Alas all good things must come to an end and such is the case with SPRING BREAK.
Insert sad but grateful and sun-kissed faces here.
We spent a week at the beach in North Carolina. I don’t know about you guys – but I did not grow up taking annual trips or even regular vacations of any kind. We might visit family, and one summer we traveled with my Dad on a business trip for a month but nothing routine. I love that this is the 20th year that our little family of 5 have returned to the Outer Banks, in particular Duck beach.
We try to get there at least once a year – Spring Break, Summer – we have even gone for Thanksgiving (Tate could not join us this year but Phoebe and her boyfriend came down for Easter) It feels a little like a home away from home and the familiar haunts are so special.
We took Addie the 10 month old Wheaten Terrier puppy and she LOVED the beach. Loved it! She is due for a bath and I am reluctant to give her one because she still smells like “BEACH”.
HARD TO BELIEVE THIS WAS ONE WEEK BEFORE BREAK!
Our Spring Break enabled me to step back from the day-to-day work of my life and gather some perspective. I usually have the time to do some reading. I also take a stack – in this case it was an entire paper grocery bag FULL of all the magazines I have subscribed to that I never read!!!. I read an entire Atlantic Monthly cover to cover! And of course all of my decorating magazines went along. I leave all but the House beautiful for the next Vacationer-
House Beautiful I keep!
I read a GREAT BOOK! It is actually not the book I took to read …
…but one I picked up in our favorite CoffeeShop / Bookstore where they stock great BEACH books!
This was the PERFECT book to read especially when you are exhausted and your tank is empty and you feel like you have little to give. Shonda and I share a bit of an introverted personality with a HUGE imagination and I admired her transparency and honestly about juggling the many parts of her life as MOM and working woman and breaking the illusion of “having it all . I highly recommend this book to ANY AND EVERY WOMAN I KNOW! And that my friends is all of YOU! It got me so pumped to take charge of my life in similar ways and yet was such a simple approach to letting go of some of the things that keep us “stuck”. It is in no way written like a self-help book, in fact I told my sister-in-law, it reads like you are talking with a friend. As the creator of “Grays Anatomy, Scandal and How to get Away with Murder” – she SPEAKS much like many of her characters do! Anyway I loved it!
Another favorite thing to “catch up” on are the podcasts I listen to. One of my favorites is
“Young House Love has a Podcast”
Like millions of the rest of you – I adore Young House Love and have the added pleasure of having worked with John and Sherry on a couple of projects. They did a House Crash on our home (back when the ceilings were still covered in plywood – but you would have been non the wiser!), their Richmond Homearama showhouse , and I surprised them with a Barn painting for the Beach House. They are every single bit as accessible and hilarious in person. They are your neighborhood best friends – dealing with all the things we all deal with – and do an incredible job communicating who they are via 35-40 minute Podcasts. I even got my teenage son and his girlfriend listening!
I am caught up on the last 5 months or so – and I often just bop around the podcast looking for a past title that catches my eye. ONE PARTICULAR EPISODE That caught my attention and I LOVED was – #55 – “What is Feng Shui? And are we screwing it up?” from July 2017. I had a bare bones understanding about what Feng Shui is – like focusing on the placement of items in your home to enhance the living experience but as John and Sherry often do – they called an expert ( Tenaya Koler)and she answered questions and in turn helped me understand WAY more about Feng Shui and how to utilize the principles in your home. According to Tenaya – Feng Shui at its core is “how you FEEL in your house.” She spoke about “being in command” and the placement of furniture so you are comfortable. One way is to have your furniture placed in such a way that you can see what is coming (NOT having your back to the door etc) . I guess in a subconscious way that makes you feel more vulnerable if you can’t see what is coming which makes PERFECT sense!
One fantastic tip she gave was particularly fitting – AFTER you go away (Spring Break!) and come back all energized – a good thing to do is to SHIFT something in your space. It reminds you of the ease you felt on vacation. I love it!
SOOOOOO – you know how sometimes when a “knowledge” door gets opened in your mind – and you gain a better understanding of a concept – the wheels started spinning when she THEN answered the Question “WHAT is the FIRST MOST important room in your home?” (the Bedroom is the second) The answer might not be what you think – but MAKES TOTAL SENSE – THE ENTRANCE- Because it IS the where “first impressions” happens but also in Feng Shui language it is “the mouth of Chi” where all of your energy and opportunity comes into your life. She explained that it is good to have the ENTRANCE be welcoming and NOT contain “work”.
I urge you to listen to the podcast and/or consult Tenaya’s website for more in-depth information….all I can say is that the FIRST THING I DID – literally an hour after I emptied the car – walked in , said hello to my Charlie and Bean who stayed with the House Sitter – and dropped the luggage was to MAKEOVER my Entrance. I cant wait to show you the results this Thursday. I plan to order some new rugs but for the most part, we removed all the furniture to streamline the space and make it feel more relaxing. Instead of walking in a getting hit in the face by the mail and the groceries and the giant sideboard filled with STUFF things to do!!!!
Back to real life. I have some exciting projects lined up that I cant wait to share with you over the next few weeks. And for now….
I hope your weekend has been nice and I look forward to sharing my
FIRST “TUESDAY TOP TEN” Tomorrow!!!!