Focusing on the Good!

Okay so the last week has been a whirlwind for me. Life threw me a curveball in the shape of some family drama. All families go through challenging times so I wont bore you with details – I’m sure you all can relate to “family stress”. For now – things have resolved on my end so I am very happy and relieved to get back on track.  Its interesting how stressful events can bring to light some very important facts – for instance:

1. Family comes first!

2. Your To-Do list can wait – most of that crap isnt really important in light of #1 above.

3. You are stronger than you think!

4. This too shall pass… although surely not as soon as you would like!

Has this been your experience too?

Time for an update on our little remodel project I mentioned a week or so ago. You may recall we are re-doing our “mudroom”. Well, its almost done and the built-in organizer cabinet I helped the Finish Carpenter design turned out fabulous. I am so over the moon about it. Scott did a wonderful job as he always does and I thought you might like to see some photos.


Lower drawers designed for shoes


slotted upper cabinet for shopping bags


Charging Station!


Below Charging Station is a big cabinet with shelves


Right tall cabinet with organization and memo board


Tall left side cabinet with storage for an upright vacuum and cleaning bottles


Overall shot of cabinet

Pretty nobs and pulls













Right now the cabinet is painted a lovely off white base.  But we are working on some faux painting ideas to jazz up the exterior a bit. Also, the remaining walls of the mudroom are getting some chalk paint. When thats all completed I’ll take some more fun photos to share. I cant wait for the grand finale’ – I think its going to turn out awesome.


Want to see something else pretty? I ordered the cutest flip flops for my daughter and me. They are from Flip Out Sandals – Its a california based company that sells flip flops you can customize with various snaps that screw in at the top of the toe separator. We ordered a pink pair for both of us and an additional black pair for her. Then we got three different snaps that match with either pink or black. They are so cute and we love the fact that we can be match-matchy! Before long she surely wont want to wear anything that matches mom so I am thrilled we can enjoy these together this summer. The shoes were not very expensive – about $24.00 each. Not to bad considering they are very unique and pretty. Plus – with the various snaps you can create several looks with just one shoe.



Hey – an extra foot?!


the lips are soooo cute


hearts – go with everything!




more snaps



Anyone ever done a “remodel” in their home while still living in it? I know many of you have. And I bet most of you handled it better than I do. You see, over the course of a 19 (soon to be 20!) year marriage we’ve had the good fortune of “improving” our home 3 times. All three times we have lived in the house during the work. And all three times I LOVE it when its done and HATE it while its in process.





This go around we are really only doing two smallish projects. One is creating a small mud room and the second is enclosing in an upstairs porch. Nothing that would prevent us from the necessities of our day to day lives while the work is completed. Supposedly, it will only take about 6 weeks which, I know from experience, means 8-10 weeks – but even that’s not so bad. The current schedule looks a bit like this – we take our daughter to school at 8:00 am so we have the house to ourselves in the morning which is really helpful. That way – the early morning routine isnt interrupted and our daughter does not have awaken to the sounds of hammers and saws. But as soon as I get back from the school run the carpenters arrive and begin the days work. Generally, they start to wrap up at 4:00 and are gone by about 4:30 – again nice since Hannah gets home from school about 4:00 pm. Now let me say that the crew we are working with is FABULOUS – I cannot say enough good things about them. They have done all the remodel projects we have undertaken at our 2 homes, in addition to several small commercial jobs at our offices. The construction company is owned by a dear friend of ours and we love and trust him completely. His staff is meticulous, the work is excellent and they are very “in-tune” to keeping things as clean as construction will allow. If you are in Central Florida and need a referral please let me know and I will put you in touch with RF Mannarino Contracting. You will love Bobby and his staff. Truly, they are as good as it gets.

Even still – for the next 6-10 weeks I will have to muster all the positive energy I can to keep my stress under control. Mainly its the dust and messiness that gets me unglued. The hubby and I both work from home a fair amount and despite this I can live with the in and out off all the traffic, I can live with the constant noise and chatter of the crew, and I can live with the driveway and garage being overtaken with trucks and debris. But the dust and dirt send me over the edge. It doesn’t help that I’m Type A to begin with. I am obsessive about my “nest” and keep it cleaner and more tidy than is considered normal or average. Everyday when the job is closed up for the night I start wiping down counters, vacumming floors and trying my best to clean up at least the commonly used areas so we can enjoy dinner and some family time. There is a layer of dust and dirt that I can’t even wipe or suck up until the job is DONE – but I have to try and get at least the top layers cleaned off each day before I can prepare dinner ( I rarely cook – but you know what I mean :-)), shower, change into Pj’s and finally relax.



I read a ton of blogs and know of several design/remodel bloggers that I love. These creative and carfty folks seems to thrive on “redoing” and tolerate the mess and chaos with style and grace. I WISH I knew how they did that! The yogi in me hates to admit it but I ENVY thier ability to live and enjoy life admist the clutter and dirt. I remind myself how fortunate we are to be able to afford these improvements and I know from experience how immensely happy I will be with the results. But let me tell you – in the interim – its a struggle! So far – I’ve made it through 2.5 days! A small victory but at least we are underway. There is no turing back now – the finish line is on the horizon – albeit a ways away!

If you’ve got any tips for me I all ears. In the meantime – I’m going to try and “suck it up” and focus on gratitude! That generally does the trick!





Question of the day:

Have any of you ever lived through a home remodel? What as the best/worst aspect for you?