In the Yard

June 19, 2011






Squirmy Hermy

Squirmy Hermy

On the plane during recent flights, I alternated between reading “The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify Your Life,” by Francine Jay, and imagining what I want my next home to look like. I recommend the book; it’s all about achieving that excitement you feel when you first move into a new place and it’s still empty, when the open space is inspiring and exhilarating, before you fill it up with all your things. It’s really a call for a different life style: looking at your belongings with a new eye, being more aware of how stuff gets into your home, letting go of items you don’t absolutely need or love, defining yourself in ways other than by what you own, and creating–and maintaining–a peaceful (beautiful, functional) dwelling.

These rooms from the Haven in Paris vacation rentals are what I’m sort of longing for right now (and not only because they’re, you know, in Paris). I’d have a little more art and decor, but not too much more. And have I mentioned that I need* hardwood floors? Minimal decor seems to work so much better with pretty floors.

*I use the word “need” loosely and excessively in this entry. I do not actually need these things, other than to achieve the images in my head.

Haven in Paris

Haven in Paris

Haven in Paris

Haven in Paris

Haven in Paris

When moving back in with my parents last month, I ended up selling more furniture than I anticipated on a last minute whim, including my sofa and an armchair. Patrick and I also sold our dining set and a few other things, and he and I split up the remaining furniture, a process that was very smooth. The truth is, I didn’t want to keep much. I like the thought of a fresh start, and I want fewer things overall. Even the stuff I did keep, currently sitting in a storage unit, is more than I need, but I’m waiting to see what my next living situation is like to decide what stays and goes, depending on size, layout, whether or not I live with someone else, etc.

Basically, the furniture I have left is:

All the items in this very IKEA-fied little reading nook. I will most likely change the color of the chair cushion to something more neutral.
Clean house after a party

Chair and footstool- IKEA, oak bookshelf – 2ndhand IKEA via Craigslist, white shelf – IKEA as-is section

This chair–happily, I’ve chucked the old cushions and will definitely be having new ones made.

New chair

Chair – Craiglist

This dresser, which I’m on the fence about keeping. If I do, it’s getting cleaned up.


Dresser – Craigslist

This small Danish table/bench (I love it).

My Home

Table/bench – Ebay

This even smaller side table.


Side table – found on a curbside!

This little green [bedside] table (guess I’m okay on small tables, huh?).

Around the house

Bedside table – Pier 1

The desk and shelves in this picture, which I have no attachment to.

My Home

Desk and shelves – IKEA

Not pictured: An oak IKEA Expedit bookcase I never assembled.

So what I make of all of this is:

  • I have a lot of brown wooden stuff, and I want to balance it out with upholstered pieces, glass, metal, other colors, whatever
  • I want to change my chair cushions to more neutral colors
  • I will not need everything I have above, and could probably do without some of the small tables and one of the chairs
  • I will need a bed, sofa (white or very light), small dining table (probably white), and some rugs (I still have the white shaggy one in the reading nook)
  • I need to phase out the oak IKEA stuff
  • I don’t want to be too theme-y, including overly retro or vintage
  • Color-wise, I want to be much calmer this time around than I was in Gainesville (despite the fact that this completely contradicts recent entries I’ve posted). I want a lot of neutrals with green as my main accent color. I’ve been inspired by this image from Anthropologie since 2005!

Anthro spring 2005

and I still have these curtains, which I love:

New curtains

I cut down on my decorative items as well but still have plenty to spread throughout my next home. I think I’ll be pretty selective about that process too, though.

…And this concludes today’s over-analysis of how I will decorate my next hypothetical place.

Back…with Skills

June 12, 2011

I return from Louisiana with new-found expertise (ha) in baking/ cooking/ cake decorating, sewing (an apron!), couponing, and more. Aside from staying busy doing all those things, my friend and I also found time to sunbathe at the pool, drink daiquiris on the porch, play with her adorable dog, and of course, talk each other’s ear off.







So Long, Florida

June 8, 2011

…for a few days.

At the beach

At the beach

I’m at the airport. Love free wireless!

June Bug!

June 7, 2011

First of all, thank you to WordPress for featuring my previous post, “Dunder Mifflin, this is Toni” on Freshly Pressed. That was the second time WordPress has featured my blog; the first time was my “NYC! (Photo Dump).”



Summer dessert

[Insert random photos of recent food here.]

Tomorrow I leave to go visit one of my oldest friends in Louisiana for a few days! We’ve decided it will be somewhat of a Martha Stewart weekend. My friend is excellent at baking, decorating, scrapbooking, and all things arts and crafts. When we were kids I loved spending time in her bedrooms because they were so pretty (we both moved from Missouri to Florida in the early 2000s and went to school together in both states!), and her scrapbooks were like masterpieces. I attempted to scrapbook in high school because of her and it. was. ugly. The captions alone are so bad I can never share them with anyone. Anyway, on this short trip, we will probably take on some artsy projects that she will excel at and I will fail at. And I can’t wait.

I’ve had some¬† fun and relaxing past few days, probably a little bit too much so for my own good. But I don’t regret it. This post-graduation “vacation” was much needed, or at least, much appreciated. I’ve been browsing through design books and murder mysteries, writing in my journal (of the non-digital sort) for the first time in 10 months, eating good food, spending time with friends and family, and more.

In my journal, I came across an entry from August 2009–a “Lifelong To-Do List” apparently inspired by Real Simple magazine that month (seriously, I love that magazine). After reading this post on the blog hithatsmybike (see her recent entries on spending a month in Paris, gah, amazing), I decided to post my 2009¬† list here.

Read the rest of this entry »

I spent less than 24 hours in a certain city where a certain favorite TV show of mine is set. Luckily it was a beautiful day.













May 27, 2011

Just a quick update to say that since my last post in the last 3 days, I have, among other things:

  • gone to an out-of-state job interview (where I was grilled by about 15-20 people over the course of 4 1/2 hours),
  • passed my driver’s license test (10 years after getting my learner’s permit),
  • and officially started moving out of my house (I should be done by Sunday), selling a lot of my furniture and clothing in the process.

This is one crazy time. Even though I’m sort of in limbo about “what’s next” right now, it feels good to be tackling these challenges. The fun summer plans–easy reading, touching up furniture, cooking new meals–will have to wait a little longer, and I can’t even upload photos right now, which is annoying, but soon I’ll be at my parents’ house again and probably in a more normal routine. I was right. 2011 is my year of action.