10 Tips For Working From Home

Prada Marfa painting

Prada Marfa painting by Lauren Murphy (similar options here) | Z Gallerie bar cart and accessories | Z Gallerie floor lamp | Macy’s couch | Etsy pillow | Z Gallerie accent table | Z Gallerie coffee table

Target pink headboard

Pottery Barn Baby curtains (similar) | Joss & Main mirror | Etsy “Sweet Dreams” garland | Target headboard | Bed, Bath & Beyond bedding | Z Gallerie lamps | Lamps Plus nightstands

How to style a silver bar cart

Paper Source flamingo straws (similar) | Z Gallerie Eiffel Tower wine glasses (similar) | Swoozie’s “Drink, Please!” bell | Swoozie’s polkadot shot glasses (similar) | Z Gallerie cocktail shaker | Lilly Pulitzer for Target hand towel | Z Gallerie bar cart | Crate and Barrel “Olivia Pope” wine glasses | Swoozie’s cocktail napkins

Z Gallerie Eiffel Tower wine glasses

Z Gallerie Eiffel Tower glasses (similar) | Anthropologie decanter (similar) | Z Gallerie martini glasses | Z Gallerie champagne flutes | Z Gallerie cocktail shaker | Swoozie’s polkadot shot glasses (similar) | Swoozie’s “Drink, Please!” bell | Z Gallerie coasters | Swoozie’s “Fancy A Glass” sign | Lilly Pulitzer for Target hand towel | Z Gallerie bar cart

Be happy be bright be you sign

Ankit “Be Happy, Be Bright, Be You” sign | Anthropologie matches | Target picture frame | Laduree Macarons by Vincent Lemains

How to style a book case

Z Gallerie picture frames | The Little Dictionary of Fashion by Christian Dior | Cupcakes and Cashmere by Emily Schuman | #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso | The Skinny Confidential by Lauryn Evarts | Anthropologie Eiffel Tower ring holder | Love by B.C. Aronson | Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham | The Glitter Plan by Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor | The Woman I Wanted To Be by DVF | Grace by Grace Coddington | Z Gallerie orange candle | Voluspa red candle | #FrontRoe by Louise Roe | Paris by Janelle McCulloch | Chanel by Danielle Bott

Lollia candle

Blue Eye Brown Eye calligraphy | Lollia candle

You Are A Bad Ass Jen Sincero

You Are A Badass (best book ever!) by Jen Sincero | Me Before You by Jojo Moves | After You by Jojo Moves | First Comes Love by Emily Giffin

Angie Garcia Photography

I need to confess something first—I’ve only been working from home for a short time and the first month was kind of a disaster. I have always craved a strict schedule. I thrive on structure, so I did well in environments like college and the corporate workplace. Then I started working for myself all by myself all day long and things got weird. Every single minute of my day used to be properly scheduled and now I COULD DO WHATEVER I WANTED ALL DAY! OMG THE FREEDOM! Well that endless freedom + frequent travels + moving halfway across the country + a buttload of other excuses = I wasn’t doing my best to ignite the dream I had worked so hard for.

Gulp.

I clearly knew it was time to kick my ass into gear. I started Googling, reading books and asking smart entrepreneurs around me and found so many great tips that helped me with this new chapter of my life. Here’s what I learned and put into practice:

  • NEEEEEVER work from the comfort of your bed. DON’T DO IT. I MEAN IT. All this leads to is napping and Netflix binging. Sit at a proper desk. Or get out of your apartment and make a quiet coffee shop your office. The quirky barista is your new co-worker. Go with it.
  • Make a schedule and stick with it. Every Sunday night, I divide up my week and decide exactly what I’m doing and when. Obviously, I pivot throughout the week when things come up but I wake up every morning and generally know what the day ahead of me is going to look like. Make Google Calendar your BFF.
  • Turn off your phone. AH this one is verrrrrry hard for me. I mean what if during the one hour period that my phone is off so I can bang out a blog post, someone dies or I miss a really cute Instagram with donuts and disco balls? Brooke, turn the damn thing off and get your shit done.
  • Get out of your jammies first thing in the morning and put on some real clothes. “Working” in the same clothes you slept in isn’t going to fly. No one ever conquered the world in cutesy unicorn pajamas from Forever21. Remember that.
  • Never leave to tomorrow what you can do today. A few months ago, I was shooting for the blog (it probably involved a picnic because I freaken love doing picnics on Brooke du jour). Anyways the champagne spilled in my car on the way home. I should have hightailed it to the carwash but I was going out of town the next day and decided to just drive home and pack instead. I mean, there are worse smells than champagne right? WRONG. I came back a week later to a car that smelled like moldy champagne and an extra expensive carwash bill shortly followed. Yay my life. Lesson learned- don’t put stuff off today or it will bite you in the butt tomorrow.
  • Try to limit your work hours to 9 am to 6 pm. Okay this is admittedly the one tip I struggle with the most. As young entrepreneurs desperate to thrive in our businesses, it’s so tempting to want to work at all hours of the day. I think there are definitely days that call for that but overall for me, I know I’m not doing my best work if I’m writing a blog post at 11 pm. I’m basically catatonic after 8 pm- it’s ridiculous. I try to solely focus on my work from 9 am to 6 pm and schedule fun stuff outside those hours. I’ve found I’m more productive during the day if I know I get to treat myself to a manicure with a friend once I’ve clocked out for the day. This is your business- treat it like one.
  • Dance it the F out. When I’m stuck on an idea and have no clue what to write about for my next blog post or I’m simply going nuts in my teeny workspace, I dance it out in my underwear (no shirt and shoes allowed for real). Preferably to something amazing like, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “I Wanna Dance with Somebody,” or “Hips Don’t Lie.” It helps me get my groove back—see what I did there? Rock. It. Out.
  • Develop habits that get you into a working mindset- fast. When I put on my pink slippers (this is an addendum to the earlier rule—it’s okay to wear slippers if the rest of you is dressed), light a Candlefish candle and put on my favorite Spotify playlist, my body knows it’s time to get work done. You gotta set the mood, you know?
  • Write everything down. This tip applies to all creative entrepreneurs in my opinion. At my old age of 25, I forget EVERYTHING if it isn’t written in my planner or on my hand. It’s blasphemy. Just the other day, I was driving home and the best idea for a blog post just came to me. I was so pumped about it and I felt like y’all would really love it. What I should have done is pull over and jot a few notes into my phone. Instead I had my own karaoke session to John Legend on KIIS-FM. Of course as soon as I pulled into my driveway, the idea was gone. POOF. VANISHED. Ugh that could have been the best blog post I ever wrote but nope I didn’t write it down.
  • Set concrete goals, keep track of those milestones and celebrate with your support team! Pop that bubbly- you earned it.

Like I said in the beginning of this post, I haven’t been working from home for very long and I’m learning as I go. Do you have any tips? Leave ‘em in the comments!

PS- These were the last photos ever taken at my Dallas apartment! I’m so sad because I really loved this apartment. It was a shithole but it was my shithole, you know? I was so proud of myself for living on my own for the first time and creating a happy place I loved coming home to after work. I have been decorating my place in LA and it has been a processsssssss. I thought I wanted all-white everything but when I was almost done, I realized I hated it. It reminded me of a cold mental institution, which is obviously not the vibe I was going for. I decided to go back to my roots and just cover the whole thing in pink like my heart truly desired. I can’t wait to share in a blog post soon! <3

25

Most instagrammable walls in Los Angeles

Free People Gemma's limited edition holiday dress rose

Betsy Newman Photography Los Angeles

Steve Madden Carrson strappy sandal pink

Free People backless dress with embellishment

Saint Laurent monogram matelasse shoulder bag nude

Free People Gemma's limited edition holiday dress rose

Los Angeles fashion blogger Brooke du jour

NARS black nail polish

Free People embellished blush dress

Steve Madden blush velvet heels

YSL nude crossbody

Free People blush velvet dress with florals

Los Angeles fashion bloggers to follow

Free People Gemma's limited edition holiday dress

Steve Madden heels Nordstrom

Made in LA wall Los Angeles

Betsy Newman Photography

Outfit: Free People dress

Accessories: Saint Laurent purse, Steve Madden heels

Jewelry: Vintage hoops (similar), Anne Sisteron love ring (also similar here)

Makeup: Chanel lip gloss in 119 Wild Rose

I turn 25 this Friday. HAHA holy shit. I remember when my friend Kendall and I were 13 and we were talking about our “scary age,” which basically meant the age we thought we were officially old by and needed to have our shit together by (married, kids, stable career, etc). My scary age was 27. HAHA oh 13 year olds are so adorable and naïve. I am getting dangerously close to my “scary age” and am not so sure how many boxes I’m going to have checked off by then. Butttt I have learned a lot in my 25 years that I so wish someone had told me when I was 15 or 18 or 24. If you have a little sister, send this post to them. Or if you’re an adult in training like myself, feel free to reference this from time to time…

  • Do not eat a bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos for dinner. You will feel sick tomorrow morning. Please make a salad. And don’t just eat the yummy bits on top of the salad and ignore the actual lettuce. Eat the whole salad.
  • 95% of what we spend our precious time worrying about is complete crap. Ask yourself, “Will I even remember this happened in 6 months?”
  • Clean up a little bit every day. I used to never pick up anything during the week and was then surprised when it took me 3 hours to clean my apartment on a beautiful, sunny Saturday. The best time to tidy up is when your mother calls you and wants to tell you all about her very exciting trip to the grocery store for 45 minutes. Oh you ran into my first grade teacher in the bread aisle? That’s sooooo interesting!
  • Accept when a life stage (a relationship, a friendship, a job, etc) is over and bow out with grace. When a big relationship ends, that doesn’t mean you failed. What did you learn from this relationship? Was there love there? You were right for each other once but you aren’t anymore. And it’s okay. You’re going to be okay.
  • Stop yelling at your parents so much. Note: This is something I’m still working on. Your parents may drive you batshit crazy but they (hopefully) love you more than anything and just want you to have a good life.
  • When I moved into my first apartment and lived on my own like a big girl, I was so confused why toilet paper and milk weren’t just around all the time. I just didn’t understand- My parents’ house was like a toilet paper factory! There was always toilet paper! Learning how to grocery shop like an adult was big for me. I remember when my boyfriend Michael opened my fridge for the first time. He was so horrified. I don’t think there was anything in the fridge besides a jar of questionable mayo and multiple bottles of White Girl Rosé. My freezer was FULL of frozen food, which equally horrified my boyfriend. Apparently he doesn’t believe Bagel Bites are an acceptable dinner (so tasty though!). I also had like 8 loaves of frozen bread, which he thought was the weirdest thing ever. He made me throw away anything that I couldn’t remember when I bought it and marched my sorry ass to the grocery store. True love.
  • Invest in a great therapist. You will always be with yourself and you need to learn to love yourself—just in case you forgot how to somewhere along the way. I so wish I had found my therapist earlier in my 20s. She’s incredible and has helped me tremendously. I like to think of her as a professional fairy godmother I pay to hang out with me once a week.
  • Be with someone who loves you. Who really knows all of your shit. Who makes spaghetti bolognese for you and plays fetch with your dog. Who blends in and fits in at your family dinner table but still asserts himself and is his own person. Who is really sweet and kind and adorable. You know all that time you wasted obsessing over the size of your nose (too big) and your boobs (too small)? The right person for you won’t care. They will think you’re hot AF.
  • Take care of yourself. Put coconut oil on your hair. Take vitamins. Wear sunscreen everyday. Sign up for a yoga class. Going for a run may seem as fun as your yearly gynecological examination at first but do it anyways. You’ll learn to actually like it. I know this sounds like a million years away but be healthy so you can meet your children’s children.
  • We all move at a crazy warp speed. Take time once a week or whatever time frame works best for you and spend quiet time reflecting on the past week. What lifted you up? What can you do better next week?
  • Treat others how you want to be treated. This is such a big one we all learn when we’re five but it’s so important to remember. Did your friend have a shitty day? Send them flowers or write them a nice note. Let them know they’re loved and appreciated. And please always be nice to waiters and customer service agents. I used to work in customer service and it’s my biggest pet peeve when people are rude to those who serve and help them. If you know an asshole who violates this rule all the time, feel pity for them if you can. They probably aren’t happy people. And don’t try to argue, reason or even engage with them. Crazy people will never give you what you want. Just say to yourself, “I’m too fabulous for your negativity.”
  • Travel anywhere and everywhere. In 10 years when you have kids, you aren’t going anywhere besides a Disney cruise for a loooong time so live it up now and rack up those passport stamps.
  • Learn to forgive. It doesn’t let the shitty people who hurt you off the hook. It’s for you.
  • Sign up for theSkimm. Or watch the news in the morning while you get dressed and ready for the day. Be informed so you don’t accidentally say dumb shit when all of your fancy coworkers are talking about what Trump did last night.
  • Watch every movie Ryan Gosling has ever been in. Because Ryan Gosling is flawless. Also all of Tom Cruise’s movies when he was younger- and before all that weird Scientology stuff. Swoooon.
  • Spend less money on drybar, Sugarfish and gel manicures and build up a savings account. I know. It really sucks.
  • Cultivate a career around things that interest you—even if you don’t know what that ultimately looks like—and it’ll bring you to the right people, experiences, etc. I’m working on Brooke du jour now because it combines so many things I love like fashion, styling, photography and writing. I don’t know exactly what Brooke du jour will look like a year from now but it makes me excited to wake up. If you’re in a job where you don’t want to get out of your car in your office parking lot every morning, you’re in the wrong job.
  • Surround yourself with great people and you will be great. I touched on this in my last post but I really believe how important it is to have friends who support your pursuit of magic and are on a similar journey themselves.

Do you have any pieces of wisdom or advice you wish someone had told you? Let’s talk about them in the comments!

California Love Brunch

California themed party invitations

California themed party

R Love Floral Dallas

Gold letter balloons Etsy

Peter Millar water resistant quilted jacket

California love brunch Brooke du jour

Giant gold letter balloons

Bistro 31 Dallas

DIY colorful succulents

California themed party inspiration

Halogen blush velvet booties Nordstrom

Dallas brunch

Succulent table arrangement

Boho California flower crowns

Anthropologie celestial halter gown

Photography by Stephanie Drenka and Holden Hostetler

Event design and styling by Brooke du jour, Stephanie Drenka, Courtney Bier & Mary Liz Tuttle

Venue: Bistro 31 | Invitations: Mooseberry Paper Co. | Cali balloons: Lovely Party Studio | Flower crowns: R Love Floral | Succulent arrangement: Brooke du jour and Mary Liz Tuttle | Place cards and thank you tags: Carrie and Seash | Party favors: Compartes | California drink stirrers: Jenna and Jules Designs

My outfit: Anthropologie dress, Joie jacket, Vintage scarf, Halogen booties, An Old Soul jewelry

Find your tribe, love them hard.

This post is basically a huge giant thank you to my Dallas family for throwing the most beautiful brunch to send me off to California! So many people and so much love went into making this incredible day but there are several big thank yous in order. When I told my best friends/work wives/soul sisters Stephanie and Courtney that I was planning to move to LA at the end of the year, they right away offered to throw me a going away brunch. Of course they knew it couldn’t be just any other brunch. It had to be a Brooke du jour brunch. The planning process ensued and they acted like they weren’t annoyed when I sent them Excel spreadsheets full of ridiculous ideas about California-shaped pink drink stirrers in the middle of a perfectly good night’s sleep. I memorized Stephanie’s address from the amount of boxes I had shipped to her house for the party. I woke up the morning of my “California Love” brunch and it was 19 degrees in Dallas. Only in Dallas can it go from like 70 degrees one day to 19 degrees the next day. I was in the middle of a complete panic wondering how we could change the theme at the literal last minute to “Frozen” when I arrived at the venue and saw that Courtney, Stephanie and Stephanie’s husband Holden had already taken care of everything and it was perfect. Heaters were placed on the patio, Courtney was straddling a bench to set up the Cali balloons, Stephanie was taking test shots. Everything was perfect. Find your tribe, love them hard.

I also need to majorly thank my succulent arrangement master and partner in crime, Mary Liz. When she moved back to Dallas over the summer, I threw her a fabulous pineapple-themed welcome home party. As soon as Mary Liz heard I was having this brunch, she immediately offered to help out, which is exactly who she is. Mary Liz has helped and shaped my life in so many ways since we were roommates our freshman year of college. She has incredibly thoughtful and wonderful parents so I’m sure that’s where she gets it from. Anyways I told Mary Liz I wanted a colorful succulent arrangement as the centerpiece for this brunch and showed her some inspiration on Pinterest and she just totally went for it with her creative, crafty mind. A friend who will spend her entire Saturday separating teeny tiny pink rocks from a giant mixed bag of pink and purple rocks to keep with your brunch’s color scheme is a true friend. Find your tribe, love them hard.

I also of course need to thank my boyfriend, Michael. This was not his first Brooke du jour brunch. The man knows how to prep a party favor like a seasoned event pro by now, lol! I decided fairly early into our relationship that I was moving to LA. If we’re being totally honest here, if the situation had been reversed and Michael had told me he was going to move across the country to follow his dreams, I probably would have told him to F off. But Michael has been so incredibly supportive and calm and steady about my move and my blog and it makes me love him and value him so much. I know a long-distance relationship is not exactly ideal. When we told our friends our plans, some of them had this concerned expression on their faces like, “Oh shit. They have no idea what they are getting themselves into.” We didn’t know what we were initially going to do but the turning point for me was Michael’s birthday dinner at the end of October. I asked him what he wanted to accomplish this year and he started listing all these things like get into grad school, travel to Europe, etc. and I suddenly felt this massive realization that I didn’t want him to do any of these things without me. So here we are. Find your tribe, love them hard.

Two days after this brunch, I landed at LAX. I had done a really great job of holding everything together until the flight attendant said, “Welcome to LAX!” and I just burst into tears. I couldn’t stop crying all throughout the plane taxiing and while I waited at baggage claim for the insane amount of luggage I brought. I’m sure the other travelers thought I was having some kind of mental breakdown or something. I think all of that was because I had experienced so much support, connection and fierce love in Dallas – especially my last few weeks there—and I’m just hoping and praying to be lucky enough to find a similar feeling in LA. Of course I have my family’s love, which I am so grateful for, but there’s something different about meeting friends who become your family. The kind of friends who hold you when you ugly-cry over your first big breakup. The kind of friends who bring you pink champagne and Oreos when you quit your job. The kind of friends who are such smart, kind and beautiful human beings that you are just in complete awe of them and their fabulousness. My magic makers. My girl gang. My warriors.

Find your tribe, love them hard.