Lifestyle: Moving From Dream to Reality

You may remember that I wrote a few months ago about beginning to plan for the future (here) and trying to make some goals we have as a family, become a reality. Sometimes I feel as though I’m running so quickly all of the time, I hardly have the chance to look at what I have accomplished and where I hope to be in the future. Having someone to discuss this with on a regular basis, helps me to not only move toward those goals, but constantly reassess the roads to take in order to get there.

Recently, I had the good fortune of catching up with a financial planner at John Hancock whom I had spoken to in March for a follow up chat. While I am not a John Hancock client, I enjoyed speaking with a John Hancock advisor (who I love!) well versed in financial planning strategies. And I’ve actually made significant progress. My design business is growing, my book is coming out in a few short months, and with our tax returns this year, we were able to put a huge amount into a fund for our children’s education.

We all have goals, but turning them into reality sometimes requires a little help and guidance. John Hancock offers various tools and services to their clients during the financial planning process. For example, they have a mobile application called Twine that provides a clear picture of how much you need to save to accomplish your goals.

I’ll continue to assess my goals, change direction and enjoy the road toward financial stability! What do you think helps you the most when setting up financial goals for yourself?

Photography by Claire Giffen

Created in partnership with John Hancock – thank you for supporting the brands that keep this blog running!

On the Bookshelf

Spring has meant there is a wonderful burst of new books on the bookshelf! Over the next few weeks, I’ll be reviewing my favorites. I learn so much from every design book I read, and much of what I learn, improves how I approach my own design work.

This week, I’m reviewing two of my favorites:

Pacific Natural: Simple Seasonal Entertaining by Jenni Kayne
Kerry Joyce: The Intangible by Kerry Joyce

Jenny Kayne has written a must-have book, Pacific Natural. What I love about this book, is how it’s organized by season. All the recipes and meal ideas are centered around fresh ingredients abundant during the seasons. Each meal is not only a visual treat, but also tastes incredibly delicious. I recently recreated the citrus lunch in the spring chapter for my husband’s birthday. Even the kiddos loved the kale and blood orange salad. And the naked kumquat cake was such a nice twist on a traditional cake. There are so many helpful tips as well. One of my favorite parts are the ideas for parting gifts for your guests. Ideas ranged from rosemary spray to cranberry sauce, a kit to make smores, or a citronella candle. Even the back of the book has great staple recipes for dressing and broths and stocks. And to forget to mention the visual splendor on each page, would be a mistake. Many of the photographs have also inspired me to change details within my own home.

The Intangible by Kerry Joyce is a book I saw at one of my favorite stores, London + Wood, and bought it based on the beauty of the cover alone (Yes, I do judge a book by its cover!). Joyce grew up expecting her would be an oceanographer (me too!). But in his teen years. Joyce managed to perform in over 60 plays. It was here, he began his love of storytelling. Quite by accident, he ended up as a set designer, even winning an Emmy for set direction. With time, he opened a shop – Design Resource – on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. He began traveling and collecting architectural elements he found. Many of his clients urged him to step into interior design and he eventually did.

Kerry Joyce, chronicles his work, including his wide variety of stunning textiles. As a lover of storytelling and his background in set design, his life experiences have no doubt, informed his sophisticated eye for design. So while I started out buying Kerry Joyce for it’s beautiful cover, I ended up with a book filled with inspiration.

Interiors: Revitalizing Our Sofa with Perennials

While we have only had our sofa for about six years, nearly five of those years are with littles in the house. And often that means sticky fingers, leaking bottles, and even putting an indigo blanket on to cover the said stains and then the dye comes off to make the situation even worse. The sofa was definitely showing its age. I tried having it professionally cleaned, but it just wouldn’t do the trick. So, I decided to look into having it reupholstered.


I turned to Revitaliste to see wanted to take on the task of giving it a new life. The great thing about their business, is that they take care of absolutely everything. They have cultivated great connections with artisans all over the San Francisco area. I wanted the sofa to be repurposed – the waste of getting an entirely new sofa and this one ending up in a landfill – just wasn’t something I even wanted to consider. Much better to repurpose this one since it’s well built and just needed to be refreshed.

With Revitaliste on board to give it a new life, then came the harder decision – fabric! As a designer I am surrounded by gorgeous fabrics for client projects but I knew I would need something that would stand the test of time with two littles in the “spill” mode. That’s when I turned to Perennials fabrics. It’s one of my go-to sources for classic colors and materials. They aren’t just known for their outdoor fabrics anything. Much to my surprise, they have beautiful choices to decide from that look like linen.

When it came to picking a color I had a hard time deciding between a natural sand, light gray or white. It was originally upholstered in a sand linen but I wanted something a little brighter. Ultimately, I made the decision to go with the Perennials Rough n Rowdy in white and I couldn’t be happier. Now, some of you may think – white with kids but let me tell you it’s easier to clean and the first day we had the sofa back in our home, my daughter jumped up from the table and put her hands on the sofa with tomato sauce on them! I was beginning to regret my choice of white. But I quickly realized it was easily wiped off. I am in love with the weave of the fabric and the ease of stains coming out.

If you love your furniture but it need some new love, I encourage you to consider recovering your furniture instead of always buying new. It may cost the same price as a new piece but it’s one way we can reduce our footprint on this planet we call home.

Photos by Andrea Posadas
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