Showing posts with label Home Projects. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Home Projects. Show all posts

The Art Of Coziness: Analyzing My Favorite Fall Show

 


As I type, I'm sipping on a warm chai.  I hear the kids laughing and chanting a rhyme outside the window as warm beams of sunlight angle across the grass.  I'm in my cozy pajamas, and the twinkle lights are on.

I figured if I'm going to write about coziness, I might as well get in a cozy mood.

This sudden inspiration for coziness actually came at the end of a pretty rotten day.  I checked, and there is a full moon right around the corner, so that might explain it (there is something to that).  Everything was a struggle all day, and I quickly found myself retreating into "hide" mode - meaning I locked myself in the closet a couple times to calm myself.  Let's just say the atmosphere of the home was not what I wanted it to be yesterday.

After working out and taking a shower, I put on an episode of Gilmore Girls while I fixed my hair.  I'm rewatching the show this fall - the last time I watched it all the way through, Wyatt was a baby, so it's been a while.  And I started thinking about how many times I've referred to Gilmore Girls as a "cozy fall show".  What exactly made it so cozy anyway?  And could I replicate that for my kids?  A little coziness would be a nice reset for everyone.

After careful analysis (ahem), I pinpointed all the elements that make Gilmore Girls so cozy to me.


Warm Lighting 

If you pay attention, you'll notice there is so much warm light in the show - everywhere you look there are twinkle lights or lamps lit - and I think that's a big part of what makes it cozy.  It gives you the feeling of being tucked inside a warm house.  Whether it's candles, lamps (of which I want to buy more), or twinkle lights, I think that aspect would be really easy to replicate daily in our home.  I already do this somewhat with candles, but I want to get a couple more good lamps to illuminate the dark corners.

Good Books 

Is there anything more cozy than curling up with a good book?  If you are a reader, you can't help but love all the references to books in Gilmore Girls - I don't know if all the books mentioned are actually good, but you know the characters think they are good, and that's what counts.  We've been adding more just-for-fun read-aloud time to our homeschool, and it's something I want to remember as a cozy way to reset.

Seasonal Decorations 

They really go all out on the seasonal decorations in Stars Hollow, don't they?  I'd love to know if any real-life town is like that.  All I know is that my kids are always excited when I pull out the the fabric pumpkins and faux foliage that I keep in the box under my bed.  When things are starting to get stale around the house, some seasonal decorations are a nice touch to make everyone feel like staying home!

Warm Drinks 

Chai, cider, hot chocolate, and of course, coffee. Are the characters in that show ever not drinking something warm? I am blessed to be able to say that every morning I'm awakened by the smell of coffee, thanks to Derek, and it's glorious!  But since I don't let my kids drink the stuff yet, I've been buying extra jugs of apple juice at the store lately, so I can periodically make hot cider in the crockpot.  It makes the whole house smell good, and it's perfect for keeping everyone happy while we read aloud.

Music 

There is so much music mentioned in Gilmore Girls, not to mention the town minstrel, and it sets the mood for the whole show. This is something I'm terrible at, but I would really like to get better at remembering to add some music into our day.  I could start something in the morning while we do our Bible time, or I could play soft music over nap/quiet time.  I think music would be a really great way to calm the house a bit and boost some moods.

A Busy Kitchen 

This is one I never thought about before, but as I was watching the show last night, it struck me that in so many of the episodes, there is a busy kitchen scene (usually with Suki).  Even if we don't see Suki, Lorelei and Rory are always ordering in good food.  There is something about just knowing that there is something good to eat in the kitchen, or something bubbling on the stove, that makes the whole thing that much more comforting - like virtual comfort food. 

I would like my house to feel like that for my kids, like anytime they walk in the kitchen there might be something good to eat waiting for them.  I've never been good about meal planning, and even baking (something I love to do) has fallen off in recent months.  I'd like to put a little more attention back into the kitchen this winter.

A Close-Knit Community 

It's sad that so many Americans have never really experienced a close-knit community, isn't it?  Stars Hollow, with it's host of eccentric characters that care about each other despite their oddities, is not exactly the norm anymore.  We've lost something.  

I think 50-100 years ago, more people knew what a small community felt like.  But if you are lucky, you've been part of a close-knit community at some point in your life.  When I was growing up, we went to a really small, close-knit church that almost felt like family,  Even today, my own family has enough roots in the town where I live that occasionally someone I don't recognize will ask how a family member is.  There are remnants here and there.  

Even as it's harder to find a close-knit community for my children to grow up within, I am trying to build our own, with family, friends, and our church family.  Even if we didn't have an option for those things, there is a sense in which a family is it's own little community, and if it's a Christian family, it is by nature a small cell of a larger community that stretches around the world - the church, the body of Christ.  A family can support and love each other despite oddities, and even host their own "community events" in the form of traditions - and we can connect ourselves to the larger context of the church through learning about church history and heroes of the faith.  So even as Stars Hollow towns are more rare, I think there are ways to still give our families that sense of belonging to something bigger.  We just have to keep your eyes out for opportunities.


Is it worth all this effort to add some coziness to our life?  Does this really matter?

I've been thinking about this a lot lately, about how we as moms can help set a good atmosphere for our home.  I sincerely think it's something that is worth pouring into.  For me, chaotic days like yesterday happen too often for my liking. But my hope is that, overall, when my children grow up, they'll hear the word "home" and think of a cozy, safe place, with parents, family, and friends who love them.  

In a sense, a person's idea of home can even shape their idea of Heaven, and the God who reigns over all.  I don't always reflect Him to my kids as well as I want to, within the atmosphere of our home (or in general, honestly).  But in these small ways, I'm trying, and I'm praying the Lord will use my sometimes pitiful efforts and make something beautiful out of it by His grace.  


What do you do to make your home cozy for the fall or winter?  Do you feel like you are part of a close-knit community?  And, most pertinently, what other cozy fall shows should I check out?



Currently | January 2019




Are you one of those people who complain every time it snows in the winter?  Because I am so not one of those people.  I just don't quite understand how you could not want it to snow in the winter.  You could have brown ugliness, or you could have this!





I think I can rest my case.

Borrowing the prompts here this time around, I'm currently...

Choosing...things for the house.  The renovation is back in full swing.  Derek is planning on finishing up the kitchen details this weekend, and then the master bathroom is next on the list. I'm trying to make decisions about bathroom tile, and vanities, and decorative items, and which chair to buy for the corner of the living room to tie everything together.  Also, have I shown you this flower box thing we have in our living room?



I have it filled with a garland leftover from Christmas at the moment, but I'm trying to decide what to do with it long term.  We could tile it over and make it a plain old ledge, or I could try to get creative and think of something cool to fill it.  Since I have a black thumb, actual plants are out of the question.  What would you put in here?  I'm tinkering with the idea of a fake succulent garden, but I haven't found quite the right thing yet.

Tidying...nothing.  Everyone is experiencing a bout of house-tidying madness after Marie Kondo's Netflix special, and I'm over here actively avoiding starting any tidying projects.  My life over the last several months has been so not normal, between church issues and moving and renovating and Christmas - I just don't think I can bear to put anything else into upheaval.  So I'm hunkering down with my piles of stuff, and I'm liking it, thank you very much.  I'll tidy in the spring, when my bathroom floor is no longer bare plywood.

Exploring...my unread shelf.  One of my goals for the year is to refrain from buying any new books, and to read and/or make a decision on whether to read the books that I own and haven't yet read.  There are a lot.  I'm just warning you now.  In reality, clearing my unread shelf will be a multi-year project, but I'd like to get through at least half of my books this year.  Go look at my unread books on Goodreads, and tell me if you've read any of these and what you thought!  You can help me know what to read and what to gift to my local Goodwill. (Also, why can't you give away ebooks?  This should be a thing.).

Resolving...to actually follow through on my goal of going one week a month sugar-free.  I attempted to go sugar free the first week of January, and also the second week of January.  After succumbing to stress-induced candy heart cravings, I decided the third week in January was not going to be a winner either.  It's just been stressful, okay!  I think I'll make next week the official no-sugar week.  I'm doing so great on my New Year's goals, huh?

Refreshing...my style a little bit.  I've had a limited selection of things that have fit me over the last year because of baby weight, and I realized that my style identity has suffered some as a result.  I'm not really sure anymore what items in my closet are things that I feel good in, and which things need to be updated and refreshed.  I would like to shop my closet and figure out which things still feel like "me", and which things should go.

That sounds suspiciously like tidying, doesn't it?  But hopefully a little less chaotic and a little more fun.

What are you all up to this January?

The "Master" Bedroom (Before We Move)



This house will officially no longer be ours on Friday.   I thought I better get a move on and show you the last couple rooms!  

This is our "master" bedroom.  I put "master" in quotes because it doesn't have a bathroom actually attached, but it's the biggest bedroom in the house.  It's gone through a few transformations over the years, and this is what it looks like now, right before we are about to leave it.

This wall color is a good example of how a color can be scary until it's finished, just like our house color.  When we painted the outside of the house gray, we were afraid we made a mistake until we added the white trim.  When I painted this room "Ice Cube" by Behr, I was afraid I had made a mistake!  I wanted something that could feel airy, but could also feel cozy, and when I got this color on the wall it just felt...chilly.  But I persevered, and once I added all the furniture and wall decorations back in, it hit that balance of airy and cozy and colorful that I was going for.  

I'll probably go with a different color in our new master bedroom, because it's much bigger and I think this color would actually feel cold in that room.  But here, I've enjoyed it!



















I don't have a linkup going anymore, but PLEASE comment below if decide to join in and show us your home!

The Boy's Room (House Tour Part 5)


Out of the whole house, I think I had the most fun decorating the boys' room!

Before I started, I got inspiration to do a camping/mountains/outdoor/adventure themed room for the boys, and it just so happened, that after I decided to do that, I realized that Target had come out with a line that fit with my vision perfectly!  Can't get better than that.

I painted the walls a Behr color called "Campfire Ash" - a very appropriate name for a room with this theme.  It's a very pale, neutral gray.  The boys' room is one of the only rooms in the house that gets warm light, so the gray actually worked in there without being too cool (I'm not a fan of grays in rooms that already get cool light).

In the pictures below, you might also notice that one side of the boys' bookshelf looks funny - that's because when I was almost done painting this room, I let Wyatt take a nap in there.  There was a can of paint with the lid on, and a brush in there with him.  I honestly didn't even think about it since the can was sealed, but I went in there later to find my little boy covered in paint, paint on the carpet, and paint covering one side of his bookshelf.  I had to scrub to get it looking this good!  We had a lot of paint mishaps during our remodel.  I was not happy at the time, but it's a funny memory now!  Look at how little my babies were in the last pictures!



























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The Girl's Room (House Tour Part 4)


I have to say, I remember having the most fun decorating the kids' rooms a couple years ago.

For the girl's room I was going for a colorful, summery vibe.  I didn't want to stick to any one color scheme, because I have figured out through decorating and re-decorating the nursery over the years, that there is always something in the room that doesn't match the color scheme.

I painted the walls a Behr color called "Mayfair White", which is a pale mint green.  I picked a colorful floral bedspread, and scented with pink, but the beauty of this scheme is that the girls can bring in toys, blankets, pillows, or stuffed animals in pretty much any color and it still looks like it fits in the room.

Obviously these pictures were taken a couple years ago (look how little Clarice and Gwen were!), so what's changed?

Clarice is now in the room too - we found out we were expecting Georgie and moved Clarice upstairs with Gwen sooner than we thought!  Her toddler bed is in the place where the reading nook is in these pictures.  The canopy over the area has been taken down, since it didn't seem like a smart idea to have it hanging above my one year old's bed.  The gallery wall is also not the same in all these pictures since the girls broke a one of the pictures when they were jumping on Gwen's bed (the room is for living in, not just for show, after all).

Funny story (actually, not funny so much as cringeworthy) - when I was painting the girls' room, I took a quick break and left the lid off the can of paint.  A minute later I hear a ruckus coming from the room, and my heart sinks.  I went back in there and the kids had spilled an entire can of paint, all over the carpet.

There was a brief pause, as Derek and I stared in horror, and then the entire thing blew up.  We were both shouting, I hustled the kids out of the room while he grabbed towels to sop up the mess, everyone was crying.  I sat the kids down in front of the TV, and wailed to Derek.  "Now we have to replace the carpet!  That was not in the budget!"  

While the rest of us were freaking out, Derek patiently sopped up the paint.  He worked on it the rest of the night, used up an entire can of carpet cleaner, and he got that stain out.  Honestly, the floor looks like new!  I'm still not sure how he did it, but I was very impressed with his determination.

Did I mention all this happened on Easter?

I'm happy to say we can officially laugh about it now.























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