Welcome back Jmac!

It's funny how things happen. I've always been the kind of person who believes that life doesn't just happen, that I am very much in control of my destiny and my future. If I want something I have to work for it, for it won't just fall into my hands. But now... well, now I am really beginning to wonder... because sometimes things happen that aren't planned. Call it coincidence, fate, divine intervention... call it what you will. I'll just call it lucky.

About a month or so ago I was driving down the Post Road in Westport, Connecticut. The new J.mcLaughlin store, just ahead to my right, was in the process of opening to the public. Right about the time I saw the big OPEN sign my car literally veered off towards their parking lot. A huge fan of their fabulous classic clothing, I hopped out of my car and walked inside where I was greeted by a fireplace, two large and welcoming couches and eye-catching color and decor, and of course, their wonderful merchandise so elegantly displayed. I looked around not sure which part of the company's new 5,000 sq. ft. flagship location to take in first. Suddenly I found myself at the front desk asking for a manager. A tall, pretty blond with blue eyes, dressed in black greeted me with a smile. I asked if, by chance, they were in any need of holiday or part-time help. She seemed to hesitate for a moment, give me the once-over, and then said that they could use the help and then asked if was I flexible to work weekends and evenings. I replied that I was, and the rest we now know is history!

I've been working at the new flagship location for just about a month and loving it. I work with a great group of people. They are hard-working and wonderful, warm and funny. I have never worked in retail. I never imagined myself in a clothing store. And yet, here I am. And life is fabulous.

We celebrated our grand opening yesterday. There was entertainment for the children. There was fabulous food provided by a local cookbook and blog author, The Naptime Chef, and warm cider, wine and beer. Despite the positively miserable weather, the store was packed. There was an amazing ambiance within... there was light and laughter and people were shopping and eating and drinking and having a great time. Mingling with the customers were both Jay and Kevin McLaughlin as well as President and CEO, Steve Seigler.

I, too, was mingling with the customers, getting to know a little about them. One such customer had come all the way from Manhattan, she informed me. She was positively adorable.What a lousy day to travel such distance! As we were chatting I learned that she lived on the Upper East Side. We chatted a bit more before she said "I think I read you blog!" Surely she had confused me with someone else. I asked her which blog that might be, and she replied, The Entertaining House! Why, that is my blog! We both seemed momentarily embarrassed. She asked if that seemed at all stalker-ish and I replied, no, not at all. It was incredibly flattering! I was touched! She said "Oh I just have to tell my husband I met you. He's going to think I'm crazy!" I then learned that she also enjoyed The Entertaining Kitchen, which rather embarrassed me as I haven't had the time and energy to dedicate to that one... She assured me that she enjoyed my recipes and mentioned the ones that she had tried and enjoyed. I then met her husband who was equally as adorable! I wish I had had my camera with me!

 I'll bring you all into the store in the next day or so for a guided tour... meantime, if you are local please stop in and say hi! If you're not so local, please visit the J.McLaughlin company website.

I'm dedicating this entry to Wendy, my new nonstalker-ish friend!