DESIGN YOUR LIFE: Holly of Decor8

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.


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.

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  1. Ann

    I love Holly’s blog, too! And the intent to stay happily married is a great one! You really do have to decide, everyday, to make that happen, but it’s so worth it! Can’t wait for the book!

  2. Niki

    She is amazing! I really can relate to her learning to pamper herself more – I’m guilty of the same thing to. I have to get past my guilt and realize I’m a priority too!

  3. Katie

    i’d never heard of holly until yesterday when i was given a link to an audio interview she had. and now she’s here at mml! very cool. i think she’s an inspiration to us all – follow your dreams ladies, follow your dreams! xo.

  4. Jill

    I just loved this post! “Today I can…” is such a simple but powerful phrase – I’m going to keep that one in mind and CONGRATS to Holly on her upcoming book! 🙂

  5. Anna

    I agree with Holly’s 4th intention. Busy women tend to neglect their health and well-being. Good for you, Holly for recognizing that you need to be pampered and relaxed. You can’t take care of other people if you don’t take care of yourself first.

  6. I have goosebumps after reading that. Holly is such an amazing, inspiring woman. I look forward to her posts on decor8 because her writing voice is so honest. She really does “put it all out there” and I feel like I can connect with her and whatever she’s writing about.

  7. Kristi

    Love the intentions! The word is even a great choice… I think it’s important to be intentional about the things we do, rather than just let them happen as they might. Good interview.

  8. Kat

    Really enjoyed readin about holly’s intentions. And am
    looking forward to her book which I know will be fabulous
    just like her writing and content at Decor8 is
    kat 🙂

  9. domesticatdlwyr

    I read a lot of blogs on a regular basis but Holly’s blog is the only blog i read EVERYDAY. Great interview. Congratulations on the upcoming book.

  10. Oh, Holly….you must stop this! Everything you do & say is making me adore you even more! 🙂 I swear all of your intentions( minus the “writing a book” one) could be mine. I really agree & take to heart the first 4. And I am SO happy your dream is coming true. You know, you are completely an inspiration hun. I so wish I lived nearby you & we could visit. These interviews will just have to do! 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing your lovely & inspirational intentions. I love them!

  11. Super inspirational interview – I loved it! In fact it was one of the best I read so far. Thanks a lot for it! I really like Holly and her blog. It´s one of my favourites and I think she totally fulfills intention 2.

  12. Flavia

    Loved seeing Holly here! She is such an inspiration, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading her intentions. and yeah, she is spot on with #4.

  13. Holly is a true inspiration! Reminds me I need to schedule my next spa day! Can’t wait to read the book!

  14. Thank you so much for the blog on intentions; making a small list of my own. I have recently started a blog, though I am a far way off from where I want to be, your blog has been one of my biggest inspirations!

  15. I really love this interview! It is so genuine, helpful and insightful. I am inspired now to list my own intentions and work toward making them a reality.

  16. Brandon

    This is awesome. I have been a little low lately and really working to make change in my life. Mostly working on enjoyable ways to supplement my income through craft. I keep an eye on decor8 for inspiration and here I am following links to some excellent personal development content. Thanks so much! Also- Heidi on Personal Power is another great one. I am happy to put MML on my list of regular reads.

  17. Great points Holly, these really touched me. Thanks for sharing with everyone today!

  18. Megan

    Wow, I just have to say that this brightened my day right up! I started out on Holly’s blog and saw her post so I jumped to this blog, now I love this blog too! And this was a great DYL 🙂 So uplifting! I’m an architecture student and hearing things like this makes me refocus when I think about giving up. Thanks Jess and thanks Holly!!

  19. Coleccionando estrellas

    Decor8 is such a source of inspiration as Make under my life is!
    I completely agree on your words, I believe that you can only live your life to the fullest if you have a balance with a work you are passionate about, giving and receiving love (from your partner, friend or family) and also, and not less important, when you take care of yourself. Feeling good is necessary to live optimistically!

  20. Decor8 is such a source of inspiration as Make under my life is!
    I completely agree on your words, I believe that you can only live your life to the fullest if you have a balance with a work you are passionate about, giving and receiving love (from your partner, friend or family) and also, and not less important, when you take care of yourself. Feeling good is necessary to live optimistically!

  21. This is a great list, there’s lot to be learned. The only thing that makes me concerned is when people want to schedule in a child (although I don’t know what age she is) – because you can never assume these things will happen when you want and I’ve had a few friends really struggle with fertility. But, it sounds like Holly has a great balance in her life.

  22. I love these intentions! I think the idea of focusing on your top 5 is a great one. Holly’s comment about taking care of yourself really resonates with me. I just posted on this topic – I work from home and have to have nice hair every day. The days where I don’t never end well. 😉

  23. I’ve had the privilege of knowing Holly in the real world and I can certainly attest to the fact that her enthusiasm and love for what she does is real and wholehearted. She is one of the most sincere, passionate people I’ve ever known, both in her personal life and when it comes to the things that interest her. She is one of those rare people who sparkles with intellect and creativity, who really listens, empathizes and also has a rare gift that allows her enthusiasm to infect others and inspires them to trust their hearts and follow their own bliss!

  24. holly is such an inspiration. i love how she puts herself out there and makes every reader feel like a close friend. she is so generous to share so much of herself. yeah, blah blah blah…i am a big fan!

  25. Shanon

    This was such an exciting interview to read. Holly really personifies each of her intentions and reading them makes me excited to live with more intent. I know that no one is perfect, and that Holly wouldn’t want to hear that she seems to be, but she definitely is someone to admire and look up to. I can’t imagine the online world without her voice and the way she champions the things close to her heart.
    Thank you for a great interview!

  26. I love this easy (5) step program. Thank you Holly for your inspiration. Thank you, MUML for sharing it with the world.
    All the best,

  27. Kristy

    Wonderful interview…. so many great goals to strive for, very inspiring!

  28. wini

    Great interview! Very inspiring. Thank you Jess and Holly 🙂

  29. Hey extremely wonderful weblog!!?! Man .. Gorgeous .. Incredible .. I’ll bookmark your blog and take the feeds also…

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