Archive for the ‘A Day in the Life…’ Category

My 2013 Year in Review

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Wow! 2013 is over. Once again I have had an amazingly interesting and fabulously blessed year. And on this last day of 2013 before we pop the champagne, it’s time again to take a look back at some many of  my highlights and give thanks to all who helped me achieve these business successes and awesome personal moments. So settle in for a long read, the blessings are numerous and my gratitude immense!



My daughter and I were a little under the weather to start the year. That’s right we came down with a little “Bieber Fever”. 😉


But I soon recovered when my pillow collection hit the pages of Traditional Home and a sweet member of my Mastermind Consulting Group sent me some cookie replicas to celebrate! Thank you, Beth.



February started with a fabulous trip to New York and a speaking engagement for Traditional Home with my friends Philip Gorrivan, Gideon Mendleson, Anne Maxwell Foster from Tilton Fenwick, and Patrik Lonn to highlight our trip to Scotland from the year before. Thanks TH and my designer friends.


I returned home from the Big Apple to a feature in Coastal Living, my first time on their pages. How fun! Merci, Coastal Living.



March brought more publishing joy with my Instant Room feature for House Beautiful. Much appreciation to House Beautiful.


Then it was off to the Design Bloggers Conference in Los Angeles where I had fun with masks…


with George Clooney (a little joke for my DBC presentation)…


And joking around with Michael from Lamps Plus. Thanks Adam and the DBC and a big shout out to Lamps Plus!


March also brought a feature in HGTV Magazine. Cheers, HGTV! Thanks for the feature.


And a fabulous family vacation to Disney World including a Disney Cruise thanks to my mom and dad. My family rocks! Thanks for all you do for me.




April was equally exciting with the release of my friend Ronda Carman‘s book, Designers at Home which I am thrilled to be featured in. I even threw Ronda a soiree in Little Rock for her very first book signing. What fun! I’m very grateful to Ronda for including me in her fab book!


Here’s a peek at my profile in the book. So exciting!


And then some international press. What a surprise to find that my home was the photo of choice for British Homes and Gardens‘ feature on Designers at Home. Pinch me!


Here’s Ronda seeing the spread during her book signing. Thanks to our friends at Cobblestone & Vine for hosting the soiree with me and for my sweet friend Johnna for snagging the copy of BHG on her way across the pond.


Then April brought more excitement with me being part of Traditional Home‘s Tried. True. Trad. series. What an honor to be included with so many design greats! And thanks to Traditional Home and their fabulous makeup and hair team for making me look so good.


Oh and then the fun of traveling to Berlin for the Leaders of Design Council‘s annual summit. I love this pic with my friends Steve Rugo, Tish Mills, Frank Ponterio, and Frank Mariani.


Here’s a fabulous evening in an historic building in Berlin. Thanks Mark Cravotta for making me look good via candlelight!


And then a Saturday shopping trip to the Berlin Flea Market just before I flew home to celebrate my 11th wedding anniversary. Thanks to my hubby for putting up with me for so many years.



Well May was a BIG month for me behind the scenes at Tobi Fairley. That’s when I added the fabulous Cheminne Taylor-Smith to my already amazing team and boy is she a power house. Life took about 1000 steps in the right direction when Cheminne joined us. Thanks for taking the leap, Cheminne.


More press for Designers at Home including my dining room in Texas Home and Living.


Plus a day full of fun with my pal P. Allen Smith shooting loads of video at my house for his 3 TV shows. What laughs we had. Thanks Allen and team. I loved it.


I wrapped up the month on the Little Red River with friends. I don’t make enough time for my BFF’s so this was a long overdue and fabulously relaxing retreat.



June leapt into action with a visit from my friend Lisa Ferguson from Canada as she addressed my Mastermind Group. I can never get enough learning and collaborating with progressive thinkers like Lisa.


And then I was off to the beach for more R & R with my BFF’s. I guess I was making up for lost time.


Our daily walks on the beach and biking around Seaside, Florida got this girl rested and ready for the second half of 2013.



July made me a cover girl thanks to AY magazine. This great article about my weight loss and getting healthy was a lovely compliment. Thanks to AY and to Dr. Suzanne Yee for guiding me through her HCG program over the last 2 years. It’s nice looking better in my 40’s than I did in my 30’s.


And since I was looking so good, it was a great time to be feeling good too and nothing makes me feel better than giving back to those in need. So I was thrilled to do just that through a curated sale with Joss and Main benefitting the Dallas-based charity Dwell with Dignity. How gratifying it was to raise several thousand dollars for a worthy cause. Thanks to all of you who shopped my sale, to Joss and Main and to Dwell with Dignity for allowing me to be a part of their mission.


Lying by the pool in July was great while reading this gorgeous spread on my home in Arkansas Life Magazine. Thank you Arkansas Life and their parent company the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.


Plus July brought with it my Designer MBA course. It was just one of my many live events of 2013 including 3 Designer MBA sessions, 2 getting published sessions, 1 social media intensive and 2 Design from A to Z courses. I am truly grateful to all of you who invested in our events this year. It was a pleasure getting to know each and every one of you! And thanks to Team Tobi for helping me raise the bar on our events this year.



Well Summer was over but the celebrations weren’t, including another piece of international press with this exciting feature in Canadian House and Home. I’m a long time fan of this gorgeous design magazine and was so happy to be featured in it. Thanks H&H for including me. It was an honor.


And speaking of happy…nothing made me more happy than an evening of hot Kundalini Yoga and Heart Therapy in Chicago with one of my favorite guru’s, Mastin Kipp, author of The Daily Love. Can you tell we did a bit of sweating? Thanks for a life-changing session, Mastin.


And since seeing one of my favorite teachers for the month just wasn’t enough, I headed to Dallas the very next week to see my all-time favorite, Oprah Winfrey, and the phenomenal Bishop T.D. Jakes for 2 episodes of Life Class. It got even more exciting when my tweet and I made the big screen when the show aired. I always said I was going to be on Oprah. (LOL) Thanks Oprah and OWN network!


But the glamour of being a “TV Star” with Oprah couldn’t last long because I returned home to the big job of packing. We sold our house and were moving in just 3 weeks. Thanks to my real estate agent Brandy.




My 5 year blog anniversary came and went this month and I forgot to even mention it. Wow, 5 whole years…what a labor of love.

And my home wasn’t the only news with regard to moving. In September I announced that we were not moving, but rather moving and shaking by expanding my business as we opened a second location of my design and consulting firm in the BIG D. YAY for Dallas! Thanks Linda and the Arkansas Democrat Gazette for mentioning my big move.


And in September as Fall was approaching, we hosted our Mastermind members with some all new and exciting features for their live events including guest speakers like Beth Greene from Kravet, Stephen Carlson an amazing licensing expert, a fabulous excursion to the Clinton Museum to see the Oscar de la Renta exhibit and…


A glorious field trip to Moss Mountain Farm, the awe-inspiring farm of P. Allen Smith for our deluxe members. Moss Mountain is complete with stunning views of the Arkansas River, a Greek Revival Farm House, Heritage breed chickens, vegetable and rose gardens and sweeping views across pastures with 300 year old oak trees. None of us wanted to leave. Thanks to Beth, Stephen, the Clinton Museum and Allen and his amazing team! And thanks to my super-successful Mastermind Members. It is a privilege to help grow your businesses.


P. Allen put me to work the next week to repay the favor, shooting tons of design clips and tips for upcoming episodes of his show this year and in 2014. I was happy to oblige! Thanks to his production team for making this easy and fun!


It was now time to move to my new house. She’s a beauty with great bones but needs tons of work. I’ll be bringing you inside the design process with me on the blog in 2014. Stay tuned. Thanks to my family and friends that helped with the big move!


And Thanks Luxe Magazine for the blurb on our new Dallas office that month too.



Thanks to HGTV Magazine for another stint in your “what color is that” feature. October made a great month for the orange tones of my Energy House project.

hgtv oct

And unbeknownst to me, my work also came out in a gorgeous new book by House Beautiful magazine in October called Color. I’m very grateful to HB for the glossy double-spread and another glam shot of a tufted banquette I designed.


Another trip to High Point Market meant the Style Spotters Rewind event. I was the original Style Spotter Winner a few years back, so it was fun to have another turn. Thanks to the High Point Market Authority for including me and to the other Style Spotters for their friendship.


And when in Rome  High Point, I launched my first ever Tobi’s Think Tank event, a 1-day whirlwind version of my Designer MBA event, to a sold out group of 15. Thanks to each of you who took the leap!


Arkansas Life made me and my friends at CR Laine look great with this fun trends feature. Thanks again to AL and to my friends at CR Laine for the amazing design and furniture inspiration!


I came home with a Silver and a Gold Award from the ASID South Central Chapter Conference. Thanks to the judges.


And I headed west to San Francisco for a grueling but fabulously fun 21 hours of teaching Design, with my How to Use Color in Home Design with CreativeLIVE sponsored by House Beautiful Magazine. WOW, what hospitality from the CL team. They could give us Southerners a run for our money. And thanks again to House Beautiful. We’ve had a fab year together, huh?


Decor Magazine from the parent company of Traditional Home gave me a gorgeous 4-page spread and fantastic write-up in their Fall/Winter issue. I am so grateful for the feature.





The Design Leadership Summit was fabulous in New York City and included a gorgeous night at Lincoln Center here with my designer friends Rob Passal and Mary Douglas Drysdale and Rob’s partner Tony.


And included inspiring talks by Andy Spade, Oscar de la Renta, Tyler Florence, and the brilliant Arianna Huffington just to name a few. Thanks to the DLN for the outstanding conference!


Southern Living was so kind with a spotlight on my holiday decor in their special Holiday Issue. A giant hug to Southern Living for this beautiful feature!


My lovely friend Pam threw me an exquisite party in her gorgeous new home in Dallas to welcome me to the Dallas design community. Thank you Pammie! The party was perfect. And thank you to the many Dallas designers, editors and friends that made me feel so welcome.




And December didn’t disappoint with features on Rue Daily (thanks Crystal!)…


A mention in House Beautiful about our next 2 CreativeLIVE courses (merci!)…


A visit by the chic Alex Papachristidis and Scott Nelson to my Getting Published Event. Thank you both for the grueling 13 hour trip through fog and ice to get there. And thanks to the other superstar presenters that were part of our event!!! (Sandy from Rizzoli, Chip and Tiffany from At Home in Arkansas, Nancy Nolan, Beth and Michelle from Domino, Cassandra Lavalle, Crystal from Rue, and Krissa from Traditional Home!)


My fourth One Kings Lane Tastemaker Tag Sale was great. Thanks OKL!


The launch of my Bamboo Trellis fabric for Lamps Plus and their new Designer Lighting Series was super exciting. Thanks to Ivette and the Lamps Plus team!


A feature of my Holiday House New York Room in the December issue of Traditional Home was thrilling. Thank you Ann, Krissa and the TH team.

And finally a surprise cover of Small Room Decorating for their Winter 2014 issue. Who knew? Thanks to Harris Publications for this and to my photographer extra-ordinaire, Nancy Nolan for making my work look so gorgeous!


Whew! We made it. I can’t actually believe you hung on to read it all. But with so many people to thank and be grateful for, I just couldn’t bear to leave any of these events out. And there are so many, many more people who I need to thank that were a big part of my events, my photo shoots, my speaking engagements and my life in 2013 including our event sponsors (some of who I have already mentioned above) CR Laine, Kravet, Bernhardt, The Gilded Stag, Olioboard, The Editor at Large, Joss and Main, Madcap Cottage, LaPlates, Bear Hill Interiors and Lamps Plus. And to all of you who I haven’t mentioned here but that made my 2013 great, you know who you are and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you do. I wish I could name every single one of you.

And now to you, my blog readers. I love being able to revisit all these fond memories, so a special thanks to each of you for indulging me today. And thank you for your 5 years of dedication to this little blog. You are the reason I keep writing it and for that I am eternally grateful.

Here’s wishing you the Happiest and most Prosperous year ever in 2014.

Much love to you!


Tobi Signature








Self-Care Saturday: Old Habits Die Hard

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Good Morning Friends! It’s Saturday and you know what that means…it’s a great day for self-care and self love.

After a busy week of teaching Designer MBA to an amazing group of women, I am feeling great mentally but not 100% physically. So when I began my self assessment to see how to make myself feel GREAT this weekend and moving into next week, I realized that when I get busy–even after 2 years into my journey of getting healthy–I still fall into some old habits that threaten to derail my health and my success.

So what do I mean? Well when my schedule gets more hectic, even when it’s due to something I love like my Designer MBA event or travel or holidays or any number of reasons, I am not 100% on my self-care regimen. My list sort of gets put on the back burner.


This week I was great at walking daily even if it was in the evening after a 12 hour day and that proved really helpful for clearing my mind before bed. And I got my weekly massage yesterday which was much needed after days of standing in heels. But I fell off the wagon this week on meditation, vitamins, getting in my morning green smoothies, tart cherry juice before bed and yoga. All of which are a VERY important part of me feeling my best.

So yesterday during my (twice monthly) health consult with Julianne, we came up with a strategy for staying on track when I am most busy. And it all involves planning. No shocker there, right? So moving forward just as I am planning my Tobi Fairley events, or travel for work or pleasure, I will also plan how to get all my healthy habits in the schedule too. And maybe this means a shorter version of my meditation, yoga or exercise if time is crunched, but at least I’ll still be getting it in. And I’ll continue to plan a day following travel or events, just for snuggling up and nurturing myself. It’s a non-negotiable for me!


What strategies do you use to stay at your absolute best? What tips are tried and true for you staying on track with putting yourself first no matter what! A Day Off? Eating right? Being active? Quiet Time? Do you even know what is needed for you to be your best self?

Julianne told me yesterday that meditation is my vehicle for navigating a healthy and happy day! And that starting my day without my meditation and jumping right into the stress and chaos that is bound to greet me any given morning (or afternoon, or evening), is like deciding I need to go to California from Arkansas and instead of getting on a plane, I just start walking. Ah-ha!


So I’ve already had my yummy smoothie with some blueberries thrown in to help my lymphatic system, and now I’m off on this self-care Saturday to walk, meditate, do yoga and spend some time relaxing and replenishing me. How will you use this day to replenish you? I’d love to hear your strategies, techniques and tips so leave me a comment below.

Happy Saturday Y’all! xo,

Tobi Signature


A Change is Coming…

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I feel change coming.  It’s not just the leaves falling and the sun going down earlier each night. This is REAL change.

Change is happening Today! I feel it in my gut and in my soul. When I have this sort of change brewing in me, it presents itself as a form of anxiety, unrest, excitement, and opportunity all at the same time. It is a strange contrast of emotions; a dichotomy, really.

It is happy and scary and melancholy and anticipation all at once and that’s sometimes a hard mix of emotions to figure out. And sometimes, I don’t think I am even supposed to figure them out. And as I become more and more aware of what happens to me and inside me each time change is around the corner, I learn how to go with it…just ride the wave of change and see where it takes me. Don’t fear it. Don’t fight it. Just observe it. And if possible, enjoy it.

But in the midst of it all, I feel a bit uncomfortable. I can’t really describe it, but it’s sort like the Sunday Afternoon blues. I can’t really relax but I can’t really take action. Not quite yet.  And though I pride myself on learning to happily live outside my comfort zone, to comfortably take risks, I am learning that sometimes THIS is what living outside my comfort zone feels like. So I am learning that though it doesn’t feel like anything that I would typically call good, it’s best to embrace it as a positive. To observe it even more than I have done before and watch the change happen and learn from it.

Change is coming. But, there is work to be done first.  Self work. And that’s the hardest kind.

I know my body, my mind, my heart, the Universe and God are all telling me to listen and pay attention. To take cues and be ready.  The time for a change is coming and for me when it starts, it won’t be long until I take action in a new direction. It has started. I can feel it.

My heart is telling me that this time, change isn’t going to be a 180 degree turn, but instead just more concentrated and intentional focus in a direction I have already been moving towards over the last 18 months. It is more of a “Veer” than a U-turn this time.

My gut is telling me to let more things go that aren’t making me happy (really happy) or serving me or my family. Just stop doing them. Completely. For good. Period.

And my mind is telling me that if some of the things I have been doing feel REALLY good and REALLY right, then do more of them and less of everything else. Have the guts to JUST do what I want and what feels right and what makes me happy.

And my soul is telling me that if some choices and decisions are making me happy in some parts of my life and are inspiring me to be better in those areas, and are helping me to inspire others, then bring those same choices and decisions to ALL parts of my life so that I can be inspired and motivated in all I do. And can inspire others ALL the time.

So a change is coming. And soon when it is over, you all may not notice from the outside that I am very different from what you see in me right now.  But once it is all said and done, I have a strong feeling, an intuition, that it’s going to be a big one for me internally.  Another mental shift. Another life “maker” or moment that I look back on as a big step towards my purpose in life.

How about you…are you in a season of change? Tell me about it. Maybe we can go through it together.

xo, Tobi

Behind the Scenes at My Photo Shoot

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Yesterday I shared a bit of behind-the-scenes prep work that I’m doing for my upcoming One Kings Lane sale. That got me to thinking about all of the prep work that goes into every aspect of what I do. Take last week’s photo shoot for instance…

We had to pick up a few props to really make the kitchen sing.


I mean, what’s a photo shoot without a few trips to Target, right?

Then, of course, we had to have some gorgeous fresh flowers…

Add a few branches of forsythia and we’re good to go!

Speaking of freshness, we also needed fresh fruit to add just a bit more color in this particular kitchen. I have found they have the best fruit at Sam’s Club — plus I was able to get enough to fill several containers!

So, if you’re wondering what goes in to a photo shoot that’s pretty much it…Well, that and the muscles of about six strong women, the patience of waiting for a cloud to pass, the moving, removing and schlepping of five carloads of props and, of course, A LOT OF LAUGHTER — because after all, it really is all about the fun of the project!

xo, Tobi

It’s 8:07 on a Monday Morning…

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It’s 8:07 on a Monday morning and what am I doing?? Working, of course!

I’m excited to get back into all the projects that have been progressing while I’ve been on my travels. There’s so much to do, I even need two Starbucks to get me through!

And speaking of travels, I’ll be sharing more info about my recent trips to Marrakech, High Point and Chicago soon.

Have a great week!