I just have to show you a few rooms in this home shot by Lina Ostling, a Scandinavian photographer who has a knock-out blog. I just LOVE the first room shown below. It’s so, so lovely and gave me a big shot of inspiration for the weekend. I adore green in all of its shades, I find it so pretty – especially this time of the year. I hope these rooms do the same for you, too – inspire!
The above home is from a feature shot for Hus&Hem magazine in Sweden. Love it!
(images: lina ostling)
This is a post that comes from a very deep spot in my heart and though most of my friends advised me not to write this, I can’t listen to them. I have to listen to me. Yes, I had a few moments when I thought it may not be a good idea so I’ve slept on it for the past three weeks… But then I thought about what it means to be a good writer and blogger, one who writes from the heart and seeks to encourage, heal and even transform others through their voice – that’s how I would define one anyway. Some of the best pieces I’ve ever written or read from others were those that didn’t aspire to be something fluffy or superficial, showing only the “best”, but were those that shared how coal was made into a diamond. The birth story of my son brings an inspiring message of hope that anyone can draw strength from, with or without children. That is why I’ve decided to share the story of how my little diamond came to be. But first, meet my son who is shown throughout this post as photographed by the talented photographer Christin Lange during our newborn photoshoot at my home when he was only 10 days old. This is little Aidan Benjamin Becker and the story of how he came to be on February 9, 2014.
Background: I wanted a family for as long as I can remember. Raised an only child, I often dreamt of having a brother and carried that dream into my adult life as I contemplated marriage and family reasoning since I didn’t have a brother that I could always have a baby boy since I’d always wanted a boy in the house. Years rolled on. I got married, worked really hard, held down a corporate job for nearly ten years, went back to college, changed my career, relocated from Boston to Germany, traveled extensively, wrote books, went on book tours, and time just ticked on. Time is a funny thing, isn’t it? You think you have all the time in the world and then one day you realize that for some things, you’re actually running out of it…
Wakeup Call (that I answered): A few years ago, as I was writing my second book, I shared a meal with three good friends, all from three different parts of the world and on three separate occasions. In fact, none of these ladies have met but all are an important part of my story. With each, I shared deep parts of my heart, those that I don’t share freely, and each asked what was the most important thing to me and I said, “Family – I want to have a child”. These ladies have children themselves so they understood what was involved in parenting. They asked what I plan to do to have a family and encouraged me to really consider it because time is limited for women – the longer you wait, the harder is becomes. It’s tough when friends deliver the message that you’re “running out of time”, but they were right! I needed to MAKE time to include a baby in my life. I wouldn’t be able to have a baby forever, but career stuff can be easily put on hold because you can have a successful career at any age. So I thought about my friends and our lengthy yet loving conversations, and I spoke from my heart to my husband about it later on. We both felt that if it was “to be”, it would “be” but we vowed not to stress over getting pregnant or bother with fertility tests or anything that books tell you to do when you’re over 35 and want a baby. Instead, we simply stopped using birth control in January 2013 let nature take its course.
Getting Help – A few months later in March, I had another birthday and I suddenly felt like I really needed to take control of my desire to have a baby. I started to feel stressed and second guess myself as a result of the control I sought. Honestly though, I was stressed for a long time but didn’t fess up to it – in fact, I was stressed since talking to my friends the summer before about baby making and family planning (and even before that). I began to wonder if I needed to talk to someone and seek professional help from a therapist who deals with anxiety and stress disorders. I decided to call my life coach, who is also a therapist, and we spoke about my anxiety issues. During our sessions it was revealed that my anxiety issues were rooted to something much deeper than I thought and together, we worked it out like a splinter exiting the skin. It was painful, but once pulled the healing began. Anxiety is a bit like a weed, you can’t keep clipping the top expecting it not to grow back again. You have to grab it from its root. And so with this issue that I had, I finally extracted it from my mind and heart through a few sessions, and this was after living with it (unknown to me) for most of my life. I identified and dealt with it and felt ready to finally move forward with my plans to have a baby… Minus the splinter.
Hello everyone! I hope that you are having a very nice Friday because who doesn’t love a good weekend, am I right? We will have sunny weather in the mid 60s tomorrow so I’m eager to get out with our little boy and go for some long strolls in the nearby forest. I LOVE being a mother, it’s the best thing ever and we’re definitely am savoring each and every moment. I’ve somehow been able to stay on top of my work which comes as a big surprise because I thought I would crumble beneath the load of it all – but my husband and I share parenting equally since we both work from home, so stuff is getting done either by him or me and it’s just wonderful. Our son is doing great, too. He has tummy aches here and there, which give him bad moments, but most of the days have been very good and he is on a great sleep schedule so we’re only getting up with him during the night every 3-4 hours. Usually midnight, 3 or 4 am and again around 6:30 am. Then he sleeps in the mornings for a few more hours as we eat breakfast, shower, etc. I like that he already has a bedtime routine – we made it a point to do this – so once it’s bedtime we talk softly, play relaxing music or put on our white noise app, dim the lights, whisper to him vs. use our daytime voice, and do other little things to prepare his brain for bedtime. It works like a charm and we are both sleeping and feel pretty good considering that neither of us sleep straight through 6-8 hours as we once did – but the interruption in the night is something we’ve gotten used to and it’s fine now. Eventually, he’ll be sleeping full nights but honestly we don’t care – he’s a newborn after all. These are special times.
Okay so that’s my personal life update. Now to tell you about a mini series I’m going to run on decor8 for the next month or so called Blogger Favorites. I’ve worked with my lovely assistant, Jessy Senti, to approach bloggers and see what they’re “into” lately. I’m always fascinated by what my peers love. Not everyone is only blogging, lots of them are designers and stylists, etc. who just-so-happen to have a blog. Either way, today I’m bringing you the first from my blogger batch, Jonathan Lo from Happy Mundane. I’ve known him since 2006 and have been following his blog ever since – he’s got amazing style and as an art director, he definitely is in on all of the hottest trends. Plus, he lives in southern California, how can he NOT know what’s trending?!
Name: Jonathan Lo
Five favorite things:
1: Favorite look – Rooms that are modern, relaxed, bright, happy, and have a great eclectic mix with little pops of color.
2. Favorite Trend - Muted Pastels
3. Favorite object - This set of Terracotta “POTS” storage jars by menu & benjamin hubert
4: Favorite object that you see everywhere at the moment - hexagon trays
5. Favorite miscellaneous - I’m currently slightly obsessed with Prada’s Spring/Summer 2014 menswear collection.
Why do you like these five – what attracts you? I seem to usually gravitate towards things that are modern and graphic, but I also love things that are more organic. Also, I can’t resist a good vintage piece. I think the best results are when all of those things are combined or juxtaposed together.
What trends are you tired of? I think anything with a chevron pattern could take a rest for awhile!
What do you predict will be hot next? A rediscovery of post modern 1980s “Memphis” style
Thank you Jonathan! Our next edition of Blogger’s Favorites will appear early next week and I’ll spotlight Dutch blogger Danielle DeLange from The Style Files.
(images submitted for this piece by jonathan lo)
I just love Instagram because there are so many great people that I sorta re-find again and as a result of their photo stream, I suddenly pay attention for some reason. Like with Brittany Jepsen from the blog, The House That Lars Built… I’ve seen her work around blogland before but seeing her behind-the-scenes on IG made her come to life and suddenly I really pay attention to what she’s up to. Here are a few photos from her IG account and blog (@houselarsbuilt) if you’d like to follow her, too. Here are a few from her blog that I love spotlighting her recent trip to teach in southern California.
I really love flowers, so her paper flower garlands and workshops in general, that she teaches in the states, definitely caught my curious eye. And I love the DIYs that I just discovered on her beautiful blog, too. Here are more images from her gorgeous IG account.
Do you have any favorites on IG that you knew about before but following them on IG made you a believer, too? Isn’t it true how certain social media outlets really aren’t “one size firs all”? People who may love your blog may not connect the same through your IG photos, Facebook account or twitter… You know? That’s why I always tells bloggers to experiment and see what works and what people are responding to that you also love and feel you’re reaching others making a genuine connection. I think lots of bloggers make a common mistake – they measure their followers by how many BLOG readers appear on their site each day. That’s not such an accurate way to determine how many followers you truly have since lots of people may follow you on Instagram but never read your blog. So keep an open mind about that and don’t get down if you have 1,000 blog readers and 30,000 on Instagram and another 800 on Facebook and 500,000 on Pinterest – I mean, c’mon – you definitely have more than 1,000 people who dig your work, they are just coming in from different streams.
What do you think about spreading yourself around when it comes to social media?
p.s. Brittany you’re awesome!
(Images: Brittany Jepsen)