Day 9: #31daydetox

Oh Saturday…. the best part of the week! Whole Foods, Target, dry cleaning and lots of little stops along the way.

Not this weekend.

MasterCard must think my debit card was stolen. I walked out of Target with a whopping $31.27 total. Unheard of!!!! Never in all my years have I ever exited the bulls-eye under $50. Amazing what a list and avoiding aisles you have no business being in can do. Skip the stationary. Don’t even venture in to the Nate Berkus section. And you definitely do not need festive party gadgets from the Oh Joy collection. Hey, I could be the Special Projects Chair for them. I know the layout of any store like the back of my hand. You don’t even want to know about the obsession and measures I took last year for their craft wrapping paper. It was a 6 state collaboration with Fed Ex shipping weekly. I still have 31 rolls. (Yes, this speaks to a bigger problem!) But it’s my signature wrapping which I think everyone should have for gifting.

Next stop: Whole Foods! More amazing progress to report… a Grand Total of $74.34 for my weeks groceries and baking supplies for presents and the bakery. I am really onto something. I strayed from purchasing the fascinating magazines at the checkout. I did not need another Pie, Cake and Crumble issue. I didn’t venture down the baking aisle for “new cake ideas!” And I didn’t get distracted with the stunning color palette of fruits and veggies that would have gone bad in 48 hours with a supple of 6 weeks. Keep focused!

With a Birthday Party in the eve, it would be a standard shopping trip for a new frock or skinny denim. I did not cheat for this occasion and wore one of my many “little black dresses” that I already have layering the closet walls. This was a large win for me today. Unfocused shopping, unnecessary groceries and home needs did not warrant this Shopping Saturday in Suburbia.

Here’s to next weekend with the same success-



tumblr_n9g03oeKP71rsuch2o1_500 tumblr_na1ewlASHE1rsuch2o1_500 tumblr_n92wtp8PJB1rsuch2o1_500Images Courtesy of: Pinterest

Day 7/8: #31daydetox

Thankfully I am back to neutral territory! With a very long travel day, Wi-Fi that was useless on the flight and myself too tired to write about a small window of the day with little activity. Each day warrants its own challenges and triumphs.


One of those days filled with happiness and sadness at the same time. My sister and Rydee came to see us while in LA. While the time was short, the moments were full of laughs, jokes and an endless good time. It was also the day I was heading back East and they were heading back North. Days like these never work for me. I have always been an emotional shopper. Today was going to be a rough one and a challenging one. My heart felt as heavy as the San Francisco fog and the anxiety of getting on a plane in 2 hours was sending me into overdrive. Shopping would be the usual medication for this, but today was different. It was Owl and Rydee’s 7th birthday and I needed to refrain from treating the kids to endless presents. It could have been a day to completely lose focus and mask my emotions with shopping bags and unnecessary purchases. But, I refrained. I set my emotions to the positive of the week and didn’t medicate with retail therapy.


Home! Home! Home! An amazing day of nesting and organizing. I love when I return home from a trip because my favorite place is always my little abode. It’s perfectly curated and always feels new after a few days away. I never want to leave it and find such comfort in baking and wrapping birthday presents for a few friends day-in-history. These are the types of moments that keep me focused and empowered with this detox. This weekend will be spent making new treats, celebrating Owl’s birthday and organizing. And by organizing that means looking at purchases made last month that need to be returned from a state of boredom and not from a need. Prime example: a pair of black skinnies…. no need to say more.

With one week in we are at an overall successful place. I am even more excited for Week 2 of Detox Days.

Until tomorrow,




Day 6: #31daydetox

Dear readers,

You may have started to worry that my lack of posting is a result of falling off the detox and running into hiding. Fear not dear ones,  I simply had some app issues on the iPhone and had to rely on pen and paper til I made it back East. With all technology issues resolved, I sit here with progress and truth to post.

Day 6: LA.

Result: Minor details to report.

11:15 AM: minor purchase of birthday cards and Thank You notes from Sugar Paper LA. If anyone is familiar with this little shop, you understand. If you are not, one visit to their website and shop and you’ll be on my team with this fascination. I am also heavy into researching packaging, labeling, boxing, tissues, ribbons and fonts for Owls Bakes, Blooms & Bits. While this does not warrant an excuse to shop, I did purchase name tags for gifting boxes of cookies. Did I cheat? Yes, in a way. Was I mad? I actually felt bad about it. But it wasn’t a free-for-all and that made me proud.

Back on course… sort of.

Shopping throughout the day for work really does relieve some of the want vs. need situation. Many times shopping for details and inspiration makes you look at things closer, try things on for fit and realize why you love it but necessarily don’t need it. My focus was beyond detailed and I needed to cover as much ground as possible. I was on the side of obsessed this trip for inspiration. I had other things to focus on. My head was clear and without noise around me.

4:54 PM: Found a dress for the two Black Tie Weddings I am attending. Yes, I felt beyond guilty. The details are not important. I will say this though. Sometimes when a dress is on sale for 80% off the original, one feels they need to buy it just because. I am not that person. I study the construction, I look at the overall fit, I ask myself why it’s still on a rack and will I wear this more than once? I also calculate needed alterations to see if it even is worth whatever markdown is taking place. Turns out it was a studio sample that was returned and took a final markdown. I will say that this dress was beyond. It was everything I was looking for: It was timeless. Black. Column and Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy worthy. My muse for all things style. So will I lie and say I didn’t buy it? No. I am not perfect. And I am not a liar. I also think it’s important to be honest throughout this journey. So yes, I did buy it. I love it. LOVE IT! And you will see that post when September 20th rolls around. Some win the lotto, others win the fashion lotto. This dress is just that.

More to come,




Image Courtesy of: Pinterest

Day 5: #31daydetox

Oh the trials and tribulations of LA…

Moments of weakness… Moments of “I could cheat and no one would ever know!” Moments of “You’re insane for not buying this!” And moments where my wingmen were encouraging purchases! Not helpful.

First stop: Stella McCartney. AKA: the danger zone. I would like to preface that I do not spend frivolous amounts of money at these stores. So please don’t pass judgement. Many of these pieces are collectors pieces to me and I always use the CPW equation. See previous post. Her fall line had me smiling from the moment it walked down the runway in March. The mannequins were waving, the shop girls were kind and chatty and I was in my element. First try on: denim jumpsuit. Result: epic fail. Silent cheering in my head. Second: the knits! Any of you will know which ones I am talking about. There they were, peacefully hanging in the corner, artfully placed exactly outside the dressing room. I tried them all. My heart skipped a beat each time, the calculations were sending my head in a tailspin. I’m already challenged with numbers so you can imagine my situation with these figures. While I did think of cheating and actually almost did, I knew I would be lying to myself. I also knew how many hours it would take to pay that sweater and pant off. If it’s meant to be it will be there in September.

Certain items have an emotional connection. This post made me think of a certain sweater I have worn endlessly. It was one of my first big investments, but the memories and events attached to it are priceless. The sweater went trough my sister moving to LA, the worst breakup in my life thus far, hurricane Sandy, frigid winters and days when it all seemed too much. It was my security blanket in many ways. Many would have been horrified to see me Cloroxing in a Celine sweater with a face mask. But there I was 13 days straight with that sweater post hurricane. I slept in it, I cleaned in it, I shopped Ikea in it. It was like a warm hug always embracing , days and weeks that followed these events. I was actually terrified of the dry cleaner losing it the day I was brave enough to switch it out.

I didn’t care what people thought, “poor girl in the same sweater!” It got me through. I still choose that sweater on any given day!

So yes, while I am choosing wisely and spending smartly, some items long outlive their price tag. For that, I see my bank account and life account much fuller.

More details to follow,



Image courtesy of: my iPhone at Stella

Day 4: #31daydetox

Arrived in sunny LA with no extra room in my luggage to return with West Coast finds. I’m sure my delay in writing this post had you worried that I may have snuck in a purchase. Fear not dear readers… I overcame the urge.

Starting out in Malibu with knits galore surrounding me, I resisted the urge for slinky 2×2 knits and lounge pieces for my lazy weekends. Keep on walking lady! Keep on walking! The capital of James Perse? The palette of my wardrobe? Perfect heather greys, optic whites and pristine black? There would be no foundational knits coming home to nestle in my knit drawers.

Today will definitely be the true challenge. I’m documenting every item I walk away from.

More to come,


image courtesy of: Pinterest

Day 3:#31daydetox

It’s a wrap for the weekend….

And I did not break the rules!

I survived my first detox weekend. It reminds me of a cleanse… But let’s be honest, I cheated hardcore with that situation and vowed to never to do that again. This I actually might stick with.

I just finished packing for LA. I won’t lie when I say this will be the hardest week of August. I tend to “treat” myself on work trips. I ration the fact that it’s different than home base and kind of like a treat-to-myself. The past couple of trips I have been extremely proud of myself as I have only found stationary and home stores to excite my wallet and the little plastic card in it. This trip will be different…but difficult at the same time.

For one… it’s the denim capital next to Japan. If you saw my closet you would understand this. Denim is just not a piece of clothing to me. It’s a piece of art. Many times, I simply buy a piece as a collection piece. It is never meant to be worn. It is simply meant to be displayed. Indigo textiles, pillows and blankets always seem to make the journey home with me. I will walk away this time.

Two… they have the best stationary stores! Nothing makes me happier than sending “love” notes to many of my friends and family members. Washi tapes, greeting cards, maps, desk accessories, I can go on. I see it, I buy it, I wrap it, I love it, I send it. My mantra with paper goods. I strictly did not bring my little boxes I pack them in for this trip. Avoidance.

Three…. Citizens of Humanity Concept Space.  See point 1. Also art space and book cove and amazing textiles. Walk away. Do not pass Go. Do not collect (in this matter SPEND) $200.

I am leaving all emergency funded cards out of my possession. No imaginary money to spend. No assistance to cheat. I am simply going on a work trip for Fall. I will stay focused and to the point. The best part about the whole week will be seeing my twin and Rydee. The best things in life are free! They are full of love and originality and those qualities can’t be bought.

Wish me luck.




Image Courtesy of: Citizens of Humanity Concept Store



Day 2: #31daydetox

Weekends are a certain routine for me. I do the same regime week-after-week. It doesn’t stray.

Today was going to clearly be a challenge.

No outing to suburbia. No Owl outing to the gourmet pup bakery for new leashes and cookies. No West Elm…. I was staying city-side. What would I would do with the streets of opportunity surrounding me?

Reconnecting was the goal of the detox right? A trip to the cinema sounded like the first good idea in the past 48 hours. $15 movie ticket or a $undisclosed outing to Zara? I’ll take the first. Meeting a friend to catch up on our lives outside of work? Loved this idea.

Seeing the movie Chef was a good idea until I had the sudden urge to go home and bake. How fitting that I needed to go to Crate and Barrel to pick up a wedding present. Danger! Danger! Kitchen Aid mixer utensils, clean and modern cake stands and endless gadgets to help ice my cakes. Nothing is more dangerous to a baker and kitchen collector than the following 2 stores: Williams and Crate. The cash registers start ringing when I walk in the door. I need to steer clear of this setting for the rest of the month.

After a quick distraction with silicone baking mats and realizing that, “No, this was not a necessity and fell into rules described in Detox Pain Management!” WALK AWAY! PUT THE BAKING SHEET DOWN!

I quickly added up what I was planning to spend and thought this might be the game to get me through it. Add up everything I would have bought as a want vs. need and tally it up for the month. Take those savings and put it towards one of my larger goals. Focus on the bakery and blooms shop that has my heart glowing with happiness when I see my favorites enjoying the treats I have crafted.

So here it goes:

Day 1 cost savings: $149.00 Zara jumpsuit

Day 2 cost savings: $30.00 baking book + $32.95 baking mat + $19.95 baking sheet

Lots of love,





Image Courtesy of: personal pinterest board



Day 1: #31daydetox

Two weeks or so ago, I was fighting with my closet and decided surrendering to the sofa to watch the Today Show was a better use of my time until I could whip something together. After muttering, “I have nothing to wear,” for the 30th time that morning and pondering if I could sneak over to Barneys or Zara after work, a segment came on about a 31 Day Detox starting in August. A challenge? A competition? Game On! Natalie was giving up shopping. I needed to give up this very activity. July was a bit of an overdose situation: Crossing lists off, finishing the studio, shopping to feed emotions… it needed a breakup. So there I thought to myself… Could I really do this? 31 whole days of shopping abandonment?

I made the rules over the course of a week:

1. No retail therapy! Included in this list… Saturday outings to Paramus to visit J.Crew and Madewell visual set-up stores. So long Fall wardrobes in August. So long Zara… (ironic that today of all days they post their A/W campaign. Shoot me.) Browsing was allowed but why tempt yourself?

2. No new books! A visit to the good ole’ library will have to do for any new fiction on your list. So long Strand for 31 days! With a pile to get through next to my bed.. I should be able to survive this rule.

3. Baking Obsessions: Cake pans, muffin trays, pie dishes and modern cake stands all can stay on their shelves at the store. This will give myself time to perfect my recipes without going broke with presentation skills and crumbling cakes. Which leads to.. no cookbooks or Martha Stewart specials. Pinterest boards will be my refuge.

4. Studio Style: While the studio is cozy and quaint, no trinkets or chairs , pillows or throws, owls and diptyques need not apply.

5. One may dine out once a week at your favorite spots.

6. Birthday, wedding, baby and special gifts for others than yourself are exempt for this detox. Gifts need to be within reason.

7. Work trips are considered part of this and shopping on these trips is forbidden.

I feel confident in this detox as it will allow me to concentrate on things other than shopping and fillers to fill the voids of daily life. I can get back to work on my blog. Spend more time baking and making floral arrangements. Gardening and writing letters. Reading my list of novels that have been bedside for weeks with the intent of browsing through once a week. And even doing the things  I love to do more than anything… write and bake for the ones I adore most.

Shopping only fills whatever emotion is empty at the moment. It gives you a quick high and then within minutes, bag in hand, it’s left. For these 31 days, I am reconnecting with myself and not elements to fill a real space. I know there will be moments of weakness…. but I owe it to myself to get back-to-basics and focus on the larger things in life I need to reach for.

It’s 5pm as I write this. I survived an outing to the mall for work. Nothing was speaking to me the way they usually do when I walk into a store. Mannequins weren’t as friendly… no waving arms, no whispers of “You need me in your life!” I was focused on the mission… 31 days. 31 days. I purchased a wedding present and a birthday present. Nothing for myself and all within reason. I felt empowered! I am sure this will vary day-to-day and the LA trip that is happening on Monday is going to be on a whole other level for sure….

Follow along for these 31 days.


Lots of love,




Image Courtesy of: lacoolethic