Casual Friday: January 12, 2018

January 12, 2018

We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 




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Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here. 

We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen. 

Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.

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A few weeks ago, I was going through Instagram Stories and a fashion blogger that I follow started talking about how a few months ago she was feeling unmotivated to blog and the creativity wasn’t free-flowing like it once had been. My interest was piqued because I, too, have had long stretches of feeling overwhelmed, unmotivated and uninspired in the last year. She and I came to the same realization–I was stretched too thin. I’ve learned for me, stress can kill creativity faster than just about anything else. I have felt it over and over and it was so validating to hear that someone else came to the same conclusion. Her cure was simple: she needed to hire someone and we did, too. We haven’t talked about it very much, but in the fall, we hired an intern! Her name is Brooke and she is majoring in Film Production at the local university and knows the Adobe programs pretty well. We actually first met her when she nannied for us in the Spring and when she started school again in the fall, we didn’t want to lose her! Our workload just keeps getting bigger and bigger as we take on more projects have more ideas and hiring Brooke on part-time has really helped me feel motivated and even excited again! She is just such a kind, sweet, hard worker who is easy to love–and bonus, can operate a camera. While she doesn’t write anything for the blog, she creates links, puts together mood boards (with pieces I choose), helps set up photo shoots we have, and so much more. After the holidays, we sat down together and filled in an editorial calendar for the entire month–that’s never happened before!–and I am feeling so ready for 2018. We have so many big ideas, but also a lot of roles and while there are things only I can do: be a mom to our girls, be Chris’s wife, feed Polly, write this blog, post on Instagram, design the rooms we want to do—there are things that anyone can do: create links, edit pictures, steam something for a photoshoot, etc. So I guess what I’m saying is, in 2018, I’m focusing on doing the things that only I can do, and doing them really well. I want to be a great mom and a great wife and create exceptional content. And now I’m not afraid to hire out the other things–I think that will help me be a better me.

Other Fun things this week!

• This flat-lay confirms it once again–Katie Hackworth can do no wrong (and I want to be her). Yes, please!

• My favorite Valentine’s shirt for kids–$9! (haha!)

• Thank you all so much for the feedback on our bathroom layout this week! You definitely gave us a lot to think about and we’re tweaking a few things!

• I don’t know where my mind is, but somehow I didn’t realize when the Hearth and Hand Target collection came out before Christmas that there would be a Spring collection, too! Like, of course this is going to be an ongoing thing! This season I have my eye on these 5 things:

  1.  this dinner bell which I adore (I have a thing for dinner bells!)
  2.  this stoneware pitcher that would make a great vase, too!
  3.  this floor pillow
  4.  this leather storage bin (omg)
  5.  and this cute calendar!

Natasha has been practicing Konmari for three years and I’m glued to all of her organizing posts!

• I just bought some new faux stems (these) for the front room so I thought it was a good time to round up a few favorite faux plants!

1. Fig Branch | 2. Olive Branch | 3. Snake Plant | 4. Fig Tree | 5. Green Petal Branch | 6. Olive Stem | 7. Fig Tree | 8. Hydrangea Stem | 9. Fig Plant | 10. Monstera Leaf | 11. Eucalyptus Branch | 12. Fern Spray


Hope you all have a great weekend! We’re going to start posting a quick post on Saturdays with a list of the weekend sales happening as a bonus post–since they can clog up my Instagram Stories fast–so look for that tomorrow!



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What do you think?

  1. Andrea says:

    Thank you so much for this post. I have been feeling the same way lately. Overwhelmed and under inspired. Thanks for reminding us all that we don’t need to feel like we have to do everything ourselves and it is ok to get help. It has been on my mind lately and I think this is what I needed to hear to just do it and save my sanity.

  2. Lori Davey says:

    Brooke loves working for you guys!

  3. Anne says:

    Good job hiring help! Smart.

  4. katy says:

    Seriously, I can’t believe you waited so long to hire help! Running a blog has a lot of grunt work completely separate from the creative side. You should probably think of getting another hired so that when Brooke graduates or moves on, someone else can already be trained and make for a seamless transition…and then hire another for the same reason! I support whatever you have to do to make the great content you do! xo

  5. Amanda B. says:

    You are taking all the bathroom feedback so gracefully. We internet readers have a lot of opinions!

  6. Mary says:

    This sounds like a great plan! But I don’t think “anyone” can do all the things listed. It takes technical savvy, an artistic eye, skill and organization :) I listened to your podcast for the first time…really enjoyed it.

  7. Hope says:

    I saw the picture on instagram no thought, “OMG she dyed her hair!”

  8. Christine W. says:

    Yes! The Hearth & Hand lone is contracted with target for FOUR years, and they’re doing 8 floorsets a year! So that means we have 30 additional floorsets coming our way between now and November 2021. Woot woot! And I only know this because I was picking the brain of a very excited target employee the day before the original release :)

  9. Jennifer S. says:

    Good for you Julia! Finding that balance is tough and admitting you need help is half the battle. I’m glad you found Brooke!

  10. Amanda says:

    Good for you for hiring help! I bet it makes a huge difference! I love all of those faux plants – thanks for that! I’ve been looking for a few good options for our new home that gets almost NO natural light!

  11. Patricia says:

    It just makes sense to do what only you can do and get help. Blog readers like me just see the finished product and pretty photos and we have no idea how much work can go into a post. Rather like the swan serenely gliding along and underneath, the feet paddling like crazy.
    How about a post about posting? Behind the curtain…

  12. Anna says:

    I don’t think there’s any shame in hiring help, and an intern is even better! Because you’re getting to share your knowledge with someone else, so I’m sure it is super valuable for Brooke. Thanks for sharing your fav fake plants. I love a live plant, but truthfully I’m a fake plant kind of girl. :)

  13. Lori says:

    Ooooh, I am a professional gardener and can spot a fake plant at fifty paces, but that #3 sansevieria is FAB, and I am buying one for the big pot on my shady front porch where nobody will be able to tell the difference and it will never freeze! :D

  14. Sarah says:

    Stress DOES kill creativity. Having an intern will definitely free of time for you to do the fun stuff :)

  15. Katie Richards says:

    Hooray for hiring help! I’m a VA for several WordPress-based business owners and often have to remind them when their lives get crazy that I am here to take over things they can delegate so they can focus on being better fathers/mothers/wives/friends. I use the same philosophy in my life too and have some homeschooled teenage girls over once or twice a week to watch my preschool and younger boys. Life is so much less stressful when you are able to accept help!

  16. Stacy G. says:

    Good for you for hiring an intern. Focusing on the things you love will yield the best results in productivity. It always does.

    I did get a bit of a kick out of the fake snake plant. I’ve been ignoring our real one for over a year, and it is still going strong. The rest of them? I could absolutely kill the live versions of those in no time.

    • Monica says:

      I thought the fake snake plant was funny too since I’ve heard the live ones are more than easy to take care of. PLUS, a live snake plant is very good at cleaning indoor air which can often be dirtier than the air outside. I’ve been thinking I should get a real one! I love a good fake plant sometimes though. Good post! :)

      Also, “stress can kill creativity faster than just about anything else” — I’m going to have to remember this one. I think it’s definitely true! Seems to be for me anyway. I’m glad you hired an intern. That’s awesome!

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