july intention - house maintenance

Before we get to July's intention, indulge me while I look back on June. My plan was to get fit or at the very least exercise some more. I'm happy to say that did happen but not in a major way. Here's what I did:

  • I purchased some running shoes (my first new pair in probably about 10 years)
  • I signed up for a boot class camp and started attending once a week.
  • I climbed to the summit of Mont Tremblant with a baby strapped to my chest!

photo (12)(Mont Tremblant is in Quebec and the summit hits at 2871 feet. While I carried Orla my husband Myles carted Henry on his shoulders for most of the hike.  A far greater task although he is a bit of a mountain man!!)

What did I discover doing all of these things? Well, for one that I'm actually not that out of shape. While I was certainly out of breath while I hiked up the mountain I could hold my own and even passed many people on the way up. I also discovered that exercise is quite enjoyable and a moment to step away from everything else. For that hour I don't have to think about anything or anyone else. It's my time for me.

photo (11)

(A much needed water break about halfway up the 6 km vertical hike. We hadn't intended on doing this trek but found ourselves starting it and then decided to carry on.)

The biggest challenge for me is when it comes to working out is carving out the time to do it. My days are pretty busy and I always seem to find something else that needs to be done. Going forward what I need to work on is prioritizing my time so that exercise is part of the equation.

0667298ee1b511e2b9fd22000a9f4dd4_7(The ecstatic ride down on the gondola!)

My intention for July sounds terribly mundane but I think it will be quite rewarding. The goal is house maintenance - all those little things that make it on to a "to do" list but rarely get accomplished. Some of the items on our list are bigger projects and others are just seasonal maintenance. Here's a snapshot:

  • paint the front porch
  • repair the window screens
  • fix the door to the basement
  • turn mattresses
  • launder pillows and duvets
  • clean out old files in office
  • steam clean area rugs and upholstery
  • reseal slate floor in kitchen
  • touchup paint throughout house

I think to a certain degree the art of housekeeping has been lost. The truth is that it is hard to find time to do all these small tasks. I'm hoping by concentrating my energies this month that I will get a lot of these small jobs done leaving me more time to do the things I love. If I discover any tips or tricks along the way I'll let you know.

may inspire into june

Can I just say I'm thrilled with all of the images we collected for May Inspire! From all around the country and the world you sent me photos of things that inspired you through the month of May. It's a veritable snap shot of Spring! Take a look at some of  the highlights. aa830a4cbf0011e2b95622000a9e01c5_7

Added by larksnest


Added by  melissageurts


Added by  fromaggi 


Added by peabomack


Added by figfarm


Added by mah_shad

7e645f50bcbd11e2aee522000a9f15b9_7Added by me (marionhousebook)

Thank you once again. I have to say that I do think apps like instagram really inspire us to find the beautiful in the everyday. If you haven't downloaded a camera app for your phone yet you might want to give it a try. You might be surprised at how addictive it is.

Now on to June. I can't say it is one I am looking forward to...getting back in shape. It's been a good two years (what with being pregnant and looking after a one year old) since I have done anything for my body. This isn't about losing weight or looking good but about strengthening my heart and muscles and feeling invigorated. First up...buying some new running shoes.

may inspire

How's your May going? Are you feeling inspired? Have you stopped to take in the beauty around you? Got outside? Tried something new? I'm doing my best. Giving myself the task of finding inspiration has been quite fun. It's almost like being on a treasure hunt looking at every turn for something I haven't seen before or simply seeing the everyday in a new way. A few of you have responded to my challenge to tag your inspiration with the hashtag #mayinspire. I wanted to share a few of those with you today and hope that a few more of you will add to the photos and tweets I have been collecting.

Picture 2


So brilliant, right? Thank you Larks Nest. Your instagram photos are always an inspiration.


Picture 3


Get outside! Fromaggi did with her family to see the cherry blossoms.

Picture 4She also laced up her runners and went for a run! More than I can say for my post baby workout regime.

Picture 7And finally one from me that I forgot to tag. I saw this great DIY towel rack at a 100 year old house on the weekend. All you need is a bamboo pole and a canvas tab!

I'd love to see what is inspiring you this May!




may - staying inspired

Media and the way we consume it has changed in the past five years. Whereas I use to sit in front of the television or open a newspaper and be immersed in hundreds of different topics I am now super selective about what I read and see. In fact, I gave up television all together three years ago and with the exception of the odd television series (Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones) rarely watch anything. Likewise I never purchase a whole newspaper anymore. Instead I pick and choose the articles I want to read online. Of course, the majority of my time is spent on social media sites - facebook, twitter, pinterest and instagram and on design blogs and magazines. I often feel like I have fallen down a rabbit hole that is full of stunning interiors, DIY projects and beautifully curated photo shoots and not much else. The muchness is sometimes overwhelming. I'm so consumed by the details that I'm failing to see the big picture. My goal this month is to find ways to stay inspired that go beyond browsing pinterest, reading blogs and flipping through design magazines. Don't get me wrong I love doing these things but  I need to find some other ways to get inspired so that I get even more from my regular diet of design reading and browsing.


Leo Babauta of the awe-inspiring blog Zen Habits wrote a post that outlines seven different ways to stay inspired. They are:

  • Work with inspired people – one of the best ways to stay inspired is to work with creative, energetic, positive people.
  • Read daily – varied things, from blogs to magazines to books of all kinds.
  • Get outside – nature is one of the biggest inspirations, and you’ll miss it if you’re inside all day.
  • Talk with new people – they’ll always expose you to new and interesting things, if you’re open to it.
  • Break out of your routine – see things from a different perspective. Take a new route home. Go to a new restaurant. Visit someplace new in your area.
  • Find time for silence – it’s more inspiring than you might think. Unfortunately, not enough of us do it.
  • Exercise – or at least get moving. It helps the blood to circulate, and gets ideas moving around.


My goal for the month of May is to work through these seven suggestions. Some like working with inspired people will be easy and others like finding time for silence and exercise won't be!

I'll be documenting the process on my twitter and instagram accounts with the hashtag - #mayinspire. I hope you will follow and even participate. Just tag your own photos or tweets with the same hashtag. Let's see what we can find to fuel our creative fires.

Image credits:
Dietlind Wolf