Beach · Fashion · Food · interior design · Travel

Charleston, South Carolina

 

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Growing up Charleston was my second home.  My Mom’s family lives there and has for generations.  So when Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, or the summer rolled around, I’d find myself in a car headed to Charleston.  There is something special about the low country.  It is like this warm familiar embrace.  A feeling of peace envelopes me when I find myself in Charleston.

One thing I love to do is wander the streets below Broad.  The architecture is spectacular and the secret gardens that peek out from behind iron gates make you want to grab a cocktail and enjoy.

 

Recently I ventured back for the day and enjoyed the Charleston Sympathy Orchestra Design House followed by lunch and shopping on King Street.

The design house was wonderful.  A typical Charleston single house renovated as a fund-raiser.  I walked away with so many ideas.  Next was lunch on the river at Fleet Landing. The food was delicious , location amazing, but service – not so much.  My tip is to call ahead for reservations or pick one of the other fabulous restaurants in downtown Charleston.  There are many.  A long time family favorite is Poogan’s Porch.  Try the crab cakes!

King Street is and has been the center of shopping for generations.  In addition to Louis Vuitton, Talbots, Kate Spade and the usual luxury stops, you can find wonderful boutiques.  This time I discovered Gretchen Scott and J McLaughlin.  If you find yourself in need of a snack while you shop, check out the French Chocolate Cafe on Society Street (think King and Society).

There is so much to do in Charleston. Take a stroll through White Point Gardens and along the Battery.  Jump into a car and make your way to one of the many beaches on Folly, Isle of Palms, Sullivans, Seabrook, or Kiawah Islands.

Etiquette · Travel

The Masters

 

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What a delightful weekend at Augusta National.  I’m not a golfer but my Dad was and he instilled in me a love of watching the game played.  I was fortunate to be his guest at the tournament for several years.  There was something special about those days sitting in Amen Corner chatting with him as the players played through.

The Masters is unlike any other golf tournament.  Etiquette is the name of the game.  Everyone is on their best behavior which extends to creating a delightful experience for all.  The first thing to know is that on tournament days there is a no device policy (that includes cameras).  That means you are off the grid.  How wonderful to unplug for a time.  If you must make a call, AT-n-T has a bank of phones for your convenience.

 The course is beautiful.  Set on the grounds of an old nursery the trees and flowers are exquisite.  This year the azaleas had peaked and bloomed in time for the first Women’s amateur.  How exciting to see the women on the course!  I love to walk the front part of the course and then sit on one of the holes on the back to watch everyone lay through.  That way I get my steps in and enjoy my egg salad and pimento cheese sandwiches for lunch.

Have you heard of the food?  Where can you get lunch for under $5.00?  Seriously the egg salad and pimento cheese sandwiches are $1.50.  Tea, lemonade, coke or beer are the beverages of choice.  Cookies, ice cream sandwiches, chips and other snacks are available to curb the munchies.

 

 

 

 

 

Family · Holiday · summer · Travel

The Homestead

Do you ever need that weekend away to simply relax?  I do! I love that over night or long weekend when you get away from home, sleep in, and simply enjoy some needed peace and quite.  The Homestead, also now known as the Omni Homestead, is one of my favorite places for a quick trip away to recharge.

Nestled in the Virginia mountains, it has been there in one form or another since 1766.  Known for the hot springs in the area it was a place to “take the waters” – and you still can!

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The rooms are beautiful, the people phenomenal and the food a gourmand’s delight.  And, oh, did I mention the spa?  You can hike, swim or ski, depending on the season, golf, enjoy zip lining, falconry, hiking, or, my personal favorite, curl up with a book or a deck of cards in the library or on the front porch.  Then there is the great hall where you can enjoy the fire places.  I’ve enjoyed many an afternoon playing cards – yes, I mean playing with an actual deck of cards – with my Mom and enjoying a refreshment.

The spa is excellent; the garden pool, adult only, features a lovely heated pool and hot tub along with one of the original hot springs.  The aqua thermal suite is the perfect place for an afternoon and then a massage.  There is also a gym, indoor pool, and, in the warm weather, a family pool with a lazy river.

I would be remiss if I failed to mention the food.  It is spectacular.  I feel like I roll away when I leave the table.  The breakfast buffet leaves nothing to the imagination.  Dinner options do not disappoint.  The wedge salad at Jefferson’s is a favorite.  I’ve eaten in the dining room, formal, Jefferson’s, casual, room service, and Sam Sneeds.  Each meal was to die for.

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makeup and skin care · Travel

Skin Care and Travel? What’s your regime?

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With TSA limitations and a desire to carry on my makeup, I’m always looking for travel sizes, plastic tubes and a way to keep up my skin care.  I tend towards dehydration when I travel.  My skin seems thirsty and craves moisturizer.  I continue to try to slim down what I use but when I pack, it seems like everything and the kitchen sink.

What do I use?  My everyday routine is the same and I try for simple.  Sunday’s routine is my pamper routine and a bit more complex.  My Monday through Saturday routine begins with the basics

  • Serum – I use the Chanel’s sublimage serum.  I’ve used Chanel since I was in my twenties.  My skin is sensitive to many ingredients and, in particular, some of the more natural ones. That’s unfortunate but rather than feeling like I’ve had a chemical burn and running for meds, I’ll opt for things that work for me.
  • Moisturizer –  My go to is Chanel’s le lift.  Recently I’ve tried La Prairie’s Cavier for night.  It is wonderful but a bit heavy for me.
  • Eye cream – This is an everyday, morning and night, must for me.  Carmen impressed upon me early on the importance of using an eye cream.  I’ve tried many, including Le Mer and Chanel’s but my  “go to” here is the La Prairie.
  • Gel cleanser  – I opt for the Chanel sublimage at night. I love the cleanser and it removes eye makeup easily.
  • Weezie’s towels  – I love the navy towels that are perfect for removing makeup.  Plus, they are fun with the eyelashes embroidered on them.29100D90-9BCE-4510-A45A-1342FFC74408
  • Toner – I follow cleanser with toner.
  • Vitamin E gel – I love the Jo Malone vitamin e gel for my cuticles and hands, especially in the winter.
  • Body lotion –  I’ve used a range from Creme de corp to Jo Maone’s body creme.  I’m not picky here.  I confess that is because I’ve yet to find my “holy grail” of lotion.  It is fun to continue to look.

When I travel, I focus on serum, moisturizer, eye creme and cleanser.  I tend to use whatever the hotel provides for hands and feet.  I also carry Chanel’s handcream in my tote.  Carmen, at BG, is wonderful to me.  She is always up for travel size samples to get me through TSA and travels.  Thanks to her I can keep up my regime even when I’m on the go.

Decorating · Fashion · interior design

The incredible light bulb

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I’m on a decorating kick.  Last year I purchased a well-preserved arts and crafts style home originally built in 1919.  The first floor is in wonderful condition but the second floor needs some TLC.  I’m slowly working on it one piece at a time.

My latest discovery is the crystal lightbulb.  I “borrowed” this idea from a dear friend.The bulbs look like cut crystal.  They are slightly more expensive than your regular bulb but if you are looking for an inexpensive way to “kick it up a notch”, this is it. The bulbs are available on Amazon and Lowe’s.

I love them in my bathroom fixture.  The shine through the glass shades highlighting the cut “crystal”.  They also look beautiful when you look up at the light.  Instead of viewing a naked bulb you see this beautiful “crystal”.  Something so simple as this small detail and it makes such a difference.

 

Decorating · Home · interior design · Organization

Project Bedroom

 

 

7C1C0672-2BAA-4D9C-91DC-64CC5CCA67A9I’m in the process of decorating a bedroom.  As the only girl for multiple generations, I am fortunate to possess a number of family pieces.  Also, growing up in the piedmont of North Carolina, or furniture country, there was access to wonderful pieces and a great selection of furniture.  This time, however, I decided to start with an empty room and see where it leads me.

Thus far I painted the room in my favorite color, pointing, by Farrow and Ball.  I’ve used this color previously and love it.  There is something I love about Farrow and Ball paint and this color is the perfect “white”.  It is more of a cream than a dead white.  It has just enough color to have “body”.  Cameron at Palette in Charlottesville, is amazingly helpful with the paint.  With her help I selected the finish and the color.

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My inspiration piece is a blanket I found during a recent trip to Scotland.  It is this beautiful white, black and pink Scottish plaid.  Even better, it will pick up on the black I painted the sunroom/office walls.

I discovered this beautiful black floral fabric at The Second Yard.  With their help, I’ve designed an upholstered headboard.  It is perfect with the blanket.

I love repurposing what I have.  It is my version of shopping my closet.  By chance I discovered that the lamps in my sunroom are perfect with the headboard fabric  I swapped out the shades from white drum to black oval.  I wanted a slightly smaller shade/ footprint for the lamp in this room.

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I’m also focusing on small details to pull the room together and update it.  For under five dollars, I replaced the pulls on the radiator cover.  Now they look “today” and will fit with the overall look I want for the room.  They also pick up the metal in the fun new fire screen I purchased.

 

I love a living plant in a room.  I tend to have a black thumb.  My Dad used to say a funeral prayer everytime my Mom or I purchased a plant.  I seem to be able to keep orchids alive so I opt for orchids.  Ivy Nursery is wonderful and a great collaborator.

I’m currently debating furniture.  I have one chair and a desk in there now.  I’m debating both.  Stay tuned, this is the fun part.

 

 

Family · Home · Organization · Uncategorized

Mom’s Rules

 

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Last weekend I happened across one of those tv shows on organization.  I was intrigued.  I am always looking for tips to better organize my life; so I thought, why not?  I confess this particular show merely stressed me out.  In fairness there were good tips but I couldn’t get past the basic disaster of the house.  More than anything it made me think of my Mom.  I know there is the old saying that as you grow up you become your parent.  In this case, I think I’m proud of that.  My Mom had a beautiful home always perfectly maintained, her own business that she impeccably ran, as well as filling the role of mother and wife of fifty plus years.  In the days where women are supposed to have it all and do it all, she did and made it seem effortless.  It’s made me ask the question of how did she do it all?  It’s not like she was exhausted or gave up her own life.  She did do it all.  So how?  I think the secret is in the rules she imposed as I grew up.  So Mom’s rules –

  • Make your bed when you get out of it in the morning.  It only takes a second and it is done for the day.
  • Where is the item’s home?  It is easier to put [name whatever it is – laundry, dishes, books, paper] it in its proper place the first time rather than moving it multiple times.  Another variation on this rule is where does it live?  Everything should have its proper place and be put in it before you go to bed at night.
  • Hang up your towels.
  • Dirty laundry in the hamper.
  • Hang up your clothes when you take them off.
  • Fold the laundry as you take it out of the dryer.  It has less wrinkles that way.  For those things that you only partially dry, alter this rule to fold the laundry when dry.
  • Leave the room straight when you are finished for the day.  That means everything back where it came from with dishes in the dishwasher, blankets folded and put away, remotes in their proper place.
  • Deal with mail when you take it out of the mailbox.
  • Have a clean sink when you go up to bed or no dirty dishes in the sink.
  • If it does not fit or you never wear it, donate it to someone who can use it.

 

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These are the rules Mom imposed on our daily life.  It worked for her and it seems to work for me. Are there rules that you live by that permit you to organize your life?