Wednesday, September 28, 2011

heavy heart


That describes my life since the first of the year. I know I lost almost all of my readers when I took my {very extended} blog break, but if there's any chance someone is reading, I just need to pour out my heart tonight.

This is not an exciting decor post laced with dreamy pictures and fabulous projects, but it's reality and it seems to have really hit me hard tonight. You see, we bought our house 4.5 yrs ago, one week before my younger daughter was born. Through a terrible series of misfortunes, theft, and job loss, we have been struggling to keep our home for the last 2 years. Unfortunately we are not the only owners of the home {very long story} so other family members are also being affected. Which magnifies the situation 10,000 times.

Being in the real estate and loan business {both my husband and myself} 2011 has not been a great year... owning a home only makes it worse, from an income standpoint as well as an investment standpoint. Not to mention running a business from home. If we are forced to move, we have to disrupt and move a business as well. So much stress.

I can't say enough bad things about our lender... we have applied for a loan modification multiple times and been denied for ridiculous reasons. They seem to employ people who have no idea what they are talking about, lose our paperwork, etc. etc. That only makes a difficult situation more frustrating and stressful. It seems they would rather sell our home to someone else for half of what we owe {the current market value is half what we paid for it} rather than work with us and modify OUR payments, the family that lives here, the family who has lovingly cared for and maintained our home and gardens for the last 4.5 years. Currently we are trying one or two last-ditch efforts to save our home, but it is very possible I will be packing up our home in the next month, unsure of where we will move.

This is especially emotional for me since my daughter went through a very rough first 2 weeks of second grade and had to switch schools because of an unfortunate situation with a very mean teacher {another very long story}. She has made new friends and acclimated wonderfully at her new school, but it took several weeks. She is finally happy as a clam. I am ecstatic. It is the best possible school in our area and the one we always wanted her to attend, but we were not assigned there. Until now. And if we move.... well, I don't know if she will have to switch schools again. I cannot stand the thought of that.

I well up with tears at the thought of leaving our beloved home, the place I have worked so hard to make our own... my roses, my hydrangeas, my garden. Our memories here. Living so close to friends. My daughters bedrooms, my 4 yr olds beloved blue room... and of course my daughter's school. Not to mention the marital strain this has caused.

I am just sharing this because my heart is so heavy and I am living a financial and emotional roller coaster and it is so, so very hard. On top of that, I have been struggling daily with IBS for the last couple of months and stress only exacurbates it. So many blogs are filled with decorating with what seem like endless budgets and happy times and friends and vacations and art retreats and I am just struggling to keep my emotions in check and my head above water on a daily basis and find some kind of joy in little moments. I'm sorry this is not a happy, light post... just know if you are in a similar situation to mine, you are not alone. I am right there with you. If that can bring comfort to anyone, then I feel a little better.

I just really felt compelled to pour out my heart tonight, so thank you for reading this and for visiting my blog. The last couple of years have been very difficult for me personally as well as for my family and marriage and I hoped to escape and pursue my passions and creativity on this blog, but reality is just so heavy tonight.

With tears,

**edited to add... I have shared some very personal things tonight which is not usually my custom on this blog. However, I do hope that in "keeping it real" someone, somewhere will find comfort in my struggles. I love that expression "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle" but I know my problems pale in comparison to the struggles and losses others are facing. Still, thank you for reading and for allowing me to vent and to be human for a moment. It's therapeutic. :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tyler Florence Kitchen of the Year

I just picked up the October issue of House Beautiful and if you haven't seen it yet, run go get a copy...

Tyler Florence has designed the HB Kitchen of the Year... {swoon}.... Just look...
Beautiful and fresh, classic yet updated, modern, interesting

I love the unexpected combination of mismatched upholstery, gold floral chandelier, hammered steel dining table and that black cabinet.. I want to move in.

Look at the details... vintage glassware love

Even the outside spaces are amazing...

For the whole story and all the pictures: {Source}

Well ladies, I am but a mere 30 minutes from his Mill Valley store, featured by two of my favorite bloggers here and here. I think a little field trip is in order, what do you think?


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

So Cal Road Trip

Hi again... sorry it's been a month since my last post. What a crazy month it's been! Hope you're all doing well.

Back in July we took a roadtrip to Southern California to visit family. I don't know about you, but when I know I'm going to a new area, I rack my brain for places I've seen online or read and heard about and then figure out if I am staying anywhere near there. Maybe it's just me, I am a little OCD... For example, my list in Phoenix is very clear (I know no one in that area but could tell you great places to shop, lol!) and Portland and Seattle? I know at least 10 great places to shop and have never been to Portland and Seattle only once!) That and the fact that my iphone has amazing navigational capabilities made for great shopping on my roadtrip. Luckily my husband mostly cooperated. ;-)

But first, we did lots of this...

La Jolla

Pacific Beach

La Jolla


more La Jolla... playing with the hipstamatic app

Last year we took the same roadtrip and I finally got to go to Urban Barn in Escondido. Swoon! I love, love, love this place! You must check it out if you are ever there.... here is their blog I have more pix from last year that are fabulous, but I can't get to my external hard drive. Here are just a few from this recent trip:

the most amazing doors. i wanted to take these home. wouldn't fit on top of my jeep.

terrible picture, but this amazing crusty old scale and the coral on it *did* find a place in my jeep. love it!

On our way home (not quite on the way but somehow I managed to convince my husband to detour through Orange County on our grueling 10 hr ride home) and I got to go where I have been dying to go... Country Roads! Specifically, I went to see Kate from Salvage Dior and her beautiful things. If you're not familiar with Kate and her lovely blog, check it out She has an amazing spirit about her, is very sweet, and has an incredible eye for industrial french design. Here she is, she was so sweet, so nice to meet her in person!

me n Kate at Country Roads

Here is some of her fabulous stuff at CR:

Don't you love how rustic yet elegant her style is? I do!

Here's what I took home from her (she was well cleaned out by the time I got there on a sale weekend or I would have bought more!) this amazing crusty old blue-gray corbel. And there's the coral from Urban Barn. I love it!

Country Roads is a huge, amazing shop comprised of 3 buildings plus a large outdoor garden area. Eye candy galore. I could've spent all day in there (but not with my tired husband and 2 girls, no not quite) but in case you also haven't heard of Loretta at you should check her out. My pictures turned out terrible that day, but here are a couple of her things from CR:

And more of Country Roads...

Hope you enjoyed the recap of my roadtrip and if you ever make it Southern California, check these places out! You won't regret it.