Monday, December 31, 2012

Looking Back Over 2012

They say you can't live life looking in the rear view never get anywhere....
Photography by Linda McCartney/Courtesy of the Bonnie Benrubi Gallery NYC

I am not a big fan of looking back, unless it is to measure growth.  Sometimes looking back can be disappointing, for example when you realize you didn't honor the resolutions you declared the year before.  I have a new way of thinking about those unconquered resolutions though.  If I didn't get those done, it was probably because something better came along, so I chose the better options.  My list for this past year was pretty lofty.  Do you remember it?  Where you a reader then?  If not, click here for the post of my resolutions for 2012.  

Why do we make resolutions?


I am going to move some of those unfinished resolutions from last year to this years list, because I still deem them worthy, but you will have to wait til New Year's to see which ones! 

 This past year was a wonderful year for Lisa Mende Design.  I hope you won't mind a little retrospective journey through 2012.  Since this was my first year back to work since taking time off after my son's death, I really didn't know what to expect.  Not only had I changed but the face of business has changed, since I left my practice in 2009.  Gone were the days of client's with unlimited budgets and jobs galore.  The dip in the economy forced several of my suppliers and resources out of jobs.  Clients were clinging a little more tightly to their pocketbooks.  Social Media has taken over by storm.  Now lots of people think they can look at Pinterest and figure out how to decorate. (actually it has really helped make things easier for the DIY-er)  I recognized that I would have to basically start over with my practice.  My old way of doing things would have to change.  I would not only have to be smarter about my business but I would also have to work harder for  my business to thrive and grow.


I decided to look at it as a new chapter, instead of a struggle to rebuild.  I even changed the name of my business.  Since 1998, I had operated as Faraby House Design but in 2009 when I started my blog, I decided to change the business to my own name.  It was simpler.  Still there were issues with pronunciation but at least it was my name.  Faraby was my great grandmother's name.  I had always wanted to name a girl that name but since I wasn't able to use it for a child, I chose to name my business that name.  I was always trying to spell it or pronounce it for someone, so when I started over, it seemed a good time to change the name.  Now people try to call me "Men dez" or put the ~ over the e but it's really just plain "Mende" folks.  I use to say, "like Mork and Mindy" but that was so long ago, no one remembers them now, so I just get blank stares if I say that. 
 Enough of the history onto more current affairs..... 

 Here's what happened at Lisa Mende Design in 2012!!!

January - Resolutions for 2012 - some I kept ,some I didn't !

February - Fabulous new clients, I feel so blessed!!!

March - I was added to the Master Designer Blogroll by Darlene

April - Michelle Obama asked me to decorate the White House, (NOT)
but I did have fun with an April Fools post here
Attended The High Point International Market, read about it here & here

May - I attended Blogfest 2012 in NYC sponsored by Kravet!  It was awesome
you can read about it here, here , here & here.  I finally got to meet in person
designers and bloggers that I felt I knew from our online friendship, and the
 wonderful people from Kravet including Cary and Lisa Kravet, and
 their wonderful team.

June -  I was asked to participate in the One Room Challenge by Linda from 
My Crafty Home Life and Jennifer from Pretty Pink Pagoda.  I met some really neat
new blogger friends whom I still follow today!  We shared our six week plan
to redo one room.  It was really fun!

I became a member of Tobi Fairley's Mastermind group and flew to 
Little Rock , Arkansas for the first time!  It was fabulous! 

July - Was nominated by The High Point Market to be one of the contestants in the "Style Spotter" Contest sponsored by Olioboard, read the post here! Also, did work for a Lowe's online project called 3Flat Design while living at the beach house. 

AugustI was chosen by Brizo luxury brand faucets, to attend their Fashion
 Week Event and Jason Wu's Fashion Show!  Bar none a highlight in my design biz!
I think even I will go back and reread the post here !  Becoming an elite member of blogger19
was a highlight for me!!!

I  won the 9th spot on the Style Spotter panel for the High Point Oct. market 
thanks to you my loyal voters!!!

September - The lovely Janell Beals featured me in an article about Raising Sons 
in her online magazine House of Fifty!  

I traveled to NYC for the Brizo Event which was ah-may-zing!!!  Read about it here! And
if you want to read more there are several other post during September about that
fab trip!!!

October -  I attended the High Point Market as the 9th Style Spotter and boy did
I have a blast!!  Not only did I find beautiful trend setting furniture and accessories
but you my readers helped me win the honor of being Style Spotter for the entire market!!!
Thank you again!!!

November -  My blog was named one of  Modenus Top 100 Blogs!!!!

December -   The Hooper Kyser House in Chapel Hill which is the oldest house in Chapel Hill and one of my projects over the past year, was
on the Historical Society of Chapel Hill's Christmas Tour!  

All in all it was a very productive year for a first year back in business!! 
Please don't think I am bragging because this post is a far cry from that.
I stand in amazement over what has happened in my life over the past 
year.  It is not because of me, but because of God and how he has put the
right people in my path.  I am a shining example of someone who can rise
from the ashes and live again.  

I thank you for your love and support in 2012!!!

Here's to great things to come in 2013!!!!
Thank you for coming along with me for the ride!!
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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sunday Life & Living Authentically....

My new series starting in January,  "Living An Authentic Life"
 will cover the gambit on ways to create a home that feels authentically yours, but part of creating that home is learning what being "authentic" means to you.  For me that means finding what makes me happy or what I can do to make others happy.  Every Sunday, I will discuss traditions or events from my life or the life of others that I feel are part of what creates that "happy" in a family.  I am going to bare my soul and share some insights that might surprise you.  I am also going to have some guest posts that I am really excited about as well.  Sharing our "authentic selves" is not always easy, but I think it helps others find their own true self which is what this series is all about.  

Deepak Chopra

 Are you willing to embark on this journey?  What will it take?  How will we do it?  Will we  achieve success?  Only time will tell.  It isn't something that happens fast, it is a true journey.  Are you ready for the experience?  

James Carroll

It isn't hard, it just takes time and effort.  It isn't about being perfect or better, but about being "just right" as we learned from the old fairy tale Goldilocks & The Three Bears.   We learn as much from the process as we do from the outcome.

John Updike

 Having an authentic home isn't only about finding the art that speaks to your soul or the chair placement that is right for the number of people in your family, but also about the heart of the home, the soul of the home, so that is what these Sunday posts will discuss.  How to you create a soulfulness or a home with heart?

Tina Turner

What is Sunday like at your house? The day we are suppose to rest, rejuvenate and regroup.
What does your day of rest include?  Do you go to church, enjoy the day at home, or
visit with friends and family?  When I was a little girl, we always went to church and often after church we would go eat at my Grandmother's.  If we didn't go eat at my grandmothers, we would end up there by the end of the day.  Both of my grandparents lived very close to us so many Sundays we would visit both sets of grandparents.  There were always cousins to play with and good food to eat.  As an adult, I don't live near my family so I miss that tradition.  I grew up in a large family and as an adult haven't had family living around me and rarely even have family visit.  The rest of my family live fairly close to one another so they see each other and eat together through out the year.  We see them on holidays and in the summer when we are at the beach.  Many of the traditions that were part of my childhood have no longer been part of my adulthood.  Has that been the same with you or has life afforded you the same pleasures?  For years, I felt empty and lonely on Sundays and couldn't figure out why.  It wasn't until I identified that I was missing my childhood Sundays that I was able to put a finger on how I was feeling.  I can't have those Sundays with my side of the family but my in-laws live fairly close to us, so we started having them over every Sunday night for dinner.  My children look forward to this as much as I did the traditions of my youth. 
That's when I realized, that in life we don't always get what we want ,so we have to look for ways to be happy with the life that we have been dealt.   Are there things from your childhood you miss?  Are these things something you want for your own children?  If so, find your way to recreate the experiences you enjoyed for your own family in your own way.  
It's all part of living authentically.  

Nikky Finney

What do you want your life to say about you?  What do you want to pass on to the next generation?  What traditions, experiences do you want to continue in your family?

Robert Bresson

I am going to keep a notebook during our experience where I write down things I know make me happy.  Will you do the same?  I challenge you to record 5 things today that make you have and give your heart happiness?  Then write down five ways you will strive to create more balance, happiness and tradition in your home in 2013.  I hope you will think about these things and record them!  Please share with me what you find!

Happy Sunday!
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Friday, December 28, 2012

Out With The Old and In With The New....

The holidays has passed, we are left are the empty boxes, items to returns and thoughts toward the New Year.  Any resolutions?

As you plan your new year's activities, how do you prioritize your goals for your home? I know first hand that we often live with things we don't really care for because it is easier than trying to figure out what you do like or want.  Is your home authentically you?  Worried that you will chose things that will be out of style in a year?


Are you still hanging onto those brass candlesticks that Aunt Susie gave you ten years ago just because she gave them to you?  Do you still like them? Did you ever like them?  If not, it's time to purge, regroup and authenticate your home!  Lose what isn't you!
Less is more, drink the kool aid!   Join me for a new series called " Authenticate Your Home".
Beginning, in January, we will be discussing how to look at your home with new eyes!
What to keep and what to purge?  Shake it up and move things around to create new energy in your home.  Out with the old and on with the new, how to purchase things that speak to your soul, your life and your purpose.  Functionality of your home, what works and what doesn't?  These are just a few of the topics we will be covering on our journey to an authentic home.  Is money an issue?  No worries, I will give you ways to get the home of your dreams without spending big bucks if that is your goal.  Of course if you desire a high end designer home, we will look at that as an option as well.  

The mailbag will be open, if you have any questions, design issues or thoughts please feel free to write me at   I will designate one day to answering mailbag questions if I get enough mail from you!  It's your chance to get free advice!  So go ahead and send your questions my way! 

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

What To Do Now That Christmas Has Passed....

Christmas was yesterday, what are you doing today? Reflection, rest and relaxation I hope? My hubby, kids and I are enjoying a rainy day at my family's cabin.  Everyone is just hanging out!  I left my camera cord in Charlotte, so I can't share any photos from Christmas Day, so I will have to wait til later to do that post.  All I have is my iphone, so sorry the
 pics are so great! 

I have been reflecting on the holiday and catching up on emails, blog reading and thinking about what lies before me once I return to my home.  I left a house filled with piles of ripped up Christmas paper, boxes and things to be returned.  Instead of focusing on what has to be done, I have chosen to think about how lucky I am and how blessed I feel.  I have thought about the families who have had an empty chair at the Christmas dinner this year for the first time.   Missing an important member of the family due to sickness or distance or death.  I have thought about  people who didn't spend a warm Christmas inside or were alone.  I have thought about world hunger and those whose who were hungry during the holidays.  I have thought about those who weren't able to provide a tree surrounded with gifts for their family.  There is so much need in the world all year long, but for some reason we tend to focus on the need during the holidays.  Wonder what the world would be like if we thought of everyday as Christmas? 

I also pondered how the holidays can push us to do things we really don't want to do, be with people who are sometimes difficult or hard to be around.  As I have gotten older, I have had less patience with negativity, drama and narcissistic people.  I am certainly no saint and can't say that  it isn't hard for me to suck up my pride and be nice but I always feel better when I do chose to be nice no matter the circumstances. 

  In the spirit of the season, I want to share one of the best quotes I have ever read about Christmas from one of my favorite blogs "The Daily Love".  

"Remember, if Christmas isn't found in your heart, you won't find it under a tree."

My goal for 2013 is to have Christmas in my heart all year long.  To remember those who are needy, everyday not just during the holidays.  To try to love those that are hard to love, to be grateful for what I have.  My mentor Tobi Fairley, has chosen to focus our Mastermind group on self care, gratefulness and positivity for the New Year, as a member of her group, I am drinking the kool aid!  I have already begun to mediate and to take time to be grateful.  I can say I am a calmer and more peaceful person.  Even my hair stylist noticed it when I saw her a couple of days before Christmas!  I think it is working!

The quote below is one that I have had on my frig since 1995, I still believe it to be true.  My holiday wish for you is to enjoy each and everyday.  Subscribe to "The Daily Love" so you can give yourself a little love each day.  I get an email from them daily which always inspires me.  I suggest you sign up for it, it will bring you daily joy.  

Take time to be grateful!

Embrace change, it is the only thing that remains the same.
It's the only path to things improving...

It all begins with us....


They say when you make goals you should write them down, so I am including this
 quote because it is something that I struggle with personally.  I am a sensitive person, 
and often get my feelings hurt.  I am making a conscious decision to remember
 this quote and put it to practice in 2013. 

Join me on my journey to peace, self care and abundant gratefulness and love in 2013! 

I am going to have a weekly post that will be focused on this topic.

  You know the old saying " if mama ain't happy, no body's happy"!

Isn't that the goal not just for mama but for all of us?  Just to "be happy"?  If you can't 

experience two emotions at once, if you are happy, then that is all you can be right? 

 If we have "happy" all the other pieces fall into place, right?  Look what I found from loopzdesign on etsy !

I think I might have to order this for my collection....

Via loopzdesign on etsy

Thank you for reading my blog this year, I have exciting changes coming in 2013 to the blog! 

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Be The Change You Want to See In The World, Starting Now

I want to share a little book that I have come to love

Add caption

It's called "The Daily Book of Positive Quotes" 
by Linda Picone.  Each page is filled with everyday
 life issues and a positive thoughtful way of dealing with them.
Here is an excerpt from the book:

"Keeping Perspective"

"When I hear someone sigh life is hard, I feel like
saying compared to what?"   ~Sydney J. Harris

"We like to compare our lives to those of people who are
richer, smarter, happier,better looking, more famous.  Why don't we have a house like the couple's down the street?  Why aren't we doing better at work?  Why can't we find the love of our lives? We forget that there are many people who look on us with envy. They would really like to have our job, live on our block or have our personal freedom.  
When we hear them talk about the things we take for granted,  
we remember we have it pretty good after all....

"It might sound corny but it does help 'to count my blessings" so I can be reminded of all the good things in my life"

One of my favorite quotes in the book is below...

"Write it in your heart, that everyday is the best day of the year"  - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Whether you chose to buy this book or another one, please go buy a daily devotional and join me in creating quiet time with good things to read for yourself each morning this year.  
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Monday, December 24, 2012


I think we are ready....



May you enjoy celebrating the birthday of Jesus with your family!  Thank you for reading my blog this year!  I am thankful for each of you!  

Merry Christmas!
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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Tis The Season....

Sorry I have been MIA!  I have been busy with photo 
shoots, home tours and decorating homes for Christmas!
Here are a few random shots of some of the work
I have been doing for others with some of my favorite
 flowers for the holiday season...Enjoy!

Amaryllis and greenery before the centerpiece was made

 Orchids arranged by my friend Pamela Lovett

The newell post with an assortment of greens, topped
with a pomegranate, holly and pretty ribbon

I draped this stairwell with noble fir on the outside(it is one of my favorite garlands) and then I always come back inside
with another garland to finish the look.  Here I used long leaf
pine.  It makes the garlands look to full and lush.

I adore white orchids every season.  Pamela
adorned this one with cute little ornaments.

Another favorite of mine is Belles of Ireland
They look beautiful anywhere!

Orchids for the buffet!

I don't like using the typical holiday flowers.  I think
it is fun to change things up and use the unexpected. FYI
this particular client has a frequent visitor that is allergic to poinsettias, so we didn't use any poinsettias.  Did you know that there are a lot of people who are allergic to poinsettias?  Yeah, me neither.  I'll think twice before I use them to decorate anywhere there will be a lot of people.  Can't wait to
share some more pictures but now I need to run out and do a little more shopping!   I still have gifts to buy!  I have decided to throw caution to the wind and buy with reckless abandon whatever I deem a perfect gift for those left on my list.  In other words, I'm not giving what was on "the list".  Sometimes
surprises are the best gift!  

 Meet Levi, my grand dog! He looks as tired as I do!...

 I am going to leave him in charge while I am gone. Hope he doesn't get into the eggnog!

Here's wishing you time to relax by the fire and time to 
remember what this season is really about!
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