Simple Pleasures

The phrase “simple pleasures” just kept popping into my head when I sat down to think about what I wanted to write about on the design*sponge guest blog this week. Lately all around me anxiety-filled people are just trying their best to just stay in the moment, give themselves small treats and eek the most out of what they have on hand or what they can find inexpensively. It’s just the way people are thinking and the way they are going about things these days. I guess that is why I have been thinking of simple ways that I can stay inspired, stay excited and stay motivated.

This week I’ll be writing and visually documenting my simple pleasures as reported from my home base of Portland, Maine. I’ll be visiting a few of my routine stops here in town and with the owners help highlighting some of my/their favorite bits and bobs. And I will also be visiting with one friend concerning her thoughts on something that is easy and exciting for her to keep up with these days and something you might enjoy adding to your weekly creative activities.

So what better place in Portland, Maine for me to start than with my own bookshelf? No matter how many times I visit one of my inspiration notebooks I never grow tired. Taking ten minutes to peruse my archives is the easiest and simplest pleasure I know right now. It’s calming, inspiring and really just plain makes me happy. So I thought I’d take you along into a few of the pages and share the love. I am sorry I don’t have photo credits for these tear-sheets. This notebook focuses around living/working space and the home.

Enjoy and I’m looking forward to sharing more simple pleasures from Portland, Maine this week. Special thanks to Grace for asking me to come on board for a few days; I’ll type to you tomorrow. —MAV



Thank you for giving us a sneak peek into your inspiration journal.

I keep mine by my bed and flip through it a couple times a week. I love to catch a glimpse into other people’s ‘happy places.’

Look forward to reading more from you!


Mav ~ I’ve been a fan of you since 2005-06. Love this blog! Can’t wait to follow you through your Simple Pleasures adventures. I’m all about simplicity! :)


This just makes me happy. Since you ended your blog, I’ve missed checking in with you daily. Really looking forward to seeing what you post this week!


what an ideal topic–and from what i know of your work, its one that’s perfect for you, mav. i’m so excited to see what you have to share with us on d*s!


I think your inspiration book is fabulous. How do you attach your tear-sheets to the pages of the book? Just curious. I would love to start one of my own.


hey everyone, thanks again!
ellen: i just use a gluestick. i’m very messy about these kinds of things.
cheers, mav


i always feel a bit sad when i take things down from my inspiration wall and put them into a file. but this – these notebooks – what a perfect way to revisit the inspiration.


I tend to keep my piles of ‘idea snippets’ tucked away in file folders- your photobook idea is so much neater and more accessible. In short- “I friggin’ love it!” (I’m a Mainer, too) ; )


I have an inspiration book too – mostly cutouts from magazines about fashion and decorating, and I recently started “pasting” pictures I see online into a powerpoint presentation so I can do a little slideshow of ideas whenever I want!