How can a Goliath of Preppy retail steal from the little guy?

In this world of big box stores overrunning and destroying our scenic landscapes and sacrificing quality in order to save a buck, it's nice to see the small craftsman succeed and grow and become successful. That's what America's all about, after all. It's the land of opportunity and the American Dream. It's about being made and sold in America. Not in China or Taiwan or Godknowswhere. But right here in our own backyards.

I saw this photograph on Twitter the other day and it really upset me. Photographed are two belts, one created by hand and the other, no doubt, in some large factory. How can a large Goliath of Preppy Retail steal from the Davids of the industry. Yes, surely imitation is indeed the most sincere form of flattery, but in my skeptical eye this is less about imitation but downright, blatant theft.

When you look closely the true craftsmanship and detail stands out without a shadow of a doubt. But this true craftsman is not yet known to the masses, though his talent and popularity is certainly growing and garnering recognition and praise.

I want to say a big Shame on You to Land's End. I am so very disappointed in you. You've been a staple in my family for years with your canvas boat totes, affordable, attractive durable children's wear and not to mention the boxes, piled high, filled with school uniforms and backpacks that have graced our closets over the years. You've been good to us, but I remain disheartened and disappointed.




Kiel James Patrick, a name synonymous with preppy couture, is all about artisan craftsmanship. His products are completely American made right down to the threads he uses.

The Kiel James Patrick (KJP) design studio and factory is located in Rhode Island, just a few miles from the places the brand found its inspiration. As his company grows KJP vows to continue supporting local businesses as well as continue to provide jobs to the people of the United States.

For more information on Kiel James Patrick, his brand and products please stop by his website, and be sure to visit the gorgeous blog Vickers & Patrick.

Should anyone from Land's End be reading this, I do believe a sincere form of apology is in order. This is not simply two great minds thinking alike. It simply isn't so.

As someone just starting a company of her own, I find this particularly upsetting.

XOXO



Jessica

* * * 
Now, while we're on the subject of Preppy fashion all you Fairfield County folk don't forget to stop by JmcLaughlin in Westport tonight for The Naptime Chef's book-signing from 6 - 8:00pm!



The Naptime Chef to sign her new cookbook at JmcLaughlin's Westport, Connecticut store!

 

Friends, I am happy to say that my friend Kelsey Banfield will be at JmcLaughlin in Westport on Thursday (March 29th) evening signing copies of her new cookbook, The Naptime Chef. The book is filled with mouth-watering recipes for meals that can be created in a short amount of time. Kelsey doesn't cut corners and uses natural, healthy products. Whether your children are young and napping, or older with busy and chaotic schedules, this book offers solutions to the home cook with a limited means of time to prepare healthy and delicious family meals. With recipes like Pesto Goat Cheese-Stuffed Chicken Breasts, Meatballs for Choir Boys, Pizza with Artichokes, Caramelized Shallots and Ricotta, Caprese Salad with Balsamic Syrup and Asparagus with Feta Vinaigrette I assure you your family dinners will bear no resemblance to fast food and yet you will spend minimal time in your kitchen and more time at the table! Please visit The Daily Basics for my full review.

And while you're at the store why don't you take some time to poke around...






Do you see it?
THERE!
on the table below!
THAT'S IT!
that's the bag I'm positively DYING for!



Gasp!
Sigh!
Isn't she a vision?




And she suits me so well!
It's like we're meant to be?
Aren't we?
Don't you think?
Hey, my Birthday's coming up... June 1st!
(hint-hint-hint!)

Meanwhile... you can peruse all the other wonderful goodies!

















all photos courtesy The Entertaining House

Please stop by on Thursday. 

I'll be there for sure!

XOXO


Jessica

Like Candy... but better!


It won't make you fat... it won't make your derriere look large... It'll make you happy... It might even give you a little buzz... I love pink almost as much as I like candy {chocolate!}... I'm positively bamboozled over bamboo!

I've fallen in love... I'm head over heels...
Do you think this is too hot to handle?

via



This wonderfully delicious non-fattening piece of eye candy is from one of my favorite preppy clothiers... JmcLaughlin. Did I mention I have a Birthday coming up?

Isn't this just the sweetest treat?

XOXO


Jessica

First white jeans of the season!



I had to do it... I just had to do it! As temperatures soared into the 70s I simply had to be able to dress in a manner that reflected this Springtime weather! The white jeans have come out of hibernation! First they were worn to meetings with the same kitten-heeled mules, a little white T-shirt, a tidy black blazer, my trademark over-sized pearl earrings and this, my new favorite red bag (Maggie Leather Tote) from JmcLaughlin for a pop of color! Here I am headed out for the evening. I swapped out the white shirt for a black, spaghetti-strapped tank and cashmere sweater.  I don't think this is too summery at all!

Are you ready to don your whites?

XOXO


Jessica

Jamee Gregory at JmcLaughlin, Westport


Jamee Gregory will be at the flagship location in Westport, CT, today, to sign her latest book, New York Parties: Private Views (Rizzoli New York, 2010). The book will bring you along a visually and sensually spectacular journey to various parties hosted by the author's closest friends.
For those of you who are passionate about the fashion, design, food, society and philanthropy, this 208-page book filled with stunning color photographs taken by Eric Striffler, will give you all the tools you need to host your own spectacular affair or perhaps simply inspire you to host a small intimate gathering of close friends.

Come meet the stylemaker herself today while enjoying a light, informal luncheon. While you're there, be sure to poke around the store to find something to wear to your next party!





Throwing in the fashion towel...


While I have never been a slave to fashion, I have respected and, for the most part followed the rules. But fashion, like the times, has changed. I have a sense of style... it is my own sense of style. I like classic items that will last through the years... I like to buy something that will be worn for years to come and will never fade to the back of my closet. I also like a touch of whimsy. Fun color and fun accessories are a perfect compliment to any classic outfit. I got much of my style (both decorating and dress) from my grandmother, La Jolie Grandmere. Seeing as she was such an influence in my life, naturally her style would rub off on me. But I have taken her sense of fashion and made it my own. I am not my grandmother. And while she was a woman often years ahead of her time, I have a more modern take on things... I like to show a playful side at times and an edgy side at times.

For as long as I have dressed myself I have known that one does not wear white before Memorial Day or after Labor Day. Tired of these never-ending grey skies and the endless sea of black pants/boots/sweaters/jackets I decided months ago to put a little Spring in my step. I've been wearing bright and cheerful for some time now. My biggest leap of faith was taken this morning. Fed up with absolutely everything in my closet, I could no longer ignore the crisp, white jeans calling my name, beckoning to be worn. I pulled them from the shelf. They were happy to be in my hand and I was happy to hold them. I slipped them on, one leg at a time... they fit like a glove... they looked good. They looked happy. I felt happy! And despite the endless sea of grey in the horizon from my window, my bright, white jeans are like a ray of sunshine.

I could have put on a black or navy or charcoal colored sweater. This would have toned them down slightly. I could have donned a pair of black riding boots. But I didn't. Instead I pulled an old JmcLaughlin sweater from my drawer. It's pink cashmere with about a dozen rows of tiny pearls sewn into the collar, resembling a large necklace. This is my happy sweater. These are my happy jeans. Perhaps my outfit is better suited for a stroll along Palm Beach's Worth Avenue, but I'm in Connecticut. And that's just how it is. Perhaps the sun will come out later. Perhaps not. I slip into my orange Burberry quilted barn jacket, old orange JCrew flats, grab my keys and skip out the door.

the day's dilemma ... if the shoe fits wear it? And what my final decision was!

I really need my good friend over at Privileged to answer this for me... she has posted many times about the loafer vs the ballet flat.



I used to be a loafer girl. In high school and college they were a part of my uniform, both tassled and the penny versions. I wore brown, not black. They were Bass, I believe. With navy knee socks or without when I could get away with it. In college the beat up loafers were often worn with a pair of faded and torn Levis paired sometimes with a pretty cardi and other times with an over-sized college sweatshirt (Harvard and BC mostly). For dressier occasions I had my go to Papagallo loafers... like Belgian loafers with little heels and affordable on a college girl's budget. The Papagallos came with me from college to the working world. And then seem to have suddenly disappeared off the face of the earth...

During my earlier working years, pre-children, I had loafers with chunky heels -- alas that was the style -- and pumps and flats. Then I started to have my children and loafers came back out of the closet with my ballet flats. (Pumps are not at all practical when chasing around the very young!) My favorite go to shoes were a pair of buttery Cole Hahn loafers. They were quite simply the best shoe on earth.  I still have an affinity towards them.

When I was at the end of my second pregnancy it was Christmastime. My husband searched high and low for gifts for me. Clothes were certainly out of the question. Gift certificates too impersonal. I got two memorable gifts that year, my Roomba vacuum cleaner. (I've written about my love for Roomba on more than one one occasion here.) He also gave me a pair of Gucci loafers. In black. I'm not really a brown shoe girl. I loved them and wore them a great bit for a few years. And then I fell out of love with them. Not just those loafers but all loafers.

Suddenly my feet felt heavy and my ankles felt chunky. Ballet flats became, and still are, my shoe of choice.

Yesterday I was cleaning out my closet (another post entirely!) and came across the Guccis. I decided to try them on this morning... I'm not so sure what to think. I still think they make my ankles look thick. I think they are heavy looking. I really prefer the ballet flat... Or do I?



 I always stand like this... people always ask me if I dance...



The loafer vs the ballet flat...


me and my dorky photo... flat vs loafer?


Yes, I really do stand like this... really such a dork! I'm trying to make myself look thinner for you all. Kids have been on vacation for two weeks and I have eaten everything in sight and gotten no exercise whatsoever and these orange pants are super tight!




Gee, maybe if I put my arm over my stomach I can hide the fact that I have eaten all week! But Ok, I must quit being vain and self conscious and get back to my original post... loafer or flat?

Well, neither one was cutting it for me...

So I went with...

These!





Good choice, yes?!

Come see what's in store at JmcLaughlin Westport!

One of the things I love about working at JMAC part-time is that there is always something new ... clothes,  decor, visuals... Spring is truly in the air in the museum-like Westport store. The Equestrian and Workshop sections have been dismantled and replaced with an artist's studio and a bike shop! To say the store visuals are wonderful, creative and charming is one thing, but to come in to appreciate them in person is truly something else. I urge you all to stop by!

While the Connecticut weather still is frightful,
the inside of the JmcLaughlin store is delightful!

Tee time?
Or perhaps you would prefer it to be tea time? 

Welcome to the artist's studio!

There's that bamboo clutch again... I should just buy it... shouldn't I?!

PVE's wonderful and whimsical illustrations on the drafting table...
be sure to get a good look! 













Not to forget the men in your life!





The perfect shorts for an afternoon bike ride!

For my boys... Mini Macs!!
They'll be the best dressed kids on the beach in Newport this summer

It's in the bag... now just you wait until you see all the wonderful bags waiting for you!
 

 If by chance you cannot make it into the store... let's say you've broken both your legs... or you live in Indianapolis or Dallas or la Jolla you can always visit the company's website which has just been revamped and is better than ever!

Lisa Birnbach, A True (and Very Funny) Prep

A True Prep is never without a glass of wine!


The weather last night, as it is this morning, was positively frightful and the fact that anyone at all dared to drive through our typhoon-like conditions ought to be applauded!

While people did not exactly arrive en masse, the tone of the night was casual and relaxed as we sat by the fire, sipped wine and ate the lovely light, preppy appetizers prepared by our own Naptime Chef, Kelsey Banfield. I met the lovely blogger Melissa C. Morris and had some really lovely conversations with Lisa Birnbach.








Here, Lisa models her friend's "vintage" Madras jacket. Otherwise she is dressed entirely in Jmac!



Outside the weather was horrendous; inside everything was bright, warm and cozy!



Kelsey Banfield and Melissa Morris



Lisa and I are talking in depth about my Preppy NYC childhood and the schools I attended. I was more than impressed that she remembered the president of the very small women's college I attended in Chestnut Hill that was truly a gem in its time! (Yes, of course it was written up in The Official Preppy Handbook!)



In this picture I am telling Lisa all about my newest and latest venture... the BIG announcement that I have been wanting to share with you...

I am joining forces with my dear friend Jennifer Grove, President of Sky Blue Events as Editorial Director of Sky Blue Events. (Click on the link for latest company news, my introduction, and my first celebrity interview.) I am going to handle the social media aspect of the company, write articles and blog posts and we are days away from re-launching Prep School 101: Recipes for a Well Lived Life. Of course we will let you know when that site is up and running and we hope you will follow us over there! Lisa Birnbach has agreed to let me interview her for a feature story for Sky Blue Events/Prep School 101. I am beyond thrilled! .

Please take a look over at Sky Blue Events... It's a wonderful, socially aware company that in addition to weddings and other upscale events, hosts benefits (with super preppy names) that bring awareness to various causes and serve the community. The Upcoming Pints & Pinstripes is one such an event. The preview video is incredible. If you live in the Baltimore, MD area and are interested in attending, please visit the Sky Blue Website!

And, no, I will not be leaving JMAC in the near future. I will be putting in fewer hours, but I love the company, the clothes and especially the wonderful group of people I work with!

Eye Candy!

or is it foot candy?
whatever it is I can not just stop at one!

The name, Jack Rogers, is synonymous with summer and the preppy life. The original and (in my humble opinion) the only Navajo sandal is a staple in my Spring and Summer wardrobe. As likely as you'll see me with a glass of wine at the end of the day, you'll see me in my Jack Rogers as soon as the weather allows me to! I've had many pairs over the years... many have been worn and loved and sadly tossed. Some staples have been replaced and others have made way for newer colors and styles. Read my post here about the love and loss of my favorite white jeweled pair. (It was rather dramatic!)

Well, and I should not be sharing this since it'll ruin my chances of winning... but if you friend Jack Rogers on Facebook you could win a pair of golden Navajos... and if you win I might just have to break down your front door!




and YOU could be the winner of these!

a summer staple...
a classic Navajo which pairs perfectly
with the many wonderful dresses we have at JmcLaughlin!

And if you're a Lilly fan, these are a must have

Jewelled Navajos... in metallics
Perfect with a little sun dress, a little black dress, shorts or a pair of jeans...
Do you see my name on them?!

Gorge!!!

For real... they're back?!!
My most favoritest Jack Roger sandals E-VER!
and Yippee they are mine mine mine!!!

JmcLaughlin + New York Social Diary + Me!

This was brought to my attention yesterday by a reader and Facebook friend.  I think the photographer liked me... there are several pictures of me!  Andrew, my "cabana boy" (as mentioned in my first Jmac article) is standing right behind me. As you can tell we are a fun lot! Scroll down and you'll see me standing with my taller and darker "twin" and Sam is sticking out her tongue... They were the two I first saw the day when I wandered in and ended up asking about a part time job. Sam is the one who hired me after looking me up and down! Oh, and, Wendy, my first "fan" to publicly recognize me is in a photo with her adorable husband, Jay McLaughlin and Steven Siegler, President and CEO of J.mcLaughlin.

For more pictures of me, er, I mean the store and the event ;) visit New York Social Diary's site.

Wasn't that fun?!

(Also, if you are a regular reader, or a friend, please take a look at the post below!)

Are you in a present pinch?

J.mcLaughlin has the best items for you last minute or idea-less shoppers. The following items are all under $150.



We have a great selection of holiday and cashmere socks. A perfect little stocking stuffer.



These adorable gloves have detachable fingers for those of us whom are addicted to our iPhones and Blackberries... $120





These bomber hats are all the rage. We have a huge selection of fabrics and colors. These hats are available in women and men's sizes. $125



These dopp kits are simply too good to pass up. At $45 a piece you can fill them for your mate!




I just picked up this Aiken bag in blue for myself. It's a gorgeous and practical bag that is available for just $98 in the patterns below. We also carry it in a solid, mustard, tan and brown.





We have a huge selection of gloves. These horsebit lambswool ones are my favorites and very reasonable at $80 a pair. One customer said yesterday, they were very Hermes-like in design. They are also available in purple and chocolate brown.





Our silk sashes make lovely scarves and belts. They are available in the same designs as the Aiken bag as well as some that I have highlighted below. A fabulous gift at just $55.









Our silk scarves are exceptional. Each one is a piece of art. Each is silk screened with up to 40 different patterns per scarf. The edges are hand rolled. We have the Hermes quality without the exorbitant price tag. These scarves are truly gifts to be treasured and an incredible quality at just $115 a piece.





Men need their whimsical Christmas socks too. These are $48 a pair.



We also have a fabulous assortment of men's tartan and solid Christmas belts for just $38... perhaps a red belt for his Jolly Rogers?






I don't know about yours, but my father is hard to shop for. I actually think he would love the bomber hat, but I could also see him in one of these wool fedoras for just $98.





My husband would love this wool and cashmere baseball cap which is available for $78. I'm contemplating getting him the matching cashmere and woo scarf for $125.




I'm still completely bamboozled over this darling clutch. A great present for your mother or grandmother... yourself or me! Clutch is available for $150.




I have a friend who gives her father a new Christmas tie every year. The wool ones are $55 and the silk ones below are just $65.




We have a great selection of cuff links for $145.



You can't leave out Man's Best Friend! Find Fido a lovely collar and leash, each for $25.



This peppermint hot fudge sauce from The Naptime Chef is sinfully delicious and at just $10 a jar makes a wonderful hostess gift or just keep a few of them in your pantry for future entertaining purposes!




These cashmere scarves will brighten anyone's day, especially at $80.



I have my eye on these faux fur collars. They look fantastic when worn with sweaters or as a collar to a winter coat. They make a lovely gift and are just $95.




These Jacquard glasses holders are fun and different and just $32



These rabbit fur scarves are a fun way to dress up any holiday wardrobe. The black scarf is $75 and the smaller white scarf is $60.


A true Preppy gentleman just loves his bow-ties. Our gorgeous selection will just set you back $45!





Our cotton pocket squares are just $25 and come in a wide range of colors and patterns.



And we have some pretty nice boxers as well! $38




I hope that I have been able to help you with some ideas. If you are interested in purchasing any of these items please call our JmcLaughlin store at 203-557-9275. We will be glad to help you. Or if you live near one of our other locations, you may call your local JmcLaughlin store for your holiday needs!


Welcome to JmcLaughlin, Westport


Welcome to my store! Well, it's not really my store as you well know, but one day not too long ago fate had my car veer right off the Post Road when I noticed the large OPEN sign in front of the blue barn. Ohmygosh I exclaimed to myself. I love these guys. Looooooove them. I was devastated when they closed their doors on Westport's Main Street a few years back. Now, I'm not the kind of girl who can shop to her heart's desire (although it would be nice indeed) but I am the kind of girl who loves good quality and classic clothes. And that's what J.mcLaughlin is all about. So a couple of times a year I would venture in and treat myself to a really nice sweater or sweater set. If I needed something for a special occasion I went to them first. My periwinkle taffeta ball gown skirt is my most loved item. I've dressed it up and I have dressed it down (worn with simple fitted white T and pearls) and I yearn for an opportunity to wear it again.

A few summers later I needed something equally as special but not quite so formal. I walked out with their signature ribbon skirt. I have some sweaters, jackets... belts and handbags...

But I've totally gotten all distracted by my excitement.

We are the largest of all the JmcLaughlin stores and the new flagship location. In fact our store is really sort of comprised if mini-stores, or boutiques, if you will. Come, let me show you around.





 Isn't this fellow just "endeering?"
The reversible cashmere scarves are fabulous.
Do be sure to check them out when you stop in. They make a wonderful gift for that someone special!





Be sure to check out the goodies on Santa's sleigh for more great gift ideas...
After all, Christmas is just around the corner.


Before I walk you through the store, can I interest you in some tea or coffee? It's quite cold out there today!

Perhaps a little something sweet from The Naptime Chef who bakes these special treats just for us! (You can always check out her blog for the recipes!)




Please take one. They really are fabulous.
I shouldn't have, but I couldn't keep away and so I just had to try one! And please take a complimentary recipe book. The cookies are in there for you to make at home.
We also sell her peppermint hot fudge sauce. Sinful!

And the m&ms poised so elegantly in their red bowl are gorgeous and I am weak in their presence!







How about some animal crackers for your children?
Yes, I thought you'd like the monogram!
We do have toys here in the store to help entertain them so that you can shop.

 If you walk this way you'll see our accessories -- belts, scarves, socks and these wonderful Catalina T-shirts that never lose their shape, color or style. They are made from bathing suit material and are the most comfortable tops I have ever owned. They are, I think, the world's best shirt. And once you get one you'll want to keep coming back for more. I just picked up the orange and navy one myself!



 
Our socks, scarves and gloves make wonderful Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers!






 

I have been bamboozled and I must pick up one of these amazing clutches...




We have the most amazing and most gorgeous selection of scarves. You could spend hours admiring them all.


We have fabulous items for all your holiday parties!

And if you are planning a trip to a warmer climate you must check out our amazing selection of resort-wear... We have plenty to choose form for both you and your someone special! Yes, Lilly is wonderful... but everyone wears Lilly... Don't you want to be a little unique... stand out from the rest of them? They'll love your outfit and they'll have to know where you got it, and quietly... nonchalantly, you'll say "Why, Jmac... of course!"



(I'll return soon with a post on our resort-wear. It is simply too good not to share with you!)

 I keep my cabana boy in there... his name is Andrew. He'll be happy to pour you a glass of wine. We have red and white left over from our grand opening. Or he'll be happy to get you some tea or coffee!




Next to the resort-wear we have our Equestrian Section. I told you we didn't horse around. We really have something for everyone!





 We also have the most fabulous handbags.






Hey Bevy, these bags are called Aiken and come in the prettiest of patterns! You know how to reach me if you want one!












Not to worry, we have something for Fido as well. A true prep needs a well dressed dog!



 I just love these dog collars... although the last one is a little fishy...




Next to Fido's stuff you'll find all sorts of wonderful stuff for his best friend... great colorful and whimsical socks...



fabulous cuff links...





We have a great selection of shirts for your husband, father, nephew, uncle and son. We have rugby shirts, the softest corduroy shirts in a great assortment of color...




and wonderful button-downs for all the men in your life!




Does your significant other still need something for the holiday party on Saturday Night? I just love these plaid pants. So festive and fun. But come on, we have more!




Can he pull off these wonderful red cords with Santa pulling Rudolph?




Or perhaps he's a more rugged, tougher guy and sees himself in these Jolly Rogers...




Then, while he's tending bar in his fab new pants he can ask
"What's your poison?!"
(I really really wanted to write that!)





Our men's selection is truly fabulous and we have the largest selection of men's clothes of any of the Jmac stores. We have jackets, hats, scarves, gloves to keep your honey warm. These New England winters are cold!






Oh, and don't forget to pick up a pair of fun Christmas socks
now that you're holding his Jolly Roger Christmas pants!







 Yes, isn't this a great scarf indeed?




 We have them in other colors too.




My favorite sweater is that aqua one down there? Don't you just love it? I'm thinking about getting one for my father. You want one of those too? Yes, we do have them in a medium!












Trapped by indecision? Yes, get the socks... we have more!





We have the most fabulous assortment of bows for your beau!








I  just love these dop kits... they are just so handsome. They just arrived and  I simply must snatch one up before they disappear! In fact, we get new inventory almost every day. You really should stop by and say hi! I am only there part time so I may not be there when you come in, but we have a fabulous staff . They are all as cute and friendly as I am ;) and will be more than happy to help you with whatever you need. If you live a little too far for an afternoon drive, there are over 40 other JmcLaughlin locations which you can find on their website. And yes, Carrie, I too think there should be one in Indianapolis for all the wonderful preppies out there! I will put in a good word for you! :)

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!

How Childish!

Photographer unknown.
(If you are please let me know!)


Ok, so I have really bitten off so much more than I can chew! I am heading the decorating committee of a wine tasting fundraiser for my children's school. The event is a week away and we have so much to tie up. Literally! I have some fabulous ideas and they are, so far, really coming to fruition which is really exciting. Because don't you hate when you get an idea and when you execute it it's... well... so not what you wanted? The event is next Saturday. I'm excited!

I am still looking for an agent who sees eye-to-eye with me on the spectacularness of La Jolie Grandmere and all that was fabulous in her life... her stories and fashion and her homes. I do have some wonderful friends who have offered to take my hand and steer me in a better direction.  I am excited about this too!

I just got a job at the fabulous JmcLaughlin and I cannot tell you how thrilled I am. Their new Westport store is pure eye candy... the decor... the clothes... the architecture... talk about sensory overload! It is pure heaven on earth in there. Those of you nearby please stop by. I will be blogging about it for sure... I have already gotten permission to do so! But I won't start until after the wine tasting. Phew!

And of course we are about to enter into holiday craziness...

Sometimes don't you wish you could be a kid again... if just for a day?

And say...





and live by these few, simple rules?





Getting to dinner couldn't be any easier. The architect who designed this was a genius!




Why did my arts and crafts sessions never result like this?





When playing house was truly magical and fun!





Endearing. Tea anyone?





The ultimate camp-out!


I hope these images put a smile on your face! Have a great Sunday everyone!