Oprah Fixed my Toilet

Damnit, Oprah!

Leave it to Oprah to get me thinking early on a Monday and still have me thinking on Wednesday. Even if you didn’t watch the Golden Globes Sunday night, like me, you woke up Monday morning and got bombarded by her powerhouse speech of women empowerment. Maybe you’re a women. Maybe you’re teaching a little girl what it means to be a woman. Maybe you have a girlfriend, a wife, a mother, a coworker that’s a woman. Maybe you’re all of those things. Either way, there’s no one not affected by this sudden surge of women empowerment. Perhaps it’s because the trail had already been blazed for me, (I did grow up watching Oprah on TV every day after elementary school) or maybe it’s because I’m not trying to be the CEO of a major corporation, or because I’m not a politician, or an actress, but I don’t think being a woman is too bad. I’m not feeling any major social injustice. Of course, I’m 100% on board with things like better maternity leave AND better paternity leave.  Absolutely, there’s a hell of a lot of men out there who look at women as a tool for their own sexual gratification, but there’s also a hell of a lot of men who don’t. Are there gender inequalities and problems? Of course. We can always improve, but let’s not pretend for one minute that it’s an easy task for any man to become the CEO of a major corporation. It takes knowledge, sacrifice, guts, and grit, and belief in yourself.  I think if Oprah has me thinking about anything, she has me thinking about my own belief in myself. I don’t feel like, as a woman, doors are just closing in front of me, but sometimes I feel that subtle, quiet voice inside of me closing the doors all on my own.

Last week, when the weather was insanely cold, my car battery decided it was done with life. There I was all alone…stuck. It’s not like changing a car battery is hard….but I had never done it. No one ever taught me to change a car battery. I think it’s one of those “You’re a woman. You’ll have a man that will help you with things like that.” Sort of things. Except I don’t have a man at my beck and call all the time, and I have places to be!  I felt so frustrated and trapped, but I did nothing about it. I stayed home all day until a man could rescue me later that evening. I’m fully capable of changing a car battery, but I didn’t. I didn’t even try. For 30 years I’ve been groomed and taught to make things clean and pretty but not how to make them actually work.

Jolie is obsessed with baby dolls. She feeds them, cuddles them, puts them to bed, tells them how much she loves them. It’s the sweetest damn thing I’ve ever seen. I think something inside of her loved baby dolls before I ever encouraged it, but I can’t help but praise her for how good of a “mommy” she is… So now, baby dolls are her life. It’s so easy to fall into encouraging gender rolls, and I really don’t think there’s anything wrong with me encouraging her to play with dolls. Being a mom is the most wonderful, rewarding, challenging, and important job there is. If she decides to be a mother one day, I will be so proud of her, I just don’t want to leave out the rest of the picture for her.

Last weekend, her dad took her rock climbing, and I seriously can’t be more grateful. Mommy plays baby dolls with her, but Daddy takes her rock climbing. Mostly she just dove head first onto the floor mats, because she is 3, but what an important lesson in capability. I want her to know she’s capable of hard things. She doesn’t have to sit at home and wait for a man to come rescue her and change her car battery, or make her laws, or run her company. Maybe we just weren’t taught to believe in ourselves.

I’m glad Oprah has me thinking so much…Last night she fixed my toilet. Well I did, but I promise you, it was because of her. I watched a youtube video, took pieces apart, and fixed it, because I knew I could. I knew I should. I’m capable, and I want Jolie to see that women are capable. I have hope in society. We’re making way for women, for minorities, for everyone. We’re only going to get better, I really believe that. I don’t think society will close doors for Jolie, I just want to be sure she doesn’t end up closing the doors herself.

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2018 Trends

Well, I’m having about the Monday-est Tuesday ever! It was -12 degrees when I woke up, and my car decided that’s just way too cold to let me leave the house. Stupid car! I had plans of getting this year started right! I was going to head to the gym and then get the work day going. Instead I’m back in bed, under covers, watching a kid’s tv show with my main girl. OK…maybe its not so bad, but uhgg I hate my car.

It’s not a bad day to be stranded really. It’s a new year and all the retailers are rolling out new product, and since I’m in the retail industry, it’s important I keep up! Here are the trends I’m seeing for spring, trends that I think will last a good portion of 2018!

Ceramics EVERYWHERE

We all fell in love with ceramics last year and it’s no different thing year, except in 2018 we’re going to be ceramic happy and just have it everywhere! Case in point, this pendant light from Urban Outfitters. LOVE! I’m a huge ceramics fan AND a huge interesting lighting fan. This is like a dream come true!!

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Hollywood Glam

Things are about to get a whole lot more lux and shiny around here. I started to see it happening a little in 2017, but 2018 seems to be the year that’s all about bringing the lux back! Shiny metal finishes, velvet fabrics, and lots of curves are making their way back.

Bet you thought you’d never see a curved sofa again! They’re back! Even Crate and Barrel has a curved couch!

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West Elm’s curved settee.

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And Urban Outfitters has this Hollywood Glam swivel chair.

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More than just marble! 

2017 was all about the white marble! Who doesn’t love white marble? But in 2018 we’re making way for a little more drama.

Like this black marble top table with lots of movement from cb2.

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And my personal favorite….terrazzo!

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I’m secretly hoping and expecting to see speckles EVERYWHERE. Even the animal hides we choose are going to be more speckled…I think?!

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All about the details. 

While clean lines will always be king, I think we will all be looking for just a little more drama this year. We will be trading in our tulip tables for something with just a little extra detail, like this table from CB2.

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Distressed rugs.

I think we were all obsessed with vintage or distressed rugs by the middle of 2017, but it’s not going anywhere. Retailers have caught on hard and are giving us more and more distressed options.

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Move over neutrals. 

The hardest one for me is….things are going to get more colorful. Pink seems to be the new second option, and I think we’re going to see more jewel tones and pastels this year than last.

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Well there it is, the design trends I see happening! We will see which ones really take off, but these are the ones I’m predicting will be hot things in 2018!

 

 

Retail Madness

What is it about this time of year that just makes us go retail crazy?! I guess when you’re all cooped up inside avoiding 0 degree weather you want a bunch of “stuff” to easy your winter blues…at least that’s what it is for me! Every year I promise myself I’m going to invest in some serious winter gear and get the heck outside. I have yet to do it… maybe next year? In the meantime I’ll just go retail crazy. I’m a HUGE Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, Free People Fan! I just love everything they have. They’re running an extra 30% off sale stuff right now, and I have some serious envy. I thought I would share my favorites with you!

This leather/ linen combo has me all heart eyes!! I just can’t decide which I love more… the yellow or the blush! 30% off has these full grain leather and linen chairs down to 266.25!

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I adore a unique rocking chair. How sweet would this be in a nursery?! It’s down to $419.30 which you can’t beat for something so cool!

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It’s taking about all of my willpower to not buy this beautiful headboard for Jolie’s bedroom. That fabric is seriously gorgeous and it’s down to $140.02.

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Have I blogged about this chair before, or maybe I’ve just daydreamed about it enough that it feels like I blogged about it? I’m in love. It’s down to $315.

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I love a unique mirror, and this sweet little set is down to $69.30.

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I generally love anything that looks sculptural. Therefore, I love this guy! I picture two of them together to make a coffee table.

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Love Love Love this dish set! Down to $70.

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So much yes to this shower curtain for only $24.50!

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So many great wall shelves like this one for $49.

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Adore this body pillow for $49.

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There it is! The best of Urban and Anthropologie 30% off sale items!

 

 

Leather Lovelies

Is it just me or does every room need a leather accent chair? In my book they all do! I love me some awesome leather accent chairs, and I’m obsessed with sourcing some truly beautiful and unique leather lovelies. Check out the lineup of some of my absolute favorites out there right now. Now which one should I get for myself?!?!

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  1. The Horace Chair 
  2. Leather Lounge Available through Shine Design Home
  3. Metal Papasan Chair 
  4. Atelier Leather Lounge Chair
  5. Slouchy Leather Lounge Available through Shine Design Home 
  6. Woven Suede Wishbone Available through Shine Design Home 
  7. Rhys Chair
  8. Black Leather and Wood Chair Available through Shine Design Home 

 

Bah Humbug

I’m about to bah humbug you big time over here. Christmas is annoying me extra this year. Everyone around me keeps asking what to get Jolie and me and the answer is nothing. We are so so so so so so fortunate. WE NEED NOTHING. Seriously, there’s not a single thing we need. In fact we’re drowning in a bunch of things we don’t need! I cleaned out my basement last weekend and THREW AWAY an embarrassing amount of things that I hadn’t touched in years. It was all just collecting dust in some dirty corner of my basement. Embarrassing maybe isn’t a strong enough word. I was disappointed in myself. Why do I have so much stuff?!?! I CANNOT WAIT to get the Christmas tree out of the house and with is going a bunch of stuff that is nothing more than that…STUFF. I’m longing for some empty corners and breathing room. I like to call myself a really bad minimalist. I always feel so inspired by minimalism, but I’m pretty terrible at it. Just maybe if I flood myself with enough beautiful minimalism it will rub off on me.

Can we all just boycott Christmas consumerism and refine what we own? (Probably not the right stance for a store owner to take….opps…oh…well.)

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If those pics don’t make you want to clean out more than just your basement…I don’t know what will. I’m going to be doing some major cleaning out after the holidays!

Blog Nostalgia

I LOVE designing for other people. #dreamjob I can’t even fathom how I got so lucky that this is my job, but every now and again I get a little nostalgic for the days when I just sort of dreamed up designs for no one in particular. Maybe I’m sort of nostalgic for my blogging days in general. So, today I’ve got a heavy dose of nostalgia brought to you by pieces I’m obsessing over lately!

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Fist up… This SD Home sectional.

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I’m over sectionals people. OVER IT! Except for this one. I’ve got googly heart eyes for this one! Sometimes a room’s layout just calls for a sectional, and this one is about the only one I like these days. Those bench cushions and no arms keeps it clean minimal and updated… LOVE! Available through our store Shine Design Home!

Possibly my favorite thing in the world is a woven accent chair! They just scream my style!

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I’ve been in love with this art from Urban Outfitters for a bit now… Why don’t more people want girl booty in their living room? I for one do…

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I love that this photo from Minted gets geometric without being too bold.

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Crushing HARD on this chair from Anthropologie. It’s a dream chair!

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I’m trying to get every client ever to use this coffee table. It’s the most gorgeous rustic metal with a global shape and feel.

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I can hardly handle coffee tables. I’m a kick my feet up on an ottoman kinda girl, but if your going to have a coffee table, it might as well be an indestructible metal one. Let’s be honest, I’m going to kick my feet up either way. Available through Shine Design Home!

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Why not have some little metal side tables to go with it? Available through SD Home.

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I think every room needs to have one piece with a mid-century feel. Love this SD Home light to bring in that feel.

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I made my boyfriend buy three of these pillows, because…um…they’re such a beautiful pillow! Available at SD Home.

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It’s really only a matter of time before I make him buy this pretty rust pillow, too.

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This completely pointless designing is maybe not all that pointless. It’s nice to remember of exactly what my own vibe is. Maybe I’ll keep it up? Or maybe not…It’s hard to say. Either way it was fun, and now I’m going to go daydream in the corner about buying myself that Anthropologie chair.

I’m an Ostrich

It’s that time of year, everyone! The time where I post a random blog post about lessons I’m reluctantly trying to force myself to learn. So, here it goes….I hope everyone out there can relate.

I’ve told this story before, but it’s worth a revisit. I needed to revisit it…..

When I was living in South Africa, I went on a game drive with some friends I had made there. We were out admiring all the wildlife, and when we came to the ostrich, the driver told us what it’s like to ride an ostrich. Apparently, you get on and just hold on for dear life. What a funny thought, right? My friend then said, “Every time I see an ostrich, I think of that Bible passage in Job.”

“The wings of the ostrich flap joyfully,
though they cannot compare
with the wings and feathers of the stork.
She lays her eggs on the ground
and lets them warm in the sand,
unmindful that a foot may crush them,
that some wild animal may trample them.
She treats her young harshly, as if they were not hers;
she cares not that her labor was in vain,
for God did not endow her with wisdom
or give her a share of good sense.
Yet when she spreads her feathers to run,
she laughs at horse and rider.”

I looked at those big, ugly, dumb birds, and suddenly the thought of riding them wasn’t so funny. It seemed awesome. Riding an ostrich might be on my bucket list now. Those birds can run. They suck at pretty much everything else, but they were born to run.

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I took Jolie to the zoo a week ago and there was that ostrich up close just sort of just staring at us. I’ve been thinking about that dang, ugly bird ever since. Silly, right? Here comes the lesson part…

I legitimately can’t remember the last time I sat on my couch. Most nights I don’t have the opportunity to even think about sitting down until like 9pm, and that’s only if I choose to ignore the piles of laundry I’ve been consistently ignoring for a week already. 2 hours of commute a day, and consistent 30 minute long temper tantrum stand offs with my toddler have me in the weeds, and I’m struggling to find a way out. I actually cried over a road closure yesterday. Actual. Tears. EVERY road that I take to and from the babysitters and to and from work is closed, and then yesterday my detour was closed, too. Instant tears, because 10 extra minutes is like gold… travel across the country in your horse and buggy amounts of gold.

I have high standards for myself. I have a career that I love. It’s important to me. I HAVE to have a clean house. I just do. I HAVE to get to the gym on a regular basis. It’s a non comprisable for me. Screw being skinny and fit…It’s just about sanity at this point. It’s important to me to provide healthy meals for my daughter. It’s important that I spend time with her and interact with her. Not to mention sleep…trust me…NO ONE wants me to compromise on sleep. I’m somehow managing to do it all, except just not very well. Every single one of my “non comprisable” things is suffering because there just isn’t enough time in the day. I’m tired and constantly feel like I’m failing.

I had a moment the other night when I got into bed without ever sitting down for the like the billionth night in a row and though, “Holy shit, I think this is just parenting. I think this might be just how it is. You just don’t ever sit down.”

I put so much pressure on myself to be perfect, but I’m really just an ostrich. As desperately as I want to be that girl who bakes and brings you cookies because you had a bad day…I’m not. When the hell do you guys find time to bake, anyway?!?! And how are you good at it? I can’t think of a single time my cookies ever turned out like my grandmas. Why can’t I ever remember to send “Thank You” cards?!?! I should be a Thank You card person. As much as I wish I was making Jolie a homemade Halloween costume…My mom bought it for me, because I don’t even know when I would have time to go out and buy one…let alone make it!!! Do you see all these grammatical errors?! I desperately wish I could commit the proper ways to use commas to memory, but I can’t. I won’t.

I’m just an ostrich. It feels like I suck at everything, but like the ostrich, I have that one thing and damn it… it’s enough. I’m enough.

I’m in the weeds, and the weeds are my new home. I think I’m done feeling like I’m failing. What a waste of precious brain space?! If we have clean underwear…I’m winning. Peanut butter sandwiches and frozen broccoli once a week is TOTALLY acceptable. My toddler eats broccoli…I’m winning. Cookies are bad for you. Thank God I suck at making them…winning. I usually only have like 30 minutes at the gym and at least 10 minutes of it I get caught talking to someone, but I went….winning.

Why did we all start believing we have to be good at everything anyway? That’s dumb. I’m an ostrich.