· I want my house to be cleaner. It's hard to entirely eliminate clutter in a tiny one-bedroom apartment (there's just nowhere to put anything), but I want to have neater habits.
· I want to have a nicely decorated living space. Complication: I am truly one of those people who cannot "decorate" to save my life. I know what I like when I see it, but I can't "visualize" where things would fit (or if they would fit) in my house. So I go visit friends and look around in jealous admiration at their beautiful-trendy-chic rooms with wall hangings/valances/shower curtains they have made themselves but have no idea how to implement their ideas and style in my own space.
· I want to make some of my own stuff for my house. Complication: I am also one of those people who is not good at crafts. I have given up on scrapbooking as a lost cause and am at peace with that decision, but I want to make other stuff. Like, I want to learn how to quilt and sew (mostly simple) things (complication: no sewing machine and no "project" room; one bedroom apartment, remember?), make folksy seasonal/holiday decorations (which I do on occasion, with help, at church activities), and hang my own window treatments. The "not crafty" gene I inherited from my mother, but I really can't be angry about it because I did inherit her brain (well, a combo of hers and my dad's), and not to brag, but my parents are seriously geniuses. For reals. I, myself, am not a genius, but I did get a pretty smart brain. So I'm grateful. (And I am not, I repeat, not saying that people who are crafty are not smart. I am just saying that since I don't have both, if I had to pick between the two, I'd pick smart. So you crafty and smart people can all just put those threatening exacto knives and pinking shears back down now.)
· I want to take more pride in my appearance--sometimes I am down-right dowdy. I am blessed to have a husband who likes me better without makeup than with it and who is always very complimentary about the way I look, but I believe God is in the details and it really wouldn't kill me to change my earrings or get a pedicure every once in awhile.
So for the last week, my "classy" cravings have been to go to a flea market or Anthropologie (opposite ends of the spectrum, but equally vintage-y) to try and snag a cute dress or something fun for my apartment. I finally caved Saturday morning and went to Anthropologie, husband in tow (long story; I wasn't planning on bringing him), and we also hit up Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn. Reality hit, fast, when I started looking at price tags. I've been in Anthro before (once) and knew what to expect, but it still came as a mild shock to see dresses 50% off that still cost $120 (or more). And one hundred and fifty bucks for jeans?? I rarely buy a pair for over thirty. Suffice it to say that I did not revamp my wardrobe. Instead, I focused on their fun home decor/kitchen items. Fell in love with the prettiest little "inside out" bowls you've ever seen, along with a darling butter dish (which we actually need). None of them match, and that's my favorite part about them (see first bullet below). I will post pictures once we get our new camera in the mail. I wasn't going to buy them because they were all a little pricey and because I'd really just wanted to go look. But Jay liked the butter dish, too, and he saw how much I loved those silly, precious little bowls, so he bought four of them for me, along with the butter dish. He is so good to me.
We also picked up a stoneware bread pan from Williams-Sonoma (picture later--it's so pretty) and while we were there I fell in love with this. I think I haven't been shopping in awhile, because I was falling in love a lot that day. I know it's random to covet an apron. I know I'm ridiculous. But I love the blue-on-ivory "airy pastoral design." It's just so... Classy. No, I did not buy it--the Anthropologie dishes were enough splurge for one day.
What I'm doing to achieve the dream:
What I'm doing to achieve the dream:
· I decided to stop worrying so much about "themes" and "matching" when it comes to decorating my space: from now on, within reason, I'm going to get what I like and my theme will be "because I like it."
· I have a goal this week to finally get some pictures in the frames that have been leaning against my wall for the past 5 months and get said frames on the wall somewhere. Or at least pick out the pictures that will go in the frames and have them eventually photoshopped (not by me--oh, no--by the beautifully artistic and incredibly classy Katie).
· I am going to attempt to step out of the box a bit when it comes to my personal style, with decorating and also with my clothes. I am generally a very casual dresser (trademark: jeans, ratty t-shirt, 6-year-old flip flops) and too lazy to accessorize. But I want to be a little more vintage-y, a little more daring, a little more, well, classy. This does not mean that I am going to start wearing stilettos, but it does mean that I may try to branch out my shoe collection to include red pumps or something (since my shoe "collection" right now consists of running shoes (2), "dressy" platform sandals that I wear 4 days a week (2), flip flops (1), and a box full of other old or painful shoes I never wear).
· I'm going to be neater. I know I need to break that down into more specific goals for it to become a reality, so I will. Someday.
Although my focus the past week or so has been on material things (cough Anthropologie cough), here are my long-term goals for enduring classiness:
· I want a usually mostly clean, welcoming living space that feels like home; a place full of love and laughter and music and the Spirit of God. I never want to be afraid of letting children play in my house, though: messes = learning + fun
· Even if I end up hiring an interior decorator (which will probably be the case as I really am hopeless), I will find joy in filling my house with beautiful things
· I’m going to take care of my body by eating healthily and exercising regularly
· I’ll take care of my appearance by keeping on top of the little things and by buying myself some nice new clothes once in awhile, even when I’m busy with kids
· I will find joy in the daily activities of life with my family, including cooking, cleaning, and caring for children