Like a Butterfly, My Nostalgia.

Spending all of this time back at my mom's house hasn't just been about maxin' n' relaxin' (how cheesy is that?). Now that my life in France has gone from wanderlust to serious commitment, I have been gently requested by my mother to, and I quote, get my "crap" out. Effective January 2013, my bedroom will be turned into a guest room, per the note that she left on my dresser before heading to the airport Monday morning. Dis. I guess this day was bound to come, and she's right. I can't keep one toe in New York anymore, and it's time to decide what I'm bringing to Paris and what I'm throwing out. Her letter also had a clause that stated that donations for the house will not be excepted, and the management thanks me advance for my cooperation.

This week, I have been spending hours upon hours enjoying old memories; indulging in my fleeting nostalgia. Time flies by when you're inundated with the past. Flipping through yearbooks, reading letters and notes passed in 8th grade science, finding boxes of old photos (the best part!), listening to records and mix tapes, and organizing my books and Rolling Stone, Spin and Melody Maker back issues, I'd say my hands are full!

It's been an overload of memories, and luckily Séb and I are on the same page and we both share the same passion for kitch and history, so I won't have to get rid of everything. He can't wait to have some of this stuff in Paris! Here are some of my findings...

My Sophia Petrillo bag/box that I carried 
along with my purple JanSport in high school.
I rocked some major granny chic up until Sophomore year.
I guess there was a reason I was called El Dork!

My 1960s typewriter!
Instead of a guest book, I used this to have friends and family add to a running list of comments when 
they came over to my apartment in LA.

I'd like to continue this tradition in Paris!

Modern Technology at its finest.
I need more View Master reels!
The mystery of the "8 Wonders of Israel" wore off in 1987.
My neighbors in LA wanted to smash this yellow phone!
It was so loud, and since I didn't have an answering machine, 
it would ring and ring when I wasn't home.

Some of my framed photos.
My favorite is the Barbra Streisand photo on the far left
that I got in the late 90s at the Hello Gorgeous! museum
in San Francisco.
Love her.

Relics of the 90s.
Did you guys rock the baby barrettes too?

Some coffee table books.
Kurt Cobain Journals, Annie Leibowitz Portraits...
and the Olsen's Fashion Influences?
Okay...I admit it.
I have been seduced by their fabulous lives.
I still don't buy it when they insist that they eat.
Come on...

My French life...

                  ...and just a few of my chachkis!
I mean really, who moves to Europe without bringing their Jane Fonda workout record and 5k race award metals?!
That would just be irresponsible!

Yeah...I guess I have some editing to do here.
Stay tuned for parts II and III: Clothes and accessories.
I guess my weekend is set.
How about you? What's on your agenda? 

What was happening a year ago today?
Good times at CDG. Part I


  1. Barrettes* were one of those things, like mono** and ho-hos which happened in the Babysitters Club and Sweet Valley High and which were a total mystery to me growing up! In fact, I still don't know exactly what ho-hos and ding-dongs are, just that you can find them in Claudia's bedroom. And her barrettes are probably covered with sparkles and miniature turtles, or something.

    *hair clips
    **glandular fever

    1. Please forgive me everyone. I'm so behind on responding to comments! My apologies.

      Hahaha Barettes, mono, sparkles and miniature turtles!! Haha. Did the girls in SWV and BC get mono? I never read those series. I know, what kind of American girl am I?

      One question: Why did you put asterisk next to mono and barrettes? Are they not called that in NZ?

    2. Either they got mono or they did in Judy Blume or something... And no, we didn't call them that, so I spent my entire childhood (well, not constantly) wondering what these mysterious American hair accessories/diseases were exactly

  2. AnonymousJuly 27, 2012

    Good luck! I love the mint green color, and the pink at the end. It's fascinating to see what chachkis you've got lying around. Nice you've had a NY bedroom for so long. I lost mine around 19 /20 years old. True, it is time to let it go. Very nostalgic indeed - a bit much sometimes! I look fwd to parts II and III. ;-)

    Yes, I remember those hair clips!

    My agenda; recovering from the last few days in the hot sun in Marseille-Provence (ha ! ..well really I am wiped out..!) and prepping for my trip to Edinburgh next week (oh, and to try and update ze blog!!). X

    1. Actually a lot has happened since I posted this and am super pleased to announce that I don't have to get rid of anything (well maybe my 8th grade notes that were passed in Mr. Stein's Science class!) because Seb is more into kitch than I thought would like to have most of this stuff in Paris. Phew!

      Perhaps the nostalgia is too much for some but this is my taste and each little piece tells a story. Whether it was a score at a flea market in LA, a frantic ebay purchase, or something found on a sidewalk in NY that I refurbished by hand, those are memories of my 20s that I'm not willing to toss quite yet.

      I guess I'll never be a modern beige, light wood floor, minimal decor and chrome appliance kinda girl!

      Enjoy Edinburgh! I'm sure your trip will give you inspiration to update the blog (if you haven't already). I look forward to seeing the photos!

  3. I love typewriters! I found one last year at a garage sale for one dollar... ONE DOLLAR! Husband just thinks it's junk (we are not at all on the same as you and Seb are). And I also love that you have friends/family who visit type a comment instead of having a guest book! And of course, I just love that old Canon and the yellow telephone. So fabulous! Look forward to seeing your other goodies;)

    1. One dollar! Wow!! Scorrrrre! What color? Were you able to purchase is?

      You know, all of these gadgets still work! And work well! That's more than I can say for my cell phone that I've had to replace several times over the course of 5 years, not to mention Seb's iPhone that had us standing at the Apple store for a few hours yesterday. Interesting, huh?

  4. Hear from Heather (Lost in Arles), and delighted to meet you / read you!

    I only wish it could be under less unnerving-shedding-editing circumstances.

    Love the yellow phone! (Never rocked baby barrettes or scrunchies for that matter, though I rocked my 80s perm - or thought I did!) And your Barbra photo is gorge...

    Wishing you well with all this...

    1. Hi Heather!! Welcome!!

      The process has been more fun than stressful actually, and luckily we get a nice discount on shipping (a perk of my mom's job) so I will be able to get most of this stuff to Paris!

      I hopped over to your blog as well and am so glad that you took the time to drop a note. Your blog is fantastic, so it was very nice to meet you as well. You write French so well. Je suis impressionée. : )

  5. My mom has already been using my room as a guestroom (just for her sister), but I too was told to clear it up or she would toss whatever was laying around. Luckily, I don't have to clear it out as I still don't know what will happen after my Masters, but it needs to be neat and tidy and de-cluttered. I've gotten into the horrible habit of coming home, dumping a load of clothes, books, souvenirs, etc. randomly somewhere in my room and leaving it all there. I have two more weeks to get this up to par. I've already gone through the clothes. Next up, all the clutter which is much much worse. What's worth saving? Old cards? Old paperwork? Books? Etc?

    And you have some cool things to take back with you! Love the typewriter! My stuff is closer to junk than cool eccentric.

    1. I've used my room as a dumping ground too! My mom says that room is getting more French by the year. There are piles of French Vogue, BE, and Grazias, French textbooks, business cards of my favorite spots in Paris, print outs from the consulate, etc... I'm sure your room echoes this. What is worth tossing and saving? I don't know how many times I've tossed something to clear the clutter a la Feng Shui and went looking for it months later!

      I've got a handle on it and threw out three bags of stuff I know I won't miss...hopefully. :)

      Good luck with your stuff too! I love how we're on the so on the same page these past few weeks! How did your 2nd rdv au consulat go?

    2. I sort of stopped in my organization of my room, and I'm running out of time to do it! I have plans today, so I must get on it tomorrow or something! Most of my stuff is probably crap, but it has sentimental value or I'm like "Ooh! I haven't seen this sweater in ages! I kind of like it! Maybe I should keep it?"

      Luckily, they mail visas back to you from Chicago, so I didn't have to go back. I got it in the mail last week... less than a week after my appointment! I'm all set and ready to go now! Just need to patiently await my departure now which is getting harder and harder.

  6. I totally rocked the baby barrettes in the 90s! I'm pretty sure that we would have been friends if we went to the same school, we would have been dorks together :) x

    1. We SO would be friends if we went to high school together. No question about it. : )

  7. Ella! I feel a bit shallow for uttering this next sentence but: I love all your stuff! (Not that it's shallow to admire another person's things, just that the entire purpose of this compliment is predicated on my envy of your things). But really, there are some things I could never part with, regardless of their age or overuse.

    I love your typewriter and your cute approach to long-lasting memories. What do you do with the finished comments?

    I'm currently flat-hunting with my boyfriend in a brand new city and we're going back to my home tomorrow for the weekend to see my mother, my cat and pack up all my stuff. We cursorily went over it when we moved to England but this will be a real relocation since we'll have our OWN apartment together for the first time. I love going through my old things though - it helps when you have good memories :) It also helps when your mother's a packrat and the thought of throwing things out (regardless of how tacky they are) means losing sleep at night.

    Good luck with everything! I can't wait to see the rest of your wardrobe.

    1. Awww thank you Jenna!!! I have fun with my trinkets and have decided that I'm not ready to part with them. A stark white home is not in my future. Thank goodness.

      I punched holes in the typewriter comments and have them in a loose leaf binder. It's so funny reading back on them. I'm not even friends with half of the people who part of my every day life in LA. Well, Facebook friends but we all know how much that's worth. Also, old boyfriend, neighbors, my landlady. I teared up a bit. :*)

      Are you bringing kitty to the UK? I had to leave my fur baby at my mom's when I left in 09, and have to say she has never recovered. She hates me now, that little beast! Haha.

      Good luck with finding a place in England! I hear it's just as tiresome as finding a place in Paris! At least you have the language on your side!! : )

  8. Nice collection of Bukowski novels! I love Post Office. What's your favorite?

    1. Post Office is fantastic but I have to that "Women" is my all-time favorite Bukowski novel. It's the drunk old man version of "50 Shades.."

      I love Bukowski. He was such a perv!

  9. Ha! As I've said before -- I LOVE your mom! Please give her a big hug from me and tell her that she has inspired me to start leaving letters from the management for my kids. But being a nostalgic adult, I've gotta admit that it meant a lot to me that my mom left my room as it was (with the exception of clearing out some of the clutter) so that my children could see where I grew up. It was always like stepping into a time vacuum.

    Having guests leave running comments on your typewriter is a fabulous idea and one that I may copy. Now I just need to find an old typewriter. St.-Ouen flea market here I come.

    If you want to add to your Jane Fonda collection, I think that I may still have her original workout video. ;)

    1. I did tell her! She appreciated it! She highly recommends formal notes! LOL!

      She likes to have fun with me, and was only half serious about moving everything out. I can leave stuff like framed photos, books and mementos behind. She just wants the random clutter out, like stacks of old magazines, pamphlets, piles of paper, and old French homework out.

      We have a bunch of Jane workout tapes too! I did one the other day and barely broke a sweat!!

  10. Oh, I forgot to say -- have a wonderful weekend, Mlle Ella! xx

  11. You are so funny! I had a crazy PIN collection....they were pins of punk & ska bands, and I even had pins made up with the name of my zine on them! Can't believe I actually WORE those things...oh to be young. xx

    1. Pins rules! Let's make pins for our blogs! LOL!