A Quiet House

Our house is quiet today.

Dan and Laura flew home Monday. Nana and Papa left this morning. Bella is out running errands with Jess. Lucy is asleep.

I wanted to share a photo of my new "Happy Wall" with you. I printed out a bunch of photos from our travels taken with the ShakeItPhoto app on my iPhone. Matt hung some ribbons on the wall and then we secured them with some clothespins. I love having our favorite memories out there for us to see every day!

Speaking of photos, I don't even want to think about how long it's going to take to edit all the photos I took this weekend! :) We're slowly getting back into our normal routine after having such an enormous amount of fun!

And now, I think I will put down the computer and settle into my corner for a cup of hot tea and a good book.

My Happy Corner

I love this happy little corner. It's inviting, cozy, and it has all of my favorite things! As you might remember from my living room tour, it used to be a bit more sparse. I've had this vision for a plant shelf here since we moved in...and Matt decided to build it for me on Sunday. He used the wood from the fence he tore down in our backyard. Have I told you how amazing he is!?

I've always wanted to have LOTS of plants in my home. They make me smile...and they filter our air! (check out Tara's article about this topic on Sustainable Baby Steps).

Succulents. Oh the succulents. I love love love. However, we shall see how long it takes me to kill them. For some reason, I've never been able to get my succulents to thrive. Any tips? I would love to hear about  your favorite varieties of plants too.

Having my "current" books displayed and accessible inspires me to SIT DOWN and read. So often I just run around all day like a crazy person and forget to just take a break for a bit to feed my mind. Or at my first break in the action, I grab my computer...which does nothing to SLOW me down at all. I'm working on creating new habits in this area of my life.

This corner is my sanctuary...especially when my family is sleeping. I sit here to read my Bible, drink my mate, watch my HGTV :) It feels familiar and calming.

Where is the familiar "corner" of your home? (take a photo...we want to see!)

*for more inspiring corners from other homes, check out this fun Flickr set!

Weekend Projects + Minimalist Links

I was SO excited for our weekend project of painting the bathroom! The "before" photo may look white...but it was more of a dingy yellow. Every time I walked in, I would cringe :) I need color!

BAM! Color! A big thank you to my amazing hubby who is the painter extraordinaire...he remained positive and upbeat even after doing remodels all week at his "real" job :) The color is a bit darker/richer in person...it's the Valspar color "City Chartreuse" in the Olympic No VOC paint base for kitchen and bathroom.

This shower curtain was my inspiration...I found it World Market and I love the design and rich tones.

Bella's room was another beast to tame. Her room goes from spotless to "were we robbed?" in 3 seconds. We've been continually purging unwanted toys to get it down to a reasonable level. Less stuff = less cleaning!

The main playthings in her room are her kitchen, her dress up clothes, her art supplies, cash register, books, stuffed animals/dolls, and her TV. We tidy her room twice a day to keep it under control and that seems to be working. Where there is open space...there is joyful play!

And lastly, my desk! This has been completed for awhile, but I did some major decluttering and have resolved to keep this surface open for activity and not for storage! (Thanks Francine!). It's amazing how having completely clear surfaces can make you feel instantly inspired.

This little nook is in our kitchen and is such a great example of how you can use wasted space to create something wonderful! There used to be a high table and a couple of stools here (they belonged to our landlord), but we removed them, built shelves, and made a desk out of our old front door. Add the chair we got on Craigslist for $15, and voila!

It's nice to have my printer/scanner up there, but it's out of the way. The gray wall "file" is for papers I need to sort through. I like having somewhere to keep it all in one place! The large clear bin is for recycling and the drawers on the right are mailing and letter writing supplies. I would eventually like to replace those with lovely fabric covered boxes and put them up above on the shelves. The blue cupboard above my desk is our pantry for dry foods.

I love to sit here and work with the door swung open while the girls play in the backyard.

...and that was our weekend.

* * * * * * * * *

Many of you are asking for book and blog recommendations for decluttering and minimalism. I will compile a complete list when I do my longer blog post about it, but you can start with these! If you have a favorite that is not listed...please leave it in the comments so I can add it to the master list!

*For those of you who think minimalism is only about living in a sparsely furnished tiny house with white walls...think again! To me, minimalism is clearing out the things and thoughts that are cluttering your life so you can LIVE FULLY! Now get inspired!

Blogs:Miss MinimalistBecoming Minimalist Minimalist Packrat Zen Habits

Books:The Minimalist MomThe Joy of Less (highly recommend!) The 100 Thing ChallengeThe Radical Minimalist30 Day Clutter Bootcamp (I'll be writing more about this later!) Sell Your Crap