Saturday, January 28, 2012

My Space

I often wonder when I enter someone's house and everything is just perfect and exactly fits the person, how they got there?

Not in terms of money or anything - I fully admit that we tend to put our discretionary income in other places than furnishings.

I have been trying to figure out for years how to get to the point where I walk in my house and I don't look at the laundry list of things that I want to do in order to turn that room into My Space. Something that when someone walks in they look at it and say "this fits NM".

I tried for a few years the monthly goals. And I really like that. But typically speaking it only ever afforded me the opportunity to do small things in each area each month. And for some time that worked for me. But I guess I got impatient... or it is my realization a few months ago that in order to finally get this going we needed bigger goals.

I finally have an end in sight for three areas in my house! My dining room IS finished. 100% complete. There isn't a single thing I want to do more to the area.

Room number two is well under way. The other day AB and I pulled everything out of our office, he pulled the trim off and I painted and painted. I have one wall left to do (in a different color). Then he is going to rip the nasty carpet up and start laying the new floor.

My big task is going to think seriously about what goes back into the room. Because I can cram a lot of stuff on shelves.

I would love to have a chaisse lounge for the office - I have visions of a quiet place to read by my front window - but that may have to wait unless I find a spectacular deal. 

But aside from my dreams of a lounge chair... the space will be done!

To round out the front of my house, the foyer is next. I have really been pushing AB to let me paint over the green wall. It just doesn't speak to me anymore and I think I very nearly have him convinced - or at least accepting of the need to get rid of the green. But after that I need a storage bench and a skinny little entry table. I should be able to find these at a reasonable price.

I am really looking forward to being able to walk in my house (though I almost never use my front entrance), and just be satisfied and happy with what is there without looking around and thinking "I don't like this and that and I want to change X,Y and Z."

Next? Our backyard transformation into a real utilizable space. Stay tuned, plans in the works.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Best purchase ever...

AB and I have a kind of routine where we declare an item one of our "best purchases ever". I think it is a way to consciously or subconsciously help us throughout the years to make better choices in how we spend our money. I have noticed lately that among the usual suspects on our list of really good choices, there are some that I really debated on whether or not to buy or that one of us really had to make a strong case for.

Compare this to other purchases that we have to a certain degree made mental notes on "never again". Like the computer I am typing on now... never go out and buy a computer because you need one with no checking around... Or maybe the dressers we bought when we moved here and knew we needed dressers, but not where to buy them? Oh the list goes on.

But in an effort to keep 95% of my blogs on the upbeat note, I thought I would share our list of "really great buys".

  • My car. Love my car. I have a 2003 Toyota 4Runner that I bought halfway on a whim 9 years ago. I wanted a Highlander, but they were hard to come by and pricier than I had expected. I drove my 4Runner and decided this would do and I love the car still. I have no intention of replacing it anytime soon.

  • AB's car. He loves his car something fierce. A Toyota Sequoia. I don't particularly care for it because it is huge. I feel like I am driving a bus. But that's the only reason why. I love being a passenger in it.

  • A pink rolling pin. I found this itty bitty siliconeized rolling pin when Skadi was about 2. It wasn't inexpensive. And I debated this purchase pretty hard, does a 2 year old really need a silicone rolling pin? Umm yes, she did and she loves it and uses it.

  • My black purse. It just gets better with age. One thing I love about it is that when I travel I can fit a lab notebook into it as well as my Kindle and no briefcase necessary.

  • Our dining room table. I had to wrangle with my husband to finally get a second dining room table for our formal dining room. We always maintained that we didn't need a second dining room, but now that I have one. Love it. I use the in kitchen dining room for breakfast and lunch and kid's crafts. The dining room for actual dinner. But the table in particular? It was an inexpensive table that I FINALLY convinced AB we needed from Ikea. But it is fabulous. Solid wood and expands to seat... well we haven't filled it up yet. I am guessing 16 people?

  • Our Canon EOS Digital Rebel. Love my camera. I use that thing all the time. And you know what? It is 7 years old and still going strong and taking fabulous pictures.

  • A vase. Yes, a simple vase from Crate and Barrel. When I was in grad school I went to a conference and actually won one of 5 awards for the best student poster. It was $100, but to a grad student it was a small fortune. I wanted to buy something that would remind me of that time. I think it cost $29 (and I put the remainder towards dinner at Moose's with my husband). But I use that vase all the time.

Ok, so not the most fascinating post, but one of those that has been rattling around in my head for awhile.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Remembering back to rabbit's feet

Do you remember when they were somewhat popular? Rabbit's feet? Colored in wacky colors?

When I was in elementary school they held a Christmas shop in the library where kids could go and buy their little goodies on their own. Rabbit's feet were all the rage.

And that year my parents each were lucky enough to get one each from me.

I think back to the rabbit's feet when I look at the presents my kids got me and I am very thankful that they aren't all the rage anymore.

Actually, they are pretty gross... and I remember that my dog ate more than one...

AB and I have a routine whereby we take the kids shopping and let them pick out whatever they want (within reason) to each of us. And the kids love having picked out and wrapped their own gifts.

Skadi is a good little shopper. But she goes into a store with no preconceived notion about what she is buying for anyone. She likes to browse. She found a nice big brown fuzzy blanket for AB and also a Muppet's t-shirt. Slippers and socks for Aunt Tara.

Leif on the other hand, knows exactly what he wants to get someone and goes in headstrong and unwilling to waver! He insisted on an Angry Birds shirt for AB and also a scarf.

We went to about four different stores in search of the right scarf. So many were "too girly for daddy". But he finally found a green and grey thick wool scarf that by the time we found it I was willing to pay a little more lest we have to go to anymore stores.

For me?

I was the lucky recipient of two tubes of sparkley red and pink lip gloss AND a bottle of green sparkle body mist in case I decide to try out for Elphaba I suppose. I am sure you can guess who gave those to me.

From Leif, I got a crystal duck and a crystal pillar that says "Mom, I love you" and has its own rotating and colored lights base reminiscent of a small disco ball.

AB had a bit of a hard time keeping a straight face as I opened it and Leif looked on beaming with a huge smile.

I asked Leif how he came up with those ideas and he told me that he remembered back to when he got me a bead for my bracelet and how much I liked it and he KNEW that I would love to have a glass duck because of that. Okaaayyyy...

Later on AB told me that he was perplexed when Leif announced that he had to get me a glass duck for Christmas. Maybe I had it easy searching the stores for the "right" scarf? Then he asked me what I thought of the crystal pillar?

"I love it because Leif loves it and it is important to him," I told him.

And secretly I was thinking "AND because it isn't a rabbit's foot!"