Thursday, January 20, 2011

pantry before and after

my pantry was one of the last areas in my house with those darn wire shelves. it's hard to tell, but Erin had just reorganized it like a week before this picture was taken. it just wouldn't stay neat. i really wanted to "fix"it, but so many other things were higher up on the list.

Eric finally persuaded me to have California Closets come in and put in new shelves for me. this feels like cheating to me, after all, i am perfectly capable of building shelves, and i even like doing it (not to mention that i'm a cheapskate.) but, with starting school, i knew that having our family's food strewn all over the kitchen for two weeks while i finished up the project would not have been fun, so i relented.

i wanted to wait until i got all of the stuff put away and labeled to post about it, but i just couldn't wait any longer! i love it SO MUCH!!!!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

back to school

i started school a few weeks ago, and have neglected to blog about it. i was very nervous, after all, it's been almost 20 years since i used my brain, and i'm almost old enough to have birthed some of my classmates. i don't know what i was so nervous about, like my neighbor said to me when she found out i was going back, "if i had the work ethic back then that i have now, i could have been a rhodes scholar!" yeah, youth is wasted on the young.

anyway, the classes are not hard (statistics and french). the stats class is VERY elementary, it's mostly just learning ABOUT statistics, not a lot of real math. and french is a lot of memorization and homework, but fun.

in fact, the whole thing is fun. it's energizing and uplifting to be learning new things (and to realize that i'm still smart) and to be around lots of other energetic people.

for christmas i got a new laptop for school, and of course had to make a cute laptop case out of my very favorite (discontinued, darn you IKEA) fabric.

i also made a little pouch for my cord, isn't it so cute?

Monday, January 17, 2011

new e-zine!

I just saw that Janell, the creator of one of my favorite blogs, Isabella and Max, is launching a new e-zine! Click here to subscribe!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

my friend, stefani, has inspired me once again. she's always so busy and positive and goal oriented. i love this post about your new mantra, stef!

a few years ago, i read "The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz. it's one of those books that really makes you pat yourself on the back and say, it's okay, you're okay, you are of worth. and it really stuck with me. when i find myself being too hard on me, i go back and read it again.

i've never really had a "mantra" per se, but i go through phases where i try to adopt a certain attitude or philosophy and really integrate it into my life and change my habits and thought patterns. a couple of years ago, i felt like i had really gotten into a rut of being SO hard on myself, and feeling guilty all the time for not being "good enough." not a good enough mom, or wife, or friend, or visiting teacher, or neighbor, or sister, or daughter or seamstress or cook or landscaper or housekeeper or scholar or whatever. so i had to start reminding myself to stop apologizing for not being perfect. i remember telling a friend, "i'm not going to say i should anymore." as in, i should workout, i should eat better, i should spend less money, i should reorganize my pantry, i should wake up earlier. because after each i should comes a depressing feeling of not being good enough, of not being perfect. and guilt, and hopelessness, or else just excuses.

so, instead of thinking "i should" i started saying (and a lot less often, i might add) "i will". as in, i will get up earlier. OR, i will eat better. but not all of those things, because it's really easy to think "i should do blah, blah, blah" and the list can be infinite. but to actually SAY "i will eat better, get up earlier, exercise, paint the living room, practice piano, learn french, organize the pantry, darn my socks, volunteer at the school, visit my neighbor, build a deck, rebuild the engine on the suburban" is different. because when you SAY "i will" you are making a commitment to yourself, and you know you really can't actually DO all of those things, at least not today. "should" is not a commitment.

okay. where was i?

when we went to paris last fall, i was a little nervous to leave the hotel room and go out into the big, bad city without my brave husband. but, i knew that i might not get the chance to go there again, at least not without someone else with me, so i pushed back my shoulders and started walking. and i had a really great time! i saw things that i might not have had a chance to see, and i didn't get mugged or lost. so last year, i tried to live a little less fearlessly.

that new attitude pushed me to do things i was too scared to do, not the least of which is go back to college. i had my first day yesterday, and although i was nervous (it's been almost 20 years since i've had french, and even longer for math) it wasn't so bad. yes, i'm older than some of my classmates parents, and possibly even older than one of my professors, but i'm excited. and as my neighbor said yesterday, "if i had had the work ethic back when i was in school that i had now, i would have been a Rhodes Scholar!" well put. i HAVE come a long way.

so, even though i don't usually adopt a verbatim mantra, i like this quote that i heard in church a few weeks ago:

"nothing changes unless something moves."

i like it. it encompasses being brave, jumping in and getting started, as well as reflecting and seeing that a change needs to be made in the first place.

so, now i'm going to move my something and go make some changes (like the laundry and some much needed studying.)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Somebody loves me...

Look what Eric made for me this weekend:

The builder wouldn't put slide out shelves in this cabinet because the gas line caused an obstruction in the back of the cabinet. But my smart husband figured it out:

He just put a notch in the back corner to allow for the gas line.

Here they are with the pots and pans in. It makes me so happy! Thanks, honey!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

round things for my walls

Nester showed this tutorial for a sunburst mirror.....

And I saw this one at Ballard Designs and thought maybe it could be DIYed in a similar manner:

Which reminded me of this DIY sunburst mirror that Janell of Isabella and Max Rooms showed:

I really love this book page wreath that Emily at Jones Design Co. made. I think I'll make one to replace my coffee filter wreath.

Emily also showed this gorgeous wreath that her mother-in-law made for her:

I don't think this one would be too hard to make:

I've LOVED this one for a few years now. I want to make one like it. I've been keeping my eyes open for long pieces of driftwood that aren't crazy expensive.

source: BHG

I found a few really cute sunburst mirrors at HomeGoods and even Michaels on sale. I am feeling a little intimidated about hanging them on the walls. I'll show them once I get over it and hang them up.

link up: the lettered cottage

i linked up to the lettered cottage's favorite room re-dos of 2010 in which i show my powder room.

(sorry about the wierd button thingy, just click on it anyway to see some really awesome posts by some very talented people!)

The Lettered Cottage