Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Getting away from it all, or the Hotel Effect

My kids will, out of the blue, ask if we can stay in a hotel.  This is unrelated to how close to home we may be.

And often, I wish I could say yes.


With a better than average home, with all the comforts of home, why oh why would we want to stay in a hotel?  We only choose the budget ones anyway, so what's so special?

Well, what do you see when you open a hotel room door?  No problems!

Uncluttered - mostly, you just see furniture.  Invitingly made beds, clear tables, tidy sink spaces....  You can only clutter it with what you've brought, and you left most of your stuff at home.  You probably brought so little you can pack it all in less than 1/2 hour - compare that to your last house move.  Yes.  I know.

Clean - someone else cleaned this already.  It's so uncluttered that it probably didn't take long.  If you have to wash dishes, there aren't many supplied anyway - about enough for one family meal. 

Cosy - Those dishes?  You can wash them a couple of steps away from the dining table, while still chatting to the slower eaters.


Most of us don't want to live in a hotel all the time, although I am in love with tiny houses and The Everyday Minimalist did spend some time this way.  Most of us would eventually miss something that we can only find at home - and that might simply be space and privacy.

But we can get some of the goodness of hotel living in our own homes.


You can't say too much about decluttering, and most of it's been said before.  Having only what you really need is the key to sanity and cleanliness in the home.

Here's just a start on decluttering tips:

Work on your entrance

You won't get the "ahhhhhh" factor if you open your door into chaos.  Try it for yourself - step outside and do a grand entrance and really look!
  • What's there that doesn't need to be?
  • What's messy that could be organised?
  • What's visible that could be hidden? 

After you've made a perfect entrance, choose one other space in the house to keep as your "hotel away from home."

If you can't keep the entire house sane, make sure you have this one retreat where you can relax and unwind.

And if you sell enough of your unwanted stuff, maybe you can hire a cleaner for your "hotel"!

You gotta have dreams...

Have your say...

What are your favourite tricks to make your house look professionally fabulous?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The 99% don't need models

This controversial story about model sizes is the news of the day on my social networks - opinions range from "I still prefer skinny women" to "it shouldn't matter what size you are as long as you're healthy" and anywhere you like in between.

Statistics prove that model sizes have been getting skinnier and skinnier, and the outrage goes into a stampede.

Many of us care deeply about our body's health and attractiveness. Many in the vegetarian and vegan world enjoy that their food helps them increase their health and attractiveness.

And there's no question that the pictures we see influence what we consider beautiful.

But there's a gigantic assumption behind this controversy - so let's question it.

Why do we have models?

It could be....

 They help us choose our clothes by showing us what the clothes look like.
Well, this is the only possible excuse there could be for the entire modelling industry.  If only it weren't a total con.

At any size, a model doesn't look like me...or you

For the 99%, no model is your size or shape.  S/he has been picked specifically to look really good in clothes and in pictures.  When s/he wears clothes, they don't look like they will on you.  And that's before posing, lighting, makeup, hairstyle, and airbrushing.

The only thing a model sells is a fantasy - a hope that you will look that good if you bought those clothes.

It works - advertisers know it.

At a logical level, most of us know the truth.  That model does not help you pick clothes that suit you.  But that professional image goes straight through your logical brain without touching the sides and makes you want what you never needed and will not get.

To your health and happiness

Of course, pursue your own best road to a healthier body and life.

But that doesn't include an argument over anorexic models vs overweight (average) models  They're all unreal commercial images, unworthy of your personal aspiration and acceptance.  There are lots of beautiful people in the real world, and that includes you!

If you are concerned about our runaway body image problems, stop supporting the industries who use models.  There are enough good-quality and attractive secondhand clothes to get you through the rest of your life. 

You really don't need to see what they look like on the model first.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Workout #1 really worked!

I've been following my own advice.

As suggested in Productive Workouts, I tried on all the clothes I owned.  It took time and commitment.  And look at the results...

I thought I'd done a good job of clearing out clothes already.  But trying them all on in a short time worked better because I could:
  • really see and feel if the clothes fit
  • make firm comparisons: which clothes are better or which I have too many in a type
Two of these shirts were actually in my current active wardrobe - but although they are good quality and comfortable, they are unflattering because of size and cut (and I only allow that in my exercise clothes).

And as I hoped, this exercise added extra motivation for improved fitness, since there's nothing like the nostalgia of remembering how you used to love wearing that.

Naughty bits

I also had fun rediscovering my lingerie collection.   Yes, you don't have to be a size 6 to enjoy these! 

I tried everything on and moved what I want to keep from the storage box into a drawer (emptied by previous decluttering).  I even found a short lingerie wrap that I can use as a summer dressing gown for a bit of well-deserved luxury.

Another triumph for Shopping At Home!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

5 Productive New Year's Workouts

Resolved to have a fitter New Year?  Here are some free holiday workouts that leave you with more than just an endorphine rush.
Caution:  Don't try all of these workouts in one day without medical advice.

1.  Try on all the clothes you own - a foolproof way to get rid of a few things and step down from holiday eating. 

Hey, the workout's not done until you've folded and put away everything!

2.  Empty your worst storage closet, declutter, and replace.

3.  Get in the garden - check out container gardening if you have no garden space (those big pots are great for for weightlifting).

4.  Clean the fridge and pantry.

5.  Play tag with the kids (or other fun-lover of your choice).

Happy New Year, everyone!