Thursday, April 23, 2015

Sorority of Motherhood

Insecurity is something we all deal with. Through the good, the bad, and the ugly, it’s our little fear that we like to keep tucked away and hidden in that secret place in our mind while hoping like hell, no one uncovers it. 

This topic came up last night in my church group and the question was asked “what was an insecurity you had and how did you over come it, thus bringing you closer to God”. Well,  I raised my hand and told a story of one of my biggest insecurities and how I dealt with it, thus spurring some ladies in my group to tell me I should share the story here on my blog. That said (for my Flavour Ladies) it's the topic of today’s post and here it goes.SOM16196313

Several years ago, I worked at a place crawling with college graduates. It seemed like at the time, they all went to college, had been in sororities or fraternities, had degrees, etc…that is…except for little ol’ me.  That was the hardest thing for me to swallow. I always tensed up when the topic of “what school did you graduate from”, came up and I would bow out and turn to go the other direction or shy away and never even enter the conversation. It was just my thing. I was embarrassed that I didn’t go to college and preferred everyone just assume I had. I was BIG TIME insecure. That is, until someone popped up in my work life and unbeknownst to him, he ended up helping me see things differently. 

His name was Bill and he was a big wig consultant from New York. He had his MBA and who knows what else behind his name. Bill consulted for big companies like Carnival Cruise Lines to name one and came to our company to do the same. The thing was, since he needed to know all the in’s and out’s of our company, he went through each department and learned everything about how we worked. Since I helped train our Customer Service Department, I ended up having to train him in our department work flow. Want to talk about scared shitless…yep, that was the predicament I was in. But I put my big girl panties and did it.  Needless to say we became fast friends although he was still intimidating as hell.  

Bill knew I had a fear of public speaking and pressured me into joining Toastmasters which we held weekly meetings for at work. I reluctantly joined per his request and the first thing I had to do after just a few meetings was give my first Ice Breaker Speech. I had to talk about myself and opted to be honest and tell them about what made me the most insecure. For the first time in a long time, it actually worked out for me.

My speech was entitled “Sorority of Motherhood”. I don’t have a copy of it (it was that many years ago) but I can tell you that it was hard to get through when you put yourself out there for the world to hear, especially people you are intimidated by and talk about none other than your biggest insecurity. My saving grace was that Sammy(my husband) was there for moral support. In my speech I talked about  how I never went to college but always wanted to go and that I had been insecure working amongst those who had gone. I spoke of wanting to join a sorority and I think that part hurt the most. So in my speech I told of how my life was it’s own sort of sorority. Not one from the college life but just life being a mom. I spoke of how instead of purchasing cases of beer like my friends were able to, I was purchasing cases of baby formula. Instead of joining study groups, I was in "Mommy and Me" groups. Instead of joining my beloved sorority even with all it’s drama, I had my “mommy’ friends and shared in all their marriage life drama’s.  But after all was said and done, I looked at my life and saw that I did join my sorority after all. It wasn’t like I had envisioned, but I was in my own groups, doing the things that I was meant to do and in fact, pretty damn happy about the way my life turned out, college or not.  So while my co- workers had their college degrees, well mine wasn’t a degree form school per se, but I sure as hell earned my degree in life and all that I'd endured with my girls and my husband. And that made me who I am and because of this, I am happy. 

I remember seeing Bill in the audience with tears in his eyes. To say I was floored was understatement! I learned after the meeting that while I was giving my speech he took a look at his own life and realized how little he had. He was single with a dog and the thing I made him question the most was - “ What did he truly have?”. He had no family he’d created. and no kids of his own. AGAIN, this was a big wig and someone I looked up to and was intimidated by.  I couldn’t even believe what I was hearing. Here I stood, a once young mom, uneducated, nothing to offer the world,  afraid to speak in public, no titles after my name, had only ever traveled in Texas, and I had this New Yorker, Consultant extraordinaire questioning his life!?!?

It made me really look at myself and what I had and accomplished with my limited schooling, and though I didn’t realize at the time, it was the path God chose for me. He had me all figured out and I never had a reason to be insecure. The thought that comes to mind about the question asked last night on how it brought me closer to God, I think is simply this. It made me be honest with myself and LOVE who I am. I can’t change my past, but it’s what made me, ME! And instead of asking why, how come, what if…, embrace the the road you’re on because it is the one paved by Him. Besides, you never, ever know who is standing along the side of your road and watching you in awe! It may even be the person you least expected. 

Rita

Friday, February 27, 2015

Our Sister Road Trip!

Have you ever had the chance to go to thrift stores all over a city you don’t live in and experience the high of rummaging through unconquered territory?? I have to say the feeling is quite remarkable. To put it into terms a Fashionista would understand (which is not me by a long shot)…it’s like getting the chance to rummage through your new friends closet and picking out what you want. Only it doesn’t stop at just one. You have a day of digging through multiple friends’ closets. You get to look at their scarves, shoes, shirts, skirts… and it’s all yours for the taking!! Have I peaked your mind yet???

Ok now pretend you have one day to do it and only a few hours to do it in. And not only that, you are looking for something specific and times running out. Boo… yeah it’s not quite the high you were hoping for and quite frankly it blows tissue puffs! (This is my new expression)

This is the scenario of what I did this past weekend. My sister Andrea and I moved our younger sister Olivia, to her new home of Austin Texas.

We got up early on Saturday morning and came back the same night, so we were limited in our “shopping around Austin” time. Once Liv gave us the list of items she still needed for her new place, we busted out my phone and mapped the top thrift stores in Austin. You KNOW I was on cloud nine when I heard about our venture. It was like someone poured coffee on me and it electrified every little tendon in my thrift store loving system. It was on!

BUT…..a few hours and over 10 thrift stores later…we found one single side chair. That’s it. Nothing more. And you have to know that we were like mad women in search of a treasure!! The hardest part was that we didn’t have time to really RUMMAGE through all the other goods the stores had to offer. We were on a time crunch after all ;(

It was pretty defeating not to have found what we were looking for, but it didn’t take long for us to realize that at the end of the day, it didn’t really matter all that much after all. Just spending the day together (like crazed women) in a new city was quite awesome! We laughed like crazy, talked about life, dreams, passions, kids, art, creativity, just about everything really. We learned a lot about each other on this little road trip even when we were delirious near the end. I found out that one sister is to espresso as I am to wine. We gave one sis a new nickname... Big Silky! We were inspired by all of what Austin has to offer (see photo below). Liv Facebooked my quote of the day “Either do what you  LOVE today or want to stab your eyes our tomorrow’ which was said to her when discussing following your dreams.

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           (Vintage awesomeness found in  Liv’s new home! Care of Austin Texas!!)

It was truly a great day regardless of the non-thrift store finds. What we found was more than any thrift store treasure had to offer. So here’s to road trips, sisters, espresso, old school music, and quotable quotes!

Love you girls!
Rita

Monday, February 16, 2015

Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder

I knew it would strike at some point or another.  My lack of blogging finally got the better of me and I had to come up with something, anything to paint and fill this before-and-after gap. So here it is --- Finally!

Last week I remembered I bought this chest of drawers which I picked up for twenty dollars at a yard sale to go in Ashley’s room. Since she’s off at college, we mainly keep the door closed to her room and I tend to forget what lurks behind it. I hadn’t really even decided on a color choice but since I love gray and she loves yellow, I married the two and came up with this.

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This was what it looked like before (Iphone pic) Yuk, right?!

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I’d actually tried to get new drawer pulls but didn’t find any that I loved. I had two in hand that were major possibilities but with a price tag of $60, I couldn’t see spending that much. I thought the rustic gray would look beautiful offset with the new yellow pulls I had in mind, but instead opted to buy a $2.50 tub of yellow paint and just DIY my own handles.

I think for a project that cost under $25, it came out pretty damn awesome!

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So, in the end I KNOW Ashley will love it, I love it, I got a chance to blog about it, and I didn’t break the bank in the process. It’s crazy what little make up will do for not only 40 year olds but furniture too, haha!

…now what to get my hands on next….

Rita ;)

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

41st Birthday

I’m turning 41 today and with that comes the outlook on a new year. Well for me anyway, it starts on my birthday rather than New Year’s Day. It’s also a time of reflection and seeing where my life has taken me, as well as where it will lead. joy in journey

As you can tell from the lack of posting, I’ve kept out of the blog life and pretty much to myself. I’ve learned a lot about myself this past year, grown spiritually, and even at the ripe old age of 41, am still finding my way in life.

If  you’re wondering what I’ve done with my painting, well as far as the ‘furniture’ life goes, it’s been VERY simple. I’ve only done small pieces here and there but don’t get me wrong, that love will never go away nor do I plan on stopping. As far as my blogging about it, well, that still remains to be seen., I just hope you don’t mind getting small glimpses here and there and maybe a few LIFE posts along the way. I actually contemplated taking down my blog all together but selfishly, I know I would miss it, and who doesn’t love getting comments that make you feel great about yourself, right?

Now lets talk about the “spiritual” topic a bit without getting all weird about it. Truth is I found a new church this past year and one of the things I absolutely love about it is a woman’s group I attend there. I mean if I wasn’t all for the ‘power of women’ before, I SO am now!

Ok, I have to break off a second here and tell you about a friend I met there. It’s funny I promise and so very me. Anyway, some of the groups are broken down into categories such as single moms, mixed families, mothers with toddlers, etc. Well since I didn’t really fit into any category, I tagged along with my sister to hers which was for single moms.  The first day I got there, my now friend Lacey who helps lead the group, was talking about having asthma (I promise we talk about God too), anyway, she mentioned coffee having something in it that helps asthma so when she found her way to Starbucks for a Pumpkin Spice Latte, more often then she should, she told herself it was for her health! It was keeping her alive!  At that moment, I just knew… we were soul mates. So I told her we were soul mates and were meant to be friends forever!!  The rest is history! Isn’t it funny how God works?! He just had to get someone to mention a PSL and He had me! There was no turning back!

Truthfully, we are real women, leading real lives with real issues, and more beauty then we give ourselves credit for. I love that I’m apart of these ladies and that I get to learn weekly how precious I really am as well!

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Lastly, before I end and who knows when you’ll get to read a piece of the inner workings of my mind,  I wanted to write a little bit more about my blog and the direction it may inevitably go.  The thing is, I asked Sammy for a journal for my birthday that is big enough to write in daily. I’m talking 365 entries. For some of you, this may be a daily thing and not much of a challenge as it would be for me. I actually did it once years ago and it was harder than I thought but I decided this was the year to do it again. I considered doing it here and it would be a DAILY BLOG FOR 365 DAYS. Wow, that is like crazy talk! In the end I decided doing it on paper rather than blasting it all over the internet. Especially if someone I may have an issue with reads my blog. That. is. not. good.  Still, there’s a part of  me where that thought still lingers. More than anything, it’s just knowing the feedback I would get, the lives I may or may not touch, friendships to be made, heck even if it is for a good laugh. You never know what part you will play in someone’s life until you put yourself out there. Hence… I’m keeping the blog up!  You’re probably thinking I’m Bi-polar since I mentioned taking the blog down and writing in it for 365 days all in one post. Don’t worry, I’m not. I’m just forewarning you that if I don’t get it all out in my daily journal, be prepared to read all about it here.

So thanks in advance for sticking with me as I explore being 41!change 

OH! A quick shout out to Sammy (my husband) who celebrated our 20 year anniversary this past December! Twenty years with this girl…you deserve a medal!

Love,
Rita

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pintrest Party- Frames!!

I FINALLY had my first Pinterest Party and man did I have a blast!  You saw the frames I made the other day which you can see here, well I showed them to my church group and we all decided it would be fun to create some while having our “girl time”.  I’m so glad we did it and especially for the group I shared this awesome time with.

Before I show you the scenes to our party, let me just add that my main point of having this Pintrest Party with our church group is for some female bonding. We all go through life (as women) putting ourselves last. Mom first, wife first, bills, chores, cooking, you name it, it all comes first. But how often do we sit down with a girl friend and just relax and talk. Not just about the chores in our life but about us? As a woman who actually like to read, or draw, or make soap. I just threw that last one in there :) We all have passions, we all have stress, and we all need “things” in our lives that sometimes only our friends can provide. Even if it’s just an ear. My suggestion is to get a group together, sit down and fill those needs. We’re women and we do EVERYTHING all the time anyway, even when we don’t want to, so take a few hours out of your lives, call your friends and drink coffee, eat snacks and craft or cook or whatever floats your boat!

I chose to make the frame because it was easy enough to paint and dry in the time limit we had and though I get that not everyone likes crafting as much as I do, after tonight, they all left with an incredible piece of art! Not to mention when they see it in their homes, it will be a reminder that  THEY DID THIS,  and for some, that they were more creative than they probably gave themselves credit for!

So thanks again LADIES for the great time and letting me have my first Pinterst Party! Oh and let’s not forget the COFFEE and Pumpkin Spice Creamer!! yummmmm!

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…let me know when you want to schedule your party…I’m ready for another one :)

(oh and this time I’ll remember to use the correct setting on my camera :( I had it set on “outside”the whole time..I’m awful at this!)

Rita

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

What Not To Do When You’re Known To Paint Furniture :(

This will probably be a longer post but only because I feel like I have to defend myself! Consider yourself warned :)

So, first, if I had to say what kind of style I had as far as my home goes, I’d have to say – Eclectic. Well either that or “colorful”. I tend to choose things for my home that have color, make me happy, and are not matchy,-matchy.  I will always stand by my rule that your furniture should make you happy! If it doesn’t, do yourself a favor and change that now. 

That being said, I tend to not follow that rule for everything in my house and that’s the sole purpose of this post. I failed myself!

Now, just to give you some background into my house, it was built in the 50’s and has an open plan that flows from the living room to the dining room and the kitchen.  Years ago, it was said to have burned leaving only a quarter of the base still standing.  The people we purchased it from flip houses and rebuilt the house on that same open plan.

Here’s where it gets tricky.  When they renovated the kitchen, I’m not quite sure what they had in mind to do, but I believe the original plan was to put the refrigerator on the right hand side of the pantry but instead it went on the left leaving one big gapping hole.

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Here’s a picture from living room. You can imagine it goes all the way down to the floor but serves no purpose at all.

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We were lucky enough to find a table and stools that fit perfectly in that space and they’ve basically been there since we purchased the home. Maybe a year or so after.

Now here’s the bad part…

I’ve never done anything to it…as in no painting, no updating, no fixing…nothing. I’ve basically left it there to rot. And I’ve secretly hated it for years.

My name is Rita, I love to paint furniture…and I’ve neglected one of my own pieces of furniture. Meanwhile I pick up peoples trash, I go to thrift stores for great finds…and I ….gasp!…paint peoples furniture for money….And I STILL NEGLECTED AND HATED THIS TABLE! (hanging my head in shame).

This is it in all it’s glory.

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                                SAME MANUFACTURER COLOR
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                                         BROKEN SPINDLE
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        CANING THAT LEAVES MARKS ON YOUR LEGS AND REAR!
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              STAINS, SCRATCHES, CHIPPING, WATER MARKS!!

Commence judgment! I know I have it coming.

I think the worse part of this table are the wobbly chairs that literally cut in to your skin. I hate to sit there but it fills the hole so I’ve left it.  I know, I know… this is what you don’t do when people know you’re all about furniture. I feel like Mommy Dearest. 

Well, thankfully that changed this weekend when we went to Target and found some metal stools on sale. I fell in love with them and knew they’d be perfect for this little table but would NEVER put them next to it without some major updating.

I came up with a plan to make this table go from looking, well as modern as you can get without the physical abuse it’s endured, to old and warn.  I especially wanted the old weathered look paired with the modern day metal stools.  That’s what I mean by Eclectic!!

This is her now painted in Miss Mustard Seed Paint- Yellow. I LOVEEEEEE the chippy paint. The top got a Golden Oak stain and voila, she’s beautiful!

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And now I’m quite honored to call her my new little nook! And guess what?? These stools are so round that I can actually sit on them and cross my legs, which isn’t ergonomically correct at all , but I love to sit this way!! And they don’t cut my legs which is another plus!


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I’m sitting here now, drinking coffee and writing this post and I have to say, it feels amazing. I would completely avoid this area before but not now. Now, it’s MY LITTLE NOOK! Can’t you just see me sitting here in love?!

I hope you enjoyed my updates this week! I’ll try not to stay gone so long and more importantly…stop avoiding my furniture!

Rita

Monday, October 20, 2014

Minor Updating and Small Little Eyesores!

I’ve had my eye on a small project in my bathroom that desperately needed an update. But like most of those “I’ve got to get to it..” projects, it was overlooked a lot! But this weekend I changed that! I bought some spray paint and gave it, it’s much needed face lift.

This is embarrassing, well actually not quite as embarrassing as the next project I’ll feature this week. Eek! That one was UGLY!! But it was pretty up there. OK ready for this??

This is the little basket caddy (I have no idea what it’s called), that happens to fit perfectly in a little corner of the bathroom. Hence, I can’t get rid of it. 

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It actually started out black but it got to this state eventually which I’d like to think is due to the stress of living in my household.  This grey background doesn’t help but you get the point.

OH and here is the top, scratches and all!

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I know you’re judging me but you can really just hold that judging for my next post. SERIOUSLY! I won’t blame you!

I decided to use grey and white to pick up on the shower curtain. It’ll work for now. At least until I change the wall color. But I’m still debating that one. Here it is now in it’s old spot. And trying to get a good shot of it while maneuvering on the pot was quite difficult!!

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And because you deserve a peek around the room…here it is!

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Rita :)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

When All Else Fails… Craft!

Hey guys how have ya’ll been? I just had a quick project I wanted to share with you that I made this weekend! I actually saw this awesome frame on a wall where my church group meets and fell in love!! Isn’t it gorgeous?!

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It really got the creative juices going in my mind and I decided to do a knock off of this for a Pintrest Party I’m planning with these ladies! But as any good crafter knows, you have to create said project first to see how it all pans out, gather costs, and plan accordingly.  So that’s just what I did this weekend ;)

First I gathered supplies. I wanted to do something very affordable and as you can see from the picture above, you’re looking at a minimum, $25 project. Not gonna work for me, so I looked around and this is what I came up with.

First of all the wood on the original picture is a thicker bead board so I found a lower grade style and cut it down to size.  Then I found two wood frame cut outs at Michael’s. The intricate one to the right was $4 (reasonable) and the simple one to the left was only $1(even better).

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Since I LLLOOOOOVVVEEEE Chevron, I thought it would be better paired with the simple frame, and placed the intricate frame on a soft grey background. I think they came out pretty nice considering they were my first attempts haha! I’m just hoping my new friends at church have as much fun with this project as I did!

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Total cost per frame was : $10 for the blue intricate frame and $5 for the yellow with Chevron.

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I’ll keep you posted on our little party once we pick a date!

Crafts…
Coffee…
Friends….
…yep, count me in!

Rita ;)