Image Courtesy Apartment Therapy.... how gorgeous are those books!
I subscribe to 'Zen Habits', a wonderful website about finding simplicity in the daily chaos of our lives ...clearing the 'clutter' (physical and cerebral!) so one can focus on what is important in life. This post, from Zen Habits, on 'Decluttering' arrived in my inbox last week.... so I thought I would share it with you.
I am not a minimalist. I enjoy a few beautiful things around me in my home but I do find, for me, that living with simplicity and lack of clutter does free my mind and gives me a sense of peace.
Confession - I do love my books though and have them stashed in boxes in the shed, waiting to fill a floor to ceiling bookshelf in the next home I build.... but that's about it for me ... for serious clutter/hoarding. My lifetime keepsake box is the size of a document storage box... a few of my own academic reports, cards from my boys, their report cards, school portfolios and photos, and one little baby blue outfit that each of my boys wore as newborns.....that's it. My shed? well that's my work, and it comes and goes.... my personal clutter is meager.
Having moved so many times in the last few years, I have really pared down what I own... what I need... what I use on a daily basis.... from kitchen bits and pieces to even makeup and clothes. Even living elsewhere during the floods, and thinking I was going to lose everything, made me realise how little I really need to not only survive but to keep with me for 'aesthetic contentment'!
Have a read of Leo's post HERE. How do you view clutter? Do you see it as clutter? ... as treasures?... as a reminder of insurmountable tasks?... as happy memories? ... or as a scourge in your life?
Do you like my new boots? They were $40...I got them while I was away... yep, they are so not leather... for $40 how could they be... but they are perfect for knocking around on filthy, muddy soccer fields.
I only took my eye off the game to take this photo as big son was substituted off to take a puff on his ventolin (has inherited my tragic lungs).
'Little tacker' took a long shot for me. I think they are cool and comfy as.
Good advertisement for 'Pizza Capers'. They gave me that cooler for my birthday... so generous.
Speaking of 'tacker'... he got player of the week.... and big son scored 2 of his team's 4 goals. It was a big day. Another ad for Pizza Capers... they do a great Vegetarian Pizza... bit heavy on the garlic but super herbed up!
Now I did some pondering through my boys games yesterday. Conclusion and decision made. Life is short. I have a 'bucket list'. I am going to play soccer.
I never had the chance to play a team sport as a young girl. I so wanted to play hockey but I was never allowed to. It was music lessons for me. No sport. I do not want to leave this earth without having played a team sport. I want to be part of a sporting team, tackle the opposition, score goals and sit around and have a natter and 'after match drinks'... or whatever they do?.... tea and scones?
Fortuitous that the Division 7 Women's Team was playing after my boys matches. They're Mums and they're old.... like me! I had a chat to them and watched their game. They said I was welcome on their team. Hmm... and they have pink soccer boots.
I am purchasing a pair of soccer boots on Monday. I am going to start by training with my boys on a Thursday night. I love soccer. If I'd have had a girl, she would have played the game.
My inner child is going to get her chance... finally... at the tender age of 44. I am so excited. Can I do this? Am I too old? Will it hurt lots? I hope I don't cry when I get tackled to the ground.
Are any of you going 'radical' (my boys' assessment of the whole situation) as you get older too? Ticking off a bucket list?
Fuzzy image courtesy Southern Living.... but you get the idea.... love those transoms!
Hmm, I would love to build a sprawling low-set house sometime in my lifetime. Land availability/affordability would be the only rate limiting step.... for the sprawling bit.
Featured in 'Southern Living', I am assuming this beauty is somewhere in the northern hemisphere.... but you do see this style here in Australia, 'the early colonial homestead', particularly down south.
I love the idea of no steps. How about you? I change my mind all the time.... 2 story cottage?... sprawling low-set?
Number 53 on the 'bucket list'... build a sprawling low-set house.... with no steps :)
Well, before we get into a week of 'house-ey' discussions and drooling over various kitchens and such, I thought I might give you an update on my lads.
They are growing up fast. My big son is as tall as me now (which isn't saying too much as I am a shrimp)... but we stand eye to eye. He's tall enough to put his arm around my shoulder as we leave school each afternoon. It's a funny feeling, having your baby the same size as you. He's growing into a beautiful man... I am totally biased and ferociously defensive... even with the School Marshall, arguing the severity of his first Friday detention because he forgot to 'sign on' in the morning.....for the first time ever... in his 7 years at the school. Devastation..... as it goes on his school record. No.... not smoking in the toilets, not getting into a fight, not slipping back to A's from A+s... forgot to sign the attendance sheet. I fought the battle and lost (I am sure they have mummies fighting their son's battles all the time). I thought I'd fight this one as other boys forget to sign on and only get lunch rubbish pick up punishment or just get told not to do it again. I though it was harsh and inconsistent .... so I gave it a go.... but detention it is :(
"Don't worry Mum, at least I'll never forget to do it again". Oh well, lesson learnt. Growling Mother though.
As you can see the lizards are thriving and constantly smothered with love. Nigel and Brian became Nigella and Brianna there for a while but we have now confirmed that Brianna is actually a Brian and Nigella remains a Nigella. They live a blissful life in their tank with 'boy fellowship' on the deck every afternoon after school. You'd think they'd run when they are let out. No, they sit and let the boys hold their hands and tickle their chins.
'M for Mum'
Little one is still little.... as light as a feather but the best striker ever! He runs to the sideline every time he scores a goal and gives me the 'M for Mum' sign... as he reckons he scores more goals when I am there watching him. Bless his little heart.
Love that mantel... lots of detail but with a simple arrangement on top. Perfection.
A pretty Sunday vignette to make up for a not so pretty night.
Fire alarm at 3am. Who knew the "evacuate the building, evacuate the building" siren would have such a refined British accent. My boys are walking around this morning saying "evacuate the building" in their best British accents. They're good with accents.
Yes, so we met all the neighbours at 3am. My boys were happy. They found 'the girls' who also live here in the complex and revelled in spending even just a little bit more time with them than the usual brief 'hanging out by the pool sessions' they have every other weekend. The rest of us just compared pyjamas. I was very impressed with some resident's attire. They obviously took their time to dress for the street meet. I just grabbed the fluffy bathrobe and my handbag (and the children) and ran. There were babies and puppies and kiddies... if I wasn't so tired I would have been more social.
It's raining here today so we are heading off to see 'Pirates of the Caribbean'. Yes, I know. I have read the reviews. Just don't tell the boys. Maybe they won't notice. Movie, sushi, swim (the pool heater that floated down the river during the floods, has been replaced). A perfect Sunday, hey boys?
I am so glad I persisted with my run yesterday, despite the torrential rain at times, as look what greeted me at the start of it! The road workers and I confirmed that it was a sign that it was going to be a great day! I have never met an unhappy road worker.. there is something in that..... outdoors all day? laughing with mates?... rainbows.... conversations with strangers... I digress.
.... and if I had never strapped on the old faithful runners I would never have heard the beautiful bagpipe music this man was creating. I sat on a fence and listened (yep heart rate was not a priority yesterday)... feeling a bit sad that this is probably the only place he can play without being crucified by neighbours.... pretty nice place though... despite the rain.
....and if I didn't battle the rain (torrential at this stage), I would never have seen the grooviest combi van/camping car I have ever seen.
Check it out! I would have loved to have met them... but they were asleep.
Attention to detail.. sigh! Sort of felt like I was in Europe there for a second.
... and look who I ran in to when the sun came out. Hi James. He's still here a couple of days a week, despite there still being NO ferry terminal.
... and I finally met 'the running girl'! She runs past me (fast) every day while I am doing my 'Cliffy Young Shuffle'. We shout pleasantries to each other as she screams by. It was nice to talk at a standstill.
A lovely reader, Suzanne, sent me a link to Muse Interiors, suggesting I might like/hyperventilate over this kitchen. You were absolutely right Suzanne. Trouble breathing.
Firstly I love the light streaming in.... gives the room such a warm glow.... the pendant lights are beauties too... so is the benchtop! Look at the entry to the butlers pantry on the left...love the checks - tiles/wallpaper?.... and the wainscotting. And the teeny tiny tiles in the splashback... can you see them?
I am a sucker for shaker cabinetry and can never imagine using anything else in every kitchen I ever do. Big statement. But true. This I know.
.... and cabinetry right to the ceiling... with a beautiful cornice. Yep, perfect.
Look at the beautiful home one of my readers, Sandie, is building! Sigh... roof tiles, sigh.... cupola (her builder just whipped it up based on a drawing she did!)... and the essential gable vent... good to see! ... I'm rather fond of gable vents... features in my business logo.
Sandie has overseen the whole project with meticulous care. Oh, the 4 by 1 double hungs... see why she is after my own heart! Love the colour, love the stone, love the dormers. I think there is an old house under there somewhere? Sandie has completely transformed the style of the home and added and removed and built out and up. She's a dynamo. I could just imagine her on site!
.... and from the back.... gorgeous! Love the roof line.
They are only a few weeks away from moving in. I'll see if I can twist Sandie's arm for more photos. She bought some of my lights so we need to see them in situ!
A lovely reader, Lynette, dropped me a line to give me a link to a new house in Houston, that Paloma featured on her blog, La Dolce Vita, a few months back. I am so drawn to these beautiful antiqued brick floors.... and look at the panelling and cabinetry..... and steps! You would have to hand over your first born to get that quality here in Australia. You can see the rest of the house on Paloma's blog, HERE.
Thanks Lynette... straight to the 'Next House File'!
Happy Tuesday! Blah, 7am Guitar Ensemble...5.25am.... I'm up and at 'em.... after a night of dreaming that my car went under in a flood.....that's because someone put a huge ding in it yesterday and drove off without leaving their details :(
Every day I receive some sort of, 'Hi A-M, I thought you would like this' email.....lots of gorgeous images relating to my love of classical homes and interiors.
Cam, from Urban Images, often sends me pretties that he knows I will like. Cam is a photgrapher who specialises in residential and commercial architecture/interiors. This is a pretty kitchen he photographed recently. Thanks again Cam, I so enjoy your photography.
Love the high ceilings, colour scheme, blue accents, stove and tiled splashback, tapware and benchtops.
... and may I say, living in an apartment at present, I would never take that sort of space for granted again! I would be dancing in this kitchen!
Maybe this week should be 'Inbox Week'... I will have a rummage and get back to you with some more lovelies.
PS. Now, knowing that this beauty is currently on the market, I did a bit of 'realestalking'.... and yes, HERE it is! Be still my heart. Maybe I can help them find a buyer! Now that would make my day!
Isn't this a great idea for chalkboard paint.... a wall calendar. It would come in very handy in a home office or kitchen. Martha shows you that 'chalkboard' doesn't have to be black or just shades of grey. She has a tutorial on how to 'chalkboard up' your house in any shade, HERE.
I haven't sat down and done the 'cyber home improvement rounds' for ages. I am finding lots of lovely things. I'll share them with you next week. Don't you love slow Sundays!
Another lovely day here in Brisbane. I'm off for a walk and then I'm going to hang out in my friend's home renovation/build. Are you ready for me 'Y'?... I tend to hyperventilate a lot when I live vicariously through friends 'builds'.
Well that was interesting! Losing Blogger for all that time. I hear that some people lost reams of posts. I was lucky to just only lose all my comments from my previous posts. So if you can't see your comment from my posts this week, Blogger gobbled it. I'm sorry. But thanks for taking the time to visit. Maybe Blogger will give them back? Eventually? It's funny how we take a free service for granted. Glad it's back. I love this place.
Haven't been around much this week so thought I'd bring you up to speed. It's riveting!
My boys smothered me in pink things for Mother's Day.
Not much pink around here usually... what with lizards and soccer boots and the like.
... and look at my tulips now!
.... elegantly 'non arranged' in the same garden pot they came in and an old saucer.
We hung out at 'Gran's' ... by the dam.
Too cold for frogs.
... did some science experiments for school...
... and a 'persuasive argument homework task'.
I would not have known what a persuasive argument was when I was in Grade 3... lucky boy.
Nice house. Pictures still come in handy.
... and went for lots of walks .... marvelling at what is required to be preserved under DCP (demolition control) in this fair town... 'character code' ...and all that (oh Paris, I miss you and all your beauty). Yes, this eyesore was not allowed to be knocked down. The facade is being kept and some units are being put up behind it. Let's follow this one all the way. I will be so interested to see how this one pans out!
Oh, and I ate this. Every last lip smackin' calorie.
Off to soccer now. It's a glorious day here today.
This is where I muse about home design, interiors, my life, my boys and stuff that sort of stops my heart. I have an online store full of my favourite Hamptons style lighting over at www.capecoddesigns.com.au ... and ... I'm currently planning my next house build.