The past couple of weeks have been so full that I've had to just let some things go. I've said to myself over and over "do what you can, don't stress over what you can't." I had swung pretty out of balance with beginning to obsess over keeping my house "just so." Not that it was ever perfect, but I was just thinking and caring about it too much. Like, it would make me grumpy if things were out of order. So it's not that I no longer care about my house, I just don't want it to affect my attitude or mood if things get a little crazy sometimes. Last week I had a huge photo session to edit, we had plans almost every night, and for some reason I could wait no longer to paint the living room and dove straight into that project in the midst of an already full plate. While painting the living room I had to let go of keeping the kitchen clean, doing laundry, sweeping, etc. It took me five days to finish the living room and I'm pretty sure the only thing that got washed in the kitchen sink were paint brushes during that time. And it was ok. We all made it. The boys were happy. The sofas in the middle of the living room were ships on the sea, and puppy cages, and towers and bridges and pews in a church and all manner of other imaginary things to them. I think that the chaos was actually really fun for them. And although my counters were cluttered and things were a mess, I had fun too.
After painting all week and finally getting the living room back together by friday, saturday morning we went to a greenhouse and came home with all kinds of vegetables, herbs and flowers. I LOVE this time of year, and was so excited to plant what we came home with and spend time outside. But it meant my house needed to wait just a bit longer. I spent saturday and monday afternoon outside gardening and pushed all thoughts of what it looked like inside from my mind. Now it's tuesday, and I wrapped up the big photo session and mailed it off, I got all the vegetables and flowers that I could plant now in the ground, and finally today I cleaned bathrooms, did laundry, washed dishes... Our house feels like it has been reassembled, and after a week of disorganization we've come out so much further than where we were when it started. We have a freshly painted living room, a growing vegetable garden, flowers in the front, ferns hanging on the porches... And I was able to let go of stress and actually enjoy the process. I went around this morning and took some pictures of the things that came to be through letting some of the other daily chores go, and it was definitely worth it. Here's our living room this morning:
I wanted the paint color to read white when you first glance, but then feel a bit warmer and have a bit of a grayish, beige-ish undertone to it. This color was seriously perfect. It's called Pearl Ash by Olympic (via Lowes) and I love it. If you want to see what the living room looked like before you can view this post (it was awfully yellow-y before). And if you want to see my inspiration/vision for what the living room will someday look like, you can view this one. Phase two will be adding planked walls on one wall wrapping around into the hallway and kitchen. Someday :) It helps to realize that since writing the "inspiration post" I have gotten that beautiful white mirror on the mantle, the giant basket for blankets, and painted the whole space. Sometimes it's good to look back and take stock before you start looking forward again. ;)
I love bringing in little touches of what's growing outside... right now it's grape hyacinth and mint :)
Above you can see the giant basket for blankets, only $19.99 at homegoods.
And below is a big beautiful mirror, $39.99 from homegoods. It was originally intended to hang above the sofa, but the mantle liked it so much it stole it from the sofa. Don't feel too bad for the sofa, it will someday be consoled by a piece of art yet to be created/found.
One big thing I wanted to do was make the living room kid friendly. This is where we live, after all, and the boys spend hours of the day playing in here. Under the end table is a basket of their toys, and some of our favorite kids books are left out on the table all the time. We read with them a lot, whether it's random times of the day or after dinner, or just if they're needing snuggles and we all climb on the sofa together.
The tv cabinet is great storage for bigger toys, puzzles, all our games and kids dvds too. And the kids chalkboard and chair and adorable besides being fun for them to use :)
I would have loved to rearrange furniture after painting, but we're pretty limited with where we can put the tv cabinet. So this layout is staying for now :)
After taking pictures of the living room I went outside and took a few too :)
There is something so peaceful, breezy, and cottagey about ferns hanging on the porch.
And the vegetable garden:)
All of that lettuce was coming up from what we let go to seed last year. I just transplanted it into rows. :)
Tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, jalapenos, garlic chive, rosemary, stevia, basil, cilantro, sage and oregano make up the rest of the garden. It's amazing what you can grow in a small space. Hoping our blueberries and strawberries will give us a little fruit this year too :)
So here's to being on the other side of a crazy week and having no regrets, living it up in the midst of the mess, and sitting down and smiling now that things are coming back into order again :)