Myself, Mypaint

The house is slowly but surely getting packed up.

I had my last therapy session yesterday. Paul (my therapist) has shown much concern over my recent struggles with depression and self-hatred. We have been working on things that can help me cope. With the move coming, we made plans for how I will continue my therapy in Washington.

Paul thinks I should find a personal counselor in Washington. This of course depends on budget and such, but I may look into it.  We talked a bit about how excited I was about all the new stuff that will be going on in our lives, and Paul says:

“You Know, you will be taking MORGAN to Washington too”

Meaning, it might look different, and feel different, but in the end, I am still me, and me and all my troubles will be traveling with us. Despite the initial excitement of change, I will have to face the fact that Washington will not cure me. That I am someone who struggles with my emotions and that I will need to watch myself. I will need to make honest efforts to change my behavior and my mood.

There are two BIG things that I am planning on working on.

1. Physical Fitness.

2. Social Interactions

I have struggled for years with both of these things, but I am genuinely committed to changing my patterns. It is whats best for  me and whats best for my relationship. So despite the uncomfortableness of both of those things, they are important. That’s about all I have to say about that for now.


In house news, we found out that our new lanlords are doing a  smidge of remodeling to our little house! There are whispers of new bathtubs, and re-finished wood floors….eeek!

Mr. Gaunt and I are going to pick out paint colors before I leave so we can make sure furniture doesnt clash. I plan to do all the painting in the month we are apart, but I wont have our furniture to compare it to, so we brought swatches home.

The hard thing with paint is that I currently LOVE our paint colors, but I MUST have change. Seriously. I’m just that kind of person, I need a fresh start. So that eliminates ALL grey-blue/periwinkles…buh bye. I love grey though, so I am switching it up a bit and doing warmer Grey…what the design world likes to call…

GREIGE (Grey+beige)

I’m also doing a super fun Peach laundry room/mud room, and a mustard in the bedroom! I know…color me crazy! I’m pretty stoked! Pictures for your inspiring mind:




That last one is just my dream wedding cake, it just happens to be in my color scheme too.  We also sold enough unwanted furniture to get some new items! I’m excited to find some new (used) stuff! Mom and I will need to do some thrifting!


Therapy and Fish

we had our 2nd to last therapy session tonight.

I talked  a bit about my depression and anxiety.

Paul asked me if I was ever suicidal. We came to the conclusion that I wouldn’t walk in front of a bus, but if a bus happened to be on top of me, its tough to say how hard I would work to get out from underneath it.

Not a great answer, not an awful answer.

I’m not depressed all the time, but I have my spurts. My days, sometimes my weeks.

Things have been hard with family and moving and money.

And although I love him to death, nothing has put quite the strain our relationship as working together for the last 6 months has. Seriously folks, don’t do it, it sucks. Now I wouldn’t undo the decision we made to work together, but it probably would have been much better if it had only been for a couple of months, not 6.  It also would have helped if we were working a job we both didn’t HATE! So yeah, we struggle with this one.

Paul gave me some pointers on how to drag myself out of this….funk.

1. Do a physical activity for at least 20 minutes a day. I’m gonna hit up the wii fit tonight. I’m also really hoping to join a gym when we move. I know I need to do this, but its hard.

2. Spend at least 15 minutes in direct sun. I’m a bit leery on this one, as I hate the sun, but I’ll give it a shot. This of course will be harder in Washington, but again, I’m not really sure that seasonal depression is my problem.

3. Socialize. Paul says that I have basically destroyed my self-esteem and self-worth by isolation myself. I have more or less no friends. I also strive to not socialize at work. I of course have a large support group of friends and family in Washington, however I need to put aside the fact that I am leaving in a month and go hang out with people here.

4. Meditate. I like this one a lot. I wish that Yoga wasnt so ungodly expensive as I like the physical and mental art of Yoga. I’m going to see if I can maybe do Yoga at my gym. Until then I’m thinking Mr. Gaunt and I might take up a little evening meditation time.

5. Fatty Omega. We splurged and bought Salmon at Costco the other day. Salmon for dinner tonight.

So that’s where I’m at. The only way to get better is to make changes in my life. I have not always felt this crappy, and I know that I have a lot going on and a lot coming up, but I still need to keep my head in check.

I’m hoping to have a phone date with my lovely Maid of Honor here soon so I’m off.

My last name is MELIM not JONES

We are now 9 days into 2011, and it has taken me these 9 days to actually figure out what it is I want to do in 2011. We already had some pretty lofty goals, but over the past week, we have fine tuned them into much better goals. First off here were our old goals:

OLD 2011 Goals:

-Lose 50 pounds in whatever way possible

-Get Married

-Save up $3500

-Move to Washington

-Quit working at my Current Job

-Get Mr. Gaunt enrolled in School

-Find a nice 3 Bedroom Townhouse or Duplex

Now those are all lovely goals and all, but there were glaring problems. Things took a turn for the worst this week when I went to couples counseling BY MYSELF. You see, over the last month I was having a very difficult time getting a handle on my emotions. So I went to therapy alone and we discussed what it is that is making me unhappy. It all boiled down to two things:



I went home feeling like “I can’t marry Mr. Gaunt because he can not provide me with MORE” now I know that sounds completely insane…and it really is. But it was more complicated than that. The “MORE” I so desperately wanted looked a little something like this:

-More money to pay off my car

-More house

-More yard

-More time to do the things I wanted

-More money to pay for a wedding photographer

-More self control to lose weight

-More clothes to feel cuter

-More sales with our paintings

-More money to pay for our $2500 moving truck

-More Friends

-More Family

-More Fun.

Now see, not all of those are bad things. In fact I’m sure you too could easily make a MORE list. Things that you want so very badly, but cant seem to acquire. My mom calls it:


And its true! I have had 4 friends or pseudo friends all get engaged since we got engaged. And ALL of them got much larger surprise rings. They all posted pics of their hand flashing their big old rock. I WANT THAT! I wanted a bigger ring! I wanted Mr. Gaunt to provide me with MORE ring! It wasnt FAIR!! (throws tantrum)

And our very good friends Jenny and Justin (who have baby Liam) live in a very nice size house, where they just remodeled their huge basement. To me they have everything. We always go to their house because they have the space to hang out, and our house doesn’t. I want MORE house!

So you see, I was taking all my insecurities about what I DONT have and placing it all on Mr. Gaunt, making him THE ENEMY. Truth be told I do have hopes and dreams for Mr. Gaunt to be successful in life, but not just so he can give me MORE, but so he can be HAPPY. And that is where the great confusion lies:


And for the records, Millions of Americans have been brainwashed into thinking this exact same thing, so don’t shake your head at me. You probably want MORE right now too.

So that is what brings us to today. Today I feel happier than I have felt in 4 months, despite the fact that I have $32 in my bank account, ZERO gas in my car, and house that looks like a complete and utter disaster. Its cool, because WE have a plan!

And no our plan does not require MORE.

In fact it requires a whole lot LESS of everything.

Lets begin.

First off the BIG MOVE! Yay we are so very excited for this change…but oh wait…theres a hiccup. Where will we be living? How much can we afford? And worst yet, How will we get ALL of our STUFF from here to there?

A little over a week ago I calculated these costs:

-Moving Truck $800

-Trailor Hitch (to tow one car) $350

-Gas for Truck (from Co to WA) $800

-2 Hotels $100

-Gas for 2nd Car $285

-Food, and other such needs $60


Well that my friends is not going to happen. I did NOT work 2 jobs and paint 20 paintings to blow almost all of our money on a 2 day drive…no way! We still have a wedding coming up, and we will need to get a new place to rent (including deposits) and what about my job? I really wanted to quit and work somewhere part-time while I worked on the paintings!

And so we after LONG talks and much research the two of us, have BOTH decided to do something a little crazy.

We are getting rid of EVERYTHING. All of it. Furniture, Kitchen stuff, Clothing, Books, Knickknacks, Computers, Clutter, Stuff, Art Supplies.  It is all being sold or given away or thrown away.

Now we of course will be keeping some things. We can’t live with nothing. So we came up with the following Guidelines for every item:











Answering those 10 questions will help us determine what will actually come with us. Some things we know for sure that we will be bringing are the following:

-Bed Frame and Mattress (box spring is in bad shape and will not be coming)


-1 Desktop Computer & Printer


-Minimal Kitchen ware (4 sets of dishes) (2 pans) (1 pot) (2 Cookies Sheets) etc.




-Minimal Clothing

The list goes on a bit, but you would be surprised as to what we are getting rid of. I am cutting my art supplies by about 70% and donating them to the Ronald Mcdonald House. I am only bringing resource books and NOT novels. All Furniture will be sold on Craigslist. I will be cutting my make up and jewelry down to only items I wear every single week and will be shipping the rest off to friends. Other things that will be coming are expensive lamps and electronics, things that wouldn’t sell for what they are really worth.

To move what we do have, it will cost us $400 to rent a trailer and have a hitch installed on the Subaru. Plus gas. That saves us about $1600!

Now you may be assuming we will just replace these things when we move….nope. We will be replacing a few things, like the couch and the coffee table. However we are planning on moving into a small one bedroom apartment. We are hoping to find a place under $600 a month. Therefore our large sectional and coffee table really wouldn’t fit anyway, so we will be getting smaller items. This goes for our desks and bookshelves. If we move and we find we need something, then yes we can replace it, but the point is not to get rid of and replace.

Basically it comes down to this:

-We both work 40 hours a week at a job we HATE so the we can afford to live in a large nice place to fill full of stuff.

-We fight about money because we are living at the top of our means.

-We have so much stuff that we no longer use or appreciate most of.

-We find that shopping is one of our few hobbies

-We spend evenings and weekends cleaning, washing, and organizing our stuff, instead of doing fun things.

-We can never save to buy a house because we are already capped off financially

-School or career changes seem impossible, as we must continue to work full time to pay for our stuff.

-We keep stuff for “a rainy day” but when that day comes we forget that we have that stuff buried under other stuff, so we just buy new stuff.

-We have collections of things to use with friends, but our house is so crowded and small that we never have friends over.

-We want children one day, and lordy do they come with more stuff.

So there it is. Stuff and consumption is ruining our lives. And we want it to stop!

-We want to live simply. We want to have little enough stuff that we can comfortably live in 700 sq ft.

-We want little enough dishes that even when every dish is dirty it doesn’t fill the sink.

-We want our closets for hanging coats, not storing stuff we don’t use

-We want to do 1 load of laundry a week, not 8 loads every 2 weeks.

-We want to produce a bag or less of garbage a week

-We want to recycle

-We want “cleaning day” to be dusting, vacuuming, and scrubbing toilets…and that it. Not spending 4 hours moving around stuff.

-We want to have most of our money go to SAVINGS and ENTERTAINMENT

-We want ENTERTAINMENT to be vacations, and nice meals, and fun with friends. Not shopping

-We want Mr. Gaunt to go to school and have the option to work part-time without it affecting our bills

-We want me to be able to work part-time and full-time with my paintings.

-We want to spend our money on quality organic groceries

-We want our lives to be spent outside and in the community more.

-We want to fight about Chess Games, not Money Games.

So there it is. That is our plan. Along with this comes a number of new wedding plans (also downsizing) and new health and job plans. This post is already a million miles long, so I’ll save those for a later date. Today I’m still in the process of going through our stuff….but dreaming of the day when we have no stuff to go through.

If you need to understand things a little better, feel free to watch this movie, or go to

The Mood, The Body, and The New Year

With the holidays past and the present too far off, I am left to stir.

And itch and scratch and bitch and batch?

We have therapy on Wednesday…thank the lord! I could use someone to pay to listen to me cry.

I had a few days where I didn’t regularly take my 5HTP. Is that really what threw my emotions to the wolves?

I’m extra uncomfortable in my body these days . I think it knows that it’s in change mode. It also knows that it has to put on a big white dress in the near future. It’s a bit pissed off. I’m a bit pissed off at it too.

I might be the best and worst planner. I plan until I freak out and then I don’t follow through with the plan or the freaking out.  I’m very unproductive.

I also worry too much about the shit I don’t have or can’t make happen. I’m very un-content.

Here are the goals for the next 24 hours. I’m trying to live in the present…or the VERY near future:

1. Find my cell phone.

2. Make Chili for lunches tomorrow

3. Make some stir fry for tonight’s dinner

4. straighten the mess a bit

5. Think real hard about getting more 5HTP

6. Watch a movie with Mr. Gaunt

7. Make my car payment

8. Email back 3 new customers

9. Make 2 new stencils

10. Not cry or say nasty things to people who do not deserve, nor want to hear nasty things yelled at them.

Tonight we packed Nic Naks and Christmas. We have made a calendar of WEEK-BY-WEEK packing and organizing, to reduce the stress of doing too much at once. I tackled Christmas and Nic Naks, and Mr. Gaunt went through all of our CD’s and organized and purged. Little by little.

We wont be coming in today.

This is what Mr. Gaunt told our boss today. We are taking a personal day to get some things done. I have 2 paintings that need to be shipped out tonight. One is going to Stephanie Nielson for her blogs Handmade Holiday review. I am VERY excited about this! Her blog is very popular (for instance, my blog has 45,000 views, and her blog has 800,000 views) so this could be a really amazing opportunity for us. Plus I have a stencil proof that is going in for revisions, hopefully will sell by the 12th so I can ship it out in time for Christmas.

I also NEED  a few new paintbrushes, like these…drool:

Maybe I will use this:

And then of course the house needs a good scrub down and some more laundry needs to be done.

Per my mom and my little sister I started taking 5HTP which basically is an all natural supplement that helps with:



-Controls Appetite

-Boosts Metabolism

-Relieves Insomnia

-Reduces the signs of PMS, Headaches, and Fibromyalgia.

Anyway my sisters been taking it for a year now and she swears it works. So I’m giving it a shot, along with Green Tea Pills which are supposed to help with appetite control as well. Mr. Gaunt bought me a pill-box and divided them all up for me. This morning when I woke up to go to work, and then had a complete crumpled on the floor break down, Mr. Gaunt handed me my pills and called in to work. How I love him.

I have to work my other job tonight, but that I can manage. It’s that dreaded real job that can so easily throw me into a sobbing pile on the floor.

So today will be good and productive! Wish me luck!


Good Move Captain

I may have made a few wrong turns today (pumpkin bread) but I’m ending the evening doing some RIGHT moves!

I went and got a few things I needed at the store:

-Fat Free Yogurt. Of the holiday variety, maybe the Pumpkin flavor will curb my need to get Pumpkin Bread at Starbucks

-Frozen Asian Veggies. They say frozen is almost as nutritious as fresh, so don’t rule it out…its SO much easier, and they don’t spoil

-Bananas. We like to split a banana in the morning on our cereal.

-Tangerines! Yay I love winter because you can get big boxes of Tangerines everywhere! I could eat 4 or 5 of these a day.

-Green Tea. Which I’m going to make tomorrow and keep cold in the fridge as my go to drink.

-Cliff Bars, Luna Bars, Power Bars. Without a “bar snack” mid afternoon, bad things happen…note: Pumpkin Bread. Its important to mix it up too, otherwise you get bored.

Then I cleaned my kitchen and did all the dishes! A clean house makes me happy and a messy house makes me mad, therefore I should put a little extra effort into making myself happy.

We mailed out a painting going to Kentucky…what fun! And I’m painting the first coat on a painting we will deliver on Thursday.

I made Quinoa, Chicken, and Asian Veggie stir fry in bulk for lunches for the week. I really need to get back into cooking lunches at the beginning of the week, it makes for much less stressful mornings. I also havent used my Quinoa is WAY too long. It’s almost like I need a little refresher in all the things I taught myself about healthy eating.

Mr. Gaunt and I are in talks of doing Gym Memberships for Christmas. We check out TONS of music at the library,a nd we are thinking we could do books on tape. Together we can motivate each other.

I also got a new issue of Clean Eating Magazine in the mail. I HATE getting the mail, but its more fun when I get magazines. Im excited to try some new recipes.

Its been a good evening. Even when I felt like I might freak out, I told myself to calm down and not cry and just get my act together, and do the things we need to do. It makes the evening so much more pleasant when you feel accomplished.

Night All!


I made a new Light Box! See…

Now I can post pretty food pictures again like my stir fry!