Wednesday, August 30, 2017

My "Let Go" List

Vines, Weeds and Blooms in "The Blue Garden"


I took a walk through The Cabbage Gardens today. There were a bunch of weeds and overgrown vines everywhere and a couple of the annuals I planted in Spring have died off a little early. Still, I chose to focus only on what was blooming and thriving and then moved on.

This is progress. A few years ago I would have been very stressed out about the current state of my gardens. But now I know it's not a big deal. There will be plenty of time to tidy things up a bit in the Fall and in Spring I will once again be out there attacking weeds with vigor. But in Summer and Winter, I give myself a break and focus on other things.

The truth is no one can keep up with everything all the time, especially if you are like me and have a lot of different interests. Being a homeowner, or just being a human being, requires that we pick our battles. So sometimes before I can make my "To Do List", I find it helpful to make a "Let Go" list.

It's a constant balancing act and I can't tell you how to do it because what's a priority for me may not be a priority for you and vice versa. However, to give you an idea I thought I would share the next three items currently on my "Let Go" list:

  1. Cleaning out my basement until such a time as the rest of my house is perfectly clean and in order (aka never).
  2. Getting my clutter out of the guest room (as long as we don't have guests).
  3. Cleaning out the garage, at least until just before Winter (it would be nice to park our cars in there then).

Let's face it, whether or not I made this list, these things weren't going to get done any time soon. However, declaring it to myself, and now to you, releases me of my recovering perfectionist angst and gives me more energy to focus on the projects I'm really passionate about right now. Seriously, I feel lighter already.

So, if you are a recovering perfectionist like me (or want to be), I invite you to join me. What are three things you are ready to let go of right now? Share your "Let Go" list in the comments below or just with yourself and your household.

And then go do what makes you happy.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Bathroom Beauty Product Organization + 5 Favorites

Organization Can Be A Beautiful Thing

Dear loyal readers, do you remember when my bathroom closet looked like this?:


The After Photo From My Bathroom Closet Makeover Post In 2015

Those were good times but I have to admit that they didn't last too long.  The truth is that most of the time since then my bathroom closet has looked more like this:


My Bathroom Closet In Real Life

Of course that's not the end of the world but I got tired of searching for things all the time so I decided a little organizing was in order.

My first thought was that I needed to go through all my beauty products and purge some things but I didn't get far into that before I remembered that I'm a girl and I really do need most of this stuff!

Then I thought I would find some cool vintage containers I could repurpose at a thrift store or flea market but that just didn't happen fast enough.  So finally I broke down and purchased some basic acrylic organizers and who knew but they really did the trick!


I blinged out my acrylic organizer with some tiny adhesive mirrors.



And now my bathroom closet looks like this:

My Newly Organized Bathroom Closet

This really makes me feel like a grown up again.

Another thing that makes me feel like a grown up is that I'm finally starting to figure out what beauty products work for me and which ones don't.  So, I thought I'd share five of my favorite ones with you now:

1. Rose Water

I love keeping my cotton swabs and rounds in these pretty candy dishes!

Whenever possible, I try to use simple products with natural ingredients and you can't get more natural than organic rose water.  I mostly use it as a facial toner that I apply using cotton rounds.  It also works well as a fragrance or a makeup setting spray.  I've tried a few different brands and, though the scent may vary slightly, they all seem to work well at soothing and cleansing my skin.

2. Fractionated Coconut Oil

I chose this brand of  coconut oil because the packaging matches the color scheme
in my bathroom.

I've been on the coconut oil bandwagon for awhile now when it comes to cooking but I didn't use it as a beauty product until I learned about fractionated coconut oil.  This coconut oil doesn't solidify in cooler temperatures like the extra virgin kind does and it is lighter and more absorbent.  I add a tiny amount of tea tree oil to it and use it to remove eye makeup and also to soothe and moisturize my eyelids when they are irritated from allergies.  I'm not loyal to any particular brand of this either.

3. e.l.f. Contour Palette

e.l.f. Stands For Eyes, Lips, Face

I am not much of an expert when it comes to makeup.  I just know that I want hypoallergenic products that don't test on animals and don't cost a lot and e.l.f. cosmetics fits that bill.  I like the e.l.f. contour palette because it doesn't have a gazillion different shades so I'm not paying for anything I'm not going to use.  I also love e.l.f. makeup brushes.  I have two e.l.f. contour brushes, one to use for the dark shades and another for the light ones.

4. OGX Moroccan Curling Perfection Defining Creme


OGX Products and My Favorite Detangling Comb From Target

This creme is like the holy grail for my long, thick hair.  I put this in my hair when it's wet and it helps with detangling and prevents frizz but doesn't take away my natural wave or curls.  I really hope they never stop making this stuff.


I also love the OGX kukui oil.  I spray it on my hands and then run them through my hair after I curl it.

5. C.O. Bigelow My Favorite Night Balm


An Aptly Named Lip Balm and a favorite necklace from High Vibrational Living on Etsy

I don't know what I ever did without this stuff - no, wait, yes I do - I suffered from chapped lips!  It's simply the only thing that works for me.


So now you know five of my favorite beauty products.  Do you have a product you swear by or tips for keeping them organized?  I would love to read your thoughts in the comments below.


Monday, July 31, 2017

Living Room Lessons

The room that puts the "Cab" (Cabin) in "Cabagelow".

I almost can't believe I'm about to say this but The Cabbage Living Room, a room I have struggled to furnish and decorate since 2006, is finally a room that I love.

It has been quite the journey for me but now I can honestly say I am grateful for the challenges this room presented and for all the lessons I gathered along the way.  Here are just the five most valuable things I learned from this room:

1. How To Embrace Imperfection

You won't find perfection at The Cabbage but you will find lots of magical rugs!
("Only Magic" Welcome Mat available HERE)

I think my initial stumbling block with this room had to do with the things that I couldn't change.  That all or nothing perfectionist part of me saw things like the odd views and the damaged floors and just thought if I can't fix all of that right now, why bother?  I'm so glad I didn't listen to that part of me for long and it turned out that at least those two problems were nothing some plants and some rugs couldn't fix anyway!

Planter boxes help improve the view of our garage.


2. To Trust My Crazy Ideas

Removing the paneling from this wall allowed space to display books, photos and art.
(Bird Collage Art by Abby Sernoff of 111CollageDesign on Etsy)

I still remember the night I said to Hippie, "What if we just removed the log paneling from the fireplace wall?"

The truth was I had been mulling this idea over for a long time but thought it was just too crazy and impractical and I was sure Hippie was going to think so too.  If he did, he didn't say so and not long after that he helped me make my crazy idea a reality.

That idea and eventually painting that space black were the most risky decisions I made with this room but also the most rewarding and impactful.  It reminded me that my crazy ideas are often the best ones.

I originally painted these walls gray but eventually found the courage to "Paint It Black".


3. To Not Be Afraid To Splurge

Queen For A Day

When Hippie gave me the peacock chair I'd been coveting from World Market for my birthday I was grateful to receive such an extravagant gift but also concerned with how I was going to make such a big, bold piece work in the room.

The obvious solution was that I needed another big, bold piece - a second chair - to balance it but I resisted this solution for awhile because of the price.  It wasn't that I couldn't afford it, it was just that I have been so accustomed to shopping thrift stores and flea markets for bargains that buying something new and relatively expensive for myself was almost a foreign concept.

In the end I realized that I really couldn't afford not to splurge on the second chair and I've never regretted it.  However, I did wait until there was a sale and I had a coupon because that's just the kind of savvy shopper I am.

Two Chairs Are Better Than One


4. To Not Be Married To A Style Or A Color Scheme

Rick Springfield and Hippie are both proof that classics never go out of style.

This is something I have learned from all of my rooms over the years but especially this one.  When we first moved in, I thought that since the room looked like a log cabin I should decorate it like one.  The problem was that this wasn't really my style, so thank goodness that didn't last too long.

Then I thought I would stick to a blue and black color scheme, until I came across a cute red stool/cat bed (everything is a cat bed) for next to nothing at the flea market.  My plan was to paint it but when I got it home I realized I loved that pop of red which eventually inspired me to paint the coffee table red.

Actually, I guess the lesson is to really not be married to any one plan but to stay flexible and allow rooms to evolve naturally.  This works best for me anyway.

An eclectic mix of colors and styles works for me and my cats.


5. How To Create Rooms People (And Cats) Can Live In

What family game night looks like at our house.

I made a lot of mistakes trying to make this room conform to a certain style or look a certain way.  However, some of the things I like most about the room stylistically now were initially chosen for their function, such as a need for storage or surface space.

Not only has this made me accept the conventional wisdom that form should follow function (not always but most of the time) but it has instilled a confidence in my own instincts and my ability to make something work when I need to.

More importantly, it has reminded me what home decorating is all about in the first place, which is giving me and my family spaces that provide us with both comfort and inspiration.  It may have taken over a decade to get it just right, but I think I've finally achieved that with The Cabbage Living Room.

Every room needs a velvet Elvis.

Thank you, thank you very much for visiting The Cabbage Living Room.  Do you have a room in your home that has challenged you to stretch your decorating skills?  I'd love to hear about that or any other thoughts related to this post in the comments below.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Closet Fantasies And Realities

I will never be too old to play dress up.

I was going to call this post “how a recovering perfectionist cleans out her closet” and tell you all about the mental struggle that made cleaning out my bedroom closet take two weeks but that would take just as long. So let's just say that I had to scale back my dreams and expectations at every turn.


One Of My Fantasy Closets.
Source: HGTV.com - Photo Credit: Timeless Memories Photography

Now, don't think for a second that means I have given up on having my fantasy closet someday. It just means that at this time in my life it isn't a priority. Being able to find my shoes and actually get my closet doors shut without a struggle, however, is.


Reality: Photo Taken While Cleaning My Closet

The truth here is that even if I did have the resources to create my fantasy closet, I would have still had to deal with the clutter in there. Fortunately this wasn't my first attempt at doing this and I found it much easier this go around. Things I had been reluctant to let go of a couple years ago had by now proved their uselessness and I also realized I had gotten much smarter about my clothes and shoes purchases. I had to give myself a pat on the back for that.

What I did struggle with was all the things that didn't necessarily belong in a bedroom closet that had somehow wound up in there anyway. A lot of this was sentimental clutter and this is still a big stumbling block for me. I have to admit that I didn't get rid of very much of it but I did move most of it down to the basement for me to deal with another day.

And then there are just some things I am stubborn about keeping and want close to me for no logical reason. So even though it is taking up potential shoe real estate, my CD collection (kids, ask your parents if you don't know what CDs are) is staying right where it is.


Doesn't everybody keep their CD collection in the closet?

Once I had settled all that, the time came to organize everything. In my fantasies that would be someone else's job and would include the installation of a whole new closet system but in reality it was just me and the scrap wood shelves the previous homeowner installed. I did invest in a couple of shoe organizers though. The one below was a little pricey considering it required assembly (which Hippie did – god bless him) and in the end probably wasn't necessary but I'm keeping it around for now.


Motley Cat's "Shoes" Are Cuter Than Any Of Mine

My second purchase was of far more inexpensive shelves for the top of the closet which I actually like better than the pricey ones (and Hippie put these together too). The best thing about having both of these is that I now have room for more shoes. Hmm...maybe my fantasies are coming true after all!


Clearly I Need To Go Shoe Shopping Soon!

Except that in my fantasy someone would have painted the interior of my closet a bold, luscious color. I guess I could have done that myself but I have so many other projects going on that I decided it can wait and I just painted the inside of the closet door frame for now (a bold, luscious color called “Raspberry Pudding” by Behr).


Princess Poe is not impressed with that pop of raspberry peeking out from the closet
but I am really happy with it.

Oh, also in my fantasy I would have velvet hangers for everything but I settled for rounding up the insane amount of plastic hangers I have in my house for some reason and using only two colors (but I do plan on gradually replacing them with nicer ones when I can).


I hung a couple of thrift store mirrors on the back wall, more for depth and interest
than for any practical purpose.

Then it was just a matter of arranging things in a way that made sense to me and now I have a fully functional closet. It's not my fantasy closet but I think it has a certain charm and now I can find my shoes then close the closet doors with hardly any effort at all. Mission accomplished.


Not My Fantasy Closet But Not Too Shabby Either

So to recap, here are my three big takeaways from this project:

  1. Some fantasies can wait but functionality can't!
  2. Dealing with clutter is a lifelong practice and process. (I have come a long way but I still have a ways to go and that's okay).
  3. I can now buy more shoes!

Thanks for reading about my closet fantasies and realities. I'd love to hear about your fantasy closet or any advice you might have for dealing with clutter if you wouldn't mind taking a few moments to write a comment below.

For more photos of my home, garden and cat lady life, follow me on Instagram.



Monday, May 15, 2017

The Good Fairy Garden 2017

The Cabbage Fairy Garden 2017

It's been almost four years now since I created my fairy garden and it has definitely evolved in that time (click here to see the original Good Fairy Garden post from 2013).  Last year the fairy house even got a shiny new paint job!

This year, I added a few more features such as a "stream" with a bridge.  Not long after I did that, a magical new visitor showed up and the good fairies returned too!  You can see them all in the video slideshow below (click image below to play).


Thanks for stopping by. To see more photos of The Cabbage Gardens, follow me on Instagram.





Monday, April 24, 2017

Garden Shed Confession: My Flowers Are Stressing Me Out!

Just A Girl Who Talks To Her Cell Phone In Her Garden Shed

Yesterday, I was sitting in my garden shed taking a break from weeding the gardens in our front yard when I came to the following slightly disturbing realization: All the pretty flowers blooming in my gardens were stressing me out!

This eventually compelled me to make what I decided to call a "garden shed confession" on my Instagram account, using the Instagram Story Feature.

Basically I confessed to being a recovering perfectionist and how this was robbing me of actually enjoying the beauty of my gardens.  Instead of being thrilled that my Irises were blooming again, my inner perfectionist was making me feel frantic about the amount of weeds that had popped up in their beds.  I found myself fretting that all my flowers were going to start blooming before I did all the weeding, mulching and planting I wanted to do to show them to their best advantage.

Of course this was ridiculous and thankfully I was quickly able to recognize this.  I also recognized that I needed to do something to change this joy robbing mindset.

Flowers In My Perfectly Imperfect Backyard

So I took my cell phone on a leisurely walk around my yard and took some photos of the flowers blooming there.  After only a few minutes of this it was clear to me that my flowers required very little help from me to be shown to their best advantage.  Their beauty out-shined any presence of weeds around them.  They didn't need a perfect garden to reach their full potential.  They were perfection on their own.

Rising Above The Weeds

Of course this doesn't mean that I will stop pulling up the weeds.  It just means that I won't allow them or my perfectionism to rob me of enjoying the beauty and the magic that surrounds me while I do.

Outshining The Weeds

To catch my next "garden shed confession" and see more photos and videos of my home and gardens, follow me on Instagram.








Monday, April 17, 2017

When The World Smells Like Lilacs




The other day I was listening to Joe Walsh sing “Life's Been Good” on my car stereo and, like always, I found myself smiling and nodding my head at the line, “I can't complain but sometimes I still do.”

I'm sure I'm not the only one who relates to that lyric. It's so easy to complain about life's disappointments and inconveniences, even when we know we have it relatively good. I know that for me all it takes is lack of sleep, hunger or crappy weather to convince me that the universe is picking on me some days.

The Lilac Portal

However, on Spring days such as the ones we've been having lately, I have no trouble remembering how wonderful life can be and how very lucky and blessed I am.

It's just so much easier to practice gratitude when the world smells like Lilacs, or to believe in magic when it's raining apple blossoms in my backyard or to have faith in miracles when the “Immortality” Irises in my front yard decide to bloom on Easter Sunday.

Peace Beneath The Lilacs

Apple Blossom Magic

Immortality Irises


Life's been good to me so far.


Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Cabbage Hallway Makeover

Just Hanging Out In My Hallway

I know it has been awhile since my last post but I have been busy with a ton of projects around here and it all started with a sudden desire to paint The Cabbage hallway purple.  Well, actually, I just wanted to paint something purple and the hallway still had a couple of walls I'd never painted.

Here's a photo I took of it way back in 2014:


The Cabbage Hallway In 2014

There is a sort of vestibule at the end of the hallway where the doors to my art studio and the guest bedroom and bathroom are that I had already painted blue. I decided to keep that the way it was and just paint the two side walls purple (paint color is Rare Wine By Valspar).  Here's what it looks like now:


The Cabbage Hallway in 2017 (Bathroom View)

I also painted the partial wall at the other end of the hallway a golden yellow (paint color is Mac And Cheese by Behr).


The Cabbage Hallway in 2017 (Living Room View)

It's a lot of color, which makes me happy.  Seriously, how did I ever live with those bland walls before?  And I think the purple makes a great background for my art.


My Art In The Cabbage Hallway

Of course the real fun began when the painting was over and I got to decorate.  I added a few new items like the candle sconces, some vintage finds like the baskets on the wall (Etsy) and I shopped my basement and other rooms in the house as well.


The Santos bust on the bookshelves used to be in the guestroom
but I moved it here so I could enjoy it more often.

This Lovely Basket (Purchased from VintageJunqueAmy on Etsy)
also serves the purpose of hiding our not so attractive thermostat.

I think maybe the walls could take a few more things (heaven forbid I have actual blank wall space) but I'm really happy with this space both form and function wise for now.  Also, I need to call this project done so I can focus on the other project it spawned, my guest bathroom.  More about that next time.

To see more photos and learn more details about the hallway project, you can click here.

And you can always follow all my decorating and other adventures on Instagram.

Thanks for stopping by!