Because life is too short not to surround yourself with beautiful things.

{For those of you thinking you were going to get a post on some great product or DIY project today, please forgive this brief indulgence...we'll be back tomorrow with our regularly scheduled programming.} For four days last week, I indulged in my ultimate personal (not to be confused with family) vacation.

For four days last week, I caught up with an old friend, met at least thirty new ones, and basked in the warm glow of humor, creativity, entrepreneurship, inspiration, artistry, and seriously great fashion.

For four days last week, I attended the Altitude Design Summit, a not-to-be-missed bringing-together of social media and design professionals to hear from some of the Greats, learn new skills (screen-printing, tabletop photography, Illustrator, oh my!) and forge new relationships that will last beyond Twitter.

For anyone interested in the content of the panels, you can find summaries and commentary all over the blogosphere. Since I know many of my readers are not bloggers or designers and The Mudroom is not what one would characterize as a personal blog, I won't recount every life-changing detail. But I will tell you this...for me, the final keynote session of the conference, led by Swiss Miss Tina Roth Eisenberg, summed up my reason for starting this blog, and in some ways, my reason for being. During her address, she said many things that struck a chord for me ("don't start a blog unless you're passionate about the subject," "nobody can tell you what's best for you," "enthusiasm and integrity are your biggest assets," and so on), but it was when she was talking about her upbringing in Switzerland that she said the magic words:

"Life is too short not to surround yourself with beautiful things."

And that, in 15 words or less, is exactly why I started writing this blog.

Life is too short.

We probably all have some experience with that phenomenon, and maybe someday I'll write about mine. My life-is-too-short experience led my soul-searching husband to ask me three years ago "what is your passion...your reason for being?" to which I answered, my home and my family and my belief that everyone can live in a beautiful space that incorporates all the messiness of real life.

Some people may feel that's trite. But the architects and artists and designers of the world -- the ones that Switzerland celebrates on its bank notes -- would tell you otherwise.

And I'm assuming you guys and gals out there who occasionally stop by my little Mudroom here might feel the same, and that's why you keep coming back. So thank you...thanks for making my day every time one of you leaves a comment, or sends a nice e-mail my way to let me know that you look to surround yourself with beauty too.

Keep 'em coming, and I'll do the same.

xo Paige

P.S. - Thank you, thank you to the brilliant ladies of Kirtsy and the amazing sponsors for putting on this conference.

P.P.S. - That whole sponsorship thing really works.  Haven't stopped thinking about the Honda Accord Crosstour since our chaffeured lift to Lamb's on Thursday night.

Photo credit: the super-sweet Grand America courtyard in Salt Lake City; photo taken by Paige Lewin