DIY Office Redecorating

 

I started my job in October. At the time, I was one of three people in my office. By January, I was the only one still in this space. It felt a little lonely and like there was way too much furniture in the room. It took some brainstorming with a co-worker or two, but I finally decided that an office redecorating day was overdue.

Here is how it looked before. By this point I had moved from the smaller desk in the middle of the room to the larger desk in the corner for more work space but I didn’t like that people were already in the middle of the room before I could see them. It was kind of plain since a lot of the décor left with one of my former office mates. Then there was the vinyl decal that was too stark with the black on white but couldn’t be removed without taking the paint with it.

Office Before Collage

Here are the ways I wanted my office to function:

  • I wanted some color.
  • I wanted to be able to have interns working in my space.
  • I wanted somewhere for people to sit when they came in.
  • I wanted a surface for projects, or meetings, or for my kids to sit at when they came into the office.

I also knew I did not want to spend a lot to refresh the space. After assessing what I wanted to keep that was already in the office, I started by digging through some household items in the garage that hadn’t made it into our current house. I found pillow covers along with extra pillow forms that were sitting in a closet, fabric I had previously used as guest room wall décor, and signed items in frames from my former life as a dancer and dance teacher. I also now had somewhere to put the 12×12 canvas print I won from Printicular.

I also dug through the company storage area and found some large items to put on the wall plus a small table that was just holding up a box and a couple of chairs. Lastly, it gave me an excuse to visit the Base Thrift Store to see if I could find a few things. I found a candle display, some plain black frames, and a large canvas print.

I picked up the large canvas print with the intent of covering it in fabric, but needed to make just a little bit larger so I picked up some foam when I purchased the fabric – with coupons, of course. I just neatly wrapped the foam and canvas and stapled in on to the wooden frame portion on the back.

Office supplies Collage

After enlisting the help of a few coworkers to move some of the furniture around and giving everything a good wipe down and vacuuming, here is the final product.

Office After Collage

I don’t expect to win the designers reality TV contest, but it has been much more pleasant and functional. It’s kind of funny that no one used to really come into my office before but now people will walk in and sit at the little table and most people like the pops of blue in the room. I have also since added some flowers to the little table. Both the table and lining up the two smaller desks has been helpful when putting packets together or to plan out what needs to go to an event. My kids eat dinner here on the evenings that Kelsey has dance class plus they have a little bit of floor space to color or lay down. Even though there is more in the room, it actually feels bigger.

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I was happy to finally have somewhere to display some of my dance memorabilia and it has been a topic of conversation when people come in, especially since you can see the Lion King poster from the hallway. When I was living in a first floor apartment, a hurricane came through and dumped a lot of water and flooded my apartment. I had items on the lowest shelf that were destroyed including some books and other items that had autographs on them. After drying them out, my Mom had the idea to cut up the covers and autographs to keep at least. I could have gotten these custom framed but instead, I got some frames and cardstock and cut out the size I needed for each book.

I think I hit every thing on my wish list and, best of all, I barely spent anything to do it thanks to a little reusing and repurposing. If I am going to be somewhere most of the day, I might as well make it my own.

 

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Is Winter Over Yet?

I have been having a bit of mommy guilt lately. It seems like we’ve had more sick days than good days lately and I can’t help feel like it’s because they are in daycare all day now. Via Facebook, I know it’s not just us dealing with a steady stream of viruses and there are places getting way worse weather than we are here in Dayton, Ohio. However, none of it makes me feel any better when the past few weekends we have just ended up home all day because someone can’t be far from a bathroom or box of tissues.

With a forecast of a record low highs, I am taking a moment to think about the fun moments we’ve had this winter. I realized that I never finished my Christmas post. We were able to have some fun times over the holidays.

My baby turned 4 in January. Four! Sometimes it feels like she’s always been here and other times it seems like I just blinked and I have a little girl where a toddler was just standing.

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For her birthday, we ended up with a snow day and school was cancelled so her and her sister hung out with Daddy and played in the snow most of the day. To celebrate her birthday, we took her ice skating and went to Proto Build Bar to let her play the Giant Claw. She got a ball bouncy ball which I am surprised has not knocked something over in this house yet.

kelsey birthday Collage

My mother made her a gorgeous Elsa dress for her a while back that she seemed to finally grow into overnight. A good snow gave us a chance to head to a local park and quickly have a little fun taking some pictures. (She has a couple pairs of pants and fuzzy boots on underneath and we were only out of the car for a few minutes. Besides, the cold never bothered her anyways.)

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We have been taking advantage of time to play in the snow whenever we can. Of course, we have been bringing the snow inside when we can to let the girls play with it. They have been putting the arctic animals play set they got for Christmas and Frozen figurines to good use. With so much “crud” going around I don’t want to go to any indoor playground areas right now. When the weather is warm enough we go to the playground nearby or just play outside. We even made our first snowman!

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Kelsey also started dance lessons at Jeraldyne’s School of Dance. She has been loving it and can’t wait until the next week. Both girls have also enjoyed getting to watch the big kids, which is actually the second company modern class, before and after Kelsey’s class.

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Not to be left out, how cute is Aubrey with this little ponytail? The ladies at her daycare started putting them in since her hair is starting to get into her eyes.

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At least I am fortunate enough to have a job that allows for some flexibility. I was able to go ahead and get a new car which was an overdue purchase. I have even had both girls in the office with me at different times when they couldn’t go to school but Mom and Dad had to work.

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This past weekend Kelsey was sick Thursday – Saturday, my husband was sick Sunday (we were supposed to be going to see the Dayton Ballet), and then Aubrey got what ever it was on Monday-Tuesday. I feel like I am a ticking time bomb while hoping I don’t get it and that it will be gone from our house soon. Where we these “immunities” they are supposed to be building? It’s been a never ending cycle lately since it seems like the moment every one is good, someone catches something again. All I know is at least we have a washer and dryer and don’t pay for water.

I am still working on the whole work/life balance thing but I think it will get better eventually. I am definitely looking forward to being get out more on the weekends. We may even get crazy and make it to a ski mountain this winter and go snow tubing. Let’s just get through the next couple days first.

Stay warm out there.

Last Day as a Stay at Home Mom

The last time I worked was a few days before Kelsey was born almost 4 years ago. I have been a stay at home mom since she was born and part of what lead to this blog. I have been with her almost everyday of her life and Aubrey has never gone more than a few hours without me in her first year of life.

Until last week.

I never intended on staying home forever and figured I would look at going back when Aubrey turned 1. Well, a weeks short of that, I started looking and sent a few resumes out. Then, an opportunity through a friend presented itself. After two interviews, I found myself being offered a full-time position the week of Aubrey’s first birthday. It starts tomorrow.

Thankfully, it worked out that I was able to get both girls into the same daycare nearby on base and that they could start a week before my position started. Kelsey has loved it and adapted very well to going everyday (she was going two full days a week at another daycare before this). Aubrey, on the other hand, has had a rougher time adjusting.

As I suspected, she enjoys playing and, after being a little cautious the first day, she is eating well. However, the most worrisome part for me is that she isn’t really taking to the new sleep schedule of 1 nap after lunch instead of an AM and PM nap. Also, the biggest change is that at home she is nursed to sleep for naps and often just takes her naps on my lap or in a carrier. At least she is quiet when she wakes up after a short catnap and looks at books while the teachers do their tasks. I just wish I could get her to sleep at night.

While they were at daycare this week, I constantly kept checking my phone. Only one call – apparently, Aubrey has some sort of skin allergy to cottage cheese we are now going to be looking into. At least she has been getting more comfortable with the adults that care for her and all the staff seem nice, knowledgeable, and hard working.

The other thing is that this daycare refuses to utilize cloth diapers so we now provide disposable diapers and wipes for while she is there but are still using cloth diapers and wipes at home in the evenings and on the weekends. I find it a little depressing, but I’ll get over it.

We are still nursing at home. So, we’ll see how long she is interested in it. I actually had to go purchase regular bras and part of my work wardrobe since I have been mainly living in nursing camisoles.

I am excited about going back to work and my job is going to be challenging and taking me back into the worlds of both dance and education. It is just tough going back as a Mom. I think I have questioned whether or not I should at least once a day since accepting the offer. I question whether or not I’ll be able to balance work and family. I question if I am doing more harm than good for my girls. I don’t know how this transition is going to go for all the parties involved.

I have adjusted my tasks so that I do a majority of household chores and personal errands during the weekdays so there is lots of family time in the evenings and weekends. That is not going to be an option anymore. Just going to visit family won’t be an option for a while and will take more coordination. On the other hand, I am looking forward to the occasion lunch date. My husband took this past week off and it was wonderful to eat and converse in peace.

I also got a ton of projects and things around the house done including a yard sale. Cleared out some clutter before things get busy and it gets too cold and we made enough to get the next size up of car seats we need for the girls plus a few odds and ends of winter clothing.

It is going to be interesting around here for the next few weeks as everyone adjusts to our new normal, but I am hopeful everyone will come out okay in the end. I am excited about the new clothes I picked up and I actually had a reason to get some new makeup and get my nails done.

I am grateful that I had the chance to be home with these two gorgeous little girls, even if some days I wanted to pull my hair out. I am now happy to take on the challenge of getting out into the world again. Wish me luck!

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