Wednesday, October 1, 2014

All The Pretty Hoarding

The bookcase in our main living room is coming along nicely. Its always going to be a work in progress because I am constantly rotating things in and out of it.

 I have managed to hoard collect a good mixture of both old and new. Mostly because I love the collected look. I like pieces that are interesting and yes I am aware that there are more accessories than books here, but I wanted to showcase the books we love and reach for the most.

A good example of old and new are these horse heads that I found at my favorite thrift store and my spiky wall sculptures which never made it on to our walls because I just love the way they look placed in these little vignettes.

 I think that 80% of the things in this bookcase are from the thrift store (even some of our books). This glass boot I found on one of my many trips. I later found out that its a 2L German beer boot (thanks Mary Gomez for enlightening me). I'll probably never use it for beer, but I like to know that the option is always there....

 I liked the shiny glass so much that I decided to repeat it on one of the other shelves by using some Christmas decorations that I got on clearance at Target. They are actually candle holders that I'm too afraid to store in a box. I think they are safer propped on this thrifted tray. In the back is an antique painting of Brugge (our favorite city in Belgium). Marc purchased it from a flea market on his last trip to Belgium earlier this year.

Another of my favorite finds were these very heavy brass bookends. They put other bookends to shame and keep our books nice and cozy, probably making babies while we are not watching. Which is why I left some space on each side for books that might be on their way.

 My prettier books and my favorite books are highlighted with small cutesy accessories. I've been doing a lot more reading lately and although I check out many books from our local library I do find myself purchasing books I really like.  On a side note, have any of you heard of Junot Diaz? Go! Run to your local library and check out some of his books.... I recommend Drown, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and This Is How You Lose Her

I also have to mention my round sculptures. They are actually vases/planters. I found the smaller of the two months before I found the second... I know all you thrifters out there know what I mean when I say I heard angles sing when I found this! I knew in my heart that they were meant to be reunited.

In the bottom shelf I have all of our magazines stored in these awesome wire magazine holders that I also found at Target. They help me keep the amount of magazines that we have gathered throughout the years organized and looking oh so chic! Who knew! 

Other than the printer on the bottom right,  I'm pretty happy with how things are looking on this side of the room. I'm thinking I should probably find another place for the printer and finish off that shelf with more of the wire magazine holders. What do you think? More hoarding??? Ok!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Closet Daydream Turned Reality (Kinda)

And so, although to some it might be absolutely superficial, the best part of losing weight for me is being able to shop more. Actually trying on clothing and having it fit is something I've never experienced in my life... that is, til now. I'm not at my goal weight but I just can't resist the temptation sometimes.

So when Marc approached me with the idea of redoing our closets I got super excited. It was a bit hard for me to picture the end product so I hopped right onto Pinterest to see what images would inspire me. I'm an expert at daydreaming ;). 

Ok, so when I was done daydreaming I came back to reality and realized my closet would not end up looking like those perfectly staged images above... I'm used to having these little realizations  as I am on Pinterest often.... 

We have separate walk-in closets almost identical in size (mine is slightly bigger of course). They are not very big so we had to get smart about the layout. We decided to go with the ALGOT system from Ikea." The ALGOT storage system from Ikea can be easily customized to fit your space and storage needs it can be used throughout your home, and in a combination that's right for you".

Here is  a before shot of what my closet looked like empty... we are horrible at getting before pictures, so you won't see just how inefficient the storage really was in there. 

 I took advantage of a recent garage sale to get rid of all of the stuff I wasn't using. All that's left over are things I know I'll wear... and lots of room for things I know I'll be purchasing ;).

After prepping the walls and painting and a lot of hard work from my man.. this is how the closet looks like now.

 What I love most about this system is that you can use all of the vertical space in the closet... Comes in handy for storing clothing and shoes by season. I also love that I can customize it exactly to my needs. I can add more baskets or shelving as my closet grows. I can even add more hanging hardware. The possibilities are endless...

It was very important for me to have a spot for my makeup storage. Since my closet is attached to our master bath I thought this was the perfect spot for me to keep my makeup. I hated having everything in the sink area of our kids' bathroom while our bathroom remodel was ongoing.

 Now I can call this my little makeup corner without feeling like Im cluttering up other spaces in the house.

 For now I'm focused on keeping this area cute... A place for me to walk into and feel 100% myself.

Wish me Happy Shopping! ;)

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Cute Outfits, Shrinking Jeans and An Open Heart

I've tried to sit down and write this blog post one dozen times and every time I've only managed to freeze. But tonight, in expressing my experience to a friend and typing down those words "I HAD WEIGHT LOSS SURGERY" and then actually pressing SEND gave me this sense of acceptance in myself and this desire to just keep on typing.

I've had a few friends write me asking what my secret is? "You look so good Eli, what's you're secret?!" And every time I feel like such a fraud, like a hypocrite... Now don't get me wrong... I in no way regret having surgery done a little over a year ago... This surgery has given me the gift of portion control which is something I had not been able to achieve on my own.... It's given me the power I needed over food and as a consequence, the marvel of seeing numbers go down on the scale. I've lost 85 lbs in a little over a year. And still every time someone asks I want to keep it hidden. I struggled with the idea of WLS for many years. And when I finally decided to go ahead and do it it was because I felt defeated by this thing that had plagued me most of my life. Yes I did it because I wanted to be healthy, because I wanted my kids to grow up seeing a happy mom, blah blah blah... the truth is I did it because I could not control my eating and so I had to have someone cut out 85% of my stomach so that I would be forced to eat less. This idea was and sometimes still is a very embarrassing fact.

Every stage of my life has been overshadowed by this thing that I was not able to control... That time when I was a very young and my mom took my syblings and I to eat ice cream at Helados Bon and she got ice cream for everyone but me. "No, she's on a diet" she explained to everyone around us. Or that other time in highschool when my friends and I got to ride in the car of a guy I liked and he says: "Theres too much weight in the car, specially on Eli's side..she needs to get out!" The time at my wedding when a bunch of little girls started yelling out in the middle of the reception "Mira que novia tan gorda!!! Mirenla!" And then after I got married for years all the older ladies reminding me "Mujer! your husband is too good looking.... you need to lose weight!!! Te lo van a quitar!" All of the bullshit that you allow to seep in to the most inner parts of your being so much so that you begin to believe it all. Believe it to the point where all you want to do is hide. And that's exactly what I did. I hid and I ate and I became what people made me believe I was "FAT" "OBESE" "MORBIDLY OBESE." But above all of that I became so unhappy with myself that I could not enjoy all of the amazing things God had blessed me with. My incredible husband, my adorable and loving kids. All of it overshadowed!

But when I moved to the east coast I could not hide anymore. I was constantly seeing family. I was lonely with Marc's travels, so I was forced to make new friends. And the kids are growing so they required a lot more interaction with other kids which in turn meant I had to force myself to interact with other parents. I had to step out of the shadows and I felt so exposed, so awkward and just completely unhappy. I decided something had to change...

And now one year later I still have about 20-25 lbs to go in order to achieve my goal. I still struggle with making the right food choices and I definitely struggle with exercising. But I am happier. I do see the light at the end of the tunnel. I don't have to hide my body anymore which I know is far from perfect because of all the damage I've cost it all these years. But I'm easier on myself. I've always liked fashion and I remember going out with my friends and having them try on all the cute outfits. But now I play dress up with myself and am having lots of fun trying to find what my style is. Hobo? Preppy? Casual? Goth?!....

Cute outfits and shrinking jeans are crazy fun, but I've also been focusing on all of the beauty that is inside my heart. Beauty that I've tucked away for so long, only allowing a select few to know the real me.  Maybe I've done it to protect it from people who would not appreciate me for who I truly am. People that could not look beyond my fat. I'm trying to little by little peel away that hard shell that I built around me. Yes it means being vulnerable, but I want to be more open, more understanding, more adventurous, calmer, more assertive. I want to explore my passions and find that thing that gives me butterflies and then do it! I want to love intensely and hard. Enjoy all the beauty around me kind of like my kids do... without perceiving also the bad and ugly that this world has to offer. And while I discover myself again... I would like to be of help to others that might be going through the same things I'm going through. Find people that I can encourage and that can encourage me to push forward. Kind of like the encouragement that I got from my friend to keep on typing tonight. Even without hitting SEND my heart is already lighter, more open....

Friday, February 14, 2014

Home Is Where Ever I'm With You!

I know many people don't enjoy Valentine's Day. I know that to most people it's tacky and just another commercialized holiday. A good way for florists and chocolitiers to make money. But to me there is something so endearing about a man walking out of a Victoria's Secret store with a bag full of goodies. Or seeing the packed V-Day cards aisle at Target. People looking for those simple words on a card that can relate to what they feel for that special person.

Having kids around really brings that feeling home. They haven't had those heart breaks that we as adults have experienced time and time again. So much vulnerability goes into giving your heart to someone else. And so we end up closing our hearts to protect ourselves from all that pain. But they don't know that yet. As a mom, I feel that part of my job is extending that innocence as long as I can. So the past few years I've been really enjoying this holiday even more than I used to.

 Naomi loves helping me make crafts. She loves shopping for the materials and then helping me color, cut and hang everything.

Everywhere you look on our main floor there's a reminder of what we are celebrating this month.

So whether it is through decor, or reading your favorite poem or simply giving the person that fills your heart with joy a call. Take some time today and embrace that unrestricted, pure feeling you once felt as a kid. Who knows, it might just open up your heart to want to feel it everyday of the year.

P.S. Even tacky things can sometimes be beautiful. Check out this picture I took at the dollar store a few years back ;)

Monday, January 13, 2014

Trending Fur Sure

Just the other day I was scrolling through my Facebook feed when I noticed this image via Rue Magazine

This is exactly the feel I want in my bedroom. Which is coming along pretty nicely, but our bathroom remodel is getting in the way of me revealing it to you guys. We'll see if I can move some tile boxes around to get that done soon. You can read a little more about the plans for my bedroom here.

I love the dark green walls against the crisp white bedding. But what  I like the most about the image above is the fur throw.

I think it elevates the room and makes it so much more luxurious.

These rooms can seem very cold because of all the white, but the fur adds this cozy more inviting feel that is essential in a bedroom.

I love how they look in these rooms that are a little more colorful and eclectic. Just my style!

Think about just how easy it would be to make the bed in these rooms! For someone who hates making her bed as much as I do it's like a dream come true. 

I also love the way these throws look in living rooms. 
What a great way to keep white sofas nice and clean!

This is for sure a trend that I would incorporate into my home. Although I would use faux fur, which I've been shopping around for and they are surprisingly available just about everywhere these days. 

Would you use these type of throws in your home? What home decor trends are catching your eye?

Images via Pinterest

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Watch This: Her

I just got back from a date with myself. Going on a date with myself usually just means taking myself to watch a movie. I would do this all the time before I had kids and even a little after that. But moving to the east coast changed that. Maybe because my husband travels a lot for work and so when he is home I want to spend every second possible with him. Or most likely because many of the movies being released nowadays are straight out sucky!

I love watching movies on my own in the theater. There is just something so fulfilling about it to me. I am able to immerse myself in the life of the characters. I laugh out loud and YES I cry... I am able to feel and experience the movie very differently than if I had someone sitting next to me possibly looking at me like I am nuts. Can you picture me? I'm a little like Amelie in this scene. BTW Amelie is one of my favorite movies EVER. But I digress....

I went and watched the movie HER.

I liked this movie so much, even though it's different from any other movie I've ever watched. I mean, imagine falling in love with Siri?! Crazy right?!
But it reminded me a little of just how robotic we've become. We depend on social media to keep these superficial friendships that can sometimes become very meaningful to us. But not having that human contact makes it feel a bit like make believe.
We walk around staring into screens. When we see something beautiful we hold up our phones and look at the beauty through a screen instead and then once we take the picture we sit there trying to figure out what filter will make this picture look the best. And will I post it on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter???
By the time we are done, the moment has passed us. The beauty of what we saw escapes us.
We forget to hug, touch, hold, kiss those around us while we text smiley emoticons to express emotion.

I saw a few people walk out on this movie but I didn't walk out because I got it! It was a beautiful love story! The visuals were amazing. Every scene looked like a well thought out picture. Joaquin Phoenix is not an actor that comes to mind when I think of my favorite actors. But he was incredible in this film!

Here are a few quotes from the movie that I loved:

“We’re only here briefly. And while we’re here, I want to allow myself — joy.”

"Sometimes I think I've felt everything I'm gonna feel, like the future will only offer lesser versions of what I've already felt."

"The past is just a story we tell ourselves."

"Falling in love is kinda like a form of socially acceptable insanity."

Do I recommend it? I don't know if I would... I don't think it's every ones cup of tea. But if you like movies that have a little bit of an edge to them, then by all means go watch! I would watch it again. 

Check out some of my other movie reviews here  here and here.

Did you watch anything this weekend? I was tempted to go watch The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Maybe next weekend?

Friday, January 3, 2014

If Only For A Second.....

I had a thought this morning while I was trying to get all of my chores done before the end of a very busy week. 
I imagined myself having wings, but not any kind of wings... 

I imagined myself being a hummingbird. 

I saw myself hovering over my kids, lovingly caring for them....

 Providing  my husband with support and fulfilling his needs. 

Preparing food for my family while keeping the "nest" clean. 

My heart pumping fast and healthy from the flurry of activity (GREAT WORKOUT!). 

I was able to do it all elegantly and efficiently. And feeling gloriously free while doing it all. 

Then I had the thought that we all must have some version of this little daydream session I had. Whether we are parents or not, married or single we are all moving forward in this fast paced world wanting to achieve our best selves. 
But sometimes life gets crazy and we lose focus of how we are going to achieve all that we've set out to achieve. And so we look for ways to cope. 
This morning I chose to cope by daydreaming. 

Maybe someday God will grant me the wish of experiencing 
what it is like to be a hummingbird if just for a second (or maybe a day, atleast).