Category: DESIGN YOUR LIFE

DESIGN YOUR LIFE: kendi of kendi everyday
September 23rd, 2010     |    DESIGN YOUR LIFE

The DESIGN YOUR LIFE series is back! After it’s vacation this summer, the DYL series is refreshed, slightly tan, and ready to start inspiring all over again. For those of you who are new, this series is where different people each Thursday share their intentions for their life and how they then “design their life” around those intentions.

In keeping with the theme of the week, I’ve asked Kendi our Diversey lookbook model and blogger behind Kendi Everyday to kick off the series this fall. If you haven’t seen her blog yet, go check it out. Her writing is as funny as her husband Bryan’s photography is great.

Enjoy!

DESIGN YOUR LIFE: Kendi of Kendi Everyday

Are you guys tired of me yet? As I’ve been masquarading all over Jess LC and Makeunder My life, Jess thought it would be appropriate to have me write the Design Your Life post for this week. I was a little surprised when she asked me to write for this post, as I’ve admired each and every author of Design Your Life but I’ve never actually considered my life designed, unless you count a sink full of dishes as abstract art. But I have been trying to realign and redesign my life with intention over the past two years. During that time, I started a style blog called Kendi Everyday, a venture I never would have dreamed of in a million years. And now at 25 years old, I’ve feel like I’ve hit the stop sign to where my life was going and now I get to decide where I want it to go. This is what I’ve learned.

Three years ago if you would have asked me who I was I would have answered with this: someone’s daughter, someone’s fiance, someone’s employee. I had no idea who I was. I listed off titles of what I was to someone else, and although they were true and perhaps a part of my identity, they were simply parts to a whole.

A few months after getting married, my husband moved me to the smallest town I’ve ever lived in. Ever. It was his hometown so he was a local name, people knew him, his family, his history. I was just an extension of him. After introducing myself as his wife (and hiding behind that title) far too many times, it finally hit me that I didn’t know anything about who I was or what I wanted in my life.

After this revelation, I started listening to myself more, asking myself what I wanted and how I would do things. After about a year, I decided to take a risk and start a style blog. Let me re-phrase that I started a style blog in a town that could care less about fashion and even less about blogs. But even so, I knew I wanted to write and I wanted to be heard. I’ve since found a path that I’m excited to take on the journey of self-discovery all due to a risk I took a few months ago while trying to find who I am. And while I am still all of those things — a daughter, a wife, an employee, I now know that I am so much more.

The other part is understanding that who you are as a person is not yet finished. But to know who you are at this exact moment is priceless.

That’s right, I said unrealistic. Realistic goals are boring, do-able, expected. Unrealistic goals are bold, risky, and unpredictable. Why would you ever give yourself realistic goals? Where is the fun in that?

As a pessimist by nature and probably by nurture as well (hey Dad), that small voice is always at the back of my head giggling at my unrealistic goals. So paired with my lists of goals are normally my reasons as to why they could not happen, what deems them truly unrealistic. This is when my husband stops me and says “Why not?” to each goal I read aloud. I give him a laundry list of reasons why I would I fail to which he looks at me blankly and says “It seems like you’re the only person that’s holding you back.” And as much as it pains me to say this — he’s right. Dream big, no one is stopping you but yourself.

In the book Through the Looking Glass, this sentence sticks out the most to me: “Sometimes I believe as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” (Well said, Lewis Carroll.) Make this your goal, think of 6 impossible things for your life each morning. We have imaginations for a reason, for which I like to think is to dream. Dream up the most amazing story of your life, who says that it can’t come true?

Let’s stop for a second and be honest. On your path of life one thing is for certain: You will fail. It’s true, no one that has ever succeeded has failed to fail. (That was a tongue-twister.) As a perfectionist, this statement make my stomach turn. I hate to fail at anything. If I burn dinner you would think that I had just burned our house. I cry over spilled milk, can you imagine how I react to failure? Let me tell you, it’s not pretty.

Kendi Everyday is my third attempt to a style blog. I can’t say why the other two failed, or even if Kendi Everyday has succeeded but I do know that I stuck with it. And that in and of itself is a success. I was afraid to fail but I kept going because I knew that it was what I wanted to do. It’s never an easy route but as I’ve learned if you are afraid of failing you will never try. Try to fail, at least you’ll be trying.

If laughter is the best medicine, then pour yourself two tablespoons and call me in the morning. Some days are just bad days, there is no way around. Some days are downright horrible. On the days when it is hardest to smile, just go ahead and make yourself laugh. Finding a positive light in a situation is tough, but find it. Positive thinking can change your outlook and way of life. If there is nothing else left to do, then laugh. You might just laugh yourself happy again.

(Also, laugh lines are much prettier than frown lines.)

This is not a plug for the Jess LC Franklin Collection necklace. But it’s found here.

I am a dreamer. My brain is always in constant motion of impossible. I think of at least 6 impossible things before lunch and by the time lunch is over I’ve tossed those aside and I’m on to 6 more. There is an upside to this but there is a downside as well. Sometimes I’m so busy with my future plans that have not yet happened that I forget to be where I am, that which is happening. I forget who I’m with, I forget to enjoy what is happening right in front of me. (See? Being a dreamer is a blessing and a curse.) Too many times I’ve looked back at a situation in our lives and I don’t remember it. I let my mind go elsewhere instead of dealing with the present, which as I’ve learned is important if you want to deal happily with your future.  I’ve had to learn to slow down. To be present to what is happening around me and not just in my dreamy little head. Be present to your life now and be hopeful for what’s to come.

This won’t be the last of me, just the last of me on someone else’s blog. Find me at Kendi Everyday.

Check out past DESIGN YOUR LIFE interviews.

Flashback! Today we have a good old fashioned DESIGN YOUR LIFE interview with a really cool guest: Anna Mitchael the witty author of Just Don’t Call Me Ma’am: How I Ditched the South, Forgot My Manners, and Managed to Survive My Twenties with (Most of) My Dignity Still Intact. After reading her honest and pretty hilarious story of how she survived her 20’s, I was shocked many times at the correlation between her life and my own- and I’m guessing many of you will see shades of your own experience in her story as well. In fact, if you are interested in winning a copy of her book, hop on over to the Summer (Home) Slim Down Challenge and enter to win.

After reading Anna’s story (you can read more of her work on her site as well), I was thrilled that I had the chance to interview her for the DYL series to find out what her intentions were post 20-something. It seems that she’s found a great outlook on life that I think we all can learn from. Not to mention that her (very) newborn looks adorable.

Enjoy!

DESIGN YOUR LIFE: Anna Michael of Just Don’t Call Me Ma’am

Make eye contact.

‘Make eye contact’ sounds like something your mom told you before your first job interview, and there’s a damn good reason for that: Mothers know best. As a rather cynical person, I have a tendency to approach too many situations with my eyes ready to roll. This idea reminds me to be open to new thoughts, people and perspectives—and to keep from immediately rejecting what doesn’t easily fit into my view of the world. I also believe looking a person in the eye is a show of respect. It says ‘I hear you’ and ‘I realize you are worth my time.’ Even if the time is just a few quick seconds paying a few quarters at the toll booth or passing someone in a grocery store, imagine how much better this world would be if we all took the time to truly see and listen to one another, to treat everyone with just a tad more courtesy and care than is required in our everyday worlds.

Stay big picture.

I can’t tell you how many times a day I have to stop, drop and repeat this to myself. I’m chronically frustrated by the mundane. From doing laundry to paying bills—the little things can throw me for a big loop. It’s good for me to slow down and remember that the balance of my life only stays balanced when the small things stay small. And when it comes to one of the biggest things in my life—my writing—I find I can get off track for weeks (if not months) by getting too wrapped up in the nitty-gritty of publishing, focusing on a negative comment on my website or letting a few days of zero creativity throw me into a self-confidence crisis. Staying big picture reminds me that it isn’t about one review on Amazon, or a missed opportunity to write an article for a specific publication—it’s about the big picture of which words you put on the page, who those words reach and the difference you can make through the larger sum of your days and efforts.

Show me the honey.

Obviously money is necessary because (unfortunately) you can’t buy burritos with smiles (trust me, I’ve tried.) But beyond guacamole, living with money too high on the totem pole can get you into dangerous territory. I’d take the sweet truth of love, friendship or kindness any day of the week: Show me the honey, baby.

Fight for what you love.

It isn’t enough to have passion for the things you love. Whether we’re talking about people, places, things, or maybe even a passion for a way of life, if you aren’t willing to stand up for what matters for you and defend that which moves you, then there is the chance that those things could disappear, or even worse, be taken away. If it’s worth loving, it’s worth protecting; if it’s worth having, it’s worth fighting for.

Find your own answers.

Much of my twenties went down to chasing lifestyles, cities and achievements that I thought I was supposed to want. But no matter where I lived, what cool bar I hung out at or how many stiletto heels I tried on, I was never fundamentally happier for the efforts. I thought I could adopt the life choices that worked for other people (choices our culture deemed cool and desirable) and have them work for me, but that was never going to happen. Ultimately, I had to find my own answers. Hell, in some cases I even had to write my own questions in order to create a life that would truly make me happy.

Check out past DESIGN YOUR LIFE interviews.

How exciting! Today’s DYL interview features Jill Vegas of Speed Decorating. She’s one of the first published authors we’ve had here for a DYL. I really enjoyed reading her intentions in part because she has already accomplished something many of us are interested in: publishing a book! Not to mention that the topic happens to revolve around my favorite hobby: decorating. Talk about a match made in heaven.

Reading Jill’s intentions and knowing all that she’s accomplished, I find myself inspired and encouraged: if she can do it, we can fulfill our intentions too.

Enjoy!

DESIGN YOUR LIFE: Jill Vegas, author of Speed Decorating

Family

I want it all! I want to have fun, adventurous date nights with my husband.  I want goofy, silly, playful time with my son. I want to be present and watch him grow and develop. As a family I want us to spend time together.  Quality time for us to grow together.  I want to make memories that are full of love!
I am committed to planning date nights once a week with my husband.  As a working mother I am still finding the balance. I found a Gymboree book full of simple, playful activities that I can do with him.  I am making sure that I take the time to have devoted time with my son!  I am scheduling and researching really fun and exciting outings we can do as a family.

Home

I want to make my home beautiful each day.  Picking up after myself, having good habits so that my home is clutter free.  By the end of each day I make sure I pick up.  Some days my husband and I have a hard time putting anything away. I want to come up with a game so that we both clean up and set a good example for my son.

I think it is so important to love my home right now.  It doesn’t cost anything to clean and straighten your home.  I recently needed a new wall unit in my living room.  The one I wanted was too expensive, but I found an awesome substitute at Ikea.  It makes me happy, I just need to get the rest of the doors on!!

Body

My body…I am nine months postpartum.  I have eight more pounds to lose  to be at my pre-pregnancy weight.  I recently signed on to do a 30 day challenge.  It involves exercising 5 days a week not eating after 9o’clock.  I have broken both of those promises.  But I am choosing to live in integrity and rat myself out.  It doesn’t feel good to not do what I said I was.  I feel much better when I am honest about it.  I am doing pretty good, but I can do better.  I am also learning to listen to my body. I made the right decision when I chose to go to bed early instead of work out, because I wasn’t feeling well.  It is a balance, and I am learning.

Career

I have recently started to make a shift in focus with my career.  I am a home stager and that is what I have been doing, with the hopes that it would turn into more.  And it is starting to turn into more.  I wrote my book and things are starting to grow.  I am working closely with a friend on developing a product line…woohoo!  I have also been talking about one of my dreams of having my own tv show.  I feel like I am in the middle of an exciting process. I am meditating daily and just floating downstream!  I am really grateful.

Money

I have financial goal of what I want to make by the end of this month. It looks like I am not going to make it. I am acting as if I have already have it.  I am actively seeking out work.  Working towards my goals!  I heard that Shakira said something like “Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.”  I like that!

Right now I am shooting a piece for NBC Open House NY.  We are redoing the rec room of a New Jersey firehouse.  These guys are everyday heroes and they deserve to love where the hang out!  I am honored to be a part of it. My goal is to use my creativity to help people have a home that they love. I have been doing a lot of work to spread my passion.

Check out past DESIGN YOUR LIFE interviews.


First, I’d like to take a moment and say thank you to everyone who sent me comments and emails about your favorite things to read on MML. I honestly had no idea so many people were into the business! I am definitely going to make that a bigger focus going forward. The only tricky thing with this direction is that I like to have a firm understanding of the advice and experience I share with you here on the blog. Which usually means living with the process and seeing what I learn from it. And since so much of what I’ve been doing lately is completely new to me, I’m not sure what to share – everything seems like a work in progress. But I’m going to do my best to continue to offer advice and share my story a bit closer to “real time.”

And now for today’s DESIGN YOUR LIFE! I’m happy to say that I’ve got Tristan (aka “Miss B”) from Blah, Blah, Blahg here to share her intentions for her life. If you haven’t seen Tristan’s blog, you are missing out on great writing, photos, and absolutely adorable animal photos. Oh, and she is also a co-mastermind behind behind the big huge hit, The Bright Side Project. If you aren’t familiar with BSP, it’s time to hop on over and start commenting to win some seriously amazing giveaways. As for her intentions, I think she’s the first DYL interviewees to talk directly about being kind to herself, what a great intention to have right at the top of the list.

Enjoy!

DESIGN YOUR LIFE: Tristan of Blah, Blah, Blahg

Be Kind to Yourself.

I know that sounds a little ‘airy fairy’, but as a person that is completely Type A, I can be very critical of myself,.  I would NEVER be as judgmental about another person as I can be with me.  I once emphatically denied being a perfectionist by stating, “I am not a perfectionist, I can never get anything perfect.” Yes, I am a little tough on myself . As I get older I realize that being kinder to myself will result in my becoming the best person I can be not just for myself but others.   Be kind to yourself, give yourself a break revel in  your accomplishments (no matter how minute) you will find being nice to you makes the world think you are 8lbs thinner and ten times smarter than you are.  Okay, I may have made that last part up but try it you never know you may like the new you.

Diversify.


There are people that will consistently tell you that if you don’t focus on ONE thing or you won’t get anywhere.  That’s just crazy talk.  If you were investing in the stock market you wouldn’t put your life savings on one company you would diversify.  It’s okay to have many interests and passions. Hone in on the ones you want to try to utilize to make a living with and keep the others for your hobby or just plain fun. I would consider myself successful and I have tried many interests for both career + creative outlets. I have had success in diverse careers such as a public relations Jedi, jewelry designer, parfmeur, designer, blogger and branding maven. If you truly love something pursue it, it may lead you to another avenue you may have never considered or you may just find that you love it but don’t want to spend your life doing it as work. For the record I intend on diversifying until I have no more energy/life in me.  I would love to add professional photographer, gig poster artist, miniature animal farmer, wife and mommy (amongst many others) to my list of things I want to do when I grow up.

Never Stop Being Delighted.


I started my Souvenir Foto School with the intention of getting my students in the habit of seeing the ‘extraordinary in the ordinary’. No longer would they pass by a wall, tree, person, etc and be oblivious, they would see a moment, an opportunity, beauty that previously was hidden.  I truly believe that life is beautiful and I try to revel in what others would consider mundane. It makes me feel rich and special that I can appreciate more than most, but the best part?  Anyone can develop the skill of being delighted and it’s free!  Next time you are having a bad day/life concentrate on all the things that are wonderful about your moment–Can you see? Hear? Feel?  Already you are ahead of the game.

Be Curious.

I feel like curiosity should be one of the five senses. Without it I might as well just pack up my bags and call it a day. I promise you if you maintain your curiosity, your life will be filled with wonder + magic.   I am constantly asking questions, reading, learning and trying new things.  I feel like having this insatiable curiosity works better than a strong espresso for getting me up in the morning.  Try it, you won’t be disappointed.  Money back guaranteed.

Thank you for this opportunity to share, (sharing is caring after all). If you wondering, yes I I think you are the bee’s knee’s and the best thing to come along since graph paper and French fries.

Check out past DESIGN YOUR LIFE interviews.

DESIGN YOUR LIFE: jen of madebygirl
April 22nd, 2010     |    DESIGN YOUR LIFE


Today’s DESIGN YOUR LIFE participant is Jen of the popular style and home decor blog, MadeByGirl! I love Jen’s design perspective not only in blogging, but also in her booming online business. (I even have my own lemon colored Love poster in my bathroom.) Anyways, I have secretly had her on my list of DYL interviewees for a while and finally got up the courage to ask her to participate, and she said yes!

It’s very clear from following Jen’s business and blog that she really walks the walk when it comes to these intentions. They all align so beautifully with the life she leads and they translate so perfectly to her online presence, which is not always an easy thing to do.

Enjoy!

DESIGN YOUR LIFE: Jen of MadeByGirl

I have lots of intentions for my life, and believe me….I intend to get to most of them.

My Relationship

At this moment in my life my relationship is very important to me, especially since we recently got married.  People always say once you get married, things change….oh how I am so afraid of that.  I think things change as a result of what you do & don’t do. For me, I intend to always work on the little things that are important for love to keep growing between us.  There are many things about my husband that I love and I think it’s very important to show how you feel.  I do things like leave him a hand-written note, a text message or a mid-day phone call to his office to tell him I’m thinking about him.  These are the type of gestures I intend to keep making.

Growing My Business

My 2nd intention is to keep growing my business and maintain a successful online presence. I’ve always felt  that working for someone else wasn’t for me, but if i had to do it, I would. However, life has given me the opportunity to start my own business and I’ve been living my dream of being an entrepreneur for about 3 years now.  Having an online shop has been an advantage for the simple fact that people from all over the world have access to my shop. I love knowing that we get orders from Australia, Brazil, Canada & more. It gives me a sense of accomplishment to know that my products are being enjoyed by so many people and that keeps me going.

My Passion

Anyone who reads my blog knows my passion for home interiors.  Knowing that, my goal is to one day live in a home that I feel excited and thrilled to decorate. The truth is, my current home is very cookie-cutter and I don’t feel I can fully express my vision the way I’d like to in this space. Basically, my style doesn’t fit this house.  I intend to make it my goal to find that home where my husband and I feel suits our lifestyle…  Being in Las Vegas has presented a huge challenge for me. Homes are beautiful here but they lack character and charm, something I had been used to growing up in New York City.  It’s so important for me to make my home feel like it’s an extension of my personality and I definitely intend to do that in our next home!

Spirituality

Spirituality and God have been part of my life ever since I was a little girl.  Life is full of disappointments as well, so there has to be a sense of love & hope to keep moving forward. I’ve never lost my faith I just put things ahead of it. My beliefs make me feel good & always keep me from doing things I know I shouldn’t be doing. You know, bad things. I normally don’t have problems with temptations and peer pressures because I have such a leader type personality. I guess that is what also keeps me strong.

Being Healthy

Being healthy….let’s see, I try to eat healthy, exercise and remain as active as I can, but it never seems to be enough.
Before I got my online shop going, I used to go to the gym 2-3 days a week, now I am no longer going. I feel awful admitting this, but it’s true. The only physical activity I get is Yoga class once a week & walking my dogs around the city on the weekends.  I also know that being healthy is more than just exercise, walking, going to the gym and eating. Having balance in my life & feeling happy also makes me feel healthy and in shape. When I say in shape, I mean my my frame of mind, it’s focused and ready to take on whatever comes my way. Being physically lean all my life, I’ve been lucky that I didn’t have to work tremendously hard when I did work out. I do intend to be more physically active, because as I mentioned before, it’s all about balance.

Art

Art is a big part of my life….I adore painting my own work as well as purchasing artwork from artists I admire.  To me, a home isn’t complete without art, it really transforms a space. My favorite artists are Franz Kline, Mark Rothko and some paintings by David Bromley.  When I was young I wanted to be a painter and even though that isn’t what I’ve become, I am proud to say that painting is still something I look forward to doing.

Check out more DESIGN YOUR LIFE interviews.

Today’s DESIGN YOUR LIFE is featuring the one-and-only Meghan of Meghan Radke Web + Graphic Design who designed the new Jess LC website. Her expertise, patience, and good humor through all of the little tweaks and changes we made along the way demonstrated her ability to stay flexible, persistent, and generally rock her career. So of course I wanted to know more about her intentions and how she stayed so chill while juggling tons of projects.

As you read her interview, you will also see that she’s a fantastic graphic designer and she’s turned some pretty big obstacles in her life into building blocks. A key trait of all the DYL participants.

Enjoy!

DESIGN YOUR LIFE: Meghan of Meghan Radke Web Design

Method to the Madness

A couple years ago I got a phone call that changed my life forever: my fiancé called to tell me that he got into grad school and asked me to move to Los Angeles with him. What ensued was a whirlwind of job-hunting and house hunting. Thankfully, I found full time employment. It was a position as a graphic designer for a social stationery company in Los Angeles and I thought that it was the start to a good long career. Then several months later, I was laid off and the store closed. At the time I really was puzzled by what the universe was trying to tell me. Had I made the wrong choice in moving to Los Angeles? Was I not going to make it in my chosen profession? Then I came to a startling revelation: No, I was not meant to be a print designer as I had previously insisted. I was a web designer.

Getting laid off caused a lot of stress and madness in my life, but it also allowed me time to focus on what I wanted to do, gain more education in that area and finally launch my freelancing business. Truly, there is a method of the madness in our lives; we just have to be flexible and ready for opportunities as they rise out of the oncoming craziness.

Follow Your Gut

When I got laid off from my job, I was in despair. In a moment of madness, I reached out to a contact from the past and had the opportunity to work for a well known company as an intern. The position would begin non-paying, but had the potential to develop into a paid position later. My fiancé was really happy that I found something to fill my time with and potentially our bank account in the future.

I went to my first day with high hopes, but as soon as I set foot in their office, I knew it wasn’t where I belonged. I talked it out with lots of friends and family and all told me that I should just stick with it, but I just knew I shouldn’t. I quit and at that moment I felt such a sense of relief it was amazing.

Since that time, I look back on the times when I did and didn’t follow my gut instinct and I can say that the times I didn’t usually ended badly for me. Now I really try to make decisions not only based on what my brain tells me, but also by what my gut tells me, too. In the end, I know that I am happier for it.

Fortune Favors the Bold

My fiancé is a history buff and when we are driving around Los Angeles, which is often, he’ll play podcasts about various historical topics. One that really caught my fancy was about the conquests of South America. These crazed, half-starved, desperate men were up against forces unknown and often times outnumbered thousands to one and yet they battled through and vanquished their foes. Of course, we know now that it was pretty awful what they did and that they had superior weapons, etc. but I must admire their craftiness that was born of desperation. These stories led me to my new mantra: fortune favors the bold.

I am a naturally cautious person. I like to know things first and not be surprised. Yet, being a freelancer you will be chucked into situation where you can’t be cautious and careful, you need to be bold. Whenever I get into a situation where I feel a little nervous I tell myself to be brave and be bold. Though it’s a small thing, it really does chase away the butterflies that live in my stomach.

Know Thy Self

When I moved to San Francisco from Honolulu, I spent 3 months almost entirely alone. It was really difficult for me in the beginning since I come from a very tight-knit family, but during that period of time I learned a lot about being my own person and enjoying my own company. I went to movies alone and I ate alone; mostly I did this out of necessity, with no one around there was only me, myself and I. Yet, through these little exercises, I was taking the time to listen to my inner voice and get to know me.

Though I don’t know everything about myself, I do know more than I did before and this knowledge has helped me when I face personal battles and demons that pop up in my life. An added bonus I discovered is that I don’t feel alone even when I am alone. I have my own company and honestly, that’s fine and dandy with me.

De-stress your Life

Life is tough. Don’t let anyone tell you different. There are professional and personal struggles and sometimes the best way to sooth these woes is a big tub of ice cream and popping in your favorite rom-com.

I found that I was doing the above a bit too much when I was particularly unhappy with life and the added extra weight made me even more unhappy. Finally, I knew that I needed to get in shape and find another activity other than munching to shake the stress from my life.

Now, I’m not very athletic. I’ve never been and I never will be and I also know that if left to my own devices I wouldn’t exercise at all, so I found a great trainer to help whip me into shape. It was hard work, but I found that my mental cobwebs were starting to dissolve as I moved my body and got oxygen pumping. Just getting out and changing my routine a bit helped me to feel less stressed about all my troubles and figure out solutions to problems that were clogging my ice cream filled brain.

Celebrate the small things

One of the hardest things to do when you work for yourself is to stay on task. This is especially true when you work from home. It’s so easy to kick back and watch TV. This is one reason why I don’t have cable TV, to avoid the time suck, but even then the internet is a heck of an invention! Facebook, anyone?  So how do I combat this? I reward the small stuff.

Every little step towards an ultimate goal is a step in the right direction; so I give myself mini-rewards. A lot of times the rewards are myself patting myself on the back, but other times I’ll give myself a little something special to motivate me even more. When I obtain my small goal and get a gift for myself from myself, I won’t lie, I feel darn good and this motivational technique helps keep me focused on the big and small goals.

Check out past DESIGN YOUR LIFE interviews.

Those who have seen the new Jess LC lookbook might recognize Tieka of Selective Potential. Having met Tieka during the photo shoot and through reading her blog, I’ve come to admire her so much for her sweet, kind personality. No to mention her accomplishments in art school, her personal life, and the blog. So of course I wanted to learn more about how her intentions guide her actions. (I feel pretty lucky that I can just ask the people I admire to spill the secrets to their success through DYL interviews.)

After reading Tieka’s intentions, I really admired how honest and candid she was about her progress. I feel like she’s almost left us a road map of sorts to help us overcome some of the same obstacles she’s faced in the past.

Enjoy!

DESIGN YOUR LIFE: Tieka of Selective Potential

Just go for it

I run a personal style blog, Selective Potential, and when I started – I had no idea where I was going with it… or how to even start, but I just went for it. I set it up the best I knew how and started networking and working hard. It was day in and day out on the blog, making it better each and every day and all of those hard working days turned into months of amazing success. I was so intimidated by such high powered fashion bloggers – I always thought to myself, “I could never afford that!” or “I could never pull that off.” It’s not about that. Running my blog – I just put myself out there – with my budget, my life restrictions and try to inspire others through what I’m able to do. I always try to put my best work into the blog – I truly think it all out – and then I just go for it! Most of the time, I get an amazing response from readers and truly feel accomplished with what I have done!

Be in control

I found that I used to “out of control”. I didn’t have a good grasp on time management, or what I should be doing with my life. I found that once I tried to make every second of my day count – the day ended and I felt amazing about how I spent my time and how the next day kept looking better and better! Last year, I lost 35 pounds following the Weight Watchers program. Prior to starting the program, I found myself stressed, busy, with no motivation to wake up in the mornings causing me to be even more rushed and busy, I’d grab food without thinking about it, I’d put off homework to sit on the couch and complain about how I didn’t have it all together. Until, I was tired of that lifestyle! And my weight was the biggest thing holding me down. As soon as I was able to control my daily diet with Weight Watchers, I felt I could do anything. Losing weight made me a better student, a happier wife, a more motivated person to clean the apartment or to be active outside. I’d think of each activity as a bonus for the diet and at the end of it all, I found myself having a blast being busy, and active because it was all things I wanted to do with my life.

Love your surroundings

I grew up with people who complained left and right about our state, our town. “It’s awful here,” “There is nothing to do,” “It’s freezing,” “I hate everyone here,” whatever their excuse, it was unnecessary. And I used to be one of them, until I embraced my surroundings. I live in Michigan – a place not too exciting to the outsider – but as soon as I immersed myself into my surroundings, I fell in love with living here. And being in love with your location and your surroundings, changes your entire outlook on life. My husband, Brett, and I now take monthly adventures around our state to explore something new. I always try to incorporate something unique about Michigan into my fashion blog, by surrounding myself by interesting sculptures or gorgeous scenery. I’ve even found that putting myself into these settings has helped inspire my fashion sense! I feel like whenever I look at an outfit I put together, I think to myself, “That is so Michigan – so perfect for my little beach town!” It’s amazing the fun you can find in where you live, instead of wishing you were always somewhere else. Love where you are.

Love who surrounds you

Surround yourself with genuine people. And most of the time, you’ll know if they are genuine or not. I used to surround myself with some of the worst people and I was never sure why. I knew they weren’t good people, but yet I still spent my time with them until after enough time passed – I still felt alone, like I didn’t actually have friends. I didn’t really get a good grasp on this until I met my husband, Brett. He was the most kind and most caring person I had ever met. Spending so much time with him makes me realize I wish I had spent more time with people like him my entire life. It would have been so much more fun and carefree and “drama”-free. He comes from an amazing family who makes my life so much more worthwhile. And granted, I don’t have many girlfriends – two very close ones – but I know they are both going to be there for me through everything. It’s not the quantity – but the quality of the relationships you have in your life.

Be passionate

I get countless emails from girls asking, “How did you get so many readers?” “How do you get so many comments?” “Why am I not getting comments or readers?” and my answer is always – don’t do something for others, always do it for yourself. When I started blogging, I had no idea what to expect. I blogged because I thought it looked fun, and it was a great hobby, for a keepsake – never to gain sponsors, or readers, or clicks, or whatever! In each one of my blog posts, I always think to myself – how do I want to remember this time period, what outfit do I want to wear while having fun, etc. Many of my blog posts back in November didn’t have many comments – but I put just as much hard work into those as I do now! It’s about yourself – if you’re not passionate about something, then it becomes a job and it loses its edge! So many people believe they can start something and it’s an instant success – it doesn’t work that way. I spent seven hour alone coming up with a blog name! I can’t even begin to tell you how many hours I’ve spent designing the layout, taking outfit shots, editing the shots, planning outfits, shopping, networking, commenting. It’s honestly a full time job – but it doesn’t feel like it because I love it so much. And this pertains to anything in life – whether it’s a blog, or a shop, or a class, or going to college – whatever. As soon as you look at it like it’s a chore, it’ll be a chore!

Every day counts

This was my motto when I started my “life change” January 1 2009, the first day I started Weight Watchers. Every single day, I made sure that every day counted. It would motivate me to wake up in the morning, attend that 8:30 AM class, make it count, to pay attention in class, to eat something healthy for that day’s lunch, and that day’s dinner, and to head to the gym afterwards – just for that night. I didn’t think about the upcoming weeks – how many countless hours I’d have to spend eating non-buttered popcorn or sweating around the track at the gym. I’d think about today. And by the end of it all – I was 35 pounds lighter, ran my very first 5K, had a straight A semester, was on the president’s list at college and the happiest I’ve ever been. After keeping up the “every day counts” mentality for over a year now – I’m graduating, with a studio excellence award, still at my weight goal, insanely passionate about blogging and still have those true genuine people in my life – and I feel like all of those “every days” made up some amazing successful months (and years!)

Check out past DESIGN YOUR LIFE interviews.

DESIGN YOUR LIFE: Holly of Decor8
April 1st, 2010     |    DESIGN YOUR LIFE

Today’s DYL features one of the most sweet, genuine (and prolific) bloggers around: Holly from Decor8. As many of you may know, her awesome design blog is a constant source of inspiration for interior design and handmade goods, and her Blogging Your Way classes are also extremely popular. When I found out I had the opportunity to find out what makes Holly tick, in the form of a DESIGN YOUR LIFE interview, I have to say, I had goosebumps!

After reading through her interview, the gem I spotted immediately was the statement at the end of her fourth intention. But I don’t want to spoil it too soon, so read on to see what I’m talking about. Such a great insight.

Enjoy!

DESIGN YOUR LIFE: Holly of Decor8

When it comes to intentions I have many but it’s not about merely good intentions is it? It’s about knowing and then doing. I tried to think about some areas in my life currently where I am putting my intentions to work because like everyone else I have lists a mile long and some of my intentions never reach the light of day. This is why I have been known to tell others to only list your top five goals at a time, work through them, and move on to your next five goals. It makes goals easier to reach and intentions become real things that you can point to and it feels really good! As you reach your goals, your self confidence grows and you experience less fear the next time you decide to tackle a goal. So to practice what I preach today, I will list 5 of my intentions. Maybe grab a piece of paper after you’ve read this, or even blog about it, you can play along and list your top 5 intentions and how you plan to turn those into real, tangible things.

First, because family is #1 to me, I intend to stay happily married forever and I so I tell my husband that I love him daily and do something nice for him — make breakfast, prepare lunch or dinner, or I go out of my way to spend time doing something for him that I know he will appreciate. We also take a walk every night, we call these times our “night walks” and this is when we walk and talk — about everything — openly and without judgment for an hour –sometimes longer depending on the weather. If it’s really warm out, a cone of ice cream may be involved. : )

The next intention is that I intend to be authentic, always. I want to follow my inner voice and reflect who I am inside on the outside because this helps me to stay on target as I’m frequently readjusting my priorities to navigate the waters — my inner compass never misleads me but I have to follow it. I find it challenging at times online when people cannot put facial expressions and tone of voice with my words but I want others to see that I am not only passionate about my topics (decorating, creativity, small business, blogging, community building) but I’m real, I’m normal, and I am who I am. Those who have met me in person know this but everyone else can only see what is presented online and I want others to feel like they “know” me, the real me, too. Again — a challenge online, and also a challenge in an environment where self-promotion is king, but I want all to know that what you see is really what you get. Even in my personal life — I want my friends to feel like they have access to all of me, not just the parts I want to show — but all. I also know that this is the only way to receiving unconditional love which is the greatest love of all in my opinion. If you only show what you want others to see then they love you conditionally, the moment you “let them down” the relationship ends. But if you are real and putting your true self out there then the love you receive is longer lasting and more satisfying because it’s love without condition.

My third intention goes along with the second: I want to go to bed each night feeling at peace with myself and like, somehow, I made a person happy or gave them something that they may not have had that day if it weren’t for me. I genuinely feel glad when I know that something I did impacted another in a positive way. I find that when I give I always get back emotionally in ways that money or fame cannot give me. There is a deep-seated joy and tranquility that I experience when I see how something I’ve done helped another. The only “negative” side to this is that I sometimes can get so wrapped up in my family/friendships and online friends that I can neglect myself. I’ll buy a new camera for my husband before buying one for myself or I’ll help someone online when I really should be spending time on a personal project. This is why I unplug now on the weekends and also why I have taken on a few projects offline that are very special and personal to me — the book I am working on and also the handmade market in my city with a very nice team locally. I’m learning balance and well… this leads me to the fourth intention…

Intention #4 has to do with my health. Emotionally and spiritually I intend to always work on these things daily in a variety of ways that are deeply personal and meaningful to me. Journaling is one way that I use to explore my emotional side and to dig deep. But I rarely spend the time on my physical health as I do on caring for my emotions and spirituality. I’m certainly not harmful to myself and I shower each day! ha ha! In fact, the first thing I do is shower and put on my makeup, set my hair in rollers (every single day, even though I work at home) and I dress pretty for my home-based business but I rarely make time to go out of my way for spa days, massages, acupuncture, inline skating, manicures  — and I usually only go to a salon for my hair 3x a year which is hardly enough. I really, REALLY need to learn to pamper myself more! So with that I joined a spa/gym and have committed to going daily beginning April 1 for one month 2-3 hours per day in the morning. I have already scheduled my month to accommodate my spa schedule. This isn’t about getting “fitter” as much as tuning in more to my body and learning how to relax. I’m going to use the sauna, exercise, order smoothies, lay on the deck on sunny days with a book, and enjoy every single day of April doing so. I also plan to make a salon visit in April, too and maybe even get a massage. After April, I plan to go 3x per week to unwind and make this routine more of a focus in my life. I also sold my car last July and so everything is done via foot or on the train — so now I’ve decided to get back into inline skating (I bought a new pair recently) and I’m on the prowl for a new bicycle – both activities will provide added benefits to my psychical health as well as emotional and spiritual health. I am determined to pamper myself more because at the end of the day my health is the only thing I’ve got — if that goes, what’s the point? You really learn this as you get older! There is no, “Tomorrow I will…” — one must replace that with, “Today I can…”.

I’ll wrap this up with a fifth intention (so your lovely readers don’t fall asleep). I intend to reach one of my childhood dreams — to write a book — and now that I have a book deal with a real publisher and everything (oh boy!) my dream is closer to seeing fulfillment. I wondered if I’d ever have the chance to see my name on the spine of a decorating book and soon I hope to see just that. We all have dreams and sometimes they feel really far away or even lost but oftentimes we just need to follow our passions and the dreams resurface. This is precisely what happened to me. So I intend to make this a book one that not only makes me proud but that also pleases my husband, friends and family and above all — the readers of decor8 who have supported me and who have been my loyal friends since the beginning back over four years ago. Back then, I had no clue that a blog would bring me even close to a book but now that it has I can see that staying on course despite the moments of self-doubt, fear, writer’s block, and the endless nights spent thinking, “Is anyone listening to me out there?” — by staying on course things have worked out for me. I always felt, especially in the beginning when I had about 15 readers, that even if no one listened that at least I was enjoying the process of talking about something so freely that I truly loved and that 15 was better than nothing and so I got to know some of those earlier readers and focused on being happy with what I had. I think a blog author really has to realize how precious each reader really is and work hard to deliver something that is meaningful to you no matter if you have 15 or 150,000 readers…

I have many more intentions that include becoming a mother (hopefully next year once the book is published), adding new features and such to decor8, and building the community of creatives here in my city — but for now, I’ll sign off and leave you with these.

Check out past DESIGN YOUR LIFE interviews.

Today I’d like to introduce you to one of MML’s new sponsors, Heidi of the blog, To Be Luminous. Heidi is a life coach from Florida living in Prague (how cool is that?). Next week I’ll share more about her life coaching (including an exciting giveaway) but today, the focus is on Heidi’s intentions and the life she has designed.

Here are the two things that struck me about Heidi’s DYL, a) I felt like I know her and b) I wish we could be friends “in real life.” Anyone who follows her intuition and believes that the unconditional love of a puppy is equivalent to surrounding herself with amazing people is golden in my book.

Enjoy!

DESIGN YOUR LIFE: Heidi of To Be Luminous

Be Authentic

We are all quirky and different.  I am a strange blend of an avid traveler, consummate home body, guilty-pleasure tv watching, spiritually minded life coach.  I love it!  When I was in the fourth grade there was a competition for the best handwriting and I looked at my chicken scratch and was positive I couldn’t win.  Lindsey (I still remember her name) had long red hair and perfect penmanship.  She won the fountain pen and I tried hard to write like her.  Fast forward to eighth grade, my best friend (also Heidi) had a lovely round bubbly handwriting.  It matched her “perfect” puffy bangs (I wish I had a picture of THAT to share). I tried and I tried to write just like her.  One day in college, I started writing naturally.  I wasn’t copying anyone, it felt fabulous!  My unique to me handwriting is now something I cherish because after twenty years of trying to be like everyone else, it represents a part of me that is uniquely mine.  It might take some of us longer than others to embrace who we are, but when we do it it gives permission to the people around us to do the same.  Everybody wins!

Flirt

Flirting makes people feel special and that’s always a good thing!  It brings out the best in someone and the fun in you.  My college roommates used to say that I’d flirt with a tree if I could and they were right.  For awhile I was ashamed of my inherent flirting, but as I watch the way it lights people up (men & women), I’m not willing to give it up.  We all have our own style.  One of my friends has a mega-watt smile that can stop anyone dead in their tracks.  She uses it on everyone and can warm even the frowniest heart.  I’m more of a teasing flirt.  I love to tease in a happy, loving, uplifting way.  But don’t lead any unsuspecting men on . . . that’s just mean.

Follow Your Intuition

We have this wonderful little guy inside each of us that somehow has it all figured out.  I love listening to him because whenever I do magic happens.  Not only do I avoid dangerous situations but my life opens up onto broad and beautiful paths.  My intuition led me to live in Prague, become a life coach, get my sweet puppy Harry and buy that red trench last spring (which I’ve now worn for 9 of the last 12 months).  I make time every day to listen.  For me, I use a combo of journal and my morning walk in the park with Harry.

Look For Beauty

I studied humanities in college and began my quest for beauty.  I love looking for the lovely even in the most unlikely moments.  I’ve learned that what I look for in life is what I find, so I make a point of finding the beautiful and dwelling on it.  This works in situations, on people, and all aspects of life- not just the visual.  When you meet a cranky person you can’t seem to connect with, try seeing what is beautiful about them and focusing on it.  It works!

Surround Yourself with Amazing People

I love to be with people who bring out the best in me and then I want to bring out the best in them too.  There are too many people in the world quick to cut us down and tear us apart, why voluntarily let them into my free time?  I also think having a dog is wonderful.  His smile melts my heart on even the toughest day and when I’m a bear and difficult to love, he still loves me.  It’s unconditional and don’t we all need that?

Check out past DESIGN YOUR LIFE interviews.

colormekatie1

Happy Thursday! In honor of the spring weather we are having here in Chicago (with a high of 68* today!) I thought I would re-post one of the happiest and most colorful DESIGN YOUR LIFE interviews we’ve ever had here on MML by Katie of Color me Katie. Enjoy!

(From July/9 2009)

This week’s DESIGN YOUR LIFE (DYL) is about Katie of Color Me Katie, writer of one of the happiest blogs I have ever followed. Katie is a wonderful photographer and street artist (I suppose that is a good word for her random acts of kindness). This interview actually came about from a (first ever) reader request. Claire, a friend and MakeunderMyLife reader, told me about Katie’s blog and asked me to connect with her about DYL so she could learn more about Katie’s intentions.

Katie was extremely kind and agreed to sharing her intentions and some of her awesome photos. As I suspected, I was inspired myself to shake things up in my own routine after reading her thoughts. This morning I will not be eating cheesy oatmeal. It sounds like a small step, but I happen to have a serious addiction.

Read on!

Be creative

1

It’s important for me to express myself creatively every day. I have all of these fun ideas in my head and if I don’t get them out I’m pretty sure my mind would explode. Realistically, I’d probably just get frustrated and fall asleep. But explosion or no explosion, doing something creative acts as a therapy for me. I feel better after taking photographs, making street art, painting, or making wall sized collages. The messier and more sweatier I get, the better I feel.

Don’t grow up

2
Well, not completely anyways. I think it’s important to keep that little kid inside of you. I see a lot of people turn into grumpy old men that just complain about everything. I know that we’re all adults and we have important adult-like things to do but that doesn’t mean we have to let go of that playful side of ourselves. I’m still all about blowing bubbles, running around in the rain, and playing with my food and I always will be!

Break your routine

3
I hate the idea of getting up, eating breakfast, and going to work the same way every day. It eventually gets boring and I will not stand for boring! I want to wake up to a day that is always new, so I make sure I change it up a bit. First of all, who made this rule that for breakfast we should eat cereal. If I wake up and want spaghetti, I’ll make spaghetti. Whenever I leave the house I go a different way each time. I walk down a new street, ride the bus, take a different train, or hop on a forklift if I can find one! Even if it’ll take me longer to get there, I don’t care. I just always want to see something new.

Be Optimistic

4
It’s raining again? Wonderful! It’ll make the flowers grow. I got paint on my favorite coat? Great! I can turn it inside out, sew on new buttons, and make it better than before. There’s always a way to find something positive in a situation you would normally think was negative.

Give yourself a gift everyday

5
There are some days that can feel so long but it makes it a lot easier to get through if you give yourself a gift. I always like to give myself something little like a cupcake, a flower, balloons, or an iced coffee at my favorite cafe. It’s not expensive and it’s a lovely little pick me up during the day.

Be yourself

6
I’m not perfect, I know that. I have this thing where I trip at least once a day and somehow my dress will always find a way to fall down at the most inappropriate moments. I say the wrong things at wrong times and only have laughing attacks when I’m alone on the train, which makes me look like a crazy person. I used to be really embarrassed of myself when I was younger but now I find all these little things to be funny and they make me who I am. The next time my dress accidently falls down at a funeral it’ll fall with pride!

Check out past DESIGN YOUR LIFE interviews.

Good morning! This week’s DESIGN YOUR LIFE participant, Liz of Sincerely, Liz, is also a new sponsor for MML. I’m excited to share her intentions and her amazing photography so that you all might get to know a bit more about her and her talents. As you will read, Liz has an incredibly kind heart. You can also follow her daily on her blog as well.

I’ll be taking her intention to give people the benefit of the doubt some serious thought in my own life. I can already think of a handful of situations where this is much needed. Enjoy!

DESIGN YOUR LIFE: Liz of Sincerely Liz

Positivity.

We all have bad times, right? Here’s my cure-all solution to getting rid of the darkness in your life: put some light in it. My light comes 100% from my faith in God, but I have a few things I practice regularly, in addition to my faith, to keep my chin up. One of the big things I have done in recent months is surround myself with positivity. This includes actions like unfollowing negative tweeters (tweeple? tweeps? twitter folks?), stop spending time with people that leave me feeling drained 100% of the time, give myself permission to let go of people/behaviors/habits that weigh me down. In addition, I started doing more positive things like sharing smiles with strangers, posting uplifting quotes on facebook, writing weekly Gratituesdays on my blog. It took me 26 years to realize that the banner in my 5th grade classroom really WAS right. “Attitude is everything.” I tell ya what, keep it positive and you can get through anything. 🙂

Use your talents to give back.

I truly believe God has given us all talents that we should use to bless others. Not only does it lift up and help the people around you, but giving to others is enjoyable! It’s all a big, happy cycle of blessings and I think it makes life a bit better.

Give the benefit of the doubt.

Assumption is a dangerous thing. I have to make a solid effort to give others the benefit of the doubt, especially during those dark days of life. You know, the ones where you want to assume everyone is out to get you and you’re the victim. (Whew, dark days!) I forget sometimes what a positive impact giving others the benefit of the doubt has on my attitude and how that spreads throughout my daily routine of life.

Think before you speak.

I have two questions I ask myself before I speak. Okay, realistically I ask myself these questions as often as I can remember. Which is not ALL the time. But, I really, really try. Question one: Is what you are about to say going to negatively impact anyone? If so, don’t speak. Question two: Are you simply observing out loud or is what you are about to say productive? Someone once told me that he didn’t speak much because he realized that almost everything he would say was simply an observation about life. “She said this,” “We went here,” etc. For someone who has a mouth that has gotten her in a lot of trouble in the past, this was an amazing concept. One that I adopted for my own life from that day on.

Judge yourself first.

I don’t know if it was the way I was raised, or the culture I grew up in, or simply my sinful nature, but I have had a lifelong struggle with judging others. I find that my mind is assuming things about other people based on the tiniest glimpses I see of their lives before I even have the opportunity to process what I’m seeing. I am continually coaching myself (in silence) to STOP assuming and judging others. The way that I do this is to always think “what if that were me? What if what the person was saying, doing, or behaving like… what if that were me? What could possibly justify what I was witnessing?” It’s a continual thing for me, but I genuinely strive to someday reach a place in my mind where judgments never, ever happen.

Check out past DESIGN YOUR LIFE interviews.
DESIGN YOUR LIFE: summer thornton
March 4th, 2010     |    DESIGN YOUR LIFE

Holy moly. I feel extremely privileged to bring to you the DESIGN YOUR LIFE intentions of none other than Summer Thornton of Summer Thornton Design! As many of you interior design buffs know, Summer’s portfolio and personal home tour have become inspiration for many, many homes across the blogosphere. In fact, her home was actually the inspiration for my own home decor with Kelly + Olive months ago as well.

So without any further delay, I give you a peek inside Summer’s extremely talented brain.

DESIGN YOUR LIFE: Summer Thornton of Summer Thornton Design

Take Risks

If you never take a risk, you’ll never have an opportunity to really succeed.  Overcoming obstacles, enduring setbacks, and truly taking leaps of faith are what give you the courage to do so in the future.  If you live within your comfort zone, you’ll never experience anything unique, spectacular, or adrenaline-rushing!  Don’t let fear hold you back.  I had to quit my job and basically go 100% commission (on my own) when I started my business.  Scary at the moment, but looking back it was so apparent that it was the right decision.

Gain inspiration from outside your ‘bubble’

We all live in somewhat limited cultural bubbles.  We have our limited group of friends, we live in a certain neighborhood or city, and we are rarely exposed to truly original experiences.  Travel serves as my main inspiration and boundary-stretcher.  Last year was a whirlwind of travel and a lot of fun.  I traveled to India, New Orleans, New York, Kentucky, Miami, and LA in an effort to expose myself to other cultures, experiences, and design inspiration.  India was certainly the most culturally shocking experience.  While there on a service project, I was reminded of how fortunate and blessed I am, and at the same time I was gaining new appreciation and understanding for cultural elements that I would use in my career.  I came back with a love of block prints, a passion for jade, and an increased interest in new color schemes.  Another example was the Miami trip which was a short vacation.  It was also an opportunity to visit the Viceroy & Tides hotels which were designed by Kelly Wearstler as well as the spa at Icon Brickell which was designed by Philippe Starcke.  I left relaxed, rejuvenated, and ready to create again with some great inspiration from two premiere designers.  In 2010, hopefully I’ll be headed to Paris for some serious flea marketing…

Do what you love

If you don’t love what you do, do something else.  Even if you have to take a pay-cut, even if you have to ‘start over’, do whatever it takes to do what you love.

Better bold than boring

Stand for something.  Anything.  In design, indecisiveness is the death of a great room.  Beige walls for instance, are oftentimes the result of indecisiveness.  Sure they don’t offend anyone, except me perhaps, but they also don’t say anything about the home owner.  The same can be said about a slew of ‘acceptable’ decisions in life.  Maybe this is the same as #1 (take risks), but its more about identifying who you are, and being proud of that.  I’m working on a design for the DreamHome in the Merchandise Mart that opens this April.  Some of the people who see it are going to think it is over-the-top, and they’re absolutely entitled to that opinion.  But my hope is that others will find it over-the-top in an utterly amazing, challenging, and completely original way (that they love).  And even if the latter isn’t the majority, those are the ones I hope will want to work with me in the future.  I would rather my rooms inspire thought and discussion, even if negative, than tired yawns of boredom.  You can’t please everyone, so why try!

Do something good for someone else

If you can, find ways to use your talents & natural gifts for a higher purpose.  It’ll be more rewarding than even the most profitable business venture.  And if you’re blessed financially, look for opportunities to use those resources for someone/something that really needs it.  Make it a priority, and your life will be changed forever.

(To get Summer Thornton Design updates, visit her facebook page.)

Check out past DESIGN YOUR LIFE interviews.


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