"We are what we believe we are."
C.S. Lewis

Monday, April 7, 2014

Mop Philosophy Monday

 Good Monday Morning!  What do you think of this whole "repurposing" concept?  It's old as the hills but as a decor trick it can't be beat, don't you think so?
I repurposed this Emma Bridgewater candle box in my office due to the straight fact that it is so pretty and sturdy.
It now holds my Sharpie markers, well you can see for yourself:
 I like pretty containers for things of all kinds: old tins (repurposing), every type of basket whether wire or wicker, and of course pottery.  Who's with me?
Tom Scheerer is with us, he's a fan of baskets, wooden boxes, and of course blue and white pottery.
I bought his book a few months ago but I still look at it all the time.
Blank notebooks are optimistic: they are ideas waiting to be born.  I like to fix a blank label on the front, once you've had a decision about the notebook you can label it accordingly.
One of these notebooks might end up holding a Wardrobe Inventory.  If it's lucky.

Are you wondering what the next Mop Philosophy Book Club selection will be?

The Razor's Edge.
I'm excited about this selection, it's been years and years since I read it and I know it's going to hit me differently.
I'm planning to re-read the book and then watch the movie from the 1980's.  It stars Bill Murray:
 I hope you join me for book club.  How does Saturday May 31st sound to you?

I'm very late in responding to comments from my last post and I just noticed comments on the last book club post that I have not yet addressed... please forgive me my tardiness.  I'll get all caught up with you this week.

My days of skirts and pearls are in the rear-view mirror.

 This was my favourite outfit last week.  Warm and suitable for Scout walking.  Scout is getting enormous, you'll see soon enough, we'll be having a photo shoot in the next couple of days.
I hope your week starts off bright and full of opportunity.
xoxDani


62 comments:

  1. Wishing and HopingApril 7, 2014 at 3:42 AM

    Dear Dani.
    Quite agree with the keeping of beautiful boxes and tins. Most of mine have been treasured from Crabtree and Evelyn's teas and biscuits, to keep threads, buttons and all sorts of paraphernalia for my embroidery.
    The Razor's Edge is such an appropriate read for most of us approaching mid-life "bewilderment." I certainly can relate to releasing so much of our materialistic priorities in search of true and inner happiness. And by the sounds of many of your blog readers, I think we may all be on the same page.
    Regardless of leaving the pearls and skirts behind, you still bring class to a pair of jeans and a stole.
    Wish I could wear jeans well - but sadly not for me - compliments of my short stature.
    Look forward to seeing the lovable furry face soon. Stay well. Helen : )

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    1. Hi Helen, well I don't feel quite myself wearing denim but it is convenient, and tough for hanging around Old Biter aka Scout.
      Good point on The Razor's Edge. I am definitely bewildered at times, with children to worry about and parents getting older and in ill health it is certainly a time of questioning. I hope you will read the book and join us, I'd love to know what you think!

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  2. Lovely repurposing! I use all my old NAP boxes to hold odds & ends and orphaned shoes!
    I love The Razor's Edge! I was obsessed with it in my twenties... Never realised there had been a film made of it! It would be interesting to read it twenty or more years later, but my book pile is high and I'm about to embark on Do No Harm by Henry Marsh. I'm on a non fiction kick again. I will try to make it to book club, though. Would love to have people to discuss books with if our internet ever works again.....

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    1. Ruth I have one NAP box and it is a good one. Love that packaging, ordering something from them is a real event.
      Please weigh in on book club discussion even if it's been some time since you read the book, it would be fun for all of us.
      I need to read more non-fiction, it's one of my goals but somehow I can't resist immersing myself in novels.

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  3. I love repurposing - such good intent although sometimes it can get a little crazy according to pinterest. But part of the reason i have so much stuff is bc i keep thinking i will use it later for something else you see...path to hell paved with good intentions and all that.

    I love notebooks too!! will get cracking on that book - never read it so nothing to compare to but look forward to it nevertheless!

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    1. Naomi it is an excellent book, looking forward to your thoughts on it!
      "Path to hell paved with good intentions": this is an under-rated expression and one we should use more often!

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  4. I am a huge repurposer, though at times must watch the tendency as it keeps me hanging on to junk! I am of course obsessed with junk as I clean my way through the house!

    I read The Razors Edge in college for fun so am looking forward to revisiting, I will try and catch the movie as well, though I do think Bill was miscast; maybe I will feel differently now.

    Well your post-Scout look is mostly my daily style, so I love it! Of course I love my fancy Dani as well, so all is good. It is supposed to hit 12 today, so I am praying for some melting!

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    1. Wendy I don't think I've ever seen the Bill Murray movie. Apparently he delayed making Ghostbusters because he was so intent on filming The Razor's Edge. So it was important to him but I have a hard time imagining him in the role... well I'll re-read the book and then watch the movie so I'll let you know.
      Melt snow melt!!

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  5. Hello Dani,

    Well, it often seems to us that the packaging of beautiful things often looks as if it would cost an equivalent amount, so not to save it and re-use would be such a waste. Your candle box looks very pretty and should serve you well as a safe haven for pens etc.

    We often re-use boxes and tins and, when we think about it, often for chocolates. Some chocolates come in their own wonderful packaging but, they tend to cost the national debt. However, rather more inexpensive choccie delights can be transformed into something luxurious when given a new home! We repurposed a delightful box from Fortnum and Mason which originally contained the most divine Champagne Truffles on many, many occasions until it finally fell apart. Time, perhaps, for another venture to F and M......

    Hoping you have a happy week.

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    1. Jane and Lance now I have thoughts of boxes of chocolates. Good idea on giving the inexpensive treats a proper, fancier home.
      I had a few treats from F&M at Christmas given to me by a friend, I can attest that the gluten-free Christmas cake is divine!

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  6. 'My days of skirts and pearls are in the rear-view mirror.' Welcome to my world! This is why I always end up over dressed when I go anywhere, I try to wear everything at once!
    Hmm, I'm one of life's great binners, hubs tries to hold onto boxes that come in, " to do something, maybe for the future) and I hit the roof and get them binned ASAP. Though, like The Hattats, I did keep the Fortnums box from my birthday present last year - oh yes, it's gone high low it sits at the back door with our outdoor shoes in it!

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    1. Tabitha, you two are the opposite of us, which is a good thing for your husband and for me -- otherwise we would be in danger of being picked to be on that hoarders show. I can't bear to throw away pretty boxes, but once I see them in the recycling bin, I won't go so far as to fish them out...

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    2. Tabs I am a pretty good binner too but I am a sucker for packaging. I still have the LV shopping bag from our trip to Paris in 2012. You would have chucked that! I also keep the orange Hermes bags.
      AudreyS is MrBP sees items in a donate bag he's apt to fish them out, now I use black bags and cardboard boxes!

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  7. With Tabs and the Hattats that F&M packaging repurposes well. My hamper basket from a couple of years ago now holds inexpensive, not-original-box shoes. While it's hard for me to reconcile all the excess packaging of retail world, I do love good containers. And the checked lids of those Bon Maman jars just cheer up very dull pantry/ box room.

    Dani, sometimes dressing goes in phases. Your last week favourite looks simple and cosy. Getting back to basics can be a good reminder that the person makes the clothes. And your fabulous frocks will still be there waiting when Scout is a bit more grown up.

    I think there was a 1940s film version of The Razor's Edge as well that was perhaps closer to the book.Must look it up on TCM.

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    1. GF I'll definitely be accessing my TB dress collection this summer. As you know it is my favourite season. For some reason I just don't want to wear skirts and frocks, has an alien taken over my body? It is due to Scout, she would jump and bite at any floating hemlines, she is past that stage and my wardrobe mostly survived, with the exception of those 3 Brora jumpers she tore!

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    2. Freshy, good call! I had forgotten about the Razor's Edge film of 1946 with Tyrone Power, Gene Tierney, Anne Baxter, etc. I haven't seen it and now plan to prior to Dani's Club.

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    3. DBP Brora jumpers tattered, I would still be sulking! (Thank gods for EBay replacement given current exchange rate.)
      GSL Thanks for the cast list. My mother was bit of a classic movie fan and would have considered Tyrone dishy. Off to find (although I generally loathe film adaptations of most books, but not TKAM either.)

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    4. GSL - I recall it now too, but have not seen it either. Tyrone would be more of my type for the role I think, same for my fave Gene Tierney!

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  8. I have too many baskets around here, although many are repurposed; I keep yarn and knitting needles in a few baskets here and there should inspiration strike. Most reuse is of the more mundane sort-- the Trader Joe's coffee cylinders make good scoops for chicken feed and compost.

    Tell that Scout you are going to lunch and need to change.

    Well, I won't be traveling in May so I won't miss the next club-- was going to comment this week but i was soooo late to the party. Enjoyed reading the others' comments, though.

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    1. Lane comments are appreciated after the fact as I'll leave those book clubs up and active on the sidebar. I don't always respond quickly to old posts, I had to shut off the notifications because of the dreaded spam.
      I will tell Scout that very thing. Must remember that I am the boss of her!
      Chickens, what is spring like for them? Did someone look after them when you were away this winter? How self-sufficient are these chickens?

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    2. Poor MLane was the caretaker for all but about 12 days when he could get away, then the chicken sitter. They really only need to get water as the feeders can be filled for days at a time, but this winter was so cold, this was a twice a day chore. This and a few handfuls of fresh straw.

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  9. Good Book Club selection Dani. We have our annual National Guard training starting that weekend but will get something done ahead of time.

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    1. GSL I think you will love The Razor's Edge if you haven't read it already. I read it as a 20-something and my world view is so different, I hope it hasn't been completely skewed by the anxieties of motherhood but maybe it has. I'm looking forward to the reading and the discussion.
      If you'd like I could put book club up the night before so you could weigh in, when do you leave for training?

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    2. Razor's Edge has been on my short list for years and your book club will finally prompt me to read it. My annual training begins Thursday the May 29 and we roll out on 31st. If nothing else, I'll email you my comments prior to post on my behalf and may even be able to fire off a few rounds of smartphone sniper fire during di.scussion.
      P.S. please don't think I was in Iraq as some fat ass National Guardsman; I was an 82nd Airborne Paratrooper.

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    3. GSL I think you have nerves of steel.

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  10. I save all pretty boxes -- whichever ones make it past hubs' constant dumping make it to my daughter's room for storing doll clothes and accessories, and her latest obsession, hair flowers.

    Dani, you look so great in jeans! It's funny, I love JC wool pencil skirts with all their gorgeous colors, and there was a time when I wore them almost daily, but this winter, it was all jeans and cashmere. I considered getting rid of the skirts, but knowing that I go through phases with my seasonal uniforms (your word!), I think I am going to have to hold on to them a little longer...

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    1. AudreyS, I've had to remember that I too go through phases, I have regretted giving away a couple of my things but I had a few skirts that didn't fit my properly anymore anyway, the good ones went to my older daughter.
      Good boxes are excellent for storing all of the dolls and their clothes! I have done the same for my younger daughter, we still have of her dolls. Now she uses them when she films things!

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  12. Dani, I had never heard of The Razor's Edge and just looked it up -- it sounds like a great book and I just ordered it. I am interested to see how it compares to the experience today's veterans are having -- I just read The Good Soldiers and am now reading its continuation, Thank You For Your Service. These books are about one US platoon sent over during George Bush's surge into Iraq, the first is about their experience while there, the second is their experience after returning home. These are two of the best books I have read; both are heartbreaking.

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    1. AudreyS,
      I'll order those books asap. The experience of our veterans is heartbreaking, PTSD is really prevalent among our soldiers here and we've lost so many to suicide in just the last few months.
      I am thrilled you'll be joining us for book club, I think you'll find The Razor's Edge captivating.
      Maugham is one of my favourite writers ever.

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    2. My Brigade was the first in for The Surge but we didn't face as much heavy fighting as the platoon of those books. I am not familiar with those books mentioned but very few of the soldiers I was around had the slightest interest in the bigger picture but were quite keen on angling for phoney disability benefits. The whole PTSD phenomenon is mostly nonsense that gets heavy play as the Victim Group Simper is a tune everyone wants to hum nowadays.

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    3. GSL well you definitely have front line experience and I've never thought to ask you about this!

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    4. GSL, it's interesting, there is some discussion in the first book about how much soldiers should be able or required to withstand. Having no first hand knowledge, I realize my opinion isn't worth much, but given that people enter service with such varying personalities and prior experiences (or lack thereof, as many are only teenagers), I would tend to believe the accounts that report that many are totally unprepared for what they have to face, and even the ones that are able to get through their first tours of duty in great shape, could have an entirely different experience during subsequent tours of duty.

      I have mixed feelings about whether people should "grin and bear" hardships or if they should speak out to address them. My grandparents and parents were put into the internment camps for being Japanese during WWII and they never ever speak about it. There is a term that I heard often growing up: to "gaman suru", which means to just endure hardships with dignity, which means, deal with it and don't complain. I feel like this attitude helped the interned Japanese immensely in enduring the loss of all of their possessions, getting through the camp experience, dealing with rather humiliating circumstances after the war, and helping their children to live successfully in post war America. But internalizing all that anger at the injustice had to be horrible for them to live with. I guess I just feel like while there are always people, in every situation, that try to work the system to their benefit, there are also soldiers who are truly afflicted by PTSD and my personal opinion is that they should not have to try to grin and bear it...

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    5. There are genuine cases of PTSD quite like the veterans of earlier war endured as "shell shock" and those genuine claims are debased by the many phony victims (and their relatives) that claim it to excuse bad behavior. PTSD was associated with the shooter at Fort Hood last week and he never saw combat. A soldier from my platoon in Iraq who curled up in the fetal position of "Heat Casualty" to get out of combat missions and strenuous activity came back and murdered a friend during an argument and used the PTSD defense to get a much lighter sentence. It seems that every guy that beats up his wife claims it is the result of PTSD.
      The internment camp situation was tragic. I like the term "gaman suru" and will research it. Dignity is a very rare commodity these days.

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    6. I also like that term AudreyS and thanks for sharing that experience. What hardship for your family and what work to bring success and happiness into the family line.

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    7. Much to think about here. GSL, one of my father's brothers served in WWII and ended up in a POW camp. He seldom spoke of it, but reading and donating some of his journals was certainly an eye-opener. Can only imagine what Audrey's family overcame. Terrible to think that the genuine suffering of some has come to excuse the appalling acts of others. Our society does like to give everything labels and syndromes now it seems.

      As Dani notes, the recent spate of suicides in the much smaller Canadian Armed Forces, along with some truly callous bureaucratic glitches to service men and women has certainly raised general public conscious about the hardships of service and civilian life following it.

      I follow a bit of military news thanks to an USMA grad and Army careerist who shaped my youth. Some of the statistics around drug abuse, domestic violence, alcoholism, hospitalization etc. in and around the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns are pretty shocking. I also don't think the "me" generations are as willing to sacrifice or KBO as the ones that came of age in the crucible between WWI-II and shortly after. Very different senses of personal and community responsibility.

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    8. GSL, your input and experience is so interesting. It must have been infuriating to see soldiers seeking an easy out when most of you were literally out risking your own lives. It really is astonishingly selfish behavior, and I can see how it cannot help but to create skepticism within the military. So sad for those who really need help -- having to face not only the stigma (real and perceived) of having mental health issues but also a skeptical evaluation. Looking forward to your view of Dani's book!

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    9. GSL, this is so interesting. Being a natural born sceptic, I do tend to think that PTSD is over used as an excuse for other issues.
      I was diagnosed with it about 3 months after the earthquake, but I really doubt I had it - think I was just generally overtired and emotional!
      Thanks AudreyS for your thoughts too. Gaman suru is still a huge part of the Japanese psyche. I'm trying to teach my children to whine less and be more dignified in their (perceived) sufferings, as I feel that in the West we're raising generations of self-centred, overly coddled people!

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    10. Wishing and HopingApril 8, 2014 at 12:30 AM

      Audrey, thank you for bringing "gaman suru" to attention.
      I was brought up in a Christian household and we were very much taught the same thing in a roundabout, unclear way. It was your "lot", your learning experience and you basically had to deal with it with grace and manners.
      Interestingly though, I have found in today's society, this has been a difficult way to live/survive and end up displaying similar "complaining and whining" behaviour . My children are encouraged to stand up for themselves as part of their school curriculum. They are basically taught their rights as individuals but at the risk of becoming self-centered. It's a difficult battle as a parent to steer children away from these attitudes when we battle these demons ourselves.
      There certainly is a fine line between expressing your worries and challenges with humility and becoming a chronic complainer who drains energy from everyone around you. Then there is the fine line between those who genuinely are suffering from their hardships and those who just want the world to acknowledge their heroic efforts of putting up with life's difficulties.
      It's a tough call. Helen

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    11. Helen very well put. I'm struggling with these concepts these days with my youngest rascal, she's nearly 12 and it is a tough time as a parent.

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  13. I love the save nice boxes and shopping bags for repurpose! The trick is remembering what I've stored in them. I use the little shopping bags to carry my lunch, or sometimes line with a plastic bag and use as a waste basket next to my dressing table. It feels so decadent to use a "Chanel" waste basket :-))
    Enjoy your week, toots!

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    1. Jennifer that would be decadent, and you had me at "dressing table"!

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  14. I had the tendency to keep everything. Pretty paper bags, boxes and I loved ribbons!!! With my 150 project I have cleaned a lot and now I am much less of a holder...
    I wear very often denim... If there are well cut and well fitted, they can be rather elegant to my humble opinion...
    I can't wait to see Scout! Have a great week. Although the pace is slower and less stressful, as we are now in term break, I am juggling the best I can with my "little" one... Which involved a lot of organisation...
    Take Care

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    1. Steph yes the breaks involve lots of organization don't they? Good luck with it and I hope you are well.

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  15. hi dani! popped on the internet this morning and wanted to say hi. i read The Razor's Edge just last summer so it's pretty fresh in my mind. i always loved that book. and the movie too.

    love your walking outfit. so comfy, warm and chic.

    x

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    1. Janet well I hope you join us then for book club discussion.

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  16. I like your casual Scout friendly attire. I do saved a few of the nicer boxes...Hermes, Jo Malone and always the Bonne Maman jam jars as they make great vessels for vinaigrette and such.
    I have never read The Razor's Edge...still breezing through the Louise Penny mystery series and loving it. You might enjoy her books.
    Hope your weather is warming up. It is supposed to be 14 degrees here today.

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    1. Hostess no we have snow again! Please read The Razor's Edge, it's so interesting!

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  17. Oh Dani ! I just noticed the new avatar! You know it's not just any gal who can accessorize a little va-va-voom into a kitchen mop...I like the way you put the heat back into the kitchen.

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    1. GSL that's been my avatar the whole time, the picture is difficult to see because it is so shrunken. Don't you think she looks like June Cleaver, my idol?

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    2. GSL, how could u not know that has been Dani's avatar??? I am curious and puzzled. What did you think her old avatar looked like? Just checking...

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    3. My relatively new laptop has that feature where you can spread pics out and I've never really taken much notice until I blew it up in all it's voluptuous glory.

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  18. Pretty! I like to get a bit California in the spring too. Looking forward to seeing Scout soon. Great book club selection.

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    1. Jen I hope you'll join us for book club. :)

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  19. Now I know! I've been dressing for a dog for a long time, without an actual dog!

    :)

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    1. Lisa have you ever thought of getting a dog? If you already have the wardrobe for it...

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  20. Hi Dani,
    Ever since I was a little girl I would be on the look out for a beautiful tin or box for my small dolls (lucky locket kiddles and trolls). I'd make them a house with the re-purposed box and add felt and bits of fabric to decorate. It's been many, many years since I used them for doll houses, but I'm still collect them for my sewing supplies, pens, jewelery, baked goods and for many storage needs. I love your box. It's very pretty.

    I've been walking my dog a lot too. It's the perfect time of year as it is not too hot or too cold.

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    1. AmW I also loved beautiful tins as a little girl, I remember my nana having an excellent collection of them too, she loved them as well.
      we had a great walk on Sunday, almost 2 hours, Scout loved it!

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  21. Hi Dani, thanks again for another great Monday post. I saved all my Ladurée and Maison du Chocolat boxes, and store things like post-it note pads, USB sticks and pens in them. The boxes are so pretty, I always think it is a shame to just throw them away. Your outfit looks very cozy and comfortable. It's supposed to warm up a little this week - really looking forward to that!

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    1. Louise did you get the snow? It was actually kind of pretty at 7am with snow falling and fairly mild temperatures. Too bad my poor neighbours had to see me in my pajamas and Elmer Fudd coat though!
      That's a good desk idea re the boxes, thank you!

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  22. I cannot throw any pretty boxes, bags or baskets away so I am with you on repurposing, Dani! Once someone sent me something in a huge box with brown paper stuffed all around. I kept all that and will be using it for gift wrapping (with fun stamps and different colors of ink) for the rest of my life. I have a difficult time with beautiful blank notebooks though, I can never decide on what each should hold and some go on being blank.

    I love your favorite outfit from last week, I wore something similar though you'd laugh at what I consider cold, it was just below 60F. Come visit, it's warm/hot here (92F tomorrow). I'll have liver treats for Scout! :)

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    1. TR we have fresh snow! Scout and I are on our way!

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