Friday, December 27, 2013

Living Simply in the New Year

Living simply means different things to different people. For me, living simply is about:
  • taking care of my home and those who inhabit it 
  • taking time to appreciate and recognize the everyday miracles and beauty around me
  • constantly being appreciative and happy with what I've got
  • finding joy through giving and service
  • connecting with nature
  • not living beyond my financial means
  • being self-sufficient
  • staying mindful
  • and truly realizing that the best things in life are free
These things combine to produce a balanced and fruitful life, the satisfaction with which is hard to put into words. It helps me to prioritize the things that are really important, and to live each day to the fullest. As the new year approaches I hope to simplify further by cooking more, shopping less, enjoying alone time, budgeting more, and learning how to garden. 

"He who is contented is rich." ~Lao Tzu

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

This Christmas is rather special for me. That's because it's the first year since being an adult that I've put up Christmas decorations (I'm a little late, I know). Now that things are up, I'm wondering what the heck took me so long! Christmas decorations are awesome. They make me feel warm and fuzzy inside, just like when I was a little kid. And nothing beats the smell of fresh pine on a winter morning. I confess, for environmental and financial reasons I have a fake tree, but these ScentSicles from Amazon make the house smell like the real deal.

This year the hubs and I agreed to give each other two gifts, one that costs nothing and another that costs under $25. I can't wait to see what he came up with :-) I hope all of you are enjoying your holiday decorating and gift giving.


Monday, December 9, 2013

Full Bath Update

Although our master bath was in good condition when we moved in, I decided to make a few changes to put our mark on it. Here's what the bathroom looked like before.

To improve things I got rid of the ugly pink paint, and switched to Sherwin Williams Sea Salt. I used a sample can to paint the small room to save money, it was on sale for only $5. I painted the vanity as well, and changed the knobs, which really helped it to look less cheap. For $150 bucks I highly recommend this vanity. Next I added a carrera marble countertop from a place called European Marble, which ran me $400. Then I added a chrome shower bar and chrome faucet, lighting, and accessories from Restoration Hardware (sidenote: it's a good idea to look for these items on Ebay for a discount). Though high-end fixtures are pricey, I think they're worth it because they have integrity and can last a lifetime (or two or three for that matter). Plus, since the bath was already small, the cost to install them wasn't too bad. I threw in all white linens to keep things feeling classic, open, and spa like.

The faucet is from Restoration's Asbury line. I like the timeless look of it, but be for warned that if you're considering installing it, because of all the crevices it's hard to clean. I use old toothbrushes and a t-shirt to get it back in shining condition.

As you can see bungalows don't come with huge baths, but that doesn't mean you can't make the most of em'. As they say....appreciate the small things!