THOUGHT FULL FRIDAY 30// SUCCESS METER

December 20, 2013

Measure of Success | House of Harvey

It’s coming upon that natural time of year where we all stop for a moment and reflect on all that we have accomplished over the past year. As I’ve commenced my own personal sitting and reflecting mode, I got to thinking, “what does success truly mean to me?”

Over the past year I’ve detailed some personal struggles when it comes to time management, life balance, impatience, jealously, commitment issues, career goals, ambition, routines, organization….you get the point…I’m a hot mess. So as I take this moment to ponder all that has occurred over this past year (and more naturally let my thoughts shift to all that I had actually planned on having occur but never followed through on this year), I think about the true meaning of success and if any of the things I’ve done this year can fall into that “successful” category.

We all have our definitions of what personal achievement looks like, feels like and maybe even tastes like. And because we are all as unique as can be, that means that true success can never be dictated by anyone other than yourself. You may be able to toss in some tangible facts like a huge amount of sales or a big ol’ monetary bonus (usually signs of “success”), but even with those traditional measures you are the one and only person to decide whether you feel successful or not.

So as I sit and spin on the happenings of 2013, from incredible travels and momentous family occasions, to launches of new, creative ventures and survival through a full year of business owning, I think….”by golly, I am successful!”

No, I don’t have Benjamins hanging out of my pockets (I did, in fact, say Benjamins). And yes, there are a lot of things still unchecked on my to do list. And no, I haven’t figured out how to effectively balance my life and my work. And yes, there is still a major pile of laundry in my closet. And yes, all of these things make me upset/disappointed/anxious on the daily, but boy did I experience a lot this year…

…and yes, “experience” is my personal definition of success.

So however you choose to define it, I challenge you to think back on your year (or many years if you like) and determine what your measure of success truly is. Is it love? Is it passion? Is it knowledge? You get to decide how successful you are in life, so go out there and make it happen.

I hope it’s a thought full and extremely joyous holiday for you all!

Cheers,

Steph

 

STROLLING THE VENICE CANALS

December 16, 2013

Strolling the Venice Canals | House of Harvey

It’s like they were something out of a legend. I heard about the Venice Canals (west coast version, not sinking Italian version) for so many years…maybe even a decade…but never once did I attempt to visit. Until this past weekend.

On a gorgeous Saturday afternoon, I packed the pup, my NEW camera (can’t even tell you how amazing this camera is!), a coffee and some positive vibes and headed down to the beach. The sun was brilliantly shining and the temperature could not have been more perfect for a leisure stroll through the amazing canals of Venice Beach, CA.

Strolling the Venice Canals | House of Harvey Strolling the Venice Canals | House of Harvey Strolling the Venice Canals | House of Harvey

SIDE NOTE: Sometimes I joke with Harv to give me the “over the shoulder smolder” camera pose, and by golly, he did just that for this snapshot. He amazes me on the daily.

Strolling the Venice Canals | House of Harvey Strolling the Venice Canals | House of Harvey

We saw countless dogs, ducks afloat the water, festive holiday decor and neighbors sitting out on their porch or canoeing long the channels hollering out friendly “hellos” to everyone who passed. It was The Truman Show come to life in the So Cal setting with all of the charms of a throwback era. Simply captivating.

Strolling the Venice Canals | House of Harvey

For those who live in the So Cal area or are looking to pay a visit, I cannot recommend it enough.

THOUGHT FULL FRIDAY 29 // PUP-UP HOLIDAY

December 13, 2013

I thought that for this Thought Full Friday we could take a break from the introspective and just celebrate….with these festive friends!

At the first-ever Pup-Up event last month, I had the opportunity to take some festive photos with a couple of the dogs in attendance. The results were very merry and spirited, indeed. Here are a few from the day that I just had to share.

Holiday Photos from The Pup-Up Holiday Photos from The Pup-Up Holiday Photos from The Pup-Up Holiday Photos from The Pup-Up Holiday Photos from The Pup-Up Holiday Photos from The Pup-Up Holiday Photos from The Pup-Up Holiday Photos from The Pup-Up Holiday Photos from The Pup-Up

This last one is not so much “holiday” but just utterly adorable.

Happy Howl-idays everyone!

Cheers,

Steph

A HOWL-IDAY GIVEAWAY

December 10, 2013

House of Harvey Howl-day Giveaway

I never thought there was anything that could make me appreciate dogs more than I do already, but these amazing stories of lessons-learned from the pooches in our lives has done just that.  We truly has some wise, brilliant, loving and compassionate pups in our lives. Aren’t we the luckiest?

And now for the winner….congratulations MEGAN!

Parker, my dapper 14yo guy, has bestowed so many lessons as he has been my watchful guardian through my 20s and now 30s. He’s definitely taught me to stop and take a pause. Even if this means squatting in the middle of the 6-way intersection in the very hip Wicker Park neighborhood for a #2. Well, that day he taught everyone to take a pause! Always at my side, he now has been slower moving older gentleman and I have been careful to sit and relax more at home (instead of jumping to the endless list of to-dos) to give his joints a rest. Together we can admire the change of light or hear a city noise that may have otherwise escaped notice. Every day is a lesson in aging fearlessly and gracefully.

Parker sounds like a dapper gentleman indeed!  Megan, please email me at hello@houseofharvey.com with your full name and mailing details so I can send out your prize.

Thanks again to everyone who entered. I plan on having some fun giveaways in the new year, so stay tuned! And happiest holidays to all!

———————–

This week I shared a fun gift guide for pets and pet-lovers on Design*Sponge and it got me thinking about the power gift giving.

There is something so magical about giving. Whether it’s a small trinket, a grandiose gesture, a smile or a compliment, the power of giving can go a long way. I know for a fact that Harvey was the best gift I could have ever received. And while no one actually gifted him to me (sheer kismet brought us together three years ago),  he has graced my every day with a love and joy that nothing will ever compare to…blinking red nose and all.

He keeps me in the “present” and that is the best gift anyone could ever give. (Did you like that play on words there? I know I was impressed.)

So in the spirit of giving and holiday cheer, I thought I would give away a hodgepodge of pup goodies for you to share with the lucky dogs in your life.

This is just a small selection of favorite items I came across this past year and it makes me so happy to share them with you, my fellow dog-loving peeps.

House of Harvey Howl-day Giveaway

Wildebeest Funston To-Go Bowl – Hydrate on the go!

Dogtails Shampoo – All natural and it smells as fabulous as it looks.

blanketID “Too Cool for Drool” ID tag – Our House of Harvey custom design for blanketID. Such a fun collaboration!

Life of Riley Faux Bois Food Bowl (large) – Still haven’t found a bowl I like better than this one.

George Green Stick Chew Toy – Because who doesn’t love a green rubber stick toy?

In order to enter to win this collection of amazing swag, all you have to do is leave a comment telling me the greatest lesson your dog/a dog in your life has ever taught you. And for bonus points – and because it’s a gift we all can enjoy – take a pic of your pup enjoying the holidays and tag @houseofharvey via Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. I’ll share them via social and on the site!

I’ll select and announce the winner on Friday Dec. 13. Good luck!

 

 

Now for the not-so-fine print:

  • I will be selecting the winners based on favorite responses…creativity counts!
  • You are allowed only one entry per person.
  • The giveaway will run from Dec. 10 – Dec. 12, 2013, 11:59 pm PST.
  • No P.O. Boxes…sorry.
  •  Once the winner has been announced, they must email me at hello@houseofharvey.com with correct shipping information in order to receive their prize.
  • I wasn’t paid a cent for this promotion.  I just believe in great products.
  • No purchase necessary
  • Void where prohibited.

THOUGHT FULL FRIDAY 28 // STOP THE MADNESS

December 6, 2013

Stop the Madness | House of Harvey

So to say things were a “little” crazy around here lately would be putting it lightly. While I have tried with such might to slow things down in my life and stop using the phrase “OMG! I’m just sooooo busy these days”, I have failed, completely and totally, miserably.

I can blame it on the holiday rush. (Sort of true.) Or I can blame it on the end of the year madness. (Kind of true.) Or I can just blame it on myself and my continued attempts to start new projects on the daily, do everything on my own, all at once and never give myself a moment of respite. (Ding ding ding…we’ve found our winner!)

As I’ve said in the past – and I guess I have to say it again to truly make it sink in – it’s so important for your well-being, the well-being of those around you, and your general love of life to pull the brakes and SLOW DOWN every now again. I’ve learned some harsh lessons (time and again) about the struggles of life balance and it’s about darn time I do – actually DO – something about it. And what better season, than the season of giving, to give myself the best gift of all: time off.

I’m declaring it to you all now (so you can keep me liable!), that 2014 will be a much more methodical year. I will think through decisions and not just jump right in. I will pull the brakes when I feel like I am spiraling out of control in a tizzy of endless work. And I will truly, and honestly, make time for the things, people and pups I love most in life (more to come on that soon!)

I’m done with the “too-busy-to-live” mantra and am ready to embrace the “I’ve-got-all-the-time-in-the-world” attitude.

It’s not a race. It’s a marathon…and I’m mighty fine being the slow-poke in the back.

I hope it’s a thought full weekend for everyone.

Cheers,

Steph

 

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