We Don’t Have to be Pinterest-Perfect

I ran across this cool idea on IHeart Organizing recently:

Painted wooden hangers from IHeart Organizing

Those spray painted hangers look great in her laundry room, don’t they?

Of course, I immediately wanted painted hangers too.

How fun would that be, right?

So I opened our closet door and peered in to imagine how they might look.

Brown wooden hangers

And you know what? I realized that while our closet itself could use some organizing, the wooden hangers we already have look just fine.

And just fine is enough.

In fact, it’s pretty nice.

While I love to browse blogs and Pinterest, and am inspired by many of the ideas, it’s ok to just enjoy what I’m looking at without feeling the need to recreate a version of it in our own home.

We don’t have to want all the things. We can enjoy and appreciate what we already have. (Even if those things are plain-old wooden hangers.)

What do you love about your home, even if it’s not Pinterest-perfect?

Petting a Penguin

Visiting Antarctica was absolutely amazing — and the best trip I’ve ever been on, but there’s one thing you can’t do while there: pet a penguin.

They get really close to you, and can interact with you if they want, but you can’t pet them.

But guess what? You CAN do that at SeaWorld’s penguin encounter. So yeah, that’s the entire reason we headed off to San Diego recently.

Meet penguin #197

We got to meet this little guy, who is a one year old Macaroni penguin that was hatched at the park. (He may or may not actually be a “he” — it’s really hard to tell the sex of penguins unless they’re laying an egg.)

Macaroni penguin 197 at Sea World

The room we were in was chilly, and there were ice packs under that towel to help keep him cool. The bands on his arm are like identification bracelets.

He was adorable

Petting a penguin!

His little white front was downy-soft, and his black back felt like regular bird feathers. His flippers were surprisingly stout. He was super curious and interested in all of us.

Petting a very curious penguin
Basically, he was like the penguin version of a toddler. He especially liked my rings and the string on my shirt.

When he grows up…

When he grows up, he’ll look something like this adult Macaroni penguin that came over to see us when we went inside the enclosure:
An adult Macaroni penguin

(You get to do that too, along with learning a little bit about penguins in general.)

A bunch of other kinds of penguins came to see us too.
Inside the San Diego SeaWorld penguin enclosure

If I hadn’t been to see penguins in the wild, I might have thought these were just hoping for food, but in my experience they’re incredibly inquisitive. It’s more likely they came over to see what was going on.

A gentoo penguin the San Diego SeaWorld penguin enclosure

I know we enjoyed seeing them!

If you go…

Bring a light jacket if you get chilly easily. (It’s slightly below freezing in the enclosure.)

You can (and should) reserve the penguin encounter online ahead of time since there are limited spaces available. When we went it was $50 a person for the encounter, plus the regular park admission which cost us $64 each and included a free 2nd visit. (I looked for a bunch of specials online ahead of time, but you can also just call and ask what they have going.)

I may have to go back and pet another penguin since I’ve got that free second day burning a hole in my pocket :)

Letting in the Light

I’ve mentioned before that the lighting in my art room is the opposite of desirable. The light was DIM, and full of shadows. (Check it out here.)

Why not just open the blinds, you ask?

Because it wasn’t just the heat that had me keeping the blinds closed most of the time. With the blinds up, we were left with this lovely view of our tree and the neighbor’s wall + pile of dirt.

View from the art room.

Plus, I didn’t like the idea of someone being able to see right in while I was painting. (For one thing, they’d likely scare me half to death when I finally noticed them.)

So I put stage one of Operation Better Lighting into action.

I started by removing the blinds, which caused my poor little plants to cry out for joy. Then I decided to add some rice paper window film to block the “view”. I followed the (super clear) directions in this video to install it:

I used their application kit, along with our own squeegee. (I’d had my doubts as to whether or not the kit was really necessary, but after using it I’m glad I went ahead and got it.)

When I was done with the first half of the window, I…didn’t like it. It looked fine, but it was disconcerting to me somehow. Here’s a closeup of the rice paper on our window:

Rice paper window film

So I let it sit for a couple of days.

Then I changed my mind.

I headed down to Lowe’s and got some crackled glass decorative glass film instead. I was leery about that too (because it reminded me of shower door glass) but gave it a shot anyway on the other half of the window.

Here’s what both versions looked like on the window. (With rice paper film on the left, crackled glass film on the right.)

Rice paper window film on the left, crackled glass window film on the right

I still do think the crackled glass looks the slightest bit shower door-y, but it also looks like a WINDOW. It lets in more light too, which makes both me and my plants happy. The rice paper just made the window look like a super-pale part of the wall — almost painted-over — so that’s likely what bothered me about that.

Next up was removing the window film I didn’t want.

I wondered how hard it would be to remove the rice paper window film. Turns out, it was super easy. The film is just held on by static, so all it took was separating one corner of the film from the glass and then pulling.

Easily removing window film

After that, it was a matter of installing the crackled glass film on the other half too. Voila:

Increasing privacy with crackled glass window film

The room still has a long way to go, but at least now I can see what I’m doing in it :)