Inspired By: Allison Allen’s Home

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I’m on a quest to complete my house in the next 2 months. So I’m still looking for inspiration for the finishing touches in my spaces and came across this wonderful spread in Southern Living of designer Alison Allen’s home in Atlanta.   I adore the mix of about 80% traditional items with 20% modern touches.  And the use of neutrals in such an interesting way. There is nothing boring about this living room, and yet there isn’t much color beyond the greenery and some blue and white pottery! I want to be here, don’t you???

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Happy New Year!

I realized this week while I was on vacation that I have not taken a full week off in ten years.  And while I missed you guys, and working, I really did enjoy my time off. I felt no guilt, little pressure and just enjoyed spending quality time with Henry and Andrew.  This is a HUGE step for me, as I typically have a lot of trouble not only being still, but letting myself enjoy it.  Perhaps I’m becoming a well- balanced adult? :)

However, I am SO glad to be back and feeling refreshed and inspired.  As I do every year, I like to take stock of what’s gone right and wrong in the past year and create some goals for myself for the year ahead (not so much “resolutions” as just ways in which I’d like to do better or change things).  I try not to set any crazy or unrealistic expectations for myself (i.e. setting myself up for failure) but also push myself to truly make positive change at the same time.  Here’s whats on my list this morning:

  1. Have Another Baby– Ok, so this might be creeping into the “crazy expectations” category as pregnancy, especially for me, is not a given at all and not something I have control over– but we feel very ready for second child.  This past year was a heartbreaking challenge as we lost two pregnancies, but I remain hopeful that it will happen one way or another.  We absolutely adore Henry and he’s changed our lives in the best of ways, so one more really would round out our family.  And then I can celebrate the freedom that will come with not wanting any more children or dealing with infertility. I cannot imagine the weight that will be lifted when I get to that step in my life.
  2. Get More Financially Savvy–  Even though I’ve been successful and made a good living the past five years, I still act like I need to be fiscally liquid at all times “just in case of disaster”.  I am the flesh and bone human equivalent of Chicken Little. Time to shelve that fear and really make smart investment decisions with my money that will (literally) pay off.  And I want to pay closer attention to the details involved in those decisions.  Money has always been such an uncomfortable topic for me for some reason, and I need to face that head on and deal with it this year! Big girl panties, on.
  3. Finish My House- Now that our final addition is done- it’s time to figure out all the last remaining details and be done with it for a while!  We will probably move in the next 3-4 years, but in the meantime I’d like to wrap things up.  Given what I do, I will always be tweaking things, but I can make it so it feels “finished”. And of course, share that process here!
  4. Make Time For Me– I work a lot, and when I’m not working I want to be with Henry as much as possible- so I let taking care of myself fall by the wayside.  I don’t go to the gym much, or take time to relax.  I know that taking care of myself makes me a better mother, so I need the shelve the guilt of taking the time to go to the gym and take a couple classes and get back into a yoga practice of some sort.  I’m going to commit to twice per week to start, and if I get three times in, great, if not- so be it.
  5. FINISH MY BOOK– I had to push the deadline for my book again, but I will complete it this year (by spring to be exact)- which means it’ll come out Spring 2019.  I know it’s been a long time since the first book came out, but it’s been MUCH harder to write a book with a child (and a busy design business, product lines, this blog, etc.)  So it’s been slow but steady going, but it’s coming.  I want it to be awesome, and something I am super proud of , like the first book- so it’ll be worth the wait.
  6. Be Thoughtful About Where My Business Is Going–  I’ve had so many wonderful opportunities come my way in the past year, but it’s been overwhelming and left me a bit confused about where I want my business to be and what I want it to be.  There is so much opportunity in the social media side of it alone, never mind the actual design work and products.  So I need to have a good, long pow wow with myself, advisors and my employees about where this is going and how to make it better.  There more I want to do, but in order to do more I need more people.  So in 2018 I expect to add at least one more person to my team.
  7. EDIT EDIT EDIT–  I felt a surge of disgust this weekend when looking around at all the clutter in our house. Every year I say I’m going to be more careful and thoughtful in my purchasing, but I somehow end up at the same place every year– with numerous trash bags filled with clothes and stuff to donate or throw out and mumbling things to myself like “if all my coffee mugs matched I’d be a better person”.  This year, less but better.  I feel less compelled to follow trends as I did when I was younger (OMG AM I THIS OLD?), so I think I’ll be better equipped to stick to buying less of the better quality things in life.
  8. Be Present– Less staring at my phone, more staring at my beautiful little boy (and getting him to want to stare at my phone less too for that matter!)

What about you? What’s on your list this year to work on?  I always love hearing what other people’s goals are because it can help define and enhance my own.

As always, thanks for being here. And here’s to a great year ahead!

XO,

Erin

 

Fashion Friday: New Years Outfits Based on SHOES!

I sometimes pick what I’m going to wear based on what kind of shoes I feel comfortable in that day. Sometimes I am super jazzed to wear a fancy heel and other times I can’t BEAR to wear anything but a flat. So I thought I’d do a New Years outfit post in partnership with Nordstrom (my favorite place to shop online)  based on shoe selection! This year (okay, most years) I fall squarely in the “slippers” category (although mine aren’t this cute). But perhaps you have fancier plans than I (wine + couch + bed before 12) and need some inspo? From velvet flats to lace heels and everything in between…. and today they even have $10 rush delivery available on select items in case you are frantically looking for a Christmas outfit…


LADYLIKE PUMPS:

FUNKY BOOTIES:


GLAM GOLD SANDALS:

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Unique Home Gifts with eBay!

While your shopping may be close to finished, I wanted to share some amazing home accent gifts (for yourself, perhaps, after all that shopping and prepping for the holidays) I found on eBay. Yes, eBay! Some new (they have lots of brand new items for sale), lots antique, and all interesting, affordable and unique. I love gifting vintage home items to others any time of year- it really shows that you spent time looking and also that you understand their style and interests. From a vintage book, to a tiny oil painting or perhaps a chic set of brass candlesticks or gorgeous glassware! There are so many amazing finds I’m certain you can find something for anyone on your list (some that will ship in time for Xmas too!)
eBay was a pioneer in the online vintage shopping realm, and a source I have been visiting again more often these days (in fact, I just bought an amazing leather skirt while doing this post!) Click on the images below for sources and happy hunting!

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I Want to Go To There: Graybarns

This time of year always makes me crave clean spaces, solitude and calm.  Which pretty much sums up the Graybarns Inn & Tavern in Norwalk, CT.  Holy smokes, this place looks like a little bit of country heaven!  I’m loving the simple, rustic decor and the incredibly charming architecture!  It’s a historically rich property (with a past as a textile mill, speakeasy and inn where Liz Taylor and Eddie fisher honeymooned) that has been brought back to life.

I am a New England girl through and through so the exterior is totally my jam.

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