Why I don’t decorate for the holidays

This is not a picture of my house, but doesn’t it look festive?! Since October I’ve been seeing one blog post after another from bloggers showing their new fall decor, and then their new Thanksgiving decor, and now their Christmas decorations. While I love seeing the beautiful decorations and am in awe of some of the things people put together out there, sometimes it seems like it’s just a contest to see who can show us the most different ways you can decorate for Christmas because every year they scrap everything from the past and come up with something totally…

Having more, when others have less…

We are on an amazing trip to Barbados this week. It’s pretty spectacular. It’s a breathtaking island, we are surrounded by beautiful water, a lush green landscape and I should be relaxing and enjoying a pretty well deserved week off. But part of me feels guilty. How can I enjoy this amazing trip when there are so many other people who are dealing with tragedies, or struggling somehow? Those of us who are empathic are extra sensitive to things around us. It can be an extraordinary way to be in the world. You connect to other people and the things…

The three things I always do before going on vacation.

You guys! We are going to Barbados {tomorrow ~ eeek!!}! I’m so excited. I never traveled a lot as a kid, or really as an adult until I started life with my manfriend who is a big traveler. It’s definitely growing on me, lol. But before we go anywhere, I take time to make sure everything at home is clean and tidy… I’m a big homebody, and for me there’s nothing worse than coming back home from a great trip to a messy house! And I want to be able to have the vacation, and not be stressing about everything…

Hope chests, hoarding, planning for the future, living in the present.

I really love the idea of hope chests. I love the idea of collecting beautiful treasures that you’ll use someday, for your wedding, or your home, etc. When I was a wee-teenager I remember asking my parents for new bedroom linens for Christmas. When they came I didn’t even open them, I saved them for when I had my own bedroom. Sadly we never finished the extra bedroom and I never used the bed linens. Then at some point it had been so long that they weren’t even ‘me’ anymore and that was that… I was never able to really…

What’s your rug style?

Today it’s all about rugs, and I’m sharing a few of my favorite styles with you {in case the title of the post hadn’t given it away}! I love a great area rug. Nine times out of ten I’d rather have hardwood floors and a great rug than anything else. It’s rare that I’ll get on board with wall to wall carpet {somehow it’s never great carpet and I feel like it’s hard to maintain and keep looking great. Unless I am installing it brand new for myself in my own house, I cringe and take a pass, lol}. Just…

Smoking kills {your house sale}

I was out with some clients recently and we saw a fantastic house, it was huge, on an oversized lot, and in a good location… but the sellers were smokers. We were skeptical from the beginning, but without going in person there’s no way to know how bad the smell is. But the house had enough appealing elements that we decided to go see it and just see.     UGH… even through the overwhelming glade plug-ins you could smell it. All the walls were the tell tale yellowish off white with nicotine stains. So disappointing! I wanted to give the…

Our house search has me feeling like Goldilocks… where’s the ‘just right’ one?!

We are in the house hunt these days and I’m getting a little taste of what my own clients go through during their house search! Sometimes it’s fun and exciting and sometimes well… it’s not. We purposefully rented a temporary space for part of this year so that we could get a great deal on just the right fixer upper in the winter, when real estate is a little slower and you can usually get property for a better value than in the spring. Even though I know we’ll find something I am starting to feel some pressure to just…

Answering the question: Should I rent for a while instead of selling right now?

Even in the midst of the best market there can be a great deal of stress and apprehension around selling your home. This could be coming from a myriad of things, but usually it all boils down to being worried about whether you’ll be able to sell your house for the amount of money that you want. Every now and then clients ask me if they should hold off and selling and just rent out their place for a year or so… and almost every time the answer is ~ no. Does it ever make sense to just rent out…

Sometimes buying vintage really IS better. Sharing my favorite vintage spots in Chicago!

You guys know I absolutely love vintage things. Buildings, furniture, clothes {even if I can’t ever find anything that fits me!}, you name it I probably love it. I came across this great article recently that talked about how sometimes it really is better to buy certain things vintage rather than new. I mean, duh. Often, you can get a great quality item, whether it’s furniture, a rug, art, or some other house ware, that’s made better than what you can buy today and is still in great shape. Vintage items like this don’t lose their value like new items do,…

Is being organized nature or nurture? Learning to put things away…

{the neat method} What started off as a surprisingly slow fall at work has suddenly become unbelievably busy and of course, every time my life gets busy my house somehow becomes a complete disaster zone. You guys, my laundry chair has become laundry pile of doom, is there even a chair under there?! Who knows, I can’t see it anymore! Who out there is naturally organized? Anyone? Is there anyone who has crazy weeks or is just always busy in general but their house somehow always stays looking put together and pretty? I think those people do exist but sadly,…