When inspiration strikes

It’s difficult to predict where inspiration will invade. And honestly, I’ve always believed it is less about the source and more about being receptive to the influence. This week I have found inspiration in two, rather traditional, places.

While browsing the new bookshelves at my neighborhood library, I picked up the book Young House Love by Sherry & John Petersik. Beautiful, full color photos with clear directions for turning your house into a home. The projects are often inexpensive and easy yet look finished and chic. Truth be told, this book looks like my DIY board on Pinterest but there is always something better about having a book to reference (that is probably just my inner librarian trying to break out of this new mold I have stuffed her in). There are several projects I am itching to try!

But first…

I need to get organized! Last year we donated an incredible amount of clothing, furniture, and other household miscellany. It was liberating and at the time it felt massive. Six months later it feels like more could be done. Scratch that… MORE CAN BE DONE! As I begin the second year of trying out this stay-at-home-mom thing, I feel crushed by my home and all the stuff in it. It is also time to take a look at what my future might be and let go of the things I think need to be kept for that uncertainty? eventuality?

31daysbutton2

While cruising Pinterest this morning I happened upon a blog with 31 days worth of posts to help get organized. It is probably the most practical organizing blog I have come across (and trust me I’ve read a bunch of ’em). The suggestions are not only practical but cost efficient and look great, not cheap which is exactly the direction I am hoping to head. A few of the posts helped me to rethink my hoarding tendencies and what I’m teaching lil’ A about the accumulation of stuff.

With this guide I feel confident I can begin to make our home more of a useful, comfortable place and then feel ready to tackle to room by room decorating that I’ve been dreaming about.

2013 Dream Board

A few months ago, Nikki suggested I create a Dream Board to help get me back on track. At the time, I was feeling pretty blue and lacking motivation. This idea really appealed to me but I didn’t act on it. It was a difficult year and I just couldn’t see a way out of the sadness I was feeling. Early December I finally found my happy again. I felt hopeful and excited about a few new prospects. All of this has spilled over into this new year and I think this is the perfect time to create my Dream Board.

Here are a few goals for the up coming year:

Try a new recipe each week

Try a new recipe each week

Finish redecorating the guest room

Finish redecorating the guest room

Finish Project Basement and my studio space

Finish Project Basement and my studio space

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Start an Etsy store

Walk jog run 500 miles

Walk jog run 500 miles

Participate in the Cap City Half Marathon

Participate in the Cap City Half Marathon

Plan and host a Lalaloopsy themed birthday party

Plan and host a Lalaloopsy themed birthday party

Read 100 books

Read 100 books

And the BIG one…

Register for the Disney Half Marathon and save for a family vacation

Register for the 2014 Disney Half Marathon and save for a family vacation

Project Porch

Next month we will mark 6 years in our house. This is the longest we have lived in one place during our 11 years of marriage. We are happy here and I hate the thought of ever moving. One of the few negatives with the home has always been the front stoop. Stoop is the wrong word. We had a front slope. The concrete sunk away from the house. We probably could have negotiated it to be repaired in the contract but we were getting a helluva deal and didn’t want to press our luck (plus after looking at 20+ houses and having 2 houses slip through our fingers, we were ready to be done).

Adding a front porch has been top of our list of home improvements and thanks to my amazing father-in-law, that item can be crossed off!

Digging begins! K works to dig holes for the frame.

While digging, a broken beer bottle from 1977 (the year the house was built) was found. Looks like someone had a digging party!

A Princess with power tools!

The frame for the porch goes up on day 1!

Moxie, the supervisor, inspects the site.

The porch, without stairs, was complete on day 2! Lil’ A suggested a slide rather than stairs.

After the rain cleared up on day 3, the frame for the stairs went up with ease.

Complete! My brand new front porch complete in 3 days!

There are a few finishing touches still left to complete (lattice along the bottom, stain for the stairs) but now I can wait comfortably for the school bus to drop Lil’ A off after Kindergarten. I am in love, Love, LOVE! I’ve been scouring Pinterest for decorating ideas (stay tuned) and can’t wait to get crafty!

We made our first Craigslist purchase to furnish our porch. We scored a table and 2 chairs and while they are not an exact match, the $25 price tag was a steal! The chairs will be easy to paint if that’s what I decide.

My new favorite reading spot!

I’m feeling reenergized to dive into to some other projects around the house!

Get Organized {Thinking Positive}

Getting organized has been an 11 year battle. When we got engaged in August 2000, I moved home to save money and my whole house full of stuff went into storage in my great-grandmother’s garage. A few months later, in April 2001, she passed away meaning I had until the end of May to move it all into a storage unit. Added to my possessions were some substantial pieces of furniture that K and I were inheriting and many surprises boxes. These surprise boxes were all the items that my grandmother and aunts either didn’t want or didn’t know what to do with (I just opened the last of the surprise boxes a few days ago).

When we married and finally moved in together in August 2001, we put my stuff, his stuff, my great-grandmother’s stuff, and all the wonderful gifts we received as gifts into a tiny 2 bedroom apartment on the 2nd floor. One bedroom was floor to ceiling unopened boxes. Fast forward 2 years and we move into a tiny cottage that had been his grandparent’s home for 50 years. We gained a bedroom and a sunroom and lost a bathroom. The sunroom became storage central. We were never really organized in the 3 years we lived there and unlike at the apartment, we couldn’t just shut the door to the chaos.

I had high hopes of finally getting it right when we purchased our house in 2006. This time we had 1,600 sq ft of space! No reason we couldn’t get our shit together. This time around it wasn’t space that got in our way but everything else and we let it. We closed late and moved in a week behind schedule. For some crazy reason we had agreed to host a surprise party for K’s mom now only 3 weeks from move-in day! Ack! 6 weeks after move-in we learned I was expecting Lil’ A. My pregnancy was awful and I spent all but about 4 weeks sick. Very little was accomplished during this time and really only things related to baby. Then it was baby and focusing on careers and now 6 years later I’m finally in a position to get organized.

Phew… with all that background out of the way…

Here is my first of five think positive goals

Get Organized!

I have been working on Project Basement since last week. The goal is to purge, clean, and organize. I want to be able to use this space rather than it be dedicated solely to storage. There will be 4 distinct areas… a play space for A, a sitting area with a tv that can double as sleep space for guests on the hide-a-bed, a studio/crafty space for me, and a laundry/storage space. There will also be plenty of room if K decides to move the home gym system from the garage.

Pinterest has been a huge source of inspiration! I’m almost down with the purging and cleaning stage and can’t wait to get started setting up and organizing.

Craft room inspiration!

Once Project basement is complete, I plan to finish organizing the rest of the house. The former nursery will cease being a playroom and become an actual guest room/dressing room for me. I’m excited about the ideas I have for this room!

Guest room inspiration                       LOVE these colors!

So now I have to stop thinking about how much work all this will be, how exhausted it will make me, how little help I’m getting from K, and the fact we have no money to do everything I’m dreaming.

I will think about how less stressed I will feel because the clutter and overwhelming presence of stuff will be gone, how useful this will be for my family, how much more comfortable my guests will be while visiting overnight, and how I can finally get to all the crafty projects I’ve been itching to do.

Happy thoughts!

Tomorrow… I think positive about getting paid.

Nerd girl style {Pinteresting}

Frames and Fortune dress from Modcloth

Lord of the Rings map skirt

Elsie Larson from A Beautiful Mess – Love her style!

Heeled loafer – classic yet very sexy

Shhhh… I’m reading book pendant from Etsy

Read silver wire word necklace from Etsy

Nerd girl tote bag

The “fun bun” from The Beauty Department

Tea party with friends! from Etsy

Librarian Barbie

NERD bookends

Click on over to my lovely friend, JacMarie, to see what she finds pinteresting this week (we are both a day late so please forgive!) and you can also see all of our weekly Pinteresting posts here.

What do you finding pinteresting? If you are sharing your pinterest favorites on your blog please leave me a link in the comments section.

Happy Pinning!

Easter {Pinteresting}

The only holiday I usually do any decorating for is Christmas but this year we are heading to my mother’s for Easter and I’m thinking of doing a few special decorating touches to help with the day. Pinterest has been a huge help providing me with ideas for Lil’ A’s Easter basket, decorating, and for dessert!

For the basket:

Indoor hopscotch mat

Bunny peep bracelet!

Felt bunny puppets

For the table:

Bunny peep banner

Peeps and flowers centerpiece

Bunny napkins

For the tummy:

Bird's nest cupcakes

Candy flower cupcakes

The first day of Spring! {Pinteresting}

Happy first day of Spring! This beautiful, albeit unseasonal, weather we have been having feels like an actual Spring awakening. I’m not entirely convinced that we won’t get a surprise April blizzard but until then I am going to revel in the blooming of my daffodils and tulips!

To celebrate this lovely first Spring day, I offer some of my favorite seasonal pins from Pinterest from the past week!

Spring party decor

Spring flower cupcakes

Spring chick goodie bags

Spring branches

Spring bouquet

Signs of nature

Spring on over to see what the always classy JacMaries finds Pinteresting this week. And of course you can see all our past Pintersting posts on my Pinteresting page.