Personalizing the Home

The older I’ve gotten, the more I appreciate handmade items (however, I still love a great sale at Kohl’s or Target).


When I was in my twenties, whatever caught my eye (as far as wall filler) was all that mattered.  Now, in my early thirties, I want art on my wall that means something.

Barbie cards were my thing when I was a kid; in my early twenties, it was candles, and now I’m all about personal photographs (or artsy pictures I’ve taken), and art I’ve created (not necessarily drawn or painted) myself.  If I could only thread a needle, nothing could stop me.

My current project (besides filling all the picture frames I’ve collected over the years) is a wall mosaic of all the seashells I collected on trips to the beach with my husband.  I’m also working on “seashelling” some switchplates, as I couldn’t find anything at Lowe’s or Home Depot I liked.

When I saw a big fork and spoon in Target, it reminded me of an episode of “Everybody Loves Raymond” (the only sitcom I’ve liked filmed in this millennium), in which Marie Barone tells the story of her big fork and spoon (except hers are wooden), and Debra refers to as “Robert’s baby utensils”.

BIG fork and spoon

I’ll admit, onscreen popular culture has had an influence on my decorating tastes.  I want at least one brick (or faux brick) wall in our living room someday, because I loved that feature in Lucy Ricardo’s first apartment.  We also have an outdoor dining table that is similar to the one on “Big Love”.

All the rooms in our house have a theme, as I couldn’t choose just one:  our kitchen is retro, our living room is a juxtaposition of vintage and art deco, my daughter’s nursery and our master bedroom is shabby chic, and our bathroom is beachy.  However, every one of them reflects me, in all my many forms.


The shopping bulimic

I have a very bad habit of returning things I’ve bought (whether from a department store or Walgreens, or even the grocery store)–a condition which I’ve heard referred to as shopping bulimia.  I like that feel-good feeling I get from buying something, only for it to be replaced with uncertainty and then a strong desire to get my money back (if I’m not positive that I like it 100%).

I just ordered a mirror online from Kohl’s to go over my bedroom dresser, only to go into the store, see it and not like it quite as much, despite the clearance price.  I’d already found the perfect mirror at Lamps Plus (which is twice as much, and which I don’t have a charge account for), but I can wait till I save up the money (I’d rather save up for something nicer anyway).  What I save on coupons and free shipping using store credit cards, they get back in interest.

I just returned a couple of things to Walgreens (one item that didn’t work, one I didn’t need) to buy something else; I also returned a jar of sundried tomatoes to Publix that I haven’t gotten around to using in the weeks I’ve had them.

How I wish I could just become a shopping anorexic.  This is one of my struggles, because growing up, I often didn’t have nice things.  However, what I do to get my shopping fix without spending anything is to add items to my Kohl’s or wish list, as I’m not tempted to purchase online like I am when I am in the store and can physically hold the item, thus forming an attachment to it.  No wonder one of my favorite series is the Shopaholic series, by Sophie Kinsella.  (However, I do think Becky Bloomwood needs to get some therapy in the end.  She needs help!)

My main character in a chick-lit novel is going to have this problem, among many other hang-ups.  I’ve never written a chick lit before, but my goal is to write in as many genres as I can, at least until I master one (meaning sell a ton of).  I still have no idea what qualifies as literary fiction, though I have a feeling if some egghead calls it such, it won’t sell well.