Saturday, February 26, 2011

Gearing-up for Fun n' Festively-Preppy Weddings...

Preppies happily mix work with pleasure...gracious wedding events style
Preppies delight in finding their style featured... in a wedding magazine

Preppies can find a Lowcountry or Beachy-casual wedding dress at...

...Lilly Pulitzer where there's also pink n' green wedding guest frocks

Preppies can do wedding top hats and Kate Middleton feather caps (How much fun is this photo booth rental? One of the vendor-items at today's local wedding event show! Hadta' check it out during a break...but of course)

The season's gearing up the holiday debutante' season there always comes, but of course, the Wedding Season fast on the heels of Valentines!

After having been a bridesmaid more times than I can remember, having had my own big white tie formal wedding, having been in the country club wedding hostess arena for years and now working special events and fashion shows for a national retailer who has a huge focus on all-things-Bridal n' so utterly beautifully southern, well.... it's quite obvious that I indeed really do enjoy all these Wedding Seasons year after year. They're primarily spring and autumn based seasons; that being said, however, year-round there's always a lot of wedding inspirations within the fashion, home decor', floral, catering and other related industries.

This year we've been having such a blast with wedding events: our Spring Engagement Party kicked-off this current wedding season and today we were at a local Bridal Showcase where we had a table stacked with wondrous wedding things and information plus I produced the fashion show. Well, actually two fashion shows: since this was a long-afternoon event, the organizers wanted a repeat of the show to catch the bevvy of brides and their wedding party attendants, grooms, parents and such who were coming in towards the latter part of the day. I didn't mind at all doing the fashion show's coordinating and commentating twice in one afternoon- no problem and what fun!

Being an individual who's a hopeless romantic, loves all things beautiful, adores flowers and has enjoyed her own happy state of matrimony for (as of this coming April) 20 years so far n' so good.... I really, really like the planning of weddings, the going-to weddings and the lovely things n' people of weddings however...I'm through with being-in weddings. Now in my 40's, I've been there and done that with being in bridal parties but I just sooo love being a guest! The dressier the wedding, oh, the more fun I have in getting ready to go to it.

One thing I've noticed over the past three decades of my lifetime where weddings have so very much been in my world n' worldview is how wonderfully personalized they are becoming. It's a trending that I warmly welcome as brides and grooms and sometimes even entire families can tweak their wedding theme, focus, details and so forth as to what means the most to them. Weddings have gone beyond the basics of choosing the month, the colors and the flowers. Weddings now include personalization down to the typeset font desired for the embroidered monograms stitched into the backs of reception chairs' linen coverings! It's amazing what-all can be so uniquely personalized and after this afternoon's perusing of the bevvy of vendors in the show's big exhibit hall between my fashion shows, I'm even more amazed at the level of individualism a wedding can now have and so elegantly express- wow.

Of course, anything relating to Elegant, Elegantly-Preppy or just Outright-Preppy always catches my eye. Imagine my smile then when I opened the latest issue of a great wedding magazine, Charleston Weddings where on pages 100 and 101 there's a theme photo and idea spread for "True Prep"...yes, alrighty then! LOVE IT!

This particular wedding-focused publication has definitely proven quite well its title's byline of: the essential guide for every Lowcountry bride. It is one absolutely gorgeous magazine and by nature of all things Lowcountry, Charleston Weddings exudes prettily-Preppy on about every single one of its pages including the advertising. I save my issues of this for floral arrangements and entertaining inspiration but also in the hopes that when James and I reach our 25th Anniversary in five years, that we'll throw an elegant party out by the marsh celebrating all things romantic.....

It's such a personal pleasure within my daily living experience when an area of living that I personally really enjoy as an individual also is an ongoing work area within my career.

Do what you love and I'd add, "...within all the lovely" to the fortunate work-experiences I've experienced within the wedding industry throughout the years. Viva romantic love, ahhh!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Blog Tagging...5 Things I Can't Live Without

My Bible...this one's a pretty Preppy-ish one indeed...
My Passport...have passport, will totally-travel! To Paris last spring...

Gardening... in all the ways that I possibly, our kitchen garden

Dobermans...loyal, devoted and truly sweet companions...

Girlfriends...true treasures and the only "sisters" I'll ever have...

Thank you to LC from Walking in High Cotton, for tagging me with the 5 Things You Can't Live Without...

It has been a lot of fun to see what-all people are posting up to include within this...

Since many bloggers have done the very practical daily items they can't live without like cell phones, handbags, water bottles, computers, lipsticks and such, I decided to frame my response posting towards the theory that if these particular five things were taken away from my experience with the living of life, that as a result, I'd seriously fail-to-thrive. (Aside from the obvious food, water, shelter, clothing, family etc of course...that goes without saying eh?)

Without further ado, here are my 5 things I simply now can't live without from the photos above:

My Bible. This one is an amazingly-Preppy pink, green and fun floral leather NIV I found in our church's bookstore a couple of years ago. It cheerily sits on my bedside table and I don't underline or take notes in it like my other Bibles so it remains a very "fresh read" for whenever I just want to pick it up and peruse through it....Psalms, Proverbs and the Old Testament prophets are some of my favorite books to just read leisurely. So far, I've read through the Bible three times and have been in numerous Bible Studies and ever n' always, there's something directly life-applicable for me within its wisdom. My spirituality is completely central to my life.

My Passport. I have been a traveling-gal since the minute my parents let me begin to leave home to go to sleepovers, to vacation with my girlfriends' families, to go to camp, to head off to college over a thousand miles away and to travel internationally. So far, I've now traipsed around over 30 countries and have gone through 4 passports. Last year James and I had a blast going to Paris, Toronto and out to Hawaii for two weeks. Every other year I head down to Australia to visit family n' friends for a month. One of my favorite places to visit has been Austria where I'm dyin' to take James and have managed to get myself there three times so far. I can't imagine not being able to travel but when I'm too old or feeble for it anymore, at least there'll be many many great travel-memories and photos to enjoy from those times-past.

My Gardening. This is another very-central-to-who-I-am thing I don't think I could live without. James jokes that even if I was living in a mud hut with a dirt floor, there'd be some kind of green thing growing, flower blooming even if it was dandelions...this is very true. Flowers and things-green really nourish my soul. Even before I had my own house and yard, gardens n' kitchen gardens I would be dragging houseplants all around with me from my childhood room to a few in college dorm rooms. Once married and in my first home, boy howdy, did this penchant for plants really begin to bloom! Interspersed within my bevvy of traditional houseplants are the orchids I cultivate, the bulbs I pack into pots to bloom off-season, the herbs I enjoy adding scent on sunny windowsills and various flowering small plants. Outside currently it's a big ole' 5-acre area out here on this island that I enjoy keeping fairly woodsy as well as have a small rose garden bed, a three-raised bed mid-sized kitchen garden with vegetables/herbs/cutting flowers and then assorted flower pots n' planters scattered around on porches and by the brick fire pit marshside sitting area as well. My dream-house is actually an English Conservatory "house" attached or detached to whatever final cottage James and I retire in ;)

My Doberman. It has been such a joy and truly an honor to be the "mother" of our late beloved Duchess and now for our current sweet fella' Kanon. Dobermans are such wonderful dogs who are loyal and incredibly family-oriented all the while independent in a good way, super observant, of elegant stature and just plain ole' fun! I never dreamed of having a doberman as a pet until James surprised me with Duchess many years ago...literally surprised me and I haven't looked back since. I may still at some point in my life also bring into our family an English Springer Spaniel, Boykin Spaniel or King Charles Spaniel, the kind of dog I'd like to have as well but for now, I simply can't imagine my life ever not including a Doberman within it.

My Girlfriends. Being the only-girl of my generation...yes, in my life it's been brothers and boy cousins and also...having the closest female blood-relative now to me being my 10 year old niece Amelia, gosh do I really cherish my girlfriend "sisters" and sister-in-laws. It's so great having females of my age, or thereabouts, whom I can laugh with, cry with, joke with, shop with, ski with, sit out on the beach with and alla' that good stuff. When my mother passed away seven years ago, so many of my girlfriends literally moved-mountains to be with me on her funeral day. Two even flew down from Wisconsin in time to make the funeral here in Beaufort, drove down to Bonaventure in Savannah for the burial then stayed over until late into night at our house back out here on the island even though they had an early flight out of the Savannah Airport the next morning and one had her infant daughter with her as those are sisters indeed! I treasure my girlfriends from near, from far, from childhood now on into my mid-adulthood, from family, from friendship, from career, from church, from blogging and so on and so forth and heck, from just ole, "gosh, she seems neat...I'd like to get to know her better". You guys, er gals, are the BEST!

And so, those are my 5 Things I Can't Live Without for your perusal...

Please feel free to reply post with your own listing if you wish...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Pansies can indeed be Perfectly Preppy

Pondering planting pansies on a pretty winter afternoon...
Kanon gives the pansies a sniff-test and they are "approved"

Hanging-pansies cheer up the dulled winter vines on the porch

Our doberman basks in, and guards, the pansies on the porch...

Pansies and pillows add softening to the marsh pit's seating area

A big bumble bee snoozes away perched on a pansy, bzzz...zzz

Sweet-faced pansies and assorted violas are not the flowers that come immediately to mind for me as being uber-Preppy as the likes of heirloom roses, peonies and orchids in porcelain cache pots automatically do. Pansies can be quite "pedestrian" when they're used in municipal building landscaping beds or set out into small, pathetic little rows much too near a house's perimeter shrubbery.

However, when tucked into planters, decorative pots and cottage window boxes with some ivy vines and moss trimming, pansies become much much Preppier and add such delightful cheer year-round but especially so in the midst of winter.

Another nice way to utilize pansies is to use them as a colorful rimming around decorative green n' purpled cabbage within kitchen gardens and also yes, in container planting as well.

This past weekend, the various planters out at the island house really needed some refreshing. It's far too early to put out the casual wildflowers and flowering vines that I like to add into these floral groupings on our front porch, near the garage and also out by the marsh side firepit area. We have warm weather and blue sunny skies at the moment out here but there's always, always another cold spell that hits us before April finally brings warmth-consistency. And so, a few flats of pansies fit the bill perfectly.

It was a wonderful lazy-ish Saturday afternoon then for my dog Kanon and I as he supervised my refreshing of the planters. Under a brilliant blue sky and in the mid-70's with a gentle ocean breeze, this created the perfect setting to enjoy getting my hands into pansies n' potting soil.

We took our time with lotsa' sitting around, Kanon rolling around in the grass and even a bumblebee thwarting our finishing up one planter pot as he buzzed onto a pansy and then spent the afternoon seemingly snoozing away on it in the sunshine...

What a wonderful respite kind of day and activity in the midst of this winter!

Even if you can't plant or refresh with pansies where you live, putting a dollar's worth 6-pack of them into a terracotta pot and perching it on your kitchen windowsill will certainly add a cheerful touch within what has been for many folks, a very long, cold, snowy or rainy wintertime indeed.
Bring on the pansies and bring a bit of floral sweetness into your wintertime days....

Friday, February 18, 2011

21st Century Postmodern June Cleaver-ism: The New Domesticity

June Cleaver would so her pearls of wisdom...
...this at-home Neo-Dior new-look but she'd be surprised... see it going out the door for outside the home work as well!

Between girlfriends' posts on blogs, Facebook and emails... it seems there's a New Domesticity about...

Preppies and non-Preppies alike are not relegating themselves to being "only career women", "just staying at home" or "mainly ladies who lunch...and play tennis" anymore. Everyone seems to not only be rejecting all too simple-labeling of themselves and their lifestyles but also to honestly be actual multi-faceted women.

Suffice it to say, I really like this trending. The 21st Century Woman can no longer be labeled!

We are much more than just what we "do", who we "care for" and what we're "interested in".

After doing a very non-scientific research polling of my girlfriends and female acquaintances, it looks like most of the women I know who are aged about late 20's to mid-50's are faceted in the following way: either working full time, part-time or have a sideline that brings in money; caring also for children, parents/grandparents and/or a bevy of dogs, horses and such; either in graduate school, going back to school or doing some kind of additional learning, certification; do some sort of church, community, children's'-events, civic clubs or other type of volunteering; is actively interested in something like athletics/fitness, the arts, gardening, book clubs and such; is fashionable to some degree no matter what's the personal styling; is married or is in a serious relationship or is really looking for a serious relationship; leans towards some form of domesticity.

This last facet of the 21st Century Woman fascinates me....

June Cleaver would be chuckling to herself by this point in time after her 1950's all-things-domestic heyday was "rejected" by the Mods, the Hippies, the Career Girl and Working Woman arising in the late 1970's and dressing like their male counterparts by the 80's, the Punks, the Yuppies, the Slackers, the Laura Ashley Romantics and the Nouveau-Preppies, the Grungers, the Tree Huggers and today's Yoga Moms, Super Have-it-All Women, and so on and so forth.

For despite all of the incarnations a woman of today may choose to style herself and her life from, despite all of the ready-made products out there now and the multitude of service providers available at any one's beck n' call, despite graduate degrees and business awards and playing power politics as well as any man...many, many women still find such valued reward in tending hands-on to their particular versions of hearth n' home.

I know so many women who truly enjoy the domestic arts of baking, cooking, sewing, knitting, needlepoint, houseplants, gardening etc as well as actually wanting to sweep, wipe down counters, set the table and so on. And the majority of these are not full time stay-at-home folks.
One of my ole' college buddies is a great example of this: a full time career woman who juggles her job and assorted community n' church activities with raising her children and spending time with her husband all the while running regularly up a storm. I always enjoy seeing her picture-postings of what she terms "food porn" on Facebook. Beautiful baked goods, delicious looking lasagnas and gourmet fish dishes, very pretty appetizers and on n' on.....

June Cleaver would not only be proud, she'd be gobsmacked!

Another college buddy and fellow sorority sister of mine has her graduate degree in science and has translated this into a homesteading project which blends science, environmentalism, gardening, art, blogging and a learning center with also tending to her family and coordinating her husband's art work gallery pieces n' shows as well.

June Cleaver would not only be impressed, she'd be intrigued!

My own adult life path has seen seemingly-contrasting multi-facets within it over the past twenty years involving a business management career on local, district and corporate levels along with a professional writing career as well having written a fashion column, aviation columns and now this blog, producing fashion shows and merchandising for three different retailers, one graduate degree down and one left to go, caregiving for family members, decorating and tending to four homes so far, a penchant for needlepoint and puttering around the house, cultivating way too many houseplants n' orchids and working now my third kitchen-herb raised bed garden and of course fly fishing n' skiing as much as possible all the while traveling to now over thirty different countries.

June Cleaver would go, dang girl!

The 21st Century Woman can indeed still wear her pearls, Dior full-skirts with short coat tops and heels all the while baking away in her kitchen, running the local charity sale, running the kids around, running a business, running a business meeting and heck, running the world.

Sometimes yes, we literally can't do it all, period, or do it all at one time but we all can do most all of the choices that are important to us...

Hillary Clinton's quip about just staying home and "baking cookies" was so 20th Century wasn't it? In this 21st Century you bet that indeed we can bake cookies no matter what our daily life involves and what's more, we can actually really enjoy doing this too!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Island Evenings...wintertime, springtime, anytime

On the dock with the dogs... a typical evening on our island...
Jump out the jeep...into the yard and...enjoy the sunset over the water

One of the nicest things about living out here on a quiet island in the Lowcountry is the returning-to-it in the evenings after busy days of work, errands, being out with friends and such....

It takes two bridges and driving across another island to reach our tiny two-laned bridge and cross over onto this island. Some folks "in town" think that we're soooo far out here but honestly, the about 15 to 20 minute drive it takes me to get home from town is far less driving time than it used to take me to drive across Charlotte, NC for some errand or other activity when we lived there.

From the bridge, our small locals-marina and a few docks can be seen in the midst of the shaggy fringe of trees which rims the island. Wonderfully wooded and completely residential, this place is such a refuge from the condo-resort-cafe-convenience store-golfing commercialized islands that surround us. Our atmosphere and reality is the complete opposite of a Hilton Head, Fripp or Kiawah. All islands are nice but of course; we're just the pear it seems in the midst of a lotta' apples n' oranges out there.

Our typical evenings out here are different as well. Many are the impromptu dock parties, marsh side firepit gatherings and community oyster roasts: thrown together in an utterly simple way, they are a far cry from catered events and gourmet deli proferrings. But for me, best of all are the quiet evenings...

Standing out by the marsh in our yard watching the sun set and the tide come in is so like a spa-moment of relaxing "ahhh" after just driving up from a busy day in town. Tonight I snapped the picture above minutes after stepping out of our jeep. The colors of the sunset weren't really quite captured within this picture but I can attempt to describe the wondrous rose and lavender hues streaked with an oranged-pink overlaying undertones of slate blue: so stunning!

Another favorite evening "just doing nothing around the island" is when James and I take our dog Kanon over to the beach here. Many times we walk by one of our friends' houses and pick up their dog, Kanon's good buddy Cotton to join us as well as her owners if they're in the mood for a jaunt down the long dock and then out onto the beach. The first photo here on this post is one such evening recently that we enjoyed together.

Later this winter-into-spring, Kanon and I (and sometimes James as well) will be enjoying evenings weeding and watering our kitchen and herb garden beds by the marsh. As long as the sea breezes lightly blow keeping those pesky no-see-ums gnats at bay, getting around to some garden chores as the sun begins to set will be quite pleasurable as always.

Cross over the bridge, hop out of the car and....there's ever the island-evening-ahead....

Friday, February 11, 2011

And Speaking of "Following"'s what I follow

Woman at Computer...blogging and following blogs: a PostModern portrait

Speaking of "Following" blogs...

On my blog's sidebar area, the blogs which I follow and check-in on from time to time and...occasionally post comments here n' there to... are listed under the My Blog Favorites section. (These are listed quite randomly, in no particular order and they all are definitely "favorites" :)

After perusing through tons and tons of the blogs existing out there which are related to Preppy, Southern Preppy, Aesthetics, Lifestyling, Gardening, Literature n' Art n' Fashion n' Culture-in-general and other such categories as these, I made a decision to continually fine-tune edit down to what were the most (to me personally and perhaps to my blog's readers as well) interesting, edifying, positive-toned, better-written and fairly frequently written-posted as well as having a touch of information/history/personal expression coming through about the author themselves but definitely not in any way being waaay-too-much-information if you know what I mean like how those tell all, show all blogs out there can (embarrassingly Jerry-Springer-like) be....and so I continue to be somewhat choosy as to what I read and as to what I recommend others checking into...

What's really great is when close friends of mine begin to set up and write their own blogs- how very exciting!

Here's one that's just out of the starting gates this week:

I am all-for gardening inspiration and information as anyone knows who has followed my blog along as I post here n' there about what's blooming out n'about on this island. My girlfriend's blog is about such things as well as including topics relating to Homesteading, Community Cooperatives, Art and such...really really neat and I hope that we all can both encourage and enjoy her blogging.
(The above graphic art image is credited to Wikimedia Commons)
Okay, getting back-out-there into the blogsphere and again, thank you my Followers! Best, Lachlan

Thank You so very much to my blog's Followers!

The Preppy Islander's Blog Followers are a sophisticated, well-dressed bunch!

WOW... it's wonderful to see now that there's 50 people following this blog :) Thank you so very much to my Followers who've signed-up to follow with me along this journeying of mine into all things Southern Lowcountry Preppy and then some...

I truly appreciate your interest, your post comments and the friendships n' support that my fellow bloggers and I give one other within this virtual realm of blogging.

What started out as a response to my wearing of a Preppy madras skirt to our island's annual Fourth of July Parade has turned into one of the greatest pleasures of my adult life...musing, researching and then writing about what it is to be a Southern Preppy living on a barrier island out here in the South Carolina Lowcountry culture. It has also been such fun to reminisce about my southern upbringing and the socio-cultural parameters which have shaped, and still do shape, my life. As well, I've tried to bring into this blog current Preppy information, fashions, news and musings which relate to our shared "here and now" life experiencing...

Each year as this blog grows and finds its way, I'm trying to post more frequently as well as sequence posts for a general scattering of musings, information and interests which will hopefully keep my Followers and other readers feeling that when they check out this blog every so often, there's always something which they personally can find relatable, enjoyable and amusing to look at and read through.

I am always welcome to your suggestions n' ideas and please do send them in...
Oh, and any time you want to reference this blog within your own blog, add it to your own favorites blog listing and just feel like passing it on to like-minded friends, please feel free to do so: I'm all about sharing all-things Preppy, pretty and positive around within our global blogsphere...

One of the things I can promise you all is that I am not going to commercialize this blog into one with lots of advertising in the sidebar, too many "look what you can buy" posts, constant here's another blogger's convention info link or such things like that. Mine's not consumerism-focused or professional-blogger tooled, it's rather an extension of my creative writing, sharing my very personal life-expression that's going on as well being overall a lot more cultural-creative driven.

Thank you all again and happy blog-reading, blog-posting and blog-writing out there, Lachlan

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Preppy's Car Interior... Ya' just can't hide the-Preppy!

Pink and Green is on the scene...of a car's interior!

I really had to laugh the other day... sometimes ya' just can't "hide the-Preppy" of yourself when it comes to the day to day living tableaus which define a person even when they're not conscious of this until, like I was, a Preppy setting caught my eye as I was getting out of the car yesterday.

Reaching into the passenger side of my car to get my water bottle and the shoes I use for physical therapy sessions lately with my back, I was struck with how the individual items I was ready to take out were so obviously Preppy. So it was a quick click of my cell phone's camera, a chuckle at myself and eventually, this blog post.

Hmm, this seems kinda' like it was when our family moved up north to Wisconsin for awhile for Dad's career and certain words I'd say would betray my Georgia-girl true roots and so likewise these few items are saying "Preppy" visually:

Glaring-white are my Tretorns but of course! I've worn this particular brand of tennis shoe since my junior high days of both playing tennis very-badly and also being a cheerleader. Replacement versions of these always-all-white Tretorns have followed me through high school cheerleading, college sorority days and on into adulthood. One of my favorite ways to wear these shoes are being paired up with kacki shorts, a white Ralph Lauren polo shirt, my short pearl necklace and smaller-sized pearl stud earrings and.....a deep, late summer tan to be sure.....

Next up visually perhaps is the quite-bright floral Vera Bradley fabric paperback book cover that's perched atop a Veranda magazine and our local fun-freebie lifestyle paper I pick up either at the grocers or our tiny local library. I have two of these Vera Bradley book covers: one's this particular one for spring/summer and the other one's more autumn/winter color toned. I've given these as presents to many girlfriends and wish that the company was still making them.

Finally, there's my "L" monogrammed water bottle that is my go-to hydration each day. Every morning I refresh the water in it and every night I take it back into the house to rinse out...a very practical and pretty answer to the plastic-bottles dilemma. When you put water into something like this from a water filter pitcher that's chilling in the refrigerator, simplicity reigns.

Oh isn't it all too true? Once a Preppy, ever always a Preppy?

Peer into the interior of a car upon occasion it seems......

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

February's Friviolities... Preppy, Pretty and Practical

A tableau of fine n' fun friviolities gathered this month to enjoy....
Where the calla lilly bulbs have been adding to the atmosphere here...

Remember my post about Cheerful Cash...the hundred dollars I am limiting myself to spending for just-for-fun fancies each month of this year? (See Spring Pretty and Pretty Thrifty Too! Perfectly Pretty from the Saturday, January 22 post)

Well, here's a snapshot of this month's "February's Friviolities": 8 days and $80.00 in so far.

It's funny that last month, it was towards the end that I cheerfully spent the budgeted cash fun-money and it only totaled up to $70.00...obviously each month will be different.

This month's tally so far is the following:

A great no-name-brand Trench Coat in a tuliped-purple hue that I wish I would have had with me while in Paris last spring! It has a detachable liner and hood and since I literally live in smart, structured lightweight jackets here in the late winter and early spring, this is a savvy buy at thirty whole dollars after the sale price plus my employee discount-yes, score!

Tucked in the trench coat's arm is a book I found at our small, locally-owned bookstore here in town which looks quiet interesting and for two dollars, why not? It's "Deep In The Familiar- Four Life Rythems" by Joan Cannon Borton. The author is a Benedictine oblate who leads workshops on writing and spirituality and if she's anything akin to one of my favorite writers within this genre', Kathleen Norris, then this'll be a very well spent two bucks indeed.

Placed on top of the book is an elegant Sterling Pin/Pendant that I've been espying in one of our local antique stores since December. Very vine scrolled n' intertwined William Morris styled, I can see me wearing this a lot since I like bright, bold silver pieces and do wear pins plus can pop this on a strand of smaller-sized pearls, my sterling necklace loop or a velvet band...tres' chic.

Set out next to the trench coat's sleeve is a large bottle of Cherry Blossom & Almond Oil moisturizing body wash by pure & natural. Having just used-up the body wash I already had this morning in the shower, I needed some anyway and this will be wonderful with it being moisturizing for the wintertime plus organic, biodegradable and in 100% recyclable packaging.

Right next to that are two O.P.I. nail polishes enclosed in the adorable glass cupcake display stand which I bought to set beside my plain glass cake stand in the baking-spot I have here in the kitchen. I really don't like cooking at all but I loooove to bake and so, for nine dollars, it's gracing our countertops now. The nail polishes are so spring-fun in my usual lighter ballet-pink tones I wear in this newest shade, "It's A Girl!" and then the funkier, deep orchid hue, "Pompeii Purple".

Finally, brightening up my interiors lately are these calla lilly bulbs now blooming so nicely- this group is in a small opaque glass floral urn I picked up at one of our local charity thrift shops for a whole dollar. Thank goodness for potted bulbs this winter!

And so that's the recap and though I only have twenty dollars left this month (if I so choose to use it) my cheerful cash friviolity so far will definitely be a lasting niceity throughout the month.

Preppy, Pretty and Practical...well mostly practical-ish... I'm likin' this cheerful cash project!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Spring Fashion 2011: Preppy Menswear goes BRIGHT

Spring 2011 Preppy Mens' "Brights" begin Orvis shirt...

...and include a pair of chinos from Brooks Brothers as well as...

...the fresh "New Linen Shirt" so casual-classic from Vineyard Vines and...

...don't forget a Polo polo but of course in a rich, bold hue...

...and heck, a pair of swim sport shorts from L.L.Bean in orange too!

Combining in madras all-three of this season's brights is a Ben Silver tie.

Also, for a dash of wit, a needlepoint belt from Murray's Toggery Shop.

And...tah dah...a final pop of bold color via Sperry's "Bahama" topsiders....

The focus it seems for Preppy Men this coming Spring into Summer is glaringly in lots of very eye catching "Brights"! WOW....

Many bright color tones are prevalent within the wardrobe offerings for the upcoming warmer seasons ahead regarding menswear although it looks like brighter hues of blue, orange and yellow are grabbing the spotlight.

As any Preppy knows all so well, nothing compliments bright tones like a good tan!

I just love it when my James gets tanner and tanner as he's out on the water kayaking and fishing away in between flying planes around. I've been buying him a whole lotta' bright-toned togs to coordinate with his spring/summer/autumn tan skin especially since we returned to the islander environs of the SC Lowcountry here and can happily indulge in wearing tropical-inspired Preppy Brights about year-round. From his beloved fishing shirts to his button-down oxfords to belts and ties, James has dashes of bright hues that I really enjoy seeing him wear.

One of the most recent fresh new trendings for menswear that I hope to purchase and add into James' wardrobe which I think will be great for all Preppy Menfolk to purchase this spring is the "new Casual Linen Shirt"! Less formalized than its stalwart predecessor, the proverbial classic Linen Shirt with its long sleeves and starched-stiff collar, this much more casual styling is just the ticket for topping spring and summer's lighter fabric slacks, shorts, jeans and swimsuits for easy yet still elegant wear. It's not often that one of the great old classics of menswear get nicely tweaked like this wherein a new classic arises for Preppy males to take note of, but I think that we do indeed have quite a catch with this...and I've included a really fun bright blue checked version of it in the above picture from Vineyard Vines' Spring 2011 offerings collection to illustrate how it can be found in not only solid tones but also checked, striped and such.

Go Bright this Spring guys....and don't forget to tan wisely with sunscreen when the weather warms up and you're all out there fishing, sailing, golfing, grilling steaks by the pool and such....

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Spring Fashion 2011: Subtle Pleating is Perfectly Preppy

So pretty, so Preppy and so perfectly "pleats for Spring 2011"... Talbots
Pleats at the bodice with a Lilly Pulitzer blouse this spring...

Vineyard Vines offers up this sweet skirt with pleating at the waist

Pleats add to tassles add to white leather for a Brooks Brothers' spring

A pleated tote from Vera Bradley- such subtle pleating indeed... Pleating effects with a bow-cuff bracelet offered by Kate Spade

Amid all of the various Spring 2011 Collection trends n' trinkets sprouting up recently, one of the small but quite potent details I find most pleasing and perfectly fitting into the landscape of All Things Preppy is the subtle pleating defining many items this coming season...

Subtle pleating is pretty, feminine, quietly statementing and perfect for the mostly classic-tailoring so loved and so well-worn by Preppies everywhere.

It's the in-between embellishment that middles absolutely tailored and on the other side of the spectrum, ruffles. I absolutely loved the flat, French-inspired ruffles from last spring's fashion offerings and will certainly keep using the pieces I purchased with that trending last year for years to come since they're romantically classic. As will be with this subtle pleating...

Enjoy adding in this spring's fashion offerings to the wonderful wardrobe I know you all have....

Spring 2011 Fashion: How to Prep, How not to Prep

A Spring 2001 "Look" that's soooo incredibly Preppy-Don't!
A Spring 2011 "Look" that's a definite Preppy-Do!

Likewise for women...a Spring 2011 "Look" that's such a Preppy-Not!

And here's a Spring 2001 "Look" that's perfectly-Preppy indeed!
(The above photos are from Brooks Brothers and Lilly Pulitzers' Spring 2011 Collections)

So far, so good....everything I've seen so far for this Spring's 2011 fashion trends has been pretty, polished and a whole lot of it is wonderfully Preppy!

But there's Preppy and then there's, um, well, an interpretation of Preppy that's anything but!

Oh my, even the stalwarts of all-things-perfectly-Preppy can go amiss when they're trying to be a bit more fashion-forward, quirky, cutesy and all those other kind of descriptives that can become all too comical indeed as these "Not To Do" photos above showcase all too well.

Can you believe that these "Not To Do" photos are actually from the current Spring 2011 Collections of Brooks Brother's menswear and Lilly Pullitzer's womenswear? Shocking at first and then disappointing but thankfully, the other two photos of perfectly-Preppy looks are also from the same purveyors so we'll forgive them a slip-up every now and then. Thank goodness it's a rare enaction of "every now and then"!

The first photo of a menswear look just goes waaaay too caricature-Preppy to be believable. Too many all-too-distinctive Preppyfied elements are in play here and the result is quite garish indeed. Any real Preppy well knows that when one wears such an obvious wardrobe item as these pink whale-motif pants are, every other piece of this outfit should go "neutral" in deference to the bold statement these pants are making. Obviously, with this er, Spring Look from Brooks Brothers, it's just simply, and horribly, about piling on the statements galore'! This is wannabe/tourist Prep and no true Prep would be caught dead or alive wearing such a garish ensemble.......

However, from the same Brooks Brothers collection comes the photo just below which is exactly what a real Preppy male would put together this spring: clean, classic and with subtle undertones but still exuding Preppy to those who understand, and actually live our cultural vernacular.

As well, the photo duo above from Lilly Pulitzer illustrates how to spot the crucial difference between what is a messy, ill-suited and clashing interpretation of using a bold print for Spring within a woman's wardrobe as contrasted to a perfectly polished styling that is Preppy-pleasing.

One thing that so many Preppy wannabees don't realize is that, barring typical teenage angst and their all too typical protestations generation after generation, no true Preppy would purposefully go around looking disheveled in public. Now while busily gardening, when out on one's sailboat, walking along the beach, layering-up for a dove hunt, yes those are reasons for not being perfectly neat but otherwise, no. Yes, us Preppies do wear bold colors and layered patterns but this er, look is no look at all, it's just what looks to be some college student who woke up and threw on whatever was on her dorm floor before brushing her hair, hmmm. Pass!

In contrast, the other look from Lilly Pulitzer conveys the polished, proper and perfectly layered while wearing a bold print savvy we all expect from our fellow Preppies.

This Spring and every spring for us Preppies is not about over-kill or messy-fying our Preppy fashion classics, not at all.

It's all about enjoying the pretty and the handsome palette of springlike color tones, fabrications and tailoring and but of course, always being the true Preppies that we are.......

*Coming up....... an overview of the Spring 2011 Trends that work well into Preppy Wardrobing*