Decorate For a Party Book Trailer + Giveaway

In just a little over two weeks, the new cattledogs book launches called [easyazon_link identifier="1910254290" locale="US" tag="cattledogs09-20"]Decorate for a Party: Stylish and Simple Ideas for Meaningful Gatherings[/easyazon_link] published by and we're so excited! To celebrate, we are giving away 5 copies of the new book to 5 lucky readers. I'm really psyched to present the official book trailer video below.

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Holly Becker for cattledogs

Holly Becker for cattledogs

To enter the contest: Watch the book trailer and leave a comment telling us about how you imagine the perfect party at home and let us know what you liked about the video too, it would be so nice to hear your response. Make sure you turn on the sound, the music is so beautiful!

As a bonus, you can also enter on our or on my . See those posts there to learn how. You can enter up to three times (once on this blog, once on FB and once on IG).

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Video Credits: Videographer + Director: Koen Folkerts,  // Creative Direction + Styling: Holly Becker // Location: , Hannover, Germany Models: Emma Pedersen, Nora Hartmann, Nanna Eriksen // Music: By Film Composer - Isle (Licensed through )

Contest closes on Friday, September 2 at 11:59pm European time.

Available for pre-order now! US:  //  // UK: // Germany:

*Open to readers anywhere in the world, English version only. Please do not leave your email, home address or web address in the body of the comment, only in the allotted boxes. Winners will be announced here on Saturday, September 3rd AND ed by email once comments close. Good luck everyone!

Join Me at Meet The Blogger in Amsterdam!
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Two great things to share today... First, ! Next, I feel so good if I just say the word... Suit, Suit, Suitcase! Yes I'm a dork, I know... But I have a lot of travel coming up, including Amsterdam on October 1 for MTB, and I needed luggage so SuitSuit collection in MINT arrived and totally saved the day. Best part... I'll never miss them on the conveyer belt at the airport because they really stand out. And there are three in the collection so I scooped the smallest one up for my little boy so he can travel with a matching bag to mama. At least we'll see how long that lasts until he wants his own with cars and trucks on it. :) suitsuitBlogPost

I have so many nice places to visit this Autumn and Winter, and I may be getting back to America, so I'm really looking forward to being on the road seeing nice people and dear friends to give lectures, sign books and just hang out with cool people that inspire me. I love work travel, it hardly feels like work, so I consider myself very lucky in this regard.

So... Are you going to in Amsterdam on October 1? Please do! I haven't been at an event in years - the last was in London in 2012, so this is a big scary step for me to get back out there into the world of blog conferences, speaking engagements and book events. I'm very excited but definitely have shaky knees. I took time off during my pregnancy and the first few years of being a new mom so I could really stay home with him, write books (I finished two since I was pregnant) and focus on re-launching  and other business-related goals.  I'm glad I did, but now I'm eager to go back out there and meet bloggers and creatives again, see what has changed since I took a leave of absense from it all, and most importantly, to connect and inspire as well as be inspired.

On Saturday, October 1st I will be at Meet The Blogger  at 10:15 am - a 45 minute discussion to include q+a about creating content – photography and words – for social media and publications from the heart and with passion and courage. I have A LOT to share that I've learned in my 10 years of having a career as a blogger and writer, and I promise it will be a discussion like no other because I plan to share my failings and successes and most importantly, help everyone attending to walk away with a lot more than they entered the room with! It's going to be a very intimate discussion, that is my goal at least, so I do hope you will be there.

To please for Saturday which includes my presentation along with a bunch of other speakers and workshops. Tickets are nearly sold out to act fast. You have to join us!

SEE YOU IN AMSTERDAM!!!! :)

xo

Holly

(Photograph: Holly Becker for cattledogs)

Create Your Own Creative Space - But How?
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My husband always says I need to work outside of the house with my own studio OR I need to open a big shop. I can't say he's wrong. I have several rooms in our home where I store props, my work, have fixed spaces for workshops and of course, my office... But it's in our home and so I never feel like there is a disconnect from work, ever. I have another office that I use outside of the house where friends work, it's like a shared space where I pop in whenever I need to but only my laptop stays there... The stuff I need to do the more physical part of my job is all at home. light-lab-lounge4

photo: sarah sherman samuel for light lab

Whenever I work on my books (currently, I'm planning my 5th) and shoot for clients, my husband gets stressed because part of the house has days when it turns into a . Last week, several rooms were used for video work so it was upside down again for a few days. As I'm trying to build my business in new ways, I don't see this changing anytime soon.

I know my fellow creative friends like , , , ,  deal with constantly taking their neat creative studios and homes and turn them on their head for shoots and clients... I often wonder how their families deal with it and their colleagues... But more than that, I wonder how to deal with it in my own life -- how I can perhaps find some peace within all of this creative, exciting madness!? Well let me rephrase that... I have plenty of peace with it, but with a little boy and a husband, something has to change when your man isn't enjoying the chaos as much as you do. My toddler stormed into my studio yesterday with a black magic market and immediately grabbed a brand new book and colored all over the cover in mere seconds. It's impossible to work the same way with a little child around, so I have to get a system in place asap.

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photo: sarah sherman samuel for light lab

I've been looking for a creative space here in for nearly 6 years, actively for 4 years. Still nothing. I see a separate work space as the only solution - so if you know of anything in Hannover, Germany that I can transform into a large studio space where I can also invite others in to share the space from the time-to-time, please let me know. Because I would love to create my own and have had a business plan in my hand for this idea for years. I want it so badly and I have faith that someday I will get it but until this happens, I need to create realistic, workable ways to deal with my work at home.

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photo: sarah sherman samuel for light lab

By the way, you can see more photos of the space shown in this post .

So! Do you have tips and ideas on how to manage working from home - I could use some creative suggestions. Specifically, how do you handle prop storage, and management after you no longer need the props... And how do you handle working at home when you have photo shoots and people coming in and out of the house when you also have a husband and toddler at home? How do you manage it all?

(All photography: Sarah Sherman Samuel)

Magical Midsommer In Gotland Sweden

Good morning friends, I hope that you had a very nice weekend. I spent time in the countryside which was refreshing and rela - picking flowers, walking through the vast fields, taking photos and enjoying time with my little boy. I woke this morning to realize that I'd not shared many photos with you from my trip to Gotland. If you recall this past June, I was on a styling and photography retreat taught by German Artist  in Sweden... And do to begin the week here is my Midsummer photo story with a strong focus on the land where we stayed and the golden sunlight. midsommer_gotland_01

All of these were taken on the last evening of my stay on when the sun bathed the island in the most radiant golden, warm light. When I first started taking photos, the light was more clear and white... Then it slowly became more and more golden. You will notice this in the photos I think. It was surreal to experience the sunset there; I'd not experienced light quite like this before, it was magical and left me in love with Gotland even more. I felt like the island was a special place for not only its natural beauty and stillness, but for the light quality. I noticed it constantly no matter how clear the skies - the island always had the most beautiful light quality so taking photos was a dream come true for me.

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midsommer_gotland_07 I hope you've enjoy these photos as much I enjoyed taking them. As I was roaming the property where we stayed to capture my surroundings, I felt overwhelmed with emotion as I knew the next morning I would fly home and I didn't want the magic to end. I could have easily spent a month on that island (or the entire summer) if my little boy could have been by my side. I kept thinking that the island was perfect for children and families because there was so much to explore and was like going back in time - everything there was so simple, fresh and connected to nature. The bakeries, the farms where we ate, even the little gift shops - simple and authentic in every way.

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If you ever get a chance to vacation to the island of Gotland, or take a workshop with Dietlind, don't even think twice about it - go - and bring your camera! (Photography: Holly Becker for cattledogs)

10 Favorite Rug Sources That I Love
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I love throw rugs, in fact I have 11 currently but about 10 more in storage. Yeah, it's a little problem, sort of like my chair fetish and problem with indulging in ribbons and paper products and ceramics. Most decor enthusiasts and stylists and decorators and okay, designers and anyone else who is working in a field that involves the home, develops obsessions / fixations on specific things. What is yours? caitlinwilsondesign1

I grew up with wall-to-wall carpet in every home I'd ever lived in until I was 16. Wood floors only arrived to my living space when my parents moved to Boston, to the Swampscott/Marblehead border, and our beachfront home had wooden floors and it was just surreal to me, at sweet 16, to walk on wooden floors. It felt naked, empty, unfinished. I instantly purchased throw rugs for comfort and texture. So many years later, though I love wood, concrete, tile and anything but wall-to-wall carpet, I still prefer the feeling of a soft rug beneath my feet.

Aside from obvious comfort, I also love how they ground the room and in larger rooms, help to define spaces. For instance, a living/dining room combo in a loft can become two rooms without the expense of addition of walls - just add a large area rug beneath your dining table and chairs and a second rug beneath your sofa and seating area to define each "room". Rugs are really good like that.

If you have wall-to-wall carpet, lots of people still insist on throw rugs to add another layer of comfort but even more, to bring in color and pattern. Some renters have wall-to-wall and don't like it so by adding an area rug they are able to inject some color and a more personal touch to their rental home.

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GG-Office-Edited-01061-e1435258253139 View More: http://madisonkatlinphotography.pass.us/officeshoot

Where do I buy rugs? I'll list my most recent suppliers below, my current top 10. Some are in Germany or Denmark but most are available and/or based in the USA. I also have a new source that I'm loving that I found while perusing Pinterest this morning, an interiors brand called . LOVE. I really want one of CWD's rugs now and am trying to figure out which one and how I'm going to make this happen. I've sprinkled this post with great rugs from their website - fantastic patterns, right!?

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Okay so here are my 10 Great Rug Sources at the moment. 1 /  - Modern, feminine, eclectic, they have it all. 2 /  - More traditional, very well made. 3 /  - They stock many brands from all over Europe, not a lot of rugs in their catalog but what they do carry are really good 4 /  - I love buying and/or drooling at their carpets. When in NYC, I always visit their store to see what's new. They always stock the freshest finds. 5 /  - Danish firm with nice rugs that are geometric, hand woven, and very affordable. 6 /  - Australian firm that has dealers in Europe and now, an American showroom. I love their rugs, I have 3 and find them just wonderful and so natural. 7 /  - They have lots of rugs from Morocco that are quite colorful and fun. 8 /  - More trend-driven rugs, very nice, great quality, love this resource for not only price but selection. 9 /  - I love this Etsy dealer who lives in Morocco and has the best vintage rugs ever. Affordable too and she ships globally. 10 / and...  - Fun colors and patterns, glamorous, girly and preppy.

I also have a little bonus for you today. Have you ever wondered about rug sizing and placement by room? Caitlin Wilson Design has a very informative post on their blog about this with illustrations for living, dining and bedroom.

Where do you get YOUR rugs?

(Photography: Caitlin Wilson Design)

Flowers By Sonja Klein

It's so common when working primarily online to forget what's happening in our local everyday community. I fall into this trap now and then, so I thought today I would highlight a local creative kindred spirit that I only recently discovered who has inspired me so much through her floral arrangements. Her name is Sonja Klein from and she is based in Hannover, Germany where I also live at the moment. My wheels are already spinning in terms of how we could collaborate. These are some of her floral designs for mostly weddings...

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All of the above photos were taken by a team of local wedding photographers that I also recently learned of, I'll list them below in case you are looking for great photographers in Hannover or northern Germany in general. Also the cake and cupcakes are by the lovely local baker, .

(she is amazing, she took photos for our family when Aidan was born)

I love the work that Sonja does, such a great eye - beautiful!

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