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!

The Ponytail Hack Every Girl Should Know

You guys. This weekend I stumbled across an amazing hair hack. And then I skeptically tried it. And it flippin’ rocked.

You can create a long luscious ponytail without the use of extensions or fancy hair products.

If you remember back in the spring, I chopped the fuck out of my hair. It was all bobby and kind of adorable, but pretty much the shortest my hair has ever been. So it’s growing like a weed, but still not quite long enough for a perfect ponytail. I always have a few stray hairs falling down (especially from the cowlick at the base of my hairline).

When I saw this little trick, I thought to myself, yeah. Right. Like that’s going to work.

But to my complete surprise on Monday morning (almost as complete a surprise as me waking up at 7 am and having 10 minutes to make myself presentable and get my ass to the car), it worked. Quickly. Which is great because I didn’t have time to shower (whoops!), and the dry shampoo I ordered from Julep hasn’t arrived yet.

All you have to do is pull a decent chunk of hair into a half ponytail at the crown of your head (as neat or messy as you like – I certainly wouldn’t judge). Then, clipping the pony away from your head (and really, who am I kidding? I just pushed that shit out of my way with one hand), pull the remaining hair into a second ponytail an inch or two below the higher pony.

You can create a long luscious ponytail without the use of extensions or fancy hair products.

You REALLY can’t tell the voodoo magic below the higher ponytail. I made my ponytail look longer and fancier (well, okay, not so much fancier).

In the car, I asked Brian if he could see the second ponytail, and he had no idea what I was talking about. He gave me that , is this one of your loony toons morning discussions again, CHRISSY? Because I’m not getting trapped into talking about your hair…again, looks.

So I showed him what I meant and his response was, “Weird.”

I figured I’d take it to an expert and asked my coworker/cube buddy when I got into work.

“Do you like my ponytail?” (Thankfully, the lovely buddy that sits next to me doesn’t think I’m crazy and accepts that I ask random questions on a daily and sometimes hourly basis.)

“Did you get extensions? It looks longer.”

And THAT, my friends, is what we call a sweet little success.

What do you do to speed up your morning process? What hair hacks do you have? Do you think this would work for your hair?

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!