Lifestyle: Getting Away From It All

When you work for yourself, it’s a gray line where work begins and ends. There is always something I need to be focusing my attention on. As an entrepreneur, designer and mom, it can be difficult to find time for myself. I realize I need to work hard and have discipline to be successful, but getting away from it all, is a way to inspire my work and clear my head. I find that even escaping from it all for a day, can help me redirect my passion and juggle my work and home life.

Part of my work as an interior designer, centers around finding comfort for my clients in their homes. I find that even in my own life, comfort is important, not only in my home but the other place I send a lot of time in – my car.

When it comes to my car it is basically my hub for everything – work, life, motherhood. Sometimes I’m in it all day long going from one client meeting to another, to baseball practice, swimming, or on an adventure with my family.

For me there are three things I look for in a car: safety, design, and functionality. Safety is the first and most important since I want my children to be as safe as possible. Design is always important to me – I like things to look beautiful. And finally, functionality. I want a car that works well and is intuitive to use.

Recently, I was able to take a day reprieve from my responsibilities and take a road trip with BMW to Big Bear Lake in Southern California. I find much of my inspiration in nature and a drive and a hike in such a beautiful place can inspire me in my work and ground me in my busy life. And to be able to do so in their brand new BMW X7, which is such a comfortable and intelligent car, that made the trip even more rewarding.

The first thing I notice about the X7, is the beauty of the design. Both inside and out, the design was important and looks great. The interior of the X7 is inviting, calm, and sleek. Just like the design I do for homes, the X7 seems to exhibit a simplicity of style that speaks for itself.

Driving a sleek car that handles well, the X7 is the ultimate drive. It also functions for someone who is using their car for multiple functions. With room in the back for my design tools, sports equipment, groceries, or whatever else I’m lugging around. I also have the well-being of knowing I have a safe car on the road.

What do you do to filter out all of the noise in your life and redirect your energy when life gets hectic?

Photos by Courtney Cutchen Photography for BMW

Created in partnership with BMW – thank you for supporting the brands that keep this blog running.

Lifestyle: Spring Has Sprung For The Kids

I’ve always been a city girl. I was born in Washington, DC, I moved to Mexico City when I was five and then eventually to Portland, Oregon. For the past 15 years, San Francisco has been home for me.

While I love everything a city has to offer, I also tend to gravitate out of the city – especially the North Bay area. There are open spaces for the kids to play and great places to hang out. One of my favorite places to go is Marin Country Mart. I’ve been going since they opened with just a few shops. Now it is bustling with restaurants, great boutiques, and open spaces that are so nice to spend time in. One shop I always stop by and find something interesting, is Poppy Store. They have the most unique children’s clothing, shoe selection and accessories (Amelia loves the bows). I also always find gifts there for baby showers, and even things for myself! It’s a warm and inviting shop with a carousel of horses for the kids to ride outside, and a huge birdcage indoors. A table for the kids to draw at is always an attraction for Amelia.

The outfits on my kiddos are some of my favorites that I found at this spring at Poppy Store. When possible, I like being able to find things that are unique and out of the ordinary. This little sundress has quickly become Amelia’s favorite. The saltwater sandals in rose gold are perfect with her adorable dress and bow. Jackson needs clothes he can run, jump and basically be in perpetual motion in. These shorts are perfect for the warmer spring days. But it’s never hot in San Francisco so I paired it with a polo and sweater. The hand embroidery “rebel rebel” is the perfect message for my boy. He is wearing a pair of Birkenstock’s that have a back to them so he can run as fast as he wishes.

If you’re in the Bay Area, take the time to pop into Poppy Store. You can also go to Poppy at the Montecito Country Mart and the Brentwood Country Mart. I am sure you will find unique and fun clothes for the kiddos.

April Moodboard

April showers bring May flowers – at least that’s what I’m hoping for as we enter this new month with a forecast of rain. We’ve week after week of rain this winter. A few glimpses into spring that have been a complete tease but I’m hoping that means we won’t have fog this summer. I can dream, right?

This month is a little on the wild side. Flying to Atlanta to style a huge project. Back to SF to help cohost Jenni Kayne’s book launch at Marin Country Mart on April 9th from 12-2pm (rsvp here if you want to join). Then off to NYC for a few book meetings. Y’all we just approved the color proof and it’s beyond anything I ever imagined!

After months of gloomy weather all I’m inspired by is making everything in my life light and airy. I want to wear all white. I want to declutter my home to make it feel fresh and new. Maybe add a few pieces that give it a new look.

Be sure to keep up with everything that’s happening day to day on Instagram. Where I share how our design projects coming along. What the kids are loving. And what adventures are happening in life.

Cheers to a new month!

Real Talk, Real Moms: Solo Parenting

It’s 8pm, and I’m exhausted. When you go through the nighttime routine day after day, night after night alone, it begins to feel as though it’s groundhog’s day.

By the time we finish the last book and the multiple “I love you” I tip toe to our living room fully intending to pull out my computer to work or even watch a show but with my body aching, tired eyes, and mushy brain – it usually doesn’t happen.

Every year in February I embark on 40 plus days of solo parenting. My husband leaves for spring training in Arizona with the San Francisco Giants. Suddenly it’s just myself and my two kids. I’m not going to sugar coat it – it’s hard. But I wouldn’t have it any other way because we are both in careers that we have dreamed of having and we have always supported each other and our dreams. Some might not know this but Eric and I are high school sweethearts and since the beginning we’ve had goals in our careers – we’ve been able to support each other through each stage – through the highs and the lows.

With the being said, when it comes to this time of year I’m constantly ask “how do you do it?” or “I don’t know how you do it?” sometimes I don’t even know what to say except “I have to do it, it’s just become the new normal.” What I’ve realized each year is that I could totally dwell on how hard it is but I’ve had a mindset for most of my life that why should I dwell on the bad parts of things, there are so many more amazing moments that make up for it. I could choose to be miserable. I could choose to feel bad for myself. I could choose to be angry. But I choose to enjoy these moments with my kids and thrive in it all.

THE HARDEST PARTS:

  • There is no one to back me up, no one to answer the constant questions, no one to pass the torch to when I’m getting slightly impatient but can’t show frustration because what will that show my kids.
  • I miss my husband but to watch my kids miss their dad it’s even harder. I’m both mom and dad while he’s away and I can’t fill the void when Eric is gone. I try to be the basketball player he wants me to be or the jokester or the one that makes him belly laugh to no end but it’s just not the same as when dad does it.
  • I also need to support Eric as well, because while it’s hard on me, it’s also excruciatingly hard on him. Reassuring him that we are good and counting down the days to home coming home is important.

WHAT MAKES IT EASIER:

  • Leaning on friends and family. I’m horrible at asking for help. Luckily, I have family and friends who help me each week. My mom in particular plays a huge role in the days Eric is gone.
  • Find moments for myself. This is something I made a priority a little more this year. Having a few moments to myself that aren’t revolving around work makes me a better mom.
  • Meal planning. Y’all this is key. If I don’t do a Sunday grocery shop, then my week is totally messed up. Also, I basically cook the same meals every week. There isn’t time to try something new – it’s all about what works, what’s easy and what we love.
  • Keeping routines. This is key for my kids. They know that they have activities on certain days and it somehow gets them through the week better. My kids thrive on routines and knowing what the week has in store for them. With that being said, I try to do something fun and exciting once a week that they can really look forward to. Even if it’s as simple as a coffee date before school – it seems extra special.
  • Go to bed with a tidy house. No matter how exhausted I am after the kids go to bed I make sure to send at least 10-15 mins cleaning up the house. Waking up in the morning to a tidy house sets the tone for my entire day.

This year in particular I’ve felt like all of us (myself and the kids) were much more adjusted to him being away. With only one more week to go I feel as though I’m nearing the end of the marathon 46 days.

I want to say, by no means am I comparing myself to all of the amazing single parents out there. It’s drastically different to be a solo parent for a period of time than a single parent. Each come with their own set of challenges. I cherish that even while I’m a solo parent, I can still call or text Eric to vent about a tantrum, silly thing our kids say, and to tell him about how tired I am. For all the single parents and parents that do solo parenting while their spouse travels – you aren’t alone. Reach out, talk about what’s hard, lean on the people you trust in your tribe because you need that support no matter how strong you are!

HERE ARE ALL THE MAMAS WHO WROTE ON TODAY’S TOPIC:

The Fresh Exchange
Lovely Indeed
The Effortless Chic
Design for Mankind
The Proper Blog
The Sweetest Occasion
Oh Lovely Day
Parker Etc

Be sure to check out the past Real Talk Real Moms series I’ve participated in HERE!