Gift Guide: Moms Who Like to Cook

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Mom's Who Like to Cook


What an exciting week! I am moving into my newly renovated home today and this weekend is Mother’s Day. A two-for-one week for me! I don’t know about you, but I am NOT one of those moms that gets mad about getting appliances or functional things for special occasions. In fact, I request them.

With my move-in happening, I cleaned out and donated a lot of my old things and I now need a new toaster and a new food processor – Williams Sonoma, here I come! But maybe for Mother’s Day, I will also get one or two of these pretties for my kitchen to use along with all my beautiful new Thermador appliances that were installed yesterday (eek! I am thrilled!).

And how about that gorgeous soft blue Kitchenaid above? I got a new Emerald Green one (my favorite color) last Mother’s Day and I truly designed my entire new kitchen around it. I can’t wait to set it on my bright and shiny new Dekton countertops today for the first time when I pull it out of the moving box. Watch for that ceremonial moment on Instagram, but I had to show you this beautiful color of icy blue in case it’s the mixer color of your Mother’s Day dreams.

Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there. I hope you get what your heart desires this Mother’s Day, which probably isn’t gifts at all, but time with your babies. Now I’m off to move in so maybe I can be all unpacked and organized before Mother’s Day arrives, and I can take the day off. After this big move, a day off might just be the best gift ever!






  1. Sugar Paper Recipe Box: I love this bright fuchsia box with scalloped dividers to hold all of my family recipes!
  2. Meyer Lemon Oven Mitt and Potholder Set: There’s nothing sour about these kitchen goodies! This matching set is not only durable, but gets your kitchen ready for spring and summer!
  3. Oval Au Gratin Dish: I love bold colors in my home and my baking, that’s why this stoneware dish is perfect! Microwave, freezer, and dishwasher safe, this baby does it all!
  4. All-Clad Kitchen Scale: If you’re a baker, like my daughter and me, this scale offers precision measuring!
  5. Initial Dish Towel: This beautiful dish towel with a personal monogram and scalloped edge adds a personal flare to your kitchen!
  6. Salt Mill: Infuse bold color into your kitchen and cooking with this cobalt blue ombre salt mill!
  7. ‘All in Good Taste’ Cookie Cutters: Forget boring cookie cutters! These lady-like shapes such as a bow, apple, ampersand, and a spade will make fabulous cookies for your next girl’s night!
  8. Nest Measuring Cups: 8 stackable cups ranging from ¼ tsp to 1 cup in bold colors tuck away for neat storage!
  9. Marble Rolling Pin: This cool marble rolling pin can roll out dough with ease! Fabulous for breads and cookies (that I will now be baking in my new Thermador ovens…yay!) and looks super chic with your baking tools!
  10. kate spade new york Bowls & Lids: This set of 3 colorful bowls adds style to your kitchen while helping with easy food prep and storage! The scallop detail on the lids is so chic!
  11. Colored Paring Knives: Never get confused about which knife is for cutting your chicken or dicing a tomato again! This set of 3 colored knives have long-lasting stainless steel blades and are dishwasher safe.
  12. KitchenAid Artisan Design Stand Mixer: If you follow my blog, you know, my daughter and I love to bake! This KitchenAid Stand Mixer is a must in our house! I have an Emerald Green one but this soft and icy blue is so pretty, I just had to show it to you. Use it to mix up all of your sweet treats!
  13. Wusthof 2 Piece Mincing Set: Add minced garlic to your favorite spaghetti recipe effortlessly with this 2 piece mincing set! You’ll never have to struggle with a knife again!
  14. 4-Quart Rectangular Dish: This beauty has an exterior enamel that is resistant to stains and scratches, while the stoneware prevents scorching and maintains even temperatures across the dish while baking! I love to bring homemade dishes to friends, and this dish with a matching lid makes it easy to bake, store, and carry!
  15. “Neiman Marcus Cooks” Cookbook: You can find all of the great recipes here, even their famous chocolate chip cookies and probably their pop-overs too! Looks like I have some baking to get through!
  16. Ceramic Lemon Juicer: Weather for cooking, cocktails, or lemonade, this two-piece reamer and pitcher will make squeezing lemons easy and enjoyable! There’s even a strainer in the reamer to catch the seeds!


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Tobi TV: Top 3 Tips for Using Books as Decor

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It’s Tobi TV and today we are talking about books – one of my favorite topics!


I get a lot of questions about my design and architecture book collections and all my novels covered in paper, and why I have both in my home. The collection is classic and useful and the covered books are trendy but the truth is that I still love them both even though many people think the covered book trend has run its course.

And as I always say when talking trends, if you love it, then do it…even if other people think it’s passé. Be confident! So I’m holding on to both versions of books in my home, at least for now.

Take a look at today’s Tobi TV episode. In it, I talk about where and why I incorporate both types in my living room and how to make this work for you.

Let’s review those top 3 tips on decorating with books:

1. Any collection makes your home uniquely YOU. When using a collection of books that you truly love to decorate your home, you create a win-win because they are both beautiful and functional.

2. If you are going for a warm, eclectic, traditional, or cozy space, surrounding yourself with all sorts of books and their handsome jackets or covers adds to the comfort and interest in the space.

3. If your books are random, hodge-podge, or a compilation of paperback and hardback that really cheapen or distract from your interior design, consider covering them. It creates a restful, soft, and modern presentation of your beloved tomes.


In my previous house I used both. What do you think? Do you love books as decor in your home? Are you really a reader or are they just an accessory? And are you a traditionalist who wants all your books in their purest form or do you still love covered books for a cleaner and more edited look?

Do tell! Leave me a comment and let me know what you think about this episode of Tobi TV and how you prefer your books.


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For more tips and ideas, be sure to check out my YouTube Channel, featuring every episode of Tobi TV!

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Come On, Get Happy!

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joyI’ve said it before – and it still holds true – running a business is hard. Really really hard. But it shouldn’t be so hard that you resent it, or even hate it. It shouldn’t become a grind that you dread every single day. Otherwise, why do it at all?

Yes, there are stresses, there are problem clients or employees, and there will be times when you wonder where the money will come from to keep the doors open. But that shouldn’t be every single day. There should still be moments (days, weeks) of joy! There should be some (or lots of!) fun and laughter – or none of your hard work is really worth it.

If you find yourself caught up in the grind, or unable to see the pretty forest for all the mean trees, then I have 10 tips to help you get your happy back!


1. Schedule joy. While you’re setting your schedule and packing it full of meetings, remember to schedule something fun in there, too. At least once a week, put a fun item on your calendar. It can be as simple as going to a museum or picking your child up early from school for an ice cream date. But put it on your calendar and don’t move it off for any reason.

2. Turn it off. It’s a proven fact that our electronics cause us stress. If the election is making you crazy, don’t watch it on TV. If your phone buzzes all the time, turn it off so you can get some work done. And stop scrolling through Facebook. You may think that you’re just connecting with friends, but when you’re under the gun, those photos of someone on vacation may give you some serious guilt/envy.


3. Simplify. Put only 3 things on your “have to do” list for each day. If you keep making super-long lists of things to do, you’ll only make yourself feel like a failure if you don’t accomplish them all. It feels so good to check things off your list, so make your lists achievable!

4. Take care of you. Why is it that we seem to push our own self care to the back burner? We are our company’s best asset, so why in the world do we come last in most cases? You have to eat right, get plenty of rest, exercise regularly, and be mindful of how you’re moving through your life. It’s critical to your personal life and your professional life. Make the time to take care of yourself.

5. Have a gratitude attitude. I keep a gratitude journal every single day. I always write down the things that I’m grateful for in my life, or that happened that day. It reminds me of why I started my business, of what life is really all about. That’s so important. And celebrate every single success in your business! We tend to just push towards the next goal without really celebrating, and that is a real thief of joy.


6. Laughter IS the best medicine. You should find the humor in something every single day, even in some mistakes or challenges. Sometimes it’s either “laugh or cry” so choose laughter! And really, if you ask yourself how much something will truly matter in a year, in most cases the answer is that you’ll barely remember it.

7. Meditate. I can hear you say, “How in the world am I supposed to schedule joy, make time to exercise, AND now meditate? I’m too busy!” I get it. We get caught up in the whirlwind and we think everything is so critical that it just can’t wait. But you know that isn’t true. You can take 10 minutes to do some yoga poses. You can have that phone meeting while you’re walking. And you can definitely take 5 minutes to be still and breathe. It’s been proven to reduce stress levels AND to help you focus!

8. Keep your eyes on your prize. Don’t look at what others are doing and think they have some magic sauce that you don’t. You don’t know what their struggles are (and they definitely have them), so don’t be envious of what you think others have. Keep the focus on you.


9. Delegate. It can be tough to shoestring a budding business, but you definitely need help. Don’t try to build your own website, don’t try to do your own books, don’t try to take on every task by yourself. You’ll burn yourself out! You should focus only on what makes your company money – that’s it. Outsource anything and everything you can – and if your budget for that is tiny then just pick one thing that someone else can help you with right now.

10. Don’t blame your business. Your business is not there to make you happy. It can help you get to goals that will eventually make you happy – but it can’t be the entire source of your happiness or your life. That’s expecting way too much from your company. Look outside your job for other sources of happiness to help get you through the stressful times at work.

Try these 10 tips to get you back on the happy train! You’ll be amazed at how much more you’ll get done when you’re feeling more upbeat – and at how much you enjoy it!







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What Is That Color? Sky High

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I love the challenge of creating unusual rooms that fit my clients’ lifestyles. So I was thrilled when one of my clients said that they wanted a “twirling room” for their daughter, who just happens to be a champion baton twirler. They wanted her to have a place at home where she could practice, that would inspire her to reach new heights – literally! So I knew I had to choose the perfect color for a room that would be all about hard work, achievement, and inspiration.

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I chose Sherwin-Williams Silvermist – a great blue-gray color that reminds me of a quiet summer sky. Because the room needed to be so tall to function well, I wanted to emphasize that feeling of openness and space, and have a color that would softly glow in the natural light. I love how the color is reflected in all of the mirrors, too!

So what do you think of this space, and its sky-high color? Let me know in the comments section below!

Colorfully yours,






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New House Diary: Selections for Fixtures

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New House Diary

Ready or not, I am moving into my house in just 4 days! This has been an amazing process and I can’t wait to get into the new spaces and really enjoy how they function now! Plus it will now be time to really dig into the interior design for my house since we have the “bones” of the house just like we want them. For many of my clients, I finish both of these phases at once, but for my own project, I decided to take the construction and interiors phases separately. It was the only way I could stay sane while running my busy design and consulting businesses AND remodeling while taking care of my family and myself. Whew!

So stay tuned for more inside scoops on how I’m decorating the new home. I expect to complete most of it this summer so I can photograph it all this fall. But this week, before the decorating begins, I want to talk more about the fundamental selections that make my new house function so well – like the hardware and fixtures.

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As you can see from the photo above, they may not look as “sexy” as the fabrics and paint colors, but things like a great tub can really make your house into a fabulous home. I’m actually test-driving my new Kohler VibrAcoustic above, and when I tell you how cool it is, you’ll understand why my smile is so big! This tub uses sound vibration technology that moves the water with sound waves, which can also be combined with airjets for massage. You can even stream your own music through the water with Bluetooth. Isn’t that amazing? Talk about a “Calgon moment” – this tub is going to help me get rid of all my stress from the day. And I especially love a tub that is deep like this one at 22″ because it’s perfect for soaking away stress!

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I also chose Kohler’s Artifacts series for the fixtures on the tub. I love their sleek look, which will really complement the decor in the master bathroom. I also used these fixtures for the master bath’s sinks.

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In the kitchen, I really wanted an apron-front sink, and I found the perfect one with Kohler’s Dickinson design. It’s enameled cast iron and it’s 8 inches deep, so it will really be perfect for the cooking and cleaning up that we’ll be doing in my fab new kitchen. I have always had a double bowl sink in my previous homes, but have admired single-bowl versions in friend’s homes and in magazines. Now that I will have 2 dishwashers and no need to pile up one side of the sink with excess dirty dishes (which makes me crazy anyway!), why not go for the lovely single-bowl option? I will let you know very soon how I like it.

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To accommodate all those pots and pans, I wanted a high gooseneck spout for my faucet in the kitchen and Kohler’s Parq was my first choice! I really like the chic design and (spoiler alert!) chose it in the polished nickel to complement other design selections in the kitchen .

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Another fun fixture selection that I’m excited about is Kohler’s Poise entertainment sink for my wet bar. It’s a stainless steel sink that has a cutting board that fits right over it! This will be perfect for cutting limes, lemons, breads, cheese, and anything else we need when we have friends and family over.

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And in the powder room, we’ll actually have Kohler’s San Souci toilet, which works with just the wave of your hand! Isn’t that cool?  I love this option because it keeps germs at bay for my family and our guests because no one has to touch a handle for flushing the toilet. This is every mom’s dream, especially since this is the bath we use for all our guests visiting our backyard and swimming pool!

Technology has come a long way for the home, and these fixtures are so important for how your home functions for you and your family. Plumbing fixtures may not be the first thing that guests notice when they come into your home, but they make ALL the difference in working for the way you live!

Let me know what you think about these fixture selections in the comments section below, and tell me what types of sinks and hardware you prefer for your home!







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