Sealing in the chippy charm...

Now that Travis is off turnaround we are going to try and cross a few projects off our list.  The laundry room is the next big project, and I am thinking we will tackle that in December, but for today we are making Sara a headboard.

Originally I was going to do something like this...

Minus the fabric, tufting, or super fancy engraved wood- and the expense.  Yeah, totally just like that.

I've had an old door that I found in a junk shop for a few years ago.  In the last house it sat propped up against the wall in the living room.  I adore the size (a bit smaller than a standard door) and love that it came out of one of the old houses in Galveston.  It's chippy perfection, and I got to thinking that it would probably make a really cool headboard in her room.

What you can't hear is me talking like the magician who is sawing the girl in half...

Well, except that it is more than likely painted in lead paint and tends to spread bits of chippiness wherever it goes.  Like little sprinkles of happy, only I really can't have Sara picking paint flakes out of her hair everyday, so I decided to use some Country Chic Paint Tough Coat on it.  It was the perfect product to lock in some of that chippyness without me having to worry about it yellowing down the road.

Travis used hinges to connect the two boards together.

Once the Tough Coat dried it was time to hang it!  We used super sturdy hanging hardware to insure that it would stay in place.  Nothing is worse than a headboard crashing down on you in the middle of the night.  And why is it that those things always happen in the middle of the night??  Like the object is being held in place with solar energy...

I'm so pleased with how this little mini-project turned out.  I think the door-turned-headboard adds some chippy charm to her room and really pops next to the black wall.  Throw in the added bonus of it being a no-cost project!

Next, I will build her a wooden valance to go high up over the window and cover it in the same black and white stripe material as her bedskirt.   Then I think I'm going to call the room finished, but we all know how that goes ;)


The price of happiness...

Over the past two and a half years I've made some major changes in my life.  I quit my job, moved to a smaller/less expensive house, and started living my life for me.  The difference those changes have made in my happiness have been evident in who I now am and how I think about things.  I know that what I've done is extreme, and not an option for everyone, but I wanted to share a bit about how I came to be where I am now- happy.

When I became a public school teacher I really thought that it would make me feel productive, accomplished and that I was doing something worthwhile with my time and talent.  I couldn't have been more off the mark.  I was stretched thin, compromising my values, and spinning my wheels.  I was miserable.  So after talking to Travis and reviewing our finances, I quit.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE teaching, but being a teacher has very little to do with the love of teaching and a whole lot to do with beaurocratic politics.  It's a disservice to children and most days I came home knowing that what I was spending my days doing was not worthwhile.  In the salary department I was not making enough to justify me working- seriously, between going out to eat, doctor visits/meds, and paying to supply my classroom I was paying them to be there.  It also threw us into a wonky tax bracket, so quitting was not a difficult financial decision to make.

Today I still teach.  I am homeschooling our 13 year old son, and my daughter Sara has aged out of special education and is home with us as well.   I still teach classes for homeschool kiddos, run a middle school aged book club and I absolutely love the freedom I have to teach in a way that is beneficial for children.   Teaching is a big part of my life- but it's not all of it and allows me to have time to pursue other interests....balance.

I have always been the creative type- especially where home and decorating are concerned.  I do decorating consults when asked, and although I don't advertise,  those requests come in on a steady basis.

I paint- a lot.  Furniture, signs with Sara for the Happy Soul Project, and just for fun.  Painting relaxes me and is one of my favourite hobbies.  I have time for that now which feeds me creatively as well as provides a bit of income for Sara.

Last year we surprised a lot of people when after our magazine photo shoot we listed our house for sale.  The little cottage on the pond was a beautiful home, but it was a bit big for what we needed and more money going out each month that we thought we could use better elsewhere- as in traveling.   We sold the house rather quickly and spent the summer remodeling our tiny tudor (1500 sq ft) and making it a "just right" home for us.  We love the smaller floor plan, no wasted space, and zero yard to maintain.  Not to mention that living here saves us what most people pay per month for an entire house.  Financially it was a very smart move.  We are also within walking distance of stores and restaurants and have taken advantage of that more than we ever did in a traditional subdivision.

Making these changes has changed me.  I used to wake up feeling anxious and worried, I now wake up and feel relaxed and optimistic about my day.  I've given myself the gift of choice and variety in what I do.  I say no to things that I don't want to do, and make more time for doing what I love. I enjoy things more, complain less, and feel content with my life.  I'm probably busier now than I was when I was working full time, so please don't think that the happiness I've found is because I'm home doing nothing.  My day planner is full with volunteering, teaching, decorating, painting, and homeschooling.  I didn't lighten my load, I just raised my standards for what could be in my cart.

So what is the price of happiness?   It's priceless.


Acorn painting...

I had the chance to get away over the weekend, and I came back feeling a bit more recharged.  Dallas was lovely, and my hostess had some lovely land and trees to explore.  At one point I was walking and heard something loud come crashing down near my head- I think the squirrels were entertaining themselves by throwing acorns at me.

You know what they say, "When life throws you acorns..."

Paint them.

So I did.  I started out with three lovely colours of Country Chic Paint- Brandy, Rustic Charm, and a new not yet named shade of buttercream yellow.  I thought that the acorns would look lovely on a Thanksgiving table.

Small project, but I like using a bit of nature when decorating the table for Thanksgiving.   Plus, nothing is more relaxing than sitting painting acorns while sipping a hot cup of tea :)



We are almost sixty five days into Travis' turnaround schedule.  He's beyond tired, and honestly I am too.  He describes it as Groundhog Day, and I see it more like Mr. Mom.   I'm doing all the parenting jobs, household jobs, homeschooling jobs, and everything inbetween.  Forget a push present for having four kids- there should be a TAR present.  We are hoping that the schedule only goes until mid November and then he can return to his normal shift schedule.  Fingers crossed.

I'm trying to get into decorating, projects and such, but honestly?  I'm just feeling schlumpy.  I wake up and unload the dishwasher, feed/walk dogs, help Sara with her hair, check email, work with Hunter, go to the grocery store, fold and put away towels, do laundry, clean house, cook twice a day, and teach class on Thursdays.  The thought of doing a project just makes me want to take a nap.

I see people on Pinterest and blogs and they are busy creating wreaths,  glittering pine cones, writing books, and building stuff.  I just don't have it in me right now, and instead of telling myself that it's okay, I find myself feeling less than adequate like I don't measure up, and that really makes me want to take a nap.

There's a lot of pressure we put on ourselves as wives, moms, bloggers- creative types.  That somehow we should always be producing something, but the older I get the more I realize that it's okay to have periods where you just don't.  (at least that is what I'm telling myself!)   I know that once this crazy schedule is over I will get my mojo back.

I hope...



Halloween was a fun one this year.  With older kids it's so different than the days of purchasing costumes and getting everyone ready.  These days they do it all on their own...

I'm totally loving this stage of raising kids!