Monday Finds

I hope you’ve had a nice weekend and are ready to tackle the week. I nearly had a nervous breakdown last week as they wrapped up the kitchen project. Yes, sadly I’ve become one of those people who cry over their kitchen renovations. My distress had more to do with deeply introverted me tired of too many people in my house with their terrible Spotify playlists than the kitchen itself. Plus, there was abject frustration over appliance delivery. I’m 99% sure that Hell involves interminable waiting for appliances to show up and then finding out they are damaged. There are still outstanding items for them to finish, but I want them to gather all the materials, schedule a date that works for me, and then come back and get it all done.

But, I’m happy with the results so far.

Remember how the kitchen was in the beginning? Yes, that’s faux wood panelling on that fridge.

We wanted to increase light and storage, while sticking to the budget (this is a two to four year house.) Mission accomplished.

As I hid from the contractors and waited on hold for customer service for a week, I watched a lot of HBO and Netflix. The Elizabeth Holmes doc, The Inventor, on HBO is great. I’d lightly followed the story since early days, since I’d heard about her startup, Theranos, and wanted to cheer on a woman making it in Silicon Valley. The documentary has a lot of access to her and it’s fascinating and terrifying all at once (apparently, even her voice was faked.) I also watched all of After Life with Ricky Gervais. It’s bleak and funny, as only the English can be, but ultimately life affirming. I’ve been a Brené Brown fan for a while and watched her Call to Courage Netflix talk. If you’ve read her books, it’s nothing new, but I think what she says is worth listening to on a regular basis. My favourite quote of hers, which comes from her book, Rising Strong, and is echoed in her talk, is this:

A lot of cheap seats in the arena are filled with people who never venture onto the floor. They just hurl mean-spirited criticisms and put-downs from a safe distance. The problem is, when we stop caring what people think and stop feeling hurt by cruelty, we lose our ability to connect. But when we’re defined by what people think, we lose the courage to be vulnerable. Therefore, we need to be selective about the feedback we let into our lives. For me, if you’re not in the arena getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback.

Truth. Kick those cheap seat dwellers out of your life. It’s so freeing!

Winter seems to be back and it’s freezing outside. I’ve purchased a Virginia Johnson caftan as an act of faith that summer will be here eventually. If not, I can wear it to whatever warm places I visit later this year. In addition to designing textiles, Johnson is also a talented illustrator. Her Travels through the French Riviera book is a delight if you are a fan of the the south of France (and who isn’t?)

This week is about getting back to normal. The tail part of the renovation was so time consuming that I was unable to really edit. So, I’ll be looking at my book with fresh eyes, which is never a bad thing. I hope you have a lovely week and it’s spring in your heart, even if the outside world is not cooperating.



  1. Hi Jen, your new kitchen is absolutely lovely – I love the red knobs on your stove! It’s so bright and fresh, you will enjoy using it, and it will be a wonderful selling point when you decide to move. I would love to get our kitchen re-done, but that won’t be for a long time – we are prioritizing travel right now. Mind you, there are so many choices out there, I’m not looking forward to a renovation; I bet you are so, so happy it’s all over.


    • Thank you! Very happy it’s over and now we can just enjoy. I was pleased with the results. It’s always unnerving to pick from small samples or showroom memories. I’m glad everything went together in the end! Xx


  2. Having strangers in the house day in and day out is easily one of the worst things about home renovations (that, and the mess). I’m so glad you’re finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Won’t be much longer until it’s all done and you can relax in your home again!


    • I really am much more of an introvert than I give myself credit for. It’s so nice to have a quiet house again. I’m setting some firm boundaries around their return to fix the deficiencies! Xx


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