shutter for your clutter?

Anyone that knows me has probably figured out that I like shabby chic.  Anything white…white towels, white bedding, lots of pillows, cushy, comfy…….refurbished furniture with a bit of chipped paint. Anything with a rustic look to it.

Recently I was pinning…….my favorite pastime has become Pinterest.  I stumbled on an idea for concealing clutter on a bulletin board.  It was so clever and added an element of days gone by, a soft breeze blowing in the window and a long lazy nap (usually after a nice pint of Sierra Nevada!)

bulletin board or cover for air conditioner


I knew right then and there that I had to have a set of shutters!  I really didn’t know what I was going to do with them, but I set out to find a pair.  After a few days of garage sales and thrifting, I came up empty.  I decided to look on ebay and there they were!



 ebay shutters


Ok, so now what? They arrived and looked perfect.  Just what I wanted…….so I put them in the garage and promised my husband that I had an idea for them.  He of course thought I was crazy……….but I knew I would come up with one (an idea) at some point……..

One afternoon while I was trying to get ideas for my beachy back porch, I looked over and cringed at the sight of the ugly air conditioner on the wall.   What could I do to hide that?………..let’s see,……………………




UGLY isn’t it?   Then it came to me as I was sitting there in disbelief……..


I went to work on it immediately……….MARK!!! Where are you?  I found a use for the shutters!!!!

Listen, I am just the idea person, not the executioner……..I needed Mr. Woodman to help me get those shutters on the wall.

As Mark began working on a box to then attach the shutters to,  I went to work on my shutters.

I absolutely do not like brass hardware.





After removing and cleaning the hardware I put it aside until later.  I will paint it a dark bronze metallic to match other hardware throughout the house.





I then took out my little Black and Decker electric sander that I got for Christmas……(yes, it’s true….no Fendi bag this year). And I thought, I will paint these shutters a bright beachy color…… but first let’s sand them.  To my surprise they actually took on a real vintage feel, and I just could not bring myself to paint them.

Now, what else could I put on the wall with the shutters to get that beachy feel?   The following week I volunteered at the Methodist church in Englewood. They were getting ready for their annual Garage Sale and it turns out it was one of the biggest garage sales I had ever been to.  Almost like going to Kane County flea Market but only a mile from my house instead of a two hour road trip.

methodist garage sale 003


Outside tents went all around the perimeter of the church grounds. What fun and very organized too!







methodist garage sale 008



Inside there were rows and rows of tables with most items $1 or under.





That should be a whole other blog………ok, back to my shutters.   I found the tent that had artwork and it was chock full of goodies.  As I perused through the art, all of which were under $3,  I found two adorable little pieces that were done locally by Englewood artists.  Will Long and Betty Cooke.

Here is a photo of my finished wall and day bed.  Beachy?   Just peachy!!!!!




Next on the horizon?  Hiding cords of course!

See you next week.

Bag lady organized!


Have you ever known anyone that is totally put together, completely and utterly organized and poised at all times?  Ready at the draw in an instant to answer her cell, apply a fresh coat of lip gloss, and ……..wait for it……POWDER HER NOSE?           I mean really?  We carry powder and puff…….it’s always in there just in case you need a mirror.  But when was the last time you actually looked in there to be greeted by a crumbled mess?   Not very Audrey like wouldn’t you say?


I want to look and appear organized, poised and as cool as a cucumber, even if I am falling apart at the hinges…….who cares?

But it seems to me that I can empty my handbag once a day, or once every few hours and it just never stays organized!!!  And I am the closet organizer, the home organizer, the husband organizer, yet, even my husband says to me……

……….”looks great right now but I will see you in a few hours…”

So I started looking at those purse organizers and thought…….hmmmm, that seems a bit like the tool bucket liner that I bought at Home Depot for half the price.

bucket organizer


Tool Bucket Liner









Purse organizer



So I thought…… I really want to add a purse to my purse?  Not so much……

Last weekend I decided to dump the contents of my purse out on to the bed.

Here is what I had in there……….

A wallet with id, credit cards, cash and coin, Business cards and leather carry case,  cell phone, toothpaste, toothbrush, floss picks, trident gum, nail file, bandaids, Neosporin, 1 stay free liner, hand cream,  pill box, 6 lipsticks (which I hardly even appy one of), shea butter lip balm, my mac compact, my bobbi brown touch stick, my blush brush, my Clinique soft brown brow liner, my benefit brow-zings shaping kit, my Estee Lauder BB daywear crème, YSL volume effects black mascara, Mac brown down eye shadow pot and Trish eye shadow slim line brush, Kleenex, sunglasses, reading glasses, wet ones, tape measure, eye drops, contact case,  my trusty vintage papermate pen. Almonds (my new favorites are .99cents at Walgreens!).

All of these items were thrown in to my bag only to reappear after much effort and digging while looking totally and completely unorganized and well………..not very Audrey like. I mean……..I can’t even find my cell phone in time to answer it.  And yes, I do have the volume turned up to the maximum so I can hear it.  So what’s the problem?

There is no problem…….I just never really took the time to think about it.  Plain and simple.

So for the past week I have been living in an organized world (at least when it comes to my handbag).  I added 4 simple items – a small zipper case for my contact stuff….a zip lock snack bag for my personal stuff like bandaids, floss sticks and first aid and a nice size “gift with purchase” make up bag (I have a billion of them).  I eliminated some of the lipsticks and just kept my favorite color by bobbi brown – Blackberry.  I kept my favorite gloss by Mac – Viva glam and a Clinique glosswear – Mystic. My toothpaste and friends now have a bag to keep them clean.

Here is how it all came together



Zip lock snack bag for first aid.

Zipper case for toothpaste, floss picks, toothbrush and Binaca blast.

Jeepers creepers, all for peepers?



Zipper case for my contacts and drops.

Reading glasses in a case.

Sunglasses in a case that also attaches to my bike basket.





Make up stays zipped up in here. When I don’t need it (for yoga, or bike riding or golf) I just take it out and put  it back in my vanity drawer.







All of these items fit in my bucket bag.  I now put the cell in the front pocket where it belongs but everything else can be easily reached at a moments need!



Sooooooooooo, Audrey like!    For more fun Bag Lady stuff and ways you CAN use a purse organizer,  click on   ellen

See you next week!

Fashion week comes to Englewood!!!

oscar the man

Here in Florida……well, there were no Runway shows in my neck of the woods (I am no where near Miami)……….but the weather was fine!  In fact perfect for showcasing Fashion on the Runway.  But of course if you are not in New York …….you are nowhere.

So I hosted my own fashion week right here on my computer.  It was great!  Sun shining through the French doors, an occasional “Walk” to my patio.  A cold glass of Sierra Nevada every now and then.  A nice afternoon nap.  Another clip of a great collection, and so on………

I might be partial to a few designers based on the fact that I had the pleasure to get to know them, or pretended to while stealing my photo op……..but my favorite this year was by far……..Oscar de la Renta.   He is amazing and charming and manages to continue to be classic while adding style after style that women covet.


Here are just a few………..

oscar stunning!


I don’t know about you, but if I were planning to attend a black tie, wear black to my daughter’s wedding (if I actually had a daughter) then this would be the dress I would wear.  What a classic!  The hair, the makeup…the bangle.  Devine!









Let’s see…….where could I wear this dress and jacket?  hmmmmmmm, I know! I know!!!!! To my best friend’s wedding!!!

Of course that is me (pretending) in the picture and that is who would be wearing that outfit to the wedding.  It would be in New York and everyone else would be in Black…….so yesterday!

Check out the bag and shoes!



oscar a6

I have always wanted to wear a ball gown.  I have always wanted to attend the Zoo ball in Chicago.

This black and white stripe would be ideal for me (pretending  again) at the Zoo ball.  I would switch up the necklace to some sort of wild animal print chain in 18K Gold with hot jewels and be the belle of the ball!  (assuming I was the girl in the picture).







Here is my favorite look of all time…….it does not scream DESIGNER, LOOK AT ME or any of the other reasons most girls buy designer.  It quietly says…….I am gorgeous, I am fabulous, I have the afternoon to myself and I am going to have lunch alone with a good book and a glass of Sierra Nevada…….at The Four Seasons, on the terrace,  somewhere warm and breezy.




Here is one of my favorite photos the first time I met Oscar in New York.  I was working at Neiman Marcus and was invited to an after party and guess who was there?  You got it, Oscar himself.  He was releasing a new CD and he even sang a few of the songs that were featured.  I think he was asking me to be his Muse….or something like that.