Sunday, February 19, 2017

How to decorate with no money

Congratulations!
If you googling "how to decorate" you've probably just landed your first place, maybe you are a recent graduate who just got their first apartment or maybe you saved up all your pennies and bought you first home. Either way, you most likely have a "place" but now.. what do you do with it? Ideally, we would all love to run out to our Ikea store and make your space the envy of your friends and family, who, after all wouldn't gush with pride when visitors ooh- and ahhh.. over your stellar fortune and exquisite tastes..  the only downfall might be the budget.Can't feather a nest when your pockets are empty. Don't fear.. I've got a few great tips that will make your place look like something on an HGTV series without breaking the bank.
I was a working single mom and snagging that stunning sofa at the Raymour & Flannigan showroom just was never going to happen, but what I did do, for practically NOTHING was create a home that seriously had people question how we could afford to live like that as a single parent household.  I'll let you in on my secrets.

Paint~ A little fresh paint can completely change a room. Economically, Walmart sells a paint, not the Walmart brand, but a paint called, Loop paint for less than $10 a can. Yes you can't customize your color, BUT the colors they do have are neutral and complimentary to most any decor. It does have a bit of a funky smell do it, but it goes away after it dries (you can also put a capful of  extract, vanilla, peppermint, orange.. whatever suits you) which will hide a bit of the funk while you paint. The very best thing I have found about this, is it has a primer and paint all in one, covers in one coat and is durable I was skeptical, but after using it in a few rooms, I found especially heavily used rooms this paint is a far better choice than an expensive custom mixed color.
 From what I've seen at Walmart it typically comes in blue, tan, green and grey, which currently are pretty trendy colors. If you happen to have builder grade golden oak cabinets, the green is an absolute perfect match to compliment the odd yellow-orange tint of golden oak.  I highly recommend this paint for keeping in a budget or just starting out until you can afford that custom color you have been dreaming about.

No money for paint? Check Craigslist, be smart, don't get spooked by the horror internet stories of the Craigslist Killer. If you are buying or selling Craigslist is a great place to search for building materials, furniture, linens and more. Meet publicly, bring only the cash for the item and if you are worried, meet in the police station parking lot. It's would take a pretty brazen criminal to try and rip you off surrounded by the boys in blue.  I have picked up paint for free and mixed colors together to make enough for a room. Start out by just using a small amount, stir together and paint it on a piece of paper. Let it dry and see if you like it before you paint an entire room. Another great place to score free paint is your local landfill or recycling center.  Be creative, but it you do mix paint, make sure you mix enough to cover the ENTIRE room, don't try and do small batches, because matching it each time is nearly impossible.

You have your paint~ now time to decorate. Nobody ever needs to spend a fortune on decorating. Define your style, are you urban, country, rustic, modern.. what brings you pleasure, what is your lifestyle like? Be realistic. While you might love white sofas and carpets, if you have small kids or pets, white carpets and sofas will be your nemesis and will not be white for very long. Prints hide things better, leather is not pet friendly, imitation pleather just isn't worth spending money on period. Microfiber while all the rage and is easy to clean, in my opinion shows absolutely everything, including fingerprints, footprints and paw prints.Once you've chosen your style and what will compliment your life, it's time to start finding things.  You'd be amazed at the friends and family who have furniture waiting to go curbside because they upgraded. Ask your friends, post on Facebook that you are looking for furniture. While I would be picky with cleanliness, I tend to be more flexible with colors and designs, while you might think that retro purple fur couch is something out of a disco era, with the right design elements and paint, you can turn that into a focal point.  Pick your furniture pieces first. Hit the local Salvation Army stores, search Craigslist. I purchased a $3000 (new retail) real leather living room set for $100 because there were a few blemishes on it and the people selling it wanted a perfect set. I had to drive 120 miles to get it, but I have absolutely no regrets. It was clean and well taken care of but this family had the money to upgrade and buy new. I summer yard sale in wealthy neighborhoods and search yard sale sites for pieces.  Be creative, just because it's a "China Hutch" doesn't mean it can't be converted to a pantry or a bedroom piece. A narrow desk can become an entry table. Don't be afraid to think outside the box. Stumped? Check out Pinterest for upcycle and recycle ideas. Ugly burgundy bench? Think paint and reupholster. You would be amazed at the amount of things I have spotted om the side of the road for free, brought home, a little paint, a little fabric and you would never know it was at one time, someone else's trash.  Here's a great example.
Before and After

 You don't have to go buy fabric. Paint is cheap sometimes free and fabric can be the same. I have used shower curtains, sheets, blankets, old coats.. I have spray painted old bicycle rims and hung them on the wall as an art piece. Be creative. Instead of looking at something for what it is,. think, what could this be~

The best advice is simply find what you love. If you find something that catches your eye at a yard sale or thrift store, don't pass it up, buy it and think outside the box to implement it into your decor. If you love the materials you use to decorate, it will flow together seamlessly. 
What was your greatest thrift find?  Please share!
Thanks for reading and come back tomorrow~~


Friday, February 17, 2017

Treatment of our Vets and the saddest story I ever heard...

While completely off subject from my intended blog, I felt compelled to share this. In part, to just simply share a message to be kind to one another and in part to share this terrible story that I feel, should be heard. We never truly know the struggles another is going through. This story touched me on so many levels. We have all experienced a loved one suffering from depression or alcoholism, Most of us know a Veteran and are aware of the effects of PTSD or perhaps we have dealt with mental illness or addiction on another level. For some, it is boldly apparent, but others can hide their struggles so well that even their closest friends and family have no idea the demons they face every day. Asking for help is never easy for anyone. Most people suffer in silence. Suicide  is the  10th leading cause of death in the United States, with over 44,000 people committing suicide yearly.  For every person who commits suicide, there are 25 attempts. That is 1,100,000 suicide attempts a year to put the numbers in perspective and although many believe the holidays are the toughest time, the most amount of suicide attempts take place in the spring. Imagine if you will, how desperate and hopeless you must feel to reach a point where you reach out for help, to feel so deeply distraught that you no longer have the will to live.  Now imagine being told nobody will help you.

This is what happened: 

Press Release

GREENFIELD - A disabled veteran died last week from what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot in the lobby of a Federal Street drug treatment center, police say.
Greenfield Police Chief Robert Haigh said police continue to investigate the incident which occurred on Feb. 8 inside the lobby of the Franklin Recovery Center at 298 Federal St.
Haigh told the Greenfield Recorder that Edward Daniel Dowd, who was in his 60s, died of the gunshot wound to his head inside the lobby.
Katherine Wilson, chief executive officer of the Behavioral Health Network, which runs the Franklin Recovery Center, told The Recorder that the the agency is also investigating the death.
The Recorder reported that Dowd is listed as a disabled veteran in the city street list and was born in 1953.
This is a developing story. Additional information will be posted as soon as it is available.
This is what Daniel Dowd shared publicly on Facebook and what his family is circulating..


Dan's letter:
It’s Wednesday and I guess this is my Swan Song. I’m done. I’m going to check into God’s Hotel tonight because help has been denied. Yep. My request was denied twice. And so it goes….
I went to the detox center in Greenfield on Sunday and did an intake but my service connected PTSD overcame me and I respectfully requested to leave and I left the facility. Everybody was polite, me too, they said come back if you change your mind. I went home and reconsidered.
I came back with hope in my heart. I went back the next day, a fresh Monday, a new week, a new staff and I was trying again to get the help I needed. The new staff said no. They decided to reject me. Why? Why had I been condemned by the head of admitting on the next day Monday shift, Nancy, the utter and complete bitch refused to admit me, seriously---she was hostile and mean. Why? She told me to fuck off. She came down to the freezing cold outer foyer at midnight in Greenfield where I was waiting for an hour and opened the door and bitched me out in person right in my face. She spoke with invectives. She was adamant. She called me names. She was saying my insurance was no good. I remained courteous in my plea for help. I told her I needed to get away from my booze addiction and be admitted to do the program. She barked at me "NO!" Why would this Nancy person be hostile towards me? I have no idea. I was shocked and dismayed. I came back for help. Never saw this bitch before in my life. Why was she chastising me? Me, a stranger to her. I’m a simple veteran who was seeking help returning for the help I desperately need. I was shocked. I was thinking: "who is this bitch barking at me in this cold, unheated waiting room foyer?" She told me to leave. She kicked me out. So I left meekly, tail between my legs, beat down. Injured in my emotions by a cruel human being named Nancy. She wouldn’t tell me her last name. I don’t know where her hate came from. What the hell was that? Why on God’s Earth would this Nancy person refuse my plea for alcohol detox at an alcohol and substance abuse detox facility right here in Greenfield?
What the fuck is up with this wickedness >?< I’m here trying to quit booze and maybe nicotine and maybe caffeine. I want to do the after care routine. I get NO, I’m getting kicked out, told to leave. So I left. I remained polite in the face of this Nancy assault. But trying to heal, I came back the next day.

Tuesday. The next day dawned and I was still in pain because trying to quit booze is serious and I went back. Try again. I went again to the detox center in Greenfield, Tuesday, (yesterday), seeking help for my alcohol problem and Nancy’s subordinate shift supervisor named Jaime, came down and told me to my face in the waiting room she had orders from Nancy not to accept my valid insurance. Jamie said my insurance was invalid, (but my insurance is good, plus---you don't even need insurance for this detox program in Greenfield). Two days in a row they rejected me. What the hell?
These people are sadistic and cruel.
Jamie in the foyer last night, (so very rude in her demeanor), told me to leave. GET OUT. Jamie said: “my superior, Nancy, has said you can’t receive our help. Get out now and don’t come back.” Wow. I complied, very upset of course, but I complied. They kicked me out again. That’s twice. Why? Why be rude and cruel to me? I came in peace, I spoke politely, I never uttered a harsh word, they singled me out for some unknown reason and whipped up on my begging ass. I just wanted to work through my booze addiction. They turned me away.
I was courteous and compliant. I was seeking help. I don’t know why these cruel people decided to dislike me but that's what they did. Why in Heaven’s name did they single me out for torture? Healthcare professionals? Not at all. I was courteous in all encounters. They were just mean. Cruel.
I don’t know why. They were outright cruel to me. I never said a harsh word. Perhaps I should have, but I am flummoxed by their hostility. I just don’t understand why they were so rude and hostile when I was docile and supple asking for help. Why do you think I came here?
My insanity can't compare with theirs. I was seeking help for this nagging alcohol problem that stems from my service-connected disability. Seeking help was my current mission. I was polite.
Request denied. Kicked out twice.
I was trying to save my body but they wouldn’t accept me at the Greenfield Detox on Federal Street. I still don’t know why. I was polite, friendly, asking for help. Openly admitting that I have a problem and begging for help. I did beg. Please help me. I asked politely, I begged sincerely. The record will show: They kicked me out twice. Why?
I can’t take it anymore. I begged them to help me.
So I decided to just go ahead and give them my body as a gift since they won't help this old veteran get well. You won't help me get well? Fuck you. It’s now a gift. I’m done. You can have my body which I delivered here for healing …. and I'll be done with it. My body is now yours. The pain for me has been real. Those people at that detox center are pure evil. As you read this you will learn that I delivered my body one more time and deposited myself at the detox center one last time in dead form two bullets in my head so this time they could just call 911 requesting a body bag and get rid of me for good like they said they wanted to do. I sincerely hope I left a messy scene with blood and brain tissue everywhere. I hope I shit my pants and made a big smell. Those people at the Greenfield detox center are pure sadistic evil. I depart raising my middle finger. This veteran wonders why I served to protect them.
The bottom line is I can’t endure any more of this pain. I’m at the end of my rope. I know what to do now.
To my friends who might miss me: I tried, I really did.
Now I am beyond pain.

I left a sink full of dishes. I think there is some humor in that.


This saddened me so much. Not only because of the poor treatment our Veterans get and the inability for the civilian world to recognize the devastating effects of PTSD, but because a man who asked for help was out right denied. Nobody seeking treatment should ever be denied. Regardless of ability to pay.. Let me note that this was NOT a VA Clinic and I do realize treatment centers are overcrowded, but refusing to help another human being is not the answer. Had that center not been able to take him, every attempt should have been made to help this man get the treatment he was seeking. If nothing more, I do hope Dan's story spreads in hope that a similar situation to this does not happen. f you or someone you know is suffering from depression, please, find the courage to ask for help. If you are denied, ask for help again, from someone else or somewhere else. There are people out there to help you. Here are a few resources:























Thanks for reading and come back tomorrow!!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Losing someone you love

I was not decided when I started this blog if I should share personal things, there are so many sites all offering different ways to get people to read your blogs and gain more readers. Some say yes, share your personal stories triumphs and obstacles, other say to just share only what will draw the demographic of readers you want. For me, strictly blogging about design, as much as I love it, I feel would be forced and boring. I've chose to share some of my personal life, because I personally think that the opportunity to connect with my readers on a more personal level is important. I also know, I've just started and I don't really have followers yet, but at some point in some time, someone may read this and relate. Today is a difficult time for me, trying to focus has been near impossible Tomorrow is the anniversary of the Dad's passing which through the years, I had hoped would get easier but it still stings as much as the day I had to say goodbye. I've been a little lost today and struggled to find something to write about. I decided to write about my Dad and share the video I created for his services. I'm sharing my personal Facebook post, and for those of you who are grieving or have suffered a loss, I understand and my heartfelt condolences go out to you. Please feel free to leave comments or share a story about your loved one. Keeping their memory alive is truly the most comforting thing in the world.

Four years ago at this moment, I was spending my final moments with my Dad who would pass away the following morning. Not a day goes by that I don't wish for one more moment with him. He wasn't just my Dad but my very best friend, my fishing buddy, my Mr. Fix-it, my mentor, my rock. A quiet man with the strongest work ethic. He wasn't afraid to unleash holy hell on you when you were screwing up and always there to lend a hand up and an encouraging whisper when you fell. We had our ups and downs, but in the end, he's been the only man in my life who was always in my corner and always looking out for me. He was the only man who has ever loved me unconditionally, even at my worst and thought I always deserved the moon and the stars, We all miss you Pops
I am so thankful and blessed to have had him in my life.


I cannot upload directly due to the size, so I am sharing the link if you'd like to view it~ 

Memorial Video

Thanks for reading and come back tomorrow for more!!


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Starting Out

I'm starting out a little late considering blogging has been all the rage forever now. I've wanted to do a blog for a long time, but found it hard to narrow my scope down to one particular thing I felt I could write about on a daily basis. Taking that into consideration, this blog will not be about one particular thing. As a lifelong photographer and writer with a passion for organization and design, I decided after being constantly unfulfilled and unappreciated working for someone else to take matters into my own hands and just dive into the world of trying to make a name for myself. While this is a work in progress, my goal is to eventually merge my talents into a career where I can do the things I love and find a life/work balance. I've spent 30 years slaving away for others and working myself to the point I forgot that we are here to enjoy life, not just work, pay bills and die.

I know this won't happen overnight, but  I am a firm believer we can reach any goal we set for ourselves.This blog will be a little interior decorating, a little party planning, I might share with you the best place to get fonts or how to manage your social media accounts. It's information on how to make your world a more beautiful place, be it through creating aesthetically pleasing spaces, inside and out or how to find the best gift for your loved one.  If it's business or personal, I'm going to tackle it.  I'm still learning things so if I can pass some of that onto my readers, it's a win-win for both of us! While I will try to keep it interesting and thought provoking, please remember that many of the types of things I will be discussing, I offer as a service, so please check out my links and my websites, join me on facebook and let's talk about design, organization and making your world a stress free, beautiful bubble.  My goal is to post daily so please subscribe and see what I find next!
Thanks for visiting~ Come back tomorrow for more~