Give that idea… wings!

I’m working on something.

Something for you, in fact! 

Something that involves fabric, foam board, polyfil and glue. And a wee bit of courage. :-)

I’ve been thinking about doing this for quite awhile. But it’s pretty out-of-the-box, I’ve never seen it done before. 

It kept going over and over in my mind because I was trying to solve a problem, a problem that I see so many struggling with and this is the best way, in my opinion, to solve it.

I put off doing it for months, but it wouldn’t let me go. 

It’s been a little difficult, but that’s not why I put it off, no, the reason I put it off was because I lost myself for a minute, I was thinking about what others might think of it. Even though I know it will likely help a lot of you, I let the thoughts of “What if it doesn’t work?”, “What if they think it’s dumb?” and “No one else is doing this!” creep in and take up residence in my mind. I mean, those thoughts moved in, set up tents, started a campfire and started roasting marshmallows in there, they were staying for awhile! LOL

And then a little voice spoke up and said, “What if is DOES work?” “What if it DOES help someone?”

I could barely hear this little voice (above the chatter around the campfire), but it kept insisting- “what if?”

And so I decided to give it a go.

There’s still a chance that some of you may think it’s ridiculous, some of you may not get it. But I decided since this idea would not go away that I at least owed it to myself to try and bring it to life. 

This made me think of you again. (You’re on my mind a lot) :-)

I know some of you have been thinking of trying something new in your home. Maybe it’s a new paint color, a new furniture arrangement, stepping outside of what’s ‘normal’ for your circle of friends or family, decluttering maybe? You’ve got something stewing in that head and heart of yours, something that’s new and possibly scary for you. 

It won’t let you go.

You want to try but you’re afraid to.

Maybe you’re afraid that your husband or kids might tease you.
Maybe you’re afraid of the questions from your Mom or Mother in Law. 

I hear you.

We have no guarantees that these things will work out, do we? 

And sometimes we convince ourselves that it’s just us against the world. (I can be a little dramatic sometimes.) :-) 

On my desk I have a little figurine of “Steamboat Willie.” It’s an old black and white (and gray) Mickey Mouse, just like he appeared in his debut film titled, Steamboat Willie. I wouldn’t call myself a Disney buff but I have always loved Walt Disney’s spirit of creativity and his story of perseverance. He overcame so much and pushed through great opposition to bring his art to the world. “Wille” to me, is the symbol of his creator and the spirit of starting (in spite of ______)  and persevering (when I want to quit). :-) 

Your idea for your home and my little idea are probably not going to change the world like Disney did but it will likely change someone’s world. And that someone might be you. 

The thing about courage is, it does not discriminate. It’s not only available for the strong and powerful or the wealthy and beautiful. Any one of us, can reach inside of us, and decide that we are gonna to do that thing that’s been on our mind to do. That thing that won’t let us go. 

Big or small, those ideas call us into change and growth, they ask us to risk something. That ‘something’ is different for everyone but I know this to be true, nothing good comes from ignoring those ideas. Nothing at all.

My idea may work! And it may not. It could be a total flop. lol But when I see people struggling in an area that I have some knowledge in, I think it’s worth the effort (and possible embarrassment) to try and develop something that may help. (More details coming soon.)

So what have YOU been thinking about doing?
What if it works? :-)

Whatever it is, I hope to encourage you to do it, to take the leap, to give that idea-wings, to not worry about possible failure, and just go for it!

If you want to tell me about it, I’m all ears.

Blessings on you and your home,
Catrina

I think it’s time/your color story.

I sat down tonight to write a post about decorating for Spring and I thought to myself- I wonder if I’m going to get more questions on how to figure out a color scheme (story) for their home?

It happens nearly every time I write about home design and decor, because that’s where it all starts, right?

As much as you want to skip ahead to buying fun stuff, if you don’t have a plan, a personal color story for your home, you’re spinning your wheels and probably purchasing stuff you don’t need or doesn’t work for your home.

So instead of writing a post, I thought, you know what? I think its time. I’m going to start outlining a workshop to help folks discover their home color story!

Woohoo!! Fun stuff!

At this point, I’m thinking it will likely be a one night workshop in a private Facebook group where I’ll walk you (the group) through the steps of putting pen to paper and nailing down a color scheme for your home.

Once you have your color story nailed down, you no longer have to waste time in the stores wondering, “will this color work for me?”

Or even worse, settling for a neutral (when you really want more color) just because you don’t know if it will work or not.

So… I need your help!

In the next month, I think I’m going to do a (beta) test of the workshop and I need three volunteers who will let me fine tune my system on them to get it ready for the larger group. This won’t be time or labor intensive, I promise. :-)

If you’ve always wanted to figure out your color scheme (story) for your home and would like to help shape this workshop for others, let me know! I’ll take the first three people who volunteer, for the beta group. (You can volunteer in the comments below or in a private message on Facebook or instagram).

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

For everyone else, for you who feel stuck in this area and need guidance (a little or a lot) to get your color story squared away, make sure you’re on my email list, my email friends get all the news (and discounts) first!
You can do that here:

I’m looking forward to this!

But mostly I’m looking forward to helping you work through this process of finding your Color Story. Because I know the freedom it brings and I want that freedom for you!

Stay tuned!

Blessings,

Catrina

diy greenery with vintage planter

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience, that I make a small commission off of (at no additional cost to you) should you choose to purchase from them.

I’ve mentioned before that my husband and I decided to move downtown over eight years ago, we had just bought a 1908 Craftsman bungalow. She was in pretty rough shape when we bought her and we began working on her immediately. We have been working on her ever since and still (sigh) have a ways to go.

Unfortunately, our neighbor to the right doesn’t share our enthusiasm for fixing up the neighborhood and has not improved the exterior of her home one bit in eight years. It’s so hideous that I cannot shoot any photos out my dining room or kitchen windows. I have to say, this is the only thing I don’t like about living in our downtown home.

Before we updated our kitchen last year I had red cafe curtains in both of our kitchen windows that I could close when I got frustrated with the view.

But since our update, I have not found the right curtains or fabric to make the curtains, so my windows are bare and there’s no disguising the view.

While my hunt for the right curtains continues I decided to direct my attention to my window sill and focus on what I can fix on this cloudy, winter day.

I saw this little Delft planter at an estate sale (of course) a few months ago and couldn’t resist her! Because she had a noticeable crack I only paid three dollars for her. I thought she was perfect! Blue and white (my favorite color combo) + old pottery, what’s not to love?

This is a super quick way to add a bit of greenery to a bookshelf, a nightstand, a small kitchen table and even a window sill.

I bought my faux boxwood greenery at Amazon.com for only 9.99. it comes with six sprays!

First up, I cut a green dry foam brick in half and tapered the edges so it fit snuggly into the planter. The foam bricks can be found at any craft store but click here if you would like to order them online.
I just used a steak knife to cut the brick but don’t tell me husband because I’m always getting on him for using our kitchen knives for non kitchen stuff. Lol

I stuffed the pieces that I cut off, on the sides of the brick. This won’t really impact the greenery that I’ll be sticking in but it will help hold up the moss that I will be adding later.

The greenery is actually taller than my little planter, I would like the bottoms of the leaves to sit right at the top of the planter.

So, I’m going to use the little ‘breaks’ that are on most faux flowers and greenery to make a cut that will shorten my stems.

If I wasn’t so lazy I would’ve gone downstairs to get my wire cutters, but instead I just bent the stem back and forth till the wire broke. #LookMaNoTools lol

I made sure the stems were evenly spaced in the foam and stuck them all the way in. Next up, I added green moss to cover the foam and hide the stems a bit. Moss is not absolutely necessary, but I think it adds a nice finishing touch. Moss can also be found at any craft store or you can purchase it here for your convenience. (This bag will go a looooong way!)

You can’t even imagine how creative I had to get with this next few photos to block out the view! lol

My Delft blue creamer (also from an estate sale) is a perfect companion to my planter and definitely makes my view a little cheerier.

Because blue is the primary color in my home color story, I can take my little planter into any room in my house and she will fit in perfectly.

REVIEW: Below is the boxwood greenery closeup so you can decide for yourself if it will work for you. I would say at first it seemed a little plastic looking because it was a little shiny, I’m counting on dust to dull that shine. lol For the price and durability, I will definitely buy them again. I only used three of the six stems for this planter so at only 9.99, that’s a great deal. At first I wasn’t sure about the light and green tones but by the time I was finished, the depth and texture it added had definitely grown on me. There was also a slight smell when I pulled them out of the packaging but that’s to be expected when they are stored in a plastic bag.

My curtain-less window sill is definitely feeling cheerier, greenery has a way of doing that.

If you have a space in your home that needs a little life breathed into it, be it in the kitchen, the bathroom or a bookcase in your living room, I can’t wait to see what you put together with some simple greenery and a planter.
As you have seen in this post, anyone (including you) can do this!

Well, I’m off to keep looking for curtains, I’ll let you know how that goes!

Blessings,

Catrina

How To Style Series: Couch Pillows

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience that I make a small commission from (at no cost to you), should you choose to make a purchase from these links.

With Pinterest and Instagram just a click away, we are bombarded with images of perfectly styled couch pillows from distant lands. Ok, maybe not distant lands lol but they can definitely feel out of reach if we’re struggling in this area!

This post is for the beginner, the one who wants to up her pillow game but doesn’t know where to start. There’s no shame in being a beginner and bravo for wanting to make your home feel more like your own. *fist bump*

Pillow styling is as varied as the day is long and there are lots of opinions out there, I encourage you to take what you can use and lump the rest.

Here are my beginner styling tips in a nutshell:

TIP: Try using a 22″ pillow for the first (layer), an 18″ or a 20″ for the second (layer) pillows, depending on how different you want the sizes to be and a 16″x20″ for the third (layer) pillow.

The colors of your pillows should be the colors you have chosen for your home color story. So the color story of the top sofa is Navy blue, Kelly Green and Teal.

The color story for the home of the bottom sofa would be Orange and Gray.

TIP: It doesn’t matter what the color of your sofa is, it’s a neutral color and you’re not trying to match your sofa. Your pillows should be colors from your personal color story for your home.

Below is a photo of a pillow grouping from one of my couches. You can see that my pillows do not match or even coordinate with my couch. My couch is a neutral and is not something I even consider when choosing pillows. I’m looking for colors in my color story.

These pillows look well together because they ‘are speaking to each other.’ The middle pillow has both the ivory (on the left) and the blue (on the right) in it. It also has the charcoal gray from the curtains. If I took out the middle pillow, it might still look nice but it won’t look as well put together as when the pillows have a color in common.

(I made the two pillows on the right but you can find the textured ivory pillow here at WorldMarket.com.)

How many pillows you have on your sofa is entirely up to you. Some women like a lot and some only like one or two. As long as your pillows have a few colors in common with your curtains and rug etc. and all are from your color story, you’re good!

TIP: bringing in different textures like velvet, corduroy or fur will add dimension and fun to your sofa style! The same goes for patterns and prints that are outside your comfort zone.

As you begin to feel more confident in bringing your color story into your room with your pillows, you can branch out with different patterns and colors, and even venture into colors and styles that are are a little out of the box for you! gasp! lol

Photo credit: Pier1.com

TIP: If you want to be able to ‘chop’ your pillows you need to purchase down / feather throw pillows. Pillows that are made with poly-fil are tough to fluff and can lose their shape over time. Down filled pillows can be fluffed whenever they need to be and are my personal preference.

If you currently have pillows on your couch but they’re not in your color story (maybe they came with your couch?) you can always buy new covers for them! They are just as many covers for pillows as there are pillows. Unless your pillow was handmade to a custom size, it likely fits within the standard sizes. Just check the tag for the size or measure your pillow from seam to seam and order the corresponding size cover.
Amazon.com has a big selection of throw pillow covers in all sizes, click here.

Tip: Quality down filled pillow inserts can get pricey if you’re needing a lot of pillows, I have purchased several of mine at estate sales. Now before you think- EWWWW, here are my tips: I never buy a pillow (or the insert) from a smokers house, or from a home that obviously had pets or strong animal smells. I ALWAYS do a smell test to check for ANY odors and I only purchase from super clean homes. When I get the pillow home, I check again for odors and stains, if by chance I do smell anything foul, I throw it out. Since I got it so cheap, this is a risk I can take. If all is well, I throw out the cover, replace it with one I made or bought and no one can tell the difference. The pillows (inserts) I buy from estate sales are so high quality I cannot tell them apart anymore from the new ones I purchase from a store.
If you’re looking for new down filled inserts try:
Amazon.com and Walmart.com amongst other sites.

Pillows are an easy and inexpensive way to bring new life into your living room, have fun with it! You are taking another step towards creating a home that you love to be in and that’s a good thing. Enjoy it!

As always, I’m here if you have any questions,

Blessings on your home,
Catrina

Relaxed Modern + Boho

This post contains affilate links for your conveniece that I make a small commission from (at no cost to you), should you choose to make a purchase from these links.

I recently put together a list of home decor accessories for a client and decided I would share the pieces with you, too! Their home decor style is relaxed modern with a touch of boho. This style is laid back with lots of raw wood, some metal and natural fibers. Their textiles are neutrals (black, cream, gray), with greenery and lots of comfy texture. Here are a few examples of this style:

Photo Credit: simplegoodsshop.com
Photo credit: simplegoodsshop.com

They already had a beautiful nailhead leather sofa, an off-white jute area rug and rustic wood and metal coffee table. Since the table top is wood we want to go with either black, gray (cement) or white for our accessories, these will look great against the wood.

I recommended these small trays for the coffee table. They can be used either alone or with a small orb or even a single piece of faux fruit on top.

No ‘relaxed modern’ or boho (short for bohemian) living room is complete without a natural seagrass basket with a chunky blanket hanging out. These were my recommendations.

Small blankets add warmth, texture and color to the room, even if they’re only for decoration. A visible basket with a blanket in it says- welcome, come on in, we are laid back and relaxed, here’s a blanket to make you feel more comfortable. :-)

Photo credit: viettimecraft.com

Because their current tv stand is solid black we want to flip the switch and bring in other colors and elements from their design story. This bowl below will be perfect for a short shelf on their stand and help break up the solid black. It can be used either alone or with a few orbs or faux fruit. The rough hewn wood speaks to the relaxed nature of this style and has an unpretentious feel about it.

These tiny concrete planters look great with some faux greenery or succulents either as a bookend for a few upright books or sitting on top of a stack of books. They are great for adding some greenery in the mix without it being overwhelming.

Nothing says comfort like pillows but they also work well to bring your color story together. These pillows are a perfect blend of ‘relaxed modern’ and ‘boho’.

And lastly, this planter adds color, pattern and texture to either the coffee table, end table or tv stand, just add greenery!

Bringing different styles together in one home can be a challenge for a lot of couples but its worth the effort and it’s also what makes the home feel like your own.

I would love to hear how you dealt with bringing together different styles in your home!

Blessings,
Catrina

My (Almost) Spring Centerpiece

I know, I know, you’re thinking it’s a bit early for Spring anything, right? Actually, it’s not necessarily a Spring centerpiece, it’s just a lighter, fresher centerpiece than what I had, that happens to feature flowers, so let’s just go with it. :-)

I love Winter, I look forward to it all year long. In West Texas, our winters aren’t much to speak of so when I see that the temps are consistently in the mid to upper 60’s, I sadly give up hope of any more cold days, embrace ‘Spring’, and I go on wishing that next year will be different. Sigh..

This was my winter centerpiece.

After Christmas, I was still in the mood for some greenery on the dining room table, minus the shiny bells and red velvet ribbon. Pinecones, brass candlesticks and faux cedar greenery in a wood bowl did the trick.

Until it didn’t.

I’ve mentioned more than a few times about how our homes are a reflection of where we are mentally and emotionally. Good, bad or somewhere in between, and like it or not, they reflect us.

A little over a week ago I started feeling like I wanted to change my centerpiece. And then I couldn’t stop thinking about it. You know what it’s like when you zero in on something you want to change, right? I think it had something to do with the fact that I was finally getting better (after being really sick for a month) and was feeling optimistic and energized. The more I looked at my Winter centerpiece (that I formerly loved) the more I felt uncomfortable with it. Weird, right?

So I knew I wanted something fresh, light and unstructured. I wanted it to feel easy and breezy. These words may not make any sense to you lol but they did to me!

I started by changing my runner. I had been looking for a new runner for a while and couldn’t find anything I liked. So I decided to make a ‘no-sew’ runner from an old wool blanket I had.

Y’all know how much I love estate sales, well, a few years ago, I got three of these off-white lambswool blankets for $15 at an estate sale. Bargain of the year! I washed the hallelujah out of them and saved them for such a time as this.

I pulled out my husband’s T-square to make this as simple as possible. I wanted a new centerpiece and runner but I didn’t want it to take all day. lol

I traced out 14″ by 40″ with a blue pen and carefully cut inside the blue line. Because it’s pure wool (and it’s been washed) it won’t unravel. #winning

Next up, I went searching for old bottles and jars from around the house. Some of these we found at estate sales, one was found in the walls of a turn-of-the-century home we renovated and others have been around so long I have no idea where they came from! lol

I arranged the containers on the runner and started clipping the florals and placing them in the bottles and jars.

This is where I usually got hung up.
“What if it looks dumb when I’m done?”
“I don’t really know what I’m doing.”
“I should wait and look at more examples before I start.”
“What if I picked the wrong flowers?”

Anyone else been there?

Decorating our homes is not much different than anything else in life, we think the ‘experts’ know what they’re doing, and well, we don’t.

Nonsense.

I love flowers and have always wanted to incorporate them into my home but didn’t know how to put arrangements together. That all changed last year when I said, “to heck with it, I’m going to try.. and just see what happens!”

And I made a few arrangements and what do you know, I didn’t die. lol

Here is my easy, breezy, light, fresh and unstructured Almost Spring centerpiece.

See how much lighter it feels?

Here are the links to the flowers I used:
Red flowers
White flowers with greenery

And my no sew wool runner worked perfectly!

I suppose I could have dressed the table and removed my salt and pepper shakers and antique bell to make this more Pinterest worthy but this centerpiece is for me and my home and it feels perfect to me (plus I was short on time LOL). :-)

As time goes by, I may want to add or take away from this centerpiece, but that’s the fun of decorating, it’s not a one and done deal, because we aren’t. We’re constantly growing and changing (hopefully) and our homes should reflect that growth and change. This unstructured, happy-go-lucky arrangement is exactly what I needed and brings a smile to my face when I turn the corner and see it.

If you’re buried under snow I hope this centerpiece brings hope of the coming Spring and if you’re in warmer temps like I am I would love to see what you come up with for your (Almost) Spring Centerpiece!

Blessings on your home,

Catrina

The (un)finished home

I follow a lot of other folks on Instagram who are also renovating and restoring old homes. Ours is a 1908 Craftsman Bungalow, others are renovating farmhouses and making homes of buildings that were formerly businesses.

There’s something we all have in common, that feeling that the work is never done. We cheer each other on, rejoice over the small victories and try to be an encouragement when the going is slow and rough, which is often.

This past month when I spent the majority of it in bed, I spent a lot of time looking up at the walls and ceiling in my room, that we have yet to renovate. Quite frankly, the walls are pretty lumpy. Lol These plaster and lath walls have been ‘repaired’ many times by folks over the years and boy do they show it. They’re difficult for me to look at.

We also need to remove the door and picture molding you see in the photo, and restore the walls, baseboards, floors and windows. You know, a weekend project! #not LOL

I wish I could say this was the only room in the house that needed this much work, but it’s not. We have done so much work on this house but we still have so far to go.

Having “so far to go” on a house can be discouraging.

Many of my instagram peers will have transparent moments where they share ‘behind the square’ photos and videos of what it’s really like to renovate a home in real life. It’s slow and difficult and absolutely nothing like your favorite HGTV home reno show, that’s for sure. Behind a few squares of super styled photos are rooms that are still in a rough state.

You know, whether you’ve started on one or two projects or you’re just dreaming about starting, I want to remind all of us that our homes, in their current state are worth celebrating.

I know it’s tough, believe me, I’ve had exposed lumber in my bathroom for over eight years. That same bathroom has never had baseboard and the vanity is too dang small. If you’re thinking, why don’t you just fix it, you’re a renovator for Pete’s sake?! I would say, I would love too!! But the reality is, before you fix that, you have to fix this, and before you fix this you have to fix that. You add in a busy schedule, and other rooms and projects that are a priority, and well, things just don’t happen as quickly as we want them to.

Maybe for you, it’s dealing with carpet you want to rip out, cabinets you want to replace or painting you need to get done, bottom line, it’s driving you nuts. And it’s impacting how you feel about your home and yourself.

I hear you.

Though I’m not advocating for just sitting in your mess and tolerating it, I am saying, during a season of ‘hurry up and wait’, try to remember all the good your home provides, even in it’s current state.

We love our home, I’ve said that many times before. But even I, if I focus too long on those lumpy bedroom walls will start to get down about all that still has to be done in this old home.

Our bedroom (though desperately needing renovation/restoration) still provides a warm and cozy place to sleep at night, what more can I ask for?

Would I love for our bedroom to be done and decorated the way I see it in my head? Yes, of course! But I also know that we’re not just sitting around and waiting for things to happen, we’re working as much on our home as we can, when we can.

I need to remember that this is just a season.. and seasons change.

I know I talk a lot about gratitude and focusing on the good and I don’t think I’ll ever be done talking about it. Lol The fact of the matter is this, regardless of what the situation is, everything will be better when we chose to look for the good and be grateful for what we have. The alternative, focusing on what we don’t have, brings nothing but anxiety, anger, frustration and even depression. Who wants that? Not me!

Even the rooms in my home that are ‘done’ are still not done being decorated, they’re not where I would like them to be. I still have a choice to make, to focus on the good, work on what I can and be grateful for the rest.

We have a few more (big and small) projects to complete before we plan to tackle the bedroom or bathroom so it will be awhile yet before I’m seeing smooth walls in my bedroom.

But let’s just choose together, to work on what we can, and rest in the season and home we find ourselves in.

Blessings on your home,

Catrina

Oh Christmas Tree!

Earlier this year, when Summer was giving way to Fall, l was suffering with insomnia. Night after night I was wide awake long after I had hoped to be asleep. At first, I was stressing about it, I knew how much work I had to do during the day and being sleepy all day was not part of the plan. After the first few nights I knew I had to switch my thinking, stress is not good for the body and it clearly wasn’t changing the situation.

So I started to think about Christmas. Without question, it’s my favorite time of the year. As a December baby, I feel most like myself in the cold winter months. (Everyone tells me that that doesn’t have anything to do with it, but I don’t care, I think it does. lol)
I began concocting elaborate decorations in my mind, trees decorated like I’ve never seen before using colors I’ve never seen on a tree. To pass the time (and not focus on the fact that I wasn’t sleeping) I dreamed up opulent garlands and wreaths loaded with fruit and flowers, they were amazing!

My insomnia finally passed and right after Halloween I began to see Christmas trees popping up on my instagram feed. Oh no, too soon, I thought! There seemed to be an unspoken contest to be the first to post their tree and decorations. Towards the middle of November, I was hard pressed to find a post that wasn’t Christmas related.

I started to notice, again, the overly styled photos, that looked an awful lot like all the photos before them. It was easy to spot the trends. It was easy because they were everywhere, in nearly every photo.

We got super busy in November, we had our 16th annual bowling tournament for our non profit, finished up a few bits with our kitchen renovation, hosted Thanksgiving and then my niece’s wedding. Before I knew it, it was time to decorate my own home for Christmas.

I confess, that for a moment I began to overthink the decorating of my own home. I feel in a small way that because I talk frequently about decorating and home decor that my tree and my home needs to be “picture perfect” and/or “share worthy”.
Foolishness, I know, but those thoughts ran through my mind.

Then I thought about all the millions of women who follow the trend setters, style makers and influencers who will never post a photo of their Christmas tree (that they love) because they don’t deem it “instagram worthy.”

How very, very sad.

I didn’t go with my opulent decorating plans. Somehow after the intense November that we had, I only wanted calm, traditional and predictable.

So my tree looks exactly like it did last year.

It has no particular color scheme.

It’s faux.

It’s not flocked.

It doesn’t have a fancy ruffle skirt or a trendy box.

It’s not share worthy.

Catrina-At-Home-Christmas-tree-2018.jpg

But I love her.

When I see her, I see ornaments that my nieces and nephews made me, ornaments that were gifts from friends, ornaments that I found at estate sales, one ornament that has survived since my childhood and ornaments that I made because there was no money to buy any.

This tree tells a story, our story. And like so many trees in so many homes across America  they will likely not receive any ooohs and aaahs from others but they will do what they were designed to do, bring a few days or weeks of joy to our homes and lives. And that friends, is what decorating should be about.

Maybe next year will be calmer and I can revive my dreams of opulent decor, or maybe not, who knows? What I hope more than anything is that we all have the courage to buck what is expected and pursue what is right for our families in this season. Because that’s what will make the season memorable! I don’t want the 2018 Christmas season to pass in hurry and stress, it’s too important to me.

If you haven’t already, I would LOVE for you to share your tree with our little community on Facebook! Just click here to post a photo of your tree in the comments and tell us why it’s special to you.

Blessings on your home this season,

Catrina

 

 

3 Ways to Instantly Improve Your Home for the Holidays

The holiday season is in full swing and I’m excited!

I was in one of the home decorating groups on Facebook recently and I saw a comment that a woman made on another lady’s Christmas decorations. The commenter was bummed and she said, “I’m not doing anything this year because I don’t have the money. Me and my house will be sad this year, but oh well.”

Her comment made ME sad!

I wanted to reach through the screen and say, “Don’t give up so easily! There is much you can do for your home to make it feel warm and cozy and someplace you want to be!”

So I put together this short list of  3 ways you can instantly improve your home for the holidays:

  1. Turn on some tunes!
    Music is transformative. It has the power to encourage, empower, brighten and lighten you and the mood of your home! Whether it’s Christmas music in your favorite style or by a favorite artist or music from your high school or college days or even a favorite movie soundtrack, don’t underestimate the power of some good tunes to change the mood in your home for the better. And best of all, even if you went to buy music from a music store, vs a download, it’s very affordable, definitely a good bang for the buck.

    close up photo of a woman listening to music
    Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com
  2. Put on your favorite scent!
    Burning candles or incense is another way to instantly transform your home. When you or your guests walk into your home and it smells amazing, it’s an instant atmosphere shifter and mood lifter! Even the smallest, darkest space is brightened by a burning candle, there’s just something about it that says, comfort. Most of us have candles tucked away that we have forgotten about or just don’t use, I encourage you to pull them out and burn them often to lift the spirits of your home.

    burning candlelight candles container
    Photo by Adrianna Calvo on Pexels.com
  3. Smile!
    This may seem obvious or even simplistic but it’s probably the most important. Our smiles tell ourselves and others that we’re optimistic about the future, grateful for the present and happy to be here! What it doesn’t say is, everything is perfect, we have zero problems and thousands in the bank, etc.. Those things don’t have to be true to wear a smile on our faces. However humble our homes may be, however humble our Christmas may be, we can still live in gratitude and that will always change our attitude.
    A smile says, welcome! It also says, I’m choosing to focus on all that I have vs what I’m lacking this season. Trust me when I say that a friend would rather share a bowl of ramen noodle soup with you in a cheerful, welcoming home than an fine meal in a highly decorated, squeeky clean mansion where they feel unwelcome or unwanted.
    Your smile can transform your home.. and you!

    pasta dish
    Photo by Buenosia Carol on Pexels.com

So remember, it doesn’t take a lot of money or much effort to create a home that is cheery and inviting. We have got to resist the notion that is pushed on us from society that we need the latest and greatest things to have a nice home or a nice holiday. We don’t.

We are the makers and shapers of our homes. We set the pace and the priority.
We determine whether or not we have a good holiday. The choice is always ours!

 

Blessings on you and your home,

Catrina

My home = Me

It’s been said, more than a few times, that our homes are reflections of who we are.

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As in, the current state of your home is a mirror of your current state of mind, what’s going on, on the inside.

If you’re honest with yourself, would you agree with that statement?

This maaaay or may not be something that’s fun to think about. lol

gulp.

How do we feel when our home is freshly cleaned, the laundry is folded and put away and there are no dishes in the sink? I don’t know about you, but that one time that happened, I felt pretty amazing! LOL

After a little thought and a little looking around my own space, this is what my home, at this very minute, is saying about me (good and bad, lol):

1.  There are a lot of areas that I want to improve (they don’t reflect how I currently feel about myself.)

2.  There are a lot of areas that need to be completed, they are unfinished/unrenovated. (I still have a lot of personal work to do.)

3.  I have done so much decluttering, but I still have a ways to go.

4.  I’m still working on defining my true, personal style (I got a late start, that’s a story for another time).

5.  I am most definitely a Creative Soul.

6.  I take risks in some areas and play it safe in others.

7.  I have a quirky, mischievous side.

8.  My colors truly reflect my personality:
loyal, trustworthy, dependable, passionate, energetic.

What does your home say about you? :-)

This exercise doesn’t have to be a negative experience, if we are willing to look at our personal spaces with fresh eyes, we can learn a lot about ourselves!

Think about it..

Ever known someone with an immaculate home where everything is in order without a speck of dust anywhere? I’m not talking about special occasions, I’m talking everyday life. Would you say that person likes to be in control? Would they follow behind you re-fluffing the pillows and putting a coaster under your glass? Their perfectly controlled environment is reflecting their desire to either be in control or appear to be in control.

Without getting too deep, those who have every square inch of their walls covered with decor are sometimes feeling the need to hide or cover up some aspect in their lives and will feel vulnerable or naked if their walls are bare.

The other day, I was looking for a pair of earrings and it struck me, just as I would never be found living in a home with a matching set of sofa and chairs (just my personal preference, not a rule for everyone), I also do not own any jewelry sets with matching necklace and earrings. Weird, right?

That absolutely isn’t a conscious decision. I don’t consciously choose to not buy matching sets of furniture or matching jewelry but when I buy what I like, not giving any thought to what others expect me to like, I naturally gravitate towards what coordinates vs. what matches.

This is my home and personal style reflecting who I am.

So, when I look around my home (that is a true reflection of who I am in this moment), as much as I may not want to admit it, I have some work to do. I understand that I am under construction and my home definitely reflects that.

But.. I also see objects, artwork and furnishings that I love to look at and be around. I bought them because they said something to me and I see myself reflected in them, and I’m at home with what I see.

Our homes are ever evolving, (hopefully) just like us. May we give ourselves and others abundant grace during the transitional times.

I would love to hear about what your home is saying about you! The good, bad and the ugly, all are welcome. :-)

 

Blessings,
Catrina