...inspired by the still life painting of the old masters full of dramatic colors and gorgeous, light textures.  The photography for this project was so lovely, light and airy; I just fell in love with the finished images! 

Moira Design Studio | Design House of Moira

the invitation for this suite included taupe watercolor with gold foil.  the invitation was topped with a crested monogram and surrounded by a border.  I loved combining the contemporary watercolor with the moody colors.  The invitation was layered with a deckled edge velum with the "ever mine" quote on it.  The entire suite was wrapped in a raw edged linen with a matching monogram.

Moira Design Studio | Design House of Moira
Moira Design Studio | Design House of Moira
Moira Design Studio | Design House of Moira

Shot by the lovely Cadence Kennedy

Moira Design Studio | Design House of Moira

Vendors: Photography: Natalie Franke // Styling: Kruse & Vieira Events // Florals: Intrigue Designs // Invite Suite & Paper Goods & lettering for table: Design House Of Moira // Calligraphy: Poppy & Scooter // Linens: BBJ Linens // Rentals: Select Event Group // Cake: Wildflour Fine Baking Co.// Welcome Basket: Marigold & Grey // Hair & Makeup: Behind The Veil // Gown: Kate McDonald Bridal // Tux: The Black Tux

If you've ever had the pleasure of checking out the work of Natalie Franke, you're in for a serious pleasure!  I worked with her, along side Kruse and Vieira Events for the gorgeous two-day Bayside Workshop in Queenstown, Maryland.  The swoon worthy photographs were featured on Grey Likes Wedding last week!  Here are the invitations I create for the workshop, with more lovely pictures to follow!

Moira Design Studio | Design House of Moira
Moira Design Studio | Design House of Moira
Moira Design Studio | Design House of Moira
Moira Design Studio | Design House of Moira
Moira Design Studio

Yields one cocktail

2 oz top shelf gin
1-2 tangerine peels
1⁄2 oz simple syrup
1⁄2 oz lemon juice
1oz soda

Instructions: Muddle tangerine peels and simple syrup in flat-surfaced glass. Add gin, lemon juice, and top with soda. Serve on the rocks.

Moira Design Studio | Flutter Magazine

Enjoy a free printable of the Citrus Smash cocktail here!


Michelle Leo of Michelle Leo Events is one of the amazing leaders in our industry, so when she approached me to create a suite for her bride, Sara, I was honored!  The suite we created is one of my all time favorites (I know I say that a lot, but how could I possibly pick a true favorite?!). 

We wanted to keep the suite classic, elegant, and interesting with some texture and gold.  The suite was printed in gold foil on 220lb stock in a pale ivory and a textured aubergine.  The main invitation was adorned with antique lace appliqued in the corners, each hand cut from a larger lace piece (on the plus side, it didn't take nearly as long as I thought it would!).  The envelopes were both lined with pale fall leaves and the suite was tied up with thin velvet ribbon.  The aubergine envelopes were then addressed in flourished gold, and into the post they went! 

The overall wedding was simply spectacular and it was such a joy to work with such an amazing team!


For the menus, we kept with the moody aubergine stock - we loved the way the color stood out against the taupe linens.  The main lettering was all done by hand in calligraphy, then mixed with a classic and clean block type.  The place cards continued the moody color scheme with each guests name in flourished gold ink.

Moira Design Studio | Michelle Leo Events | Martha Stewart Weddings

Photography: Alixann Loosle Photography

Location: High Star Ranch

Event Planning: Michelle Leo Events

Catering: Culinary Crafts 

Flowers: Urban Chateau Floral 

Videography: Chris McClain 

Officiant: Rev. Kamrin Carver 

Stationery and Calligraphy: Moira Designs  

Cake: One Sweet Slice  

Music: Joe Muscolino Band  

Rentals: Diamond Rental

Hair and Makeup: Studio Enizio 

The second horoscope project I had the pleasure of pairing with Flutter Magazine on was the Taurus horoscope.

APRIL 20 — MAY 20: You love to keep things simple, but you also enjoy the luxuriousness of fine items. Splurge on a simple custom-made lace dress on your special day. Add elements of nature into your décor by using fruits for fun coloring. With earth being your zodiac element, utilize woods for texture to compliment the citrus on your tables. Gift your husband a leather embossed wallet on your wedding day (Will Leather Goods has a great selection!). He will carry it with him everywhere he goes. Set your sights on Costa Rica for an unforgettable honeymoon adventure.

Moira Design Studio | Flutter Magazine

As seen in Flutter Magazine, Issue No. 6

Photography: KT Merry | Design + Styling: Joy Proctor | Floral Design: Amy Osaba Events | Hair + Makeup: LunaBella Makeup and Hair | Jewelry: Sofia Kaman | Furniture: Found Vintage Rentals | Commissioned Cream Backdrop: Katherine Bell of The Habitat Factory | Cocktails + Recipes: Melissa Piña of Soiree Center | Tableware + China: Small Masterpiece | Horoscopes: Briana Westmacott | Cake: Enjoy Cupcakes | Dress: Anne Barge, 617 via Lovely Bride | Invitation Suite: Design House of Moira

It was such a pleasure to work with Flutter Magazine on their 6th issue.  We took each horoscope and designed a tablescape around the traits associated with each sign.  Flutter Magazine complied an amazing group of designers and photographer to bring the shoot to life.

OCTOBER 23 — NOVEMBER 21: We are drawn to you, Scorpio bride. You are magnetic and irresistible. Be sure to emphasize your fiery spirit with bright colors on your tables and invitations. Utilize your lucky gem, the Garnet, to add a pop of color to your own attire. Peonies draped on your cake will make your guests gasp. The lush peony can spice up your bridesmaids bouquets too. Be sure to include elements of lace in your veil and dress. We suggest you jet off to Spain for your honeymoon.

Moira Design Studio

As seen in Flutter Magazine, Issue No. 6

Photography: KT Merry | Design + Styling: Joy Proctor | Floral Design: Amy Osaba Events | Hair + Makeup: LunaBella Makeup and Hair | Jewelry: Sofia Kaman | Furniture: Found Vintage Rentals | Commissioned Cream Backdrop: Katherine Bell of The Habitat Factory | Cocktails + Recipes: Melissa Piña of Soiree Center | Tableware + China: Small Masterpiece | Horoscopes: Briana Westmacott | Cake: M Cakes Sweets | Dress: Rue De Seine, Sadi via Lovely Bride | Invitation Suite: Design House of Moira

It's always such a pleasure to work with amazing event designers, so when Simone from Soirees by Simone reached out to me, I couldn't want to get started.  Her lovely bride, Kristin, was getting married at Holman Ranch in Carmel Ranch, California.  We knew that we wanted to tie in the venue itself, as well as the floral types that will be used in her reception decor and bouquet. 

We began with several sketches of how the artwork would fall to give me some guidance, and once the sketches were finished, I moved on to the artwork and invitations proofs. 

Moira Design Studio

For this suite, we are combining letterpress and flatprint, digitally printing the artwork and then pressing the lettering over it.  All the envelopes have been addressed in matching taupe ink and the suite is almost ready for the mail!

Moira Design Studio

i have so many dear friends who fall under the aries sign, so i decided to do a free printable in honor of their existence this month!  Clothed in elegance and dripping in sarcasm, please enjoy a timeless coffee quote!


download it here.


moira design studio - aries free printable
AuthorVictoria Rothwell

Emma Wyatt brought me in recently to work on an English Garden shoot she was working on with Wedding Sparrow.  From Emma: The beautiful mint and gold tones and lavish ambiance of Fetcham Park’s Queen Anne Mansion served as inspiration for this gorgeous English garden wedding shoot, styled by the lovely Wedding Sparrow and Emma Wyatt. A light and airy pastel color palette, exquisite lace gowns by David Fielden from Exquisite Bridal Couture, and whimsical, elegant stationery from Moira Design Studio echo the beauty of the Surrey countryside. Bo Boutique Flowers created centerpieces of pale pink, cream, and yellow dahlias, astilbe, garden roses, and eucalyptus to complement the warm and sunny ballroom. A four-tiered Rosalind Miller cake is a charming nod to stacked vintage hatboxes, and a classic Bentley bedecked with astilbe, eucalyptus, and blackberries served as the get-away car.

Moira Design Studio

Photography and Styling – Emma Wyatt Photography | Venue – Queen Anne Mansion at Fetcham Park | Planning and Styling – Wedding Sparrow | Floral – Bo Boutique Flowers | Stationery and Calligraphy – Moira Design Studio | Bakery – Rosalind Miller Wedding Cakes | Gown – David Fielden from Exquisite Bridal Couture | Hair Stylist – Bella Bridal Hair | Makeup Artist – Samantha Davis Make Up | Vintage Car – The Classic And Vintage Car Company

AuthorVictoria Rothwell

Together with Marcie Meredith Photography, Kelly Perry of Philosophy Flowers, Gossamer and the Graylyn Estate we created a gorgeous and airy shoot that was featured on Once Wed!  Check out the entire post here!

Kelly designed the shoot after being inspired by a cast iron urn during a walk in the garden.  It reminded her of a couple who's love is warm, classic and strong, like the rust on iron.  She used the colors of the urn and tied them into the shoot, allowing bits of rust to run through the design.  For stationery, we wanted to keep things classic and simple, but very personal. 

AuthorVictoria Rothwell

Together with Marcie Meredith Photography, Kelly Perry of Philosophy Flowers, Gossamer and the Graylyn Estate we created a gorgeous and airy shoot that was featured on Once Wed today!  Check out more of the shoot here, or stay posted for the full shoot here!

Moira Design Studio

I had the privlege to work with another great team of wedding professionals on this lovely fall wedding shoot designed by Reverie Supply.  From Reverie: We loved the idea of a free spirited bride that was serene and reflective at heart. Our vision was to create a dreamy yet moody bridal inspiration using major colors from fall. The shoot began in the morning when the sun was hitting the leaves just right and before it was fully shining. We wished to keep the light’s ambiance with a slight cloud of darkness. The location of the shoot was at the Great Falls in Maryland. The park was surrounded by high cliffs, rushing water, miles and miles of trees, shells, and broken down driftwoods. It was the perfect backdrop to design our moody and surreal shoot. Against this background, we were able to embody the colors of fall through White Magnolia’s bouquet design and our bride’s lip color: rich burgundy, plum, dark greens, pops of mustard and hints of robin blue.” - See more at: http://magnoliarouge.com/moody-bridal-shoot-with-vibrant-fall-tones/#sthash.lqxdBayM.dpuf

burgundy | moody | gold | fall | calligraphy | drama


AuthorVictoria Rothwell

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I'd like to introduce this years free printable for Thanksgiving.  I've been keeping things on the more simple side as far as designs go, so this simple and pretty pen and ink is perfect.  You can download it for free through the studio shoppe.  Happy downloading! 


AuthorVictoria Rothwell

So in true Stop the Glorification fashion, I haven't written in a while.  Why, you ask?  I got busy.  Haha, I actually hadn't realized it had been so long!  I'm still working on instilling the new habit of writing more consistently.

Today I'm going to talk a bit about resolutions.  The end of the year is nearing, and it's time to write my list.

I am a HUGE fan of New Year's Resolutions.  There is a an area in the notes on my phone labeled NYR...a place where I put notes for self improvements, changes, desires, or goals.  Every year, starting in about October to organize the notes I've made for myself throughout the year, I do an evaluation of things...a personal check up, so to speak.  I take a look at myself, the year that has just passed, things I had worked on the year prior, and so on, and I make a list.  It could contain things that didn't get quite worked on the past year, updates on past resolutions, revisions, new items, and so on.  Personally, I really enjoy these lists.  I write them down every year so I can track year to year the things I've worked on. 


Stop the Glorification of Busy

Lets talk about resolutions for a second here.  There are a few very important guidelines to adhere to, and these are very crucial.   I'll keep the list to just a few:

1.  Choose resolutions that are actually attainable.  as humans, we like to accomplish things and we get discouraged and deflated if we don't.  So why would we place an expectation on ourselves that will cause us to let ourselves down?  Let's set ourselves up for success, not self-inflicted disappointment.  This means don't set a goat to run a marathon in the coming year if you haven't laced up a pair of trainers since high school.  Start realistically and make a goat to run once a week for the first 4 months, and twice a week after that.  You get the idea.

2. Don't make grand, sweeping resolutions.  Avoid making goals like, "become a more fabulous person!!!!"  because that won't happen.  How do you define "fabulous?"  Start there.  If being fabulous always looking your best?  Then make a goal to do your hair more often, or get manicures more regularly, or spend a little bit more effort shopping for yourself.  Does it mean putting yourself out there more?  Not being so shy?  So make a resolution to join a book club or other small gathering that isn't going to over intimidate you.  Make specific goals, not grand ones.

3.  Choose resolutions that are big, but add small ones as well.  Give yourself a variety.  Again, we like to feel successful, like we've accomplished something, so give yourself some small ones.  A few years ago I resolved to stop saying "huh?" in conversations and switch it with either, "I'm sorry?" or "I beg your pardon?" when I didn't hear what someone said.  I really like choosing small things in my own daily speech to work on - they're small, attainable and cause me to place more focus on the small daily happenings.  Bringing attention to a bad habit or something you would like to change really makes you painfully aware of how often you do it!  I realized in making this effort, I really just should listen better instead of saying huh? all the time.  

4.  Share your goals, or at least write them down.  Put them somewhere you have quick access to so you can revisit them every so often.  If you have someone in you're life that you're close enough with (which we hopefully all do), share them with that person.  Holding yourself accountable only goes so far, but when you tell someone else it makes it much more difficult to avoid!  

A big one that I almost always have on my list and revisit frequently is a quote my mom said to me a few years back - I believe it actually initially came from my aunt.


never hurry

never worry

don't explain


don't complain


..this idea has created a mantra for me and is a great list to live by. 

Never hurry:  This used to be a big one for me.  I tend to be someone who moves very quickly, be it walking through a store, typing, cooking, getting dressed, anything.  I just tend to be very quick, but it got to the point where I always felt like I was racing something or was always in a bit of a huff.  On top of that I ABSOLUTELY HATE being late, which made it worse.  I worked really hard on it for about 6 months to really be able to let go of that terrorizing feeling of feeling rushed all the time.  I drove slower, gave myself more time to accomplish tasks, and trained myself to enjoy things like traffic and long showers. Turns out, I didn't really slow down per se, but I stopped feeling like I needed to rush everywhere.  Learning this has really helped me learn to let go in so many other aspects of my life, as well.  

Never worry:  This one is difficult for all of us, but the idea of not allowing our minds to worry about things we can not fix, change or alter is a very heavy load off our everyday minds.  Worrying accomplished absolutely nothing and is a waste of imagination.  

Don't explain:  Once I started watching out for this in my daily life, I realized how often I do it.  The more aware of it I became, the more I realized how making excuses just makes us look foolish.  As an explanation tumbled out of my mouth, I started to feel like a naughty child trying to get myself out of trouble.  If you screw up, run late, burn dinner, or fall short of "perfect" in any other way, own it, don't excuse it.  If you show up late, don't blame traffic, apologize (hopefully if you're terribly late, you called ahead, because we do have manners after all).  If things aren't perfect, just accept it, don't do the excuse dance.  Miss a deadline at work?  Either create better work habits so you don't feel like you have to make excuses, or own up to, admit it, move on and finish the task.  

...and lastly, don't complain:  this is another one we all do far too often.  We complain about the weather, our oooooh soooooooo busy lives, our families, children, clothing choices, food, music, cars...I mean, what do we NOT complain about??  Pay attention to how much you actually do this, you'll be shocked.  I'm talking about any type of complaint here, not just ones you formally write to the editor about.  I mean little things like the morning grumble of whyyyyyyy are there always shoes all over the floor??  I don't have anything to wear!!!  and so on.  Remove the complaints...be aware of them before they tumble out of your mouth, consider whether or not it's a necessary statement to make (Does it help someone in some way? Is it productive or encouraging?), does it add something positive to your own day?  Begin with being aware of them, then try either not saying them at all, or saying something productive or positive instead.  


I've had quite a bit of change throughout this last  year, so my NYR list is all over the place a really unorganized.  One item will certainly be to spend more time on my blog!   I'm still putting my list together and will share it when it's finished.  I'll have the free printable for never hurry... up next week for you! 

AuthorVictoria Rothwell

To accompany the second post in my blog series, I've added a free printable for your printing and framing pleasure...A lovely little reminder to find the marvelous in the mundane.  I would love for you to print, frame and enjoy these on your wall as a reminder to slow down once in a while.  Feel free to download to your hearts content here.

AuthorVictoria Rothwell

Creativity is piercing the mundane to find something marvelous.


I've been playing around for a while with the idea of writing something along the lines of this series.  The idea originated with an entire brand concept, with a brand name, blog name, themes, ideas, dreamed-up and fantasized book deals, the works.  I wanted to live a curated life; a life we set out and establish for ourselves, not one we complacently mosey through and I wanted to share that experience with others.  It was an idea of creating a beautiful life by surrounding ourselves with beauty that we create, establish and curate.  I don't mean the "beauty" that has a price tag attached to it and a tag line of keeping up with the most common of American surnames; the perfect family with 2.5 kids and money to roll around in.  I also don't mean the Pinterest "beauty" or same beauty as everyone else.  I mean an appreciation for the beauty we walk through every day without so much as a notice - that type of beauty manifests differently for all of us.  Going further than that, I wanted to strive to see that beauty where others aren't able to and by learning and growing in this, I wanted to be able to create a more balanced life not only as a woman and individual, but as a business owner and entrepreneur. 

Moira Design Studio - STGOB

It was a great idea and concept that I felt very passionately about.  There were notions of living every day creatively, rather that just the pinterest Sunday where you created a less than stellar holiday wreath (#nailedit) and your creative bone dissolves before the hot glue was even dry.  I'm not talking about that type of creativity.  I'm referring to the creativity that makes us yearn for more; crave it, even.  It comes in different forms, can't be picked up at Michael's, and should be different for each of us.  This type of creativity and beauty contains the power to fulfill us in ways we didn't even realize we were missing out on. 

However, the other huge part of this brilliant world view of mine was not only to live a life of purpose, but more importantly, living one of imperfections.  This is a strange concept for most of us because the Stepford Brainwashing Association disagrees.  Today's blog post is more for us as women that necessarily business owners and is about finding that balance between striving for the unattainable perfection with the relief we will find when we realize that we won't reach it as well as learning to appreciate the more simple beauties in our world and allowing that appreciation fulfill the gaps that are left by our own imperfections. 

Let's step back and think about this for a moment:

Our generation is the first of its kind.  We see the struggles our mothers endured, we saw what our grandmothers' definition of perfection was, and we want our own.  We want to have ALL of it.  Not just the career, education, family, and husband, but we want the perfect picket fence as well.  We are perfect mothers, clean and tidy, we bake cookies for bake sales, our kids are clean and healthy, our husbands are well rested and perky,  our homes are well appointed and welcoming, we are educated, successful, you could eat off every flat surface in our house, our Halloween costumes are amazing and always handmade, our dinners are all from scratch, and on top of all that, our hair is perfect and there isn't a wrinkle in sight on our firm and porcelain skin.   

Yeah right. 

Those are all the things we are supposed to be.  They are all imposed on us by us, which makes it even worse!  Our houses are always a little messy, kids are never totally clean until teenage girls reach about 10 and they start to care (boys are NEVER clean, no matter how old they are), sometimes sandwiches make for a great dinner option, and homemade Halloween costumes??  Isn't that what Target is for?  

We have collectively managed to create this goal of perfection that is beyond attainability.  No one is that perfect, and if they are, they're big fat liars.  You know how I know that?  I was one of them.  Perfect house, perfect hair, perfect clothes, perfect marriage, two BMWs in the drive way, and a fake smile plastered on my face for so long I forgot what a real smile was or what to do with it.  When my marriage and essentially my life fell apart, about 90% of the people in my life were SHOCKED!!  I got a lot of, "waaait, whaaaaa, whoooooo, huuuuuu??? buuuuttt???!!"  just utter confusion.   I had perfected this outward appearance of always maintaining the illusion of perfection that no one would have guessed what was going on behind the curtain.  I wanted that perfect life - to appear to always have it all together, always know how to behave, what to wear, and so on.  Going through a divorce (even typing that word is still difficult), I felt like a hypocrite.  I had all these ideas of living a life of beauty and I felt that after separating from my husband and my "perfect" life, moving across the country and starting over, I had no right to speak of such things.  I had no place encouraging others to maintain their relationships when I wasn't able to save my own (good lord this is difficult to write about).  One day it dawned on me - my idea of imperfections also applied to myself.  I'm allowed to not be perfect.  (this is going to deviate a tad for just a sec - I feel like you need to know a little background, but more importantly, I need to say it)

Behind the scenes,  I had been miserable and incredibly lonely.  It lead to me developing this life theory of living a curated life - not a perfect life, a curated one.  A life that I carefully selected, chose each ingredient, and even reveled in the imperfections.  In many ways, I walked what I preached, but I realized when staring at the crowd of very confused faces upon the dissolution of my marriage, that I was living that curated life all by myself.  I forgot to share it with anyone else and forgot to live it in public. I lived my entire life very much entirely alone.  It was like I was conducing dress rehearsals that I wasn't ready to share yet, because I wasn't ready to admit yet how imperfect I really was.  Even now as I write this, it makes me very uncomfortable.  

I have been really good about reveling in the imperfections personally and within my own character for a while, so now it's time to do them openly.  A few years ago, I found myself getting overly excited about weird things (like "bad" weather).  I would swoon over road side flowers that were actually weeds and big gusts of wind.  I know now that it was a compensation for how unhappy I was, but I love the habit it created.  I learned to love what most people view as "inconveniences."  It's the idea of, "can't beat em, join em."  If something can't be helped, changed or in any other way made better without ripping out ones own perfect locks, they why fight it??  If the weather is going to be horrible, buy a pretty scarf, or better yet, knit one yourself (not a perfect knit, or a difficult one.  Heck, forget the pearls altogether and just knit the whole darn thing.  Why?  Because it's cutting a corner and you're allowed to do that).   It's the imperfections in life that build who we are, define our character and make us individuals.  Our lives, literally, without these would be Stepford.  So why do we fight them?   In learning how to balance my life, my happiness, my business and my own character, I learned a few things and have been able to revive these good habits even through a rather rocky last few years.  These are a few things I have embraced so that even on a really bad day, I can take a slightly Pollyanna approach and actually mean it.

This is a two-pronged idea:  

1.  if you can't change it, might as well join it rather than spending the energy you could be using to perfect your blowout talents on something that you will never achieve (or you could just go to the dry bar and they'll blow out your hair for you.  $50 is still cheaper than getting your hair tangled around a round hair brush.  Admit it, we've all done it).  Here are some examples:

bad weather:  I own 8 umbrellas, four pairs of rain boots, two trench coats, and more scarves than any one person needs.  I owned them before I moved to the east coast.  Remember people, I lived in San Diego.  These items got used twice a year, tops.  When i first moved here, I didn't have to buy anything clothing wise for the chilly winter weather (except maybe the vintage fur coat I found and bought) to keep warm in the nasty winter we had last year.  I loved foul weather because I got to wear different outfits, so I was totally prepared.   Cant beat em, join em.  If your hair looks terrible when it rains, find a super cute cloche hat that everyone lusts over (or learn some really awesome french braiding skills or a super basic chignon).  We somehow wear the badge of misery and complaint like one of honor. "ahhhhh, my hair frizzes so bad in this weather!!" or "oh, this rain is ruining my good shoes!"  Our culture has made it easier to complain than enjoy.  I know it's a little Pollyanna, but try it!  Pick up those super cute rain boots at Target!

traffic:  first of all, leave earlier.   You know there is going to be traffic, so stop fighting it and leave earlier.  Secondly, enjoy the ride.  You're stuck there anyhow, so you might as well.  Load you iTunes up with the songs you would love to sing at the top of your lungs in the shower, but resist because you know you sound like a turkey being throttled and not only can your husband hear you, but so can all your neighbors.  Well, not in your car they can't!!  Learn a new language, listen to a good book, sing at the top of your lungs...the possibilities of things to do while stuck in inevitable traffic is as endless as the 405 in rush hour.  Can't beat em, join em. 

messy home:  first of all, stop thinking that your home has to be clean.  It doesn't.  It's an urban myth.  I know when you go over to your girlfriend so-and-so's house and her kitchen is all spotless and shinny, it probably wasn't like that two hours before you walked in the door (and if it was and always is, she spends 90% of her free time cleaning while you go have wine with the girls after work and has an unbalanced life, which is not what we're all about here).  Homes are meant to be lived in!  The homes I find the most welcoming are the homes that feel loved. That doesn't mean organization isn't a must, but if you have young kids, it's always going to be a little nuts.  Get organized, not spotless.  Is your entryway always a complete cluster?  Then create a solution.  Let your home be lived in because it is, in fact, where you live.  These days, there usually isn't someone at home full time to cook and clean and if there is someone home all the time, it's because we work from home!  (ugh, working from home and the guilt of a messy house is a totally different topic).  This is where we all need to learn to cut some serious corners.  Decide what hills to die on, and die on only those.  The whole house doesn't need to be spotless at once, make better habits of putting things away as you use them, do dishes when the meal is over (rather than three days later).  Between cutting some corners (think dryer rather than iron), knowing what hills to die on (think clean toilets rather than spotless baseboards), and creating good habits (putting things away as we go), we will eventually release the idea of the "perfect" clean house.  That "perfect" is defined differently by everyone, decide what your OWN definition of that is.  

Overall idea:  If it's already guaranteed to suck, let's make it suck less.  Create your own definition of "perfect" and combine it can't beat em, join em.   

Step two of this two pronged approach:  enjoy the processes/chores/habits you already have in place.  Not only should we all accept the imperfections a little bit more, but we should actually try and enjoy the things we do obligatorily or habitually anyhow.  Why?  Because we can.  

simple things:  

you drink coffee every morning:  you simply have to.  can not function without.  may actually die without (I've been watching too much Gilmore Girls #nosuchthing).  Ok, well then rather than chugging your 32oz of black coffee as you hop out the door on one foot, struggling to get the other shoe on, while balancing your handbag, coat, mug and sanity, how about you get up 15 minutes earlier, spend some quite time and make yourself a french press latte.  Enjoy the process, it's already there, so you might as well revel in it.  Why?  Because you deserve it.  

shower time:  again, you already have to do it, so you might as well enjoy it.   Pick up a new bottle of body wash, light 5 or 6 candles and take a shower in the near dark.  Trust me, it's amazing.  It will be your favorite part of the day.   Or even better, bring that latte into the shower with you!  I mean, what do you think those little shower shelves are for??  It even counts as knocking out two items in the morning routine at the same time!  Then, if you have children, immediately go to amazon and order this book and read it to your children repeatedly.  That way, when mommy says she just needs five minutes peace, your kids know exactly what you mean.  It's like secret mommy/daughter code (or it was in my family when my wise mother read that book to us as kids).  Smart woman, my mother.  

bedtime routine:  J and I were just talking about this the other night - we don't really like our nighttime routine.  We do the whole bathroom/brush teeth/get bed ready thing, and then we both get on our phones/laptops.  No TV, no phones, no laptops before bed (not to mention all the studies about blue light affecting our sleeping patterns).  Read a book if you have to, but just enjoy some quite time especially if you're laying next to another human that you're supposed to love (go on, roll over to them...remember them?  they don't have an apple symbol stamped on their forehead so you may have forgotten).  If you're tucked into that cozy bed by yourself, do something nice for yourself and spend some quite time doing something you enjoy.  In the crazy worlds we have created for ourselves, there is very little quite time.  Revisit and use this quite time more wisely, you're email will be there in the morning, I promise.   Get in the habit of adding this new idea to your nighttime routine - a new perfume or a specific scent - check out Anthro's candles like this one or a room spray like this one - and use it before bed every night.  The human brain is an amazing thing, and associating scent with an action is an amazing tool.  Light that candle, go about your nightly routine, hop into bed, talk about your day a bit, read for a few minutes, blow out the candle and go to sleep.  That scent alone will start to calm you down, slow down your brain, and make something wonderful out of the mundane task of going to bed.  

This is a touchy topic for those of us in a relationship with a work-a-holic (or someone that is self employed; those things are pretty much the same thing).  We will talk so much about this later, but just as a nice reminder now, work doesn't belong in bed.  Ever.  Put the email down.  

Stop the Glorification of Busy is also an idea about balance.  Yes, our lives are crazy, we have a million things going on at once, but it is our own responsibility to figure out that balance.  Let's not just go through our daily routines with blinders on, let's stop and take a look and how and what we're doing.  Is there a more enjoyable way of doing it?  Can we make it suck less? Is it really even necessary?  Let's make a little bit more effort to enjoy the habits we do have as well.   

Can't beat em, join em.  Create your own definition of "perfect."  Make something special out of the mundane.  

AuthorVictoria Rothwell