Columns

Closet Audit... Chances are your closet is bursting at the seams with clothes, shoes and bags that you don’t wear or use. Photo courtesy of Annette DalyThe New Year has begun and many of us resolved to clean up our act in one way or another. Maybe you’re interested in a new look or style – the first step should be to organize a closet detox. Chances are your closet is bursting at the seams with clothes, shoes and bags that you don’t wear or use. Where are you going to put those new clothes and accessories you received as presents recently? Here are a few tips to help you make room for stepping out in 2014 with a new style.

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Photo by Christina Dimeo Guseman

Where do you live?
Lake Monticello
How long have you lived in Fluvanna? What brought you here?
I’ve lived in Fluvanna for 15 years. What brought me here was an ad in the New York Post titled “Retire in Virginia lake country.” The ad offered a free weekend, tickets to Monticello, and a dinner, in the hopes that people would purchase property at Lake Monticello. My husband still has the ad! He’s a history buff and wanted to go to Monticello. So we came, in 1986, and took a look. We weren’t buying anything – it was one of those freebie weekends.
A few years later we started thinking about retirement. Though we owned a house in New York City, our lifestyle cost more than we could afford in retirement. We started researching places and remembered Lake Monticello, and decided to take another look. We liked that the density was so much less than NYC, and we were drawn to the woods. We bought property in 1991 and moved down here in 1999.
Yeah, they really marketed to the tri-state area. It was a huge marketing effort. Of the people who bought property here after 1986, most of them probably responded to those ads.
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I like to visit topiary gardens in winter. Undistracted by parterres of roses or patterns of bedding plants, the fanciful forms of topiary glisten with dark evergreen distinction.
Topiary is a living sculpture where pruning is done to sharply define a shape with dense foliage. Geometric shapes are the standard, cones or hedges, balls on top of balls, spirals, etc. Some are very intricate, depicting horses galloping after hounds or swans sailing on the top of an ocean of hedge.

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The pea coat is worth the investment because of the classic style, versatility,  and durability. Photo courtesy of Annette DalyBrad Pitt, Usher, and Robert Redford wear them. Style icons Nicole Ritchie and Gwyneth Paltrow have been spotted wearing them, too. If you want to look sophisticated, intelligent, and stylish, then it’s time to wear a pea coat.
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Michie Tavern’s traditional Southern food Photo courtesy of Michie TavernBecause I write a column that reviews restaurants, everyone thinks that I eat out all the time. Nothing could be further from the truth. Both my husband and I are excellent cooks and we enjoy experimenting with new recipes and preparing favorite dishes. Unfortunately that means that I sometimes compare our own dishes to ones served at restaurants, and often, they just don’t measure up. So I am very choosy about the places that I eat at and those that I recommend.
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