Lime Green for now………

lime green bird

Now that I am in Florida and tuned in to the HGTV channel 24/7, I realize that it is time to get going on some fun projects.  Recently, I started painting a few pieces of furniture to add a bit of COLOR to my otherwise black, khaki and white palette.  So far, I am thrilled with the results.

5 important ingredients for excellent results:

Small electric sander / Kilz primer / High gloss paint in color of your choice /            Good paint brushes / 3 inch roller and roller brushes


I painted two pieces that my husband made by hand for me:

1 – A small desk to keep our computer on (since we had sold our house and all furniture was moved to Florida and Wisconsin).

2 – A small stool to use in the house for a number of things……with a notch to scoop it up with.

The desk is made of pine and  the stool (originally designed for the shower) is made of cedar

First step:

Take any piece of furniture and give it a good sanding.  If there is hardware, take it all off before starting.

Next step:

I always have a gallon of Kilz on hand because it really is necessary for most any painting if you want your finished product to come out smooth.   The entire piece needs to be coated with Kilz.  One coat should be more than fine, unless you have water marks or stains on the item, such as the top of a side table.  In this case, give the top a second coat.   Important: LET DRY OVERNIGHT……..Patience is really a virtue and will turn out a nice finished product.

Next step:

With a brush, paint the entire piece the color you have selected. Start with the underside of the item. Again, my choice is always high gloss for furniture and molding around doorways, flooring, etc.  It just looks so sleek.  But you can use a flat finish if you wish.    Let this coat dry for a few hours and apply a second coat.  For the top of the item, you can take a roller to even out the brush strokes and leave a smooth even surface.

006 - Copy

This is what the beginning sort of looks like.  Don’t get discouraged as it will come out gorgeous!  I started the project with some leftover apple green but didn’t really love it.  So I picked up the lime green to finish.  At least it was primed and ready for the final coat.


Not bad huh?

And look at the sweet little stool that I use near my desk for my files, or just to spread out a bit.  (Ok……I put my beer on it).






Stay tuned for next week as I am working on a garage workshop for my paints, hardware, sander, tools, gardening stuff and sewing machine, all in one spot and ready to go!



leather weather……


Back in the 80’s, there were leather clothing stores popping up all over the country. Leather was in and HOT!  I can honestly say that I had a whole closet full of leather.  I worked for a company called Tannery West for 12 years, so of course I acquired a great collection.  You name it, I had it……pants, skirts, tops, shorts, and a leather dress that a buyer named the “Joyce Dress” after me. Back then we flew all over the country to understand the product, get clear direction of the way the store was to look visually, and one seminar after another of $100,000 speakers teaching us how to be leaders, and how to make the sale. After the seminars, the drinks came out and the rest is a blur. But oh there were some stories.  (That’s a whole other blog).

The prices were low, compared to our high end competitor, North Beach Leather, but the quality and the styles were comparable.  So the business thrived for a long time……..until Wilson’s the Leather Experts brought in their cardboard leather……..and that was the beginning of the end.

THANK GOD!!!!!!!! Here are just a few of the ads and items that were shown back then. Take a look at the shoulder pads and the hair on the guys….too funny!


t2 t5 t6 t8













So the above items were sold to snappy guys and they headed out to the clubs, and danced to Lionel Ritchie……..”what a feeling, dancing on the ceiling?  For real.  (I may have been witness to this, ummmmmmmmm).

Whew………a little trip down memory lane.  Of course they sold women’s clothing as well but I just had too much fun posting the guy stuff.  Because the truth is, they really wore it and were dead serious about it!

OK………back to 2013………….

It’s that time of year…..hopefully for everyone very soon…..A short window of time in spring to be able to look stylish and be comfortable.  No heavy down parkas… snow boots….but break out those rain boots, and hang on to those scarves, and pair em with a cool leather jacket and you are good to go.

spring style

If you live in Florida or someplace where the average temp is 75 and sunny….then you wear shorts and rock out those rain boots, (assuming your legs are up for the challenge). The photo above shows a perfect look to do that.

But for everyday dressing……here are just a few ideas of ways to wear a leather jacket in 2013.  Everyone should have just one. There is even have a vegan leather jacket shown from Free People for those of you that don’t wear leather.  Something for everyone!  Get something that speaks to you.  For me, I got rid of all my leather in the 90’s.  I had just had enough and got sick of it.  I sold or traded most of it in clothing swap meets (hosted back then by yours truly).

marc by marc Jett


Love this little Red Marc by Marc Jacobs jacket.

She looks fabulous in her shorts but a pair of skinny jeans and boots might be more what I was thinking.

Keep the white t-shirt as it makes it a bit less matchy match.  Wear ballet flats for a softer look.





This little studded jacket looks sweet and innocent on our model here.  She has a pair of leather shorts and softens the look with a white top.

I am hoping she chose a pair of distressed cowboy boots to finish the look.  The shades are perfect too!






This is my favorite look.  A rich soft burgundy leather paired with a chunky gray flannel scarf and some gorgeous shades.

I especially  like it pulled together with a pair of low rise jeans and that fabulous 2 inch metallic belt.

Belts are back on the runways and I love to see them as another layer to add interest!

Keep it simple with a crew neck black 3 dot t-shirt.




tory burch

If you want to go to the safe side…….this is a no brainer.  Tory Burch makes it and I would love to see it with a white t-shirt some ripped up faded jeans and a snakeskin belt with metallic flats.

Definitely not to be worn as shown…….





free pe

If you are vegan, then Free People is your vendor.

This is a faux shearling look.  Very practical, still warm but much lighter weight and no guilt whatsoever!

Love it!




rick owens

If you are still cold out there in the Great North, then perhaps you might like to rock out this Rick Owens shearling leather jacket.

So soft you have to ask to touch it.  But before you go to IKRAM or Blake to pick one up, you may want to stop at the bank.  You will need some extra cash for this one!

Drop dead gorgeous!




leather chambrey adn plaid

distressed leather jacket…….

Chambray shirt…….

plaid shirt…….

faded blue jeans….

mix em all together……






Here is a style by Helmut Lang.

My friend recently visited me here in Florida and showed me her new leather jacket that she saw on a mannequin.  Only Lynne can wear the size 2 that they use on them.

She was thrilled with her find and wears it proudly!



Now that I am down in Florida, I decided that it was time to return to my roots……….

I bought this bright orange, soft as silk leather jacket on sale at bloomingdales for $217.92!

Original price was $699.00

I see it with my faded jeans, some gladiator sandals and what else……..a white t-shirt!



See you next week!




Chalk it up

surf boardFor the longest time I have wanted a chalk board in my kitchen.  My friend Alan once suggested I create a board for my cabin in the bathroom for guest towels.  Each guest would write their name above the hook, and that was their hook and towel for the week. She was so creative and always inspired me.  I miss her so, but her passion and inspiration follow me always.

Here in Florida, I am trying to transform my old 1961 cinder block house into a kitch-y beach-y little home. When my grandfather built it, he dreamed of fishing everyday in search of the giant Tarpon, while my grandmother was a lady who lunched with the women of Lemon Bay. What great times they had! Their house was a revolving door with lots of friends and family making memories in sunny Florida.

While the beach  is 3 miles away……..I like to give the feeling that it is right outside my door. OK, on to the Topic of the week………Chalk it up!

Here is a big fat blank wall next to my refrigerator.  My dog has a cute little bowl and placemat  there.  I thought……… wouldn’t a nice big chalk board look great to square off the kitchen from the dining and living room? Always a work in progress I set out to make my own board.



Off to Home Depot to pick up a nice size board that would fit in to the space next to the fridge. My husband calls it MDF.  Not sure, nor do I care what that stands for but it is cheap and easy to grab in various sizes at Home Depot. First, I add a coat of white primer. I always keep a gallon of Kilz onhand. It is my go to stuff and works as the perfect undercoat.


Next, just grab a quart of Chalkboard Paint from any paint store or again, Home Depot.  About $8-$10.  Paint one coat, let dry 4 hours and add a second coat.  Leave overnight.  The next day you have to take a piece of chalk and lay it on the side and coat the entire board with it to get the finish chalk-worthy.


Next, find a saying that means something to you.  I never ate chocolate……until about 4years ago when I discovered the dark chocolate sea salt caramels from Whole Foods.  So far I have received two deliveries from Chicago.  My sister Ginger shipped via UPS two packages of these marvelous wonders of the world.  After 2 months I ran out and solicited my personal shopper Michele at the bloomingdale’s home store to pick me up 2 packs and include in my bedding order.  Easy as pie!

So……I Heart Chocolate!!!   014

The other thing I now long for are certain dishes, recipes from my past. 20 years (along with 20 pounds) in Chicago with my amazing husband (who also cooks like a top-chef).

I have been craving salads and fresh produce.  There is plenty of it to be had here in Florida.  In fact we are spoiled with the best tomatoes from my neighbor next door……little cherry tomatoes that taste like candy.  And when we need Poblano peppers (every other day) we head to the Farmers Market on Dearborn street.  In addition to peppers and the best guacamole I have ever had,  they have some large home grown tomatoes that we always pick up.

Even though Mark does the cooking, every now and then I try to sneak in a meal that is not in his secret archive of menus.

And there it is!!! So cute and ready to use.  I decided to go ahead and add a menu and surprise Mark with one of our favorite dishes.

The CPK Bar-B-Q chicken chopped salad of course! 024



Wow was it ever good.  Here is my version of the recipe in case you want to try it!  It was exactly like the CPK only better because I got to add as much avocado as I wanted!     022 Pick up a package of Arugula and a package of Spring mix. Rotisserie Chicken (barbecue if available) You can get these ready made chickens almost anywhere these days…….even Wal-Mart.

Cube an avocado, chop 1/2 a red onion, add 1/2 cup of whole kernel corn drained, 1/2 cup of black beans drained, chop yellow peppers (or your color of choice), chop vine ripe tomatoes.

Take 1/4 cup of Ranch and 1/4 cup of barbecue sauce (your choice) and mix together to make a delicious dressing.

Remove the two breasts from the chicken. Refrigerate the rest for another meal.

Chop up the breast meat into small bite size squares and throw in a large bowl.

Top all other ingredients into the bowl and stir.

Add the dressing and stir.

Add soy nuts on top for a crunchy finish and you have an awesome fresh barbecue chopped chicken salad!

Bon Appetit!

mellow yellow


Color-blocking continues strong into spring! I love, love, love all the vibrant shades.  Pinks, oranges, greens…………..and did I mention Yellow?

This spring I am going  to wear yellow proudly.  It’s a happy color!  It’s the color of my favorite symbol……my hero…….my role model…….


smiley face


Anyhooooooo…….I went to bloomingdale’s in Orlando over the weekend, and I pulled the trigger on a pair of RL Golf pants.  So perfect!  (true, I have only had two lessons) but I have to have my outfit ready for the day I hit the course!)   After I got home I just had to wonder……..will I ever wear them?

Buyers remorse set in so I decided to get on the internet and see what is going on out there with yellow pants.  Here are just a few ways I would wear yellow, if I were you that is.


with grey - Copy

I love this look above.  The Yellow crop pants with the grey flannel cashmere, and an easy patterned scarf ties it all in.  A nude clutch with those vintage yellow shoes, Divine!    The shades, the short cropped hair……Fabulous!


yel2 - Copy

This is a great easy look for an afternoon fashion presentation, or lunch with a mystery man. Add that striped retro clutch, and layer a fabulous white blouse with it and you are done!



Nice and easy here.  Very preppy. A great layered look to head out for the weekend.  Big tote bag fits the bill while carrying it all.  Warm navy wool pea coat or a bulky navy cardigan will do.  Wool scarf of course. The Sperry Top Siders are ideal for running around town comfortably.



Well of course I had to add some animal print.  Love this cobra silk blouse with the mustard yellow jeans.  Add a nude platform…….twist up your bun, throw on some shades and strut!



When my hair grows this long (in my next life) I am going to rock out a pair of skinny’s with a coral tshirt and my Theory blazer and of course a fabulous plaid scarf with sandals.  Grab my hobo and shades and off I go!  Now, which way to the Aerosmith concert?



This is a great way to break out the chambray shirt from the Gap.  Love this look and she has it pulled together with a little brown belt and a pony tail.   Lovely!



This is so chic and timeless.  Who wouldn’t want to have that skinny little bod and gorgeous hair?  I love the fitted black t-shirt with the layers of jewelry (not matchy matchy).   Easy simple sandals, and don’t forget to finish it off with a little patent clutch and belt!




Ummmmm, how did he get in there?  Oh, yes…..he was wearing yellow jeans.  So there!




Of course if you live in Chicago this is a great way to wear yellow.  Layer a chunky nude Vince sweater and a wool coat, nude booties and tote and you can pull it off. Just stay within the yellow lines!




See you next week!  Stay Mellow………..