June 30, 2013


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Have you ever read a book that you just HAD to finish, and it was SO good, but...ARGH!!!  I can't even talk about it because you just need to read it so we can talk about it.  Anyone.  Just read it.  I can't say anything on here because it will ruin in.  ARGH ARGH ARGH.

The Fault in our Stars by John Green.  I read it because I joined a YAlit club in Baltimore and we are talking about it at the end of July.  But I can't wait until then.  SOMEONE READ IT!

June 29, 2013

Inspired Happiness Project

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After reading GR's Happier at Home I was inspired to do a little project myself.  Just for a month, to see what happens.  Now, I am already a fairly happy person, so this project is to help me substantiate and sustain my happiness, appreciate it a little more because...well...I feel very blessed in life and I want to make sure I am being thankful, humble, grateful about that happiness and I want to share it!

GR has a template on her website, but I couldn't figure out how to type my resolutions into it, so I ended up copying hers and making my own.  Here is hers.  I will also share mine with you if you want, but you'll have to email me for it as I can't make google documents work right now.

Here is my chart filled out with my resolutions!

These are resolutions that work for me.  Yours may be a little different.  I like this little project because it actually helps me be a little more accountable for my life, happiness, prayer, health, sanity, etc.  I hung this up right next to my side of the bed, so I can give myself a little check mark every day on any of the columns that I accomplish.  This will help me think more about what makes me happy, its active happiness!  How very self-aware and counselor-ish of me.  We will see what happens!  Since today is the 28th (actually the 29th now!) I started at the bottom and will loop up into July.  

Let me sum up my resolutions.  

Pray - I usually pray throughout the day when I think of something or have time or need help (guilty) but this resolution will help me pray purposefully, maybe right before bed or when I wake up.   I need to carve time out of my life to pray and give thanks to God, not just here and there or when I have time.   Jesus makes me happy, so why not spend some purposeful time with Him!

Make a healthy choice - When I feel healthy, I feel happy.  I feel good.  This could be any healthy choice.  Like going to the gym.  Or not eating candy, or skipping french fries or taking a walk.  I wanted it to be general and free formed, because I think it will be easier to keep it.  Plus, it'll help me see that I AM making health choices and hopefully encourage me to make more healthy choices.

Earth - Lately I've been reading a lot about something called "earthing".  It's the matter of connecting your body to the actual ground, like putting your feet in the grass.  There is all this research out there (trying Googling it!) that says that earthing is so healthy for you in so many ways.  It grounds our bodies, electrically, because we have so much negative charge.  When our bodies come in contact with the ground, some of that negative charge flows into the earth and stabilizes our bodies.  It's supposed to help with stress, sleep, pain, and so much more.  It's really interesting.  So...I'm trying a little experiment with it;)  Less stress and pain; more sleep?  Sounds like a happy life to me!

Tackle a project - You know I love to DIY and get stuff done!  Part of my personal happiness is productivity, so this is totally on my happiness resolution chart.  It doesn't have to be a big project and it doesn't say to finish a project, just tackle one;)

Spend out - This is a Gretchen Rubin statement.  It means to give, or help, or look outside myself to see what others need.  I do this in my job a lot, but right now in summer I don't want to be selfish.  I want to make a solid effort to help others, be kind, volunteer, give, spend out;)  Nothing to do with money, unless I am giving for a cause.  Giving out would make others and myself happy, hopefully!

Hugs - I need to hug more.  I need to hug generously and earnestly and let people know that I love them to pieces.  I don't hug and show my love to people enough.  Personal contact with the ones we love help make us all happy!

Don't bite - This may be a surprise to some (not to Dave;)  lol!) but I have somewhat of an undercover red-headed temper sometimes (I was born with a head full of red hair.  It all fell out and came back as blond, but the temper still lurks up there)  I used to think that having a freak out was a good expression of my feelings, but it never leads to good things.  I yell at dumb drivers a lot too - it's terrible!  They don't hear me, but I do it!  I need to be slow to anger, underreact, and think about my words and actions.  Being more calm will probably help me enjoy life more, and others will enjoy me more;)

Seek adventure - I love to do this.  I am very adventurous!  I love to find new things to do, new places to see, new restaurants to try or parks to walk through.  It makes me, and usually my family, very happy and I want to be more thoughtful about this part of me.  I want to go on a new adventure at least once every month.  It doesn't have to cost money, but it can, and it has to be new!  There is too much world out there to not have new adventures.  

So there you have it.  My resolutions.  I'll try my best, probably forget a lot, but it should be fun.  Remember, these are what make me happy, what makes you happy could be totally different.  I would encourage you to read the books, if you are into this sort of thing!  They are really good and just make sense!  If you want a blank copy of my chart, email me!  

Cheers :)

June 28, 2013

Happier at Home, and other happy things!

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Two years ago, I read a book called the Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, and I loved it!  I wrote a review on here, filled with all sorts of happiness goals that were probably never met;)

Last fall, I bought her second book, Happier at Home.

This week I finally read it, since I am on this new reading kick and have all this time.  Plus, I won't allow myself to buy the 20+ books I want until I read the ones I have.  So I made a little wager with myself, once I read a book, I can buy a new one;)  

I loved this book too!  I want to share some of the best things she says in this:

1.  She vows to "Be Gretchen".  She says one of the most important ways to be yourself is NOT to assume that virtues that others strive to cultivate are the ones that we should strive for.  In other words, what makes others happy doesn't necessarily make me happy.  What is fun or important for someone else doesn't mean its fun or important for me.  Ain't that the TRUTH!

2.  Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful - this isn't a command, just a quote, and it really speaks to me as someone who loves to hang on to stuff.

3.  People who declare that we'd all be happy with more, or with less, is like saying that every book should be 100 pages long.  Each book has it's own length, and people differ in the number of possessions, and types, with which that can meaningfully engage.  One person may be happy living in sparsely furnitured home, while another is happy adding to a collection.  There is no one right way; I must decide what's right for me.

4.  Husbands need more gold stars (aka positive and loving affirmations)  than wives because women get so much more positive support outside of marriage; family members, colleagues, friends; even strangers give more affirmation to women than to men.  Give Dave more gold stars;)

5.  When faced with something uncomfortable, I ask myself these 5 questions: What am I waiting for?  Would would I do if I weren't scared?  What steps would make things easier?  What would I do if I had all the time and money in the world?  If I were looking back on this decision, what will I wish I'd done?

6.  Teasing has more negative weight than many people assume.  Although the teaser believes he or she is conveying a spirit of warmth and playfulness, to the one being teased, the teasing seems more annoying and mean spirited.  Good for my kids!

7.  Underreact to problems.  If we underreact (not ignore or minimize) we can cultivate a calm attitude when faced with a problem.  Genius.

8.  Enter into the interests of others.  Too often, we are tempted to be judgmental about other people's interests.  I want to enter into the interested of others, and yet remain true to myself...without being fake.  I modified my resolution to "enter into the interests of others within reason."  It isn't enough to love, we have to prove it.  A practical way to prove love is to devote my time, attention and convenience to the people I love.

9.  One of the best ways to make other people happy to is be happy myself.  Aim for built-in happiness.  Try not to "catch" emotions from other people - this happens to me all the time!  The truth is, we can't make each other happy, and no one can make me happy, we have to find happiness ourselves.  We have to choose it!  HELLO!

10.  Technology is a good servant but a bad master.  Put down the phone, ipad, kindle, laptop when there is something important going on, or when you can experience the world.  That's paraphrased by me, but I love her thinking there.  Be idle sometimes (no electronics), our best ideas and moments can come when our minds are quiet.

11.  See the child you have, not the child you wish you had.  She quotes this, so it's not hers, but I love it.

12.  Follow a threshold ritual.  Each time I stood at my steps fumbling for my keys I repeated "How happy I am, how grateful I am, to be home"  I take a moment to reflect lovingly on my family and my home.  Love it.

So, those are some little morsels I took with me from her book.  She even inspired me to create a little Happiness Project for myself that includes some of the stuff from her 1st book, and a some from her 2nd.  I'll post about that later;)  Toodles!

June 27, 2013

It keeps growing!

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The problem with productivity is that once you start cleaning things and getting things done around the house, more to-dos inevitably pop up.  So, although I've gotten quite a few things done on my Summer TO DO list, quite a few more things have been added.
It keeps growing and growing everyday!!!  I must say, though, that having this running to do list keeps me accountable.  If I find myself thinking, "hmmmm...I should get something done right now, but what should I do?!?!"  I run up to Toby (that's the name of our computer, Toby Mac) and pull up the to do list and pick one of the things.  Some are easy to do and cross off, others are bigger projects (closet organizers, I'm dreading that project!) or more abstract (i.e. write a few chapters of my book - I can't really cross that one off yet...maybe I need to be more specific on that one...)

Anyways, I'm loving the summer life of a bit of relaxing, a bit of shopping, a bit of sleeping, and bit of home diy productivity.  Even though my list keeps growing, I'll have a really good idea of what still needs to be done AND what I have accomplished to date.  It's a nice little boost to see that I've already crossed off 8 items!  Yipee!!!

I should also add "go to the gym A LOT" on there.  I just got back and boy oh boy was I NOT in the mood to work out today:/  I went though and survived to talk about it!  Now...what to get into tonight?  Read?  Organize the tools?  Write?  Hmmm...I'm loving the freedom.  I have to keep myself busy or I'll get sad, pathetic and lonely;)  I'm a work widow this week!

June 26, 2013


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This is about to get real, people.  So if you can't handle it, skip over to something slightly more interesting;)  I'm about ramble my head off about friendship.  I want to preface this to say this is not for anyone or towards anyone! It really is just a ramble of my heart today;)  That is partly what this bliggity blog is for!

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about friendship.  It's a tricky business.  One that I thought I had figured out, but I don't know anymore.  I'm not so sure I do know what friendship is all about.

All my life, I've been blessed to have great friends.  Some are new, some are old, some lifelong.  I've had really amazing, whirlwind friendships that have fizzled out too.  Lately, it feels hard for me to enter into new friendships.  I question it.  I question myself and my ability to make friends, to be a friend, and to sustain a friendship.

I find myself questioning these things.  One, whether I am a good friend or not.  Two, if I expect too much out of my friends.  Three, why isn't friendship so easy and carefree anymore?

One.  If I were to define friendship, without looking up any official definitions, I would describe it as this:  two or more people that have similar interests, enjoy spending time together, can easily laugh, cry or be serious together, are loyal to one another, and try to make time for one another while always making each other feel welcome.  I am just not sure if I fit those qualities anymore.  What has happened to me that I feel inadequate in this area?  I have never felt more socially weird or awkward then I do right now.  I'm soul searching and praying about it...but I am just not sure.  Am I too weird?  Too selfish?  Too busy?  Too crazy?  Am I thinking waaaaay too hard about it all?  WHY do I care??!?  Am I the only one with this issue?

Two.  Here is where I am afraid I expect too much from friends.  I want to add to that already-long-definition.  I would say that friends are also: not concerned with being better then the other, are never purposefully hurtful or excluding, able to drop in and out of our lives and even our homes but always feel welcome and ready to start right where we left off (I say this because life is busy, and way too short, to get mad at someone for not being able to hang out constantly, all the time, it's not realistic!), don't talk meanly or gossip about one another to someone else (solidarity is so important to me, but I'm not sure it's so important to everyone else?  The "middle school" like drama in some friendships really turns me off, but is that the new normal?!?) I'm sure I could go on but those are the friendship qualities that I believe are important.

Pretty hefty, right?  Well, another important part of friendship is forgiveness.  Obviously, we are all going to mess up, hurt one another, make bad choices, etc.  I get that.  How many times do we forgive?  EVERY time actually, because that is what we should do (at least I feel as someone who loves Jesus, that is the case!) it's thing right thing; THAT is what friends do.   But how many times is too many times before it's too tiring? That brings me to...

Three.  I find myself with only a few close friends at this point in life, some are close by and I see them as often as possible, others are far and I see rarely.  I also find that it is so increasingly hard to make new friends.  I think because I really don't feel that I fit in anywhere anymore, which is ok with me.  I also feel that I have been burned by friends, that it scares me to venture out again to make new ones.  Friendship has always been easy and carefree for me, but I've been told by many people that I am attracted to the "whirlwind" type friend.  The friend that is so fun and adventurous but doesn't know what it is to be a friend outside of the crazy adventure.

I've had quite a few whirlwind friends, actually.  That's called a pattern.  What has happened to those crazy, fun friends and friendships whom I loved dearly?  They fizzle out.  I think everyone has these friends though, and as you grow up you decide who to spend your time with and who not too - sometimes these friends are the ones we grow out of...

Maybe I am the fizzled friend.  Maybe I have no substance or heart in the matter.  Maybe it's me.  I read books about friends, and see movies about friends, or TV shows and think...wow that's a really good friend!  Of course, those friendships aren't reality.  Or, those friends don't have husbands and kids and stepchildren and full time jobs and parents, etc.  Maybe I am really the problem!

Maybe it's the fact that I grew up with a brother, not a sister.  Maybe it's the fact that I'm not involved in much anymore, so I have few opportunities (yes, this is my own fault and my next step in conquering this qualm I am having).  Maybe it's that my life is so unique, that I really don't fit in anymore.  It's hard to find the friend that is in the same place as me - think about it.  As you read this you probably have a friend that's in the same place as you, right?  Not me, and no that is NOT a complaint because I love my life, my husband, and the fact that we are a 30 something couple with no baby or toddler yet but we do have a teenager...that's ready to start high school!  We have a great life, but one that's hard to relate to, right?  I can't talk pregnancy or diapers or breastfeeding or homeschooling or the best this or that on the market for kids with you.  I can talk about middle school life, getting ready to send a kid to high school, trying to save for college (hello!  Four years?  anyone???  see....) worrying about having another driver in the family in two years, trying to encourage a 14 year old girl to be responsible for her school work and life, trying to get along with the other part of her family when it's been such a challenging year...

Our life is unique and crazy and lovely and blessed and wonderful, and we are a hard-to-find type of family;)  It makes fitting in a little hard!

Don't get me wrong, I have some wonderful friends!!  I'm just worried about my ability to make new, long-lasting and wonderful friendships.  I've always been able to do that, always had a handful of friends or a group to call, but now I find I have trouble.  I'm just wondering what that is about me, looking on the inside?

 I just wanted to send this out to the void, get it off my heart, because it helps me process it all.  I believe God is letting me get to a place where I have to decide to do something to be more social again, I just have to figure out what that do something is;)  I love being with friends, I love having a lot of friends, I love always have something to do that involves other people who are like me or understand me or want to actually be around me.

As I was cleaning out our basement today, I realized I have all this party stuff, but never have any parties.  As Dave & I were eating dinner, I was telling him and he agreed, we never have parties.  He also agreed that we didn't have many friends to throw parties for, or really the time to do so.  Poor guy, I know he feels the same way.  His schedule doesn't allow him to have a life outside of me and Ash, because it's such an abnormal schedule.  When he is home and awake, he wants to be with me or his daughter.  We are so incredibly fortunate to have each other.  He is that friend, the one and only person who does understand me, and meets all my way-too-high friendship expectations.  He would be content to just be with me, and no one else, forever.  I love that about him.  We could get by with just each other too, but I'm not sure that's healthy for either of us.  He needs guy friends too - ones that he can have fun, kick back with, have a beer with, be fun and serious with and love him for him.

I pray for those kinds of friends for both of us:)  I pray that I can be a loving, loyal, unselfish, giving, welcoming type of friend.  I thought that I was, maybe before, but maybe not so much now.  I pray that in a few years time, we have tons of friends & time to throw parties for!

Thanks for listening to my rant.  I'll leave you with this - this is really cute friendship, forgive the language, but click here:)  I do have a few lovely friends who are like this with me, and for that I am grateful!

June 24, 2013

Gourmet Wannabes

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One thing that Dave & I enjoy doing together is cooking dinner.  Well, I guess I should say grilling dinner, because he is usually only involved if the grill is involved;)  That's not to say that he never cooks because every now and then if I am really busy or sick (and I get sick quite a bit!) then he steps up and cooks for us.  Usually, though, I am the one planning, shopping, and cooking!

Last night we decided to cook the nice steak I got from Wegman's on Saturday.  They have these really nice vacuum packed cuts.  They are usually a good size and always taste yummy no matter what marinade or seasoning we use.  Dave decided to make a dry rub to marinate it, and then a liquid rub to use while on the grill.  I can't tell you what he used because I don't know, but it was SO good!!

There he is, manning his new grill with the meat!

It doesn't look so big here, but it feeds Ash, Dave & I plus extra every time.  It about $13 a cut, which is a GREAT price for a good steak!

As for me, I was in charge of the sides so on the menu was:

  • Steak, grilled with Dave's secret marinades
  • Grilled zucchini skewers wrapped in porscuitto
  • Creamed corn succotash (Bobby Flay recipe)
  • Wine & butter mushrooms
  • Grilled onions with olive oil

The zucchini were loosely based off of a Giada recipe, but I switched things up a bit.  Instead of making little chunks of the items, I just threaded the long slices of zucchini on the skewer and then wrapped pieces of porscuitto around them  I flavored it by drizzling a little olive oil and salt/pepper, no pesto like she does.   These. were. divine!

Here are the before the grill and after the grill pics.  yum yum yum!

I also made a few things to go on top of our steaks; some mushrooms and onions.  These are easy.  The onions I sliced into big rings and drizzle EVOO and salt/pepper on them, then splash a taste of balsamic vinegar up on those babies.  Stir and let them sit in all the juices for a bit while you cook your steak, and then throw them on the grill towards the end (we put them in a grill-safe pan, but foil could work too!)

The mushrooms I cook on the stove top in butter for 10 minutes and then splash in maybe 1/4 of red wine and let them cook in that for another few minutes.  At the end of the cooking I pour in a little more wine and season with salt & pepper.  Parfait!

The Bobby Flay succotash was inspired by watching his show yesterday.  The succotash looked so good, Dave said he wanted me to try it and I replied, "I think I have most of that stuff too!"  So I improvised.  We didn't have the creme fraiche or the fancy cheese, but sour cream worked great and a splash of milk.  This is fresh corn, edamame (SO much tastier than lima beans!), chopped tomatoes and butter.  Hit it with a zest of lime and some juice and oh.my.gosh we have a new favorite summer side!  I used fresh corn, but you could totally use canned or even canned creamed corn.  Seriously, you should try it!

Here you see the mushrooms and succotash swimming away!

Succotash used to gross me out just hearing about it, but man oh man was it yummy.  I did top it off with some green onions, just like Bobby says;)

There's the steak in all it's glory, with a few pats of butter for flavor (that's an Ina & Julia suggestion)

At the table, my plate and my little visitor who wanted some meat.  C'mon, mom!  Give me MEAT!

Happy Dave.  Steak is his favorite.  Cooking with him is mine.  Great way to spend time together, and laugh and be silly, and then enjoy the fruits of our cooking labor.  Bon Apetit!!

June 23, 2013

For the love of a shelf

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Ever since I painted and updated our little kitchen, I have wanted to create more storage and eye candy by putting up a shelf in the soffit above our fridge and microwave.  I don't understand soffits, really.  It just seems like a huge waste of space?  Why wouldn't the builders make bigger cabinets?  Or put in shelves themselves?  I'm just not sure, but I wanted to do something about it.

Don't mind the messy kitchen...it'll get better.  But see?  All that empty boring space up there, needs something?  Doesn't it?


So, I thought a lot about what to do with the space.  I went through a few ideas, and I think it took me a year to really figure it all out, but it was worth it:)

I bought a special piece of wood from Home Depot, and some iron-like shelf brackets.  Neither were the color that I wanted but that really isn't a problem because wood can always be painted or stained and iron can be spray painted.  I stained the wood the same stain that I used on our other shelves in the kitchen and I spray painted the iron brackets a lovely oil rubbed bronze to match all our hardware in the kitchen.  Then, it was a matter of attaching it all and making sure it fit up there.

Our soffit was 8' long, and so was the piece of wood that I bought, but I did have to shave a little off with the saw we own, to make it fit.  Can you see the groove in the shelf?  I bought this shelf for that reason, so I could prop plates and stuff up on it.  It's not meant for that purpose, but I made it the purpose;)

I hung the brackets on the top of the shelf, instead of underneath, so that I would have space up there to put up decor & all.

Here it is all ready to be installed.

At this point, I called on my lovely hubby to help me install it because, let's face it, the thing is 8' long and has to go up almost 7' high and I am only a 5'3" girl.  It took some leveling (always level!) and figuring out the best way to hitch it up there (use the drywall anchors for maximum hold!) and then presto!!  It was up and so so beautiful!

Seriously, I love it.  I love the scroll-y Tuscan like brackets and the warm but lovely colored wood, and I think it looks so cool hung up like this, with the brackets upside down!

After we hung it, I was itching to decorate it.  I made do with what we have here, but I definitely want to find some Tuscan plates to put up there, and make my CUCINA letters.  I have the letters here, I just have to figure out how to stain or paint them.  Oh decisions, decisions.  Anyways, here is what it looks like now, with a slightly more clean kitchen;)

I started throwing things up there...

Played around with it until I liked it...

Isn't it so cute?  I love that there is something up there now!

We actually meant for today to be a lazy day, but after sleeping and then napping and reading and playing Roller Coaster Tycoon (ahem, Dave) we decided to clean and get things done around the house.  I almost lost a battle with a broken towel rod in the bathroom downstairs, until I beat the thing out of the wall and decided to throw it away;)  Looks like we need a new towel rack!

For now, I'll look up at my pretty shelf that adds some character to our small, but lovely kitchen.  This room has come such a long way since we bought the house!!

Look at those brown cabinets!  Gross!

...and those plain walls, yuck!

So much better;)  Now all we need is upgraded appliances.  One day!

Thanks for sharing in my shelf journey, hope you enjoyed yourself;)

Linking up with A bowl full of lemons!  Great blog!



June 22, 2013

Double Nerd Alert...

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I think I may need an intervention.  Not only did I read this book in 24 hours...

I also read this book yesterday...

That's 2 books in 24 hours.  Plus, I read this book earlier this week...

3 books in 5 days.  Is this awesome?  Or is this a problem?  LOL!  I need another book to read!

Oh by the way, all 3 were really great books!  Frances Mayes is a all time fave of mine, I covet her life in Tuscany with her hubby and beautiful Villa Bramasole (don't think of the movie, it's totally different, better!)  Crown of Embers is YAlit, and Fablehaven is Kidlit.  

June 21, 2013

Nerd alert!

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I just read a book in under 24 hours.  It was awesome:)  I'm proud of myself for starting my summer reading so awesomely.  Yep.  I said awesomely.

This is the book I read.  It's the second in a series called "Fire and Thorns" YA lit, which if you know me, you know I am obsessed with all things YA lit.

Now I am suffering from book hangover...

I have to wait for the 3rd book to come out.  Darn you all to heck!!  I hate waiting for books to come out...like the Divergent Series last book too...hurry up already!!

I really am a nerd, aren't I?  Good gracious...Happy Summer!  I guess I need to go spend some time outside, with 3 dimensional people;)

June 19, 2013

Organizing life!

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Starting yesterday, I am on a quest to organize and simplify life!  I have all this time, so why not, right? We cleaned a lot yesterday, and I realized that I have SO. MUCH. STUFF.  Who needs all this stuff?  In particular, I was in the bathroom trying to put things away so Ashley could clean it (I was cleaning for her to clean, what is wrong with that?) and the amount of beauty products I've accumulated is astounding.  Shampoos, lotions, body washes, makeup...I don't use it all?  I must have a stash of over 100 beauty things.  So I need to sort through it, throw most of it away, and keep only what I need.

What is crazy is that now I do my hair and makeup in the downstairs bathroom because it's 1 million degrees cooler down there (can I hear an AMEN for not blow drying/straightening hair in 1 million degrees bathrooms?!?!) so I have a crap load of stuff down there too!  It's taking over our lives!

While on my anniversary shopping spree on Monday, we stopped into Anthropologie, which is one of the coolest stores IMO, and I snagged a few things to help me organize but also help our master bathroom look pretty.  It's SO not pretty right now.  At all.  Basic and boring and something needs to be done about it.  Anyways...here is what happened with the Anthro finds:

The bowl is hold my dental care stuff and my eye cream, while the egg crate is good for all the jewelry I take off in the bathroom all the time that ends up laying around on the counter and then getting lost.  No more!

The little bowl was $10 and the blue egg holder was $12.  We eventually will be painting and decorating this bathroom with a Mediterranean theme, inspired by our trip to the Ligurian/Italian part last year.  It was just beautiful!  Here, let me show you...

See the colors?  I want our bathroom to have all this color!

Mainly the blue.  I've never see a blue so blue.

I'd like to paint a mural of some sort on the wall next to the bathtub.  Then put dreamy white curtains up to create a lovely spa look.  Maybe this needs to happen very soon!

Seriously the most beautiful places I have ever seen.  Vernazza, Riomaggiore, La Spezia and Portovenere are the towns we actually went into, but we saw many more from the boat we used to get around for the day.

I want to be there now!

Ahhhh, memories.  We will go back one day.  I digress!

So, right, the bathroom!  My new organizer helpers from Anthro are great, and then I found some things around the house to help with the clutter, like this basket that is holding all of our other day-to-day products...

This jar I've had, bought it at Target for about $5 for this purpose.  It makes cotton balls so much prettier, doesn't it?

It feels good to organize.  Like I actually am doing something productive with my time.  Speaking of that, I was reading Everyday in Tuscany by Frances Mayes and came across this part.  Start at the "I never..."

This concept of always have to be doing something, be productive, is so American.  She notices that her Italian friends don't have that.  It makes me jealous too.  Maybe this is why I loved Italy so much, and want to move there one day with Dave and whatever kids we may have.  I want to learn the whole Carpe Diem attitude, and not consider myself lazy or be considered lazy.

So while I do want to get things done this summer, just look at my list...

...I also want to relax, spend great time with family and friends, read, swim, soak up the sun, travel and see new things and just...Carpe Diem!!!

Happy Wednesday!