My Baby Shower

Last weekend was my baby shower, held at my parents house in Connecticut.  Yes, I am aware that it’s not exactly “etiquette 101” to have your Mom throw you a shower but the house is so beautiful and such a peaceful place for me.  Am I Emily Post? Hardly. But we did manage to pull together an adorable little soiree!

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We had an amazing caterer, Jessica Tuesdays, who really went all out on the details- including making this adorable cupcake tower!

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A Busy Year Ahead.

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I realized today that I had only shared some exciting news via social media and not on the blog! The horror. :)  We all know 2016 will be a big year for me because of my little lovebug who will make his debut in November.  Hopefully by the time the calendar flips to the new year I will be starting to get the hang of taking care of another human life.

But as if that was not enough, I also signed on for two OTHER big projects this year– my first product line (home accessories) that will be available online and in specific retail stores nationwide (actually, world wide!) September 2016 and a second book that will be officially coming to you in 2017.


Yeah, I know. I’m straight up crazypants. I think I need to sit down.

The thing with me is, I am always in fear that this amazing ride my career has been is going to end at any moment. That all these awesome opportunities to decorate homes, write for you, design products and write books will just- poof- dry up one morning when I least expect it and I’ll be left feeling the worst feeling of all the feelings- regret. So I try to approach my business with the attitude of “stay hungry”- let’s do as much as we can now while we are being offered these incredible opportunities so if and when it ends, by choice or not,  we can look back and say “I did it” and feel content. Rational? Not really, but it’s how I’ve operated for many years and I think when you lose that hunger and drive and get too confident it can be trouble.  That doesn’t mean I’m saying yes to everything, far from it actually. But the big things that excite me I will find a way to do.

Now, I also want to have no regrets when it comes to raising my son (a high/ impossible order, but I do tend to be a rabid perfectionist so why stop now?)  I don’t want to be too busy to miss out on time with him, but I want to keep my career going.  Not working is not an option (both because I love my job and I need to financially). The plight of many working moms the world over! Hello, can I join your tribe? Can you teach me the ways of “having it all”?

It’s a concept that has been debated, discussed and written about (famously in The Atlantic as of recent).   Being a full time mom is a full time job on it’s own, so how do you do both and succeed?  I am lucky in that I have flexibility in my job- I don’t punch a clock or work for anyone else- so if I want to come home at lunch to spend an hour with my son I can.  And my job provides the ability to hire full time help within our home (which is proving to be scary and hard).  I have a loose idea of how I want to do this, but I also know that once this baby arrives all my plans will probably go out the window.

Any tips from you moms who work and have families would be wonderful to hear.  Your struggles, your successes- I love having this platform to open the discussion not only for me but for others who may be in the same position.




Basement Progress & Design Concept

We are closing in on the end of the construction phase of our basement renovation with Lowes Home Improvement!  It’s been awesome working with DM Painting and Carpentry on this- total pros with a can-do attitude, which I love (highly recommend these guys).  We had some big projects- like the addition of our egress window which involved some insanely big saws to cut a big hole in the foundation- but when building code calls for it, you must answer!  We’ve added new electrical, lighting, windows, plaster and today and in the next few days they will install the vinyl plank flooring, little “bar” area and paint the space!

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A Renovation to Inspire.

Country Living isn’t a magazine I subscribe to, but I think I may have to. I admire lots of different styles, and lately I find that when I pick that magazine up there are more and more spaces that speak to me in certain ways.  Like this story of a renovation done by Sara Story for her sister on her dated 70’s Connecticut house.  The best part of this renovation is that it wasn’t a major renovation with tons of construction, but basically one done with paint, paper, furniture and lighting.  Goes to show you how much different a space can look without tearing down walls and busting the budget!

I LOVE this dining room with walls done in Schumacher’s Chenonceau paper.  With all the simple white details- drapes, bentwood chairs, buffet and rug.  It’s a good idea to let a bold paper make the single statement in a room.

Look at the before! Reminds me of my kitchen/ dining room when we bought our house!


Fashion Friday: Coat Collection

I have an obsession with good coats, thanks to my mother who may be the Imelda Marcos of outerwear.  I can’t have enough coats, and since I live in a place where it’s chilly more than half the year (3/4 of the year, really, is coat season) I feel I can justify it.  I have coats that have been big investments all the way don to some faux leather Forever 21 items– with a whole lotta J.crew wool in between!

A funny coat story from ast year, I was getting my hair done and afterwards they handed me my army green anorak with faux fur trim (the coat everyone and their mother has in Boston) and I slipped it on and off I went. As I was walking to my car I thought “this jacket is warmer than I thought! And man it fits me well!”  I get in the car and drive home- and while on the Pike I get a call from the salon. “Hi Mrs. Gates- are you wearing your coat?” the receptionist asks. “Uh, yeah….why?” I respond, completely baffled. “I think we gave you someone else’s coat by accident”.  And sure enough, I had on not my cheap Zara coat but the coat I actually desperately wanted (this one by SAM) that was decidedly NOT mine. Do I keep driving and just never go back to that salon and live out my days with Dream Coat like an outerwear outlaw?  Alas, I’m a good person and drove it back to the salon to exchange for my sad, little coat (although they did look so alike that not only was everyone else fooled, but me too!)  Someday, my pretty! Someday.

In the meantime, here are a selection of coats by trends this season to help you fluff up your own collection!


FUR TRIMMED (l to r): 1. // 2. // 3. // 4.

PATTERNED (l to r): 1. // 2. // 3. // 4.

LIGHTWEIGHT (l to r): 1. // 2. (more affordable one here) // 3. // 4.

BOLD COLORS (l to r): 1. // 2. // 3. // 4. //

THE CAPE (l to r): 1. // 2. // 3. // 4.

LEATHER & FUZZY (l to r): 1. ($95!!!) // 2. // 3. // 4.