Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Back to reality...

I'm sorry that I've been MIA over the last week or so. Work has been crazy busy, but is hopefully returning to a more manageable pace now that my manager is back. While he was away, we get to not only take care of our own stuff, but his clients and orders as well. But we made it through, and I don't feel so overwhelmed anymore!
At least at work.
I will tell you what's been overwhelming me - budgeting. The dreaded "b" word. Chris and I have been struggling to find a good way to keep track of and pay off bills. It's been nightmarish the last month or so, leaving me wondering just how I was able to do it by myself. I guess I'm just one of those people that like to avoid unpleasant things and situations, which doesn't really work well with money and bills. But I do think I see a tiny light at the end of the tunnel. Really, a very very faint pin-prick dot of light. But before it starts to really shine, we have some sit-down time between us to really get it all down on paper - or computer, as the case may be. We've got a long and hard road ahead of us, this much is already abundantly clear. And it's very depressing and shameful just how bad it's all gotten. What's going to be even harder is communicating to Chris and getting him on the frugal-wagon. Without laying any blame, he is not the world's best budgeter. He tends to spend a little here, a little there, because it's a good deal or we could use it... whatever. It's going to be hard to get him to give up some of these things for our greater interests, and it's going to be hard to give up the wanting of things myself and to learn to appreciate all that we do have.
Okay, so enough of the philosophical rambling. This experience is definitely me "learning along the way", so to speak, as I am not a money management guru! So I am sorry to not have been posting lately, I just really haven't had any creative or nice or wonderful things to say. But I am hoping that as we can work through this, I can come up with some cheap and creative tips to share. Or at least some pretty pictures. ;-)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Great advice for buying luggage


Okay, okay... this is from my husband's blog, but it is good advice for all those out there looking for luggage! He does know his stuff!
Whether you're looking for a new bag for your honeymoon, or just because summer is coming up, go here.

And be sure to say "hello" to him!

Simple and pretty

Two camelias from my yard in Ikea vases.

Monday, March 16, 2009

This is not good design...

I want to know who got paid money to come up with this unlovely design for this tissue box. Because I want that job. I'm pretty sure I could do better in my sleep, and I bet they get paid more than I do.
Why is it that tissue companies feel the need to "dress up" their tissue boxes?? Really? Like people use them for decoration? What's wrong with a solid color?

Also, and I didn't realize this until today, there is a lovely poem on the bottom. Lovely, that is, until you get to the last line which is "Blow it loud and blow it proud." Um, eewwwww.....

Life lessons

Wow. Last week was crazy busy, and I'm not going to lie, I am hoping that it's a little more tame this week. Not because I don't love my clients, but because dealing with other people's angry clients isn't fun. So hopefully just that contingent will die down this week, and things can get back to slightly normal.
Work is not something that I've talked about much here, mainly because I don't want to call a bunch of attention to it, and also I'm not really getting paid to advertise here on my little blog. I've worked in this showroom since college, for over 9 years now (wow - please don't do the math), and while in most jobs that's a lifetime, I am still the "newbie" here, not that there is anything wrong with that. But I'm starting to really really ask myself the question of whether or not this is really what I want to do for my life. I could easily stay here, gaining clients, as it's an easy job that does have some good benefits. Or, I could strike out on my own and .... do ..... something. This is where I'm having the issues and the trouble. Ideally?? I'd love to have a little shop and offer decorating services out of it. Unfortunately in this economy, that is a little out of my reach at the moment. And since I'm not independently wealthy, I can't really afford to take on something or do something that could drag me deeper into debt. I've been toying with the idea of just offering myself as a decorator* on the side, building up a business that way. But I'm a little overwhelmed/scared/not really sure where or how to start. It's not really something you just advertise in the yellow pages, and since I've been out of school for so long, I don't really have a portfolio of projects to show. I am planning on using some projects in my own home as examples, but since we're still on a tight bill-paying budget, those aren't really fast-tracked. It will take time. And as I see more and more great and creative interior design on the internet, self-doubt starts to creep in.
So I feel like I'm kind of floating right now, seeing the direction of where I want to go, but not really sure how to swim out there. Meanwhile, I have a safe island behind me that I could easily stay on, cramped as it may be (okay, so that's my analogy for not getting paid very much... it was bad, I know).
I'm going to ask - have any of you that are reading this started your own companies? What made the decision for you? And more importantly, do you have any advice??


*Okay so the difference I am making here is that I don't really want to go take the NCIDQ to become a licensed "designer". Loosely, the term "Interior Designer" means the same whether your licensed or not, but technically, you need to be licensed to really call yourself one. So I'm using the term "decorator" to be technically correct here, so as to not ruffle any feathers. In my opinion, and from what I've experienced over the years, there are many many many wonderful and very talented "decorators" out there that are not licensed, and some "designers" out there that I am certain must have cheated on the test as they are horrible and seem to not have any idea of what they're doing!! Joni has a great story about it here.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A new addition

I have been super busy at work, and it sucks. Trying to take care of other people's needy clients on top of your own, when you're not getting paid to do so (but you do anyways because when you're out of town they take care of yours) - well, it pretty much means you fall behind. I've even done a little homework, which never happens.
Add on top of that the cold rainy weather we've had here the last couple of days, after it was sunny and beautiful for so long, and well... I'm ready for the weekend.

Another thing that has been taking up some more of my time recently was our decision to foster a dog from the Humane Society. She is the sweetest girl, and really makes it easy to tell you the truth. We went into Petsmart a few weeks ago to buy nail clippers for Rascal, and walked out foster parents. Hmmm..... note: do not take Chris to the Petsmart during adoption times.
But I wanted to share some (not so great) pictures of Wendy, our foster dog. She's part German Shephard, part Collie. She's almost 4, totally housebroken, really well behaved, but she HATES the camera. As in, when you whip it out, she'll magically turn her head, walk away from you, not sit still, go and hide. We're not really sure why yet, and even after chasing her around for about 5 minutes the other night, these were the best of the bunch. Really.


This is Wendy in "her" room, i.e. the guest room. We've allowed her to get on the bed in there, but she's really good and will not get on our bed.

Here she is, trying to get away from the crazy lady with the camera.


Rascal doesn't mind the camera! In fact, I think he'd do magic tricks to get more attention now that another dog is in the house. But isn't he the happiest dog?

JJ and Murphy don't mind the camera either. In fact, even though Murphy looks sad, he's actually a camera whore. He loves to be in pictures. JJ's been having a blast playing with Wendy. You know, he's a big dog trapped in a small dog's body. At least that's what he tells us.

So, I hope to become a more regular poster soon!! Can you imagine, I actually have to work at my job????? ;-)
I should also have pictures from my wedding soon!!! Well, I have a few already, but I should be getting the disks in the next week or so.

Hope everyone has a great Friday!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I'm still alive....


I'm just verrrrrrry verrrrry busy.

*image from Cottage Living

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Wedding dress as art

This is my dress as a painting!! I think it turned out just beautifully and cannot wait to get this and hang it up!
If you're interested in something like this, or something similar (maybe a favorite pair of shoes??) - go here and contact Sabrina.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Style quiz

I found this quiz over at AnneK's Website, and thought it looked kind of fun and interesting. It's not too difficult at all, you get to look at lots of pretty decor pictures, and then they tell you about what "style" you are. My results were pretty much right on the money:

Your personal style is a mix of 3 specific styles:

Rustic Revival

You can take kid out of the country but you can't take the country out of the kid... or is your theme "you can take the kid out of the city, but you can't take the city out of the kid?".

Either way you play it, you are one of the unique individuals who loves a mix of modern and country. The clean lines of the modern softened by rustic/vintage elements is the perfect mix in your mind. And can we blame you? You've taken the best aspects of two popular designs and mixed them in a manner that appeals to young and old alike. A subtle background of white or light colors provides a nice canvas for all the wonderful flea market, eBay, or garage sale finds as well as the classic modern pieces that you love.

Cottage Chic

Who says that cottages can't be modern and chic? Who says that they have to be floral and cheesy? Not you!

You love the carefree spirit that the cottage interior inspires, but you are also serious about your appreciation for modern art and hip treasures. You love old and new alike, and love to highlight them all to expose the uniqueness of each. What better way to show off these treasures than with a light background?

French Eclectic

Parlez-vous fran├žais? Even if the answer is no, you can confidently say your home does! French Eclectic somehow manages to be both formal and casual, classy and unassuming at the same time. You like your spaces to feel inviting from the moment you (or your guest) opens the front door and this feeling should continue even after you've entered your most formal room.

Even though there are French antiques here and gold details there, the rustic country elements provide a balance and warmth that seems to say, "come in, relax and stay a while." Your love of antiques leads you to flea markets, garage sales and hours of eBay hunting.


You can go take the quiz yourself over at Sproost.com

Oh, and take it a few times - they vary the images, so you can see more pretty rooms!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Score!! Don't you love a bargain?

Today is one of those day when things just happened to work out in my favor. Usually what happens is that I'll see something perfect (clothes, home goods, whatever), on sale, but will not have the money in the budget at that particular moment to buy it. When I do, of course I can't find anything.
But today, I'm loving West Elm! I think it was my lucky day!

Behold! My new duvet cover!!
(I didn't get the shams, just the duvet...)

*above picture from Westelm.com

I've been really liking this duvet for a while, but wanted to see my headboard recovered first, before buying it. Also, I'll admit, I'm a bargain shopper and like to wait until things go on sale. So, you'll understand my happiness that it was on sale for $59 online. That's a good deal, but I really wanted to see it in person, just to make sure (plus it gave me an excuse to go to West Elm). And so I found it at our local store, the last one in stock. And guess what their price was?? $39.00! Can you say SOLD?

So, this is what it is going with. Sorry for the crap pictures, I am getting better, I promise! But the actual color of the fabric is somewhere in between these two pics. But I like the contrast of the kind of modern geometry with the floral.


Now I just need to figure out drapes.

 
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