Archive for the ‘Sunday Showcase’ Category

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.


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.


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.


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?


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


Happy Sunday Y’all! xo,

Tobi Signature

Sunday Showcase: Shades of Light

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Do you shop Shades of Light?? I have fallen in love with them and often use them in our InBox Interiors projects and the homes of our full-service design clients. They have a such a huge variety of awesome finds — everything from lighting to rugs to furniture. As you know,  color and pattern are two of my favorite things. Lucky for me, that’s just what Shades of Light is all about!

Here are just a few of my favorite offerings from them:

This aqua and lime leopard rug could really add a punch to a neutral room.

I’m head-over-heels for these juicy Pop Modern Ceramic Table Lamps, which happen to be a Shades of Light exclusive!! They work for almost any space.

How about these colorful dining chairs?! The Cafe Colors Dining Chairs come in six sassy colors – what fun!

Head on over to Shades of Light and pick out your favorite finds! I’m certain you’ll find a few.. or fifty!

xo, Tobi

Sunday Showcase: Barry Dixon

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Little Rock is in for a treat: Barry Dixon is coming to town! He’s going to be speaking and signing books tomorrow at a fundraiser luncheon, hosted by the Fine Arts Club of Arkansas. Barry is probably the nicest guy I know–one of my absolute favorite people–and an amazingly gifted designer. Though he has traveled the world, he has family in this area (especially Northeast AR) and he claims his Southern roots.

His design style is informed by this association (he is the epitome of the Southern gentleman), but the breadth of his travels give his interiors a global inflection that is truly unique. He has been a great inspiration to me throughout my own career; in fact, one entire showhouse he designed for Traditional Home was featured in an issue that I treasured as my bible of design for years!

Barry is a multi-faceted designer with his own collections of fabric and trim, furniture, rugs, and more. Let’s have a look:

1. Three examples from Barry’s fabric collection with Vervain / 2. Barry’s Albemarle Dining Chair / 3. The gorgeous Hakam Table

Learn more about the beautiful things Barry’s doing at his website, and join me in welcoming him to my hometown. I’ll be sure to follow up and let you know all about the event.



Sunday Showcase: Mottega Lamps

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Confession: here at TFID we are slightly – er, okay majorly – OBSESSED with Mottega lamps. If you’re not already familiar with this fabulous, innovative company (which was created by Mark Moussa who also happens to be the creator of Arteriors Home!), allow me introduce you to one of the best ideas in lighting history!

This highlight from House Beautiful in 2011 is a great illustration of what Mottega is all about — configuration! On Mottega’s user-friendly website, you can mix and match lamp “anatomy” and colors until your heart is content! It’s like Legos for grown-ups. Ha!

There’s truly something for everyone, and the possible combinations are endless!

Some like it with gloss… (photo source: Apartment Therapy)

… and some like it with glass!

Here’s a few configurations I put together for you as a little demo:

Cool, right? So head on over to the Mottega Configurator and design the lamp of your dreams!



Sunday Showcase: Dunes and Duchess

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Lately I’ve been fortunate enough to soak up some sun and relaxation! I got to spend a few days poolside with my family on a recent trip to Arizona and another fun day at the river when I returned to Arkansas. The combo reminded me of all the things I love about the sun and water…and a great line that celebrates this type of lifestyle with beautiful pieces.

Dunes and Duchess is the brainchild of photographer Michael Partenio and stylist Stacy Kunstel and I must say they are a talented duo!


So many of these designs remind me of a beachside cottage! It’s truly this pair’s expertise and I’m loving these fresh new pieces that are just out for spring and summer…

Where can you find Dunes & Duchess? Retailers around the nation carry the line, including Barneys. See the full list at You can also send purchase inquiries to

Hope you’re soaking up some sun this weekend!