In response to this week’s Daily Post photography prompt, “Narrow,” I give you a couple of images of a charming town in southern Spain, Arcos de la Frontera.


Quaint, beautifully whitewashed, and boasting a stunning valley view, Arcos is one of Andalucia’s many gems. I thoroughly enjoyed exploring its narrow, winding streets when I visited six years ago. At that time, the place was was virtually unspoiled by tourism, but I suppose things could be different now.

Speaking of traveling…I head to the beach tomorrow and am thus taking a brief hiatus from the blog. Until next week! 🙂


#tbt: A *tote*al bargain.

Did I mention I was a professional punster in my past life? 😛

I’m heading to the beach this weekend and I couldn’t be more excited; I’ve been looking forward to this getaway all summer. Right now, the weather forecast shows thunderstorms, but I’m going to pretend it doesn’t and hope for the best.

So…here’s my beach tote. 

beach bag

When I found this bag hanging out on the $5 clearance rack at Aerie a couple of summers ago, I couldn’t say no. I mean, it’s pretty plain, I guess, but it does the job. And I think simple yet sophisticated is a good look.

beach bag detail

I’m not sure exactly what it’s made of–some type of woven material. It came with a matching pouch inside, which is super convenient for storing a phone or similar item that could use some extra protection from the elements.

That’s all for today. If you need me, I’ll be praying to the weather gods.

Because “I liked scotch.”

Today’s post, a guest contribution from my friend Kath, showcases a unique hand-me-down.


Kath: When my grandmother downsized into a smaller apartment, I was given this decanter set because “I liked scotch.”


Belonging to my great – grandmother, this Tantalus decanter features a locking mechanism on the top – to keep your expensive spirits safe from either your househould staff, or young teens (depending on the home). Initially, the Tantalus cabinets were meant to showcase your expensive spirits in an appealing way, prior to the cheaper store bought bottles we use today.

Unfortunately for me, I accidentally locked it, and have no idea where the keys would be. I am also missing the third brass label – which, I’m going to hazard a guess, was bourbon. Even though they are empty and will presumably never contain alcohol, I enjoy looking at the set and the connection with my family (and their love of whiskey).

What an interesting family treasure. An added bonus: free!  🙂

For the love of flora.

Well, I once again scored a small mid-century modern table for $5 via Craigslist, and once again decided to use it as a plant stand! 

I know, I know–it looks quite similar to my other set-up. But how can you not love this? Especially with the colorful Turkish kilim underneath.

It’s got a laminate top, which I’m not crazy about, but for five bucks I really can’t complain. I’d guess it’s about a 16″ square x 15″ height. Cute and functional.

What do we think? 😬🌱

Making a statement.

I hadn’t planned on dedicating an entire blog post to this beautiful new ring, but it proved popular on my Instagram, so here you go.


I purchased it for $15 a couple of days ago from a local shop called Caravanserai. Colorful, exotic, bohemian…I absolutely love everything in this shop! It reminds me of my years living in Turkey, and how much I came to love the artistic style there, both past and present.

Normally, I wouldn’t call this a “steal.” But, when you think about it, 15 bucks is pretty good for such an impressionable piece of foreign jewelry! Actually, I was hesitant at first because it is such an eye-catching statement piece, and I’ve never worn anything like it before, but hey: I have long fingers, so I can rock it, right?  😉


This past Sunday’s Pride festival at Druid Hill Park was a blast! I collected a bunch of free stuff (t-shirt, buttons, stickers, etc.) from a ton of vendors.


Looking forward to hanging a couple of these goodies in my classroom when I return to school in August. ❤ 🙂


I rummaged through two different Goodwill stores yesterday, and this was the best I could do.

Paid $2.50 (hardback).

I’ve heard he’s a great author, and I’ve been meaning to pick up The Corrections, but haven’t gotten around to it. Anybody familiar with this one? A good beach read, perhaps?

Big weekend win.

To be honest, I’ve been kinda frustrated lately in terms of bargain-hunting. Craigslist seems to have dried out for some reason, and I keep leaving  yard sales empty-handed. So, you can imagine how excited I was when I discovered, via the Nextdoor app, that a neighbor was selling a like-new IKEA chair for $25!

While I loved the chair (and its secondhand price tag), I knew that I would never be able to fit it in my car. I skeptically asked the seller if she could deliver it to me, and, as it turns out, she was happy to! The crazy part: As we got to chatting, I realized that she was the sister of one of my former students! Small world, indeed. I paid her extra for delivery (and for being the sister of an awesome gal), so the total came out to $40. Huge savings here, as IKEA sells it for $109.

Anyways, here’s the chair in its new home!


Nestled in the corner by the window, it will make the perfect reading chair. Now all I need is an ottoman to go with it! While I did recently score a free ottoman from Craigslist, I decided to give it to a close friend, so I’m still on the lookout.  🙂

Karly’s fixer-upper.

Today’s awesome post is a guest contribution from my friend Karly, who’s always on the hunt for an affordable DIY project!


Karly: I scored this dresser for $20 at a garage sale! You may have guessed correctly that it wasn’t blue when I acquired it. This dresser is wood and actually had a gouge out of the top from, I’m guessing, a burn. I knew a little bit of wood putty and some paint would take care of that, so we loaded it in the back of our small SUV and headed home.

I had the wood putty and some primer on hand and bought a quart of paint from my local hardware store for about $15. I mentioned to the salesman that the paint was for this purpose, and he suggested a more durable finish that would withstand water spills (or gin and tonic, which was the hardware store guy’s specific example). We puttied, sanded, primed, and painted the dresser over a couple of days, and I am so happy with the result.

One thing I love about starting with a $20 dresser and knowing that my total investment would be $50 or less is that I could make this a statement piece without any downside. Sometimes it’s hard to shell out $500+ for a new piece of statement furniture when you’re not sure how long a trend will last or how long you’ll love that color. I like having the option to be fickle and repaint it on a whim. (For the record, this color still continues to make me happy every day so far.)

I left the original handles – I love them! I also have to mention that the top of the dresser showcases a trio of $1 buys: the tiered plate for my jewelry; the gold tray; and the lamp. I found the plate and lamp at separate garage sales and the tray at an antique shop. The two small books were a gift, and the mustard yellow candles came from IKEA.

Nice work, Karly! 🙂

The things we leave behind.

This week’s WordPress Discovery Challenge is titled “The Things We Leave Behind.” Here are a few interesting photos that I think fit the theme.

Top left: Greenbriar, Arkansas; Bottom Left: Petra, Jordan; Right: Manhattan, NYC.

Such found objects, in my opinion, truly tap the essence of “the things we leave behind.” I encountered all of these  exactly as you see them; the photos were not staged in any way.

Vestiges such as these have always piqued my curiosity.  Some seem abandoned, others intentionally left behind for a purpose. They are literally and figuratively perplexing, as they cause us to ask questions regarding the who and the why. I have always loved photographing them.