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Sunday, March 19, 2017

My take on the capsule wardrobe

     Last month I turned 70. Now I'm not telling you this so you'll say, "why you don't look a day over 68."  But rather to marvel at the fact that I've gotten to this age and still have so much to learn. I'm sure I've acquired some knowledge in all these years and hopefully I'm able to pass some of it along to others. But with the internet so many new ideas are opened up to you. Many that you might never come across otherwise. It of course can be a source of much misinformation, but that's a whole other topic.
    You might or might not be aware of Marie Kondo and "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up". And by extension the whole minimalist movement.  This all hit a cord with me because I am a pretty organized person. I would go through stuff periodically and either donate or have a garage sale. But the saying, "you don't need more room, you need less stuff", really started to resonate with me. Another thing that got me thinking, and it might sound a little morbid, but I don't want my kids to have to deal with too much stuff when I'm gone.

     One area that has needed work is my closet. Deep down I knew I had too many clothes. In the past I'd made some half-hearted attempts to pare things down. If I bought something new I would try to get rid of one old item. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't. I recently ran across the concept of the capsule wardrobe. If you're not familiar with this search on Pinterst. You'll get all the information you'll ever need on the subject. Here's a couple of sites to get you started: How to start a capsule wardrobeGet started.

     I read quite a bit about this idea. I thought, "this makes good sense, but how can I apply it to my situation." I'm a retired senior, my needs are different then a working 20 or 30 year old. But that's what I like about it, you can adapt it to your life style. Some sites give you a list of must have basics, many of which I'd have no need for. One thing all have in common, they say start with what you have. So that's what I did.
     I took everything out of my closet. And then I got tough with myself. Some things I hadn't worn in several years. "But it's cute" or "I might wear it someday", NO, out it went. I also found I had several items that really didn't go with anything else, OUT. 

Here's my discards

     I then started to put together outfits from what was left. It is suggested you do your wardrobe according to seasons and only hang a three month season in your closet at a time. Although Wyoming does have four seasons; fall, winter and spring can be very unpredictable. One day it can be 60 and sunny the next it is snowing. So I decided to put definitely summer in the guest closet and switch it out for definitely winter when the time comes. I'm keeping everything else in my main closet.
     Next it was time to go thru my shoes.  The following is a photo of all my shoes, not including boots (I had 7 pairs).

     I took each pair and besides comfort, did they go with more then one outfit. I managed to reduce by 11 pair. I even got my husband to go through his clothes and shoes. Although he didn't have near the number I did, he was still able to get rid of items.
     Some of the sites I visited had as few as 10-15 items while others had 30-40 per season. When I finished I counted and found I had an average of 45. I don't think the number matters as much as what works for each individual. I still think I probably have more clothes then I need, but I'm going to work with what I have for now. As I wear my outfits hopefully I will be able to pare it down some more. Or maybe I'll find this is the right amount for me. Either way I'm giving myself the challenge of not buying any new clothes or shoes for one year. This might sound extreme but from looking at the amount I have discarded and what I have left, I obviously have plenty.

These two photos are my closet now. Before there were no spaces between the hangers.

     When I do finally decide to buy something new I'm going to be more deliberate about my purchases. I don't want to get something just because it's cute or on sale. I want what I buy to go with more then one item that I already have. I want to really love it. Comfort is important also, not just style. Although I like to stay up to date, I don't want to be a slave to fashion (I never have understood torn jeans). This will be an on going process and learning experience. I'm excited to see where it leads me. 

A thought to ponder: "Buy less. Choose well. Make it last. Quality, not quantity.                                   Everybody's buying far too many clothes." 
                                                                                      Vivienne Westwood

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Monday, December 19, 2016

It's Beginning to Feel a Lot Like Christmas

     My good friend and I have a little tradition we've done for the last several years. We meet for coffee then head about 20 miles out of town to a wonderful shop called, Turned Antiques. It's only open from the first of May to Labor day, on the weekends, and November to Christmas, weekends.

     Besides early American antiques and contemporary home furnishings, they also have fun gift items. And during the holiday season they are decorated to the nines. It is fun to just go and look around.

This was just as you walked in the door

Pretty much everything is for sale

From the many Christmas decorations

To a variety of antiques

Everything is a feast for the eyes

So many fun things from clothing, kitchen items, lotions & soaps to jewelry & toys.

My friend and I agreed that this year's decorations were the best so far.

We usually try to go right after Thanksgiving. It really gets you in the holiday spirit and we always come away with a few treasures.

     I wish you a Christmas filled with love and laughter, and hope the New Year brings you much joy. 

A thought to ponder: "Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas...perhaps... means a little bit more."      The Grinch

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Pop up Camper Makeover

     We went tent camping this summer with our grandson. One thing we learned was that we're too old to be sleeping on the ground. We had tried a regular pull trailer but my husband didn't like pulling something that big. Also he didn't like the fact that he couldn't see out the back window. So we started talking about a pop up camper. I looked over the internet to learn more about them. Of course I checked out Pinterest. And that's when I discovered  The Pop Up Princess. Besides learning useful information, I was also amazed at all the wonderful makeovers. I was hooked. We bought a 2009 Rockwood Freedom.

     Over all it was in pretty good condition. But it was your typical RV interior, all tones of brown. After seeing what could be done, I knew I wanted a brighter more colorful interior.

     So we dug in and went to work. I took all the curtains down and washed them. The mattresses and cushions I sprayed with disinfectant/odor eliminator and set in the sun for several days. I gave the interior a good cleaning. We removed the cabinet doors and the hardware off the doors. The hardware was fine but a shiny brass color. So I spray painted them a dark brass.

     We then went to work on the cabinets, repairing, filling holes and nicks and sanding. Then time to paint, first I did a primer coat. Then I painted with Behr Marquee paint and primer, semi-gloss in 'Spring Frost'. I got good coverage with these two coats.

     sewed new valances, but reused the Velcro and Glide-tape from the old ones. The black out curtains were in good shape, but we were missing two pair. So I bought two full length (84in) black out panels at Walmart and cut them in half. I then used flat bed sheets to cover all of the panels. I did have to buy drapery Glide-tape for the two new pair. I found it on line at Campingworld. 

     The counter tops were in good shape so we left them as is. I found a cute decal on Amazon for the front of the refrigerator.

     We redid the floor. It is a floating floor, 'Allure' in teak, we bought at Home Depot. Considering neither my husband or I knew what we were doing I think we did OK laying it with a minimal amount of swearing.  Especially since nothing in this camper was square. I have a feeling that might be true in all pop ups.

     I made these cute little candle holders to match the decor. They were originally clear. I used food coloring mixed into white glue. After getting the color I wanted, I used a small brush to paint the holders. They now have the look of sea glass. The candle holders and battery tea lights all from the dollar store.

     Do you see the "chandelier" over the table. I got a little carried away with my decorating. My husband rolled his eyes at this one. But I had fun making it from a dollar store basket and battery candles. The beads I bought at Joann's, with coupons of course. The whole thing cost me about $10.

     Another thing we made, which is a little more practical, was some hanging shelving. I found the idea on Pinterest and bought the supplies at Home Depot in the closet section. The fabric bins are from the dollar store.

     The majority of fabric I bought at fabric.com. I covered the cushions using the folding method and a glue gun. I'm not sure how the glue will hold up in our cold Wyoming winters, we'll see . I might have to rethink it come spring. I made the bed covers because I couldn't find anything ready made that I liked. Some of the throw pillows I bought others I made. I'm very pleased with how everything turned out. Everyone who has seen it can't believe the transformation. Unfortunately we haven't been able to use it yet. You can read that sad tale on my last post, The Road Trip That Wasn't.

     We have winterized the camper and closed it up for the winter. We are looking forward to new adventures come spring.

A thought to ponder: "Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety                                          percent how you respond to it"                 Lou Holt

Thursday, November 3, 2016

The Road Trip that Wasn't

      We bought a used popup camper and fixed it up (the make over will be my next post). I spent at least a month planning our itinerary and making reservations. On October 13th we took off on a road trip to the Oregon coast. It didn't quite turn out as planned.

     The first night of our trip we stayed at a motel. Mainly because it was a long driving day and we were just trying to get there.  The second night was to be our first camping night. We would be staying at a hot springs in Oregon.  We got there, found our spot and got everything ready to raise the camper. There was a pop and nothing happened, the camper wouldn't go up. We found the cable had busted. The people at the campground were helpful in trying to find someone who might be able to fix it. To make a long story short, after talking to several people, we were unable to get the camper fixed in a reasonable amount of time. So I had to call and cancel all our reservations and then figure out our best route home. We thought we should try and salvage a little of our trip.
     So we headed back on highway 26, with a short side trip to the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument and the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center.

     From there we went on to spend the night in Baker City, Oregon at the Geiser Grand Hotel. We had stayed here once before and loved it. This time we stayed in the Cupola room on the third floor. To read more about the hotel see my post:A Bed Time Story

     The next day we continued on through Oregon and into Idaho, enjoying the fall colors along the way.

We made a stop at the Chief Joseph Memorial

      We continued on a two lane highway, sometimes steep and curvy.

We spent the night in a small town in Idaho. The next day we woke up to fog but  continued on, following the Lewis and Clark trail.

     There was plenty of beautiful scenery to enjoy even if the day was wet and overcast.

     My husband was sure I found every two lane highway between Oregon and our home in Wyoming. But we did finally reach an interstate in the big sky country of Montana.

     We stopped for the night at one of our favorite places, Chico Hot Springs. The hotel has been there since the early 1900's. It's a rustic and relaxing place to stay and they have a four star restaurant. You can find out more about this great place here: Chico Hot Springs.

     After a nice dinner and a relaxing soak in the hot springs pool, the next day we headed home.   I kept checking the weather on the Oregon coast and found that it rained pretty much the whole time we would have been there. So I do have that to console me. So our 16 day trip turned out to be 7. It wasn't the trip we planned but we tried to make a little bit of lemonade from our lemons.

P.S. Our camper is now fixed. We'll try again next year.

A thought to ponder: "One of the greatest blessings in the world is to be able                                   to be happy even when things in life are not going as                                       planned."