MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Merry Christmas 2015

I just wanted to take a moment to thank each and every one of my readers!  I realize there are a million amazing blogs out there and I really appreciate that you take them time to see what inspiration is going on in my world.

This has been a great year for me and the blog.  I had some amazing partnerships with some great brands and we purchased our dream home.  Next year, I hope to show you the progress as we renovate the home and hope to post more frequently!

Anyway . . . I hope you have an amazing Holiday and thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading!

xoxo,

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A Call For Preservation

Hi all!  If you are a regular reader, you know we just purchased our dream home.  You can read all about it in this post.  Now that our purchase is finalized, we are in the process of selling our first home.   We were elated when we got an offer for our full asking price, as we were in a crunch to sell to avoid the dreaded double mortgage payment.  That was until we found out that they planned on tearing it down!

Yes, you heard that right.  They planned on tearing down our beloved first home.  The home where we walked through the threshold as newlyweds, where we brought our first-born home from the hospital.  The place so charming someone once called it the cottage where snow-white once lived.

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I get it.  Old homes are filled with headaches.  Old electrical, old pluming, the list goes on and on. However, for all of those headaches, there is craftsmanship and detail of a time gone by.  The new homes today are simply not built with the same.  I also get the need for more closet space (those home were definitely not meant to accommodate modern-day wardrobes.)

However, I don’t understand the need for more and more space, just for the sake of having more. The neighborhood where we live and where our old home is has beautiful and unique period homes from the 1920′ s and 1930’s.   No home is exactly alike and it is just that character that I love so much.  Many of the homes, however, have been replaced by “McMansions” that are overbuild on the lots, tower over the neighbors, and look like boxes with windows.

It is this type of McMansion that I fear for our old home and the neighbors we hold dear.  We are in a tight spot and need to accept this offer, however, I fully intend to write the future owners and express my opinion as to the importance of preserving the home’s character.

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What do you think?  I think she is worth it (yes, I call the home a “she.”) Would you do the same? Do you love old homes as much as I do?

Stay tuned, I will post the letter I write soon.

xoxo,

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Got 20 Minutes? Try This DIY!

Hi friends!  I just had to pop in today and share this quick and easy DIY.

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So, I was in Target buying Qtips and of course I get lulled into the home decor section because why not??  Unfortunately, for my wallet Target was getting in Christmas items and had their fall decor on clearance for 50% off.  (I really need to use Amazon or Jet subscriptions for household items.  It would save me hundreds of dollars by avoiding Target!!)  I found these fun graphic art prints for only $12.00, but the frames were kind of blah.

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I thought they would look great above my television in my bedroom and the colors would work great!  When I got them home, I realized I had some gold Rub ‘N Buff from this project left over.  I thought it would be fun to tape off the corners and make a statement in gold.

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So, I marked off my corners with painters tape.  I used 2 3/4 inches all around as my measurement.  I made a pencil mark where the tape would need to end.  Finally, I rubbed a bit or Rub ‘N Buff on, waited a few minutes and buffed it out with a rag so it was all shiny!  If you have never used Rub ‘N Buff before I highly recommend it.  It is so easy to use and instantly adds a brass touch to whatever you are working on.  It also comes in a variety of finishes.

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Here is the frame before.  Nice, but nothing special.

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Here is the after.  I think it adds contrast and interest.  I think this would look really nice on black frames as well.

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So, if you have a few extra minutes this weekend, why not waken up some boring old frames.  It is an easy way to freshen up you existing decor for next to nothing!

Have a wonderful weekend!  I am going to work on getting my Christmas decor out-eek!  The life of a design blogger  . . .

xoxo

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Awfulizing

Hi friends!  Well, I have to share with you a “moment” I had yesterday.  I went, like I do most nights, to log into the blog to write a post or check comments.  When I hit the enter button to get to my site, I got redirected to this scary site with a screen of blue death that said:

http://sites.securepaynet.net/redirect_0.html

This site is currently unavailable. If you are the owner of this site, please contact us at 1-480-505-8855 at your earliest convenience.

I immediately ran to my other computer to see if it was the same on that device.  It was.  Ugh oh.  This did NOT sound good.  Of course, instead of being calm, I immediately panicked.  Like a sick person dangerously looking on Web MD for a diagnosis, I began to Google the issue.  What I found make my heart pound out of my chest.  I found things that said it meant my site was being falsely detected as malware and I found things saying I had been hacked.  I then searched for what to do when your site gets hacked.  Bad idea.  This list told me to:

#1 Stay calm- CRAP!!!  We are way beyond that!

#2 Install a firewall- WTF??  If I knew how to do that I probably wouldn’t have been hacked in the first place.

#3 Be mindful of website blacklists – just what I need, my barely surviving blog to be “blacklisted.”

#4 Take a back up of what you have left.  At that point, I and went and looked at where I believed my blog had been backing up.  Not much was there.  I felt myself having a very Carrie Bradshaw moment from Sex and The City.  “Did you back up your data?  Umm I don’t do that. Apparently, everyone is secretly running home at night and backing up their work.”

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#5 Find and remove the hack – Are there people you can pay to do this?  My blog that I basically pay to run is going to cost me hundreds to fix- I don’t think so!  The one thing about running this blog that is hard for me is the technology.  I am afraid to touch or change anything because I am sooo not technical!

At the end of the article, it proposed deleting everything and starting over from scratch.  I felt the weight of a ball in the pit of my stomach. All of the time and effort I put into this blog, gone to waste.  All of the DIY projects, photo editing and writing, all gone.

That is where I started “Awfulizing” as they call it.  Awfulizing is they by-product of irrational self-talk that turns everything into a worse-case scenario.  My blog and all of the hard work behind it is gone, I should just give up now, my dreams are never going to come true, I am silly to think I could have a successful blog, I will never be successful.  You see how it works.  This is the type of overreacting that I tell my children is unacceptable, yet there I was engulfed in my own impending doom.

Finally, my husband (aka the voice of reason,) told me to just try and call my hosting provider.  While lamenting that there was nothing they could do to help, I reluctantly picked up the phone and waited on hold (while continuing to have spiraling thoughts).  When I got someone on the phone and told them what I was seeing when I went to my site, they immediately told me, “your site has been suspended for failure to pay fees.”  Rarely, would I jump for joy at such news, but this was music to my ears.  That was it???  Apparently, the credit card I had on file for auto-renew had just expired so they could not process my payment.

Within minutes my site was back up online.  Crisis averted.  But this situation told me a lot about my ability to be irrational and envision apocolyptic scenarios.  There is something to be said about thinking positive.  Even if I had been hacked, it was probably fixable.

Have you ever been guilty of awfulizing?  I think it is my new favorite word!  If so, do you have any tips for talking yourself down from the ledge?

So, as they say, I am off to breath and reboot!

Have a wonderful weekend!

xoxo

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Cabin Fever

Hello friends.  I hope you had a nice extended weekend.  We just spent a lovely long weekend in the mountains of Lake Tahoe.  Hanging out in the cabin and the ski lodge have made me enjoy and appreciate the coziness of cabin life.  I love the massive roaring fireplaces, the rustic decor, the beaming natural light!

The images below make me want to head back up to the snow!
 

What do you think?  So cozy, right?  I like it when cabin style is mixed with some rustic luxe pieces. Such an unexpected juxtaposition!

The Leaning Tower of Pine and Other Holiday Calamities

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Hi Friends!  Over the weekend I tried to cram in WAY too much.  It was supposed to rain Saturday and Sunday and I am completely booked next weekend, so I had it in my head that I HAD to get our Christmas tree on Friday.  I had visions of my kids drinking hot coco and listening to Christmas music by a fire while we decorated the perfect Christmas trees.  That is when I should have stopped and reset my expectations!

We were busy doing a million other things Friday, so we did not get to the tree lot until about 5:00, and it was getting dark. While trying to prevent my 5 year old and 3 year old from getting hit by cars, I decided on what I thought was the best looking tree in the lot.  I should mention we go to this Christmas tree lot where you buy a stand once and then the following years, you just bring the stand back and take one that is already in a stand.  Makes the whole process easier.  For some reason, putting a tree in a stand is akin to changing a tire to me!

We got the tree home and as soon as we put it in the window, we noticed that it was leaning. A LOT.  We tried to rotate it, we tried to prop the stand up on magazines, we tried it all.  Finally, my husband laid it down and sawed off part of the trunk, thinking that it was not level.  I walked into the room and there was tree carnage all over and my husband was sweating like he was running a marathon.  Totally defeating the perk of get the tree already in the stand.

I suggested we take the tree back, but the hubs thought the idea of putting it back on top of the car, returning it, and lugging home a new one was not such a great idea.  So, after much propping up and turning, our tree looks like it is straight if you are looking at it head on.  Don’t even talk to me about what it looks like from the sides.  It looks like a shark is coming through our window.

As I tried to get over our “imperfect” tree, I started getting out our ornaments.  Partly due to my children’s excitement and partly due to my exhaustion, we had many ornament “casualties.”  One ornament is one thing, but we lost about 10 glass ones. Our home looked like Christmas threw up on it and my idea of the “perfect” Christmas memory was starting to fade.

As I lay in bed that evening, I couldn’t help but think of the Christmas in 1993 when my parents had to use fishing line to secure our family tree to the windows. That was after two hours of arguing about how to get it straight in the tree stand.  I remember being 13 years old and convinced my parents were going to get a divorce that day.  It also reminds me of the time my mom wanted to create a “perfect” Christmas memory when she took me and my sisters to San Francisco for the weekend to shop and see the Nutcracker.  That perfect weekend was cut short after we all got sick, and my mom slipped in the rain and flew down a famous San Francisco hill.  No Nutcraker for us on that “perfect”holiday weekend.

These memories reminded me that the more we try to create “perfect” moments and perfect memories, the more we set ourselves up for failure.  It is no wonder we are disappointed when we set our expectations so high.  My resolution (coming early this year) is to live more in the moment and to have no expectations (or lower my expectations).  The real memories come from spending every day moments together and don’t need to be perfectly orchestrated the way I play them out in my head.

So, as I sit here, looking at my Leaning Tower of Pine (which looks magnificent now that the lights and ornaments are on), I am feeling grateful for the small, everyday things.  Like my husband, who was patient and tried soooo hard to get that tree in the stand straight, and my little girls who are quietly (for once) playing with each other beneath the tree.

So, this Christmas on the blog, it might be more lists of holiday DIY’s I would like to tackle, rather than tutorials on ones I have.  And that is okay because  . . . I am lowering my expectations 🙂

How is your holiday decorating going? Have you started? It is okay if you haven’t.  Kinda wished I hadn’t!

xoxo

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Accidents Happen . . .

Hey Ya’ll! So last weekend I had a two of my favorite “treasures” abruptly broken by my two-year old. As my blood pressure began to rise, I had to step back and realize that she is only acting like a two-year old and I slowly calmed down.

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This got me thinking about living with children and how we decorate our homes.  I personally have always surrounded my home with things I loved and not worried too much about whether things were kid friendly.  I believe that children learn and become accustomed to what they are surrounded by and what we teach them.

My husband’s grandmother was an avid antique collector and her home was packed, and I mean packed, with valuable and breakable antiques. She did not move things out of reach or worry about things getting broken when her grandchildren came over.  Instead, she taught them that they were her “treasures” and asked that they respect her and do not touch them.  And you know what???  It worked!!

I take a similar approach in my home.  However, with this attitude you have to accept that there will be accidents and that things may get broken, but that is okay.  My children respect my things and rarely break anything.  It is our play date guests that make me nervous!

So, on the rare occasion where something gets broken, I just try and breath and reboot and remember that they are only objects.  So, my advice is to follow the age-old adage and not “cry over spilled milk” because accidents happen!  If not, there is always WINE!

 

 

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What is your approach living with children?  How do you make your home kid friendly?  Do share your tips in the comments!

 

4 Weeks Of Being 4

I posted here about some updates I did to my little girl’s room in honor of her upcoming birthday.  I really can’t believe that my little baby is turning 5.  Five just seems so close to double digits and further away from babyhood!

I soo want to be the mom who takes millions of pictures and immediately puts them into photo albums or scrapbooks.  I AM NOT.  Strong is a woman who knows her limits!  I was really good for the first two years and then I went ahead and had another baby and man has the picture-taking and picture printing gone down.  Now, I find I take the photos, but rarely do anything with them.

I think I am overwhelmed by the digital age because we end up taking so many more photos.  Instead of going through them and ordering the ones I like and deleting the ones I don’t I get paralyzed by it and don’t do anything.

So, in an attempt to record more moments and honor my daughter’s 4 years ( I forget sometimes that she is so new to this Earth), I took photos of her during her last month of being 4.  I called my little project “four weeks of being four.”  I tried to take pictures of her doing things that are things that toddlers typically love.  I know she will be outgrowing some of these things so soon, so I wanted to make sure I had it documented.

Here she is doing some adorable toddler girl things!  FYI- This is just a sampling of the 1,000 baby dolls we have.  Thank heavens I have another girl!

 

Charlotte's Birthday Collage

If you have children, how do you document their little lives?  Any tips on organizing and actually doing something with all those photos??

 

My Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived In That House

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I have a confession to make . . . The other day I found myself suffering from a major case of what I call “House Envy.”  This happens when I go into someone’s lovely home for the first time and walk out feeling that EVERYTHING in their home is perfect and EVERYTHING in mine is wrong or awful. Oh, this type of extreme thinking has gotten me into trouble more times than I can count.

As a design blogger, I am drawn to beautiful interiors and in turn often time feel like my home should look like the pages of a magazine.  It is hard to see home tours of amazing and talented bloggers and not compare my home to theirs.  But the images in magazines and from photo shoots are not REAL LIFE.  Real life is budgets, bills, outdated bathrooms, crayon on the walls, pet hair and sticky peanut butter fingers.  It is both lovely and limiting at the same time.

After I stopped sulking and recovered from my mini-meltdown (1st world problem, I know), I started to think about what life would be like if I did live in one of my “dream” or “perfect ” homes.

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I realized that there is no perfect anything.  No perfect home, husband, marriage, job or child.  I have learned over time, that behind the walls of some of those “perfect” homes there were families in crises.  A woman suffering from cancer, a family grappling with divorce, a family grieving over the loss of a child.  So, no my life would not be perfect even if I lived in my dream home.

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I need to stop suffering from house envy.  I need to learn to love what I have and make the absolute best of it.  Just like anything in life.  After all, that is what my parent’s taught me and what I will teach my girls.  It bums me out sometimes that I fall into this negative thinking- it seems so “high school!” Trust me, I am no school girl anymore.  I think all I can do is breath and reboot.  I can acknowledge this type of thinking when it happens and correct it instead of just dwelling.  My home, just like myself is a work in progress.  It is tells a story of my family and all of the stages of our life.

Have you ever suffered from a case of “House Envy?”  Would your life be “perfect” if you lived in that house??

Off I go to peel off some chipping paint!

xo

 

Happy Easter!

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I just wanted to pop in and wish you a wonderful Easter.

There are so many amazing design blogs out there, I am honored that you peruse mine from time to time!  You are my blog “Peeps” and you make this blog worth writing!

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Hope you have a fun and festive Easter!!

xo