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Flaws Make Us Loveable

Hello, hello! I'm back from my holiday break but oh no! Please forgive me! I'm not feeling very motivated to get back to work though I've heard I'm not alone... You too? Hopefully with this first post I'll be feelin' my flow again. I need to get back into the game!

It's like anything... Mind over body. I want to feel the groove but my body is a bit like "bleh". So first thing I did on Monday morning was to make small but positive changes. I decided to drink more green tea and water, eat mostly salads and go on daily walks (Currently I'm doing 3.1 miles/5km). It's time to get that energy back, focus and start planning ahead because this is going to be a very big year since I'm going on another book tour in May to North America hitting more cities this time and extending certain parts of my journey to teach a workshop, visit family and work on my next book when I'm out on the west coast. Must. Reboot. Mojo.

So! Did you have a nice holiday? What did you do? I didn't really DO anything but that was sort of the point. It was healing to go into a fox hole and hideaway for three weeks. It allowed me time to think which sounds silly but stopping to really THINK isn't something we find ourselves doing often, is it? I believe that is why topics like Slow Living and Mindfulness have become more and more a part of daily conversations happening around the world. We need to be asking ourselves questions like, "Do I want to be doing what I'm doing today by this time next year?" and "What changes do I need to make in my life now?" along with "Am I really happy and if not, what do I need to change to get more HAPPINESS into my life". Oh yeah and of course the most important thing to ask is, "Ryan Gosling?".

Okay maybe that one isn't a question but it most certainly is always the answer (smile). I saw Drive over the holidays and though it's one of those revenge action flicks (not really my thing), Ryan was so charming and authentic in his performance that I finally GOT why so many women are lured in. It's not just the abs, really. If you've seen Drive, you will immediately know what I mean - the boy can act. You know what really struck me though about Mr. Gosling in that film? He comes across like the real deal and aren't we all so much more attracted to people who are authentic? I think sincerity really goes the distance.

You don't have to be perfect to succeed but wow, being genuine can make or break so many of us. In a funny way, watching Drive really highlighted that fact to me because his character was flawed but real and it made me think that all of us are flawed but often that's what attracts us to one another so much. Flaws, imperfection, not being 100%. It's relatable and we want relatable don't we? It's often that slowing down that we do mentally around the holidays that allows us room to think and for me, I have been thinking so much about the importance of being sincere, standing up for what we believe in, owning up to every piece of ourselves (even the flawed bits) and embracing imperfection, individuality and love for self.

I digress...

I'd like to welcome you back to a new year of cattledogs and wish you all a very happy new year. I'll be back in a moment with a post showing products photographed in the home of one of my favorite bloggers featuring newly designed products not shared yet online - in fact the photo above is a glimpse of what is to come. Stay tuned!

- Holly

Monday, Monday...

Hello friends! How are you today? It's Monday, a new week and new possibilities. I've been thinking a lot about the post that I wrote, Thoughts on Being Honestly Happy, where nearly 250 of you left beautiful, uplifting and often very personal comments and so later today I plan to write another post as a follow up. It's so important to me to not leave anyone hanging - when I read some of my favorite blogs and the blogger pours out their heart and then, never returns to let readers know what's what, I often feel a bit concerned and wonder what is going on. Blogs make us responsible, accountable, we can't just say stuff and assume it's not important to others because, well, it is. We cannot assume no one cares. We're all in this together.

After I wrote that post, I was actually quite overwhelmed and even moved to tears at times by your reaction - not just the comments but also the very personal emails, Facebook emails, tweets and even text messages and phone calls that rolled in and are still coming in even though it's been nearly 3 weeks since I wrote it. I must admit that I assumed only a few of you would really "get" me or relate (boy, was I wrong!) and the rest of you may simply skim through it and move on to the more fluffy and pretty design posts, but you didn't... You stopped, read, and tried to relate and it felt amazingly validating and beyond encouraging. You really blew me away. THANK YOU. So yes, later today I'll post about a few of the plans of action that I've taken since and how so far, I'm beating "this" - though I'm still not exactly certain what "this" really is yet. I'll also tell you about a few aha! moments I've had, epiphanies if you will...

Back in a moment with beauty to inspire... Then I'll begin writing Thoughts on Being Honestly Happy: Part Two.

xo,

Holly

(photos: holly becker/)

See You Soon!

Hi dear friends. How are you? I'm going to take a little "Summer Pause" for the month of August but don't worry because I'll be popping in to visit you on cattledogs from time to time to share my inspirations and favorite finds as I go...

I'm taking a break so that I can relax a bit before I get back to serious business in September because as you know, Summer is too short and the Autumn and Winter is often so, so long!

I'll see you in a few days or so. xo, Holly

(lovely print from , with permission)

Hello Everyone!

Hello everyone! To those of you in the states, it's the 4th - yeah! Have fun celebrating our day of Independence. Living abroad on the 4th is the hardest for me because I once loved how Boston came together for the gorgeous concert and fireworks on the 4th on the Charles River. I really miss going there with my friends. It's amazing to me how close home is to my heart yet in reality, how far away I really am! How are you doing today?

I've gone a bit MIA, I know... Missing in action. And for that, I am truly sorry. I've been very busy, a bit too much, and I've finally wrapped up my next book. I wrote the final page yesterday and today, I am sorting out the photo credits and directory. It's been a massive undertaking! In addition to that, I've been teaching nearly 700 students online in my Blogging Your Way e-course for the past 5 weeks. It's been lovely and today is my last lesson there. I love teaching online and am so grateful that I hired three amazing women and bloggers, , and , to stand by my side and work along with me to teach this dynamic, exciting class. Thank you ladies SO MUCH. I love the community that BYW has built and the many meet-ups BYW students are having in spots all over the world from London to San Francisco.

So... What is inspiring you lately? I am inspired by large-scale floral patterns, polka dots, vanilla nail polish sent to me from a friend in Denmark, my friend new business cards and blog redesign, and how beautiful the new lavender on my balcony looks and smells - it's the simple things, right?

I miss you all, soo sooooo much. I will be regularly writing here daily next week and going forward. My online class is wrapping up, my German language course is soon to end, my lecture in Wiemar is this Saturday and my second book is finished - now I can return to you on a full-time schedule once again.

With love, Holly xo

Happy Weekend!

I'd like to wish you all a wonderful weekend! I'll see you on Monday and then I'm off to London until next Friday so I'll be blogging from my hotel next week. I'm looking forward to the trip, a little work and a little pleasure... but I'm bringing my laptop and plan to work in my room at night so I can stay in touch with everyone here on cattledogs. Until Monday, I'd like to encourage you to check out the cattledogs on Flickr with over 3,700 global members and nearly 7,000 photos of homes submitted by group members - bloggers, decorators, designers, budding stylists and everyone else - it's a and I invite you to check it out! In case you need encouragement, here is a sneak peek of some of the most recent member photos submitted to the pool.

Lovely colors for Spring, right? The bursts of yellow, pink and orange caught my eye. What do you see that resonates with you?

Have a nice weekend and I'll see you again on Monday. xo, Holly

(images: , , , , and .)

Happy Weekend To You!

It has been so nice to visit with you this week through these digital pages -- I have enjoyed connecting with each of you so much! It is now time for the weekend and I must sign off and do all of those weekend-y things that need to be done but I wanted to wish you well and hope that you have a very happy weekend!

Have a very nice & restful few days until we meet again and loads of love! xo, Holly.

(image: with permission.)