Monday, April 30, 2012

Chicago - my kind of town

Last week was the International Window Coverings Expo and the National Kitchen and Bath Show (KBIS) in Chicago. My four days were filled with education (lots and lots of seminars) and beating the pavement (well, the concrete of the trade floors.) I did a little pavement beating as well as I hiked up Michigan Avenue to see all the glamorous stores and galleries.

Tulips were the color scene in the windy city. There were flower boxes overflowing. I loved the color combinations. Hot pink and orange tulips planted together were so in vogue.

At the Intercontinental, we ate at Michael Jordan's restaurant. I thought it was all hype until I actually saw Michael and his family having dinner there too. The building is an old Masonic Lodge and the interior details are to die for.

Another evening, we dined at Carnivale at Fulton Market. What a treat for the senses. The interior decor is fun and fanciful. The food was equally as scrumptious. I enjoyed the salmon.

We stayed at the Congress Plaza Hotel and our room overlooked the water. I could see Navy Pier from my bed.

Here are some photos from my adventure. More from the trade floor to come...


in person

stunning tulip displays

lobby of the Congress Plaza

the Intercontinental

Navy Pier

sunrise from my hotel

Carnivale restaurant

the amazing decor at Carnivale
salmon with asparagus
waiting for the seminar
the fabulous Tobi Fairley

our group of designers

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Bedding In Bloom

I love the new bedding that just came in to our studio. Do you love it too? The wall color is one of my favorites. Be sure to notice hints of Tangerine Tango, it's the "it" color for 2012.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

“To Attract the New and Better, Purge the Old and Stagnant”

I had to share. This strategy always gets me unstuck. Thank you Ali for the great article on a topic that applies to us all. Hope you will make space for all the good stuff to come into your world. If you need some help and hand-holding clearing your clutter, give me call. Sometime you need nonjudgmental support. I will be there for you.


“To Attract the New and Better, Purge the Old and Stagnant” by Ali Brown

Whenever I’m feeling stuck and want to attract new and better ideas or opportunities, I clean out my file cabinet.
Yes. That’s one big secret!
I clean out my file cabinet.
Can’t explain exactly how it works, but it does.
Just last week, I wanted to get back to working on my book, but was feeling totally resistant. It told myself at least I would pull out the file to work on later, so it would be in my face on my desk all day.

When I opened my file drawer in my desk and started digging, it hit me. There were papers, records, and notes in there from abandoned projects, persons I no longer worked with, old clients, an unpleasant legal matter, and even a crazy ex-fiancé!
In order for me to mine for the gems, I had to trudge through all my old sh*t.
I had to WORK to find the good stuff. Hmmm.
Not good! Physically or energetically.
Time to shout “Clear the decks!” and line up the Hefty bags.
It was time to create space for exciting new projects, amazing new clients, and titillating new opportunities in my LIFE, so it was surely time to at least create them in my DRAWER!
To attract the new and better, you have to purge the old. From Aristotle and Einstein way back when, to physicists today, both scientists and philosophers agree that (at least here on Earth) nature abhors a vacuum.
Meaning, when you create space, the Universe will gladly fill it up for you, with what your intentions are set on.
The problem is if you don’t have space, nothing new can come in.
So, I don’t care how busy you are. If you are feeling a bit stuck, you’ve got to clear away some of that old energy and make ROOM for the new.
This principle applies to everything in your life—from files to relationships—but today let’s focus on your office and workspace.
Here are my BIG 3 areas I have clients attack right away:
1. Your Files — I bet most of the stuff in there you can honestly trash right now. If there are records you absolutely should keep, get them out of your workspace and into neatly organized boxes that are stored elsewhere. (I used to rent a small storage unit, and then I had nice cabinets installed in my garage.)
Then organize what you DO need and want on hand in beautiful colored file folders that are nicely labeled. (I’m a huge fan of the P-Touch labeler!) And here’s the BIG secret: Create files not only for the business you have now, but especially for the business you want to create! Have sections that draw attention to exciting new projects or opportunities or business. For example, if you dream of working with high-paying clientele, create a folder that says “$10,000 Clients”. Because I want to focus on my book, my book project is right up front in a beautiful file folder.
2. Books — Some guys in the industry I know brag about how big their home libraries are. I’m not a fan of keeping hundreds of books around to clutter my office and home. Blech. Very stagnant energy.
I suggest you only keep books on hand that you:
1. are currently reading
2. that you LOVE (not just like) and want to have around forever
3. refer to regularly.
Otherwise keep a bin in your office handy to toss books into as you are done with them. They are then passed on to a friend or client, or donated to a local library or school.
And guess what? If you ever miss a book you gave away or you need it again, you can get it. In all my years of purging, this has only been necessary about three times. Puts it in perspective.
3. Photos & Mementos — An old acquaintance of mine had dozens of shelves in her home that prominently featured her work with past clients. Problem was, I came to learn at least three of these clients either were suing her or had tried to sue her. (Why she was attracting this was another story.) What terrible energy to have photos, mementos, and work related to these toxic relationships in front of her every single day!
There was one point a few years ago I looked around my office and realized there were photos of people I didn’t associate with anymore. I had some great digital snapshots of my best friends and some recent amazing experiences on my computer, but they weren’t around me at my desk. So I just went into Walgreens one day and had the best ones printed and picked up some nice frames for them. Now as I look around my office, I’m surrounded by friends old and new who I love and make me happy to look at.
Warning: Be Ready for “Energy Eruptions”!
There was one particular purging day I remember from years ago. I was getting rid of so much stuff that represented the OLD me—there must have been at least 10 trash bags going out the door—and it brought up a lot of weird feelings. I was throwing out many mementos from my failed marriage and also early business ventures from when I was very unsure of myself, including some projects that had gone sour.
Later that day, I not only felt exhausted, but devastated, like I’d been knocked down by a truck! I cried for hours and felt a bit nauseous as well. (Almost as if I was going to chuck up some internal files of my own!)
Whether conscious or not, know that purging your environment physically will also bring up anything that needs to come up energetically. Be gentle on yourself and make sure you have some time to rest afterwards.
Just know that when you wake up the next day, you’ll feel amazing walking into your home office set up for the NEW you! And something magical will happen from it—I promise. I’ve had clients attract new opportunities, clients, or the exact idea they needed as soon as the very next day.
So schedule a PURGE this week or weekend. You’ll thank me later!
Would love to hear your comments and ideas below. Please contribute…
© 2012 Ali International, LLC

“Entrepreneur mentor Ali Brown teaches women around the world how to start and grow a profitable business that make a positive impact. Get her FREE CD “Top 10 Secrets for Entrepreneurial Women” at

TV inside the Bed

This photo just showed up in my in-box. It's a bed made to accommodate a very thin TV. The television lift system is inside the bed's footboard. Saves space in the room and keeps the TV out of view when your are not watching. What do you think?

source: California House

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

High Tech Toilet

Even toilets are getting in on the technology rage. Are you ready for your own high tech toilet? Accolades go to Numi - High Tech Toilet. Kohler's high-tech toilet is being recognized by two of the most prominent global design award organizations – Good Design and iF.

“Numi convinced the judges – and consumers
worldwide – not only with its advanced technology
and amazing user experience, but also with its
beautiful, minimalist design...”
– David Kohler, President and COO of Kohler Co.
Height, closed 177/8" |   45.4 cm
Height, open 361/4" |   91.1 cm
Depth 253/4" |   65.4 cm
Width 141/2" |   36.8 cm
Rough-in 12" |   30.5 cm

Water Usage:
Dual Flush: 1.28 GPF (4.8 LPF)
or 0.6 GPF (2.5 LPF)
WaterSense® labeled toilets use at least 20% less
water than standard 1.6-gallon toilets while still meeting
strict flushing performance guidelines.
Numi even comes with a customizable remote. You can have light, heated seat, music, a dryer and more. Settings can be personalized for up to six users. It is even self cleaning. What more could you want?!
For more information check out Kohler's Numi online guide