What holiday traditions do you remember? What are the traditions you’ll pass down from generation to generation….
We have a tradition of purchasing ornaments everywhere we go. We have also made some by hand in our early marriage years when we couldn’t afford to go anywhere or do anything.
Ornaments celebrate our memories, memories of moments in time where we were on family trips or celebrated family accomplishments or hobbies.
We have ornaments that represent dance, soccer, tennis, golf and we have beach vacation ornaments or amazing ornaments from trips abroad. We also have ornaments that we made because we had no money to purchase them., they are meaningful and special in their own way and we remember making them with family members.
They don’ take up a lot of room and they are cheaper and easier than buying art or vases or (insert large souvenir) and they are so easy to pack and they provide that same joy of remembrance when you unpack it each year and hang it on your tree. You remember the moment, the experience that you had in that moment or on that trip.
They are not expensive and yet, they represent the journey of your life experiences…. VALUE that! YOU are you… and you have your own traditions, trips, experiences and more that can be expressed through ornaments….
I realize that not everyone celebrates Christmas with a traditional Christmas Tree but this tradition means a lot to me…. what means a lot to you?
A realization of the new normal- a transition to a work at home family
My husband and I take daily walks, our only time to just chat about life and planning for our future. It hit me that this living and working from home is our “new normal”. I’m not sure why I hadn’t given much time to REALLY think about it but it’s sinking in!
At the beginning of the pandemic it felt like a snow storm. You know, the kind where you are stuck in the house for a while and you cook, eat and watch movies. The shelves of the grocery store were always bare but this time, the snow storm lasted 3-4 months. Stores ran out of toilet paper, cleaning supplies, flour, sugar and yeast.
Fast forward to summer, we have been enjoying being outside and since we live in NJ we know we will be inside living and working from home soon enough. It is hitting me, we need a plan! We went to the gazebo by our pool, which we now lovingly have deemed our “restaurant” when we want a change of scenery and we discussed our plan!
The house has traditionally been my domain. I’ve worked at home for 20 years and it’s been great! I’m disciplined, organized and I’m used to having my space and time to do what I need and want to do all day. I stay busy all day long toggling between work and home duties and I like it.
We are empty nesters but we currently have 4 adults living and working from home. Quarantine was a slight adjustment to those plans. I’m not complaining at all! I love having family with me and I love having built-in social! Especially during the height of the pandemic it was great to have family in the house for company and conversation!
I can’t imagine being alone or even being alone with your spouse for that long without social interaction with friends. I’m a social person and I get my energy from others. This isolation stuff stinks! I don’t like it.
So, back to the house being “my office”. I love my family and we all get along super well but sometimes I need my space! Everyone is in “my office”, which has typically been the whole house, all day long. My sweet husband is now asking me about dinner every day and none of us have privacy.
Dinner is almost the only thing that varies every day so I guess it’s fun to talk about, but Cooking has always been my thing, I’m efficient at it. I know what ingredients we have and many times I make a decision at 5pm as to what I feel like making. Now I have to think about it all day long and discuss it. My husband is just trying to be helpful and I am so very appreciative but I don’t like to discuss it all day long. I’ve talked with him and coached him to ask “How can I help you with dinner?” as opposed to “What should we do for dinner?”
It’s a slight word change that helps me feel like I’m being supported on the plans I have made for dinner.
Work Space Allocation
Since everyone is working from home, I’ve decided that we need to set some ground rules for Fall. I believe we will all be more productive and focused if we do.
Everyone needs an office/ work space. My husband and I have separate offices in the house but many days he would “work” in the family room off my office so we could be close by. Oddly, I felt stifled like I just needed my space like I had for the past 20 years. It may sound strange but I would rather have him in his office and call or text me if he needs something than to randomly chat all day.
I’ve decided that the kitchen needs to be the “break room” and no one should work in it. It needs to be social just like a break room should be. Meals and conversations shared. NO actual work!
The dining room should be either the “board room”, “cubicle space” even “school” if needed. Many people collaborating or working side by side on productive work that doesn’t involve meetings or zooms.
If you have the space, add a small desk or workspace to bedrooms so that people can work independently and privately. Conference calls, classes or networking zooms shouldn’t disturb others.
Communication is key
The bottom line isto communicate. Gather the family and discuss what is working and not working so we can come out of this quarantine on the better end of this! We need to communicate so that living and working from home will be seamless.
Plan out shopping, cooking and cleaning so that everyone has a role. I expect once the weather gets cold, we won’t be inside restaurants so there’s going to be a lot of home cooking again!
Time management, organization and setting some ground rules for space and chores in the house will allow us all to cope with this new-normal a little better! I hope this gives you some ideas on how to deal with this work from home family life that we are all getting used to. I’m not an expert but I’m good at communicating what I need and I hope you do the same!
I am a trained Interior Designer but have not practiced in a while! Recently…. My daughter told me she never liked the lime green that I had painted her walls when she was 5! LOL! I tried so hard not to decorate a room in traditional pinks and purple “girl” colors when she was little…. I chose a great palate with lime green and raspberry that was fun and youthful, not too little girly that would transition into teens and I do feel like I did that effectively.
Now she’s 17 and about to go off to college and we are re-doing her room for Christmas into a more “mature” palate. Why, you ask, would I re-decorate her room before she leaves us in 6 months? Well, first of all, I’m ready for a change but secondly, I want her to enjoy it for a while and own it …. I want it to feel like “hers” before she leaves so she can enjoy it as “hers” when she comes back!
I’ll post some before and after shots but the “before” will depend on when she doesn’t have clothes strewn all over the room and on the floor (remember, she is still a teenager)
The “green/blue” lattice and solid will be in the adjacent bath and her room will be a soft gray paint from Benjamin Moore #harbourgray with a geometric print on the window and different scale prints for pillows and accent trim.
With today’s more gray palates being more “in style” it’s hard to transition the “golds” into the gray palates but with some fabrics, I think we can effectively do just that!
Stay tuned for some before and after shots! It may take a month but I’ll get there!
What room in your house do you want to re-do? Some people don’t place a lot of emphasis on this sort of thing but I think our interior has so much to do with our mood and our energy! We need to get energy out of a space… whether we want calm or energizing, bright and bold or muted and serene. What’s your ideal space look like? Clean and simple, colorful, neutral, or do you have a favorite color that really makes you feel good?
Does anyone else feel like they are just coming out of their summer “fog”? I am. It seems to take a while to get back in the groove after having no schedule in the summer. Don’t get me wrong… summer was productive. It wasn’t just sitting by the pool and sipping drinks….. we got a lot of projects done around the house but it has seriously taken me until MID- October to feel like things are settling into a groove! Crazy!
So… The reason I said “Happy New Year” is because I think August or September (depending on when your school starts) should be the NEW YEAR! It’s a time when we start over…. refresh…. get into a routine again after a summer of being less structured. Kids go back to school, Mom’s start to get things in order around the house.. and maybe start to take care of themselves again. Work schedules out of the house seem more relaxed during the summer because everyone is on vacation here and there and Fall, well, everyone is back to business! Even the calendars you buy at the store either begin in January or academic calendars begin in EITHER July or August? How confusing!
I seem to place less emphasis on the “new year” in January and seem to feel a lot more inclined to start over and start fresh in September? How about you?
I begin to eat healthy again after a summer of indulgences…. I begin to exercise again because there is a routine and I begin to organize after a summer of having everyone in the house. September seems to be MY new year!
So… I am taking it on… Got new glasses to start off the “new me” and I’m back to cooking healthy and eating better! I’m reflecting on the past with perspective… and dreaming of my future.
Are you ready to see some posts because I took most of the summer off? What do you want to hear more of? Here are my passions: Decorating, entertaining, fashion & accessorizing, product junkie, food and cooking, parenting, travel, some DIY projects, and Organization and business! I feel like my years of experience can serve me well as I’m venturing into the “mature adult” phase of my life! Tell me what you want to hear more of! I’d love to share!
This little symbol… is the Fleur de Lis! Do you recognize it? You have probably seen it in home decor accents, The New Orleans Saints, scepters, and crowns and flags of royalty and of european countries, the Scouts… the military, some sororities and fraternities and even vintage Campbell’s Soup labels used to have this little symbol on it! It’s a super star! It’s French in origin…. Fleur means “flower” and Lis means “Lily”.
If you are curious in nature… click on the link to learn more! Fleur de Lis
Anyway… I just LIKE it! I LOVE it in the new eSBe Designs Mardi Gras collection!!! It’s timeless….and detailed per our designer! It truly is a piece of art to be worn proudly and timelessly for years.. but for now… Enjoy it’s beauty…. and if you happen to relate to the organizations or nationalities that it represents, even better!
These pieces can make a great addition to any jewelry wardrobe or make a great gift for someone who identifies with this symbol! Enjoy!
Where else have you seen this little symbol? I’d love to know!
Okay.. I need to start out by saying that these light fixtures are NOT in my home but I do like them! I saw them at a bar in a hotel a month or so ago. 10 years ago, when I moved into my home, I had an eclectic style… fairly transitional! I have a lot of family furniture pieces and I’ve updated them with some current fabrics and to my husbands’ dismay, I think it’s time for a redo on some.
After many years of being married, and finally getting the house “finished” so it seems, its always time for a little update. Just like a wardrobe… it’s all in the accessories and some foundation pieces!
Foundation pieces can be your large upholstered pieces or window dressings…. accessories can be lamps and light fixtures!
We will be updating our kitchen this Spring and I’m looking for some barrel shade lamps to go over my island – KIND of like this one. (not sure about the crystals) but it’s a great way to update a room without a total overhaul!