May 02, 2014

Stopping to Smell the Flowers

And just like that May arrived. Where did April go? Here it passed by in a flurry of gorgeous weekends.

I have been spending lots of time outside weeding and also painting the outdoor furniture my Sweet Hubby built for me. He made the table for me last year for Mother's Day and the benches a few weeks ago. I still have another coat to put on the benches and I need to do some distressing. The chairs were purchased with pincushion money so thank you all for that! We love this spot so much and have eaten so many meals here already.

We celebrated Easter. It got competitive. When it comes to egg hunting we don't play around. Especially when there is money in some of those eggs.

We celebrated our 14th anniversary. He took the day off work and we had a wonderful day capped off with dinner at our usual restaurant...upstairs table #10 overlooking Main St. as it exploded with Spring color. This was our view. You can see why we request this table, right? We don't do anniversary gifts, choosing instead to have an over the top dinner and lots of sweet talk. My guy is hands down, the best at sweet talk. We talked about the last 14 years and all the joys and heartbreaks which have each brought us closer together. We talked about our dreams for the future. It was perfect.

I've been busy fluffing the nest, moving things around our house and doing some painting projects. Sometimes it's as easy as changing a slipcover to make a room feel fresh.

I've been making plans big and small. We decided to open up the enclosed front porch on our house. Then our stove died and thwarted our plans so they have been rescheduled for next April. That's life. It's ok. I'm a roll with the punches kind of girl. I'm patient and always willing to wait for what I really want.

Speaking of patience. I have had a broken clock hanging on my family room wall for better than 6 months now. I was hoping to find one for a good price and was checking HomeGoods regularly but I never found one I loved...and I have a rule, If I don't love it, it's not living in my house! I have realized as I've gotten older that sometimes you have to pay more to get what you really want. I found this one at Pottery Barn and I couldn't be happier with it.

I've been taking time to smell the lilacs. I'm pretty sure succulents don't have an aroma. I've felt a shift in my priorities lately. I don't get on the computer much. I'm spending more time taking care of me. I bought almond milk this week. I put lavender on my pillow at night. I've started listening to yoga music even when I'm not at yoga. This morning I meditated. There is a chance I'm turning into a hippie. 

I've been reading. Pretty books, magazines, even real books with plots and everything.

But more than anything, I'm just being easier on myself. No more giant to do lists every day that make me feel like a failure because it's impossible to get it all done. I have a rough idea of what I want to get done in a given week and whatever doesn't get done just gets pushed to the next week. Or maybe the week after that. I set my alarm for an hour in the mornings and clean for that hour and then give myself permission to not feel guilty if I want to do something fun afterwards. It's kind of magical this new phase I've entered. I don't think there's any going back. I can't imagine why I'd want to.


  1. Jen- That is so interesting that you have learned this at your age when you still have a young, active family. Good for you!!!! I have a hard time slowing down even with grandkids- a hard time not feeling guilty when I do ME things. It's really funny -that you mentioned about turning into a hippie- I was thinking about it the other day that I was there for the hippie years but never lived them...and I wondered, just for a moment, what I might have missed. lol Although there some NOT SO GOOD things associated with being a hippie there was also a freedom of expression that doesn't exist in our man-made world of hustle-bustle business and "let's get 'er done". I am glad that you have found some serenity there! I think it's The Village~~~!;;>) xo Diana

  2. Love your simple life and views. Happy 14 years twogether.

  3. Sounds like you have things working for you just how you want. Perfect! Happy Anniversary!

  4. Oh everything about this is lovely. It's finally starting to feel like Spring here too- which means I'm outside more and the house isn't as clean as I would like it to be. But I'm trying to have a similar attitude you've embraced.

  5. I love every single mug on your mug rack and the patio furniture, and the quilt on the back of your couch. I'm envious of your ability to slow things down and be kinder to yourself, I'm not there yet. I want to be but there is always so much to do...see? not there. Yet.

  6. I'm in that same space as you .. taking care of me. Not rushing for anything. Not letting negative people affect my happiness and well-being. It's a wonderful place to be. I also have a clock on the living room wall that stopped working when hubby replaced the battery. Somehow he messed up the big hand. It's a Syrian clock we have had for years and years. Will be hard to replace. Wishing you a wonderful weekend. Tammy

  7. What a wonderful post and just the kind of post I needed to remind me to slow down and enjoy the moment. I have been working on moving into the same direction you are and seem to have gotten right. This is what life should be like, enjoyed.
    Happy 14th anniversary and may you two have many more!

    Loved your post.
    Thank you.
    Birgitta xx

  8. You put me in a happy place. So peaceful. Thank u. Would it be awful, now, to ask where you bought that wonderful calendar? I just love it!

  9. wonderful post & lovely stage of life you are in ♥
    happy anniversary xo

  10. Sounds like a wonderful April that you had :) Patience is such a wonderful trait to have I'm always working on it, I also love the things you have been doing to take care of yourself, it's a good list. For me I'm realizing I need one project to focus on each day instead of thinking I should do a bunch of things which then never get done, so far it's working. I hope you have a wonderful May!

  11. Your April was lovely. Truly lovely.
    I'm so happy you shared that fantastic view from your favorite table . . . so gorgeous! I would request that one myself! Happy Anniversary (a bit late).
    I'm glad there are husbands out there to dream with . . . and who make furniture to boot! :)

  12. Oh, I LOVE this time of year, and as a result of said love the days and weeks fly by.
    I adore the paint in your living room. We bought a house that a woman flipped. She painted every single inch of drywall, including the closets and the garage, this hideous shade of butterscotch tan. I'm going crazy! I want to paint most of the living areas a light beige gray like your walls appear to be in the pictures of your living room. If you don't mind, what color is it? I've looked in your previous posts for a mention of the paint chip but haven't found it. I'm going crosseyed from looking at paint chips taped all over my walls in a sea of indecision.
    Happy spring!!!

    1. Kate,
      I tried to reply to you through email but you don't have an email listed. The color is Benjamin Moore Natural Cream and it looks good in every lighting condition I've used it in. I adore it! The color is exactly the kind of color you said you are looking for. You can click on the paint colors tab at the top of my blog to see what paint colors I've used.

    2. Thank you! I've actually got that chip in my stack!! Sorry about the email not listed. It shows as "signed in" on the comment page, so I have no clue why it isn't listing. Weird!
      Thanks again. :-). Painting shall commence as soon as I can get to the paint store. What a relief to have that decided!

    3. Ohmygoodness, Jen! This color is beautiful. It reminds me of a light silver birch tree. My kitchen is nearly done and now I'm looking at hundreds of square feet of that hideous orangey butterscotch left to be painted throughout the rest of the main floor and I'm feeling my age :-). When I was in my twenties this would've taken one weekend, tops. But it is getting done just as it should. Funny how painting one room can start a snowball effect. I'm so thankful to you for your encouragement and willingness to post pictures and color names on your blog. Thank you!! I got the paint matched perfectly in Behr brand paint favorite. My kitchen and hall only required a half gallon. YESSS! Such a gorgeous color. Blessings to you and yours.

    4. Kate,
      I'm so happy that the color worked for you! It sounds like you love it as much as I do. Good luck getting the rest painted. I had to paint this entire house, woodwork and all and it was very time consuming but satisfying!

  13. I know I have said it before, but I am in love with that gorgeous quilt - both the pattern and the colors.

  14. Beautiful post, Jennifer. Fun to see what you are up to. I love to stop and "smell the roses". Time for you to do what you want. I think I am good at taking time for me with all of the to do's that will always be waiting. If they don't get done, oh well. There are some things that have to be done and they are always first on the list. Congrats on 14 years, we are going to be 15 this summer. I love how we know what we want as we get older. Well, I'm off to garden, yay! :))


  15. Such beautiful pictures of your home. I too have been trying to stop and smell the roses more often. My family is growing older right before my eyes and I do not want to look back and feel like I missed it. It is hard to slow down in our busy lives but it is so important to try and one day you will be thankful for it.
    Have a wonderful week!

  16. you have inspired me to slow down a little or at least try to, so thank you. i feel constant pressure (only from myself) to get everything done...the cleaning, errands, my shop, spend quality time with's pretty much impossible to do all that. I'll be 40 in 2 years and don't want to keep the frantic pace I have in my 30's, I want to enjoy time a little more. I like your idea of setting an alarm for an hour to clean, etc., I think I'll try that! I did spend quite a bit of time outside gardening today, while my daughter played, and that nice, I think I may have frantically weeded and planted though... ;)

  17. exhale ... i knew stopping your blog would be a good idea.


  18. Sounds like a great plan. Love your photos! Kit


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