DESIGN YOUR LIFE: Courtney of Kelly + Olive

courtneypictureOn Monday I was wandering around the blog neighborhood and I stumbled upon Kelly + Olive via a link on Joanna’s Cup of Jo. In 3.2 seconds I realized the following:

  1. Courtney and Lauren’s site is adorable and they live in Chicago(!!).
  2. They have really reasonable and practical interior design packages and a great blog where they have neat DIY ideas.
  3. I want to be their friend (while being as not-creepy as possible for only knowing someone for 3.2 seconds).
  4. They would be perfect to interview for DESIGN YOUR LIFE.

Below are Courtney’s intentions (Lauren’s come next week). As you will see she has a great perspective on life and the most adorable little Frenchie that I may steal if I ever have the pleasure of meeting her.

On second thought, that’s probably not a good idea if I really intend for #3 (above) to actually happen.

courtneyfriendbe yourself.

i am not a natural at this.  i work on it, daily.  through my blog, and through my design work.  from the things that i spend my time doing to what i put on my body, i’m always asking, is this me?  am i being influenced by something right now?  and it’s hard, because sometimes you’ll choose something and someone you care about won’t like it, and you have to be okay with that, and stand your ground.  i have to know that my perspective, my voice, my taste, is valuable, if only to me.

courtneydogremember the little things that make me happy.

folded laundry.  big gulps, just when you need them.  white paint.  things i have that members of my family have made, just for me.  home.  my french bulldog, lola.  a thank you from a client.  homemade bread.  an undiscovered thrift store.  sometimes it’s good just to make a list and pull it out when you need it.

everything will be ok.

starting k + o was and still is a big risk.  but we were open to it, and i feel like, as wooey as it sounds, we ordered the pie, and the universe is delivering.  personally, i struggle with depression, and that can make EVERYTHING seem like a mountain i have to climb.  i repeat this like a mantra.  i write it on a sticky note and put it by my computer.  and it helps.

courtneychairhunt for treasure.

even if you can’t afford to buy, sometimes “shopping” is the best medicine.  about once a week i take a couple of hours and go somewhere to look at stuff.  doesn’t matter where.  sometimes i’ll go to target, or a pretty park, a thrift store, a farmer’s market, even just to trader joe’s.  i go by myself and i just look and take it all in.  it helps me clear out the cobwebs.  i get inspired by beautiful packaging, or the colors of the leaves.  i always come back feeling better.

cut it out.

if it’s unnecessary, if it is more work than it needs to be, if it pushes your buttons, if it’s ugly, if it, in any way, falls into the category of DO NOT LIKE:  get rid of it.  cut it out.  life is too stressful to be dealing with those tiny little things that make it all seem that much worse.  sometimes you have to wait for the right moment to streamline your client tracking system or replace the stained couch, but when you do have the energy, go for it.  that makes those harder days soooo much better.  also doughnuts for dinner is a good idea.

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  1. Yay! It’s so fun to see Courtney on here! She is a beautiful, kind, good-hearted woman with some darn good taste. This post is a perfect reflection of that. AND I’m so glad she sent me to this great blog!

    Happy Thursday!!!
    -betsy

  2. Jill

    Thanks for introducing me to their blog and website! So cool! Great tips on living… loved this!

  3. Jess

    @ Besty: I’m glad you like the site, Courtney seems like a great girl and I can’t wait to get to know her better myself (in person).

    @ Jill: I’m glad you liked her site, I can see it would be something you would get a big kick out of!

  4. Jess

    @ Chic: I agree, Courtney does have such an honest, fresh point of view.

    @ PVE: Glad you liked it!

  5. Martha

    just found kelly + olive website today and have to say i’m obsessed. very cool chicks with great style. good interview here, too.

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