The Scary & Fantastic Decision to Invest In Yourself

For the last few years, I have been blessed to be a part of a couple of different business groups--ones full of inspiring, smart, supportive fellow entrepreneurs. I travel a couple of times a year to be with them, to learn how to better support YOU as my client, and grow as a person and a business owner. IT IS WONDERFUL. 

However, it isn't always easy. 

I always have a bit of trepidation whenever I go away, pulling myself out of the day-to-day of my business and all my responsibilities. I worry about all kinds of things--the kids, the husband, the dogs (no need to worry about the cat--he is always fine).  I rush around sending last minute emails, packing my suitcase,  trying not to forget anything that I need...

But if I am honest with myself, the real reason I am nervous is because I am about to do something new. I am about to do something that is different from the way I always have done things, I am investing time and money in myself, and I am landing smack-dab in the middle of an environment that is all about growing and stretching oneself. What a bunch of uncomfortable but oh-so-powerful things to do.

Now that I am back home from my latest trip, I wanted to tell you that I have a new appreciation for the nervous place you may be in if you are considering working on your house in the coming months. A renovation, redesign, or reorganization is a way of stepping up and grabbing life with both hands. House projects challenge 'the way things have always been' in a big way-- in your current family situation and even in the larger context of your family of origin. How your family homes have always been lived in may or may not be the way you want to move forward in your life. And change is hard. 

A house project shows that you have decided to invest money and time in yourself---because creating a nurturing, inspiring, beautiful space to call home is an amazing outward sign that you value yourself and are stepping forward into your life in a meaningful way.  

It was no coincidence that I stumbled across this card at Trader Joe's last week...


The inside of the card reads:

"Congratulations on a place of your own!"

A place of your own--that is what I encourage you to create, even though it can be a bit scary at times.

A place of your own-- a home that is a restorative, supportive, foundational element as you live your life fully, extend hospitality to those you love,  and do all the good work you were put here on Earth to do. 



Take Blah and Make It Beautiful (A Quick BEFORE & AFTER!)

I have to say, most rooms we find boring or drab are just this close to becoming WONDERFUL. 


Take a look...

Guest Bedroom Before.jpg

This is a guest room in my client's house, and it has worked perfectly well for her mother-in-law and other family members to come stay ...

But now that they are getting ready to sell their house, the room needs to impress a bit more. We wanted to wow future buyers--and not spend a lot of money doing so. 

Take a look at the space now: 

Guest Bedroom After.jpg

We reused existing draperies (rehung them wider to give the windows more presence), and found a blue comforter (that my client already had) to carry the blue color of the drapes on to the bed... 

Guest Room After 2.jpg

To give the room the pulled-together look I was after, I found accessories that would unify the space--inexpensive decorative pillows, pillow covers, and throw,  beautiful plates to hang on the wall, a stylish lamp for the bedside...

However, the statement piece that really ties it all together, is the large-scale art we found to hang over the bed. 

Guest Bedroom After 3.jpg

Working with mostly what we already had on hand, we recreated this space into a room that now has more presence, and will add more to my client's bottom line when they go to put their house on the market. 

No more blah--just beautiful! :)

What a lone woman accomplished, and how it can inspire you...

When we are truly intentional about it, our homes can be an amazing vehicle to share with the world the things we love, the things we value, and the ways we want to contribute and make a difference--a true expression of ourselves and what is in our hearts. 

This past week I came across this article about Madam C.J. Walker, the first female self-made millionaire in America, and the story of her journey "from cabin to castle." Being fascinated as I am with old houses, and people's life stories, I was intrigued...

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What a REMARKABLE woman, and what a glorious house...

The photo above is from her company, Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Co.’s, 1924 Christmas card, showing her humble birthplace (she was the first in her family to be born free) in Louisiana, and the stunning, elegant home she built, Villa Lewaro, in New York's Hudson Valley. 

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In this article, her great-granddaughter, A'Lelia Bundles states:

"Walker wished for Villa Lewaro to serve as an inspiration to African-Americans at a time when racist and discriminatory Jim Crow laws denied their basic civil rights and excluded them from educational opportunities and economic prosperity. She built her mansion, she said, not for personal aggrandizement but rather 'to convince members of my race of the wealth of business possibilities, to point to young Negroes what a lone woman accomplished and to inspire them to do big things.'”

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I really wanted to share this with you this week, because it so inspired me--and I hope it will do the same for you. You can read the full story HERE. 


“As one of our National Treasures, Villa Lewaro continues to live up to its role in inspiring all of us to reach our highest potential.” Brent Leggs, director of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s recently launched African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund