Guilty Pleasures #1: Time Focusing On Kids

By | 07/08/2014

My guilty pleasures list is long…here is my #1:   Time focusing on my kids!   My kids aren’t children any more, but it’s still just as wonderful as ever (maybe more so, since it’s not an every day thing), to spend time focusing on just them.

When my daughter called me last Tuesday and asked me if I would drive up for a visit on Thursday for the weekend, of course I was dying to go!  (By up, I mean from New York to Michigan.  A 5 state (12 hour) odyssey…I never knew Pennsylvania was so wide!!!  It’s hours across through those beautiful mountains!  And can I just say that Ohio has the cleanest highways I’ve ever seen!)

Honestly, I had a million things on that “List of things to do” that wasn’t going to get done even if I used the next two weeks to do it all.  I was feeling overwhelmed before she called, and then really overwhelmed on Wednesday trying to tie up loose ends and get some laundry done.  (That never ends!)

I knew that some things just weren’t going to get done until I returned, so I just let it go!  It would all be waiting for me when I returned!  Priorities!

That turns out to be just what I needed!  There is nothing like a long drive and then 3 days of shopping, touring, visiting, apartment decorating and just BEING with your daughter!  Ahh…just what I needed.  (I did the same thing with my son last year when he moved into an apartment at college.  I had so much fun shopping for apartment stuff with him!  That’s also on my list of memories I hold dear!)

When I got there 12 hours later…It was delightful to be with my daughter and see the apartment.  She had a lot of confidence in using Craig’s List…I had reservations.  She informs me that it’s a generational thing.   It worked out well for her.  It’s a cute apartment.  Although, she felt like it was a big empty space and not very welcoming.  (This is where I come in…with my charge card of course!)

She found an apartment that came furnished with 2 very nice (leather!) love seats, two end tables, a coffee table, a table and chairs, a bed, and a dresser.

It has the SMALLEST kitchen I’ve ever seen…take a look at this.  (Pardon the dishes…this was right after I made some homemade soup!)

stamping imperfection guilty pleasures

Yes…that is it!  Just enough space to turn!  She seems to like it!  The refrigerator and stove are brand new, like the couches.  I was amazed!  That is formica circa 1970’s!  We added a coffee maker and a toaster.  The law student who lived there before left the microwave…how nice was that?!

Needless to say, we had a list of things to do to make the place homier!

Step 1:  The “dining” area (aka:  the table and chairs)…this needed some “art” on the wall, a placemat and a fruit bowl.

stamping imperfection guilty pleasures

Check!  Simple and inexpensive fix thanks to Home Goods!

Step 2:  The living room:  Needed a TV stand, a couple of bookshelves, some decoration and lighting!  It also needed that 1970’s paneled wall covered.

stamping imperfection guilty pleasures

Sorry the pictures are dark…I have to say that when the listing said that it came furnished, I was not expecting furniture I would actually want to sit on.  It is college kid housing after all.  This furniture looked brand new.  Amazing!

Some lighting and a few personal touches…check!

stamping imperfection guilty pleasures

The TV stand and book shelves were our only big purchase.  Love IKEA!  You would be amazed at how much you can fit in a Nissan Sentra after two women have been shopping there!  (Luckily, one of them is a trained engineer…that does help when packing things in!)  It took all morning to shop, load the car, carry those boxes up to the top floor (of course!) and put it together.  Phew!!!

Paneled wall covered, TV stand and bookshelves…check!

The apartment came with a built in desk…isn’t this a clever use of space?

stamping imperfection guilty pleasures

Step 3:  Warm up the “entry” space near the door.

stamping imperfection guilty pleasures

Again…IKEA and Home Goods to the rescue and on a budget too!  A place to hang a coat, a place for mail and keys and some decoration…check.

Notice her color choices…COASTAL CABANA!!!  Ha!  Love it!

Step 4:  A little bathroom decoration and storage!

stamping imperfection guilty pleasures


Finally…Step 5:  A trip to Target for kitchen supplies and a trip to the grocery store to stock the cabinets:

The result:  Mom relaxes with Pinterest as daughter makes her fluffy snickerdoodles!!!  A job well done!


All in all…she’s really happy with the result and the apartment feels a lot more welcoming and homey!  I’m feeling rested and relaxed even though it was a 3 day marathon of shopping, carrying, and building.  In between, we had walks to the coffee shops, fun meals at local places, walks around campus, fireworks viewed from her new apartment’s window and a visit to the Natural History Museum.  (No vacation is complete for our family until we’ve visited a Natural History Museum or an aquarium!)


So, my apologies for neglecting you!  I really took a 5 day vacation and didn’t worry about anything but spending time with my daughter.  I feel re-energized!  Nothing like a little retail therapy, helping someone you love and just plain putting that list of never ending things to do on the back burner for a few days.


When my kids were younger, I never would have imagined taking 5 days “off” like this.  It felt indulgent and really wonderful.  I loved raising children and spending life immersed in focusing all of my energy on them.  So if you are in that stage, enjoy every exhausting moment!  It goes by so fast.


Parenting changes when they go off to college and then it shifts again when they become 21 and graduate from college.  On this…I’m finding my way.  It’s a new stage and I need to find the place where I’m there if they need me, we enjoy whatever time we get to have together and where I’m not the annoying, over-bearing mother!  (I’m working on all of it!)

I always thought my father was an excellent parent for me as an adult.  He treated me like the intelligent woman that I am.  We had fun political discussions, he gave me advice when I asked for it and he minded his own business when I didn’t .  I still miss our Sunday morning coffee phone calls, but I cherish those mornings when we just chatted for an hour!  I know that he enjoyed them too because I could hear it in his voice.  It was “our” time and weekly tradition.


So…that’s my #1 guilty pleasure!!!    Thank you for visiting.  Enjoy your day!

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