You know that pesky last box that gets pushed from corner to corner after you move somewhere new? With those random odds and ends you tossed before officially handing over the keys to your last place? That guy finally got unpacked over the weekend, so I am officially here in Philly.
Having come from a little apartment in Boston where things were feeling cramped between running a business and just trying to share a space with your partner and pup in an essentially storage-less city apartment, I’ve been eager to have some r o o m to breathe, ya know? So I Craigslisted and donated away a majority of our things in a massive purge to bring my minimalist heart a little more contentment as we transplanted from one city to another.
It certainly helps to have a separate studio space for the biz, but this new abode also offers a lot more space and storage. I barely even know what to do with myself. Say what – we can buy more than a 4 pack of toilet paper at once? There is a coat closet?! Living in the freakin’ lap of luxury over here where there is a legitimate shelf designated to hold bathroom towels. It’s amazing. And the french doors with the vintage knobs are my Absolute. Favorite. Element. and I hug them daily and lavish them with hanging bundles of blooms (as evidenced above).
The kitchen though? It was and is an eye sore and I’m elbow deep in facelifting the space in creative and inexpensive ways that only renters can sympathize with (I may have laid contact paper on the counters, and have been painting tedious layers of paint on the water-damaged cabinets). The kitchen in this renter is my Kilimanjaro — I will make it lovelier, dammit, even if it gives me carpel tunnel along the way.
That said, let us pause and peruse some prettier kitchen spaces that will surely leave me inspired as I tackle the joys of outdated rental kitchens:
While the end result is unlikely to be anything as dramatically beautiful as the spaces above because one still has to work with what one’s got, the end goal is to have a clean, light, minimal space with touches of texture, dark wood, and maybe even an unexpected graphic element or two to keep things from feeling too sterile. Now wish me luck friends!
Top image is my own, all other image sources can be found here.
The sun is rising later and the harsh humidity is starting to subside here in Philadelphia, which can really only mean one thing…summer is truly making its eloquent exit and preparing us for cooler months ahead. I am someone who likes to celebrate the seasons — I’m not thinking of fall in the middle August, and I’m not prepping for Thanksgiving and Winter now. And why should I? These mild transitions between seasons are really THE. BEST. TIMES. of the year. So rather than fast forwarding to the cold months of late fall and winter which requires bunkering down with thick wool coats and cable knits, andall-weather boots and mittens, I’m looking for ways to dress for and enjoy these first hints of fall.
These weeks are about exploring textures — warmer, sturdier textiles that still have a flexible breathability to them. Items that lend themselves to being layered upon in months to come, but shine on their own for now. I’m looking at high-waisted trousers, tops that give me a touch of warmth and will pair well with coats and heavier sweaters alike, and shoes my feet can frolic about in before they have to hibernate in boots for the rest of the year. Simple. Feminine. Minimal, with hints of vintage influence. Sounds pretty dang good to me!
I can hardly believe it, but it has now been one full year since the official launch of Millay Vintage — and what a year it has been! The shop has evolved and will naturally continue to evolve, and I’m proud that we have stayed true to our vision of seeking high and low to find ethereal, romantic, and understated items for the wardrobe and home all while celebrating and empowering women of the past, present, and future. Whew, that’s a tall order! But one I care ever-so-deeply about. We continue to seek out new ways to celebrate women, to bring out their natural beauty, and help their surroundings feel as lovely as they are, inside and out.
I have been overwhelmed and overjoyed by the support and love our shop has received and so proudly state that we’ve got the smartest, kindest, incredibly well-rounded, and diverse group of customers around. You all inspire me on the daily (and from all corners of the world!).
And thus it seems absolutely fitting to pause and celebrate not only this year that has passed, but all the amazing supporters who have followed along, passed on our name, and shopped from our little shop:
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Speaking of love, we were so thrilled to polish off our first year by landing on Dalena Vintage’s roundup of TOP 10 VINTAGE INSTAGRAM ACCOUNTS. We are among such great company on the list, and the DV blog itself is one beautiful corner of the internet. CLICK HERE to visit her blog, see her top picks, and read her kind write-up about Millay Vintage!
The relationship between one’s wardrobe and one’s sense of interior style seem fundamentally tied together, in my opinion. While clothing and home furnishings, accessories and home tchotchkes (THE hardest word in the English language to spell, by the way) may seem like frivolous commodities, how we dress ourselves and the things we surround ourselves with play a huge part in our own self-confidence and ability to feel relaxed and empowered (see this video if you want more about my general attitude about lovely things).
Interior design has always been in my blood in some way. When my mother and I were living in scrappy apartments growing up, I was that weird kid organizing all our things, styling bookshelves, and prettying up the humble belongings that we had. In college, I surely drove my roommates crazy, rearranging furniture layouts every month to keep things fresh and inspired. And today? Well now I professionally curate home goods in my shop and am busy pinning away on Pinterest and bookmarking magazines and books with ideas of how I’d like to settle in to our new Philadelphia apartment.
So when I ran across this fun breakdown that my good friend Jessica shared a while back, I bookmarked it away. Because I love vintage. And I love interiors. And I am a complete nerd about vintage interior styles and decor. So just get out of town already with this fun breakdown! I had to share.
Isn’t it interesting how different each decade seems from one another? But then you hit the 2010s and can really see the past 50 years come full-circle in how the decades interact with and influence each other. Each decade is so distinct, yet is undoubtedly influenced by its predecessors. Vintage: you are one vast and fascinating genre.
To learn more about each decade’s breakdown, visit the full online installment here!
The little slogan above is the basic gist I got from Managing Oneself (by Peter Drucker) — and a motto I’ve long believed in and have tried to work toward. If you are going to take the time to do something, if you are going to put your name on anything, then make sure to pursue excellence in that task. (or : That job. That project. That relationship…)
While that slogan has served my type-A, micro-managing personality pretty well over the years, a resounding message in this little book I read last week illuminated a big element to making that motto work to your benefit (rather than your over-worked and burnt-out destruction): that doing everything with excellence does NOT mean doing everything. In fact, it means very intentionally NOT doing a number of things. More pragmatically, a big secret to success (and to bolstering personal pride in your work) is to articulate your strengths as well as your weaknesses — and then avoid those weaknesses by playing to your strengths. Sometimes that will mean changing up how you get work done, delegating tasks you aren’t good at to others, and putting more rocks in the basket of things you rock at (pun most definitely intended!). So “it” really boils down to two questions:
Can you do “X” well? If yes, then do it up big time! If no, then don’t do a mediocre job at it just to get it done — simply find another way.
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I’ll sign off with a few direct quotes that spoke to me in case they might also resonate and inspire you this week, my hard-working ladies!
+ “Do not try to change yourself—you are unlikely to succeed. But work hard to improve the way you perform. And try not to take on work you cannot perform or will only perform poorly.”
+ “Knowing where one belongs can transform an ordinary person…into an outstanding performer.”
+ Results should be hard to achieve—they should require “stretching”…But also, they should be within reach”
And finally—ALWAYS remember:
+ “Wherever there is success, there has to be failure.”
Goodness, nothing throws a wrench in one’s sense of routine like a big move, am I right? Between saying goodbye to friends, packing up our lives yet again to move from Boston to Philly, all while transitioning the Millay Vintage shop from a home business to an exciting independent artist space, there has been a lot of unpacking, nesting, painting, setting ups of internet and electricity, battling the DMV, etc. etc. Why isn’t moving easier? And why must the DMV always be insufferable? And why can’t we get our only toilet in the apartment to function normally?
In any case, each day is getting easier, and this move has already forced me to more abruptly face my strengths and weaknesses, think critically and specifically about where I want to take the Millay Vintage shop both in the short- and long-term, and how important it is to carve out time to sharpen your skills on the daily (because no one else gonna carve out that time for ya, you know?).
This little book pictured above with its graphically-pleasing cover—MANAGING ONESELF by Peter F. Drucker—was a super quick read yesterday morning. To be frank, there was nothing too mind-blowing mentioned. The points were broad and general (as most business books tend to be), but sometimes it is good to be reminded of basic, fundamental questions that are important to answer for yourself. They can be a big key to your daily efficiency and long-term career success, and this little read was a good “back to the basics” and a simple reminder of the importance of knowing thyself (a task that is deceptively hard).
I’ll be back here Monday sharing a few good bits from this quick read, so stay tuned. And share some of your reads as well in the comments if you’ve got a good rec! Enjoy your weekend all you loves — xoxo.
Our Boston days are numbered, and our final days in this favorite city of mine are winding down. For a proper send-off, we’ll be having a fun little gathering at Olives & Grace in the South End tomorrow night!
What I love about these interwebs are all the amazing friends I’ve been able to make, and while I know many of you are not geographically nearby, if you do so happen to be in the Boston area, I’d love to see ya! I’ll have some Millay Vintage garments, accessories, and home goods (a few that haven’t been released to the site yet too!) available, and there will be snacks and drinks and general merriment to be had!
The event is open to anyone, so grab a friend and come say hello! I’ll be there from 6 to 8 tomorrow evening — hope to see you there my sweet friends!
JULY 16, 2014
6p to 8p
OLIVES & GRACE
623 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02118
A BON VOYAGE GET TOGETHER WITH SNACKS, DRINKS, AND PRETTY WARES