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Archive for the ‘News’ Category

I had a very nice evening last night…

20 Jul

We went to St. Ambrose at Royal Poinciana for dinner and cocktails. It was very, very nice.

Then we met up with Jules and Suse at HMF at The Breakers.

Today I am working on client work. It’s going to be a very late night tonight. I’m hoping to cover a lot of ground. I have photos to do, a site to make and a small product line to design this week.

Monday, Wednesday, Friday I’ll be working on web site, social media and marketing for the jewelry store. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, I’ll be working on this new site I sold. The schedule will be like this until I go to Paris.

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Working double duty…

18 Jul

It’s going to be like this for a few weeks.

I’ve been busy marketing the Guinness pieces for a client and I just signed a new site and began work on some of the initial assets last night.

I have so much work on my plate that I imagine I will be working the next couple of weekends on top of the work week. I think I am looking at 7 day weeks for a while.

I’m not complaining. I had a good break this summer. But this is the kind of workload that only veterans of the industry can handle.

The work for one client is fun because there are many things are going to require my creativity. It’s a chance to use “all the skills.”

Right now I am headed to the gym because it’s the first opportunity that I’ve had all week to do so. Last week, I was in Atlanta. I am behind on my fitness goals.

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For my 50th birthday, my friends all thought alike…

17 Jul

Tell me if you notice a pattern here. These were birthday gifts from yesterday and today for my 50th birthday. I had a very nice dinner last night at Bice in Palm Beach and HMF at The Breakers.

Gift number 1 (which we drank last night)

Gift number 2

and gift number 3, a bottle of Dom Perignon

None of them knew that each other was giving me champagne.

And another friend very graciously picked up the tab for dinner at Bice and our trip to HMF at The Breakers.

It was very nice and thank you all very much. It’s so good to see friends on your birthday.

And my mother is taking me to dinner in Paris in a few weeks.

And another friend is taking me to dinner on Friday night.

I am very blessed to have such great people in my life.

I snapped a quick selfie on my 50th birthday before we went out so you can all see what 50 looks like…

Laura Kerbyson

This was at dinner. They were giving me a hard time. It was funny. Jules thinks it’s blog material. I think the photo is a little goofy, but that’s life too.

I was really happy that the waiter thinks I am 3 years old.

The Litchi Martini was also very good.

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Birthday plans….

16 Jul

One of my friends flew in and we three girls are going out tonight.

I think we’ll start at Bice and end up at HMF at The Breakers hotel to celebrate my 50th birthday.

I told them, “Get your Lilly on! Only fun colors allowed!”

I sense I may be taking an Uber home this evening. LOL

I am wearing the dress that I bought to match the purse that Jules bought me for Christmas. It’s me, Jules and Suse tonight.

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July 16th is the Anniversary of the Launch of the Rocket to the Moon…

16 Jul

Just remember tomorrow, which is my 50th birthday, is the 50th anniversary of the launch of the rocket to the moon. It was launched on July 16, 1969 and it landed on July 20, 1969.

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It’s an absolute honor…

16 Jul

I had a client that I first did business with five years ago. They were part of the clients from Hilton Head when I started Carolina Web Development, before Florida Web Development.

They came down to Singer Island for a vacation and contacted me and we met for a drink at PGA National. They are starting a new company and they ordered a new web site from me. It’s the third site I will have made for him. It’s a real honor when you clients drive from Hilton Head to Palm Beach county and ask to see you to do business with you. It’s a real joy for me to know that I make a great product and deliver a great service and that reputation lasts for years. It’s not something that you can order over the phone or off the web. What I do is really different.

Nothing makes me feel better than that kind of feeling.

Tomorrow is my 50th birthday. This was a great night before. We had a fantastic meeting. I’m brainstorming like crazy over ideas for this one. And it’s the kind of meeting where you feel like you’re doing business with old friends.

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Thank goodness it missed New Orleans…

15 Jul

They got lucky. The storm missed them and went left. But that also means that we don’t know the level at which New Orleans can withstand water. I don’t trust the Core of Engineers because the last time I was told by everyone that they had fixed the problems, it was a regular rain that put 3 feet of water into New Orleans. If I hadn’t been there and seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn’t have believed it was that much of a problem. Basically, it requires manual labor to clean out the catch basins. If the city workers have not cleaned out the catch basins, there’s a high chance of flooding. That and half the pumps weren’t working. But the pumps are not really designed to handle any great amount of water so even if they are all working – it’s not the answer.

So now that we were on the topic of hurricanes and storms, and we’re at the beginning of the season – I spent today shopping for the annual “hurricane food” and supplies for my home in Florida. The last item I need to get is water.

I only stay if it’s a hurricane 1-3. If it’s a 4, I leave. But sometimes a storm will turn into a bigger number when it’s too late to leave. So therefore, it’s good to have items on hand. You don’t want to be in the stores right before a hurricane. It’s not fun.

Years ago when I stayed for Hurricane Andrew, it was a 4 up until the point when it was announced that you couldn’t get out. Then the storm turned to a category 5. That was my first hurricane.

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That’s exciting…

13 Jul

I talked to Jules today and Susie is coming in from Indiana and she’ll be with us at my birthday celebration on Tuesday.

I want everyone to wear fun colors. Black is prohibited since it’s my 50th.

We’ll have fun because we always have fun.

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Back from the show and watching the situation in New Orleans…

13 Jul

I’m back from the show. I need to do some rest and relaxation this weekend.

Over the next 24 hours I’ll be watching the situation in New Orleans carefully. I pulled my Verve – Crescent City Theme Park, Hotel and Resort project from there a few years ago when the drainage systems failed and we had 3 feet of water in downtown New Orleans after a hard rain. My concerns were of course that a real storm would cause catastrophic damage and loss of human life. That was just a few years ago. I had been assured that they had fixed the problems but that’s not what happened when the water came.

http://vervethemepark.com/

After spending all that time on the project, I can’t help but watch the situation carefully. I would love nothing more to be wrong about what I think will happen. The Wall Street Journal has reported today that the Army Core of Engineers has strengthened the system. For the people of New Orleans, I sincerely hope that this is not a lie.

My recommendation would be of course for residents in the path of the storm to evacuate and return afterwards. I’m sorry but after past history and actions, I don’t trust the word of the Army Core of Engineers or officials in New Orleans. I would love to be wrong.

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The 133 page book is going to the show…take a sneak peek…

09 Jul

You might remember a while back I mentioned that I created a 133 page book for my client that’s a high end jewelry store. This is photography and design. Jewelry for advertisements or books is the singles hardest thing for a photographer to shoot. Well, we decided to get two printouts of the book and take it to the show at Atlanta for people to leaf through so they could understand the context.

This copy has some mistakes in it but there just wasn’t time to correct them. Overall, it’s in pretty good shape. Would you like to see it? This was a major piece of work for me.

This will take a few minutes to load the PDF in your browser because it is 133 pages. It’s a book designed for print so that’s part of why the file is so large to load. The book combines some older photography that I didn’t shoot with my work.

Click here to load the PDF in your browser. Use the zoom out button to be able to fit the book in the window.

Sometimes people who read the blog don’t realize that my background is in both computer science and design (photography, publications, real estate design, yacht and auto, merchandise, etc.) Florida Web Development and Carolina Web Development have always been full service advertising agencies. “Laura Kerbyson” was the name assigned to other design projects. I combine that with a very strong marketing background.

To make a 133 page book, it takes multiple shoots in multiple locations. Over the past 18 months, I’ve literally shot thousands and thousands of photos for work on projects like this and the web site, the e-commerce and the store kiosks. Then there’s the editing and cutting out objects…it’s a major piece of work.

I am going to the show in Atlanta this week. My objective is to pitch to big box retailers for Kaufmann de Suisse Jewelers.

Enjoy your peek at the book. When you hear me talk about “working with models” this is what I am referring to in that context. I enjoy working with luxury brands.
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I have an extension installed in my Chrome browser for viewing PDFs. You can always add that to your browser.

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Packing for the show in Atlanta…

07 Jul

Have you ever tried to fit five dresses in a carry on? It can be done but you must choose the dresses by material carefully.

Everything is ready to go and the briefcase has been cleaned out and organized.

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I’ve never been treated that rudely in all my life..

07 Jul

Wow. There are almost no words for it.

I don’t think it’s a big secret about who I am or what I do. I’m a designer and I design all kinds of things – whether it’s web pages, advertisements, merchandise, theme parks, real estate, yachts or redesigning a Porsche – this is how I make my living. And I really don’t think it’s shocking or a secret. Readers of this blog know that I am incredibly transparent because I am very honest about what I do. In many cases, I redesign things to make them better and to sell them.

Someone asked me about the Porsche and whether or not I still had it. So I said, “No. I sold it. It was a flip. I flipped it.”

They literally got up and walked away from the table. It was the rudest thing I have ever seen.

I have no idea if in their head they misunderstood and thought I totaled a Porsche – which I did not. I sold it. I redesigned it. I sold it. Or are they that insecure about themselves. It doesn’t really matter because no matter what someone thought, the reaction to my answer was incredibly rude and no one from a decent family would do such a thing.

I find it shocking actually. Yes, I’m successful at what I do and yes I do this kind of stuff for a living. That doesn’t mean anyone should be rude to me. They asked a question, I answered it. I actually felt like I was being interrogated, not having a conversation with a person.

I find the whole thing extremely odd.

But it’s not like what I do for a living is a secret on the Internet. I own advertising agencies. I design things. I redesign things. I have a blog where everyone knows what I do and what I’m working on.

The only thing I can think of is that person is totally insecure. Very strange. The car is a piece of my work. So what?

I’m not a judgmental kind of person because I think that kind of thing is very closed minded.

I felt like I was being scrutinized over what I was wearing. I was wearing a Lilly Pulitzer dress and blue topaz jewelry. Does it come as any surprise that I’ve done advertising work for Lilly Pulitzer stores and a high-end jeweler? I love the things my clients have done. Is there anything wrong with that?

Very, very strange behavior. Definitely no manners.

My experience is that successful people in life make alliances and they have patience and they have manners. And you should never apologize for being successful.

I have no idea. Maybe they are just that insecure. I guess I should feel sorry for them.

I don’t know. Perhaps you could get away with that sort of thing if you were selling a commodity in life or doing something like trading stocks. But that’s not what I do for a living.

Most of you know me by now and you know that I am not a fan of people who are not nice. And that was not nice.

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I put in a full day on Worth Avenue…

06 Jul

Honestly, it was good to be back in the office. M. and I had a nice day of working together. I have missed her and this family.

We ended up making a project list. She asked me if I would come in tomorrow. I said, “Sure.” I’m having dinner with a friend up on PGA Blvd tomorrow night so I’ll just come in and continue to work on the new projects – web site changes, new banner, social media, inventory management, etc. And then I’ll quit around 4 p.m. and get my stuff out of the car and get dressed and ready at the office and then head up to PGA. That should work just fine.

Next week she needs me for a full five days. Frankie is out of the office on vacation. Then Frank and I are going to Atlanta for the show. He’ll work the booth at the show and I’ll hunt down big box retailers to make my pitch and try to sign deals.

I’ll be changing the slider images on the front of the web site. It was interesting to go through the Master Drive and see the sheer number of photos that I have shot in the past year and half. It was fun to pull favorites out of the folders that will be made into animations. I kept thinking things like, “Oh, I remember this model! I remember this shoot!” The shoot days are some of the most grueling days of the year but the rewards are so great when you see the completed product. There is a massive book of material in what I’ve shot. I like to be behind the camera because it’s a creative opportunity and it’s where everything we’ve done comes together. The jewelry is designed and made on site. M. styles the clothes. I pick the background and position and mannerisms of the model. After the shoot, I edited the shots to make everyone look younger and I try to bring out the Rockstar in the product, the model and the scene at hand. It’s fun to see it all come together. And when you’re looking at 18 months worth of photography alone, not to mention how many years it took to make all that jewelry. It’s amazing and it’s fun. The past several years, I’ve worked almost exclusively with luxury brands.

All the projects combined are an incredible amount of work – the photography, the kiosk, the web site, the advertising, the social media channels, inventory management (everyone’s least favorite), the magazine covers, Amazon, Ebay – there’s a never ending list of things to pursue. But it sure is a fun product line.

We haven’t planned beyond next week yet. M. will be taking a 3 week vacation and we’ll all go on break at that time.

I’m looking forward to the show because it’s something new and different. I once knew someone who did very, very well at this show. Hopefully, that will be our result. We’ll see if these products fit this show.

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Changing up my look again…

04 Jul

Today is an experiment with the hairstyle. I put soft waves into it and left more down in the front.

Now I am going to road test it with humidity and by going to the gym. The big question is, “What would this kind of hairstyle look like after all that?”

That tells me whether I can keep it and use it.

Mmmm…we’ll see.

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Happy 4th of July…

04 Jul

I’m wishing it to you the night before.

I put a full day in today and then hit the gym, did my routine, then hit the spa part of the gym and a nice hot, shower.

I am going to relax tomorrow, do some cooking, a little reading, watch a little TV,  and probably hit the gym again.

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The temporary plan until there is a new deal…

02 Jul

I talked to M. last night, who generously called me and said, “Hey why don’t you come back and do three days a week with us while you spend two days a week looking for a new deal.”

I am taking her up on the offer because of the money that fiasco just cost me. That and I got hugs the last time I was in the store on Worth. She and I talked about it and when you look at the time lost in this deal that converts to money lost. I really appreciate her reaching out to do this. I would do the same for her. But it really means a lot that she would do it for me.

When she needed help recently, of course I stepped up to the plate to help. There are very few former clients that I wouldn’t step up to the plate to help. The only ones are the ones I had to sue to get payment or I just didn’t want to make the time and money to sue to collect payment. For those people, I’m sorry but if they called needing me, I wouldn’t help them because they think good business is just using services and not paying bills. What they call “good business”, I call “theft.” It happens to advertising agencies all the time but you certainly get more guarded in the deals and how you make them. Business has it’s share of people looking to take advantage.

At any rate M. is not like that and I’m glad to take something off her shoulders that she wasn’t looking forward to doing. I’ll be going to the Atlanta show for retailers and it will be my job to try to make deals with big box retailers on a couple of specific products. This is something I haven’t done before but I’m willing to try it and put everything I have into it. I’m certainly not afraid to go for it. That show is July 10-14th.

When I opened up my first company 9 years ago, “the pitch” was the thing I had the least experience with in life. I was an expert in my areas of expertise but not in my ability to sell and wheel and deal. I continued to work on it through the years in order to better myself. Now I look forward to pitches. If you continue to work on weaknesses long enough, you eventually get confident in your abilities and you’ll look forward to the thing you most hated. That’s the truth. And in business you need sales and revenue and they are obtained in many different ways. No matter what business you do in life, the sales skills are skills you need to have.

So when I’m back I’ll do three days a week working with her marketing, advertising, technology and 2-3 days of looking for the next deal.

That’s the plan in the meantime and it’s another opportunity to use that skill.

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The new deal is completely dead…

02 Jul

The new deal that was supposed to start today is over. There was some fraud involved in this. I’m still doing a little investigating because I don’t fully understand the motivation behind the fraud or all the facts here.

I’m going to make a few phone calls tomorrow because there are more people who may not be aware .

I took a month’s vacation thinking that we were starting on a new deal today. They used the name of a legitimate business to try to rope me into something that’s not even a real company. All I can tell you is that there was some serious deception involved in this. I wasted a month without lining something up because we had signed agreements. And by all appearances, after my discoveries today, they are all fraudulent. And yes, you can bet I called about it today.

It’s shocking but there are some really unprofessional people out there who are just looking for an opportunity to take advantage.

My gut tells me there’s a lot more here than even meets the eye.

So I’ll be back to looking for the next deal.

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My vaca ends tomorrow…

30 Jun

After 3 years of no vacation, I took a month off and that vacation ends tomorrow. It was such a glorious month.

I’ve had time over the past month to work on my diet and exercise plan. Having time off, gives you a lot of energy.

This is what I made in the kitchen today for this week:

I made veggie stuffed peppers. They have zucchini, yellow squash, onion, corn, brown rice and quinoa. Then I toss that mixture into my favorite sloppy joe sauce. Then I stuff a 1/2 of green pepper with the mixture and sprinkle with a little Parmesan cheese. Bake for an hour at 375. The ones I made were large (4 halves). So when your done, one of those halves is an entire meal. Then I made Strawberry Shortcake with it. A serving of that only has about 100 calories.

I don’t like store purchased egg salad. It has too much fat and no flavor. I make my own spicy-sweet low fat egg salad for sandwiches on french bread. I made a batch of that for lunch for this week. And I baked a cinnamon coffeecake for breakfast because mine has 1/3 the calories of a bakery version. There’s no oil in it. I’m done for the day. There’s no more room in the fridge. But this way I can focus on work tomorrow because it’s going to take an aggressive strategic plan to carry this off.

Now I’m going to read and watch a little TV for the rest of this Sunday.

I am taking a week in August to go to Paris.

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You want the stuffed peppers in pictures? I usually don’t post food photos to this blog but here goes:

Step 1: Create the vegetable mixture – zucchini, yellow squash, onion, corn, brown rice and quinoa

Step 2: Toss it with the sloppy joe sauce.

Step 3: Stuff the peppers.

Step 4: This is what they look like before they go in the oven.

Step 5: This is what they look like baked. Sprinkle the cheese on top if you wish.

These are good but they don’t taste like a regular stuffed pepper or a sloppy joe. Just keep in mind that this would have an original taste to it. They are guilt free.

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Yesterday…

30 Jun

I went in yesterday to see M. There’s a lot of things that she doesn’t know where they are or how they work. That’s normal because I was handing so many things. They couldn’t get into the server account because someone changed the password and wrote down the wrong one.

So I spent a few minutes straightening all that out and showing her where thing are located. If she gets into trouble she knows she can call me and I’ll come in to help. I would never leave a client stranded ever.

Then we talked about my new deal starting on Monday that I am trying out for 3 months.

We also talked about how we’re moving our relationship from business to friend mode and we’ll make plans to go out now.

I got some big hugs from M. and Frankie and it was good to see them. It looks like every one is doing well, which I am glad to see.

Then I went to the gym for hours and worked out and visited the spa. It was very nice. I didn’t want to go out last night but it turns out that’s a good night for going to the gym. I was telling my mother, “I’m actually wearing a size 4 again.”

I hope I can maintain this type of schedule once the new deal starts. I feel like I am making progress.

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What did I do last night?

29 Jun

I had friends that came into town and we went to Buccan’s in Palm Beach and had something to eat and then we went to the Breakers for a Chanel No. 6. I ran into another friend at HMF that I hadn’t seen since Easter.

It’s always good to see everyone. It was a nice evening.

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Clean bill of health…

27 Jun

I am home from the hospital. This past month I have been thoroughly checked out and biopsied from every kind of doctor. Aside from my neck injury that I’ve had for over 20 years, I have a clean bill of health.

As the doctor said today, “Now you can go to Paris and celebrate your 50th knowing that you have a clean bill of health.”

The only surprise we found a month ago was that somehow I managed to break a rib (it’s completely healed but you can tell it was broken). I’m doing an easier routine at the gym now.

The only problem that they had today was that, as usual, my veins were non existent and they had to beat up my right hand to get the vein to come up for the anesthesia. So they had to bandage, wrap and tape up my wrist which makes me hand swell a little.

The last remaining item is to get a filling in my tooth replaced tomorrow.

And then my new deal starts on Monday. And I’ll be ready to hit the ground running.

So I get to spend today on the couch, reading a book and I’m going to the kitchen to make vegetable pot pie. A little comfort food…

I had a networking event planned for this evening but they don’t want me driving because I had anesthesia. They want me to take a day off. So I will comply with the request.

The server is allowing photos today. It did throw an Open Resty error on the upload but it went the second time. As a test, he’s the fortunes from yesterday. You’ve still got more work to do on this server.

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I threw these tennis shoes on to go to the hospital. These ended up being surprisingly comfortable. I’ll wear these again.

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Splendid day…

26 Jun

I had an 11:30 session with my new trainer, Blake. I just wanted to meet to get input on what I should be doing and which things I should avoid because of the injury. I plan on doing my workouts on my own because my schedule varies so much right now.

Then I did a full workout and stretching. Then I did full body red light therapy for 12 minutes, sat in the massage chair for a while and they did the hydrotherapy bed. I took a shower, blew dry my hair, did my full makeup, put on a dress and pearls and when I looked at my watch it was 3 pm! The luxury of going to the gym on your vacation. You can do everything. It was very nice.

I have stainless steel bottles that I fill with ice and water and then I add either cucumber, lemon or strawberries to the water. The steel keeps the ice cold all day.

I went to lunch to get one of my very favorites. I love, love, love Kung Pao Chicken over Salad with Lime Dressing. It’s my guilt free eating out because the calorie count is so low. The salad is so large, I only eat half of it. Because I spent so long in the gym, it was a two fortune cookie day. Both are great fortunes. I would take either one of them.

I would post a photo, but they are still having issues with this server (I’m not the admin on this one). It’s not allowing photo uploads.

These are the two fortunes:

“A Secret Admirer Will Soon Send You a Sign of Affection.”

“Great Acts of Kindness Will Befall You in the Coming Months.”

Then I went in for a massage. I met Alexis. She was so good, I signed up to get a massage a month with her. I consider spending this money on health and wellness. It’s good for me. So that was a very nice ending to the day.

You might not hear from me for a couple of days. If you read the previous posts you know why. All will be well.

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Network Solutions is having problems with the server…

24 Jun

My team at Godaddy knows I am rolling my eyes and they know why.

The web site you are reading this off of is on an old server at Network Solutions. All clients are Florida Web Development and Carolina Web Development are put on Godaddy servers for a reason.

Network Solutions had it’s day about 15 years ago. The server for this blog was put in place over 12 years ago. But they consistently pay inexperienced talent to the manage the hardware and unfortunately, this is what you get. Up. Down. Up. Down. And it goes on for days.

I don’t think this issue is going to remedy itself for a few days. They are having difficulty with OpenResty installed over Nginex on a  Ubuntu operating system. Ubuntu is really for beginners. There are far more robust tools available in servers. My philosophy is that if you are looking for the easiest tools, you will end up with hard problems. Sometimes there is no substitution for hard work in information technology and computer science and that means learning and using the right stuff. Network Solutions has problems because of the way they choose to run that company. This is the only server I have left with them.

As I said, my team knows how I feel about it. But that’s why this page appears and disappears this week. You might want to read the posts you missed below.

As for the rest of my day. It’s been fabulous. This week is my last week of vacation. I slept in this morning after I finished a movie on Marilyn Monroe last night.

I got up and went to the new gym. I wasn’t even planning on using a gym for a while until everything heals but then this fabulous new gym opened up right across from the private airport. Literally, I make a right and drive a block down the road. They’ve got some posh stuff. The machines are really, really nice. I am just going at this very lightly for a while but I was very surprised how low I could adjust a machine. They have so many machines and so many different kinds that before I knew it, I was there over an hour and that’s without visiting the spa. To motivate myself, I bought a new gym bag and packed it with brand new makeup, cute little pink shower shoes, new toiletries, the works.

The gym is my time to myself. No work, friends or relatives. No phone calls. No emails. Just time to decompress. After I finished my workout. I sat in the Massage Chairs for a while and then I sat in the Hydrotherapy Bed. Then I tried that light therapy with the Total Body Machine. I’m really not sure what to make of that thing but I’m willing to try it for a while. It’s supposed to produce collagen.

I have an appointment with my trainer tomorrow to talk about a new plan.

I wanted to get in some workouts because Wednesday and Thursday I have to spend time in a hospital for tests. I think everything is fine. It’s just I’ve had some issues that go back years where they constantly want to monitor just to make sure everything is ok. So I just consider this maintenance. No worries.

Friday I am meeting with someone from my new deal. Remember I told you I signed a deal. The majority of what I will be doing is meeting with people and making deals for this company. Then I will spend sometime creating marketing materials and advertising for them. I actually built my businesses like this years ago. I can be very good at deals. What’a appealing for me is that it cuts down the amount of time I’m in front of a computer and allows me to interact with more people. It’s exactly what I need right now. The industries that I’ll be representing are medical. I have a lot of experience with medical from the early days of my career and then of course I’ve had a few medical clients through the advertising agencies that I own.

Then Friday afternoon, I have to get an old filling replaced. With my vacation, I have been scheduling all the little things that need done that I never seem to have time for in life.

This vacation has been good for me. Be sure to read the post below so you read about what’s up with my trip to Paris. I’m still smiling.

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My 50th Birthday…

23 Jun

My 50th birthday is July 16th. My mother called to tell me what she’s doing for my 50th birthday. She and I are going to Paris on August 5 -12. For my birthday celebration, we are having dinner at the top of the Eiffel Tower.

That sounds absolutely fabulous. That’s a great way to celebrate my 50th is to have dinner overlooking Paris. It will be worth delaying the celebration until that week.

One of my friends texted from Germany that he’ll be in town in July and wants to take me out to dinner for my birthday as well. That will work because we can go to dinner in July.

Jules comes back on the 5th and she and I will make plans for a night out as well. I bought a bottle of champagne to celebrate her return to Palm Beach.

So just remember on my 50th birthday, that means that we launched the rocket to the Moon 50 years ago. I was fortunate to born during one of America’s finest hours.

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Fashion Show Continued…

23 Jun

One question that I’ve gotten repeatedly through the years is, “You spent a lot of years in Computer Science, why didn’t you ever want to go and work in California?”

No. Because they dress like slobs. A t-shirt and jeans to work to me says that you don’t have any standards and you don’t care about the details. No self respecting designer would wear a t-shirt and jeans every day. California is not my kind of mentality.

With that said, these are the rest of the items from the other day and why I like them:

Aqua and Pink Lilly PulitzerThis is the same Sophie dress as the other day (you saw me in a different pattern). I like this model because you can wear it anywhere and it’s washable. This is something that you can throw in the suitcase and trapse through anything in it. The sandals are a Jack Rodgers and, I dare say, far more comfortable than the other models of Jack Rodgers that I wear. These are comfy. I paired this outfit with large aqua statement earrings.

In terms of a purse for this dress, I like this bright colored pink Kate Spade.

Bright pink colored Kate Spade purse

The next outfit is a Lilly Pulitzer Linen skirt paired with a dark pink blouse, light pink pearls and a cute pair of pink embroidered mule shoes. Because the bees on the skirt are embroidered you can pick that up and carry it on into the shoes. Where are all these photos shot? My dining room. It’s handy for this purpose.

Closer look at the cute shoes:

Pink Mule Shoes

The next outfit can be paired with different pieces for different reasons. First is a striped Lilly Pulitzer with jeans and pair of white Penny Loafers with driving soles from Lands End. These are comfy and versatile shoes for traveling and walking.

Striped Lilly Pulitzer blouse and white jeans with driving moccasin Penny Loafers

And here’s the same outfit with light blue jeans…

Striped Lilly Pulitzer blouse and light blue jeans with driving moccasin Penny Loafers

And here’s it is paired with a pink blazer…This is actually a good outfit for an airplane. A jacket if you get cold, flat shoes, perfect…

Here’s a closer look at the shoes:

White Penny Loafers with Driving Shoe Bottoms

White Penny Loafers with Driving Shoe Bottoms

Courtney sent a new bracelet as a gift. It’s cute. This is the dress that I would pair with that bracelet. I bought this one a couple of months ago.

White dress on Laura Kerbyson

When I was looking for this one, I found an old favorite in the closet that I like for cocktails.

Laura Kerbyson in aqua cocktail dress.

Then for traveling and going to Paris, I bought some simple t-shirt dresses. I can sweat in it, get rained on, etc in this kind of dress. I can pair with a scarf and some jewelry to dress it up. I bought four of them in different colors. These things take up very little room in a suitcase. I call these “Saturday Dresses.” Because if I am going to the market to shop on the weekend and run errands, I reach for an easy Saturday Dress.

long necklace

Peach t-shirt dress

I also wanted to get more of the cute shoes.

Black embroidered mule shoesThe shoes above are good for adding color into a black dress. I don’t like to wear black but this helps

Red Embroidered Shoes

That’s all for now. I’ll do jewelry another day.

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That’s taken care of…

22 Jun

I stepped in for just three days to keep the store on Worth open. While I was there I fixed all the social media feeds that were broken and scheduled some content for a month. I prescheduled posts going to the web site. I cranked out a couple hundred marketing letters for clients, etc.

They are in good shape now.

Now I can get to my weekend tomorrow. I’m going to go and sit in a hydrotherapy massage chair tomorrow. I’m signing a membership to a club where I can do this every day. Part of the deal is that I’ll have a personal trainer who can come up with a new plan that can accommodate my old injuries. I think anything I do is going to have to be very, very light for a while. I am hoping that the weather will be good enough tomorrow to get in my walk through the neighborhood.

I will finish showing you “the fashion show” of new purchases. There’s some cute stuff here.

I have to go to the market. I’d also like to find some time to do a relaxing bath and read some more of the novel.

And of course, I plan on making a nice Sunday brunch. That’s what I think I’m doing tomorrow.

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I think sometimes people forget…

22 Jun

I think sometimes that people forget that I have business relationships and friends that are never mentioned on the blog because it wouldn’t be appropriate.

I keep a lot of secrets for a lot of people because they inevitably have to trust me with their business.

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We’ll continue the fashion show on Sunday…

21 Jun

The fashion show will continue on Sunday. I’m busy tomorrow and Saturday helping out a group of people. There are more problems to contend with than met the eye. It’s complicated.

One way or another, we will all get through this. I have known them long enough and well enough that they know that I operate from a point of love. I may tell you things that you don’t want to hear but I may tell you things that you need to hear. I’m only in this at this point because I care. I think everyone understands that my money will come from elsewhere. I wouldn’t be standing in front of this group if I didn’t have the character that I have.

With that said, everything will be fine. Somehow, it will all be fine.

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Ignore the hair and the makeup but look at the dress…

19 Jun

Dress number 2 that I ordered just came in the mail.

It’s been a long day and it’s been raining – so ignore the hair and the makeup. I clean up much better than this.

But what do you think of this new dress? There’s another one on the way too.

I think this is “Nigel Approved.” Nigel is my dog statue since I don’t have a dog. Every time I look in the mirror in the dinning room I ask Nigel, “So what do you think Nigel? How’s it look?”

I’ve done a fair amount of shopping recently. Nigel is going to have a lot to look at in the next couple of weeks.

I do love it Courtney. I think it’s just perfect. I’ll probably take it to Paris with me. Thank you so much. You’re so sweet.

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Yes, I am going to help out…

18 Jun

M. called me because she needs help. Her father is in the hospital in Canada. She wanted to know if I could come in and work the store for three days (Thursday, Friday, Saturday). I signed an offer letter with someone else that begins on July 1.

It doesn’t matter what our differences are, of course, I am going to help M. So for those three days I’m not available during the day.

Let’s hope Pius recovers quickly.

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Discussing Atlantis with a friend…

18 Jun

I had dinner with a friend who said, “You have everything you want in one spot. Now I see why you live in Atlantis. You actually have a really great life.”

Exactly. And I do.

It’s a private country club with four golf courses. There are roughly 1000 households in Atlantis. The city of Atlantis is named after the island Atlantis. I live on a lake and a private golf course. We own JFK Hospital which is on our property. We have our own police department and our own fire department for the 2000 residents. We have our own Mayor and city hall.  If I want to fly an airplane, I go out the gate, make a right and I’m right at Palm Beach County Park Airport. Across the street is John Prince Park with a driving range, trails, etc. I’m 10 minutes from the beach. I am done with big houses. I’ve owned several by myself and I am tired of being a slave to the house and the property. I wanted a really nice condo. No worries. I bought one, gutted it and made it what I wanted. The biggest headache was dealing with pulling all the permits because I don’t do any work that’s not permitted.

We have 16 units in the building with our own pool (which has a lake view and a cabana house).  I can walk across the street to the restaurant at the Country Club. When I walk the neighborhoods I walk by half million and million dollar plus properties. I could not get all this anywhere in Palm Beach county. It has everything I need. I am less than 20 minutes to Palm Beach and 20 to Boca and 10 to the beach at Boynton Beach. With all that said however, that is why Atlantis has the highest property taxes of all of Palm Beach County. Because we pay for our own services for 1000 households.

I don’t hear neighbors because all the walls and ceilings are fire walls. They are also taller than standard ceilings. I’m a first floor, corner unit. I’m 20 steps to my car.

I work clients from Boca to Palm Beach. Atlantis is perfectly in the middle of the two.

I’ve been single a long, long time, almost 20 years. I’ve made all the companies by myself, the properties by myself, and each one has a lot of my personality in it. This one represents the stage of my life that I am I am in… Did you know that the buzzards are arriving next month because it will be my 50th birthday? At 50, I don’t care about a big house and big a piece of property. But let me also preface that with I spent four years with G. and that was obviously a lot of property and a lot of house. I spend more time now with friends and socializing and enjoying the things that I like to do in life with the way I have structured my life. I wanted a maintenance free life. Now I have it. The gardeners hare here at least 3 days a week and this building has it’s own full time maintenance person. I’m so glad it’s someone else’s job…

I do love where I live. For me, it’s perfect. I’ve had the big house in the woods. I’ve had the 175 year old Victorian. I built a brand new house on a lake. I’ve had everything. Now I am enjoying this. This allows me to have a more balanced life in all areas. You could say it gives me a lot of freedom. I am in the minority of ownership however, less than 3% are owned solely by women.

For me, it’s about keeping my life simple, beautiful and elegant.

I think sometimes people remember that I own and started Carolina Web Development and Florida Web Development (which are both advertising agencies) and my own design company. But what they forget is that for 4 years on Hilton Head Island, G. and I flipped houses, so I am well trained on what to do with picking and redoing a piece of property. We did a lot of them in four years. I had the design background before I met him. But I learned the real estate side from him. We split up over four years ago. But I know he’s a better designer for having known me and I know a lot more about real estate for having known him. But I had obviously redone properties before I met him. They were not in coastal towns however. Now I understand that side.

It was just a few years ago when I trying to maintain two residences – one in Palm Beach County, FL and one in New Orleans. I remember sitting in the nicest restarraunt in New Orleans having dinner with my mother after I had decided that I wasn’t going to build the theme park in New Orleans.

She said, “What are you going to do?”

“I’ve had enough of the lies and the politics and the flooding problems. I’m shutting it down and I just want to go home to Florida. The culture of this city is really not for me.”

I came. I saw. I planned. I reworked it every which way. I thought about it. I paid a visit to the Voodoo Queen herself. And then I decided it was time to pack up.

And that’s what I did. I liquidated New Orleans and I came home.

———

If you don’t know New Orleans legend, the Voodoo Queen is Marie Laveau. In order to succeed in New Orleans, you must make a visit to her grave site and place the appropriate marks on the tomb and ask for her blessing. She was half Voodoo Queen and half Catholic. The vibe I got from that visit (or maybe it was just all instinct, said, “Don’t do this project. Not right now.”

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New Lilly Pulitzer dress…

16 Jun

I have a new favorite dress. Yes, I went shopping in Palm Beach yesterday. I visited one of my favorites, a Lilly Pulitzer store – C. Orrico.

Julie had given me a nice purse from C. Orrico for Christmas. I wanted to find a dress to match it perfectly.

So here’s the dress:

laura kerbyson

and this is how it goes with the bag:

I bought a new pair of Jack Rogers with the cork heel. If you have to walk a whole day in regular Jack Rogers, the wooden heels will kill your feet by the end of the day. I am hoping these have more cushion.

And of course I just put my blue topaz jewelry with this look.

I love this dress for several reasons. I can wear it from work into night. It’s stretchy and comfortable. I feel like I could wear it to do almost anything. This is a good design for a dress. I personally prefer sleeves over no sleeves because of air conditioning. They have other prints in this cut and I might add those later.

So how do I look?

These Jack Rodgers also look cute with it but I prefer the pair above:

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It’s a beautiful morning in Florida…

15 Jun

The lake looks so pretty this morning.

I got up and made French Toast. I make it with real french bread and then to cut all the sugars I mix half sugar free syrup with half lite syrup. I had friends that brought the Vanilla I use back from Guatemala. And of course there’s lots of Cinnamon. It’s delicious. I decided I could make this for breakfast after I got on the scale last night and I was at 120 lbs. Good. I can still eat. This is my vacation after all.

I plan to get a great walk in today. I have to mail a package and pick up a few items at the market.

I have friends that have been coming in from Naples about every two weeks. I’ve not heard if they are coming in yet tonight. I’m such a sap for a love story and they have such a great love story going on. I really enjoy getting together with them. One day I know I will be sitting at their wedding. They are very good together.

I wanted to go shopping for a Lilly Pulitzer dress. My friend Julie isn’t coming back into town until July 5th however, which means that if I shop, I’ll have to do it alone. She wants me to text her photos of options. It’s not the same though. I can’t wait for lunch and shopping with Jules. This time when she comes back I want lessons on how she makes those fabulous omelettes. I can not make an omelette. She makes the best one I’ve ever had. I want to learn how to do this.

I would like a visit to the gym today as well. And maybe a little more time reading my novel. I could take it out by the pool and lounge if it isn’t too hot.

That’s it. A simple, pretty, easy day in Palm Beach County, Florida.

———-update on the neck ————

It was like a month ago and I couldn’t stand for anyone to reach out and touch my neck. It was so sore,  I couldn’t tolerate it.

Sometimes things work in mysterious ways. I was in that car accident with the Uber driver and I had to get 10 shots in my neck and we decided to risk a new cream. I’ve got to tell you that the combination of doing that and walking away from the computer for a few weeks are doing me wonders. It feels better than it did a month ago. Now if someone walked up and touched my neck, it wouldn’t phase me.

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Finally, a picture from the Net that says it all…

15 Jun

I finally saw a picture on the Internet that describes my golf game.

Now you know why I wear two gloves when I golf…

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I am so enjoying the simple things in life…

14 Jun

As you might know by now I am enjoying my glorious two weeks of vacation. Doing nothing, Decompression. Doing everything.

I went to the beach today. It was the perfect kind of day for me. Overcast and very windy. I could kick back in my chair and watch the clouds pass overhead. It’s something that I seldom get to do. The sound of the surf and wind is what really relaxes me.

I had lunch on the beach. I read some of one of the new novels I picked up. And even when it started to rain, it was glorious because it was different. I had the little roof over my chair so I pulled the beach towel up over me and I enjoyed the rain on the beach for a while. After all, everything I bring to the beach is meant to get wet. I braided my hair this morning. I didn’t have any makeup on. What does it matter?

By the time I got home, I was chilled so I headed for a long hot shower and I flipped the heat lamps on in the ceiling of the bathroom.

For the rest of my day, I am camped out on the chaise in the living room watching High Seas on Netflix. I very seldom watch television, so this is a treat for me. I have a cup of baked apple tea and a cookie.

I can’t begin to tell you how great it is to get up and just enjoy some of the simple things in life. Three years without a day of vacation was far too long. That’s not something that I want to repeat again. It’s good for the mind, body and soul to just take some time like this occasionally and enjoy it.

I’ll be taking the easy road for dinner. I have some french bread that I’ll toast to go with the Lobster Bisque. On a rainy, Florida day, it seems a good way to enjoy it.

And then I’ll go back to reading my novel for a while.

I’m enjoying this. I really am. I think I live in one of the last great places on earth when you can find your solitude on a beach. Most of South Florida has very crowded beaches. However, I like peace and solitude on a beach and this is one of the reasons I’ve been here so many years.

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