MY INTERIOR WORLD: STRIVING FOR BALANCE

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Good morning!  Enter my Interior World, and let’s take a look at the week so far.

Last night, I set up my dinner at my new/old little table in the entry/dining room.  I even pulled out some place mats and cloth napkins with a cute holder.  How seldom do I use these things!

I can see the TV really well from this table…although the sofa is probably cozier.  But part of my balance this year is all about changing things up, including having a civilized meal at home, and not just in a restaurant or on the sofa.

 

 

 

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I’ve been reading, watching shows on my DVR…and Revenge on Netflix.  I finally finished all four seasons….but it was getting late, I wanted to curl up in bed, so I took my laptop into my bedroom to finish up.

 

 

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I watched until midnight, and didn’t get much read at all yesterday, between TV shows and Netflix.  Maybe I will hold off on the Netflix until the weekend, when I’ll want to start watching Orange Is the New Black.

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You would think I’d sleep late, but the opposite happened, of course.  I was wide awake at 6:00 a.m., I wrote my Hump Day Reading post...and I’ve been editing photos at PicMonkey.  And visiting blogs.

 

 

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I think I might have to curl up and take a nap later….here:

 

 

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What has your week looked like?  Are you staying in balance?  Reading?  Or pursuing one of your obsessions?

 

 

June 5 Madeine Hatter & Coffee Cup

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MY INTERIOR WORLD: CHANGES?

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Yesterday found me at Dai Bai Dang in the neighborhood mall, eating and waiting for my chosen movie to start.  I love this place for pre-movie reading and eating, and the servers don’t mind that I take a two-hour lunch. 

I was reading The Opposite of Everyone, by Joshilyn Jackson, which I’ve since finished.  (Click for my review).

 

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I had this drink with my appetizer…it is called Blushing Geisha, and it was delicious.

 

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I saw the movie Carol, with Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, among others…It was hard to picture Rooney as the girl in the Millennium saga movies.

 

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What can I say about the movie?  Very tastefully done…and I’m a big fan of both actors.

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Now I am contemplating the upcoming Bloggiesta, which will be carried out primarily on my Curl up and Read site (Click Bloggiesta link to sign up).  But other blogs may find themselves undergoing smaller makeovers.

Here I am, frittering away my morning on blogs, and have I had any kind of balance (my One Word?)  Well, that came yesterday, with my outing.  And the rest of today will be about movies, Netflix, etc.

And yes, I probably should get in some exercise.  Yuk!

How does one make changes when everything that is familiar seems to cry out for attention?  I do know that nothing changes quickly, at least not in my world.   So…baby steps.

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What does your interior world look like?  What are you trying to change, if anything?

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MY INTERIOR WORLD: AFTER…

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Good morning, readers!  Here we are on a Thursday, already, and I am tucked away in my little Nook above, reading blogs, answering e-mails, and finally enjoying some peaceful moments after the Big Carpet Cleaning.

My office was where I hung out while the cleaning took place…and afterwards, too, as I waited for it all to dry.  Since my office gets little traffic, and looked almost new after rearranging the furniture, it didn’t need the cleaning right now.  I may do it myself later.

Here are a couple of shots of the dining and living room areas:

 

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When I brought most of the furniture back in, I left a few things in the garage to sort through…like magazines, birdhouses, etc.  I now get to decide what to keep in my Interior World…and what to store.

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While I was relaxing, I read two great NetGalley books this week:  Smoke (click for review):

 

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And then yesterday, I finished Corrupted, by Lisa Scottoline.  Click for my review:

 

 

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My NetGalley Shelf was empty…so guess what?  I had to request something.  This morning, my request was approved and I downloaded this one!  Yay!  The Things We Keep, by Sally Hepworth, will be released on 1/19/16…so I have a little while to get it read.

 

 

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Anna Forster, in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease at only thirty-eight years old, knows that her family is doing what they believe to be best when they take her to Rosalind House, an assisted living facility. She also knows there’s just one another resident her age, Luke. What she does not expect is the love that blossoms between her and Luke even as she resists her new life at Rosalind House. As her disease steals more and more of her memory, Anna fights to hold on to what she knows, including her relationship with Luke.

When Eve Bennett is suddenly thrust into the role of single mother she finds herself putting her culinary training to use at Rosalind house. When she meets Anna and Luke she is moved by the bond the pair has forged. But when a tragic incident leads Anna’s and Luke’s families to separate them, Eve finds herself questioning what she is willing to risk to help them.

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Meanwhile, I am currently reading Who Do You Love, by Jennifer Weiner.

 

 

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What does your Interior World look like today?  What weekend plans do you have?  I am getting my hair colored and styled today, thanks to my lovely daughter Heather.  Here she is with her son, Noah (my grandson, of course!).  We spent a lot of time together this summer with the house guests here, but lately, we’ve both been so busy.  Looking forward to catching up today….

 

Heather's birthday lunch- 2015

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ENTER MY INTERIOR WORLD: MY OFFICE

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Enter the interior of my newly rearranged office space.  Above, catch a glimpse of the new work station in my Nook, where a bookshelf and filing cabinet once lived.  And to the right, the sofa bed now hugs the entry wall, allowing it to stretch out the length of the room.  Why didn’t I think of this sooner?  Before my house guests arrived?  LOL

Here is another look…coziness:

 

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The Nook Work Station again, with a bookshelf to the left.  That bookshelf was once across the room:

 

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Here’s a view of the rest of the room, from the doorway:

 

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Yesterday was a day of rushing from one place to another, beginning with taking Fiona to the Amtrak Station so she could go to the coast for a couple of weeks to visit friends.

She is the wonderful assistant who helped with my furniture rearranging. 

Later, I had a dental appointment….grueling!  Crown prep, as a molar broke.  Pain.  Now I must eat soft foods for a couple of weeks until the crown arrives, which means having to think before I choose my meals.  Or I could just chew on the other side…LOL.

Reading The Lake House...still.  Distracted a lot with all the activities, etc., but loving how the author, Kate Morton, takes us back in time and then forward, fleshing out the characters until we care about them and what has happened to them.

 

 

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I love this summary:  A lush, atmospheric tale of intertwined destinies, this latest novel from a masterful storyteller is an enthralling, thoroughly satisfying read.

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What does your interior world look like?  What captures your interest and imagination on this Tuesday?

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RELUCTANTLY MOVING ON: AN EXCERPT FROM “INTERIOR DESIGNS”

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Settled into her office, Martha pushes herself to go through the motions, but her mind slips back into the past…and all that she has lost.   Then a phone call reminds her of her new life and what lies ahead.  Excerpted from “Interior Designs.”

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By nine o’clock, the phone began ringing.  I had booted up the computer and gone through a few designs, followed by my usual perusal of my task schedule for the day.  My assistant, Caroline, had set it up for me a couple of years ago, and I enjoyed how orderly it all seemed.  She arrived daily around 8:30, and now buzzed around my office space without intruding.  Her own little niche was the adjacent space that had once been Hal’s.

 
Don’t even go there, I reminded myself.  At least I’d totally redesigned that space, as if to eradicate any trace of him.  Now the room was efficiently arranged, but with feminine touches.  I had elicited Caroline’s thoughts on the plans; it would be where she spent her days, so she might as well feel comfortable.

 
Her tastes were more minimal than mine: sleek lines in gray, black, and touches of red.

 
She stopped in front of my desk abruptly now, and I tore myself away from my thoughts to ask her what she needed.  “It’s this client,” she began, pointing to the name on the message slip.  “I thought we finished with him…so why is he calling again?  Do you think he has a problem?”

 
I felt the blush tingeing my cheeks, even as I struggled to remain business-like.  “Oh, don’t worry about that one.  I’ll handle it personally.  And no, I don’t think there’s a problem.”

 
Caroline studied me curiously, but then nodded and moved back into her space.

 
Long after she’d exited the room, though, my thoughts tumbled backward to the months when I’d worked with Zachary Lowenstein, redecorating his condo.  What had begun as a professional relationship had quickly changed into something more….

 
But I had no time to waste on those memories.  Even though I’d known the relationship would end, and I hadn’t actually felt that sad about it, sometimes a pang would hit me.  Like another stab of betrayal—which was totally out of line, since I had known from the beginning that the relationship was temporary.  Hadn’t I?

 
Shaking my head at how my own crazy expectations had derailed me, time and time again, I focused sternly on the tasks ahead—answering phone calls, checking things off the list, and making changes on some of my sketches.  Sometimes my work demanded very little from me.  After all these years, my work flowed smoothly, even though the rest of my life was a total mess.

 

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MOVING FROM MY INTERIORS TO THE WORLD OUTSIDE….

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Good morning!  It is Friday, and it’s time to ponder the weekend.  As I sip my third cup of coffee and visit various blogs for my Bookish Friday event, I luxuriate in my interior world…even as I plan to escape into the world outside.

Before I go, however, let’s take a look at some close-ups of my reconfigured dining room: (Below), this country cupboard I discovered in an old shop in Clovis, our neighboring village, which I filled with quirky things.  The colorful tumblers on the top shelf are reminiscent of the same vintage tumblers we had in my childhood.

The bowls and mugs with vintage cereal images (Cornflakes!), also take me back.  Then, of course, catch a glimpse of the Coca Cola sign on the wall…and the dining room table that is actually not vintage, but looks like it is.

 

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From the opposite side of the table (below), you can see this cupboard, which I found in another shop a few years ago.  I had it in my previous home, as well.  Only recently, I swapped positions:  this cupboard with the previous one (above)….to make more space available in the area.  This one is crammed with some favorite books, memorabilia, and Mary Engelbreit dolls and art.  On the right hand side of the photo, you can see lamps, etc., from the living room.

 

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All of my furniture, etc., are collections I have found over the years.  Some things I have given away and others are stored away.  My various purges over the previous months have left my dining room still filled with the most “stuff.”  I like the feeling of the collections surrounding me, even as I pare down other parts of my house.

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Now…on to my planned outings for the weekend:  The Intern, starring Anne Hathaway, Robert DeNiro, Rene Russo, etc., is playing at our neighborhood theater.

 

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I like to arrange my movie viewing so that I can have lunch beforehand…and a cocktail, usually at Dai Bai Dang, since it is just steps away from the theater.

 

 

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I always love to take a book with me to the restaurant…and today I’m still reading House of Glass, by Sophie Littlefield…but before the weekend is over, I hope to begin The Good Neighbor, by Amy Sue Nathan (from NetGalley).

 

 

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Since Pippa will accompany me, there will be no problem switching over between books:

 

 

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Next week is Banned Books Week, hosted by Sheila, at Book Journey. I will be reviewing my choice here, on October 3.  I downloaded a book that I have never read, but I have read several books by the author, Judy Blume, so I know I will enjoy it.  Forever is one of the books banned because of sexual content.

 

 

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You’ll never forget your first time…reading Forever, Judy Blume’s groundbreaking novel about teen sexuality, as an ebook.

When you build up something in your mind—really imagine it, wish for it—sometimes, when it actually happens, it doesn’t live up to your expectations.
True love is nothing like that.
Especially not for Katherine and Michael, who can’t get enough of each other. Their relationship is unique: sincere, intense, and fun all at the same time. Although they haven’t been together all that long, they know it’s serious. A whole world opens up as young passion and sexuality bloom.
But it’s senior year of high school, and there are big changes ahead. Michael and Katherine are destined for another big “first”: a decision. Is this the love of a lifetime, or the very beginning of a lifetime of love?

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So….from my interiors to my outside world, and then back into the world of books…I love it!  A great mix of activities for me…and keeping busy helps fill in the missing places where my son and DIL were for most of the summer.

What captures your interest for the weekend?

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SPIFFING UP MY INTERIOR WORLD — THE BERLINERS RETURN!

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The past four weeks have shown me rearranging furniture, trying to create a more spacious interior world for the return of The Berliners.  I guess I should stop calling them that, as, upon their return to Europe at the end of September, they will be settling once again in Prague.  Praguelodytes?

Today I am spiffing things up a bit…a little mopping, scrubbing, vacuuming, etc.

 

 

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And bringing my temporary work station back to the dining area.

 

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And clearing out more space in my office/guest room.

 

 

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All of that made me very tired!

 

 

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My focus on my interiors has definitely distracted me from reading!  Blogging, not so much.  This book, The In-Between Hour, by Barbara Claypole white, is awesome…and I’m almost finished.  But I should be on my third book of the week by now!

 

 

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A lovely story about damaged souls connecting during challenging times.  Rich, flawed characters.  I can’t wait to read more from this author.

What are you up to on this lovely Thursday?  What motivates you to clean and clear out your interiors, or are you just normally good at doing what needs to be done?

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MY INTERIOR WORLD: SMALL CHANGES

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I love Fall, so the arrival of September is a joyous thing for me.  However, the warm weather here will continue until October, at least.

My eldest son and DIL are planning to return some time this month…and I’ve been rearranging my interiors again for more space.  Notice the photo above:  I moved a couple of cabinets around.  I realized how small my living area is with several people moving around, especially in the mornings and at dinner time.

I swapped the yellow cabinet (above) with the burgundy one (below)…and I moved the green cupboard onto the back wall…allowing me to push the table over a bit.

 

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It doesn’t seem like a big difference, but in the end, it is more spacious.

While I was at it, I also rearranged my coffee table.  I took some things off the top and placed them below the table.  Note the wooden box:  it is on the shelf below now, and in it, I stash remotes, etc.

 

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Here is the table cleared off:

 

 

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These are minor changes, but I feel less cluttered and with more open spaces.

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My evenings are spent reading, preparing for the return of my house guests, and bingeing on Mad Men, on Netflix.  This is a show I somehow missed along the way, but I’m loving it.

 

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I had heard about the show, over the years, but was surprised to discover that the era was the 1960s.  That, alone, should have drawn me in.

I’m glad to have discovered it now…and to find myself connecting with the women characters and their roles in life back then.  Before everything started to change.

I am a bit nostalgic, while still being glad to have left that era behind.

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What is your interior world like this week?  Do you have favorite shows that resonate with you?  Are you making small changes in your surroundings?  In your reading?

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CHANGING UP THE BLOG & MY INTERIOR WORLD

 

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Good morning, and welcome to my Interior World. 

For the past few months, I have been so focused on my own “interiors,” and haven’t changed up the blog look.  So….why did I have to do it today?

I don’t know, honestly, as the itch strikes out of the blue…and I can’t stop myself.  An obsession?  Compulsion?  Yes, take your pick.

As I looked around my home today, I couldn’t find anything to change there…and those who read my blogs know that I am constantly rearranging things.

I did find a new frame for one of my Ireland photos…the previous frame fell off the wall and broke a few weeks ago, when I hit it while vacuuming…that’ll teach me to do that!  LOL

Just so I wouldn’t jinx things, I moved the new framed photo to another wall.  The one on the far left, is the reframed picture (shot by my photographer son in Dublin); the one next to it is a shot of old men in an Irish pub, also shot by my son (the Berliner, recently visiting in my hot city).

 

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And across the room, you’ll notice a Red Hat banner, where the photo once lived; and beneath it, to the right, the Coca Cola jukebox, previously residing in my dining area.

 

 

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Just in case you missed the dining room changes, shown in at least three other blog posts (LOL), here’s the new look….minus the jukebox, and with a country cupboard on that wall.  It frees up some space, which I noticed to be lacking when I had house guests trooping through to my coffee pot every morning.

 

 

 

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I did some more changes.  Once I get started, I have a hard time stopping.  I switched the pub table and the loveseat….and rearranged some of the figurines on the bookshelf.

 

 

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Do you like changing up your blog appearance?  Your home interiors?  Your outdoor world?  Come on by and share.

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MY INTERIOR WORLD: THE FINAL PHASE?

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Good morning!  I might be entering the final phase of my journey of purging and rearranging.  Or not.

A final piece of the recent plan took me back into the bedroom, where I had removed one shelf, rearranged another with the leftovers from the now empty hallway shelves….and then:  voila!  I wanted to add a final touch.

The bedroom bookcase that remained untouched had a little shelf with DVDs next to it, below:

 

 

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This week, I moved that little step-stool shelf next to another shelf, below, and it works better, as it is next to the TV/DVD player:

 

 

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And here is the now rearranged space next to the bookshelf.  Next I will probably want to clear out those baskets of magazines on the floor…LOL.

 

 

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Once you start purging, rearranging, etc., there is really no end in sight.  Do you find this to be true in your life?

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Meanwhile, I had a nice relaxing weekend, with dinner at Red Lobster with my daughter and grandson.

 

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How was your weekend?

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