Sunday, July 28, 2019

A Shopping Ban Update: Three Months In

It's been almost three months since I declared a one-year shopping ban for myself. 

Well. I'm not so impractical and idealistic to think I could go 12 months without buying literally anything. After thinking hard about what I need to buy and what I like to buy, I laid out some rules, which you can read here

Now a quarter year into my shopping ban, here's an update. As you'll see, I've been living within my rules except for one crazy indulgence. But once you see that indulgence, I'm sure you'll understand. 

^ Three wire baskets 

Last May, as I went about my spring patio styling project, I happily rearranged and refilled my collection of pots and planters, fluffing up the older plants and buying a few new replacement plants as needed. But this counter space kept crying for a little something new. New pink annuals in the hanging cedar boxes, and a repurposed wire tray on the wall made a dent, but I still craved some new planters for the counter top. So I followed my rules and made a quick trip to the thrift store. Sitting together on a shelf, as if they were waiting for me, I found three wire containers - one of which I never got around to planting but I kind of like its weird emptiness - and now I'm 100% in love. 


^ A butcher block top.

Somewhere around thirteen years ago, I bought an inexpensive IKEA cart for my kitchen. Seemed like a good way to put the empty square footage in the middle of the room to good use, though as we assembled it, my husband jokingly wondered out loud how long it would last. He made a good point; I tend to quickly grow tired of small things cluttering up my floor space. But the little cart ended up a hero. We use it for buttering toast, pouring juice, chopping vegetables, and who know what all else. In fact, my only complaint has been that the original cheap butcher block top sat a few inches lower than a proper counter, and my back would ache when I worked here too long. 

And then the ideal solution hit me: buy a new slightly thicker butcher block to mount on the existing cart. A quick Google search hooked me up with the perfect vendor, and I fell in love with a gorgeous hunk of walnut. The high price tag took some getting used to, but I decided - and my husband agreed - that it was still a modest indulgence. I decided to go for it, and set aside some money.

That was three years ago. One thing led to another, and I prioritized other remodeling projects ahead of my butcher block top. But finally, in May, the time was right. And now all of my walnut butcher block dreams have come true. 


^ A ceramic planter.

In June, Gracie accidentally knocked one of my plants off the living room coffee table. The planter crashed on the floor and broke into smithereens. Totally not her fault. But my thriving pilea peperomioides plant needed a new home stat. So off I went to Swansons Nursery and found this minimalist gem. I love a happy ending. 


^ A plant. 

On the very same trip to Swansons, I came across a darling peperomia angulata. In a flash, knew he was the perfect match for a copper vessel I've had on hand. In a former life, this was a candle, but it's since been begging for a plant of its own. So I bought the little green guy, brought him home, introduced the two of them, and the angels sang all around. 


^ A blank canvas.

The bookcase in my family room is currently a work in process. Though I am always open to changing my mind, I'm fairly well set on using the top shelf to showcase a piece of art. I'm slowly brainstorming my way into that creative process, but the first step was to determine the best size and orientation for the piece. So I hopped off to Michael's for a blank canvas, unwrapped it, and started styling it this way and that, in all its unpainted glory. Now that I'm pleased with the position, I'm just about ready to get my DIY on and take a brush to the darn thing. 


^ Wind chimes.

Two years ago, during one of our long and leisurely trips to Sky Nursery, my fourth-born led me to a display of capiz shell wind chimes and said, "Mom, these are so you." She was right - over the years, I've had several sets of these delicate shell creations and I adore them. Shoot, when I went on a high school senior trip to the Bahamas, I brought back a set of capiz shell wind chimes for my mom - the first souvenir I ever bought. They hung in our dogwood tree for years. 

Ever since my daughter spoke those words years ago, I've been thinking about buying them, and one sunny day in June, I finally did. Definitely met that three month waiting period.


^ Flamingo potted plant. 

Last week, my third- and fourth-born and I were rambling around University Village, and stopped into QFC to buy a desperately-needed snack. As we circled the deli section in our search for delicious, my eyes fell upon a shelf full of tiny ceramic flamingos planted with senecio rowleyanus, also known as String of Pearls. Well. The cuteness was too much for me. And even though, prior to seeing this creation, I never knew for one second that I might ever want a ceramic flamingo planted with String of Pearls, I was powerless to resist it.

So, on a reckless, self-indulgent, totally unchecked impulse, I bought the darn thing. 

My one and only, utter and complete shopping ban violation. So far.

And you know what? I have zero regrets. 


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Read more about my journey to mindful consumption:

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