Monday, November 23, 2009

Inpire by Design has MOVED!

Monday's are what I would like to call "Clean Slate" days!  They are days where you can take your faults and accomplishments from the last week, wipe them clean and start over!  I have had a lot of fun on blogspot but it's time that I say goodbye and take my  blog to Tumblr.  Tumblr is a much easier blog to use and with that, you will probably be getting more things to read!!!

Not much will change for you readers though.  You will still get updates via facebook and twitter when I post, and you can still follow me and comment!  I did get a new design for my blog and it's pretty slick!  I decided to use a wood floor as my background which actually is symbolic!  There is nothing like walking in an empty house with freshly painted walls and nothing but a wood floor as your canvas!  It's my new canvas for my blog and hopefully I can fill it with colorful and interesting things for you!

So without further adieu....take a look and keep checking my new blog for posts!!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Christmas Card Encore!

I admit that I am a bit of a novice when it comes to concerts.  I recently went to one of my first concerts and can say I loved it!  The intensity and excitement in one large space makes me excited just thinking about it!  As I sat there in the midst of the crowd I thought to myself "I can do this! There's not much to being another fan in the crowd!".  All went well until the end.  This was the moment that separated the experts, and the newbies.  As the last note was sang and the lights went out...the crowd kept roaring...well...most of the crowd.  I on the other hand, stood up, grabbed my purse, and started making a beeline up the stairs to get to my car.  I thought to myself "I am so smart!  I am going to get out before any of these idiots realize the show is over!".  Little did I know that the finale was not really the end! As I got to the top of the stairs, the lights turned on again and the music started again.  I stood there in utter confusion and dismay realizing that I didn't get the memo.  Even my husband got it...  He was still sitting in his chair!  Apparently, this, my friends, is called an Encore! 

As I sat in my kitchen tonight looking for my Christmas cards online, I all of a sudden realized that I forgot one of my favorite resources for Christmas cards!  I can't believe I forgot to mention the place where I got my cards last year and the place I will probably get mine this year!  I thought it would be a disservice to not go back and give you this resource, especially since this website is not only so much fun but also very cost effective!

So let's just say this is my Encore to my Christmas Card post! (Hope nobody is grabbing their purse, getting out of their seats and turning off the computer right about now!). 

I discovered the company last year in a magazine.  I was immediately impressed by their ad and couldn't wait to go online and look at their Christmas Card selection.  I was not dissappointed.  They have a selection of Christmas cards and stationary to make anyone happy!  I will say no more though, and show you some of the cards they are offering this year in hopes that this Encore will help get you one step closer to your Christmas card selection this year! Enjoy!

This is a recipe card like the one's I mentioned in my previous post.  They pretty much do all the work for you on this one though.  I LOVE this idea!!!

They also have some simple and classic options.  This is one of my favorites!

Another one of my favorites!  They also have matching return address labels (as shown) that you can purchase!

They also have a great selection of recycled cards so you can "go green" but not skimp on style!

And don't forget your holiday invitations!  Pear Tree has some great options for invites as well! 

Monday, November 16, 2009

Creative Christmas Card Ideas

I love Thanksgiving!  I love getting together with the family and catching up on things that our busy lives prevented us to be a part of over the past year.  I love sharing food and laughter with family and friends and being thankful for all things that I am truly blessed for and of course being thankful for all the wonderful food!  I love all of those parts about Thanksgiving.  However, I think what I love the best about Thanksgiving is that it is the beginning of the Holiday Season!  I wait every year for the end of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade to see Santa on his sleigh traveling up the streets of New York City!  What a perfect way to kick off the holiday season!

So I thought I would hold off on blogging about Christmas until this anxiously awaited event occurred this year.  However, I couldn't do it!  I am too excited and have too many great things to share so I am starting this week!  I figured if Walgreens can start running their Christmas commercials (and I am sure everyone is running to get their designer snuggie which is on sale now at select stores!), then why can't I blog about it?

So I wanted to kick off this Holiday Season with one of the most popular and important traditions out there...the Christmas card. 

There are so many wonderful ideas out there and I intend to give you some great resources so that you can get your cards on order and ready to send out by December 1st! I know things are busy right now and that is why I selected some of the best websites out there so that you don't have to run all over town to try and find that perfect card.

One of my favorite websites this year is I absolutely LOVE all of their cards, invitations and gifts! Photo cards are so popular right now but I also love getting traditional cards too! Here are some of my favorite from Red Stamp:

I also LOVE anything Alexa Pulitzer!  One of my favorite Christmas cards this year is this one.  It's so classic and beautiful.  I am sure my mother will be doing something like this!

Of course as I mentioned above, photo cards are so popular right now.  I love receiving a Christmas card from a family member or friend I haven't seen in a while,especially one with their child's picture on it.  It's great to see how fast they have grown!  Below are some of my favorite photo cards this year. 

These cards are from the website  They have some of the best photo cards I have seen!  They are classic and fun!

These are from and also very beautiful.  You can digitally upload your image and they will do the rest!

I also love the idea of a family letter card to take things a step further with updating your family and friends with highlights from the year. You can find these at Red Stamp as well! 

This blank card above is also an Alexa Pulitzer.  The reason I love it is that there is so much you can do on the left side of this card.  One of my favorite ideas is to print one of your favorite holiday recipes on your holiday card. It's a fun surprise for your friends and family to get one of your most popular holiday recipes for them to share with their family.  You can print this on just about any card.  You can even save it as a jpg. and upload it as the "photo" for one of the photo cards I showed you above! 

This card is from I love the santa hats on the crawfish! 

Christmas cards are such a fun way to tell your loved ones that you are thinking about them this holiday season.  Whether you choose one of my resources or have one's of your own, be sure to be a part of this wonderful holiday tradition and make someone feel special this year! 

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

And....We're Back!!!!

Have you ever had a moment in your life when you finally discovered and really understood what the true meaning of "going postal" was?  Some people are lucky to stroll through life and never have to stand face to face with frustration (highly unlikely though!).  And myself,  stared frustration down the throat last week and I just have three words to help you understand what I went through....

After days of my TV and Internet playing a fun game of on again off again, I can honestly say that I am a pro at customer service and AT&T.  If anyone has any problems, I can tell you how to not only fix your TV, Internet, and phone service in just a few easy steps, but I can also recite every word to their one and only hold song performed by the beautiful Linda Ronstadt!  I can also tell you that no matter how many profanities you yell at the very polite automated man on the other end, you won't get any closer to speaking to a real human being!  Trust me...I tried it! 

Although last week was very quiet around my house, I did have some time to go through some of my favorite magazines and books and have some GREAT ideas for Christmas gifts, books and crafts for the season ahead!  I can't wait to share all of these with you!  I will probably start these before Thanksgiving since I have lots to share!  I also am working on moving my blog to Tumblr which will make it easier for me to use and give it a great new look!  This won't effect much.  I will let you know when the change happens! 

But for now, I leave you with one of my new favorite recipe's from our Junior League cookbook.  I tried this recipe out last week and got RAVE reviews.  You can't go wrong with this cake and it is so easy to make.  My house STILL smells like it and it has been a week!  This is a great cake to make for the Holiday's for a party or gift!

Kahlua Cake

1 (2-layer) package yellow cake mix

1 (3.4 oz) package chocolate instant pudding mix

4 eggs

1 c. vegetable oil

1/3 c. Kahlua

1/3 c. vodka

1/2 c. sugar

3/4 c. water


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs and oil in a mixer bowl and beat until smooth.

Add 1/3 c. Kahlua, vodka, sugar and water and mix well; batter will be thin.

Spoon into a greased and floured bundt pan. Bake for 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool in pan several minutes. Remove to serving plate and sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Add a few Holly Leaves or red berries to the side of the plate for some Holiday Charm!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Halloween's Over...So now what?

My husband Charlie is adorable.  I think one of my favorite things about him (besides the fact that he is cute, smart, funny and kind!) is that he is interested and supportive in everything I do.  For some things, he is front and center; giving me advice and support.  For other things (this blog being one of them), he seems to keep to himself which would initially make me think he is not interested.  However, just when I think I found something he didn't much care about, he makes a random comment about that very thing!  So I was a little surprised on Sunday morning when Charlie asked me "So now that Halloween is over, what in the heck are you going to blog about?".  Well, that was a great question!  Halloween gave me so many fun ideas to share with you.  I however have no doubt that I will find some wonderful things to blog about between Holidays! Starting with today's post on re-purposing those Halloween pumpkins.

My mom and I have been known to do some really cool crafts around this time a year.  From fall wreaths, to an entire Christmas tree of hand wired nuts, pine cones and other natural items...we have done it all! One of my favorite crafts that my mother has done for years is this one.  She will take a pumpkin, add items to the top and then paint the pumpkin.  They turn out so beautiful and because of the paint, they last through the Holidays!

Here are the steps to making your Holiday pumpkin and the things you will need:

You can use any type of pumpkin.  We actually purchased the pumpkins that you use to make pies but anything will work. The first thing that you will do is take the stems off the pumpkins.

You can put anything on your pumpkin imaginable!  We used Hickory Nuts from the back yard, pine needles and potpourri.  There are many types of potpourri out there but try to pick something with some large items in the bag.

Next, you will take a hot glue gun, and start gluing pieces on the top of the pumpkin.  Let your creativity be your guide!  They all turn out so different but so beautiful! 

Now this is where you can stop if you like.  I love all of the colors in the pumpkins but took these a step further by painting them all one color.  It is your choice!  They will be beautiful either way.
If you decide to spray your pumpkins, you can choose any color spray paint you would like.  We did gold but chocolate brown would be beautiful too.

Set the pumpkins on a cup or something high so that you can get the bottoms too. Then, spray away!!!

The end result is breathtaking!  You can set these in the middle of your table for Thanksgiving, give these as gifts or even set these under your Christmas tree for added decoration. There are no rules to this craft.  Just remember to have fun!


Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween Decorating #5...House Decorations!

There are many things that can inspire you. Whether it be a magazine article you just clipped out of your favorite magazine, something someone you know says in passing one day,
or something you see during your evening stroll.  All things in this world serve a purpose and are there to inspire you and make you know there is something more out there; something that you didn't know about that could change your world! 
My inspiration for this last Halloween post stemmed from Thursday night's events.  I won't go any further without showing you a picture so you know what I am talking about:

Yup!  You guessed it!  I went to my first KISS concert!  And I LOVED IT!  What better way to kick off the Halloween weekend then with some of the best performers (and costumes) of all time!  I have a new found respect for anyone who can pull off standing and dancing in  10" platforms for 2 hours, and the members of KISS did so with such grace and agility!
That said, I woke up this morning with "I Wanna Rock and Roll all Night" singing to me in the background of my thoughts and used last night's concert as a push of inspiration to finish my final Halloween post for the year! Below are some of my favorite things that are sure to make your Halloween Season a bit more festive! 
One of the coolest things I have seen is this Steel Tub with floating apples.  It takes me back to my childhood days of bobbing for apples during Halloween.  Although I don't do much "bobbing" anymore, I still love the game and think this is a great way to keep the memory alive in your house!

This is what you will need:
Steel Tub

Apples (I like to do assorted green and red to add more color)
Tea lights
Paring knife
Lemon juice
What to do:

Every apple will float differently, so see how they balance in water before marking their topsides with a dot.
1. Place the tea light over the dot, and trace around its circumference with a paring knife, inserting the knife vertically as deep as the tea light is tall.
2. Set aside the light, cut the circle into sections, and scoop them out with a spoon.
3. Squeeze lemon juice onto the cut surface to keep the apple from turning brown, and insert a tea light. Repeat with remaining apples.

Another great idea for your Halloween party is this Pumpkin Cooler Below:

This is a real easy and very impressive idea!  All you need to do is cut about 1/4 of the top of the pumpkin off, take the insides out and add a glass bowl to the inside of the pumpkin.  You can then fill it with ice and your favorite drinks!  I would suggest getting a large pumpkin and having a few different sized bowls to try out.  Measure out the height of your bowl as well before cutting the top off the pumpkin!  

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these ice cubes!  You can get these at and these particular ice cubes come in yellow and festive autumn orange.  Check out the website! There are some interesting things on it!

I love this centerpiece above.  It's so simple but to the point.  I actually have red berries like these in my front yard and all you need are some fall leaves and small pumpkins.  Add to a bowl and put in your kitchen or anywhere as a centerpiece.  This will take you well into Thanksgiving! 

There are two things that I especially love about Halloween...Dry Ice and Spider webs!  Above are some  spooky ways to decorate your house with these 2 elements! 

I hope everyone has a very Happy Halloween! to get some rest!  I literally "Rock and Rolled" all night and need to get some sleep so I can continue to "Party Every Day!!!"

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Halloween Decorating #4- Festive Front Doors!

First Impressions are important.  Imagine being picked up for your first have the perfect dress on, your hair actually decided to cooperate for the first time in weeks and your heels are rocking!  You have the perfect guy on your arm and you know you look fabulous!  After a few cocktails at the bar, you decide to run to the bathroom to "powder your nose", only to find when you flash those pearly whites, there is the world's largest piece of parsley in your teeth from last night's mashed potatoes you found yourself stuffing in your mouth just 10 minutes before McDreamy came to pick you up! Horrifying...yes!  Lesson learned to forgo the parsely before your first date?...definitely!

Although the look of your front door is not as life or death as the story above, it is important to make a great first impression for your Halloween guests.  So many people love to decorate for Halloween, but never venture outside which is most likely the only place your trick or treaters will see!  I have some great self-explanatory photos of some of my favorite Halloween front doors that you can do before Saturday!  I guarantee your trick or treaters will enjoy your festive door as much as you and your family will!!!

I love the dog!  The wreath is pretty fabulous too!  It is made of tiny pumpkins which I imagine were glued on.  Just add the black ribbon and you are set!

Using Christmas lights is also a big thing for Halloween.  These are actually wrapped around a wire shaped pumpkin.  Anything you can do to help light up the path to your entry will help those little ones out and also create a very festive feel! I love the happy pumpkins, by the way! Also, corn stalks are a big deal right now and add a lot to your fall decor without having to dig deep in your pockets.  You can find these for about $3 a stalk at your local nursery!

Okay, this has to be one of my favorite ideas! This photo is from  I love the pumpkin "tower" placed on the black urns where I assume a topiary sat not too long ago! The black trees are just painted which you could free hand and the artist also poked holes in the pumpkin to create "stars".  Just add orange and white pumpkins around and a spooky wreath and you will be the talk of the neighborhood!

And let's not forget the wreath!  You can do something more festive or something like this wreath above which will take you through Thanksgiving as well!  I love the magnolia leaves and the fall leaves and berries that will add a bit of color to your front door!

For those of you that want to go with more of a spooky direction, then there is only one place I suggest you going...The website is AMAZING!!!! There is a variety of projects you can choose from to make your front yard the scariest thing anyone has ever seen (like this flying crank ghost).  You can browse through the images, click on what project you want to do and get step by step instructions.  You HAVE to check it out!

So whatever you decide to do with your front door this Halloween, be sure to make it fun and inviting, and if you won't be decorating your front door this season, at least take my advice from above and check your teeth for parsley every once in a while!!!