Real Life Fridays: Dealing with a Dumping Ground

I think many of us have at least one area in our homes that is a catch-all space. (If you don't I am completely envious of you.) Whether it's the basement, attic, a closet, or spare room, life is busy and sometimes full of wayward stuff.

When Eamon was born we moved into a smaller bedroom on the first floor. The tiny room adjacent to it became my husband's sort of multi-purpose space. (think office supplies, printer, files, dresser, suits, etc.) The problem is that we never quite got around to really planning it out to make it function properly. It has since (seven years since) become a HOT MESS.  Peeling paint, tee-shirts, sweatshirts, shoes, bags, etc. piled up with nowhere to go. And it was making me insane.

So, I decided to tackle it. I drew up some elevations to plot its course. I got creative and plan to repurpose and reshuffle some existing furniture to go easy on the budget. Here 's what I've come up with for a man-cave closet room:

Inspiration:
Photo atelier justine  beautiful Balboa Mist backdrop. Note: texture and contrast http://www.elementsofstyleblog.com
a neutral palette:
I wanted to buy the paint without overthinking it. I chose Benjamin Moore's Balboa Mist. It's a subtle, crisp backdrop that's unfussy and won't compete with hanging clothes, etc. I love how clean it looks in these spaces.

 lots of white, some grey, wood tones, metal finishes and great texture
masculine feel:
I just love this simple, streamlined, masculine space. The high contrast is warmed up by brown tones 
and textured elements. 

Plans: 
Beyond the storage elements, I don't want to overplan this space. I'll accessorize once the functional items are installed. I'm feeling a vintage/industrial, masculine vibe for this small man cave-closet that works hard and looks good.
1./ 2./ 3./ 4./ 5./6./ 7./ 8./ 9./

My husband paid me for the design with cocktails. Not a bad arrangement.

I'll be sharing my progress here, but look for sneak peeks and snippets along the way on Facebook and Instagram.

Now that I've showed you my mess, care to show me yours? What's the one space in your home or workplace that needs some function?


Real Life Fridays: My Kitchen Hardware & a Real Life To-Do List


I don't know about you, but there are still a few ways in this age of technology where I am a pen and paper kind of gal. Although I do make lists on my iPhone and use its calendar, I tend to work best when what I need to remember or accomplish is right in front of me. The downside to this? My tendency to leave a shopping list on the counter and overly ambitious to-do lists.

So, none of today's original items happened. A couple from yesterday took their place instead. At least I remembered to call my Dad. And really, the fact that I didn't kill anyone after getting "stuck" in IKEA's maze of a parking garage and carrying the bags I had to buy there across the ice should count for something.

All that  said, I didn't have a chance to get any decent photos of my kitchen hardware. So these will have to suffice until I share some reveal pictures.
Threshold™ 10 Knob Value Pack - Statuary Bronze
Threshold™ 10 Knob Value Pack - Statuary Bronze

Threshold™ 10-Pack Vista Square Knob - Oil-Rubbed Bronze
Threshold Satin Nickel Bubble Knob- no longer available (but I've seen similar ones at Pier One and on Etsy.

I had originally been thinking of rubbed or antiqued brass pulls but couldn't find any in my budget readily available. I really didn't want to break the bank on this since our larger goal is to renovate the kitchen in a few years. Given that, I wanted to find knobs/pulls that worked with the hole already drilled in our builder-grade press board cabinets. I lucked out and found all of these options at Target. The best part was they came in multi-packs and were really well priced. I only used the bubble knobs on four drawer fronts. They blend a lot better in person than in this shot and the kids love them.

They're tied together by color or shape: the dark bronze is repeated in artwork and frames and the nickel color on the sink's hardware. All in all, a quick, affordable update for a little facelift.

Right now, working on some finishing touches in the kitchen this coming week is on the list. Clearly, I'm not making any promises. At the end of the day, real life has a way of getting in the way of our plans.

Have a great weekend!

Real Life Fridays: Lunchtime Fail

A picture is worth a thousand words. 
I love beautiful photography and delicious food 
so I've always enjoyed sifting through cookbooks and food blogs for inspiration. 
Why not make the average, ordinary meal look as pretty as it tastes?

My typical lunch fare is pretty simple as I'm usually on the go or in the middle of multiple tasks. 
These sandwiches look lovely and pretty easy to prepare. 

Weight Watchers Friendly Tip: 22 Healthy Lunch Ideas for Weight Loss - Simple Nourished Living



Turkey Caesar Sandwich

 Really, with a few minutes and the right ingredients we could all probably pull these off.

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Or can we? And by we, I mean me. 

Multi-tasking while throwing together a sandwich with the healthiest, least salt-laden cold-cuts in my fridge proved to be a big fat fail. Good thing I wasn't actually trying to make a beautiful lunch.

Real life Fridays. They happen. Why not throw in potato chips?

Want to keep it real? I'd love to hear or see your real-life Friday confessions. Leave a comment or share on FB or Instagram.


Real Life Fridays: Women in Real Life

I love when my house is clean, and straightened, when my fridge is stocked and the beds are made.
I love when I feel like my ducks are all in a row and my head is above water, when I feel like the various worlds I have a hand in are fairly balanced. But usually, these moments are fleeting. As soon as I start to feel too proud of myself, the other shoe drops and I'm back to square one. It's like the universe's way of keeping me humble and on my toes.

My best defense in situations like this is a sense of humor. I am most definitely not always successful here. Sometimes I yell or curse or cry. Sometimes I do all three. But I really would much rather laugh than cry or yell, even if it's after the fact. 

A couple of weeks ago I discovered Real Simple Magazine's new Instagram Account: Women In Real Life (#womenirl). It's an Instagram account dedicated to capturing and sharing life's real, unfiltered moments. Real women like you and me share our ridiculous, imperfect photos and epic fails and tag them #womenirl. 

It's outstanding.

If Bridget Jones had an Instagram account, this is what it would look like.

The posts are hilarious, humbling and so relatable. I look forward to catching a few of them each day.

Here's one I shared earlier this week:


I believe I captioned this as:"nothing but the finest in this fridge:cookie dough, a box o'wine and leftover french fries."

We all have these moments. Getting to see them among so many perfectly filtered images  is priceless. It's a small movement with a lot of power. It reminds me that so many of us really do get it, that it's not possible to be everything to everyone all the time, that there's so much we can't control. These little moments make me stop, pause and laugh each day.

Hop on over to WomenIRL and see for yourself. You won't regret it!

What's made you laugh at yourself lately?


* I won't be posting at all next week, but I'll be back to share some exciting hellos on Monday 1/26.