Pretty china and MOB shoes

Friday, June 24, 2016

Such a nice thing to come home to find a present on your front porch.

I made myself put away all the groceries first. I poured myself a drink (raspberry zinger herbal tea with a little sparkling water and a wedge of lime), and settled down comfortably in anticipation. I knew it was going to be good. After all, my friend had said something about "fragile." 

I was not disappointed.

Isn't this teacup a beauty? Vintage, made in England by Rosina. I love the colors, and that beautiful rose.

Thank you dear friend.

I've already enjoyed a cup of tea in it, this delicious white tea from Teavana.

(the chocolate was good, too)

I told my daughter I would pack up all her china, but I got waylaid taking pictures.

Isn't it pretty? It was her great grandmother's. I told my daughter I'm looking forward to eating off of this china when she's married and has us over for dinner! It's in beautiful condition, a complete set.

It is Minton, the Lorraine pattern.

And here's a vintage covered casserole marked Vienna, Austria, which I found a few months ago.

And a sweet vintage pitcher made in Germany.

And . . . in other news, I found my mother-of-the-bride shoes.

I couldn't resist adding a few extra sparkles with PicMonkey.

I was happy to find a pretty shoe with a low heel. I'll be wearing a floor-length navy gown that goes with these perfectly.

Wedding plans are moving along; this weekend two showers are scheduled, one on Saturday and one on Sunday, so that two of the bridesmaids who are coming in from out of state can attend both.

Next week we'll be addressing all the invitations. 

I'm having so much fun; so thankful for this happy time in our lives.

Linking to No Place Like Home.

Moving furniture, removing wallpaper, and organizing

Monday, June 20, 2016

Tidied-up vanity
I've been doing a little fluffing-up-the-nest lately. There's a lot more to do. Somehow, spring cleaning has extended into summer this year. And it may extend a little longer, as right now I'm resting.

I think I cracked a rib last week moving our bed and nightstands. 

I should have got these before I attempted moving heavy furniture by myself.

A friend of mine who says that even glass bowls are getting heavy for her, and that she's switching to plastic because it's lighter, tells me that she can move the whole china cabinet by herself using these. They must be good. I went and got some for the next time.

I had just wanted to vacuum behind my bed. Then I decided to pull the bed out from the wall, turn it on a diagonal, and remove my nightstand. We've been sleeping in the same direction for 18 years! Why not change it up a little? And the SHUTi program I'm following for insomnia says no reading in bed. So why do I need a lamp, or a place to put books and my eyeglasses, paper and pen?

My husband still wants his books!

I kind of like the bed like this, and less clutter.

I removed this wallpaper in the powder room . . . finally. This has been on the list for a while.

Almost forgot to get a picture before it was gone. I should have rented a steamer, but last time I did that it was a two-person job, and I was doing this myself. So I used a spray bottle of wallpaper remover and a scraper; it took a long time. Next time I'll get the steamer. No wait . . . there's not going to be a next time! No more wallpaper.

I still have to do a little spackling.

My vanity needed some attention.

Seriously, my house might not always be spic-and-span clean, but it's usually pretty organized. What happened here?!

I dug out that plate holder thing-y that I use for parties, and used it to organize makeup by type. Foundation, concealer, blush, etc. on the bottom, eyes in the middle, and lips and nails on top.

No more rummaging in the a.m.

I organized my pantry by putting tea and other staples into glass canning jars.

And, lookit . . . an empty cabinet! Our daughter has stored a lot of dishes and tea things in our kitchen (hmmm . . . wonder where she got her love of dishes . . .  ?), and now that's she's packing I'm going to have some extra room. 

Ooh . . . did anyone say estate sale? Antique mall? E-bay? I have a weakness for vintage china, and it looks like I have some more room . . .

I still have oodles of things to do. In the fall, after our daughter moves out, I will be turning her room into a craft/sewing/office room for me. And we're scheduled to re-do our kitchen, which will include some more decluttering and reorganizing.

And then there will be the holidays to get ready for. I'm hoping to make a few gifts this year.

Being a homemaker, nest-builder is a full-time job, isn't it? Even without children in the home. Good thing I think it's the best job going. Truly, there's no place like home.

Linking with No Place Like Home.

Project 333 to the rescue

Thursday, June 16, 2016

So, the other morning I was sitting on the couch with a cup of half-caff (trying to wean myself off coffee), still in my pajamas, and trying to wake up after having only 3-1/2 hours of sleep the night before. The SHUTi program I'm following for insomnia is helping, but not fast enough some nights!

Then the phone rang. A friend wanted to meet me for coffee, like now. She lost her husband a few months ago, and was feeling lonely. How soon could I be ready? I told her I'd be there in 45 minutes.

With a 20-minute drive to get to the restaurant, I had 25 minutes to get ready. After spending two minutes -- 120 seconds!! -- to select my clothes and get dressed, I had plenty of time for hair and makeup.

So how did I walk into my closet, still groggy from lack of sleep, pick out something to wear, and get dressed so fast?

Project 333 my friends.

A blog friend asked me if I was still doing Project 333, something I've blogged about here (you can also click on my Beauty & Style tab at the top of the page and find more posts about it). It basically works this way: every three months, you give yourself 33 items of clothing and accessories to wear, and that's it. When a new season comes around, you swap out some clothes, but still end up with just the 33. The idea is to create a workable, simple, no-stress wardrobe.

I don't count accessories -- shoes, scarves, jewelry, purse -- in my 33 items anymore. Accessories are fun for me, and I really like having extra to choose from, as they can really add some punch to a basic wardrobe. But I really do stick to around 33 items of clothing, or perhaps a few less (this doesn't count off-season clothes I'm not wearing right now). 

The biggest help for me was to identify five colors to wear, and to stick with this palette. Two neutrals (for me, navy and gray), a white or cream depending on your coloring (I try to avoid stark whites, and go with something softer), and two colors (well, I have three I like -- blues like periwinkle, pinks, and lavenders, all muted and soft, colors in the Soft Summer palette ).** Can you see how all these colors will work together? Every top goes with every bottom. Any sweater or shrug or jacket goes with any skirt or dress. Same with shoes.

Then I've made sure everything in my closet fits, is the right shape for my body type, and is free of stains or tears. And that I love everything, and feel comfortable in everything.

Over this past year, I've really experienced the benefits of this program.

The past few months I've traveled to Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, and Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Packing was super easy. Grab a couple bottoms (jeans, casual pants), a dress or two, a half dozen sweaters and tops, and throw them in a carry-on to mix and match all week. Easy-peasy.

And no more standing in front of a closetful of clothes every day, with nothing to wear.

So, all that time I spent researching and culling paid off. If you put the time in up front, you are free to invest your energies elsewhere -- like visiting with a friend over (half-caff) coffee.

** my red shoes are an exception to the navy/gray/cream/pink/lavender palette. I just click my heels together three times, and these go with anything! I love them.

(I'm wearing the same shoes in a gray floral pattern in the above picture. They are super comfortable. From Jambu.)

Beautiful bridal shower

Monday, June 13, 2016

My dear book club friends hosted a beautiful bridal shower for my daughter yesterday. Everything was lovely. Feast your eyes on all the prettiness . . .

The theme was books and tea, favorites of the bride-to-be and the hostesses alike. Each table was decorated with a pretty teapot filled with roses and sitting atop some favorite classic books.

Lovely vintage teacups, waiting to be filled with a variety of hot, freshly brewed teas or coffee . . . 

or a choice of a variety of other special teas.

Rose and gold, a favorite color combo of the bride-to-be.

And what is tea without delicious homemade scones? We were treated to a variety, filled with nuts and berries, rhubarb and pineapple . . . with plenty of lemon curd and clotted cream and jam. Delicious!

Fruit cups . . . 

And so many other delicious foods, including chicken salad, quiche, sweet potato and macaroni salads, croissants, little ham roll-ups, and more.

Then it was time to play games (and win prizes!) . . .

. . . and for the bride-to-be and her fiancé, who had just arrived, to open gifts.

And eat cake! Check out this beautiful bride dress, made of cupcakes.

Adorned with such nice jewelry . . . 

A lovely strawberry cake . . . 

And speaking of love birds . . . 

The happy soon-to-be bride and groom . . .

and one happy mama!

I brought home a prize . . . 

and a little treat of candy bar, biscotti, and tea, with a little reminder attached.

What a happy day. Thank you, sweet friends, for all the care and attention you put into making such a special day for Jessica. Everything was so beautiful, just like you.

Linking with No Place Like Home.
Made With Love By The Dutch Lady Designs