I’m heading off to St. Paul, Minnesota next week for The Creative Connection where I am speaking and signing copies of Decorate, so I’ve already started to prepare my speech and to examine my wardrobe to see what I can wear as standing before hundreds of people giving a keynote is a brand new experience for me! I’m excited, very much in fact, but also a bit shy about the whole hair and wardrobe bit! I’ve been thinking a lot too about what I’m going to do in St. Paul for 7 days, I know nothing about the city, and this has given me a curiosity now that I’m trying to satisfy through google. :) I found this, which helped, but I’m eager to find out more about St. Paul!
Thankfully, lots of my friends will be at TCC like Leslie, Matthew, Julie, Leigh… but also I’ll get to meet Kelly Rae, Heather Bailey and a bunch of other creatives so I’ll no doubt have plenty to occupy my time there! I’ll also be taking some classes, including those that Leslie is teaching (if you go, you simply must sign up for hers as she has a ton of greatness to share!), and I plan to hit what is a dream pop-up art show for me – one put on right across the street from where The Creative Connection is held, featuring the work of Amy Rice and Jennifer Davis. I adore both of these ladies and everything their hands touch, so the timing couldn’t be more perfect. I collect Jennifer Davis’ work, I own about 8 original paintings and 1 limited edition print. I’m such a fan girl!
Will you be at The Creative Connection? If so, look for me on Thursday night as I’ll be speaking as a keynote during the welcoming dinner and then I’ll be answering audience questions so you’ll have me for a few hours to ask anything and everything that you wish. I’ll be talking about how I built my business, blogging and how to use it as a catalyst to live a better life, tips on blogging better and from the heart, I will fill your plate with plenty of advice and inspiration as I plan to give you every single drop of myself — in order to encourage and motivate YOU.
If you’re not attending TCC and want to pop in anyway to listen to me speak, along with Oprah’s right hand lady in the kitchen, Celebrity chef Cristina Ferrare, then please register ASAP for only the welcoming dinner on Thursday evening, September 15th. It will last about 3 hours and your ticket will include the two lectures, Q&A session, a full dinner and of course, you can meet me immediately following the event because I’ll stick around to meet as many of you as I can. The ticket for that event only is $125 and I heard there are only 25 seats left so act now if you want to be a part of the welcoming dinner.
Registration is super confusing so let me walk you through how to register for the dinner where I’ll be speaking:
1. First go to this page.
2. Next, enter your email address then select “à la carte”.
3. Click Continue.
4. Fill out all of the needed information.
5. Click Continue.
6. Now you are on the page for activities happening on “Thursday 09/15/2011″. To attend my dinner, click on “Keynote Dinner: Cristina Ferrare And Holly Becker $125.00″.
7. Click Continue and go through the rest of the pages until you get to the end, complete the payment information and you should be all set!
See you next week at The Creative Connection! xo
BY THE WAY: Help! Any must-see shops or restaurants with organic food that I should visit? Any boba tea shops in St. Paul? Many thanks in advance!!!!
(images: artwork by jennifer davis)
My book tour was amazing, surreal, an absolute dream come true BUT I had little time in each city to shop! Boo hoo! Fortunately though I did get to hit a few nice shops thanks to my friend Leslie who introduced me to this fabulous notions store in San Francisco called Bell’occhio. This store left me inspired and deliriously happy and now I have to play it forward to inspire you as well through this post. I loved the whole European vibe of it, it’s always interesting to see how an American translates their European travels and inspirations into something that feels authentic to them. I do this when I travel and bring things home as well, it’s a fascinating process with often equally interesting results.
(above: a gorgeous Polish paper chandelier – I blogged about these awhile back, you can read the post here for more info.)
Have you heard of Bell’occhio before? Oh dear, it’s quite the store for those who love the finer things when it comes to ribbons (imported from Switzerland and France), paper products, jewelry (made by the shop-owners husband), threads… I could go on and on.
(above: I love faux wall treatments done right. This faux bois is done so, so right!)
Leslie and I were in heaven, nearly getting a parking ticket since we overstayed our welcome by at least 30 minutes. I didn’t want to leave, and when I saw the adjacent studio space to the shop where she handles her online business, I was even more inspired by the sheer beauty of it all. What a gorgeous space!
(above: this looks very German to me – maybe it’s the pretzels? I also love the peek-a-boo ceiling.)
I snapped some photos with my iPhone, so the quality could be better, but at least you can get a sense of this store so that if you are a lover of all things pretty you may be enticed to visit Bell’occhio in person or online.
THANK YOU LESLIE for sharing this shop with me!!!!
(images: holly becker for decor8)
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)