Monday, January 31, 2011

A Grocery-Mexican Stand-off. Kind of.

I started to write a post for Friday and it just wasn't coming organically. I decided to just scrap it and enjoy the weekend. I'm positive that you were (all five of you, hi mom!) sitting at your computers anxiously awaiting my post and were so disappointed that it never came that it ruined your entire weekend. I apologize. :)

Life is about to get really busy for us. I'm already feeling really anxious and apprehensive about the changes. I think they will be good though. Let's take a look at what a typical week will be like in the little house on Birch.

Monday - Financial Peace University
Tuesday - Bryan has worship practice
Wednesday - Free night
Thursday - Bible study
Friday - Bryan has a gig
Saturday - Bryan has a gig
Sunday - Church/Free day

On top of all that is working full time, going to the gym to get rid of the extra...ohh.... bazillion pounds that have latched on to my love-handle and buttock areas and I will basically only see my husband a few nights a week which means that the burden of chores will fall on me. Super duper.

My friend, Anna, likes to laugh and shake her head at me because lately I have been in a Mexican stand-off of sorts with Bryan about grocery shopping. I was feeling really discouraged and unappreciated about the fact that I would spend a ridiculous amount of my time planning meals, going grocery shopping, unloading and putting away all the groceries and then cooking said meals for Bryan. There was always a lot of the following:

"You're cooking tonight? Ugggghhh, I don't feel like cleaning the kitchen."
"We're having WHAT for dinner?"
"Are we having meat tonight?"
"Uhhh, it was alright."
"Don't cook tonight. Come on. You are tired. Let's just go grab something and watch a movie."
"I don't want to clean the kitchen tonight, I'm so tired."

The deal in my house is that if I'm cookin', you're cleanin'. And wouldn't you know it that after almost every meal I would have ask Bryan if he was going to clean the kitchen and lots of times I would get mumblings and grumblings about how he hates cleaning the kitchen. OH REALLY?

Do I look like I love planning, shopping, putting away and cooking the groceries? Do you think that I look forward to doing this? No. When I was a little girl I never glamorized the whole shopping/cooking thing because its a CHORE. There is a difference between having to do something and wanting to do something.

Anyways, I was getting super frustrated with the entire lot of it and it came to the point where I lost what little desire I had in the first place to cook because of remarks and comments from the only other member of my little family that has opposable thumbs and can, ya know, actually speak English. It became too much trouble and ended up that week after week the food I purchased  would be uneaten, would spoil and would then be thrown away...BY ME. Angry. Is what it made me.

So, after one very calm discussion with Bryan where I did not completely overreact and I most certainly did not tell him in a loud voice that he could shove "it" and that I quit and I definitely did not blame aforementioned extra pounds on him and he's evil ways.

None of that happened.

Alas, I feel that it has come to an end and I must return to cooking. Sigh. Especially since Bryan will never be home and I cannot continue to eat like he does. I must return to the land of meal planning and it should be a blast.

On another note, today was Bryan's first day on the worship team and I am very proud of him for getting involved in a ministry as quickly as he has. :) I may talk a bunch of smack about him, but the man can be pretty amazing and sometimes he just blows me away...... when he isn't making my blood pressure rise.

Bryan is the cutie in the middle. Again, I realize you're blown away by the photography. Yes, I'm available for bookings.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hook, Line and Sinker.

This post has nothing to do with fishing.

I've mentioned before that I one of my guest rooms to double-duty as an office. I call this room the "purpley room" because that's what I want. For the past year or so I have fallen hard for the grayish purple tone for a bedroom theme. The purple definitely has to have that gray, foggy color to it, but it is purple none the less.

I also mentioned that now that I actually have a house where I can paint the walls, I can't decide what I want to do. I've been looking for inspiration like crazy and I hadn't found anything that hit home. That is, until I went to a blog that I lurve. Life Begins at Thirty, Right? I've mentioned it before. I love Janice's blog and she has great taste. Apparently, she's been thinking about doing a stripe wall on one of her guest bedroom walls and so she posted some inspiration. I was just scrolling right on through when my heart skipped a beat. Literally. I know it may be sad, but it made me swoon. It was swoon-worthy. Completely.

Are you ready? I hope you are sitting down.

Image: House To Home
I love it. LOVE IT. The grayish dark purple, that gorgeous metallic silver, the cream colored bedside tables. Be still my beating heart. It was exactly what I wanted and I didn't even know it. I knew that I wanted something bold and impressive, something that would inspire me while I worked and this is just the thing.

I just wish I knew the colors. I know the company is Crown in the UK (It says so when you follow the link) But of course they don't have paint match numbers. I will do some more digging. At least I have a place to start.

As soon as I get all the boxes I have left unpacked, this will be my first project! Cannot wait. :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

While I Wasn't Blogging...

Yeah, all I have to say is: I rock. And I'm tired. And I actually did eight boxes, but two of them didn't make it. I may have ripped them apart in hulk-like fury. It happens. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hibernating to Heal

I know I promised that I would write about all the fabulous loot I scored at Michael's on the cheap, but sometimes life happens and posts don't get written. I'm about to get real for a second.

Last night, while talking to my hubby, he asked if I was still feeling weird and I replied that I was, although I couldn't pinpoint how I've felt. It's pretty hard to describe. He said that he feels that way sometimes, and that it's like a disassociation with my surrounds. He literally hit it on the head. I feel ungrounded. With people that I usually feel ridiculously comfortable with, I feel aloof and awkward. I can't seem to find my place. I feel disconnected and it's disconcerting. It honestly the most uncomfortable feeling ever.

I'm awkward. I am really shy. It's hard for me to be the first person to try to connect with someone else. It's not that I can't, or that I am bad at connecting. I've always been really good at dealing with people and talking to them. It's having the courage to connect with someone first. If someone opens the line, then I can easily steer the conversation and be personable. But opening the line first? No way. I'm awful at it. I feel awkward and like this person is going to think I'm an idiot. I fumble. And I HATE that feeling. That feeling though? Ten times better than what I feel right now. 

Even though I feel this way, I still laugh when something is funny. I still have all my normal reactions to things. When I read something sad, I want to cry. It's not that I feel like I'm in a fog or I am temporarily rendered emotionless. It's just that I feel like there is a wall between me and whomever I happen to be with. 

I wish I had some light at the end of the tunnel paragraph to put here; Alas, I am in the throes of it. I'm just staying positive and I'm going to spend some time at home, working on my house and let my mind just work itself out. I know that this is not forever and that eventually it'll be gone. Until then I just continue with life. I guess you could say that I am hibernating and come spring, I'll be alright. 

I hope. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Don't Expect Much/Weekly Goals

*Hey ya'll. I forgot to publish this to post this morning, so I jumped on to publish it on my lunch. :) Sorry for the delay. Yes, I am fully aware that you probably don't schedule your mornings around my posts, but I still try to stay consistent. 

This weekend was pretty low-key at our house. I went to a movie, No Strings Attached, with Denise, her cousin and Anna. It was a pretty good movie. I started getting a really bad migraine during the movie and ended up having to take my strong headache medicine.

On Saturday I went to my mom's house in the morning to hang out and we ended up hanging out all day! Bryan's company moved into a new building and we ended up going to the grand opening, and I won a digital picture frame! I was the first number called and I couldn't believe it! I never win anything! I'll post about it once I set it up. :)

After, we hit up Michael's and I scored a bunch of loot - but that's a post for tomorrow. We met up with her husband, Larry for dinner and it was a blast. Towards the end of dinner I started having a really weird feeling. I had made plans to go to a local wine bar after dinner but I was really bumming, hard. I don't know if it was the onset of a headache I had later that night or what. But I ended up going home and slumming it on the couch. 

On Sunday, I opted to stay home from church because of my mood and later in the afternoon, Bryan and I went to Visalia to run some errands. Which turned out to be a long and not so fabulous time. I was so discouraged on the way home and I was talking whining to Bryan so when we got home, he helped me clean up our room, do more laundry AND he cleaned up the kitchen. 

I love that man. 

On another note, I'm deciding to do the weekly goals early even though I wrote the post so late last week. 

Here is what I was supposed to get done: 

Week of January 16, 2011

-Continue Laundering
-Clean and decorate master bedroom
-Look at paint inspiration for the master bedroom
-Look at light fixtures for my entryway
-Unpack five boxes from the garage

And here is what I did:

Week of January 16, 2011

-Continue Laundering
-Clean and decorate master bedroom
-Look at paint inspiration for the master bedroom
-Look at light fixtures for my entryway
-Unpack five boxes from the garage

-Continue Laundering
SO CLOSE! Bryan and I have maybe four loads of laundry until we are completely -done- with it all! YAY. The end is near!

-Clean and decorate master bedroom 
Like I said, last night we did manage to clean the heck out of our master bedroom, but there wasn't time to decorate. Wait, does putting one of these in the room count? 

Image: Partylite
I think it should. 

-Look at paint inspiration for master bedroom.
Post coming soon. But I did look around and I am clueless. 

-Look at light fixtures for my entryway.
I haven't found 'the one' yet, but I'm still hunting! Didn't catch the first post? Click here.

-Unpack 5 boxes. 
FAIL. That's really all I gotta say about that. 

As you can see, I am getting progressively better. I WILL toot my own horn by saying that last night, I also went into the Beach Room and tidied up a bit (finally). :) I will also say that I'm a cheater because that is one of things on this weeks list! 

Week of January 24, 2011

-Continue Laundering
-Unpack 5 boxes
-Tidy the beach room
-Finish decorating the master bedroom
-Organize Items for Yard Sale

Here's hoping that I can do as well as I did last week!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Drum Shades, Pendant Lights and... Cat Fixtures?

It was a lot harder than I thought it would be to find good inspiration photos of entryways I actually liked. I thought I was being all sneaky by giving myself an easy task for my weekly goals. Apparently not.

Bryan and I, we are wee little people. Bryan is just 5'4 and I come in at 5'3. We're not ridiculously short, but we're not basketball players either. So us short people, when we extend our arms all the way up, are pretty close to touching the ceiling. My Mom's husband, Larry, can touch our ceiling. He's like 5'8 or 5'9. What I'm tryin' to say is, our ceilings are not what you would call 'vaulted'. 

Which proves to be a problem with a light fixture. We have about a foot and a half of space (thats me remembering it generously) from the ceiling in the entryway to the top of the door-jam. This spacial issue does not allow for a grand light fixture. As much as I wish I could have something like this:

foyer lighting

I can't. I probably wouldn't have chose that for this space anyways, but whatev. Add the fact that the entryway is flanked by two walls and doesn't automatically open into a wall-less great room, I have to work with what I have got. Right now I have one of those bulbous builders basic white lights. It's downright ugly and it casts a vomit-inducing yellow light. It's very welcoming. Any-whoo, ya'll know that I want to do something like this in the entryway. 

Image: Centsational Girl
Thinking about what light fixture I might want makes me think a lot about what furniture I want to have in the entryway. If I were to go with a simple, light I would feel like a bench with a chunky pattern like the one above would help liven up and give our guests a big hug when they arrive. On the other hand, if I were to do a bolder light fixture, then I'm thinking I would put three little stools, like this:

Obviously, I had to keep how I wanted to decorate the space in mind while I looked for lighting fixtures. 

Now, on to the actual inspiration! 

Image:  Lumens
I love this light fixture because it's timeless. It's also neutral enough that it goes with the cool, open feeling I have in my house but it's also traditional and it gives a little upscale Victorian flare to the entryway.

Image: Knights
 I like the idea of this drum-shade light fixture because not only does it seem "homey" but it's a bold fixture for my space, but its also close the the ceiling. I love that the manufacturer brought the metal rim into an overstated arch - it's a simple but dramatic feature that pops out when the light is on. 

A light fixture of this type would definitely go with the simple wainscoting from the picture above and it does makes a statement. But would it provide enough light for an area of my home that sets the tone for the guests that come over?  What could I do to ensure that this area would be well lit but not blinding? 

Could I possibly put one or two hardwired unassuming sconces above the wainscoting? Something like these from Pottery Barn? 

These would certainly add to the warmth of the foyer but wouldn't necessarily make a bold statement. It wouldn't be the main event of the entryway. Hmm, something to think about. 

What about something like the light above? I love how the light wood tones keep this pendant from being a show stealer, but the beautiful filigree has a flair of understated elegance. I think that with the oaty tan that I want to paint the walls and the white wainscoting, this bad boy would look pretty darn good in our entry way. I love that it screams "cottage on the beach" but can still complement almost any color I choose in our home. I dig it. I wonder though, what kind of light this emits, and if it would look good with six small-to-medium sized recessed lighting fixtures to the left and right of it? 

All I can say is that I looked at hundreds and hundreds of pictures for inspiration for my entryway and I haven't fell madly in love with any of it. Which says to me that I just need to keep looking. This was a great tool to get my brain churning and I'm sure I'll come up with something that'll be perfect. 

And just because I really don't know when to properly end a blog entry, I thought I would leave you with this eye candy. 
Image: Sisal Net
Because who wouldn't want a cat light fixture? 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

2.5 is Better Than 0

Lets recap. The first week I did my weekly goals, I only managed to accomplish one goal. Booo.

Last week, I wrote about how I was inundated with mounds of laundry and I thought I was going to get lost.

This week, I.... well. I haven't done this week. Obviously I am off to a fantastic start. So, here we go. Last weeks goals were:
Week of January 9, 2011
- Post-guest Purpley Room Clean-up
-Install master bedroom wall sconces
-Beach Room Clean Up
-Redecorate living room (including new furniture placement.)
-Wash all laundry

Let's see how I did!


Week of January 9, 2011
- Post-guest Purpley Room Clean-up
-Install master bedroom wall sconces
-Beach Room Clean Up
-Redecorate living room (including new furniture placement.)
-Wash all laundry

I was able to finish two and a half things from my list! Score! That is definitely better than last week, but still not great. I do have some excuses reasons why this didn't happen. 

-Install master bedroom wall sconces
Okay, here is the dealio. I dig my wall sconces and I think they will be a cozy addition to our master bedroom. And they are sitting in the corner of our bedroom right by my nightstand and it makes me sad to see them there. But, I don't feel like I deserve them yet. My room is not decorated, it is certainly not clean, and I haven't paid much attention to it because no one sees it. That just ain't right, yo. I want our bedroom to be a safe haven... somewhere that Bryan and I want to be. And until I can get the rest of the laundry off the floor, and unpack the few boxes I have in there, I'm waiting to put my pretty, brand new sconces up. I'd also really like to paint in there before I attach them to the wall. 

-Beach Room Clean-up
Yikes-a-bee. Most of the floor is covered in this room with the hardwood for our floors. Bryan has yet to start on that project and I can't move them. I walked into this room to start and I looked around, turned around, shut the door and left. Know what you can handle, I say. 

-Wash all laundry. 
Alright, look here. I did SO MUCH LAUNDRY and I'm still not done. But I deserve a half a point because I actually worked on it. And that is what matters. I will get back on it tonight and I hope to be finished before the world "ends" in 2012. 

Two point five items done. I'm kind of proud of myself. 

Are you ready for this weeks goals (never mind the fact that this week is halfway over.

Week of January 16, 2011
-Continue Laundering
-Clean and decorate master bedroom
-Look at paint inspiration for the master bedroom
-Look at light fixtures for my entryway
-Unpack five boxes from the garage

As you can see, the beach room and wall sconces were dropped from the list. It just makes more sense to me to get the basics done in the master bedroom before we add frilly things. And the beach room? I need to prepare myself mentally for that challenge. :)

I is tired wurk too hard

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Move Over Ektorp

After this weekend, all I gotta say is poor Bryan. Ya know, I've dated a few guys. And a few of them were serious. But none of them had what it took to deal with me on a daily basis. Bryan is so carefree, I envy it. He worries about nothing and rarely does anything affect him. Life just rolls right over his shoulders. Whereas, I am a tightly knit ball of stress because I feel like I have to pick up all the slack of his lackadaisical-ness and really, it's very, very hard for me to relax when I know there are things to do. If the house is a mess, if there is laundry to do, if dinner needs to get cooked.. whatever it is, if there is something hanging over my head it is hard to really, truly relax.

This weekend, I had the best of intentions to get stuff done in my house. And while I continued doing loads of laundry, not much else happened. When I start getting revved up about getting something done in the house, I end up getting so overwhelmed that I just don't know where to start! It's hugely intimidating and paralyzing. And then I get mad at myself for just not doing ANYTHING. I'm smart enough to know that doing nothing gets you a whole lot of nothing.

While I should have been working on the house but wasn't, I did managed to stumble upon a little sale. I told Bryan that I wanted to go to Visalia so we could hit up Best Buy for these ridiculously expensive screen protectors for our phones and he jumped at the chance to not only get the phone accessories, but to go to Guitar Center. I told him to drop me off at Pier 1 and made him promise not to dawdle. I ended up finishing at Pier 1 before he was done at Guitar Center so I meandered over to World Market.

World Market just so happened to be having a furniture sale. 50% off! My wheels started churning. I've looked at WM's website many-a-time after a random blogger had an entry about it. I've even drooled over their furniture before, even though I knew 1. they are really expensive and b. I didn't know if their furniture was reliable.

I looked around, half hoping I would find some amazing deal or that I would hate everything and this sale wouldn't affect me. I walked around the entire store and then made my way up to the front and I saw it. Not too big, not to small. Clean lines, modern yet classic, slip covered for easy cleaning - not to mention easy decorating.

There were two key tests that must be conducted. I sat. It was firm, but comfortable. I was told that you should buy firm furniture because it breaks in and gets comfortable over the years and ends up lasting you a long time.  The pillows are filled with down. It was pretty awesome, if I do say so myself. The price was right. Two of these bad boys in my living room would create a lot of seating, but it wouldn't make our space feel cluttered with bulky items of furniture.

Wanna see it? Here. Feast your eyes.

 The couch is a really pretty charcoal gray color that would not only work well with the cool colors that I already have going in my living room but would work with warm colors should I ever decide to switch things up. It is a tad smaller than the couch we have right now, but since I am wanting to buy two (which will give us a sectional feel) they are the perfect size.

Obviously, I'm sitting there in the front of the store, stewing over how I could decorate my living room and how many different ways I could put the furniture. In each way, there is a side missing. It would just be open and awkward. Chairs. I need two comfy single-seater chairs. I immediately was up and looking around and of course, I found these babies:

Again, I sat. I mushed myself down on these chairs and got comfortable. These are also slipcovered, which is a God-send for our critter-loving house. The chair design matches the couch I'm loving and they are narrow enough that they would fit the space. I'm digging that that they are neutral and can be dressed up with some funky pillows. I also love is that if I ever change my mind and want to get two chairs that have a bold pattern, I can easily slip one of these guys in a guest bedroom and the other in Bryan's office and they'll work perfectly. Gotta love investing in furniture that can be used in multiple rooms!

Anyways, I mentioned them in passing to Bryan, trying to hide how my mind was reeling and we popped over to, drum-roll, HOBBY LOBBY. Yes. Visalia has a brand spanking new Hobby Lobby and I was giddy with excitement. All I hear about some from of my favorite blogs is how they adore HL and now we have one! Unfortunately for me but many kudos to them, they are closed on Sunday to allow their employees time with their families and time to worship. Which I respect! Hopefully we'll make the twenty minute trek there again soon, because I want to go!

Back to the poor Bryan part. As soon as I got home, I started googling reviews of World Market's LuxeLuxe Slipcover sofa gives Ikea's Ektorp (the couch I have been using as a template for what I want and for a saving price point) a run for its money! It also had a link to an article the LA Times wrote about the best, highest quality sofas $699 and under and guess which sofa made the list?!

The entire time I'm finding all these nuggets of information, I keep reading them out loud, barraging Bryan about how these sofa's are turning out to be quite the deal! Then, all day Monday, I kept going on about how we should go to Visalia and get them. That by that night we could be cuddling on our new furniture watching a movie! Of course, he wouldn't budge. "We need to plan." He says. "We need to figure out what we already have saved and if we can pay it off completely next month." "We need to figure out where we are going to put the furniture we have right now!" UGH! Him and his adult thinking. Why can't we just go for it!? Figure it all out later?

I suppose it's because we are adults.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cards and Coffee

Just a quick update because it's on my mind. How much do I LOVE that my friends and I can sit at a table in Starbucks for two hours just talking, laughing, and playing cards? Best Saturday night ever!

Psst. This was posted on the go via Blogaway on the HTC Incredible. Any errors are because my thumbs get so tired that sometimes they don't hit the right keys. 

This Is One Way To Make Friends...

I'd like to start off this post by saying that I forgot to tell you something uber embarrassing last week. If you are anything like me, you think uber embarrassing stuff that happens to other people is hilarious but when it happens to you its mortifying. I'm a shy person and in an effort to be less shy I'll tell you this story.

I work at a school and I eat the same lunches the kids eat on most days. Before you roll your eyes and say "Ewwww." I'll tell you that our ladies make almost every meal from scratch and they are awesome. This is like home-cooked food. I love the food supervisor and one day she told me that she would never feed a meal to a child at school that she wouldn't feed to her children at home. She's a good, Christian lady and she and her team make some bomb-dot-com food.

So, we had turkey tacos on Thursday with veggies, Spanish rice and some sherbet. I had just eaten lunch and I walked outside and some kid was messing with a little kid, who looked close to crying. I was a bit hormonal last week, if you know what I mean, and I called the big kid over and just YELLED at him. There was a lot of "How  DARE you pick on this little kid. You are older than him and you should be protecting him! We do not tolerate any type of bullying in this school. Do you understand me?" The kid nodded his head but through the entire speech, he would not meet my eyes. He just kind of stared at my neck/upper chest area. So, I'm going on and on about how we treat other kids and I was getting all kinds of irritated with his not looking at me. I said, "And now, you don't even respect your elders enough to look at them when they talk to you!" And he looks up and says, "Sorry. But you have food on your shirt."

I kid you not, Internet. I look down and there are three pieces of Spanish rice on my blue shirt. I was mortified for a second and then I started laughing. I told him that it would have been nice if he had told me that earlier and I made him say sorry and he took off.  Freaking kids, man. Now every time I see him (which isn't super often, but often enough) he smiles at me  and waves. My new best friend.

Hope you enjoyed that little gem!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Room Within A Room Madness

My living room is a tricky little bugger. Its long, and a tad oddly shaped. And it's sort of wide. When we bought the house, there was a wall separating it and the first decision we made was to tear it down to create an open, airy feeling in the house. By tearing down this wall, we created a great room.

The living room starts out narrow because of the step-up dining area and then opens up a bit. Because of this, I knew the only thing to do was to create two separate spaces that would flow together and make sense. When you walk through the door, there is a long, semi-narrow entry-way. It's claustrophobically narrow but it's definitely not wide and comfortable. It's sort of in-between and because of this, it's a real pain in my arse to decorate. I'm going to post the floor-plan here so that you can refer to it and get an idea of what I am talking about.

I haven't had time to take pictures, but I will soon. Until then, we'll break it down like this:

Sitting Room

1. This is where I put the couch. The couch is a straight back in the Victorian style. It's not very big width wise and it seemed to "fit" here and helped keep the room open and light. 
2. This a tall bookcase. It's easy for anyone to curl up on the couch and pull a book from the bookcase to read. 
3 & 4. The rug I purchased to hide the trap door and anchor the couch is here. On top I placed a white coffee table which finishes the sitting area off nicely. Not drawn are the two floor pillows I purchased (for $8 each!) that I keep tucked away on the shelf under the coffee table top. 

Living Room

1. The comfy chair is angled just slightly towards  the TV for better viewing.
2. I just recently pulled the couch away from the wall because it left a huge void in the middle of the room. It also caused problems for me because I couldn't see the TV clearly. That is a dealbreaker, ladies! (30 Rock obsessed? Maybe a little!) I had been looking for inspiration online and I forgot where I saw it, but I read that pulling the sofa from the wall would help to float the room and make a small space feel better. So viola! I like it. My hubs is a little weirded out. He doesn't understand furniture that doesn't back up against a wall. 
3. This is a little sofa table that I put against the wall and under a window. I put some candles and decor on it, as well as a lamp. 
4. This is a small bookcase and I'm thinking I might get another one for the opposite side of that wall to anchor things a bit. Since it's small, it doesn't have that heavy-on-the-furniture feel and I keep the bookcases light with having stacks of books and a few knick-knacks. 
5. Right now, the TV is on a stand, but soon it will be hung against the wall with a custom made entertainment center that is nothing like an entertainment center at all. Excited? You should be! :)

As you can see? read? whatever, I tried very hard to decorate and have furniture without it being overbearing or stuffy. You'll get a better feel for it once I post pictures. I'm okay with this layout for now because I am working with what I have. But ever the planner, I'm already trying to think of ideas on ways to make this space really cozy and homey. Enter: The Internet. 

Here are a few photos that I saw that have a few things I am going for. 

All images in this post taken from IKEA Ideas and Inspiration.

Okay, here are the things I love about this room. I love that there is a media area that is cozy and close together but it doesn't look packed to the brim with furniture. I like that it seats 5 comfortably or 6 if there are four people snuggled on the couch. I don't like that the chairs by the TV are wood. I want something more comfortable than that. 

I like that there is a separate area with chaise lounges that you can doze, read, or even watch TV on. I like the IDEA of this set up. I, however, don't think it'll work in my space. 

The photo above is the middle in a three part series. As you can see, they have a more horizontal set up and they chose to create two rooms by placing two of the same couch back to back. They also used two different colors but made sure that there complemented each other, and then they tied the entire room together by using pops of blue. Using the patriotic red accents for one room, white accents for the other and a color that coordinates with both really gives this room a great vibe. I love it. 

When you are looking towards the white side of the room, you see that its the media center. 

 There are two cozy arm-chairs facing the couch for ease of conversation, an ottoman and a media center with a rug that anchors the room down. I like this area, but am not thrilled with having chairs that you can't see the TV at all. We are big movie-watching people and so are most of our friends. That is a must! 

To the right of the room is the following lounge/office area:

I really dig that they didn't use red in an overbearing way. I also love that the stager put games on the second shelf of the coffee table and flanked the table with two ottomans that look like they could seat one or two people to create a fun, easy going vibe. Just in that area alone you can have 6 to 8 people gathered and even more if you turned those awesome red chairs around from the desks. I've honestly never seen a space where there are two desks put together to create a craft/computer area for the adults or the kids. It is so functional! 

As much as I love this space, I'm not sure how it would work in my house and with my family. The area I have to work with does not have the luxury of width that this room does. It's narrow and difficult. Plus, the idea of talking hubby in to spending $1198 on just the two sofa's (without tax) ALONE does not sound fun. Eek! 

And, as a side note, I'm so frustrated with trying to find photo's on the internet that have a room within a room, or great rooms. I'm not having a whole lot of luck. Hopefully I can find a few more ideas to help me out!

Friday, January 14, 2011

More Changes

This weekend I'll be fiddling around with the blog, so you might see things disappear for a while. Come Monday, everything should be completed!


Psst. This was posted on the go via Blogaway on the HTC Incredible. Any errors are because my thumbs get so tired that sometimes they don't hit the right keys. 

Tie It All Together

Have you noticed that I like to drop little bombs of information without much explanation and then come back and do a separate post about it? Because I just noticed that I do that and I had no idea. I just write and then when I re-read to edit I'm like, "oh, you mentioned purchases you are saving for and how you'd like to have get new seating for the living room. You should post about it!"

And yes, I did use the examples that I wrote about yesterday and am going to explain to you today and Monday. Because then, it becomes a full circle. I know you are just sitting on the edge of your seat thinking, "Oh, is she going to tell us about what she wants to save money for?" Because it's edge of the seat information! ...Okay, okay. Maybe not. But it is good to put it out there to try to hold yourself accountable. Which doesn't always work for me. (Like with my weekly goals.) 

The few major things that I want to purchase this year are the following:

1. A New Kitchen
2. Living Room Furniture
3. A Like-New Black Fridge
4. An Equipped Office For The Hubs
5. Bryan's Truck
6. Painting the House

A New Kitchen -
Bryan probably does not read this blog but if he is reading it now I assure you he is laughing at me. And shaking his head, thinking "Ain't gonna happen." I want to completely gut and redo our kitchen more than Lindsay Lohan needs to stay sober. Poor girl. I've been thinking and dreaming about what I want to do for the kitchen and I've been staying away from the Home Depot/Lowe's credit cards because if I have to, I'll use their 10% off and no interest for my kitchen and then make HUGE PAYMENTS (like we did on my wedding ring) to pay it off before the interest kicks in. Which is what I call "making the credit companies work for you instead of you working for them" I'm working on getting a shorter title. Regardless, it's the truth. Credit can be a good tool for people that utilize it the right way. Before we charge anything, Bryan and I think about what the monthly payment will be and how fast we can pay it off. We just refuse to be enslaved in credit. It's not worth it. 

Getting a new kitchen in 2011 is a pipe dream because if I invest in my kitchen, I'm not going to settle or go cheap. I'm going to be reasonable, but I'm also going to get an awesome kitchen that will be used as a major resell tool in ten years. I may have to wait until 2012, which is alright with me. 

Living Room Furniture -
Here is the deal. My sister, Alison and her husband Mark got married in 2003. Shortly after that (I honestly have no idea when) they purchased living room furniture, and had it until they moved to San Diego in like... 2007 or somewhere near there. I have a horrible memory. Then, they gave it to my sister Kari and her husband Adam in 2008 or 2009. Again, memory! Jeez. Well then Kari and Adam gave it to Bryan and I in 2009. It's been love, love loved. But, its old. And the pillows are starting to tear, and its a white couch and boy does it look dirty. DIRTAAAAY. (Which reminds me, I need to call that guy about cleaning it. Or do it myself since I don't, at the moment, have $150 bones to drop...) It's also just a couch and a chair, and with our really large living room, it doesn't "fit." All the Christmas cash I got is going to this purchase. This will be the next thing I buy. Unless I find a new-to-me black fridge first.

A Like-New Black Fridge -
Let's call a spade, a spade. If I can find a brand spanking new fridge at a good deal, I will snatch it up. The likelihood of that happening, however is slim to none. I want to spend no more than $350 on a fridge. And I really don't want anything fancy. I'd really just like either a normal refrigerator with an ice maker in the freezer or one of those spiffy nifty upside down fridges with the freezer on the bottom, but it still needs to have an ice maker. Obviously, if I'm able to purchase my kitchen, I'll buy a new fridge through that, but if not, I am so down with the respectfully used appliances. 

A Fully-Equipped Office for the Hubs -
You may be thinking that I want this for him. Let's remember that I am human and selfish and honestly, I need to hear some new music. I want Bryan to put out a new CD with some NEW SONGS so that I can groove to them. In order to do that though, he needs to have a working office where he can shut himself away for hours on end writing material and recording. Hours-on-end. Just enough time for me to get in some cheesey reality TV in. Love me some Kendra. Although I do like Hank more than Kendra. Hank is sweet and hot. She scored on that one. You like how I stay on point, huh? Bryan needs to get cracking on his music and I want him to have the tools to do so. This is a MUST this year. 

Bryan's Truck -
I can honestly say that Bryan and I have absolutely no other debt other than our house, his truck and my car. Actually, I'm lying, Bryan has a student loan but that loan was used to get the skills he has in Photoshop and those skills landed him his full time gig at a local credit union. So, it's the good kind of debt. Back to the bad debt we have, I don't want the bank to own our house and cars. And you have to start somewhere, right? I want to own his truck. By December 2011 I will have the pretty pink title in my hand and we'll be down to a car and a house. 2012, I will add to my pink pile with my car's title. I want to OWN our vehicles. Not the credit union. So it shall be. Just watch. :)

Painting Our House -
I have no recollection of posting about the horror we went through with this dude we hired and he jacked us over. But it happened. We paid him $1000 and all we got was an almost finished wood floor and some second-rate tools. Oh, and a really tall ladder. Which is handy for us short people... When we really wanted our house painted. Freaking jerk. Oh well. We were gracious and he'll have to answer for his decisions someday just like I will, and I'm going to take the high road. Now, Bryan and I still need to get the house painted and I'm hoping that Bryan will change his mind and he'll say that we should just do it. We have enough Vickers boys that can come over and help. We'll bribe them with pizza and beer. (Stop shaking your head "no" Bryan! It'll be cheaper!) Right now, our house is yellow, with white trim and red shutters. Except for the parts that we painted white because of our appraisal for the loan. Basically the house looks janky. And we're shooting to paint it in the early spring-time.

So, those are the big-money items I want to invest in this year. Obviously, lots of things can happen between now and then, but hopefully 2011 is a smooth year and we're able to knock all of this out! What a blessing that would be! 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Lost In Laundry

It amazing that I am even alive to tell you that I have NOT been taken over by the mounds of laundry that I have done this week.

As you may remember, I wrote about my weekly goals in this post and one of them was to launder and put away all the bazillion loads of laundry that I have. I have gotten about 35% done and I have done about two or three loads a night.

It actually started on Monday because of my amazingly awesome best friend Denise. We went grocery shopping together and while I made dinner she sorted and started the loads and we tackled about 4 or 5 that night, with me continuing on after she left. I've mentioned many times that she is my husband when Bryan isn't around but honestly, she's my husband all the time. Bryan would never think it take it upon himself to help out with the laundry. The only time he does laundry is when he needs socks or his work shirts washed. Drives me bonkers.

...Before you think that we are so rich and have a ton of clothes, that is not the case. When we were living with my father-in-law we had basically just a box or two of clothes to last us all those months. Everything else was in storage. And all of these storage items need to now be cleaned. It's not just clothes, it's everything. It's overwhelming, is what it is.

In light of all this, however, it has come to my attention that we still have WAY TOO MANY clothes and I shall be starting the agonizing feat of gearing up for a yard-sale. I'm hoping to have one the second weekend in February. Donations will be accepted and are encouraged. :) 

I'm pinching pennies trying to buy a couch/love-seat/two comfy chairs or a sectional and a new-to-me black fridge. These are the two major purchases of the three or four major purchases that I'd like to save for this year. 

So, I'm going to tighten my pocket book and get to saving! 

Sorry this post was such a dud. But with all the laundering that is going on my brain resembles a used dryer sheet. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Closets Like Books, Not Just Clothes.

When I get an idea in my head, it's really hard to let go. I want to do it right there, in that moment... Which really isn't the way to confront household projects. Bryan gets irritated with me because before we have even finished one project I want to be on to the next. So, I'm trying to rein that in and do things the right way.

The first project that Bryan and I started on were the closets. Below is a very fancy, well lit photo of Bryan painting the closets. I know, I'm a photography genius.

Well, I measured and went to Lowe's to get what we needed and whilst installing, we realized that the 1x4's holding the shelf were messing up the bar holders that attach to the wall to hold each end of the bar. They were half on the 1x4's and half floating in the air. Does that make sense? Hope so.

Anyways, so being the genius that Bryan is, he cut another 1x4 and attached that so the bar holder would have something to screw into.

But then we realized that the bar is really, really high and its hard (for us short people, which is everyone in the house) to reach. Sigh. We suck. But we wanted it high enough to be able to add another shelf and/or bar in the middle of the closet. We just went a tad too high.

We also have an issue with the particle board shelf because its kind of... curved? So it doesn't sit flat. Even though it is super heavy and thick. Annoying.

Anyway, since we haven't figured out what we want to do, we've done nothing... Which is productive! And now I want to just start a new project. But I won't. I'll just plan. :)

Speaking of plans, if you look on our floor plan, we have a hallway closet that faces the living room. Right now, it's a door with a fake nob and those slanted slates that shutters have. It's ugly. And since I want to do this to the entryway and incorporate the hat rack I purchased from Ikea:

Image: Centsational Girl
(How absolutely gorgeous is that? Sometimes, Kate just rocks my world.)
Image: Ikea USA
I will have ample space for coats when we have guests. What I don't have space for, is the hundreds of books that I own. I already have four bookcases in my house and I really don't want to add anymore. I follow this great blog, Shopping Candy and quite a while ago, she posted about finding an article on a library closet.

Here is the image that gave her the inspiration:

Here is what she did:

Images: Shopping Candy
Isn't that amazing? You should really click the link and check out the before and after. Do it. It's worth it.

Anyways, I'm thinking of making my hall closet into a closet library. Instead of having a completely see-through door, I want to try to keep the existing door, but remove the slates and add glass. Who knows if I can do it, but why not try? I have a lot of paper-back books that are not very sightly and I'd like to store them in the closet library but still keep them hidden.

After I get all the closets worked out, I'm going to start on the entry-way. I'm really excited for that project!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

It's Not Okay

This is going to be short and quick because I really don't want to delve into politics a whole lot on my blog. But I'm irritated. Oh, so irritated.

Last week, a tragic shooting commenced in Arizona - the target was Representative Gabrielle Giffords, a moderate Democrat. However, there where over 20 people injured and six killed. Rep. Giffords was shot in the head and is still in critical condition.

The assailant was a young man named Jared Loughner and the press is reporting that he is mentally unstable and committed this senseless act alone. He was apprehended and charged for the crimes. 

I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but I am conservative. However, I love everyone and was raised to treat everyone with respect, even if I don't agree with their choices. I have many friends that are of all types of political mind and I really couldn't care any less. I may not understand some of their views but I do understand their right to see the world as they choose. 

So, now that I  have been reading a ton of different articles citing that Republican Sarah Palin was to blame for this because of a blurb she said in her Arizona themed reality show or because she posted a map on her Facebook page about who voted for the healthcare bill that happened to have a cross hair marking the individuals. 

It is positively absurd that people are trying to blame the actions taken by this individual on anyone else. It is not another person or a weapon that made this man make the decision that he did. He is mentally unstable! It doesn't matter if he is a Republican, or a Democrat, or who he shot. The fact that he took human lives is the problem. 

Dave Ramsey is a Christian financial educator and Bryan and I took his classes. The most important thing that we took away was that money is an inanimate object. It does not breathe. It does not make decisions. The only power our money has is what we give it. Letting something like money own us instead of us owning the money is downright ridiculous. Its the same thing as a cup, a cup has no power until we fill it and drink from it. 

The same rings true with a gun. A gun is just a gun. It is neither good nor bad. What we DO with the gun is what gives it power. Sarah Palin or anyone else for that matter, did not pull the trigger. Lets hold the man that did this accountable and stop playing the blame game. 

If you think of it, say a prayer for the people that lost their lives, are fighting for it and the family members affected by this tragedy. 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Should It Be A Surprise...

That I failed three of my four goals for last week? I think not.

Last week, I wrote this post about implementing daily and weekly goals to keep myself from being lazy as heck. I noted that on my sidebar, I would list my weekly goals to keep myself accountable and that I did. Except I only managed to get one item done.

However, instead of beating myself up, I'm going to accept the fact that out of the past twelve days, I've spent eight of them with Bryan's family due to a death in the family. I'm going to pat myself on the back for having only one night the past twelve days where we weren't at a relatives house, had relatives at our house, hosted friends for movies and dinner, went out to dinner, on a day trip to the snow or to a musical event and keeping my sanity through it all. More importantly, though, I didn't have one. single. MIGRAINE. the entire time. That in-and-of itself is a feat worth CELEBRATING.

Let's not forget that while I was not doing my chores, I was having a great time meeting, hanging out, and listening to stories with Bryan's extended family. It's a sad way for the family to get together but we celebrated Bryan's uncle and managed to bond. It's just another way of reaffirming that God always puts a silver-lining in even the darkest of days.

So, that said, I refuse to be deterred by my own lack of accomplishment and I just added the three left over items to this week. I will focus on the only measly chore I was able to accomplish. Eradicating Christmas from my house!

Last week, I managed to pack up my Christmas tree, purchase a few more tubs (on the cheap from WalMart) and pack away every single Christmas decoration that I know. I have three tubs full o' Christmas. Those three tubs also include the few items I purchased at the end of Christmas at a major discount. YEA for buying clearance Christmas decor!

I was also able to put all those said tubs in our weirdo trap door so I now have Halloween and Christmas under the floor. I just have to put the rest of my fall/Thanksgiving stuff in the other tub I purchased and I will be good to go!

My old weekly goals were the following:

Week of: January 2, 2011

-Post-guest Purpley Room Clean-up
-Hasta-la-vista, Christmas!
-Install master bedroom wall sconces
-Beach Room Clean Up 

My new weekly goals are:

Week of January 9, 2011

- Post-guest Purpley Room Clean-up
-Install master bedroom wall sconces
-Beach Room Clean Up
-Redecorate living room (including new furniture placement.)
-Wash all laundry

Happy Monday to you all! 

Psst. Interested in seeing our floorplan? Check out "The Harbor" tab up top or click here.

Friday, January 7, 2011

I May Cross Stitch, But I'm Not Old!

When I was younger, I used to bite my nails.... Okay, lets be real. I still bite my nails. But, when I was younger, my oldest sister, Alison, used to get on me about not doing it. I would mostly bite my nails when I was anxious, which was pretty much all the time. It happened often when we were watching TV.

I'm not sure who introduced Alison to cross-stitching, but she decided that she would teach me so I would have something to do with my hands. Of course, I took to it right away. I love to cross-stitch. What I don't love about it is the fact that all the templates look so old woman. Don't believe me? Let's take a look.
Image: Herrschners

Image: Stuff For Cross Stitch

Now, I'm not saying that either of those kits are ugly, they are just not young and modern, which is what I am going for. So, I've decided to try out making my own template, picking my own colors, and working on it from scratch. 

I am not really super crafty, but I figure that its a pretty cheap project. Armed with a gift card that my Dad and Delia gave me, I went to Michael's in search of my supplies. I bought cream colored cross stitch fabric for $3.99, twenty-one bundles of color at $.35 each, a $2.50 hoop and I got my pattern for free from the internet. My little project only ran me about $14. I am almost certain that I won't use all that string for this project, but I didn't want to have to run back and forth and risk them being out of the color I need! 

I'm excited to start and I'm hoping I'll be able to this weekend. We're taking a day trip to the snow, so I'll have some time in the car ride to get things started.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Resolve To Change

I have been thinking a lot about what I want to change in my life. The list is never-ending. In order to keep my sanity, I've decided to only focus on four things this year.  

1. Get Fit & Get Active
The first challenge I have to face is to change my eating habits and get more exercise. (As I type this I am eating a banana. Yay for me!) Even though I love my dear hubby so much, the boy has the worst eating habits in the world. We are also lazy. Which is not a great combination. I am the cook in the family, so Bryan cleans the kitchen. Therefore, he HATES for me to cook because then he has to clean. He talks me out of cooking all the time, appealing to my lazy side. We always end up arguing and I get so frustrated that I take on the mentality that I'm not making him a ding-dang thing because if I do some Ex-lax might end up hidden in his plate by mistake! Oh just kidding...maybe. But I've got to stop letting him win. I need to cook. I need to eat healthy, homemade meals so that I don't eat Burger King and become even fatter than I already am. I'm told that everyone gains weight their first year of marriage. Well fine, but this is the second year and I'm ready for a change!

2. Challenge My Marriage
Bryan and I met when we were just kids. It's my opinion that a lot of the time, we revert back to our childhood selves when we deal with certain things. Also, I am a ridiculously hopeless romantic. I love to be romanced. And its a deal-breaker, ladies. (In the words of Liz Lemon from 30 Rock. Love that show!) Luckily, Bryan knows this about me so its not a shock. Unluckily, he has a hard time understanding that even though I am a romantic, I don't need huge grand gestures. While I love the random big bouquet of roses and jewelry, I would rather have 'small feedings', if you will, of romance. For example, a note tucked under my pillow to find when I go to sleep or in pair of pajama pants to find the next time I wear them. Waking up to a hot cup of coffee on my nightstand. Having dinner cooked for me without the obligation to clean afterwards. These 'small feedings' are simple and take little effort, but make a huge difference in my life and the way I feel about my boo.

When I talk (read: complain) to Bryan about needing these things, he has asked me, what do I do for him? How do I appeal to his love language? I may be able to list a few things but it's not as much as I should. I don't show him enough how much I love him. More often than not, I hide the fact that if something were to happen to him, it would destroy me. I don't want him to know just how deep my affection is for him. I'm scared that it will be used against me. It's not right. 

Bryan and I decided that we were going to do The Love Dare. We watched the independent film Fireproof  right before we got married and even with the weird acting, it had a powerful message. A message that stuck with me. I want a strong marriage. I want us to be able to withstand anything that life throws our way. It's important that we actively seal any cracks that come into our marriage so that termites can't get in and eat at the foundation of our marriage. 

I haven't spoken with Bryan about how comfortable he feels with sharing our journey on my blog, but I'm hoping to be able to!

3. Walk With God
I used to have this amazing, deep spiritual relationship with our Creator. And I let it go. I'd try to get back into it and each time my walk would be attacked to the point that I stopped trying. Something that Bryan and I were told for our first year is to enjoy each other. If we wake up on Sunday and want to go to church, go. If we want to stay in bed and talk, then do it. Because of Bryan's work schedule, we didn't go to a whole lot of church. For our first anniversary, we resolved that it was time to attend church every Sunday. Since October 25, we have only missed three Sundays. We are slowly but surely getting back to where we were a very, very long time ago. And this is something I want to develop even further. 

4.Get Unpacked and Organized
Don't judge me. We moved into our house in September.... And I still have most of our life in boxes. Honestly, there are few reasons why that is. The biggest is that I am lazy. But the second reason is that I've always lived in very small houses. When Bryan and I lived together (not good, don't recommend it.) we lived in a very nice sized house. Then we ended our relationship and it really was just like going through a divorce. I took half and he took half. I moved into a two bedroom apartment with a roommate that was considerably smaller than the house we shared and ended up donating and selling a lot of furniture on Craigslist. The next two houses I lived in after that were tiny, too. And Bryan has very little furniture since his Dad kept the set he's used for the past 23 years of his life. All this to say, we have a house with over 1800 square feet and not a whole lot of furniture to put books and picture frames and candles. We also don't have a whole lot of storage. So things are slow going at the moment. It'll get there though. I'm sure of it. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Look!

Hey there! As you can see I'm changing some things up around here. Just trying to keep you on your toes.

Let me know what you think!

Filtered Resolutions

Every year, you hear the obligatory new year resolutions from people that want to start the year off right. More often than not, I refuse to make a resolution because the few years I have, it lasted about a month. What I usually say is that I'm going to try to be better. A better person, worker, friend, wife, blogger, etc. Just better in general. There is always room to be better and simple decisions can get you there.

Bryan and I have been talking about our life and lifestyle a lot lately. I've deemed 2011 as "My Year." This is my year to get healthy. To lose weight. To stop mindlessly stuffing my face. But I want to go further. I want to make an entire lifestyle change that will live on PAST 2011. I want my husband to think I am cute. And honestly, more importantly, I want to think I am cute.

Lately, I've moaned and complained about taking pictures with my family. I don't want any snapshots of myself. I have little confidence and recently, I've been going so far as to think "Why even do my hair/make-up? What is the point?" Ew. That disgusts me more than this weight gain. Every time I think that I go straight into the bathroom and I do my hair and make-up and I revel in it. I remind myself that I am not defined by my weight or my clothes. My choices define me. The decisions that I make help to define me. I can say, until I am blue in the face, that I want to lose weight. But until I make the decision to go for it, it's all lip-service.

I've mentioned before that I read Young House Love. The other day I was going through some old posts trying to find something and in one post, Sherry writes that in order to keep herself from being paralyzed with indecision in decorating, she just does something. She puts a frame on the wall or just moves an item around. And then she realizes one of two things. Either she likes it, and keeps it. Or she doesn't, and she gets a better idea. Remember how I wrote about my decorating funk? I'm still in it, for the most part. But I am hanging frames anyways. I am decorating my house anyways. And it's working. I'll realize I don't like something and I'll grab it and put it somewhere else. It's slow going, but it's GOING. Which is the point.

This year is brand-spanking new. I can mold my days how I see fit. I can take control of my life instead of just coasting on by. When the hubs and I started talking about this, I thought a lot about it in private. When I would start thing about all the tens of thousands of things I want to change this year (and for the rest of my life) I got really overwhelmed. I kind of suck so, I have a lot to change. Instead of going overboard, I'm going to break it down to simplify it.

Each morning I wake up, and I have a good forty-five minutes of silence. Bryan and I don't talk in the morning. It almost always ends badly. We say good morning, we get ready in silence and we say I love you, bye. That's it. It's rare if we exchange more than a few sentences in the morning. I'm going to start utilizing this time to think about the following:

  • What do I need to accomplish today?
    • Use the KISS! method. Keep it simple, stupid! Only list 5-7 things, depending on how tedious they are. 
  • Put these items in priority order.
    • Example, if one task is "cook dinner", do the dishes first so the kitchen is clean and ready for you.
  • Do them.
    • Find the time to do it. When you get home from work, take a 15 minute breather. Say hi to your pets, change into comfy clothes, drink some water and catch up on your texts. Then? Get busy. Set a time limit or create a pile. (Can't believe I just said that. My sister Alison used to create piles for me on Saturday mornings and I hated them. But if it works for you, do it.)
Every week, I'm going to do a quick side-bar listing what I need to get done by the week. Little projects around the house, chores and other items that are not a 'daily basis' item. 

Every month, when Bryan and I sit down to do our budget, we are going to set a monthly honey-do list. I'll have one and he'll will have one. 

This year, I have already decided to have a few general changes to implement into my life.(You'll see that post tomorrow.)

Here is the key ingredient to my plan. Grace. If I have a terrible day and I listed to scrub the shower and toilet? I'm not going to. I am going to give myself the grace and room to take each day as it comes. When tomorrow arrives, I'll start my list off with whatever few things I didn't do the day before. I am not going to beat myself up about missing a chore. I am going give myself the same courtesy I would want Bryan to give to me. When I have I bad day the last thing I want Bryan to do is knock me down a few more inches. I'm going to encourage myself to read a book or go for a walk to recollect myself. No berating myself!

Small ripples in a big pond? Maybe. But even small ripples can rock a boat. 

Happy 2011!