Thursday, April 21, 2016

This Messy Re-Vamp: A New Journey

It has been a very long time since I have made any blog posts. Obviously, I guess, right? There's a number of reasons that I haven't felt compelled to write a post and a couple things I plan to do about it.

The top five reasons I haven't blogged:

1. I'm poor. When I first started blogging in 2008 I was super pumped- I mean seriously so excited! I had a new house! a new college! new roommates! new boyfriend! freedom! I had so many things I wanted to do to my house to make it a cute version of all the blogs I saw online or the pictures on Pinterest. The hard part? All those things cost money and it isn't feasible to redo rooms over and over because you want to keep your blog going.

2. I can't say no. This is a terrible problem, and I am definitely working on it. I agreed in my first 3 years of teaching to do too many things at the same time. I was worried that if I said "No" I might get fired, non-renewed, people wouldn't like me, any number of things. Reality is, none of the above things are true. I'm stepping away from a few responsibilities to focus on my personal life, coaching, and teaching career.

3. Discouragement. I feel as though discouragement is a product of the first two. I didn't feel like I could write anything anyone but my mom would want to read, so, what was the point? I lost sight of the fact that I enjoy writing my blog, even if no one really reads it. I love having an outlet for my creativity that goes beyond just who I am as a professional educator.

4. Intimidation. Dude. For real. There are some AWESOME blogs out there. They're letters are cool, their headers are cool, they have 6.89 billion followers on Instagram. They have newsletters. They're #bombdotcom. That can be a scary thing to feel like you're up against. I sort of doubt my little tiny segment of the internet will ever get that big. Which is fine! I think it might be easier that way.

5. Burn out & disappointment. The result of all of the above. I started feeling more disappointed in myself and the things I hadn't done for my blog or for myself in the last few years that I could keep writing.

What I plan to do about it:

1. Read some blogs and get inspired. I've spent the last few weeks talking to my Best Blog Friend Forever, Sam, at Away She Went. She recently revamped her blog and brought new life to it that has been super exciting to follow. Find a few blogs that I love to read and want to be active with will help me find inspiration.

2. Revamp the "niche" or purpose of my blog. I love doing home remodeling and DIY projects, but I've owned my house for 8 years (as of May) and am nearly out of major projects that need to be done. Now we're down to the boring and expensive stuff like repainting the exterior, getting new blinds, fixing the car port, putting up a privacy fence. The major stuff is finished. Plus, I spend more of my time trying to live simply, my boyfriend and I are shifting to a more natural vegan lifestyle, and I am a full-time teacher. I think finding a way to shift my focus will really help me reconnect to the writing that I love to do.

3. Give myself some grace. I don't have to have the most #totesamaze blog on the planet. There will always be someone in a better situation that can do something cooler, create something better, or be wittier then I am. That's okay. Popularity shouldn't be my motivation anyway.

So, my plan is to get it together and get my blog going again for the right reasons this time. I'm going to get a redesign, clean up old posts and categories, and do something that I love. I am excited for a re-vamp and redirecting my blog to be more about living a simplified fulfilling life.

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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Living Room: To Sectionals and Beyond

It has been a whirl wind in my life since May, which is why I haven't posted. I guess you just find that life takes over. We spent a great deal of the summer in South Dakota with family after two huge losses in our family. My Speech & Debate Team also competed for a week in Dallas, Texas winning third in the WORLD for our debate skills. I was so proud of them! I can't take any credit for their success, they were great all without me!

Now we are also focusing on redoing our family home about a mile from where I live, we are going to be selling it. We purchased the house in 1998 and it was where my siblings and I all grew up. It will be hard to let it go.

However, it has gotten me inspired to redo my own house a bit! I want to sell but I also want to be debt free, so I am going to stick it out a bit longer so that I can be prepared for a new project. I feel like I am almost there!

So the revamping is going to start in the living room, remember what it looked like the first time we went to the place?

After the first remodel it looked a lot better! A little bit collegey for my liking. Notice the couches? That was back when I first bought the slipcovers and they looked great! I was so excited about them! That was in 2009. It also looks pretty empty to me...

Here is what it looks like nowadays! I think it's a little cluttery and I am working on cutting down on some of my knick knacks and the like. It is so easy to accumulate stuff!

I want to stream line some of the colors and add a sectional for more efficient space usage. Check out my inspiration board:

Living Room Re-Do

Living Room Re-Do by megmcd featuring a fabric loveseat

I have managed to find substitutions that are less expensive. I can't wait to  buy some new pillows! I am also going to try a flat weave indoor/outdoor rug for the pets to see if that helps with the animals. I have so many of them creatures.

I did find a version of the couch that is pretty close to perfect at American Furniture Warehouse (you can buy an add on to make one side longer):

2pc Charcoal Sectional with LAF Sofa

Source List and Budget:
{Sectional} $700.00 (American Furniture)
{rocking chair} $50.00 (WalMart)
{Flat Weave Rug} $100 (5'7' Target)
{Accent Table} $80.00 (Target)

I also want to pick up some new baskets for the extra blankets and such. I have plenty of knick knacks, wall decor, and stuff like that so I won't need much. I'm just coming to that stage where all the expensive furniture needs to be replaced. 

Now that I have eliminated so much debt I will have the funds to be able to make some of this happen! With good choices, of course. 

What do you think?

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Just Porchin' Around

It is officially summer for this teacher! And I am super glad! It has been a whirlwind year of testing, Speech & Debate coaching, planning, and a lot of changes. But it is over. Next year will be easier. I plan on doing some decorating and updates to my classroom next week, so I shall have to post about that here soon. Speaking of changes... I finally bought a new computer! The first new one I have owned since 2007. It is a refurbished MacBook Pro and I love it! 

Plus I love my Little Mermaid sticker that I bought for it, check out all the different options on, I found mine {here} and it was an easy fun way to accessorize my computer. I also put a clear case over it that I bought from Amazon. com to keep it safe. 

I've also made progress on the porch! Remember last week when I showed you the new (safer) decking?

Well, I had a four day weekend and decided to take that time to stain it! I used the color Gunstock by Minwax. I did it all with a brush. It was ridiculous to try and use the pad and the handle thing from Lowe's. It soaked up so much of the stain that I used 5 times as much on three planks as necessary. Ugh. It only took me a few short hours to complete and do the steps at the same time. 

Though I confess... I did accidentally forget to unlock the back door, it was cool. I hung out in my yard for like awhile.

Here's the after!

I totally love it! I think it gives the house more character and pop, plus it looks way fresher. Which is always a plus. Of course... once you finish one thing there are still more things to do.

Here's a few images of things that remain on the the To-Do list:

Summer Porchin' Re-do List:
  • Install new decking  $650.00
  • Stain new decking $20.00
  • Spray paint lawn furniture
  • New accessories for tables
  • Plant flowers
  • Touch up front door
  • Install dead bolt
  • Paint roof
  • Repair wood damage
  • Hang lights beneath awning
  • Paint trim and sides of deck

Hopefully I can manage to get a few of those things done before the summer really gets going. It would be great to have friends over to hang out and grill, and just have a good time. Until all that is done though... here's one last look at the cozy porch!

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