Posts Tagged With: around the house

back to normal but not on autopilot

YBW and I finished putting away Christmas stuff today.
Everything but the trees was packed up during the week and today I undecorated, debowed, and deribboned the upstairs trees while he sorted through ornaments. The tree downstairs is the only one not prelit so I quickly removed the lights while he carried the trees and box of ornaments down.
Then we began the loading of the closet.
Christmas in the very back, Autumn and Halloween next then the luggage all went back into the closet under the stairs.
Y’all is there anything more satisfying than a well packed storage closet? I think not.

Photos and art returned to the walls, photos and tchotchkes returned to the tops of furniture. And just like that, the house, and life gets ‘back to normal’.
I did leave one Baby Jesus out so I can acknowledge Epiphany tomorrow, but that’s easy because it doesn’t go with the Christmas stuff anyway.

Then YBW went to tidy his office and I patched all the holes on the walls of Thing G’s old room. I’m going to sand, wash down the walls and start painting. It’s time to get that checked off my list.

We’ve sorted out holiday things to ask our kids about, I have some old nativities and ornaments I want the girls to take a look at. YBW has ornaments for the boys to go through. Well, mostly Thing C, since Thing G is still at home.

We’ve got stuff set aside to take to Thing 1 and Husband N’s later this month.
A crib mattress from a friend who was happy it’s going to a home that needs it. Other random baby supplies, and some things I’ve bought because our granddaughter might need them. (mostly books)

I’m thriving on the planning and organization.
I’ve starting the building of my planning calendars. Yes, that’s plural. I have one I keep on my desk, and one that lives in my car. I have decided it’s the best course of action for me in the coming year.
January is slammed. I have an appointment every day next week but Friday. And one of those is me being brave and going all by myself to my very first yoga class. I’m going to try our three different studios to find the best fit, and commit from there. I’ve been saying I want to start yoga classes for over a year now. After a bit of research and advice I pulled the trigger and registered for a class. I even found a super cute robins egg blue yoga mat that’s got terry cloth on one side. We’ll see how that goes!

After taking a break from my coursework, I’m picking that back up in January. I’ll be writing lesson plans and observations and checking that off my list too.

I’m working out how to build a schedule that makes the most sense. That allows me a proper balance of work and open time. I have a stack of books in my TBR shelf that aren’t going to read themselves, you know. I have time in the mornings before school and in the afternoons with which I can use more wisely.
My goal is to create a plan that successfully allows me time to do what must be done without overwhelming me, as well as to do what I’d like without me wasting precious time.
Stay tuned…

Organizing my environment is so much simpler than organizing my time.
Do y’all find that or is it just me?
I don’t have little kids at home anymore, I feel like it should be easier. It doesn’t seem to be. Though perhaps then it was that I was planning for others so I didn’t have to be mindful about how I spent my time. I did what needed to be done for the girls, the house, etc.
Now I’m pretty much free as the breeze and I feel much more pressure regarding the way I spend my days.

LA at Waking up on the Wrong Side of 50 wrote this post about her wintertime goals. I commented, to which she replied, “I have to make fun a goal almost. It’s so easy to get tied up in the day to day.”
That struck a chord in me.
Have to make fun a goal. (almost)
I totally get it.
It’s so easy to let life get in the way of active living. Functioning on autopilot in the day to day. I want to be actively engaged in myself and the world while doing the everyday things that must be done. Disengaging my autopilot and making more mindful choices about how I spend my time and energy.

Building a schedule will be a good jumping off point for me. I can adhere to or adapt as needed to ‘get stuff done’ and ‘make fun a goal’. Once I have a preliminary plan in place I can move from there. I can incorporate any and every thing my little heart desires. As long as I’m being mindful, I can’t really go wrong.
I mean, sure, there will be times I feel overwhelmed or lazy, times I’ve bit off more than I can safely chew, and times when I’m itching for a new project. But by simply paying attention, I’ll figure it out and continue moving forward.

I want to be completely finished with course work this summer. Once that monkey’s off my back, I’ll have more time to do new and different things.
And that’s important because Baby K will be here and I’ll want to oodgey goodgey over her every chance I get!

Have a plan.
Make a schedule.
Kick myself into gear.
I got this!

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Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Soundtracking my Saturday

Soundtracking my Saturday.
It was a struggle to choose music that inspired me to tackle getting the house back together after the chaos of construction.
(In addition to the tree falling on the house which finally finished construction the last week of August, our main waterline from the meter to the house was leaking. Homeownership is NOT for the weak of heart…or stomach.) Moving the shelves of tools to make access for them to jackhammer out a place in the floor where the water comes into the house and now completely reorganizing the utility room.
We also moved Thing G into his brother’s old room. (the one damaged by the tree and rain in the house) Now we must disassemble Thing G’s old room.
Purging. So much purging.
Decorating for Autumn because I must honor the beginning of meteorological fall!
This is my life today and I’m cool with that.
But, I was slow moving and couldn’t land on a playlist that worked for me. Turns out, the wonderful thing about my madly eclectic music collection is how quickly it can surprise and delight me!
A song from Thing 2’s Cool Boy, Real Cool mix came on and fired me right up!
I’m inspired to accomplish great things. Let’s see how long I can keep up the momentum.

This is Brick + Mortar with Terrible Things.
Please listen responsibly.

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if you give a girl a shelf

Y’all know I’m a sucker for an around-the-house project. And with this unpredictable weather we’ve been having, icy days close school even though the ice turns to rain, which means I’ve had some time on my hands.
So…I decided to paint and add another shelf in the laundry room (closet?).

Years ago, YBW put up a shelf and hanging bar. But recently I realized how underutilized is the vertical space in there and decided we needed a second shelf.

And just like with If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, another shelf needs cute and practical storage bins, and while I’m at it, might as well paint. And I might need some fun laundry signs to go over the door…and so on…and so on.
Until at last…

Tada!

Cute, right?

Tuesday after school I got to painting.

Two good coats of Waterscape by Sherwin Williams (SW6470) and I rocked it!

Of course I had to do one last load of laundry before I could get started.

Y’all, that was one sad coat of builder grade paint up in there and the walls just soaked in the new paint.

Tuesday evening just after nine, we got the email that county schools would be closed Wednesday. Hot damn! That meant I could sleep in and finish all my laundry room work without interruption!
The drill/screw gun and I are total BFFLs. Up went the old shelf brackets. Up went the new shelf brackets. Boom! Shelves went up. Great washable storage bins on the shelves and lastly, hang the dryer shelf on the wall.

Two days of my time + approximately $60 = a gorgeously organized and functional place to perform my absolute favorite household chore.
Yassssss!
It’s good to be me.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

disinclined to acquiesce to normal life

Now that International Week of the Birthday has passed, I find myself a bit ‘Barbossa-esque’ about returning to normal life.

Yet normal life is here, and I’m kind of in the middle of it.
Between finishing up waxing the upper cabinet doors, painting the base cabinets, and planting herbs for my back porch…my dance card is rather full.
That said, YBW and I drank wine on the back porch Monday, then again last night in front of the television, catching up on shows in the DVR. Clearly, I’m not jumping back into the deep end of normal life…

YBW and I are going to NYC to see a play and hang out a few days over Memorial day weekend. The goal is the have the kitchen put completely back together by then. So, I should probably do a little bit of waxing this afternoon. (As soon as I pot those plants.)
I’m certainly not going to have the base cabinets painted by then…but twenty-one days left in the school year. (I know I’m not the only educator that knows that number.) Soon, I’ll have all the time in the world to finish the kitchen. Then begin other projects!
Two rooms are in desperate need of a fresh coat of paint and I’ve already chosen colors!

Right now, I’m going to get back to regular stuff by eating some breakfast and switching the laundry, projects will sort themselves out as we go along. And I’m acutely aware that the world truly does not revolve around me.

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coming soon to a kitchen near me

One afternoon not too long ago, YBW suggested to me that since we had a bit of extra money it might be time to consider what to do in the kitchen. Let me assure you, he didn’t have to say it twice!
Thus began my search for the perfect countertops.
For a while I was convinced I wanted concrete. I moved past that and re-embraced my love of granite.

We wandered three granite yards to end up here.

It’s called Black Fusion and is quarried from Brazil. And soon coming to a kitchen near me!

So that granite really isn’t going to sit beautifully on the cabinets the way they are now.

So…I decided to paint them!

(don’t mind the messy cabinets, I was too busy painting to tidy them up for a photo)

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is my new BFFL!
One quart of paint covers 150 square feet.
I’m gonna Rock the Casbah out of these cabinets!
My goal was to have the uppers done before the countertops are installed…but there was a mishap at the fabricators…they only got in one of our two slabs. (Full on ‘Ice Queen Bitch’ mode phone call in which I will negotiate a sink for my trouble about to take place.) But…the bit of delay means I may be able to also finish the lower cabinets before installation!


One more coat of paint and a bit of wax and they’ll be ready for new hardware!
I’m so freaking excited!!

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Samsung stainless up in here!

New appliances arrived yesterday! They’re resting beautifully now in the kitchen. The refrigerator hums quietly and occasionally drops ice into the tray.
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The marks on the fridge are from me hugging it.
This just might be the new love of my life!

The gas range still wrapped in cardboard and plastic slid perfectly into place.
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I can hardly wait to cook with this!!

The dishwasher stands next to it’s new home waiting to be installed.
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Meh, I hate to do dishes…but a new dishwasher means clean dishes the first time around AND (hopefully) no more of my plates get broken.

An old family friend comes tomorrow to install the two smaller appliances.
So it’s kind of like two appliance days in the same week! I get to oodgey-goodgey them for a couple days before I even use them! Wonder what I’ll cook first!?!

Categories: around the house, me | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

feather your nest

You know when an idea takes hold of you and you can’t see anything else? I’m experiencing that right now.
My sister in law suggested I somehow parlay my mad organizational skills into a business. She called it “feather your nest” as a play on The Robynbird’s Nest.
She suggested that I provide organizational services for people’s closets, pantries, etc., as well as packing for trips.
I should have taken photos of my bag packed coming home from Charleston as an example…but I unpacked it too quickly this morning to remember.

I haven’t the marketing skills to help it go from idea to income. But I have the organizational skills to make it work…
You know, the more this idea sits with me, the more I fall in love with it.

It reminds me of this children’s book by Kobi Yamata, beautifully illustrated by Mae Besom.
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Pretty much the gist is the child has an idea but doesn’t know what to do with it at first, but it continues to follow him around.
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But sometimes asking what other’s think about an idea isn’t the simplest thing.
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The last page of the book says,
“And then, I realized what you do with an idea…
You change the world.”

Now, I don’t expect to change the world with this “feather your nest” idea. But I will say this. I changed my friend and mentor’s home. I changed my own home…several of my own homes. My sister in law is adamant I come change her home.
So maybe, just maybe, this idea has room to grow.

Categories: around the house | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

new blue loo

I needed a project. A little something I could do around the house to make me feel useful. I chose the main floor powder room because I could knock out in one day.
Tuesday I went on an inspiration trip, and found just what I was looking for at Home Goods.

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I fell in love with the deep purpley-blue color in the mosaic and knew that would be the wall color. I walked into Lowe’s with the soap dispenser and sorted that pretty easily. This was the first paint chip I pulled.
Valspar Precious Sapphire

It was a bit strange for me as it was the first time I made the decision to change something in this house without running it by YBW. Perhaps I finally feel at home here?
Wednesday morning I got up early and gathered my tools. After removing the mirror and other hardware, I took down a small cabinet and patched the holes. I ate a quick breakfast while waiting for the putty to dry then went to work.

Before:
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After:
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YBW and I chose a few architectural photos to hang on the wall. (He didn’t know what they were for when I presented them to him.) I actually took both of these with my phone. The first is Loudoun Street in Old Town Winchester. The second is the abandoned Harrison Point Lighthouse in Barbados.
They’ve been printed but not yet picked up and I don’t yet have frames, but here’s a sample:
IMG_20150830_115056                                                       IMG_20151203_150424

All in all, I feel exceptionally good about the work I did. I like to feel useful. I like to feel creative.

Categories: around the house | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Y’all come now, ya hear?

The room that was originally built as an eclectic teen space for Thing 2 has been re-imagined into a serene retreat. A place I will occasionally visit when I need to “go away for the weekend” but not really leave home. My friend and mentor has claimed it as her own, much to by YBW’s and my delight. Now to get her here from Charleston…
I’m pleased with the way it turned out and look forward to folks I love coming to lay their head and stay with us a while.

The en suite bathroom has yet to be painted, though I’ve finally settled on a color choice. The enormous closet is filled with boxes and boxes line the wall. Boxes of my family things that came home to me from Richmond and the with holidays I haven’t made time to unpack and sort.
I’ll get around to that pretty quickly. I’m itching to see what’s in those boxes and ready for the mini project of painting that bathroom.

Y'all come now, ya hear?

Y’all come now, ya hear?

Categories: around the house | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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