Start looking at the beginning of the new year in a new way. Set achievable goals for yourself and be kind to yourself as you set a more mindful and compassionate tone to your life. Happy New Year from the Lux Team!
Take care of your body. No need to aim to complete a marathon or swim 20 laps every day for 2017, just make an effort to treat your body with more love and kindness this year. Think about the food you are putting in and the care you take in maintaining yourself. Take the stairs more often, choose active hobbies, limit your TV time and cook your own food more often so you know what you are eating!
Waste less.Be more aware of the amount of trash that your home produces. Do a google search for the amount of trash that humans produce annually and then try to recycle more. Maybe even start your own compost bin and try to garden a bit. Make 2017 a year of little waste.
Get involved. Find a cause or a non-profit that speaks to your heart. Find someone doing something that you think is making the world a better place and join them. Write a check if you want, but more importantly, show up. Give your time and let your life be changed for the better.
Not all gifts come with a big bow and lots of wrapping paper. Sometimes the best gifts are intangibles, experiences that you can give to reinforce the importance of shared time and shared memories!
Tickets to the Circus. We never really stop loving the circus. The gut-rolling flights of the acrobats, those speed-demons on motorcycles in the metal orbs, the shine of the costumes, the thrill of the music, the sweet cotton candy and the magic of the big top all add up to a wonderfully creative holiday gift!
Cooking Classes. The most delicious experience of all, a cooking class is truly the gift that keeps on giving! Once you learn to make that yummy risotto or that tart lemon pie or that crispy paella, you won’t soon forget!
Yoga Retreats.Give the gift of serenity to your loved ones this season. Encourage those you love to take a step away from the fight or flight of everyday life and step into the quiet, the peaceful, the mindful, the balanced and the calm. Namaste.
Struggling to come up with the perfect gift idea? Why not use your hands to make something beautiful for your family this year? Whether you are knitting a scarf or making homemade jam, gifts that we pour our heart and soul into are always a hit!
Incense holder. Grab a jar or a glass and fill it halfway with sand (if you want to get fancy, you can layer different colors of sand!) Then thread a few meaningful charms onto a ribbon of burlap or colorful yarn and wrap it around your container. Place a few seashells or pieces of colored glass on the sand. Pick out a lovely assortment of incense and place each stick deep in the sand. Voila!
Picture Frames. Grab a picture frame from your local thrift store. Load your glue gun with glue and get ready to get crafty! Depending on what you have lying around in your craft drawer or closet, stick with one theme and glue adorable things around the edge of your frame. I recommend sea shells, wine corks, rainbow yarn, bottle caps, pebbles, old coins, buttons. You can choose the photo you want to display first and then let that dictate the frame decor!
Personal Scrapbook. If you find that you are the kind of person that holds onto movie ticket stubs and wedding invitations, consider finding a small scrapbook to fill with memories with one specific friend. Add in notes to remind them of moments you shared. Find photos of the two of you and try and set the book up as a timeline of your friendship!
One way to relieve the stress of the winter holidays is to give your friends and family a fun theme each year for gifts! If you want to get really creative, you can extend this theme to the decor in your home, the menu at your holiday dinner parties, the holiday card you send out to your loved ones!
Birds. Birds are a great theme for gifts because the options are so varied and across the whole gamut of gifts! Whether you give your bestie a set of binoculars and a bird-watching guide or a set of bejeweled bird earrings or a sweet sweater with knitted sparrows across the front, birds are a beautiful motif with a powerful symbolism of freedom and wanderlust.
Books. Make this a literary holiday season, sharing your favorite classics, your top easy reads, a subscription to your sister’s favorite magazine, a how-to guide to yoga for that friend who needs some namaste in her life, or a book of crossword puzzles for you nephew! This theme is a fun one for place settings and dinner party decor, using old books you collect from local garage sales and thrift stores and cut up to make gorgeous displays!
Sleep. Prepare yourself for a restful holiday atmosphere with this brilliant theme! Pajamas for your nieces, a cozy two-person sleeping bag for your friends who are always camping, fluffy sleep masks for your mother and her beauty rest and quotes about dreaming at each place setting for your dinner party!
Notice the light. Before you begin dreaming about the perfect love-seat or the ideal floor mirror to lean against the wall, take a step back and just examine your empty home. Observe the natural light, notice if you get more light in the morning or the afternoon, be aware of spots that might have a glare, or spots that might need some lighting assistance. This crucial step will save you time and money farther down the decor road!
Remember the flow of traffic. Sometimes we can get so carried away with the aesthetic beauty of our space that we can forget the immensely important practical side of decor! Your home will ideally have people moving through the space, and it is vital that you put some thought in the patterns of foot traffic, how you will get from one room to the next, where the dinner guests will most likely float after a meal, how important the movement from the entryway to the family room is. Any amount of thought you put into the flow of the space will help you choose a floor plan and furniture pieces that enhance the social life of your home, instead of constricting it!
Form follows function. There is nothing wrong with having a gorgeous and insanely impractical coffee table. The only thing to remember is that one the whole, you want your space to serve the function of being a living space and then to take on the aesthetic form you desire. Choosing beauty over function for every aspect of your home will make the space cold and uninviting. Make sure you are choosing a decor that ‘works’ and then you can make sure it is beautiful as well!
Curate your home. You are the gallery operator of your home, you need to think of your decor as intentionally as you can. The way you arrange each bookshelf, the way you place your tray on your coffee table, the way the soap is set out in the guest bathroom, the number of family photos you have hanging in the hallway, each of these details speaks volumes about your style and the atmosphere you are creating in your home. Avoid ‘accidental decor’ and make sure you are carefully choosing to have your home look the way it looks.
You are your number one guest. Whatever you do, make sure you keep your home beautiful for you, not just for your guests. If we only make our home looks its best when we are entertaining, then we miss out on the simple joy of living in a thoughtfully cared for home. Love your home, and you will love living in it!
Use it or lose it. This rule is simple. If you never use that bathrobe, that immersion blender, that beaded scarf, that bar set, that elliptical machine, or that cumbersome crockpot, give yourself one month. If during that month you still have not used whatever it is, you must part ways. There is no need to unnecessarily clutter your home with objects that have no use for you! Pass them along to someone who will use them.
Think before you spend. This rule is directly linked to the previous rule! Do some solid meditating before you add furniture or decor into your home. This is equally important for anything we purchase and bring into our home without clearly determining whether we need it. Space is a commodity in your home, make sure you only acquire objects that you really truly want in your home!
Cozy Feet. The best option to keep your feet happily warm during the colder months of the year is SmartWool. There are SmartWool booties and socks available to keep your feet cozy in a breathable and incredibly soft way!
Cozy Drink. There is no need to mess with a classic. There is a reason that hot chocolate has become ubiquitous during the brisk fall season! It is a super cozy drink! Stir 3 cups of milk and 1 cup of half’n’half in a saucepan on medium heat. In a separate bowl, mix together ¼ cup of cocoa powder, ½ cup of sugar and ¼ tsp of cinnamon. Spoon 2 or 3 tsp of the warm milk mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients and stir until it becomes a chocolaty paste! They scrape the chocolate past into the milk saucepan and simmer for 2 minutes (without letting the mixture come to a boil! Pour yourself a mug or a bowlful and sit back as you luxuriously consume your Chocolat Chaud!
Cozy Nook. This is the time to dust off a woven basket to keep next to your sofa or your squishy armchair. In this basket, you will store an assortment of throws and blankets to keep your autumnal guests warm and toasty! The choice of the season is the mohair throw, offering a uniquely soft touch and a gorgeous furry aesthetic these throws come in myriad colors and patterns! Take your pick!
Cozy Read. Sit back and relax as you melt into a really great book! May I recommend “Alexander Hamilton” by Ron Chernow? This is the biography that was turned into the Pulitzer Prize winning musical “Hamilton”! Read the book and then get in the (very long!) line to find tickets to the show! Another great read this fall is “You Can’t Touch by Hair” by Phoebe Robinson, a comic giving her voice to powerful issues like race, gender, feminism and finding love.