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Inspiration for living a luxuriously and balanced life

Friday, November 30, 2012

Editing (decluttering) Your Wardrobe ...

Now that you have determined your "New Style" (click here for What's Your Style post) it's time to edit your closet of all garments that do not reflect Your Style.

You will need: 5 bins (boxes or laundry baskets will do) - label each as follows: Ditch, Donate, Sell, Keep,Tailor & Refresh.

A clothing rack for the keep items

A good friend who will be strong, hold your hand and not let you keep anything that is less than a 4/4.

Step 1: Remove ALL the clothes from your closet and place them on the bed.

As you make your way through each item in your closet - it must rate 4/4 - anything less, the item must go.

Do not even think about keeping any item less than a 4 ~ not even for gardening, running errands, or walking your four-legged furbaby; frumpy is no longer a word that will be used to describe your look, no matter your style.

As I worked through my pile of clothes on the bed - these are the questions I asked in determining the fate of each garment.

1) Condition of each garment? - Is it ... stretched out of shape?pilling? permanently stained or damaged? if you were able to answer  to any of these ... into the Ditch it bin, QUICK!!!

2) What era is the piece from? ~ holding on to a piece hoping it will come back into style ...  have you worn it in the past 12 months? Unless it's a classic piece, sorry to burst your bubble - It's NOT coming back in fashion - Donate.

3) Fit? - does it fit as it should? is the fit flattering? Does it give you confidence? If you answered NO to any of these ... time to add to the Donation pile. The fit of a garment is very important, it can either give you confidence or deflate your mood.

4) Is the garment relative to your current life? ~ if your closet is filled with suits for the corporate life you no longer have ... Time to let it go. Either Sell it and get some funds to help in the rebuilding of appropriate wardrobe pieces OR Donate, so someone else can put it to use.

Step 2:
Items that were "Keep" went on to the clothes rack.

Now that you have sorted out the MUST GO items, 
it will be easier to assess the remaining items. ~

Carefully re-evaluate the items on the clothes rack one more time.
These are the questioned I asked myself as I tried each one on again.
If an item did not get all 4 check marks ~ it had to go into the Ditch, Donate, or Sell bin.

The items that remained were actually items that I could wear and meant my Style. My closet had been so stacked with items that did not fit me or my new life ~ that these items were difficult to identify. And I would become so overwhelmed with making a choice on what to wear - that I went for the easy (frumpy) stuff - which only made me feel less confident and really affected my motivation.

One Final Step...
(Step 2A)

How often have you been getting ready (usually in a rush) and not been able to wear a specific item because it required minor repair (a button replaced, a hem taken up) or needs to be ironed ? Frustrating no?  

All items on the clothing rack, must be in ready to wear condition..

Do one final sort - if it's ready to wear as is, it stays on the rack. If it needs to be tailored or refreshed before you wear it next, NOW is the time to address this.

It may start to look like you have eliminated a good portion of your wardrobe, don't despair. The items that remain are what looks and feels good on you. And now that some have been Tailored and Refreshed, you will actually have a few more pieces to wear, that otherwise would just be taking up valuable space in your closet.



Once items have been Refreshed and Tailor, it's time to look at your wardrobe and see what key pieces may be missing from your wardrobe to complete your style.

It is also the time to look at your closet (now that it's clutter free - empty) and determined if available space is being well utilized? can you see and get to each item easily?

Step 3
I'll be sharing some basic pieces to jump start a wardrobe and 
looking closer at closet organization, next time. 

Till then, below are some closet storage solutions to get you thinking.



What tips can you share for wardrobe editing? How often do you edit your wardrobe?






Sharing this post with:Feathered Nest Friday ~ Show and Tell Friday ~ Inspiration Friday ~ Home Sweet Home Friday ~ Fridays Unfolded ~Potpourri Friday 2805

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Something is Stirring ....


Heee...Heeee...


What was that sound ...?


Let me see .....!!



Dolce and Gabbana were startled by the "new" noise they heard in the kitchen. 
But looking out the window ... they saw Nothing .... 


Heeee.... Heeee....Heee
If only they had looked up and around the kitchen. The Christmas (furbaby) Elf is back, watching to see if they are being woofly good or barking naughty little furbabies!

With Thanksgiving celebrations in Canada taking place in October, Christmas preparations have already been underway around our home for a couple of weeks. With decorating and shopping for gifts almost complete, it will be time to start the Christmas baking soon.

Are you almost finished? Have you started? 
What's your favourite Christmas baked treat?





Monday, November 26, 2012

What's Your Style? Q&A - Wardrobe Series

For some people figuring out their Style is no great challenge, for others like me ~ I need the process to be quick and simple to follow. Below is a quick 5 question Quiz I found at Dummies.com that really made it easy for me.  I rearranged the layout to make it even more simple to get to your Style results.

Be sure to answer each question as it applies to you at this moment in life. When I did the quiz I had to remind myself of this ... as the perfect every day shoe in my mind is a gorgeous heel! But the reality this moment in my life is that a flat really is the perfect every day shoe that I must choose wear, because of my right ankle and pelvic pain.


Now tally up your answers into groups by letters. What letter did you choose most?
Below is a definition of your Style, based on your responses above.

original quiz layout ~ edits: High Heeled Life

 Pre-life detour my Style was Fashionista and definitely during the past years of recovery it has been Suburanite for the simple ease of it. My current/shifting into Style (mostly Es) Classic, I can live with that. 

How did you do? What is your STYLE?
were you surprised?

Join me next time to as we start the closet declutter process.



Sharing this post with: My Friday's Fancies * Fashion Friday * What Inspires Me Friday





Friday, November 23, 2012

A Wardrobe for a New You... (a new series)


If you are a regular reader of High Heeled Life, you already know Coco Chanel is one of my favourite women of inspiration. Mademoiselle Chanel was not only a brilliant designer and pioneer of women's fashion, she was a graduate of the "University of Life" and lived life much like a chameleon, adapting to the detours life threw at her ~ reinventing herself and creating a new life as required.

Her creations are still relevant in fashion today and will continue to be for decades to come. Style is more than just the clothes that meet today's "fashion (trends)", it is the sum of classic, timeless pieces, quality fabrics, well made garments which create one's personal Style and will continuously  feel in "fashion (trends)" year after year regardless of what is paraded on run ways or seen in magazines as the fashion du jour.

In Mademoiselle's time consumers thrived for quality not quantity and were willing to wait weeks for their coveted wardrobe pieces.The anticipation created by the time it took for a piece to be completed, made the garment that much more special and personal for the consumer. They also knew, with proper care their prized garments would last a life time. Well worth the investment of both time and money.

image source 
In today's world of Instant Gratification, waiting for and investing in well made wardrobe pieces has almost become instinct. People are willing to pay for pieces that are constructed of lesser quality fabrics and often poor workmanship (made by computerized machines) to satisfy their "must have now" thinking.  This mentality contributes to a closet filled with pieces that are not only poor workmanship, the quality and longevity of the piece's fabric give the garment limited life span. These closets become over stuffed with a potpourri of pieces that do not relate to each other; leaving the closet owner screaming the famous phrase "I have nothing to wear" as they scurry to get to work or a social function or to little legal practice on time.

Another challenge that many face today is the their ever changing role in life; single gal, wife, mother, grandmother, career gal, stay at home mom, divorcee, widow, and the wardrobe requirements that change with each role.

Perhaps like me, once a career driven, fashionista ~ I found myself house bound and with my wardrobe consisting of mainly pieces required for a corporate career, not very practical for the physical therapy that now was my life. Maybe you have been a stay at home mom who is going back to work in an office - your husband's sweat shirts and fuzzy slippers you have been living in just won't cut it. Or you find yourself now single (single parent) after years of marriage and for the first time in a long time you are able to wear high heels ~ without worrying about towering over your ex.

No matter the change, or whether it was planned/anticipated or not ... we are all at a cross road. We know things are changing, we are changing ... but have no idea what this new life, or us is going to look like. Well let's start with our closets!

Over the next few weeks I'll be writing a post series called A Wardrobe for a New You, where I will share with you the strategies that I used to get a handle on the contents of my closet, making it easier to get dressed and letting the world think I had confidence (even when inside I am as lost as a person can be, at times).

Your life isn't pleasing you?

Let's take our cue from Mademoiselle Chanel...  

Let's create our New Self and Life one step and hanger at a time!

Join me next time for discovering your STYLE at this time in your life.

Sharing this post with: My Friday's Fancies * Fashion Friday * What Inspires Me Friday

Surviving the Sales & Invites to Great Savings...

Well, it's that time of the year again ~ how prepared are you?


Oh how I long for the days when I could be in mall or in the city shopping without any consideration for how busy it would be or noisy. But that is part of change, so even though I try my best to get all my holiday shopping by the end of November (during non - peak shopping times - like Mondays and Tuesdays), there always seems to be a few over looked items ~ that have me stepping into the "danger zone" of holiday shopping mania.


Over the past couple of years we have come up with some strategies to help me during these times, in an effort to avoid a melt down like three year old~ when she discovers Santa's beard is not real - and thus the man himself is an impostor.

The List: This has become a most important tool for me to navigate holiday gift shopping. On my list I have the names of people we are buying for, along with 3-4 gift options for each person. It's important to remember that popular items are limited this time of year, so having a back-up choice or two, helps keep the blood pressure and the build up of anxiety at bay.

Budget: Before setting out list in hand, a budget comfort zone is discussed and agreed with hubby. No surprises come the new year when the statements start to arrive. By creating a reconciliation sheet with the budget comfort zone as the opening balance and deducting purchase amounts at the end of each shopping outing, I know how much has been spent and how much remains available before making additional purchases.

Stay Focused: Avoid falling under the spell cast by the sight of the word SALE. and buying just to buy. If it wasn't on your list - it doesn't need to find its way into your shopping bags.

On Line Shopping: At first I was hesitant to purchase items on-line. But as this time of year becomes more and more commercialized and instead of people being human while out shopping, many seem to become possessed an behave more like wild bulls. Aside from not being trampled, it is much faster to do price comparison - a couple clicks of the keys and voila you know which place has the best price.

A draw back of on-line shopping is you need to consider delivery times. Most sites though are quite good at letting you know the cut off date for guaranteed delivery.

Below are some on-line shops which I have had wonderful experiences with and found some out-of-this-world deals on designer brands.So as any good friend ~ I'm sharing with you and Invite to shop, and discover your own super deals!!

For my fellow Canadian friends and readers these shops do ship to Canada!!

Happy Shopping ...

CLICK HERE for Your Invite to Shop Gilt Groupe

CLICK HERE for your Invite to shop... Beyond the Rack..

CLICK HERE for Your Invite to Shop Rue La La

CLICK HERE for your Invite to Shop Zulily


Team Favorites: Kids' Apparel up to 65% off at Zulily

From college teams to professional sports—and basketball to football and beyond—this collection allows little ones to show some support for the family's favorite team. And with lovable brands like Happy Kids and more, it’s a win-win situation!

Where do you find great on-line deals? 
Do Share.....

Happy American Thanksgiving...



Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Our Family Keeps Growing ~ Max and Chanel

Congratulations to our dear extended family in Vermont on the new addition(S) to their family! Being from France - mon ami, could not leave Max's little sister behind ... and one became two! 

It is with a huge smile, that we at the High Heeled Life home welcome Max & Chanel! 

Dolce and Gabbana can't wait to sniff  meet their newest cousins ... 

video

Click on the above link to see these two adorable furbabies helping with gardening!!




Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Martha Stewart Living - Free Thanksgiving Cookbook

Send to a Friend   ShareThis
Martha Stewart Living Radio Downloadable Thanksgiving Cookbook

Also join us from Monday, November 19, through Wednesday, November 21, we'll have celebrity chefs, entertaining expert Peter Callahan and beer and wine aficionados Garrett Oliver, Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg standing by to answer your holiday entertaining questions, live on Martha Stewart Living Radio (SiriusXM 110). Call us at 866-675-6675 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET.
Each of the chefs and experts participating in the Hotline has contributed a recipe and tips for our Thanksgiving Hotline Cookbook.Thanksgiving cookbook full of delicious recipes from Martha Stewart, and other celebrity chefs, Download FREE Martha Stewart Cookbook. .


Disclaimer: The above information is from the Martha Stewart newsletter I receive. You can subscribe HERE to get your own Martha Stewart newsletter. I have not received any compensation either monetary or material for sharing this. I'm sharing because I downloaded the cookbook and it has some fabulous recipes that I thought High Heeled Life Readers might enjoy.

Happy Thanksgiving week, to all my American friends and High Heeled Life readers.



Friday, November 16, 2012

Sheet Dreams ....

While at a friend's home this past week-end, the topic of sleep (or better said - lack of) became quite an interesting discussion among the ladies present. Discussing bargain sheets to investment sheets! Caring for bedding ...then someone (may or may not have been me) mentioned how much they miss getting into a bed with properly ironed sheets ~ yes, a few eyebrows were raised. 
 We spend about one third of our life in bed, so why not make it a little luxurious!

Once reserved for the very wealthy, access to luxurious bedding has come a long way. Still many reach for the cheaply made bargain sheets, which only provide a false sense of saving, given the itchy, uncomfortable sleep environment created by pilling and the need to be replaced often. Over the years I have learned slipping into a soft, welcoming set of sheets is a relatively inexpensive luxury.

For it's year round comfort and easy care, cotton remains the go-to fiber for sheet sets. Cotton is sometimes blended with silk, poplin, sateen and percale to control texture, stretch and durability.




Egyptian cotton (my favourite) is truly a piece of heaven, in my opinion. The length of the cotton fiber produced in Egypt is what sets it above other cottons. The longer the fibers, the more durable and smooth the cotton becomes when it's twisted into thread and woven. Producing durable, luxuriously soft sheets which can start to look and feel just silk when you get into the 800 and up thread counts. 




Linen fabric is definitely the crown jewel when it comes to luxurious sheets. Raw material for linen sheets is derived from the flax plant, making it harder to spin into threads, thus linen sheets are typically more expensive than cotton ones. Linen's a true luxury fibre, requiring extra care to make sure it looks its best. However, if properly cared for, linen sheets will last for decades, unlike any other fabric. Old World French and Irish linen sheets are a much sought after treasure today.



A side from fiber choice, thread count is also something that needs to be considered when choosing a sheet set. In theory the higher the thread count (the quantity of threads woven into a square inch of the sheet's fabric) the softer the sheet. But what about the ply? A single-ply fabric is woven from one yarn and a two-ply fabric twists two sections of yarn together, then weaves them. Since some manufacturers consider two-ply as two separate threads, the thread count is allowed to be doubled. Therefore a one-ply 1000 thread count and a 600 thread two-ply fabric are very different. The package for the 600 count two-ply fabric is allowed to be advertised as 1200 thread count.


When it comes to thread count, numbers can sometimes be misleading, as you can see from the above.

Cotton is a great year round sheet choice, especially for the colder winter months, while linen is better suited for warm weather months. In my experience when you start getting over the 600 thread count it may uncomfortably trap body heat. I try to stay with a minimum of 300 - 600 thread count, lower count for warm weather and higher count for colder months.

Caring for your investment:

Like anything in life, the longevity of an item is not only dependent on its quality, but also the care it is given after purchase.

~ Launder bed linens weekly, wash them seperate from other laundry
~ Use gentle detergent (a baby or delicate item product)
~ Spot-treat any stains and use a gentle oxygen bleach (if required)
~ Wash in warm water and rinse in cold (I actually wash and rinse in cold)
~ Dry on a low heat and remove sheets just before they are completely dry
~ Iron - yes this can be optional (except if you have linen sheets) But, trust me on this ~ there is nothing better than getting into a bed with freshly laundered and pressed sheets. 


In the days when I could do all things for myself ~ ironing my bed sheets was one of those little things, I did for myself* with a little sprinkle of lavender ironing water on the pillow cases. If you iron your sheets, you know exactly the feeling I mean. If you don't,-  give it a go, you will be impressed how much better your sheets feel.

I can't be the only would who feels Egyptian cotton sheets are worth the investment: dreams of owning a set of linen sheets and thinks sheets should be ironed - Can I? 

~ please share you thoughts for selecting and caring for bed linens...

* Mr. G, bless his heart is getting better at ironing the sheets



Sharing this post with:
Rose Chintz Cottage for Home Wednesday ;My Simple Country Life for The Country Homemaker Hop ;Katherine of Katherine’s Corner for Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop; Kathy of A Delightsome Life for Home and Garden Thursday;Sheri at The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home; Courtney of French Country Cottage for Feather Your Nest Friday;Alison of Stuff and Nonsense for Fridays UnfoldAt the Picket Fence for Inspiration Friday; Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday. ~  What Inspires Me Friday
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