Authenticity: A Very Good Thing.


Authenticity: A Very Good Thing.

July 2007

So, being totally new to blogging and not really knowing the first thing about it, I decided to take a little tour today around other people’s blogs. Just to see what this is all about. I found quite by accident an old friend Alicia’s blog (hello Alicia!) and from there I was thrust into a world of fantastic blogs that were so wonderful and beautiful, and created by such immensely talented people I contemplated just hanging it all up, saying “Good-bye World!” and ending it all right now. “All” meaning the blog, of course.

I moped around for the rest of the afternoon, thinking to myself: How in the world would I ever be able to put together something so colorful, so insightful, so helpful & impressive to measure up to these talented people? I don’t sew my own aprons or design cute little baby clothes. I don’t make my own pasta. I hardly ever make tartlets (Ok, I never do). I don’t have time to take fabulous photos of my backyard parties and include step by step instructions (with photos) for my famous smoked pork shoulder. I’ve never even made smoked pork shoulder. We have Costco top sirloin burgers. With ketchup.

Authenticity: A Very Good Thing.


As I wandered through my house, with two 7-year-old boys running wildly and loudly through a sea of over-turned couch cushions, every blanket in the house now piled in my kitchen, and peanut butter sandwich crusts still on plates from lunchtime, it hit me. HELLO!? What are those little words right after my blog and business name? Refining Your Home for Authentic Living™. AUTHENTIC LIVING? Oh my gosh. I did it again. I profess authentic living and designing one’s home to be beautifully inspired by who you really are, yet I got distracted by beautiful & amazing things I just can’t do right now (or will never do) and felt a momentary twinge of “blog-and-life-envy.”

.Authenticity: A Very Good Thing.

I had to counsel myself back to my life. We all have different circumstances, different abilities, different likes and dislikes and different objectives. We are at different places in our life and in our blogs! But of course, that is what makes us unique. If we can just harness our uniqueness and create our life and home (and blogs!) to reflect who we REALLY are and what we want to accomplish, we would be so much happier!

We can be inspired by all these lovely things that we see, stretch ourselves to see new beauty, apply what is appropriate for us and just enjoy that other people have Martha Stewart all covered in the creative department. We don’t have to be Martha (or Alicia, or any of the other amazing women out there) to be happy, to have beautiful homes or to have something to offer the world. Beauty and wisdom can come from our reality.

My reality is children ranging from ages 7 to 19 and all their friends running happily through my hallways and eating our food non-stop, parents who are living with us while they are remodeling their home, a husband who is a great help in the home but would really rather watch a movie than make hand-made paper, running my own decorating consulting business, a 4700 square foot 1930s fixer-upper on a limited budget (yes, I know, what was I thinking!) and a love for a beautiful home. Somehow I have to put all that reality in a blender, mix it up with some inspiration from other talented people, and create something beautiful for my own happiness and for my family and friends’ well-being. That is creating an authentically beautiful life & home (or blog!). And that’s a good thing. :-)


Self Improvement through Home Improvement

“We shape our buildings and our buildings shape us.” Winston Churchill

We talk a lot these days about wanting our homes to reflect our personalities. For instance, if you like to travel, perhaps you put artifacts from your travels on your coffee table. But have you ever thought on a deeper level about how your home in return can shape and define you?

I was watching The Today Show and they were featuring Charleston, South Carolina. Their story mentioned the idea that the stately beautiful homes and buildings in that area have shaped them and defined them as people–gracious and refined.

Remember in “Gone with the Wind,” when Rhett Butler turns and faces Scarlett O’Hara and says, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn…”? While that is the part everyone remembers, read the rest of the quote: “I’m going back to Charleston where there is still a little grace and civility left in the world.”

That is so great. It really speaks to why it is so important to our well-being and success in life to create lovely homes that are authentic representations of ourselves–not just flashing wealth or material things, but showing our character and our values. While we are creating a beautiful place to live, we are also shaping ourselves into the very person we want to be in our fullest potential. We take the seed of what we are and what we want to become and by nurturing it in our surroundings it actually comes to be.

What do you think? Do you think by working on your home you can actually shape your life? Something to think about!