Monday, April 21, 2014

A couple of house updates

It's been a while since I've done anything in the house and posted about it! So here ya go, a couple little things I've done recently. Oh, and the pictures are HORRIBLE. I don't know what is going on with my camera, but please try to look past the terrible lighting, grainy texture, and overall inability to really tell what is in the picture. Just use your imagination. :)

In case you don't know, I love to change things around in the house. Not necessarily because I don't like what we already have, I just like the view to change every now and then. The music room is not an easy one to change, at least not with furniture. My precious piano only fits in one corner, so there isn't much shifting capability with setup. But curtains, however, can be easily switched! I bought beautiful gray embroidered curtains from IKEA several years ago and have loved them every since. This is how they looked hanging (you can't see the pattern unless you are close up, but they are super heavy and luxurious):

They were long, so I had to use 2x4's to hold them in place. Needless to say with two dogs and two kiddos constantly trying to get a view outside, the boards never stayed in place nor did the curtains. I wanted to open up the space with something a little lighter for spring/summer as well as give the space the pups and kiddos wanted to see what was going on outside. 

Another side note: I am generally a cheap frugal decorator. I don't like to spend a lot of money on material things, but I do like to have things that are good quality and don't need replacing often. And I've finally learned the lesson of only getting decor that we absolutely love. No space-fillers here! 

Generally speaking, if I spend more than $20 on a window treatment I am biting my nails over the expense. When I saw these curtains in a random catalog priced at $30 a panel (and I would need two) I thought long and hard on whether or not I wanted to splurge for them. It just so happens that I had some birthday money floating around and decided I would get myself the curtains with that. They were the exact thing I was looking for - something light and airy that would tie in with all the colors we have going on, including brown, gray, turquoise and black. When they arrived and I got them hung up, I loved them!

Here is a close up of the fabric, although it is still a bad pic:

Somehow these curtains seemed to make the whole room more comfy feeling, a little more lived in. You have to work to make a room inviting with a formal baby grand piano in there! 

Another update we've made is in the dining room. If you remember, we had the desk in there after moving it out of the music room. I've never liked it in this spot, but needed it to be upstairs so I could get to the computer easily while cooking and such. Here's a reminder of that setup:

Way too cluttered looking!

Even the desktop had way too much going on:

I found a smaller corner desk online that was simple and black, and it would tuck right into the little corner between the music room and dining room, making it a little more out of sight and not so front and center. I was also able to sell the desk from above on craigslist, which helped to offset the cost of the new one. 

I had also come across this little mirror/plant stand at our church's rummage sale for a few bucks, and saw it's potential. I thought it would look nice above the new desk. After a new coat of paint, of course. :) 

Here is our new set up for the computer:

The folding chair was a freebie from a nice Target employee who was clearing it out for damage (just a few red chalk stains on the seat) and was feeling generous enough to just give it to me! I still need to get a different lamp shade and finish painting that chair rail (oh, will I ever be done painting the trim in this house?!), but overall I am SO much happier with this set up! If the computer has to be in the dining room, I much prefer it here than the opposite corner. It leaves the two sliding doors to the back deck completely open and airy looking (sorry, forgot to snap a shot of that) and much more room to maneuver around the table. 

And check out a close up of my re-vamped mirror:

That sweet little frame has a picture of one of lovely nieces, Charlotte. 

So there you have it, a few little updates that are making me happy. I've got so many things I want to do - painting the kitchen cabinets, finishing all the trim in the house, designing and building a new kitchen table, etc. etc. etc. I don't think I'll ever be done! But I am content to continue working bit by bit to make our home what we want it to be. And you know I'll be documenting as I go!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Quick Recap

I survived my first week of Operation Picture Ready! Here's how it went down:

Exercise: I exercised FIVE days last week! Monday = zumba, Tuesday/Thursday/Friday = circuit training, and Saturday = walking at the park. There were a few times I thought I might die from over-exertion, but I did it! I was so proud of the things I could do that I thought I would never be able to (i.e., running faster than I ever have on a treadmill!). This week is off to a slower start with my exercise due to sick children (which means no gym childcare) and an out-of-town husband for a couple days, but things are getting ready to pick up again and my goal is to get to the gym 4 days this week. 

Food: this went pretty well too! I had some stressful moments that made me want to run to the solace of comfort food, but through contact with my amazing besties I powered on. I was so proud of myself in this area last week too. This week has been...harder. I've snacked more than I should have, and I also had some gluten (blueberry donut) which I suffered the consequences of immediately. But, it's all in the very next choice I make. Not starting back tomorrow, but the very instant I eat something else. I'm hopeful that this week will redeem itself. 

I lost a little over 3 pounds the first week too. Three out of about 90 I need to lose, but still! 

So there's the update. Week two is in full force, so I'll report back soon as things progress!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Operation Picture Ready

Jason and I celebrate 10 years of marriage this year - TEN! In some ways I can't remember much of my life without him, but in other ways the time has passed quickly. Since we didn't have a great honeymoon, we decided our ten year anniversary would be spent in a honeymoon do-over. We have booked a cruise in November!

I am so so so excited to spend 5 whole days with Jason, just the two of us. I know I will miss the kids terribly, but alone time for Shmoopies is hard to come by these days. 

It's no revelation that I need to lose some weight, and the cruise has given me some great motivation. I don't want to dread every picture we take! I want to be excited to document our time together. Enter: Operation Picture Ready. 

I have 7 months to get my body in better shape. I'm not necessarily focusing on a certain weight goal, although I will have one. My goal is to incorporate a healthy lifestyle that is manageable. I want to continue with whatever I do past the cruise. The trip isn't the end game, it just gives me a good marker to work towards. 

Day one was last Monday. Prepare yourself, here's my first picture:

This is my current plan:
Exercise: I joined a gym. I have not done this in a very long time, and even then it was just for the pool. This gym does not have a pool. It is going to be actual sweat-the-pounds-off working out, and I'm nervous! My body is not very cooperative when it comes to anything labor-intensive, but I'm going to push myself. I'm praying my knees, feet, and back hang in there and let me do what needs to be done. No more mamby-pamby workouts. I do zumba classes twice a week and do a circuit workout 2-3 days a week with two of my besties. 

Food: I am just going to eat right. This sounds so simple, and it is. No extreme diets going on here, just a normal habit of eating "the good stuff." Gluten is going to be eliminated, but that is because I know my body functions better without it, not so much for weight loss purposes. And...drum roll please...I'm giving up diet soda in the house. I LOVE diet soda. Pepsi and Dr. Pepper the most. I'm not saying I'm giving it up completely, but I will not keep it in the house and I won't go out of my way to drive through somewhere to buy one. Water has taken its place, and I let myself drink coffee too (usually just one cup a day). 

Accountability: I am doing a 12 week Bible study at my gym hosted by my dear friend, Shawna. She is AMAZING. She has lost over 100 lbs! Her drive came from her commitment to the Lord, and I'm excited about incorporating this into my healthy lifestyle plan. Time with the Lord, relying on His strength and not my own, and Godly friends are all a major part of my plan. Shawna and Tabatha are my workout peeps! We do zumba and our circuit training together, and I'm loving it. I know I wouldn't work as hard if they weren't there. 

I have tried to lose weight LOTS of times. Over and over. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. But here's the thing: I have to keep trying. Even when I fail or mess up 1000 times, I am going to always try again. Having this issue in my life constantly reminds me that I need the Lord to overcome it. I cannot do it on my own. My physical limitations can be overwhelming, and I'm scared to push my body. It is so much easier to rest all the time, do whatever it takes to avoid the pain. It has gotten way better since my back has been healed, but there are still restrictions if I want to be pain free. This time, I'm trying to work through the pain. Not do anything to make things worse, but stop being such a scaredy cat and actually sweat a little. 

I'll be posting updates as we go, but this is a long term thing. Just because we hit November doesn't mean it will be over, I'm just hoping to see lots of progress by then. At the very least, I want to be picture ready! :)