Third Story Apartment


We live in a world full of superstars, paparrazi and are surrounded by fame everywhere we look.
We go to Hollywood hoping to see Brad Pitt.
Or to New York City- crossing our fingers that we see John Mayer on the streets.
We go to concerts wishing on the stars that  there is a small chance that we meet the famous celebrity.
We scream at the top of our lungs at every move the super star makes on stage-
standing in awe that we are in the presence of greatness and fame.
We go to the big churches of Sydney to sneak a photo of the musicians that usher us into the presense of God.

As I laid in bed last night tossing and turning a thought came to me: We are glorifying these people.
The people we glorify are normal human beings.
Sure, they may be attractive, talented, or whatever else comes to mind.
But at the end of the day… they are a normal person.
Strip away the paparrazi and the crazy fans and they are normal- just like your typical next door neighbor.
Sidenote: Some of you may have crazy neighbors- but they are the exception. Think: typical.
We go through life- and everyday we make these people more famous by singing their music, discussing how
brilliantly they played a role in a movie, or voicing our admiration for their humanitiarian efforts around the world.

Lady Gaga recently came to Tulsa, Oklahoma- and it was a big deal.
I mean really for anyone to come to Tulsa is a big deal, it’s Oklahoma we are talking about after all.
[Pause: I just wanna say special thank you to the BOK for creating a venue!]
As I watched a video of Lady Gaga’s the countdown to the opening performance I realized something:
Lady Gaga has created an empire for herself.
Whether you are 8 years old or 80 years old- you most likely know this superstar’s name.
The countdown began.
The crowd was roaring with cheers.
The spotlight turned on the superstar.
And there she stood.
Her voice boomed as she stood still, not moving a muscle.
Suddenly, within a blink of an eye- she moved.
She switched positions.
The crowd went wild.
Not because she did anything outrageous or really even noteworthy,
but because she moved.
She held her new position as she belted out the next verse.
And then BOOM.
She moved.
Again, the crowd went crazy as they cheered.

It struck me as a I sat there watching these videos of Lady Gaga’s performance: we glorify these people to an unreal and unncessary extent.

I think about the Justin Beiber movie that came out- and all the fans that cried in the presence of J Beibs.
Sitting in the movie theater watching scenes flicker across the screen of girls crying and hyperventaliting because they
were so excited to be in the same area as the 16 year old superstar.
There was one scene that left me completely bewildered.
A 13 year old girl had gotten so excited that she had trouble breathing.
The paramedics were called in order to aid the girl.

I do have a point and its this: I think our culture has begun glorifying people more than we glorify our God.
We wish upon the stars to be in the precense of our favorite celebrities,
hoping that if we are lucky enough we’ll get two seconds with them to shake their hand, tell them how amazing they are, get their autograph, and if we are really lucky maybe we’ll even get a photo.
We get so excited about being in their presence that some of us cry, jump up and down, scream at the top of our lungs, or whatever.
The funny thing is- is these people, these celebrities, that we are glorifying haven’t even done anything for us.
They are just a normal person putting their talent to use on a platform.
Here’s what I’m getting at- we have the opportunity to always be in the precense of God.
He’s done the most beautiful thing on our behalf.
Out of his extravagant love for us, he sent His one and only Son as a sacfrice so that we may experience freedom and live.
We ought to live to make HIS name famous- but are we?
Are we getting excited about being in his precense?
Is his mere presence bringing us to tears?
Are we glorifying him the way he deserves to be glorified?

I leave you with a challenge:
Live to make His name famous +
Glorify God in your every movement.

Be exalted, Oh God, above the heavens, let your glory be all over the earth.
Psalm 57:11

Be Inspired + Create


The Simple Life

“Learn to do good.
Work for Justice.
Help the down-and-out.
Stand up for the homeless.
Go to bat for the defenseless.”
[Isaiah 1.15-17]

The month of June I spent some time in the nation that captured my heart; Cambodia. I went there knowing that my story would never be the same. I knew I would encounter faces that would leave an imprint on my heart. However, never in my wildest dreams would I imagine how much these faces would impact me. With smiles on their faces, they go through life with courage. Yet, what they are yearning for is someone to speak out on their behalf. They are orphans, widows, and people in need of love and compassion.

Here is a glimpse into their life.

Oh, Happiness

“It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about.” -Dale Carnagie

Lately, I’ve been pondering the idea of happiness. Here’s the fact:- life is gonna be a bit chaotic at some point. So despite what is happening around you- choose to be happy.

I want to write a book like this one day- of all the things that make me happy. Whether that be memories, ideas, places, people, concepts, words, I want to capture it all.

What a true statement. If we all not only believed this, but started living it out, we’d all be much happier and in the end the world would be a better place.

The truth is- we are all going to experience things that are somewhat “unpleasant”- but what would happen if we started not just letting these things happen to us- but started reacting to them in a positive way? If we started gaining something positive from every experience?

Honesty moment: This couldn’t be more true. The end.

As my kid sister always says: “Don’t worry, Be happy.” Let’s stop worrying about the little things going on in life- and just ENJOY life. It’s plain and simple.

Forever and Always.

Two words: Love this. I think we’ll be the most happy in life when we are free. Free from everything that weighs us down, by choosing to not let them take ownership over us.

How perfect is this?

In the end, I think we’ll be happy when we’re selfless. When we put the needs of others before our own. There’s nothing better than seeing someone else smile.

Be Inspired + Create

Back to Black

I have two words for you: Black walls.
Now, these days it seems like black walls are hard to come by in the suburban homes of America.
In the mid-west it seems as if you are surrounded by wallpaper.
And then everyone else keeps most of their walls pretty neutral for the most part…
But why not make a bold statement with your walls?
Now, I know what some of you may be thinking: Aren’t black walls “dark” and “teenagy”?
My answer: no.

Black walls can be classy! I’ll prove it to you.

I want this photo to be my room. The white dress, black wall, window, everything about this picture makes me smile.
Via Rue Magazine

Sooo… not only is this black, but it’s in a child’s bedroom. I love it. It makes everything in the room pop! Now, if it were me, not only would I paint this wall black, but I’d paint it with chalk paint. You know the stories about how the child took a crayon to the wall and “ruined” it? Well with a black chalk wall you wouldn’t have to worry about that… The kidlets could be free to let loose with their little imaginations.

This home office is simply wonderful. I can imagine myself sitting at this room writing my next best selller… (well technically I’d have to write my first best selller- don’t worry I’m workin on that!). But getting back on track, I think that mixing the black walls with neutral colors was perfection.

For some reason- I think this room is amazing. I love the black nook paired with the white furniture- and a hint of color.

I nominate this wall: My Favorite Wall Ever. First off, if you haven’t picked up on this yet- I LOVE chalk paint. Sidenote: Love might even be an understatement. Messy yet organized, this wall is the definition of perfection. It’s a constant reminder to create and be inspired. I have yet to find a place to recreate this wall, but mark my words, I will be recreating this in my home or office.

How darling is this? I’m debating breaking the rules at the apartment complex in order to create this. However, last time I did that- it didn’t end very well. So for now, I’ll stick to the rules and keep this in mind for the future. But, I love this idea for a bedroom. A little chalk paint goes a long ways.
Via Dana Tanamachi

So black walls. Are you convinced? Black may not be the first color that pops into your head for a wall in your room, but maybe now it will be.

Be Inspired + Create

Lights Will Guide You Home

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
[Fix you by Coldplay]

So to start off- If you haven’t heard “Fix You” by Coldplay- you need to get on that right away!! It is an amazingly beautiful song- but let’s be honest- anything that Coldplay produces is simply brilliant.

Moving on- lately, The Third Story Apartment has been fascinated by lights. So, I thought it’d be only be fair to show some of my obsessions when it comes to lights.

I’ll be honest- I have no words for this: other than “I LOVE”. I think it has to be one of the most unique light fixtures I’ve seen- and for that- I love it. Just maybe, I’ll try and recreate it. FYI: That’s a big maybe.
Via Hello Friend

Old milk bottles turned into a light fixture- what’s not to love? If I move offices any time soon – I’ll tell you one thing – these lights will be apart of the decor!

So very industrial- and anthro!

In the event that I had a little girl named Adelaide, this magical castle would definitely be in her room. And I think she’d simply love it. Simply magical.

This is so picture perfect. Farewell to your typical hanging lighting- and hello to a wax chandelier! Lovely, right?

Can’t you imagine these lights in your kitchen? I think if i lived in a modern-esk home I’d install these lights. They make everything seem so fresh. These lights definitely have my stamp of approval. A little DIY idea- just thinkin out loud here- but if you wanted to recreate this- but didn’t wanna spend the big bucks- get some light cords from Ikea and different size bulbs- and viola’!
Via Design Idesas Daily

It’s a little out there- and maybe a little unconventional, but these plastic milk gallon lights make for an eye catching light fixture. The possibilities are endless. Create a chandelier or hang them from the ceiling at different lengths. Now these lights may not be your first option to decorate your home- but for all you out there who design displays- this lighting idea might be the perfect option to grab attention!

One word (okay, maybe two): brilliant + phenomenal.
I just LOVE all the lights. There is beauty in the chaos. Lanterns, chandeliers, clear lights, small lights, big lights… It’s all there.

 Third Story Apartment has compiled a little playlist to go along with the theme of lights- enjoy!
Bight Lights _ Ben Rector
Turn Your Lights Down Low _ Colbie Caillat
When The Lights Go Down _ Ernie Halter
Gravity _ John Mayer
Leave the Light On _ Pricilla Ahn
Fix You _ Coldplay
Light My Candle _ Rent
The Light _ Sara Bareilles

Be Inspired + Create

Rhyme + Reason

The Third Story Apartment is a believer in the fact that not everything needs to have a Rhyme or Reason..
With that said- here are some things for you to enjoy- they have no rhyme or reason.

Sidenote: I could live in a field of flowers…

I think once we realize that inspiration is everywhere- we will become better creators.

Speaking of simple: If you haven’t checked out Bon Iver’s new album yet- you must. It’s divine.

I LOVE this color scheme. Something about it is just captivating.

Be Inspired + Create

May’s Own Little List.

Well – May has finally arrived- and with that said the Third Story Apartment has a new playlist for the month of May. It’s full of spring delight + primavera melodies. So live, love, and enjoy!

You Don’t Know Me – Ben Folds + Regina Spektor
You and I – Ingrid Michaelson
What I Wouldn’t Do – A Fine Frenzy
Wallet – Regina Spektor
Until You – Dave Barnes
Uncharted – Sara Bareills

Samson – Regina Spektor
Rhythm of Love – Plain White T’s
Parachute – Ingrid Michaelson
Overboard – Ingrid Michaelson
Naive – Lily Allen
Mr. Mailman – Ben Rector
Merry Happy – Kate Nash

Maybe – Ingrid Michaelson
Loving You Is Easy – Ben Rector
Looks So Easy – Dave Barnes
Let the Rain – Sara Bareilles
LDN – Lily Allen

Kiss that Grrrrl – Kate Nash
Jack Kerouac – Brooke Fraser
He Wasn’t There – Lily Allen
The Hat – Ingrid Michaelson
Foundations – Kate Nash
Folding Chair – Regina Spektor
Fidelity – Regina Spektor
Come on Get Higher – Matt Nathanson

P.S. – Take a listen to Jessie J. She’s perfect for this weather.

Be Inspired + Create.

Take A Risk.

Today: Live with courage- take a risk.

One Republic wrote, “Oh this has got to be the good life, This could really be a good life.” This is the good life. Life is what you make of it. So today, step out, live with courage, and take a risk. Life ought to be an adventure. Our lives are stories waiting to be written, and YOU have the ability to write and shape your story. So what will you do today to write a story of adventure?

No one great ever accomplished anything by being “comfortable”. All the great men and women that we hear about all had something in common: they took a risk. You see, comfortability is poison. Don’t let the fear of being “uncomfortable” paralyze you from living the life you always imagined. We all have dreams and desires inside of us that are a little… intimidating and maybe even nerve wracking to think about stepping towards. Maybe your dream is to move across the world and do international projects, start a business, write a book, or impact the world through music (obviously the list could continue but you get the picture). We think to ourselves “But what if I fail?”. Here’s a proposal- If you fail. Okay. So you failed. You learned a thing or two- and so you pick yourself back up and try again. But here’s a question- What if you don’t fail? What if you succeed?

The world is waiting for people to take risks. To show them how to really live life to the fullest. To inspire them. Will you be the risk taker that they look to?

Be Inspired + Create

The Tea Party

A tea party.
They’ve been around since the the 1600’s.
And perhaps one of the most sophisticated social events to attend.
It’s the event where one brings out the fancy china and prepares delightful gourmet pastries.

The Third Story Apartment has dreamt up the perfect primavera tea party…

Now, the location would be outside. Somewhere whimsical and dreamy.

Via Green Wedding Shoes

Of course the china would be inspired by florals… after all its spring.

Via Tea and Whimsey

The desserts would be divine. Red Velvet Cupcakes with Creme Cheese Frosting is a must. Perhaps, some blueberry scones…

and you could be sure that we would serve chocolate covered strawberries that are to die for.

As for attire, it is a must that the attendee’s come dressed for the occasion, adorned in beautiful dresses, fancy hats, and jewelry.

Via Green Wedding Shoes

This social gathering will be delightful… after all what is life without community?

Be inspired + Create