Seashells and Toilets: One Crazy Easy Hack

Isn’t “hack” simply the new word for “tip”?

That’s what I thought.

I hate hate hate the little plastic things that conceal toilet bolts; I can’t explain it, but they really bug me, and one day I took the plastic off while I was cleaning and it exposed this really gross and obscene looking THANG…

toilet1

…which set my enchanted mind to wonder what I might conjure up to beautify this ugliness, and came up with the BRILLIANT idea of replacing it with a SEASHELL (which fits perfectly, thank you very much) and I’m convinced it’s a great improvement!

toilet2

I daubed a bit of Museum Putty on the underside to hold it in place. I use QuakeHold or Museum Putty to secure lots of things that I don’t want to glue or hot glue.

It doesn’t leave a mark, can be pulled off, cleaned and replaced, maintaining a secure hold.

You should really try this easy DIY — tip — hack — whatev.

And if you have menfolks who can’t aim straight; don’t blame the seashells!toilet3

Pinterest, here I come!

Imperfectly Perfect

perfectly imperfect“All right, all right, all right!”

Time to shake it off; ENOUGH of the stroll down memory lane.

This empty nest mom needs a little therapy.

And SUH-NAP. *snapping fingers*, just like THAT, back to what makes me tick, what gets me all excited.

And I don’t mean tugboat man…he’s still chugging and tugging toward that remote destination…

I’m talking about RETAIL therapy.

SHOPPING!

I’ve been on a roll lately, finding lots of amazing treasures, can’t wait to share them with you!

Everything from Vitamin C cream, trendy little t-shirts from Ross Dress for Less, and that elusive black pump.

And a sparkly bracelet and seashells, too!

It’s not always about thousand dollar Chanel shoes; I get just as excited for a $6.99 shirt!

For the gym with a sports bra; LOVE the message!

We should always do more of what makes us happy, right?

DoMoreshirtAlso from Ross, Vintage Paris tee with red sparkles. I paired it with white skinny jeans and a cherry red cashmere/silk sweater.

Parisshirt

Minus a weirdly shiny face, this is now one of my fave outfits.ParisVintageselfie

A couple miles down the road, I stopped at Marshall’s and loaded up on my FAVE Vitamin C cream by Dead Sea Minerals from Israel. (Make a note: if you can find it, stock up. It’s GREAT.)VitC

Like a magpie, I was attracted to the shine and sparkle of this adorable little bracelet at White House, Black Market. How could I resist?newbraceletsparkle

Since things were going so well, it was time to drive down the 78 to Nordstrom Rack where there are more shoes than anywhere else I’ve shopped. This pair doesn’t hold the same magic as those Chanels, but with an on sale price point of $49.00, they’ll do for a while until the even more perfect shoe appears.blackshoes

They’re not vegan, which gave me pause —  I obviously had a weak moment — which is why I titled this post, “Imperfectly Perfect”.

It’s a constant struggle to follow a cruelty-free life. Some things are easier than others.

blackshoes2Finally, I stopped at my favorite enchanted garden shop, PlantPlay Nursery, came away with a couple kangaroo plants, a butterfly bush, and how could I NOT bring home this AMAZING seashell wreath?

seashellwreathNow if I only could figure out where to hang it…

 What makes YOU happy today?
How are YOU perfectly imperfect or even imperfectly perfect?

Where Fashion and Function Meet and Marry

There’s so much RIGHT with this.

versaceamaretto

…from a marketing standpoint.

…from a branding standpoint.

…a marriage of two MAJOR brands.

…aspirational and inspirational, quenching my thirst on a couple of levels.

Follow along with the way my brain works, OK?

Do you know Lizzi at Considerings?

She very kindly (after I twisted her arm) shared her amazing recipe for Lebkuchen  — a traditional German cookie — that I plan to bake in honor of the homecoming of my esteemed (German) Professor Angel Boy, also known as the boy/man who can eat more food than anyone I’ve ever known — a Guinness World Record contender – which makes baking and cooking for him a total and complete joy.

The frosting calls for Amaretto, something we don’t normally keep stocked in the Enchanted Seashells liquor cabinet.

After a massive shopping excursion at Trader Joe’s, I walked down the sidewalk (in the same shopping center) to BevMo.

I picked up a small bottle of Amaretto (along with a few other items, as long as I was there, ya know.)

In the center of the main aisle, my eye were drawn to a bright blue box — one of those promotional boxes of booze they feature around the holidays usually boasting a value added option like glasses or a shaker.

Wait, hold on a minnie.

This was DeSaronno Amaretto, but a larger bottle than the one I had in hand, and it was packaged with two pretty glasses.

OK, I didn’t really need more glasses that I’d just end up breaking, BUT I do like a bonus.

Chanel notwithstanding, I am a thrifty gal.

Upon closer inspection, the final affirmation of purchasing perfection was my realization (in slo mo) that the amaretto bottle itself was DRESSED IN VERSACE.

DRESSED IN GIANNI VERSACE.  amaretto11

Picture me doing a double take.

Wha?

Yes! Yes! Yes! A DESIGNER CLOTHED BOTTLE OF BOOZE!

(And only a few dollars more than the naked/undressed/unadorned bottle and THAT satiated my price point.)

Oh HELL YES, I said to myself as I grabbed it off the shelf.

SEASHELLS AND CHERUBS.amareatto16

I’m all verklempt, fanning myself with my shopping list.

OY. VEY.

Come to MOMMA.

A perfect marriage, a perfect union of form and function.amaretto10

A truly  brilliant marketing design.

hello kitty

Water bottle and iron on patch.

I haven’t been THIS excited since my son sent me a water bottle from Yale that featured Hello Kitty.

At the time, I thought THAT was the pinnacle of marketing heaven.

Backstory: Versace and I have a sad history.

When tugboat man and I were newly married, his father and stepmother gave me a Christmas present in a beautiful brilliantly white Versace bag with the iconic lion. Read all about my disappointment HERE @
Lesson #1. Never do this to your daughter-in-law. Ever.

The only Versace I own is that white bag.

Up until now, that is.

Now I have a stylishly dressed up bottle of booze.

Life is good, y’all!

P.S. I have the world’s worst in laws — world’s WORST. The Versace bag incident was the tip of the iceberg. It’s been downhill ever since. I have NO IDEA how my tugboat man turned into such a wonderful, loving, caring human with ‘rents like that. Truth.

Sad Seashell Sunday

sad seashell faceWithout my tugboat man.

He’s STILL not home — possibly not until the endif October or beginning of November, which means he’ll have been gone nearly two months.

Sheesh. Instead of gone girl, he’s my gone guy.

My yesterday was accident-prone; chock full of injuries.

Alll in separate events, I broke the third toe on my right foot, a toe I’ve broken several times before, sprained my left wrist, the same one I broke last year, cut my left hand, and poked my right arm with the tip of a nasty agave, which feels like being stabbed with a hot knife. :(

Nothing major and at least it all seems to be balanced —  both sides equally wounded.

So it looks like I’m taking it easy today. Cleaning out drawers, organizing, and listening to Sinatra and Ella.

BTW, I’d like to extend an enthusiastic “HELLO, friends!” to my readers from the far reaches of the globe — I guess you could say the entire universe  –  from Kansas to Sao Paolo to Colchester to Mountain View(!) to Saint-jean-d’angely, Poitou-Charentes, and India, Pakistan, South Africa, Texas, Brazil, Sweden, Australia, tons of you guys from Canadaxoxo, Fiji, Czech Republic, Germany (danke!), Bosnia, Hungary, and Indonesia, just about every state in the United States, along with a special “hollz beeyotches!” to y’all from my home state of Cali.

UPDATE: Chinwags and Tittle-Tattles frowned and shook her perfectly manicured finger at me for failing to give proper mention to my many lovely, tea drinking, special readers from the UK, the United Kingdom, my brilliant British buddies. Now y’all MUST visit her blog and let her know that I’ve righted the unintentional  wrong!

And that’s just today! What a small world, don’t know how I’ll fit y’all in but here goes:

********** Welcome to Casa de Enchanted Seashells *********

Just in case you really didn’t believe me that our home is saturated with seashells, join me on a tour, starting at the foyer.

Come on it! (But take your shoes off first.)

shelldecor2

The mirror took a long time to get exactly right, but it’s one of my best projects.

Now we’re on the first level.

shell decor1

Hmm, pics a bit wonky, I’ll fix ’em right now.

Nothing here but the formal living room that no one ever uses.
Heading up the stairs, seashells lead the way.

I love my DIY Seashell Bouquet, don’t you?

shelldecor3

 The personal princess spa with seashells lining the walls,
because of course.

bathroom1Close up of the one and only princess mermaid bench.
Tugboat man crafted the bench and I embellished.

flowery mermaid bench

OK, that’s enough. I need my privacy, y’all!

Cleaning leads me to thinking about my mom — we loved to clean together, and she LOVED Old Blue Eyes, and even saw him in person when she was a young teen.

If she were alive, she’d be 100 years old in 2015.

She could sing along (just to annoy me) to all of his tunes; before she died, she especially loved “It Was a Very Good Year”

But I loves me some Ella. “A Sunday Kind of Love”

 

Here’s hoping you enjoy a happy and accident-free Sunday.

 

He Could Have Been a Serial Killer

Was I crazy to invite a man from the virtual world of blogging into our home?

Not a meet-up in a coffee shop; not at a public location where it’s safe, where we could arrive and depart without fear of being followed.

I didn’t even blink when I shared our address with this “friend”.

His online photo could have been fake; his writing just a ploy to lure a naive female to let down her guard and welcome him with open arms.

But there had to be trust on his end too, right?

He didn’t know what he was walking into — literally. He may have never been heard from again.

As it is, I think he could possibly be forever traumatized by the sheer number of seashells strewn on every shelf, adhering to most walls…

seashell mirror

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He could have been a serial killer — to parrot my mom, who always cautioned me not to be too trusting, not to get into cars with strangers — you know, mom-speak.

My mom died long before the world of the internet connected those of us who might never have had their paths cross.

Although we didn’t know him at the time, this young man attended the same university as my son, and yes, we were probably only rows away from each others’ families on graduation day, but the internet facilitates these exact types of serendipitous human bridges.

So, on one of the hottest days of the year, the Jester himself, writer extroidanaire at The Matticus Kingdom (you really should follow his blog!) stopped by Casa de Enchanted Seashells to spend the afternoon with me and my tugboat man where I obnoxiously tried to stuff him full of food (Jewish mom syndrome).

Oh, and he’s a published author as well, with Fauxpocalypse: a collection of short fiction about the end of the world that wasn’t–available on Amazon.

There was lively conversation on all fronts and I can’t wait ’til he’s back in the area with his lovely wife and the Little Prince.

Nope, not a serial killer, but an awesome guy!

You were wrong this time, Mom!


Have you ever invited a stranger into your home? Was it a good or bad experience?

A Quietly Enchanting Rainy Day in Southern California

A rainy morning…RAIN! YAY!

Cleaning up after tugboat man’s all time favorite.breakfast, buckwheat pancakes with blueberries.

Isn’t this perfect?

Of course I embellished it with shells.

enchantedmermaidIt’s on metal, that’s why there’s a bit of a glare.
I got it from my new favorite online store:
California Seashell Company

Is There Anything Better Than Shopping?

That is NOT a rhetorical question. Or is it?

Duh, whatever, the answer is a resounding “NO!” unless it’s being the recipient of a gift…or multiple gifts sent by an absentee husband.

I realize that most of the time I’m talking to YOU as if you know all about ME, and for those that aren’t familiar with the backstory, here’s a brief overview…I’m really and truly the wife of a tugboat captain, a professional mariner, a proud member of the Merchant Marine.

He goes out to sea and I stay home. And shop. And clean. And glue seashells. And shop. And go to the gym. And did I already say shop?

I am an unashamed shopaholic.

And while there’s really nothing better than a daylong shopping spree, finding a box of treasures delivered by my friendly postman is equally exciting.

While I’ve been caring for my son and helping his recovery from emergency life-saving surgery and then discovering that the sparkles in my left eye were due to a retinal tear, not diamonds or rhinestones even (so unfair) —  my tugboat captain husband had to leave and go out to sea.

Yup, he left me and to add insult to injury, he departed ON MY BIRTHDAY.  At least he had the foresight to take me shopping at Bloomingdales before he left so that I could pick out my special birthday gift, a pair of Chanel sunglasses that I LOVE LOVE LOVE.

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Because he was unable to be here for the laser surgery to repair my torn retina (fingers crossed that it was a success) as he’s in the middle of one of our oceans (can’t say where exactly), but he had a couple of hours in a foreign port (can’t say which one) and what did he do with his free time? He bought his Princess Rosebud a whole bunch of presents ‘cos he knows how to bring a smile to my face and a sparkle (not that kind) to my eye!

You can kinda tell that he’s somewhere beachy, somewhere maybe hot and possibly Pirates of the Caribbean-y?

Pretty silvery wrapping paper, but it just made it that much harder to get to the treasures. I ripped ’em apart like a wild animal…giftbagmess

First things first. Hard-working hub combed the beach “somewhere” for these seashells. A couple of them broke, but I appreciate the effort. Broken shells are better than no shells at all. jshells

Jewelry!!! You can never have too much, right? One butterfly bracelet in happy oh-so-bright colors. This will look gorg with a maxi dress and a sexy suntan, don’t you agree?

btrflybrace

The more the merrier is the way my hub thinks. Check out this dragonfly  bracelet. Think white skinny jeans, a skimpy top, and cork wedges. Oh, and a fruity cocktail. Maybe two…dragonflybracelet

 

braceletsideContinuing with THAT logic, if one pair of earrings is good, four is much better, right? Do you have the feeling that they were possibly on sale? Hmmm, no worries, I love them all!

They are all mother-of-pearl and various shells. ADORABLE!
earrings1 earrings2 earrings3 earrings4

Now it’s time to resume being Cinderella and scrub the floors…my tugboat man is on the final leg of his assignment and should be home at Casa de Enchanted Seashells before the 15th. Yay!

 

 

In Which Princess Rosebud Gets Her Groove Back.

As in shopaholic heaven.

As in a daylong shopping frenzy.

On a roll, guys. On a friggin’ roll.

The sun is shining, the sky is blue, the birdies are singing.

Picture me sitting cross-legged on the floor, surrounded by bags and boxes and fresh crackly tissue paper. It’s Christmas in May!

I hope you are as snappy happy as I am that I haven’t lost my touch.

It’s been so long since I spent a solid day doing nothing but shopping — and I’m proud to say that I was firing on all cylinders, whatever THAT means.

I whipped out the plastique so fast there were tendrils of smoke swirling from its little slot in my (Chanel) wallet.

Must haves, every single one.

The only dark spot in an otherwise stellar day was a grave situation with the rack of undergarments at Kohl’s.

Simply put…a 32A bra should not be situated anywhere near a 42G bra on any rack at any store. And stop laughing at me. It was traumatic.

This is merely an observation from someone less — uh — ahem– less endowed.

Here’s the story: I was searching through the racks of sale bras at Kohl’s  –  and this is just a random thought…but could someone PLEASE organize them so that the 32A bras are not ALL lovingly nestled inside the 42G brassieres? There’s a whole world of sizes in between those two ends of the pectoral scale. Geez, it’s embarrassing enough to seek out the teeny tiny size I wear, but to be overshadowed by a brassiere that will eventually embrace two proudly gigantic mammary glands is almost more than I can bear…Those ginormous over-the-shoulder-boulder-holders were taunting me, I swear it. Taunting me!!! [sobbing now]

Ahh, but even THAT couldn’t dampen my spirits!

Today was a great day, my friends, a great day!

It all started with the seashells. Aren’t these enchanted?

newbottles

Michael’s had a sale. These guys were 50% off! Yippee!
Seashells are the best, right?shellbottleThat’s when I strolled over to Kohl’s in search of a new spoon rest; I didn’t find that, but look what was on sale! (Oh, and I did finally locate a couple of miniature brassieres, thank you very much.)

My super favorite brand of work out shoes —  Asics — and half the price that I paid a few months ago at Footlocker, so of course I needed twice the shoes — four shoes for the price of two!  Such a deal!

asics

Since I was totes feeling it, I stopped at the Carlsbad Premium Outlets and Cole Haan. These lightweight beauties were hiding in the secret back room clearance area. Did you know that most Cole Haan shoes boast concealed Nike Air technology? These do too, and are soooo comfy. Originally in the $200.00 range, my final price was $69.00 Cha-ching!

  • Heritage weave detailing on vamp straps. (LOVE the word “vamp”)
  • Jute-wrapped detail at midsole.
  • Stacked platform and wedge heel.

colehaaan

Another shopaholic in Cole Haan was wearing the most adorable sandals so of course I asked her where she purchased them after I complimented her excellent taste in footwear and to my surprise and delight, she pointed right around the corner at Nine West. As soon as I completed my purchase at CH, I scurried over to NW. Could you just DIE? These are the mostest totes adorbs; could be my favorite sandal EVER. Can you make out the sparkles? Sigh.

sandalsAt another store, can’t even remember the name of it ‘cos I was on a M-I-S-S-I-O-N,  y’all, I stocked up on discounted Kiehl’s. It was at that point I wished I had someone with me to carry all my bags, or at least another arm or two.

The new Kate Spade store was open and really crowded. I tried on a couple of cute dresses, but nothing spoke to me in a demanding tone of voice, so I left with nothing, but that’s OK, too.

I’m resting up for tomorrows adventure, my favorite Nordstrom Outlet!

I’m Happy, Happy, Happy!

 

Best Christmas Decorations EVER-Haters, Line Up! Yoo Hoo, Pinterest, I’m Calling YOU!

 I hope you enjoy a repeat of one of my most clicked on posts of 2012 while I spend a little time with my tugboat man and my son, Angel Boy.
…..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     

It was last year that I was inspired by other topnotch decorators who so kindly blogged about their DIY Christmas tree masterpieces.

In fact, I was so inspired and so thrilled to be stuck here all alone for the millionth time during the holidays that I created a masterpiece of my own, just for you, my loving internet family.

As I looked around my house, the elliptical seemed like it had the best “bones” to adorn.

Plus, it had a ready-made beverage holder!

I didn’t have any Maxi-pads or other feminine hygiene products–‘cos THAT ship has sailed–if you know what I mean. (Hey cool, a nautical reference jauntily tossed in. Damn, I’m good!)

I added a toilet paper garland, a couple of Sophie Kinsella novels, two glittery seashell ornaments, a bottle of wine in the beverage holder, a white plastic poinsettia, a few EMPTY gift bags, and a festive plush Hello Kitty toy.

You can’t really see it very good, but there’s a chocolate bar too, which I don’t have to share with anyone! I’m such a lucky girl! This is the best use I’ve found for the elliptical. Hanging freshly ironed shirts hanging on it is a close second.

Now you can carry on with your day; just take a moment to let it all sink in.

The moral of the story is that it might not be a good idea to leave Princes Rosebud alone for long periods of time.

Don’t HATE…Emulate.

Decorated for Christmas elliptical

Property of Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife

decorated elliptical

Property of Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife