Sunday, April 10, 2016

Spring into Springtime

For me, the best part of Spring is the weather. Hands down! I love having a true taste of all the seasons, but when Spring is coming, I crave those mildly temperature days and breezes! It's the first tease of the newest season. The hardest part, is waiting to explore the local nurseries for veggies and plants. (I have my go-to's. I'm surprised they don't know me by name, yet, or by my hosta collecting.)

Here in our area of the Midwest, it has begun to warm up slightly. It has been the perfect opportunity to get our plot in the community garden up and running! We are SO excited to be a part of it this year! I'm hoping for lots of veggies this summer to share. We have also been enjoying outside time. Whether it is cuddling in the hammock with a puppy, or sitting on the deck, I am happy to have the first teases of Spring in our backyard!

Half of the veggies we purchased for our plot!

Oscar is very much enjoying the weather!

Beau has been enjoying chasing balls all day!

Being outside has been the best so far!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Midwest Isn't Always Best

Midwest isn't always the best.... because of the weather. I love living in the Midwest, primarily for the benefit of having all four seasons. Each one is just as distinct as the next. A downside of the Midwest is not knowing when each season is truly going to stop or begin. Like this week. It has been fairly nice outside, but it appears as though a freeze may be coming.

Regardless, it is March, and plants are starting to bloom. Going with nature, we decided to set up our lower deck for the season. Despite the overcast weather, it was exciting to see this part of Spring come to our house. Here's to the start of many deck days ahead...

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Taking Care


Long time no see! My last post was in November when I shared how we had converted the original dining room into a sitting room, and the original formal living room into our dining room. Since that last post, both of these spaces have seen so much more use than before! I truly believe in "customizing" your house to fit your style. After all, you are the one who is living there! So what if you don't get a return off of a certain upgrade? Does that stink? Yeah. But, did you love it? Then it was worth it. 

To be truthful, not many house projects have been taking place since that last post. As most of you were aware, I had been spending time with Ma, and trying to handle the up's and downs that came with that journey. While I don't see this blog as being the place to get into detail about that type of thing, I will say, I miss her so much. I loved sending her photos of our house to describe the updates we were doing. My aunts would frequently show her on Facebook pictures, as well. She dreamed of making the trip out to our house. I know if she could have, she would. 

Through this experience, it has reminded me and shown me that I do need to take care of myself, too. Hence, the graphic at the top of the post today. House projects that I dreamed of doing over Winter Break didn't happen. I don't regret that one bit, it just means they got pushed back. Now, I am laid out on the couch, enjoying Spring Break. Earlier, I couldn't help but think, "I need a to do list of each day of what I need to accomplish as I only have __ days!!" 

Then, I thought of that quote - "Fall in love with taking care of yourself. Mind. Body. Soul." I need to continue working on taking care of myself. I was thankful I took my fully allotted bereavement leave to grieve and attempt to heal - but none of these house projects happened. Now, with however many days it is for Spring Break, I can't help but think of taking it day by day. Do I want to clean my entire house and clean the bedrooms? Of course. But, I am not going to stress myself out about it. I can't. I have to take care of myself. And, as much as I love schedules, lists, and the look of a list that has been crossed out, I will succumb these to allow time to take care of myself. 

The mess and cleaning will always be there. But, will there always be time available to take care of myself? Learning to be selfish starts here. 

How do you take care of yourself? I'd love to hear ideas of how you do this! :) 

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Move

No, we are not moving! Our realtor agent called this week to check in on us. He's a very sweet guy who every so often will call to check in on us, make sure everything is going well, and see if we need anything. Highly recommend him. We are friends on Facebook, and he had said that he thought we were doing some nice updates to our home and enjoyed seeing where it has come from. But, like I said - no we are not moving. It would take quite a bit to get me to move.

The move that I'm referencing is in our house! Our house is set up as a side split - common in the area we are in, but not as common in other areas. Think of a split level house, but with the "split" of the house all to the side. Google it perhaps. Anyway, you walk into our hallway from the front door and have three semi-open rooms - kitchen, formal living room, and dining room. 

The formal living room was a place in which it had two nice chairs that I had picked out from Overstock shortly after moving in, our china cabinet, and a rug that was too good of a price to pass up. Oh, the days of not having an IKEA in our neighborhood.... :)

It was suggested by my Mom a while back, to consider moving the dining room to the formal living room. At first, I didn't buy into this idea. We had a dining room. Sure, the backdoor was a little bit of a nuisance, but only slightly. And, the table was small. It fit! Oh, and don't forget about the golden 1970s glass lighting that hung from there. (For a house warming present, she bought us a new light fixture for that room.)

Now, after living in our house for a couple of years, I was starting to see the potential of that formal living room, especially after hosting some of Z's office over for a holiday dinner. I could see a dining room table in the formal living room. And, the picture didn't look so bad! The question was, what would happen to the dedicated dining room?

Formal Living Room - Before

Formal Living Room - Before

Formal Living Room - Before

Formal Living Room After - Now Dining Room

We took the space, and ripped out the breakfast bar to begin. We expanded the width of the counter, allowing for ample space to eat and serve food. Even by doing that and getting some chairs for the bar area, we had a nice pathway of space. We took the once formal living room chairs and table, and moved in there! I found a rug at Target that fit the space nicely. (Hint: Target has lovely rugs! Check online for their pricing - it's sometimes cheaper! And, they will match in stores.) We bought a retro-looking TV at Target, and are now using that space as a sitting area -- one that we are using much more now! It is like we have gained another room! 

Former Dining Room, Now "Sitting Room"

Former Dining Room, Now "Sitting Room"

I am really enjoying watching our house have more of our touches on it. My best piece of home advice is to do what you want to do. Create rooms that you love. Sure, it may not get the "resale" factor, but it's your place. Make it yours.

What is one of your rooms you love in your house, or dream of wanting? I would love to have a craft room, but, the bedroom I would like to put it in, I also have dreams of making that a master suite retreat... Battle of the ideas! 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Young House Love ... Missing You.

While Z was traveling for work, I tend to listen to music or podcasts more at night. I was scrolling through Bloglovin' and stumbled upon a saved post featuring Young House Love. Have any of you listened to it yet? After multiple attempts, and predicted, falling asleep before it is over, I am slowly getting through it. I think subconsciously part of me does not want this podcast to end! 

My take aways from it....
  • I really rely on Z to help with house projects. Like, a lot. I don't mind doing that, but it puts it in perspective just how much I rely on him for those things. I may have the ideas and inspiration, but he has the ability. 
  • The purpose of this informal blog was to share what all we were doing on our house. While I still haven't updated regularly, I do enjoy this being an outlet and way to share, aside from social media websites. 
  • I would love to get my hands on the newest Young House Love book.
I'd love to hear what you think after listening to this podcast! Happy listening!