Around the House · YouTube

Inspiration: Engineer Your Space

I came across Engineer Your Space on YouTube several years ago. I love finding creative folks who are courageous and willing to think out of the box when it comes to making use of small spaces. At the time, Isabelle LaRue was living in a small apartment in New York City. I thought her ideas and designs were interesting and doable by most folks.

It wasn’t long that she moved to Los Angeles and once again created a living space that is warm, comfortable, useful, and, most importantly, doable by the average renter.

Granted, she has experience with tools, but that is something that anyone can learn. They can also rent tools if necessary, so that shouldn’t be an impediment.

What I can appreciate the most is the way Isabelle tackles problems, areas, projects in ways that are creative and affordable. They are all Renter Friendly and geared toward small spaces, but that doesn’t mean that the average homeowner can’t make use of her ideas, too.

I recently revisited the YouTube channel to find updates on her apartment. I love the way living in a space gives you opportunity to find out how it works best for you and what you can do to make use of all the features.

Check out her website here: Engineer Your Space, but don’t forget to check out her other media outlets.

Around the House · Shopping · YouTube

Inspiration: Mr. Carrington & Luke Catleugh

My discovery of Mr. Carrington has led to a lot of ideas, inspiration, fun and, my particular favorite, arm chair travel.

Mr. C, as he is known in my home, lives in London, England. His channel focuses on DIY around the house, decor, shopping excursions, cleaning and easy recipes. Among a few other things. LOL

Frankly, he is one of the very few Appointment TV (aka: YouTube) I have. Every Sunday morning I sit back with my coffee and breakfast watching to see what he’s been up to lately.

My other Appointment TV is with Luke Catleugh. Both of these guys are friends and occasional coworkers. They share a love of shopping, DIY, decor, travel, etc. Luke is also quite an interesting and inspiring home cook.

Each of these guys bring a relaxing vibe as they share their latest projects, shopping hauls, excursions into the garden, not to mention those rare but thoroughly enjoyable meet ups.

Watching them has stretched my imagination when it comes to decor and DIY projects. I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed their travel experiences, too.

If you are interested, go to YouTube and search for Mr. Carrington and Luke Catleugh.

Around the House · YouTube

Inspiration: DIY Danie

I’ll be honest, I’m not 100% sure where I originally came across Danie Berger’s work on YouTube. I’m pretty sure it could have been while watching Alexandra Gater or Buy or DIY. What I am sure about is how much I enjoy her creativity, her willingness to be silly, her fearlessness when it comes to projects.

Note: I’m pretty sure Danie would not agree to the ‘fearless’ adjective, but there you go. 🙂

As I’ve discovered during the more than a year of following along, Danie has a love of a variety of things that often inspires her to make some amazing projects. She has allowed herself to think outside the box and create projects, and rooms, that appeal to the fan in all of us

One of my favorite projects is her Harry Potter Inspired Adult Bedroom. Check it out:

For those of us who love Potter, this room is an eye opening comfort space that gives all of us permission to play and explore a bit while not diving into any kind of ‘kid zone’.

This past year, Danie embarked on making magic in her very own first home. Check out her videos as she upgraded the decor in the living room, bathroom and bedrooms. Don’t overlook the back patio or garden upgrades, either. And, I have to be honest, I’m loving the She Shed. 🙂

I have to say that after watching her, I don’t look at things in quite the same way. Is there a DIY potential? What if…?

If you are interesting in checking out Danie’s work, go over to her website diyinprogress to see what she has been up to. She’s also on YouTube and Instagram and probably a few more spots – you can find all the info on YouTube, too.

Musings · YouTube

Interesting People: Morgan Donner

I would like to say I was introduced to Morgan Donner via the YouTube Costume Community and their holiday Secret Santa Videos. This would be back in 2019, I think. Either that or via Bernadette Banner and one of her videos.

What I would like for you to know about her is that she is an interesting person who has lots of unusual knowledge used for out of the ordinary tasks, tools, and things.

She is, in many ways, a lot of fun to keep up with.

Check out her latest video:

What I find most interesting about this particular video venture is the way Morgan weaves coffee, pottery and history into something interesting, informative and, potentially, enjoyable. That coffee thing is quite interesting… and if you have Rakuten, you get a further discount. Just sayin’

I enjoy people who are not cookie cutter versions of other folks and Morgan certainly fits that bill. While she does delve into things that don’t always particularly grab my interest, she often provides a view at topics or projects that capture my attention.

Don’t take my word for it – check out her YouTube channel. Let me know what you think!

Around the House · YouTube

Getting Creative – Expanding Your Style

I recently spent a lovely evening bingeing DIY Danie over on YouTube. Last year she purchased her very first home and has been working on updating many of the rooms. These past couple of weeks focused on the reno of her Master Bedroom which turned out amazing. Her friend, Alexandra Gater, took on the task of designing Danie’s Guest Room and that project was the “Ah-Ha!” project for the house, IMNSHO.

Danie’s vibe is very open, bright, airy with lots of plants and splashes of color along with some inspired DIY projects. Alexandra has been very much pale pink and pom-poms with plants and some interesting DIY projects.

Color can be intimidating for many, many people. If you have been a renter for any period of time, chances are you are stuck using white or variations of the same because many landlords aren’t interested in repainting once you move on. White can be very safe, but also very boring. Adding tints of other colors might seem to be a step forward, but you still run the risk of getting stuck in the same old rut. Is it any wonder folks find themselves caught in a rut they don’t know how to get out of?

Danie did a project a while back working with the 2021 color pallet of one of the major paint companies. She stepped out of her comfort zone using one of the blues and while it was intimidating for her at first, she found she liked the end result.

Gater has also stepped out of her comfort zone a bit while working on projects but it was this latest project she worked on with Danie that really pulled her out of her comfort zone and moved her game up an entire level. Danie was hesitant at first but the end result was Awesome – and if you go over to Gater’s channel, pull up the video and read the comments, Danie said that every guest who has used the room loves it, too.

The point of all of this is to encourage you to get out of your comfort zone and experiment a bit. Not sure if you want to make an entire room a particular color? Get a small can of the paint and use it on a bookshelf.

Not sure what colors will work with the color you’ve chosen? Look for collection sample cards and see what goes with what. Don’t particularly like all the colors? Pick a few and consider using some as accents. A little goes a long way.

If you have a decor piece that you love, why not pull colors from that and put them into the room? One of my very favorite finds was a bedroom linen collection picked up at Target years ago. It was a floral with a black background – the black made the colors Pop. All of the colors on the linens worked together and when matched with paint samples, provided a blueprint for accessory pieces that I painted myself.

Getting out of the box allows you more freedom to express yourself and create a room that is comfortable, cozy, and makes you want to spend time there. Don’t be afraid to experiment a bit. It is only paint after all. 😉

Musings · YouTube

Sundays With The Guys

I have to admit to a wonderful evolution to my weekend.

For quite a few months now, Sunday mornings have been spent with two great guys who take time to tell me what’s going on with them, show me projects they have been working on or are in the process of developing, share ideas and inspiration and show me around an area of the world I have been loving for longer than I care to contemplate.

Who are these amazing people? Luke Catleugh and Mr. Carrington, of course!

I’m not sure how I managed to discover Mr. C but he managed to introduce me to Luke and between the two I’ve discovered a new way of cooking, looked at upping my home decor game, and rediscovered the fun of, well, doing stuff.

Both upload YouTube videos at least once a week on Sundays, but often during the week as well. Their latest works include decor upgrades and shopping hauls in addition to a DIY project or two. Luke loves to cook which means I get a chance to see something other than the same old same old while Mr. C is pretty straight forward and laid back about what is basically a dump and go methodology in his slow cooker. Both give me food for thought.

And I am in love with the roof top garden at Mr. C’s house!

While this might seem a bit silly to some, for me it is a mini-vacation in a part of the world that I know very little about but find fascinating. And it comes every week!

If you have yet to discover these guys, are looking at a change, want to experience life from a different location, or are just curious, head on over to YouTube and check them out.

You can join me on Sunday mornings with my coffee. 🙂

Note: Upon further thought, I’m thinking it was Hermione Chantal who introduced me to Mr. C. Hermione is in the UK, but over on the Isle of Wight. Check her out, too!

Food · Musings · YouTube

Food Freedom – A Few Thoughts

When Alyssia Sheikh over at Mind Over Munch on YouTube announced her Food Freedom course back in December, I was intrigued. I’ve followed her for quite a while as she talked about food prep, grocery hauls, and a variety of diet and food plans.

Note: As of this writing there is less than one week left of the course. Check out Alyssia’s website for more information. The course is free with the additional course materials sent via email.

If you’ve been around here for long, you know I don’t follow ‘diets’ and I avoid fake food as much as Humanly possible. I have several decades of experience trying different food plans and have seen the damage caused by corporations who promote their ‘plans’ to ‘help you get healthy’ only to find that they provide just enough information to get you hooked (i.e. spend $) and make sure you are dependent long enough to make a profit.

There are some plans that are actually sound, but the reality for most people is that nothing will work if the person using the plan isn’t connected, and committed, to actually engaging in the plan.

The problem is, many people have no education on how to actually engage and utilize all the information and options available so they can make the choices that will actually help them toward their goals.

Alyssia has shared her journey to heal her relationship with food and included sound research and experience to help us reconnect with ourselves.

The information is interesting and thought provoking. The tools are helpful and useful. Will they all work for everyone? Probably not, but here’s the thing: One Size Does Not Fit All. Or, take what you need and leave the rest.

Years ago a major health carrier’s advertising was based on the idea that ‘you know your body better than we do’. When you stop and think about that simple statement, it is very profound. And, for some folks, damn scary.

Personally, I’m a stress eater. Things get a bit tense and I head for the chips. Or the bread. Or the chocolate. Or the [ fill in the blank ]. I also enjoy food. I like eating good food and I can go really simple or really complicated. Couple this will a love of cooking and you get the makings of a potential disaster. Except…

I prefer simple meals made with food that I get as close to the farm as possible. I avoid chemicals and long distance hauling of produce.

Understanding that I have triggers that can goad me into putting on the pounds and learning how to deal with those triggers helped me maintain and not over eat.

Learning how to cook helped me control what I ate and more importantly gave me an arsenal to combat the convenience food quicksand that not only threatened my health but my bank account.

I’ve watched all the videos to date and found lots of food for thought that has been helpful not only in learning to handle the Mind-Body Connection, but in developing a life style, not a diet, that I can live with and benefits me.

If you are tired of the diet roller coaster, if you want to find tools that will help you actually achieve your goals rather than feed someone else’s pocket, I suggest you check out the information on the website. The videos are there along with additional information that will help you.

And, best of all, it is free.

Around the House · YouTube

A Tale of Two Design Aesthetics

If you’ve been around here for long you know I love beautiful design. I’m also the person an interior designer friend said was a designer’s dream because “You like everything.”

Not exactly, but close. LOL!

I love homes that are comfortable, cozy, and well-loved, and lived in. I have no interest in clean, pristine, dust wouldn’t settle on anything, picture-perfect, no warmth to save your life productions that often appear as the New In Thing.

There are a lot of interior designers around these days. Some are professionals who showcase their talents using the Internet and some are amateurs who strive to make their homes more than they started. A few stand out because they reach beyond the current fad. Here are two of my very favorites.

You can find both of these ladies on YouTube and Instagram. They are well worth the effort.

Hermione Chantal

I’ve been following Hermione Chantal for quite a while. I think I first encountered her when she purchased her very first home; a late 1800’s to early 1900 row house on the Isle of Wight in the U.K. Watching her take what was a disaster and turn it into a lovely home has been quite a journey.

The house has been transformed into a warm, cozy space with soft colors and thoughtful details using thrift finds, DIY projects, and an evolution of style. It is an interesting mixture of old and new and Hermione isn’t afraid to change her mind and try new things. She has stated that her intention with the house was not to keep it long-term which explains and informs some of her choices.

Farmhouse Vernacular

Paige and Brandon over at Farmhouse Vernacular are a young couple who have purchased their second home with an eye to it being their Forever Home. They found an old farmstead that needed work and started in.

Their home was built around 1905 and over the years has withstood a lot of … life. Check out the tour of the home when they bought it and you’ll get a good idea of what they were in for.

The intention of the sympathetic renovation is to make all the rooms as beautiful and multi-functional as possible without changing the footprint of the home, even though there has had to be some adjustment inside to accommodate things like bathrooms and storage.

This home is a working farm home. That it is also beautiful is the icing on the cupcake.

Paige talks a lot about the house speaking to her and I have to say I believe her. The choices made, be it colors, furniture, whatever, make the home so much lovelier than what was there when they moved in.

What I take away from these two aesthetics is the opportunity to get out of the box and create homes you are comfortable living in. Show homes may be beautiful but many lack any real warmth and that sense of the home being loved and well cared for.

Let me know what you think. Do you have a preference?

Food · YouTube

The Pretend Cooking Show I Discovered

Yep, you read that right. Jennifer Garner’s Pretend Cooking Show popped up in my YouTube feed last night and I … haven’t had so much fun in ages! I looked up the channel (“Garnerish”) and immediately subscribed.

She is funny, engaging, interesting and real. The recipes are easy to do and, frankly, inspiring enough to get me thinking about what I can do in my own kitchen.

Oh, if you are interested in a look from a different POV, check out “Every Recipe from Jennifer Garner’s Pretend Cooking Show”. You won’t regret it – even if you don’t particularly like to cook.