By far, my theme of 2013 had to be the quote from Roosevelt - "Do what you can, where you are, with what you have!"  I haven't been able to do as many outdoor projects, like refinishing furniture or gardening because of the Arizona heat (and cold weather temps too!), but life on line has been steadily growing. This past year I was fortunate enough to meet several online connections in real life, plus even start up a new venture of setting up Pinterest Business pages for companies. Along with a local makeover, a few home projects, new collaborations and travel to LA + back east to NJ and Miami, here is a look back on some of my highlights of 2013 I'm grateful for, and hope to do more of and grow going forward into 2014. (While pulling together this post, I noticed it was quite long, so I'm dividing it into two parts: Part 1 - January - August. Part 2 - September - December)

January kicked off last year with my first makeover project here in Arizona - and it wasn't for a home, but for a Couples / Family Counselor office and reception area here in Chandler. This was quite different from a home makeover because it wasn't just making one person or a family comfortable - I had to incorporate the sensitivities of several other people who were seeking a safe haven to feel comfortable in. 

Along with starting this new redesign project I also made my list of Goals for 2013, completed my first Virtual Visuals Project - Setting up a Pinterest Business Page for the Curtain Exchange (thanks to a referral from Leslie Carothers), registered for a new adventure: attending my first Design Bloggers Conference (in March), continued my blog collaboration with Olioboard + 10 design bloggers (How To Use Olioboard for Online Home Staging) and taught myself a new skill: how to take & save a screen shot (which has really come in handy the past year!)

 (AZ Project Prep & Concept Board)

(Online Home Staging - Olioboard + Blog Collaboration)

(My first Pin-Project - The Curtain Exchange)

Since I had the local design project, I shared a little "Local Love" in February, featuring my experiences and finds in local shops here in Arizona such as: ReCreate Consignment in Scottsdale, The Potato Barn here in Gilbert, a Lutheran Church Thrift Shop in Mesa, and Comp Shopping - Good Better Best on wall art for my project. 

In addition to the local love, I was also getting ready to attend the Design Bloggers Conference by months end and I also collaborated with Olioboard + 10 design bloggers for a Charity Cause link up, which each of the bloggers who participated, were given a $250 Gift Certificate from Lamps Plus to use on their site for an item to put towards the featured charities (Read about at Charity Causes: Get Vignette Set With Olioboard.)

 (Get Vignette Set boards)

March was a big month and rolled in fast and furiously kicking off with our road trip to LA (one of the good things about living in AZ: road trip distance means we can save some funds from flying!) Jeff and I arrived a day early in LA for the Design Bloggers Conference so he and I could also take in some of the sites while we were there. One of the site we both enjoyed immensely was going to the Santa Monica Pier Sunday Morning - we both miss the ocean and this was so refreshing after being land-locked in AZ the past year.

While I was at the Conference, Jeff explored Hollywood and also went to Rodeo Drive. I was blessed in having so many first time meetings with so many people I've connected with online. I met, hugged, spoke to and went to a Lamps Plus hosted dinner with Tobi Fairley, Lisa Mende, Leslie Hendrix Wood (of Hadley Court!), Brooke Wallace, One real-life meeting highlight in particular was meeting Leslie Carothers of the Kaleidoscope Partnership and Sheilah MacSporran, the CEO of Olioboard.

Additional highlights from the Design Bloggers Conference was getting to listen to design icons, such as Barbara Barry, Charlotte Moss and Newell Turner discuss how the design industry has changed, and what's in its future... plus also attend a designer cocktail party at Harbingers in West Hollywood - where I met even more design aficionados such as Lori Dennis, Kelli Ellis, Andrew Joseph and Jennifer Mehditash to name a few...

After returning from the conference, it was time to install and complete the counselor office redesign project. My client was going to be out of town, so she gave me her keys to do the install, and it was a true reveal surprise when she returned - she was truly thrilled telling me I not only designed the space, I blessed it and also wrote this review on Houzz:
"Lynda with Focal Point Styling did an outstanding job! I still receive compliments on my office design -- as a therapist to people with various sensitivities, I was focused on having a comfortable, well-appointed office space for them. The main comment I get is how incredibly comfortable the space is and how much they appreciate it. She redid my office waiting area and therapy room. She saved me tons of money but finding what we liked and then shopped around for a lesser price. Just what I wanted!  I'm so grateful I hired her! No regrets."

 (AZ Counselor Office ReDesign - See Project Before & After in Videos

Along with this review added to my profile on Houzz, one of my projects was also mentioned in a Houzz Ideabook Feature:  Pop-Culture Watch: Thrift Shop and 8 Rooms that Rock Secondhand Finds

Since my husband works for JCPenney, I supported him by touring the new home division being installed in the JCP stores - one of which was the setting of a new brand shop for Jonathan Adler. The shop was looking so good, (as was the assortments landing and getting set in the other areas - like Martha Stewart!) and I know if I shared it in my social circles, many would be surprised to learn how updated JCP was becoming - So I created style boards and blogged about the launch and newness. (Read at Jonathan Adler happy chic + New Home Lines @ JCP...)

April brought the first signs of Spring here in AZ - the temps were perfect to get back outside and enjoy some outdoor time before the Summer heat and dust storms took over. Our backyard was looking a little weather beaten, so I refreshed it with a bargain Backyard Spring Spruce Up. I also ventured up to Scottsdale for the Junk in The Trunk Flea Market Event at World Center, and I did some exploring of the Mid Century Modern architecture in Phoenix during the Phoenix Modern Week Event. Although I was spending some time outside and offline, I was grateful to be contacted by to be included in a Storage Ideas - Pinterest feature they were writing about...

(SheKnows feature)

(Junk In The Trunk Vintage Market - World Center)

(Spring Backyard Spruce Up)

Speaking of events, one of the design and furniture industry events was happening over on the east coast: The Spring High Point Market Event! Although I couldn't attend (the flight alone from Phoenix to North Carolina is out of my budget!) I still followed along and shared the trends thanks to social media sharing via Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. I collected images of some of the hottest colors and trends and created online trend boards and also shared the trends on Pinterest.

HPMKT Trend Board - I created from social images shared.

While at the conference in March, I had met the CEO of Olioboard, Sheilah MacSporran and we had discussed her hiring me to restructure the Olioboard Pinterest profile - which from April to May I was thrilled to have worked on my second Pin-Project: now for Olioboard.

My Pin-Project #2 - Olioboard

May was a month focused on Art Deco with the launch of the new Gatsby moving coming out. Hints of deco was spotted in design at HPMKT, and a new deco inspired furniture line I really admired called Savoy launched at Bloomingdales. While out thrifting, I also spotted an American Treasure at Goodwill: A Fantastic Stow & Davis Desk! Another deco inspired line launched in May were the area rugs featured in the Great Gatsby set designs - and speaking of the Great Gatsby, I couldn't wait to get all dressed up to go to the movie's premiere - although I think I was the only person here in Chandler to do so (That would not be the case in Miami!!) 

Besides May being deco inspired, it's also the time of year I really get into coastal style for summer! Recognizing that, I was honored to be invited by 1stdibs to go beach combing on their site and create a Coastal Style lifestyle board for them on Pinterest. The board was tweeted and featured on their Facebook page, plus joins the several other designer curated boards from Kelly Wrestler, Scot Meacham Wood, and Grant K. Gibson to name a few...

Just as the temps drop up north in winter, they reach record breaking highs here in Arizona, starting in June. Recalling this from last year (had a minor heat stroke while out bike riding last year!) I started my Summer hibernation period, and had to stay inside. To help have something to look forward to in the Fall, I started to make my travel arrangements for my trip back east - back HOME. While making my travel arrangements to fly to New Jersey to visit my Godmother in Spring Lake and see other family in New Jersey, my mom suggested I'd hop on another flight from NJ to head south to Florida, and so I did. Now I began counting the days until I could get my toes in the sand down the shore in Jersey, and have some of moms home cooking when I visited her in Miami (it's been two years since we've seen each-other and ten since seeing my Godmother!) 


In June - I ventured out in the AZ heat to see the Summer install at Sweet Salvage - and actually (briefly) met the owner, Kim Rawlins (whom later actually came to my home in October during  our Garage Sale!)

July is Jeff's birthday month - and I decided to give him a totally golf inspired celebration! I made myself into Martha and created some 19th Hole Cupcakes (my first time making cupcakes!), got him a golf journal and new visor, plus, I was his Caddy Girl for the day as we hit the course: Tee Time: 12 o' clock, and peak time for AZ h-e-a-t!! After a full round of golf, we came home and grilled dinner...

In an effort to beat the heat here in AZ, I restyled our home with crisp blues and whites for Summer (You can watch a video at RELAXED SUMMER RESTYLE HOME TOUR. You can also read my 8 Tips to Create a Summer Remix). I also gave my painted buffet an update from red to old navy blue - and it made a huge difference in the look and feel of the upstairs space. I used the images from its transformation to make my first You Tube video - just the project and music, but it inspired me to create a few more video tours.

By the end of July, I had brought a local Producer (Kelly Salloway) to her first visit at Sweet Salvage - the Now Showing installment. I also received an invitation to collaborate with HomeGoods in September, for an upcoming Designer Pin Program they were going to test. I. LOVE. HOMEGOODS.... so without hesitation and much gratitude, I agreed to join the team of nine other design bloggers. A few days later, I received a wonderful surprise in the mail: A note of thanks for joining the HomeGoods Design Happy Team and a gift card to continue making our home HomeGoods Happy!

Back to School starts early here in Arizona, and this year I helped make backpacks filled with school supplies for Jeff to donate at his JCPenney store in Casa Grande. I also helped Jeff with his store's Back to School Pep-Rally coming coming up with Tee's (he bought tee's & I painted them) plus I painted pep rally signs and suggested using social media in their stores banner. After he took photos of Back to School set + outfits at the store, I edited them in PicMonkey for him to use in his store's Pep-Rally video. I made a Slide-Show video for him you can see here.

Although August is probably the hottest month here in AZ, we headed out on my birthday to try a new (to us) local spot in Chandler call The Living Room - and LOVED it! While there, I learned it had recently been restyled by local stylist Heather Sanders. I friended her on Facebook and we met at a local coffee shop in August. I had said I'd like to team-up together (I'm still newbie to this area and lifestyle) She said yes and she could really use the help with her workload. August was also when the ZGallerie in Scottsdale fashion Square re-opened after being closets for a remodel - We went to the ZGallerie re-Grand Opening Event, and also the Grand Opening of the New Phoenix Premium Shops. Another birthday happening in August (besides mine) was local vintage market - Sweet Salvage - Turned Two!

To be continued in the next post...

Grateful for all the encounters, experiences, connections and opportunities of 2013...

Stay tuned  for Part II and thanks for stopping by!


  1. you are a super star! I loved reading about all the things you did this year. You are such a nice person, it's refreshing to read about good things happening to good people! Here's to more goodness in 2014! thank for including little ole me in your pics from the big names at DBC. I was so happy to meet you in person and you confirmed that you were as nice in person as you are in the virtual world. My only regret…you aren't moving to Charlotte, (insert sad face) oxox

  2. An amazing year! Love reading your blog. Looking forward to what 2014 brings!



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