Monday, July 27, 2015

Bits & Pieces from the Web

I haven't done one of these in a long time, so here are some online favorites and finds:

1. Where I go to remember that, outside of the Boston area, there are still heaps of wonderful old houses for sale: Old House Dreams. Wandering around inside some of these beauties can be fun and instructive; you'll see regional styles and details that may surprise you. And many of the houses cost less than Bostonians shell out for a parking spot. I've written about this site before, but it's worth repeating. Check out the craftsmanship in this Tudor in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, selling for a whopping $245,000:

2. Are you like this? 19 Things Only Women with a Low Maintenance Fashion Sense Understand. I was surprised at how well this list described me. Yes, my idea of "styling" my hair is parting it, and it only goes up, down, or in a ponytail. But I'm a bit higher-maintenance: I wear jewelry every day, and often scarves and lipstick (if Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer counts). It seems to me that many French women fit this description, too. One can live in tees and jeans but be quite particular about how they look. (Via Connie of those fabulous foster kittens).

3.  Summer sale at Garnet Hill. Even sale items are on sale right now. Looking ahead (joyfully) to winter, I ordered a hefty cashmere turtleneck to replace a J. Crew wool-blend disaster that pilled itself to death last winter. For about the same price. I like Garnet Hill swimsuits, too, especially at $28 or $34. I don't usually wear bright prints but this one was too pretty to pass up:

4.  I'm going to get around to reading this article on fixing one of my chronic problems. Eventually.

5.  Best weather website I've found (despite its silly name): Weather Underground. Choose and bookmark the station closest to you for a very local forecast. We use one by Fenway Park. My favorite thing is that it tells you how today's temperature compares to yesterday's. New Englanders always need to know this. If you've ever gone out in boots and a coat only to wish you were in sandals and shorts, this is the weather site for you.

6. Before my recent multi-day housecleaning adventure, I picked up some good tips from 11 Cleaning Secrets to Steal from Hotel Maids. Microfiber cloths really are the best, and an old toothbrush can indeed make a difference. (Just remember that you can't use vinegar on marble.)

7. J. Crew has been getting a lot wrong lately but they still do something right: shorts. I've been living in their Harbor shorts this summer. At my age, it feels wrong to wear mid-thigh-length in the city; they're still fine for hiking in Maine. But I'd feel even worse in long, old-lady Bermudas. Harbor shorts are slightly longer but still flattering, with a narrower leg so they're sleeker than most chinos. Baggy shorts add width where no one wants it, so my husband is wearing J. Crew's 9" Stanton shorts these days, which have a slightly slimmer cut, too.
8. I still love Pinterest, even if they are now showing me irrelevant and often tasteless ads, along with various pins they've "picked for me," which I invariably dislike. (I quickly delete them and mark each one as "offensive," since random junk offends me, and things simmer down for a while.) That said, I still find a wealth of beautiful and interesting things on Pinterest, since I get my pins from a carefully edited group of kindred souls, including designers and craftspeople who share my tastes. And then there are the recipes... lately I've rediscovered Crazy Cake, which aligns so well with my "I Can't Be Bothered School of Cooking" that I may have to bake one soon (via


  1. An interesting assortment of things. The Old House Dreams site sure has a lot of stuff to look at. I have liked the Weather Underground for quite a while. I find their iPad app to be very useful.. The Crazy Cake is certainly different. I don't recall hearing about it before.

  2. I like Weather Underground too; I am fairly low-maintenance but do like my eye liner and a little eye shadow; can't wait to try crazy cake, but perhaps my life right now means Lazy Cake ; those shorts look great, although I'm on a bit of a spending diet right now, and being low-maintenance AND lazy, I'll just make do with whatever I have, or just wear a sundress when the shorts are dirty; and that old house has a lot of the details that my home has, 1920s arts and craftsishness... thanks for the shares!

  3. how is that house in PA less than my house?? that thing is awesome. Now granted I'm not a fixeruperdoityourselfer, and I don't really want to live with a heating system that looks that old, but man I Love that house..


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