There are very few people who I can shop with. Truthfully, I don't shop but maybe a few times a year anyway, but when I do it's often alone because I like to get in the zone; the zone that let's me envision how I will turn other people's junk into perfect treasures.
Let me tell you about the "One Step Up From Junk Plan" with a bonus if you're near to Vancouver, WA.
The one person who also "gets the vision" is my dear and longtime friend Lauren. Everyone agrees she's had the most incredible homes because she knows how to turn an old space, a bland space or a worn out this-needs-a-lot-of-attention-pronto space, into a room (or entire house for that matter) that would end up in a magazine article.
Lauren and I could talk for hours just about IDEAS. Junk ideas. Antique and vintage ideas. How to refurbish it all ideas.
I got to thinking about how so many people just love Lauren's style and, yet, if they saw any of the individual vintage things from her home at a garage sale or thrift shop they would simply see it as junk and walk away from all that potential.
That's fine, of course. However, the capability to envision vintage things or junk things as refurbished treasure is very valuable.
Thrifted items are typically dirt cheap. For example, I recently found a leather sofa and matching chair for $40. I'll admit this was an exceptionally good deal, yes, but keep in mind I did have to spend a few hours cleaning and treating the leather after I brought it home. The price to refurbish this thing was well worth it.
We get it. If you're one of those people who has zero interest in refurbishing anything, whether it's big like a sofa or small like a lamp, then you might be a perfect candidate for what I call the "One Step Up From Junk" plan.
The plan goes like this. Other people, the ones with "the vision" I mentioned earlier, can do the dirty work and you'll reap the rewards.
REWARDS of the "One Step Up" Plan:
You'll get the magazine look for hundreds of dollars less than you'll pay at Target, West Elm, Macy's, or the fancy home shop downtown. That's it folks. The only reward you need.
SAVING MONEY + HAVING A MAGAZINE-WORTHY LIVING ROOM.
One of my favorite places to shop is called My Friend Lauren's House. This is not a joke and, no, unfortunately it's not open to the public. That's because it literally is Lauren's house, but I am happy to buy, or even take, things from her collection. If I'm not shopping junk piles I'm looking to her house for the best of the best.
I'm sorry if you don't have a friend who can offer similar benefits but. . .I have good news.
Lauren recently opened a brick and mortar version of her shop Freckled Flowers. Her shop is downtown Vancouver inside Main Street Vintage, at 1817 Main St Vancouver, WA 98660.
Wanna look around before you go? You can get a feel for what's available here on Instagram. She's always on the hunt for new merchandise so you'll always find something new when you visit or shop her Instagram account. Below is a glimpse into what she's got!
So. . .everyone likes a sale, free appetizers and fancy beverages, right?
This Friday, August, 5th from 4-7pm you can get 20% off store wide at Main Street Vintage.
It's First Friday in downtown Vancouver so there's going to be a lot of fun stuff happening- the best day of the month is First Friday! It's filled with creativity, friends, great art, great food and inspiration.
Lauren and I like a lot of the same things, but we do have slightly different styles overall. If you know me and have seen my home, or my Instagram account @clarkandphome, then you can see for yourself how shopping the junk piles around town can result in a unique style for your home.
Lauren and I both do junk and our houses are definitely different (and NOT shabby chic!). Compare it to @freckled_flowers to see what I mean!
Until next time!
I have a confession to make.
A couple of months ago I was getting really bummed about my skincare regimen. Tell me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure we all get tired of our "stuff" for one reason or another.
For me, it's often because I'm enticed by something new and improved, something with prettier packaging or the thing I'm tired of just isn't serving it's purpose any longer. That last reason alone is certainly a valid reason for replacement, wouldn't you agree?
But what happens when that thing you loved, the thing that just doesn't seem to be serving it's purpose any longer. . .is something you want to believe in and truly still care a lot about?
Well, surprisingly sometimes you cut your ties and move on.
Here's what happened.
The reason I wasn't happy with my Pure Haven skincare turned out to be that I wasn't using them properly. All of a sudden, no matter what I did, my skin was just really dry. Flaky dry!
The healing of my dry skin was one of the top reasons I had fallen in love with Pure Haven Essentials almost a year ago, making this predicament especially disappointing.
So, I thought, "I'll take matters into my own hands. I guess "natural" can't banish these dry skin blues for me any longer."
So I set out to use a new moisturizing face mask, a different cleanser and a handful of times I tried a new exfoliator. None of these were natural, non-toxic or organic, however, they did helped me.
Then my face became itchy and then broke out.
I think that because I'd used chemical-free skincare exclusively for over a year, these fancy and expensive products products I decided to try again were now especially irritating. Coincidence? I don't think so.
Let me ask you a question, dear ladies (and gentlemen), "do you think it seems fair that we ask our bodies to get used to chemicals?"
While the answer is clear, I admit I had a lapse in good judgement. I thought it would be alright. So I kept on for a month until my skin was worse off than before and finally. . .
My dry skin had been trying to tell me something from the start. It was telling me to give it more moisture.
Yes, a simple cry for help. So I switched back to using solely Pure Haven Essentials and worked on adding more moisture in the the form of, well, more moisturizer.
I DOUBLED the amount of cream in both the morning and night and my issues resolved within two days if not less.
It was amazing! More is more!
More moisture is more moisture and as I wrap this up I have one more thing I want to be clear as day with you about. . .
I have a video on my Youtube channel where I explain how I conserve my product use so that I don't have to buy it as often. I willingly have shared this tip with clients, as well. After all, the Pure Haven collection in our shop is very pure and very potent. I've found that a little truly does go a long way.
But! While I continue to stand behind "less is more," today I have to let you know that sometimes, in fact, more is more.
Amazingly, the photo below is one of my most popular images from our Clark H&P Instagram account. Amazingly, nobody commented on the very obvious bite I plucked from the edge of the crust. My family will be rolling their eyes if they read this.
Plucking little tastes from pie is my specialty, much to my family's great disappointment!
So I'm guessing that Instagram "convinced" everyone this was a great photo because:
Whether the answer is a, b, c or d, all of the above, this sweet and slightly tart pie is considered approved for the Paleo, Primal, low-carb, low-sugar, no-dairy, gluten-free, zero processed sugar. . .trying to eat well groups of people. Which includes me.
It's truly wonderfully delicious.
Instead of thinking of the pecan and walnut crust as a substitute, i.e. second rate, flour crust, I urge you to see it for what it truly is.
It must be appreciated for its delicate nut crust. Its sweet and rich texture. It's the most delicious paleo pecan and walnut crust apple tart I've ever tried.
So on to the recipe.
Clark Homestead & Produce has been harvesting apples the last week or so. We have an abundance of Transparents, which can be tasty in the hand, but better baked into pie.
This is how I make it. If you don't have access to apple trees any "pie" apple will do for this recipe.
Most Delicious Paleo Pecan + Walnut Crust Apple Tart Recipe
The truth is there are some things that we'll spend the big bucks on without a second thought. It's all relative so, at the risk of offending someone, I won't even try to give examples of appropriate and inappropriate purchases.
But let's move on. . .
Not many will argue that it seems strange to eat food that's often coated in chemicals. It's difficult to avoid it completely and, if you do avoid it, you know how expensive it can be. Big buck expensive.
I've noticed that we care a whole lot less about chemicals we put ON our bodies, though.
And anything "organic" tends to be pricey. Is that the reason we stop at organic food? We simply just can't afford it?
Unless you play an intentional part in it, then your consumption of these chemicals will still be overwhelmingly great. If not in the form of pesticides on your food, then in the form of risky preservatives on your body.
Play a part in it.
Shell out the big bucks as often as you can. My guess is that you already are spending, so consider spending where it matters.
Can you really argue with that?
Besides, there are options . Nope, not telling you to "save a cotton pad" to eliminate chemicals. . .
Have a watch of this video about saving money on organic skincare. Mix and match your brands, use dirt-cheap coconut oil, but put your money to good use and BE FRUGAL to stretch your bucks as far as possible.
That's how I do it.
Until next time!
If you're reading this because you don't know how to knead bread dough then you're in luck!
See this loaf of bread right here? It's called "NO KNEAD BREAD."
Ok, that was a bit of a joke, but keep reading. I want you to learn to knead because it'll give you so much more opportunity for flavor and texture in your baking. But first. . .
Each round loaf, or "boule," that you see here today was made from a very common "no knead" bread recipe.
Both looked different. There was similar flavor and comparable texture but they were both quite unique in form.
So, you see, this is the beauty of bread making. It's also the FRUSTRATION of the thing, too!
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