First blog post

This is your very first post. Click the Edit link to modify or delete it, or start a new post. If you like, use this post to tell readers why you started this blog and what you plan to do with it.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Envy…A wasted emotion?

I was talking to someone the other day who was describing the new house in a very expensive town that her sister and husband were purchasing. They have 2 small children, both work full-time and will be getting an au pair soon. This house has 5 bedrooms, a suite for the au pair and luxury on every level. These people work hard and I am not criticizing their desire for a beautiful home, but the person telling me this said her father had “house envy” and that brought me to think of their home which is huge and luxurious. Seriously, how much do people need!


I decided to do a little soul searching about what I was envious about and realized that while envy can be a damaging emotion it can also be a good way to be aware of what you have and that if you can do something to change your situation it can be good.

  • Envy people who have artistic or creative talent- Now I am not kidding myself that I am going to become the next Grandma Moses, but it pushes me to try things that are creative to see if I can create. I appreciate beautiful things, art or the ability to work with your hands to make something. I keep striving, that’s good right?

DSCN0035 (1)

  • Envy those people able to work from home_ I have been working in the retail field since I was 13 years old and with a small break when my children were little have been working outside the home all my life. Retail is what I am good at and yes if done properly is not an easy field. By wanting to work from home I started my 2 blogs even though I did not think I was going to make any money at it. I started writing my book (will never be published, but gives me hope) so I feel that maybe there might be something I could do from home and earn money at it.Still looking.
  • Envy families that do things together-My brothers and sister do not live very close and really are not interested in doing things together, but my husbands family does and while they can be exhausting it gives me some connection to family. I still keep in touch with my family and try to get together, but I don’t despair if it doesn’t work.
  • Envy mothers and daughters who live close to eachother-I have a good relationship with my daughter but she and her husband decided to start their lives 6 hours away. I talk with her on the phone frequently and keep updated on her life that she shares. Yes, I would be over the moon if they moved closer and I know that it is probably not going to happen.
  • Envy people taking early retirement-I want to retire, but while AARP considers me one of theirs I know I am not old enough or financially ready. Everyone keeps telling me that I would be bored, go ahead try me! This is pushing me to try to earn money from home ( see above) which in turn is giving me ideas of what to do when I am able to retire.

So I believe that feeling envy can be bad but for me it just makes me grateful for what I do have; the ability to appreciate art and the creative process, a job that I can retire from (eventually), loving family, two children who have made lives for themselves (must have done something right) and who I am close to, a nice home in a close knit community and most of all the ability to dream and change my life if I want.

Posted in art, blogging, envy, family, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

7 steps to paring down

Been doing a little ruminating about clutter, minimalism and downsizing lately as I have been trying to make certain places in my house work better, more efficiently as well as look better. We can’t just shove things in drawers and closets to avoid tackling the larger problem. When did this happen? Why do we have so much stuff? All you have to do is watch YouTube, HGTV, go on Pinterest, or pick up any home related magazine to realize this is a national problem. I say national because I am not sure people in other countries share our apparent need for stuff.

We are a consumer society and with that there is a whole bunch of people whose job it is to get you to buy their products and now we have another set of people whose job it is to teach you how to get rid of it. I am sensing a pattern here. How did this happen?

We have more leisure time now, we don’t work physically(most of us), we buy things to make our lives easier(gadgets that are supposed to do things quicker and easier), we have more disposable income and we have not learned from the past. I remember growing up and using things in the kitchen that my grandmother used and they may not have been pretty, shiny or new but they worked; I still have some of those items. We had furniture recovered or repaired when it was worn out, expensive but cheaper than new especially when new wasn’t made as well and fell apart sooner. I am not saying that Henry Ford started this whole thing, but I think he has a few things to answer for.


Mass production, the assembly line and merchandise for the masses has gotten out of hand. What started as a way for people of all income levels to be able to purchase items that were out of reach before has led to a whole bunch of mass produced junk. Now people who make things by hand, thoughtfully and with great skill are artisans and a lot of their work is out of reach for most of us, but with some searching in thrift, antique stores, craigslist and ebay you can find quality items that will last.

There are people who want the newest of anything and I am not speaking to those here, but rather to those who are trying to clean out. You need to look at why you have all this stuff that you want to divest yourself of. Once you figure this out then you can get down to it. It requires soul searching and isn’t pretty but it is important to address this before you declutter as it will happen again. The fact that declutter isn’t even a word is indicative of the problem. I realized that my love for antiques as well as mid-century modern furniture came from my parents. We did not have a lot of money and I started working at 13 years old so I could have spending money which led to wanting new stuff, all my friends had matching sets of living room furniture and we had mismatched second hand furniture; it was embarrassing. My first real paycheck from my first out of college job was spent quickly and since I was on my own I soon realized that I could make do with what I had which was quite a bit even if it was made up of hand-me-downs from my mother.


I don’t know if it is a knee jerk reaction to living paycheck to paycheck for most of my young adult life or the fact that my mother was telling me that I didn’t need something because she had one she could give to me. She needed decluttering badly and maybe that was part of it. I had to clean up her apartment after she died and she never threw out anything, I still have a lot of it. I don’t want it but I can’t bring myself to throw it out. I know it is emotional as well as the fact that they are vintage or antique so I know they are worth something, but only if someone will buy it so I think I should try to sell it. It is a vicious circle that I have down to just a few boxes. I am getting there. I have come up with a few questions to ask myself while decluttering:

  • Do I have a least one of this item in use already(ie do I really need 25 pens)
  • Is it good enough to sell or donate
  • Do I know someone who can use it right now(don’t add to someone’s clutter while clearing yours)
  • Clothes- does it fit, do I look good, can it be repaired, is it in style, do I have at least 2 of the same item
  • Is it beautiful, does it serve a purpose, is it an heirloom
  • Will I commit to a yard sale
  • Will I need to replace it if so can I wait until I find the right thing(my desk for instance)

I know people went on and on about the “Kon-Mari method” and how it changed their life and while I think it had some merits I do not adhere to the idea that all items have to “spark joy”. Sometimes a sock is just a sock. I do not thank my clothes for serving me everyday, but I am thankful for the things I have that serve the purpose they were designed for, but I am not thankful to the product but the place in my life that I am at where I can have it. So cleaning out stuff is more than just throwing out stuff, it is about figuring out why you have it, do you need it and is it important to you.

Our society has created consumers, and it is up to us whether or not we want to be thoughtful consumers. It has also created a subset of people that earn money by helping you be a more thoughtful consumer. It is up to you if you need or want that help, but I for one am trying to divest myself of extraneous stuff that has an emotional hold on me or just stuff that I might need some day! Living everyday to me means to live with what I have and being grateful that I am in a place where I can choose.

Posted in consumerism, everyday life, Home, minimalism, organizing, purging, shopping, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

8 ways to create an office

My search for a desk and new chair etc, for my office continues and I have been using it as an excuse to just dump everything in there all the while telling myself it will all be fixed when I find the right desk. This is just an excuse for being lazy. I do not have the use of my car today (someone else is using it) so I set to cleaning, organizing, shredding, and generally getting my butt in gear. I am the type of person that needs to see a project to completion, I can’t just pick away at it for 30 minutes at a stretch because I lose momentum and then stop and have to start all over later. After doing the paper purge I sat down at my desk and realized I still did not have enough room, so I took everything off the surface except my laptop, a lamp and a notebook(large) and surveyed how much room I had left. NOT MUCH! I used to have a small hanging file on top for important files that get a lot of use, dish for paperclips and pushpins, a small(post it note size) pad of paper for jotting down ideas, 3 hole punch, stapler, picture of my daughter in a small frame, divided vintage leather box, decorative box that holds penny roll papers, 3 pens, a chubby notebook/agenda, stationery, address labels, an old dead smart phone. I won’t embarrass myself with listing some of the other things. The top of this desk is about 3feet by 2feet with a small raised square. As you can tell the desk is small but I am just adding to the problem. Instead of trying to be super efficient I was giving up and just dumping and saying it was because the desk was too small.


I then sat down and added a small holder for pens holds only 3, the picture of my daughter and the three hole punch. So now I have a functioning work area, all of the items have space in my organized closet that has drawers and bins, and other items were filed in the 3 ring binders I have that are labeled (ie insurance, investments and bank statements). I can see my french bulletin board that is a type of vision board for myself and the other binder I have with future project info in. These are all labeled and located in my bookcase. My printer has paper in it and is now uncovered from filing that I had not done. Is my office perfect and what I want, no but if I can’t keep it clean it is my fault not the stupid desk. While getting all this done I came to the following conclusions that might help a few of you:

  • Start with an empty surface and build up with what is needed
  • Go paperless where ever possible(my bank statements are next to go)
  • Do not situate your desk facing a wall
  • Look at other areas for things, not everything belongs on or in your desk
  • I do not want drawers-too easy to stuff things in
  • Make it your own-really the only room I can have that is feminine
  • If at all possible have art and plants in the space
  • Your room whether it is an office, bedroom or study should make you smile when you go in

I will continue to look for just the right desk but until then I have a space that I can find things and be productive and I hope you all have a space like that.


Posted in decor, desks, habits, Home, laziness, organizing, purging, Uncategorized, your own space | 2 Comments

Easy ways to go green

Going green can save you money in the long run, but the up front costs for some might be a deal breaker. I use very few paper towels,  I buy one roll every 2 months maybe. I use microfiber cloths but cheap scrubby washcloths work fine too. I have ones for the kitchen and ones for the bathroom and ones I just use for dusting. You can get different colors for different uses or label them. I have tried DIY cleaners and for the most part they do not work for me. I have hard water so certain things like Castile soap do not work as well and that means you have to use twice as much which isn’t saving me anything. I do use Seventh Generation, and Celadon Road products as they are made with less chemicals and I don’t need to use a gas mask while cleaning!DSCN0306 I have just come to the conclusion that these products are great and my time and effort are worth something too. I use reusable shopping bags always; though there are times when I just carry whatever I purchase with no bag at all. I drive a Hybrid car and while it was more expensive to buy it costs less to maintain, gas mileage is good and the emissions are much, much less. I also do not idle my car if I can avoid it and I do not use drive throughs for anything. I am graced with two working legs so I get out of my car. I use energy efficient appliances, light bulbs, and smart powerstrips. So while I am not zero waste I am living a green lifestyle that works for me and when I find something that helps me in my quest to being greener I use it. There is trial and error so I try to use other peoples trials and errors if at all possible. The key is knowing what you and your family are able to do realistically. I have a few suggestions:

  • Buy cloths to use instead of paper towels, this is a painless way to start
  • When replacing light bulbs spend a little extra and get energy efficient ones. They cost more in the beginning but will pay off. Just make sure you get the right ones for your fixture.
  • Build or buy a compost bin(if you do not live in an apartment) they come in a lot of different sizes or you can DIY one, check out Pinterest for instructions.
  • Use the sun! I have quite a few south facing windows and in the winter I make sure the curtains are open on sunny days. During the summer I close the curtains on sunny days, open the windows at night and close them during the day
  • Buy a rain barrel, my town sells them every spring and they really help with watering as well as slowing erosion during summer downpours.
  • Put a bucket in the shower to catch the water while you are waiting for the water to get hot, I put my watering can under my kitchen faucet while that is getting hot.
  • Wash your clothes in cold water.
  • Use wool dryer balls for your dryer instead of fabric softener or dryer sheetsDSCN0351
  • Use up whatever you have instead of   just buying something new, if you buy good quality items they will last longer, buying cheap is a false economy.
  • Slowly get rid of your plastic storage and replace it with glass you can use the old plastic containers to hold non-food items.
  • know where things are in your home so you avoid buying things you already own, labels help other members of the family.
  • Make sure you know of a good tailor as well as a cobbler.
  • Plan your errands so you don’t backtrack or do unnecessary driving, walk when you can(health bonus!)
  • Keep your car well maintained, it will last longer and use less energy
  • If you are remodeling see if there is a way you can reuse anything you are removing or if there is a place to donate(less trash in a landfill). I hate seeing those remodeling shows where they just trash everything.pexels-photo-128421.jpeg
  • If you have to replace an appliance do your homework, beside the price, look at the yearly cost to run, as well as the energy rating.

I know I have rambled on here but I want people to know that investing in a greener lifestyle doesn’t have to be expensive, daunting or all or nothing. It is important, after all we are  just renting this earth from our children and we want them to have a green, healthy planet to live everyday.


Posted in chemicals, environment, going green, habits, Home, natural products, organic, plastic free, recycle, Uncategorized, water | Tagged | 2 Comments

Apartment Basics- a process

We all have to grow up sometime.

I have been talking with some younger people I work with about their first apartments and what they have or don’t and what they expect and what they don’t. Now the area I live in is expensive for apartments as well as homes. Don’t get me wrong you can find places that are affordable but it seems more and more that people don’t want to compromise. They work in the city and don’t want to travel more than 15 to 20 minutes to work! They don’t take into account unless you are renting in a large complex, most of your utilities are not included in the rent. Pets are not always welcomed either. Depending on the situation; roommates are going to be part of the picture. You will need first and last months rent as well as a security deposit, is it any wonder that kids live at home longer? That is a chunk of change to save up while paying your bills, such as student loans etc. I will not even go into all the “stuff” you need to live. I will bring up the kitchen and food. I suggest going food shopping every week even if you don’t eat at home that much( which you need to do).



  • Pasta (you can always pull together a meal if you have spaghetti in the house)
  • sugar(make your coffee and tea at home)
  • coffee/tea(see above)
  • peanut butter
  • bread
  • cereal



  • milk
  • butter
  • fresh fruit
  • juice
  • eggs
  • shredded cheese
  • frozen veggies(in a bag)

All of the above items are the basis of starting your kitchen. You need to start learning to cook and doing it more often as you are an adult now.



  • fry pan
  • 2.5 quart saucepan with cover
  • vegetable steamer
  • tea kettle
  • coffee maker
  • toaster
  • a couple of wooden spoons
  • spatula
  • 2 pot holders
  • 4 kitchen towels
  • 4 cereal/soup bowls
  • 4 dinner plates
  • 4 dessert plates
  • 4 coffee mugs
  • 4 highball glasses
  • 4 rocks glasses
  • set of forks, knives and spoons
  • dish soap
  • sponge

Now these are not absolutely everything but you get the idea, you are just starting out you need just enough to get you through the week. Yes, you will need to wash the dishes more often, but times, and tastes change, why bog yourself down with stuff you won’t need or don’t like, a waste of money. Try shopping for some of these items at thrift stores, you may find better quality than at a big box store like Walmart and won’t pay as much. This being an adult sounds like a lot of work and kind of boring I know, I have been there, but make a game out of it, really hunt things down, see how much you can save, get quirky things you know you probably won’t keep forever and it won’t be a big deal if it breaks. Very few people have items in their kitchens that they had in their first apartment unless it was given to you as a family heirloom.

It is exciting to move out on your own, make your own decisions, buy your own things have your say about your style. It doesn’t mean that you can’t go out for dinner or drinks with friends, but if you spend wisely outfitting at least your kitchen it means that you will have more income to have fun with and not living like a college student.

There will still be days when adulting is hard, but don’t worry it is that way for us all.



Posted in adulting, decor, everyday life, first apartment, shopping, Uncategorized, your own space | Tagged | Leave a comment


Bachelorette parties are relatively new but seem to have taken on a life of their own. When I got married 37 years ago you didn’t have a drunken night with your girlfriends, you had a shower or 2 if you were lucky. My daughter has been in quite a few weddings and this approaching summer looks like another busy one for her. I also work with a few young ladies that are busy in this vein also.

When I was in a wedding, I was expected to help with the planning and paying for a shower, my dress and accessories, hair and make-up. This was part of the “honor” of being in a friend or relatives wedding. Now, brides are expecting that and nights or weekends away at expensive destinations and entertainment. I know of someone that was asked to fly to Florida for the weekend or Vegas this involved flight, hotel, meals and entertainment not just theirs but their share of the brides bill too. You are honoring your friends by asking them to put themselves into debt for you. Where do brides get off? First of all the dress, shoes, accessories, hair, make-up etc are not cheap to begin with.


Maybe my daughter and I are just more aware of the price of things? We found dresses for her friends that were under $100.00, they could wear whatever shoes they wanted and I paid for their hair and make-up. People commented how lovely they all looked and how comfortable they were. We did not kid ourselves into thinking that they would ever wear the dress again, but it was not that costly.


Weddings have gone over the top so now brides feel entitled to a weekend of fun before the wedding too. Don’t get me wrong weddings are big business and my daughter’s wasn’t cheap but I spent money on things that were important to me and my daughter and her husband. Her dress wasn’t extravagant, we had very good food, a simple cake, simple florals and fantastic pictures(after the wedding was over we had the pictures and I wanted them to be great). Everyone has a different idea of what is important, but weekends of parties before the big event just seems to be a way of being the center of attention for longer, you know it is the bride’s big day! I digress.


Maybe brides ought to think of giving their maids a nice spa day as a present rather than a drunken weekend that they are expected to pay for themselves. Men are doing the same thing with stag parties that they expect their groomsmen to pay for, trips, dinners, bar bills and entertainment. This sense of entitlement isn’t going to go away once they are married. Have you ever been to a baby shower recently? OMG! I was at one that had over 50 people, it took the mom to be at least 2 hours to open gifts and towards the end she wasn’t even looking at items. Then the precious bundle turns a year and you would think it was a coronation! Get real people we should not be expected to pay for everything. People are even registering for people to pay for their honeymoon, it is okay if that is an option, but it shouldn’t be the only one.

So couples, take a good look at what is most important to you and do as you think right just don’t expect everyone else to pay for it. Priorities people!


Posted in Brides, family, Friends, memories, planning, Uncategorized, weddings | Leave a comment

Things I have learned about blogging

Since I have started blogging I have noticed a few things. There are many different types of blogs food, fashion, lifestyle, photography, art, reviews  etc. I was pleasantly surprised by the variety but most of all I noticed more than a few by women of a certain age just discussing life. There were amusing, poignant, down to earth, and knowledgeable women out there. It seems as if blogging became a way to be heard and to meet up(in cyberspace) with like minded people. I had started out with one blog written by my dog and decided I wanted to talk also!

I think blogging means different things to different people. There are blogs that sell items or teach you something for a fee and while making money blogging would be nice, it was not why I started and seeing that I don’t have a great many followers it is good that that was not my purpose. I have spent hours on a certain posting only to have it fall flat and at first that bothered me until I realized that I had gotten caught up in trying to get comments and like and not care as much about the content. I am an opinionated person and like to talk about subjects that are near and dear to my heart, but there are also times when I want to touch on a project that I am in the middle of or just share a laugh.


I think people who tell you to find your voice are well meaning but I have many voices (not multiple personalities, I mean I don’t hear voices or anything) depending on the day and subject. Maybe finding a style would be a better way to put it. There is a blogger here blogging under the name nickclaussen who has a wonderful sense of humor and has a great wit.Screenshot-2018-2-18 nickclaussen com I couldn’t copy his style if I wanted and that is great because my voice is different from his and we can still enjoy each other’s style. Some thoughts on blogging in general:

  • decide why you want to blog (selling, reviewing  discussion etc.)
  • if you are not trying to sell then stop worrying about if your post will be popular
  • read lots of other blogs-people have a lot to say
  • like and comment if you feel like it, don’t force yourself to, that is like trying to buy friends
  • open your mind to different views and opinions

If is becomes a drag and a chore to do something which you used to enjoy then maybe take a break and reevaluate. I do not pretend to know it all or how to make money blogging I am in it for fun and a way to have my voice heard. There are a lot of like minded people to talk to and it gets you through the tough times, but there are people out there whose views may not match your own and they can be interesting and fun, you just never know until you put yourself out there.

Posted in blogging, Uncategorized | Tagged | 2 Comments