Here is a blog post I started writing in October of 2016. These things were written before I got my answer and my “what’s next..” but I have that now, so I want to share my heart with you and what this journey has looked like from the start.

October 14, 2016: I want to start by telling you something that I learned the other night during a quiet time that I forced myself to have. You are enough and you need to give yourself more grace. You are not your business. You are not your content. You are not your failures. You are a person and you are enough.

I have gone back and forth on whether or not to publicly write about this journey, and I can think about a million and one reasons why I shouldn’t but I think there is power in authenticity and freedom in being honest so here goes. I think I’m finally ready.

You see, over the last year… myself and my business have been going through some changes. These weren’t changes that I welcomed with arms wide open. These have been changes that I’ve fought at every single corner. I’ve pouted, I’ve questioned, I’ve sought counsel from friends and family, I’ve spent days paralyzed on the couch just trying to understand and I’ve yelled just about every profanity at God that I have to yell.

The honest truth? In 2016 running my photography business no longer brought me joy, and not in a way that comes with normal business aches and pains, but in way that needed to be addressed head-on. My dreams started changing and I didn’t know what that looked like.

And client-friends, before you read on… it’s not you, it’s me.

I wouldn’t assume any of you reading this thought I had anything figured out, but just in case you need a reminder, here it is. I struggled with a lot of self doubt, “where do I go from here’s?” and “am I enough’s?” in 2016 and it was a journey I really didn’t enjoy. One night as I was journaling some thoughts on everything that has transpired in my heart over the last year, I asked God for some answers. I didn’t really ask nicely, but I needed answers and I needed to hash that out in an honest place. As you would expect, I felt Him nudging me to open my Bible, I heard His small but mighty voice remind me the answers were there if I would just open the pages and look.

As luck would have it, I opened up my Bible and found my way to John 1:16 which says, “For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” Grace upon grace, guys. Are you trying to do everything and be all the things to all the people? Are you running a business, caring for a family, keeping your house cleaned, volunteering in programs, working out and eating right, being a good friend, desperately trying to live up to some wild and unrealistic expectation you set for yourself? Me too.

Instead of allowing myself grace upon grace and understanding that I don’t need to have all of the answers, I spent the last year trying to figure things out in a very self-deprecating way. But on that particular night, God gently reminded me that I am enough just as I am. I hate for anything I write to sound cliche, but sometimes gentle cliche reminders are good for the soul, so here I go; My business isn’t perfect, my body isn’t perfect, my marriage isn’t perfect, my faith isn’t perfect, but I am still enough and so are you.

The answers to our tough questions aren’t found in doing more and being more, the answers to our tough questions are found in letting go and letting God. I’m an exceptionally fearful person, as in I’ll outline all of the reasons not to do something before I’ll look at it and see the good. It’s just how I’m wired. I’m cautious and I don’t take risks. This fear though? It’s held me back from chasing some of my wildest dreams over the last few years. Chasing dreams that I’ve seen other people do and I’ve sat back and watched. I don’t think that’s what God had in mind when He gave us Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Coming to terms with the fact that something I built very publicly over the last six years and poured my entire heart into doesn’t make me happy anymore freaks me out. It has made me feel like a failure, a fraud and a fake over the last 10 months. But I’m slowly dragging myself out of it, speaking my new dreams into the world and I’m excited about it. I don’t know all of the answers right now, these are still real, raw emotions I’ve been working through for 10 months now. But I do know this; dreams change and that’s okay.

The more open I have been about my changing dreams, the more I hear an overwhelming amount of, “me too’s,” and “I’ve been there’s.” It’s hard though, isn’t it? Our identities are often wrapped up in what we do and this persona we project into the world. So what do we do when the very thing that identifies us no longer brings us joy? We listen to what our heart has been telling us all along. We act on it and we allow ourselves grace in the process.

I want to be candid with you during this journey, so come back sometime maybe. See where I am and what God is doing. Watch me stumble and get back up. I know it won’t be a perfect journey but it will be my journey.

Friends, I want to give you a gentle nudge, I want to remind you that you are enough. Your dreams can change and life will go on. You’ll be happier if you pursue your heart’s truest desire. You are right where you are supposed to be. Jesus sees you and He is with you. He hasn’t forgot about you and His arms are wide open offering you grace upon grace during this season of your life.

January 17th, 2017: Last week I got my answer. Everything I had been hoping and praying for, for an entire year finally revealed itself. I’m following my heart, pursuing my actual dream and I couldn’t be more excited to announce that I officially accepted a job with an interior design firm!!! More on this in the coming weeks :)

You guys, He hears you, He sees you, and He knows your hearts greatest desires… listen to what your heart is telling you because it won’t steer you wrong.

christmas home tour by nicoledianne.com

The Christmas Home Tour is here!! This remains one of my absolute favorite posts to publish each year. It’s so fun to look back through the years and see how our style has transformed year to year. You can find past Christmas home tours here, here, here, and here.

For 2016 I wanted to focus mostly on adding greenery through out the house using garlands, wreaths and Christmas trees. I didn’t put up as many of my old decorations, but I did add a few new items to our Christmas arsenal like our first Christmas tree topper, this Merry Christmas garland, and a lot of thrifted, brass candle sticks! I went with a minimal yet festive theme and I’ve been quite pleased with how it turned out.

The living room

Obviously our most festive room in the house, was sprinkled with garlands from Trader Joe’s and decked out with as many twinkle lights as I had batteries to accommodate.

Christmas home tour by nicoledianne.com Christmas home tour by nicoledianne.com Christmas home tour by nicoledianne.com Christmas home tour by nicoledianne.com Christmas home tour by nicoledianne.com Christmas home tour by nicoledianne.com

The office

Since I spend so much time in my office during this busy time of year, I couldn’t neglect to add a little bit of Christmas cheer in there as well! I added a simple Christmas tree garland from the dollar spot at Target (my favorite spot) and sprinkled my shelving with wire twinkle lights, and a marble Christmas Tree.

Christmas home tour by nicoledianne.com Christmas home tour by nicoledianne.com Christmas home tour by nicoledianne.com Christmas home tour by nicoledianne.com Christmas home tour by nicoledianne.com

the bedroom

I usually don’t do much to our bedroom from season to season, but this year I decided that we needed to add some festive, flannel sheets and a cozy throw blanket to warm things up! Also not pictured, twinkle lights strung around the ceiling!

Christmas home tour by nicoledianne.com Christmas home tour by nicoledianne.com

One of our absolute favorite evening routines is to build a fire in the fireplace, turn on a movie, play some cribbage and enjoy our cozy living room! So here are a few images of how our living room transforms at night.

Until next year! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, friends! :)

miners-foundry-wedding-photos_0191

Their sweet love story unfolded on the most perfect Autumn day in Grass Valley at Miner’s Foundry. The details of came together just right; the deep maroons of her flowers paired with the stone in the grand hall at the Foundry were quite the match, and surrounded by the ones they love most, Kate and Bobby committed to do life together. I paraphrased a bit of Kate and Bobby’s story they so kindly shared with me. And because I could never do their story justice, here it is in Bobby’s words;

“It was the end of June and I stumbled (swiped?) upon a profile on Tinder of Kate Sutton who had 4 words in her biography. “Writer. Daydreamer. Adventure Seeker. Vinyl Spinner.” I sat there looking at these four words for a while thinking, Huh. Straight, succinct, and most of all, interesting. I wonder what she writes about? and did the simplest, greatest action I have ever done: swiped right. I don’t remember if it was later that same day or a day or so later, but my phone buzzed and I saw the stupid little flame picture on my phone’s status bar; I had a new match on Tinder….Thinking most people like the movie Stepbrothers, even though I had never seen it, let’s open with Will Ferrell. Everyone loves will Ferrell! So I messaged her ‘Did we just become best friends?’ And that was how it started.”

VIEW FULL POST »

bathroom-renovation

toilet by kohler | subway tile by home depot | hex tile by home depot | light fixture by Schoolhouse Electric | tub by kohler | shower head by wayfair | towel and toilet roll bar by amazon | mirror west elm | sink faucet 

I have been waiting for this day since we moved into our home a year and a half ago, it’s finally bathroom renovation time!! Of course, the excitement of this news overshadowed the hard part; decision-making and finalizing the details. But it’s safe to say the last few weeks have been spent pouring through Apartment Therapy, Pinterest, and soaking in as much advice from my favorite interior bloggers as possible.

the plan

For starters, our bathroom is teensy tiny. Like, Jeff and I can’t really be in there at the same time, kind of tiny.  So our biggest goal is to maximize the little space that we do have. In doing so, we plan to buy a toilet that has a slender 14″ tank, rather than a standard 16″ sized tank. Our toilet is directly next to our vanity so this will allow us to go a little bit wider with our vanity top. We’ll also be maximizing our storage with the likes of a proper vanity with drawers rather than a sleek pedestal sink and a medicine cabinet rather than a standard mirror.

the design

I have always loved the look of traditional bathrooms with their hex tile floors and white subway tile on the walls with a lighter grout so these were items that I was certain of from the get go. So from there it’s really just deciding what kind of fixtures I liked and how to mix and match them. This has been the  labor of love for me as I STILL can’t make up my mind. For today, I’m loving the idea of mixing metals. I’m just not sure how to do it the right way and stay within our budget. I would love to have a bathroom full of gold fixtures, but is that too trendy? Would I get sick of it? Also, I can’t seem to find a decent gold sink faucet within my price range so that’s added a challenging piece to the puzzle. This is why I’ve opted for a matte black sink faucet in the inspiration collage. I’m leaning toward that but still unsure.

So can a girl mix metals?  What are your thoughts? I don’t know, I like to think so. But leave me your opinions because I’m a little unsure! I am considering a couple of things for the design and look of the vanity; the first is a vintage, thrifted, wood side table that Jeff would transform into a vanity with a marbled top and the second option would just be a standard, minimal looking vanity. I love the idea of the first one but I just don’t know how long we’ll have to wait to find the perfect piece so we may have to throw this idea out.

the inspiration

The first four images below are essentially the exact replica of what I want our bathroom to look like. And if it were within my budget I would probably just buy every single piece in each of these rooms. Alas, a $400 sink faucet isn’t really making the cut and our budget is much tighter than the creator of these gorgeous rooms so we are getting creative with these inspiration photos in mind.

We can’t wait to get started! We have a goal to begin and end before the Holidays, so that means we need to finalize our decisions soon. Help help help!! I’ll be sure to share the progress as we go so check back soon.

bathroom-renovation-inspiration_0001 bathroom-renovation-inspiration_0002

all images above via

c0cbab7fe586cac6fc17e03fe76da8a1

image via

I am so excited to announce that I recently became an ambassador for Wild & Free Supply!

The mission of this amazing company is what initially drew me to their products: “We believe in the power of ethical commerce and business practices to transform lives. By providing jobs in scarcely resourced areas, we are providing hope and freedom for families. We believe in knowing the person behind the product, helping the underprivileged, and cultivating responsible buying practices that will change the future and the world. One family at a time.”

How amazing, right? Well I received the Wild & Free Supply Travel Kit in the mail last week and below is an unboxing of everything I received! You can stay tuned for another post on these products with my full review on their quality and how I use them day to day!

Disclosure: I was sent these products at no cost in exchange for posting.