Posts Archived From: 'May 2012'

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A Girls-With-Glasses Giveaway


Social media is storytelling. Unknowingly or not, we routinely tell the stories of our lives via social media. So for writers like me, such platforms are irresistible.

 

Facebook and Twitter, however, only tell part of the story.

 

Countless status updates and tweets I read leave me thinking, “Yeah, OK … but what ELSE happened?”

 

Loyal readers and fellow storytellers, here is your chance to share more. Much more.

 

In the comments section below, answer the following question for a chance to win two great prizes: a Vera Bradley eyeglass case in Island Blooms (that oh-so-pretty turquoise pattern you see above) and a signed copy of Nerdy Thirty. Both are perfect for the summer reading season: holding your eye (or sun) glasses, and great to bring on vacation.

 

One winner will be chosen on Friday, June 1, based on comments to the following writing prompt from The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock. A Q&A with the winner will also be featured on my blog.

 

If a crystal ball would tell you the truth about any one thing you wished to know concerning yourself, life, the future, or anything else, what would you want to know? (p. 178)

 

 

Write Now

Write Now: Dealing with Alzheimer’s


If you don’t laugh, you’ll cry: Dealing with Alzheimer’s | By Danielle Herzog

 

I recently wrote about how my grandmother is in the middle stages of Alzheimer’s. She still recognizes people she cares about, but the rest of the details of life are very fuzzy. Take for example, my father. He has been bald since he was 24 years old. Just last week she asked him, “John, when did you get a haircut?”  and my patient father answered, “A little while ago.” My parents have figured out what it takes to live with someone with Alzheimer’s – patience and a good sense of humor. Because if you don’t laugh, you will cry.

 

My grandmother’s dementia just recently came on in the past few months. Until then, she was a whip of a woman. Seeing that she has lived with my family since before I was born, the stories are endless. From her ironing clothes in just a bra when my friends came over, to her finding out that I lost my virginity by reading my private journal, there have been many funny, painful and embarrassing moments.

 

My grandmother’s dementia just recently came on in the past few months. Until then, she was a whip of a woman.

 

Now she is in the hospital dealing with serious health issues and I’m off to NY to be with her. One minute she is up talking about The View and the next minute she is going into kidney failure. The roller coaster ride continues. And just when I think she has faded forever, I see a glimpse of the woman I know inside of her.  I hear her voice say, “Danielle?” in that slightly-Italian accent and I know that she remembers. She remembers smiling her amazing smile at me when I got married, and she remembers beating me all those times in Scrabble when I let her use Spanish words to win, and she remembers that she is loved, deeply loved by a girl who still thinks of her as the most amazing grandma on the planet.

 

About Danielle Herzog

Danielle Herzog is a native New Yorker who is now living the Midwest life as a somewhat sarcastic woman on the never-ending quest to be hip. She’s a writer, mother, wife, and a member of one ridiculously large Italian family. It’s full of meatballs on Sunday, and eavesdropping on each other’s conversations. The stuff all good families are made of. Danielle has been freelance writing for over ten years, including writing restaurant reviews, style reports, and now parenting. She’s had the pleasure of writing for Omaha World-Herald’s Momaha site, as well as The Reader and Omaha City Weekly.  Additionally, she has written for Demand Studios, The Northern Virginia Journal and Dish Omaha. If it is part of her life, she’ll share it.  And if it isn’t, she’ll just change the names to protect the not-so-innocent. To read more about Danielle’s adventures, check out her blog, Martinis and Minivans, at www.martinisandminivans.com.

 

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Photo courtesy Silicon Prairie News

Top Tweets From #bigomaha


The journalist in me can’t help but take notes anytime I find myself somewhere interesting.

 

Combine Big Omaha, my MacBook Air, and Twitter in an environment humming with creative energy (and let’s be honest: caffeine), and you have the perfect storm for real-time storytelling available to everyone.

 

I couldn’t stop my fingers from flying across the keyboard as this year’s speakers offered gems of insight, advice, and humor.

 

And at times, it was tough keeping up. (I can only imagine what it was like for those of you who follow my tweets!)

 

So in an effort to more coherently collect my #bigomaha notes, I’ve shared my tweets below. I encourage you to bookmark this blog post when inspiration and/or motivation may be lacking.

 

To those of you who RT’d my tweets, I thank you!

 

 

Photo courtesy Silicon Prairie News

Big Omaha is ‘The Wizard of Oz’


What can be said about Big Omaha that hasn’t already been tweeted by its 600-plus attendees?

 

For the past two days I have wrapped myself in the fourth annual Big Omaha. It’s a conference I am proud to attend and have done so since its inaugural event back in 2009. Big Omaha is easy to describe: an exciting conference on entrepreneurship and innovation held on the plains of the Silicon Prairie.

 

Creatives from around the country – and this year, the world – flocked to our fair city for inspiration on innovation.

 

In its early days, Big Omaha attracted a largely tech audience.

 

But that, I have noticed, has changed.

 

Creatives of all backgrounds, all walks of life, now find a sort of nourishment that many say is unlike any other event they have attended.

 

I find myself creatively re-charged following each Big Omaha, and today is no exception. The number of people I met and connected with only continues to climb as our conversations that began face-to-face move to Twitter, Facebook, and email.

 

My mind spins and whirls at the passing conversations that occurred organically during session breaks, at lunch, and even in moments before the lights dimmed for the next speaker.

 

Earlier today while listening to our afternoon slate of presenters, I realized that Big Omaha is akin to “The Wizard of Oz.”

 

 

But Big Omaha can also be hard to explain to those who have not attended. It features a fantastic lineup of speakers, an art installation, opening parties, closing parties, and networking opportunities that rival larger conferences.

 

You see, Omaha is a special place. And Big Omaha is a reflection of that.

 

During the past few days I have had outsiders ask me what makes Omaha so special. True, it begins with the people here; however, it is more about the relationships we create, the businesses we build, the projects we develop, and the pride that we all share.

 

Earlier today while listening to our afternoon slate of presenters, I realized that Big Omaha is akin to “The Wizard of Oz.”

 

You remember what Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion wanted most, don’t you?

 

A brain. A heart. And some courage.

 

Big Omaha offers attendees that – and so much more – year after year.

 

A brain, to develop ideas and think through the tough stuff.

 

A heart, so as never to forget the “why” of one’s work.

 

And some courage, to take the leap and live one’s passion.

 

The past forty-eight hours have flown by in a instant, yet so many ideas and lessons are just at the cusp of becoming something bigger.

 

For those of you who attended Big Omaha this year, take time to reflect on what you have learned and courageously embrace what comes next.

 

Be fearless in your passion and find support from those around you.

 

And above all else, know that the countdown to Big Omaha 2013 has already begun.

 

What say you? What lessons did you learn at Big Omaha this year? What inspired you? Motivated you? Made you want to do better?

To the Class of 2012


Earlier this month I bid a fond farewell and good luck to my School of Communication students at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Some have departed our picturesque campus for the summer and will return in the fall.

 

Others have left campus as college graduates.

 

With bachelor’s degrees in hand, these new graduates are entering a world chock full of possibility. They are, however, keenly aware of the challenges they face.

 

A struggling economy. A competitive job market. Student loans whose payment schedules begin in earnest.

 

The more I get to know today’s college students every semester, the more amazed I am at their eagerness and enthusiasm. They are juggling multiple courses, part-time jobs, full-time jobs, campus commitments, friendships, relationships, and families.

 

These young adults may be full-time students on paper, but their lives are much fuller than that.

 

To the Class of 2012 who this month enters “the real world,” I want to let you in on a little secret: You have already been living in “the real world” for quite some time.

 

We live in an exciting era, this generation of ours. We can continually reinvent ourselves and experience new opportunities all in the name of personal growth. Those new things are always within reach.

 

True, you have been often labeled as “just a college student,” but the strides you have made and the steps you have taken while earning your degree have been nothing short of reality.

 

To the Class of 2012, take these next few months to savor your accomplishments. Look at how far you have come since freshman year.

 

Thank those around you who have helped the journey be a successful one.

 

Understand that you can opt to open a completely new book for your life, or simply continue on to the next chapter.

 

And you know what else?

 

Now is not the only time you can begin anew.

 

We live in an exciting era, this generation of ours. We can continually reinvent ourselves and experience new opportunities all in the name of personal growth. Those new things are always within reach.

 

What matters not is the number of years we have lived on this planet, but the work we have done throughout those years.

 

The lives we have changed. The lessons we have learned. The good we have done.

 

To the Class of 2012, never forget that luck is a myth. Good fortune happens when experience meets opportunity. Be ready for it all. When these moments happen, and they will, fight like hell to keep them.

 

Fiercely love and respect those who fill you days and your heart. When these relationships bloom, and they will, embrace them as precious gifts.

 

Finally, reflect.

 

Reflect routinely and reflect often.

 

Life is cluttered and full of commitments that sometimes are unnecessary. When life becomes overwhelming, and it will, shave time out of your day or your week to pause and exhale.

 

To enjoy things just for the sake of having fun. Even if your work still is not finished, take a minute to savor the sweet. You have earned it.

 

When great things happen, and they will, tell the whole world. I will be waiting and cheering you on.

 

To the Class of 2012, congratulations.

 

 

Write Now: The Dreamer


The Dreamer | By Robert Jefferson

 

A dream is born alongside a star
Burning with desires, like the fire inside of his cigar
Inhale
Although his mind is in open air, the room is cloudy
Exhale
Thoughts cascade into actions, that speak outwardly
They listen…. Who? The people
To what? A vision
Spoke with crystal clear clarity
His intuition is priceless, but his work is for charity
Money and fame is not his aim
He is an optimist, a small change is positive gain
At your service for a higher purpose
A bottom dweller, whose dreams will one day surface

 

About Robert Jefferson

An American Hip Hop artist/producer born in Jacksonville, Florida, Robert Jefferson graduated from Omaha Central High School in 1997. He attended Highland Community College and the University of Nebraska at Kearney from 1997 to 2000. He has been producing music since 2000 and recently won Hip Hop Artist of the Year and Artist of the Year at the Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards. Learn more online: facebook.com/galvanizedtron, facebook.com/galvanizedtronrealtalk, and twitter.com/galvanizedtron.

 

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Savoring the Small on Friday Nights


It dawned on me sometime last weekend how much my Friday night outings and routines have changed over the past few years. I vividly remember planning my nights on the town well before my work week came to a close. It always involved the anticipation of picking the perfect outfit, paired with cute accessories. Sometimes I had plans with friends, other times I pulled out of my garage and left the whole evening up to chance.

 

Who would I see? Where would I go? Who would I meet?

 

The possibilities thrilled of me, of course, especially during my single days. As I watched my clock on Friday afternoons tick away the seconds until 5 p.m., I grew giddier and giddier. The anticipation in those days was exhilarating, and I savored it to the last drop.

 

Friday nights sans plans were simply not an option. The thought of staying at home crushed me, as I considered all of the “what-ifs” I might miss. Bars bustling with friends and strangers alike. Silly conversations, and more serious ones. And the cocktails! We musn’t forget about the cocktails.

 

But the older I grew — especially after Matt and I became a couple — that internal drive to go out and be seen began to wane. What fulfilled me on a Friday night didn’t seem to matter as much anymore. Meeting up with friends was certainly a regular occurrence; however, if plans were canceled or not scheduled at all, I was not heartbroken. “Staying in” became a welcome change every now and again.

 

Last Friday while Matt was working late, I prepared a simple dinner and grabbed the latest issue of O, The Oprah Magazine. As I slowly sipped my soup and paged through the colorful articles and advertisements, I found myself quite happy. There’s no arguing the numerous events and outings I could have experienced that evening.

 

Did I feel as though I was missing out by staying in? Not in the slightest.

 

Relaxing at home after days on the road each week is a wonderful treat. The opportunity will always exist to “see and be seen” on a weekend night; yet something about savoring the quiet time allows me to collect my thoughts, truly exhale, and consider how grateful I am for the little life I now live.

 

 

Write Now: Why Did I Wake Up on Monday?


Why Did I Wake Up on Monday? | By Jen McCahill

 

I’ve written about my wonder car before – the 1998 Honda Civic with the cracked windshield and missing trim, right?

 

As I was driving the kids to Tess’s eye appointment Monday, there was a situation. Just as I pulled out onto one of the busiest streets in the city, the car lurched forward – I heard a loud “pop” and thought I had run over a garbage can lid or something like that, although I didn’t see anything anywhere. Weird, I think to myself.

 

I put the car in first gear (it’s a stick shift) and step on the gas; nothing. I throw on the flashers. I put the car in reverse; nothing. The hell? Now of course, the cars are zooming by us and Tess is asking questions nonstop. I call my husband – no answer.

 

I realize at this point that I am the adult, so I need to figure something out quickly. And let me tell you, that was the worst part of this whole experience – realizing I am now a grownup, and not just any grownup, a grownup responsible for the lives of two small children. I kept looking around for other adults to tell me what to do next. So, I roll the car down the hill and as I’m turning onto the side street, a car appears (I almost didn’t see it). A woman, no older than me, who looks exactly like Maggie Gyllenhaal, gets out and asks if I need help. Yes! You be the adult for me, okay? Tell me what to do, please. We got the car off the busy street and I call my husband again – still no answer.

 

Maggie suggests that we park it in the adjacent driveway for a minute to get it out of the way. I suggest we roll it back a little farther and park on the street, between the two mailboxes along the curb. Yes, I think to myself, good adult suggestion. She is kind enough to push the car and tells me to get in and guide the car with my foot. Now, as you already know, in order for one to guide a car with one’s foot, the door needs to be open so said foot can touch pavement. Remember when I suggested we park it between the two mailboxes?

 

She’s pushing the car, I’m guiding it and she yells “Watch your door! Your door!” Her helpful suggestion was too late. There is now only one standing mailbox. I throw on the parking brake and as she goes to the house (where she had suggested, in a very grownup manner, we park the car anyway), I am frantically trying to yank the downed mailbox out from underneath my car door. Tess and Jack are now both crying. I tug at the mailbox while trying to calm my children without cursing. That’s tough to do. I finally get it out from underneath my door and am hurriedly shoving the poor guy’s mail back into his demolished mailbox.

 

The man was nicer than I expected after I assaulted his mailbox. He must have seen the two crying children in the back of my car. An older gentleman had come out with him, wearing his Member’s Only jacket (awesome) and smoking a cigarette. “What’s the problem?” the Member asks, and I tell him my car died and so did his mailbox. I apologize to both of them profusely and the homeowner (non-Member) tells me not to worry about it. “I’ll pay for it,” I say. He replies, “It’s just a post, it’s no big deal. Are you okay? Do you need to call someone?” Seriously, there are nice people in the world.

 

I try to call my husband for the seventh time and non-Member tells me he’ll give me a ride home, since it’s only three blocks away. Maggie also offers us a ride and stays with me because, like any paranoid woman, she doesn’t want a strange man (in the sense that I don’t know him “strange”) to drive us anywhere. I finally get ahold of my husband, who leaves one of his high-powered executive meetings to rescue us.

 

Tess is crying again as non-Member pulls up next to us and I thank him again and let him know that my husband is on his way. He tells me not to worry about the mailbox and goes inside. As Maggie and I are standing around, I explain that I’m a really good driver and it’s my car, not me that screwed up. She spies the giant scrape across the back bumper and again, I explain, really, I’m a good driver – I was attacked by a retaining wall. She laughs and points to her driver side mirror and says she was attacked by her garage.

 

Maggie offers her (real) name and number in case non-Member tries to come after me for the mailbox. “So you can tell the insurance company that you told me to watch out for his mailbox right before I smashed it?” I ask. She laughs and says she hadn’t thought of that. I thank her again and asked her why she stopped. “Because I have a little boy and I would have wanted someone to help me if that had happened to me.” Nice people do exist. Amazing.

 

She drives off as my wonderful husband pulls up. We get the kids in his car, he drives us home and goes back to take a look at the old Civic. I check our auto insurance, thinking I have towing and rental car on both cars. Turns out, it’s just on his newer car – because that makes more sense. Have that on the more reliable car and not the 12 year- old-break-down-waiting-to-happen car.

 

We assume it’s the transmission and have it towed to a shop that specializes in that. When they finally called my husband back, they tell him they’re still “diagnosing” it, but they think it’s something really simple, or something really expensive (could be cancer, could be heartburn, still running tests). Meanwhile, my husband is bumming a ride to work and I get to drive the kids around in his car until we hear back from the specialists.

 

I stayed calm. I soothed my children, and we made it out alive. This grownup stuff is hard work. I don’t know that I care for it all that much.

 

By the way, I left $20 in non-Member’s door with a note thanking him for his help and apologizing for destroying his mailbox. See? More grownup stuff. I didn’t leave my number or name – I might be a grownup, but I’m not stupid.

 

About Jen McCahill
After realizing her childhood dream of owning a puppy farm located on top of a rainbow may not be feasible, Jen McCahill decided to go to college and become a writer. She has spent the last several years as a work-at-home mom, balancing her time between raising two adorable children, a dashing husband, a not-so-smart dog, and eking out a living as a freelance copywriter and editor. She enjoys watching television shows from the 1970s, reading, and writing about her (mostly) humdrum life. You can read all about her adventures at http://theclumsyredhead.com. She lives in Omaha, Nebraska, and still thinks puppies and rainbows are neat.

 

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Do-Gooding Done Right on Facebook


Graphic designers have always amazed me.

 

Their creative skill and eye for detail – paired with the seemingly effortless ability to make pretty a gray blob of text – is something I’ve long admired. It began during the years working at my college newspaper. The graphic designers quickly became my allies. The more time they had to concept our newspaper each week, the better it looked. When I simply gave them the pieces and got out of the way, magic would happen on those pages.

 

It showed with each satisfying thump of a new bundle of papers, delivered fresh and warm from our local printer.

 

Although I can’t always specifically explain good graphic design versus bad, I know it when I see it. It’s unmistakable.

 

The work of SecretPenguin in Omaha has long caught my eye. They’ve designed websites, logos, and other materials for some truly great brands, organizations, movements, and people.

 

But the work of SecretPenguin Creative Director Dave Nelson – a different kind of work, mind you – inspired me to ask Dave to share his pretty powerful story. It started with a Facebook posting last month and evolved into the creation of The Unofficial SecretPenguin Foundation.

 

Dave and his team’s charity wasn’t just the result of a few extra dollars in their bank account. No, its origination was much more than that, reaching back to Dave’s younger days when he experienced bullying.

 

I asked Dave to tell me more about that time in his life and how it impacts the choices he makes – both personal and professional – each and every day. After reading Dave’s story, I hope it inspires you to look at your life, your community, your workplace, and consider the ways you can make a difference.

 

Tell me more about the decision (and the general timeline) to give away money the first time on Facebook.
It started when we were looking to take on more clients. We built a website to send to marketing directors, and set aside a monthly budget of $150 for Facebook ads to promote this site.

 

We went to buy ads on Facebook, and Facebook had given us $150 in credit for ads! So we decided to post about it and give the money to someone that might need it. We posted it March 28 with a two-day deadline. We received around 15 messages.

 

To be honest, it’s kind of a long story of what inspired us to make the decision.

 

On a larger level, we’re consistently inspired by the generosity of the community here in Omaha: from what our friends are doing within the community to the non-profit clients we get to work with.

 

On a personal level, I was bullied through high school for being a skateboarder and then a guy threatened to kill me and my family when I was 19. The feeling of helplessness was horrible. After I got past that, I decided to dedicate my life to trying to help others in some way.

 

When I skateboarded for a living, I used to get extra products from my endorsements to give to kids that couldn’t afford them. I got pretty involved in various kid’s lives, even to the point of taking them to school when their parents were missing or hungover from the night before.

 

People in the skateboard community would call me pretty consistently to talk about issues or just to vent. One guy was calling quite a bit. I missed one of his phone calls and didn’t get around to calling him back for a week. I later found out that during that week he committed suicide.

 

It tore me up, and still does when I think about it. After that, I was afraid to allow myself to get too involved in peoples’ lives.

 

I’m on the board for a non-profit skateboard park called Bay198 Skatepark that’s also behind Skate For Change. I’ve been very inspired by the founders Mike and Amber Smith with all that they’re doing. I feel like I’m not alone with dealing with some of the issues that skateboarders have that are beyond what I can help with. They’ve built up a whole network of support for the community.

 

 

Dave Nelson, right, with Ryan Sheckler in March 2012 at the official launch of Skate for Change in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo courtesy of Instagram)

 

The night before we posted about the $150, I had a conversation with Mike, and I decided to stop being afraid and do what I can with what I have.

 

Did you discuss what type of feedback or response you might receive?
No. It just felt right, and we wanted to do it and see where it might lead, so we did it. Seems like that’s how most of our internal SecretPenguin projects go. We have an idea and if we feel like it would benefit the community or if we’d have fun doing it, we just run with it to see what happens.

 

What was the response?
It was overwhelming. We had 15 heartfelt messages within those two days of our first post from people in need. The response and support for The SecretPenguin Unofficial Foundation has been overwhelming, too.

 

I seriously tear up everytime someone contacts us to help. A few people want to donate to it, some want to match funds, Blue Sushi Sake Grill has already sent a sizeable gift card to a family through this.
It’s truly been amazing to experience first-hand the warmth of our community.

 

What replies stick out the most to you?
One skateboarder who lives on the streets and couch-surfs contacted us about paying his phone bill for a month. As I talked with him more, he shared with me:

 

– His mom got addicted to meth and left when he was 10.
– At 10 years old, he had to feed himself, get himself to school, etc.
– He finally got into foster care and his foster parents did crack.
– He got kicked out of his foster house when he was 16.
– He’s now 21 and has been living in the streets ever since.
– He doesn’t have an I.D. since he doesn’t have an address, so he can’t get a job. He’s been selling drugs to pay his phone bill and get some food.

 

We ended up paying for three months of his phone bill so he didn’t have to rely on selling drugs. Mike Smith from Bay198 Skatepark came up to help. Through Bay198, we took him grocery shopping for food he could keep in his backpack for a while, and then we started the process to get him an I.D. so he can get a job if he wants, and also took photos of his feet to send to a doctor that will help him get his toes fixed so he can continue skateboarding and be healthy.

 

Life is hard for everyone, there’s no doubt about that. And I hope we’re able to give some people the little boost they may need to get past some tough obstacles in life.

 

What did you learn from the experience?
I learned we have a very caring community. More so than I imagined. I also learned that there’s a lot more people hurting and struggling than I knew. Even people that I see on a consistent basis.

 

Why is something like this beneficial for a small business such as SecretPenguin?
I think it’s beneficial because you really get to know and feel a part of your own community. You see the good in people, and it’s incredibly motivating and uplifting.

 

Tell us more about your other charity work. I think I’ve seen Instagram photos of you helping the homeless in Omaha.
Oh yeah! That’s a thing called Skate for Change that was started through Bay198 Skatepark in Lincoln.
The idea is simple, it’s just skateboarders giving back to the community in some way each week.

 

You can become a member to help support it at http://skateforchange.org. You receive a membership I.D. in the form of a skateboard, and a four-pack of water: with the idea that you now have the supplies to do Skate for Change in your own community. But you don’t need to be a member to be a part of Skate for Change, of course.

 

Finish this sentence: The world would be a better place if …
…if I could eat peanut butter and jellies every single day and wash it down with Red Bull. Oh, and if we all were more loving, patient, and open with each other.

 

Nesting (Again) With Birdhouse’s Help


It’s been nearly ten years since I purchased my first home. The neighborhood wasn’t initially my top pick. Yet after my wonderful realtor convinced me to take a peek inside, I was sold. There was an immediate sense of home when I first stepped across the threshold. And the feeling has remained ever since.

 

I was quickly bitten by the home renovating bug. Not much time had passed since 9/11, and the country was swept up in nesting. I remember not only from my personal experience, but from the handful of freelance magazine articles I wrote around that very time. Every interior designer and home furnisher I spoke with said their clients were opting to enhance and improve their own homes because they were spending more time there with family and friends.

 

Elaine, my home’s previous owner, had a flair for the artistic and bright colors. I snapped the following photos of the living/dining room space on the day I first toured it. I loved the creativity, but knew I’d want to put my own “stamp” on the home.

 


 

And stamp I did. With my sister’s help choosing the colors (she literally sent me swatches from her home in California) and my dad’s help painting the walls, I transformed the highly traveled space, choosing a pallet of earth tones and neutrals. The combination was quite popular at the time and, to me, appeared easy to coordinate with throw pillows, wall decor, and other home furnishings.

 

But today? Today when I pass through the living/dining area, I’m not as satisfied as I was so many years ago. After ten years looking at the same colors, same patterns, and same pieces, I’m ready for something new.

 

 

I suppose having a friend who’s an interior designer helped to spark my thinking and consider a change. Jessica McKay and I met a few years ago shortly after she opened Birdhouse Interior Design in Omaha. With her husband, Christopher, by her side, the couple set out to change the way interior design (and interior designers, for that matter) are viewed in Omaha. The more I got to know Jessica and better understand the importance of a well designed living space, the more I knew I was ready to ask for her help.

 

But let me tell you, although I consider Jessica a dear, dear friend, there’s something a wee bit unsettling about inviting an interior designer into your home. I immediately reconsidered every single decorating decision I had made over the past ten years, knowing that her creative eye would sum up my choices in mere moments.

 

Yet charge ahead I did, and Jessica began brainstorming ideas to breathe fresh air into my dated living space. I realized, with Jessica’s help over countless conversations, that homeowners are not expected to know how to maximize their living spaces all on their own. Of course we (I) can gravitate toward pretty colors and fancy patterns. But just because we (I) know what we like, doesn’t mean we (I) know how to put it all together in a design that’s pleasing to the eye.

 

My excitement around a new living/dining area continues to grow. With Jessica’s help, my goal is to transform that space with colors, fabrics, and other lovely details that best represent my personal tastes and my personality. Arriving home to a space that best utilizes what I have with who I am will undoubtedly make all the difference. I can’t wait to share the photos once the project is complete.

 

Have you redesigned your living space? Have you considered it but are afraid to take the next step? Let’s be a change for good and show that interior design can be affordable and wholly worthwhile.

 

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