Life In The Village

It's Not-So-Ritzie


Published by J.Downie under on 12:02 PM
My butt doesn't.  LOL  I'm not sure who ever came up with the idea to work 8 hours a day, 5 days a week but it stinks. For those of us who have a sedentary work life, it's taking a toll on our health and making our butts big. Literally. Less than 20% of jobs today require physical activity.  Now don't go throwing in the towel just yet.  Being homeless and not eating are far worse for your health. Just read the stats on the infographic below (courtesy of and take note of your sedentary habits.  Counter-balance those habits with frequent breaks to stand or walk around, and maintain a regular exercise routine and a healthy diet.  Soon that secretary butt will turn into a hot gym butt.

Work Is Murder
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An Interest in Pinterest

Published by J.Downie under on 3:56 PM
After seeing some friends pin a bunch of cool stuff and share it on facebook, I figured why not join another growing social sharing site. We can never have to many resources for cool things in our lives and ways to connect with millions of people across the world, right?  So now that I am "the newest member" of Pinterest, what do I do?  I came across this great article by The Social Media Guide on ways to use Pinterest.  Now only if I can find the time to surf through the endless inspiration.   What's some of your favorite ideas you found on Pinterest?  Tell us in the comments.

10 Creative Ways to Use Pinterest for Personal Use


There are many different ways you can use Pinterest to brainstorm ideas, share ideas, showcase your life and more. Because of Pinterest’s quick and easy to use “Pin It” system, you can whip up all kinds of image boards in a jiffy.
Here are ten creative ways you can use Pinterest in your every day life, but don’t stop at these. If you have special interests or hobbies, use these ideas to generate other useful boards for yourself. With this visual tool, the sky’s the limit!

#1 – Foods You Want to Cook

1 recipes 10 Creative Ways to Use Pinterest for Personal Use
If you cook regularly, chances are you’ll want to experiment with cooking new and exotic foods every once in a while.
Instead of having to come up with what you want to cook every night, just start pinning interesting food ideas. Then when it’s time to cook a meal, navigate to your Pinterest board and you’ll have a whole array of ideas to choose from.
You can even come up with theme boards for upcoming holidays and events. It’s a great way to brainstorm what wonderful concoctions you may want to create.

#2 – Places You Want to Go

2 travel 10 Creative Ways to Use Pinterest for Personal Use
Where do you want to go? Do you want to see the deserts of India, or the beaches in the Caribbean? Or would you rather explore some history in Rome?
Put all the places you want to go on a Pinterest board. This can facilitate a lot of discussion between you and your friends, potentially spawning a real trip. It can also be inspirational and motivational to get you to finally go.
TIP: Create a “Places I’ve Been” board and move places of your wish list to the places you’ve been as you check them off your list.

#3 – Home Decorating Ideas

3 for home 10 Creative Ways to Use Pinterest for Personal Use
How can you make your home look even better than it does now? People who sit down and try to design how a home should look often hit a kind of block. The creative juices just don’t flow.
Instead, you can just pin images of beautiful designs and beautiful homes as you go about your daily life. Once you’re ready to start decorating your home, you’ll already have a whole reference library of ideas that you think look great.

#4 – Gift Ideas

4 gift ideas 10 Creative Ways to Use Pinterest for Personal Use
There are numerous ways you can use Pinterest for your gift ideas, depending on the occasion and/or recipient. Here are a couple ideas to get you started.
First, you can use it as a gift registry. For birthdays or for weddings, just use Pinterest to save ideas for things you’d like other people to buy for you. Smart, eh?
You can also use Pinterest as a running bank of gift ideas. When it’s someone’s birthday or when Christmas rolls around, just open up your gift registry and you’ll be able to instantly come up with gift ideas.
If you need input on a group gift or from the gift recipient, ask them to collaborate on your board. Let others in on the fun and come up with a great gift ideas.

#5 – Skills to Learn

5 cake decorating 10 Creative Ways to Use Pinterest for Personal Use
What are some of the skills you want to learn? Use Pinterest to help motivate yourself and your friends to get involved with more activities.
If you’ve always wanted to learn public speaking, pin up a few images of great speakers. If you’ve always wanted to learn Salsa, pin up a few passionate dance photos. If you want to get inspired to decorate your child’s birthday cake in a fun new way, pin some ideas.
This will help get yourself moving towards learning those skills; as well as tell your friends what you’re interested in. You might find yourself a learning partner!

#6 – Show Your Art

6 art 10 Creative Ways to Use Pinterest for Personal Use
Do you do some sort of art? Pinterest is the perfect place to share it.
Whether you make earrings or paint, whether you just draw for fun or are an amateur photgrapher, Pinterest is a fantastic way to put your art out into the world and share it with all your Pinterest friends and the rest of their members.
Think of it as your own little portfolio to inspire and get your artwork shared.

#7 – Pictures of Your Kids

7 kids 10 Creative Ways to Use Pinterest for Personal Use
Every parent loves to talk about and show off their kids. Pinterest is a great place to do it. You can create Pinterest boards of your kids in a number of different ways.
You could create a Pinterest board with a picture of your child taken once a month, so you can watch your child grow up over time.
Or create Pinterest boards with your child in a different place in each photo. You can even share pictures of their art and special projects.
There are so many ways to have fun with this and get the family involved too.

#8 – Share Your Office

8 office 10 Creative Ways to Use Pinterest for Personal Use
What do you do professionally? A lot of people who know you personally would be curious about what it’s really like where you work, no matter where you work.
What does the office of an accountant look like? What does a CEO’s office view look like from their window? What does a Starbucks back room look like? What does a refrigerator factory look like from the inside?
No matter what kind of work you do, chances are there are people you know who’ll find it really interesting to see what it’s really like. Share some photos of what your workplace really looks like.

#9 – Event Pictures

9 party 10 Creative Ways to Use Pinterest for Personal Use
Pinterest is a great way to share photos of events, parties and gatherings. With Facebook, only friends can see the photos. Also, people need to be tagged before they’ll notice most photos.
On Pinterest, the photos are open to all the world to see. People following you will have the event’s photos appear in their feeds.
You can have collaborators on your event’s boards, so everyone with a camera can upload and pin the photos they took at the event.

#10 – Your Life Vision

10 vision board 10 Creative Ways to Use Pinterest for Personal Use
The idea of vision boards exploded with the release of the movie “The Secret.” The movie talks about how having a board where you put all your dreams and goals can help move you closer and closer towards your vision.

Ask yourself: Where do you want to be in your life in terms of your health, your career and your relationships? Pin up inspiring photos of each of these different areas of your life.

These are ten different ways you can use Pinterest in your personal life. Using Pinterest, you can share your life with others, inspire yourself, communicate ideas, post reminders and more.

Pin It…It’s Your Board!

There’s no right or wrong approach to Pinterest, so have fun with it. Share what you love, what inspires you or makes you laugh.



Designer Infographic

Published by J.Downie under on 10:42 AM
I have a BA in Art and I live on the East Coast.  However, I feel that I fall somewhere in between the 2 but maybe more like the west coast designers described in this infographic.  This graphic has great design and interesting tidbits.  Just wanted to share.  For those other designers out there, where do you fall? More like East Coast or West Coast?

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i wish... i had time

Published by J.Downie under on 4:31 PM
Just like our family Christmas Cards every year, I feel like hand-crafting a Valentine's card for my one-and-only (and of course my kids) but wait until the last minute and then say 'F' it.  I did make something on the computer and printed it out, but it just isn't as nice as a hand-made valentine.  However, I did find the time to research the internet for some sweet designs with the intent to create.

I love these cute collage and potato print cards that I came across on Life's a Craft Project.  Maybe I could be a cool mom next year and make cards for my kids to hand out in school.  However, the comic ones that you buy in the grocery store are way cooler in their minds. 

Want to watercolor?  Make a card like the one (to the left) by Courtney Khail.  It's simple and creative. You use masking fluid to draw a design on paper and go over with with water color. I bet it could be done with white or colored crayons too.  I saw this one and a couple other cool ones on Modern Kiddo.

And here's one that I'll totally have to remember for next year.  I bet the other kids in the class would get a kick out of a 3D picture valentine!   This visually tantalizing V-day card was found on Design Mom

Don't have the time.. How about just some cool printables? Mod Podge Rocks treats you to some free printables so you can share your love in a quick, creative way. Coffee anyone?

I could go on and on with cool ideas and sites that I found.  But I have to go hug my Valentine. : )

Did you make any Valentine's Cards this year?  Or receive a special hand-made card?


Published by J.Downie under on 4:24 PM
Actually, I heart the creativity of the artists on Etsy.  I never really "shopped" around on it before but one day I was surfing the net and came across an article on PA's Etsy artists. Keystone Edge created a gift guide of PA Etsy shops.  It highlighted creators of clothing, arts, kids toys and much more. However, it totally missed one of my favorite Etsy artists, LauraThreadz
Laura makes beautiful patchwork clothing and accessories.  I think her work is more like classy hippy.  ;)   The high quality craftsmanship is where these "hippy" pieces meet the class. Any concert going phan would feel like a million bucks to be spinning around to the sounds at that sold out show while wearing one of her colorful apron shirts or beautiful hand-stitched skirts.  You can see that her patchwork has a lot of time, dedication and love put into each and every piece.  The hand selected color palletes compliment each design she creates.  She's also one of my favorite Etsy Artists because I know she's a kind, delightful, generous, hardworking mother of twins. Knowing you're buying a quality item from a quality person makes it that much better.
So go shopping for some Valentine's Day presents or just a treat for yourself at Etsy.  There's some really great unique items on that site.  Like this key chain.  If my husband bought me this here key chain, I'd feel real dog-gone special. I know how much he likes his beer so he'd must really like me a whole lot. : ) No seriously, I thought it was cute especially since we both like beer.

And if I knew how to crochet, I'd make these tiny little booties. Maybe even in a larger size for me. Or maybe even ones that would fit over a pair of heels.  Yeah, you know you want to rock that.
Extra-large prints of the colorful, whimsical majestic ocean would fit perfectly in our wood panel living room.  Hopefully the tranquil feeling of the beach would mesh with the woods in our village creating a place of peace and harmony.

Those are just a few of the Etsy Artists that I have recently admired.

Who's YOUR Favorite Etsy Artist?

WOW ...

Published by J.Downie under on 2:39 PM
2012 is off to a fast start.  But what a way to start off a new year than to win a book from Tiny Buddha!!!  
Tiny Buddha, Simple Wisdom for Life's Hard Questions

YES!  I was contacted by Lori stating that I won a copy of her incredible new book for entering into the "Life's Hardest Questions" contest!  This book might inspire me, or kick me in the butt when needed. I have some goals and great ideas for the new year.  Thanks to a good friend that dreams big... 

it's better to dream big and reach for the stars than to not dream at all!

What are your dreams for 2012?



I plan on utilizing this blog to share happenings of our life and surroundings. I'd also like to use it to share positive thoughts and inspiration that I find throughout life. Please feel to contact me with any comments or suggestions.