Mastering the Master Bedroom: The Reveal

As I mentioned in a post last week, I’ve recently taken on styling my master bedroom- a room more or less neglected since we bought our first home in 2013.

After weeks of scouring Pinterest, I had a solid plan for the direction I wanted to take. It wasn’t particularly expensive or drastic, which was perfect considering my budget was minimal and I really didn’t have the time or energy to devote to a full scale project. I decided to include a soft pink to our already present grey and white color scheme, and looked around for fairly inexpensive items that would contribute most to the overall look.

Master Bedroom Inspiration

The vast difference came from finally finding a place for all the items we had stored along the walls and in the closet. This took a solid afternoon and huge pile of donations to Goodwill. During the same time, I finally hung a collage of pictures and mementos that I had been putting off since we first moved in. The floor was finally clean and the giant blank wall finally had some art.

In this initial period, I also made my first purchase- twelve fabric lined boxes to use on the shelves of my open closet. The boxes were inexpensive, and looking back I would probably have bought them for a higher price in store since the ones I received had noticeable color variations. Nevertheless, it has helped to create a much cleaner look to the closet. Once overwhelmed with various colors and clothing items, now the clean lines and subtle color draws less attention to the least important aspect of the room.

IMG_8539

One of the higher priced items on the list were new lights. We had lived with one Ikea table lamp for years, but our current room was ridiculously dark and I hated trying to do anything productive in there after the sun had gone down. I found these gorgeous faceted table lamp bases at Target a few weeks before deciding on a corresponding grey herringbone lampshade. The bottom pattern provides a modern look to the room, which I adore, and the small print of the lampshade give it texture without overdoing the whole look. Nearly half of the final $125 spent went towards the table lamps, and for good measure. The room is finally bright enough to spend time in there without feeling like I’m about to go to sleep. I’ve found myself in there much more often since these were included.

IMG_8538

Another major part of the money spent, oddly enough, was on the two throw blankets. The first was this soft number from Amazon. After spending something like two hours searching through all the major sites, Amazon once again came through like a pro and provided the perfect blanket for the perfect price. Then, during my search for the lamps, I found another soft pink throw in the clearance section at Target. This one had been a bit more of what I was looking for initially, and the clearance price made it easier to excuse the fact that I was buying two throws for a room that already had a duvet. I can honestly say that I’m delighted that I bought them both. In addition to adding the soft pink color that I was looking for the room, they just make me so darn happy. They’re soft, they’re pink, they’re warm- what more could I ask for?

Then there were the added features that didn’t cost a cent. An often-repeated sentiment by home décor bloggers is to use items from around your house- moving them from one room to be repurposed in another. But as much as I was on board with this notion, this was surprisingly hard to replicate. You see, there are hoarders and then on the far other end of the spectrum, there’s me. I tend to donate pretty much anything that I am not currently using or intend to use within the year. Goodwill loves me and my husband thinks I’m stubbornly unsentimental. It keeps our house tidier, but the effects of this lifestyle definitely made itself known when I tried to find something to reuse for the bedroom.

IMG_8537

The one item I did find for the room was a set of patterned white curtains that had been originally used in the living room of our old house. I distinctly remember having them in hand, ready to toss in the goodwill pile, when I remembered that I should probably use them in the guest bedroom. They never made it there (thankfully), and are now being used to break up the full sheet of grey that once coated our window. This had the added benefit of blocking out more of the morning sun that often peeks around our blackout shade, but also helps brighten the room when I pull up the shade during the day.

IMG_8540

One other free item actually came from a collaborative effort. I asked my mother and sister to check their linen cabinets for any old pink sheets (they are more the “collective” types, so I figured I may get lucky!). My sister found a top sheet way in the back that was the exact color I had been looking to incorporate. My mother in law (the saint), then sewed it into two pillowcases to achieve the exact look I had been drooling over on Pinterest.

Overall, I’m ridiculously thrilled with the outcome of the room. I hadn’t really expected such minor changes to make such a large impact, but I genuinely surprised at how much it looks like the very pictures I kept returning to.

My 2017 Bucket List

Hello! Happy to see you this new year.

As Adele says, “Hello from the other siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiide”

*Ba dum tiss*

Yea, I know I’m about 10 days late to the party. The champagne has long been drank (I know, I drank it), the ball has dropped, and several million people have already failed their New Year resolutions.

That’s where I come in. By pure tardiness alone, I’ve already won over them ALL.

Just joking.

No, I’ve actually been planning my 2017 Bucket List for weeks now. WEEKS you guys. And I keep rewriting it!

Let me back up, lest you get lost.

A long, long time ago (2014), in a galaxy far, far away (my couch), I decided that only one bucket list a lifetime was for losers. Instead, I began a tradition of creating a yearly bucket list of activities I want to experience. This is anything from a breathtaking hike, dancing at a concert, experiencing something (anything!) new, going on a fun trip, etc. While I cross off activities throughout the year, I update my list with a brief note and the date. By the end of the year it kind of functions like a condensed journal. Fun idea, right?

[As a queen of lists, I also have my lifetime bucket list, organized by degree of effort and scale of travel, but we’re going to ignore this one for now because I do not have enough time to delve into that vat of crazy.]

So- 2017! What do we have in store for me?

Truthfully, it’s been a bit hard to really think of items to do this year. Previous years seemed so simple, but I was young and naïve and had a lot more time on my hands. This year, I’ve also really felt the need to include a stronger push for a new subsection, “Be A F*cking Adult”.

That’s why I’ve struggled, I guess. In the past my goals were mainly focused on activities to cross off, fun to be had, and while I certainly want to keep this ridiculously important aspect of my life, I also strongly feel the need to include items I would never have included before. And then it turned into a revolving door of self-reflection and that tedious question, “dear god, is this who I am now? I do not do resolutions!”

Guess what buttercup? I have some d*mned resolutions.

So here we go. I’ve organized it…. because of course I would.

Activities:
_ Go to a concert (Backstreet Boys) – March
_ MS Walk with Glenn and Jack- April
_ Alzheimer’s Walk with Jeni- October
_ Go on a crazy beautiful hike with Glenn
_ Go on a vacation with Glenn, just the two of us
_ Buy dinner for someone in real need
_ Go to a drive in movie with Glenn
_ Work on a headstand
_ Practice calligraphy
_ Go to a concert with Glenn
_ Seriously, join a damn book club (if you can’t tell, this one has been a previously unfulfilled goal on many other years)
_ Complete the yoga challenge: 10 days of yoga CLASSES (none of this at home bs)
_ Become a constant donor to a charity
_ Enjoy wine and cheese at an outdoor movie with Tootsie
_ Take mom indoor skydiving
_ Go to an indoor trampoline gym

Long-term Goals:
_ Do an outdoor activity with Jackson at least once a weekend
_ Do an outdoor activity with myself at least once a weekend
_ Distance self from constantly checking Facebook (or other media) on my phone. Put it away from the time I get home until after Jackson is in bed
_ Spend more one on one time with Glenn
_ Be more generous. Don’t expect anything in return
_ Try to be more patient with everyone
_ Spend more time with Jackson and less time doing unimportant things

Be A F*cking Adult:
_ Create a living will with Glenn
_ Stop cursing (we really don’t need Jackson saying *sshole)
_ Work on your social skills at work (…and everywhere else)
_ Build up this blog into a legitimate working machine. Not for profit, per se, but as something I can be proud of.
_ Start my 401k (seriously though)
_ Save $1500 in personal savings

As the year goes on I will inevitably add to this list. Usually it’s when I do something cool and add it on so I can check it off again. What can I say, I like being efficient. Nevertheless, at the end of the year I will repost this list with my notes on what I did, what I didn’t do, and how the year went in general. I do really hope to make solid progress on not only the fun activities, but some of the more serious matters as well.

What’s on your list, fellow resolutioners? Do you usually strive to become better in some way, or are you more like me and just look forward to all the fun you’ll have this year? Do you have a bucket list or five?

Finding Time

Before I had kids, I thought I was busy. I know that sounds pompous and haughty, but it’s not meant to be. I feel like every stage in life gets more adultier. More boring yet necessary stuff requires your time and thought, and you get to do less fun stuff. When I got married, I noticed a direct upswing in the amount of work I had to do every night, and when I had Jackson, it tripled.

Every day for over a year, I would get up at 5 am, get myself and Jack ready, drive an hour and a half to drop him off and make it to work, work for 8 hours, pick him up, hit about an hour and a half to two hours of traffic, cook, and do some variation of dishes, bath time, bed time, and prepping for the next day. This is if I didn’t have any errands to run during the day and doesn’t count the often extra little chores like sweeping/mopping, tidying, etc. that are required throughout the week (my son is a modern day Taz and my home is always one step away from an utter wreck.) Luckily my husband and I have established a good tag team effort, and as of a few months ago, my father has started coming to our home to babysit, thus taking out anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half of commute time a day. Hallelujah.

That being said, there’s really not a lot of free time in my day. There is always after Jack goes to bed, but this time is pretty limited since I should prioritize my sleep as I wake up early. To be completely truthful, this is usually the first thing to go so I can fit more in my day, but I’ve been attempting to be better at it lately.

A few months ago, around the time I began this blog, I realized how much I missed doing things that were “me”. I have since made it a point to try and find ways to carve out time within my day that I can use for things that are important to my wellbeing. One of my work friends wakes up at 4am to complete a workout before her day. She’s crazy impressive. I am not like this. Instead, my moments are sporadic, here and there throughout the day. I’ve noticed that as long as I realize that these things don’t have to be more than short bursts, I’m more willing to put the effort into doing them. And while they do require that effort, they have proven to be so much more beneficial than staring blankly at Facebook for 20 minutes (which I also do daily, no judgement).

Listen to podcasts

As stated earlier, I spend a lot of time commuting. A LOT. And I hate driving. So much. It’s ridiculously boring and if I could, I would definitely buy one of those cars that would drive me everywhere without me having to pay attention. Or I would get a chauffeur.

Not being made of money, I was lucky enough to stumble on the podcasts app on my phone. I know, everyone knows about this- it’s not new. I’m technology inept, so trust me- this was a HUGE deal. Since discovering the wide world of podcasts, my commute to work and back every day has expanded to a time that I really enjoy. I listen to my weird and quirky side with science fiction podcasts, like Lore, Limetown, and The Bright Sessions. I learn things I’d never even think to ask with podcasts like Stuff You Missed in History Class, TED Radio Hour, and This American Life. Hell, I even listen to a podcast specifically made for Gilmore Girls fans (yes, this is a thing. Gilmore Guys. You’re welcome).

There are so many wonderful shows that I can tap into whenever I want. And while not the same quality as a Pulitzer Prize winning novel or some book on ancient Athens currency, it’s sometimes semi educational and almost always interesting in a way that the Kardashians will never be.

Walking/Stairs on Break

This one was definitely not my original idea. You know the friend that wakes up at 4am to work out? Yea, it was hers. She’s been doing it for a long while, and one day as I sat all fat and lazy I asked if I could join her. Thankfully, she said yes and this has absolutely been one of the steps that led me to finally losing baby weight and getting back to a healthy lifestyle. It wasn’t a full workout, just a mere 15 minutes. I figured I can do anything for 15 minutes. I can especially do anything that doesn’t require a change of clothes or driving somewhere.

This mindset has since extended into my night when I started to work on my core strength by slowly working up the time I could plank. When I began, I literally dedicated less than a minute to it. Now it’s up to two and a half minutes, but dude- it’s two and a half freaking minutes. And I don’t even do it every night. For something that takes so little time though, it has had a surprising affect. I feel stronger and my arms have toned a bit, to the point where a friend even noticed after not seeing me for a few weeks. Can’t get better than that.

Dancing in the Living Room

Glenn actually started this one. Sorry, this isn’t a “How I fixed my life in 10 steps” but more like, “How I stumbled upon doing these things and oh, that’s cool- I’ll keep doing it.” So dancing. You know what’s better than dancing alone like a fool to loud, heart pumping music? Doing it with a super handsome guy and an adorable toddler who laughs and interpretive dances with you.

Ditching My Husband with the Toddler to Take a Long Shower

Poor Glenn knows this well. When I feel like I need some alone time, he’s kind enough to distract the little dude long enough for me to bolt to our bathroom, shut the door, and ignore the screams of my darling son calling for me on the other side. Pretty smelling scrubs and lotions help the sound barrier. Joking aside, bless this man because I know I take extra-long showers when it’s been one of those days.

Once upon a time, when Jackson was still a glimmer in our eyes and I had my spa style bathtub, I would spend an hour or two lounging in the hot water, candles and all. With an upgrade in children, an upgrade in home, and no more tub- this looks a bit different. But I’m the indulgent type, and while the candles and reading while submerged are no more, I certainly turn up the music and use all the smell goods I can get my hands on.

Writing Here

Since starting this space to just write and have a place solely reserved for the little things that make me happy, I really feel like I’ve been rediscovering (and just discovering) what interests me. Not all of it is important, most of it is just fleeting moments, but it gives me a space to just be. Like the zen you find at the top of a mountain while watching the sun set, just a hell of a lot more superficial. That’s cool though, I already have a lot of incredibly deep and intense other aspects of my life. Like podcasts and body scrub, my quiet time typing and looking at pretty things can just be what it is. And if, along the way, I find a little peace in my day, then I’ve accomplished my goal.

I’m still a far cry away from having the typical set of hobbies that I once used to encompass, but I’m getting there.

PS: In the time it took me to type this up, I helped Glenn fold a load of laundry and put Jackson back to bed after he woke up. Even my breaks require breaks.

PSS: Now it’s 11:30. Maybe I’ll sleep more tomorrow night.