If we dress for it, it will come.

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Have you seen that bright yellow light in the sky recently? Well, if you’re living in the Boston area, near UndercoverWear’s Home Office you too have probably been wondering what exactly this is and how can we get more of its warm delight. This phenomenon is known as, the sun. It’s been missing in our lives lately, but we have a theory on how to get it back. Our theory is; if we dress for it, it will come.

We are ready to dress for the sunshine! In the past few weeks UndercoverWear has released three new maxi dresses that are sure to be your summertime favorites. The first one is the Ultimate Maxi. This convertible piece can be worn as a skirt or strapless dress and with the control top you can be confident that the “girls” are secure. The next two dresses, Cotton Candy and Summer Blue have the same silhouette, which is fitted perfectly through the bustline to the hip forming an hour glass shape. Cotton Candy features a pink chevron pattern that creates a slimming effect and Summer Blue is a solid blue fabric allowing the stylist to have fun with accessories!

All three of these dresses are ready for you to purchase and add your unique touch. Remember if we just keep dressing for warm weather, it eventually will just have to come, right?

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Things

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Many years ago, a very wise woman shared with me that for the first 40 years of your life you spend time collecting “stuff” and the next 40 years to try to figure out how to get rid of it.  Well I’m in Phase 2 of the 40 Year rule.

As many of you know, at one time WJJ and I owned several homes. And during that stage, God forbid I had to pack a suitcase to visit. No, that was totally unacceptable. I had to have clothes, shoes, makeup, pantyhose, bras etc. in every home. I followed my friend Patsy’s cardinal rule of buying–if you find something you like buy lots of them. For my Hawaii friends, need I mention Diane Freis dresses?

So now we live in one house. As I look around, I see “stuff.” Lots of stuff –And while I’m a “dumper,” I find it difficult to get rid of certain items. So I need your help.

For example: I have about 100 handkerchiefs. Yes, you read that correctly.  Many of the hankies were given to me by WJJ’s Mother. Evidently she or perhaps her Mother crocheted the trim around them. Now how can I possibly throw away my Mother-in-Law’s memory? I thought about giving them to brides as their “something old” but didn’t think a bride would want someone else’s hanky; so much for that idea. Want a pretty handkerchief?

Next I have, oh say at least 100 pairs of satin gloves. Don’t really know how I got those. I think I wanted gloves to match my gowns, plus I evidently found a great wholesale source. So I have short gloves, medium gloves, long gloves  and extra long gloves in every color imaginable many of which have never been worn. So come on –give me a hand (get the pun) and tell me what I can do with my gloves?

Nylons –not pantyhose–nylons –you know the ones you wear with garter belts and corsets etc.  Well I’m well into the 200’s with those. Seamed nylons, Cuban heel nylons, pastel nylons, and of course black nylons I have them all.  Obviously I was much sexier “back in the day.” I went online for any suggestions about how to get rid of old nylons. Believe it or not, there are lots of suggestions for old pantyhose–none for nylons. But I did find a sight for making nylon butterflies which requires one nylon. So let’s see I have 200 pairs–so if you know someone who wants to make 400+ nylon butterflies, just have them call me.

Now let’s move onto the high ticket items. Belts–specifically Alex and Lee Belts—well again I blame my “bad influence friend” Patsy. She and I loved the belts.  So we bought lots. They ranged in price from $750 – $1500 EACH (After all it was the 80’s). Each one is like an art piece. They are still quite beautiful. Having said that, my waist has expanded by several inches and while they are stretch hmmmmm, they don’t seem to have the same beautiful appearance on my fuller, more voluptuous body. So what do I do with more than 30 of those belts?

And last but not least…the “biggies”–Bob Mackie original gowns. I am really hoping for a resurgence of the 80’s. My gowns range in price from $3,000 to $25,000–yes you read that correctly–$25,000 complete with sable trim. And where are these masterpieces, you ask… They are in Boston in a cedar closet gathering dust and getting older.  Now if you’re thinking “consignment shop”—I have tried that.

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(Here are just a few examples of these couture gowns!)

It seems when “second hand store” became “consignment shops” the guidelines changed drastically. The owners of these shops capitalize on women (like I was) who spend way too much on this season fashions and then dump them next season. So having “vintage couture” just doesn’t interest them.  They are really VERY snooty about it.  Okay lady, you own a second hand store–get over yourself.

I have disciplined myself so that every day, I dump something, sell something or give something away. But trust me I don’t have enough years left to get rid of all the things I have accumulated. Of course I do find it amusing that when you’re buying “valuables”: –even jewelry–they are priceless. And yet when you’re trying to sell the same items –they are virtually worthless.

When the day arrives that WJJ and I are no longer on this earth, I can just picture Jamie and Cheryl –Trash bags will be filled with all my wonderful collectables while a garage sale will surely feature all my precious treasures.

The sign will read –Garage Sale -featuring the Crazy Lady of Kahala Estate pieces –Belts–$5.00– Limoges Pill boxes  $10.00 and finally, Bob Mackie Originals–spend $100 and get one FREE.  Maybe I should just start wearing all my gowns –Let’s see Tiffany @ Safeway or better yet Starbuck’s in Sable…has a ring to it.  That will certainly establish that I am officially… the Crazy Lady of Kahala. Sounds good to me!

Time for Spring Cleaning!

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The snow starts melting away, the days start getting longer, the sun shines brighter, and the air smells crisp and clean. Spring is when everything goes from white and grey to green and yellow, it is a time of rebirth, rejuvenation, and regrowth. After surviving a particularly harsh winter this year, I think we are all just about ready to bust out of our snow forts and dance in the rain!

During the winter months, the lack of sun exposure helps our pineal glands produce more melatonin, which makes us sleepy. Once our bodies are exposed to sunlight, the amounts of melatonin produced is reduced dramatically which is why we tend to feel less drowsy once spring finally decides to pop up!

So – it’s finally time to take a big stretch and pull yourself out of winter hibernation mode, open up your windows to replace the old stale air with some new fresh air. However, upon opening your windows and letting all this amazing sunlight into your living room, you are now able to see all the dust that has collected all over your shelves for the past 4 months, and worse… the cobwebs that have accumulated on your ceilings – gross! This is when most people go into spring cleaning mode, pulling out the couch and get rid of the animal-fur tumbleweeds, organizing all the cabinets and closets in the house and sweeping up all the dirt and sand that has managed to find its way under all your furniture and rugs.

Spring cleaning is no new concept, the Iranian and Jewish cultures started “spring cleaning” centuries ago. In Iran, the New Year – now known as Rouz – is a time of regeneration for Iranians; they use symbols like burning and planting to signify renewal and optimism for a new season. It’s also a time for refreshing and reinvigorating life – which includes your home. Iranians take Rouz very seriously – to prepare for this event, they spend the two weeks prior to Rous scouring every area in their home including knick-knacks, rugs, bedding and every cabinet in every room! They buy new clothes and bring in fresh flowers so that the New Year can properly arrive.

So now that we have a better understanding of why you feel the need to spring clean, here are some tips to make your life a little easier during these hectic cleaning times.

Organizing your closet! Seems simple right? I have a rule for whenever I clean my closet, if I haven’t worn it since the last time I cleaned in there, it’s time to go! Color coordinating your closet can help you speed up the outfit-deciding portion of your morning routine and will make your closet more appealing on the eyes.

Wipe your painted walls down with a wet sponge and some soapy water (a squirt of dish soap in a large bucket works wonders.) You will be surprised on how quickly your walls can get dirty, stained and dusty – especially in kitchens and bathrooms.

Bringing in new pillows for your couch and new curtains for your living room will help spice and spruce up any home without costing you too much money. It can help change the feel of the room by adding in accent colors. If the budget doesn’t call for new items, give them a good scrub. Most curtains can be put in the washing machine on a gentle/hand wash setting.

Get your rugs and wood floors clean! Rugs can be a pain, but many home improvement stores allow you to rent rug cleaners at a reasonable cost. Smaller area rugs can be thrown into a washing machine on a cold cycle and then hang dry. Using club soda helps clean up most dye or acid based stains out of carpeting without ruining the fibers, milk will help remove blood, and a small amount of regular laundry detergent in some water w will usually help remove most oil and dirt stains. For wood floors I use Murphy’s Oil Soap with a damp mop, also – I am  obsessed with Holloway House Quick Shine Multi-Surface Floor Finish… I use it on wood and tile floors, bay window, and the kitchen table; you can apply multiple layers for added protection and shine.

Make sure to also wash those windows and mirrors! If you have older windows, this may be more of a challenge – however most newer windows allow you to pull and rotate them inwards to make cleaning both sides a breeze. I prefer to use a foaming glass cleaner made by Sprayway and a lint free towel. Don’t have any lint-free towels laying around? Try wrapping a coffee filter around a small wad of paper towels – this will reduce the amount of those annoying pieces of lint that get left behind from washing windows with regular paper towels drastically.

My last tip for spring cleaning – play your favorite type of dancing music while you clean, I suggest Michael Jackson! It will help keep your energy up and motivation going when you have something to sing and dance along to. Music is known to have an interesting effect on the perception of time, it helps keeps you mind distracted and thus you are less likely to notice you have spent the entire afternoon cleaning the house.

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