2019 travel dreams + Provence ed.

I love this sacred time between Christmas Day and New Years/back to school time.  Sure I work a little here and there but I really try to keep plenty of time for reading, kid/dog snuggles, naps and reflection.  I am trying to be gentle and realistic about goals while making room for dreams.

Top of the list is the elusive “work smarter not harder” idea and aspirations of trading traffic and hustle for travel that is ‘less freeway’ and more joy and inspiration!  Yep, visualizing/vision boarding/being intentional #allthethings of spending less dinero on Amazon and saving for trips like below.  I think we are all more and more about experiences and less about stuff! Am I right?? I have to remember this while in Sephora and Target in 2019!

Today is so wet and gloomy in Texas as you can see in my photo above, what better time to dream of Provence and Marrakesh??!!

YEP, I am a mother and small business owner but I WANT TO TRAVEL!  

I’ve been talking to my friend Mary Baskin recently about her Vagabond trips abroad.  And they are so special and unique. Sure there is shopping, but its good insider, local type shopping with stories about families that have been making ribbons for generations and true craftsmanship with soul! This is not your average tour.  It looks so amazing Mary! She is a seasoned pro y’all!

All of these beautiful photos were take by our mutual friend Ragan Cain. Ragan is the epitome of the modern day Southern belle! Smart and kind all while globe trotting and adventure seeking! Lovely both inside out out! You can follow Ragan on Instagram.  She ENJOYS + loves both beauty and life and details and people!  Seeing Ragan’s shutterfly albums has been such a treat.  So fun seeing the perspective of things she admires and takes pictures of along her journeys… Ragan, you make this homebody want to put on a scarf and GO! You should publish a coffee table book of your adventures!

 Mary and all of her contacts abroad that help her coordinate these adventures keep the groups small and the experiences non-touristy and slow paced so you can SAVOR the food and culture and beauty! SO many photos of Ragan and her friends laughing in her album and her savoring good drinks, and food, even lounging in a hammock.  Not how I remember some of my early European adventures; I am ready for a redo!

They see some of the best the landmarks and sites but also the rare and unexpected. And at a relaxing, fun pace.

Many of you know I have worked hard to dial back my “work travel” even working less in nearby Houston and def dialing both out of state work (except Maine, well and one in Lafayette ha, I am trying y’all).  God has truly answered prayer in 2019 bringing me MORE local work here at home in the Brenham/Round Top, TX area.  But its like once I gave up pushing to drive to work in the big city and accepting every project offer in other states, an opportunity has come up to travel abroad in the summer of 2019!  or even 2020!  

 I am still not sure if this 2019 trip with Mary Baskin and Vagabond will work out for ME but maybe it will for YOU and it is on my DREAMIN’ list. Who wants to dream and think about going with me?? What is on your dream list?? Where would you like to go and do?? Cooking time in a real French country kitchen? flea markets? high fashion back door tours?? Learning more about antiques or local culture?  I love that they don’t just do flea markets or shop. 

       This trip is as life should be, a mix of all things wonderful!

See more about Mary’s Vagabond International trips here including dates and more photos and info.  

And watch for a Part II on this post, I just couldn’t fit a sampling of  Ragan’s Marrakesh Vagabond tour 2018 photos in this post and I WANT YOU TO SEE!  Thank you again Ragan for sharing a bit of these amazing places through your eyes!  What joy!

And if you are wondering if this is the same Mary Baskin that I instagrammed about recently the answer is YES!  She is a Texan just like me and she has a charming place called The English Merchant’s Inn in Waxahachie, Texas, a small town near Dallas!  Mary is having a great social media class coming up soon in February and she has mentioned doing some US City tours as well.  I am watching her closely, I have long admired Mary and I am excited about hanging out and traveling with her more.  TEACH ME MARY!

 

Garage Expansion + air hockey + shopping

I am working on a paint post and instagrams for online and local shopping faves but had to jump in here and share some cute photos and faves for kind of unchartered territory for me…garages! Or also known as “what I am obsessed with today”.. So in this effort to make my trek to the washer and dryer less scary, I found these inspiring images…Won’t be taking the door down and doing carriage doors for a while but maybe one day!  And look below, you can leave the door in place and still be chic!

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It won’t have a live edge table or workspace for me unlike this gorgeous space.  But there may be a punching bag coming and an air hockey table in my boys future and a funky chair or two.  I keep envisioning the 70s show basement but with you know, white walls and better pillows.  We will see.

The truth is, we haven’t had an attached and closed-in garage, well ever.  Our last house had a great garage, brick and awesome but it was across the driveway and rarely used by anyone other than Nana and her organization and storage.  The 1940s  home we lived in for years and years had a charming little garage but it was open somewhat on one side, a bit like a carport, it was strange but cool. But not lending itself to a room type use.  Until our latest move this past spring.  

I found some great inspiration here via Simple Home Simple Life’s article on, yep, CONVERTING A GARAGE space!

The one below is a great example of still storing tools and not insulating and keeping floors non painted and bare (some people actually put wood down or laminate..not me) And this color is everything, makes me wish I had gone dark, except the outside of our house is very dark. Love the big plants too!

Lots of inspiration which I have needed..hard to believe we have lived here since March. So this latest house we have moved into is mid century (1950 exactly I believe) and it has a classic NARROW one car garage right off of the kitchen.  And y’all, it’s barely big enough for my SUV, its not a big car.  At all.  If I put NOTHING ELSE IN THE GARAGE my car would fit but then where would all of the amazon boxes and other projects go??? And how would I trek huge baskets of laundry to the fancy washer and dryer area of the “room.” We do have a decent shed out back for overflow storage.  But this attached  garage space is also our LAUNDRY ROOM, yep the washer and dryer are in there..and its been a little scary and dark.  When we first moved in, not even finished out…some yucky sheetrock but not insulated or complete.  What it does have are two cute, original windows.  So today I had it painted white after Mr Handyman put some outdoor siding on the walls (cheaper than shiplap, sturdier than sheetrock).  It looks a little stark right now but with a few dark accents I think it will cozy up.  And I am determined to not try to make it too nice know what I mean.  I will share photos soon for now brainstorming with all of these inspiring images!

Trying to be realistic however, despite amazing articles and image like this below! But I am learning you can be inspired and implement in small doses!  It’s all smoke and mirrors after all. or at least a good filter maybe . . .  We probably won’t do the reclaimed gym floors or sky lights but yes a punching bag maybe (I have heard 14 year old boys need and love these), etc..

This below is lovely but these floors are probably not sustainable for just anyone’s life right? Unless you use some major marine epoxy or something..maybe worth researching if interested but I will be going with porch paint gray!

Lia Chavez home in NY Times

So here at home, the boys each have a room and we have a large living space but Drew’s room is small (he chose it of the two because it has a little en suite bath)..but when he has a friend over I feel like they are really crowded.  Hunter could also use some space to hang out other than my sofa or bed; SO I think this will be a great place for a boy space Does anyone have any thoughts on boys and air hockey tables????  They are easy to find on Craigslist which kind of scares me that must mean people regret them…but it will be in the garage after all;  Maybe they will enjoy a while then I can pass on to the next parent.

This shot above and below make me feel like I don’t have to take down the door and track asap..hey it looks industrial right?!;  More cute ones on LOVE HOME DESIGNS a new website to me and notice the floors look like polished concrete…I am planning on painting mine with porch paint but I am noticing many leave them bare just add a rug.

Dear Hancock is one of the fave transformations I found…probably because their before photo looks so much like mine did! Minus the open ceiling, darn!

You can read more about their project  on DesignSponge.  They are such a cute company I had not even heard of, bless the internet.  Now I will say their ceiling is ambitious and I am not sure where any insulation may be but it is purty purty!

See, bare concrete floors don’t you think?? But with an amazing rug.  I will probably be using a natural rug the dog might have gotten sick on before, hey I tried to clean it.  ALSO, I love their black stove idea shown below…again the pipe and actual wood-burning may be a little ambitious for me but I saw one of these little cheesy-fish stove heaters at my local ACE and I am sure Amazon has more;

Like this, maybe I could fake a black pipe..it needs a pipe to work!  And that is not an affiliate link!

 

These cuties below are darling and what I would have gravitated to before becoming the proud mama or big strapping rowdy boys (and a dog) but they are not exactly boy friendly, just sooo cute! and the ivy totally inspires me along with the potted tree.

This one is so California..love it!

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and I have to end with this one from the Boston Globe photo by Eric Roth, I mean y’all I thought these were Schumacher drapes at first blush, in the GARAGE, but on second look I think they are just very similar to Chenonceau, what do you think??  and those are fancy carriage doors;

What do you think?  Air hockey or foosball, no room for ping pong I don’t think?  How do you use your garage space? Who is going to say white in a garage is crazy first???  Come on y’all!  Gift ideas on the Instagram coming soon, along with paint and so much more,  so follow for my favorite book, online and LOCAL #downtownbrenham and True Blue Home picks!

and I promise to follow up with my garage progress, next year!  Before I move again maybe!  No seriously this will be a SLOW FLIP and praying we will be home here settled for a good while! #homeiswheremypeopleare

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