Beauty Beyond the Surfaces
I'm as enamored as the next design-minded person by the flawless layouts in my favorite home magazines with endless images of exquisitely appointed spaces. Spaces so beautiful they cause you to actually feel something. Did you know that feeling you have is legit? It's scientifically proven that for those of us that are physically affected when our eyes land on something we deem beautiful, dopamine is released to the brain.
This last year we neared completion of our renovation, with countless hours invested in the details that not only made our house a home, but brought genuine happiness and pride from the results of so much thought, intention, and work that was put into every small choice. But guess what? No matter how satisfying it felt to stamp "done" on a room, life continues on and we LIVE in our home! Reality sets in quickly that the magazine-worthy spread of yesterday is now filled with scratches on our new cabinet doors, hot glue and glitter on the brand new dining table from making hand made cards, and chips in the paint on the freshly finished mudroom cubbies. This is life with three beautiful, active, homeschooled kiddos, a dog, and 'farming lite.' I wouldn't change anything!
The 'Focus on the Moments' List
Every year, I compile a list of my favorite finds. I don't generally share it. I just do it. It can be anything, from a perfectly cozy sweater to soaps that add the perfect touch to my powder bath, to a newly discovered protein powder or supplement (because yep, wellness is also a major part of our lives.)
As I thought about sharing my list this year, the biggest thing that stuck out to me was that my favorite things create 'moments'. Moments in design that satisfy the artist and designer in me. Moments of peace away from the chaos, and moments that mean something to my children and Jonathan. So here it is, the First Aal Christmas List, curated this year for breaking away from the magazine-worthy spread to small moments of joy, beauty, self care---and of course hospitality---that matter the most. Enjoy, and happy shopping!