Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Have you ever walked into someone’s house and didn’t know how to act because it was spotless?   A house that was perfectly decorated and everything had a place.  And if you had kids with you, forget it.  The nervousness of the whole thing just made you so uncomfortable you couldn’t enjoy yourself.   You look over at your kids with an "evil eye" and mouth the words Don’T.  Touch. AnythinG.  

 I prefer to visit with people whose homes are a little “lived in.”  A little dust here and there, a few things out of order, you know.  Some place that feels like home.  (Except the kitchen.  I like very clean kitchens and bathrooms.  Those two areas can be spotless, I’m good with that. ) 

Have you ever spent hours in awe of all those posts on Pinterest, or Instagram, or blogs, or magazines and felt like your life just wasn’t “picture” perfect?   After re-pinning everything that you would love to have in your Pinterest inspired life, you turned from your screen with blood shot eyes and ended up horrified at the reality around you?   Nothing physically close to you was “Pinterest worthy”  
That’s was me.  Both accounts.  There are people in our life’s who have these kinds of “Pinterest worthy” homes.   We used to call them Better Homes and Gardens.   Nothing wrong with it, but for most of us, it just isn’t real.   We are real.  We have lives, we have kids, grandkids, pets, jobs, errands to run and no, we don’t have a cleaning crew (At least not a paid, professional one anyway!)

We spend way too much time on Pinterest, pinning everything down onto our very own dream board.   All the decorating ideas, the recipes, the crafts, the exercises, the DIY’s and tutorials.  We see the possibility of peace and tranquility “if only ours could look like that.”   The trouble is we don’t have the time, the energy or the money to accomplish all of these wishes.   So what do we do?  We search for ways on Pinterest to manage our time only to end up creating new boards… time management board, how to make more money board and how to have more energy board. 

It all has to stop.   We just get into this endless cycle of ohhing and awing and pinning and wanting but not doing.   Because every pin is a picture of the perfect outcome and perfection scares us a little.   We can’t even try because we know it won’t look like the picture.   It was this realization that made me decide that I was going to stop looking at Pinterest, and stop looking at my fave magazines , Tea Time and Romantic Homes because I was just setting myself up.   In all reality that lasted just a couple of hours, well maybe a day. 

It dawned on me that what I’m not seeing is the trial and error before the perfect outcome.   The “what was happening before” the Pinterest worthy picture.   That I needed to “widen the lens” on my camera and realize that there was so much going on behind the scenes of those pictures.    Please realize that most of the pictures are staged.  I know, I’ve done it for this blog.  Ya, I’ve moved furniture and set up tea for the sake of the blog photos.   I bet you have too, maybe not “set up tea” but you know what I mean.  
This is a set up Tea party - complete with family in the background - waiting to partake of the goodies!

 Really knowing these things has given me a little peace and helped me let go of some of my own thoughts of perfectionism.   That it’s okay to have a dream board…dreams are what we turn into goals.   And the next time I’m invited to That Friend’s house, I will warn the kids ahead of time and when I go in I will compliment her and ask her how she does it?  How she keeps it all together?   I will relax and enjoy the fact that she thought enough of me to want me and my motley crew to come over and spend some time.  And I will imagine that she has a couple of OMG closets and that everything was staged for our benefit and enjoyment.  
(Note: this post contains affliate links)

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Antique Mall

Yes, It's been a little while since I shared pictures of my rented space at American Classics Marketplace here in Colorado Springs. I'm so glad you asked me to share! Hehe. Here are pictures of some of the "smalls" that I sell.    

This summer I tried something new (to me) by adding fresh lavender.  I've provided pre-labelled bags and customers are invited to fill up a bag.   Once they start scooping it up the fragrance is released and it is so yummy!   And yes, they are doing it!  I've already had to bring in more bags.  

I've also been selling off my collection of Romantic Homes, Tea Time and Victoria Magazines!  I didn't think they would sell but they do!   

What you would usually find at Mon Petite Chou Chou are tea cups, tea pots, china and all other manner of tea party accessories!  

Plus other vintage wares - including kitchen scales, red handled tools, soup tureens (I've sold a lot of soup tureens this past year.) 

I am attracted to all things romantic, shabby, lacy, white and feminine.  Can you tell?   I sell what I like, (because if it doesn't sell I'd eventually have to bring it home!) but luckily for me there are buyers out there that share in my passions!  

This past week I was tickled while watching a local television station and this ad for the American Classics Marketplace came across the screen.  There are over 350 rented spaces in this store and mine was used in the commercial!  How cool is that?   If you are ever here in this beautiful city please do stop by.  There is something for every taste in this huge warehouse.  I'm near the front and if you asked for Jo T's booth they will point you in the right direction!  

I am joining these lovely parties this week:   

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

3 ways to stop flying by the seat of your pants - Part 3

This is a 3 part series.   If you are so inclined you can read the rest of this article here and here.  I hope you do, because these are just little tips that helped me along life’s way.   See I’m a wife and a mom to 4 daughters, 3 son-in-loves, 2 nieces, and 9 grands.   I’ve also held a full time job, along with a side business and volunteer work!  I KNOW what it is like to FLY by the SEAT of my Pants!   Is everything perfect now?  Nope.  No way.  I’m still working at it.   So if you feel overwhelmed, come along with me…let’s see if we can fix this together my friend. 

We left off with “getting” to do something for our family.   It’s all about changing your mindset.  You don’t “have” to make them a meal, you “get” to.   There was once a day when you were so happy to do this sort of thing.  It blessed your kids and your husband and you.  Then life happened.  You got busy and in over your head with laundry and chores and kids and pets.   Sometimes it just took a couple of weeks of everyone passing around a bug to wipe out all of your hard work.   It’s okay.  We just pick up and start again.  They’re your family, such as they are, they are yours. (Once when I was having a fit I called my dear husband a Slob.  He said to me “but I’m your Slob” Lol! Yes he is, and I love him!) 
So back to the planning thing, what is it that you GET to do to bless your family?  Laundry?  Dinner?  (Both right?!)  Don’t put laundry and groceries on the same day.  You don’t have to be a martyr.    Write it on your piece of paper and then do it.   Do you have to clean the kitchen before you cook?  It’s possible to clean and cook simultaneously.  You can put the water on to boil and empty/load the dishwasher while you’re waiting.  And then learn to clean up as you go.   It can happen.  I know. 
At the end of the day, you can look back and say I accomplished something.  If you followed along with these posts then you have 1)gotten groceries into the house 2) spent 30 minutes on yourself  and 3) blessed your family by making dinner!   Now pull out that piece of paper and write the day of the week on it.  Turn it over and write down the one thing you have to do tomorrow.  Do you have to do the laundry? At least some of it?  (You know what I used to do, I used to check my husbands clean clothes to make sure he had enough clean socks, underwear, shirts, etc., if he was getting low I made sure I did his first because I have tons of underwear and socks, I could go a whole month probably!)  Does your kitchen need a good scrubbing?  How about the bathroom?  You get the drift.  You are the one who knows what needs your attention! 
Write it down.  After that write down something you want to do and then another thing you get to do.   At the end of the day, do the same thing.  Keep your papers together and do this for a whole week. Next week you’ll already have a planning system to go by.  You can add and change it up as you get comfortable with having a routine.  Once you’ve gotten it down, it’s okay to pick up a cool planner if you want.  I love mine.  It’s an Erin Condren (a little shameless plug here.)  You can get one through this link and save $10.00!   Warning though:  you could go down the black hole of planner accessories here… self control!

Your Referral Link :

Thursday, August 11, 2016

3 ways to stop flying by the seat of your pants - Part 2

This is a 3 part series.   If you are so inclined you can read the first part of this article here (Part 1).  I hope you do, because these are just little tips that helped me along life’s way.   See I’m a wife and a mom to 4 daughters, 3 son-in-loves, 2 nieces, and 9 grands.   I’ve also held a full time job, along with a side business and volunteer work!  I KNOW what it is like to FLY by the SEAT of my Pants!   Is everything perfect now?  No.  No way.  I’m still working at it.   So if you feel overwhelmed, come along with me…let’s see if we can fix this together my friend. 

Part 2:  

Last time we talked about doing one thing that was absolutely a must!  What was it for you?  Did you go to the grocery store?  Did you clean your kitchen?  Take a shower?   Whatever it was, after you've done that one thing, check it off and write down something you want to do.  Did you want to paint your nails?  Do you want to get lost on Pinterest?  Okay write that down, and set your timer.   Give yourself 30 minutes.  I know, you have kids.  They are not going to let you have 30 minutes.  They'll start fighting, or throwing up or someone will let the dog out of the yard.  I know this.  Here's what you're going to do:  put them in a safe place (crib, playpen, neighbors house) or if they are old enough to play in the back yard or watch tv without constant supervision let them do that.   Tell them when my timer goes off we will have a treat (a little bribing goes along way). Maybe it's a Popsicle or you'll play Legos with them (not after you just did your nails...for obvious reasons).   Now set your timer and do your thing.  It's just 30 minutes, but it's your thirty minutes.  Maybe position yourself so you can have one eye on the kids if that makes you feel better.   

After you've done that check it off!  Yes you did.  At this point you've taken care of one thing that had to happen, and one thing you wanted to do.  Now write down that one thing that you get to do to take care of your family.  Wait...why did I have me time before I took care of my family?  Doesn't that make me selfish?  Doesn't that go against everything we've been taught?... No. No, it doesn't.  Trust me.  It will make you a better mama, a better wife, a better person to be around.  We need a little bit of me time and if we always put ourselves last then it won't happen.  I know.  Back to the family thing...we get to take care of them, it's a blessing for us.  We fight it sometimes because we've not taken the time to take care of the have to's and want to's.   We get to fill their bellies with yummy food.  You know what they like.  We get to give them a clean bed to sleep in and clean clothes to wear.  We get to teach them how to take care of themselves.   We get to relax and have fun with them.  (Like play Legos for a little while.  Or Barbies, is that still a thing?  How about build Lego furniture for Barbies.  Your kids will think you're the coolest)!   

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

3 ways to stop flying by the seat of your pants - Part 1

  This is a 3-part series.  If you are so inclined you can read the rest of this article here (Part 2) and here.  I hope you do, because these are just little tips that helped me along life’s way.   See I’m a wife and a mom to 4 daughters, 3 son-in-loves, 2 nieces, and 9 grands.   I’ve also held a full time job, along with a side business and volunteer work!  I KNOW what it is like to FLY by the SEAT of my Pants!   Is everything perfect now?  No.  No way.  I’m still working at it.   So if you feel overwhelmed, come along with me…let’s see if we can fix this together my friend. 

Start using a planning system - I know you've tried this before.  And in your determination to finally land your plane it took you all day to organize your board, your planner, your to do list.   Everything had to match and be perfect and you were so proud of how it looked.   You were ready to conquer the world!  Remember looking up from that project and noticed it was 30 minutes until HE would be home from work and the kids were sitting in front of the television eating cereal out the box, in their diapers and pajamas.  You were not together either and the flying began again.  So this time, instead of running to the office supply store, go to your stash pile of stuff and pull out a piece of paper.  I know you have one, if not several!  Remember, I've been there! Write down one thing you have to do today.  This will be the beginning of your system.  It could be as simple as taking a shower and getting it together girl!  

Or as time consuming as grocery shopping. (But don't do the kind of grocery shopping that requires research, clipping and organizing.  Not yet.  Not this time. Just get some groceries in the house already! Do make a quick menu and list however, and stick to it, or else it could just add to your chaos! That is a whole  other post!) So whatever that one thing is, after you've written it down, go do it Seriously.  Whatever it takes.  You will feel so accomplished afterwards.  Disclaimer - If it was grocery shopping, you might be exhausted, accomplished but exhausted.  Especially if all of the kids went with - get some easy peasy dinner fixings for tonight!    

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Finding Treasures - In my own stash!

What fun it has been for me to dig in to some boxes that have been in the garage for a couple of years.  I posted about my new/old craft room a couple of posts back.   It has been a lot of work but I am enjoying it.   I am finding treasures that had been forgotten about, like this beautiful lace found in a hatbox!  Silly me thinking all the hatboxes had hats in them.    

I have more lace than I thought, and I admit that I did continue to buy lace as I found it while out treasure hunting.   I would justify my purchase with "I will use it someday, for something."  I just couldn't bear to leave it on the shelf at the thrift store. Bags of it.  This is why I have purposely avoided garage sales, estate sales, thrift stores, for this month anyway! (It's almost over ... I'll rethink the whole avoidance thing in August!)

And apparently I'm not the only one enjoying the treasures to be had in my own garage. Mon deux petits chou chou (pronounced Shoe Shoe) are having fun with the hats and boas that were found in another hatbox!   Looks like it may be time to take a tea break with these two.  They look ready for a party don't they?   Speaking of parties, I am joining these lovely parties this week:   

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Vintage "button" tin

Do you ever look through the tins at estate sales?  Especially when they seem out of place, like this random toffee and chocolates tin that was left in the "craft/sewing" area of the sale.  Instinctively, I knew what was in it.   I slightly shook the box and could hear the familiar sound of buttons rattling around.   My mom kept all of her loose buttons in a similar tin.  I remember I would go through her button tin while she was at her sewing machine.  I would try to find matches and lay them out.   Occasionally she would ask me to find a blue button, or a red one, something about "this big" she gestured with her fingers.  Did she really need it?  I don't know, but I loved being a part of whatever it was she was making so I happily dug through old the buttons hoping to find the "one."   

These old tins are really little treasure boxes.  I have found old coins and jewelry among the buttons.  I've also found dead bugs.  Ewww, I know.   There were times when I would dump moms button tin on to the carpeted floor and then scoop them back in again.  I'm sure I picked up more then buttons when I did that.  I imagine this is how most of the "yuck" I've found in these old tins gets in there.  

These vintage "button" tins are probably a thing of the past.  I don't hear of many modern day users.  I have mine, but I also have buttons in mason jars and other containers.  I'm very happy to find these at sales and such.  They are a treasure to me!  What about you?  Where do keep your buttons?  

I'm sharing my button tin with Share Your Cup Thursday, and with Shabbilicious Friday

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Ready, Set, GO!

Several years ago I got on a roll and was so excited to put together a craft room/office.   

This was my space.  I loved it.  You all know what it's like to have your spot. 

I was busy creating, blogging, tinkering. 

Then life happened and I had to move out of my space to make room for beloved family members.

My "stuff" was boxed up and moved to the garage with a promise that it wouldn't be long.

That was 3 years ago!  

Now, I am standing at the ready to move back in to this spot, set to get back into the grove of creating, blogging and tinkering.

And GO! It's time to open up those boxes and put this space back together!  

Will it look like this again?  Probably not, it'll be new and fun and I can't wait to share the updates with you all.  

I am so excited to be joining, for the first time, 
Karen from My Desert Cottage,  She is hosting
'Where Bloggers Create'  and has been for 8 years now.  I've admired many creative spaces through her party. 
Last fall I had Karen help me with my blog and she invited me to join.  I remember feeling like I couldn't because I didn't have a "where bloggers create" space.  I've been using my dining room table and heaven knows no one wants to see that!  So I hope you don't mind that I shared a what used to be with hopes of what will soon be!  

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

3 Ways to Tame your To Do List

Yesterday I bounded out of bed excited to start my day!  Why?  Because it was my first real day of no longer working for someone else!   Oh oh the excitement!  I shared in a previous post that my last day as an Employment Specialist was June 30.   That was followed by a week long, much needed,  "staycation" for my Sweet William and I.   We did a few things here and there around the house,  went to an Estate Sale, a couple of Garage Sales, and an Antique Store or two.  Just hung around each other ...  it was nice.  I purposefully took the week off too so I wouldn't get all aggravated trying to establish a new routine with SW hanging around, I do know myself.  The week off had to end and yesterday he went back to work. I was left to myself and my much anticipated To Do List!  

It is long!  I've been working outside of my home for most of our 34 years of marriage.  I have been blessed with many children and grandchildren, have a side hobby (soon to be business),  and we've all been very involved at church!   Needless to say there is a lot of stuff to get caught up on around here. That was one of my main reasons for wanting to "come home."  First I want to clean my house.  It needs to be de-cluttered.  Everywhere.  From the closets and cabinets to the garage and basement.  Did I say Everywhere?  

Looking at that list was overwhelming to say to the least.  I wanted to put it down and sew something instead!  But after a few minutes of focusing on my list I broke it down by doing these 3 things:

1.   Prioritizing - duh, right?  No really.   What needed to be done first. Today, this week, this month. Take my office space for instance:  Pay the bills before trying to organize the paperwork that has piled up.   Yes in some cases it meant going through the piles to find the bill. Most of my bills are paid online anyway but there are few occasional bills that aren't.  Getting the bills paid today will make it easier to FOCUS on shredding, filing and organizing my office space without the pressure of looming deadlines. The goal is to work at it 15 - 20 minutes a day for a week and it should be in pretty good shape.   Then a few minutes everyday should keep the clutter from growing out of control.   I'm applying this principal to the other areas as well.   In the kitchen I have made a menu, shopping list, and did the shopping.  Why?  So while I'm busy de-cluttering the house I only have to take a few minutes in the morning to see what's for dinner and take meat out of the freezer if that applies.   Just knowing what you're going to make is half the battle.  Prioritizing.  What absolutely must be done now to keep you from getting stressed out?  Phone calls? Appointments to make? Errands to run?  Does one thing have to happen before you can begin another?   When does it have to be done?  Today, this week, this month?   Put it in your planner, on your calendar or whatever system you are using to keep track of life.  Yes you should be using something.  

2.  Group things that are alike or in close proximity to each other - Huh?  You'll see.   Back to my office space.  On my to do list is to balance my checkbook, spend 15 minutes de-cluttering my desk, and write a blog post.  These things can/should happen at my desk.   Also on my list for today is to water the plants, deep clean master bathroom, start clearing out the garage, 10 minute pick-up in the living room, dining room, and my room and do a load of towels.   It wouldn't make sense to run up an down the stairs from one task to another.  Instead I did what could be done at my desk, followed by picking up my bedroom (they are in the same room) then do a little deep cleaning in the master bath.  I then went down to the living room/dining room and picked up there, watered the plants and spent 15 minutes working in the garage.   See the picture?  It's not so hard if we organize ourselves.   It's like when you run errands. If you have to go to the bank, the post office and the grocery store you plan your trip so you're not spending too much time driving.  I did a lot of driving in my last job.  I planned out most of my trips before I left the office to make the best use of my time and gas.   It just makes sense.  (Except if you have teenagers who need want to go places, they don't understand this.)  

3.  Delegate - Oh Ya!  If somebody else can do it, they should.  It's okay if they don't do it like you would, it's getting done and that is a blessing.    I had on my list today to wash a load of towels.   J was just watching TV so I had her do that.  And dry them.  And fold them.  And put them away.  That is important - follow it through so you're not surprised by mildew-y towels in the washer in a couple of days.  Yes she had already done her assigned chores (which is the master list of delegation!) Can someone else water the plants?  Can someone else make dinner?  Score!  That's always welcome.  I know I am not super woman, I can't and shouldn't do everything myself.  I will burn out fast and then not be very pleasant to be around.   I have plans.   And in order for my plans to come around, I have to tame my to do list.  I can't let it get the best of me.  It will go where I want it to go, as fast or as slow as I want it to go.  

Monday, June 13, 2016

White Treasures

 I don't know what it is that attracts me to White.  I'm certainly drawn to it whenever I'm treasure hunting or just out an about.   Smooth shiny whites like tea pots and ironstone and textured, frilly whites, like flowers, fabrics, and lace.  I love white lace.
I love shabby chippy whites too.  Like this staircase. This has been the favored spot of many family pictures.   (Though I admit it does need a new coat of white paint at this point, don't you think?  It looks kind of unsteady.)

I really like white flowers, like these snowballs.  They don't last a long time so every year I take pictures of them in bloom so I can enjoy them longer.   I also have a white lilac bush that didn't bloom this year? (Sad face emoji here) and I have a champagne rose bush that has little buds on it.  

 So naturally when I was out treasure hunting this past weekend my eye was drawn to these two beauties.   Two different yard sales and great deals I must say.
 This is a hand knit 60" by 80" afghan.  It has come apart just a little on a seam so I will be fixing that.  Someone put a lot of work into this beautiful piece of art.  It is soft and warm.  Just lovely.
This is a queen size polka dot chenille bedspread.   There are no manufacturer tags on it so I can't tell if it's vintage or newer.  It is in great shape however, with fringes on three sides.  It too is just beautiful.   I will eventually have to take these to the Market but for now I just want to look at them, and run my hands over their texture.  If I could keep them, I would.
Do you like whites?   

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Leaving my day job and working from home.

I recently went to Christie Wright's Business Boutique in Phoenix.  It was A W E S O M E.  I learned some stuff,  other stuff was confirmed and I feel I have a focus now, I think!   I've shared before about how my mind starts running all over.  

 My first order of business will be to start where I'm at with what I have.   My rented space at American Classics Marketplace in Colorado Springs.  

This year has been tough, financially, with my booth.  It's not paying it's own rent.  Whaaaaat?   It did well for a long time, but as soon as I decide I'm quitting my other job that happens.  Devil!  He knows that a blessing is coming my way and he's trying to keep me from going after it!  All of this time, as I've prayed about leaving, I kept hearing Trust God.  Then I got to the point where I wasn't praying about it anymore, I was just thanking God for it.   I'm still trusting.  It will turn around or God has something better in mind.  

 I believe as I am able to put in more time, it will bring in more mulah!  Yes.  To quote Christie Wright "Your business will grow in proportion to how much time you commit"    I've seen this in the past.   When I've spent time rearranging, restocking and freshening up, I've had more sales.  

I've been so busy with other stuff (that dreaded day job!) that I found myself driving faster past the Marketplace so's I wouldn't feel guilty about not stopping in.  No more of that!   I'm starting with a new planner, and managing my time differently then I was before (more on that later!)   I have a few more actual work days and then my time, my energy and my creativity belong to me!  Yippee!  (13 days left!)  

Friday, May 27, 2016

New Adventures coming up!

In September last year I wrote in this post that I was wanting to leave my "day" job.  The one that pays my salary and has benefits.   Well I am happy to report that I have 14 work days left!

This girl is doing the Happy Dance!!!   I am so thrilled to be able to come home and love on my family, clean my own house, work on my booth, write, blog, sew, dance, sing, laugh....   whoa I was getting carried away for a minute.   
I got this fun image from here  I don't know if that's legal so don't copy me!

So close, but yet so far away.  I cant wait.  I hope you can join me here on my blog in my New Adventures!   

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