Archive of ‘Life’ category

Just get your paycheck from Disney and be quiet, Political Correctness Gone Wild

Every time one of these “actresses” open their mouths about fairy tales damaging their children I just puke in my mouth. Kristen Bell, Keira Knightly come to mind this week.  I loved most of these movies they are in.  (Frozen, soon to be released Disney’s ‘The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” come to mind).  Outside of the big screen? Hey, shut it down. No wonder Hollywood ticket sales just keep plunging, Just look at recent stories, for instance theverge.com.   Look at ticket numbers SOLD not the ridiculous prices you pay at box office, so they can spew their mindless opinions.  Don’t get me wrong, Kristen Bell’s comedic timing is second to none, Keira Knightley’s Atonement, perfection.

Quit killing the soliloquy on why you won’t let your kids watch certain Disney movies.  These are make believe stories that are GREAT!  Quit killing the romance.   MAYBE if you concentrated on taking literature classes in various disciplines you would have learned about story development, the basic of which is good vs. evil, reading some of the great Shakespeare classics “The Taming of the Shrew” later on Broadway, “Kiss Me Kate”.   A simple accounting class would help too, the kind that teaches you that your paycheck is green…

I’m a strong business woman whose mom, dad (or older siblings) read wonderful tales from favorite books like Hans Christian Anderson … (my favorite was Thumbelina and movie, Snow White).  I didn’t think about the knight riding in (though I found mine charged in) as much as the woodland friends who helped her clean the house.  I wasn’t “harmed” because the prince comes in to rescue my day or kissed me first without asking.   (I said yes on our 2nd date and am gracious for his love and support all these years.  Hell, he likely was the better “mother” anyhow because his chief job was to make sure that at least he was always there while I ran, for the better part, the business.)

I don’t know what ticks me off more, actors who think we want to know about their politics or opinions on the latest #hashtag movement, their stupid publicists that think ANY mention in the social universe keeps their client relevant (it doesn’t, it just makes their adoring public less adoring and turned off), or the press who ask these stupid opinions in the first place

SHUT UP AND MAKE YOUR MONEY FROM DISNEY.

Becoming a grandparent

I have had the most incredible ride this past year.  My youngest went back to UPenn after a medical leave (no biggie but we became “empty nesters”) whereupon his return to school meant that we found ourselves alone again.  Although we were sad to no longer have him bounce around the house,  however, selfish as it may seem, my house was always clean, nothing shoved in drawers and counters uncluttered.  For my anal-retentive self, it was wonderful. Laundry time was cut in half and food prep was simple, because there was none of that “making two meals”, one for us and one for Mr. Picky Eater.

Years ago, my father gave me the one-eye curse when I was 25 or so and came home unexpectedly with one of those “didn’t mom tell you?”.  Dad said, and I quote ” may this happen one day to you “.  It wasn’t that my father was upset I moved back home, but it really was more that, since I was the last to leave, they had everything they wanted in their house in order and for a father with a strong desire to have order, having me move back was the unexpected.  Naturally, the chaos that comes with a 20-something with an apartment full of stuff moving into their garage and spilling out everywhere else was hard for him to adjust to. Lucky for both my parents though, I was organized beyond a fault and that made the temporary return to the nest fairly enjoyable for all three of us.

For a long time, my father’s curse never materialized. Then it happened.  My son called me in early January, only 6 weeks from delivering their first born, said he felt really bad about my husband’s illness (Type 1) and severe back problems.  He had said that if we wanted him to help with my husband then his family was prepared to move the 1200 miles back home.  He would love to learn the business, take much of his dad’s responsibilities away from him and also help out with taking his dad to any one of his 11 doctors.  I was thrilled. My oldest son coming back with his wife and a new baby to live with us???!!!  Heaven for me.  Since Bill had pursued a business school degree and wasn’t interested in getting his, (entrepreneurship runs in his veins), I was happy to work some of his ideas for the business, especially now that the US Economy was on a roll, meaning, expanding.  (We still REALLY want to open a store at Disney Springs so this will be the start of moving those plans forward.)

Oh and did I say I am now officially a grandparent?  And now I have my father’s curse because there is chaos here at home.  There is baby stuff everywhere.  Drinking wine helps.

And a girl?  FINALLY??? After wishing for one we finally get our dream of dressing a little one in frills and bows.

And naturally, where does one go for her first excursion out – to Disney of course!  Our design studio is only a mile from the park so, we bundled her up, Jim in his wheel chair (he just had major surgery on his back two weeks earlier and was feeling better).  However, it was freezing and we had nothing to coordinate this munchkin in!  SO I am starting with designing a line of little dresses, perfect for those cute photo shoot for newborn.  Haven’t posted the pix yet for our latest collection of “Pegeen Babies“, but we are popping out new dresses all week long.

And, I am pleased to say that even though the hospital billed the insurance company for $187,000+, Jim is doing pretty good out of the hospital just two weeks.  Thank you Dr. Villalobus, an awesome Neurosurgeon.

Well I just can not win

That’s the bad news.  My oldest siblings get everything first.  Including nicknames. The good news is better however.  About a year ago, my oldest son got married. Then a few months later, went on his honeymoon to Hawaii. True to some family honeymoon tradition (hahaha)  they got pregnant with their first child. Unexpectedly, Jim and I found ourselves not only becoming new in-laws but grandparents-to-be.

Now lots of my friends have children much older than mine.  I didn’t start my family until my late 30’s so while my youngest used to beg me to dye my gray hair “Mom, people think you are my grandmom” he cried in first grade, it left the two of us young in spirit.  Then my oldest got married so young (for today that is) and well, soon in just a few weeks, I will be able to join that special club where you get to have all the lovin’ in the world and send them home.  (Who would want to?)

But, not feeling like a grandma yet, especially since I do color my locks every four weeks, I had to choose a name that didn’t say “old lady with now dyed hair”.  My sister chose “GiGi” and my other, “MiMi” which leaves me with only one name as far as I am concerned.

lollipop

How many of you all growing up in the 60’s remember this box?  It’s official, I’m Lolli and Jim is Pop – and this comes from a Mom who named her kids Bill and Ted for fun.  They took the good names, they won!

Its Beginning to look alot like Christmas

So, Halloween decorations away, and yep, the trees are up. This is the first year we are once again totally artificial with three trees! I thought I would NEVER do that however, in Florida the trees dry out very quickly.  We are a sucker for Christmas, (not to out-do Jessica Milliken) but we love the season as do most (just see my Facebook cover pix).  Of course, at Christmas this year, we are crazy for it, even here in Florida because, after all, we can get our “snow” bubbles at Disney just a mile away.  This time of the year too we get to meet many, many of our customers who come down to get their daughter’s Christmas Portraits for their trips.

Our customer chose this Tiffany Blue and Peony Pink silk flower girl dress for her photo shoot at Disney World.

Our customer chose this Tiffany Blue and Peony Pink silk flower girl dress for her photo shoot at Disney World

So, back to my trees!! My husband and I stole a tradition from my sister-in-law in that we try to pick up and ornament wherever we go for the kids, hoping they pick out their own.  This way, the kids have their own collection and when they get married, like Bill did this year, they get their treasure trove of ornaments.

I was really lucky too in purchasing my artificial trees during the Day After Christmas Sale.  We eyed them for weeks over at Hobby Lobby, drooled over them in Frontgate. (Seriously? A $2300 artificial tree? Seriously?), and ran around at local “Christmas Set Up Shops” – you know the ones that move into those Halloween stores. The funny thing is, I am not a Black Friday shopper (who needs the crowds?) nor had I ever gone to a store the day after Christmas for bargains, but this time, my husband and I were on the curb at their opening!!

We got 70% off the already-discounted tree AND to make it better, the clerk told me that we could haul off the floor sample for 15% more. WOW – I think the tree (which was tall) was around $750 and let me tell you, after spending a ridiculous $150 on a fresh tree that was dead before Christmas, we were thrilled to get 85% off.  In fact, we picked up another tree we both coveted last season that reminded us of our home, and had lovely snow and berries on it. I think we did great!  Finally, we were so happy with them we got a third “outside” tree in white so we can “think” snow.

Still working on the Thomas the Tank Engine Trains but this will all be up this year before my son comes home for Christmas break. Yes, and our tradition of playing Amy Grant the day after Halloween has once again been fulfilled.

Let the baking begin!!

I haven’t taken pictures yet but here, sadly, is our dog that passed away, under her favorite spot…. under the warmth of the Christmas Tree lights.  Maybe we can find a new one into our hearts this year.DSC_1959

Family Wedding Update

We were fortunate enough to finally celebrate with our son and his new wife in Lake Tahoe for a delayed reception. It was really nice because it took off the pressure for them to have a huge wedding especially since they were only 24 when the married in March of this year. Even nicer for us was that it was held in a small town called Kings Beach, right at the north end of Lake Tahoe.. and it had been on our bucket list for years. Since it had been the first vacation we were able to take in many years (except for family reunions) we were really looking forward to some well-deserved time off.  I will brag a bit too – Bill’s wedding was months earlier and their niece wore really one of my favorite dresses from my Pegeen Fairytale Collection of flower girl dresses, The Opal Fairy, our version of Elsa’s dress from Frozen.  I was so proud to see the dress in “action”.

We loved how Bill and Juanita were going to be able to get formal portraits done the night before the Celebration Reception by a photographer friend, happy that they were able to get professional shots done that I could put my newly acquired scrapbook skills to use. I think they came out beautiful so for anyone who is waiting for a trip, I recommend going to Kings Beach, Lake Tahoe. Before I forget however, a few funny stories, but I will be brief. First, when you capture the last flight into Reno and are lucky to get to the car rentals in time before they (yawn) close at 1230 pm, get a hotel in Reno. DON’T think that you can just wing it, finding a place between Reno and Kings Beach. You can’t. Boy these people go to sleep early.

dancing bears

So – we drove to Tahoe, and it was about 4am our time and when we arrived we drove around briefly looking for a place to grab a bite. Wasn’t happening (the town was fast asleep) but we found a sort-of 7-Eleven (maybe it was, I was exhausted) where I remarked to my youngest and to my husband, “look at that beautiful carving of that HUGE bear.” Only it wasn’t a carving, it MOVED and this big bear was hungry but the attendant there simply and calmly closed the door until the bear moved on. Later that morning, now 5am our time, we found the grocery store (it was filled with a wonderful selection of California wines) and the clerk said – “Oh, that’s Bob the Bear. He’s just looking for some watermelon and treats”. Anyhow, after several drive-bys to see what Bob the Bear was up to in this quaint little town, we decided that napping on the beach (we couldn’t open the lock box for some reason) was out due to the presence of Bob the Bear.  Instead, we decided to go to sleep in the driveway of the rental in, as my son called it, “the van by the river”. Spreading our our luggage and sweaters on the van’s floor (because we couldn’t believe it would ACTUALLY get down to 40 degrees, we didn’t bring coats) we nearly froze our Floridian skins in our overnight stay.   Honestly, I can’t remember what fresh pine air was anymore so it was lovely. End of stories. Anyhow – we had a great weekend and thank you, Billy and Juanita, and to their mom for your hospitality and to the lovely town of King’s Beach, Lake Tahoe.

Juanita and Bill Reception 2017-18-26 215

Juanita and Bill Reception 2017-18-26 057 Juanita and Bill Reception 2017-18-26 067 Juanita and Bill Reception 2017-18-26 079 Juanita and Bill Reception 2017-18-26 068 Juanita and Bill Reception 2017-18-26 075 Juanita and Bill Reception 2017-18-26 144 Juanita and Bill Reception 2017-18-26 149 Juanita and Bill Reception 2017-18-26 152 Juanita and Bill Reception 2017-18-26 202 Juanita and Bill Reception 2017-18-26 321 Juanita and Bill Reception 2017-18-26 338 Juanita and Bill Reception 2017-18-26 393 Juanita and Bill Reception 2017-18-26 407 Juanita and Bill Reception 2017-18-26 420 Juanita and Bill Reception 2017-18-26 451 Juanita and Bill Reception 2017-18-26 527

I call it “SOMEDAY” – when your kid leaves for college again

Many years ago, when my oldest son was a toddler, I was watching a show on Oprah about Empty Nester’s.  About half way into the show, I became somewhat hysterical.  At the time, I had a UPS driver who was kind of excitable but loved Billy to death.  SO, that particular day, my driver came in to see me falling apart and all I could say was “Billy” and sobbed uncontrollably.  Well, Ricky, our driver, a good ole boy from SC was scared to death and ran to his nursery to see Billy cooing.  Puzzled, but relieved, he came downstairs to me to see what was my problem.  I continued my crying fest, wailing “SOME DAY”, still overwhelmed with what it was going to be like when my sweet little son went off to college.   I was hormonal (pregnant again) but still, that show hit me like a brick.  Luckily he was pretty close when he went off to school but it was pretty hard none the less.  My kids loved the story and would always tease me “Mommy, Someday” and fake tears.  Trust me, it always got me started and them a laugh.

Flash forward to now.  After a really nice summer we get to say goodbye again to our son.  It really is hard to let go of the deep love for them when they leave.  You find yourself looking around the corner, expecting them to trample down the stairs and miss the socks on the floor, although not that you have to smell them to see if they never got into the drawer (God forbid) or onto the foot.

We have had to take extra care with my son because of issues with both ADHD and the crippling difficulties he some times had in his high school starting, finishing, not restarting homework or papers. He has medical issues too so he has had to take off time on Medical Leave to get everything in control.  Yet I am really amazed at how well his University works with him.  They have excellent services and even though the student has to go and make the appointments it sure is different that when I was in college.

On many other levels, we have also had an excellent summer because this year we decided, due to medical issues, that it would be better if he didn’t work. That was of course after he did not make a deadline to get back to the company that was going to hire him.  (Another difficulty with ADHD students, remembering to check their phone, appointment calendars and messages).  “Take the semester off, you deserve it” my husband said.  So in many ways, after years and years of numerous AP classes and year round studies, we all felt that the pressure of an Ivy League school wasn’t pretty and he needed to face the start of the new fall semester fresh.  (Boy are his classes hard – I know, my husband and I sat in on one and thought the math professor was definitely speaking in foreign tongues, but alas – Calc5).

So instead, he helped me tremendously with our new website, with his own hours until he found his own routine, let his hair grow and stopped biting his nails.  I am fairly certain too that he played enough video games to NEVER touch them again (though he is good about not doing so at UPenn),  He also learned (because there are consequences after all) that working like he did for a small amount of money wasn’t as good as what he will be able to do in terms of a salary when he graduates.  Good lesson for a Millennial who would have LOVED to gone clothes shopping for new clothes for back-to-school, when the clothes you like are totally different than the ones you can afford. Although he never had any doubts about wanting to finish college, I believe he was learning that budgeting is different that all the things you truly want. (He’s actually quite good at it).

So, for the first time, my son really took off from studying – likely when school became super serious for him>  For example, in 2nd grade he took 6th grade math and read on an 8th grade level.  He was always pushing himself, competing with his other academic friends which was good.  He did a lot of work for me this past vacation, even helping with packing orders, and learning to prepare meals then cook them rather than me having to think about that during the week, was a great relief for me. Next summer he is doing an internship and like his past full time job at Disney, will be doing the 9 to 5 but honestly, he is so excited to be doing it in a field that he loves – building robots and mechanical engineering stuff for a mapping image company.  I am sure with each paycheck he will be going to the stores and checking out the clothes and then running over to the outlet malls and putting the math together of how much time it took him to earn that shirt.

A talk this week with a customer raising 4 girls (omg, the wedding costs) made me realize that our generation never really got the lessons in finance but in my house, if we wanted something, we worked for it.  I loved skiing – and from the time I was 13 when I made $.88 cents an hour plus tips, every ski ticket I bought cost me x amount of labor.  I am glad he took off time to learn this valuable lesson – true he didn’t work a full forty hours a week but he did learn that video games get boring and clothes are expensive.  This year, he also will live in a dorm suite with less cafeteria time and more in room kitchen cooking.  I know he is going to do great.  But, “someday” is back again and we will miss his smile every morning.  Well, his idea of morning that is.

20130822_162031

 

 

Its Official: I am now a Mother-In-Law

This past week, one of my customers called me because she had her bridal shower and EEEK – she complained about her soon-to-be Mother-In-Law.  So, with my incredible sense of wisdom that comes with this business (LOL), I told her how when I was first married, my mother-in-law was such a strange thing to me. I didn’t really know how to handle her.  She was an awesome person and in fact, I knew her for years though my husband and I only dated for 5 months before getting married, but yet, being on the “inside” of their family traditions was very different indeed. It took a bit of getting used to her ways and finding that learning those traditions they held dear to them were likely pretty important to my new husband as well.  Looking back on it however, I find she was a great role model for making my new memories with my new daughter-in-law.  Sadly, we live almost 2000 miles from my son so our interactions are less frequent but I remember so many of the things Marion would do to include me in decisions.

But this new bride to be was really struggling, and crying as her shower ended up being a hot mess with the MIL really giving her a hard time about EVERYTHING.  So, I put on my newly acquired “hat” of a MIL and gave her the best advice I could give her:  Someday, she won’t be there and chances are, you will wish everyday she was.  Most importantly, I told her that it will take a bit of time to get into the groove of a relationship and know what makes her laugh, and their family traditions and so forth, but most importantly, to get along with her because after all, pleasing her will ultimately make your husband happy.  I also cautioned her however that leading up to the wedding will be hard for her because (and knowing this from experiencing the same myself) she will be losing her son.  It even goes deeper than that as well – especially when a baby is in the picture – because as sexist as this is going to sound, it’s you that usually goes to your mom about things such as where pots and pans go in the cabinet (beside the stove) and not the sink (because that’s what he thinks).  So, there won’t be the interfering as much with some of the traditional (and non-traditional) roles that you and your husband will have but experiencing what makes for good bonding is to use her as a way to learn more about your husband and family traditions as those will become important as you start your family of your own.

My mother-in-law sadly got ill while we were in our 40’s and for me, that was hard seeing my husband go through such a profound sense of loss, one which I would experience the following decade when my mother passed.  But I often think of the kindness she showed me those first few years of marriage as I try to relate to my new “daughter” which Marion was so good at making me feel like one of her own.  She showed me a deep sense of patience and kindness and acceptance although I am sure there were times she rolled her eyes about me.  So, with her wisdom, I chart a course for my future relationship and hope with patience, I develop that same with mine.with-my-mother-in-law

 

You know how your kids surprise you all the time?

Well, this guy, my oldest son gives his dad and I a call a couple of weeks ago. Asked us to not say anything until he was finished and proceeded to tell us that both he and his fiancee moved up their wedding date.  I mean BIG TIME.  To like this month!!  SO, what’s a mother to do?  Smile and say, “it’s fine”.  (Well a little pleading on my part.  I tried to make the point that his younger brother will be in the middle of mid-terms at UPenn, and with school for him, that wasn’t good news.  SO, my youngest will go to Denver for only 12 hours.  Better than not coming).

I suppose that it’s easier for them to get the wedding out of the way and heck, I’m always up for a party.  Then in August, we will have the reception in Reno.  Will be nice visiting my old Alma Mater (Denver University).  Stay tuned!!

Save

The Inauguration and Fashion

Today we witnessed the pageantry of the Inauguration where the very best of our unique American Republic was on display. The peaceful transition of power we witness with every new administration with all three branches of government and both political parties participating is exciting to see. We are also excited to see the fashion choices of the First Ladies and former First ladies and their children over the years. Of course, we notice the children, such as the Trump grandchildren who looked adorable this time, and the Obama sisters last time and Amy Carter back in 1976.

But the First Ladies are the real stars. John F. Kennedy once said “Two years ago, I introduced myself in Paris by saying that I was the man who had accompanied Mrs. Kennedy to Paris. I am getting somewhat that same sensation as I travel around Texas. Nobody wonders what Lyndon and I wear. “Everyone talked about what Jackie wore. The most fashionable of all First Ladies, Jackie Kennedy wore a cloth coat when almost all the women around her were in fur coats, standard for ladies at the time. The contrast made her stand out even more than she usually did. She remains the standard bearer for White House fashion. First Ladies in modern times have used American designers for Inauguration Day activities, which are a celebration of America.  Mrs. Obama used J Crew for the girls and chose Jason Wu, a US based label, for herself.  We always admired the fact the Royal Family, particularly the Queen and Princess Kate use British designers almost exclusively and are certain that this will be the rule with our new First Lady.

Melania Trump looked stunning during the day in a sky-blue outfit designed by Ralph Lauren. She may be the only First Lady before or since to come anywhere close to the fashion icon status enjoyed by Jackie Kennedy, although we think she will never be eclipsed. Melania struck an equally outstanding figure in her gorgeous evening gown for the Inauguration Balls. High fashion on a day of high pageantry.  At the Inaugural ball, Mrs. Trump wore a gown by Herve Pierre who was a former designer and creative director for companies like Vera Wang and most recently, Carolina Herrera.  We are looking forward to seeing what designers she uses in the future and with luck, is there a future White House Wedding?  (Hello, Tiffany Trump, you and my son both attended the University of Pennsylvania, President Trump’s and Pop Pop Hyland’s alma-mater (both Wharton) as well.  Pegeen Flower girls look great at a wedding!)

Made in America

American designers such as Pegeen.com are known for their attention to detail.

American designers, such as Pegeen.com, are part of the new revolution that has been set by the former and current 1st Ladies.  The newest slogan we love  “Buy American, Hire American”.

DSC_1254-copy

Design Shop | Pegeen ~ Located 1 mile from Disney World, Selling online and shipping worldwide. Call us for design help! 407-928-2377

Pegeen.com Weekend Design Studio

Pegeen.com Weekend Design Studio

Save

Save

The Army – Navy Game is Much More Than Just a Football Game

The Army – Navy Game is Much More Than Just a Football Game

“On the fields of friendly strife are sown the seeds that on other fields and other days will bring forth victory.”

General Douglas MacArthur

Every year in early December the Cadets of Army meet the Midshipmen of Navy for a football game where the very best America has produced is on display. These young men on the field are cheered on by the entire Corp of Cadets and the Brigade of Midshipmen, men and women who are committed to serving their country for five years after their four year stint at the service academies. Upon graduation, many of them go straight to the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq as Second Lieutenants or Ensigns in a commanding role.

They are well prepared for their roles after stringent training at the academies which is augmented by the teamwork and discipline exercised on the gridiron. Game plans formulated and executed on the playing field are analogous to battle plans. The camaraderie and the bond forged during the football season by those who wear the Army and Navy football uniform are like that enjoyed by those who wear the country’s uniform. Both bonds usually last a lifetime.

The game can also create bonds of a different nature. My father, who had a lifelong love of West Point, took me to many Army football games as a child and the pageantry and spirit on display made such an impression on me that I applied for admission. Only a fractured spine from an accident kept me from realizing my dream of attending, but I still watched every Army-Navy game with my father since 1964. Today was the first time I watched the game without him as he passed away this summer. The game was something special that we shared and it was strange to experience it without him. What made it even more difficult for me was that today would have been my father’s 90th birthday.

 

 

 

 

 

1 2 3