Author: shonahbstyle

Feel free to be unapologetically you

 

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I know it’s easy to doubt yourself when your girlfriends come over and say ‘you should do this’..or ‘it would be better if you did this’ or the dreaded question ‘why did you get that?’.

Not all of our bff’s are like that AND not all are giving their two bobs worth maliciously, sometimes you love their input and value the love they are sharing.  But you know, there are times when you absolutely LOVE what you have created and where you are headed to only sink in your chair because someone shattered your confidence. Bang. There it all goes. All that soul searching and finding the ‘new you’ comes crashing down and before you know it, you are back where you started.

Please, please, PLEASE don’t let this happen to you now! You are in charge here and you are getting help from someone that knows! I won’t let you make a mistake. Hand on my heart, I promise. But I am not going to tell you how to style without knowing who you are and what your passions are either. That is selfish designing and it bothers me. Nope! We are having none of that. This is your turn to shine bright and live freely!

So my girl, here are some tips on how to handle those awkward situations so that you can feel confident, beautiful and free to be you.

1. If you have someone that you know will give you unsolicited advice, don’t ask them. Instead of saying ‘Do you like it?’, replace that with ‘I am so happy with how this is all feeling and looking, it’s totally me.’ That way your friend is going to support you because you are happy

2. If someone suggests you change something. If it feels like pretty good advice, swallow your pride and thank them and perhaps make the change while they are there. If it doesn’t sit right with you and you feel it’s something that is more about them (what they like), then you can say ‘You always have great idea’s Bec, but I know you won’t mind me saying that I am loving immersing myself in playing with it all and finding what I love, it has been really empowering.’

3. If someone straight up says ‘hmmm not a fan, not really liking it’ then slap them! Ha Ha..no just kidding. That knot that is tightening in your tummy and the heat going to your face… acknowledge it, breathe in deep and come from a place of love for her and say ‘that’s more than OK hon, we are a colourful bunch hey?’ and SMILE because you are owning your style and you are owning YOU. Your friend will probably smile back at you and acknowledge that everything goes deeper and she will love you for it! Bring out the Bubbly!

Remember babe, you are unique and beautiful and when you surround yourself with everything that gives you positive vibes and helps you feel content, confident and happy then go with that! Life is too short to live suppressed and to compare. You have got this!!

Much love to you.

Shonah B xo

Is being on top really what you desire?

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Why are we always striving to be at the top of the game? To have the best? What happens when we get there? There is only one way to go from there. That is dangerous thinking and we are living precariously through others with a narrow view of what success really means.

When we regard our success as being the best we are losing ourselves to societies expectations. Granted…being acknowledged for your great work and complimented on your creativity is a wonderful feeling and it certainly contributes to our happiness. However, I see two things that are apparent. The ‘top’ is scary and it can be both achievable or in-achievable depending on circumstance. Those that are fortunate enough to have the funds to create a luxurious abode are able to do so and they do….to the detriment of their own personal style, to the detriment of what lights them up inside. It is like they are choosing concepts based on what the money should look like. What ‘it’ represents. Not ‘who’.

Then on the other side of the coin, sometimes reaching the top seems so unattainable, you think why bother? You stay in that place that is neither who you are or where you want to be.

But the ‘top’ is only measured by idealism. From early ages, the possessions determined the levels of success and stardom. Artists that felt the pressure of always being better than their last piece went crazy. Authors that could not write another book after the huge success of their last, surrendered themselves to a life of fear to fail, so gave in and never lived their passion. And never wrote another book. Its all relative. Regardless of possessions, success…we all feel the pressure of the top and we never really get there. We are never really happy but we are all capable of a fulfilling life full of inspiration, idea’s, creative genius, wonderment, exploration and love. It is there on every individual level.

Imagine if you decided that all you had to do was get to know yourself and love her. Be proud of her. Let her be open to opportunities. Let her decide what is best for her. To be unapologetic about being the woman she wants to be. To let go of the opportunities that came and went but grab hold of the ones you are ready for. To let her smile at the lessons of the falls, to know that failure is not a thing. That the fear is stopping you from being wild and free with ideas. What if you could style your home so that all your senses are completely romanced and your feelings are playfully free to dance. You don’t need the trophy of the best styled home in your town or among your friends. It won’t make you happy. In fact you will never be satisfied. You will keep buying things in order to get there. You will keep trying to get on top. But as the wise Alan Watts once said ‘It’s all wretch and no vomit’ you never really get there.

Or maybe you think you can’t have anything nice for yourself so you give in. You then begin to feel like you don’t deserve it. But that’s BS. You do. You deserve to feel amazing and beautiful. You are entitled to live a life that is what makes you your truest self.

That is why I’m supporting all of you! That is why I want to help you feel like you have already won the lottery. You can feel abundant right now.

If you are unhappy and want to change it, start making some plans and take some action. If you are unhappy but don’t want to change, you have two choices…change how you feel about it or stay there.

Be free of expectations, beautiful.  Just be you!

If you want to find out what your style is and how is matches your personality, take my FREE quiz to give you an insight on what Interior Style really lights you up!!

Take the Quiz here!

Have fun!

Shonah B xoxo

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Like a bird in a cage…

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My last blog I promised that I would tell you about my next brave move and I need to do this carefully and with grace to not only hold my own but to also respect what was. I also don’t want to bore you with the bloody ins and outs of relationship breakdowns and the craziness of life, however I do want you to know that I get it when things bring you down and you sometimes feel in a rut.  I honestly get it.

So what is it that makes us put up with it all?  Well, for me it was because it was easier to do what I know.  It was easier to not make waves.  It was easier to do what I was told and to not want for anything more.  It was easier to put all those dreams and yearnings on a shelf for some rainy day where the sky will open up and somehow I will have permission and approval from my other to go for it and head towards that shining light of opportunities and what I felt like….happiness.  But that was then, just a pipe dream and no conversation was going to make it happen.  It was easier to cut my losses and settle for the life half lived to keep life ticking along at that safe pace.  No waves.  No repercussions.  Just doing what we do.  And it was sad as years went on because he didn’t dare to dream either!  We were both in this unhappy existence pretending to be happy and all for what?  What was in it in the end?  Not sure. However, I will tell you this.  It doesn’t work!  Suppression is a kind of suffering and THAT is no good for any of us!  No good for quality of life.  No good for teaching our children how to make something of themselves and to strive and to be motivated and to give life all they have got!  Without goals and dreams all you have is ‘what’s the point’ and giving up.

My physical environment wasn’t much better. We sold a beautiful house and moved into a temporary abode with a cheaper mortgage thinking that would take the heat off everything and we could start to get back on track.  It was a cute little cottage and we set up home, on top of each other, but it was home all the same.  However, once the novelty wore off, our issues raised their heads once more and I knew it was deeper than just money.  We lost our way. I felt like a bird in cage.  I was stuck. Is this it?  I was sad for my kids.  Sad for him.  Sad for me.  I was trying to be someone in a space that did not work with me and I wasn’t being authentic because behind closed doors I felt caged and deflated. I was living vicariously through my clients and I knew deep within my heart that I wasn’t setting a good example about being true to myself and working hard to find happiness to my kids.  I was in other ways, through my work but me, personally, it was a contradiction. One that looked like I gave up.  That love wasn’t important.  That dreams weren’t worth having. AND! I was a designer/stylist living in glorified caravan that in the end did nothing for my creativity.  I started to not serve my clients properly!

Well screw that!!  I was going backwards and I didn’t like it. What became of my suppression? It was starting to turn into internal bitterness and resentment.  The ball of angst inside was growing and it had to go somewhere.  I knew that it was unhealthy.  We were unhealthy and things had to change. What I saw eventually, was that the people around us that we loved the most felt it too.  I also realised that being true to yourself and your dreams don’t go away. It either destroys you by shelving them or it makes you,  because you followed them.  I saw it around me.  I felt it in my very being that this is what life is about. Creating a beautiful existence! So I used it all to fuel my passions and dreams. I used it to make a decision, not just for me but for all of us. My inspiration and zest for a beautiful life came back. I opened that cage door and jumped on the edge.  Pondered. Weighed up all of the pro’s and con’s and when I knew that the only thing left to do was to be Brave…I jumped.  Not knowing where these little wings will take me. My favourite saying ‘Nothing changes if nothing changes’ popped into my mind and it was all I needed to go ‘YES’!  It is ok to want a better life.  It is ok to choose happiness.  It is ok to not play safe and take the chance and make the change. It is ok for a chapter to close and a new one open. For you. For them.

My dreams are coming alive.  My passion is burning hot!  My love for who I am is the deepest it has ever been because I am living authentically me.  (Not loving myself sick but you know what I mean yeah?) I am content.  My kids are thriving.  Everything is lighter and the lessons are beautiful.  I get to help more people by truly being happy.  You can’t function on half… we need to be whole.

AND! Even though we are apart and our family is different now. I don’t regret a thing!  I am every moment that has lead to now and I am grateful for it all.

* Just a note, by no means am I telling you to ditch your hubby because you hate your sofa…Hell NO! No freakin way! It’s just my story.  I am a huge believer in love and fighting for each other.  But I am also a believer of letting go and choosing happiness. Follow your heart and never give up on your dreams. I just wanted you to know I get it when you feel stuck.  But you are NEVER stuck.  You can change things beautiful lady.  You CAN make things better.  It’s not just about relationships.  (I hope you are all deliriously inlove)  It’s about being true to you.  Change your career if it’s not serving you.  Change your environment if it’s bringing you down.  Change the way you feel by taking action to do something for yourself!  Say no when you want to say no.  It is all worth it on the other side babe.  I promise!

If it’s not a ‘HELL YES’ then it’s a NO! – Melissa Ambrosini

Melissa and the girls

I chose Brave…

 

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I have recently changed circumstances that were HUGE. I have taken two massive leaps of faith in the last two years because I chose BRAVE!   The first one was to change my business and delve into it with everything I had to make it work.  You see, I have been designing and helping people for just on 10 years and I have built it around bringing up my babies so it hasn’t always been full time.  On and off it has, but mostly I have fit it in with schedules of kinda and school and house wifey stuff. I also had part time jobs to be my passive income when things were a little quiet. So almost two years ago, when my kids were older and settled into school and needed me less, I had this yearning to build my business and change it so it was a reflection of the way I wanted to help people and not be governed by the protocols of the businesses I was subcontracted to.  I saw a huge gap between what people wanted and what people got.  There were many reasons for this.  Sometimes it was miscommunication, sometimes unreasonable expectations, sometimes it was not having confidence.  I wanted to fix this.  I knew I could fix this.  I knew that if I worked with people in a way that was completely authentic and honest that I could guide them in the right direction from the get go.  I could help them with their mindset and achieve greatness to the best of each circumstance.  I could help them find their happiness.  It was all I could think about.  I was frustrated seeing unhappy and deflated people.  It mad me angry and sad at the same time and if you hear me speak of it, you will know there is a deep rooted passion there and it doesn’t go away. So I jumped.  I quit my passive income job and got myself a mentor.  Do you know what?  It changed my life!!  I was like a bird let out of a cage.  I had all these ideas and inspirations and LOADS of motivation to help people!  It was the best decision I have ever made.  Once upon a time I would have been too scared to make such a move without a safety net underneath to catch me. To walk the tightrope of the unknown not trust that I would make it and be ok. It would have been easier to just climb down the ladder and stay on the ground and look up above at those daring adventurous few that were OK while walking and balancing and moving forward, taking the chance. Looking at them with envy.  Envy of them living.  Like really living.  But this time, there was something in my belly that knew that it needed to be now.  If I was to live…like really live…then I needed to trust it and go for it.  Because if you want something to really happen and you don’t have that safety net…you make it happen!

So now, I am doing it!  I am helping people with all my knowledge and experience and doing so with love and want for them to have what they are seeking.  I am shaping my life the way I want it by helping others shape theirs.  The FREEDOM to serve people who I want to serve and to build my own empire and paradise is so empowering.  I am still growing and building.  AND to think that I could’ve easily not done this!  I would never know what it feels like to feel fulfilled like this.  I would never know how it is to run my business from the heart and feel in my core the contentment that I am true to myself and true to my clients.  That how I am, is exactly me.

When I stood outside one evening with the most amazing sunset to stare into and ask for a sign… I didn’t get one.  But I chose Brave.  It served me well. I am REALLY living.

Oh and ps… Second leap of faith coming soon.

Much love

Shonah B  xoxo

 

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You know it’s ok to want things right?

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I used to think it was pointless to dream.  Seriously.  My mindset was ‘why even bother?’ We had no money, we worked our arses off just to get by!  I couldn’t see a way where I could have a beautiful home.  I should just be grateful.  No point in dreaming we aren’t ever going to get it. Well that was what I was told. And that is what stayed in my head for a very long time.

I will take you back a step.  A time in my life where I realised that HOME was more than just the place to sleep and eat your meals.  I had the most beautiful family (still do but just talking in past tense so you get my drift growing up).  Loads of love, encouragement, support, all of it unconditional.  Our home was modest and my parents the most humble amazing people in my eyes.  Home for me then was being together. My brother and I having our animals, me riding horses, doing dance and netball and on most winter days coming home to an open fire.  I would lay near that thing for as long as I could.  I was drawn it.  Always.  But that is where we congregated, my beaut family and I.  That was where I felt safe, comfortable, loved and embraced to be who I was.  I could truly be me.  That was when I was a kid.  That was all I needed.  Then as I grew up and my passions became strong and I was finding myself, I yearned for a different kind of home.  Nice things, beautiful things, things that made me me.  I wanted a nice bedroom with horse prints and a beautiful bedspread.  I wanted Mum and Dad to have a nice sofa and a gorgeous kitchen and to have something amazing.  I am not sure at what age but I know it was when  I would spend hours at my friends house looking through her Mum’s House and Garden and Home Beautiful magazines and making mental notes about what I liked and didn’t like and wanting so badly to be an adult and get my own house and design it. My eyes devoured each page, mag after mag.  Dreams were forming.  When my teenage friends were buying clothes, I was buying a rug and a candelabra.  I was collecting what my mum called a ‘Glory Box’.  Adulthood, come at me!!

You know how it is though.  As you get to adulthood you soon realise that dreams aren’t handed to you.  You have to work hard to have what you have.  My dreaming became reserved.  My yearning took a back seat.  Passion?  I lost that for a while. I lived to exist instead.  Every now and then the prospect to go travel or decorate would ignite something in my belly… but when reality sat me back in my chair, I started to feel like this is my life and it’s time to be content with what I have because it is safe…and it is what I know right?  I am healthy, I have a partner, I have a great family, great friends, I have my horses still… life is good!  It WAS good!

But do dreams really peter out?  Do you really think that you can put out the embers of the fire that is within you?  Those feelings of finding and being the real you, do you really think they just go away?  HELL NO!!  Guess what?  They come back and there comes a time when you cannot ignore them anymore!  I grew up eventually and realised that I am me and it is time that the real me starts living!  I was trying to be someone in a place that did not work for me. It was time for me to get out of my comfort zone and start listening to my heart and my head because those little persistent bloody pangs of want for more were not going away.  So I did!  I jumped and studied design.  I got work as a designer and colour consultant.  I was starting to feel my power with deciding that I can actually make my dream become a reality.  Shit, I wasn’t just buying some pretty cushions for myself, I was ACTUALLY doing it as my JOB!!  I was able to help other peoples’ dreams become a reality.  I AM able to explore deeply into someone’s being and find their true self and style so that they too can feel content and real and authentic.  I KNOW the importance to be able to have goals and dreams and ALLOW ourselves to follow them.  To not give them up for anybody!

No more feeling guilty for wanting beautiful things surrounding you, lovely lady.  We are born in a country with rights and to be grateful is wonderful and humble.  But we are not Monks, we are not Nuns!  We are one person with one life that is living to its fullest, with love to give. It is more than OK to create a beautiful sanctuary, not only for our family but for ourselves so that we can be the best version of ourselves and live life free from fear, happy and complete.  It’s not just about trends and high priced designer furniture to beat the Smiths down the road.  It’s about home.  What it is to you.  How it makes us feel and how it brings our lot together.  If you are like me and LOVE beautiful things around you to support that, then bring that shit on honey.  You don’t need approval. Make your moves,   own your style and let go of expectations.  Back yourself.

Your Dreams.  Your life.  Your happiness.  Keep the flames alive.  They warm your soul.

Shonah B xx

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The simplest perfectly made bed ever!

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Ok…this one is for all of you hot babes out there that are a little flustered in how to present the bedrooms for sale or feeling drab in your own home. Picture this….

You are on holiday and you are walking into the holiday home you are about to spend a week in. You open the front door, drop the bags and everyone in the family or your friends are all scattering in different directions checking the joint out! So exciting! You hear excitement from the other rooms ..’.whoa check this out!’ Everyone is choosing their rooms. You are the Boss so of course you get your Master room with ensuite. You walk in, it smells divine. Breathing in the atmosphere, you turn your back to the welcoming bed and fall into it, spreading out like a goddess! “bring me my milk for the bath” (No-one comes but hey…)

How freakin good is this?!! Your home for the next 7 days! Actually, while you sip the champers you just poured ( it’s 10am and…well you are on holidays, no judgement here…) you look around and nod and think of yourself living here…like permanently…like where the hell do I sign?!!!

THIS IS WHAT YOU ARE TO CREATE, when marketing your home for sale!

THIS IS WHAT YOU ARE TO CREATE FOR YOURSELF! A home that feels freakin amazing!!

And do you know what? I will let you in on a little secret. You CAN create it on any budget. ANY! Are you hearing me? Luxury does not always mean expensive.

So.. I am going to tell you how you can achieve it simply. Because I love you like that!!!

 

The Simplest made bed ever!

 

First of all, select bed linen that is neutral and goes with the colour scheme of the bedroom and bedroom suite.

Using a white cover and pillows is a fresh and universal start.  Then dress it up by using subtle colours that are drawn from existing art or a contrast.  This can be achieved with extra cushions, pillows and throws.  Oversize throws that flow onto the floor look luxurious and very inviting.

 

Grey or Beige neutrals with pastel blues, greens or peachy pinks are on point as with the deep richness of Navy, Magenta or Emerald Green.  NOT a mix of these though, it’s either the pastels OR the riches.

Make sure your linen is clean, fresh and pressed.  Then make the bed by using either of these two methods;

a)  Pull the cover to the head of the bed keeping it seamless.  Arrange pillows formally, larger ones at the back and smaller to the front.  Keep them upright and one in front of the other.  The throw should then lay formally folded across the bed near the foot.  Think square lines and symmetry.

OR

b)  Pull the cover back and fold over.  Arrange pillows in a purposeful casual way starting with the biggest at the back.  You can then layer any size and colour in a mix of comfort.  The throw can be carelessly thrown over the end of the bed to create playfulness and prettiness.

Remember to play with the styles and see what works best with the style of bedhead you have.  DON’T over do it with the cushions.  One or two small ones with 4 pillows is best.

Dress the bedside tables with a candle and a little vase of fresh flowers and you will have a gorgeous space that appeals to most.

 

PS…remember… not everyone loves Frozen and Spiderman.  Change the cover to neutral for the Open House so skater boy Tom digs his potential new room too.  Send out the good vibes to Mum n Dad.

What is your home doing to you…

We all want balance and peace at home. A place of serenity and beauty that is a reflection of what you love and what light’s you up inside. But you know it’s not just a want right? It is actually a NECESSITY. For your own well being, your relationships, your grounding. It is not doing anyone any good by having environmental stressors triggering negativity. When grumpiness and annoyance takes over.

If your home is like it has just been hit, if it’s chaotic and drab, your emotions are mirrored by what you see and how you feel where you are standing. By where your feet are planted and the energy you are taking in. It would be great if we had shields and deflectors like Xena Princess Warrior to not give a crap and be resilient to what we see and feel as soon as we walk in the door huh? Well, the truth is, we do.  It’s just that we use them every single day outside of our place of solace. We take on the world with these energy sucking encounters at work, constant driving to and fro, organising the family’s stuff and things they have going on on tight schedules, your friends breakdowns (and their wins) finding time to be there for them, being there for everyone else.  YOU ARE BUSY!  I know some life coaches hate that word because it has a negative connotation.  But the truth is THAT is EXACTLY how we feel! Your shield gives you strength and stamina to face it every day.

However, your home is not the place to be still in battle!  It’s not supposed to feel like this. It is your place to recharge, to soothe, to reclaim yourself! To feel amazing. To connect with your lover, your kids, your fur babies. It is supposed to be the best place on earth. To put the shield down. But if you are like a many other beautiful warriors wearing thin, and you aren’t feelin it, and you still feel like you are running, you need to do something.  You need to take charge and make it a priority.  Take a look around. If things are making you uptight or overwhelmed, things need to change!  It’s time for you to live Sista!!  Like really live!

So…What’s not working here?

Is your dining table a dumping ground? This can have an impact on how we feel. Who wants to cook a nice dinner at 6pm if you have to sort through the mess on the dining table first?!! It doesn’t start the evening off on the right foot huh. Always rushing. Moving stuff from one spot to another (to get to later..), looking at your decor and hating it. Sick of looking at it…all the while wishing you could have that home that looks, smells, feels beautiful. The style that YOU love. The one where you want your girlfriends to come around and envy it. The one where your family feels calm and proud. The one where everything was just so freaking easy to have!  The one where you can be a goddess and float around in your abode, giving everyone in your home the best of you!

YOU CAN!

Shit is about to get real! This is what you need to do! DECLUTTER!!!!!  Buy some sorting boxes with lids for bills, letters, homework etc. Remove everything YOU DON’T NEED! That hideous print you have on your wall that you hate… remove it! The numerous decorating pieces that were so 10 years ago…let them go!  Those clothes you think will come back in fashion one day?…. they rarely do. You haven’t worn them for years anyway right?  Could you see yourself wearing it again?  It is just taking up space that could actually be used for the things we want to put away, but have no storage room for because it’s full of stuff we don’t want, need or use!  Don’t worry babe, I’m sooo not judging here. All of us do it.  All of us feel this way in one way or another. But I can promise you this.  If you get some organisation in place, hone in on your style and decorate your space to be a reflection of what you adore and fill your home with love that is from within you, you WILL feel the weight start to lift. You will feel like the goddess.  You will feel the right energy surrounding you and your precious people. Get some balance and zen. It works miracles.

And instead of being BUSY… learn to love your life so you feel FULL.  Full of happiness, full of giving and full of self preservation and self worth.  You are AMAZING, never stop believing that.  Turn your home into the place that mirrors that.  For you.  For them.

 

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