January 26, 2009

Easy Super Bowl Party

photo by jayel aheram

The Super Bowl is less than a week away. If you are playing host for the big game, here are some ideas for a simple supper party.

pictured from center left:

Invitation: Diagonal stripes the color of grass and leather give this unbiased invitation preppy panache. If you are short on time, you can get the same look with scrapbook paper and three-dimensional embellishments.

Décor: A Super Bowl party is really about the game and the food, but a few decorations helps create a festive and friendly atmosphere. Check these tabletop ideas at Hostess with the Mostess.

Menu: This selection of game worthy foods begs for all-night grazing. Everything can be eaten with one hand leaving the other free for a drink or a spontaneous fist pump.

What is your favorite football snack?

January 20, 2009

A New Room For A New You

Many resolutions fail to make it past the month of January. If you are one of the many people who resolved to make over their bodies in the New Year but have already slacked off, you could probably use a little motivation to get going again. Why not adapt an extra room of your house to serve as inspiring space to get in shape?

Unless you choose your basement or garage as a designated workout area, there is no reason to make the space look like a gym. Outfit the room like you would any other and it can double as a home office or guest quarters when work out time is over.

Instead of bulky machines, try practicing yoga or Pilates to help improve both body and spirit. The equipment is unobtrusive and even blends in with the room’s décor. Otherwise, simply stash it in one of the smart storage solutions you find for the space.

Did you resolve to lose weight, get in better shape or be healthier this year? Is your workout space visually inspiring?

January 12, 2009

Organize With Style and Function

Is the organizational bug biting you, yet? Since the start of a new year is prime time for getting houses in order, it probably is. If you have big ideas for a home where everything is in its place, check out these shelves, bins and other fun accessories. Use them to inspire you and yours to tidy up and stay that way all year.

clockwise from top left:

clockwise from top left:

clockwise from top left:
How do you organize your home and life? What is your favorite storage product?

January 5, 2009

Don't Forget to Say Thank You!

Photo by Divine in the Daily

The gifts are open, the decorations are down and 2009 is here, but there is still one last task to check off your holiday to-do list – writing thank you notes. It is not too late to get those cards in the mail. You will start 2009 off with a well-deserved accomplishment and brighten the recipient’s New Year. It also gives you an excuse to use cute cards like the ones shown below.

This note card selection revolves around a festive red and icy blue color palette perfect for post-holiday mailing. And, hey – if you are still warmed with Christmas cheer, there is a Rudolph silhouette just for you.

clockwise from top left:
red zigzags card from Pink Loves Brown;
Hey Thanks! folded greeting card from The Paper Princess;
happy holly card from Tiny Prints;
red garland card from Night Owl Paper Goods;
bird toile aqua/coral note from Whitney English;
Rudolph's rendezvous card
from Tiny Prints

Once the card is chosen, you actually have to write a note of thanks and sometimes it is hard to know what to say. Keep your words sincere, and use these tips to simplify your writing.

  • Thank the recipient for the exact gift he or she gave you.
  • Provide context about the gift. How do you plan to use it? Have you already used it? Is it something from your wish list? Let the gift giver know the gift means something to you.
  • Close by restating your thanks for the gift and generosity of the gift giver.

Have you written any thank you notes for holiday gifts?

January 2, 2009

Talking About Inspiration!

Photo by eye2eye

  • in∙spi∙ra∙tion (in’spə rā’shən) any stimulus to creative thought or action. An inspired idea, action, etc. –Webster’s New World Dictionary
Sometimes all it takes is a simple sentence to change an attitude, brighten a day and encourage creative thinking. Read these thoughtful quotes for your inspiration.

“Nothing happens unless first a dream.” –Carl Sandburg

“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” –Jack London

“It is not how much you do, but how much love you put into the doing that matters.” –Mother Theresa

Photo by diskychick

“Home is a name, a word, it is a strong one; stronger than magician ever spoke, or spirit ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration.” –Charles Dickens

“I am going to make everything around me beautiful. That will be my life.” –Elsie de Wolfe

“Nothing is in good taste unless it suits the way you live. What's practical is beautiful...and suitability always overrules fashion.” –Billy Baldwin

Photo by bosslyn

"My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute all my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her." –George Washington

“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” –Albert Einstein

“The attributes of a great lady may still be found in the rule of the four S’s: sincerity, simplicity, sympathy and serenity.” –Emily Post

What have you read lately that made you feel better or encouraged you to try something? Do you have a favorite quote that inspires you?