It’s A Wonderful House

I know it is almost Easter, but I have been thinking a lot about a Christmas movie lately:  “It’s A Wonderful Life“***.   The one scene in particular I replay over and over in my  head is the one where George and Mary are walking home from the dance and they throw rocks in the window of the old house that Mary wishes will become her home to share with George one day in the future.

On my recent travels, I drove passed a house that I dream of owning.  It’s old, not in the best of shape, and I am not even sure if it has been occupied recently as there are never any people or cars around it.  The house sits on about an acre of land with a beautiful lake behind it.

This is the front street view of the house.  Please forgive the quality of the pictures as I was using my iPhone.  My SLR camera is not working at all.

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And this is the side view.IMG_0619[1]

I am in love with this house.  I love the wrap around porch, the charm it exudes and all the beautiful trees on the property.  I have yet to see the inside, but I imagine there are fireplaces in every room, more than one bathroom featuring a claw foot tub and a kitchen right out of the 1940’s or 1950’s.  Sa-woon.

Of course, none of that may be true, but since the outside still retains its charm, I am hopeful that the inside loveliness has been preserved as well.  I will be crushed it it turns out the kitchen contains 1970’s Formica or that the living room has bright orange shag carpeting, but for now I will hold onto my dreams.

When I picture my life in the future, I see myself living in a home like this, one that my future husband & I have lovingly restored and now live in with our two pugs, Starsky & Hutch.  We plant a vegetable garden, some lilac and hydrangeas bushes and perhaps get a few chickens so we can have fresh eggs every day.  We host lavish clam bakes in the summer & cozy Christmas Eve dinners every December with our guests helping us trim our 10 foot tree while we drink eggnog and watch “A Charlie Brown Christmas“*** over and over until it is time to eat.  I have had this dream forever.

This is the view as I drove down the drive way towards the side entrance.

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But now that dream is not so easy to have.  Ever since I sold my small house (which was only 811 square feet) and downsized to a studio half that size, I have come to really appreciate living smaller rather than larger.  I know I am not alone, as the tiny house movement has become a real cause and purpose for many people looking to live a more minimalistic life.  I made the choice to live smaller simply because I realized I was basically living in only one room of my house-the bedroom-so I did not see the sense in spending money on a multiple room apartment or paying to furnish those rooms when I was very content having everything I needed in one room.

I want a simple life.  Someone to love, a couple of dogs to rescue, several road trips throughout the year and a freedom from not having any house maintenance work to worry about.  But then I picture life in that big old house, and as idyllic as it seems, I get bogged down in the guilt of the amount of energy a house that size uses, or the carbon footprint it has on the environment, or the fact that two people and two dogs really do not need a house that big. And I love road trips and spending the weekends going to estate sales, antiques stores and flea markets. Houses of any size require regular maintenance, and an old big house requires that much more.  We may need a place to live, but it does not have to be such a big place.  Sometimes I hate having a conscience!!!

The views from the back of the property.  How great would it be to look out on a lake every day???

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Do any of you get bogged down in that kind of thinking?  Or do you just push forward to make your dreams come true? I would really love to know.

***The starred links are my affiliate links.  I only share what I truly love & I am grateful for the support 🙂

I hope all of you who celebrate the holiday have a very happy Easter!!!

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy digging!!!

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Weekend Wanderings

Hello, dear Vixens!!!  How are all of you?  Happy Leap Day!!!

So now that we are practically in March, I am buckling down to get my apartment in order. Despite the fact that it is a studio, I am still a little overwhelmed by how much I have to do between unpacking, painting some recycled furniture and deciding what to display, pack away or purge.

To make it easier, I decided to use this month to focus on the sleeping area only.  I figure if I get one spot done, it will give me a sense of accomplishment and inspire me to continue decorating & organizing the rest of my place.

I spent a lot of time on Pinterest this weekend (no estate sales AGAIN 😦  ) and found some great inspiration, along with some pictures of my bed frame (below).  I have had it about 15 years now and still love it.  But, I no longer love the color.

Pinterest 1     Pinterest 2a

Sources (l to r):  Pinterest/Humbleabode.com & Pinterest/Hookedonhouses.net

Now I am more into the neutral, shabby chic look so I am going to attempt to paint it white.  Below is a different frame, but see how the white color gives the room a whole different feel?  That is the look I am going for.  Wish me luck that my paint job is successful!!!

Pinterest 3    Source:  Pinterest/Shabbyinlove.blogspot.com

Did you watch the Oscars last night?  You know I did.  I loved that the opening montage included a clip of “The Peanuts Movie” 🙂  .  Were you surprised by any of the winners?  And how about the dresses? Below are some of my favorites.  I thought Jennifer Garner’s shoes were gorgeous and Sylvester Stallone is still as handsome as ever (swoon).  I was sorry he did not win for Best Supporting Actor, but it was great to see him in a tux!!!

          

L-R:  Tina Fey, Kerry Washington & Jennifer Garner (All three pictures courtesy of Getty Images).

    

L-R:  Julianne Moore, Sylvester Stallone & wife Jennifer Flavin and Sofia Vergara (All three pictures courtesy of Getty Images).

          

L-R:  Rachel McAdams, Isla Fisher & Reese Witherspoon (All three pictures courtesy of Getty Images).

I did not see any of the nominees for Best Picture yet, but I definitely want to watch three of them:  “Spotlight“, “Room” and “Brooklyn“.

How about you?  What did you do this weekend?

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy digging!!!

Weekend Wanderings & Happy Birthday, Betty White!!!

Hello, Vixens!!!  How are all of you doing?  Hope all is well.  How is it even possible that we are halfway through the first month of the year already???

I went to an estate sale on Saturday, but nothing really caught my eye or made my heart leap from joy.  So after I left there, I went exploring.  I ended up on a block named Lakeside for obvious reasons:  a lake is behind the houses on the block.

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Even driving to the estate sale the view was just so pretty.  I love to see water in the winter, especially when the sun is shining on it.  I see it as a reminder that some things are constant no matter what time of year it is.  I like that.

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You know how wood slice anythings are all the rage right now?  Well, take a look at this adorable little guy (or girl?) I came across.  Just too cute!!!

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Not far from the wood person, I saw a pretty little bird perched in a tree.  I guess he or she did not fly south for the winter.

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Please forgive the quality of the pictures, except the one of the bird.  They are all from my iPhone as my SLR camera is just refusing to work.  I am taking it in for an evaluation this week.  Fingers crossed that it is not completely dead.  I really do not need the expense of a new camera at the moment.

Sunday I spent trying to unpack since last month I got zero of that accomplished.  I previously mentioned that I had to move again at the end of last year.  Unbeknownst to me, the landlord of my last apartment had been trying to sell the place for over a year before he decided to rent it out.  Not long after I moved in, he received an offer and thanks to a legal glitch I knew nothing about, he was able to break our lease.  So I spent the month of November looking for a new place and moved on December 1st.

Because it all happened so fast, I completely forgot to take a picture of my new apartment before I moved in (sorry).  But I downsized from a roughly 750 square foot one bedroom place to a 400 square foot studio.  The one thing I learned from both living in my house and my last apartment is that I spend all my time in one room-my bedroom.  My TV is in there, and so is my laptop, my desk, etc.  So I sit at the desk to eat & watch TV, or lie in bed to use my laptop, read magazines or go through my mail.  And when I need to recharge my batteries, I curl up under the covers to read an old book or watch reruns of “The Golden Girls”.  On that note, happy 94th birthday to the sweetest, greatest friend any of us has ever had, Betty White!!!

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Source:  articlebio.com

So this time around when I went out to look for a new place to live, I realized I could save at least $200 per month if I rented a smaller place, not to mention my heating & cooling bills would be less, too.  Not too shabby.  Just think of all the vintage treasures I could buy with the money I save!!!  Even for a studio, my new place has a full kitchen (dishwasher included), a full bath, its own water heater and two big closets.  Here is how one of them looks right now:

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I know…..not pretty.  I am working on it.

So that was my weekend, Vixens.  How was yours?

Until next time, happy digging!!!

 

The King And I

I can still remember the first time I saw Elvis Presley on TV.  (No, it was not his now infamous “Ed Sullivan” appearance.  I was too young for that.)  My mother was watching “Jailhouse Rock” one afternoon and I sat down to watch it with her.  I was not too happy the movie was in black and white, but when I remembered “The Addams Family” was also, along with certain reruns of “Bewitched” I rolled with it.

My mother began to explain the movie to me (“Elvis was not a bad man.  He just tried to help a woman stay safe from a man who was bad except the judge did not believe Elvis…”).  However, before I heard the rest of the story this beautiful but not bad man with the high hair and unbelievably great voice started to sing:  “The Warden threw a party in the county jail…”.   Sa-woon!!!  OK, I was only 6 or 7 so I did not know the meaning of that word then, but now that I do trust me, it fits!!!

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Publicity photo from the movie “Jailhouse Rock” (MGM Inc)

Before I knew it, the not bad man slid down the pole and was doing his hip-shaking, walk-dance amongst the other inmates.  I was mesmerized.  I remember saying to my mother, “Wow, what a great song” to which she replied, “Just wait until you hear him sing a slow song”.  And such was my introduction to Elvis Aaron Presley, not to mention the phenomenal songwriting team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.  Years later, I watched Presley’s film “Change of Habit” with my grandmother.  I could not believe his co-star was my beloved Mary Richards (Mary Tyler Moore) as a nun!!!  But I digress.

Thanks to my mother’s love for Presley, I grew up listening to albums like “Elvis’ Christmas Album” (I still swoon over “Blue Christmas“), “A Date With Elvis”, “For LP Fans Only”, “Blue Hawaii”,  and the rest of the soundtracks.  As much as I love his rock & roll songs, my mother was right:  his ballads are beyond beautiful.  My personal favorite is “Can’t Help Falling In Love“, my mother’s favorite was “Love Me Tender“, but let’s not forget “Are You Lonesome Tonight?”, “Crying In The Chapel“, “The Wonder Of You” or “In The Ghetto” just to name a few more.   I also love the version his daughter Lisa Marie Presley did in 2007 as a duet with her father.

I am profoundly sad to report that my mother’s records were lost when we moved into our house on Long Island.  Sigh.  But I have amassed my own collection of Elvis’ recordings with CD’s and vinyl whenever I am lucky enough to find the latter at garage and estate sales.  And on March 18, a limited edition 60 disc set of Presley’s recording will be released to honor the 60th anniversary of his first album release.  The box set will include three CD’s of rarity recordings and a 300 page book.   I am saving my pennies now.  If that is too much of an investment for your budget, try “Elvis 30 #1 Hits“.

In the meantime, enjoy the King’s performance from “Jailhouse Rock” as we remember him on what would have been his 81st birthday.

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Source:  vagalume.com

I do not own the rights to anything nor have I been sponsored in any way for this post.  I am just sharing some of my favorite music with you.

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy digging!!!

 

Weekend Wanderings

Hello, Vixens!!!  Happy 2016!!!  As this is the first Monday following all the holiday craziness, life goes back to normal today with the help of a clean slate in front of us in the form of this brand new year.

With such big changes in my life last year-moving to a different state, getting a new job, two apartment moves (I moved again in December which I will explain more in a future post), a lot of things I loved to do took a back seat to make room for the inevitable adjustments new beginnings bring.  The biggest things I miss are the estate and garage sales.  I want to get back in the game soon and luckily I live in an area where they take place all year round.  Plus, after watching the latest installment of the Hallmark series “Garage Sale Mystery: Guilty Until Proven Innocent”  last night, I am more than ready to dig again!!!

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Source:  Pinterest & howtocleanthings.com

But let’s not call that a resolution because I do not make those anymore.  I did at one time but for my own self-esteem I gave them up.  I used to fall into the trap of becoming a whole new person overnight-one who worked out religiously, ate healthy at every meal, organized her place and saved every single dime she could.  Yes, that all or nothing approach served me well until I went back to work and forgot how much sugar and chocolate is required to help me function.  So before the first week of the new year was over, I failed multiple times.  Woo-hoo 😦

But since I am not a quitter, my resolution-rather, my new life approach-is to stay in the moment.  Yes, the grocery store may already have Valentine’s Day candy on the shelves, but I am not going to buy what I need for that holiday until I am ready.  I came across these displays as I was running some errands this weekend:

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I know February 14 is basically a month away, but I need a second to catch my breath.  It has been nothing but commercial candy pushing since just after Labor Day because of Halloween, and with Easter coming early this year (March 27) we should see the baskets and jelly beans on the shelves any second now.  But I am going to hold firm to enjoy where I am now without losing this moment for what is just around the corner.

So what did you do this weekend?  And do you make resolutions for the new year?

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy digging!!!

 

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

Hello, Vixens!!!  Hope you are all doing well & enjoying your summer.  If you are like me, you are counting down to the start of fall in about two months!!!

A couple of blogs ago I told you that I was getting ready to move again, this time to a small New England town in Litchfield County, Connecticut.  Today I want to share my new place with all of you.  These pictures were taken before I moved in.  Once I am fully unpacked and settled, I will share the after photos with you.

Here is the view from my living room and bedroom windows.  I feel so blessed to be able to see this each morning when I wake up!!!  If it is this beautiful now, imagine how spectacular it will be in the fall!!!

view new apt

Here is the entrance hall to my apartment.

entrance new apt

The kitchen features a flat top cooking surface (no more scrubbing drip pans!!!) and a dishwasher, which I have not had since my college days in Massachusetts!!!

kit new apt

The view of the kitchen from the living room.

kitchen view from liv room

The living room with the most important feature:  air conditioning!!!

liv room view from kit

Sorry for the lighting in the bedroom picture, but the sun was very bright and fighting me!!!

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The bathroom has additional storage thanks to the shelving unit left behind by the previous tenants.

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I know that medicine cabinets offer more storage, but I love the look of a stand alone mirror in the bathroom.  I think it is so much more elegant!!!

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My new apartment is in a quiet area but close enough to shopping so it is very convenient.  I am also less than 30 minutes away from one of my favorite places on earth:  The Elephant’s Trunk County Flea Market (read more about one of my shopping trips here).  But this could turn out to be more of a curse than a blessing LOL!!!

So now begins the next chapter of my life.  Thank you for coming along for the ride.

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy digging!!!

My House Was A Very, Very, Very Fine House

Hello, Vixens!!!  I know I have been promising to share pictures of my current apartment with you, but it never really arrived at where I wanted it to be.  In a way, it was a blessing in disguise that I never settled in as a new job is taking me to a small New England town!!!  I am so excited!!!

So since I never shared my current apartment, I decided to share my house.  I owned it from 1999 to 2013.  It was the longest I lived anywhere.  I am sorry to admit I never got the place to where I wanted it, nor did I follow through with a lot of the plans I had for it.  Sometimes procrastination gets the best of me.

Keep in mind that my house was on the market when these pictures were taken, so although it was not cluttered by any means, I did pare it down to give it a more contemporary look.  That also included replacing the antique sinks I had installed in the kitchen & the bathroom…..sigh :(.  Here is the front of my little 811 square foot two bedroom cottage (one from summer, one from winter).

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The first room you walked into from the front door was the living room.  The armoire was purchased for $40 from a neighbor who was relocating, and the coffee table was also from a moving sale for about the same price.  It was the first second-hand  piece I ever purchased and it is still my favorite.  It holds one of my most cherished pieces of Ironstone.  The stand holding the Ironstone bowl & pitcher was purchased at Brimfield.  The beautiful hardwood floor was covered with commercial carpet when I moved in.  The man I hired to refinish the floor did a phenomenal job, didn’t he?

living room

The fireplace separated the living room from the eat in kitchen.  It was all white when I moved in so I decided to repaint the mantel & bottom with a different color for some pop (that is actually the same paint color I used in the second bedroom).  The doors were brass and very scratched up so I painted them with a high heat spray paint that covered beautifully.  It even worked on the fireplace tools (not pictured).

fireplace

Next up was the kitchen.  Everything in here I replaced.  The house was bank owned when I bought it, and prior to that it was a rental for many years.  So the cabinets were cheap and falling off the walls and the floor tile had seen better days.  Part of my deal with the bank was that they had to supply a stove and refrigerator as the house had neither, so the new appliances gave me a jump start at redecorating.  Then I ripped out the cabinets and put down a peel and stick tile myself.  I put it in the bathroom as well.  It was as close to the black & white checkerboard look I could get at my Home Depot.

kitchen

At one point I had a two-tub antique sink and an oven from the 50’s which I could not afford to have fixed (both thrifted).  I also had a standing cupboard and a shelf to display some of my cherished items from my mother and grandmothers.  I took them all out when I decided to sell the house as sadly, antique kitchens are not the norm where I lived.  😦

The chairs were all second hand and the table was from Pottery Barn Outlet (one of my weaknesses!!!)  The curtains in front of the sliding glass doors were actually two table cloths I bought on clearance at Target.  The backsplash looks like copper but it was actually plastic which I put up myself with caulk adhesive.  The lighting fixture was from Home Depot.

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The antique bread box was another Brimfield purchase.  All the cabinets in the kitchen, along with the counter tops, the sink and faucet were from Lowe’s.

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Off the sliding glass doors in the kitchen was the deck.  I found the table on the side of the road and repainted it.  The chairs were from two different estate sales.  I love that they were mismatched. 🙂

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Also off the kitchen was the bathroom.  In addition to the floor I had the wainscoting put in with a ledge so I had a place to put votive candles.  I also replaced the sink, faucet, vanity, mirror (all from Lowe’s) and the lighting fixture (another Pottery Barn Outlet find).  Do you see the washboard I turned into a towel holder on the wall?  All it took was a dowel and two drill holes.  And the vases holding the flowers are small milk bottles.

bathroom 1

bathroom 2

Unfortunately, I did not take pictures of the bedrooms.  The second one was so small it was hard to photograph, and I never brought the master one to where I wanted it aesthetically, so I left them both to view in person only.

So there you have it, Vixens.  A further view into my life and decorating style.  I hope you enjoyed it.  Please share your thoughts and opinions with me in the comments below.

Until next time, fellow vixens, happy digging!!!