Thursday, April 30, 2015

My Home Tour (and How Perfectionism Rears Its Ugly Head)

Perfectionism: a disposition to regard anything short of perfection as unacceptable

I have had good intentions of adding photos to the "My Home" page (above) for a LONG time. After all, isn't that one of the most intriguing pieces on home design blogs? I know that my favorite design bloggers have styles that I admire and am inspired by, so photos of their homes are always one of the first things I look for.

Here's the catch, though. None of the rooms in my home are done to my satisfaction...NOT ONE! I realize that part of the fun of following design blogs is to share in the bloggers' progress, projects, and plans. But I feel so much pressure to show magazine-worthy, complete rooms! I have been paralyzed by my own perfectionism, and also by the fact that I used to be an Interior Designer.

My home doesn't look like any designer came within 10 miles of it. My excuses include, in no particular order:
lack of funds, low on the priority list, waxing/waning interest, no architectural character in the house, I'm not handy, as soon as "A", "B", "C" is done, and I'm just too tired...yada, yada, yada.

The truth is...yes, the house took a back seat to the kids' busy schedules as they grew up; no, we don't have an unlimited budget (dang it); and I left my design career behind long ago. But, at the end of the day, I will never be satisfied with my own home because I am a restless perfectionist (there...that confession is on the table, haha.)

In the interest of not having a blank "My Home" page any longer (after 9 months) these recent photos of my Hearth Room, among others, are now included on my home tour.

And I had a light bulb moment when deciding to finally take the plunge on pages are not static - they can be changed. In fact, that may even be the whole point...right? (Duh.)

Do you suffer from perfectionism? Did you feel any fear when creating a "home tour" page? I'd love to hear your story.....

Sharing with: Common Ground, Share Your Cup, Shabby Art Boutique, French Country Cottage, The Charm of Home, Ivy and Elephants, Between Naps on the Porch, Amaze Me Monday,

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Book Club - "The Girl on the Train"

What's my favorite night of each month, you ask? Well, that would be Book Club, of course! Our club is very casual. We focus about 20% of our energy on discussing the current book selection and about 80% on catching up on each others' lives and having a good time together. We've been to the movies when "our" book hit the silver screen; we've met at Barnes & Noble to sip coffee and peruse all of the literary goodness; and we've talked about having a meeting at a winery sometime. I feel blessed to be a part of this great group of positive, encouraging and fun women.

This month's book, "The Girl on the Train" by Paula Hawkins, was a page-turner for sure! We really enjoyed the way that the author took our minds on a roller coaster of suspicion, with none of the characters being above mistrust. It was interesting how she wove parallel stories that occurred in different timeframes to bring everything to a culmination. Without revealing too much of the plot, I'll just say that there was a very sticky web connecting all of the characters to the main females, Rachel and Megan. The author's full development of each person's psyche, weaknesses and malfunctioning relationships made this novel quite engaging. And in good thriller form, she added a couple of fringe characters to make us question what we thought we knew. My overall assessment of this's a doozy! Lots of people are comparing it to "Gone Girl". Personally, I liked this one better.

It was my turn to host book club at our home this month. The last time I hosted, we read "The Goldfinch", which made it really fun to be creative with food and decor (see post here.) However, "The Girl on the Train" left me stumped for a theme. How does one take a twisted psychological thriller and translate it into fancy hors d'oeuvres and pretty decorations? Haha. I ended up going in a conventional direction with appetizers and added a bit of whimsy with Well Read wine.

Pinterest helped me to take my ordinary snacks and turn them into a creative and appealing presentation. Veggies and hummus displayed in glass vessels on a cake stand (see inspiration pin here), and salami, cheese & olives on colorful skewers (see inspiration pin here) were simple to put together and added a little flair.

Some easy cookie bars, crackers, cheese and fruit rounded out the food selections; and three varieties of wine accommodated my friends' different tastes.

I thought the napkins were cute, too!

Have you read any really great books lately? Do you belong to a book club? I'd love to hear about it!

Sharing with Share Your Cup, Ivy & Elephants, Between Naps on the Porch, Shabby Art Boutique, Common Ground, The Charm of Home, French Country Cottage, Nancherrow,

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Phun in Phoenix

Last week, my hubby and I spent five glorious days in the Phoenix area. It was our first "real" vacation together in six years and long overdue! We spent some time with friends, with relatives, and a little time going off in separate directions to pursue our individual interests.

The first day there, Mr. RM went golfing, which left me to venture off to the Desert Botanical Garden. May I just say that this is definitely one of the most beautiful places I have ever been?

I walked around for three hours with the cheesiest grin on my face! In fact, one of the volunteers in the butterfly pavilion said to me, "You sure look happy." Well, that was an understatement!

It was so great that even my getting lost in 7-lane traffic (having an adolescent-style melt down and almost crying) and driving in circles on my way back to the hotel, didn't put a damper on my enthusiasm for the day :)

Vacation Day 2 brought a drive north to the gorgeous vistas of Sedona. We had the good fortune to view some of God's rock mountains, green valleys, and blue skies. It was so restorative to spend time in nature. I felt like a wide-eyed child who was seeing something magical for the first time.

While in Sedona, we spent a little time in the Tlaquepaque arts and shopping area and had an excellent lunch. We had to find a restaurant that had tv's so we could watch the NCAA Sweet 16 (obviously!)

Then, on the advice of our friends, we visited the Chapel of the Holy Cross. We weren't necessarily that excited about going but decided to stop on our way out of town. It turns out that it was worth the time. Being inside a church surrounded by such natural beauty and panoramic views was a spiritual experience. I had to quickly compartmentalize my thoughts, though, because as soon as we left, there was more basketball to watch (this family takes its basketball seriously, let me tell you!)

There was a lot more "phun" in Phoenix (see what I did there? Haha) over the next few days. We ate great food, drank a few margaritas (when in Rome, you know), visited friends and family, walked the ASU campus, and researched possible areas for retirement...yes, moving to a warm climate is our goal. With luck, maybe someday I'll be blogging from Arizona... ;)

Sharing with: Cozy Little House, Share Your Cup, Common Ground, Shabby Art Boutique, The Charm of Home