Thursday, April 16, 2015

ORC: Week 2 "The Blues"

Welcome back to my One Room Challenge, hosted by Linda of Calling it Home! I am redecorating my eight year old daughter's bedroom in six weeks. If you want to see where I began, you can read week one here and week two here.

This was a productive week! I got everything ordered that we will need. The price on the Parsons desk even came down! It was delivered with Amazon Prime's two-day shipping, along with some neon feathers for our craft project. 

And, although I would not say that arts & crafts are my jam or likely ever will be, my daughter and I did manage to make a dreamcatcher that looks like the picture in my head.

She added colorful beads from our stash to this wreath form that I've had forever. I tied the shapes inside with yarn and we hung the feathers from bright ribbon that I had purchased for another project last year. Easy peasy! I'm hoping my Native American friends approve.

My husband even took off the old, noisy bi-fold closet doors. That was a great surprise! (Part of my plan but not part of the schedule).

When the closet doors were open, the bedroom door didn't open all the way (and as you can see I've put Bela's dresser in her closet to maximize play space in her room). Not having the doors makes the room feel so much bigger now. 

The only drawbacks to the week were 1. the wallpaper may not arrive in time. It's going to take three weeks because it's coming from the Netherlands (but it was half the price that I expected and I'm getting twice as much!) and 2. the blues...

This is the headboard with the new window treatments. Two very different blues. Can I make it work somehow, or will I need to course correct? I'm just not sure...

Now go check out all the other linking participants here (soooo much good inspiration!!) and the official participants here.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Better than Before

Habits are the invisible architecture of our daily lives, says author and influencer Gretchen Rubin. In her latest book Better than Before she identifies four tendencies that affect how a person is able to change their life.

I am an Upholder, responding equally well to both external and internal motivation. For more explanation and to see which you are, visit Gretchen's blog here. 

This tendency may explain why I'm so keen to read books like Better than Before, to always be on a quest for self-improvement, and to be (quite literally) a Gretchen Rubin superfan.

Gretchen is also the author of the books The Happiness Project (which inspired me to start this blog) and Happier at Home. She considers the new book a prequel to those, as good habits answer the question, “How do you start doing those things that lead to happiness?”

In much the same way that Gretchen considers herself a "street scientist" who can be more influenced by the stories of ordinary change (a datapoint of one), here are my habits.


Church -- a good friend who has a strong faith asked me at the beginning of Lent if I was going to church regularly and I was sad to say no. Since then, this has become a non-negotiable in my weekend.

Outdoors -- the weather has been so much nicer this week so I've been leaving our doors wide open, but this habit really got its start in the colder temps of winter when I would force myself to walk outdoors.

Housekeeping -- Each week I do an adaptation of the Flylady's weekly home blessing hour that works for me. Every morning I make my bed and every night I run the dishwasher. And I've been decluttering here and there.

Moving more -- I'm really out of shape but I'd like to be strong. So I've been running a little bit, very early in the morning, before it even gets light outside so no one will see me. Today I ran around the block without stopping. My lungs burned and my legs felt like jelly, but I ran for more than the length of an entire Taylor Swift song and that's progress for me.

Eating better -- For me this is all about less sugar. Right now I'm just trying to cut out the obvious culprits especially soda pop. Which makes me an abstainer but in a moderate way.

Reading everyday -- I am making good progress on my GoodReads challenge. Our local library offers audiobooks through the Hoopla app, and since there are many books I want to glean information from but not necessarily read the words, I'm using that to maximize my reading progress!

Email -- I've never had a set time for answering messages and feel so badly when I have unanswered emails, comments, etc. so I'm working on developing a time during my working day to incorporate this necessary function (rather than just try to answer things on the fly).

Similarly, I've had better productivity at the office this year by simply keeping track of my working hours. I use an Excel spreadsheet to record when I arrive, when I leave, and what I've accomplished vs. what needs to be done each day.

These habits fall within the seven categories that Gretchen identifies in the introduction of Better than Before, called "Decide Not to Decide."

I highly recommend this book! Have you read it yet? Do you plan to?

Monday, April 13, 2015

A Few of My Favorite Things

Happy Monday, friends! With spring break and the #OneRoomChallenge last week, I missed my High Friday post. Since we could all use a little treat on a Monday, here a few of my favorite things lately...

beach towel / contest / drink

The Lilly Pulitzer for Target sale starts Sunday. Six days, people! I'm hoping to pick up one of these cute beach towels for a classroom gift. You can view the exclusive first look on Elle here.

Today is the last day for the $500 Loloi giveaway on Bellacor. Click here to enter!

This drink has become my new favorite. It's not sugar free, but it's got to be better for me than soda. And it tastes like a mimosa without the buzz!

I'm almost done reading Better than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives--I hope to write more about habits in another post, but getting ahold of my emails and not eating the muffins in the break room are at the top of my list for today.

This op-ed stirred me...

How about you? What are you reading/drinking/buying right now?

Thursday, April 9, 2015

ORC Week Two: Bela's Room Re-Do

It's spring break! We don't usually go anywhere because I also have a big work event in April, but this time around we decided to head here for a few days.

Which means I didn't get too much accomplished for the One Room Challenge... You can read about my plans and inspiration in week one here.

What progress have I made?
I moved this chair to my daughter's room. The pillow from it was part of the original plan, shown below. It may be too dark, but since I'm using a range of blues, we'll give it a whirl. It does add some extra comfort and pulls the room together in a way.

I also worked on the gallery wall that I have planned.
West Elm
And by worked on, I mean that I framed some posters and read this article about how to hang art--my takeaways? Create columns, lay everything out on the floor, and take a picture. Besides the great tips in the article, I like seeing how everything looks on a dark background. I haven't decided yet if it will be too busy to put the gallery wall on the wallpaper or if I will paint the wall. If I paint, will I go dark to match the base of the wallpaper or do another, lighter color???

I also didn't buy a single thing yet. I used some IKEA frames that I had in storage because, keeping it completely honest, I didn't have a good coupon for Michaels' frames. I was also feeling aggravated because the price on the Parson's desk I've had my eye on forever went up by $20--I don't think there is anything I can do about that. I also missed out on a coupon for buying the wallpaper online (but found another one for Sherwin Williams!)


There's a lot to do to catch up this week. Including possibly crafting with neon and feathers...

For more of my inspiration, check out the Pinterest board I developed here.

And be sure to check out all the other amazing rooms here and here. I'm so excited to be meeting so many new bloggers! Thank you for following along! :)


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