Posts in Places
Meet Me in Berlin, Hannover + Zurich

Hello dear friends! Our book, , is on tour at the moment so we have lots of nice events behind us and some immediately ahead - and these are the ones I'd love to share with you today. We've been to Hamburg (), London (), Victoria (to post

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tomorrow) and Amsterdam (). Next up is Berlin, Hannover and Zurich. In December, there is a possibility of Paris, Nashville and New York, we're currently looking for a shop or studio space to host us in Nashville and New York if you know of anyone... Send them my way ([email protected]).

With any book tour, you want to meet and connect with your friends and fans. To me, this is the biggest goal and is most fulfilling since I am alone working most of the time. To connect with people, give and receive praise and hugs, feel a big chunk of girl power - it really keeps me going. It's also so much fun to meet new people and to see familiar faces. I cannot believe how many people are still entering the blog/social media space online. When you've been in this business for over 10 years, you wonder if there is room for much more growth, you wonder if blogging will fade into the sunset. From the events I've been at over the past few months for my book, the answer is definitely NO because I'm out meeting the next gen of bloggers and social media gurus (along with ladies my age) who are going to just work with all of the blogosaurus like me to build an even better experience online - together. It's exciting and I can't wait to see what the combination of fresh eyes and wisdom/experience will produce - I'm working hard in my own little spot here to contribute to that because I want it to be epic and wayyyy more interesting than it is even today.

But you just don't have these conversations or see these people without being OUT there. My events are about the book, yeah, but also for me an excuse to have a fully sponsored party so that I can see and meet people and be OUT THERE. I LOVE my sponsors too, they are so generous and kind to me but also to my guests. Like at Anthropologie in London last month - the staff there were just beautiful to us.

Honest to god, it's refreshing and wonderful to be touring a book again after nearly 5 years. I didn't tour the second one, just had a launch party in London, and I didn't tour the third because I had a baby 6 weeks before the book launched. So to be touring again brings back such good memories and I'm able to create new ones. My life is so much different than it was 5 short years ago. And everyone who comes to these events buy a book (or we give them away for free in a goody bag) and have them signed, which is wonderful and supportive and keeps authors going BUT my greatest takeaway from these events is the overwhelming support from our community that is still present and strong, the ability we have as a group to create change online, and the way meeting in person helps us to go back to our offices better, stronger and encouraged to keep pressing on.

With that sad, I have some exciting announcements to make today. Here are the three cities where you can come meet with me. Two of these events are going to offer you free copies of the books in beautiful goody bags thanks to our wonderful sponsors. All of them will have a chance for you to mingle, make friends, learn something new and spend time with me and my friends, fellow creative women and men who really love working together in this online space.

For each event below, you will need to RSVP or in the case of Zurich, you will need to complete a form and hope that you win a space. If you register asap, you just may!

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- Sponsored by - Press + Blogger Party with a Styling Presentation/Discussion -

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- Sponsored by cattledogs and Kukkamari Party with Holly + Friends -

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- Sponsored by , magazine,  - Styling/DIY Workshop with Holly -

See you soon everyone, I can't wait!

Love, Holly

(Photos: Laure Joliet, Janis Nicolay and Holly Becker)

Highlights From London + Amsterdam
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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.

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

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

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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!

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(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.

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(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.

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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!

xo,

Holly

LONDON Meet Me Next Week : RSVP Here
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Hello friends! I have very exciting news. In exactly ONE week from today, on September 28, 2016, Leslie Shewring and I will be in LONDON at  on KINGS ROAD from 7-9pm for a very special meet up, book presentation, styling and DIY workshop all in celebration of . If you want to attend, since it's after store hours and a private event, you have to to be on our guest list. decorateforaparty_launch

 

 

Together we will:

  • Show you 6 Ways To Set a Table
  • Make a project together from the book that you can customize and take home
  • Have a group photo with us showing your finished projects
  • We'll talk about the book and share some special highlights
  • We will have a book signing pause so you can buy a copy and we'll sign and add any special messages, etc. We are happy to sign and dedicate books to your family, friends, customers, etc. for holiday gift giving, too.
  • You can meet up with other bloggers, journalists and our families and friends and enjoy some snacks and drinks
  • LIMITED SEATING + SUPPLIES so . Note: Tickets cost £10, which is redeemable against purchases of £20 and over. If you only want to come to meet us quickly (or if you are a journalist and want to take photos or do a quick interview) and won't be staying for the workshops, please send me a private email ([email protected]) and I can put you on a separate guest list so you can still obtain entrance at the front door.

Because this is a private event, your name has to be on our guest list to get in to the store since it's to be held after store hours.

See you next week, LONDON!

FOR ALL WHO ATTEND please tag your photos #decorateforaparty

xo

Holly

PlacesHolly BeckerComment
Blickfang + The FEIERLAUNE Book Launch!

Hey everyone! I was just in the beautiful port city of Hamburg where I launched the German edition of (which JUST released in and the !) in partnership with , "the" International Design Fair that has events all over German-speaking Europe supporting new and established independent artists and designers, and our German publishers, . I still can't believe I'm with Random House, a real dream come true as I've always wanted to be represented by a very large house. So thank you DVA for working with us on our book and being so supportive with the latest title which is called FEIERLAUNE (). blickfang10

I really love Blickfang, I had the honor of dining with their CEO  and was so fascinated by her ability to keep her cool and be so approachable and warm despite all of the pressure to manage so many fairs having two children (a baby and a young son) and a husband at home. In addition to being a power woman and a great mom, she's extremely supportive of the design community in Europe and really enjoys giving them a beautiful platform in which they can have an almost "pop up shop" for a weekend at a beautiful location and not only meet the local press and journalists but also get in close touch with bloggers who are invited and of course, the local community who shops at .

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For this fair, I was invited to be on a with two others, French Industrial Designer and German Photographer, Star-Stylist, Magazine Founder of and Makeup Artist .

It was such a nice joining, us three, because we are all coming from different backgrounds and places in our careers, and countries - a German, French and an American - which really gives us such an interesting perspective when we were gathered together. One thing I noticed though is that despite our differences, we all know good design when we see it - well made, thought through, a good story, etc. We didn't argue at all about the winners - we all were told to walk the floor separately and then regroup a few hours later to show our 3 favorites in each category - fashion/accessories and home design. We all chose the same designers as our finalists so it was easy to determine the winner from there. However, to be fair, we went back to the booths of all of our finalists giving them a chance to "sell themselves" to us, the jury, as to why they deserve to win. That was most fascinating. It's always so interesting to see what people have to say about their own products and how well they can give, what we Americans call, an "Elevator Pitch".

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In the end, we chose for Fashion because of her necklaces and bracelets by and for Design. I personally loved the story behind Dubaruba because she is giving work to Africans to make and design jewelry for her label. The winner for home design easily went to the lighting from  which was just exquisitely made - both form and function were equally strong and I really loved what I saw the designer, Markus Ranft, was a charming man and knew how to pitch his product which was impressive because being an independent designer is more than just making things, you have to also have a strong business sense and not be afraid to speak with conviction about your brand. After the winners were selected, we presented the awards before the fair attendees and each was given 500, Euros cash. It was really fun to take part in this presentation and to make other people so happy!

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The next morning, I was the star of show which was really fun but also scary, since I'd not been in the public eye doing an event since October 2012. I took time off to be pregnant and then, spend that time writing books (I wrote one during pregnancy and then one last year) and I wanted to stay close to home with a new child and I'm glad I did it. But he is 2 1/2 now so I decided it's time to get out and start meeting my friends and fans again.

It wasn't hard after walking in for the breakfast launch party on Saturday morning - we had a full house and it was invigorating, beautifully styled and planned, the food was excellent, and it was gorgeous - the space, all of it. Happily, Blickfang and my German publishers, , along with one of my favorite drinks - , sponsored this gorgeous event for  and I couldn't be happier! I only missed my co-author Leslie Shewring.

All of the photos in this post, so beautifully done, are by Photographer  (with permission) and were taken mostly during my event. You can see the nice guests and splendid breakfast buffet and my youngest fan, , who is only 14 years old and a blogger for teenagers - she completely melted my heart when she called me her idol. I nearly cried from happiness to know that my blog has influence over people of all ages and backgrounds, maybe it is because I have a child now and want so much to be a good role model to young people now more than ever before. It was very touching to meet her and motivated me to keep going full steam ahead with my career.

The two photos below show her and I - she asked me to sign a copy of my book and of course, I did. I really loved meeting her, her talented father took these photos below of us.) I got to meet her parents and they were incredible - so supportive of their daughter and her creativity.

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So, to wrap up I have to say a few things: Thank you from my heart to Ami, Johanna, Astrid and of course, Jennifer for EVERYTHING. I am still so impressed by this amazing party in my honor. And thank you to DVA/Random House for the support in this, too. Also, thank you to everyone who came, it was so nice to meet all of you - truly a pleasure.

Also, if any of you are interested in Blickfang, either visiting or being a part of it, I highly encourage you to check out this video. It's from last year (I'm in it!) but it really shows the fair and how well done it really is.

I'll be on the jury at Blickfang Zurich and teaching two workshops and sharing my book at , so I hope those of you living in Switzerland or nearby can attend. I'll be working with Blickfang and Switzerland's most influential woman's magazine, , and can't wait to meet all you there.

xo, Holly

PlacesHolly Becker Comments
Meet Me In Hamburg This Saturday, 10 September - FeierLaune Buch Party
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Hello dear friends. This is a quick post to let you know that on Saturday morning I'm going to be in Hamburg at the for  International Design Fair from 10-11 am to present the German edition of my new book, [easyazon_link identifier="3421040362" locale="DE" tag="cattledogs09-21"]FeierLaune[/easyazon_link], for the first time - it's not even out yet so no one has a copy and won't for a few more weeks! If you'd like to come, we'll be having breakfast and talking about the book and I'll be signing copies and meeting everyone - it will be very nice and my little boy will be with me so he can meet everyone and be at mama's book launch party. I'll also have some time between 11:15-12:30 for interviews if you'd like to meet one on one. Decorate-for-A-Party,-p39,-photography-by-Janis-Nicolay

To register, just use and I'll see you there!

Thank you and Blickfang for hosting this special event in celebration of my 4th book.

(Photograph: for Decorate For a Party)

8 Messages From The World's #1 Chef Massimo Bottura

I just arrived back home after a whirlwind trip to Berlin to interview Massimo Bottura, chef patron of the Michelin three-starred restaurant , who was recently crowned the (as voted by a panel of nearly 1,000 gastronomic experts worldwide) presiding over the #1 restaurant in the world. When I was given this assignment, I viewed it as an honor but also a challenge since the food scene is not entirely on my radar YET I do know about passion, art, culture and the craving one can have from the very core to follow dreams and live their life immersed in what they love. So after seeing Massimo on Netflix ( Episode 1), I felt entirely ready to meet this hugely talented and successful man and experience his passion first hand. meetmassimo

After I arrived at the , I watched a fantastic presentation by Massimo for about his goal to change the way the world looks at food through (his non profit organization) and his collaboration with Grundig for their #RespectFood movement. #RespectFood focuses on how much waste food. That we need to use the leftovers, clean our plate, use what is in our refrigerator and don't let it go to waste, don't put more on our plate that we will eat, have a conscience when it comes to the meal before you, etc. With so many starving in the world and 1.3 billion tons of food being wasted, it's a call to action to put more thought into cooking than just the recipes we make.

Grundig #RespectFood Manifesto 1. Eat Leftovers 2. Know Your Fridge 3. Check The Dates 4. Shop Smart 5. Love Food Hate Waste 6. Take Leftovers Home 7. Use It All 8. Clean Your Plate 9. Eat What You Need

During Massimo's presentation, he jumped in with the chef he originally had there to prepare his recipe for him and instead, he asked us if he could cook while he spoke and of course, the audience didn't object - it was a great privilege to watch him at work - directing the chef while speaking to us and making some jokes along the way. He is focused and intense but also all over the place and very spirited and energetic - you can't predict what will come next, I love it - so it's fun to watch him in his element with pots and pans and delicious aromas filling the air... His energy is contagious and it's obvious that he loves being in the kitchen. We even got to sample his broth with breadcrumbs and parmesan which was light and lovely.

After his presentation, I was ushered into a private area for the press - I was with CNN Turkey, Wallpaper magazine and several members of the British press, and I had 15 minutes to meet Massimo in a small conference room and that is exactly what happened -- and it was an exhilarating ride. After we wrapped up, I asked if he'd like to present in a video a few words from his heart for the cattledogs audience - I told him it could be any message he'd like to send forth, and below, you will find my video of Massimo. But first, here are 8 messages from this famous chef that I had to share from our meeting together...

  1. ON LOVE: When I asked Massimo about his relationship with his American wife, Lara Gilmore, what she brought to their partnering, he immediately said, "Culture, Poetry and Balance. Mi the Italian irrational way of acting with the pragmatic way of an American is the perfect mix." I personally loved hearing this, he is so in love with his wife but also has so much respect for her, it's very touching.
  2. ON RESPONSIBILITY: "Cooking is an act of love but today, cooking is a call to act. Chefs today are much more than their recipes, we can do so much more, we have a responsibility, much more than the sum of the recipes." He is referring here to how much food we waste and how chefs and all of us need to think more about what we are using. He was raised in a culture where you eat the entire animal so to speak, so nothing is wasted, and this is important to him in a world where so many are starving.
  3. ON GETTING YOUR MESSAGE OUT: "You communicate, it is your job, you are writing, you communicate with hundreds of thousands of people. It's you, the press, that is the most important thing, if you evolve, if you transfer these kinds of messages.We (chefs) have so much spotlight that we are moving from us to others so we can do like this repertoire and have the full attention of the people, that's a very good thing." Massimo feels very thankful for the press that he gets now from being the world's #1 chef, not for his own ego, but because now he is able to get bigger, more important news out to the world like his nonprofit, Food For Soul.
  4. ON FUTURE CHEFS: He sees a lot of chefs who think success comes overnight or from winning a contest on television. He believes this is just not the case, "The young generation, they have to know that being a chef takes a very long time. You have to grow like a tree, very very slow with big roots, and then you can shine. But first of all, you have to know everything and then forget about everything, but first you have to know everything and to know everything you have to travel a lot, experience a  lot, you have to do all this."
  5. ON INSPIRATION: "When I watch a movie and go to the movie theater, most of the time, I go and watch the most stupid thing ever but what I need is two hours for me to isolate myself, I don't even know what I watched." He said that is when the ideas come, and we both agreed that isolation can often breed inspiration.
  6. ON MUSIC: "When I leave the restaurant, in my house there is a room, a music room, and this is where I decompress. The music is perfect, most of the time in there especially in the darkness I find a creative earthquake, a very important moment in which I really find myself mi so many different aspects of my passion... Art, music, especially when I'm alone." He mentioned Opera, Pavarotti, Billy Holiday, Led Zeppelin - all great music inspires him.
  7. ON DESIGN: "We grew up with a kind of feeling and passion for design, we waited 6 years for finding the right sofa. I was walking on the streets of New York, and I saw two shadows, two gray chairs and I put them on my shoulder and I walked from mid own to uptown with them on my shoulders and I walked back home... How can you throw away two chairs like that? Now they are in my living room." Massimo is a big fan of recycling and using everything, from food to the objects he uses to decorate his home.
  8. ON PERSEVERANCE: I asked him about the time when he was not the most popular chef in Italy, when reviews were not so positive. I asked him how he pressed forward and stuck to his ideas and he simply said, "I was so sure about what I was doing, it was so clear to me that I was on the right way. For the young chefs if you have a good idea, keep doing it, go ahead, if the idea is really right... you will be recognized."

Here is Massimo with a message for all of you...

* is a non-profit organization founded by chef Massimo Bottura to promote social awareness about food wastage and hunger through a wide range of initiatives in collaboration with chefs, artisans, food suppliers, artists, designers and institutions. You can get involved .

(Photo + Video by Holly Becker for cattledogs)