HGTV: Decorating Themes

I thought you may enjoy reading this how to guide that I wrote over at HGTV on creating the natural look in your home. It includes paint suggestions and a few tips that you may enjoy. In this article, I suggest using the Pottery Barn shelf below as a coffee table. Add four legs, top with glass, and voila! A rotating gallery of curiosities.

I recently signed on with HGTV to write a bi-weekly column over on their site, so I'm overjoyed to have the opportunity to work for such a massive network on a regular basis now. If you'd like to read my articles over there, look for them starting in mid June on their website. Just search for my name and you'll find them.

Want to know a secret? I'm not talking about my work today to boast because people out there are doing far more interesting things in life than I am. But for me, I'm happy with where I'm at because it's where I want to be. My legs were unsteady when I left my career of 10 years behind to explore the life of a freelancer. It was scary! So I'm very excited about all the fun things I'm doing, and although I feel uncomfortable saying any of this on my blog, I'm proud of myself and hope I can be an example to others in a small way. You see, I was the girl that wrote under an alias (for 5 years!) for the school newspaper because I felt too shy to admit that I was the "roving reporter". I didn't want my peers and teachers to know I wrote for the paper because I felt that once the spotlight was on me, people would no longer say how they really felt about my work. As long as I remained anonymous, the feedback I heard felt genuine.

It actually took years for me to feel comfortable writing before an audience other than my parents or the stuffed animals in my bedroom that endured hours of my essay reading before them, listening intently in 3 tidy rows on my bed. It was only when a professor at Northeastern told me that I needed to read a very sensitive piece about myself to the class that broke me of my shyness. Because it was marked the best paper and counted towards my final grade, she insisted... So there I stood before a sea of envious, critical eyes as I went on to share with them a paper on a deeply personal topic. But the experience cured me, because afterwards, I felt no hesitation when asked to share my writing. It was a hurdle I needed to jump, a freedom for me. Reading before a class, something I had written, was the norm in school -- but reading something so personal was not. That moment gave me wings.

So, as I sit here typing this today, I hope you can see the place where I come from inside of my heart. I think there's so much me me me going on in the world, especially here in the states where humility isn't a prized quality, that we forget the billions of others on this planet. I'm not bragging if I write about my articles or my work from time to time. I'm not trying to impress you because nothing really impresses anyone these days, does it? But I am trying to set a positive example because I know so many of you are scared to try new things, and you often write to me asking me how to take that first step into the uncharted waters of freelancing. I hope I can somehow encourage you to expand, grow, reach out, and explore new places in your life by setting a small example. You may be holding back in the one area that you need to actually jump into. Perhaps if you had that one moment of absolute freedom, like the one I experienced in that classroom, your dreams could come true. Think about it. What holds you back? Are you ready to jump?

(images from room and board, west elm, pottery barn, and