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The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch
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About this blog
By Valerie Brandt
I was born and raised a farm girl in rural Minnesota where I met and married the adoration of my lifetime! Our family currently lives in a rural community in Iowa where we frequently trade stories with the family \x34back home\x34 of the likeness ...
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A Healthy Dose of Spice
I was born and raised a farm girl in rural Minnesota where I met and married the adoration of my lifetime! Our family currently lives in a rural community in Iowa where we frequently trade stories with the family \x34back home\x34 of the likeness and differences of the slower life from one state to the next. My husband and I own our own business where we provide for our three growing daughters who are the light of our world. Writing has always been an outlet for me, starting a diary as young as 4th grade and continuing for each of my daughters currently. Writing clears my mind and my heart of things that I would rather say but don't (due to my impeccable manners) or did say and wished I hadn't (sometimes those manners fail). I am clearly outspoken and am working on being filled with grace and compassion. In my spare time my family and I enjoy reading, biking and cooking. We do NOT enjoy cold snowy weather.
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By Valerie Brandt
June 18, 2013 8:55 a.m.


I have lived in my home here in Small Town Iowa for 8 years and 7 months and am still working on finding the right decorations and furniture placement in my living room.  There are people in my life that come to my home and laugh at the yet-again arranged furniture.  Some people trade their vehicles every couple of years, some people buy new clothes with every season.  Me?  I rearrange my furniture over and over and over again (sometimes up to two times a month).  It isn't because I like pushing a 150 pound couch around the 12 foot by 24 foot room, it is just that the room is so big it doesn't make sense how we have the furniture.  
 
I like things to make sense.  A room that big doesn't make sense as one room, so I am in the process of making it two.  A living room and the other side of the room an entryway/staging area.  You see, the room is divided equally by the huge front door.  When you walk in to the house via the front door, you are standing in a big room.  If you go left, you go up the stairs, if you go right, you are walking into the livingroom (or diningroom if you walk through).  If you go straight, you are headed into the hallway which houses the bath and master bedroom.  So, why not make it two rooms?  
I have a plan on paper.  I always draw my rooms out by floor plan.  The paper version is beautiful and functional and perfect. The real-life version is sparse and ackward and unmatching.  How do I get the plan from paper to real-life?  I save my money.  Every thing costs so much, and I wouldn't put a financial strain on my family just so the living room makes sense and matches, so I am buying things when the money is there.  I started with curtains.  I need 4, I purchased them, but then the order was confused and sent me some of the wrong ones because the colors I wanted were out.  So, I kept the one they had right and sent the others back.  I haven't reordered...yet.  
Next on the list, a new couch or furniture that fits our family.  Because couches aren't always the answer.  How often do you sit on yours?  If you don't use it, why would you buy it?
Then a rug to seperate the space.
Then another rug for the entryway/staging area.
Walls are another post all together, so tune in next time to hear my boring tales of redecorating.  Maybe someday I can learn how to post photos and you can see the transformation and maybe, just maybe it will inspire you to redecorate your home!

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