Sunday, August 13, 2017

Bedroom sitting group in front of the fireplace.

When you make changes in your life, it often makes you consider other things you do as well. The mind is a powerful tool. Once you start cleaning up your life, it frees up your thinking to look at everything in a fresh way, letting go of old habits; it makes you more creative and flexible in so many aspects of life. 

From cleaning up our diet, planning our retirement and now it’ s manifesting in rearranging furniture and de-cluttering our home. Clutter takes up space literally, but it also clutters your mind. Way too often one gets attached to things we accumulate over the years. So thinking about downsizing in the future, hubby and I are reconsidering and making a list of what stuff to keep and what to get rid off. Hubby is very good at throwing things away, but as we’re going through this process, we’re puzzled about the things we’ve collected.

Observing every little detail around you brings you enormous vision to what you can do with those things. You see that it's possible to do the same thing in a more innovative way. The moment you decide what is important and what is not you see everything clearly and when you get involved, it turns into creativity. 

First of all, we had too many things and we've had the same furniture arrangement for close to 10 years. I have posted a few times about décor projects we’ve done, but most of the time the furniture stays in the same room as always. Is this a statement of rigid mindset or not? So we started moving stuff around and then every piece of furniture needs to be polished, wear and tear reveals the need for painting baseboards so it takes a lot of consciousness, but it’s very refreshing.

All of this led us to make a intimate seating group in our master bedroom. This nook has become a favorite space to take a cup of coffee, read or look out to the pool in backyard. Analyzing the space, we decided to reposition the area rug and change the color of the fireplace mantel. Going from off-white to a dark charcoal med a huge difference. It feels like a gentleman club, with dark carved detail furniture and rattan inlay details yet soft textured chairs, masculine accents like the cow horns and the owl. 

Our little nook in the bedroom

The fireplace painted charcoal matching the niche above and the fabrics used in the room

The fabric ties the colors in the room together 

The mantle is more masculine in my opinion.
The stuffed owl representing wisdom adds a masculine effect. 
This is still a work in progress, but de-cluttering feels great. A undistorted, quite mind needs time to be developed. If we carry all the baggage of life all the time, you cannot see everything the way it is. In order to be creative, successful or just peaceful in every day life, mental clarity is of fundamental importance. No matter what you want to do in life, you need to be able to use your mind effectively. The owl is a reminder of how the intelligence directly affects all aspects of life, including health and all aspects of well-being. Distortions are something we've lived with for so long, we don't even realize that they affect our lives. We even want to accumulate new ones.


The sitting area before. It's been like this since we moved into the house nearly 10 years ago. 
The bedroom before with white mantle
A more féminin decor with the flower and crystal candle sticks. 
The curtains I made 3 years ago. The area rug was on a different angel 

This is a process that also can lead you to an inward journey. Ever since childhood we've accumulated thoughts and mind processes that we carry with us. Just as we've been able to put them there, we can remove them. All these boundaries, political, religious, race or others are cluttering our minds so we're not seeing things the way they are. It affects our decisions and prevents us from thinking intelligently. Emotions related to that paradigm will be shed and an inner relaxation and lots of brainpower will be gained instead. It releases a tremendous amount of energy and with this clear thinking and energy you feel free to do as you please. 





Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Total lifestyle changes. Inner and outer transformation.




These pants are too loose for me now
Hubby and I have lost a lot of weight these past 6 months. We've always worked out, lifted weights and spent time running on the treadmill. We've been walking the dog 4-5 miles a day for years, I play golf 3-4 days a week and practice yoga 4-5 hours a week, but when we combined the exercise with eating clean food, our bodies changed dramatically. Exercising is very important for overall health but it has limited effect if you only exercise a few hours a week without eating right. Changing the body's metabolism to become a fat burner instead of a carb and sugar burning machine is of the essence. It not only changes the body shape but allows the body to heal from most of the self inflicted ailments of todays lifestyle.


Hubby's new slim cut suit
Hubby in his old suit, a couple of sizes too big. 

Hubby had to get new clothes because his pants and shorts was falling off. His suit size is down 3 sizes. Amazing. I've thrown away 4 pants and several shorts already. Some clothes have been altered but not all is worth the effort. For me, it has mostly been a transformation of the upper body and arms. Those are the hardest places to loose weight for me. It means that my dresses are looser and my tops are fitting better. Even stretchy tops are not bulging, but following the contour of my body.


My elastic T-shirt is not tight but follows the contour of my body

Our goal with this change in diet wasn't to get a slimmer body, it was to get healthier. We had learned that most health problems are caused by inflammation in the body and therefore we wanted to avoid sugars and refined carbohydrates. Our target was to reduce insulin in the body because hubby was struggling with osteoarthritis and borderline diabetic. There is no such thing as borderline diabetic, you either have it or not, you can't be a little pregnant. One thing lead to another and the side effects have been great. Loosing body fat is something we all want and feeling great at the same time is wonderful. Most people are motivated by dieting to get a nicer body, but are not willing to change lifestyle to get healthy, they will rather take a pill. We did the opposite.

Eating healthy shifts your focus in life. Your energy is centered around becoming healthier and more self-aware humans because you understand that you are what you eat. The food becomes your cells, a part of you when you consume it, so we value the food as a treasure. In their natural state the nutrient work in our body in a way scientist not yet fully understand. Due to depletion of nutrient in commercial foods, we search for clean, hormon-free, pesticide free and chemical- free nutrition rich foods. Organic foods, wild seafood, grass-fed meat and dairy are superior in vitamin content, enzymes, proteins and minerals. For decades we've used artificial chemicals in our food and ended up with an explosion of diseases. I truly think there is a connection. DNA is damaged by toxins, but antioxidants protects our DNA so the process of eating organic and natural food is detoxing. The detoxing organs like the skin, lungs, lymphs, liver, kidneys and colon will be able to take a normal workload instead of dealing with all the toxins. It might take years for all the chemicals to get out of the body, but that's necessary for the healing process so the whole body's metabolism can function properly.

More people are opening up to organic food as a path to health. I see more and more stores selling product labeled organic. Even my local grocery store have regular promotions and coupons for organic products. It's become a way for the stores to expand their products and sales. I use these promotions to stock up my pantry so I don't have to buy items at full price.
Hand soap formulated without Phosphates, Petrolatum, Phthalates, Parabens and Sulfates.
Soy-based wax candles with essential oil. 
Bed Bath & Bodyworks are now selling hand soaps formulated without Phosphates, Petrolatum, Phthalates, Parabens, Sulfates and Dyes. They've also started a new line of scented candles based on soy wax and essential oils. I love the fact that this is becoming a new movement, that people care about their bodies, their health and this planet.

Have you noticed that some of the air fresheners and scented candles can be very overwhelming and too rich? It is the same way with eating clean food. You develop tastebuds. I've never smoked, but they say that smoking ruins your taste so food will taste differently when you stop smoking. It is the same way when you eat cleaner, you will notice the artificial flavors, sweeteners and conservatives. If you've lived in Europe and tasted cakes and desserts with lower sugar contents, the desserts in the USA will be too sweet for you. Every time we go to Greece or France, we notice the fruits and vegetables taste differently. The lamb in Provence taste different because it grasses in the mountains where the herbs are growing wild. Rosemary and thyme in their diet effects the taste of the meat. The same goes for grass-feed contra corn fed meat. The best meat often goes to the best restaurants because the chefs appreciate the flavor. That is exactly why the gourmet restaurants are only using high quality ingredients. When you notice these subtle differences in the food, it becomes a great pleasure and passion to eat. We're loving every meal every day, consuming the best food possible for our fantastic body. Living consciously could help you loose weight, get healthy and eat wonderfully at the same time.

Health shouldn't be something to worry about, it should be a consequence of living consciously. Giving the body the right fuel and moving the body every day as the nature intended should result in great health. About 80-90% of our health issues are because we're doing these things wrong. WHO estimates that 80% of heart disease, stokes and type 2 diabetes is self inflicted because of bad habits.
Newer science also conclude that 70-90 % of cancer is caused by lifestyle and environmental factors,"not bad luck". This is great news because it makes you in charge of your own health. It's also good new for future generations, dealing with 10-20% of todays health problems would be easier to deal with, don't you agree?

Having a great muscular sculpted body should also be a result of how we use our bodies. 100 years ago, people used their bodies 5 times more just in daily living than we are doing today. We don't even chop our vegetables anymore. Sitting all day and compensating with 30 minutes at the gym to look good isn't what nature intended. Look at someone with a great posture, like a military general, there is something about the way he carries his body. We're all meant to have this posture and yoga is a way to help getting aligned. When you are aware of how you carry your self everything will change. Your digestion will improve, your skeleton related problems will go away, respiration and heart rate will improve, pressure on ligaments will disappear. Mentally you will be in a better mood, more confident, less shoulder and neck problems defeating headaches and improves memory. At the same time yoga helps strengthen your muscles and you become more flexible. I know so many people that have ruined their back lifting weight the wrong way at the gym. Daily I see people jogging, walking, standing, driving and sitting with a forward leaning head, putting pressure on their spine and all the way down to their feet. It's so important to have balance in your body, too many people only focus on one side of their body when working out resulting in problems in the opposite muscle groups. Yoga will target the whole body and the spine in particular, I haven't met a chiropractor yet that doesn't recommend yoga.

People who want to loose weight are focused on counting calories or carbs and many will tell you it's  80% diet and 20% exercise and burning more calories than you eat. Essentially the abs are made in the kitchen, and I mean literally made from scratch, then there's no need for counting calories or carbs. It depends on the quality of what you eat and when you eat. We're not meant to eat from 7 am until 9 pm. Reducing  mealtimes to 6-7 hours a day and just fast the other 17-18 hrs is a great tool to control insulin and help the body burn stored fat. What's the point in working out when the muscles are hiding under a layer of fat? What's the point in having a good looking body, if it's sick from all the junk food and chemical exposure? We all want a machine that functions optimally. I believe your body reflects what you eat but I don't believe in diets, a diet will always fail, I believe in permanent lifestyle changes. Great days lies ahead if you take charge of your own body.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Planning the future. Why settle for ordinary? I want extraordinary.

This weekend I've spent time painting a shelf. Because of Houston heat, I am working in hubby's hobby room instead of the garage. It's nice to watch him building a model boat of Calypso. He took up this work after he got his arthritis under control. It takes a lot of patience and a steady hand to do this. I am impressed with his work and attention to details. Like everything he does, it's close to perfect. For those of you that follow this blog, you know how much effort and time we put into our hobbies and what it means to us. We're doing most things in life with passion.

Hubby's hobby
Hubby is constructing the diver access platform
My weekend project: painting a shelf for the laundry room. 
Have you ever wanted to be good at something? Best in you class at school or best in your job, maybe even become an olympic champion or best on your sports team? Then you realize how much effort and sacrifice it takes so you settle for being ordinary.

But what is ordinary today? According to Dave Ramsey ordinary is broke. People don't have enough saving so last 6 months without a job. If the car breaks down or an appliance in the house, they have to pay for the repair with a credit card. Vacations are on credit and for lots of people it takes months to recover from Christmas because of all the expenses. 50-60% of students are economically disadvantaged in my state. So broke is normal.

We're living longer but have less money. What kind of life is that? Why is it so? Are we too stupid to manage our own economy? People are more educated than before and have all the resources to enable them to live comfortably but we're more miserable and sicker than ever, even doctors and medical professionals are stressed out. 1 of 3 adults are affected by hypertension worldwide so it's a global trend. Even my home country Norway and Denmark that always tops the list of the happiest people are having an increase use of antidepressant. Germany had an increase of 46% from 2007 to 2011 and it's considered very stable financially.


So many of us are dealing with stress and anxiety because of life choices we've put upon our selves. We're even putting our health in jeopardy because of this lifestyle. We're all enhancing our lives with education, job, a home, a car, a marriage and children to make our lives better. But now we're complaining that these wonderful things are making us stressful and we've forgot the purpose of life. To live and be a wonderful human being.

If you don't do what you care for and create a life that matters to you, what is the point of living? If you're doing some rubbish that is safe, it's a wasted life. What's the point of just existing? Your life is about doing what really matters to you. Don't let other people tell you it can't be done. Successful people use their willpower, are brutal with them selves, denying the pleasure of the moment for something better in the long run. Only nature decides what is possible, an accident might happen so it might be necessary to adjust your goals, but if you're not passionate enough it will defenitaly not work. Human aspiration can change cold statistic predictions. Look at the possibilities, create a solution and create an opportunity. Realize how powerful you are.

Looking at the future, hubby and I are trying to find a way of living that is easier on the wallet and our health. We actually believe it's possible to make the dreams come true. It all depends on how we organize our lives now. With some consious planning and organization we can make miracles happen. It will not happen if we leave everything to coincidences so we're planning and making adequate arrangements. If we want a great life of retirement we've got to start making a battle plan of how to get there.

I often hear: "If I knew I was going to get this old, I would have taken better care of my body". I think it's meant as a joke, but I truly think there is plenty of time to do something about it. My daughter just went to at birthday party for a lady that is 95 years old here in Houston, Texas. My father in law just turned 88 years old and both of them are living very active lives. I want to do everything I can to enhance my health so I can live a full life when I am old. I look at it as a goal and if I want it really bad, it will happen, unless I get in some kind of accident. I love the idea of living a full life until about 100 years old.

Have you heard of BlueZones? They've studied groups in different part of the world that lives to 100 years and found several common factors the makes them centennials. One group are living on the tiny island Ikaria, Greece, they are almost free of dementia and other common age related diseases. They've found that on Okinawa, Japan women live longer than anywhere on the planet without cancer, heart disease and dementia. Some of it is due to the diet, but for the most part it's about lifestyle and attitude. We've been told our genes are our destiny, but that's not true. Newer science about epigenetic has shown that we're able to change our genes with habit, lifestyle and finance.  From what I've learned about life and health I think it's possible. My life is worth a try, so I am organizing my life for it to happen. The mind is powerful and with smart choices I can make my dreams come true. Eating a low carb no sugar diet I have the power to lower my blood pressure, avoid diabetes 2 and inflammations in my body so that means I can avoid the most common diseases in the world today. If this wasn't true, why are the doctors giving us all this advice about nutrition and lifestyle choices? What's the point of living a mediocre life? At least I will be doing what is important for me.

With optimism we're planning our retirement and are looking forward to the rest of our lives knowing we can enhance the comfort and convenience of our life. Finding the best place to retire and building inner wisdom in order to be liberated from the emptiness lots of old people experience. Stress and anxiety are making us miserable, but the intellect tells us how to get rid of these stressors. So we've decided to eliminate everything we can of what is holding us down, we've decided to move from Houston concrete jungle to avoid spending hours in traffic getting to places and getting things done. We're searching for an active lifestyle closer to nature. Life is and has always been there at the tip of our nose, in the nature that gives us everything we need to live and stress down. It's where we feel energized.

On fixed income, the expenses are the first point to address. We're looking for a place to retire dept free with low property tax. Our home in Houston will eat a big chunk of our retirement just in property tax, something we can't influence so we're looking to relocate. Secondly we realize that we need something to keep us busy. Most centennials have a feeling of purpose and are doing daily activities to keep them occupied. I am not just thinking about doing sports like yoga or golf, to me they are not purpose in life, but rather hobbies good for socializing and keeping the body in shape. To keep the brain active it's important to learn new things and embrace change. At the moment, I am trying to find a double duty activity like caring for a garden and growing my own vegetables or having a few chickens to provide fresh eggs for us. We're interested in a climate that makes it possible to keep a vegetable garden year round with help of a greenhouse, a location that makes it possible to go hiking and freedom to go visit interesting sites as tourists at the same time. In Texas we have to go far to visit a national or state park.

Trails in Lot Maples State park in Texas.



We're still exploring, but so far we've found two options where nature will be at our doorsteps both places will also be a step into the unknown. This is a very exciting process for us and we're really looking forward to it. It involves a lot of planning and new learning for us. Nothing is written in stone yet, political changes in these areas can influence our decisions but at least we're making a list and working towards it. Options makes the future brighter. Don't you agree?

Saturday, July 1, 2017

CLEAN ENERGY FROM MY OWN GARDEN


Every human being is concerned about the wellbeing of his life, his kids, his family and human life on the planet, it's just that our scale and scope is different. The human body is the most complex and fantastic machine in the world. Just like any other machine, to have the best function, it must be aligned and run on the right fuel. It also needs to operate in the right environment, be maintained and built with the best building materials. So what we eat and drink, how we stand, sleep, walk and breathe affects our health and wellbeing. Our wellbeing doesn't happen accidentally, but consciously. Practicing yoga for 2,5 years has had a tremendous effect on my bodily ailments. Physically it has made me stronger and very flexible, mentally I've learned breathing techniques to calm the mind and cope with stress. Our breathing might be the most important aspect of our lives. None of us can live for more than a few minutes without breathing. I can live without my husband, I can live without my child, but I am depending on the nature to survive. Shouldn't the earth be our closest relationship in our life?

 All of us are constantly seeking new things in form of bodily pleasures, experiences, material goods, work related positions or to be cured from a health condition. And we all think life is going to be better when we have achieved this. But there is alway a new hurdle. Could the answer be right in front of us? Or underneath us? Is our wellbeing depending on taking care of the very earth that we rely on?

Starting my own vegetable and herb garden has been very rewarding. My body is getting vitamins, enzymes, proteins and nourishment from live food that are not sprayed with pesticides. The mental aspect of working with nature is also a test of my patience. You can't rush nature, it has its own tempo depending on the conditions I give the plants. As any other project I am working on, it makes time stand still, my mind drifts away and I find it the best form of meditation and stress reliever. Being in contact with the soil and eating live food makes my immune system stronger and my passion for cooking is reaching higher levels. I didn't think this would be possible.


Caprese salad from home grown basil and heirloom tomatoes. 

Building a raised planter for the tomatoes seems to be a fantastic idea because this year we have more bunnies around than ever before. When you see a bunny, you know the whole family is feasting in your garden. Luckily they don't eat my herbs and they can't reach up to the raised planters where I keep my tomatoes and bell peppers. 

I've used my creativity to defy the bunny invasion.
If I am going to spend time watering and caring for plants in the garden, why not plant anything edible? The lemon tree was bought mostly to replace some oleanders that was damaged by the frost this winter. They bloomed well this spring and the scent is wonderful. I didn't expected any fruits the first year but amazingly there are lots of lemons coming. It makes me happy to know I can get fresh squeezed lemon juice every morning from my own garden. That way I get vitamin C for good immune system, it helps digestion and keeps insulin levels steady. 

Meyer lemon in full bloom



Our first lemon fruit

Lots of new lemons on the way



As you might recall, the heirloom tomatoes are my favorites because they have lots of flavor and I even love their smell. They are big and take a long time to mature and ripe, but tomatoes needs to be picked before the birds eat them. If you wait until they're fully ripe and red, it's too late. So I pick them when they have the right color and still firm to the touch. They'll soften in a day or two indoors. 

The heirloom tomatoes are big. 


Heirloom tomatoes in different colors, some of them will turn yellow. 
The best use for these flavorful tomatoes is in salads and caprese salad in particular. With such a good production from just a few plants we'll eat tomatoes daily for a while.

Using fresh mozzarella cheese with a light texture and flavor. 

Tomatoes and basil from my own garden. 


This is an explosion of flavors 

Local olive oil from Texas and fig balsamic vinegar makes the perfect dressing for any salad in Bibbi's home.
I haven't bought a salad dressing in years. I always make my own salad dressing. I try to get the best quality olive oil and lately from a local farmer outside of Houston, purchased at the local farmers market. I normally mix it with organic balsamic vinegar or for natural sweetness I use fig balsamic vinegar. When making the caprese salad I just add garlic and basil from the garden. A light and fragrant salad.

We're attending the local farmers marked to get local organic no GMO products
The herb garden is thriving and producing more than we can eat. 
The basil plant in the background must be growing under the perfect conditions because it is as big as a shrub despite the constant pruning for cooking. We also grow chocolate mint, sage, oregano, thyme, chive, rosemary and parsley. Perfect for soups, salads or omelets.

Bell peppers
Natures wonders.

Do you know the meaning of the word Yoga? It means UNION, that all life is part of cosmos. After 2.5 years of practicing yoga, I discovered a spiritual side of this lifestyle. Whatever happens to the world happens to you. You don't have to tell any person not to cut down the forests, eat food destroyed with pesticides or put harmful chemicals in his body because we will take care of what we love. No one wants a machine that isn't running properly or is constantly in for service.

We've created a society where everybody thinks too many things about themselves but if we don't learn how to take care of our body, we are nothing. I find it invigorating to learn new aspects of the body and mind, finding a close relation with my self and the earth. Being a little piece of cosmos, just waiting to be recycled and turned into dirt. Our body is just a loan. If you conduct your life well, the collector might not collect the life early. The planet takes care of that very efficiently. We are constantly seeking and learning new aspects of life. Fueling on clean energy, using only the best building materials and mindful living has given me a new paradigm, a new experience of wellbeing.







Saturday, June 10, 2017

A few new things.

As much as I like to decorate and love the French Country look, it's impossible to follow all trends to a tee. I find myself liking many different styles and love when people break with the style trend and mix styles successfully. It takes a lot of practice and kudos to them. This weekend hubby and I visited Texas hill country for a wedding and stayed at a completely new Sheraton Hotel in Georgetown. They had done a marvelous job mixing contemporary style with Texas hill country rustic.
The hotels restaurant with uncluttered decor, rustic floors, masculine black chairs and raw gray plaster on some walls. 
This is a conference hotel and their conference facilities was located at the same floor as the restaurant. Overall unexpected high end quality of design and service. If you ever search for a hotel in Austin area, this would be a wonderful reasonable priced experience.

Modern and light
This back roll pillow of "animal skin" lend itself to a Texas feel.
Texas hill country style can be rustic and masculine often oversized leather furnitures. But the new trend is lighter and more airy. These furnitures are very comfortable to sit in because they're made of soft fabrics with firm cushions giving good support. With slim lines and exposed legs the light allows to travel in the room making the space seem larger. A great design trick.

This is in stark contrast to old Georgetown town square where things are more ornate, facades painted in pastel color scheme and lots of architectual details.

Downtown Georgetown Texas



We're all looking at the world with different eyes and there is no right and wrong when it comes to what style is your preferred. I can appreciate many design styles including both of the styles mentioned above, but in Bibbi's home there's a mix that suits hubby and I. Reflecting our past and different experiences, we end up with a collection of gathered items and things given to us over the years. But I am working on learning to declutter. Clutter is killing your creativity. Decluttering is an ongoing process of elimination, trying to make the spaces more airy and less busy for the eye. That of cause limits the colors that I mix, even though I break that rule in some rooms. I've learned from our daughter in law tho successfully change colors with the seasons using colored candles. I find it very effective when combined with colored flowers and potted plants. And a very important thing to remember is that men tend to love stronger colors in flowers. 

Combining style with comfort is also important to consider when choosing furniture. Hubby and I swopped office chairs a while ago after he got serious neck and shoulder problems sitting in the very pretty but unpractical chair we bought years ago. We expected to get another one like it, but the store don't make it anymore. We've even searched for used online. Hubby found this awesome chair at Amazon.com that is very similar on 70% discount and free shipping. It arrived in box unassembled so hubby spent a few minutes putting it together and I am sitting in it as I write just now. It is very comfortable to have an adjustable office chair so I have a better posture in front of the computer. Good posture is so important for optimal health, just ask a chiropractor.
Hubby saved $70 by assembling the chair himself. 

Side by side, old and new chair.

My new practical, comfortable and contemporary office chair. 

Just as the chairs at Sheraton Hotel, this chair has a masculine feel with its soft comfortable leather contrasting to chrome colored and slender armrests and legs. 

To give an example of my opposite French county style taste, I will show you a project I worked on last week. Because I love burning candles and put a lot of effort into buying high quality candles that is not giving off soot and air pollutant, I have a lot of candleholders, but have been looking for a hurricane that is subtle gray in a size that will work with 3 wicked candles. Trying to keep the budget down, I considered painting one if the size was right. Scouting though a thrift store, HomeGoods, I found 2 hurricanes for $10 each in a deep brown terracotta that are far from the style I was looking for, but had the perfect width and hight.  

This $10 hurricane in dark brown clay had the perfect size for the dining room. 

Painting with 2 blending colors makes it look old. 
The hurricanes are starting to look old and matches the other decor in the space
The new color ties the beige colors together. 

Unglazed clay absorbs the colors resulting in a weathered look. To obtain a saturated and protective finish, I rubbed them with beeswax, one of my natural, old fashion, favorites. The objective was to tie together the colors from the floors and my other antler candle sticks in the dining room. Using the wall colors to paint the hurricane really made the trick. The other hurricane is sitting on my kitchen counter where the hurricane lends a rustic feel against the glossy charcoal granite. The soot free flame reflects and sparkles in the glass. I love the way textures plays against each other. 

The other hurricane sits on the kitchen island counter.
Decorating is a great passion of mine and I love to learn new ways of expressing myself without having to break the bank. Learning to take into consideration scale of the room, texture, color combinations and working on creating a warm space yet uncluttered is a great challenge. Like everything else in life it's an evolving process. It's fun to explore different facets of oneself. I see my life as a journey where things are ever changing and evolving. My uncle loves contemporary design and will go to the extreme of simplicity, at the same time he is an artist and can adjust his creativity according to situations and customers taste. This is something I truly admire. The ability to view things in different perspectives. There are so many ways of solving problems. What a great ability we have to use knowledge end experiences to be creative in minds.

Getting rid of rigide rules and observe the world around you. Listening to other people with different views and different experiences and taking the time to reflect over these experiences. Just as we all like different or even many decorating styles, there are many different opinions of all matters in life. It takes courage to open our minds so we can appreciate our differences and respect each other. It doesn't mean that it is one right and one wrong way. And as I showed you, my taste is not just leaning to one side, the same goes for my believes on other matters in life. Seeing all matters, political, religious, health, food, decorating or anything in black and white gives no room for personal growth. I hate it when people say something is wrong, when it's just a matter of personal expression. No one like to be confined or restricted by others.

When I am working on any projects, time comes to a stand still, I exist in the moment and my mind wonders off meditating and reflecting over matters like this. There is never a timeline to be finished, the paint must dry, right. And no one knows what it's going to look like when I am done. We have an expression in Norway: It just tuned out this way.

My new office chair 

My old office chair is now in the living room. 
Observing my uncle I've learned to see the beauty of simple design where function is more of the essence and I've learned to appreciate it. He would still say my declutter is nowhere near his standards, but this is the way I live now. He loves cooking just like me, but he eats different food than I and he has different views of health, politics and religion. I embrace his ability to express it and share his experiences, because his life is different from mine. He has valid reasons for his opinions and I truly respect his views, in fact he has opened my mind on several health issues.

The mental capacity is a very important part of human lives and we're limiting ourselves in rigid thinking. Some people would say religious people are narrow minded and others would say life is empty without it. I want to accept this part of life, instead of being narrow-minded and opinionated, I'd like to open the mind to receive from others to excel my mind. I am not always successful, something hubby would be the first to confirm. He sees problems and solutions very different than me, and sometimes it takes him a long time to win me over. Because sometimes his is right.