Archive of ‘Love’ category

Mommy Guilt

My husband and I recently celebrated 30 years together . Funny how I think that time stood still yet time flew by. Sometimes I feel like I am this entity that has messed everything up – like would have, should have and then, I remember, I did everything okay.  What is often said about mommy guilt is true, no matter what you do, you are definitely sure you screwed up your kid’s life.

It used to be that women wanted to have it all – those who influenced my generation were people like Gloria Steinhem, Shirley Chisholm, and to a smaller extent, Oprah Winfrey. But my personal role model was my mother, who made everything fun yet always believed in me and my father who, no matter how busy building his own law and political career, always seemed to stop when we ran into the room.  He also taught me to be a voracious reader from an early age. When kids my age were reading Nancy Drew,  I started on the Presidents and their families (probably because of his involvement in politics) and then moved onto the great industrialists. I read everything about the “big families”, the Vanderbilt’s, Mellon’s, Carnegie, Astor, Duke, Morgan, Rockefeller, Stanford, Flagler, Frick, Hilton and so many more.  I was particularly fascinated about how so many of their wives also became strong arms to their business entities. My dad always got a kick out of me knowing so much about all these families and how these companies grew.  I still remember going into our small-town library with it’s musty smell reading about these great business leaders. Trust me, I was just as interested in reading about Mrs. Astor’s First Four-Hundred as the reasons for the boom of Florida (via Flagler, Plant and Chipley).

Running a company was empowering. Wanting to “be the boss of my booth”, as my then- 6-year-old son whose concept of business was a 15×30 foot booth at the Jacob Javits Center where you were in charge, was what drove me. My father was a strong influence in my life – not for the patience that he showed us when he got home from work but from the deals and the meetings that he would have and how he could remember everyone’s name. It also felt as the time we spent with him as a busy father was very heartfelt.  I wrapped up what he taught me, what my then 60’s values were growing up and translated it into the business I have now.  I used to tell my employees that having the chance to run over to their children’s school play was just as important as getting deliveries out, embracing your kid home from college by taking off an extra day or two was exactly what they needed to have a profound effect on their child’s well-being.  All the while, I don’t know how I “picked” such a great husband but I am so lucky to have chosen the prefect compliment to my strengths and one that had no difficulty taking a back seat to my strong personality while still maintaining his.

My son, the oldest, also pursued a career in entrepreneurship. He went to business school and I will never forget, he asked me once, “Mom, why do you do this day in and day out?” My answer was simple. “I love it Billy, I love being the boss of my booth”. For the most part, it is fun and interesting and empowering. But it takes a special spouse to put up with it. Like my aunt who owned one of the largest dance schools in the east coast, I always wondered, did my Uncle Johnny mind being called Mr. Marcia? Its the same thing for me too. How do couples work together everyday without killing each other? Still show respect at the end of the day, especially when the woman is the boss? How did these things affect my children? I always worried, would they adjust to strong women or hate them?

I suffered from so much mommy guilt as if I didn’t give my two children enough of me and now that I am this “empty nester”, I realize, I gave them so much.  These two great kids also gave me more. Working for myself has been hard at times and infrequently a strain on our marriage.  But the one thing I know, even though I was positive that I destroyed my kids life at times with the long hours and role reversal, I enriched theirs by giving them a strong role model for women.  I am beginning to see that what they learned is, that to be in love, is to find a partner who is just that – a partner.  Someone to share decisions with, even when it is not easy to express the opposite opinion – to work out the kinks in daily life and to change the idea of normal roles for a mom and dad – these were the things that were important for my husband and I to teach our children.  I think this valuable lesson about having the right partner, I learned, made it easier to deal with my tremendous mommy guilt.  Photo c2009


Family Weddings and Thoughts

My niece was recently married. That’s the Fairytale.  I really admired some of the beautiful touches she chose (most, if not all, she actually made) and couldn’t get over how much she used Pinterest to plan her wedding.  Her dad built the arbor just in time!!

i loved LOVED LOVED their save the date card!

Save the Date card

I brought my camera and admittedly my photos were terrible but the photographer captured my two sons and from this, I can’t help but think of all of the “moments”.  All the times as kids the cousins shared times together.  There wasn’t a Halloween that we didn’t schlep down to western NJ to go through their favorite places until my brother’s kids were just too grownup to go.  These 5 cousins spent so much time together that my oldster’s name for his aunt was mamjoanne which was a mush of mom, aunt, and Joanne.  We’d unwrap Christmas gifts at their house, showing up in PJ’s and shared many birthdays together.  They were so close that I did manage to share my boy’s feelings when their “sis-cuz” walked down the aisle.


First, the wedding occurred the weekend of Hurricane Joaquin and it was, of all things, a planned outside-tent wedding.  Thankfully the winds subsided as the hurricane skirted the east coast and except for the sides of the tent breathing quite heavily, it was pretty cozy in the tent.  Pegeen Flower Girl Dress Style 414

outdoor wedding outdoor wedding flowers-02
outdoor wedding

outdoor wedding

infant flower girl dress by

outdoor wedding

outdoor wedding

outdoor wedding

outdoor wedding
The weddings keep coming too! Recently another nephew announced his engagement and this time it’s to be on The Jersey Shore during Labor Day weekend! Woot! I can smell the lobsters and clam bake now!!



Remembering Nana

When I was a little girl growing up, my siblings and I got to visit my Nana’s once a week.  She and Bop (my grandfather) also took me frequently to dance lessons and I absolutely adored my time with my grandmother.  She had this really pretty skin and a funny laugh and I was proud to be her namesake (along with my cousin Peggy).  Nana had that even-kind of personality and had all the time in the world for her many grandchildren. It’s funny what you remember the best about them.

They also had the most fascinating spoons that were faceted which we would use when we had pudding (which was frequently) out of their Fiesta tableware that my aunt stupidly pitched in the 1970’s (holy cow the value of that Fiesta Ware alone could put a kid through medical school).  My sisters and I would fight over the turquoise bowls and to this date they are still my favorite color to collect.  They always had coke bottles for us when we visited and this really scarey (copy) Picasso.  Don Draper would be proud how their home on Howard was decorated and we shared many good times at their home – from St. Patrick Day parties to times hanging the original 1950’s bubble lights on their Christmas Tree.

Well today, 4th of July, marks the death of Nana, who decided NOT to go out quietly like a good Irishman, and although my brother will know year certain, I believe it was in 1979.  At the time I was in college finishing my senior year, in the Rockies and I remember that night, walking outside the place where I was tending bar, watching the fireworks when I heard the news.  It was a sad night for me being a thousand miles from home but being in Colorado, the night was clear and the stars numbered in the millions.  I secretly said to myself that I could never see fireworks again without thinking of her and being here just minutes from Disney where fireworks are an every day event, that promise has not gone unfulfilled.

Last night, my husband and I saw the fireworks at Magic Kingdom – as they have a fantastic double display to celebrate the 4th and recorded the following video.  Tonight we go to Epcot to see the display there – which are filled with wonderful music celebration and both nights at least a 25 minute show.  Nana, you have some incredible grandchildren and great grand children and quite a few double greats. For those of us who were privileged to truly know her, likely from cousin Teddy and up, you made all of our lives special.  Your children, our parents, were so much fun as they all inherited the twinkle of mischievousness that you owned so well.  From you, they taught us kindness and compassion, love of country and of family.  I am so grateful that I was blessed to know you through my college days, though your last few years, like many, you were plagued with dementia.  Thank you for giving me my dad, your unwavering love and devotion to family.  Have a good time up there – and I will be thinking about you because every time I see fireworks I think, that is God celebration your residence.

Fireworks at Disney World

Homage to Ombre – starting with an Ombre Tulle Flower Girl Dress

A few posts ago, Ie highlighted a new flower girl dress with Ombre Tulle layers – the girls at the studio had fun, making these layers of tulle for that dress that had had miles and miles of tulle – so to continue this theme, I became obsessed and searched as I kept coming across some magnificent items to use for your Ombre Wedding. I admit, I got totally distracted finding these pretty things!

First, I looked for bridesmaids dresses to compliment our flower girl dress and the next thing I knew, there was a wedding gown by Lazaro I found that was so beautiful… and of course in my favorite color, Tiffany blue.  There were all kinds of turquoise ombre cakes (my favorite below) and a Herve Leger which would be perfect for my niece’s wedding.Going along with that aqua theme, before I knew it, I found a really neat distressed dresser, of course the stairs I still plan to do, even a stair railing! I GOT TO STOP!!!  Worse that anything, a new distraction, from – directions on how to make an ombre aqua keyboard.  TRUE heaven.  I’m in so much trouble. Ombre Flower Girl Dress

Turquoise Ombre Things!


Another Beautiful Wedding….and flower girl dress

The bridal business has been a real joy to work in.  I don’t know if I will do this the rest of my life, but it sure makes me happy to participate in wedding festivities.   Early this month, I traveled to Kentucky for what was likely the most magnificent wedding I saw in a long, long time.  I have been fortunate to attend a few weddings each year via my clients, but this wedding was a family wedding, and honestly, I think we have a new WEDDING PROFESSIONAL in my family (LOL), my sister. I was so proud of all she did and happy to share in her excitement this past year, getting her “girl on”,  for Emma, like me, is surrounded by testosterone in the form of three boys (I have two, and trust me, I get sick and tired of smelly socks, football and shavings on the floor).

The couture flower girl dresses were from our Pegeen Fairytale Collections Style 904.

I promise to share more of this wedding because it truly was a wonderful event, filled with TONS of roses and pink and all the things Emma and I missed out on during our child-rearing days. So to you my sister in pink, bravo.  I am so proud of what you did!


Rehersal Party - Chris Cornwell Photography

Flower Girl Dresses by Pegeen will be posted later on another day but here is a sneak preview.  Photo below, family

Toffee silk and tulle flower girl dresses encrusted with Swarovski Crystals

My little munchkin, Jessica, is engaged!

From the moment I met her, I loved her.

My niece Jessica wearing  c1995

When I was a single gal, my closest brother had the most beautiful girl in the world named Jessica.  I had a few other nephews and nieces by then whom I love dearly, but when Jessica was born I got a “daughter” as well.  I was close to my brother Tom – very close, and when his first child was born, it was as if I was a “mom” too.  Tom and Joanne, my sister-in-law, let me into their lives like no one else could.  Thomas followed Jessica and all I could think about was how amazing he was – and mechanical!  When they were sick, I was sad.  When one of their kids got hurt, I was devastated.  These were MY children.  When their 3rd and final child Kate was born prematurely, this tiny little bundle would sleep on my chest and I would just watch her in amazement.  Here below is “my fam”.

Here's my "fam"

Jessica was and still is the apple of my eye.  I love her intelligence, her humor and sweetness.  She, and her two siblings are more than just my children…. she is the honorary Godmother to my oldest son, and really I think of her as a more than daughter, and the same for her siblings. I spoiled her to the point of madness. When she was little, I would give her EVERY dress from our then Pegeen Everyday Collection and we would pick out bows for her hair, making sure she had one for every outfit for Kindergarten. She hugged me and said, “Aunt Marg, you are the best aunt ever. You give me every dress I could ever want!”   My brother’s kids and mine grew up together, in fact we would trek to her town some 50 minutes away every Halloween just so we all could go trick or treating together. It wasn’t until we moved to Florida that my kids remarked that Halloween seemed empty without their “siblings”.

Jessica and her siblings were my models too for Pegeen. Here are a few of my favorites!
Jessica and Janelle modeling their Pegeen flower girl dresses Jessica's getting married!  Jessica and Thomas modeling their Pegeen Children's Bridal Wear

Now, my Jessica is going to be a bride. I am like so in love with her Alan, and now I am not sure who will be sobbing more at her wedding, my brother Tom or me!  As a flower girl dress designer, I KNOW Jessica will have kids in her wedding – “even if I have to rent them Aunt Marg” she once exclaimed!  I know she will because we picked out those styles YEARS ago.  I love you Jess.

Getting ready for two weddings in our family….. weird, I don’t feel that old.

Somehow, I don’t remember getting older.  It definitely feels like not too long ago that my husband and I were planning our wedding…. or so should I say my mother was.  In the 1980’s you pretty much left the work to your mother.  So it was for me as well.  I was busy building my business and really, things were left for the most part in her hands but that is another story.

My niece Joan, getting married this Saturday, is really the reason I got into children’s wear in the first place.  After an injury in dance, my oldest sister started hawking my goods, encouraging me along the way.  As a matter of fact, the reason I got into children’s bridal wear some 4 years after starting Pegeen was because at the time I could not find any children’s clothing that I was in love with for my wedding.  Hard to believe that 29 years ago, I created my first flower girl dress for my niece Joan, using some antique laces I had accumulated and some gorgeous silk I had in my possession for 10 years for my niece’s flower girl dress.  (I also had a cousin in the wedding wearing a ring bearer suit, again from Pegeen).  Luckily for me, WWD (Women’s Wear Daily) picked up the wedding and I was off to a great start for our bridal collection.  My point too is that it is hard to believe that my flower girl, now a doctor, is getting married.  I have had many customers who do call me and say, “Hi Pegeen! When I was little, I was a flower girl and now I need to have you make a flower girl dress for my wedding”, or even stranger to hear, for her daughter.  When did I get so old?  I don’t feel that way.

Our first Pegeen flower girl dress

Our first Pegeen flower girl dress, 1985

Since that time, Pegeen offers 200 colors and a boat load of styles and includes the new dress we designed for my nephew’s wedding being held next month. Below here is that dress for the children in Daniel’s and Jeanie’s wedding and I must say, times have changed!  For example this dress, filled with tons of Swarovski Crystals on the front and back and on the skirt,  what is a flower girl dress without tons and tons of tulle, silk and crystals? In the 80’s when I began my first flower girl dress collection, the choice was white or ivory and I was having none of that.  Dresses were shorter and God forbid, too fluffy. Now, the bigger the better (well, we still have some fairly conservative, classic styles on our original collection).  At Pegeen we still say “Anything but a white dress”.

I will be very proud to see Daniel and Jeanie’s children going down the aisle in our flower girl dress style 904, “Topaz” from the Fairytale Collection!  More photos coming!

Toffee Flower Girl Dresses with Swarovski Crystals - Pegeen Fairytale Collection style 904

Toffee Flower Girl Dresses with Swarovski Crystals – Pegeen Fairytale Collection style 904

Bruce Willis: Parenting at 59

Bruce Willis and his wife, Emma Heming-Willis, welcomed a new daughter, Evelyn Penn Willis, into the world the other day. What has made this remarkable, besides the joy of a new birth, which we should celebrate in any event, is that Willis is 59 years old. Some might say that 59 is too old to deal fairly with all the issues parenting raises. Others point to the statistics that say older parents are much more likely produce progeny with disabilities. Baby Evelyn is healthy and doing fine.

What struck me at first was how I would might meet the challenge of raising a newborn (Bruce is five months older than me). I recall how tired I was most of the time with my two boys as a father who was 37 and 40 years old at their births. My wife and I were work-at-home parents when the boys were young, arranging our office either really near to our home or finally an office within our home, so I was blessed to be around to watch them grow up. I wouldn’t have traded that for anything. I treasure all the memories from those precious years, but they were a handful for me in my forties. Without my wife’s help, well… I might have needed a rest camp.

My wife and I chose at the time to have “nanny at home” much the same way she was raised. The girl came to our home and was responsible for taking the kids to parks or events we could not attend though being near his school, we always could to get to as many events, Halloween Parades and games as we could. But hair cuts? No, we weren’t at each and every clipping. We were never comfortable having our children too far from sight especially after one nanny quit in the middle of the day, leaving my youngest at the Mall Police Station saying she couldn’t cope any more. While the police loved him for the forty minutes it took us to get there, crying, my youngest was a handful. He’s a brilliant kid now happy and healthy at an Ivy League school and had we not been hands on/home based business folk we never would have all those moments with him to learn about him

Bruce and Emma, even with consuming careers such as ours were, can hire nannies to help with all those tasks that tire out 59 year olds however from appearances sake, he seems to be a very hands on parent. Who isn’t? We love our kids. We love to be with them. And yes ladies, men love the way they smell too. Although I was tired, somehow at an older age I was able to deal with my children quite differently than if I were in my twenties. SO, I traded wisdom for energy.

So yes, I was pretty tired and can imagine how at nearly 60 Bruce Willis may feel at times but children are truly a gift from God. So, at any age I would never trade fatherhood for the rest home.


Family photo, 1927

Couple Turn Their Wedding Vows Into an Adorable Song

Sing a wedding song together at your own weddings, sign with a record company hours later.  Sounds implausible.   That is exactly what happened to Michael and Carissa Alvarado during their wedding.  Shortly after their wedding, this couple in love and the singing duet called “Us The Duo” signed with Republic Records.  A similar story, we attended a wedding here in Orlando a couple years ago to see my dear friend and son’s former high school teacher marry the man of her dreams, and yes!  Just after they said I do, Michael McDonald (not the same) but successful gospel singer burst into a seranade to his new wife.  The entire room of wedding guests were crying (women) or sighing (men “Damn, why can’t I do that?”) and everyone applauded.  My gift to this new couple was two lovely dresses for their flower girls and I must say, we had a blast!


More and more couples submit their wedding videos online – some are fantastic, some quite professional and some are down right hysterical.  Which are your favorites?


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