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Blog Trends: Partnering With Others

Ready for a creative boost and a fun way to grow as a blogger? To continue with my blog trends column (#20blogtrends), for this 5th installment I want to talk about partnering with others and why it’s so valuable to more than just a small business, but to our mental health/emotional well-being too.


I had such a positive and wonderful experience lately and want to share it with all of you. (That’s me above working on Monday with local photographer, Susanne Irmer.) You know how sometimes you wonder if you are meant to be living where you live? I moved a lot in my life which has resulted in always feeling at home no matter where I am because I don’t attach “home” to a specific space or location. It’s always inside of me and with my family and friends. I’ve had homes all over and I never complained when my family moved, I felt excited and couldn’t wait for the next adventure. Some kids have no problem with moving around a lot and lucky for me, I was one of those kids and continue to love the new adventures that come with relocating to this day. Because I love to move, I am always up for trying something new, especially if the current location is no longer working for whatever reason.

If you’ve followed this blog for some time, you know I’m American and we relocated here to northern Germany from Boston in August 2009. Lately I’ve been starting to wonder if this is the place for me to stay ultimately. As in, until I die. My husband has said he wouldn’t mind living in southern California, especially since it appears as though I have SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and I often wonder if I’d feel better being in a sunny place despite my love for four seasons. I also have a lot of friends in California and the west coast in general and am a beach fanatic so I could absolutely get into living somewhere in the OC near the coast. My husband is also happy to relocate to the UK because we both adore London. But that almost makes me scared as the weather there is much worse than in Germany – it rains about twice as much in London…

So all of this wondering lately about where to live, or if we should just stay in Germany,  has also made me think about why. As in WHY am I even thinking about moving and it mostly comes down to weather, the general energy where I live (how ambitious and creative people are, or not) and feeling like I cannot find others like me who want to work together on fun, creative projects. Then I thought about if where I live is really SO BAD. Because there is so much good here, my husband loves this city (he was born and raised here) and his family is here, I have lovely friends, the cost of living is great and my work is really respected and valued here – my books sell extremely well and I have a lot of great opportunities offered to me on a regular basis because of my books and online presence. Which is why I did what I always do when I’m having a hard time sorting ideas and embarked on some mind mapping and list making, both of which are critical when my brain feels like it cannot find the right answer.

After filling many pages, I discovered that the most important thing right now, since I cannot move today, is to take positive action on what I can change. My mindfulness professional life coach Laurie Cameron, is helping me with this too so I cannot take all of the credit. She is an amazing resource and I love our weekly sessions via Skype. What could I do in my own local area to improve my mood and feel more creative despite the fact that we’ve had hailstorms for several days now?

All of the writing and listing and mapping made me think about a project that I needed to do for work and how, instead of working alone or with my husband to produce the photos that I need for the assignment, that I’d hire help to see if the creativity of others could somehow brighten my day and bring in sunshine to a place where there is currently none. So I hired a photographer, two models and a makeup artist. I started to brainstorm on how I wanted the photos to look and how I’d be using them. This past Sunday was day one and on Monday, was day two – the final day – and I am now flying high! I’m happy with the work, I’m excited to work with Susanne to do more work in the future together, and everyone involved was also inspired and felt the magic in return, so the goal was met – good work was produced and a positive, happy vibe for all!

I took control and feel better because of it!

When you are feeling down or affected by the weather, or people, or whatever else or you just need a creative boost, think of partnering with others and see what comes from it. Lots of bloggers are doing this and it makes a huge difference. It may also help you to get your mojo back like it has always done for me in the past, including the most recent past just a few days ago.

If you’ve missed my other Blog Trends post in this series of 20, here are the ones we’ve discussed so far:

What do you think, have your partnered with others? What has been your personal experience? Do you have any questions for me or anyone else about how to partner with others or tips to share?

(Photograph: Susanne Irmer)



Posted in Blogging on April 01, 2015

Aether Cone For Music Lovers + A Giveaway!

If you want a stunning well-designed music player that you can speak to (and it listens, unlike your children!) and it delivers the music (or podcast, program, etc.) that you’ve asked for while also being portable and beautiful, then the Aether Cone will rock your world.


I placed my Aether Cone in white/silver on my shelves in my dining room where I entertain the most and after testing it for several weeks now, I found it to be the perfect addition to the space without cluttering it up with cords, clunky equipment or having to dock my phone (I’ve always hated doing that with other players). It’s also cordless because the battery lasts for 8 hours (there is a cord for plugging it in to a power source too in case you need it). I listen to my many playlists wirelessly and love it.


The Aether Cone is obviously wireless but also multi room, meaning you can pair multiple cones so you can hear the same song (or program, podcast, etc.) throughout the house without a single cord. I also like the discreet intuitive dial on the front on the rim of the cone so you can simply turn it and hear something similar to what you’ve been listening to. You can speak to it to change what is playing – there is no screen needed to change the song. It’s seriously so cool.


With this cone you may also control your playlist by speaking to it as I’ve mentioned already OR by logging into your Rdio account (or other playlist) and stream music from there. You can play music from Spotify, Beats Music and Pandora and also from a phone, laptop or iPad or other tablet because it has Bluetooth. I really LOVE this feature.



To celebrate this wonderful product and my collaboration with Aether, we are giving away one cone valued at $399 USD in your choice of either black/copper or white/silver.

To win a cone please:

* Follow Aether on Instagram (if you have an IG account)
* Comment below and tell us where you’d like to put your aether cone in your home and what some of your favorite music is
* Leave your comment by Tuesday, April 7th, 5pm CET
* This giveaway is for residents of the USA, UK and Canada only
* Winner will be announced on my twitter account and this post will also update once the winner is chosen, between April 8-10th

This post in partnership with Aether but please note that I made an agreement with them that if I didn’t like this product I would not review it, and because I fell in love with it, I was excited to bring this review and giveaway to all of you. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the companies that allow me to do work that I love.

Updated April 14: The WINNER is Yvonne from Following Breadcrumbs! Congrats! 

(Photography: Thorsten Becker)

Posted in Sponsored Content on March 31, 2015

Have a Mindful Weekend

Hello friends and happy weekend! I had such a productive week so I’m feeling great while simultaneously wishing I had more hours in each day to do all that I have in my heart to accomplish. Do you feel this way too? I’m really starting to iron out some wrinkles in my work / life and I feel so much more invigorated and energized since I started working with my dear friend and life coach, Laurie Cameron, who is doing weekly Skype sessions with me to guide me – mostly in becoming more aware, mindful and intentional but also to run my business way better and to step up my game! I often know what I need to do, but really crave a trusted companion to act as a sounding board. But I also want an expert to go to for bulletproof methods that I can follow to reach goals and climb new heights. Laurie is both.


Last week we talked all about setting boundaries and social media. How sometimes we need to truly tighten the filter. What a truly fascinating discussion that turned out to be. I’m seeing a shift in my life already from working with her and would love to share some points from our conversations here in the future so Laurie and I are trying to map out what that could look like so everyone can benefit from our chats. Would you like that?

Part of being more mindful is to appreciate what we have versus what we don’t have. To be more thankful and to address those with whom we are thankful to. This week I feel proud and thankful that I sold some of my photos to a magazine in Germany, landed two contracts with American companies to work on some wonderful content for them on decor8, started prepping for a photo shoot at my home this Sunday and Monday with a lovely photographer, two models and a makeup artist (fun!), was asked to be in a very cool book and I found out that I am in the Elle Decoration Directory – a massive honor (and on newsstands now until April 8th. Cover with the supplement that I’m in is shown below).A big thanks to Elle Decoration for including me in their annual directory. Really, truly honored.

All of this in one week. And there is more but those were the things that came to mind first as I typed.


I’m also enjoying my days with our son who will turn 14 months on April 9 and who is so full of joy and life. Everyone on the street stops us to say how sweet and friendly he is. This makes me happy! He was really kiss-y this week – always kissing me and his daddy and he started blowing kisses when we say goodbye to people – he blows kisses at them with this cute little mu-ahh sound at the end. It’s the best. I never understood why moms melted over this stuff until I became a mother. It’s the best moment when your kid does something so completely precious at such a young age. I think most babies his age blow kisses, but when it’s your baby it’s such a beautiful sight.

There is so much more going on in my life right now but I’ll share more of that later because I need to sketch out some ideas for the shoots so I really nail it on Sunday and Monday. I can’t wait to work with Susanne, Esra, Manuella and Ditte – girl power from Belgium, Denmark, Turkey and Germany. I feel so lucky to be working with such great women.

I wish you all a very happy, mindful, purposeful, intentional weekend. 

(images: top: holly becker bottom: elle decoration uk)


Posted in Ramblings on March 27, 2015

Herz und Blut Homestorys in Berlin

I love a good home tour. Or ten. And Heart and Blood or Herz und Blut (nd of course homestorys are home stories) has some nice ones… And you’ve guessed it, they are home stories with heart for sure. I love the Berlin homes on this German blog because they are so very Berlin, you know? That very cool city definitely has a certain apartment style when it comes to artists, designers, musicians, bloggers and other creatives who live and work there. I want to point you over to Herz und Blut so you can see for yourself. Here are some of my very favorite photos from the site.















By the way, you have to see this shop and makers space of fashion designer Lilija Meier. Right here. Click. Go ahead. It’s amazing. It’s called Karakulowa and is located on Graefestraße 65 in Berlin. I am totally going to visit this shop this summer! I am SO inspired by it and all of that tile work.


(Photos: Jules Villbrandt)

Posted in Home Tours on March 26, 2015


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