A New Year

I know I’ve probably missed the whole end-of-year-wrap-up window, but I’m going there anyway today with year-end house highs and my new year house hopes! And I apologize in advance because this went way longer than I planned…just scroll down if you are looking for pretty pictures and bullet lists!

Christmas was a fun-filled, mad-rush to the finish line for us and then we spent the following week frantically finishing up our front yard and installing wood floors in my son’s room. After that, we were thankful to zone out last week in Lake Tahoe. It was a nice recharge for me. Away from the sight of our house projects/still not put away Christmas decorations with plenty of time to think and read and reassess and plan and make lists in my head – my favorite! And to decompress from the holiday crazies. And the year in general crazies.

Like most, I would say last year sucked in so many ways. It was a hard one. “Current events” were unreal. Like was 2017 an alternate universe??? Personally, it was really rough for our family as well. We lost two grandmas. And something I haven’t talked about before, but something that will define 2017 for our family, was a hard fought battle against OCD. I’m not talking the offensive “I like things organized so I call it OCD” kind of OCD (that I am previously guilty of and forever sorry for!). I’m talking consuming, terror-inducing Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. This isn’t my story to tell so I won’t go into details, but we figured out that one of our sweet, spirited, and strong willed babies has actually been silently battling OCD for like ever. Our summer was spent doing something called Exposure Response Prevention therapy (ERP), where you inundate/force your little child to do the very things that seem like irrational, no-big-deals to you, but that elicit the strongest physiological panic responses you can imagine from them (touch something with their right hand but not with their left). It was traumatic and devastating and hard. But so healing. And something that we will be revisiting forever because OCD isn’t something that’s cured. (I cried through the entire Season 2 of Stranger Things because I’m pretty sure the whole show, whether purposely written that way or purely coincidental, is a beautiful allegory for OCD. The Shadow Monster being OCD and Will being my child and Winona Ryder’s smoke-out of the monster being the heartbreak of ERP parenting.) I can’t express how thankful I am for answers and therapy and help and a path to freedom for my child, but also to distance myself from last year because nothing about it was easy. I have hope, that at least on this front, the worst is behind us…

But somehow, last year was a very positive year for our house despite being so heavy in other areas. I pretty much always feel like I’m not getting as much done on the house as I want so, looking back, I’m SHOCKED at all that we knocked out in 2017. Of course, it was only like half of what we set out to accomplish, but many unexpected and impactful projects were taken on as well. I feel like we finally turned a corner where it is more “home” than “excuse my construction pile mess.” It’s a great place to be! Some highlights:

2017 HOUSE HIGHS

mid century family living room abstract painting tulip table coffee I started reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic last week and it was SO inspiring! A great read anytime, but especially after the months of end-of-year craziness when you are so ready to get back to “normalcy,” and trying to figure out what kind of “normalcy” you want your life to have. I love her idea that we are all creative people and that we all have something to contribute, no matter how important or not, how life changing or not, how grand or not, how original or not, and whether anyone will ever see your creation or not. It’s about the process of making instead of taking and saying yes to the things that light you up, without guilt or excuses. Fixing up houses definitely lights me up, and I’m so excited to (try to) tackle these projects in our home in the coming year:

2018 HOUSE GOALS

  • PAINT THE DANG EXTERIOR. A house goal list fav that NEVER EVER gets done, 3 years and counting, but is on the calendar as our big summer DIY project.
  • Build a second screen for the front yard.
  • Reach ninety percent completion of our flooring and baseboards why are we still working on this nearing year 5????
  • Hang the grasscloth wallpaper that I bought last summer in the master bedroom.
  • Finish our very unfinished step down to our sunken family room
  • Build that wood divider I’ve been dreaming of between the dining room and family room
  • Do a low-key master bath fix up to hold us over for a few years (basically this plan, still unexecuted)
  • MINIMALISM TO THE MAX. Well, as max as a house loving, furniture hoarder can be. I want to be surrounded with an better edited collection of possessions.

I’m very excited to make time for a few other just-for-fun creative projects this year as well, but I mostly want to give the biggest thank you to whoever you are reading this! I have so much fun putting this blog together and sharing our weird house projects and connecting with all of you. Thank you for your ideas and your encouragement and for coming back every week to check in. I am so thankful for you all and I wish you and your homes all the best in 2018!!!!

xoxo Jenny

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What I Bought Last Weekend

Let me tell you what this wannabe minimalist who hates Christmas consumerism bought during the sales of last weekend!I hate celebrating the birth of Christ by buying random stuff we don’t need, especially when humans all over the glove are in actual need of the basics. It seems so antithetical to me; literally the exact opposite of how we should celebrate. However, I’m all about being as responsible as we can with our money and shopping sales for the things we need/would buy anyway so that we can be more generous (currently our family’s favorite charities are Give Directly and Preemptive Love). So sometimes I hold off for a really long time on the extras I have my eye on. Both to make sure I really want them and to wait for lower prices. And this weekend lots of stuff I’ve been eying for months was discounted enough for me to purchase. So what did this intentional, over-thinking freak buy? This stuff:

1. Checkered Sweatshirt – I’ve talked about whittling down my wardrobe before and being more intentional about what I bring into my closet. This sweatshirt might not seem like a basic, but if ever I had a custom sweatshirt made just for me by all-knowing sweatshirt fairies, this would be it. Takes me back to my formative years when I had SKA on the brains 24/7. I just knew it would be my favorite thing to wear and I was right. I haven’t taken it off in days, literally wearing it right now. You wouldn’t think your husband would hate something that is so you but whatever…

2. Stevie mirror, CB2 (pictured above) – so this is out of stock and has been for a while. It was one of those things that I was like SHOULD I/SHOULDN’T I for too long and then it was gone and then clarity struck I knew I SHOULD HAVE BUT IT WAS TOO LATE. But I was window shopping/scrolling over at CB2 and noticed that it was still in my cart (???) and on sale, even though it’s been off the website for months, so I purchased and supposedly its showing up this week. Second chance score!

3. Vixen everything – this is hands down my favorite clothing line right now. I normally don’t spend this much on clothes, but the quality, fit, style is always so spot on (for me – I know this is a niche market!) that it makes sense to buy a few staples that I will love and wear for years, then less money on lots of throw away items that I will only kind of like and get rid of during my next closet clean out. Still, I can barely stomach spending so much so I always wait for this huge sale. FYI I added this and this and this and this but it oversold :(

4. NuLoom Faux Sheepskin Rug – admittedly, this was an impulse purchase but I’ve been on the lookout for a cheapish fluffy rug for my daughter’s room and this just might be what I’ve been waiting for. The Black Friday price was too good to be true so we’ll see how it looks in person.

5. Drawers for legos – I know these are nothing to look at but I hope they dramatically improve our household. We have a major Lego problem. LEGOS EVERYWHERE. I love them as a toy but we need some storage solutions. I’ve tried so many organizational options that haven’t worked for the way my kids play. They prefer to work on individual trays (utilizing every serving tray and plastic plate in the house at the moment!) for their many concurrent and longterm projects. But trays can’t easily stack or store. They can only sprawl and I’m going crazy. I hope this shelf of drawers that are essentially trays can clean up our floors! UPDATE: I THINK WE HAVE A WINNER! UGLY PLASTIC DRAWERS WHERE U BEEN ALL MY LIFE?!

6. Leopard Sweater – One more wardrobe addition, that was actually from last last weekend, was this sweater. This makes it seem like I buy a lot of clothes but I haven’t in ages. I’d rather dress my house than myself. Again, this is sure to be a worn til it’s trashed basic for me, so well worth it. Leopard and checkers = neutrals

WHAT I DIDN’T BUY BUT I WANTED TO – couldn’t find a way to justify the purchase, but I really wanted to. Maybe one day I’ll sell all the crap I don’t want on ebay to pay for one of these beauties, but this weekend wasn’t the weekend. I saw one of her large scale wall hangings last year at Trina Turk and it haunts me. Ceramic soul mate. If I ever see a windfall, you better believe my one splurge will be this. I could cry I love it so much.

We have most of our Christmas decorations up and I can’t wait to share next time!!! xoxo Your Freaky Weirdo

Favorite Prime Day Finds

I was just perusing the Prime Day offerings at Amazon today and saw a few cute things that I wanted to quickly share! There are like a million things on sale so it’s overwhelming and I often stay away because sometime sales are not worth the digging. But this year there is an option to search within the sale so I came across a few modern house related things that I might buy and a few things I already have and love. (Note, Prime Day is only for Prime members – sign up here – and some of these items are discounted only once you add it to your cart at checkout.)

This coat rack is in my cart right now. Debating. I purchased one last year, this exact brand, and love it for hanging towels in the kid’s bathroom. I know, such an Eames Hang It All ripoff, but such a functional piece for 20% off an already cheap price (=$25 out the door today!). We have the white/”walnut” one but the wood balls are far from walnut. More like orange. Works for us, but pay attention to that. Now…is two (or three!) too many for one house? The entry, our bathroom, and the kid’s bedrooms could use the upgrade… (Update: totally bought another one)

I can’t speak to the quality of this, but if you are in bench market, a 5′ walnut George Nelson style slat bench for $100 seems like a steal. You know I’m working on only having what we need and use, and I don’t have a (indoor…) space for this, but I’d be all over it if I did! 

If cheap mid-century knockoffs are your thing, and sometimes they are mine, you might want to check out all of Modway’s Prime Day offerings on Amazon. I’ve purchased from them before and been happy with their items for what they are. I was hoping these orange chairs (one of which I purchased for our den) would be on sale to stock the dining room, but looks like only these arm chairs are 20% off in limited colors (and in pairs here). FYI, the orange color is great in person.

 

 

Our mattress is on sale in queen size for seriously cheap. Here are my thoughts on it. Basically, I am obsessed with our mattress and love it more each night. It has only gotten better and it’s one of the best, most impactful purchases we’ve made. Vacationing only confirms that appreciation!

And random, but if you are looking for a kitchen faucet, we’ve had the older version of this Grohe Concetto faucet in our kitchen for 3 years and LOVE it. I can’t say enough about it. The Starlight Chrome finish is insanely easy to clean, even with insanely hard water that makes every other metal in our house a mess. We paid more than twice this amount and even at that price, I would buy again in a heartbeat. One of the best upgrades that we’ve made to our house, mostly because I touch it every day, and one of the easiest too! 

 

 

I had planned to share some Arizona goodness today before this derailing, so maybe I’ll be back later with that too! Any deals I’m missing that I must see? Please share :)