This blogger/writer I love, Gretchen Rubin, has a little formula for happiness: Increasing the good, decreasing the bad, doing what feels right, all in an atmosphere of growth.
In my opinion, the most important element (and often the hardest to achieve) of the equation is the atmosphere of growth.
A metaphor to make this come together a little more clearly (my inner English major is showing…): Flowers can’t grow unless they have the right food, water, and sunlight. Similarly, people can’t grow unless they have the elements that encourage their growth: supportive people, thriving community, and a comfortable living space. I know that sounds lame and cheesy, but whatevz.
Since I moved here, I have worked really hard to make my apartment a comfortable place where I can grow. I love to nest, and luckily Alex doesn’t give a shit if I decorate until I’m blue in the face. (That, ladies and gentlemen, is an example of the “supportive people” part of my atmosphere of growth.)
I think it’s important to surround yourself by things that encourage you, motivate you, and ground you. So I thought I’d post about some of my favorite items in my apartment that do that for me!
I’ve got quite the hefty Etsy shopping addiction. I’ve got tons of Etsy loot in my kitchen and around the rest of my apartment. The “Lettuce Turnip The Beet” print was a graduation gift to myself. A love a good pun, but a pun about vegetables? Yes plz.
I purchased the baking calaveras the second I saw them. I collect sugar skulls and I’m in love with the colorful little chef skeletons. They’re just post cards and they didn’t come matted, so I went to Michael’s and got some complementary scrap booking paper and stuck them in some old frames I have.
I also have these fancy measuring cups on display in my kitchen. I don’t use them, but they’re so pretty I hate to keep them hidden away. This was a Christmas gift from one of my best friends, Nate, a couple years ago. They’re so me. One of the best gifts I’ve ever gotten.
The chalkboard wall’s made an appearance on the blog a couple times already, but I had to include it in one of my favorite things about my apartment. We actually inherited it from the previous tenants, and we love it. We write our menus up on it weekly. As you can see, last night an inebriated Alex wrote up this week’s menu. Also in the corner? A quote from Annie: “You know what’s a bad combination? Drunk girls and knives.”
Right under the chalk wall is this vintage globe that I got at a thrift store in town. Alex loves maps and I love bright colors, so this was a decoration we could both agree on.
I got this idea off Pinterest: Every time we drink a bottle of wine, we write the date and the occasion on the cork and drop it in a vase. It’s a fun decoration piece and a great way to keep track of memories.
In my room I’ve got these really old pictures of my dad and mom that I love. Pictures of my parents when they were younger make me so happy. I wish I could have known my mom when she was that little. And my dad is so handsome in that photo. 🙂 The picture of my mom is sitting on a realllllly old edition (maybe first?) of Bleak House that my uncle gave me a couple years ago.
In the corner of my room, hanging from my lamp, I have the roses that Alex and Nate got for me when I ran my half marathon. I love that I can still hold on to such a thoughtful gift from them, and it reminds me of how wonderful that day was for me.
Finally, sitting right next to my desk, is a print that my talented friend Suzanne made for me. It’s a map of the roads around JMU! She also made one for Alex with the roads around UVA. Not only is it a nice little nod to JMU, but it’s also really fun for me to be able to display my friends’ art work around my apartment.
What do you have around your house that makes your atmosphere conducive to growth?