Books + Magazines

Book Review: See San Francisco

June 16, 2015

Hey there friends, my e-course just wrapped up which meant I went MIA but I’m back now and ready to share some goodies I’ve found. I’ve been dying to review Victoria Smith’s debut book, See San Francisco, published by Chronicle Books so today is the day people! This is it! This is the review of my dear blogmate’s gorgeous book. But first, let me just say that I had my honeymoon in SF in 2001 and spent two of the best weeks of my life there. I returned a few times since and Victoria and I share the same publisher. Victoria also started blogging the same year that I did – 2006 – so we’ve been following each other’s careers ever since. I’m so happy for her and to see that she published a book about a city she knows and adores so much is just awesome. If anyone can tell you about SF and show you an alternative view, non-touristy, it’s Miss Victoria from the blog SFGirlByBay.

Book Review: See San Francisco

This book is so pretty and I love how Victoria breaks the book down by sections so you can catch glimpses of Noe Valley, Bernal Heights, The Mission, Potrero Hill and Continue Reading…






Inspiration

Yoga & Breakfast

June 4, 2015

Are you doing yoga regularly? What do you like about it? I did lots of yoga positions when I was pregnant and later, I relied on certain poses to relax my muscles and encourage delivery. As a general practice though, I am not into yoga at all. My friends are different, they are so dedicated and go at least 3-4 times a week. I’m so inspired by their commitment to mind and body and wonder if I need to give it a try too. An outlet for me to plug into right now which encourages mindfulness, builds strength and increases blood flow, flexibility and brings more self awareness sounds positively lovely.

Yoga & Breakfast

Now that my son is sleeping consistently 3 hours a day, I could definitely fit it in during nap time or in the evening when he’s asleep. Hmmm. I’ve been doing some research lately and it seems there is a huge trend (at least in Europe) Continue Reading…






Inspiration

Unsplash Free Photos

June 3, 2015

Have you heard of Unsplash? It’s such an inspiring concept. You simply go to their site and you’ll find FREE (do whatever you want with them) high-resolution photos, 10 new photos every 10 days, all donated by photographers globally. “All photos published on Unsplash are licensed under Creative Commons Zero which means you can copy, modify, distribute and use the photos for free, including commercial purposes, without asking permission from or providing attribution to the photographer or Unsplash”, wow! To give just for the sake of giving.

Unsplash Free Photos

How nice in a world where everything comes with a price. I also like that Unsplash has a gallery showing what creatives have done with some of these images here. I find that I’m really drawn towards the photos with people in them at the moment. In fact, I’m very drawn in by lifestyle photography depicting people doing nothing in Continue Reading…






Blogging

Welcome To The All New decor8!

June 1, 2015

Welcome To The All New decor8!

Hello friends and welcome to the all new decor8! Woo hoo! I am so happy and proud to reveal my new blog because it was time for a major change around here. I just wasn’t feeling the whole blogging thing anymore. I realized that it was because I was doing the same thing expecting different results, I know that’s so cliché, but true. I realized that my blog looked nothing like me. My passion for writing online was on a fast track to bombing out because my zeal was waning big time. I realized that I needed to consider some important questions like… Continue Reading…






Blogging

8 Ways To Brand Your Instagram Beautifully

May 29, 2015

I have 8 tips from a consumer side of the fence when it comes to how brands market themselves on Instagram, you know, what I like and what I find annoying. But first, ever since my little boy was born, I’ve been shopping Petit Bateau because I just love their clothes for little boys. And aside from their gorgeous clothes (my son has this sweater and this sweatshirt), and how well-made everything is, I find their Instagram account so cohesive, beautiful and helpful for when I want to peek in and see what they’re up to whether it be a new outfit or a photo shoot. That’s why I follow them – I love their product AND I love how they present themselves on IG. In fact, I have found so many brands on IG that really market themselves beautifully, you don’t even feel as though you are being sold to because they present product in artistic and creative ways. For this blog tip, aside from my 8 tips, I want to open up the discussion to all of you because I’d love to know how you are marketing your brand on IG (leave your IG @name too in the comment) and if you have any tips on what is making it work for you OR if you are a consumer/fan of a brand and want to highlight some brands that you think do it right and most importantly, why. I’ll weigh in with my thoughts below.

8 Ways To Brand Your Instagram Beautifully
8 Ways To Brand Your Instagram Beautifully

Brand Marketing Thoughts:

1) Cohesive photography – a must!
2) Natural lighting so I can see products as they really are (no fancy filters or altering colors, for instance)
3) Sharing behind-the-scenes in a cool way, not showing big messes and chaos or anything that may make me feel like you are just like me. I actually WANT to believe in the dream when I buy from a big brand. I want to believe they are a fairytale and everything is magical at their cool company.
4) Have some negative space in some photos, or in all. I like the focal point of the image to pop and I don’t like cluttered photos where I don’t know where to look.
5) Don’t be too vague. I get so annoyed when brands sorta kinda reveal something underway but don’t reveal enough to excite, just annoy, you. It’s a balance but a good brand manager can figure out how to do a teaser without ticking people off.
6) Don’t re-gram my photos simply because I’m wearing one of your products without asking me first. I just may not want my infant or my bad hair day to be seen by your 200K followers.
7) Don’t post a lot of sales, giveaways and new products in boring ways. Get creative and make engaging with you fun and memorable.
8) Don’t have too many IG takeovers. I know these takeovers are trending, but some brands pick the wrong people to take over their accounts and so many times I have unfollowed brands because I cannot stand the images that start funneling in from the guest IGer. Make sure your guest grammers are as good as you, or better, and share your aesthetic.

Okay that’s all I can think of, what about you? Care to weigh in? #20blogtrends

(images: petit bateau)






Arts + Crafts

Feathered Collages

May 29, 2015

Hello everyone! Please forgive me for disappearing from the blog but I’ve been tremendously busy between work and family, and wow, it’s all so exciting… Where do I begin?!? I’m currently scheduling locations for book #4 and planning book #5, I’m planning several trips for this Fall, including one that I’ve been wanting to visit for ages for a family vacation… I can’t wait to tell you where later. I also just launched the all new Blogging Your Way website and I’ve been working with my teachers to prep materials for the next e-course which begins on Monday (eep!). I’m putting finishing touches on the all-new decor8 blog to launch this weekend so when you come back here over the weekend you may see a construction page – just stay tuned, the shiny new site will be up by Sunday evening. I’ve been having fun making and photographing things for the next book and I’ve already begun writing it too.

Feathered Collages

Of course, I can’t not mention my little sweet son! Caring for him, who is home with me 24/7, has been a very fun and slightly chaotic reality of working at home and trying to keep him away from daycare for as long as I can because I just want to enjoy all of these firsts with him. But wow, it’s challenging! He is such a great little one, he’s a dream baby and why I have a dream baby I’ll never know because I’m so far from perfect. He sleeps full nights (10 hrs+) since he was 3 months old, was crawling by 6 months, walking at 10 months and now at nearly 16 months he is repeating words, understands German and English, and has begun climbing up the stairs at the park to go down the slide! He is a lovely dynamo – a force, he’s seriously such a cool kid and I love balancing work/life so far though OMG there is never a moment when I can say I’m resting – my day begins at 6am and doesn’t end until midnight since I work 2-3 hours during the day while he naps and I work at night from 7-midnight.

It’s not easy but nothing worthwhile ever is and at the end of the day, I decided to take all of this on and can certainly do less with my business, or get a nanny, or whatever… But I like the busy days right now. It’s definitely intense at times, but I only have one child – when I feel overwhelmed I think of some of these amazing wonder women I follow on Instagram with 5 kids and I feel like I have nothing to whine about.

Feathered Collages

Today I want to share a few inspiring things I discovered recently, the first is this brilliant art by sisters Clare and Joy from Mondocherry in Australia. They started doing feather collages and I love them, really, really nice. I also have more feathered stuff to share in a moment, and more art, so I think we can say today that is what I’m finding inspirational. Clare and Joy spend hours researching, painting and making dozens of feathers for each of their one-of-a-kind creations. The cool part is that they live thousands of miles apart yet collaborate so well that you can’t tell who did which parts of the work. That’s really how you know two people are compatible working partners, isn’t it?

Feathered Collages

Feathered Collages

Feathered Collages

Feathered Collages

Feathered Collages

Isn’t this work just stunning? Learn more on their website here:

Back soon with another post or two before the weekend… xo

(images: styling richard hall & son, photography martina gemmola)






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