Inspiration, Travel

The Importance of Taking Time Out

September 10, 2008

Hello friends! How are you today? All is well here in Germany, we are experiencing summer weather still so it’s warm and very sunny. It’s been really hard for me to stay home and work! One year ago today Thorsten’s oma passed away so we took his mother out for the day to ease the sadness for her. My mother-in-law is such a wonderful lady, every moment I spend with her is always so refreshing, so the least I could do was to take the day off and spend time with her. It was such a pleasure, we went to the zoo here and had such a great time enjoying the animals and even enjoying dinner there under the warm sunshine at this traditional German restaurant dining outside on a small farm. Would you like to see a few photos that I took today?

The Importance of Taking Time Out

It never ceases to amaze me how much inspiration one can draw from observing animals and nature in general, I feel so energized and creative after spending the day at the zoo – the least likely place I thought I would find this sort of creative energy. Funny how this is, don’t you think?

The Importance of Taking Time Out

I still want to write all about my weekend in Amsterdam and the blogger meet and greet, but I’m still waiting for my husband to re size the images so that I can upload them to Flickr so please be patient with me. I will definitely be blogging about Am’dam soon though, I have so much to tell you!

The Importance of Taking Time Out

The Importance of Taking Time Out

All this talk about nature and inspiration, I’d like to ask you… what have you done lately to relax and recharge? It is vital to take time away from the normal routine — something that doesn’t involve a cell phone, computer, or entering a retail space! For instance, after walking around a zoo for six hours I am now on my bed blogging (my desk hasn’t arrived yet), sipping chai, and listening to a new CD (Nylon: 10 Lieder ?ber Liebe) as I watch the sunset and feel the warm summer air blowing through my window. I have candles flickering on the window sill and ah yes… this is the life. This special time right before the sun goes down to write, reflect on my day, and enjoy the good feeling of being alive and to live on a planet with so much to explore and enjoy. We are so lucky just to be alive and healthy, to have our families and friends, to enjoy the luxury of sitting before a computer and communicating with people in other parts of the world.

The Importance of Taking Time OutThe Importance of Taking Time OutThe Importance of Taking Time OutThe Importance of Taking Time Out

So again I ask, what have you done lately to refresh yourself? Do you have a special routine? What do you like to do to chill? Why do I care? Well truth is I like to hear from you because I learn? a lot from the comments left on this blog. You may look at decor8 as an inspiring blog, but I look at all of you as inspiring people that I enjoy being around here each and every day. I look forward to your comments and learning about you. Never be too shy to share!

See the little cuddle action above? Aren’t they the sweetest little creatures? I cannot stop looking at them… They look like little people in fur coats. :)

(photographs taken by holly becker for decor8)


  • Reply Kelly E. September 10, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    This reminds me that I need to get out and refresh myself more often! I’m so absorbed in doing doing doing, creating, designing that I forget to just go out and chill. When I do remember to take time, I love to sit outside with my husband while he plays guitar. I love to sit outside and read. Being outside really recharges me. And beautiful music.

    I love your pictures! Those monkeys made me think of me and my hubby. I always call him monkey! Hahahahaha…

  • Reply Little Paper Dog September 10, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    I love to relax outside in the shade with my 8 month old son. He playfully picks chunks of grass with his little fists while I keep him from eating it.

    Little Paper Dogs last blog post: Modish Monthly Giveaway

  • Reply Grace@PoeticHome September 10, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    What a lovely post Holly! I espeically enjoyed the photo with the flags and elephant statue — it is a bit surreal :)

    You are totally right about needing to step away and rejuvenate. Each day, my husband and I try to meet for lunch somewhere inspirational. Yesterday, we enjoyed our lunch at a Japanese bonsai garden and then took a short stroll through the San Diego Museum of Art :) Needless to say, I was totally refreshed and productive for the remaining work day!

    I’m looking forward to hearing about your lovely Amsterdam trip! :D

  • Reply Shawnna September 10, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    I make a point of trying to lay down in my bed and get 6-8 hours of sleep every night. Isn’t that what everyone else does? ;)

    My personal time outs are 1. working out at the gym, 2. riding my bike to work. Sitting and relaxing doesn’t really hit my refresh button. Instead it makes me think of all the other things I need to be doing.

  • Reply Natalie Jane September 10, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    I drink diet coke and blog while my daughter naps . Makes me feel in touch with my co-workers (other stay at home moms)

    Natalie Janes last blog post: My Birthday

  • Reply simone September 10, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    Such a great little piece on taking time out and on music as well. I have been feeling really reflective lately…I honestly think it is because I have been listening to country music. Not kidding– country! Some of it is silly but there are those songs that really tug at the strings. Many of them do make you stop and think– and realize that you need to appreciate and really live each day. We are all blessed to be alive and healthy, thinking and creating and loving and laughing–and crying too. So, I have been waking up early when everyone else is still sleeping and the house is still, sipping coffee (a lot of it) and listening to music–country music.
    Don’t get me wrong, by the afternoon the craziness is in full swing and we are going with recent pop and rock (this comes with having two young girls!) mixed in with anything fun from Michael Jackson Thriller up ’til today….but I do love those country music mornings!

    simones last blog post: Floral Luxe– A custom backpack- diaper bag- messenger bag in fabulous fall colors accented with brown velvet ribbon and a vintage brooch

  • Reply Cl?udia Hein September 10, 2008 at 6:03 pm

    How do I refresh myself?
    I drink some wine, hear good music, play with my cats, watch some good movie, or surf the web. Thank you for remind me… I think I need more relax and less work!

    Cl?udia Heins last blog post: that’s my breakfast

  • Reply Denise Smith September 10, 2008 at 6:06 pm

    It is hard to find time now that the school season has begun. With two adolescent children, working, and blogging, the time can just fly away. In the evening I try to chill for at least an hour with my husband. We usually watch TV. I am still strapped to the computer, but sometimes I play Freecell. (Is that kinda embarrassing to admit??)

    Denise Smiths last blog post: Orange Again

  • Reply magikquilter September 10, 2008 at 6:57 pm

    Sitting down with a lovely tray of china at tea time. Cloth napkins…..fine china…nothing better and then there is the time it takes for the ritual, no slopping tea bags in and out!

    I love the monkeys and their colours are divine!

    Um Holly if I can learn how to resize photos anybody can…unless it’s hubby’s special contribution to your work? I did not even know how to send an email 15 months ago and now I am self hosted blogwise…..yeah!!!

    magikquilters last blog post: 100th Post and Giveaway

  • Reply Christine Martinez September 10, 2008 at 9:25 pm

    I love to pack my dog Miles in his bag and take him to Whole Foods. I build a fantastic salad at their salad bar (with extra chicken for Miles), then head over to the lake across the street and enjoy a great lunch on the grass with my furry best friend. We call it a “Miles and Mommy Day.” It’s the most relaxing and peaceful thing I do and I value every minute I have with my four-legged friend. :)

  • Reply Simone Walsh September 10, 2008 at 9:36 pm

    Gosh, I’m terrible at taking proper time out. It’s having a profound impact on my health and I have to sort it out. Recently I told my doctor that one of my aims to try to improve my health is to take one day off a month – she shook her head in disbelief that I’m currently failing to do this and that my aim is such a modest one!

    Although I’m just not sure anymore what I would do with free time … but I’m trying to figure it out!

    I do read good fiction for at least a little bit of time every day before I go to sleep, so I guess that’s something I currently do.

  • Reply Mia September 10, 2008 at 10:10 pm

    I have a Saturday ritual I love! I usually sleep in until 9:30, run errands (but only “fun” ones like going to Target to pick up some plants, or to the farmer’s market). After lunch outside at a cute little restaurant my fiance and I love, I grab a coffee at Starbucks and indulge in one of my guilty pleasures-trashy mags like US magazine or OK. I read outside until it’s almost dark and then go out to a Tapas dinner or make something at home. I love to travel, but I’m also a big homebody, and love doing things around the house that I don’t get to do during the week. In winter, I like to light some candles, turn on soft music, and bake something yummy like lemon scones or brownies. (If it’s raining outside this becomes all the more cozy!). It’s so important to take time out to just simply relax. That way you have enough energy for the rest of the week, and something to look forward to as you’re dragging yourself out of bed Monday morning!

  • Reply jo September 11, 2008 at 12:21 am

    My time out is blogging.. I have two young boys aged 5.5 and 3.5, and run an online store, so thay are my ‘jobs’. Blogging connects me with like minded people and fills me with inspiration. I also LOVE art galleries and visiting the Marina – have you tried it?? – everyone who is there is pretty much there to have a nice relaxing time, spend time with firends, do a little fishing etc.. it puts something into the air that makes me feel centered and calm : )

    jos last blog post: n is for……

  • Reply Jamie September 11, 2008 at 12:43 am

    This is a timely post – I’ve been searching for creative ways to take time out. One that I’ve used a bit lately is planning trips to places I want to visit – I can’t always find the time to go, but I love reading up on the locations and their history. It allows me to escape to another place for a while and to let my imagination run wild. One day I’ll have more time to travel for pleasure, but for now I’ll just research and dream.

    Jamies last blog post: Lyrical Journey: Listen

  • Reply Clare September 11, 2008 at 2:12 am

    Love the mummy and baby elephant photo!
    I try to have one cup of coffee a day where I just enjoy sitting down and drinking it, rather than rushing round the house tidying up at the same time.
    i find one beautiful photo in a magazine or on a blog or website and leave the page open on my computer so I can look at it throughout the day.
    I try to do at least one creative thing a day whether it is making a card, drawing an idea for something to sew, or baking a cake. Just something that is not ‘routine’.
    Lastly, I try to keep one room in the house tidy so there is somewhere to escape to and be calm! It doesn’t always work, but it is worth trying!

    Clares last blog post: citrus colours…

  • Reply Coco September 11, 2008 at 3:20 am

    What a wonderful picture did you took!! They’re beautifull and I love the flags with all the animals print on them.
    I love the zoo and try normally to go once or twice a year to a different zoo in the Netherlands. Last year we went to the Apenheul – (monkey hill) some monkeys jump around free on the same path you walk on. So funny :) and this year we went to the Dolfinarium (something like seaworld but without the killer whales). I love dolphins and they had two little babys swimming around. We also went to a normal zoo this year, but seeing these pictures makes me want to go again.

    Enough about zoo’s. Every week I visit my mother and she lives on Flevoland (next to Amsterdam) and I drive over the dike. At some places there are naturally formed islands were some birds are nesting. It looks out of place though, a little bit morbid but I love it. The few tree’s that rise from the water are without any leaves and look totally dead but they are surrounded with hundreds and hundreds of black birds! It a little bit surrealistic to see the skeletons of the trees covered with birds… I cant explain it otherwise. Everytime I see it it touches me and moves me so deep! And everytime it looks different with the sky being blue, grey or pink and the water green, blue or grey… I always want to take a picture of it but its hard to stop on the highway ;-) I always wonder too how many people see the beauty of this daily passed island, the cars always seem to rush by me while passing this nature of art.

    The other place that always inspire me is, not very suprising, the ocean. I love the see and I’m jealous at everybody who lives close to it. I just have to do with the IJselmeer. probably this weekend we will go to Scheveningen, the most visited beachtown of the Netherlands i think. I adore it.

    And now I’m going to read the other comments :)

  • Reply Coco September 11, 2008 at 3:32 am

    I found a picture taken at the same place i talk about in my first post:

  • Reply Lexy September 11, 2008 at 5:11 am

    Oh that last picture! So gorgeous. The front little one has so much character!! (they both do!) – what is he/she? Do you know?

    That’s it. I’m so overdue for a zoo trip.

    Lexys last blog post: Happy Day

  • Reply mandy September 11, 2008 at 5:52 am

    i love to read ( i am a bookworm so to say-i read a lot and very fast) and have a cup of tea on my coffe table. and with candles lighted and a cozy blanket and cuddled in my favourite chair it feels so right. well, this is not only happen in winter. but in summer, and now, i sit on my balcony (don’t know the right word in english) and enjoy the sun and the warm weather. and gives me a good feeling and i realised, that i really need this time off from everything ;-)

  • Reply decor8 September 11, 2008 at 6:00 am

    the bottom photo shows monkeys known as “gibbons”. i think they are from asia. i find them amazing — i kept thinking of the theatre as i watched them as they look like something you’d imagine in a play, like they are wearing costumes. i absolutely love them!

  • Reply Juliette September 11, 2008 at 6:25 am

    I cleaned my desk, finally. Which doesn’t sound relaxing, but it was gross outside, my husband was using our only computer, and I suddenly got in the mood. Once excavated, I started organizing, and once organized, I started to work on a project I’d started over a year ago – clipping and filing recipes from my US cooking magazines.

    And then some of the food pictures just killed me with how beautiful they were, so I started pulling those into a separate pile. I’m not sure quite yet what to do with the food images, but I think I’ll put them on the inside of my cupboard doors next to my conversion tables to perk up the inside a bit. I may do a middle-school esque collage with all the little pieces and hang it in my pantry….somehow, kinda fun and relaxing!

    Usually my relaxing time is used reading blogs online. It’s a break from all the German I hear and a chance to go back to my mother-tongue. =)

  • Reply Trina September 11, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    My husband and live in an loft apartment, so the only door’s we have are to the bathroom’s and closet’s. It’s definatley challenging to find a space to just zone out and forget about stuff. If kicking him out of the loft for a night fails (just kidding sweetie), I’ll usually plug myself into my iPod or computer speaker’s while surfing or blogging the internet as my husband watches TV.

    If I get bored of the computer, we’ll sit on the couch together and i’ll knit while he watches football/soccer/golf, or whatever sport happen’s to be on at that moment in time. I’m not a big TV person except for a few regular show’s like Lost, and the odd design show. I’d much rather read a book, knit, or tackle a crazy sudoku puzzle.

    When I was younger, there was a lakeside park I used to walk to, of course plugged into my walkman, and just sit on the rocks and literally do nothing. There was a gorgeous view of the Toronto skyline from there. You can see it here:


    Trinas last blog post: LOVE this house tour on design*sponge …..

  • Reply Elizabeth September 11, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    I adore the picture of the monkeys (or rather the gibbons)!

    Autumn is a great time to reflect, refresh and get back to basics.

    Today I treated myself to a pile of magazines and enjoyed reading them at a coffee shop. I try to drink something different everytime, and today was the turn of a ‘Espresso Machiato’, which was lovely.

    I find that clearing out your wardrobe can also be very refreshing, and rewarding, especially when the season is changing.


  • Reply Carrie September 12, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    Holly, longtime reader, first time commenter. Loved this post and it really spoke to me and ushered me out of lurkville to finally comment ;)

    I am in a similar state to Simone W above. I have let the “have to’s” and the “to do’s” take life over for too long and now my health is suffering for it. I read blogs and look through magazines and search and search and search for things that will inspire me and make me feel happy. What I haven’t been able to do is translate that into everyday life. I am working on it, working on remembering the things that do bring me joy, allow me to relax and refresh my energy (which can easily be sucked dry in this day and age!)

    One thing that I really do enjoy doing is sitting out in the sun on my deck (on my fabu new west elm lounger!!) with a TON of magazines, some homemade lemonade and just lounging. Feeling the cool breeze and the warm goodness of the sun on my skin and diving into the pages of the magazines imagining the many different lives I could lead…. ok, that’s it, I’m scheduling this in for this weekend…it’s supposed to be 80 and sunny!

    Also to comment on the lovely zoo pictures, I am an animal lover through and through and seeing these pics made me smile and reminded me how important it is to ensure continued protection for such beautiful creatures.

  • Reply sally-rah September 14, 2008 at 1:33 am

    I take my bunny mary-kate to the park so she can lie in the grass. She never hops around but just sits still and eats grass and I sit still with her.

    sally-rahs last blog post: Pay it forward.

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