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Now Hiring e-Teachers!

June 6, 2014

Hello everyone! I’m quickly dropping in to wish you a happy weekend with hopes that the weather is as beautiful where you live as it is here… Feeling so blessed! I also want to tell you about an exciting online teaching gig.  I thought I’d cast a net to see who replies because we’re currently hiring, yippee!

Now Hiring e-Teachers!

But first, some personal updates… We are all doing really well, Aidan will be 4 months old on June 9th so I’m already preparing an outfit for him to wear for his monthly photo shoot because I’m a crazy in love mommy like that! Thing is, he’s such a doll, I’m totally smitten! I’ll write a big post all about Aidan with updates and photos when he turns 6 months old so you can expect that in August, but if you want play-by-play footage until then, please follow me on Instagram @decor8 because I post lots of pics from my daily life there which often includes my little sweetheart baby boy.

Okay, now to the really cool job stuff. I shot this photo of my mood board above just last week after we just wrapped up another Blogging Your Way e-course and it was a huge success – we had lots of fun, I helped design some prints that you can see on my mood board which we gave away to our students that said, “Blog what you love, love what you blog”, and we also had a final exam in which students could earn a bonafide certificate – I know, so cute, right!? You can see mine printed out (top right) on my mood board. Anyway, we’ll be teaching again in September with a VERY SPECIAL and quite famous designer who will solely lead an amazing class for us then in October/November, I’ll lead another blog class online with two guest teachers. Blogging Your Way is the web’s first e-course about blogging and we’ve been growing and going strong since March 2009 when we launched, with over 7,000 students taught worldwide so far. I can’t believe we just celebrated our 5 year anniversary!

If you would love to teach for Blogging Your Way, please write to our project coordinator, Jessy Senti, with topics you’d like to cover and tell us why you’d make a great teacher. You can send a video submission, a sample teaching post, a list of topics you’d love to cover, etc. Her email is jessy [at] decor8blog [dot] com. This is a very well paid opportunity and for the most part, a one-time teaching gig as we like to switch up our teachers with each course, but this doesn’t mean we’d never call you back to work for us again – we always keep the doors open. We are currently seeking teachers for the October/November 2014 intermediate/advanced blogging class in which a co-teacher would teach two Fridays online and you’d need to be available to answer questions in our forum for a two week period. We can give you more information via email… I can’t wait to see who writes in, maybe you?

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

xo
Holly

(photo: holly becker for decor8)

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Happy Mother’s Day (to many types of ladies)

May 11, 2014

Hello everyone. I want to first say Happy Mother’s Day to those of you who read this blog and have beautiful children that you cherish enormously, make huge sacrifices for, and do everything you can to make happy. You rock. As a new mother, I can relate to being a mom finally and it feels really, really good. It is the best thing that ever happened to me in my life to give birth to my little boy. But this post is also to other ladies out there who maybe had children and lost them (miscarriage, stillbirth, health problems, accidents, etc.) and to those other wonderful ladies who want children so badly but cannot have them due to health issues – of course you can adopt which is actually the most beautiful thing a woman can do in addition to having her own child, but some of you cannot adopt either because you aren’t financially in that space or it is taking forever to find a child to adopt. In any case, I want to give you all a huge hug, tons of support and love, and much faith that things somehow work out in the long run, in some way, some how. I want to wish you all a happy mother’s day. Let me introduce to you two sisters, one is my mother and the other, my aunt. One is a mother, one never could be.

Happy Mother's Day (to many types of ladies)

This is my mother in her graduation photo taken in the 1960s. Beautiful, right? She is flying here to see us and meet her first grandchild, Aidan our son, in less than two weeks. We can’t wait to welcome her! My mother only had me – she may have had more children but her marriage to my father wasn’t a strong or loving one. In fact, I was born right after they separated (and got back together) when she was 24 years old. Within a few months after they jump started their marriage again, she was pregnant with me and then, I was born. If they’d hadn’t gotten back together, I wouldn’t be here today. So I’m grateful they gave it a second change. I’m an only child and though I would have loved to have had a brother, it just wasn’t possible. I respected my mother’s decision to just have me and grew up feeling very honored and happy to have her all to myself in many ways. She was and still is a wonderful mother. I can’t wait to introduce her to my son!

Happy Mother's Day (to many types of ladies)

See this lady above? This is my mother’s sister. She passed away from cancer in her early 40’s. She always wanted children, so very badly in fact, but her health wouldn’t allow for it. Instead of letting it destroy her (she was so in love with kids!), she used her talent as a fine artist to also teach her methods to children and adults alike. She had her own school! When she died, her young students attended her services and made her beautiful goodbye gifts. She also treated me like gold and as her own daughter. She sent me lovely handmade gifts growing up from her travels, including things she made for me – art, a dollhouse, clothing, bears, dolls, etc. She and my mother put art, craft and a love for decorating and flowers into my heart as a wee little girl and today, my career is based around the very things she and my mother helped grow in me. I put her photo somewhere in all of my books, in fact – not in obvious places but I know they’re there. She is always with me. I will always love her. She may not have been my mother, or anyone else’s mother, but she was a born mother in any case – tender, loving, warm, giving and completely in love with little ones.

Again, I wish all of you ladies a beautiful mother’s day. ALL of you, in whatever circumstances you are in. I say this because I remember when mother’s day came and went each year and I still didn’t have a baby to call my own. Sometimes I would sit on my bed huddled up in a ball and just sob in my pillow – I didn’t understand how I’d ever have time to have a family, if I even could get pregnant once I did try, I wanted a little one so badly but the years rolled by and I thought I had plenty of time. Last year I realized I didn’t and decided it was now or never and I very luckily, almost miraculously, got pregnant for the first time with no help. And now my son is 3 months old and purring nearby sleeping as I type this. I never felt so much love in my life.

So to all of you ladies out there: Happy Mother’s Day.

– Holly xo

 

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Blogging Your Way e-course Winners!

April 1, 2014

Did you win? You’re about to find out! It’s April 1st so for those of you who entered our contest you know what that means! Time to announce the 3 (I changed my mind, I’m giving away 5 seats!) lucky winners who will win a free seat in our April/May blogging e-course! But first, I want to thank everyone who entered, it was so encouraging to see the excitement this contest generated online and to read your comments and tweets. I’m so pumped and inspired to really rock the upcoming course with Tina Fussell so watch out! :) For those of you who haven’t registered yet, we are nearly sold out so please don’t delay if you want in since once we close registration, it’s closed for good, since we only reserved a set amount if seats for this particular class so the group is smaller. If you want to learn about our class, beginning online April 18, CLICK HERE. If you want to join in on the fun, CLICK HERE.

Blogging Your Way e-course Winners!

Okay…. Drum roll and envelope pahleeseee!

The winners are… Click here.

Blogging Your Way e-course Winners!

Continue Reading…

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Happy Friday

November 16, 2013

Hello everyone and happy Friday! I am so excited to tell you that our new apartment renovations are underway! The wood flooring is going in (in the back part of the house, the front has original wood floors – see the below photo) and then, we’ll have a team of painters work on all of the walls and ceilings for 10 days. We may be finished sooner than we imagined, which is very exciting! This pregnant girl will be able to move in, unpack and DECORATE before the baby arrives end of January. Monday begins week 30 of my pregnancy, so only 10 weeks left, and boom! The baby arrives!

Happy Friday

Above is a glimpse of our living room. The apartment is actually the same floor plan as our current one (it’s in the same building after all, just two flights up), but more of the original details are in tact like the windows and doors shown in the living room above. Our current living room is the same but the doors are brand new glass and metal. Boring and generic. The doors and glass above are wooden and just gorgeous. So I’m really happy about this! Next week, the painting crew will begin on Tuesday. We also have to install a few new toilets, a vanity, 16 pendant lights, some wall lights and a new kitchen in addition to lots of other “little” but BIG things – like have custom window treatments made because none of the windows are standard size. Yes, really. I don’t want to even think about the expense so we’re going to tackle the most important rooms first (front room, baby room, our bedroom) and then move on to the other rooms over time. We hope to have all renovations complete by December 15th so we can start to slowly move upstairs. I am feeling total girl power and a massive adrenaline rush at the moment – let’s hope this sticks because my pregnancy has been so up and down. I’m throwing up one minute and out with my girlfriends the next like nothing happened.

This weekend we’re going to finalize paint colors, look for a new bed for our bedroom and try to find a dresser for the nursery. I’ve already ordered a baby stroller, chair, crib, throw rug, bookcase and a few other things for the nursery, including this wonderful ceramic owl lamp that arrived today – I’m in love!

This move will be a run for the finish line!

Luckily we’re not on our own and so we’re hiring out for the big jobs — we’ll survive it. Plus we have good friends and a lot of motivation with our baby on his way very soon. I like the idea of keeping busy until the end of my pregnancy because normally when January 1st rolls around each year, I feel depressed. Maybe you get this too? I feel like all of the holiday and new year fun is over and I suddenly miss the hustle bustle. The gray weather sets in, the cheer of Christmas markets are over, and you just sort of sit there trying to sort your year out. This year, that’s not going to happen. I’ll be moving, unpacking, decorating and then giving birth to our first child which will then mean my life will become a non-stop circus/roller coaster ride. This excites me. I don’t like a lot of stillness or “quiet” in my life. As much as I love Kinfolk magazine, I get 10 pages in and need to take a break from the silence for a little imperfection, excitement and noise. I suck at yoga because I always want to flip the switch and start a disco party amidst all of the ommmmmm’s. I usually lay there and think about blogging or decorating or cupcakes. I scan the room and try to figure out what everyone does for a living. I lose my balance because I nearly break into mini fights of laughter. It’s just not for me. Neither are January’s. Too quiet, nothing happening, bleh. But now, with a baby to be born in the same month, I will finally feel a shift and go from despising January to actually liking it. We will have a new year to honor with our little boy. How nice. Suddenly cold, dark January feels warm and bright. I like that.

I wish you a wonderful weekend filled with love and happiness. And hot cocoa.

(photo: holly becker)

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Old Furniture, New Life

November 10, 2013

I was so happy when I came across a lovely article in Boston Magazine today featuring the New Hampshire summer home of my friend and interior designer, Fernanda Bourlet, from Simplemente Blanco. You have to click here to read and see the many photos of her white-washed interiors, but a favorite photo had to be shared below… And in a moment I’ll tell you why I love it so much.

Old Furniture, New Life

Why I love it: Okay, aside from the fact that it’s white and I love a few white pieces of wooden furniture in my home… I really like that the piece is old and was painted to give it a fresh, new life. I imagine it was once very dark brown and for me, it wouldn’t be the same piece and would look a bit granny in brown. But in white, it looks current and fresh and fits perfectly in Fernanda’s country farmhouse. I like the combination of both straight and curvy lines along with the glass front so one can show off prized treasures inside… The rugged leather suitcase on top and the dainty vintage lamp top it off so nicely – understated yet charming. And the birch in the corner, how lovely is that? Here’s another great example from Fernanda’s home…

Old Furniture, New Life

I know lots of people see cabinets painted white and right away think Shabby Chic or Country Style but I look at them and think of how unique these pieces can become when given a few coats of paint. For instance, imagine this in glossy black? Or lacquered canary yellow? Maybe a matte gray? There are so many options, you could even wallpaper the interior of the glass cabinet for a little ka-pow! While I wouldn’t paint a prized antique – most of the stuff I see that’s been painted and/or restored genuinely needed love and new paint saved them from abandonment in the attic.

Now that I’m moving, all I can think about is changing up my interiors, painting walls and furniture, and making everything more interesting. I badly needed to freshen my space and purge of stuff I’d grown tired of so moving gives me the perfect chance to do precisely that. And though I sprained my ankle last night (great timing, right?) and will be limping around for 6-8 weeks, and my baby is due in 11 weeks, I’m surprisingly optimistic and excited about this move. The wood flooring will be installed this week – so things are moving along. I honestly can’t wait – I keep going upstairs (we have the keys now) to look around and measure and just BE in the space so it slowly becomes more familiar to me. It’s such a luxury to have this property while we still live two floors down – so we have several weeks to get everything together. With winter coming, and the Christmas markets beginning here November 25th, I have to stick to my spreadsheet and keep ticking things off because it’s so easy to get distracted by the holidays and the many fests here. And my mom will be visiting for a few months after our son is born, so I also have to prep the guest bedroom for her! Busy times people. Let’s hope I can manage all of this!

Do you have a piece of furniture that you’ve painted and given new life too? Please share a photo and tell us what you did in the comments section below. I’d love to peek!

(images: Nat Rea for boston magazine)

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Have a Great Weekend + We’re Moving!

November 2, 2013

Hello friends! It’s been so nice to spend the week with you. I’m off now to enjoy a little weekend time with friends and family, but I wanted to pop in to wish you a very happy weekend and to say that I hope you find something inspirational and magical out there so that once Monday morning rolls in, you truly feel like you had a great few days off. I approach each weekend with the goal to do something, at least one thing, that is really inspirational and emotionally “filling” so that a weekend doesn’t end up a big blur or errands and stress. Maybe you can approach them in the same manner if you don’t already? Especially now as the holidays draw closer and things are about to go from normal to totally bonkers.

Have a Great Weekend + We're Moving!

I want to mention, because lots of you are asking about my pregnancy and ability to work at my desk so much, that my laptop has been my best friend lately as I’m now teaching Blogging Your Way online for the next month and I like jumping around my workroom to sit in different areas depending on how I feel or how active the baby is. Sometimes when he is kicking a lot, I don’t like to sit on my Eames chair at my long work table (shown above) but prefer the Herman Miller ergonomic one at my desk, instead. Other times I like to stand and work, so I put my laptop on my counter in the kitchen! Whatever works, right?

Oh and BY THE WAY… We are moving! Oh. My. Goodness. Right? So I won’t have the baby room finished and ready for you until around Christmas, but once it’s ready I’ll do a tour of his room and show you some of the renovations and etc. along the way in the rest of the space. We have only this month and December to strip wallpaper, refinish walls, paint 9 rooms, a kitchen pantry, a hallway and 2 bathrooms. We are also having hardwood floors installed in part of the new apartment in the hallway and 3 bedrooms so that the entire apartment has wood flooring and not just the front rooms (currently the back rooms are linoleum that is 10 years old and looks like wood – it’s pretty rough looking to put it kindly). In this apartment, most of the rooms will have a different wall color (more or less) and I’m adding wallpaper so my days of only pure white walls are over for now because unlike my current one, the apartment gets tons of light and is much brighter and because it’s only a few floors up (yay!) it’s the same layout as this apartment so I can have wall color now without worrying about making the place feel dark and dreary. Yay!

We have all of the painting to do (we’re hiring help, we’re not doing this ourselves) this month and then the first few weeks of December, the new flooring will go in. We selected the flooring yesterday with the carpenter – they look really nice. When the floors are being installed, I’ll start packing and we’ll move slowly over the course of Christmas and the first week of January. Again, it’s only a few floors upstairs from here (we have 4 floors in our building, we’ll be on the 3rd which in Germany is called Etage 2), so it won’t be that stressful – we just need movers but no moving truck! Then I’ll unpack and try to pull the house together in a flash – I’m plotting out the floor plans now and getting all of my ideas in order. Then my bouncing baby boy should arrive during the final week of January so we seriously have to hustle.

Yes, it will be nuts, I am nuts to do this maybe, but I love this kind of “stress” because it involves change, decorating and fast decision-stuff which fuels me, so I’m not worried. Plus, I’m not working after December 1 – just blogging on decor8 – but I’m taking December – March completely OFF other than decor8 – so I won’t have books to write, classes to teach or clients to work for. I’m also not accepting more magazine work until Spring. By moving, we don’t have to put our baby in the tiny closet-sized guest bedroom that is cold and not so pretty – he will have his own big, sunny and lovely bedroom. I want him to love his room and want to play in there as he gets older and who knows when we’ll ever buy a house, so there is no time like the present and great apartments do not list here very often so we had to say YES. :)

This is about to get real, y’all!

Have a wonderful weekend – and I’ll see you again on Monday!

xo,
Holly

(photo: holly becker)

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