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How to Bookshelf

Our space plays such a huge role in how we FEEL and interpret our lives. Your home should be a sanctuary to come home to and reignite your fuel so you can powerfully live the rest of your life. 

Today, we're going to have some fun exploring bookshelves.

I LOVE TO READ. And even more than that I LOVE TO COLLECT BOOKS. One day, I will have a library with floor to ceiling shelves and sliding ladders like in Beauty and the Beast, but for now I have bookshelves and for all the books that don't fit on the shelves (believe me, there are many) I have stacks and stacks on the floor, underneath my dresser, next to my desk, in my closet... sigh... I love them.

Some people say, Have you ever heard of a library? To which I respond, yes, but my books become some of my dearest friends who I go to for advice and reassurance so I must buy them and keep them forever. (also, if I'm going to fill up my Beauty and the Beast Library one day I must keep them all!)

There are so many ways to "style" a bookshelf so that it not only serves its function but also is aesthetically pleasing and can be a beautiful focal point for any space. I am about to share with you the 4 steps to creating a beautiful bookshelf as well as 10 tips to make it a masterpiece.

A bookshelf truly can be a piece of art in and of itself. 

How to Bookshelf

Step #1.  Empty the Bookshelf - Yes. You must start with a blank canvas in order to create a masterpiece. So clear some space and get ready for a workout (this can double as your cardio for the day haha). Take everything off. Every single thing.

Step #2. Put the Big Stuff on First - I like to have everything that I would like to place on the bookshelf laying on the floor in front of me so I have a clear picture of what I have to choose from as I place things. Start with the big stuff first.

Step #3. Fill in the Blanks - After you have put on all the large hardback books, major book collections, and all the art pieces you want to showcase, fill in the blanks with smaller book collections and accessories. 

Step #4. Evaluate the Masterpiece - After you have put everything on the floor back onto the bookshelf step back and evaluate your masterpiece. Rearrange if necessary. Is there something that is sticking out like a sore thumb? Move it. Does it look off balance? Rearrange. The goal is organized messy. You will know. 

These 10 tricks will help you create a beautiful bookshelf that does more than just hold books.

  1. Mix it up. Arrange some books vertically and some books horizontally. (a good rule is 60% vertical and 40% horizontal).
  2. Arrange books by color. This may or may not give the look you are going for, but can be a great way to add structure and order to a bookshelf. (Just don't tell your librarian.)
  3. Add decorative objects.  Eclectic is good as long as the colors coordinate. If eclectic isn't your style, add any type of decorative objects to create your unique personality. Sculptures, bowls, stacks of boxes, vases, etc.
  4. Add natural things. This is a great way to add variety as well. Place plants in interesting vases, bowls of seashells or rocks, air plants. 
  5. Place artwork on shelves to mix things up. Prop small pieces on shelves and hang larger pieces above.
  6. Paint the inside of the bookshelf a darker shade than the wall. I would only recommend this for built-ins unless you never plan on rearranging your room or have an undying love for repainting walls. (not me on either account, haha)
  7. Use magazine organizers to create order. Remember messy order is the goal. 
  8. Use decor as bookends. You don't have to fill in entire shelves with books. Make it interesting by adding accessories to the ends of books.
  9. Play with layers. Deep bookshelves allow you to put taller items, like vases or artwork, behind shorter books to add interest and depth.
  10. Keep it simple. Don't add accessories to every shelf. Less is more. A basic rule is 1/3 books, 1/3 accessories, and 1/3 empty space per shelf. 

Make it as eclectic or as simple as you want, add your unique personality, and have fun!

For some unbelievable DIY Bookshelf Ideas go here. You will be amazed!

If you're following me, you've probably figured out that Wednesdays are the days I devote to interior space tips while the others days I share my positive psychology and coaching experiences. I hope that you are seeing the link between the two. Click below to learn more about how to uplevel your mind and space. 

(images are from @apartmenttherapy, except for bottom image which is of my personal space)


Show Yourself Some Love Sesh #2


Show Yourself Some Love Sesh #2

This week's Monday "Show Yourself Some Love" sesh is a good one. This past weekend I had the opportunity to spend 2 days in the Pheonix, Arizona area soaking up some gorgeous weather, with a couple of my favorite people, as we explored the works of one of my favorite men of all time, Frank Lloyd Wright.

Taliesin West

Taliesin West

Now, don't worry, you don't have to be as big of an architect nerd as me to get something out of this post because the self-care principle that I am going to focus on today is that of


because even if you are unemployed, or things aren't going your way. Even if you have financial burdens and don't know what to do. Even if you are going through medical hardships or a relationship just ended or you're miles away from home and feel like you are in your darkest days, there are still SO many beautiful things to be grateful for.

Now, don't get me wrong.... I don't believe in foo-foo fluff and pretending that things aren't hard if they are, we all go through some tough sh*& and it's okay to be sad about it for a minute, but I promise you, life gets a whole lot better when you focus on the things that are going RIGHT instead of wallowing in all the things that are going wrong. 

Let's get real. Life is hard, but OH SO GOOD.

Frank Lloyd Wright was an American architect, interior designer, writer, and educator during the early 1900's. He designed more than 1,000 structures, 532 of which were completed. His style was that of "organic" architecture where he designed his buildings using natural elements and taking inspiration from the beauties of the natural world. His work truly was ahead of his time, and was 100% timeless, which is why it continues to be admired and loved today. He said,

Taliesin West

Taliesin West

"If you foolishly ignore beauty, you will soon find yourself without it. But if you invest in beauty, it will remain with you all the days of your life." 

So... you have a choice. To be grateful and see the beauty's in your life, or to ignore them. They are there, all around you actually. It is up to you to see them. 

A couple years ago I was NOT happy. I was grasping for more, totally unsure what my next step in life was to be, had just quit my job, and literally spent every second being angry and miserable and unhappy. A good friend taught me a routine and I'm about to teach it to you because it changed my life. 

Goals and Gratitudes

Every morning when I woke up my first thing I was to do was to pull out my notebook and write down 7 things I was grateful for and then 3 things I wanted to accomplish that day. I took this routine even a step further and at the end of the day I went back to my list and checked off the three things I had gotten done as well as write down 7 more things I was grateful for. 

It only took a couple days of doing this before my perspective changed, and life was seeming to change overnight. I got offered a job. An opportunity to work a conference in San Francisco came up. Then an opportunity to live in San Francisco for next to nothing came up. Then I moved and life got better every day. Things were still hard. I had zero dollars and every day was a question for whether I was going to have money. I didn't get a full-time job for a while and working for the temp agency was tiring and unpredictable at times. I missed my friends and life that I had left behind and was finding it hard to break into a new life, but one thing I knew for sure.

By focusing on the things that were going right in my life, I was happier, had more drive and motivation to problem solve, work hard, and make things happen for myself, and I was more attractive to others and was more fun to be around. 

And guess what... the gratitudes don't have to be big grandiose things... my first list consisted of this... 1) music 2) my computer 3) Rachel 4) institute 5) scriptures 6) sunshine 7) getting my oil changed for a good deal. The next day I listed, 1) family 2) a car, 3) my friendly personality 4) mountains 5) opportunities 6) games 7) phone. See.. not that hard to think of 7 things. The hard part was not stopping at 7!

It is scientifically proven that gratitude has these seven benefits:

  1. Gratitude opens the door to more relationships.
  2. Gratitude improves physical health.
  3. Gratitude improves psychological health.
  4. Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression. 
  5. Grateful people sleep better.
  6. Gratitude improves self-esteem.
  7. Gratitude increases mental strength. 

and that is just to name a few! There are so many benefits to being grateful. So.... this week I challenge you to add Goals and Gratitudes to your morning and nightly self-care routines. (and if you don't have a self-care routine, ADOPT one, starting with this). 

  1. Wake Up.

  2. Pull out notebook next to your bed.

  3. Write down 7 things you are grateful for.

  4. Write down 3 things that you want to get done that day. (It is also proven that 3 is the magic number of things a person can realistically plan to successfully accomplish in one day)

  5. Smile at all the beauty that surround you.

ALSO, you know what has given me the greatest lesson in gratitude of all? Learning to find beauty in the desert. I am a country girl from the beautiful mountains of Northen Utah. I love trees and mountains and rivers and lakes. I also am a true California girl at heart and I love the ocean and flowers and everything green. Living in the desert for the past 3 years has been a huge lesson in seeing the beauty in unexpected places!

Let me know how incorporating this routine benefits you in your life! I promise it will! 

"Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude."


10 Keys to a Happier Space


10 Keys to a Happier Space

Your interior space plays a huge role in the way you feel. I mean, you spend a large majority of your time there. It's where you eat, where you sleep, where your play, where you relax, where you entertain; it's where you LIVE. Below are 10 Keys to a happier space, one that allows you to celebrate you and not just live, but actually feel replenished and ALIVE INSIDE. 

1. Create an experience. This is your space. What do you want it to say? What story do you want it to tell? Do you want your space to feel like an adventure? Do you want it to be calming and quiet? Do you want it to be bright and exciting? Make your space tell whatever story you want to be part of. P.S. Every room can tell a different story, just make sure there is some sort of cohesion.

2. Declutter for a clean and contained space. Clutter = Mess = Stress. In order to bring more happiness into your space, declutter and make sure your space is clean and contained. Throw out things you do not need, things that are broken, and things that you have not used in the past 6 months (or 6 weeks - I promise, less stuff = more happiness). With the stuff that remains, create organization and contain the space using containers, trays, baskets, and bins.

3. Prioritize comfort.  Do you have a chair that is modern and sleek, but so uncomfortable that you never sit in it? Get rid of it! If you want to feel comfortable at home, comfort should be a top priority. Fill your space with soft things, blankets, pillows, and soft furniture. Use different patterns and textures of these items to bring variety into the space.

4. Treat your home like it's made to be lived in. While cleanliness brings happiness, let yourself off the hook a little and don't stress too much about things being perfectly in order 100% of the time. I always said that when visitors came over I wanted them to know that we were a family that enjoyed eating together, playing games together, and doing things together and so it would be okay if there was a little proof of these things happening in the home. 

5. Create Inspiration. Use your space to inspire you, whatever that looks like for you. Showcase favorite quotes, bring in patterns that mean something to you, showcase family heirlooms that remind you of family traditions and heritage. Decorate with photos of loved ones and cherished memories. Make your space the place that lights you up and lifts you higher.

6. Showcase your personality. Showcasing your personality is a great way to make your space happier. Celebrate you! Display personal collections you have, things you like to do, and objects that bring you joy. If you love to travel, display globes or a map with flags of all the places you've visited. You like football? Showcase your favorite teams and pictures of yourself and friends playing. Bring YOU into you SPACE.

7. Use color that shows how you want to feel. Colors have a tendency to bring different emotions, and they aren't necessarily the same for everyone. White may feel clean and refreshing to one person and may feel boring and cold to someone else. Yellow may feel bright, homey, and happy to one and to another may be overbearing. Pick colors that go well together and feel good to YOU.

8. Use lighting to your liking. Natural lighting is a great way to bring more happiness into your home. It is proven that sunlight brings happiness. Put chairs next to windows and use window coverings that can be easily drawn to allow light in. If the space doesn't allow for natural lighting, accessorize with chandeliers and lamps that add personality and bring joy to the space.

9. Use mirrors to elongate and brighten space. Making a space feel bigger can make the space more enjoyable to be in. Using mirrors are a great way to make a space feel bigger and brighter.

10. Bring the outdoors in. Last but not least, bring the outdoors in. Plants add personality, feeling, and brightness to any space as well as making the air quality better. Hang pots from the celing, plant an herb garden in your kitchen, or plant a succulent garden in a pot for your bedroom. If you don't have much of a green thumb, don't worry, there are plenty of ways to make fake plants look real and bring the inviting calm that greenery does into the home. 

No matter where you live, your space is your comfort zone, the place you should feel safe and secure, the place to come back to yourself when the outside world beats you down. Whether you own or rent, have a house, an apartment, or a studio in the city, whether you have an entire house to call your own, or just a bedroom, you can incorporate these 10 keys into your interior space to chase the gloom out and bring the happy in.