What is Lovely Living?
Lovely Living is (in theory) updated daily with tips, inspirations and reminders on homemaking topics. Sort of a cross between Martha Stewart's Gentle Reminders, Benjamin Franklin's Almanac, and the FlyLadies.
I'm not obsessed with housekeeping, it's just a daily chore I do really quickly so I can enjoy the rest of my life (and not be embarrassed when family and friends come over). I don't want to spend my life cleaning, so I do quick normal daily housekeeping every day (vacuuming, dishes, tidying), plus one small project every weeknight, and one big project every Saturday and every Sunday. This means I'm fighting a winning battle. I don't have to freak out when company comes over unexpectedly, because I've kept my house maintained in proper condition throughout the week. I still struggle with clutter and shopaholism, but my daily projects help me keep that under control as much as I can.
I share my own struggles and joys in regards to homemaking and entertaining. On rare occasions, I will post twice in one day - sometimes to add links after the fact, sometimes to call attention to a new project I'm doing, sometimes to take a poll of what you think.
Lovely Living's readers
When I write Lovely Living entries, I envision my readers as females age 20 and over, married or single, mothers or childless, living in the same hemisphere as me. (My Australian readers probably won't benefit from reading my Winter cleaning tips when it's summertime to them!)
I own a house and therefore my homemaking comments often refer to my house, but the tips I post can also be applicable to condo, townhouse or apartment dwellers, renters and owners both. I've lived in apartments, townhouses, duplexes, even hotels before settling down in my house.
Lovely Living on Work and Family life
I work at home, so I don't often post tips for workplace-related topics because they don't often occur to me to think about. I unfortunately don't have children other than some cousins who lived here in their teens and are now away at college. I love being an aunt, so I do try to think often about including child-related reminders and links.
Housekeeping and Homemaking at Lovely Living
My personal housecleaning style is "frequent tidying, constant maintenance" with no emphasis on perfection. I want to be able to enjoy my house and be comfy in it, not constantly worry that I'm going to spill something. I can't spend 5 minutes wiping my puppies' muddy paws every time they come in from outside multiple times per day, so instead I am tearing out my living room carpet and building 10 minutes a day into my routine to wipe down muddy hardwood floors. (This is Seattle, so you can imagine how much mud is in my back yard).
I'd rather do a little bit of tidying plus one minor project every day, than go crazy and spend my entire weekend doing huge projects and stressing over it, unable to go out with friends because I'm "too busy cleaning." I know too many people who use obsessing over cleaning to avoid dealing with other issues in their lives, sadly.
Yes, guests are going to spill red wine on the carpet during parties. No biggie.
I want to appreciate what I have and take good care of it, but also use and enjoy my things. My quilts are meant to be enjoyed - of course I will drag them out into the backyard and let them get muddy/grassy. That's what washing machines were invented for. Is my house ready for Architectural Digest or Better Homes & Gardens to visit and do a photo spread? No.
I have very few cluttery knick-knacks, but a lot of books, papers, magazines, and other cheerful, necessary clutter. There are Kleenex boxes in plain sight in the living rooms. The book I was reading last night is on my nightstand, not hidden away in a drawer.
Lovely Living and Balance
To me, Lovely Living is about cheerfulness, energy, and moderation. I like a good balance between elegance and simplicity. "Real Simple" magazine bores me, as I'm not looking for a simple life. I can't afford fancy expensive furniture, but will pass on buying the cheap Ikea stuff so I can save up for moderately priced, longer-lasting quality furniture. Drink wine and cocktails, but don't get falling down drunk. Exercise a bit more the next day to make up for the umpteen calories from that margarita you had with the girls last night. Buy and send your nieces and nephews lots of fun little gifts from time to time, but don't blow thousands of dollars on big presents at Christmastime to impress them. Throw a dinner party, but don't agonize if it's not the most glamorous affair in the world (or if you burn the top of the lasagna). Enjoy some vapid mind-numbing reality TV shows on occasion, but balance it out by reading interesting and challenging books. Keep to traditions and rituals, but also always try new things, new restaurants, new places, new ideas.