Friday, October 14, 2016


Have you ever heard of Stitch Fix ? It's an on-line fashion business that has you fill out a questionnaire with all the details regarding your size, shape, best and worst features, likes and dislikes, personal style, budget, etc. Then, based on that information, one of their stylists will hand-pick five items, meant just for you, and ship them out to you. The more information you give them, the better your selections will be, so they even ask you to link them to your Pinterest fashion boards, if you have them (I just happened to have a Bohemian Hippy Gypsy Cowgirl board from several years back). I have always heard about fancy department stores with personal stylists, but never dreamed it would be within my realm of possibility. Finally I caved in and placed an order.

On the plus side, they send you this great card showing different ways to wear and accessorize each piece they send you, with both casual and dressier options. On the negative side, pretty much everything in my box was a bust.

My most fervent wish was that their stylists would be so savvy that they could look at my personal details and know exactly which styles would show them off to their best advantage. When I opened my box to find a mini dress that stopped several inches above my knees and a pair of skinny jeans, my little balloon of hope went pop!  Fairly certain I mentioned being sixty two, and having short chunky legs that looked best in straight or boot cuts. Another disappointment was that there wasn't a natural fiber to be seen, and everything had to be hand-washed or dry-cleaned. I do not do dry-cleaning anymore!

The purple shruggy thing was kinda cute, but only went with one thing in my closet, which you see behind me. Since that 2'x5' space has to hold everything I own, for all seasons, plus shoes, hats, purses, ironing board, suitcase and a bunch of old slides and photos, every piece of clothing simply must be multi-purpose!
The biggest disappointment, however, was realizing that they were not going to be teaching me much of anything about what styles would bring out the best in me (if anything, it would be me teaching them), and that's not really their primary goal. I think they are more about trends, and convincing you to keep up with them. Out with the old! In with the new! I happen to have a problem with that. In fact, that's probably why I ended up leaving fashion merchandising -- my original path -- and wound up merchandising plants and garden accessories instead. I like working with things that last. I also believe in that old saying, "Support your local businesses, else you won't have any!"

So, I only ended up keeping the one black patterned top, since I had lots it would go with. The good news is that you only pay for what you keep. The rest goes into the pre-paid priority mail bag that comes in your shipment, and you just drop it off at the post office. There is a $20 styling fee, but that is applied towards anything you do buy. I also appreciate the fact that, when you check-out online, you are encouraged to tell them what you liked and didn't like about everything in the box. I gave them an earful!

And, since I get really irritated with people who make snap judgements about food and restaurants without really giving them a fair chance, I decided to place one more order. But first, I went back to an article in one of their newsletters, about all the things you can do to help their stylists make better choices for you, and this time, I actually did them. I'll let you know how it turns out. Next box should be arriving today!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


We may be expecting temps in the lower 90s all week, but that does not mean that fall has not yet arrived in our little town. Au contraire! To tell you the truth, the less cooperative Mother Nature happens to be in your neck of the woods -- say you live in a country like Indonesia, where the only two seasons are rainy, and not-so-rainy -- the more vital it is to help her along by creating your own seasons.

We've got this!

Only thing better is when all of this segues into millions of tiny twinkle lights dripping from the eaves of every building in town!

Monday, October 10, 2016


Good wine from Duchman Family Winery...

good food from Trattoria Lisina, which happens to be right next door...

and great friends to share it with, in this perfect spot right between the two.

Does it get any better?