Wednesday, June 20, 2012

making the ordinary extraordinary

One of the things I try to do is make the necessary a little more stylish.

It's a fun game I play with myself that makes me feel like normal daily tasks are a little more fun. For example, I used to wear a pair of pajama pants to bed with one of my every day t-shirts but I recently swapped them all out for cute matching sets of pajamas. It makes me feel classier, more grown up, and more pampered. I'm worth matching pjs! (It doesn't hurt that they're on sale for the Victoria's Secret semi-annual sale right now, so if you like the idea, go! The time is now!)

It was along the same lines that I wrote the blog post (posted here) where I proposed wearing sandals and not flip flops when going out. It's not that flip flops are evil! Heck, I can't think of anything better to wear with a pair of yoga pants or cute sweats when it's summertime and footwear is needed. But why not wear real sandals with jeans and a tee? It just elevates the look- makes it a lot more stylish with such little effort. And that is even more true when we make the effort to get dressed up.

But my closet isn't the only place in life where I look for ways to elevate the everyday. It's when cooking with olive oil, salt, and black pepper that I grind myself [ps-grinding my own black pepper with my coffee grinder was a small change that ROCKED my kitchen. If you've never cooked with freshly ground pepper, try it. Like freshly grated nutmeg, it is nothing like its prepackaged namesake]:

It's when getting my coffee in the morning, as I pour my creamer out of a ceramic milk jug and scoop my sugar from a ceramic carton instead of the disposable containers they come in:

It's not because I'm a snob or because I'm trying too hard. It's because I find something so special about it. 

I was watching a cooking show yesterday, French Food At home, and as the host listed her fancy menu for the episode, she explained that she was having friends over for dinner and was making it a fancy affair. The reason she gave resonated with me: it used to be the case, decades ago, that everything was a bit more fancier; more dressed up. You didn't wear jeans out of the house, pearls were the daily choice, dinner took more effort and more time...and now casual is the norm. And she wanted to make that dinner special. So she put on a dress and served quail and savoy cabbage in a butter sauce with pumpkin mousse for dessert. And I felt like I understood her. Because, like her, I would rather use a fresh pumpkin to make my pumpkin puree that I would use in a pumpkin mousse. And if it meant that I spent hours doing it instead of 20 minutes, that's just fine. [Now, the reality of this happening with two boys under 2 years of age is slim to none. But give me a few years.... ;)]

But I guess what I'm saying is that there is something in me- maybe I'm an old soul- that longs for the simple, the homemade, the fine jewelry to actually be worn, and the creamer to be kept in a ceramic milk jar. Because life seems a little more of an experience that way. So much more special. I'm saying I want to be that old woman in the nursing home who still wears her huge earrings, a dress, and lipstick. You know what I'm talking about- there's one in each home. And every time I see her, I mentally applaud. Because she's still making her days special and doing it in style and with pizazz.

So when you see me, say hi- I'll be sitting next to Bertie playing Bridge while we wait for our nail appointment. I'm thinking I'll go cherry red. ;)


  1. Just a side-note: don't store your olive oil next to the stove. The heat from your cooking will break it down and 1) make it go rancid faster and 2) break down all the healthy stuff in olive oil. I just learned this recently, and I have made it my mission to inform the world. Congrats, you made the list. ;)

    1. Elyse!!! So glad you told me!!! THANK YOU!!!!

  2. what fantastic inspiration. thank you for the thoughts on living life better. found you via the wiegands and am excited to link up xo

  3. Lissa, you have a cute blog, too! Happy to be following you back :)