All The Pretty Things

Awhile ago, I read another blogger write about surrounding herself with only pretty things that made her happy to look at and use daily. In a way it’s the opposite of that thought process that “the good china set” only gets pulled from the cabinet for special occasions; the concept is that every day is a special occasion.  It resonated with me and I actually do find myself thinking about what she said every few days, truth be told. 

Mostly because I look around at my stuff and none of it includes things that just make me happy to see it or to use it. For example, I don’t even have a special coffee cup that’s really unique and ‘happy’ that I use every day. It’s just what I pull from the cabinet – which is a montage of unremarkable cups I’ve collected over the years. None of my dishes match and truth be told it’s all acrylic anyway since I have three children. Yuck. I want a collection of coffee cups that are brightly colored, hand made looking, unique, or like the one in my post photo. (I have this one saved in my wish list on Amazon and am thinking I may splurge with my gift card and buy it for myself).  When someone drinks from one of my cups I want them to think to themselves “this cup is special”.  I’ve had that experience myself at friends’ homes before.  Sounds silly I know but it means something. 

As I think about the prospect of moving next year I find myself panicked a little. We have so much STUFF. And honestly, I don’t like hardly any of it. I find myself begging my husband that we sell almost all of it and start over furnishing the new house. With stuff that makes me happy. Colorful. Cushy. Homey. Hell, even boho-esq. Says the wife of an avid antique old-timer decor addict. *sigh* Thrift store gems, estate sales, Pottery Barn, maybe a bit of CB2 – take me away to your wonderland! A home that says creative and stylish.  Bed-pallet porch swings with throw blankets and oversized pillows… oversized chairs and distressed tables. Large stretched canvas family portraits and cool images for artwork on the walls. Nostalgia. Don’t misunderstand, I’m not looking for expensive stuff, I’m looking for stuff with depth and character.  

It’s way past time to purge our piece-mill crap. And re-purpose DIY some of the stuff we do have, but my husband for some reason refuses to let me paint or refinish. And he keeps stuff we don’t need or use anymore  “just in case”. I take every opportunity to secretly divest of “just in case” items, if for any reason to make room for the other “just in cases”.  

I miss my old house. The one we lost during the recession. It was gorgeous. And I liked all of the stuff in it. I was making it my own slowly but surely. But, to keep holding on as long as we could then I was selling off great furniture pieces to make ends meet. We still have a few items from that house but it doesn’t look right in this house. If this was our home I would do SO much with it. But it’s rented, so we won’t invest in upgrades or the like.  Plus my husband thinks we should decorate a house around what we have and I’m of the mind you decorate a house around the space of the house. *sigh*

These discussions about what each of us want to look for in a house and land come early this spring has been enlightening, frustrating, terrifying, and exciting.  I don’t feel like we’re on the same page yet, and of course I fear that what we both want we won’t be able to afford. My husband says to just be patient, we have time on our side, and we will know when we’ve found the one. Still, I have the overwhelming desire to start fresh in every aspect of my life, including what I choose to surround myself with in my haven. Out with the old as they say. In with the meaningful I say. 

And it all starts with a pretty coffee cup. 

Take a look around at the stuff you use daily in your home or even in your work space. Do the things make you happy or nostalgic, or are they just utility? What would you indulge in to just make your day a little brighter? I say go for it!



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25 comments

  1. This is a great line: “It all starts with a pretty coffee cup.” For me, it all starts with a practical coffee cup. I get attached to a coffee cup and don’t let it go until I lose it or break it. I’ve had only five favorite coffee cups in the past 22 years.
    I’ve held on to a single coffee cup for years. I don’t drink out of any other cup except my one practical, fovorite coffee cup. Today, my cup is one my wife gave me when she went on a trip. I use only that cup. To be practical my favorite cup has to fit in the cup holder in the car. It has to fit comfortably in my right hand (although I’m left handed). And, of course, it must be microwavable.
    I carry my coffee cup around with me all day. I nurse its contents and even drink it when it’s cold. I reheat my coffee several times over during the day and keep refilling or reheating it until the pot is empty. And, like you, home decor, TV shows, ball games, and company all revolve around the coffee cup. I’m with you Amanda.

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  2. It all did start with a pretty coffee cup for us…..I bought two oversize cups in Israel. They were hand-made and decorated so they have flaws..but each of them just makes me smile. And after we lost everything (house, a car, most of our furnishings to pay off medical bills) those two cups carried me through the depression of the loss. They were the impetus behind me putting down both feet and telling my husband next time we are fortunate enough to have our own home I am decorating for ME. We have decorated for you now it is MY turn. And he backed don. I bought things at flea markets and recovered them…..I picked up throw aways that could be refurbished or repurposed along the sides of roads. And thanks so much for making me realize there is a blog post in this response! Adore you (and your blog).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s precisely what I want – a do over! Sounds like we have similar stories too (I’m sorry you had to endure that also). Let’s see if I can weedle my husband down, eh? I’m ordering that coffee cup now I think…;)

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  3. Hey, this is a great post. I like most of the stuff in my flat, though I have been here for a while now and dream about moving on and doing exactly what you describe; starting again from scratch. I am hoping my boyfriend and I will move in together sometime soonish (when we both have some money), and then decorate together. Personalising a space definitely makes you feel better when you look around you from the laptop 🙂 And yes, get your own mug! I have one, and I don’t ever use a different one. My one has “it’s the little voices that tell me to go shopping,” on it, which always makes me smile. Take care 🙂 (Also- thanks for checking out my blog!)

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      1. Hehe yeah that’s a lot for a mug, but it was so pretty! Treat yourself! Thank you 🙂 I am currently writing a book about my experiences, so am trying to make something really positive about something which wasn’t always so upbeat 🙂 Is going well, but there is still a LOT of work ahead of me!

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      2. Are you writing to publish or just writing to journal it? How’s it coming? I started tinkering with a book myself but have myself intimidated by it right now…

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      3. I am hoping to eventually get published! That is the dream.. I have other ideas for fiction book but I’m doing this one first as I feel like if I don’t write it now I never will! What are you writing? Fiction or non fiction?

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      4. Ha I thought you knew!! You’re really good at writing!.. do you just write and post, or do you go back and edit and rephrase before hitting the publish button. I do the second; so when people tell me I’m a good writer I’m always dubious because I feel like i have to rearrange everything I’ve written so it actually sounds good :/ Have a good day!

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      5. Just because I might think I’m decent doesn’t mean anyone else does lol! I actually have to hit publish after I write it because all too often if I go back and re-read it I’ll chicken out on posting it and it will be in my drafts forever. I currently have MANY drafts…probably need to revisit some of those huh?

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  4. My home is filled with things that remind me of my transformation from my past to my present. My dishes and pots and pans are all black and red, my favorite color and my mom’s favorite color. My couch is black and white, an interpretation of my inner struggle against the world around me when I was a teen. My bedding is zebra stripped, to signify the animal hidden within. My girls room is essentially purple and pink vomit lol because they are literally the brightest part of my life. Their room has the most character and love put into it, with butterfly wings from costumes on the wall and door of their room. Eventually I will add the lady bug wings too. My home is almost like a walk through my life, a way to experience where I have been, where I am, and where I hope to be. It brings a smile to my face every day. Best part is, I’m renting and have yet to find the home of my dreams, but when I do, my husband is more than happy to let me decorate to my hearts content!

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      1. I would have people over but I often find I don’t trust or like many people, a sad part of my cynicism of the world I suppose. Grew up popular and well liked and grew up distrustful of others. I have tried however, but it is always met with disdain and sudden cancellations. I have since given up and only have family over.

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    1. Thank you! And I actually chose a different mug that I ended up ordering (well a friend got it for me as a present after me telling her about my thoughts). I can’t wait to share it with y’all when I get it ☺️

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