For me, December is a time not only for good cheer, but also a time to reflect on the year behind you and look forward to the year ahead…

I am incredibly grateful for all the amazing opportunities in my life, for a husband that has allowed me to freely pursue my passions, and for friends and family that have offered shoulders and ears and helping hands. In a single year, I  have learned such a tremendous amount about myself, about business, about sacrifice and heartache, about joy and wonder, about friendship, about failure, and about all the wonderful and terrible things that come with life and living.

I readily admit, however, that this was not an easy year for me. My marriage hit a few bumps in the road, my pregnancy didn’t quite come to fruition, my business venture was failing me, and depression was consistently on the periphery of my vision. I had fallen into a rut and my demons were getting the better of me.

SO VERY TRUE- why do we fight it... Never be afraid to fall apart

I had fallen apart indeed, and now have the labor of picking up the good pieces, tossing out the bad, and rebuilding a better version of myself. And you know what? I’m already feeling happier and healthier and ooh-so hopeful…

That’s one of the of the many wonders of December and the ensuing New Year: the strength it provides and the multitude of possibilities it brings.

Sometimes the bad things that happen in our lives put us directly on the path to the best things that will ever happen to us.

I do feel as though I’m on a better path and while I’m sure there will be more bumps in the road ahead, I am without a doubt that 2013 is going to be a great year!

don't put off your happy

My new philosophy for the New Year: “be present and be happy.” What’s yours?


To draw upon my previous post a bit, I must admit, I love most of my “things.” I like having them, I like displaying them, and I like how they make me feel. Yes, I confess, they make me feel happy! Sometimes my mom jokingly calls me Maureen O’Hara from The Quiet Man; “but I need my things about me!” And admittedly, it’s so true.


Perhaps my upbringing forged in me a deep want to belong, to settle, and to fill my surroundings with familiar things when year after year I was uprooted, on the move to a new city, a new state, or even a new country. In this constant state of upheaval, my possessions became my home.

Don’t get me wrong – I loved my childhood. For the first 16 years of my life, I travelled more than many do in an entire lifetime. And I’m blessed to have had that experience. It instilled in me a sense of culture and love for travel…but perhaps created a bit of a paradox in the process: I’ve become a bit of a restless nester.

But I digress! Now, that I am grown and have a home of my own, my things still hold a special place in my heart. I am not materialistic by any means, but in some way, shape, or form, most of my pieces impart memories and have an inanimate life of their own. I can honestly tell you where I was and how I felt when procuring nearly every item in my home. And I love it.

Do I have too many “things?” I don’t think so….other than my current horde of vintage and refinished pieces that I hope to sell very soon! No, I definitely don’t have too many things, I have precisely the right amount and will deliberately make room for more when I find something that speaks to me.

But there is such a thing as too much, and sometimes it’s a very fine line. Per Gretchen Rubin in Happier at Home, “some research suggests that spending money on an experience brings more happiness than buying a possession, but the line between possessions and experience isn’t always simple to draw.”

Some of my things are very much derived through experience, and vice versa. In fact, some of my favorite pieces were found via flea markets – spending time with family and friends, meeting vendors, snagging business cards, feeling the incredible thrill of the hunt…those are experiences that I would never take back. Not to mention, I also gain experience from the items I procure. I am constantly learning, tweaking, and growing as I refinish and repaint, style and restyle.

Vintage Flea MarketFlea market fun!

Flea market Fun  More flea market fun.

MMS at LuckettsThe aftermath of Miss Mustard Seed’s Vendor space at the Luckett’s Flea Market.

Would I purchase a gorgeous chandelier or beautifully upholstered wing-back chairs over a trip to Fiji, or Paris, or even Iceland? Not a chance. But I would definitely reminisce over the lost opportunity, despite the kick-ass vacation!

In the end, my things create a comfortable home and a soothing lifestyle. Call me what you will, but I need my things about me!

They make me very happy indeed…Smile