Improving the Living Room

Ways to Make Living Room Appear and Feel Bigger

Our house is pretty small, and although I think it's perfect because we are not living beyond our means, it does get a bit overwhelming when it feels like the walls are closing in on me. And part of the reason I get that sensation is that our house is filled with so much STUFF. I feel like I'm constantly downsizing our stuff, but it just keeps growing.


#1 – Reduce Furniture

One quick and easy way to make a living room appear and feel bigger is to reduce the amount of furniture. It may seem like an odd thing to do, but for us, it meant moving our old couch out of the living room. Hubbie was kind of against it initially because he though (correctly) that it really reduced the seating for when we have guests over. The reality is that we rarely have people over (ok, actually we probably have a few people over every weekend). So the reality is that when people come over, we typically congregate at the table to eat, drink, talk and play games.

My thinking is that if people want to relax in my living room, they can sit on our little ottoman or pull in a kitchen chair. We currently only have 2 adult recliners and M's little purple recliner. I think it should be fine. If it turns out to be terribly awkwards, I may rethink the whole thing and consider buying a loveseat or newer couch.

#2 – Remove the Exercise Equipment

So that would be a great way to clear space in your living room and make it feel bigger. For us, though, we moved our Elliptical IN from the garage to where the couch used to be. The Elliptical does take up less space, so it was still a spcially economical swap. 

…to be continued…


On another note of GSD:

I've been wanting to swap our old couch with our Elliptical for a while, and we finally did it today! It was an amazing feeling! As much as I love the old couch, it has unfortunately transformed into a landing station for clean clothes, toys and blankets. It's rarely cleared off and feels like just "one more job" to keep it in a cleared state. 

My Happy Lists - De-Cluttering

The couch is now in our garage and is a project for another day. But now we have the Elliptical in the living room so that we can do 30 minutes of cardio every day. No excuses!

My Happy Lists - De-Cluttering

Love it! Now we just need to get into a habit of hopping on regularly.

I am officially Gettin' S*&% DONE!

2014 Mantra: Gettin Shit Done!

So it may not be the most classy way of saying it, but my mantra for the New Year is officially “Gettin’ Shit Done” and I’m off to a pretty impressive start so far (for me). I hate to admit it, but I am lazy. Like, very lazy. But not this year. I’m crazy excited to see how much I can accomplish.


#1: Take Baby E’s swing down, put it in the garage, get out the swivel bouncer, wash it off and set it up.



Done and Done. This was kind of bittersweet as our little baby is growing up!

Gettin’ Shit Done!

DONE – Start a tradition of weekly date nights with daughter

Being a full-time working Mama outside of the house has been a challenge that I feel like I'm kicking butt at…except for my neverending longing to have more quality time with my family.

As Marion is now almost 2 1/2 years old, she is getting to be such a pleasure to spend time with. Because I work 40-60 hours per week, our time together is pretty limited. Up until now, I felt like I was balancing everything pretty well. Since Elliott was born a few months ago, though, my quality time with Marion has really decreased. It seems like our nights pretty much look like this:

  • I come home and dress down into comfy clothes
  • I breastfeed Elliott while Hubbie makes dinner and Marion plays
  • We eat dinner together at the table
  • I breastfeed Elliott again while Hubbie cleans up and Marion plays
  • I cuddle with Elliott while he takes a nap on me and Marion continues playing independently 
  • Hubbie and Marion start her nightly routine: milk, jammies, reading books
  • Hubbie takes Marion to bed while I breastfeed Elliott again
  • Hubbie and I hang out for a little bit before I head to bed
  • Hubbie gets some alone time while Elliott takes his nightly nap
  • Hubbie and Elliott go to bed

As you can see, not a ton of Mommy and Marion time. So as I was leaving work last night, I decided it was time to enact a weekly date night with my precious daughter. She is so much to hang out with! Hubbie was in full support so after I got home and fed Elliott, Marion and I headed out for some fun one-on-one time.

The great thing about Marion is that she has a blast doing ANYTHING, so for this first date I didn't need to get overly creative. Here's what we did:

  • Dollar Store Shopping
  • Dinner at Wendy's

It seems pretty simple (and maybe kind of low-class), but it was quite enjoyable. Marion rode around in the shopping cart, commenting on everything she saw and liked. She methodically would hold stuff we were going to buy before placing them behind her in the cart. And then dinner was a blast. Nothing too exciting – just spending some quality time talking together. She's the best, and I can't wait to have more Mommy/Daughter Dates with her. I suppose next time I may need to do something a little more creative, though.