I've had the same four bras for over 20 years. That's not a typo or an exaggeration--it's the truth. I don't know why I've had the same bras for twenty years. It wasn't planned or done on purpose...it just happened.
I don't own the same furniture, or work at the same job, or live in the same house...hell, I've switched husbands...but I own the same bras? It's weird and totally bizarro world.
I can't explain why I haven't worn different bras in over TWO DECADES. Honestly, I've never, ever, once thought about it. Ever. Not once.
Here's what I think happened. I found bras I liked. I bought four of them, all the same type, size, and color. And that was it. Four bras, twenty-something years ago. The End.
Only in the last year or so did I start to think it was time to buy new bras. One day one of them ripped near the clasp. Another one felt a little stretched out on one side. One of the hooks stopped working on a third one. They became an annoyance and a little uncomfortable, but they're just worn under my clothes. Who even notices your bra, right? It's not like you're walking around with a unibrow that everyone can see.
A year ago in passing I mentioned my "bra situation" to a client and she audibly gasped (thanks, Valerie) and proclaimed, "YOU MUST GET NEW BRAS IMMEDIATELY." She even told me what kind to buy. "Wacoal is the best. Go to Nordstrom or Dillard's. They have them. You won't be sorry. Do it." I promised I would, but I never did.
After a while I forgot about my "bra situation" and went about my business. Seriously, I have so many other things going on than to worry about the sock puppets holding my twins in place. The twins would have to handle things while the grown-ups get shit done.
Mind you, at this point I still have no idea that the "bra situation" is even a real thing. I really believed I was fine. I was fully covered, there was no sagging or floppage, and I'm laundered, regularly. What's the big deal? Twenty-year old bras are as good as 2017 year old bras. Or whatever. You know what I mean.
Then yesterday my husband and I went to a department store to get comfortable walking shoes for our trip to Italy next week. (I just reread that last sentence and now I feel like I'm hundred years old. Comfortable walking shoes? Who am I, my grandmother?)
Anyway, yes. Shoes. After successfully finding the above-mentioned, we passed through the undergarments section on the way out to the car. Jeff pointed at the rows and rows of bras and said, "Bras. Get new ones. Please."
So now he's aware of the "bra situation" that really wasn't a situation but now is? This was getting confusing. And now I'm sitting here writing a story about bras that is probably the least interesting subject to write about. Yet still.
Long story short, I bought four new bras and my life is changed forever, I can't believe that I didn't do this years ago. Who knew bras would be the answer to everything. THE END.
I'm so happy to finally share this living and dining transformation. First let me just say that the people who live here are amazing. Beth and I hit it off right away, and while her dog was a little suspicious of me at first, I even consider him a friend after our time together.
The house is located in one of my favorite neighborhoods in Fort Worth. It's older, with tons of mature trees and big front porches.
Here is what the living and dining spaces looked like before.
It's a great space and the wood floors were in perfect condition. I felt like the walls needed a coat of paint, as did some of the furniture (which I know can be controversial when dealing with real wood), and the upholstery needed updating. Beth was open to bright colors and funky patterns, so this was going to be easy for me. And SO MUCH FUN.
Turns out, this was one of my most favorite projects.
First, we moved the buffet from the living room wall to the dining area. Then we painted it a pretty navy blue using milk paint.
That art hanging above the buffet was tucked in a closet, not being used. I suggested we paint the frame black (It was natural wood color before) so it would pop off the wall. Beth got to work right away. In fact, she's the one who painted the furniture. Well, except for the bookcases. We left that job to the professionals.
I liked the dining table and chairs, but felt like the chairs would feel updated if they were painted white. Then we had new cushions made.
A suzani that Beth bought on her travels was the perfect focal point of the opposite wall in the dining area. We had it mounted to a board, stretched, and hand sewn onto it. The TV that was there before was moved to the living area.
The two end chairs were reupholstered in an Otomi-inspired embroidered fabric by Kravet. The rug is from All Modern. The chandelier and white lamps are from West Elm.
Custom linen drapes with a tape trim from Fabricut were hung on the windows. The bar cart is from Pier 1.
Moving to the living area, here is what it looks like now. The existing recliners were reupholstered in a fun turquoise geometric print and we bought chairs from World Market and had leather cushions made for them. The two blue foot stool/ottomans were reupholstered in a colorful stripe. A new shag rug and pillows were added. The coffee table and most of the accessories are from West Elm. The huge built-in bookcases were painted the color of the walls. What a difference!
New lamps were added, plus a custom upholstered bench seat and new pillows from CB2. We framed prints from Britt Bass and added them to the mantel. The black dot painting was done by yours truly, as a gift for my clients.
I don't know if you know this, but one of my favorite things to do is style bookshelves. Lucky for me there were a lot of them in this room.
What a transformation, right? I love it so much I come visit from time to time, just to make sure they haven't messed it up. Just kidding. I have been back several times to help with other projects in the house. Many thanks to Beth and her family for letting me come in and shout out my crazy ideas. Sometimes they work out beautifully. I mean just LOOK AT THIS PLACE.
A while back I got an email from a woman in San Diego, asking me if I would come out west and help her a few spaces in her home. A legit reason to spend a few days in sunny California doing what I love? You bet!
After emailing back and forth a few times I knew that Margaret and I would get along splendidly. She sent me a few photos of her fun, eclectic home and we agreed on a plan. A few weeks later, I was on a plane headed west.
Margaret's house is situated in a darling section of San Diego. Her house was actually my favorite on the whole street. It a single-story mid-century with so much character you almost don't know where to look first.
Our plan was to tackle the living room and an unused area off the living room. She already has GREAT pieces: art, furniture, rugs. We just needed to find a way to elevate the space.
Margaret suggested maybe making the unused area a kind of activity space, where the kids could play board games or put together a puzzle. She has great kids, by the way, ages 14 and 10. They were very patient while a middle-aged lady from Texas rearranged all their stuff.
Pictured: Unused Space
After moving some furniture around and shopping in her garage and cabinets, the space started to take shape. (Hello, pups!)
I thought about visiting a few local vintage shops for chairs, but I didn't have to because MARGARET HAD GORGEOUS METAL CHAIRS IN HER BACKYARD. I was like, um, why are these not being used? Seriously, look at these chairs.
I threw some pillows on the chairs just to get an idea of how they would look with the right cushions. Pretty spectacular, right? That kilim on the floor was folded up in a cabinet and the gorgeous blue lamp was in the garage next to the perfect 1950s table. It was really starting to get exciting.
After Day 1 I knew what additional pieces we needed, so the next morning I went to Target, HomeGoods, and West Elm.
Look at it now!
In the living room, Margaret has the MOST GORGEOUS Turkish rug. She needed a coffee table and the furniture moved around a bit. I found the perfect table at West Elm in San Diego. After re-styling her built-in bookshelves and adding a few accessories, the living room was perfect. I love the whole vibe of the space. Like I said before, she has great stuff.
Did I mention Margaret's backyard BECAUSE LOOK AT THIS.
It was such a fun couple of days at Margaret's house. She was such an awesome client to work with, but more than that, I feel like I have a new California friend. Plus we ordered Mexican food for lunch every day so really...what more could a girl ask for.
As for you good people out there reading this. I have some sage advice. Shop your homes. You probably for sure one hundred percent have treasures hiding in your garage/cabinets/closets. Find them, dust them off, and love them again. Trust me. It's worth it. Just look at all the beautiful things Margaret already owned.
When you enter Sheri and Travis's house, you are greeted with a formal dining room and a hallway that leads to the kitchen and family room. Sheri wanted to make the formal dining room into a sitting area, a place where she can sit and enjoy her coffee in the morning and her wine at night. Their sweet little dog likes to hang out in here too. So, course we needed to make it a cozy spot.
It's not a large space, but big enough to fit a small sectional (that was the only requirement--the sofa had to stay). The light was way too big, and the space was basically being used as a place for unwanted furniture. The floors were beautiful and the window let in tons of natural light. I knew we could transform this room into the dream space it was intended to be.
Here is the Before.
And here is After.
After talking with Sheri and listening to what she liked, I went back to my office (AKA the kitchen counter at my house) and began putting together an idea board. I started with the rug, then pillow, coffee table, drapes, etc. After a little while the room starts to come together on its own. One night a few days later I woke up in the middle of the night and whispered (to no one) "we need to paint the back wall navy blue.
And so we did. And we also moved to sofa to back wall because it made more sense.
I wanted to incorporate some earthy, Texas elements, so that's where the print and antlers came into play.
And look at that chandelier! I love the modern industrial look of it.
Side wall Before and After
Sheri already owned the burled wood chest and wanted to keep it to store games and books and other things you don't necessarily want to leave out.
The entry was an easy fix. Sheri and Travis already had this gorgeous orange chinoiserie table they bought locally. It just needed some styling and accessories and it was good to go!
Entryway Before and After
I love this shot!
The only thing missing from the room is a lamp that showed up with a bent lampshade, and a chair that is apparently backordered forever.
We are moving on to Phase 2, the kitchen and dining area. The fun continues!
Here are the links to the products/accessories:
Round Mirror: CB2
White Lamps: West Elm
Basket: West Elm
Rug in Entry: Anthropologie
Folding Chair in Entry: Anthropologie
Cactus Artwork: Society6
Throw Blanket on Sofa: CB2
Black and White Longhorn Print: CC & Mike
Large Rug in Sitting Room: AllModern
Coffee Table: Wisteria
Drapes and Hardware in Sitting Room: West Elm
Drum Side Table: Target
Faux Sheepskin Rug: Wayfair
If you have any specific questions about the space or anything you see here, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you, Sheri and Travis, for trusting me! Now let's go spend some more of your money.
A question I get a lot is How Do You Know What to Put on Shelves?
I admit, at first it can't be a daunting, seemingly impossible task. It might even cause you to panic. But don't. It's easier than you think to put together a fabulous photo-worthy bookshelf.
First. You need books. Because what is a bookshelf without them? Just another shelf. The books can be about anything, but it would be nice if they reflected your personality. Books on travel, historical figures, interior design, artists, musicians, great places to visit...and so on. A good resource for finding books to style with are garage sales and used bookstores. Remember to shop your house too! Who knows what treasures await you.
Here is a bookshelf I recently styled. I started off with a few books on each shelf.
Then I added ceramic vase as a bookend, and a small vase and a glass bird. I used a teapot and three espresso cups on the next shelf, along with a vintage jar and some vases from Guatemala. On the bottom shelf I found a bowl, added some lemons I bought at Target, and some vintage decanters that were my grandparents. My son made the turtle and cat sculptures. Of course I'm going to use those!
Lastly, I added greenery. Whether it's real or fake, use it. It adds texture and dimension to the shelves, and really makes it feel finished. Plants also make the space feel more organic.
Need more inspiration? Check out these other shelf styling projects. No two are alike, and I think that's what makes them so fun to do.
Now get out there and style those shelves!
When Valerie hired me last month to help her with a few home design projects, I was excited to see she had made a couple of great starts. The walls were freshly painted and the flooring was new--a wood tile laid in a herringbone pattern. It is light and modern and the perfect neutral anchor for the dining room and kitchen. She has orange and white trellis wallpaper from Thibaut in the front entry way. It's the first thing you see when you enter her home. I immediately thought, this is great, but it needs to make sense. I knew then we would need to carry over the orange into the dining room, which is to the right of the entry.
In the dining room Valerie had a square table that was beautiful, but not the right shape for the narrow space. She wanted to keep the chandelier and the painting. Valerie loves color and the beach, so it became important to find a way to incorporate both of those elements. I liked the sideboard so I kept it in the design.
When I began working on the design, I chose a colorful bold rug from Rugs USA--it has orange and hot pink and black and blue--almost like the most beautiful coral reef you've ever seen. The table, from AllModern, has a live edge with a simple metal base. The shell chairs in white were the perfect complement, plus they're super comfortable and affordable. I wanted something beachy for the hostess chairs, so I went with the Shore Dining Chairs from Serena & Lily. The cushions were white and I wanted to elevate them just a bit, so I chose an orange and white buffalo check fabric to reupholster them in. We finished the chairs with the hot pink with orange Eva tassel pillows, also from Serena & Lily.
From there it was just the little things. We added new orange lamps, vases and succulents from West Elm, a gorgeous print from Juniper Briggs, and table-top accessories like place mats, chargers, plates, napkins, and a bowl full of oranges. The white chairs on either side of the sideboard were Valerie's old dining chairs, so we kept them and added black and white pillows from World Market. We bought white drapes from IKEA and added a fun orange and pink trim tape from Duralee. Do you love those gold sea urchin looking thingys on top of each plate? I do, and I found them at Hobby Lobby. They're meant to hang on the wall, but they're a great addition to a beach-themed dining room.
I have to brag on Valerie for a minute. She's an artist and painter, and I found this piece hiding in her bedroom. I immediately pointed out that it fit into the design and WE HAD TO USE IT. It's an old, heavy table top, so we just leaned it against the opposite wall and added a mid-century turned leg planter from West Elm next to it. I think it's AMAZING. I told her if she didn't want to keep the painting I would happily take it home with me. I think it's staying right here.
Now when you walk in the front door, you see this fun and funky and COLORFUL earthy space and you think, I could totally hang out in here. Now pass the wine!
This was such a fun project and now we're moving on to the living room! Updates on Valerie's house coming soon.
Place mats: Serena & Lily
Table runner: World Market
Charger plates: Hobby Lobby
Salad plates: Anthropologie
Pink bowl (with oranges): Anthropologie
Shell chairs: AllModern
Black & White tray (on sideboard): Aelfie
Vases and turquoise bowl: West Elm
I've never been one to carry a briefcase or laptop bag. I mean I have, but it didn't excite me. Up to now, a laptop bag has been purely utilitarian--something I needed, but not necessarily loved.
Then last weekend at the Dallas Farmers Market I met Caroline with VerverWerks.
I noticed the bags right away and was immediately drawn to the colorful straps and fabric inside the bag. After talking with Caroline (who is adorable, by the way) I told her I had never seen anything like this before. She went on to explain that she started designing and making messenger bags and cross body bags after spending time in South America and appreciating the local culture and textile handicrafts. She wondered how she could incorporate the craft into every day use. This is what she came up with. I love that you're able to mix and match straps with bags, and add fun bag charms. You should probably stop reading right now and go to her website to get the full picture, but come right back because I have exciting news at the end of this post.
Long story short, I fell in love with Caroline and her story and her spirit right away, and the bags are MAGNIFICENT.
Each bag comes with two (TWO) straps--one patterned, colorful one, and a solid leather one. This way, if you need to seem more professional or you're not in the mood for pattern, you have options. My thought is HOW COULD YOU NOT BE IN THE MOOD FOR PATTERN, AM I RIGHT?
Options, you have them.
Now I'm teaming up with Caroline and VerverWerks to offer you an amazing deal AND a chance to win a mini bag of your choice. Through February 28th you can get a 10% discount on anything on her site (except for custom-made bags) if you use the code FRIENDS10. And if you click on the tab on her website that says SG Design you can enter to WIN A FREE BAG. You seriously need to stop what you're doing and enter the contest. And also tell your friends. If you happen to be in the Dallas-Fort Worth area you should go by her booth at the Dallas Farmers Market. Tell her Shauna sent you. You'll love her and her story and her bags as much as I do.
Don't forget THE DISCOUNT CODE FRIENDS10 and click on the form to ENTER TO WIN A FREE MINI BAG!
I don't know about you, but I love the beginning of each new year.
I make all kinds of promises to myself...I'll eat better and lose the love handles (even though I've grown quite attached to them!), I'll read more books, I'll purge my closet, and on and on. The feelings last about halfway through January and then I'm pretty much back to my old ways. I would be a terrible motivational speaker.
One thing I especially love about the new year is learning about the new trends in home design, decor, and fashion. Okay, if I'm honest, I'm more home fashionable than I am clothes fashionable. In fact, my husband is way more stylish than me. He's one of those guys who can go into a store and try on jeans and a shirt and jacket and you would swear they used his exact measurements to make the clothes. It's quite disgusting. I'm the opposite to shop for--a disaster! Nothing fits quite like it's supposed to and everything has to be hemmed. This is not at all what shopping is like for Jeff.
So when JORD reached out to me and said, "hey, we want to send your husband a watch," I was like, "of course you do, he will look AMAZING in one of your watches."
Seriously, you guys, he's a stud.
I love this watch so much. It's this dark, rich ebony wood with the coolest turqouise face. It's from their Sawyer collection. It's crazy hot. Jeff loves it too. He didn't want to take it off for me to photograph, but I promised to give it right back.
You probably don't want to hear this yet because we all just got through Christmas, but Valentine's Day is next month. Don't you think your boyfriend, spouse, dad, brother, neighbor would love a watch like this? Well, maybe not your neighbor. I mean, yes, he would like it, but why are you buying your neighbor a watch for Valentine's Day? Is your neighbor Ryan Gosling? Because then I would totally understand.
Anyway...a watch from JORD is EXACTLY what the man in your life needs. Seriously.
The best part of this whole post is that I've teamed up with JORD to offer you a discount. All you have to do is fill out this entry form for a chance to win $100 gift code on the JORD site. One person will win the $100 gift code, but everyone will receive a consolation code worth $25.00 at the end of the contest!
Go on over to the JORD website and check out their AMAZING watches. They have women's watches too. You will love them, I promise.
Happy New Year
I can't believe there are only a few days left until Christmas.
How's your shopping list going? Are you finished buying gifts? Are you one of those people who waits until the very last possible second? Are you stumped on what to get the women in your life?
Fear not, my friends.
I have scoured the internet and come up with nine fabulous gifts. And the best part? They are each under $100.
Let's get started.
These Roar & Rabbit pots from West Elm are super cute. $12-$19
I'm totally digging this beanie from Anthropologie. It comes in this yummy orange color, plus navy and teal. Don't you love the pompom on top? $38
My daughter, Riley, first turned me on to this mascara from Too faced. It's called Better Than Sex and well, I kind of agree. Kind of. It's fabulous and goes on so smoothly. Totally worth $23.00
There's this artist I love named Leslee Mitchell. She does this whole series of Matchbox Cars that I find suprisingly thrilling and beautiful. My son, Ethan, loves that I'm obsessed with photos of Matchbox cars. I've already bought one and asked for another for Christmas. I hope Santa got my letter! Unframed 11x14, $75.00
These hobnail glasses from Anthropologie really caught my attention. I think I'm weird but every time I see them I think of a porcupine. Am I losing my mind? Anyway, the white one is my favorite but you can't go wrong with any of them. $12 each
How cute is this inital necklace from Kate Spade?! I just love its simplicity. It's so delicate and charming too. On the back it reads One in a Million. Isn't that the truth? So cute. $58
This papier mache love bird from Stray Dog Designs is probably the most adorable thing I've ever seen. There are oodles of colors to choose from and it would make the perfect statement on your bookshelf or coffee table. Only $38
You know record players are back in style, right? They are better than ever too. Time to get your old record collection out of the attic. Are you ready to rock to Fleetwood Mac or Foreigner on this bad boy from Urban Outfitters? ONLY $99!
Another favorite thing from Anthropologie. This super fuzzy soft throw blanket is calling my name. Look at it. You know you want to cuddle up in this thing. $98
And there you have it! But wait! You want a chance to win a $50 Visa gift card towards one of your favorite things? Leave a comment telling Santa what you want for Christmas. One lucky person will be selected at random and WIN A $50 VISA GIFT CARD. Contest ends Friday, December 16, at 6PM central. The winner will be contacted via email.
Good luck and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
I can't believe it's the holiday season already. It seems this year has disappeared in the blink of an eye. It's also our second Christmas in our forever house. Time goes by so quickly the older I get. There are still kids living at home, and now the addition of two grandchildren. They love the house at Christmastime. I could lie and say I do it for them, but we all know the truth.
I love decorating for Christmas. It's safe to say I go WAY OVERBOARD with the holiday decor. And while I don't decorate every square inch of the house, I seem to add a space or a room every year. We need a storage unit just to house all the decorations. I wish I was joking. So does Jeff. He's a good sport though. He puts up with the 3-day green and red tornado that takes over the house while I try and decide what goes where.
Bringing in bin after bin after bin is overwhelming. I start unwrapping everything and have no idea where to start. I feel my chest tighten as I begin to breathe rapidly to point of almost hyperventilating. Once I place that first ceramic Santa Clause on the shelf I seem to calm down a bit. Something happens shortly after that--I go into a weird elf-like trance--and six hours later I stand back and see a house transformed to a sort of Santa's Workshop.
Want the tour?
And that's a wrap! I hope you enjoyed a glimpse into our Holiday Home. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
I hope your holidays are filled with abundant JOY.