I'm a proud Millennial, and I'm tired of people always ripping us apart as if we are a generation to be pitied. People say we don't know how to connect personally and authentically because we are addicted to our phones and social media. And, while I would agree some of us could very well struggle in that arena and we can do a better job, these generalizations have my panties in a knot. What people often forget is that we made a way for everyone to have a voice to share what they are doing and how they are feeling to those that would listen. we created social media and adapted quickly to it because we have been raised by generations that hide their emotions and feelings as if there was a medal to be won for never crying or arguing in front of kids or saying you didn't like something. 

We were parented by the Baby Boomers that created the 50% divorce rate - the generation that grew up seen and not heard by The Greatest Generation. And, sadly, The Greatest Generation didn't have the luxury of emotions. They were just happy to be alive, so, of course, they told their children to just "be thankful and be quiet." 

Did you know that marriages of Millennials are lasting longer as reported by Bloomberg. We are actually putting hope and meaning back into marriage. Hooray! We are having emotional intimacy in our marriages and fighting for it. And I would bet a million dollars that it's the lack of emotional connectivity, expression of empathy and sympathy that the is culprit of the Baby Boomer generations continued decline of marriage (yes, they are still getting divorced according to the stats). 

But, we need to be careful how we're using our new found way of connection. We adapted quickly to social media without taking time to be intentional with it. We are sharing and liking and double-tapping so fast that we are just making noise now and not listening to each other anymore. Let's get back to that! Here's a challenge for us to help us continue to lead past and future generations in emotional connection. 


1. Say what we mean, and mean what we say. No more posting to post as if we're slaves to algorithms or imaginary Joneses. Be mindful that each post has the potential to influence people for good or bad, and take a moment to ask yourself, "Is this worth posting and will it hurt or help someone?"
2. Avoid mindless affirmations. When you double tap, like or repin something you are affirming a person, thing or business. Make your actions meaningful and not a twitch of your thumb. You may even accidentally like a post that you completely disagree with just because you didn't take time to read the post.
3. Read the captions. Take time to read and hear what people are saying. That's why they are sharing to begin with. If you don't want to hear what they have to say then maybe you shouldn't follow them. Let's have meaningful connections and interactions with the people we have chosen to invest in. 
4. Unfollow accounts that you don't enjoy or may go against your principles. People say that depression and self-esteem issues are on the rise because of social media. Part of that problem is the content we put out there and part of it is what we choose to consume. If something is leaving you feeling crappy take it out of your life. That doesn't mean we have to shut down our Instagram accounts and do the all or nothing approach. It means we should take inventory of what we consume.
5. When you see someone hurting or having a rough day please tell them they have been heard even if even you don't have advice or can't relate. Many times we take to social media with our problems because we want someone to listen or we're trying to find out if we're not alone. Take a moment to help.
6. Set limits and boundaries on what you share. Think about who reads your posts and who can potentially read them in the future. One day your children will read what you write and potentially future employers. Oversharing can be damaging when you don't set limitations.
7. Risk sharing some flaws in the midst of the beauty. Sharing a perfect life isn't helping anyone. In fact, it's causing harm because it's setting an unattainable standard for your peers and children.  There is plenty of beauty and happiness to be had, but there is always sadness and mistakes. Showing people you make them also allows you to show people how you overcome them. And that's just as beautiful as your sunsets, cocktails or outfits you post.
8. Pick a person to love on this year. Just one person that you go out of your way to encourage and be intentional with on social media. Who knows of the impact you can have.
9. Turn off your phone when you're playing with your kids or having a conversation with people. I have to put my phone upstairs far from where I can pick it up, but it works. It keeps me engaged. When I am meeting with someone I don't pull it out of my bag. You can hear your babysitter's call if there is an emergency. ;)

Photos by Rennai Hoefer


Stand firm. It's not about what's next this season. New doors, new experiences, new people and a new self may come, but I am not seeking new and I am not seeking more. I'm keeping two feet firmly planted on the ground and standing firm - ready, waiting, and prepared. The ground may be hard, but I'm digging deep with dirt covered boots, grit between my finger tips and my hair blowing in the wind. 

This season is mastering what has already been given. I am a mother, a wife, a friend, a business owner and an artist with other roles occasionally thrown in. That's plenty. More is not what my soul needs or seeks. It's just learning how to grow taller from what has already been planted.

Patient, steadfast, strong, reliable - these are adjectives that I want people to say when they describe me, but often I am described as go-getter, strategic, goal-oriented. Those latter adjectives have one thing in common - they are always moving forward. But, I am tired of moving right now, and God knows it. So, for now, I am called to stay firmly planted, and to become a master will be more of a challenge for me than anything I have ever done.

These past couple of days I have been contemplating the commonly quoted passage of Ecclesiastes 3:

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

The past three years have been a season of being uprooted, mourning, throwing away, and tearing down. But now I'm being ushered into a season of planting, building back up, gathering, searching, keeping and mending. What season are you in right now? Do any of these phrases speak to you? I'd love to hear, and I would love to hear your word or phrase for the year too. 

Photos by Rennai Hoefer


This past year was one of those years where I felt like nothing came easily, but so much fruit came out of my hard work. It almost felt like every day I was thrown a curve ball or pitched a fast ball, and each time I stepped up to the plate, swung my bat as hard as I could and, by the grace of God, I scored a lot.

I wanted to share the areas in which my business grew this year with you because I think there are some key tools and nuggets of wisdom that helped make them successful. I'm going to break everything down into multiple blog posts though because there is simply too much to say for it all to fit. I'll share a new post a day for the next week or so. Be sure to check back and read the next.


  1. More than doubled my Instagram account from 4,000 to 10,800
  2. Grew my Pinterest account by 37,000 people
  3. Published by top magazines & companies (Rue Mag, Lonny Mag, Domino Mag, One Kings Lane, Anthropologie, Martha Stewart, Adore, Elle Decor)
  4. Most partnerships to date. To name a few: The Home Depot, Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Gold Peak Tea, Fisher Price, Hudson Jeans, Coleman, Living Spaces, World Market, Decorist. See my collaborations page for more.
  5. Hired an assistant, photographer, intern and babysitter regularly
  6. Spoke at the most conferences to date (Alt Summit, Mom 2.0 Summit, Haven Conference, BlogHer Food).  I will be headed to Alt Summit again in 2017.
  7. Launched my online Pinterest classes for passive income
  8. Began Pinterest account management for Chatbooks and Guesterly, and will be taking on more.
  9. Decorated six rooms (master, girl room, nursery, guest room 1, guest room 2, living room)
  10. Managed to continue to raise two children, have a marriage and friendships

What helped me accomplish all of this? 

I don't say this to sound trite, but I truly believe what I have been given comes from God. In particular, I think the wisdom in knowing which business partnerships were wise and unwise, as well as which people to hire were guided by Him. Some people say they go with their "gut." For me, I do the same, but I believe it's a spiritual "knowing" deep within my gut. 

I also put in a lot of elbow grease and found some insanely great business tools to help me, and I would love to share them with you in the days that follow. Starting with Instagram...

Photo by Katie Jameson