April 29, 2011

Making House a Home

This past week I've been busy trying to put together our home by picking up pieces from all over. Online sales, second hand stores, department stores, garage sales, you name it, I'm there, in line. Since we moved with only clothes, we had planned to rent a furnished home. Planned = key word. Except plans have a funny way of working out... turns out we fell in love with a home and a view that was not furnished. With some tough sweet negotiation charm, our landlord (who owns the home) agreed to leave items behind that we were hoping our future rental home would have. Things like beds, couch, tables etc. But that still left a lot of empty space in the house, and not a lot of function for things we were used to having, so mission making house a home began.

My finds last week included:

White desk/table for our bathroom.

I love the modern feel, clean lines, and think it will make a perfect place for jewelry and beauty essentials.

Vases for the floor-to-ceiling bookshelves in our lounge area (aka living room/family room).

Buyer beware! I picked these out online from an auction. For $15 I scored "designer" pottery vases, and was thrilled to have such "large" pieces to fill the shelves. Turns out they are quite mini!

Cookbooks to replace my beloved ones that I couldn't take with me because they were too heavy for luggage. Insert big sad face.

But this one turned that frown upside down, because this book was $1! ONE DOLLAR! Happy days indeed. And while I think anyone would celebrate a $1 book find, you should know here that it retails for at least $50 New Zealand dollars.

Console table/desk perfect for our sun room/office. My favorite room with a view!

Another buyer beware lesson! Take measurements, or you risk the need to spend ridiculous amounts of money on renting a truck or hailing a van cab to transport your goodies. I've done this in the past, and happy to report that this time, we stuffed this beauty into our back seat. Thrilled! We did have to drive 30 minutes with our seats straight up, feeling all awkward, but it's worth it. This table makes me giddy!

A small reward for my efforts: some flower power to make a steel counter feel a little warmer.

And a hearty reward for the bf and all his patience driving me around to gather all my goodies: Steak and Guinness pie. (Making the $1 cookbook worth every cent!)

Fluffy flakey pastry goodness fresh outta the oven! And finally, our new house is starting to feel like home.

Did you score any good finds this week? Anyone else out there updating their home? Can't wait to share some of the plans I have for design!

April 18, 2011

Working Girl

In six months I went from a home office environment as an event manager, to unemployed in limbo while waiting for work visas, to working the perpetual 9 to 5 (more like 8.30am to 6pm) grind in a very rigid, structured environment.

I went from creating my own schedule, to craving a schedule, to being at the beck and call of other peoples schedule.

I planned my day around client meetings and milestones, to around traffic and avoiding city gridlock, to triaging everyone's urgent request.

Guess I shouldn't complain, in less than 3 weeks I managed to secure a busy job in a new country. In less than 3 weeks I've made more friends in one office than I did in 4 years in the US. I've learned that working in a home office = hermititis. And being in a new country (US) and working from home, was not the best way to settle into a new place. It made daily things like going out, seem like such a chore. It was very easy to revel in my homebody like ways in not only my home life, but also my work life. I did get to travel quite a bit, and loved my airline status points and lounges, but I always traveled alone. A hermit on the road. Now, it's different and the things I enjoy are seeing familiar faces around the office, joining in on social activities (that are beyond the cats and their watercooler traffic james see exhibit A) and the organized ways of an office environment.

Exhibit A

On the flip side, I am struggling with work that is not exactly in my field, and I'm not sure where this experience can take me. And, my biggest confession... I'm exhausted. Zombie styles. Must.sleep.now.9.pm. Struggling to adjust to the routine of wake-up and go! A night owl who has to turn early bird.

Looking back, I totally miss wearing PJ's to work, snuggling up on a couch to read my emails and plan my day, and gazing out the window for some alone time. It was more the pace I enjoyed, the long days, the slow start to a very busy time. I also like exercising self-discipline and choosing projects based on client priorities. I could sit here and create the longest pros and cons for both sides, because each has distinct advantages over the other.

So is it more the hermit meets office world, or the work that's a bit offside from my career that's taking a toll?

It's been almost six years since I worked in a corporate office. It makes me wonder, it is possible to be an office grinder to hermit worker and then switch gears back? Have you switched gears lately? Maybe you went from office master to hermit? Do share, would love to hear how you've adjusted.

April 7, 2011

The Cats Are Here

Migrating cats overseas has been a battle to say the least. It's a very long, complex process that started last August. We've also been apart from them since February, and are looking forward to bringing them home-home end of this month. (So, anyone else do that when trying to distinguish which home you mean? Home could be interpreted as San Francisco or Canada, depending on who I'm talking to, so when I say home-home, what I'm really trying to say is home where we live here in New Zealand, yes?)

Until then, I'm looking forward to visiting these cuddlebutts this weekend, and spend a glorious 5 hours playing with them and feeding them treats. I've worked from home the past 4 years, so I've gotten used to having them around 24/7, and know their personalities very well. They are the best cats ever (proud owners unite!) and while they can be very lazy, nosey coworkers, they never stop to amuse me, lend a paw, or purr making me feel like I'm doing a good job. They're bossy, like clean sheets, and demand the blinds open so they can look out the window. I've miss these guys to the point where I've broken down in tears because of the distance, and can't wait to have them back with us.

To give you a glimpse of what I mean by personality, meet Sven and Turkey:
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Chilling out, maxing, relaxing all cool

Working on my immigration papers

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Being studious

Best seat in the house

2nd best seat in the house

Chilling out...


Relaxing all cool

Seriously? Oh Sven!

Love them so much! Anyone else have a pet with personality?