Who I Am

I have been thinking a lot lately about what has shaped me into the person that I am today.  I should start by pointing out that I am a very reflective person.  This helps in understanding which challenges and triumphs from my childhood have developed into things I am either happy or unhappy with in my adult self.  And that understanding helps spark the necessary change needed to grow.

For example, I grew up a very quiet and shy person.  In turn that meant that I was not very good at establishing new friendships.  Not for a lack of wanting, that's for sure, but simply because I wasn't confident enough to speak up and be myself.  And to be honest, to this day, this is still something that I work on.  I have come a long way, but I would say a good 50% of the time I still relate to that awkward, don't-know-what-to-say little girl more than I care to admit.

I think being a product of a divorce has a strong impact on any children involved.  No matter how good or bad the situation is handled.  With no one person to blame.  Every situation is different, of course, but my childhood had its ups and downs (whose didn't?!) following my parents divorce, leaving me with a certain amount of fear about speaking up.  How did I cope with this?  I really thought about everything before I said it, to make sure that it was the right thing to say and that it wouldn't upset or hurt anyone.  I am pretty sure a therapist would tell me that this played a significant role in my ability to feel comfortable speaking up and being myself with people I didn't know very well.  It also meant that thinking through what I was going to say before I said it, became automatic for me.  A habit.  And as we all know, habits are not easy to break.

Now, I could let that excuse, or reason, hold me back from trying to overcome this fear, or I can take responsibility for my adult self and actually try.  And that is what I have done.  Though I will not claim to be anywhere near perfect at it, I try.  I host group events and hikes, I have learned to make good conversation with strangers, and slowly but surely have built a small army (okay that's an exaggeration, but they are my army) of friends that I know I can count on.

I am not perfect.  I go through periods where I don't feel like putting myself through the discomfort of change.  Where maybe I even secretly wish that I didn't have to deal with 'insert issue here.'  But the truth is, if you don't put yourself in uncomfortable situations throughout your life, and never challenge and push yourself to be better, to do better, you aren't going to get a lot out of your life.  And while I have several things that I want to continue working on, to become a better, stronger person, I have to remind myself that in the long run, I am doing myself a favor.  In the long run, I will learn to appreciate the hardships I have faced and be so proud that I came out the other side okay.  No, more than okay, great!

Chris said something earlier this week as we were chatting about one of those issues that I am struggling to push through, and it really stuck with me.  He is always so good at listening and validating my feelings, and when we were wrapping up the conversation, and I was starting to feel better, he said, 'I know how you feel. Everyone has their things, this just happens to be one of yours.'  And it was such a great reminder, that although not everyone has this issue, everyone has their struggles and their wishes for things to be different. Reminders like that really help me keep things in perspective.  Especially to remember that many others have much worse things to deal with.  And it gives me just what I need, to continue pushing forward.

I think as writers, and that is what us bloggers are, writers, though not in the traditional sense of the word, we must make ourselves vulnerable and expose things about ourselves that we might otherwise keep private. That is what helps us stretch and grow, sometimes like a graceful ballerina, and other times like a baby giraffe, slowly becoming the person we want to be.

It also amazes me how therapeutic it is to write about my feelings.  For me, it is part of the growth process. It offers me the reflection and perspective that I crave when I feel lost in the maze of life.  I will try to work up the courage to share my current thing soon.  I would love to hear if you have struggled with the same, and how you worked through it.

Happy Wednesday!

Sustenance Sunday

Today's SS is very exciting.  We are making a traditional English Sunday roast - veggie style.  I decided to try a whole wheat Yorkshire pudding recipe to go with our roasted potatoes, vegetables and gravy.

I will let you know how it goes!

Have a great Sunday!

Entryway Dreamin'

My entryway daydreaming hasn't stopped since I last posted about our house.  Here is the current front door of our house...

And this is the door that I am leaning towards as my favorite for after we paint the house (minus the gold)...

Likewise, here is our current entryway from the inside...

And here is what I want it to look like once we have a new door.  Definitely love the moulding...

Yet another project on the list.  Love tackling things that I have dreamed about with our house!

Happy weekend!  Stay tuned for updates next week on our master bedroom!

Fallen Leaves

Within the span of a week, we went from this amount of leaves to rake...

To this:

Who spots Louie the Cat?!  Every time we are outside, he comes running over meowing desperately.  So funny.

Who wants to rake them together and jump into them with me?  Brings back childhood memories.  :)

Master Bedroom

After all that work outside, we think our bedroom deserves a little TLC.  It looks perfectly fine as is, but we want to put our stamp on it.  Also, we want to get it painted so we can actually put things on the walls! Because let's be honest, we have plenty of wall space in our room.  And we are itching to fill it!

I am hoping to turn this vaulted wall into a collage wall.  It will certainly put my creative and DIY skills to the test, but I think I am up for the challenge.  I don't want to just make any old collage wall, either.  I want each piece to have a connection to our lives together.  This one will likely take a while to complete, but I am going to begin collecting pieces for it and will keep you updated with my progress.

This is the view laying in bed.  I seriously want to get a projector for watching movies up on that enormous wall.  Aside from something like that, it will likely remain open.  I am definitely not one that needs to cover every inch of wall space with "stuff."  Simplicity is good for the soul.  Plus, I really want to watch movies up there, so I might have an ulterior motive.

This is a straight on view of the future "collage wall."  (above)

This color was my inspiration when we headed to the paint store last night.  I think it would look beautiful in our room.  Especially with some bright white trim!  (p.s. I might have to convince Chris that we need to paint our bedroom furniture white...)

On a side note, I think the curtains that I loved the most from my Entryway Curtains post, would look lovely with this color in our bedroom.  They are also blackout curtains which would be great.

So here are the colors we got samples of.  We plan on getting the third from the left 25% lightened later today, because I really like that tone, but it's ever so slightly too dark for me.  I am really curious to see what that one looks like compared to the rest.  Also, apologies in advance, it was dark outside when I took this photo, so this is with flash and isn't the true colors as it is in the daylight.

I am really excited about this project.  It's fairly inexpensive, but I think is going to make a huge difference in the room.

We are also talking about doing a quilt for our bed, rather than a duvet.  We have always had a duvet, but like the cozy look that a quilt can bring to the room.  Plus, our bed is enormous, and even king size duvets don't completely cover our mattress.  So hopefully getting a quilt a bit larger than a King will serve us well. This is an Etsy favorite of mine, though I must admit, they are certainly not cheap!  Understandable though, as they are handmade and must take a lot of (wo)man hours to finish one.  If only I knew how to sew! Ha!

I will post a before and after once we finish painting.  What do you think of the color above?  I kind of want to jazz it up a bit, and we are pretty bright and colorful people, so I think it will really suit us. What do you think of the quilt idea?  We are doing a little bit of a cottage-y design to our house, without pigeon-holing ourselves too much, that is.  So I think the quilt goes nicely with that idea.

We still haven't decided what to do with the main wall behind our bed in the bedroom, but hopefully getting some color up in there will inspire us.

Stay tuned for lots more fun projects!  That reminds me... I still need to finish the dining room chairs.  Ugh...
I'm an ADD DIYer, what do you want from me?!

Front Yard Revamp

Well, I am happy to report that we have just about finished with the front yard.  For the last few months we have been turning a blind eye to the side of our house, as it became a gross, muddy mess ever since we removed the landscaping rock.  We wanted to be able to store our garbage and recycling bins around the side of the house, rather than in the garage, so... we had a new sidewalk installed on Monday!  

The result?  We love it.  But I'll let you decide for yourself how it turned out...

{ our neighbor's scarecrow got to play project manager. }

Surprisingly, Louie the Cat kept his paws out of the concrete long enough for it to dry.  We were certain he would leave his mark, er, print.

Now all we need to do is grass up the one side, and add a bit of crushed rock to the other, and we are done for the winter!  Yee-haw!  That is such a good feeling. 

Now, for the inside of the house... we have lots of projects in the works!  Stay tuned for updates!

Master Bedroom Dilemma

Ever since we moved into our house, I have been putting the blinders on when it comes to our bedroom. Why?  Because I cannot decide what to do with it!  It's a great size, and has beautiful vaulted ceilings, but I have three different ideas for what I want to do with the main wall behind our bed, and I can't decide which one I like best.  Maybe you can help me narrow it down to two that I can throw out to Chris for his opinion?

Here is our bedroom in its current state.  I need to take a photo with our furniture in it, as this was taken before we even moved in.  But our bed is currently in the middle of these two windows.

I really like a light gray for the wall color.  Or this beautiful blue!  So beautiful.  Though all this photo is doing is making me wish our bedroom furniture was white instead of espresso.  Ha!

My first idea is to put curtains all along the wall behind our bed, wrapping them around on the right side to cover that window as well.  It's a bit more dramatic, but a nice way to make the most of the tall ceilings, etc.

Option number two is to go another dramatic direction and put reclaimed wood planks covering the whole wall behind the bed.  I would finish it off with great curtains on the windows.

And finally, the last option is just putting curtains on the windows, with art or photos above the bed.  This is the more traditional option, and I although I appreciate it, I feel like this is what most bedrooms look like. So I would have to admit that this isn't my first choice.  But it is still a goodie.  So.... as you can see decisions, decisions.  

Which option gets your vote?

Sustenance Sunday

Okay, today I am sharing a new favorite product of mine.  Why?  Because, well, it would be a sin not to.  

Love honey as much as I do?  I found the mother of all honey yesterday while on an impromptu visit to our local Whole Foods.  Whipped organic honey with cinnamon?  Yes, please!  This stuff is amazing.  Not only does it stay soft (and whipped!) while sitting on your shelf, but it tastes light and fluffy.  

I might just have to slice up a juicy pear tonight, complete with some whipped cinnamon honey, warmed up in the microwave!  Perfect dessert!  Yum!

Let me know if you try it out!