Thursday, July 20, 2017

Fish Hippie

I just returned from a mini-vacation in one of my favorite spots on the planet - my family's beach house in North Carolina.  While I was there I met a lady whose daughter is associated with the brand Fish Hippie.  The brand has an interesting story but the company is based in North Carolina near the place where I once lived.  Their clothes are made for men with some boys' stuff but the accessories like the hats, visors, coolers, can be used by all of us.  I am not a fisherman but I do love the label and their tag line, "drift off course" is spot on.  Many of the photos in their ads were taken in North Carolina. 



The clothes are a bit expensive but the quality is very good.  They try to make their stuff in the US (hence the higher price point) and they even have a wine label.  Their t-shirts are super soft.

You can shop the brand here.  Some of the men in my life will be seeing the Fish Hippie logo for sure.  Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Local Virginia Artists

About a month ago, we had a small festival in the tiny village near the farm.  Two very talented artists displayed their work and I took a number of photos to share.  Their work is very reasonably priced and I was tempted to do a lot of Christmas shopping that day.  We have so many cows around here and landscapes that it's a treasure trove for anyone who can paint.  I took photos of their business cards. They will ship.  Enjoy!











Monday, July 17, 2017

Etsy Finds

Etsy is one of my favorite sources for gifts, especially at holiday time.  As someone who likes to have my shopping completed long before December, I peruse sources like Etsy frequently. Here are some of my recent finds...

These journals will make great stocking stuffers or gifts for that horsey person who has just about everything. See them here.

These leather key rings also will make a great gift for $30! See them here.


I love these monogrammed pillows. See them here.


And these monogrammed pillowcases will make a great gift. See them here.


Monogrammed cocktail napkins anyone?  See them here.


An inexpensive tassel necklace?  See it here.


And for the person who loves dishes, try these monogrammed plates. See them here.


Happy Monday!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Tennis Chic

The Wimbledon Finals are this weekend and like Wimbledon, tennis chic never goes out of style.

Stan Smith shoes are back in style. Did they ever really go out of style?  I wore these many years ago.  They look great with dresses, shorts, jeans.

This looks so Ralph Lauren. What year is this?  Does it matter?

I'm not sure if this is real or a joke, but it's creative.....

But I love the green and white lattice looks that so reminds me of that Wimbledon aura....



And then there is the Ralph Lauren Wimbledon influence....

Happy Friday. Go Venus and Sam! 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Z & Z Designs Fabulous Jewelry

I recently discovered Z & Z Designs, a small jewelry company that makes fabulous necklaces. So beachy and summery......








You can see their Facebook page here.  The company is based out of Morehead City, NC (on the NC coast below the Outer Banks).  Love their style......

Monday, July 10, 2017

The Disappearing Dining Room

Where did the dining room go? Missing in action. Houses don't come any more with formal dining spaces and I hate it.  My current home seats 12 nicely in the dining room and it's so much fun to plan a splendid dinner, mixing guests with people they've never met.  Why has our casual lifestyle evolved to eating at a bar in the kitchen.


It seems that dining rooms are not the only victim here - large foyers, staircases, living rooms are all less important to homeowners now according to a panel of homebuilders at the National Association of Real Estate Editors conference in Houston. People seem to be more practical now than ever before when it comes to entertaining (they don't do it) and eating in the kitchen seems to be the new normal.



Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy Fourth of July

Happy Birthday America!

 (Horse Country Chic Photo)

 

The Sad Disappearance of Sterling Silver

Sterling silver - it can be found now in abundance at thrift shops, antique stores, Ebay, Etsy - seems no one wants it or uses it anymore.  What has happened that has made us put this in a drawer, sell it, discard it and forget about it? 




Let's start with the basics.  How do you tell if an item really is sterling silver?  Sterling silver is not pure silver. It is an alloy composed of 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals. The vast majority of items made from sterling silver contain a hallmark, a stamp placed in a discreet spot that denotes its purity. If your item does not contain a hallmark, it is possible that is sterling but you don't want to spend a lot of money on something that is not sterling. The United Kingdom, France, and the United States each have a distinct hallmarking system.

American sterling silver is marked with one of the following hallmarks: “925,” “.925,” or “S925.” the 925 indicates that the piece contains 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals.

Sterling silver items made in the UK contain a stamp of a lion. In addition to this stamp, UK made items will also contain a town mark, a duty mark, a date letter, and a sponsor’s mark. These marks will vary from item to item.
France currently marks its sterling silver items with the head of Minerva (92.5% and below) or a vase (99.9% pure silver).

Real sterling is also soft and it can bend and dent easier than plate and it does not have a smell to it.  If the silver smells it may be made with more copper in it and thus, is it not "pure sterling."  You can also have the piece appraised to make sure.


You can buy sterling pieces a lot cheaper today than you once could as it's just not popular with people anymore.  You will find that Tiffany silver remains incredibly expensive but you can pick up sets of Gorham or Stieff or other brands at bargain prices if you look hard enough.


Maybe I have inspired you to pull out and polish the silver and use it!  Or maybe you'll start your own collection. Whatever the case, use it!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Democracy in Virginia

The foundations of our Democracy in America are all over the place in Virginia - from Mount Vernon to Monticello to Montpelier, the homes of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.

But we also have Democracy Vineyards, a lovely place located south of Charlottesville just off Route 29. 




You can buy wines names "Declaration" and "Velvet Revolution" and the owners are retired from the State Department.  How clever.  Read about Democracy here.

 (Monticello, Home of Thomas Jefferson)

 (Mount Vernon)


 Will Democracy survive another hundred years?  Right now it's not looking so good. Maybe Adams was right after all.  Enjoy this holiday, celebrate in grand style, make a statement, create a memory, spend the time with someone you love and respect.


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