I made a thing!

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Have you heard of something called “Low content publishing”? I did just recently. The idea is to publish things like diary, journals, and notebooks. Well – I LOVE those things and can never find the PERFECT ones.

So I made one!

I have been bullet journaling for a while but grew tired of drawing in the lines every month/day. So, this is like my new bullet journal, but the hard stuff is already filled in. Now – it’s up to me to fill in the rest. OR – it can be up to you, because I have published this notebook! You may now buy it here.

Things this notebook includes:

  • Track your mind, health, wealth, and life
  • Dates are added yourself, which makes this journal customizable any time of the year
  • A spot keep track of important numbers and recurring monthly and yearly tasks
  • A page for keeping track of your fitness goals and measurements
  • Monthly calendars, including monthly habits to track
  • Daily calendars, with places to make plans for the mind, body, food, and money
  • Daily notes pages

I hope you grab one and let me know what you think!

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Office For My Friend

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There is little I like better than when a friend says to me: I have this decor/clothing issue that I would love ideas about. Recently, my friend Joni told me that she has a new office to match her new exciting job as a college counselor. The office currently has couple of standard navy guest chairs, and the standard other things a college office might have.

I turned to IKEA – who always saves the day for me, to create a little sanctuary for her. With the addition of natural fibers (some faux), greenery (here – all faux), and some peaceful art, these additions will make for a calm and soothing environment. A side table to rest a drink on and a light that will also charge her device complete the look.

You’re going to be great, Joni!!!

Nesting tables, set of 3 – $59.99

Cushion cover, sheepskin white – $29.99

Picture, sunrise – $29.99

Tray, black, gray – $4.99

Coaster, cork – $1.99  / 2 pack

LED work lamp w/wireless charging, white – $69.99

Vase and 6 scented sticks, Blossoming bergamot, gray – $5.99

Artificial potted plant, indoor/outdoor fiddle-leaf fig – $49.99

Plant pot, water hyacinth, gray  – $24.99

Artificial potted plant with pot, indoor/outdoor Succulent – $9.99  / 3 pack


Taking Stock – Tent Camping

I did Meet Me At Mikes’ Taking Stock exercise many years back and thought it was really fun. It seems Pip at is still at it! She and her blog look as inspirational as ever! I love that she calls her blog a daily dose of happiness and inspiration (Isn’t she the cutest?Everything seems better down under, amiright?) She makes me feel like a blog started by a mom who works a day job and likes to make things sometimes could actually be something worthwhile.

I am planning a tent camping trip to Wisconsin with family and friends soon! So excited! Here’s the plan with the Taking Stock prompts:


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Making: Every good tent photo I see includes some kind of cute pennant banner. I LOVE to bring a craft for the kids and adults alike to work on together. This year – we are going to be making one of these for each family! I bought a big bag of scrap fabric at Micheal’s, along with some twine, glue, scissors, and fairy lights. Let’s see how this goes!


Screen Shot 2019-05-23 at 4.09.58 PM.pngCooking: I may be a midwesterner now, but I grew up in Texas, ya’ll – and it’s been too long since I had me some Walking Tacos. This camping trip it’s on!

Sipping: Boxed wine to pair well with my Walking Tacos, natch.


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Reading: I downloaded Pip’s book on getting inspired for blogging (how cool! how timely to find!); and trying to make a dent in three (3!) other books I am currently reading. I went without reading for so many years and now I can’t get enough!

Looking: Pony Tailed and make up free!

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Listening: Family-friendly podcasts on the way to Wisconsin. One that will certainly pop up will be Stuff You Should Know. And – holy smokes, I have been listening to this show for years and have never googled what Josh and Chuck actually look like! Mind blown!!!

Wishing: Wishing for no rain! (Pretty sure there will be rain.)

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Enjoying: New Daily Ukulele book and am excited to bring it and the Uke’s to practice around the fire.

Waiting: Waiting for this trip is the worst. But the planning is fun.

Liking: I have been trying to be super intentional about upping my fitness game. I have been using the audio app Apptiv and it’s been very motivating. I like it very much.

Screen Shot 2019-05-24 at 10.49.11 AMLoving: I have been liking be active so much – that guess what? I signed up for a 5K! One that I am actually go to attempt to jog.the.whole.way. As I have never been anything close to an athlete, this is huge. It’s coming up quickly.  My ‘no tech rule’ will be ignored on this trip for an Apptiv jog or two. This for me has been the gift of self love.

Buying: REI’s garage sale was very good to us this spring – and will be using a new tent and some odds and ends.

Watching: I always love to watch our city kids enjoying some nature – and getting to ride their bikes and run around with abandon.

Hoping: Ok, again – hoping for no rain! (Pretty sure there will be rain.) 

Needing: I think that we will need lots of tarps. (Still hoping and wishing we don’t.)

Wearing: Layers. Lots of layers.

Ten Years of Collecting Ideas

IT’S BEEN A WHILE! Is this thing on? How does this work, again? I want to come back!!! Beginning to brush the dust off this old gal. Starting with an updated ABOUT section (also see below) – and hope to update some design, add regular content, etc. What about some vlogging? A little podding? I have so many ideas to talk to you about. Let’s start here:

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You know what is really big? The internet. There are so many ideas out there. There are good ones, great ones, and lots and lots of bad ones. Thankfully there are sites that may help you collect those ideas you want to remember. This is mine.

My name is Kelly and I live on the Northside of Chicago with my husband and 11 year old son. I love being a mom. I love Chicago. I love good design. I love thinking about and working in the ever evolving world of media, digital networks, and pop culture. And, I love to read blogs. I was so inspired by the blogs that I loved, that in October of 2009, I started this one. (This was just before Pinterest first launched – which was the idea collector that I was very much looking for at the end of 2009 – but has become a bit overwhelming to me at this point.)

I believe that all new and creative thinking is inspired by other’s creative thinking and then enhanced. Here you will find a collection of thoughts and ideas that have inspired me – along with what those inspirations may or may not have turned into.

I hope that you might come across something here and are inspired with some new ideas of your own. If that happens, let me know! I would love to hear about it – so leave a comment or email me at collectedideas [at] me [dot] com.


10 Shades of Gray

I had a friend come to me this week freaking out about finding the perfect shade of gray to paint her new apartment. She came to the right gray paint obsessed gal! I had no problem ticking off 10 colors that I love. This is truly one of the things I really enjoy doing and thinking about.

I only know Benjamin Moore, as I find the process of choosing color so overwhelming as well, that I have to set some limits. I know I like BM paint, so I just go there.

I was thinking, oh I wish I could store these somewhere, and looky here! I have a bloggity to do that on! So here are my current fave BM grays:

perfect gray

Of all of these beauty’s though, Revere Pewter always seems to win with me. It’s the perfect neutral that reads both warm or cold to me depending on its surroundings. This is the one that I pushed my friend towards. Her question? But what accent colors could she pair with it? Easy! Pretty much anything! But of course I had an opinion to share, and here is what I gave her for her new lakeside abode: Bohemian Vintage Lake Michigan.


Taking Stock: APRIL

Trying to get back in the swing of things after my wonderful spring break in Texas with my family and the Bluebonnets. Spring fever (and my pending birthday) always makes these kind of navel-gaze time-suckers irresistible to me! From a Pip’s blog from down under, here is me, wasting time by taking stock!

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Making : Cub Scout Scrap Book of the most meaningful moments of my 7-year-old’s life. (Well, helping to make. It’s a family affair.)
Cooking : Made a Paella over the fire pit for my father for his Birthday! It was totally cool. (sort of used this recipe. photo by the amazing jenna)
Reading: I am hooked (HOOKED) on the Divergent Trilogy right now. (On book two.) But I have to admit that it was humbling when my 10-year-old buddy Hank saw the book on my table and we discovered we both had just started book two. And both are loving it.
Wanting: My birthday is this weekend! I asked for this bag that’s on my spring 2015 capsule. (Spoiler: I just bought it for my boys to give me. Ha!)
Wearing: I’m on week 2 of my capsule project and so far it’s been GREAT. Packing for a trip was a breeze, and I have loved everything I have worn everyday so far. Also love my new spring minimal ‘do. 🙂 (Taking bathroom selfies? Not so great.)
Pondering: I have been really lax on the Gluten-free thing for the first time in… what, 6 years now? I wonder if I can eat it minimally and still feel heathy.
Questioning: Do I want to live in Chicago the rest of my life? If not, for how long? Where else might I want to explore? Will it wait until the boy is not school-aged anymore? Hmmmmmm.
Hearing: Can’t stop listening to the Magnetic Fields station on Pandora. Every song is fantastic.
Watching: JUST signed up for HBO NOW after being cable free for 7 years! Game of Thrones in real time? Heck yea!
Deciding: Where to go to dinner for my birthday this weekend. Or do we cook? What do we cook? Hmmm.
Looking: like a million bucks. Thanks spring capsule!
Wishing: that I was still on spring break.
Drinking : With my G-free break, I am sneaking a real true beer in every now and then. Heavenly.
Playing: Podcasts whenever and where ever I can! Some of the ones I am (see next line)
Enjoying: Fresh Air, Here’s the Thing, This American Life, Radiolab, RuPaul What’s the Tee? (love him/her!), Happy Sad Confused, Invisibilia
Considering: adding to the list: The Longest Shortest Time, Undisclosed, Upvoted by Reddit, and Startup (have any others to suggest?)
Wishing: I had more free time to listen to more podcasts.
Waiting: For the next big phase of my life to come. I feel like it’s close.
Loving: My little family, which now includes a cat that likes to pee on my favorite black leather chair.
Liking: Starbuck’s new Flat White coffee. Wish it didn’t taste so Starbuck’s-y.
Wondering: If I started my own business, what would it be?
Hoping: That someday I get off my duff and start my own business.
Marvelling: At how impossible that seems.
Cringing: About how it may never happen.
Needing: Some sleep. As usual.
Smelling: Like soap and coffee. As usual.
Following: Less blogs and social media in general than I used to.
Noticing: That I’m happy about that.
Knowing: I’m not at all ready to quit blogs and social media.
Thinking: That’s ok.
Admiring: Anyone that feels like they have all their shit together.
Sorting: All my stuff and getting rid of as many things as I can. Trying to live minimally!
Getting: my shit together.
Bookmarking: I still am a constant pinner of ideas and it’s helping me sort all that stuff. (I got lots of private pins, too y’all.)
Coveting: Stay at home moms. (sometimes. but not that often.)
Disliking: When my cat pees on my stuff.
Opening: A savings account for a friend/family trip to Provence in 2017!!
Giggling: Daily about all the funny things that my son says. I like him so much.
Feeling: Really clear headed and good these days. Hope to keep it up.
Snacking: Had an office bagel earlier. Perhaps I can’t be trusted with Gluten?

You should do this, too! If you do – let me know. I want to see!

To Cleanse or Not to Cleanse, FALL 2014

I can’t remember when I started messing around with cleanses, but I know I mentioned it at least here in 2011. (Maybe earlier, I got lazy searching.)
Anyway, I know I have done about three a year for a lotta years now. The latest one is always my favorite because I keep narrowing down what works best for me, and my family. (My husband always joins me, and we try to be reasonable about healthy but tasty meals for my son during the process.)
We are just getting off a 7 day cleanse I thought I would share here, because – why not? I had a friend just asking about it, so I thought someone out there might also benefit.
I loved that this one was only 7 days (as we have done only 30 day ones prior – too long!), but I will still refine some other things for the next one (more lean meat!), which will come at the first of the year. I will try to post about that when it’s ready.
So, here was the FALL 2014 cleanse, in which I felt pretty darn good at the end of. I hope you enjoy!
Yes: Veggies, fruit, nuts, wild salmon, water, lentils, and plenty of fresh, organic, local produce
No: Sugar, alcohol, gluten, dairy, soy, corn, eggs, peanuts, artificial sweeteners, meat or poultry.Avoid: Citrus Fruits, Caffeine, Carbonated Water (in the form of seltzer or in soda) Why? It can cause bloating, unnecessarily stressing the body during cleansing

Water: Half your body weight in ounces daily

Each morning, upon rising: Glass of room temperature lemon water with Cider Vinegar. You may have 1 Cup Black Coffee – but only herbal tea and water after that.
  • 7-8am: simple smoothie
  • 10-11am: snack
  • 12-1pm: lunch
  • 3-4pm: snack
  • 6-7pm: dinner

SNACKS: a piece of fruit & nuts, celery & almond butter, rice crackers & hummus, plain rice cake with almond butter, steamed veggies & nuts, avocado with sea salt, even just a few nuts will do if you don’t have time to plan ahead

Simple Smoothie:

  • Fresh or frozen fruit (½ a banana or ¼ avocado make a good creamy base)
  • Veggies (pick 2-4:  spinach, cucumber, kale, chard, collard, fennel, celery, carrot, parsley, mint, avocado, etc- careful with some of those if you don’t have a heavy duty blender like a Vitamix)
  • Handful of hemp seeds, almonds or walnuts
  • add protein powder
  • Water to desired consistency (can be half coconut water?)

Before Bed – Drink daily and prepare fresh daily.
Chamomile Tea


LUNCH: Slow Cooker Savory Superfood Soup
DINNER: Autumn Arugula Salad

LUNCH: Detox Salad
DINNER: Slow Cooker Hearty Vegetable and Bean Soup

LUNCH: Detox Salad Leftovers
 Mixed Greens with Steamed Salmon, Olive Oil & Lemon Juice

LUNCH: Detox Rainbow Salad
DINNER: Black Bean & Quinoa Chili

LUNCH: Black Bean & Quinoa Chili Leftovers
 Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Stew

LUNCH: French Lentil Salad
DINNER: Roasted Beets on Greens

DINNER: Roasted Portobellos With Kale

Capsule Organizing

It has just hit my radar, and quite timely too, as I plan to use the holidays to get some coset clean out done. This blogger has really nailed the idea of coming up with a minimal, but effective seasonal wardrobe.

I love her philosophy on the “rule of three.” Keep contents down to maximum of three choices. For each of these sets, she includes one basic, plain pair + one crazy-fun statement pair + one pair that falls between the two.

9 pairs of shoes (example: 3 pairs of flats, 3 pairs of heels, and 3 pairs of boots.)

9 bottoms 9 (3 pairs of jeans, 3 pairs of shorts, and 3 skirts.)

15 tops (3 sweaters, 3 tee shirts, 3 button up shirts, 3 tank tops, and 3 vests)

I started a Polyvore to think it all through. Excited about this!

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Advent 2014

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This is the fourth or fifth year that I am blogging my advent plans (who’s counting?) This year I am excited to be trying something new with the help of these guys.

This year, I will be joining in a global Advent calendar on Instagram.  From Nov. 30 to Dec. 24 — they will be sending out a daily word, meditation and beautiful image to those who want to join.

Participants are invited to take a photo with their phone or tablet to share their interpretation of the word for that day – these include #Abide, #Thrive, #Become, #Imagine – and then post the picture to Instagram adding the day’s tag plus #Adventword.

Should be fun! Hope you decide to play along, too!

Happy holidays, ya’ll!