Blog every day in May x2: Day 17

Blog every day in May x2: Day 17
Describe or photograph your walk to work. Or journey to work if you use transport. Is it pretty or incredibly dull? Can you find something of interest on your way?

Well, since I drive to work at night, it’s basically just dark! You can’t see anything, really, unless it’s the taillights of a car in front of me that won’t drive the speed limit. Nothing really exciting to describe there :)  Some nights the moon is full and there are no clouds and then as I come over the hill and down the highway into the heart of town, you can see the full city laid out in the moonlight–and that does look quite pretty.




A favorite photo of yourself and why

Some of these prompts seem to be overlapping each other :) I did this one a while ago but I’ll repost the photo here. I like this photo of me because I seem to be having fun playing with my camera and I just look natural–messy hair, no makeup, comfy clothes. I like candid pictures better than posed pictures because I think they capture more of who a person really is at heart. 

 

Blog every day in May x2: Day 16

Blog every day in May x2: Day 16

What is your ideal way to pamper yourself and relax?

Hot shower and cozy pajamas, followed by a foot massage and a soothing masque for my face. Then I’ll curl up with a cup of tea, a good book and my favorite blanket, and possibly some sort of yummy snack. A pint of ice cream is always good!



Something difficult about your “lot in life” and how you’re working to overcome it.

Or: My Third World Problems And How They’re Hindering My Otherwise Privileged White American Life. Honestly, I feel weird about this prompt because it seems like a gateway to a lot of selfish whining. (Just my opinion! No judgment!)

However, if I had to pick something, I guess I would say that I feel out of place where I live. It’s a smallish town in a bit of a redneck area (hope I don’t offend anyone there) and it is about as un-diverse as you could possibly get. I am the only person I know in this area who is a vegetarian, who doesn’t go out on dates in pajama pants, who likes books and art, and who considers learning about new things to be fun. I don’t share a lot of my life with the people I work with and live near because I just don’t know anyone here who shares my interests.

I think I would fit in better in a city, where the culture would be a bit more diverse and people would hopefully be a bit more open-minded about people who have different lives and different interests. And also, I would hopefully not be the only one wearing high heels!

Also, there is not a lot of opportunity here. The job market is very small and sluggish and there are almost zero entry level jobs for someone who wants to actually get into a “real” career, aka not something related to retail or hospitality (both of which are big since we live in a tourist town). A lot of people here work in retail, food service, construction, all that sort of stuff that doesn’t require a college degree, because most of them can’t afford the schooling it takes to land a good job. Or, if they go to school, it’s for something quick like trade school or nursing and then off into a job. 

This is not the sort of place where people go for a degree because they’re pursuing a dream job–those jobs don’t exist around here. For that you would have to move to a larger city. People here go to school for the basics–business, nursing, auto repair, that sort of thing. All of which are fine and good, but I’d love to go to school for something like journalism, art, history, etc., and to put that kind of degree to good use I would have to move to a larger metro area. 

I guess many days I feel weighed down by where I live. I know people who are nice (really!) but I don’t really have any friends here who share any of my interests, so our interactions are limited.  My job is okay but it only pays the bills, it isn’t a “career” I would want to stick with for the rest of my life. I have considered making moves to work toward the management program but I know in my heart that this just isn’t the career I want for the rest of my adult life, whether I’m making big money from it or not.

So there, I feel really silly writing all of that, because I don’t have much to complain about. I have a family who loves me, two cuddly cats, a nice apartment, a job that keeps me living fairly comfortably, good health, etc. etc…. But I do feel like I don’t belong here. When I talk to other people who live in this area I get the impression my ambitions and life goals are too lofty and I need to come back down to earth, which makes me feel that I definitely do not belong here…but where do I belong?

And in case you’re thinking “well goodness why don’t you just leave?”…if I was single, I might. But I have a husband who has school and family here, and he’s happy enough here. And as I mentioned, in this poor economy, I have a job with paid benefits and bosses who give me rave evaluations every year. I think it would be selfish, not to mention unwise from a financial perspective, to just pull up my roots and move because I felt restless. I’d rather wait until we are more financially ready for a move, aka done with school and have some “moving money” in the bank, before we consider jumping to a new area. That’s a big move and not something to take on lightly! I’ve dealt with not fitting in for most of my life, so I think I’ll be fine until then. :)


Is there something in your life that feels difficult? Go ahead, spill–you might think it’s a silly thing, but I don’t judge. :)
 

Random Thursday: My Dream Home

Random Thursday: My Dream Home
 

Ooh, don’t get me started. If money were no object and I could just go nuts building my fantasy home, you know it would be majorly amazing. I kind of OD’d on Pinterest last night finding pictures to reflect what I’d like to include in my dream house! Keep in mind that there is not an ounce of reality in this floorplan, and also that I really went overboard with the pictures.

The outside

I love the stone and timber construction and I love the wild setting! So pretty. Plus, living out of town would mean plenty of room for all of the animals I would like to adopt. And look at all those trees!

(image via Pinterest)

I could see something similar to this with the beautiful timber and stone construction, but with a multi-story set-up: I would want a basement slightly exposed in the front to serve as the entrance and hold the mudroom/foyer and the garage, and then in the back of the basement level we could have a home gym. Then there would be a spacious ground floor for the main living areas, and a second story for the bedroom, to keep it private and quiet. The house below isn’t really the right design, but it gives you a better idea of what I mean when I talk about having a basement entrance. The garage would also be down under the house. I’ve always thought this was much better than taking up extra space for an attached garage.

(image via Pinterest)

Up on the ground floor, above the foyer entrance and overlooking the driveway and front lawn, I would want a big covered stone porch in front with a swing or some comfy chairs, facing west, so I could just look out over my wild yard and watch the sunset in the evenings. Did I mention I love stone and timber construction in houses? And Moroccan lanterns–I love those too.

(image via Pinterest)

(image via Pinterest)
(image via Pinterest)

The entry

Having a mudroom is kind of a necessity in the Northwest because of the crappy weather–you don’t want to walk right into your living room trailing snow and mud. I don’t really care for the art in this one but I like the idea of having a sunken foyer with all of your coat hooks, benches, etc. and then you can go up a few stairs right into an open living room. (As opposed to having a mudroom that’s shut off by a separate set of doors.)

(image via Pinterest)

When you pulled up to the house you would enter through the “basement” level into this nice big mudroom and shed your gear. From the mudroom, you could go to one side into the garage or to the other to visit the home gym. The gym would be big enough to accommodate a bike, treadmill, weights, punching bags, and plenty of open floor space for dancing and other aerobics thanks to my favorite exercise DVDs. Because the gym was in the basement you could turn up your tunes and work out without worrying about disturbing someone who was still sleeping upstairs.

If you go up the stairs from the foyer you would find yourself in the amazing ground floor living room, which would be big and open and have a vaulted ceiling like the ones below. I love these huge floor to ceiling windows. I’m not sure how I feel about not having curtains or blinds up, but look at those views!

 
(image via Pinterest)
(image via Pinterest)

 

(image via Pinterest)

The whole house would have these amazing hardwood floors, and the living room would have a big stone fireplace. I also like the idea of having one stone wall in there–maybe the wall with the fireplace? My style is such a mish-mash; the pictures above are a good start but I also love boho, Mediterranean, Moroccan, Asian, rustic, and modern decor all mixed together. (And I would not, obviously have those fur pillows on my sofa!) Here are some additional cool design inspiration pics.

(image via Pinterest)
(image via Pinterest)
(image via Pinterest)
(image via Pinterest)

(image via Pinterest)
(image via Pinterest)
(image via Pinterest)

(image via Pinterest)

(image via Pinterest)
(image via Pinterest)

(image via Pinterest)

The library

As you can see from the main living room pictures, my living room would have stairs leading up to a big open loft up on the right side. I like the idea of a loft better than a closed second story; it lets more light and air circulate! This would be the library. It would also have tons of windows to flood the area with natural light, plus huge floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and comfy chairs for reading. Huge doors would open up on both ends of the loft to balconies on both the east and the west sides of the house, so you could sit outside with your books when the weather was nice and enjoy either the sunrise or the sunset as you so desired.

(image via Pinterest)
(image via Pinterest)
(image via Pinterest)
(image via Pinterest)
(image via Pinterest)
(image via Pinterest)

The kitchen/dining room

To the right of the living room, go through the double doors under the loft and you find yourself in the huge kitchen and dining room. I love huge Italian kitchens.The dining room would be connected to the kitchen and very roomy and open. Huge windows in the dining room would let in tons of light, and big French doors would open out onto a big wooden deck in the backyard. You could go outside and eat on the deck if you wanted to or just enjoy the sunrise while you drank your morning coffee.

(image via Pinterest)
(image via Pinterest)
(image via Pinterest)
(image via Pinterest)

The backyard

We’d have a big wooden deck that would run all along the eastern side of the house. Big doors would open up onto the deck from the kitchen and there would be space there for eating outside. That first picture is almost a perfect illustration of the library balcony above and the dining room down below.

Further down the deck would be spots just for relaxing. I’d also love to have stairs down from the wooden deck to a stone patio with this big fire pit and then this beachy pool, though I know with our short summers having an outdoor pool would probably not be practical in the least. There would also be a cool vegetable garden back there.

(image via Pinterest)

(image via Pinterest)
(image via Pinterest)
(image via Pinterest)
(image via Pinterest)
(image via Pinterest)

The office etc.

To the left of the living room on the ground floor there would be a home office. I would need this room to be fairly large as it would hold not only the computer desks, but also a sewing table, easels, and large tables where I could spread out my art and other projects while in progress. Again, large windows would be a must, as would large doors opening out onto the deck so I could pull my easels outside to paint when the weather was nice.

(image via Pinterest)
(image via Pinterest)

Also rounding out this ground floor wing of the house would be the “man cave”. I’m not sure what would be in this man cave, only that the husband insists that if I’m building a dream house he’s entitled to a man cave. I’m guessing it would need to be pretty big to accommodate a big screen TV, a billiards table, lots of movie posters, and a mini-fridge full of snacks and Monster.

This wing would have to have the ground floor powder room, natch, and it would also have the staircase that leads up to…

The bedroom

How cool are these roomy bedrooms, with their huge windows and giant fireplaces? My bedroom would have to be facing east to let the sunrise in every morning. I like the idea of a second-floor bedroom for optimal privacy and peace and quiet.

(image via Pinterest)

(image via Pinterest)

In one corner of the bedroom would be a spiral staircase that leads up to a little mini third floor built especially for star-gazing. Since you’re on the third floor you should be high enough up to get a great view without any of the tall trees getting in the way. This room would have all glass walls and a glass roof (built to be quite sturdy, of course) and maybe some cool lanterns hanging from the ceiling. There would be a big fat fluffy bed in the middle of the room so on a clear night you could just lie down and look at the stars until you fell asleep. It would be like glamping but in your own home.

(image via Pinterest)
(image via Pinterest)
(image via Pinterest)

Master bathroom and my ZOMG closet

Connected to the master bedroom, I would love to have a huge master bathroom with his-and-hers sinks and a separate shower and tub. The fireplace by the tub is kind of a neat idea! I would need some windows by the vanity area to let in natural light–my makeup always looks better when I fix it by natural light. My bathroom would be chock full of candles so I could relax in the bathtub with just the candles and the fireplace going.

(image via Pinterest)
(image via Pinterest)
(image via Pinterest)
(image via Pinterest)

I would also have a gigantic walk-in closet to house all of my amazing clothes. There would have to be lots of hanging racks and drawers as well, plus mirrors…and don’t forget a lot of shoe storage! Oh, and there would be a side for the hubby’s clothes too. Not that he has nearly as many clothes as I do! That branch rack is a cool way to hold jewelry.

(image via Pinterest)
(image via Pinterest)

(image via Pinterest)
(image via Pinterest)

The rest of the grounds

I would have to have two heated outbuildings with pet doors for all of the stray cats and dogs that I would adopt. They could all wear those special chipped collars and that way they could just come and go as they pleased for food and shelter without any predators getting into “their” house. If they wanted to use the pet doors into the main house that would be okay too, but sometimes animals are shy of humans or want their own space, and that’s where an awesome cat house and dog house would come in handy.

There would probably also end up being a barn for the horses, cows, pigs, sheep, and any other random animals we picked up. Hey, sheep keep the lawn trimmed!! Don’t judge me.

I would also have a separate guest house. I like the idea of a rustic yet cozy separate cabin for house guests, so everyone could have their privacy and space. This would probably sit off the south wing of the house and have a short hallway that connected it to the kitchen/dining wing, so guests come come and go from the kitchen and main areas of the house all they wanted in their slippers, yet retreat to their own private space for some quiet time if they so desired.

The guest house would have a roomy living area with a couch, desk space, and kitchenette, and folding screens to section off a bit of privacy for a bedroom and dressing area. There would also be a private bath and in the front, a private patio. I like the idea of a little fireplace full of candles; it makes the guest house cozy without the hassle of hauling wood or cleaning a fireplace before someone visits.

(image via Pinterest)
(image via Pinterest)
(image via Pinterest)
(image via Pinterest)

(image via Pinterest)

Well, there you are–there’s my overly long and ludicrously unrealistic dream home. If you also linked up for Random Thursday this week let me know, because I’d love to see what your dream home looks like!

Blog every day in May x2: Day 15

Blog every day in May x2: Day 15

(The prompt today from Story of My Life is “A Day in the Life”, which I’ve already blogged about twice, here and here–so I’m going to skip that prompt today to avoid boring you all to death!)

What is the single most important lesson you have ever had?

To be patient. To wait. To accept that things happen for reasons I can’t explain, and that sometimes things work out in a way I couldn’t have foreseen, days or weeks or even years in the future. To just be.

I’m an impatient, take-charge, in-control person. So all the times that things have not worked out for me, despite my best efforts otherwise, I’ve felt thwarted and irritated that the universe wasn’t recognizing my best-laid plans and goals. Later on, though, I’ve looked back and realized that had things worked out as I intended, I would probably be pretty unhappy.

For example, I’ve twice been turned down for transfers at my job. Both times I felt cheated–I had the qualifications and I felt that I would have been a suitable candidate for these positions, and I wondered if the excuse of “you’re just too valuable where you are now” was a thinly veiled way to hold me back. Later on, though, other circumstances in my life have changed and had I taken either of those transfers, with their different schedules and responsibilities, I would have wound up stressed out, worn out, and probably contemplating transferring again to get out of the job in question.

I don’t believe in fate. I’ve always felt it was a crappy excuse to let things slide and not accept responsibility for the challenges in life or tackle new and scary things, because in the end “fate” will guide you to wherever you need to be. That’s not for me. I believe that the future is unwritten and you can (and absolutely should) strive to change what lies ahead of you. 

However, I also believe that sometimes things don’t go according to plan, for whatever reason–and instead of lamenting what could have been, you need to look for the bright spot in what is. Because at some point in the future, you might look back and be glad that your plans didn’t work out; after all, none of us can see into the future, so none of us can know 100% what will make us happiest in a year’s time, and what we think we want now might turn out to be useless later on.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve ever learned?





Ten on Tuesday: 5/14/13

Ten on Tuesday: 5/14/13

1. After a week of 90-degree weather I broke down and put an AC unit in the bedroom and one in the living room. Today, it’s 60 degrees and rainy. Oh well, I’m prepared!

2. In case you haven’t yet gotten this stuck in your head…

3. Oh nom, nom, nom. I could see some variations on this with chocolate, strawberries, etc…

 

4. Thank goodness inventory day is over at work. After a long week of staying late in the mornings to try to get things ready I’m worn out and ready for a lazy weekend.
5. I finally cracked and tucked into the bag of Starburst jelly beans that I’ve been hiding away since Easter. It was the stress eating, I tell you.
6. Duly noted: the local thrift stores are a great place to find books for $1 apiece. I really need that third book shelf.
7. Anyone else completely forget about an old song from the 90s and then rediscover it by accident in the suggested videos sidebar on YouTube? On a side note…I wonder if these 90s artists ever Google their old videos and groan in embarrassment at how ridiculous they look?

8. I have no idea what’s going on in this picture but I love it.

 

9. I never used to get the jokes about boxes and cats until I got my little cat. She’s claimed a shoebox for her own and will actually curl up and sleep in it when she’s not feeling good. Well, whatever works–it’s saving me money on buying a fancy cat lounger from the pet store.

10. Yeah, I’m out of ten things already. Well, hey…at least it’s my weekend!