Archives for March 2009

Sweet Escapes: 6 Tips to Create The Life You’ve Always Dreamed Of

Sweet Escapes: 6 Tips to Create The Life You've Always Dreamed Of

I am like a sponge (a sea sponge?) these days for anything coastal. It embodies everything I love: a simple life, the promise of warm breezes on a summer day, fresh air filling my lungs, a lazy summer day with nothing to do but collect shells and nap in the sand, the sound of waves lapping at the shore … I feel so peaceful just thinking about it.

I love to escape!!

Since my new house is within view of a lake, I am completely looking forward to the summer. And I have a front porch (squee!!!) so I am thinking about ways to make it a place to hang out, sip some iced tea, catch a glimpse of the water and hear the boats going by.  Note, this is NOT my front porch. I don’t have THAT amazing of a view.

I am all about creating sweet escapes. For those of you who are new to my blog, Sweet Escapes were a regular feature of my blog for a long time but I am bringing them back now and then because I love them so.

Escapes are a part of living a beautiful life…escaping from the burdens of life, focusing on even the small joys you can find, dreaming, and being thankful for what you have right in front of you. I love living FULLY in the beautiful moments as often as possible.

While we can’t always escape to tropical islands or other far away places, we can escape right in our own little world. Maybe I am a little romantic about it, but that is just how I am. But I am sure you’ve figured that out about me already.

Sweet Escapes: 6 Tips to Create The Life You've Always Dreamed Of

6 Tips to Create The Life You’ve Always Dreamed Of

1. Shut down the computer!

I know I’ve talked about this many times, but I cannot stress this enough. Being online too much will ROB YOU of a beautiful life. Yes, I know we find inspiration in blogs. Yes, I know our best friends are here. I know we have email to check, bills to pay and things to Google. But, I’m just telling you straight out, there is more beauty and joy in the real world if you set your mind on finding it.

I know it is sometimes easier to just hang out online, but to really embrace a beautiful life, you need to shut down the computer as often as possible. I find I have to be offline several times a week for many hours in a row in order to feel balanced. I make rules for myself about days I have to take away from the computer.

This week I took day trips to Seattle with my son, to Gig Harbor with my girls, and to TJ Maxx on my days off! Bliss! Find YOUR balance and stick with it!

If you need some inspiration to take some time away, here are some links for you.

Disconnect Challenge 2008
Disconnect Challenge Revisited 2009

Alexandra Stoddard Interview (2008)

When Blogs & Life Collide (Notes from my talk at Blissdom 09)

My friend Kimba recently shared honestly about how unbalanced she felt with her time online and is encouraging others to join her in taking a day off away from the computer. Click here for more info on this challenge!

2. Create your dreams.

What kind of escape do you long for?

A day of no interruption for reading? A day at the spa? A relaxing day on the coast or a night at a bed and breakfast? Well what are you waiting for?! If you can’t make those dreams a reality, recreate them as best you can. Life is too short to miss out on what you want out of it. You can make beautiful things happen on a shoestring budget with a little planning, creativity and imagination.

Start planning something lovely for yourself. Yes, it takes time. That is the point. Spend time creating a beautiful life instead of wasting it on things that actually drain your energy.

3. Don’t waste time feeling depressed over what you can’t do in life.

Yes, life hands us lemons quite often. Life is hard and stinks sometimes. Instead of the “can’t dos” focus on what we CAN do!  Let yourself be delighted by small pleasures that ARE accessible to you. Make a list of little things that could bring beauty to your day. Incorporate as many of them as you can.

4. Let go of the guilt.

Why oh why do we feel such guilt over time spent pursuing the life we love? Creating a beautiful life is not frivolous or wasted time. Nor does it mean “expensive.” On the contrary! If you spend too much money on it, you defeat the purpose. The purpose is to bring peace and appreciation for what we have, not create an additional burden.

Don’t feel guilty for enjoying life! Work hard, yes, but then know when to say when. Work hard, play hard. It works and both are good (and necessary) in proper balance.

5. Strive for imperfection!

Ah, yes, coming from a recovering perfectionist, I can tell you that this is one of the best tips ever if you struggle with perfectionism. Allowing yourself to fall short on purpose, knowing when to say “when” and knowing when you have achieved “good enough” are important parts of living a beautiful life, especially for the perfectionists. Your life will thank you for striving for imperfect.

A world of attainable beauty is opened up when we give ourselves permission to accept imperfection.

6. Slow things down and embrace a simple life.

The world seems to spin faster every day. Only YOU can decide your pace. There are many options in life, but it would be far better to choose just a few and embrace them fully than to try to be wonder woman in everything and not enjoy anything. Enough said.

Enjoy your weekend!

Photos: {Sigh}. Coastal Living.

A Giveaway. Because I Love You.
And we need some fun.

A Giveaway. Because I Love You. <br>And we need some fun.

Greetings, blog friends! How is your week going? I’ve been entertaining guests all week and getting ready for MOVE #2! No, I am not moving to another house. I am STILL MOVING to the same house we moved to in January.

Am I crazy? Insane? Yes.

I feel like I am the only person in the world who takes about six months to move from one house to another. Why, oh why, do my moves always seem so complicated? Sigh. Maybe moving is always complicated.

The good news is that my house in Portland has a sale pending, with a back up offer (that in itself feels like a miracle in this stinky economy).  Happy dance! So that means that I am finally going to start moving the rest of my belongings. Of course, a house sale is never over until it is over, but I’m ready for my stuff! It will feel like Christmas around here — sofas, chairs, accessories, oh my!

A Giveaway. Because I Love You. <br>And we need some fun.
Architectural Digest
: {Somethings Gotta Give}

Meanwhile, I’m still dreaming up all sorts of ideas for what to do around my new house, so we’ll have some fun on the blog seeing things evolve! I’m going to be seeking your help too on some “issues” at my house. I’m getting my inspiration photos lined up and we’ll see what happens in the coming months!

Bear with me as I travel a few more times between Portland and Washington trying to get everything I own into one state. My brain is a little scattered too so hopefully I’ll be all in one piece soon.

A Giveaway. Because I Love You. <br>And we need some fun.

I thought you all might want a little fun for a Thursday. I know I would. It has been a rough week for some folks I know both in blogland and in real life, so it just seems like a day to mix things up and have a giveaway.

In fact, let’s have TWO giveaways today!

A Giveaway. Because I Love You. <br>And we need some fun.

As I mentioned last week, I’m a speaker at A Woman Inspired. I am planning on sharing the little adventure I have been on in the past year and half. I’m speaking along with Alli (Mrs. Fussypants) from Blissfully Domestic  (as a team) and we just want to chat with you all about how crazy life gets sometimes — especially lately with the stinky economy! We both had a wild year and a half (and it isn’t all over yet!).

This conference is just a chance to connect beyond these blogs and be real people with real life struggles, so I am looking forward to hanging out with you all. I’ll be in my jammies, sipping coffee and I hope you will be too!


Hooray! I have THREE FREE TICKETS to the A WOMAN INSPIRED CONFERENCE to give away! If you would like to win one, let me know in the comments. Three winners for the tickets will be chosen Friday night March 27 at 9PM PST and I’ll email the winners.

For any one who would like to attend the A Woman Inspired Conference April 6-9 (did you know it is ONLINE, so you don’t have to dress up all fancy or fly anywhere!?), good news! The cost of the conference has been reduced to $12.95 for one week! That is a sweet deal. But that deal is only good until April 1, so hurry and get your ticket!

A Giveaway. Because I Love You. <br>And we need some fun.A Giveaway. Because I Love You. <br>And we need some fun.

A Giveaway. Because I Love You. <br>And we need some fun.A Giveaway. Because I Love You. <br>And we need some fun.

A Giveaway. Because I Love You. <br>And we need some fun.A Giveaway. Because I Love You. <br>And we need some fun.


A Free Tabletop Frame of your choice from Off the Wall! (if I was a blog wizard I could figure out how to get all those frames to line up side by side in this post, but I’m tired of trying — I am no blog wizard).

My blogging friend Melissa from Off the Wall has generously offered a reader one of her super cute free tabletop frames! Pictured are a few of the options, click on over to Off The Wall to pick the one you’d want from the tabletop series and then come on back and leave a comment on this post letting me know which one you’d choose if you win! Thanks Melissa!!

If you are on twitter or a blog, spread the news and I’ll enter you a second time!

Winner will be chosen Friday night the 27th  9PM PST…so only two days to enter!

THIS CONTEST POST IS NOW CLOSED! Winners will be notified asap! Thanks!

I hope you all have a great day!
See you all here tomorrow for Beautiful Life Friday!
We need to keep on finding the beauty in what we have right in front of us!