Poppin' Tags

$17 at the Thrift Store

For the price of a Starbucks latte and a 10 minute massage at my nail salon, I thrifted approximately $380 worth of clothes to buff up my end-of-summer-dawn-of-fall wardrobe.   9 items.  Everything from suit ensembles to sportswear and designer shoes.  Average price: $1.89.

Excuse me, I just said one dollar and eighty nine cents.

Let us slowly and soberly examine the contents of the haul:

1. Draper and Damon’s linen suit: $1 

I love the beautiful, colorful embroidery on this.  And I love that the piece had been freshly dry cleaned.  And even more than all this, I love that the top and the bottom each cost 50 cents.  Lord, have mercy my soul, Hallelujah.

2. Calvin Klein jacket: $1

Perfect for my fall professorial ensembles.  And a dollar.  Perfect condition. Can’t beat it – and it matches the linen Draper and Damon pants!

3.  Schrader Sport vintage blazer: $1

This incredible one-button blazer is fitted right under the bosom and absolutely perfect for autumn!  Also matches the linen pants.  That’s already three outfits (and all the possible concatenations with paired with other items in my closet) for $3.

4. Grace Elements striped skirt: $2

A little end-of-summer-sexy.

5. Requirements paisley skirt: $2.

Makes you look like a human china set, but, still, quite pretty.

6. Koss athletic capris: $2

These match some Jones NY sportswear I got from the shop last week.

7. Etienne Aigner pumps: $2

Love these – I needed some beige heels and voila!

8. Connie black heels: $5

Another wardrobe hole filled: my trusty black Tahari pumps finally gave up the ghost last week.  I thought I’d have to break down and go to a retail store to get some new shoes – but no, my beloved Thrift Store did not let me down.  These Connie pumps are super cute and fit perfectly.

Poppin' Tags

$2 at the Thrift Store

I love filling holes in my wardrobe.  One of the nice things about thrifting early and often is keeping an eye out for particular items you know you need.  Preferably, you can use some prescience and foresight to shop for things you don’t need immediately.  This gives you the flexibility to wait until you find exactly what you want at a price you’re willing to pay.
I’d been on the lookout for a good, utilitarian raincoat for quite a while.  At my shop, almost everything eventually goes on sale for $2 if you’re willing to wait long enough and if the item isn’t nabbed by another enterprising client.  Finally – after months of checking out the coat rack, I found a perfect London Fog raincoat (retails value: about $150) for . . . $2.  This means I paid about 1 percent of the original price.

Excuse me while I do my happy dance in the rain . .


Lazy Gourmet: Habanero Taco Salad with Fried Plaintain


Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes


– 1 lb. of ground beef (grass fed, organic)
– 1 can of black beans
– Tortilla chips
– 2 ripe plantains
– Jalepeno peppers
– Crushed habaneros
– Shredded mexican cheese
– Pico de Gallo salsa
– Sour cream
– One small can of black olives
– 1/2 lime
– Romaine lettuce
– Taco seasoning
– Salt, pepper to taste
– Olive oil

1. Set stove to medium. Coat saucepan with 1/2 inch of olive oil.
2. Slice and fry plantains. Be sure to turn plantains frequently. Remove from heat when golden brown.  Drain on paper towel and cover with foil.
3. Cook ground beef and sauté with taco seasoning, salt, pepper and habaneros.
4. Prepare taco salad with two handfuls of romaine lettuce. Layer with cheese, beans, tortilla chips, peppers, black olives, salsa, sour cream. Garish with lime juice.
5. Devour.

Life Musings

Life Tip: Be Your Own Butler

At Your Service

One of the many, many wonderful things about getting older, wiser and more independent is developing the capacity to care for yourself.  A prerequisite to catering to myself was discovering who I am — something that I’ve been addressing in various posts and videos related to spirituality.  In any case, I am far from the first person to underline the importance of treating yourself well, but what I realized over the past year was that not only could I do the minimum it takes to take care of myself, but I can also do little things to bring experiences of luxury, joy and deep sensual pleasure into my everyday experience.  Such pleasurable amenities and experiences include:

  1. Treating myself to aromatherapy in the morning.
  2. Figuring out what scents I love and making my own custom perfume with notes of rose, jasmine and ylang ylang.
  3. Doing yoga at the beach.
  4. Placing vases with my favorite flowers around the house.
  5. Lighting a dozen candles.
  6. Playing my favorite music on kick-ass speakers.
  7. Getting enough sleep.
  8. Styling my hair simply and beautifully everyday.
  9. Keeping spring water on my bedside table.
  10. Washing my face with all natural soap.
  11. Wearing lipstick. This might sound weird, but I sometimes avoided lipstick in the past because it annoyed my exes. 
  12. Only dating people who are cool with lipstick.
  13. Being able to make my favorite drinks at home (whisky sours and kir royals).
  14. Working out.
  15. Getting regular massages.
  16. Making time to be creative (songwriting, singing, writing).
  17. Always making sure I have a fresh towel to step on when I get out of the shower.
  18. Thrifting.
  19. Keeping my clothes laundered, dry cleaned and ironed.
  20. Learning how to make my favorite restaurant recipes at home.
  21. Watching Mooji videos via Apple TV on the flatscreen in my livingroom.
  22. Getting Gelish manicures in my favorite colors.
  23. Spending time with cherished friends.
  24. Spending time in nature.
  25. Making coffee in the morning the way I like it.  I have a weird thing where I tell myself that I’m providing “coffee service” . . . for myself . . . which kind of makes me feel like I’m getting VIP treatment at the Ritz Carlton.  I know it makes no sense, but it works for me.
  26. Making sure my skin is fully moisturized, head to toe, with my favorite oils (usually Sweet Almond Oil).
  27. Getting my eyebrows waxed or plucking them myself.
  28. Stretching on a daily basis.
  29. Keeping my closets organized, color-coded, etc. so that I always have easy access to something gorgeous to wear.
  30. Keeping a cigar or two at home (usually an Arturo Fuente . . .)
  31. Making sure my bedroom is uncluttered, clean, welcoming, comfortable.
  32. Buying my favorite condiments (i.e. pepper jelly, sandwich spread, soyaki, hot sauce, olives, peppers and so on and so forth).  I always knew I loved sauces and condiments (even more than food itself), but I rarely purchased them until recently.  Happiness quotient has increased accordingly.
  33. Keeping my lips moisturized with all natural balm.
  34. Exfoliating regularly.
  35. Brightening my space with home fragrance.
  36. Using cloth napkins at home to add a touch of luxury to every meal.
  37. Covering my serving trays with beautiful, colorful, embroidered mats.
  38. Serving myself Ayurvedic chai with a pretty tea set.
  39. Keeping a rotation of fresh fruit and my favorite snacks on hand.
  40. Stocking up on soft, inviting fabrics: silk blouses, satin robes, terry cloth.
  41. Using a laundry bag to protect my “unmentionables”.
  42. Doing my own pedicures when I don’t feel like going to the salon.
  43. Keeping Dead Sea salts and special soaps (i.e. “Bee Pollen” or “Rose”)  in my shower.
  44. Attending to and caring for oft-overlooked parts of the body (i.e. earlobes, belly button, ankles).
  45. Making regular appointments for medical check-ups.

Perhaps the most important thing I’ve done for myself is staying in touch with my own feelings and desires.  I make sure to set aside quiet time for reflection, relaxation and meditation so that I can be guided by heart in the present moment.

What about you?  How do you cater to yourself?  What little/big things do you do to make yourself feel like a million bucks?