Monday, February 8, 2016

Turning 29

My birthday was a few days ago. It was a good day. I was determined to make it a good day and my husband was determined to make it a good day and so it was. Sometimes my birthdays have a twinge of sadness so my whole goal was to fight it as much as possible.

My wonderful weekend started off with some beautiful peach roses. Which I promptly killed. Poor flowers don't stand a chance with me. I try, though.

You know how you can tell that your husband is trying really? When he makes cinnamon rolls from scratch. I don't know what came over him, but he brought his A game this year. He's setting the bar too high for next year.

Our original activity plan for the day was one of those drink wine and paint cheesy paintings class, but they cancelled the class I wanted, so we shifted the plan to mini-golf instead.

My hole-in-one on Hole 15. Oh yeah!

While I'm not a huge fan of arcade games, I do have my favorites. I hoped it would be the new Jurassic Park game they had installed, but it was a token eater. I survived a few minutes longer than Dan, but it was too difficult and short for the amount of tokens we paid.

You know what was a great value? This insane Pac-Man air hockey. I barely won, but it was so much fun. The machine randomly adds more pucks as you go until there are dozens of them on the board. I don't think a game has ever gotten my heart pumping that much before.

I didn't tell Dan, but I was looking forward to laser tag more than the mini-golf. It was just the two of us, running around screaming and shooting at each other in an inflatable arena. At one point, my strategy was to just sprint as fast as I could so he couldn't catch me. That must have been his strategy, too, and we collided very painfully. I was convinced my whole right side would be bruised the next day. Dan won since I'm terrible at laser tag, but I loved it.

Because Tucson is random and I love, right next door to the mini-golf place is a fake Western town. We popped next door for some lunch and were disappointed that their hours had changed so that everything was only open for dinner. This is my sad cowboy face.

Dan was happy to settle for Fuddruckers instead. We play a game where we mix random combinations of soda and have the other one guess. We're both terrible at it, but you can come up with some fun mixes.

After all the excitement of the morning, I was exhausted. We swung by Target on the way home and was seriously debating curling up in the cart while Dan pushed me around. Once home, I took a nap. I guess I should say 'tried' to nap since cats are, well, cats and made that difficult. Good thing they're cute.

I awoke to presents. Dan was so proud of himself for find this giant Lego brick. It's not a gift box, it's just a giant hollow Lego brick. He wrapped a set of beautiful necklaces and hid them inside. The other box housed a vintage-styled leather jacket. I'm Indiana Jones now. I love it.

The cherry on top of the day was a fondue dinner. If you aren't bursting at the seams afterward, you aren't doing it right. Cheese fondue, salad, bouillon fondue, and chocolate fondue. K had eaten so much food that I thought popping was a legitimate risk, and Dan decides to ask for more dessert. He can be unpredictable in the weirdest ways.

Like I said, it was a good day. A good day to start a new year.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Project House Update: The Birds and the Beach

You know how it takes me forever to finish a project? And like even longer to write about it? Well, today's your lucky day because not only did I finally get around to/finish two projects, but I'm going to brag about them now.

The first project was a shadowbox chock full of reminders from our trip to Hawaii in the summer of 2014 (see? It only took me 17 months to get around to it). The second was hanging a dove wall sconce that's probably been sitting in my closet for over three years.

I mentioned it in my list of tips for visiting Turtle Bay Resort, but we really expected to bring home a bag of shells as a souvenir. That was not the case. Every shell we found (minus a small piece of driftwood) is carefully arranged in this shadowbox. Maybe seven shells total.

Since I couldn't get as many shells as I wanted, I filled the void with beach sand. A lot of sand. This was only half of the sand. Dan's called dibs on the other half. Combine my sand, the shells, a great picture Dan took of me on the beach, and a high-quality shadowbox and you have something worthy of the term 'art'.

I say 'high-quality' shadowbox because this was not my first attempt at this project. Originally, I couldn't find a shadowbox I liked, so I bought a cheap one from Michael's and gave it a coat of paint. However, the back of it didn't seal well and I had to make a hanging mechanism because it didn't have a hook. Yeah, there was no way I trusted that on our wall. So, I found a pretty good one from Target and gave it two coats of spray paint. It even has a gasket around the end of the back to keep the sand in. Worth it.

Onto my unique choice in shelving...

Several years ago, I found this plastic dove shelf at the antique's fair. It's tied with my lamp for my favorite thing we've found out there. I didn't know what I would do with it, but it was vintage and birds and it called to me. Unfortunately, it was a gross 1970's color, but that could be easily fixed.

For a long time, I debated what color to paint it. Once I'd painted the sand shadowbox, it hit me that these might group well together so it got a matching coat of white paint. Someday I may change my mind, I could see it in an antique gold. Or a more matte white. Or even a weird painting project where I hand-paint it all the colors it should be, with brown branches and white doves with little orange beaks. If you've got ideas of your own, I've found one on etsy. It's part of a set even!

It was hard to find the right spot for them in the house, but I settled on the entryway. Here's the corner of the entryway before. It felt a little off-balance because only the left wall was decorated.

And now both walls are adorned. It felt a little awkward at first for displaying a picture of myself in a bikini in our entryway, but it's probably less creepy in the entryway than in the guest room.

I'm still styling and arranging things on the dove sconce. Since it's plastic and not even six inches in radius, I don't trust it yet to hold anything fragile or important. It hasn't earned my trust yet. We're still just acquaintances.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Project House Update: Sense of Shelf

In a first step to claim the den for myself, I staged a coup of the built-in shelves. About once a year, I attempt to reorganize and style them. However, in spite of all that effort, they always ended up looking something like this; crammed, cluttered, and Tetrised into place.

After reading Emily Henderson's Styled and Marie Kondo's The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, it was time to upgrade my shelves to 'vignettes'. So, everything came down, was evaluated, and organized and restyled.

It took several days and several attempts, but I'm really happy with the results. Over time, I developed a handful of rules that kept me on course. Hopefully, these rules will help me keep them nice in the future. My new rules are:
  • Keep the space functional 
    • Be aware of the shelves goals - Before the reset, this was a drop spot in our house. Have something that's kind of pretty without a home? Just put it on the shelves. A random book you haven't finished? Shelves. Basically anything that needs to be kept out of reach of the cats? Find a spot somewhere high. This turned out to be a recipe for disaster. Now, we've defined their functions and only certain things can be added without consideration. These serve three separate functions: 1) helping the den function as a home office, 2) housing books I love, and 3) displaying our pretty, delicate knick-knacks. Each shelf has at least one group of books and one pretty thing.
    • Understand placement for usage - Because the shelves are mounted on the top half of the wall, anything on the top two shelves is out of reach to me without a step-stool. So, the shelves are less functional as you go up. Knowing that, here are some of the functional elements I made sure to keep low.
      1. Paper organizers for Dan: it's where he stores receipts, papers to file, and papers to shred. They need to be at arm's reach when he's sitting at his computer. 
      2. Cat spot: I left a spot my boys because they grew attached to being tall. And it keeps them out of our hair when we're working. 
      3. Candles: They're on a low shelf so I can reach them, but they're on a tall, wide shelf so things don't catch fire. 
      4. Record player and records: Because sometimes you just need to listen to hair metal when you're writing. 
  • Spread out themes - In the past, I thought it would look/work best if I grouped all of Dan's car stuff together on one shelf. 

Turns out, that approach didn't really work. The shelf was crammed so full that it was impossible to add new items and it didn't show off any of his cool stuff (and some of mine, too). After reading this article, I learned how to spread it out and incorporate it in a manner that's more styled. Now, rather than a single shelf, our books and models live on almost every shelf.

  • Be mindful of unintentional accent colors and their placements - Once I began placing and styling things, I became aware of how many white, porcelain knick-knacks I have and how they stood out. White may not seem like an accent color, but when I got going, any white pieces near each other seemed heavy. It was too much. To keep it balanced, only one white piece per shelf and not on adjacent shelves if I could help it. 
  • Don't overcrowd - Let's take a look again at the 'Before'. They were filled to the brim. Waaaaaaay too much stuff. Books, knick-knacks, CDs and records, games, and all sorts of other random things. Once we set up the new Ikea shelves in the front room and moved the board games out of the den, it freed up a lot of space. However, we still did some editing.

After removing everything and carefully selecting what would go back on the shelves, I ended up with two big piles of stuff to house elsewhere or to donate.

  • Minimize small objects - small objects can make things look cluttered very quickly. Previously, I had placed lots of small objects together and thought it visually equaled one larger object. It didn't. It just looked messy. So, when everything came off the shelves, all the little bits and bobs went into a large ziploc bag and only a few things migrated back onto the shelves. Like a tiny plastic tiger hidden in a Corvette model. 

A few other little tricks I used to style these shelves:

   1. Take all the dust jackets off and store them in a filing cabinet
   2. When in doubt, group things in threes.
   3. Stack similar books together, largest to smallest, and top with a knick-knack.

A lot of these styling tricks and tips bother me for high-use spaces with high-use items (like large illustrated books on coffee tables), but they work well for a curated space like my shelves. We'll see if all of this helps me keep it nice longer than before.

UPDATE: I completely forgot that I did a similar post about shelf styling and organizing in the first month of my blog. You can read it here. It's not good. I won't say this post is that great, but this old one is definitely cringe-worthy.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Goals for 2016

2015 was an odd year. I went into it knowing that it was going to be a big year for us. I could feel it in my bones. I would have guessed promotions and renovations and trips and life overhauls.

And when I first sat down to review my resolutions from last year, my gut instinct was something along the lines of disappointment. There really weren't those in-your-face stand-out moments like I thought there would be. It was kind of an ordinary year.

But once I began writing and really reviewing the past year, I think I misjudged it. 2015 was pretty big, just in small, subtle ways, if that makes any sense. Somehow along the way last year, I became happier with myself than I've ever been before. I feel more like me. I'm not afraid to say what I'm thinking or to be silly or vulnerable or loud or quiet. I don't pick on myself the way I used to. 

I am happy.

I guess you could call that a big year.

Now that I've gotten the philosophical mumbo-jumbo out of the way, let's break down my 2015 specific resolutions:
  • Say 'Yes' more. This one was a big win for me. In the moment, it is sooooo easy to say yes to things. Turns out, the harder part is not moping around afterward when you just want to stay in yoga pants and watch a Criminal Minds marathon (I swear ION shows them three times a week now). However, I am a person of my word and if I said I will be there, I will be there. And then I do the thing and have a great time and regret none of it. I say yes to invitations. I say yes to projects at work. I say yes to almost any ridiculous request, deal with the fault-out, and simply call it an adventure (remember this one, it's going to ripple into 2016, there are stories coming people). A
  • Be ready for my ten year high school reunion. So, my high school reunion is still pretty fresh in my mind given that it was ten days ago. Given that I am the girl who instantly avoids eye contact and hides when she sees anyone in public (basically doesn't matter how much I like you, unless you are a blood relative, I will hide from you if I see you in a Target), it went about as well as I could have hoped. I'm notorious for over-thinking and over-preparing for anything that could be considered remotely competitive and I tried to channel that energy productively. I designed an outfit that was cute, but not trying too hard. I thought up questions beforehand (my favorite being: How'd you get into that?) And I had a back-up plan of just hanging out with my trivia team if I didn't want to talk to anyone else and that's basically what happened. There were a few people from high school that I would have loved to have caught up with in person, but they couldn't make it, so it was just a lovely evening with a bunch of people I used to know. And with the power of facebook stalking, I know there were a bunch of people in town who just chose not to go, I'm calling this one a win for me. B

High School Reunion Outfit

  • Find a way to advance my career. At the beginning of last year, my manager and I sat down and had a conversation about how I was on track for a promotion. While my work load and responsibilities have definitely increased, I still won't know about that promotion for a few months. Here's hoping. B
  • Find a doctor. Hahahahaha. Every year. Geez. F
  • Eat more fresh food. This one was a weird one to do poorly on, but it got worse, not better. Somewhere along the lines, I just got really busy last year. Between Zumba after work twice a week and trivia and hanging out with friends and all sorts of other stuff, I had one night a week when I could shop and it was the last thing I want to do. Then, there was this weird drama with the grocery store by my house switching owners and becoming terrible and then closing completely. So, my routine for feeding us got really screwed up. It's truly amazing how many nights a week you can survive on pasta and sauce. It's one of my resolutions for this year, but it kind of became more of a mess than it originally was. I had no idea how much of a pain it is to fit grocery shopping into your life when the stores aren't convenient and you just have no good time to go. D
  • Attempt a long race (5+ miles). I tried to get a jump on it back in January by training for a four mile race. While I happily completed it, I hurt myself pretty badly. I swore off running for a while and really didn't miss it. I took up Zumba instead and I love it. In the last couple of months, I've started incorporating running back into my life, but solely for fun. I go out in my neighborhood, walk to the other side of the block, and then run home as fast as possible. It's just fun and stress-relief, not so much exercise. C
  • Make some more youtube videos. I thought about it. I honestly did. There were times and days I thought about recording and justifying it as 'preserving the moment', but that would have been a lie. It would have been to make a video for video's sake and that didn't feel right. I did enjoy editing the handful of videos I've made, but recording them, at least the ones with me, made me incredibly anxious and I can't even go back and watch them. For now, it isn't worth the headache to me, but that may change in the future. F
  • Embrace being a nerd. This one really could have been summed up by my last resolution, to 'be me more' since I am a nerd, but I think this one went pretty well. Feel free to read my Jurassic World premier night or my Star Wars premier stories for evidence to this. My one disappointment was that I didn't make it to any sort of convention. Opportunities arose, but it just didn't work out. I should have pushed harder and made it more of a priority, though. B
  • Take another vacation. It was the plan to take a vacation. After we loved Hawaii so much the year before, it was a big priority to me. However, then the shop happened and I had panic attacks over money. I did make Dan promise that we will take a nice, long vacation this year, especially since it will be our five year wedding anniversary. F
  • Be me more often. This resolution has been so good for me. It's pretty abstract, but basically I've treated it as: trust your gut, don't over-think things, be true to yourself and don't focus on the potential consequences. Was it probably not a great career move to wear dinosaur t-shirts to work for a week? Yes. Did it let my coworkers get to know me better and was I happy? You betcha. I sing loudly in the car no matter how much traffic I am stuck in. Sometimes I dance in the lab while I'm working on something and am only slightly embarrassed when I get caught. I've tried to become more care-free. I try not to let myself get embarrassed by having fun and being myself. I don't have to act like I have a stick up my ass to be professional. I can high-five someone when I nail something. I just became so sick and tired of trying to wear all these different hats and be all these different people at various stages of the day. Screw that. That ship has sailed. A
If you were to sum it up, I definitely failed more than I passed. However, if you weighted the importance of the resolutions, it ends up looking much better. 

My resolutions for this year are a little more concrete, which is probably a recipe for failure, but let's start the year off optimistic. This could totally be an awesome year, too.

  • Find two doctors: general and ob/gyn. Like, seriously though.
  • Take a vacation. It will happen. Some place fun and sunny. 
  • Be more proactive on home projects. I've learned in 4+ years of home projects that I have three roles: planning/initiating projects, handling the small, annoying things (like hours of edging) to free Dan up to handle the stuff that have simply can't, and motivating him to finish up that painful last 10% of a project. Those are my skills and I will put them to use more often this year. {Sidenote: some things have been set in motion already at the end of last year, but since I haven't blogged about them yet, I think they should qualify for 2016.}
  • Blog a new recipe once a month. It was an unspoken goal of mine last year to update my recipe blog at least once a month last year and if I hadn't missed damn April, I would have done it. Argh. I'm going to pull it off this year. I already blogged one for January. Oh yeah, proactive.
  • Get a promotion
  • Disconnect from technology more. Most days, I'm on my computer for 7+ hours at work. It would probably do my brain and my eyes some good to cut the cord a little more often at home.
  • Make grocery shopping a priority/routine. You know, so I can 'eat healthy' and stuff. Actually, it's probably along the lines of 'so I don't have to eat mac and cheese as often'. Maybe I'll just upgrade to fancy schmancy homemade mac and cheese, which would count as a step in the right direction.
It's gonna be a good one guys. Leap years always are.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Star Wars Premiere Preparations

Like I did for Jurassic World, the week leading up to The Force Awakens was full of Star Wars themed outfits. If anything, this post can be classified as a lesson in how to take a piece and form an outfit around it to make it, at minimum, business casual.

On Monday, it started with a Star Wars t-shirt. I've actually worn this outfit to work previously. My black blazer, which is made of a jersey material and was on sale at Target for $10, is the most versatile piece in my wardrobe. Throw it over anything and it's immediately classy and intentional. Add in a nice piece of jewelry and there you go. The Converses take it in a more casual direction, so if you can handle something a little more uncomfortable, swap in some boots or heels.

Star Wars T-Shirt for Work

Tuesday's attempt still needs some tweaking before I wear it again. Think Geek had a Black Friday sale and I got a great deal on this Jedi dress. It's so much fun to wear. The neckline can transform from shoulder covering to Jedi cowl and just about anything in between. I love it, but it proved to be very hard to dress up. My first attempt ended up looking a little Jedi and not enough 'workplace'. It's too cute of a dress for me to give up on making it work appropriate. It'll get there.

Jedi Dress Everyday Autumn/Winter

Wednesday, another t-shirt with another blazer. It's a great formula. It's not just for hipster tech-moguls. Anyone can pull it off.

Princess Leia Shirt for Work

Thursday was not Star Wars themed. It was a short week for me as Thursday was my last work day of the year. My tradition is to wear my Christmas sweater to my last day of work. And if you had a Christmas sweater as amazing as mine, it would trump Star Wars week, too.

At least my coworkers are starting to get used to my 'enthusiastic' fashion sense.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Project House Update: Dream Den

Since Dan's shop is basically done now (I should make a note to do an update post on it), he has a space all to himself. Part of me is incredibly happy for him to finally have his dream shop. The other part of me, however, is incredibly jealous that he has his own little utopian hiding spot.

Lately, the jealous part of me has been quite ugly so it became necessary to fight it by planning out my own little hiding spot. I don't know where the idea came from, but I decided that my room would be our den.

The den has been the least touched room in the house. It's basically the only room that hasn't been painted. The terrible built-in desks stay and continue to be barely functional (mine is so low I can barely fit my legs under it).

So, I purposed a plan to Dan that would improve the room in two stages. One stage would involve all projects that are independent from the future floor upgrades and the second stage would be everything after. With this in mind, I was able to get him to agree to Stage 1.

The reason we needed to break this room transformation into two parts was because of the floor. Ideally, this room will have a wood floor that flows from the great room, down the hallway, and through the den. Because of the massive area, we want to do it all at once so that it completely matches. And, having lived in this house for four+ years and knowing very well how long it can take for us to get around to a project like that, I can't stand to wait that long to touch the room.

With that in mind, here's the break-down of Stage 1:
  • Replace window. This is completely independent of the floor. In early November, Home Depot had a sale on windows so we bought one that matched the others we've already replaced. Expect a post on that soon (or 18 months, you never know).
  • Remove the built-in desks. I hate the built-in desks. They are tacky, have basically no storage, and I can physically barely sit at mine because it is so low. They need to go. And they need to go before the floor so we cane floor all the way to the wall.
  • Buy and assemble cabinets. To replace the desks and to add storage, we are going to do a row of cabinets. Eventually, they will mount to the wall and house all the random things that now live in plastic tubs and shoe boxes. The idea is to find them now and use them while they just sit on the floor. Once we redo the floor, we will mount the cabinets to the wall, add some legs, and hopefully make them look like a beautiful floating credenzas. I haven't planned this part out fully yet, but hopefully it will be something like this.
  • Buy a floating desk. Since the built-in desks will be long gone, we will need a new desk. Dan agreed that we can go from two desks down to one because we only really use this room one at a time anyway. The trouble I've been having is finding a functional 'floating' desk. A desk that looks good from all angles, but is also large enough to store a desktop computer tower. The best match so far is this one from Ikea, but it's a bit plain for my tastes.
Image Source
The floors will be hardwood. The layout will frame the window and the desk in the doorway. It will be light and airy and calm. Above all else, calm and feminine. With a deep chair I can sink into and hide from the world with a good book. 

But that's all a dream right now. Like I said, eventually we'll do the floors and there will be a lot more thought and work put into this room. At minimum, hiding the ceiling fan wiring in the ceiling and giving the walls a coat of paint. If we're feeling fancy, maybe we'll get to my dream french doors and window seat. Who knows at this point?

But in the near future, expect a post on the new window once it is installed and on how I reorganized and restyled the shelves to make them work better for us.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Project House Update: Mirror, Mirror, On the Table...

The trend has continued of phasing out the hand-me-down furniture of our house to pieces we actually want/chose. Again, this one was one of those things that had been sitting on a list and a good sale came along and I couldn't resist.

In our guest room, the guest bed was flanked by two side tables. One of them I found at an antiques shop and gave a coat of paint. The second was one I stole from my parent's when I moved out over eight years ago.

It was beaten up pretty badly (probably from me as a child, but it has looked this way for as long as it was in my care). The veneer was chipped off and it had decades of grim stuck in all the grooves. I had debated many ways for how to fix the top, either with putty or paint or a new top. Like most house projects, though, the longer it sits undone, the less likely it is that it will actually happen.

So, two weeks ago, I was at Target, per usual. And sometimes it annoys me when they have their Christmas decor out in early November, but since their stuff this year is very art deco and glam and I cannot resist. One of the items that struck me was a mirror end table. I took a picture of the label so I could talk Dan into it once I got home. Weirdly,  this end table is not on Target's website. There is a similar one, but the one on the website does not have a drawer, the one in store does and is cheaper. My plan foiled, I decided that I would watch the prices and perhaps force Dan into the store to see it if it went on sale after Christmas.

Once I came across a $25 off of $100 in Home Decor coupon, however, I couldn't wait any longer. I grabbed Dan and we headed back to Target. With the cart filled with items I'd been lusting after to get to over $100, including my table, a gold turtle box that finally came back in stock, and an embroidered pillow, I was as happy as a clam.

While it's a little smaller than I had hoped compared to the height of the bed, it's everything I wanted.

Really leaning into the art deco look, I swapped out my broken dollar-store lotus touch lamp for my naked lady lamp (another fine steal from my mother).

One of the things I really love about this table is I feel like it could work in just about any space. Maybe this is something I think about more as I learn more about home decor, but I now try to look into the future to see how the piece would fit into my house as it evolves over time. To make sure the table could work in the guest room or the master bedroom or the living room. I like the possibility of it being able to shuffle to another room if need be. That seems so simple when it's worded like that, but it can really be a difficult concept for me to grasp if I love something too much.

The biggest challenge now is what do I do with all of the furniture I'm phasing out. It's taken over the guest room and it's not like I have family coming to town for Thanksgiving or anything...

Sounds like we'll be making a big donation run here today or tomorrow. {Sidenote: I asked my mom if she wanted the table back and she couldn't even remember which one I was talking about, so I feel very little guilt for stealing it for so long.}

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Project House Update: Chairs from this Millenium

You know what has strangely become a symbol of having your shit together? Having chairs. And look who, by that logic, must finally have her shit together.

I don't know why chairs are such a large portion of my 'adult' equation, but they just are. Maybe it's because chairs are freakin' expensive. And you need so many of them. And they are flat out boring, too. It's just something adults buy.

Up until now, we had been using free chairs. Well, not entirely free I suppose, but a set of six chairs that came with our house. Free with purchase!

They had to have been from the 80's and were beyond hope. Half pleather, half knit, all wheely terribleness. If there had been a way to DIY to greatness, or even not-half-badness, I would have tried.

But, they worked as chairs and we were in no rush, so they lived in our house for over four years with us.

The purchasing of chairs was a snow-ball sort of situation that started several weeks ago. My sister and I went to World Market to hunt for bits and bobs for her place since she just moved. In our shopping, I mentioned to her that I liked one of their chairs, the Verona Side Chair.

My sister is a great resource when it comes to World Market stuff because she used to work there. She knows which products are good and will hold up, which ones are crap, and when the sales will happen. She thought the chairs were good quality and told me that they rarely went on sale, though. Since they are a staple item, they don't get clearanced out, you just have to wait for an all-furniture sale.

About a week later, she sent me a text that World Market was having a sale, so Dan and I headed down to the store. It was pretty easy for me to talk him into it. With the sale and some coupon codes, it ended up being the cheapest option to buy them online and have them delivered to the store.

The turn around was ridiculously quick and he surprised me on his day off by having them all put together by the time I got home from work.

It was dangerous timing because it almost convinced me that we should host Thanksgiving this year. Good thing I have too much sense for that.

So far, they do seem to be cat-proof. The old ones were not. They were probably the opposite as the material turned them into big cat scratch pads.

It feels like a complete set since our dining room table is also from World Market. I am a bit worried that the room is becoming a little matchy-matchy, but I'm always on the look out for a feminine, over-the-top chandelier to counteract the masculine table. It could go farmhouse or industrial very quickly if we aren't careful.

We're starting to reach the point mentally where it's ok to phase out the free furniture and hand-me-downs and start growing our own collection. It's an exciting feeling and there are many more changes on the horizon.