On this post, why a bit of great beats mediocre, how to choose better and have less in your life. Also cute sweatshirts, January positives, and a new book for Jane Austen fans.. and what I added to my house with my holiday money.
Hi friends. It’s time for the weekend post with Juliet and Elizabeth! How has your week been? A few days after we got home from Hawaii, Max and I came down with Covid, not unsurprisingly. Seems like travel now is high risk for it, especially in a crowded plane and airports. We were in a packed plane about row 40 and so, so tight with so many others. I wore my mask, but I am pretty sure I got it from Max.
Max came down with his case two days after the flight and I think I got it from him three days after that. I was masking and we were sleeping in different rooms here once he got sick, but it’s hard when you share a household.
Anyhow, we are doing fine. Nearly over it thankfully. I feel lucky my case was just congestion mostly. I’m glad I got the vaccine in October as we have seen so many people seriously sick again. I hope you all are doing well, as it seems like it’s everywhere.
The cabin finally got some snow and just look at those icicles! Never seen them like that.. This is from our side camera. I am hoping to get back up there soon.
A great way to start the new year is calming your life and your home by having less.
The ‘luxury of less’ or ‘A small amount of great beats mediocre’
I don’t know how many of you still take the paper? Max and I still get the Sunday local paper, The Mercury News, delivered. One column that I look forward to reading is Marni Jameson. She has great tips on how to live better and wiser, especially as an empty nester.
I’ve been wanting to share her column about how ‘rightsizing’ is the way we need to think about our homes and what we acquire. It’s how to let go of ‘subpar products’ that we bought- maybe instead of what we really wanted. Marni says all we have in our home should be things that are a pleasure to use and live with. If we buy correctly, we needn’t have so much stuffing up our homes. Her advice is buy once and buy right and you’ll need and want less, which makes a lot of sense.
‘That means choosing only those sheets, towels, soaps, knives, pans, wineglasses, furnishings, and other household basics that excel at their jobs, and that elevate your life. Owning fewer, higher quality items leads to living large while spending less, and is the key to gracious, clutter-free, rightsized living.’Marni Jameson
I thought this was so needed now when many people, including myself are clearing out the cupboards, the messy laundry closet, the garage and other places where we are stashing those things we bought. They are things we aren’t using- and don’t love, but feel guilty about purging. It’s the same with clothes.
Juliet also wrote a great thoughts about purging last weekend!
Spending Your Holiday Gift Money
In the same line of thought, I usually do a January post about what to spend your holiday gift money on if you are lucky to have some. For me, it’s usually just a few hundred dollars, but instead of putting it in the general fund, I try each year to buy one nicer item with my little stash.
I remember my mom saying do this instead of wasting a little here, a little there. I tell my boys the same when they get some cash from their papa. I always think a nice pair of shoes, or a coat, or a quality item for the house is a good idea. ( We keep home investments like lamps, etc for decades as opposed to clothes!)
I had my eye on two things from Serena & Lily. . Both were marked down and so right after Christmas I bought them. I couldn’t be more thrilled about them, and they instantly prettied up these spaces.
I know the S&L items are pricey, but I still love every piece from them, and I feel like they were smart purchases. If you can get them during a sale or markdown, even better, and some people have luck at the outlets too. I do save for things I really love.
This is my new Salinas Rattan table, which is still on sale! It’s in my office between my chairs taking the place of a wooden stool. I like the glass top that makes it look more upscale.
The pillows were found at Homegoods last year. I keep my eye out for quality ones that will occasionally pop up there. A similar yellow one on Etsy.
Chairs were from local shop Bay Area store, Harvest. Similar ones here at Pottery Barn. A similar size of the great blue heron print here. If you need a small table, I think this one is so cute next to a chair or a couch for a lamp or drinks.
The second thing I bought with my money was a lamp. I needed one, specifically for this part of my bedroom, which is super dark. (The bedroom I am still working on!)
I have had my eye on this Freeport lamp a while. I like the unique rattan design, the marble base, and the pretty shade that has a covered top to create a softer diffused light. I got it during a sale and it’s marked down now too.
I love nice lamps and this one has style if you need something for a table or bedside!
If you missed it, a wonderful article was in NYTimes this week on the positives of this cold and quiet month. It’s so true, there are fewer events, and things to do, but that is a good thing. Instead of lamenting it, it said we should look at this month as a lovely chance to take stock and slow down before we jump into the new year.
I especially loved the comment section! Many saying this month is a balm for the soul, a re-centering season, a time for sleeping more deeply, walking in nature, noticing birds, the sky and the branches. So instead of lamenting the quiet, I am cocooning and resting up, being kind to myself, and knowing the business of life will soon be back. Let’s embrace the downtime and the peacefulness of this month!
On my radar- sweatshirts
I’m a sweatshirt fan and sort of live in them now. I find them less hot than a sweater, and yet cozy. Some cute ones I found lately…
(From top left to right.) This Electric & Rose (a California brand) sweatshirt is SO darn cute. Would be darling with a skirt or jeans dressed down. I am obsessed with the gold. A special piece that will stand out.
My friend Ani came to visit over the holidays from So Cal and wore this darling sweatshirt from Rebecca Minkoff. It’s got a feminine look with the ruched sleeves and comes in more than a few color options. They say size up in it. You can find it here.
This super soft Varley Sweatshirt caught my eye. It would be a stylish go-to on these cold days- at home or travel. I like the shape and the pretty off white, but it also comes in black and a few other colors. Matching pant here.
I love the look of this longer sweatshirt with a drawstring waist. This is a nice solution for those who want more coverage with leggings. It’s a good after workout class top or for just feeling more covered and cute while out and about.
Also- not a sweatshirt, I just ordered Jane Austen’s Wardrobe and if you are a history lover, and Austen fan it looks like a great one. You can read the sample, which was great on Amazon. Hoping it comes this weekend!
A cool redo of a 1970’s Tahoe Cabin
I love the colorful remodel that San Francisco designer Noz Nazawa gave to her 1970’s Tahoe cabin she found during the pandemic. It’s has a playful feel and you can read all about it and see more photos here on House Beautiful.
Last weekend’s post I wrote on my trip to the Big Island and my rental spot tips, plus checking out the new Rosewood Kona Village.
Thanks to everyone who left suggestions last week on the blog for the new year. I really appreciate your feedback and thoughts so much.
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