Sunday, April 27, 2014

It is with a heavy heart... a goodbye - 04.28.2014

{image by Mina Brinkey}

I always knew this day would eventually come.  I've always been a realist and have always understood that all things must, inevitably, end at some point.   I started this blog on Christmas day of 2007.  I was 28 years old. I had been recently dumped by a boyfriend I thought was genuine.  I'd been so heartbroken that I slept on my couch for a year and refused to sleep in my bed.  I went into a pretty deep sadness.  Not depression.  But, definitely sadness.  A disappointment like no other.  2007 was also the year I realized I had absolutely, without a doubt, chosen the wrong profession.  I resented the legal field.  I regretted spending so much of my time (and money) on law school and wanted nothing more than to get back into a classroom where my passion for teaching has always stood still.  But, teaching jobs were nowhere to be found at that time.  It was a tough time in my life... to say the very, very least.  I was single.  I was unemployed.  I was sad.  Pretttttty pathetic if you ask me.  

Then... Christmas day. 2007.  My parents decided to leave for the holidays.  So. Where was I? Home. Alone. With my dogs and cat.  I browsed the Internet because I didn't have any cable.  I found a blog called Decor 8 by Holly Becker.  I read and was instantly intrigued.  Inspired.  I looked up other blogs like it and stumbled upon Grace Bonney's Design Sponge. Again, inspired.  So inspired, in fact, that I took the plunge and thought... "Why don't I do this??"  I googled "blog template" and came across  I opened an account and named it "Mina's Decor and Fashion".  My first post? "Let's Talk Vintage," went live at 11:27 pm that very Christmas night.  And so my journey to becoming a blogger began.

I remember thinking "I hope this succeeds.  I hope people find me! I hope I can inspire people!"  But, more than that, this blog gave me hope for a better future.  Hope that I was worthy.  That I had something to bring to the table.  Hope... that I could get over a failed relationship and career because now I had something new to occupy my mind and eventually my very soul.  Within a couple of months I had re-named the blog "Bohemian Vintage" and was telling everyone who'd listen about it.  I believed in this little blog.  Every time I saw how many people had read it by day's end I'd get soooooo excited! It became my little baby.  

Suddenly... I felt happy. Fulfilled even.  I'd barely think about the jerk who dumped me for being "too nice" (I'm still baffled by that excuse)... and I delved into the world of home design head first! I devoured all there was to know about it. I read every blog and pored over every book I could get my hands on.  On Sundays I worked at a local vintage boutique and honed my skills there.  I suddenly LOVED my life.  Seriously l.o.v.e.d it! I didn't want a man. I didn't need a man. I was happy as can be with my two dogs and my cat and my blog!

But, you know what they say... "when you're not looking, that's when..." my husband walked through the doors of the vintage shop I was working in.  Well... I stand corrected.  He took cover under the outside awning.  It began pouring rain (without warning, as it sometimes happens here in Florida!) and he was out with his dog.  He stood under the shop's awning and I noticed he had a dog.  My dog (now my Mom's dog), Cooper was with me.  So, I walked out there to see if his dog wanted to play with my dog.  Why I thought that was a good idea? Who knows? But, the rest is history.  He came back a week later, asked me to lunch and my life changed! But, my little blog stood still.  I kept it up.  I worked on it.  I tried to improve it.  I was proud of it.

A year later, I married my prince! A year after that? Bohemian Vintage became an actual store front!  In 2010, we closed the shop. That was bittersweet.  But, a relief at the same time.  It's true what they say... sometimes God takes some things away to make room for something better.  That proved to be absolutely true in our case.  In 2010 I finally found my way back into the classroom and that very same year I found out we were pregnant and  we had our baby girl soon thereafter! This little blog? Kept on going!

I always believed that the blog had a purpose.  That it would someday lead to something.  I just never knew what that something was.  But, I felt strongly about keeping it going until that something showed up.  

In 2013... that something came and it has completely changed my life.  Houzz knocked on my e-mail door.  "We want to contract you. Work for us. Do house tours."  Who? Meeeeee???? Whhhyyyyy????
And here I am.  A photography business and an absolute love for interiors photography has completely turned my life upside down.  How did they find me? "I read your blog." Wow.  Here it is! It's the something I'd been waiting on all these years!

So. Why didn't I close the blog right then and there? As with all long relationships, it takes time to come to terms with the idea that the end is here.  I wasn't ready to part with the blog.  With you guys.  

But, suddenly, I am overwhelmed with this feeling that I must.  I've grown up with this blog.  I started it as a single, 20 something straight out of law school who was scared half to death. Let's face it. It's true.  Now, 7 years later... I'm married lady sadie with a toddler on my hands, a full time teaching career, a photography business and a whole lotta stuff on my little tiny saucer plate.  Life is full.  In so many great ways!!  Unfortunately, I have come to the hard realization that I can't do it all. As much as I like to believe that I can.  I simply cannot.  Something's gotta give.  : (

It is with a full and heavy heart that I must say good bye to my little home on the web.  To you.  Especially those of you who've followed me from day one.  Who've made comments.  Whom I met when working at the shop.  Who I met in Utah on conferences.  That's the hardest part of this decision. But to you... the ones who've returned to read a second, third, fourth post... I want to say from the very bottom of my heart... thank you. You've made my life full.  You gave me hope when I thought it was all lost.  This blog brought me back to life.  Literally.  It brought me happiness and with that feeling God brought my husband into my life and then my teaching career and then our beautiful, sweet, lil' S.  The best part? I've gotten to share it with all of you over the course of 6 1/2 years.  Thank you. Thank you.

Although I won't continue to write on here any more, I won't shut it down.  You are more than welcome to read through the archives to find inspiration.  I think over 6 1/2 years, I've written about nearly everything in home decor! So, you're bound to find what you're looking for.  You can also still follow along on Facebook, where I will continue to post pictures and things that will inspire you (hopefully!)  You can follow along on Pinterest as I pin to my little heart's content! Or, you can read my articles and see the photos that I shoot for Houzz, by following along here. I hope you stay in touch.  Twitter is always a quick and easy way! Or check into the website periodically to see any new projects I may be working on. : )

Love you guys. Thank you again.  Don't be strangers.


P.S.  I'm sure I won't be able to stay away from blogging for long.  But, if and when I do it again, I want it to reflect who I am now... at this point in my journey.  Stay tuned... (check Facebook/Twitter periodically for any updates!)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Bohemian Wednesday - The Home of Charlsie Shine on Houzz - 04.23.2014

{all images by Mina Brinkey for Houzz}

Hello everyone! For today's Bohemian Wednesday column I want to share with you the home of Charlsie Shine.  I photographed her home (seen here) for Houzz and got to sit with Charlsie to interview her.  Please click here to read the entire interview and see the rest of the images!  This house instantly captivated me as soon as I walked in the door.  It's super colorful and vibrant and elegant and everything in between.  It's owner? An absolute doll! Such a joy to talk to. Really. Loved doing this house tour.

Her collection of buddhas and ethnic artifacts had me feeling like a kid in a candy shop! I kept telling her she totally needs to visit Thailand or some other Southeast Asian country! Really awesome. I hope you draw some inspiration from Charlsie's love of color and love of collections.  :)

Hoping you all had a wonderful Wednesday.  I'm so tired right now I can barely stay awake or feel my legs.  I was on my feet all day and then topped it off by going bowling with some girlfriends this evening.  Yea. Cause my legs needed even more standing up right? Whew! I'm beat! I will catch you guys tomorrow!


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Etsy Tuesday - Let's Get Creative! - 04.22.2014

If there's one thing that keeps me going on the daily it is creativity.  Being creative, staying creative and being inspired by the world around me is so essential to my very soul that it's something I strive for every single day.  It's an integral part of my life, in my teaching, my photography, my writing, my blog and even my parenting! Oh yes. Try NOT being creative with a toddler. Ha! Good luck with that, eh?

Today I decided to scour Etsy for some tools for you to get creative! I typically keep an inspiration journal with me at all times, where I jot down things (quotes, passages, etc...) that inspire me.  Sometimes I just glue in pictures that inspire me.  Think of it as a random journal if you will.  See... here it is below...

Here are some supplies to get you started...



Are you feeling inspired?? Do you already have an inspiration notebook? What do you put in it? Poems? Art? Quotes? Pictures? 

I hope your Tuesday is going well.  After these past two crazy weeks, I'm happy to report I'm feeling normal again.  Thank goodness! I even went back to the gym this morning and everything! Feels good. : )

Until tomorrow!


Monday, April 21, 2014

Interiors Monday - Grasscloth Wallpaper - 04.21.2014

{by Mina Brinkey for Houzz}

by Mina Brinkey for Houzz

Hello! Happy Monday everyone! I hope everyone returned refreshed from their Easter break or three day weekend (hopefully). : ) Today I'd like to share with you the new love affair with grasscloth wallpaper.  It's definitely the new thing around here.  Three of the homes I've photographed for Houzz have used it and I have fallen in love with it! It's texture is so subtle that you wonder what it is at first glance.  The colors are not too bright, not too dull, but just right.  It adds interest to a room without having the loud and obnoxious wallpaper we typically see.  I've seen it in a living room, dining space, home office and even a bathroom (as you can see above).  A few bathrooms actually! And it looks fantastic!

Would you ever wallpaper any room in your home? Too much work? Or worth it? I'd love to know!

Again, I hope your weekend was wonderful! Lil' S's grandmother put together the most beautiful Easter basket that we gave her on Sunday.  It actually happens to be the hubby's basket from childhood! In pristine condition!! Such a cool tradition to start with our little munchkin. She had an absolute blast and so did we! I hope you did too. 

Until tomorrow!


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Bohemian Wednesday - Favorite Bohemian Rooms of the Week - 04.16.2014

Hello readers! I am so happy to be back with you for a new Bohemian Wednesday column.  I am so sorry to have been MIA for SO long! My life was turned completely upside down the past two weeks.  Just when I thought it was getting back to normal, I got sick again on Sunday night.  Had a very high fever and an episode of the chills that we all thought was a seizure.  Turned out it was my body desperately trying to regulate my body temperature.  Absolutely terrifying 10 minutes.  I thought I'd die. Seriously.  The next day (Monday) was spent getting all sorts of tests done... only to have the doctor tell me he has no idea why I've had these freak fevers and why any of it happened because all of my blood work looks "normal." Oh boy.  Sometimes I feel like the Internet is a better doctor than these "highly trained" human doctors.  Goodness. 

Needless to say... I walked out of there more confused than I was coming in.  His best advice? "Keep your eye on it." Great. Thanks.   But, as my mother says... it's better to get checked than to ignore it.

I hope you enjoy today's picks for Bohemian Wednesday.  I really have missed doing this! I miss you guys! I miss blogging SO MUCH! 

I cannot wait for my life to get "back to normal." It needs to... stat!

Have a wonderful rest of your week!!


Friday, April 11, 2014

Random Friday - 04.11.2014 - A Houzz Tour!

Helllllooooooo!!! I cannot believe it's been TWO weeks since I've blogged! I am SO sorry for that!! Sometimes 24 hours in a day just isn't enough.  I've had everything from article deadlines to photo shoots to work work stuff to sick kiddo to me being sick... again... to charity events to doctor visits to everything else that falls in between. Boy oh boy... What a crazy month April has been! And to think that next week is already Easter weekend! Whoa!! How did we even get here????

I wanted to share my latest house tour for Houzz with you on here! I hope you'll head on over there to read the article! Quite the talented pair! I will do my very, very best to blog all week next week!!


Click here for the story and more pictures!! Until Monday! Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Random Friday - It's The Little Things - 03.28.2014

I gotta tell you,  every single spring season, I get this itch to de-clutter, live simply, and change the family nutrition to an organic and natural one.  I exercise profusely and read Zen Habits on the daily. I also take a long, hard look at my finances and become nearly obsessed with budgeting and saving and planning for a rainy day.  It's weird.  What is it with spring?  In the summer I start regressing and over spend (you'd thing that would happen in the winter).  By Fall, I'm feeling guilty from the summer binge and I'm back to trying to find a middle ground.  This happens to me every.single.year.  But, one thing I have to say for sure, is that I always feel my very best in the spring.  I feel healthier, happier and ready for a fresh, clean start in every aspect of my existence.  I can wish spring lasted year round... OR I can consciously make an effort to ensure that it "does" and just stick to the spring frame of mind throughout.  For my family, for our daughter, for myself.  I've got to make the positive changes... permanent. What am I doing currently?  I joined the gym about a month ago and have been going at least 5 days a week. I've been scouring the organic foods at the grocery store and have incorporated a lot more fruit into mine and lil' S's diet.  She LOVES fruits by the way! I am so relieved because I know not all kids embrace them.  Plus, she can drink water all day long! Also, something I'm super thankful for. I've also been dying to go through the house and de-clutter.  Maybe a garage sale is in order?? Ugh. I hate doing garage sales though. Hmnnn... I need to think about that one.

If you're in the Tampa Bay area and you're looking to do some de-cluttering of your own... our Woman's Club is conducting its annual new member project and we are collecting prom dresses and accessories and shoes for the girls of a local high school.  If you'd like to donate, please drop off your donations at Why Not Boutique in South Tampa. : ) You might even end up shopping while you're there! Cute cute shop! I hope you can help out!!

So. Tell me.  What are you working on?

Here are some links to inspire you this weekend!

  1. Here are some vegan recipes to drool over.  Nope. Not turning vegan.  But, I love vegetarian alternatives and incorporate them into my diet all the time.  We're not meat eaters at home.  But, it's just a way of life... we don't try to be vegetarian.  We just kinda are. But, not 100%.  We'll eat everything available at a bbq. Not gonna lie. 
  2. And I'm obsessing over the rainbow colors bookcase in this house tour!
  3. I'm pretty sure I should study this tutorial, because lil' S has been sporting uneven bangs for a while now. Thank goodness for curly hair!
  4. I am totally into carrying around inspiration notebooks.  I LOVE this idea!
  5. OMG this home tour.