30 November 2012

Neiman Marcus & Target COUNTDOWN!


After midnight, you can shop the partnership between
Neiman Marcus & Target.

With the finishing touches in place within the stores and online, it will feel like New Year's Eve, as thousands count down the seconds.


Rikki Ragland the preppy debutante

28 November 2012

Brooks Brothers holiday "candy"

I love Brooks Brothers! I wore their executive line a lot more when I was still working in the corporate world, obviously. Their clothing is classic and conservative and looks great on just about anyone and of course, make great gifts. 
I recently saw a shirt that I am putting on my wish list. Ironically, I have noticed that most of my BB pieces are navy blue, and this one is too. One would think that I would go far outside the blue box with brighter colors, but their navy blue is addictive. 

The shirt is very simple and can be worn with slacks as it is on the model, or would look really great paired with some riding pants and boots. The versatility makes it a nice staple item in a wardrobe.
Then I saw this sweater on Pinterest. It is a man's sweater, but everything about it is just perfect in my eyes. It is a nice pop of color and toggles and elbow patches make it go from a "want" to a "need."

This is one of my favorite watches, and one I tend to wear much more than my other ones. The ribbon band is interchangeable, so you can pair it up to your outfits regardless of color. Brooks Brothers' Madison scent is a great one and also comes with a travel spray for your handbag. Although, I alternate my perfumes, I use this one the most. 
These are just a few ideas for the holidays if you are still searching for a classic gift for the preppy in your life (or for your preppy self). You certainly cannot go wrong with anything from BB.

Rikki Ragland the preppy debutante

26 November 2012

Seeing Red

I am usually a pink kind of gal, but lately, I am addicted to red.  I usually take my own polish to the salon because I like to create my own color combinations. Although I had one in my handbag, I decided to take a look at the salon's choices this time and I fell in love with this-

It is the truest red I have found, and appropriately named, "True Red." If you can imagine this color on a car, then you will know what I drove for years! Over the years, I have driven a Honda, BMW, Jeep and a Mercedes in this exact shade. I know, I know...a policeman's target!! Those were the good ol' days before I toned down the color two years ago. 

I have a holiday party to attend this week and now I need to create an outfit around the color. It seems that my traditional pink will have to take a back seat for a while. 

Rikki Ragland the preppy debutante

24 November 2012

Dallas loses J.R. Ewing

When I first moved to Dallas in January, 2000, I joined my sister, whose family had moved here about 11 months prior. Of course, one of the first things we did was to run out to South Fork Ranch to check out where our favorite show, Dallas,was filmed. 

On November 23rd, Dallas the TV show and our city of Dallas lost one of our most beloved icons, Larry Hagman, who played the evil J.R. Ewing. He passed away from complications of cancer at a nearby Dallas hospital. He was 81-years-old. 

Rikki Raglandthe preppy debutante

16 November 2012

Little "belk days" model

Several months ago, Cameron Alexander was booked for a modeling gig with belk
Department store. They were kind enough to mail us several copies of the ad (some for the grandparents), which arrived in our mailbox today!

I am especially proud of this ad because it was the first one where I was no where to be found. During his first belk ad, I was on hand, albeit, hidden behind a partition. They kept me in the room in case I needed to keep our little model pepped up. 

This go round,  I remained in the green room. It was a little weird at first. He walked out of the room and down the hall, looking back only once to give me a wave goodbye. He returned after the shoot a happy little camper, as did the crew, who said he did a great job sans Mommy. 

Apparently, all of the kids that afternoon had a wonderful time without their parents in the room. While some crews welcome mom or dad, others feel that kids would do better solo. I thought it was great to stay away on this one, especially since I had a ton of email to catch up on that morning!

C. Alexander has come a long way since his first belk ad a year ago.

Rikki Ragland the preppy debutante

13 November 2012

Steve Starr Chicago Celebrity Photog and Friend Dies Suddenly

On November 12, Chicago's social circuit lost a good friend, Steve Starr. Steve photographed everyone who's anyone and was certainly the life of every party and fundraiser he attended.
With a packed social calendar in Chi-town, my sister, LeAnita & I were often in front of Steve's lens and LeAnita was currently working with him on his next project, "The Face of News" which was to be held on 12-12-12. They were very good friends and sadly, she and Steve spoke about the project just a day before he suffered a heart attack outside the Drake Hotel on Michigan Avenue, moments after dining with friends.

Last November, LeAnita arranged for Steve to do a private photo session with us, our mother and little C. Alexander at The Drake (a place one would find us often). I was incredibly sleep-deprived for the shoot, but he still managed to make me look great (thanks, Steve!) Here are a few of Steve's photos from that shoot: 

This is from a different shoot, but certainly a favorite of mine by Steve of my sister:

Steve's family will hold a private service for him. 

Rikki Ragland the preppy debutante

12 November 2012

Autumn Arm candy

Like many people, my sailor's bracelets and other summer jewelry were shed by Labor Day weekend. That meant it was time to don darker jewelry for the Fall. I really love the color brown and mix & match my brown pieces. 

This year, I have added my Survivor Joe to the mix. It is made from Army green parachute cord, secured with a button and symbolizes deployment. It can also be used as a survival tool. As an Army brat (father is a retired Colonel), I have several in different styles to show my support of our military. 

When I want to add a splash of color, preferably in a preppy, "pick me up pink,"
I will put on a new bangle from Lilly  in their Phi Mu print. 
Rikki Ragland  the preppy debutante

09 November 2012

Birthday Tea at The Adolphus

   I never truly celebrated my 40th birthday last year in Dallas. My North Shore friends and sister in Illinois gave me a stellar birthday dinner in Wilmette, IL, but with all of my traveling during the Halloween season last year, I did not have the opportunity to blow out the candles, Texas-style.

My friend, Lisa, decided to play hostess this year. Unfortunately, she is from the East Coast and Hurricane Sandy had alternative plans for her! Instead of flying in for the birthday tea she had planned at The Adolphus Hotel  in downtown Dallas, she ended up preparing her home for the worst...which was virtually untouched after the storm, thank goodness!

I like the ambiance of The Adolphus with its Old English motif. 

I saw this sweater in a catalog about six months ago and my sister gifted it to me this year. I felt it  would be the perfect attire for our afternoon tea.

 The setting was beautiful and was located in the lobby of the hotel. There were two other parties of ladies having afternoon tea that day, but each of us had an intimate setting and felt as if our group was the only one there.

We began the brunch with a champagne toast.
              I was fortunate to have my mother visit for the month from Maryland. (She is on the left in tan and black). She had to extend her trip by a few days because of Hurricane Sandy.

 We then enjoyed various teas and a four-course serving.
My friend Casey took this photo.

We spent the entire afternoon catching up...  

sharing stories...

                                              and noshing.

Our tea captain sliced a very preppy cake with a personalized topper from "the preppy debutante."

I had a fabulous afternoon! 

We may decide to make our afternoon tea a monthly event. Thank you for such a wonderful time, everyone!

Rikki Ragland the preppy debutante

08 November 2012

Junior League Red & White Party

My Junior League's largest fundraiser is the annual  'Neath the Wreath shopping extravaganza in Plano, Texas. Leading up to the event are a series of smaller ones, including our  Ladies Night Out Preview Party at Red Door a little while ago.

To kick off 'Neath the Wreath this week, we held a Red & White Preview Party. Below is the invitation, with a slight & very obvious alteration.

I put on my red Cowboy boots and red & white Tory tunic and headed for our biggest JL night of the year. 

When I arrived to the event, at the Plano Centre

I was greeted by some Plano firefighters, who were waiting to take photos with Leaguers before they walked inside. 

Once inside, there were wall to wall vendors offering anything from boots and clothing to candy and gourmet coffee. One of my favorite stops was at a booth of sorority items. I had not seen these popular Greek hairbands, which I have been told that undergrads often use as bracelets too. Running errands today, I threw one around my wrist and the other in my hair to show my PHI MU Lion pride. 

The booth also had washable cosmetic bags...of course, Greek-lettered. I always have an issue carrying my cosmetic brushes, while I am traveling, in bags that need to be thrown in the laundry by the end of my trip. With this bag, I can simply wipe it clean with a cloth. 


My Phi Mu sister, fellow Junior Leaguer & friend, Connie & I walked the entire market together. It is always good to have another person's opinion before making an impulsive buy!


Since the event was for the League (it is now open to the public), we ran into a lot of fellow Sustainers along the way. We did more socializing than shopping during Ladies' Night, but fortunately for us, 'Neath the Wreath lasts all week long. 

Rikki Ragland  the preppy debutante

05 November 2012

American Red Cross Help

One of my most rewarding jobs was as a spokesperson for the American Red Cross' Maryland, Pennsylvania & Virgina regions. I responded to disasters and blood drives and saw first hand how  ARC's Disaster Team makes a tremendous impact in communities as soon as a disaster happens. 

Please help the American Red Cross' effort as they assist with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. You can DONATE by clicking here. If you are unable to donate monetarily, you can find out all of the ways you can HELP by clicking on this link for support.
THANK YOU. Every bit counts in helping Hurricane Sandy victims get back on their feet. 

Rikki Ragland  the preppy debutante