Be Kind


This has been on my mind a lot recently, so I wanted to share my thoughts…

I’ve never (I don’t believe) mentioned it here on my blog, but I worked for three years in the Nursing and Assisted Living Units of a CCRC (Continuing Care Retirement Community) in Northern Virginia.  I worked there during the nearly four years I was moonlighting as a wedding planner, until this summer when the wedding business closed down and I left the retirement community to go full-time in the interior design industry.

At the retirement community I was basically a Kindergarten teacher- I worked in the activities and recreation department, and I mainly oversaw the daily schedule of the nursing unit.  It was a remarkable, life changing experience which I would like to write about more in-depth at some point.  But for now, I would just like talk about one thing: please be kind to the health care workers who are taking care of your parents, your loved ones, your aunts and uncles, etc.

Over the course of the three years I worked at the retirement community, I formed strong friendships with several residents and family members.  I cried more at death of one of my residents than I did for my own grandparents.  Spending 40+ hours a week with someone, watching them slowly deteriorate before your eyes, holding their hand while they drift off to the next life since they have no family members there… all that will do that to you.

One of the most disheartening experiences I had during this time period was dealing with mean, nasty, rude, you name it, family members.  It was usually daughters or daughters-in-law, but occasionally there would be a jerk son or grandson.  I don’t understand this.  I know it is an emotional time for people, watching their parents transform into someone they don’t physically or mentally recognize.  But, please people, be nice to the healthcare workers-the nurses and the CNAs who are there around the clock, wiping your loved one’s behind and trimming their chin hairs.  It is not a glamorous job.  They do it because (most of them) love helping people.  Don’t be a jerk to them.

Thankfully, me working in the recreation department, family members usually loved my team because we were the fun department.  We ran bingo and had ice cream socials.  We watched movies and brought in great (and not so great) musicians to perform to the residents.  We put on a happy hour every Friday afternoon.

Sadly, I witnessed family members screaming, berating and being down right awful to the nursing staff.  And then there were the ones who were lovely.  Who were SO thankful and beyond appreciative for what the nursing staff did for their parents.  They went out of their way to let the higher-ups know what a great job the nursing staff was doing.

Image for a second, being a nurse and two of your residents press their call bells at the same time.  Who do you go to first?  The one whose daughter gave you a big hug when she last came to visit, or the one whose son yelled racial epithets at you?  It’s a no brainer.  For the sake of your loved ones at least, be kind to the nursing staff.  Fake it if you have to.

Oftentimes I would be gathering my residents for an activity (a good majority of them were in wheel chairs, and if I didn’t physically go get them, they wouldn’t come), and there would get to a point where either the room would be getting too full or I was plain worn out from having pushed fifteen wheelchairs around the building, and I physically/ mentally had room for one more resident.  If there were two residents that I could possibly take, you better believe I would not take the resident whose daughter had just pulled her mother’s chart out of the nurse’s hands and ripped it up.  I would get someone whose son always smiled at me when I passed him in the hallway.

Please be kind.

New Blog Domain

Just a quick note in case you didn’t notice the blog has been rerouted to  Ideally I would have like to buy, but as you can see that is not an option. and will still get you to the site, it was just time to drop the ‘design’.


It’s Official

I’m a real wedding planner now.

I’ve got my very own earpiece a la Jennifer Lopez in The Wedding Planner, and yes I’m very excited.

My Pups

I can’t believe I’ve never shared a picture of my dogs here before… probably because I’ve not been big into blogging about my personal life so much on this blog, I’ve just been focusing on design, weddings, etc.

Anyways, here are my pups, Lady and Henry.  They are 3-year-old brother and sister (littermates) bichonpoos.  And I love them.

I snapped this pic because I thought it was cute that Lady decided to just plop down on top of Henry.  They aren’t very cuddly with each other (very cuddly with me, especially Henry, he’s a momma’s boy).


(Images from

Do you all read Gwyneth Paltrow’s website Goop?  I’m a fan, she also has an e-newsletter that she sends out, you should sign up.


My Favorite Things, In Life

In no particular order, buckle your seat belts as this is very stream of consciousness:

  • IKEA
  • Spanx
  • Butter
  • Disney World
  • Container Store
  • Trader Joes
  • Kiawah Island
  • The Beach
  • The East Coast
  • Chocolate
  • Bread
  • Cheese
  • Coke
  • Pepsi
  • My boots
  • Warm weather
  • Key West
  • Cruises
  • Cooking
  • Baking
  • Eating
  • Baseball
  • Politics
  • Virginia
  • Red wine
  • Williams Sonoma
  • Sur La Table
  • J.Crew
  • Nordstrom
  • My puppies
  • Going to the movies
  • Skinny Jeans
  • Dresses
  • California
  • JMU
  • Paris
  • Brunch

Key West Wedding

I’ve found the location for my destination wedding, the Key West Hyatt.  My family went there for vacation a few years back, it is one of the most beautiful places on earth.  Now all I need is to find a husband.  Still working on that…

Hyatt Key West:




A few other hotels that looked just as amazing:

Ocean Key Resort and Spa, Key West

Casa Marina Resort and Beach Spa, Key West


I really need a logo of some sort…. or some graphics or something to spruce of the site.  I love the colors but it needs a little something else.

I think I have finally settled on a name for the blog, “the lovely home.”  Unfortunately someone already owns the domain, it looks like spam though so I am going to try and buy it.

Stay tuned…

Shameless Request

I have a shameless request, whenever you are reading the blog, click on the links in the google ads that are on the right hand column (I will get money).

Love, Julie

(I am the one all the way on the right, {this photo is obviously not current})