What Is That Color? Lavender Love

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I love designing rooms for kids, to give them a space that’s all their own and makes them feel special! So when I began to create this room for a fabulous little girl, I wanted to be sure it reflected who she was. She likes some feminine things, but she isn’t too girlie, so I knew the decor needed to reflect that. And once I found that fabulous toile on the window treatments, I knew I had a great color palette, too!

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The paint color is Enchant by Sherwin-Williams, and it strikes that perfect balance between soft but not too sweet. And I loved it paired with the black and white combination of complementary colors – that really kept it grounded and sophisticated for this grown-up girl!

So what do you think of this lovely lavender? Would you use purple in one of your rooms? Tell me why or why not in the comments section below!

Colorfully yours,

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Shopping Guide: Gifts for The Guys in Your Life

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Guys can sometimes be so difficult to buy for! If they’re like the men in my life, they already have what they need, and they sometimes have trouble telling you what they want. Well never fear – I’ve made a list of can’t-miss gifts that will give any guy on your shopping list a very happy holiday!

Happy Shopping!

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1. Herschel Supply Co.’Novel’ Duffel Bag – A functional duffel bag from Herschel Supply is perfect for those weekend getaways, or for storing clothes for the gym.

2. Nordstrom’s Half-Zip Pullover – A cozy cashmere/cotton half-zip pullover will keep him warm and fashionable on those cold winter nights!

3. UGG Men’s Scuff Leather Slipper – Slippers are essential during the winter, and these super-soft leather scuffs will be his favorites for years to come.

4. The Jack Black ‘Jack Pack’ Set – This shaving set will make your guy look and feel dapper through the holidays and beyond!

5. Shinola Leather Wrapped iPhone Case – This isn’t just any iPhone case – it also holds credit cards, business cards, and more!

6. ‘Blaze’ Smart Fitness Watch – This health-inspired fitness watch from Fitbit will help your guy look stylish while he sticks to his fitness goals.

7. Master & Dynamic MH40 Over-Ear Headphones – These leather over-ear headphones have a vintage look, but offer cutting-edge modern sounds!

8. Burberry Heritage Check Cashmere Scarf – This classic Burberry scarf will chase away the chill while wrapping your guy in style.

9. West Elm Leather Luggage Tag – A cleaver leather luggage tag will help his bags stand out from the crowd at any luggage carousel.

10. Swell Reflective Rose Gold 17-oz Bottle – This water bottle quenches his thirst for a handsome accessory at the gym.

11. Simon Pearce Crystal Cube Table Clock – This crystal cube clock will let your man know that time flies when he’s having fun with you!

12. Jonathan Adler Toulouse Dartboard Set – It’s all fun and games for any guy who gets this playful and colorful dart set.

13. Montblanc Urban Spirit Manhole Cuff Links – This handsome pair of onyx and stainless steel cufflinks make a sophisticated statement.

14. Horchow Faux-Fur Fox Christmas Stocking – Make him smile on Christmas morning with this personalized faux fur stocking.

15. Assouline Publishing’s Ferrari – Rev up any car lover’s engines with this coffee table book that pays homage to the classic Ferrari style.

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Tobi TV: 5 Fashion Tips for Your Kitchen

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I can hear some of you saying: “Fashion tips for the kitchen?! Have you been hitting the eggnog, Tobi?” But you really can dress up your kitchen with fashion ideas! I find a lot of inspiration on runways, even for rooms like the kitchen where you can take your look from haute couture to haute cuisine.

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The key to designing a fashion-forward and glamorous kitchen is to make the space feel luxurious and expensive while adding in some unexpected features that make it ahead of it’s time. Let’s take a look at one of my favorite haute kitchens!

Can you see why I love this kitchen? Let’s recap what really makes the design so fashionable:

  1. Don’t be afraid to embrace Carrara marble countertops for a glamorous kitchen. Nothing is more beautiful, especially with a matching backsplash.
  2. Tired of white kitchens? Try a shade of gray for your cabinetry and brass hardware for a fashion-forward look.
  3. A sleek induction cooktop with a mirrored finish will add some high-tech shine to your haute couture kitchen.
  4. Brass is back and really packs a punch for a glamorous kitchen! Try adding brass with a vent hood, hardware, or pendant lighting over the island.
  5. Add something unexpected to your kitchen, like a library ladder to get to those hard-to-reach cabinets, or think about out-of-the-box ideas for seating.

Details really will pump up the glamour, so try these tips to make your kitchen runway ready. Let me know in the comments below how you are inspired by fashion in your home!

xo,

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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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5 Ways to Win at Time Management

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I’m asked all the time: “How in the world do you do everything?” And on some days, I wonder how I’m going to get it all done, too. But to be your most effective, you have to have a great plan for time management. That’s the only way to juggle it all – and it’s how I keep everything moving day to day.

So what’s the one thing that’s really holding you back from making the most of the time you have? It’s YOU! That’s right, it really is you. You can be your own worst enemy when it comes to managing your time. It’s just human nature and we all do it. So let’s talk about some ideas to get you back on track:

1. Keep 2 to-do lists. Yes, I know it’s hard enough to keep up with one. But this really works. I have one long list with everything on it that I need to get done, categorized by project. That helps me avoid dropping the ball on anything that I need to do. But my second list is just for things that have to be done today, and it only includes 3-4 things. Because it can be really intimidating to have to look at a 15-page to-do list every single day – and really discouraging, too. Being able to cross things off a list, and actually finish a list each day, keeps you on time and on task.

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2. Block your time. This was the game changer for me. I was forever getting distracted by whoever or whatever happened to interrupt me next. And that is a major time waster. Instead of just taking on whatever hits my desk next, or allowing anyone and everyone to bring me yet another task or issue whenever they want, I now block my time each day. This allows me to set aside blocks of hours that are exclusively and only for design, for example. Or I have several hours blocked out just to work on client outreach or financials. The understanding in my office – and the promise I keep to myself – is that I won’t take on anything else during that block other than what I’ve set it aside to accomplish. It really keeps me focused and it helps me better manage my time.

3. Delegate tasks. What tasks in your business are doing that you should not be doing? Come on – you know there are things like that! Are you taking out the trash instead of setting your financial goals? Are you running errands instead of focusing on client outreach? That needs to stop! As business owners we have the tendency to try to be in control of everything. But you cannot and should not do everything. The only things that should “live” on your schedule are tasks that make you money. Everything else on your task list is costing you money. Who can you outsource some of those things to?

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4. Revisit your systems and processes. Remember those processes you defined for your business? The ones that you were going to follow to the letter? Well cutting corners and dropping steps will really eat into your time management. That’s because you usually end up having to take 15 more steps to fix problems you created when you didn’t follow your process. If you don’t have processes and systems – and these can be for client experience, for client outreach, for project management – then create them now! They really do act as a reminder of all the things that need to get done for a smooth and efficient project.

5. Turn off all distractions. You have to really commit to this to have any effective time management. You have to stay focused on the business things that matter. Distractions happen to all of us. Some of us are parents who get nonstop texts from our kids about homework, friends coming over, or thing that they think are important at that moment. Top performers can deal with these distractions while maintaining focus on the things that matter. Maybe it’s learning to turn off the phone, or letting someone else in the family deal with the distraction, or setting rules about when you can be “bothered.” Whatever it is, keep your focus. That will allow you to get things done in the time you have to do them. But there are other distractions that will destroy your schedule. Your phone. Social media. Watching a puppy video. We all do it, but those things will completely eat up all of your time and will keep you from doing what you need to do. Put your head down and stick to it – and get out of your own way!

But what ONE thing is common to those 5 tips? DISCIPLINE. You have to be disciplined to get things done when you say you will, to keep distractions away, to focus on what you need to get done. If you can’t do that, then no amount of time management tips are going to help you. So buckle down and get serious about your time – it’s your most precious resource!

xo,

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Instagram Inspiration: All Steamed Up

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If you’ve read this blog for any time at all, you know how much I LOVE to cook and bake! It’s my stress reliever, and something that I can do with my daughter, who is an amazing baker on her own. So you can imagine how happy I was over the Thanksgiving holiday to be in my newly renovated kitchen with all my fabulous Thermador appliances.

Last year on a visit to Thermador’s Experience & Design Center in California, I fell in love with their steam oven. No really, I wanted to take it home with me in my bag! So you can bet I put that at the top of my shopping list when I bought the new appliances for my home.

Now that I’m using it regularly, it’s even more functional and convenient than I thought it would be – it’s like the Swiss Army Knife in my culinary toolbox! I’m also learning that it can do SO much more than create healthy steamed meals and reheat leftovers, although it’s fabulous for that, too.

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My favorite thing to do in the kitchen is bake, especially with my daughter. We love to create cupcakes, pies, and breads for friends and family, like the pumpkin pound cake that I made above. The Thermador steam oven makes our baked goods moist and yummy.

I gave the steam oven a workout at Thanksgiving – it’s large enough to cook several vegetable dishes on separate racks at one time, or to cook a 14-pound turkey. And it cooked my Thanksgiving turkey in just 2 hours! That really took the holiday pressure off. And let me tell you, doing that bacon lattice work on the turkey was delicious, too!

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Thermador’s steam oven is now the star of my kitchen – giving me restaurant-worthy results every time. I may have to consider opening up to the public and taking reservations! What’s your favorite appliance in your kitchen? Let me know in the comments section below!

xo,

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