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#020: Finding your cozy & learning to love your home with Liz Marie Galvan

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In this episode, we discuss all things cozy and sit down to explore what your kind of cozy means for the spaces you create. Blogger, interior designer and author of Cozy White Cottage, Liz Marie Galvan shares real life advice, amazing insight, and some of her best tips for creating a cozy home.

We also talk all about how to learn to love your home, not matter what season of life you're in. We discuss tips for making your home a haven and some ways your home can be a cozy escape to help you recharge and weather some of life's big challenges. Liz draws from her experience and gets personal to talk about her infertility journey and how home design supported her season as a military wife.

You can download this episode from Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsStitcher, and Spotify – or listen to it below!

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#OBSESSED

what i'm loving this week

[virgin] hot toddy — My current favorite addition to my warm winter drink game.

Usually I'm not one to drink a virgin version of anything, but since I'm not a huge whiskey / bourbon fan, I'm loving virgin hot toddies as a warm drink to snuggle up with.

If you don't know what a hot toddy is, it's basically hot water, lemon, honey, and some recipes add in spices like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger (which is the version I'm loving. It's a great alternative to tea, hot chocolate and coffee if you need something warm to snuggle up with.

Plus, its great for your throat — which if you listened to this episode, you know my voice is super in need of.

 

WAIT, WHAT?!

stuff we just need to talk about

Super short holiday season!

This year, there are only 3 weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, where last year we got 5.

just. three. weeks. — this is not a drill

So if last year things were going suspiciously well and you checked everything off your list early, that may have been why.

This year might be a little tighter, so if you're not a natural planner or a little time-blind (like me), it might take some extra planning for things to run smoothly.

let's talk about it!

Did you know this!? Any thoughts or panic moments you want to share?

Leave a comment below or use #MakeSpacePodcast to share your response on social media

CHATTING WITH...

Liz Marie Galvan is a blogger, interior designer, former military wife, and co-owner of the vintage home décor boutique The Found Cottage. She is passionate about sharing her life, interests, and interior design ideas on her blog, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest pages daily. Each month, hundreds of thousands of readers find design inspiration and DIY ideas at LizMarieBlog.com. Liz and her veteran husband, Jose, live on an 1800s farmhouse in Michigan with their son, Copeland Beau, as well as dogs, cats, sheep, and rams. Liz Marie’s first book, Cozy White Cottage: 100 Ways to Love the Feeling of Being Home, launched September 2019.

get in touch

Instagram: @lizmariegalvan // Website / Blog 

 things to check out:

Liz Marie's book — Cozy White Cottage: 100 Ways to love the feeling of being home

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EP 20 TRANSCRIPT

...just in case you wanna read

Cara: 00:00 You're listening to the MakeSpace podcast, episode number 20. You can find the show notes for this week's episode at neverskipebrunch.com/20 that's just the numbers, so slash two zero

OUTRO: 00:14 Welcome to make space a home design show made to inspire you to create spaces you truly feel at home in. Cara Newhart sits down with amazingly brilliant guests for conversations that dive deeper than pin worthy rooms to tease out the essentials of creating spaces that feed your soul and inspire your creativity from home design strategies to decor, advice to interior design, tips and tricks. These conversations help you dream up a beautifully lived in home. Cara is the designer and Chief Creative Enthusiast behind Never Skip Brunch. Her work has been featured in print publications like PEOPLE StyleWatch and Denver Style Magazine. As an influencer Cara has collaborated with brands like Amazon, H & M, Twitter and Thrillist. Here's your host, Cara Newhart.

Cara: 01:30 Happy Wednesday. Everything is chaos over here. Oh my gosh, you guys. It's moving day. This is the last day we are in Denver — in our house, which seems so crazy. And the weird part about moving is that like in, in between part where you don't have like any of this stuff you usually have and you feel like you're just living out of a suitcase. Um, and I feel like that's good in a way because it like helps you kind of reset and also like — I dunno, like kind of remember the importance of having a home that's cozy. And that's something we talk about a lot in this episode. I'm sitting down with Liz Marie Galvan and we'll get to that shortly. But I was just thinking about that idea of like, you know, the fact that having a cozy home really does so much for you in other areas of your life.

Cara: 02:23 Like it's not just a place to live, it's somewhere that you feel like safe, you feel supported. And when we get down to it, like that is why we decorate our homes. I know like Kristi and Kelli talked about it in our previous episode of how they want to create a space like where their family wants to gather and wants to hang out. But there's also a lot of like just like do it for your own self. Kind of like, you know, that's, that's the reason that it's important to invest in home decor or like putting a lot of thought to home design because it has like so many ripple effects and so many impacts on your life that you may or may not even notice. So that's just a thought that I wanted to share because I think for me, I'm always trying to go like a level deeper and figure out like why we're doing things.

Cara: 03:12 I don't want to just like design a great room. I want it to really like function well and have a purpose and like have reasons why it is the way it is. And this conversation really made me think about the fact that when we talk about home decor, a lot of times we're talking about what we need to buy or what we need to add to our homes — which are necessary steps. But if we like only focus on those and overemphasize them, then we're not really getting to the root of like what creating a well-designed space can really do for our lives and for our families. And then I feel like that's when home decor becomes like annoying cause it's like this frivolous like buy this and now we're doing this trend and don't put that in your house and like no one wants to keep up with that.

Cara: 03:59 So yeah, just bringing you some serious home decor thoughts to start out the episode instead of talking about the weather [laughs] Just because it's what I've been thinking about and it's a lot of what this episode focuses on and I just want to challenge you like especially as we enter the holiday season, I think that's if any a time, a time when people are really focused on their homes, like focused on decorating and I don't really want to talk about it in terms of being like super commercialized because I think that's like oversimplifying things. But what I think is relevant is the fact that like this is the time of year that companies make most of their money. So you're getting talked to like a lot more, on social media, on TV — like everywhere you look obviously about like what presents to buy and what to put on your wishlist and all that, but more specifically for us about what to put in your home.

Cara: 04:50 So I just want to offer some encouragement as we enter the holiday season because it seems like I blinked and I was like focused on moving and now it is Christmas outside. Like Starbucks has gone all out, everyone's gone all out. But I just wanna offer encouragement to really make family your main focus and when it comes to your home for the holidays, whether you are hosting guests or whether you are just decorating, think of that first and think of like the people that live there and don't like focus on social media or influencers and what we're telling you to buy or ads or what they have at target in the new collection, which is, Oh my gosh, so easy to be distracted by, but I just want to encourage you to take that angle on home decor and home design. So kind of thinking about like what the space is going to do to care for people, whether that's just you or whether that's your family and that's your starting point.

Cara: 05:48 And then all the throw blankets and ho ho ho pillows and the other stuff is just extra and it's just there to like facilitate that purpose. So anyway, not to get all sappy on you guys, but I just feel like that's something that I had to share it and I had to get out there and as someone that is encouraging you in your home design journey and kind of giving you advice, that's something that I couldn't skip and I couldn't just talk about the fun decor and tips. I have to also talk about like strategies and the real side of it because otherwise I would be leading you astray. Also if my voice sounds like really rough or like I'm tearing up or about to cry, all it is is that I've got a bunch of nonsense happening in my throat right now and by that I mean it's like dry and sore and has some kind of probably germs who knows what's happening. But I am pressing on and I'm doing this podcast anyway because I really want to. Luckily we recorded the interview with Liz before my throat went to crap, so you only have to put up with it for like two more segments and then we're going to dive into the meaty interview and you won't have to listen to me struggle

#OBSESSED: 07:10 [music] hashtag obsessed

Cara: 07:16 okay, what I'm loving is also throat-related and it's very funny because the earlier twenties version of me, which was literally just a couple of years ago would think this is the most ridiculous thing I've picked to say that I'm loving. However, here we go. It is a Virgin Hot Toddy. Now let me preface this by saying I, I drank a virgin hot toddy before having a regular one, so it's not like I drank it and I was like, man, this is really missing something. I also don't really like whiskey. So the Virgin hot toddy is not that crazy of a concept. Now if you do not know what a hot toddy is, let me just explain it to you. Basically it is a warm beverage. You start with water, you put some pumpkin spice, some lemon, some honey and some whiskey and that's pretty much it. I think you can also use bourbon, but I'm not a bartender.

Cara: 08:05 And funny sidebar at this point is my very best friend Amanda and I went to this bar here in Denver to grab some drinks. So the bar is owned by none other than bachelor contestant Chase something or other. Now this is not a bachelor podcast. I have no insight into like trying to assess his experience or figure out like how it went for him. I know he's been on multiple times and we did work on this recycling collaboration together with a brand and he was nice enough. However, the point of the story is that we tried to order a hot toddy because it was cold outside and he had no idea what it is. Like the bar couldn't make one. So we're like explaining a hot toddy from the ground up. I now know everything I need to know because it's one of Amanda's favorite drinks and I think he still left the conversation calling it a Hottie Tottie.

Cara: 08:56 So I'm not sure it's going to be making it onto the menu at REVEL Social anytime soon. Um, so no warm drinks there. But essentially I've just had like a hot toddy education as of recently. Now to the reason that I'll say Virgin hot toddy. So if you know me, I'm a party and there's not a lot of situations where I would be drinking a Virgin version of any sort of beverage. But the reason we started drinking it is because my husband doesn't like tea. So last winter when it's like freezing in Denver and you're sitting inside and you need something warm and you've had like your sixth cup of coffee for the day, what are you going to drink? Well, he doesn't like tea, hot chocolate is too sugary. So he started making Virgin hot toddies and it's like super good for your throat. And then it's also interestingly flavored cause it's not just like lemon and honey.

Cara: 09:44 There's lots of fun spices in there, which is like basically the pumpkin spice mixture plus ginger, I'm pretty sure. And it tastes kinda like fall like Christmas — kind of seasonal. Got some cinnamon in there. So that's why we started drinking Virgin hot toddies. The other thing is that I don't really like whiskey. So all that to say now that it's cold again, I am making more Virgin hot toddies. I feel like I should call them something else because it really is like a drink on its own and its own kind of good. But if you're not a drinker, if you don't like whiskey or you just need something new to change up your warm drink game for gin, hot toddies could be something to try. I'm just saying they're pretty good. Okay. Be right back. While I try to shovel all the honey into my mouth to coat my throat. Just a second.

WAIT, WHAT?: 10:33 [music] Wait, what?

Cara: 10:48 Okay. Now this week's Wait, What is not meant to induce any panic. It's merely for the people like me who this would not have occurred to them and they would have been frantically trying to be prepared. So the fact that I have to tell you is that this year there are only three weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, where last year we had five. So if last year it seems like everything was going great and you knocked everything off your list suspiciously early, the reason is that you had many, many weeks. Now this year is not that year and that is probably why they're hitting Christmas so hard before Thanksgiving. It's like, like the day after Halloween, usually the Christmas stuff goes up in stores, but minus hobby lobby — it just like lives there. But this year just feels ultra like, Oh, it's happening NOW. And so that is why. So just fair warning. Wait what? — you only got three weeks. Okay, let's dive into this. Amazing. So today

Cara: 11:54 I'm sitting down with Liz Marie Galvan who is a blogger — She's an interior designer, a former military wife and the co owner of the vintage home decor boutique called The Found Cottage. So you may know her because you already follow her Instagram or her daily blog or you might be totally new to her style and you might have learned about her via her book called Cozy White Cottage, which is available all kinds of places. But it launched at Target. Um, I bought a copy and I like sat down to read it and her tips really hit home with me, which was funny because her style like the cottage almost farmhouse-y style isn't really my style at all. Like I could do without chipped paint, which is probably like a sin, but her tips and also just like her personality and the way she shares things really resonates with me.

Cara: 12:50 So I just had to bring her on to talk about her style and her book and her approach to design. And I know for some of you like she is totally your style so you're excited for this episode for like many more reasons, but she is such a sweet and genuine person and has so many brilliant ideas and just great advice for really making your home like a Haven and making your home cozy and like striking that balance between a gorgeous beautiful house that's like totally Instagram-worthy but also like a place that is functional and is about family and about like living there. So I could like girl crush on her all day long. But let's dive into this interview and talk to Liz.

Liz M. Galvan: 13:44 Hello?

Cara: 13:45 Hello. How are you?

Liz M. Galvan: 13:47 Good. How are you?

Cara: 13:48 Oh my gosh, it's so good. So excited to have you today.

Liz M. Galvan: 13:52 Awesome. I'm really excited to be here. Thanks for having me.

Cara: 13:55 Of course. So before we dive into your amazing book, which is so funny because your cottage style isn't even necessarily my style, but I'm in love with your book, like the tips, all of it, so, so good. But

Liz M. Galvan: 14:08 Thank you, that means so much. Yeah, I definitely, um, hope the book, um, helps those no matter what style you have or what kind of home you live in. So that means a lot that you said that,

Cara: 14:18 Oh, it totally does. But before we get to that, I'm just, for the listeners who might not know you, um, you have a really interesting background and a really cool story. Can you share a little bit kind of about your journey and how you kinda came to where you are today?

Liz M. Galvan: 14:32 Yeah, for sure. So I started blogging it back in 2009 I started Liz Marie blog and it was when my husband was deployed. So I was in design school, I was working in design job. Um, and my friend said, you should start a blog. You're always doing something creative. And at that time I didn't even know what the word blog meant. Um, so I went down this rabbit hole of blogs and I was like, I definitely want to start what I wanna share with this creative community. And, um, I was also looking to fill my time since my husband was deployed. Um, so I started my blog and finished design school and the blog in the beginning was just an, you know, it still is, it's just sharing my passions. But, um, back then it was just that and now it's turned into a job. And in between there, um, my husband got out of the military, we moved back from North Carolina to Michigan. We now live on a little acre farm in a 1800's farmhouse and we're redoing that. So the blogs really taken us through every season of life. Um, we live on a farm that has sheep, bees, um, dogs and a whole lot of cats. And, um, we adopted our son Copeland this past year. Um, so that's been wonderful. And yeah, we're just living our best lives here on the farm.

Cara: 15:58 Yeah, I've seen, I've followed you for a while. Actually before I was even a decor blogger cause I started out in fashion, which was a terrible fit. But

Liz M. Galvan: 16:07 I love that. I love, I love the how we all evolve, you know, all start somewhere. Yeah.

Cara: 16:13 Oh yeah. Yeah. At the time I was a new mom and like learning to love my body. So that was a whole journey. But I followed you just cause I really loved your account and just watching like how your house is kind of evolved and changed through your seasons of life has been like really fun. Um, cause really I think one — you're one of the only decor bloggers I've followed for like actual years versus like new friends. But yeah.

Liz M. Galvan: 16:37 What an honor, that's Awesome.

Cara: 16:38 so funny. Um, so then finding your love for home decor. How did that turn into, did like the blog come first then — Like the community kind of came second and then the book was born out of that. Like, how did that work?

Liz M. Galvan: 16:51 yeah, definitely. So, um, just to rewind, um, I guess where the passion stemmed from, um, ever since I was a child, I can't remember not being obsessed with, um, home, home decor design, um, in all things, um, that go in that category. And I was the child that wasn't watching cartoons. I was the one watching, um, HGTV and Trading Spaces. And if anyone talked to me while trading spaces was on, I remember just losing my mind. Yeah, I would, it was just like this obsession. Um, and it morphed from there and it, it was something that was so in me that I never knew that it would become, um, like a job. Um, I guess I just always saw it as a passion, um, and something like that. So anyways, um, from there, um, I actually didn't even go to design school first. I went to school for business and, um, I, I didn't do well at school and I never have done well at school.

Liz M. Galvan: 17:55 And then I realized I'm in our small town in North Carolina. There was actually a school that was offering interior design and I was like, well, I guess it's my passion, so I guess I'll go to school for it. And, um, I turned out to be a really good design school student and because it was something that I actually enjoyed and loved and cared about. Um, and while I was in school, I started the blog and honestly, the blog blogging was so different in 2009. It was just a community of, um, people that enjoyed the same thing. Um, I don't think that, I think the followers of your blog where people that also love design as well. And then I think, um, you know, the, the everyday person that wanted to know more about decor, I think they started finding these blogs, um, where people were sharing passions for decor and design.

Liz M. Galvan: 18:49 And then that's when this like whole community came about of people, um, that wanted to learn more, that I could share my passions with, um, you know, and that wanted to, um, just kind of like, you know, immerse themselves in your decor style. And then from there it turned into, um, a job blogging morphed into like a whole 'nother beast now, um, where people can, you know, make it their job. And, um, I was approached, um, a year ago to write a book and I was like, absolutely not. But then I realized I feel like that was, um, almost selfish of me, um, because I have realized over the years that cozy is such a pillar in my life and has gotten me through so many things that why wouldn't I share that with others? So that's kinda how that all came to be.

Cara: 19:41 That's so cool. Um, I know there's kind of like a fine line when it comes to blogging between like, you know, blogging about like home and decor and design tips and then sharing like those personal things. Um, how, how has that worked out for you? Cause I know you do share a lot of deeply personal stuff, which I feel like is really, really good because first of all, it helps everyone see that your life isn't like, you know, this perfect, beautiful house. Like there's way more to it. Um, but what's, what's it been like navigating that?

Liz M. Galvan: 20:11 Yeah. So, um, my husband and I started to try to grow our family about seven years ago and, um, we quickly realized it wasn't going to be easy for us, um, to get pregnant. Um, and a year into that journey, we got pregnant with our first baby and we were over the moon. And, um, shortly after I lost the baby and, um, then we realized, wow, this might be harder than what we like thing. Um, you know, and then we reached this point where, um, we miscarried again and mother's day rolled around, um, six years ago and I just kind of, you know, I was really scared, but I had to say something. I was watching all these posts on social media, um, about all of these moms and everyone was so happy and I was just like, wait, I, I'm struggling. And so I pushed publish on this blog posts and I immediately wanted to take it down because I was like, you know, I don't want to ever be, um, like a downer for anybody.

Liz M. Galvan: 21:15 But then all of a sudden these things started flooding in like, Oh my word, I feel the same way and I'm in the same boat. And, um, I hadn't heard anyone in my circle talking about this and I quickly realized I wasn't alone. So it was therapeutic for me to hear that I wasn't alone, but I also think it was therapeutic for others. So it turned into this like awesome thing and it's still scary to hit publish on something when it's not perfect or happy. Um, cause I'm, I'm really scared that, um, maybe it will bring someone down. I always want to be a source of light for somebody. Um, but um, I've never regretted it and ever since I feel like, um, it's been helpful for me and hopefully it's helped others as well.

Cara: 22:01 Yeah, for sure. I feel like there is kind of that balance between, you know, not being negative but being vulnerable and honest and it is really true that we can't really talk about our homes without talking about our lives to some extent because you know, we're living there. Um, and I think you've, you've done that really well. That's something I've really enjoyed watching.

Liz M. Galvan: 22:22 Oh, thank you. Thanks for that feedback.

Cara: 22:25 Yeah, of course. So, um, onto really what I'm, I'm most excited to talk about is — let me just say that you have written the perfect book for cold weather. Like.

Liz M. Galvan: 22:38 I love that that. [laughs]

Cara: 22:38 perfect for Fall, yeah. For all the listeners out there — her new book is called Cozy White Cottage, you can get it at target or Amazon and other places, but that's where I snagged my copy. Um, yeah. Can you dive into like kind of the why behind the book and like what cozy is, you were talking about how it's kind of like a pillar in your life. Like what, what is it about being cozy that really, you know, is kind of your style and, and your vibe there? Yeah.

Liz M. Galvan: 23:09 So, um, when we were approached to write the book again, I wasn't on board and then we started brainstorming ideas and they were like, I feel like your brand is just cozy. And that was an eyeopener for me because you never, um, self-reflect that well and I hadn't been like, who am I and what am I constantly sharing? I said, home decor or DIY, but it's dead. You know, when they pointed out cozy, I was like, you're right. And it is a pillar in my life. After nine miscarriages and a long infertility journey and deployments, I realized that I was just constantly striving to make our home cozy. And so that's how the book came about. Cozy white cottage and it's a hundred tips on how you can make your home cozy, whether you live in an urban flat or a mid century, modern home or your mom's basement, um, kind of home. Um, you know, the images are of, um, our 18 hundreds farmhouse, but, um, you know, the tips go beyond the images, so yeah. Yeah. So hopefully, you know, people find that, um, inspiring, but cozy to me is my five senses being at peace at once. And I tried to hit on that and every tip in the book, um, it's, it's your senses being at peace from sound to smell, to touch, to taste and beyond. So, um, I, I really hope that that book conveys that.

Cara: 24:40 Yeah. Oh yeah. The tips are absolutely just kind of like really universal no matter what your style is, but also really, I don't know, really real, which sounds silly to say, but it doesn't seem like someone, you know, telling you here's what you need to have in your home. It's very like authentic in terms of here's just some principles that are going to help you really create a space regardless of your style that you are comfortable in. Um, and I think you really feel this too, but I totally feel like our home should serve as a place where we can kind of escape the world. Um, what are some essential elements to really create that, uh, waste this in design a place that helps you kind of decompress and relax?

Liz M. Galvan: 25:23 Yeah. I, I think, um, you know, and I hit on this a lot on the book in the book, um, one of the major things to me, and it's, it's not necessarily an element, um, like a physical element, but just being honest with yourself, um, and being honest with, um, your family and your home in the fact that before you even start decorating a room, um, you know, I like to start with a blank slate and being honest with yourself of how am I really going to use this space? How do I want to use the space? How is this space going to serve my family? Um, and going from there. So I think, um, starting with the whole reduce, reuse, recycle is key. Um, reducing your items. Is this item truly going to serve my family? Do I find it beautiful? Um, and going from there, um, getting rid of a lot of things, which is awesome because it can add to your budget, um, for what you do by those physical items and repurposing items that are already in your home. Um, I think starting there is huge. I think right away we want to run to the store and we want to buy all the things we want to buy, a cozy throw or a cozy pillow. And that's, but I think really doing that self reflection and being honest with yourself before you start, um, is a huge, huge key element to making a cozy space

Cara: 26:52 that is so powerful because yeah, I feel like the essence of good decor people just assume like, what am I missing in my house? What do I need to go get? But really the starting point is to just refine what you have and make sure you love it all and it's working for you. Yeah. That's so good. Really good. So this is kind of a little teaser for the book. Can you share a little bit about like your 10 minute cozy challenge that you talk about?

Liz M. Galvan: 27:19 Yeah, so I'm at the 10 minute cozy challenge is something that I really want to start implementing, um, on the blog as well. But I really wanted to show that it doesn't take much time or effort to make a space cozy. Um, so I really wanted to share just a few quick tips on how in 10 minutes you can make a space cozier. Um, whether that's going back to the reduce, reuse, recycle, um, and moving a dresser from a bedroom into, um, a dining room where you want to display some things or just really thinking outside of the box and that's, um, the 10 minute cozy challenges and teaching yourself that it's okay to walk away and live with a space, um, you know, until the next day. Um, I think that can really, again, add to that whole, um, honest factor. And, um, you know, I feel like we stress ourselves out and we're like, well, this needs to be done today. I have the time today. And it's like, well, maybe, you know, do the 10 minute cozy challenge, walk away and come back tomorrow. Do you still think that cozy? Or you know, did a light bulb go off and you're like, this is the element that I need. Or, um, I think, I think that can really help a lot of people. So I really wanted to touch on that in the book because of that.

Cara: 28:44 Yeah, that's so true. I feel like part of the home home decor culture is kind of like based off of the big makeovers and big reveals. And those are like amazingly fun to watch. Like I will watch them all day, but I feel like we get stuck in that sometimes. Like not everything has to be a big transformation. Like it can just be little things at a time.

Liz M. Galvan: 29:05 Exactly. And I think that, um, that shows the reality of things. Not everything is going to be a big before and after. Um, sometimes it's just something small. And I think in the world of social media, we often see just like the big things. Um, and we feel like everything needs to be that. And we also don't see things in real time. So I feel like, um, you know, things like the 10 minute cozy challenge and, um, just the really simple, um, tips in the book really show like the reality of how to make your space cozy.

Cara: 29:40 Oh, I love it. So good. So can you dive a little deeper into your design approach? You kinda talk about how it is you kind of just jump in and start doing things and start moving things around, um, versus like planning out every little detail. Why is that your strategy?

Liz M. Galvan: 29:58 Yeah, so, um, this is gonna look different for every single person. Um, I think depending on how your brain works. Um, mine is definitely, um, I like to tinker with things. And a great example of this is, um, I had a friend over it the other day and um, she, you know, we were talking and while we were talking the, the shelf next to me, I think I moved something like three or four times just like switching it back and forth. And I even realize I was doing it until she pointed it out and she knows me so well that she, we've were laughing about it.

Liz M. Galvan: 30:34 Um, I'm definitely someone that likes to tinker with things, you know, someone else might need to go in with an exact plan, which I also touched on in the book, how to do that. Um, because I know that we all think so differently and I don't want anyone to think like, um, my way is the best way. Um, but the design approach that I like to take is first starting out with that whole blank slate thing. Um, you know, unless I'm doing like a quick 10 minute challenge or, um, when I'm cleaning, I like to tinker with things and move things around and um, to find it, like to find the cozy in the moment. Um, but as far as like a big, um, like a room overhaul, I'm starting with a blank slate for me, works best, otherwise I find my mind is really crowded.

Liz M. Galvan: 31:21 Um, and beyond that, um, kind of, you know, gathering up my inspiration, um, whether that's, um, wherever I'm finding inspiration in the moment, whether that's, um, a magazine or Instagram or Pinterest or something I've done in the past, something like that. Um, starting from there and, um, you know, going back to the whole, um, using elements that I already have. Um, a good example of that is this week we've done, um, a Halloween look and it were all items I already had, but just moving them around, um, in, uh, a position that I've never used before instantly was like the spooky Halloween decor, which is, um, you know, it's fun. So, but I think I wouldn't have been able to do that if I didn't start with a blank slate. Um, and the on that I'm stepping back after you're done and editing and editing is huge. Um, I, that's like something that changed my life when I started doing it. Stepping back after you're done in looking at it, um, taking a photo of the space, even if you're not one that documents your home, taking a photo on your phone and studying it in a photo helps so much to see the balance in the scale if it's too cluttered. Um, things like that. I could probably ramble on for hours and hours, but I design approach because it is the thing that I find joy in. But I hope this is making sense.

Cara: 32:49 Totally, totally is. And, and really good insight. I like the tip about the photo cause a lot of people don't think of that, but it does let you see the balance and you can do like, I mean if you want to get real artsy like rule of thirds, it's like kind of look, you know, where's the height, where is it heavy, like that kind of stuff. So yeah. So, um, along the same lines of your design style, um, why are you so drawn to white and what makes it such a big part of your style?

Liz M. Galvan: 33:16 It's funny, um, this goes back to being honest with yourself. Um, I am one that um, for a long time like tried to work with color in our home. Um, I love color in other people's homes. Um, when I design spaces for others. Um, when I make mood boards on the blog, I use color. Um, it is something that when I was really honest with myself, my brain just relaxes more. Um, my eyes can relax more in a neutral space. And so I, after being really honest with myself, I stopped trying to make color happen in her home and I was so much happier. So I think that that goes back and again, it could go opposite for somebody. Maybe someone is trying to replicate our home. Um, but they aren't adding color in because our home doesn't have a ton of color and they're not happy with their space. So when you're really honest with yourself, you're like, well, maybe I need a lot more color. Um, so again, I think the book can really help with that and you know, um, we blog every single day and we're on Instagram every single day. So, um, I think all of those things when you're looking at the blog, the Instagram or the book, um, I think, you know, making a few small changes to make it your own. So finding inspiration with our house, but I'm making small changes to be honest with yourself, to make it your own.

Cara: 34:39 Yeah. Oh my gosh, I love that. Important related question about your gorgeous white upholstery. Do you drink red wine or coffee and how do you keep up? How do you keep it white?

Liz M. Galvan: 34:51 Well, I'm not a wine person. Um, but I definitely um, am a coffee drinker. Um, everything in our house is slipped cupboard, everything, everything's washable. Um, we have dogs that we allow on every surface of our home. They can touch anything. Um, we also have an eight month old baby now and he is also allowed anywhere. Um, so everything is washable, our rugs are dry, clean. Um, are all of our furniture. I make sure to get slipped covered. Um, it just, because again, that works with our lifestyle. Um, a lot of people wouldn't find sub covered furniture cozy. Um, but for us knowing that I can wash it allows me to relax. I don't have to stress. Um, so that's, that's a huge factor for us. Oh, we love that. So do you wash them yourself? I do. Or that something you okay? Yes. So I'm actually, it's funny that you ask that because I was actually going to look and see.

Liz M. Galvan: 35:48 I'm not sure if this answer yet. I haven't Googled it or called my local dry cleaner, but I was going to see if our local dry cleaner, um, took slipcovers. Um, but I, it's definitely something that I do all myself now. Um, it's getting a little harder because I don't dry them. You don't want them to shrink. So I hang them. Um, and our clothesline and everywhere isn't big enough for all our slipcovers. So it's like every surface in our home just gets like, uh, a slip cover to dry over it. I'm watching. Okay. So, um, but yeah, so it's not difficult. Um, it's just, um, you know, it's a little time consuming, but totally worth not worrying about your furniture.

Cara: 36:30 Yeah, good to know. Cause I'm, we're moving to Houston and I have a whole new living room to fill and a three year old. So I'm like, how can I get a good light neutral without —

Liz M. Galvan: 36:39 yes, exactly. Exactly. The slip covers all the way.

Cara: 36:43 Yeah. Okay. I didn't even know we're going to talk about that, but I'm very glad.

Liz M. Galvan: 36:46 Yeah. That's awesome.

Cara: 36:48 Yeah. So, um, one of my very favorite parts of your book is the idea of not waiting to make your house a home, which is something that I used to find myself very caught in. Like when we were in an apartment, I was waiting til we owned our home and then when we bought a home, I was like waiting till it was going to be our forever home. Um, do you have any advice for people who feel stuck? Like in the waiting phase?

Liz M. Galvan: 37:12 Yeah. Yeah, definitely. So I think everyone again has different theories and beliefs in this area, but mine is definitely don't wait. Um, I've been through a lot of things that have really taught me to live in the moment and enjoy our home, um, in the moment we are not promised tomorrow. And so, um, that's definitely influenced my theory on don't wait. Um, I think we get caught up in, like you said, you know, um, Oh, this isn't our forever home. It, it honestly takes one day to paint a room in it, honestly. Um, you know, it takes a little time to DIY something and to have that home that you find cozy and that you love coming home to every day is so worth not waiting for the perfect time or the perfect place to make it cozy. Um, it's just in my, um, experience, I have been really happy with just diving into the project and, um, making our spaces cozy and not waiting.

Liz M. Galvan: 38:21 And one of the things as we live in a fixer upper, so, um, for a while there we had holes in our floor and I was waiting for us to have it in the budget to finish that room. But instead I worked what I had and I made that room cozy in the moment. So yes, it wasn't the final, um, product. It wasn't exactly how I wanted it in the end, but I made it cozy with what we had in the moment with sub floor and I just throw rug over it. And um, I, I called it good and it made it cozy and it made it, I'm still wallet. It was a fixer upper. It made it a space I wanted to come into. Um, so it made that, um, time of, you know, while it was a fixer upper and we had walls ripped out, it made it still cozy in that moment. And um, I don't regret that.

Cara: 39:13 Yeah. That is so important to like, cause then you're, you're kind of throwing off your life in a way. Like you can't settle into your house if you don't feel like you live there. Like waiting to make it a home. Exactly. Yes. Yeah. So Liz, I don't know if you get this too, but I talked to followers and listeners often who DM me with questions and it seems like their happiness in their home is like always contingent on something. Like whether it's finishing the space they're making over or finding the right pink color. Um, often there seems to be like a hang up as to why these like amazing everyday women aren't letting themselves feel satisfied with their homes and happy. Um, what do you think is the secret to finding true joy in our home?

Liz M. Galvan: 39:58 Well, and I'm, I'm glad that you gave that example because I think a lot of it is like the fear of making a mistake, picking the wrong paint color or, um, just I think the, the, the fear there, I think it's all fear. Um, I think the fear of comparison is someone going to like this. And I think when, again, going back to being really honest with yourself, um, and just, you know, do I like this paint color? Do I like this? Does this space serve my family? Um, and not worrying about does it look magazine worthy or does it, does it look good enough for social media? Um, I think that fear holds us back a lot and I think the secret is just trying all the things, you know. Um, I, I think we really hold ourselves back and it's just paint. Um, you know, you purchase the rug and it doesn't fit the space or you don't love it, you can return the rug. Um, I think just letting go of that fear, um, and again, being honest with yourself, um, can really lead you to making your home cozy. Yeah.

Cara: 41:09 Oh, that's really good. And so, so true. That's just what I just hope. I dunno. I just want everyone to feel, cause it's really, really sad when people are like not letting themselves love their own house.

Liz M. Galvan: 41:21 Yeah. Yeah, definitely. And, and I think that, um, again, the whole comparison thing, um, going back to, you know, if you live with a spouse, um, you know, or kids or a friend, I think, um, again, knowing what they find cozy, um, and knowing how, um, they would love the house to look how it would make them want to come home every day. Um, I think having your house serve your family, um, is something that is really powerful and can really help your family's relationships and their dynamic. I think we often look at home decor as a shallow thing, um, but it can really be this deeper element that, um, can save relationships and um, make, you know, um, your children want to come home at the end of the day. If they're feeling cozy and comfortable and um, in the home, they're willing to open up and talk about their day on the cozy sofa with you or at the dining room table. So I think we often look at home decor as something that's shallow, but it definitely is deeper and can serve a deeper purpose.

Cara: 42:31 Oh my gosh, that's so true. That's something that I've been trying to get at and have the words for, but I think you totally just did it right there. I'll say I'm glad. I'm glad. Um, yeah. And then something else you talk about that I feel like could help with the comparison shop is staying in your season, which is something I struggled with because I had kind of the opposite journey where I was unexpectedly pregnant and none of my friends were and didn't feel totally ready to be a mom. So learning to be in the season I was in was like an adjustment and I'm sure you had a similar experience on a different spectrum, but can you speak to like what that means to star season?

Liz M. Galvan: 43:09 Yeah. It's so interesting too. I love talking, um, with someone like you that has had like the total opposite journey. Yet we have this thing in common where we both felt like, um, it was hard to stay in our season and compare lives to others. Um, I was sitting there surrounded by friends that were all busy growing their families and I felt so out of place and you know, you are feeling the same way. I love that. I find that so interesting that we have that commonality and we didn't know it, you know. No, no. So it's, it's so interesting, but staying in your season, especially in our social media driven world is so difficult. And honestly, even when you're, um, you know, I wrote that in a book and I wrote this, um, you know, from the heart, but yet I still do struggle because I'm human.

Liz M. Galvan: 44:01 Um, I get on social media and I'm scrolling through and I'm like, Oh wait, they have this and this and I have to remind myself over and over, we are all in different seasons of our lives. Um, I, I am busy with a newborn and so things aren't, um, as approachable or, um, you know, I'm trying to look for the word, but it's, it's just not available at the moment. Um, where else is I'm doing this and this because they're in a whole different season. So reminding yourself of that, even if you have to remind yourself every time you get on social media every single day, that everyone's in a different season of life, um, makes it so much easier, um, on your heart because I think that comparison can be, it can really, really affect you, um, in a negative way. And I think reminding yourself of that daily, um, can really help that.

Cara: 45:00 So true. It's like not fair to yourself to compare two totally different seasons. Like you're just going to drive yourself nuts because they're not even on the same level. Exactly.

Liz M. Galvan: 45:11 Exactly. Yeah. So I think, um, I think that's, it's really hard. And again, I think that, um, people being, I keep going back to the honesty thing, but I think being honest with, um, what season you're in, um, like our infertility journey. Um, and our adoption journey, I think being honest while you're sharing the pretty photos can really help others viewing your social media. So, um, I guess I'm speaking to more people that um, like bloggers and people that are on social media, um, sharing their homes. I think being honest with what season yet you're in can really help, um, your readers of your blog and things like that.

Cara: 45:48 [inaudible] and also just like as a regular girl, your friends. Like I know I have a lot of friends that I've struggled to to want to be on social media because it's just everyone sharing highlights, which is great. And I think coming to a place where you can learn to celebrate people's highlights with them is good, but also, yeah, like going a level deeper and being unafraid to be just authentic is what's going to make it better for everyone.

Liz M. Galvan: 46:13 Exactly. Exactly.

Cara: 46:16 Yeah. So I'm, I love how you talk about like reusing stuff you already have and I think we hear all the time that a coat of paint is a game changer, but what are some other ways you can like transform or repurpose? A piece, whether it's like decor or furniture.

Liz M. Galvan: 46:34 Yeah, definitely. So, um, I use this example all the time, um, reusing pieces in your home, moving them from room to room. Let's say it's not serving a purpose in one room and I'm moving it to a different room and giving it a new purpose, even without touching, like how it looks, can totally transform a piece. And I always use an example of, um, I had this wonderful buffet, but I didn't have room in our dining room for it. And so it just kind of sat in our garage. And, um, eventually I was like, you know, I really want to use this piece in our home. Um, I, you know, I, let's find a way where I can use it. And I moved, um, the buffet into our bedroom as a TV stand and it was awesome and it was one of my favorite things.

Liz M. Galvan: 47:22 And it was like this dining room buffet that wasn't supposed to be in a bedroom. And it works so well, you know, I able to use it for storage and also for our TV stand. And it was really pretty. Um, and I was thankful that I turned and thought out of the box and was able to repurpose this item. Um, but also things like changing out the hardware on a dresser or I'm thinking of it in a different way, um, can totally transform a piece. Um, and also I, I like thinking of things like that before I get rid of something. Um, you know, I'm looking at it, it's not serving a plate or a purpose where it's at now, where else can I use it in my home and if I cannot think of a place where I can reuse it or if I try it and a space for a day and I don't like it, then that's when I decided like, I don't think I need this item. Um, it starts serving me or our house. So, um, I um, like to think of items, re-purposing them before I'm giving them away or selling them.

Cara: 48:26 Yeah, I like that. I think I've had a couple pieces that totally like

Cara: 48:32 worked out cause I F I took a second, I was like, I'm going to get rid of it. And then like, no, actually could be this. And it's like, it's so great to be able to shop your house and not have to spend money, but to get like a totally new look, profession your space and yeah, that definitely. Um, so my gosh, this has been very, very amazing. Uh, so glad you came on today. Same. Thanks for having me. This was really fun. Oh, of course. So I know all the listeners are gonna want to follow along with your journey. Um, so where can everybody connect with you online?

Liz M. Galvan: 49:04 Yeah, so I'm, I blog daily at lizmaireblog.com and I also, um, am on social media. I'm under Liz Marie Galvan on Instagram and I'm also on Facebook and Pinterest. I'm, I'm there every single day trying to share inspiration in different ways. Um, and also you can now buy my book cozy white cottage.

Cara: 49:26 Yes. Yes. And you guys totally should because it's very, very good. Thank you so much. Oh yes, of course. Well, thanks again. This is, Oh my gosh, so, so, so good. So many good nuggets and such good encouragement. Yes, yes, of course. Thank you.

Cara: 49:45 If you guys enjoyed this interview with Liz, reach out to her on Instagram, comment on her posts or DM herd to connect with her. You can let her know what part resonated with you or what follow up questions you have. If you are a subscriber, I would absolutely love if you left me a review on iTunes that lets me know what you're loving and what you think about the show and it also helps other new listeners to find it. If you don't have time to do a full review, you can just scroll down and at least give it some stars and if you're not yet a subscriber, hit that subscribe button on your favorite podcast platform, whether it's iTunes or Spotify or Google podcasts so you don't miss another amazing episode like this. And finally, some ways you can stay connected to me and share your feedback. You can hop over to Twitter and at me at @MakeSpacePod. You can also submit questions via email by emailing [email protected] or you can call the podcast hotline and leave me a voicemail, which might turn up on a podcast episode if I choose to answer your question. The number for that is (720) 319-7438 thank you guys so much for listening.

OUTRO: 50:59 Love this episode? Leave a comment on the blog post or use Make Space Podcast to share your thoughts. If this is your first time listening in, be sure to hit that subscribe button so you can stay updated with the newest episodes. If you're a subscriber and you love the show, be sure to rate, review, or screenshot and share your favorite episode on social.

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NEVER SKIP BRUNCH by Cara Newhart

I'm Cara, the designer & Chief Creative Enthusiast behind Never Skip Brunch. I'm a color & prints obsessed DIY queen who's here to help you create a beautifully lived-in life through home design advice and chic DIY tutorials

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