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My Story to Better Health

I’ve been debating writing about this or not on my blog.  This is a place where I mainly write about my profession, but I believe it’s okay to remind people that I’m human too.  My life is full of ups and downs just like every person out there, and why not not share a few of those with you.

I have always struggled with my weight.  There were a few years in college where I was looking pretty good, sadly because I was too busy to eat.  My overweight problem all boils down to my love of food.  Especially good tasting, fattening, caloric food.  I also love Coke.  It’s safe to say I’m addicted.  McDonald’s has the best tasting Coke out there and those golden arches call my name everyday.

Over the years I’ve been up and down, but mainly up.  I’ve tried programs like Weight Watchers (more times than I care to admit), Atkins, and My Fitness Pal.  All really great ways to get healthy but most I have ever lost on any of them is 20 pounds.  Well, I’ve let my weight creep up over the years to the point where I need to lose 60 pounds.  That number sounds intimidating.  But I know it’s possible.  How do you eat an elephant?  One bite (pound) at a time.
My motivation?  Where do I start….I am sick of being a size 16.  I am sick of dealing with Asthma.  I’m sick of waking up tired.  I’m sick of being a bad example to my girls.  I am sick of being uncomfortable in my clothes. I am sick of my back hurting.  I am sick of feeling unhealthy. I am sick of not wearing my wedding ring. I’m sick of food controlling me. But most importantly, I am sick of not loving myself, which is the basis for everything!  To truly begin loving ourselves, we need to be healthy inside and out.  There are a lot of skinny unhealthy people out there.  I wrote down a list of why I need to lose weight and this is what I came up with in 10 minutes.

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Recently I took a trip with my two sisters.  We went to Disneyworld and had a great time.  As pictures of us were being taken I looked at them and in my mind all I could say was, “Oh, crap.  That is what I look like?”  I knew I had to do something.

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May 2016 with my two darling (and fit) sisters on the left and middle, I’m on the right. We are 100% blood, even though we don’t look a ton alike. This is one of the many pictures that motivated me.

So, my journey begins, but this time I want it to be different. I want it to be permanent.  I want it to last forever.  I’m so ready.

My Aunt Sallie, who I love and adore, has had major success with a program.  When I heard about it, I was intrigued.  My parents have also been on it for a few weeks and already having success.  After giving it some thought, I decided to give it a go. It’s called Take Shape for Life.  I eat 5 mini meals a day and one lean and green.  Once I reach my goal weight, there is a transition and maintenance program.  I’m on day 5 right now and loving it.  I’m also reading the book by Dr. A and understanding that this is not only a body makeover, but a mental makeover.  Just what I need.  I’m learning so much.  My Aunt is my Coach and I feel like I’m getting so much support through her and online.  I will be posting updates to help me with accountability and because don’t we all love a good journey?!  Especially a weightloss journey.

Only positive and uplifting comments please. I am not being paid or sponsered, all opinions expressed are my own.  

Splurge and Save Lighting

My mom and dad are building their dream home in St. George Ut. I am so excited for them because they have both worked hard their entire life and now they are doing something they’ve always wanted to do. But designing a custom home from the ground up is not easy. I’ve watched them spend hours and hours and days and days contemplating everything you can imagine. Luckily they have a very talented and patient design team working with them so every detail is thought of.

Even though they have a nice budget, they are still on a budget. That is where I come in. I’m used to a tight budget. While they were spending a few days with me in Texas my mom wanted my two sense on lighting. I was blown away at how expensive lighting can be! Who has $1,500 to spend on one chandelier or $500+ on sconces? And then times that by 30+ fixtures in your home. Sheesh! So, I said, splurge where it counts and save where you won’t notice. But also, realize how important lighting is. One of my favorite designers, Candace Olsen, was a genius in this department.

So here are a few of the ideas we came up with, keep in mind we’re trying to marry a contemporary design with transitional:

SPLURGE: Rejuvenation is my place to go for a big statement, this time over the rectangle dining table. Two of these giant pendants will fill up the space at 30″ wide. It’ll be one of the first things you notice when walking in the house.

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SPLURGE: Since the dining table and Kitchen are next to each other and in a very open concept layout, I didn’t want them to compete, yet I wanted them to compliment each other. I’m thinking three 12″ sized pendants over the kitchen island.  Now what color to get?  They offer copper, brass, or shiny chrome.haleigh blk 081215 034 copp wh bl a1156

SAVE: West Elm is a fabulous place for modern affordable lighting. These modern sconces will be in the hallways lighting the path to the guest bedroom and bunkroom.

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SAVE: West Elm has these darling little lights that will be going on all the walls above the 4 beds in the bunkroom. At $39 each, such a deal.

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I’m thinking ya’ll might want to see some more of this dream home. Am I right?!?

Favorite Artist

Don’t you love it when an particular artist speaks to you?  A few years ago I discovered an artist by the name of Brian Kershisnik when I was the SLC Deseret Book.  The store by temple square has quite the art collection.  When I saw “the Nativity” I couldn’t take my eyes off of it.  The angels, the movement, the midwives, the look on Joseph’s face, the mother Mary, the dog and her pups in the corner…I tried to take it all in.  I’d never seen anything like it.Screen Shot 2015-07-18 at 10.05.29 AM

I soon after discovered many of his other paintings and love them.  The detail and pattern, strong message, yet simplicity of every picture speaks to me.  As siblings we gifted my dad a gicle of a white dog wrapped around a home.  We definitely believe this is our Ralphie dog that passed away a few years ago, who was my dad’s little pal for so many years.

Screen Shot 2015-07-18 at 10.04.24 AMI also love this picture of two women bringing food. I feel it is a common way for us women to show we love and care through preparing and serving food.

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The picture of the angels anxiously delivering a baby is hung in my parents house right when you walk in.  As more and more grandchildren are being born into our family, I know this picture has much meaning to them and is an expression to us all of how special these little spirits are.

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Lastly, I love the picture of ruth. The well known bible story is so beautifully depicted in this picture.

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So, even if Kershisnik isn’t “your type” of art, that’s okay. I just want you to find one that is…an artist that speaks to you and display it in your home.  “The Nativity” was gifted to me by my husband for Christmas and I believe it was one of my favorite gifts ever.  Spending money on art can be difficult, but when it meaningful, then it’s worth it.

Here I go!


I am very excited to be writing my first By Tiff Designs Blog post. I have been thinking about what to write about and I’ve had several ideas. I keep thinking “what would I want to read”, so I hope my interests are yours too. I’d like write tips and tricks and favorite finds.  I’d like to show you a real approach to design and projects.  I want to document all my ups and downs while starting my business.  Walking you through the steps of starting a business might even be interesting. I’m not going to have glamorous pictures in the beginning so be patient with me.  I hope to one day as my clients (and client’s pocket books) increase. So thank you for joining my journey. Here I go!