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My love affair with magazines puts me in yet another category to be titled, “The Last of a Dying Breed.” Much like my affection for snail mail, non-smart phones, and boutonnieres, I continue to subscribe to trends that are not rooted in present time.

One of my highlights of traveling back to Los Angeles is that my dining table is full of back dated magazines that are a welcome relief among piles of bills and junk mail. Before I can unpack my suitcase, I am flipping through a Bon Appetit to see what seasonal recipe will catch my eye. “Roasted Chicken with Kimchi Smashed Potatoes”? Yum! Then I come to my senses and realize a 16 ounce jar of Napa cabbage kimchi is more of a culinary commitment than I want to invest in during a week long trip.

I thumb through the latest Los Angeles Magazine  to see what I have been missing, I rummage through Vanity Fair and skim a few articles while rubbing cologne and perfume ads along my forearm until the smell becomes nauseating, and I always seem to dog ear some exotic location in an issue of Travel + Leisure.

I don’t even mind the subscription cards that fall frequently from the pages of a new magazine. I use them to bookmark features and stories I don’t want to miss.

Among the usual suspects of subscriptions I can’t seem to live without are a well curated group of design magazines I look to for inspiration. It’s one of the ways I keep my finger on the pulse of the interior design world. A staple for me is Elle Decor and I immediately make my way to the “Shortlist” which features 12 things a selected designer cannot live without. I’m always fascinated by the responses; some in their extravagance and some in their simplicity. I often wonder what my list would look like if Elle Decor were to ask me my opinion regarding my favorite things. My Tissot watch from my friend Abby? Prismacolor pencils that I use to sketch out my ideas? Armenian Burning Papers from Santa Maria Novella”? The Dibbern china I refuse to save for special occasions? An orchid? Santa Barbara? A good pair of boot cut Levis?

I know one thing that would definitely make my list as it accompanies me almost everywhere I go: my Moleskine journal that houses my thoughts, ideas, dreams, and designs.


I have lost count of how many journals I have accrued over the years. My bound partners in crime have carried me through all the events in my life; both significant and uneventful. I am half way through my current volume and it is becoming filled with things that continue to inspire me.

A few resolutions for 2014..


Lyrics that really sing to me…


A farm table feast I wish I had been invited to…



A cabin I would like to summer at…


A sketch of a pool I helped to design…


The menu to a restaurant where I had an unbelievable meal (I’m still dreaming about the Shrimp Toast Sandwich with Herbs and Sriracha Mayo)…


A photo I found at an estate sale of a nameless single man and his dog…


Another photo from a different estate sale of yet another nameless single man…


And an odd collage of worn out lottery scratchers and a “How To Say The Rosary” cheat sheet…


Together the collection is bizarre. Separately, they inspire me in different ways.

At the beginning of every new journal I always write myself a letter and place it within an envelope. 



When I started my current journal I decided that in lieu of a letter, I would gift myself a quote to remind myself of my priorities and quest for personal growth. This is the quote:


“The two most difficult things to convey through actions are “I love you” and “I’m sorry”; and the single most difficult thing to say is “help me”. Cherish those who trust you with all three because it takes real courage to be so honest, so humble and so venerable”.

So now the BIG question…


Read more from Scott on his blog at County Seat Living!

Read more from Scott on Her View From Home Here (his stuff is great, guys! Take a minute and browse through if you can!)

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

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Scott Rager

Robert Scott Rager is a Nebraska native who returned home to start a boutique business called "County Seat Living". His personal goal for "County Seat" is to translate the lifestyle design he was creating in Los Angeles for the past twelve years and apply it to the sensibility of the Great Plains. Whether he's writing about decorating, homemade ice cream, floral creations, event planning or product design, he wants the personality and style of Nebraska to shine bright.

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