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Hello Friends!

Hello everyone! How are you? I’m doing great! Today I’m off to the farmers’ market to buy some lovely “props” for my home – tomorrow and Friday we are doing shoots here for my next book which releases on my birthday next year, March 21, so I have to get the photos in asap so they make the book. I’ve been too ill up until now to style and shoot anything, so I’m glad my head is above water enough so I can work. This is such an important book to me – it’s going to be really unique and full of color, I just know that you will love it.

plants

Leslie Shewring and I have been working non-stop since May – so we’re about ready to wrap it up now and move on to other projects – so we’re in the twilight stages. We just can’t wait to see it in the upcoming months printed and ready to go out into the world. Next year will be an exciting time for me with a new baby arriving in January, a book in March and then a book launch party in London in May with some book tours and stuff to follow. I really want to bring the baby to the launch party in London – though it will be so tiny, I think it would be wonderful to share something so special with someone so special – and to have the baby meet everyone and be in one of my favorite cities – bliss! I have so many dear friends in London, I’d love to share the joy and also to meet my uncle who lives nearby. So we’ll see. It’s only a 50 minute flight and depending on the baby’s sleep schedule, we’ll know by May whether or not a plane ride is feasible and good for the health of the little one. If not, no problem – I’ll leave little cutie with daddy and escape for a day or two on my own. We’ll just have to see how I feel and where I’m at in May. Still a long way off…

Oh and by the way… My ultrasound yesterday went wonderfully and we found out that though I’m still not gaining any weight, the baby is growing and is the right size, kicking around and doing so beautifully. My doctor said the growth is perfect according to the charts. Yay! I’m not nearly as nauseous (though I still have nausea) either, which is such a relief. I laugh because I thought by now I’d be a beached whale but I lost 20 lbs and look great – though it’s obvious when you look at my stomach that I’m pregnant. The doctor thinks she knows the gender but wasn’t sure because of the position the baby was in during the u/s – so we will know when I have the 3D u/s in two weeks during my 21st week. I have to say, Germans have no problem giving regular ultrasounds – I think I’ve had 5 already and I’m only 19 weeks! Here you have to see your doctor every 4 weeks and then towards the end of December, I’ll have to go weekly. They monitor pregnancy closely here and watch for every possible sign of problems. What she predicts though, gender-wise, made me smile because I’ve had this funny intuition from the start that came naturally but I’m happy either way so I don’t care what the gender is. My mother didn’t know when I was born if I’d be a boy or girl, but she knew instinctively that she was having a girl so when I was born and the nurse told my mother, “It’s a girl!”, she said she replied, “I know, and her name is Holly Elizabeth”. She said the nurse was surprised and my mother told her she knew from the first day she found out she was pregnant. Funny! When it comes to gender, maybe I would care if I already had children and for instance, had 3 boys – I may want a girl. Or vice versa. But when it’s your first, how can you really have a strong preference either way? I just want a healthy child who is happy and who thrives in our home. I know that even u/s can be inaccurate with determining the gender, so I’ve decided to go neutral in the nursery so that if there are any surprises at birth, I can swap out accent colors and not be bothered with it. And that works for me because that’s my design style in the rest of the house anyway.

I’m also planning to buy clothing that can go either way, boy or girl, so I have the necessities at the hospital to wrap my little bundle in so if there is a surprise, we are prepared and not putting a girl in a boy’s outfit or a boy in a little Liberty dress. Though, hey, anything goes these days right?! It will be the dead of winter so I’ll need to bring a few things to the hospital though so the baby has proper attire. I’m not a big planner and tend to be really spontaneous, so I have to admit that thinking ahead about any of this is a trip for me – I’m just not a planner type, but I guess this will come with parenting and also with parenting in Germany where everything is timed with precision and planned so expertly. Up until now though, I’m pretty relaxed about the whole thing. Plus, I have a wonderful midwife so I have an expert to go to for all of my questions because though internet opinions are well-intended, I am keeping my circle pretty tight when it comes to who I’m listening to when it comes to advice. And thank god because the internet is full of wannabe medical experts!

I want to wish you a lovely day – I’ll be back with some more posts later on. I have a new recipe for a delicious Fig and Raspberry Frangipane Tart to share from Jillian Leiboff, a second recipe and video to share from Liz & Jewels, a new contributor to tell you about whom I’ve signed on for a year to do home tours on decor8, and lots more to talk about. See you later! xo

(image: holly becker)

Posted in uncategorized on September 04, 2013

Happy Labor Day!

Hello everyone! Today is Labor Day in the US and though I live in Germany, I still observe American holidays so I’ve elected to take today off to begin organizing my home for some upcoming projects. And tomorrow is the BIG DAY… The big ultrasound! I can’t wait to know if I’m having a boy or a girl but more importantly, to check in on the baby and make sure all is well. I have no idea about the gender, some moms instinctively know but I haven’t been able to determine that at all yet. I wonder if any of you had a feeling and then you were right? I am 50/50 – and thrilled in either case.

kokokoshop

Today it is cloudy in Hannover, but a happy kind of cloudy. And very cool outside, though we are promised a heat wave at the end of the week so I’m basking in the moody weather today with candles on and favorite French tunes playing in the background. I’m beginning to sort things in my studio and prepare my home for Fall. It’s a ritual I enjoy each year, the big shift, and I love it very much. I’m actually ready for Fall now, are you? I crave all of that cool weather and crunchy leaves, comforting hot drinks and warm blankets and clothing. This year is a little different though, as I am planning a total redux at home since I’ve missed changing things up (haven’t redecorated since 2010) and feel a huge need to make some changes. I never go this long before I alter rooms at home, but now with a baby on the way, I am more motivated that ever to simplify and organize so that I can enjoy my home more this winter when the little one arrives.

The only thing I cannot do now, that is really hard to hold myself back from doing, is to push my furniture around! Argh! This bit drives me crazy because I love moving furniture but it’s not advisable when pregnant to move 300lb bookcases, is it?! So I guess I will be asking my husband and his body builder friend to come by as I play the role of bossy bear and point to stuff. Now that I think about it, that actually doesn’t sound so bad. :)

Anyway, have a lovely day and I’ll meet you again here tomorrow. And if you love the little cloudy handmade pillow, visit kokokoshop on Etsy, a shop I definitely want to order from soon. So cute!

Have a nice day!

(image: kokokoshop)

Posted in uncategorized on September 02, 2013

Engaged: A Unique Wedding Event

Ever stumble upon something where you just think, “YES – this is something I would have organized!”. That’s how I felt when I saw the video and read about this Dutch wedding event called Engaged. While the theme isn’t anything I’d explore professionally or host an event around, the overall concept is definitely one I can get behind and that I really like. I guess it’s because it feels very American to me and that is something I often miss about living abroad – Americans do wedding, craft and blog events REALLY well don’t we? (With the exception of our big, cheesy mainstream ones hosted by massive corporations.) It’s different in Europe, where lots of these things are just taking off – most of the events can be feel very typical “trade show”. So I applaud these girls for launching this event in The Netherlands. Could set a new standard here and launch a refreshing new trend in this part of Europe. Want to watch the cute Engaged video first and then I’ll tell you more? It’s in Dutch but you’ll get the gist of it.

This event, to be held in Rotterdam DELFT on UPDATE: October 5, 2013 will not only include a curated group of vendors for brides-to-be and their grooms to mingle with and learn from, but also yummy food and various DJs that you can hang out with – all in an inspiring space. They will even host a dance party so bringing your dancing shoes is strongly encouraged. The organizers, Janina and Judith, assure you that there are no boring stands, leaflets or flyers (so typical at the usual wedding fair), just real and fun experiences. And for only a €25 admission fee, you really can’t go wrong (€32.50 at the door)

Engaged: A Unique Wedding Event

Engaged: A Unique Wedding Event

Engaged: A Unique Wedding Event

Engaged is still accepting vendor applications so if you are interested in attending and reaching brides, definitely fill out this form ASAP!

I’m already married and I want to go – looks so cute! So, will you be attending?

(photos: engaged)

Posted in events + markets, uncategorized on August 26, 2013

1890 Swedish Schoolhouse Turned Home

I came across this Swedish home at Elle Interior Sweden and had to show and tell a little bit about it because if you’re not Swedish, you may have missed it. I happen to be one of those people who subscribe to all sorts of newsletters and magazines and blogs that are in another language unknown to me simply because style is style and language isn’t going to hold me back from seeing it! Are you the same? Plus with all of the “translate” buttons these days on browsers and websites, we don’t have to guess nearly as much as we once did. Oh, internet. I love you.

Swedish Schoolhouse Turned Home

This home, a former schoolhouse from 1890, was renovated for living and now belongs to Swedish artist and glass designer Gunnel Sahlin who has designed for companies like IKEA and Kosta Boda. She lives in this home with her 13-year-old son, imagine all of this space for only two people? I love the spacious rooms and the general bones of this place – floors, windows, ceilings, walls… It’s all very lovely and grown up, isn’t it? For me, the appeal isn’t so much the decorating but the overall space and the history of it. I delight in learning the history of any home. The home I live in here in Germany was built by my landlord’s grandfather and finished in 1900. Before the war, a Jewish family lived here and immigrated to America since discrimination against Jews was huge across all of Europe (not just Germany) and they knew fleeing over the border wouldn’t necessary be any better so off to America they went. After the war, my apartment had a different family living in each room. My neighbor told me when she tore down her wallpaper she found turn-of- century newspapers. It’s all so amazing, right? And now I’m here – an American in Germany!

Swedish Schoolhouse Turned Home

Swedish Schoolhouse Turned Home

Swedish Schoolhouse Turned Home

Swedish Schoolhouse Turned Home

But back to this house – it’s interesting isn’t it? I like the shiny wooden floors in her living room – they were painted by Gunnel using enamel paint. Because the surface is so reflective, the home is always bright even when the weather outside is not cooperating. And don’t you LOVE the kitchen? I like the natural wooden floors in her eating nook and kitchen area. I notice that all of the floors in her home are different, in some rooms shown HERE there are even chevron wooden floors shown. What an eclectic mix of surfaces! And did you see the bathroom floor? It’s interesting to note that the bathroom was once the schoolhouse entry area. What an interesting place this is!

(Photos: Elle Interior/Martin Löf)

Posted in uncategorized on June 21, 2013

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