Being Proud And Owning Who You Are

May 6, 2011

Oh yes, this is a long post and somewhat emotional so you’ll need a cup of tea and some time to read through it so hang in there. :) I’m hoping that by pouring out my heart that you’ll be encouraged somehow. And since I’m feeling a bit better (my cold is almost gone), I also feel chatty. I have a lot of work ahead of me between Monday and the end of July so this weekend I plan to be lazy and spend a lot of time in the sunshine since I have to get my energy up — I’m going on a book tour this summer! My next stop is Amsterdam on June 25 (info here) and then I’ll be back in London this summer and then over to my beautiful home country, the USA baby! I can’t wait to go home for a few weeks — I’ll definitely be in New York, Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco but the other 3-4 cities are yet to be confirmed. I love living in Europe but there’s no place like home and of course, shopping in the states is divine (and so cheap compared to prices here). I will get to see my family and friends, so I’m thrilled. I’ve not been over since last summer so I’m ready!

Being Proud And Owning Who You Are

How about you though, are you doing good? How was your week? You know, I was ill but also just exhausted. I have been working so much since the beginning of 2009 into 2010 and never really took time out to even get SICK never mind to rest. I’m not at all burnt out, I still have a lot of motivation and energy, but I definitely needed the pause that having a cold gave me – and an excuse to do nothing for 3 days. I loved doing nothing in particular but watching films and playing games on my iPhone in bed. I left the house once, yesterday, to go to the farmers’ market where I found the beautiful lilacs that you see above. Having fresh flowers around when you are down feels so cozy somehow, don’t you think?

Which brings me to thinking that when you’re sick you somehow need flowers around. They are a requirement. Chicken soup, water, tea, vitamins, cozy pajamas, a soft pillow and flowers. I remember falling once when I was a kid while rollerskating in the street and I broke my leg which kept me in bed for three months straight. It was such a hard time for a bouncy young girl like me! I hated being bedridden for so long. I remember though that my father sent me flowers several times when he left for work and each time my eyes were glued to the arrangement there on my bedside table because they made me feel so special, so loved, and being that I didn’t have a close relationship with him I held on to all of the attention from daddy that I could get. In fact, any small dose felt like a huge showering of affection and I took it, appreciated every drop, and I kept everything my father gave me until they had absolutely nothing left of them — including flower arrangements.

To this day, when I am sick, either I’ll buy myself flowers or my husband will pick them up for me and I associate them with feeling special, receiving love, and though physically I may be ill and flowers can’t help change that, they do lift me emotionally because I have such fond memories associated with bouquets of them growing up. Either my father would give them to me or my mother, I’d pick them on my grandparents’ farm, I’d watch my mother (a trained florist) arrange them for hours, or I’d help her landscape the yard (her passion).

I think that as I get older and more sure of myself that I feel at ease visiting my childhood and extracting the positive things so that my memories are layered, because when I was younger I often saw only the bad parts of growing up and I ignored the good. What about you, do you think about this at times? When you get to be of parenting age and think about how your own parents were your age once, and how you thought 30 or 35 was SOOOO OLLLLDDDD back then, you get a bit of a wake up call that they really were young and inexperienced just as you are today — don’t you think?

I remember my father coming home when I was a toddler and how I would jump up and down trying to leap over the child gate dividing my bedroom from the living room – seeing him excited me so much. I remember him standing there in his bright yellow hard hat with a big smile, coming towards me to lift me up and over the gate for a hug. He’d always look down at me there in my diaper say, “Let me see that Holly smile!” and I’d grin wide and big, exposing the huge gap between my front teeth that, combined with my chipmunk cheeks and massive dimples, was quite sweet though became the source of painful teasing once in school. When I would smile, he would smile and that is how I learned from an early age that being happy made me happy but also made others around me feel joy. I’ve not stopped smiling since. Now when I consider how old he was then, 29, I can’t believe it. He was so old and wise to me back then, my tall (6’3″), slim, handsome papa was so “perfect” and could do no wrong but he was a mere 29-years-old! Hello, right?!

If you’ll notice on my blog today, I’m talking a lot about my childhood. It mostly has to do with some diaries I came across on Tuesday that I’d long forgotten and hadn’t read for over twenty years. In one, I spoke of how I want to someday live in a city, travel around Europe, be a writer and have a book that becomes a best seller. I was 10-years-old. This completely flipped me out because two days after reading that entry, an entry I don’t even recall writing, my book became a Wall Street Journal bestseller (#2!). Also in the journal I saw all of the little floor plans that I remembered drawing as a little kid but didn’t realize I also had them in my diary. I read through years of my own history and it made me really love that once little girl who wrote them with her “big dreams” even more. I also felt the diaries that I kept in my teens and twenties. Whoa. What was that all about?!

Afterwards I felt this shift inside, a reconnection to my self in a sense, and I’ve been thinking about my entire life from the beginning until now and for the first time I really feel like I can be proud of myself. It’s hard to admit this publicly, I know so many people expect me to be “perfect” but no one is perfect and if you think they are then you are right – they are perfect in some way — they are perfect in putting on a grand show of what they want you to believe about them. Deep inside we all have our hang ups, don’t we? Do you know anyone who doesn’t? But I finally, for the first time in my entire life, feel absolutely 100% proud of myself, the life I’ve created, the ways in which I’ve changed or adapted throughout the years to become more true to self, and I am absolutely proud of ME.

I wonder if you are proud of yourself? I mean, truly proud?

I now wonder what is next. I’ve been waiting my entire life to feel this good about myself. I’ve been waiting to wake up one day and look in the mirror and say, “Holly, you have so much to be proud of, you really did it girl!”. And that day was yesterday. I finally said it, I meant it, I owned it and I didn’t even get emotional or apologize for it. I really, truly owned the moment. I’ve always been so hard on myself and though that drove me to do better work, it also drove me into moments when I simply felt no peace inside of myself until I accomplished this or that goal. I am feeling peace inside now and with this peace, I want to continue on my way as a blogger, friend, wife, daughter and maybe now I’m even ready to be a mother. I’ve been so worried about becoming one until yesterday. I think I needed to get to that place emotionally before I could imagine guiding and directing a young life.

I know, heavy stuff for a decorating blog. But you are my friends and I cherish how I have your friendship and how so many of you relate similar experiences to me in return and perhaps now you can share bits of your life that perhaps you share with me in the comments section. And I feel zero regret for posting this on a design blog because honestly, you can’t even begin to make your home an authentic expression of your taste and style if you are completely out of touch with yourself so emotionally, it’s good to be in the right place even when it comes to decorating. Funny how that is.

Have a wonderful weekend dear friends.

(image: holly becker for decor8)


  • Reply Lucy May 6, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    Great post Holly. You SHOULD be proud of yourself, and your amazing achievements, you are an inspiration! xx

  • Reply Claudia May 6, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    Maybe you can add San Jose, CA to the tour??

    I haven’t accomplished what I wanted business-wise, but I am happy with my life. Last year was horrible (my dad died) and to have come out of that – it took several months – and feel as positive and optimistic as I do now is amazing. I know that nothing and no one can bring me happiness, it has to start within me and I’ve let go of some expectations, but I want my surroundings to reflect the joy I feel in life and the joy my family deserves to feel as well.

    Whoo, that was a bit heavy.

  • Reply Alisa May 6, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    what a fantastic post. thank you for sharing.

    This made me want to meet you when you come to Los Angeles, for sure! (I live north in San Luis Obispo) So please give me plenty of notice!

  • Reply Leslee Mitchell May 6, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Too many people stand in judgment of others when they believe in their own work. Belief in yourself and your own talents allows others to believe in you as well. If you don’t first believe in yourself no one else will. Thank you for this blog post.

    • Reply decor8 May 6, 2011 at 5:44 pm

      @Leslee – Thank you for your comment but this post talks more about being proud (i.e. feeling pleasure or satisfaction over something regarded as highly honorable or creditable to oneself ) not in believing oneself – I don’t think I ever struggled with believing in myself, ha ha – if anything, I’m too ambitious and shoot higher than I even should at times. But then I had these periods where I didn’t feel 100% proud of how much I had done – I’ve learned to be proud of every little thing and have found peace in that, and it’s a great feeling!!!

  • Reply Paula May 6, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    You have a lot to be proud of! Congratulations on looking in the mirror and owning your success! We are all too hard on ourselves — there is always bigger and better! I look forward to my moment in the mirror one day:)

  • Reply Vanessa Elizabeth May 6, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    Holly: this is such a wonderful post! It’s funny sometimes how it takes a moment of retrospect to make you realize where you are in the present. I know that I am often times too critical of myself and that prevents me from truly appreciating all that I’ve accomplished in my life thus far. But I’m working to move past that. I think the issues stems from being accultured in such a goal oriented society. Ie. if you’re not working towards something, you’re not doing anything worthwhile. Living life on your own terms is one of the hardest (and best) lessons to learn.

    I hope that you have a lovely weekend and feel better soon!

  • Reply Meredith May 6, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    It’s so funny this post came up only a few weeks after I started reading, but I love it since my other favorite blogs mostly include a lot more personal narrative than yours usually does. So I enjoyed it. I’m setting out on a hopefully hugely productive summer myself, both from a home improvement and decorating standpoint and from a hoping to become a mother standpoint. You can check it out on my blog, which is much less developed and refined than yours, but I still enjoy having it get remember to look at the big picture!

    Sometimes with so much still on the “to do” list it can feel like I’ve barely done anything and I’ll never get anywhere, so it helps to remind myself all the stuff I have done and how far I’ve come since we bought the house almost 2 years ago!

  • Reply Jem May 6, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    Congratulations Holly, it must be such a peaceful yet exciting feeling, to have reach a point where you can feel you have accomplished a long held dream!

    It’s interesting that you talk about your childhood – I think so much of who we are as human beings, individuals, is shaped by the way we grow up. But as we get older I think in some ways we can choose who we are – work on ourselves, make ourselves happier.

    I’m in a little rut at the moment and haven’t been feeling sure of myself for quite some time, never in a dramatic way, just the quiet ‘Who am I?’ musings typical of the odd sleepless night. Your post is so inspiring and I think chasing dreams and gunning for what I want is perhaps what I’m missing!

    Thank you for sharing, Holly! Glad you are feeling better!
    Jem xXx

  • Reply ricki uster May 6, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    thank you so very much for sharing! i’m so proud-and admire-your accomplishments! not to mention to share what’s inside your heart. i, for the first time, feel excited about what i am doing, what i know, who i know and it is thrilling!! thank you again xox

  • Reply liane May 6, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    great to read this heartfelt sincere post. i haven’t felt exactly as you express but your description is perfect. and i imagine having that feeling one day. and i will thoroughly enjoy it.
    my mom once said to me a couple years ago that one thing she saw in me is that “i really like who i am.” and that is true. i think some people don’t have that. but i know who i am and i’m happy with it.
    i had kids young. they are 2 out of 3 already grown up. i’ve accomplished a lot in life just thinking back how huge it is to raise children. but i haven’t spent as much time really developing me as a consequence. so that’s what i’m working on right now.
    i love that you say you feel prepared to be a mom now. i love how we all have our unique journeys and chain of events in life. i think it’s huge just to be at peace with where you’ve been and see the opportunity in the next phase.
    maybe i’ll see you in boston on your book tour. congratulations!

  • Reply Julia May 6, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    I’ve been revisiting my childhood a lot lately because I’m a parent now. Having a baby is a beautiful moment, of course, but also was the detonator to a time bomb I didn’t even know it was there with my parents and sister until, well, it exploded.

    So these days in my plate there’s a lot of sadness and a lot of growing up and changing perspective and the realization that after all, my parents weren’t perfect and while they did their best, they are different people in a different time and now I’m left to make my own parenting choices. Except for a short period in my teens, I’ve always looked up my parents but maybe I went too far.

    The bad, really bad part these days is that the cynical me is unleashed and wild and I can’t do anything with or for my baby (picking clothes, decorating her room, choosing her food, leaving her in daycare, playing on the floor with her), without thinking “I’m doing this with all my heart but one day you’ll hate me for it”.

    I’m not proud of who I am or what I’ve done so far, but I’m glad the sun rose on that day for you, Holly,

  • Reply Marcela May 6, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    What a beautiful post and how wonderful that you are in that place in your life.
    In my case, being a mother provoked a deep shift inside of myself and forced me to reassess who I was as an individual, as a woman. The mother displaced the woman, the professional, the me that I had been before myself and it did so with such force that at first I felt lost and had to find myself back, to examine and discover a place for the woman I had been within the mother I had become. It was a rather long and unraveling process of self-discovery as the result of which I feel stronger and happier and much more fulfilled than ever before.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and opening this beautiful space that is blog for different kinds of reflections.

  • Reply juliette May 6, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    “Life is a highway and I wanna ride it all night long…” (thank you Tim Cochran) -that is SO my story/journey and it sounds like it’s yours, and maybe everybody’s, as well.

    My life has had it’s own series of twists and turns and I certainly never would have imagined myself where I am either, but I also hope it continues. That’s LIVING. Dream out loud (thank you Bono). I love that!

    My latest little hooray-achievement was making a wear-able article of clothing. Who would have thought I’d learn to sew living abroad? Yay LIVING!

  • Reply Jodie May 6, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    I loved this post Holly. I must be feeling emotional today myself, because you’ve brought a tear to my eye. :-) I think it’s because you’re so human and so easy to relate to. You 100% have every right to be proud of yourself! What an achievement! :-)

  • Reply Lornna Olson May 6, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    Holly you are such an inspiration!!!

  • Reply Glenda @ The Paper Mulberry May 6, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    Wow! You forgot to mention I might need a tissue as well as that cup of tea! I found your post so moving, it was obviously from the heart. It also made me think; I am so proud that my Husband chose me and that we have been married for 25 years this July (I’m 47) but no I don’t feel totally proud – not yet. Perhaps because my Husband is such an amazing man and I don’t yet feel I have matched his achievements or ‘done him proud’. I used to strive for career goals but now I strive to be a good wife. I vowed I wouldn’t marry until 30 (I was 22) and my career would be everything, it’s not, life with him is! One day I hope to feel that amazing ‘well done’ moment – watch this space…. Congratulations and thank you, hope is a fabulous feeling too! Now where are those tissues!!!

  • Reply Brigitte May 6, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    Holly – It’s hard to describe how I’m feeling as I sit here reading your words. I’m struggling with some family things right now, and was up late last night dealing with them. I have a lot of raw emotions that I had hoped were done and dealt with.

    At the same time, I’m also leaving my job to pursue my dreams and settling into myself for the first time. The only thing holding me back is that small voice inside that says, “Who do you think you are, to go after all this?” But every day, that voice gets a little softer, and I become a little bolder.

    Reading your post, it seems that maybe it’s inevitable that our pasts exert themselves when we’re in times of great transition. Perhaps I should view my current family situation as a measure of how far I’ve come. I still wish it weren’t happening, because everyone involved is hurting so very much, but it also shows me how deeply I’ve changed (or evolved?) in the past 5 years.

    Thanks for sharing on a day when I so needed to hear this.

  • Reply Sam Flowers May 6, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    Great post. Part of growing older for me is the realisation that my parents were just as imperfectly human as I am.

  • Reply Kristie May 6, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Holly, you are the best! Everything about you is so inspirational. A couple of months ago I quit my day job and enrolled in Blogging Your Way. I had no idea what I was doing and was so scared. You and your passion helped me get through it. Now I’m at a place where my monthly blog hits has more than doubled, I work out every day, I believe in myself and I’m read to jump back in and get a job and go to school. For the first time in my life, I’m proud of what I’m accomplishing. I feel like I’m more than a drone working 9-5. I’m happy with my life and I know the rewards that come with taking chances. I just want you to know that Blogging Your Way and your personal stories and encouragement has truly changed my life. Thank you for that!

  • Reply Kristie May 6, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    Oh and please add Salt Lake to your list. That would be wonderful!

  • Reply alex May 6, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    LOVED reading this post! You really DO have a lot to be proud of and I’m so glad you’re able to take joy in that. It’s something I still struggle with at times. Seems like I crave external validation, much more than I’d like to admit.

    I SHOULD feel proud, too – I have built a successful business doing freelance graphic design – but somehow when something like a design award comes around, THAT’s when I feel like okay, maybe I did do something right, maybe I do deserve a kudos.

    Thanks for making me stop and look back at my accomplishments. I’m going to make a real effort to stop and smell the roses more (or the lilacs :).

  • Reply Chloe May 6, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    As many have already said, and more will… you are so inspiring to us all. As readers we’re proud of you too, for continually sharing yourself with us and work so hard to achieve your dreams!

    I’m sure this new found peace will lead to even more exciting things for you :)

    Chloe x

  • Reply meenal @ maison marigold May 6, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    what a beautifully candid post and who cares if it is on a design blog..this blog is also about you and it is is your prerogative to write and share whatever is important to you..loved reading through this post and coming face to face with some dilemmas i have faced in my life..owning up to one’s fears and desires is the best way to go through life ..a very happy weekend to you holly..just radiate happiness!! xx meenal

  • Reply bonitarose May 6, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    you are wonderful.. I just shared something similar on my blog today about my blogging story. U can click the link below if u wud like to read it. Being authentic and real. Here here. Love your blog and you. your book is fabulous! xo lots of love to you this day. xo bonitarose in fargo
    see my blog post below,

  • Reply Carmella May 6, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    Holly – beautiful words! I’ve had your book for about a week now and will be combing through it for a while, I know – there’s so much in there! I think it’s wonderful how you expressed your heart in this post. You go, girl. Yes!

  • Reply Catherine V May 6, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    Thank you for that very heartfelt post, Holly. We need more reminders that we should, indeed, be proud of ourselves. When we grow, move forward, achieve both big and small goals, we need to remember to give ourselves a pat on the back with authentic appreciation. As women, we are often our own worst critics. I’m 36 and expecting my first kid in just two months–I think more than “feeling ready,” I’m merely grateful that I get this opportunity to hopefully demonstrate to my daughter the value and importance of having dreams, reaching for them, and being proud of yourself all along the way! Have a great weekend.

  • Reply dougssunrise May 6, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    Wonderful post. You really got me thinking about my own childhood, and how many good memories I’ve overlooked, holding on to the bad (cause that’s what kids do). This weekend I’m going to take time to remember it all. Thank you – sometimes we all just need a wakeup call (or cold, or blog) :)

  • Reply Kate @ Songs Kate Sang May 6, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    Oh Holly! I am so very happy for you!

    I’d send you flowers to celebrate along with you if you were closer to Arizona :) Thank you for spreading joy and beauty!

  • Reply Alison May 6, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    Oh Holly, you have no idea how timely this post is for me on this the day, I have announced that I will for the time being be giving up blogging at BrocanteHome.
    After blogging for seven years I know I have much to be proud of, but I needed this beautiful, thought provoking post to remind that it is ok to feel it, and that more than that it is ok to trust my instincts when it comes to balancing life and work.


  • Reply jodi May 6, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    oh, holly, what a wonderful post! i’ve been feeling a little of that myself lately. like it’s taken the whole of 33+ years to really figure out who i am. how did our parents do it when they were only 26 or 27? i can’t imagine having kids at that age, but i can now, and it makes me happy.

    congrats again on the best seller list! so well deserved!! i will definitely be in line to have you sign my copy when you come to NYC. =)

  • Reply Jen May 6, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    I am normally very shy to comment (working on that after taking BYW) but your post really touched me. It feels great to have people be proud of you but it means something entirely different to be genuinely proud of yourself. You are an inspiration in so many ways but this post was special to me. I have moments, flashes of wow – I did that but I’m not confidently there, proud of myself yet. Thank you for putting yourself out there, showing it can be done – you continue to be an inspiration to me in many ways as I take my baby steps. Thank you.

  • Reply Libertad Leal May 6, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    What a touching and profound post Holly. I am rather new to your blog (came via twitter), but I have to say that this post touched me deeply. I am in that stage in which you are still dreaming, hoping, working hard and getting discouraged on a regular basis (lather, rinse, repeat) For me the dream is still just that, a dream. Reading this, however, inspires me in a way I can’t fully explain. Thank you. So much.

  • Reply The Dandelion Chronicles May 6, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    Wuaw, I have goose bumps all over right now! I’m so glad for you and the place you have finally reached and rightly deserve.. You are such an inspiration!
    I’m also struggling with what I expect of myself according to others and to myself. And yes, I do think that young people (I’m only 23 so its with some sort of distant reflection that I say this) tend to focus on the negative aspects. But seeing and reading about your accomplishments makes me think that I too can fulfill my dreams.

    In addition, I think posts like this are awesome on a design blog because you get a sense of where creativity comes from and how you can personalize it yourself and not just duplicate.

    Love (as always..) from,
    Ann-Cathrine on The Dandelion Chronicles

  • Reply Ashlyn@Pinecone May 6, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    I really started to revisit childhood when I had my own kids. You really do realize how young your parents were! It is so weird to me now because I had kids so much later than they did…yet of course to me they seemed so old and wise.
    What a great thing to find a diary of your 10 year old self…and to actually have wished for things that came true…pretty amazing!!
    This was such a great post!!

  • Reply desi May 6, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    I still have a long way to go… to look one day at myself in the mirror and say that, im trying! i hope with all my being ill reach that day like you.. thank you for sharing

  • Reply ishtar May 6, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    oh yes.. I can relate too to this post, although I´m still in the hoping I´ll get to that place too where you feel at peace, knowing with all your heart that you are where you should be, doing what you love the most and being with whom you trully feel right for you…I´ll get there too , I know.. : )
    THANK YOU lovely friend for opening your heart and sharing with us ( ps: you would be a WONDERFUL amazing mom) : )

  • Reply Alex May 6, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    Such a beautiful and heart warming post, I’m so glad I took the time to read it.

  • Reply Za May 6, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    You are just a lovely girl! I wish you the best.
    I’m new in your blog but you are a truly inspiration to me.
    Good luck with all your amazing work.

  • Reply tiamoroma May 6, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    Rock on, Holly!

    Like you, I’ve spent a lot of time wanting to be perfect and feeling disappointed in myself for being so much less than perfect. I’ve also had to spend a lot of time thinking about the negative things in my childhood, only moving on the the more positive things in the last few years. I too feel that, with that shift, I am now able to think about having a child, for the first time.

    Some many people idolize youth, by which I mean the teens and twenties, but I think the thirties are the best decade by far. For me, it’s the stage when I finally feel comfortable with myself and confident that I can be enough of the person I want to be (but not perfect, of course!) and can contribute something to the world instead of just surviving. I can “be” instead of always “becoming.”

  • Reply Dana @ House*Tweaking May 6, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    Holly, your story and words AND work are all so inspiring. This comes to me at a time when my family and I are making huge life changes. We’re in the midst of selling our home {in a horrible market} and downsizing to a fixer-upper. Why? I finally broke down to my husband a few months ago, revealing my disgust with my current career and my passion for all things interior. I enrolled in an interior design course and my awesome hubby is 100% supportive of me chasing a career in interior design. So, we’re taking steps to becoming debt-free so *someday* I can pursue a career in design without the added financial stress of starting up my own business. Even though I know why we’re doing this and can see what we’re working towards, taking those first wobbly baby steps towards real change is difficult and scary. It would be so much easier to let go of my dream and just tolerate my current job. But we both know that anything worth doing is never easy. You remind me of that every day. I also want my two young sons to see their mother following her passion because that’s what I wish most for them out of life.

    You absolutely, totally should be proud of yourself, your work, your achievements, your career and your future. Now, commence babymaking! Hehe.

  • Reply bicocacolors May 6, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    Dear Holly, there is one thing clare … how much inspires you a bouquet of flowers!!!!
    I was delighted to know a little more about yourself, you are great do not ever change!
    Have a lovely weekend and greetings from Spain!!!


  • Reply April Heather Davulcu May 6, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    Dear Holly~your post today was touching. When I was a little girl I wanted to live in a high rise with a door man in NYC. I did NOT want to get married. I did NOT want to have kids-they are sticky and stinky. I wanted to be very chic + modern + sophisticated. And, since I could hold a crayon, I wanted to be an artist. You know what? At 41, my life is fuller & richer than I could have ever imagined–and I never lived in a high rise in NYC, I live in a suburb -even the thought of it still makes me cringe. AND I have 2 beautiful, intelligent, daughters that are a miracle to behold. AND I am married to my soulmate for 18 years. AND I am an artist. Truly blessed.

  • Reply Kelly May 6, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    Beautifully written, Holly. The more I meet women who I feel have “made it” in some way, the more I realize that we are all just working, trying to become better human beings, and tackling one mountain at a time. No one wakes up and find that it is magically easier or just handed to them tied up with a big ribbon. Thank you for your open honesty (as always). I too am trying to take more time to celebrate the accomplishments and silent that inner critic who would love to point out what could have been better, faster, bigger instead of celebrating those victories.

  • Reply Lauren May 6, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    Wow! You’re really making me think about my life.

    You should definitely be proud of yourself! You’re very talented. I found this post very inspirational and I appreciate your honesty! Thanks so much for sharing and enjoy your weekend! :)

    P.S. My husband gave me your book for Easter and I absolutely LOVE it!

  • Reply Bree May 6, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    I only just came across your blog a week or so ago – referred from a friend. I am so glad I did! This post really spoke to me. Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Reply Shari May 6, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    I’m so happy for you!! You did it, girl! I mean, WOMAN. :-) I don’t know if I can say that I’m proud of my career, since I don’t have one really anymore… but I’m proud of myself in general. I’ve found (in my 40’s, but it’s not too late, is it?) who I am, and have taken steps to dig further into myself. I risked a lot, and I was brave. I may not have done things the way others would have, but I don’t apologize for that, because this is MY life. I realize that I can only live it for myself. (I haven’t any kids, although I want some!) Maybe one day it’ll be about others, but for now, I’m happy that I know who I am. Thanks for this post, Holly! xox

  • Reply Carla May 6, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    Dear Holly,
    I’m proud of you too!

  • Reply Lucia May 6, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    Prost! I´m reading your post and drinking a coffee and saying prost to you! ”
    “Prost” for your bravery to do what you love the most and to share it with all of us who read your blog and feel very inspired everyday. Thanks Holly!!

  • Reply Cristina | Positively Beauty May 6, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    What a beautiful, beautiful post! Moving and inspiring…thank you for sharing! I think that it’s actually harder to receive than give; I tend to give generously to others (things, words, time, compliments) but struggle to give myself a pat on the back when I achieve something, as if it’s never good enough…you are an amazing soul, did a wonderful work and deserve your success. The fact that you admit that to yourself is the icing on the cake :)
    By the way, those lilacs are divine!

  • Reply Thea May 6, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    Hi Holly, your blog inspires so many people. I think that we all enjoy a more personal post such as this one that is inspiring too. I’m happy that you have found that special moment to be proud of yourself because you have achieved so much. I think you would be a great mother and have so many wonderful qualities to a child. All the best.

  • Reply Arabella May 6, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    What an honest post! Reading it was inspired and help relocate some stuff with me. Thanks, Holly, muchisimas gracias from sunny southern Spain. I wish you could tour with your book here too. Take care, guapa.

  • Reply Laura May 6, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    Thank you for sharing. I like when bloggers share things like that, the reason we love sites is because of the heart that is behind the pages, and when sharing things like that it is even more evident the love that goes into the work behind the blog, and we can see the very heart-beat behind it.

    Thank you again!

  • Reply Sarah May 6, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who kept diaries and journals well into their teens and twenties. Sometimes when I’m feeling nostalgic I read through the pages. When I come across wishes and goal lists that I have for myself I feel proud when I see one I can “cross off” the list.

  • Reply Vicky May 6, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    Hi Holly,
    Thanks for sharing! Glad you’re feeling better. Childhood good or bad makes us who we are today, we just have to learn and grow from it and with that being said looking forward to you starting your family (no pressure).

    Boston misses you! June told me so :)

  • Reply tracy porter May 6, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    Dearest Holly~
    such a lovely heartfelt post…thank you for sharing this with all of us. It is simply to easy for others to look and think they know everything about someone from the “wrapper”……you my love have beauty inside and out, and that you are feeling this about yourself and sharing it , putting yourself out there is not easy, but so very wonderful! It will inspire so many other women, and that is one of the greatest things about blogging and the communities we create. You do have so much to be proud of…and i am proud of you for claiming it…you deserve all the goodness that is coming your way…take it all in….and scrape every drop from the pan…it’s all good stuff! BRAVO sister…BRAVO! Be true to yourself…always!
    much love to you!

  • Reply Linnéa - Tre och en katt May 6, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    Wow, I almost cried because of that last part and I feel so happy for you. It made me believe that it’s possible to reach that moment one otherwise only see in films where one can truly feel to have accomplished something. Thank you for sharing this.

  • Reply Laura May 6, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    What a great post; I’m so glad I came by today! You should indeed be proud of your achievements, bravo! I too wanted to live in Europe when I was a small girl, and be an artist. I’ve been living in France for nearly eighteen years now, making art, and taking care of my little family. I wish you all the best…becoming a mother is another adventure!

  • Reply Neža May 6, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    I like your blog for a long time…
    And I love you for this post.
    Thank you, Holly!

  • Reply Barbara May 6, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    I love your deep posts! I am very happy happy yo know you are proud of yourself now. Your personal posts truly encourage me.
    Your are full of creativity and widsom.And you share it with other people and that make you a special person.
    I am happy I had the chance to (virtually) met you.

  • Reply Sandi May 6, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    Holly, you’re an inspiration to all of us. Get past the hurts and be proud of your accomplishments. You’re right to be proud and thank you for everything you share. You are a rockstar. Now get shagging…. there must be more Hollys in this world.

  • Reply Janel@nohikids May 6, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    Thank you for this post.

    I read your blog everyday, and today I felt compelled to comment. I can really relate your childhood experience as well as feeling the need to accomplish more more more MORE. I, too, am SO hard on myself. It is a blessing and a curse and I really long for the day when I can feel 100% proud of my accomplishments, own them, and not feel guilty for feeling pride. Congrats on all that you have done–you are such an inspiration to many and should be so proud! I hope to find that sense of contentment and peace as well. It’s a journey :)

  • Reply ANETTESHUS.COM May 6, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    Such a beautiful and heart warming post, Holly! You have every right to be proud of yourself. All the best ?


  • Reply janine May 6, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    Loved reading this post and about your achievements, you should be proud of what you have accomplished. I am very sentimental and I like looking back at my childhood and taking the good stuff from there and realising how it has shaped the person I have become today.

    As a woman in her 40’s, where I am now today is different from where I thought I would be when I was in my 20’s!! Am I disappointed? no way!! Life is a journey and sometimes you take some detours……and other times you make it to your destination before deciding you want to try a new route.

  • Reply Andreia May 6, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    Thank you Holly for sharing with us this so special moment in your life! Nice to know you feel prepared to motherhood! You’ll be a wonderful mother for sure!

  • Reply Ariana May 6, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us! Being mindful of who we were as children, and allowing those parts of ourselves into our adult lives is so important. I am a massage therapist specializing in women’s health, and much of the work I do (cranio sacral therapy and somato emotional release) is geared toward healing the whole self, and helping people integrate their experiences from their past into their present. It is hard, beautiful work (for the client) and reading this, I just feel really proud of you too! And so happy that you can be publicly proud of yourself! We as women need to be mindful of supporting and celebrating one another, and I think you model this beautifully.

  • Reply Gracey May 6, 2011 at 11:51 pm

    What a perfect day to read this, it’s just added to what a wonderful day this Friday has been. I really enjoy your blog, but it was so refreshing to see the people who I think really have it together and must have always been a raring success had to start somewhere too!

    This morning, I realized I am really on my way to where I always wanted to be. I landed my dream job this winter (designing home decor, holy cow!), have moved to an area I always wanted to live in (SO going to the San Fran book stop, and no, the natives here cannot stop me from calling it San Fran, so there). I even turned a glass bottle into a DIY bud vase today. I feel like I’ve become that eclectic artist with the cool but tiny apartment I had always dreamed about as a child, and a large part of my inspiration lately has come from the handful of blogs I sit down to read every morning, and I am so glad yours is on that list!

  • Reply susan May 7, 2011 at 12:04 am

    i love when you get deep! I’ve been following your blog since 2005 and i love these kind of posts – they inspire me to write my thoughts and make me want to spill my guts to a complete stranger which I normally would never have the inclination to do!! When I was a little girl and every other girl wanted to be a princess and get married when they grew up, I dreamed of becoming an interior designer and “career woman” – instead I became a mother (a single mother now). Though I did suceed in becoming a registered interior designer and now work for an architecture firm, my real job is as a mother and my career just seems SO unimportant to me right now. The balancing act has left me exhausted, not physically, moreso mentally. I read your blog for a break from my life and I always feel better.

  • Reply maria, milly o molly May 7, 2011 at 12:06 am

    It’s too late at night for me to share anything, but I want to thank you from my heart for this text. Thank you Holly.

  • Reply Kristin Johnsen May 7, 2011 at 12:11 am

    GREAT post, Holly – and so great that you are “proud” of yourself – you should be! I am MUCH older than you, but I remember being around 36, 37, and deciding that as a woman, that is a GREAT time, and I really owned up to the fact that I liked where I was, who I was and wasn’t it too bad the body had to start going before we, often, as women “get” that? Sooo – good for you to get there! It’s great to feel good in one’s own skin! And it just gets better – so you have that to look forward to! Congrats on making #2 on Wall Street list – that is just EXCELLENT! Hopefully there will be a trip to Seattle on the book tour??? We are a very booky city….if not, I may just have to book a trip to San Fran to seek you out! Best – glad your cold is better – mine’s getting there! Kristin

  • Reply Paulette May 7, 2011 at 12:40 am

    Holly–What a lovely post. I am glad you feel proud of yourself–you should at all you’ve accomplished, and because what you do is help other people to show off, which is an amazing gift!

  • Reply Michelle Donald May 7, 2011 at 12:50 am

    Thankyou holly… I needed to hear this. Yes we all have our little hang-ups… so true and it’s easy to just think only I have them but ofcourse everyone does and when you hear this you some how feel comforted and not alone. I love how you are writing from the heart again, it’s what attracted me to your blog in the first place.
    The baby thing… honestly? Don’t be afraid… but being a mum is the most rewarding experience; the love, the laughter and sometimes frustration and tears are the greatest emotions you will ever experience. I would hate you to miss out on those emotions. Family is the most important thing you will ever have in your life and I can guarantee you… once you hold that tiny baby in your arms.. your only regret will be, that you hadn’t done it sooner.
    Look at us girl bloggers, most of usl have children, we still blog, we still have businesses, yer we tear our hair out trying to juggle it all sometimes… but ultimately none of us would change a thing. Come join the mumsy, working, blogosphere with us. It’s lots of fun.

  • Reply Mrs. Maison May 7, 2011 at 12:52 am

    I think an interiors blog is a fine place for such a post and more should follow suite. I once had a client ask how I could be so well put together, so good at my job, such a good mother to three….while hugely complimented…..holy cow, have you seen my office, my glove compartment or my purse? While many of us love interiors and live, work and design beautiful spaces it is nice for me to see the human side of writers in the interior world. Thanks for sharing. AND the best seller list….WOW AND something you set a goal for at the age of 10, that’s impressive and certainly something to be proud of. Having three great kids and feeling so proud of how they are growing up, I wish you all the luck in perhaps taking that step…most rewarding part of my life to date!

  • Reply dawn May 7, 2011 at 12:56 am

    hi holly,

    it is amazing getting older and how we become more at peace with who we are and where we have come from.

    for me being ‘proud’ has been so, so difficult through most of my life because i have related it to being boastful or having a lack of humility.

    i am content, at peace, grateful and grounded…i still have a hard time saying i am proud, but i am pleased at where my life is for the most part, and i will continue to grow and learn.

    i am happy for you that you have reached a place within yourself that you feel comfortable and have a solid footing for motherhood. the funny thing about being a mom, as i am sure you have heard many times is, that you learn so, so much from your children.

    take care!

  • Reply Mary Anne from Melbourne May 7, 2011 at 12:58 am

    Hi Holly,

    You should be proud of yourself!! I got your Decorate book from Amazon US (I live in Australia) yesterday (my Mother’s Day present from my kids to me!) and it is just fabulous!!! The day before was a horrid day so when I received the book I was so happy! It is such a joy! I even wrote a review on Amazon and I usually never do as I dont have the time but I just wanted others to enjoy your book and to let them know that they should definitely get it. I even said that it is as good as the Domino book – that’s a big feat – Well done Holly! You are living your dreams! xo

  • Reply Sarah May 7, 2011 at 1:39 am

    Very true sentiments Holly…I can remember I wanted to go with my Dad to work so I snuck in the car and hid on the floor in the back behind the drivers side and almost caused an accident when he discovered I was in the car!!! Life has a strange way of almost completing a circle, because its true, I think what brats me and my brother were and what my parents must have had to deal with – money, mortgages, cars etc. and two rambunctious kids. It definitely is an eye-opener as an adult to understand parenting and being a responsible adult. So as you get older, the circle closes…have a great weekend!

  • Reply Nuit May 7, 2011 at 2:04 am

    Oh Holly, what a beautiful post, thank you so much for sharing this, specially that deep moment about the journal when you discovered you’ve actually accomplished so much! you’ve made your dreams come true and of course you should be happy. I feel very proud of who I am and have tried to be consisteng with my feelings and actions… it sure gets hard sometimes but thats what makes it interesting. Finally, i love how you say we are your friends because i do feel like i know you with every post your write. Its funny this bloggosphere how it connects people. Luvs from Mexico!!!!

  • Reply danielle May 7, 2011 at 2:45 am

    I absolutely agree with this post and nobody is hating on you for posting this on a design blog. We love you more for it. I just moved into a new home with my boyfriend and as much as I love interior design, there is no way I can get inspired when our relationship isn’t feeling right or when I don’t feel good about myself. It’s true..for us to be inspired, we need to feel good about ourselves. And then, we can ultimately make other feels good too…and create pretty spaces :)

  • Reply Kara May 7, 2011 at 4:03 am

    Go Holly! I’m proud of you too. Congratulations girl. You deserve it.

  • Reply lauren May 7, 2011 at 5:42 am

    Hello Holly,
    Your words are so welcome, genuine and appreciated by all of us who still search for that sense of pride and fulfillment. Thank you for your honesty. I hope you are feeling better.

    It’s funny how such a simple thing like flowers can leave a mark on our hearts. I remember my mother always surprising me with flowers in my room as a child, then as a college kid home from school, and finally as an adult visiting with my own family. She died a few years ago but whenever I see a bedside bouquet, I think of her.

  • Reply Vinita May 7, 2011 at 6:11 am

    Great post holly and a much needed one. We all need to be reminded,that we should be proud of ourselves, our little accomplishments, and concentrate on the positive memories.

    As you are thinking about motherhood being the next phase in life, we can already see your next book about how to decorate a home with a baby,

  • Reply Lisa May 7, 2011 at 6:55 am

    You are amazing & appreciate all that you offer to us (so inspiring to say the least). I’m deeply moved by your words & for the ease you had it sharing them with us all. It was like you were a little voice in my head saying things that I’ve felt with similar experiences (with my pops too).

    My life is in a shambles right now & has been for sometime with battling an illness. It gives one too much time to reflect. But with this, I have found forgiveness & am working on forgiving myself for a few HUGE boo-boo’s in my life. This experience has given me chance to tear down some inner walls I had built up within myself & though I have made some painful sacrifices during this process, what I have learned was that by being true to myself was more precious than trying
    I applaud you for you who you are (yes, sistah you should be proud for all that you are). Sharing these intimate feelings was such a cathartic way of beating your drum. We all need to do it & your post gave us permission within ourselves to do it too.

  • Reply Lisa May 7, 2011 at 7:01 am

    umm.. something happened where my post posted and I was ready.

    Anyhow, a line was cut off and to complete”…by being true to myself was more precious than trying to be someone that I wasn’t to meet up with other peoples molds of who they expected me to be.”

    Have a glorious weekend & soo glad you had this QT moment & shared it with us all.


  • Reply astha May 7, 2011 at 8:41 am

    Dear Holly, I follow your blog very closely..almost everyday and I love everything you do and talk about..I dont comment often but couldn’t help myself today…I can really connect with your post..esp. the part where you wrote about the fact that you’ve accomplished all that you wanted to right from the must have been the nicest feeling in the world!

  • Reply Lisbeth May 7, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    Great post Holly. And congrats on reaching to this point this early in life! It took me much longer, and had be burned out, before I stopped and started to think. But even then it was not easy….. Cheers from a sunny Sweden. //Lisbeth

  • Reply dolores May 7, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    Holly, you are the most successful person I know!!! (ahem although “know” is not really the right description for the relationship between a blogger and a reader (or even a online course teacher and a student .. anyway)
    For me you are sooo incredible adult, I wish I could spend months with you iin real to learn more from you how you handle your life. The moments in your life, when you stop and recall everything and THEN decide what to do. This is sooo important and I wish I had at least a bit from this behavior.
    So I am absolutely sure you will be a great mother – I never met a person before considering motherhood so deeply and so clearly – GREAT!!!
    and to share something from my life: this will also be extremely helpful in long sleepless nights or other not soooo nice situations coming with having a baby.
    So I send great congratulations to your worldwide business success and heartly ones to your personal situation!!! Enjoy it – you definitely deserved every and each second of it!

  • Reply Francesca May 7, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    your blog is AMAZING!

  • Reply Wendy Swenne May 7, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    So nice to read this blogpost. I really love your blog. And all the decoration thingies.

    Love to read how you come to the point to be proud of yourself. Good for you!!! Hold on to that feeling.
    Sometimes it takes years….. and then it hits you.
    I know that feeling. I always thought I wasn’t good enough. Maybe deep down inside a little voice tried to cry out that I was, but it was always overruled by guilt or the feeling I had to prove myself. Always saying it is not good enough, and see others being so good in things.

    But since a few weeks, I’ve learned that I am good enough. I’m (was) going through a rough time. Since 2 months or so I’m stuck at home, burnt out, and about 4 or 5 weeks my boyfriend also ended our relationship. I really saw a future for us, but he didn’t. Usually I would feel guilty, thinking that it was my fault that he would end the relationship. But this time I know it’s his own fault. I know what I’m worth and that I am a good woman. Maybe because I hit 30 last year, that things seems to fall into place. To get older and wiser and knowing what life really is about.

    I think I can say that I am proud of myself. For always seeing the bright sight of life, and I have learned to ask for help and that I don’t always have to do everything on my own. I hear people around me say that they are so proud of me. That also really helps me to feel good about myself. I know now what I want for life, more then I was younger. I think life really came to a point that I want to have a peaceful life. Enjoying every day more and not to be so hard on myself.

    Wow, it became a long post, but just wanted to share that I know the feeling :D

    I also loved reading that you had dreams as a young girl, which also came out! Love that!

    Groetjes (that’s Dutch for: greeting)


  • Reply Kalyn May 7, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    What a beautiful blog post. Thank you so much for sharing this with your readers. I’m still in the “being so hard on myself” part of myself and pushing myself to do better work and reading this made me so hopeful and looking forward to the day when I can find that peace and feel content with my success. Thank you so much.

  • Reply laurie May 7, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    Beautiful post Holly.

    Agree that you must be in touch with yourself emotionally in order to create a home that is an authentic expression of yourself. I think your success is obvious in that.

    As always, you are an inspiration and I admire all you’ve done so far.

    You will be a fantastic mother Holly, I just know it.

  • Reply shannon May 7, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    wow, that is wonderful, your dream as you laid it out at 10 years old, has come true! what a wonderful circle!

    looking forward to your san francisco visit!!

  • Reply Melissa Mercille May 7, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    Holly-This is one of your best posts! Thank you for sharing such deep, heartfelt thoughts and emotions. Doing so allows us readers to know you that much more. I tend to be hyper critical of myself and usually give credit to others when I am complimented on something. I worry way too much that people will think I’m not gracious or humble, so I suppose I overcompensate by never “owning it.” So thank you for this, for not only showing us another sliver of you, but for continuing to inspire in a way that is truly unique to you. I am usually only a blog reader, often afraid to comment, but in the past few weeks you have inspired me exponentially and drawn me out of that shell. You have so much to be proud of and your true fans and friends will never think less of you for owning it. Congratulations on the success of Decorate. I can’t wait to get my copy… And I just want to put in a vote for St. Louis for your US book tour (again). We have an amazing indie book store and I know they would love to host you!

  • Reply sally May 7, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    Hi thanks for your post. I think you have raised a really interesting topic. I think it is important to take ownership of the things we have in our lives that way we can care for them properly. It’s quite a hard thing to do and it can feel quite scary I am still learning. Also as some of us have pointed out being too hard on ourselves is really not that helpful. I am glad you are feeling better and that you get your hearts desires :)

  • Reply Glenda Childers May 7, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    Enjoy the moment . . . it is very sweet.


  • Reply rona May 7, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    Hi Holly. I just got your book. I’ve been giving up on owning my own home, but your book got me dreaming again! Also a great post. I’m at the cross roads about my work and where I want to be, I’ve got some soul searching to do, but you are inspiring me to be brave and follow my true self. Thanks!

  • Reply Marilyn May 7, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    The most beautiful experience in life is to hold your newborn baby and realize that it is the ultimate combination of you and your husband. You will lose your heart to this little one and never gain it back. The biggest blessing God gives is children.
    I’ve had dreams of our childhood home and flashbacks to moments in time when I was in different places in the hometown as a child. How strong those memories of our surroundings were compared to now.
    The great thing about maturity is that you become less afraid to be yourself and stop using others as mirrors.
    Marilyn in Ohio

  • Reply B May 7, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    Hi Holly,

    I don’t think I’ve ever commented on your blog before, just admired from afar. But I had to ‘pipe up’ today to say; good for you! I think it’s a real sign of maturity to be able to look at your past like that, to appreciate where you’ve come from and help it guide where you are going. My parent’s parenting left something to be desired, but now at 40 and a mother of 3 myself I realise that as my Mum was only SEVENTEEN when she had me, she was pretty much learning as she went along. And that’s ok. We are all learninng as we go along. x

  • Reply Rachel May 7, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    This article was a much needed read for today! I recently stumbled across your blog and I was immediately hooked. Decorating has always been a huge passion of mine, although I’ve always had to do it on a tight budget since I’m only 22! But thanks for the inspiration… I do the same thing you were writing about… beating yourself up if you haven’t completed something perfect or followed through with every single thing you wanted to do! It’s nice to sit back and just say, you’re not perfect Rachel so stop trying to be!!! Keep em comin Holly!


  • Reply Paula Jo @ Home and Garden Decor May 7, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    You have a very busy agenda in front of you. I bet you are really looking forward to your trip here to the U.S.A. again, and all the places you be at. I really enjoyed reading about your childhood. Just last night, I was sitting on the patio thinking it wasn’t that long ago that my parents were at the age I’m at now. Gosh, how time fly’s by. Your post made me sit back and think about my childhood, and all the good memories. That made it just perfect for this weekend, since it is Mother’s Day.

  • Reply decor8 May 8, 2011 at 12:01 am

    I’m enjoying each of your comments, I sit here reading each one thinking of all of the similarities we share – and how lucky I am to have you guys as friends. Thank you for taking the time to comment, I know it’s hard these days with all of the distractions out there so thank you for taking a moment to hang out with me here. Really, it means a lot. I can’t wait to see who else comments – it’s interesting how publishing a post that took courage for me to write resulted in such a great exchange. Very encouraging!

  • Reply Mrs Bok May 8, 2011 at 12:48 am

    OH Holly, thank you for sharing so much of yourself with us. You have a decorating blog sure enough but I’ve found over the years the main reason I love your blog and follow it so closely is because I feel like you’re a friend – your generosity with your readers, the insights into you and your life – really we all want a Holly Becker as our best friend!
    I had a bit of a rocky childhood but I only ever took the good bits from it, I still remember mostly happiness and it’s only in running into old friends from that time or in bad dreams at night that I relive/recall the bad bits. I used to say ‘pooh’ to people who would tell me that childhood defines who you are as an adult in one way or another, but I’ve now come to realise that a some of that is true especially as I am a parent myself now. And I also appreciate how hard it is and that my parents were doing the best they could in an unfamiliar country with no support from far away family and friends.
    Still, it’s amazing how optimistic the human spirit is that we usually (well me anyway) remember the good things and forget the bad!
    The way your childhood dreams have come true are pretty amazing, my totally unrealistic dreams of astronauting and firefighting saving the world have definitely not panned out LOL but I doubt I’d want to do that today anyway!! :) Thanks again for your brilliant blogs xoxo

  • Reply Kelly May 8, 2011 at 1:11 am

    Hi Holly, I am truly touched by your honesty and courage to open up about your dreams and memories. It is always a journey to dreams and when they are reached it is right to feel proud and a have sense of accomplishment.

    You touched on many things here, memories, dreams, reflections and one I completely share is homesickness. I come from the States and always miss it, plus having a big family. Your post yesterday as well about how a house reminded you of your grandmother, so sweet.

    Glad to hear you are feeling better, my best, Kelly

  • Reply Julie May 8, 2011 at 3:01 am

    this is an absolutely lovely post Holly. I’m happy to hear that you’re feeling better and that you are in such an amazing place! I’m beginning to finally feel as though I know who I am….I suppose age has a lot to do with it, but it’s SUCH a great feeling! congrats over and over again on your book, so amazing!

  • Reply Deborah Wall May 8, 2011 at 3:44 am

    Hey Holly,

    It’s mothers day here in Melbourne, Australia and your blog post was the perfect read for me today.

    I’m 45 and have reached that wonderful place in my life where I can stand up and declare that I’m proud of myself for being a generous and loving friend, mother and wife, a creative soul who is a perfectly imperfect human being.

    A big part of the reason I can allow this for myself is because of you and others like you who are open and honest about the way you have achieved your goals. The way you deal with your demons and hurdles. Sharing makes it safe and okay for others to follow your example, to know they are not freaks or unhinged, that their creativity is valid and valued.

    I grew up in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s believing achievement and success meant having other people approve of you and what you did. I’m so happy I now realise those rules don’t apply. That the internet has brought with it the freedom to celebrate other peoples creativity in all it’s many forms.

    So thank you, Holly for being a pioneer in what you do and how you do it. Thank you for sharing your humanity and allowing us to see your ups and downs and realising what you’ve achieved is possible for us too. Thanks for being you.

  • Reply Annie May 8, 2011 at 5:04 am


    I really appreciate this post; your transparency is really admirable & refreshing. I agree that we learn with time to see our parents and our childhood with new eyes, and it helps to remember & treasure the good. I’ve found this is easier for me with some relationships than others, but I am learning. I really resonate with the idea that a peaceful physical space means little without internal peace. Thanks for good food for thought & for sharing your journey. Excited for all that’s ahead for you…

  • Reply Salla May 8, 2011 at 11:24 am

    Thank you, Holly, for sharing. This post made me extra joyful on this mother’s day!

  • Reply moyra May 8, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    what a lot of comments!!! Holly, go for being a parent! Nothing more adventurous and life affirming etc!!

    Lovely inspiring post. And great to be deep on a decorating blog.

    I found a little note of things to do I wrote when I was about 9. It was hilariously spot on. Scary that we are formed so early on really. My son announced the other day that he is going to be ‘an explorer’ when he is a grown up. I was so proud. I wonder if it will be at all true?!

  • Reply moyra May 8, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    OH and am definately moving into a space where I am starting to really and truly own who I am…. bring it on!

  • Reply Jiah May 8, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    I love reading design and interior blogs but sometimes I am left feeling daunted and hopeless by the perfect lives and homes that I constantly look at. So it is refreshing to hear you talk about imperfection. I really liked what you said about people being perfect at portraying an image of themselves.
    Last year I finished my textile design degree, got married, went on an amazing honeymoon and then started a new job that I love. I was truly proud of myself for everything that I achieved last year and was feeling great. Then the other day I had a panic attack completely out of the blue. For the first time ever I bought myself flowers to cheer myself up. White carnations. They’re still on my entrance table and every time I look at them I’m reminded that life isn’t perfect, infant it’s really damn hard sometimes but there is beauty and glimpses of perfection that make it all worth while. Thanks holly for being so honest.

  • Reply Anna May 8, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    You just made my day with your post! I loved this post! It made it all so real! Congrats on the book and being proud of yourself! Have fun on your book trip and maybe one day it will be published in Hungary as well!

  • Reply Stephanie May 8, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    Congratulations! Thank you for this post. I too have been reflecting on what I thought I’d become as an adult. It’s amazing to finally accept all the experience & realize you’ve arrived. Cheers to you & your generosity.

  • Reply Anna-Malin May 8, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    A wonderful post Holly.

  • Reply Andrea B May 9, 2011 at 12:28 am

    Holly, thanks so much for sharing your heart as well as your talent! As for feeling proud of yourself and owning it ..well way to go! I am inspired and thanks for that….congrats dear!!

  • Reply Vicki (simply hue) May 9, 2011 at 4:12 am

    Thanks for sharing from your heart, Holly, as you always seem to do so well. You have much to proud of and it sounds like you’re at a beautiful place in your life. I was just reading through some of your older posts and can’t believe how far you’ve come! From living in a barn (oh, I’m so jealous!) without cabel and a five dollar table, to a best selling book and a wonderfully inspiring blog and e-course. Heck, I’m proud of you, too! xo

  • Reply Vicki (simply hue) May 9, 2011 at 4:13 am

    Sorry about all the spelling errors in my last comment…I really do know how to spell. ha, ha.

  • Reply Lisa Maria May 9, 2011 at 5:08 am

    Thank you for this post! Congratulations on your accomplishments – it is definitely something to be proud of.

  • Reply fenny setiawan May 9, 2011 at 9:38 am

    So many comments for your post today. I think because it is very inspiring story, and Holly you always very genuine and honest about your self, that’s why I love you and cherish our friendship (we never met or event talk but I feel you are like an old friend). And I assure you that you will be a wonderful mom for your children (someday if you have any)…xo.

  • Reply Debbie May 9, 2011 at 10:30 am

    You made me cry (good tears) and you made me smile. There is too much of a response from me to right in a comment, i would love to email you but i dont think you received my previous mail? Thank you for your words and open heart, it a vulnerable place that only someone who had realised who they are and happy with, can express like you did.

  • Reply Jane May 9, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Oh, Holly. What a gorgeous, soul-searching post. I am *so* delighted for you that you’ve found this point in your life. It’s absolutely tremendous that you’ve noted it and owned it. You have given me much food for thought. For that, I thank you. You are a huge-hearted soul. J x

  • Reply Elizabeth May 9, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    Thank you Holly, it’s such a pivotal moment in your life and to share this so eloquently is wonderful. I loved your insightful views on your past, present and future and to that I salute. I remember to this day when I had the inner dialouge that announced I was ready to have a baby, it was so powerful and eight years later I have three children and an immense love for being a mother too!. However, I have ahd a journey that has taken many twists and turns and even as a mother I still relaise I need to be in touch with ‘me’…as little soul searching is very helpful. So I am now as of tommorrow in fact, embarking back into the work force, one day a week as an Interior Design consultant and with this decision little ‘votes’ of confidence are presenting themselves to me. Offers of freelance work etc, I truley believ that when we are ready for change, it’s does eventually fall into place and I am for the first time in a long time, experiencing that.Thank you for your beautiful post, it really resonated with me on so many levels. I truly hope you take on the journey as a parent and feel just as confident with your abilities to that as you do with your abilities as a terrific writer, inspirational stylist and designer, it’s wonderful to be so open about your feelings in your design blog and I absolutely encourage and applaude you for doing so. It’s so authentic! :)

  • Reply Victoria Bennett Beyer May 9, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    You go girl! You should be proud – you have accomplished what your younger self hoped! But don’t ever forget that all the little moments between those big accomplishments are just as important! For me, learning to let go a bit (I was a Type A for many years) has been my greatest accomplishment. I can honestly say that I find joy in every day. Staying calm, being kind, and rising up instead of getting dragged down in those trying moments we all come across makes me feel the best about myself.

  • Reply Rona May 9, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    Dear Holly, this post really resonated with me- with what I’ve been feeling and learning about myself in the last couple of months. This genuine, sweet, sensitive part of yourself that you share helps us all to learn to own ourselves. Thank you. x, R

  • Reply Iris May 9, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    Oh Holly, if there is any moment in your life to be proud this must be it. I am so glad you recognize that, that you can actually feel it and share it with us. And to answer your question: one day I am more proud than others. I feel it most when I am with my family, when I feel I make them happy, those tiny humans and that wonderful man of mine. And also when something (on my work, blog or anywhere else) I have worked on turns out the way I wanted it. It is energizing, and makes you glow. So please stay proud for a while my dear!
    x Iris

  • Reply Carol Spinski May 9, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    Dear Holly ~

    Your post hit close to home with me today~you have an uncanny way of doing that:) I have always been very grateful of everything that I have accomplished in my life but never took the time to pat myself on the back until recently. After my youngest son graduated from College last year, I finally allowed myself to be proud of my own personal success. And the best lesson? It’s OK to relish in my own glory without fear of what others think. Some wisdom for reaching middle age I guess:)

    I think you will be a wonderful Mom Holly, but always remember to think of yourself too:)

    Keep Shining:) Carol

  • Reply Cathie May 10, 2011 at 5:58 am

    It’s always encouraging to hear when people have achieved something they set out to do. It could be something small or something big like publishing a book but learning the personal effort that was put forth in it makes it even more special.
    As for me I think I need to really push my self to achieve the particular goals I have set for myself and not be afraid of failure. If you never try you’ll never know. And the possibility is out there for any body who goes for it.

  • Reply Shop Sweet Things with Jeanne May 10, 2011 at 6:11 am

    This is such an inspirational post… it’s posts like this I keep coming back to you! Congrats on all of your achievements and also on ready to become a mother! It will be the most rewarding thing you will ever experience. :)

    xx, Jeanne

  • Reply nilufer May 10, 2011 at 7:37 am

    Dear Holly,
    That was beautiful to read…
    You are such an inspiration… Thank you!

  • Reply Kate May 10, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    Hi Holly, thank you for such a beautiful and inspiring post. I love how open and honest you have been here – something I am working on myself in my own blog.
    I totally agree that everything is connected. How you feel on the inside is reflected in your outside world and how you take care of and decorate your home is part of that. I think this quote from Marianne Williamson sums this up brilliantly:

    “The meaning in things is how much we use them to contribute to the world. Clothes and other personal effects are no different than any other art form. If we percieve them lovingly, they can lift the vibrations and increase the energy in the world around us” Marianne Williamson – A return to Love

  • Reply Winter May 10, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    Hi Holly,

    I am proud of myself today- which really is several days after you wrote this post- but on this day May 6 I graduated from college 20 years after I left college. Long story. Until I was told that I was on the graduation list I didn’t know how much it meant to me. I was over come. The feeling of shame that I didn’t know I had, the thrill of finally accomplishing what I knew I had earned. I am proud. I am crying again just thinking about it. Deep stuff.

    So…now I have a few more goals that I want to dust off:)

    Congratulations on your book and thanks for listening.


  • Reply Minna May 10, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    Lovely reading! SO happy for you, loving yourself is the s..t :) Hugs, Minna :) p.s. get those kids quickly, it’s a whole new fantastic world that’s waiting for you :)

  • Reply Arite May 11, 2011 at 5:57 am

    well said, holly! since the day i quit my day job to pursue my painting career, i have not looked back…. even though it’s only been a year and half, it’s been an amazing ride, you only live once and life is very precious! my friend got very emotional the other day when she saw my new paintings and it made me understand the importance of letting people in to “see” you. I felt proud of myself for pushing the boundaries and creating new ones in the process. As human beings we have alot to offer if we allow ourselves to shine….. good luck with all your endeavours in life and most importantly enjoy them…

  • Reply uschi36 May 11, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    dear holly,
    thank you very much for this touching post !

    i hope one day you will have lovely children that are proud of their mummy, as much as you are proud of yourself. unfortunately i did not have the luck to become a mother and therefore there is a big void inside me. i’m not unhappy, but … thanks heaven for my sweet nieces age 17 and 27. love them to bits.

    luv, uschi

  • Reply creatissimo May 12, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    I have to admit that I’m offten very critical, so many times I think don’t deserve to be proud of myself. Even if I achieved something, I would say: ok, I did achieve this, but there’s still this and this and this which I should do… But every time that I have to write a CV and about my acomplishments, I see, that I did quite a lot already and am proud of myself.
    Holly, all your posts are inspiring, not only the decor and design ones. I think, everything is connected in our lives, so the way we see World is because that’s how we are…

  • Reply Christina May 12, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    I have actually been feeling pretty down about myself lately. It is not an overwhelming sensation, but every once in a while I just feel… like I’m not really living my life joyfully. I have been trying to learn to take feelings like these and translate them into motivation and creativity rather than let them drag me down. But it is difficult. I want to be proud of myself, but I’m not sure how to begin. Thank you for writing this post and reminding me that I need to confront these feelings rather than let them silently ruin my attitude.
    ~ Christina

  • Reply Stacey May 17, 2011 at 5:01 am

    This really inspired me. I have wanted to be an artist all my life (I, too, have journal entries about it as a kid. lol). And I am slowly but surely getting there. My mother told me in high school: “You can’t just major in art, if you think you are just going to make things and sell them you will be poor.” So I listened to her and majored in something else. Buuuttt…little did she know I would eventually marry a man who could support both of us and give me the freedom to just create. (Take that mom. lol) I am at that place now: supplies, a craft room, all the resources I need…I’ve just never made any money off of any of it yet. But, I guess you could say I am still an artist. I still create, its just normally for free/as a gift or random act of kindness/encouragement.

  • Reply Laurel May 18, 2011 at 5:16 am

    Holly, there is nothing to really say that hasnt already been said by all these wonderful people. All I can say is that I read his post when I most needed to read it, at a time when my business felt shaky and I felt unsure of myself, and your words were so comforting. Thanks for being vulnerable and for being okay with it.

  • Reply Deborah Maurelio May 25, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    Hi Holly,
    Reading in english is not so easy for me, i’m brazilian and portuguese is my language. But I can say I enjoyed each para you wrote here.
    Finding the acomplishment feeling is a haha moment in life. Enjoy it and do not be afraid being happy, show it to the world.

  • Reply Sakinah May 30, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    Wow!!!! Very heavy, yet very necessary! I have always believed that when we free our homes of clutter and fill it with things that we love, and not focus on the negative, i.e. not enough bathrooms, rooms are too small, etc. When we do this, we can really come to appreciate and truly love our homes. You have taken that one step further by reminding us all to clear the clutter from our minds and to fill it with the beautiful memories so that we really come to appreciate and truly love our parents and childhood! Thanks for the reminder. . . I really needed that!

  • Reply patricia June 2, 2011 at 12:06 am

    Beautiful post Holly! Once again you’ve managed to throw me into a mind spinning analysis of where I’m headed and what I want to accomplish. You’re a great inspiration to so many and your candid way of opening yourself up is by no means unnoticed. I’m so happy for you. You have every right to be proud, happy and at peace.

  • Reply Yolanda June 3, 2011 at 7:30 am

    Please come to Atlanta, Holly!

  • Reply Janie May 29, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    Love your blog and the inspiration you bring to our everyday lives! Now I can see that we are even more relatable! This is something I have been thinking about for a while now, remembering the way my parents were at my age.. and to be proud of creating a life of our own and the progress that was made to end up here! You said it just right! Thanks! :D

  • Reply Heather February 10, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    Such a lovely rendering of the inner landscape. I can relate in every way to what you’ve shared. I’m (post children) gathering strength and (hopefully) momentum to reach that place myself in the near future. Thanks for inspiring me today — so long after you originally wrote this. But that’s the truly awesome thing about blogging; is that the thoughts remain for those who are finding them; just at the right time.

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