Monday, September 30, 2019

Must Have Shoes

10 Pairs of Shoes Every Woman Should Own

I make no secret as to how much I love shoes.  This goes back to my playing with my mother's beautiful shoes and my preteen days of devouring the Sears catalog. The first thing studied in the Sears shoe description - heel height.  Any shoe with a heel made it feminine.    

Today, I still love shoes from pumps, sandals, boots, and everything in between. Above is a representation of the shoes styles I own and classic pairs of shoes I recommend you should have in your closet. 

Pumps: There are two shown and are the absolute foundation (pun intended) of your shoe collection.  Always include a basic black pair in the highest heels you can manage. The black pump is the office standard and a must. Add another pair of pumps in nude - either pointy or round toe. You will be amazed as to how versatile nude shoes are.   

Timeless White Sneakers: Keds, Sperry, Skechers, or anything in between. When comfort is a must, and you know you will be walking or on-your-feet all day. They look great with shorts, long skirts, and especially jeans.  Not just for the gym.

Flat Sandals: Either thong, strappy, no heel or slight heel.  - These are great to go from casual to dressy. A must have!

Wedge Heel: They are stable allowing your foot to touch more surface area and take some of the strain off of the ball of your foot. An absolute necessity for a garden party, or outdoor wedding.  Seriously, having wedges is like having real feminine shoe while still getting to keep everything sophisticated you love about heels. The best part - you will not  fall over or slowly sink into the turf. 

Ballerina Flats: Ballerinas will never go out of style, and they are comfortable enough to wear all day long. Recently made popular by the Tory Burch "Minnie Leather-Logo Travel Ballet". Great to wear while traveling and easy to pack.  Unmistakably feminine.  

Kitten / Low Heel Sandal or Pump:  A kitten heel is a short stiletto heel, usually from 3.5 centimeters (1.5 inches) to 4.75 centimeters (1.75 inches) high, with a slight curve setting the heel in from the back edge of the shoe. Versatile and comfortable. These can go from  jeans to super dressy and still navigate the night.   

# 10 "The Sex is in the Heel"
Boots / Booties: They are also season-less and can be worn with pants in the winter or short dresses during the summer. The reason I have two pair shown, is that one is for dress and the other is for winter. These are a necessity and one can quickly see that none of the others will work for bad weather. As they say - "Not just for bad weather", and if you can pull off tall boots (my #10 choice) you own the evening. More power to you.  

That is my list. I purposely left out loafers (menswear-inspired), combat boots (yuck), mules (slide off my feet), and the basic rubber flop flop.

  OK - What are your favorite?  

Here is another top 10 list from YouTube:


Saturday, September 28, 2019

Friday, September 27, 2019

Friends Friday - Mercedes Club Dinner. What to wear?

Our Concours d'Elegance - Road Star Club 
My Mercedes Club is part of the “Mercedes-Benz Club of America”. Our local group is called the “Road Star Section”.  

A blog that I regularly read, “Susan After 60” mentioned in one of her posts that she and Mr. Mickey had attended a local event involving their cars. They were members of a MB Club, "Smoky Mountain Section". Thank you Susan – I joined my local club after getting information from her and have been a member since ’17.  

As a group we do some really interesting events. Our season highlight is our very own  Concours d'Elegance, where members clean up their cars and display them with pride. Within our club, their are some amazing and classic/vintage Mercedes. With about 250 local members. We also have group wine tastings, museum tours, a holiday party, and fun breakfasts. We typically meet once a month during our fall,  winter and spring seasons.  

Elliott Museum  - Road Star Club 
The National Club, which we all are members of as well, has many benefits that make the modest annual dues so worth while. The National Club supports the local chapters financially and provides record keeping (membership renewals and list).  Also, we get a beautifully printed magazine, "The Star", monthly with insider MB information, history and club news.  

I was asked to join the Board of Directors of our local club last year and have enjoyed helping and volunteering. Acceptance abounds. Never underestimate the joy of volunteering and getting out – "Escapes".

I suggested at our last meeting that we try something different. A season starter at a local restaurant where we have a cocktail hour and dinner. Kind of an official/unofficial casual meetup with no fixed agenda or program planned; A meet and greet.  The event will be this coming Sunday, September 29th.  

There has been an amazing response; considering it is also a religious observance evening. We actually have all the restaurant can handle and several RSVP comments have stated: “This was a wonderful idea”.  

Our president has held the position for over 7 years and is an amazing organizer with many connections into the Porsche, Jaguar, and Ferrari local clubs. The vice president does not have any interest in taking the reins and I have been asked if I would consider being vice-president and then taking over as president in a year. The event on Sunday is a trial for me to see if I like working with the group and how they will react to a “woman” taking a lead. Many of the members are older men. So be it.  

OMG: What to wear? 

Stay tuned - I will post photos next week of the dinner event. 

Thursday, September 26, 2019

I love Success Stories - Sara Davis Buechner

Sara Davis Buechner on Being a Transgender Concert Pianist

The Acclaimed Musician Talks About Piano, Performing In Japan, And How Coming Out Saved Her Life

Concert Recorded on June 19, 2019 in The Greene Space
Part of WQXR's Pride Celebration.

From: Japan Today

As she approaches her sixth decade of playing the piano, Sara Davis Buechner remains as passionate as ever about the instrument she loves. While speaking with Sara in her home in Philadelphia, with a laugh she says she can never retire; music is in her soul and it should be shared.

It’s not surprising to learn that when the critically acclaimed concert pianist is not performing across the globe, she is avidly supporting future generations: teaching budding musicians at Temple University, presenting masterclasses, and judging international piano competitions.

Sara Davis Buechner
In addition to extensive touring in South America, Europe, and Asia, Sara has performed in every state and province of North America as a chamber musician and soloist for top orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic and San Francisco Symphony. Her technical ability, creative flair, and intuitive genius showcased in her performances has been lauded by the New York Times and Washington Post, and she recently celebrated 30 years as a Yamaha Artist in 2017.

Sara frequently visits Japan to spend time in her Japanese wife’s hometown and to perform for the New Japan Philharmonic, but she is preparing to return to Tokyo this month for one of her most ambitious projects yet: performing all 21 of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s piano concertos with the Tokyo Sinfonia over the course of eight concerts. This is a feat that has never before been attempted by one artist.

I think people have to understand that, for transgender people, feeling at peace with their gender is as essential as eating every day.

Sara Davis Buechner

As a prominent figure in music and proud transgender woman, Sara also appears at LGBTQ events to speak about her experience transitioning from David to Sara Davis, at age 39. Feeling trapped but obligated to play the part of David, Sara felt herself depressed and suicidal—until she found the strength to become who she was always meant to be.

We caught up with Sara to find out more about her passion for the piano, her musical journey, her upcoming challenge in Japan, and how she feels about her gender transition today.

Click here to read more.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Schitt$ Creek - Where Everyone Fits In (Part 2)

Yesterday I mentioned how much I enjoyed the TV comedy series Schitt$ Creek.  Now in season 5, the eclectic nature of the family is very entertaining.  It is almost a Utopian place “Where Everyone Fits In” and none more so than the David Rose character, played by Dan Levi. He is one half of the father/son executive producer team of Eugene Levy and Dan Levi.  Dan’s creative influence / writing  is everywhere and if you watch any of the cast interviews, his tenacity for inclusion is forefront.

This year’s television awards presentation of the “Emmy” awards has a category “Outstanding  Contemporary  Costumes and Schitt’s Creek was nominated. The series was also nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series with a total of four nominations.  

Here are clips of all the nominated shows.
 Fast forward to about 3:15 to see classic "David". 

Going back to the "Contemporary Costumes", David's choice of costumes has been very interesting. They range for semi-masculine (with flare), androgynous, to feminine leaning (skirts).  Dan's comment in one interview explain his feeling this way.

I’ve been a lover of fashion my whole life. I never knew how I was going to fit into that world. I knew that I loved it and I knew that I wanted to be up close and to touch it and feel it and be surrounded by it, and I finally found a way to do that. Part of the story we get to tell in this show is also my love affair with fashion.  Dan Levi.

Would't it be wonderful to live in a place where contemporary fashion was the norm and wearing what you liked would be the accepted; even applauded?  


Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Schitt$ Creek - Where Everyone Fits In

The CBC and Pop TV Award Winning Series 
I discovered the CBC - POP TV "Schitt$ Creek" comedy series  a few  month ago. Now in season 5, it quickly became a guilty pleasure. After the first show ended, I wanted more - yes, a binge-watch in the making. 

It is a reverse "Beverly Hillbillies" (wow, am I telling my age), where a crazy rich family loses everything and must move to a small town they previously purchased as a joke. The possible "town interactions" are endless as they live in a broken down motel and start a slow assimilation into the town's life and their new life. 

In Goodwood OT, Canada
David Rose's Apothecary

The tiny town, (very much like the one where I was raised) accepts the eclectic Rose family, played by the father Eugene Levi, mother Catherine O'Hara, and son and daughter Daniel Levi / Annie Murphy. The TV production is a family affair with Daniel and Eugene co-producing and Daniel writing. The dialogue is sharp and funny.

Puns abound - e.g., the Mayor, whose family founded the town, is named "Roland Schitt".    

Eugene Levy has also won two Emmys for his writing on Second City Television (SCTV) as well as many other awards and nominations for his television work. He is a veteran actor who has appeared in more than 60 motion pictures to date, eight of which having topped the $100M mark. From what I read, he is a true Canadian treasure. This year "Schitt$ Creek" has Emmy nominations for Comedy Series, Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (Eugene Levy), Lead Actress Comedy Series (Catherine O’Hara), and Contemporary Costumes categories.

Dan Levy's activism in the LGBTQ community is written into the the story line. He uses "Schitt$ Creek" to demonstrate a world without homophobia. As he explains to the Advocate:

The amount of response I got from the third season of our show where we first introduced the character of Patrick was like, ‘I really hope nothing bad happens to them.’ It was a very conscious effort on my part to not have that happen. In fact, it’s been a conscious effort to not ever show the other side on our television program. I have made a very strong point to not ever show bigotry, homophobia, or intolerance on our show because to me, it’s a celebration of love. At the root of it, "Schitt$ Creek" is a celebration of love between the family and between the relationships that we build.

Last month while in the Burlington/Toronto area I took a drive north to see the small Canadian town where on-location, outside taping is done - Goodwood ON. The show has literally put  Goodwood on the map. Obviously "Schitt$ Creek" is not real and the majority of the show's scenes are done inside at a Toronto sound stage. Still, I felt an affinity with such a cute little town and had to visit.  

The photo above is taken sitting in the door of what would be shown as "David Rose's Apothecary". The town photos are: the show's "Bob's" Garage, the "Tropical Cafe" and the complete front of "Rose's Apothecary".   

Memories abounded as I thought back to my little town in Virginia that had three very similar buildings, no stoplight, and a garage. It was a delightful day. There are not many that can say they had lunch up in "Schitt$ Creek" - with or without a paddle.

Lunch in "Schitt$ Creek"

In Part 2 I will talk about David's fashion choices.
  Stay tuned... 

Monday, September 23, 2019

Patricia Arquette - Emmy Awards '19

Patricia Arquette recognizes trans community
 and late sister during Emmy win

Patricia Arquette 
Patricia Arquette, who played Dee Dee Blanchard in "The Act," took time during her Emmy speech for outstanding supporting actress in a limited series or movie to recognize the trans community.

After winning the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie at the 2019 Emmy Awards, Patricia Arquette gave a powerful speech about transgender rights.

Arquette specifically mentioned her late sister Alexis Arquette, an actress and transgender activist who died in September 2016. 

In my heart I'm so sad I lost my sister Alexis and that trans people are still being persecuted. I'm in mourning in every day of my life for Alexis. Give them jobs. They are human beings, let's give them jobs and get rid of this bias we have everywhere.

Laverne Cox gave a standing ovation inside the theater after Patricia's call for trans equality.

Alexis Arquette 1969 - 2016

Transitioning Into Cooler Times

 Summer Whites Vs Winter Whites...

From : CHRISTINA! @ Inspire U  Blog

White symbolizes innocence and purity. The color white reflects light and is a neutral that goes with anything (denim, patterns, white on white, etc). What's the big deal with wearing white after Labor Day? What exactly is winter white vs. summer/spring white? I finally got my answer! 

Difference: The Fabric

SUMMER WHITE. Summer fabrics are made of lightweight materials such as mesh, linen, jersey and sheer fabrics. You usually only have a couple months to rock outfits incorporating these materials, unless you live in FLORIDA like me! lol If you live in a tropical climate similar to me (Caribbean, California, etc), it's appropriate to wear your summer whites year round. Most of the time these particular fabrics are made of cotton and are already starting off stark white. 

WINTER WHITE. Winter white is never pure white and always has a cream/ivory tint color to it. Flannel, knits, cashmere, corduroys, leathers, and tweeds always look great in the fall and winter months. Because these fabrics are thicker and heavier, it is almost impossible to dye them pure white. Clothes made of these fabrics will always be off white, bone, cream, ivory, or in the blush, beige family. Depending on the fabric, like denim or silk, they can be wore all-year round. White jeans or a cotton cardigan are versatile and can be wore every season.

My favorite winter white fashion statement is wearing white monochromatic from head-to-toe. This look is simple, chic and sophisticated!

Saturday, September 21, 2019


Mapleview Mall - Burlington, Ontario Canada 

Good advice! 

Friday, September 20, 2019

Catch Of The Day - Friday September 20th

A good choice for casual Friday from Nordstrom and Banana Republic  

CASLON - Three Quarter Sleeve Tee $26.00

             "Cut with a boat neckline, this feminine style feels super soft
             in a finely ribbed knit of cotton and modal."
             Note: I purchased in "Medium" and found
                      the sizing to be very generous.  

*Sperry - Crest Vibe Platform Sneaker In White $79.99

             "This fan-favorite sneaker gets a stylish boost with a
             higher platform sole embossed with logo treading
             to give you sure footing  on the boat deck or boardwalk."
             Note - Female Sizing and super cute foot flattering. 

Ballet Flat 
*Banana Republic - Robin Almond-Toe Ballet Flat $88.00
             "Color: Almond Suede & Black Leather"
             Note - A very comfortable fit even for my semi-wide foot.
                      Very feminine.   

*Wait for sale

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Killbear Provincial Park

Killbear Park - Ontario CA
I really am a country girl.  Growing up, many summer and fall days were spent exploring the large wooded areas next door to my home.  Forts were built and I knew the run of one creek for miles. It was on that creek that I found a moon-shine still, but that is another story.  

Many of my trips have provided opportunities to see and explore outdoor areas. While in Portland Oregon a few years back, I explored nature trails leading to a remote lighthouse; Haystack Rock (235 feet off the beach); and snow-capped Mount Hood. While in Calgary Alberta, Canada I explored Bow Falls in beautiful nearby Banff. In Vancouver BC, Canada. I also explored some amazing scenic villages along the route from Vancouver travelling north to  the Olympic ski village of Whistler.

Country Girl at Heart
A wonderful opportunity came up on my recent trip to see Ontario's beautiful remote Killbear Provincial Park. It is a large provincial park located on Georgian Bay in the Parry Sound District of Ontario, near the town of Nobel.

 Killbear combines sandy beaches typical of the Great Lakes with the rock ridges and pines of the Canadian Shield. (Wikipedia). Located about 3 hours north of Toronto (274.0 km) it was so worth the drive. Areas of Canada are more remote than the US parks and the terrain, stillness and beauty are awesome. 

The southeastern portion of the Park protects a typical area of bedrock barrens which represent a distinctive shallow soil habitat of trees and vegetation growing out of rock cliffs. The park is one area within a larger significant landscape, with 30,000 islands along the eastern coast of the Georgian Bay. This large bay open out into the eastern side of Lake Huron, with Michigan's UP (US side) to the west. The views, camping, landscape and remoteness makes Killbear a very popular summertime retreat for many. 

My guide and I explored rock cliffs, campsites, and beaches for over two hours. The trails and vistas are beautiful.  Before heading south back to "civilization", we had dinner at the locals' fish camp restaurant, Gilly's. It is on the water, just outside the park. The view of a distant lighthouse marking the Snug Harbour entrance channel from Georgian Bay, was breathtaking.   

Snug Harbor Light House - Marking the entrance to Snug Harbour - Built 1894

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

The Shaw Festival

Boy Meets Girl — In an enchanted Scottish village. 
On a  Saturday evening while in Burlington Ontario, last month, I had the immense pleasure of attending the Shaw Festival's production of Learner and Lowe's, Brigadoon, in Niagara-on-the-Lake Ontario.  

The original production or Brigadoon opened at the Ziegfeld Theater on Broadway in 1947 and ran for 581 performances. A movie version of Brigadoon, directed by Vincente Minnelli, was released by MGM in 1954 with Gene Kelly, Van Johnson, and Cyd Charisse in leading roles. . 

It is a musical that chronicles two post World War II veterans' escape and effort to find solace from a world gone mad. The two stumble upon Brigadoon, a mythical Scottish village that appears for only one day every 100 years. Tommy, one of the men, falls in love with Fiona, a young woman from Brigadoon.  (Wikipedia) 

Brigadoon's on stage cast numbers 26. The sets are first class with state of the art silk screens, video projection, and moving scenes. The music is all so familiar, with "Almost Like Being in Love" at its center. A first class Broadway production. 

Brigadoon - Shaw Festival 2019

Wow - what a meaningful play in a beautiful packed theater. What a lovely evening!  Below is a little history on the "Shaw". I really hope to be able to attend this wonderful Festival again.


In 1962, in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, lawyer and playwright Brian Doherty parlayed his love for the work of Irish playwright Bernard Shaw into a summer theater festival, producing eight performances of Don Juan in Hell and Candida in the Court House auditorium.  In this singular act of passion for theater and culture, the Shaw Festival was born.

Today, with 10 or more productions each year performed in three theaters for an audience of more than 250,000, the Shaw Festival has grown to become a major Canadian cultural icon, a gem in this country’s rich cultural heritage. Inspired by the wit and passion of Bernard Shaw, the Shaw Festival is a contemporary theater that features a smart, provocative, potent and diverse mix of plays from the past and present, performed by our celebrated repertory theater Ensemble.

The result is theater that is challenging, surprising, often funny and always entertaining. These plays are lovingly and artfully brought to the stage each year by a talented team of actors, directors, and designers, showcasing the incredible tapestry of talent that this country contributes to the world.

Helmed by Artistic Director Tim Carroll (TC), this 58th Season offers 13 productions from April 6 to December 22, including the musical Brigadoon, C.S. Lewis’ The Horse and His Boy, The Ladykillers, two Holiday Season shows – A Christmas Carol and Holiday Inn – and  more "Secret Theater".

Recipient of Trip Advisor’s “Certificate of Excellence”, the Shaw Festival is … the perfect intermission from life. More from the The Wall Street Journal:

Directly comparable in scope and quality to such ambitious south-of-the-border classical festivals as the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. If you’re up for a weekend—or a whole week—of first-class theater, you should give very serious thought to going there.  

Saturday Evening at the Shaw Festival

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Shakespeare at the Rock - Twelfth Night

Shakespeare at the Rock - Burlington’s Tottering Biped Theater.

At The Play
While in Burlington, Ontario last month, I had many wonderful experiences which will be shared over the next few days. One was attending an outdoor presentation of William Shakespeare’s play, Twelfth Night. The play presented by The Tottering Biped Theater at Burlington's Royal Botanical Gardens, was fascinating. The historic Rock Garden provides the perfect atmosphere for a night of inspiring theater under the stars - a delicious, only slightly cool, summer evening. 

The site Shmoop offered this play description:  

Gender is a biggie in Twelfth Night, and the play brilliantly demonstrates how gender, a socially constructed identity, can be "performed" and impersonated with the use of voice, costume, and mannerisms. The theme is largely explored in relation to Shakespeare's profession as an actor and writer for a transvestite stage (in Elizabethan times, all-male acting companies performed the roles of women). The relationship between gender and performance is particularly complex in Twelfth Night because the part of Viola is played by a boy actor, who is cross-dressed as a female character, who disguises herself as a young man. Of course, the text also meditates on the relationship between gender and desire as it explores the erotics of androgyny.

Viola (Cesario) and Olivia 

The Shakespeare at the Rock rendition of the play took liberties with the original time period and setting while still staying true to the old English dialogue. The play’s time was moved forward to the 1980s, place Miami. The court jester, Feste, is now an over the top drag queen. This is a space where young people - not unlike the ones Shakespeare was writing about - are taking chances, experimenting with self-expression, and show a side of themselves they may not reveal in the light of day. We’ve all been there - or are there- so why not put Shakespeare’s characters there too?

Spoiler alert - "The girl gets the girl. Or was it the boy gets the girl?"


What a fun, interesting and beautiful evening. 

Royal Botanical Gardens, Burlington, ON Canada

Monday, September 16, 2019

Time's A Wastin'

Over the years I have spent many hours shopping and putting together outfits. Matching, making sure the shoes are just so, and then spending hours getting the makeup perfect. Some of this time was spent procrastinating because I feared going out the door. "Oh, I think these shoes will look better." 

There is a simple elegance that can be seen every day by just looking around; be it at an airport, the mall or market. Confidence and the art of blending with feminine simplicity and elegance.   
Tall? - Own it!

The classic v-neck tee/sweater is a perfect example of simplicity when worn with jeans.  Almost any style of shoes will work with a tee/jeans outfit - you dress up the outfit, depending on the situation, with different styles of shoes. If the weather is cool, choose instead a v-neck *sweater in place of the tee.  The beauty of either of these combinations. It can work with almost any shape (or lack of). Waist issue - blouse it out. Hips issue - opt for a tunic/longer style. If you are tall - own it.

Have you ever wondered why this universal piece of clothing is called jeans?  Here is what "Today I Found Out" has to say:  

Jeans are easily one of the most ubiquitous pieces of clothing on Earth with millions of pairs being made, sold and wrapped around the butts of style conscious individuals every single day. But why are jeans so popular and for what purpose were they first made?

Before we answer that it’s important for us to first define exactly what we mean when we say “jeans” because the word has changed in context over the last few hundred years. As detailed by the Fashion Encyclopedia, the term “jeans” has existed since the 1600's, where it was used as a catch-all term to describe the “rough clothing worn by working men”. Since the fabric used to make these clothes often came from the Genoa region in Italy, it was commonly referred to as “jean”. Weavers from the Nimes area of France tried to replicate this fabric and it eventually came to be known as “denim” a bastardization of the words “de Nimes” (from Nimes). Cool, huh?

Pick your outfit (simple is always better), do your makeup and get out and go. Make a hasty escape, while you can! 

Time's A Wastin'.

June Carter Cash & Carl Smith - Time's A Wastin'   


*Fashion Item note: Venus - TIE SLEEVE CHENILLE SWEATER $49. This is really a neat looking sweater and it will get a lot of use this fall and winter. The fit is nice with enough feminine details to dress up your day.  

"This long sleeved, V-neck sweater features wide-ribbed fabric styling. This relaxed fit piece features crisscross lace up details on both sleeves, shoulder to elbow." (Venus)

Sizes: XS (2) to 3X 

Long sleeves with lace up detail at upper arms

V-neck style with ribbed texture