Friday, August 31, 2012


My husband is a genius.  (And, for the record, he never reads this blog, so this is spoken freely and truly.)

A little back story.  It will get a little personal but it will end with design, I promise.  With this amazing wallpaper, to be specific.

here, on Designsponge

here, House to Home

I'll get to it.

I have always been whatever weight I happened to be.  Meaning, I have never really dieted or "tried" one way or the other.  I have been overweight (when I went to school in Switzerland and they fed us enormous heaping piles of delicious pasta, for example), I have been on the thinner side (after baby number one, breatfeeding like crazy and forgetting to feed myself), but mostly I have been sort of average.  I have never been skinny.  I have generally been okay with where I'm at.

Lately, though, I have found myself in very bad habits.  Too much wine, not enough water.  Dessert on a regular basis.  Finishing my kids plates so as not to waste food.  If I'm being honest, I have been on a downward slope for three years, since I stopped breastfeeding baby number 2 and the weight started to return.  I was aware all along, watching from the corner of my eye as if it was someone else.  Wondering when I would feel compelled to make a change.  For over a year, I haven't let my husband cancel our membership at the Y because I was planning to start going--tomorrow.

And then, all of a sudden, I'm ready.  Maybe it is the break of a vacation,which makes it easier to really assess your habits, and offers the opportunity to come home fresh and break them.  Maybe it is my looming 20 year high school reunion (and the fact that I was as skinny as I've ever been at the 15 year event.)  Maybe it has to do with my girls getting older and wanting to model better behavior.  (The jokes about Diet Coke being my favorite drink have got to end.)

I am using an app (my first!  I know, I'm old) called my fitness pal, which my husband researched and installed on my phone, and it is an amazing tool to set goals and to see the relationship between calories, exercise, and weight loss.  Knowing is powerful.

But here is the genius of my husband:  He is really into making deals and creating incentive programs. For example, our 6 year old gets a candy dinner--a huge deal in our largely candy-free home--when she quits sucking her thumb.  Me?  Well, for every one minute of jump rope, I earn $1 towards a home project, and--here's the kicker--it can be whatever I want, with no approval from and no veto power for him.  I immediately bought a jump rope at our neighbor's garage sale and thought long and hard about what I would like to earn.

And, you guessed it, I'm pretty settled on wallpaper for the first floor powder room, and after some consideration, I'm pretty set on Grove Garden from Osborne and Little in the more unusual (and elegant and subdued) mocha color way.  Bottom, below.

One more thing, though:  Jump rope is HARD.  Let's just say I only earned $2 today.  It's embarrassing.  Whatever.  My husband is a hard ass and partial minutes don't count.  But you know what?  I would have quit on day one without the promise of freedom to make a frivolous decorating decision.  And tomorrow, I will earn $3, and we will go form there.  (To be clear, jump rope is not the only exercise in my new routine, it's just the only one that earns me home dollars.)

Tell me: would this incentive work for you?  What do you need help conquering?  What do you have your eye on that you might work towards getting?


  1. That is a brilliant plan - I love it! I think you look beautiful in all your photos, but I understand. I'm "contemplating" getting in shape myself. I hate getting winded walking to my kids' bus stop - embarrassing. And jump roping is HARD. I don't think I could've made $1! Good for you, and I love your wallpaper choice. At first glance, I thought it was a Nina Campbell paper. I think I would totally choose something like wallpaper too as my husband is often averse to it! Good luck to you on your quest!

    1. Thanks for your nice words--at this point, it's more about how I feel than how I look! And yes, the wallpaper feels a little like Nina Campbell's La Fiorentina to me--the same layered background. My husband isn't anti-wallpaper aesthetically, he just doesn't see spending the money on it, which is why it is perfect for this challenge!

  2. Love it. All of it. I am a total sucker for a bird motif AND that is an ingenious incentive plan.

  3. I love this. I can't think of a better motivator. Your husband is awesome for being so supportive. You'll be staring at that beautiful wallpaper in no time!


Let me know what you think. I love hearing from you!


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