Alisa Murray Interiors Love Where YOU LIVE! The Office Makeover May 2018

When we think about spring cleaning often we totally skip our office spaces. Whether you work at home like me or actually go to an office; our spaces that we work in often get cluttered and not so inviting to do actual work. What’s also worth noting is that we just dolt take then time to rearrange the furniture and we realize after years that that desk has not budged in years. Get busy updating your office now by moving some stuff and purchase a few key items that will bring a smile to your face while dressing it up a bit might make you inspired to do more work! Who knew??? 

First think about how long your desk and items have been sitting in their spaces. I am willing to bet that you have not moved that desk or rearranged your wall art in quite some time. We all fall into that ho hum attitude that we will get around to that someday and yet that someday never comes! If you can try to pull everything out of that room and think about painting the entire space with a cheerful color or add a splash with just one wall. Opting to faux one wall will totally change the space. 

Secondly think about your desk and chair and ask yourself if the arrangement you currently have is actually working for you. So many home offices I see have furniture just thrown in there and even the furniture looks confused. Take a few weeks to look on HOUZZ or WAYFAIR and check out the latest styles in home office furniture. You’d be surprised at how many unique options are available and I know something will jump out at you. 

Now that you have repainted the space and picked out some real cool furniture it’s time to put it all together. Instead of  throwing your stuff into the drawers, why not carefully think about what you need and anything that hasn’t been used in 6 months should either be handled or tossed? You should have space still on the actual desktop and here’s where you’ll have the most fun. Try a bright gold stapler in stead of the regular black one…or find a metallic desk pad and you’ll transform the entire space with just a few metallic accessories. What’s trending now is the use of metallic finishes in a little spot such as a phone or a bigger statement with something gold or silver in file folders, paperclips, pencils and other accessories. If you really want to dress up the room add a touch of metallic in the curtains too!

Another trend that I am implementing with my clients is the use of live plants. Not only do they clean the air and make the space healthier, they add a touch of elegance either as a tree in the corner or a small plant on your desktop. Try an orchid if you have a window in your space, a fig tree or a palm will also make a statement.

The Office Make-over is super easy to do and truthfully it’s worth taking a little time to redo once in a while. For just a quick redo opt to just add a metallic accessory and a little plant! Big changes or small each make a difference in how you’ll feel while using that space. Moving furniture or replacing it and getting a new color on the walls will not only improve the space dramatically you just might find yourself more productive as well! 

“The Lifestyle”   with Alisa Murray 

 

Have you noticed how different a text or email is from an actual call or face to face conversation? Lately I have been especially keen to pay attention and try to add a nuance or three so that my communication is not mis-read or worse still misinterpreted! I am always cheerful when I meet friends and clients and so assuming that they get whatever I am trying to communicate in a cheerful way is indeed a difficult task given only words to deliver the message. 

They say that this next generation will buy everything from home and prefer to text over face to face communications. That last part, whatever sociologist came up with is not a revelation…these kids text all day and night and it’s very difficult, although doable; to get a family dinner without technology. My son just the other day asked me “what is the purpose of a mall?” If you could have seen my face it was a hard stare and an eye roll! The whole concept of going to a place to casually spend time and interact while also shopping is a foreign land to the next generation! I explained how seeing people and being a part of their lives is what humans are supposed to do and not just order stuff and have it delivered. He was not sold on the idea, especially since he thinks he can get hot cheaper online and in less time. 

I found a great emoji thing that you can put some details to to make it look like you a little and mine came out pretty close to what I look like…close enough that when I use it in texting my friends and clients laugh. They send back a bubble that says “ha ha.” Now that’s actually funny. We have a bubble responder to indicate if we are laughing without hearing the laughter of our friends. Funny? Maybe even scary! I still pick up the phone and call people each day and when the text or email is confusing or getting to where I am questioning the tone I need to call, just so I can hear in their voice what they are feeling. 

So the next time you have the chance to send an email try adding an Bitmoji. Your point will come across more clearly and there will be virtually no chance of a miscommunication in your texts and emails. 

Living the Sweet Life:        May the Force of Nature be with YOU!                 May 2018

Many of you know I am an avid gardener. I keep herbs year round and my parsley always looks like a big bush! If you spend any time pricing what fresh cut herbs cost you’ll see how quickly it adds up of you are truly cooking and using the freshest possible ingredients available. This is why having a garden really is more cost effective for families and because you know what you used on them as they grew you can be rest assured that they lack the residues that so many commercial farmers use and overall you’ll be healthier. 

What’s interesting to study and then implement is the beautiful coordination between the herbs we use and the very vegetables that need them in the pot to make something yummy. They are called companion herbs and here’s a few combinations that I think you should try. It’s worth noting that I could not understand why my basil would never grow until I learned that basil can’t survive beside rosemary! Now you know….

Companion planting is also effective because the herbs that love growing beside those vegetables are guardians too and ward off pesky insects that otherwise would ham the plant and compromise the harvest.They act as shade for insects that you want loving in the garden, they promote pollination and attract bees. You already know my philosophy about bees and bee keeping. Basically its all a win win for both plants to be together because each helps the other if planted correctly. 

Over 300 years have passed since the first companion gardening began. ( Although some historians believe that we have been doing this for over  6 thousand years!) The Iroquois showed our early colonists how to plant what they called “the three sisters.” Corn, beans and squash were what they taught the early settlers where like a fine dance that everyone knows their place the garden is at one and in synch. This method is without a doubt one of the best ways to plant a garden and with a little knowledge of what vegetables and herbs team up to create a force in nature even the beginning garden will find a green thumb and success will be achieved in your garden.

Anise should be planted in the middle of your flower beds to attract predatory wasps. Because it is a smelly thing no snail wants to go see it! So it’s also very good when planted near your beans as snails love to eat and destroy that vegetable. Basil which I use almost in every supper recipe, is best planted near your tomatoes. Because of its chemical compound asparagus beetles, snails and milkweed insects. Borage needs to be near your tomatoes as the worms that like to make a nest in your tomatoes can not stand to be near. After having four years of no strawberries this herb helps them to thrive and grow too their full potential. Plant yourself some chives with the carrots so that the rust fly will not visit; but also put some near your strawberries because chives emit sulfuric smells and bad bugs don’t dig it! My friend garlic which aI also use in almost everything is a best friend to raspberries and roses. It also does a great job as a companion herb when paired with beets, spinach, peppers and lettuces. Lavender is like a sweet request for the butterfly and bees to make themselves a party! Parsley should always be planted with asparagus because it keeps the beetles from eating them. Rosemary, who I gave a bad rapt a few moments ago is actually delightful and helps cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli because of its pungent smell wards off the insects that love to eat those vegetables but… do not plant it near squash, pumpkins, potatoes or carrots because it treats those veggies the same way it does basil! Finally because I could go all day about this there’s one herb that should be left for the professional and that is fennel. This herb is  allelopathic to most plants and actually destroys and diminishes everything in its path. If you love it I would suggest making one space for just that and not leave any trace of it in the main garden.

I think it’s very cool that God has made so many plants for us to eat and also provided the natural resources in which to insure protecting both the herb and the food. It’s not hard to plant a garden even if it’s a little thing such as a big pot full of tomatoes , just make sure theres some parsley, basil and oregano creeping downtime sides of their space! I hope this has been helpful in getting you started with a very rewarding endeavor. Now that you are armed with the 

knowledge of what likes to be helpful to who you too will master the force mother nature has created for us all to enjoy! 

Take Care of YOU! 

 

Do you garden? What’s your  best advice or questions about gardening? I’s love to hear from you! Email me at alisa@yahoo.com    

Alisa Murray’s The Artist’s Palate Featured Beef Taco Soup

Auntie A’s Beef Taco Soup

You’ll need: 2lbs of lean ground beef

                    1 can of crushed tomatoes

                    1 can of kidney beans

                   1 can of black beans

                   1 can  of sweet kernel corn

                   1 onion diced

                   3 cloves of sliced thinly garlic or 2 tbsp minced

                   2 tbsp pepper and kosher salt

                   3 tbsp of taco seasoning

                   3 Quarts of water

                   You’ll also need to set up a little mini bar with the following:

Chips, salsa, chopped avocados, diced onions, sliced cilantro, grated cheeses, sour cream

On the stove brown the ground beef and drain. Add to it all ingredients plus 3 quarts of water and allow to simmer for at least an hour and a half. When ready to serve ladle into bowls and allow the children to serve into their own bowls the extras from the mini bar that you have created! They really enjoy this soup and it’s a breeze to make!

The List for May 2018 Top Ten things to do!

Alisa Murray’s “The List”  

 Top 10 Things to do in the month of May

  1. Go to your local garden center or online and purchase some Mexican olive trees, avocados and oranges. Now is the time to get new trees planted and don’t forget to prune the herbs and freeze them in ice cube trays for use later. 
  2. If you have not already done so it is now time to plan and pay for all the summer camps and activities for the children. While you are doing that think about going ahead and planning a little get away for you and your spouse too since the children will be gone. Now is as good a time as any to let you know that I have a new travel company and would be delighted to help you with getting discounts and special deals for travel! 
  3. Schedule yourself a day at the spa and get those toes and nails done, a facial and perhaps a new haircut and color too! Father’s Day is coming soon and you want to look HOT for papa bear:) 
  4. On my nightside table…I’m enjoying Night by Ellie Wiesel and Fourteen Flights of Fantasy Dreams and Visions with Jerry and Helen Weiss.
  5. Make my weed be gone spray for the yard but be careful because it does not have any discretion between your beautiful flowers and vegetables and actual WEEDS! Fill a spray bottle with half water and half white vinegar. If the weeds are really bad add a dollop of reg dish soap to make it more potent.
  6. Since bathing suit weather is right around the corner I am now replacing one meal with a replacement shake. I get mine from my doctor but as long as you are getting vitamins and minerals any one will certainly do! That will help control the calorie intake which in turn should theoretically help you drop a few pounds! 
  7. Make a big pot of my Beef Taco Soup with chips and avocados and invite the children to ask friend to a Saturday brunch. There’s no better time to be outside than now and if you have a pool even more fun! It’s the best days of our whole year! 
  8. Collect any books and magazines that you have finished reading and donate to the shelter or our public library. They are always looking for more of everything and that stuff tends to pile up in my hose so it’s probably piling up in yours too!
  9. take the family dog in for a good grooming and now is a great time too to update any shots they need for their annuals.
  10. As always take a moment to be in the moment with your children. Don’t let them take a phone to the family dinner table and ask them questions that will get them sharing and thinking about the big and little things in this life.