I’ve made it a point to start “rescuing” every handmade mug I encounter in thrift stores. Last night I found 3! The one in the front is a gorgeous signed piece, I’m guessing it was sold for upwards of $30- all mine for $1!
Cheap gold light fixture will become the new black light for Shawn’s game room. If this goes well, I’ll attempt to spray paint the existing fixtures in the bathroom. Wish me luck!
I have a confession to make. I used to be one of those people who didn’t understand the “How to be Insufferable on Facebook” type posts. You know, the listicles that opined that sharing anything good that happened in your life somehow made you unbearable to be connected with on social media?
Getting married and excited about it? You’re obnoxious.
New job? You’re bragging. Just stop.
Saved your ass off and bought a house? You’re insufferable. Why do you even exist?
Basically, reaching any life milestone that the reader themselves had not attained, but wanted to, meant you were intolerable. And I never understood that stance. When my friends got engaged, I cheered! When they got a promotion, I exclaimed, out loud, “good for you!” from behind my computer screen. Lost a bunch of weight? I was sending you oodles of compliments and reinforcement on your healthy new lifestyle.
What I didn’t realize is that my healthy, positive view of these life accomplishments were a byproduct of having achieved relative happiness in my own personal life. I am an equal partner in a loving relationship. I am happily married. I have reached most of the goals I have set for myself over the course my life. Hell, my husband calls me The Juggernaut, because when I set my mind to something, I am an unstoppable force. Even before we bought our house, I cheered others who attained something I was diligently working towards.
So going from this position of the cheerleader to what I’ve become today has been one of the greatest challenges I have faced as a conscious adult human being.
Losing my pregnancy, my child, and then being incapable of getting pregnant again, has robbed me of a large part of my identity. I am angry. I am bitter. And I am sad. And I do not cheer for others who become pregnant.
This loss of my former definition of self is the biggest death I’ve faced in the last 19 months. Quite honestly, it is the singular thing that sent me to therapy. I could not understand this anger towards others’ success. I am acutely aware that it is not rational to begrudge others what I have worked so hard to achieve for myself. A friend having a baby in no way takes away from the possibility of myself having one, and yet, I am incapable of cheering for that person.
It just hurts too. fucking. much.
And this led to a profound insight to the statement that sharing your successes and happiness in a public way can cause pain for people who are lacking those things that they desperately seek in their own life. I couldn’t understand why someone would be angry that I bought a house. Or that I got married. How on earth could my happiness cause them pain?
I understand that now. I am living it. And I hate it.
So, this is my confession. I consider myself an empathetic person, but this is an area where I was not empathetic in the least. I now have a greater appreciation for people who are longing, and hurting for that longing. I am sorry for judging you, and I hope you can see it in your hearts to not judge me.
I had an awesome weekend! I got to spend Friday night with my best lady and her little one, at the First Friday Art Walk. I had no idea how much it had grown since the last time I did it- it’s a full-on festival in the summer!
Then, I did some super fun flea marketing and junk searching in Woolwich with Jane. The conversation was awesome, the characters colorful, and the vintage Pyrex glorious (I may have a new addiction on my hands!)
I finally concocted a color I can live with for the hallway, but then tore a giant swath of paint off the wall while prepping- oops. So I’ll have to figure that out. But! Color victory! 4th time is the charm, apparently.
Today, I ran 6 miles for the first time, got to visit with my mama, and will be seeing Bill Maher tonight with the dude as an early bday present. Life does not suck :)
I feel like this one is worth posting- 10 boxes of cereal FREE and 9 organic yogurts for $5.82 OOP! Yay Shaws!
Howdy strangers! I haven’t felt like writing too much these days (or, at least, what I have felt like writing has been of the melancholy nature, and I’m trying not to bore you all by being a one-note wonder!)
Things at the house are sloooooooow, but progress is being made. It’s hard to walk into every room of where you live and see a To Do List that is about 50 items long. You sort of have to super glue blinders on your eyeballs to go about your business.
I have met some of our neighbors, and everyone I’ve met has been incredibly nice. They’ve all had good things to say about the neighborhood too, which is a bonus. It’s definitely quiet, suburb-like living right smack next to the city. We’ve been enjoying it so far.
As for documenting the house’s transformation, I have been relying mostly on bad iPhone photos. There was just so much to do before we even moved in that I didn’t always have the forethought to grab my camera. I hope, as we start finishing rooms, I will be able to do some detailed before/after posts.
For now, I give you some of the story of before. Here are some images of what we signed on the dotted line for, and how filthy it was! (Most of these rooms are already much improved with heavy cleaning and paint.)
The dog fur left behind by the previous owner, who apparently didn’t attempt to sweep as he moved out (this was JUST from the bedroom!)
Our pre-move To Do List (sexy, sexy check marks, crossed off with help from many amazing friends and family members!):
Guess where the piece of art was on the wall in the living room? This is a good example of the grime on every surface. (and I don’t miss that wall color!)
The other weird thing we encountered was grease. Everywhere. There is nothing more gross than reaching to open a cupboard door and ending up with sticky grime on your hands, blech.
All told, I believe we logged 22 hours of heavy scrubbing in the kitchen alone. They must have done a lot of frying, as the grease had congealed into a glue-like substance that coated the cabinets, drawers, walls, oven and windows. Even the fridge had a solid coating.
I am learning how to clean rust off off of fixtures (our lights and shower rod in the bathroom)
I did learn one lesson- don’t buy unfinished furniture when you buy a house that is, itself, unfinished. I snagged these two gorgeous wood bookcases off CL that needed to be finished before we could unpack our books and DVDs.
I was the overachiever who decided to stain AND paint them two different colors, which took over 2 weeks to do. Here are some bad photos of before/after (and you can see what our living room looks like now.)
So, that’s my mini-update for now. I’m still struggling with paint colors for the hallway and my craft room, but honestly, those are about the last two rooms that need paint at this point. Then it’s on to painting miles of trim, and then all of the ceilings. I hope to become more regular with pictures and posts as we keep trucking through these improvements. Cheers!
We set out to find a cozy, three bedroom house in Portland (preferred) or South Portland, with a small but usable yard space. We weren’t afraid of a cosmetic fixer-upper, but wanted a structurally sound house. We both love all things old and all things character — moldings, built-ins, original details, and an overall cozy feel. So here were our three top choices…
It’s always amazing to be featured anywhere on the Offbeat Empire! Check out our “House Hunters” story on Offbeat Home, and see two houses that almost-were :)
A year. It’s been a year. 365 days since that first awful day, and the many that followed. It’s sort of hard to wrap my head around it all.
As we recently navigated the process of buying our house, I found myself reflecting a lot on what the past year has entailed. I have learned oh-so-many life lessons in a very short amount of time. About myself, about my relationship, and about what’s important. Some of what I learned was great, and a lot of it was just plain hard. (And none of it did I ever plan to share on my blog- which was supposed to be all about inane craftiness!)
I’ve always struggled to accept the answer, “you’ll just have to wait and see.” Apparently I am a do-er. A fix-er. And I reeeeeeeeeeally hate that answer. Unfortunately, it seems as you get older, and your life gets more complicated in the worldly sense, things become a lot more gray. Most of the time, you can’t force a faster outcome. Even when you desperately want to.
I am trying my damndest to just float within the current, trusting it’ll take me where I’m going. Sometimes it even works (for like a day!) That sounds lame, but it’s progress.
Since we closed on the house, I have this tremendous feeling of being unburdened by leaving our apartment. As Shawn put it, I’ve had a “beef” with this apartment since the second we found out our baby was a tumor. We moved into this space with the expectation of starting our family there. The second we had that appointment, the front room went from being “the baby’s room” to just “the other room.” I choke over what to call it every. damn. time.
I never decorated, or became attached to the space. It was never home to me. It was just where our stuff lived.
The irises in front of the apartment bloomed again recently, and I was irrationally angry at them. I had thought they were a good omen when we were moving. I felt like they tricked me. I should have realized that the rain was a more apt omen than my father’s favorite flower.
Releasing this apartment into the ether, and moving into a space without expectation of our life in that space feels incredibly freeing. Our house is the perfect size for us- just us. If we’re lucky enough to fill it with a kid, or two (hey, let’s not get ambitious) fantastic. If not, I will have the best mutha f*ing craft room evah. And Shawn will have his kick ass game room. And we will be fine.
The unknowns for us aren’t going away any time soon. I’m down a whole fallopian tube thanks to the beast known as endometriosis, and while the odds aren’t entirely bleak, they certainly aren’t on our side. Then again, who knows really. We certainly have no say in the matter either way. And kicking and screaming, I’m attempting to float along in some semblance of serenity. (At least as much serenity as you can have while trying to makeover an entire house!)
Huge thank yous to everyone for your love and support over the last year. Every tiny shred of sanity I’ve retained has been a direct result of you all helping me work through the crazy. You are deeply, deeply, appreciated :)
Came home to a bag full of gifted bearded irises to plant at the house, yay!!!
So, this happened yesterday. My head is still spinning! Full write up coming soon! #homeowners
How can it be so close?! PF14 baby! So excited to participate this year :)
We’re taking to the streets!!!
Get a sneak peek of PortFringe 2014 when local actors, puppeteers, musicians, and comedians take to the streets during the June 6th First Friday Art Walk.
With a portion of Congress Street closed to car traffic, and less than a month until the PortFringe…
Auntie duty with Miss Vinka (who had nothing but smiles for me), and some killer couponing action = one fantastic Saturday :) I may or may not (but totally do) now have 2-3 years stock of my favorite deodorant in the house. This couponing thing could turn into a problem…
Monster Pants = Success! They fit! Apparently the 4th time was the charm :)
(Not So Extreme) Couponing
In an effort to continue eeking out as much savings as we can in our house hunt, I’ve decided to learn how to strategically coupon. I’m not interested in clearing any shelves, or having a massive stockpile in my house, but my hope is that used carefully, we can make a dent in our monthly budget and add to our savings.
Today was my inaugural run, and I am pretty happy with how it went! There were two great deals at CVS (the Aveeno moisturizer and the Speed Stick Deodorant) so I decided to try out CVS for my first run. The goal was to match manufacturer coupons, CVS sales, store coupons, and getting as many Extrabucks as I could. I planned to use the Extrabucks on granola bars (which I also had coupons for,) because we spend an arm and a leg on them on a weekly basis.
I wanted to save at least 50% overall, and I did better than that. I made a couple of mistakes (apparently if you have Extrabucks, and don’t spend the whole amount, they don’t scan), but all in all, it was a good haul and a good learning experience!
- 1 Aveeno Positively Radiant Moisturizer w/SPF
- 1 Aveeno Positively Radiant Tinted Moisturizer
- 1 Schick Quattro Women’s Razor
- 4 Schick Quattro Refill Cartridges
- 3 Lady Speed Stick Deodorants
- 9 Clif Bar Granola Bars
- 3 Clif Builder Bars
- 6 Uber Larabars
- 3 Larabars
- 3 boxes of Kellog’s cereal
Total before coupons: $115.60
Total Out of Pocket Spent: $47.71 (would have been $39.21 with 5 less granola bars if I had done it correctly)
Percentage saved overall: 59% or $67.89
To put it in perspective, I would normally have spent $37 on just the moisturizers. Add in the deodorants, and that would have put me over what I spent out of pocket today. So it’s like getting all of the granola bars, the cereal, the razor, and the razor cartridges for free!