January 26 12

I don’t even know what happened yesterday, there was some weird stuff going down. (The zombies are coming! The zombies are coming!) I wrote a post about exercising asking about eating everything in my kitchen but the sink and begging for some workout music suggestions. And then…*crickets*—I actually got more traffic on Tuesday—the day I didn’t post anything—than I got yesterday. (Perhaps I should be watching Zombieland. It’s a really good movie, and, you know it may prepare me.) And then I asked on Facebook and Twitter about business cards and got about 87 responses! Amazing! You guys are amazing, also, you really like to talk about business cards! Obviously more than you like to talk about exercising and eating and music. (Who knew?) And then I tried to make a joke about it and confused people. (I wonder if Jessie Eisenberg likes to talk about exercising and food and music. I bet he does. We are like soul mates, on account of our mutual love of hoodies) 


Ali Martell: Rocking hoodies and tutus since 1978.

At least I know where my kid gets it.

So yesterday happened. And now I wonder how you all feel about bathrooms, because that’s what I’m talking about today. (I may even mention something about kitchen furniture, if we are lucky!)


I still sometimes feel like I’m a kid who doesn’t deserve to live in a big-girl house. I walk into some houses and I’m just blown away, not by the bones of the house, but by the details. Not necessarily by paint colors and molding and furniture, but by the giraffe statue or the vintage coffee table or the homemade throw pillows. Our house has none of these touches. No, our house, instead, is a home. It’s more than lived-in. We have old falling-apart furniture in our kitchen, we have no artwork up—save for a hand-me-down painting that I try to avoid staring straight into, we even have a room that has no furniture in it (is it an office? is it a living room? Is it a photo studio? MYSTERY!).

And we have many, many bins filled with many, many things.

And don’t get me started on THE PILES. Why does everything end up in piles?

Bins and piles are my sworn enemies. 

As a kid, I remember having a junk drawer in our kitchen. It was the place where the things that had no home ended up. Rubber bands and hair clips and pens and bouncy balls and a piece of hubba bubba gum (origins unknown, but I sure took pleasure in popping that sucker into my gob) always ended up in that drawer. I kind of feel like my entire house is a giant junk drawer. We are overflowing with stuff. And it’s everywhere. Papers and photos and strange trinkets that came in various swag bags, artwork, toys, dolls, hair accessories, usb keys, actual keys, gloves, pencils that have no lead in them, school supplies. Where does all of this stuff even come from? For years, we blamed the kids. They are small, they are still going to vomit and poop in the incorrect receptacles, obviously, SO THAT IS WHY WE CANNOT HAVE NICE THINGS. But, my youngest is now 6, and I’m fairly certain my children’s bodily fluids make it to their proper homes, at least 90% of the time.

(We aren’t going to talk about the chocolate milk puke on my white rug.)

(No. We are not going to talk about that.)

(The only place in the entire house that isn’t covered in hardwood flooring.)

(No. Ignore!)

So, it’s time to grow up, get the SHIT out of the house. And bring on something nice, something with touches.

And that it why at 7:30pm on Monday, I dragged my kids out in the rain to buy two blue ceramic horses.

I don’t even know either. 

But now I am the proud owner of two horses.

The only other place in MY ENTIRE HOME that feels grown up is my master bathroom. We have been collecting white things, almost without realizing it, actually. And somehow they ended up on these empty shelves in our bathroom. Buddha statue FTW!

So it’s a start.

I mean, you guys, I LIKE nice things.

I just don’t how to get them, how to afford them, and how to convince myself that I deserve to have them.

But maybe I don’t really deserve them.

After all, there are five of us living in this house and somehow we all use the same bathroom. 

(Why is this? Why are my children unable to bathe, poop, pee, shower, or brush their teeth in their own bathroom?)

(Please tell me I’m not alone.)

(Also please tell me that one day I will be able to use my bathroom, alone, in peace.)



  1. I feel the exact same way about my house…piles everywhere and bins that are taking over my basement. And I look at other people’s houses and they are tidy and things match and rooms have themes and cohesiveness and mine just…doesn’t. Glad to hear someone else feels the same way about their house!

    Comment by Joscelyn on January 26, 2012
  2. I would like to know how children manage to get toothpaste EVERYWHERE. It’s like the I’m F*cking Matt Damon video only with the lyrics: In the sink, on the walls, on the floor, in their hair.

    I don’t understand it.

    But I DO love the blue horses.

    Comment by Sharon on January 26, 2012
  3. You are living in my head. I have all these feelings about my home as well. I too wonder how banks give mortgages to kids like me. Oh wait… that’s right… I AM a grownup. I comfort myself by thinking of my home as a work in progress – a project. (I think of my garden, such as it is, the same way.)And even if my house were all done, I’d probably still have things I’d want to change.

    Comment by Tamara on January 26, 2012
  4. our “rule” about art or decorative things is that we don’t go looking for them, but if we are out and see something we like and can think of a place in our house it could go (that’s important, don’t just buy ’cause you like it) then we buy it. It’s worked for us and we don’t have a lot of clutter, nor is our house a showcase one by any means, but we are happy with the “things” we have collected over the years

    Comment by Katy on January 26, 2012
  5. I used to have “touches”. As a former set designer, it was kind of necessary. Since the kids? All the nice things are packed in boxes until they stop breaking stuff. We’ve also gotten all our furniture from Ikea and there are barf buckets and waterproof mats hiding in every room. It’s the children, Ali. As soon as I can reasonably expect them never to accidentally crap on the couch, I’m going shopping.

    Comment by Jessica on January 26, 2012
  6. Oh, Ali, those blue horses are beautiful!

    And yeah, my house is one big giant junk drawer too. But I’m working under the illusion that I’ll be selling all my piles of crap at a garage sale this summer. With the money we get from that, we can then buy nice things. Or other piles of crap.

    Comment by Nenette on January 26, 2012
  7. I have nothing in my house. If it wasn’t for my family giving me picture frames with photos of my nieces and nephews, I’d have nothing. I want to be a grown-up one day.

    Comment by Kristabella on January 26, 2012
  8. Maybe there are some classes we can take together? 😉

    Comment by ali on January 26, 2012
  9. I mostly feel like my house is a big-girl house, but now it is going to be a big-kid house. The bf is in the process of moving in (yay!), so we’re decided what goes and what stays. Luckily, we’re on the same page with most of it, including the new couch we’re going to buy next week.

    As far as collecting more white stuff for your bathroom – consider milk glass you can get from antique stores. My mom has a large collection of it, and it is really pretty.

    Comment by Darcey on January 26, 2012
  10. Ooooh. I will definitely.

    Comment by ali on January 26, 2012
  11. I love this post. Mostly because my house is also a giant junk drawer and I am glad to know I am not the only one who feels that way. I try and try again to wrangle some order into it and then it falls apart. And I can’t just blame it on the kids. I keep letting myself off the hook because I have a 2yo who monopolizes a lot of my time. Some day that excuse will run out.

    Comment by Chantal on January 26, 2012
  12. Although I will definitely say that our house is nothing that will appear in ‘Grown Up House Magazine’ anytime soon, the furniture/decorations that I love most have been picked up when we saw them, and not on a specific quest to get something for the house per se. I hope you don’t mind but I just had to share the link to the place where we got a beautiful distressed robins’-egg blue washstand. Their stuff is so pretty and the owners are wonderful.

    Comment by Jen on January 26, 2012
  13. MIND? I’m so glad you shared!

    Any others would be greatly appreciated too!

    Comment by ali on January 26, 2012
  14. I’m laughing right now because I fully expected to see pictures of actual living horses. So sneaky you are.

    (Also: Hiii! Happy! Thursday, babe.)

    Comment by Kerri Anne on January 26, 2012
  15. Maybe giving advice is what we like rather than biz card talk AND maybe we fear the grammar police when daring a comment;-)

    Comment by Linda on January 26, 2012
  16. Grammar police…in comments??!

    It’s like you don’t even know me at all..

    My posts are usually full of awesome grammar errors!

    Comment by alimartell on January 26, 2012
  17. My “nice” things are lightsabers and Batman statues (DON’T CALL THEM ACTION FIGURES OR TOYS GODDAMMIT). So I don’t know how to do that either.

    Comment by Avitable on January 26, 2012
  18. Your house sounds like mine. I have four kids, my oldest is 20, and they still ruin things in the house. I finally bought a nice clock for the kitchen, the first clock I ever bought for the kitchen, and my son knocked it off the wall with his head and broke it! Don’t ask me how. So I now have a nail sticking out of the kitchen wall with no clock on it. What’s the point of buying another? Oh, and the bathroom thing – about you using your bathroom one day alone and in peace? Forget it. My twenty-year old still comes banging on the door when I’m in the bathroom and asks what I’m doing and how long I’ll be.

    Comment by Anne Rodrigues on January 26, 2012
  19. I’m also in that shift. The kids are getting older. Maybe it’s time that our home looked a little less like a frat house. Not quite sure how to get it there though.

    Comment by Shan @ the fairy blogmother on January 26, 2012
  20. I’m surprised so many in the comments are like this. I love home decorating though, obsessed with HGTV and finding things while out and about. TJ Maxx isa good place for home things. I don’t have kids though and I guess it’s my creative side or a hobby. I love the horses.

    Comment by Tammi Marie on January 26, 2012
  21. This is weird backwards commenting week maybe? My last post had zero comments. Eh, whatever.

    I have art. Mostly because I come from a family of artists. All my art is from either my mom or one of her sisters. I’ve paid to have them re-framed over the years so now they mostly look professional. Besides that my house is probably kinda like yours. It’s very lived in.

    Having an adult house comes with time. I think. Or people who hire designers maybe. That costs big bucks.

    Comment by Issa on January 26, 2012
  22. I too feel like I don’t have a grown up house; let alone how do I have a child?! I will say, that I went on a huge mission the first of January and cannot tell you the number of trash bags & boxes that left my house. I reorganized everything with the exception of my bedroom because really, who cares where we sleep & it has a giant dog crate at the foot of the bed. Wait…does giant dog crate count as decor? Other than that, the stuff on my walls, has either been handed down or bought when not really looking. Other than that, our home is dedicated to the insane amount of things the 4 year old has.
    And again, I’m with you on the bathroom. Seriously, she walks PAST hers to get to ours. What is THAT about?!

    Comment by Spring Blankenshhip on January 27, 2012

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