A Happy Peach

Things that make my heart smile…


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Sh-Opportunity…

Today I’ve been a very naughty girl (calling myself a woman in this instance felt like I would need to arm myself with a whip and some sort of dominatrix outfit and I would not have the slightest idea where to obtain these). I felt like airing myself out and going for a little shopping at an outlet mall, do you not see the danger ahead I did but proceeded anyway. I had some rewards certificates and thought it could be harmless fun. Boy was I wrong, you see they opened a Coach store and I am a gal that cannot resist a bargain nor can I resist leather (hmm…this isn’t sounding so innocent now). Thankfully I’ve come down from my euphoric shopping high and reality has hit me as well as the ridiculous bill that I signed my name to. Needless to say I am quite thankful that they have a generous return policy.

Now that I am surrounded by all my possessions can I truly grasp that I don’t need one more thing. No, I have spent too much time, and money accumulating things that I really didn’t need, and now don’t particularly want. Normally I just give away some things and not give another consideration to the situation only to repeat the cycle. Lately I’ve been good at not adding too much stuff, and relatively good about going through my things to either rediscover an old treasure or try to find new uses for them.

However, every so often I have a little break and buy a bit of nonsense. It’s usually nothing I need, but something fun as a pick-me-up. I’ve started to think that even that is a waste, but I still justify it as a treat. Since it’s few and far between I can use that argument to further justify the purchase. But now I am wondering if there is a way to make those little indulgences a little more special. One of my favorite things to do was to have my jeweler create something of my own design for me. Unfortunately he’s moved to South Carolina, but fortunately he can still take orders. I haven’t purchased something since he’s left though. I am also a fan of Etsy artists. There’s a page of some of my favorite shops. I love the idea of buying something handmade or customized, it make the whole experience that much more unique. The bonus is that you are supporting an individual rather than an impersonal transaction between you and a corporation.

Here are two items from The Angry Weather’s Etsy shop that I have been stalking. How cute is this teapot necklace? I am in love with the seed ring. They’re just so fun!!!

Teapot Necklace from The Angry Weather...clicking on photo will take you the item page...

Seed Ring from The Angry Weather Etsy Shop...clicking will take you to the item page.

 

The women in my family are Shoppers, I think I may have been born with a charge card in my hands. They are also gals who appreciate well made items and love antiques. While I believe that there are bits of treasures to be found in many places, I have yet to become an antiques lover, much to my Mother’s chagrin. I think the aversion has something to do with owning something that another person that I do not know owned, it’s a little off-putting to me. But I will say that it is ridiculous, and it is one of my quirks. I heard that the Chinese believe that when you give away something that is unlucky you are giving the bad luck to the next person, and I really relate to the notion.  Just so you know, I heard this as a grown woman, so that is not the reason for my silliness. I really do like the idea that things that still have a wonderful life ahead of them have the chance to live out their purpose and livelihood. I love little shops that find these treasures and present them with care, it makes me want to get over my odd issues. Reuse/recycling is such a great thing.

There are also some great vintage shops on Etsy. I am in love with tea-cups. I want to get a Russian Tea Cup. I found a fantastic one from Chatworth Vintage shop on Etsy. Isn’t she lovely? This may just help rehabilitate me from my phobia of vintage products.

Ooooohhhhh soooooo Ppppppprreeeettttyyyyy!!!!!!!!! Click will transport you to the item page….

So friends, what are your shopping habits and how have they evolved? What would you like to change about them if anything? And of course, what are your fantastic favorites, old and/or soon (someday) to become yours? Please share with the rest of the group.


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How to be Lovely…

Dear Friends,

I was thinking, don’t we love lovely people. It’s not looks, it’s not attitude, it’s just their state of being. There is something about these folks that we find attractive; they are lovely in their own way. Again this can be a subjective subject, but I thought I would try to list the five qualities that lovely people tend to share. A Loveliness Starter Kit if you will. Being of an engineering background I thought I would reverse engineer Loveliness and deconstruct it to come up with my list. I thought I needed a Loveliness Subject, and who to better serve as said subject than the irrefutably lovely Audrey Hepburn. Yesterday, today and tomorrow her beauty, charm and kindness serve as a benchmark for a beautiful creature.

So here is my Loveliness Starter Kit, which includes but is not limited to:

Be Interested...

  • We’ve all had those moments where we couldn’t care less about what’s going on around us or the ongoing conversation, hey it happens. But I think part of being lovely is being interested in what other people are saying and doing. Taking notice of what is beautiful around you. Being observant of someone’s feelings. I think it communicates that we care. And there is something special about people who care.

Remember to Listen...

  • There is a difference in hearing and listening. When you listen you pay attention to the sound and you identify it, you take time to process the information and make decisions based on what has been heard. Not only will you be able to partake in this and future conversations, but you it translates to being thoughtful and considerate.

Don't over-complicate things...

  •  Simple is good. When I see someone making things complicated it tells me that they are trying to hide something. If I ask someone to do a simple task and they come back with this drawn out plan I realize they did not understand the direction. Same thing with asking someone to answer a question, if they answer with extraneous words and concepts, odds are they are lying and most likely are trying to hide something. And of course with make-up  if a woman comes in with way too much on her face, I feel like she doesn’t know how to apply, blend and balance her colors. Or maybe she doesn’t feel good about her face and is trying to cover it up. I’m not saying that things need to be plain, but if the balance isn’t there, if there is anything included that should not be included and the person has overcomplicated a matter, odds are they don’t understand and/or are trying to hide something. For me overcomplicated responses read like subterfuge and spurs more questions. If you come as you are, if you make things clear and allow for simplicity, people will see you and their trust in you can develop rather than focus on what you are trying to distract them from.

Enjoy Yourself...

  • I strongly believe that people should do their best to enjoy themselves. You make the decision as to whether you are having a good time or a bad time. If you make the best of whatever your situation is the odds that you will enjoy yourself are greatly in your favor. A true smile is one of the most attractive things one can wear. It pulls people in and makes them smile too.

Remember to Play...

  • You can make all the excuses in the world to avoid playing, but you’re only depriving yourself of fun. I can’t think of a good reason to abandon fun. When we play we can let go of the stern facade we may have developed as adults. It’s cathartic and good for your health as you are releasing stress. When you play you tend to not take yourself to seriously and tend to be able to laugh at yourself and shake off stressful situations a bit better than before. A bit of silliness is good for the soul and laughter is your smile dancing.

I am sure I missed a few, but since this is just a quick list I will pass on reprimanding myself. But I would love to hear your suggestions to add to the Loveliness Recipe.

As a final treat for this post we will continue with our trip down retro reel lane I thought look inspired by the fabulous Breakfast At Tiffany’s was in order. Who else but Audrey Hepburn could take Truman Capote’s jaded prostitute Holly Golightly and make her seem a chic and sophisticated gal with a penchant for making bad choices. Take it away Lisa Eldridge.

Love and Hugs,

D


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The King of Cool…

Some people just are cool. They aren’t trying to be anything, they are simply themselves. They are self-assured and under no delusions. They make interesting decisions that people ultimately remember and some times are left in awe of. It is not only what they choose to do, but also how they do it. They do it in their own style, and their style is admirable. There is a uniqueness to them and we like that.

I think everyone’s version of what and who is cool is probably different. I thought I would share with you a movie I think is cool and is one of my favorites. The movie I write of is 1968’s Bullitt, which starred the King of Cool (actual a.k.a.) himself Mr. Steve McQueen as Lt. Frank Bullitt. The basic plot line is this: Bullitt is charged with protecting a witness, the witness is to testify in a trial which will help the promote the image of aspiring politician Walter Chalmers (Robert Vaughn). Needless to say everything doesn’t go right and problem ensue. If you were interested in seeing the movie I didn’t want to give anything away. The movie itself has a subdued undertone even though the entire movie progresses with tension. The soundtrack was done by Lalo Schifrin and is comprised of mostly jazz scores which play magnificently with the scenes. McQueen wasn’t classically handsome, he was more of a man’s man. I think his face had character and he never seemed like one to overact a scene.

I am not sure who to credit for this photo, it's a pretty stock photo that everyone has and it was used for the promo...

I also love the fashion, there was just something so smart about the outfits they wore. Rugged Steve McQueen in a dark navy turtleneck paired with charcoal trousers whilst sex kitten Jacqueline Bisset wore a camel colored jacket, complimenting pants, and black turtleneck. Both could be with us in present day and still look chic.

Image courtesy of http://www.toutlecine.com

One of the things that made this movie so amazing was the car chase scene. It was one of the first of its kind and is often times emulated. It not only pays tribute to the streets of San Francisco but also showcases one of the best American Muscle Cars the ’68 Ford Mustang. Here’s a clip of the chase.

McQueen was an avid car enthusiast and enjoyed racing, so this must have been an absolute joy for him. I know I would have had fun. Man, listen to that engine and do you see how that thing handles those curves. It makes me think I should find a Mustang and rebuild the engine. Hmm…that would be a fun project.

I wonder if anyone else has seen this movie and shares my opinion. I also wonder if this has peeked anyones interest. What say you?


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Retro Styling…

Personally I love to look at and borrow from styles of yesteryear. Fashion tends to be the same way taking old ideas and recycling them. To wit you often hear some self-appointed aficionado herald that the [insert proper era here] is back. Only to have that same person six months later say something completely different. Mainly because fashion seasons are basically Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer with the resort season squeezed in (yeah, I am not certain about that one either). They are also planned out a season ahead and dictated to us with the threat that ignorance and noncompliance would mean that you not on trend. This dictatorship has led to the rise of the plebeians namely in the role of fashion bloggers and lead to a decrease in authority/power of magazines, or maybe it’s just a shift in power to another group? It may be a sort of fashion republic, where we find fashionista bloggers and become fans/followers/commenters which may reflect our desired personal style. I think there are so many fashion bloggers out there that it makes fashion feel fun again, and some of them are even popular enough to influence fashion designers.

However I noticed something reading my Lucky September Issue (y’all know September is the big fashion month). The styles featured are quite varied. I saw fashions from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. There were bell bottoms, midi skirts, bowed shirts, vintage dresses, and kiss lock bags just to name a few. A lot of the fashions featured in the Nordstrom Fall Sale (which is an indicator of the direction fashion merchandisers are heading) were distinctly 70s, and they showcase a lot of designers with 70s styled pieces. Too me this swingy midi dress has a bit of a Halston feel to it.

MARC BY MARC JACOBS 'Michaela' Silk Dress

It’s like a time capsule. ASOS is filled with retro-wear also. This mod little salmon pink shift with the peter pan collar is just one example and totally sixties. There is something very “That Girl” about it.

River Island Peter Pan Collar Shift Dress at ASOS

Front of Tupelo Dress from Maple by Some Odd Rubies for sale at Anthropologie

Tupelo Dress back...click to buy at Anthropologie

Anthropologie never disappoints me when I feel like finding some retro gem. This dress makes me think of the movie Picnic. I can picture the utterly beautiful Kim Novak wearing this dress making the most of the sweetheart neckline. The best part is walking away coyly displaying a bit of your back while your hair is twisted in a chignon. Would you really get tired of being liked because you’re pretty? (Too much like a J. Peterman catalogue?)

This is just a small selection of what is available. I am so excited to see all these fun pieces becoming available to us. Lately I have felt in a style rut. It’s been too much SoCal dressed down for me. I miss the theatrics of fun dressing. Friends I love a good outfit. Oh and the accessories are just also too fab. I have so many pocketbooks (handbags/purses whatever you call them) that will just flatter the look. With so many options to choose from there is something liberating about fashion lately. I hope that a variety will be the new status quo, rather than a stranger trying to force me into an outfit I don’t like all. I don’t want to hear X is the new black, unless you say freedom of style is the new black.

Is anyone else inspired by the new offerings? If so, which ones?


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A Nod Toward the Understated and Sublime…

I’ve noticed that most of my posts have a certain randomness about them. They tend to be things that are on my mind or catch my heart. In that spirit I intend present to you the inspiration that color can bring. I love color and the effect it can have on one’s mood and thoughts. I know that there are color trends, but I tend to go in the direction of what tugs at my senses.

I look at objects and colors and instantly my thoughts begin to think of different possibilities. I am a fan of objects past, I like to watch movies and look at pictures from different eras and take of the objects that occupy the scene. They had such character. Lately I’ve been fascinated with green color family, more specifically jadeite and avocado green. Both are indicative of the retro mod look of the sixties.

The Greenfest first started with this delicious little avocado green bag. I think it’s due out in Fall. I love the shape of the bag, it looks a bit like the French book bags that children used to carry, almost like a briefcase. The soft green hue compliments the mod feeling it attempts (and succeeds) at presenting. To me it’s tres chic (hmm…that was not meant to sound pretentious at all, if it did, sorry about that).

J. Crew Bag coming out this Fall

It then made me think, in this mod little fantasy what would I be riding. Naturally I thought of a Vespa. I’ve always wanted one, but living in such a high traffic area I reasoned against it. But it’s still my dream to live in a place where I can just put about.

My new vintage ride 🙂

I then thought of food, as is the nature of my beast. I thought in this mod little world what I would need is an icebox of some sort (I don’t know why, but I quite like calling a refrigerator and icebox).

My cute green icebox

And of course a stove to cook my yummy creations.

My matching stove...

Or I could go with stove that has contrast colors.

Stove Option number two

It was fun to find and share these cute little gems. These sort of pieces inspire me, in their own way they have a place in my world.

Addendum: I was in a sublime bliss as I listened to St. Germain during my scavenger hunt. If you haven’t heard of them, here’s a taste.


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I wish I could sew….

I have the machine, but I hesitate. I feel a bit of fear, that my attempt will end up looking like that dress that Carol Burnett made out of a curtain and some rods. Yeah, I know I’m going into rerun territory, but some of those moldy oldies were so funny.

Gone with the Wind a la Carol Burnett

But I still have ambitions. So I happened upon this informative vintage sewing video on youtube. And it made me think how glad I am that it’s not 1948. However, there was something about this video that made me laugh, Johnny is just so absurdly patronizing. Oh poor Betty, she should have slapped Johnny.

Wouldn’t you have just told Johnny where to go?