Thursday, December 29, 2016

2016 Year in Review

Of course, with the end of a year there is reason for reflection but with tonight's new moon it seems to be an even more fitting time to glance back on all we have accomplished throughout the year.

It seems that 2016 was, for most people I know, not the most auspicious year.  And that could be true for me as well, although I have learned a lot about myself and what I want and don't want from life this year.

On the home front, though, we did manage to knock out a pretty fair amount.  The hubs tackled some furniture building and painting to help us get a little more organized in the kitchen.

Yes, the hubs built that desk and repainted the cabinet!  He is awesome!
We participated in the spring One Room Challenge and managed to remake our front porch into a welcoming spot where we also enjoy relaxing.

We finally got our living room painted so we don't have to look at paint swatches anymore.

We installed solid surface floors throughout the house.  This was a huge one!  So glad we were able to get this done this year!

And for the fall One Room Challenge we redid our son's room.

At this very end of the year we started tackling our master bathroom.  It definitely won't be a completed project by the end of the year but the new color we got on the walls looks amazing!

All in all, the year was not a total wash but I am excited to see what 2017 holds for us!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

On Simple Things and Mindfulness

I don't know what it is about this time of year, if it's the constant business or the promise of the fresh start that a new year brings, but I always begin craving simplicity around now.  I have a feeling it is a combination of the two, as there is always something going on for the holidays, plus our son's birthday is coming up so there is planning for that, plus it seems that many of his friends have November, December and January birthdays.  All of that plus I love the idea of a good reset.

Lately I have been really trying to dig down into this idea of simplicity and figuring out how to live the best life for me or for us as a family.  Now, I know that I will most likely never be able to fit my life into a tiny house, I like things too much, as do my children, and the hubs likes having his own space to "computer" nor do I aspire to austerity, but I have been reading back through a few blogs lately that are incredibly inspiring in their quest for what is real and authentic for them.

I discovered Janet Korff from the Country Living article on her beautiful home and love how refreshing her pared back spaces feel.  They are such a calming perspective on home making and also seem attainable.  She isn't hitting up the high end stores all the time, she is using natural elements and thrifted finds.  Her instagram is worth following as well!  All images from The Gardener's Cottage.

Another inspiration is Carmella Rayone.  I found her blog when I was searching for affordable counter top options.  The kitchen of her 665 square foot home is stunning, particularly in the context of a small home meant to provide the luxury of a more considered life.  All photos from her blog.

I hope to keep these women in mind as an influence to be mindful during this busy season of our life and to use them as a catalyst for some simplification in the new year once we have passed through this whirlwind time.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Getting ready for Christmas

Growing up we always waited til just a couple weeks before Christmas to get our tree.  My mom was always nervous the tree would get too dry by the time Christmas arrived to get one any earlier.  For some reason though I always wanted to go get one the day after Thanksgiving.  I don't know if that was some romantic ideal inspired by books I read or what.  The hub's family waited until a little later as well, because they left their tree up into January.

We have a Christmas tree farm out near us though (which is a pretty big deal in southeast GA) and they open just before Thanksgiving and sell out fast.  Two years ago we tried to go a week after Thanksgiving and they were closed for the season.  So last year and this year we got ourselves together the day after Thanksgiving and headed to pick out our tree.  That of course means we were ready to really decorate the whole house, cause you can't get all the stuff out of the attic and leave the boxes around for weeks.  Decorating early works out well for us as well because our son's birthday is pretty early in January and I like to have all the stuff away by then so we can really focus on the fact that it is his day.

Some inspiration.




We got our tree up and decorated, started the dining room, I still want to do a little more on the table, and finished the living room.  As we were stringing garland for a card display our son decided that he was really digging the garland so we let him have the excess.  He spent the rest of the afternoon running around the house, saying, "I'm the decorating man!"  We have small chunks of garland all over all of our bedrooms!  But it's ok, he had a lot of fun and that is what the holidays are about.