Hey! I'm Emily... homebody, amateur philosopher, professional photographer, mama and wife. This is my little world-- a place for me to preserve the little snippets of my life that bring me joy, make me think, or show my creative leanings. I'm so happy you're here. If you get a minute, please introduce yourself in the comments. If you like what you see, you are invited to follow my blog through your RSS Reader. Just click the link at the bottom of the page to add me.
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Friday, January 30

Five For Friday: Home Edition

My little Five For Friday idea is really so simple.... and I LOVE the idea of it. And when I remember to do it, it's really really fun for me. 
But somehow, two Fridays got away from me already! D'oh!!! 

So for today's post, I'll do a Two-For, and post ten total images. Why not, ya know? 

Today, I decided instead of shots of my people, I'd share a little of our home. And since this month has been one of tackling little overdue projects and clutter corners, it seemed like a fun idea to share with you guys my Five Worst Clutter Spots, followed by my Five Favorite Corners of the House. Easy enough! 

To begin with,  let's get real. We ALL have Clutter Corners. Places that catch all the "stuff" and keep catching it. Place we can never seem to keep tidy no matter how many times we work on it. I think this is universal. Also universal, I think, is how much of a relief it is to see that others have them, too, so we don't feel as alone in our messes. So for the happy benefit and my readers-- so you can feel like your clutter is not alone-- here are my five worst areas for clutter catch-alls. A note: all five of these areas have been MUCH MUCH WORSE than you'll see here....today just happens to be a good average cluttery day for them. And also, every blue moon, each of these areas looks "show-house worthy." Okay, just kidding. They've never looked that good. Ever. 

1.  The peninsula of our kitchen counter. It's CONSTANT. The con: it's very visible, so that's embarrassing. The pro: it keeps the entry table and the dining room table from becoming clutter spots, and I would choose this over those two areas any day. 


2. The buffet/sideboard area of our dining room. Also keeping stuff from piling on the dining room table itself, this piece of furniture has a constant rotation of art supplies, school papers, projects, toys, and miscellany atop it. Today is not really too bad, shockingly.... Some book stacks that need different homes, and some school papers that need to be tossed or filed. Oh, and that darn set of Costco giant salt and pepper grinders. We NEVER USE THEM. Anyone want them?

3. THE. BASEMENT. Listen--- it's unfinished, so it's going to be a "Stuff Place." And really, though it's been better than this, it's going to always look a bit like a yard sale gone wrong. So I don't really HATE this clutter corner. This spot is the staging area for our toys, and it is here that I decide what to bring upstairs next when I rotate toys. The kids think it is HEAVEN down here, especially because they're not allowed down here, making it even more mystical and awe-inspiring. My big problem, clutter-wise, happens when I bring the now-dormant toys back downstairs. I am usually trying to do it fast, so my kids aren't trying to come down to join me and "help", so I end up shoving the tubs and extra toys in the first blank areas, and over time, the original order of things is done for. One good naptime afternoon down here, and it will look WAY better. Or at least, maybe, to me it will. 

4. The far end of our bedroom. Our master bedroom is HUGE. Like, "not really a good use of space" huge. Maybe if we were in a mansion and one end had a fireplace so we could put a couple of chaise lounges around it next to the 15-foot wall-to-wall bookcases (you know, like THIS.)... But yeah. That's not this house. So instead, we use one end of the room as my sewing/craft area, and the rest of the not-bed part of the room as the "catch all" for all kinds of boxes and tubs and piles of outgrown clothes and photos that need to be hung and papers that need to be filed, etc. And the sewing area gets out of control pretty fast when I'm digging for something I need and don't take the time to put everything back. So it ends up like this. A lot. *sigh* Oh well. We'll never have a Better Homes and Gardens master suite, even if we do buy a couple of chaises. Haha!

5. My desk: Even when all the papers are filed away and the camera gets put away and I am able to find a home for many of the things around here, this place always looks like a workstation. And I guess that's okay. In the house before this one, the thing I'd HATED about our furniture arrangement was that my deskspace was one of the first things you saw when you came in the front door. So when we moved to our current home, I thought a long time about where I wanted my "workspace." And this view, here in this photo, is one that most visitors never have to see. It's tucked along a wall that would require you to make a full u-turn to get to it, and so even though it's kind of an eyesore, its a functional one, and I'm at peace with it. Mostly. Also, look at my newborn babies Quinn and Noah. I love them.

So. There you go. Keeping it SO SO real over here. This is my real life. And these are just the five most common areas. There are plenty of other piles and messes around my house today, I promise you. But let's forget what we've seen now, okay? To shake off all those clutter heebie-jeebies I just gave you all, let's finish this post today on a more cheerful note. Let me show you the five areas of our home that are worth seeing, and that I feel particularly in love with.... And these five photos are particularly meaningful to me because when we lived in the house before this, we always lived in it as if we were just visiting. I never let myself sink into it and "make it my home" as much as I should've- especially since we ended up staying there for three full years, plenty of time to nest and settle in. So my vow when we moved here 1.5 years ago was to not make that same mistake. And so these five images show me that I've stayed true to that promise to myself. These are pieces of me, on my walls and around my home, and they make this house OURS, for as long (or as briefly) as we get to be here. 

1. In our entryway, probably my favorite: a little printer's tray of treasures and doo dads, a birdcage-memo-holder with photos and our three babies' announcements, and stacked on the table, our family photo books.

2. The basic stacks of little, colorful bowls on my kitchen counter. These things get used all day long, and I just really love them.

3. A bit of spare wallspace at the end of our kitchen: There was never a "need" for this area, so when I put the table there to break up the expanse of blank wall, there was no plan for what would go here. The plants ended up needing a good sunny spot and this table fit the bill, and the rest of this just kind of happened around it organically. And now I adore it. The most recent addition--- the little 5x7 oil painting of my childhood home. It is my cherished Christmas gift from my mama this year. It amazes me and I love it.

4. After all the color in my house, it surprised me, then really really pleased me, to accidentally assemble this calm little area near our entry. I really really love the neutral tones, the simplicity, and that little pop of red in the vintage thread box down below. Oh, and there's Spencer the Engine. Trains are always showing up in random spots in my house, and it's becoming a full-time job keeping them picked up. Irritating. But cute, too. (See, he even still has his ickle coal car all attached and all.......)

5. Our "Photo Room" and its feature wall. This room would traditionally be the living room in this house, but we decided we really needed a room for my photography business, a place I could set up and use studio lights if necessary, so we re-purposed this long, open room into The Photo Room--- one part studio, one part office, and one part playroom. And because the room has a non-traditional, less-structured purpose, I let these photos go up onto the wall in a similar fashion. A bit random, not pre-planned... I just went with my gut each time. And the touch of wildness to the arrangement is so appealing to me as I look at it now. It gets to be a "display" for when I have clients over, and that is awesome.... But it is also just a way for my kids to see each other and themselves and hopefully sense my devotion to them via my work in photographing them. (There's a smaller wall to the left of this one where I have our family photos hung... so they get to see their parents and grandparents in photos, too, I promise.) In addition to loving this wall, I just love the vintage desk and the pile of quilts--- all used as photo props here and there, but also used to serve my family here at home.... And the storage shelf with vintage books and a rotation of vintage toys that could be used in a session in a pinch. I love this whole space--- visual eye candy.

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So, a reminder that if you, the reader, want to post a "Five For Friday" yourself, I'd love to add your link here. you could do five images on Instagram or Facebook, too, if you're not blogging much these days. And it doesn't have to be photos! You could do a Five For Friday list, and just write a few things. Let me know in the comments if you do play along, and if you have a link for me to add here. Because I love seeing what YOU'RE up to, too! 

Thanks for reading, friends. Always.

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