Books + Magazines

Book Reviews: 3 Healthy Cookbooks I Love

January 14, 2015

Thanks to my obsession with burning hours on Amazon while my baby snoozes, I found a new book (and new to me blog) called Deliciously Ella. Ella Woodwards, the young lady behind the blog, has created 100 dairy-free, gluten-free and sugar-free recipes that supposedly will make you feel great which is the most important thing in life right? Because your health, mental and physical, can really make or break you. I’ve been off of white and brown sugar and honey since January 6th and cut out most diary (I use rice, almond, coconut milk or oat milk now) and already feel so much better after the initial detox headaches and cravings subsided. I’m no longer in sloth-post-holiday mode. I’m ready to take on projects again with gusto and get movin’ at the gym. Health equals wealth and not just financially. When you feel great you become rich in so many other areas in your life. I’m learning that the reason why so many highly successful people are fit and work out daily is so they can stay or become more successful. It’s true. You get more accomplished when you feel amazing and your energy levels soar. Why do you think the fabulous Martha Stewart can sleep only 4 hours nightly for so many years and be such a powerhouse?

Book Reviews: 3 Healthy Cookbooks I Love

Ella’s personal story and motivation behind her work is quite inspirational, “In 2011, nineteen-year-old Ella Woodward was diagnosed with a rare illness that left her bed-ridden, in chronic pain, and plagued by heart palpitations and headaches. When conventional medicine failed her, Ella decided to change her diet. She gave up meat, gluten, dairy, sugar, and anything processed—and the effects were immediate: her symptoms disappeared, her energy returned, and she was able to go off all her medication. A self-confessed sweet tooth, Ella taught herself how to make delicious, plant-based meals that delight the palette and improve overall well-being.” Sounds wonderful! This book promises simple prep and raw, natural ingredients so I’m definitely going to grab a copy and start using it. Here is a peak inside of Deliciously Ella below straight from Anthropologie, where you can purchase it or buy it on Amazon UK (with cover shown in this post) or on Amazon US with a different cover, same content.

Now to share with you a few books that I do own and love that share the same approach to eating healthy.

1. It’s All Good by Gwyneth Paltrow and Julia Turschen (Amazon US/Amazon UK)– I love that Julia lost a lot of weight eating the foods in this book while creating it. When someone loses weight writing a health cookbook I feel like ka-pow! That’s the book for me! Julia made it a huge draw because I love GP but she is so perfect that I often feel like she’s just not relatable in all of her gorgeousness (I mean did you see her at the Oscars in that fantastic pink Michael Kors dress? How can we compete?), but Julia is one of us and is also super gorgeous minus a full staff and access to top trainers and fitness gurus and unlimited cash. Don’t get me wrong, GP rocks and she is why I bought the book in the first place, but learning about Julia through the pages of It’s All Good instantly made it my fave go-to guide for healthy eating. That combined with all of the book photography by one of my top five photographers in the world, Danish-born Ditte Isager, and I was hooked. Plus I got my hands on a signed, dedicated copy from GP herself so hey, I can’t complain. In fact, I tell everyone about this book and even buy it for my friends. You can see some of the gorgeous pics in this book on Ditte’s blog.

and

2. Honestly Healthy by Natasha Corrett (Amazon US or Amazon UK – German version here which I also have). British-born Natasha turned me on to OMbar (chocolate sweetened with coco milk) and I just love some of her recipes in this book and her amazing website and videos, too. I’m dying to attend one of her supper clubs or cooking classes in London because meeting her would be interesting since her mom is Kelly Hoppen and I think Kelly is just the best but even more, I just want to watch her cook and learn some new tips. I actually love the idea of scheduling a private cooking class with Natasha and a few of my dear friends, this would be so much fun and would make for a great blog story, don’t you think? Perhaps I’ll connect with her for a story like that as I’m looking to bring more lifestyles to decor8 this year that encourage us all to life our best life. I like Natasha’s cookbook because it lives alongside her online content so I feel close to her – like I can watch a video (What’s In My Fridge is so great), flip through her book, make her recipes, read her blog, follow her on Instagram, etc. It’s dynamic, alive, fresh. I love when authors have a very active online presence and do video work too (if they are, in fact, good on camera and not awkward of course. I often wonder if I’d be good or awkward, I have to try it for my next book and you can let  me know). It just brings it all together.

Book Reviews: 3 Healthy Cookbooks I Love

Book Reviews: 3 Healthy Cookbooks I Love

Book Reviews: 3 Healthy Cookbooks I Love

In addition to these three titles above, has anyone picked up a copy of Nourish by Amber Rose, Holly Davidson and Sadie Frost yet? I’m in love with the cover, it makes me so SO happy. I love lifestyle book covers with either photos of people or multiple lifestyle photos so you get a preview of what’s to follow on the pages inside. The cover alone for Nourish makes it very interesting to me to look into further.

What is your favorite cookbook at the moment? Have you made any health or fitness goals for the year? Tell me about them. I’d love to know what you’re doing.

Here’s to better health for us all in 2015! And congrats to Ella for the new book and much success to you!

(images: anthropologie)






Shopping + Products

My 10 Faves from Kate Spade Saturday For West Elm

January 13, 2015

Fun stuff! I read about this cool collab last month in the NYTimes but was reminded of it again while reading my friend Geraldine’s blog today – the collaboration of Kate Spade Saturday and West Elm. What a sweet union! I had to peek in on the WE site to see what they’re offering and the collection is bold, graphic, colorful, energetic, youthful and happy — you gotta love the colors and patterns. I think they did a great job merging both brands – no easy task and many meetings and months of back and forth, I’m sure! But they’ve done a great job so in celebration and to show my support, I thought to pull together 10 of my favorites.

My 10 Faves from Kate Spade Saturday For West Elm

1. This yellow/beige rug shown above. Simple but stunning.

My 10 Faves from Kate Spade Saturday For West Elm

2, 3, 4, 5: These pieces of wall art 2. painted floral, 3. abstract 1, 4. yellow sun, 5. Yo.

My 10 Faves from Kate Spade Saturday For West Elm

6. This awesome entryway table because if I still lived in the states, this would be in my home!

My 10 Faves from Kate Spade Saturday For West Elm

7. My favorite from the collection is this Sleep In mirrored wall art.

My 10 Faves from Kate Spade Saturday For West Elm

8. The chairs are darling but this navy and white dotty wing chair has my heart.

My 10 Faves from Kate Spade Saturday For West Elm

9. This rug in pink and orange. (Psst: It also has a matching pouf here).

My 10 Faves from Kate Spade Saturday For West Elm

10. Round storage boxes – very nice for jewelry and I love the unusual shape because isn’t a storage box supposed to be, well, boxy? So cute and clever.

Do you spot any faves from this collection? What do you think of it? What would you like to see added?

(images: west elm)

 






Home Tours

Studio Tour: The Oh Joy! Studio in LA

January 13, 2015

Happy New Year readers! This is Kelly and I am thrilled to start this new year off with the studio tour of designer and blogger Joy Cho, of Oh Joy! Nestled right in the heart of Hollywood, CA, Joy’s high lofted studio is what she calls “grown-up Candyland.” When Holly asked me to shoot it for decor8, I was thrilled. The studio is white, wood and gold with lots of pops of color and fresh flowers throughout and brick exposure. Below is Joy and her lovely team (Joy is shown in the gorgeous pink skirt). Are you ready to tour her inspiring workspace? Oh and you can see more photos from my visit to Joy’s space here.

Studio Tour: The Oh Joy! Studio in LA

Joy’s party line at Target this past year was full of color, pattern, and whimsy, just like her studio. With the help of designer Emily Henderson and Samantha Gluck, Joy’s vision of bright colors, patterns and a functional and fun studio space came together. The studio offers Joy and her team an open concept office space equipped with a kitchenette, dining room, lounging area, storage space and a little living room.

Studio Tour: The Oh Joy! Studio in LA

Studio Tour: The Oh Joy! Studio in LA

Studio Tour: The Oh Joy! Studio in LA

What a beautiful mood board right? And below, a great idea for Joy’s paper lanterns as display on top of a storage unit.

Studio Tour: The Oh Joy! Studio in LA

Some of my favourite features of the space include the colorful chairs, (when do you ever see cute office chairs anyway, right!?) the amazing props wall, the vintage dice and that green sofa!

Studio Tour: The Oh Joy! Studio in LA

Studio Tour: The Oh Joy! Studio in LA

Studio Tour: The Oh Joy! Studio in LA

Studio Tour: The Oh Joy! Studio in LA

Studio Tour: The Oh Joy! Studio in LA

Studio Tour: The Oh Joy! Studio in LA

Studio Tour: The Oh Joy! Studio in LA

Some of Joy’s collection for Target above, along with the mini hat below. So dainty and merry!

Studio Tour: The Oh Joy! Studio in LA

Studio Tour: The Oh Joy! Studio in LA

Check out the tiny mint green Smeg. Have you see Holly’s Smeg Inspiration board on Pinterest? Seems everyone covets these things.

Studio Tour: The Oh Joy! Studio in LA

Studio Tour: The Oh Joy! Studio in LA

Studio Tour: The Oh Joy! Studio in LA

Seeing Holly and Leslie’s book, Decorate With Flowers, in Joy’s studio was a nice find.

Studio Tour: The Oh Joy! Studio in LA

Studio Tour: The Oh Joy! Studio in LA

Studio Tour: The Oh Joy! Studio in LA

Studio Tour: The Oh Joy! Studio in LA

 Check out that prop supply wall!

Studio Tour: The Oh Joy! Studio in LA

Studio Tour: The Oh Joy! Studio in LA

Studio Tour: The Oh Joy! Studio in LA

Psst: There’s more fun from Joy at Target coming, we can’t say just what yet here on decor8, but stay tuned! AND you can pre-order the new Oh Joy! book – click here for more on that. We are just so excited about this book, it looks just as whimsical and full of color as her studio.

So, what do think? What inspired you most about this space?

– See you next month with another inspiring space or place! – Kelly

(Photography/Text: Kelly Brown)






Arts + Crafts

Plingsulli Illustrations

January 12, 2015

It’s always nice to stumble upon a lovely new-to-me illustrator. This is Plingsulli, or twentysomething Ulrika Gustafsson, from Sweden and I believe that she has the most delicate florals and creatures in her work – how I’d love to see these as textiles sold by the meter! Some of her patterns have been used as characters for stuffed toys or on trays in her shop and her imaginative florals and storybook-like illos are showing up on bedding and cushions for Ferm Living and wallpaper for Photowall, which I would positively love to have in my own home on a feature wall. They are understated in a way, but also bold in another because they’re busy and engaging. Such pretty colorways too. Take a look.

Plingsulli Illustrations

Plingsulli Illustrations

Plingsulli Illustrations

This wallpaper above and directly below was originally available as wallpaper, sold through Ferm Living. I really love it.

Plingsulli Illustrations

These pillows below were created for Ferm Living and they ARE available and quite darling, don’t you think? I want this owl music mobile for my son.

Plingsulli Illustrations

And her bedding is available at Ferm Living too. So pretty. These sheets below, Mountain Friends, are ones I also have my eye on for Aidan’s bed. I love finding so many great things for his room that aren’t the typical “boy” or super hero/action figure theme. The In the Rain bedding below with the pink accents is another beautiful application of Ulrike’s brilliant work.

Plingsulli Illustrations

 

Plingsulli Illustrations

Plingsulli Illustrations

Plingsulli Illustrations

Aren’t these just delightful?

Psst: You can follow Ulrika on Instagram here.

(images: Plingsulli and Ferm Living)

 






From The Heart, Ramblings

From The Heart: Leave Safe Behind + Make Bolder Decorating Choices

January 12, 2015

I’m in the mood for essay writing so sit back and pour yourself a cup of tea or glass of wine because we’re going to talk about safety in decorating and even safety in numbers. We’re going to discuss taking risks. This year I simply must make bolder choices in all areas of my life, decisions that feel big and scary at times, and to cast fears aside trading negative voices with enthusiastic chants in favor of the unknown. I believe that a trend in thinking will emerge this year very strongly, driven largely by our political and religious views, and that is to live boldly and stop mimicking everyone else simply to avoid ruffling feathers. Speak up more and have courage in all areas of life, and when you have freedoms, exercise them. Even something as seemingly small as a decorating choice at home. It’s your space, the one spot on this planet where you exercise absolute control and creative direction. Your personal style speaks volumes about you, don’t you think? Why not resolve to make your home a true reflection of you, or the you whom you aspire to become, for 2015?

From The Heart: Leave Safe Behind + Make Bolder Decorating Choices

Recently after installing Aimee Wilder’s spinx pina sola wallpaper in my entryway, I personally felt inspired to take more risks. The bold unexpected pattern pulled me right out of my “safe” decorating rut. Wallpaper or anything bold in the home can definitely rev up your confidence – the more you do crazy stuff and like it, the more risks you’re willing to take as a result since confidence builds and your take no prisoners girl power emerges. I have been combing wallpaper websites and Pinterest lately to support my opinion on the difference some wallpaper can make and found many great examples, I even took the time to pin them for you to see here and I also encourage you to visit my go-to online shop for wallpaper and wall murals called Photowall because that site just may light a spark under you, too.

When I look at any home, I don’t see what’s there. I see what could be there. I always tell my friends who are moving into dreadful homes they’ve purchased due to low costs and the idea of what “could be” to look at a room as 4 walls, a ceiling and a floor and strip it down to the bones and begin from there. Most can’t see beyond the ugly flooring or the bad 70s paneling but a room is a room. And nothing can change the interior like altering the walls and floors in some ways – this is when simple materials like paint and wallpaper can work magic.

From The Heart: Leave Safe Behind + Make Bolder Decorating Choices

I read once that if you desire a great life you must first allow yourself to feel uncomfortable on a regular basis because that is where the great stuff springs forth – when you step outside of your “normal” and jump without a net, without a “big picture”, and just go for it. When you try something completely random or even a little edgy or very over-the-top (at least your version of OTT). When you stop being so damn safe. For me, moving to Europe to settle in northern Germany from my cozy 1870’s carriage house in southern New Hampshire or leaving my cushy corporate job for interior design and blogging were both massive choices with huge risks involved.

Another was to write a book, then see it become an international bestseller only to then get the courage to write a second and so forth. Or having my baby, that was a massive decision and quite uncomfortable to go from living in absolute freedom to absolute responsibility.

But all of these things have enriched my life and made me a better version of myself. All of these things have contributed to my happiness. Not one was, or still is, easy. Running your own company is not easy. Working from home with a baby is not easy. Living in a foreign country speaking in a new language and navigating an entirely different culture is not easy. Making a decision to sink money into wallpapering a room is not easy. But in the end, these things add character and spark to your life. I also read somewhere recently that nobody writes songs about skinny butts. This was in reference to all of the big booty anthems out there today and so many women starving themselves to have runway-slim bodies. That may be considered the ideal, because so many women long to be super slim, but it’s not really that exciting if you live in a world where everyone had the same pants and cup size, right? Hence the big booty support and why there is support being voiced about veering from what’s considered optimal or the way one should look.

From The Heart: Leave Safe Behind + Make Bolder Decorating Choices

Giant golden pineapple wallpaper are my version of a big butt, of making a bolder choice and I love seeing my wallpaper each day as much now as I did when it went up. The pattern is fun but also glammy, makes a statement and is always a conversation starter. We had several guests over the holidays and everyone had an opinion which sometimes segued into lengthy conversations about art and design which are chats that I can get into for hours. And did. All because of some wallpaper.

From The Heart: Leave Safe Behind + Make Bolder Decorating Choices

It made me realize that even if others don’t love or they outright hate what you’ve done (or somewhere in between), doing something dramatic adds zest to your life because crazy decisions and nutty ideas often spark something bigger that a boring, safe choice simply won’t. When something in your home elicits strong emotion/reaction from visitors then following your gut and living authentically has paid off. You’re being you and that is exactly what you were born to do.

From The Heart: Leave Safe Behind + Make Bolder Decorating Choices

From The Heart: Leave Safe Behind + Make Bolder Decorating Choices

From The Heart: Leave Safe Behind + Make Bolder Decorating Choices

From The Heart: Leave Safe Behind + Make Bolder Decorating Choices

From The Heart: Leave Safe Behind + Make Bolder Decorating Choices

From The Heart: Leave Safe Behind + Make Bolder Decorating Choices

From The Heart: Leave Safe Behind + Make Bolder Decorating Choices

From The Heart: Leave Safe Behind + Make Bolder Decorating Choices

From The Heart: Leave Safe Behind + Make Bolder Decorating Choices

From The Heart: Leave Safe Behind + Make Bolder Decorating Choices

From The Heart: Leave Safe Behind + Make Bolder Decorating Choices

For 2015, I have a decorating wish, a decorating resolution for us all… Let’s make bolder choices and step away from safe ones. I see so many homes and styles all looking the same lately and it’s SO BORING to even peruse decor and style blogs right now because so many have collectively lost that zing which is a mix of personal style, opinion and zeal for individuality. Even food bloggers all look a like to me lately. We all need to reevaluate and step back a bit, don’t you think? I often wonder if everyone really does love the same things OR is it that because these things are accepted as the cool choice, and because it’s “safe” as a result to like them (since certain styles get lots of likes) that many just adopt these styles or even movements into our lives for the sake of fitting in and not so much because these are our personal, deep down choices. We have so many choices now in the design world at all price points, so why does it feel sometimes like we’re all shopping from the same catalog?

Something to think about, right?

(images: all wallpaper shown from photowall)






Ramblings

Hello 2015

January 11, 2015

Hello and happy new year! I’ve not been in this space to blog since December 26th, the longest blog break I’ve taken in years! Crazy! It’s nice to be back since blog breaks aren’t as fun for me as I guess they should be… I’m always so super eager to get back to blogging! For instance, on Friday I had two lovely things happen in my life. This blog celebrated its 9th anniversary since I’ve been blogging since January 9, 2006 (read my first post). I seriously can’t believe that I’m now into my 10th year and that this time next year, I’ll be a blogger for an entire decade. I never imagined this would become a company and a life altering path for me. This fantastic journey has been so rewarding in countless ways but most of all, I’m grateful to you for joining me.

Hello 2015

Also on Friday my dear little son turned 11-months-old. It’s a very lovely feeling to have a baby, so new and helpless in many ways, and then to watch him grow so beautifully, become strong, handsome, clever, spirited, even develop his own likes and dislikes in mere months. He began crawling at 6 months at top speed, walking at 10 months and he has 6 teeth and is already eating solids (in addition to milk) — and is in perfect health. He has a beautiful personality too – a real mix of colors – he will definitely grow up to have strong opinions and a love for people – I can clearly see this already.

Our pediatrician told us she is so impressed by him, that even she isn’t used to babies his age being so bright and ahead of most other babies. Though, honestly, she could have said nothing and I wouldn’t have cared because I’m not invested in making him better than others, I simply want him to follow his own path naturally and on his own terms. Though, of course, being new parents we couldn’t help but to feel very pleased to be praised by our doctor for our dedication. This gave us both a very proud parents moment, and when you are so new to parenting, you need those confidence boosters because it’s a very unknown and long road to embark on – having a child – and an occasional cheering squad is nice from time-to-time. I’m so happy that all of the love and care we put into our son is paying off like this – with both of us home with him full-time, we may be struggling for work balance and trying to squeeze in everything while he’s napping or asleep at night, but it is soooo worth it to see him this healthy and happy. He looks a bit serious in the photo above, he was tired when I shot this on Saturday, but I prefer these quieter moments when he’s not clowning around because I love capturing his silence, his beauty, how lost in thought he appears because I feel like I’m catching a glimpse of “future” him and it really warms my heart.

Hello 2015

But enough about parenting. How are you? I hope you all had a very restful and joyful holiday season. Ours was such a delight, we spent it with good friends and family and ate far too many of my homemade cookies and cake, but now I’m off of sugar doing a bit of a detox and my energy is coming back again and I feel like I’m getting my mojo back, slowly, after the lag of the holidays, celebrating a little too much, and chasing an 11-month-old who already looks and acts like he’s 2 or 3!

It’s all so good though – life – and to think that this time last year I was unpacking boxes in this new home with my huge belly and my due date drawing closer and closer. And today I’m talking about my energetic baby who is already walking. Yowser! So much can happen in a single year. In fact, I think that is what my dear little boy has taught me among a slew of other important things – how every moment should be felt and experienced, good and bad, and that so much can change about a person in such a short period of time that nothing is impossible if we will it to be.

Happy 2015 to everyone – I’m so happy to be back to give you another year of (hopefully) happiness, inspiration, creative ideas, support and community.

Love,
Holly x

(Photos: Holly Becker for decor8. Please do not use these images without my written consent since they are of my little boy, thank you. Just pop me an email. Thanks!)






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