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My Empty Box Method

When I had to shut my business down (See the post about Bally Eden) and bring the contents of my shop home, all my stuff ended up in boxes piled to the ceiling of the garage. I advertised a yard sale and set to work sorting through my stuff. And what I realized yet again, was that your plan needs an empty box or space to sort into. When you have one foot nailed to the ground, it’s an sign that you may need to open up a new space to sort and move you and your thoughts into. So I cleared a corner and placed empty boxes there and began.

I am moving into a different space of possibilities. Like an empty box I put there in my brain so that I could move my thoughts on and sort them into. The shift was from impossibility to probability. And the room opened up. There’s more room to work with. There’s comfortable spots to have a seat with myself and intuit my next step.My Empty Box Method on Shalavee.com

When I have an auto-fearful thought, I challenge its validity, I write it out in my journal, I call a friend, and I engage in compassion and creativity hard to not let that thought become the thought/feeling/action triangle that shuts me down.

When I see that I am drowning in too many possibilities and too many options, I am taking time to sort through and put aside what I can’t do now. And question what I think I should do as opposed to what I want to do. And I’m packing this stuff away in boxes. Because sometimes just letting something sit for a while and returning to it later can provide enough perspective to know exactly what to do with it.

If you enjoyed what you read, please subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your email box. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional In-touchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

How Mrs. Doing was Forced to Have a Seat

My old nickname used to be the Energizer Bunny. I like doing. I have valued myself for the amount of doing I get done and that’s the way I’ve coped with my stress (see industrial overfocused). And while it has worked for me that I made it through the holidays feeling pretty proactive and deserving of a few relaxation hours, I have been on a familiar treadmill during January with an obligation to coordinate a fundraising event in addition to my regular parenting band. And so I kept the relentless treadmill running in my head week after never-ending week. Until this past week when my body said “Your sick, have a seat.

As I laid there with my stomach demanding all of my attention to its achy knot riddled state, I really didn’t have any aspirations to do anything else but lay. I may have spent 15 minutes on my feet that day. And I was OK with that. Because I had done enough towards what needed to get done. And I would be well by the time my event rolled around. I was just having a seat. And that isn’t always a bad thing to be in a place of enough.How Mrs. Doing was Forced to Have a Seat on Shalavee.com

We all need a reset point. We have parties to celebrate transitions from one year’s being alive to the next. We have parties to celebrate marriages and graduations. These are all rests and markers before we continue. And I think we need to be very mindful of supplying ourselves with the same feelings of stop and rest and reflect in our more daily existence. Breaks in routing spark imagination.

It took me a few days to truly recover form the my stomach thing. Happily I may have lost another pound on my 2018 weight loss journey to fit back into my clothing. And there was truly nothing that I missed doing. My floors are still as dirty as they were before I got sick.How Mrs. Doing was Forced to Have a Seat on Shalavee.com

I was able to type while slumped in my chair and write a couple of blog posts but that was the extent of my productivity. I was truly OK with Mother Nature telling me to have a seat. And that would be a first. Maybe I’m not valuing myself as much for my measured successes but for the satisfaction of my soul? Or maybe I had a good enough head start. Either way, I feel well enough to continue. And soon this will all be a nightmare.

If you enjoyed what you read, please subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your email box. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional In-touchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

December 2017 in Pictures

Christmas is a force to be reckoned with. It rolls up on you like some sort of stealth vehicle running on joyful intentions with wicked time constraints. Here’s my thus far pictures to prove that we’re moving right along through the season. And my story is that this Christmas, I was more proactive than ever before so that I can be more present when those wrapped presents are being torn asunder.

 

Christmas pictorial for Shalavee.com

 

Christmas pictorial for Shalavee.com

Christmas pictorial for Shalavee.com

Christmas pictorial for Shalavee.com

Christmas pictorial for Shalavee.com

Christmas pictorial for Shalavee.com

Christmas pictorial for Shalavee.com

Christmas pictorial for Shalavee.com

Christmas pictorial for Shalavee.com

Christmas pictorial for Shalavee.com

Christmas pictorial for Shalavee.comChristmas pictorial for Shalavee.com

Christmas pictorial for Shalavee.comChristmas pictorial for Shalavee.com

Christmas pictorial for Shalavee.com

Christmas pictorial for Shalavee.com

Christmas pictorial for Shalavee.com

 

 

Enjoy your Holiday Happenings wherever and whoever you are!

The Minutia of Christmas

( From December 2014 ) The sound was a thwap and a roll, hollow plastic bouncing and traveling across the floor. My new Christmas tree balls were this moment’s entertainment. The “ball balls” were being extracted from their big clear box and thrown while I hurried to put my laundry away. Although that’s exactly why I bought those, I underestimated the little monkey’s reasoning skills.let the ball-a-thon begin on Shalavee.com

Every day is jam-packed with holiday fun.

Not unlike any other day in my life, I’ve been cramming the carrying out of Christmas details into the tiny time slots when I’m kid free. I got started early! Then stalled. And then the holiday started to close in on me and every other person in the free First world.

garland as a boa on shalavee.com

No one to impress but me, I knew I had time. But the tree had been lit and yet naked for a week. On the heels of the Christmas ball shot put incident, the unearthing of ribbon and tinsel garland set off a playing frenzy with Fiona dragging the garland around screaming “Mine, Mine” while the cat chased and pounced on the end. I’m not accustomed to the toddler mayhem yet. I like my holiday decorating to be quiet thinking time for me. Ha!garland and kitty games on Shalavee.com

Today was cookie making day as well. My son and husband conceived that cookies would be Eamon’s offering to the school class party. I apparently was no where around for this important strategy tete a tete because I am no cookie baker. And alas, Pilsbury’s Sugar cookies with embedded Christmas tree designs that you just cut and bake were all gone from the grocery store’s refrigerated section. So I talked myself up into helping Eamon make chocolate chip and sugar cookies. From scratch.

creaming the butter and sugar on shalavee.com

I hate baking because I’m a cook. Exact measurements? And a toddler who refused to eat her dinner and is now milling around your feet and now falling off the step stool knocking sprinkles everywhere? Call them disaster cookies. choc chip cookies on Shalavee.com

I was feeling generally hostile and irritated and pulled out just enough patience to have Eamon do most of the work. And yes, for her sake and mine, I sent Fiona out to Dada who was doing train garden setting up.

I enjoy my domesticity straight up. I am good with all the ten million details of Christmas but I just want to do them alone. No I don’t want to ever bake cookies with the kids again unless they are well-behaved young adults. No they won’t ever be decorating my Christmas tree unless they’ve proven to have tree decorating abilities. And yes, I will totally take advantage of their cute art project creations to make gifts for people at Christmas and cash in on their one absolute contribution. Creative mindless fun. The rest of Christmas is serious business and better left to the professionals. Christmas cookies from Shalavee.com

Merry Christmas to all you perfectionistic special event planners and decorators otherwise known as moms across the world. You’ve given enough. Take a seat and enjoy the event because it’ll be over in a blink.

If you enjoyed what you read, please subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

My Remodeled Pink Dining Room

It was recently brought to my attention that I had never posted the “redecorate the dining room” post. This was a May ’17 project I set myself to completing before hosting a dinner party, taking our green dining room and transforming it into a pink dining room. And I was truly pleased with myself and the results. This room reno cost a little over $200 including awesome rug, paint, and curtains. And is a monument to decorating minimalism and intuition.My remodeled pink dining room on Shalavee.com

 

At least five years ago, I decided to paint my dining room Chartreuse green. I thought that Spring green shade would be happy. It was but for some unknown reason I chose to do it in a glossy finish which only made the bumpy walls more visible. This renovation was well overdue. I had visions of pink in my head. It was so design forward it frightened me.

My remodeled pink dining room on Shalavee.com

But I dreaded taking off that grass cloth I’d glued to the dado (beneath the chair rail) some 15 years ago, I’d left it. And eventually, it had become the scratching post for certain naughty kitties. As with so many tasks we dread, it turned out to be easy. It took me one hour to remove and scrub off the remaining glue from the walls. I was again astonished at how we dread and put off things for no reason.My remodeled pink dining room on Shalavee.com

 

I decided I didn’t need to repaint the ceiling or the insides of the corner cabinets from their original colors. So, I brought home color swatches until I’d chosen the right color to match.

My remodeled pink dining room on Shalavee.com

I knew that this now all warm-toned room would need a color cool down in the new rug I chose and as soon as I saw this turquoise beauty, I knew it was right. This sucker was a mere $150 bought at Esalerugs.com on a special sale day. Free shipping always. This is the same site I purchased my kilim rug for the hallway. This rug looks fancier than it is. Stuff can get spilled on it (Resolve has been go-to magic in a bottle for 25 years), cats can claw at it, and it still looks good.

My remodeled pink dining room on Shalavee.com

The curtains were another hurdle I finally overcame. I had literally never put curtains up because I didn’t know how to cost effectively handle the bay window rigging. But I’d done some prior research on Pinterest and had pinned some ideas to my secret “redecorate the dining room” board. I revisited those and found the solution.

My remodeled pink dining room on Shalavee.com

My remodeled pink dining room on Shalavee.com

I used metal electrical conduit pipe setting around in the garage. We covered it with gaff tape to make it white. Same tape technique I used on Fiona’s bedroom curtain rods. And I attached them together between the windows with rubber tubing! I was exasperated to have to pay $5 a piece for the 4 brackets to hold all this up. The only ones I could find were black too! And lastly, leveling the whole curtain rig was tough as the windows are visibly wonky. But again, only took me an hour. And them my husband offered up some extra cream-colored wedding organza and just looped maybe 17 foot runs over the rods and I tied them back with jute string. Voila, the windows and the views are framed out.

My remodeled pink dining room on Shalavee.com

The major time I took was for the painting. I blocked off the week to do it and just resigned myself to doing no other chores and to plugging my daughter into the TV for chunks of time. And as usual, the worst part was painting the woodwork. I had chosen to go back to white woodwork while leaving the corner cabinets cream. Lovely concept but that crown molding was tedious going and darned if I wasn’t “almost finished” …”almost finished” …”almost finished” when the kids started to act up.

My remodeled pink dining room on Shalavee.com

The one last decision (besides going from green to pink) that seemed avante garde was the painting of the chair rail. I have always detested the way that chair rail visually chopped up the space. I’ve seen people painting their woodwork out in the same color as the walls. And so, I went for it hoping the chair rail would disappear. It was a success and I encourage everyone to do whatever their whim tells them. It’s only paint after all.

My remodeled pink dining room on Shalavee.com

I should have been more nervous about the rug but somehow, I knew it’d be perfect and I was right. The items I hung on the walls were what I already had and went very well with an evolving color palette of pink, mustard, and aqua. And the two pieces of grass cloth that were perfectly intact when I pulled them from the wall under the windows? Turned them on their sides and mounted these fabulous sconces that I have never been able to hang until now!

My remodeled pink dining room on Shalavee.com

So how did the dinner party go you ask? It was a smash success and I was a confident hostess because I felt like my dining room was finally the exact place that I wanted to entertain in. It was the new me. The color palate is fresh and the windows are frames in that lush wedding organza. Crazy cool.

And PS, Since I’ve taken these pictures, I recovered those dining room chairs too! Had the fabric for over 20 years!

My remodeled pink dining room on Shalavee.com

 

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your email box. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional In-touchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

 

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