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Wednesday, July 23

Inspired Summer #33: Give someone a gift, just because

Woman holding wrapped gift in studio, (B&W), portrait

Have you ever been in a store and thought, “oh so and so would love that!”? But then instead of buying it you just move on with your day? Well this time I think you should go ahead and purchase it, wrap it up, and then give it to them ‘just because‘! Who doesn’t love getting random gifts? I mean I get excited when the UPS guy shows up on my door and that is for something I bought for myself! It is even better when I get a present from someone totally unexpectedly! Now I will admit, I happen to be a horrible gift giver. I have a bad habit of really believing someone will love whatever it is I bought, and then when they unwrap it,  I can see it in their eyes they don’t love it. I don’t exactly know why that is, but it is something I have worked on through the years. One of my writers did a great post a while back on how to select the perfect gift, and I have taken her advice to heart. So the next time you see something a friend would love, just buy it and give it to her. Because by brightening up her day, you will also brighten up your own.

Tuesday, July 22

6 Unusual Uses For The Closet


There is an old Jewish tale about a husband and wife who lived in a very small home. They went to their Rabbi and asked him what they should do to make the house bigger. The Rabbi replied they should move their chicken into the house. The couple found this to be strange, but the Rabbi was famous for his wisdom so they did as they were told. But the house still felt so tiny! So they went back to the Rabbi with the same complaint. This time he said to bring in the cow. Again they complied and again the house felt even smaller! This went on until the house was filled with all of the animals from the couple’s barn! Finally the couple had had enough. They pleaded with the Rabbi to help them with their small home. This time the Rabbi told them to move all of their animals back into the barn. Once the beasts were out and the house was cleaned up, the husband and wife looked at each other and smiled. The house felt HUGE without the crowd. The Rabbi had solved their dilemma.

Of course this story is an old funny tale, but I like the sentiment behind it which is to look at your tiny home with new eyes and see how large it actually is. The good news is there are plenty of creative ways to make your home feel bigger, and none of them involve farm animals! They actually all use the closet in an unusual way. Typically the closet is where you  store your things. But what if you need to add an office to your home and there is no place to put it? Why not in the closet? Or what about a new baby? Do they really need an entire room to themselves? No way! The closet is the perfect place to add a crib. Here are six unusual uses for the closet to inspire to you be more creative when looking at how to organize your home.

*Click photo to be taken to the original source.

closet office 2

As someone who has her office in the old smelly basement, this closet desk is like a dream come true! I just adore how beautiful and glamorous the small space is through use of the turquoise wallpaper and white furniture and accessories.

closet craft room

Have you been dying for your own sewing or craft area but don’t have a room to dedicate to your hobby? Why not a closet? I love how this person really used every square inch of space for organizing her supplies.

closet wrapping station

Did you know Tori Spelling’s mother had an entire room dedicated to wrapping gifts? Frankly that seems a bit excessive to me. Instead of a whole room, why not use a closet? You already have to store your wrapping paper and bows somewhere, and this way you can use the top of the dresser for papering your gorgeous gifts.

closet laundry

This picture of a laundry room/closet is totally inspiring what I want to put into my new home. I love how compact it all is! Though in reality I would probably put in closed cabinets because my current laundry room is never that neat and I highly doubt that will change anytime soon.

closet nursery1

Don’t you just adore this little nursery nook? What baby wouldn’t love to sleep in this enchanting closet?

closet fort

If a baby can sleep in the closet, why not older kids? Here the closet has been turned into a bunk bed and fort. This leaves the rest of the room for playtime!

If you have a closet in your home that isn’t getting much use, or is full of stuff you know perfectly well is just garbage you haven’t wanted to deal with throwing out, why not try to use the space in a new and unusual way?

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Tuesday, July 22

Inspired Summer #32: Take your husband out to lunch


Have you ever surprised your husband at work and taken him out to lunch? If not, then today is the day! I swear it is so much fun! There is something so delightful about showing up unexpectedly to your husband’s office, all dolled up and looking fine, and then essentially going on mid-day date. If you are like me and have been married for a while, I bet you have fallen into an enjoyable, but predictable routine. This will shakes things up a bit! Of course if you husband is a busy man, you should make sure he has an open schedule. Maybe work it out with his assistant to make sure he doesn’t already have something to do. Or if you are trying to save money, instead of going to a restaurant, you could bring in a picnic lunch. The point isn’t the food, it is showing your husband that you miss him and love him and want to make his life more enjoyable. And who wouldn’t want that?

Monday, July 21

More Shoes Under 50 Bucks: Summer Transition

shoes under 50.1

If you have been reading this blog for a while, you will already know my deep and abiding love of shoes. My mother says this is a trait passed on from her mother, who also adored all things shoes. My mother, on the other hand, is not a shoe person. If it is practical and comfortable then it is just fine by her. This not how I roll. I am all about color! pattern! style! In the past it used to be the only cute shoes were also expensive. But now a days it is fairly easy to find adorable footgear for a decent price. I happened to notice an abundance of  shoes under fifty bucks at ModCloth, so I thought I would put together this round-up so I could share my finds with you! Happy shopping!

shoes under 50 bucks 3

Rose To The Occasion Flats (HERE)

shoes under 50 bucks 6

Accessorize To Fame Heel (HERE)

shoes under 50 8

Dance Instead Of Walking Heel in Grey (HERE) All other colors (HERE)

shoes under 50 7

Chic It Out Heel in Charcoal (HERE)

shoes under 50 4

Zeal Of Approval Heel (HERE)

shoes under 50 1.1

Seedless Romantic Flat in Black (HERE) and in Red (HERE) I own these and love them!

shoes under 50 5

Professorial Panache Flat (HERE)

shoes under 50 2

Ready To Impress Flat in Navy (HERE)

shoes under 50 10

A Day In Your Shoes Flat (HERE)

shoes under 50 9

Step Out To Study Flat in Brown (HERE) and Red (HERE)

Affiliate links were used in this post.

Monday, July 21

Inspired Summer #31: Find something positive about an activity you hate.

inspired summer

I am sure you have a chore that you can’t stand to do. Maybe it is cleaning the bathroom. Or laundry. Or cooking dinner. Or any of the other millions things we, as housewives, have to do. For me it is dishes. I loathe them. It just chaps my hide that I spend my time cooking a perfectly delicious meal only to have to turn around and clean it up. Plus there is all of that gross food sticking to the plates, and I have to get my hands wet….I could go on forever. Maya Angelou said, “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” I really try to live by this motto because nobody wants to be around a sourpuss all day. So when it comes to doing something I can’t stand, but also can’t change, I just do my best to change my attitude about it.

Instead of focusing on my resentment for having to clean up gross dishes, I try to think about how good it will feel to have a clean kitchen. Instead of being grossed out by the food, I wear a cute pair of kitchen gloves. I might even spend a little bit more money on a dish soap that I really adore because it smells sooooo good. I will put on some music and then do everything I can to try and enjoy the activity instead of complaining to myself about how much I hate it. By changing my perspective on a detested chore and doing what I can to make it more fun, I end up turning a negative into a positive. And that is something each and every one of us can do to help stay happier and less resentful at home.

For more on chores, please read my three part series on keeping a neat & tidy home.

Part 1: Have a regular cleaning schedule.

Part 2: Get the spouse and kids involved.

Part 3: Maintain, maintain, maintain. 

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