King Cake

Spring Has Sprung

April 7, 2014

The official arrival of spring this week threw me into a closet cleaning craze that finally ended this morning. There is nothing that I love more than an organized closet, and purging and sorting clothes is a means to that end. Here is how I like to do it.

1.  I tackle sections of my closet at a time, instead of all of it together: shoes; workout clothes; dresses; jeans; tops. That means I can do a little bit every evening (usually with a glass of wine) and make the pleasure last!

2.  I edit based on fit, style, permanent stains, and always think about when the last time is I wore a specific item. If more than a year ago, it goes (except for evening gowns and cocktail dresses).

3.  I move those pieces that I know I should get rid of, but can’t really bring myself to, to the back of my coat closet – where I will not see them or wear them. After six months, I go back there and look again; I will usually have forgotten what is there, which means I am now emotionally ready to get rid of those items of clothing.

4.  A couple girlfriends of mine and I have started a mail clothing swap. We randomly send each other boxes of clothes that we each no longer want or that no longer fit – and from there, we take what we want and ship the rest to another girlfriend. It’s a virtuous circle of recycling. Luckily for me, most of my girlfriends are the same size and have excellent taste! This makes it easier for me to be ruthless when sorting my closet – I know it will make someone I love happy!

5.  An excellent seamstress and shoe repair angel are two must-have best friends. Closet cleaning always means there is a pile of items I need to bring to both, that will come back looking brand new and ready to be once again used.

Once I have gone through every item in my closet, it’s time to make sure everything looks and smells perfect:

1.  No wire hangers! Nothing makes a closet look more chic than matching hangers. My favorites are from The Container Store

2. Bad closet lighting does not make for fun dressing. I live in an old Georgetown row-house and wasn’t ready to spend thousands on new elecrtrical in the closets. Instead, I opted for this very easy and affordable option.

3.  I am forever fighting moths, who go after all of my cashmere sweaters. The most effective and nice-smelling solution I have found is from apothecary brand Santa Maria Novella.

Finally, it is always good to listen to fashion experts… Specifically this past week, I listened to the advice of my most stylish friend Erin and did two things based on her recommendations:

1.  Got rid of my platform heels …

2. Purchased a great new iPhone cover.

For me, the reward for closet cleaning is to purchase a few new items of clothing or shoes … and now the fun really begins!

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Snow Day in Georgetown

March 24, 2014

Despite the fact that it is officially spring, it looks like more snow is coming our way on Tuesday. While this thought is somewhat depressing given my longing for sunshine, warmth, and cherry blossoms, I am trying to prepare myself for the possibility of a snow day by thinking about what I will do Tuesday if all of my meetings are cancelled and my office officially closed. Here goes:

Georgetown in the snow, March 2014 (Photo by: Constance Chatfield-Taylor) Georgetown in the snow, March 2014

1.      Clean out a closet that I have been meaning to clean out for months. And maybe also my junk drawer.

2.      Work on getting all of my tax paperwork together.

3.      Write 5 notes or cards to people I love, just because.

4.      Make some sales calls to customers not located on the East Coast.

5.      Go for a quiet walk in snowy Georgetown, in my ski clothes.

6.      Do laundry.

7.      Have an at-home spa hour: at-home mani/pedi, and facial scrub and mask.

8.      Review the accomplishments of this first quarter and figure out what I am going to focus on during Q2.

9.      Watch The Day After Tomorrow (which I feel like I am living in!).  

10.  Start planning my next beach vacation.

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Plan V

February 13, 2014

Single? Divorced? Away from your honey (given the weather, I am guessing many couples who travel for work may be in this situation)? Or just over the traditional Valentine's day hype? Here are things to do if on Valentine's Day if you want to take the best of this holiday, and ignore the worst - or if you just want to be your own Valentine. After all, shouldn't we love ourselves first?

1. Sign up to become a mentor or volunteer, what could be a more loving act?
2. Send an anonymous hand-written note as a secret admirer to someone elderly you know, a neighbor or relative.
3. Go to a gallery or museum and see that show you have been meaning to see for ages. 
4. Take the night off and watch favorite movies featuring your favorite heroines. Mine would include The Long Kiss Goodnight  and The Thomas  Crown Affair (Full disclosure: No one has ever lauded me for my movie choices) 
5. Take a last minute trip to visit someone you miss (of the opposite sex or not). 
6. Watch the Olympics. Full of dedication, hard work and drama, these incredible athletes are more exciting than even the best of dates.
7. Invite your BFFs to a mani-pedi party at your favorite spa 
8. Call three people you love just to tell them you love them (don't mention Valentine's Day) 
9. Turn off all electronic devices, and read a book you have been meaning to start.

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