Be different. Be you.

Being different.. just for the sake of being different.. is annoying. We all know that girl/guy. And ew.

Being different because that’s who you are, is beautiful! And empowering to others!

Coco Chanel said: don’t be like the rest of them, darling.

I couldn’t agree more.

This next part may sting a little.

I think a lot about this neutral trend that we are seeing in home decor. All gray and white. All greige.. and white. All whites. I’m certainly not speaking about everyone but I have noticed that for far too many, a neutral palette is a copout. They’ll never admit it, but it’s easier to decorate with neutrals because tough decisions on color that may or may not be popular choices, never have to be made.

coco quote2 CAH.png

 

I feel like one thing I do more than anything else is give women courage to pursue the home they really want. Not what their mom or sister or coworker suggests but the home that they want.

It does take courage to step out of what’s expected of you and pursue what you really want for your home.

So I’ll say to you what I say to so many others,

Take the time to figure out what you really want for your home: You color story, your style and the way you want your home to feel.

Figure out what’s standing in your way: Is it your insecurity? Is it the strong opinions of others? Is it finances?

Make a plan for removing the obstacles: This could mean starting a savings or selling some stuff in your home to raise the funds. It could mean having a sit down talk with someone who has a strong opinion on your home and life.

Go for it! For some, this could be the hardest part! I get it. But creating a home that you love to be in, that refreshes you and inspires you and motivates you to go out and do what you’re supposed to do in the world, is worth the effort! You and your family are worth the effort!

“don’t be like the rest of them, darling.”

Don’t fall into what everyone else is doing out of fear or exhaustion. I urge you to take the time to get to know what you want and summon the courage to pursue it. You got this!

 

Blessings on you and your home,

Catrina

Easy Spring Centerpiece

Winter is fading into history and Spring is… springing!

Living in the  desert southwest, Spring happens earlier for us. The temps start to rise and blooms start appearing while most of the country is still under snow. We are fortunate that way but our Summers are HOT. So… there’s that. :-)

But for now, we are enjoying a brief moment of ideal temps and light winds.

Seeing blooms appear outside makes me want to bring the Spring indoors! I made this simple Spring centerpiece, purchasing everything from Hobby Lobby, and you can too!

I use no hot glue (or anything else really) to secure the greenery or flowers in place and that’s the beauty of it, when you want to change out the flowers or figurine as the season changes, it’s super easy to do!

Tips:

  1. Make sure all of your greenery and flowers run in the same direction, clockwise or counter clockwise, this helps the centerpiece flow together nicely.
  2. Have fun! Don’t stress about perfection, there’s no right or wrong way to do this. If you follow my lead and not use glue you can always pull out the pieces and start again.

If you make a Spring centerpiece I would love to see it! Feel free to post it on my Facebook page.

Happy Spring!

Catrina

 

 

Color Speaks To Us & For Us

Color is the top form of non verbal communication.

Can I say that again?

Color is the TOP form of non verbal communication. Wow.

Color means so much and says so much, what does your color scheme say about you?

If you want to change the atmosphere in your home, what colors should you introduce?

Apples in bowl CatrinaAtHome

Check out this video to hear how color speaks to us and for us.

Here’s a very brief rundown of some popular colors and what they say:

Orange: Cheerful, energetic, confident, spontaneous, extrovert, social, happy.

Dark blue: Responsible, confident, intuitive, loyal, trustworthy, truthful, successful.

Green: Nourishing, balancing, energetic, prosperous, growth, health, vitality.

Purple: Creative, wise, royalty, strong, powerful, imaginative.

Yellow: Enhances intelligence and helps clarify thoughts, happiness, uplifting, optimism.

Pink: Innocent love, calm, warmth, feminine, intuitive, sensitive.

Red: Passion! Heightens strong emotions of love or hate, makes you feel active, bold, youthful, energetic, confident.

White: Purity, innocence, untouched, cleanliness, equality, neutrality and independence.

Black: Formal, glamorous, timeless, strength, stability, mysterious, protective, powerful and even intimidating.

Bright gold: Luxury, vitality,  success, achievement, triumph, luxury, quality, prestige, elegance.

Silver: Ornate, glamorous, graceful, sophisticated, elegant.

Turquoise: vibrant and spirited.

Beige: Non threatening. Think of it as a background color. The one that allows others to come forward and shine.

Brown: Protector,  Security, contentment, cozy, strength, honest, genuine and sincere. Brings a grounding and stability.

I could geek out for hours on this subject but I don’t want to make your eyes bleed having to read my ramblings. LOL There’s lots of interesting reading material on the science of color and how it impacts the world around us. A quick google search would probably yield more info than you can shake a stick at but if you’re still curious, check out some of those materials and let me know what you discovered about your style that you didn’t know before.

Blessings from this proud color geek,

Catrina

 

 

Kitchen renovation continues..

We bought our Craftsman home in 2010, she was 102 years old then.

There were two rooms that needed renovation started on before we moved in, one was the (not so) master bathroom and the other was the kitchen.

1912 kitchen before

This kitchen gave new definition to the term- old school. Check out those tiny cabinets!

1912 kitchen before 2

We lived for nearly 4 months on a construction site (in our home) to get these two rooms livable. Plastic draped over everything with construction materials and dust everywhere.

The kitchen was small. These old homes have awesome living and dining rooms but the private areas are often tiny compared to modern counterparts.

We were fortunate that there was a small butlers pantry between the kitchen and the dining room, so down came the wall dividing the two and our little kitchen gained five more feet in width.

1912 kitchen before 3

When it came time to choose cabinetry and countertops, I confess it was a rush job. I was sick to death of the mess and wanted to move things along as quickly as possible. So I made big decisions literally in minutes. Bad idea.

1912 kitchen mid after 1

I had lived in a house for nearly 17 years with white cabinets and I thought I wanted the opposite. Good grief was I wrong. White cabinets might show smudges and spaghetti sauce over time but dark cabinets show every spec of dirt and have to be dusted every few days. Major pain in the butt.

Between then and now we renovated three other turn of the century homes and a few  ‘newer’ properties. So needless to say, our home renovation got pushed aside.

Fast forward to 2018. I decided that this was the year I was going to finish the renovation on my kitchen, even if it took all year. And I was going to paint those dark cabinets once and for all.

It’s a pretty lofty goal, I admit, it’s going to be a ton of work. But if we never start, we can never be finished. Amiright? So, dangit, we startin’! Lol

I will update the blog regularly with all baby step changes we make throughout the year.

Wish us luck! :-)

What projects are you determined to finish this year? I would love to hear about it in the comments below.

Blessings,

Catrina

 

Three Tips for the best Christmas ever!

Christmas is just days away and if you’re like me, you’re in serious planning/stressing/working mode and the internal tension is starting to build.

Will I be able to finish all the decorating in time for my party?

Will Uncle Joe start telling off color jokes again at Christmas dinner?

Will I have time to make my famous cookies that everyone loves?

Sooooo much going on right now, right?

Here are three tips to help you have the best Christmas ever:

Relationships: Let it go

The very best thing you can do to deal with family and relational issues is to not bring last years trash to this years festivities. Did someone offend you last year? Leave it in the past. Was someone rude, late, obnoxious, insulting, impatient or ungrateful? Leave it in the past. Don’t bring it (those hurt feelings and bad memories) to this years party. Is that easier said than done? Well, yeah, but it doesn’t make it any less effective. You have a choice here, don’t forget that. You can choose to hold on to resentment and bitterness or you can choose to forgive, wipe that slate clean and start fresh, to have a great holiday.

Perfectionism: Release it

We all have ideas in our heads on what would make the holidays PERFECT. If you’re like me you may struggle with wanting things to be a certain way and people to act a certain way, etc.. (Maybe you just want them to act like adults, that’s not too much to ask, is it?) This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I know its popular to rag on perfectionists but the fact is- we need people with high standards in our world, we need goal setters and achievers. The question becomes, what lengths are we willing to go to, to achieve this illusive “perfection” and how do we respond when it is not achieved? Total transparency- I have struggled many times with not responding well. I want to get it ALL done and I want it ALL to be perfect! And in years past I have made myself sick with trying to DO IT ALL. And I have gotten upset with those who have messed up my plans.

Somewhere around 2010 I said, enough is enough. No more striving, no more doing things I don’t want to do, just to please others and no more killing myself to achieve my crazy standard of perfection. It’s been a process (I’m still working on it) but I can tell you, this has made the BIGGEST positive impact on my Christmas season. I have more joy in my heart when I’m not pursuing something that in truth, can never be achieved. I would encourage you to consider dropping your high expectations of yourself,  your family and your home decor this Christmas and embracing the ‘imperfections of reality’ for a happier holiday.

Focus: What is important?Best Christmas Ever CatrinaAtHome.com

We read and hear this all the time, right? Remember the “reason for the season” etc.      We KNOW what’s MOST important is the birth of Christ and spending time with family during the holidays but something happens… somehow our focus gets… off. We start striving to be admired for our cooking, our decorating, our Christmas card photo, our outfits, our perfect house, our gifts, our instagram photos, our blah, blah, blah and the “reason for the season” gets pushed down to 4th or 5th place (if it’s even on the chart). So how do we get back on track? How do we make this right? Does something terrible have to happen to a family member for us to recalibrate and remember whats REALLY important? Dear God, I hope not. But that will definitely do the trick. Somehow, when we have a near fatal car accident or we lose track of a child in a store for 10 seconds that everything that’s important rises to the top and all the other stuff fades away with lightening speed. Remember, you are the pace setter in your home, you determine what is important and what is trivial. You can choose to focus on family time over all the distractions of the season. Also, remember the little ones are watching, be the person you want them to grow up to be. Focus on what you want THEM to focus on.

Remembering what’s important this season and letting go of bitterness and perfection will help you have the best Christmas ever. I promise!!

Blessings to you and yours,

Catrina

 

“Expert”

Around every corner and under every rock you will find a “Fitness Expert”, especially in the social media realm, right?
Yup, everyone’s an expert. :-)
There are some fantastic (true) experts out there, that offer amazing and insightful information that will help us on our journey to better health and fitness, follow them! Read their books and blogs and posts, etc. and everyone else? Hmmm, take them with a grain of salt. :-)
Even better, do your own research, experiment with your own diet and training and become an expert.. of you!
I caution you about anyone who will a.) ‘push products’ on you, b.) suggest that their diet and workouts are the only way to go and c.) those who are inconsistent.. at best. You want someone who models a life you want to lead, if they haven’t figured out what works for them yet, give them a few years to gain some experience and knowledge, then check them out again.
And again, take the time to shape your own path to better health, do simple elimination tests to find out what you’re allergic to, pay attention to what foods make you feel energized (not high) and what foods make you feel sluggish and sick. Take out what’s harmful and add in what’s beneficial.
I’ve spent 400+ hours researching my current diet and workout plan and I’m not done yet. I want to always be growing in my knowledge of how my body works and how best to fuel it. And I encourage you to do the same.
Well, you don’t have to put in 400 hours, but you can start somewhere though, right?
Right. You little expert, you. :-)

Superwoman

Do you do anything in your life right now, that makes you feel like Superwoman? (Assuming you’re a woman, of course..)
Something that makes you feel invincible, powerful and ready to take on anything?!?

I do. It’s called Demolition. ‘Demo’ for short.
And I LOOOOVE it! :-)
So what do I demolish? Walls. Plaster and lath, sheetrock, ceramic tile, wood, concrete.. whatever.

Why do I do this?
Well.. my husband and I bought a 104 year old home that every single flippin’ inch needed remodeling, so we had to take out walls, lots of different flooring and various wood structures.

We’ve also been doing various demo and reconstruction projects for the last 17 years. We’re crazy like that.

It’s tough work, not for the faint of heart or those worried about breaking a nail. Depending on what we’re working on we can easily be covered from head to toe in dirt, concrete or sheetrock dust, and sweat. Yeah, lots of sweat, we are absolutely filthy when we finish.
So why would I do this?
Well, for one, because it needs to be done, and two.. because I can.
Yeah. I can.
Give me a wonderbar in one hand and a hammer in the other and I will take down ANYTHING.
And the grin on my face under my mask will be huge while I’m doing it.
Why? Because I love the fact that I am not only capable of doing this, but I can do it well.
What I (may?) lack in strength (compared to the opposite sex) I will more than make up for in stamina. I don’t quit till the job is done.
And when I’m done, I’m crazy tired and likely bleeding somewhere, but on the inside I’m on top of the world, ready and willing to take on ANYTHING.
In my own little world, I am Superwoman. (Powerful, capable and strong.)
But my husband (lovingly) calls me- Beast.
So I ask you again, do you have anything in your life that you accomplish that makes you feel SUPER?
Something that stretches you?
Something that’s tough?
Something that takes a great deal of effort and thus gives a great deal of pride once completed?
We need these things.
And this is not the same kind of ‘amazing’ that a haircut or new outfit brings, this is the kind of ‘amazing’ that can only come with accomplishment. With facing something tough and tearing through it. And coming out on the other side- victorious.
In the midst of our crazy lives where we are burdened with issue upon issue, we need pockets of straightforward success here and there to remind us that we can make it and we can succeed in very tough circumstances.
We are capable. We are Super. And we can handle Anything that comes our way.

Without these ‘successes’, these moments of awesome achievement, we start to shrivel, and doubt starts to creep in and ‘everything’ seems so overwhelming and we think we can’t make it if we don’t ‘escape’ (to get a manicure, a drink, or eat junk) so we can deal with life again.
Nonsense.
You are so much stronger than you think you are. You may have forgotten this, but the fact remains. You may need to tackle and conquer something bigger than you to refresh your memory of your strength, but it’s there, I promise you.

While leading a group of college girls through a workout not too long ago, I told them of another benefit of exercise that’s often overlooked:
When we face a tough workout that we really don’t want to do or don’t think we can do, but we roll up our sleeves and do it anyways, afterwards, after we’ve pressed on, pushed hard, done our best and finished.. we get to enjoy the gift of accomplishment and we also realize that every ‘impossible’ task we overcome gives us strength and determination to handle the next one, be it in the gym or not. Working-out is a strength builder that carries much further than the walls of a gym.

Some will run to get a pedicure or go shopping when the going gets tough. Fortunately, life never afforded me those options. And I say “fortunately” because without those options, I was forced to develop my ‘perseverance muscle’, and it’s strong now.
Earlier I said my husband and I had been doing demo and rebuilding for the last 17 years, but I had forgotten about this photo here…
This is me and my brother and sisters (minus one) when I was 16 years old (I’m in the center not holding anything). Apparently my Mom looked at two short brick walls and a large L-shaped patch of concrete and it never occurred to her that we couldn’t break this down. She told us it needed to be done and using a sledgehammer we did it. We took turns destroying this sore sight in the yard, till it was no more. No gloves, no protective eye wear, no steel-toed boots. Just grit.
Was it ‘fun’ to do this? Maybe for the first few minutes, but those were (really) rough times, and I’m sure I welcomed the opportunity to work some frustration off. Would I have rather gone swimming or read a book or hung out with friends? Uh, yeah. But it was during these years that I was learning just how strong I was (we all were). Not by choice, we never choose adversity, right? But it’s in the fire, in those moments when we want to quit, but don’t because that option isn’t even on the table, that we find there’s really something in us, in all of us… that’s Super.
Thanks, Mom.