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Blog Favorites: Andrew’s First Post

August 25th, 2014

So I’m doing something this week that I have not done in all the years I’ve owned my business and written this blog- I’m taking the week off. Really off. Like closing the office “off”. My assistant is on her honeymoon and the world seems to be busy finishing up summer and getting ready for fall and the new school year and so it’s the perfect time to take five days to myself to just relax before a crazy busy fall for me too. And so this week I’ll be posting some of my favorite posts from over the seven years (!!!) I’ve been blogging. There’s a lot to sort through, but I do have some real personal favorites. To start off, this was a post from September 2011- the first from Andrew. I re-read it last night and just really loved it. He’s such a gem.

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Andrew and our niece Kate in 2011

Erin asked me if I would write a blog post that was similar to one of my Tony Robbins-ish “things are going to fine, stop crying, you need to think more of yourself, it’s going to be ok, seriously, stop crying” speeches I unleash on her about once a month.

Finally I get to be on her blog. Sweet.

My most recent rant to her was about perspective. Side note: these “speeches” are usually just a verbal outpouring of the internal struggles (and solutions) I have with myself. I get just as much out of saying them as she gets from hearing them…probably more. To provide a little background, I was laid-off about 2 months ago. Not the greatest feeling in the world, but I was prepared for it…the writing was on the wall…and to be honest I wasn’t that far away from putting in my notice.

The internal struggle I had was what to do next. I had been working with some former colleagues on a start-up which I was really excited about. I was also putting a toe in the water in several other, apparently more stable options. At the end of the day I was fortunate enough to have a choice. I went with the start-up. Here is why:

10, 20, 30, years from now…or more…I am going to reflect on my life. I tried to put myself at that point and ask what will I think. I was going to regret not going with the start-up. It was clear. Granted, that didn’t make the choice any less scary, but I knew what I needed to do.

I continued to think about the “Future Me” and what I would think of the present me. And Future Me had a bit of advice. He said that we are living in a home, eating applesauce, wearing diapers and all I have are my memories. Don’t screw them up. Spend time with your friends and family, because those are my favorite memories. Stop spending so much time on the little stuff, you can barely remember that anyway. Travel more, you will love Africa. Take a few chances, but not too many that you look like a moron (and you are approaching that level so be careful). Enjoy your successes and indulgences, you will see that guilt is a waste of time. Do things for others without the need for acknowledgment or reciprocation (you will get both in spades anyway). Be happy for others who are more fortunate than you, help those that aren’t, respect both equally. Do things you normally wouldn’t do every so often, those are some fun memories. It is okay to cook and do the dishes, but make sure you say thank you when someone does for you. When you get here (the future) you don’t want to have settled.

Smart guy. I hear he is handsome too.

We could all benefit from calling our Future Me’s every once in a while. We need that reality check of how most of this won’t matter even a few months from now, much less years. We need to live a little more for the moment.

That doesn’t mean go crazy. It doesn’t mean bounce your last check (ahem! parents and in-laws). It doesn’t mean shun stability and responsibility. It doesn’t mean pack up your shit and move to Nepal. It means to do things you will be happy to look back on. That may mean taking the stable job for some, or going with the start-up for others or even leaving it all behind and going to Nepal for a few. Life isn’t black and white. There is no need for you to be stable or reckless…you can be somewhere in-between. You don’t have to married by 28. You don’t need to have kids before you are 35. You don’t need to have your career all set by the time you are 40. Life is different for everyone and very few of us live up to the expectations we set for ourselves or other set for us (and those that do probably feel unfilled in some way). Take life as it comes, change it as you go, and stop worrying about where you are now…just enjoy that you are here and moving forward. It takes some people a few years, others a life time. We all get there.

You are a fluid and ever-changing person who is at times scared, happy, sad, bored, worried and excited. Perfect…that’s how you are supposed to be. Think about the future, think about what you want to look back on, and then stop thinking about the future so much. Re-live the good times in the past. Learn from the bad ones and move on…they are not you anymore. Forget the really bad ones. They serve no purpose anymore. Realize that life is both what you make of it, but more importantly how you want to approach it. You can get bogged down with your own shit or you cannot. The choice is yours.

Fahsion Friday: Classically Chic.

August 22nd, 2014

I felt super inspired by the spread in the most recent WSJ Magazine of Daria Werbowy in some super classic yet glamorous fall styles.  I love the ladylike meets edgy look, but all with classic lines and materials.  See ya later scuba suit skirts and giant layers of statement jewelry, let’s welcome back silk, denim, leather, simple jewelry and (faux) fur!  See hoe to get the look after checking out the inspiration….

P.S. I’m also loving her hair cut and color. I need a good new style SOON.
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Color Theory: Olive Green’s Comeback

August 21st, 2014

You know how they say nothing is new and everything comes back in style? Well, there’s a reason those are sayings. As of late I’ve been drawn to rooms with olivey green walls.  I used to hate this color on walls, or anything in the “sage” family (or “cranberry” for that matter) in a home. And now, I’m digging variations of this color. I’ve always liked green, but more of a crisp emerald, or a green with blue tones to it.  But olive/army/ sage looks AMAZING with brass or gold accents, leather, wood, marble,  animal prints and has a very historic, cozy quality to it.  Here are some inspired spaces using variations on the shade:

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Flower Power: Hana Floral Design

August 20th, 2014

My dear assistant/ project manager/ right hand Lindsey is getting married this weekend (YAY LINDSEY!) and so I felt inspired to share the beautiful work of a floral designer that I found on Instagram (who also just happens to be located in the area where my family has a beach house!)  Hana Floral Design in Mystic, CT is run by Yumiko Fletcher who clearly is a GENIUS with flowers.  I loved my wedding flowers, but if I were to do it again, I would hire her in a nanosecond.  Perhaps when Andrew and I renew our vows next year for our 10th anniversary (sidenote: is that sweet or tacky? I can’t tell… also, how the hell has it been TEN YEARS?) we’ll get Yumiko to do something small for us. :)

In the meantime, take a gander at these STUNNING arrangements (and follow her Instagram if you love seeing more of this!)

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25 Favorites from Nordstrom Home

August 19th, 2014

I’ve always loved Nordstrom for clothing, accessories, makeup and shoes but never really thought of them for home goods.  Well, they are adding a lot of great stuff to their e-commerce site for the home and they asked me to share some of my favorite items (most for under $200!)

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1. & 6 These black and cream Danby cookware pieces are SO CHIC. I’d happily trade my bright red Le Crueset for them!

2. Adore these polka dot stemless wine glasses form Kate Spade.

3. Cool branch candlesticks.

4. The prettiest packaging on these Monique Lhuillier candles (my wedding dress designer!)

5. LOVE this cutting board. Like, for reals.

7. A rustic woven throw perfect to add texture to any space.

8. Vintage cool alarm clock.

9. A crisp black bordered pillow.

10. OK, this little plate made me laugh because it reminds me of this one time my parents got a grill with a rotisserie and after working so hard to get the chicken on the thing and then actually roasted, my mom could notfigure out how to get it OFF the rotisserie. Cut to me walking outside to find her whacking at the chicken with a butcher knife in frustration, with all the dogs standing around her delighted as pieces of chicken rained down on them. I think she needs this.

11. A pretty, detailed quilt, great for layering on a bed.

12. Cool grey and white ikat chevron sheets.

13. Adore the little sayings on these Andrea Schroder candles, and Basil Lemongrass sound perfect to light in the kitchen!

14. Simple, pretty hem-stiched sheets.

15. Adore the emerald stitching on this accent pillow.

16. Yummy towels. I always need new towels and these have good reviews!

17. They sell the Westin Heavenly Bed line and I bet this comforter rocks (may have to order for my new bed!)

18. This stripe throw reminds me of my favorite striped shirts!

19. I’ve used these hobnail candles on a couple photoshoots. Love the texture, and you can use the glass to hold makeup brushes or pens when it’s burned down!

20. Adorable navy ikat polka dot shower curtain (paired with navy walls- adorbs.)

21. Velvet and tassel pillows in a few colors.

22. Another hilariously awesome gift- a wine holder for the bathtub or shower. I mean, if you drink wine in the shower you might have a problem, but in the tub is TOTALLY acceptable. And this keeps it from slipping off the edge of the tub and INTO your bath (which has totally never happened to me. Ever.)

23.  A petite Merci sign to remind one of Paris.

24. Adorable print tiny bowls perfect for sauces, snacks and the like.

25. I love the brass bathroom accessories from Waterworks Studio (also the marble ones!)

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* This post was sponsored by Nordstrom. All selections and opinions are my own.