Treat yourself the way you treat your best friend (Part 2)

You can read part 1 here.

Why is it so difficult to treat ourselves well? Why is it hard to make the choices that make up a high quality life?

I know that it isn’t always easy to do the right thing. That once we are doing the right thing it feels so great. But then it is even easier to stop doing the right thing. grrrrr!

The path of least resistance often seems the most attractive though not in the long run.

Common sense is so soft-spoken. I can talk everyone else’s ears off quite loudly when it comes to how to best eat and exercise yet I still make choices that I know are not sensible. I just finished a non-fat mocha that I paid too much for and always makes my tummy hurt a little. If my best friend’s tummy hurt when she drank something I would never buy her one.

I am thankful for that inner voice trying to reach out to me when I am about to screw up. It is almost as though my best friend is in there cheering me on. Too bad I ignore her sometimes.

Treating ourselves as though we are our best friend should not be difficult. It can begin with something simple. Try sitting up straight. We look pretty cute when we sit up straight. I try to imagine I am Judy Dench who once said that she always imagines herself as the most attractive woman in the room. I love Judy Dench.

After you have mastered sitting up straight try cutting your carb intake by half, volunteering for an hour a week, training for a marathon, getting your teeth cleaned, organizing your closet. Ahhh too long of a list. You know what you want on your list.Anne Lamott quote

Crafty Wonderland

Way back in 2006 I attended a monthly craft show in a bar. On a Sunday afternoon. It was great. Now the same show, Crafty Wonderland, happens twice a year at the convention center. It seems we love our crafts in Portland. The Super Colossal Spring Show was last weekend and I found some yummy stuff! Here are a few of my favorites:

Jen Kirk‘s partner challenged her to recreate the area’s bridges through crochet.  She did a good job! And she sells the patterns, too.

idyll enterprise by jen kirk

this chick crochets bridges

Green Grin had a lot of fun mittens and some amazing animals.

green grin

a cute display

green-grin-deerMy favorite booths at Crafty Wonderland are the kid crafters’ booths.

kid crafters at crafty wonderland

they are so cool

child crafter at Crafty Wonderland

In the very first minute I found and bought a great purse at Appetite.

image from their website

image from their website

And at every craft show I attend I find my favorite guy. Pepe Moscoso. He takes amazing photos of very dilapidated places, paints in sweet characters and then collage them onto old slabs of wood.pepe-moscosoPepe Moscoso

I love vintage stuff. This booth, called Mod Radio, was full of vintage radios rebuilt to use with today’s electronic devices.  So clever.mod-clockmod-radio-piece

Crafty Wonderland was fun.  I can’t wait for the Winter edition.

How to make a planter from a cute but useless 2 tiered wire basket

I have never been able to figure out what to do with this wire basket. It was just so big. Then one day I walked into my backyard and realized it would work great out there holding lots of little plants!  a collection of plants

I had a pocket full of birthday money so off to the plant store I went. My plan was to get succulents but found I couldn’t resist some herbs and some plain old cute plants. It’ll probably end up a disaster when some grow and grow and grow out of their new home.

ingredients for a planter diy

all the ingredients one needs for a cute planter

all the ingredients for a herb planter

don’t put the puppy in the planter

I lined the baskets with some burlap. Adding in some potting soil and then stuffing in all the plants was pretty easy.lining the basket with burlap and soil

lining the baskets with burlap

bottom tier all planted up. top next!

I think it looks great. succulents and herbs in a planterherb-succulent-planterfinished herb and succulent planter

5 Easy Steps to Cleaning Up Your Home

Is a clean house a moral issue? Is it wrong to live in a mess? Or is it simply a mess?

tiny dish drainer

a perfect dish drainer for two

I like to clean. Really. It is instantly gratifying. Picture a sink full of dinner dishes, crumpled napkins and crumbs and spills all over the table, food prep mess all over the stove, a little of all of it on the floor. In 20 minutes it can be washed away and sparkling again. If only all of life’s messes were so easy!

basic dish washing supplies

readily available dish washing tools

Last week I was having some friends over for dinner. I love the time before company arrives when I can clean and fuss and make everything pretty and inviting. While I was cleaning I kept thinking about this question of the nature of cleanliness.

Am I crazy? Is it a waste of time? Are there good people with messy houses?

wall hung toilet brush

a wall hung toilet brush

When I was a teenager the house at which everyone loved to hang out was a big mess. It wasn’t a creative mess or an interesting mess. It was just a mess but we always had a great time there.

I once spent a few weeks helping a young friend of mine get her apartment clean. I would send her a text message each day of a task to perform. Every evening she would send back a photo of the results. The before shots were full of piles of stuff. You could see that the piles were all nice things. The bed wasn’t made but the coverlet, blankets and sheets were lovely. The floor was covered with clothing – all of which were the ingredients to cute outfits. The kitchen counters filled with nice but dirty dishes and groceries. The living room floor had no less than five pairs of cute shoes among the debris. The bookshelves were filled with pretty teacups, books, and other keepsakes along with lots of dust. She worked really hard and got it all cleaned up.

It didn’t work, though. She still lives in messy rooms. It must not give her the same thrill it does me. I know she is a lovely person. A good person. A messy person.

Is there an answer? Is there balance? When should one begin to worry? It drives me a little nuts. I want to say very loudly, “Just clean up, people!”. But I won’t because they won’t. As long as it isn’t a health issue I guess it is just a matter of taste and style.  I do believe that the condition of one’s soul is reflected all around and can’t help but think a really messy home means more than a different style.

wood stove clean up

great tools for cleaning up ash and wood chips

Cleaning tips (in case you were wondering):

1. Maintenance is easier than playing catch-up.  Cleaning a little bit of dirt everyday is easier than the long, tiresome deep clean once a month.

2. Don’t let your clothes touch the ground because they are sticky.  It seems where ever one’s clothes end up they seem to be stuck there with glue.  Put them on your body, in the hamper, back on the hanger, back in the drawer, not on the floor.

3. Wash your dishes now rather than later.  Come on, how hard is it to wash a plate, fork, knife and cup?

4. Have your cleaning supplies easily accessible and cute.

5. Take time to admire how pretty your home feels around you.

Birthday Party at the Glamper

Yesterday my darling daughter threw me a birthday party at her home. She lives in a glamper.

glamp·er  noun ˈglam-pər

definition: a glamorous camping vehicle.

It was so, so pretty. She made it magical with vintage table linens, colorful streamers, flowers, hand-lettered place cards, delicious food and plenty of sunshine. colorful streamersbeautiful birthday table

outside the glamper

setting the table

It was a lovely celebration and it almost made me forget how old I am. chocolate birthday cakethe glamper

May flower: lily of the valley

my mom brought some lily of the valley/my birthday flower

place cards and silver

hand-lettered place card

flowers for the birthday tablebirthday cake timethe table-scape after

Man Cave

Do you have a man cave in your home? Years ago I did not. My man had his headquarters in the living room. One day I handed him a great article on man caves to read in an interior design magazine. They were full of old books and antique furniture rather than beer taps and sports posters.

“I have a great idea, dear!” he says to me.

“What is that, honey bunch?”

“Let’s turn the back room into my den!” As though it was his very own idea. Success!


Recently we moved things around in there and he requested dark curtains. Black curtains. Funny guy. Yesterday I sewed and hung them. Not a large impact but really effective for blocking all that sunlight while watching movies.

man cave before adding curtain

cute model!

man cave with dark grey curtain
two additions: curtain and cat


May Day Dinner Party with Friends

setting the table for a dinner party

the dogs crack me up & I can’t believe how many times I bumped my tripod!

I have a fan club. It consists of four beautiful women who are crazy….about me and each other. We are all fans of one another. One of our husbands bought us all personal fans once and so that is how we came to be “The Fan Club”. We use the fans whenever we have a hot flash. Or to throw at our husbands when we are grumpy. Shut up. I am not old. Yes I am.table full of friends

They all came over last night and we ate meatloaf.  Yum! More importantly we had chocolate cake! With freshly picked pansies decorating it so sweetly. I had some for breakfast this morning which always sounds like a good idea and almost never is. But I always forget.

birthday cakeFan Club night is great. Friendship is one of the best things about life. Even more than chocolate.

friendship is certainly the finest balm

Make-up Tips

Do you still apply your make-up the way you did in high school? Learning how to most effectively highlight one’s features takes a long time.  I am still learning.  I finally decided the best way to wear make-up was to try to look like I was not wearing any….that I was just naturally fresh and glowing.  Oh boy.

Up until about 18 months ago I was working in the fitness industry. It was so great looking forward to work everyday. I fell in love with health, women and movement. I never knew going to the gym could be so fun.

When I first began working in a women’s fitness center I noticed that not many people wear make-up when they work out. My impression of each woman’s beauty was based on their countenance and not on their skill with cover-up. As I began to see them outside of the gym it was a little freaky because they would look like a girl looks when she has put on her mother’s make-up. No one looked more beautiful with make-up on then when they were make-up free. I went home and washed my own face. I decided to face the world make-up free. It was hard.

I went without any make-up on until I could recognize myself in a mirror. Recognize my own beauty, as it were. It took more than a month. I still like a little mascara now and then and when I dress up fancy I like to have a little more fun with the paint.

There is nothing better at exposing our beauty than happiness and contentment. A close second is a delicious, healthy diet and lots of movement everyday.a collection of make-up

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