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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

This is me.An Introduction

THIS IS ME ! (oh and the handsome man in the pic is the love of my life, Robert)

I figured it was a bit over due to introduce myself (get yourself a cup of coffee or a hot cup of tea and settle in) ...but then I am new to blogging...a baby, days old really and only getting launched after several people almost ordered...ok highly suggested it, and my middle daughter (my partner in "crime" when it comes to budget decor) ran with it telling me she would do all the techie stuff and I could just write. I really did not know what to write, or even how to write it so people would want to read. I am always so impressed with all the decor blogs I follow that I was sure there was no way I would do anything new or impressive to grab followers. BUT then I decided, "who cares???" this will be for me, like a journal....but more on that in a bit. Background time...not that I am one to ever fade into the background, just not in my DNA LOL!!

Ok well , as my profile states I am in my 40's , married, but then you knew that to Robert , we have been together since I was 17 and he 19 and married since I was barely 20 and he 22. He is in the car business, so very rarely home, but when he is he takes good care of me. We have three beautiful daughters, Chanda, my oldest, she lives in Texas, so we Facebook a is a new and very public way to push each others buttons! Rebecca, as before mentioned partner in crime , she lives close by and we are like best friends now that we do not live together...she is a talented artist and you will see her in future posts as well as her art. Then there is Angel , our youngest...she rents a room for us for drop by's and to store her clothing aka she lives here, but is never here.Then we finish off the crew with two enormous ( or so I am told ) cats...Bitty, the real queen of this home and Koko her brother and well just a sweet , cuddly baby with not much going on in his noggin. So that is who we all are.I will do posts that are not about decor from time to time to keep you up to date , after all we are going to be friends right?

Now how I became interested in decor ....well my folks were flipping houses before it was popular. In doing this my Mom was always decorating, and re-decorating. They were obsessed with antiques so many a day was spent going from one antique store to the next, and with a few model homes thrown in just to break up the routine and get ideas for the next room to be done or redone. My Dad was an artist, and so he was always inserting that love into our homes and my Mom was a doll maker, so also very creative and artistic....well of course it rubbed off...oh and need to mention, well my Dad was/is frugal and that saving money is in my blood, BUT my Mom loves to shop, so that is there too.

When I moved out of their home and in with Robert, a rental, I tried my best to put a stamp on it, best a girl could do on babysitting money and living with two guys, but managed here and there. Then we all moved to a house and I could do as I wanted decor wise, but it always seemed limited as it had to fit in a tiny budget and well go with bachelor furniture forward to eventually taking over my Grandparents home and no one to tell me what I could or could not do was still very tight, raising three children, me being a stay at home Mom and so it was hand me downs, create out of nothings, garage sales and second hand get the idea....BUDGET, BUDGET, BUDGET....always there looming. I so wanted a house that was like in the magazines, but on what would be left from groceries and then what I could save here and there I had to do my best on what I had. I made a lot of mistakes, but never had fear of color or change . Robert would come home all the time to find the walls a different color, the furniture moved or sold and replaced or traded with my Mom for something of hers! I tried all styles, good and bad , tacky to tasteful, themed and well home was my lab for sure and I loved it. I loved the newness and the thrill of the hunt for treasures and thinking outside the box so that I could have a wonderful space in which to raise a family.

After 14 years we moved to Texas from California, and cause of the sale of the family property, had money....and it bought a lot in Texas! I was like a kid in a candy hitch, I did not get time to think it through or get to know the home we had just bought. we had moved out with nearly nothing and had to furnish a home of 3033 sq. feet in two days ....IKEA bound ...spending 6 hours the first day, 4 the next there! Needless to say more design mistakes made in a very short period of time, and we will not even go into what I had a contractor do to a perfectly beautiful home to play with my design whimsy and larger than I had ever known budget...was not long needless to say before I wanted to change all that I had already done....and I was off and three years we went through three decors...every stick of furniture and all the accessories, and painting and re-painting....of course just cause I had a big budget, did not mean I was not still a bargain hunter to get the look for less...after all it just is who I am....biggest bang for the smallest buck!

Work brought us back to California , Northern to be exact and we were able to get our dream home, a 1922 Bungaloid cottage ,on Main street no less, complete with cottage garden and front porch! We did not have the same large budget now, as in TX, costs more to come back and well raising three teenagers is costly, but we went about gutting the kitchen and then working slowly , but surely and well executed design ideas ( yes I had learned ...well partially) through the main living space and planned to continue to do so....then well, the recession hit us as it has so many people world wide. My husband lost the job that brought us back, and half the pay, then lost another ( the car business was hit hard as I am sure you know) and was now unemployed, and well I have some health issues that keep me from working and so we began to rely on savings, then investments...we survived for a year, and my husband did find a car sales job,(it is slow going still)...but it was too late. We had to walk away from our dream home. With doing so we gave our daughter our larger furniture and appliances, and sold what else was left to find getting into the apartment that fit our budget ( or so we thought) and went to IKEA, once again and bought just the basics and what would provide storage after we were sure that we had our deposit in place and utilities and moving costs handled...needless to say we , I settled for furniture that was not in my "design plan" , but truthfully I was numb, un-attached to anything at this point and walked around in a fog...I did not care. I even canceled all my decor magazines!

We brought with us a dining room table and chairs that we had bought thinking it would fit in the apartment, our mattresses and of course the TV LOL and filled in the blanks best we could. No cohesive look, just dressers and bookshelves that I could make into a TV stand . Turns out the table was too big, as were the dressers that served as LR storage , but they did the job. For awhile, most of winter, I just sat around and watched TV....but little by little the decor bug bit again, I really needed to make this beige, brown and white box a home. We were and still are touch and go on if we can make rent, have cut our grocery bill by half and I do not even drive much anymore, choosing to walk instead to save money, but I needed to decorate, create an attachment to my space again, and with no help and the smallest budget ever.

I began to follow decor blogs, more and more. I bought magazines when I could swing it with the groceries, and started clipping pictures to put in a file....I decided on a color theme and just started from there. I used a few bucks here , saved gas money, or the small rent our daughter paid if it was not needed on the first, if I was able to stretch grocery day a bit farther away to save a few dollars ...all of it adds up...and so once all rent was paid for the month, a bit in savings and bills paid, food bought, I would go to places like Home Goods, Ross, Marshall's, Target and well of course IKEA and put together my decor, but base it on the high end stores and clippings I had collected....I tried a Moroccan vibe first, just in a few accessories, it was ok and lasted a couple of months, but was not me...not entirely, so passed it to my youngest daughter's friend for her room....building good Karma I guess. A few things went to Rebecca, the middle daughter who was reliving what I had all those years ago at the same age, living with three guys and trying to add her touch....I began again...wasteful, maybe, but it sure did benefit people I loved who could afford even less.

This time, keeping the same colors, I really needed to find inspiration and I found it in a piece of art that my daughter had drawn, Rebecca, once again...that of a Geisha and as I already had a Buddha and one other piece of Asian art I was off and running , slowly, but running again. I had a plan, a vision and I was going to create the decor combo, the color combos and the feel that made me happy day in and day out ...same tiny budget....most weeks no more than 25.00 !

It is evolving, I am learning, not just lessons about being on a tiny budget, not just decor lessons , but also life lessons , what is important, what is not...what rules to stick to and what to break . I have since sold some of the non working furniture, at a loss, but again it helped out others and was enough to go to the consignment store, or other places I find things to fit my needs/wants and fill in the blanks with things that is slowly turning our apartment into a home, for as long as we are here.

This blog will be where I share my shopping adventures, budget finds, tips and even things just from my daily life that I feel I want to share with friends . There might be posts on books, movies, other blogs, my family and friends and well of course decor ....I PROMISE though to try to not write a novel like this again ...but thought just this once you might let it slip. See you soon!


  1. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I'm not sure how much of my blog (if any) that you've read. I did a post Jan. that explained what I had been going through. I FEEL your pain. It is a real effort lately to stay out of the "fog" the blog, fan page and treasure hunting have helped! We're still in our "dream" home but not sure if that will last. Although this has been the hardest thing i've lived thru to date, there really has been a lot of good that has come out of it! I was able to discover a talent I didn't know I had and I am well aware of what really matters. Sorry for MY mini novel but sometimes you've just got type what ya gotta type! ;) Looking forward to the adventures ahead on your blog!!

  2. Thanks for sharing...I hope that you will get to stay in your home...and will be able one day to escape the fog and dream for the future ...we can make it through this!

    I shall head over to yours...let me grab my tea....<3


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