Giveaway: Win Instagram + Photography e-course! (Updated)

Our Blogging Your Way e-course for  just kicked off yesterday with lessons going up on Monday morning, running for two weeks until July 25 with class access until August 1st. That's why I simply must host a 48 hour flash GIVEAWAY (winners picked and sent login on Monday) so 5 of you can win seats in our classroom valued at $119. In this class, called #Instapower, we have videos, podcasts and over 22 lessons with all new materials never taught before in previous classes, and three teachers -- me (naturally), Aussie food photographer Rachel Korinek and Dutch travel writer and photographer Pauline Egge.


YOU DO NOT WANT TO MISS THIS CLASS. It's our last Instagram-focused class for 2016!

Here is our course outline if you are curious to see what you will learn. You will walk away with more than you walked in with, that's for sure. Look at this..

* Branding your Instagram * Community building * Branding 101 * How to lose followers, practices to avoid! * How to grow your audience * Working with brands (podcast) * What makes YOU unique? (podcast) * Earning money on Instagram * City guidebook info from Pauline * How to shoot on location, on the street, etc. Including how to shoot in retail spaces * Stay true to yourself * Using hashtags * What makes a photo attract attention on IG? * Using your smart phone to capture images for IG * Using your camera to capture images for IG, including transferring to phone and photo editing * Best practices for shooting with your camera for IG * How to shoot in Aperture Priority or Manuel Mode * How to edit your images in VSCO and A Color Story (video) * Lightroom basics (video) * Photography techniques to get the most out of your shots * Common problems you'll encounter taking photos on location and simple solutions * Styling and styling tips (video) * How to use everyday items for styling when you are out and about * Things to take with you in your handbag to style with when out * Importance of backgrounds and what to use * Case studies of 12 Instagrammers * Curating a gorgeous a IG feed * Tools to help you curate a gorgeous feed * 3 videos from each of our teachers explaining their background, passion and how they work

You don't wanna miss this!

To enter this contest: * Comment below telling us why you'd like to be in this class * Follow us on our new Instagram account: * Join our Blogging Your Way mailing list (form below).

Subscribe to our mailing list

Those are the only 3 steps that you need to take to officially enter. We will draw 5 winners on Monday morning.

Good luck everyone and have a nice weekend!

(Rules: Not transferrable to another e-course, winners will win a spot in current e-course only. One entry per person, per day. Person who wins will be registered, you cannot sell the seat or transfer to someone else unless it is a family member. Value $119. If you have already paid and registered for this e-course, you will receive a full refund for current e-course if you win this contest. Open to all worldwide. This e-course is taught in English only.)


UPDATED July 11: We have chosen our 5 winners and they are: , , , ,

Clean, Clear Laid Back Green and Peach Interiors

I'm REALLY feeling this laid back summer home style that's so clear and clean, so coastal, so boho minus the patchouli 60s vibe... It's just great. Breezy, easy, tactile and lots of pretty green tones and shades of pale orange. So summery and just yum. cleanboho








I've been thinking a lot lately when I look at the photos I love, reminding myself to stop and consider WHAT I FEEL when I gaze upon a photo that feels as though it's speaking to me.

  • What is it saying exactly?
  • What do I like about it?
  • How does it make me feel?
  • Do I smell anything?
  • Do I hear a particular song?
  • Or another sound, is there something else coming to my ears when I look at the image?
  • What about the scene is vibing with me, the composition, colors, location?

It's so important to explore the way work we like is REALLY truly impacting us. We are always so quick to say, " This inspires me sooooo much!" or "I love this  photo, pin!!!". But maybe try to think a lot more about what's resonating with you exactly. This is so interesting and it gives you a real sense of self and can help you to tap into your personal style.

Have a nice weekend!

(Photo credits: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Decorate For a Party: Cover Reveal + Pre-Order!

I'm so happy that today I can finally share the name of my next book, my fourth (!), and it's called ! AND.... We have a cover, which I styled and photographed myself. In fact, I took over 100 photos that appear inside of the book, and my co-author Leslie Shewring shot even more along with Janis Nicolay, Holly Marder and Laure Joliet. Girl power for sure! Leslie and I so much fun and loads of help on this project between friends helping us set tables, home owners modeling for photos, friends helping to break down rooms, talented girls doing calligraphy, others running errands, we made huge messes with paper... Our friends appear in this book, my little boy, my home, Leslie's studio, homes in Europe, California and Canada... Here's the cover...

This project means so much to Leslie and I and we are happy to share it with you too. I CANNOT BELIEVE this is happening, another book, and on a topic I'm so passionate about - gathering friends and family at home and how to decorate for your party that is stylish and pretty but not overly time-consuming, very budget-friendly without looking cheesy, and quite easy to pull off.

If there is one thing that drives me crazy, it's having to worry and fuss when I have people over. I want the parties I plan to feel like I went out of my way, so guests feel special, but I don't want them to think I went over-the-top which could intimidate them and make them afraid to invite ME over to their parties in return. I hate doing that - setting a scene so perfectly that people are almost afraid to be themselves and relax. I’ve been working on this book for over a year now with Leslie, we teamed up because she is the queen of entertaining with her annual Christmas parties for 25-30 family members and the many birthday parties and fests she throws throughout the year. I have been throwing parties for as long as I can remember too, so to team up was a lot of fun for us because we love the topic.

The cover is embossed with copper foil lettering and cloth and it's loaded with ideas, full color images, DIY projects, and gorgeous parties that we created and photographed specifically for this book.


The best part is, you can pre-order the book today! It comes out in September in English in both the UK and North America AND in October it will be available in German. More languages will follow in the months to come.

US at Canada at In German at, the title is #decorateforaparty

What do you think about the cover? Are you excited to see inside? I can't wait to show you more in the weeks to come and Leslie and I really hope that you love it.




Modern + Clean Rustic Lodge Style

Hello everyone and to my American friends, Happy 4th of July! I'd like to be in right now awaiting the big fireworks fest (or in Manhattan) as this was our annual tradition when we lived stateside. To bring a little festivity to my July 4th weekend as an expat in Germany, I went to a followed by a large fair. It has nothing to do with but it felt nice to do something festive and funny as it sounds, I left inspired but in a most unexpected way. As the bands marched by, I couldn't stop thinking about Autumn interiors. MinimalLodge4

I'll get to that in a moment but first you may be wondering what is Schützenfest? In short, it's a marksmen's festival with a target shooting competition popular in both Germany and Switzerland. And don't worry, no animals were/are harmed! "At a Schützenfest, contestants compete based on their shooting abilities, for example by shooting at a wooden representation of an eagle. The winner of the competition becomes the 'king of marksmen' ("") until the next year's competition." Quite harmless but there is still a big culture around it. Some men that I saw had over 50 badges on their jackets as they proudly marched by in their traditional gear.


I happen to live in the city where they host the largest Schützenfest in the world with over 5,000 marksmen, 250 rides, multiple large beer tents and a parade. This is not your typical parade though with over 13,000 participants from all over the world, 100+ covering a little over 3 kilometers though the length is nearly 12 kilometers - so it's the longest parade in the world and takes HOURS to observe - half a day!

As you can imagine, my two-year-old son (he will be 2 1/2 next month) LOVED the parade. As he chomped on a giant pretzel and watched the bands stomp by, his eyes were huge and curious. It was so cute. Later, we took him to the fest with his oma (grandma) and played the typical carnival games and he ran around pointing to all of the fun signs and lights. I saw everything through much younger eyes and it was all really sweet.

But interiors. Somehow I made a connection to home being there. No clue why. Inspiration is like that though isn't it? No rhyme or reason. Perhaps after being immersed in this marksmen culture seeing all of those traditional costumes, with lots of green, blue and crimson tones, was the jumping off point. I began to think about how these outfits could translate into interior design but in a fresh, light way and not so much the heavy hunting lodge motif that we immediately call to mind. I imagined rooms like these shown below... Modern farmhouses and lake houses with a bit of a lodge vibe.











COLORS: Green, gray, rust, crimson, black, charcoal, cream, white

KEY ELEMENTS: Woven rugs in natural fibers, sheepskin throws, taxidermy, tools, antlers, images of the outdoors (forests, mountains), plaid throws, wool blankets, black iron, suede and leather, woven hangings on the wall, brass, pendant lights with exposed draping cords. Concrete, Raw, natural wood. White paneling. Reclaimed wood. Cement. Matte paint in natural tones. Linen bedding. Horses and livestock in photography, Ceramic tableware in natural tones. Very little pattern except through texture. Plants and herbs and green wreaths, Stripe and plaid is okay for blankets, throws and rugs. Rough surfaces. Most of the pattern is brought in through texture.

SCENTS: Lapsang souchong, fir, bergamot, tobacco, white tea, cinnamon, pine, sandlewood, by Marie Stella Marais, by Skandinavisk and candle.

AVOID: Glamorous accents that sparkle and shine, jewel tones, white furniture (except like a  or a small stool), Metallic silver, pastels, formal lighting, large area rugs in bold colors, floral patterns, bold geometric patterns. Nothing that feels too special or delicate, roses and delicate flowers, succulents.

What do you think about this look? Does it speak to you?

(Photo credits: , , , , , , , , , , )

Faux Tile + Marble Wallpaper

I've been thinking a lot lately about wallpaper that looks like tile or marble. It's been a trend for awhile but often things resonate much later than when the trend hits. Trends aren't always coming at the right moment for me. I often need to let them rest for a bit, observe how they are being used, and then I decide for myself if something trending has legs to stand for a bit longer than a season or two. I want to be more intentional in my shopping decisions and less driven by trend or emotion. wallpapertiles

Let's discuss faux tile wallpaper first... Have you ever thought to use it on stairs, in the kitchen or bath, or perhaps in another room in your home? If not, why? If so, do you have some good resources to share in the comments section of this post? I'm going to share some of mine below in case you would like to try this idea at home.

About the application and use for faux tile, Graham + Brown says, "Tile wallpapers are mainly used in kitchens and bathrooms, as an easy alternative to ceramic tiles. If you have a small room with lots of corners and windows then ceramic tiles can be difficult to apply. Our tiled wallpapers are easy to apply and many provide a splash resistant surface suitable for kitchen and bathroom conditions."

Great option for renters! Honestly though, I'm more keen on the faux tile wallpaper that looks like old Portuguese tile work or something else uniquely European, like floor tiles you may see in or , patterned and definitely not overly modern or clean. Like typical white square tile found in so many rentals.

I also imagine decorative European-inspired tile used on stairs () or perhaps sparingly on a bathroom wall or kitchen backsplash. It would be nice to use it to mimic some of these rooms - the examples below are showing the real deal, ceramic tile, BUT you can imagine using wallpaper tile in the same way, can't you?





Now, let's look at some good examples of faux marble wallpaper. This is extremely interesting because I've never imagined marble on MY walls except for a bit in a kitchen or bath. But even then, I envision a backsplash or marble underfoot. Yet, seeing it in these examples causes me to think more broadly about this application... It's actually quite interesting to behold.





What do you think about this look, faux marble on walls?


Of course, the real deal is always the preference but when renting or on a budget, it's not always possible so you have to find creative ways to still have what you want, just tweaked a bit... And c'mon, how many of us want to invest in real marble from floor to ceiling? It's fun to have creative options.

In my next post today, I want to introduce you to some gorgeous wallpapers from Milan, you will gasp.



PS You may also love this post about other I found in the past.

(Tile photography:  fireplace/, , ,  kitchen)

8 Exotic Wallpapers I Love

Okay onto some very lovely wallpaper patterns from today... I'm a bit into wallpaper at the moment so indulge me please. These are from . I really love how exotic and moody these patterns are. Swoon. wallpaper_milan1




I like these patterns but the leaf print top image to the right, in white and green, speaks to me the most. I imagine it in a very big room with floors and large windows paired with contemporary Danish furnishings. It would be on a focal wall to provide depth and interest to the room, to really draw in the eye. I'd love to bring in some boho vibes too through texture like rattan, macrame and ceramics.

Ciao bella!

Holly x