02 Jan 2011
Our Projects posted by Sara Tofanelli-Barroso

It’s often that in life we don’t make the time to take care of the things that we really would like to accomplish.  We often let day after day go by living our usual lives trying to catch up with the daily grime without making the time for bigger projects that may just make our lives easier and more satisfying.   It’s exhausting just thinking about adding a task, yet alone a project, to my list.

However, it’s become clear to me that I can no longer just do the 100 things that I do every day.  All of my usual tasks are becoming much more difficult and I need to simplify.  I have decided that my family’s lives would be a lot more manageable if we took some accountability of our home. 

We live in a 2 bedroom, 1 bath, 1700 square foot home which was built around 1910 very near downtown.  We love our home and wouldn’t want to move.  However, with 2 very active boys and 2 dogs we are quickly growing out of our small, beloved space. 

Our home was built so long ago and as you can imagine, people lived differently back then than we do now.  We would like to modernize the room sizes, create a bigger more functional kitchen, construct closet storage that's user-friendly and somehow add another bathroom… all by staying within our existing exterior walls. 

So it’s by putting this out in the open for everyone to remind me of my mission.  This year I WILL follow the necessary steps required to complete this project.  I WILL simplify my living situation, I WILL do one extra task every day in order to complete this project and I WILL require the motivation, encouragement, know-how and relationships of my friends and family in order to make this home livable, functional and beautiful (see inspiration image below) ...

(Unless, of course, it’s going to cost too much!)


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Stuck in a Blizzard

01 Jan 2011
Our DesignersOur Stories posted by Sara Tofanelli-Barroso

We are the Bowman's and we are stuck in New York.  It sounds fun, even a bit  exciting.  But it's not. 
When we left for Christmas in New York, all I could think about was how fun it would be if we had a white Christmas.  We left Chico with the weather report showing a 20% chance of snow.  Oh well...we would have fun anyways.  I mean, Christmas in New York...who doesn't want that?!

We spent a few wonderful days in Manhattan.  We saw the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular, we visited the Bloomingdales and Macy's windows, we played at FAO Schwartz and the American Girl Doll store, we awed at the Rockefeller Christmas tree, we slept at a hip and expensive, mid town hotel (thanks to Priceline!).  We did it all...we were happy Christmas tourists. 

After our New York adventure, we envisioned a fun, relaxing ride on the Long Island Railroad to visit my husbands family in Long Island...


However, it was not what we had imagined.  Cramped, with luggage stacked up high, no room to sit, relax, or yet alone, read. 

But we got to Long Island and to be with the family for the holidays.  Christmas Eve was a party, Christmas Day was another one.  Then the news broke that night that there was to be a blizzard.  When we went to sleep that night, we had high hopes to wake up to fresh snow.  We woke up but with no snow in sight. We figured the weather report was wrong, which, I am told, happens often around here.  Then it hit.  And it hit big. 

In the morning, we made our way to visit my husband’s aunt but didn't get too far.  With the snow falling and without four-wheel drive we had to turn around.  Needless to say, we were stuck for 2 days in the family's house. 

But there was hope!  On the day that we were scheduled to leave, the snow plow plowed the street.  We now had clearance to the airport!  We packed up, and made our way to the Cheesecake Factory for one last meal with the family.  Just as we were getting up to leave we received the dreaded email.  Our flight was cancelled.  We tried and tried to get through to the airlines, but kept getting disconnected.  We were finally able to reschedule...for a week and half  later, on Jan. 6. Seriously?! 

I went through the 5 stages of grief and the first one was shock.  Then denial, anger, sadness, loss, confusion, then positive thoughts (think: The Secret).  And then again the grief.  What was I to do?  Finally after 2 days of worrying, crying a little, fighting with the husband and more worrying, we were finally able to get through the airline and reschedule to an earlier flight. 

Now I can enjoy the family who has been so kind and gracious to us.  Now I can enjoy the rest of our New York Christmas.  Now our New York Christmas has turned into New York New Years.  And with any luck we'll be on a flight this weekend and home soon to our beds, our home and our withered Christmas tree.

Otherwise, we'll always have January 6th.

- Sage


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