Browsing Category

uncategorized

uncategorized

Catching Up: Being a New Mom

June 11, 2014

Hello everyone! How are you? I’m rarely at my computer these days, thankfully my iPhone keeps me very well connected to all of you and your going-ons so that’s a good thing. I’m not only busy as a new mom but I’m working on pitches for new books since I have a meeting with my publisher soon and I want to wow her with great ideas! More than that, I want to wow myself because I can’t do anything in which I have no genuine passion for. Are ya feelin’ me here?

Catching Up: Being a New Mom

I can’t perform for others without it being a genuine expression; I never could. I have to please myself first and then the projects I take on have more meaning and weight to me and then they seem to do really well and others respond to them too. When I lack all of that, stuff just feels odd and disconnected – which is never good for me personally.  Being a new mom has given me a clearer understanding of self and others, my purpose, and where I want to go career-wise and with my family. I wouldn’t say I’ve become totally clear as I believe clarity is fleeting – what seems clear today can be hazy tomorrow depending on a million different things but I do think that new responsibilities in life can, at first be complex and present challenges but then after you’ve gotten into your new groove those responsibilities can mean even better things for your life overall. Before having a baby, I was beating to my own drum and had all of the time in the world and could do as I please, when I wanted to. With that also came a sense of, “What does all this mean ultimately?”. Sure I have achieved a lot professionally but how about having the best of both worlds, a happy career and a happy family life with a baby who wraps his hands around my neck and coos as he smiles, drools on me and looks into my eyes with utter joy.

Catching Up: Being a New Mom

To add to this, and wow this is really personal but I need to tell you about it… A week before giving birth I was out with my husband walking to a fave restaurant and he could sense I was stressed about  labor and birth but also about other things that I won’t detail but we’ll call it “stuff” – that which we all have that seems to creep out of the closet right before your life is about to change (wedding, childbirth, relocation, new job, etc.). My husband was listening as I rambled about this “stuff” and suddenly he stopped on the sidewalk, grabbed my shoulders, looked deep into my eyes and said, “Holly you deserve to have what everyone else has. You DESERVE it, you deserve to be a mother and have a chance to have a baby”. Tears immediately flowed down my cheeks as I held him and after that, my anxiety over the “stuff” ended. In fact, being a mother came so naturally because that wall was removed and my good energy could flow into my new life with a baby which resulted in feeling happier than I’ve ever been before.

Everything has come full circle but thing is, I’m ready to make more circles! I once thought in life that we had one puzzle to put together, one circle to complete, but now I’ve realized we can reinvent ourselves, change things we don’t like, add to what we love, and make many puzzles and many circles so once one feels complete we can move to the next. This gives me a sense of freedom. Things feel lighter in my heart now that I’ve realized that options are limitless when you stop thinking you have to be complete as a person or complete some big, profound circle. Complete to me equals THE END. So I’ve accepted the evolution of my life as being composed of many circles and I will continue to make them and complete them and move on. And on. And on. Life is much calmer again that Aidan is four months old – he has his routine (to a degree), we are learning ours (!) and it’s slowly all coming together. And I’m making a new circle with him and my new role.

Living as a childless couple for so long made me a bit self-centered, which I didn’t see until I had a little one. I’m learning the gift of giving again in a very selfless way along with patience and how valuable what I do with my son really is to him – the most tiny things – and how he looks to me for love and care and how much joy I reap from providing these things. I often wonder how long it takes the average first-time mother to get into the groove with a baby but I guess it depends on the baby, doesn’t it? I quickly adjusted to having him around and had everything pretty pulled together right away, which I thought was a miracle – but then it all sort of fell apart after I got on a new birth control pill around the 9th week of his life. My hormones went wacko bonkers and I wanted to sleep constantly – I even felt asleep though I was awake. I thought I may be depressed but the doctor said I wasn’t – no way – that this was a side effect of the pill that she put me on and that it would lift over time.

I finally pushed through it and now things have stabilized naturally – but man, I was starting to wonder if I’d be tired FOREVER and WHERE WAS MY PERSONALITY HIDING?! From week 9 to week 15 I was a hot hormonal mess – damn birth control! I’m glad THAT is over. It feels good to be ME again which means now I’m starting to revisit home decorating projects, my blog, future books, joining some fitness classes, hiring a good nutritionist, planning a Fall book tour here in Europe with Leslie, maybe a Spring one next year in America (YES!), teaching a local workshop, etc. It’s a NICE feeling to have HOLLY back again. And to be able to hold my head up for more than an hour without it crashing to the table. ;) So for those who have been asking… This is what being a new mom has been like so far. I’m doing really good! But it’s definitely been a MAJOR life change. I must add though that it has been only for the better.

Also, on the work front I’m happy to report that our book, Decorate With Flowers (UK) (US) (DE), is doing great and that on September 17th we’ll be in London (Leslie and I) to have a party at Anthropologie to launch the book (our Canadian launch party photos at The Cross are shown here). We’re so happy! We’ll also be doing a little European tour – but only a few cities, nothing crazy because my boy is still just a little one and I want to spend as much time with him as I can during his first year and even into his second year… I didn’t have a baby to put him on the back burner though I definitely still must work not only for the financial reasons but for the emotional ones – I get so much joy out of my work that I can’t imagine NOT doing what I do.

Catching Up: Being a New Mom

 (photos: outtakes from Decorate With Flowers photographed by Leslie Shewring and Janis Nicolay. Shown in photos, Leslie Shewring and Jessy Senti on location in Vancouver at the home of Kate Horsman)






uncategorized

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)






uncategorized

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

 






uncategorized

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…






uncategorized

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)






uncategorized

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)






Scroll Up