my visit to the northwest :: inspiration


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I just returned from a trip to Oregon to visit my sister and her sweet family! I would not trade this trip for the world and our time spent together was so special. We got to snuggle our brand new little niece and give lots of hugs and kisses….plus a visit to the coast, shopping and eating in Portland, hiking, and playing with the boys. We made the most of the time that we had, and enjoyed each minute. It stinks to live so far apart…..but it is what it is for now.

I was raised on the West Coast {Northern California}…..and so whenever I get a chance to experience the West Coast……it always stirs up the nostalgia in me. I enjoy the weather immensely….it is so different than the sticky South {even though there is beauty in sticky…sometimes}. The Oregon coastline is so rugged and beautiful….it reminds me of photos that I have seen of Ireland. It literally takes my breath away. I so enjoyed the mountainous cliffs, the cool mornings, and the fact that my sister and her beautiful family are there.

I also enjoyed my sisters house… much so that I promptly went to Target and purchased some plus sign pillow cases. I came home wanting to simplify, and only keep those things that are truly meaningful and useful. I definitely live with what I love and have things collected that are meaningful and useful but there are also the endless stacks of paper, the wireless headphones collecting dust that were purchased two years ago {that we never figured out how to use with our tv}, the 50 plastic cups from tennis, baseball, and football games that come tumbling out every time I open the kitchen cabinet, the assortment of random mugs that also tumble and shake as they get stacked higher and higher and the fifty bajillion other things that are excessive. You feel me? My sister has mastered the art of having only what she needs in the cabinet,  baskets for toys and books, cleaning up every night before bed, hand made blankets and comfy sheets on beds. I love this.

This little round up is a few of my favorite things and inspirations from my sisters house.


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  1. Patty Soriano

    I know what you mean, Barb. This is the year that I simplify. I left my job the end of July and for the first time in almost 40 years I will stay home just so I can put my house in order. Get rid of the boxes that were never unpacked when we moved here, empty out each drawer, cabinet, and closet and just keep what we need and use. I’m a collector like so many other junkers out there (the blogs tell me I’m not alone!) so I will keep my favorite collections. But there are many things that just need to go away. I envy you your lovely trip, since I’m in hot and sticky south Texas. It’s always nice to get away.

    • Barb Blair

      Patty…..I totally feel ya! You and I will be emptying out closets and boxes together! I too will be keeping all of my meaningful collections and favorites but all of the other excess will be going away! Best of luck to you…and happy organizing! xo

  2. Pookie

    I believe my next adventure is to be truly organized. I have been a pack rat and need these tips and advice to move forward! Trips are so much fun and I am so glad u got a chance to See the west side of the US! I too just bought pillows with a dear friend who is like sister! ;)) thanks again for ur blog!

    • Barb Blair

      Hey Pookie! I think it is a constant goal of mine to get more organized! Always more to do! Thank you for your sweet comment!

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