Creativity & Resisting the Urge to Splurge


One of the things I was looking forward to most about buying a house was having a new place to renovate and decorate. Now that we'll be staying here (in the same house we've lived in for the last three years) I feel a bit aimless. Once the nursery is finished, every room will be fully decorated--at least, to the extent that we can change things in our rental. And while that should be a good thing (we can finally relax, right?), it actually makes me feel the opposite: bored and restless. I think part of it is that without new projects to work on and new rooms to decorate, I feel like I won't have any content for this blog. And another part is that I enjoy having a creative outlet that also feels useful. I've always loved "artsy" things, but as I've gotten older, I've had a hard time enjoying hobbies like sketching, painting, or writing, unless they have a practical purpose. I feel guilty using my time "just for fun," like I should be doing laundry or working out or doing something productive instead...lame, I know!


For all of the reasons above, I was feeling the urge to start redecorating rooms of our house that are perfectly fine. Should we get a new sofa? A new dining table? A new bed? New things will make this old place feel exciting again, right?! Then Ben gently pointed out that maybe spending a bunch of money on new stuff isn't the solution. Duh, I know...but sometimes it takes an outside perspective to make you realize you're barking up the wrong tree. Soo I'm making a list of ideas I'd like to try this year, to get my creative fix without succumbing to the urge to splurge! Hopefully some of these will also lead to blog content that's genuine to my life, and not contrived for the sake of a post.

1. Learn more about photography, especially people photography (I'm sure I will want to take LOTS of pictures of our baby!)
2. Make a first-year baby book, with photos and notes about milestones, funny stories, etc. Like a scrapbook, but without the hassle of scissors and glue.
3. Write and illustrate a children's book. When I was younger, I wanted to be an author/illustrator when I grew up. Ben has been encouraging me to do that now, even if it's just for us and our kid.
4. Learn to be a better cook. I enjoy cooking, but tend to stick with the same tried-and-true recipes. I'd love to learn how to make some of my favorite restaurant dishes, as well as more creative/flavorful/unique recipes--especially since this year we are trying to eat out less.
5. Travel more! The silver lining of not buying a house is that we're a lot more free to travel. I'm hoping we can take a few trips to new destinations this year! Traveling isn't necessarily a creative outlet, but it does always spark the imagination.

There are also lots of creative ventures that I've ruled out. Sewing doesn't seem worth the effort of learning, since I can usually buy clothes for less than the cost of fabric. Gardening also doesn't really interest me, at least while we're still in a rental. And from taking my weekly bump photos, I can definitely tell you that I won't become a fashion blogger anytime soon. ;)

That said, I'm really open to other ideas! What are some ways that you guys stay creative? I'm looking forward to stretching my creative muscles this year, and developing some hobbies that aren't related to decorating. After all, it's not like we can just up and move every time we finish decorating a house!

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  1. Posted by caslyn on Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

    try this recipie:

    It is seriously delicious!! I used chickpeas instead of split peas.

    I had never made anything like that before and it is now one of my favorite dishes.
    • Posted by Aileen on Monday, June 6th, 2016

      Thanks, Caslyn! That looks so flavorful. I've never tried to make anything Afghan, but I'm totally up for trying! I need to get out of my cooking rut, for sure.
  2. Posted by Debbie on Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

    Paper crafting works for me. You will always be making little decor changes using what you have to freshen up for seasons. The babe is 24/7 which will also fill up your day (and night ;)). I am loving journaling/planning with sketching and doodles. An easy-fun-can be frugal-if you make it so. You might try it. Your babe will love to see your first year journey together. Finding what works for you will happen. That creative gene need can be met in many ways. I've even had seasons of knitting! So many options. It will be fun to see what you choose in this season of your life. Blessings to you!!
    • Posted by Aileen on Monday, June 6th, 2016

      Yes, you are so good with scrapbooking & journaling! I remember you gave me the prettiest scrapbook for my bridal shower with pieces from our wedding invitation. And I love seeing your sketches on Instagram. Also, I know you're totally right that the babe will fill up lots of my time...but I still want to have hobbies that are for my enjoyment! I'm SO excited to be a mom, but I also don't want to feel like that's my only identity once the baby arrives. I'm hoping I'll be able to find a balance that feels right!