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Happiness is: A Bright & Pretty Birdcage

by | Aug 31, 2009 | Creative Inspiration & Projects

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Happiness is: A Bright & Pretty BirdcageAll the green in this room makes me happy — HGTV 2008 Green Home.

I‘m big on taking baby steps. I am not so good at huge long range plans and goals or charts to motivate me. Clearly I am easily overwhelmed by too many expectations. Eh hem. When I want to change my attitude or get myself motivated for something, I concentrate on little things I can do today to make a change. I have to focus on the little things.

Happiness is: A Bright & Pretty Birdcage

Fall Nesting parties make me happy. 2009 The Inspired Room.

I am going to confess something. Lean in a little closer…(shhhh) gearing up for fall nesting is really hard for me this year. Seems strange for me to say it is difficult as I ADORE fall. I look forward to it every summer. Here is why this year is tough — I am beyond busy with the church that we are starting in two weeks (but of course, very excited about it too!).

My house is filled with musical instruments, kids toys and equipment and church coffee pots. It is hard to find a chair to sit on, let alone make a room pretty for fall. I’m so busy with all the church preparation that housekeeping and decorating has fallen by the wayside. I just shuffle boxes from room to room.

Happiness is: A Bright & Pretty BirdcageThe reality of my life.

In addition to a busy life, this fall is also difficult because I am not sure where we will be living after this month. It is a long story if you haven’t heard it (I’ll be sharing the whole story over at (in)courage later in September for anyone who wants to read it). Basically my home situation in limbo and we need to be prepared to possibly move in thirty days. Even if I end up staying here, it may still only be for a few more months.

What fun is decorating when you aren’t sure you are in your permanent home?
What fun is nesting when you are broke?
What fun is fall nesting when you are tired and your life is focused on other things more weighty than nesting?

Blah blah blah. Meh.


Well, I don’t want to be a whiner. I can’t let all those things discourage me from things I love about my life. I need to enjoy my fall nesting rituals in spite of the circumstances that threaten to derail my happiness. ENJOYING fall is part of who I am and I am determined to embrace it!

I need to make whatever adjustments I need to, get creative within the limitations of finances, and push past the uncertainty and unknown. I need to make time for the things in life that make TODAY better.

So in the spirit of finding things I could do TODAY to lift my spirits, I decided to take some time out for a creative project. Creativity makes me happy. No, I had no time to do this but it was important to my well-being. It was a little thing I could change TODAY.

Happiness is: A Bright & Pretty Birdcage
A sad, pathetic down-in-the-dumps bird cage.

It took me awhile to come up with something non-permanent to work on around the house (in case we have to move), but as I walked out onto my porch I saw my pathetic looking birdcage. It has been crying out for a coat of paint for five years. I’ve hated it ever since I found it. Now it was finally time to make it the happy little bird cage it deserved to be. And it made ME happy to see it all bright and pretty instead of scary old and pathetic. Hmmm….I think there is a parallel here somewhere.

Happiness is: A Bright & Pretty Birdcage
A brighter, more happy bird cage.

While I am on the topic of positive attitudes, I was recently introduced to a new community starting up over at Divine Caroline called You.Propelled. Propel’s mission is to enhance your life, give you the ability to move through obstacles and live a more streamlined, energetic life. Yep, I need that.

I get asked to be a part of many different communities and I am always very selective about what I will be involved in. I knew You.Propelled was something I could share with you because I too am a big believer in not letting life’s difficulties or circumstances get you down. We all have choices for what attitude we want to have in life and the power to make changes TODAY.

I encourage you all to check out all the inspiration at You.Propelled, whether you are wanting to turn over a new leaf this fall (no fall leaf pun intended, ha!), exercise, lose weight, eat better, get organized or do something in life you’ve never done before, I know you’ll find a lot of resources there to help motivate you INCLUDING chances to WIN $5,000!!! That motivates me, I don’t know about you.

I know this is a lot to ask on a Monday, but what are some easy ways you could make your life better TODAY? Let’s share some inspiration in the comments!

Thanks to Propel for sponsoring The Inspired Room! I’m proud to be working with them on the You.Propelled project this fall.

Don’t forget to do your Fall Nesting post to link up here on The Inspired Room on Wednesday September 2nd! Let’s get inspired by the season ahead!


  1. Mary Anne

    Have got to get started going to bed earlier!! Am the first to post again! I guess the thing I would try to change is less multi-tasking. Things get done, but there seems to be no attachment to the things being done, just one thing done after the other, and not really being in the now! They say God is in the detail, well where are the lovely details if we’re zooming all the time.

  2. cherrie

    Please accept my sympathy about your case. It sounds like you are another victim of the economy and that is really hard on you. Yesterday I joined up with flylady and she also talks about baby steps. I suffer from depression and that is often all I can take. Under stressful circumstances the only thing that keeps me going is my relationship with God and the humility to live within my abilities. Cherrie
    .-= cherrie´s last blog ..Have you meet Flylady ? =-.

  3. Holly

    I went for a CT scan Thursday and was called Friday to tell me that it looks like I have a tumor on my pancreas. I will be going later this week for further testing/biopsy. On FB friends started putting the oh, no it’s almost Monday posts. It is amazing how changing just a little of your focus can change a lot of your day. I wrote to one friend to look at it as a new day to breathe life in those around us-she is a teacher. A do over day. A day to celebrate what God has planned for us. If all my tests come back negative for cancer I hope that it is a new skill I will keep for life- an ability to redirect my focus. How easy it is to start dreading days that we know start a busy schedule again, but how much better those days are when we change our focus from dread to celebration and anticipation.
    .-= Holly´s last blog ..God in the good and the bad =-.

  4. Marianne

    I am so sorry life is kicking you in the uhemm. But good on you to keep such an upbeat outlook on things. And thank you because I needed the reminder to keep things in perspective. What would make my life better right now if I started to look on some things more as something I want to do because they are an important part of my life instead of only a chore or a must. Like work. I like the idea of me having work (he I like the money too) but I resent the actual doing of said work. I’d much rather be creative. Well life isn’t all about what you want sometimes you (I mean I of course) have got to want what I must. Make sense?
    Anyway that birdcage looks adorable. Good job.
    .-= [email protected]´s last blog ..Office chair makeover =-.

  5. The Blushing Hostess

    Well done and too love the fall. Cannot wait to get home from the beach finally. The first shot is great, a lively, cheery home!
    .-= The Blushing Hostess´s last blog ..A Birthday Dinner =-.

  6. Denise

    Sorry that you are in limbo…I will be praying for you.
    Thanks again for your help this weekend…one thing I need to do is let some of this house stuff go and enjoy each moment instead of focusing on everything I have to do…after all, I am the only one who really cares about it all being done right NOW anyway.

    Happy Monday Melissa~

  7. L

    Oh, you are not alone! I have been “decorating” and nesting in rentals for almost two decades now, with several moves in between. And hubby is interviewing again, so everything is temporary.
    I tried living for 6 months with all of our things in boxes, and NOT decorating or even hanging up pictures—- I was miserable!
    I’m not really a decorator. I hate to spend the time and money on it. I’m sure if we were settled and it was really our own house I would feel differently. But I do put out our pictures, and houseplants, a few candles and knick knacks. Holiday/seasonal decorating is very minimal– mostly just for the kids. I despise buying anything from China– especially things for our most sacred and special holidays! So Christmas and Easter are kept to more minimal and meaningful religious decoration— not tons of bunnies and Santas, just a nativity and an advent wreath, and lots of Easter flowers. I tend to lean toward natural items I can find for free to signify the change of seasons. I do buy fresh flowers about once a month– especially in the bleak winter!
    Keep going, no matter what else is happening. Even if you are packing, it’s a good chance to re-organize your decor items! :) I love your blog, it’s given me a lot of simple ideas that I can still do without painting the walls! :)

  8. Julia

    Oh, wow, you’ve got a lot going on! The blue birdcage looks great. I spent the weekend spray-painting my old wrought-iron bed in hopes that we can use it instead of buying a new one. I think it’s going to work. I bet they sell a lot more spray paint in tough economic times! :-)

    Hang in there. I hope everything works out for you with the house and church and everything else you’ve got going on!
    .-= Julia @ Hooked on Houses´s last blog ..The Notebook: Noah’s House with the Blue Shutters =-.

  9. Kathy

    I find that I get overwhelmed by lists that encompass many things that need to be done as well. Then I wind up not doing anything. I have taken to looking at smaller things and accomplishing that first. It is definitely better for my well-being and stress level. I have actually been thinking about picking up some Mums for Fall. All the stores have them out now and just last week I was waving them away as I’m not ready for Summer to end yet. This weekend I had my first “nothing to do” weekend in a long time and I thoroughly enjoyed it – I looked at it as a mental health weekend!

  10. Sheri

    I’m sorry you are having such a rough time of it right now. But what a great attitude you are portraying. I’ll be praying for you.
    .-= Sheri´s last blog ..Love Story Chapter 9 1/2 Wrong Way Mike =-.

  11. Sherrie

    Wow! So much on your plate right now! I find digging into projects somehow relieves the stress and puts things in perspective again.

    I love the color you chose for the bordcage!

    .-= Sherrie´s last blog ..A Tale of Two Lamps =-.

  12. Sue

    Oh Melissa, that stinks about having to move! I know things will work out the way they are supposed to, but for a nester like you, it must be so hard!

    Last fall, I decorated mostly with things I found outside – pinecones, gumballs, leaves, branches. And fruit from the produce section, that we ate and replenished. Colored pears, green and purple grapes.

    Also, I love the birdcage! So much cheerier. I have one that is the same color as your original and I’m really wanting to paint it now. Do you know the name of that color?
    .-= Sue @ My Party of 6´s last blog mom starts the countdown =-.

  13. Deidra

    Thanks for this. I’m married to a minister and – not that uncertainty is unique to ministers’ families, but I feel you!

    That birdcage is so so sweet! Great job! I needed a quick job like that last week, so I spray painted the light fixture in my kitchen. Without taking it down from the ceiling. It left a haze of spray paint all over my kitchen counter. ; )
    .-= Deidra´s last blog ..Blog-o-versary: The Firsts and…A Winner! =-.

  14. Flower Patch Farmgirl

    Aqua birdcage! It’s perfect.

    My plan to make my day a fantastic one is to get my rear in gear and get my work done, so I can sneak out and meet my guy for lunch. He works late tonight and the sky is so clear – with a touch of Fall already in the air! This Monday is a “work” day – the kids are at the sitter – but for some reason, I can’t resist this thought….

    Now, back to work!! :)
    .-= Flower Patch Farmgirl´s last blog ..Camp Love =-.

  15. alisha

    The turquoise seems so fitting for the birdcage…love it. I have no tips to share, but just wanted to thank you for posting this. I needed to read this today. I myself am also pondering those same questions, but I’ll just try to make the most of today!
    .-= alisha´s last blog ..A stronger and clearer me is emerging =-.

  16. Puna

    In spite of your circumstances, I feel your optimism come through! I am going to follow you lead and I’m going to spray paint a birdcage…I am. Blessings to you!
    .-= Puna´s last blog ..The Making Of A Star =-.

  17. Emily

    I love your attitude, Melissa. Love the birdcage. It really is the little things that make a house a home, so even just something as simple as that really can make a day brighter. I will be thinking of and praying for you while you deal with all the big stuff on your plate right now.

    I am NOT fall nesting yet. We are still spending too much time at the beach and sweltering for me to even think of crisp autumn days.

  18. Karen B

    I think you’re on the right track, Melissa. Sometimes life overtakes us and we just have to insert a little “fluffing” to balance things out. Your birdcage looks so much happier in blue! I couldn’t go to sleep last night because of this weeks list of things to do. So, after work, I’m going to get the supplies to finish a project and get it off my list! I am not doing any Fall nesting yet, either. Yesterday it was 109 degrees! It’s difficult to wrap my head around Fall. Maybe later this week I’ll try to join your nesting posts!
    .-= Karen B´s last blog ..Floral Fridays =-.

  19. teresa

    Love what you did to the birdcage- makes me smile. I was thinking about what you asked- little ways to make my life better-
    For me today- I framed some artwork that my little granddaughter gave me {she drew a picture of me as a queen =) it just makes my day better just looking at it. And I’m trying harder to Thank my Heavenly Father for all the “little” blessings in my life.
    I really pray and hope things work out the way you need them to.
    .-= teresa´s last blog ..Their Back- =-.

  20. songbirdtiff

    I’m finding these days that I just have to focus on trying to be happy from one moment to the next. With hubby being unemployed I just have to do what I can to make the situation and pray for the rest. Today is a little easier because we got some exciting Adoption news. The Lord will sustain us, we just have to be patient.
    .-= songbirdtiff´s last blog ..Adoption Update =-.

  21. Gina

    Seasons- this post makes me think of the different seasons we experience in life-and trying to look at them through God’s perspective. That’s one thing I can do today to make today better-look at things through His eyes.

    Blessings on you guys as you launch your new church-that’s truly and exciting thing!
    .-= Gina´s last blog ..Fall Inspiration =-.

  22. Tracy

    Wow, so many things to comment on here. Love your attitude. I appreciate that you can find this small way (the painted birdcage) to make yourself happy in the midst of so much chaos… even GOOD chaos is stressful and exhausting. Very inspiring. Thanks!
    .-= Tracy´s last blog ..China Patterns =-.

  23. Deanna

    Little steps can make a huge difference to ourselves and to our families. The stuff going on at your house would make it perfectly acceptable to not do fall or paint a birdcage. Yet by doing those small things, just a few touches here and there keep life “normal” for your family and help to ease all the unsettled feelings.
    Praying that all will go well with your church. So exciting to see how God will use you there in Washington. He surely has a plan!
    .-= Deanna´s last blog ..Domestic Life =-.

  24. Trish

    I seem to prefer to want to sit and “re-remind” myself of my ‘can’t do it’ list – lack of $$$, stars aren’t lining up perfectly for me to declutter that room today, jealousy (if I had as much $ as HER, I would do this that the other) or if only I had a housekeeper once a week, and other really pitiful thoughts. Thanks for getting off your behonkus and showing me that I can push forward and take life one day at a time, rather than lamenting over how I cannot accomplish this or that masterpiece in the next 20 minutes. NOW, I am off to work on my list! Thanks!
    .-= [email protected]´s last blog ..Paint By Numbers =-.

  25. shelly

    Wow…you couldn’t have posted this on a better/worse day! I’ve been sitting here on my couch for the last hour in tears, completely overwhelmed by all that needs to be done, lack of $$$ to do it, plus just life with 3 boys…decided to do my blog list to “get a dose of women who have it all together, happy beautiful homes and families”…..thanks for bringing me back up from the pit!

    Praying that God will bless your family in amazingly abundant ways as you start this new leg of the race!

  26. Brenda Kula

    I had already registered at Divine Caroline some time ago. But had forgotten about the site. Now I have them bookmarked. Some good stuff going on over there. I’m so sorry for your having to feel like your “nest” is about to be disrupted. No one wants that. But you’re a “glass half-full” sort of girl and you see the power in not letting it drive you down. Instead you see it as a challenge. I admire you for that. And for all that you do. I’m not a religious person, but I’d say I’m spiritual. Perhaps in a nature sort of way. Isn’t it nice, though, that we can all help one another, regardless of core ideological beliefs? As women standing together?
    .-= Brenda Kula´s last blog ..Images Of Home Mosaic =-.

  27. Pinky

    I have that exact same birdcage!!!!!!!!! Now I see that I NEED to paint it and make it all pretty!!!!:):) I am so sorry that you are going through all this but you DO have such a positive outlook, I know you will NEST and have a good Fall season. Just try to do small little things to make yourself happy and more content. A few pinecones, some leaves, ONE pumpkin, they all make ME smile. There IS a chill in the air today here in Pa. so I am anxiously awaiting fall!!!!!!!!!!! Hugs, Pinky

  28. Heathahlee

    There is so much I could say about this post, but I’ll refrain…I’ll just say that I definitely needed to read it today! (whining has become my second language) : )
    .-= Heathahlee´s last blog ..My Husband Rocks! =-.

  29. Amanda-TheEckLife

    I will be praying for you Melissa- I know all to well whats its like to be in limbo-as my mother always said-this too shall pass. On a lighter note, I have that EXACT same birdcage! and I hated the drab wood color too- I spray painted mine a creamy off white and added a little birds nest inside.
    .-= Amanda-TheEckLife´s last blog ..How time flies…. =-.

  30. Candy

    I live in Florida so I don’t know what Fall is. LOL

    The thing that helps me make my life better is being organized. I hope to be better organized now that lots of paper work will be rolling in from school each week. And daughter will have homework each night.

    I also think taking time for myself which is hard when you have two kids under the age of 6 who constantly need attention helps.

    Sending good thoughts your way. And love the new color for the bird cage.
    .-= Candy @ SoBella Creations´s last blog ..Features & Giveaways =-.

  31. Sarah

    What a wonderful shape for a bird cage. Love what you did with it!

  32. The Bella Girls

    I just purchased a similar color of blue paint for an old lamp. Your birdcage gets me excited about giving my lamp a make over this weekend.

    Best wishes to you and your family.


  33. Nita

    Your Tudor house is my dream house and I would buy it from you if I could. I am sure it is very hard leaving such a beautiful home you have created over time. Blessings in your new venture. Gosh, I wish I could just move in right now.



  1. The Year in Review: 2009 DIY - [...] The birdcage got a fresh new outlook on life. [...]

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