How blogging taught me to do things the right way vs. the easy way

I’ve been blogging for 7 years now and I will be the first person to admit that in the beginning my projects were terrible. I used regular wall paint on furniture, I glued things together instead of buying the hardware it needed, I wouldn’t wait the recommended time between coats [because I want it done NOW], I’d skip steps to speed up the process and I went for the cheapest option vs. the option that was most suitable and would last the longest. It was definitely a mix of my age at the time and inexperience, but I’m quite proud of how far I’ve come these past years.

A lot of how I now treat projects I owe to two of my favourite bloggers; Anna Dorfman of Door Sixteen and Nicole Balch of Making it Lovely. I started following both women around the same time I started my own blog. Two [of the hundreds] of their projects that stand out the most was one of Anna’s posts about updating the cast iron radiator in her kitchen and a post of Nicole’s was when she was updating the sink nook in their walk-in closet. I don’t know why, but these posts stand out the most out and from time to time I think about them. Effort and research went into both [seemingly straight forward, but not] projects. They took their time and weren’t done in a day. If they needed more time, they took it. They didn’t take the fastest route. I remember being so interested in both posts and their surrounding projects. Both Nicole and Anna often do research into the history of whatever piece their working on and manage to make the intricate updates and processes interesting. I mean, radiators and filler don’t particularly scream ‘exciting’, but I was captivated by both projects [and about 1,000 of their other projects] and the underlying theme of doing something properly. 

It’s not a great example because it’s the only project I’m working on right now, but case in point – our living room. When we moved in it had a beige ceiling, grey walls, two shades of grey on the picture rail, grey painted trim, windows and doors. For a few weeks I considered what colour to paint the walls and on Friday I bought paint for the living room. Knowing it will make the biggest impact, I want more than nothing than to paint the walls. But another part of my brain reminded me there’s an order to things – the ceiling should be painted first because it makes the most sense [working from the top down etc]. So on Saturday I painted two coats of white paint on the ceiling. It was exhausting but it looked fantastic compared to it’s previous beige! However, on Sunday morning reality hit and I realised it needed another coat. 

Did I want to climb up that step ladder, pinch my hip countless more times and crane my neck for another 4 hours to paint another coat on the ceiling? HELL NO RIGHT HERE 🙋 But I did it because I knew it wouldn’t be done properly otherwise. Yes, the ceiling looked good after two coats but it had ever-so-slight shadows of uneven paint. I painted another coat and it now looks immaculate compared to its previous self. Yes, it was annoying as fuck having to do that last coat and on a Sunday. But which was worse? A few hours of extra painting, or the next X-number of years looking up at the blotches of uneven paint that irked me? During those few hours on Sunday morning before I painted the third coat all I kept doing was looking at the damn blotches so I knew if I didn’t do another coat, my eye would keep getting drawn to them. 

What I’ve learned over the years is to take your time and think about the right way something should be done. If you’re not sure, ask in your local hardware store or Google it. If it takes another week to get a project done, it takes another week. I had to learn a lot about patience over the years and I’ve learned to appreciate not taking the easy route. And I have Nicole and Anna to thank for that. 

Last apartment tour

I had this post scheduled for last week, but I never got around to hitting publish because last week ended up being manic ahead of us moving to Canada. So I figured I’d share it today as, better late than never? 

Though most of our apartment is packed into boxes or in a wildly non-baby-friendly disarray on the floor and looks nothing like these pictures anymore, I wanted to share some of my favourite photos of our apartment before we head off on our big adventure in Canada. And I included one last story that made me feel pretty good in the middle of a shit storm of stress this past week … 

We had an agreement with our landlord that I show the apartment to potential buyers as I had it decorated now, and in turn I didn’t have to repaint the apartment back to white or reassemble all the furniture I had disassembled over the years. It was a win-win for everyone. It surprisingly worked to our favour – our apartment sold within a week and the buyers loved the apartment so much that they asked to buy as much of our stuff as they could. It saved me a lot of time and drama as I was planning on selling each piece of furniture, artwork and electronic item online individually. I’m not very good at accepting compliments or accomplishments [I don’t feel I’m doing enough of a good job. I think that’s imposter syndrome maybe?], but when the agents told our landlord how impressed they were with how the apartment was presented and when the buyers then wanted to buy all our stuff, I felt proud … 

The only furniture we packed to ship to Canada was our bedside tables, our bar cart, my green foot stool and our curio cabinet [we’re bringing Cora’s secondhand Stokke crib with us on the plane]. Of everything, those were the things I couldn’t be without or replace. The rest of the furniture sold with the apartment. We of course packed all our small things [19 boxes worth] which will be with us around Christmas time. That’ll be our Christmas present to ourselves this year – all our own stuff again. 

I didn’t have a chance to get emotional about leaving our apartment as we were in such a hurry trying to get packed up and get to the airport on time on the day. Despite having a love / hate relationship with our apartment [there were so many things wrong with it electrically as well as bad building finishes], I know we’ll miss it. We lived there through the biggest steps in our lives, it’ll be hard not to. 

To see what our apartment looked like when we first moved in over 7 years ago, take a look here

7 Year Blogiversary

We’ve been so busy over the last few weeks that I completely forgot my 7 year blogiversary. I’ll be honest and say that it doesn’t feel as big of a deal this year [since I’m being kept very busy by our baby boss], but it still is an important date for me. So many projects an opportunities arose thanks to my blog, and I’ve met so many amazing people through it. It’s weird to think where I would be now and how different things would be if I hadn’t sat down that afternoon and decided to start a blog.

Last year I didn’t write about my blogiversary because I was heavily pregnant, and thanks to illegal levels of hormones, I didn’t have the energy or want to write about it. This year though, even though I’m late writing about it, I still remembered. And more importantly, I’ll be celebrating with our own little Hydrangea Girl this time around.
Thank you for reading over the past weeks, months or years. Even if it’s just been every once in a while.