Tobi TV: Using Meaningful Decor with P. Allen Smith

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Happy Tuesday Friends. It’s Time for Tobi TV. And this week I’m back with my friend P. Allen Smith and one of the segments for a recent episode of his nationally syndicated TV show Garden Style. 


I loved shooting this episode with Allen last summer not long before I moved from my old house. It’s so much fun seeing many of my favorite things the way they used to be, now that I am finding new ways to use them in my new home. And even my cute Izzy makes an appearance in this video! Take a look…

So here are my Tobi’s Top Tips for Making Your Decor Meaningful:

1. I love an edited room, but sometimes edited can mean sterile. Be sure to bring in and collect things you really love to make your home nurturing and cozy.

2. If you have collections you love, like my Design and Architecture books, keep them out at arms reach so you can really use them. They become a functional accessory.

3. Add pops of color to your decor through other usable and beautiful items like pillows and throws. It’s even better if they mean something to you like my throw from a trip to Scotland and a pillow made from a scarf my friend brought me from Paris.

4. Be sure to use my favorite accessory, flowers. They are especially meaningful when cut from your own garden like my blue hydrangeas.

5. And finally, don’t forget to have a little fun. My Grecian bust was just a Tchotchke until I hung my necklaces on her. Then she had personality. I love this way of showing that I don’t take myself too seriously.

So what do you think? Do you like how I brought meaning and fun to my home? Is this something you can do or already do in your own home? Leave me a comment and let me know what you think. And be sure to share this video with your Design and Garden loving friends!

See you next time on Tobi TV! Thanks for watching.


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I’m a Cover Girl with At Home in Arkansas!

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At Home Cover

I’m so excited that my Crestwood project was selected to be the cover feature for the August issue of At Home in Arkansas! This was a fun (and colorful!) design that I did for a family with six kids! I used a lot of blue in various hues, which also caught the eye of one of my favorite blogs, House of Turquoise. See her feature on the Crestwood project here! Thanks to both AHA and House of Turquoise for making me feel like a superstar – a great way to kick off the week!!








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Soulful Sunday: Soulful Silence

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I love this quote. We all spend so much time having an opinion on everything and everybody and we bring so much more stress and toxic energy into our lives in the process. What would it take for you just to not say anything more often than not? Just this morning I was watching an episode of Super Soul Sunday with Deepak Chopra and he said he has learned to never react…ever. And he hasn’t had an argument in his household in over 30 years.

Wouldn’t our lives be so much more peaceful if we kept our comments to ourselves, or even learned not to have an opinion at all on everyone else, their lives and their choices. This is definitely a practice I’ve tried to live by but I think it’s time I take it to another level. What about you? Are you willing to make this sort of change in your life and if so, what do you think it would do for your quality of life?

Something to think about on this Soulful Sunday.






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Self-Care Saturday: Push Yourself…It’s Self-Care at Its Best!

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if it were easy

I think sometimes we confuse self-care with doing nothing. Now don’t get me wrong, there are times when total rest and sleep are the self-care we need. But I think more often than not, the best self-care for us is active. It’s exercising, or pushing ourselves to eat better or it’s even organizing our house so we can have less stress and clutter. Sometimes it’s even pushing ourselves at work because we need to complete tasks that are holding us or our companies back and the pressure is really draining us physically. Self-care is not always passive or mindless. And yes, sometimes self-care is a job. A job that takes discipline and dedication.

hard quote

I know, I know. We’ve got plenty of jobs already and the one thing we don’t need is one more. But I find when I am most happy and fulfilled is when I have routines in place. When I am walking EVERY day, when I am eating the way I know my body works best, and when I am working hard at my job and getting things knocked off my list so I don’t spend every other moment feeling the pressure of all the things I haven’t done. And being that dedicated to both work and self-care isn’t easy. But it’s also not impossible even though we often try to tell ourselves that it is.

how you carry it

I’ll admit, my need for self-care in the first place is usually because I have fallen back into my workaholic tendencies. But it is also my love of work that fulfills me more often than not. So I, like many of us, am always looking for balance between work and self-care. But I think I’m looking in the wrong place. I think it is more about just doing them both; 100% commitment to each, not a 50-50 split. And I think it’s about melding them together throughout your day, not working until you crash and then medicating yourself with self-care. It’s the extremes that really break us, that wear us down. But be careful, trying to avoid the “extreme”, can give you an excuse for slacking and procrastinating.


Many would say I am obsessed with work but I think I’m filled with passion. Yes I work way more hours than not. I am definitely a “live to work” sort of girl. But working and self-care aren’t mutually exclusive. In the past, this equation of work and self-care was an either-or for me. That’s what I mean by extreme. I was only a “real worker” if I could push through a 14-hour day without a break which left no room or energy for exercise.  I was only an “exerciser” if I could run for more than 30 minutes every single day and some days work commitments didn’t allow for this, so a few days off the exercise wagon and I’d just give the whole thing up totally exasperated! But I am now learning that working an 8- to 10-hour day and walking, not running, at a nice pace but doing it every single day that I possibly can (which even with work obligations usually means 5-6 times per week) is the best of both worlds.


I’ve also learned that discipline in both work and self-care are a must. Because trust me, there are days that even I, the work-a-holic, don’t feel like working. But things have to be done. And there are many days when I just “don’t feel” like self-care like yoga or walking. But you know what, following my moods undermines everything including my job and my health. And being consistent, regardless of my mood, is the perfect routine for my ultimate happiness, profitability, and health.

if you want it

So I’ve changed my attitude. I no longer ask myself questions like “Why can I never stay (insert your favorite word here like thin, profitable, healthy, energized, rested, ahead of my massive to do list)?” I realize that nothing and no ones stays anywhere. Change is inevitable. And questions and negative thoughts like these only undermine my success. My goal now isn’t staying the same, it’s progress. So as long as I am making progress towards self-care, towards work or anything else that is important to me, that’s all that matters. My litmus test for success and joy is now asking  “Am I better in at least one area of my life than I was yesterday?” And the good news is that the answer is always yes. Even is the answer is “I’m more RESTED than I was yesterday because I spent the day in my Pj’s binge watching House of Cards on Netflix”- then I am still a success.

I refuse

And even when I fall off the wagon whether at work or with my diet or exercise or with yoga and meditation, I don’t beat myself up anymore. I just calmly and happily get back on the wagon. I am grateful that I noticed that I was off track and am thankful I am back on track sooner than all the times before. But I have stopped the drama. I have stopped the negative thoughts and feelings. And I don’t give up on myself. I don’t think “WHY AM I HERE AGAIN?!”  I think “well here I am again which means I’m about to learn an all new exciting life lesson”. And you know what? I always do…learn that is.

raise hell

Here’s what I leave you with today. Yes, I have learned to stay calm and it’s adding years to my life, for sure. But it’s a calm attitude in the midst of 100% commitment to both work and self-care. I am hell-bent on changing the world with my work, my words, and my actions and I’m committed to self-care so I have the stamina to keep on working harder than ever.

So tell me this? Are you confusing self-care with inactivity on a regular basis? If so, that may be what’s keeping you from accomplishing your goals and finding joy. Or on the other hand, are you working to an extreme and completely ignoring self-care? If so, you’re going to crash and burn sooner than you may think. And finally, are you constantly looking for balance and starting to believe that it doesn’t exist? Can you consider active self-care mixed with work for a win-win routine that can help you be happy, healthy, and profitable? I think it may just be the equation you need for success. It certainly works for me.

Happy Saturday, friends. I encourage you to do something today – work or self-care – that will really make your life better than it was yesterday!


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Win a Pair of My New Favorite Shoes!

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I love fashion, and I like to dress stylishly when I’m working with my clients, especially because it fits my brand of Bright, Bold and Tailored. But as any working woman can tell you, running around all day in heels may look good, but it doesn’t always feel good! So I am constantly on the hunt for fabulous shoes that feel fantastic, too.

Leave it to a smart woman to design the perfect mix of form and function for footwear! Julie Lopez used her background in orthopedic nursing to design a comfort shoe that doesn’t look anything like the old “comfort shoe.” Made in Italy with Julie’s patent-pending “Comfort Technology,” these fashion-forward shoes will keep you running all day – in a good way!


I recently wore this fun snakeskin Layla design while working at a showhouse and they felt fabulous, even after going up and down stairs and standing on my feet all day! I enjoyed them so much that I wanted to share them with YOU: Using the special code TOBI20 at checkout, you can get your own pair of Julie Lopez shoes for 20% off until Aug. 15! Check out all of the amazing designs here.


Even better? I’m going to give away one pair of shoes to a lucky reader on Aug. 15! All you have to do is register by filling out the form to the right of this blog post – and the bonus is that you will get a free download of my Top 10 Ways to Add Style with Color! Register between now and 5pm on Aug. 14 and we will draw a name from all the entries, and will announce the winner here on the blog on Aug. 15. Trust me, you will love how comfortable these fabulous shoes are!

Good luck!




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