Monday, September 26, 2011

Our New Place-The Living Room Part 1

I know I've posted pictures on Facebook of our new place, but I wanted to share what ideas I have for decorating and see if anyone out there has some suggestions or some assurance that what I'm doing looks good. I do have a problem though and that is I love too many different styles. I'd have to have a 100 room house to incorporate all the styles I love. I love French country and sorry, but shabby chic still remains on my list, but maybe only certain elements of it at this point. I love the look of a warm cabin, a sweet cottage, or the retro look of a 1950's Formica and chrome kitchen table and chairs. I love it all and that makes it really hard to pin down MY style and exactly what I want in my own home.

This is so cozy and warm. I can hear the rain on the roof.

And this little cottage is perfection.

Do you know what I'd give for this retro pink fridge??

I love the cleanliness and crispness of white, but I must face facts that
white furniture and an 8 year old boy do not mix!

Just look at this French country kitchen design. I don't even care about cooking!

This farmhouse style calls to me, also.

I can remember my grandmother's set. Why is this so awesome??

This is so Samantha Stevens! Simple? Linear? It just appeals to me in a big way. Not the color scheme mind you, but the style of the furniture.

Do you see what I mean? How on earth could I incorporate all the styles I like into one cohesive design? Possible or impossible? And, do I have to stick with a decor that "fits" the townhome we live in now? If you didn't see the pictures, here's our new home:

I love the kitchen. The cabinets are a cream, not white.
Sure, I'd love granite counter tops, but down the road maybe.
I'm thinking an island since there's plenty of room and of course, there's
a refrigerator now as well as some items hanging on the backsplash walls.

So here's the outside. I like the stone and brick combination
and the shrubs are gardenias, which are a big favorite of mine.

I definitely need updated pictures, but the living room is more rectangular than square with patio doors on the left of the fireplace, the dining area entry to the right. There's also a double window on the left as well. My one dislike? The flooring. It feels and sounds like plastic. I hate it. But that's another something I can live with for a while and perhaps an area rug will help.

So, I have my first real purchase coming and that's my sofa. I saw it a while back at Pier One and fell in love with it. My first choice in color was going to be the sage green, but now I've decided on taupe and that's what will be here in two weeks! It is also on sale for $100 off until the end of September. Here's a picture:

I love the shape of the back, like a sweetheart neckline on a dress, giving it a feminine look, but not too much. I think it also has a retro feel with the clean lines. It's also firm without being too hard. I don't like sinking into a sofa and not being able to get out of it without the assistance of a crane.

So, my next purchase at some point will be a storage piece/bookcases for (of course) my books, photo albums, and other items. My first choice is an Ikea piece. It comes in white, which is probably my first choice since there is white moldings through the house. I'll show you a little trick I found to liven it up though further along in the post. I do like the gray/brown pictured first, but I think it would be hard to find other pieces that go with it color-wise. The chocolate brown is way too dark, I think. What I like about these are the drawers and doors that could hide things I don't necessarily want on display such as pictures not yet in albums, some old books that don't need to be subject to the light, etc.

So, I saw this idea that gives the white bookcase some pop, and I could do something like this, adding my accent color, which I think is going to be a shade of blue.

See how they painted the backs of the cases?
I love it! Not so stark, especially if the piece is bright white.

Then there is always a much more inexpensive way to have what you need. The description of this says these are wine crates stacked and secured together to make the unit. You can also purchase crates unfinished at Micheal's or Joann's, stain them, and assemble them like so. Instant bookcase/storage. Can you get wine crates around here? Is this too rustic for what I'm going for? I'm thinking maybe it is, but I could live with it.

One more shelving option is to take inexpensive bookcases, say 3 of them, stand them as close together as possible. Secure them together and add inexpensive molding at the top and to hide the joinings, making them look like one unit. If I want them white, this would more than likely require painting, which means more labor. Here's an example someone put together for their craft storage:

Pricing for the bookcases? Ikea's piece is $910. Really expensive and out of my price range if I'm honest. Perhaps I can find something similar at a lesser price? The crate system is cheap! The crates run about $5, add in some screws and paint, and I bet you could come in under $100. The other idea, with bookcases I saw at a surplus store here in town for $47 each would total under $200 once you purchased 3, the hardware and moldings, and the paint.

I'm going to ponder on this for a while and make a decision. I'd definitely need some help with the crate system or the 3 bookcases idea. I'll look for similar pieces to the Ikea item as well, to compare pricing. It would be nice not to have to do all the work and painting involved in options 2 and 3. LOL

Suggestions? Ideas? What do you think?

Back in the Saddle

I have ignored my little blog and other things I enjoy doing for way too long now. The past year and a half has been tumultuous, stressful, and full of changes, and I’m still praying for things to settle down to anything close to normalcy for Jake and me. But what is normal, right? I know what it used to be, but who knows if it will ever be close to that again.

To recap:

May 2010 Jake and I moved out of our home with Pat into an apartment that Jake and I ended up hating. LOL! There were a few good things: the pool, Jake won a Halloween costume contest; things like that. Overall, the apartment was too small for us and I felt closed in. I guess Jake picked up on that.

If it weren’t for my parents, my good friends Lisa and Mandy, and Kelly P, I’m not sure what I would have done. My cousins helped me through it by letting me vent endlessly about the breakup, the apartment, money issues, and I’m sure it felt like on and on and on to them.

Around June 2010, I realized Pat had met someone else already. Interesting to me considering it happened so quickly, and they were already seemingly “in love”. (Gag me with a spoon!) However, the denial of any cheating again was made, so whatever! I did speak my peace concerning this person interacting with Jake at this point, so hopefully we are on the same page, and my wishes will be respected in that regard.

We actually worked out a support agreement between the two of us concerning Jake and expenses for school, medical bills, etc. for him, and so far that is working out well. Honestly, I never expected us to agree on anything and for this, I’m very grateful.

Jake and I made it through our first holidays. Pat came over Christmas morning and watched him open his gifts. Jake wasn’t happy when she left and didn’t do anything else with us.

During the holiday time, I was VERY blessed to have a lady at work and her parents sponsor Jake and me. They helped out so much with gifts for him, groceries, gift cards for me to spend on anything else he needed, and even cash. This really got us through the holidays and I felt so much better knowing Jake had the things he wanted from Santa. Despite that I never really decorated our tree and my mood was a little somber, we got through it.

Jake finished up 1st grade in the spring of 2011. I could not believe my baby would be headed to second grade come fall! This summer he really enjoyed summer camp at Kickin’ Kids. He met his first best friend, Don Criss, and two other boys he enjoys playing with, Noah and Emerson. We still need to set up play dates for Noah and Emerson, but Jake and Don Criss are very insistent on seeing each other outside of school! They are best buddies and it’s really cute to listen to Jake’s side of the conversation when they talk on the phone. I think at one point, he was giving Don Criss a virtual tour of our place over the phone! Too cute!

Once our lease was up at the apartment and after looking for a new place for us, I found a townhouse that I am renting to own. I guess it was meant to be since it all came together the way it did, but the worrier in me is concerned that I did the right thing, that I can afford it, and that at the end of the three years I can actually purchase the home. Luckily, the owner said if I needed extra time, it was no problem.

We moved in at the end of June. My sister was a huge help along with my parents and a friend of my dad’s. Lisa B. came over and helped me unpack the kitchen and set it up. Kelly P. helped me move boxes around, up to the attic, etc. And a friend of mine, Joan, was amazing helping with moving boxes from downstairs to upstairs as well. I’d recently been in a walking boot after hurting my ankle so her climbing the stairs for me like that was a godsend!

We’re settling in slowly. There are still boxes in the garage that need to be unpacked and an organized stack of them in the living room waiting for bookcases. We need furniture, storage type pieces as well as a couch (more on that later) and a few other things. It’ll all come in time, and I’m hoping to create some artwork of my own for the walls.

Things are better than they were all the way around. Pat and I get along for the most part; we have our agreement on financial support as well as visitation so I guess we’re okay.

Jake isn’t enjoying 2nd grade as much as 1st, but hopefully that will change. He’s been back for about a month and a half so I’m hoping it’s a matter of him adjusting to the increase in schoolwork as well as homework, no naps or rest times like in kindergarten and first grade, and a lot more structure thrown into the mix.

My mom has been a blessing for us as well. She helps with Jake when she can, and I enjoy spending time with her and wish we could spend more together. Thanks to her, my wonderful Pier One Imports sofa is on its way and should be in our home in 2 weeks. I’m so excited to know it’s coming- a good start to decorating our new home. I’ll definitely be posting my ideas on decorating soon.

I’m seeing a little more of Amy, (my sister)not like I’d wish, but more than in the past. I hope she’s doing well and can accomplish some of her goals, too. She deserves to be happy, and I think if the two of us can overcome our own self-doubt, it make work out for both of us.

My dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer and is over halfway through his radiation treatments after surgery. I’m so glad he’s doing so well and pray every day that he is cured from this. It’s been so hard on him and my stepmom, but also on my grandmother. She has worried herself so over her son, and who can blame her? Overall though, my dad is great, feeling well with no radiation side effects, and we are so grateful.

I still enjoy my job for the most part. There’s really no room for advancement of any type, and this company really isn’t known for giving raises, but I have insurance, the pay could be a lot worse, and one thing that gets me through it is I have my own office. Although people come in and out during the day, I’m basically alone and that’s how I like it. I’m hopeful that next year I will not use up all of my PTO time on Jake or me being sick. We both had the flu, I hurt my ankle at work, but still had to take PTO time to see the doctor, which I think is wrong, but oh well, and I’ve had some other health issues so not one of my 128 hours of PTO was used for any fun. Jake and I have started a vacation $ jar and we’re planning on no sickness to use up my PTO and a fun vacation for us, even if it is a trip down to the beach for a long weekend. I’d love to take him to Disney because I think he’d really enjoy himself, but I may be reaching too far.

My friends, Lisa and Mandy-what can I say? They are wonderful to Jake and me, and I appreciate them so much. Kelly P.-gosh, he's helped us so much and Jake has a Wii competitor, too.

Lastly, and I’ll write more about this later, I have discovered something about myself. I may have blogged previously about seeing a counselor and dealing with weight/eating issues. After changing counselors (because the previous counselor was one that Pat and I both saw for couples’ counseling as well as individually), I know now that I have a true eating disorder. It’s really hard for my family to understand. I think they just see me as someone who enjoys food and over eats. Well sure, I do enjoy food. Who doesn’t? But, they don’t understand the binging, the night eating, the compulsiveness about it all, and how it is much, much more than overeating and not exercising or needing to diet. Perhaps also they think I'm just using that as an excuse? I think my cousins understand and are very empathetic because they too struggle with food issues. I think my friends understand although perhaps they think it’s simply a lack of willpower? I’m not sure. Hopefully, I can explain enough in later blog posts to help them understand more about eating disorders.

For now, I’ll leave off here. I can’t catch up a year’s worth of events and changes in one post, but I’m planning to start doing the things I love again, the things that keep me going on another level, things that allow me to be creative, and that inspire me to be a better mom and a better person all the way around.