Hello! My name is Kara. I’m a blogger living in a quaint town in Wisconsin. I write about my hobby as an interior designer, various trips I take as inspiration, and other thoughts on my mind. I hope my creative side brings people closer to experiencing harmony within their heart, home, and life.

Staging a Kitchen

Once the space you’re renovating is complete, you’ll want to add some decorations to make it look nice or it may look too sterile. Knick knacks, rugs, lamps, trays, picture frames, floral arrangements or nice dishes placed intentionally can really add beauty to your space.

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Single Parenting and Family Activities

If a separation or divorce is new to you, you may not feel like going out or doing fun things as a family because you’re dealing with a tragedy. But I found that planning fun things to do with the kids helped them get through those first few months and years following the divorce. That’s because I gave them things to look forward to every time I had them. They sometimes dreaded school, so I always talked about what we’d do that week and weekend to give them some hope in a dark time in their lives.

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Finding Things to Do in a New Place

Hopefully we’ll be able to travel again soon and when we do, we’ll want to find things to do where we’re traveling. Finding things to do in a new place can be easy and is so much fun. You probably have some ideas of what you’d like to do when you vacation someplace or you wouldn’t have chosen to travel there. When I chose Charleston, I wanted to see the historic architecture I’d heard so much about. I knew it was on the beach, and if you’re from a place where there’s winter 9 months out of the year, the beach sounds heavenly. So, I had some ideas as to what I wanted to do. But, what’s the best way to see the architecture? Which beach do I go to? Answering all these questions requires some research.

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Budgeting and Single Parenting

Going from two incomes to one is always tough. If you own your house and you keep it, you’ll have to afford the payment on your income alone. If you can’t afford the house, move to an apartment, condominium or smaller house. Your kids will adjust and it’s better not to be financially strapped. You want to make sure you can afford the rent or mortgage along with your other bills rather easily. So, you’ll want to figure out your budget before you decide where to live.

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Window Treatments

I’ve seen window treatments done poorly, and it really bothers me. So, this blog is all about finding window treatments that look great. I have a few tips and what-not-to-dos to share.

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My Old Home

The very first thing I had to consider when my husband and I separated was where to live. I had to move out because I couldn’t afford the house we owned together. He could. At first I thought I’d rent a two bedroom apartment that was simple. No yard to maintain, no broken faucets to fix. I visited a place that had a washer and dryer and was pet friendly. I almost put a security deposit down when this cute little cottage-like house came back on the market.

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Hope after Divorce

I’m very excited to be starting a new topic in my blog about my experience as a single mom and single/co-parent to my two boys. Divorce and separation is not easy, but when it happened to me, I felt I must try to make the best of it and continue being a good, stable parent to my kids. During the first six months of my separation, I wanted to hide under a rock. I live in a small community and I was worried it would be the talk of the town. I busied myself with exercising, taking care of my boys, working, and decorating and taking care of my new home, which I had bought to make sure my boys felt comfortable in their new reality. 

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I contemplated letting go of my blog for a while until things settle down. Part of me thinks that blogs about my kitchen renovation project aren’t very important right now! Blogs about traveling seem like they’re just teasing me about a life now past. Maybe this will be a better time for a series of parenting/single parenting blogs. I’ll probably start those next week. Could be more relevant now that we’re all trying to parent our kids from home 24/7. Being a teacher and a parent to my kids now is challenging. I think we might all do well with a few thoughts on that.

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Coronavirus and Me

Friday, 12:32pm, 2 days until trip

I receive an email from my kids’ school district. They say they will still be open after spring break. They said they discourage travel to Washington State, California, and New York. If anyone travels there, or to any other state that develops sustained community transmission while visiting, that they will be subject to a 14 day quarantine. I check CDC’s map and Texas is one shade lighter than California. That means they are close to the number of coronavirus cases and, in my opinion, could see sustained community transmission within days.

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Coronavirus and Traveling

Saturday, 8:19pm, 8 days to trip to Houston

So, my sister texts me. She says, “How are you? Are you still going to Houston?” To which I reply, “Why wouldn’t I be?” And she proceeds to tell me that her rather large company in Milwaukee does not want any of their employees traveling even domestically unless “operationally essential.” She says planes are about 50% capacity as of recent. 

A Little Background

I hate flying. I have to fly to see my dad, who lives 1200 miles away in Houston, Texas. So when I have to fly, I take drugs. Yep. Not afraid to admit that. I have anxiety. And going 500 miles per hour at 30,000 feet is enough to put me over the edge. So, being worried about catching a deathly virus does not help things in the slightest. Up until Saturday at 8:19, I thought this was only a big deal if you were traveling to China. I thought that people were being irrational because I figured influenza was just as bad or worse and my son and my ex have already gotten that this year and gotten over it in three days. Other than saying goodbye to my sick days, it wasn’t too big of a deal. (And yes, we all got the flu shot.) 

Saturday, 8:25pm

So, what does a person who has anxiety and is prone to thinking slightly irrationally because of it, do when her sister tells her she needs to be worried about catching a deadly virus while doing the scariest thing on earth…flying? She calls the most rational people she knows to calm her down. These two people for me are my kids’ dad and my own dad. Oh, and my kids’ dad just happens to be flying the week I get back with my own two children to Denver. He’ll know what to do. So, I text him first. And guess what? He’s concerned. Even thinking about cancelling his trip. Now I’m freaking out. I text my dad next. He travels all over the world for work and works with a company that does business in China. He’ll know what to do.

Sunday, 7:14am, 7 days until trip to Houston

My dad says, “I will call you later today to discuss.” Not a good sign. I wait all day. I go to church. I go for a walk. I have a coffee date. My dad finally calls. He says it’s up to me. He says he understands my concern and would understand if I cancelled the trip. He said he would fly, but he doesn’t have young kids. He says I could be quarantined for 14 days if I’m exposed. I tell him I’ll talk to my principal to ask him what we’d do if I got quarantined for 14 days. Dad and I will talk later this week.

I do a little research on the CDC’s website and realize I need a few supplies. I head to Walmart for some hand sanitizer, gloves, and Lysol wipes. They are out. I go to Walgreens. Clean out of hand sanitizer. I go to CVS. Out again. I ask the pharmacist what to do. He says use Hydrogen Peroxide wipes on my hands instead.

Monday, 11:02am, 6 days until trip

I email my principal. Tell him my plans. He gets back to me one hour and 17 minutes later. Tells me it’s my choice to make, but he would be concerned about it as I am. He says the board is approving a pandemic plan this evening. He’ll send me the plan tomorrow. So no one is making me feel any better. I tell my dad. He says to wait to decide until we see the board’s plan.

The good news is that in my desk I find some hand sanitizer. It’s got 65% alcohol, which is what the CDC recommends. See how happy I am below.

Hand Sanitizer
Hand Sanitizer

And here is the stash of supplies I will now carry on the plane with me (if I go):

My supplies while traveling
My supplies while traveling

Tuesday, 12:39pm, 5 days until trip

I get the board’s plan. There is nothing in it that would impact my travel plans. It is geared at parents and kids. Thirteen reported cases of coronavirus in Texas. Twelve in Colorado where the boys plan to be. So far only one in Wisconsin. Six hundred forty seven cases nationwide with 25 deaths recorded. Eighty-three cases are travel related. Tomorrow I happen to be visiting our pediatrician for my son’s annual physical. I plan on asking him for his advice. 

Wednesday, 3:16pm, 4 days until trip

I ask my pediatrician if I should travel and if the boys should travel. He’s another very rational person. He says absolutely. No problem, have a great trip. Finally! Some good news! He said he thinks way more people have the coronavirus but because it’s so mild in most people, they think they just have a cold. He said it’s not affecting children much at all. He said if you were over 60 and had a lung infection, you’d have to be careful. I’m still a little concerned, but I’m doing better. I’m doing extra meditation to calm myself down. I’ve got my drugs, but now I’m concerned that I’ll touch my eyes without realizing because, well, I do a lot of things without realizing it when I take my drugs. (Don’t worry, I have a legitimate prescription). 

Fifteen reported cases in Texas. Seventeen in Colorado. Total cases: 938 with 29 total deaths. Ninety-two cases related to travel. I’m going to wait another day to make my decision final.

The bad news? I guess Houston cancelled the rodeo. I was actually a little bit hoping I could go to that this year.

Thursday, 8:48pm, 3 days until trip

Last night Trump banned travel for Europeans coming into the US. The NBA has been suspended. March Madness will be played in empty arenas. My ex and I talked last night and he is still very, very concerned. I’m not really sure what to do still. I’ve talked with other frequent travelers and they say things are looking pretty normal in airports still. If you shut off your TV, all seems normal in the outside world. I may have a chance to witness this on my own on Sunday. As of now, the trip is still on. I’m going to post this now, as it’s my day to post. Stay tuned for next week’s post to see how things have gone! In the meantime, post a comment below. Tell me what you would do if you were me!