It’s the beginning of another month and that means it’s time to look back at some of my favorites from the previous month. As I wrote this post, I realized that there is a theme of “spending” spread throughout the highlights. Spending time with friends and family, how and when I spend money, spending energy on creative endeavors, and spending time appreciating accomplishments.
Here are my February favorites…
Dining Room & Office Wood Floors
Oh my goodness, it’s amazing to have these done! I still do a double-take every time I catch of glimpse of these rooms and I am just loving my office as it’s developing. It’s pretty and practical and actually I’m working in the space a lot more, not just using it as storage for office-y stuff.
And I’m looking forward to refinishing the table in the dining room, putting down a rug, getting stuff on the walls, etc.
It’s just fun to see the transformation of this house. I’m enjoying the process and the result.
Still Life Painting
This has been such a bright spot for me this month. I didn’t know I would enjoy painting still lifes as much as I do! It’s perhaps one of my least-favorite genres of art, but this exercise is changing my mind. And I can already see how it’s making me a better artist. I’m excited to venture into portraits and plein air landscape painting (just a fancy way to say painting from life outside).
I also put my paintings up for sale in an auction for the first time this month. I was floored at how much some of them sold for, so thank you to everyone who bid. It was bolstered my confidence to continue this pursuit.
Connecting & Snowshoeing
The women’s retreat at our church was in February and it was such a soul-nourishing time. One of the highlights for me was going out snowshoeing with some of the women. It was only for a short time and, between getting the equipment on, finding a trail good for both cross country skiing and snowshoeing, we were collectively a hot mess, but it was so refreshing and fun.
I told Jeff later that I felt like it was a little gift to me and a nudge for me to “get out there more”. I’ve always been pretty content in my own company and that means I can spend days painting, working on my house, pecking away at the computer, without seeking out meaningful time with friends.
So, I’m working on that. I’m actually taking breaks to go out for lunch, meeting up for a walk (when the weather was warm), and even just sending texts to let my new friends know I’m thinking about them and praying for them.
Small Organizing Steps
I’ve taken 10 minutes here and there to organize places in the house that were driving me nuts. There are so many cabinets and closets and drawers that are still in the state they were in when we first settled into the house. I just put stuff there, out of sight, to deal with later. The lack of organization is really starting to irk me, though, especially when I’m looking for something I know I have and I can’t find it.
I’m a mild-mannered person, but I’ve found myself fuming mad while on an unsuccessful hunt for felt furniture pads or a specific drill bit.
I haven’t had time to tackle some of the larger organizing projects, like the garage, laundry room, my closet, etc., but I’m enjoying the small victories, like a tidy “junk drawer”. Even Calvin noticed. He opened the drawer and said, “Well, this isn’t junk anymore!”
Yes, my love for blue carries into purchases of pencils and poop bags.
Boys’ First Concert
For Christmas, we bought our family nose-bleed tickets for the Toby Mac concert in Minneapolis. We just went this past weekend and it was so much fun! The concert was great, but I’ve seen Toby Man several times before. What was so fun for me was watching the boys respond to the music and to see their excitement when one of their favorite songs came on. They also loved getting the phone flashlights out during slow songs and watching the light spread through the crowd like stars being unveiled in the night sky.
They both came home with overpriced t-shirts that fit them more like dresses and they were a little cranky the next day from lack of sleep, but it was worth it.
Seeing Dash & Albert Rug in Person
Remember the Dash & Albert rug design competition from last year? Well, thanks to your votes, two of my rugs made it into production! It’s been a long process, but I finally got to roll out one on the floor of my house!
It’s just a sample, so I have to take pictures, pet it, let my dog lay down on it, and then I have to send it back. It’s so beautiful, though, and it was thrilling to see how it turned out!
The quality is great and the antique coverlet design translated just the way I wanted it to.
I will show the other one when it arrives and I’ll keep you posted when they are available to buy.
No/Low Spend February
As you probably know, my no-spend February turned into a low-spend February. While I didn’t stick to the challenge as I laid it out, I learned a lot from it. I got in the habit of tuning out advertising e-mails from stores I love. I tried to use what I have before buying something new (sometimes with success and other times not.) I put the breaks on mindless and impulsive purchases…not that I did that a lot, but any mindless and impulsive purchase isn’t a good idea!
I read a great article this month about mindless spending. The author challenged the reader to think about all of the money they’ve wasted over the past year. Would that add up to hundreds? Thousands? The point wasn’t to lament misspent resources, but make better decisions in the future. What could’ve been done with that money that would’ve been more valuable?
Yeah, that got me thinking a lot!
My hope is to carry this into the rest of the year, so I can be more mindful about how and when I spend money for my business. Ultimately, better management of my business finances means more personal income to reach our long-term goals.
Smart Phone Phonograph
During my low spend month, I did buy something that was frivolous. I thought about it for a couple of weeks, though, and then I went back for it. It’s a smart phone holder/amplifier that has the styling of an old phonograph. (Affiliate link.) If you remember, I used to own a victrola, but I sold it when we moved. This is a $17 modern kind-of-replacement that makes me smile.
It doesn’t plug in or have batteries, but it amplifies the sound through the material and design. I listen to music a lot while I work and I have a nice bluetooth speaker in my studio, but it’s nice to have this low-tech version for my office.
It definitely doesn’t deliver BOSE-quality sound, but it makes the music louder and even gives it a old school sound.
Well, those are the high notes for me through February. That was a lot for a short month!
What were your favorite things in February?