17:24 – Preferably with a glass of wine and a favorite book.
Image via Minakani Lab
But see more at Anthology
Five Dozen font found here
The graphic design is mine :)
9:33 – A few pictures from when we visited Fredericksburg, Texas this summer and a few from Austin thrown in for good measure! While Martin visited a military history museum in Fredericksburg I took myself and the pups on a walk around town. There were so many charming Texas houses that I couldn’t help but take tons of pictures, these are just a few of the ones I liked! It is interesting for me to see how each region has its own favored material and building style, and how the building and the landscape seamlessly work well together.
*I used the Dreamy Light Photoshop Action by Onixa to manipulate the photos.
There’s a good a article on the Matador Network titled “A self-involved essay on money, fear, and happiness in America” that really hit home on many things I’ve been pondering lately. In it is a quote that I wanted to share, “As a kid, how many of us are urged to strive to become peaceful, humble, open, quiet, loving, compassionate, honest, sustainable beings?” To me it sounds very much like the fruits of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. And so I wonder are these the things I must strive for in order for me to have intrinsic peace and personal contentment in life no matter the situations I find myself in?
I have met so many astoundingly talented people since moving to Cambridge and I have to admit its causing me some anxiety. I look at myself, my accomplishments, my passions, talents, level of education, and ask myself “Is it enough?” Judging from my anxiety I guess I feel that I am falling short in some of these categories. Though, after questioning these feelings I come to the conclusion that, in the whole scheme of life, they shouldn’t really matter that much and hence my quest for intrinsic peace and contentment.
The thing I am trying to learn is how to focus more on these internal qualities instead of the external ones, because there is always more education to be had, more travel to be done, home accessories to be bought, and many more rungs on the ladder of career success to be climbed. I have repeated to myself over and over again that comparison is the theft of joy, but how do you allow yourself to stop comparing (and just be) in a society that is obsessed with it? And dare I even say, operates by it?
It makes me feel a bit vulnerable writing this post but I figure I am not alone in these wonderings, and so, do any of you have experience with this sort of thing? What did/do you do to help you focus on the internal instead of the external factors of life?
Today I am thankful for:
-Martin, who tells people that at the end of the day the most important thing to him is growing old with me.
-The children who exclaim with joy when they see the dogs.
-And for the strangers I pass on the street who will return my smile.
12:29 – Don’t ever doubt the power of paint. And white trim. Here is our Putnam pad thus far, keep in mind that this is still a work in progress, but for only having been here for a little less than a month I think I’m doing great!
Goodbye cheapo plastic blinds that were covered with disgusting thick layer of dust! Bonjour lovely, texture providing, completely affordable bamboo blinds!
THE DINING ROOM
THE LIVING ROOM
Now before you go and think that I am being completely ridiculous, let us take a look at the dirty nastyness that was this place when we moved in. You tell me if you want to walk around barefoot after seeing these photos.
But even I can get over a dirty apartment (that was supposed to be professionally cleaned before we arrived) because it is only a rental and is luckily our temporary home.
What I can’t get over is the fact that we were misled regarding our use of the yard. See, the main reason we rented this particular apartment sight unseen was that it had a fenced yard and was three-dog friendly.
While I was out there one afternoon with the dogs, a neighbor came over to me and said that dogs were not welcome in the yard and this was becoming an “ongoing problem”. I said “Okay, I’ll talk with our landlord.” To which she replied, “No the problem is with you!” So. This dogs in the yard situation is an ongoing problem? Our landlord told me this woman might say something to me but he also said that she had no jurisdiction. It turns out that she is an owner of one of the units, so she does have jurisdiction. Quite a bit actually. The part that has me peeved is that our landlord chose not to tell us all this. He has graciously allowed us to put up a garden fence in his small portion of the yard for the dogs to run in, which I am thankful to have because it is better than nothing, but it is far from ideal and we already plan on finding a new apartment when our lease is up.
I may sound like a huge complainer, but our experience so far has just been filled with unmet expectations and important information that went untold, all of which on their own aren’t terrible, but when the stack of them continues to grow so does my frustration. It started with a dirty apartment (I’m talkin’ dog hair caked in the corners and black grout that should be white), then finding out that the yard was not totally secured (gates left open & holes in the fence), and then not being able to use the yard, and finally this morning realizing that our front door leaks when it rains.
Lesson Learned: Don’t rent an apartment sight unseen, ask specific questions, and never underestimate your motherly concern for the little creatures’ well being (furry or human) whom you are responsible for. All this could have been avoided, which sucks and is why I’m kicking myself now. Bleh! The next best thing I can do is look at the situation as a design challenge and a lesson in home decor humility. :)
Oh and did I mention that two of the three dogs got skunked last weekend, leaving residual skunk smell all over themselves and the apartment? It’s been an unforgettable welcome to Cambridge that’s for sure!!
Pipe Dream: Own, operate, and decorate a boutique hotel
Where: Abroad. Mexico, Morocco, Argentina, Greece, Italy…I’m not picky! I’ll be the domestic goddess of the place, making sure each room is perfectly attended to, while Martin will be the man in charge of sailing trips, hiking expeditions, or possibly brewing beer for the adjoining hotel pub! :)
The Inspiration: L’Otel in San Miguel de Allende in Mexico
Images via L’Otel: Boutique San Miguel de Allende
Oh my goodness is this place wonderful or not? It is the perfect mix of colorful art and accessories combined with furniture that gives off a natural provincial vibe, then to top it off it’s located in a Mexican hacienda with a courtyard! In my list of top five favorite architectural features, courtyards might be number one.
That fluff ball of a puppy is pretty darn cute too!
Hello? Anyone there? I hoping to still be able to call myself a blogger by actually posting for the first time in weeks! Much has happened since our departure from Texas more than a month ago, so to catch you all up I present a ton of photographs.
The move. Four days, three dogs, two humans, and one Budget truck. We left Texas heading east passing through Arkansas, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and finally Massachusetts! Too bad I don’t have a picture of our 24′ Budget truck hauling our Ford Ranger on a massive car carrier, we were quite a sight to see!
Then the travels! To include, New Hampshire’s serene Lake Winnipesaukee, Virginia’s lovely coast and city of Charlottesville, North Carolina’s seaside fishing town of Manteo, then up north again to the horse country of Michigan,
through Cananda because we always travel with our passports to Niagara Falls in New York, and finally back in Cambridge!
Finally, our first week in Cambridge! I found out that these HBSers (Harvard Business Schoolers for future reference) are quite the social bunch, I swear I am not exaggerating when I say we’ve been out doing things every single night! My extroversion was completely exhausted leaving my mostly introverted self craving some alone time. But alas, there were baseballs games to see, beer to be drank, concerts to attend, parties to mingle, and patio gatherings to be had.
Needless to say Martin and I have been pretty busy and have already met so many really great people! Though it is easy to show the happy side of life on blogs (these photos do that very well), to be honest this move has not been met with a totally positive reaction. I underestimated the amount of adjusting I would have to do. There have been many unmet expectations, unhappy surprises, and the very sad passing of my wonderful Grandma. In a strange way, these events happening at the same time was a lesson for me. As much as I dislike our apartment (another story for another time, ugh) it is not the apartment that matters. It is the people, it is Martin, our dogs, our families, our friends. My heart longs for a home that people feel welcomed and comfortable in but I tend to forget that its not the color of couch that does that, its from the love I can offer them.
That’s a wee bit heavy I know, but hey isn’t that how life goes from time to time? ♥
16:54 – I could hardly believe when it was less than thirty days before we made the move to Boston, but now I can hardly believe that it is less than two weeks! And on Saturday I can officially say “less than one week!”
Mart & I have been busy getting the house packed and prepped for our renters and as the days go by and the place gets emptier and emptier I start feeling a little twinge of sadness. I end up packing in spurts, so 20 minutes might be spent taping boxes and filling them with stuff but then the next 10 minutes are spent sitting in the living room just contemplating things.
For instance I am becoming more and more worried that the dogs won’t like the new apartment. For those of you who know me personally, the thought of me being worried about dogs probably comes as no surprise. :) But it is going to be a lot smaller and with far less outside access than what they are used to. Little Baby K has her favorite sunny spots to sit in our Texas house and Texas (sized) yard, where will she sit and watch the world go by in our Putnam apartment?? What squirrel-friend will Sully try to catch by doing ninja flips off the fence??
Just to illustrate how much Katia dislikes moving and having her home torn apart, here is a photo of her on the day we were moving from Fort Benning to Texas, nearly three years ago! Those are packing supplies she is cowering under with her sad eyes.
Anywhoo, there are also plenty of things that I am really looking forward to with our coming move. LIKE DECORATING!!!!! I. can. not. wait. to get my hands on that place! Also we (the Peters humans + dogs as a collective whole) are looking forward to the cooler weather in Massachusetts. I was reading a Boston based blog and the author spoke of a current heat wave (it was in the 80s). Soooo…let me see…the weather widget on my Mac tells me that its currently 104 degrees here in Texas (good laawwwd, seriously Texas, seriously!?), while its a nippy 68 degrees in Boston. 68?! We’re going to freeze! No, but really, I’ll be able to run in the late afternoons or even walk the dogs during daylight hours without them panting and wheezing within in the first 5 minutes.
Now who wants to see some enthralling moving tidbits? I promise to take real photos and not just Instagram ones once we are settled again.
w a i t i n g t o b e w r a p p e d a n d p a c k e d
One last thing, since we are leaving our wall-mounted beer bottle opener for the renters/with the house/attached to the wall I had the perfect excuse to find a new one! Thanks to Ebay, we will be bringing a little bit of Texas with us to Cambridge afterall (and coincidentally it ships from Austin).