Podcasts and 5 Reasons They Will Make Your Day Rock

podcast listen

podcast listen (Photo credit: Terry Freedman)

Picking up from yesterday’s post and the theme for this week – how to get more out of technology -no extra gadgets or techno speak required! Today is all about Podcasts and how they will make your day rock!

First the 5 second primer for newbies…

  • You can listen to Podcasts on any computer or your i gadget (phone, ipod, itouch etc) and Android gadget which means you can usually also listen to them in your car. (if you don’t know about the car plug-in option drop me a note!)
  • Podcasts can be found on itunes or on several of the Google apps for Android which you can download for FREE 
  • 99% of the time Podcasts are FREE 
  • There are tons of Podcasts in a rainbow of categories – promise you will find something you like!
  • Podcast definition

Now …The Top 5 Reasons why Podcasts will make your day rock…

1. LISTEN when you can’t read  Podcasts are great for your drive time, waiting in line, working out, cleaning your house and working in your yard which means you start to look forward to these otherwise times of torture

2. GET SMART  I luv them because they are a quick hit of smarts! Catch up on the world news, learn a language, business and finance tips, science advances, new foods etc. Basically I feel pretty worldly, cultured and caught up since I just don’t have the time to read things like the latest business book or the online news

3. SHORT Most Podcasts are usually 10-20 minutes you can fit them in anytime! In my mind they are like reading a magazine with all its short bits of info that you can pick up anytime.  You don’t have to have to re-listen to the previous minutes to remind yourself what it was you were listening to

4. AUTO UPDATES Why not use technology so that you get fresh material loaded all the time! The subscription option means you don’t have to go back and load each and every Podcast episode you want they are just pushed to your ‘library’

5. SAVES YOU MONEY Podcasts on finance and personal investing give you great tips on saving money plus in my book it’s also a great replacement for XM radio. Yes I know it doesn’t give you everything XM does but it’s darn close – but maybe that’s because listening to live sports isn’t at the top of my list!

What Podcasts are on my short list lately? Right now Podcasts on business, finance, arts and creativity top my listen list.

TED Talk Audio –  Speakers from the from the TED conference! Amazing cutting edge, innovative, mind-blowing new ideas!  One presenter shared her new process and program  developed to get more people to learn the Chinese language easier and faster – absolutely brilliant!

Studio 360 from PRI and WNYC (Public Radio International) What’s happening in pop culture and the arts.  My first GET SMART moment was listening to Mel Brooks and his 10,000 year old man skit that apparently is the bible for many comedians! Really – I luv live  improv comedy and have never heard this. Where have I been!

HBR Ideacast (Harvard Business Review) Awesome interviews with people like Maya Angelou and great topics that are like Cliff Notes to the latest business and thought leaders.

Money Girl Very practical tips on money and finances. Everything from Yard sales to life insurance

Seth Godin’s Startup School This is only a limited set of Podcasts from his startup school about a year ago. If you’re thinking of starting a new business or have one that needs a super charge well worth your time!

Enjoy your time listening to a few Podcasts and make your day rock!

Digital Decor and Lifesytle Magazines and 5 Reasons to Love Them

The June/July 2010 issue of Lonny

Time is always scare so this week is devoted to sharing a few ways I’ve found to get a bit more out of technology.  Promise no techno mumble or extra gagets required! Just simple things that can DELIVER!

Today’s post is all about online magazines that deliver the look and feel of decor and lifestyle print mags all for FREE and SAVE TIME! I don’t mean the print magazine that also have an online website- I mean the digital magazines that are only published online!  What’s so great about them?

Top 5 Reasons to read a digital magazine published online…

1. ACCESS anytime anywhere you have web access…no renewing your subscription, no lost mail, no duplicate issues!

2. EASY SAVING YOUR FAVS! No need to dog ear the corners of your fav pages you want to save and rip out later…you can save it directly to your bookmarks, web reminder or notes site or some of the online mags offer a favorites list you can create!

3. LINKING! All the products and people in the online magazines are linked to their source! This always feels like a 2 for 1 deal to me.. the magazine article plus see the styled product or designer and with just one click I land at the website. You save time with the direct linking if you want to purchase or learn more!

4. VARIETY Online magazines I think offer a lot more variety with a range of writers and artists around the world, articles not just on the biggest trends and designers, but also up-and-comers, unique and lesser known products too!

5. MORE CONTENT Luv an online magazine? All of them have extra content on their website blog, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter to get more personal and get late breaking news!

Lonny Magazine was probably the first decor & lifestyle magazine and my absolute fav – likely because it was created by some of the same people who were at Domino  before it folded!  Remember Domino was the magazine that provide mini post-its to flag your pages to save!

Rue Magazine is decor, fashion, shopping and all things lifestyle!

Matchbook Magazine is East Coast meets West Coast decor, lifestyle, fashion with sprinkles of culture too!

Enjoy spending your spare time catching up with an online magazine and getting all those extra features that save you time!

(p.s. I’m not affiliated with any of the magazines or receving any benefits from this article.)

DIY Garden Box

DIY Garden box with vegtables

First let’s start with the obvious – I’m not a carpenter!  This is my most ambitious project and it all started when the handyman we usually use, didn’t get back to me and I was antsy to get it done NOW!   How did I get my new-found carpenter skills that you can have too?  Be a bit adventurous – yes you can use power tools and not lose a limb and be ok with good enough but not perfect!

After checking out a couple websites talking about how to make garden boxes from ready to go materials I was ready to give simple garden boxes a try.

There are simple 6 inch tall boxes from cedar fencing wood and precut redwood stakes.  Yes I was impatient with my hardware store and did the wood cutting myself – oh yes a power tool moment with a circular saw – but you can ask the hardware store to make the cuts for you no problem!  Here’s my supply and tool pile – pretty sure I’m going to need a tool belt soon…

DIY Garden box supplies


Yes, this is all it takes for 2 DIY Garden Boxes that are 2 feet wide by 5 feet long!  Here’s how the corner posts look all put together.  All the holes for the screws were pre-drilled and I did make sure to check that screws on each side were offset from each other.

DIY garden box corner


The assembled DIY Garden Box…I fully support the rule to “measure twice cut once”.  If you’re like me, I think I measured way more than twice at each step just to be sure…part of my not being a carpenter approach!

DIY Garden box


These corner legs were originally 12 inches and after putting it together I cut them down by 4 inches – so if you do this project go with 8 inch legs!

At this point I did a little dance and congratulated myself on new-found carpenter skills and also vowed this would be the biggest project I ever did – but maybe you’ll want to do more!

The final steps are the most fun because it will actually look like you have DIY Garden Box and you’re new name will start with “Farmer”. After flipping this box over, I used the hammer to pound the corner post into the ground.  Fill with good growing dirt and insert plants!

Based on the 1-square- foot planting grid approach, I was able to fit 10 plants in each garden box- tomatoes, green beans, snap peas, basil, peppers, potatoes, lettuce, cilantro and edamame (have never seen this as a starter plant before but super excited to find it)!

DIY filled garden boxDIY lettuce garden box


I’m hoping my new DIY Garden Boxes with their extra special dirt will produce an even better garden! If not, I’ll at least admire my new garden boxes.

Enjoy working with tools and trying new skills in your spare time!

Stone Giant Does Yoga

Ethan Currier Rock Person


I luv stone art from Ethan Currier! I had posted about his amazing stone art last year when I found his rock people in Bainbridge Island,WA.  What he shared since then is this fab rock giant doing yoga. Yes it is huge – 12 feet tall! This awesome stone giant is hanging out on the rocks about a mile off shore by a navigation marker on the ferry ride from Bainbridge Island to Seattle.

So most importantly, if you have never taken a ferry ride and you’re in Seattle Washington it’s well worth it -even if you never get off the boat!  If you do take a ferry right from Bainbridge be on the look out for this stone giant who so easily make this yoga pose effortless!  Pretty sure this is nature’s way of saying if a rock can do yoga anyone can.  I am a believer in Yoga for mind, soul and body and especially buff arms!

Enjoy checking out amazing art anytime you get a chance!

p.s. I wasn’t paid and am not associated with Ethan Currier, I just really luv his art and someday might be lucky enough to purchase a piece and figure out how to transport his stone art to my home in Southern California!


DIY Credenza Buffet Goes Island Style

DIY Credenza TV stand


Island colors make my day everyday!  If you saw my Facebook post about a week ago, you’ll know I was having a  weekend of power tools, hand tools and paint and this fab piece was one of the weekend results! The DIY Credenza Buffet is our new perch for the rather large TV we have that dwarfed the previous stand and it has tons of storage. The left doors contain 3 pullout drawers and the right side is an open cabinet for all the TV boxes and speakers stuff.

This rather large piece (over 6 feet) was one of my awesome treasures picked up from a local flea market sale at the Santa Barbara Music Academy for a whopping $75. With such a great price came the challenge of figuring out how to fit it in a van which required reading the manual to figure out how to remove the middle seat and actually figuring out how to get the seat out! Super painful, but worth it!  

The credenza buffect piece was actually considered a dresser and was in solid shape.  Here is the original which did look pretty good but mission style stained wood isn’t my style.

Credenza Buffet Original

The top of it was a little rough but nothing sanding and paint couldn’t fix.

Old Credenza Buffet


I’m not quite a chippy paint luver but I do like a slightly distressed look…the it’s been around the block by a century gives character! 

DIY Credenza Buffet


DIY distressed furniture


Drop me a comment or email if you need the directions of how to get this look, paint color or brand and DIY steps for the credenza buffet.

Enjoy your next DIY project in your spare time!

Stories Move in Circles

Stories Move in Circles quote


Sometimes a quote makes me hit the pause button in my day…this is one of them. It’s one that I re-read a couple times just to make sure I was got it.  I got it and it’s pretty powerful! Pretty much reminds me to be a better listener, listen more talk less and be present. Probably means when I don’t understand something someone says, I’m ‘lost’ in a good way!

Enjoy a good think on this! Wow there’s that British lingo coming out again this week. Really I swear I haven’t been listening to Monty Python.


Organize with Baking Pans

Bread Pan organizer

I’m a self admitted organization person – yea that’s a polite way of saying I’m a bit Type A. I’d rather organize at the beginning than spend hours trying to find something because I didn’t! Since I luv repurposing things, here’s my best ideas for using baking pans to organize – weird sounding I know!

Bread pans – Luv them! I only bake bread every so often…like maybe 3 -4 times a year so they would just take up space most of the time.  Decided to use my glass bread pans in a multi-task way – they organize my spices nicely plus I can see what I have.  When I want to bake, I do the quick wash and they are ready to go.

For bread pans who don’t have a second life, I get these and add a chalk labels!  Works great for all those crazy bags of beans, nuts, dried fruit and also sauce packets too!

Bread pan with chalk label

Probably have seen it a million times on other blogs but I do like the muffin tins for organizing desk stuff or the infamous “junk” drawer.  A fun paint color and they look even better than the usual office plastic or wire trays.

Muffin Tin organizer

Yes, this is my youngest daughter’s organizer…the eyeball eraser likely gave it away!

Enjoy your time putting bread pans and muffin tins to work organizing and simplifying life!

DIY Driftwood Tree

DIY Driftwood Tree


Driftwood tree envy? I’ve been seeing these awesome driftwood trees at family, friends and random neighborhood houses for the last year or so.  Every time I see one I want one at my house!  I just luv the whole look of driftwood- bleached and rounded.  Living in Southern California within 10 miles of many beaches I just couldn’t bring myself to buy one. It didn’t look too tough to make but I couldn’t find detailed directions so I just made it up a bit.  Here’s sharing my DIY Driftwood Tree how to so you don’t have to wing it!

My tree is about 2-2.5 feet tall. Perfect size for a tabletop or just hanging out next to a planter.  The size of your tree all depends on the size of the driftwood you can find.  If I waited for the winter storms I’m sure I could find BIG driftwood!

1. Collect more driftwood than you think you’ll need! This will give you more options when you start to arrange it.  First think, arrange the driftwood on the ground in order of size.  Make sure you have a big chunk of wood for the base too!

DIY Driftwood tree step1

2. For the bar you will use consider the size of your tree. My tree used mostly skinner pieces of wood so a piece of rebar was wayyyy too big and heavy! If you are making a big tree try rebar. It’s usually pre-cut and super inexpensive.

For mine, I used a wooden dowel (hardwood not balsa wood) 1/4″ picked up from the local craft shop.  It’s important you have your dowel size before you start drilling.

3. Drill all pieces of your wood the center.  I didn’t do any exact measurements since the look wasn’t precision and I have a weird knack for eyeballing evenness but go with whatever works for you.

Yes, I have a few power tools and a battery powered drill is worth its weight for so many things!  Start with the drill bit the same size as your dowel. I didn’t want too loose of a fit or the driftwood would have a weird lean.  I drilled all the pieces with 1/4″ drill bit and to get it just a bit bigger, I used the drill and just ran it next to each edge of the hole to shave off a little. Super Important- Make sure you test each hole you drill with your dowel if you are using the ‘shave off a little’ method.

Secret tips to drilling a round object...drill slowly to start, roll the wood to see if there’s a flatter side and you’ll need to something to drill into like a big chunk of wood (I’ve also used a stool that had a center cutout – just make sure if you do it’s not a precious heirloom in case you nick the wood!)

DIY Driftwood tree step 3

4. Now it get fun! Start assembling your tree.  Leave about 2-3 inches at the bottom to insert into the base.

DIY Driftwood tree step 4


5. Use wood glue or some type of glue that is water resistant to glue the base of the dowel into whatever you are using for the base of the tree.  Also glue the very top piece.

Cut or saw off the extra dowel sticking out of the top piece. A hacksaw works and likely even a serrated kitchen knife too if you’re dowel is only about 1/4″.

Total time was about 30 minutes since me and the round wood had a bit of a battle every so often!

Enjoy your time creating your own DIY Driftwood Tree or forget it and just buy one from a great Etsy seller!


Little Black Book of Best Blogs

Best of Blogs

So you’re reading my blog which means you likely read others and there are millions! If you spend time reading on-line sometimes you find it’s 2 hours later and have no idea where you’ve been or remember that really great blog an hour ago – and no you haven’t been drinking!

Sometimes you may be taking that mental break and just need a “picture book” since pictures speak louder than words why not.  So in the hopes this will save you time in finding what you want to read and follow – besides this blog of course – here’s the Little Black Book of Best Blogs.

Two of my current favs are…

The Satorialist – Amazing international “picture book” of everyday people fashion – fashion is not pre-req to check out this blog!

The Everywhereist – cheeky witty writting on worldly travels (Wow I just used the word cheeky and I’m not even British but I fits too well)

So here’s the Best of Blogs from a couple primo sources. Hope you find a couple you luv and that the list saved you enough time so you can read more!




Little Black Book of IKEA

little black book of IKEA

Apparently without realizing it, I’m going with a theme each week probably just to keep me focused and give you a flavor for the week.  Even if you don’t luv the theme, hopefully you’ll find something throughout the week that rocks your world…ok it might only rattle it but that’s great too!

So what’s this week?  It’s the week of not reinventing the wheel. Saving you time from hunting down things – you know the 2 hours on the web only find the best idea in the last 15 minutes if at all. Consider it the Little Black Book for sources and ideas (plus a few of my own) to hopefully give you a lead or maybe even the ‘golden ticket’ aka the thing you’ve always been looking for but never found.  Yea that’s a tall order but why not set the bar crazy high!

Ok before I share what’s on my list, feel free to shoot me a comment on what you’ve been trying to hunt down and I’ll try and share a few leads this week.

If you missed the first post and looking for bookcase ideas check it out. Now for today it’s the Little Black Book for IKEA furnishings.  Some of us have IKEA furnishings already and some hate it.  Either way, check it out since it usually has great basic lines which means lots of potential and the prices make it worth considering.

Find amazing creations like this great nail head side table all from basic IKEA items at www.ikeahackers.net

Nail head side table

Just need to customize your IKEA furnishings with slipcovers, stencils, decals and more? Check out this article with great sources.

Customize IKEA furnishings

This site has great decals and overlays for IKEA furniture…it really makes it unique and highend looking – seriously I need to buy more IKEA furniture after this!

IKEA furniture decals

All about the Textiles – new colors, designs and fabrics for IKEA furnishings! Pillows, cushion covers, slipcovers and fabric by the meter. Find it all at this site

Fabrics for IKEA furnishings

Enjoy savings a bit of time with the Little Black Book for IKEA to help you hunt down what you need!

(I’m not affiliated with IKEA or any other business listed in this post and was not paid for anything related to this topic.)