Looking Behind Both The Iced Coffee & Walls Of Sunshine Cottage

Well, hello there! Today, I greet you with a big, heart-felt “welcome back” as we enter week 5 of my blog! I’m both happy and thankful that you have decided to come back and experience me for yet another week. I couldn’t be more grateful for the immense amount of support and love I’ve received thus far on the journey–and there are many more miles to go, so prepare for even more adventures with Mr. Sunshine by your side.

This week, I thought I would take you beyond the walls of Sunshine Cottage for an exclusive look into the life behind the doors as we strip away the iced coffee. And…before we continue…don’t forget to follow me on Instagram if you aren’t following me already…@mrsunshine827. It’s pretty simple.

Also, before I start giving you the “grand” tour of my living space, can we just take a moment to pause and discuss the AMAZING-NESS that is known as the below three things…

  1. Carrie Underwood’s new album…SO good at giving me all the feels.
  2. Betty White at the Emmy Awards…literally the classiest & CUTEST woman alive!
  3. The trailer for Mary Poppins Returns…like…I. CAN’T. EVEN. DEAL. AHHH.

Hi, my name is Tour Guide Barbie and I smile until my cheeks hurt…well I mean…basically that is me. Today, I will be giving you a “grand” tour of the spaces in my house that give me the most rays of inspiration on the daily.

Have any of you ever watched those HGTV shows (Fixer Upper or House Hunters, etc) where you literally see homes that have everything? And I mean…EVERYTHING…basically the only thing missing is an elephant from the Circus, but I’m sure there is some home out there even with that. Well, my home is NOT like one of those homes. In fact, it is probably the house that Chip and Joanna Gaines would show people as a “fixer upper” because from the outside you see gutters that look like they are dangling for their life, a front porch that seems to be semi-rotted, and grass (that is currently as I write this) about 2 feet tall. And…to answer your question, no I’m not ashamed to admit these things because they display the imperfections of myself that make me who I am. More on that later. But let’s get through the front door…

As you walk over the “Live. Laugh. Love.” doormat that is placed outside the bright blue door of my casa, you are immediately greeted by the living room and big, comfy couch where I spend most of my nights. If you recall from one of my first posts, I am someone who LOVES sleeping on the couch and NOT in sheets. Yes, that is correct. BREAKING NEWS: almost every night of the week, you can find me on the couch. This couch literally belongs in the Smithsonian–it IS that comfy.

Further into the living room, you will see a fireplace (that I never use…imagine that–probably because I can’t imagine chopping wood to burn in it…go figure that one out) along with one of my favorite mantras on an end table coupled with a rainbow. The mantra is all you need is love–something I try to live out on the daily while also constantly reminding myself of how proud of I am of my true colors. The living room is also where you will find my piano, which I have literally played less than 10 times since moving almost 2 years ago. Say what?! And yes, there is dust on it. This is where those handy dandy items called Swiffer come in handy!

Now, let us take our twinkle toes up the staircase to the second level where some more focal points of my life can be found. The second floor is where you can also find my fiercely witty and incredibly entertaining roommate, Karey. She is definitely one of a kind and I hope you all have the pleasure of getting to meet her one day. Not only can she belt any song in the world with grace and poise, she can make you laugh at the drop of a hat. And while we don’t see each other too often, it is always comforting to know that I have her presence in the house with me.

Anyway, back to the tour! If you look above the staircase, you will find a framed photo collage of moments from my time dancing in THON 2010 as a Senior at Penn State that my mom created for me. This is definitely one of my proudest moments of life thus far in 31 years–no sleeping or sitting for 46 hours while fighting to find a cure for pediatric cancer. This framed collage is something I get to witness each and every day when I leave the house, so it serves as a constant reminder to me that there is HOPE and that WE WILL find a cure one day for this disease. Pediatric cancer research has been a passion of mine since my time at Penn State and I will be forever grateful for my involvement with THON and The Hope Express for allowing me to keep that passion alive as I continue on in my adult life.

As we travel down the hallway, you will find my bedroom where there are several special entities! First off, my tie collection can be found hanging on the door to my closet. I am a huge fan of the bowtie and together with the neckties, I have about 40. If you ever need a last minute gift idea for me, there you go! You heard it here first! In addition to the tie collection, I have a HUGE fun sock collection. Another one of my secret obsessions. Well…I guess it really isn’t a secret! I’m short of just about 100 pair and have a whole drawer to prove it! Once again, if you need a last minute gift suggestion, you can never go wrong with fun socks.

On the wall, you will find built in shelves for…BOOKS?! Why, of course not! Who do you think I am? Belle from a small, provincial town? This is the 21st century and I’m an openly gay man…the built in shelves are OBVI for shoes. I mean…come on. Who doesn’t love a good pair of shoes?

In all honesty though, most of my shoes are falling apart…and I’m OK with that. Because to me, life isn’t about having the latest and greatest in fashion–it’s about making life GREAT and MEMORABLE with what you have.

There are marks on the wall. There is peeling paint in multiple rooms. There are gaps in the laminate flooring. There are not granite countertops. There are not stainless steel appliances. There are picture frames that are still on the ground because I haven’t found free moments to place them on the wall. There is dust. My backyard literally looks like something straight out of Africa. There are thousands of imperfections. And I have no problem with that.

My house is full of love ready to give to whomever walks through it regardless of ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or social status. My house is a safe haven that I can retreat to when I need that moment of recharge away from the world and humans. My home is a place where my mind is constantly on the go thinking about the next project or task to involve myself with that concerns sharing love and kindness with the world.

At the end of the day life isn’t about having the most friends, the most money, the most expensive luxuries, or being the most popular. It’s about making positive change in the world with what you have and lifting up others by showing kindness and love to all.

My living habitat is living proof of this.

Embrace the imperfections in your life. They are what make you YOU.

This officially ends the “grand” tour of Sunshine Cottage. I hope to see you soon!

Sprinkle sunshine always,