Sunday, January 17, 2016

Mud Room Dreams

Andrew and I have been hunkered down in bed this past week with various winter ailments - the flu and tonsillitis. Yuck! Not exactly what I had in mind for a productive January. But as we are coming out of this thing yet still trying to hang low, I wanted to share our newest house project that began at the start of the New Year.

As many of you know, our summer reno plans evolved into the fall with the completion of our upstairs bathroom and the front exterior of the house. BIG projects. BIG goals. And BIG reveals. We came, we went, we conquered. 

And we promptly needed a break.

So we have added a few small projects to the whiteboard for the winter.  Stuff that is low budget, minimal destruction, but will make a big impact. Starting with my Mud Room Dreams. I have desperately wanted a mud room (and, ahem, laundry room) since we moved in. I've scoured pinterest and drooled over designs like this...

Problem is…we don't really have the space for a traditional mud room upstairs. We don't have any storage or closets at all on our first floor. No place really to act as a catch-all for boots, hats, bags, keys as you walk in the door. One of the truths of buying an old house in an era where people didn't have a lot of belongings and storage was an afterthought.

We DO however have a door off our front entry that goes down into our basement that had a place to hang coats. It just wasn't exactly my cup of tea as you can see.

Seriously, what is up with the old fake stone wall?? And the wood paneling. WOOF. 

It's our hope to turn this super dingy, ugly space into a usable, bright space for our house.  We have mapped out some tall cubbies. Lots of storage and space for coats, hats, shoes, dog food, and general storage. 

So far Andrew has ripped out all the old plaster ceiling, stone wall, old stair treds and wood paneling. Honestly, it already looked better after that! New stair treds & railing posts have been installed, as well as new can lights and wiring. And Andrew is down stairs firing that sheet rock gun as we speak! Those new smooth walls will be up in no time! 

Stay tuned for more winter home improvements and mini projects at the Coughlins! My mud room dreams will be alive in no time! Stay healthy out there friends! 

Friday, January 1, 2016

2016: A Vow to the Worry Wart

I am a worrier.

I have always been this way, despite my parents best efforts. I worry about the big things, the small things, and the in between things. I have been this way since I can remember. I am also a hopeful person, its just that the worries have a way of creeping in. Worry wart extraordinaire.

In 2015 I got a little bit better about my worrying through many conscious efforts. It was one of my goals. Believe that things will work out. Have more faith. Worry less, live more. It's a great motto.

I made a dent in this goal for 2015. My worries were washed away time and time again this year.

For 2 years we have been searching high and low for a Bernese Mountain Dog. We have been on every list possible and been let down time and time again.  I was about to give up hope and tell Andrew to just go to the pound, when we got a call Christmas Eve to say our fur baby was born and would be ready for us in February... 

As two entrepreneurs, Andrew and I can't rely on a weekly pay stub.  If we don't get a job, we don't get paid, and we can't pay our bills. Insert worry wart here. Time and time again I worry about getting that next gig. The phone will be silent for what seems like years, and then it rings. Huge sigh of relief. All is right in the world again. 

We are in the heart of Thailand, off the beaten path, in a bus station where NO ONE speaks English and nothing is written in English. We have to make it to the elephant park by 1pm or we have to turn back and our day has been a wash. We are waiting on the "green bus" for over an hour.  We finally secure tickets through lots of pointing and drawings. It was supposed to arrive in 15 minutes. I am on the verge of tears. The green bus pulls up. We get to see these magnificent creatures. 

Andrew did lots of "I told you so dances". And I occasionally let loose and told myself, even if we didn't have a plan, it'd all work out.  I have a hard time with that concept. Just believing that everything will fall into place. Not having a plan could send me into anaphylactic shock.

The annoying thing is, despite my doubts and worries, it almost always works out. My worrying serves no purpose other than to cause distractions, unnecessary stress, and deprive me of joy and just plain, old fashioned living. I see everything so neatly placed in a box with everything to be checked off for the future. It just doesn't happen that way. But then again, it does.

So my vow to the worry wart this new year is that I continue to be reminded of the joys that surround me and how these things came to be. That I continue pursuing my goal to worry less, live more. And that I take the time to step back from it all and have some good 'ole fashioned faith.

Cheers to 2016!

Blogging tips