What does Chanel and a moral dilemma have in common?

Here’s the story…

I found an adorable pair of Chanel CC logo earrings on Amazon, not real, but “replica” and so sparkly that I purchased them. I don’t normally go for fake anything but these looked a lot like my real Chanel logo necklace, and I thought what the heck, I’ll just return them if they’re not great, plus I lose earrings so often that I’d be totally freaked out if I lost one that cost hundreds of dollars.

The delivery tracking number wasn’t working so I messaged the seller. She immediately responded, said things were unfortunately delayed and she was very sorry, issued a refund, and told me if they did arrive, keep them as a gift from her.

Well…two days late — today — they DID arrive and they are even more sweet than I had imagined.

What would you do?

Here’s what I did: I emailed the seller, told her I received them, and asked her to either give me an address so I could send a check OR re-charge my card.

Again, she responded promptly:

I am very sorry for the delay of the package,
So you don’t have to pay, you can keep it,
thanks.
GOOD DAY,

Here they are. I never expected to receive such an awesome gift, but I feel much better about keeping the earrings knowing that I offered to pay and she still wants me to keep them!

The earrings look perfect with my (real) Chanel necklace.

Would you have tried to pay or would you have not bothered to make the effort based on the first email?

Of course this wasn’t a life altering moral dilemma, just one of those medium-sized quandaries that pop up in our lives on a daily basis to test our character.

DIY: Embellishing the Ordinary

When I’m sad or melancholy, I shop. When I’m happy, I shop. It’s an all purpose panacea that works for me, no matter what. They don’t call it retail therapy for nothing.

I was out and about browsing in all my usual haunts from Ross to TJ Maxx to the Rack.

I didn’t find much except for a pair of Laura Ashley slippers. I love to wear slippers; I have a closet full of them from animal print to sequin-studded to a couple pairs of Hello Kitty slippers that were gifts. I don’t have any babouches, those flat Moroccan slippers, but I have mostly every other style.

I brought home these pillow-soft, ballet-pink slippers and determined that something was missing. They’re super soft and comfortable but they needed some enchanted style embellishment to become perfect.

The white bow didn’t work for me. It seems to me that Laura Ashley could have really taken it up to another level if they had given it a bit more thought.

I removed the bows and drove to a fabric store.

I was thinking about a pompom to look like a little bunny, but then I spied a fabric flower with a rhinestone center. I had to have it.

Luckily, there were two, so I brought them home. Even more fortuitous for me is that they already had a pin mechanism on the back so I can take them off when I throw the slippers into the washing machine.

HAPPINESS!

After I attached the flowers, I was feeling satisfied with myself and I know I’m a little strange, but I felt like a princess walking (still limping) through the house with my adorable slippers.

In fact, I love them so much, I created a little photo sesh with different backgrounds. Definitely fit for royalty.

On animal print.
On a soft and furry blanket.
Draped in pearls and gems.

Low cost fun for me. Slippers: $7.99
Flowers: $8.00 for the pair as they were on sale.

My joy: priceless, because I’m easy to please.

Embellishing the ordinary is my special talent. There is beauty all around.

LOVE!

“Chanel Time, Grandma!”

We have our routine, Charlotte and I.

I bring out the creams, powder, and a special bottle of Chanel perfume.

Charlotte climbs on the bed and we commence our spa day. Self-care can’t begin too early!

“Let’s start with the powder” I say,

“Just a tiny pinch, right Grandma?”

“That’s right, Char.”

“Come closer.” She takes the powder and pats it on my neck with tiny hands as soft as velvety down.

“Do you too, Char!”

“Just a pinch more for Charlotte”, as she mirrors the same exact patting motion on her own neck.

“Now cream for cheeks, right?”

“Here you go, but not too much.”

“Not TOO much, Grandma.”

She rubs it all over my cheeks and forehead.

Time grinds to a complete stop as there is nothing in the world more precious than being pampered by a little girl not yet two, who takes my face in both of her baby hands and ever-so-delicately and deliberately slathers my face in enough cream for a week’s worth of moisturizing.

“There you go, Grammy.”

“Me turn.” And Char again replicates the second part of this very important grooming process.

“NOW time for CHANEL!”

Excitedly, she opens the bottle, smells the heavenly fragrance, and dips in the stick.

“Pull up sleeves, Grandma.”

I pull up my sleeves and she swipes a few drops on my wrist, motioning me to rub my wrists together to evenly disperse the perfume, as I taught her.

After she does the same for herself and her stuffed flamingo, we’re ready to start our day.

“Come on Grammy, let’s go to the park!”

You got it, Char. Wherever you want to go, my girl.

For a Princess-in-Training

How could anyone resist this sparkly butterfly shirt and frilly tutu?

Not me, that’s for sure.

I can’t wait to send this to the one and only Angel Girl 2.0 and watch her twirl.

There’s not much else going on in SoCal on this quiet Sunday.

PS I kinda wish they had this in MY size so I could feel like a princess ballerina, too.

DIY: Sewing a Chelsea Collar

I found these three adorable dresses for Angel Girl at our local resale shop. I brought them home to wash, disinfect, and iron.

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But something was missing. They needed an embellishment to become perfection. The kitty cat dress didn’t seem to need it, but the other two did.

They needed a collar! While Peter Pan collars add a modern yet retro vintage touch, in order to be called a Peter Pan type, it would need rounded edges. What I created is more of a “Chelsea” collar with pointed edges.

This was a fun and easy project. I downloaded a free template and then I had a brilliant thought. To make this project even easier, I could simply cut out and attach different types of lace. This would keep the actual sewing to a minimum; no fabric, no turning of the collar. EASY!

I went to Jo-Anns and found the right material to complement both dresses. Thrifty girl that I am, each piece cost about two dollars.

The next step: Cut out and pin the collars to the dress. Make sure to allow enough room to turn/sew the raw ends under.

Finally, sew the collar to the dress at the neck. It can be done by machine or by hand. This time I used my sewing machine. I have a very old machine and it needs a tune up as it’s acting up a bit, but since it weighs about fifty pounds, I haven’t wanted to fight with it to bring to the repair shop.

This is the finished product. I added the contrast of narrow blue satin ribbon and a bow.

I love this one too. The eyelet lace perfectly enhances this bright and beautiful party dress. With Char’s titian hair, it will look AMAZING.

Now I’m searching in my own closet for a dress that needs an embellishment because I’m obsessed with collars!

Dragons and Pearls

I love jewelry boxes. I love them so much that I wanted to pass on the sweet tradition and sent baby Char a ballerina musical jewelry box fit for a princess that plays a tune from Swan Lake. Char wore a rainbow colored tutu for Halloween, so it’s definitely this Grandma’s job to nurture an early appreciation for dance.

It turned out that she loved it so much (and so did Theo) that I had to send him one too, only his featured characters that twirl around from Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s The Little Prince and plays Mozart’s Eine Klene Nachtmusik. It’s about the right time for him to read that book, too.

I also found a new one for me (of course), and it’s better in real life than the photos portrayed on Amazon. The green is truly a beautiful background for the gold dragon. This one doesn’t play music but I have another one that does, so I’m content.

Now we’re all happily playing with our new boxes…a thousand miles away from each other.

Unalome

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I don’t have any tattoos; it’s not really my thing, but if I ever did get one, it might this design.

In the Buddhist culture, the unalome symbol represents the path to enlightenment. The spirals are meant to symbolize the twists and turns in life and the straight lines represent the moment one reaches enlightenment or peace and harmony. The dots at the end of the symbol represent death.

Unalomes have been depicted for thousands of years in Buddhist art (the stone spires outside of the temple Wat Bang Phra), but the place that they’re most commonly seen today is as skin art. I read some people think it’s disrespectful or an act of cultural appropriation to replicate this design, so that’s something to consider.

I’ve edited this post because I forgot something! Although I was/am a drone mom (more intense than a helicopter mom lol), when my son was in high school, he apparently was able to elude me for a couple hours and came home with a crude, homemade tattoo. Notwithstanding the fact that he was a 4.8 student, he didn’t think he might be a candidate for blood poisoning (silly boy) and I was SO angry with him. That was pretty much his only rebellious episode, so he didn’t get in too much trouble. His tattoo? “SK8”, because he was a skateboarder, and it was right where you could see it every day, exactly where a watch would be. For years, I teased him with “What time is it?” And he’d take a look at his wrist and respond, “Time to skate.”

When it was time to be a grown adult, get his PhD and have a real job, he got tired of wearing long sleeved shirts and had it lasered off. It took twenty years, but he finally admitted it was not his finest decision.

If you have a tattoo, what is it?

 

 

 

 

The Fine Art of Healing with Retail Therapy

Frivolous or not, the re-opening of Nordstrom Rack sent waves of happiness through every cell of my body.

Today was almost like a pre-Covid day, with the exception of mandatory mask-wearing.

(I started sewing some Chanel and Dior masks; look for that DIY post soon.)

My day began at Homegoods where I found an adorable beaded basket for $7.99.

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I moved to TJ Maxx, where I purchased these amazing summery earrings ($9.99) and a skateboarding dinosaur t-shirt for Angel Boy 2.0.

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At Nordstrom Rack (yay, they’re open again!) I couldn’t resist these Sam Edelman Passion Red Velvet Dot Tulle heels. I might not have anywhere to wear them right now, but they are SOO me. They’re a bit pricier than my other items; on clearance, right around $50.

I LOVE doing photo shoots with shoes and jewels. It’s so much fun, especially balancing that one shoe.

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But my shopping joy didn’t stop there! Marshalls is next to the Rack. I walked up and down every single aisle and that’s where I discovered this gorgeous handpainted mandala glass bowl (I’m fascinated by receptacles). I couldn’t stop snapping pics! It’s embellished inside and out, glowing in the late afternoon sunlight. Also $7.99, unbelievable. How could I resist?

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It was a thoroughly satisfying and mentally healthy day, the best kind of retail therapy, and it doesn’t always have to be a pricey Chanel to bring pleasure.

UPDATE: While I was out, Governor Newsom ordered a new shutdown, so it seems as if it’s possible that stores and malls will once again be closed. I’m grateful I was able to experience a few hours of normalcy.