Typically winter loses its magic for me somewhere around January 2nd, but this years feels a little different, and I can't quite put my finger on it. I mean, let's be honest, the thought of daffodils peeking their head through the cold, hard dirt sends a shiver up my spine with anticipation; however, I am really trying to live in the moment. I've been doing lots of projects around the house, and that always fills me with delight.
The first project I tackled was my basement. I went through boxes, bags, and bins. I gave away things, sold things, and threw away even more. I found all of the e-mails Ysmaille sent me while we lived apart for two years, the letters I sent him, and all the other "proof" we needed to prove that we weren't just a "green card marriage" to the USCIS. That got me sidetracked for an entire evening. Anyway, I digress... Believe it or not, the pictures you are about to see are the "after" pictures. It may not look amazing, but almost everything is in a bin, all my glassware for Vintage Companion is in one spot, and my craft supplies are in one area. I do apologize for the quality of these photos. Clearly my blog isn't going to win any awards for visual beauty.
We've lived in our house for almost seven years, and we've painted our bathroom a total of five times! We could never find the right color. Last spring when we painted our living room a neutral color we decided to paint the bathroom as well, but it really needed some other sprucing up. The dark teal curtain was too long for the pitiful, bent rod it hung on, and the artwork was less than stellar. The picture below is what it looked like. Notice the teal curtain hung over the new one, because I forgot to take a before picture until the curtain was hung.
It's amazing what a new curtain, some nice towels, and a new piece of artwork can do. I used a gift card for the curtain. Ysmaille bought a new curved rod with a gift card also, and the art we already had hanging in our bedroom. The towels we also had packed away. I believe they were from our wedding 9.5 years ago! Total spent out of pocket was only $30.
The person who designed these town houses we live was a genius. The walk-in pantry is my absolute favorite part of the house. It does, however, need frequent purging.
The picture below may not look much different than the before, but notice the space on the shelves? I got rid of old candles and cookbooks. Then I put everything back in its place. So much better.
I've been wanting to buy some essential oils for months now. I've heard such great testimonies from friends about how they are keeping their families healthy and treating symptoms with oils. I saved all my extra money for two months-- checks from consignment stores, selling things on facebook yardsales, selling my crafts, etc.
My kit just arrived on Monday, and I am delighted. We've been diffusing the oils in the house, and it smells great. I've also been mixing lavendar oil with coconut oil for Amirah's skin. I'm really hoping it clears up her eczema.
Speaking of Amirah... I cannot believe my baby is five! She wanted a unicorn party this year. We made chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese icing, and then she had fun adding sprinkles and unicorns.
We made rainbows out of paper and glitter ribbon. She had so much fun with her friends and family. Unfortunately she flitted around so much all I have are blurry pictures of her. Below is a picture of her cousins and friends who came to celebrate her.
I also hosted my bookclub, "Reading Between the Wines", in January. We read Love with a Chance of Drowning. It's a memoir about an Australian who falls in love with an Argentinian and must choose whether or not to wish him bon voyage as he travels part way around the world in a sailboat, or join him. It was a fantastic read.
Next on my radar is getting my sewing machine fixed and making an apron from a man's button-down shirt. Stay tuned.