A Beach Inspired Haven

I’ve had a fixation with beach-themed bathrooms for over a decade now, and love using shells and beach-themed décor as fun accents to remind me of the ocean and the beach. When I moved to a new residence this past January, I decided to really have fun with the beach theme, and I took it to the extreme.

One of the features I have displayed in my bathroom is a collection of clear containers which hold sand and shells from different beaches I have visited.  Included in this collection are sand and shell samples from Hawaii, Costa Rica, Bali, Thailand and the Maldives.  Whenever I look at my collection, I am transported back to those magical destinations which captured my heart and spirit.

Whenever I feel like escaping to an island getaway, but I am stuck in Los Angeles, I’ll take a bubble bath while surrounded by my sand and shell collection, lit candles, and starfish lights.  It’s a wonderful way for me to recharge and to surround myself with reminders of my favorite terrain.  I also love the fact that I finally have a full bathtub in my bathroom after 20 years of having shower stalls.  Whenever my schedule allows, I try to take a relaxing bath, which beats taking a quick shower any day.

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Women And Their Shoes

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I recently stumbled upon an article written by John Chung entitled, “How Many Shoes Does the Average Woman Own?” and found it relatively perceptive, despite the fact that it was written by a man. In the article, John mentioned a study by Glamour Magazine which stated that a woman will purchase about 470 pairs of shoes throughout her adult life.

The study also determined that the average woman owns about 19 pairs of shoes at any given time. When I read that, I giggled. I don’t know many women who have only 19 pairs of shoes! Just counting my athletic footwear, I have 14 pairs! After reading that article, I became curious about how many pairs of shoes I actually had. I counted up every single pair I had, including house flip flops, and my back-up flip flops in the car, and I was stunned. The total came to…

132.

Holy hotel!

I will say that my collection is very neatly organized, so neatly that I didn’t even realize I had that many pairs.

34 pairs of shoes are in this cabinet.  And yes, I have photos of each pair of shoes on the face of most of the boxes to make them easily identifiable.

34 pairs of shoes are in this cabinet. And yes, I have photos of each pair of shoes on the face of most of the boxes to make them easily identifiable.

There are 43 pairs in this cabinet...

There are 43 pairs in this cabinet…

These are all boots, mid-calf to over the knee

These are all boots, mid-calf to over the knee

Most of my athletic shoes, flip flops, kitten heels and Ugg-type boots are in these cabinets.  I have a few random pairs in another cabinet across from these.

Most of my athletic shoes, flip flops, kitten heels and Ugg-type boots are in these cabinets. I have a few random pairs in another cabinet across from these.

It’s All Just Stuff: Decluttering Your Home

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Despite the fact (or perhaps BECAUSE of the fact) that my mother’s family is full of pack rats, I cannot stand the idea of accumulating tons of items which just take up space. Since my mom and I had different philosophies about objects and belongings, the subject of decluttering was a point of contention between us.  My mom sequestered all kinds of things in boxes and tissue paper for decades, never to be worn or used, frozen in a static, pristine state and kept hidden. After dealing with tremendous guilt over my mother’s attachment to things which I had somehow held myself responsible for, I let it go, and was able to purge items which only collected dust in closets and the garage. I just had a garage sale last weekend and it felt GREAT to finally let go of large, bulky items such as two very traditional oil paintings which simply were never my style to begin with, and which sat in museum boxes in my garage for nine years. I also got rid of a bunch of hot little mini-dresses which I had worn during trophy presentations at bodybuilding contests from 2010 through 2013. I must have pulled about 40 dresses from my collection, all of which were only worn once or twice. It was like shedding old skin, and it felt fantastic.

One of my friends had asked me if I had ever gotten rid of something and later regretted it. There have been a few instances in which this occurred, even as recently as last weekend when I realized that a re-seller who had purchased several groups of items had gotten a few gems which I had foolishly forgotten to remove when I was organizing and displaying items for the garage sale. Though I had a moment of sadness, I let it go since there wasn’t a single thing I could do about retrieving those things. Oh well, I thought, it truly is all just stuff. There are some items I will NEVER get rid of, things which hold huge sentimental value. But for the most part, just about anything which is damaged or worn down or sitting on a shelf unused in my residence will eventually find its way into a garage sale.

If you haven’t used something in a while and it is collecting dust, get rid of it. There is probably someone out there who will use it and will appreciate it. If there is something you haven’t used or worn because you are waiting for the right occasion, either USE IT or let it go!  

Teddy Bears

My early days...see the white bear on the right?  This is the bear that started it all...

I got my first teddy bear when I was a baby (see photo above), and it seemed to spark a teddy bear obsession, particularly white ones. Though I don’t like collecting stuffed animals per se, I do have a small teddy bear collection, which features a 42 inch tall white bear named “Grandma Fresca” by the manufacturer. I am very attached to this giant bear, primarily because my mother gave it to me.

Grandma Fresca teddy bear

Grandma Fresca teddy bear

My collection is tucked rather discreetly in two small nooks in my bedroom so as not to disrupt the design flow of the room. Though I don’t consider myself a stuffed animal fan, and don’t pay any attention to my bear collection, I feel a very strong sentimental attachment to the largest bear, and to one of the smallest in my collection, which served as a litter mate to a three week old rescue kitten who is still very much a part of my family today. I find it rather touching that there is a mother-child asociation associated with both of these teddy bears.

My little rescue kitty with her teddy bear littermate!  Shima is 5 years old now and a sweet and wonderful cat...

My little rescue kitty with her teddy bear littermate! Shima is 5 years old now and a sweet and wonderful cat…