Holly Becker of Decor8 fame has been an online friend for the longest time. I started blogging a little after she did and she was one of the very first people to comment on this blog nearly six years ago.
I’ve done her Blogging Your Way course and cheered her on from the sidelines as she has gone on to her incredible and very much deserved success.
Holly is one of those people who is always generous with her time, her encouragement and, latterly, with the enormous reach and power of her blog. She’s one of those people who always seems to have time for a friendly word or blog comment, however phenomenally busy she is and has created a huge network of friends, followers and devoted admirers across the globe. And I’m not sure whether she ever sleeps or manages to have any leisure time as her output and the number of projects she’s involved in has always been prodigious.
I find her inspirational on so many levels and have always been sad that she managed to skip to Europe not long after I arrived in the US. We’ve never been on the same side of the Atlantic for very long.
When plans for her book tour were finalised, she invited me to come down and see her in San Francisco. And at first it seemed like a crazy idea to fly down just for a book-signing and a dinner. But a little voice in my head kept saying ‘why not’ and then Virgin America was offering great deals on flights from Seattle and before I knew it I’d booked flights and a hotel and was lined up for my first night away from the family in ages.
Holly and yours truly
And, all you mothers out there, I seriously don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner. I had totally forgotten the joys of plane travel without a fidgety six-year old; of mooching aimlessly round shops without being in a terrible rush or having to march a six year old to the toilet; of eating a most amazing lunch (thanks Boulette’s Larder) without having to worry whether the Minx had brought her DS or a book. For 36 hours I was single again, and goodness it was BLISS.
Holly’s book signing was at Anthropologie (beautifully decorated with these garlands and bunting from Paper Source. Note to self, must buy for the Minx) and she was accompanied by Leslie Shewring from A Creative Mint, who had also taught on the Blogging Your Way course. I also got to meet the very charming Victoria, of sfgirlbybay fame; the delightfully effervescent Alix (who had been a very fun team mate on the Blogging Your Way course) and Dottie from Modern Kiddo; the lovely Maja Brugos from Tikoli and Crystal Gentilello of Rue Magazine among other luminaries of the San Francisco design and blogging world.
Leslie Shewring and Alix from Modern Kiddo with Holly
All in all I had a fabulous couple of days and came away tremendously inspired to work more on this blog and throw myself more fully into the design world. It’s time for this Mamma to have some ‘me’ time.
Oh and the book? Well, it’s fabulous of course. Unlike many decorating books which are all about recreating the author’s own style, Decorate is all about uncovering and developing your own personal style and vision. It is chock full of gorgeous pictures, inspirational quotes and tons and tons of innovative, accessible and eminently do-able ideas for every room in the house. The book is sitting on my nightstand and is perfect way to unwind with a little bit of pretty at the end of a long day. And my house will definitely benefit in the long term.
As for Holly herself, well, she is as warm, charming and thoroughly lovely as her online persona. But then you knew that already. And also very tall.
And now I really must stop gushing and have a lie down. All this being nice does not come naturally at all.