This was our first year at the Haven Conference. Haven is an annual conference geared towards Home DIY/Home decor bloggers. We came ready to take on the blogging world head on!

What we loved about Haven:

  • The camaraderie of being surrounded by ladies of all ages and walks of life that loved to DIY as much as we do!
  • There was an abundance of wonderful session topics that made it hard to choose.
  • The Maven mentor groups were a great add and allowed a more intimate setting to connect with others and ask questions and share information.
  • Hearing people’s stories – how they started, their successes and struggles.
Double breasted jacket

Will never forget this number from the Glamor Farms Fashion show!

Abby Lawson - Just a Girl and Her Blog

Love all Abby’s openness and passion to help others!

Our Takeaway –

We came with certain goals in mind… At the top was – connecting with brands and learning how to grow and monetize our blog. But, by the time we got to the airport to go home, we realized something pretty huge – Blogging for a living is too crazy hard y’all!

Don’t misunderstand us… We still want to blog and make some $$$, but we want to do it without ALL the pressures of making it our “business.”

How did we get  to this conclusion? Honestly, we were feeling completely OVERWHELMED in all the sessions about what it takes to run a blog – from social media platforms, working with brands, to networking, and don’t get us started with SEO… But we LOVED the sessions that helped expand our creative skills like – Sketchup, Lightroom and photography, And the sessions that talked about real community and connecting with others was very encouraging.

So we’re taking the pressure off… We’re gonna blog just for fun! Whoa, right?! We’re still going to try to do things the right way and use the things we learned. But we’re taking our time, having fun and seeing where God leads us. Amen?!

So if you came away feeling overwhelmed, we feel ya! You’re not alone… We look back at most of our favorite blogs and I realized most of them just started out sharing for fun… We don’t want to skip that part. Our advice for new bloggers like ourselves is take a deep breath and just to blog slowly. You don’t have to do everything right out of the gate. You don’t even have to do it the ‘right’ way. Give yourself permission to screw up. Because you will… We’ll screw up together! Don’t worry about ALL the business side of things in the beginning. I think it’s so important to find out if blogging is even for you personally. BEFORE you invest your time, money and energy. If you don’t have a passion for it, it’ll end up being just another JOB that you’ll hate.

I’ll leave you with one of our favorite life verses – Matthew 16:26

What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?

So as we see it, you can bust your butt, have a bajillion followers and make millions, but would it have been all worth it – if you forfeit JOY for STRESS and FAMILY for MONEY?

So what’s next for us? We’re taking the scenic route to blogging. Even if we never “arrive” and become super A List bloggers, our hope is at the very least we would have enjoyed the journey and helped others along the way.

We are definitely not knocking those who’ve had immense success in the blogosphere. There are the rare few who may be able to balance all the priorities of life and run a successful blog simultaneously. Hats off to you ladies.

Our best to all those out there who are certain of their blogging destiny.  For those who are about to blog, we salute you! Thanks for taking the time to read our Haven 2016 Recap.


We hope to see you all again next year at Haven 2017!!!

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

You Had us at Hello Again


Hello Hello! Welcome to the Design Retake blog! We’re so thrilled and overjoyed to have you here with us. We hope that you will stick around as we share and blog our way through this crazy life.

I am Amy.  My friend Tina and I became business partners after we both left our full time jobs to become stay at home moms. It really started out as a hobby for us to continue to use our professional skills. I was a graphic designer and Tina was an office manager at a large law firm. Our original idea was to create an Etsy shop that sold invitations, holiday cards and stationery that you could print at home. Fast forward 8 years… God has allowed us to build a successful business beyond our wildest expectations while spending time at home with our families. We are ever so grateful for each and every day that He allows us to continue.

DESIGN LOTUS is the stationery company we started together in 2007. Amy is the creative side of the business and Tina runs the operations side. You can see our products here on  Over time, our love of creativity seemed to logically spill over into home design.

DESIGN RETAKE is our lifestyle blog where we will share the in and outs of our lives and passions.

HOME TOUR  – You’ll find rooms that are finished, as well as rooms that are “in progress”. I will share ideas as well as future hopes for each room.

DIY PROJECTS – Here you will find links to DIY projects. They will be mostly home projects since I am not crafty at all…

SHOP MY STYLE  – Here you will find current products that have caught my eye for both home and closet.

LIFE AND FAITH – Here  I will be joined by Tina in sharing about our families, lessons learned and how God is working in our lives. Perhaps we can impart wisdom.  But mostly we hope that you’ll learn from our mistakes…

BLOGGING – We are learning as we go. I started my first blog in 2009 and you’d think I’d know what I was doing by now, right? Not so much… There’s so much to learn and know and we are really just beginners here. So we hope to share our experiences and mistakes, because there will be plenty to share. 😉 Our goal is to make blogging a fun and bonding experience for both Tina and I.

We encourage your questions, feedback and thoughts. We hope to create an encouraging and positive space to share our experiences.

Send us an email or leave a comment on the blog. You can find us on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter too. We’re ready to connect with you!

Don’t miss a post!! Sign up for the mailing list.


Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

1,000 to 10,001 Pinterest followers!

10K Pinterest Followers

I’m celebrating because we surpass our goal of 7,000 followers by the end of March!! Back in January this year, I had 1,000 followers – not too shabby for what little to no effort I put into it. With the goal of building my brand and blog up this year, I decided to invest some time and effort into my Pinterest account. I was even more so determined, after I attending an awesome Pinterest seminar at Alt Summit  – a creative blogger conference in Salt Lake City. When I got home, first thing I did was research everything Pinterest. I even created a flipboard magazine dedicated to Pinterest. You can check it out here.

HOW DID I DO IT??? I won’t lie to you. Just like many other things in life. Building a following takes time and effort. There’s no sure-fire formula. But here is what worked for me…

More after the jump…


Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Pin Happy : Pinners to Follow

I’m starting a new series called Pin Happy!! Today I wanted to share with you 3 of my favorite undiscovered pinners! I say undiscovered because they each have under 1000 followers, but I’m sure not for long… I love finding new pinners to follow with a fresh perspective. Don’t you??

Ashley Clark – I don’t know much about Ashley besides the fact that she’s got fabulous taste and her pinterest boards are killer!! Karly Depew is owner and designer of Oscar & Emma, a custom stationery design studio in Columbus, Ohio. I know Karly through the minted community. She has flawless taste and is one of my design heros – with her warm modern refined style.
Find more on Karly on her blog –

Lana Kenney is a lifestyle blogger, designer and photographer from Cape Town, South Africa. I want to repin just about everything on her boards… Find more on Lana on her blog – I hope you find these pinners as addictive as I do. Please feel free to share with me your stash of favorite pinners and pin boards. Check back soon for Pinterest tips and tricks! And don’t forget to check out my boards and follow me on Pinterest!!

Monday, October 8th, 2012

Blogging My Way


Time for me to get my blog off the ground again… I’m taking a How -To-Blog class called Blogging Your Way- Bootcamp by Holly Becker of  I took the e-course last year, but I just didn’t have the time to get it my full attention. What I did learn last time, told me this new course would be well worth my time and effort. I don’t know if I’m truly cut out to be a blogger yet, but I definitely am interested in exploring my options.

I’ve been inspired by so many blogs over the years. I’ve learned how to do so many things through DIY posts. Best of all it helped me overcome my fears about doing something new for the first time. These people are people just like me, not someone on TV with crews, director and handymen. I love the idea of being able to help and inspire people you don’t even know.

We moved in to our “forever” home this past January. I’m hoping to share our journey from house to home on a new blog. I’ve already started on some projects including my office. We are roughing in our basement this winter. We plan on selecting and installing all the finishings on our own – from flooring to custom wardrobes. I think I may need to put together a pinterest board of all the DIY projects I want to attempt. There as so many!

I’ve already learning so much from BYWB and it’s only week one! Keeping up with the homework is a bit tough, but as Holly put it so eloquently, “This is BOOT CAMP not a day spa. :)