Why I (Really) DIY

why i diy

A few weeks ago, the five year anniversary of this blog came and went and I discussed the reasons why I blog (because I find the need to re-affirm myself every so often), but blogging is just part of the story.  It’s getting work out into the world, it’s sharing, it’s the way I make my living.  But one can blog about a whole lot of things.  I could have chosen travel, fashion, cooking, or mini farming.  I got to thinking this weekend however, while making brownies from scratch, why it is that I DIY… that is, do things myself.

First, let’s evaluate DIY… because a lot of people get it wrong.  

Making something for the pleasure of making something that you normally wouldn’t buy in the shops isn’t necessarily a DIY…. it’s a craft, or a hobby, or artistic expression. A DIY (in my personal opinion) is something that you need to do/buy regardless, you just are choosing to do it yourself, rather than pay someone or buy the already finished good. It’s the choice to take the hard way just for the sake of time, money, or maybe customization.

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times, a DIY isn’t worth making if it isn’t A) better or B) cheaper or C) quicker than the store-bought option. If it turns out to be more expensive than what you could buy or not as good as what you could buy, then why do it?  Well for me, the reason I DIY might shock you… it’s out of pure laziness.

Yes, I am lazy. Let’s go back to the brownies.  I wanted a brownie for about 4 days.  I saw them on the slopes in Vail while getting sensible lunch and they were $6.  I thought better of buying a $6 brownie which was colder than ice, so I passed, but it really got the brownie idea in my head.  Then, Sunday at a deli I walked by on the way to lunch, I saw some brownies, but they looked like undercooked goo.  Not my style. After I got home, I really just couldn’t stop thinking about having a brownie.  I thought about going to the store to get a mix (I’m a pretty big fan of the boxed brownie mix from Trader Joes), but I was also cold, full from my pho I had for lunch, and didn’t want to leave the house.  So being my lazy self, I just make the damn brownies from scratch.

I know this seems like a silly story, but as I’m making these brownies I realize that I always take the seemingly more difficult road, but in actuality, it’s more simple. It took me way less time to make something from scratch than it did to put my shoes on, go to the store, buy a mix, come home, then still have to cook the brownies.  In a lot of ways, doing things the ‘hard’ way is, in fact, easier.  And since I’m lazy, I take the easy route.

As I’m mixing my brownie batter and thinking harder and harder on this idea, I realize that it’s true in so so many ways.  Last winter I installed paneling on my office ceiling because that was way easier (and cheaper) than scraping a the stupid looking popcorn that was up there.  I hand make every halloween costume I wear because who has time to go looking for something just right? Going out to the shops and searching for what I want is often a bigger waste of time than just making what’s in my head to begin with.

Case and point… My headboard took me 2 hours to make.  2 hours.  If I’d ordered it from Restoration Hardware, it would have taken weeks to arrive, thousands of dollars, and another hour to get upstairs and set up… and I can assure you, I am not that patient.

Most of the things I create, I create because I am just too lazy to wait for or seek out an alternative.  I know that I can have exactly what I want, and I can have it now if I DIY.

It always amuses me when people come over and are enamored by things I make.  They think, “why would this girl go through all of this just for a (ceiling/headboard/brownie).  Well, the answer my friends always makes me laugh… it’s because I’m lazy.  Now, I’m hungry for a brownie.

Have a wonderful snowy (in the midwest) Tuesday friend!  Come back tomorrow for an adorable and easy Valentine DIY for a friend or yourself!

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