For the past 4 years, I’ve been an avid reader of blogs. It started out as something to do while I nursed my baby, or while I was trying to fall asleep, but eventually turned into a daily thing, a check-in on the happenings in the lives of these people who in reality were strangers, but in a weird way felt like friends. The truth is, I love “pretty.” Pretty things, pretty rooms, pretty clothes; I love it all and blogs were a constant source of both eye-candy and inspiration.
When Pinterest started, it was amazing! It was all the “pretty” I could possibly ever want, all the time, literally at my fingertips…awesome! I pinned everything I possibly could, and as a long-time categorizing junkie, came up with boards for just about every aspect of my life: home design, DIY, kids stuff, teacher stuff, great recipes to try (I don’t cook), stuff to sew (I can sew a straight line, but that’s about it), funny stuff, stuff my husband didn’t know he’d be DIYing, birthday party stuff, stuff for Christmas, and at least 10 other categories. I then started to finally do something with all these pins and quickly realized that just because you pin it, sure as hell doesn’t mean you can do it! I have about a dozen started projects that seemed so awesome when I started them, but after a few hours, began looking like the work of a four year old, so off they were, banished to the finish-later-pile.
But, after a while, 4 years later, I’m realizing the downside of the constant stream of pretty that I immerse myself in on a daily basis. I have come to realize that no matter how much “pretty” I pin, no matter how many rugs I buy, no matter how many fiddle leaf fig trees and tiny succulents I struggle to keep alive, my home, my life, will never be a magazine. Now, this is a notion that I fought for a long time. I was completely convinced that my house would finally be perfect if I just changed the wall color, or that I would finally be so organized if I just bought that new basket. In the past 5 years I’ve gone through about four different beds, so many different bedding sets that I’ve lost count, at least 3 different rugs and so many other things that I bought thinking that IT was going to be the thing to finally make my house “rise up to greet me,” as Oprah and the amazing Nate Berkus told me it should. But, clearly, it didn’t work. In the end, I’ve spent money on things I didn’t need, or that didn’t “work” in the way I envisioned they would, I’ve spent countless hours working on projects that, really, had no point other than it was something to pass the time, and, most importantly, I’ve spent hours on end looking at all the things that are wrong with my house, instead of enjoying the many things that are right. I want to change this and that’s the point of this blog, to start looking for, noticing and appreciating the “pretty” that I live with on a daily basis.
I don’t live in a magazine, but, no one does. Those pictures we see are nothing more that beautifully staged, perfectly styled smoke and mirrors, or crops and filters…see what I did there?!
I love Instagram mostly because of the way it can take a regular “meh” photo and turn it into something much more interesting and appealing once it’s been cropped and a filter has been added. So, here’s my plan: each day, I am going to photograph one thing that I find beautiful in all the chaos that comes from living in my home, a home that is often run by two kids under the age of 5, and 3 dogs that think they’re human, and that is more often than not strewn with blocks, crayons, goldfish crackers and Cheerios. I will take that picture, crop out all the rogue puzzle pieces, legos and cracker crumbs, add a filter and post the pretty-fied vignette. Somedays, it may be something as simple as a cute baby shoe, which cropped and filtered will look so sweet, while the reality is that it’s sitting right in the middle of the living room and that its pair is actually nowhere to be found; crops and filters vs. reality. My goal is to remind myself at least once a day, hopefully more, that although my house is not gracing the pages of my favorite glossy magazine, there is beauty to be found in every corner of it.