Round-ups

10 Favorite Rug Sources That I Love

August 11, 2016

I love throw rugs, in fact I have 11 currently but about 10 more in storage. Yeah, it’s a little problem, sort of like my chair fetish and problem with indulging in ribbons and paper products and ceramics. Most decor enthusiasts and stylists and decorators and okay, designers and anyone else who is working in a field that involves the home, develops obsessions / fixations on specific things. What is yours?

10 Favorite Rug Sources That I Love

I grew up with wall-to-wall carpet in every home I’d ever lived in until I was 16. Wood floors only arrived to my living space when my parents moved to Boston, to the Swampscott/Marblehead border, and our beachfront home had wooden floors and it was just surreal to me, at sweet 16, to walk on wooden floors. It felt naked, empty, unfinished. I instantly purchased throw rugs for comfort and texture. So many years later, though I love wood, concrete, tile and anything but wall-to-wall carpet, I still prefer the feeling of a soft rug beneath my feet.

Aside from obvious comfort, I also love how they ground the room and in larger rooms, help to define spaces. For instance, a living/dining room combo in a loft can become two rooms without the expense of addition of walls – just add a large area rug beneath your dining table and chairs and a second rug beneath your sofa and seating area to define each “room”. Rugs are really good like that.

If you have wall-to-wall carpet, lots of people still insist on throw rugs to add another layer of comfort but even more, to bring in color and pattern. Some renters have wall-to-wall and don’t like it so by adding an area rug they are able to inject some color and a more personal touch to their rental home.

10 Favorite Rug Sources That I Love

10 Favorite Rug Sources That I Love
10 Favorite Rug Sources That I Love

Where do I buy rugs? I’ll list my most recent suppliers below, my current top 10. Some are in Germany or Denmark but most are available and/or based in the USA. I also have a new source that I’m loving that I found while perusing Pinterest this morning, an interiors brand called Caitlin Wilson Design. LOVE. I really want one of CWD’s rugs now and am trying to figure out which one and how I’m going to make this happen. I’ve sprinkled this post with great rugs from their website – fantastic patterns, right!?

10 Favorite Rug Sources That I Love

Okay so here are my 10 Great Rug Sources at the moment.
1 / Lulu & Georgia – Modern, feminine, eclectic, they have it all.
2 / Dash & Albert – More traditional, very well made.
3 / Impressionen – They stock many brands from all over Europe, not a lot of rugs in their catalog but what they do carry are really good
4 / ABC Carpet + Home – I love buying and/or drooling at their carpets. When in NYC, I always visit their store to see what’s new. They always stock the freshest finds.
5 / House Doctor – Danish firm with nice rugs that are geometric, hand woven, and very affordable.
6 / Armadillo – Australian firm that has dealers in Europe and now, an American showroom. I love their rugs, I have 3 and find them just wonderful and so natural.
7 / HK Living – They have lots of rugs from Morocco that are quite colorful and fun.
8 / West Elm – More trend-driven rugs, very nice, great quality, love this resource for not only price but selection.
9 / Pink Rug Co – I love this Etsy dealer who lives in Morocco and has the best vintage rugs ever. Affordable too and she ships globally.
10 / and… Caitlin Wilson Design – Fun colors and patterns, glamorous, girly and preppy.

I also have a little bonus for you today. Have you ever wondered about rug sizing and placement by room? Caitlin Wilson Design has a very informative post on their blog about this with illustrations for living, dining and bedroom. Here’s the link.

Where do you get YOUR rugs?

(Photography: Caitlin Wilson Design)






Flowers

Flowers By Sonja Klein

August 11, 2016

It’s so common when working primarily online to forget what’s happening in our local everyday community. I fall into this trap now and then, so I thought today I would highlight a local creative kindred spirit that I only recently discovered who has inspired me so much through her floral arrangements. Her name is Sonja Klein from Blumig Heiraten and she is based in Hannover, Germany where I also live at the moment. My wheels are already spinning in terms of how we could collaborate. Here is Sonja…

Flowers By Sonja Klein

And these are some of her floral designs for mostly weddings…

Flowers By Sonja Klein

Flowers By Sonja Klein

Flowers By Sonja Klein

Flowers By Sonja Klein

Flowers By Sonja Klein

Flowers By Sonja Klein

Flowers By Sonja Klein

Flowers By Sonja Klein

Flowers By Sonja Klein

Flowers By Sonja Klein

 Flowers By Sonja Klein

Flowers By Sonja Klein

All of the above photos were taken by a team of local wedding photographers that I also recently learned of, I’ll list them below in case you are looking for great photographers in Hannover or northern Germany in general. Also the cake and cupcakes are by the lovely local baker, Mundus.

Sebastian Weiß
Christin Lange (she is amazing, she took photos for our family when Aidan was born)
Stephanie Segowrney Brouwer
Diana Frohmueller
Anja Schneemann

I love the work that Sonja does, such a great eye – beautiful!






From The Heart

When You Earn More Money Than Your Man

August 10, 2016

First let me say that if I offend anyone by what I’m about to say, please leave a comment and chime in on the conversation because I’d like to hear your side too. But this is my side, my opinion and I’m basing it on my own conversations with women all over the world – not just Americans or Germans or women you think I’m mostly referring. ALL women from ALL over. So with that being out of the way, I shall begin my essay.

When You Earn More Money Than Your Man

Money. It’s never been a hard topic for me to talk about even though I grew up watching my parents fight over it pretty much daily. I don’t understand why something that can be such a bridge in your life can be so bad or so hard to discuss. I’m married and when we get low on funds my first reaction isn’t to fight, it’s to discuss the situation and get crackin’ – do what we can to make it and make it fast. I always tell my husband that he married the best wife in the world when it comes to this topic – I would flip burgers or clean bathrooms if all the chips were down and we needed to pay the rent. I have been close to broke before, I was broke once, and I will never go there again if I am healthy enough to work. No way. My ego will never stand in the way of me going forth and getting a job, any job… I’d perform nearly any (legal and moral) task on earth to support myself and my family financially. I am that woman who would (and has) worked 2-3 jobs to make it. I’m not lazy and my father gave me one thing that stuck – work ethic. I may not always be realistic about money and earnings, but my crazy strong work ethic means that I won’t go down without a fight.

Yet there is something I have to say about money that may make some of you feel a little awkward after I say this. Please don’t. I have earned quite a bit of it in my lifetime, before blogging and especially after blogging. There is no limit to the amount of money a creative person can earn online these days if you work your ___ off and have a few good ideas and are willing to sweat blood to get it. I remember the first 8 years of my online career very clearly because I worked 6-7 days a week, 10-12 hours a day, or more. I remember staying up until 4am to write on my blog and to turn assignments in to magazines and newspapers on time. I worked in my sleep. Then I got pregnant and cut back but I couldn’t take a maternity leave, so I took off two weeks leave after I had my baby. I wish I could have taken 6-12 months like most of my German friends (I live in Germany now in case some of you missed that I relocated overseas from Boston) but I couldn’t because my money keeps our family above water.

I have a real love/hate with that last sentence.

I love it because I never in my life thought I could earn more than, let me just say it, a man. When I was growing up, men were the ones earning all of the money and women had part-time jobs or, if working full-time, were definitely not in leadership roles as they are today. So I’m very proud of myself that women have broken the glass ceiling in some parts of the world and can potentially earn more than a man based on their TALENT not on their GENDER. I never understood and still don’t, why a women can do the same job as a man but earn substantially less. But that’s a whole ‘nother conversation.

So I love that I can earn money without my gender being part of that.

Yet I also hate that I earn more than my husband. Mostly because I know that it causes stress in our relationship. I have a lot of pressure to keep earning and sometimes I want to just pull back and go on vacation for a month and blog from the French Riviera. But I can’t because blogging isn’t the only way I earn this living, there is so much more and so many hours are needed to accomplish all that I do.

I believe that the truth is, at their core – men do not like to earn less money than a woman. Do you agree? I know lots of men will say I’m wrong, and I’m sure in some cases I am wrong, but in most cases I’m not wrong. I’ve seen it. I have blogger friends who have divorced over money relating to her earning more than him. I’ve researched this topic ad nauseam and it’s the same across the board. Men don’t like earning less than their woman. I’ve heard it has to do with male pride, I’ve heard it has to do with feeling like they are competing, I’ve heard it has to do with ego. I’ve also heard it has to do with feeling guilty.

But I haven’t really heard WHY THE HELL IT MATTERS so much. I love the idea of pooling cash and both partners dive in and view it as money THEY are making together. Not HER money, not HIS money. THEIR MONEY. If he is helping with the children, and cleaning the house, and doing laundry, and cooking as much as his woman, and he is also being supportive and helping her to be a top performer through his love, then that works, right? Yet, I hear just the opposite. That men don’t want to be known as “house husbands” and they don’t want to stay home and do domestic things while their wife earns the family income. One guy I interviewed when I was writing this article bluntly said to me, “I don’t want to be her bitch!”.

Eek.

I have a male friend, he is working in restaurants mostly until he finds a job in his profession, and he hates it because his partner is some kind of manager at her job and earns more money than he does. And he doesn’t like this at all and has confessed this to me. And to make it worse, she rubs it in his face that he doesn’t have a “real job” and actually declines dinner parties because he isn’t very interesting for her friends and family to be around since he’s not working. It’s not looking to good for appearances you know, that she is the big manager and he is the lowly waiter. This makes me absolutely sick. But there are women who shame their men and I find this disrespectful and a real sign that their isn’t real love in a relationship like that. And when this happens, I get why the man would hate to earn less than their woman.

But I’m not talking about those cases.

I’m talking about female friends that I have who have largely internet-based businesses and they make so much money that their partner could never earn that – even if they were a brain surgeon or a top engineer at some amazing firm – some earn more than half a million a year and up… The ladies I know who aren’t partnered get great dates but never get long term relationships because of the MONEY. Men are intimidated the moment money comes up and they realize their cute girlfriend earns more in one year than he earns in 3 years… And other woman I know are newly divorced and get lots of dates but when it gets serious, and the guy learns of her income, forget it… She hears crickets too. You know the expression ladies… When the crickets come, the man is done.

All of this also leads me to think that some rare couples must exist out there where the woman is making more than the man and the man is cool with it. Right? But I don’t hear those stories. I know Oprah earns more than her man but the media also has had fun at his expense throughout the years letting everyone know it.

So what about a woman who is self made? Who earns several hundred thousand a year in her sleep because she’s an “Influencer”? How do these women get anywhere with men long term? Because all of the men I know are really insecure dating these power women. And how do these women not get used when they do partner up? How are they not becoming burdened with the pressure of being the sole provider? And how are these power women dating men who make less not getting used by these men – how do they know if the man loves them for them or their money?

So this is my essay and now I really need to know what YOU think, all of you, men and women. Because I’m curious if some of you are earning more than your man and if so, how do you deal with this at home? How does HE deal with it? Do you fight over it? And single girls, has your income prevented you from him putting a ring on it? And men, do you have any thoughts on this topic?

(Photography: Holly Becker)

 






Round-ups

12 Dorm Room + Small Space Decorating Finds

August 8, 2016

If this post had a hashtag, it would be #dormgoals or #smallspacegoals because this is exactly how I see it – imagine going back to school and decorating your dorm or apartment with these 12 beautiful things!? And a big BY THE WAY…. I clearly remember the good old days of blogging when you’d post something like, “10 things I love from Urban Outfitters” and it wasn’t sponsored nor did UO give you a single product in exchange for the post. I miss those days because everything on blogs, and now even Instagram, is sponsored and it sort of makes me think that people don’t really blog anymore unless there is some kind of cash incentive in it or something where they can get a kick back.

Well, in honor of the good old days, this post (like most all of my posts) is not sponsored and I get nothing from it except that I hope you will pin stuff and share it and maybe you will like my finds. I want most of these things and I’m wayyyy past college years – especially the string clip lights – how cute and original. So… check out my 12 picks and see what you like…

12 Dorm Room + Small Space Decorating Finds
1. Firefly Clips String Lights, $20

12 Dorm Room + Small Space Decorating Finds
2. Rohini Daybed Cushion, $159 available in 5 colorways

12 Dorm Room + Small Space Decorating Finds

12 Dorm Room + Small Space Decorating Finds

12 Dorm Room + Small Space Decorating Finds

3. Mini refrigerator in three colorways, $149

12 Dorm Room + Small Space Decorating Finds

4. Polaroid Zip Mobile Phone Photo Printer, available in two colors, $130

12 Dorm Room + Small Space Decorating Finds

5. Large Wall Wire Grid, available in 2 colors, $129

12 Dorm Room + Small Space Decorating Finds
6. White Cord Globe String Lights, $28 + 20% off for a limited time

12 Dorm Room + Small Space Decorating Finds
7. Magical Thinking Pom-Fringe Duvet Cover, available in 2 colors and 3 sizes, $89-110

12 Dorm Room + Small Space Decorating Finds
8. White Marble Keyboard Cover, $12 (laptop cover is $30)

12 Dorm Room + Small Space Decorating Finds
9. Mini Instax Glitter Picture Frame, $6

12 Dorm Room + Small Space Decorating Finds
10. Magical Thinking Dye Streak (cotton) Shower Curtain, $39

12 Dorm Room + Small Space Decorating Finds
11. Paddywax Concrete Candle, $14 each

12 Dorm Room + Small Space Decorating Finds
12. Assembly Home Theia Hanging Planter, $32 each

Don’t you love these things? I do!!! Makes me want to go shopping. :)
#UOoncampus

(photography: Urban Outfitters)






Shooting Book Trailer Video + Hello

August 8, 2016

Hello dear readers, how are you today? I’ve been so eager to get back on the blog to really write again. My life has been so hectic between projects, book promotion and lining up events for book signings and parties (exciting!) and on top of it, the most important job of all – caring for my little son who turns 2.5 years old tomorrow! And he’s a handful but most of all, the most adorable and sweetest little person I’ve ever known.

Shooting Book Trailer Video + Hello

I have felt so happy to watch him grow and get to spend so much time with him as he hits milestones and flourishes. He understands and speaks English and German fluently, though something tells me his mother tongue is English as it seems to come most natural to him. He knows the alphabet, he sings lots of songs with me, he can count in both languages, he has excellent manners and is very friendly and loving to all whom he meets. Everyone tells me what a beautiful son I have and I must admit – they are right! Looking back on the time I’ve stayed at home with him since his birth is such a delight for me. We tried to get him into daycare but no schools have spots so I’ve just been splitting care with his papa and we are making it just fine. It’s not easy, but it’s also not easy to put him in school if we absolutely don’t have too. I freelance, I can work on weekends, at nights, and I do – to make it work.

We don’t have childcare yet, he is still home with us full-time, I’m a bit frayed at both ends some days… His schedule eats into my work day for sure, but I honestly can say that I don’t regret a moment that I’ve spent caring for him full-time.

This week, we begin interviewing for a nanny to care for him about 12-15 hours a week, it’s honestly all we can afford, right now – but it’s a start. Then, next year, he will go to kindergarten full-time at some point depending on when they let him enroll – and I’ll be back to working my full-time days just as before his arrival. It will be lovely on one side to have days to devote to my work and creative projects but I will miss him for sure. Yet, I know he’ll have fun with other children and his teachers and I also know he is ready for school because I can tell he doesn’t have anxiety anymore when we are not around – it naturally faded without any work on our side, so I think the moment I bring him (and leave him) at school, he will be exactly as I was when I was little – I waved bye to my mama and confidently strolled right in and loved school – I was ready and I feel he is too.

Apart from my child, last week was SO MUCH FUN but so busy on the work side. I had Koen here from Narratief, a film maker based near Rotterdam who specializes in videos for mainly weddings and events, and we worked together for two days to make a video for my upcoming book with Leslie, it’s called Decorate For a Party. It was my first video to organize, I had no clue or real understanding of the process, but Koen seemed to have no problem working on it and I’m willing to bet he will spin some goodness out of the time we spent working…

We did lots of filming on the street, in the forest, in some shops… And then spent a day in the home of my dear friend Tinna. It was fun and all came together so nicely. We laughed a lot on the first day but on the second day, we really got down to business and worked so hard. It was exhilarating though I was dead in the evening but very happy to have met all our goals.

I’m eager to see the video – he’s busily editing in in his studio all week and it will release next Monday so I’ll be sure to post it here along with my partial travel schedule so some of you can visit me on my European book tour and we can spend some nice time together. I hope to head over to America in late November, maybe New York and a few other cities, but we shall see – hope so!

I have some things to write about today but I first had to pop in to say hello and see how you are doing. Above are two photos that I took from the party Koen shot for our video to whet your appetite. It was such a fun day! I’ll be back in a flash to talk about a BIG TOPIC – it has to do with men and money! So stay tuned for that because I really need your advice.

xo
Holly

(Photography: Holly Becker)






Shop Tours

Shop Tour: Two Penny Blue

August 3, 2016

I love a good shop tour. This one comes out of Chicago and it’s called Two Penny Blue which began in 2010 in the attic of an old home outside of Boston. Founder, Marie Whitney, was on a mission to create an, “Incredible line of jackets and blazers with a social mission of educating girls around the world.” She worked on her project while her baby napped.

Shop Tour: Two Penny Blue

“The order was a tall one and the standards of excellence for the collection were exceedingly high and uncompromising – the fit needed to be perfect, the fabrics the finest in the world, the craftsmanship the best I’d ever seen, and the jackets modern classics. But hour by hour, day by day, sleepless night by sleepless night, the passion for the company only grew stronger and the dream of Two Penny Blue became a reality. In July, 2012 I launched our first collection of blazers on our website.” What an inspiring woman!

Shop Tour: Two Penny Blue

Today, her son is 7 years old and she has relocated and opened Two Penny Blue in Chicago and we get to see it today right here. I just love the interior design of this shop. So classy!

Shop Tour: Two Penny Blue

Shop Tour: Two Penny Blue

Shop Tour: Two Penny Blue

Shop Tour: Two Penny Blue

Shop Tour: Two Penny Blue

Shop Tour: Two Penny Blue

What do you think, do you love this shop too or what?

(Images with permission: Two Penny Blue)






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