The Art of Beautiful Living

The art of beautiful living (according to Jana) is something that I have seen around the globe in my life. Cultures from around the world do it differently, but there is always this in common...they find ways to sustain joy. They partner with the world and create a life for themselves that speaks to their souls. I have found somethings that do this for me. Food. Family. Friends. Work (not necessarily a job, but actually doing something I love). It isn't easy, this art of beautiful living. The world will partner with you, but it is just as happy to throw curveballs at you. Too little time to enjoy a meal. Settling for good enough or collecting clutter. Being your own worst critic and judging yourself too harshly. It all adds up and steals your joy. This reactionary response to life isn't beautiful living. Control is elusive though, isn't it? Why is that? I think it is because we don't intentionally carve out space for things that matter. The art of beautiful living is a practice and it is purposeful. Art doesn't just happen, does it? The artist collects materials and sets aside time to create. I found that I wasn't doing this purposefully and consistently. And even now that I know I should be finding and cultivating joy in my life, I still get curveballs and forget to do it. Beautiful living is an art...it is a practice...it is purposeful. Most of all, it is journey of exploration. Here are things that I am playing with that bring me joy.

  • The Art of Beautiful Living

    The Ugliest Kitchen in the World: How We Turned This Room Around

    Good Bones When we bought this sweet rancher, we thought that it had “good bones”.  We loved the backyard and the location was perfect. The house had undergone a fire-induced renovation back in the 1980s, but this little gem was in need of some updating.  Updating is a lot easier than making significant structural changes like knocking out walls or building an addition. We weren’t ready to take on anything quiet that large, but we were ready to do a few basic projects in order to move the rooms in the right direction. In the photo below, we had already updated the linoleum flooring with new tile.  That helped a…

  • 1846 Homestead Renovation,  The Art of Beautiful Living

    Weekend Wine Room Project

    The Weekend Wine Room Project I am of Scottish descent.  That means I have an excuse for being thrifty.  In truth, I like to see what I can do with as little as possible.  It is more an exercise in creativity than anything, but it has the advantage of making it possible to do more because I (usually) spend less.  On this project, I wanted a wine room in one weekend for under $300. We got a wine room, but we also gained a lot of DIY knowledge.  (FYI…self-leveling cement pours quickly and it spreads like wild fire.  Be ready or you will be playing a wicked game of Twister.) …

  • The Art of Beautiful Living

    An Experiment Born of Inconvenience

    Y’all know that I am a bit strange and I love to try things that most others wouldn’t do on a bet.  I have a fascination with the past and how people lived (and ate) back in the day.  When a storm knocked out our power for almost two weeks, I was thrown into the past living without water, septic, or power.  It sort of became an experiment in survival (we stayed in at home the entire time) while we attempted to live comfortably without the conveniences of modern life. With Hurricane Dorian looming off the coast, several of my friends on Facebook are talking about their hurricane preparation and…

  • The Art of Beautiful Living

    A Beach in the Back Yard? Why Not?

    Today is my husband’s parents 60th wedding anniversary.  In honor of this pretty amazing accomplishment, I wanted to take a second and look back at the celebration we had a decade ago.  We decided that life was a beach (literally) and we turned our subdivision, useless back yard into a white sand beach and threw a luau for their 50th anniversary. The Problem with the Yard The problem with our back yard was that it was nonexistent.  It was tiny and damp.  Mosquitoes ruled the land.  There was a small creek that went through the thick, dense trees.  Weeds were knee high, but grass wouldn’t have grown there due to…

  • The Art of Beautiful Living

    Finding Inspiration

    A Few Random Things… A coat rack. A dirty old room. A beautiful bride. What do they have in common?  Inspiration, of course. The fact that we have out our cameras most of the time makes us just like everyone else on the planet.  What sets us apart is that we try to intentionally notice things.  Things like incredible lighting.  Color and texture.  How something makes us feel.  And then we try to remember and use it later.  Yes, sometimes inspiration strikes out of the blue.  For me, however, it us usually based on some little something I have tucked away just in case I ever need it. An Example…