Archives for August 2010

Living with What You Love

Living with What You Love

I love living in a home that makes me happy when I walk through it. Not just happy in the “wow, I am so happy I made this look pretty” sort of way, but the “I feel inspired by the blessings of life” sort of happiness. There is a difference.

I have no idea how people can live in a home that is “just pretty” but lacks real meaning. Pretty only on the surface can be so, well, shallow.

Creating a home with meaning requires surrounding yourself with layers of memories — not just random objects. When everything was bought to simply to serve a purpose or to fill a space, and nothing was collected through living life, a home feels flat and one dimensional. A surface “decorated home”¬† misses out on the stories and character that can only come through decor that is a reflection of life experience.

Living with What You Love

I just re-framed and hung the etching my husband and I bought in Hawaii
19 years ago on our one and only special trip away from the kids!
Every single time I see it good memories rush to my mind.
Cheap therapy, I tell ya!

I feel it is so important to connect emotionally to the things you are surrounded by at home.

Your home and what is in it should have soul, not just surface beauty.

Disclaimer: This doesn’t mean you can’t have things that are simply pretty, I have lots of things that are just there to be functional or pretty. But sprinkled throughout my home are gentle reminders of the good in life. I love having things in my home that have a story. If you look through your accessories at home and do not feel your heart strings being tugged in some way, it might be worth adding in some meaning!

Living with What You Love

Treasures from our family’s past give us a sense of history at home.
They tie our past and present together.
Objects like my old postcard can enrich our life
because they make us ask questions and tell stories about our ancestors.

As I look around my home, I see framed photos of my children, art collected to remind us of vacations, shells picked up while walking along the shore, maps of places I’ve been, books I’ve loved and read over and over again, treasures and hand written notes and recipes from grandparents and sweet reminders of my childhood.

When I am surrounded by these things, my home is beautiful to me.

Living with What You Love
Jars can hold all sorts of collections and memories: photos, shells, trinkets.
This jar always reminds me of my childhood craft, painting clothespins!
Even subtle reminders of happy memories can make me smile.

That is the kind of home I love to live in. I want my home to feel authentic, warm and inviting. I want to achieve that not just with my time or money invested in decorating, but through LIVING.

Remember my motto, “When Life Inspires Your Home, Your Home will Inspire Your Life”? When you’ve lived fully¬† (you’ve traveled, created memories, loved, cried, laughed and lived not just for yourself but for and with others), your home can be filled with beautiful reminders of what has mattered most to you. Living with What You Love

My grandma’s meatloaf recipe, written out with love for me.
She is no longer with us, so this is priceless!

Living with What You LoveMy husband gave me a giant tea cup for a gift —
I adore it more than any other “accessory”
I could buy at a discount store.

And when you decorate with heart and soul, your home will inspire you to continue to focus on all that is right and good in your life. You’ll remember the good of the past and be inspired to live in a more positive state of mind.

Living with What You LoveThe family wall. Image from: Living with What You Love

Living with What You Love

Tip: corral small frames on a tray. From: Living with What You Love

When I ran across this new book (in a post at my friend Holly’s blog), Living With What You Love by photographer Monica Rich Kosann, I knew I’d found a kindred spirit. Monica so kindly sent me a copy of the book. It is filled with her beautiful pictures and inspiring ideas to create a home with family photos, heirlooms and collectibles. Love that! I know you will all be inspired by her ideas, photos and tips as well — Monica has offered us a generous giveaway today!

Living with What You Love



One copy of Living With What You Love


All you have to do to enter is leave a comment sharing about something you have in your home that evokes a happy memory for you!

I will pick five winners at random to receive a book!

Share this post on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog for extra entries! Giveaway will end on Friday 9PM PST.

Living with What You Love can be purchased through