Monthly Archives: November 2012

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections

California Vacationi 2012 389

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I love the clothing designs of Isabel Marant and her blending of French-girl cool with a bohemian attitude. I first saw her designs in the French clothing catalog La Redoute, which I used to order from faithfully, until they discontinued selling in the US…only to begin again a few years ago. I only found out recently, she began her career as a jewelry designer. Jewelry was her foray into the world of design.

Isabel Marant designs under the label that bears her name as well as Etoile (French for “star” which is the symbol on her logo).

I think what I like about her designs are the simple, casual, tomboyish looks combined with a twist of femininity and flair. Below are some of my favorites from the Fall 2012 line. Also, Marant, is still designing jewelry and accessories. If I were making Santa a list this year, both of these…

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful

I am thankful not just for a thing or person but for a way of life. If not for the program, Al-Anon, I am not sure where I would be in this life of mine. It has given me a whole new way of living. As the book says, One Day At A Time aka ODAAT. It has taught me to live in the moment, to accept life on life’s terms, and to keep the focus on myself without blaming others if I am not as happy as I would like to be. I use it in all aspects of my life. I am very thankful to have found Al-Anon at a time in my life where I needed it so desperately but also today when life is good, because I appreciate it all the more.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Green

It usually stays GREEN in Louisiana for most of the year. We have a very short fall and it just goes from summer to winter. On a recent motorcycle ride to neighboring Avoyelles Parish, the sugar cane fields were amass in GREEN stalks. I remember as a child growing up there, chewing the inside of the bottom of the stalk after the hard shell was cut away and tasting the sweet juice, although not understanding how granulated sugar was actually derived from the plant. I still find it fascinating.

One of my favorite songs from Tom Waits.

All The World Is Green
by Tom Waits

I fell into the ocean
When you became my wife
I risked it all aganist the sea
To have a better life
Marie you’re the wild blue sky
And men do foolish things
You turn kings into beggars
And beggars into kings
Pretend that you owe me nothing
And all the world is green
We can bring back the old days again
And all the world is green
The fase forgives the mirror
The worm forgives the plow
The questions begs the answer
Can you forgive me somehow
Maybe when our story’s over
We’ll go where it’s always spring
The band is playing our song again
And all the world is green
Pretend that you owe me nothing
And all the world is green
We can bring back the old days again
And all the world is green
The moon is yellow silver
Oh the things that summer brings
It’s a love you’d kill for
And all the world is green
He is balancing a diamond
On a blade of grass
The dew will settle on our grave(s)
When all the world is green
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I can honestly say I did not know what the word minaudière meant until this year. I don’t even think I had ever seen it written or heard it spoken. And then all of sudden…it is everywhere. Of course that is because a minaudière is part of almost every evening  ensemble in fashion magazines.

According to Wikipedia, minaudière (pronounced mē-nōd-ˈyer) is a women’s fashion accessory, generally considered a jewelry piece, intended to substitute for an evening bag. A case with compartments, it allows storage for several items in a small space, such as a makeup compact, lipstick, watch, reading glasses, or keys.

According to Oxford Dictionaries, the word is French, and literally means ‘coquettish woman’.

The minaudière appeared during the 1930s. Its invention is attributed to Charles Arpels, of Van Cleef & Arpels. They are usually hard-sided and small enough to be nestled in the hand. Some have an attached chain or a lanyard to go around the wrist.

Judith Leiber is a designer that makes some of the most unusual and high-end minaudières. There are vintage ones that are coveted and then there are very affordable newer versions…and everything in between. Some are encrusted in jewels or come in novelty designs from sea creatures to pastries. Others are made of leather, exotic skins, satin, or metallic materials. There truly is a design option for any taste.

Also, if you are a DIY kinda gal…why not make your own. Here is a tutorial from Honestly…WTF.

Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber





Forever 21

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Oxblood – The Color of Fall 2012

Code Name: OXBLOOD

It is THE color of the season. It is dark red with a touch of brown. Think of cranberry or maroon or wine or burgundy or auburn or crimson or scarlet…well you get the picture.

If you are wondering, as I, where the name comes from…it is short for oxygenated blood, the color blood turns to when exposed to air. It is deep, dark, mysterious, and is saturating clothing and makeup this fall. From leather to lipstick, this is the go-to hue of the season. I had my toenails painted a pretty oxblood color today, OPI’s “We’ll Always Have Paris”.

Here are some of my favorite OXBLOOD fashion statements.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Renewal

Seven years after hurricane Katrina, New Orleans is still in a state of renewal.  The city’s nickname, The Big Easy, has come to represent it’s slow, easy-going, laid back attitude and the recovery process has been slow but never easy. And even in it’s continued state of flux, New Orleans remains one of America’s most unusual cities. There is no other like it…the architecture, the food, the people, the culture, the smells, the neighborhoods, the festivals, Mardi Gras…I could go on and on.

I am very proud of my son and the work he is doing with the non-profit agency HandsOn New Orleans as the renewal continues in “America’s Most Interesting City” and it’s most resilient.

I am always enchanted by the colors, ironwork, and plantings in the French Quarter when I visit New Orleans.

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Fashion Faux Pas or Fashion Forward?

A few years ago if someone had suggested to me to wear socks with high heels I would have said no way. What a fashion faux pas – socks were not meant to be worn with pretty, dainty heels. Well, this fashion trend is not going away and it has definitely grown on me.

Being a cold natured girl, socks, stockings, and tights are my fashion best friends when the temperatures drop. So why not pair them up with not just boots and booties but also pretty shoes.

I especially like the over the knee socks.  Here are some of the looks I am loving right now. What do you think, a fashion faux pas or a fun fashion trend?

Cynthia Steffe


Oscar de la Renta on the runway

Oscar de la Renta

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Geometry

GEOMETRY reflected in architecture of Tuscany, Italy.

Castiglion Fiorentino

Castiglion Fiorentino

Chiesa e chiostro di San Francesco

Torre de Cassero

Piazza Grande in Arezzo

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