What is millinery? Christine A. Moore shows it and owns it

Meet Christine:

Official milliner of Breeders Cup and the Kentucky Derby. I had the pleasure of meeting Christine A. Moore, originally a theater guru turned hat maker, and a wonderful and talented milliner owning the ‘lost art’ of millinery.

All this millinery talk, but what in the heck is it?
A milliner a person who designs, makes, trims, or sells women’s hat. Millinery is delving in the art of these hats. Tanchis, Honorary Tanchis, and non-tanchis, your not alone – I, too, had no idea and came to discover this world after working with a Degas ‘Milliners’ painting during my days at the J. Paul Getty Museum.

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The ‘Milliners’ by Edgar Degas
Degas’ ‘Milliners’ is a beautiful work of art, depicting dramatically angled milliners in their workspace sitting behind shadowed hat stands amongst brightly colored ribbons.

It is no wonder Christine has selected a Degas work of art of milliners to be a mural at the entrance of her studio in the heart of the fashion district in New York City.  NYC is a city Christine draws inspiration from and translates into her design.

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The tanchi and the tall

Just like Degas unveils the private world focused on the physical hardship of the milliners’ work, positioning this at the front of Christine’s studio begins this ‘tanchi adventure,’ unveiling the behind-the-scenes to Christine’s hat making and millinery shop.

Christine started in costume design and apprenticed with Rodney Gordon, Broadway hat maker – minus Donald trump. It’s no wonder Christine’s hats are epic in style, gorgeous in design, and beautifully crafted with unique and quality materials. At times, she even leans towards the provocative! (Gracias to theatre)

I Began to Wonder, What’s Hat Making Got To Do With It?
Why is mastering the art of millinery a common path for the most iconic designs and designers of our time? Take, for instance, this hat Christine made for Patty Ethington, photographed by AP, that circulated wildly!

Patty-Ethingtonkentuckyderby Patty Ethington of Shelbyville, Kentucky, smiles under her hat while attending the 135th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 2, 2009. (AP Photo/Patti Longmire)

…or Christian Dior, Halston, and Coco Chanel? What is their excuse for being so darn great?
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I posed this question to a fellow tanchi, Raquel, and she said it must be that when making hats, these designers are making headpieces and thinking about the end result to be ‘timeless.’ Raquel got it –their secret sauce. In mastering the art of making timeless pieces, it then translates to their iconic designs. For instance, you see this in the Dior A-line luxurious skirt, and Chanel’s classic tweed jacket. #TanchiTheories

Before the Fashion Houses

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(C) Credit: ‘Coco Before Chanel‘, 2009.

There was a Coco before Chanel. In the 2009 ‘Coco Before Chanel’ film about the French designer Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel – the life of Gabrielle is revealed in an inspiring story. Someone who had nothing ended up founding an empire. Part of Coco’s journey entailed selling her hat creations. Here pictured, is when Coco is first introduced to the world of horse racing, as she gazes over the horse track attire of the upper class.

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(C) Credit: ‘Coco Before Chanel‘, 2009.

First Exposure to the World of Hats
I love this moment because I, too, felt that marvel the first time I went to ‘Opening Day’ at Del Mar Racetracks. In a previous post, On your mark, get set, Go! To Opening Day in fabulous hat style, I explain how over the years I have upped my hat and dress attire for the occasion. My first ‘Opening Day’ I wore a simple hat. While still classic and pretty, it was nowhere near the level of some of the most luxurious and flamboyant hats you’ll find at the tracks. It is a festive day where forgetting your hat at home, leaves you out of place.

Big Hats are Necessary for America’s Best Racing
As spectacular of a fashion ‘Opening Day’ is, the pinnacle of fashion at the racetracks really takes place at the Kentucky Derby. Christine, however, envisions spreading the fanfare of horse track fashion and lifestyle by showing her hats, fascinators, and fedoras for men at other track events, like Breeders Cup. She believes in changing the view of Breeders Cup, which hasn’t traditionally been the hub stop of such attire, by bringing back the elegance to a fun and laid back experience. This is exactly what we did as style ambassadors for America’s Best Racing by wearing Christine’s hats.

Millinery is Hot
I had the privilege of chatting with Christine while touring her studio. What she does is an incredible art, and it’s no wonder her millinery is highly sought after for these events. Bo Derrick, JLo, Halle Berry, Alica Keys, Mary J. Blige, Blake Lively of Gossip Girl are just some of the celebrities that have worn her hats. Bazaar, Vanity Fair, and InStyle are among the magazines in which she’s been featured. Puchica! (Salvadoran caliche for Wow).
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Inside Christine A. Moore’s Millinery
Christine demonstrated how she begins her process for designing a piece. Here is a clip of her sketching a design that will later be worked on by her and her team of artists and then to Blake, her husband, for marketing.

When walking into the studio, picture a dream closet for hats – an array of hats each elegant, unique, stylish and comfortable! It’s so nice to have a sized hat and not have it fall on your face at the mere movement of your head! I tried on several hats and fascinators and, let me tell you, I have no idea how Christine picks out a hat to wear for the big days!

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The materials are just as much a marvel: so many ribbons, trims, tools, bases, etc., like an old millinery shop from Degas’ days. Christine is notably known for using her own trims on hats – none of that Michael’s craft store ish, this is the finer stuff in life, like Godiva. Were talking very very Caché (classy)!

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Tanchi Problems: Leave petiteness and panza out of this one
This tanchi had to keep it classy for the big day and couldn’t afford to have any tanchi problems get in the way! For once though I had an unrelated petite and panza problem: a problem of being an indecisive tanchi who couldn’t decide whether to wear fascinator or hat? Trim, netting, bling, feathers? So many options, but I left the design in Christine’s hands after showing her my Lulu*s Honey Punch, That’s a Wrap Neon Yellow Wrap Dress. She measured my head and the wheels began turning for how she could make this tanchi the most bella ever for the big day. You can bet it was the best decision to leave the master milliner with the responsibility for curating the perfect headwear. It is an admirable technique for any tanchi to emulate. After all, curating is the way of the tanchi.

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La ‘Savanah’
Behold my ‘Savanah’ hat worn to Breeders Cup, courtesy of Christine A. Moore, along with other L.A. Fashion Bloggers. Que Bella! The hat entails beautiful purple palette ranging from darks to lights with such delicate fabric selection for the flower petals. Each petal varies in sheer to opaque fabrics and is seamed and pressed for a crisp, yet delicate look. I wore the hat like a powerful petite, strutting my hat at the racetracks, showing it and owning it — just the way Christine does with her millinery. Did I mention it had bling on top? Love!

Check out more of Christine’s hats in this video, to see what other styles L.A. Fashion Bloggers wore to Lulu*s At The Races.

Video by Richard Alexander Media

Breeder’s Cup has come to an End
Thanks to Christina A. Moore for the exclusive behind-the-scenes look into her studio and art of millinery. That’s a wrap for this tanchi’s track talk and hat attire, till next thoroughbred race season! It has been a wonderful adventure uncovering the art of millinery and getting to spend time with such an artist like Christine A. Moore. For ‘old fashion’, unique and beautiful fashion – be sure to check out Christine’s collection for your hat needs! She’s got various price points available. Stay tuned for more NYC coverage.

Bobby Flay’s Taste of the World Affair – Breeders Cup Part 2

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Credit: (C) The Great Gastby, 2013

Or was it a Jay Gatsby Affair?
So that’s what it must of felt like to walk into the infamous mansion of Jay Gatsby from The Great Gatsby.

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Stumbling onto unexpected excitement, frolic, and bewilderment, I entered the Huntington Library and Gardens which had been transformed to a lively after party that could have been considered a well orchestrated work of art. #PartyArt

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The Hungtington and I go way back. Having grown up in Pasadena, I had a moment “Back In [My} Own Back Yard” – reminiscent of the tune by my all-time favorite contemporary jazz singer – Madeleine Peyroux with William Galison. Their collabs have an American country icon, Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash nostalgia to them.

Click below to listen to Madeleine jazz it up in, “Back In Your Own Back Yard” and get in the mood as you read about this Gatsby-like affair:

This was not just any after party. The museum remained opened and the beautiful interior, with glistened chandeliers and grandiose furnishings, added to the ‘wow’ factor of the affair (the museum nerd and lover in me). My evening continued on a ‘tanchi adventure’ at Breeders Cup, one of the best affairs I’ve ever attended: A Taste of the World with Bobby Flay.

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Problems with the ‘Tangran’ (tan grande – very big) Panza
The only problem here (because there is always a tanchi problem) was containing my panza with all the delicious hor dourves from around the world. Thank goodness I wore my Lulu*s panza friendly dress, or this could have brought about a tanchi problem reserved for Thanksgiving and other special feast days with Mama Sonia’s cooking!

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We keep it classy with NEON and Rainbow chanclas at Breeders!

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Tantalizing Tasties with an International Flair
To tickle my tastebuds, there was a spread of organic salmon from Ireland, pork liver terrine from the U.K., gourmet falafals, ceviche pineapple, foods representing Argentinian and Brazilian cuisines, and so much more! Not to forget, the hosted cocktails by Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Wines filled the rows of white clothed stations with international bites and flair to gorge on. All that was missing was the global hit – pupusas from El Salvador! This is only a mere glimpse to the spectacular cuisine hosted by celebrity chef and thoroughbred owner, Bobby Flay. AKA Jay Gatsby.

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Looks like Vitameatavegamin has some competition with Bobby Flay.
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Credit: (C) I Love Lucy, a registered trademark of CBS Worldwide, Inc

In Part 1 of Breeders Cup coverage, I wrote about my first glimpse of bewitchment with hats when watching an episode of ‘I love Lucy.’ In Lucy Ricardo’s days hats were worn as everyday accessories and supplements were taken that “taste like candy too.” But a tradition of style is being brought back to contemporary times in horse track lifestyle, and the extravaganzas resembling soirees of the roaring 1920s. It’s wonderful to see a resurgence of all the good things from the past being brought together for the Breeders Cup. I love horses, horse racing, ‘old fashion’, and giving the panza AMOR while being absorbed in roaring 20s ambiance – the past has it going on.

Did I mention how much I love the 1920s?
It doesn’t’ get more Gatsby then when a live band plays jazz, rocking the saxophone, bass, and other soulful instruments – not to mention the beautiful notes hit on the vocal chords. Festive, nostalgic, and dear to this tanchi’s heart because I have a love for jazz, I think this soirée was more Gatsby than even Gatsby’s own party – after all Jay-Z isn’t exactly authentic with the era (as great of a song as it is).
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What can I say? This tanchi likes her horse racing.
Breeder’s Cup is more than just a jean and t-shirt day at the races. The ‘tanchi adventure’ continued on Day 2 at Santa Anita Park in Los Angeles for Breeders. Stephanie and I spent our day in the new View section on the rail next to the Winner’s Circle courtesy of ABR. This area is perfect for rooting and cheering, while NBC was covering the sporting event on Primetime Live. The day was filled with performances by everyone’s favorite, original good witch from ‘Wicked’, Kristin Chenoweth, who by the way is a PETITE! Toni Braxton also made an appearance and sang the national anthem. Even Broadway and 90s throwbacks had a piece of the action, not to mention celebrity ambassadors such as Bo Derek, Kate Upton, and Steven Jackson.

What I wore: More Hats and Panza Friendly Attire
For the occasion Stephanie and I sported hats by Christine A. Moore – just like ‘ol sports.’ Gotta have our hats!
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After a night of Bobby Flay gorging, I wore one of the most panza-friendly dresses I own, the Saray by San & Soni (size L) available at online petite retailer, Gambita Style. This dress caught my eye because it is so colorful and vibrant with its alternating feather pattern. One of my readers, Nicole, commented it was “coloristically perfect!” As soon as I saw it, I had to have it and my panza was grateful for my tanchi style-curating eye. San & Soni are a husband and wife team, native from India, with a design principle of practical luxury. This choice was perfect for the horse race occasion. To get your Saray and other other lovely petite friendly garments from Gambita Style, just enter Gambita4LaBellaTanchi at checkout for 25% off all items in your order!

To finish off the look, I paired it with hot pink and orange Anne Klein heels with a bow for a finishing touch. I accessorized with a heart-shaped opal stone Lalique necklace and large sized royal purple bebe studs (of course). Once again keeping it subtle to let the millinery and dress shine.

Stephanie wore a colorful cameo print dress from Forever 21 and shoes from Anthropologie – a pair of Gingham-Timmed Oxford Heels in the color sand which she scored on sale for $79.95 (originally $118)!
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Until next time, Breeders Cup 2014
What a great weekend at the races and even more so to finish off the weekend with pumpkin flavored delectable cupcake, perfect for the Fall season!

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The 5 million dollar race for the finale was won by Mucho Macho Man – making press and the crowds go wild over the victory. It has been fun, Breeders, and thanks again to America’s Best Racing, Christine A. Moore, Racing Queen Tatiana, Lulu*s, and Gambita! A special thanks to the Huntington and Bobbly Flay aka Mr. Gatsby.

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Bringing Back the Hat at Breeders Cup at Santa Anita Park – Part 1

Tanchi Fashion Blogging Problems

I love hats and endeavors that bring back the hat. After all, every tanchi needs her décor! (And a bit more height could help with blogging as well) – #TypicalTanchiProblems

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Continue reading

Del Mar Tracks & A Petite Jumpsuit

What to wear for a day at the races?
At Del Mar Thoroughbred Club with America’s Best Racing – I can only wear my best: A petite jumpsuit courtesy of The Petite Shop. The Petite shop is the first online store dedicated exclusively to petite clothing for women 5′ 4″. Sold exclusively right now – gasp – is a petite jumpsuit!

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Jumpsuits for Petites
As any petite knows, jumpsuits are problematic because rarely do they fit and are difficult to tailor. Petite jumpsuits are a rare find, but Elizabeth, owner of the Petite Shop, collaborated with, Los Angeles based, District Collection to create a made-for-tanchi jumpsuit with a 30’inch seam in a navy colored jersey like material, making it ideal for panza coverage! A jumpsuit I can actually wear chanclas (sandals) with if I wanted to!

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What to expect at Del Mar Race Track Tracks
When America’s Best Racing Ambassadors tour invited San Diegan bloggers to join racing fans at Del Mar Racetracks – I couldn’t wait to wear the rarity for a day of horses while mingling, handicapping (horse race betting), drinking, and eating, followed by a concert from the reggae group, SOJA — live afterwards via backstage access! Formely known as Soldiers of Jah Army, is a band based in Arlington, Virginia in the Northern Virginia / Washington D.C. area. Among the favorites were “Rest of my Life’ and “I Don’t Want to Wait.” As we listened to great music, it made for a perfect summer time evening experience at the tracks in San Diego. How I love my San Diego!

Check out SOJA’s track, ” When We Were Younger”

 

Love horse racing.
It was a great weekend at the tracks spent with Mary and the gang – learning all about racing culture, handicapping (horse race betting), horses, and chatting about the social and lifestyle aspects of racetracks. If you’re in San Diego – Del Mar Racetracks are a must for the summer time! Especially with their after the races concert series.

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What I wore: A Petite Shop Petite Jumpsuit, Anthropologie accessories, a dash of ‘Marie Antoinette’, and go-to summer wedges by DV
I love horse racing and in a previous post, On your mark, get set, Go! To Opening Day in fabulous hat style!, I featured Del Mar Racetracks with hat style and great fashion for wearing to the races. I love dressing up for the occasion! Curation is the way of the ‘tanchi’ and was put to work for curating my horse track attire with the navy jumpsuit. I paired it with what I call my ‘Marie Antoinette’ necklace, because of it’s French décor color scheme by Anthropologie, as well as a dark brown braided leather belt, also by Anthropologie. I wore my go-to summer tan leather wedge by Dolce Vita. It’s such a great jumpsuit because of the fit (size small, but could go a size up), and also because the suit is like a canvas asking to get styled. There are so many options for styling it and it’s great to look chic while being comfy too! They’re like chic jammies that can be transformed endlessly!

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#AmericasBestRacing and #AmericasBestFashion
At the races you’ll see the best fashion – great dresses, shoes, hats, and fascinators. Mary from the team wore a hot pink and orange maxi dress from Miami designer, Ramona LaRue, that was a hit! It is these aspects of social and lifestyle that are getting pushed to promote horse racing amongst millennials.

Two years ago the Jockey Club who runs Thoroughbred Racing Club (think NFL of horse racing) asked, where is Thoroughbred Racing going? In response, they decided to make an effort to reach new audiences and assembled a millennial marketing team that pushed social and lifestyle angels while promoting racing’s best events. Tada, meet America’s Best Racing!

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What happens at the races?
It is always a great time at the races and I had a little luck winning some cash bets! The great thing about betting on races is that it is different from slot machines and other card games. Handicapping (horse betting) can involve so much — from jockey history, horse history, racetrack history, type of horse, type of track, critics’ favorites and longshot, and all sorts of other stats.

We got to catch the big race – the Pacific Classic where ‘Game on Dude’ had a victory! I am looking forward to catching the super bowl of race horsing at Breeders Cup this coming November 1st and 2nd at Santa Anita Park in Los Angeles. Track horses are beautiful and are great athletes. The tradition of racing and handicapping (betting strategy) leave one to fall in love with sport and build a connection to it while having so much fun enjoying the whole scene.

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Move over Doyers! 
It was great time cheering on horses, ‘Go is the Ocean’ and ‘Go Wave Catching’, listening to great reggae music on a summer night, and admiring the beauty and athleticism of the horses on the paddick pre-race time. The tracks are a great time for any age, for family time or with friends, or even to scoop out the latest fashion and music scene. Move over Doyers! Tailgating and America’s past time have been great fun, but I’ve got a new sport I’m routing for!

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Pictured here on day two, what I wore is a black silky tank by Madewell paired with a white high-low maxi skirt from Buffalo Exchange, gold flip flops, and a black and gold statement necklace from Nordstroms. Black and white purse by bebe (of course), I just can’t leave home without my bebe.

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Pictured here is Racing Queen, Tatiana, wearing a fabulous hot pink dress with a matching fascinator. Continue reading

On your mark, get set, Go! To Opening Day in fabulous hat style!

Welcome to ‘Opening Day’!
More than 45,000+ race fans gather on the Opening Day of the thoroughbred racing season at Del Mar Racetracks for fabulous, fashionable and fun festivities!

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Since moving to San Diego, I’ve made it a tradition to go to the race every year with the Juarez family. This year it is taking place July 17th – right around the corner! Don’t wait to get your hat!

The ‘lost’ accessory: the Hat
I absolutely love horses and to wear old school hats, especially because hats are like a lost accessory in everyday attire – and millinery is such a beautiful craft! Del Mar’s annual tradition, the “One and Only Truly Fabulous Hats Contest” brings out some of the most creative and stylish hats. It’s a unique event for sure with only the Kentucky Derby coming close with hat celebrations.

What I wore: a hat from Therapie Boutique, bebe (of course), and a dash of rouche draping
My first year, I didn’t realize how elaborate the hats would be. I went with a simple hat with black trim tied with black ribbon from a local hat shop and a beige ruffle GUESS? dress. The following year I upped the hat and dress. I decked out in a bold teal colored hat from Therapie Boutique – San Diego’s First Fashion Truck, and a bebe white printed flower dress that was altered to be tanchi friendly by adding darts to the back, leaving the satin black ribbon trim intact on the shoulders. Without the pseudo ‘darts’ the dress didn’t fall right on the top, making for awkward gaps on the neckline (typical tanchi problems) and a sinking cowl draping on the front. I love this dress most of all for its rouche draping (a great French technique that helps hides the panza). I topped it off with my bebe Casey heels in nude and black patent, reminiscent of art deco. They’re perfect for a Gatsby-like summer party at the racetracks look. Check out my curation – the tanchi way, for a day at the races over the years:

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Therapie Boutique – San Diego’s first fashion truck has ‘Opening Day’ needs
I stumbled upon Therapie Boutique by chance. I’m an avid farmers’ market shopper and they happened to have their truck at the North Park farmers’ market in San Diego. They had such a great selection of clothing, accessories, and especially hats and fascinators! Picking out a hat took me a bit of time and it was hard for me not to walk away with more items. My teal colored hat came out to about $60 – while my 1st year hat from Hats Unlimited in La Jolla was about $30. This year I’m switching it up a bit and wearing a fascinator instead – a one of kind piece crafted beautiful by Linda Friedmen in New Orleans (Nola)!

Tanchi adventures in Nola (such a rager town) and an amazing experience!
I got to visit a Plantation, a swamp, and eat all sorts of typical cuisine from Fried Aligor to Bacon wrapped Oysters. It’s just a beautiful place, yet sad. Remnants of Katrina are still apparent years later.
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All the way from NOLA: Golden Feathers and Vintage Bling
Heading over to the French Quarter, my pretty half, Hezzie, and I came upon the Saturday night street market where artists sold their fabulosity. Linda’s fascinator selection (a style of millinery kind of like “mini hats” or headpieces) was hard to walk away from!

I ended up selecting a beautiful fascinator with golden feathers and vintage bling. Linda’s pieces are a bit pricier, but worth the price for her use of quality material and exceptional design. I’m just not that into the generic and uncomfortable head pieces you can find at Claire’s for example for half the cost. The feathers in this piece are luscious – so bright in their color and each one unique–a perfect piece for Opening Day, a Gatsby themed party, or Halloween! She travels far for her materials – often going as far as NYC! Her stuff is not available elsewhere because it sells out that fast, but you can contact her via email for custom orders or current availability. Linda is a true millinery artist! Here are pics from her great selection.

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That’s a Wrap for this Tanchi at the French Quarter
To end the night on my Nola visit, I got a poem written about surfing by Heath who had a typewriter on the poetry corner. A beautiful poem about my beloved ocean. I knew Nola was fun while it lasted, but it was time to head back to home to beautiful San Diego.

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From Nola to SD, this tanchi is Opening Day ready with my fascinator for the big day! That is if Billie, my quarter half, doesn’t run away with it first (or eat my protection from evil spirits coral statement necklace!)

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Enter the giveaway to win your Tilly Doro coral necklace now before Billie goes cookie monster mode!

Thanks Pretty Half for photos!