Words for the New Year

Hey Friends, I know it has been a month since I last blogged, December was crazy and I needed a little reset and to take one thing off my plate for a little while. But, I’m back!

Jersey Shore, Beach, January at the Beach, Coast, East Coast, Serene, Open Beach, Empty Beach,Jersey Shore, Beach, January at the Beach, Coast, East Coast, Serene, Open Beach, Empty Beach,

I’m so excited to see what this new year has to offer for our life, family and for our design ventures. DBK is busy with clients in such a good way. I am learning a better work life balance and not to be busy with projects all the time, I am starting to be more selective with the projects and clients I do take on and I am learning to ask for help when I need it. To say the least, things are already starting to feel amazing in the New Year! I thought these were particulary wise words, “Beware the barrenness of a busy life,” well said Socrates (on a background of Majestic Violet by Benjamin Moore).

quote, words, dbkwords, beware the barrenness of a busy life, socrates,

We spent the holidays with my family on vacation and it was so great to have Christmas with my mama (and of course my step dad, sister and hubby)! We didn’t work at all while we were away and for that I am so grateful, even P took a complete break and really soaked up the downtime!  I finished a book, worked on some knitting, did a puzzle, played games with the fam, lounged by the pool and in the best hammock ever and soaked up the time with my family.

Hammock, Christmas, Florida, Holiday, Relax, Relaxation, Rest, Restful, Bare Feet,

New Years we spent the weekend at the new jersey shore. Had an amazing morning at the beach, had some delicious meals and more great time to just reset and think about what we want from 2016.

Golden Retriever, Sully Boy, Brantley Bub, Wheaten Terrier, Beach Dogs, Beach Puppy, Puppies at the Beach, Dogs at the beach, Playful puppies, ocean, January at the beach, Winter Beach.

We have decided that we want to take this year and really build some amazing memories. P had said that compared to the year we had in 2014 (we bought our condo, brought home #BrantleyBub, got married and had the most incredibly honeymoon), 2015 really didn’t live up. I think it was sort of a year of balance last year. With 2014 being as awesome as it was, we needed a year that had a little less going on.

For DBK it was still an incredible year last year with so many amazing projects. I spent some of the last month taking inventory of our year in design projects and last year was something special to say the least. So from a business/design side of things, I’m so thrilled to see the beautiful spaces we put together this year.

New Year, New Mantra, Less Stuff, More Moments, Make Memories, DBK Words, Less is More, quote

And personally, we are putting a big push on making some incredible memories. We are planning some great trips, some updates to the condo and a whole lot of elimination of stuff. I shared our new mantra on Instagram over the weekend, “less stuff, more moments,” and I think even just the idea of that makes me feel light and happy. Commence excitement for all of the above!!

What are you most looking forward to in the new year? Do you have any big plans, or any plans to keep it simple? Any New Years Resolutions or like us maybe a new mantra?

Either way, we wish you all the best for 2016 and can’t wait to share in more projects and adventures with our blogging community!

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Perfection is the Enemy

Last year at this time, I was swamped. I was doing so many things and feeling awful about it all. The fact that my house had little to no holiday decor really had me feeling down in the dumps.

Perfection Quote by Rebecca Stone

The thing is, I love the holidays and I love home decor (duh). So when I was seeing all the perfect spaces people were sharing all over social media, I felt like I was failing because my life wasn’t perfect.

But I learned such a huge lesson! This perfect image that we all put forth is a front. Nobody is perfect, and to idealize them that way is just setting yourself up for self hate. Really you should be lifting yourself up with others that you admire. Learn to appreciate what you see but know your own strengths and weaknesses. Don’t compare yourself to that ‘perfect’ image that someone else is putting out there.

Especially at this time of year, things are busy. Work is hectic with end of year stuff, life is busy with holiday season commitments, tis the season for all things sparkly and magical and chances are, you want to be included in that magic. So do yourself a favor and give yourself a set day to work through your holiday magic. Set up a few fun vignettes and change out the wreath on your door.

Don’t over-commit yourself this season. This year, we are going to be out of town for Christmas meeting my parents and sister for a little vacation and it will be the first time we have had Christmas with them since P and I started dating. I am so looking forward to it! But I also know that it means, less holiday parties, a little added work stress making sure things are all settled before we leave, and not as much time at home to soak up my holiday decor. And ya know what? I’m okay with that… I’m looking forward to it actually because this year, my holiday season is going to be amazing inspiration, and so much fun!!

I hope this quote hits home for you as much as it does for me! Rebecca Stone really says it well, “Perfection is not only the enemy of good; it’s also the enemy of the realistic, the possible and the fun.” The other good quote that comes to mind is “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Because if everything in life was the same picture perfect scene all the time, everything would be so boring anyway.

I hope you all get to enjoy this holiday season, I can’t wait to share more decor and inspiration with you!! The abridged version of this Rebecca Stone quote in the graphic is shared on a background of Benjamin Moore’s Forest Green, which made me think of Christmas Trees and Holiday Wreaths! I can’t wait to deck the halls at our condo!

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The Language of Kindness | Weekend Recap

November is such a great month for so many reasons — my favorite of which is easily all of the gratitude. November and the feelings of Thanksgiving really do provide us all with a month to reflect and give thanks, and that is something I hope no amount of early holiday advertising can erase.

kindness is a language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see. Mark Twain. quote quotes motivation inspiration monday word words Benjamin Moore Caliente AF-290

A little recap on our weekend and life in general:

P & I have been making a big push for our health this year in general, and with all of the food-focused holidays ahead, we thought we would make a push to get ahead of the belly bulge with some cleansing and general modification of our eating habits. This weekend (Friday) we started a cleanse. We opted for a juice cleanse in the form of smoothies so that we could feel like we were getting more substance in our system and not just drinking juice every day.

Basically it is four days of smoothies, one for each meal and then we can have tea, coconut water and water in between to stay hydrated. The portion sizes of the smoothies are actually really large, so we haven’t felt hungry. The first day was okay the second day was miserable — I was a complete mess and I wanted to cheat so badly, but I didn’t. I figured this is something we wanted to do together and if P was in and doing okay I was going to keep plugging along… I went to bed early and woke up yesterday feeling so much better. Sunday was almost too easy with the smoothies, our energy was back up, things were good.

Today is the last day of smoothies and after this we are going to be transitioning back to whole foods, heavy on the produce with vegetarian proteins easing towards lean proteins (like chicken and fish) and I want to do some more research on processed foods and what choices would be better than others as well for this next phase. Does anyone know anything about tofu and where it falls here?

Smoothie CleanseFrom a work perspective, P worked the whole weekend, and I worked my regular Friday plus a consult in the evening, Saturday plus some materials shopping in the afternoon, and Sunday we took B for a walk, watched Inside Out, I ran errands, did a floor plan and put together the base lines for a scheme on a new project.

Then when P’s shift (and the Giants’ game) ended, we went for a long walk around the park to enjoy this beautiful night! (And to kick some butt on our weekend Fitbit challenges-my family all has them and they are a bit obsessed — in a good way — about doing the weekly and weekend competitions.)

So, all said and done, a few things I’m thankful for? I am so appreciative for my hubby, someone who is there on this journey to help support me during every aspect of our life from fitness to careers and so much more. I am grateful for my mom who raised us to have such a strong knowledge of being healthy and fit, not skinny. I am thankful for following my heart into the crazy world of design as I know I am so fortunate to have a career that I am passionate about. And I’m thankful for Brantley who provides us unconditional love, always.

How was your weekend? Does this time of year make you thankful for anything? Today’s quote graphic is a great quote from Mark Twain on the language of kindness and I think it is so true… kindness is everything. (Graphic background is on Benjamin Moore’s Caliente AF-290..such a beautiful shade of red for the fall season!)

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Kindness Confetti

Have you ever heard the expression “throw kindness around like confetti?” I’ve heard it before, but the other day I came across it again and something about it struck me. That is what I love about doing these Monday posts is that no matter what is going on in life, good, bad or indifferent, there is always someone out there who said something awesome that will make you smile.

Throw Confetti Around like Kindness

This is one of those expressions. I decided not to create a graphic of my own this week, but to share a favorite print from Etsy featuring this expression. Pictured above is a beautiful print from Sara Vroomin Designs I love the black with gold lettering! An alternate print in metallic pink can be found here from VeraLaLune’s shop. I did some searching and I couldn’t find who is responsible for this fun and powerful expression, but I really do just love it and thought it would be a perfect way to kick off a month of being thankful.

How is it possibly November already?!?! Did you guys dress up and/or do anything fun for Halloween? P worked so we stayed in and being that we live in a condo we had no trick-or-treaters, but watched movies and had a cozy night.

Sunday we went up to CT to visit with a friend who had a birthday over the weekend that just had to be celebrated. I feel like we are getting to that age where we don’t really ‘celebrate’ the way we used to anymore, but just grab a bite with good friends and enjoy the company of loved ones, which let’s be honest is a pretty great way to ring in another year. P if you are reading this, my next b-day is a big one and it needs to be C E L E B R A T E D!! 

Well, that is all for me this Monday evening. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!! Leave a comment below to let me know what you’ve been up to lately, I love hearing from you guys! I’m hoping to blog more this week… we’ll see how that goes!

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Clothes vs Costumes

I can’t believe Halloween is upon us already! But that is the way with time. It just keeps going whether we like it or not.

Mason Cooley Clothes make a statement costumes tell a story quote motivation monday halloween

I found this fun quote and thought it would be perfect for Halloween week! When you get ready in the mornings are you putting on a costume or are you putting on clothes? Do you wish you were dressing differently for a job or purpose that you currently aren’t in?

Sometimes it’s fun to change the hat that you are wearing (or in this context the whole ensemble) and dress up for the job that you want, or just dress up for the fun you want to be having.

Are you dressing up for Halloween? I can’t wait to hear what costumes everyone will be wearing!!

Graphic on a background of Pitch Black by Farrow & Ball.

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A Word Of Advice From Judy Blume

The word exhausted doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel right now. But I’ve always been of the mindset that being busy is good.

But being so busy you feel crazy doesn’t often feel good, but it is so much better than having absolutely no work to be done and crying because you are bored and without work. So, I am in no way complaining, I’m just feeling a little tired is all.

Judy Blume on Benjamin Moore Caramel Latte

All that said, I found this word of advice from Judy Blume and I thought it was absolutely perfect for how I’ve been feeling these last few days. “Stay aware, listen carefully, and yell for help if you need it.” Well Judy, My ears are perked, I’m paying attention, and I’m just about ready to yell for help!!

In all reality though, things are going so well. I might be getting less sleep these days, but it is all for good reasons. I have a handful of amazing projects in the works right now and I’m excited to see them all come together. Fortunately for me, I really do feel passionately about what I do. Another thing that I’m thankful for? People to yell to for help when the load gets to heavy. A good support system is so key! Now if I could just get to yoga…

I know I owe you all an announcement on who won the Appleton Wrap Dress contest, but I haven’t had a minute to determine a winner yet, so just know that the contest is closed and I will announce a winner later on tonight or in tomorrow’s post, and I appreciate you baring with me on this one!

How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun? Or were you fortunate enough as I am to be bogged down with getting work done? Tell me what you’re up to!

(Quote shared on Benjamin Moore’s Caramel Latte, this color is perfect for fall!)

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Motivation for Adventure on Columbus Day

Whether or not Columbus was the first to discover America (what era did you go to school in?) we still celebrate his explorations on Columbus Day. I like to think that Columbus had an adventurous spirit, and I hope that is what people think about me when I’m gone.

Daring Adventure Quote by Helen Keller for Columbus Day

I hope I have time and the ability (mentally, physically, financially) to do all of the worldly exploring that I dream of, but in the meantime, in honor of Columbus Day, I thought I would share this Helen Keller quote on adventure (background color is Farrow & Ball Pitch Blue). She’s right ya know… you either take the chance and make the adventures happen, or you are really doing nothing.

What kinds of adventures are you doing lately? Do you find that yours are more of the Christopher Columbus world explorer variety? Or more of the staying local but getting out of your comfort zone and doing things a little differently variety?

What You Do Makes a Difference

I often make the joke to friends and family that I’m not doing anything to save the world, but I am making it a prettier world to live in.

What You Do Makes A Difference William James Quote Motivation

Now there is nothing wrong with living in a pretty world, but this thought process and repetition can constantly discredit what you are doing. The fact is, interior designers do so much more than make homes pretty. We work hard to create an organized, clean and functional spaces for our clients — spaces in which they feel relaxed and can get cozy when they come home from their long days at work. This reduces the stress level as a homeowner, because the baseline of your home is done.

A well-designed space, public or private, makes you feel good to be in it — even if when you come home, there are dishes to do and laundry to be washed, it won’t drive you mad.

There are so many other examples of jobs that feel frivolous, you might even beat yourself up for not doing something better, but chances are, you are still making a difference. So take a minute to let that sink in and build yourself back up again, because what you do is important!

What do you do, and how do you find yourself making a difference? Have you found that having a well-structured and decorated home makes you feel good at the end of the day?

PS, the background color is Sherwin Williams “Spiced Cider,” and I LOVE the color! It is the perfect blend of warmth and color while still feeling really neutral — and it is totally making me want to grab a chai latte!!

Aint No Stoppin’

This quote is the simplest truth. Nobody is holding you back except for you.

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Yesterday at church we listened to a sermon about how sometimes you are making excuses to stay comfortably where you are, even when you know what you could be or should be doing to help move yourself forward.

Sometimes it isn’t clear what we are supposed to be doing in this life, what our purpose is or where we are going, but we can all take a look at what we are doing now and make a decision to move ourselves forward. I love that. We have the power and control to take the reigns in our life and make it happen.

Take that next step forward, what are you waiting for?

PS, the background color on today’s quote is Sherwin-Williams “Harvest” because as much as I’m in denial on the season change, the mornings are getting brisk, and fall will officially be here before the week is over, so I figured I would jump on board and pick a color that eases us in in a soft and subtle golden-orange hue.

Fashion Week Motivation

New York Fashion Week is in full swing, and if you are anything like me, you are stalking the fashion designers and fashion bloggers on all platforms of social media, filling yourself up to the brim with inspiration.

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This quote by Italian designer and one part of the duo, Dolce & Gabbana, is a favorite for inspiration, not just for fashion designers, but for all designers and really any person with dreams in life. Basically if you put your whole heart into something and throw all your passion at it, there is no reason you shouldn’t go far in life.

By the way, the background color of this graphic is Benjamin Moore’s Fashion Pink, I felt it was most appropriate!

I hope that whether you are following along with fashion week or not, this has you feeling inspired to follow your passions and put all your love into what you do.