Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Outdoor Decorating

Well, trying to get my back patio organized. We have been sitting on these uncomfortable wrought iron dining chairs for ...many years. I saw these preppy outdoor fabrics at Ballard Design and fell in love. I have been looking for a black & white stripe and the Arden black updates my look. I am going to purchase round seat cushions in the Arden and cushions for my outdoor sofa and chairs in the black and white stripe. I will keep you "posted". I just added the Chanel sign because it matched.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Jack Rogers, Steven Salario and Stephen Bonnano .........Oh My!

Recent Outlet Purchase

Steven Salario --Tampa

There has been much debate and discussion in the blog-o-sphere about the difference between these three shoe makers. There was also some pretty heated discussion on the blog Biscuits are Never Boring and I lots of bad feelings and opinions out there. I thought I would give my humble thoughts on this subject.

As a business person, the pie that is being fought over is relatively small. Jack Roger posted sales of $1.2 million (I believe US tennis shoe sales are 14.5 billion) and I believe Jack Rogers is the largest seller of these shoes. Jack Rogers seems to be marketing to medium to large retail and Internet stores and is very successful. Dividing 1.2 million by an estimated cost of $20 per shoe, that is 60,000 shoes. There was a great video of with the current president of Jack Rogers Shoes that is great to see (JACK ROGERS INTERVIEW) Based on this video, Jack Roger shoes are produced in the US.

On a recent visit to Tampa, I stopped by the Steven Salario outlet store in Tampa near Hyde Park and had a a lot of fun. Some 8 pairs of shoes later, I am a happy camper. My 11 year old daughter snagged several pairs of $5 dollar sandals and a few pairs of of discounted Navajo patterns as well. Of course I spent full dollar to replace my pink and green Navajo loves. This was such a fun store and a great place to visit. Steven Salario is heading down the retail sales route too and is working on updating their website. I purchased the most adorable pair of hot pink driving moccasin that I think I need to get in every color. Steven Salario is a shoe wholesale company and can be seen in better stores throughout the country including Best Dressed Child.

The Address is:

2810 Long St

Tampa, FL 33605

Stephen Bonanno seems to be the love of the Palm Beach and the blog world, and guess what..... they work hard at it. They have a great website, a fun blog, and a nice store in Palm Beach. They also offer creative ideas for personalization which this is really their specialty. This maker has a boutique, personal feel to selling their shoes.

In spite of the small market size, there is a passion by all these manufacturers and customers to really find out who made the originals. I would like to care about this, but I do not think we will ever know the truth nor am I interested in reading any more debate on the subject. To put this in perspective, we are also not talking about cheap imitations here..the quality is "fairly" consistent across companies and it is purely a matter of personal taste and brand preference.

I just order baby blue patent personalized shoes from Stephen Bonanno. Since I have all three shoe brands I am in good shape.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Last summer, I finally broke down and purchased a pair of Crocs for my husband and me. I noticed that Monogram Mama came clean on her blog so I thought I would finally publish my Crocs post.

Crocs remind me of Earth Shoes from the 70's (dating myself here) only made out of plastic foamy material... presented in p r e t t y colors. One thing that Crocs have going for them that Earth Shoes and other preppy shoes do not is that .....they are water proof (plus a 100 year life in a landfill)! My Crocs are hot pink with a big pink and green flower on them. I wear them primarily around the house. Also, when you are in the shower at a club, pool or at the beach, I like my feet protected from the unclean elements...also these little numbers hide a less then perfect pedicure.

My husband's Crocs look kind of like LL Bean Boots (ok, not really, but closer than mine) which makes him feel a little better. He wears them to water the flower and herb garden, and in the morning when he runs out across the wet lawn to get the Financial Times and Wallstreet Journal.

My kids love them and wear them to the club in the summer. Mine, for the most part, are kept in the privacy of my home. I guess they have replaced flip flops.

If you have gone over to the dark side or the Croc side, let me know. Unfortunately, there will not be any Earth Day awards for you either if you have.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Preppy Political Style!

Well, we had dinner with a former US Ambassador and his wife at our club on Saturday night. We were discussing how drawn out this political race has been and we were looking forward to the election and hopefully the Inauguration. We have already purchased our Black Tie and Boots Tickets from the Texas Society by the deadline of March 31st. If our candidate looses, we will sell them on eBay. If he or she wins, we are heading for a fun few days in DC.

Even thought the election is rather ugly, that does not mean we have to dress that way. Some of our favorite vendors will make sure we look good.

For high-heel relief under your

Inaugural gown so you can run to the after-parties

Stubbs & Wootton

For the keys to the Country (that's USA)....

To wear election night so there will not be "tie"

Vineyard Vines

Wear these because they are just plain CUTE!

Angela Moore

To wash the candidates, their spouses, their staff or supporter's mouths out-with-soap! Maybe a few news people would benefit from this too.

And something for those independents... so you may have some neutral options too.

A.Tierney Stephen Bonannos

In summary, the author of Freakonomics (great book) had a contest to come up with new slogan for the USA (a more current option). The winner was:


Freakonomics [Revised and Expanded]: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything

Designer Water...Evian

When I am entertaining at our home, I am a little picky about the look of my beverage table.

Several ways to entertain groups of 12 or more:

1. Servers provide drinks and all drinks are filled in a private area (unseen area)

2. Drinks are passed on silver trays

3. Bar area with servers (guest come to the bar area)

4. Bar area that is self -serve (servers clean up only)

When I usually have a large party, regardless if there is a beverage helper or not, I like to have my beverage area look nice. I purchase soft drinks, sparkling and non-sparkling water in glass bottles. Coke, Diet Coke, Spirte and french lemonade, etc. all come in glass bottles. In terms of water, I definitely provide sparkling water in glass bottles and I go back and forth on crystal pitchers of still water or still water in glass bottles. For a dinner party, I definitely serve water in a pitcher.

These Evian bottles are really incredible. I think they are mostly for commerical use but lovely non the less.

If you have any other thoughts to share on your beverage area, please let me know.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Linda & Anita

My little sis and mother-in-law were born today. Happy Birthday!I picked out a cake for each of you!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


Park Avenue Potluck: Recipes from New York's Savviest Hostesses

I am sure that I am not alone on this one, I am not a mass-potluck-kind-of-girl. I love parties and most social functions, but there are good reasons for restaurant inspectors in our society, people are not always careful when they are cooking food. In terms of food preparation, some people do not know any better, others try to get ways with dropping a chicken on the ground then trying to serve it to guests (this is actually a restaurant story), others just are not paying attention that cat is wagging its tail in the batter (while on the counter). If you have ever sampled frosting while making a cake, then my point is made.

Our public elementary school loves in the fall and one in the winter. Three hundred kitchens with 300 different standards. When we go the a school function that are potlucks, my children always eat first and I tell them to not eat the never works though.

On the hand, potlucks with close friends are fine. A friend of mine gave me this book for Christmas and I love it. I thought I would share it with you.

Note: The irony of all this is that when my daughter's private school catered a dinner for french week, several people contracted food poisoning. You never know!