Friday, October 9, 2015

This is 40

Hey there! Well today I turn 40. Usually my friend Chris and I do a combined birthday quiz but this year it got away from us. Because we're old. 

I'm not one to stress about getting older -- I welcome it actually. Hello…you're living another year. That's a good thing. :) I believe with age comes wisdom and experience and I don't think you can ever have enough of either of those. 

I'm sharing a few of the things I've learned by this point in life. There are some wonderful realizations that occur as the years pass, and if you can embrace them earlier I promise your life will be better for it. 

I'm gonna start with biggest one because I think this has brought me the most joy and peace over the past few years. It's a very simple but important realization…and that is what others think of me is none of my business. 

As a blogger especially, who puts their life and home out there in the world, you have to develop a thick skin pretty quick. It's a lot easier to be negative when you're not standing face to face with someone, right? 

Over the past few years I've really embraced this -- if someone doesn't like me it has no impact on my life. Mine is good and happy and the people in it are there for a reason. I want people to like me and know I'm a good person, but if they don't, it's none of my business and it's not my job to try to change their minds. 
Another thing? When I don't care for someone (usually it's someone I don't know well, there's not many people I don't like in my life) it's something that comes from within me -- usually it's jealously that manifests into dislike. I know it, and I try to curb it. But the point is usually when someone doesn't like you it's more about them than you. And then sometimes people are just jerks and that's why they're not liked. So there's that. :)

When you live life for those that love you and care about you, it becomes much more joyous. I have friends who have lost those close to them. Friends who have fought cancer and survived. Friends who have fought and didn't. That's the stuff that matters in life -- not if someone doesn't like you. It's an incredibly freeing notion and I really wish for women especially that we could embrace it sooner in life. 

On that same note, I care a lot less what people think of me in general. Sometimes I should probably care more, maybe? Like when I leave the house with messy hair and no makeup and yoga pants and catch myself in the mirror and think YIKES but ah, oh well. Who cares. I'm comfy and happy.
By the way, you look much younger without makeup. I promise you. ;) 

This is a biggie too. The older I get the less I can handle so much crap in our house. I told you about the book that really put things in perspective for me here. I'm still not even done with it, but reading it and growing older converged at the right time and I cannot even tell you how much STUFF I've removed from this house over the past few months.
I've NEVER been happier in our home. Never. It's freeing and every car load I donate lightens me even more. I am tired of having so much in our home. It doesn't look much different to friends and family who walk in, but it feels different to us. It's SO much easier to keep the house clean and picked up. And there really is something about getting older -- you think about your children and what you'll leave to them. I want to leave them the things that made me happy and joyful, not a house full of stuff we never used. 

I still try new things all the time -- the day you stop doing something new is the day you start getting old, in my eyes. Ten years ago I hated dark chocolate, avocados, onions and beer. Today I like all of them, but the beer has just started in the past few months. I don't HATE it anymore. It's crazy. And this is the most amazing chocolate you'll ever eat in your life: 

It's true that your body does start to feel a little different as you age. When I wake up and walk across the bedroom floor in the morning there's some…adjustment. I weigh more now than I did ten years ago but I FEEL ten times better. I work out much more and have way more endurance than back then. My 30-year-old body could not do what this body does. I'm much stronger and healthier and I feel great. 

I do love my naps though. And the forgetting why you walked into a room really does amp up a tick. ;) 
I am young at heart. I think it's important to do and act younger at times. Not miniskirt at the club younger, but you know what I mean. I am and will be a fan of teenybopper music till the day I die. I love some deeper stuff too but I'll be listening to the hip hot station till I'm 80. My latest favorite is Shawn Mendes. I think he's like, 12?
OK I kid, he's 14. No really, he's 17 and yes I know that. #teenybopperforlife

I'm proud of my age. I'm so thankful for more time on this earth. I thank God for the little things every day -- that I am able-bodied so I can work around the house. This blog and that it allows me to share what I love with all of you. That I have a truly fantastic, loving and supportive husband and kids.
You learn what is most important in life when you age. That's the BEST gift. I would not go back to 18 or 27 or 35 if you told me I could. I love where I'm at. Twenty-two was only ten years ago anyway right?

Have a great weekend my friends! I'm hoping to be back with a backsplash in the kitchen next week! :)

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

When I Feel Super Productive

Hey there! I don't know if I mentioned that it's my birthday week -- I turn 40 in a few days! Whoot! It doesn't depress me at all, I look forward to the wisdom that age brings. :) 

Usually I take it easy my whole birthday week but this one has been a crazy one so far. Along with that I'm starting the kitchen backsplash finally! My plan has totally changed and I'm SO EXCITED about it. I'm not using tile like I planned initially. I hope it will look as good as I'm imagining it and I can show you next week!

So today I'm recapping the months of August and September as I have gotten behind on these. Also I know it makes you weep in a corner when you miss one of my posts so I do this as a service to you. ;)

Just a warning -- I've had a one-track mind lately and that track is the kitchen. :) Lots of things happening after quite a lull throughout the spring and summer! I shared how I organize our pantry (and have stopped filling it with food we never eat) here
glass door on pantry
Because we took down some cabinets in the kitchen I wanted to be even smarter about organizing in general in there. I purged and then made good use of the storage I have and the extra storage I've created in the past year. 

I did a little decorating. :) Layering really is the key when it comes to a pulled together space, in my opinion. I added a few more "layers" to our home in preparation for fall
black dresser gold hardware
I'm not usually one for a ton of accessories around the house, but this time of year it feels cozy and warm to add a few more touches here and there. 

In this post I shared how I hang just about anything: 
how to hang anything
Including that fork and spoon set above the pantry up above. I get asked about those more than any other "art" in my house!

Finally the kitchen reno kicked off again, and as is the case with any remodeling project, things get worse before they get better:
removing tile backsplash
My Dad and I took down a wall of cabinets (it was really only three smaller ones and one double) and I knew immediately I was going to love it. That's saying a lot when it looked like this. ;) Then we removed all the tile and the drywall, which was my least favorite part so far. 

I sold our old above-the-oven microwave and got a smaller one that I installed in the island
microwave in island
I finished extending that island earlier this year and I was thrilled to finally get that last piece finished up! 

So far so good with the microwave being lower -- it doesn't bother me at all. We only use it a few times a week but to me it's just like reaching down into a cabinet. I love being about to put hot food right on the countertop. And I absolutely LOVE that the microwave is no longer the focus of our whole kitchen. 

Next up were some boring projects like drywall fixes and our beautiful new wall lights went in: 
gooseneck lights kitchen
I really love them! They are back in stock on Amazon (link in that post) if you want to check them out. 

Progress was thwarted for over a week when a piece of our granite broke during install. Thankfully all the pain of washing dishes in the tiny bathroom sink went away when it was all finished up last week
river white granite
I don't think I could love the stone more! It's going to look SO good with the new cabinet colors too. I also shared the process of picking out granite and getting it installed here and the stones that look like marble here

I've done most of this kitchen renovation myself and I think I'm most proud of the island and the upper cabinets I built up to the ceiling a couple weeks ago: 
building cabinets to ceiling
I can't wait to see everything painted out! Hopefully it will all be pretty seamless. 

If you're interested in seeing more updates (as they happen), follow me on Instagram. I'm hoping to get a chunk of the new backsplash done today so if so I'll share it there. 

I did step away from the kitchen a few times! OK this was still part of the kitchen but a different focus at least. I waited for a year to decide what I was doing with our kitchen table and I'm so glad I waited! I absolutely LOVE it in white
white table wood chairs
I looks so lovely with the white trim in the room and the dark floors. I take forever to make decisions but when I finally do I am usually really happy with them. :)

I always love the cute seasonal pillows at Pottery Barn (or anywhere) but hate spending so much money for something I'll only have out for a couple months. My solution yet again? Use table linens instead: 
seasonal pillows from table linens
These were made from a table runner and I made more with Pottery Barn napkins as well. Love my little pumpkin pillows! 

I shared ten free fall printables here
free fall printables
They are such an easy way to add some fall decor without spending a ton of money!

And finally, one of my favorite DIY projects ever -- the planked wall above our kitchenette in the basement: 
wood planked wall reclaimed look
I varied the color of the stains to make it looked like a reclaimed wood wall. It cost me about $35 in wood and stain -- not bad at all for such a big impact. Our basement is our hangout spot in the fall and winter so I love having this warm spot finished up.

There you go! Love how accomplished I feel after doing these recaps! Did you miss any? If you have any questions about any of them, feel free to ask. I'm off to work on the kitchen…again. :)