It Must Be Worth It to be Worth It

I've always wanted to be a Mom.  Other girls wanted to be a doctor, a scientist, a business woman.  I wanted to be a Mom.

After college, I left my job at my grandparents' pet hospital to start a job as a clerk typist, telling myself it was just temporary until I got a real job that used my degree.

Two years later, I was promoted to eligibility worker.  I didn't enjoy my work, but it was a decent and stable income.  Not everyone can love their job, I told myself, and at least I was lucky enough to have a job.

We got married a few years later and decided we'd try to have a baby right away because, "Who knows how long it will take?"  But it didn't take long.  We married in September, decided in November that we would have a baby whenever it happened, and found out I was pregnant in December.

I knew I would have to continue working even after we had the baby.  I know.  I know.  "I thought you said you wanted to be a Mom!"  We lived in San Francisco, and if we wanted to ever move from our tiny one bedroom apartment, or be able to afford groceries, I had to keep my job, no matter how sad that made me.  And I reminded myself again how lucky I was to have a job, and that if I couldn't be a stay at home mom, then did it really matter what I did?  It was all the same since none of it meant I could be with my baby.

The day after I went to my first prenatal appointment, I started looking for a different job.  This was really happening, and we needed more money!

I applied to any position that paid even one penny more than my current position paid.  Five months later, I was terrified on day one of my new job, certain that I was not going to be able to do the work.  I was sure that somehow I had tricked the interview panel into choosing me and that I was going to fail miserably.

But I didn't fail.  I kind of even enjoyed it.  I worked for 6 weeks before leaving on maternity leave (a story for another time).

When my baby was 12 weeks old, and it was time to go back to work, I was very sad... more like depressed.  It just seemed so unnatural.  How could I be expected to leave my little tiny baby??

I reminded myself that I needed to go to work because I needed (along with my husband) to provide for our new little family.

Luckily for me, I worked for people (women who were mothers themselves!) that understood the difficulty of those first few weeks back at work.  They were supportive and helped me through the transition.  But I still was sad about not being able to be home with my baby, not being able to be the Mom I had wanted to be since I was little.  I started asking other mothers for advice.  "How did you do it?  What made it easier?  Did anything make it easier?  Did you hate yourself?  DO you hate yourself?"

And I found that all of them, even the women who didn't want to be stay at home moms like I did, had a hard time going back to work after their babies were born.  It was hard for everyone, and that was normal.  Yay!

I was speaking to our director one day, telling her I sometimes found it hard to be at work when I really wanted to be with my baby.  She sympathized and said she often felt the same way.  I was taken aback because she was so great at her job and seemed to be a natural "business woman," so I asked her how she did it.

She said, "I realized after having kids that I can't just have a job to have a job.  The income can't be the only factor for my job because money alone isn't enough to justify being away from my kids.  It must be worth it to be worth it.  I need to have a job that fills needs other that just financial ones."

It was an hallelujah moment for me.  She didn't explain why she needed to work outside of the home or to make herself feel better for doing it.  She accepted it as her reality and figured out how to make that reality something that helped her, rather than something she was working against.

With that in mind, I couldn't help but try for new projects at work and seek out promotive opportunities.  If I was going to have to be away from my kids anyways, why not put all of my effort into it and make it worth it?  It helped!  I got special assignments and was assigned to various extra projects and ultimately got a promotion!

Then I got pregnant again.  I just had my second baby 11 weeks ago.  So now, as I get ready to go back to work, and I find myself kissing both of my babies and crying to myself about how little time I'll see them during the day and all of the little things I'll be missing out on, I repeat her words over and over.

I'm still not someone who would keep working outside the home even it wasn't financially necessary.  I'm still someone who, when we can afford it, will be home with my kids as much as possible.  (And someone who knows this may never be the case.)  But as long as my reality is that I must work outside the home, I will make sure that I have a job that fills other needs.  I will put all of my work energy into making sure that my job is the best it can be, that I'm doing the best work that I can do, and that I'm getting the most out of it.  It must be worth it to be worth it.



Paternity Leave!

It's been nearly a week since my last posting.  Nothing especially busy was happening in our house... the week just got away from me.  :)

Patrick's first day of 12 weeks of paternity leave was Tuesday of this week.  We have about 2 weeks of overlap between his first day and my last day of maternity leave.  I go back the week after next.  The idea was that we would have this overlap so that he could observe our daily routine and the transition would be seamless for the kids.

During the last few months of my pregnancy, I started to hate lots of things.  Sleeping, peeing, walking, sitting, heartburn.  One of the things I really hated was hearing things like this at work: "Not too much longer until your vacation, eh?"  I wanted to hit everyone who said this.  (It came in different forms, including, "Won't you be happy to get a break?" and "I wish I could take a 12 week vacation!")

So Patrick has learned that referring to time home with two small kids as a vacation is not nice.  It's not even really safe, actually.

Even though he knows that, he still has a whole list of all of the things that he is going to get done while he is home with the kids.  And these are big things, not just things like organizing the hall closet.

These two days, it's been less "Daddy's home with us!" and more, "Daddy's home, but so is Mommy, so Mommy will be the go-to parent."  He's found time to do all of the things that he wants to do: mow the front yard, mow the back yard, do some line trimming, sand and re-stain the dining room table...

So we've decided that this week will be like a week that we both happen to have off, and next week will be the week where he shadows us while we go about our regular day.  We'll see how that goes.  I'll report back with how next week turns out, and I'll be sure to periodically provide updates on his 12 weeks home with the babies.

To be totally clear, Patrick's a great dad -- actually the best dad I know -- so I know he will do a great job.  I'm fortunate that he is a hands-on father, that he changes diapers, puts Avelynn down for naps, is receptive to feedback and does lots (most?) of the house chores.  But I just don't think he realizes how much work it really is to be home with the two kids.  This will be a great chance for both of us to appreciate the other a little bit more.

I know I'm not the only one who feels sometimes like he just doesn't get how much work it really is to be with the babies.  Have you dealt with this?  What did you do to help it be clearer to your partner that you're not just sitting at home, eating bon bons?  Let me know in the comments!



Hanging Dishes Without Ugly Wires!

After we painted the dining room and re-did the hutch, two things became obvious:
  1. We needed to do more, design-wise, in the dining room.  I know that I want to put some large wall art on the full blank wall, but I wasn't sure what to do with the hutch wall.  Extra shelves on either side?  Would that look weird?  What would I put on them?  What about above the hutch?
  2. We needed to scale back the amount of things on display in the hutch.  It was just too crowded before.  But this also meant that I didn't get to display all of the pretty, and sentimentally valuable, dishes I have.

Turns out, both of these problems have the same solution: hang the dishes on the wall.

I don't personally like the dish hanging wires like these:

Plate Hanging Wire, Amazon

I mean, I would use them in a different setting, maybe.  But I didn't really want the hooks around the edges of my dishes.

After some research, I found the perfect alternative: Disc Plate Hangers.

I did quite a bit of price research and the best deal I found was at dischangers.com.  I ordered a few of the first three sizes.  (The shipping was free!)  They arrived quickly, and I can happily report: they are so so easy to use (I mean, my toddler even helped me), and the results are awesome too.  Here's how we did it.

I knew that the first dishes I wanted to try this with were some colored dessert dishes I got from my great grandmother.  When I got them, there were 6 dishes, but one broke during our move to this house, so I only have five now.  (The one that broke was purple.)

You'll need:

  • Disc Hangers in the appropriate size
  • Dishes to hang
  • Something to clean the dishes (I used a little vinegar and cotton balls)
  • A little bit of water
  • Nails
  • A hammer
  • Measuring tape and pencil (optional)

Step 1
Clean your dish and dry completely.

Step 2
Use your finger to rub some water on the back side of the disc hanger.  This activates the glue.  (That's my toddler helping me out.)

Step 3
Let sit for 5 - 10 minutes until it becomes tacky.

Step 4
Apply the disc to the back of your dish.  Be sure to consider the orientation of the dish when hung.  I wanted these dishes to have one of the flutes at the top, so I attached the disc accordingly.  Push the disc firmly against the dish, pushing out any air bubbles.  Let sit overnight for the glue to set.

Step 5
Figure out where you want the dishes to hang.  I measured so that the dishes would be spaced evenly.  Mark the wall for the nails.

Step 6
Hang (hammer?) the nails.  (This step took a little longer than it should have because Patrick kept stopping to watch Tuesday night's World Series game and cheer for the Giants.  If I had him do this on Wednesday night instead, it may have gone faster.)  A little note here: I am fully capable of putting nails in a wall.  I am also kind of a control freak.  So in order for us to work together on projects, he does the hammering after I've measured and marked.  

Step 7
Hang your dishes!

This was a super easy project.  Anyone can do it.  As you can tell, I'm starting with the super easy projects, hoping to build our confidence so we can move on and up to slightly more difficult ones.

I know it still looks bare.  We've only done one little set of dishes and plan to hang more colored bowls above the hutch and some plates along the sides.  I'll post as soon as those are done.

I love the way it looks.  I can't wait for the other plates and dishes to go up.  It's a nice change from canvas art or framed pictures.

What do you think?  Do you like it?  Does it look too "old lady"?  Let me know in the comments!


Free shipping on all Target orders! (For a limited time)

Just a quick post:

I've mentioned quite a few times that I order online from Target on a fairly (embarrassingly) regular schedule.  Most of my orders are over $50, so I get free shipping.  However, there have been times when I've held off on ordering until I can fill my cart to the $50 minimum.

But for a limited time, there's no minimum for FREE SHIPPING from Target.com.

In addition to that savings, there are these other deals going on:

15% off select items, coupon code SNOOZE

Up to 65% off on Home items from 10/26/2014 to 11/1/2014



No-Spend Week

Uh... because we're addicted?

We are on a no-spend week.  We haven't officially done anything like this before.

We don't have a lot of debt weighing us down at all, but we decided to do it for a few reasons:
  1. We want to be completely 100% debt free.
  2. We need to use up what we have in our pantry so it doesn't all expire.
  3. We (I) need to be sure that we are thoughtfully considering our purchases before just buying things.
  4. We (P) want to see how the small little daily purchases add up.
So no-spend periods may become a regular thing around here.  Sad face.

For us, a no-spend period means we won't spend money on anything other than the essentials: gas, necessary groceries and essentials (doctor co-pays, parking costs at work, bridge toll).  No eating out at a restaurant or getting take out because we're tired.  No "oh that's so cute and it's on sale" purchases.  No "I'll just grab a coffee.  It's only $2.00."

Thing is, it's turning out that no-spend periods are a lot like diets.  Ask me what I want for dinner, and I can't think of anything exciting.  But the second I decide I'm going to go on a diet, my brain becomes a mealtime genius and thinks of all kinds of meals I'd love to have but "can't."

However, this is a bit easier than a diet.  And the forced "reflection" time is rather helpful.  I tend to have impulsive ideas of things I want to do, and this self imposed restriction is helping me to think all the way through a plan before jumping into it.

So, for this no-spend week, I'll just have to post the "things I find that I really want but can't buy right now because we made a commitment."

The projects that are flooding into my mind now that I can't buy anything:

Frame the free 16 x 20 print from Shutterfly
  • Buy a 20 x 24 frame (Michael's?  Wayfair?)
  • Buy a mat
  • Print additional Avelynn and Everett photos in black and white to hang as mini gallery above new chair

Re-print pictures from gallery frames above fireplace
  • Scan the pictures that aren't yet digitalized
  • Make a new album on Shutterfly for these photos
  • Change all to black and white
  • Print in appropriate sizes
  • Change the colored backdrop for both frames (gray?)

Hang pink bowls above colored bowls, hang pictures on side of hutch
  • Buy additional plate hanger discs
  • Swap out the small one for a larger one on the yellowish bowl
  • Decide placement of side plates
  • Mark holes for pink bowl nails (remember future crown molding)
  • Mark holes for side plates

GG Bridge picture(s) for dining room wall (Black and white)
  • Ask Brother-in-law for a panoramic shot of GG Bridge
  • Print three wood prints OR three poster size OR one large poster size to frame and hang

Print wood panel gifts for Grandparents at Walgreen's

Christmas DIY gifts

  • What projects are we doing
  • Who will get what
  • Supplies we need
  • Source the supplies for lowest price

Choose and prep our Christmas cards
  • Recipient List
  • Get family pictures
  • Print family pictures
  • Choose card and get ready to purchase

Chevron panel wall in Dining Room

Change the small closet in laundry room to a desk

  • Measure space
  • Source supplies
  • Create a plan
  • Fabric and rod to cover storage shelves
  • Where to move the wood table?
  • Where to put the printer? (Under our bed??)

Well, that's about it for now.  Not a thrilling post, but a good brain dump so it's a success all the same.

Have you ever declared a no-spend week?  Or month?  Any tips?  Let me know in the comments!



Shutterfly: 40% off everything! (Coupon Code)

You know I love Shutterfly!

Just a quick note to remind everyone that Shutterfly is having a 40% off everything sale.  Use coupon code EARLY40.  And don't forget you get free shipping on orders of $39 or more.

Hurry!  This sale ends Tuesday October 28!


Extra! Extra! Anthropologie Sale on Sale (coupon code)

Anthropologie is having a sale on its sale items!  Extra 25% off sale items with coupon code EXTRAEXTRA.

Here are few things that I think would make great gifts.

Glazed Terracotta Bakeware, Blue, Turquoise or White, $12.95 - $69.95 (with coupon: $9.71 - $54.46)

Wishing Globe Stemware, $6.95 each (with coupon: $5.22 - you could get set of 4 for around $21!)

At any rate, I've only shown the items that I would buy for myself or as a gift.  There are lots more available, and with the coupon code, they're quite a bit more affordable!

Will you be buying anything during this sale?  Let me know in the comments!



Reupholstering our couch: What?! Huh?!

Here's our couch:

As I've mentioned before, my best friend and I found our current couch on the street.  Literally.  Well, I guess we literally found it on the sidewalk.  But you get the picture.

If we could afford a new couch today, we'd probably go for one of these:

PB Comfort Roll Arm Slipcovered 3-piece L-shaped corner sectional, Silver Taupe, $4,049

West Elm Henry 3-piece L-shaped Sectional, Linen Weave Platinum, $2,897

Z Gallerie Phoenix Sectional, $2,496

Room & Board Easton sectional in Dawson, $3,697

I'd love a sectional.  I'd love for it to be gray or blue or teal.  I'd prefer not to get the basic brown or beige.  My favorite is the Room & Board sectional.  But we can't afford any new couch, and with two little kids we aren't really in a situation to get a new couch even if we could afford it, so these things don't matter except for future reference.

At any rate, our current couch is not in the best of shape.  We can't buy a new one, so that leaves essentially two options: live with it as it is now (yucky) or reupholster it (scary).

I've been reading up on reupholstering and while it's still scary, it's not as terrifying as I originally thought.  Here are just some of the posts from other blogs that I've been using to encourage myself and convince myself that it's possible:

Do It Yourself Divas

All of these, and other posts, say that DIY upholstery takes time and effort, but is doable.

They also are pretty clear that DIY upholstery is only relatively inexpensive, not actually inexpensive.  In other words, it saves money over professional upholstery or buying a new couch, but it can easily run into the few hundred dollar price range or more.

Add to the mix that, as you know (or can read about here), we are on a 14 day no-spend (self) challenge.  So we won't be doing this project in the next couple weeks.

In fact, I don't even have a particular time line in mind.  I do know that it's something we want to do.  I also have an idea of the upholstery fabric we want to use.  It's either this one:

Signature Series Erase-Heather Moon, reg $39.99, sale $19.99 at Joann.com

Or this one (which is my favorite):

Home Decor Upholstery Fabric-Waverly Akira in Sky, reg $49.00, sale $24.99 at Joann.com

I'm referring to this chart to determine how much fabric we need:

Upholstery Yardage Chart, courtesy of Apartment Therapy

According to this chart, we need 11 yards.  So I would probably buy 12 yards.

If I buy it at 50% off (current price), plus the additional 20% off with a coupon, it would come to around $275 (including shipping and tax).  

Plus the other supplies (tack strips, nails?, staples, staple gun).  So this is definitely a project that will come down the line.  However, if I can commit to a fabric, then I can keep an eye on it and purchase the fabric when it gets to a lower price, or when I get a better coupon.

What do you think?  Any suggestions for DIY reupholstery?  Thoughts about the fabric choice with the rest of the room?  Do you think it's even worth it, or should I just stick it out with the couch we have and wait (potentially many years) to get a new couch?

Or, do you know of a fabric very similar to the blue one up there, but that's significantly less expensive?  :)

Let me know in the comments!



Gifts under $30

I said it just last week, but the holidays are quickly approaching.  Gift buying is pretty hard for me.  Most years, I don't start my shopping until well into December and end up way overspending because I have to get something, anything.

This year, like I've mentioned a couple times, we're going to do a lot of DIY gifts.  But not everyone on our list can get a DIY gift.  For those people, and because I love to "window" shop, I'm compiling an ongoing list of gifts under $30, $50 or $100.  This particular post is gifts ender $30.  I once heard that the best gifts to give are ones you would want to receive, so all of these items are ones that I would want, too.  :)

Joss & Main has quite a few pieces of art in their Stop & Stare event that would make great gifts for the holidays.  Many of them are under $100.  Here's just a sample of the ones that I would buy for myself or as a gift, but you could always check out the site yourself to see ones you might like.

Jardin de Giverny by Monet, $29.95 for 12x18; $44.95 for 18x26; $84.95 for 26x40

These frames from Target are a great deal.  I bought some for our house.  They come 5 in a pack and all for less than $20!  I bought both the Grey and the Weathered Grey.  The Grey looks great.  I returned the Weathered Grey to Target because they looked cheap.  They also have black, distressed black and I think white.  You could give the set to one person or you could print pictures or free online printables for each frame and you'd have 5 separate gifts.  That's around $5 per gift if you print the printables at Kinko's/FedEx for less than a dollar.  That's a steal!

5 piece Weathered Frame Set, Target, $16.99
I have this pillow from Target.  My mom got two for me for me for my birthday and I loved them so much that I bought two more for myself.  They're really beautiful and a good deal at around $25 each.

Threshold Embroidered Floral Pillow - cool, Target, $24.99

Lori Picture Frame in Silver, Joss & Main, $20.95

This print is on special at West Elm right now, plus free shipping:

Holstee Poster - Manifesto, West Elm, $28 special (reg $36)

If you know someone into DIY, these glass knobs may be a great gift!  They're normally $12 each, but on sale for $4 each (and free shipping)!  We bought some in Eggplant for our DIY curtain rod (which I'll post about in the next little while).
Clift Glass Knob, Pottery Barn, special $4 (reg $12)

If you know someone who loves to entertain, these are kind of neat for parties:

Driftwood Lantern, Pottery Barn (only the small is available and it's $29.99, reg $69.99)
Lit shell orb, Pottery Barn, $19.99 for small, $29.99 for medium or large (reg. $49.50 - $79) - free shipping, too!

Grateful Greeting Tray, ModCloth, $6.99 (reg $9.99)

If you live near a Walgreen's (or even if you don't... they ship), then remember to check their photo department for great gift deals.  Through November 1, the printed wood panels are on sale for 50% off, (coupon code: PANELDEAL).  We gave an 8x10 to my grandma for her birthday this week, and she loved it.  We are probably going to give one to each set of grandparents for Christmas.  At $10 per item for 8x10 (reg $19.99, but 50% off with coupon), you really can't beat it.

Photo printed on wood panel, Walgreen's, 8x10 for $9.99 after coupon

Those are just some of the things I might be buying for Christmas gifts this year.  I'll continue to post as I find more.  

Have you found a great gift for under $30?  Share it in the comments!


p.s. Remember that some of these are on sale or require a coupon code.  If you see a different price, please let me know so I can update this post.

Halloween Party: Invitations (Shutterfly coupon codes!)

Halloween really is just around the corner.  Avelynn is two, so it's the first Halloween where she will be even remotely interested in dressing up.

Last year, she was Pebbles.  You know, from The Flintstones?  The entire time we were trick or treating, everyone kept asking if she was the girl from The Croods.  What the heck?

My mom made her animal print costume.  I made the bone for her hair (cut from cardboard and taped to a hair clip).  The animal fur vest is a real vest she got for her 1 year old birthday.  We tried to get her to use a jack o lantern candy holder, but she insisted on using her purse.  The hot pink leggings were from Walmart (sorry, Dad).  We took her trick or treating in the Sea Cliff neighborhood right around the corner from our then apartment:

Seriously the most awesome gal

This year, she's going to be Elsa.  She just started getting into watching movies.  My coworker gave us Frozen before I left on maternity leave, and Avelynn loves it.

The point of this, other than to be able to post a picture of the most adorable kid, is to share the invitation we made for our Halloween party and to share a Shutterfly coupon code that you can use right now!  It expires Sunday (today).

Anyhow, she dressed up in her Elsa costume and was so cute that I decided we had to make an invitation to Halloween.  Of course, we already invited her aunts and uncles and grandparents and great grandma to Halloween, but the awesome picture meant we had a reason to make formal invitations, which I did at Shutterfly.com.  I love these invitations:

Batty Bash Halloween party invitation, Shutterfly

And right now, Shutterfly has some great deals happening.  Through Sunday, they're having a sale where you can get $10 off any order of $10 or more.  Use coupon code 10DOLLARS.  If you're a new customer, this sale is valid through Monday and you should use code 10OFF10.

Will you be having a get together for Halloween?  Will you use this code to get invitations?  Let me know in the comments!


(p.s. Shutterfly is also having another great sale: get 10 free cards!  Use Promo Code GREETINGS.  This sale expires Monday.  You don't have to be a new customer to take advantage of this great deal.  It's a wonderful way to test out any holiday cards you're thinking of, too!  I know I'll be using it.  I'll post here when I know what I'll order with it!)


Updated Living Room (a work in progress)

My chair from Joss & Main arrived!  It's totally beautiful.  I love it.  I realized as I was gushing to Patrick about this chair that it's the first piece of real furniture I've purchased.  I mean, non-IKEA furniture.  IKEA furniture counts, but somehow it feels different.

It's lovely and it's comfortable and it totally helps tie our room together better.  It doesn't finish the room, but it helps tie it together.

Here are the "kind of before" pictures again (also can be seen here):

It's been quite the busy week for our living room: new curtain rod (DIY), curtains (Target), storage bench (Amazon) and chair (Joss & Main).  And those new additions prompted some light furniture rearranging.  I spent probably an hour the other night just looking around the freshly cleaned and rearranged room, really happy with the progress:

I wish I had taken a picture before we even painted.  Oh well.  Just trust me that it looks so so much better now.  Like a real family really lives here.  Not only that, but we can now seat more than just four or five people in our living room.  I used to sit on the floor if we had more than a few people over, but with the new bench and the chair, that won't be happening again.

Of course, this isn't really "after" because there's quite a bit that still needs to happen.  So these are really "middle" pictures, but that's okay.  I still love it so much more.

New mini seating area/Chair in the corner

The small side table used to be protecting everyone from accidentally stepping through a floor vent.  That floor vent is now protected by the couch, so the side table moved to accompany the new chair.  I know it's not ideal (different colored wood, too close to the other piece), but it works for now.  The small light used to be on the right side of the fireplace.  This is the only light controlled by a wall switch.  The other two are manually turned on.  I'd still like to put some pictures near this chair on the window side wall.


I'll be posting more about the window covering, including the DIY curtain rod, in a later post.  The point is, it's easy and awesome and we'll probably do them for every single window in our house (11 windows).

Fireplace wall

The bench got added to the right side of the fireplace and the small side table/drawers to the left side.  I really want to put an antique desk from Patrick's grandmother on the left side, but he's feeling claustrophobic (more about that later), so I've promised no new or more furniture for a while.  I mean, a while could mean a couple weeks, a couple months.  That's okay.  I'm happy with this for now.  Though I do hope to paint that piece (the drawers) in the next couple weeks.  I think I'll paint it the same as the hutch.  You'll also notice that the mantle is clutter-free.  I had some other frames and pieces up there, but they now have a new home.  I'm still thinking about changing out all of the pictures in the frames to the same pictures as right now, but all black and white.  I also moved that table lamp to this new home.  It used to live next to the bookcase.

Seating Area

I moved the couch back toward the wall, but not totally against it.  I shifted everything a little more toward the television wall because Patrick enjoys sitting in the big chair and looking out to the backyard.  The newly added curtains kind of obstructed that view, so I moved the chair.  That meant I had to move the couch, too.  I like it.

I moved our floor lamp from next to the television.  It's now next to the bookcase.

TV wall

Nothing changed here.  I don't like this wall being so blank, but it's a marriage compromise, so I can live with it.

The kid space:
Still crowded because it has such important pieces as the Mickey couch and the Mama-Roo. 

Like I mentioned, this is not "done."  We still have quite a bit to do, like something better with that ugly fireplace surround, the crown molding, replacing the floors, a few more pieces of decor on the walls, new (or new to us) furniture that is more intentional, and some other minor changes.

But overall, this room looks so so much better and feels so much more welcoming.  I can't wait to have more people over so we can use all of our new seating!

I love it so far!  What do you think?  If this was your house, what would your next project in this room be?  Any suggested changes to the room configuration?  Let me know in the comments!