Archives for December 2011

2011 Projects & Life Round Up: The Inspired Room

2011 Projects & Life Round Up: The Inspired Room

So, 2011 is coming to a close.

Since it is tradition to recap the year, I’ll share a few of the highlights and projects of the past 12 months!


In January, I took you on a little tour of my SWINE colored walls around the house. As I look at the before pictures, I wish they captured better how PINK they were! {Let me clarify: I’m not against pink. I’m against flesh colored mauve-swine colored walls at MY HOUSE. If you have them and love them, that is awesome!}.

This was our year to make some progress on paint, but of course it involved a really embarrassing PAINT MISHAP right off the bat. Yeah. I updated some of the paint colors on this post. More will be added next month when I show off more paint!

2011 Projects & Life Round Up: The Inspired Room

A sneak peek of the bathroom.

And there there was the bathroom we painted so bright I was worried people might need sunglasses. We went on to put up faux Board & Batten. The after of that bathroom project will be featured in January (see the sneak peek above), FINALLY.  Gah, I’m slow. But I like how it turned out.

I also made my annual trip to Nashville for Blissdom in January! You can check out a lot of the awesome homebloggers I met in my 2011 Blissdom recap post. I am not going to Blissdom this year, because, while it is a valuable experience in many regards, I’ve decided as a part of my desire to be very intentional, I need a few months at home this year before I venture out again! I traveled across the country so many times last year I’m ready to just stay home for awhile!

2011 Projects & Life Round Up: The Inspired Room

Old light fixture

2011 Projects & Life Round Up: The Inspired Room

After: new lantern


In February I got my new dining room lantern and that has been one of my favorite improvements. I look at it every day and still LOVE IT!


In March I showed you the evolution of my dining room with before and so far pictures, and in June I updated the dining room again with new recycled curtains! The curtains are still hanging in the dining room and I am SO happy with how they look!

I also got a new dishwasher in March! Oh happy day for me.


In April talked about how I organize my kitchen and everyday papers.

Then I shared a bit of the behind the scenes in my OTHER life — how we were moving our little start up church to a new building to have a coffee-shop style design and the project that was ahead of us!  You can find the update of our progress on the building in this post.

Also in April I launched a new blogging project, my Room Tours and DIY pages! I’ll be adding lots of new projects in the coming weeks, but these pages have been a real success and I’m thrilled that I can feature so many awesome bloggers’ rooms and projects.

I ordered some new funky chairs (and affordable and versatile!) for my dining room. While I may eventually get new dining room chairs, they are working out great and I love them still!

2011 Projects & Life Round Up: The Inspired Room


In May I traveled across the country again for a great opportunity in New York! Not only did I have a fabulous time with my mom, daughter and sister, but I got to hang out with Nate Berkus and Kate in a loft in Soho. So, yeah, that doesn’t happen every day.

2011 Projects & Life Round Up: The Inspired Room

At the end of May, I bought a new pillow because I’m easily inspired by things like file boxes.


I showed off our little backyard makeover with a new backyard fire pit... while it was not a huge or time consuming project at all WE LOVED IT!

I traveled to Utah for the EVO conference, it was a blast and even a little R&R for me!

2011 Projects & Life Round Up: The Inspired Room

Then I painted a pallet yellow and turned it into a little outdoor privacy screen and planter. LOVE it still.

Because I’m crazy, we got a puppy named Jack. And that puppy has been into mischief (and gaining his own loyal fan club) ever since.

And then there was THIS unexpected incident. A life-threatening emergency. So grateful my daughter is OK now but wow, that was so scary!

2011 Projects & Life Round Up: The Inspired Room


In August, I showed you my backyard potting table garden and my Fairy Garden.

My husband and I got away to the San Juan Islands and I shared a Drive By of fun houses.


In September I showed off the progress pictures of my outdoor room makeovers! It was so fun to freshen up those spaces in simple and affordable ways.

2011 Projects & Life Round Up: The Inspired Room


October brought my annual 31 Day series full of fall and holiday goodness, plus I somehow managed to put together an ebook over the summer and launch NOT a DIY Diva in October! Good grief. I think I need a nap just thinking about it all. Good thing I traveled across the country again for a little R&R on Hilton Head Island with my fellow (in)courage girls. Oh, and then I went again across the country AGAIN a few weeks later to go to Relevant. {Faints! How did I have time for all that?}


In November we talked about perfectionism and finding peace in the home and life you have.

I shared my excitement that my spur of the moment use-what-you-have Christmas mantel was featured in Cottages & Bungalows magazine.

My girls started their own blogs and I couldn’t be more happy for them! I hope you’ll follow their blogs in the new year, they are both well worth keeping up with. You can find Kylee’s here and Courtney’s blog here. And I’m not just saying to follow them because they are my daughters, but that does make it kind of fun. I actually really like their blogs and learn a lot from both of them!

2011 Projects & Life Round Up: The Inspired Room


There were lots of posts about decorating in November and December for Christmas including My Christmas House Tour which you can see some of my updates to the entry as well as a new striped wall (that is another before and after I’ll share in January) and then the crazy unraveling that happened. Oh, and the little episode where Jack used our Christmas tree as indoor plumbing. Yeah.

2011 Projects & Life Round Up: The Inspired Room

The updates to the entry, including the stripes,
a mantel and new light fixtures, will be featured in the coming weeks!

So, those are the highlights of 2011! In spite of how the business of blogging is growing and evolving, I have found my element and purpose in what I do every day… I feel very blessed. I love blogging, yet I still fit in a lot of living outside of blogging! It is great doing what I love. I’m so looking forward to 2012!

Thank you, each and every one of you, for reading The Inspired Room this year and encouraging me through 2011. Without you, I’d be talking to a blank screen. You make this way more fun.

What is up for 2012? I’ve got LOTS of home projects that are in the planning stages, already in progress right now, or ready to be featured.

I’d say 2012 will be the year of many before & afters and home decorating progress reports and updates to My Home! I can’t wait for January to begin!

But for now, a nappy by the fire.

Happy New Year’s Eve!

What I Learned About Blogging in 2011

What I Learned About Blogging in 2011

This post is for you, fellow bloggers or bloggers-to-be.

It is going to be kind of long and rambling, but basically my blogging sensors are telling me this:

Blogging is changing.

And we need to learn how to deal with it if we want to succeed.

Profound? Probably not. Sorry. But, I’ll proceed anyway.

When I first started blogging four and a half years ago, it felt like a pretty small community where you just might actually get to know everyone in your niche. Of course, it wasn’t THAT small, but it certainly was MUCH smaller than it is now. And I’m sure the year or two before I started blogging, the world felt even smaller.What I Learned About Blogging in 2011

Award – 2007

A few years back, you would write from your heart and if you were decent at blogging you could still stand out in a sea of blogs. It was still really hard work, but if you were diligent, persistent and better than average at providing good content and building a community through blog comments, you probably could survive and succeed as a blogger.

Things seem a wee bit different now. It feels like everyone is getting in the game, which is great! But today, it seems blogging isn’t only about blogging well. It is evolving to be about the numbers you have all around the internet and how clever or persistent you are at getting those big numbers to drive big traffic back to your blog.

These days bloggers concern themselves with things we never even knew we would need to think about back in the day. Like, how many pins did your project get? And how many will you get if you are just a little bit more fancy with Photoshop or do a few more pinnable posts? How can you get the most Facebook likes or Twitter followers? Did you get any RT’s on twitter? How many people follow your images on Instagram or your pins on Pinterest? Do you have Klout and is it rising or falling? Should you go to a blogging conference? Which ones should we go to? Who got asked to speak where? Should we join a promo group to promote each other to the top of the game? What kind of camera do all the “successful bloggers” use?

It is kind of complicated (and sometimes expensive) to be considered a great blogger and online influencer. In fact, just thinking about it, my head *might* implode from the crazy endlessness of it all.

What I Learned About Blogging in 2011

When is “enough” really “enough?” Don’t get me wrong, I adore blogging. I still LOVE LOVE LOVE it. I’m not against competition or numbers or the growth of the internet, those are good things.

But let’s just say I don’t really like to be pressured or even tempted to do more.

So how does one go about setting goals for blogging success these days?

There is power and reward in numbers and influence. But, should those markers of success be our real goal?

While I think having specific numerical goals is helpful and necessary at times, when I’m setting blogging goals I would rather think about what it is I’m really looking for. The underlying building blocks of a well-lived life. Things like more contentment at home. More peace. More joy. More meaning.  Health. More family time. All that real LIFE stuff.

What I Learned About Blogging in 2011
 {this artwork with the fabulous message can be found via Home Grown Hospitality}

Can we achieve those ideal life goals while reaching higher numbers and more influence online? Sometimes, yes. It is possible to grow a blog, be happy and maintain sanity. But for a lot of people, more time on the internet and more numbers to watch means we end up feeling a wee bit more crazy and scattered.  Not “more at peace.”

It is so easy to lose yourself and lose sight of your real goals because you are being pulled every which way online.

So, how do you focus your online energy and what is ENOUGH when it comes to setting blogging goals?

Do we have to choose between a successful LIFE and a successful BLOG? I think the answer for me lies somewhere between taking deliberate action to grow my blog business (which is important to me right now) and knowing when to say “enough” (which is VITAL for my overall long term health and success in life). I don’t always get that balance right, but I know it means I cannot do it all and do it all “well.” I have to make choices every day.

It comes down to being intentional. It actually always has. The times might change but the goals really don’t. Even “back in the day” being intentional was the key to feeling successful. Two extra hours on the internet each day or two more blog conferences across the country or two more DIY projects this month might bring me more followers, pins, likes, or more influence, but I might lose myself and distance my family in the process.

Being intentional about our real underlying goals at home and in life first, before we set our blogging goals, might keep us balanced enough as people to stay in the blogging game for the long haul. Four and a half years later, I’m still here so I haven’t gone too crazy yet! By first looking at the end result we want to achieve in life, it is easier to make choices about where to spend our time now. Today. This minute.

Otherwise, we might just head toward burn out or imploding heads. And no one wants that.

So bloggers, let’s talk about blogging with intention!

How do we pace ourselves?

What I Learned About Blogging in 2011

What I Learned About Blogging in 2011

If you are a blogger, would you share in the comments how long have you been blogging? What is your experience with the growing and changing nature of blogging? What advice or questions do you have for other bloggers, old-times or newbies?

What are the things that drive you crazy about trying to grow your blog while maintaining your sanity?

What are some ways you are intentional, set goals, and say “enough” when it comes to time spent on blogging and related blogging activities?