Monday, November 29, 2010

30 Chic Days - Day Twenty Nine

Day 29: Use your good stuff

If there's nothing else you take from 30 Chic Days please take this: use and wear your favourite everythings. Last year when I was drying myself after a shower I wondered why, when we had beautiful new organic cotton towels which we had received as wedding gifts, was I using a towel that while being 'good enough', I had zigzagged along the edges to halt the fraying.

Immediately that day I sorted through our linen cupboard, downgrading those towels to gym towels and gym towels to cleaning towels. Now we have a lovely selection of thick, fluffy towels in shades of white, cream and chocolate, and it didn't cost a cent as we already owned them.

With clothing, I periodically downgrade going out/to work clothes to home loungewear, and beyond that it is given to a thrift store if it's still in good nick and I just don't like (or fit) it, or cut up into rags for cleaning if a little threadbare. That means I only wear my favourite, newest and nicest clothing.

One thing I never hoard are beautiful soaps. Everyone I know knows that I love good soap, and I often receive it as a gift. Additionally I always scan a sale table at the chemist or places like L'Occitane, and check out markets with handmade soaps. And of course I always stick the last tiny piece to the new bar. I don't like to waste lovely soaps.

Also, I use all my good dishes and glasses. Last year in my decluttering fit, I got rid of my clunky everyday dinner set and used my two good ones (plain white, and white with a dark-Greek-blue inch-wide rim) which I alternate and inter-change. I also enjoy using our Krosno expensive wine glasses. I put them in the dishwasher too.

The soap pictured top and above is a gift from Adrienne from The Rich Life (on a budget). Adrienne is one of the most thoughtful, kind-hearted and generous personages in the blogosphere. She posted me from California to New Zealand a gift package which included a bag of Vanilla Cookie flavoured dog treats for rescued poodle Atlas, and some 40th birthday goodies for myself.

Unfortunately our border security confiscated Atlas' American dog treats. He can't really argue with biosecurity though; he respects what they do, but it's a shame they didn't get here.

What did arrive safely here was a divinely scented Sonoma Lavender soap, a gauzy bag filled with lavender, beautiful boutique chocolate and the piece de resistance, purchased-in-Paris '40 and sexy' sign in French. It now graces our fridge. Adrienne bought it for herself, and once she turned 41 took it down and it has been tucked away for a year or two. How lovely that she thought to pass it along. I vow to do the same when I leave 40 for the lush pastures of 41.

The dark chocolate, oh my goodness. It was amazing (and I hope I don't use that word lightly). It was just the ticket with a cup of steaming tea of an evening.

Below is Atlas keenly opening the parcel at work. He's a handy little dog with a Stanley knife.

Merci beaucoup Adrienne!


  1. What lovely surprises for you and Atlas. And how sweet and thoughtful of Adrienne.

    I use our good stuff daily. I didn't use to--saved the wedding china for special dinners, used the everyday silverware instead of the pretty ones, etc. I can't remember when I stopped doing this. But it was a combination of French sensibilties melding with minimalist practicalities--why not enjoy what is beautiful and why own more than I am going to use?

  2. Happy birthday! I loved 40!
    By the way, Atlas has made me crazy for a dog just like him. Adorable.

  3. Thank you, Fiona.

    You are so kind to mention my parcel. That picture is adorable of Atlas! I am saving it to my photo cache. And I love that you put the "40 et sexy" sign on the fridge. I'm glad it's finally getting some attention after being buried in a drawer for so long.

    I am becoming better about using my "good" things - like my good place mats and napkins and wine glasses. But I still never use my wedding china because I am worried I'll break a piece. It's antique and the pattern is very hard to find - I know from past experience. Someday I'll be brave enough to give it another go.

    Have a wonderful day. Give Atlas a pat on the head for me.


  4. How sweet of Adrienne to send you that surprise package!

    I used to save best for only special occasions but I use them daily now...I think if one does nothing else this point is key to enjoying our daily round.

    I see this is #29...I'd like this theme to go on much's part of my daily routine.

    Thank you again Fiona,

  5. The Spanish teacher, a Cuban refugee, told us one day in the teachers' lounge at my school, "Use your good stuff every day. You never know when the revolution is coming!". He had to leave his belongings behind when he fled Castro Cuba.

  6. Vintage Dreamer, clearly you are just naturally French. You have described the perfect thought pattern in one (your last) sentence.

    Kristi, thank you! Atlas is just as adorable in the fur as well.

    Adrienne, thank you again. I forgot to mention the cute ribbon on the outside of the wrapping. I thought it was funny imagining the biosecurity people carefully unwrapping around it.

    I don't blame you not using your antique wedding china every day. It will make it more special when you use it on occasions like Christmas, wedding anniversary, birthdays etc.

    Hostess, yes, 30 days is almost up. Probably just as well. I have been going to bed far past my time, writing my posts each evening. I need to start taking my own advice.

    Dot, you always have the best comments! I love your Cuban colleague's comment. It puts everything into perspective. We are lucky to live in democratic countries.

  7. Oh I am terrible for keeping things for best but I'm trying to change

  8. I also use all of my good stuff on a daily basis - why wait!!

    That was very sweet of Adrienne to send you such a lovely parcel!

    Much love to you! xxoo :)

  9. using the good things that I own.. very nice tip!
    but I seem to have this mental block where I have trouble using the good stuff that I own because then once it's used up I won't have it any more..
    I guess I am kind of a hoarder in that way...
    would you just say to suck it up and use my favorite everythings?

  10. I am a firm believer of using the best things you have... Your dog is so cute! He and Gatsby would be great friends :)

  11. I always save things, too. Especially shoes and clothes...b/c I'm afraid that they will get dirty...I realize how ridiculous that is. What exactly am I saving them for? Thanks for the tip. I will definitely be using those new sandals that have been sitting in their box for over a year as soon as summer comes.

  12. i like the idea of using the good stuff daily. excellent.

    adrienne is so very sweet to have sent you such a darling bday present. she is just as you described. i love the little sign. the blog world is amazing.



Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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