Martha, Martha, Martha! Am I the only geek in the room or do products like this really get you all hot and bothered like they do for me… Sheesh I love hand crafts and especially things from the Martha Stewart collection. I have to order a few and have my mom ship them over. That is what mothers are for with daughters living in other countries, right? Oh mom…
I love these little swirls, they remind me of hostess cupcakes. :) And by the way — for a limited time, you can enter code PUNCH20 upon checkout at the MS Craft Store online to receive 20% off of your purchase.
Click here to view a video to learn how to use these punches…
P.S. Martha’s online craft store ships worldwide!
(image: martha stewart)
Well it’s about that time to throw on some cute shoes and something shimmery and paint the town red — it’s the weekend, baby! But first, how are you all doing? I’m loving my new life here, I feel so energized by the sheer newness of it all. I’m well aware that the honeymoon period will eventually come to its lusty end, but for now I’m gathering all the breadcrumbs and bits that I can as I explore my new surroundings spending hours perusing grocery store aisles and drug stores trying to translate everything because nothing is in English here (not even as a second language — when it is, it is in French!).
A funny experience I had was in the local grocery store tonight, if you are American you’ll understand this… You know how in America we have a salad dressing called “Russian” dressing? It’s sort of flesh-toned peach and in my opinion, pretty gross. Well in Germany, they have this exact same dressing and you know it’s not called Russian dressing here. It’s called American dressing. Why? I have no clue. And after visiting about 100 stores, I finally found a can of peanut butter imported from America. It’s a small jar but good enough for me because I rarely eat it but it’s nice to know I at least can have it if I want too. Imagine walking into ONE American store without finding PB? Simply not possible!
The sheer experience of living as an expat in a foreign country is beyond my wildest dreams. I still sit here thinking, pinch me, did this all really just happen? If you’ve been following me for some time you know that I’ve wanted to live in Europe since I was pretty young and in my 20′s I set a goal for myself to eventually land here. Then I really started working towards this goal years back and now I AM HERE. I’m happy I settled on Germany, my husband and I entertained the option of other countries in the EU or other cities within Germany but this is the city where I feel the fit – and if the shoe fits my friends, you cannot wear anything else!
I hope that for any of you reading this blog entry right now, who have big dreams for yourself but feel like you are pretty far from reaching them, or perhaps that they’re unattainable altogether please please please let me be your example that if you want something bad enough, and work towards it, you will ultimately find yourself either reaching the goal or even another one you hadn’t thought you had until you started walking towards the initial one.
Who was it that said “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”? Well it’s very, very true.
We often want it all, and we want it now (or yesterday). But the good stuff in life takes patience to cultivate but come harvest time, you will see that the wait was absolutely worth every ticking minute on the clock that you endured, sometimes painfully. And now I find myself setting new goals since reaching this one, my confidence is soaring more than before, and I feel like since I was able to do this then I can certainly reach the next goal that I’ve set for myself and so on. And I have many new goals that I’ll share with you in the months ahead.
There is no magic formula when it comes to happy living and reaching goals. I am saying this to encourage you because I get emails from a lot of amazing people who are frustrated, drained, even ready to give up because they feel like life isn’t giving them what they’d hoped for. I understand these feelings so well. I often looked upon people who I deemed a success and felt like they must have some help, a rich family, connections, money, something that made them different from me so that I could justify why I didn’t have what they did. Then I started to see that the one thing I needed was inside of me — I just needed to ignite the fire — the passion that I had for certain things and then set goals and go for them. When you have passion that is sincere, nothing can stop you and this is a confirmed fact whenever you find a successful person living an authentic, happy life. The key is to figure out your passion and set goals and with time and consistency, you can be those whom you envy. You can stop watching others live your dreams.
None of us are outsiders when it comes to living our life, there is no glass to look through — we are in fact living it right here, right now — this is not a dress rehearsal, this is real life as I once heard. And it’s true. There is no future time when you or I are officially allowed to live our life and be joyous and happy in doing so. And hey, I’m not stuck in some fantasy happy-joy land where life is always perfect. I get frustrated, annoyed, angry, depressed… just like you do. But the key is to stay positive, afloat, make progress, move forward and to not allow yourself to stay in a rut once you’ve taken a fall into one.
Why am I writing all this on a Friday? Pretty heavy stuff, huh? Hey, it’s the weekend, time to live it up and have some fun! But with all of my heart I wanted to say these things simply because you are my friends and this is what friends do, talk to one another openly and freely when certain chatty moments hit. I guess this was my chatty moment.
In closing, I want to say that I am so lucky to have you to share this experience of relocating with. I cannot imagine not being a blogger and doing all of this without the support and comfort (and advice!) of my friends online. I love you all so, so much and thank you for supporting decor8 and making this move possible for me because in a way, you have. I’m working freelance as a writer because of your support and this newfound career as a writer/blogger since 2006 has paved many fantastic roads for me and I greatly owe this to my husband and family and next, to all of you.
I’ll be back again next week, part-time as I still have a slew of favorite things guests that want their turn to share (big smile), but I’ll still be here writing from time-to-time and sharing as I am able. I’m still working on legal paperwork and banking stuff and a bunch of other appointments but it’s all starting to level out now as I’ve been getting so much accomplished working only 30 hours a week. Again, thank you for giving me the time that I need to settle in. Have you been enjoying my guests? I edit all posts and read all comments, and I’m gathering that you are indeed enjoying them based on your feedback but I thought I’d ask anyway. :) It’s so important to me that you are continually inspired and that your soul is fed with good positive energy while I’m out and about. You deserve those things.
See you on Monday, make this weekend a good one! x0 Holly
(image: holly becker for decor8)
A few of my favorite things: Selina Lake
Before you head off for the weekend don’t forget to visit me!! Hello, I’m Selina Lake, Freelance Interior Stylist and Author from London and I’m visiting while Holly is getting adjusted to her new living quarters over in Germany. I had the honor of working with a fantastic photographer Max Attenborough to produce these shots of my favourite things in my home for decor8 today so I hope that you enjoy them! I think it’s a nice way to end the week here on the blog since these photos may provide some inspiration for you to carry into the weekend.
1. Inspiration Wall - I love sticking inspiring postcards and pictures up on my wall, I buy vintage postcards from flea markets and junk shops and keep pretty greetings cards which people send me. I also can’t resist lavender hearts!!
2. Vintage China – My collection of vintage china keeps growing, I enjoy drinking tea out of this pretty teacup! I buy lots of plates from Charity Shops and Flea Markets.
3. Interiors books & magazines - I have a massive collection of Interior books and magazines, this is my biggest passion! After the success of my 1st book Bazaar Style, I’ve recently had my next book commissioned. I’m currently working on at the moment with photographer Debi Treloar
4. Tea Lights — There’s nothing more romantic then candle light, these Moroccan tea glasses give my living room a lovely pink glow. I bought the pouffes in a souk in Marrakesh last year.
5. Fresh Flowers – I always like to have fresh flowers at home, I love peonies, hydrangea’s and roses. I’m lucky to have a really good flower market nearby. I also often bring flowers home after a shoot.
6. Vintage Eiderdowns – Whenever I go to antique fairs, junk shops or flea markets, I look out for eiderdowns and vintage fabric! Here are are a few of my latest buys from Kempton Antiques. I’m really into romantic peachy pink tones at the moment.
Enough about me… I’m turning the table here on you – decor8 readers… What about YOU? What are some of your favorite things in your home currently? - Selina xx
(images: Max Attenborough)
Soft, feminine florals make my heart go pitter pat. I just heard from Eva Ricci, a photographer who just opened an Etsy shop (as in, yesterday) and she told me that she’s looking to reach out to the online photography and art community a little more in order to branch out a bit. Let’s make her feel welcome, shall we? Group hug! he he. Well the only way I can think of to make her feel good about her new shop is for us to simply visit her it and to hop on over to herFlickr photostream where you can find more of her photography. I just added her as a Flickr contact myself, maybe you can do the same if you’d like…
It’s always nice to reach out to new faces online — fresh talent is always welcome here!
(images: eva ricci)