In My Own Little Corner…

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If you’re over a certain age you may remember the annual television airing of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella with Lesley Ann Warren in the title role and General Hospital’s Stuart Damon (Alan Quartermaine) as The Prince. I looked forward to watching it every year snuggled up in my mother’s big bed. I knew all the songs by heart, even just seeing it once a year – no streaming movies or dvr’s or dvd’s back then. If you didn’t catch it the one time a year it was on, you were out of luck til the following year. A tiny bit of personal trivia about the show, my cousin Robin was on it as “second young maiden” and had the line, “I wish I was an older girl!”

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BEFORE

One of my favorite songs was In My Own Little Corner. I’ve been clearing out The Christmas Tree Corner (I’m really good at ignoring things left out of place for a¬†really long time, so yes, those are the Christmas decorations in that plastic tub in the before picture).

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I’ve decided this is going to be my jungalow meditation corner ūüôā I’m putting a handmade wooden bench there, with plants and candles and maybe a buddha if I find one I like. But first I needed to clean it out. And what better time to unpack boxes and move a dirty old door than while wearing white jeans??

No, I am still not entirely unpacked from my move here last August.

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How have I managed without these things all this time??

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One of my mother’s silver trays I kept and some flower cards from the hospital last year… a picture of me and Kate and a wind-up chick. This was quite the random box.

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Forgive poor focus. Tripod selfies, am I right??

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This picture is from about 1980. Me on my first horse, Elmer J. Fudd, out in the woods. A man walking on the trail approached us and asked if he could take our picture. I said yes, and he took my address to mail it to me. I forgot all about it and about a year later this mounted print arrived in the mail and I have cherished it ever since. Random stranger man gave me such a great gift. Thank you, Random Stranger Man. Isn’t it amazing how someone you don’t even know, or that’s in your life for just an instant, can make such a long-lasting impact?

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People have asked about the door. This is it. When I was living in my last home, there was an 1850’s house on the corner at the end of the block. The elderly woman who owned it was unable to care for herself any longer and she was put in a home. The person who was handling her estate heard that “the lady down the street” (me) sold stuff on ebay, so she knocked on my door one day and asked me to come down and look at some vintage dresses and accessories she had. In her youth the woman had been a professional ballroom dancer and she still had all the amazing swooshy dresses and accessories. Unfortunately, they didn’t want me to sell for them on a commission basis, they wanted me to buy the collection outright, thinking I would then re-sell, but I couldn’t afford what they were asking for everything. SIGH.¬†Anyway, while I was in the house I noticed the front door played music when it opened. There’s a little music box on the back of the door and I’m not really sure how it worked, but I found it SO charming and loved the beauty of the door as well. The executrix told me they were going to be tearing the house down (gasp) because the owner needed the money for her new accommodations and she didn’t ever want anyone else to live there (?). I told her I would¬†love to buy the door when the time came that the house was going to be leveled. Nothing happened for awhile and I forgot about it. One day, some time later, my neighbor called me at work to say they were tearing the house down, and somehow she’d heard I wanted the door. She said she’d walk down there and talk to the workers and I said I’d pay up to $200 for it and I’d come by later to pay and pick it up, if that was alright. When I got home from work that evening, the door was on my front porch. She’d told them my offer, but they wouldn’t take any money for it and they even delivered it to my house (and it’s a heavy door!). And I have lugged it from house to house to house for the past 15 years (5 moves). It’s a charming backdrop for the Christmas tree and to hang the stockings on, and the rest of the year it’s in my bedroom. Whenever I have moved with a moving company (everytime except the last time), the movers are always like, “what is THAT? what are you doing with THAT?”

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Finally, the bench is in its new spot. Now I just need the plants! And to get down on my hands and knees and wrangle those cords into submission and out of sight.

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AFTER-ISH

I’m loving my white jeans way more than I even thought I would. They make every top look instantly more summery.

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Taking a little ice tea break with Janey. It got really hot really fast once I started lugging boxes and that heavy door around!

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What I Wore:

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Cleaning Out My Closet: Spring 2018

Woohoo, exciting stuff here! I’m cleaning out my closet again, taking out (some of ) the winter things and then I’ll bring in the spring/summer things. Not QUITE yet with the spring/summer, because it’s¬†still,¬†incredibly enough, snowing here on Long Island! It¬†should get warmer this week but I’ll believe it when I see it, and when I¬†see it, I’ll move the warm weather items into my closet. But I need to start¬†shopping for warm weather as I can already see items disappearing from the online sites where I shop…and I can’t shop til I make a list of what I need, and I can’t make a list of what I need til I’ve cleaned out my closet! Phew, sometimes it’s tough being me with all my internal rules and such. But it really does help me, doing it this way. And I’m going to explain to you why and how and maybe something can help you, too.

Sorry there aren’t a lot¬† any pictures in this post, because there’s a video. But I’ll explain my routine here in case you don’t want to watch the video (though you should). So here is how I clean out my closet twice a year.

Step 1: Take¬†everything¬†out of the closet. Lay it on the bed or hang it on a rack, but get it¬†out of the closet. If you leave it hanging in the closet it’s much too easy to leave something something there that should really go. Take it out first, so you have to make an effort with it either way, keeping or letting go of.

Step 2: Go through every single item one by one. Don’t go “these are all long-sleeved tees” and pick up a bunch together and hang them back in the closet (or put them back in the drawer). Look at every single thing, touch every single thing. No, I’m not going to ask you if it “sparks joy.” That¬†sounds¬†lovely, but come on. A lot of things don’t spark joy, but they’re still necessary. A bra. A toilet brush. These are not¬†joyful items but I’m not getting rid of them because they have a role in my life.

Also, while you’re touching each item, you’re looking at it. Is it stained, torn, pilly, dingy? Sometimes we look at things without really¬†seeing them. This is the time to see them and really assess their condition.

Step 3: Assess each item.¬†Do you still reach for that item when putting outfits together? Does it have several different items it goes nicely with? If yes, it can stay. If you’re just tired of it and find you never or rarely reach for it, maybe it’s time to let it go so it can be replaced by something you really enjoy. If it’s not in good condition anymore you can donate it. If the condition is good and it’s still reasonably in style, you can donate or sell on any of the online used clothing sites – ebay, depop, swap.com, poshmark, etc.

Step 4: Put all the keepers back. Enjoy your neat closet with breathing room. I love when it’s not packed so tight that there’s no room to slide the hangers on the pole.

Step 5: (and here’s where I sometimes get stuck!) Actually¬†let go of them items you set aside. Bag up the clothes to go to the donation center. For the items you plan to sell, hang them somewhere neatly so¬†they’re not wrinkled and messy in the photos you’ll take. Don’t Be Like Bettye and just pile them up in a corner on a bunch of boxes (for six months. or so.).

Okay. That is my process for cleaning out and getting rid of items. Next week I’ll talk you through how I make up my shopping list so I only buy items that will go with what’s already in my closet. It’s The List that helps me avoid having items in my closet that were purchased on a whim…and then never see the light of day.

And if you want to see the steps in action, watch this video!

Will you be cleaning out your closet this spring? I’d love to hear (or see!) how you make out!

Switching Out My Wardrobe from Summer to Winter

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So, I FINALLY got around to switching out my warm weather wardrobe for cold. We had such a lovely long pleasant Indian summer here on Long Island, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it any earlier even though I’d had to pull an item or two out for the few chillier days…and I had already bought a couple new things (see Fall Haul). The video got so so long as I explained my reasons for leaving this in or taking that out…that I decided to split it into two videos. So, Part 1 is taking out warm weather items…and Part 2 is putting in cold weather items. Ha, it kinda sounds like watching paint dry, but I know I LOVE watching this kind of stuff, so…maybe you will, too!

I’m still working on improving the production quality of my videos. I realize that in my Fall Haul video it got so dark it was practically impossible to tell a black item from a dark green one from a plaid one. My apologies. I’m very aware of the imperfections and will rectify them asap. I begged a good friend to go with me to my storage unit yesterday so we could dig out (among other things) my tub of lighting equipment from my vintage clothing selling days, so hopefully that will be better soon. And I think I’ve resolved the lens focus motor noise.

Meanwhile, I’m still trying to round out my cold weather wardrobe by online shopping like a madwoman…and returning like five things for every one kept – online plus size shopping is a Very Slow Process. But so there will be ANOTHER Fall Haul video soon…I promise not as big as the first!

Thanks so so much for sticking around while I learn the ropes about videoing and YouTube. I appreciate every like and view I get! I hope you’ll watch “Switching Out My Wardrobe from Summer to Winter: Part 1” and give it a thumbs up!

What Am I Going to Wear This Week??

So, THIS is a terrifying thing. I’m sharing my first real vlog with you today. Have patience. Be kind. I was going on the “don’t go live til everything is perfect” model but realized…I will NEVER go live! So here goes, for better or worse…

I know there are some issues. Focus is going in and out. The focusing sound the camera makes is quite loud. I feel like I roll my eyes a lot (ha) and I sound a little nervous. I have to figure these things out. And it *will* get better (dammit).

The video explains my process for putting together a weekly wardrobe, so I don’t waste precious time every morning when I could be sleeping or scrolling through my Instagram. Maybe everybody does this already, but maybe it will help *someone,* and that is my hope. It also talks a bit about how I organize my closet so putting outfits together is easier.

If you enjoy the vlog I hope you will give it a thumbs up and comment and even subscribe. Tell me what you liked and didn’t like about it so I can make future videos more helpful and interesting.

Okay. Here goes nuthin’!!!

Ha ha, nice picture, Bettye! I have to figure out how to make a nice thumbnail!