3 Autumn DIY Entertaining Ideas You Will Love

Hi dear cattledogs readers! How has your month of October been so far? A golden one – is what I hope! As for me it caught me again, the joy of decorating with autumnal colors such as ochre and amber. This is with my monthly column around tabletop settings. So have a look at the one I decorated some days ago if you like!


Last week, I welcomed my girlfriends with whom I meet for regularly for cooking dinner together for many years. For our ladies gathering I combined flowers in warm yellow shades and pale pink nuances, accompanied by autumn leafs, pink cloud berry and eucalyptus branches.

1) MENU CANDLES. Usually my brainstorming for a table decoration begins with thinking about which flowers I would like on my table. Not this time! When browsing through Holly & Leslie's brand-new book "", the Calligraphy Candles ( made by Canadian Artist and Calligrapher for the book) were love at first sight! As I've never tried calligraphy before (but wish to do so soon) I thought about a version easy to DIY. Result: I chose a calligraphy-like font and printed the menu on transparent bright white paper (100g/m2) and wrapped it around a candle glass. Happy me, as the candles I found at amazon look precisely like the ones in the book. I like the clean style so much!


You could also write/ print the names of your guests or a beautiful quote, that would be lovely too, what do you think?

2. EMBELLISHED FRAMES. On the wall next to our dining table, which I mostly decorate when having guests or shooting for my blog and this column, you will find a small autumnal mood board. I created a tiny graphic design by using photoshop, a chrysanthemum illustration and the color palette of my bouquets.


This was a very good occasion to hang up my MOEBE frame for the first time. I first heard about these gorgeous frames by Copenhagen-based brand when Holly introduced them after finding them at the fair in Hamburg. Those of you living in Germany can order the frames online at  like I did.

In addition, I embellished a simple white frame with flowers. I did this the same way I make wreaths, which means I tied tiny bouquets overlapping to the frame. I used raffia but floral tape might be a better idea! And patience! A little patience is useful also!


3. DELISH COCKTAIL. As an aperitif I offered a Sage Ginger Prosecco Cocktail. Here is the recipe below by Beth Kirby who blogged it on . I modified the recipe to add thin slices of pear as a garnish. Cheers!

STORE LIST 2 cups water 2 cups sugar 2 bunches of fresh sage leaves chopped or one bundle dried sage (about 1 cup or 1/2 a cup respectively) 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger Bottle of Prosecco or Champagne

1. In a saucepan bring water and sugar to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Once the simple syrup, which is what you now have, reaches a boil remove it from the heat and stir in the sage and ginger. Cover and let the syrup steep until it’s completely cooled to room temperature, 2-3 hours. Refrigerate after making.

2. To make cocktails, simply pour an ounce or two of syrup into a champagne flute depending on how sweet you like it and top with prosecco! Garnish with sage.


Enjoy autumn with all its blessings and see you again here on cattledogs in November dear blog readers! Also, I will be in Hannover at  on 19 November at  so if you are coming, I would love to meet you - say hello to me! You can attend her party by .

And also... thank you so much for your lovely words in the comments on my last post! Your comments made me happy! -

(Text, photography and styling: )

ALL NEW Inspire Me e-course

Hey bloggers and small biz boss peeps! I've decided to mix things up with an all-new format for the next e-course to bring us all closer for a deeper connection and to learn in a new way and have a totally fresh experience. For the upcoming online course, I’ve dropped most of the reading and will produce mainly content you can listen to or watch. Screencasts, podcasts and videos from me to you, an end-of-the-week live video chat where you can ask me anything that you'd like and I will answer live. This e-course is called #inspireme and I plan to do a lot of that! It will run for 3 weeks November 4-28 and the cost is so unbelievably low but it's a good way for me to try the new format while also bringing you a major discount as these classes will be much higher in the future. Everything can be downloaded and saved and transcripts will be available too.

This is a giant step for me but I'm really ready for it. This is a rare class taught by only me and I plan to deliver something pretty magical in each lesson so you are guaranteed to walk away with a new understanding of yourself, your business and your blog and social media approach. Content for this class is only for THIS class, nothing has been previously taught or recorded. This class is for everyone needing inspiration to start a blog OR to maintain their blog OR to take it to the next level!

You can expect: 1 screencast, 3 homework assignments (optional), 6 podcasts (30 min or less each), 3 recap/cheat sheets each week on Friday, 3 live stream open chats, and 6 videos from Holly Becker. You will also have full access to our student forum and class site until January 1, 2017. All materials can be downloaded by students.

Once the class fills up, I’m closing enrollment to keep it small. Can't wait to see you, just two weeks away! Time to JUMP START your social media and blog, small business and overall mood. It's time to get inspired!!!

(Photo: , Styling: Holly Becker, Model: )

Thoughts On Balance

Good morning everyone, how are you? I've been traveling a lot but I still make time to bring my little boy out to the countryside during the weekends when I'm here, and we have a lot of fun. The landscape around us is so very lovely, and depending on the weather, it can evoke an array of different emotions.


Sometimes there is extreme melancholy, which can be rather comforting - like a warm hug on an Autumnal day. Other times, a feeling of light hearted joy coupled with clarity. Next week I'll be in London again, so I made it a point to go to the country over the past weekend. I thought you may enjoy some of my photos today from a recent trip we took to - a heath that is just amazing when in bloom with fresh Heather.

The Heather had nearly passed, but I caught a few glimpses of it for you, along with my little boy who is suddenly not so little anymore despite being only 2.5 years old. He is very tall, determined and curious. When we take him outside, he doesn't stay nearby - he is off exploring and collecting. He is very imaginative, sometimes quite feisty, and says the cutest things. I find his friendliness and love of hand holding very endearing. I love how he wakes me up each day with such enthusiasm. There is much work involved in raising a child but to me, it comes so naturally to just go with the flow and let him be himself - his varied, complex and often fiery self. I like seeing a little boy grow up, it's fascinating to watch.

Children aside, I find a lot of peace and clarity through my viewfinder, not so much in what I'm seeing but more in how I'm feeling and reacting, and how each photo seems to provide some insight into my own emotional landscape. This is why I love nothing more than to be outdoors, to get in touch with all of my senses, and to cut off from the internet and my phone long enough to feel emotions again that run a bit deeper than "liking" photos and leaving one liner comments on Facebook pages. Letting go of the virtual and cherishing the reality has grown more and more important to me over the past year. I don't know why, but something shifted inside of me and I learned that life is so multi-faceted and that balance is required to really enjoy as much as you can. Balance your time online and off. Balance your time with your family and alone. Balance self care with caring for others. Balance brings you closer to your core and when you are in touch with yourself, you don't waste as much time or energy deciding or doing things that ultimately lack value. So in essence, you may think balance takes you away from your family or is selfish, but it's exactly the opposite. Everyone wins.


What are your thoughts on balance today? Have you though to create a little more in your life too?

(Photography: Holly Becker for cattledogs)

Holly Becker Comments
4 Color Trends For Interiors 2017

Hello everyone, how are you? I hope well! I can't believe it's Autumn now and the holidays are only a few months away, and then 2017 is just around the corner! But first, the American election... Wow what an election, right? I honestly can't believe it when I read the news and Facebook each day. So many different viewpoints and arguments. It's so heated, I've never seen an election quite like this one before in my lifetime. With so much going on right now, I thought today I'd just bring some visual inspiration and keep things light and easy. So much of life is heavy, sometimes you just need to zone out - not because you are ignoring what needs to be done but because you need to rest your brain so you can make the best choices after your break. I particularly need a break now because I've been really busy with lots of things in my life.


Travel, childcare (we lost our daytime childcare so we are balancing our son full-time until we find a solution), book promotion, new business collaborations, projects, upcoming travel... It's all very exciting and some of it, stressful, but what keeps me in balance is allowing myself time to take a mental break and zone out a little. Early bedtime when I can. Eating light. Exercising more. These things greatly contribute to my overall well-being. Today, let's look at some color forecasts for interiors from , an American leader in paint, for 2017. They've predicted these 4 palettes to be big in the new year. After looking at them and reading the description, I'd love to hear from you - which one is your favorite? I'll tell you mine at the bottom of this post.


Intrepid - The virtual and the real are blurring in the form of seamless commerce and “office anywhere” collaboration. Impatient for social and political change, we’re reinventing ourselves first. Identity has never been more fluid. “You do you” is the mantra of a generation primed for self-expression, cheered on by their own #squad and tossing aside old categories. There’s a feisty energy to our present moment, arriving in fiery tones and vibrant, kimono colors.


Noir - It’s among our most precious commodities: night. We’re craving a refuge from urban streetlights and glowing screens, space to turn our gaze inward and recharge the spirit. Mindful melancholy is fueling a new romanticism marked by medieval patterns, revived customs and bittersweet beauty. The Dutch masters knew the secret: dark hues set a dramatic stage for sensuous luster. This palette is rich with vine- ripe fruits, Nordic blues, moody neutrals and golden yellows.


Unbounded - Global immigration is redefining borderlands, national identity and our sense of coexistence. We’re all citizens of the world now. Brands are becoming more purpose-driven, communities more connected. Design is adapting to more diverse populations. Overconsumption is, well, over. We’re more likely to invest in the best we can afford — crafted and customized — and then keep it forever. Global consciousness is a mural painted in earthy mustards, ocean blues, corals and mud.


Holistic - Sustainable design and radical transparency are the new standards. As our daily transactions move further into the cloud, acquiring experiences is becoming preferable to buying more things. “Doing good” is the new looking good, and it’s taking the form of “voluntourism,” healing retreats and eco-travel. We’re in pursuit of an elusive ideal: a fair luxury. The roads of this journey are lined with arctic neutrals, blush rose and wild browns.

Which is your favorite? I really love noir. I love how they've described it as "Mindful melancholy". I normally gravitate towards light, soft hues and a more Scandinavian palette, but moody tones are definitely on my radar at the moment and have been for a few months now and I imagine will continue from now into the new year.

(Images: Sherwin Williams)

Highlights From London + Amsterdam

Hello everyone, how are you? I'm so happy to be back at my desk writing to you today. I am so energized and inspired after my trips to London and Amsterdam, I did so many wonderful things that later, I have to write a post about some of them so you can add to your travel itinerary. But first, how are you? I loved being away again for a  tour. I spent 4 days in London and 3 days in Amsterdam and got to meet so many friends and fans that my head is still spinning from all of the conversations, dinners and meet ups. Here is a photo I took from the stage before my audience at  (#mtbams) - nearly 170 people! I spoke before them for an hour and after so many years of public speaking, this was one of my favorites to date. I really felt relaxed and I was 100% myself. I think as we grow more confident in our profession and learn more about ourselves, fear seems to slip away and we just OWN the moment and go with it. Don't you think so?

I lost my voice shortly after arriving home, it came back on Monday afternoon - ha ha but hey, that's a great reason to lose your voice - connecting live with inspiring and enthusiastic people. I signed lots of books at both London and at Amsterdam. Sometimes I can't believe how starting this blog has impacted my life and career. I nearly didn't become a blogger. To think of that truth is scary a decade later.

I have to thank both Anthropologie Europe and Meet The Blogger for receiving me so kindly and rolling out the red carpet, and to my friend and co-author for joining me in London for the launch party. It was great having Leslie there. I wish she could have joined me in Amsterdam too but she had to go back to Victoria, BC (where she lives) to tend to family business. Yet, she was still with me somehow - Leslie is always near, good friendships are just like that.


(me, from magazine (our book will be in their November issue, look for it!!!), Suzanne from and Meet The Blogger Founder Liselore of @).


(Haikje Verberk from at Meet The Blogger after I signed her book)


Anabella from who flew in from Rome, me, Leslie and wonderful at our book workshop and signing event at Anthropologie on Kings Road in London last Wednesday evening. I was SO HAPPY to see these ladies and everyone else who joined us.

All of these photos in this post are iPhone photos shot in store and conference room lighting, so not the best quality, but I still love having the memories and the chills I get when I see them. Every book still feels like the first time, and now I'm working already on finalizing my concept for the 5th book! Crazy but great!


(Styling our tabletop to show how to set the table in a creative and fun way for our guests at Anthropologie.)

Anyway, I'm so encouraged by the conversations I had and that I met so many new faces and also saw old friends whom I love dearly. I've set new career goals since returning as a result so being with out with my friends and fans was definitely what I needed. Getting out to connect with people in person really touches my heart but also refuels me. I'm such an extrovert in this way. I require outside energy to move forward so traveling and connecting in person with others is absolutely essential. As I was teaching the crafting component of the workshop, I stood there and thought that I have to teach workshops more frequently because it makes me feel so alive and cheerful. It's also very effortless for me and often, what we do that comes easy we think may not be that important or that what comes harder is the better skill to have, but I've read that you have to really let those effortless jobs be part of your life too because what comes naturally to us is something we should embrace and enjoy.


(Our book spotted at on Regent Street in London, where I bought both of my dresses that I wore for MTB and the Anthro book launch - links here: )

I can't wait to plan for 2017, I have many ideas I want to launch next year and am excited to bring you on the journey with me. For everyone I've met on the road recently, thank you for your love, support, and for buying our book because supporting authors is how we can keep writing, without that support we really can't make much of a dent. And to those who are leaving feedback on Amazon (you can leave feedback even if you didn't buy the book on , did you know that?), WE REALLY APPRECIATE the left there. It impacts book sales and the success of books, so all the feedback is super essential. So thank you from the bottom of my heart.

You can also buy the book at . They have some gorgeous photos of Decorate For a Party on their website too. See below.


I cannot close this post without giving a very special THANK YOU to: JACQUI, LIZ, SAM and KATE  at Jacqui Small Publishing, CHARLOTTE and SOPHIA at Anthropologie London and LISELORE, KIRSTEN and LAURA at Meet The Blogger for ALL of your help with everything! We had a great time launching our book in London and Amsterdam and are so honored to have your support.)

I'll be back to share some of the highlights from my trip which include great shopping and eating tips in London and Amsterdam. But for now, I wanted to simply pop my head in the say hello and give you a big hug and let you know I am back and blogging!



Late Summer Tabletop Style In Rich Colors

I hope all of you had a great summer season, soaked up a lot of sun and enjoyed long warm days. This is Anke and I am back from my month-long summer break with a new table styling for you while Holly is away this week in London and Amsterdam launching her new book, . Are you ready for autumn? I guess I am a bit ambivalent (as every year) as on the one hand I love autumn with its rich colors, warm light, fruit and veggie crop, then again I don't really want to let go summer.


Happily there is the wonderful month of September which is actually always sunny and warm in Germany and makes the goodbye to summer easier. For this month's table I ordered a white chain of lights, a typical decoration for a garden party and I think also a matching tool for a late summer gathering inside. This one comes from (Sweden) and can be used inside and outside.


To attach the chain, which is very light and for that reason easy to hang, I used two parts of a table clamp from . I continued with this simple and natural look by using Ball Mason glasses as flower vases and filled them with different kinds of dahlias, chrysanthemum, white bush roses, Astrantia and rosehip twigs.


On the plates are mint green linen napkins and tiny blossom bowls.


The green tumblers made of cut glass are my favorite souvenirs from our summer vacation in the Netherlands! I found them at Sissy Boy shop and they are not only good looking but also a delight in the hands. In German we say "Handschmeichler" which I think is the perfect word to describe it. :-)


Another discovery recently was cookbook (= fruit). I knew immediately that I would have to bake one of her delicious fruit cakes for this shoot! My choice fell on her Upside-Down Plum Cake and oh my! - it just tastes of late summer! No wonder as the recipe includes olive oil, blossom honey, vanilla and semolina. I served it with some crème fraîche which I sometimes prefer with cake instead of whipped cream.


And while we're on the subject book recommendation... I am waiting in suspense for my copy of Holly and Leslie`s new book ! Do you already own one? Without having seen it I know it is a firework of beautiful ideas, images and inspiration! Hopefully it arrives... delayed... next week so I can find inspiration for my next column's theme for October. :)

With this in mind, I am looking forward to see you again next month and wish you a great start into a golden October! -

(Photos, Styling and Text: )