Monday, May 21, 2012

I need a Green Monster. Stat.

The title of this blog is "Because Home Should Be Great."

I believe that wholeheartedly. But I'll let you know up front that this post is not about my house.
It's about me.  And all the other moms out there.  And it's important.

I take great care and devote lots of time and energy to make our house a home that we love and can thrive in.  I also take great care to make sure my kids are healthy.  I'm very careful about what they eat - overall they are super healthy kids, for which I'm very grateful.  I insist on them getting plenty of sleep, eating their veggies, not too much sugar, and generally taking good care of themselves.  I feel that teaching them how to be healthy in a world that is largely not is one of the most important things I am charged with as their mother.

But now here's my dirty little secret.  I am much less careful about taking care of myself.  And lately, it has been slapping me in the face, trying to get my attention.

It worked.

This weekend I was hit with yet another sinus infection. Since we moved back to the Cincinnati area, the sinus problems I've always been prone to have gone bonkers.  It's seriously been ridiculous.  I'm sick of being sick.  I'm sick of spending days away from my family and my projects because I feel too crappy to participate in life.  I'm also - keeping it REAL here - at about the highest non-pregnancy weight I've ever been.  I'm tired.  Add to that... my genes do not carry an abundance of mental health, either.  Women in my family have lots of issues with moods, depression, you get the idea.  I haven't escaped those genes by any stretch of the imagination.  I've worked really hard to manage that but in general, I just feel B-A-D.  Like, can I remember the last time I felt GOOD?  Like, don't need 4 cups of coffee to get up in the morning or two glasses of red wine to sleep soundly?

And I have had enough.

I started reading this weekend.  I've always been drawn to the work of Dr. Andrew Weil.  He's one of the most famous and well-respected promoters of natural health.  So I started reading on his site about recurring sinus infections.

I found this.  Part of it reads,
"I do recommend a dietary change to people with sinus problems. Try eliminating milk and milk products. Casein, the protein in cow's milk can both irritate the immune system and increase mucus production. It is often associated with sinus conditions as well as with such problems as recurrent childhood ear infections, eczema, chronic bronchitis and asthma. It may take as long as to two months before you experience the full benefits of eliminating milk from your diet."

This led me to more reading.

I found this blog.
That's where I found the recipe for the Green Monster I'm having for breakfast this morning.

I kept reading.  I read about how woman after woman paid a lot more attention to what she was putting into her body, and how much better these people felt.

Check out this site.
Part of it reads:

  • Do you put everyone and everything on the to-do list - except yourself?
  • Do you continuously struggle with guilt around food and eating, and are tired of punishing yourself?
  • Do you know what you "should" do to take care of yourself, but it's just not happening?
  • Do you want to feel energetic, sexy and fully love your life?

Can you relate?  I sure can.
I'm not saying you should go sign up for anything or pay a bunch of money for a program.
What I am saying is this...

On airplanes, when the sh*t hits the fan, what are you supposed to do if you have kids with you?
Put YOUR oxygen mask on first.  First.
Then, take care of the little humans around you.

There's a lesson in that.

If we are deflated, exhausted, sick, tired, and feeling crappy, guess what... it's harder to take care of your kids.  And your house.   And your marriage.

I have talked at length about this with many friends over the years.
And putting ourselves, as women, at the top of the list goes against almost everything in our current DNA.
Mothers often feel the need to be selfless.
Mothers are supposed to make sure that our kids are safe, healthy, fed, rested, and that they are where they need to be when they need to be there.
Mothers are also often taking care of running their, stocking, maintaining, improving, and more cleaning.
Many of us have husbands who are super helpful around the house, who are energetic fathers and are excellent at contributing in every way they possibly can.  I have an awesome husband and I am so grateful that God blessed me with him.  Most of the husbands I know are more than happy to go along with it when Mom says she wants to go to the gym, take a nap, have a night out, you name it.

But here's the crux of the problem.  It is still the mom who has to decide she is going to do those things.  NO ONE can make us do them.

It's so fundamentally simple...follow me here:
If we as women and mothers do not put ourselves on the list,

This is akin, in some ways, to how so many of our veterans suffer when they return home from combat.  Many, many of these men and women have absolutely no problem giving up their time, sleep, safety, homes, families, and their very lives to protect their country and our collective freedom.
But try and get those same determined, protective, strong soldiers to fight just as hard for themselves when they come back - to recover physically, mentally, emotionally.  It's damn near impossible for many of them.  It is a million times easier for those heroes to fight for others than it is for them to fight for themselves.  (This is why I am so strongly supportive of veterans...but I digress.)

We have to put ourselves on the list.  And not just barely on it...trailing at the bottom.
I have not figured out how to do this consistently.  But I have realized that the consequences of not being on the list are not fun.  They do not, in the long run, benefit my family, my mental health, my body, my work, my soul, my marriage, or my home.
I tell myself it's more important for me to get the laundry off the dining room table, or get a gift made for someone else than it is to get to the gym or make myself a healthy grocery list.
But you know... it is not.

So this morning, I had a cup of coffee.  Then I made myself a Green Monster.
Because no one else is going to do it for me.
I have options I need to explore about addressing the sinus issues that have been plaguing me - and I will.

But first... I'm going to get my daughter off to school, and then go for a walk, or call a friend, or hit the gym, or fill up my water bottle.

So if you come to my house, ignore the unmade bed, the dust bunnies, the unorganized, unlabeled closets.

And if you ask nicely, I might just make you a Green Monster.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Belated reveal of our upcycled hall tree for charity!

I didn't get to post this when it happened just recently, but my Dad and I finished the hall tree we created out of an old interior door and an ugly bathroom vanity! Here's my earlier post on it.
This was part of a design challenge issued by a local reuse/salvage store that benefits Easter Seals.
We got $100 to spend in the "store" and then had to create something new and fabulous.

You might have seen this pretty image floating around blogs and pinterest...

It's from an awesome blog called Pretty Handy Girl.  It was exactly the spark we needed to make our hall tree!

And here she is:

That's my sweet Dad who worked happily with me to create this - and make sure it won't collapse when someone sits on it.  :-)  Thanks, Dad!!

The only things "new" about this piece are the cushion (I made it...foam, fabric, and piping from Joann) and some plywood my Dad used to reinforce the bench.  Everything else - even the four matching hooks, mirror, and door pulls came from Building Value.  Lovin' it!!  So, this is my completely uncompensated pitch for you to scout out your local reuse and salvage outlets and USE their stuff.  Very cool.

This little beauty was auctioned off for charity, but if it wasn't, I would happily have this piece living in my house right now!

Here's the befores:

And here's the after!

Have a great day!


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Shabby, Chic, & Chevron!

It's time for a big TA-DA!  The first pieces of furniture I've redone are officially up for sale. :-)
This would be the desk and I chair I purchased separately at a thrift store.

I'm so pleased with the way they turned out.  And I am just hoping and praying for the right buyer to come along and love them as much as I do!

 I did my first distressing job on these.  I went with a pretty light hand.  I don't like things to look too beat up.
 Speaking of distressing, I do believe it is the perfect way for my kids to help on these kinds of projects.  I mean, spray paint? No way.  Hand painting chevron lines?  Probably not.  But distressing furniture??  Now there's something my kids are really good at!  Woo hoo!!  ;-)
 The desk came with the original hardware all attached, which rocked.  So I gave that a coat of black lacquer.
 I lined the drawers with some scrapbook paper that had some cool, inspirational quotes on it.   Just a little pick-me-up when you open the drawers.

 Aren't these legs gorgeous?

I'm so proud of this set!  The cost of buying the pieces and the paint to cover them TOTALED about $30 but it did take quite a bit of time to hand paint and distress everything and there is a nice coat of Polycrylic for durability.   So, there you have it.
In case you missed it, here's the before:

Thrift store pieces with a thoughtful facelift.  :-)

Anne Linking up here: The Shabby Nest Today's Creative Blog

Friday, May 4, 2012

Bridal shower gift reveal!

I had forgotten how much fun it can be to get excited about wedding gifts. I mean, I have been married for a DECADE now, so you know... you forget. But I had the chance to attend a bridal shower for a family friend and his fiancee. And of course, I had to make them something. My inspiration was from the blog Lines Across My Face - isn't this gorgeous?!

I love the modern stitching and negative space. After looking at the couple's registry, I decided it would be perfect. I used a steely gray suede-like fabric and white thread. First, I did some decorative stitches around the pillowcase end. Very simple with my machine.

I decided to use white embroidery thread so the pillow could be used in any room, with any color scheme.

I'm so happy with how it turned out, nevermind the fact that I really underestimated the amount of time it would take me to finish it.  (I was, ahem, finishing it IN THE PARKING LOT at the shower. True story.  haha)

Congrats you two crazy kids! ;-)