Friday, June 3, 2011

Are You Saving Your Best for Someday?

It's good to be back home! I arrived on Tuesday night and have been catching up ever since. I hope you've all had an amazing week. Every time I come home from being out of town, I see our home in a whole new light. After spending time in a hotel or a guest bedroom, everything seems larger and more comfortable than I remember it the last time. While I love traveling, I'm always thrilled to sleep in my own bed again and get re-acquainted with the familiarities of home. I'm also reminded of how much we have. When I was in NYC with Paul last week, I saw firsthand how he kept things in his room to a minimum because there isn't a whole lot of space, you have no choice but to just keep the bare essentials.

On Wednesday morning I reached for a cereal bowl and was greeted with a reminder in the from of these beautiful white Pottery Barn plates.

They were a gift we purchased for ourselves after we got married, our first set of 'nice' (not to mention pricey) dishes that we selected together. My old work friends pooled together and provided me with a bridal shower/going away gift card and when I perused the store I knew exactly what I wanted-a set of 8 white dinner plates and the coordinating clam shell salad plates which I just adored. Paul and I dreamed about how they would be perfect for both entertaining and just for us in a beach home we plan to own 'someday'.

I am embarrassed to say this but in the past 4.5 years we have not used them one time! Why? Because they're 'too nice' for our day-to-day meals, I'm afraid we'll break one, leaving an odd number of 7. Pretty silly huh? I know I'm not alone. How many times do we receive gifts or buy ourselves beautiful candles, soaps, clothing, a spectacular wine or something else so lovely and never open the package, pop the cork, wear it or just enjoy it? There is this thought that we'll save it for a special occasion, we'll use it some day and that once we use it up, it will be gone. But really, when is someday? The special occasion is called life and we're living it right now! We are never guaranteed anything else other than today, this moment, now!

I've become better at burning my favorite candles and using other items that were once being saved for the right time but these plates are one of the last things that still need to be broken in. What's the point in having nice things if we don't use them? It reminds me of the days when women would cover their sofa with plastic or not let their family, especially children into the 'sitting' room for fear of something getting dirty or ruined. What's worse is that many skin creams, soap and specialty food items go bad after a period of time, causing us to miss out on enjoying the very thing we were saving in the first place. So, today I am FINALLY breaking in our plates! While we have more suitable dishes for a casual dinner, tonight I'm finally going to eat my salad out of one of the clam shell plates and eat my main course from one of the dinner plates and tomorrow I'm going to do the same and each day after until I've used every one of them, so they are no longer new.

What about you? Have you been saving a few things for someday because you are waiting for just the 'right' occasion? I encourage you to just break it in or open it up and enjoy it TODAY! :)


  1. Excellent advice! My mother was about 12-13 when the Depression hit--the oldest of 7 kids. Memories from that time haunt her to this day. I know that after she's gone, we'll find brand new pajamas, etc that have never been worn. From her example, I've learned to do just the opposite.

    Adding this post to my Saturday Shoutouts this week.

  2. Hooray for you! I feel the same way. My mom taught me the value of not saving things for a special occasion after my grandmother passed. When she helped my grandfather go through my grandmother's items they found dozens of pretty nightgowns and other items that she'd received as gifts that still had tags on them. He said she'd always say she was "saving them". My mom used to randomly set the table with her best things on a week night just for the joy of using her good things. It's a great way to live.

  3. Hi Karla, 1st I adore those dishes, and I do use a lot of my nicer things day to day, because of all the reasons you mentioned! Adore your site!

    Be sure to enter my awesome $250 Giveaway from Tracy Porter!!

    Art by Karena

  4. Good for you! And thanks for the reminder :-). I try to use my "best" often - case in point: we had a brunch today out on our lawn, and instead of going the easy route with paper everything, I lugged all our "company plates" down to our picnic area. It was SO worth it! You truly can enjoy the things you own more when you USE them - can't you!? Btw, love your plates and the clam shell...just darling!

  5. I know I've replied to you by e-mail but I'm trying to get better at also posting my responses here.

    @Beverly- Thanks for adding me to your Saturday shout out and it's great to hear that you could learn from her. :) My parents separated when I was 4 and my mom was very careful with money as a single mom at that time. While she never avoided using anything that I can remember, she did tell me to bring home the fruit and bits of my lunch that I didn't touch at school and to not throw it away. I was very responsible of her and she was a good steward of resources but on another level it sends the message that there may be lack in the future so we need to hold onto everything. Thankfully my parents got back together later and my dad had the opposite effect on me as he was about living in the moment which balanced me out.

    @Karen-I love that! What a great example she set for you. It felt good to finally use the dishes that make me smile. Up until last year they were packed up in paper and the original box inside a storage chest. The first step was getting them out, washed and visible on the shelves. I even sold another old set of dishes at our yard sale to make room for them but then I laugh that it took a whole year for me to actually use them. LOL.

    @Karena-Thank you! :) I will be sure to stop by and enter your giveaway!

    @Kristin- Good for you for making the effort! I love seeing people use real dishes for bbq's and picnics vs. all the throw away items, so much better for the environment and it somehow just makes the meal taste that much better. ;) Thanks for stopping by!

    Happy Weekend ladies!


  6. Lovely post Karla. I used to do the same not only with things in the house, but also jewellery pieces, clothes etc (we had a separate wardrobe when we were kids that was only for "Sunday Best!"). As you can imagine most things never got worn more than twice!
    So now I'm very much a live for the moment girl (maybe too much) ;-)
    p.s love the plates etc. Really gorgeous!!

  7. Thanks Vanessa! Oh, that really makes sense with the Sunday best wardrobe. Glad to see you got past it also! :)


  8. Love this post--cute plates! If you don't mind me asking, though--where did you find your place mats at? The colors are beautiful!

  9. @Anonymous-Oh, thank you and I don't mind at all! :) The striped place mats and napkins are both from Target's summer collection about 3 years ago and the the (4) coral design napkin rings were a $3.99 steal from TJ Maxx last year.



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