Thursday, April 29, 2010


As expected, last week's wake and funeral for my aunt Debbie proved to be one of the most difficult times I've ever gone through. I am officially more grateful than I ever have been for my young, healthy, tight-knit family, and as terrible as the circumstances were I couldn't be happier that we all came together and had so many opportunities to be there for one another last week. It's unfortunate that sometimes it takes something horrible - like death - to bring people together, but I'm forcing myself to remember "better late than never" and be thankful for all of the hugs, conversations, smiles and tears we all shared last week. In particular, I'm glad I was able to be a sliver of support for my cousin Melissa, who is almost 20 and the next oldest girl from myself. I also got to talk quite a bit with my cousin David, who has always been my "favorite" cousin and the one I've been closest to since we were kids and had a mutual love for Marvin the Martian.

Thanks to my super flexible job, I only worked half a day last Monday, and a full day on Friday - making this week an effort to get back into the swing of things not only at work, but also at home. During my time off for arrangements, I tore through the house more than once looking for nylons and heels, left shoe boxes and dresses that need returning wherever they managed to fall, and since I left for the hospital in the middle of a HUGE baking frenzy (think cupcakes and cookie bars for 300 people) the kitchen was far from clean for much of last week. I had mixing bowls and beaters caked in chocolate all over the counter and stove, and the dining room table was covered in baking sheets and crumbs that I was just unwilling to do anything with in the midst of crying nearly nonstop. Due largely in part to Dan the first floor is back to livable, but I've yet to tackle the laundry and the bedroom. Sigh. I am really looking forward to this weekend!

So, in my desperate attempt to regain some normalcy, I knew I just had to blog, and I figured the best thing to write about would be something everyone in my family (including myself) needs to do right about now - relax. The temperatures are finally climbing some again, and my idea of springtime relaxing this year is sinking into my papasan on the front porch and reading a good book. Obviously that means I need to think about the porch as a whole... so I made another handy little inspriation board full of inexpensive items (mostly on sale!) that I can actually afford.

Isn't it pretty? Here's the details:

- The only real "must-have" pieces are the chair and the nifty bamboo stool that I would double as an end table. These pieces alone would easily make the space look complete, and the little extra accessories could be added over time.

- I already have the papasan, end table, and a similar cream rug. We also already have a coat rack and a great storage piece from Ikea on the other end of the porch that I scored for $5 at a garage sale last year.

- Thanks to a gift from my bff Maryrose and one of my 9 million trips to Ikea, I already have 2 sets of juice glasses (so I don't need those pictured above, even though they're great). You can see them in one of the hutch pictures here.

- I'm certain the little herb planters (although not expensive at all) could be found for even less at somewhere like Michael's, Ikea, or even Home Depot. Since I've (almost) accepted the fact that my yard will never get enough sun for a garden, I'm hoping I can train my black thumb to at least grow some cilantro and parsley out on the bright front porch. The Ikea storage piece mentioned above is the perfect place for little decorative pieces like planters.

- I love love LOVE the poof, but there is no way I'm spending $110 on a cushion that essentially gets tossed around on the floor... So I'll be looking for some comfy oversized pillows instead unless the price miraculously drops a good 50% or more.

I also picked out 4 other options that could easily swap in for the slipper chair - but I do love the pattern in the mood board best.

I promised myself I would pay off bills (boring) and save (yawn) the majority of my yearly bonus from March, as well as my tax return. Thankfully, I also promised myself I would take a little bit of it and do something fun (!!!), and for me that means buying things for the house - so my "must-haves" may just be in my very near future! Unfortunately, the porch is currently a literal disaster area, as it is housing about 5 years worth of goodwill clothing that Amanda and a friend tore through a couple of weeks ago. It is in desperate need of a cleaning, so wish me luck that I'll have motivation this weekend for it!

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