Revelations in New York – Getting Deep

October 5, 2017

comfy fashion ideas for New York

Ok guys…today is not going to be your typical DIY or design type of post. I am moving past the superficial and getting down on a deeper level with you.

So in case you haven’t been following along, last week I spent a few days in New York to attend the Better Homes and Gardens “BHG Stylemaker” celebration. “Stylemaker” is a title given to select bloggers and influencers (in design, fashion, culinary arts and lifestyle content), which Better Homes and Gardens reserves to those they acknowledge to be a source of inspiration for their brand and magazine (a major milestone in the blogging community) bear with me, til I get to the juicy stuff

In another post, I will be sure to give you the full recap of the event itself, but today I just want to share with you some of the revelations that occurred for me at the event and in recent days. So let me just get it all out there.

First off, I believe God (or the universe if you will) facilitates everything in my life so that I remain honest and humble. The days leading up to what should have been a glorious, glamorous day,  transpired into a shit storm of sorts.

Not to whine, but my mojo/swagger was definitely getting effed up by the minutiae of everyday life: our air unit died in 90 degree weather, my son fractured his arm 2 days prior to me leaving, the night we were supposed to fly out I cut my finger on a can of freaking green beans and had to return to the ER to get stitches, the engine in my car began smoking and then went kaput… really couldn’t make this shit up.

Keep in mind, I am a work-from-home mother of a one-year-old and a three-year-old ; therefore my life is anything but glamorous- I rarely attend swanky events and I am painfully shy. So as one might gather, I really didn’t need anything effing with my mojo on my big day, but unfortunately I arrived to the event completely sleep deprived, frazzled and with an eyesore of a bandage on my index finger as I shook the hands of  BH&G editors and bloggers I had admired for years (these people are basically celebrities to me as I don’t watch much TV). I was definitely the new kid on the block …add to that,  the socially awkward klutz.

comfortable outfits for New York City

Nonetheless, I had a major revelation while one of the keynote speakers, a branding guru who actually re-branded Better Homes and Gardens and Real Simple magazine, shared the concept of one of his inceptions, a smaller home decor magazine. He revealed that this particular magazine was conceived for those who “were tired of soul-less McMansions”. Cue the lightbulb moment in my frazzled brain

Not to bash anyone else, but nowadays it seems blogging has evolved into a side-project for wealthy people with glamorous lives to halfheartedly dabble with. I dont know about you, but all of the perfection… and the designer clothing… and the soul-less McMansions… are getting to be all too much for someone not dwelling in that sort of lifestyle. That is not my reality and after a while, it can really f$%k with your head….priorities can definitely get out of whack..

So, my promise to those of you reading my blog is to demonstrate how someone like me- socially awkward, exhausted with motherhood and very much middle class,  can still live the most beautiful version of their life possible….

You can design an amazing room using Craigslist scores,  thrifted accents and cheap swag from Homegoods. You don’t have to wear designer clothes to look like a badass bitch (and you can flaunt that mama pooch proudly). Motherhood, at times, can suck major ass….it is not as glamorous and darling as all of these Insta-moms make it out to be.

Essentially, life is not a cake walk …especially when you are middle class living in a society that values one’s ability to collect and invest wealth  much more than that of a stay-at-home mother responsible for nurturing and developing the lives of other tiny human beings (no wonder the world is so effed up!). And while life is not easy, it can still be pretty damn beautiful and amazing. You have the power to create a fabulous life., and I want to help facilitate that with my content.

comfy fashion for traveling

Notice I am not referring solely to DIY and decor, because I feel I have so much more to offer you guys (and to be honest, we have already gone over budget with the remodel of our fixer upper (not to mention my engine and A/C unit going kaput and the numerous trips to the ER). Hence, I am going to have to get super creative with my remodel projects!

Basically, this compilation of word diarrhea is to define my mission to you as a blogger and as a human being. I am so fatigued with BS and I want to try to remain as genuine and honest as possible with you guys.

To those of you reading this: Please, stop comparing yourselves to the plethora of insta-celebs out there. Remember: they have nannies,  personal assistants, florists, interior designers and photographers – all who enable them to show you an unattainable version of life.

Not me, friends. I have to work hard for everything I have (and occasionally I do lose my sanity over it).  But in the broader scope, I feel I am on the road to being the best version of me, and that’s a pretty awesome feeling.

When you are on your death bed, with life flashing before your eyes, are you going to really care about that designer handbag, or how many instagram followers you’ve accrued or what car you drive? Probably not. Let’s keep our priorities straight.

So….cheers to mama pooches, TJ Maxx clothing, Craigslist furniture and keeping it real, bitches!

And in light of the horrendous Vegas situation, I cannot really find any words of my own,  but these lyrics really resonate….

vibrating with love and light
Pulsating with love and light 
In a world gone mad, a world gone mad
There must be something more than this 


PS. I promise to return next time with more helpful content and also a recap of the actual Stylemaker event.

More about Designing Vibes

    1. Hi Erica…thanks for opening your soul and your much needed message. I’m with you my friend. I’m a little farther on in the motherhood journey, but still living within my means and what you see is what I did…no designer or photographer here. More and more I am getting messages from my readers that they really appreciate the ‘what you see is what you get’ real life and realistic projects that I try to do. So take a deep breath, take care of your finger and know that you have kindred spirits out here.


      1. Your support means so much, Lynn. I am a relatively private person, but I felt compelled to get these feelings off of my chest.

    1. I just want to say I love your home and your style and am totally inspired with how you put things together. But even more so, you are such an encouraging and genuine person and I think that is the most important thing of all! So keep on keeping it real.

      1. Erin..I think we would be total besties if we didnt live on opposite ends of the country. While I sort of hate social media, I am thankful for the genuine connections I have made with incredible and inspiring people like you. Thank you so much for the love.

      1. Chelsea!! That means so much to hear from you. I admire you so much and I am so glad our paths have crossed. I am so sad I didnt get to meet you at the event. Like…so sad

    1. Erica, you are one of my very favorite bloggers because of how authentic and relatable you are- besides your awesome design style! I love, love how you keep it real- and this is a message that really needed to be said (and one I needed to hear today) 😉 Thanks.

      1. You have no idea how much that means to me, Beth. Thank you for your continued support…it truly brightens my day and keeps me going when I feel like I am writing to no one. xoxo

    1. I loved reading this and related to literally everything. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thanks for sharing your heart, Erika. I know it’s hard for so many of us stay-at-home-moms to feel like our life isn’t interesting or fabulous, but you’re right. We have to celebrate all the good in that we are fortunate enough to experience everday – like HomeGoods & Goodwill finds!! It was so great meeting you last week at the event! I need to send you our selfie 😉

      1. Rachael, thank you so much for taking the time to share some love. It means so much (especially coming from you ). You are beautiful inside and out and it was such a pleasure meeting you. I hope we get to chat again sooner than later (and yes…send me that selfie. ) Much love, babe!

    1. I enjoyed you sharing from the heart (minus the potty mouth). You are very beautiful and talented. God bless you.

    1. I can definitely relate to this. It’s important we all keep encouraging ourselves to give grace and set reasonable expectations in our personal lives. Social media is truly a blessing and a curse!

    1. Love your revelations, and keeping it real, for sure. However, we could probably all appreciate your blog more w/o the overuse of curse words.

      1. Hi Kira. Thank you so much for your feedback. When I am in a passionate state, I tend to curse.. which is all in tune with me being myself and keeping it real. And let’s just be honest, with the current state of our world, I believe their is so much more to be offended about than some harmless cursing. We are all adults. Much love to you, friend.

    1. I totally get it. I’ve been bored with my blog reading lately. I want doable projects and what they cost. I don’t need another sponsored post trying to sell me Blue Apron, Mrs Meyers (tried it and hated it…my clothes did not get clean) or how they remodeled with everything given to them. Or, a showcase of someone’s brand new home that is completely decorated with all brand new furniture! I’m trying to add four cabinets to my kitchen (1950’s bungalow) and the prices came back at around 10k. For FOUR FREAKING CABINETS! I also wanted to widen a non load bearing wall by 3 ½ feet and move two plugs…$4200! I did score at Homegoods last month when I found four matching chairs for my dining room….they never have four, it’s always 1, 2 or 3. Anyway…thanks for keeping it real!

      1. Ha ha! Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and read. Girl…home renovations are no joke (everything ends up being at least twice the cost).

    1. Erica, I love your blog, but just cannot help but ask about that totally cool necklace you are wearing not only in this post, but also in your main blog pic (yes, I noticed!) Can you please tell me where you got it, the brand, anything!??! Thanks!

    1. Thanks for sharing, Erica. Thank you for reminding us that in this society of shallowness, we need to value our marriages, value our children and raise them into kind people with character, make our homes embracing and yes, beautiful, being creative through thrift, diy, craigslist, etc. When I see bloggers shopping source pricing, I laugh out loud, and instantly think of how that money could be spent helping a child in need ( I am a proud mom of 5 adopted children, and yes, the cost could have purchased a small house)! Anyhoo…no judgement of others, just differing values that If embraced by more of us, our country would see less turmoil. Love your creative and beautiful home and adorable littles! Keep on keeping things real…car trouble, injuries, all the hot mess moments in life, because it helps women not feel isolated and drowning in the ocean of ” I can never be or do that”. Inspirational!

      1. Suzi…oh my goodness…you are making me tear up and completely melting my heart. You sound not only like a very beautiful soul, but a full-blown wonder woman. I aspire to be as incredible and self-less as you one day. Keep on rockin it, friend!

    1. Love, love, love. Bored with all the blogs that buy new stuff for everything! Show some real creativity by using what you have and reinventing. Your truth and honest soul speaks volumes on the, “keeping up with the Jones’s mentality that is way too prolific these days. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻You go girl!

      1. Jill…you do not know how much that means to hear. I am a relatively private, guarded person so it took so much out of me to get beyond the superficial. Thank you so much for the feedback and encouragement. You brightened my day. Much love to you, friend!

    1. I enjoyed reading this Erica! It’s all so true. I’m not a Mom but can relate to it all. I think we sometimes get caught up in all the “stuff” in this world when in the end we can find beauty in so many things & more importantly ourselves and loved ones. Can’t wait to read about the event. Oh and I have a potty mouth too 😉

    1. Erica,

      One of the things I really like about your blog is that you always keep it real. You’ve got a great sense of humor and it’s nice to weave this into your blog. Thanks for sharing with us. In the IG world of “perfection” it’s nice to see that beautiful things can be created and you don’t have to spend your kids’ college tuition to do it! Keep up the good work and don’t change your style or delivery. It’s YOU! Congrats again on being named a Stylemaker… can’t wait to hear all about it! xoxo Amy

      1. Amy,
        You dont know how much your sweet words of encouragement truly mean. As an introvert, it can be a challenge to “let it all hang out”, but it is something I feel very much compelled to do. Thank you so much, friend.

    1. Yes, yes, and YES! It is soooo easy to get sucked into thinking we need bigger and better. Thank you for your honesty!

    1. You go girl!! This is what it’s all about Erica! Thanks for keeping it real and helping us all to remember the important things. I remember when I first found your blog I was so in awe of your designing talent and then I read a post about your grandmother and that really put a smile on my face. It made me want to come back for the long haul cause I realized you were not just another pretty face. I think to be good at blogging you have to be willing to go out on a limp and make that real connection with your readers! And that is exactly what you have been doing for a long time but especially here. Thank you sweet, real Erica!! <3

      1. Mary, Thank you for being the beautiful person that you are. You have no idea how your encouragement has helped me through out my blogging journey.

    1. You look so much like your grandma Jo who I lived down the street from on Euclid Circle. Your mom was a baby and doesn’t remember how much I enjoyed playing with her! Thanks for keeping it real and making me feel better about the eclectic choices I have made over the years from real artists to Pier 1, trying to put it together in a way that children (now grown) didn’t destroy it, but yet felt like a place that real people lived and not a showroom. Enjoyed your blog!

      1. I miss my grandma so much, Pamela! That is so flattering. Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to show my blog some love. It means so much. xoxo

    1. This post just brought me back down to earth. Thank you!!! Love your style and outlook! I have 2 crazy little boys, and I so needed this reality check!

      1. That is so good to hear, Angie. Being a mother is exhausting. Throw in the added and unnecessary pressure from social media, and it can feel impossible. Thank you so much for the support, friend!

    1. My sweet sweet friend I so needed to hear this! You and I were best friends in another life 🙂 It is so easy to get caught up in “keeping up” and I am guilty of it myself. You couldn’t have been more spot on about the mc-mansions and it is so hard not to hold yourself to the same standard but here to keeping it real!

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