I used to care…

Wait a minute!  Don’t go anywhere.  This is not a post of negativity or ramblings about my recent foul mood or personal struggles!  I am not going to tell you that I’ve given up caring about all the important things in my life!  I am actually talking about personal style today.  I used to care about wearing the right clothes and decorating my house the right way.  But now, well, it’s a little different.  And, hey, it’s Friday, let’s just relax and have some fun today.

Welcome to my new attitude about personal style!

Food For Thought  I spent pretty much my whole life caring about what other people wanted my style to be, so I liked what they liked…even if I didn’t really like it. This could apply to music, clothes, or even sports teams.  As young people we spend a lot of energy trying to fit in and be accepted into certain groups.  A lot of us force our style to fit in with that group.  As I’m raising a young lady right now, I’m trying to help her learn to embrace her own style, but I find myself questioning her choices sometimes, worried what her peers might say.  Fortunately, she’s smarter than her momma when it comes to these things.  She says, “Mom, if I like it, it shouldn’t matter if the other kids like it.”  Wait, isn’t that the advice I’m supposed to be giving her?  My pre-teen won’t wear jeans or skirts and nothing “fru-fru.”  She spends most every day in track pants and hoodies from the big brands in athletic wear.  On occasion, and for church, I can get her to wear leggings and a tunic.  And you know what?  She’s beautiful, no matter what she wears, and I know she’s more comfortable wearing the attire that she has picked.  She still runs around the playground and swings and plays in the grass.  I can relax knowing she’s dressed for it.  I can also appreciate the fact that she is more interested in being herself than impressing others with her appearance.  I can learn a few things from my kid!

It took me a lot longer to learn to embrace my own style than my daughter.  Only in the past few years have I decided that what I like is more important than what’s popular or “trending.”  When short shorts or strapless maxi dresses are the norm in summer, I’m wearing knee-length walking shorts and t-shirts.  When everyone’s wearing leggings and knee-high boots, I’m wearing jeans and my Sketchers that give TLC to my aching feet.  Everyone starts coloring their hair pink, purple, and blue, so I start to grow mine out to its original brown shade.  You see, I’m never going to be an “it” girl.  I couldn’t achieve this even when I was younger and in better shape.  I just don’t have that flair about me.  And yet there are some women out there that seem to scream STYLE, no matter what they’re wearing or what activity they’re enjoying.  I mean no offense or criticism to all the ladies out there who love to follow fashion and make-up trends.  If you enjoy shopping and looking for the latest styles, go for it, and you will look good doing it, too, no doubt.  It’s your “thing.”  No sarcasm or snarkiness…I just want to spend my days in comfort, now.   I get more excited picking out new hiking boots and backpacks.  But I figured out there’s more people out there like me than I thought.

Personal clothing style is not the only area I’ve changed, either.  My home decor has to fit my style, my family, and our comforts.  After all, we live here!  I used to be ashamed to have people over to my house, not because we don’t have a nice house, but it didn’t look like the pages of a magazine or a show on HGTV.  In my mind, everyone else’s homes were decorated perfectly, always tidy and organized, and constantly clean.  Yeah, sure they are, if they only sleep there!  So, even though I’d like to change all the oak trim and cabinets in our house and we could definitely use some updates and repairs, the decor is all me!  I like wood and stone and brick.  I like the shades of green, brown, and black we use in most of our decor choices.  I like that I change out decor with the holidays and seasons.  I like that I can pull items from Target, Hobby Lobby, and the dollar store to make a cute centerpiece or mantel.  I like that I have candles everywhere #hygge, including in the unusable fireplace.  I like that we don’t buy artwork, but frame the amazing photos my husband takes on our hiking trips.  I like that I keep some sentimental pieces around to remember family members.  I like that we keep fleece blankets on the couch during the winter #hygge.  I like that the decor items I seem to prefer have some how become very trendy.  I mean, have you seen all the mountain decor at Hobby Lobby recently?  I have to use restraint there, let me tell you!

It used to just be magazines.  Then we started getting television shows like What Not To Wear and Trading Spaces.  Now we have the blessing/curse of Pinterest.  The “experts” and our friends have no problem telling us what we should want to wear or how to decorate our homes.  But do you like it?  On my Pinterest boards, I only pin things that I truly like and would use myself.  If others aren’t interested, they won’t pin, but what I’ve found through the magical world of marketing and data analytics, is a lot of other people out there share my taste in casual clothing and country and cabin decor.  I have a feeling that, whatever your style preferences, you will find a niche, too.  And I don’t even care that I’m wearing ripped jeans and a chunky sweater while I tackle the topic of style!

Today’s Scripture  I read the short book of Haggai earlier this week.  The exiles were so busy worrying about their own houses, they neglected to rebuild God’s temple.  God was getting pretty frustrated with them!  When they finally refocused their priorities on building God’s “house” first, they received blessings.  This is a good reminder for me, that no matter the appearance of my house, the priority is that our home first be built on a spiritual foundation with God as the central focus.  Haggai is only a book of two chapters, 38 total verses.  It’s a quick read, so I recommend the entire book.  Here’s a few of the beginning verses.

Today’s DIY…or “Decorate it Yourself”…if it fits your style!  No recipe today, but I am going to show some pictures from my February decor.  In January I showed some of my transitional decor following Christmas.  I am certainly not an interior designer and I realize what I like is not for everyone, but I have some Valentine’s decor to share today.  February is an interesting time of year…we’re all tired of the cold, gray days but it’s definitely not spring yet.  It’s nice to put out a little Valentine decor that has a little red or pink “pop” to it in the midst of the dreary.

A couple of notes about this week and trying to clean and adjust our decor.  I was going to do a DIY craft project this week, but with my daughter’s birthday and extracurricular activities, I didn’t get that tackled.  You know, more of that real life, right?  The other thing, we had a big iron clock that we hang above our fireplace when we don’t have a Christmas wreath hanging there.  Can you believe when I swapped out the wreath for the clock I dropped the clock and shattered the glass in it?  So I had to spend time cleaning up that mess, digging glass shards out of my fingers (yes, I found the tiniest slivers that the vacuum seemed to miss!), and we have a big empty wall now above the fireplace.  I don’t know about you, but I have had A WEEK!  But let’s share a little love, today, with these Valentine decor ideas.

eclectic…tin love sign, iron lanterns and candle holders, wood hearts and black frames…a little bit country
“Aged” wood dining table with black chairs, glass bowl centerpiece currently filled with red, white, and brown decorative spheres
Entryway bench decorated with creams and beiges
Floating shelves and pictures fill this “high” wall that extends from our lowest level all the way to the top of our vaulted ceiling in the living room.
Most of our homes decor is focused on shades of green, brown, and black.