Inspiration: April/May

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Although it’s been more hectic around here than I care to admit, I have taken time to revel in the greens and blues of late spring.  Warmer weather seems like such a treat because, after this winter, I thought it would never, ever, EVER return to my part of the world.  Between finishing up my Master’s degree and spending any free time I have outside, I haven’t done much Internet surfing for leisure.  Even so, I’ve stumbled upon a few things to inspire the heart, enlighten the mind and uplift the spirit.

Enjoy!

Inspiration: April/May

  • Lately, my porch and patio have become my favorite “rooms” of the house. I like Houzz’s ideas for making these areas even homier.
  • Want a more luxurious way to improve an outdoor space?  Add a swimming pool.  I love the idea of these natural pools.
  • What will I be doing while I’m hanging out on my porch?  Reading, of course.  (I second Garden Spells, The Martian, Cinder and A Walk in the Woods – all great summer reads.)
  • And when I’m not reading, I’ll be cooking and eating good things from the grill.  This little chart makes the mystery of grilling the perfect steak as plain as the nose on my face.
  • Of course, there must also be dessert.  Something light and refreshing on a warm summer evening.  This looks just about perfect, I think.
  • Summer always means travel to me.  Even though I already have the family’s plans mapped out this year, these US destinations are pretty tempting.  Bombay Hook isn’t far from my home and Mount Desert Island is already a favorite I would return to again and again.
  • Finally, for a unique photography fix:

Now I think I’m ready to dive into summer.  Are you?

 

 

Inspiration: March

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If you believe the calendar, spring has officially arrived in the Northern Hemisphere.  Hurray!  Unfortunately, the weather hasn’t quite gotten the message.  This means I’m dreaming more of spring than actually experiencing it.  Still, the sun is higher in the sky and the willow trees are beginning to turn green – events promising that Nature and the calendar will eventually get on the same train.  Then, the rejoicing will truly begin around here.

I’ve found all kinds of inspiration this month. Some is directly related to the season: Easter, spring cleaning, and my birthday. Some of the links just caught my fancy in one way or another and I thought they might do the same for you.

Enjoy!

Inspiration: March

  • The perfect perspective of home.
  • Speaking of home, springtime often means spring cleaning.  Some ideas for tackling the job.
  • Listening to audiobooks while cleaning the house?  I never have, but think it’s a lovely idea.  Here are some great suggestions.  I’ve been wanting to read The Buried Giant and The Goldfinch.  Maybe I’ll listen to them instead.
  • Cleaning is not really my favorite sport.  These cleaners might tempt me to do it more often simply because they would smell so good!
  • After the house is clean, it’ll probably be time for an Easter Brunch.
  • This also belongs on the menu.  Actually, it could be the menu and I’d be happy.
  • Of course, there must be flowers on the Easter brunch table.  Or any time, really.
  • More flowers.  And way more creativity.
  • And speaking of creativity, just give me one small corner of this space and I could create whimsical creatures, too!
  • I’ll be celebrating my 46th birthday in a few days.  This interview came at just the right time.
  • Did you know that a fully illustrated Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is in the works?  It looks perfectly wonderful.
  • I’m heading to Scotland this summer.  Steven Carter is whipping my anticipation into a frenzy.  I. Can. Not. Wait.
  • Finally, I’ve been finding Hillsong’s The Creed to be especially inspirational coming into this Easter season.

 

I’m feeling very inspired.  I think I’ll head to the grocery store and collect some more flowers.  Even if it’s not quite feeling like spring outside, there’s no harm in making it look like spring inside.

 

Inspiration: January/February

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I’d like to say that I haven’t written for awhile because there is too much other “stuff” going on.  It wouldn’t really be a lie.  A more truthful truth, though, would be that I’ve had nothing worthwhile to say.  All my creative energy is going into completing projects and papers for my Masters courses and solving seemingly unsolvable problems at work.  Sadly, there’s been nothing but crumbs left over for this little space.

Thank goodness there are many other people out there filled to overflowing with inspiration and creativity.  For now, we’ll just have to mooch off their positive energy.  Let’s all take a moment and bask in some beauty and the genius of our fellow human beings, shall we?

Inspiration: January/February

  • Neely Wang’s photography – especially her Macro Monday posts.
  • Ideas for surviving what has turned out to be a depressingly cold and rainy  February.
  • The luxury of napping.
  • Winter reading suggestions.  I second The Thirteenth Tale, Rebecca, and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I’ve put All the Light We Cannot See and Peace Like a River on the TBR list.
  • Feeding my wanderlust with this.
  • This made me smile.
  • This book.  The only “organizing” book I have ever finished and implemented.  (A blog post, perhaps?)
  • What is saving you?  (Sounds like another blog post…)

And finally,

  • I’ve been needing this reminder, again and again.  Talk about inspirational:

Well, that was refreshing.  And since I have a three week hiatus before I begin my final quarter of Masters courses, I’m hoping I’ll have some time to be still, letting all this inspiration spark some creative blogging genius.  Stay tuned!

Inspiration: December

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Merry Christmas!

I hope this holiday season finds you enjoying equal parts raucous merry-making and restorative relaxation.  I’m in the middle of a two week break from classes and work and have been taking full advantage of an unstructured schedule: late nights watching movies, late mornings sleeping in, and generally engaging in a life of laziness.  It’s been wonderful.  Really.

Currently, inspiration is coming from several different corners of the Internet and covers a vast array of topics from improving hot chocolate (is that possible?) to choosing a reading challenge for 2015 and everything in between.  Enjoy!

  • Noel – Bridget Park
  • A Just-Simple-Enough Holiday
  • I want to try this with my daughter, a lover of origami.
  • Taking hot chocolate to the next level with this.
  • Even though I didn’t quite finish this year’s challenge, I’ve been considering several reading challenges for 2015.  At the moment, this and this are the top contenders.
  • Heidi, author of the 101 Cookbooks blog, has some great things to say about blogging.
  • When I get tired of being lazy this week, I’ll  start working on this list, beginning with #4 and then moving on to #’s 6 and 7.
  • This will aid in the completion of #4.  It’s a very scary concept to me because I love clothing.  However, I recognize the benefit of a stream-lined wardrobe (at least for work) so I’m going to give it a try. ( I can hear my husband’s rejoicing already.)
  • I would never define myself as a lover of very modern or minimalist design, although the uncluttered essence of it seriously appeals to me.  This lake home could convert me.  I especially love its situation and the accompanying boathouse on the lake.  Perfection!
  • Finally, in celebration of Christmas, some beautiful music from ThePianoGuys:

Inspiration: November

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Happy November!

I have really been enjoying the calm that November has brought to my life.  Now that the marching band/football season is over, I’m taking time to catch my breath and regroup before the holiday craziness begins.  It feels good to be eating suppers with my family again, baking cookies that disappear as soon as they come out of the oven, and cozying up my home for the cooler temperatures.  I’m also spending some time wandering around the Webosphere, seeking out inspiration to ignite my burned-out creative fire or boost my flagging gratitude.  Below are some of my favorite discoveries.  Maybe you’ll discover a bit of something that lights your fire, too.

Enjoy!

  1. Ashley Woodson Bailey.  A fellow flower lover who creates photographs with her iPhone that are reminiscent of the Dutch masters.
  2. Travel Destinations.  Yes, please!
  3. Vocabulary Expansion.  My favorites: Waldeinsamkeit, Komorebi, and Goya.
  4. A Fun (and short!) History Lesson.  I think an occasional duvet day would be delicious…
  5. A Timely Reminder.  I’ll be focusing on 1, 5, 6.
  6. Vivian Maier here and here.  It’s quite a story of an unknown but gifted film photographer who took pictures for the simple pleasure of it and captured history in the process.
  7. Somewhere Over the Rainbow – Kate Davis, Guy Mintus, and Gabe Schnider.  Wow.  Just wow.  (If the video annoys you, just listen to the music.)

Anything inspiring you on the Web these days?  I’d love to hear about it.