Happy Monday, my dears! How are you doing? To be honest, things have been a bit hectic Chez Lolalina these past few days. I’ve been feeling the pressure to get all of the presents shopped for, house readied for holiday guests, and oh yes, preparing to launch a new business. I have been burning my candle at both ends a little too often, and it is beginning to catch up with me. All three of us woke up with colds Sunday morning, boo. So I think it’s a perfect time to take a pause and consider what we can do at this time of year to slow down and keep our homes and bodies well. Are you with me?
Instead of running full speed through the season I want to s l o w it all down. There simply isn’t time to do everything we want to do, so why fight it? I’ve decided to pick and choose among my very favorite seasonal traditions and let a lot of other things go. That means: I will not be sending out Christmas cards this year, I am not battling lines at a mall to have Bixby sit on Santa’s lap (probably while crying, am I right?), and I am cutting myself some major slack in launching my e-decorating services. Instead, I choose to expend my energy doing the things that I know will make me happy: filling every surface in my home with candles and fairy lights, making a few simple nature-inspired projects that have caught my eye, and taking good care of myself with plenty of sleep, walks in the fresh air, gentle yoga, and homemade soup.
One thing I am not bumping off my agenda (once my cold has cleared up) is a little field trip to Ikea. Maybe visiting the megastore is not your cup of tea, but as long as I go with a plan (and arrive right when they open, to avoid crowds) I love it. I am planning on picking up a few Christmas gifts there and a few fun little things for the house as well – yay! Ikea is great for stocking up on party essentials, too. There is literally no better deal their glassware, extra plates, and candle holders, you can buy tons for practically the same price as paper. It’s a great feeling knowing you have a huge stack of white plates and a box of extra wine glasses in your cupboard – no more last-minute scrounging for dishes when guests arrive!
I am super inspired by the way some of my favorite bloggers (like Yvonne) put their personal stamp on Ikea pieces, blending them seamlessly into their own style. And I would love it if my home felt half as clean and refreshing as Yvonne’s or Jeanette’s! Cleared of clutter, the focus is on fresh greenery, cut flowers, and a few meaningful and well-loved decorations. More than a “look”, I think of this more as a lifestyle choice that reduces stress. Clean, open spaces make me feel better, and less stuff means less to maintain, and more time to appreciate what matters.
I am also making an effort this year to eat lightly at home, with lots of fresh vegetables – nature’s medicine! – water, herbal teas (peppermint alfalfa is my favorite feel-good tea), and whole grains. If you have trouble getting enough water or are tempted by sugary drinks at this time of year, I love the idea of making pitchers of “fancy water” with mint, lemon slices, or even berries dropped inside. So pretty, you couldn’t help but drink up! And if you are battling the seasonal ickies too, I highly recommend taking this organic black elderberry syrup at the first sign of a cold – it really helps! Oh, a little of this spruce bath wouldn’t hurt, either – it’s my favorite!
If you will be hosting any dinners this season, why not take a cue from Jeanette of Fryd + Design and embrace simplicity: tie a single leaf to each place setting, plunk an all-white bouquet in a vintage glass jar, and ta-da! Gorgeous. And remember that your guests will always, always prefer a relaxed and happy hostess to a perfectly clean home or fancy-schmancy decor, so cut yourself some slack.
Alright, friends, it’s time for me to take my own advice and go rest – I will see you back here tomorrow, okay? Until then, be well! xo Laura
(images: linked to individual sources above)