Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Ten Commandments According to Kay

In 1972, when I was in the seventh grade (stop doing the math...) I met my friend Elizabeth. To this day we are the best of friends and she is now a successful book editor in Manhattan. I don't call Elizabeth by her first name and she does not address me as Kay. It is a mystery of the ages, but since our fateful meeting in 1972 we have called each other "Beast". Neither of us are quite sure where this nickname comes from, but it goes way way back.

Beast was the driving force for getting this blog started---she is always full of wonderful ideas. She told me that the world needed to share in my "Kay-isms". She has been reading it daily (hi Beast!) and suggested I share Kay's 10 Commandments.

Here goes. Kay's 10 Commandments for a happy, blessed and sassy life.

1. Thou shall wake up happily and thank God for blessing you with a new day.

Part of my Herend collection

Beautiful perfume bottles add little touches of beauty to my everyday life.

2. Thou shall surround yourself with beautiful things and only happy people. There is no place for ugly or grumpy.

3. Thou shall eat dinner at a table set with china and crystal and have conversation with your family. 
No eating in front of the TV.

Love these border napkins from Matouk

4. Thou shall use cloth napkins.

5. Thou shall not wear ugly shoes.

6.Thou shall not own any cheap handbags.

7. Thou shall only purchase and own art that makes your heart sing.

Proof that quality upholstery stands the test of time--
these chairs we recently reupholstered and have taken on a whole new life.

8. Thou shall never buy cheap upholstery----cheap upholstery needs to stay at the store from which it came.

9. Thou shall follow Coco Chanel's rule..."In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different."

10. Thou shall go through life happily singing and dancing to make every day joyous.

And a Frank Sinatra song to light up your Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Why I love Mondays.

I love Mondays. Yes, you read that right. Mondays, I love them.
Mondays are full of opportunity. You have a new week ahead of you with which to accomplish things, make clients happy and facilitate business.

I started my Monday dancing around of course in this white Tahari dress. Given my recent 20 pound weight loss a lot of my clothes are a little baggy. This wide belt from Bergdorf's  is the perfect solution and made the outfit---It didn't make the cut for my daughter Riley's TCU closet, so it moseyed on over to mama's closet!

My first stop was to a client's house to make some decisions about tile for their house.
We are in the process of building their new house and have made several trips to Dallas to pick tile.
We finalized our selections for all areas yesterday.

After my tile meeting I had to make an "emergency" trip to Dallas to take a dining chair out on approval for a client.

This set of eight antique chairs at East & Orient were making my heart sing on a recent trip 
and I just knew they were going to be the perfect solution for a client of mine.

While I was there I had to take a picture of East & Orient's fabulous powder room.

This is SO me.

After East & Orient I headed to Lovers Lane Antique Market to pick up this fabulous antique jewelry box from the 18th century.

It was the perfect finishing touch in my client's master bath.

With my emergency taken care of, I decided to stop by Deno's and pick up some shoes I was having repaired. 

Last night I made turkey burgers, a French chopped cabbage salad (I buy the mix at Costco) and steamed brussel sprouts (that I steam with chicken broth for extra flavor).

Today was just as productive---a few client visits this morning followed by a vendor meeting this afternoon with Casamance, who had their French rep along for the ride. It was lovely to speak French for a moment as I rarely get to do so. I have spoken French almost fluently since high school and have been told by French natives that I speak with a Belgian accent (a gift from my Country Day teachers who were all from Belgium).

Casamance is not afraid of color, which suits me just fine because neither am I.

Michael Buble songs always put me in the best mood---perfect for the start of the week!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Kay's Weekend Recap!

While I love fun-filled, busy weekends as much as the next person, there is something about a weekend where there are no set plans.

This weekend was uneventful yet productive and relaxing and I am indeed grateful for weekends like this.

One of the best things about cooking every night is that I get to really enjoy my china and crystal.
Bringing it out on a daily basis, rather than just using it for a special occasion gives a certain grandeur to home cooked meals that not even the finest of restaurants can ever seem to quite match.

Some of my crystal I inherited, some we were gifted for our wedding, and some I have purchased on my own, when I have found some that is vintage and truly unique.

I always have my favorite crystal decor pieces displayed in my dining room.

Not only do I set my table with china and crystal every night---since I have a couple different sets, I mix it up from night to night-----but I also set out silver---either real or stainless, but always fabulous.

I also use knife rests every night, these are from England, which is an extra formal touch that I believe makes all the difference.

This china is Wedgwood Kimono and the silver is a Wallace stainless that I bought years ago from Ross-Simmons. The crystal is Lenox.

The Central Market crab cakes I served on Friday night were absolutely delicious.

I started my Saturday morning with an egg and a large mug of hot tea.

Afterward, I went on to Costco to do my monthly run. I stock up on meat and other things we need and then divide the meat into portions to be frozen and then pulled out each morning for dinner.
This is one of my best "secrets" to cooking every night---be armed and ready for action!

Costco packages their meat in huge portions, so I disassemble them and put the servings needed for our family (less if it's the time of year where the kids are at school, more if it's Christmas break or summertime).

My portioned meat---ready to freeze!

Like I've said, I've been eating the same lunch for 25 years--spinach or arugula with chicken salad and pecans and I eat it on the weekends as well.

It has to be said that while paper napkins are perfectly acceptable when you are sitting down for breakfast or lunch, cloth napkins are a must and non-negotiable when setting your dinner table.

My table setting for Saturday was a bit different. Same tablecloth (custom made for last year's Design Inspirations table) place mats (a find from Paris---at Galleries Lafayette) and napkins, but I switched up the crystal, china and added one of my favorite steak knives.

This china is Wedgwood Patrician (it was my grandmother's) and the steak knife is Laguiole Jean Dulox---a gift from my best friend Elizabeth, who I call "The Beast". My crystal is antique, bought last year at a favorite antique store as a treat to myself after a big job was completed.  Again, the knife rests are a must.

On Saturday I served steak, brussel sprouts and salad. 

On Sunday morning I took a walk on the levee by our house. I feel so fortunate that this beautiful oasis is one block from where I live.

I even spotted someone horseback riding.
It signified one of my favorite things about Fort Worth--we are truly a big city with a small town charm.
Where else would you spot someone on horseback less than 10 minutes from one of the best cultural epicenters in the country?

After my walk I went to Lowes to pick up some flowers to place on the front porch. 

During my walk through Lowes I saw several things that reminded me of my Riley girl, including but not limited to a light-up Eiffel Tower----She absolutely adores Paris, just like her mom!

I also spotted some Halloween Mickey and Minnie Mouse figurines.
Riley LOVED Mickey and Minnie growing up---she used to call them "bahas". I have no idea where that came from, but I have not passed a Mickey or Minnie since without thinking of my sweet girl.

My Lowes Loot!

The flowers brightened up my front porch in a big way.

I've mentioned before that I love football, and I made sure to check out the sports section upon my return home.

Sadly the Dallas Cowboys did lose yesterday, but I had to squelch my disappointment, because it was time to get ready for our weekly Rivercrest dinner.

I chose an orange silk top from Banana Republic, white pants from TopShop, a Cole Haan belt (the belt laid out was Judith Leiber, but I switched it for the wider Cole Haan), Vince Camuto embellished sandals and my orange Louis Vuitton purse.

Ready for dinner at RCCC.

This weekend's song had to be Serpentine Fire by Earth Wind and Fire. Such a classic.

Hope your weekend was as beautiful as mine!