thing:

It was one of those contraptions where they seat you in a line as if you were at the theater, strap you in and start spinning you around until you feel quite unwell. Since that sounds like just about every day of my life, I had no interest in that one. But I most certainly did have a great interest in the Grand Dame of the affair…the Ferris Wheel:

Did you know that for all the years Mr. H and I have been an Item, we have never been on one together? This needed to be rectified right away. And up we went…

It was excellent. And silly romantic. Thank goodness my heart was not like Giselle’s, as I would have missed the view from the top, which was kind of giddy-inducing.

It also gave me an opportunity to scope out our Fried Dough Options…

When we had safely landed, I thought that maybe the Swings (see the top photo) could be fun and we got on line. What can I say about this ride? Well, I couldn’t stop laughing because it was completely out of control and totally fun. Also, I was dizzy, pale and a little upset in the tummy region when we got off. But I was still glad we did it.

Naturally, Fried Dough is the perfect salve for Swings Tummy. But even I draw the line at the funnel cake with fried Oreo. So we selected the classic Zepole. I didn’t feel good about myself later, but I enjoyed mine while it was going down.

We tooled around a bit more, trying hard not to win anything that we would then have to bring home, and took in all the kids, teens and other adults having the best time at this crazy thing. And when we left, we were both unable to stop saying “That was FUN!” until sometime after breakfast the next morning.


* And therefore, as an Italian American, I have a really hard time believing that this ballet is French. This plot point is just so, well, Italian.

(Photos: Mr. H, who is a way better photographer that me.)

Oscar Lady?

December 15, 2011 § Leave a comment

I have always admired the work of Oscar de la Renta. Grown-up, timeless, beautifully made clothes — for Women Who Were Not Me. I had never ventured into the store on Madison. I was not an Oscar Lady. Oscar Ladies picked at their food, went to Charity Things and never brushed their dog’s teeth. I am pretty much the opposite. Case closed.

Then something happened: I had to go to a very proper luncheon and a very proper dress by an American designer was needed. So I surveyed my American options…

Narcisco: too sexy

Rodarte: too outlandish

Proenza: Not that season.

Michael Kors: I am just not tall enough. (Good luck to him with going public today, though!)

A pretty major Panic set in which led me straight to Oscar’s door. And much to my surprise, I found the Perfect Dress, which they tailored to my imperfect body and I was done. All within an hour. Whew!

A mere 110 weeks later, I was invited to the same luncheon. This time I did not hesitate to make an appointment with Christine, the store manager who helped me during The Panic. My first pick was the winner for the event, but I could not help but notice other things on offer that I could imagine myself wearing quite often. And Things Happened.

I still was eating food and brushing dog teeth, so I chalked it all up to a freaky good run. Until the Pre-Fall collection came in, and I found myself standing before Christine and Graziella (it is a good idea to become friendly with the magician who wields the pins) while she nipped in and let out as necessary. The belted camel dress with a petal collar and I have been having a great time together since the temperature dropped. And I know we will be doing so for many years to come.

While in the store that morning in August, I decided that I could quit Oscar at any time. Right then and there, in fact. Even if there was this really beautiful embroidered floral number that left me drooling. This was it. I was not an Oscar Lady.

Except it wasn’t it. The sale season began and my Embroidered Lovely was available in my size for half the price. The Cosmos was clearly telling me something…maybe that I was an Oscar Lady. And when I slipped the dress on and it fit perfectly, I knew that I was. Just not the usual kind.

This brings me to the Point of the Post, which is that trying something new — anything new, certainly a dress can’t be all that life-altering — isn’t necessarily an attempt to be someone else. It is simply an opportunity to find out things about yourself  that you may not have known.


(Close up photo of the Embroidered Lovely: Some Cozy Night.)

Summer Obsessions

July 10, 2011 § 1 Comment


So, I have been on “vacation” this past week — which means that I freak out about work while 200 miles away from the office — and the weather was a little lacking. Very early into my time off, I had finished reading an Isabella Blow biography and taking endless calls from the owner of the company that is painting my hallways back home. (He does not like the color, as it is very, very dark. While an amazing painter, I don’t think he shares my vision.) I had also finished cooking almost all of the veggies my CSA sent to me, did my accounting for the month of June and a zillion other work things when I suddenly found myself in need of something mindless.

Mindless lives at Bravo. And so I dipped my toes into yet another bit of Andy Cohen Quicksand: “Million Dollar Decorators”. Just typing the show’s name makes me cringe, especially when I heard one of the decorators refer to the iconic Barcelona chair ( as an “Eames” chair as if they only ever designed one. (They most certainly did not, and you probably know their work, including the equally iconic Eames lounge: Editing mishap? I don’t know. But really, this is just wrong. Especially if said decorator wasn’t referring to the Eames lounge, which is still a stretch. Look it up and then tell me how right I am.

ANYWAY, ability to distinguish the work of Mies van der Rhoe from Charles and Ray Eames aside, I can’t stop watching this show for one reason: Mary McDonald. She was made for this medium and is awfully stylish. Aside from the masses of perfectly arranged dark hair, fabulous jewelry and ability to say that something is ugly or simply horrid out loud in front of people, she wears brightly colored nail polish on her finger nails and it looks fantastic.

So, over the past week I have become newly obsessed with trying to get that look on my paws. Not easy for me, as I always fear that my outfits and jewelry will clash with bright polish. And there there is the maintenance factor…

Fortunately, my dear friend must have had a premonition and sent me three fantastic essie colors several weeks ago: Tangerine, No Boundaries and Well Read. They have all been on the pedi-rotation since for some time now, but today I decided to Go the Full Mary, and put Tangerine on the toes AND fingers. Sadly, I am wearing an orange dress at the moment, so I can’t leave the house until I change, but I must say, I am already feeling more like I could tell somebody that something is ugly. (Lord knows I see enough of it out and about.)

So, I guess these are my two newest Summer Obsessions — join in if you like.



More information about the show can be found here:


Tips for Brights on the Paws:

– Nails must be immaculate: No cuticles, no rough edges.

– Nails must be short and kind of squared, like a glamor girl in the twenties. Leave long and pointy to Gaga.

– Nails must be SHINY. Get yourself some Seche Vite top coat stat.

(Photo of my new polishes: Some Cozy Night. Thanks, Ms. J!)

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