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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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Mending My Body

Before launching into one of his tales, my husband always says,”Stop me if I’ve told you this one before”. Of course you wouldn’t be rude enough to do that. I’m the only one that would. But I do think I have a tendency to hesitate telling you about myself sometimes as if you’ll tire of “that same old story” especially when I’m whining about my body.

I’ve found, however, that some stories are worth telling over and over if it allows for others to give themselves permission to help themselves or feel like they’re not alone. So this is my current story.

I am fighting the good fight next round of finding the right doctors, attending the doctor’s appointments, scheduling procedures, and getting through the procedures. Oy is it a battle! And yet, at the end, I have told myself that I am valuable enough as a human being to take care of.

I have finally gotten another set of bilateral corticosteroid shots to my sacroiliac (SI) joints where the spine, or sacrum, attaches to the hips. I am awaiting a follow-up doctor’s appointment but have not experienced complete pain relief all the time. I can get two more sets of shots before I have to wait 6 more months. If this ceases to be affective, my next choice would be a fusion surgery. We’re hoping that will be unnecessary for a long time. mending my body on Shalavee.com

I am now on a countdown for a sinus surgery that essentially should have been done years ago. It seems that a deviated septum is to blame for my chronic sinusitis and subsequent failure (twice) of the antibiotic augmentin. So essentially, I am having my nose roto-routered. It’s kinda hard not to be anticipatory of this sort of thing. And being unable to take Ibuprofen ten days prior to the surgery is messing with me as my SI joint responds best to that medication.

What I like to say is that it is what it is until it isn’t anymore. And soon this will all be a nightmare. In other words, I’ve got my sights set to the future and the Fall when my fall allergies won’t create yet another sinus infection. And I can go running outside again. These are respectable goals.mending my body on Shalavee.com

I hope that me telling you all of this, you can see that taking care of whatever ails or hurts you is such a big deal in feeling like a whole happy person. You’d never deny a child the medical treatment they would need so why do adults do it all the time to themselves?

Follow the breadcrumbs to your wellness.

Anyone have something their putting off taking care of?

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.

The Incomplete, the Ignored, and the Undone

There is a lot of incomplete, ignored, and undone tasks hovering over my head. I come across a pile of stuff in my closet or attic or bookshelf and I think , I don’t have the time to deal with this. Then multiply this by 100 and I’m kinda a captive of all the uncompleted piles of stuff. A prisoner of my past, my intentions, and my stuff.

Years of living reactively, of not completely cleaning up after myself, and of not knowing what to value has led to a slight hoarding problem. I get it honest from my family. I began my reformation 10 years ago when I shut my shop down. My story is here. And as processes are just that, I still have much to let go of. The Incomplete, the ignored, and the undone on Shalavee.com

It’s never been about the stuff. The stuff represents who you think you are. Or who you used to think you were or who you think you might want to be. The stuff represents the tension and your confusion between these undecided upon possibilities. I have been very concertedly attempting to better decide on who I am. I’m a work in progress and process.

Meanwhile, I picked up Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up recently. I started in a little clearing some of my clothing and folding my shirts in my drawers so that you can see all of them in a row. Very satisfying and I completely love that your decision criteria to hold or let go of what you own depends on whether you love it. Quite simply, does it bring you happiness?

The theme that is emerging in my life is Happiness. That what doesn’t make you happy isn’t worth the space either in your head or on your shelf. If the memory that you have when you hold the object makes you happy then “heck yeah” you should hold on to it. But if it only brings you confusion or sadness, then letting it go is an act of kindness.The Incomplete, the ignored, and the undone on Shalavee.com

I know there’s a button making gizmo in a box at the top of my closet which we used to make pins and magnets with our picture on it as wedding favors 15 years ago. A button maker is a really cool thing to have but I have never needed it since. And the life-size cardboard stand up of Han Solo frozen in carbonite? That makes me enormously happy. It reminds me of a life changing moment in my life in the movie theater at the age of 14. And my kids can do whatever they want with it after I’m gone.

Sometimes, we have to allow for things to be undecided and incomplete until we have shifted and chosen something else. Until we know ourselves better. I know this and so I often leave stuff alone and undecided upon until this happens, until it becomes clear what I need to do with my opportunities. My tendency is to collect options but that can wear me out quickly. Too many options is as bad as none. So my intentions for the year are to move through my space, my possibilities, and my stuff with an awareness of my happiness, my benefits, and my abundance. Less to look at and deal with is less brain clutter too. And I need the space to make better choices on my happiness in other areas of my life.

And If you enjoyed what you read, 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 orPinterest 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.

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