Wednesday, December 10, 2014

21 Of The Best, Most Unique Places To Shop

Our favorite shops for gift-giving in Nashville Tn, and across the nation!

21 Of The Best Places To Shop

Searching for extraordinary finds, unforgettable places and unexpected treasures, that have been owned once before, is both invigorating and fun. It’s not only the thrill of the hunt, but it’s also finding a rare and unique item and experience, and giving it to someone you love. Sure, a department store during the holidays has it’s own buzz, but their is no “vibe” like that of an old antique store, or vintage shop filled with oddities and objects galore. Whether it’s rare, unique, different or junk, creating an experience of sentiment, is a gift that sticks. When it matters most, give from the heart, not the pocket book.
21 best places to shop in nashville TN
You can find incredibly cool gifts for your loved ones this year by avoiding places like the mall. Here, my team and I comprised a comprehensive list of our top 21 places we love to shop for gifts. This list consists of local nashville stores, national brands who are worth spending your money with, and a few other unique dives we love. Not only do they sell awesome product but they reuse, repurpose and recycle – our gift to mother Earth.
1. Acme Feed & Seed
Coolest place to go for unique Nashville finds!
Acme Feed & Seed created a uniquely ‘Nashville’ atmosphere that honors the unparalleled character of the city’s past, present and future.” This store offers the true ‘Nashville’ experience with a range of locally made products. You can find a gift for anyone, like the “Tennessee Man Gift Pack”.
Acme Feed & Seed
2. Flip Nashville 
Find great, gently used, designer product for him and her. One of the best consignment shops in town!
FLIP was founded on the principle that actions speak louder than words.  Since June of 2005 they have been working tirelessly to deliver two things great designer products and accessories at a great value and incredible integrity to their customers.

Flip Nashville 
3. Flair Vintage Decor. 
Flair Vintage Decor is all about putting forth a fantastic mix of refreshed vintage finds fused with new items to create a home of mixed flair. Limited hours, so check there website for details!
Flair Vintage Decor
4. Old Made Good
Located off Gallatin Pike in Nashville, this place is hip, quirky and fun. Think Zooey Deschanel meets anthropologie. A handpicked collection of vintage and locally made goods.
Old Made Good 
5. Rich Hippies
Started locally here in Nashville, they make intentional, organic clothes for “littles.” All of their clothes are made to order, so when they’re gone, they’re gone, but contain no bands or elastics – because “littles” need to be comfy when they are learning and playing.
Rich Hippies
6. Pony Show 
Handpicked, handmade, and vintage items right here in Nashville. You can find them off of Porter Road or online at Etsy. Coolest shop, with the coolest vibe for those cool people in your life.
Pony Show

Click here to finish reading The 21 Best, Most Unique Places To Shop

Thursday, November 27, 2014

How To Feng Shui Your Black Friday

How to Feng Shui your Black Friday

Every year people fall into Black Friday fever trying to catch, snatch or steal the best deal as if it’s a prize-winning game. It never ceases to amaze how many people give up their free time camping out for hours on end, just to save a few dollars. And don’t get me wrong, I am all about being frugal to save for important things like retirement, but the average person is simply adding more financial burden to their surmounting debt in an effort to buy a “want” rather than a “need.” We are a culture built on instant gratification.  One of my favorite quotes from Thomas Stanley’s book, The Millionaire Next Door is, “The average American goes into debt buying things they don’t need, with money they don’t have, to impress people they don’t like.”  Let that sink in a bit.

In an effort to help my clients find ease in their home and lives, I always approach each consultation with a curious mind. No home or person can truly achieve balance and harmony if subconsciously they are worried, and fearful about lingering debt. I know this from experience. You can physically feng shui your home until the cows come home, but mentally your nagging worry is sabotaging your results. So rather than running around scooping up what you think are deals, because that is what you have been told your whole life, let’s ditch the fever, grab our sneakers, the family and get close to God. That fever will fade but when we feed our souls, true healing occurs – can’t get that waiting outside of Best Buy!

Today, Friday, November 28, all 55 Tennessee State Parks are offering FREE guided hikes for the entire day. So grab the family, friends, the dog and an attitude of gratitude, and get back to basics this Thanksgiving Holiday. Ditch the fever, ditch the debt and instead gain peace of mind.
Amanda Gates 
Interior Designer and Feng Shui Practitioner 

If you’d like help achieving balance and harmony within your home, contact me today.

Friday, September 19, 2014

DIY Lemon Sugar Body Scrub

With so many options in stores it’s hard to know which scrubs are actually good for you. So many body scrubs in stores are not all natural, and may contain ingredients that are toxic for your skin. Then you have those scrubs that are just too expensive to justify paying for. DIY body scrubs are a cheap and non-toxic alternative to store bought scrubs.
You won’t believe how easy it is to make your own body scrub at home. It makes a perfect gift when placed in a mason jar with a twine wrapped label. This lemon sugar body scrub only requires three simple ingredients that you probably already have at home. All you need is brown sugar, lemon, and coconut oil. It also smells heavenly!
These ingredients have some amazing benefits for your skin: 
Lemon juice/zest- Acts as a natural exfoliant to get rid of dead skin. Lemon juice alone acts as a blackhead remover. Simply apply straight lemon juice on your face with a cotton ball at night and rinse it off in the morning. Lemon juice also naturally brightens the skin. Who doesn’t want a natural glow? (source) 
Brown Sugar- It’s softer than regular sugar, so it’s perfect for sensitive areas such as your face. Brown sugar contains glycolic acid, that fights bacteria. Glycolic acid is an alpha-hydroxyl acid, which is important in keeping your skin vivacious and healthy. Not only is brown sugar a perfect natural exfoliant, but it also keeps dry skin moisturized. (source)
Coconut Oil- Acts as a super powerful moisturizer. It leaves your dry skin feeling softer than ever. It also contains Vitamin E which can protect your skin from damage over time. It also soothes skin problems such as eczema, sunburn and psoriasis, and it can also help with pesky bug bites! (source)
To use this body scrub simply apply a generous amount to your skin while showering, rub on your skin for a few minutes,  and rinse off completely. You won’t believe how soft your skin will feel afterwards!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Roger Goodell - A Closer Look At His Numerology

Before last week I’d never heard the name Roger Goodell, but I’m also not a football fan. The now infamous NFL commissioner is being faced with many challenges for overlooking a very inordinate football league, to which he is the leader of. With so many athletes getting a slap on the wrist for grisly behavior, it’s no surprise the heat will hit at the top; especially when we take a look at his numbers. Sports fans will often break down statistics that I don’t understand, but I always look at the situation from a numerological stand point that shows vibrational patterns and connections that create our blueprint.
Goodell was born on February 19 and carries a 9 life path. The number 9 in numerology is considered the number of humility, and service to others. He was also born into a 9 year, and it’s one of his life lessons to learn.
When we look further into his numbers we see he carries a karmic debt of 19/1. Karmic life lessons and karmic debts are two entirely different things. A life lesson is something we are here to learn and a karmic debt is something we owe due to an abuse we did in a previous time.  A 19/1 karmic debt challenges us to help others but we often choose not to listen. As Maya Angelou so famously said, “When you know better, you do better.” But when you carry the karmic 19/1 you know better and it’s your free will that challenges you on whether you’ll choose to do better.
The 19/1 carries with it a message about abusing power for selfish gains. Where the soul holds valuable information but chooses to be self-centered through lack of compassion. And these actions are never irresponsible but very calculated.
I should also note that behaviors that a 19/1 carry are associated with narcissism, egotism, selfishness, being intimidating and lacking strong leadership.
In February Ray Rice was arrested for assaulting his then fiancĂ©, Janay Palmer. Something the public heard very little about and presumably neither did Goodell. Or was this valuable information kept to himself? In February, Goodell entered into a 1 personal year. Personal year numbers let us see patterns and help us understand the potential for events and situations ahead. A 1 year ushers in massive change and is the time to start fresh, and start new. This is a time when you must stand on your own two feet and be an individual in your actions. It is also a time when clear thinking is necessary.
On September 8, 2014 TMZ released a very shocking video of Ray Rice assaulting his fiancĂ© in an elevator. September 8, 2014 unlocks the numerical code of 7-8-9, a numerical triad of spirit, eternity and unconditional love. So how on earth does such a triad of love and spirit get tangled up with assault? Let’s be reminded that when codes are activated they are gentle reminders of our lessons, goals and purpose. And as a 9 life path it is Goodell’s purpose to give back in a big way...{to continue reading click here}

Thursday, June 12, 2014

21 Ways To Get Out Of Debt Even If You're A Freelancer

It was 2010 and after ten years of marriage it was time to call it quits. I was done. Done with the nonsense, the affairs, the lying, the manipulation, the guilt….I was d.o.n.e. Without any thought of repercussion I packed up my shit and left. Seemed simple enough and it was how my mama raised me….but there were consequences.

My divorce ended up taking four years. With little to no assets and no kids many were surprised it lasted that long, but it was no surprise to me. He wanted to stick it to me one last time and he made every process beyond painful, difficult and ridiculous. Needless to say I finally threw my hands up in the air (which is ultimately what he wanted) and threw in the towel…did I mention I was done?
We had over twenty thousand dollars in joint debt. Initially, because he made seven times my income I assumed he would continue making payments towards said debt, but I was wrong. Within just a few months I started receiving calls from debt collectors wanting money. The minimums alone were over a thousand dollars a month, but it was going to take over three thousand just to get them caught up from months of non-payment. To say that I was scared and overwhelmed would be an understatement. Problem was, I’m an entrepreneur, and if you work for yourself, or are a student, you know what it means to have inconsistent income.
Initially it was all very overwhelming. As an entrepreneur I chose not to pull a paycheck for five years. After the separation I started to pull a small paycheck but it was never the same each month. Some months I was only able to pull $500, other months I could pull $1500….needless to say it was never the same and never consistent, which made it seem impossible to pay off such a large amount of debt. How on earth could I make a budget this way?
When the divorce started I figured the court would see his income and make him pay at least half of the debt but I got stuck with all of it. Problem was by the time I came to the realization that all of this was happening and I got out of the “holy shit, what am I going to do phase” my credit was destroyed. I went from a 750 credit score to a 595 practically overnight. I was no longer a sure thing and I couldn’t get a loan or a credit card to consolidate the debt. So I had to do whatever I could to make shit happen. I buckled down, researched and came up with a plan. Click link below to see all 21 of my tips,

Here are 21 things I did to get out of debt and avoid the overwhelm.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Amy Wray - Editor Of Mod City Mag

Amy Wray – Editor Of Mod City Magazine

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Design 101 podcast

When it comes to being an entrprenuer we all have challenges. Therefore we all need support, mentorship and empowerment in order to move forward. Todays Design 101 guest is Amy Wray, editor and PR expert of Mod City Mag. Amy’s online magazine not only provides women the encouragement and information they need to feel empowered but it also provides an outlet to find the best beauty products, fashion tips and lifestyle must haves.
As the editor of Mod City Mag her goal is to empower, motivate and inspire each and every one of us, her readers. To read more or listen to the podcast, click here

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

How To Achieve A Slower Pace And Step Out Of The Glorified Rat Race

In this day and age everything moves at lightning speed. With social media quick on the tails of every story, nothing is sacred, and everything is news – even Kim Kardashian splashing Vogue is suddenly news worthy. Why? Who knows, but it keeps us glued to our phones, iPads, computers and everything in between, afraid we might miss something. (I’ll sleep better knowing Kimmy is thrilled beyond words to be on the cover.)
One thing that I have noticed is the sudden glorification of “busy”. Everyone running around in circles, cramming in more tasks than they can handle all in an effort to be considered productive. Or is it in an effort to keep up with status quo? Either way the alchemy of balance is non existent. So how do you find a slower pace and step out of the glorified rat race?
It’s the power of saying No, and it’s the power of taking back the stillness, getting rid of the “busy” and stopping to smell the roses. As world renowned astrologer Tom Brady stated: Now more than ever we need to slow down and gain back our sense of community. It’s now or never. Perhaps a good time to meet your neighbors too!
Today as I ran through my Facebook feed my dear friend Varian captured this very thing beautifully:
If you listen closely, silence has a (sound) and a rhythm. ~ Angel OJ Holcomb 

In our society, we find ourselves in constant movement, in the constant hustle and bustle of each day. We have come to wear our “busyness” as a badge of honor. But busyness does not equal achievement, accomplishment or progress.
I have to remind myself and I also encourage you, to be intentional about more downtime and silence in your schedule. It may seem very counter intuitive, but the more often you engage in sacred silence, the more creative, accomplished and fulfilled you will be.
It is in the silence that the reason for your existence, the plan and magnitude of your work, and the span of your impact is revealed……
BE still and know! Varian Brandon

How to Achieve A Slower Pace And Step Out Of The Glorified Rat Race

1) Learn to say No.
As a society, especially women, we feel the need to not let people down. We are organically nurturing and want to swoop in to save the day. Stop, think about what it is you are signing up for and decide if its worth your offerings or creating a sacrifice.
2) Walk away from the judgement.
Learn that the judgement that others may or may not put on you is usually the judgment you put onto yourself. Perception can be a dark horse. First and foremost, make yourself happy. If those needs are met, then you won’t need number three listed next.
3) Live free of guilt
We hold ourselves responsible for everyone else’s crap. Simply put, ‘not your circus, not your monkeys’. And if we are referring to your children….well you may well be dealing with monkeys. But I had a simple upbringing, I love my mother dearly, her most important gift was being present, not signing me up to every event to meet status quo…
4) Learn to find your Ma.

Learn to be OK with the silence. We have conditioned ourselves to hate stillness and many of us have become fidgety. Find your Ma, within it you will find your Balance, Harmony and Home.
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Monday, April 7, 2014

Gates Interior Design

In 2012 I started working with my second business coach, James Roche. It was then that I realized that change was inevitable. Not only was the design industry evolving in a big way, but so was I. Recently single and going through a divorce the things that had mattered most were no longer important to me. While I loved interior design and the transformation it provided my clients, “pretty” was no longer enough for me. I needed more. I wanted to provide transformations that changed peoples lives for the better and to heal their spaces.

As I sat in my own home, surrounded by a junk yard of past life memories I realized that nothing could remain. Everything had a story. Everything had a memory, and it was all attached to an old life that no longer existed. As I would pass a chair I wouldn’t see it’s beauty but rather the memory of emotions that no longer served me. It was then that I realized that many of us go through life surrounded by a junk yard that weighs us down, and holds our energy hostage.

Back when I was in college I studied feng shui. I used it in my own home and became an expert in the Pyramid Philosophy of Feng Shui. It was a style that resonated with me. A style that banishes the need for wacky charms and superstitions but instead focuses on the energy, emotion and feeling of a room. No longer would I surround myself with energy that did not honor my new direction in life. In the spring of 2012 I set out to change everything:
1) Auction off everything I own
2) Sell my car
3) Move
4) Rebrand
It seems like a simple list but it took an act of god to make it all happen. It took me six months to find an auction house that would take everything in one single swoop. Most companies wanted to pick and choose from my belongings and that just didn’t work for me. It was all or nothing. By the fall of 2012 I found a set decoration company that took everything down to my silverware. It took all day and eight people, and two trucks, but by the end of the day it was me and the two cats. ( those two served me well)
By November of 2012 I was out of my lease and was able to move in with my boyfriend. Looking back, my sane self likely would never have done this. I knew him only three months but at the time I needed a refuge and it just made sense to my chaotic self.
By December of 2012 I sold my car. My checklist was almost complete. It was time to roll up my sleeves and get to work on this new brand. I had nothing in place, no idea where it was going, but I knew one thing about it’s direction, it would provide professional help for a healing home.
2013 became the year of my divorce. Some days were good, some days were really bad. My own experience proved to me that everyone deserves a space that uplifts them and enhances their mood. No longer a junkyard of random, useless memories, my home became filled with items that made me laugh, uplifted my mood and healed my heart. It became my motto to have Balance, Harmony and a true sense of Home, to enhance my quality of life.
Gates Interior Design is the evolution of this philosophy. When your environment is in harmony, so are you, helping you attract more of the coveted three blessings of health, wealth and happiness. It is my goal to help you transform your life through your home and help you heal your space!
Thank you to those who have supported me through this journey, this is my love letter to you.

Monday, March 12, 2012

4 Fun Facts About Color

Google announced back in December that as of March 1, google friend connect would no longer be allowed on other blogs. So if you have been a trusted follower of my blog you will only see updated posts via blogger. So in an attempt to keep my readers up to date, I will make every effort to post the AB HOME articles here so you see them.
4 Fun Facts About Color
Color is the dominant king when it comes to decorating because it is the single most valuable tool in a home. Think about it, if you leave your walls light and bright bright color accents can bring in excitement. If you paint your walls dark it can quickly add drama and mystique. Over the years my team and I have painted countless hours away in the various offices we have been in. So much so that I think it is safe to say that some of our office walls may be a half inch thicker than they were when we moved it! But I love paint and I love how it can instantly transform a room.
Color is not only exciting but it is a mischievous decorating tool that can instantly transform your space.

1) Color contrast

love the bold paint color.

Play up an architectural detail, or create a pop with that new bold chair by painting the wall a contrasting color. Colors that contrast boldly with their background make details stand out and draw attention to them. These can become the instant “wows” in a home!

2) Similar colors conceal

pale paint and open shelves

Painting everything the same color can conceal imperfections and make a room look seamless. It can also help calm the room down if there is a lot going on. Another trick, paint everything the same color, including trim to create beautiful shadowing details, like the photo above.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Remodeling series-Week 16

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Last week Mrs S was on vacation. I wanted to mention this because my inbox was flooded with emails from concerned readers wanting to know what happened to the series! Afraid they had missed something. No need to worry, we are back on schedule!
For those of you following this remodel you know that our latest hiccup was the doors. As the story goes in my line of business:  ”it will be two weeks.” But then two weeks comes and goes and it suddenly becomes another “two weeks.” At any rate our two week turn around for doors turned into almost five. So all of us were thrilled when they got here!
Mrs S and Co. immediately poo-poo’d the idea of the stained doors, but I am not past begging and pleading if I know it is perfect for the design. Ritchie, accustomed to working with me silently raised an eyebrow and just couldn’t envision it. But he trusted my judgement and when they went in today, everyone was thrilled with the idea of staining them! Yay!

Stained walnut doors will be THE epitome of luxury and decadence in this refined bathroom. The perfect solution to grounding the space, warming it up and adding that touch of elegance……………..but then the grim reaper ALWAYS has to play the devils advocate and ruin everything. ALWAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!! {Read More}