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Posts Tagged ‘books’

Hello dear readers! I have been woefully negligent with providing updates on the projects and pursuits of the Elle Street Inn. I recently was traveling a bit, and then got a touch of the plague, or flu if you prefer. Have no fear, I’ve not forgotten — and will soon let you enjoy the “After” pictures of the Inn, or my baking list (bread, pasta, &c.).

In the meantime, here is a recent glorious find…

As I was again sniffing round my bookshelf for a tempting read I came upon two fascinating books:

1. Three Short Novels of Dostoevsky, The Double, Notes from the Underground, & The Eternal Husband
2. The Mode in Dress & Home, by Dulcie G. Donovan

The first book will provide some good evening reading, but the second book is a little treasure of a book copyrighted 1935 — and part of my maternal grandfather’s collection. This is a little textbook for high-school girls, on the proper mode of all things dress and home related. After glancing over the table of contents, I immediately realized there was much for me to learn from this little text. The activities have little checks and notes on them, so I imagine this may have belonged to one of my dear great-mama’s who taught school.

I started reading the first few chapters and was delighted to find very practical, yet timeless wisdom. So. I decided to share with you the true art of a clothing budget. In chapter 3, it instructs each girl to assess the total income of the family, divide by the number of the household, and create a budget based on her portion. Here is a sample of that page, note how one must account for clothing owned, needed &c. As well as the percentages allowed for each portion of clothing.

The book recommends that a family household ought to spend no more than 15% on clothing. This little fact provides some hard data to allow us to examine our own budgets. When I was single I spent roughly 6-7% of my net income on clothing (outer clothing, underclothing, footwear, and accessories). Thankfully many of those purchases were wise, and now my clothing expenditures are roughly less than 1% each month. Mind you! The standard of fabulous has not gone down, just the percentage of $$ going out 🙂 As the book recommends, and I do agree, it is vitally important to evaluate the amount of money one chooses to spend on clothing, as well as the types of clothing one is willing to buy.
“A well-planned clothing budget, if carried out successfully, will help you to have more and better clothes for the same amount of money.”

A few tips that aren’t in the book, but I’ve found to work well for me over the years:
1. Have the core staples in your closet, and be willing to spend a decent amount for these items. By staples, I mean something that will stay in style, fit and wear well for at least 2-3 years. For me, this refers to coats, light jackets, skirts, & dress shirts.
2. Spend a very little bit on those delightful trendy items that will be oh-so-fun, and that will steal the compliments at a party or event. For example, a cute shirt that is the seasons color, a scarf or accessory on sale. These are items, that can be easily given away after a season of enjoyment. These are also items that show little or no wear — like a scarf of a sassy pair of shades.

Next chapter is on shopping wisely! Periodically I’ll post a little tid-bit from each chapter.

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When the snow starts accumulating outside to the point where parking spaces are child’s caves, it becomes essential to have some cozy winter revitalization. I was in the mood to find some interesting read, and remembered that I had a whole pile of these vintage books I’d gotten years ago. They are quite silly yet very sweet stories, with a decent climax and character development. So. I picked up this volume (with snow on the cover, who can resist a wintry tale?)

I assume this will be a little wintry tale to keep me entertained while curled up inside (and not feeling the urges to create, snip, or seal!).

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One of my friends got a book for Christmas called the “Forgotten Art of Letter Writing” …or Something like that. Any of these from Amazon may fit the bill

In it, it gives each and every detail about the etiquette, style and such for writing letters. One tid-bit I found particularly stinging was this: “If you have time to surf the web for 10 minutes, you have time to write a note.” Flashing into my mind at that moment: 52 uncompleted TY notes from the wedding!!!! OH. DEAR.

Thankfully, I have finished the Christmas Thank You notes, but now, Mrs. T must push forward and complete the ones that should have been done already. And, as everyone was so incredibly generous and gave us such beautiful useful things, how can I not just sit down and zip through them? I can! &. I will.

Hopefully all will be postmarked 31 December 2010.
Gorgeous clips from this delightful blog!
(Imagine this is posted 31 DEC.)

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