November 15, 2010

Food For Thought Monday

What makes your house a home?

As you can imagine, living the hockey life makes traveling with household "things" and getting adjusted to new places right when you just got comfortable living somewhere else pretty difficult.

These houses/apartment/condos are normally a temporary 6 to 8 month arrangement before it's time to pack up and move again - and that is if you are lucky and don't get traded or fired. We have been lucky and haven't had to experience either, (as I go knock on wood...) But even without being bopped around, just in our first two seasons alone we had moved into three different apartments. Moving into our third apartment I got smart and purchased about 8 Rubbermaid Storage Containers where I divided our kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, living room etc., into each. Every season we seem to somehow accumulate more stuff, so when it's time to pack up, I lay everything out to see what can fit and what can't, what can come and what can go.
If something didn't fit in it's specified container, and we couldn't find an extra crevice of space in the car for it, it got dropped off at the Goodwill or Thrift Store. 

We obviously didn't have the luxury to pack up our storage bins and drive to Germany this season, so every household thing that we own is sitting in their container in my parents basement. Oh, how I miss my cutting board, blender, knives and spices. Sounds lame right? Trust me, it's not. I definitely miss our kitchen appliances, especially today since we decided to host Thanksgiving for some of the guys and their wives next week. I am really happy to have a big family dinner =)

When we came over to Germany we were each allowed 1 suitcase (under 50 pounds) with our ticket, and then we had to pay $200.00 a piece for EACH additional suitcase that we were allowed to jam pack up to 69.9 pounds. As catty as this sounds, do you know how much clothes, shoes, and makeup/hair products weigh? They weigh a LOT! I can't go naked or shoeless, and I picked through the products that I absolutely could not leave behind. In the end we each came over with our clothes, shoes and jackets, a few books, a photo album of our family and friends, Bruttys toys, all of my VIV jewelery, some makeup, and a few other things like our computers and ipods. Theres a picture of it "all" back in one of my posts from September. Our suitcases were literally pulling at the seams.

For those of you who may be wondering the point of this post, I tried my hand at a little interior design, haha. It would obviously be stupid to buy anything expensive since its not coming back to the US with us - so as you can imagine, I am happy to report that for under €25, I was able to throw all this together:
Picture 1
Glass plate - €1
Candles - €3
Fall assortment - €3

Picture 2
Basket - €2
Apples & Cinnamon Assortment - €4

Picture 3
3 Glass Vases - €3
Assortment - €5

Picture 4
3 Glass Candle Holders - €1

So - I don't have a career in interior design and my little creations won't make it onto the cover of Elle Decor or Martha Stewart. So what? =)

To wrap it up - every September and April when we pack up to move, I learn how to simplify our possessions and choose what means the most to us, but this year I didn't have a choice as we could only pack up our clothes and bare necessities. With the Thanksgiving/Christmas/Holiday/Family season soon upon us, I have been reflecting and realized:

1. While we are sad we are away from our families, we have a pretty great "family" here, too 
2. How important it is to me this year for TJ and I to start creating our own holiday traditions
3. No matter how many states or COUNTRIES away we are from home, it is very important to make our temporary place one that feels lived in, cozy, and comfortable...and that doesn't mean some picture perfect scene from a magazine - its a cinnamon scent candle burning, Brutus snoring drool on the couch, unmade beds, an overflowing pile of clean laundry that needs to be ironed, and some pinecones thrown on a plate to remind me of Massachusetts, that make our temporary "house" feel like home.

So again I ask, what makes your house a home??? Hope to get some comments :)


  1. PICTURES! Doesn't have to be anything fancy or exepensive but I alaways have a ton of pictures in frames scattered around the apartment ESPECIALLY when trying to fill space. Every spring when we are about to move in somewhere I alaways run to the dollar store and pick up a few that coordinate with the colors of the room and it really makes a difference. I alaways make sure I have a bunch of pics of Jordan's fam so he feels more at home while he's away from St. Louis and obviously I get a bunch of us together :o). I think before we leave for next years season (wherever that may be haha) I'm just going to print a bunch of pics and just buy frames when I get there to save room. I'm praying they have something equivalent to a Dollar Store or Christmas Tree shop haha. Great idea with the Pine Cones....perfect reminder of Fall in New England!!

  2. We have a wonderful store here called "Textile Discount", that is where I bought all my little house decorations haha, I love it! IKEA is also everywhere. And what do you mean "wherever that may be"...we will be taking care of that so the Fox cousins are together :D


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