Thanks to the digital age we’ve been following along with Andrea Howe for some time now, from her early blog For the Love of and popular Instagram account Gwyneth Made Me Do It, to her transition into 100% lifestyle content at Howe We Live, and her efforts in clean beauty with cult favorite brand Beautycounter. She’s not only an inspiration but also a friend. So, we couldn’t be more excited to peek inside her airy blush and green home office! It’s a little bit Cali-cool, a little bit mid-century modern, and all around beautiful. Below, Andrea talks us through her inspiration for the space, and the many business tasks she juggles here on a daily basis.
You’ve been in the business of blogging for some time now! When and why did you start? How has your content evolved since?
I’ve been blogging for over 10 years now, beginning with a typical family style blog on Blogger where I just shared simple life updates and photos of the kids. Then, after I left my job in the fashion industry, I created a personal style blog and maintained that for a couple of years, until it eventually fully transitioned into pure lifestyle content, with a focus on food & wellness. A year and a half ago I took the plunge and created a whole new site and just started all over. I wanted a more fresh and simple space than I had before, and I finally feel like I landed on my forever blog home. I’m glad I evolved my blog name and the design as my writing content & style evolved.
Your office is beautiful! How did you decide on an aesthetic for the space?
Our house is a totally open floor plan concept, and with 3 young kids, it can get very loud and busy. So I really wanted a calm and soothing space where I could hole up to work and read. I knew what colors I wanted; dark green & blush pink. Then, my friend Kendall helped me refine it a bit more. I can dress myself confidently each day, but dressing my home is something I don’t always feel comfortable with, so I’m glad I have some talented people in my life that I can refer to when I doubt myself.
Where did you source all the fun decor?! Do you have a favorite piece?
A variety of places, but mainly Lula & Georgia, Ikea, Urban Outfitters, CB2, a local home décor shop called Chartreuse, Anthropologie, Home Goods & Target. My favorite piece is the couch because it’s so comfortable and is the perfect size for me to curl up on, and the wall mural is such a statement.
Be it your home, content, or style where do you look for inspiration?
I get a lot of inspiration from traveling, being outside and reading. I wish we could be world travelers and visit exotic places, but with 3 kids and owning our own business, it’s hard for us to get away. We do love visiting our national parks, New England, and our surrounding California areas, so I get plenty of inspiration there. I’m always checking out great hotel and restaurant décor and as native Californians, I love to figure out ways to incorporate bits of California into our home. In the office I wanted to incorporate the sea and the desert. So, I included plenty of succulents as well as a great Malibu ocean print.
What goes on here on a day-to-day? Do you have a typical routine?
On Mondays my parents, who live locally, pick up my kids from school and watch them until the evening, then we all have dinner together. So on Monday I work on my blog from 9-1 pm, usually planning out my social media posts for the week and wrapping up any content to be published in the next couple of days. I have lunch, then from 2-5 pm I work on my Beautycounter business. This entails conducting coaching calls where I work with my mentor and then coach other consultants on my team. At 5 pm I meet my husband at the gym, and then we go to my parents for dinner at 6. Mondays are the busiest and most jam packed days.
The week follows by working on my Beautycounter business Tuesday and Thursday from 10-2, and on Wednesday I work on my blog from 10-2. I try to take Fridays off and use it to do personal errands and get a jump start on meal planning for the following week. My kids leave for school at 8:15 each day, so Tuesday-Thursday I try to get to the gym right after they leave to get it out of the way. Then, I come home and work until the kids get out of school at 2. I’ve found that this type of block scheduling, where I do the same tasks each day of the week has really been a game changer for my productivity. As with anything, consistency is key!
Speaking of routines, do you have a beauty regimen you swear by?
I began using face oils 3 years ago when I joined Beautycounter, and it has been the one product and step in my beauty routine that has had the biggest impact. Each morning I just rinse my face off with water, pat dry, apply my moisturizer, then place a couple of drops of the Beautycounter Brightening Oil on my fingertips and press into my face. I have really dry skin, and for years it was continuously flaky and dry in the T-Zone areas, but face oils have been a total game changer.
You’ve gotten us hooked on Beautycounter! Why did you fall in love with the brand? Do you have a favorite product?
Yes, I love Beautycounter and am so glad I discovered them a few years back. Of course, I love that they are committed to creating safe products that actually work (they have this thing called the Never List, which includes over 1500 ingredients they’ll never use in their products), but I most especially love that they are a certified B Corporation. Through advocacy work, they are trying to change the very outdated personal care laws. Besides the Brightening Oil that I mentioned above, I also love the Tint Skin foundation.
Last time we chatted, we talked all about your healthy lifestyle & favorite farmer’s market finds! Is there any particular food trend you’re all about right now?
It’s not a trend per se, but I love starting my morning with a smoothie. I’ve been drinking high calorie smoothies for a couple of years, but last summer I read Kelly Leveque’s book Body Love, and I really appreciated her simple formulas of Fat + Protein + Fiber, for creating a filling and delicious with just a few ingredients. Now, I pretty much drink the same thing each day and I haven’t gotten sick of it yet: ¼ cup of blueberries, 1 tbsp MCT oil, 1 tbsp Chia Seeds, a full serving of protein powder, some spinach and 2 cups of almond milk. I drink that immediately after my morning workout and it keeps me full until lunch time.
Do you have a favorite recipe for spring?
I will never get sick of a simple charcuterie platter for dinner on a Friday night, especially when Spring rolls around and we can start eating outside again. One thing I add to it on occasion, is roasted tomatoes and burrata. Grab a bunch of heirloom tomatoes or simple cherry tomatoes, toss in olive oil and salt & pepper, and roast until blistering and bursting. Place your burrata on a plate and then pour the roasted tomatoes on top while still hot, and dig in with some baguette slices or crackers. The warm tomatoes make the burrata extra gooey and the mix of the mild cheese and tart tomatoes is perfection.
Is there anything your working on now or a new upcoming project you’d love everyone to know about?
I’m currently developing some resources for my readers/newsletter subscribers that include my pantry & fridge staples, practical tips for packing lunches and my simple weekly meal planning recipes. My approach to eating is to focus on real food and non-fussy recipes. I’ve got 3 young kids all in sports and activities, and my husband and I both own our own businesses, so I want to make cooking as simple as possible for my readers. I’ll be sharing these new resources with my email subscribers first, so you can join by visiting my blog or subscribing here!