It’s the night before IKEA
I can’t hardly wait!
For 99 cent breakfast,
We must leave by 8.
The drive will be long
But worth every minute
To get lost in utopia &
The labyrinth within it.
But where to begin?
The kitchens? The bedding?
Navigating the showrooms
Is one task I’m dreading.
I’ve got to stay focused –
My list be my guide,
I’ve no need for a FLÖRT!
BJÖRKENS, step aside!
I’ll tackle my list
So quickly, it’s scary
With spare time for meatballs
And strange lingonberry.
We’ll breeze through the self-serve
And race to the checkout,
Grab some frozen yogurt
And then get the heck out.
Ah yes, the instructions
Without one single letter…
At least other languages
Will fare no better.
And each time I leave
We part with such sorrow…
If I had it my way,
I’d be back tomorrow.
I haven’t yet come down from my we’re-leaving-the-burbs high, and it feels great. Endless decorating ideas and brainstorming nuggets are a-swirling in my brain like an unstoppable force. This is usually the part where I get totally overwhelmed before I even arrive at the store, leave empty handed, and then drown my ironic sorrows with a glass of prosecco and some 30 Rock.
But not this time.
This time, I’m prepared. I’m staying focused, keeping my eye on the prize, and reminding myself that it’s ok to swipe that plastic and make some big moves, should I find a killer loveseat or the perfect vase.
In an effort to reel in the creativity and keep myself on track, I’ve made myself a mood board with my future living room in mind. Cheery and crisp and lovely, no? I’m a big fan, myself.
As you can see, I’m gravitating toward a palette of coral, sea foam, yellow, grey… maybe some navy thrown in there… and bright whites keep the lightness. I’m really excited to see what IKEA has to offer me tomorrow that’s in-theme with my new decor ideas! And of course, if I leave with any good finds tomorrow, you’ll be the first to hear about it.
How do you stay focused in the midst of your home decorating project? Do you get easily overwhelmed? How do you prioritize? Please, share your wisdom!
As a little girl, I remember adoringly watching my mom as she scrapbooked on summer afternoons. (That aggressive red squiggly underline is trying to tell me that ‘scrapbooked’ is not a word. Overruled, squiggles! It is now.)
She’d spend hours riffling through family photos, meticulously cutting paper, digging for the perfect sticker, adding bits of her beautiful loopy handwriting to tie the page together… and it made me desperate to turn my own memories into something so lovely and special. I am so the ‘apple’ to her crafty ‘tree’.
Recording memories in a thoughtful, artistic way is something I wish I had more time to do. Would I love to be able to flip through colorful, handcrafted books filled with sentimental photos and memorabilia? OF COURSE! But with a job, a growing social life, and ten years’ worth of photos waiting to be craftified… who has that kind of time!?
Thankfully, scrapbooking seems to be evolving to match the busy-busy-go-go-go lifestyle we all know so well. Project Life by Becky Higgins and K&C Company SMASH are two products lines I found and like in theory, though I haven’t tried either one. Each is designed to simplify and expedite the scrapbooking process.
Personally, I’d love to get back into a routine of artistically documenting my life as it’s happening, but I hesitate to commit to buying products and getting started until I’m convinced I’ve found a system that’s convenient and time-friendly enough for me. At this moment, Project Life seems like the strongest candidate in my book – it provides some structure (a must for me), encourages a balance of pictures with journaling, and allows for a pretty, uncluttered aesthetic.
Do the letters ‘ENFJ’ mean anything to you?
If not, I’d like you to meet the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, a questionnaire that is meant to measure and assess how we perceive the world and make decisions. There are 16 personality types in all, each one represented by a four-letter combination.
My dad first introduced me to this idea as a kid, and immediately I loved it. I still remember taking the assessment and feeling blown away by how much of it resonated with me, down the the tiniest, frighteningly specific detail.
Since then, I’ve essentially forced everyone I know to take the test, I’ve read this book that uses personality types to help determine possible careers, and I even learned that one of my favorite bloggers in the whole wide world is an ENFJ like me.
The Manfriend and I are also HUGE Myers-Briggs Nerds. Like, shamelessly. The fist time we compared our types, two giant light bulbs lit up. We nodded vigorously and laughed as we read each other’s descriptions and re-read our own, and we couldn’t believe how true they were. We’ve always known how different we are, but seeing it on paper really drove that message home.
For his birthday one year, I created and framed two individual portraits of our personality types, in the style of word clouds. (Sort of.) The idea was to pay tribute to who we are as individuals, and to remind ourselves and each other that we differ, how we differ, and to celebrate those differences:
1. I am an ENFJ. In a nutshell: people-focused, supportive, sensitive, warm, organized, diplomatic.
2. He is an INTJ. In a nutshell: independent, innovative, intellectual, decisive, ambitious, confident.
3. To this day, these frames hang side by side in our foyer. We read, admire, and refer to them constantly. For that reason alone, these babies are quite possibly my proudest creations ever.
What’s your personality type? I’d love to find out! If you’ve never taken the test, here’s a quick, free online version.
Guys. I’m super excited.
In a few months, I’ll be packing up and leaving the burbs and heading much, much closer to the city – my favorite city! My love affair with Washington, DC goes back to the fall of 2009 when I was a wee intern living in Dupont (I know… I don’t even want to talk about it) and I feel it’s only appropriate that I’m finally going to be close enough to blow DC kisses from my backyard.
Too-da-loo to the boonies… and hello, Arlington.
The only thing arguably more exciting that my imminent change in locale is… drumroll… decorating the new place. (Are anyone’s eyes lighting up yet? Just me?)
A while back I stumbled across this post from the Fieldstone Hill blog about identifying your own signature style and using it to overcome decorating paralysis. It’s like she read my mind. In this post, on top of sharing her own signature style board and an awesome tutorial on how to create our your own, Darlene ever-so poignantly points out the following:
Knowing your signature style comes from several years of repeatedly choosing what you love.
The things we love, the things we gravitate towards time and time again, and the things we choose to surround ourselves with are our signature style, collectively. I followed Darlene’s tutorial, mostly because I physically couldn’t stop myself, and created my own board. I have to tell you… I’m sort of obsessed with it:
Really though – creating your own signature style board is super fun! And even more than that, I’m already staring at it constantly and using it as a source of inspiraton as all kinds of ideas swirl around in my head when it comes to decorating my new digs. I want this place to feel like me, and me is exactly what this board captures.
What does your signature style look like? I’d love to see your boards!
I’d like to take this opportunity to shamelessly give Tina Fey full credit for igniting the initial spark that led to the creation of this blog.
A little back story: I started reading (see also: listening to Tina Fey narrate) her (audio)book Bossypants just after Christmas last year, and I couldn’t get enough of it.
Were there parts that made me do my creepy silent shaky laugh by myself in my car? Yes. Many. Did I learn some valuable lessons, including Tina’s Twelve Tenants for Looking Amazing Forever and how not to blow an interview with Lorne Michaels? Absolutely. But above all that, I was struck by the strength and authenticity of her voice.
Tina Fey is smart, talented, and empowered, and she’s not sorry about it.
I finished the book and basked in the glow of my new girlcrush on Tina. Setting her dry, brilliantly crafted humor aside, I was falling over myself with admiration for how self-aware and strong she is, how comfortable she is in her own skin, and how both of these things are the result of experiences, opportunities and decisions she unapologetically made for herself.
Being a 20-something woman myself who can feel her identity starting to almost tangibly take shape, this concept strikes a real chord with me. In this way, Tina is a shining example of the kind of woman I can only hope I’m slowly becoming.
There are things about me that are still taking shape, and then there are things I’ve known about myself for a long time:
Crafting is my therapy, and I physically cannot stop myself from giving gifts that are personal, handmade, or have an otherwise Martha Stewart-like touch; I believe that people and art belong together, that we are wired to create things; I may never be the spontaneous type, but I also won’t shy away from making a bold choice as soon as I’m convinced it’s the right one for me.
These may all seem like disconnected nuggets, but low and behold, there’s a through line…
I make my own gifts.
I make my own creations.
I make my own decisions.
I make my own mistakes.
And with these truths, a blog was born.
I’m so excited to use this, my tiny corner of the internet, not only to share with you my crafty creations, but to invite you along as I fumble my way through my twenties and try to figure it all out. It might not always be the smoothest ride, but I’m tickled to have you here with me.
Are you with me?
Glad to hear it.