Saturday, February 19, 2011

My Reality Check

So I have been ever so neglectful of the little bloggy world lately.

I am addicted to hopping about the blogsphere.

I subscribe to an obscene number of blogs

I am awed by the bloggers out there.
They seem so amazing. and perfect and creative and artistic and humorous. The problem is they are not real.

I have realized that many of the blogs I read have a few things in common -

She keep a perfect house - perfectly decorated, perfectly clean, perfectly organized. She has even decorated her organizers. Her house is drenched in beautiful daylight. Her childrens' toys and clothing also coordinate with her decor.

She just got back from another amazing blogger conference. It's hard for a mom to get away. She only does 3-4 a year, not counting the ones where she's a speaker.

She furnishes her perfect home with revamped garbage found by the side of the road or on craigslist for $7. Otherwise she builds it from scratch  - in an afternoon.

She sews darling clothing and creates gorgeous accessories and provide tutorials with dowloadable patterns for everything

She cooks wonderful meals from scratch and throws elaborate parties every weekend. She provides free printables she used for her party every Friday.

She creates perfect crafty projects to accent it all. 

Her latest Pottery Barn knock off is actually better than the original. She made it with an old shirt, a bit of paint, some wood she found in her backyard  and dryer lint. There are 412 pictures on flickr of the ones other people made using her instructions. None of them even come close to looking as good as hers. 

Oh, did you see the pictures of her three adorable children? They are perfect and amazing too. Yes, they are all under 6  - and she's expecting another baby baby any day. Yes, they love going thrifting and to the fabric store with her. All she needs is a few raisins and a skittle to keep them happy for hours. 

Her children have no interest in all the plastic toys and popular characters from tv and movies. They play with vintage, european, and handcrafted toys exclusively. That way if their toys are left out the house just appears to be charmingly accented and "lived in". They are thrilled with the lovely antique-french-inspired-shabby-chic-beach-cottage decor in their rooms. Especially the boys.

Yes, her husband does look like a Calvin Klein underwear model. But he's not. He's something better. He loves everything she does. When he's not at work he is watching the kids for her.
Oh, and I forgot - she does all of this while documenting everything in beautifully composed naturally lighted and artistically Photoshopped pictures that she presents daily with inspiring and engaging writing.

Oh yes, and she has a shop where she sells some of her handmade goodies.

Oh, and don't forget, there's that new book deal she just signed. 

Did you read her book that came out last month?

It's being turned into a movie. 

Kate Hudson is playing her. 

Kate's not quite as beautiful as she is (see gorgeous pic on her blog) But the producers wanted it to be more "real".

What does all this lead to?

It is inspiring.

But more than that, for me, it is discouraging.

I really have been thinking of it quite a lot. I feel I can never catch up and everything seems to be speeding by me and the day has not enough hours and I need my sleep and my kids and hubby need my attention and before I know it the day is over and almost nothing has been done.
I admit I am a perfectionist.
I can't help but think if all these bloggers are able to do it, why do I struggle so much to just maintain the bare minimum?

Why can't I get my home to look coordinated and beautiful? Why can't I find time to craft and sew? Why don't my meals look like the cover of gourmet magazine -ever? Why don't my kids look picture perfect and happy all the time? Why don't I look great and coordinated every day instead of resorting to t-shirt and jeans no makeup and maybe brushed hair? Why do I feel overwhelmed by 3 little ones? Why does my kitchen look like a disaster and the front hall resembles a scene from Hoarders? Why does my Craigslist only offer overpriced crap? (and it's not a lack of vision for what it could be, it is crap. Crap offered for ridiculous amounts of money.) Why when I stop to pick stuff up at the side of the road does it always seem to be infested with bugs, wet and mildewed, or stained with substances that could very likely be a bio hazard? Why can't I figure out my camera? Why do I forget it and resort to the camera on my phone? And why does it take me half a day to edit 3 photos? (Yes I know with practice I will get better, but when do I have time to practice?!)

I have been inspired by some of the reality checks bloggers out there are posting.
See this great post on Addicted to Decorating for an inspiring example.
Miss Mustard Seed strips it bare on her blog also.
There are a bunch of others also and I am SOOOOOO grateful to them for keeping it real.
It made me feel so much better to read that they don't have it perfectly together.

Some things I realize are up to me to fix and I am working on it.

I have decided to stop all the blog hopping.
I am going to stick with the blogs that make me laugh, inspire me to be a better me, and really motivate me to do some of the things I really want to do. If I stop following your blog, please don't be offended. I may love what you do immensely, but it just might not fit with what I want to work on right now. On the other hand, if you are not keeping it real, I may drop you due to that.

I will be spending bunches of time trying to get my house cleaned and organized and a schedule set so I can blog and craft or decorate or sew or whatever without guilt or complete lack of sleep (which leads to extreme crabbiness, not good for a mom of 3 little ones!)

First, I am going on on a cleaning frenzy. My house needs it badly. It is embarrassing.
REALLY REALLY embarrassing.
And it  is making me crazy.

Here is my own reality check.

(These photos were not altered in any way and they were taken using a flash because lovely daylight does not stream into my townhouse!)

My teeny-tiny kitchen. It is devoid of personality and so small it is difficult to keep it neat and organized. 

 My dining room. I love the color, (I have a thing for turquoise) but I think I might change to something softer. My plan has been to paint the furniture in here. It hasn't happened yet.

The pass through is always a mess. I can't decide what to do here.
 The Front Hall. Now isn't that the first impression you always dreamed of making? Me neither.
The bathroom. Not so bad. But so boring you might just not even see it. At least the mop is there to prove I do clean occasionally.
 More front hall disaster.
 My disaster of a living room

I'm going to press "Publish Post" before I chicken out.
Then I am going to try to straighten things up a bit before my husband wakes up, looks at the house and wonders what I have been doing all morning.

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