I adore a good tote bag. From the classic L.L Bean with embroidered initials, to the red Trader Joe’s cloth bag I’ll lug around jammed with library books, it’s just one of those essentials I can never have enough of and never feel too guilty for buying. This one from from West Elm makes me laugh every time I see it which is a perk for something so simple and functional. And for just $18, it’s also a steal. I think it’d be hilarious to gift to my farmer’s market buddies this spring but I’m going to try to refrain from gifting to myself. My tote bag collection is “totes” out of control.
I’ve been trying to clean out and de-clutter since the fall in anticipation of eventually moving but I just can’t quit is my mug habit. In the last 6 months I’ve gifted away MANY pretty, but unnecessary Starbucks mugs I’ve purchased over the years and Brian even smashed one of my newer favorites—I like to think it was accidental. But in a household where only one of us drinks coffee and tea regularly, there is no justification for my enormous collection.
I’ve started to re-purpose a few of them in the office to wrangle my endless supply of sharpies, highlighters, and gel pens and use a few others, like the photo mug my friend Lauren made me years ago that I treasure (but is too scandalous to share here, unfortunately), to store makeup brushes and eye liner. I bought this “Big Apple” mug at Starbucks the night Brian proposed to me in NYC in 2010. It’s one of my all-time favorites as a result so I was heartbroken when I broke its handle recently while washing it. Brian sweetly super-glued it back on, but it’s out of commission as far as “usable drinkware” goes. I love to see it on my desk everyday though as a reminder of one of the happiest days of my life.
I picked up Mr. Scary Face on our honeymoon in Hawaii in 2012. This particular mug depicts the Tiki God of prosperity or money. Not wanting to be completely superficial, I also picked up this little keychain of Akua, the Tiki God of protection. I swear, I chose the mug based on color. I think it would be fun to use as a mini flower vase or planter someday too.
This is a fairly recent purchase and to say I’m in love with would be a massive understatement. As soon as my eyes locked on it in the clearance section of Marshall’s, it was love. The delicate bone china. The dainty saucer. The gold monogram. It was the only one and it had my initial! I couldn’t believe it. Every time I drink a cup of tea from this I feel happy. Delighting in the small things is what it’s all about and this beautiful little piece of china reminds me of that daily.
Then I found this beauty at a thrift shop near Central Park in NYC just after Christmas. We’d gone into the city to see the tree at Rockefeller Center and re-visit the spot on Poet’s walk were we got engaged. The china section is usually one of my favorites to browse since I love to collect random pieces to create my own sets for a unique look, but when I spotted this I practically threw myself at the shelf to snatch it before anyone else realized it was brand new, from Anthropologie. I’d pined for (and pinned) this non-stop all Christmas, but decided I just didn’t need another mug. Luckily, fate intervened and now I have a beautiful tea cup with my first initial on it as well as this gorgeous beauty with my shiny new married lady last initial. Perfection!
Have a great weekend, everyone!