a thousand thanks | marrakech on my mind

it’s been a week, and still, Marrakech is on my mind and the straight up magic of it all. like. . .

the endless twists and turns inside the souks. . .the stray cats. . .and the barrage of bold colors and noise refusing to be ignored.


the finesse of a good haggle + my celebratory squeals from the steals of deals i brokered! {it also sadly and forever rendered any sale i ever get here at home now lukewarm and flat.}


the square filled with spices + incense + oils + soap + dyes – a symphony of seduction to the senses. and every single thing that came home with me carries the vibrancy of this magical city.


the textiles + blankets + rugs + lanterns + baskets. and my mind + heart swamped, trying to decide what dangling treasures and evocative gems to squeeze into my suitcase.


afternoon meanderings through the pink-ish maze of the medina, possibly lost and hypnotized by the beauty while always (luckily!) hopping out of a zooming motorbike’s path just in time.


the ritual of prayer 5 times a day – a call echoing from towering speakers, quickly becoming an invitation to reconnect + recommit to gratitude. {although, truthfully, i never warmed to the 5:30-ish a.m. call. . .}.

HOT mint tea poured magnificently into beautifully etched glasses alongside sweet, savory treats.

jardin majorelle + yves st. laurent + all that blue. and i am only half-joking when i say it may be the tipping point to my own blue period. because my mind is whirring with ideas about saturating my walls, draping fabric, throwing down rugs to pop my world with cobalt.




our visit to the hamman and being led through a series of rooms, rituals, and relaxation. i was rubbed down with black soap, steamed, scrubbed thoroughly, covered in clay, and doused with water – followed up with the pampering of a fluffy robe, an enchanting room, and a cup of mint tea. ummm, yes, we could all get used to this.

and the doors. ALL THE DOORS. visual poetry and puh-lenty of inspo.


and then. . .

to be there among the sisterhood + soulful synergy of high priestesses. where we began each day with gala darling and guided meditations + cavernous soul journaling. . . and bid the day farewell with veronica varlow and her ancestral stories + candlelit rituals + personal revivals. . .


and to teach shui in a gorgeous riad where water was flowing, candles adorned the room, rose petals floated, and birdsong was swirling among a radiant femme squad. truly, this is a feeling i will savor forever. . .


and finally. . .

on our way home, an overnight stay in Madrid.

and chocolate and churros – need i say more?

walking the city late into the evening, people everywhere and the energy so becoming of us all.

honestly, i feel so luck struck. and with every trip i make, i think of shui. because it is how i aligned my wanderlust and reality. it is when these juicy, dripping-down-my-chin travels truly began. and it is why, should you ever wonder what shui will do for you, i will tell you it has the moxie + muscle to trigger capacious opportunities and sprinkle them all along your way. making your story the real love affair of your life.






simple shui | a thousand thanks + happy new year!

hello + happy new year, sparkle rockets!

pardon the late post, but my celebration was interrupted with a strep-gone-rogue infection. thankfully, i am finally feeling closer to whole.

and now that sick isn’t hanging thick in the air, how about a quick catch up + a round of a thousand thanks?

i am grateful for the voltage + alchemy of the lovelies’ creative world – movie-making is their heartbeat, and it’s held them captive for almost 10 years. when Golden Globes nominated Houda Benyamina was asked recently why she became a film director, she answered “to speak up, to speak out loud. i thought i wanted to be an actress at first but no character had enough energy.” and this mama glowed, thinking these two, my two are kind of a big deal. (this is a casting shot from their latest movie.)

i am grateful for music, especially bishop briggs + maren morris + holly williams who careened around the house, keeping me company these last few weeks.

i am grateful for the mutual JOY unleashing over my simple shui road tour. what began as a simple meet-up in 5 cities is surging into 1:1 consults, too – every request + opportunity feels like a LOVE match, and i am wildly excited to show others how to fly by the force of shui. i will be shimmying into spring!

i am grateful for sunrises + full moons + fresh flowers – the colors always seduce me and remind me just how lucky i am to be alive.

i am grateful for the muses that danced in my head while i was sick in bed. because this february, i am launching my first ever facebook live series called 50 shades of shui. i know, i know – but the sound of it rolls off my tongue so easily, i can’t help myself. more importantly, i’ll be talking about the 5 elements and how to use them in your home to play up certain energies. each element gets 2 days + 10 tips – so, there will be plenty of ideas to drink in + breathe into your house!

i am grateful to be featured in gala darling’s 2017 radical self love almanac. it’s plush full with rituals + inspo + guidance for the year ahead, and i’ve shared 10 ways to set up your bedroom for more LOVE + abundance + JOY. the high priestesses i am alongside bring their best, so don’t miss out!

and, i am grateful for a looming birthday. i’ll be 42 this weekend, and i barely have words. however, methinks i’m in good company with my word for the year: POWERHOUSE. which is about showing up like i belong wherever i am. taking up my space fully + intentionally. empowering people through their own living spaces + houses. releasing the exhaustion from second guessing myself. and tossing the paper weight of generic that insists i hide my powers + squelch my voice. in a nutshell, it’s about getting along famously with this insane courage to truly be me.

while the year ahead has a very unpredictable vibe to it, here is what i know: we are in this wilderness together and we can make the impossible present if we are unwavering with our attention + LOVE. so, hiya 2017 and here’s to steady gratitude, bright torches, and bold acts of LOVE. you in?

happy new year, loves!



simple shui | a thousand thanks + #tbt

i came across this photo of me the other day – my first headshot.


i didn’t really need the head shot for anything yet. it was me thinking my ducks needed to be in a row, you know, just in case. i had wildly BIG ideas of what i was doing and how i was going to become part of the thought-leader generation. what you don’t see in that smile is the consuming self-doubt and case-gone-bad of imposter syndrome. i carried it all around with me, hoping + praying i wasn’t too far out of my own jurisdiction as i blogged and networked and had wildly BIG ideas.

this morning, i opened an email from a client who hired me for a second consult. as i read through her objectives, i made notes – suggestions + tips + ideas, all of it a comfortable sixth sense to me. but when this photo was taken, i hadn’t weaned myself off notes + books. i hadn’t even officially been certified. i could have rocked more confidence – i have plenty of other degrees to back me up, but nothing made me feel ‘good enough’ to call myself a shui consultant.

so, what’s the point here?

amanda headshot

well, for me, it’s so easy to get caught up in the transaction of right now. i know, present moment is all we have and too much future-tripping is a guaranteed anxiety attack. but sometimes, you gotta take kamikaze leaps and careen into bold choices that would have your future self giving you high fives + fist bumps.

because the truth is, i am still not where i hope to be, but oh moses! i’ve created + curated some of the best experiences of my life with this journey.

i had no idea that i’d be published + shared like crazy on MindBodyGreen. . .

or that i’d be invited into the Dallas Design District as a shui expert + presenter.

no clue that ABC Carpet & Home would follow me + reach out to me. . .

or that i’d write + publish my own workbooks.

wouldn’t have guessed i’d find myself in the glorious company of gala darling and teaching her audience a shui curriculum written by yours truly. . .

or that i’d constantly feel inspired by and make friends with some of the most intelligent + merciful women and men on the planet – my clients and collaborative partners — who are creatively genius as directors, writers, designers, photographers, media consultants, and corporate superstars.

it would have felt surreal to know i’d be interviewed for magazines and symposiums. . .

or co-create + teach courses with one of the most delicious people ever.

the very idea that simple shui would be read around the world. . .

and eventually become a brand + lifestyle instead of a blog name.

if i had known, i wouldn’t have pumped the brakes as often – haha!

i still get asked how much money i make, if i am doing well for myself, who exactly my clientele is. as if these are the only real measurements of success. and i suppose i understand the curiosity behind it, because money certainly makes more things possible. but…

the landmarks + stops i’ve had along the way?

the memories i unleash and relish in quiet moments?

the rare privilege of working from home while building an empire?

the mistakes i’ve made and bumps + bruises i’ve endured?

the interactions + magic + juicy lessons that have cross-fertilized over the last 10 years, making shui a sixth sense?

those are my everything.

my internal drumbeat is to keep moving and figuring out what’s next, but when i saw this photo? i have all the feels for her and i’m a thousand shades of proud. for not giving up, refusing to give in, and despite the temptation so many times along the way, i am madly in love with her for not quitting on us.

for anyone just getting started or looking around and wondering if what you’re doing is ‘worth’ it – let it go. don’t try and control what’s going to happen – because that’s how the fun starts. and waiting for you on the other side is the bounty and magic and thrill worthy of the best celebration!


simple shui | a thousand thanks

celebration matters.

more than we think.

a few opportunities slipped by me last year because i was all hustle, no party.

it’s not that i was too busy.

more like, i didn’t really acknowledge or appreciate my slam dunks. instead of relishing the progress and taking a bow, i moved onto whatever was next.


it’s hard to ignore the connection once you pick up on the pattern.

so this year, it’s about popping champagne. falling in love instantly with the wins. and celebrating it all.

in that spirit, here are a few lovely spoonfuls that are high five, fist bump, a thousand thanks worthy. . .

i’ve mentioned sarah before – she’s a deep, beautiful, contagiously energetic soul and i pinch myself we are friends. the story goes like this: one summer i am poolside reading her book, and next thing i know – through the graceful weaving of serendipity – she’s a guest teacher in a course I’m taking. and from there, fast friends. so, when she asked me to answer some Qs for her BORN TO FREAK profile, i was both flattered and intimidated. sarah’s tribe has some serious swagger, but i want to hang with those moonbeams + sunshine makers. so, i said YES and here’s what happened. . .

this is 40 (4)


i’ve been in the juicy rich company of clementine daily for almost 2 years now. and you know what? every time my articles are published, i feel good. like, pure light gushing good. this tribe of she-phenoms lights me up, and to run alongside them + share shui lets joy loose in my world. if you missed our last collab, somersault over and have a quick read. . .



and coming in april, me-myself-and-i will be teaching a course on practical feng shui to designers. ohmygoodness! what excites me most? shui is so often crazy misunderstood, and i have this opportunity to influence its composition. shui is simple + thoughtful + completely practical, so i am outstretched and grateful to be part of the conversation.



most of all, thank YOU. i often end my days straight up happy because of a note or delightful comment you’ve sent me. i fold myself in those words, love on top of love. this community is how i’ve emerged — your encouragement + enthusiasm has tended my journey well. so, a thousand thanks and many more for your mighty bundles of LOVE.


a thousand thanks | looking for possibility

how often do you let yourself see possibilities?

i think we are wired to notice problems, and that exertion rarely leads to any exaltation.

as we inch closer to that crazy haze of a new year, join me in looking for the delights. those tiny reflections in any given day that tell a better story. get fresh with feeling good. learn to say “hello, LOVE. here i am. what possibilities await?” because when we look for something better without the contamination of what’s going wrong, we usually find it.

and when you know nowhere else to begin, gratitude. always gratitude.

i am grateful for candles + flowers. especially after watching this video. a narrative far more reflective of our global tribe — good humans, honest intentions, and a mighty resilience. {thank you for sharing, karen!}


and i am grateful for this father, whose response to losing his wife in paris, is stunning + brave. even in the face of such ambiguity, he gets it. grace is power — the only real power we wield.

i am grateful for the enchantment of every day. nights like this, crammed into a closet with my party of five while tornado sirens scream, become poetic. because anytime we recline in each other’s company, there is a lightness of being.


i am grateful for ruby. our carpool comrade, always enchanting the lovelies after school with her wagging tail + excessive kisses.


i am grateful for these silly distractions on facebook — with a cloud composed of words like LOVE, SHUI, and XO, i’ve decided too much of a good thing can be wonderful!


for the invitation this week to workshop with one of my favorite authors ever. he said, ” you. me.” and, i squeeed, “oui!!!” {to my point that looking for possibilities orchestrates crazy magic…}

i am grateful to live among a gratitude of birds.


and i am grateful for the poignant colors of fall. . .finally.


mostly, i am grateful for you. this communion is everything to me. your presence nourishes me — and from there, ideas + inspiration bloom. so, thank you. because from that feeling, the channels stay open and i find plenty of possibilities. xo