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Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Move With the Tide

This post contains affiliate links meaning if you click and/or make a purchase with one of those links, I make a few cents at no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting Poppyseeder!

alternative style blog

Suggested reading: How Roller Skating Gave Me a Huge Confidence Boost

For as long as I can remember, I've been a planner. Spontaneity has always sent me into a slight panic and usually gives me stress-induced headaches. I've been set in my ways for a very long time and it has ultimately been more harmful to me. Since I started skating, I've had the confidence to go out of my comfort zone more and more often-- plus I've been presented with quite a few opportunities that forced me out of my comfort zone.

Especially over the past month, I've had to do a few things that really made my palms sweat and my heart race. I agonized over the things I had to do, as I always do, but in the moment and afterward, I felt so calm and couldn't believe how anxious I had been. Just like with skating!

new england style blog

I really do feel better than ever. I feel more confident, more comfortable in my skin, and when things pop up, I'm okay with shifting gear. I've never felt like that before, and for the first time in a long time, I genuinely feel very hopeful that things are going to keep getting better.

And yes...I do indeed have an unfortunate sunburn. That's what happens when you're super pale and you sit on the beach for an hour in capri yoga pants. It actually happened the first weekend in May and all the aloe in the world can't seem to make it go away. I thought about editing it out, but you know what? This is what I currently look like and I just can't be bothered. I'm just goin' with it.

green day nimrod shirt

Shirt: Hot Topic (old, shop their current selection of Green Day merch here)
Skirt: ASOS
Sunglasses: ASOS
Sandals: Target (old, similar linked below)
Purse: ModCloth (old, similar linked below)

What's your favorite Green Day album or song? (There are no wrong answers!) Are you a planner or more spontaneous? 
Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Maine in Bloom

This post contains affiliate links meaning if you click and/or make a purchase with one of those links, I make a few cents at no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting Poppyseeder!

acadia national park blueberries

Last week my best friend Mary visited for the first time since fall 2017. I was so excited and had a million plans for us, of course, all revolving around being outdoors. Mary arrived late Saturday night and so did a ton of rain and fog. There were a few moments when the sun would peep through, but mostly it was dark and wet the entire time she was here. The whole time she was here, I was griping about the weather, constantly wishing aloud that it wasn't so foggy and constantly trying to reassure her that where we were did indeed have a beautiful view when there wasn't fog as thick as peanut butter covering the coast.

maine beachcombing

Mary kept telling me that all the places that we were visiting were beautiful and she was having fun, but I felt like she was just saying that to be polite. I brought her to Owls Head State Park because I wanted her to see the view of the nearby mountains from the beach, but they were hidden. We ended up beachcombing for a while and I found sea glass at Owls Head for the first time ever-- since this is a popular spot, the beaches are usually picked clean and I've never had any luck in the past. But on this day, with the weather being a little stormy, I found a handful of beautiful sea glass...and some shellfish.

owl's head state park maine summer

Mary and I climbed down the back of the hill that the lighthouse is on and I complained about how muddy it was the whole time. Meanwhile, Mary kept exclaiming about all the blooming tiger lilies, how good the air smelled (pine trees & sea salt-- I wish I could bottle that smell), and the schooners passing by through the fog. 

maine tidepools

During her visit, Mary and I spent a lot of time by the ocean and looking in tidepools. I was complaining because I could only find the same 'ol things in the tidepools-- barnacles, periwinkles, and blue mussels. Mary was intrigued because she lives in Florida, so she isn't used to rocky beaches and tidepools. She was perfectly content climbing all over the rocks and exploring for hours.

cadillac mountain acadia national park

By the time we visited Acadia National Park, I toned down the Debbie Downer attitude a bit. Acadia is always beautiful and it's difficult to be grumpy while I'm there. Sure, seeing the view from the top of Cadillac Mountain is stunning, but being up there in the fog is so calming, especially when you go off the paved walkways and down the mountain a bit. The dense fog helps you forget the hundreds of tourists at the summit.

Honestly, I think the thing that cheered me up the most was that it's blueberry season right now. Cadillac mountain was covered in little wild blueberries. I didn't know if I was allowed to pick them or if that would go against the Leave No Trace principles, so I checked Acadia's Twitter account, and their most recent tweet said that I could harvest one-half gallon. Although I've lived in Maine for almost 3 years, this was the first time I had ever eaten wild blueberries right off the bush and it was the best. I was having a major Blueberries for Sal moment...minus the bears.

midcoast maine summer

Usually I enjoy the dense fog that we get here on the coast but I was so stressed out that Mary wasn't going to enjoy her time here simply because of it. I was convinced that she would think it was ugly here and I want all of my loved ones to understand why I moved so far away, so I want them to see Maine at its best. It wasn't until I started reviewing all of the photos that I took during her visit that I realized Mary wasn't just trying being polite. Maine is still absolutely beautiful in the gloomy fog, and I'm lucky to live here.

beech hill preserve rockport maine

Are you an anxious hostess like I am? What do you do to renew your appreciation of where you live? 
Tuesday, July 24, 2018

How Roller Skating Gave Me a Huge Confidence Boost

roller skating maine

Back in February I started roller skating again after probably 15 years. I didn't do it alone, I joined an open enrollment "fresh meat" program for a local roller derby league, so it's been much more than just skating, it's also been training for a physically demanding sport. I was beyond terrified. The thought of re-learning how to skate in front of a ton of strangers, falling down, looking stupid, failing, and simply interacting with new people scared me more than I can put into words.

I've wanted to join a roller derby league for over a decade but there was always a reason not to. I didn't have money for gear, I didn't have time, the local league was falling apart, I lived too far from a league, I was moving away soon... but my most recent reason was that I was too scared. I knew about this league for over a year before I finally worked up the nerve to get involved.

As of September, I will have been living in Maine for 3 years and it took me over 2 years to finally start putting some roots down and getting involved locally. It wasn't until after we bought the house in January that I realized how unhappy that was making me. I thought buying a house would make me happy and make all my problems disappear, but instead, I was just a sad person who happened to have recently purchased a house. Something was missing and I knew that if I didn't try roller derby now, I probably never would. So I reached out to the league, committed to coming to a practice, and surprisingly didn't flake out.

The loaner skates I started out with
Instead of sitting on the sidelines and watching during my first practice, I got on skates immediately and didn't make it far before I had my first fall-- I fell hard on my butt when I was only 3 feet away from the chair I had been sitting in. I fell a lot during that first practice and I felt so stupid, inadequate, and like a burden. But I kept coming back to practice.

For about 2 months, each time before I went to practice I would feel incredibly nauseated from my anxiety. There were a couple times that my nausea lingered and I had to sit out at practice for a while so that I wouldn't hurl on the track. I wouldn't want to go but after practice, I always felt amazing.

I usually quit things whenever I experience anything slightly uncomfortable, and I've had lots of uncomfortable moments with skating. I wouldn't have continued to come back to practice if it weren't for my league. Learning how to skate again and learning derby moves has been so nerve-wracking and difficult, but I've had an incredible support network with me each step of the way.  There have been many times when I was stuck on something and I felt like I just couldn't get it-- and there will be many more times like that-- and everyone did what they could to help me and keep my spirits high, whether it was explaining the move to me in a new way or sending me a supportive, heartfelt message after practice.

There have been so many times when I've cried the whole drive home from practice because I couldn't do something and I didn't feel good enough. But the feeling of finally nailing something that I felt like I would never be able to do is incredible. I was really struggling with one thing in particular and I think I celebrated for a full 2 weeks after I finally got it (lots of #treatyoself moments). After I got it down, I truly felt like I could do anything on skates and so much pressure was relieved. I started taking more risks while skating, which led to more progress.

I am by no means a skating or roller derby expert. There are still tons of things that I can't do on skates and I have a lot of progress to make, but I am so excited to keep working at it. It's been a very long time since I've cared about something so much, been so determined to learn something new, felt so confident, and since I've been so proud of myself.

roller skating maine

My advice to anyone who wants to start skating/join roller derby: 

  1. Don't hesitate. If you want to do it, don't think about it, just do it. I highly suggest getting on skates immediately instead of going to a derby practice and watching people skate. If I had sat on the sidelines and watched others skate, I would have been intimidated to pieces and probably wouldn't have come back. I laced up my skates as soon as I got there and I wasn't focused on what other skaters were doing, I was focused on myself and what my coach was telling me to do. 
  2. Falling isn't a bad thing. You will fall. A lot. Everyone else who skates will fall a lot, too. As soon as I accepted that falling was part of the learning process, I started making huge improvements. Embrace falling and don't let your fear of getting hurt or looking stupid hold you back.
  3. Learn with a friend. I went into this knowing nobody, but I quickly got close to a couple people in particular and having them there learning with me always makes me feel better. Even if it's just a friendly acquaintance, it's always good to have someone to skate with. 
  4. Cross-train. When I started, I thought that going to practice 4 hours a week would be enough. Nope. I started seeing major differences in my skating when I started working out in between practices. I am always working on my strength, balance, and endurance. 
  5. Don't feel like you have to break the bank. Getting skates and protective gear can be expensive, which is what deters many people from skating. If you want to join a league, they may have loaner gear for you to use or you can check out the Roller Derby Recyclables Facebook group to find some great deals. (I've listed my gear here in case you need ideas of where to start.)

In a nutshell-- skating is magical, roller derby is magical, and this has made me realize that I am capable of so much more than I thought 🌞
Saturday, July 21, 2018

Life Lately + Link Love #13

Life Lately + Link Love is a series where I talk about what I've been up to and share posts from the blogging community and from around the internet that I think you'd enjoy. You're always welcome to share what you've been loving lately in the comments.

nubble lighthouse maine

Life Lately:

Guess what, folks. I'm officially over summer and I'm ready for Christmas. Before you start throwing things at me, let me explain. I don't have air conditioning (though that will be remedied soon), the traffic is insane, tourists keep walking out in front of my car while I'm driving through downtown Camden, I've realized that I simply don't know how to dress for summer, and things are so busy right now. I constantly feel bombarded with supposedly unmissable events that I feel obligated to say yes to because I know once winter comes, I'll be snowed in and bored out of my mind. #NewEnglandProblems, am I right? 
Today I'm saying goodbye to some friends who are moving to China and then one of my best friends, Mary, arrives for a visit! Mary and I last saw each other in October 2017, so I'm very excited to see her and show her around Maine a little bit more. Plus, she said she would try rollerskating with me, and I can't wait for that. 
This is the first time that anyone has come to stay at our new house and I've been running around in a panic, trying to make the house look as presentable as possible. There are tools, paint cans, ladders, and boxes everywhere you I'm just going to shove it all in one room and tell Mary not to go in there. 
friends monica's closet, the one with the secret closet
Besides all that, look at me, I'm back to blogging somewhat consistently! Now that I'm back at it, I'm really powering through and I already have a ton of posts planned through February. Plus, I'm planning something really fun that I haven't done before and I'm so excited to see it come together. Be sure to sign up for my newsletter if you haven't already. You'll find out what my secret project is before anyone else and get access to other subscriber-exclusive content. 

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Link Love:

  • Lauren and Chris made a Drunk History-inspired video on how they met and started dating, and it's hilarious. If you're like me and could watch Drunk History all day every day, check this out. 
  • Have you heard of the shitstorm with the popular brand, Feminist Apparel? Oh boy. Well, Valery sums it up and talks real feminist apparel. 
  • Instagram. Oh, Instagram. Cathy perfectly details why she doesn't follow bloggers/Instagrammers who cheat their way to those huge follower counts, and why those people are hurting the blogging industry. 
  • Palm oil-- it's in so many products that we use on a daily basis, but more and more people are shifting away from it, and for good reason. Check out Rosie's post on what palm oil is, the problems with it, and how you can avoid it. 
  • I loved this post from Lauren about how exploring fashion helped up her confidence.
  • On Monday Lindsey will be moving abroad and I can't wait to read her posts about this new adventure!

Broaden my horizons! Link what you've been loving lately in the comments!
Thursday, July 12, 2018

6 Months in the New House

This post contains affiliate links meaning if you click and/or make a purchase with one of those links, I make a few cents at no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting Poppyseeder!

fixer upper victorian house maine
lamp - chairs - table - wall shelves - storge shelf - record player

Well, hi! It's been quite a while since I last gave a house update. We've been busy, so the progress has really slowed down, but we're still doin' things. I think we finally realized that we couldn't possibly turn this house into everything that we wanted in only a few months and still keep our sanity. Plus, the snow is finally gone, we need to get out and explore while we can! So we're just going about our lives and working on the house when we have time. It's frustrating to not have the house all put together, yet relaxing at the same time. 
fixer upper victorian house maine
rug - couch - mirror

• Got a new couch
We desperately needed a new couch-- our old one was a thrift store find and didn't match our style, although it was super comfortable and durable. There aren't really any furniture stores nearby that have products that match our style and budget, so we started looking online, which was very daunting. Couches aren't cheap and returning a couch doesn't sound fun, so we wanted to make sure we did our research and got a great one. We've had our couch since March and I absolutely love it so far. Stay tuned because I'm going to write a whole post on purchasing a couch online since the hunt was such a process. 
• Finished painting the kitchen cabinets
This project took waaaay longer than it should have. We painted the cabinets themselves within one day, but not the doors and drawers. We took them off and because it was winter (spring in Maine is basically winter, too) didn't really have anywhere to paint them and let them dry. But with this warmer weather, we finally got it done and the kitchen is now put back together! All that's left to do in the kitchen is install a new sink, garbage disposal, and get new countertops. 
luxury vinyl tile floor

• Put a new floor in the kitchen
The linoleum floor in the kitchen was probably from the 80's, dirty beyond hope, and just looked horrible. We replaced it with some "luxury vinyl" that you peel and stick to the floor, and it's groutable to make it look more like real tile. It was a great, inexpensive option for us, especially since our floors are a bit uneven. The new floor looks great, I love it, and we're planning to put it in our bathrooms, too. 
• Continued working in the guest room
The progress in the guest rooms has been slow. When we moved in, guest room #2 had disgusting stained teal carpet, and I couldn't wait to rip it up. It also had flat paint on the walls and a wallpaper border, because man, the previous owners sure loved their wallpaper. We steamed the border off and painted the walls white, but in a satin finish, which instantly made the room look so much cleaner.
We ripped up the carpet a few months ago and found that the floors underneath were in great condition, though painted brown and covered in carpet glue. We got some black patio paint and painted the floors, which only took about an hour, minus drying time between painting the two coats. 
cheap easy window coverings
I took down the pukey-pink, dust-caked blinds and replaced them with some Redi Shade blinds, which you can get on Amazon for under $10. I've been using these for years. They took great, they're cheap, and they're easy. 
We also finally set up the trundle bed that we got on sale from Wayfair during their Presidents' Day sale. We bought 2 MORGEDAL foam mattresses from IKEA during their annual mattress sale (usually in January or February) for only $169 each (usually $199 each). I need to purchase some duvet inserts and sheets before those beds are ready, but that's just not a priority right now. 
• Started researching heating and cooling options
When we bought this house, we knew that the boiler would need to be replaced within a year-- the thing is probably 50 years old. I kinda forgot about that as soon as we got through the winter without it crapping out. A few weeks ago when I was about to get in the shower, I noticed the water wasn't heating up. We had someone come out to look at the boiler and he was able to fix it, thank goodness, but he referred to it as a "Frankenstein boiler" and said we definitely needed a new one ASAP. 
We definitely need to figure out what to do well before cold weather arrives or we're screwed. We've been exploring options for new boilers and getting lots of quotes, but also heat pumps for heating and cooling. A heat pump would drastically cut our bills and having air conditioning definitely doesn't sound bad! This is all going to be a huge expense and I'm dreading it, but at least we'll have more efficient systems and peace of mind.
• Still dealing with the washer/dryer fiasco
In my last update, I briefly explained the washer/dryer fiasco-- they weren't going to be delivered on time, so we got a floor model, and the guys who brought them to our house seriously messed up. They scratched our walls, door frames, the appliances, and they caused the washer to flood our laundry room. Back then I reported that we were currently in talks with insurance companies for the damages done. Well, we're still talking to insurance companies and nothing has been fixed. In fact, there isn't much talking because people keep passing the buck, ignoring our calls and emails, claiming that they've filed our claim but then there is no record of our's been a nightmare. They are obviously trying to jerk us around so that we give up and they don't have to fix anything for us, but damn it, that is not going to happen. This ordeal has been absolutely maddening and I never want to buy a large appliance ever again. 
• Started some landscaping
We planted some trees! It doesn't sound that exciting, and the trees are basically twigs right now, but it's going to be so great when they start to mature. Our yard gets a lot of sunlight, which kills our grass, which makes our yard look sad. To eventually provide some more shade, we planted a weeping cherry tree in the front yard and a buffalo wing maple tree in the backyard. We're also mapping out some more landscaping, we really want a lush and private yard. I grew up in Williamsburg, Virginia (as in Colonial Williamsburg) so I have always adored colonial style gardens and I am definitely drawing inspiration from those. 
maine home design
The living and dining rooms back in January 
Progress has slowed, but this house sure has come a long way. It's definitely been more work than we anticipated, but worth it! 

You can see more behind the scenes stuff on my Instagram and follow the hashtag #thefawnhouse.
Monday, July 9, 2018

Escaping the Heat on the Bold Coast

west quoddy head lighthouse

Maine has been stupid-hot lately, and the lack of air conditioning has been killin' me. We're exploring different options for getting AC put in our house, but in the meantime, we have to deal. On Sunday we headed up the coast in search of a cool ocean breeze with no particular destination in mind, but of course, ended up at Quoddy Head State Park. This is one of my absolute favorite places in Maine and I had been dying to go back since our first visit last September.

campobello island

lubec maine

We were anticipating the park to be packed with tourists, but it wasn't bad at all. The sun was shining, the tide was low, and the ocean breeze caused me to wear a hoodie for a while. It was so nice to not be sweating my butt off for once!

bold coast maine

The first time we visited Quoddy, the tide was high and the waves were crashing so we couldn't go too far down on the beach (but it made the views so beautiful and dramatic!). This time I was able to explore the beach for quite a while and I checked out some tide pools.

downeast maine, bold coast maine, visit maine

After exploring the beach we continued down the trail up on top of the cliffs. It lead us into such a lush, mossy forest. All I could smell was pine trees and sea salt-- my favorite smell and I have yet to find a candle that even comes close. Unfortunately, we didn't make it to the end of the trail. Right as we got to a little wooden ladder that continued up the cliff, I felt a piercing pain in my knee, so we turned around. I was a little bummed, but I certainly intend to finish that trail during our next visit.

gulliver's hole

If you're in the Lubec area and you skip Quoddy, you're crazy. It may not be the biggest park or have the most dramatic views or challenging hikes, but it's so beautiful, peaceful, and there's something about having to turn my phone on airplane mode to avoid international data fees (since the park is smack-dab on the Canadian border) that makes the park seem even more serene. I get to totally tune out for a few hours. This whole region of Maine is vastly underrated if ya ask me.

wild blueberry land maine

Bonus: on the way home, we stopped at Wild Blueberry Land, located in the town of Columbia Falls. In case you didn't know, I love kitschy roadside attractions and sadly wasn't able to visit last time we were in the area. This place has been on my list for a while and we finally went in, smelled the pies, walked the grounds and grimaced at the creepy mannequins scattered around. This place is a treasure.

How are you beatin' the heat? Kitschy roadside attractions, nay or yay? Tell me in the comments!
Saturday, June 16, 2018

Life Lately + Link Love #12

Life Lately + Link Love is a series where I talk about what I've been up to and share posts from the blogging community and from around the internet that I think you'd enjoy. You're always welcome to share what you've been loving lately in the comments. 

schoodic head acadia national park

Life Lately: 

This is my first post since March and initially I felt like I owed an explanation of where I've been, which is what prompted me to start typing. Feeling like I owe my readers/followers life updates is exactly why I needed this little hiatus. I don't know if I'll get back to blogging as regularly as I was before, I just feel so disconnected from it right now.

Fixing up the house has kind of come to a standstill since we've been busy with so much. It's at a livable point right now-- livable, but not where we want it to be.

Besides that, I'm doing really well right now and I'm happier than I've been in a long time. Back in February I mentioned that I had gotten involved with a local roller derby league and I gotta tell ya, it's what has been missing from my life. The derby community is so loving, supportive, and fun. Days when I don't put skates on are pretty darn dull, but thankfully those days don't come very often. I could go on and on...but maybe I'll save it for another time.

Oh, and huge shoutout to everyone who checked up on me while I was away. It really meant a lot to me.

maine roller skating

Link Love:

  • Bangor Metro recently wrote a piece about derby in Maine!
  • Just because I've felt disconnected from blogging doesn't mean I've been disconnected from blogs-- y'all, I've been loving NoxTalks, a roller derby-centric blog.
  • more skating-related thing then I'm done, I promise. Planet Roller Skate has been a huge help to me. Indy covers fundamentals, more advanced things, and lots of fun stuff. 
  • Denise started a freakin' podcast and it's wonderful. I really enjoyed episode #2.
  • If you like following tattoo artists on Instagram, I love Charline Bataille's work (and her stories).
  • Are daughters karmic retribution for men being awful to women in the past? Uh, no. Dara digs in.
  • Angela was kind enough to support me through my Ko-fi page. Thanks for your support, Angela! 

What have you been loving lately? Leave links in the comments!
Tuesday, March 20, 2018

For the Love of Big Blue

pepper's closet, poppyseeder

Surprise, surprise-- it's still ridiculously cold here in Maine. I am a huge proponent of taking outfit photos outside , but it's just not happening right now. So I've decided to show you what I've been wearing day-to-day in my natural habitat -- my house that, yes, I'm still working on.

I've never really been a long sleeved t-shirt kinda gal, but for the past 6 months or so, I've really been drawn to them, which is one of the reasons why I picked out this shirt from Pepper's Closet-- the other reason was the whale. I don't talk about it much here, but I actually co-founded an ocean conservation non-profit back in 2012, so needless to say, I'm a huge ocean-loving nerd. I'm especially a huge whale-loving nerd. One of my first dates with my husband actually ended with us sitting on the beach talking about whales.

pepper's closet

Anyway, this has been my go-to outfit lately. The long sleeved shirt is comfy and warm, then I pair it with a denim wrap skirt and tights or fleece-lined leggings. It's a great outfit for transitioning between winter and spring, and super comfortable without making me feel sloppy. I also love this shirt because it washes so well. I often avoid t-shirts with designs on them because they melt in the dryer or they crack within a couple washes, but after multiple washes this shirt still looks and feels like new.

Oh, and did I mention that Pepper's Closet donates 10% of their net profits to ocean conservation, research, and cleanup efforts?

pepper's closet

Sadly when it comes to ocean conservation, I feel that there is a one step forward, two steps back thing going on. Or as of recently, five steps back. Regardless of what is going on with policy, it's important to keep on keepin' on and do what you can, no matter how small your contribution may seem. And more than that, it's important to encourage others to do the same. Unsure of what small actions you can take? Here, have some ideas:

No bottled water or plastic utensils and straws- These items are the most common things that I find when I clean up the beach.  Plastic utensils and straws create so much senseless waste, and don't even get me started on the bottled water industry. Invest in a reusable water bottle and utensils and carry them with you. Fun fact: I always have a set of reusable chopsticks in my purse, they're great in a pinch!

Don't celebrate with sky lanterns or releasing balloons-  Warming weather brings more releases of sky lanterns and balloons. As cool as releasing lanterns or balloons may look, it's horrible. Sky lanterns have set buildings and forests on fire, injured people and animals, and get tangled in power lines. Balloons don't fly up to heaven unfortunately-- they end up in the stomachs of animals, littering beaches, and helium is a non-renewable resource that is quickly being depleted.

Host a swap- If you have unwanted clothes, books, or whatever else around the house, host a swap with your friends. Tell them to bring their unwanted items and trade. Donate whatever is left to a local secondhand store.

Tidy up around you- If you're enjoying a day outside and see trash around you, just take a couple minutes to pick it up. I know cleaning up after other people isn't fun, but it will benefit everyone. In my experience, this usually inspires people around me to help out, too. Keeping gloves in your car comes in handy for this!

Contact your elected officials- This is probably the least fun thing on this list, but the most important. It is more important than ever to let your elected officials know where you stand on issues. Writing to them is great, but calling is so much more effective. If you're like me and have social anxiety, here's a little tip sheet for how to get through it-- and that is exactly what I do when I call my reps!

pepper's closet

You can get 10% off your order from Pepper's Closet using the code "poppyseeder" or simply by using this link.

*This post was sponsored by Pepper's Closet. All opinions are mine!*
Monday, March 12, 2018

2 Months in the New House

This post contains affiliate links meaning if you click and/or make a purchase with one of those links, I make a few cents at no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting Poppyseeder!

fixer upper victorian house maine

Remember last month when I said that I was sore, exhausted, overwhelmed, and feeling beaten down? Well, I'm still all those things, but much more so. We've had so much going on, started so many projects, and we've spent a ton of money. All this combined with eager family members repeatedly asking if they can come visit in a couple months is brewing quite an anxiety storm.

There's no way we'll be ready to host guests in a couple months, but I very rarely get to see my family, saying no just sucks and makes me feel like a huge jerk. I'm trying to power through and get as much done as I can, but I am straight up pooped, y'all. 

I feel bad for always using these posts to complain but this is my reality right now and this is my blog. Plus, I'm merely scratching the surface! I know that we've gotten a lot of work done, but it's difficult to see that sometimes since I'm always here. I've also been forgetting to take progress pictures. I just can't be bothered when there's so much to do and the house is so messy, I don't really want to flaunt it. 

fixer upper victorian house maine
Just a couple months ago

But since you probably didn't come here to read my complaints, here's the progress we've made since last month: 

• Started filling up the house
We finally started getting more furniture in here, so now it's starting to look like people actually live here! We got a new TV stand, dining table, dining chairs, trundle bed, storage for my office.

All my records have just been sitting in a corner since we moved in because I don't have a place for them yet and it's driving me crazy. I can't wait to get my records set up, especially because my new Kate Nash album is arriving in a few weeks! *cue internal scream*

We're also waiting for our new sectional couch to arrive, which I'm a little nervous about since we bought it online. Fingers crossed that it doesn't totally suck! 

• Installed a new range hood
The old one was probably 30 years old and grimey would be an understatement. We chose this simple, sleek, stainless steel one to match our new appliances. It's really not that exciting but it made the kitchen look so much better. 

• Painted the kitchen & the cabinets 
Okay, this is exciting. We primed the cabinets with STIX primer, because while most of our cabinets are solid wood, a few are laminate and we needed something heavy duty. At first we tried using the same Zinsser primer  that worked so well on our walls, but it wasn't doing well on the cabinets. 

We painted the cabinets Alabaster by Benjamin Moore using the Benjamin Moore Advance formula. To be honest though, we're still not quite done. I still have to paint the cabinet doors and drawers and I keep putting it off, and because of that the kitchen is an absolute wreck right now.  

We painted the kitchen walls Misty Lavender by Behr, but using the Benjamin Moore Scuff-X formula. The lavender walls, white cabinets, and all the lush green plants we keep in the kitchen look so great together and I love it so much.

The kitchen still isn't done though-- next on our list is to replace the dingey white linoleum floors with a more modern, slate-inspired linoleum (because our floors are sloped, tile isn't really an option), replace the dinky sink, and eventually get a new countertop...because y'all...this countertop is cringeworthy. It's red, leather-textured for some strange reason, it never feels clean no matter how much I scrub it, and it just looks horrible with my beautiful lavender walls.

• Installed new (smart) lighting
Last month we knocked the cabinet above the fridge, which really helped open up the space and made more room for plants, but there was a small seam left exposed between the wall and new gypsum board. We got a strip of Philips Hue LED lights and placed them over the seam to hide it, but also give our kitchen some more light-- and the best part is that we can do any color we want and control it from our phones!

We also put the IKEA SINNERLIG pendant lamp (which was on my home wishlist) in both the living room and the dining room. I was worried it would be too big at first, but I absolutely love it and think it's perfect. We also installed color-changing Philips Hue bulbs in those lamps-- it's so nice to control lights from my phone. 

It wasn't I who chose all the Philips Hue lights and I can't remember which specific ones we have for the life of me, sorry!

• Got to work on the second guest room
Guest room #1 is beautiful and doesn't really need any work other than a fresh coat of paint, but guest room #2 is another story. When we moved in the room was dark, had a wallpaper border, stained turquoise carpet, a broken mirrored sliding closet door, and barfy-pink blinds. 

We finally removed the wallpaper border, which was easy thank goodness, and we started ripping up the carpet. Under the nasty carpet was the original wood floor, though painted brown and covered in carpet glue, but other than that it's in great condition. We're planning on painting it black and painting the walls white, since that room doesn't get much sunlight and we don't want it to be too dark. 

I'm really excited for this room to come together, especially since it started out looking so gross. We bought a trundle day bed from Wayfair for only $214 and got a couple mattresses from IKEA when they were having a sale. From Urban Outfitters' home sale I got a cute daisy print duvet and matching pillowcases, plus some nice shams to add a different texture.

I'm thinking the main purpose of the second guest room will be for our younger siblings who often get stuck sleeping on the couch. I think they'll be thrilled to have a real place to sleep when they visit and I'm having fun planning out a cute, cozy room for them to stay.

• Got a new washer and dryer
Finally, y'all! I nearly published a whole separate post on this because it was such a freakin' ordeal, but I'll try to summarize here instead. 

I had been going to our old rental house to do laundry for almost 2 months because we ordered a w/d that was backordered. The day before ours were supposed to arrive, we got a call saying they would be delayed another 2 weeks. The local store offered to send us the floor models, which we accepted because we were desperate and frustrated. 

The delivery guys were careless when bringing it inside-- they scratched the appliances and they scratched the heck out of our walls and door frames. They told us it was hooked up and ready to go-- so we turned on the washer and what happened? The laundry room flooded. The washer was indeed not hooked up and ready to go. 

So, um...we're currently in talks with insurance companies for the damages done. But at least I can do laundry at my own house now. 

• Discovered a rotten sill plate
While we were having some pest control done (more on that here) the guys discovered a sill plate, which helps hold up our house, was rotted. It's made of wood and they were able to stick their finger right through it. It's going to be a pretty expensive fix and it was not the news we wanted, especially after having to unexpectedly spend so much money on pest control. But I suppose the pest issue was a blessing in disguise. We probably wouldn't have discovered the rotted sill till it was a much more dire situation if it weren't for the vermin. Silver lining? 

victorian fixer upper house

Despite all the bad things, I'm still thrilled to own this house. I can't believe that I own a house, and in such a cool place. I absolutely love Belfast, which I've said numerous times before, I know. And now that I own a house I've started putting down some roots and getting more involved locally, and it's been great. It's given me a sense of stability and home, which is something that has been missing for quite a long time. 

Check out some things I've bought for the house recently, plus some similar items.