I’m always up for new, inspiring content in any format I can get my hands (or eyes!) on, so when I heard about Styled, a digital magazine founded and produced by bay area blogger Victoria Hudgins from A Subtle Revelry my ears tingled! On Wednesday, September 7th (that’s tomorrow!) she will launch issue #2 of her magazine which will focus primarily on entertaining and DIY projects around the theme of Autumn merrymaking.
Styled is a collaborative project where Victoria rounds up her favorite bloggers to produce exclusive content which is good to hear because we all know how boring it is to see something repeating itself again and again in a magazine or book that has already been online. There is no originality in that and I like that Victoria has a genuine passion for bringing us something fresh and forward.
To whet your appetite today, I’ve shared some imagery from the last issue in case you’d not heard of Styled before — now you’ll have something to get excited about for tomorrow’s launch of issue #2! It will be brand new and fab, I’m sure!
Watch this link tomorrow for the debut of her Autumn issue. The link will take you to the current one today but come Wednesday, it’s all about Fall, baby!
(images: screenshots from Styled magazine)
I’m back home and wanted to pop in to wish you a very happy and long Labor Day weekend — at least to those living in the US! I’ll be taking off Monday to catch up but I’ll be back on Tuesday for a new week of posts and inspiration for you to enjoy. But first, I want to tell you a little tale about true love.
I’ve been away from my husband for thirteen days and so naturally, a girl doesn’t know what exactly to expect upon arriving home. Will there be groceries? Are things in order? Do I have to immediately pick up the pace and return to my regularly scheduled program of cooking and cleaning and being a, well, wife? It may sound rather old-fashioned/corny of me to even think this way, but I was raised in a very traditional family and I don’t mind being a wife at all. I feel sad when I can’t be around to take care of him as funny as that may sound — it’s true. I enjoy caring for him, it gives me a sense of accomplishment and well-being. I feel better when I know I’m doing my part. I’ve never been away for so long, I think 4 days has been the absolute max, so this trip was a pretty big deal for both of us and so I guess I was curious as to how I’d be received upon my arrival.
My husband gave me a very sweet homecoming. First, he arrived at the airport in a vest and tie. Daper. That’s pretty sweet, right? He also had a little gift bag with goodies and a cute card inside with owls on it – he knows how much I love owls. I thought that was totally thoughtful. Once home, I walked in to be greeted by a flower arrangement in my office, another near my bed, another in the living room and still another on the dining table. I’ve photographed them and put them in this post. Aren’t they varied and pretty? He went out and had 4 made for me, not 1, not 2… and placed them into various vases from our cabinet. He put such thought into selecting the vases, I noticed that right away, and when I asked him if he had thought about it he said, “Oh of course, I took time to think of which one complemented the flowers most.”
The house = spotless. In fact, he even reorganized the kitchen closet and laundry closet, the storage room, the drawers in my office and the drawers in my nightstand. But that’s not all. After I unpacked, he did all of my laundry and made a fresh, healthy salad for dinner. He turned down the bed. I went to bed early but when I awoke, I noticed all of the laundry was neatly folded and placed into stacks at the edge.
When I awoke this morning, a cup of coffee greeted me on my bedside table and the morning mail delivered with a kiss. He prepared breakfast and another delicious salad for lunch, this time with tuna. He is happy that I lost 10 pounds while on my book tour, I worked out at my hotels and ate very light, and so he now calls me “skinny maus” which is really, really cute and supportive. A few moments ago, he brought me a cup of green tea as I typed here on my computer. Now that’s a man who is not only happy to have his wife home, but who is showing his appreciation for all of my hard work as he knows it was no small adventure to go away. It’s nice to have that level of love and support after being away from home for so long.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about love, especially unconditional love which I like to call true love. Unconditional love is to love someone regardless of their actions or beliefs. Don’t you wish more would be willing to love this way? We’d have a better world, for certain. I’ve been loved in many ways from many different people, but my husband loves me unconditionally and I am so grateful and honored to have him in my life. I’ve had many say they love me but it’s usually condition-based — the minute I screw up, hurt them, make a mistake, have a different opinion, etc. I’m tossed aside only to be “loved” later once the person decides either to forgive me, realizes leaving was a sore mistake or when they know it’s too late so the unconditional love they attempt to show isn’t believable because I know that they wouldn’t have shown it if they had to truly act on their words.
I’ve learned something about love over the years — that even the slightest misstep shouldn’t lose you the favor of those who truly love you, only to be left in tears until the person decides to forgive. You are then reeled back in again to walk on eggshells until the next misstep on your part. It’s a very sad cycle. My girlfriend is going through a divorce now at thirty years old and I’m truly heartbroken for her. My other friend is in a terrible marriage but since he is a good father, she stays. It’s heart breaking to be on the outside looking in at all of this, I hate to see such suffering in what should be a place of refuge: the home. My home is a place of refuge and I’m so grateful for this. I don’t have to walk on eggshells here, I don’t have to explain my shortcomings ad nauseum or the reasoning behind my missteps, and I don’t have to feel guilty for pursuing my passions even when it sometimes means leaving home for awhile to pursue my goals.
You can’t be the only one in a relationship who loves unselfishly, both must partake in this conscious choice to love fully. Even my own parents love me as long as I’m performing well, otherwise they are dissatisfied and withdraw. I guess that’s why, now more than ever before, I’ve been thinking about unconditional love because so many around me don’t seem to have it. It is very hard to find, but when you do find it – hold on to it, cherish it and don’t let it go because it’s rare. It’s also quite beautiful, it’s pure, it’s fair and it’s the best and only love that you ever need in your life. It holds you together, heals you, restores you and gives you so much more than you thought you needed.
I hope that you have one person in your life who loves you for you. We all need it, that kind of support is pretty special. And so, with that, I welcome a long weekend of time spent with my husband in our city celebrating the completion of a very successful book tour and the joy that comes with being reunited once again. I wish you a happy weekend to with the person who gives you unconditional love from the heart.
Enjoy your weekend, I’ll see you on Tuesday dear friends!
(images: holly becker for decor8)
Fall is coming whether we’re ready or not! I’m quite excited about it this year since I can’t wait to wear skirts and colored tights again. I also love all of the Autumn festivities in Germany and Europe in general. Do you love to knit? That’s such a great Fall hobby though it’s a good idea to get started on projects now so you can cuddle up with them in the cooler months ahead.
Everyone knows I’m a fan of Amy Butler! I’m willing to bet you are too. Did you know that she now has a brand new collection for those who love to knit? From fashion accessories to the home, you can find lots of patterns and yarns in Amy’s favorite colors to create your very own piece. This new collection with Rowan Yarns is Amy’s first collaboration with a favorite English designer of hers, Erika Knight!
“The collection includes knitted and crochet designs from throws, cushions and chair covers to super stylish accessories as a slouch beret, multi colored scarf, gloves and cabled socks. The garments are a mix of key pieces including simple cables, stripes and a show stopping crochet skirt.”
Her yarn is 100% merino wool with a chainette structure and the color palette is selected from her Soul Blossoms fabric collection so that the two can coordinate beautifully together so that you can mix fabric and yarn effortlessly in your projects.
(images: david butler of amy butler design)
I love New York! I know, I know… everyone says that but it’s so true. For me though it goes beyond the extraordinary city itself — I think the people make it so special. My final stop was in the big apple on my US Book Tour for Decorate sponsored by Chronicle Books and Anthropologie and it was a m a z i n g. I saw so many dear readers and online friends, it was such a great evening! I have to thank my special guests, Marcia & Paul Zia Priven. I also want to thank Vicente Wolf for stopping by, it was so nice to see him!
Barb Blair from Knack Studios
I was flattered beyond words that the event was packed – for an author doing a book signing… that’s the ultimate and especially since I went through so much to be there between canceled flights and trains due to the hurricane. Having a full house was confirmation that my efforts paid off beyond my expectations so THANK YOU New York City for welcoming me with a giant hug and for supporting Decorate.
I can’t wait to return to NYC in the future to see everyone again!
A special thanks to Michelle Verdugo for planning a special night out after the event at both The Yard followed by Lucky Strike (loved!). Also a big hug to Nichole Robertson, Michelle Ward, Michele Varian, Amy Atlas, Christina Batch-Lee, Elizabeth Bauer (her home is in the book!), Brooke Hagel and the many, many others who were so extra sweet to me and went out of their way to make me feel at home.
WHAT AN AMAZING BOOK TOUR IN THE USA! I’m so happy that I had to chance to be sponsored by Chronicle and Anthropologie to do this – a real dream come true. Meeting everyone in Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, LA, Philly and NYC was an honor. xoxo
BY THE WAY: My white balance was off – my hair is not green, I swear! xo
(images: some are mine, others unsure since so many great people took over my camera and helped me out. Thanks everyone!)