I’m three weeks in my 30 day self imposed no shopping challenge and it’s going well. I’m really surprised at how easy it has been. If you know me at all, you know that I LOVE to go to junk stores, antique malls or roadside pop-ups loaded with vintage stuff. It cheers me up when I’m down, lifts my spirits and inspires me to try new things in my own home. Not doing any of that should have left me down in the dumps. Strangely enough, it’s had the opposite effect.

I walk through my rooms now and look to see what can be removed, changed or gadzooks! I might even like what I see. I don’t look to see what I can add, I don’t walk around thinking….”If I only had ……, or I should get……., or I wish I had one of those………. Nope, I’m enjoying the process of changing things up by using what I have.

My attic is a crawl space and it’s about 200 degrees up there right now. So any forays into that hellish space must be thought out and planned like a Special Ops raid. Like right after a storm in the evening. Crawling up in there ain’t for the faint of heart. I usually ask Mr B to do that for me, but I just can’t bring myself to do that right now. I like my husband, I want to keep him around. Heat exhaustion is not an option.

The result of not getting into the attic means that all those items I’m hiding saving for future use, are in boxes in the garage. This has resulted in some remarks from Mr Grumbly Pants, aka the a fore mentioned love of my life. I asked for another project to be completed and the look I received in return withered my eyebrows. (Almost…. I have some pretty wiry brows and not even the wrath of Mr B can scorch those completely.) Normally his stink eye renders me silent…..but I’m on a mission. And no amount of stink eye will stop me. “I can’t do any more projects until I get my garage back,” said Mr Crabby Appleton. “But it’s sooo hot in the attic.” I whined….. “It’s too hot to go up there.” He stood firm and stink eyed.

So yesterday I lost 22 pounds of water weight sweating in the attic, moving bags of pillows. BAGS of pillows. Um, who needs that many pillows??? My responsible Self said… “just donate those.”  My normal Self  said, commented, screamed, “What if the world suddenly has a pillow shortage and my attic stash saves women everywhere from dying from the loss of pillows for sofas and beds??”  I cannot be responsible for that. So I’ll keep those bags of pillows. Just in case.

I still have boxes to move, but now I’m too weak from yesterday’s heat, weight loss and the thought of no more pillows. I’m guessing Mr B will begin project completion for me in November when the attic temp comes down to a reasonable 95. In the meantime I’m using what I have in the house or hidden stored in the garage.

I recently became enamored of seltzer bottles. Again. Especially the ones with faceted glass. They look so pretty in social media photos. I HAD to have one. Completely forgetting I already have three that I never use. “But they aren’t faceted,” my must-have-everything-Self said. “I  already have those others,” my I’m-trying-to-purge-Self remarked. The internal arguments between these two are draining. If you see me wandering around, wide eyed and mumbling, just give me space. Don’t make any sudden moves, speak quietly, lest my brain implodes.

A few days ago in the midst of a mumbling fit I happened to be looking up at those seltzer bottles when I had a Holy Cats!  moment. On the top shelf in the laundry room, snuggled up next to the seltzer bottles I don’t use and really have no good spot for were my vintage lemonade bottles. I totally spazzed. I was so excited I grabbed the ladder and brought them down immediately. I can’t believe I’d forgotten these gems.

I went to an elderly widow’s home in the 80’s to look at a Singer treadle sewing machine. While we were chatting my son became infatuated with some bottles and asked about them. The woman’s late husband had invested in a company that wanted to offer a soda that would compete with 7Up and/or Sprite. She said the plan died because, in her words, “no one wanted to buy anything German.”

She had cases of bottles left and offered them for $1.00 each. We left her house with the treadle sewing machine and 6 “Limonade” bottles.  The labels on the these bottles have been loosely translated…. The drink was to be a carbonated Lemonade with Citrus and Orange extract, sweetened with sugar, by Peter Wiertz and bottled by the Aachener Buger Brau company. They have porcelain stoppers! They still seal. I had a brainstorm. Where the elderly woman saw failure, I saw possibilities.

I sterilized them in a water bath. You can Google sterilizing methods, there are several, but I just did the simple, stick em in a pan of water and boil them until everything in them, or on them is dead. After they were cool I used them to hold…..wait for it…..Lemonade! I decided to decant my lemonade into them and use them to serve friends and family. I love those stoppers and the bottles offer a neat way to pour and serve any beverage this summer.

If you have vintage bottles that are just collecting dust, think about ways they can be used. Decanters for laundry supplies? Bath oils? Dish detergent? With the lemon craze that has hit Blogland this summer, I’m doing my part, except I won’t be adding lemons as decor on my table. I want to sit outside where I can enjoy the humidity and buzzing of insects, while I sweat buckets but look oh-so-cool serving lemonade from these old bottles. Fresh squeezed lemonade, I might add. Yeah…..I’m all about the fresh.

Look around your home, are there things “hiding in plain sight?” Have you grown so used to your displays that you no longer see what is there?” Move things around. Look at them with new eyes. Don’t store things in a drawer. Or keep them in a cabinet. Find ways to add them to your daily life. After years in a box, I now use my Grandmother’s silver. It make me feel connected to her, brings back memories of childhood Sunday dinners, and using that silver makes my heart smile.  I’ve added some vintage transferware to my every day dishes. Those dishes also make me smile. Isn’t that what a sanctuary should be? A place for smiling hearts.

Create your own sanctuary no matter where you live. One room at a time. Create the home you see in your heart.

Tell me what ya think!


Wife, Mother and Grandmother, lover of junking and vintage stuff, photography, music, books, and critters. I heart Hersheys, Barqs Rootbeer and Keds. Join me as I create my own suburban sanctuary and help you create one too.

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