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Consignment. A beautiful thing indeed. So to start the year, it’s important to cleans! Rid yourself of the ‘stuff’ that clutters and make a precious home for the things you’ll keep. Not only will it help Zen your living space, but you’ll feel good about your donations and rid yourself of the items you frankly just don’t and haven’t needed in some time.

{this is not to say I don’t have faith in you and your (as well as my own) New Year’s Resolution to lose those last few “lbs” and make those jeans work like they did 5 years ago, but let’s just cut our losses and keep the ones that fit 3 years ago hmm?}

Anyway, things to think about when ‘getting rid of’ old stuff are: consignment, goodwill, and family! Not necessarily in that order, but if your immediate family doesn’t want it, and you accidentally still have the tags on (guilty) but it’s obviously something you don’t want, get a buck for it! Heck even if it’s been worn once or twice, why not replenish the retail funds, then pass it on to your neighbor or better yet those truly in need. My new love for consignment can be attributed to the following philosophy:

You loved it, so you bought it. You somehow or another didn’t end up wearing it, or wore it 1/2x and loved it then but you’re over it. OR it’s not in style anymore and not to be ‘vain’ but you just don’t feel good in it – SO consign it. If you enjoyed it once, it did it’s job, you feel good about cleaning, feel good about ‘donating’ or selling it off in good condition to a place where someone else will benefit from it so that feels good, then you get a couple bucks that were unexpected (another win) and head to ‘treat yourself’ to another top because heck, this is unexpected income right?

The way I see it, the cycle continues, and all stages lead to your happiness, so at the end of the day – win or lose a few bucks – you are happy and the loss can be attributed to an enjoyable and cleansing experience all around.

Am I right, or am I right? These are a few of my favorite shops to consign/buy on a low budget!

1 – The Attic, Bethlehem, PA

2 – Backward Glances, Red Bank, NJ

3 – Summit Antiques, Summit, NJ

4 – GreenFlea Market, Manhattan, NY

Consignments, Antiques, & Markets are my loves! If I had a ‘dream destination(s)’ that kept me within the country, I’d say these are about accurate:

Nearby…Golden Nugget Antique Market
Not so nearby…New England area Flea Markets
Definitely not nearby…Countrywide Antique Tour
The things you find at these places are not only unique items that may or may not have taught you how to haggle, but they tell a story! It’s been proven that keeping sentimental items around as the decor for your home or picking up useful items on such trips, can lead to happiness for life as your Zen continues to feed off of itself and your memories. Forget the scrapbook photos you check out once in a blue moon: How about that mortar and pestle you picked up in Puerto Rican at a market? Or that silly suitcase you found at an estate sale in your hometown that you just so happen to actually use to head into the city <>. You catch my drift, happy thrifting!

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eclectic photo sources

<3jb

It’s good to be home after the trip of pure bliss through Boston, SF, Denver and back to Newark, but I’m not finished yet! My Starbuck’s City Mug Collection is well on its way, & my mental health, thrived these past few weeks during my NJ/SF staycation glory. Exploring with my feet (hiking), palate (diverse cuisine!), & spending time with great friends and loved ones throughout. The joy of the holidays and work hiatus ecstasy simply cannot be put into words. But for you? I’ll try!

Landing down latenight, & it was time for this EST biological clock to hit the sack. Followed by days of hiking, great cultural meals native to SF and Persia, yes Persia, left me content and the fitness balance kept me from being too pleasantly plump post-holidays if you catch my drift. Mount Tam (pronounced, Tamal-pius NOT Ta-mal-país as some Spanish woman might have confused) has got to be one of the most beautiful and simple mountains in the country. Not that I have scaled many, but you’re driving along in Marin, SF and the next thing you know you’re in this breathtaking place just right around the corner from a big noisy city. Need I say more? The northern region of California, has this gorgeous balance of city, nature, and community & is nothing short of one of the most desirable places to live in the entire country. I’ll let the pictures below speak for themselves, but before I do, I’ll say this: “Oops” if I end up there before I’m 30. Now there’s just this simple matter of kidnapping my family, slipping them an ambient and driving 3,000 miles before they can turn back and head home. Shh, don’t tell.

our hike

up Mt. Tam

stopping to smell the roses (or redwoods)

venturing to see the city

filled with such character

built with fervor

& adorned with stunning views

& whimsical spirit

we grabbed a bite

& a bud

to watch the sun set

on a most epic and enjoyable day!

So, although I was gone for a week, this about sums it up. Ringing in the New Year, of which I wish you a Happy One, I can’t think of a more special and unique treat from the norm! Next stop, DisneyWorld. Don’t worry work, I won’t be jet-setting forever! Much to my chagrin my wondrous travel dreams will require a steady stream of sales income, so they were right: work hard, play hard.

❤ la di da, & she’s off to explore!

SFO here she comes! Not until after a stop off in Boston, though, a city to which I’ve never been but will be glad to say I’ll grab a meal in! I am sorry again for my absence but with all the hustle and bustle of the Christmas Season I’m sure you can forgive me, won’t you? ‘Tis the season to be giving, so I’ll bundle in forgiving and thank you in advance for understanding. We had quite the holiday in my Holmdel abode, with family and loved ones and little miss penny girl to boot. Speaking of boots, check out the new Corso Como, Nordstrom boot I was gifted this season. Can we say In.Love.

I am blessed to be the receiver of this fantastic and vibrant comforter as well! This season I will keep cozy and hope to do so in style 😉

Anthropologie, Albertine Quilt

What did you GET or GIFT this holiday season that you are in love with? How was your holiday spent and what was your most memorable moment!

This year was one that built character and strength within my family, so as we venture into the New Year, and decide on resolutions and goals alike, I can’t help but stop and appreciate all that I and we have accomplished this past year! With everything changing for better and for worse as the years go on, I contemplate all of the big moves both figuratively and literally, that are yet to come. Geographically, Financially, Emotionally, Personally, Professionally – there is such potential and opportunity among all for growth and influence that I don’t know if I can even plan resolutions fit for all. So I will take a step back, and help myself focus on just one concept that can be applied to all. put happiness first. If a job, a lifestyle, a location, or personal decision does not in some way shape or form lead to happiness, then it’s a no-go. That’s not to say there won’t be stress, and challenge, and obstacle to be overcome, but ultimately the end result should indeed be happiness, shouldn’t it? Life is a journey as we know and so much comes and goes including relationships with friends and loved ones as well as career ambitions and pursuits. I am a firm believer in adapting, and finding happiness throughout!

So, I know this post has been a bit of a digression, but that’s what comes with the territory. My natural ideas and though progressions for the taking, or reading in this case. I hope you do enjoy and ponder, light-heartedly of course, and inevitably come up with your own philosophies for the New Year and beyond!

Well, we’re nearly boarding, I’m off to Boston! Maybe I’ll have a little Tea Party of my own while I wait for my transfer flight, or get into a bar fight with some “Red Sawx” fans! GO YANKS!

<3jb

Can we say baked brie!

Just a little secret from someone who loves you – BAKE BRIE, DO IT NOW. This has go to be the most popular, most delicious, most simple party gift you ever contribute to a good holiday shindig. I have included the recipe this time for you and I have got to say I impress myself with the minimal steps I have provided to show how simple this actually is! Please make this for your next party and tell me how many people rave about how delicious and ‘unique’ it is!

Ingredients:

Pillsbury Crescent Role

Jam Preserves (personal preferences come into play here! I recommend Rasberry & Apricot)

Brie (prices and sizes vary as per preference as well)

L.O.V.E.

Procedure: 10 minutes preparation, 10 minutes baking 400°

Roll out the dough flat on the counter (flour or the matte side of tin foil might help)

Place the brie in the center, or angled depending on how you want to wrap the cheese 

Put the jam on top of the brie (no need to spread & try not to let it fall off the top of the brie)

Wrap all nicey nicey and make sure there aren’t holes in the dough (pinch together w/ your fingers)

Basically…

Start here..

Then place your brie on the crescent role

Then place your jam on the brie..

& you’re all set! A special ❤ thank you to our loves at Pillsbury for making my tummy smile too!

 

Enjoy! & Cheers to our last week before Christmas! With holiday parties behind and ahead of us, I can’t imagine a happier time. I have reflection on the brain too, being it year-end and ‘new year’s resolution time’ – anyone have theirs mapped out yet?! More to come on that…

Ohh la la am I in love with Salmon after this. Unfortunately I cannot share the recipe, as it is a secret of my roommate’s and I, however I can share the photos enough to make one drool! We had our weekly family dinner on Wednesdays with a mutual and lovely friend from school, and I must say the holidays do bring a secret bit of cheer to everything that seems of the norm. This week was extra fun and sweet and along with exchanging gifts, we shared laughter and wine among the glow of the most beautiful votive candles to be found on the sale rack :).

 

I will say this, a little spice with a little sweet does make for a glorious treat! Alongside risotto and green beans and you have quite the balanced meal. I must say, we toasted to how blessed we are in home, friends, family, health, and life. Let’s not all forget to appreciate all the wild fun and laughter that happens this time of year despite the errands, and shopping etc that needs to be done. Seriousness is overrated y’all!

Risotto a la Mikey


at first, I was upset with myself for this being late, but hey, this blog is me, for better for worse for all who wish to enjoy and endure 😉 so better late than never I say!!

1 Balsam Fur, 2 strands of red lights, 3 Snowmen ornaments, 4 bottles of Mirassou, 5 hours sleep, 6 errands running, 7 lists-a-making, 8 loads of laundry, 9 TGIFs, 10(k) Santas!

Ha! We get more and more creative (& busy!) as the month goes on. We have so much fun to come and a holiday cheer week behind us. Sending an update, as helper elves, my roommate and some friends and I got together this week to buy and decorate our own little Balsam Fur at the very classic Home Depot. You know, just a couple of ladies ‘doing it ourselves’ at the man’s store. This week we got and decorated the tree, planned the best holiday part of all time, and freshened up the place with the scent of holly and evergreen sprigs! A couple of these unique homemade decorations, and store-bought inspirations and Voilà:

and this Christmas will be...a VERY special Christmas for Me ❤

my true love gave to me! The gift of CHIC Antiques! As a weekend post tribute, I’d like to bottle up all of the things I love and celebrate style this Christmas. The following are gifts I have given myself, throughout the past few years of my life, that mean something to me! When I travel, or visit a market, or spend time with loved ones and friends out and about – I like to obtain a souvenir to remember the day and the fun I had. I also like the items to be practical, because let’s face it – how many magnets do I really need on the fridge? Or better yet, how many beer bottles and shots should I really be taking at one time anyway. So, problem solved! This holiday season, if you’re not taking advantage of the sales knocking down your door, be sure to take home some memorabilia of trips big and small to remember the little things that brought you happiness during the holidays!

A story can be told with each item, and now you’ve not only decorated your personal space with love and uniqueness, but  they are conversational pieces for when you have guests! Sigh, what simple bliss.

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From Estate Sale texts, to ‘junked’ cars at a flea market in Spain, I can’t say enough about these little things that mean the world to me. Bargaining in English, then in Spanish, learning about people and places I would otherwise never have known about. Then, having the memory bottled up inside an item rather than just photos to be put in an album and hardly enjoyed to their fullest. It’s hard to pick a favorite because whether it’s a perfect Fall day and I’m riding along on a 40-year-old bike I’m so lucky to have, or packing it up in my suitcase to rush off to the city for the weekend, it all has me stopping to smile along the way. Any unique finds out there to be shared? Please do…everyone loves a good chic antique tale.