04/19/2016

Feelin’ the Love

Well Hello! Happy Tuesday to you! Thanks for stopping by my blog.  I really appreciate all my loyal friends and followers and the support you give me. So, Thank you!

Speaking of friends and support, I think I may have the best new neighbors in the whole wide world.  We haven’t even “moved” into the neighborhood on Normandie Circle yet and I already feel so loved and special. We were told when we went to look at the house what a great neighborhood it was, and I already know that is true. From the minute I met Angela, next door,  I knew we would be fast friends.  She loves to throw parties like me, they have 4 kids like us and the whole family is so easy to talk to.  They hosted a super great “Welcome to the Neighborhood” party last night for us.  They invited neighbors from the area that had kids close to our kids ages.  It was so nice to meet so many different families.  Everyone was so genuine and friendly.  It was a great night of new beginnings and another great start to our new adventure.

I thought I’d share all the cute details of the party and show off the talents of my new friend, Angela.

 

new friends

 

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Yummy treats were had by all.  The presentation was so sweet.  She has such a talent for mixing patterns, layering all different textures and colors.

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Gorgeous flowers that I got to take home.  How cute is the Home Sweet Home tags in the flowers and on the dessert table.

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She hangs these adorable banners all throughout her home and I love them. She added one for the party that matched the tags and  said home Sweet home!

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Here are just a few of the cute kids that came to meet my crew.  When we got to the party I heard Brooklyn say to Avery “that she was just going to stay by Avery all night”.  Well that lasted about a half hour and by the end of the night they were all in the living room laughing and joking around.  Music to my Ears!!

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These cute little “get to know your neighbor cards” were on the front table when people walked in.  They filled them out with their info and some of their favorite restaurants, places to shop and things to do in the area.  I thought this was such a fun and useful idea.  These will definitely come in handy and was a great way for me to put faces with names after we had met everyone.

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As you can see we were completely spoiled at our Welcome Home party! I was a little speechless that someone could go out of their way this much to make us feel so loved and welcomed.  I am so grateful for good, kind people in this world.  I know the next chapter of our journey is going to be a great one and has definitely started off on the right foot.

Angela, I know you will probably read this, and I do want you to know how amazing you and your family are! We couldn’t have picked better neighbors! Thank you!

And to my readers, thanks for taking the time to stop by! Have a great day!

Honestly, 

Harmony

 

 

04/12/2016

Normandie Place “before” pictures (Part 1)

I just got back from a fabulous week away with my family to Newport Beach.  We had the best time and stayed in a great little place right on the beach.  If you ever plan a trip there I would recommend checking out Doyles Beach and Boardwalk.  I will be honest and say from a design perspective it was lacking a bit and could use a few updates, but if your looking for location, this is the place!! Seriously steps from the beach and the Newport Pier.  Perfect for a family get away!!IMG_9713

Anyways, we stopped by our Normandie fixer upper and to my surprise quite a bit of demo had been done, which of course made me one happy girl!!  So since the project is under way I though it was time to share my “before” pictures with you all. Today I will take you on a tour of the main floor. I have to apologize that some of the lighting on the pics aren’t great, but hopefully good enough for you to get an idea of the house. Now remember my last post, (which you can find here), that I said the house needs lots of work.  But I think you’d agree, that’s what makes a fixer upper that much more exciting!  I know the transformations will be awesome and I can’t wait!

Lets start in the front entry, welcome!Entry

The stairwell- how gorgeous is this window?  We plan to open up the stairwell and replace with a beautiful railing.  I feel like it will draw more attention to this grand window and bring light into the entry and upstairs.

 

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The living room, which is right off the entry- I love the windows with the shutters.  I’m planning on revamping the fireplace.  This room has a beautiful curved  ceiling in it with great crown molding.  There is a bay window that looks out to the front yard and also has french doors leading into the den.IMG_9383

 

Living room

 

The den is one of my favorite rooms.  It has the original brick on one side of the room as this was part of the add on to the house.  I plan on keeping the brick and painting  it.  The ceiling and beams will also stay but get fresh paint and stain.  I talked about dutch doors on my instagram.  (You can follow me at honest_harm to see more pictures and updates.) I love this door and I think it adds so much charm to this room.

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Den

From there we go into the dining room and kitchen.  Right now there is a wall dividing these two rooms, but we plan to open the space up to make it one big room. It is a nice size room with french doors leading out to the deck.

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dining room

 

And here is my beautiful kitchen, well, it will be beautiful when I am done with it! It is just dated and needs lots of attention.  I think we will be adding some windows to make the room feel brighter and bigger.

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kitchen

The last area on the main floor is the mud room and half bath.  This area was the original kitchen.  It is a great space for a mud room and desk nook, but I can’t imagine cooking in this space. We plan on incorporating the pantry, mud room and desk/study area for the kids in this space.  It has a side door leading to the driveway and garage and also a half bath.

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mud room

 

Well there it is! I hope you have enjoyed the tour of this 1920″s fixer upper.  I will be posting part 2 & 3 later on this week so check back to see the rest of the before’s.  I would love to get any advice or ideas, so please make a comment below and let me know what you think!

Thanks for stopping by!

Honestly,

Harmony

03/29/2016

Changes

As you can see my blog posts have been …well non existent.  Life has had some major changes for our family the last little while.

We moved into our home about 4 years ago.  I have to say this home was the home of my dreams. Cyprus House  While Mike was in dental school I couldn’t wait to be done and start “living life”.  Six years after being back in Utah we bought our home in Highland.  It was a short sale and took us 7 months to get into, but it was worth the wait.  It was gorgeous and everything I had ever wanted.  A huge theater room, walk out basement, rooms for each of the kids,  A workout room with a sauna, and the kitchen was a chefs dream.  I was beyond thrilled to be living in this house.  After a few years of being there Mike and I realized how much work goes into living in a big home.  7500 sq. feet is a lot to take care! With 4 kids, a dog, a huge backyard, laundry, carpooling…. you get the picture, right? I decided something had to change.  This “dream home” was taking so much of our time we didn’t have the energy to enjoy life like we had hoped.  Don’t get me wrong, we had so many great parties at this house.  The entertaining options were endless.  I loved having guests over, being able to host friends and family to come stay, but when it was just our family there I felt like we were working and trying to maintain everything.  We could go a whole day and not see each other.  Kids would be downstairs, I’d be upstairs in the kitchen and Mike would be outside working.  If I didn’t make it a point to gather together we wouldn’t have to converse with each other at all.  This wasn’t what I wanted for my family.  I felt like this big house was separating us and causing distance between us.  

We both decided we wanted more out of life.  We needed diversity, adventures, something that felt more like “us”.  Some other changes came about and we decided it was time to sell the house and move on to a new chapter.  So last week we left that beautiful home for the last time. saying goodbye It was a hard day for all of us.  Mike and I asked ourselves many times if we were crazy for doing it.  But we both kept going back to our gut feeling of needing a change.  But change can be so hard while you are going through it.  I know our decision is a good one, but when your kids are sobbing because they are leaving a home they love and stepping into a world of unknown it’s easy to second guess yourself.

Back in January we started looking for homes closer to Salt Lake.  I knew that we wanted something a bit smaller, but we didn’t really have a specific area or style we were going for.  Mike stumbled across a listing in Salt Lake in the Harvard Yale area.  If you aren’t familiar with this area it is a beautiful neighborhood with tree lined streets, beautiful 1920’s brick homes,and so much character and charm.  I’ve always loved it up there.  Actually a year ago I was at a volleyball tournament for Brooklyn at East high school and was driving through this area and I came home and told Mike that this is the area I’d like to be in.  But I knew the homes were pricey and it kind of felt like I’d be dreaming to ever think I’d live there.  So fast forward a year and Mike finds this home on the market.  I fall in love with it instantly! Yes, it needs a lot, I mean A LOT of work and yes, it will take some time, but will it be worth it? Most definitely! Mike was much more skeptical of taking on this big of a project, so there was some convincing involved.

I’m happy to say that we closed on the home last week!Normandie house We will start demo soon and construction in May.  I am so excited to share with you guys all the before and afters, because they will be incredible transformations.  So check back often and also follow me on instagram at honest_harm for lots of fun images.

We always hear that life brings many changes,  some good , some bad. Many times unexpected or not what we thought we had in our plan.  I thought we would be in Highland for many years, but I believe there are bigger and better things in store.  I truly feel that it’s not about the “house” that makes it feel like home.  It’s about the people inside the house that create a “Home” with love, acceptance, kindness, laughter, making memories and feeling at peace every time we walk through the door.  This is my wish for this new house that we will create and that my children will always feel at home whenever they think of Normandie Circle.

07/02/2015

4th of July Parfaits

Aww!! I love summer! Can I say it again? I LOVE SUMMER!!

We have been having too much fun enjoying these long, hot summer days! We just got back from a fun filled week at the Oregon Coast. (Recap of my trip will come later). We finally took the boat out last Saturday, and we are looking forward to some 4th of July celebrations and barbecues this weekend.

I love the 4th of July for many reasons.  The red, white and blue. The fireworks. The family time. And of course, the food.  So today I am sharing one of my favorite summer time treats that I think is great for a 4th of July celebration.  I know it’s been done a lot and it doesn’t really involve a recipe, but you can’t go wrong with a strawberry short cake parfait.

parfaits

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sophie and parfait

I decided to use my plastic wine cups for these ones to make it look even more festive.  I basically layered home made whip cream, strawberries, and pound cake.  Please oh please only use home made whip.  It’s the only way to go when it comes to strawberry shortcake.

For my whip I use:

Heavy whipping cream, sugar and the best dang vanilla you have ever had!{ We visited a new chocolate cafe called Taste.  If your local it is on University in Provo.  Let me tell you it is amazing and deserves it’s own post.  But while we were there the owner let us sample their vanilla.  It was so delicious.  You know how vanilla is usually bitter? Not this one, sweet and had a syrupy consistency.  It’s so much stronger than other vanilla that you only need to use a fourth of what a recipe calls for.  It really made a difference in this whip cream and the strong vanilla flavor was heavenly.} I beat the whip cream cream until it has pretty stiff peaks and then I add the sugar and the vanilla.  Yum-eee!!

I topped these babies off with a cute Americana pinwheel to give it some patriotic pizzaz.  So cute and so easy!single parfait

So what ever you do this 4th I hope it’s a good one.  One that you get to spend good quality time with friends and family.  Make some memories you will never forget!

Thanks for stopping by!

Honestly,

Harmony

 

 

06/09/2015

Life Happens

sunsetIt’s summer!! I’m so excited for school to be out and to get to spend time with my kiddos. With that being said, this blogging thing kind of went out the window for the last few weeks of school.  They were a bit crazy and I found myself overwhelmed by even thinking about what to write.  I finally decided I need to write something, even if it was just a bit.

Do you ever feel so passionate about something and then a week or two goes by and you realize your focus has totally shifted?  That’s been me lately. I kind of beat myself up in my head over it too, but the last few days I have decided that LIFE HAPPENS!! We don’t always have time to workout, write a blog post, clean out the dogs cage, make dinner, pull all the weeds outside.  Life gets busy and there are so many days I get done and wonder what I did today because there is nothing tangible to SHOW for that day. I let this get to me, wear me down a little bit.  But I’m realizing when I do this it pretty much consumes me and then I don’t do anything but focus on what hasn’t been done.

Summer is a time for me when this really happens.  There may be days I don’t DO anything but hang with my kids at a pool or sit out on my patio with my hubby and have great conversation.  Maybe it’s hiking with a friend that turns out to take my time that I was going to go grocery shopping.  Do you have days like this? These to me are the days that MATTER! This is what life is about.  Don’t get me wrong, those things, that TO DO list does have to get done. I actually feel good when it does, but I have had to learn to not feel bad when it doesn’t.

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We all hear the saying that life is too short.  As I get older and my relationships with my family and friends mean more than anything to me, that saying hits close to home.  This past week we had a death of a young girl in our neighborhood.  She was killed in a tragic car accident right down the street.  It made me evaluate how quickly life can change.  It put a whole new spin on the way I’ve talked to my kids and husband this week.  I haven’t hesitated to tell them I love them twenty times a day.  Even if I was annoying them.  My time with these precious souls is what life is all about.IMG_7224

So at the start of this summer I have decided to tell myself that LIFE HAPPENS.  When there is dishes in my sink, or laundry that needs folded I’ll let it go if it means embracing what life gives me.  Time with my children to laugh, have fun, be creative, listen.  If it’s patio talks with Mike, summer concerts under the stars, late night TV watching. A phone call with one of my sisters, a letter to my grandmother, a visit from my parents.  All these things may not be on my TO DO list, but they are the things that make this life wonderful!

Happy Summer, my friends!

Honestly,

Harmony

05/17/2015

Graduation Party Ideas

Hello Friends,

I’m kind of in disbelief that I am old enough to have friends with children that are graduating, but I am!

One of my best friends, Daynia,  moved to Memphis last summer. I was not very happy and I’ve missed her every day since.  They have kids ranging from 8th-12th grade. This family is one of the best around.  We got to enjoy some time in Lake Powell with them last summer before they left and had a blast.  She was excited to go, but her kids were all a little nervous about it.  Fast forward 9 months and her kids couldn’t be happier about the experiences they’ve had.  Especially her daughter who is a senior.  They all have done great!

She graduated last week and my friend threw her the cutest Graduation Party.  I so wished I could have been there and I honestly teared up when she sent me the pictures.  She did such an amazing job, I asked her if I could highlight it on my blog.  Of course she said yes.  She did tell me many ideas came from Pinterest, but who’s don’t these days? She added some fun personal touches to the party.  

This is Bailey and her cute group of friends

So if you have a graduate or will have one in the future you will want to scroll through for some great ideas.

Love this idea of a photo wreath.  So cute and would be great to put anywhere and something they could keep in their dorm room too!

 

Love the balloons and the color theme! It just screams Party!!

This may have been my favorite thing of all.  How cute is this collage wall done on an old pallet.  It’s rustic, but with the gold frames and the silver balls hung in the shrubs. I think it just adds so much elegance.

Dying over this cake! And yes, she and her sister made it!! 

Here’s the cute graduate!!

Another use with a wood pallet.  This burlap banner is adorable and goes perfectly above the food table.

I have to say I am really impressed with this great party.  I hope you loved all these fun ideas as much as I did!  Thanks to my friend, Daynia for letting me share it.  And Congrats to Bailey!! I know she is going on to do great things!

Thanks for stopping by!

Honestly,

Harmony

05/13/2015

Books Aren’t Just For Reading

I love to decorate with books.  They are a great way to add height to an arrangement, they add color to a room and most importantly they are inexpensive and easy to find at thrift stores.

I was recently at a thrift store and found some great finds. One being this huge dictionary.  It was in the perfect mustard yellow for my family room. I paired it with a few other books that coordinated with my room. I made a vignette on my new ottoman that includes a tray, the books, an hour glass and of course a pop of greenery. The big book was only  $4.00 and the other ones were $2.00.  I think this makes a big statement in the room.

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I have many shelves in my house, and sometimes it is hard to cover every inch with decor, but books make it easy.  They can be set upright in a grouping or laid on their side.  It adds color, pattern and fills up the space.  shelf

books on shelf

We have collected quite a few older books from some of our grandparents and it is fun to use these in my styling.  They tell a story and give a bit of information about what that person was interested in or perhaps studied. I absolutely love the look of vintage books.  They add such character to a room.

While I was in Boise visiting my family last week we went to some parade of homes.  They had used many books to decorate with, but my favorite ones were the ones they had covered in paper.  They coordinated them to match the rooms.  Such a simple thing to do, but made a big impact. I decided to do some of my own to go on my shelves in my living room.  I thought I’d share the tutorial with you.  It was super easy and fast, but I love how they turned out.

living room books

 

 

Step 1: For this project I used wrapping paper and double-sided tape. I cut the paper with enough dimensions to cover the whole book.cutting paper

 

 

Step 2: wrap the paper around each side and secure with tape.book wrapping

Step 3: I wrapped the book just like a package.  When it came time to folding the corners close enough to the binding I just cut a slit straight down until I got to the binding and then I folded that corner in.

book flapStep 4: You will be left with wings where the binding is.  I just cut them almost blunt with the book and then I put a little piece of double sided tape right where the ribbon part of the binding is and tucked it in.  You could also hot glue this part.
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finished books1

And thats it!! Super easy and so fun!finished booksI hope this post gave you some fun ideas on how to incorporate books into your decor.

Thanks for stopping by! I would love if you left a comment to let me know how you liked this post.

Honestly,

Harmony

05/06/2015

Spa in a Jar Gifts

I thought I would just quickly share my girl’s gifts for their teachers this year.  Our school does lots of fun things for the teachers during Teacher Appreciation week, like catered lunches and little tokens of appreciation brought in every day by the students.  I also like to give them a nicer gift at the end of the week to let them know how grateful we are for them.IMG_1344

This year I came up with Spa in Jar to give to them.  It includes:

*hand lotion

*nail polish

*nail file

*cotton balls

*lip gloss

*candy

 *$10.00 gift cardIMG_1353

I found these darling glass jars in the Dollar section at Target.  I added a cute tag that says:

You “Nailed” it! Thanks for being so wonderful!you nailed it

It was easy and cost less than $20.00 to do.  I think they will love them!

 

 

 

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Spa in a jar

What do you usually do for your child’s teacher? Leave a comment and let me know!

These would also be fun for Mother’s Day or for a Birthday present.

Thanks for stopping by, Have a great day!

Honestly,

Harmony

05/01/2015

Love Is A Verb – Modify Ink Style

Happy Friday Friends,

I am so excited to be sharing my first sponsored blog review and it is for a company that I absolutely adore, Modify Ink! I attended BYBC (Build Your Blog Conference) a few months ago.  There were many affiliates at the conference, but I  have to say that Modify Ink had the best set up.  Beautiful, bold colors adorned their booth.  In a nutshell they are a website you can order prints, but with a twist!  They are all customizable.  From colors, patterns, and sizes there is so much to choose from. The prices are also very reasonable, which I love when decorating on a budget.  What I love most is that every piece you create is unique. No one will ever walk in your home and say, “hey, I have that print.”

I had a blast designing my print.  I chose this one that says, Love is a Verb, because it is one of my favorite John Mayer songs and it has some special meaning to me.  It was so fun to go in and pick out colors for each part of this piece.  I have recently updated my basement family room and was needing something over my mantle.  This print was perfect here. I was able to add in all the colors I am using in the room to tie it all together.

 

Love is a Verb

upclose - modify Ink

Room view - modify ink

Now, you may be thinking, well, I am not very artistic or tech savvy.  But don’t you worry your pretty little head, it is so easy!! Honestly, my 6 year old could create her own.  I thought I would walk you through the steps, just so you can see for yourself.

1. Home page – just click start now.

Modify Ink

Modify Ink Home Page

2. There are so many prints to choose from. And why pick just one?  I love the idea of doing a custom collage wall!

 

 

Modify ink

3.Pick your print and open it up.  In the side bar you will see a list of colors and patterns.  All you do is click on the image or section of the print you want to change.

Modify Ink

4. Then you just have fun picking different colors and patterns to fit your color scheme.

Modify Ink

See? I told you, so easy!

I am going to make your day because for the next 3 days when you order from Modify Ink, you can use Promo Code: http://hello.modifyink.com/honestharm/ and receive 30% off any order.  I think these would make great Teacher Appreciation , Graduation and Mother’s Day gifts.  And now is a perfect time to get them.  So don’t wait, you only have 72 hours (until Sunday night) to get the discount.

PicMonkey Collage

I hope you all have a great weekend and you get to be with the ones you love doing the things you enjoy!

Honestly,

Harmony

p.s.  make sure and share this with your friends before they miss it!!

 

 

 

04/22/2015

Honest Harm – It’s not just a name

Hello Friends,

I’m overwhelmed at the response I have gotten from the Mother’s Day Giveaway. I’m excited to pick a winner in a few days.  I love all the comments on what you love to give and get for Mother’s Day! Thank you!

Todays post might be a little bit of rambling and journaling for me, but it’s something I wanted to share.

Have you ever wondered where the name, Honest Harm came from? I know it’s a little different and I probably could have used something more “home decor” related, but this name actually means something to me.  I am a very open, honest, raw person.

On the greatest gift you can give yourself:

Source:Buzzfeed

I grew up in a family where we shared openly our feelings and thoughts and I think I grew up thinking everyone was this way.  Then I got married and my husbands family was complete opposite.  We have learned over time to be open with each other and share our feelings, and we have met somewhere in the middle when it comes to sharing and being open with other people.  You see, I have learned that people don’t need to know everything about you all the time.  Now, does this mean I pretend to be someone I’m not or sugar-coat my life?  I don’t think I do that at all.  But I have realized that some things are meant to keep private, or to stay between me and my husband or our little family.  I decided I could be too honest to a fault.  My naive mind felt like I was lying to people if I didn’t share my experiences or feelings.  I have also learned over the years that you can’t trust too many people.  This has been a hard concept for me to grasp.  I am a loyal, trusting person and as I have matured I’ve realized that is not the case for all people.

That being said, I think because I am so open people have worried at times that I couldn’t be trusted with their feelings or experiences they  have been through. I think that has to come over time with friendships and I’ve had to show people that just because I am an open book doesn’t mean I will be about their lives.

We have a group of really amazing friends.  In friends, I mean husband and wife friends.  I think this is such a rare thing to find.  Usually I will meet someone but Mike won’t click with their husband or vice versus.  But about 4 years ago I met a great friend and she introduced to me all of her friends.  We all clicked and had a lot of fun together.  As time went by I got the nickname Honest Harm.  This wasn’t always a positive character trait for me and at first I took a little offense to it.  I guess I say what I am thinking, while others hold back.  I am curious, by nature and I love learning about people.  I am such a people person.  I may ask questions about someone that others maybe wouldn’t ask or tell someone how I feel when others would hold back.  I guess I didn’t realize I did this until I met these friends.  The first few times I was called Honest Harm I came home feeling bad about this character trait I had.  For many months I would try to change this about myself.  I would hold back on conversations or worry what I should or shouldn’t say.  I finally addressed it with my good friend and we had a great conversation about it.  She told me it’s what people love about me.  I’ve always been told that I am so easy to talk to. I am very non-judgemental and I try really hard to be a good listener.  People say they can open up to me and talk to me like they’ve known me forever.  I have come to realize that when you are open and raw with people, they will tend to be the same with you, even if they are generally not that way.  I’ve often been told I should be a therapist because I give great advice.  I don’t know if that is true, but I think because of this “Honest Harm” quality I make people feel that they can open up.

we-need-to-be-as-open-as-possible

Source: Pinterest

I feel like we need more authenticity in this world.  So much of society goes around pretending to be someone they are not.   We may act as if we have more money than we do.  Hang out with friends who don’t quite have the same interest or morals as us, but they’re the “cool” ones.  We may be in a relationship we’re miserable in, but then gush to our friends how amazing it is.  How many times do we see a friend and say life is great, when in actuality our world feels like it is crashing down.  Why do we do this? Why can’t we be real? And raw? Believe me, even Honest Harm, does some of this! As a society we want to be strong and successful and happy.  But the reality is, we can’t be all those things, all the time. I think our biggest strength can be vulnerability.

Ask anyone that knows me and you will know I do not like to say I am getting older.  But I do like to use the term maturing.  Too me, maturing is not about a number or how many gray hairs I have.  Too me, maturing is about wisdom, finding out who we are, discovering our strengths and learning to change our weaknesses.  Maturity to mean shows taking control of our lives and becoming the person we want to be.  We’re strong in our convictions and our beliefs, but we are also willing and open to listen to others and accept them.

The name Honest Harm may have started out a little hard for me to swallow, but as the years have gone by and I have matured, and become stronger in my beliefs about who I am.  I am proud of this name.  I am gratified to know that I can say I have gotten to a place in my life where I can be who I am with no apologies.  And I love to surround myself with people who do the same.  Too me, this shows strength and success.  In fact, Honest Harm is what gave me the power to start this blog and put myself out there.  It’s helped me to not be shy about sharing my talents and to finally say, ya, I am good at interior design, party planning, DIY, all those creative things in my life that I love.

So I challenge you to be a little more real, raw, unapologetic about who are.  It’s your life, live it well.

Found on Huffington Post

Found on Huffington Post

 

Thanks for stopping by today! It really does mean a lot.

Honestly,

Harmony

 

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