Thursday, October 24, 2019

The Ideal Reading Corner

Through the ages, when people envision an avid reader, they're visuals have generally shared many cliche features- a voracious bookworm, curled up in a cozy corner, deeply immersed in their favorite book. For most of us, however, this charming image isn't an ideal portrayal. Though it's true, we all have our perfect catacomb to curl up in, what is truly comfortable differs greatly for all of us. Perhaps your idea of heaven is a soft cushion situated near a blazing fire or perhaps it's a lounge chair with the hot sun beating down on you. Personally, I have always favored a large Papasan Chair positioned in an open corner of a room where I can simultaneously sink into my book and still be privy to any activity that arises. Here are a few of the more popular options to get you started:

With its well-rounded shape, the Papasan Chair provides excellent back supper while creating a comfy hollow to curl up in. Most of these handy accent chairs are easily adjustable making it easy to find your ideal position.

Though it may come as a bit of a surprise to some, many would tell you that a small, plush sofa with a cushy arm to lean against is their ideal vision for a reading corner. Considering the space these customary livingroom furnishings provide, not to mention the multitude of positions one can relax in this isn't too difficult to believe.

Simple by design, a large bean bag has survived through ages as one of the most popular types of chairs. Easy to sink into, a large bean bag will form to your preferred position, creating a comfortable burrow that fits your body, making it easy to lose yourself in your favorite book.

With a chair like this, who needs to bother with a bed. This casual chaise lounge chair has great back support and a nice roll bottom to dangle your feet over while you relax.



For the multitudes of us that are partial to a cozy corner to curl your feet under you, this chair is the way to go. Its large seat allows you to tuck your feet comfortably beneath you while it's plush back cushions provide a nice back to lean against. With a chair like this who would ever go with a regular recliner?



For those of you who prefer a little fresh air to go with your downtime, here is the perfect solution. This padded swing allows you to enjoy nature without sacrificing the comfort that is usually more common for indoor furnishings. Add to it the gentle swaying rhythm- if you want it- and you have a soothing background to unwind.

Everyone has different preferences. How do you prefer to relish your books and downtime?

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

A Million Dollar Look That Doesn't Cost A Fortune

Who doesn't like a fresh makeover on there home to brighten the look- as long as someone else is doing the work! If you're one of those people like me, however, who hates to pay the outrageous cost of labor, you'll be thrilled to know you can achieve wonderful results for a third of the cost with a few simple changes. The best part- you can do it by yourself. Here are a few tricks to help you attain rich results without emptying your pocketbook:


1. New Hardware
Adding new hardware to your cabinets is one of the easiest and least time-consuming ways to add a little flair, yet it can completely alter the overall look of your room.

2. Paint 
A dash of color will brighten any room. Painting your doors and cabinets is a simple job anyone can do. It will shine up old worn-out wood and spare you the cost of spendy replacements.

3. Window Decor
Trading old drapes or torn up window shades for some that fit the overall look you're aiming for is a great way to add a little flair to an outdated setting.

4. Lighting
A well-lit room can be the difference between a dismal space and a welcoming atmosphere. Changing out your ceiling lights or floor lamps for ones that better meet the needs of the room size and vibe is a great way to, at once, add a little class and in many cases, desperately needed light, to any room.


5. Accent Pieces
Little extras like potted plants and wall art add a little extra character to a room and can be chosen to fit any space.

6. Area Rugs
Great for when you want to change it up with your flooring without uprooting the entire room. Area rugs add a splash of color that offsets the overall theme of a room, absorb sound, and add comfort to the area.

7. Storage Space
One of the biggest mistakes when it comes to interior design is overcrowding a room. To solve this problem some chic shelving units or, in the case of a bathroom, a recessed medicine cabinet. This can add that little extra storage needed to clear up space without taking away from the floor plan.

8. Open It Up
Perhaps your couch is too large or you simply have too many pieces crammed into one room. This causes the room to look cramped and uncomfortable. Try changing out any oversized furnishing for smaller pieces better suited to the amount of space available. You can also try rearranging the furnishing to open up the walkway from room to room. It is ok to think outside the box.

I am happy to say, after taking the time to collect the necessary pieces I am ready to remodel another room. I had to learn many of the tricks listed above by trial an error. My hope is that the information within this article can save you that trouble and bring you a more enjoyable experience. Have fun!

Have fun!

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Castle or Prison

It puts life in a little perspective when you stop to consider what life is like when viewed through the eyes of each unique individual. Mary Boleyn, Marie Antoinette, Veronica Franco are all perfect examples of this fact. Gorgeous and talented women who appeared to live a luxurious existence, they in truth carried the weight of intimate burdens. Of course, this was never evident to the passer-by.  Professionals of their trade, these women managed to appear seductive goddesses first and foremost. By use of this technique, they often infiltrated the most cultured social circles of their time. A beautiful lifestyle, to say the least. Such opulence did not come without a price. In exchange for the vast freedoms they were afforded they often sacrificed their dreams, their honor, and their very privacy. Marie Antoniette with her glittering jewels and lavish gowns is a prime example of this ruse.
One of the most envied women of her time, her life ended in execution.
Of course one could argue that to some degree anyway, the path these women chose was well worth the cost. Unlike the naive young missses and socially restrained wives of their time, they were allowed to step far outside the lines and no one would stop to wonder. It went without saying marriage was not in the cards. When one stops to consider the tight restrictions that imprisoned most of the women of their time, the disgraceful lifestyle these courtesans lead seems in it's way well worth the sacrifice. Given the option, which would you choose- the glistening, albeit disfavored freedoms of the courtesans or the dull honor that followed the rest of the female society of 18th and 19th century Europe? Honor or pleasure- it all seems like a matter of perspective. For more information on the courtesans of historical Europe try this link: https://www.neatorama.com/2014/09/30/The-Ladys-Not-a-Tramp/

Enjoy!

Thursday, August 1, 2019

A Little Adventure

As life grows increasingly busy I occasionally fall a little behind. In this case, I can't say I'm entirely frustrated with the fact. For the first time in at least a year, I was allowed to spend some serious time with my two favorite people in the world- my son and my dad. Life is, in my opinion, always far more refreshing with a little diversity in it. What better place to find that then the whirlwind state of California. 
The sound of the waves crashing against the shores and the music of a band playing alongside it as the sun sets is one of the most fascinating sensations in the world. Add to that a layover in the fluttering world of a Vegas casino and you're set. I added a photo above to give a genuine visual. Every person, every setting, has something that makes them particular- sets them apart from all others. For these places, it's their unique rythm- the friendly people and easy-going atmosphere. For everyone it's different. Do you have a place you can escape to, if only for a moment, to find a little peace and relaxation? If not, try these: 

  1. Exercise. Exercise is one of the most important things you can do to combat stress. ...
  2. Consider Supplements. ...
  3. Light a Candle. ...
  4. Reduce Your Caffeine Intake. ...
  5. Write It Down. ...
  6. Chew Gum. ...
  7. Spend Time With Friends and Family. ...
  8. Laugh.
  9. Listen to your favorite music
Not quite a sweet vacation, but as we all know, life won't wait. Enjoy it while you can!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Palace or Plantation



For those of us who read romance novels on a regular basis, or even enjoy the historical mysteries that are their counterparts, you have likely dreamt of spending your days surrounded by the unmistakable granduar that pervaded the noble homes of the 19th century. But have you ever stopped to consider which brand of oppulance you would prefer? In England they had their palaces and in America they had their plantations. It goes without saying, none of these upper echelon individuals ever wanted for anything, the luxuries and traditions they enjoyed were tailored to the preferences of each specific group. 
The homes of the period serve as an ideal example of these variants. In England palaces stretched far into the sky, often four to five stories in height. Inside these massive homes, it not uncommon for rooms to be custom painted with serene murals depicting scenes from Greek mythology, their edges defined by gilt trim. The plantations that dotted America's deep south, though as lovely, emitted a far homier feel. Deep hues replaced the light pastels that were the norm in England, lending a welcoming warmth to the rooms and tall Grecian columns lined the veranda. Men and women alike spent countless hours beneath these columns drinking tea and conversing with acquaintances. 
From the family hierarchy to the staff, the roles were similarly defined- men the head of the household and women their inferiors. This said one must stop to consider that by the standards of the time American women were considered brazen in their freedoms. They were allowed a little more room to voice their opinions, even if they were expected to stay within a very straight line. In exchange for this privilege, the ladies of England were treated like delicate china dolls. Servants rushed to meet their slightest desire and society's expectations were few. Men of the period didn't differ much in their role. Like the ladies of the time however, American men exchanged hard work for a far more relaxed social atmosphere than the one enjoyed by the gnerational nobles of the English ton. Now that you have a good idea of these differences, may I ask, which would you choose? 

Friday, May 24, 2019

The Human Puzzle

Many moms will agree, watching your child grow up and move on to the next stage of life isn't always easy. Lucky for me I don't have to deal with the monster step yet, however, sixth-grade graduation is set to take place in a few short days. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't in awe. Time has a way of flying and if you're not careful you'll find yourself saying you have no idea where it went. That said, I don't regret any of it for even a moment. Unlike many mothers, I've been allowed to enjoy every step of the process and surprising as it is, my son has yet to get sick of me. Let's just say I'm grateful, considering we are complete polar opposites. For those of you who have experienced similar circumstances, you will understand how huge this factor can be. Ever wonder what category you fall into? Try this link on for size:
https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test




Apparently, I fall under the "Campaigner" category. Not entirely surprising having read the synopsis. This definitely coincides with my Gemini zodiac sign! I'd love to hear from any of you on what results you receive. As with most facets of writing, human nature never fails to fascinate me. It is amazing how a single trait, which can seem so small in the broader spectrum, can so strongly affect a relationship or even an entire string of events when writing. Are you soft-hearted, a perfectionist, stubborn? Perhaps you enjoy picking flowers? What if it just so happened that spending time flower-picking lead to a meeting with your ideal mate? In a book and in real life this is not so uncommon. That said, I hope you enjoy this quiz as much as I did.

Have a wonderful weekend,

Adrienne

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Which side of the tracks?

As a mother and a writer, it is not uncommon that I find myself alone. Whether writing or simply working on day to day tasks around the house and yard, I never want for something to do. Even when I am physically engaged, however, I frequently find my mind off on another plane, wondering over random possibilities and considerations while I do my tasks. Only yesterday, while wasting away the afternoon attempting to cut off the crop of weeds that seems so endless this year, that psychological journey temporarily lead me backward in time. What began as a passing thought to the circumstances that allow me to be so easily self-sufficient soon transformed into deeper contemplation of the life of those women who lived decades before me.

It goes without saying life in the roaring twenties and the elegant Regency was far more colorful, it was far more difficult as well. Given the option what path would you have taken No matter how hard I personally focused on the notion I never could quite decide. The flappers, the nobles, the courtesans, the mothers- each path had its highs and lows. Girls of noble birth, for instance, were raised from babyhood to a life of luxury and wealth. This pampering, however, came at the cost of their emotional intellectual freedom. They were required to cater to their husband's demands and bend quietly to his will. Much the opposite, courtesans and their more modern counterpart- the flapper- never wanted for freedom and opulence. They were allowed knowledge and even admired for it, but only because they were willing to sacrifice their body for these luxuries. The more flamboyant their style the more they were sought after often the wealthier they grew.

It goes without saying these women, whatever their path, were fascinating and admirable people, each with their particular talents and trials who have never ceased to leave a lasting mark on the decades.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Fiction in Color

  For most people, fictional novels are a welcome escape from reality- a journey that is at once peaceful and enthralling. These books are not usually a method to further grind our brains. That can be accomplished on a regular basis simply by stepping outside the front door. Therefore it comes as no surprise that the first thought to cross our minds during one of these heavenly respites is not usually the accuracy of the horticulture encompassing the setting, or the length of the hero's coattails, or the underlying symbolism behind the hue of the lady's gown. How many authors really stop to consider this factor as they meticulously weave together the threads of a scene? It's hard to say for sure. Even if this factor was not intentional or even taken into consideration by these talented writers doesn't stop us from considering the correlation ourselves.

As far back as ancient Egypt the concept of color psychology has played a role in culture and evolution. For centuries the color purple has been revered as a symbol of royalty. White is still today identified as a beacon of peace. Therefore is it really a far stretch to consider a character's personality in correlation with their setting or their attire? Perhaps that red gown a particularly feisty heroine is draped in is a nod to her strength of heart. Maybe that blue overcoat a handsome lord decided on for the evening hints at his reliability. Though much time has passed since the original discovery of this theory the study of color has only grown in popularity. As with many similar beliefs, it has yet to be agreed upon how much truth the study holds. Below I have placed a link with further information on this unique science.

LINK:
https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/01/color-theory-for-designers-part-1-the-meaning-of-color/

Whether out of a hunger for more information or simply a sense of fascination, perhaps this article will offer a little light reading.

Enjoy,

Adrienne

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Threads of Time- The Evolution of Clothing Through the Ages

Often when reading a historical romance or watching a movie set in the 19th century, one of the first things we notice is the beautiful attire worn by the characters. Far less common is the pondering of how these extravagant pieces were created. In their heyday, these artistic novelties were not mass-produced in large factories or across seas but rather woven by hand one careful stitch at a time.

Dress-makers and Milliners were greatly underpaid for their unique services. Many even went out of business due to the amassing of large debts incurred from their wealthy patrons. Seamstresses spent long hours working-oftentimes all night- in order to fulfill deadlines. It was not uncommon for dressmakers to take an apprentice under their wing in an effort to lighten their workload. Not until the latter part of the 19th century did their tasks become substantially easier. 
 
As a result of their contributions, we now have fascinating evidence of the trends that enriched the fashionable world long before any of us were alive to experience them for ourselves. It's fascinated to consider that without their efforts the thousands of painting that exemplify a glittering era with dazzling women in the latest attire would never have existed. In honor of these hard-working fashionistas and artists I have pasted a link below that further expands of their everyday lives:
I hope you enjoy it this as much as I did!

Monday, January 28, 2019

Old or New- which do you prefer?

Some people call me crazy for my addiction to antiques- especially the part about restoring them. The idea of spending six months on your hands and knees off and on, refinishing a hutch probably sounds like the poetry of an insane person. I can now honestly say it has served me well! Having recently installed new wood flooring we were convinced the job was done, but low and behold the protective finish didn't take. As a result, I have spent the better part of the last two weeks using those same skills I garnered refinishing furniture to revive the "new" look of our floor. The best part about it is the finished product. Similar to the joy I feel when I have finished a book, I smile when I look at the glossy finish. Not to say it won't be a relief to have the project done with. I'll take the vision of a handsome hero any day of the week to the vision of a successful home renovation! Which look do you go for modern or historic?