Our Blog

how to handle massive change
October 31st, 2012     |    LifeThink About It


Today I wrote a column on The Everygirl that I wish I could have read myself a month ago. I shared what I wish I knew about handling massive change. The things I share are lessons learned over the past few months handling so much change at once.

Because no matter how great our life transitions might be, they still require a generous amount of compassion, familiarity, and big picture perspective.

Post: How to Handle Massive Change


my wedding photo, taken by




Tomorrow on Wish I Knew Wednesday I’ll be sharing on an important topic: why you shouldn’t undercharge for your services. The principals will also apply for product-based companies, but we’ll be approaching the topic from the service side of things.

If you’d like to get the email, simply sign up by clicking on the image below. This email list is also where I announce upcoming workshops and other BWI updates.

(If you have signed up for the BWI newsletter, you will automatically get this series.)


entry way details and cheap tricks
October 30th, 2012     |    DecorStyle


Our entry way is coming along. There is still one important change that needs to take place… but until then I’d like to share how I’m currently using the area and a few cheap tricks I’ve come up with that look cute and keep things organized.

You’ll notice that we scored a beautiful 1880’s marble topped chest from Chic Antique. It adds a sense of history to the otherwise new and modern space. Mr. Lively was the one that gravitated towards it first due to the rough, worn paint and I was sold on the white marble top.

The drawers contain receipts, to-do lists, small tools, and puppy stuff.

On the top of the table we have two DIY bulletin boards, a tray for my keys, candle jars for pens and mailing supplies, a metal tray for Mr. Lively’s things, and a little bowl with coins and two clickers for the puppy (we get him on Saturday!).

To the side of the entry table we have a ceramic umbrella stand I received as a gift a few years ago (from Z Gallerie) filled with scarves and my rain boots.

One cheap trick I love is my key chain holder. I used the leather tassel from my K.Slademade clutch as a key chain.

The cool part about the key chain design is that it’s super simple to open and close. Which means the car keys Mr. Lively and I share are easy to add or remove from my key ring whenever needed.

Of course any keyring with a simple closure like this would do the trick.

My other favorite little cheap trick in the entry is my mail station.

In the black candle jar we have stashed a few key essentials for outgoing mail.

Stamps, ink, and a custom rubber return address stamp I made via Photoshop and Rubberstamps.net with our new address (I obscured it for privacy). The total came to just $15.90 with shipping for the rubber stamp. And it would have been even cheaper if I went for a smaller size stamp. I chose the 3.5″ x 1.5″ format for $11.95.

All in all, it’s a cute and simple way for us to send mail out without having to write our address or use return address stickers.

I can’t wait to reveal the entry when it’s in it’s final state. But until then I hope you like the progress so far!


five more days to shop Jess LC
October 29th, 2012     |    Life


Just five days left until the Jess LC shop closes on Friday, November 2nd (6p CST).  Feel free to order remaining styles at 25% off by using the code FINALFINALSALE. All sales are final.


As I’ve shared, I’m going into a new chapter in my life and career helping people design lives and businesses with intention. But Jess LC will always remain a wonderful part of my life which I am deeply grateful for.

tv with intention
October 29th, 2012     |    Life


Since moving to the new apartment, Mr. Lively and I have switched cable providers. Over the past few years we had Tivo through a special offer. I loved Tivo because it recorded my shows easily and also recorded shows I might like. We loved that second feature so much that we rarely watched live TV.

However, now that we are in the new apartment we have a regular Comcast DVR. After using Tivo for so long we were not crazy about the functionality of the DVR and the fact that it did not offer the recorded shows that we might like. So rather than just get accustomed to the DVR although we didn’t prefer it, we decided to drop cable entirely. (We also had considered ordering Tivo through Comcast, but the cost was more than we really wanted to spend.)

So now we are getting into a new TV routine. Though we are not massive TV watchers, we definitely like our fair share of time watching our favorite shows a few nights a week.

Which meant before we dropped cable entirely, we made sure to have a plan for our must-see programs. When it comes to my morning routine, The Today Show is a must. For this and other non-cable channels we got a wireless antenna. And a few other cable shows we will stream through Apple TV from the iPad. We also have Netflix and HuluPlus (which we are testing out, not sure if we’ll keep Hulu) to surf other movies and recent shows that won’t be recorded by a DVR or Tivo box.

All in all, with the cable antenna and Apple TV supporting Netflix, HuluPlus, and online streaming we aren’t missing many things cable once provided.  The only real losses now are HGTV and The Food Network which I loved to watch while I was cooking or cleaning. But I’m sure I’ll adjust over time or simply listen to music.

Either way, the cable switch has definitely made things just a bit more intentional. It takes slightly more effort to connect the Apple TV to an online program or to start to HuluPlus. Which is a good thing. It makes us pause and think about whether we really want to watch TV or if we can do without.


this week i’m thankful for… progress
October 26th, 2012     |    Life

This week was a very interesting one. I worked with new clients on entirely new projects which will be shared in the months to come. We caught up on the orders as we go into the last week of Jess LC. And the apartment is really coming into it’s final stages (cough… excluding the guest room).

We are also preparing for our new puppy this weekend (we get him next weekend!). We’ll be puppy supply shopping tomorrow and doing a few things around the apartment that we would like to have under our belt before we have our little puppy under our feet.

All in all I feel like Mr. Lively and I have been in a perpetual state of transition for most of this year. Yet now that we are almost a month into living in our new home, my career transition is a week away, and our puppy comes home soon, I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. We are going to get to dwell in the life we’ve spent the last several months building.

Things are coming along.

Have a great weekend and thank you so much for reading!


PS – Does anyone using Firefox have an issue seeing the first photo on posts in their browser? We’ve heard this has happened for a few people but we aren’t sure which edition of Firefox is having the issue. If you can’t see the photo above, please let me know what browser and edition of that browser you are using. Thanks so much!

you are the best thing DIY art
October 25th, 2012     |    DecorStyle

When it comes to art for my home, I am all about making it when possible. It saves money and gives me the exact look and scale I’m going for. Though I definitely have a knack for coming up with new ideas, I don’t take on super complicated projects.

A few of my projects for past apartments can be found here on my Nate Show segment last year.

And my most recent project is hung directly across from the bed in my new bedroom. As a surprise gift for Mr. Lively, I took our song’s title and turned it into a piece of art to wake up to each morning.

But really, this is the third life that this canvas has had. It first looked like this from Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

Not too bad, but I definitely tired of it.

So I painted it with gold paint and hung it in my next apartment’s living room.

And now it’s black with white letters. To make the letters, I simply traced around cut out letters from my printer and filled them in with white paint.

A $10 project which just required printer paper, an old makeup brush (I didn’t have the correct painting brush so I simply used an old makeup brush to get the crisp lines), and some black and white paint.

In other bedroom art news, I framed a photo of our shoes from our wedding above the dresser. I love the pop of blue and the subtle reference to the wedding. (Please don’t mind the floral wallpaper reflections on the frame’s glass.)

The bedroom is almost complete. Next on the list are curtains and a new light fixture!

golf balls, sand, coffee, and life
October 24th, 2012     |    Think About It

This morning I received a thought-provoking story from a friend that I thought I’d share!


When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day is not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and two cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and fills it with golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured it into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.

He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “YES”.

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

“Now,” said the professor, as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things – God, family, children, health, friends, and favorite passions. Things, that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the things that matter like your job, house, and car. The sand is everything else — the small stuff.” he said.

“If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “There is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you…” he told them.

“So… pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Worship with your family. Play with your children. Take your partner out to dinner. Spend time with good friends. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the dripping tap. Take care of the golf balls first — the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented.

The professor smiled and said, “I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.”


story source


I’ve so enjoyed seeing all of these amazing ladies share their intentions week after week, but this week I thought I’d mix it up and introduce a little testosterone to the mix. My boyfriend, Trevor, who is also a talented designer, (one of his designs recently made it on Apartment Therapy) agreed to write and share his intentions with you guys! I had so much fun reading them, and I think you will too. It by was nice to get a man’s perspective, but also to realize that maybe men aren’t from Mars. After all, most of his intentions are ones I know many of us can relate to, or have even made for ourselves. Check out his pinterest  and tumblr  for more visual inspiration, and read on!  -Caitlin


DESIGN YOUR LIFE: trevor of pink sky at night

Families, significant others, friends, and pets. The interactions we have when someone is counting on us make us so much more of a selfless person on a daily basis, and I think it is so important to never be the only one you’re supporting. Some of my most giving friends are this way because they had a new sibling introduced to the household while they where already teenagers, and just beginning to learn about responsibilities and priorities. Since we can’t all spontaneously introduce a new child to the world, adopting a new pet can be a great way to get a crash course in responsibility and giving. This is my cat Smudge and I even have a betta fish on my desk at work to remind me during the day that I’m not the only one counting on me.

I’m not particularly materialistic, but I’d be a fool not to walk down the street and think people aren’t making snap judgments about me, as I know for a fact I am constantly making visual assessments of those around me. Investing in oneself doesn’t mean spending frivolous amounts of money on excessive things. To me, it means having the essentials to be properly prepared for any and all situations. I recently spent more on a coat than I would normally allow myself, but I can justify it as an investment because it filled a gap in my current possessions, as I didn’t have an overcoat that I could wear in professional settings.

Life can be crazy, and everybody needs some time to themselves, but we don’t always have a space. If you don’t have one, make one. I live in a big Victorian mansion with ten other guys, and it became essential early on for me to carve out my own space where I can zone out and work on things that interest me. I also find that creating a serene space you can come back to over and over again to work, can make you much more calm during those deadline crunch periods that everybody in every profession seems to have.

K.I.S.S. or keep it simple stupid. A mantra I always keep in mind, not only in my design career but also in everyday life. As humans we lean to the extravagant, and sometimes we need to step back and decide if we’re really taking the most direct route to our end goals. Occam’s Razor. Is the Blood Orange Caramel Apple Martini Margarita really a better idea than the classic gin and tonic? Take a step back. Reassess.

Work hard. Play harder. I take myself pretty seriously at all times. When I’m working I like to give it my all and not walk away until it’s the best it can be. I think the same thing can be said of my weekend life.  I leave my work at work and my drinks at the bar. You have to let off steam to maintain an energetic work ethic day in and day out. It’s important  to be able to walk away from certain elements in your life so that you can come back to them completely calm and refreshed. If I can’t get away enough, I slip in one and then I slip in the other, and I feel my best when I excel in both.

Check out past DESIGN YOUR LIFE interviews.

closet design (phase two)
October 23rd, 2012     |    DecorLifeStyle


On the organizing front in the new place we’ve been making progress! A few weeks ago I shared Phase One of the tiny 4’x5′ master closet Mr. Lively and I share.

As you may recall, it looked like this.

Not too bad, but definitely not taking advantage of all the vertical space on the back and right walls.

So we went to Ikea and got four Grundtal rails and several packs of S hooks for about $55 total.

Installing them (with our own screws, they don’t come with them) was pretty simple with a drill.

Then it was the fun part, putting the accessories in place.

The back rail is for Mr. Lively’s belts and ties. While the lowest rail, near the laundry basket, is a spot to hang damp clothes or extra running gear.

The top rail on the right is for my long scarves.

And the middle right rail is for my silk scarves and skinny belts.

Overall, I like how the scarves and accessories add a hit of color and pattern in the tiny space.

It helps make the space cheery and organized all at once.

Talk about form and function.



In tomorrow’s Wish I Knew Wednesday I am sharing how to pick a shopping cart. When it comes to selling things online there are many awesome options to choose from and I’ll share some of my favorites which I recommend to my clients most often.

In other Business with Intention news, I am so thrilled with the success of the One-on-One Workshops that I am continuing them on an ongoing basis, no longer just in October. So feel free to sign up today! (Our next live event will be in January 2013, but more details on that in December.)

If you’d like to get the email, simply sign up by clicking on the image below. This email list is also where I announce upcoming Workshops and other BWI updates.

(If you have signed up for the BWI newsletter, you will automatically get this series.)

gallery wall
October 22nd, 2012     |    DecorStyle


Yesterday Mr. Lively and I worked a bit more on the apartment. Not a lot because I totally needed a break, but we did finish the gallery wall in the back hall.

As you may recall, the hall to our bedroom first looked like this before we moved in.

Long, white, and kinda boring.

To spice it up and display the pieces of art we had left over from our past apartments which had yet to find a home in the new space, we made a gallery wall.

But this is not one of those super curated walls with matching frames or anything like that. This is simply the artwork we had on hand in the frames we put them in originally, once upon a time.

First, we anchored the space with the largest canvas – which also covers the switch breaker panel on the left.

Then, I traced the artwork on craft paper and loosely drew or marked frame colors on the papers before placing them on the wall.

With the largest piece in place first, it made the rest of the positioning much easier. Things kinda fell into place from the left to the right.

Once Mr. Lively approved the configuration, he got to work hanging the pieces. To make things simpler for him, I marked (on some of them) exactly where the nail needed to go.

Here’s how it all turned out.

We have a mix of canvases, wood, black frames, white shadow boxes, and an ornate gold mirror. The overall effect is cohesive despite the random assortment of pieces.

One tiny detail I dig is how the mirror reflects the brick wall.

Turns out you guys were right, I am digging the brick after all.

And our walk to the bedroom is way more interesting now.













Contact us

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.