What I Wish I were Wearing on Thanksgiving

This 100% silk dress by Ganni is still on my sidebar of Favorite Things.  It's now on sale for 30% off and because I'm going to a beautiful restaurant for Thanksgiving instead of sweating in my own kitchen (temps are supposed to be in the 90's here) I would love nothing more than to be wearing this.  I'd put my hair up in a messy bun and wear my slingbacks.  How pretty would that be?

Or This one from Ganni - also 100% silk, also 30% off.  Because we finally pulled the trigger and are having a custom closet put in, this will sadly not be hanging in it 😞.  BUT I know how grateful I am that I am getting this closet makeover.  OMG, it will be a game-changer for storage in this house.  So I will stop whining any minute now.

But still... 😬
What are you wearing on Thanksgiving?  Details please. x


November Garden

I planted these chrysanthemums 3 years ago for Alex and B's wedding and so far they keep coming back.  It's hard not to remember that beautiful day when they come into bloom. 

They really brighten up an otherwise tired landscape this time of year.  I have so much work to do still regarding other garden areas.  Namely the rose garden which I will do a separate post on.
Lots of decisions for that area.

Do any of you remember Alex and B's wedding we had here?  If not or if you are new, I included a video link of the day.  I'm still struck by how frugal the whole affair was.  And the house was red then!


Signature Gift Wrap

There is one thing I rarely spend money on and that is gift wrap.  I know people who have entire gift wrap stations and even wrapping rooms. My gift wrap is contained in the drawer of the above desk.  I wrap all my gifts the same for all occasions, white paper and black ribbon.  Sometimes I'll use a white bag in which case I'll put their initial on the bag too.  I never get bored of this combo and I think it looks quite chic all while being very cost effective.

I save all white or off white paper I come across in my daily life and then wrap it up with either this black twine or a prettier black ribbon.

I've reused this bag to Alex a zillion times!  I believe this is an old Pottery Barn bag but I just sharpied it out until I got to the A.  😁  That's my signature wrap.  What kind of wrapper are you?  Fancy or plain?  x


Don't Overlook the Men's Department

Whenever I enter a 2nd hand shop I always look in the men's department first.  Traditionally menswear is not loaded with fast fashion.  The styles are much more traditional, the fabrics are almost always superior and the cost is less.  I found this white sweater last year at our local Goodwill.  The tag was cut out so I don't know the brand but my guess would be Nordstrom or a similar store because of the weight and fabric.

Underneath the sweater is a Hanes V-neck Tee.  These are indispensable to me.  I wear them with everything from gardening to yoga.

The pants are Wrangler mens size 31.  I had no idea I'd love the fit so well but I do.  So don't rule out the men for tee's, pants and shirts.  Would you or do you shop in this department?  Share all your shopping secrets below please. xo


Gift Idea #1 - Beauty in a Blender

Can a blender change your life?  Probably not but it certainly can improve it.  I put off buying this blender for years because mine seemed adequate to me.  And besides, a $500 blender is a huge splurge for us but Oh. My. God, there is just no comparison. Did you know that 80% of the nutrition in an apple is in the core and seeds?  I didn't.  It's that way with most fruits and vegetables.  My old blender was strong and I thought sufficient but ladies and gentleman, this is the rock star of the blending world.

Each morning I make a smoothie that's full of apples, pears and pineapple with the cores included.  A banana for some sweetness and potassium and tons of greens that are full of vitamins and minerals.

Dinner has been hot soups that you make right in the blender too. The speed is so fast that it actually heats the soup.  It's considered a raw soup because it does not get over 140 degrees, so again nutrients are flooding your system.

I've always maintained that the best way to beautiful skin is through what we eat and this blender brings it to a whole new level.  It's impossible to get all the nutrients from the whole food itself because our teeth cannot break down the cores and stems of the whole fruit like the Vitamix does.  Thus we pass most of the vitamins and minerals through our digestive system without the body getting all that good nutrition.  The ingredients are so pulverized by the Vitamix that the smoothie never separates either. The end result is as thick and creamy as you like it.  I'm mostly blending apples, oranges, cucumbers and spinach atm.

Oh yes, and I'm now making my own almond milk.  Just one cup of pre-soaked almonds to about 6 cups of water.  Blend for 60 seconds and I'm done.  No separating the mixture through a nutbag.  I have more than enough almond milk to last a week.  It's incredible.

This is the exact model of mine.  Although this one is a refurbished model, which I'm sure is guaranteed too.  Look around and find one that fits you best!

We  did purchase ours from Amazon and as you'll see there are many models and different sizes to choose from. 


November Goals

I can hardly believe it is already November.  Time is flying way too fast.  I'm going to keep it as simple as possible this month.

1.  Hang the mirror in our bedroom.  Putting a hole in the wallpaper is not going to be easy but I'm ready. 😌

2.  I'm considering having the closet in our bedroom organized by California Closets.  In our old home we had them come in and redesign the existing master bedroom closet and it was pretty fabulous.  I think it could be pretty fab here too.  Going to schedule a consult.

3.  Deciding where to have Thanksgiving.  We are going to do whatever L's dad wants this year.  He'll be 88 soon and we want him to be as comfortable as possible.  This may mean we will be eating at a restaurant and I'm not hating that idea.

4.  Make my Christmas shopping list.  I believe we are only buying for grandchildren starting this year and I'm not hating this idea either.

5.  I'm wondering if you all would like me to put together some Christmas gift posts.  I know everyone does these things but I think it could be fun.  Let me know.

The weather has finally turned and it feels so good to be wearing flannel shirts, so cozy, and boots.  x


5 Fantastic Thanksgiving Side Dishes

I was invited by my sweet friend Annie to participate in her Thanksgiving side dish round up.  Annie is the best, she has helped and encouraged me so much with my blog I'm so happy to play along. I've always wanted to try roasting butternut squash to see if it makes that much of a difference in the flavor of soup, so I chose this as my side dish, and btw, it makes a difference!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

1 butternut squash
1/2 onion
Veggie broth 2-4 cups
Almond milk (optional)
1-2 teaspoons Ground Ginger

To roast the squash, slice it into quarters and scoop out the seeds. Place it cut side down on a baking sheet and roast it at 375 degrees for 1/2 hour.  It should be fork tender by then but if not continue until it is.

In a soup pot...

Saute the onion in a little water  (oil if you must) til soft

Add the roasted, peeled and diced squash

Season with salt and pepper and a pinch or 2 of ground ginger

Add about 2-3 cups of vegetable broth.  You will have to decide how thick or thin you want it so the amount is up to you.  My squash was pretty big so I used 3 cups veggie broth and while blending I added 1 cup almond milk

Once it it heated through you can use an immersion blender or transfer to blender carefully and pulse til you've reached your desired consistency.

That's it. Roasting the squash definitely deepens the flavor of this soup. It's hearty and healthy!

I plan to serve this as my first course on Thanksgiving day in tea cups just like I did in 2012.

Please click over to see what the other talented bloggers are making!

Classic Casual Home
Rough Luxe
My Sweet Savannah
Most Lovely Things


Easy Fall Outfit

Yesterday was cold.  Well cold-ish but enough that I got to wear my herringbone jacket.  And it's going to be chilly all week so it looks like summer is finally over.

I've had this jacket for about a decade now and it's still a favorite.  A black t-shirt and wranglers complete my look.  So easy and simple even I can do it.  What's your easiest, simple look?  x


Checking in on October Goals

my neighbors garden wall

I'm really loving this monthly goals thing because I'm getting it done.  Nagging things that are so easy to put off are getting checked off and that's amazing. This here's my list from last month and below is what has gotten done.

1.  Working in the garden, check.  It is actually looking quite ravishing.  All the salvia is in bloom and so are the mums.  I've even had some roses bloom. The back and side yards really are nothing to brag about right now tho. 😬

2.  Thanksgiving table and menu ideas.  Check.  I shared my ideas for an outdoor thanksgiving here and tested/cooked up two dishes I plan to share. One was a big hit and the other was 50/50 but I loved it so I'll post the recipes this coming week.

3.  Clean, polish and store summer shoes and bags.  Done.  I always love doing this while taking stock of what I've got.  I did wind up returning the beautiful Frances Valentine Bee bag because it was just too big for me.  I really loved it but in the end I think I made the right decision.

4.  Yoga Wear.  I haven't done anything about this.  I'm just using what I've got and it's ok.  I have my eye out tho.😉

5.  Listing things on eBay.  I have listed a few things but I have many more to do.  The things I've listed are somewhat high-end/high price for a collector or someone passionate about vintage.  These things take longer to sale than normal so I will be patient.

November is a busy month right?  So much to do on top of the dailies.  I'm working on my list and I can't wait to share it with you.  How did you do with your goals/lists this month?

How to wash a Slipcover II

Hello there.  This past week I washed the slipcovers and did something a little different.  You can read how I've been washing them right here in this post from 2010! The sofa is this Pottery Barn Basic, we've had it now for over 10 years and the cover was starting to look dingy.  The creases near the rolled arm were not coming clean like they used to.  I happened upon a small bottle of Tide at the .99 store and decided to give it a try and all I can say is wow.  Just wow.  The slipcovers came out so clean!  So I thought I'd share this with you.

The first thing I do is remove the slipcovers and always wash the bottom or body slipcover first.

But this time before I removed the slipcover I spot treated with Tide Simply Clean and Fresh detergent and washed them in cold water on the normal setting with the same Tide detergent.

I hang it on the clothesline to dry and then proceed to the cushion covers.  It was really hot last week so they dried in under and hour.

I always put the covers back on slightly damp because they are stretchier when damp and also because I can smooth out most of the wrinkles.

So really it's the same procedure as I always follow but I just amped up the cleaning power.  You can get the Tide Simply Clean and Fresh detergent here.  I have no idea if this is a harmful detergent or not, all I know is that my slipcover is like brand new again so that's something for you to consider before trying it.  xo


Saturday Saturday

Charlotte Moss makes shoes!

NY Times with Frances Mcdormand on women aging.

Starting Over with Bernie Madoff's ex daughter in law

I'll take this New York Brownstone

Why have I never thought to add a black silk shirt to my wardrobe?

Have a lovely weekend.  xo



I'm still obsessed by Sara's closet.  I wish I could say that mine was similar but it isn't.  My closet is still filled with a lot of what ifs and maybes.  What if I need this someday?  Maybe if I lose weight, it'll fit?  And that is why Sara's closet appeals to me.  It's pared down to the essential, frugal, elegant, orderly.

So here I am today in the opposite, black.  I wear black to work and some of you have asked to see exactly what I wear.  I alternate days in flats with days in heels for the health of my arches.

Pant - These Who What Wear Cropped Flares
I still love these pants and am thrilled that they are keeping them in stock throughout their seasonal changes.  They are so perfect for work and weekend things.  $29
I'm intrigued by these from American Giant tho.

Tee - Here is a whole page of great Tee's or for cheaper versions try, Thisthis or this.

Boots - These boots from Everlane are so incredibly comfortable. I can wear them all day at work and my feet stay happy. 

My handbag is a old Gucci I found at a thrift store on my way to Palm Springs.  The proprietor looked just like Ralph Lauren, remember that?


4 Ingredient Pasta

pasta - anything you have will do
olive oil - just a drizzle
1-2 pints fresh tomatoes
1 garlic clove - crushed

Seriously how easy can this get?  Throw 1 or 2 pints of cherry tomatoes on a baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper.  Roast for about 20 minutes at 375 degrees or until soft and slightly blackened.

Meanwhile the pasta is cooking til al dente.  Toss the pasta with the roasted tomatoes and a fresh crushed clove of garlic.  Sit and enjoy. x

Chic but not Vain

I'm so late on this one but nevertheless, so glad I found it. Would you/could you wear all white all the time?  This is a fabulous little film and links about a woman who turned 60 and reinvented herself.  I'm inspired by her transformation,singlemindedness and commitment to her style.  There are lessons for all of us in this.

The restraint she had is truly a thing of beauty, and I'm fascinated by every detail and want to know more. Let's discuss in the comments!


October Garden

We've been working quite a bit on all areas of the garden.  So far we've (he) trimmed a lot of the trees and bushes back.  Tons of weeding has taken place and lots and lots of pruning.  So much more still needs to be done but I will wait til January because I love using the branches and any available flowers throughout the holiday season.  So other than watering and a bit of feeding I think mission accomplished.  I say that knowing that when I next step foot out there a job will present itself.  So basically it's never done. 😂

Caring for my Accessories

Whether my accessories are brand new or very old, I treat them all the same...with loving care.  I really do.  If something is good enough to make it into my small house then you better believe I love it and treat it with respect.  Every season I take stock of what I wore and what I didn't.  And just because I didn't wear something this season doesn't mean I don't love it, it may be that I just wasn't feeling it this year.  I've had a lot of my clothes for decades now and they come in and out of my radar in different ways.

I always wipe down all my bags I've worn and will even go so far as to vacuum the insides to get rid of any dust that may have accumulated.  I stuff them with tissue paper and put them in a dust bag and store them in my armoire.  Shoes get a similar treatment. They all get cleaned with warm sudsy water and even the soles are wiped down.  Sandals get wrapped in tissue paper and stored in a special box in my closet until next year.  This year I rarely wore any t-strap flat sandals.  I mostly wore 2 pair of block heel slides.

This is the first new handbag I've bought in ages.  Something about that Bee and the colors got my attention and I kept coming back to the Frances Valentine website until one day it was 70% off.  I look forward to using it next spring and summer.  Do tell how you care for your accessories bc as usual I learn something new from you. x


What do you Actually Spend on Clothing?

What a question right? I can remember a time when I would not be able to even look at those numbers.  According to this article we will each spend between $1800-$4200 per year on clothing and accessories. The article further details why we shop. I was disappointed that shopping for the love of fashion was not a category.  I've certainly shopped for many reasons but I happen to just love fashion. I love truffling around 2nd hand shops and vintage stores but almost always leave empty handed.  Finding old garments and admiring the workmanship, fabric and design is my idea of a great day.

The above outfit is a good mix of how I dress on most days.  The shirt is a boys oxford from the Goodwill that was $3.  The old oxford fabric is so incredibly soft.  Finding fabrics like that today is downright hard.  For Christmas a couple of years ago I ordered an oxford shirt from a high-end retailer and was so disappointed in the fabric that I sent it back.  Two weeks later I found this one at the GW.  The pants are the Who What Wear Cropped Flares from Target for $29.  They are great work pants, indestructible, hide oil stains and are comfy.  The shoes are Naturalizer kitten heels that I've had for decades.  The bag is my newest and biggest purchase this year from Frances Valentine.

This is what I've spent so far this year.

Vintage Gold Silk Blouse $12
Cole Hahn Block Heel Sandal $6
White Linen Trousers $2.50
Who What Wear Bardot Dress $35 (similar)
Vintage Brown Trousers $10
Vintage Wrangler Jeans $8
Gucci Loafers $16
White Painters Pant $8
Blush Target Tee $10 (here)
Who What Wear Cropped Flares $29 (here)
Green Vintage Sweater $2
Frances Valentine Handbag $160 (similar)

Total $304.50

How about you?  Can you tally the numbers?  Yikes!


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