Category Archives: General

An Imbalanced Act

I have been contemplating re-visiting Fabrictherapy for some time. It seems like the pace of my life is so frantic that sitting down to write may be the only way I can give myself a chance to breath, rest, think. I came across one of my posts from almost five years ago “In her eyes” and found myself in tears. Partly because I don’t feel like I am giving my youngest daughter the same playful opportunities I gave my first born, and partly because I am overtired and fighting a cold.

So much has changed since I last wrote. My two oldest children are now in school. Sofia is a tall lanky seven year old, sassy as ever, and Charlie is courageous five year old, diving into the world of kindergarten. My little Anna and I are also diving into a new world: daycare. I inwardly shutter as I write the word. Millions of women put their children into daycare. Do each of them struggle with the same oppressing guilt? This guilt is heightened by the fact that my other two never went to daycare.

Will Anna one day ask me why she was put in daycare but I spent seven days a week with her older siblings? Will she feel that she is less valued because I chose to seek help with her care in order to pursue work opportunities?

She is only there two days a week but I ache for her ever bit of those two days. I wonder if she is crying. Is she asking for mommy? Is she wondering why I left her? How much can a three year old understand? The ironic thing is that I leave her in daycare so that I can work with other people’s children.

Since last time I wrote my interior decorating business has rather taken off and I started working part time as the Birth to Five Children’s Coordinator at my church. This combination amounts to a fairly flexible, fairly full time work schedule. I am lucky enough that two out of the four days I work for the church I am able to bring Anna to participate in the classes. She also participates in my interior decorating business, driving all over the lower mainland sourcing product, sometimes even shopping with me and a client. I am lucky to have such flexibility but I am not so sure that she is lucky to be along for the ride.

I read “In her eyes” and remembering the frequent walks and playful games I engaged in with Sofia when she was Anna’s age tipped me over the edge. Instead Anna gets dragged from client’s house to furniture store to fabric store then shipped off to daycare. What am I doing? Should I be doing all this? How can I find balance? I love my children to bits and pieces but I also love my work.

Does it boil down to an extreme move like stepping back from my business or simply better using the time I do have with her, with all of them. I know that being their mom is my biggest most important job. How do I do that well while balancing all these other bits of my life?

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Filed under From the Heart: Thoughts on Life and Family, General

A Curated Home, Art Deco Style

Since my first glimpse at my interior decorating instructor’s abode I have wanted to share pictures on my blog. Now that I have stopped having babies for a while and my youngest has turned one (today!), I have had the time and energy to ask her permission to take you for a trip into her modern, Art Deco styled home.

Looking at her home makes me proud to be one of her students. Her attention to detail, love of all that is beautiful, and ability to pull off bold choices make it a stand-out space that speaks to her talent, as well as to the kind of high-caliber instruction she has passed on to me and her many other students through Choices Decorating Program.

My photographer skills are sub par, so though I included some of my own shots, many of these were taken by a photographer in preparation to sell her condo.

Bea chose an overall neutral scheme with lots of grey, black, and beige which she accents with bold red. She has been living in this condo for ten years and has completely renovated the bathrooms and kitchen. No surface has been left untouched and several walls were moved and opened to allow for better flow. The next owner is one lucky duck!

Bea'shallways

Bea’s home is proof that art doesn’t need a white wall to be properly displayed. Every time I am at her home my eyes are drawn to the large amounts of unique artwork she has collected over the years. From the Asian accent pieces to her stunning selection of furniture, like the console pictured below, she sticks to her art deco theme beautifully.

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All the furniture, minus the side tables, as well as the rug, were custom designed by Bea. The curve of the furniture and the pattern in the rug scream art deco . Though she is willing to fork out the money for high quality, custom pieces of furniture, she is also thrifty and uses paint to tie in old accessories with new decor ideas. The large painting was once different colours but in order to make the old artwork fit her new scheme, Bea carefully painted over the abstract. Other accessories, from the candles above her buffet to the garbage can in her bathroom have been painted red to carry the colour scheme seamlessly throughout her home.

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It’s all in the details. Little accents like the red bowls behind the glass door, the slice of red wall, and the art deco collectors box by the stove, nod to the bold red accents in other parts of the home whilst keeping the main elements of the kitchen neutral, allowing the next lucky owner of this home to go their own way in terms of colour.

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More artwork is displayed in the main bathroom, bringing in the punches of red once again. I wish I had pictures of the original tile work Bea had done on the floor and in the shower of this bathroom but alas…I do not. I also failed to get pictures of her super sexy, master bedroom with its custom designed headboard, five foot high tree of sparkling jewels, and silver walls. C’est la vie. Hope you enjoyed what I was able to share!

Thanks for letting me share your beautiful home Bea! I can only hope to have a chance to take some pictures of your new home as well!

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Filed under Eye Candy, General, Inspiration, Uncategorized

Moving Upward and Making Changes

In the past two weeks I have been overwhelmed by the love and care I have received from my friends, both in person, and via words of prayer and encouragement over the internet. I am thankful to let you know that I have been trudging upwards out of the pit over the past week. Periods of depression are not uncommon for me though this was the worst I have experienced since finding out I was pregnant with Anna (love you baby girl!). I am blessed to have my mental health issues mostly well controlled through medication and thankful that during those dark periods of time I always know, even when I feel almost hopeless, that I will come out of it.

After the lethargy of the past week I was struck with a wave of energy over the weekend. You may have noticed that I have not posted any projects from my own house in a long time. Not because they have not been happening! This past weekend I spent copious amounts of time working on DIY projects for finishing up the new decor of Sofia and Charlie’s shared bedroom (almost done!) and as I write a contractor is tearing out my kitchen counters. I am looking forward to sharing some pictures and projects once it is all done.

Since last posting pictures of my home these three rooms have changed greatly:

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Can’t wait to show you what they look like now…okay, as in right now my kitchen is still in shambles but it is getting there. Hopefully I’ll have pictures of the kid’s room up sometime next week. Fingers crossed for another productive weekend!

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Filed under At home, From the Heart: Thoughts on Life and Family, General, Uncategorized

Coping with Sundecks

Everyone has different coping mechanisms. For me, when I’m taking a break from the curled up in a ball crying phase, I cope (probably more effectively) by blogging. It is not uncommon for me to stop mid cry and ask my husband something like, “would you prefer a settee or chairs for the balcony?” Because that is where my obsessive compulsive brain has been going lately when not walking in rounds of negative self talk.

Currently we live next door to a construction site and we spent last summer with our balcony door closed, trying to escape the clouds of dust caused by the combination of drought and the copious amount of sand loading going on next door. This summer I’m determined to pretty up the space and not have it just be my children’s dirty out door “playpen”. I want an adult space where Steve and I can go to relax and enjoy the sun set and the frog’s song once we’ve put the kids down.

I get annoyed by all the large and luxurious patios and backyards shown in design magazines around this time of year. If you live in Vancouver or anywhere within spitting distance you are lucky to have a square of grass much less a sprawling backyard. Thank goodness for the internet! I set to searching online for inspiring small space outdoor decorating, focusing mostly on small sundecks since that is what I am personally looking to decorate. Here are some of the fantastic spaces I found.

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Sophisticated Monochromatic

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Parisian Petite

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Outdoor office

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Zen Spa Space

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Global comfort

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Country chic

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Cozy cocoon

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Modern Bohemian

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A colourful retreat

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A classic look

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Garden retreat

Colour me inspired! I hope you are inspired too! I’m planning on choosing a few of the pictures over the next few weeks and doing some blogs on “how to get the look”. If I had a larger, more interactive reading pool for my blog I would ask you to pick your favorites so I can search out the product for you but alas, I am a small fry. However, if you do see a look you really fancy give me a shout and I’ll make sure to include it in one of my blog posts.

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Filed under At home, Decorating Projects, Eye Candy, From the Heart: Thoughts on Life and Family, General, Mental Health, Therapy

You Rocked My World Baby Girl

When I found out I was pregnant with Anna I was devastated and sunk into a deep depression for several weeks. With a grateful heart I think back to the day God gave me a dream of myself holding a baby girl, and with that dream a certainty that I was pregnant with a girl and her name would be Anna. I was grateful then because this knowledge drew me up out of my depression and gave me an excitement about the life growing inside of me. I am thankful now because Anna’s birth and presence in my life has rocked my whole world.

Growing up I was never the girl who couldn’t wait to have children. I just figured it was something that would “happen to me” after I got married and due to a lot of experience babysitting, the idea simply seemed tiring. Truthfully, we got pregnant with Sofia so that I could get a break from my stressful work situation. We had Charlie because two was the number we had planned on.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my children, but over the years since becoming a mother, I have struggled with a desire for more (not more kids FYI). In my head I was always thinking of what came next after this tiring, trying, stage of infancy and toddlerhood: going back to nursing, beginning a career in interior design, sleeping….Instead of enjoying the stage of life I was in, I was dreaming it away and letting discontent affect my interactions with my children. My sense of entitlement (to my own space, to my own career, to my own dreams) resulted in less than favorable attitudes towards my children at times.

But like I said, having Anna has rocked my world and I can see it as nothing other than a giant, God initiated change of heart. Anna is the sweetest baby you could ever meet (God knew what I could handle!). Her presence in our family has softened me, but also my children. Their sweetness towards her, and delight in her, helps to remind me that my two older children have potential for great kindness (a reminder I need when they are screaming at each other). Both Sofia and Charlie take great pride in the responsibilities I give them in regard to Anna: “Sofia, please take away the toy Anna has, it’s too small” or “Charlie, protect Anna (in her stroller) from bad guys while mommy is in the toilet stall”. Having Anna in our family has given many opportunities for praising Sofia and Charlie which are affirming to them and encouraging to me.

At a deeper heart level, having Anna has helped to bring focus and purpose to my life. Instead of spending my time dreaming about the future, I am spending more time being present with, and delighted by my children whilst enjoying the crazy fun they bring to my life. I still struggle at times with a sense of entitlement to “self” but I am aware of it and praying through it. Becoming pregnant with Anna blew all my plans out of the water but since having her I have been holding much more loosely to my own plans and approaching life with more of a hands open, God knows best attitude.

Does Anna sleep well? No. Am I tired? Yes. Do I sometimes lose my cool with my children? Yes. But my heart is thankful and I have been finding a contentedness in this stage of life that I did not think possible. As has been the theme in my life, it is better than expected. So much better.

Might a fourth make it even sweeter? If God gives and poor planning prevails 🙂 My heart is open.

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Filed under At home, From the Heart: Thoughts on Life and Family, General, Uncategorized

Save the Date: Chairs for Charity

It may sound cynical but I believe that by nature human beings are selfish and tend to hold their money closely. Hence I think that auctions are a great way of fund raising. I know it’s easier for me to let go of my money if there is a pretty little something something in it for me (just being honest).

And so, if you happen to be looking for a special statement chair, don’t want to break the bank, and want to benefit a good cause, stop by the Passionate Home between October 22nd to 24th to take a look at the variety of vintage chairs that have been re-done and will be auctioned off to benefit the Langley Christmas Bureau.

For a sneak peak at some of the chairs check out the Passionate Home blog. If you want to take a look at my contribution check out Day 5: Chairs for Charity. The chair is finished and I’m anxiously awaiting for the professional photograph of it to be posted on the Passionate Home blog. Most people went for a beautiful shabby chic look but I chose to keep mine sleek and shiny to modernize the traditionally styled chair.

On October 24th the top ten chairs go to live auction. Yummy cupcakes and refreshments will be provided and it is sure to be a fun time.  I’ll be there (hopefully with my hubby on my arm if we can get a baby sitter) and I hope to see you too! For more information check out the advertisement below.

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Filed under DIY Projects, General