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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5 Lady-Skills to Consider..

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1. Be honest about what you want, with him.

This is a major point because so much social media show dishonest men leading women to mistrust, without even giving the benefit of the doubt. Don’t assume his phone is going off because he’s talking with someone else, give him a chance. Maybe you’ve been burned before, maybe you just need a reason to be angry or keep your guard up, but what if you were wrong? Some men, aren’t jerks. Some men, don’t cheat. Some men do, but if you’re honest and you’re nose is clean, you walk away with integrity.

In thinking your date isn’t worthy of trust, many women feel like it’s okay to lie to their partners, then justify it with… “They do it too…” If that’s the case, just get out now.  STOP THE CYCLE OF BAD RELATIONSHIPS. Lying in a relationship is like lying to your doctor, it’s not going to make you better…. Just be honest with each other, because you could continue for 10 years in a relationship with someone you always knew wasn’t right for you, but stayed for all the wrong reasons. Do yourself a favor, and be honest, and if he doesn’t like it… find someone else… It’s not that hard these days, there’s apps for that.

2. Cook. 

Women scorn the kitchen for their 1950’s role of housewife and all their feminist counterparts… But really it’s a life skill. Everyone, yes even men, should know how to make some basic meals, and it is pretty satisfying.  No one is naturally good at cooking unless they have at least given it an honest effort… Ladies, just because we are women doesn’t mean we can’t still make a fantastic meal, we aren’t giving into a stereotype, we are simply making a meal. It’s also a fantastic way to broaden your horizon and do what you are so scared to… Try something new. Try a meal kit hello fresh or blue apron are great for beginners, or just follow any recipe on Pinterest.

If you burn it, throw it out and try again. I promise if you make something that is truly delicious you will be proud and as I’ve said before, bragging rights are an added bonus.  Make yourself a 5 star meal, or make it for your mom, but just try!

 This chicken dish took me a good year to perfect, but it’s worth it every time. It’s chicken,spinach, red roasted peppers, tomato, artichoke hearts and fresh mozzerella in a lemon butter sauce. This obviously was not made with my innate skill set it was made with trial and error.

3. Educate yourself on current events.

How many people follow the local candidates on Twitter? How many women are exercising their right to vote, they should. It has been a long road for equal rights and still woman are under represented in the polls, and in politics. The difference between a woman who has an opinion based on hear-say and the one that has something relevant to add to a conversation  is clear.  An opinion based on facts sticks out very clearly to those who know what the subject matter is. The term it is better to be seen and not heard would apply ONLY if you don’t know the content of conversation. The more you know the more people will respect you.

Respect is better than frivolous attention. Be seen and be heard and make your opinion count.

Be able to talk to anyone on any setting that is a valuable asset.

4. Be polite and praise your fellow lady.

We all feel insecure. We all worry if we have something in our teeth. We are all human but ladies need each other.  Respect your fellow woman. Compliment instead of criticize. Be a woman’s woman, we aren’t all catty cliques stuck in high school. Some women are worthy of friendship but all women are worthy of appreciation because if not for nothing else, we are women!

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Be silly if that’s what it takes to be kind but open your heart to your fellow woman and honor her for her. Men have a fundamental difference in relationships with other men, and that is simplicity. A boy meets another in the school yard with a toy he also likes and they are friends for life… A girl meets a girl, they play for a while, and then challenges her until they can no longer tolerate eachother. Let’s invest in the future by showing our fellow humans respect and honor. Women, be nice to each other, celebrate each other and teach our daughters to be better women too.

Give an extra compliment… Just because.

5. Be present.

Listen. Don’t just wait to speak or hold your next thought while there is a break in conversation, really listen to those who speak to you. You would be surprised what you can learn by simply listening to someone’s story or simply what anothe knows that you do not.  Put your phone away and talk to your company.

Take a breath and realize that nothing in life is permanent and every moment is precious. Try something new, and don’t be so close minded.

If not for nothing else at least you tried…

Check out more posts, like these, and if you’re interested in coaching, check out The Tribe page for more info!