Thursday, March 6, 2014


Forty-five years ago my parents brought me home from the hospital... tiny, so loved, and so unaware of what life had in store.  As a 45 year old women, I feel the same way: loved and unaware of what life has in store!  

I am convinced that your 40's are a time of re-birth.  But this time, you come into the world with clarity around what you don't want, a fuller understanding of who you are, and hopefully the tools to move forward to the next phase of life in a healthier and happier way. 

What am I taking into my next chapter?   Here are a few important points, in no certain order that I have learned moving into mid-life (did I just say that?!):

1.  The gift of my 40's has been learning to leave the what if's, should have's, and could have's behind and instead focus on where my feet are planted at the moment.  Not looking behind, or ahead, but finding the peace and contentment in the now. 
2.   Beauty sleep is no joke, get eight hours or the lack of sleep will show both inside and out.  
3.   Don't skip the dentist.  Deep cleanings are not a walk in the park, and laughing gas is expensive.   
4.  Show all people respect first and foremost.  My dad always said, treat the bellman with the same respect as you would the General Manager of the hotel.
5.   Forgiveness really is for the person doing the forgiving.  It has absolutely nothing to do with the person being forgiven.       
6.  Hard times will always reveal true friends, and when they are revealed hold them close. 
7.  Expectations are a fast track to resentments.
8. Happiness is truly and inside job.
9. Comparing yourself to other people is tantamount to self abuse.
10. Aging gracefully is preferred, but a little Botox doesn't hurt - every once in awhile.
11. Love this, inspired by a friend of mine: You can have excuses or results but not both.
12.  Always ask for what you need, all they can say is no.
13. Beauty is being comfortable in your skin, and body weight does not define you. (still working on this one)
14. Sit with, and walk through - not around, difficult emotions.  There is a gift waiting on the other side.
15.  A glass of wine at the end of each day is not only imperative, it can be healthy too.
16.  It sounds trite, but it has been proven in my life to be true:  If God closes one door eventually He opens another.  And what is waiting behind that door is even better.  And tied to that, old ways don't open new then there's that.
17.  Being creative is as important as sleep in my life (back to #2)
18. Confidence is silent and insecurities are loud.  When you are confident you don't have to sing your praises, people will know.
19.  Doing something nice for someone else always makes you feel better on any day.  And if not, it makes them feel better and that glass of wine mentioned in #15 never hurts.
20.  I saw this somewhere but it is a lesson it took me years to learn.  "No one can drive us crazy unless we give them the keys."  

There are so many other concepts and lessons that I am taking into this next phase of my life, but these are some of the top 20 that I can think of now. 

So here's to the next 45, and what I am meditating on this morning....

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Who doesn't want to do what they love for a living?  If have that opportunity, and are able to transform that passion time and time again into new opportunities then you are lucky.

I'm doing just that by shifting into a world behind the camera.  Although living my life in front of a camera was exciting and rewarding, I have come to a point where I want to separate my work life from my personal life.  Instead of every party becoming a photo shoot or a segment, I'll be putting them together because I want to purely share time with the people I care about.

So, what is next?  I'm launching two new businesses.  I have taken a few months to really look at my work experience and skill set,  taking it apart to find the things that I love doing the most and creating a new path.

Two new businesses?!!!  I don't know of a rule that states you can't do two things you love at the same time, and I've never been a rule follower anyway.  My philosophy....


So, what's next?  Drumroll please....I am going to do what I do best - share my knowledge about what I know about building a personal brand, and being in front of the camera, and decorate; just not all at the same time.  They will be two different businesses filling two very different needs.

Today I am formally putting one of them out into the world...

"And We're Live" is a three day workshop that will help people define and refine their brand so that they are prepared to pitch to all types of media, and clearly communicate their brand to the world.  Whether they want to be on TV as an Expert, or want to create video for their blog, in three days they will be ready to tell their brand story and clearly communicate that on camera.  They'll sit down with seasoned television producers that are working in the industry to go through a practice pitch, and these producers know their stuff!

The best part...they will receive a beautifully shot and edited video and a professional head shot that they can use to pitch to brands and producers, share their story with readers on their blog, or use to sell their services.  That is one of the best marketing tools that you can have as we move into the world of online video.  Friday I'll be posting an example of one of the videos shot from the last workshop, so check back to see the finished product!

Having the support of this community means the world to me and today I was fortunate to be featured on Rue Daily.  Crystal Palecek (the Editor of Rue Magazine) and Kelli Ryder (the Associate Editor) were some of my first students to go through the workshop, so I'll let someone who actually took the workshop tell you what value they received from going through the three days.  There are some great pics of the workshop too thanks to Belathee Photography -thanks again ladies!

It is coming to a city near you,  because I am taking this baby on the road, and I hope to see you at one of my workshops soon!

Friday, January 17, 2014

HAPPY 2014

Happy New Year!  I hope this post finds you rested, and if you're not then I hope that you have a lot of fabulous stories to share about your holiday soirees.  My holiday was full of  yet another set of transitions, but I have a feeling this will be the last physical transition for a long while.  I sold my home of 13 years in early December....

...and purchased a new house right before Christmas.  After looking all over Seattle, I found a darling 1926 Tudor.  Believe it or not, it is on a street called "the trick-or-treat" street.  The entire street gets decked out and apparently hundreds of kids come through for candy.  I can see the Halloween decor already!

In the Summer I'll be changing the exterior color palette and working on the front landscaping, but now I am in the middle of a fairly extensive interior remodel.  By the way, beginning a remodeling project a week before Christmas is not something I would recommend.  However, I am very grateful that I have the opportunity to start the year in a fresh space that I can truly say is all my own.  

Of course just as I closed on this house I was offered an opportunity to work in NYC, working in a field I love, and decided to pass on the opportunity and stay rooted in Seattle.  Although, NYC was fascinating, and I left my heart in SF, Seattle is my home. 

I understand what my mom and dad meant after all of those years, it is true the older you get the wiser you become - and seriously thank God for that!  The one thing that I know for sure after my experience over the past two years, is that being grounded, surrounded by good friends and family is irreplaceable.  

I'm thankful for the lessons that came from 2012 & 2013, they have shifted my priorities and made me see what is really valuable in life : not acknowledgement, credit, or "getting to the next level" professionally, but instead authenticity (in relationship to self and others), acceptance (of the past, and the present) and living full of grace (as often as you can, being kind to yourself and to others).   

The other thing I have learned....

....because life is challenging for all of us and sometimes others can see us more clearly than we can. 

Here's to embracing all that comes with growth and change - exciting times are ahead! 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


I was in Sun Valley ringing in 2013 and was talking to one of my best friends about what we wanted for ourselves for the year.  I said, I want to be a whole person. A huge part of that has been letting go of the past - past relationships, and choices I have made and the outcome of those choices.

We came up with this sign for "whole person," I raised my hands over my head and made a circle  (sometimes we do that so I am reminded of my quest this year).

Surprisingly, there is a calming affect when I make that circle, I also realized that it was actually a meditation pose which seems like another sign from the universe that I truly need to give meditation a chance.   

I have shared with you my state of reinvention, and I am excited to share that I am making progress.  I am intrigued about the path that is revealing itself to me professionally, and it feels for the first time in a long time like it will provide me with the balance I need in life to be truly happy.

Personally I am working on opening up and being vulnerable again.  It feels good.  I'm doing the hard work, the emotional heavy lifting.  This journey is part of my life story and being a whole person in the end means loving myself through the difficult chapters and the good ones.

I was listening to Brene Brown, if you haven't heard her TedX talk on Vulnerability it is worth taking the time to hear her out.  However, in this conversation she was sharing her beliefs about things you can cultivate (practice) to become a wholehearted person.

These reminded me of the conversation at New Years that I had with my friend, and listening to her was like a little nudge, reminding me of the commitment I made to myself at the beginning of 2013. With the transition from Summer to Fall on Sunday, I am happy that I too am transitioning into the whole person I have always wanted to be.  

Friday, September 6, 2013


One of the things that I am finding in this process of reinvention is that there is a voice in my head that keeps chiming in.  Are you sure you want to do that?  That won't work. You've been down this path before.  You haven't changed, or learned from your past mistakes.  On, and on, and on.  I have fought that voice in my head my entire life.  Many times I have been able to overcome the repeated voice, but have never realized (until this recent journey of self discovery) that those thoughts are not  who I am, and sometimes not even based in facts.  That is a BIG concept.  The thoughts that I have are just that thoughts, not reality.

I have always said "I am a passionate person" that is why I am emotional or that is why my life is a roller coaster.  Now, what I realize is that it really has nothing to do with passion.  It has everything to do with my reaction to my thoughts.  When you aren't able to separate your thoughts from who you are, it can make life tough for you and for everyone around you.  And, it can also make it impossible to move forward and achieve the success you deserve.

I was watching one of my favorite shows, Super Soul Sunday, when I had this realization.  It is true, there is a separation of your psyche and your soul.  Whether you like Oprah or not, her content on Super Soul Sunday can be very thought provoking and I have found every episode extremely helpful in this process of reinvention.  Here is the clip that made me realize that I am not my thoughts, and my thoughts are not always fact.

Stepping out of my way means taking a breath and looking at the thought and realizing that isn't who I am.  So, how do you manage your thoughts?  Check it out:

I am so excited because as I grow and learn more about myself and who I am as a person, my path to reinvention becomes clearer.  Through that process it has become easier to let go of the things that have been dragging me down, the past, and the people and grasp the new opportunities and people in front of me.

Thank you to everyone who commented on my Phsyics of the Quest post, and for all of your direct emails too.  It is good to know that you appreciate my openness, and that this process for me is resonating and helping some of you too.  Here's to more epiphanies and self discovery!

Monday, July 29, 2013


I have had this quote on my fridge, wall, desktop, and phone..."Life isn't about finding yourself, it's about creating yourself."  It has been my must create the life you want.   I am sure you can tell from my past posts, and the numerous blocks of silence on this blog, that I have been through a variety of life changes in the past two years.  As much as I still believe there is truth in this quote, I am stuck.  It feels a bit like writers block.  The question I am faced with is once you have created what you think you want, and you find out that it didn't lead you to where you really want to be, what is next? 

The only answer I can come up with is reinvention.  Sitting with a blank book in front of me contemplating what's next. 

Before I can reinvent, there are hard questions that need to be answered.  If what I wanted before, didn't lead me to where I want to be now then I assume that I need to ask myself different questions.  I'm used to questions like, "where do you want to be in five years."  But,  I have been so focused on where I want to be in the future that I lost track of what I value on a daily basis, and that's what has lead me here.  

Some would argue it is a "mid-life" crisis.  I disagree, I think we go through phases of these transformations throughout our lives where we are forced to reinvent ourselves based on our life experiences.  They are labeled a "crisis" because there is a sudden realization that we haven't become what we value, and that can cause us to reach for things that we believe will make us happy but in reality it is only a "quick fix."  Those quick fixes can be as large as taking a job you aren't passionate about, to jumping into a relationship before we are ready, and they can be as small as buying that expensive pair of shoes or eating an entire pint of ice cream. Do I sound like I am speaking from experience?  Here's the thing, quick fixes only delay our happiness.  

The question:  what are the steps to reinvention?  How do I start?  

I want to start from a place of gratitude.  Gratitude for the amazing experiences I have had, for the people that have crossed my path along the way, and for the time now to re-invent my life.  

I remember at the beginning of this journey I watched the movie Eat, Pray, Love what seemed to be a million times.  One of the final monologues is about the Physics of the Quest - it's a great reminder at times like these.  

If you come to this blog for design tips, or design inspiration, I promise that when I am ready there will be lots of that inspiration here.  Until then, the inspiration will be coming from an internal place instead of an external place.  I have always wanted to be sure that this blog would be a place of authenticity, not just another design blog posting pretty pictures.  It isn't about numbers, metrics, or how many "eyeballs" my blog gets.  It is about finding inspiration in a variety of ways.   If one person reads this, and can relate, doesn't feel alone, or is inspired it is worth it.   So, in staying true to that my posts will vary depending on where I am in my own journey.  I'll only look back to share stories to shed light on what led me on this personal quest.  I hope you'll read along, and share where you are in your own journey.  

Monday, May 6, 2013


I am working on a little top secret Bridal Shower - but am so in love with the color palette that I had to share it.

Keep your eyes peeled, this is a celebration for a very special lady!  I'll be able to share details soon. 

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