2015: The Year of the Person

I’m not gonna lie: 2014 was an interesting year.

Professionally, it was a good year. We had some great success. We had some challenges. Neither are unique in the small business arena we live in at The Cypress Group.

On the personal side, “Operation Life Balance” was a resounding flop. Somehow, I managed to lose myself in the busy of it all. As December 31st rolled around, I realized I needed to spend as much time cultivating a life that leveraged hard work as much as I worked hard! The rut is a common one, I’ve come to learn.

Thusly, I have dubbed 2015 “The Year of the Person”. What does that mean? Simple: my goal is to spend as much time with people across across dinner tables as I do across conference tables. It means the launch of “Do Good 2015″ and involvement with the community around me. It means a focus on engagement and – alas – “Focus”.

So, here’s to 2015! May it be everything 2014 wasn’t.

And then some.

 [ Original image via The Cypress Group ]

A Historical Setting

IMG_2034_Fotor_20141201It used to be, back in the much more fickle days of my youth, that setting a table meant running off to some random (most likely a chain) emporium to scoop up whatever fanciful items I felt made it all “just perfect’. In full disclosure, this generally was limited to colored napkins, or perhaps a runner of some kind. In truth, I didn’t pay as much attention to the details of it all. As I aged, paying attention became an act of “Oh,this needs more red…”, the result of which ended up being an odd assortment of candlestick holders, odd numbers of quickly purchased plates and lord knows how many napkin rings that never really added up to a well curated collection (as younger me would never have even thought to curate a collection!).

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Two life occurrences changed my “tabletop path”: first, we bought a home in Palm Springs, which increased (for quite a while at least) our at home entertaining rather substantially. Then we downsized our lives with our move out of Orange County. At that point, all the mismatched plates, impulse purchased platters and a large array of red and green napkins all made their way to charity. What was left, I discovered, was a lovely set of items that had been with me or my family for more than one generation. This, i daresay, was where my obsession with vintage tabletop items began to flower. It was  the use of these items that re-engaged a version of Joseph that was 12 years old and helping my grandmother set tables. For you see, it was she who taught me the proper East Coast manner of setting tables. As such, setting tables (which lately have involved use of her formal china) has become a much more personal exercise. At times, I daresay, more personal than even I might care for myself.

In any case, as I digress, in pulling together this year’s Thanksgiving table, quite a few memories ended up on the menu…

    • Candle stick holders: an incredible pair of (very versatile) sterling numbers that were gifts from my parents on a rather historic day in 1987.
    • Vase: A momento from an earlier 1990s visit to Tiffany & Co in NYC on a trip with a (then) boyfriend. While he is no longer around, this vase remains one of my favorites!
    • Silver place settings: are from Hal’s personal (and pre-me) collection.
    • Dinner plates: are incredible vintage French stock with a provence that leads to one small town who’s biggest claim to fame is an abby…. and these plates!
    • The napkins: are, naturally, monogrammed numbers that I picked up for our very first Holiday meal in Connecticut.
    • The tablecloth: is a woven silk textile that was a gift from Alexa after a trip to Thailand. It traveled many miles to be here! Pity the fringe doesn’t show.

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Work Life: November Update

Believe it or not (the choice is completely yours!), I really do have a job!

Granted, it does include a lot of out and about, event going types of activity – which i really do enjoy. One of my goals as 2014 turns into 2015 (who can believe THAT, btw?) is to keep the loop as closed as can be. Meaning, if you don’t keep track of what is going on over at The Cypress Group, or if you’re not such a great Twitter user, or (G_d forbid!) are not a Facebook user, you can still keep track of the craziness that is La Vida Aldrich. I mean, there certainly is enough technology out there to get all this stuff out there. So why not use it? Right?

In the meantime, here’s some fabulous images from The Cypress Group’s web site.

Happy December!

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 [ with Anita Jacobi (Judy's Custom Workroom)
photo via Interiors, CA Magazine/Modern Luxury Media ]

joseph n aldrich

[ with Rob (Pitt Cooking), photo via NKBA Manhattan ]