Changing Things Up

As you may have noticed, I changed the name of this blog.

When I started this blog, it was the next chapter in a shopping blog I kept on Blogspot called Armoire of a Reverie. Dumb name…I know. I had a descent following on that site. Elizabeth McKay actually followed me. I was finishing up college and had loads of time and energy to put into mixing and matching things that I was wearing. It didn’t hurt that I had loads and loads of clothes back then.

Fast forward five years: I have moved 3 times and have taken on some pretty difficult jobs. With each move, I left things behind and changed what I was wearing to better fit what I was doing. It became exhausting to keep up the parade of outfits and accessories. It was exhausting to pack and unpack all of that mess every time I moved. I’m tired just thinking about packing all of that mess. (I’m still selling stuff, if you’re interested)
Game over.

When I moved to this blog, I intended to focus on my gift for seeking out sales. I am signed up for just about every newsletter out there and I can almost feel it in my bones when a good sale is about to hit. I published notices about sales and posted show and tell pieces after I had shopped the sales myself. This was tough to keep up.

My shopping habits changed in a pretty noticeable way in the past year. Instead of mopping up at every great sale, I would pick up a few staple pieces. Plain stuff. Boring stuff. Bread and butter stuff. Stuff that doesn’t get readers excited. Basically… I got boring.

Sorry I’m not sorry!

I find myself gravitating towards more plain items now. I love items that can be worn with anything and I LOVE being able to grab something simple and not think too much about it. It is a pretty interesting change from what I was into only a few years ago. Layering necklaces and an abundance of color are just not my deal anymore.

So about the name…
What’s the deal?
What is my deal?
What’s the deal with this blog?

I don’t know.
Won’t you stick around to find out?

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What’s Up January – Part 1

January has already been a pretty action packed month and nothing horrible has happened (knocking on wood as I write this) so 2018 is off to a pretty good start.

I took a weekend trip to Raleigh over the first weekend of the month to go see a pretty awesome exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of Art.

Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of EBONY Fashion Fair

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After seeing the exhibit with my mom and Aunt Laura, we went shopping! Well, kinda…
My favorite places to shop in Raleigh are Charlotte’s in Cameron Village, Monkee’s in North Hills, and Dress and If It’s Paper at the Oakridge (or whatever it is called these days) shopping center on Wade. My mom bought a dress for my sister’s rehearsal dinner at Charlotte’s and I bought a super warm hat at Monkee’s. We definitely weren’t big spenders this weekend, but we had loads of fun just looking.

My all time favorite place to shop in Raleigh is Hunt & Gather.
I have been decorating my new office building over the past few months and I have been treasure hunting to finish it off. I needed a lamp and a large piece for over a mantle in one of the rooms and found both at Hunt & Gather. The print I bought was so large that my mom had to ride with her feet across the back bench so we could get it home.

I got that huge print for only $125.00. That’s less than what it would cost to frame it! I LOVE it and am thrilled it worked so well in the space. The fireplace pictured is about as tall as I am (5’7″), so that tells you how large this print is.

In addition to tooling around down, we had a blast at home with Aunt Laura and Uncle Joe. Uncle Joe dazzled in the kitchen. This is when you should be jealous.

That my friends is paella and fresh waffles.
TO DIE FOR.

The last time I visited Joe and Laura in Raleigh was a whole year ago when I stayed with them the night before New Years eve on my way to Richmond, VA to pick up my sweet Pinckney. I won’t be letting that much time pass between visits ever again. They are the simply the best.

PIE!

My church has a wonderful paster named Sam. He takes time out of every day to bake chocolate pies for the people he visits who are unwell. It’s a running joke that everyone looks forward to surgical procedures and illness because you can be sure Sam will be on your doorstep with a pie in hand.

Not too long ago, Sam and his pies were featured in a Charlotte Observer article and his recipe was shared with the world.

I have a large family and someone is always sick or having surgery so we are steady recipients of Sam’s pies so I had never tried to make one until this week.

I have a friend who is battling cancer and they have moved to a new town and don’t have a group around them to provide regular meals. I wanted to take them something and knew that if whatever else I brought was a flop, one of Sam’s pies would be well received.

These pies are so easy to make and I’m so glad that I will be able to share them with my friend. If you are looking for something to take to someone you care about, try this simple recipe.

SIERRA NEVADA BREWERY

Saturday, October 29th, my parents came to get me from work and took me to lunch at the Sierra Nevada Brewery in Asheville. We got there when the doors opened at 11am and it’s a good thing we did. That placed packed out in a hurry!

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This place blew me away. I had heard great things about it, but just hadn’t made it there until my birthday this year. The food was great and so was the beer. My mom, dad and I took a a self guided tour and were blown away by how beautiful everything was.

If you are planning a trip to Asheville, NC any time soon, you need to see this place for yourself.

NEW CANDLE

Inspiring title, I know.

I haven’t been feeling very inspired lately. I’ve just been going through the motions and though I have been very productive at work, I haven’t really had time to do much more than run a load of laundry.

My problem; not yours.

In the spirit of keeping this thing going… here is a new candle I bought!

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This is more significant than it may seem.

I rarely buy candles. I just don’t like most candle scents, but recently I was in Swoozies in Charlotte and came across this candle by Illume. I didn’t buy it in the store because I had another candle at home, but I had an Amazon gift card and decided to go on and get it. It has such an interesting yet clean smell. I just love it!

MY EASTER BASKET

Easter baskets are just as fun now as they were when I was a kid and my mother still puts one together for me and my sister and brother every year. Any of us who come home get the basket in person, and those who can’t make it home get the contents of their basket by mail. It’s pretty great.

Sometimes we get heirloom jewelry, small items from our wish lists, kitchen supplies and other surprises. Two things we get every year are soap and chocolate. Any guest who spends Easter at our house also gets a basket that contains soap and chocolate. Sometimes it’s shampoo and not soap, but more often than not, it’s soap. It’s funny but I also love it.

Anyway… besides soap and candy, here’s what was in my basket this year:

A Nate Berkus Letter Opener
50238636_Alt01Two bottles of Essie Nail Polish (Ladylike and Master Plan)

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And a bracelet my grandmother bought my mother in Europe on one of their trips. I don’t have a photo of it and I haven’t unpacked so no photo for now!

I forgot to mention that Angus, our Maltese, also gets an Easter Basket each year. He loves it! Here’s an action shot of him pulling out his new carrot toy. Dad throws his toys away just about as fast as we buy them so Angus gets a new carrot toy every year. We consider it a major victory if a toy manages to stick around more than a month.

 

 I hope you all had a very happy Easter!

FLOWERS FOR VISITORS

Last week we had visitors in the office so I threw together a couple flower arrangements to brighten things up. Usually we have a local florist handle the arrangements, but this time I did them. For these arrangements I purchased the flowers (many of them on sale) from the local Kroger. I have found that the flowers I buy at the grocery store last just as long as those from the farmers market. Whole Foods is my favorite place to buy flowers for small arrangements, but for large arrangements/orders Sam’s Club does bulk orders! I pick up all of my ribbon from If It’s Paper. The supplies for the two arrangements below only cost about $60.00. A florist would have charged that much for just one!

To be honest, I am not a big fan of formal arrangements. I usually end up taking them apart and rearranging them. (Sorry to anyone who has ever sent me flowers!) I believe I was spoiled by the fact that my mother always kept fresh flowers in the house when I was growing up and they usually came from our yard or from the side of the road. She always put out fresh flowers when we were expecting guests and I often helped arrange them.She still does this, but now I think it is more to keep my father’s wild garden in check than for her own enjoyment. By garden I mean front yard. Every time I visit their house it looks like The Secret Garden before the children cleaned it up. It’s quite a sight! We never know what, or where, plants will emerge come spring. The photos below are just a sampling of the things found in their yard. Not pictured are my father’s tomatoes, persimmons, figs, nectarines, tulips, and who knows what else is currently lurking below the surface.

I have much more to share regarding flowers and gardening. Stay tuned for future posts!