The Unexamined Life..Of Your Coffee Table

I love to explore, I like to plan a whole day in a new place, it gives me a new perspective to return home with. Traveling has been an influence on everything in my home. Experiences bring my imagination to life and I love to daydream about all the possibilities.

I try to make the best of what I have to work with, in part out of care for our environment but also because every object has potential!

So in cultivating my blog over the years I’ve been exploring avenues that I enjoy. Some of the most exciting experiences I’ve had in my life I’ve been completely terrified of. Example: every single place we traveled in California had to be on the side of a mountain, and I am not a fan of heights. Am I glad I did them, yes. Was it terrifying, also yes! College, scary, did that too. Living with other people I didn’t know, scary, did that. Running for a town political role, suuuper scary but also exciting! Buying a home, scary, but extremely rewarding!

So what I’ve been doing lately has been designing a business. Im terrified. I really don’t like change. I have a pretty cushy job, and a pretty easy life. What business do I have trying to mix that up? Well the goal has been to step out of my comfort zone, to give the world a chance to understand what it is I want to give back to it and to try to live my best life!

So here it goes…

Background: I grew up an only child. Which requires me to answer the question, how did you like being an only child? I’ll be honest, it was fine. I pretty much had my imagination to entertain me, instead of another human. I think it also made me look closer at myself (critically) and also the relationship I had with other people. My fatal flaw is people -pleasing. While my parents were older from start, I had to grow up relatively quickly, with a few challenges. Mom had mental health issues, Dad had some workaholic issues. Everyone has issues, but it made my story, and shaped a lot of my strengths.

Neither parent really cared about our living space outside of whether it was clean(it was very dysfunctional). So I found myself making my bed, fluffing my stuffed animals and putting my own decorative towels in the bathroom for when guests came over. Right… I know, people pleaser. They didn’t see the value of a well designed home space. They did have some taste (sort of) Dad was kind of hippy, which now in the era of mid century modern times has found its way back in vogue (go Dad). Mom was more artist, mixed with Greek iconography. So my house was a shmorgusboard if hippy, Jesus and artwork. Not the most cute assembly of furniture pairing. Lots of random paint splatters, brushes and equipment… but it was home.

What I found myself doing in my younger years was constantly reorganizing my own space. My room was like my safe place. The family didn’t always get along, and life wasn’t always roses and sunshine. I tried to stay positive, keep my own space in order and looking as good as I could have it with the resources I had. I remember the feeling of seeing the redesigned space. It was like a breath of fresh air. The odd thing was remembering where everything was placed in the new arrangement. It was necessary to use what I had to work with because asking for something deemed “unnecessary” was more aggravating than making the best of it. In a lot of ways this allowed me to utilize the things I had creatively. I credit the rents with giving me a hard time enough that I had no choice but to make my own designs.

So here I am adulting and trying to find my purpose, and recycle, and drink enough water, and meet my personal goals, you know, be responsible (eye rolling emoji). What I’ve found is that I really want to help people live in the space they feel the most at home. Some people see the value in simplicity while others want their Pinterest dreams to come true. I’ve just found a happy balance of function and artsy, with unique hand made peices. What I’ve always wanted is my space to feel comfortable to anyone who enters. After years of trial and error I think I’ve achieved my design goals.

What is so counter intuitive to so many of my friends and family is making their space work for their family while still meeting their asthetic goals. I’ve always loved Martha Stewart, and I’m a huge fan of HGTV. The difference between my inspirations is that I try to incorporate personal experiences into spaces.

So many designers make your kitchen look like a home and garden magazine but fail to reflect the people who live there. One thing I love is holding the mirror up and saying you are, where you live. Your space is part of your health. Your wellness is directly related to your environment, and for me, I find clarity in order, and reorganization.

Part of the journey I am on in life is bringing my life experiences into my living space, as a reflection of who I am, where I’ve been and what I love.

I have so many photographs of my better half, Joe and I. I have pictures of our cat. I have my mothers artwork, our grandparents wedding photographs, friends, family, trips we’ve been on etc. Our kitchen has been completely redone (by us), and is now pig themed, subtly. before

(Two different times of year so bare with the decor in these pictures)

Our chandelier is restored from basically a dumpster to full beauty (Joe deemed it to be trash).

We built our own bar, we built our headboard, our kitchen island, our entry bench, our master bedroom bench. We redesigned our bathroom fixture. We built custom shelving, we built our ottoman, we’ve upcycled more stuff than we’ve bought. I’m proud of that.

Everything in our home has a story, and it’s about who we are and what we love.

We have made a beautiful space using mostly what we had, and adding our own spin. Our molding may not have perfect lines, although he did a very nice job for a beginner! Our life might not be exactly what you see in a magazine but it has cracks that came with weathering. My favorite part about our home is our life in it. After so many life experiences it’s easy to lose track of where you’ve been. I find a memory around every corner in the lake house that we love.

So I am officially beginning the exciting (and scary as hell) adventure of starting a consulting company for interior decorating, with a focus on life experience, and functional needs. I love to be reminded of all the fun I’ve had. I love my family, and my friends and I make it a point to focus on the positivity both in my life and in my home space. I have helped so many people see positivity and opportunities in their space so they can grow into it or shift into a better arrangement.

As for the coffee table, we turned it into an ottoman.

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Ignorance, and a Pyramid Scheme

 On most days you may be just playing the game of life. Showing up doing a job or school or whatever it is and then going home. Once you get into a rutine it seems obvious and comfortable to keep doing what you are doing.

I learned the hard way that sometimes people are right when they say the job, the boyfriend or whatever it is… Isn’t right for you.

Example.

Circa 2010, fresh out of college with no prospect of a decent job I started working at a company called pinnacle marketing. I wore a suit and worked in Hartford so that basically meant I was an adult. Nope!

1 month in I was walking the streets of new haven cold call selling b2b direct energy to business owners that had no interest in saving 30 cents a year on their electric bill. I ate fast food a lot because I was on the road, gained about 15  pounds and kept showing up making just about $200 a week if I was lucky. Sounds like a pretty stupid move on my, now educated self’s part. Well I had another job, thankfully. That was at an upscale Italian restaraunt so I supplemented my income or lack there of with tips.

To be fair, this job sold a pretty picture, that anyone could be an entrepreneur and run a fast paced marketing business just like my manager at the time. It sold me. When we went on a business trip to Nashville and saw thousands of people just like me getting sold the same bullshit. I mean it had to be legitamate if so many people did it. My parents couldn’t be right about the pyramid scheme or the fact that they prey on suckers like me who exhaust their friend-family- network signing up for the commission based pay and then quit. I was better than that, I was going to be a business owner and a successful one! Nope. I was a sucker.

On bad relationships… The beibs said it “My momma don’t like you and she likes every one”…. That’s it. Nothing more to say. Unless your mother is a half wit or a total snob you should probably listen to her instincts on bad relationships. Sad truth is she is usually right. 

If your gut tells you that you aren’t doing it right. Bail. It’s not worth wasting time trying to prove yourself and everyone else wrong if you know somewhere in your heart it’s wrong.

Of course sometimes you aren’t 100% sure that you are doing the right thing work, love or otherwise but if you even have the slightest feeling that it’s not going to be a future for you, don’t think for a second that feeling won’t grow into some life long regret if you keep it up.

Love taught me one thing, when it’s right, there aren’t doubts. You never wonder if you made the right choice to move in. You never question of the other person is who you think they are. The doubt level is always at 0 and no amount of external commentary changes that.

Everyone wants you to think a new relationship is short term and for a lot of people maybe it is, but when you find the right one the one that fills you with no doubt or hesitation you’ll learn that your gut knows better than them.

The moral, be careful what you give your energy to, so often the time we waste could have been better used on something that serves us. Think before you accept an offer and let your conscious be your guide.

Also don’t invest in pyramid schemes they don’t work.  ALL of them.

  Invest in yourself and you will do great things.