Friday Favorites is a series where we share small, seemingly mundane moments from the past week – little details, often overlooked, that comprise this thing we call life.
This week brought an unusual amount of renovation-related dilemmas. It seems not one decision – no matter how small – can be made without a domino effect of mishaps and unexpected issues to follow.
Building a house from scratch is hard work – but it’s even harder when you’re renovating an old one. Every corner you turn, you’re met with problematic circumstances that reveal the house’s old age.
Renovating may seem like fun and games when I’m sharing our latest home accessories deliveries on Snapchat, but truth is, it’s been tough – emotionally, financially, physically – and it’s definitely taking a toll on all spheres of our life.
As a result, I’ve been looking forward to this week’s Friday Favorites post – if only because it would give me a chance to focus on the many, many positive details of last week that have a tendency to be overshadowed by the more prominent negativity.
To start, I’ve recently started reading “When Things Fall Apart” by Pema Chödrön. Although based on Buddhist teachings, the book explores a universal topic of how to live in the midst of chaotic situations. I can’t help but notice the irony, given our current situation of what often feels like total chaos. I may not agree with everything she writes, but I definitely think it’s important to learn from painful and helpless situations rather than simply waiting for them to pass.
In case you’re beginning to think, “Sounds like total nonsense,” here’s one of my favorite excerpts:
“We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together, and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.”
Something else that has served as encouragement in light of the stress of renovating are two podcasts from two of my favorite blogs – Sherry and John from “Young House Love” and Chris and Julia from “Chris Loves Julia.” Hearing others tell horror stories, along with stories of success, about renovating gives you a different perspective on your own situation; plus, podcasts in general have made my one-hour commute to and one-hour commute from work infinitely more pleasant. Are you a fan of podcasts? What are some of your favorites? I’d love to add some new material to my playlist!
Moving on, if you’re a fan of makeover-style shows, you will adore Christina’s blog, Phoenix Restoration. Christina is a total pro at taking a dinged up piece of furniture and giving it a new life.
When I think of furniture makeovers, the first image that comes to mind is a shabby chic-style retro piece that, in my personal opinion, looks just as tacky after the makeover as it did before. Not when Christina is done with it, though! She’s got an incredible eye for unique pieces, which she scrounges from Craigslist and OfferUp – but more than that, she is able to redesign each piece of furniture in a way that looks infinitely better than it did in its original state. I’m swooning over the transformation of her dresser-turned-bar, with DIY lucite and brass handles!
Christina also operates an Etsy shop, where she sells some of her refurbished furniture. Best part? Christina is an open book when it comes to her painting techniques, makeover processes and, really, just about anything you wish to know. I find people like her so inspiring, because it’s rare to meet someone who is willing to share their knowledge about a particular topic on which their entire business is built.
Speaking of furniture, I am currently working on a fun collaboration with Wayfair on testing and reviewing (and, of course, blogging about) some of their outdoor furniture collections. The set I chose is due to arrive next week, and for someone who claims to love entertaining, I’m a little embarrassed at the realization that the husband and I have never had real furniture for our patio. Stay tuned for the full post, but in the meantime if you wish to daydream about al fresco dining, check out Emily Henderson’s recent patio reveal.
Tell me about your week! What are you doing, searching for, thinking about, and obsessing over these days? If you feel inclined to share, please do so in the comments section, below.
Have a great weekend!
Image via Phoenix Restoration