Intentional generosity includes meeting your own needs, and intentional consumerism means recognizing when making a purchase will bring increased ease, wealth, fun, or joy to you and your family. With that in mind, we curated our second online shopping guide—focusing this time around on products for the home that can bring you peace of mind during the transition back-to-school.
The 2016 DWELL Shopping Guide by The Perpetual You!
We work there. We cook and clean there. We gather there. We dish out sustenance and cross our fingers, striking a deal with the fruits and vegetables: You keep them healthy; I'll keep them safe.
Some of us have a window over the sink where we watch as the kids run off, snacks in hand; some of us have been doing this so long we no longer need to watch. Later we'll find the wrapper on the ground or the peeling in the trash bin instead of the compost and we'll smile anyway, reminding ourselves that--hey, at least our kids are healthy and strong.
Our gratitude for their vitality is, in fact, visceral; keeping our families stocked with goodness cannot be underestimated. That's why we spend so much time in the kitchen--the heart of our home--the place where we ensure everyone has what they need.
New routines can quickly slip into more of the same. Keep the chaos interesting with one-of-a kind products sporting details unique to your tastes.
We recommend: Whimsical Hand Towels, a Hand-Painted Mug, Broomcorn Pot Scrubbers, and a Conversation-Worthy Ceramic Bowl.
We welcome visitors there and say good-bye to family there. We linger at the door, wanting there to be one more moment for us to hang on to our loves. We check the mail, fidget with the furniture, turn the lock and wait for our babies to come back home. Even as we take advantage of the quiet to get done as much as we possibly can get done, we wait.
Some of us rush out to the bus every day; some of us wait at the door. And some of are filled with memories of waiting, picking up, and getting an ear full on the way home. How we constantly had to tell them to pick up their coats!
Whether indulging in memories or trying to enforce good habits, we slow our step almost without thought when passing through the entryway. There's empowerment waiting: keeping this one tiny space the way we like it means we can also take care of our babies, even as they take on the world.
ENTRYWAY FOOT TRAFFIC IS ABOUT TO INCREASE MONUMENTALLY. ADD SPECIAL ACCESSORIES WITH DETAILS YOU'LL ENJOY LOOKING AT EVERY SINGLE TIME YOU PASS THROUGH.
THE HOMEWORK AREA
We create there. We help there. We model good behavior and encourage good habits. And--some days--we also procrastinate or get distracted. On the good days, we laugh a lot and still leave feeling accomplished.
Some of us have staked our reputations on the organizational prowess displayed in our study areas; some of us cleared off a summer's worth of bills so there would be space for homework doing. Either way, we recognize that this space power, possibility.
We sit with them because we want to know what they've learned and what they are interested in. More than that, we want to know how they feel--not about this piece of paper or assignment or pencil that keeps breaking, but how they feel about school, their friends, the past, the future.
We soak up those feelings and the tears or jokes that come with them. And we wait: for the very surprising + inspiring moment when they want to know what we think and feel too.
put some fun into homework activities by setting up a study area that focuses on the lighter side of life. Brightly-colored supplies radiate happiness and can encourage focus too!
We recommend: a Durable Bluetooth Speaker, Confidence-Boosting Notebooks, Patterned Supply Pouches, and a Grammar-Positive Print.
THE KIDS' ROOMS
We hope there. We dream there. In the beginning, we often sleep there. Then comes the day when we're not allowed there (unless we knock.)
Some of us encourage freedom of expression; some of us prefer that our children start acquiring the family values of cleanliness and respect early on. Others have found that there's balance in patience, and greater reward lies in allowing them to discover the joys of picking up + putting away when they're ready to do so.
We might have to look away when we pass by or we may sneak a look just to see how bad its gotten. Regardless, there's a part of us that sees past the mess and into the creativity. We're okay with the lack of organization if that means our baby isn't quite grown up.
Even as they refuse to adapt to real world expectations or adopt the spirit of helpfulness we so desperately want them to have, we're happy knowing that our kid is still using her heart to decide what's important and what tasks will still be waiting when they are ready to do the job.
During transitional periods, good habits can falter. buy kid-friendly products that encourage cleanliness and respect the milestones (and growing pains!) of childhood.
We recommend: Organic Room & Air Spray, a Solar-Powered Reading Light, Handmade & Kid-Proof Baskets, and a Natural Linen Tooth Fairy Pillow.
THE FAMILY ROOM
We chill there. We play games there. We watch movies there. We snuggle up to the little ones there and respect the boundaries of those who are too old to snuggle anymore.
Some of us relegate the rowdiness to the basement or a converted attic; some of us prefer the business of childhood to be all around, enveloping our open floor plan or consuming our over-sized family room. At the end of the day, we all want for our families to be safe and comfortable and happy, and a little bit spoiled too.
Together. What we really want is for everyone to be together, at least once during the busy day. We cultivate an environment that prioritizes relaxation over routines, thinking maybe--just maybe--they'll feel so good in that space that they'll also get along with each other.
Hanging out is a valuable counterbalance to the school schedule. Whether a traditional family room or a lounge area reserved just for kids, choose durable pieces that are as fun as they are functional.
We recommend: Mantra Pillows in Natural Fabrics, Whimsical Artwork, a Recycled Area Rug, and Hand-Crocheted Storage Baskets.
THE LAUNDRY ROOM
We clean there. We fold there. We dig through pockets and are amazed there: how could one child get so many, many pairs of jeans stained in just one week?
Some of us upgraded; the machines practically do the work for us. Some of us get by on what we have, preferring to spend our hard-earned dollars elsewhere. Some of us are in so deep--washing diapers or grass-stained baseball pants for the third time this week--that we couldn't even tell you what our machine looks like. We just use what's there.
As much as we dislike being laundry maven, there's a way in which this role is the easiest. The machine does the heavy lifting; we're merely the assistant, keeping the cycle moving. Besides, it's a chance to be alone.
We linger, doling out precise scoops and determining the perfect drying time. We can feel good about making sure everything is done right, knowing the outcome is going to be well worth our time.
a little responsibility & independence never hurt anybody! buy natural products and your conscience will be clean when you invite the kids to give you a hand.
We recommend: Plant-Based Detergent, a couple of Over-Sized Catchalls, Chemical Free Dryer Balls, and all-natural Lavender Linen Spray.
For the past few years, I've given myself the gift of a girls only weekend with two of my dearest friends. We choose a relaxing location, usually near water and some literature-themed place of significance, and we dine, drink, and shop with abandon--like we're the ones who matter the most. While this might wreak havoc on the next month's budget, the trip is so restorative to my soul that I'm more than willing to go without the "finer things of life" when I'm back home.
This past month, we stayed on The Cape where we sampled the beach scene, visited local watering holes, and shopped the quaint artist shanties in Hyannis--where I met the owner of Mudlark Pottery (see our kitchen recommendations above!). Due to a little thing called The Perpetual You magazine, my financial circumstances have changed tremendously since the last time we were together--so there was more browsing than shopping and some more reserved choices on how many bottles of wine to order!
Obviously, my enjoyment of these trips isn't tied to an arbitrary amount of spending money, but I couldn't help but wonder, as I drove to meet them at our Airbnb, if I'd be able to enjoy myself with the financial pressures I'm currently under. I experience the world through "things"; whether gifts I buy for myself, a six-pack I bring home to share with my husband, or trinkets I find for the kids, I like to pair my memories with tangible (albeit perishable) items.
I'm happy to report that this weekend was just as fun and relaxing as all the others were. In fact, I'd argue that I appreciated this trip all the more knowing how precious the expense, not to mention the downtime, was to me and my family. I was also open with my friends about my current situation, which had the paradoxical benefit of helping me feel more at ease while also holding me accountable.
I won't pretend that we didn't shop and eat to our hearts content because we did! We snuck into hidden gems all along Hyannisport and ordered both appetizers and cocktails when we went out. Still, my purchases were intentional and selective and therefore brought me real pleasure. I'm proud that I enjoyed myself and stayed within a budget. We didn't throw caution to the wind, but the weekend was still a grand and glorious treat.
What will you give you yourself this month?
The lee lee
The Perpetual You Managing Editor & Creative Director