Ok so about this lesson. Over the course of the last few months I've been decluttering and selling and whatnot. I decided to splurge on the above coffee table. I adore this little table. It's from World Market right here.
It's called the Thad and it retails for $299. The person that helped me with the purchase signed me up for all kinds of discounts upon checkout and it knocked $100 off the price. Like I just said, I adore this little table. My inspiration came from Sid and Ann Mashburn's home.
Pinterest is a dangerous thing ya know? But how chic.
So anyway back to my lesson. I couldn't wait to get it home and unwrap it. I fell in love the minute I saw it in its place. I instantly felt younger and hipper! I found the antique Persian rug at an estate sale and to me it was pretty darn perfect. There is only one problem and that is comfort. If this room were a sitting room only it would have been fine but this is where we watch tv and lounge at night and you can't really comfortably put your feet up on an lucite coffee table. Well you can but it's not comfortable. L was on board all the way but in the end it was me who wanted to be comfortable over stylish. So on Friday I boxed it back up and returned it. All mistakes are just chances to learn and what I learned was that it's probably better to leave well enough alone, that comfort is key and Pinterest creates all kinds of discontent in me.
So everything is back to normal - whatever that is. xo
PS - For a moment I thought about making the blog private and I still might but I will give you warning if I do in case there is a recipe you may want. I love you guys but the internet is getting to be too much for me some days. Thank you for putting up with me. xo
Welcome to my entryway! When you step through the front door of my house this is where you stand and this is what you see straight ahead. I would love a real entryway but I don't hate mine either. I'm pretty content with this little place.
Anyway, this past weekend we had a baby shower here (still no baby btw) and several people who had only seen pictures of my house remarked at how much larger it appears in photos. It is 970 sq ft so that is by today's standards pretty small.
If you take a step left this is your view.
The point I'm trying to make is that the kitchen is a major part of what you see upon entering. Your eye is drawn there bc of the floor I think? I've taken a bit of flack whenever anyone publishes pictures of the kitchen on social media, their chief complaint is that the kitchen isn't really usable with a chandelier, oil painting and drapes. But the truth is I cook 3 meals a day in it every single day. This morning I just felt like I needed to get that off my chest for some reason.
So as long as I'm talking about the kitchen I may as well include a shot of the sink area. Because I've pretty much turned the house upside down and rid it of so much clutter, things have moved around. Right now I love the ginger jars here.
It's citrus time in Redlands and oranges and grapefruit are falling off the trees. Those are my Vitamin B12 drops up there too bc I know someone will ask. I love you guys and happy weekend. xo
Hello Hello. What's new? We've been waiting on pins and needles for the arrival of our first grandson. Everytime my phone rings I think it may be the call. So that's exciting. Other than that I've been cleaning and still decluttering. I can't tell you how amazing it feels to finally get our basement cleaned out.
What I didn't sell, we donated. I still have a few things left to get rid of but it isn't the overwhelming job that we started with. Again, the feeling of lightness is so wonderful.
These are just a few shots of the house I took over the last few days. For some reason everything looks lighter to me. Maybe I'm just nuts and the feeling I have inside has affected my eyesight, or possibly spring is in the air?
I've been tweaking a little bit in the living room too and when I'm done I'll share that space. I thought for a minute I might wallpaper but I think I've decided against that. But who knows what I'll end up doing. Have a wonderful weekend and see you soon. x
Well hello out there. Sorry for the lack of posts but I've been busy. Not only have I decluttered the whole house, I went into the depths of the basement and had a massive declutter there. Our basement is tiny, only about 12x6 or so, but man can it hold a bunch of junk. We've taken a couple of car loads to Family Services, paints and stains to the proper recycle station and I'll be selling a lot too. It was so hard to get started but once I did, I couldn't stop. Actually I'm going to go through it again and see what else I can get rid of.
One of the things I've recognized by going through it all is that I have a a lot of weaknesses. 1. I'm a sucker for a bargain. Most everything I've been saving was such a steal - like $1 or so. 2. I'm a sucker for a good estate sale. I have no business going to them but I still do. I blame M.
We recently went to a cool estate sale of a retired actor that was residing here in Redlands. I could not pass up a really pretty antique hand carved wooden starburst mirror (weakness #3) for $10.
I was able to make it 6 weeks without shopping but the mirror broke me. I figure I've removed about 400 items from my house and basement so one mirror hardly even registers. Plus I'll be selling the reproduction mirror that used to hang there b/c that one is super pretty too. See...
Also, you may notice that I swapped out the black dresser for a cream one I've had for decades. I think it's a better fit.
So what the heck have you guys been up to? x
The 5 a day continues around here and the only problem I've been having is sticking to just 5 a day. I go somewhat nuts when decluttering. This was one such nutty day. I deeply decluttered the office which was sorely needed. The bookcase, desk and I can breathe again. Lots was given to friends and most was donated to Family Services. I think when I get a massive declutter done I will be able to shift to just 5 a day.
In other news, Alex swapped out the drop leaf desk for this primitive one and I have to say I really really love it. It's funny because for years whatever piece of furniture I've had in this spot didn't contain any storage. Then we pulled the dropleaf desk up from under the house and suddenly it was full of stuff. Now I'm down to one big drawer and a little one and it feels better. So much of what I crammed in the desk was "just in case" stuff.
This antique pheasant was a christmas gift. For the record, I have no problem with antique taxidermy. This guy is almost 100 years old and is beautiful and ethically I just have no issues with him in my home. If you do, I'm sorry about that.
I still have more to declutter. How about you? x
For those of us struggling to get started on a decluttering journey, why not try 5 a day? The idea is that every single day you get rid of 5 items of junk in your house. Often I'm overwhelmed if a task seems too great to get started on so breaking it down to just 5 a day is so doable. Research shows that clutter stresses us out and our cortisol levels actually raise when we look around and see disarray.
Technically if you did this every day for a year, you'd rid yourself of 1825 items. My advice would be to start small. Open a drawer and quickly scan it and remove 5 useless things. Either put them in the trash or in a box by the front door. At the end of the week you could have 35 items to take to Goodwill or give to friends. Whatever you do, empty the box so it is ready for the next week.
If you are stuck because like me you fear that you may need the item one day, ask yourself when you last used it. Is it something you only use at Thanksgiving or Christmas? Then keep it because you don't want to have to replace it, just put it in a less used drawer. I bet you will find that 5 items a day isn't enough. I only have 1 closet and a few drawers in my house and there is plenty of crap hiding in them that needs to go so let's get tidy! x
Since the first of the year I've been decluttering and organizing the house which is a real joy for me. It makes me feel so calm. The only obstacle that gets in the way of this task is the idea that I may need this item someday, and it's often true. Case in point, last summer I tried several times to sell that Dash and Albert rug on eBay and it never sold. And here it is 6 months later and I'm using it.
Here's a photo of it back in May of 2012 when I first purchased it. I got a lot of use out of it then and sure enough I put it away in the basement and now it's back in the house. I do that a lot. What's your biggest obstacle to getting rid of things? Is it memories, don't know where to start, or fear that you'll need it one day?
So far so good on the no spending for the month. I really think this will be an easy month or 2 for me because my birthday, Christmas and anniversary are all within a few weeks of each other. Summer will be another story. How's it going for you? x
Below are some of my favorite blogs I've found. I'm always looking for new ones to read so if you have a favorite do say so in the comments. These all have something to do with saving money, stretching money or just living a beautiful life.
Money Boss - I love this blog because JD's theory is that you run your household and finances as if it were a business, essentially making you the CEO of your life.
Money Diaries - This is a fascinating series on Refinery 29. It chronicles young women living all over the world and how they spend their money. It's a real eye opener.
Stone Soup - Fabulous recipes on the cheap. Not all are vegan but seriously easy and delicious.
One Kings Lane Style Guide - Okay so this isn't exactly the best place to spend your time if you are easily tempted but their style guide shows some of the prettiest homes you'll ever lay eyes on. I get a lot of my inspiration here because I see so many of the items they sell at my local junk stores. Just a nice place to relax, enjoy and get sneak peeks into great homes.
The Prudent Homemaker - Brandy must have a black belt in money saving because she has 8 kids and a gorgeous garden and home and thrives on very little income. You'll just have to read to see how beautifully and economically they live.
Enjoy...and don't forget to leave me your favorite blogs.
at 2:18 PM
Posted by the gardener's cottage
Happy new year to you all. The weather here has been cold and rainy so we've been doing what we can to warm this place up. Every year I think I may sell these Pottery Barn drapes I bought several years ago but every winter I'm so thankful that I didn't. They are heavily lined and help keep us toasty.
I didn't decorate much for Christmas but I still can't bring myself to take away the buckets of greenery in the kitchen.
This is a random seldom seen corner of the kitchen. That doorway leads to the master bedroom (lol) and bath (lolouder) that was added in 1930.
With all the rain we've gotten, the rose garden has been blooming. Fresh roses in the bedroom in January!
What do you have planned for the new year? This is my hands down favorite time of year because it just screams possibilities.
Things I'd love to get done this year would include my never ending quest to declutter and simplify my life. Paring down my wardrobe and household goods would be wonderful. With Alex now operating a v cool vintage store here in town does not help that quest tho.
Also, I've seriously toyed with the idea of a no spend year but don't know if I have that discipline in me any longer. I know I can do a no spend January. Anyone else in? Maybe we can go month to month and see where that takes us. What do you think? I can post about my weaknesses and you can too in the comments.
Also, also what about our diets??? I totally ate tons of sugar this holiday season. The temptations were crazy. I'm so ready to treat my body like the temple it is and clean up this mess.
What's on your list?
Also, also, also...New Year post from last year with a delish soup recipe
The kitchen was feeling a little christmassy this morning so I took a few snaps to share.
I just clipped greenery from the garden and brought it inside and voila, it's Christmas.
We've also pulled the chairs that were in the dining room into the kitchen for more comfort. So I'm on the lookout for chairs for the dining room. To be honest I've been searching for chairs for years and have never found exactly what I've wanted. But I know patience is key to finding the perfect fit and I'm good with that.
Larry went all out and bought me these beautiful lilies from the .99 store. Are any of you still shopping there? The deals astound me every week.
Christmas is one week from today. Take a deep breath. xo