Tweak It Tuesday #122

 Ranger 911 set up a pretty vintage vignette in her kitchen.

 Exquisitely Unremarkable enjoyed a rather rustic Christmas.

 Common Ground styled a pretty piece of furniture with her vintage pretties.

247 Mulberry Lane set up a pretty scene on a silver tray.

 Cranberry Morning hung gingerbread men on her tree.

 The Blissful Bee showed some uniquely wrapped presents.

 Ashtree Cottage displayed a boot stocking look on her Texas mantel.

 Design Till It Shines created a pretty festive tabletop display.

Ms. Toody Goo Shoes made nutella brownies.

My 1929 Charmer set up a pretty plate display.

Just Jan decorated an absolutely gorgeous tree.

Love My Simple Home put ornaments is a bird cage, and isn't it pretty?

Okay, let's see what you've tweaked this week.

Paintings, A Phone Call & A Visit

Are you familiar with Janet Hill's paintings? I have I think five of her prints, and I adore them. There are three on my gallery wall...

The one in the lower center is hers. As well as the two middle ones at each end.

I have several in my kitchen. Here is one...

I got to see my nine month old grandson Andrew yesterday. He is getting cuter every day, and is now sometimes standing up on his own. He looks as amazed as everyone else!

My daughter came to get me. They have a beautiful home. A kitchen open to the large living area. The architect, or builder, set up this house layout very well. The kitchen island is probably the size of my whole kitchen!

I met Gizmo, the Boston Terrier rescue. Gizmo seemed to like to sit in my lap. Abi and Charlie would have been livid!

It snowed, and sleeted a little. Then the sun came out.  Andrew was asleep when my daughter took me home. I missed him before I even got inside my door. 

On to other topics: There is a trend in Blog Land I'm noticing lately, and it's driving me crazy. No sooner than you click on some blogs, than a big display comes up, obscuring your view, trying to get you to sign up for their daily posts. 

I don't know about you, but that makes me do the very opposite. I am not going to be steered into signing up for a blog just because that seems the easiest way to get past the big sign-up page and on to the blog. 

That will not get my vote. That will make me click off that blog and move on. Has this happened to you? Annoying at the very least.

And another trend I've noticed that irks me: Some bloggers have taken the date off their blog posts. Well, I don't want to wonder if I'm reading something written today or three months ago. What about you?

I have tried to get my blog ads situated where they're not so obtrusive. So please let me know if they are and I'll do what I can to fix it. 

I've had this nagging UTI/bladder infection (I'm assuming) for about a week now. It got worse on Christmas, and by Friday I was calling the doctor's office to see if I could get something. I hate antibiotics, but I wanted to get to see Andrew.

It has zapped me of energy and I have been so uncomfortable. I know all women hate to see these things coming round the bend. My right side underneath my ribs and my lower right back aches continuously.

I'm on Day 3 of the antibiotic I was given over the phone for such infections. Not feeling better yet. I can't imagine what else this would be. And another aggravation: it bothers my bladder to drink my morning cup of coffee, and I drink half decaffeinated. So I can only take a few sips a day.

I was exhausted when I woke up this morning, which is very unusual for me, as I'm a morning person. So I decided that I'm just going to stay in bed today, work on the computer, maybe read a book, and stare out at the snow patches on the patio. 

The sweetest lady (accidentally) phoned me yesterday. When I answered and she realized I wasn't who she intended to call, she said "Well, I'm so sorry for having bothered you." I said: "Don't worry about it, I do it all the time." 

"Well," she said, "thanks for being so kind. And a Happy New Year to you." "Happy New Year to you, " I said. And we hung up. 

I had to cancel all my PT sessions last week due to feeling sick, so I have to catch up a week. I hate having gotten behind. Plus, the holidays always get me. Though I tell myself each and every year that I won't let it happen. But then maybe it happens to everyone. 

Anyway, the phone call from the stranger made me smile. And I got to see little Andrew. So there were several things to smile about yesterday. I'll be smiling even more when I can drink my one cup of coffee a day!

Owning Less Is Trending

No doubt about it, tiny homes and owning less has become big throughout the US. There are TV shows now about people scaling down and moving their families into much smaller dwellings. 

So what do you really need? First, how many people live in your home? 

If you are a couple or a single individual, these things will apply to you. So as you read these tips, keep in mind that this is for 1-2 individuals per household. 

Kitchens: Most of you know that I had the stove in my one-bedroom patio apartment taken out by the management. I turned many heads both online and in this complex. 

But I really needed a portable washer/dryer (in one unit) more than I felt I needed a stove, as I don't cook as much as I once did. Plus, I have an ankle injury that makes it hard to take my laundry to a laundromat. 

This unit washes, then you turn it to dry. Since it isn't plumbed, it runs on a 110. Which means it takes a long time to wash and dry. Mostly to dry. But the complex where I live doesn't have plumbing for washers, so, after much research, this was what I chose to do.

I take towels out after a short time and hang them over chairs to dry. Clothing I have never dried all the way. It shortens the life of clothing to dry them all the way. 

So the stove went, replaced in that exact spot by the refrigerator. And the washer/dryer replaced the spot that was taken up by the refrigerator. I found that this layout actually looked more pleasing. 

I had a microwave, a toaster, and a panani maker. Later I purchased a Breville smart oven, that will cook and bake most anything. I bought an electric skillet that I have yet to use. So it seems I didn't need that as much as I thought. And I purchased a crock pot. 

The Breville and microwave are on what I call my cooking station. Which is a kitchen cart on wheels that no one wanted. I painted it and it accommodates what I need nicely. 

The Breville is my favorite to use. I made a pumpkin pie this week, and I am very pleased with how well it cooks everything.

So if I had to choose what I really like/need, it would be the microwave, the Breville and the crockpot. And I probably don't even need the microwave. 

Dining Rooms Or Spaces: Moving on to the dining area, which is quite small and an extension of the living area. I have a small table found at a garage sale ($10), and two indoor/outdoor chairs that are quite comfy. If needed, they could go out to my large privacy fenced patio to provide seating. 

I used a potting bench I've had for years to use as my coffee station. Underneath, where I use to put potting soil and tools, I now put paper towels, dog food, etc. Not an inch is wasted. 

In the living room, I scaled down from a couch and recliners to a chaise couch and two wicker indoor/outdoor chairs. Once again, these chairs could also be used outdoors, doubling their value for me. And they are light-weight.

Dual Purpose Items: When you live in a small space or are simply looking to downsize, use things that can serve dual purposes. 

At my old house, I had an office. But here I use a sewing machine table in my bedroom for my desktop computer. 

Books: I am a book lover. Not a Nook or Kindle lover, but a true book lover. Three or four times a year I go through my books in the bedroom book shelves and give many away. 

What To Keep/What To Purge? Well, that is a personal choice of course. But I personally purged many things in the kitchen, such as dishes and glasses and pots and pans.  

Well, do the math. You don't need three sets or even two sets of anything. One will do fine. The rest is just overkill.

Open Cabinets: I have few cabinets, and three have no doors, because I prefer that look and it visually opens up the small space. 

I find that open cabinets keep you organized.

People always worry about dust, but I've only dusted underneath everything once. (Sometimes I think people use that as a reason to keep the doors on and crammed full!)

I have my food staples in one cabinet, as there is no pantry. So I have to be cautious about how much I buy. 

I also purged much of what was in my bedroom walk-in closet, so now I have one shelf designated for when I buy extra (as I shop online so much) because I can line coffee, cereal, etc. up on the closet shelf.

Look Vertical: I bought two small shelves for $3 each, painted them, and placed them above my coffee station. They are just big enough to hold coffee mugs with dishes behind them. 

I hang quilts on the walls because I don't want to keep them in a trunk all folded up where I can't enjoy looking at them. They can be used as art!

Knick-Knacks: Each time I've moved, which is twice now in the past three years, I have purged a lot in terms of knick-knacks before each move. Each time I've let go of at least one more little collection I had previously told myself I couldn't ever give up. 

But I did, and I found I don't miss them. So off they went to a good friend.

Gallery Walls: Going vertical once again, I createe a gallery wall. I absolutely love mine. I sit here on the couch and it is directly across from me. I can enjoy the things I truly love, and am not wasting precious horizontal space.

Bed Linens: I only have one bed, so I don't need a lot of bed linens. I have a double bed, and picked it up for $35. I don't like matchy-match linens on my bed. I like to make it fun and put various colors together, just like with dishes. 

Storage: Storage is always a biggie. I have two vintage picnic baskets that I've been toting around for years. And I won't get rid of them. Because you can store quite a bit in a picnic basket. So it serves more than one need. I like the aesthetic value, plus the added bonus of storage.

When the weather is nice, I spend a lot of time with the pupsters out here on the patio. Seating space on your patio extends your living space. Plus there are all the pretty plants and birds to enjoy.

I am sitting here in the living room in front of one of my two stoves enjoying the heat. It is snowing outside. What more can one ask for?

(Read this wonderful article from Apartment Therapy about what to get rid of and what to keep in the kitchen.)

Here is a great blog about living a minimalist life. A family decided this was the way to go and are very happy with their decision. 

So are you ready to box up things for charity yet? Or are you satisfied with the status quo?

Mixing Things Up & A Writing Course

So you know I've been bitten by the "Boho bug."

I've gathered ten photos. Five are from BH&G and are a current day blogger's home. Five are from a post on Boho style at Design Sponge.

Let's have a little quiz. See if you can pick which are which. Which photo is from BH&G, and which photo is from Design Sponge?

And after you're looked at photos 1-10 and written down your answer, then go look at the source underneath each photo for the answer. 

I think you'll see what I see: that the two styles overlap. Which makes me very happy. 

Because I don't want to do away with the look I have. I just want to add to it.

And subtract from it...

And blend the two.

Into my own unique statement.

A plan has begun to formulate in my mind. I can begin to envision what look I want. It won't be totally one style. It will be a combination of three or four. 

And in many ways, I'll recycle what I already have.

I'm kind of excited to start the new year and see what happens!

(The BH&G photos are from the Vintage Revivals blog.)
(The others are from Design Sponge)

Another thing I want to mention is that my creative writing course is now open for signing up. It is a course you can do at your own pace, whenever and however you choose. You can check it out here. And I also have it on my sidebar.

Have A Merry Christmas Day!