Please Pardon My Disappearance

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I am happy to announce two things: One: I am BACK! Two: I now come with my own personal sidekick, and he comes in the form of a tiny 3.5 month old human male known as London Cooper. I've been white hair follicle deep in the land of keeping this little guy alive and haven't been able to get my head in the game, but am now in a place where I should be able to get back on the train (even though I may have to actually get out of my comfy sleeper car and push that train uphill both ways at first). So please bear with me for a bit.

I've missed sharing my projects with you all and have a folder of a ridiculous amount of things to get ready to post, so it's time to start pumping them back out. Let's begin with the past, and then move on to the future. Without further ado, here's a peek at what the past few months looked like.

Lighting 101: tips for a perfectly lit home

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Lighting is one of the most important elements in a home and can often be overlooked. It's one of the first things I notice in any space I enter, and if it's way off it can completely change the outcome of my experience. It really is an easy and dramatic thing to alter with minimal effort.

All lighting is not created equal in every situation and should be addressed on an individual basis. When your lighting is beautifully balanced it can completely transform your space and mood. 

So let's talk lights: There are a few different kinds that you should keep in mind that are used for different situations.

  • Direct or Task: this type of light is focused on the space you are working in.
  • Ambient or Indirect: this is used for ambience and overall lighting of a space.
  • Overhead, Recessed or Track Lighting: think of the feeling of a conference room where you can get 'lighting fatigue' because it is so bright and shadowless. There is nowhere to focus and no place for your eyes to rest.

    I am really not a fan of this type of light in a home. It may create a bright and evenly lit space, but that isn't really the type of scenario you need to achieve in a home. It ends up washing everything out and creating a very bland diffused environment that can be very unflattering. It personally makes me edgy and gives me a headache.
  • Mood Lighting: Changes with the room and events that take place in it. Having individual lamps that light up specific areas and create different moods for different occasions can create a number of rooms in one.

Color Temperature: Understanding the basics of color temperature is a really important step for balancing the right ambience in your home. Color temperature is measured in Kelvin Degree's. To make it simple just try to remember two numbers, and everything else falls in between.

  1. 5500K: This is bright white light. It is the measurement of sunny daylight at noon and also the flash in photography. This light falls on the cold side (bluish) and isn't really flattering in the home. Think of the light of a CFL when they first came out or even florescent office overheads.
  2. 3200K: This is a warmer (orange) more pleasing light. It is the color of sunrise and sunset. This is more of what you would see with older more traditional light bulbs.

Tips:

  1. Use a range of lighting in varied heights and locations.
  2. Use different brightness levels in different parts of the room.
  3. Dimmers: If you have overhead lighting as your main lighting source, consider putting in dimmers. They will dramatically affect your ambience in a variety of ways.


Questions to ask yourself:

What is your goal for lighting this room? Is it for a specific task, for reading in a corner, to relax, to work?  Your lighting should set the right mood as well as serve the correct function.

Appreciation: Learning to Give Yourself a Break

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Yesterday the subject of speaking negatively to yourself came up in a few different scenarios all within an hour of each other. That was enough to get me pondering over the subject on my drive home. 

The first time was during a strenuous part of an exercise class. We were doing a minute of tricep pulls (after twenty minutes of other arm pulls) and towards the end, when our arms were shaking and we were struggling to finish, thoughts of wanting to quit began to surface. The instructor asked, 'what are you saying to yourself right now? Are you being kind and encouraging or discouraging and destructive? Are you telling yourself that you can do it and to keep going? or it's too hard and you have to stop?'  She advised that if you find yourself being negative to switch your internal dialogue as if you were speaking to a child who was struggling and trying something new for the first time. Not only was this brilliant, it worked!

At the end of class during the relaxation period she again asked what was running through our heads? Were we going over all the things we did wrong and couldn't achieve during class today or were we proud of ourselves for showing up and working hard?

After class I headed to meet my friends at our bi-monthly dinner gathering, and a friend brought up the desire to practice speaking more positively to herself. I felt there was a reason that this subject kept getting brought up and that I needed to listen. Like many of us out there I am definitely guilty of my internal dialogue being less than kind to myself at times. Over the years I have actively worked on improving my dialogue, but I may have fallen back into some bad habits that need to be re-visited.

I am guilty of not always seeing everything I have accomplished, but thinking about everything I still need to do instead. Of not focusing on what I've done right, but paying more attention to the mistakes I've made along the way. I know there are times that I don't praise myself enough for what I've done and only see what I wasn't able to pull off. It's way too easy to fall into this way of thinking and not realize it, but we do have the ability to shut it down.

I am a culprit of doing this constantly at The Farmhouse. But there is only so much we can do at a time, so where is it really getting me? Am I worried that I am going to all of a sudden forget everything that has to be done (ha! I wish)?  Or maybe if I say and think it enough times it will all magically get done over night while I'm fast asleep, and I'll awake to traces of fairy dust left sprinkled about? So instead of giving my adrenal glands a run for their money, I'm really, really going to try to burn that running to-do list that's implanted in front of my eyes and focus on the major strides we have already made.

It seems this negative dialogue has become an internal epidemic in our society. It's good to learn and strive and grow and challenge ourselves, but since when is negative self-feedback the way to go? I say it's time to take our brains back. Treat ourselves the way we would treat others, or better yet the way we want to be treated ourselves. It takes just as much effort to tell yourself something positive as it does to say something negative. Awareness is the first step, so when you realize you are doing it say, 'Stop' and then try to reword your thoughts in a kinder manner. Is it as easy as it sounds? Yes and No. Of course not, because it's work and change and that's never easy. Yes, because it's your thoughts, your brain, and you are in control. Besides, after it becomes a habit the new thoughts will have replaced the old ones and the work will be done (with tune-ups along the way of course). An increase in happiness and self-confidence will be the winner in this game and who couldn't use more of that?

So the next time you catch your mind being less than kind to yourself, try changing your thoughts to be more like how you would talk to and encourage a child in the same situation.

And Remember: You Are Fabulous Darling!