6 Things Stories: My Office

I decided to start doing my “6 Things” series recently because I love how everything in a house has a story behind it. I started with 6 Things Stories: Our Den and now we are moving on to My Office.

While my office is filled with things that have all sorts of memories attached to them… I narrowed it down to just 6.

Thing 1: Cotton Monster

This is my very own Cotton Monster, handmade by a Baltimore-based fiber artist. Many years ago, I was at a work event that had a raffle and the Cotton Monster was one of the prizes. I wanted it SO BAD… and did not win it. However, one of the accounting partners at the firm I worked at DID win it by accident. And not even knowing how much I coveted it, walked by me on the way out of the event, handed it to me and said “enjoy” before disappearing off into the night.  

My adorable little monster is soft and ridiculous and always makes me smile! He also appears in the background of many of my #ootd pictures on Instagram, back when I used to leave the house regularly for work.

Thing 2: Voices of the Year Award

This is my Voices of the Year award (aka a VOTY), which is basically like the blogger version of the Emmy’s or the Tony’s. Back in 2016, I submitted one of my posts to be reviewed through a juried program with a minimum of three rounds of judging. Out of the thousands of submissions for the 2016 VOTY awards, fewer than 5% of them made it through to become an Honoree. The piece of writing that I was honored for was really special to me, because it is about some of the simple pleasures of being a mom. You can read it here: I Want You.

Thing 3: My Watercolor Painting

I’ve always been an artsy-fartsy-crafty kind of person. I love to create everything from tie-dyed shirts to embroidered pictures. I’ve tried pretty much every craft out there, including stained glass and hand throwing pottery on a wheel. I LOVE to create. However, I can’t draw worth a crap. At the beginning of the pandemic, I bought myself a watercolor set and an acrylics set and just allowed myself to play. This is one of the paintings I made and I love it.

Thing 4: Jack’s Note

Over the years, Jack has always been the kid who has made me little notes and pictures. One day a few years ago, he found a piece of wrapping paper and wrote this note on the back of it: To Mom. I love you so much. I like your hard work.” He painstakingly sounded out each word and carefully wrote each letter. Sure, some of the words are spelled wrong and he was a little loose with his capitalization and punctuation. But it is absolute perfection to my momma-heart.

Being a full time working mom is hard — I want to be awesome at my job and I want to be awesome at being a mom. I added Jack’s note to a photo frame with some pretty backing paper and it hangs right over my desk.

Thing 5: My Relaxation Corner

Each morning before I turn on my laptop for yet another day of pandemic inspired teleworking, I have a little ritual. I light a nice smelling candle and settle in with a cup of coffee, before attacking the emails that came in since I had logged off. If it’s a super stressful day, or I’m on a call where I have to keep my cool… you’ll probably find me with one of the little shells or rocks in my hand. Just smoothing it like a worry-stone. My friend sent me the llama-corn planter, but the plant that came in it is long gone. I recently bought a couple new ones… and they’re still alive. So yay!

Thing 6: All the Craft Organization

As I previously mentioned, I love being creative. This bookshelf is basically my home version of Michael’s. Do you want some embroidery floss to use for cross-stitching? Yup, got it. How about some super soft yarn to knit a blanket? Yup. Some jewelry making supplies? Some fabric paints? A metal stamping set? Glitter? Yup. Yup, Yup, and Hell Yup! Not only do I have a little bit of everything, it’s all organized and labeled so I can find whatever I need. So whenever inspiration strikes, I’m ready to create!

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Quick Change: Kitchen Knobs

It’s been quite a while since I talked about kitchen knobs… so let’s do a little refresher. Way back in 2012, I shared a post showing our bright gold kitchen hardware (Kitchen Changes, Part 1). I’m not a fan of gold, so I got all DIY up in here and spray painted them with Rustolium’s oil rubbed bronze paint. It was a whopping $6 and I was pretty happy with it. Then, four years later I did a little refresher because some of the gold was showing through (Redoing a DIY).

Well, it’s been 5 years… and it was time to deal with the knobs again.

This time, I decided to just buy new knobs so I wouldn’t have to fix them again in the future. I was never a huge fan of the old egg-shaped knobs and the weird bendy pulls. So, I did some online shopping on Home Depot’s website, as well as Amazon. I ended up ordering some options of Amazon… returning one. Then picking up two more options at Home Depot… and returning one more.

Here is what I ended up with:

While the cabinet knobs were a pretty easy choice, the drawer pulls were a pain the butt. I wanted ones that would fit into our existing drilled holes so I wouldn’t have to re-drill and patch up holes. However, the first ones I ordered off Amazon were supposed to have a 3” space between the screws… but they were about ¼ inch off.

Then, I took one of my pulls off my cabinets and held it up to every possible match at Home Depot, narrowed it down to 2, bought 11 of each of them and brought them home. I tried the options on and gave it a gander.

  • Top: the ones I picked
  • Middle: the ones I considered, but decided against
  • Bottom: our original pulls

Once I had all the proper pieces, the actual switching out of the hardware was super easy. I used a small screwdriver to remove the existing hardware, cleaned the cabinet with degreaser (I like Zep Heavy Duty Citrus Degreaser), and then put on the new knob.

The whole project cost just under $100 and was totally worth it. The new knobs and pulls really updated the look of our kitchen and the ‘hand-feel’ is just really nice and hearty. I’m super happy with the change (and the price) and now I’m looking around the house for some other easy DIY updates!

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DIY: A Quickie Pillow with PomPoms

Do you guys remember when I thrifted a load of fabric for a steal? That’s right, back in August I found some fabulous canvas or linen floral fabric. I eyeballed it at about 4 yards and it was marked at just $2.49 and then on sale for $1.25. For all of it. INSANE!

After sticking it in my sewing stuff box for a while, I had the random urge to be creative. So, I decided to pull out the fabric, a pillow form and some pompoms that I had sitting around for a little project.

In my opinion, the pompoms totally make the pillow! It’s actually not that much harder to add on the pompoms – you just pin them to the sides of the pillow and sew everything all together at once. I didn’t do a full tutorial because I pretty much just sew using common sense. Need two things to stick together? Pin them and then sew a straight line. Need to add some pompoms? Pin it on the line you are about to sew. Boom. Easy peasy, lemon squeezie.

Anywhoo, I added the pillow to my favorite little reading area in my den and look how cute it is!

Oh and if you want more of an instructional post. I found this one I wrote WAY BACK in 2012 showing how I made a pillow from a pack of napkins: The Hunt for the Perfect Yellow Pillow. It’s kind of crazy how much my house décor has changed over the past 9 years and it was especially nice to get a glimpse of my sweet dog Potter again!

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