My New Column in Traditional Home!

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I’m SO excited to announce that I’m the newest columnist for Traditional Home magazine! In my column, Transformation, I’m going to give you an inside look into the renovation of my own home and its amazing transformation from dark and dated to fresh and fabulous!

In the current issue of Traditional Home, I’m giving you my best tips for planning a renovation by showing you the changes that were important for my dysfunctional project. And at traditionalhome.com/transformation I give my thoughts on whether you should move out of your home during a remodel like I did. We talk about budget and layout and I even show you the pretty things that inspired my project in my design mood board.

And in the coming months, we’ll celebrate my love of color, I’ll give you all the details of my kitchen renovation, we’ll look at the major remodel of my pool and backyard, I’ll show you the transformation of my master bath and we’ll talk about how to design rooms that are best for welcoming guests all before the holidays season hits again next year.

And stay tuned to Traditional Home’s website between issues because we will be adding videos and other new material all year long.

I’m excited to have you follow along on my year-long adventure, which will be capped off by an exclusive look at my finished home all dressed up for the Holidays in the last issue of the year.

I can’t wait to hear what you think about my exciting project. Thanks for taking this trip with me this year!

xo,

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The Joy of Juicing

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It’s week 3 of my 52 weeks of Joy and ok, I admit it. I am a total geek when it comes to Juicing. I particularly love making green juice. And I know there are many different schools of thought out there about whether juicing is good for you and if you should be drinking your calories instead of eating them. But I think each person should go with what makes them feel the best. And I am telling you that green juice makes me feel amazing and it totally brings me JOY!!

My favorite recipe is called “Sweet Greens”. I love getting it from The Juice Bar in my home town but I also make it often at home. It has 6 simple ingredients including cucumber, lemon, parsley, spinach, kale and apples. I use mostly green apples but sometimes I throw in a honey crisp for sweetness depending on the time of year. It’s best to experiment with quantities to see what you like best. The more apples of course the sweeter it is. I like a lot of lemon and cucumber which makes it taste super fresh. Kale and spinach are stronger flavors, especially kale so for some people, a little of that goes a long way. I typically make a big batch with 2-3 cucumbers, 4 green apples, 2 lemons, a large bunch of fresh kale, a handful of parsley and 2-3 handfuls of spinach.

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I also am crazy about my juicer. It’s a Kuvings Whole Slow Juicer. And you can buy one here. There is nothing more fun and satisfying than taking a big pile of beautiful veggies and within a few minutes having gorgeous green juice. Nothing on my to-do list ever has a beginning and an end in that short amount of time. I feel so accomplished and so healthy when I make and drink sweet greens.

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I love to make 2-3 days worth at a time when I juice, but if I make much more than that at once, it doesn’t taste super fresh to me. So juicing a couple of times a week works great for me. And though you may have heard horror stories about cleaning the juicer, I don’t think this one is hard at all. Especially if I clean it right away.

So if you haven’t tried green juice, I suggest you do. I know what some of you are saying…Ewww! But I never thought I could drink anything green either.  What I found is it’s so refreshing and I am so very glad I tried it. Cheers to years of JOY from green juice for you and me too!

Joyfully yours,

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The Joy of White Space

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Henry Kissinger once said, “There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.” Does that sound familiar? I am embarrassed to admit how many years of my life could have been described that exact same way. But not anymore.

I crave white space. And I am moving mountains these days to have white space in my life. It’s critical to my happiness and my mental health. It brings me joy. White space traditionally means the area on the written page or screen where there are no words or characters. It’s about leaving room on the screen or page for elements to breathe. And personal white space is leaving room to breathe in your life or your schedule.

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Winston Churchill practiced lots of white space and I think we can all agree he had a remarkable and productive life, right? He would wake up around 7:30am every day and spend most of his morning in bed (this is my favorite place to work in the morning–who am I kidding, I’d work in the bed all day! ) Here, he had breakfast, read his mail, caught up on all of the national newspapers and dictated to his secretaries.  At 11am he would get out of bed, wash and take a walk in the garden. His lunch was from 1–3:30pm most days, and was usually a full three-course meal with his family and guests. After lunch he would often work again until around 5pm. He then took a nap–a long one–at 5pm everyday for an hour and a half.  At 8pm he would have dinner—dining again with family and guests. Usually he returned to his study for another hour or so of work after dinner. I don’t know about you, but this honestly is a perfect schedule in my opinion–a beautiful mixture of rest, work, love and enjoyment–every day.

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White space is exactly that. Room for taking a nap everyday and not hiding it, or explaining it, or feeling guilty about it. White space means time with family or friends, including making spontaneous plans with them and having the freedom to make them happen. White space means alone time. And for me, some of the most important white space is work, but on whatever I want, for as long as I want. What a treat to lean into my creativity or brainstorming exactly when I want to, when the mood strikes or when the ideas come. And I believe if we use our white space as an opportunity to live in our sweet spot, to do our life’s work, to live our purpose–then a life full of white space can bring financial freedom too.

A great example of a famous lover of white space who has made a great living doing what he does best is Tim Ferris, author of The 4 Hour Work Week.  Here’s a peek at Tim’s typical schedule. Mondays and Fridays are generally off-limits for phone calls from Tim’s assistants, so he has the flexibility to take a long weekend on either side. How’s that for white space?  Tim also schedules very few things into his calendar period.  That way he doesn’t need to stress about multi-tasking to get things done. Tim says: “The goal is to spend as much time possible doing what we want by maximizing output in minimal time. I don’t have to do anything in my schedule. I choose to do them because I like them. None of them are financially-driven or unpleasant obligations. If the chance to do something more fun comes up last-minute, I can cancel all of them.”

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We have to remember that choosing a life that is right for us, even when no one else you know is living this way, is not only ok, it’s imperative. And just because this sort of schedule (or lack of one) isn’t culturally celebrated or even accepted in America doesn’t mean that you can’t create a life full of white space perfect for you. The glorification of busy is old news. White space is the new black. And on this second week of my 52 weeks of JOY, living with white space is far from empty…it’s what fills me up!

Wishing you much more white space in your life this year!

Joyfully yours,

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What if?

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There have been so many years that I have created a laundry list of goals, intentions, and plans to start the new year. I’ve hit the ground running with intensity and focus. And I am not saying that I don’t have goals for the year, or at least that I will. But I am still fleshing them out, I think. I am taking my time deciding what I want for 2017. I am not putting a time limit or pesky deadline on myself. I have so many deadlines already in life, so this year I am being kind to myself. Staying peaceful and relaxed. And this cool state of mind has me wondering…

What if I only had 2 goals for this whole year, 1. Finding JOY and 2. Loving myself more? What would happen?

It’s simple, its profound. And I have a strong feeling way deep down in my gut that it might just change everything.

What do you think? Are you ready to simplify to succeed? Let’s continue this conversation in the comments.

Joyfully yours,

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I Love a Snow Day!

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Oh how I love a snow day! I think I wish for them as much as my 6th grader. There is something about having permission to stay in your PJ’s all day, even if you are working from home instead of playing outside that makes the day magical.

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A warm bowl of homemade veggie soup, several hot cups of tea, my daughter cuddled up by my side and some snow-filled doggie kisses make working from my laptop when it’s 15 degrees outside just about perfect. Yes, yesterday was my first JOY post for the year, but today couldn’t be more filled with JOY if I tried.img_0650Happy Snow Day from Beckett and Izzy, too!

Joyfully yours,

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