This story has a positive ending

Today was not the best day I’ve ever had.  In fact, it started out pretty horribly.  I woke up this morning and, before I even had time to take a deep breath, I was aware of a huge weight on my chest.  I felt like everything was pressing down on me ~ I don’t know what the “everything” was, but I could sense it, and it was hurting me.  My body ached, my limbs were tired, my head was swimming.  I was made of stone.  I wanted to go back to sleep, I didn’t want to get ready for the day.  I couldn't.  I knew what I would find when I went over to the mirror ~ ugly that couldn’t be covered up by makeup.  So, I slept in.  

When I finally crawled my way out of bed, I was running late for work.  I felt like shit about myself, yet again.  Looking in the mirror, as I suspected, didn’t help.  I felt worthless and disappointing.  It took a while, but I finally got up the courage to go in to work, even though I was late.  I had to.  I had to take a step in the right direction.  I had to face my fears and overcome.  

The car ride started off as an anxiety-filled race to my destination.  I was trying to get there before all of my problems did.  However, halfway through something changed.  I was able to come out of my self-conscious fog and breathe.  I rolled down the window and felt a fresh breeze blowing across my face, tickling my nose, and filling up my lungs.  I could feel the warm spring sun heating the air around me, creating a comforting blanket that allowed me to calm down.  It felt like a warm embrace.  In those minutes, I remembered why I am fighting.  I don’t want to let any more of those moments go by unnoticed.  I want to experience as many breezes, sunny days and warm embraces as I can.  I remembered that I don’t want to exist, I want to live.  I will keep fighting.

Big Black and White Photography

I love this image of Ellen Pompeo's kitchen from Elle Decor. How amazing is that blown up photograph? I wonder what train station it is?

I'm thinking about doing something similar with this photo that Abbey posted a couple months ago. Both my husband and I love it. The sea of bowler hats is so graphic. And that guy smiling at the camera on the left makes me laugh. I also love that it's on Wall Street, sort of near our downtown hood.

I've been using Wizard Prints for a lot of printing jobs lately and I am so, so happy with their products and their customer service. They are fast and reasonably priced -- two big (unsponsored) thumbs up!

Why you lookin' in my drawers?

Just as I split this wardrobe organization post in two, I split the actual organizing into halves as well.  Meaning, after the Epic Clothing Clearout of 2011, I had giant bags of “to donate” clothing in the corner, while the rest of my wardrobe was laid out in piles on my floor.  And then I went to bed.  It’s not that I have a ton of clothing, but trying on everything you own in one day (especially when you’re not exactly a fan of mirrors) is a draining process.  I say, if you need to take extra time, do so.  This is supposed to help you, so don’t let it freak you out.

The second day was spent dusting the dresser, vacuuming the inside of the closet and putting clothes away.  I was actually able to keep everything in my room, as opposed to having a separate storage area for off-season clothing. Oh, except my coats, which are in the coat closet.  Go figure. 

I have five drawers in my dresser.  Here’s how I utilized them:

·       First drawer: hats and gloves, belts, tights, sports bras
·       Second drawer: underwear, bras, socks of all sizes, more tights
·       Third drawer: left half is for athletic attire, right half is for pajamas
·       Fourth drawer: tanks, t-shirts, camisoles
·       Fifth drawer: off season bottoms (shorts in the winter, pants in the summer)

The closet took me a while to organize, but it’s so much easier to pick out clothing now.  Before, I just threw things on hangers and hung them wherever they would fit.  Not anymore, sir! Now all of my skirts, dresses, blazers, cardigans and so forth are hung nicely on hangers and are arranged by type.  Meaning, my dresses and skirts are all hanging together, my blazers are together, my hoodies have been reunited, etc.  This way, when I’m looking for a skirt, I don’t have to comb the entire closet to find one.  I know exactly where they are.

The biggest task for me now is going to be keeping it this way.  It took me such a long time to go through everything, and I don’t want to mess it up.  I also need to make sure that I don’t start adding clutter by purchasing things I’m not going to wear or that I don’t really need. 

Speaking of shopping, organizing your wardrobe in this way allows you to see where you may have "holes".  For example, all of my belts were either worn through or completely the wrong size.  I had to donate/chuck them.  This left me belt-less and afraid.  Mostly just belt-less.  I meandered over to one of my favorite stores and picked up a couple of new belts that fit and that I knew I would wear.  Hole patched!

My wardrobe organization is not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things, but it's a small step.  Little victories give us the motivation to continue on to the next challenge, which is why breaking larger goals down into pieces is so helpful.  I can now cross one thing off my giant Life Cleanse To-Do List, and I feel proud of that accomplishment.

Spring Cleaning: Hide ya kids, hide ya wives, cause they cleaning evrythang up in here

I realize the title reference is “old news”, but it still makes me giggle.

Anyways, I very clearly have things I want to change in my life.  Following my own advice, I have decided to take it one step at a time.  Otherwise, making the changes would be extremely daunting and very little would get done.  Read: the past 5-7 years of my existence.  Yikes.

First thing on my list: CLEAN.  I’m not talking about your typical “oh, let’s organize that messy pile into a neater pile” cleaning, or the “it’s spring, maybe I should dust” cleaning.  I’m talking about full on, “go through everything you own and throw 1/3 of it away because you didn’t even know you owned it” cleaning.

I am a firm believer that a cluttered space leads to a cluttered mind, and I have enough going on in my mind as it is.  Hence, major habitat cleaning.

Since I’m living at my dad’s, the only spaces I really have to worry about/gain control over are my bedroom, closet and bathroom.  That’s right, I have my own bathroom.  Boo yah.  Makes the living at home thing about 16 times easier.

Let’s start with closet/dresser organization.  I’ve grouped them together because I want to go through all of my clothing at the same time.  Here’s what I did:

·       I started with one “type” of clothing ~ e.g. t-shirts ~ and went through each item within that category, throwing out anything that was stained, ripped, obviously didn’t fit (before even trying it on) or that I was positive I would never wear again.
·       I continued to clean out each category of clothing this way, one at a time.  This included shoes, off-season clothing and jackets.  Scarves, hats and gloves also got the once-over.
·       After I removed the items I knew I wouldn’t miss (to later be turned into rags, donated or simply thrown out, depending) I went back through everything one category at a time.  This time through, I tried on literally every single item I owned to see how it fit.  That’s right ~ underwear, bras and socks included, plus bathing suits before official bathing suit season.  This may sound like I’m overdoing it, but I owned some things that just didn’t fit.  If underwear fits awkwardly I’m not going to wear it and it’s just taking up space in my drawers (no pun intended).  Same with socks that are too big and slouchy, itchy sweaters, shorts that I can take off without unbuttoning them (true story) and things that I just don’t like anymore.  All good items went into a donation bag and were whisked away to be, well, donated.

All remaining articles of clothing are pieces that I like, that fit well, that match things in my closet (meaning they can be made into outfits) and that I know I will wear.  It’s awesome.  I don’t have to dig through things that I don’t wear to get to the shirts/pants/booty shorts I enjoy wearing.  Wait, what? That’s a lie, I don’t wear booty shorts.

It also helped me to see just how much clothing I had that I didn’t need.  I wear old t-shirts to bed, and I had started accumulating pajama tops like there was no tomorrow.  I try to do laundry once every week or two, and I tend to wear the same PJs at least two nights in a row.  I don’t know if this is normal or gross, but that’s just how I roll.  Therefore, I don’t need 14 old t-shirts just to wear to bed.  It’s science.  I tossed the extras.

Keep this in mind when going through your wardrobe.  Even if they all fit, do you really need 7 white tees?  If you do, great.  If you tend to only wear one or two before doing laundry, the rest are just taking up space.

Remember: digging through clutter, searching for things, and holding on to items for no reason just adds unnecessary stress to your life.  Take the time to really decide what you need and what you can get rid of.

Another Miracle Day, Brought to you by the Master Manifester Taryn Kae Wilson.

So, it was another day of manifesting Miracles.

A New Line of Recycled Nice Looking "Carve downs"

A couple days ago we had a dead computer
miraculously replaced by an awesome Laptop 
with wonderful capabilities, 
with very little Money required.....

I'm gonna do this design in Bronze, deep carving

A few nights ago I think it was, 
Taryn was "Writing her Ten things"...
she does this every night....
counting her blessings on paper,
being thankful. 
And sometimes she will write
what she would ask the universe for,
Something we really need.

Made from recycled door beads and placemats

Well I'm almost embarrassed to say
that we probably eat 100 pounds of blueberries a year. 
We get em real cheap,
all organic raised w/ Good Santana (the Grower) vibes,
or Freddies berries...
and from both we probably get half for free
for picking and giving them half of what we pick... 
I need a lot of em to balance out a lot of the foreign substances that invade my body in the course of my "Work".
I love breathin in all the smells of the different woods,
and the horn,
and the bone.....
Every smell touches a different place in my soul....
and those feeling run deep.
I wear a mask,
but dust is everywhere....
So, it's a good idea to just give your body a little help dealing with these things. 
And in that department, Blueberries Rock.

We TRADE a lot. 
When you have no money... trade, 
simple as that.
  Well Taryn was writing in her book,
then said that there were two things that she wanted more than anything...
Right Now.....
she said Sonia (Sonia Choquette)_ say's it's a good idea to manifest what right in front of your nose...Like, "What exactly do you need right now?"  
Sure we'd all like to be sitting in One Enlightened state....
but that might still be a few months away,
He He. 

New Yew Buttons

So Taryn writes.....
"We need to get rid of 6 goats NOW  (it really stresses her out when we exceed our Carrying Capacity....) 
And we need Blueberry Plants....... "

We been in the money head thinking place of thinking that we could maybe afford two new plants a year,
a good goal being maybe 50 plants eventually..maybe 75 depending on how close we plant em... 
Anyway so she wants to get rid of 6 goats,
and get some Blueberry plants.
And she Asks
Well she doesn't just sit back and wait for it on a silver platter, 
she puts the goats up for sale, or trade on Craigs list.. 
Someone offered a huge long roll of  1/2" rubber.... 
And it sounded like something I would one day use for something,
or a bunch of things....
But it didn't feel right,
we'd just wait and see if there were any other offers. 
We've been having NO LUCK selling em. 

    Anyway Taryn is looking on Craigs list and decides to see if anyone was selling Blueberries,
and she found someone with 3 year old plants they were selling for $ 6.75  a plant...
Really incredible price........
We were going to sell our goats for just 25$ a piece....
one in milk, the others awesome.
Well Taryn decides she's going to ask the guy with the Blueberries if he wants to trade for Goats... 
She calls em up,
finds out he's a long ways away,
up past Salem...
a 3 hour drive from here. 
But, YES, he'd be willing to trade....
We'll they are Mexicans
There's a whole bunch of em living on this big Farm
they got a lot of Soul...
anyway Mexicans LOVE Goats,
Unfortunately for the Goats they really Love to eat em....
And I gotta say I don't blame them for that, 
because there is no better tasting meat in my opinion....
except maybe a good cut of pork
,or lamb....
well, I guess I'm kinda hungry right now.... 
and have digressed.
OK, so I haven't gotten one speck of Creating artwork to sell this week,
and it's goin on Thursday...
Sunday we were visitin w/folks here....and there.
Monday had to go to the big city cuz the computer died and can't do bid nid without it,
so drifted to Eugene on a miracle that day, 
then the next day spent mostly getting that tool up to speed....
I lost a lot,
I lost Photoshop....... 
That was a good tool,
now I'm trying out some freeware thing that....
well, it's not Photoshop, but seems to have some good qualities....
I just gotta learn it....
Anyway, Then today we went for a short 6 hour drive 
AND TRADED OUR GOATS FOR 23 INCREDIBLY HEALTHY 3 YEAR OLD Duke Blueberry plants in nice sturdy 2 gallon pots.
Plants like that sell around here for around 30 dollars a piece, 
so I think that's about 700 dollars we would have had to spend, 
spread over a bunch of years...
according to the old plan. 

We were singing a little song I made up
a simple little song
but effective... 

" I Accept
I Accept
I most Heartfully accept

Thank You "

But we haven't really come up with a tune that works yet....
Anyway, it was another day of miracles....

and I'm trying to learn to not always be in such a hurry
feeling like I'm always
"running behind" in my "Work"

I want to have all my patterns for bronze carved right now,
I want them molded,
and I want to make wax copies to send to the foundry to cast.
I want to have them back, put a patina on them, inlay some...Back some of them with woods.
I can't wait to inlay the gold bronze with Lapis. 
It brings back some Egyptian Lifetime feelings and memories.
I want that all done about 3 weeks ago... he he
but seriously.
So I'm learning that Everything really does happen in it's time.
Every moment is equally sacred
is equally Life
and equally deserving of our appreciation.

We can spend so much time
worrying about the future
based on fears created in our past
That we can't  fully appreciate the total Miracle
That this very moment
Right Now 

I was saying to Taryn today,
"Can you imagine what the world would be like
if folks could learn the sacred key of contemplation"
(real contemplation)
Which is not just observing and manipulating data mentally....
that's not what contemplation is
Contemplation is the end result,
"Identification" with, 
or becoming One with....
that which is being contemplated..

Because when one learns this skill,
they can know the Joyful thing,
at the Heart of everything we can Perceive.

And imagine a world where we Know the Love in every thing..

How that would change things...

It's time to  recognize what is within....
and the Same
within all of Us..
And Love and Honor that Light
And to recognize what is on the outside
and different with each of us
and love and honor that Diversity.

Sameness was never the goal...
Oneness is ever the Goal...

The Map Room

Summer vacation is just around the corner, and I'm dreaming of quiet days on the beach.

One of my friends from grad school days in Boston sent me these photos of her family's summer home in Martha's Vineyard. It's an old carriage house with cottage-style bedrooms.

This room is named the Map Room or Chart Room. (PS I want a house someday where the names of rooms have nothing to do with who usually sleeps there. I remember when I was a kid, my grandparents had a Butterfly Room with the *coolest* wallpaper.) Anyway, I guess more than 25 years ago, my friend's uncle went out and bought a book of maps and pasted the cut out pages to the walls between the rafters.

He also pickled the beams. And I think they are the prettiest shade of blue! So lovely.

I think this idea of wallpapering with maps is perfect for a beach house, but it would also be great in a little boys bedroom (or maybe a boys bathroom? Or closet?)

Thanks for sharing this lovely room, Aubrey!! xx

Everything is Sacred and The Magical Computer Experience

So I was washing a huge pile of dishes last night...
It had piled up because we had to make a rush trip to Eugene to get a refurbished computer....
mine crashed....
Maybe I'll talk about that magical experience here too.
  Anyway I was doin this huge stack of dishes....
And I was settin all the biggest plates on the bottom,
then big bowls,
then little bowls,
then cups...
in this pile, gettin em soaking.
I got into this wonderful Zen Flow.
We have a deal on the faucet nozzle that can shut the water on and off...
really cool,
just flick the hand and it's on...
flick it off, 
real smooth and easy.
So Basically you only need to have water running,
when you need the water.
So with everything set in the sink in this most Zen way I put a little soap on the Brush, and started washing my way down the stack.
The suds from the first dish, soaking the second.
  I managed to do this Huge stack of dishes and pans and utensils, with just two little tiny squirts of soap. 
And then I realized that the soap was sacred,
and so was the Hot Water flowing freely..
.and so was the quiet of the moment..
And I felt another world,
where there was no hot water,
or soap,
or Quiet moment....
and I saw how special all the simple things that fill my Life are....
And how sacred Everything IS.

I'll tell you the Magical Computer Experience:
Day b4 yesterday I came down in the morning hoping to check my email and find out that we'd sold something on ETSY. My Screen was Black, the computer was running... but no Picture on the screen.  Well I started and restarted over and over hoping it would kick in....
Now I had a ton of pictures of our stuff and patterns for my work, lot's of personal writing, a book I wrote a long time ago...and a bunch of other really important stuff in there.... NO GO, dead. Cra!,
Well I had a back-up drive with my writings and some pics stored on maybe I could save some of it.( Turned out that was also Toasted)
That night our friends Lara and Spencer and the Sweet twins came over on their way back from a camping trip on the Coast. We got to talkin and they told us about this place that sold refurbished one's really cheap....COOL
So we got up early yesterday and I made a quick breakfast for us and fed the animals, and we took off to Eugene.    Keep in mind, we have very little money.... but we had Faith, he he.  So we get there and they have tons. I was lookin for a Desktop and needed pretty good speed and lots of Ram for the graphic work I do.... They had tons, even Macs....really cheap, but none came up to what I needed..and I don't need all that much..and I'm slowly learning that getting something that doesn't work the way you want it a waste of time and money.... So kinda discouraged I was gonna just look around at other cool stuff while Taryn went and fed Bracken in the Truck.. I didn't really want a Laptop...always seemed too fragile, and small. But they had some there so I looked.  YIKES, there was this amazing computer, had everything I needed and some things I could have only dreamed of....and there it was, and I could afford it...  Anyway so I got it. It blows my old desktop away for speed and ability to handle a lot of files all at once.  It rocks.  I hooked it into my old keyboard and moniter and mouse and I'm back at it. Gotta work ETSY, gotta Flow from my soul out into my Blogs...and there it was. So I decided to see if I could transfer the stuff off my 500 gig external backup, save some of my Cyber Life. I plugged it in, hooked it up....then it sounded like a radio, like it was playing some music from another country...what the heck, and it wasn't working... JEEZE..... I kept trying, it just kept playing foreign music...toasted, just like my computer, it refused to go forth and multiply... CRAP, did I say CRAP YET!  So I decided to tear it apart, see if I could fix something.   I got it apart and as I suspected it was just a 500 gig hard drive hooked up to a little bit of electronics.   SO    I hear this Message.   Put your original Hard Drive into this USB external dealy bob.  Hooked it up, turned it on, and heard the sweet HUM of a happy healthy Hard Drive.
SO, MY computer, not the hard drive was the problem. (That old computer was practically counter productive anyway, so good riddence I say. ) 
So now I had access to my old Hard Drive and everything I needed, and just needed to transfer it to my Blazin Hot Wonder Machine. 
So now here I sit, back up drive and old computer Toasted.....and with My Blazin Hot Wonder Machine in my Lap......  And now I can now take it upstairs and Taryn and I can both do our computer work together.It doesn't crash at least twice a's fast..... Life Rocks...

Sure would be nice to have the printer hooked up Wireless..... another day.

A New Place for the Really Trippy Stuff

OK, this Blog was originally mostly for the Business.... but I'm a weird guy and can't keep that to myself anymore, so I created a new blog where I'll put all the trippy stuff. It's called Mystic in Purgatory which is the name of a book I started writing a long time ago.... but has a long ways to go.  I made an INDEX on the right of the Home Page here that will take you to the different articles there, and you can follow that blog if you are interested in all the really not mainstream stuff.  Or you can just follow the links in the index on the right for specific articles..   I've just scared folks for most of my life whenever I spoke Honestly...So if you can handle it, check that out....I'm gonna keep it mellower here so I don't scare off BidNid.  He he.

A Little Glimpse Into our Adoption Journey


It was bitter cold this afternoon when I got out of work and, though I was bundled up in winter clothing, I could feel a chill running through my bones.  I quickly walked to my car as I tied a scarf tightly around my neck and buried my hands deep inside my coat pockets.  I could feel my keys and cell phone, along with two smaller objects I didn’t recognize.  I stopped walking and pulled my hand out of my coat, opened my clenched fingers and saw two individually wrapped chocolates resting on my palm.  Yes!  I had grabbed a couple pieces of chocolate on the way out of the house this morning and shoved them in my pocket as a treat to eat during my break.  Clearly, I had forgotten about them.  This small discovery kept me smiling the entire car ride home, and honestly made me happy for the rest of the evening.

I was thrilled to have found chocolate that I had put in my own pocket, and I kept thinking about how adorable it would have been if a loved one had snuck them in there instead.  The idea is so cute that it makes me want to go around sticking chocolates in my friends’ coat pockets whenever they’re not looking.  It’s a good idea – feel free to use it.  Little things really do matter!

Dear Jenny: What to do with ceiling fans?

Spring arrived with a vengeance and suddenly I want to buy more fans and crank up the AC! Apparently we've all got the same problem, because I got about ten Dear Jenny submissions about ceiling fans! Here's one of them:

We live in Texas, which I think has fantastic weather, but for certain, July and August are hot, hot, hot. It is basically a requirement that the rooms upstairs have ceiling fans to try and keep energy costs down in the hot months. All of the bedrooms are upstairs in my house, and though I would love to put an amazing light fixture in every room, it is just not practical. I look through magazines and style books, and there are no ceiling fans in sight! How can a ceiling fan be stylish and work in a space?

It's true. Ceiling fans are not the prettiest of room accessories. I was raised in Arizona though, so I know first hand how necessary they are in many homes.

I think the best rule of thumb for ceiling fan purchases is to keep it really really simple. No matter how much you spend, I don't really think ceiling fans can look cool or pretty. So go for less conspicuous, like Darryl Carter and Steven Gambrel did here:

Also, I know a lot of times this isn't an option, but if there is any way you can use a fan with no light kit, I much prefer that look. My very favorite is this fan. It's really (shockingly) inexpensive, has great reviews and looks very streamlined.

One trick I've seen used is to paint your fan the color of your ceiling (motor, blades and all). That would be easy with something simple like this fan with a light.

If you have to keep the light kit on the fan, my favorite solution is to add a drum shade to cover up those often-ugly ceiling fan lights.

Better Homes and Gardens

Dwellers without Decorators

What about you readers, any favorite good-looking ceiling fans? Or how have you upgraded your old fixtures to be less offensive?

If you want to change your life, change it one thing at a time.

We all have things in our life we would like to improve, be it our weight, our eating habits, our organizational skills or our job.  I know I have had times when I’ve felt in need of an entire life makeover ~ nothing seemed to be going my way and I just wasn’t happy.  I wanted to change everything.  If I could, I probably would have thrown my life out the window and started over with a new one.

Looking back, I’m pretty glad I didn’t.

If you really think about it, how frightening would it be to wake up one morning with a completely different life?  Think of all the movies based on this very premise – none of the main characters were exactly psyched to wake up in someone else’s body (e.g. Lindsey Lohan in “Freaky Friday”).  Not good ~ mental breakdowns everywhere.

In other words, if you’re going to make some big changes, make them one at a time.  Don’t expect your life to change overnight.  Write down everything you want to improve upon ~ big or small ~ and list them from highest priority to lowest.  Seriously, go do it.  I’ll wait.

Did you do it?! I hope so.  It’ll help more than you think.  You can even roll your eyes while you’re writing, as long as you’re making that list.

Great.  Now get started on the first goal by breaking it into small, manageable pieces.  “Get a job that I love” is daunting, as is “lose 50 pounds and look like a total babe”.  These aren’t even one step processes, people!  There is no store in the world that sells “fantastic jobs that pay well” or “abs that make grown men cry”.  If there were, this post would be WAY shorter.

Example: Let’s pretend you want to purchase a new car because your current vehicle has been driven almost to the point of explosion. Setting a goal to “save up money for a car” is unreasonable because it doesn’t give you a jumping off point.  Be more specific.  Set a goal to save $5,000 for a car (I have no idea what your budget is, I just chose a number.  Maybe you want to save $2,000, or $10,000. )  Now, what are you going to do to reach that goal?

a.     Put all magazine/newspaper subscriptions on hold
b.     Cancel cable (watch TV online instead)
c.      Use coupons at the grocery store
d.     Buy generic – no brand names
e.     Shopping hold! 3 months
f.      Work overtime/pick up part-time job (Babysitting? Freelancing?)

Now, I don’t know your life. (Everybody yell: GIRL, YOU DON’T KNOW ME!!) Without having met you, I can’t tell you what to get rid of, how to make extra money, etc.  This is just an example of how specific your list should be.  This gives you actual tasks to perform until you reach your goal.  You can even check in on yourself and see if you are following your own rules.  So much easier to manage and stay on top of than something general like “stop doing bad stuff and start doing good stuff.” Ya know?!

The other thing to note is this:  don’t freak out about what step comes next, or how long each item on your list is going to take.  Don’t stay up all night plotting ways to make the process faster, or start thinking about item #5 before you’ve even gotten halfway through #1.  Stressing out and skipping ahead puts you right back at the beginning, which is where you are now.  Take it one step at a time. 

You will get to where you want to be, you’re just not going to get there rightthisverysecond. It’s going to take some time and effort.  Take a deep breath, go forth and conquer.

Still having trouble getting started? Check out

CoExist Bumper Sticker Give Away!

This is what I hope to be one of many giveaways! One lucky winner will receive a RED COEXIST BUMPER-STICKER! ANY a free Pagan Pack as well...

You can earn one entry for each of the following actions:
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  5. Use buttons at bottom to Share this on FaceBook (post a link to the post in comments)
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Post below (in comments) for each entry. Winner will be chosen at random!

Good Luck!

Winner to be pulled May 1st!

Rope Detailing

I like *touches* of nautical inspiration in home decor. Not whole rooms - but maybe like a little brass anchor on a stack of books. Or a bold navy and white stripe fabric. But as of late, my favorite thing has been carved rope detailing on furniture.

I bought these stools a couple months ago on eBay (there are still some available if you are interested in making an offer).

Even though I'm planning to reupholster and repaint them, I still love the shape.

I wish mine were a little more delicate and had the nice knot detail like this much more expensive Draper bench and Meg Braff's vintage chairs below. Someday maybe, but mine are great for now, and I think really fit the scale of our space.

images source: Coastal Living

Also, another rope project HERE:

Mirror Mirror

I guess the best way to open this blog is by saying this: I have spent the majority of my life feeling like shit about myself. 

Which is strange, because I actually like myself, and it seems other people do too.  I have always done well in school; I graduated high school with high honors and attended a great college.  I competed at the varsity level in multiple sports and was also heavily involved in music.  I have always worked hard, made great friendships, taken care of everyone around me, had a great sense of humor and have generally done well in life.

However, no matter how much I accomplished, I never felt worthy of the praise I was receiving.  I never felt that I should be called a “great friend” or a “stand-out athlete”.  In fact, most of the time I didn’t want people to recognize me at all.  I was stuck in a strange paradox where I felt lonely and wanted someone to comfort me, but I also wanted to melt into a giant puddle so that no one could see me.

I felt this way because, in my mind, I was too ugly to be important or even to be loved.  When I looked in the mirror, I saw someone who wasn’t up to standard.  Not only did I not look like those girls in the magazines, I didn’t even think I looked average.  What I saw in the mirror was hideous.  

It’s hard to live when you fear the world.  When you believe that everyone is staring at you.  When you convince yourself that you are not good enough.  I thought I could never succeed looking the way I did, regardless of how much success I had already come upon in my life.  I would never get married, never find a great job, never be able to step out of my comfort zone and really live my life.  And, as our minds are powerful things, that’s exactly what happened.  I didn’t go anywhere.  I had a hard time keeping a job, I was constantly tired and ill, I lost contact with many of my friends, I lost all desire to do anything.  I could barely keep up with the bare minimum to survive.

Not only was I protecting myself from the world, but I was protecting the world from me.  No one should have to put up with looking at me, or dealing with my discontent.  Those people I did interact with only saw my happiest moments.  I became superb at putting on a brave face and making my way to work, going out to a birthday party, or having visitors stay over for the weekend.  I was able to take small doses of normalcy, but living as everyone else did was out of the question.  It was hard going from the “perfect” young woman to someone who could barely keep her head above water.

I finally decided that I needed to stop the madness.  I wanted to live on my own terms.  I wanted to stop worrying about how I looked.  I didn’t want the media to determine how I felt about myself.  In fact, I didn’t want anyone to tell me whether I fit in, whether I was pretty enough, whether I was ugly or fat or nowhere near perfect.  I wanted to start living life from the inside out.  Meaning, I wanted to start taking care of myself on the inside – focusing on my health, my happiness, my personality, my goals and the love I have for my closest friends and family.

So, I moved home to live with my dad.  He has stood by me in my worst times, and has also known me at my best ~ I knew that he would support me through thick and thin.  I wanted to start with a clean slate, and moving away from everything that was making me so unhappy was the first step.  I have been home for a while now, and though I have learned a lot and made quite a bit of progress, I still have a ways to go.  I am a generally happy person, but I do have to fight to make each day count.  I have to fight the mirror, fight to get out of bed, fight to take care of myself.  So far, it has been worth it.  I am starting to live my life again.

I want things to be even better than they are now.  There is no reason to settle for “fine” or even “good”.  I want to live a GREAT life.  I want it to be full of happiness and love.  I want to enjoy every day as much as I can.  I know that this will not happen in one day, or even one month.  I want to use this blog to keep myself accountable; to write about my journey, what I have done so far and how I continue to work towards a better life.  I also hope that I can, somehow, help others who are going through the same struggles.  You are beautiful.  You are worthy.  Together we can fight the status quo.  We can fight society and the media.  We can win these battles and overcome all obstacles.

We can love ourselves and love each other.  We can be happy.  We can live.

Inspiration Round Up: Part II

Happy Easter everyone! I hope you have a lovely weekend planned. Here are some more LGN reader projects to inspire you. And, as always, if you have a project that you'd like me to share, please email jenny


Natalie, from Natty by Design, hunts for vintage furniture with good bones and then transforms them with paint and sells them in her shop. She did a lovely job with this desk!

It was such a cute piece in the first place, but I really love the green! I could see this desk used in any room in the house.

Heidi from A Thousand Laughing Starfish has posted some great tutorials recently. My two favorites were this DIY curved headboard:

And this handpainted wall mural:

Natalie from Mint Loves Social Club has all kinds of inspiring projects going on. She wanted to share this credenza she bought at a thrift store.

The owner of the thrift store offered to lacquer the credenza for a really great price and I think it turned out amazing!

You can see her pretty credenza, which she uses as a bar (the inside is super organized too!), in these after pictures of her seriously stunning DIY Bubble chandelier project.

Lisa from Lisa Fero Interiors used my Happytape wall tutorial to transform her client's entry.

I think it looks especially awesome looking out from the living room she also did.

Alicia from 12 Devonshire added Greek key trim to the ladder pulls on her bathroom blinds.

What an easy way to dress up plain-jane blinds! Her tutorial is posted HERE.

Jen from Organized Design used this bed from IKEA

as the base for making her daughter a really cute custom bed. Check out her really thorough tutorial HERE.

Vanessa recently redid her kitchen. She used my pelmet box tutorial for her windows and I love the look! I think she made a great choice with the fabric. Visit her post HERE for the details.

Naomi from Design Manifest sent me two really beautiful projects from her Philadelphia loft. She used inexpensive wall mirrors from Bed Bath and Beyond to back her Expedit shelves. Such a great idea!!

She also cleverly outlined a pretty mirror in her entry with hot pink paint on the wall. This makes such a statement - very Moroccan feeling. And what an easy, unexpected way to add color to a room.

And I love the combo with the La Fiorentina fabric on her bench!

An extra big thanks to the contributors!! xoxo

Back to the Garden A Souls Journey...Judge No More

It just occurred to me what it is that causes the human soul to be separated from the All.

What instigated the Switch from the One....
to a Dualist Reality ?

It was a Judgment.....

An idea of separation..

And upon a souls first judgment
a world of darkness and Light is formed...
a duality.

And this souls world expands outward
upon more judgments
"that is bad, I shun that"
"that is good,
I desire it."
Chasing a Dream in Duality...
Running from the Garden....
Running to a Dream

But a point in the souls evolution arrives one day
when it is as far as it can possibly get from "the Garden".
And at that point,
the direction changes...
The soul turns and looks back..
And then:
The soul learns to withhold Judgment....

And follows the Crumbs
of it's past judgments,
looking lovingly at them
(without guilt or shame)
and following this trail of crumbs
Back to the Garden.

If you are lookin for your way back to the Garden
Follow the crumbs of your Judgments
and Judge no More..