Help Design MommyEnnui Headquarters

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Can you spot my desk?

Please help! MommyEnnui HQ is in dire need of an upgrade. After almost seven years in our house, I’m actually going to be getting a real, organized, home office space. I’ve attached some “before” photos so you can feel better about the state of your house. As you can see, I do have a desk of sorts. As you can also see, my desk has been buried under a pile of unfiled paperwork, old bills, a printer that ran out of ink two years ago and a random collection of “kid krap” for as long as I can remember.

My lack of a workspace hasn’t been a big problem until recently. Ad Man handles the bills and there have always been plenty of other surfaces in the house on which to fold laundry, change diapers, iron clothes (Ha, ha! Just kidding…I don’t iron) and complete other stay-at-home mom tasks. Since starting this blog, I’ve either worked at the kitchen table, on the couch or at a coffee shop somewhere. I’ve also developed some pretty major wrist problems and need a more ergonomically correct set up or I’m going to end up requiring carpal tunnel surgery. No fun.

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View from living room area.

Moreover, I’ve started working on another, top secret, writing project for which I’ll be needing a workspace that accommodates both me and a writing partner. I’m super excited about the project, but I’m also somewhat superstitious and don’t want to jinx anything. As it progresses, and if it doesn’t end up sucking, I promise to tell you all about it.

I’ve actually made a bit of headway on the space in the past two weeks. All the bills and random papers have been either filed or shredded and I’ve decided on a paint color for the room. This quick choice of paint color is a huge accomplishment for me. Some of you may recall that Ad Man and I had paint swatches on our bedroom walls for about two years before settling on a color and finally repainting. So anyway, the downstairs living room/home office will be Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter. It’s the perfect warm gray and, while not the most inspiring color, it should make for a calm, cozy room. There are still, however, three bicycles and two skateboards in the room that will need to be relocated to the utility room whether Ad Man likes it or not.

As for organization, I’m totally open to suggestions. I’m thinking I’ll spackle (is that a verb now?) the hell out of the wall from which I just removed a gallery of family photos and add some floating shelving in its place. I won’t have too much of a need for paper storage since I write on my laptop and will be doing the other project on it as well. I’ll need a large-ish corkboard for story outlines with good, old fashioned index cards. Other than that, I’ll just need room for typical office supplies and my resource books.

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A girl can dream, can’t she?

I’d rather not spend a pile of money on this project, so I’ll likely be sticking with the existing ugly IKEA desk. After all I’m not exactly making a fortune blogging. As a matter of fact, you can count on me to make a huge announcement the first time I earn a dime from blogging or other writing. That will be a happy day, indeed, and we shall celebrate! I’m pretty sure the joyous event will call for a signature cocktail so you can start thinking about that beforehand if you’d like.

I’d love to hear your ideas and see photos of how you’ve managed to organize your own work space at home. I’ve started a ‘Home Office’ board on my Pinterest page on which I’ve started pinning photos of dreamy, functional and clutter-free home offices. Please feel free to send me pins you run across that you think I should add to the board. And as long as I’m already begging you for help, if you’re not following me on Pinterest, please do so I can justify the ridiculous amount of time I spend on the site. In the meantime, I’ll be patching, painting and perusing my favorite porno mag, the Container Store catalog, for inspiration.

Holidays in Hell

Pumpkin HouseI know it sounds crazy, but we’re still in the midst of Halloween planning and decorating around here.  I just finished sewing a tiny, waterproof Marie Antoinette costume for Jacques, our beta fish, and now I have to hand-bead the gown for Smalls’s Donatella Versace costume and carve Biggie’s pumpkin into an intricate Victorian lace pattern.  After that, I will set out luminaria to light the path down our sidewalk, up the driveway, down both sides of the street and around the block.  In an effort to be culturally inclusive, I’ve also cast 100 Dia de los Muertos sugar skulls that still need to be decorated with frosting. I’d have the kids help me, but I just can never count on them to be historically accurate in their decorating.

I’m so thankful I thought ahead last week and already made the beds with our candy corn and skull-and-crossbones patterned sheets and changed out the Columbus Day throw pillows for the Halloween ones.  It’s also a relief to know that the dough for the bone-shaped bread sticks is pre-made and in the freezer with the butternut squash and squid ink pasta lasagna.  I’ll just have to pop the dry ice into our drinks at the last minute and our Halloween dinner will be on the table in plenty of time to get a balanced meal into my family before trick-or-treating begins.

I’m hoping I’ll be done packaging the handmade candy bars in butcher paper and orange and white striped twine so I can join the rest of the family for the evening’s festivities.  I’d really hate to miss it, especially since I’ve been walking around in this green makeup and fake nose with warts all day!  Ha, ha!  Oh, and I can’t forget to change out all the lightbulbs with orange ones before we leave the house.

I sent Ad Man out to replicate the cemetery from ‘Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil’ in the front yard, but I’m afraid he may need help from the neighbors since I had the headstones and statues hand-carved from stone.  I’m also waiting for the guys with the cherry-picker to arrive so I can finish hanging the faux Spanish moss from the top of the maple tree out front.

Whew!  I’m getting exhausted just thinking about it and this is only the beginning of the holiday season!  I don’t even want to think about all the Indian headdresses and pilgrim hats I have to sew, the organic cranberries I have to harvest from the bog in the backyard, the creche I have to carve from that olive wood I ordered from the Holy Land and the tiny dreidels I have to sculpt, glaze, fire in the kiln and deliver to our Jewish friends.  And, Hanukkah starts early this year!

You know, every year I swear I’m going to scale back, do more with less, volunteer for fewer class parties and just say no to the holiday whirlwind.  But, I just want things to be perfect for my family.  I know the kids will look back fondly at the moments we shared gold-leafing the walls in preparation for New Year’s Eve and they’ll never forget the magic of seeing actual, authentic reindeer shit on the roof on Christmas morning.  I’m not going to lie, it is a lot of work but, it’s worth every late night spent in the kitchen or the wood shop or sitting at the loom.  After all, as they say, a neurotic, overachieving, competitive, control-freak-of-a-mother’s work is never done!

Photo via Apartment Therapy

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