Thursday, December 16, 2010

happy holidays and see you in the new year!

I am overwhelmed! The holidays have taken over and my free time is jam packed with things to do. So much for free time, huh?  I don't even feel like I have got in the Christmas spirit yet and this is my favorite time of year, so not having that feeling makes me sad :(

So, my lovely blogging buddies, I wish you a great Christmas and New Year! I am signing off until January, hoping that by the new year, I have regained my blogging mojo and maybe got my energy back!  Words can't express how thankful I am to each and every reader. I could have never imagined when I started my blog a few months ago how many wonderful people I would have the opportunity to connect to on a daily basis!

I hope everyone has a lovely holiday with their family and friends and I will "see" you next year!!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

lessons learned at lavish

Last weekend's Lavish! conference was so jammed packed with great speakers and I am so glad I made the trip!

As promised, here is my looooong list of tips I took from the "unconference"...

Saturday morning's keynote speaker, James Andrews, certainly got everyone excited about the social media and how far it's come and how far it's going to go. He told us through social media, we are able to "own our eyes." No one else is telling us what to blog or tweet about, it's up to us to create content...the voice is ours. A memorable thought from his speech was to take a "posture of humility" every day. Be thankful that even one person is reading your blog or following you on Twitter. That definitely got me thinking and made me very appreciative of how far I have come since I started this journey 7 months ago.

The Design Sponge panel, featuring Grace Bonney, was one of the most packed sessions of the day! It is where I took the most notes and got the most helpful advice for my blog and social media efforts.  Some of the tips...
- Take risks....put yourself out there!
- Create connections on a personal level. No mass emails to people- make them feel exclusive. Comment back when you receive a comment on your blog.
- Be natural and relatable.
- Twitter and Facebook are "social" sites, so be social! Be authentic with your interactions.
- Rule of 3 (regarding social media)...1/3 of your interactions should be personal; 1/3 business related; and 1/3 resource sharing (in the form of re-tweets, plugging others).
- Create your OWN content-- Integrity + Authenticity = Growth.
- Look to other blogs outside your niche for inspiration.
- Push yourself outside your comfort level.
- Share your knowledge.
- Write with purpose.

Our lunch Keynote Speaker was Jeralyn Gerba of Daily Candy and newly created Fathom. She gave great advice as well...
- Create a compelling, consistent voice.
- Again...ORIGINAL content!!!
- Verify all your facts-- this will give you credibility.
- Regarding advertisers and publicity-- Choose the right relationship for your brand and aim high. Try to get your ideal sponsors to advertise on your blog.
- Respond to feedback...take negative comments with a grain of salt; be generous and gracious.

The most emphasized point through all the sessions was to BE ORIGINAL AND BE AUTHENTIC with your voice. I summed it up in my notes by writing, "Inspiration doesn't necessarily need to follow up with imitation."  What I meant by that was, there may be blogs that you love and are inspired daily by and they are very successful, and in order to achieve that success, you imitate their style. That formula won't work for you since it isn't really's you imitating someone else.  Once you use your own voice and style, your blogging efforts will pay off!

So there's my recap...I hope I didn't sound like a mess! I am so excited over everything I learned, I found myself typing super fast and probably making no sense :)

In other blogging news, I am over at A Thoughtful Place today sharing my 'Holiday Haven'!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

lavish recap- part one

Back from Lavish and nowhere near caught up!!! I am going to split my Lavish recap into 2 to just give you a rundown of the event and the second will be a rundown of what I learned (so much!!!). 

The Mansion on Peachtree was an absolutely beautiful place to hold the "unconference"...a very sophisticated venue.

The opening night wine reception was hosted by not sure about the rocks but the company, Gilgal, debuted new wines from Isreal at the reception that aren't available in the United States yet. It was all top secret with label-less bottles and rumor was, the wine almost didn't make it through customs. Thank goodness it did! My favorite part of the evening was getting to meet Cristi from Charm Home (FINALLY!). Cristi was my go-to person when I first started thinking about starting a blog. She was sweet enough to take time out of her day to answer all the questions I had. I felt like I had known her all my life and I know we will be friends for a long time!

The next morning, I woke up bright and early to go to the conference.  Shameeka, The Broke Socialite, organized this event perfectly. There was a great breakfast for all the bloggers to enjoy during the morning Keynote session with James Andrews (more on him when I post about what I learned).  After breakfast, we all broke up to go into the individual sessions.

I have tried to think about how I was going to talk about all the sessions and what I learned, and since I took away so much information from them, I felt it was necessary to put them into a separate post.  So, this is a fluff post with the meat and potatoes to follow tomorrow!

It was a very long day at the conference and I was wiped out by the time I got back to my hotel room that afternoon. I had all intentions of checking out the RUE/HGTV party ( I packed 3 outfits to choose from!!) but after an early dinner and two glasses of wine, this blogger was done! I skipped the party and relaxed at the hotel with my mom. I figured it was the last time I would have to truly relax before Christmas and I had better take advantage.

On the drive home Sunday, my mind was buzzing (still is) with ideas and thoughts about blogging. I am so glad I made the trip to Atlanta! I enjoyed meeting tons of new people and I came home with a boatload of information....more to come tomorrow!!!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

monday musing

Friday, December 10, 2010

headed to hotlanta

Ok, it might not be so hot temp wise right now, but I am so excited to be on my way to Atlanta for Lavish!!! I have been counting down the days!

I am so excited to catch up with a few people I met in NYC, meet new bloggers, and of course, learn some great blogging tips! I am in serious need of some inspiration and I think that Lavish will kick my blogging butt into gear!

After all that learning and networking on Saturday, I am looking forward to partying with Rue and HGTV later that night!

I can't wait to share everything I learned this weekend with you guys!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

catch up

I am playing catch up today with all my favorite blogs...feel like I haven't got to read all the ones in my Google reader in forever!!

Here's some lovely winter scenes to enjoy!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

christmas wish list

I thought I would share my Christmas wish list with you's not that exciting but I have been dying for some of these things for awhile!!

1) Starbucks is a no-fail gift for me, any occasion, any time! I am always in need of Starbucks so it's always a nice little surprise when I find a gift card stuck in my wallet!

2) Design Books-  I have been wanting the Domino book forever so I decided it deserved a place on my wish list.  I love Suzanne Kasler's work and would love to have one of her books to look at for inspiration!

3) Penguin Classics- Who doesn't want these?

4) Desk Calendar- I saw this little calendar from Dabny Lee on the blog, Honey We're Home, and I put it on my wish list immediately!

5) Ray Ban Aviators- A classic!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

winter retreat

I couldn't believe it when I saw mountain retreat is in Elle Decor this month! It is my little getaway when I want a break from the warmer temps in Florida. It's my little rustic winter retreat...ok, you all know it's not really mine but oh, I wish it was!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

monday musing

Friday, December 3, 2010

favorite find of the week 12.3

I came across Burlap Home on my side bar of my Facebook page earlier this week, I saw it off on the side and the picture piqued my interest. I have to thank Facebook for this find...this furniture company has some beautiful pieces! I will admit, it is out of my price range but I wouldn't hesitate to suggest it to the right client.  They have a lot of worn and reclaimed furniture (which always sings to me) and beautiful upholstery pieces.

A side note...when I was browsing the website, I found out they are located in Orlando! A short drive away...I smell a road trip coming on!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

loving this home!

I was perusing the Martha Stewart Living website last night and I stumbled upon this wonderful home.  It is the home of Lisa Wagner, one of Martha Stewart's TV producers. So, since she works for Martha, you know she has great taste and style!

Her home has many wonderfully eclectic touches and I love the mix of furnishings and all comes together so well. You can tell this home is "lived in" and is a haven for this busy family.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

home update

It's been awhile since I have talked about our new home and I thought I would give an update on process so far!

We have decided to wait and put our home on the market after the holidays. We thought it would just add a whole new level of stress.  My husband and I have met with 4 builders and I think we are close to making a decision on the builder. We actually really like the builders we have met which makes the decision even more difficult. I leave each meeting with my mind going a billion different directions! Everyone offers different things as standards and upgrades, they all have different pricing structures. Our budget is our budget and we want to be very mindful of that and not go over too much. So, there are decisions on what upgrades are necessities and what can be done later.

It is all starting to finally hit that we could be moving soon. I was unpacking the Christmas decorations the other day and it made me a little sad to know this is the last Christmas (most likely) we will be spending in our house. Our house has so many memories, especially with my daughter. It will be bittersweet when we sell!

So, there's my update! Here's a little winter eye candy...makes me long for a long, snowy day where there is nothing else to do but lounge in front of the fireplace (I know, not going to happen in Florida!!)...