3 Secrets to Squashing Vacation-Envy

Image Credit: Melissa Godsey

Image Credit: Melissa Godsey

(I’m delighted to be guest-posting over on ShareSLO.com today! This is just an excerpt, so make sure you click over and get my 3 Secrets to Squashing Vacation-Envy.)

I can tell it’s really summer when celebrity vacation photos are splashed all over the covers of magazines at the grocery store. While waiting in the checkout line, you see pictures of Rachel Bilson skipping along a beach in Barbados, Heidi Klum in Hawaii, and Jessica Alba in St. Barts, each of them tan, smiling, and glowing with a radiance that only comes from a jaunt to a far-flung locale. But before you’re overcome with vacation-envy, I have a trick that just might put some glow back in those office-weary cheeks of yours. I call it “Vacation Living,” and it’s my number one weapon in combating the 9-to-5 blues.

The idea behind Vacation Living is pretty simple: put your tourist glasses on, and rediscover your hometown. Approach your free time with the same gusto you have when you’re on vacation.

For most of us, the simple act of being on vacation brings out our adventurous side. With some distance between yourself and your routine, you’re suddenly tasting new foods, seeking out new experiences, and sometimes even trying your hand at a new language. There’s something about being away from home that gives us fresh eyes for the world around us. How would your quality of life improve if you had the same adventurous spirit at home that you do when you’re away?

Routine is the enemy of Vacation Living, so to help you expand your horizons, I’ll share a few challenges I’ve given myself, to help push you out of your bubble, and into your new Vacation Life. Click on over to read the remainder!

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When Inspirational Turns Aspirational (ie Pinterest Envy)

Pinterest Logo. Familiar?

(This is one of those trying-to-write-something-before-the-baby-wakes-up situations, just so you know.)

I have a passionate love-affair with Pinterest, specifically the Pinterest iPhone app. If you’re not familiar with Pinterest, basically it’s bookmarking (like, on the internet) with a social aspect, and instead of bookmarking URLs (you know, links that look like a bunch of blahblahblah: http://www.clvrwebsitenamethatsometimesdropsitsvowls.com, for example), you book mark images, and Pinterest remembers the URL for you, hiding it’s protocol-ugliness from your sensitive eyes. It’s brilliant and fun and flipping addictive.

Pinterest eats entire baby nap-times to sustain itself. True story.

You’ll love Pinterest, I promise. Even if you’re not familar with Pinterest, you’re probably familiar with HGTV, or Food Network, or Martha Stewart, etc. And if you’re mostly staying at home with a kiddo (or kiddos), you might keep something like HGTV on in the background almost constantly. (Embarrassing, but true.) I’m so often inspired by this type of programming, that many days it’s seeing images of these well-designed, sparkly spaces that motivates me to put my cleaning gloves on (again) and scrub my sink. Or declutter my dining room table. (You get the idea.) And yes, quite often I see a fabulously styled space and think “I can do that!” This is where inspiration meets aspiration, and to be clear, I think that’s totally fine. I completely believe in wanting/loving/having gratitude for what you already have, but I don’t see any fault in wanting to improve on it. Who doesn’t want a more functional play-space for their kids, for example?

BUT. But. But sometimes aspirational turns into “desperational” (I made that word up), and that’s where the danger of inspirational content like Pinterest, HGTV and even Ms. Martha Stewart herself lies. It’s so so easy (at least, for me) to fall off of the edge of inspired and aspiring into the mindset of “I-will-literally-DIE-if-I-don’t-repaint-my-living-room!” Silly, right?

Our living room is renter-friendly, generic, ubiquitous off-white, and there’s really nothing wrong with that. Do I know how much better it would look if it were (almost) any other color? You bet your Dear Genevieve watching eyes I do! Do I have, like, 47 different ideas for redecorating it? Why not ask my friend Emily Henderson (Secrets From a Stylist)? (She’d say yes.)

So…Where’s the balance? (That’s pretty much my go-to question, all day, every day.) In my (humble, uneducated) opinion, the styling of a home is icing on the cake. So long as the home serves its primary purpose (a “haven” from the outside world where family can let down their hair and enjoy good times together), then you’re fine. It doesn’t need to be ultra-chic for it to be a place that facilitates family bonding.

And that’s what I remind myself whenever I begin to notice my aspirations turning into envy of other people’s stuff. Pictures of my home will probably never circulate Pinterest, inspiring thousands across the internet to drool on their keyboards, but my family sure is happy. We love playing with Ellie in our renter-white living room, and I’d rather spend more time chasing Ellie around than caring for hard-wood flooring (we’ve got vinyl tiles in our kitchen, GASP!). Sure, I’ll continue making improvements, but the goal will always be to create an environment that my family is happy and excited to come home to. (Vertical blinds and all.)

Can you relate to my Martha Stewart envy? Sharing is caring, so I’d love to hear your decor “vices” in the comments!

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