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A Moment to Remember

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014


This day one year ago was a horrible one for those living in Boston, those who have ever lived in Boston, those who ran or have run in our marathon and those hoping to someday. Actually, it was just a horrible day for everyone as member of the human race.  But as a Bostonian, I am still so proud of how my city reacted on that day and every day since. I cannot believe it’s been a year and at the same time it feels like it was so very long ago.  Every time I walk by the bombing sites while running errands in Back Bay I get a chill down my spine. To remember what happened in the places I’ve walked a million times still seems unfathomable to me.

But I am looking forward to seeing the incredible turnout for this year’s race- there are SO many runners (thousands more than last year) and so many people who want to go and show support to the victims and those running for them.  If you are looking for a great way to help fund someone’s run check out She Gives Boston’s Roll Call for Runners which lists tons of individual runners and the charities they are raising money for. Pick a random stranger and donate $10 to their run in a show of support- it’s such a nice random act of kindness we all can partake in.  This video explains it all…

And if you happen to know someone running this year my friend Jennifer Hill of JHill Design is making these fantastic prints you can order and personalize for your runner (including their time!)  Personalization is free through the month of April if you use the code RUN2014 at checkout.  This is such a fantastic gift for someone who has put so much dedication and hard work into completing this amazing goal during such a meaningful year.



Today I am thinking of all the victims of the bombing, their families and all those who were injured. I love you Boston.

Go See: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Monday, March 31st, 2014

Yesterday was rainy and grey (what’s new in New England) so Andrew and I went to the movies to see Wes Anderson’s newest film The Grand Budapest Hotel. The Royal Tenenbaums is one of my top 10 favorite movies and truly is what made me fall head over heels for Wes’s amazing work- the sets, the dry humor mixed with serious moments, the incredible cameos.  But since then I haven’t been quite as charmed by his newer films like Moonrise Kingdom (I know, I know- so many people loved it- and it had it’s moments- but it’s not one I want to watch over and over).

This film however, was AWESOME. Seriously, AWESOME.

It’s hysterically funny, a visual feat for the eyes and a truly and thoroughly fun escape from the world. Of course, in true Wes Anderson style, the sets, costumes and details are all amazing. I cannot even fathom how wild it would be to have a brain as creative as his. Magical.  Here are some still from the film to help convince you to go see it.

I love how much pink Wes uses.




The sets could not be more breathtaking.




Spring Staple: White Blazer + Destroyed Denim

Friday, March 28th, 2014

I picked up a crisp white Theory blazer at TJ Maxx the other day for a song and I’ve been surprised how much I want to wear it as we get closer to summer weather. It really is the perfect staple for spring- worn over a summer dress in place of a denim jacket or dressed down with jeans. My favorite way to wear it is the whole dressed up/ dressed down look of pairing it with distressed jeans, sexy heels and a slouchy tee. Perfect for when you want to look cool but not like you’re trying too hard. Ad a funky statement necklace or big earrings for even more edge. These ladies wear it well:


Here are two ways to get the look- one more expensive (those Valentino heels make me want to cry they are so perfect) and one more affordable (also obsessed with those polka dot heels).


HIGH: blazer $330 // t-shirt $40 // jeans $200 // heels $1,245

LOW: blazer $175 (plus 25%off) // t-shirt $18.82 // jeans $34 // heels $138






Drumroll Please…. Cover Reveal & PRE-ORDER!!!!!

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Thank you SO much for all your amazing comments and support yesterday.  It really blew my mind and made my cry a couple times. You are a very special group of people, and I appreciate the not one person called me a hot mess. Truly.

And now we can move onto something REALLY exciting- MY BOOK! (Pre-order HERE!)

I signed my deal with Simon & Schuster (the best publishing team ever, by the way) in January of 2013 and somehow, some way it’s now time to reveal the cover and open up for pre-orders!  It’s been an incredible experience chock full of blood (I ripped off a toenail when moving a bed at a shoot), sweat (lugging accessories, flowers and sometimes 500 books in and out of shoots and up countless flights of stairs) and and tears (“I’m never going to get this done! My book is going to suck!”)

But now it’s done. And while it’s not HERE yet (it’ll be out the first week of October) my part is completed.  I still don’t believe it’ll actually be a real book, like on shelves and stuff.  It’s too surreal for me to actually cross that giant goal off my bucket list this soon in my career.  But alas, I will rejoice a little today. And share a bit of the book making experience with you. But first, meet my book:

Gates_cvr_final copy

(image by Michael J. Lee design by Jennifer K. Beal Davis)

Oh, and the spine is striped too- with gold foil lettering and of course the end papers will be leopard. But you probably guessed that already. :) I think that spine will look so SICK on a bookshelf! :)

 Screen Shot 2014-03-08 at 8.42.57 AMScreen Shot 2014-03-08 at 8.35.07 AM

It a mixture of a mini-memoir and design guide, showcasing personal essays (like yesterdays) with hundreds of images of my work you haven’t seen before.  It’s organized by rooms in the home, so, for example, the bedroom has an essay about marriage and then entry one about the stressful choice to move from the city to the burbs. I really, really hope you like it.

But if you think picking a cover for your own book is easy think again. I think Jenny, my book designer, and I had about 100 versions using different pictures, jackets over hardcover, paper over board, detail shots versus vignettes. I’m not going to show a lot of them because then I’d be showing too many of the pictures I’ve worked SO hard to keep secret (it’s been very hard not to share with you!!!) But here are some of the other variations on our theme…


My Anxious Life

Monday, March 10th, 2014

** NOTE:  The cover reveal and pre-order have been pushed back to tomorrow due to some issues getting the book up on certain websites. Sorry, but I promise it tomorrow!!! In the meantime, it’s been a long time since I did an emotional dumping on you so prepare yourselves. ;)

hello-my-name-is-anxiety (1)

Earlier this week I sat in my doctor’s office complaining of a host of ailments. As I fidgeted on the table atop the crinkly paper sheet I ran through all the things that COULD be wrong, but deep down something reminded me that most likely whats wrong is what’s always wrong ever single time I feel like I’m dying-

My anxiety.

My people are an anxious tribe.  There is certainly something genetic and chemical about my long struggle with an anxiety, as proven by the prescriptions held and nervy nature those I love and that are genetically linked to me.  I have been on and off medication for my anxiety my entire adult life, and just now am I coming to grips with it’s true affect on my health and life. Late is better than never I suppose.

I honestly don’t know what it’s like to not be anxious or full of worry.  I envy those, like my husband,  who do not operate with a daily current of dread running through their system. That relentless tug in my gut that says “what if what if what if what if”.  EVERY. DAMN. DAY. I worry about being on time. If my dogs are being walked/have run away/ eaten something poisonous.  Did I turn the oven/ curling iron/ iron off? What if someone I love gets hurt? What if a client hates something we ordered and I have to pay for it? What if my house explodes? What if my husband gets sick or gets in an accident? What if we don’t have enough money?  What if my book fails? WHAT IF.  I have convinced myself that this kind of behavior prepares me for the worst, so when it happens I’m ready, and when it doesn’t I’m relieved.   But Andrew sees this is suffering twice instead of once or not at all.  Why freak out about something that may not happen? Somehow my DNA can’t compute that kind of thinking.

But most often and dramatically my anxiety likes to manifest itself as hypochondria.  It’s kind of a family joke that I am always dying of something. Like that time I thought I had a neurological disease and after a MRI it turned out to be my new handbag rubbing a nerve in my elbow and cutting off circulation.  Or the time I had to go to the emergency room because I was having a panic attack that my hair was all falling out after a bad dye job.  Or the year long back pain that turns out, was caused by muscle tension from stress.  Or my sometimes severe TMJ (temporarily cured by the best thing ever, “Jawtox”, by the way). Or my horrible bout with insomnia after getting married. I would gladly take a full body scan over a Birkin bag any day of the week.  But it’s always something that turns out to be “nothing”.  Except anxiety isn’t nothing. It’s a whole lotta something and it’s hell to live with and oh-so-real for those of us who struggle with it.

But back to my doctor’s appointment- while I had come in pretty sure I had a brain tumor, the doctor did not seem so worried. In my book, dizziness + sinus pain +  full ears +  vision weirdness = BRAIN TUMOR. But she knows something you don’t. That about three weeks ago I went through something incredibly shitty and painful and anxiety provoking and that’s oddly when these symptoms started.   And I have a feeling it’s all related. Farther back and wider spread than I had imagined.