NOT a DIY Diva: How to Create an Authentically-Inspired Life in a Pinterest World

NOT a DIY Diva: How to Create an Authentically-Inspired Life in a Pinterest World


My new ebook, NOT a DIY Diva: How to Create an Authentically-Inspired Life in a Pinterest World is born! It is now available as a pdf download! {faints}.

This book is a new and pretty compilation, revision and repackaging of some favorite posts from the past four years on the topic of authentic living at home.

Who is it for?  Read the full disclosure so you understand what to expect. And then maybe read the endorsements if you need further evidence that this book is what you want before you buy.

NOT a DIY Diva: How to Create an Authentically-Inspired Life in a Pinterest World

First, a little back story. I started blogging here at The Inspired Room about the topic of authentic living at home in July of 2007. It was my passion then, and is my passion now. That is one of the best things about blogging. You get to share YOUR passion with the entire world.

I had so many people along the way who encouraged me to keep going with my blog, stay the course, and keep on sharing. I’m grateful. You all know who you are, the list is very long or I’d name every one of you sweet people. This online community I’ve been blessed to be a part of is supportive and encouraging.

NOT a DIY Diva: How to Create an Authentically-Inspired Life in a Pinterest World

Let’s admit it. It is common online to feel pangs of jealousy or competitiveness. It is all too easy to become discontent and discouraged at times with who you are and what you have to offer in this world. Whether you are a blogger or not, most of us know what it feels like to be discouraged about our own homes or level of creative or homemaking ability, or even our blogging success!

This book is about embracing your authentic style and way of living at home so that you can be content, even in this “perfect image” world we live in. I know first hand it is so freeing to choose to grow to be who I am instead of trying so hard to be something I am not.

That is what I would like to strive for online.

I enjoy building an authentic community of women who are committed to growing in who they were made to be, women who are committed to creating authentic homes for their families,  and women who can cheer each other on for making those tough choice to NOT be amazing — to choose contentment and authenticity over  perfection.

NOT a DIY Diva: How to Create an Authentically-Inspired Life in a Pinterest World

I have so many people to thank on this project!

First of all, MUCH credit goes to my editor, Sarah Parks.

OH MY GOODNESS. I gave her a MESS of words and random posts and she made sense of my tangled ideas. I’m sure she is cringing right now reading this. Anyway, she treated this ebook like it was her own and poured time and energy and creativity into it. I am grateful.

Along the way various people poured little bits of themselves in to this project. I know it is just a little ebook, but still, I’m grateful.

  • I was encouraged and taught many things by the awesome Amy of Blogging With Amy.
  • Deanna, for her help including providing many years of laughing about pink poodle purses.
  • My interior design student daughter, Courtney, who graciously opened and read 50 bazillion versions of this book.
  • My husband who never questioned the time spent on this project. He brought me coffee, meals, chased dogs around and drove our son to and from school every single day so I could finish this book.
  • My son Luke who never once complained when I was working on my ebook. Again.
  • For the special (in)courage girls who went out of their way to encourage me to do this.

NOT a DIY Diva: How to Create an Authentically-Inspired Life in a Pinterest World

And last but not least, so grateful for my daughter Kylee (above) who painstakingly made me new buttons and banners and designed this ebook to be the pretty little book it is. She also came up with the clever title. So proud of my girl! She is a new blogger too, so welcome her to blogland!

I’m looking for authentic living kindred spirits!

NOT a DIY Diva: How to Create an Authentically-Inspired Life in a Pinterest World

I hope you will delurk today so we can chat a bit in the comments and find fellow kindred spirits, I’d love to hear your personal story or testimonial about seeking authenticity or contentment with your home, life or online. 

A few comments may be chosen to be featured in an upcoming post on struggling for authenticity! You will be contacted for permission first, don’t worry. If you have a blog be sure your blog name shows up in the comment link so I can link your comment back to you from the post. Also, chosen comments may go on a “kindred spirit” page on

Want to leave a comment but don’t want to be quoted? Don’t worry. You can still leave a general comment! 

NOT a DIY Diva: How to Create an Authentically-Inspired Life in a Pinterest World


Most of all, grateful for YOU. The readers of The Inspired Room who have read to my thoughts and pondered my ideas and have encouraged these words to jump right into this ebook! And to those helping to promote this book, I adore you. xoxo

You can download NOT a DIY Diva right now! It is a PDF download and will be delivered right away to your email inbox. It is just $3.99, about the price of a cup of coffee! We aren’t quite ready to have the ebook on yet for the Kindle or Nook, but we are considering it. You can visit NOTaDIYdiva. com for more details on the book including a sample page from the bookendorsements, buttons, affiliates and disclosure statements.

NOT a DIY Diva is on Facebook! Come say hi! I’ll have cookies!

NOT a DIY Diva: How to Create an Authentically-Inspired Life in a Pinterest World

NOT a DIY Diva: How to Create an Authentically-Inspired Life in a Pinterest World

NOT a DIY Diva: How to Create an Authentically-Inspired Life in a Pinterest World


  1. Melissa, how exciting!! One of the things I learned early on came from a devotional book my aunt gave us about the early years of marriage that was written by a pastor. He advised young couples to refrain from making large purchases for the home for a few years until they could live and experience a little more and better ascertain their style and preferences. It was wonderful advice- I think we tend to adopt what we’ve been exposed to. As the military has moved us all over the world, my husband and I have been able to pick up pieces (art, furniture, accessories, etc) that are unique and remind us of where we’ve been. I love it that people can walk into our home and experience some of that history with us.

  2. So happy for you, Melissa! You took a dream and made it a reality and that is inspiring. Course I’ve always been kind of partial to this place.

    • Vee you have always been here for me. Encouraging, cheering on and leaving your witty comments. This blog would not be the same without you. Thank you!

  3. I had to take a step back yesterday and evaluate my life and my life in my home. Was it true that living authentically could make an impact on your life. My spirit is renewed after reading this book, not to mention that I feel totally reassured that my future move into another new house will take me on a different design path this time. You make me feel better about choosing my instincts and not my mass market. Congrats to you and all that you evoke.
    Annie Wilcox Designs

  4. Oh this is so exciting. I’m happy for you. I have spent many years trying to live up to what I thought I had to be in order to be good enough. But now, all I want is to be me. I think my life and my family is so awesome. I wouldn’t want anyone else’s life. But that is not to say that the same old feelings don’t surface every now and then. So thanks for all the encuragement from your blog and now your e-book. As a new blogger, I’m still trying to figure out my direction and sometimes it gets frustating but I know in time it will come. Therefore, I press on. Thanks again.

  5. Melissa – I’m so excited about your book. Over the years, your suggestions on how to live an authentic life have inspired my own home.

    You see things with a keen eye – a different perspective. Yet, it’s all achievable.

    This isn’t rocket-science – it’s a home. And, since I’m “Not a DIY Diva” either, I find it simple to put your tips to use to make may home authentically mine.

    Can’t wait for your next e-book!

    All the best,

  6. Very cool, Melissa. Congratulations!

    When I get wrapped up in worrying that my house doesn’t measure up (to what???) I find myself longing for the simpler life of my childhood. Despite being a busy mom with a part-time job, my mom managed to keep a comfortable and loving home while still being a part of my activities. That’s what really counts, right? Yes, decorating and making my house a happy place to live are important to me, but I’ve found that the two don’t always work well together.

  7. Melissa, I am so happy and so proud of you! Though we have never met I feel like you’re a friend.

    As a relatively new blogger (18 months)I’ve learned so much through your generosity of spirit and authenticity. I have asked questions and you have responded either on post or by email. That has meant so much! You inspire me!

    I spent many years in management of non-profit organizations making more and more money, but I was miserable. I got laid off and had the opportunity to spend one year taking care of my dying mother. When she passed, I decided the best way to honor her life was to step out on faith and live one of my own.

    I prayed for God to give me the opportunity to use the creative talents he gave me in a career. Two weeks later a friend asked me to join him in opening a flower shop. Though I knew nothing about flowers, I knew right away that it was an answered prayer.

    I now co-own a boutique flower shop and I know this is the work I was meant to do. I love everything about it. From waking up at the crack of dawn and hand-selecting the freshest and most beautiful flowers to scrubbing endless flower buckets. I work longer and harder than I ever have, but I consider myself the luckiest woman in the world!

    We are known for our affordable and sophisticated flower arrangements. We have many reviews online and people call us and stop by to thank us for the work we do. Our shop was off-the beaten path, but there is now a 12 story residential building under construction right next door. I believe I am now living the authentic life I was intended to live and I thank God for it every day!

  8. Congrats on the e-book Melissa! Can’t wait to read it.
    I am a perfectionist. Big time. In high school and college I had several episodes of burnout and breakdown. Who wants to live that way at 16 and 18!

    Well, since I have been married I have been trying to learn that enough is…well enough. That I can do what I can do and not worry about the rest. I love decorating my house on the cheap, but sometimes even cheap decorating isn’t a priority in the budget. Even if I don’t love everything in my house, I still love my home because I made it and it feels full of love and comfort. That is enough for me!

  9. Hi Melissa ~ Congratulations on your ebook! Such a wonderful accomplishment! I have always loved your “authentic living” philosophy. The idea that we should and can enjoy our homes even when everything isn’t exactly how we would like it to be or perfectly clean and tidy – because when does that ever happen, right? And coming from you, a professional with many years of experience in the design and decorating field, makes it even more meaningful that we can have a wonderful home that is comfortable and livable for our families and the lifestyle that we have right now! It can still be beautiful even when everything isn’t ‘done’ or ‘just right’. Thank you for this message that I think means so much to many of us who have a passion for home!

  10. I actually just this morning did a post along this subject:

    I live in quite a small apartment, which can offer some challenges with hosting people in my home. I can struggle sometimes with having the faith that God has ordained that we live where we do, so He is able to accomplish with it His intended purposes. Home can be found in whatever living situation we may be found in.

  11. Lisbeth LaBellarte says:

    So excited to see this. Just ordered but now I cant access it! Help! How do I get to the e-book? Thanks for all the great content. I look forward to your posts each day as little “sunshine” in my inbox!

    • It should send you an email with a link to download it to your computer. Then look in your download section for the pdf. Let me know if you cannot get it!

  12. I enjoy Pinterest for it’s ability to inspire and share ideas, but it can also be dangerous in a sense. So many people are pining over outrageously extravagant things and architecture, hoping “some day” they’ll have that too.

    But that’s not real. Living an authentic life is loving what you have right now, what you can create with it, and living within your means. It’s loving your family and your friends, not chasing after fleeting desires. It’s not being scared to make mistakes and share those mistakes with others, not just so that others can learn from them, but so that others can see that it’s okay to not be perfect all the time.

    I’m slowly learning to live a more authentic life. My house is far from perfect – it’s a 113 year old farmhouse that was neglected for many years. It’s okay that it’s not finished, and that it doesn’t have finished spaces like you see in glossy magazine spreads. It’s home.

  13. Hi, Melissa, now exciting, very happy for you in this new endeavor. I’m sure it will be a huge success! I have no idea what in the world I’d write an ebook about if I tried. :)

  14. What a great idea! I’d love to read your ebook. I know all too well the feeling of wanting to have a fabulous home right. this. second, and it is impossible, but I do look forward to creating along the way!

  15. You have hit upon a subject that has been on my mind a lot lately. I have six children and a love for decorating, but how do I spend time on beautifying my home and still fill my measure as a mother and a wife?

    I have found that I have become very good at pushing down feelings of inadequacy and comparison when perusing decorating blogs. Now I look for inspiration, but I don’t spend hours trying to make anything perfect and I don’t waste time finding fault with my home. There is a time and a season for all things in my life, and while I love decorating on a dime and switching things up, my current time and season is raising my children.

    I still fit a little DIY in to help me feel like myself, but I try really hard to not ignore the needs of those I have stewardship over in order to find the “perfect” look, fit, knickknack, what have you.

    Someday, when my kids are older, I will redo, DIY, and decorate to my hearts content. Or I may just be too busy with grandbabies and weddings!(I hope).

  16. Melissa
    I love the book and posted about it today. I love bright colors. When I see all the lovely homes with their muted tones, I am tempted to change my style. But then it wouldn’t be my style anymore would it? So in a sea of taupe, grey and beige which I see in blogs and magazines, my house looks like a crayon box!! It is always sunny and happy even on the dreariest day. Thanks again for reminding me to be my authentic self!

  17. Hi there! I’m so excited for you and your new e-book!! I’ve been reading the blog for quite a while and was happy to buy the book, I’m looking forward to purusing it! Congrats and thanks for “putting yourself out there!” God bless you as this new chapter opens!

  18. I’m so happy for you Melissa. What an accomplishment!
    I have been trying to live a more simplified life. As a forty-something, it took me awhile to realize this. In my younger years it seems I was always trying to keep up with someone else. Mostly one of my sisters. But now I concentrate on the things I love, what makes me and my family happy. Creating a style of my own. And as a family that moved around a lot I realized that it wasn’t the house that made the home, it was the people in it.

  19. I’m only through the first 10 pages and I literally have a huge lump in my throat. That ME you’re writing about! I see everyone else’s beautiful, picture-perfect, magazine-ready rooms and I feel so…inadequate. I’m a long time reader of The Inspired Room, and I genuinely thank for your blog and your ebook, you inspire me to be me. You inspire me to recognize I don’t need glossy pictures of someone else’s idea of beautiful, living my authentic (very real!) life is beautiful, and more than enough! I wish you continued grace and blessings in your home!

  20. Congratulations to you Melissa and all involved. What a wonderful accomplishment.

    Your message of authentic living is right on, and much needed in today’s world. I believe the best part of living an authentically inspired life is getting there. Discovering your strengths, what you stand for and how peaceful you can feel by doing what’s right and real for you.

    I wish you much success with the book!

  21. So Happy For you Melissa- I’ve been reading through your ebook today- fabulous.
    You have been so supportive of me over the last couple of years,at times I wonder why…I’m just a “grammer,who gardens and works at a Nut Company”….thanks for having a wonderful place to visit. You are awesome!
    Happy Day

  22. I am feeling so proud of you Melissa! Congratulations on your debut eBook. I just know that you will be writing more in the future but let’s first enjoy this one, right?

    I have a copy and am reading it right now. I have to read it on my breaks at work but it’s an easy read so I’ll be finished very soon. I love your way of writing! I will have to share it on Heart Choices very soon so others will know all about it too. :)

    I lived in my dream home for 12 years. I worked with a high profile designer and spent hours on each piece of furniture and art that went into my home. It was featured in magazines and on HGTV’s Homes across America. I loved my home!

    But … I no longer live in my dream home!

    Circumstances occurred and my husband and I had to sell our home. We’ve been living in a temporary home for a year and a half. I cried when I had to sell my dream home and all of my furniture and artwork that I spent so much time making perfect.

    However, even though we don’t own the place we are now living in I am learning so many valuable lessons. My husband and I are closer than ever as we navigate these unknown waters. Greg is working along with me to create an environment that is more homey. Our furniture isn’t designed perfectly. In fact, they are individual pieces that were given to us by various people so we’d have a table, desks and a few necessities. But it’s OK.

    Any dwelling can be made into a home. It’s the love that goes into it. It’s the relationships of those who live in it. I’ve learned much from reading your blog Melissa. A few simple pieces that are not costly can make such a difference.

    I hope one day to be a home owner but in the meantime, I’m praising God for what I have. And I continue to read The Inspired Room to get inspired! I’m so glad you wrote your eBook so I can continue to be inspired.

    Blessings and love,

  23. Congrats and Kudos Melissa…I am so happy for you…we are blessed to have your vision in our lives.

    Debbie…I am going thru what you went thru except my house is being sold for me…by the bank. After I lost my job as editor of an intl. art mag in 2008, it has been a struggle to replace the income.

    I have no idea what God has planned for me and am living deep within faith and trust as I move forward. It is a challenge I wrote about today!!!


  24. I guess it is a common theme for us “shelter bloggers” huh? It’s hard to find the line between inspired and jealous/frustrated when reading and admiring pictures in magazines or online. I struggled with where I fit into this world as I enter my 2nd year of blogging about my home- but it was when I sat down to revisit my “about” page a few weeks ago that I had a moment of clarity.

    I wrote:

    “…I most certainly do not live in a house that’s ready to be featured in a magazine article, but I love to love my home. For me, loving my home means continually trying to make it just a tiny bit more functional while adding in a bit of style whenever I can.

    I never thought I would fall comfortably into the title of Homemaker- but after spending several years devoting myself largely to the care of my family, I’ve come to realize that my home is exactly what I make it. Some days it’s a cluttered mess because life calls me to be elsewhere, and that’s ok…”

    What I try to remember is that my blog is about sharing my love for my home- and that as long as I try to keep that love at the center of my projects and my stories on my blog- it’s ok that most of my projects are inexpensive and most of my furniture is hand-me-down.

    Thanks for sharing us your thoughts on how to stay true to ourselves in this wonderful world of Pinterest :)

  25. Perfectionism started very early with me and as a teenager I became sure that I’d never amount to anything because I couldn’t live up to the high standards I’d set for myself.

    Fast forward 10 years and I am nearing 30 and working as a Starbucks barista. Even though it’s not how I envisioned my life to be, I am happier than I ever thought possible when I was 19. Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about being authentic and being okay as I am, flaws and all.

    I’ve started studying interior decorating and realized that I have a passion for helping people create the home that reflects who they are. I am SO glad I’ve stumbled upon your blog Melissa! Reading it constantly reminds me of what really matters and helps me not veer in the wrong (overly perfectionist) direction when it comes to decorating and living. It helps shape my views, my life and the business that I am creating.


  26. Stumbled on this via The Mom Creative. Just what I agree with & reason why I have stopped visiting Pinterst & pinning to my own boards. Needed to read your stuff above today for affirmation of some choices. Thanks.

  27. This is a great topic that is so relevant right now. Especially in the last year with pinterest becoming so popular. I think it is creating confusion.
    I hope as a new blogger I can journal and create some fun memories while staying authentic. Even if the only person who reads it is my mom:) Blogging about real life…and not what real life “should” look like. If it serves my family, my home, my friends, if it is encouraging, if it is from the heart…it is authentic. Can’t wait to read your ebook.

Join the Conversation