Inspiration File

Think back to high school. For some of you that may seem like eons ago and for others maybe just yesterday. Did you ever take Home Ec? What type of class was it? At my tiny little school (yes, I graduated with 47 people), it wasn’t a popular class to take. The main attraction was the teacher. She truly cared and had a relaxed way of teaching. I remember in one of those classes we spent time talking about our future. For some reason, we started a manila envelope of pictures of things we would like to have in our future homes. (Huh, now that I’m writing this I wonder if we really did this in class or if it was just some other weird idea I had at age 15.) Anyways, I can remember filing pictures away just like I had seen my mom do as her and my dad built our house (more on that later).
Almost 10 years later I find myself doing the very same thing but now it’s more of a reality. I have begun my own inspiration file.
Ridiculous things I considered while making an inspiration file:
  • Hard cover vs. soft cover
  • Lined paper vs. blank paper
  • 8 ½  x 11 size paper vs. larger paper
  • Inexpensive vs. expensive notebook
Particular about the binding, I choose a sketchbook (I have a weird obsession with sketchbooks, they’re perfect for anything).
 With a little dash of Amy Butler’s (a fave fabric designer of mine) scrapbook paper I began my creation. A delicious latte and few labels later I had myself a little book of inspiration. I use it to keep my ideas that I tear from magazines. I look forward to someday studying the pictures to begin making choices for my home that awaits us.

Final choice: soft cover, larger blank paper, inexpensive sketchbook. (Would have loved this one but figured my $3 one from Target would suffice.)
The inspiration file is just a piece of my dream land. I have my online pictures saved here. Are you ready to start clipping? Maybe you’re a little crazy like me and feel better once something is visually organized. Let me officially give you permission to cut and paste.


Excitement at 5:01 p.m.

For some of you 5:01 means your DONE! HALLELUJAH! No more work! Can't beat that feeling.

Luckily for me today  it meant a couple of things...

1. I left work before 4 p.m. (wowzers)
2. I left work 2 days in a row before 4 p.m. (double wowzers)
3. Excitement while opening my mailbox to a beauty.....

Want in on the love? Subscribe here for $5.99 a year.

Are you a magazine lover? I haven't been to into magazines until my recent subscription of Better Homes and Garden. (What a great Christmas present, thanks mom!) I am thrilled to dig in and see the articles on "30 Try-It-Now Decorating Ideas", "Quick and Pretty Spring Containers", and the "No-fail Wall Colors". The learning is endless and pictures are amazing!

In honor of magazine love, I thought I would conjure up a list of some of my favorites. Hint hint...some night when you're bored, go to Barnes and Noble and bask in the beauty that these periodicals offer.

Top Faves:
  • Better Home & Garden and ANYTHING they publish like storage solutions, small spaces, do-it-yourself (unlimited supply of inspiration)
  • Real Simple
  • House Beautiful
  • Elle Decor
  • Metropolitan Home
  • Martha Stewart (In honor of my mother who still has every magazine edition since 1997.)

Online magazines: (not quite as cool as the paper version but readily accessible)

Nesting Newbies

Enjoy the inspiration but don't forget the pictures ARE in a magazine and look baller for a reason. Hence, you may not see the belt lying on the floor, bed undone, or alarm clock flashing. No need to envy, just enjoy!!! Happy reading!


A Good Night's Sleep

Nothing beats sleeping in your own bed.
Hands down.
Recently we have downsized to 777 square feet and gave up a second bedroom. Yes, sad day. It’s a little bit harder to convince our besties to come hang out for the weekend.
We certainly appreciate our hardcore friends who don’t mind sleeping on Mr. Aerobed himself. One unfortunate night, a friend who was visiting had a rude awakening while sleeping in our casa. He awoke to a flat bed underneath him. Nothing’s worse than realizing your only comfort is gone. After feeling horrible, I knew we had to fix this problem so that just maybe, someone else would want to visit.

As The Mr. was finding the hole, my mind was blown. I thought A- my husband is a genious or B my husband is the best googler ever. Turns out he’s the best googler ever. (A googler is someone who Googles like none other. Do you know one of those?)
You ask, how did he find the hole…a little soap and water. When he pressed the mattress down out came air which created a bubble or two from the soap.

Air + soap = bubbles
With a little “ Amazing Goop” and a few seconds later, it was fixed. I found out later that night as the Mr. was laughing with suspicion, that he had taken a few pieces from the shower curtain to patch. Oh well.

Do you see the shower curtain?
  It sure was great to see it hold up another night’s sleep in better condition.
And even better to see it take a piece of this....

Jumping & Flips


He thought he was hot stuff.
Find “Amazing Goop” for $4.89 here or in-store at Meijer for $3.

Too cute! Nephew Aiden and the Mr. making eggs!


Breaking the Rules

Rules are made to be broken, right? Although I spend most of my day enforcing rules to seven and eight year olds, sometimes they need to be thrown out (rules that is). When it comes to renting apartments I lean towards breaking the rules. Now before you judge me, consider my rule breaking choice.

They (in my case, L.W. Apartments) say no to holes in walls but you know they don’t care as long as you patch when you’re done.  Plain and simple, I don’t think I could live with the gorgeous vertical blinds they freely supplied. My solution to the ugliness is to put up some curtain rods and inexpensive curtains.
It seems like “these days” curtains are making ceilings higher and rooms bigger. Try hanging your curtains up a notch or so higher. Don't forget you'll need longer curtains for this technique. Check out these fabulous photos for help.

Images: (1) (2) (3) (4)

Here's a little help from Pottery Barn if you want to know how to hang a drape correctly.


Wallpaper....Bring it On!

After reading the title, don’t rule me out completely. Lately, I have seen some great room inspiration from one of my favorite sites. http://www.decorpad.com/index.htm  Unlimited time can be spent on the site and it always leaves you wanting more. (Check it out and add your favorite pics to your own file.)

I’m a texture girl. I love to use/see different textures in a room. These shots below strike me as remarkable. I know it’s wallpaper but I think it looks pretty stinkin’ awesome! I think the white beadboard helps the room’s balance.  I would prefer a smaller dose of wall covering in grasscloth, maybe one wall of a smaller room or an entry way/den. What do you think? Are you ready to step out of your comfort zone….wallpaper baby!

Images: (1) (2) (3) (4)


Dinner party? Yes, please!

What do you do on Valentine’s Day? Do you go out to eat (like most of the world), buy a gift, pretend it’s not really happening? Well, we decided to do none of the above.  Instead we decided to have a night in our apartment with some of our lovely friends. A dinner party sounded exquisite and much better then watching awkward dates. It took a little twisting of arms (maybe a secret game and some good food) but they accepted.
As soon as everyone accepted, my brain began churning. I love planning (it’s kind of a weird hobby). All I knew was that I wanted it to be special. (I’m actually old enough to host a dinner party, I thought only Martha Stewart did that.) We threw some food options out to the lovelies and they decided between beef tenderloin and lamb. We knew it would be good!
Then I moved on to what the table would look like. Huh? Colors…not a huge fan of red even though it was Valentine’s Day. I opted for what we had in our lovely cabinet… dark magenta linens (12-pack from a previous HomeGoods purchase of $12.99) with some antique pink linens I found with my mom in an antique shop in Minnesota a few years back. I decided on a white table cloth I had already owned from a friends bridal shower I hosted. Then it moved to centerpieces. I really wanted fresh flowers. Finding myself at Kroger, I chose the cheapest option, alstroemeria. They just happened to have ones that matched my napkins. It was a done deal! For my 3 vases of fresh flowers I spent a whopping 12 bucks. You can’t get cheaper than that! Also, I couldn’t help but think of my gradma and all the dinners she served to my 30 plus family members over the years. I had to honor her in the fact of buying my own table pad at Meijer. I bought it so I could have it forever. (Well at least that is what I told myself.)
After all the thinking, it was time to put it in place. I knew I should set the table the day before so I only had to worry about the food the night of the party. (A special shout out to my husband who knows how to cook!) One word. SUCCESS!
Here is the final product. It turned out to be a late evening but tons of fun. A toast to love and great friends!


I'm Really Doing It!

I’m really doing it! My new favorite hobby has been to spend my nights not grading papers, but in fact, reading blogs. There is just something about it. I love all blogs relating to home/d├ęcor.  Since discovering the world’s greatest blog…Young House Love…it has awakened me to so much more. The best part of it all, you ask…..INSPIRATION! And hence….. why I started my own. So much good stuff out there in the blog world I couldn’t help but share it with you and help organize my own thinking.
My goal in life (if you can call it that) is finding everything at a cheaper price. Boy, does it feel good! The Mr. and I are two peas in a pod when it comes to wanting a good deal. Maybe we’re crazy. (We rarely buy things at the grocery store that are not on sale.) But heck, we save money and still have quality items. With that being said, the blog will introduce you to our penny pinching purchases and our projects.
Home Awaits-
Going on year two of living in an apartment (plus 4 years in the glorious college dorms/apartments), I’m soooo ready to buy a house. We’re waiting of course for good reasons like commitment to staying in one location, stable jobs (I’m a second grade teacher), and getting rid of student loans (yes, we have those). In the meantime, what can a girl do? DREAM! So that’s my task right now…to dream. And I love dreaming. So until that day comes when we sign papers and become “real” adults, I will dream, plan, and be inspired while our home awaits us.