Monday, May 28, 2012

In Memoriam

Your silent tents of green
We deck with fragrant flowers;
Yours has the suffering been,
The memory shall be ours.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The quote is hardly needed as this picture (via Blackfive) says everything one needs to know about Memorial Day.
Suggested reading this Memorial Day from the New York Times
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Friday, May 25, 2012

How To Wear Estate Jewelry - Cuffed Like Charlize Theron

We were very happy to provide jewelry for the feature shoot with Charlize Theron for InStyle Magazine.She looks so pretty on the cover.
And I love the way that the stylist paired this coppery goddess gown

with this Tiffany Cuff bracelet from
Engraved with a date from 1914, it is amazing to think that this vintage Tiffany cuff is almost 100 years old. It is certainly as wearable today as it was in the Art Deco Era.

And then we have Ms. Theron looking long, leggy and lovely in these feature shots in basic black
mixing it up with these bracelets from

I have no special plans for this holiday weekend but I am looking forward to what I hope to be a couple of warm sunny days to relax with a book.
Do you have special plans for this weekend?
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Thursday, May 24, 2012

How To Wear Estate Jewelry - Amethysts With Gray For Workwear Everyday

Inspired by Lisa at Amid Privilege who gets to wear jeans and a sweater to work
(and she looks great in them)
I thought that I would post my work wardrobe today.

It won't be a surprise to anyone who reads BHB and who knows my uber thrifty ways
that I spend the minimum on my clothing
and on the kind of trendy accessories that will either wear out and/or go out of style in a matter of months.
Since simplicity is the key to my work wardrobe, I tend to wear only gray, navy and black clothes at the office and accent those clothes with scarves and jewelry.
So voila, my outfit du jour
a charcoal gray suit by Calvin Klein ($39 at Ross), a purple t-shirt by Anne Klein ($12 at Marshalls) and a purple floral scarf by Mango ($29 at JC Penny).

But I do invest in things that are durable and that have actual intrinsic value, such as estate jewelry.
(Costume jewelry may be on trend but it has zero intrinsic value, trust me on this)

I love purple and gray as a color combination so I tend to pair amethysts with my gray wardrobe.

Do you have a a particular color combination that you favor?
And, does your work wardrobe tend to have a different color palate than the rest of your clothes?
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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Fantasy French Farmhouse via The Countrypolitian

Have you found The Countrypolitian blog yet?

Check out her post on this lovely house that belongs to the owners of Domaine de Mourchon

Thank God, this magnificent country house isn't actually for sale
because I would covet it so.
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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tom Cruise on W - I'll Take What He's Having

Have you seen the new issue of W Magazine with Tom Cruise on the cover?
How can it be that the middle aged Cruise looks like he's 18 years old in the cover photo
if not younger?
Surgery? Photoshop? Top Secret beauty products?
I want to know.
Whatever his beauty routine is, I want to get in on it.

And, on the topic of age
Slate has yet another article on pre-teen runway models.
When Did High Fashion Models Get So Young

In recent years, the debate over underage fashion models has reached a fever pitch. Ondria Hardin starred in a sultry Prada ad at 13. An Australian modeling agency recently announced that it wanted 13-year-olds because 16-year-olds were “too old.”
when did 16 year old girls become too old to model?

Imagine Doutzen Kroes being too old...or too big...for Prada.
“I probably fit a sample size once, when I was 11 or 12,” the Dutch model Doutzen Kroes has said, explaining why she left high fashion to work for brands like Victoria’s Secret. Who but an undeveloped teen could fit a skirt with a 33-inch hip?
who indeed?

But read the article all the way to the last paragraph.
You will be amazed to read the justification for why t'ween models are in demand.
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Monday, May 21, 2012

Pinterest versus Blogging

Do you love Pinterest as much as much as I do?
Where else can you find photos of everything from clothes to recipes, jewelry to gardens.
It's like twitter but with gorgeous images and without the silly tweets.

I like to look at pretty things on Pinterest
especially pretty gardens like in this image

But La Dolce Vita blog asks today: Is Pinterest Hurting The Blog World?

I don't think so, but I am a reader who enjoys a cleverly written post.

Are you on Pinterest?
Do you think that it is hurting the blog world?
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Friday, May 18, 2012

Around Town - The Los Angeles Garden Tour

Today we had a perfect sunny day for the annual Los Angeles Garden Tour

Most of the ladies at the event were in floaty flowery frocks and big hats
but I dressed down for the occasion
in a khaki cotton suit by Nine West ($24.99 at Ross!),

and hot pink Escada loafers and Celine bag, both vintage 2001

After seeing my my belted khaki suit...perhaps more appropriate for an African safari...
( if I had my own Denys Finch Hatton to take me big game hunting...and then wash my hair alfresco)
my daughter kindly asked me where my bolt action rifle was.
I responded by accessorizing with vintage jewelry rather than buck shot.
like this antique Victorian diamond flower brooch in 18K
appropriate I thought for spending time some of the prettiest gardens in the city
and these adorable diamond earrings in 18K
and in the spirit of keeping it simple
a Cartier watch and a diamond line bracelet in 18K.

I would have posted some images of the amazing gardens that I walked through today
but we were not allowed to take photos on the tour in order to protect the privacy of the homeowners.
Fair enough. 
The last garden on the tour, which I missed because I had to get back to the office,
was at the Playboy Mansion.
I heard that it was amazing with mature redwoods, the famous grotto, peacocks and even a zoo!
Apparently, there were no bunny sightings on the property.
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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Donna Summer RIP

So many of our generation are sad today about the passing of Donna Summer.I've enjoyed reading the many tributes to her in the blogosphere today.
For an excellent post on the brilliant Donna Summer
check our Stirred Straight Up With A Twist

She was an amazing talent.
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Estate Jewelry Look of the Day - How To Wear An Antique Slide Necklace

Have I mentioned before that I love jewelry?That would be pretty much all jewelry, old and new,
and I especially love seeing antique or vintage jewelry
worn in a modern and fresh way.
Here's an example

A caftan style shift with simple lines worn with an antique necklace from Beladora2

Every time I pick up a piece of antique jewelry I wonder about many things.
Who was the original owner?
Did she get the item as a gift and if so for what purpose?
What was her life like when she was wearing the piece?
Was she happy or sad?

In some ways, holding an antique in my hand is like having one part of a story or one piece of a historical puzzle, and I can't help but want to have the rest of the pieces in order to put the puzzle together and to know the whole story.

But since that can't be done, I'll settle for wearing that antique piece now and creating a new story to go with it.
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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Enjoying The Great Outdoors At Home

Are you loving the trend towards creating outdoor rooms for entertaining as much as I am?
Here in California our economy is a mess
but our weather is awesome
So why not take advantage of the great outdoors
even if is only a small patio
I especially love to see fireplaces incorporated into outdoor spaces.

These images are from the Pottery Barn
but there are many other vendors on the net with wonderful furniture.
Ah...let the summer begin!
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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Flower Gifts For Mother's Day - Beladora Style

Since a bouquet of actual posies can bring on an allergy attack...I actually saw that happen last week,
may I suggest giving Mom a non allergy inducing floral gift from Beladora or Beladora 2.


You know she's so love these...
I'm off to spend Mother's Day in Laguna Beach with my mother.
I hope that you are spending the day with your mother too.
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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Men's Style: The Long and Short of It

When did we become of nation of men in shorts?
I really don't know but I assume it happened sometime between 1985 and 1995.
Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against men in shorts
in the appropriate places
such as
at the beach, on a sailboat, on a hiking trail, on a soccer field, in the garden, etc.
When did shorts and a t-shirt become the de rigueur kit for travel?

PJ O'Rourke has more amusing things to say about this in Forbes.
Why Adults Should Ditch The Shorts, Wear Suits

When I board an airplane these days, all the middle-aged men are dressed like me—when I was an 8-year-old. They’re in shorts and T-shirts. And it’s not just on airplanes. It’s in business offices, teachers’ lounges, and churches. The priest is still wearing a cassock, but who knows what he’s got on underneath?

The kid-who-stayed-40-years-too-long-on-the-playground look doesn’t inspire trust. If dressing up as a third grader is your idea of how to treat yourself, what’s your idea of how to treat me?
And what’s the rest of the world’s idea of how to treat you? When I was growing up, I was told, “The way you dress is the way you’re regarded.”

With the overgrown-brat image, we also shed our adult authority. The only advantage to being a middle-aged man is that when you put on a jacket and tie you’re the Scary Dad. Never mind that no one has had an actually scary dad since 1966. The visceral fear remains. When I set my jaw and stare over the top of my tortoiseshell half-glasses, everyone under 50—from waiter to law-firm partner—thinks, “Grounded for life.” This doesn’t work when you’re wearing shorts and a T-shirt.

I don't often agree with Peggy Noonan but she nailed it with this quote:
“Special thanks to the person who invented casual Friday. Now it’s casual everyday in America.
But when you lower standards people don’t decide to give you more, they give you less.”

Full disclosure:   I am wearing cargo shorts, a polo button down shirt and birkenstocks today, but it is Saturday and the office is closed.

This wouldn't be my weekday uniform or what I would wear to travel.

Do you think that casual dress has encouraged over casual attitudes and service?
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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Fantasy French Farmhouse

Oh why did Sharon at My French Country Home have to post this charming property?

you have 187,000 spare euros and
a truck load of energy and ideas;
you like to ski;
you like to surf;
you like to live in the country;
you would enjoy life near a small rural French town;
you like good wine...

I know, it needs a little work
But look at the view!

90 minutes from Biarritz...hmmm
if I only had the 187,000 euros....
and another 250,000 euros to fix it up...
and the time to move there and supervise the remodel....
if only.
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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Beladora on the Red Carpet at the Dark Shadows Premier

I don't know about you but the one film that I want to see this summer is Dark Shadows.Take Michelle Pfeiffer, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, and Eva Green and mix them up in a Tim Burton film and I know that it is going to turn out to be something brilliant.

I never saw the original Dark Shadows film or watched the TV series, did you?
If you did you would remember the two beautiful actresses, Lara Parker and Kathryn Leigh Scott pictured here in the center of Kathyrn's book.

Well, here is a photo of these lovely actresses from last night's Dark Shadows premier.
Elegant aren't they?
And here they are with Michelle Pfeiffer who looks fabulous for 50.
Oh, and in case you didn't notice
To complement her sapphire colored gown, Kathryn Leigh Scott is wearing a sapphire and pearl necklace and earrings set by French designer Eric Bertrand from

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Monday, May 7, 2012

She Looks Good For Her Age

100 years of Hollywood royalty: Beverly Hills Hotel celebrates a century as a star-studded hotspot

Like any Grande Dame in Beverly Hills, she's had some nips and tucks over the years
But she's never lost her original charm

Living on the west side of LA where everything is green and lush I've always assumed that it was always this way.

But I was wrong.
Now, when I look at photographs of LA landmarks from 100 years ago, I can see how barren and desert-like the landscape was.

Look, not a tree or shrub in sight, except for the palm trees that were planted. 
Amazing isn't it.
For more on the history of  Beverly Hills Hotel and Los Angeles architecture
check out this great blog
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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Say What?

"Civilized people don't buy gold"
Say what?

According to this article Warren Buffet's partner Charlie Munger recently declared
"Gold is a great thing to sew into your garments if you’re a Jewish family in Vienna in 1939," the Berkshire vice chairman said, "but I think civilized people don’t buy gold, they invest in productive businesses."

Well, in a perfect world I agree with the billionaire.
In a perfect world investing in businesses that employ people and create wealth is a good thing.
But I don't live in a perfect world, do you?

Munger lives in a billionaire's utopia where his wealth is so vast that a little inflation here or there will have zero effect on his life.
And worse, Munger and Buffett have sheltered their assets from inheritance and other taxes by funding family foundations, and then proposed raising taxes on the rest of us.

In my world inflation exists and the value of the dollar is decreasing.
Tax rates matter.
I'm not endorsing an asset allocation that would make Midas proud
but it doesn't hurt to diversify your portfolio and own a smidgen of gold.
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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Truly Becoming - The Blog

Always one to share the loveI wanted to tell you about Cynthia Sliwa's new blog
Truly Becoming
Conversations about Authentic Style for Women over 40

Cynthia, an ex-attorney, saw the need for style advice for so many women that she opened her own business as a image consultant,

In addition to being a style maven, she is a jewelry maven as well.
Not only has she written the Jewelry Fashion File blog on the JCK website
(JCK is a jewelry trade publication that everyone in the industry reads)
She authored the book
Jewelry Savvy: What Every Jewelry Wearer Should Know

Here is my copy of her is like my jewelry bible.

If you want to know what kind of necklace looks best with a certain neckline or body type,
or what earring design you should wear with a particular hairstyle or face shape,
this book is for you.

Check out her blog
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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sofa on Wheels - Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

Well, I guess that we all knew that it was only a matter of time

So this is where we are going...
one step further to becoming the non walking humans
from one of my favorite movies, Wall-E

Another step towards devolution
Yes, be afraid, be very afraid.
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