Notes on finding refreshment...

Flickr is still my favorite site, hands down. There is no other website on earth that does it for me quite like the fantastic images that I discover in the many photo streams there.

A fabulous 50s kitchen from Crafty Beaver

I think it's important to use our time wisely, even when it comes to mundane pursuits and what others may consider "time suckers" when referring to hobbies involving entertainment - like watching movies, television, surfing the web, etc. I have to defend this by saying that to me, it's not a time sucker if it's productive in even a small way. If you're parked in front of television, glazing over as you half watch a program, that's a bit of a waste. One would be better using their time sleeping as that is at least repairing the body! But if you are watching a program that, when you walk away from it, leaves you feeling energized and refreshed, then that's positive, and that is using free time wisely. Sure, we can't over-analyze everything we do because that's no fun. But if we are devoting considerable time to something, it's good to ask whether or not it really is refreshing or is it simply a time sucker, energy sucker, and altogether draining. This spans everything, from friendships to hobbies, even career, but I'm focusing more on websites and the time spent online. And this leads me back to Flickr.

A colorful corner from Wisecraft with curtains that I really like. :)

A nature-inspired grouping on a simple shelf from Little Birds.

Ivanka Trump's Living Room from In Style magazine via SarahLeeAb. Spot the foo dogs?

A gorgeous fireplace decorated by Abigail Percy. What a dreamy blue background.

An IKEA paper lamp with an added touch from two straight lines - handmade butterflies! This is a nice way to add some charm to something that all your friends may have... You don't have to accept something as is. Look for inexpensive ways to make things more personal, and beautiful!

Jeana_Sohn's cozy kitchen nook. I love this little space because it's simple. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in dotting all the i's. Maybe we can give some corners of our homes a little "less is more" treatment? Just a thought...

Great use for library card catalogs - a craft room must for bitsandbobbins.

Kitchen flowers from GMW.

Ships ahoy! Amazing sailboats handcrafted by Ann Wood. (She is something else!)

A Brooklyn brownstone in the heights, snapped by Alternate Words (also my husband). This place had a ton of pendants hanging inside, see them? It isn't a reflection, there must have been at least 6 of them. This is from our June trip to NYC. We both agreed that Claire Huxtable and Heathcliff had to be due home any moment.

Sleepy kitty from Accolady. Zzzz. I want to kiss its little nose.

A fabulous inspiration wall from Matirose.

Altogether gorgeousness from Annamariahorner. What colors!

A pink beetle in Mexico via ***anahita.

And finally, a lovely arrangement of things by mizutamago.

On Flickr, I see people living life. Tons of images showing families spending time together, great food shots from devoted cooks and newbie chefs trying out a recipe for the first time. Pet photos, images of handmade crafts (lots of soft toys!), and travel shots that will take your breathe away. It's also fun to peek inside the homes of others, even to look at the self portraits people snap of well, themselves. When I look at all of these images from my nearly 1,300 contacts, I walk away feeling like a new standard for living has been set.

It's not about just accepting what we've been given. It's about being more.

To borrow from the army, Be All That You Can Be. I like that expression. I walk away from Flickr feeling inspired to bake more, plant more, and just be a little more than I may be today. Not in a do-it-or-die self-promoting way, but in a let's take it up a notch way. This is what I call finding refreshment from the whole online experience. For me, it's through the blogs I read and the lovely Flickr site.

Your turn. What are your thoughts on this? Do you have Flickr favorites that you would like to link to in the comments below? Go for it!

I have to mention that this post is a result of a lovely conversation that Marisa and I had today. She is wonderful. :)

(images: sources noted beneath each photo)