#allthethings vs #essentials + healthy homes

I don’t know about you but I am distracted and often overwhelmed by #allthethings in our world today.  I know as a believer I should be focused on Christ and my faith and His will but there is a lot of noise out there y’all…a lotta noise. And I am interested in a lot of different subjects and topics and there is so much to learn about and see and explore.  Sometimes it is too much.  I am too much.  I have to dial it back and stop the chaos of my mind and ideas.  At middle age I am finally figuring this out about myself.  My inquisitiveness and passion for life and homes and colors and fabric and people and possibility is wonderful but it can also be a stumbling block to peace and calm and completing tasks and finding true purpose and frankly stability.  Bottom line, there are a lot of choices and opinions and philosophies in the world and when you are have been through a hard season, a life changing season such as a divorce or flood, it can be hard to get your sea legs back planted on firm ground. In fact, it can be like learning to walk all over again. Complete with some stumbles and falls. So in 2018 I am hoping to be intentional about getting back to some fundamental basics.  THE ESSENTIALS. 

{Above, some of the things Henry Mathis deems “ESSENTIAL” with the bottom big one being LOVE, sometimes the greatest theologian and therapist in your life is one of your children! Oh and he says that is FAIRNESS not FEARNESS because y’all, PERFECT LOVE CAST OUT ALL FEAR. Some dear friends also reminded me this fall that LOVE covers a lot of shortcomings too…..LOVE IS the most essential of the ESSENTIAL duh right}

This is the one thing God has been showing me, whispering to me in MANY areas of my life,  the word ESSENTIAL.  What is essential in my faith, in my view of God and Christ? What is essential in my health and nutrition?  What is essential in my work and the way I use my talents and go about my day and business? What is essential in the way I raise and love and teach my boys? What is essential in our home and in our budget? in our pantry,? closets? and on and on.  I know this in on trend in society in general..this idea of simplifying and ‘less is more’ is not new but it just continues to resonate more and more in our culture and with me personally.  This year this notion of ESSENTIALS has bubbled up in my life this year more than ever so I am writing it out here so I can try to hold myself accountable to this idea along with these other themes:








Ironically (my friend Kelly Evans would call this “punny”) this idea of ‘ESSENTIALS in 2018’ started after I began using my Young Living Essential oils again in the fall.  I was (and am) at such a desperate place regarding our health and sleep and rest and nutrition I reached for the oils that I dabbled (another punny) in a few years before but never stuck too long term, out of a need to find some healing and calm and rest for our family. But this word had already been planted in my my heart and mind earlier in the year (and before) as I wrestled with some faith issues and changing denominations.  “Things” aka “doctrine” that were once so huge to me in earlier years no longer seemed “essential” after such a stormy season of pain and change in our life. Big things no longer seemed so big…some little things now seemed huge. Things have a way of shifting as seasons in your life progress.  So this concept of essentials began to take hold in areas of faith I was struggling with and finally moved (are moving I pray please Lord) through me to how I view our nutrition and health and other areas that have been difficult for our family including juggling being self-employed.  Before things like sleep and moods and meals seemed so overwhelming that I didn’t know where to start.  But then I honed in on some essential areas I can make changes (and literally this is happening now y’all so its a work in progress, a vunerable work in progress) hopefully, I am believing they are are getting easier and seem more doable.

{Immunity support, breathing support, pain support, digestion support, sleep support, mood support,  hormone support #allthesupport      …My family and home need #allthesupport the oils and natural things God put on earth have to offer us..we NEED IT Lord rain it down! These are ESSENTIALS}

It started when my friend Lynsey  (shown in photo above, y’all know her as #fivechicksandafarmer on Instagram) gently asked in the fall if I was “using my oils”…she is always faithful to pray and not to try and ‘fix me,’ just love and support.  But I took her comment to heart and that started some baby steps in the right direction hopefully.

I am trying to embrace this ESSENTIAL CONCEPT in all areas:  how I work with clients and charge (new fee page up any day), how I plan my day and our meals, how I finally take action and order supplements and vitamins and approach our health, how I grocery shop, how I clean and “doctor” my family at home, on and on. I am even thinking about DESIGN ESSENTIALS to share here on the blog and with clients.  Basically, many clients hire designers because that is what they want: the essentials recommended for what looks best in or for their space.  There are too many choices and while everyone has very unique likes and dislikes, I plan to share some of my fave and most essential items for design and homemaking in 2018.  And I want to know about your essentials. Whether its food, or skincare, books, paint colors, matters of faith…I want to hear about it all.

I am forming a HOLLY MATHIS ESSENTIALS Facebook page that will be primarily for health and wellness issues and use of essential oils and BUT I will also be sharing some design essentials there as well I am sure.  My initial plan was to have 3-4 groups for different types of essentials: lifestyle, design, health, etc but my dear friends reminded me that might be a bit much to start the year. So  I am doing the “oxygen mask on mom first” thing and starting with health and oils and nutrition.  (and exercise) YES, I agree fabric and sofas are much more fun but if we are sick or not alive we can’t enjoy the beauty of our homes can we? Yikes I sound crazy I know, at least to myself!  But I have always said, home and the beauty we create there is just a backdrop for the real beauty-our lives and stories we live out in those spaces. It’s not about the house, its about us and our people and GOD and the STORY HE is weaving with our lives and families and how we relate to one another and him and his larger story. So keeping those places and our own bodies free of toxins and sickness and anything that is making our life less than it should be needs to be addressed first?? So I am starting with the oils and nutrition Facebook group and hope to add more groups as the year progresses. And I just added this fun page below!

Ginger Jar / Window Blinds (use code: HMDES1GN to save 5%) / My Favorite Wall Sconce 
One Man’s Folly forward by Julia Reed / Young Living Essential Oils / My Favorite SofaBeautiful by Mark Sykes
A Place to Call Home by James FarmerPineapple Bookends / Nautical Blue Striped Napkins

 I will still be sharing about favorite items for the home of course. Sconce and sofa available via True Blue Home}

But there is am ESSENTIAL OILS group on Facebook and the NEW FEE PAGE for DESIGN CONSULtATIONS that will both be up soon.  And FYI I will likely have a separate HM essentials page and/or oils page so this blog page can remain primarily design. I am praying and watching to see how that unfolds.  I love design and creating homes, that is not going to stop, I just want to get myself and my people in a healthier place so I can do that even better for my clients and readers.  I am just sharing my journey to a HEALTHY HOME with you because this is part of the story and journey we all live out at home…breaking bread, navigating health, moods, illness,  its all as much if not part of a home as the sofa.  But there will still be SOFA TALK have no fear!

And if you want to try Young Living Essential Oils and have questions about their products and supplements etc you can email with questions, or click on this link or website to sign up or order through me but do not feel obligated.  I know many of you, or most of you, already have OILS just like I did..you just need to use them or whatever tools you have that maybe haven’t been utilized.  We all have a different journey, if I have learned anything, it is that fact!



SO much to be grateful for… before I move on to sharing more about the Holiday class (which was amazing and I plan to share sources), and various shop/buy local opportunities, discount codes etc,  I just want to post first about gratefulness.


This has been a hard year for many in the Houston area and frankly the entire country and around the world.  It seems like the world is just going crazy.  My babies called me last night from their grandparents’ home to tell me a criminal was on the loose and an officer had been shot. (He was captured but not before he fatally shoot a Texas DPS officer, please pray for that family, so awful) The way my boys talked, being “brave” almost like it was just normal stuff made me so sad.  My heart broke not just for the downed officer and his family but also for my boys who are growing up in this new “normalcy” of violence and daily tragedy in this country.  I know this isn’t a political blog and you don’t come here for social commentary.  But its been rough.  Home, family and safety feel more precious to us than ever. I could go on and on about Hurricane victims and dusty empty homes where there was no turkey and no football this thanksgiving…just shells of former homes.  But rebuilding is going on and people are huddled together.  And I am BEHOLDEN to those stories, our Maker, our HOMES and good friends.  

Erin and Ben Napier say gratefulness and being Beholden is their secret sauce.  And I think they are on to something…it can be everyone’s secret sauce.  No matter the circumstance just like 1 These says! It’s not always easy or fun but it is good and right and God sees it.  Our little people see it.  And others feel it.

I am grateful to be a part of Ben & Erin’s BEHOLDEN issue of Good Grit Magazine….Good Grit has an awesome mission to celebrate all of the good and positive things of the New South..the makers and people and places that make up this special region. Thank you FrenchBlue Photography for taking images of my new home and Buff Strickland for sharing images from the homes of the O’Donnells and Bethel families.  

Photos in article, above: portion of photo of Bethel home in Houston, me shown in our new living room with same old toile pillows! 

FrenchBlue photography shots of our new kitchen and front door!

I will blog again soon about which specific images are which home and what one particular living room looked like during and after the flood…  If I can get to the place where I can stomach to post those images.  The homeowner has given me permission and FrenchBlue took some eerily beautiful photos. For now, know this. I am grateful for you my readers and clients.  For colleagues and work opportunities and patience and kindness from each of you as I have navigated my new normal.  In some ways the 3rd year of divorce has been the worse..still trying to get sea legs for sure.  

God is faithful.  and I am BEHOLDEN.

Now let’s prepare our hearts for advent and the birth of King!

Note: There is still so much need in Houston as the holidays approach, click here to be a part of Becki Griffin‘s Gift Card movement to get immediate help in the hands of families with needs!  There are so many ways to give but this is one way she has found that truly works.

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