Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Closing All Doors

It may be the beginning of a new year, but it also the end of an era..

On August 30, 2001 my dearest friends at Priscilla Of Boston where informed of the fate of their careers.  Sadly, December 31, 2011 was the last day of operation for the company that should have been celebrating their 65th Anniversary this year.

65 years ago Priscilla Kidder opened "The Bride's Shop" on Newbury Street in Boston, MA where she offered unique handmade wedding dresses. Soon Priscilla of Boston became synonymous with the highest level of individualized service and impeccable quality and design. Her name has stood the test of time and remains the hallmark of bridal elegance.

Priscilla's international distinction was clearly established in 1956 when she was chosen to design the exquisite bridesmaid gowns for the wedding of Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier of Monaco.
Legendary weddings from European royalty to American aristocracy… As an estimated 55 million people watched on television, President Johnson's daughter, Luci, married Pat Nugent in a beautiful Priscilla of Boston gown in 1965. The bridesmaids wore Priscilla pink chiffon dresses, and the much-publicized nuptials went off without a hitch thanks to the hands-on assistance and watchful eyes of Priscilla herself.

The same attention to detail produced beautiful results in 1968 when Julie Nixon married David Eisenhower in a Belgian lace Priscilla of Boston gown.

Priscilla was dubbed as the "Queen of the Aisle" by Newsweek and McCall's called her "The Lady Who Marries the Best People".

In 1971 the tradition of the White House Weddings continued with Tricia Nixon's marriage to Eddie Cox. Priscilla Kidder designed the bridal gown and personally delivered the gown from Boston to Washington in its very own first class seat.

Priscilla took special care to choose bridesmaid dresses in a look suitable for Tricia's bridal party range of ages from 11 to 25. The mother of the bride, First Lady Pat Nixon, chose a lovely tea length ensemble from her vast personal wardrobe of Priscilla dresses. Once again, Priscilla Kidder was on the scene every step of the way to make certain that the wedding day was nothing short of perfect.

Priscilla Kidder received the first Bride's Magazine Designer Award in 1988.

"Cheers," Boston's very own pop cultural icon, concluded its 1992 season finale with the marriage of Woody Boyd to socialite Kelly Gains. Kelly wore a raw silk and floral lace Priscilla of Boston gown and matching veil.

At the age of 75 the Priscilla and her husband James decided to retire after nearly 50 years in the wedding gown business in 1993.

In 1996, USA Today declared Priscilla a "Gown guru who steers brides down the right aisle."

Priscilla of Boston was the wedding gown designer of choice for the first bride of the new millennium, highlighted on "48 Hours" and "The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather."

The May Department Stores Company purchased Priscilla because of its unique position as a highly recognized, upscale bridal retailer and manufacturer with a fabulous reputation for outstanding service and magnificent collections in 2002.

In 2004 the legendary icon, Priscilla Kidder, passed away at the age of 86 in her Massachusetts home.

After the death of Priscilla the company continued to flourish.  In January 2005 the company joined forces with the rising star, Melissa Sweet.  During the Spring 2007 bridal fashion week, Priscilla of Boston premiered its new bridal collection called Platinum.  A year later during the Spring 2008 bridal fashion week, Vineyard, became the newest bridal collection for Priscilla of Boston.  In early 2008 the fifth collection, Reverie by Melissa Sweet was launched.  In 2009 the sixth and final collection to be launched was the Jewel collection.

It is sad the see this company diminish to nothing - especially since this is where I started my career.  I consider many of my colleagues that I worked with to be "family".  Hopefully, those who truly appreciated all the history the Priscilla of Boston can keep the legend alive.  

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Betty Crocker Knows Best

Every once and a while I will become inspired to cook...

In the spring I found this great recipe for "Impossibly Easy Zucchini Pie" on the Betty Crocker website. I have made it now approximately 4 times.  Not only is it easy to make, but it tastes WONDERFUL!

1 Cup of Chopped Zucchini
1 Cup of Chopped Tomato
1/2 Cup of Chopped Onion
1/3 Cup of Grated Parmesan Cheese
2/3 Cup of Pancake Mix
(of course they suggest Bisquick®, but any brand will do) 
3/4 Cup of Skim Milk
2 Eggs
1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
1/4 Teaspoon of Pepper

Most naturally I add to this list of ingredients! I want to eat this "pie" at my main entree so I add 1 cup of chopped Trader Joe's Smoke Apple Chardonnay Chicken Sausage. 

The great thing about the chicken sausage is that it is already fully cooked and of course all natural!!  Not only does the sausage add protein to this yummy "pie", but it adds a light sweet flavor.

For the pie crust I usually use a pre-made frozen crust that you just thaw and place in a pie dish - I can't say that I have ever been daring enough to make my our crust...

Step 1: Preheat oven to 400. 
Step 2: Sprinkle zucchini, tomato, onion, and cheese (plus the chick sausage) evenly in the pie plate.
(I prefer to mix these ingredients first that way all is evenly dispersed in the pie plate)
Step 3: Mix remaining ingredients (pancake mix, milk, eggs, salt and pepper) until blended. 
Pour evenly into the pie plate.
(I also like to add more Parmesan (preferably freshly grated) on the top before cooking)
Step 4: Bake for about 35 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes.
Step 5: Mangia!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Vacation Cut Short....

Thanks to Hurricane Irene my family vacation to Martha's Vineyard was cut short.  Originally, I had planned on leaving today, but due to the predicted course of the storm I took the last ferry off the island on Friday and the first and ONLY train to leave South Station on Saturday.

Even though vacation may have been cut short I still have a wonderful time.  The weather was perfect for the beach.  My niece, Nica, enjoyed the beach and the water!  Even though it was her second year to the Vineyard - it was really her first opportunity to play in the sand and water.  As you can see she thoroughly enjoyed herself.

We dined and drank at our "regular" spots that we normally visit during our annual vacations; Sharky's Cantina, Nancy'sThe Black Dog Tavern, Sand Bar & Grille, The Outlook. We ate ice cream at Ben and Bill's and Mad Martha's and gorged on donuts from the home of Back Door Donuts.  We shopped at The Black Dog, Vineyard Vines, Sanctuary, and many other small boutiques in Oak Bluffs, Edgartown, and Vineyard Haven.
Among shopping, dining, and drinking we visited attraction such as The Flying Horses Carousel.

I even managed to get the brass ring! O.K. actually I DROPPED the brass ring (only me) I was in attempted to getting two rings in one shot and my second ring was the brass ring which I dropped!!! Instead of taking my "free ride" I gave it to a small boy who would probably enjoy the second ride more than I did.

Even though I was on vacation, there was no vacation from training for the B.A.A Half Marathon which I will be running on October 9th.  I ran and biked along the beautiful  bike path long the ocean.

It was a great week - even though it was cut short!  However, I don't think that I am mentally ready to go back to work tomorrow.....

....Back to life, back to reality....

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

In the Grand Scheme of Things

I sometimes question if I went into the right career.  Or I will even question myself why I chose to study fashion design in college.  It is apparent that I have a passion within me to create something new.  There is just something so breathtaking about taking a blank piece of fabric and turning into something wearable.

I have to admit that I was very blessed when it came time for me to find my first job right out of college.  A professor once told me to disregard the "5 years of experience" within the description for a job opening - and I did just that.

After a few interviews and endless on-line searches I came across an opening at Priscilla of Boston in the Women's Wear Daily (WWD) career section of the newspaper.  However, the job, Lectra Operator, required a minimum of 5 years experience and the only experience I had was 3 semesters of learning Gerber.  Regardless, I submitted my resume and forgot about it.  No really, I completely forgot that I had sent POB my resume until one day I received a phone call for an interview.

Needless, to say I got the job and started my career within the garment industry or "fashion" industry as some would say.  Over the past four years in my career there has been so much stress about not having enough fabric to make a dress, the ivory isn't the right ivory (I know that is hard to believe), the dress won't be shipped in time - I could go on forever. 

The other week I was thinking about all the wasted energy I spent on stressing to get a mere dress completed and shipped on time.  In the grand scheme of things, life, that is pretty darn pathetic if you ask me.  I understand that it is my job and all, but honestly there are just so many more important things going on in the world other than making sure a dress, of all things, is be produced on schedule.

My supervisor asked me the other week how I was not stressing over the fact that our fall production was late.  I told her I am doing what I can to see that it isn't late, but I refuse to waste my energy on stressing over it. In the end it is truly not worth it. I would much rather hold on to my sanity.....

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sick Sad World....

As I was on my to the gym yesterday there was "crime scene" tape on my side of the street and across the street; however, there was no one around so I walked under the tape and continued my walk to the gym.

As I returned the tape was removed from my side of the street, but there was the NYPD Crime Scene Unit van parked across the street. *RED FLAG* something is going on!  My Yorkville neighborhood has been "safe" for the past year that I have lived here so most naturally I become concerned.

An officer was walking in my direction I stopped him asking "Has something happened in the neighborhood?"  His response "Ah, yes." and that was all he said.  As I was walking up my stairs to my apartment I became bothered by that officer's lack of response.  Here is a young single woman who obviously lives in the neighborhood and he can't inform me what has occurred - I am now wondering if I should be concerned for my well being.

After getting ready for the day I decided that I would read at Carl Schurz Park since it was a gorgeous Saturday in the city.  As I went back outside there is now a crowd of people on my side of the street.  I stopped to see anyone knew what had gone on...

It turns out an unarmed man had broke into a 27 year old woman's apartment on the first level and sexually assaulted her. Unfortunately, she had left her windows open, unsecured, and the window gate open. The intruder pulled down the fire escape ladder to assist him to get through the window and fled through the front door of the building. Neighbors heard her screams of terror around 5:15 am and found her in the hallway pant-less.

There have been no arrests since last night, but luckily through the investigation detectives found whole hand prints smudged on the windows.

Rumor has it that she is a sweet girl that is originally from Texas, went to the University of Arkansas, and just moved into the neighborhood a month ago.  She is in stable condition at Cornell Hospital where she is being treated.

This shake up in the neighborhood has made be thankful that my dear friend, Ralph, had gotten me extra locks on my windows.  He purchased these small screws from the hardware store around corner.  I feel much more at ease knowing that I have a little extra security.

It is sad that we have sick people in this world that will hurt another human being.  We must always be on extra alert at all times to make sure that we are safe.