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Now that I’m approaching MBA graduation (FOUR WEEKS TIL FREEDOM!! WOOT WOOT), I’m turning my attention to the 10,532,789 projects that I neglected while I was in school. You know, all of those things that I told people—or myself—that I would do after I was in school. Things like reorganizing my closet and fixing up my backyard and doing more yoga and shaving my legs (just kidding. sorta.) Anyway, it’s a big list, and I’m getting excited thinking about having the time to focus on things unrelated to finance or project management.

First up is my family room—a small space with a huge window, a gallery wall of photos, and a worn-out Ikea couch from my post-college days. The couch needs to go, stat (anyone interested?) and here’s what I’m hoping to replace it with:

I love the clean lines on this Ikea sofa, though it might be too big for the room. Think they’d let me trade in my old couch for this one?

A simple cocktail table would house games of yahtzee and glasses of wine.

This chevron rug from West Elm is fun and classic. As of now we don’t have any rugs in the house so it would be a nice change of pace. Plus it would fit in with the rest of the decor, which incorporates a lot of bold prints in neutral colors.

This light and airy lamp would be lovely for reading.

A couple of worn leather chairs would keep the room from looking too overdone.

And just to cap things off, a few initial pillows in neutral colors.

What do you think—is the room too boring, or does it work? Also, who can arrange help me arrange a super-sale so I can afford all of this? xo


…where you can do your laundry, have your car washed and buy your office supplies on the same block. What’s not to love?

I don’t think it gets any better than this.

…and an even happier father’s day to my sometimes spastic, always entertaining Dad. As I’m embarking on a lazy weekend, he’s off to the Great Plains where he will see Mount Rushmore, explore national parks and chip away at his (semi) retirement goal of catching a fish in every state (he’s already got more than 30 done and is poised to knock off three more on this trip)! I’m wishing him lots of luck and will be thinking of him as he sets out on yet another adventure. xo

(Image above of Dad in California in the 60s; he’s the one beatnik-ing it on the right. And oh, that hat! It gets me every time.)

P.S. More about Dad here and here.

It’s the smell that brings me back. The heady scent of wood searing under the power of the mid-day sun; boards hot under my feet as we navigated the 100 yards between my grandmother’s little apartment and the beach. We’d patter over the boards with bare feet, eager to get in the ocean but respectful of the hot splinters welcomed with a hasty step. Yes, it was definitely the smell. Deep and intoxicating, it carried everything summer, from the tracks of the tram to the blankets that held the seashells we’d sell in the summer.

The ocean is an old friend whose salty mist greets hello; the marsh is an aromatic, reluctant call to home. But it’s the knowing, timeless scent of the boardwalk that unleashes the memories deep within.

Image via

Scott: So there’s this article on Slashdot that says that says the pain of a breakup is the same as a physical burn.

Me: How’d they figure that out?

Scott: They did a study of people who had just gone through a breakup. They put them in MRIs that measured their brain’s response while having their arm burned or being shown a picture of their ex.

Me: Let me get this straight. They went out and found people who had just been dumped and then burned them? On purpose?

Scott: Yeah pretty much.

(Full  article here)

Growing up, I never thought my grandparents had real names. To me and my sisters, they were Mommom and Poppop, and to each other, they were simply Hon. It was a term of endearment they used strictly with each other, and it was used in nearly all of their interactions.

“Hey hon, where’d you put the keys?”

“I don’t know hon, you had ’em last.”

“Well, hon, I don’t know what to tell you. They’re not here.”

“Alright hon, I’ll come help you look.”

They were, of course, from Baltimore, and when I moved here I learned exactly where they picked up the habit. Here, the word hon is not just reserved for husbands and wives but used liberally when referring to friends, family and strangers alike. But the most special use of the word “Hon” (in this case, with a capital H) is reserved for women whose appearance and demeanor personifies old Baltimore—sassy ladies like my grandmother who once wore cat-eye glasses and fashioned their hair into beehives. Every June, we celebrate these ladies and all things Baltimore with a little street fair called Honfest.

Here are a few photos, if you’d like to see…

To be a hon, big hair and sunglasses are a must. Bonus points if you wear leopard print.

Classy hons opt for polka dot poodle skirts and drink nothing but lemonade.

The reigning Baltimore hon prefers sparkling wine in a can, and a beehive that stretches even higher than her crown. Take that, Kate Middleton!

Young hons line up to compete for the crown and get ready to participate in pageant-like competitions including a Q&A where they demonstrate their ability to speak in Bawlmerese (Baltimore’s native language). Fluency requires liberal use of the word hon.

First lesson in Bawlmerese: turlits, aka toilets.

If you get confused or need a translator, just find the closest hon. They’re very nice and can be easily spotted from behind, thanks to high hair and feather boas.

I’m already planning my costume for next year. In honor of grandma, of course.

“Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.” – Albert Einstein

Image via

Oh my goodness, this Dad in Utah waved to his son’s school bus in a different costume every single school day for an entire year! He got the idea on the first day of school when he heard his teenaged son complain about him waving to the bus. He took it on as a challenge, making costumes from things around the house and asking neighbors to donate old ones from Halloween. Some of his different get-ups were Batman, Wonder Woman and the Little Mermaid (my personal favorite). The son said it went from “embarrassing to funny,” but if I were him, I don’t think I would’ve been so cool about it! Luckily, I was the first stop on the bus.

The Dad kept a blog of his costumes at, if you’d like to see more.

Thanks, Scott!

Just in case you were wondering what it looks like when you accidentally put salsa–instead of pizza sauce–on your pizza, and then don’t realize it until the pizza’s already in the oven. In Scott’s defense, the containers were really similar (except for the giant “Salsa” label on the front), and he was probably distracted by the fact that I was rolling out the dough with a wine bottle.Yeah, we’re pretty much a dynamic duo in the kitchen.

Did the salsa stop us from eating the pizza? Have you met us? We’ve never met a pizza we didn’t like, and (as if it’s not obvious from the photo above) accidental mexican pizza was no exception.

A photo of me.

About me

Hi, I'm Pam. I'm a runner, reader and recent MBA grad living in Baltimore with my husband. I work in PR, but I spend my off-hours writing here about my life, which mostly revolves around family, friends, fashion and fitness. Sometimes I throw in the occasional food photo just to make sure you're paying attention.


For questions or freelance opportunities, contact me at theinspirationfiles {at} gmail {dot} com. I'd love to hear from you!

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