Brenda Coffee | 1010 Park Place

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I STILL haven't unpacked my photos, so I don't have one of my grandmother. This is me, a few years older than when I 'axed Mamie's floor!'
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One of my earliest memories is sitting in a pool of Wesson Oil, smacking my hands on the linoleum floor my grandmother had just waxed. When my grandmother, I called her Mamie, told me this story, she said she walked into her kitchen to see me smearing Wesson Oil around with my hands and saying, “Axing Mamie’s floors! I’m axing Mamie’s floors!”

I’ve been thinking a lot about my grandmother, wishing I could tell her how much I admired her strength and thank her for being my role model.

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— Style —

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Darlings! Oh how I adore an evening at the beach, sipping prosecco and sitting around a bonfire with friends. Those chilly summer nights have me pondering that fashion dilemma we all face: how to make a smooth transition into fall. Continue Reading

— Essentials —

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This recipe works great as a main meal, plus it uses one of my favorite fruits: mango! You have the sweetness from the mango, a bit of spicy from both the red and black pepper and the creaminess from the avocado. If you decide to serve this as a first course, try it in a martini glass for a touch of elegance!

I think shrimp is more flavorful if roasted in the oven rather than boiled in water. Just toss the shrimp with a few tablespoons of olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Lay them in a single layer on a sheet pan and roast for 8-10 minutes at 400° or until they’re just pink, firm and cooked through. Set aside to cool, then add to your salad. I found the original recipe in Cooking Light Magazine. Enjoy!

Sweet ‘N’ Spicy Shrimp & Avocado Salad with Mango Vinaigrette

• Mango Vinaigrette

• 6 cups shredded romaine lettuce

• 1 cup chopped red bell pepper

• 6 Tbls thinly sliced green onions

• 1 pound peeled, cooked shrimp

• 1 avocado, peeled and diced

Place Mango Vinaigrette in a large bowl. Add lettuce, bell pepper and green onions. Toss well. Add shrimp and avocado. Toss gently.

Mango Vinaigrette

• 1/4 cup fresh lime juice

• 2 Tbls chopped, fresh cilantro

• 1 Tbls olive oil

• 1/2 to 2 tsp crushed red pepper or to taste

• 1/2 tsp sugar

• 1/4 tsp salt

• 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

• 1 garlic clove minced

• 3/4 cup diced, peeled mango (about 1 medium)

Combine first 8 ingredients, stirring with a whisk. Stir in mango.

— Style —

Photography by Janet Rogers
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I miss What Not To Wear. During the 10 years it appeared on American television, from 2003-2013, it was easily my favorite show to watch and, yet, the hardest for me to watch. While Stacy London and Clinton Kelly were giving women makeovers, I was struggling with the world of frumpy and in a deep funk as I turned 50. Most weeks I could’ve been the woman undergoing the torment and shopping hell on the show. It only took a few episodes for me to understand the wisdom of what they were saying…

What Not To Wear wasn’t about clothes. It was about confidence and the power and strength confidence can yield.

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— Life —

“What’s Going On?,” Marvin Gaye’s rallying cry against America’s festering hate and social unrest, is still as relevant today as when it was released in 1971.

“My loved ones, today is the birthplace of forever.” Marvin Gaye

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— Style —

Last year I found a vintage bee pin at a flea market in Paris, then found another bee pin when I got home. They'd both be right at home with this Gucci bee purse! Photographs by Brenda Coffee.
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Neiman Marcus La Cantera, in San Antonio, always has the best fall trends fashion shows. This year the trends are “rocker chic,” featuring lots of denim, velvet, great metallics, layered necklaces, plaids, detailed embroidery, hosiery worn with dresses or peeking out of skinny jeans and the color red!

Don’t be afraid to mix them all. Put them together, and create your own style! Continue Reading

— Life —

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Brenda’s “Talented and Expensive Feet”  and “Forgive Me Dear Feet” posts reminded me of something I can’t write enough about. If I see 100 people with painful hammertoes, bunions, or callouses, 99 are women. It’s partly because of the structure of our feet. But the same could be said for men. So why don’t they complain? Continue Reading

— Life —

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Many of you liked last week’s blog, Talented and Expensive Feet. I’m not sure whether it was because I kicked off a conversation about foot problems, or I included a story from my friend, the madam. While we can do without titilating sex stories (another time), we can’t escape our aching feet. This makes me think of Nora Ephron’s book, “I Feel Sad About My Neck,” except in addition to my turkey neck, I feel sad about my feet.

Forgive me, dear feet! I’ve been so unkind. For most of my life I’ve taken you for granted.

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— Style —

From the UT Institute of Texan Cultures, 'The San Antonio Light' Collection
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I love this 1929 photograph of these Texas ladies who were probably not as old as they appear. The woman on the left looks like she isn’t wearing a bra or perhaps gravity—and nursing lots of babies—shifted everything south. The other thing that jumps out at me is their apparent lack of joy. They seem to be permanently annoyed, which makes me sad, but in many ways, their life was harder than ours. They also lived through World War I and the Great Depression, so that might account for some of their grim demeanor.

If I could go back in time and tell them I’m thinking about what to pack for my trip to Italy next month, they’d think I’d lost my mind. By 1929, Benito Mussolini had dismantled all semblance of Italian democracy and made himself dictator!

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— Life —

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The podiatrist says age and gravity are having their way with my feet. The toes on my right foot have begun to curve backward toward the sole of my foot—hammertoes—so the end of my poor middle toe is bearing the weight when I walk. As a result I’ve developed a callus on the bottom of that toe, which I tried to trim, but it only made matters worse. When I asked the doctor what the little dot in the center is—thinking it’s a “core” of some sort, like with a corn—he said it’s my bone.

Egads!

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