Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Wisdom from the Past

I have been recently compiling interesting stories about people in my family (and Eric's) to make a little Swenson Family Binder that will have some of our traditions written in it, a family tree, stories of our ancestors and our family motto and mission statement. In making it, I have been reading through a lot of things written by my grandmother and came across a quick story that rings so true. She is talking about when she was a girl and would go with her mother to visit friends several states away...

"It was a joy and an amazing thing to me when Mr. Fischer (he owned a grocery store) would take me to his store, after it was closed. He had a key! We would all go in there and I could have anything I wanted! That was really living because in those days candy was not a common part of what we ate. Eskimo Pies were my favorite…an ice cream bar covered in chocolate. When you do not have a great deal even those little things are a real treat and event in your life. I am happy to have had those experiences because it concerns me that in this day and age most things are old hat to children. They do not know the joy of such special treats as going to a shop and getting a cold soda, or a fresh hamburger! Well, I would not trade those experiences for the over-abundance of things available now. What is really left to bring a thrill to the children?"

I agree whole-heartedly. Does anyone else think their kids have it WAAAAYYY too easy? I seriously sit and think of ways to make life harder for my kids....

Friday, January 13, 2012

My favorite things

Many of you have been asking to see some pictures of our house. I decided to take a few pictures of some of my favorite things in the house, just as highlights. First of all, the house was built with a large "nook" above the fireplace for a tv. That is where the cable came in. It was pretty strange since it is really high up--probably 7 feet at least to the BOTTOM of the nook space. So we rewired the cable and put the tv on the side wall. I couldn't figure out what to put in that space since it is like 5 feet across--huge! After a LONG time searching I finally found this clock which I love. It fits PERFECTLY and love it. Not just for design purposes, but I have this thing about always having to know what time it is. I think I am mildly OCD. Plus the candlesticks on the side were a cheap black set from Shopko. I recently repainted and antiqued them this nice dark turquoise color and it really bring a little pop of color up there.
Probably one of my FAVORITE things in the house (and the one thing that caused more headaches than anything else) is my picture wall. I LOVE picture walls--I think they make a house feel like a home, displaying my proudest accomplishments, my kids. I didn't want to spend a gazillion dollars on frames, but I had a ton of old dumpy mismatched frames. All the trim in my house is white--I love the crispness of it so it goes without saying I decided to go with white frames. Just so you know, spray painting dark frames white is no easy task. I won't go into it, but if you decide to do it, ask me first! I will save you some time and money. Arranging it was also a bear but I am so happy how it turned out. I love looking at this wall. Love Love Love.
Another thing I love is my dining room. Not necessarily having a dining room, but I love my table. I wanted it for years but wouldn't pay the money for it, then my friend told me that they sell it at the nicks and dents store--perfect since the table is already distressed! I called every day for probably 2 months and they finally got one it! I dropped everything and drove up there to snag it. Love it.
I also love my new centerpiece. I have developed an affinity for birds recently and saw this little guy in a shop and had to have him. I know it's a bit mix and match, but I like how I've got it set up.
I also recovered my entry bench that was black, and got a couple bird (told you I was into birds) pics for the wall. Definitely makes me happy when I come in the front door.
Besides my room (which you will see in a sec) Maggie's room is my favorite room in the house. The poor boys still have white walls and nothing interesting to decorate. We are hoping to finish the basement eventually and have them room down there so I haven't bothered doing anything with their space. But Maggie's room was that first to be done. I love the blue walls--so light and happy, with the flowers and her "castle" as she calls it (her bed). It makes me happy when I am in her room.
My fave room is my bedroom. It is awesome. I love the reading nook... I am trying hard to use color and pattern. I have been in a neutral rut for so long but I really love a more eclectic look, a mild eclectic. I would say my style is sophisticated whimsy?
Our upstairs is quite open to below and on either side of the balcony overlooking the great room are 2 alcoves. I hadn't been able to find anything I liked to put in them until a few days ago. Found these vases at Rod Works. Love the turquoise.
Okay, I recently redid some lamps for my master bedroom. I am not spending any more money on decorating right now so had to find a cheap way to do it. I forgot to take a before pic, but found 2 dollar lamps at a thrift store and redid them. They are now on my nightstands. This is basically what they looked like before...
Hopefully you can close up on the picture to see the lamps now. I wanted something fun and I am actually really happy how they turned out. I also love my bed..finally a king size!
And the best part of the house is my master shower and tub. Yes the tub takes half an hour to fill up, but it's worth it! And the shower has 7 heads, 5 of which get used daily, the other two a few times a week, mostly when the kids shower in there. I have to say, having multiple shower heads is awesome.
Well, those are my favorite things in my house, hopefully those of you who live far away can come and see it in person!