Finding Inspiration… and Vintage Enamelware

I found these mid-century enamelware pans at one of my most favorite stores the other day and had to have them. My mother set the table and cooked on our stove top with these exact style of pans my entire childhood. And thanks to my generous parents who picked up the tab (gotta love shopping with your mom and dad!) I now get to set my own table for my own family with these.

I am no Julia Child, but much like well-packaged cleaning products inspire me to clean, and a brand new pair of lululemon yoga pants inspire me to exercise more, these have inspired me to get back into kitchen for more than a microwave moment.

enamelware

Speaking of inspiration, a special thank you to Serendipity for putting the amazing Angie Mizzell in my path last week. Just what I needed to get back into blogging. So great to finally meet you, Angie!

Instagram Inspiration: Photographing Shadows

Jed’s back in school and how I’ve missed my pre-pick-up-from-preschool walks. The trick to finding time for these is that I pretend his school is over at noon rather than 12:30, which gives me a half hour to roam North Asheville by foot. And even though I sometimes pick the same stretches of street, I notice different things every time.

For my first walk of the school year, I adopted an idea from Fridaville’s Creative First Aid. Skirt! Publisher and Founder Nikki Hardin has the most amazing brain… I’m just thankful she has a blog so I can get even a glimpse into her thoughts. For this particular activity, she suggests going out and taking photos of only shadows on a sunny day with Instagram. Here’s what I found:

Instagram Leaves Shadow

Shadow Fence Instagram

I liked walking with a purpose… other than toning and burning calories in my FitFlops, of course. As a writer, it’s nice to take a break from words and focus on something that’s strictly visual.

What fun themes have you focused on with Instagram? I’d love to see your pics! Follow me on Instagram at (what else?) lindseyliving, so I can follow you back!

I Spy: The Morning Walk Edition

I was inspired by a poetic Facebook post my friend Ann wrote the other week about her morning walk. She simply stated what she saw, but there was something about it. Apparently, I’m not the only one who noticed, because another friend of hers caught on and added what she saw on her morning walk. Well, I finally got around to taking a walk myself this morning in North Asheville before picking up Jed from school, and have my own to share. It’s a really fun game! Thanks for the idea, Ann:)

On my walk this morning, I saw:

Two girls sitting in improvised thrones in their front yard,

A runner with the coolest pair of purple Nikes that would even entice me to try running again,

A house painted a shade of orange that made me happy just looking at it,

A beautiful bush of blooming blue hydrangeas,

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A clever way to display a house number,

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And, I don’t know my flowers as well as I’d like, but what I think are a bunch of wildflowers. I love the red and blue/purple color contrast!

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I was also accosted by a guy who shoved a piece of paper in my face, begging me to help him win a contest. And every person I passed smiled and waved and/or said hello (creepy contest dude excluded, although he did talk to me). I love Asheville.

Take a walk and tell me what you see!

Finding my blustery bliss.

In November, my friend Kelly wrote a post about Waiting for Winter. Even with a milder winter than last, we live on a mountain in Western North Carolina with a private road (read: no government-sanctioned maintenance) and have had this view off my back deck twice in the past week:

Living in Austin, Kelly doesn’t have as much reason as I do to bundle up. So she put together a collage of wintry things that make her excited for the cold weather. Already dreaming of spring, but with at least two more months of fires and ice to go, I decided it wouldn’t hurt to remember a few of my favorite things that come with the cold (no surprise, we’re talking style and seasonal beverages, here):

Winter Love

 

Orla kiely
$63 – orlakiely.com

Steven Alan knitted shawl
$188 – stevenalan.com

Homegrown Monogram Mug
$8 – anthropologie.com

I also found a fun, free photo app for iPhone called FrostyCamera. If you live in a locale where powder isn’t a possibility, or if you just want another fun camera app to play with, you can turn any image into a winter wonderland:

Self portrait a la Frosty Camera.

What are your favorite things about winter?

 

 

Naked Truth: I’m a style junkie.

Okay. So, the other week I wrote a post on my latest acquisition, a budget-friendly bag for my laptop. It’s chic, it fits my Macbook plus dipes, wipes and wallet, and it was only $25 .Game, set, match… or at least it should be.

Allow me to introduce you to my good friend, Rationale. She’s at times my greatest ally and at others my worst enemy. She talks me into buying things I don’t need at exorbitant prices and at other times, like last week, convinces me that all bags are created equal and that desperate times call for thrifty measures. While some of her arguments hold water, I am who I am. And I LOVE bags. I also love shoes, dresses, rings, skirts… anything created through someone’s inspiration that in turn inspires me when I wear it. If it’s local and/or has an amazing back story, all the better! This does not mean that I’m a label snob. One of my favorite bags is one I call my “bluegrass” bag that I got for $1 at a music festival in college. It just means that I have a rule that I don’t buy something unless I absolutely love it. I tend to love well-made, incredibly expensive apparel and accessories, but I tend to live by the French women’s fashion philosophy, as stated by Jessica Wakeman in the Huffington Post, “French women supposedly own fewer, more expensive articles of clothing, wear less makeup, and sometimes do not brush or style their (shall we assume sex-tousled?) hair, let alone blow dry it.” I don’t change out my closets with seasons. I only have one closet and even that one is only half full. (Notice I didn’t say half empty… I’m an optimist!) Of course, knowing that I will turn into a human snot rag by day’s end keeps me from wearing the nice stuff all the time.

Last week, when I bought the navy Target bag, I broke my rule. It was cute, it kind of resembled a bag I loved, and the price was right. But, if I had been totally honest with myself, it was the “eh” bag, not the “it” bag. Ever since becoming a parent, the line has become blurred between desire and need, passion and practicality. Every dollar I spend on myself is a dollar that doesn’t go toward my child’s education or his new clothes. But every time I take the sensible, frugal route — even though Rationale talked me into it in the first place — she talks me right out of it.

  …From Boho to Babble… 

So here I am. Back to coveting a more expensive laptop/everyday/mom bag. One that was indeed designed to hold a laptop. I was looking into converting one of my giant totes into a laptop/diaper duo (oh, how I’ve missed my handbags!) but they either don’t have a shoulder strap or it’s not long enough. I’m even considering a sportier backpack:

The Osprey FlapJill Pack ($79) has interchangeable webbing in different colors!

Sure, it’s $80, as opposed to my $25 Target bag, but I’m confident Rationale will have a convincing pep talk ready for me.

Do you struggle with your sense of style vs. your common sense? Want vs. need?

NaNoWriMo Recap and the Creative Order

November was National Novel Writing Month, and I signed up for the challenge to write 50,000 words of my novel in 30 days. I will go ahead and say that I did not reach this goal, but I did come away with solid foundation for my novel (almost 8,000 words), which is a lot farther along than I was a month ago!

Lather, rinse, write!

One of the reasons I fell so far from my goal was that I picked up more freelance work a lot faster than I expected… and I’m not going to complain about that! I’m committed to my novel, but paid work has to come first. And, well, Jed really comes first. I’m learning to make myself write in the off-peak hours: when Jed’s at school, nighttime and weekends. These are not necessarily my most creative times, but beggars (and stay-at-home moms) can’t be choosers. I get my best ideas when I’m driving or in the shower.  I’m thinking of getting those bath crayons to use on the tile for my après shampoo brain bursts. And once when I was on the highway and had one of my revelations, I left an all too bizarre message on a friend’s voicemail. Luckily, she’s a writer, too, and wasn’t scared off by a message that involved late night greased-up twister and a has-been, almost famous rockstar. (Cell phone companies really need to allow you to leave yourself messages!).

I wish I would’ve pushed myself harder to meet my NaNoWriMo goal, but am happy that my excuses are positive ones. Hey, if I write 8,000 words a month, I’ll still have a first draft of my novel finished in five months! Not too shabby. It’s just a matter of balancing my “free” time between my novel, my freelance projects, housework and Jed. And I would like to squeeze in a workout or two every now and then. I hate schedules, but I think some sort of order is in order.

Do you stay at home? Work from home? How do you manage your time?

An inspiring workspace.

I’ve spent the past couple of mornings copy editing the fall issue of my husband’s magazine. He and his partner in crime, Steve, work out of Steve’s studio. Steve Seinberg is the magazine’s art director and a dear friend, but in his “spare time” he scrapes by as a world renowned artist.

I love experiencing other people’s creative spaces–seeing what they surround themselves with, what music they listen to, what inspires them, feeling the energy. I was working at Steve’s computer and saw this quote tacked above his desk:

If you can’t read his handwriting it says:

In the end you opened your eyes.
You saw yourself seen by my eyes,
and from my eyes you saw yourself:
falling like a fruit on the grass,
like a stone in the pond,
you fell into yourself.

~ Octavio Paz

So beautiful. Although Steve is a painter, a lot of his work is inspired by the written word–the poetry of Octavio Paz for example. It’s been awhile since I’ve been introduced to a new poet who has really grabbed me. I might have to copy Steve and tack this up on my mood board in my home office.

Do you have a poet or stanza that speaks to you?