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Brenda has been writing since grade school. She attended journalism school where she majored in professional writing. She loves to decorate, garden, read and spend time with her Yorkies.

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How I Celebrated The Holidays


Well, I did not do the conventional things most of you probably did on Christmas Eve and Christmas, but I've never been quoted as being conventional anyway. 

What did I do? I painted my kitchen, living room and dining room. Bright white. 

Why bright white? Because it is what I had, what I had painted the kitchen cabinets with some months ago. And I don't like to waste paint. 

The only thing in its proper place this morning when I woke up was my coffee station. No way was I not having my coffee!




I had to make a run to Ace down the road to get another gallon of bright white paint 30 minutes before they were to close on Christmas Eve. 

And why did I suddenly decide to do all this? Well, I tend to make lots of "last minute" decisions! I'm not much of a planner.

First, Israel and I got the parts needed to put my kitchen cart together, of which there are no photos yet, last Monday. 

I gave him the little white island to give to his wife for Christmas, since there was no room for it. She happened to lose her job last week, due to her company being sold, so it was serendipitous I suppose. And I also paid him for his trouble.

I love my new and much bigger kitchen cart, and I really needed the storage. Here's where the painting came into play...

Once the cart was in place, then I of course had to decorate the walls around it. I would put up one thing, leave it a bit, decide I didn't like it, and take it down. 

This resulted in many nail holes and much frustration. Until finally I just took everything down and grabbed the paint can and brush and went to town.

But as you know, when you paint walls bright white and the walls that adjoin it are an off-white, the off-white looks dirty. So that led to my painting the living room (yes, I had to take everything off the gallery wall), and that led to the dining area (yes, I had to take everything off the wall above my desk). Around each window (yes, that meant taking the curtains down too). 

And if someone tells you you can use those Command strips to put something on the wall, beware. I put those clip boards up above my desk with the printed out printables clipped to them. But when I took them off the wall, I took part of the wall with it. 

Oh. No. 

I either didn't use the right kind, or my walls didn't like them.

So now I'm trying to repair that. It is the only area not painted. There are about five or six big patches that I have to fill. Joy, joy. 

Next up is trying to find something besides my fingernails to clean up the many white drips of paint I ended up with on the floor. I'm not known as a neat painter. 

No matter what I do, I end up with it in all the wrong places. And so far I've been using my fingernails to scrape it up, which are quickly getting sawed down. And this method will probably take me weeks. 

There are a lot of drips, though, yes, I laid down broken down cardboard boxes and taped the floor underneath the walls I was painting. Why this never works for me I don't know.

I remember my second husband once said: "Whatever you do, stay away from paint." Well, you see how well I listened to that advice. 

So today the pupsters and I are back in the bedroom, because every other space is a big mess. 

I have decided that 2016 is going to be my year of simplicity. I don't want as much stuff on the walls. I don't want as much stuff period. 

I rather like my white walls, now that it took my entire holiday to get them there. And I'm going to be more careful about what I nail into them.

And that's not the only reason. I just want less clutter overall. I am craving white space. So I don't want every conceivable spot covered with something.

My bedroom has the two quilts on the wall. And everything will stay the same in there. I simply don't have it in me to begin taking down everything and painting in there. 

And I like the bedroom the way it is, so off-white walls it shall be. There is a hallway that separates the bedroom from the rest of the rooms, so the paint change is not really noticeable.

I did cook a delicious crock pot roast yesterday that cooked away while I worked. Everything was such a mess I didn't even bother to cook anything else. I had put potatoes and carrots in it and it was so good I didn't feel the need for anything else.  

For the first time I used one of those crock pot bags you insert inside for less mess, and I believe I will now do this every time. No muss, no fuss! Just take it out and toss it!

I put some spices and a packet of onion soup mix and a packet of ranch dressing over the roast and it was yummy!

So I still have facing me some spots in the wall, and we're talking oh, six inch spots, that I'm working on filling. Rome wasn't built in a day. And then painting that section. 

I'm moving pretty slow today because of course I completely overdid it and my ankle is begging me to slow down. Whether I start putting things back today is up for grabs. Probably not. 

Abi is being clingy because I wasn't sitting next to her the past few days, and she whined and carried on and let me know about it. 

She is on the mend. But she still hasn't forgotten my feeding her by hand that icky canned food the day after surgery, and now she won't eat unless I keep doing it. Which means feeding Charlie by hand as well.

Abi is...Abi. And there's apparently no changing her.

So I hope you all had a wonderful and "conventional" Christmas with all the trimmings, if that floats your boat

Photos to come when things are back in place. I have no idea what it is I'm going to do yet, so it will be a surprise for me too!



Cozy Little House
41 Comments
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41 comments:

  1. That sounds as crazy as me, I do things on the spur of the moment and when it strikes me, so I totally understand. Can't wait to see all the changes.

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  2. Brenda, I can really relate to the whole one project leading to another....and another...! Can't wait to see your results! My Christmsas was very quiet but sweet this year. Also wanted to let you know the Fall Home tour was my second most viewed post of the year and I'll be including it and a link back to you as the gracious hostess in my feature tomorrow ;) Blessings, Cecilia

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  3. Hi, Brenda! I can completely relate to wanting simplicity in 2016--that's one of my goals, too. In fact, I packed away most of my Christmas things this morning because it just felt too cluttered around here...and I had scaled down significantly from other years! Ha!

    I'm excited to see all of your hard work!

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  4. Sounds like an interesting way to spend Christmas! I bet your place will look so fresh and clean with the white paint. Have you tried old sheets or drop cloths instead of cardboard for the drips?

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  5. So much more productive than the 2 days of snacking and watching reruns of old tv series Christmas episodes around here. We decorate spur of the moment, too. One year we waited until Friday of our vacation week when we woke up, went to the paint store, painted the living room, bought new curtains while the paint dried and did a living room makeover. And after almost 10 years of a white living room, about a year ago we were at Lowe's looking for gosh knows what when I spotted my new paint color that I totally never had any intention of doing. We went home with a dark sage green and I had to make a second trip for one more gallon (it is a big room). Never thought I wanted a green living room or that I even wanted to paint it, but we are in love with it and it has made the room so much warmer and cozier. I, too, used the Command strips. I understand the key is in gripping them correctly and pulling them the right way. I have been able to remove some, but I also have 2 "scars" where they removed some drywall along with the strips.

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  6. I do things when the mood strikes me, and if that's the middle of the night, so be it. I completely understand the desire for simplicity. I've been leaning toward that for the last few years. I find that having less things makes me feel more relaxed. If that makes any sense! So looking forward to seeing what you have been up to...

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  7. Good for you !!!! Something bad in the form of a virus is attached to your blog my virus company says its a Trojan virus. It attacks when I click on your daily post .

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    1. I don't believe it is on my end, Lexie. No one else has mentioned it. Was it your virus company, are you sure? Because this is a common scam.

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  8. Good Lord woman..you do change your mind a lot...lol...All I did yesterday was cook and stuff my face..lol..whatever you've done now...I'm sure I will love it and I am so anxious to see that new cart! Also those pups just make me laugh..it's always something with those two..lol..

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  9. It will be fun to see when you have everything settled down the line ! :) Your roast sounds wonderful / ha! now I am craving roast rather than leftover turkey :( I read this at the wrong time, lol!

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  10. A blank canvas! How fun! Can't wait to see your changes. Glad your Christmas was a healthy one, and you felt like doing this project. Best wishes for the new year!!!!

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  11. You sound like me in my single days! Ha! GooGone paint remover and a razor blade -- that's what you need. You paint like Ray!

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  12. I bet the white will be wonderful. Those command strips have never worked for me. I just don't get it. By the way, your puppies are such a trip(I love them) and don't they just rule your life......and isn't it wonderful to have them? My elder doggie, a cairn terrier, just came out crying with an apparent tummy ache. I ran her outside, she ran back in and immediately deposited her dinner on the living room rug. Why she had to do that Inside instead of out, I'll never know. I still love her cause she's "almost" perfect.

    Merry Christmas!!!

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  13. I will be looking forward to the photos, Brenda! I cooked all day and then ate all night!

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  14. I paint that way too. No matter how careful I am. I usually walk in the drips and track it all over. Sometimes hot vinegar softens paint, so it's easier to scrape off. Apply by soaking a cotton all and letting it sit a few minutes on the paint drips. A paste of cornmeal and hot water is suppose to work, It needs to sit on paint for 30 mins or more. I've never tried this one. too long to wait.

    Command strips are know for taking off plaster and paint where it's poor quality. I stopped using them on my walls. I have several spots I need to fix yet.

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  15. I'm really looking forward to seeing your new cart and your newly painted walls, Brenda! I use a smaller size drop cloth and when I don't feel like using that, I lay newspapers. I cooked and baked for Christmas Eve when our family came to our house; and yesterday I stayed in my pj's all day and we had HoneyBaked ham sandwiches and watched The Martian on iTunes last evening. A very restful day.

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  16. Lol one year when we had a huge snowstorm, I couldn't get to the family get together on Christmas. My kids were three and six and bored, of course! I had bought paint to redo my kitchen the following week but I wound up painting on Christmas Day with the kids! They had a lot of fun...of course after they went to bed I had a mess to clean up but so worth it! It made it fresh and new for the new year and made a memory for my kids! Sometimes that's better than the traditional day...can't wait to see your pictures!

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  17. I paint the same way you do. I've never been able to do it neatly. I can't wait to see pictures.

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  18. Try using "Goof Off" on an old rag and wiping the paint spots off. It works for me. I am getting ready to paint my laundry room and make red curtains. The I have to start on my foster daughters bedroom. Winter time is a good time for painting inside the house when its too cold to go out.

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  19. Also, using a sheet or other material is not a good thing. The paint will soak right thru it

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  20. Brenda, you amaze me! I'm glad you spent the day doing something that makes you smile. :)

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  21. Wow ! How adventuresome!!!
    I think however many of us there are --- there are that many ways to spend the holidays! About five or so years ago The Honey and I started going to see a movie on Christmas Day. Before that I never understood why people would... But now,it's something we look forward to doing! So your Christmas was well spent in my book!

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  22. How I laughed at your post! I did the same thing one Christmas and painted my dining room and living room a grayish blue -- I had received bad news and had to do SOMETHING. I paint well, BUT I am uber sloppy , and my hair, clothes, and skin are covered with paint. I certainly don't need a drop cloth, but spend endless times cleaning spots off my wood floor. Yep, I am impulsive as well! I just painted my entire new lil' farm house greige, and my family has bets when I change it! Hmmmmm, maybe white? Brenda, I so get your impulsivity (not a word) ! Don't you think that these traits are those of clever, creative, artistic, and just plain fun people? :/

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  23. Painting on Christmas. Sounds like something I would do if I didn't have company. I want lighter and brighter and less, too.

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  24. I hear you Brenda. I do things like that too. I usually come up with my best ideas late at night and start projects like painting then!!!! So I get it. With getting ready to close on this house and move I am getting rid of a lot of things. I want the less is more for moving too. Moving is daunting and trying to figure out what to take and what to keep. Just getting to old for this stuff. I cannot wait to see your projects.
    Kris

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  25. I can't wait to see what you do, Brenda - I have no doubt it will be gorgeous!!

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  26. Having a clear space makes a clear mind for myself. It must be the opposite of what a hoarder needs to feel comfortable. I have enough, but not too many accessories out.....and a small kitchen, so only mixer and a tiered fruit tray. The eye (and the soul) need a place to stop and "rest. I can't wait to put the christmas tree and decorations away. The living room opens up again! Glad you had the energy to get all that done.


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  27. It's good to know that I am not the only person who, when the mood strikes, starts doing a project right then! Looks like I have lots of company! I'm looking forward to seeing your changes and what you did with your new kitchen cart.

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  28. Your new bright white look sounds like a great start to 2016! I love how you just decided to do it over Christmas and did it! It will be fun putting things back and making your lovely arrangements when the fixing and painting is all finished.
    Helen xox

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  29. ahh. surprises are good. good for you for doing what you wanted. cant wait to see your space.

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  30. All of my walls are off white, except one room I haven't finished yet, but I plan on doing this winter. I love the light airy, less clutter look too. I am in the process now of destashing my craft and sewing room. And even though it hurts momentarily, I am giving away things I thought I couldn't live without, but haven't used in years. I think the older I get, the less I need or want. Looking forward to seeing your finished rooms.

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  31. I'm looking forward to seeing your photos of your newly painted walls and the new kitchen cart.

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  32. I go back and forth, some things I will just jump into on the spur of the moment and at other times I have to let an area in the house just sit in the back of my mind and stew for a bit. I painted one bit of my kitchen wall by the stove with white right before Christmas because after 4 years of a yellow kitchen I am going totally white! I bought individual hooks to hang my pots and pans on because I was dissatisfied with the garden rakes that had been up forever, and I didn't want to have to remove hooks to paint white when I tackle the rest of the kitchen next week. Meanwhile I have about 3 feet to finish painting gray in the upper hall and one door with trim to paint white also! I always have at least 3 projects going at once. I live in my childhood home, there are four generations living here at the moment and I am slowly redoing the whole house! My husband and I managed to be alone here Christmas day and it was pure bliss!!! Two steaks and baked potatoes!! Hope you have a wonderful New Years!!

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  33. Finally getting caught up on my reading...blogs. I moved and had the landlord paint the entire inside WHITE. It was a certain color beige and it looked dirty to me. I love all white because whatever you hang just POPS! When I moved in, it took me a while to decide what would go on the walls and what would not. I downsized my wall items considerably. I bought Annie Sloan's chalk paint. The bathroom sink cabinet was hideous...you know the kind, the fake wood kind. That stuff is amazing. Now I want to paint everything in sight, that is how easy it is. I am going to paint my kitchen cabinets next. Turquoise. Landlord said I could! Can't wait to see your reveal.

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  34. looking forward to seeing your white space Brenda... all the best for2016!

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  35. I am looking forward to your new decor..and haven't even finished looking at the old one..I am proud of you for finishing what you started! I would have probably gotten the mess started, everything off the walls ready...set...NO!!!!

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  36. Chanced upon your blog through Ash Tree Cottage I believe, and enjoyed your painting story. Reminded me of a friend who, whilst painting in the nude late one night, fell, couldn't get up and had to wait for neighbor (man) to hear her calls and come to her aid. I haven't painted in the nude since then, either! Blessings for a grand new year.

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  37. Running out on Christmas eve to get paint before store close.. That is something, I would do.lol
    Have fun and enjoy your new white walls.

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I always enjoy reading your comments and having you join the conversation here at Cozy Little House. It is like having a gathering of friends sitting in my cozy apartment. Enjoying coffee and dessert, chatting and having a good time. I appreciate each and every one of you!

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