A Peaceful Weekend To You…

March 18, 2011

Wishing you a happy Friday sounds so out of place right now, doesn’t it? So I’ve decided to wish you a peaceful weekend. I’ve been working a lot offline lately so excuse me for being a bit distracted from my blog this week but I’m happy to be here today, just briefly at least, before the weekend begins. How are you doing? Are you well? I’ve been counting my blessings a lot this week, particularly when I watch the news because my heart aches for Japan but also for those affected globally by this tragedy – particularly ones with family in Japan like dear Leslie — my friend and Color Me Pretty columnist.

A Peaceful Weekend To You...

Leslie is half Japanese, her mother is from Japan, so they have family living there and visit frequently. In fact, Leslie travels over at least once a year so her connections there are strong. If you have time today, please visit Leslie’s blog and leave her a message of hope + peace if you can. She’s had a tough week absorbing all of this as you can imagine and what a sweetheart… she still found time to push through her feelings and work on a gorgeous color story for you that I’ll run on Monday morning that will be so uplifting to see. I’ve had a glimpse and it’s gorgeous.

And are you holding up okay? I’ve felt a little uncomfortable writing on decor8 this week — it’s hard to get excited about furniture and decorating when people are suffering and that won’t end soon because then, a massive rebuilding will have to occur in certain places and that can take years to complete. This will be a long journey for Japan and my heart breaks for such a dear culture. It’s hard to rah rah about products and pretty things and “home” in general when for some, their home has been carried out to sea or is abandoned with belongings spread for blocks – belongings that may not be reunited with their owners ever again.

I put together some gorgeous photographs taken of cherry blossoms for you today, most are from various etsy sellers and they made me feel very peaceful to look upon them. Cherry blossoms (Sakura) are indigenous to Japan with over 200 cultivars found there. Whenever I see them, I think of Japan. In Japanese culture, cherry blossoms can symbolize clouds but are also a metaphor for the ephemeral nature of life and the concept of mono no aware. Do you know much about mono no aware? If not, this is quite a fascinating read if you have a moment, click here. It is the belief that, “Awareness of the transience of all things heightens appreciation of their beauty, and evokes a gentle sadness at their passing.” Cherry blossoms also symbolize affection, love, and represent spring. The images above can be found and most of them purchased here in the shops of some of my favorite etsy sellers: shaded memories, fly with me, thorsten becker, green zinnia studio, amanda raek, shaded memories, becca c fowler, born barefoot and humboldt street. I love each of their photos, they give me a feeling of peace and joy just to behold them.

I’ll be back with some positive thoughts and posts next week but for now I’d like to encourage you to stay positive, donate to a reputable charity or help where you can, and spread love, peace, be supportive of one another and care about those around you. Do what you can to go out of your way to show love. I’m learning more and more from my dear friend Laurie, an American living nearby, about “mindfulness” or being present  — really “in” the moment… Just recently we were at a cafe and she explained that being mindful means to hug your friend and really smell her perfume, taste the coffee as you sip it, enjoy the texture as you chew a freshly baked brownie, to notice the sights and sounds around you and to be present and to allow this presence to give you energy, peace, balance, joy and to help you to appreciate life’s details. It’s a gift to learn this and we can practice it more and more until it becomes second nature. Being mindful can do so much to make us appreciate every little thing in our life and to drink in every moment — and this can help us through some very hard times. The Japanese people are very mindful as a culture, and at ease, and they strive for balance and I think that this is why they still remain so calm despite this tragedy. There is so much to learn from others who are often much stronger than we are.

To wrap up the week, perhaps we can approach spring (which falls on March 20th this year) with a fresh outlook — to practice being more aware, to be mindful and to enjoy what we have. Really enjoy the magazine that you plan to look through for inspiration. Feel the warmth of your kitty at your feet, purring loudly. Hear the sound of the clock ticking on the wall. Take in the sights and sounds around you as you commute home on the train. Connect. Be aware. We are alive, so many of us have peace, and abundance in our life — let us be mindful of that fact and appreciate it and to then take what we have and share it with others.

I wish you a peaceful, mindful weekend – be grateful for everything… And I’ll see you dear friends again on Monday for a fresh beginning as we welcome the good things that Spring can bring, together.

xo, Holly

(images linked to their sources above.)


  • Reply Luciane at HomeBunch.com March 18, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    Have a Blessed weekend!

    I guess we’re all in need of more blessings in our lives, right?

    Luciane at HomeBunch.

  • Reply Design Elements March 18, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    wow, Holly, these images are B E A U T I F U L!

  • Reply Franca March 18, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    Dear Holly,

    Thank you for these words expressing my own feelings towards blogging about homes and decor when so many people are lost, homeless… Thank you for spreading these words off awerness
    Love, Franca

  • Reply Glenda Childers March 18, 2011 at 10:45 pm

    You know, Holly, that after we take your e.course, we all feel like friends . . . so I appreciate knowing about Leslie and will have her much in my thoughts and prayers. I sent her a note too.


  • Reply noemozica March 18, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    I hope you have a peaceful one too!! ^_^

  • Reply Stacie March 18, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    I have struggled too with my feelings about the last week…and I have come to the conclusion, (Thank you Dr. Wayne Dyer) that no matter how bad I feel, or how much I worry, it won’t make a tangible difference in the sufferings of others. Doing something to ease the pain of others will help though. Living a full life and being thankful about it enables gratitude to spread. Seeing the beauty in this miracle called life in each moment is still ok, even when bad things happen. Filling ourselves up with love for self and others is how love spreads. You can’t give away what you don’t have. Have a peaceful weekend…and thanks for a great post.

  • Reply Sarah{thegreendandelion} March 18, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    i love cherry blossoms!! beautiful collage…

  • Reply kathryn March 18, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    what beautiful photos…looks awesome all collaged together!

  • Reply shannon March 18, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    beautiful words!
    beautiful photos!

  • Reply Tamara, Bella Boho March 19, 2011 at 12:02 am

    Beautiful sentiments Miss Holly. We must NEVER take things for granted, embrace life every day and keep others in our thoughts.

    Peace to you ♥

  • Reply laura trevey March 19, 2011 at 12:16 am

    Ahhhh ~ Spring, and the gorgeous blooms that it brings…

  • Reply journeyseeds March 19, 2011 at 12:26 am

    Really pretty photos Holly…thank you for the gentle reminder of keeping our blessings in mind. One of the qualities of cherry blossom flower essence to give Hope.

  • Reply frauheuberg March 19, 2011 at 12:47 am

    hej, my dear…i was on my way to go to bed and then i read your lines…to be mindful?…right…to be happy about every little minute in life…to be glad to be…here and now…so true…its incredible to see what happened and will happen in Japan the last days…not to believe…and i´m so touching about the people there, about their faith that everything will become fine again…really thoughtful nation…and so we could do our part for Japan and the world everyday…everybody in his way…be present, be real, hope and believe in the good…we all can come closer together…you are so right…

    “Where there’s life, there’s hope.” Terence

    thanks and have a lovley and hopeful weekend, too…a big hug also to your husband…cheers and hugs…i…

  • Reply designchic March 19, 2011 at 1:25 am

    wishing you a wonderful and peaceful weekend…

  • Reply Giulia March 19, 2011 at 1:42 am

    wishing you a peaceful weekend as well.

  • Reply Kate @ Travelmoon March 19, 2011 at 2:23 am

    Thank you for this post…your thoughts on this tragedy really resonated with me, as well as your pointing out gratitude and mindfulness. This is a concept I have been working on for some time, and I will carry this reminder with me into the weekend!

  • Reply Kate/MagnoliaRouge March 19, 2011 at 2:25 am

    Yes it has indeed been hard to write about pretty things which in the grand scheme of things seem rather meaningless. I love this concept of ‘mindfulness’ you speak about. I really need to practice that more rather than just going through the motions.

  • Reply Cecilia March 19, 2011 at 2:57 am

    Holly, thank you for telling us about Leslie’s family. I will be sure to pop over to her site and give her my support. I really appreciate AGAIN learning something from you. This time about “mindfulness.”. Everything you wrote about here resonated so strongly-and really hit me right in the heart.

  • Reply Lucent Imagery March 19, 2011 at 3:05 am

    This is such a beautiful heartfelt post. I think this is the first time I’ve ever commented on your blog in the long time I’ve been visiting. Thank you for your kindness in sharing your feelings and beautiful links. Emotions have been running high this summer/autumn in the southern hemisphere. We in Australia are still recovering from floods, cyclones and bushfires. Then we watched our neighbours in New Zealand spin in shock at the destruction to Christchurch, their homes, their lives. And then Japan. The magnitude of which makes it impossible to sum up. Just horrible and on a whole new scale. I am thankful for being able to finally return to my home after being evacuated, I am thankful for my loved ones returning home safe from search and rescue efforts in New Zealand and I am thankful for the love and support humans have shown each other these past few months. I am hopeful that if we all pull together as I’ve witnessed, the good will outweigh the bad and eventually after a long battle, life will return to some sense of normality. In the meantime we continue to shed tears for those in Japan.

  • Reply Stephie March 19, 2011 at 4:44 am

    Hi Holly. I know what you mean about finding words. I have felt so sad this week and everything else seems so trivial. It’s nice to think about having a peaceful weekend – I wish you the same, Stephie x

  • Reply meenal @ maison marigold March 19, 2011 at 4:57 am

    beautiful heart-warming post to end the week, Holly…most of us have a lot to be thankful for…a peaceful secure life, for one…the events in Japan have left the world shaken and heart-broken…the other day i came across an old japanese saying which goes something like this “winter always turns to spring’…i find it so full of eternal hope and in my mind it truly reflects the great spirit of the people of Japan..they are always in my prayers…have a peaceful weekend…xx meenal

  • Reply Brooke March 19, 2011 at 6:11 am

    Such a lovely collage and post. Its times like these that we really count our blessings.

  • Reply tinajo March 19, 2011 at 7:57 am

    Wonderful photos, reminds me that there´s always new beginnings. Japan will pull through, I´m sure of it.

  • Reply Angi in CO March 19, 2011 at 8:34 am

    Beautiful pictures, beautiful post. Your ‘rah rah’ comment is so spot on. So many prayers and peaceful thoughts are making their gossamer way to those in Japan…

  • Reply ishtar March 19, 2011 at 8:50 am

    Thank you for writing this post Holly!
    It´s been really hearthbraking for all humankind…I´ve been pretty sad my self, but praying and meditating and donating to help Japan.
    On the other hand they are setting an example on how to act uppon a tragedy like this one, staying centered and calmed and being gentle to each other..they have given me hope on humanity ??????

  • Reply Nina Lamb March 19, 2011 at 8:59 am

    You once again manage to express with your beautiful words how so many of us are feeling. I too have not been able to concentrate on much else but the tragedy in Japan, especially as I experienced first hand how my family in Christchurch New Zealand was effected by the terrible earthquake – does put things into perspective.

  • Reply Monica March 19, 2011 at 9:55 am

    Dear Holly,
    What a truly wonderful and touching post. Being mindful has been something that I have been striving for lately and I have found that it does truly feed the soul. It is too easy to get caught up in the trivialities of the day to day and our time is too precious.
    As always, thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Meera @ firstsense March 19, 2011 at 10:55 am

    Beautiful photos and beautiful words, Holly. Wish you a peaceful weekend too.

  • Reply ARTiculateART March 19, 2011 at 11:10 am

    Very peaceful and beautiful pics of cherry blossoms. Thank you for sharing and I can really relate to mono no aware.

  • Reply Laura March 19, 2011 at 11:11 am

    Such a moving post Holly. The images you have found of cherry blossom
    do lift the heart though x x x

  • Reply Marcy March 19, 2011 at 11:35 am

    Your message is beautiful. Thank you.

  • Reply Jane March 19, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    Oh, Holly. An eloquent and insightful post, sharing the thoughts of many of us. Thankyou. J x

  • Reply All things nice... March 19, 2011 at 2:09 pm


    You are so right, it is difficult to be upbeat when such devastation has taken place. My heart goes out to the people of Japan. It really puts things into perspective for us all. We shouldnt be complaining about little things and we should never underestimate the powers of mother nautre. May you have a nice weekend and enjoy the time off to relax.

    All things nice…

  • Reply Lily March 19, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    Thank you for this kind, reflective post. my heart goes out to Japan.

  • Reply Shari March 19, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    Thank you for this lovely post, Holly. I also strive for mindfulness. I believe that the best gift you can give someone is your full attention and presence. I (funny enough) have my cat in my lap, purring away, and he is a great reminder of how to enjoy the moment you are in, and not worry about the future. Now is our only true experience of life and it should be cherished and felt and loved for it’s singularity.

    Thank you for such an amazing and in depth class this week! Wow. I could barely keep up!! :-)

    Peace to you and yours… Shari

  • Reply Victoria Bennett Beyer March 19, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    The cherry blossoms are so fitting. I think this is the perfect post to remember the suffering of the Japanese and their friends and family, and to remind us that every moment we have is a blessing that we should fully embrace.

    Ditto on Shari’s thoughts – I agree that giving someone your full attention is the greatest gift.

  • Reply Leanda March 19, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Holly… thank you for acknowledging the dreadful situation in Japan. Yes, it’s hard to think about that ‘superficial’ stuff which we love at a time like this. I’m looking forward to seeing you again after the weekend and happy birthday for Monday! All the best to you, Leanda

  • Reply Hana March 19, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    This is the first time I’ve commented on your blog (though I’ve been following you for quite some time). I was incredibly moved by your sensitivity to what’s happening in Japan. While I know that life, the world and blogging has to move forward, I’ve been struggling to appreciate all of the blog posts about things, products, material items. While they are beautiful it’s so important to remember the people that have been affected by the earthquake and tsunami.

    All this to say: thank you for this post. For reminding all of us what is important in life, to be grateful for the big and the little things, and to remember to connect with the people in our lives we love every day.

    Thank you so much.

    – Hana

  • Reply Letícia Magalhães March 19, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    That was really beautiful. We are, most of the time, so unaware of the power we have. We can choose what to put into the world – from buildings to books to words to feelings. We have an amazing power to affect the world in good ways just by being brave and kind, just by taking action on the things that seem small. Your words, at a time like this, are much more than simply words.

  • Reply lynn March 19, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    Thank you for the beautiful post. The cherry blossoms are lovely.

  • Reply Jennie March 19, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    This post was just what I needed to start my weekend. I love how insightful and caring you are to share such positive sentiments. You really lifted my spirits…I think I may just have to print this post, attach it to my inspiration board as a daily reminder how it important it is to “live in the moment”. Thank you again, Holly.


  • Reply Rose March 19, 2011 at 10:19 pm


    I have also been following the news in Japan breathless and with a broken heart. I am half Japanese and lived in Japan for three years, and with many friends and family over there I have shed quite a few tears over the past week. Please know that your posts bring a lot of beauty into my life, and when I am feeling down I often go to your blog to feel better! So don’t think that you just write about “material things,” you also write about surrounding ourselves with beauty and peace and taking moments to try to be happy amidst the chaos.


  • Reply isavirtue March 19, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    leslie does have a lovely blog, thanks for sending me her way

    i love these images – my fiance and i were just commenting on the cherry blossom trees as they started to bloom in victoria this week. it always tells us spring is coming!

  • Reply trish March 19, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    thank you for this visual respite this morning. I have been overwhelmed by videos of the small fishing port we used to frequent when we lived in Japan. These blossoms are just the image I needed to focus on hope for Japan. Thank you!!!

  • Reply Milica March 20, 2011 at 12:30 am

    Beautiful post. Thank you!
    Tomorrow we’ll have special family time, we’re going to make origami cranes… that will be our support for brave Japanese people.
    Good news is that everybody can help, at least spreading good vibrations!

  • Reply Carla Valverde March 20, 2011 at 2:19 am

    Hi Holly, great photos, great post!

  • Reply Rosalind March 20, 2011 at 4:11 am

    When we see so much devastation around the world, including our own backyards, it is nice to escape to somewhere like decor8 for some positive and beautiful images for some relief! So it’s not shallow or meaningless.

  • Reply Kristyne March 20, 2011 at 4:42 am

    Thank you, Holly. Knowing there’s someone like you in the world makes everything feel a little bit better.

  • Reply cath March 20, 2011 at 4:54 am

    It’s taken me up until now to comment on your truly lovely blog. It’s uplifting and kind and stunning, all in one. And, for that, I am thankful.
    The ever evolving beauty… bring it!
    Love, Cath

  • Reply Jamie Herzlinger March 20, 2011 at 6:03 am

    Beautiful and serene photos to go with such true thoughts of hope and peace.
    Jamie Herzlinger

  • Reply Lily from Birch + Bird March 20, 2011 at 7:32 am

    Thank you, Holly, for putting into words what so many of us have been thinking this week…you write so well and from the heart. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  • Reply Rose March 20, 2011 at 9:26 am

    Hi Holly I try not to get involved with emails over the week end, but am I glad I did today. 44 wonderful people have gone before me and said what I wanted to say, but just for me to add into the mix – living a mindful life is something I have recently aspired to attain. In the heat of the day’s activities, I don’t always get it right, but it happened one day last week, while walking my precious dog – somehow I was able to get into just those moments. No thoughts projecting into the future, or reeling back to the past. I was completely absorbed into the beauty of nature & life – it was awesome.Thank you for the encouragement indulge mindfulness. From my heart I send baskets and baskets full of cherry blossoms to the people of Japan.

  • Reply Leanne Ambrogio March 20, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Such a wonderful post Holly – thanks for reminding me to live in the moment and really take it all in – you have put all that most of us in the blog world have been thinking perfectly. I hope you have had a lovely weekend. Leanne x

  • Reply Alexandra March 20, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    I love how you describe the essence of the Japanese culture so simple and inspiring! This essence is the magic that you can feel when visiting this wonderful country. Japan does really deserve our respect especially now…

  • Reply Pixie March 20, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    I’m from New Orleans and although the extent of the damage in Japan is so much greater than that of Katrina, I have a feeling that many in NOLA understand what these people are going through. It’s a terrible thing to lose loved ones and everything you own but combined with the lack of control of your own life is just beyond. Not knowing what is happening, being dependent on someone else (charities, the government, etc) to provide the basic necessities for you is so hard to accept.

  • Reply Virgi March 20, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    Totally agree with you about the Japanese. But…what about the other people suffering now ? War’s in Africa, Libya…? No tsunami there ? Or don’t know what to say about people without cherry blossoms, without sweet creations of wonderful famous artists, designers, illustrators, stylists, photographers, without kawai craft, without beautiful papers, masking tapes, and all that sort of things we can see everywhere on the web showing lovely japanese products…
    Yes I understand why all your hearts break for Japan and not for other countries. Japan is definitly more esthetic, so Japanese’s pain should not exist. But for the others, my god, who cares ?

    • Reply decor8 March 21, 2011 at 2:07 am

      @Virgi – There is pain and suffering everywhere but my co-writer on decor8, Leslie, is half Japanese and part of the reason for my post is to wish her peace and love as both her friend and colleague out of respect and friendship. I hope you can support me in my effort to do so.

  • Reply Nieves March 20, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    Ey Holly I’m following you since a while now but never commented… silly on me. I couldn’t avoid doing it after reading your post. I hope Japan and it’s people will find peace and harmony soon. THey are in my every-day thoughts… thanks for the lovely pics and words, can’t wait to see Leslie’s post on Monday.

  • Reply laura @ the shorehouse March 21, 2011 at 12:27 am

    Such a beautiful post in so many ways!

  • Reply Elizabeth March 21, 2011 at 6:34 am

    The cherry blossom images are stunning. Also your thoughts on being mindful are lovely. After there has been a tragedy that is so unbelievable, and shocking, it is easy to feel helpless. Donating to relief funds and the Red Cross helps, but it always feels far away. I think that being supportive to those around us, and being kind to someone who needs it is a wonderful way to do something positive.

    Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply Megan March 21, 2011 at 7:27 am

    Thank you for these heartfelt words Holly, and although we live in a world which sometimes feels like it’s being torn apart, it’s important to remember the beauty and happiness that does exist. Thank you for the reminder.
    Megan (BYW)

  • Reply eva March 21, 2011 at 9:57 am

    Thanks for that wonderful words of wisdom. that’s true we should be thankful that we are not affected on what is happening not only in Japan, but also in Libya and Bahrain.It’s sad that many lives are affected.all we can do is to pray for them for quick recovery.

  • Reply katrin March 21, 2011 at 10:30 am

    Dear Holly,
    thank you for your mindful post.
    To make myself keep on going and I wear a simple bracelet with one single red bead like the red circle in Japan`s flag. It reminds me of the fact that we are all connected. Everytime I look at it, I send healing – and continue with whatever I`m doing.
    I can recommend this a lot.
    Life is so precious…
    Warm regards, KATRIN

  • Reply nilufer March 21, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    Dear Holly,

    All these tragic events happening in the world makes us realize how precious life is. It’s so heart breaking…
    I hug my kids a little tighter these days…
    Thanks for sharing from your heart…

    Kindest regards,

  • Reply frauheuberg March 21, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    hej…before i forget my dear…Happy Birthday and all the best for the next new year…i hope that you will have a lovely day with lots delights for your soul…life is so worth every single moment, right?…so enjoy your day and wish you so much more…take care…cheers and hugs…i…

  • Reply Margarita Lorenzo March 22, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    I have been having the same feelings, it is very difficult to focus on beautiful things when such tragedies are happening to not only Japan but Libyan, Africa, etc…I admire the Japanese people for putting such a strong face and remain calm trying to build their country back to normal, but I know that deep inside them they are suffering and I wish I could help them anyhow. So from here I keep sending love, hope and strength to all of them, and I hope to visit japan when money and time allow it to keep enjoying their amazing culture, heritage and love for beautiful things!!

    From here I can only keep doing my things as trivial as they are, to remind me that life and earth are an amazing place to be, and art, design, craft ballet, music are here to add to that beauty!!

    Love form London to al of you!!

  • Reply Marija (Sachiko Lamb) March 22, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    Oh my goodness. These images literally took my breath away. Only after then did I realize that yes, Japan.

    The pictures remind me that the world is still beautiful after all.

  • Reply Shirley Crowley March 22, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    Dear Holly,

    I hear what you are saying. It’s hard to continue with our “pretty lives” while there is so much suffering around us. It gives me a crisis of conscious, which I have already been dealing with, even since I quit a well-paid corporate job to pursue art. Why I do what I do hit me the other night and I wrote my little heart out on my blog: http://hsuleedesigns.blogspot.com/2011/03/my-intention.html

    We do have an obligation to carry-on with our lives – continue to do good and you’ve pointed out- give where and when we can. People are a resilient being and we can allow the tragedies of others, to touch in a way that allow us to become better people. Thank you for continuing to make the world a prettier place!

  • Reply Rossana March 23, 2011 at 8:37 am

    Hi Holly,
    I’ve just read your post. Such nice words, thoughts and images. You are right the Japanese culture have a way of seeing and feeling the world in a special way that makes wish I did more sometimes instead of taking everyday things for granted. I’m learning such a way through Yoga, which makes me have an inner peace when I do.
    I still have no news from my lovely friend Yuka in Japan which makes my days difficult to get on with and get on with my work, but I’m trying to have hope..

  • Reply Bianca March 23, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    These photos are brilliant! It’s great how each one portrays the same subject but with a different mood.

    On another note, I hope that the people in Japan are able to rebuild their lives and get some kind of normality back.

  • Reply Adriana Oliveira March 24, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    Beautiful and wise words Holly! I try to remind myself everyday of being aware of the moment, and I will save this post to help me stay on track whenever I start to feel weak.. Thanks!


  • Reply Marya March 25, 2011 at 3:55 am

    Thank you for an inspiring pause and for putting into words what we are all feeling. My thoughts and prayers go out to the people affected by these events.

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