Monday Matters: What’s Got You Ticking Today? Is Your Space Helping or Hurting?

Monday Matters: What’s Got You Ticking Today? Is Your Space Helping or Hurting?

I hope you had a relaxing weekend

I certainly enjoyed some down time after a long week of travel to the East Coast

Shot a cross bow for Mother’s Day

Yup. That was new.

And then I went into my semi-neglected (due to travel of course, not laziness:) Studio


Today, I am trying not to be overwhelmed

I thought this was funny! Too much travel lately & another trip to NYC in a few days for ICFF & BlogFest.

Today I am trying to center (thank you Jesus!)

Today I am facing my Space & dealing with those things that have been right in front of me that need to be cleared

What about you?

What has you ticking today?

Have you shot a cross bow recently?

I highly recommend it. Had no idea how fun it could be. All safety rules apply please!

As my girlfriends were at the Club with their beautifully dressed daughters I was being led by my son in Crossbow Safety. I can honestly say I NEVER thought that would be my Mother’s Day adventure. It was delightful & quite funny. Tip # 1? Don’t wear heels!

Is there something you need to tackle this Monday morn?

My space was hurting my productivity & mood

Time to tackle. Time for better ticking.

Monday Matters & so do you.

Let me know – or better yet – share with a friend – we cannot walk it alone. Let your friend know you are not perfect & have no intention of being any time soon.

Amen. Remember failure & being wrong do not equal death. We’re human.We need to get comfy with both!

“Live a custom life. There is only one you.”

xo Ann

Monday Matters: Well, My Week is Wacky, How About Yours?!

Monday Matters: Well, My Week is Wacky, How About Yours?!

Am traveling this week

Packing (ok, I really do like to pack), unpacking & off to learn & work

NYC – CT – Old Friends, New Friends, Clients & Coaches

Very fun

Problem is I never finished cleaning up yesterday!


The lure of a late lunch with friends got me


What about you?

How is your Monday shaping up?

Did you finish?

Some of the super fun things happening this week include Kips Bay in NYC with Kathryn Ireland’s Fabric Line

This video is from 2011

Be sure to check it out – always a favorite. The video below is from 2012.

If you are in town or close by I hope you get a chance to visit. As a young designer working in NYC years ago, Kips Bay was my Everest. I went with bated breath & tried to carefully step into the path of the greats.

I love seeing the work designers do in NYC. It’s a small town at heart & I love it.

Monday Matters & so do you!

“Live a custom life. There is only one you.”

xo Ann

Monday Matters: Early Bird Get’s Design Work Done But Might Crash At 11 am

Monday Matters: Early Bird Get’s Design Work Done…But Might Crash At 11 am

It’s definitely Monday

Up early, really early…to meet some East Coast Deadlines

Coffee is on second pot

How is your Monday going?

In the Studio, we have finalized a few details on a Design Job

Listened to Continuing Education Webinars

Made the Monday Morning Mess on the Design Table


found some seriously inspiring design photos

Doing some research for a contemporary custom job…am liking these colors & the low profile furniture. Image linked.

Monday Matters & so do you!!

“Live a custom life. There is only one you.”

xo Ann


PS: We will let you know as soon as the payment link is up for Decorate Like A Pro System! We are offering the entire System (Regularly $1,495) for $495 starting tomorrow, Tuesday, April 23rd through April 28th ONLY. The System, complete with a Private Membership Page, starts on Monday, April 29th and runs for 8 weeks. Cool part? You can engage on your own time, in your own home.

Monday Matters: It’s High Point Week = Fantastic All Around

Monday Matters: It’s High Point Week = Fantastic All Around

Twice a year High Point, North Carolina hosts “Market”

What is it?

About 7 billion (ok, I exaggerate just a bit) square feet of must see, must hear stuff

New Market Introductions

Design Seminars

Featured Celebrity Guests

It’s actually really fun. Exhausting, but fun.

Stay tuned this week as I try to bring some of the highlights you might like by way of my friends (who I am missing!!) who are there. I am knee deep in recording some additional tracks for Decorate Like A Pro System & some interviews for the blog. Sad to miss but have my feelers out everywhere.

Traci Zeller has a new fabric line coming out

Traci’s new fabric line

Lisa Mende is speaking

Lisa Mende won last years Style Spotter.

Tobi is touring people to some of her hot spots

it is kind of a week long Golden Globes party!


Monday Matters. While my pals are heeling it up, I am “head setting it up” to make sure I stay focused on what I am supposed to stay focused on. That can be hard sometimes. We want to be all things to all people.

What’s your week look like? I hope, it looks like YOU!

It was hard for me to say no to Market. I was afraid I’d miss too much…but then I realized this week needed to look like “me”.

Hard to do, right? I know!

“Live a custom life. There is only one you.”™

xo Ann


If you want to follow what goes on at Market, #HPMkt is the twitter hash tag. Hoot suite that puppy up and you can follow the conversation. I will try to bring you a sneak peek of some behind the scenes stuff via my friends when I take breaks from the recording we are working on this week.

Monday Matters: Spring Break Around The House

Monday Matters: Spring Break Around The House

Do you take a Spring Break when kids are gone?

Is it a vacation or an “around the house” type thing?

This past week many close to me were off building houses with Amor Ministries in Mexico. As I listened to their stories, I am reminded how important our spaces & places are. Grateful to be a part of this industry…

Do you do those house cleaning, design refreshing things when they leave?

I wonder…

I know my single friends are great at scheduling time both for themselves and for their breaks

I learn from them daily to steward the “me”

(Thank you, you know who you are:)

This does not come easily for a Kansas Born, California Bred girl

So this past week I forced myself to “Break” in the middle of it all

A few days in Lake Tahoe with enough design work to keep me engaged but not so much that my husband and I couldn’t catch a glass of wine & a beer on tap at a local tavern

It was just what the Dr ordered

So what about you?

This Monday, have you taken a Spring Break?

Did it refresh you?

Are you ready to face the Spring now?

Love this. A gentle start. Reminds me we must be careful with our “new growth”….stewarding those around us and ourselves in areas of new growth is important…it matters

Let me know!!

Time to dust off the rest of those cobwebs, fluff the pillows, open up the windows, change the slip covers…

It may be raining & windy here in SF, but it is Spring somewhere & we are after it!!

Monday Matters & so do YOU.

“Live a custom life. There is only one you.”

xo Ann


PS: Don’t forget our show house friends! If you have a favorite show house that we didn’t mention, let us know in the comments!

PPS: If you like what we are doing here, please share on Facebook, Twitter etc. We are grateful for those who journey along side. It’s the daily walk that counts, not the sprint! 

Monday Matters: Dusting Out The Cob Webs

Monday Matters: Dusting Out The Cob Webs

So it’s Monday. Yesterday was really lovely.

Quiet. Peaceful.

And now it’s back to work!

We are doing some Spring Cleaning

As I have been putting this Webinar together

(it’s partially live)

One of the things that I really struggled with is the computer!

So this Spring Cleaning is all about getting files in order, emptying mail boxes & putting us back in line on line!

At least it’s better than this!

What about you?

Do you struggle with this like I do?

There is a part of me = out of sight, out of mind…

Since the screen saver is cute I assume the rest of the files are in order

I have pugs so can’t resist a screensaver that reminds me…problem is that cute face HIDES my folder mess on the other side!!

ummm…let me just say NOT!

So tech or no tech, am off to delete, re-sort, dump, clean & virus sweep!

Happy Monday!

Let me know if you are up to the same or if you have any tips!

I am all ears!!!

Monday matters & so do you!

“Live a custom life. There is only one you.”™

xo Ann


PS: Our Webinar is up! If you watch it and want to join us for the 8 week seminar, just click the pay pal button. We are trying to put together a coaching package or two, but those links aren’t quite live. Check it out HERE. You need to insert your email to watch. I am quite picky about sending emails so no worries – I will not inundate you! Just ask our subscribers…I think we send one about every 10 days ;)…

Monday Matters: Making A House A Home

Monday Matters: Making A House A Home

I have been trying to practice what I preach and let me tell you, I stink at it!

“Turn your phone off”

“Turn the game off”

“Read a book”

“Walk the dogs”

All the while I am glued to my phone, rooting for my basketball teams, checking out HGTV instead of a good book & throwing a ball in the hall way for the pugs instead off walking them up the hill 🙂

The mirror isn’t kind this Monday Morning…

BUT, there is hope

Why? Because sometimes it’s those things that are slightly out of whack – those vulnerabilities – those “real life transparency” issues that our Children, Pets & Spouses live through with us that shows us if our House….is just a house or if it is really a HOME…

Let me explain a bit:

Monday Morning I always try to re-set for the week

Get those calendars tightened, make the calls, check the orders…plan the schedules…

But coming off a weekend of slight chaos from Junior Prom, to Junior Day at Cal, to tech issues DAY & NIGHT on the computers in the office, I was really struck by how we were all rather off kilter by Sunday afternoon…throw in church (are we always late?!), some spilled coffee & it was not my finest moment – let’s just say moments…

But what kept us all in check?

What kept ME in check?

Our imperfect house held us safe – it was our HOME where we (I) kept returning & getting our (my) balance on…

Not my house but I like this space. It looks safe, easy to engage & cozy. I could curl up here in heels or slippers! Image linked.

Our home was safe for me this weekend. It was beautifully imperfectly ordered to catch our (my) disorder…

This is our family room coffee table. This weekend? No wine or cheese, but there were cleats & magazines piled...real life living...

This is our family room coffee table. This weekend? No wine or cheese, but there were cleats & tech magazines piled…real life living…

I don’t mean it is perfect, it is not

I mean it CAUGHT us after a chaotic weekend as a place we could retreat & recharge

Nap & Nuggle & watch some basketball for the pure joy of it

( Nuggle: What a pug does when you nap…a pug nuggles you )

There is nothing like a dog for an afternoon snuggle when you need a boost…

It humbled me

I am passionate about making Houses into HOMES because it is a blessing and a gift & because HOMES can change lives

I know it is not that way for everyone & I so want it to be…

I am grateful & moved

So this Monday, I am just embracing the joy of the everyday chaos moment

I believe it is what makes our houses HOMES. They catch us when we fall. They hold the JOY in those everyday moments.

Like this, especially for a Monday Morning.

May your week be filled with everyday moments of JOY

May at least some small corner of your house…be HOME to you

May it hold you & keep you safe

May it equip you to go forth and change the world

Monday matters & so do you.

“Live a custom life. There is only one you.”

xo Ann


PS: If you like what we are doing here, please share! Your friends are our friends.

Monday Matters: Design Your Home, Design Your Life. I Believe You Can!

Monday Matters: Design Your Home, Design Your Life. I Believe You Can!

Am just off three weeks of intensive training, from Mastermind Calls, Design Bloggers Conference & then time in NY and CT with my Business Consultant going over in minute detail what I need to focus on to achieve my goals: Equipping YOU & remaining viable as a business so I have the opportunity to do that in an era of financial uncertainty.

I literally spent all day yesterday, Sunday, quiet & almost shell shocked. Funny how we forget how taxing that stuff is! GREAT but taxing!

Can anyone say sweats & slippers? Got my church on via the internet & even took a nap!  What have I learned these past three weeks?

My mission & goal is still the same it’s always been – can’t kill it or root it out of me:

I desire deeply to EQUIP YOU to design your home & life so you can get on with the business of living YOUR call!

From the Free: Blog, Webinars, FB & Social Media

I love this image. It helps ME keep track of what everything is and why we work hard to engage!!

To the Mid Priced: Information Products, Teaching Systems, Coaching

One of the first workshops I ever did was called "HELP! I'm a Home Goods Addict". It was seriously fun & funny.

One of the first workshops I ever did was called “HELP! I’m a Home Goods Addict”. It was seriously fun & funny.

To the Expensive: Mastermind & Full Service Interior Bespoke Design

Detail of Chair. Our amazing restorer applied five coats of lacquer to a fabulous vintage chair and had new cane put on so the finish would absorb properly.

Detail of Chair. Our amazing restorer applied five coats of lacquer to a fabulous vintage chair and had new cane put on so the finish would absorb properly. Our use of this menswear fabric made the new & trend section that year!

It all comes back to equipping you. You the Designer, You the Decorator, You the DIY or You the PERSON! It matters not who, what, where you are. If you are HERE, I want it to be a blessing.

I think I feel so strongly about this because I know how hard it is when there is no one to equip you. I have been there. It’s lonely & hard. We need each other. We are made stronger together. We share burdens, victories, struggles & strength.

What is YOUR Monday Matters? What have you been focused on? What do you want to learn? Have you ever thought of building a business from your desk at home to change the world? Let me know!! Maybe I can help!!

Stay tuned for some fun stuff.

For now, may this get you thinking. I’ll call it “Today’s Equipping” & I have it written on my Back Hall Blackboard in BIG LETTERS: “Fail Harder”.

Monday Matters & So Do YOU!

“Live a custom life. There is only one you.”™

xo Ann


PS: If you haven’t signed up yet, NOW IS THE TIME! Here is the link to our BETA TEST for Decorate Like A Pro System. Even if you NEVER want to Decorate for Clients, yourself or others, THIS has nuggets for everyday living. Don’t miss out because you are afraid. Life is short. We only get one go around.

Don't forget to put your email in to receive updates! Visit link HERE!

Don’t forget to put your email in to receive updates! Visit link HERE!

PPS: If you like what we are doing here, share it with a friend! We are still pretty hidden except to a select group & want to make sure our message gets out to the world. We need you to do that!

Monday Matters: A Week of Small Decorating Business Steps

Monday Matters: A Week of Small Decorating Steps!

It’s Monday! Time to refocus & re-PACK!

Am off, again…this time to meet and work on our new website.

This time, it’s the East Coast!

It will be all focus, so for this week’s blog posts am sharing NUGGETS from our Decorate Like A Pro System

TODAY? One of the sections in our Free Webinar deals with those emotional decorating decisions we make…

Think of this as a thought for the day…

 “Emotionally charged Decorating Decisions lead to Emotionally Charged Spaces

We don’t want those….we want spaces that can HOLD our emotions & keep us safe”

I love this image. The truth is we have emotions & they come out when we are trying to make a space a home…the trick is to figure out how to best use them to our advantage! We tackle this HEAD on in the Webinar!! xo

If you have not signed up yet, make sure to do so! Click the link on the right.

Remember, Monday Matters & so do YOU!

“Live a custom life. There is only one you.”™

xo Ann

Monday Matters: Design Bloggers Conference!

Monday Matters: Design Bloggers Conference!

It’s Monday Morning – thank God for a Starbucks in the Hotel

We are safely ensconsed at The Hilton Universal City, Los Angeles – a stones throw from where my LA office was for two years, so am happy in context. Southern California clients are so fun! A fabulous treat.

For the next few days I will be attached to my computer learning from some  old friends & new mentors. I am always grateful for what I call business fellowship ;)…a wonderful group of like minded people who challenge me to be more than I am…breaking my preconceptions, challenging my comfort…


My deepest hope is that this time will produce lasting fruit, the kind that brings blessing to you & yours & our fabulous team at Couture Chateau & soon to be official Ann McDonald, Inc.

growth quote

Life is full of risk…here’s to stepping out…what will YOU step out on? If I can do this, you can! Here’s to the journey togehter in this thing called life…

And yes, the pink luggage made it ;). It just happens to match my scarf today!


So, yes, a bit of whimsy. A girl has got to have her pink!

What does your week look like?

A bit of work?…what are you working on…the house..yourself…all those Monday questions…it’s a fresh start for the week…

Is there a bit of risk you are taking this week? What is it that might challenge you? Are you willing to try?

 And I HOPE there is a bit of whimsy!! What is your proverbial ‘pink luggage’ this Monday morning?

Monday Matters & so do YOU!

“Live a custom life. There is only one you.”™

xo Ann