Archives for May 2012

Girls’ Day Out in NYC! {& a Camera Bag Giveaway!}

I‘m a blogger. And, I’m a mom. Both of these roles sometimes require toting a camera around and snapping photos. I have had my Canon Rebel for about a year now. And, I’ve carried it back and forth across the country in a tote bag to conferences and events and to every school band performance.

Why did I carry it in a tote bag? I’ll confess. It is because I thought camera cases were all ugly. Honestly, I just didn’t want to carry around an ugly camera bag and a purse and maybe even a tote bag all slung over my shoulders like an awkward tourist, a geek or crazy picture taking blogger mom. I’m not the most fashion obsessed girl on the block, but I do have a little pride.

As I was preparing to go to NYC for a week, I started to wonder how I was going to carry everything around a big city efficiently and stylishly. In NYC you don’t just “run back to to the hotel” to grab an umbrella, you know what I mean? Most of the time you have to plan ahead and carry what you’ll need for the entire day, cause it is a big city!

So before I left Seattle, I found a stylish solution for all my travel carryon stuff. A Clover Epiphanie Bag! This teal beauty (pictured above in teal) had plenty of room for everything I needed. I carried my umbrella, my wallet, my gum and lip gloss, my sunglasses, phone and there was still plenty of padded compartments for my camera — and every other little thing I needed to carry around with me!

Granted, the Clover not a tiny bag. But the beauty of this particular bag is it is compartmentalized inside, so you don’t lose things down in the black pit at the bottom of the bag. Everything had a place and I could find things quite easily. And even if my bag was dropped or smashed, it still protected my camera much better than my tote bag would!

I may decide to get a smaller camera bag as well, for times when I don’t want to carry so many things or need to carry something a bit smaller. But, I have to tell you that I literally carried this around NYC on my shoulder with all that stuff in it and it worked out great! It fit perfectly under the seat in the airplane too, so it was the perfect carryon bag. No purse or extra bag required!

And someday, when my dream comes true and I get my own iPad, it will slip right into this bag and all will be well with the world.

Girls’ Day Out in NYC!

One of the other fun days I had in NYC was a “girls’ day out” with Kate from Centsational Girl. We had a great time! You might have seen a few of the pics of the amazing things we saw via Instagram or Facebook or in my other posts so I’m going to let her show you the rest including an AMAZING fabric store! Check out her Spring in NYC post here!

Giveaway time! {now closed}

I like my camera bag so much, I arranged for YOU to have a chance to win an Epiphanie Bag of your choice! YAHOO! So leave a comment on which one you’d choose  and I’ll select a random winner on Friday! Good luck!

Epiphanie is not a sponsor of The Inspired Room, nor was I paid for this post. But they did give me a bag at no charge! As always, my opinions are my own.

You can find Epiphanie Bags on Facebook and Twitter!

Creative Ideas for Outdoor Rooms {Lowe’s Designer Challenge}

Creative Ideas for Outdoor Rooms {Lowe's Designer Challenge}

Ever dream of hosting an outdoor movie night in your own backyard? Now that I’ve seen this amazing outdoor room, I can’t stop thinking about how I could create one on my deck! Right? I mean, wouldn’t an outdoor movie party be SO FUN?

So where did I find this delightful outdoor movie theatre inspiration?

Well, as I’ve mentioned, I was in NYC last week kicking up my heels with my hubby for a rare (rare, as in as far as I can remember, we have only ONE OTHER TIME in our long marriage flown off together without the kids on a plane for a REAL vacation? Seriously. We generally stick close to home for more budget friendly weekend trips!).

But, part of the reason we were able to make this dreamy getaway a reality last week is I was invited by Lowe’s Home Improvement to attend a really great event in NYC showcasing three outdoor rooms created by some very talented designers! It is all for charity, which makes it even better!

Creative Ideas for Outdoor Rooms {Lowe's Designer Challenge}

Similar to the fantastic Lowe’s event I attended last year in a SoHo loft with Nate Berkus (I KNOW, like I said last year, I cannot make this stuff up!!), this party was in another UNBELIEVABLE loft. The view of NYC from the balcony was INCREDIBLE, like it took my breath away! Kate (Centsational Girl) tried to scare me by leaning on the railing and my heart nearly came out of my body.

Lowe’s wined and dined us all evening with drinks and hors d’oeuvres while we chatted with the designers and guests and took in all the details of these three lovely outdoor rooms.

It is a rough life, but someone has to do it, right? Ha!

Creative Ideas for Outdoor Rooms {Lowe's Designer Challenge}

So, having an outdoor movie theatre like this one created by the talented Danny Seo really got me thinking about how easy and FUN this would be to try at home! With a drop cloth (!) movie screen, a cozy seating area and a table filled with drinks and popcorn, you’ve got the perfect setting for the ultimate summer party!

Creative Ideas for Outdoor Rooms {Lowe's Designer Challenge}

Or maybe your idea of the perfect party would be serving dinner under the stars in your own outdoor dining room! Yes, PLEASE! I could enjoy that.

Creative Ideas for Outdoor Rooms {Lowe's Designer Challenge}

This charming outdoor dining space designed by Marcela Valladolid featured lush plants, beautiful flowers, artwork, colorful dishes and fun star lights strung over the great table and slipcovered chairs!

And as a unique and eye-catching focal point, she created an incredible succulent wall — true living art!

Creative Ideas for Outdoor Rooms {Lowe's Designer Challenge}Creative Ideas for Outdoor Rooms {Lowe's Designer Challenge}
This would be an absolutely lovely outdoor room in which to entertain this summer, don’t you think?
Creative Ideas for Outdoor Rooms {Lowe's Designer Challenge}
And this outdoor sitting room by designer Elaine Griffin! Oh my! It was layered with color, texture and pattern, which of course I can’t help but love!

Creative Ideas for Outdoor Rooms {Lowe's Designer Challenge}Creative Ideas for Outdoor Rooms {Lowe's Designer Challenge}

From her choice of fun accent pillows, layered rugs, furnishings and plants to the creative use of stock trellises embellished with ceiling medallions painted such an amazing shade of blue, she designed a private oasis I could hang out in all summer long. I’d invite you over and we could sip iced tea and chat!

Creative Ideas for Outdoor Rooms {Lowe's Designer Challenge}
Oh, and I really adored the outdoor lamps! Can you believe those are approved for outdoor use?

LOVE the ambience the lighting brings to the space.
Creative Ideas for Outdoor Rooms {Lowe's Designer Challenge}

I’m totally going to layer my outdoor rugs now. I have neutral dirt hiding rugs on each of my decks, which are perfect for our muddy Seattle climate.  BUT, I’ve been craving something more fun and colorful this summer. Now, I am for sure going to add another layer!

How could I ever choose just ONE outdoor room? I think I need them ALL! So what are we waiting for? It is time for summer projects! I have to tell you, I really love Lowe’s Creative Ideas magazine and their website! If you want creative ideas for your summer projects, you’ve got to check it out!

So, which is your favorite outdoor room?

Creative Ideas for Outdoor Rooms {Lowe's Designer Challenge}

The designers need YOUR VOTE starting today! The winning designer wins a $50,000 donation for their favorite charity! Go vote over at Lowe’s Facebook page and help them win!

**A big big thank you to Lowe’s and their great team (thanks Jackie!) for including me in this wonderful event in NYC! I’m honored and had an ah-mazing time!! This is not a sponsored post, but a portion of my trip to NYC for this event was provided by Lowe’s.

Creative Ideas for Outdoor Rooms {Lowe's Designer Challenge}