This weekend I’m hoping to work on some home projects that need tending before the baby arrives in a couple months. I always worry about my little one—who’ll be an only for just a couple months more—playing by on her own a lot. Then I remember that all the unstructured time I spent as a girl gave me the chance to dream and create. KJ Dell’Antonia of the NYT blog Motherlode talks about protecting kids’ play- and free time, curbing the tendency to over-schedule them (and ourselves).
Finding a routine
I perform much better when there is a timeline involved. In college, I appreciated professors that had a whole semester mapped out with dates for exams and design critiques. At work, when feeling overwhelmed by multiple projects, it always gave me a sense of calm to list deadlines for deliverables in order to get a sense of how I would plan each workday. Even with keeping the home I realized that only when I write down when I wanted each task accomplished would I get up and do them—be it cleaning out the refrigerator or organizing the children’s closets.
It’s still just above freezing here in Northern California, and it looks like this El Nino weather is quickly moving across the country. Right now I’m enjoying the chance to layer all my favorite sweaters and jackets, some of which I haven’t worn in a year or two, thanks to the mild/hot weather we’ve had. But it’s always fun to look ahead and see how to incorporate new pieces to update your wardrobe without looking like a total fashion victim or breaking the bank. Taking cues from recent runway shows, there are a few spring trends that can last year-round with the right combinations and accessories.
We’re kicking off the New Year with a series on Melissa’s kitchen renovation.
Tune in every week to see the space evolve from outdated to timeless.
Everything but the kitchen (sink and all)
If the kitchen is the heart of the home, then ours was in need of a triple bypass. When we first toured our house two years ago, I have to admit I was unimpressed. The house had good bones, the right amount of bedrooms, and a really big backyard. The kitchen, however, was a bit of a downer. It’s pretty much the first thing you see when you walk through the front door, it was hard to see past the cramped layout and outdated finishes. But, in the ever-competitive Bay Area housing market, the homes at the top of our list were either too small for our growing family or completely out of our financial reach. When our bid on another house fell through (the seller’s agent told us not to bother, since our max bid at well over asking was so far below what others were offering), our realtor urged us to rethink this house. The owners would like the idea of selling to a young family and besides, she said, the house was below much of the comps in the area. We submitted our offer and crossed our fingers, fully expecting a bidding war. Miraculously, we got a call three hours later that the house was ours.
The holidays, from Thanksgiving through Christmastime, are full of tradition. Some we maintain from our childhoods, others we adopt. Still others we either create or acquire when we form our own families. The start of this New Year brings to mind a lot of the rituals, superstitions, and customs I’ve come across as we look to leave 2015 behind and make a fresh start in 2016.