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Monday, March 14, 2011

Growing Up and Putting Up

Anyone who has ever been to my house knows I am THE worlds worst housekeeper. I am disorganized, a hoarder of the silliest things and I live with 3 other slobs who are just as bad. I have an issue letting go I'm always afraid I'll need it later therefore nothing gets thrown away or discarded. I have problems prioritizing and processing something I attributed to my learning difference however I have come to realize now that its due to my bi-polar disorder and my anxiety. Putting items in a file or "away" is disasterous for me because once its out of sight its out of mind.

In deciding to stay together, James and I decided to remain in our postage stamp sized apartment. We have agreed to reduce our clutter and we need to make investments in our home and selves. So we are buying furniture. First thing we decided on was a sofa so that we're not fighting each other for space. James wanted to go to a local furniture place spend 1500.00 on a sofa to get a free TV. I wanted to spend less since we have kids and the likelihood  the kids would use the things as a dumping ground or a napkin.
We ended up with a vintage sectional, its ivory but at 300.00 it was a steal. James and I might get diy on it and dye it burgandy or black.
Though we have some differences of opinion on style and how to accomplish the look we want. James is a minimalist, I like cottage/ecclectic design. I like scouring thirft stores,antique shops, and flea markets. James would prefer to buy from some danish modern designer but being limited on funds and can't have what he really really wants he has no opinion. So we have compromised WALMART the great american compromise. I had my misgivings about Walmart, that it'll look temporary and dorm like. But actually we bought a TV hutch its a Better Homes and Garden make. It's an expresso black which picks up on the black wooded finishings of the ivory sofa. We feel having one common element carried over from room to room giving a monchromatic look will give the design a modern feel yet if we purchase a more expensive item in the future we can repurpose the items elsewhere. Our colors are black gold and burgandy with shots of sage green and orange, tying in our other sofa thats a sage country green in the living room.  I bought pillow shams to use as toss pillows from a thrift store.
James is the nuts and bolts type so when some assembly was required he went right to it. He said it was easy to build up compared to the dressers we bought this weekend. We have spent the week enjoying the new TV hutch and sofa, I realized once this was built up and in place that I could unpack a couple of boxes that had lingered though we've lived here a year, there was no place for putting away for dvds or game disks.
Last weekend we also purchased parson tables that serve as night stands also in a blackish expresso color. We bought lamps to go on the tables we are doing a black and white theme in our room though eventually I want to purchase new comforter set thats a little more formal than our walmart dorm room special we bought 2 years ago. I thought maybe I'd do a tiffany blue and chocolate brown as a color scheme in the bedroom and put black and white photos like my Kiss at Hotel Deville up.
This weekend we bought his and her dressers also in the expresso blackish color. For the first time in our lives together we have a place to put our socks and underwear somewhere other than in a pile in the corner of the room or have baskets heaping sat in some corner that we have to dump out in the morning and then scoop up to go to bed only to repeat the process again the next morning. We repurposed the metal shelving unit that held the tv in the living room and one in the bedroom in a space between our dining room and livingroom which now holds bins and baskets so I can sort through and have a pretty dumping ground for the things I can't throw away. I'm learning to throw away but thats a slow process in the meantime I'm accepting myself for who I am and making accomedations.
Both of us felt that stuff is just stuff and we can live with the stuff we had which was repurposed office equipment like metal shelving or a printer cabinet. We never realized just how not having proper items affected our relationship. How cranky it made us to always have to quest for our socks. Or search thru the mounds of boxes to find a movie we knew we owned. Or how it communicated unspokenly how temporary our living arrangment with each other was. The investment in having stuff to put things aways symbolizes how sick we were and is a testament to our collaborative effort to move toward health and well-being.
Next on the list is a dining room table, possibly a desk if space allows, and a flat screen tv for the bedroom. I realize he will make fun of me for buying a himalayan salt lamp but I know he will appreciate the purifying elements and maybe he'll use the meditation relaxation nook I plan to create. Marriage is a compromise and a journey together side by side not one or the other leading the way. Furniture makes a house a home and a home is where everything and everyone has a place. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

My new tools

I mentioned in my intro-post that my husband was leaving. Amazingly enough he has decided to stay. I have been in pursuit of personal growth. Some of this has been psychological, I have learned some new skills in not taking thngs personally and how to reduce anxiety. I have been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder for which I am seeing a psychiatrist, who manages my meds, that control my racing thoughts and some of my strange behavior. I have completed 2 rounds of intensive group therapy(IOP for short) and I see a counselor.

None of us are immune to problems, relationship or otherwise. My current problems stem from learning to take in the world from a place of anger. Even though bi-polar is an emotional disorder I believe I don't feel the emotions I'm having-instead I get angry-my mother dies and instead of despair I get angry. How can anyone love you when your angry at everything, I have made small but significant changes though I know I am still a work in progress and for any change to take hold and flower it takes 100 days.

Over the last 100 days since my intial post I have identified that I have needs and I can fulfill those needs with or without James. I am learning new skills to resolve conflict which has helped every relationship including my clients. I have in the past chosen to isolate my self and not nurture friends. Even if my attempts at becoming a lady who lunches have not been successful I continue to reach out to people and nurture relationships. I haven't quite gotten to the point of having that impromptu party I wrote about in my first post but I did buy the cavier!

My New Tools
- Identify your needs(Is it space? Independance? Concentrated time with your lover? Attention?)
-Communicate mindfully-its not new but it works instead of saying when will you be home for dinner and being annoyed at the answer say I am upset that you don't tell me when you will be home I can't plan dinner, what can we do to resolve this? OR I am concerned that you choose not to tell me when you will be home for dinner I can't plan therefore I am serving dinner @ 6 if your here great if not I'll save you some.
-Try new things: identify some new hobbies that can get your positivity flowing, overcome anxiety by planning for it and managing it.

I have identified an area that I want to work on and then set relative goals. There are many areas to work on with me but working on one impacts another. So pick one and go to work.

Monday, December 20, 2010


I would like this blog to be about me but also about my past experiances. I have overcome a learning disability-there were times where I thought I would not be able to graduate let alone be a success(there were a few teachers and you know who you are that told me I'd not pass the current grade let alone high school and college I could just for get about that!). I am currently pursuing a degree in Graphic Design. I have been twice married, having survived verbal abuse and controlling male influences. I have experianced the good the bad and ugly of being a divorced parent.The custody battles, the ongoing harrassment and toxic parenting that you bear witness to.
I am going through a rough period of loss. I just lost a grandmother and mother to death and my husband wants a trial separation or what he refers to as a healing separation. I am living with type 1 diabetes. Plus I recently discovered that I have bipolar disorder. Its my hope that I can contribute my experiances over the next year as I have an adventure into myself. I have a goal of doing things that I have never done or thought of trying, I will introspect about the journey I am on and share what I find out and hopefully by doing this I can help someone else. To help another would make all the obstacles and challenges mean something.
I learned to overcome adversity at a very young age, as I mentioned I had a teacher in first grade tell me I would never go to college. I decided in spite of this I would try real hard do the best I could and show her! Well though the I will show her attitude served me well academically it pushed me to succeed. In life the I'll show you has formed a superiority complex..to the husbands I'll show you who's right, to the kids I know I'm right so just do what I told you, to everyone who crosses my path I'm right your wrong. This attitude permeates like cheap purfume and is just as repulsive. I am learning to accept that sometimes I don't have all the answers and thats ok, sometimes I'm wrong and when I am wrong I will say I'm wrong. I want to learn new ways of approaching situations so that I am a contributing collaborative member of a relationship.
Because of my new diagnosis of bipolar, I have been in out patient group therapy as well as individual therapy. I've discovered that by being a pleaser, rescuer, <I'm the best person for the job of helping you I can rescue you because I'm your girl!--sounds a lot like I'm right my ways best...>. Rescuing led to victimization because I was used and depleted of emotional resources<people who take take take without giving back or appreciating what was done sound familiar to anyone else?>. The feelings of anger grew like children of resentment and bitterness until I became the agressor. I am a fighter, my triggor to survive is anger if life is something you survive then it reasons to believe that the way I have learned to live is by anger and fighting. If there is nothing to fight then I cultivate it. I am the source of the fighting and battling. Its my outdated rule that to survive I must fight and be angry to get anywhere in the world. I grow weary of the battle so I need to change how I interact in the world by changing my rules or beliefs.
You can too heres an excercise:
Let me know what you think and remember tell me something positive!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Modern Girls Guide to food,drink, and impromptu entertaining

Lets face it, fact is I've not been the hostess with the mostest. Though I love reading and watching shows about home entertaining. I never invite people over. In fact I've not hosted a gathering outside of birthdays and holiday celebrations since my mid 20's. I thought I was quite chic offering up pasta and artichoke dip with friends over for the latest flick or pizza bites and pbj for mommy and me playdates.
One of the merit badges in the "You Did It" book is to entertain, so this is one of my goals is to make a few friends and have them over for an evening in chatting,casual dining, and watch movies or play a game.
Keys to the unplanned soiree is to have things on hand but what do you serve that gentleman caller or the lady for that matter?
Budget conscieous as we ever are these days some great pieces to serve from will enhance any impromtu gathering. Even if the foods all brought in you will still want to serve it on something lovely. I eat with my eyes as much with my mouth. White ceramic bowls,platters, and trays are good because its a nuetral and food stands out on a white back drop. You can get white from the dollar store all the way to high end stores, is easy to mix and match styles with. Brushed metal bar items like an ice bucket or wine chiller are great, they offer a menswear aspect to a table scape whether a buffet or seated dining affair these items make dining in easy and fun. Who wants to grab a handful of ice for every guest needing a refill this way they can serve themselves or the bucket can be passed.Wooden pieces are earth and substantial they are great salad bowls and platters.Glass cylinders and vases are the easiest cheapest way to display flowers or to create center pieces with. Choose a nuetral table cloth like white,taupe,beige,or cream. Used potted herbs or flowers from a farmers market to create cheap and easy center piece. Alternatively you can make flower balls using styrofoam flowers and a glue gun to create a stunning center piece.
What does a modern girl need on hand to throw together a shindig? A well stocked pantry of course!
Balsmic Vinegar,Canned beans like garbanzo or cannelli for hummus or spreads,crackers and chips-when ever your out and about pick up crackers and chips, from the Dollar General to more upscale stores they all have their version of a fancy cracker and pick up chips. Chocolate-every pantry and girl needs this if not for emergencies certainly to grate over desserts or keep a block of chocolate on hand and cut into bites to serve with Port. Nuts,olives and olive oil,pasta and sauce,roasted red peppers and sun dried tomatoes. Tampenade, Salsa, and dips are great to have on hand also for quick grab and go items.
You will need to stock your fridge and freezer always buy cream cheese,sour cream, and a selection of cheese, cured meats, bacon is cheap,easy and yummy on potatoes or a salad. Even easier they're a little more but worth the investment especially if your like me and these items will grow legs and walk out of the fridge themselve.  For me and my house it makes sense to grab a small party tray the day of the affair. Frozen meatballs,shrimp,and pre-made appetizers like potstickers or cheese sticks.
Contemporary gals should offer beverage service during her do, depending on what your poison is or if your celebrating you may want to stock an inexpensive champagne like Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Reserve Particuliar for $40.00, also in the 40.00 price range champagne Duete Brut Classic,Jacquert Brut Mosaique,Champagne Bonnaire Brut Blanc de Blancs, Champagne pierre Jouet Grand Brut are all a modest $30. Port is a wonderful Portuguese fortified wine. Port wine is typically richer, sweeter, heavier, and possesses a higher alcohol content than most other wines. So Sip! Prices range there are some very good selections in the 20.00 and under price range like Taylor Port,Becker Vintage Port(Texas winery),NV Jonesy Port. The well appointed bar would have Vodka,Gin,Rum,Tequila,Whiskey,Triple Sec,Vermouth, Cointreu. As far as beer thats personal choice I like Lone Star as my cheap beer I use this to cook with, mix up a shandy or to drink like beer flavored soda since the alcohol content is fairly low. Shiner also a local beer brwed here in Texas Shiner has several selections 101 is a limited time offering in honor if 101 years of brewing. 101 is a Czech style pilsner. Blonde is the direct descendant of Spoetzl's earliest brew virtually unchanged since it was first brewed in 1909.King Fischer, Stella, and Guiness represent my favorite imports. A great dessert pairing is Chocolate Stout.  For your guy friends or gentlemen callers you may want to offer cigars after dinner or during the game whether poker or football. Cigars for the beginner to try are Casa Torano,Cao Criollo,Macanado hyde park,Gi sport,Helix blue tubular, all medium to mild blends.

These are mere suggestions you may find smoothies are better than offering adult beverages. These ideas are from my entertaining journal. I often find myself reading and tearing out articles and printing off ideas from the net. Planning parties and get togethers that I never get around to having. I've got my shopping list I will invite a few friends over for a spontaeous fete.