Sunday, September 23, 2018


The online world can be dog-eat-dog experience for many, and it often takes a strong person to succeed. Studies now suggest that social media brings an added burden of depression to women. And rightfully so, because many women's relationships are competitive, catty and marked by jealousy and manipulation. While I love my fellow women, my perception is that a great number of them haven't learned yet how to be effective supporters of each other, but that's changing rapidly.

Thrive was founded in 2014 and kept afloat by girl-boss and friend, Bree Pair. It’s an online platform for creatives (i.e. bloggers, social media influencers, and makers), with really nothing more on the agenda but to help one another to succeed. In fact, the motto is, “Because when one blogger thrives, we all THRIVE.” (Gah, this gives me all the warm fuzzies!)

Pair hosts an annual 2-day conference for creatives, a multitude of online resources, local meet-ups, and her latest endeavor, a podcast with everything useful for those interested in building their influence online.

I was invited to the Thrive podcast release party last week, held at a Tomball, TX florist, Bramble & Bee, a home to fragrant petals, unique gifts, the charm of old, and the perfect setting for a local gathering of friends and strangers coming together for the same purpose…connection.

One of the evening highlights was giveaways from the Erin Condren product line. New to Erin Condren’s planners? Her signature LifePlanner was designed for paper planner lovers. Her planners are so well thought out and made with the best quality paper and glamourous coils; I could not stop thumbing the pages. I especially loved the quote pages that can easily be repurposed as prints in frames throughout your home or office! Erin Condren products are ideal for recording dreams and setting goals.

New to podcast listening? Now is the perfect time to start! There’s something for all here at Thrive, and all here are welcome!

Friday, September 14, 2018


Friday, September 7, 2018


Leaving the proverbial nest and into his own college apartment may have been disorienting for our young adult son, but it was a dream for a mom who delights in the challenge of simple home design on a budget. 

The mind-set of today is an awakening for me, of the times we’re in and how much I’ve aged. It’s not that I was averse to decorating my first apartment, still, it wouldn’t have occurred to me to buy curtains or a coffee maker, much less a 75” TV. I was living on a student’s budget, as they say.

Or used to say. Witnessing the shopping frenzy at the big-box stores, college freshmen checking off items from a list they’d obtained from Pinterest, I wondered if the phrase still applies. 
With hundreds of television shows focused on design and websites like Pinterest, we’re all savvier about decorating and desire to live in well-designed spaces. That may be true, but doing it on a budget is still my narrative.
Between Craigslist, thrifting at second-hand stores, and my beloved Target sales, we furnished our son’s college apartment for less than $850. Reusing and recycling is significant, but it’s also important to judge furniture and supplies for its durability. Even the most careful of person will find it difficult to keep their college possessions in good shape as they move in and out of dorm rooms and college apartments for the next four years. Hardy furniture can be expensive when purchased new, so consider a gently used piece, even if it needs some minor sprucing up. A small can of paint can totally transform a lackluster table into an incredible conversation piece.
And lately, it’s not unusual to see fancy college dorm (or apartment) room photos. In fact, some designers even specialize in the trend.
Below are a few images from my minimalist design application, with respect to my son’s personality style, using muted colors, adding interest with texture and a bit of mixed patterns. A fluffy faux fur rug covers tan linoleum tiles in the bathroom, and a fern freshens up the rather bland kitchen – just to name a few.

Sure, at this point in his life, his needs are simple: a sofa to play video games from, a mattress on the floor to sleep on and odor eliminator spray to mask the strange smells of his well-used furniture. But I really wanted to do something that’s warm and cozy, something that gives a sense of home.

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