A few months back we received an email from a reader in Kansas City named Kelly. She wrote to us saying that her mother (and longtime reader of our site) Mary Lou Fickel would be turning 77 years old on Monday, October 30th. Mary Lou has always loved our Mono Monday series and she even sends Kelly a special “MM alert” each time a new one is published. Kelly wanted to know, would we be willing to create a special Mono Monday in tribute to her mother? The answer was an obvious YES, and I couldn’t wait to get started building a board of all the things that inspire Mary Lou. Kelly sent us a long list of things like gardenias, L’Air Du Temps perfume, Tuscany, certain couture fashion designers and titled it “The Essence of Mary Lou”. Lucky for us, it turns out Mary Lou has incredible taste. She loves ballet and and even once worked as the Wardrobe Mistress for the Kansas City Ballet. She’s always been interested in fashion and couture, and counts Carolina Herrera, Carolyn Roehm, and Audrey Hepburn among her style icons. Her children admire her attention to detail and ability to make occasions special, like adding just the right ribbon to a package or having your favorite magazine on your bedside table when you come home for the weekend. In fact, in the 48 years since Kelly was born, not one of the five Fickels have ever missed Mary Lou’s favorite family holiday — Christmas Eve. Mary Lou, we thank you for being a longtime reader of our site and for inspiring those around you with your amazing style and dedication to finding the beauty in every day life. We wish you the happiest of birthdays this year!

image sources: large and small gardenia photos via pinterest, passport photo of mary lou fickel, black couture dress by dior, l’air du temps by nina ricci, lemon cake by cakelets and doilies, floral dress via 100layercake, botanical drawing via pinterest, photo of mary lou fickel, carolyn murphy via vogue, road in tuscany via discover tuscany, photo of mary lou and her sister, photo of veronika part by nyc dance project

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