- Set an intention for the month.
- Groundhog Day.
- Super Bowl Sunday!
- National Homemade Soup Day.
- Lunar New Year.
- Send Valentines Day cards.
- Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Birthday.
- Make a pink floral arrangement.
- Plant beets, chard and lettuce.
- Pink/red mani/pedi.
- Take Valentine treats to work.
- Pick up a bottle of champagne.
- Bake something for my sweetie.
- Valentines Day.
- Switch decorations to Mardi Gras.
- Stock up on spring scented candles.
- National Random Acts of Kindness Day.
- President’s Day.
- Trip to the library.
- Dinner with a friend.
- Dry bed sheets outdoors.
- Polish copper cookware.
- Plan March blog posts.
- Dinner party.
- Make and freeze a big batch of meatballs.
- Prep winter outerwear for storage.
- Drop off donations.
- Reflect on the month.
I don’t like New Year’s Resolutions. The thought that on January 1 you’re supposed to suddenly declare all the things you wish to accomplish for the entire year (only to abandon them all by mid-February) doesn’t work for me. I prefer to set monthly intentions. That way I only have one new habit to focus on per month and can change and adapt my list as the year goes on.
That said, I saw a wonderful idea in a post on A Cup of Jo a week or so ago that really spoke to me; more/less. Illustrator Julia Rothman had pinned up a sheet of paper with things she wanted more or less of in her life in the new year. Brilliant!
I’ve read that the best way to start a good habit or to break a bad habit is to focus on adding things to your pile of good rather than obsessing over the bad. This list format helps with just that. Spending too much time comparing your life on social media? Glance at the list and see that you want to spend more time with friends. Send the text. Meet up for coffee.
The list doesn’t deal in absolutes. If you order take-out once, you don’t feel like you’ve submarined your entire resolution and chuck it all out. Just plan on cooking dinner in tomorrow.
As you can tell, I’m really taken with this way of thinking and am adding it to my existing monthly intentions. Below is my personal more/less list. What’s on yours?
- More time outside. Less camping out on the couch.
- More fruit. Less sweets.
- More time with friends. Less listening to internal negativity.
- More moving. Less vegging.
- More doing. Less excuses.
- More home cooking. Less takeout.
- More calm. Less clutter.
- More books. Less television.
- More creativity. Less judgement.
- More patience. Less snapping over stupid things.
- More organization. Less chaos.
Until next time.
- Finish up the champagne in some New Year’s Day mimosas.
- Set up new calendars with birthdays/anniversaries/important dates.
- Set an intention for the month.
- Shop for Julie’s birthday.
- Twelfth Night
- Take down Christmas decorations and store for next year.
- Take my new bike out for a spin at least once a week.
- Write thank-you notes for Christmas gifts.
- National Bubble Bath Day!
- Go to a yoga class.
- Keep up with daily readings.
- Refresh and restock baking supplies.
- Make a winter white floral arrangement.
- Blue winter mani/pedi.
- Schedule doctor/dentist/vet appointments for the year.
- Shop after Christmas sales for accessories to freshen up winter wardrobe.
- Start planning a spring garden.
- Stock up on candles for the rest of the long winter nights.
- Organize my craft cabinet.
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day
- Play with new art supplies..
- Curl up with a good book and a fire if the weather permits.
- National Pie Day!
- Try a moisturizing mask to refresh winter weary skin.
- Make a delicious stew.
- Meet a friend for coffee.
- Ellen DeGeneres’ Birthday
- Plan February posts.
- Bake something new from Pinterest.
- Trip to the library.
- Reflect on the month.
Until next time.
Do you have a cook, baker or entertainer on your Christmas gift list? Does the idea of finding a thoughtful, appealing gift for them strike fear in your heart? I get it. I love to cook and bake and over the years I’ve received my fair share of gifts in that vein. Some of been home runs. (Thanks again, Cole, for the mandoline!) Others have been duds. (Does anyone really need a separate appliance that vertically roasts chickens?) Sometimes it can feel impossible to find something your foodie a) will like and use and b) doesn’t already have. Here are some ideas for gifts that are new, different and down-right beautiful.
Until next time
I haven’t posted since February! I have no excuse. It’s time to get back to it. I read a genius article recently about how our brains are being rewired due to online versus analog reading. It was thought-provoking and made me glad that I came of age, an avid reader, in the days of physical books. But the thing that jumped out at me was one particular thought: Beauty in, beauty out. Here, in the author’s own words:
“In Silicon Valley, they have a saying that explains why an algorithm starts producing unwanted results: Garbage in, garbage out. The idea is that an algorithm can only work with the information you feed it. Aren’t writers – all creators – algorithmic in that way? Our job is to process what we consume. Beauty in, beauty out. Garbage in, garbage out.”
It’s really the simplest of ideas; to do better, you have to consume quality. To write well you must read good material. To cook well you must eat good food. To make authentic art you must view good art. The idea is not to copy a writer or artist or maker you admire or to slavishly follow recipes or lists or someone else’s path to success. What you’re doing is increasing your knowledge base so you can easily recognize quality; in other’s works, of course; but most importantly, in your own.
I took this idea as a jumping off point. I think that this idea doesn’t just apply to any given art or craft you’re hoping to master but quality of life as well. If you focus on what’s wrong or unfinished or imperfect in your life then that’s all you’ll see: the flaws, the glitches, the messes. Conversely, if you focus on the bounty and abundance of your life then that’s what will fill your heart. Sure, you’ll still see the things that need work but instead of seeing them as a reflection of yourself as an unworthy being you’ll see them as a chance to improve your already bright life.
Positive thinking is not a panacea for the ills of the world and it’s certainly not meant to blind you to the problems of modern life that you can do something to help remedy. Instead, it’s meant to help you continue to strive to improve your lot and the greater world around you. This can be especially important to those of us who struggle with mental health and especially important at this time of year when the struggle can be the toughest. Look for the good. Look for the happy. Look for the beauty in your life.
Here’s a link to the original article:
I Have Forgotten How to Read by Michael Harris https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/i-have-forgotten-how-toread/article37921379/
Until next time
Taking a brief break from Fashion Week today. Those posts are labor intensive! Let’s talk about entertainment instead. My husband and I are binge watching Netflix’s House of Cards.
Have you watched it? What did you think? For us, it’s been very engrossing and we’ve stayed up past our bedtimes to squeeze in “just one more episode”. But we’ll be all caught up when the new season is released in May.
We did the same thing with USA Network’s Mr. Robot
And lest you think we’re a couple of gritty, nihilistic, misanthropes, we also did the same thing with Netflix’s The Crown
Until next time
Fashion Week rolls on with the Friends & Family Sale at Lands’ End going on through 11:59 CST tomorrow: 30% off your entire order! If you roll your eyes when I say Lands’End and think adventure outfitters, you are missing out!! Yes, there are still squall jackets and yes there are still things your grandmother would like but there’s so much more. I remember years ago when I used to buy khakis and rugby shirts for my husband from J. Crew. They’ve certainly undergone a transformation and, while not quite as dramatic an about face, so has Lands’ End. While still my go to for jeans and knit tops, a lot of the more fashiony pieces remind me of a J. Crew/Ralph Lauren mashup. Let’s take a look at some of my current favorites.
Harbor Trench Coat in Meadowland Green
Regular $99.00, Sale $69.30
A trench coat is a classic but that doesn’t mean you have to play it safe. I love the brilliant green and oversized buttons on this beauty! And something about the super-wide lapels and high back collar give this trench a very Audrey-esque quality. Also available in Crimson Dawn or if you’re keeping it classic, Black & Warm Khaki.
Cotton Duffle Jacket
Regular $139.00, Sale $97.30
What says preptastic more than a duffle jacket? This cotton one is just the thing to see you through some of the cooler days & nights of spring. Pop it on over a de rigueur striped tee with some red skinny jeans and cute flats and you’re set for the day: from brunch to shopping to drinks.
Waterfall Cape Sweater
Regular $89.00, Sale $62.30
This one definitely has a whiff of Ralph Lauren to me. A little less rustic perhaps but all-American has through and through. A long-sleeved tee, dark jeans, espadrilles and a tote and you are ready for any adventure the weekend throws your way.
Short Sleeve Chambray Tunic Dress
Regular $89.00, $62.30
This is the perfect blank-slate of a dress! Chambray is one of my favorite fabrics and there are so many ways to go with this one. I love that neckerchiefs are coming back! Take a cue from the model and tie a bright silk square around your neck or add a belt or slip a long sleeved striped tee underneath. This dress can unleash your inner stylist!
Currently on Sale for $44.99, After Discount $31.49
Okay, now tell me that this above the knee, plaid, fringed skirt doesn’t look like it wandered over from J. Crew? It hits all the right style points but look at that price!!
Dark Indigo Wash Pencil Skirt
Regular $69.00, Sale $48.30
Despite what the description on the website says, this is not a jean skirt. This is a classically styled, subtly sexy pencil skirt that just happens to be made out of a dark washed denim. A fun twist on a wardrobe basic.
Ponté Pencil Skirt in Hot Pink
Regular $59.00, Sale $44.30
And speaking of pencil skirts, how about this hot peony pink number in oh so comfortable ponté knit? Pair it with a classic button down shirt and neutral heels and let the color speak for itself! Also available in classic black.
Woven A-line Skirt in Radiant Navy
Regular $89.00, Sale $62.30
Pencils not your style? How about this ladylike A-line? Fully lined with a geometric eyelet overlay, this one can definitely go from work to casual and back again with just a change of top or accessories. Also available in eggshell white.
Mixed Stripe Elbow Sleeve Top in Ivory/Deep Sea Thin Stripe
Regular $35.00, Sale $24.50
I’ve already confessed my abiding love for striped knit tops, but, oh, these stripes! Horizontal in the front, vertical in the back, diagonal on the sleeves and fabulous all around! Also available in Ivory/Crimson Dawn Thin Stripe.
Supima Print Cardigan Sweater in Ivory Spots
Regular $79.00, $55.30
Lands’ End Supima Cardigans are one of my staples with new colors and prints every season. This modern mixed spot is definitely on my short list to add to my cardigan collection. And since you know my love of twin sets, there’s a matching short sleeved jewel neck pullover to complete the look.
Chino Tie Waist Pants in Smokey Olive
Regular $79.00, Sale $55.30
Boyfriend fit? Check! Tie Waist? Check! Olive, the not so boring neutral? Check! Your closet needs these chinos!
Mid Rise Kick Crop Jeans
Regular $69.00, Sale $48.30
Oh how I love my Lands’ End denim! Quality, consistent sizing, waist not too high, not too low and priced so reasonably that if I want to try one of this seasons trendy silhouettes, the kick crop, I can do so without hesitation! These will be in my closet soon!
Fringe Slide Sandals in Denim
Regular $65.00, Sale $45.50
There’s a definite denim shoe trend this season, J. Crew and Talbot’s both have adorable versions as well, but how cute are these fringey denim slides? This just might be THE shoe of summer!
Slip On Sneakers in Pineapple Stripe
Regular $59.00, Sale $41.30
Leather Tassel Belt in Crimson Dawn
Regular $45.00, Sale $31.50
This is another item that looks like it snuck over from J. Crew or maybe even Kate Spade! I mean, honestly, who could resist a bright leather belt with darling little tassels dangling down? Also available in Dandelion and Navy.
Until next time fashionably yours,
Next up on Fashion Week here at The Quirky Quaintrelle is the Clear the Rack Sale going on through tomorrow at Nordstrom Rack, both online and in stores. The sale is 25% off of clearance items but also includes free shipping over $100 and in most cases 90-day returns by mail or to a Nordstrom Rack store.
This one was a little tricky to pull items from for the reason that since Nordstrom Rack is already an outlet store and the sale is on clearance items; sizes, colors & quantities are limited. My best suggestion for you is to jump online and do a little digging yourself or head straight to your local Nordstrom Rack store. There are some AMAZING deals here!
Here are a few things that caught my eye.
CeCe by Cynthia Steffe Evia Metallic Jacquard Fit & Flare Dress
Regular $198.00, Sale $59.98
Felicity and Coco Navy & White Stripe Fit & Flare Dress
Regular $118.00, Sale $22.13
Vince Camuto Sequin Off the Shoulder Sheath Dress
Regular $188.00, Sale $56.23
Nanette Lepore Nomad Cardigan
Regular $348.00, Sale $56.18
Rebecca Taylor Fringe Trim Cardigan
Regular $395.00, Sale $106.43
Fleurette Notched Collar Double Breasted Coat
Regular $675.00, Sale $177.19
L. K. Bennett Heidi Glitter Pump
Regular $345.00, Sale $112.50
BCB Generation Aleyana Wedge Pump in Pumice
Regular $98.00, Sale $33.74
Charles By Charles David Libra Wedge Sandal
Regular $99.00, Sale $25.99
Sole Society Sequoia Block Heel Sandal
Regular $99.95, $29.98
Via Spiga Arnelia Leather Espadrille Flat
Regular $155, Sale $40.69
Regular $120.00, Sale $29.98
Natori Mikado Robe
Regular $180.00, Sale $52.48
Gorjana 18K Gold Plated Joplin Stud Earrings
Regular $45.00, Sale $10.13
Melrose and Market 10mm Malachite Ring Stud Earrings
Regular $12.97, Sale $7.29
Nadri 18K Gold Clad Pave Flat Crystal Hoop Earrings
Regular $148.00, Sale $33.30
Ted Baker London Reann Rosette Pave Crystal Ring
Regular $75.00, Sale $19.69
Emilio Pucci Women’s Plastic Sunglasses
Regular $270.00, Sale $50.63
RAEN Women’s Rotas Round Sunglasses
Regular $135, Sale $25.31
Persaman New York Women’s Faith Sunglasses
Regular $99.97, Sale $48.75
Marc by Marc Jacobs Gingham Sliding Mirror iPhone 6 Case
Regular $78.00, Sale $11.70
Nanette Lepore Lasercut iPhone 6 Case
Regular $40.00, Sale $8.42
Until next time
Sorry for the long absence but one of our senior dogs had a little accident and I’ve been on 24-hour nursing duty with him. We’re still not sure what the outcome will be so any good thoughts you’d like to send along would be appreciated.
I know I promised a continuation of the Intuitive Eating series, and I swear it will come. But I need a little light and bright in my life right and I’m feeling fashiony. With the holiday weekend, transitional season sales and the incoming Spring fashions, quite a few of my favorite stores & brands have amazing clothes and accessories to snatch up for the warmer weather to come.
Let’s start with one of everyone’s favorites: J. Crew. Now through Monday at midnight EST, almost everything on the J. Crew website is on sale at 30% off with the code WEEKEND. Here are the lovelies that caught my eye.
Ruffle Tippi Sweater in mermaid floral (Regular $85, On Sale for $59.50)
I mean seriously, how adorable is that mermaid print? Add a ruffle around the neckline of the cult classic Tippi and you have one stunner of a sweater.
Embellished cotton Jackie cardigan sweater in faded peri (Regular $98, On Sale for $68.60)
The famous Jackie cardigan in summer weight cotton embellished with firework bursts of sequins! Swoon! This periwinkle/coral combo screams spring to me, but this lovely sweater is also available in a vibrant yellow with gold sequins and a chic tan on tan option. And since there’s no such thing as too many twin sets, there’s a contrasting striped shell for each color.
Jackie tie neck cardigan in stripes (Regular $89.50, On Sale for $62.65)
I have to admit that this beauty already lives in my closet and I ❤ it! The stripes! The tie neck! So cute, so versatile and it never fails to garner compliments. Also available in a saddle/navy/ivory combo.
Boat neck T-shirt in vintage stripe (Regular $39.50, On Sale for $27.65)
I have several weaknesses when it comes to clothes and stripes are at the top of the list! This boat neck beauty in a vibrant navy/azalea multi stripe not only makes my heart sing, it would be a nice addition to the navy striped brigade in my closet. Seriously, it’s an obsession!
Gathered popover shirt in vintage plaid (Regular $78, On Sale for $54.60)
I recently remarked to my husband that aside from the basics of black, white, camel/tan & denim; I would be perfectly happy if everything in my closet were pink, green or blue. I think this shirt heard me. The perfect green & blue in my beloved popover styling. I prefer popovers to button-ups because they look so neat tucked in or left out. Most button-ups require a little extra work (tied tails or a half tuck) to keep from looking sloppy if worn untucked. Popovers always look great.
Chambray & ruffles. I’m sold! The original blue collar fabric has been feminized with sweet little ruffles and the juxtaposition is delightful! Pop a neon pink, green or turquoise shell underneath for an added layer of wow with heels for the office or flats for brunch and you’re the picture of perfection! 👌🏻
Scalloped chambray skirt (Regular $88, On Sale for $61.60)
Too short for me but too cute not to include. Faux wrap chambray skirt with a piped scalloped panel and a single sassy button. I can see this one on repeat all summer long! Pair it with tees and tennies or a gingham shirt and cute flats.
Charlie slides in glossy navy leather (Regular $188, On Sale for $131.60)
I’ll admit I’ve been a little late to the mule/slide trend. I’m old enough that the word mule conjures up childhood memories of Mrs. Roper from Three’s Company. These luscious navy slides are just the thing to get me over the hump! Perfectly preppy tasseled loafer up front, fresh air slide in the back and not a whiff of caftan anywhere! Also available in pampered pink color block and snakeskin print.
Seavees for J. Crew legend sneaker in gingham (Regular $88, On Sale for $61.60)
Remember my stripe obsession confession a few items back? Well, my gingham love is right up there too. I’ll put it down to my Southern heritage. These gingham Seavees are amazing!! Shorts, crops, ankle pants, casual skirts? Check, check, check & check! Errands, brunch, lunch, shopping? Check, check, check & check! Honestly, I’m not sure it’s possible to survive spring and summer without these in your arsenal! Also available in red & white skinny stripe and navy multi stripe.
Metallic ankle strap sandals (Regular $168, On Sale for $117.60)
What’s rarer than a unicorn sighting or a perfectly ripe avocado? Party shoes that make you want to dance all night but don’t leave your feet hating you in the morning. These might be the perfect shoes. Gold metallic leather says party. The traditional t-strap design says classic. The just under 2-inch block heel says comfort. And they’re all wrapped up in a dainty bow for added sweetness!
Denim ankle-wrap flats (Regular $138, On Sale for $96.60)
This hybrid ballet flat/ankle wrap/sling back is one of the cutest shoes I’ve seen this season. These little shoes are ready for anything! Day or night. Work or play. Casual or dressed up. Absolutely adorbs! Also available in sequined gingham.
Gemma suede flats with pom-poms in festive green (Regularly $118, On Sale for $82.60)
The PERFECT shade of green and pom-poms. Cunning turquoise trim and pom-poms. Sweet little bows and pom-poms. Oh, and did I mention pom-poms? These are my very favorite thing on this list! Because, pom-poms!! Also available in tropical sun.
Pop Stripe tote (Regular $158, On Sale for $110.60)
In my book there are several things a lady can never have too many of: black shoes, white shirts, twin sets & totes. Be careful though; this scrumptious tote in azalea/navy combo with TASSELS is bound to make all of your other totes feel left out. When has utilitarian ever been so snazzy?
Honeymoon tassel earrings (Regular $65, On Sale for $45.50)
Tortoise look flowers with rhinestone centers, enameled caps and white beaded tassels. These earrings are so on trend that if you look up the word trend they might be pictured there! The tortoise and white looks so fresh to me, but these beautiful baubles are also available in a tortoise/navy combo.
Dipped enameled hoop earrings in sweet jasmine (Regular $19.50, On Sale for $13.65)
Don’t forget, the sale ends Monday at midnight EST and you know how J Crew sales are; things are going quickly! I hope to be back tomorrow with another batch of fashion.
Until next time!
Valentine’s Day is nearly upon us and the internet is filled with pink, red and all things heart-shaped! Here are a few of my favorites:
Catarina Heart Dinnerwear from Horchow (currently 25%off!)
These lovely earthenware dinner and salad plates are hand-made in Italy. The pierced heart borders are just so sweet! I bet you could find dozens of times through the year to add a little romance to your table with these darling plates.
Valentine Heart 6′ Paper Garland from Crate & Barrel
This cheery garland, while obviously perfect for Valentine’s Day, could help mark special occasions throughout the year! Engagements, anniversaries & birthdays would all be just a little more special festooned with this charming garland.
Heart Coir Mat from Ballard Designs
This punchy graphic doormat will let all visitors know that love lives here!
Metro Mother of Pearl Heart Watch by Kate Spade at Nordstrom
3-Piece Gratitude Bowls Set from Horchow
Each of these three handmade wooden bowls is carved with a different reminder to recognize and be grateful for all the love in your life.
Red, White & Pink Heart Confetti from Paperscapes1212 on Etsy
Do you really need a reason for confetti? I didn’t think so.
Be Mine Heart & Arrow Hoops from Kate Spade
Cupid has some seriously precise aim to place these darling earrings in just the right spot! Sparkly red hearts dangling from gold arrow hoops are just the thing to announce to the world that you’re in love!
Love is Love Mug Set from Williams-Sonoma
Covered all over in gold and rainbow-colored hearts and the repeating message inside: Love is Love is Love is Love… these darling mugs are sweet and subtle reminder that we all deserve the right to love who we choose. 50% of the purchase price is donated to The Human Rights Campaign and that will do everyone’s heart good.
Until next time!