On scones and budgeting
If you haven't already, you should check out Renee of Montmartre's new shop. She stocks a great selection of hipster fashion and really nice home decor items, one of which is the Fog Linen tablecloth I recently acquired as pictured above.
So much for living simpler and buying less. My budget this month has been blown by purchasing the aforementioned tablecloth, Hannah's dress and one of Julia's handmade pouches. I've renege on a promise I made a few weeks ago and that makes me feel really bad.
I think this spate of spending has been spurred on by two factors: (a) incessant browsing to fill a void and (b) a void created by tremendous stress. I'm under severe pressure to finish my doctoral work within the next 24 months because of the current state of funding for the sciences. I'm also stressed because I'm starting to feel so old that climbing out of bed at 7 in the morning is torture, my knees are grinding away and my back constantly hurts. I'm 29 by the way.
I've come to the realization that the whole notion of simplistic living requires serene self-discipline. It also requires a hobby, a certain disinterest in possessions and a strong sense of priorities. On one hand I realize that blatant consumerism is the reason why many Americans are in debt and we're in this economic crisis, but on the other hand, I sometimes feel that if I could make that "one purchase", I would be more productive and live a happier life. The experts beg to differ, but isn't owning a $1700 YSL trench coat an experience in itself? I mean, sure, a week off the Amalfi Coast with endless supply of wine and fresh clams will make me ecstatic, but six months later, I'm probably going to start moaning about how work blows and how I wish I could take another vacation to the Mediterranean. And I'm still always going to want that YSL trench coat. So really, if you think about it, neither things nor experiences can really make you happy.
I'm always going to 'want' something because this is the culture we live in, one where I turn on the computer in the morning to find that Google Reader has 8 new posts about someone having found (or made) the perfect shoes or perfect organic blanket or perfect ceramic vase (this is amidst a post by Paul Krugman yelling about how the economy is going to tank because we're not pouring enough money into social programs). And why the heck do I need the perfect ceramic vase when I haven't had flowers on the table in over 5 years? I don't know, but maybe if I had it I would actually put flowers on the table. And so on.
Unless I completely swear off the internet, I think I'm never going to be able to avoid finding something to lust over. Finding the self-discipline to practice austerity is hard. Finding a list of priorities that can keep one from making impulse purchases while idling away time is even harder. I'm plugged into the computer and internet almost all my waking hours so it's only a matter time before I'm 30 pages into a book I'm reading that I'll be wondering about checking the email or checking the New Arrivals page on Totokaelo.
So dear reader, this brings me to beg the question: how do you avoid breaking your budget and how do you avoid the temptation to buy when you're actually reading blogs that espouse the notion of consumption (which I guess this blog is also guilty of)?
That being said, I made scones this morning from one of the best recipes ever. I used soy whipping cream and shortening in place of all the dairy products and added cranberries and orange zest as well. And I guess the experience of it actually did make me happy for a brief moment.