Brenda Coffee | 1010 Park Place

— Archives —

— Life —

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Before Thanksgiving a girlfriend’s significant other (SO) had a devastating stroke. He’s been in ICU for much of that time but was moved to a regular hospital room less than a week ago. Yesterday a woman from the hospital called and told her he wouldn’t get any better than he is now, and the hospital wants him gone by Monday. The woman from the hospital suggested my girlfriend’s options were to put him in an assisted living facility, or take him home with 24-hour care and diapers for the rest of his life. He’s in his 50’s.

This is the same hospital that wouldn’t let her into ICU or confer with her about his medical condition because they weren’t married.

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— Style —

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Saturday I drove by the mall, thinking I’d do some Christmas shopping only to discover everybody else had the same idea. Instead I headed home, curled up on the couch and shopped from my laptop.

Regardless of your budget or whether you’re buying for teens, hubby, friends or Uncle Alfred, here are some gifts that will make them smile.

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— Life —

Man on a ladder installing outdoor Christmas lights.
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It’s that time of the year, and I’m already seeing the seasonal uptick in the number of ladder injuries. Interestingly, there are now more ladder injuries during Halloween because hanging lights for that dark day has now become de rigueur.

Look, it’s pretty simple. Ladder injuries are potentially devastating and almost 100 percent preventable.

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— Life —

PHOTOGRAPH ©BRENDA COFFEE
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The other night I reread the beginning of Keith Richards’s autobiography, Life. Keith grew up listening to everything from Mozart and Bach to Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. When he was 13, Keith used to walk around his bedroom, holding a tiny radio up to his ear, twisting the antennae just so until he could get an intermittent signal from Radio Luxembourg. He said the night he heard Elvis Presley, singing “Heartbreak Hotel,” was “like an explosion.” The next day he “was a different guy.” Whether he knew it or not, Keith Richards had just found his passion, that thing that gave meaning to his life.

One of the greatest gifts we’ll ever receive is discovering who we are and finding our passion.

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— Style —

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Since 1983, when he launched his first Cable bracelet, the twisted helix has been David Yurman’s signature design. This month Rizzoli published Yurman’s first book, a gorgeous coffee table retrospective of his work. Recently Neiman Marcus invited me to interview him.

The first thing David Yurman said when I walked in the room was, “Who made your necklace? It’s like my early, direct weld necklace!”

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— Style —

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Well my fellow fashionistas, I am bound and determined not to let the holiday frenzy get to me or my wardrobe. I want an easy look that’s put together and fab. A look that goes from running around town to lunch with the girls.

Lately we’ve been talking a lot about the way American women dress as opposed to our European counterparts. European women have always dressed in a way that’s luxe without being too precious, but effortlessly chic. It got me thinking… What is an American style that’s uniquely ours?

I always think of Ralph Lauren when I think of American style.

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— Essentials —

BRENDA COFFEE REFLECTED IN HER POWDER ROOM MIRROR. PHOTOGRAPHS © JENNIFER DENTON, 2017.
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This time last year I took you on a video tour of the house I bought. That was the “Before.” Now I’m going to show you some of the “After.” Even though the house had been “flipped” before I bought it, the bathrooms were a disaster. On my first walk thru, the instant I saw the master bath and the powder room, I visualized what I wanted to change, and that’s never wavered.

Except for things like flooring, most of the pieces in my new bathrooms, I already owned, and each piece has a special story.

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— Style —

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If you’re like me, going to a big department store can be a bit overwhelming. For the most part, all I see are rows and rows of clothes. Nothing stands out. Just lots of dark clothes, followed by light-colored clothes and the color du jour. Usually I throw up my hands in frustration, annoyed that I’ve waited until the eleventh hour to look for that special outfit.

“IT’S NOT ABOUT THE SIZE! IT’S ABOUT THE FIT.”

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— Style —

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All of my holiday events this year are casual with friends and family, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to wear something everyday looking. The holidays are the perfect time to wear velvet and sequins, even with jeans. For those of you who say, “I don’t want to be that showy,” or “Aunt Agatha will make a derogatory comment… “ You’re not dressing for Aunt Agatha. You’re dressing to feel great about yourself and to feel festive. Let Aunt Agatha wear her predictable prim and matronly outfit with the ugly sweater. Smile, give her a big hug, and tell her how happy you are to see her!

And if you’re the only woman in the room with some glitz on… Congratulate yourself!

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— Life —

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If you’ve read Doreen McGettigan’s blogs on 1010ParkPlace then you know her life hasn’t been easy. She was sexually abused by a priest when she was eight; raped at 13 by her mother’s boyfriend; her house burned down when she was 14; she married and had her first baby in her teens, and her youngest brother was brutally beaten—by an angry mob—in a random road rage incident. He was left for dead, suffered severe brain damage and died a few days later. It was an unspeakable act that divided a town as well as Doreen’s family.

Instead of succumbing to what could have taken down the strongest of warriors, Doreen became an outspoken advocate for victim’s rights and the homeless.

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