Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Dreamin............



Yep, that's what I have been doing alot of lately...

largely because it is at this time of year I get itchy.....

You see, I have a confession to make...

my house is never "done"....



I wish I were different...

I wish I did not have decorating ADD...

I wish I was content...

I wish I did not feel this "itch" ....

to paint, wallpaper (yes! my powder room), to get some new pillows(gasp!)....



I have a file...

on my computer

that has pictures in it.

That file is simply titled "dream pics".

I thought I would share some with you today.



I got nothing else for you....I am home with a sick girlie and she has been NEEDY!

Are your sick kids like that?



Oh, but yesterday I had lunch with the fabulous Ki Nassauer of Junk Revolution/Flea Market Style fame! And girls, I got to see IT...you know what I am talking about....

Flea Market Style magazine!

I walked into Ki's office and there was the mock-up of the whole stinkin' magazine!

And you know how I (like most of you) am going through withdrawl after the disappearance of my favorite magazines.

So, when I saw that pretty little periodical sittin' there...I could not help myself. I asked very politely and oh so nonchalantly, "can I take a peak?"

And guess what?

She said yes!

All I can say is YOU.WILL.NOT.BE.DISAPPOINTED.

No you won't because it is lovely and pack full of beauty and inspiration!(much more than this random, rambling, lame post!)

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Must love shoes.......

Winter has a tight grip on Minnesota...much to my dismay...

This girl has grown tired of sacrificing fashion for comfort and most of all WARMTH...

And while I long to put my Uggs and Northface down coat away FOR GOOD...the reality is is that is not going to happen.....for a l-o-n-g time.....

But a girl can dream (and shop) can't she?

Especially when she has friends in blogland who share her love of pretty shoes...



Do these ruffly girls look familiar?

My friend, and yours - the uber "Anthro Chic", one and only, Kasey of Lola B's graciously did a little shopping for me.

Yes, she did.

She was happy to spread the love, so to speak....

Because for shoe-lovin girls like us, a true friend is one who will make a special trip back to TJ Maxx to get you a fabulous pair of shoes in a size 9 1/2, box them up and mail them to you!



Thanks my friend!

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Pulled in ALL directions..............



Yep, the picture above represents the way I am feeling these days...

Everyone gets a piece of me, but never all of me...

Do you understand?

I thought you would.

'Cause us women types tend to do this to ourselves....and while we like to blame others we have no one to blame but our sorry selves.



I am a stay-at-home mom....hardly descriptive of my life.

You would think with the number of meetings I attended this week I was some corporate big-wig making the big bucks, with one of those Wall Street bonuses coming my way....



I am involved at my children's school...WAY.TOO.MUCH.....

There I said it.



I am not enjoying being involved WAY.TOO.MUCH.....

ahhhhh, I feel much better....



I long to spend time on things that matter to me.....

like hitting the gym on a regular basis....

and finding a "new career", whatever that means for my 40 year old self...

having coffee with friends......

cleaning my house....(well not so much that, but boy would it be nice to not be cleaning toilets at 10 pm at night!)....I am after all a "stay-at-home" mom.



I did get rebellious this week....

I needed to....really I did....

I had to steal away amongst old-stuff, lose myself for an hour or so in an antiques store (or two).

Do you think I will be *fired* for my indiscretions???

I even took some pictures to share with you......I hope you enjoy....

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

.....Red plates.......




This week my big girl was selected to participate in her 5th grade geography bee and did really well. After the bee was over and I went to congratulate my daughter, the first words out of her mouth were "do I get to eat on a red plate tonight?"....

You see, when my girlies were small I read an article about establishing traditions or rituals within your family and how meaningful they can become in your children's lives.

And while I can't say we have managed to establish many, a few simple rituals have become an important part of our "family rhythm".

One suggestion from the article (which I wish I had saved so I could refer you to it) was to purchased red plates.

Why red plates you ask?

Well, when your child has something to celebrate - losing a tooth, winning a game, celebrating a dance recital, a good report card etc...set their place at the dinner table with a special "red plate".

Simple, huh?

My girls are now 11 and 7 years old. They look forward to celebrating their successes with dinner on a red plate.

Really!

Often, in my hurry to put dinner on the table, I forget the red plate. Quickly, I am reminded by the celebrant that tonight is a "red plate night" for them.

This simple tradition makes them feel special and their accomplishments, no matter how small, or big, validated.


As I look down the road....I see a red plate on the table at their weddings(but only if I really like the guy!)....and certainly I will gift them a red plate at their baby shower(if they are over the age of 21!) so the tradition can be carried on.

Thought I might pass along this simple family tradition....I would love to hear other rituals/traditions you practice in your family!

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Times are Tough....GO SHOPPING!



Yes, you heard me right.

I ventured out this week a bit.

Made some long overdue visits to my favorite boutique shops.

My must-go spot in Minneapolis is a wonderful home decor store called Style Minneapolis. The shop is filled with perfectly imperfect antiques selected by its uber-chic owner Shayne Barness.



Shayne and I always have a nice visit when I pop in. This week when I asked Shayne how business had been she told me it had been a rough month. That makes me sad, but not surprised. It seems to be the sentiment in all of retail but particularly hard hit are the independent boutiques.



Now ladies, I read your blogs and I know your love for all things Anthropologie, Home Goods, TJ Maxx, Pottery Barn etc... But I am asking you to make a point to visit your favorite local boutique and give them some business, no matter how small (or large!). Talk to the owner, tell them how much you love their creativity and appreciate the product selections....NO MATTER WHERE YOU LIVE!



Oh, and after you support your wonderfully fabulous local boutique please join me in sending a donation to one of the many relief organizations who will be providing funding and supplies to the devasation in Haiti.

Have a splendid weekend friends! By the way, these picture were taken in Style Minneapolis, so if you are ever in the neighborhood, stop by and say "hi" to Shayne!

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

"hello, my name is Jill and I am addicted to pillows"

For as long as I can remember pillows have always been my go-to item when I feel like my rooms need a quick 'pick-me up'.

Let's face it, pillows are relatively inexpensive and can change the look of a sofa or a room quickly. And girls, sometimes (mostly during one particular time of the month) I feel like my rooms definitely NEED the instant perk-up that a new fabulous pillow provides.

And as much as I would like to control my impulse to purchase more fabulous pillows, I cannot stop.

I am excited to show you my "new" pillow.



I had purchased the vintage grain sack over a year ago at a flea market. I really did not know what I would do with it... but last week I was inspired to make my grain sack into a pillow. Not wanting to make a great investment, I decided to cut the grain sack to fit a standard sized bed pillow. Then I took it to a local embroidery shop and had the french word for 'cottage' embroidered on the pillow. I simply stitched the side closed and voila! I love it.



My new Pottery Barn catalog arrived last week and after seeing this pillow I made a trip to the store and bought one. It was a must have for this nest/bird loving woman!



My love/hate relationship with Pottery Barn has been written about before on this blog. However, you really can't beat "the Barn" for quick instant decorating gratification.


They change their throw pillow selection with the seasons and always have some great options for making your rooms look well, seasonal!



And not that Pottery Barn is sponsoring my blog or paying me big bucks for promoting their new spring line...but they are offering free shipping on online pillow orders!

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

*** my 'ah-ha' moment***



We have dreams don't we girls?

Oh yes, I know some of you have big ones (dreams that is!)...I have read your blogs this January!

Me?

For the better part of the last year I have longed to find the perfect chippy, white, beadboarded hutch that I would happily 'marry' to my new, but painted by me the day it arrived in my cottage (perfectly porportioned, ridiculously too new)buffet in my dining room.

That cabinet/hutch had eluded me. Sure, I found them....at the Farm Chicks Antiques Show and recently when I was antiquing in Portland....try to explain carrying-on a cabinet such as this to our oh so friendly TSA representatives! Flying one home in my suitcase was a no go.



Fast forward to last week. You remember what last week represented to me, right? Solitude....

Yep, and I found it, ALONG WITH THE PERFECTLY CHIPPY WHITE CABINET MEASURING 59 INCHES WIDE BY 13 INCHES DEEP BY 38 INCHES HIGH, in a favorite antiques store in Minneapolis (Hunt & Gather). And, as Oprah would say, I had my ah-ha moment!



I brought this puppy home and cleaned her up. When hubby returned on Friday he helped me hoist her up on top of the buffet. I quickly went to work filling her with my brown and white transferware collection and other favorites. Call me crazy, but I was in heaven....



I guess my heaven is filled with chippy, white, beadboard, brown transferware....a girl can dream...


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Wednesday, January 6, 2010



Happy Wednesday evening ladies...

How is everyone doing?

Are you enjoying your week as I am? I had a small 'hiccup' in my grand plans...

My 11 year old daughter woke up on Monday morning with pink eye! Pink eye! She could not go to school which meant I did not get to do ALL the wonderfully indulgent things I had planned. Turned out to be a blessing...fun to spend the day with my silly (and quickly becoming a tween-ager) girl.



Like any good mama, I made her accompany me on all my planned errands, because, let's face it pink eye is not really "sick".



As promised, these are some of the pictures I took while in Portland, Oregon over Christmas break. I was lucky enough to get an evening out with some girlfriends for a visit to one of our favorite antique malls.

Friends Joe and Jermonne of Barn House and Cindi of Queen of Tarte had booths for the holiday event! It was so fun (and overwhelming) to shop their wonderful finds along with all the other creative dealers that have spaces at Monticello.



Being in places like this provide so much inspiration that I want to go home and re-do my entire house....or at least "fluff" it up a bit.



I even got out today and visited a favorite antique store in Minneapolis and took some great pictures, that I will share with you later in the week. Included in the pictures is a "find" that has been on my wish list for a long time.

By the way....do any of you carry a "wish list" with you? In your wallet perhaps? Of things you are looking for? For you home? With measurements and exact dimensions? Or am I alone in my "obsession"?



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Monday, January 4, 2010

Solitude....

My husband left for a four day business trip today....

The kids returned to school....

I am left feeling....giddy, joyful, even relieved....and happy...

Does this make me a bad wife? a bad mother?

I used to think so. And to be quite honest, I used to feel guilty about feeling joy...when I had some time to myself.

That was the old me.

The new me is guilt free. I love my husband, I love my children. I cherish our family time, our rhythms, routines, evenings playing Wii, the chaos etc....

However, I have really come to learn that despite appearing to be quite an extrovert, I am rather quite an introvert. I NEED the solitude of being alone with my thoughts, to be alone in my home to create (and clean)and bring order which calms my soul (is that crazy?). I need my weekly yoga practice with women who inspire me to be a better me - something I have skipped during these frantic holiday weeks.

Mostly this week, I will enjoy my evenings when time is mine and mine alone...

I will indulge a bit...




And sit, uninterrupted, with one of my favorite Christmas presents....



And perhaps watch a bit of bad (but oh so good) reality television...



After yoga, I might head to my favorite store and enjoy the luxury of browsing as long as I want....




And if I feel like spoiling myself a bit...I might buy this gorgeous purse I have been waiting for Anthro to put on sale but alas....they have not....



Holidays are wonderful....

Holidays are hard too....

Especially on us women types. We tend to over do, over deliver, rise too early and stay up too late....

We are, by nature, givers....

We give and give until we have nothing left...(or am I just speaking for myself?)

Solitude....it's just what I need to re-charge my battery.

How about you? Do you crave solitude? Does it recharge you the way it does me?

If not, what do you do to recharge your battery? Has it changed over the years?


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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Nature Inspired...



Happy New Year! It is so nice to be home in our cottage...nevermind the tons of snow we got while we were gone and the single digit temperatures that linger outside my door....

I spent lots of time catching up with some of my favorite blogs yesterday.

Seems many bloggers are feeling the same way I am...inspired....

to follow our passions...

to simplify....

to become our best....

to spend our time on things that matter....

to tackle those long delayed home projects....

to take more risks....

to share....our inspiration!



Our family spent our Christmas visiting my parents in Oregon.

Oregon is a special place for us...both our girls were born in Portland and we have friends who are like family who live there.

I miss the mountains, the Pacific, the lifestyle.

I found tremendous inspiration in nature while we were in central Oregon... an "inversion" layer of air in the city of Bend (cold air that settled in the valley and just could not make it over the mountains) provided a silvery coat to all the grey/green evergreen trees - a beautiful effect! What a gorgeous color to use in our home...and great texture too.



I had fun taking these pictures with my favorite Christmas present, a new Canon Power Shot camera.

While I have a nice BIG Nikon digital SLR camera, I wanted something to be able to put in my purse and take with me.

My hubby and kids got me the small Canon and I love it! I am impressed with the pictures and enjoy having a camera with me at all times.



So how about you?

What are you inspired to do this year?



I look forward to sharing my aspirations and dreams with you....cause it's about the journey, you know? And why take a journey without some friends, right?



Oh, and by the way...I got lucky (no not that kind of "lucky")when I was in Portland.

I was able to go see the Barn House booth at the Monticello Antiques Mall!

I spent a great evening with two of my besties browsing and chatting among the goregeous booths at Monticello - I was overwhelmed! Needless to say, Monticello is really one of the best shopping destinations in Portland and their dealers had outdone themselves with their Holiday show! I DID take some pictures with my friend Carrie's camera and promise to share them with you this week.

Oh, it's good to be back!

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