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Thankful Thursday - Babies and Clients

For a little something new.. today I'm writing my first post in a new series/category - Thankful Thursdays! I'm sure you've seen this type of series from other bloggers out there, but while I have wanted to include posts of this nature on my blog for a long time, this is my first! As you can imagine, by the name of it, it's a opportunity for me to take just one day out of any given busy week to write about something in my life, and in my work, that I am thankful for.. and today I am feeling particularly blessed and thankful, so what better time to break in this blog category for the first time, right? As the title of the post states, today I'm thankful for both the baby that's growing inside me, and the amazing design clients that I am truly lucky to have! I know, I know, these two things seem pretty unrelated, but you'll soon see why I combined them in today's post - let me further explain.

First of all, I am less than two weeks from my due date! Ahhh, that's crazy! I can't believe this pregnancy is almost over and that, in just a few short weeks, I'll be a first time mom to a little baby boy. This pregnancy has flown by and, I must say, it has treated me quite well - no major pregnancy complaints here - so, I've gotta be thankful for that!

Pregnant me!

But in addition to a happy healthy pregnancy, I'm more importantly thankful for this little life that is being entrusted to me! As it gets closer and closer, I'm really getting super excited for the day we finally get to meet our son, and I'm looking forward to each and every day after that.. when we get to hold him, nurture him and love him endlessly. I am already so thankful that I get to call myself his mommy! Oh, and I can't mention our little boy without, of course, mentioning my thankfulness for my amazing husband! I am so looking forward to the little family of three that we are about to become - how cute?

Ultrasound

So, how does all this baby talk play into my thankfulness for my clients? Well, here's how. So, we've been really busy working away on several client projects over the past many months (which is probably why the pregnancy flew by), and as we are getting down to the wire with the pregnancy, we are also getting down to the wire with wrapping up those client projects before I will be taking some maternity leave to enjoy time with our new baby and get into the swing of new parenthood! Well, I'm realizing that it's a difficult thing to plan for time off when you own your own design studio - there is no one to pick up the slack, or take over your duties while you're out! Ahh..

So, with my clients as a priority (as they always are), I've been trying to make miracles happen and neatly tie up loose ends and complete projects before our baby makes his arrival. But, to no avail! This week, I have realized that time is no longer on my side, and our baby boy could make his entrance any day now. Wow! If that's not nerve wracking enough, I've concluded that it is simply not feasible to think I can perfectly wrap up all client projects, then "clock out" for maternity leave, hehe. Instead, I'm sure I'll be working intermittently on design concepts, product purchasing, project management and scheduling installations simultaneously while I'm also nursing, changing diapers, napping and cooing over our new baby boy! But, here is where the thankfulness comes in.

Every conversation I've had with any of my clients regarding my pregnancy, my impending labor/delivery and my maternity leave has proven that I truly have the best clients! Their kinds words and overwhelming understanding about any delays to their projects, extensions of their design process, or how my work flow may change a little once I have the baby, have made me feel so thankful! Their understanding has allowed me to feel confident that I will be able to take on this new role as a mom, while still operating a successful design studio. I really couldn't be luckier to have such amazing clients who have all been super supportive during this new journey of my life. I like to believe it speaks to the great relationships and great service that they have come to expect from me and StudioVB. =)

Speaking of clients and client projects.. I thought I'd share a sneak peak of a recent client project that we completed just a few weeks ago - just in the knick of time!

Shea Project - Fireplace

Shea Project - Sofa wall

Shea Project - Window wall

Anyway, from the baby gifts our clients have gotten us, to the sweet words about how great I look during pregnancy (thanks by the way), to the advice on what to expect with a newborn, to the offers of bringing our little guy along to client meetings.. I appreciate our clients more than they know. Oh, and I also have to send a little shout out to all our trades and vendors as well, who have been equally as accommodating and understanding!

I'm thankful each day that I get to do what I love for a living and come into the homes of great people who I not only get to share in their lives, but who also invest on a personal level in mine! So, there you have it. Today, I'm thankful for clients and babies - one specific baby especially, hehe!

Our Exciting Apology

Ok, before you read any further, let me apologize! I know we've been pretty absent from the blog for quite a while now - you know, only posting every so often! And, I'm sure we may have let some of you down. Whomp whomp. So, we would like to say "we're sorry". But, there has been good reason for this and unfortunately we haven't been able to share that with our readers... until today! So, in lieu of a long drawn out teaser and long paragraph hyping it up, I'll just share with you a sweet little image that we've recently shared with our family and friends!

Pregnancy Announcement

Yep, after trying for many months, Logan and I are expecting our first child! Yay! And, as of today, I'm actually 19 weeks along (that's a little over 4 months), so the past several months have been full of excitement, joy, nervousness, morning sickness, and of course all kinds of initial baby planning! So, I hope you'll understand our little hiatus from blog posting! But, with settling into the swing of pregnancy and tackling some of the huge to-dos that come along with planning for a new baby, we hope to resume more regular blog posts.

You're probably thinking that, like many first time parents, we'll be consumed by all things baby, and that we will end up posting about baby stuff more often than not. Well, you are only slightly right! We may post details on the progress of our pregnancy, the design of our nursery, and stylish baby items, but don't worry, our main focus for our blog has always been "all things design" with a little bit of our everyday life mixed in - and that's what it will continue to be!

So, just for fun - here are a few close-ups of the photos from our pregnancy announcement shown above.

Logan with funny face!

13 week baby bump photo

Due date photo

Oh, and congrats to those of you who have good instincts - yes, last weeks Wordless Wednesday was a tiny little hint and precursor to today's news! We've been in the early stages of planning to convert our never-really-used spare bedroom into a nursery, so I've of course been browsing the web for lots of design inspiration!

Anyway, I'll leave you today with a more recent photo of me with my baby bump! Only in the past couple weeks has it made its first real appearance - which totally makes things more real! I'm enjoying watching it grow, and knowing that our baby is developing and growing healthy and strong. This photo is from a collection of weekly photos that I have been taking to chronicle this incredible journey.

18 week baby bump photo

Well, there you have it - that is our exciting news and that's the reason we haven't been blogging much! We are finally happy to be able to share it with you! We've already gotten so many sweet and kind words of congratulations and well wishes, and we want to thank everyone for that! We feel so loved!

Helpful Design Tips

Over the past many months, when we had a free moment here or there, we had been posting helpful design tips on our Facebook page or on Twitter. However, we recently got to thinking that our blog readers might find them helpful too! So, as of today, we will post our random StudioVB Design Tips on our blog as well! And, each time we post one, we'll enter it in our "tips and ideas" category, so if you want to check out all our helpful tips with one simple click - you can!

Design Tip Header

Well, as the banner above says, here's our first design tip (posted on our blog) to get the ball rolling.

Design Tip:


Lost on where to start the design for a room? Take an item you already love (ie: rug, pillow, artwork) and pull the color palette from that! It gives you something to work from and you get to incorporate a piece you love!

I hope today's tip provides a bit of inspiration for those of you who are ready to get started on making your space fit you and your style, but are feeling a bit stuck. Try our tip!

New Blog Features!

I guess we need to work on our readership.. which we are - it just takes time! Anyway, we played a little game.. sorta like where's waldo? or what's different about this picture? We asked if you had noticed what updates we made to our blog design and layout? Well, if you hadn't figured it out, here's a list of what's new:

  1. We added a new title and header design to our blog. If you remember from this previous post, we love to use the be.love.create mantra.. and it sorta became the essence of our blog! So, check it out above, it looks like this!

Screen shot of the new header.

  1. We moved the business logo into the shaded upper right quadrant of our blog layout - essentially we swapped the mantra with the logo, to shift the focus of the blog!

Screen shot of the new logo location

  1. We added a link to our facebook and twitter accounts! Sometimes when we get busy and haven't blogged for a number of days, we may have posted a status update on facebook or tweeted a quick design tip, so now our readers can get a little dose of us elsewhere. Yay!

Screen shot of the social networking buttons.

  1. And, probably the biggest change, although maybe least noticeable to our readers, was the complete overhaul of our categories! Like I mentioned in our last post. We realized our content was more varied than we thought it might be. So, we created new categories to fit the topics we blog about most.

Screen shot of the list of new catrgories.

And, I'm hoping to make a 5th change - and updated photo of me - so I'll let you know when I do so.

Well, feel free to let us know your thoughts on the changes!

Refreshing the Blog

We've been blogging for just a few months now, and we are enjoying getting into the swing of this new aspect of our business (and our lives, really). We, like a lot of things in life, are learning what works for us as we go along.. in this case, along our journey through the blogoshere! So, with only a few months under our belt, we saw a way to refresh and make our blog better, so we are already making just a few simple changes. I'll tell you what they are in just a sec, but if you've been reading you may have already noticed! Originally, the idea for our blog was to give StudioVB (our design business) a new means to connect with our clients (both current and future), to offer design ideas and advice to them and anyone who might stumble onto our blog, to simply offer a glimpse into our creative business - you know, to show more clearly and more genuinely who we are and what we do - and, of course, hopefully inspire our readers in some small way!

But, as I knew I would, I sorta fell in love with blogging. To me, this blog can be more than what it began as. Even though I am still finding the balance between work, play and blogging (since blogging is sort of a crossover, hehe), I am inspired to not only use blogging as I described above, but also to use it as a creative release as well - a place to share anything and everything (now, if only I had time). I know lots of people have personal blogs, but that's not really what we're going for here. However, as I look back over our posts, I was finding that a pretty good number of my posts were crossover topics as well.. but, I guess that's the way it goes when you live, work and play by doing what you love - it all blends! And, I feel blessed that I can say that.

So anyway, with the help of our web developer (my big brother), under the direction of our web designer (haha, that's me.. I like to think I can do it all), we made a few updates to fit the direction where the blog was headed! I know I told you I'd tell you what they are, but this could be fun - can you guess? what's changed? what's new?

Comment and tell us what you see that's new!

Ahh, the little things!

Hey! So, this is my first post. Valerie has been so diligent with posting (and having a great time doing it) that it has allowed for me to focus on a few other things while she types away. However, it’s time I get involved! Right now, Valerie is knee deep in an new design project, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to get my feet wet in the world of blogging and say hello. We are really excited about this blog and sharing our thoughts, feelings, ideas, inspirations, projects, and so on.

One of the many things that Valerie excels at, but I’m finding I have a hard time with, is knowing what, and what not, to blog about. In everything we do, she sees a blog opportunity. But, on the other hand, I'm not so sure you would want to hear about the turkey sandwich and diet coke I had for lunch. Therefore, I think I’ve been waiting for something huge to come along to share with the world : )

However, through this mini-struggle, and more specifically, throughout our everyday lives, I’ve learned that it’s not about the large seemingly profound things, but actually more about the little things.

So, something I’m going to be focusing on is remembering how important the little details are and how amazing it is to find beauty and inspiration in the smaller, or less world-changing and earth-shattering, things. Given this, I came across something small, (actually two small things) this week worthy of sharing in this blog post.

Our two cats silhouetted in the window.

So, I’m curious. What inspires you? What tiny thing, object, etc. made you smile today?

First Official Post!

Well hello there, welcome to our blog! This is the first post of our long-time-coming blog. Unfortunately, like lots of things in life, blogging got pushed aside as other things took priority. Nonetheless, it was our goal to get this thing launched before (or more realistically, at) the start of the New Year. With only a few days left of 2010, I thought I’d post a short introduction to get things rolling. So, who are we and what is this blog all about? Well, I’m Valerie and my husband and business partner, Logan, and I both plan to be authors of this blog (though I have a sneaky little feeling that I’ll be the one writing most often). Nonetheless, we are both creative, down-to-earth, driven and hopefully intriguing =). Discover more about us in the sidebar or in the ‘about’ section of the website!

Now, to answer the second part of the question, this blog is sprung from StudioVB (our interior design studio), so of course we’ll post often about topics related to interior design, our client projects, interesting finds, and quite frankly, anything artsy and creative. However, let’s face it, while we love what we do for a living, life is about a lot more than work. So, we’ll also write about the interesting, fun, strange and perhaps sometimes mundane happenings of our everyday life. This will, for sure, include our design and do-it-yourself adventures in our own home, which after purchasing last year, is still a work in progress.

You’ll see that we’ve given our blog the title be . love . create, not only summarizing the content of the blog, but named for the simple three word motto that directs our lives. Each word holds so much meaning, inspiration and possibility that we hope as we continue blogging might also inspire others. Stay tuned…