The other day I had about 20 minutes to kill before picking L up from the airport. I popped into one of my favorite antique stores and came upon this. It's as if the universe knows I'm trying to stop shopping. I've been looking for this for years and it took everything I had to walk away from it. How great would this be with white towels stacked on it in a bathroom? It would not fit in either of my bathrooms though. How about as a teacart stacked with pretty plates, scones and fresh flowers in a garden scene with beautifully set tables? Or a bar set-up at a swanky party - which I never have. See how my mind works? Do I need it? No. Do I want it? Uh huh. Needs vs wants is what it boils down to when I need to save money. I could justify this very easily. My anniversary is in a few weeks, Valentine's day is around the corner...blah, blah, blah. I won't be buying this...but someone should. x
I think this post has the makings of a rambler but I will try my best to make some sense. The other day M sent me this article about an older gentleman, Sam Fuller who has been living in a historical hotel in downtown Los Angeles for the last 40 years. He, along with a few other residents have restored the hotel to its former beauty and now that the area is being gentrified the new owners of the hotel have evicted him. It is a heartbreaking story but at the same time a lovely testament to his life and the beautiful way he has chosen to live it. He says he lives for beauty and elegance and those words make my heart swell with happiness. And while I know that things cannot make us happy, there is something to be said for immersing yourself in beauty. Take a moment to read and see what I mean.
That being said...I've been on a bit of a beautifying streak around here. You know my house is small (970 sq ft) and you know I have a tiny basement that measures about 10 x 6 feet. But there is also storage under the house. It's just a dirt floor and kinda scary down there but over the years Alex has a sneaky habit of storing things under there. The other day I went poking around and found this...
Someone on Instagram said she looks like Edith from Downton Abbey. She does. The colors in this painting are beautiful.
And there is this desk that we used at his wedding for guests to sign in at.
It's old, was filthy and cost him $5 and for now it's upstairs getting some use. The other little table is on the other side of the room now. You can see the place is looking a little different but I'm thrilled that these items are being put to use. Well not the nude, she's still down there but the desk and this mirror that he had given me a few years ago that I had forgotten about...
That mirror is super old and weighs about 50 lbs.
See what I mean? I've been busy moving and rearranging and it has been fun. I've also spent more money already this year on things for the house than I did the entire last year. See that leopard coat up there, yep...another estate sale find (60's, perfect condition $30) that I need like a hole in the head. I'm weak and it's hard to walk away from such beautiful things. So I'm swearing off shopping for awhile, a long while. I'm going to really focus on what I've got, use what I have and re-focus my attention to paying down my mortgage and doing some repairs around here. My reason for sharing all this is that I really want to stay transparent and keep myself honest. How long can I go without shopping? I have no idea but I'd like to journal about it here if that is ok with you.
One of the ways that helps me stay focused on saving money rather than spending it, is to be grateful for the things I already have. As you know, I really do love all 2nd hand shopping but even that can get out of hand. So I thought I'd create a little series called Most Cherished Objects to help me focus on the abundance in my life. So the list will be in no particular order, just things that I love for one reason or another. Simple everyday objects that bring me joy.
First up is a set of teacups that I bought on the second day of an estate sale. I had seen them the first day for $50 which was out of the question, but now it was late in the day. I asked the gentleman the price and he said $5. So they came home with me and I've used them every single day since. They are fine and delicate and are an important part of my morning. I'd say there is a certain elegance about them. Because of their beauty I'm never really tempted to buy anything to replace them. I've even used them here to serve soup in.
What do you think? Do your cherished objects help you feel content?
Have a lovely weekend. x
|4th year re-blooming orchid!|
I want to say sorry for the fact that I'm using my phone now for pictures for this blog. My real camera will not hold a charge so this is what I'm resorting to. I will say it is about 400x easier than my other camera though. Otherwise everything else around here is alright.
I'm over a month into being sugar free and still feel good. Melinda and I are shocked at how much sugar is hidden in products these days. Apparently there are 600,000 grocery products available to us and 80% have added sugar.
Someone in the comments recommended I watch the documentary about sugar called Fed Up. It really pissed me off so I guess it did its job. It's on instant watch Netflix. If you want to be shocked and pissed too, watch it. Here is the trailer.
So that's what's happening in my corner of the world. What about you? What corner are you from and what's going on there? Fill me in. x
The label has thrived on Pierre Balmain’s principles of simplicity, luxury and timeless elegance.
Since this blog is my journal of sorts, I wanted to list my 2014 clothing acquisitions because I really want to keep track of my spending and also, to keep me in check for this year. I say acquisitions because there are a couple of things that were given to me as gifts. Nevertheless, they count as important parts of my wardrobe. I'd say 2014 was a great year clothing-wise because I seem to have found myself...well fashion-wise that is. Let's not get carried away Janet.
This coat. It is one of the very best things I've ever found 2nd hand. I found it in the dead of summer and didn't hesitate for a moment to purchase it. Not cheap but considering the quality, not that expensive either. I had to wait 6 months to wear it but it fits perfectly and is a forever piece. $100
This Emerson Caftan. I really still love this and it fits in perfectly with my forever wardrobe idea as an aging woman floating around in comfort. $40
This bird dress. Given to me by Eshakti. I am looking forward to wearing the daylights out of this come spring and summer. I love that almost all of their dresses come with pockets.
This top. Miu Miu, Christmas present from Alex and B. Cannot wait to wear this too!
Vintage Mustard Cardigan. I purchased this at the Pasadena City Swapmeet. It seems to go with everything I own too. $10.
This maxi dress, made by Michael Kors $39 and this carry-on, Target $20. Both purchased for Hawaii. Am probably going to sell the maxi dress on eBay soon.
This top free from Eshakti. Their sales drive me crazy but the company has such a great service with their semi-custom clothing and wide range of sizes. The actual garments are very, very well-made and the fabrics are wonderful as well.
This silk maxi. I was so thrilled the day I bought it and now I'm like what was I thinking? It's gorgeous, don't get me wrong but I really don't have much occasion to wear a silk maxi. I don't regret it but it's borderline. $50
This blouse. I really love this vintage floral blouse. I've worn it with my herringbone jacket a few times and it has such great possibilities. $5
I bought these kitten heels on Saturday at the Goodwill for $6. I'm including them here because I think they'd go great with the above blouse and that miu-miu top.
Total (including kitten heels) $285.
*ooops forgot about the vintage sequin top $20
and 2 pair of jeans for the GW $6 ea = $12
So that's it. Honestly, I thought I had spent less, so laying it all out like this is good for me. Thanks for reading and all your great comments. A girl and her blog could not ask for more generous readers. x
Every once in awhile a dress comes along that takes my breath away. The above dress does that. I love anything and everything chinoisiere. Does this dress even know how awesome it is? I can see this in the Spring/Summer and I can see it in the fall with a brown cardigan and at Christmastime with a red cardigan. I'm sorry if you are right at the start of a no shopping resolution but I have to share this. eshakti has released their new spring line and they have some very pretty things. So if you are new to their site and would like, you can use this referral link and get a $35 discount on anything from their Spring line. Remember they have ready-to-wear and also custom sizing from 0-36w. This link is only good for new shoppers though. Damn.
|I found this old frame in the garbage.|
I came across this blog the other day called, Things I Find in the Garbage. I think you are going to like it. Martin makes a living off what the good people in Montreal throw in the garbage. Granted, it is a humble living but it's enough to support his simple life. It's what he finds and how he finds it that is so fascinating. I cannot imagine putting anything valuable in the trash, but lots and lots of people do. My guess is that whatever they are throwing away is no longer of use to them at that moment. Here are his top finds for 2014. Prepare to be amazed.
Here are links to his Ebay and Etsy Stores. The best part about him is that he is so humble and does this mainly to keep worthwhile things out of the landfills and has deep beliefs about preserving history and caring for the earth. Whatever he finds that he can't use or sell he gives away to friends or charities or for free on craigslist.
I think one of his most fascinating finds (btw they are all fascinating) was a box of 150 love letters written during WW2. He gave them to his friend Courtney and she made a blog dedicated just to these letters called My Darling Sheila. You will not believe how beautifully written the letters are. They take you back to a time and place that is so far removed from our instant social media lives. To think that they were in the trash. Her blog is right here.
So my question to you guys is...have you ever thrown anything out that you have later regretted? During our move to this place, I accidentaly threw out the only photo album I had that contained any pictures of my parents. I still cannot believe I did it and if I think about it for too long I start feeling sick. I've always wondered if someone found it...
So go take a look and say hi. You'll never look at garbage the same way again.
at 7:08 AM
Posted by the gardener's cottage
I never set out to create a Forever Wardrobe, it just sort of slowly evolved. Little by little I noticed that whenever I purged, the things that made the cut were things I could picture myself in when I was older. And now that I am older, I'm glad I did. So the idea just grew from that. For instance when Dani gave me this dress, I knew it'd be in the Forever section of my closet. So while I'd say it took a good amount of time to get to this point I do love it. Some of the common traits that each piece has is that it has to fit perfectly and yet have some room for growth around the middle, which they say is inevitable. So I guess the word forgiving comes to mind. Also, great fabric that will last and be comfortable and for the most part can be laundered at home. Classic styles don't hurt either. While I love the ladies of Advanced Style I know I'll never be one of them. If I'm lucky I'll still be wearing my herringbone jacket at 90 with a pair of jeans. If you want to waste precious time you can look at all my Fashion Over 50 posts right here. Looking back over them I like some and cringe at others but I can definitely see myself in most of it when I'm in my 70's and beyond. So my advice to anyone that is younger reading here would be to hold onto things that you can see yourself growing into. And that's pretty much all there is to it. Plese tell me your wardrobe secrets!
|Hydrangeas picked this morning from the garden|
Today means a fresh start, possibilities, change, challenges, energy, excitement...I love it all. It seems like every new year I start out with a bang and some things I hope to accomplish stick and others fizzle, but even knowing that things may fizzle, I still love the freshness of it all and love a good list of resolutions. If only a couple of things stick this year that'll be great.
Eliminating sugar from my diet. I actually started this 2 weeks before Christmas on a whim and I can't believe the difference in the way I feel. Larry actually thinks I didn't catch the flu but rather that was my body's reaction to sugar withdrawal. I guess we'll never know but the big difference is that when eating sugar throughout the day I'd feel my energy start lagging and it felt like the only thing that would jump start me would be food. It was a kinda up and down feeling all day. That dragging feeling is gone and I feel even all day. The hunger pangs between meals are gone, and tto top it off, so far, I'm not missing it at all. My dessert at night has been a big juicy orange, which taste like candy. Even at our fancy dinner last night I wasn't interested in the dessert. So I guess the lesson is that if you eat sugar you will crave it and if you don't you won't. Who knew? So this week I'm doing a thorough pantry purge of lurking hidden sugars.
Taming my wardrobe. It's gotten a little out of hand these last few weeks. That happens when every major holiday, your birthday and wedding anniversary are within weeks of each other. The rest of the year it's like the Siberian desert around here, but right now it's overflowing. I love pretty much everything in my closet. I have been slowly creating what I call My Forever Wardrobe. It's filled with what I think are classic pieces that work for me. In fact when I'm thinking of adding to it the first thing I do is ask myself if I'd wear it when I'm 70. If not then it doesn't make the cut. Is this weird? So my resolution is to maybe weed out a little but overall be content with what I've got.
The rest of my resolutions are to complain less, stop interrupting and to accept things just as they are.
What do you have up your sleeve?