My Summer Goal

May 31st, 2013

I took my daughter to get a haircut on Wednesday. For years she’s worn her hair in a sweet and simple ponytail, but looking at her with a shorter bob makes her look so much older and it hit me – she’s transitioning right before my eyes.

My sister came to visit last week and we were discussing the passage of time and I was telling her how very much I’m enjoying my kids at the age of 7 and 9.  She labeled it the “Sandlot” age and it struck a chord with me. Yes, exactly. They’re in that magical period of youth when they’re both adventurous and innocent, and I enjoy their curiosity and company more than words can express.


Today is their last day of school which means they’re now home with me for June, July, and part of August. I’ve made summer lists in years past of all the things we want to do during the summer and I try to stick to them, but this year I have only one goal, only one thing on my list. 

Because I know what will happen. Summer will pass all too quickly and autumn will be upon us an we’ll all be thinking about pumpkin patches and Halloween haunts and then the holidays will be here all too soon. And I don’t want to think about any of that right now. So my only goal this summer is to slow down.

hot air balloons sara norris

I don’t have any links to share this week. I’ve been busily cleaning and prepping the house for the party we’re hosting this weekend to benefit the local school. And we just found out yesterday that a close cousin’s husband has passed away, so we’re grieving for her since she’s just lost her dear husband. I find myself on both sides of an emotional pendulum – hosting a huge summer soiree and attending a funeral in a matter of days.

It’s left me feeling drained and so now I’m focused on things that matter more than long hours spent in front of a computer. I’m focused on slowing down and savoring the magic of a summer spent with my sweet kids who are coming of age.



So you’ll forgive me if during the months of June and July I’m blogging a little less than normal. I can’t define what that means other than I’ll post when I have something to share or say, and take a day off if I don’t. I have a promise to keep to myself, to slow down and live in the moments that matter.

Wishing you all a fantastic summer weekend.

photography by Sara Norris


Refresh Feature

May 30th, 2013

Hey everyone, I was excited to see the new BH&G special interest publication Refresh was finally out on newsstands and happy to be a part of the Premier Issue. It’s always flattering to be considered for a magazine feature and this one happened as a result of working with Sarah of Albaworks, a Bay Area scout and stylist who I interviewed a few months ago (read her industry insight here) – she found me through the blog then did all the work to get it featured, thanks Sarah!

refresh cover

The focus of this publication is exactly what the title conveys, ways to refresh your home in a creative and budget friendly way. Only my favorite topic of all time. :) The team came to shoot the house in early January and took pictures of nine different rooms and worked so amazingly fast to do it.

The editors have this down to a science and to make it less stressful, you receive what’s called a photo order with all the notes as to what angles they prefer and what props if any to add. They used mostly images from the blog and a few Sarah took on her visit to our house last year. It helps reduce anxiety because all the other rooms could be a disaster and it didn’t matter as long as the rooms being featured were cleaned up and styled.

sample photo order


The photographer brings in all the necessary equipment to get the lighting just right and anything not wanted in the shot gets removed or simply pushed to the side.

objects pushed to side


We turned the living room into a dumping zone after it was photographed, with all the extra flowers or props that weren’t needed. I move stuff around a lot, especially on the mantel and the pillows too, so you’ll see a slightly different group of accessories in the living room in the mag.

dumping zone


The stylists that work for BH&G are really great about working with 95% of what is already there and they do stay true to the homeowner’s style. Here’s an example. The editors liked our master bedroom but wanted a touch of color, so the aqua pillow and vase of flowers were added. It’s a small difference, but I love it!

master bedroom two ways


A separate team came to photograph my kids’ rooms in April for an online feature and the same approach was taken, work with what I already had but mix it up a little for a slightly different look. In my daughter’s room we included a few more pieces of art and a jewelry box. Our things, just rearranged a bit. And I managed to get the hardware fixed that so many of you teased me about – the upside down pulls that can be seen here. :)

styled blue desk


Capture One is the software the photographers use to take the images and also Photoshop if necessary to edit as they go along, like fixing blown out windows or other tiny edits like eliminating a few of the nail holes in the wall I hadn’t bothered to patch and paint yet. But no serious or severe editing like you read or hear about in the fashion or modeling industry, they really do keep it all very real.

girls room desk on mac


Pick up an issue of Refresh wherever BH&G Special Interest publications are sold, I saw this one at Safeway and Borders.  

refresh feature


Thanks so much BH&G for including me in the Refresh Premier Issue!