Thursday, September 4, 2008

ITS FALL!! (Well it is at Starbucks, anyway, and that's what counts, right?)

My own little "Starbucks Siren" icon...Right now, she's saying Fall is coming!

I walked into my local Starbucks yesterday afternoon to pick up a couple of 'liquid treats' for myself and my sweet daughter and found myself in wonderment.

Its good that they know me so well in there and have come to expect my sometimes "over-excited" nature and joy of just being at
Starbucks because I stood there, first in awe, looking around...something had changed. Then the "contained" jumping up and down commenced. I was SO excited to see the first, OFFICIAL START OF FALL -- they were offering the first "Fall drink" of the year --

Okay, I'm not gonna lie to you. It may be September, but here in Florida (and probably in most of the U.S.) the weather is not yet what we'd call "cool" and the air is anything but "crisp"...
No matter! Even though it was in the 90's outside, yours truly ordered her first yummy
Pumpkin Spice Latte of the year and probably created a bit of a "scene" doing so...

If I said it once, I said it 10 times while I stood there waiting for my drink:

"Oh, you have Pumpkin Spice Lattes -- this is so great!" "OH! Look at all the new things! You changed things around, too! And look! You have wheat in your displays!" "Oh this is great!" "Fall is HERE!" "I LOVE YOU GUYS!!"

Okay, so they were probably shaking there heads (again) and wondering why I don't get out more as I left, but I think I probably make them smile, too. Who wouldn't want to have such a loyal, enthusiastic customer come in everyday (OOPS! Did I say EVERYDAY?) and ooh and ahh over your store?

For me, my
Starbucks "experience" not just a fast-food stop - not just a place to run in and grab a cuppa joe (HA! in fact, some places should just call it a 'cuppa John Doe', its so generic!). As the ad campaign for another coffee place insinuates, America may "run on ------ ------" but does anyone really ever make that place a destination?

No, Starbucks is truly is a 'destination' for me. I can't walk in there (no matter how many times a day I do) without first just pausing, taking it all in.

The smell: there is no other smell like it and I wish they'd bottle it!

The "feel": like home-away-from-home; you can put your feet up, curl up with a book, or meet up with a friend and chat for hours as if you were at your kitchen table.

The "vibe" -- the colors, the furniture, the layout, the art, THE MUSIC.
None of it is by 'accident', trust me, its all by design, and it's a formula that is sheer genius.

So much so, that last year when we were finally ready to gut and remodel our space over our garage (which has been dubbed anything from 'the barn' to 'the carriage house')
we looked to
Starbucks as our design template, if you will.
And now, that space is lovingly called by many 'The Starbucks Room'. Okay, 'brand-loyalty' gone too far? Maybe. Maybe not. This new space turns out to be one of the best things we've ever done -- we make fabulous family memories in it, we USE it, and most of all, there isn't a time we walk into that area that we don't just pause and smile (maybe even giggle a little). It was some of the best money ever spent.

Here's where I'm "going" with this... When you consider your own living space, does it excite you and have that "Starbucks affect" on you each time you walk through the door?

When you walk through your front door (or when family and friends do) does everything in you want to just stop - pause a second and take it all in? The scent, the "feel", the "vibe"?

Or, is it a "fast-food" equivalent? Generic, utilitarian only?
JANE DOE?? No identity? Does it say "Just exactly who lives here, anyway? Anyone?"

Maybe as our season changes now (
c'mon FALL!!), its time to take inventory of the space we call home. Ask ourselves "Do I absolutely ADORE walking in here?" Does it reflect YOU and all that is "you" (whatever that is)?

Did you know that to accomplish that, you have to first define "you"? Many of us skip that part and just enter a house and exist there. As much as a space/house is hard surfaces of brick/concrete/stone/wood/plaster, etc., they are as much evolving, living things, too. Or they should be.

If you take stock and have to admit that you are living in a JANE DOE space instead of your own version of your personal "Starbucks" (or whatever makes you swoon), why not give yourself the gift of purposing to make your home, your space (whatever/where ever that is) become YOU instead of JANE DOE.

Begin taking note of those momenets -- whenever and where ever they occur -- when you sense that you just feel great about where you are. Where do you LOVE to go and why? Is it a store? A restaurant? A coffee shop? Someone else's home? What is it about that space that just sends you?
What smell consistantly makes you smile and just feel great? Is there a candle that you adore everytime you smell it in a store? BUY A CASE! Why only swoon over a scent when you walk into someone's store or home? OWN that feeling in your own home - make it your 'signature' scent!

This is what is called investing in yourself - in your life.
LifeSTYLES are not for everyone else -- YOU should have your own lifeSTYLE and don't be shy about investing in it.

If its a color scheme that you've realized always makes your heart leap or makes you feel immediately at rest, get busy incorporating it into YOUR home! Chances are, you're paying dearly to live in that home (especially these days!) and to not make that place truly your sanctuary is a financial crime! :)

So, be thinking of ways to take a fresh look at your home -- and your
lifeSTYLE. Buy a fresh new candle, or a bag of apples or pears to place on the counter or table. Maybe for you its fresh flowers that are long overdue in your home.

Maybe its a $20 can of paint and a couple of hours' work that will be
changing for you.

The kids are back to school now, but I have a HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT for YOU -- survey your home, your life -- what's missing, what needs to go (or be replaced)? What do you wish your home and your lifeSTYLE was really
like? What can you do to start the process of change?

The seasons are changing. Maybe your home's "vibe" should, too!

This should never be something we think we'll address "someday" or "next year".

Guess what? You can't set your watch to "someday" -- and I've found that "someday" doesn't exist. Its not out there, so stop planning to do things someday.

Know what does exist?? NOW. Now exists -- let's get busy now.

Class dismissed. :)


Jackie said...

I so loved this post!! Thank you!! I do love my home and it keeps evolving even in ways I never planned. We remodeled last year and I had a vision in my head and now have gone a different way, but one that I LOVE! So, I completely agree with everything you said. We're still buying furniture and big stuff, but it doesn't have to be big - just little things that make your heart sing when you see them. I think Fall is a great time to get nesting (my favorite season) and I'm thrilled to know that Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back!! Have a lovely day!!

Joy Zaczyk said...

Oh my, but you DO know how to dance with words! So well said girlfriend!!

I am with you 100%.

p.s. I am in the middle of tagging you on my blog - check back later!


The World According to Libby said...

Preach it sistah!!!!!!! Man that was well said!!!! Girlfriend, you should be a motivational speaker! I just now lit some scents simply because you told me to and the way you said it! Well, I can tell you Ruth, I am presently having a new fence installed and I'm staining it newport blue. That's right. Funk baby, funk. Hanging some lizards on it. Having said that, I'm feeling inspired to start putting some pumpkins out after reading this blog. Man you're good!
Can't wait to see you!!! Miss you lots.
Love, Lib said...

I came here from Joy's blog to meet her long lost twin. I can see how much you guys do have in common! And your place is as fun to visit as hers.

Good advice on decor, by the way!

Simply Stated ~ Rebecca said...

Wonderful post! To hear you speak about the Pumpking Spice Latte reminds me of a local Ice cream shop we had here years ago called Hopkins Dairy. They always had Pumpkin spice Ice cream each Fall. I loved it...will have to make my own now.
I've been thinking the same thing here about our home ~ it need a change. My Daughter and I went to Pier 1 this past Saturday and felt the same way. We fell in love with all their fun and beautiful items ~ especially their chairs this season. Everything made us want to go home and change it all right then!