Inspiration Lately | 8-19-14

In the last week I a) bumped into a group of pedestrians with my Jeep, b) hit a post in a gas station parking lot and took out my headlight, c) fell down my front steps and sprained my ankle, d) shattered my cell phone screen, and e) still have not found an apartment in Denver.

Here are the things that are keeping me inspired, anyway.

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All mixed everything.

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Boots and socks and tights (for when my ankle isn’t the size of an orange).

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A darling, handwritten note from the most beautiful friend. My first piece of mail in Denver!

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Well-behaved cat children who were troopers through 1200 miles, 27 hours, one crazy Nebraska tornado-rain, and a 4-hour trip to Pep Boys when our Jeep stalled in the middle of the road.

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Brain food and 2015 business plans for This Little Space.

IMG_20140815_122107Cutie vintage moccs from PlanetDetroit that showed up just in time for me to wear them to work.

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Long, sunny Saturdays spent getting a lot done at Stella’s Coffee Haus.

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An unexpected walk around City Park that brought me here.

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Skype dates with my best pup, and my mom for hanging on to him until I find a place here.

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And frozen peas. All the frozen peas.

What’s keeping you inspired this week?

 

I Made It

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I’m officially a resident of Denver. I even have a King Soopers card.

It didn’t really hit me until last night, and I’ve been here since Saturday. I’m staying with a friend of my new boss while I search for a new little space to call my own. Last night, she was showing me around her beautiful neighborhood and explaining how all of Denver’s streets run alphabetically or numerically. A perfect street-and-alley grid system. She showed me where her free recycling bin was, and the dumpster she and her neighbors share.

“So you all split the cost?” I asked. In Michigan, everyone has their own trash can, and you pay to have it picked up each week.

“No, it’s paid for by our taxes. The city provides it. It’s free.” She explained.

“God, I want to live in Denver.” I said.

We both laughed as I realized that I do, indeed, live in this magical city of free trash pick-up, recycling, and beautifully organized streets.

I’m so excited to fall more in love with Denver every day, and even more ecstatic to find my next little space.

Stay tuned!

 

 

 

Inspiration Lately | 7-29-14

Only 8 full days are between me and my move from Michigan to Colorado. My life is a complete disarray of pizza, packing tape, and trips to Goodwill. Here are some things that are keeping me inspired.

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This “Renter’s Guide to Moving Cross Country” and it’s wonderful checklists.

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A shirt perfect for moving boxes and car sleeping.

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Fringe boots that make my soul happy.

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Turquoise earrings for less than $10, pinned by one of my favorite Pinners.

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Mismatched things and beach wood in the bedroom.

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Lofty spaces that make me believe in my ability to live in a less than 500 square foot studio in Denver (once I find one).

Skeleton key tattoo inspiration, because “the key to change is letting go of fear” and I think I might need a daily reminder of that in the next few weeks.

byregina.com and all her wonderful blogging tips  & tricks. Seriously – she is a guru.

An actual real person who moved her 3 cats across the country, and lived to pin about it.

And all the love & support from my co-workers, who have made moving to Denver the hardest decision of my life.

A BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!

If you’ve been wondering why I’ve been away from This Little Space for the past two weeks, it isn’t because I gave up on my love of power tools or didn’t have any inspiration lately. It’s because my life became a whirlwind of driving/flying to Denver, waiting for phone calls, and obsessively checking my email every 5 minutes.

But now, I can officially share with you…

I’M MOVING TO DENVER!

I could not be more excited to be a future resident of the amazing Mile-High City. Or to join the team at Candid Culture, where I’ll be working as a Business Manager for the fabulously hilarious author and motivational speaker Shari Harley.

This was obviously not an easy choice for me, because I’m totally in love with my current job at Kids’ Food Basket. I mean – world’s greatest team EVER. Seriously. I literally could not love my co-workers more. They have been watching, totally bewildered, as I cry in the bathroom and at my desk all week. I’m also super sad to be leaving my current little space, and the little space I’ve found in Grand Rapids. It’s been so good to me.

But even though it’s hard to go, I know it’s the right move for me. Denver makes me feel alive, and in a way I can’t explain, more like myself. I’m always full of words and writing inspiration when I’m there. And the opportunity to work alongside an author, and her amazing team, is the right move for me.

I’m so excited to find my next little space in Denver, and to make the city my own.

Thanks for your support and reading of This Little Space so far!

More good things to come,

Danielle

5 Tips for Solo Cross-Country Road Trips

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A few weeks ago I drove a smart car from Michigan to Colorado. By myself. Here’s a little wisdom I learned on the way:

1. Sleep at truck stops. They are totally not what they used to be! A more correct term would be “travel stop.” Love’s and Flying J are two popular ones. As a single girl travelling alone, I felt a little leary about it, but I found that it’s totally (or mostly) safe. I hadn’t planned to stop at all on my 17-hour trek, but 14 hours in, Nebraska decided to give me an epic rain/thunder/heat lightning storm. Luckily there was a Love’s at the next exit. I parked my smart car between two mom vans (filled with small children who woke their mothers (and me) up at 5AM) in the well-lit parking lot and slept like a baby for 8 hours. In the morning, I was able to brush my teeth and wash my face as well as get coffee.

I would not recommend staying at a rest area. These are not the same as truck/travel stops. They are not businesses, and therefore not monitored or staffed. There will not be anyone nearby to hear you scream if someone breaks into your car in the middle of the night (not that that is likely to happen).

2. Eat what you want. Give yourself permission to have Krispy Creme donuts for breakfast, or to have a 40 oz Coca-Cola after ten non-stop hours on the road. There is no better way to stay alert when you’re sitting for long, long periods of time than filling your body with sugar and caffeine. Or, if you’re better at being an adult than me, feel free to stop and treat yourself to a good sandwich or a hot meal. Give your body what it wants and needs.

3. Nap in public parks. If you’re driving during the day and you get tired (which I did) because you were way too excited to sleep the night before your epic adventure, find a nice public park to nap at. Cruise around the nearest mid-to-large sized city and find a park that has some people in it. This is key. I found one in Iowa City that had a skate park full of teenage boys and a few families picnicking. Just enough people that if someone tries to attack you while your napping with your windows down and doors unlocked, someone will hear your scream (again, not that it’s likely, but you never know…). If you find a nice enough park, take out the blanket you should have packed and nap outside on the ground. Just pretend you’re a local. It’s fine.

4. Stop when you feel like it. Don’t listen to what people say about stretching every three hours to prevent blood clots, or to drive for as long as you can during the day light hours.  You’ll have to stop and get gas every few hours, so you’re already going to be stretching. Don’t give yourself strict limits. If you want to drive for 9 hours and only stop to get gas, go for it. On the way back, maybe you’ll feel like taking an hour nap after only 3 hours in the car. That’s okay. The best thing about solo road trips is that there’s no one there to judge you.

5. Have a printed map. Even the smartest cell phones die or lie to you about where you are. Or get dropped and are stuck under your seat when you are driving through rush hour in Chicago. Print a hard copy or your directions and study it so you don’t think you are in Nebraska for four hours when you were really in Iowa the whole time.

Those are my best tips for now. If you’re a girl, you should definitely also read Cameron Tuttle’s The Bad Girl’s Guide to the Open Road before you embark on your solo journey. It will change your life.

Do you have any good tips for long drives? Crazy stories of all the stupid shit you did when you drove across the country? Questions? Comment below! :)

5 Great Finds for Writers in Denver

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1. Lighthouse Writer’s Workshop

Imagine a place where every Friday you can show up, grab some Oreos and white wine, and write for an hour in a beautiful, old home with a bunch of other writers. Then, for another hour, you gather with those awesome writers for conversations about craft, networking, and sharing of your work.

Yes, it really exists.

Lighthouse is a beacon of hope. It made me believe that communities of writers really exist. Besides Friday 500, they also host their annual Lit Fest (which I missed by one day…kill me), writing workshops and classes, and a writing retreat in the mountains.

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2. Tattered Cover Bookstore

Tattered Cover is an AMAZING indie bookstore with three great locations, plus 2 satellites (one at Denver Airport and one, opening this summer, at Union Station). The one on Colfax Ave is the Gryffindor Common Room of bookstores.

They host a variety of amazing authors of quality, have a great local authors program, and are super invested in the community.

On top of that, they also have the Tattered Cover Press where you can self-publish at really reasonable prices.

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3. Stella’s Coffee House

Stella’s is located in the Old South Pearl Street business district of Denver, which reminds me a lot of Wealthy Street/East Hills in Grand Rapids. When I walked in, I knew I found my home away from home. If you like to sit in the sunlight, surrounded by good books, while an espresso machine whirs in the background, this is your nirvana.

I also love that Stella’s is super dog-friendly. They have water bowls all over their patio, and treats just inside the door (for pups big and small).

4. Denver Writing Meet-Up Groups

There are two really great ones every writer should know about:

  • Denver Writers Meet-Up Group. For just $10 a year, you can be part of a super cool group of nearly 700 writers. They meet bi-weekly on Saturday afternoons or Thursday nights.
  • Denver Writer’s Workshop. This meet up group is nearly 600 members strong. They are more critique-oriented than the aforementioned meet-up group.

5. Book Organizations of Colorado

For over 10 years, Book Organizations of Colorado (BOOC) has been “connecting Colorado’s book community.” They have over 30 nonprofit member organizations “whose activities support literacy, libraries, writing, publishing, selling or promoting books for the mutual benefit of the members and the general public.” Basically, they are a huge resource of things writing-related in Denver.

Do you have any good suggestions for writers in Denver? Feel free to add to this list by commenting below!