Tobi TV: How to Harness the Power of Blue in Your Home

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It’s Tuesday so that means it’s Tobi TV time! In today’s segment we’re talking about the power of blue.

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Did you know Blue is America’s favorite color? Well there’s a reason (or a few) that makes this classic color SO popular. Take a look…

So here are a few of my Tobi’s Top Tips for why blue might be the right color choice for you:

1. Blue is so powerful. Depending on the shade you choose, it can be bold and dramatic or soft and serene.

2. Layering a variety of shades of blue all in one room makes for a monochromatic space full of depth and interest.

3. Blue appeals to both men and women.

4. Blue never really goes out of style. It’s a classic.

5. Cobalt Blue and several other shades of blue from Aqua to Navy are very trendy right now.For that reason, blue is really classic and trendy all at the same time!

So what about you…are you a blue lover? Leave me a comment and tell me your favorite ways to use blue and your favorite shades of it, too. And if you loved this video, please share it with your design-loving friends that just might like blue like you!

Happy Tobi TV Tuesday, Y’all!

xo,

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Soulful Sunday: Joy…Food for the Body, Mind and Soul

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It’s so interesting that no matter how hard any of us try, the idea of balance still escapes us. I think that’s because even though we make progress, there is really no such thing as true balance. No such thing as 50-50. Our lives are always in flux.

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I’ve talked about this before but I think it’s worth talking about again. Because even when we think we have tackled something, whether it be our health regimens and diets, yoga and meditation, quality time with family, getting our business in a good and profitable place–nothing stays the same. They are either moving forward in progress or back sliding and this cha cha can be super frustrating.

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Wouldn’t it be great if we could get something “fixed” and it would stay that way? But that is just not reality. So we spend time working a little over here and then a little over there and wherever we aren’t focusing our attention we can be 100% certain that those areas of our lives are falling apart. Or at least they are not staying the same, they are losing ground.

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It’s impossible to focus on more than a few things at once. So you have to make some decisions. What is on your short list? Family, Work, Health, Spirituality, Charity, Friends–they can’t all be a major focus at the same time. And yes, all these things are important. But I think you have to pick a few that you are going to focus on and understand that you can’t be perfect in the others when they aren’t in the top 2-3 spots. Because 2, maybe 3 things are all that can share your time if you are going to do them well. That is why most of us are being mediocre at a lot of things in our lives instead of really great at a couple. And we often think (or even know) that we have no choice. We can’t focus on only our health and our job if we are parents, how would our children survive right?

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But it doesn’t do you any good to beat yourself up when  you have Work, Family and Friends in the top 3 spots for summer and your health and fitness falls off the wagon a bit. Or if you commit to a summer of quality time with your kids and getting in shape but your work suffers some. We are all doing the best we can. And dwelling on the areas that we don’t have time to commit to right now, only keep us from enjoying the areas that we are committed to.

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Now just so you know, I’m preaching to the choir today. I am the very person who is currently committed to work and family and walking daily, but I haven’t been on the top of my game when it comes to my diet. And so what have I been thinking about? Of course it’s been the 5-10 pounds that I have put back on this year instead of celebrating the 25-30 I have kept off for two years now. And the more I focus on this, the more I seem to sabotage my diet and in the process my family and work too. I’ve found that I sometimes even undermine my focus on my family when I decide to punish them and me (if even subconsciously) by making myself go exercise again while missing out on family experiences that I can never get back. I didn’t gain 5 pounds in a day and one walk won’t make it go away, but one night making memories with my family could sustain me for a lifetime.

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It’s called self-sabotaging. Or as my health coach calls it “Withholding love from myself”. I’m taking the joy away from my days by thinking of what I am NOT accomplishing instead of reveling in the things that I am. The mind or more accurately the ego has a way of doing this. My mom has said for years that I am just like my dad and when I am working I am wishing I was playing and when I am playing I feel like I need to be working.  Isn’t that really ridiculous?! Life is about enjoying the moment in the moment.

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So how have I been overcoming these self-defeating habits as of late? With these thoughts…

1. At the end of my life will my family and in particularly my daughter base her happiness and memories based on how much I weighed during her childhood? Of course not. She will remember if I was filled with joy and was present with her making amazing memories (no matter my size) that she can hold onto for a lifetime. Now of course I want to be healthy so I can run and bike and play with her, but I am and 5-10 pounds on a scale doesn’t make this not so.  Isn’t it great how kids have a way of loving us unconditionally even when we can’t love ourselves that way.

2. When obsessing over the work I’m not getting done or my house not getting remodeled quickly enough, do I actually stop the progress or at least slow it down? YES! I believe what we focus on is what persists and if I am focusing on delays and issues at work and with my remodel will those continue? Likely. So if I relax will it all fall into place? Who knows? But there’s a good chance it will. And even if it continues to be slow going, I’d rather be relaxed and enjoying life in the process. The time will pass either way and it will be much more pleasant if I’m not stressed.

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So at the end of the day, we can’t be everything to everyone including ourselves. And yes, we know this. It’s logical. But we all seem to forget it on a regular basis. And the more we relax the better life goes, the healthier we are, our weight has a way of taking care of itself in a good way, and other things seem to fall into place. So on this Soulful Sunday, I hope you choose joy. If today were your last, it wouldn’t matter what size you were or how many things you checked off your to do list. It would matter if you laughed and loved and made joy-filled memories with those most important to you!

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Happy Sunday Y’all! xo,

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New House Diary: The Kitchen Sink

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New House Diary I’m back with another edition of New House Diary. Today I’m thinking about the kitchen sink.  I have traditionally loved a simple under mount, ceramic, divided kitchen sink and it seems to be my go-to choice. But I always think it would be fun to branch out–to be different. To be gutsy when it comes to my sink. And yes I know I might grow tired of it, but sometimes taking a risk can be a good thing, right? So here are a few options I like, some of them simple and some definitely gutsy! A single bowl stainless steel under mount…

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(via Better Homes and Gardens)

 An apron-front ceramic sink… 514cbd99e428d80590ef564fca05531e

(via Savor Home)

A marble apron-front version… a9ac3877c8a00cbcf20787958d1054ac

(via Quintessence)

A brass beauty (but a bit deeper than this one)… eea68784ee138529d3632103eb45dc74

(via Restart Firenze)

Or it’s Stainless steel relative… 4d2dda74c47f1b86d664e4788f4e832d-2

(via Evers and Anderson)

And I’ve always wanted to have the courage to use one of these fabulous Jonathan Adler colorful sinks. I think the cobalt is spectacular. 8c21bb7cb20a6680bd447930e5d41292

(via Jonathan Adler for Kohler)

So it’s time for you to weigh in. Which sink is your favorite and which do you think looks the most like me? Please leave me a comment and let me know. We’ve almost made it through my kitchen selections and we can move to some other spaces in my much in need of renovation home.

xo,

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Tobi TV: Designing a Kitchen with Style

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Today on Tobi TV we’re in the kitchen. And that’s perfect timing since I’m still designing my own kitchen.

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In this segment I show you how I worked with existing finishes and spiced them up with paint, lucite and COLOR! Take a look…

Here are my Tobi’s Top Tips for adding Style to your kitchen…

1. Update your dated or tired kitchen with the latest paint. I chose gray for this kitchen. It matched the existing granite and Gray is still a BIG color trend in Design.

2. Add some “WOW” to your space. I used lucite in the barstools, towel bars, and cabinet hardware. It’s one of my favorite materials and it makes this kitchen fun, glamourous yet still functional. I even designed the custom corbels to support the existing countertop and the refrigerator handles.

3. Update your backsplash. There are SO many gorgeous tiles and stones that are perfect for updating your kitchen backsplash. In this room I used Carerra marble tiles and laid them in a herringbone or chevron pattern for a bit more fun. The backsplash is a perfect place to use marble if you are afraid of having it on your countertops because of possible spills and stains. This way you can embrace this timeless AND trendy material in your home.

4. And finally punch things up with COLOR! You know how I love color and in this kitchen all layered in gray, I wanted to make a splash with an accent color. I chose a bright sunny yellow and I think it does the trick.

So what do you think? Do you like the outcome of this remodeled kitchen? To see the before and after photos, visit this recent blog post. It’s pretty dramatic. And be sure to leave me a comment here to let me know why you love this space. Feel free to share this post with your design-loving friends, especially if they are dreaming of a kitchen renovation.

Happy Tobi TV Tuesday! xo,

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Soulful Sunday: Keeping Burnout at Bay

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Running a business, being a mom and following your dreams can be challenging. But life is what you make of it and I have a habit a going after what I want especially when it’s not easy.

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But everyone (even me) needs a break. Everyone has to replenish. Everyone must turn things off for a bit or your new best friend will be burnout. And I hear she’s not a girl you want to get to know.

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I have been planning my vacations a year ahead for years now. If not, I would NEVER take a break. There is never a good time to get away. There is never a time when our clients, our team and our projects think they can live without us. But the thing is, if you never take vacations and breaks from work you will end up with a mandatory vacation thanks to your health. And if you think you projects can’t live without you know, just see how they survive when you are completely out of commission. And rest assured, all your worries will still be there when you get back whether from vacation or from the hospital, so if you take some time off, you really have nothing to lose.

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Travel feeds the soul. Not having a schedule clears your mind. Often my most creative ideas come when I am on vacation.

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Disconnecting from the world helps you connect with yourself like never before. And which connection is most important to your long term success…being connected to everyone and everything or being connected to your innermost desires, creativity and self?

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When is the last time you did something that made you truly and totally happy? And if you can’t remember then you already know it’s been way too long. Joy should be a regular occurrence in your life. Otherwise what are you working for?

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So what would it take for you to really relax. And what would it take for you to start planning your vacation a year in advance and putting down a deposit so you can’t change your mind? Or better yet, what would it take for you to plan a month off once a year, or a week off once a quarter. And I mean really off–not checking emails, not taking calls, completely engaged with yourself or your family or friends?

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If you are ever going to be able to adopt this mindset, you have to stop telling yourself all the reasons it won’t work and come up with one good reason that it will. You have to change the way you think. You have to look at things differently.

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I just spent two weeks with family and friends at the beach. I didn’t really blog.I hardly checked in with my office. I took daily 5 mile walks, daily bike rides to the beach, spent hours sitting by the ocean, enjoyed a beachfront bonfire one night listening to the waves and gazing into the sea with the moon reflecting and the stars shining, laughed and played with my 9 year old and celebrated her birthday, ate snow cones, let my hair dry by itself, drank fruity cocktails and ate fresh seafood and shockingly nothing collapsed while I was away.

Could you do this? What would it take? It’s not as hard as you think. The hardest step is just taking the leap. Next year, I just may go for a month! ;)

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Now leave me a comment and let me know what you are doing to keep burnout at bay. Or if you are close to burnout, use this as an opportunity to hold yourself accountable and tell us where you are booking your vacation and when, and then go make the downpayment. You are so worth it!

And trust me, you will thank me when you are feeling refreshed and renewed. xo,

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