House For Six

31 Day Wrap Up!

Deme Crinion2 Comments
We survived!  31 days of blogging every day, about "Working With What You Have"....are you burnt out?  Maybe it's just me ;)

It was definitely a challenge to post every day for 31 days straight, but I have some great take-aways from the writing aspect of blogging.  I've learned that posts can be short and sweet and still full of quality information. And I've also been able to think about the bigger picture/direction for the blog.

But before we get into that, let's take a look back...

I was actually feeling a little bummed that I didn't accomplish as much as I had hoped during these 31 days, but when I started pulling the pics for this roundup I realized that we did quite a bit!


1 - gave the laundry/guest bath a fresh coat of paint (that was extra from our kitchen project)
2 - used a guitar mount we found in the garage to bring art to a blank wall with an instrument
3 - knocked out a shelf in our master linen closet to make room for two laundry hampers
4 - took a scrap piece of fabric and gave a plain ole mouse pad a fresh new look
5 - resisted the urge to shop for new fall decor and instead used last season's decor and pine cones from a nature walk to dress the "mantle" for fall
6 - blew the dust off this 5-piece candle holder, filled it with vanilla scented candles, pinon coffee beans and branches from our yard for a yummy smelling centerpiece...all thanks to some Pinterest inspiration
7 - cleaned out all the goldfish crumbs from car and got busy organizing and winterizing..with a free printable for you too :)
8 - added an unused hook mount and shoe shelf to a wall in the boys' room, creating a mini-drop zone.
9 - grabbed some felt and created a little sidekick costume for our Sully Monster on Halloween.

...and more! 

But my favorite one may have been getting the under-sink area in our laundry/guest bath organized and prettified (that's totally a word). 

I also took to my closet and shared how I was attempting to work with the clothes I have as we transitioned into fall...
To force me to actually "work with what I had", I put myself on a 2-part spending freeze - no spending money on supplies for DIY/house projects or clothes. So how did that go?

Part 1 - Project Spending Freeze
This was easier than I thought and I didn't buy a single "project" item or supply the whole time!  This was mainly because I have a huge stock pile of fabric and craft items that I've picked up over time...and never used.  So, part of the reason I chose this particular topic of "working with what you have", was to actually use some of those DIY/crafting supplies that were just stashed away, lost in the closet.  I rediscovered a lot of things that I had completely forgotten about and now have a whole new set of projects waiting in the wings!

Part 2: Clothing Spending Freeze 
This was an epic fail.  It was great in theory, but the timing was terrible. This series started at the beginning of October, just as the fall weather arrived.  I purged a bunch of items from my closet as summer was ending.  Anything that didn't fit, was showing signs of wear, or that I hadn't worn that season went into the donation bag.  I also purged through my fall/winter stuff from last year that either didn't fit anymore or wasn't really my style.

I've been hovering just one size away from my pre-pregnancy weight for about a year now.  It was time to just let go of some of those things that were still too small or simply didn't flatter my postpartum body.  I'm eating better and back to regular exercise, so I hope I'll be back in that size soon, but it's also important to dress in clothes that fit the body you have'll look better and feel better.  I kept a couple of pants in the next size down and I should be able to stay in the same size tops.

The bottom line was after this purge, I was left with a pretty bare bones closet.  It would have been a great challenge but then came the second wave of purging...

I had recently noticed that my kids were becoming more aware of how I dress.  They notice that as mom bends over, she's flashing them her plumber's crack because of the fit and low rise of her jeans, or flashing a boob shot because of the low neckline of her shirt (even some t-shirts).

Overall, I think I dress pretty modestly but I was suddenly very aware of how my clothing choices are teaching Mia and my boys about how we value, and subsequently, dress our bodies every time I get dressed.  It starts young, people.   Even some of the stuff I wear "around the house", I wouldn't necessarily wear out, but little eyes are watching.

So, I went through my closet and pulled out things that I felt were too low cut, that I was constantly having to adjust and that didn't flatter my figure.  It all went into the donation pile with the other stuff.  Between the two rounds of purging, I had a huge black trash bag full of clothes to give away and less than that left in my closet.

Here's where my spending freeze went out the window.  I started out by picking up just a shirt at Target, and then a belt.  But I usually do a big clothes shopping stint semi-annually for James and I (instead of a little at a time throughout the year).  I shop once at the end of summer (for winter/fall) and again as winter is winding down (for spring and summer).  I get a lot of our clothes through Old Navy/Gap online, and when I saw they had a good coupon code in addition to a sale, I went ahead and stocked up on some staple items for the cold months....all with this idea of a more modest but still fashion forward approach to clothes in mind.

Enter my new button!
The timing of this opportunity as it was presented to me, was affirmation and encouragement to take on the challenge of dressing more modestly without sacrificing style.   Modest doesn't = floor length jean jumper.  Well it does, but it doesn't have to be limited to that.

The choices we have when shopping for clothes don't always help us out, but it's absolutely possible to be in style and celebrate your feminine figure without showing a lot of skin or every curve.  We are worth so much, and as women we bring a unique beauty to the world, through our body, mind, and spirit.  How we dress ourselves greatly influences the way that beauty is received and perceived by the world, our society and by our children. And I want to be more intentional as I open my closet to get dressed each day.

I'm no fashionista, so this really is just sharing the journey.  The journey of finding my personal style in a way that honors the Creator's handiwork. I also find that I am drawn to the same color stories, patterns and trends in clothes that I am in my home.  It will be fun to play with that idea in the context of a "what I wore" type series once a week.   

This blog is primarily about how we are making this house our home, so on that note, I want to give you more reality.  DIY and home reno are not always quick, clean or without mistakes.  At least in this household.  Sharing failures is just as important as sharing successes and perfection is never the goal.

When I first started blogging I was super ambitious and planned a couple of "reveals" every week.  This was completely unrealistic, and I would end up scrambling for post material the morning of when I wasn't able to accomplish my over-ambitious list.  I now have a much better feel for what I can handle and how to plan out our projects.  That means better planning when it comes to the blog schedule and better content for you, since I'll actually be able to stick to it!

And finally, I want to share more of you!  Tuesdays will be a day to feature your spaces and ideas!  What draws so many of us to the blog world is the shared inspiration we get from one another, so Tuesdays will be a day for just that.  We already have some fantastic Reader Spots lined up and I can't wait to share the goodness with you! 

If you see any projects above that you missed, you can hop over here for the entire 31 day series!  Thank you for your patience over this past month.  I'm excited to get back to regularly scheduled programming around here, but hopefully a little improved!

And for those of you that asked....yes, we definitely saved some money over the past month (in the project department) and no, I don't think I'll be going on a spending binge.  This was a really good way for me to see how much we already have and to get me inspired to tackle those projects that are so close to being done or just need a couple little things to call complete.

As for my failure in the clothes department.  I am now on a true spending freeze for myself until spring.  If I see something I really love for my closet, then it will have to come out of my personal spending allowance each month and not out of a separate line of our budget.  :)