October 10, 2012

Express Yourself


I used to be too concerned about what other people thought of me and my choices. I wasn't true to myself. Marry a man that doesn't care one lick what anybody thinks and it is bound to rub off on you. It's a good thing. Mostly. I'm a slow learner so it took me awhile to embrace my weirdness. Now though? I'm clutching it for dear life with no signs of letting go. Shouldn't my home express my true self? Recently a friend pointed out to me that not everyone has an aqua plate that matches the map hanging above their fireplace. He meant it in the good way. I think. Either way, I like that. I'm guessing they also might not have an aqua arrow that they fashioned from packing materials.


I'm a unique and quirky girl, a bundle of contradictions. I retain a childlike sense of wonder. I love lists, quiet, my family and friends and making people laugh. I'm passionate. I make up songs about random things. Life excites me. I love learning new things. I love music. I'm shy. And fearless. I love color, detail, books and pretty things. I'm kind of a handful. I like people and things that are genuine. I love people up with my cooking. I dream of writing a book, learning how to make croissants from scratch, running a 5k, taking pretty pictures, learning to play cello, designing fabric, selling things I make, learning a foreign language, being strong and traveling. Shouldn't my home reflect all that I am?


This place is a to-do list a mile long, work in progress, but it reflects so well the people that live here. I decorated my old house so that other people would like it. Except for my studio. In that one room I followed my heart and it was all me. A funny thing happened. It was our families favorite room. A kernel of truth started to form in my heart. I knew when we got settled in our next house, I would treat the entire thing like I had my studio. It felt like a risk, like I was exposing a secret part of myself.  The payoff was a happy, cozy home that gives us joy. I love when other people like it too but it isn't what's important to me.


Today I'm happy to have this cottage that is uniquely ours and thankful that I had enough sense to realize that it's a lot more fun to be yourself than to be what other people think you should be. Momma was right, just because everyone else is doing it, doesn't mean I have to do it.

33 comments:

  1. Love your attitude and your home!

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  2. Love your attitude and your home!

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  3. A very positive outlook on life! If you can't be true to yourself, then you can't be true to anyone and you show it with your joy for life. I do love the way all the colors of the maps are reflected in your choice of sweet collectibles. You have such a talent for decorating and writing. I hope to read your book one day! xx

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  4. Well, I think your change in attitude shows. If I had to choose between your old house and your new house, I would choose the new house without even thinking about it. I love your style and that your home is personal to you.

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  5. Great attitude and I'm sure your family will continue to blossom in that environment.

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  6. um....I am love with those spoon handles!!

    i think your house is fab!

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  7. Many people {particularly females} live their entire life trying to meet other expectations rather than embracing their own. It seemed about the time I turned 40 I felt the same courage you feel - it's so freeing isn't it????
    xo~Jill

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  8. Your home is gorgeous, love it all. I think a home that is full of original touches is so much more interesting and fun than something filled with a bunch of matchy stuff:>)

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  9. You're not weird. You're cool There's a difference you know.
    I also love that the turquoise plate matches the map. And I always prefer homes that truly reflect the people who live in them, even if they don't look like magazine photos!

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  10. You sound a lot like me. I decorate the way I want to, in the style that suits our life. Everything has a meaning. And yes, I would have added an aqua plate, too! Though I must say, I love your arrow creation!

    I think part of getting older and more secure within yourself is knowing that pleasing others is nice, yes, but you have to please yourself, first.

    xoxo
    Claudia

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  11. Jen, where did you get the spoon handles? I think you mentioned them in another post, but I can't remember. I love them.

    xo
    Claudia

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  12. A beautiful, honest and true post. I love that you are embracing you. Your home is gorgeous. I much prefer individual character anyday. :)

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  13. I have a little of this over thinking things what would she do or will they like it. But I am trying to not let it take over and be more true to me as you so beautifully said
    Have a great day, Barbara

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  14. you're awesome!!
    i love that the favorite room is the one in which you followed your heart
    xoxo

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  15. I love where your at Jen. Some women go their entire life without knowing what you just put so eloquently. I am so happy for you.

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  16. So beautifully written sis. This post made me smile so big because I know how truly happy you are- you deserve it! And you may not love the sight of the kitchen right now but soon it will catch up with the rest of the prettiness!

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  17. i love your house! so glad you are doing your own thing, cause it is beautiful- just like you!

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  18. Perfect attitude! I try to live my life this was for sure. I liked reading about you. Great advice from your mom.

    ~Shanon

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  19. As I read your blog, I could see parts of myself in it. We are unique creatures aren't we? I have a home that visitors either love or hate. But it doesn't matter, I love it! And that is all that matters. Kit

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  20. " I'm kind of a handful." Haha! I love it. You are WONDERFUL.

    Also, did J put those vintage porch posts by the door? Or were they always there? LUV!

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  21. This post is fantastic! Isn't it "freeing" when you can express yourself in the way that YOU choose? I truly admire people who are genuine and have a little spunk...hmm, maybe those who are like myself? ;-)

    Your home is beautiful and creative and individualistic. Who wants a home that looks like someone else's? Anyone can order something from a catalog and make things matchy-matchy (ick!), but it takes a special touch and creativity to make a home uniquely YOURS.

    PS - thanks for your comment on my blog. No, I never have tried forcing bulbs inside. In fact, I've never tried planting bulbs outside either!

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  22. That is great that you have decided to make your home exactly what your family likes. I enjoy
    your studio so much!
    How is the kitchen reno coming?
    I had two bathrooms re-tiled this summer and it is a nice feeling to have it all done! But now I need
    new window treatments in the Master bedroom-(so I guess my house will never be done!) That is the next big project as I have 5 windows and 2 french doors to cover. Good luck with your kitchen
    reno!

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  23. i love your cottage. every inch of it. and although i don't personally know you...yet, i get a sense of all your wonderful qualities from your photos of your home and the amazing treasures in it!!!

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  24. this might be one of my favorite posts of yours. love your honesty...and love that you are genuine here.

    and i love all your maps, but especially your map of NC. :)

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  25. I have always thought your home was charming and inviting, and I love your choice of color. Keep up the good work, staying true to yourself is one of the most important things you can do. How is the kitchen coming along?

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  26. I absolutely love maps and they look wonderful over your mantel! Keeping being yourself!

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  27. I agree with you 100%!

    Over the years I have always felt frustrated decorating because with my constant budget of 0 I never felt like I had the opportunity to express myself in my home the way I felt was me. But the funny thing is, I learned that 'me' happens to mean 'making do' and 'making my own', and now I don't really care (mostly) that the budget doesn't exist. It forced me to become myself.

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  28. Amen and amen! You know you *can* design your own fabric via the website spoonflower? Kelly

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  29. I loved this post so much! I want to hang out with you. Creepy??? ;) your house is so lovely and perfectly you. I embraced this being me thing too in my home and just went kinda bonkers with color decorating and now it makes me happy everyday to live here!

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  30. Hi <3
    I found your blog today as I was looking for a picture and I found one where you had put a pionee in a fountain - I loved the serenity in that picture, then I started to read a little and told my husband to look around while he was having lunch. When I came back he said: her blog looks like one you could have made and have you seen her kitchen? So I looked up your kitchen and started to read... Yes, we are alike...
    I think...
    I live in Sweden - Lovely to have met you!
    Yours Jenny

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Thank you for taking the time to say hello today! I always love to hear what you have to say.