Archive for the ‘Life Design’ Category

My 2018 Word of the Year

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Happy 2018! It is here. A fresh start. This is the beginning of anything you want.

And I know what I want. I have been choosing a word of the year for the past 6 years, this year is #7. It’s one of my favorite New Year’s traditions and it’s instrumental in guiding my choices and path for the 12 months ahead. Over the years I have chosen the words Discipline, Inspire, Action, Significance, Focus and Joy. Each time I chose the perfect word and that’s not by accident, I go through a very thorough process to make sure I get the word just right.

This year, I am in a far different place than I have ever been. I’ve accomplished a lot of my goals in the last 19 years of owning my business and 15 years of marriage. Life is good. But staying in my comfort zone isn’t how I roll. So it’s time for some major shifts. Time to shake things up. Time to dial down on what I want. Change is super exciting to me, but also scary, which helps me know something big is happening in my life.

Maybe it’s my age. I will soon turn 46, on the downhill side of my 40’s. There is something about your 40’s and being at mid-life and having a teenager and all the other things that come with this season of life, that make you look at your world differently. I have a totally different list of what’s important to me than I did in my 20’s and 30’s.

In this season of life, my desire is no longer to make my mark, but rather to make a difference.

I am in a place of balance, a place of peace, a mindset of wellness, with a strong connection to home.  I am ready to serve and nurture and love. I am in a place of dedication to using my gifts and talents and knowledge. I am committed to making my biggest and best contribution to the world yet.

I want to focus on my company and it’s growth internally. I have spent a lot of time working to put my company on the map with social media and public speaking and getting published. Now I want to see where my business can serve people in the biggest way. Who can we help? What can we improve? How can we use our gifts, and talents and knowledge to help others live their best life? Where can we be more streamlined, more profitable, more effective? How can we simplify?

I want to focus on my family and our growth. What can we do to be our best? Who can we help more, serve more, love more? How can we focus more on what’s really important? What life lessons do we need to master this year? How much money can we save? How can we be better to each other, better to our friends, better listeners, better Christians?

I want to focus on myself and my personal growth. What areas still need improvement? What part of my life have I been ignoring? Where have I been holding myself back with fear, or lack of focus, or busy-ness?

And what word will help me stay committed to this streamlined and introspective and focused approach to 2018?  I considered connect, invest, essential, abundance, flourish, peace, balance, cultivate, contentment, mindful, aligned, renew, priority, purpose, shine, worth, value, heart and bloom. I strongly considered grace. And I knew that none of these words exactly captured what I wanted to feel this year.

Yes I am more intentional, more balanced, more simplified and more connected to my priorities than ever before. But I am not looking for a take it easy year. In fact I am looking for the opposite. I am as driven as ever to accomplish my goals this year, but my goals are just different than they’ve ever been. I needed a word that was active and aggressive and committed to the things that are most important to me which is family, health, wealth and joy. And for that reason, I chose…

My life will be different in 2018. I have spent the last 24 months downsizing my big 6000 square foot office to a home-based office, cutting my business expenses by 2/3, and increasing my profit margins by 200%. I have taken my marriage from so-so to on fire. I have gone from feeling like I had very little time for friends, to feeling so connected to more true friends than ever. I have gone from a workaholic who traveled constantly for work, to a mom and wife who is present and connected and my cup is overflowing because of it. The best thing that happened in 2017 is I overheard one of my daughter’s friends say their step-dad was a workaholic and my daughter (not knowing I was listening) said, “Oh my mom used to be one of those”. Be still my heart.

But these changes didn’t mean my business went away, it’s just more dialed in, it’s more intentional, it’s more profitable and it’s more fulfilling than ever before. I didn’t get rid of the important business stuff, I just got rid of everything else. I got rid of the distractions and the mediocre. In 2017, I looked at every potential opportunity under a microscope and the opportunity costs of each one. If it took me away from my family, there was one strike against it. If it made me a ton of money and was inspiring, I would still consider it. If the money or inspiration was marginal but it required travel, it was a no.

And you know what happened…I found that the things that make me THE most money and make THE biggest contributions to the world  can all be done from my home office between the hours of 8 and 3!! And this realization was life changing.

So now armed with my new knowledge for how to create balance, how to be a warrior protecting my schedule like my life depends on it (because it does) and a brand new way of prioritizing so that the things that really matter are where I spend my time, I am ready to THRIVE in 2018.

I will THRIVE :

as a Mom

as a Wife

as a Coach

as a Designer

as a Friend

in Health and Wellness

I am tired of just surviving. I am over barely keeping my head above water. I am done with saying yes to a whole bunch of things that may stroke my ego, but don’t really matter. You know what strokes my ego these days? Feeling rested, energized, connected, loved and helping others feel the same. It strokes my ego to THRIVE!

I believe 2018 will be a good year. In fact, I believe it will be GREAT.

In 2018 my family and I will THRIVE. What will you do?

Bring it, 2018. Let’s do this!

 

 

2017 Year in Review

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It’s hard to believe, but it’s almost the new year. 2017 is done. And equally hard to believe for me is that this is my 10th year of sitting down on December 31st and doing a comprehensive review of all the things that I experienced, accomplished and celebrated over the last 12 months. One of the first things that comes to mind today is that this means my blog is also almost 10 years old. Wow, those years went so fast though I can hardly remember life before this blog.

For this 10th anniversary of my year in review, I am doing things differently. And that’s because these days, I am running my whole life a lot differently than I did 10 years ago. Yes, my life is even far different than just 12 months ago. Previously my year in review was the place that I highlighted all my business successes big and small, because I was admittedly a workaholic and my business was really what I thought about more often than not.

These days, my business is only a part of my focus and it shares the spotlight with my family and other meaningful experiences. Novel idea, I know. But I am committed to a balanced life and I am having more success with that than ever before. So this year, my year in review is a wonderful mix of things to celebrate across all parts of my life.

2017  was a BIG year with some dreamy, BIG, work stuff. But I intentionally curbed many of the smaller things at work to leave more space for what matters most. My mantra for the year has been “Say no to the good, so you can say YES to the Best!” And maybe that’s why I believe 2017 is my best year yet. Let’s take a look.

First and foremost, I completed my home renovation this year. Can you say Hallelujah? I cannot tell you how exciting it is to no longer be working on my own project. It’s always harder to do your own home, especially when you’re a designer and you have to fit it in around all your other projects. But this baby is FINISHED!

And having my home all beautifully designed and functional is adding so much joy to my life each day, especially since I now work from home, too. My design studio is on the back of my house with a gorgeous view of my pool and the golf course beyond, which makes for more relaxing days at the “office”.

This was also the year I became a columnist with Traditional Home magazine. The features kicked off in January and I wrote an article for every issue this year that chronicled my home renovation. From planning the floorplan layout, to selecting the colors, to designing the kitchen and baths, we covered it all. If you missed any of it, you can find it all on the Traditional Home website here.

The pool and outdoor areas of my home were featured in the summer issue of Traditional Home as part of my column, and readers really seemed to love this feature. My family and I especially enjoyed many hours by the pool from March all the way through December thanks to a few resort-style outdoor heaters and that great new fire pit.

In the December issue of Traditional Home, I finally got to showoff my entire home renovation all dressed up for Christmas. Having a column with one of the top national shelter magazines for an entire year was definitely a dream come true and I am grateful to Traditional Home and all the team that worked with me to make this happen. It was BIG!

My own home renovation wasn’t my only celebration with Traditional Home this year. In April my work graced their cover with one of my favorite client projects.

In addition to the column on own home renovation, the April issue showcased a beloved Farmhouse project that I have been dying to show you. And getting the cover for this project was the icing on the cake.

Also in April, the Pandora’s Manor Showhouse opened in High Point North Carolina. I designed one of 6 bedrooms in this lovely boutique bed and breakfast, with some of the country’s biggest names in Interior Design including Thom Filicia, Barclay Butera, Alexa Hampton, Celerie Kemble and the guys from Madcap Cottage.  This amazing property is all sponsored and owned by Eastern Accents. What fun it was to use my Tobi Fairley collections for Duralee, CR Laine, Woodbridge, Soicher Marin and New River Artisans all in this room.

We even had a super fun “designer sleepover” in our Pj’s at Pandora’s Manor, each spending the night in the rooms we designed. Eastern Accents spared no luxury on us that week, we even had celebrity chef’s cooking our meals. We were spoiled and it was great fun. Thank you Eastern Accents for this fantastic experience.

2017 was also a big year for my product lines. I launched my second full collection with Soicher Marin art company in April.

I expanded my outdoor collection with Woodbridge Furniture from the soft launch last October.

And I launched my new rug line with New River Artisans company. You can see products from all these collections in my home reveal too. How exciting to bring my own furniture and home accents to my own house for my family and me to enjoy for years to come. Definitely another dream come true! (P.S. Stay tuned for more product line announcements in 2018!)

One of my favorite things about my design work this year is that I had 5 of my most favorite former clients of all time start new projects with me. It felt like the best year of design ever and you will see lots of these beautiful spaces revealed next year. From family homes in Arkansas to a family-owned business headquarters, to a condo in Dallas and a beach home in Florida, we are working on fun spaces for these clients that have been a real joy this year!

A great honor I received in 2017 was being inducted into the Sheridan High School Hall of Fame and giving the keynote address to their graduating seniors at the annual senior banquet. How exciting to be able to come back home and share the highlights of my almost 20-year career in design and consulting with these young men and women who are just getting started on their own paths.

This year was one of transition for my consulting and coaching businesses in the best of ways. I loved hosting my Mastermind group in Dallas in the Winter and then at my own home in the Fall. What fun showing a group of other designers how I live and work in my new space, and treating them to a seated dinner in my dining room with fabulous celebrity chef, Donnie Ferneau!

I also hosted the last in-person session of my Designer MBA Course in California in early Summer at the fantastic Thermador headquarters in Orange County, California. I have hosted classes, courses and mastermind events at this amazing facility for 3 years now and Thermador always treats us like royalty. Thank you Thermador, for your amazing hospitality and all the delicious food cooked by fabulous chefs on your outstanding appliances. Being there with you was definitely a highlight this year!  And for those of you who have been waiting to take my fantastic Designer MBA course, you still can. And all-new version of it is coming to the online world in 2018.

My consulting and coaching business is my major focus for next year (more on that soon) and so I enjoyed concluding the way some of my courses and programs have worked for the last 8 years to make room for my most exciting launch yet, happening in just a few weeks in mid-January.  If you want to take your business AND your life to the next level in 2018, you are going to love masterminding with me and getting my top tips and my most popular programs all online (some taught live) and at THE most affordable price yet! And one of my favorite parts is my courses are no longer just for designers, and heres why…

To bring all of you my best next year, I wanted to take my own coaching and consulting skills to the next level. So 2017 was a year of education and training for me. Those of you who know me know that I am a lover of knowledge and learning. And in July of this year I completed a 12-month health and wellness coaching certification from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition to help me teach all of you how to better balance work and life. Lack of balance is the main challenge I hear from designers and entrepreneurs each year, and it’s been true for me too. So I wanted to be equipped to bring solutions to this challenge for both you and me, and now I’m ready!

To take it a step further, in December I was certified as a Life Coach and a Weight-management Coach from the Life Coach School with Brooke Castillo. I would say of all the courses, classes, books, seminars and learning I have gotten in my life (and I have completed a lot), this training was the single most life-changing program I have ever been a part of.

I cannot wait to bring my knowledge of nutrition, health, wellness and life coaching to my consulting business next year. This training has resulted in my biggest personal shifts yet, and I am incorporating these ideas for wellness and balance into all my interior designer and business coaching offerings next year. You won’t believe the results you are going to get!

And on a related note, I have just tackled the redesign of my website and online education site that is launching in just a few weeks. So that was a huge part of my 2017. I don’t mean I am just doing a refresh. I have literally redesigned my entire brand, mission, vision and goals to align my Interior Design and Business Coaching businesses with a holistic approach to wellness and balance. It’s been a labor of love with web designers, photographers, copywriters, strategy consultants, online marketing and products gurus and more. And I feel like we have blended all the things that inspire me the most into a simple and straight forward approach that allows me to help people design their homes, their businesses and their lives to create more health, wealth and joy.

And speaking of balance and joy, there was a lot of that this year for me too. I made room for my big goals this year for work, and worked those in around my main priority…my personal relationships.

It’s been years since I really traveled with my husband for his work, since I have been too busy traveling for mine. But in 2017 we made trips for his job (he’s an amazing attorney) to Scottsdale and Boston, plus a fabulous 15th wedding anniversary trip to dreamy Aruba and a fun family vacation to Seaside, Florida.

Working so hard isn’t worth it, if you can’t spend time with those most important to you. And this year, I definitely did that!

Working from home has also allowed me the most special time with my daughter. I love that I am here when she comes home from school each day. I love being here for those important moments when she tells me about her day. I love that I don’t miss her volleyball tournaments, tennis matches and school performances. And possibly the most special little moments, are in the carpool transporting six or eight 13 year olds to practices.

Motherhood is THE most important role I have. I recall several years back telling my own coach “If you think I will be one of those moms who volunteers at recess or drives carpool, you’re crazy!” But now I would give up every magazine cover or client to be here for these moments as a mom. And the best news is that with all the changes I’ve made to my business this year and my impending launch of a much bigger presence online, I can do BOTH!

I even made time for friends much more than ever in 2017. From hosting my ladies bible study group, to girlfriend nights for dinner and drinks, to date nights with other couples and my hubs, to Razorback football games and a weekend at the river, I had a lot of meaningful time with friends this year. Here’s a little pic with our friends visiting from Washington, DC and our fishing trip on the White River. I LOVE fishing. I know that’s hard to believe for a girl like me who loves fancy stuff, isn’t it? But the joy of being out on the peaceful waters with eagles flying overhead, and one of my dearest girlfriends by my side was perfect! And it was even sweeter when we caught more fish with our guide Danny, than the guys did.

Moments with true friends are so important to me now more than ever, probably because I am often reminded that life is so short. I was reminded of that this year when I lost my talented friend of 25 years, Todd. He was an event planner extraordinaire and I love this photo of him. It’s how I’ll always remember his smile. And the way he signed every hand-written note…”Smile, Todd”.

Another of my favorite things this year was doing a LOT of entertaining in my home especially during the holidays. My husband and daughter are super social, even more than I am.  We love to share our home and our cooking with friends and family.

In December alone we hosted 5 holiday parties and 2 dinner parties and we loved every moment of nurturing others in our home. One of my favorite things to share with my little family of 3 is our love of entertaining, and I know this home will be the backdrop for our events, big and small, for years to come.

The year of 2017 will go down as one of the great ones in my book.  And 2018 is going to involve some of the biggest changes I’ve made in years. Stay tuned for some big announcements, the launch of my new website and very exciting all-new consulting/coaching offerings  and a year hyper-focused on making my biggest personal contribution to the world that I have ever made. I am on a mission to make a difference in the lives of others including my family, my clients, and designers and entrepreneurs around the globe. I couldn’t be more excited about what that will look like next year.

Thank you my friends, for taking a look back at 2017 with me.

And a special thank you to Traditional Home, my licensing partners Woodbridge Furniture, Duralee Fabrics, New River Artisans, Soicher Marin, CR Laine Furniture, all the vendors that partnered with me on my home renovations, Eastern Accents, Thermador, my fabulous photographer Nancy Nolan, my videographer Leonard Chamblee, my builder Richard Harp, my landscape Designer David Munsey III, my own coaches and mentors, my amazing interior design and consulting clients, all our workrooms, subcontractors and vendors that help us create great designs, my fabulous Tobi Fairley Design team, my web designer and consultants, my amazing friends, especially my family and so many other people who helped make my 2017 great! And a big Thank you to all of you who follow my blog.

Cheers to 2018. I believe it’s going to be my most exciting year yet!

xo,

 

 

 

Join me in a month of Gratitude

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Hello lovely readers!

You may have noticed that it’s been a few months since my last post.  I have been enjoying my life more than ever before. That’s right, this isn’t a post about how busy I’ve been, its a post about how happy I’ve been.

I started 2017 with a focus on Joy and this has definitely been my most joyful year yet. From finishing my home remodel and chronicling it all in my Traditional Home column (you’ll see the big reveal in Traditional Home in the next issue), to completing my first year of having my design studio in my home, to making my family and my marriage more of a priority than ever, 2017 has been one of my favorites and I have so very much to be grateful for.

And though I have have been enjoying life instead of blogging, that doesn’t mean that blogging is a thing of the past for me. I have actually been putting the finishing touches on a new website and blog that you will see before year end. It is a major overhaul to our online presence and incorporates many exciting additions to my design and consulting businesses. The new year will bring exciting growth for my company, especially online, and 2018 will mean you can get more access to my designs and my business, life and health coaching than ever before, all right from your computer. What’s even more exciting is if you haven’t worked with me in the past because of price, my new offerings will make my consulting and coaching work more accessible than ever.  And all these changes mean even more work-life balance for me, because more of me online means I can work from anywhere and work around putting my family and my health first. How can I not be grateful for that? Plus I’ll teach you have to have more work-life balance too.

So as November kicks off today, I am kicking off a focus in my own life on gratitude for all the things that are going so right, and for all the challenges that brought learning and growth this year. I already journal every day and my November journal will be full of thanksgiving for my loves and my life. I hope you will join me in this practice as this year comes to an end. Grab yourself a pretty notebook today and start making your list. Gratitude has a way of making what we already have more than enough. And I believe it will make the holiday season full of joy like only a gratitude practice can do.

If you want a reminder to start your day full of gratitude, you can get this pretty little print here. Happy November, my dears. I hope you spend the month counting all your blessings. I’ll be counting mine too.

xo,

 

 

 

It’s Time to Light a Fire! And Not Just Because It’s Fall

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It’s getting close to the time of year when the weather is cool and we can light a fire to stay warm and cozy. But when is the last time you felt a different kind of fire? I’m talk about a burning passion – for work or even just for life? For many of us, it’s been a while since we felt that fire. I can tell you that’s true because that’s what has happened to me. Just a few years ago, I was burned out, stressed out, and wrung out. I knew I was at a crossroads where I was either going to revamp everything about my company, or I was going to throw in the towel. We’ve all been there at some point, right?

But I sat down and really thought about what sparks that inner fire for me, what drives me, what’s at the core of who I am, and what I really have to do to do. And that reinvigorated me and led me to new ideas and a new passion for my work.

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My passion, and the thing that I HAVE to do is to help others achieve their dreams. That’s true in every part of my business, from designing homes that make my client’s happy and fulfilled, to coaching other designers to find their own paths to success.

So now I want to help YOU. I want you to find that same fire, that same passion. Ask yourself what it is it that’s at your very core, the thing that you know is the most true thing about you. There is something that you can do that NO ONE else can do. So what is that one thing?

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I promise you that if you can answer that, and if you can begin to build your life around that fire, you’ll be more fulfilled, more filled with energy and excitement, and more successful than you ever have been before!

You have to have a spark or two to build a good fire, though, right? And I’m about to give you two of mine. One is the book Fires Starter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte. It’s a life-changing book that points out that we must all live to our core – that our core feelings should be at the center of all of our intentions. So smart!

The second spark for me was Simon Sinek’s Start with Why. He says that we must all ask ourselves WHY we are doing anything – why are we in business, why do we get up in the morning? If we can answer that, if we can define our WHY, then it will fuel our passion and give us a sense of fulfillment. But it will also help us stand apart in a crowd.

I hope I’ve given you a lot to think about today – I really want to inspire you to dig deep, and to light that fire that I know you have in YOU!

Let me know in the comments section below what your spark is, and how you plan to live your passion!

xo,

Tobi-Signature

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s My Birthday…Let’s Celebrate!

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It’s my birthday. Yippee! A day for celebrating all the many blessings in my life. 42 years worth of blessings to be exact.

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Today I get to celebrate with my 2 favorite girls in the world – my daughter and my mom. We have a lunch date. What a treat! Yes, time with these lovely ladies will be good for me. A day filled with love, laughter, and fun. What more could this birthday girl ask for?!?!

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The older I get, the more I love my life and the more I appreciate it. I say this every year, but I am happier today than at any other time in my life. With age comes confidence and calm – two things we can all use more of.

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Yes, age is just a number and life is privilege. A privilege worth celebrating!

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So this afternoon I will be celebrating AND keeping calm while relaxing at the spa. I happen to think massages are better than cake!

See you all tomorrow. You’ll recognized me as the girl who is older, wiser, and very relaxed. 😉

xo,

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