Checking in

It's been awhile. I just haven't felt much like blogging this week. I've been lost in my head and trying to figure stuff out.

Tomorrow we go to Vegas for a few days. I found my blog post from last year today and thought I'd share the link.

I am sure I'll be back soon. Right now I'm sort of brainless and tired. Until then, I'm still here.

Love, C


home-home-home-home-home is where the heart is

Happy weekend dearest!

So this year we almost put our house up for sale! That happened just a few weeks ago...I was so unhappy here. Our house is half renovated and a lot of the space just isn't working for us. After some soul searching we decided to keep the place. We have so much equity in this house, live close to family, and live in one of the prettiest and safest areas of the bay area. It would be really hard for us to find anything that compared, so we are here to stay.

But things are going to change around here, we are going to get stuff done this coming year and renovate the rest of the house. I'm looking for style inspiration as we are preparing to rework things. We have a lot of ideas we are noodling on (including adding an addition), so whenever I get a free moment I am on Pinterest looking for things I love. Here are a few of my favorites.

I love this sideboard with the white (maybe a little lavender/pink?) toned paint. I finally realized after looking at all my recent pins (and having my mother-in-law point it out), that I freaking love white painted rooms. I can't believe R and I painted more this year and I am now obsessed with white! I had thought about painting everything white before we got the paint for the rooms, but then I talked myself out of it. Maybe we will go all white, or maybe not. I know it wouldn't be fun to repaint everything (sorry R), but I want to love the house so if we needed to it would be worth it. If we went white, it would have to be bright white. None of this cream/muddy stuff they put in apartments.

I love this tub! It's super deep and the subway tile is awesome! I want a deep tub like this in our guest bathroom, and the tile on the walls is a great touch. The sink is cool too, but I would need a vanity style sink for storage.

More white and twinkle lights. I love the photos clothes-pinned on. I can't believe I've never seen this before!

This is one of the cutest prints ever! I love the mixture between ballerina (see her pointed toes!) and superhero. The colors are great too!

This is being made and put somewhere in our dining room. I love it! I became a mug collector this year and this means I can grow our collection even more! Again...sorry Ronald.

I'm working on giving our dining room more storage. I love these clean white shelves. I would mix and match kitchen wear with office storage like the magazine files above. 


What do you think? 

Next up I will share a few of my holiday decorating tips and ideas. I can't wait to pull all our holiday decor out (we have loads!) and get decorating!

talk soon!



"you are a guest here now"

I cannot stop crying today. I'm just sad. Like real sad. Not depressed sad, which is more of a blank feeling. But sad sad, where I feel my heart is full of a heavy mournful mess. I also know my period is coming which gives me crazy mood swings and crying spells.

It doesn't help that last night as we installed our new dishwasher (which is awesome by the way), I clunked my head on our heavy porcelain farmhouse sink...again! This is the same sink that gave me a concussion on my birthday in January...yeah, that thing is dangerous! My head is still killing me and I feel like my right eye is rolled inside my head. I don't know how to explain it, but moving my eye hurts a lot.

We have had a rain storm for that past few days, it's been pretty windy and autumn leaves are flying through the sky in packs. This made me really sad as I realized I don't even feel like it is autumn yet. The seasons are very important to me, I am terribly sentimental and I remember so many things about each season that has passed. I love the holidays, I love autumn and winter. Usually I get a bounce in my step and a glimmer of hope that things will be better. I get super creative and want to write and walk outside all bundled up just to feel the crispy cold snap. But not this year. Not last year either. My heart is out of it and I don't know what to do other than to feel disappointed.

I can go through the motions, but that doesn't mean I feel it, that doesn't mean it is real for me. And that whole "fake it 'til you make it" bit is a load of shit. I've been doing that for years (a.k.a my entire life) and all I am doing is being fake.

The problem is if I'm not fake I'm nothing. There is no realness I am hiding, I feel blank and if I was just 'real' I would lay in bed and stare at the ceiling probably until I died. Or I would freak out and try to kill myself. So I have to fake it, fake it keeps me alive.

But it also makes me entirely too sad. The thing is when you have severe depression that isn't responding to treatment you have to just keep. You have to freeze yourself, dumb it down, push through like a football player. If you don't you die. If I don't I die.

A week before Christmas last year was when I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. It was more of a relief than anything else, since I had spent the whole year going to doctor upon doctor trying to explain to them that the physical pain and fatigue I felt was real. It was a battle. But then I had it--the diagnoses I had been looking for. And then it was real. And then it existed. And I new it was chronic. And it is all in my head, but that can't be helped.

The depression and chronic pain in my life are very real. Like palpable. Like day and night, second by second. The eight pillows I use in bed tell me. The aching arms and legs no matter what. The way I stare at my razor. This all makes it real.

Sometimes that is all the real I have. My only truth. I am sick. Then I remember Ronald B. Gantt. Cricket, Isabelle, Amelia. Our house. My in-laws. Sisters. My nephews and Niece. Our bed. flowers. The leaves outside that don't feel real (but are). Warm fires at night. My psychiatrist who actually gives a shit. The mourning doves that live all around us, and the one hawk that hangs on the light post outside.

Then my foot cramps up and I have a leg spasm. And all the bad comes back. But there is good there too. I wouldn't say there is a way out. I would say there is a way along with it.

So I keep going hem-haw-hem-haw, oi-moi, and all. But it's something. Even if it's bad, it's something.

xx, C

p.s.-- I didn't intend for this to be a super deep/sad post, it just kind of happened. ;)


5 tips on gifts

pretty gift wrapping
acrobatic clothespins
arrow flask
faux fur ascot

So...I love, love, love gift giving. I seriously get a bit silly about it. I love thinking about what the guy or gal I'm shopping for would like. I love the buying part...picking out the card and all the little details. I would way rather give gifts than receive them. This doesn't make me selfless, I just have way too much fun giving gifts and I sort of can't stop. :)

I give gifts all year round and am always on the lookout for things someone might love. I write myself notes (usually emails) when I think of a good gift for someone, it helps so much when Christmas comes around.

With the holidays coming I thought I would share my top five gift giving tips.

1. Don't buy for you, buy for them:

This is the biggest mistake I see gifters making. I'm sure we have all been in the situation where you get a gift and as soon as you open it you realize it is exactly something your gift giver would wear or want-- it isn't you at all, and you say your thanks and wait until you are alone and can hide it in your closet or under your bed.

Gift giving isn't about you, it's about the recipient. Sometimes it's hard to imagine what someone else will like, so take the time to think it through. Ask yourself questions like, what colors does she wear? What are her hobbies? What is something she has been saying she needs? How does she decorate her home? Look at a potential gift and think if it is something you can imagine them using. Is it you, or is it them?

2. Don't buy in hopes of changing someone:

This one seems a little weird but I know these cases exist. You just wish your friend would amp up her style a bit, so you buy them platform heals when your friend usually wears kitten heels. Or you get them a book on vegetarian cooking when you know they love bacon. Gifts shouldn't be about changing anyone, or even giving a nudge to try something new. If you do want your friend to try something new, instead of giving it as an object (like platform heals), share an experience with them  that shows them another option (go shoe shopping together). Going back to tip number one, it is no fun to get a gift that isn't you.

3. Price doesn't matter, meaning does:

I think we all sort of say we know this, but I'm not sure we actually do. It really doesn't matter how much something costs. Some of my favorite gifts are handmade, or things my sister found at thrift stores. On the same token, it's ok to get someone something expensive if you can afford it, and know it is what they would want. When you are gift shopping remember meaning matters most. For reals, for reals, for reals.

4. Brainstorm:

Take time to think of what to get someone. We often end up hunting for a gift with no real direction or idea of what we are looking for. Every November I start writing a list of everyone I want to buy Christmas gifts for. I brainstorm early and I talk to Ronald about it to get his ideas too. It really makes things less stressful, and I don't think gift shopping and giving should be stressful things. I want to put all my good in a gift, even in my attitude when I am buying it, otherwise it is just an object and not a gesture of love like it should be.

5. Use technology to your advantage:

With things like Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc, we have so many resources to help us figure out what our friends and family like and want. It can be as easy as looking at a single Pinterest board to know what someone wants. Use this to your advantage. Plus, doing this research has meaning in itself, it shows you are interested in them and that you pay attention, that is a big deal.


Is Christmas shopping something you love or hate?

What is the best gift you have ever received?

xx, C


day to day

It's Monday. I am so exhausted I feel like I need to go back to bed for maybe a year...

This morning was/is orange juice from a tiny glass, cup of joe from my favorite mug (chips and all), a very cuddlesome pup, and some note taking. Now to convince myself to get off the couch and ready for therapy and errands.

I have about a zillion little crafts I want to make for winter-time. They include- a glittery star mobile, simple feather wreaths, paint and glitter dipped tree-branches, and more. I am hoping to get started this week. Can't wait!

Hope you have a not-so-bad Monday darling!

xx, C


a bit of a wish list

So yeah, I want another camera. The Canon Powershot N seems pretty damn perfect to me. It has WIFI and I love how small it is, perfect camera to keep in my purse while still having the ability to take some awesome photos!

I love this light! We are clearing out one of the spare rooms in our house for me. It's going to be my little 'studio'. We are painting it pink and I'm going to showcase a lot of my vintage treasures.  I think this lamp would give a sort of 'mod' feel to the room. Plus, the price can't be beat! 

Ikea can be a little tricky quality wise, I am going to devote a post on how to shop smart at Ikea so stay tuned!

I've been crazy about pins and brooches this season. I only have a few and can't wait to add more to my collection. This Frida Kahlo brooch from AndSmile is amazing! I really recommend this shop, the prices are great and everything is adorable!

This Poodle cookie jar is too cute! It reminds me of Isabelle even though she isn't a poodle. It's pricey but totally one of a kind!


This weekend is a bit wonky. Ronald has to work tomorrow and today he has some homework to do and I need to clean. My lower back has been killing me whenever I do any bending. I am going to use a Therma Care wrap and get to cleaning regardless. I'm trying to think of how I can do things sitting down. I even find myself sitting on the floor and sliding through the house to pick up dog toys and dirty clothes, it's pretty funny to watch, but better than having back spasms. :)

I am so glad I get to be with R today, and cleaning has to happen. I actually miss cleaning, if you can believe it. I'm a silly, silly gal.

Hope you have a lovely weekend doll!

xx, C


first things first

Morning at the house. Our living room looks sort of pale neon at first light but then it turns into a magical seafoam the rest of the day.

I'm glad it's Friday even though Ron has to work on Sunday. Life has been overwhelming but I wake up every morning to try, try again.

So here goes today's try.

xx, C


Cricket and life

This pup loves to snuggle with me in my heated blanket. She will seriously lay here for hours sound asleep. When she lays with me I say she is in her 'mommy caccoon'. She is such a lazy bone. I don't know how she gets her long stick legs all curled up when she sleeps, it's like origami.

Things have been rough lately. I'm so tired. More like exhausted, both physically and emotionally. I'm trying to rest but there is a lot on my mind. Plus there is only so much time I can rest before I go stir crazy. I'm at that point now but I am in too much pain to actually do anything. I can hardly use my hands as they are swollen and hurting. I mostly just want to cry. I mostly just want to lay in bed.

I'm working on some ideas for some home projects/renovations. I have them all in a secret board on Pinterest. I will give you a peak when I can.

xx, C



Words from Bon Iver, Regina Spektor, Brene' Brown, Rumi, Frank Sinatra

It's been a while and it's been a rough week. On Monday one of my medications was raised and it made me extremely anxious and compulsive. I contacted my psychiatrist and have stopped taking it. I already feel more like myself and it has only been a day.

Yesterday I added words to some of my photographs. I ordered them from Snapfish as 11x17 poster prints. Right now they are offering 50% off site wide (with code: albacore13), so I got a great deal! These were fun to make and I'm looking forward to hanging them around the house.

This week I have:

Taken down Halloween decorations & redecorated some areas in the living room (still working on it)

Been to the salon to have my hair cut and dyed (great date with my momma in-law!)

Made flags on candy pop sticks with pretty paper and put one thing I am thankful for on each flag (can't wait to show you!)

Planned to cook and bake but didn't do any of it.

Watched Julie and Julia, and a few episodes of Call the Midwife.

Bought some marigolds.


I'm so glad it's the weekend. I just want to have a calm day and some fun with Ronald. I really need it after this week! Looking forward to some good things happening.

xx, C


the down days of autumn

Hello there.

It's been a rough weekend. I've just been in the pits. So down and I have no idea why. Ronald has been so sweet and the pups have been extra cuddly, but I just can't get out of this blue mood I'm in.

I hate depression. It sucks the life out of me. I think about all the things I've missed on my down days. Mental illness is a fucking bitch.

I think about how autumn is here, and how nice it is to be cold. I think about Ronald and how much I love him. Our pups and how cute and smelly they are. I think about all these things but I don't feel them on days like this, I can't feel anything but pain and sadness. People who suggest you should move past your emotions can suck it and probably have never been clinically depressed.

So right now the feelings gone, or rather displaced. The good feelings are replaced with bad-bad-bad ones. I try to remind myself tomorrow may/will be better. 'Please be better', I whisper to whatever will listen.

Please be better, C


five simple goals

Hello Dears!

Here are five goals I want to work on through the end of the year. I got the idea from A Beautiful Mess and my sister's blog Betty Lives a Little. The goals need to be about the process and not the result. It was so easy for me to pick these goal as I've been wanting to do these things for a long time.

1. be a bookworm-- I hate to admit it but I haven't finished or really read a book all year! I love reading but have really struggled with slowing down enough to read, so I'm going to pick a book and go for it.

2. creativity every day-- I know being creative is my passion. Whether it's writing, paper crafts, baking, or decorating the house, I know it is what I am meant to do. It's time for me to really embrace this and make things like crazy.

3. stretch-- I need to stretch my sore little body out a few times a week. I know it will really help me in the long run, even if it is hard at first.

4. try new makeup looks-- I have so many different eyeshadows, and lip stains I want to try, and I want to learn how to wear eyeliner (eek!). I want to be braver with my look and not just wear the same basics every day.

5. slow down and enjoy-- I need this so much! I am going to start lighting a candle every morning while I eat breakfast. Candlelight helps me slow down and feel centered. I also want to be present in the things I am doing, so here goes!

If you join in and make some goals let me know!

xx, C