Getting Creative – Expanding Your Style

I recently spent a lovely evening bingeing DIY Danie over on YouTube. Last year she purchased her very first home and has been working on updating many of the rooms. These past couple of weeks focused on the reno of her Master Bedroom which turned out amazing. Her friend, Alexandra Gater, took on the task of designing Danie’s Guest Room and that project was the “Ah-Ha!” project for the house, IMNSHO.

Danie’s vibe is very open, bright, airy with lots of plants and splashes of color along with some inspired DIY projects. Alexandra has been very much pale pink and pom-poms with plants and some interesting DIY projects.

Color can be intimidating for many, many people. If you have been a renter for any period of time, chances are you are stuck using white or variations of the same because many landlords aren’t interested in repainting once you move on. White can be very safe, but also very boring. Adding tints of other colors might seem to be a step forward, but you still run the risk of getting stuck in the same old rut. Is it any wonder folks find themselves caught in a rut they don’t know how to get out of?

Danie did a project a while back working with the 2021 color pallet of one of the major paint companies. She stepped out of her comfort zone using one of the blues and while it was intimidating for her at first, she found she liked the end result.

Gater has also stepped out of her comfort zone a bit while working on projects but it was this latest project she worked on with Danie that really pulled her out of her comfort zone and moved her game up an entire level. Danie was hesitant at first but the end result was Awesome – and if you go over to Gater’s channel, pull up the video and read the comments, Danie said that every guest who has used the room loves it, too.

The point of all of this is to encourage you to get out of your comfort zone and experiment a bit. Not sure if you want to make an entire room a particular color? Get a small can of the paint and use it on a bookshelf.

Not sure what colors will work with the color you’ve chosen? Look for collection sample cards and see what goes with what. Don’t particularly like all the colors? Pick a few and consider using some as accents. A little goes a long way.

If you have a decor piece that you love, why not pull colors from that and put them into the room? One of my very favorite finds was a bedroom linen collection picked up at Target years ago. It was a floral with a black background – the black made the colors Pop. All of the colors on the linens worked together and when matched with paint samples, provided a blueprint for accessory pieces that I painted myself.

Getting out of the box allows you more freedom to express yourself and create a room that is comfortable, cozy, and makes you want to spend time there. Don’t be afraid to experiment a bit. It is only paint after all. 😉

Sundays With The Guys

I have to admit to a wonderful evolution to my weekend.

For quite a few months now, Sunday mornings have been spent with two great guys who take time to tell me what’s going on with them, show me projects they have been working on or are in the process of developing, share ideas and inspiration and show me around an area of the world I have been loving for longer than I care to contemplate.

Who are these amazing people? Luke Catleugh and Mr. Carrington, of course!

I’m not sure how I managed to discover Mr. C but he managed to introduce me to Luke and between the two I’ve discovered a new way of cooking, looked at upping my home decor game, and rediscovered the fun of, well, doing stuff.

Both upload YouTube videos at least once a week on Sundays, but often during the week as well. Their latest works include decor upgrades and shopping hauls in addition to a DIY project or two. Luke loves to cook which means I get a chance to see something other than the same old same old while Mr. C is pretty straight forward and laid back about what is basically a dump and go methodology in his slow cooker. Both give me food for thought.

And I am in love with the roof top garden at Mr. C’s house!

While this might seem a bit silly to some, for me it is a mini-vacation in a part of the world that I know very little about but find fascinating. And it comes every week!

If you have yet to discover these guys, are looking at a change, want to experience life from a different location, or are just curious, head on over to YouTube and check them out.

You can join me on Sunday mornings with my coffee. 🙂

Note: Upon further thought, I’m thinking it was Hermione Chantal who introduced me to Mr. C. Hermione is in the UK, but over on the Isle of Wight. Check her out, too!

Food Freedom – A Few Thoughts

When Alyssia Sheikh over at Mind Over Munch on YouTube announced her Food Freedom course back in December, I was intrigued. I’ve followed her for quite a while as she talked about food prep, grocery hauls, and a variety of diet and food plans.

Note: As of this writing there is less than one week left of the course. Check out Alyssia’s website for more information. The course is free with the additional course materials sent via email.

If you’ve been around here for long, you know I don’t follow ‘diets’ and I avoid fake food as much as Humanly possible. I have several decades of experience trying different food plans and have seen the damage caused by corporations who promote their ‘plans’ to ‘help you get healthy’ only to find that they provide just enough information to get you hooked (i.e. spend $) and make sure you are dependent long enough to make a profit.

There are some plans that are actually sound, but the reality for most people is that nothing will work if the person using the plan isn’t connected, and committed, to actually engaging in the plan.

The problem is, many people have no education on how to actually engage and utilize all the information and options available so they can make the choices that will actually help them toward their goals.

Alyssia has shared her journey to heal her relationship with food and included sound research and experience to help us reconnect with ourselves.

The information is interesting and thought provoking. The tools are helpful and useful. Will they all work for everyone? Probably not, but here’s the thing: One Size Does Not Fit All. Or, take what you need and leave the rest.

Years ago a major health carrier’s advertising was based on the idea that ‘you know your body better than we do’. When you stop and think about that simple statement, it is very profound. And, for some folks, damn scary.

Personally, I’m a stress eater. Things get a bit tense and I head for the chips. Or the bread. Or the chocolate. Or the [ fill in the blank ]. I also enjoy food. I like eating good food and I can go really simple or really complicated. Couple this will a love of cooking and you get the makings of a potential disaster. Except…

I prefer simple meals made with food that I get as close to the farm as possible. I avoid chemicals and long distance hauling of produce.

Understanding that I have triggers that can goad me into putting on the pounds and learning how to deal with those triggers helped me maintain and not over eat.

Learning how to cook helped me control what I ate and more importantly gave me an arsenal to combat the convenience food quicksand that not only threatened my health but my bank account.

I’ve watched all the videos to date and found lots of food for thought that has been helpful not only in learning to handle the Mind-Body Connection, but in developing a life style, not a diet, that I can live with and benefits me.

If you are tired of the diet roller coaster, if you want to find tools that will help you actually achieve your goals rather than feed someone else’s pocket, I suggest you check out the information on the website. The videos are there along with additional information that will help you.

And, best of all, it is free.

A Tale of Two Design Aesthetics

If you’ve been around here for long you know I love beautiful design. I’m also the person an interior designer friend said was a designer’s dream because “You like everything.”

Not exactly, but close. LOL!

I love homes that are comfortable, cozy, and well-loved, and lived in. I have no interest in clean, pristine, dust wouldn’t settle on anything, picture-perfect, no warmth to save your life productions that often appear as the New In Thing.

There are a lot of interior designers around these days. Some are professionals who showcase their talents using the Internet and some are amateurs who strive to make their homes more than they started. A few stand out because they reach beyond the current fad. Here are two of my very favorites.

You can find both of these ladies on YouTube and Instagram. They are well worth the effort.

Hermione Chantal

I’ve been following Hermione Chantal for quite a while. I think I first encountered her when she purchased her very first home; a late 1800’s to early 1900 row house on the Isle of Wight in the U.K. Watching her take what was a disaster and turn it into a lovely home has been quite a journey.

The house has been transformed into a warm, cozy space with soft colors and thoughtful details using thrift finds, DIY projects, and an evolution of style. It is an interesting mixture of old and new and Hermione isn’t afraid to change her mind and try new things. She has stated that her intention with the house was not to keep it long-term which explains and informs some of her choices.

Farmhouse Vernacular

Paige and Brandon over at Farmhouse Vernacular are a young couple who have purchased their second home with an eye to it being their Forever Home. They found an old farmstead that needed work and started in.

Their home was built around 1905 and over the years has withstood a lot of … life. Check out the tour of the home when they bought it and you’ll get a good idea of what they were in for.

The intention of the sympathetic renovation is to make all the rooms as beautiful and multi-functional as possible without changing the footprint of the home, even though there has had to be some adjustment inside to accommodate things like bathrooms and storage.

This home is a working farm home. That it is also beautiful is the icing on the cupcake.

Paige talks a lot about the house speaking to her and I have to say I believe her. The choices made, be it colors, furniture, whatever, make the home so much lovelier than what was there when they moved in.

What I take away from these two aesthetics is the opportunity to get out of the box and create homes you are comfortable living in. Show homes may be beautiful but many lack any real warmth and that sense of the home being loved and well cared for.

Let me know what you think. Do you have a preference?

The Pretend Cooking Show I Discovered

Yep, you read that right. Jennifer Garner’s Pretend Cooking Show popped up in my YouTube feed last night and I … haven’t had so much fun in ages! I looked up the channel (“Garnerish”) and immediately subscribed.

She is funny, engaging, interesting and real. The recipes are easy to do and, frankly, inspiring enough to get me thinking about what I can do in my own kitchen.

Oh, if you are interested in a look from a different POV, check out “Every Recipe from Jennifer Garner’s Pretend Cooking Show”. You won’t regret it – even if you don’t particularly like to cook.

Oh, Wow! What a Reveal!

Like many people, I’ve been following Paige and Brandon as they worked on their wonderful farmhouse kitchen. Today was the reveal of the completed room.

I am so excited and happy to see this room! It is functional, usable, easy on the eye and fits within the intention of the home. It is clear that a lot of thought was put into the design of the space.

I’ve been in a multitude of farmhouse kitchens in my 6+ decades. This room is a reflection of all of those rooms.

I hope you take the time to not only check out the reveal, but to explore the other posts on the channel.

Enjoy!

Why I Watch A Lot of Creative People

I can remember a time when my weekly binge of crafty-ish shows was all on Saturdays and was spent on PBS.

The day started out with shows focusing on sewing, then evolved to quilting and on to other types of hand crafts. Then we were on to household DIY shows followed by lots (!) of cooking shows. It was a full day of interesting things to see, things to learn, things to think about.

Inspiration.

A few years ago my access to over the air PBS was severely curtailed when the local signal simply vanished. I don’t have cable, so I was stuck.

Then I started to look at YouTube and things opened up in ways I hadn’t imagined.

I watch a Lot of YouTube channels. A Lot. I watch cooking, sewing, crafting, travel, home decor, inspiration, you name it.

I have found a collection of people who produce some interesting content over a variety of topics (some serious, some not and some the jury is out on). All of which give me food for thought.

I’ve said that Decades Ago Natalie DuPre taught me how to use a food processor. Now Entertaining With Beth gives me ideas for both fancy and home cooked meals. The Domestic Geek shows options for everyday meals that are tasty, easy and healthy.

Alexandra Gater, Hermione Chantal and Mr. Carrington offer DIY and home decor projects that I can do myself.

Justin Scarred is happy to take me along when he goes out to explore the world – and I don’t have to leave my home!

Maymay Made It provides a wide variety of crafting projects and is also showcasing small businesses. There is a wide variety of paper crafters I keep up with that give me a lot of “Wow!” moments, too.

And these are but a few of the folks on my list of YouTubers I keep an eye on.

They put the fun back in a world that seems less fun and less interesting. They remind me of what I can do – and give me ideas of what I might want to do.

Inspiration can come in a variety of ways. I’m happy to have these folks drop in now and then to tell me what they’ve been up to and show me their latest creations.

Who inspires you? I would love to know.

Maymay’s Small Business Showcase

I wanted to share this with you today, rather than wait for my regular posting, because I think (a) the opportunity to see these amazing small businesses and their offering is fantastic and (b) Maymay has done a great service by offering to showcase them on her channel.

Times are difficult at the moment and when you have an opportunity to help out, and are able to do so, it is a double blessing when you can.

Check out the video, read the information provided and, if you enjoy what you’ve seen, drop a comment to Maymay. If you are interested in the various businesses, don’t hesitate to check out their sites.

I know I’ll be doing just that today!

Food For Thought

I recently discovered “Farmhouse Vernacular” on YouTube and have become a devoted follower.

The description of the channel reads: “An adventure in to renovating and recreating historic interiors in a thoughtful, respectful, and budget friendly manner.”

Paige and her husband bought a 1905 farmhouse and have been renovating it themselves. As both are trained engineers, their process is interesting and exciting.

Theirs is a thoughtful approach to what they deem to be the lifetime home. They are incorporating thought not only to the historical aspect of renovation, but looking forward to how they can live in the house as they age and have potential physical limitations.

The channel is well presented, provides great information, not to mention humor, and is a different approach to home DIY.

Their most recent project in the house is the kitchen. Personally, I’m loving the approach they are taking and am looking forward to the results.

Enjoy!