If you've ever scared yourself looking in the mirror in your office bathroom, given up on swimsuit shopping after seeing the bluish green pallor of your body in a department store dressing room, noticed the sparkle in your significant other's eyes as they reflected back candlelight or run around the house looking for sufficient light in order to read the fine print on something, you know light's power to create and even change a mood. Bad lighting can make the most beautiful home look depressing; it can create coziness in the most minimally furnished spaces. If your home needs a little something, that something is probably light. The rule of thumb is three sources but if your room is an odd shape or you have a lot of comfy places to read, use more. And try CFLs. There's an increasingly wide spectrum, from warm to cool, to choose from.
In a more metaphorical sense, this week is also about illuminating your own light by nurturing yourself with little luxuries. If you think about it, time is the ultimate luxury and our ability to stay up past the sun's bedtime means that we given ourselves the gift of more time. Add that extra time to all the things that we've been doing in our homes -- creating a landing strip, ridding our homes of clutter, reconfiguring our furniture -- and I bet that you're finding yourselves with more time. You're definitely spending more quality time at home. It's becoming more than just a space to eat and sleep in, it's also becoming a place to reconnect with ourselves and what's important to us.
This week, take the time to slow down and really enjoy your space. Layer it with sensuality: buy and light a beautiful scented candle when you get home, organize your medicine chest (try this technique to make your morning a little easier) and fill it with products that pamper your body and soul, use that scented soap you were given as a gift and that you've been saving for a special occasion. There is no special occasion like the one you're experiencing right this minute. Shut off the phone and take a bath (with bubbles!) before work if you can, or to help you transition from day to night or from night to bed. Spray your sheets with a linen spray. In the morning I make a pot of tea with loose tea instead of a tea bag. I bake up a real croissant (granted they're the ones from Trader Joe's that you let rise overnight, but still) and I set the table as if I were in a hotel: the good silver, the nice china, jam and butter scooped into little bowls instead out of a container or jar. For a few minutes I feel like I'm on vacation and the chaos outside becomes a lot easier to face. Try to find 15 minutes every day for a little self-nurturing; see how you can "luxurify" one thing whether it's buying the really nice shampoo, stocking your desk with new pencils or deciding that from now on you're going to use this good china every day.
All of us have a different idea of luxury. For some it's the luxury of time; for others, it's indulging the senses; for others, it's letting someone else do the work, but for all of us, especially with so many obligations and financial responsibilities nipping at our heels, it's hard to justify incorporating it into our lives. No, there will never be a good time so the best time is now. Discover what makes you feel pampered in your home and do it! Yes, this coming week is about guests -- being a guest, having guests -- but there is one person who should be treated like a guest in your home every day: you.
This week's comment/question:
How can you add a little luxury to your every day routine?
Some suggestions: Swap out bar soap for a foaming pump soap; drink your coffee from the good china and, instead of straight milk, foam it up using this technique; swap your ratty sleepwear for something silk, shower by candlelight; get into bed a few minutes early with a plate of warm cookies and read for pleasure; watch a movie you haven't seen since you were a kid; make time for a pillow fight with your significant other; splurge on a scented candle and use it; enjoy a night of pampering and use those products you got as a gift and have been saving to have a spa night at home; schedule a cleaning lady to tackle the tasks you hate; gather up the magazines that you subscribe to but haven't had time to read and read them; let your kids read a good night story to you; buy fresh flowers for every room in house (you're still keeping this up, aren't you?); eat dessert for breakfast; sleep in late and have breakfast in bed; get dressed up just because; set the table tonight using a tablecloth, take a few minutes to journal in the morning and organize your day, try real hangers instead of the wire ones from the dry cleaner.
• Week 6 - Intro with Maxwell
• Week 5 - Show & Tell with Abby
• Week 5 - Tips & Tricks with Susie
• Week 5 - Intro with Maxwell
• Week 4 - Show & Tell with Laure
• Week 4 - Tips & Tricks with Susie
• Week 4 - Intro with Maxwell
• Week 3 - Show & Tell with Abby
• Week 3 - Tips & Tricks with Sarah Rae
• Week 3 - Intro with Maxwell
• Week 2 - Show & Tell with Abby
• Week 2 - Tips & Tricks with Susie
• Week 2 - Intro with Maxwell
• Week 1 - Show & Tell with Laure
• Week 1 - Tips & Tricks with Sarah Rae
• Week 1 - Intro with Maxwell
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