Things I learned hiding out in a HomeGoods apartment

HomeGoods Hideout Chicago Bedroom

I will love HomeGoods forever and not just because they supported a majority of my addictions (cheese, shopping, eating fancy food, hot bubble baths, and people watching, among others) for 5 days last week.

DIY Macrame Kit

I fell in love with HomeGoods in 2014, shortly after buying our house. I had always had an affinity for home shopping (and been a huge Marshalls fan since I was a teenager), but I hadn’t really explored all there was to offer in that HGTV world until I had an entire house to furnish and decorate. Seven years later, I still have no idea what I’m doing, but HomeGoods has absolutely made our house a home.

In May, I found out that I won the Homegoods Hideout, a 4-night stay in a fancy Chicago apartment, completely furnished by Homegoods with decor, stocked with snacks (And OMG do I love me the Homegoods snack aisle, my dudes), fun activities, and a Magic Buddy available 19 hours a day via a Magic Phone with a Magic Budget for all my additional needs. At the end of the stay? A Magic Takeout Box the size of my trunk arrived via Magic Buddy for me to fill with souvenirs of my home away from home.

Last week, I moved into the swankest apartment I’ve ever been in for a long weekend. I spent the first hour just taking it all in. Noticing the details and opening every cabinet and drawer just to see all the things. I spent the next four days unwinding myself from myself (an old friend used to say I was wound tighter than an 8-day clock), reading, writing, and plotting. It was magnificent. 

Relax with a book and a bath

Here are some of the things I learned this past weekend:

  • Enter the contest. Someone has to win, and one day it could be you (or several days. We all know I’m a professional contest winner at heart).
  • Take more baths. They feel good, and they are good for your body.
  • Use the candles. It was kind of amazing reading in a bedroom with a lit candle. The aroma of relaxation is magical.
  • Notice the details. Take your time. Slow down. Breathe it all in. 
  • Run the dishwasher every night.
  • Make your bed every morning.
  • Decorate with plants.
  • Clear the clutter. You don’t need it all. Seriously.
  • Read more joy. Books are a way to learn, to escape, to fall in love, to try something new. But also, joyful books are just good for your soul. ESPECIALLY if you’re an empath.
  • Social media less. When your mind isn’t constantly “on,” you can do so much more.
  • Try something new. I learned how to macrame (hello, new hobby) and tried some new delicious smoothies. I also learned that making sugar and salt scrubs is an art form that is not for me. But I’m glad I tried. 
  • There’s no place like home (even if home is a clusterfuck of clutter and distraction).
  • And finally, you can fit A LOT of home goods from HomeGoods in a 2-ft cubed moving box.

HomeGoods Hideout Takeout Box

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Confession Friday: I Have a Planning Problem

In the last several weeks, we’ve been browsing house after house after house looking for OUR house. From hundreds of houses online to dozens of showings, we’ve/I’ve spent countless hours looking for just the right house.

Several times in the last few weeks, we’ve even thought to ourselves is this our home? And truly meant it. So we plan. We plan what we would need to do to it to make it ours and often…it’s too much.

Well, we’d have to knock out that wall.

We’d want to add on an entire section to make that room fit for a grown adult and not a gnome.

We should refinish those kitchen cabinets.

We need to remodel the entire kitchen.

Why don’t we just MAKE that room part of the kitchen?

That bathroom needs a nice tub.

I veto the claustrophobic shower.

We need wood trim throughout the house.

Oh dear God! Why would they paint that beautiful trim?

The list of random suburban home planning goes on. We realized that none of those houses were our house. We need a mix of old house bones and charm wirh modern conveniences like air conditioning for hot Chicago summers and a large kitchen for all the parties I can’t wait to host.

I also plan for parties. How we would decorate for Halloween and Christmas. Because I want to host Christmas. And you already know how I feel about Halloween.

The other day, Brian tried to rein in my Christmas tree problem by telling me that we couldn’t get a new tree if we end up with vaulted ceilings…which is ridiculous because I’ve already planned for the giant ass Christmas tree I’m going to put in whatever giant ass room I can.

So I have a planning problem. Because right now, I’m sitting here with a notebook and a pen…writing a list…drawing diagrams…planning.

For a house we haven’t bought.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!