Some Words of Advice From Ms. Monroe

Love this. Be happy. Be beautiful.

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A Fresh-cut Happy Project

I’m starting “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin – for happy book info, hop over to here. I’m already finding a huge difference in my outlook on life, love, and design. (I put a happy color on that title! and I shortened it quite a bit!) To clarify, I’m not miserable or depressed by any means. I really am mostly happy. Yet, as I settle into my late 20’s, I’m feeling the whole “quarter life crisis” (who am I kidding? it’s really not that bad). I’m in that in-between stage where I know enough to know I’m destined for wonderful achievements, but not enough to achieve them by 30. Who wants to do that anyway?! I’m lookin’ at you Mark Zuckerberg. Ha. Rock on. This blog is scheduled to post over on my wall later… Digression. Add that to the list below.

Some words to describe where I am (I can’t believe I’m bolding this!): restless, hopeful, sometimes overwhelmed, scattered, lacking focus, disorganized, cluttered, rushed, inadequate, hasty, moody, busy, chatty, clumsy, totally nerdy, way vulnerable (ahoy, this post is my first step in making a change so I’m a little queasy! in a good way!). <cringe> <boo-hoo> <laughs at self>

Some words to describe where I’d like to be (bold’s okay here!): restful, energized, motivated, accomplished, reliable, thorough, organized, aware, peaceful, confident, focused, unconditionally loving, forgiven/forgiving, respected (by myself, especially), helpful, refreshed, fit, fulfilled, happy.

I heard that some chapter in the first half of the book talks about organizing your belongings and home. Moreover, I heard that this particular chapter will make one want to drop said book and dive into his or her junk drawer and not come out for days until everything is in order. With this in mind, I jump-started my own Happiness Project by tornado-ing my way through both dressers and closets in our bedroom so I wouldn’t interrupt my reading sesh. Next, I went for the junk drawer but sadly lost steam. It was 7pm on a Saturday. A girl’s gotta rest! It was glorious. I felt SO liberated. Clarified. Zen. I’m talking deep clean, people – vacuumed/dusted, changed the sheets (and duvet!!), 9 loads of laundry (not kidding), 4 bags of give-away, 2 bags of dry-cleaning/alterations – the whole sha-bang-a-lang. Yes ma’am, that was just said. My soul felt all happy and clean.

This is about the 3rd ruthless purge I’ve put my house through in the past 2 months. And man – I highly recommend it. I was suddenly content to sit down and study, read, and merely exist without dreading all the “things” I had in my closet and on my to-do list. Oh my, I had to write a to-do list!!

#1. Write a to-do list.

#2. Order “The Happiness Project” on Amazon.

#3. Do stuff.

#4. Do other stuff…

#5. Throw paper balls for my cats..

#6. Eat two bowls of cotton candy ice cream..

#7. Rinse bowl and put in dishwasher.

My personal happiness project is three-fold and will consist of daily accomplishments, goals, inspirations, reminders, design solutions, and ideas.
Fold number 1: being nice to me.
Fold number 2: love (my interactions with my hot man/family/friends/coworkers/strangers).
Fold number 3: my home which is best friends with my passion, interior design.

Simplicity. Balance. Style.

To kick it off, a first step in my journey:

Be happy with and grateful for what I have. Be thankful to myself and my husband for working hard to get where we are and attain what we have. Be thankful for friends and family who’ve supported us every step of the way, especially when we trip on rocks here and there. No, really. Be very happy about this. It’s amazing.

Brooke’s Beautiful Home

“Knowledge is not a passion from without the mind, but an active exertion of the inward strength, vigor and power of the mind, displaying itself from within.” – Ralph Lauren

Replace knowledge with style in this wise observation and you have Brooke Shield’s classic, yet fresh style reflected beautifully in her downtown home. With historical influence and clean lines, a series of rooms with very distinct, yet harmonious styles seem to be channeling Ralph Lauren, himself. I’ve always found American history to be an intriguing and grounding element in interiors, whether it’s displayed in guilt-framed portraiture, art depicting battle scenes or hunting dogs or barren landscapes, display of antique decoys, leather riding boots and saddles, or a working vintage record player.  Brooke successfully incorporates history and youth alike into her retreat. See if you can spot a few of those historical elements in the photos below.

All images courtesy of Architectural Digest.

A side note to close, and because we all know I love bragging about my Grandmother, her home was rich with history. Not only was the building, itself, a historical landmark, she somehow – beautifully – juxtaposed a portrait of George Washington with bold prints by Calder, her own sketches, and my Aunt’s modern art. There were modern sofas with old, yet clean hearths and rustic exposed beams with a large abstract painting I received as a wedding gift. In true form, we installed halogen track lighting to illuminate this very painting. You could say I’m a proud and inspired grand-daughter.

Happy Saturday, friends.