Elizabeth Taylor dies at 79

Taylor photographed for Argentinean Magazine in 1947

Ms. Elizabeth Taylor died today at 79. She was an icon of style and grace. Click here for the brief New York Times obituary and here for a robust Wikipedia entry about the Academy Award winning actress.

Rest in Peace Ms. Taylor.



More Re-find …

Hello gentle readers. My, it has been far too long since we last blogged. But, as you may have noticed, we’ve undergone a little renovation of sorts. Re-find now has a fancy new logo:

Oooh, ahhh, logo love

Plus, we’ve added several new pages, including “Ask Melanie” for all of your burning etiquette and style questions; “Style,” which covers the meaning of refined style, both inside and out; “Services,” where you can learn about personal styling consultation and how to book Melanie Spencer to speak to your group; “Philanthropy,” because there is nothing more charming or stylish than giving back; and “Store,” which is where you can buy Re-find merchandise.

Please take a look around and, as always, let us know what you think.

In other news, we recently visited a cozy cocktail lounge in Houston and just have to share a few photos with you, because this bar exemplifies simple elegance, with a healthy dose of hip. Enjoy this little photo tour of Leon’s Lounge (1006 McGowen St.), owned by Under the Volcano owners Pete and Vera Mitchell.

Leon's Lounge in Midtown, Houston

Front window display

Black and white checked tile and carved wood barChandelier detail

Beautiful stained glass window in bar area

Seating area in room off of main bar

Menu coming soon, but until then, you can have a snack

We hope you enjoyed the tour. Cheers!

Charm, style and grace (kelly)

The other day, while perusing the newsstand at Barnes and Noble, I was struck by the cover of the May issue of Vanity Fair. Peeking out between magazines featuring Tiger’s mistresses and Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton (“People” and “Newsweek,” respectively), was the cool, controlled gaze of Grace Kelly.

From http://www.vanityfair.com: Grace Kelly for “Life” magazine wearing the gown designed by Edith Head that she wore to the 1955 Academy Awards. © Philippe Halsman/Magnum Photos.

Few women in the world, now or in the past, (even January Jones, who is practically Kelly’s twin in AMC’s “Mad Men”) personify the charm, style and grace of Kelly. And if ever there was a time that we needed a role model who stands for elegance, manners, self-possession, sensuality and sheer class — in this post Emily Post America, where scandal, vulgarity, incivility and gossip reign supreme — it is now.

With all due respect to Jackie O, the beyond reproach Audrey Hepburn and our ever-stylish and gracious current First Lady, Michelle Obama, I vote for Kelly.

Perhaps our feminist friends would disagree, but we at Re-find would go so far as to say Kelly was a very modern woman who was ahead of her time. She broke the mold in her conservative Irish-Catholic family to pursue acting (against her father’s wishes) and she remained in control of her career, class, finances and fame when many actresses around her succumbed to the pitfalls often associated with life in Hollywood.

Click here to read more in the excellent VF piece on Kelly’s life, career, marriage into Monaco’s royal family and untimely death.

Something we could all learn from Kelly is her innate sense of quality over quantity. Whether it was the amount of skin showing through the neckline of her dress or a suggestive kiss with the leading man in one of her movies, she always left people wanting more.



Hello. Welcome. How do you do?

Hello. Welcome. How do you do?

Something as simple as the above greeting can make or break a first impression. Unfortunately, we live in a world where even simple greetings are seemingly too much to ask from our fellow human beings. Sigh.

But, it doesn’t have to be that way, right? Despite the often downright rude people we encounter in our lives and the bad behavior we witness daily on reality TV, we at Re-find are convinced that our mothers and grandmothers are right — we were not raised by wolves. We know that deep down, everyone can learn to behave, be charming , be gracious and be refined.

But, what exactly does it mean to be refined? The American Heritage dictionary defines refined as free from coarseness or vulgarity; polite; free of impurities; purified; and precise to a fine degree.

We couldn’t agree more.

At Re-find, our philosophy is that we are all born with a clean slate; pure as the driven snow. So while some of us get a little, er — tarnished — we firmly believe that with a little buff, polish and shine, we can re-find our innate charm, style and grace.

Do you have a style, etiquette, entertaining or social question? Just ask and we’ll throw you a lifeline. And don’t worry, we won’t scold you or make you feel dumb. That would go against everything we believe. Here at Re-find, we live by the Golden Rule and we hope that if you don’t already, soon you will too.

Let’s get started, shall we?

Oh, I almost forgot, please call me M. I’ll be your tour guide. It’ll be fun.