New Years Eve Plans

Do you have New Years plans?  I do.  I plan to be sitting somewhere comfortable in my home most likely in bed and drifting off to sleep well before midnight.  I hope your plans have a little more flair than mine but if not, here are a couple of things to read and a FANTASTIC movie to watch to while away the evening.  xo

The Best of 2017 OKL Home Tours

Can You Slow Down or Stop Alzheimers?

The Best Movie I saw in 2017 (on Netflix right now)


Checking in on December Goals

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and are still enjoying the season.  Time to check in with my December goals and see what got done.

1.  Slowing down.  I did!  Too bad it was because I was sick.  Once you are down for the count and you realize you can't do anything about it, a kind of acceptance just occurs.  Whatever is done is done and what isn't, isn't.  I survived.

2.  Make a gift guide.  I did a paltry one and I apologize. Maybe by next Christmas I'll be more confident in this area and do a better job.

3.  Decorating.  I did another paltry job at decorating.  Not feeling well and knowing we were not hosting Christmas just took the wind out of my decor sails.  Again, I survived.

4.  Shopping.  I was able to stay out of the stores because I pretty much just had to pick up a few gift cards.  How were the stores?  Crazy or did you mostly shop online?

5.  Expectations.  This was the goal that meant the most to me and I'll say I did a better job this year than in any prior.  I just let it all go and accepted everything just as it was.  Wow, what a concept.  :)

We've had some warm sunny days and it has been nice to get out and soak up some sunshine!  I'm so looking forward to the New Year and all the promise it brings. 

How'd your Christmas go?  Do share. xo


A Natural Christmas

Merry Christmas dear friends.  It's been quite a few days of feeling awful but I think I'm finally on the mend. 

I gathered some things from the garden and stuck them here and there and it'll do.  Nothing beats nature when it comes to decorating. 

I bought this really old Pendleton Blanket at an estate sale this past summer for under $5.  It was in its original packaging and I don't think it had ever been opened.  The packaging was so dusty, the blanket appeared brown but I got home and discovered it was black and cream with a pink stripe running through it.  It matches the whole house and really ties in the Pottery Barn Washed Velvet Pillows.

I think any of the below Christmas's may give you more inspiration but I'm completely at peace with how my home looks right now.  Wishing you a peacefully simple holiday.  xo

Christmas 2016

Christmas 2015

Christmas 2013

Christmas 2012

Christmas 2011 (my favorite)


Last Minute Gifts

You guys I caught a bug and am under the weather big time.  I have no energy for anything.  We took this hike over last weekend which is the last time I felt normal.

I've added a couple of items on my sidebar for gift ideas although I hope all your shopping is done.  The main gift idea I had was the Clairsonic Mia which you can still get delivered before Christmas.  It's the number one beauty product I recommend to my clients.  It's like getting a professional facial everytime you cleanse your skin.  It's that good.

Also, everything at Everlane is so beautiful right now.  I'm seriously in love with it all.  The cashmere sweaters are gorgeous and they have fabulous gifts for men too.  Plus free 2 day shipping.

All full price items at J. Crew are 40% off right now too.

So enjoy these photos while I recuperate 😷.  The only good thing about being sick is that no one expects anything from you which is kinda fantastic this time of year. x


December Goals

It's December 8th and I'm just now getting to my monthly goals.  December is such a busy month for us bc besides Christmas we have several birthdays. 

#1 - Top of my list is to slow down.  I mean realllllly slowwwww dowwwwwwn.  Some days I feel I'm torn in a million directions and seriously I hate that feeling.  If I must sit down, close my eyes and just breathe for 2 minutes that is what I'll do because it's not pretty around here if I'm a wreck.

#2 - Is it too late to put a gift guide together?  Probably but I may squeeze one out over this weekend.

#3 - Decorate.  Omg, Instagram is full of gorgeous home decor and I have not done one single thing to Christmas this place up.  I know there are those of you who adore Christmas.  Would you please come over and decorate my house?!

#4 - Try to stay out of stores until after the holidays.  Is it just me or have the stores been nuts since before Thanksgiving.  The lines are so long and there is a frenzy in the air.  Isn't this supposed to be a peaceful time of year?

#5 - Through all this remember that the holidays are a highly charged time of year for me.  So many expectations and comparing.  I must check myself daily and not get sucked into society's idea of a perfect family/home/holiday/etc.

Do share your goals in the comments bc I love reading them.


My New Closet With Costs & Details Galore

So this is it.

A far cry from this.

I'm stupid in love right now.

I haven't had much time to style it yet.  I've somewhat organized the drawers but I know with time they'll change.

This is the plan and how we squeezed every square inch out of the space.  And the great part about a Closet World closet is that it's actually built in.  All the shelves can be moved and if I want to change the configuration, say add hanging bars or subtract shelves it can be done.  This is a tiny closet, only 4 feet wide.  There are six drawers.  Each drawer is 16" square and vary from 5" deep to 10" deep.  I paid $1650 for this and I have to say it was worth it.  How can a closet make me so happy 😄?

That vintage suitcase is now holding my journal and my morning inspirational reading.  This could easily be stored somewhere else if I need the space for more clothes.

Can you see up there on the very top of that shelf (v hard to photograph)?  This will be great for extra storage.  ATM, I have my silk scarves in the Chanel box.  The center box holds my summer t-strap sandals and the box to the left is holding my extra Hanes V-neck Tees because I don't need all 12 of them at once.

Before they came to install we wrapped the closet in bead board to help blend in with the character of the old house.  I am so glad we did because it is gorgeous irl.

This is all my jewelry piled onto an old ironstone platter.  It's a collection of my mom's pearls and some of mine.  It's all junk but I don't care bc I love it all. My favorite perfume that I cannot say enough about.  I swear it lifts my mood 100% when I put it on.  And side note, right now it is a gift with purchase.  Last year when I got mine for Christmas they included a separate box of beautiful Chanel makeup samples that were lovely. I'm also keeping The Laundress Wool and Cashmere Spray here to spritz my sweaters with in between use.  It's all so gorgeous I could die.

This is the top drawer which is 5" deep.  It holds my sunglasses and clutches.  Right now I have my 5 belts rolled in a box until I find a better solution for them.  Ikea has great closet storage items and I'm dying to go and check them all out.

The second drawer is storing my unmentionables so I skipped showing that 😬.  This is the third drawer which is holding my short and long sleeve tees and a couple of warm scarves.

The fourth drawer is holding my cardigans and a couple of sweaters. I love these Laundress Lavender Pouches too.  Little everyday details are so sweet.

The fifth drawer is holding my pajamas.  Boring, sorry L.

And finally the sixth drawer which is the deepest at 10" is holding exercise gear.

It has the capacity to hold 18 pairs of shoes which you can see is not full, proving what an 😇 I am.

One of my favorite features is the pull out clothing bar.

Overall I'm thrilled.  Like I said in my last post, as hard as it was to pull the trigger on this, the harder part was actually purging.  It was a ton of agonizing work but I can't tell you enough how good this feels tho.  I'd like to say that everything in the closet now is perfect but it isn't.  There are 2 dresses hanging that are too short.  My workout gear is really in bad shape too.  I have 2 dresses in my mending/alteration basket and I really want to sell my Everlane Vneck cashmere sweater in order to get a crew neck but these are all minor issues.  I still have things in the basement that I'm going through and donating and finding new homes for via my my eBay and also giving away.  If there is something I have and you want just ask because there is a good chance I'm getting rid of it! 

This is phase one of addressing the storage issues in a one closet house.  2018 will be the year of letting go here at The Gardener's Cottage.  Step 2 will be adding an armoire to the office to function as a coat closet.  Of course we will then have to find a place to put all our books that are stored in there and that is going to be hard.  Another thing we are thinking about adding is a sink console with storage in the bathroom.  I love the pedestal sink because it looks so airy but a little bit of storage would be SO nice.  So these are just some things we are thinking about.  Thank you so much for reading and helping me along this journey. I think I've covered it all but ask questions and I'll be sure to answer in the comments. xo


My New Closet Part I

I'm going to try and not make this so complicated but it kind of is.  I don't know what has gotten into me lately.  Whether it's age or just general frustration but getting this closet has been the most fantastic thing. I recently wrote about switching over my summer wardrobe to a winter one here.  It did feel good getting things seasonally swapped out but then just as I was finished, a heat wave hit us again and all my clothes were now down in the basement. Talk about frustrating. That's when it hit me, why am I even swapping out my clothing?  I never did this before I started blogging.  I decided then and there that I was finally going to make this closet work smarter and maybe me too 😌.

I called Closet World and had a consultation with a lovely woman named Silvia who happened to be from France.  She was wonderful because she understood small closets and I gotta tell you she squeezed every inch out of mine.  My budget was set at  $1500 and I went over by $150.  This is a huge splurge for me, huge. But I had saved up the money and got exactly what I wanted.

But all that turned out to be the easy part.  The hard part is going through the clothing again and finally, once and for all trying to get it right.  I took every single item of clothing and every accessory I owned and laid them out and tried them on, one by one, and some things 2 or 3 times.  I came up with a few rules that helped me decide what was staying and what wasn't.

1.  If the item was just too worn out or just had seen its day.  I love vintage clothing much more than new clothing.  But vintage things can have small holes or fading, etc.  You trade that with superior fabric and workmanship tho. So I carefully went through everything and if it was too tattered, it went bye bye. Also, I still need new yoga pants too.

2.  If the item doesn't fit, even in the smallest way it's gotta go.  It's funny how just a little thing like the way a zipper lays or a slight pulling somewhere on the garment will make me pass it up when getting dressed.  I had more things like this in my closet than I realized.

3.  Style. I never thought I'd have a style change in me but I do.  And this I believe is coming with age because I just have to be comfortable, it's a priority now.  No more suffering for fashion.  I cannot even for an hour bear to be in anything too tight or that just feels wrong.  And I want more simplicity.  My lifestyle is so basic and I just don't need a ton of dresses and fancier things.

You may be wondering where Larry's clothes are 😁.  He now has all his clothes in the armoire that I used to dominate. It's all his now.  And basically it's almost empty bc a clothes horse he is not.

So far I've taken 3 trunk fulls of clothing and accessories to my favorite charity shop here in town.  I've sold things on my eBay and I have quite a few more things I will be listing asap.

I will put together a post on the actual process of getting the closet designed and built and what it looks like now.  Like I said, designing the closet was a piece of cake compared to the ruthless purge.  At the beginning of the process it seemed torturous and by the end it was so freeing.  I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

So there is much more coming so stay tuned. x

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