Happy First Day of Summer + a Birthday

Happy first day of summer…

              lollipop 2lollipop

which also happens to be my cats birthday. Happy 4th birthday to my favorite kitties, Winston and Sissy!


#adopt #rescue


Kate Spade Outlet Sale


Last Saturday my parents and I spent the day shopping at the Williamsburg outlets. We had a lot of fun and were pleasantly surprised to find many of the stores have switched to outlet prices. Before prices were always just $5 or $10 cheaper than in the normal retail stores. And many of the stores were offering an additional 40, 50, and even 60% off prices.

A few years ago the Williamsburg outlets got a major face lift and added a few higher end outlets in the process, one of those stores being Kate Spade. While my parents went into a store I popped into Kate Spade with the intention of “just looking”. To my everlasting surprise they were running a sale of additional 50% off EVERYTHING and then another additional 20% off of that on clothes and handbags. Lately I’ve been trying to add some clutches to my handbag collection (which consists of all of 4 bags) and immediately zeroed in on what I thought was a clutch. This little bag, as I soon learned, is called the Newbury Crossbody Bag. I thought it was a clutch, but it turns out the strap was tucked into the purse. I quickly came to the conclusion I’d happily carry the bag as a clutch and tuck the strap inside, but it would also be nice to have a cross body bag too There were four colors to choose from.  But with that pretty mint color, it wasn’t a hard decision. I sent my sister a picture of the purses and ended up getting her the mint color too. and for a total of $61 each, it was a steal.

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I think Kate Spade bags are great quality and well made. I’m not really a trendy person, but I feel this bag is the perfect mix of classic shape and style with a “trendy” color I can use for years. Thanks for bearing with me on this post. I am still just over the moon at what a great deal this was. Here is a link to a few on ebay, but if you live near a Kate Spade outlet, I high recommend checking the store out.


Finally, finally John and I got a new rug for the living room. I’ve known which rug we were going to get for close to two months now, but we every weekend John and I have been so busy that we hadn’t had a chance to go get the rug. I know what some of you are thinking, why not just order it? Well, ordering larger pieces of furniture can be pricey, not just because of the shipping, but because of the added surcharge. And why pay for shipping and the surcharge when Pottery Barn is 10 minutes up the road? So here is my brand new Empire Scroll Rug from Pottery Barn. I LOVE it and I love how the blue brightens up the room as well. Below are two pictures I snapped of the new rug and a small part of our living room. Sorry for the poor lighting. we have these large windows and even with the curtains closed there was a glare.

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You can’t see it, but behind the couch, pushed up against the back of the couch, are two end tables and a small book case. My new project is to find one piece of furniture to replace these three. I want a cabinet/bookcase combination. Currently the book case is serving as John’s music stand. The shelves are full of his records and record player. It’s a perfect place for his collection, but I hate that it’s three pieces of furniture when I know it can easily be one piece. I feel wasteful and cluttered with 3 pieces of furniture there. I’m thinking of something similar to this Printer’s Glass Cabinet or this Noche Media Storage. We are also keeping our eyes open for a new tv stand. Currently our tv sits on a coffee table, which is nice, but means the tv sits lower than we’d like it to. Plus I would like to get rid of some more furniture and a tv stand with storage would allow us to get rid of a piece of furniture we are hanging on to purely to store dvds and such. My parents have some truly amazing furniture (including a tv stand) my dad got at unfinished furniture stores and then finished himself. But all of those stores have since closed in Richmond, which makes me really sad. If anyone has any furniture places they enjoy shopping at, I’d love to get some recommendations.

Finally, I still have a hutch my sister-in-law gave us that I want to paint. I’m not sure what color to paint it. Based on the photos above if anyone has any suggestions or specific paint colors, please share! I’m at a loss as to what color to paint it.

Capsule Wardrobe and Letting Go

Have you heard of a “Capsule Wardrobe”? I first heard this term about two weeks ago and was on Google within minutes trying to figure out what exactly a capsule wardrobe is. So what is it ? Capsule wardrobe is a term coined in the 1970s by Susie Faux, the owner of a London boutique called “Wardrobe”. Faux said a capsule wardrobe is a collection of a few essential items of clothing (I’ve seen a variety of numbers, but most seem to say 37-40 pieces) that will never go out of fashion. Items such as skirts, dress pants, sweaters, blazers ect, which can be augmented with seasonal pieces. Meaning you add tops or dresses and remove sweaters and coats depending on the season. Interestingly, this idea was popularized by an American designer Donna Karan, who released an influential capsule collection in 1985 which consisted of seven interchangeable work-wear pieces. Crazy small line, right?

The whole concept is intriguing to me and while in theory I love it, in reality it’s not something I could do. I read this blog post on The Every Girl, which is basically an interview with a woman named Caroline (blogger behind Unfancy)  who has embraced the capsule wardrobe, and how and why she decided to embark on this new lifestyle.  Caroline’s decision seems to be related to wanting to spend less time trying to figure out what to wear, spend less money on shopping, and develop a greater sense of fulfillment. I can totally relate to Caroline when she says “Recently, I had noticed that I had a bad habit of using shopping as a way to jolt myself out of a bad mood with a little instant gratification”. Who among us hasn’t done this, even if it’s just a trip to the ice cream parlor. But Caroline goes on to say she felt she was shopping for happiness and not things she needed and she wanted to change this. (read the blog post for her whole story).

Over the next two weeks, I read many webpages, articles, and a few blogs that are designated to living the capsule wardrobe lifestyle and I thought, I like it, but it’s not for me. I know the advocates for this lifestyle say they have options and love everything in their closet, and to just try it. But me, I have way more than 37 pieces in my closet and I love it all. As I’ve said on this blog before, I tend to get rid of items regularly. When I am getting dressed and find something I realize I don’t like or haven’t worn in a while, I sell it, see if my sister wants it, or donate it. That simple. I can literally walk to the mobile Goodwill truck on Saturday so it’s not like donating is even out of the way.

My point,  this wardrobe is good for some, those who like the simplicity, no clutter, no muss no fuss lifestyle, and even for those like Caroline who feel more fulfilled having less. Me? I have tons of clothes but I don’t feel like my closet is cluttered, it’s actually very organized. I like having lots of options and I feel that getting rid of clothes regularly instead of all at once helps. During our last two moves, John and I got rid of probably half of our furniture and that did feel really good. Then this last move we got rid of all the junk and little items we don’t use. In theory, I think the purging we did here is similar to that of the capsule wardrobe; get rid of what you don’t need or use. After getting rid of all the junk and extra furniture I noticed my mind didn’t feel cluttered and stressed and my soul felt clean…lighter. It took me many years to realize, it’s ok to let material things go. My parents aren’t going to ask me where some dress they bought me in high school is. I doubt John’s friends are going to wonder where that awful beer game they gave him freshman year of college is.  Frozen got it right, just “Let it Go”.


Heavy Downpour --- Image by © Anthony Redpath/Corbis

Heavy Downpour — Image by © Anthony Redpath/Corbis

It’s been raining here since Sunday. At first it was just summer showers, however, now we are experiencing crazy thunder and lighting storms. Monday night there was a clap of thunder so loud I thought a tree had fallen in the backyard.  Tuesday afternoon I heard thunder and looked out the window at work only to find the rain was coming down so hard it looked like it was raining sideways. Two of my co-workers told me they were sitting in their car outside (waiting for the rain to stop) and saw a picnic table fly sideways. This morning there are big fat rain drops falling and poor Otis couldn’t go on his morning walk.

Normally I love the rain, but I tend to shy away from storms when I can’t stay home in bed and nap to the sound of rain coming down or curl up on the couch with a book. We invited my parents over for a cookout this weekend. So hopefully it stops raining in the next day or two so the backyard can dry up. I hope everyone else is having a dry week!