I have written many times about my Splurge Sorority – we are a group of women who each contribute $50 a month and take turns collecting the funds and using them to splurge on something for ourselves!  She who splurged hosts the next gathering to show off her splurge and have a fun ladies’ night!  Even though I recently concluded our fourth round of Splurge, I already took my turn in Round Five!  I thought I would have time to shop while travelling over Christmas but it turned out we barely had time for a few thrift stops!  Nonetheless, I forced my family to have a couple very quick stops in Nordstrom looking for the two items on my Splurge wish list: J Brand jeans and Aquatalia boots.  I figured I could save on shipping at the very least… but my efforts were in vain because both these items were only available on-line!  So I stood in the Nordstrom parking lot and ordered myself a pair of Aquatalia boots to be shipped home to Canada!

And I scored a killer deal!!! I don’t know who was doing the math here but that’s more like 70% off! Even with shipping and duty, I only paid $350 which is less than what they’re listed for right now on the Aquatalia site!

Why Aquatalia?  Firstly, I have never seen them while thrifting.  Secondly, I have worn my black Miz Mooz boots countless times and they have a lot of wear left; cost per wear is well under a dollar.  Those boots have a wedge and are casual mid-calf height.  I was looking for something flat, taller and a more dressy.  Thirdly, a friend of mine has Aquatalia boots that she paid $600+ for and worn for years and they still look amazing.  I think these boots will be well worth the splurge!

Oh happy day when they arrived a couple of weeks later! I even like the box and there is a bag too! #fancy
Hello gorgeous!

I chose a meeting day at work for their inaugural wear!

Worn with $10.20 Anthro brand Moulinette Soeurs dress, $2 black necklace and gifted but thrifted mustard cardi.
I packed this dress for California but didn’t have a chance to wear it. Can’t wait to ditch the cardi and wear it warm weather! LOVE the pockets of course!

Can’t help but smile when wearing a great outfit with pretty thrifted pieces and amazing boots for a steal!

I was left with a couple hun left of Splurge money to spend and thought long and hard about what to use it for!  It wasn’t enough for the J Brands I had in mind… I reflected on past splurges and determined that the best splurge purchases were things that I enjoy daily, like my teeth (!) or my bedding!  So I hustled up to Anthropologie to look for new dishes which I been wanting for a while.  I stumbled on another amazing sale and ended up getting a mix-and-match set of ten dinner plates, small plates and bowls for more than half off regular price!

My take on minimalism is buying things that bring me joy, that make my heart sing.  It’s not about having less, it’s about loving what you have and I LOVE these dishes!  For my Splurge party, I decided to go with an Italian-Portuguese theme since the boots are Italian and the plates were hand painted in Portugal.  I had wine from Italy and Portugal, I had Italian meats and cheese, and Portuguese fava beans and tarts!

It was so much fun to prepare and all my friends loved the spread, especially the tarts which were so easy and delicious, I’m sharing the recipe here:

Portuguese Queijadas Tarts

I forgot to snap a shot of mine, but they turned out just like this from All Recipes! I served mine with tarts and dulce de leche sauce, but liked them just as much plain! Sooooooo good!

Recipe By:Scotty Carreiro

“Super easy to make, and these won’t last long. Try substituting almond or lemon extract for the vanilla. Or top them with flaked coconut or fresh fruit before baking!”


  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. In a blender, combine eggs, sugar and butter. Blend until smooth. Pour in flour and milk, a little at a time, blending until smooth again. Stir in vanilla.
  3. Pour into muffin tins, filling 3/4 full. Bake in preheated oven 45 minutes, until golden brown. Serve hot or cold.
There are the plates I served them on and the Dulce de Leche sauce!

I followed the recipe exactly and it made exactly 18 tarts in regular sized muffin tins (greased thoroughly with butter).  Go make them right now. 😀

I also like to do something fun during my parties so I had plain plates and painting supplies and invited the ladies to make their own hand-painted plates!

Using the Anthro plates for inspiration!
My, what talented friends I have!!
I know who to call when one of my kids breaks a plate!
Love having my friends in my home! My heart is full!

Though my original plan didn’t pan out, I ended up getting my Splurge for a steal and having a wonderful party with great friends, which is…



  1. Elizabeth Neustaeter

    Your boots look awesome and what a steal of a deal you got. Your dishes are lovely as well. You are one of the greatest thrift store shoppers and sure know how to sniff out a great deal.

    • nicole

      Thank you! The boots and dishes were NOT thrifted but were a heck of a sale! I do find my fair share of great thrift scores though! Thanks for reading!

  2. Oh my, I’ve never heard of those boots before so had to research them. They’re gorgeous! Do you know what the uppers are? They talk about leather and synthetic.

    • nicole

      Thanks! These particular boots have leather uppers but maybe it depends on the type?? Thanks for reading and commenting!

  3. What a nice idea, I’ve never heard of that shoe brand before, but seems like they are well worth the price. All the hand-painted plates are cute, but whoever did the floral one is really talented!!!!

    • nicole

      Why thank you! I wish I had that talent but alas it wasn’t mine! My friend who did it is quite artistic so I wasn’t surprised!