The Twice Remembered Cottage

I drove up to Symrna, Tennessee on Monday, and spent a couple of days with my friend Kim…

Her blog, The Twice Remembered Cottage, was the very first blog I ever had the pleasure of stumbling onto…

What an awesome discovery that was!

Three and a half years later, Kim continues to inspire me in so many ways. She’s been an extra busy girl lately, creating these sweet little wooden signs for her Etsy shop

But, this week, we both decided it was the perfect time to take a break, and spend a couple of days just hanging out and having fun!

I took a couple of snapshots of her darling kitchen one day while I was there. It was so surreal being there in it after all these years of seeing it on her blog!

We stayed up way past our bedtimes, and talked about decorating & paint colors, and things that make our hearts sing. We ate at Cracker Barrel, listened to country music, and went on a crazy, out-of-the-way adventure one night because I typed “street” into our GPS, instead of “avenue”. Oops!

But aside from the bonding and belly laughs, the trip was a really positive turning point for me, too. I mention my anxiety here on the blog from time to time, but (unfortunately) it’s something that’s always in the back of my mind. I had my first panic attack five years ago this past August and there’s no way I would’ve been able to drive up I-65 for four hours, by myself, back then. Heck, I even had trouble walking out to our mailbox alone for a while there.

One of the things I’m still very afraid of is taking medication of any kind, so it’s been challenging trying to figure out how to deal with my anxiety issues naturally over the years. One thing that usually works pretty well, is to shift the focus off whatever is making me nervous, by talking about something completely different. For instance, on my way up to Kim’s the other day, I talked to my  friends and family on my cellphone the whole way up the interstate. (Note to my Mom: Don’t worry! I used my little earpiece thingy and had both hands on the steering wheel the entire time!) Robert Brault said, “Most of us don’t need a psychiatric therapist as much as a friend to be silly with.“, and I’m so grateful for all the sweet peeps that kept my brain busy that day!!

Once I got to Kim’s, everything was awesome, too. She made me feel so comfortable and safe, and I can’t thank her enough for taking the time to make sure I felt at home, the entire time.

She’s one of those people that just makes you feel calm just by being around her…ya know what I mean? One of those people you can really, really talk to…and they still want to be your friend when you’re done- LOL! (Thank you, Kim!!!)

A good friend is a connection to life – a tie to the past, a road to the future, the key to sanity in a totally insane world.”  ~Lois Wyse

And thanks to all the good friends out there that have encouraged me with kind comments over the past few years, too! You guys rock my (totally insane) world!

PS- To my fellow anxious friends out there reading this- Let’s make a pact to remember to do more reaching out to the people that do such a great job of rekindling our inner spirits. Not only will it help kick that anxiety to the curb, their spirits may need some rekindling too!


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  1. says

    Yes, talking about anything and everything to a friend who listens to you and if you feel calm when she just places her hand on your shoulder tightly… dont let that go! Thank God for friends :)
    Hope you get over the panic attacks and anxiety…Try not to worry too much about everything and just relax and have fun. (easier said than done!, I know!)

    • Layla says

      Hi Ilke!
      Thank you for the reminder…it is easier said than done sometimes, but it does definitely help to hear those words from friends and family, too! :-D

  2. Deneen says

    Oh Layla I wish I would have known you were sooo close to me!!! I would have taken you to lunch! Next time please let me know. I would love to make a plan! Its great to have good friends and new ones too!

    • Layla says

      Hi Deneen!
      Now that I know I’m capable of making of the trip- I’ll definitely be back again soon!
      Thanks for being sweet!

  3. says

    LOVE that y’all were able to spend time together!!! Happiness! Friend adventures are the best. Oh, and I talk on the phone the entire time I’m on the road too…helps the time pass more quickly!

    • Layla says

      Thank YOU, Miss Myra for talking with me on the phone on the way up there! I cherish your friendship SO MUCH! :-D

  4. Shelley Jamieson says

    As a Community Mental Health Nurse this warms my heart…:)
    God Bless…..
    Love your talents and sharing them is a gift to us all…
    Thanks so much from a girl who lives in a very rural but beautiful tiny fishing community in Queensport, Nova Scotia…Canada

    • Layla says

      Thank you Shelley! I used to vacation with my family in Canada as a child. Ahhhh, the good old days. :-)

  5. Laura says

    You always seem so confident and like you’re having a great time, so we will pray that the inside will consistently match the outside! Proud of you for pushing forward and for being willing to share with most of America!

    • Layla says

      Hi Laura!
      Having fun has become my way of pushing my fears to the back of my brain! :-D And bonding with sweet folks, like you, on this playground we call a blog has really helped keep it under control better too!

  6. says

    I’ve always considered you one of my favorite bloggers because you are so honest, real, and down to earth. I love how you view life and the positive attitude you put forth. It’s so great to have friends we can go to and leave feeling “full” and better! Blessings to you, Layla!

    • Layla says

      Hi Tanya!
      Thank you for your kind words. :-)
      I agree about the “leaving full” part too. That was such a great way to word that! :-D

  7. TracieB says

    I too have anxiety issues Layla…thanks for making me re- think therapy, meds or a psychiatrist is all that can help with my anxiety issues.. ….just a friend to be silly with! :)

    • Layla says

      Hi Tracie!
      Please drop me a line if you’re ever feeling anxious and need a friend to talk to!

  8. says

    I think your link to your friend’s site is broken. I can’t get there at least, but I DO have issues… :)

  9. says

    Oh my goodness, Layla. You could be talking about me here. I have the exact same problem. I haven’t traveled in years, since the death of my dad. It’s something I rarely talk about or tell people but one day hope to because I’m learning it’s not something I should be ashamed of. And I am also trying to deal with it naturally. We’ve got to talk soon. Thank you so much for posting this. You have no idea how much it gentled my heart. :) And those red cabinets and kitchen are gorgeous!

    • Layla says

      Hi Diana!
      It’s definitely not something to be ashamed of…but it certainly can be hard to talk about out loud. But I think if we start sticking together through this stuff, maybe we won’t be so nervous anymore! :-D

      • Virginia Johnson says

        I too would love to know what color and brand the paint is that she used on the cabinets. They have inspired me!

  10. Amanda mangrum says

    Layla – You were so close to my house:) You could have seen the design consultation changes you did for me in person:) Check your inbox – I sent you some updated pics!

    • Layla says

      Hi Amanda!
      I just saw your email- WOW! You guys have been busy! :-D I love the window seat and fireplace wall- SO AWESOME! Please send me more pics when the sconces are up- so excited to see those!

  11. says

    I love the red cabinets! We just had the kitchen done in white..I think my husband would flip if he came home and found red:) This kinda inspires me to change them :) Anxiety is a daily struggle. I suffer from fear based anxiety that unfortunately can lead me to depressive days & prevent me from doing daily fun things. I can relate to the mailbox scenario you described :( I am better now, a year plus later :)Simply acknowledging that I need some help from time to time is half the battle :) I have learned to try & recognize what triggers cause my anxiety & attempt to shift my focus onto something else :) Thanks for sharing, I’m always interested in others stories & how they deal with anxiety :) XO

    • Layla says

      Hi Jessica!
      I’m glad you’re better this year than last. Maybe we should start a blog for anxiety sufferers so we can log on and talk to folks when we’re going through a tough time. Hmmmm….

  12. says

    So thankful for your honesty. It is nice to not feel alone with our fears and insecurities. I agree 100% with changing what you are thinking about, it always helps me. If I can get out of my own “head” and think about others I am so much better. You are like fresh air in this “perfect” blog world. Real is so much better than perfect.

    Charity “Cha Cha”

  13. says

    Wow, I’m just down the road from Smyrna,outside Murfreesboro. I would have loved to invited both of you to my house! Going to check out her blog. I haven’t found too many local bloggers in my neck of the woods

  14. Kristi says

    Oh, wow. I don’t comment on blogs a lot, more of an obsessed lurker I suppose. But your statement about your anxiety hit such a chord with me! I, too, got my first panic attack about 5 years ago when I went through my divorce and then started more frequently when I moved away from family and became a single mom with no one close to turn to. I am also very fearful of taking a lot of medication, especially those types of medication, so it’s hard to take when the thought of taking the medicine gives you as much anxiety as the thing giving you the attack to begin with!! I so feel your pain! And I had my phone at my ear constantly through that period. It was the only way I got through it. Talking my voice raw to friends and family until I got through those bad moments. I’m glad to hear that works for you as well. Thanks for making me feel not so alone in my thoughts, Layla. Sometimes that’s the worst part.
    I love everything you guys do on here and good luck with all of your new adventures!!

  15. Kerry says

    Layla – I have to say, I LOVE your blog….seeing your ideas and creative mastery at work is a complete inspiration! Not to mention, you and your husband are seriously adorable together :). I am trying to give my big outdated kitchen some new life on a very tight budget right now and my desire to do so was sparked by your most recent kitchen redo, which I love! Thank you for that! And, thanks for your honesty and openness about struggling with anxiety and panic attacks and still GETTING PAST IT to lead an obviously successful and inspired life! That is one thing I would NEVER have thought someone like you would be struggling with! I started having panic attacks and anxiety about 14 years ago, same as you, I was afraid to drive long distances (my first major PA was while I was alone driving on the highway)…I was afraid to be alone, afraid to go far from home, afraid to go to sleep at night. It was horrible and very hard for those around me to understand. It took me about 10 years and I don’t know how I did it, but I finally learned not to let the anxiety EVER win at anything, EVER. I make myself face my fears every day – it is the only way. That and a very occasional xanax. Anxiety is such an internal thing, very hard to be seen from the outside. I tend to be a very calm, put together girl – a pediatric nurse, a wife and a mom to three – and no one would EVER believe that I have struggled with this all these years. Sounds like you are doing all the right things – and believe me girl, from the outside looking in – you are working it!

    Thanks again – and PS – Oh, brother – now I want to paint my cabinets RED instead of MOURNING DOVE!!!! Ha ha ha…

  16. says

    I discovered the whole world of decorating blogs by searching for “red painted kitchen cabinets” and landing on Kim’s blog. It’s one of my favorites.


  17. says

    Hmmmm. The post comment button isn’t working?

    I re-read your post and I totally get the panic attack thing. I actually bought a book called “Don’t Panic” which was a bit helpful.

  18. Kim says

    As a loyal TLC reader, I have to come out of the shadows to comment. I struggled with crippling anxiety for years and was even medicated for it. Today I am off all meds and completely free of anxiety. How? I stopped eating gluten and sugar. You may have to try a lot of things, but there is something out there that will free you from the anxiety prison. It just might not make a lot of sense at first. Best wishes! Back to lurking…

  19. Kim Larson says

    Hi Layla,

    It makes me feel sooo much better to know that a lovely, talented, smart, funny woman (YOU!) also struggles with anxiety. I have been dealing with this “monster in the closet” all my life! It’s just something that people don’t talk much about. Thank you for sharing your stuggle, and progress…and all your wonderful, wonderful decorating!

    Your blog always warms my heart and puts a smile on my face!

  20. Lorrie says

    Oh Layla so sorry about your anxiety issues. I had my first panic attack 10 years ago. After many tests, meds, and therapy I am doing really well today. Totally understand the whole driving thing I couldn’t even drive to the grocery store. Exercise and laughter really are the best medicine!! Praying for you.

  21. says

    Kims blog as well as yours were the first blogs I ever came across too. Her Red cabinets have always stood out in my mind. They are soo cute…and posibly the only red cabinets I have ever seen.
    I sometimes get anxiety and panic attacks too….. They suck!! but like you I always try and switch my thoughts when I feel one coming on, and a Good friend always helps too.

  22. says

    So glad you had a fun time with Kim and that you were able to get yourself to go. I am sure that was hard in itself!

    You know you can call me anytime to chat :)

    PS I am still totally lovin’ Kim’s kitchen too!

  23. Terri says

    oh how awesome to visit the “Twice Remembered Cottge”…. actually Twice Remembered and Daisy Cottage are the first decor blogs I ever stumbled onto!!!! Of course TLC is at the top of the list as well now!!!! Thank you so much Layla for sharing with us…. so open and kind hearted….. and VERY TALENTED!!!!! So happy to be able to visit with you …. even though I do not really know you…. :) maybe one day!!!!! Be Blessed… Terri

  24. says

    Hi Layla,
    Thank you for sharing about anxiety, I’m part of the pact to reach out more. I can really relate to alot of this. I’ve learned over the years most of my anxiety is caused from fear, being a perfectionist (that’s ok), and being so darn hard on myself. I strive to accept myself and others too, Layla as you put it so well, kick anxiety to the curb!!!

    Layla you are a gift and a beautiful friend.


  25. says

    Thank you for this post and sharing about yourself. My doctor just recently wrote a RX for anxiety and I tried to take the meds but they made me feel worse than I did before. I think you are right on target about no meds and doing something to refocus your attention. I stopped the meds and directing my attention to keeping busy. Not only does it help “naturally” i’m getting stuff done at home.

    Have a great weekend!

  26. says

    I really needed to read this post this morning, Layla. I also have issues from anxiety, and I try very hard not to let it get to me, especially when I have a special needs daughter who needs me at 100% every single day! Super post. Thanks so much, and I am happy you had a great visit with Kim.

    Ricki Jill

  27. Teri says

    Layla, I’ve never commented I usually lurk but your comments about anxiety really hit home. I’ve suffered with it for 13 years now. My hubby and I dont’ travel much anymore because I get so freaked out, I even missed a dear nieces wedding this year due to not being able to travel from Colorado to Philly. I’ve missed out on so much…I can do the small occasional road trips but any more than that and it’s not good. Everyday I try to kick it to the curb, some days are more successful than others. I never would have guessed you have the same “affliction”…I appreciated your words and just wanted to say ‘thank you’ for sharing! Best, Teri

  28. says

    OMGGGoodness! I didn’t know you were friends with KIM… I absolutely LOVE her kitchen. I actually sent you a pic of my kitchen once for makeover advice because I was planning to redo my kitchen (when I get up enough time & money!) I have had her kitchen in my bookmarks for ages inspiring me :) :) i think I may have sent you a link to her kitchen saying it was my inspiration. Wow what a small world!
    I’ve been reading your blog for a bit & I would have never guessed you would have anxiety. I have had anxiety attacks before but haven’t in a few years. Always in the back of my mind they will return one day : / for now, HAPPY they are gone :D

  29. says

    Seriously, you just made me tear up! I will always remember this special visit…What a JOY it was to have you here and for it to be ‘just us girls’ ! Perfect timing with my out of town hubby and kids! I truly feel that you are a kindred spirit and I look forward to all the future visits in the years to come! YOU inspire ME and just make me happy! Love you, girly, and I’m so proud of you for so many reasons! {and who knew there was a difference between Streets and Avenues!?!}

  30. says

    Hi Layla!
    I am a new reader to the blog and just had to comment about your anxiety attacks. Whenever someone talked about their anxiety, I thought they were a little crazy, until they started happening to me!! And like you, mine came whenever I was traveling by myself. I never saught any kind of help because I didn’t think it was a big deal and maybe I was a little embarrassed.
    But, 4 years ago I read Eckhart Tolle’s “A New Earth” and it radically changed my life and I finally felt like I had some controll over my anxiety.
    Not sure if you’ve read this book or not, but it has been such a God send to me (and strengthened my faith).
    Thank you so much for sharing your experience! Sending prayers that your anxiety lessens and allows you the freedom you deserve in life!

  31. Kitt says

    I have had problems with anxiety attacks in the past. They started about the same time my doctor discovered a slight heart issue and he definitely thought they were connected. I agree with the previous suggestion about sugar. I also cut out caffeine (tea, coffee, chocolate) yes chocolate :O but when you are desperate….
    It made a huge difference for me. Stay well.

  32. stacey says

    hey layla,

    totally hear ya on the anxiety issues — i have dealt with this my entire life. this summer was really bad, and i finally caved and started taking a mild medication for it — and it has totally helped. i hate taking medicine too (even aspirin or cold meds!), but I also saw a therapist for a few sessions, and she told me that some people’s brain chemistry is just “off” and in need of the meds. she told me to think of it as my “brain vitamin” and that it’s actually GOOD for me, because NOT taking it puts my body through so much stress — all of that adrenaline pumping through my system all the time can cause serious havoc on many of my organs. I’d never thought about it that way, and she’s right… without all that adrenaline, I PHYSICALLY feel 100% better.

    Also, check out a book called “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp (and her blog, She writes about the power of gratitude, and I use these thoughts to replace my anxious thoughts. So great for the soul!!!


    • Lisa says

      this has been my experience too. until i got regulated, i never realized how much the ongoing anxiety was affecting my life. Ruining it almost. I tried everything “natural” I could, but it was so constant that it just kept getting worse.

      It’s okay if others want to deal with it naturally, but because I’ve gone that route and failed, a small dose of medicine has made my life so much better. I actually feel like I am who I’m supposed to be with it…

      blessings Layla!!

  33. Rebecca Terry says

    The other day I said to my mom ” I saw the cutest thing on my friends blog”. The crazy thing about this story is that we have never met, but I read your blog EVERYDAY! I almost feel like we are friends. Good Luck with everything. You are oh so very talented.

    Timothy 1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power and of love, and of a sound mind.”

  34. Heather says

    Wow! It’s amazing to see how many of us struggle with anxiety. And funny how we all share a love for Layla’s talents and great design. We need to have a Lettered Cottage Kick Anxiety to the Curb conference where we have fun working on projects, sharing ideas and inspiration, have some guest speakers to talk about anxiety and design! How fun! Question is…would those of who have that driving anxiety be able to get there? haha. I have struggled with anxiety for about 8 years. My free spirit, up for anything, let’s go on a road trip spirit disappeared after having a second still born baby in 2002. (The first was 1999). I am blessed with three children but the loss of those two baby boys somehow transferred into being paranoid about being a passenger in a car, then escalated into driving anxiety. Planning routes, wouldn’t leave the house when it was raining or if it even LOOKED like it may rain…even a drizzle…avoiding fun vacations, etc. I hated it. I realized my fears were irrational but would often justify them…and still sometimes do…that people are killed in car accidents every day. Then it became that I was afraid to walk in my neighborhood because I was afraid of dogs and people have invisible fences and the dogs bark and run at you. Sigh.. My husband begged me to get on medication but I did not want to join the ranks of people that relied on a pill to fix things. Three years ago I finally knew I wanted something to help. I take 50 mg. of sertaline every day and it has helped tremendously! I still have little quirks and habits and I don’t like busy, busy interstates, still do not feel comfortable as a passenger but I do not obsess on routes, weather, etc. I have more freedom and enjoy getting out! Anxiety is an awful debilitating thing that is so frustrating. You long to be the person you once were and can’t understand your own fears. Layla, I am glad you had such a fun, relaxing trip! If I were Kim (she was the first blog I ever came across as well!) I would have had major anxiety about what my house looked like with you coming! :-)

  35. says

    @Heather… You know, I *was* antsy about Layla coming to my house! We live in a fixer upper and though I knew that Layla would be super sweet and understanding {because she’s fixing up her house, too}, I was so worried that things wouldn’t feel comfortable – like she’d be sleeping in a construction site or something, ha! But let me tell ya, she put my mind at ease and didn’t give the ‘mess’ and undone projects a second thought. It really helped me get over my fear of having people over. I’ve been so embarrassed to have friends here and my social life has really taken a nose dive since we started remodeling. But NOW I have the courage to have more friends over because, well, as Dr. Seuss said, “Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” So definitely, her visit really helped me with the my own inner struggles!

  36. says

    This post blessed me. Your blog always encourages me to keep on with my DIYness, but as a fellow panic-attack sufferer, this encouraged me in a different way. Thanks for sharing that.

  37. says

    What a beautiful post Layla! I am so grateful for your honesty about anxiety. I get anxious too (especially driving) sine I have been hit 4 times in my mini van. I too do not want to take medicine and struggle sometimes. So glad you had fun with your friend.

  38. says

    I’ve been reading you forever and in this sweet post I find you’ve been hiding this drool worthy kitchen. Thanks for the intro to TRC and prayers for continuing improvement in emotional and physical health.

  39. Joan Mynahan says

    Just a suggestion regarding your anxiety attacks. I personally know that a couple of visits to a hypnotist worked wonders for testing anxiety for my daughter when she was in college. Maybe it will work for you. I thoroughly enjoy your blog.

  40. Paulette says

    Dear Layla, thank you sooo much for your transparency! Sometimes I forget that all my talented “friends” out there in cyberspace have real issues just like me. Your blog is so special and admire you and Kevin very much. Thank you for your contribution to my life!!

  41. says

    Layla, This post was so sweet, every girl (anxious or not) needs a friend like her.
    I admire you for dealing w/anxiety without medication. I first had a panic attack a few months after being diagnosed with postpartum anxiety, trying to cope with it naturally. After that panic attack I started on the least amount of meds as possible. My twins are now 2 1/2 and I still struggle with it from time to time. Thanks for sharing!

  42. says

    I can relate to the panic attacks. While trying to get pregnant with my daughter I had three miscarriages in a row. I had massive anxiety attacks. It is an awful feeling when you can’t control yourself. My mom and another friend helped me find an all natural quick working homeopathic tablet called Calmplex 2000. It works almost immediately and is all natural with no side affects at all. I didn’t want to take meds and deal with all that goes along with that, but this stuff worked and really helped get me through those tough times. I love your blog and have been following for awhile now. You and Kevin remind me of my husband and I! I always love to see what your up to next!

  43. says

    I totally understand. It is so easy to let anxiety keep you from doing anything. I struggle with it daily but luckily my husband helps me relax and get out there and I have some good friends who understand too.

  44. says

    Thanks for sharing about your anxiety. It’s always a relief to know that I’m not the only one. And yes, distraction is indeed a great side effect-free technique for coping with anxiety.

  45. CRYSTAL says

    Hey, Layla!

    I too live in Smyrna. I’m glad you were where visiting. I would love to know if you or Kim have any favorite shops/store. Maybe there is a few places in my backyard that I may be overlooking. ;)

  46. says

    Hi Layla,

    I have pretty severe anxiety and some other mental health issues. I have had to resort to medications. I am not sure i could function without them because of the severity. Of course I have a lot of therapy also. (i’m really normal on the outside).

    Its something that is very hard to live with as you and many others know.

    (meanwhile back at the ranch)…… my point is that I enjoy your honesty and have loved your blog since i first stumbled onto it. It gave me so much courage that i started my own blog. it was on new years day. I have to say i thought it was pretty good too.
    As usual things went wrong and we couldn’t keep the house. Despair is the word i would use. I asked God to show me what to do and I have been doing it everyday. I am so much better for it. I’m happy.

    I admit that i have felt for awhile that i’m not worthy of a blog and I shouldn’t really look at them so much. I still follow yours of course and gladly so because of this post. We are all worthy to share what we love. You make us all feel that we know you and it’s “safe” to be in your world. You encourage all of us. THANK YOU!!

  47. says

    I just love Kim and her style. She was one of the first blogger I found as well and she made me get a “bee in my bonnet” about a brick back splash. So glad you two had fun!

  48. says

    I love your authenticity Layla!
    I have struggled with anxiety since I was a kid … it’s taken different forms through the years, and still creeps in now and then. It is definitely the friends in my life that love me through it and laugh with me. Glad you had a wonderful girl weekend!

  49. Mary says

    Thank you for introducing me to The Twice Remembered Cottage.
    I just spent the last hour “surfing” through this great blog. I love
    red and at this point haven’t used it in my house. But whenever
    we get to downsize, bring on the red. I bought a new can opener
    the other day and guess what color? It’s a starting place. I also have
    wanted a dollhouse since I saw Kim’s on what use to be Daisy Cottage blog. Have a great weekend. Hugs from Missouri!

  50. Evelyn says

    Hi Layla, Been reading your blog for a few months and I also have anxiety problems. Mine started when my husband died. Never, ever had a problem before that. Went through fear, isolation and a touch of agoraphobia. After years of being cooped up by myself (held a few jobs but the market crash in ’08 made my job security a thing of the past) I finally got a job I love with wonderful, dear people to work with. They welcomed me into their group and I feel like I adopted new family members. My fear, for the most part melted away. Then my daughter moved into my neighborhood and that too, made me feel so much more secure. I feel like a normal, functional person now after years of living in a panicked state of mind. I hope you can conquer your fears because I know how that limits you. I would’ve never known you were going through hide it well. It helps to give it to God too as well as medical care. Good luck. Btw, I love your house.

  51. says

    Thank you ever so much for sharing that. I have a son that struggles with this. Sharing and talking about it are so very helpful, not that I wish anyone to have anxious moments or feelings but to know that others do and mange to learn little ways to work through it is so very helpful indeed.. Brings a happy tear to my eye. Bless your heart, and Kim too, so glad you had a wonderful visit. :)

  52. Judy says

    Layla…….There are so many of us out there who suffer in one way or another from anxiety. During my 30’s and 40’s I really struggled but now 20 years later, it’s so much better. I too always found that spending time with or just talking to a good friend helped tremendously. I tried some medications but they just didn’t work for me…tried therapy…but in the end, it was my friends and family who helped the most.

  53. says

    Kim’s blog was my first also!! I used brick pavers at my old house because of her fantastic backsplash. Layla, I wonder if all creative people have anxiety of some sort? I certainly do!! I get hot & sweaty and feel like I am going to pass out when I am uncomfortable. Last year, going to Blissdom was the most anxiety ridden thing I think I have ever done. It was worth it but I was shaking in my boots the whole time! Now, I’m struggling with school choices for my oldest but my anxiety is not over her. It’s over me being able to get her to school 5 days a week. And handle all that comes with it!! A creative mind is a beautiful thing but it can make it hard to manage real life sometimes. :) Nice to know we are all in the same boat. Glad you & Kim had fun!

  54. Sandra says

    As an anxious person and psychotherapist, I want to commend you for talking about anxiety today, Layla. What I have learned from my own experiences, as well as talking to others, is that anxious people tend to overestimate the danger of an event or situation, and underestimate their ability to deal with it. In other words, we engage in catastrophic thinking. There are some good books out there that deal with helping people change their negative and self-defeating thoughts and beliefs. Sometimes medication is indicated, and has great results, especially if coupled with cognitive behavioral therapy. Remembering to breathe helps too, by the way. Anxious people forget to breathe.

  55. LaPriel says

    Layla you are wonderful. I know what you mean about the anxiety. Not fun!!!!!!!!!!!! I found Lucinda Bassett’s book From Panic to Power helpful. I also was lucky to enough to find a counselor who took a group of us through her 13 wk class. It helped me a lot. I still have panic sometimes, esp in the middle of the night, but it is good to know it won’t kill me. :) A drop of lavender essential oil on the bottom of my feet helps me calm down and go back to sleep on most nights.

    You are making the world a better place.

  56. Tenacwalker says

    Just had to comment- I used to have horrible panic attacks- mostly when I was driving. Distracting myself really helped- when I couldn’t talk on the phone, I would eat Altoids (I HATE peppermint!) and turn the air conditioner on high until I was freezing. Then I discovered the Harry Potter audio books read by Jim Dale- it would distract me better than anything and yet I was still able to safely drive. I was on medication for a little while and it helped me tremendously. When I felt comfortable weaning myself off, I discovered that caffeine had a detrimental effect and I cut it out of my diet- one of the hardest things I have ever done, but well worth the effort in the end. When I top the hill and see Atlanta traffic backed up for miles I still have a twinge, but not usually a full blown attack. It was all eventually linked to my thyroid but we didn’t figure that out for a while. Get your thyroid level tested if you have not. Great post, Layla- it is nice to see how other people have learned to cope.

  57. says

    Somehow I missed that you had problems with anxiety. I guess all the PRETTY & COOL stuff here caught my attention. I’m so glad to hear that you were able to enjoy this time & are handling this issue better. If you haven’t experienced it, it’s hard to explain and people say they understand, but NO, they don’t. I am SO proud of you for driving on the INTERSTATE…YES!, YAY, You go GIRL!…this coming form a girl that KNOWS exactly what a big deal that is! :)

  58. Lizzie says

    I’ve witnessed many miracles curing panic attacks, my baby sister (45yrs old) being the latest success story. Run, don’t walk to your local library and get the book The Healing Code by Alex Lloyd and Ben Johnson. I was in tears many times reading the book, and far more times afterward as I witnessed so many miracles. I try to steer clear of pharmaceuticals as well. Energy healing is truly God’s gift to us and these authors, using quantum physics make it easy to understand and use. Heal well and quick!

  59. Alicia says

    as a soon-to-be-graduate with a MA in clinical counseling, I totally agree with your wariness in taking meds. Anxiety can be treated without medication and it sounds like you are very aware of your triggers and what works in calming you. Don’t be afraid to ever seek some help from a counselor in getting some cognitive behavior therapy. It can be immensely helpful . . . thanks for sharing (many people feel alone in this but anxiety is very common!) and keep doing what you’re doing! (taking risks, sharing, laughing, praying)

  60. michelle says

    so glad you have such awesome friends that were able to help you out. i totally get the anxiety stuff, unfortunately i have to take meds as nothing else helped. in the bible it says, “worry about nothing but pray about everything.” that seems to help me when the meds aren’t helping as much as they need too. (i take the lowest dosage possible). i repeat that so many times during the day, i think i prolly say it in my sleep. it does seem to help alot, hope it helps you too.

  61. says

    Hi Layla,
    We would have never known about your anxiety, but thanks for sharing. I also feel the same way often. Just like you, I will never travel and just driving on the highway to the mall is an acomplishment for me. I got a gps for my Birthday so I’m hoping that will help. You may have anxiety but you are a very brave girl and seem to have the bull by the horns. Glad you have Kev to help you:)
    Good luck and thanks for sharing.

  62. says

    I found you through PW and continued to follow your blog for your talent. And today I fell in love with you for your humanness. I completely understand what it’s like to be in a state of anxiety so strong the end of your driveway feels like miles away down a long black tunnel. Those times have come and gone but I still have to focus and do do exactly as you say (even years later!!!), focus on something, anything else other than what is pressing on me.

    God bless you.

  63. Rhonda says

    Love your blog because you are so relatable and special :) Just a down to earth gal.
    I also have anxiety issues and won’t take medication, Oh, and I’m an RN, goofy right! I can take care of everyone else, just not myself,
    You are so talented, keep up the good work and maybe this blog can be your outlet for some of the anxiety. I know when I am DIYing and crafting, it really helps me!!
    Thanks for being real and sharing :)

  64. says

    One day – stuck in a traffic jam on the Bay Bridge in San Francisco – I could feel myself losing focus and spiraling into that very strange sensation of doom that is a panic attack. I was wildly searching for distractions when I started to count (and rub my adrenal gland under my ear lobe which often seemed to help disperse the excess adrenaline causing the attack). I counted to 15 and I could feel it easing. It was such a revelation to me to really understand that the experience is actually finite and manageable. If realized that if I could hold on for 15 seconds and ride it out, it would be over. After that, whenever I felt those first twitches, I would almost try to bring it on so I could begin counting. From that time, I began to feel more in control and I was less afraid of them. That was 14 years ago. Since those years of severe, almost hourly attacks I can now count on one hand the number I have had and the fear of them has completely gone.
    At the time, I read everything I could find – also determined not to be medicated – but I never talked about it. I think the value of airing the experience is enormous and I think you, Layla, are bravely spotlighting a very strange and silent epidemic.

    D x

  65. says

    This post, even though it has very little to do with DIY or decorating, is one of the best you have ever written, Layla. Kudos to you for your honesty and thank you for sharing what has obviously been a difficult and little known aspect of your personal life.

    Your ability to relate to readers, fans and other self-proclaimed DIY’ers is what has made your blog one of my must reads over the last couple of years. The relationship you have with Kevin, the passion you share for design, your fantastic ideas and your positive outlook are so refreshing in the blogging world.

    May you have more anxiety-free days. You are so brave for sharing.


  66. says

    Thought I would share that I too constantly felt anxious and had episodes where I was crippled with fear. After 5 years of battling with it, not wanting to take any medication, doctors never finding anything medically wrong, I finally took it upon myself to change my diet. Talk about LIFE CHANGING. It’s been over 4 months and I have never ever felt better. Might be worth a try for you too just to see if you feel any better. No worries, no crazy off the wall diet, just very low sugar/carbs and higher protein.

  67. Melissa Shields says


    As a master’s student studying counseling psychology, I really appreciate you being brave enough to bring your anxiety into the forefront. Just normalizing for some people may be helpful. I would, however, like to emphasize how much seeing a mental health professional may be helpful. Research has shown that certain therapeutic techniques can work as well as medications and have lasting effects, where medications will stop working once you stop taking them. So, I’m kind of with you on the medications thing. I think seeing a mental health professional is still a little taboo in society, but so many people could live more fulfilling lives with it. Anyway, thanks for sharing!

  68. Netty says

    Hey Layla! Two things to help with anxiety…..mine was so bad I almost ditched my awesome husband and didn’t marry him….luckily I got help that worked. :) I too was anti-medication. Acupuncture and a good Chinese Herbalist are A M A Z I N G for this! For me it was 1000 times better than therapy and so helpful! You can find a good person in your area by looking at It’s a school near where I live that had the first accredited program for Chinese healing medicine on the east coast. And if you decide it’s not your thing–you can still learn a trick that my herbalist taught me. He said every time you start to feel yourself ramping up about something and starting to get that anxious feeling..just tell that part of you “I’m sorry. I can’t talk right now. Can we talk tomorrow?” You’ll have to do it A BUNCH at first but slowly it will really start to go away and you’ll be able to stop an attack before it starts. :) Try it… it works! :) Glad to hear you’re finding your own ways to cope with this. The mind is a beautiful, demanding being isn’t it? :) –Annette

  69. Amy says

    I just love your site! And love the honesty…I too have struggled with anxiety and have wanted to deal with it “naturally,” The best advice I was given was to live and push through my fears, as you did with the drive. Simple, but it helps.

  70. says

    Such a lovely post, Layla. It makes me feel like I’m not alone in the adventures of anxiety. After being on medication for nearly 2 years I took it upon myself to stop. Between the physical side-effects and researching the different chemicals I was ingesting on a daily basis, I wanted to try and tackle my anxiety on my own. And so far I am doing great! I truly believe that the more educated you are about your anxiety/disorder, the more you can find ways to cope on your own.

    I love your blog and your work, you and Kev do some great work!

  71. says

    beautiful and encouraging post. friends and laughter are the best medicine!!
    I have been amazed at the friendships that blogging has brought into my life. It is a very cool phenomenon.
    – {darlene} @ fieldstone hill design

  72. Melissa says

    I love your blog!
    I hope you do have a blog for anxiety/panick attacks! I to have suffered for over 4 years. It really helped me to read/know that I am not alone! I also got some good tips from everyone sharing what has helped them cope with the attacks!

    Thank you for being so open and sharing with everyone!!

  73. Laura says

    Layla, keep up the good work managing your anxiety without medicine. I too have had these problems since my early 20’s (now 55) and have managed to make it through life to this point, (married 29 yrs, raised 3 kids, illness and deaths of friends and family, and been through menopause) all without medication! I’m not gonna say it was easy, but it’s doable! I will tell you that at this point in my life many of those fears/anxieties have vanished…I’m so much calmer and more at peace now than I have ever been! You may email me ANY time you need to vent about this….I’m sure I have been there and in many instances I am still there…like the medication thing…hate pills….and I still struggle with a fear of eating raw produce! LOL – I just have to laugh at myself! Hang in there!

  74. says

    Gosh didn’t realise so glad you felt secure at your friends what a big journey to make on your own thank you for sharing with us that kitchen is gorgeous & the signs are lovely will be popping over to the Etsy shop :))

  75. Trina says

    OMG, I just fell in LOVE with her red cabinets!!! Red is my very favorite color & while I never would have thought to paint my cupboards red, it looks AMAZING!! So crisp & clean & fresh!! Thanks for sharing!

  76. Linden Townhouse says

    What a sweet and honest post, Layla! I experienced my first anxiety attack when I was 28 years old and I had four little children. It was very frightening! I remembered telling my husband that I didn’t think I was going to make it. It took months for me to feel like myself again, and I was determined that I would beat this. Depression and anxiety run deep in my extended family. Whenever I felt a wave of anxiety coming over me I would repeat this verse, “Fear not for I am with you. Be not dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” When I boldly confronted my anxiety and fears, with God’s help, they would quickly vanish. Meet them head on, Layla! It really does help. God wants us to have that peace that passes all understanding.

    I first began to read Kim’s blog when she was still “One Woaman’s Cottage Life.” I do believe I have followed her from the beginning. I adore her style and talent. So good to know it was a fantastic weekend. (Forgive me for posting so late here but I really wanted to share!)

  77. Rachael says

    Hi there Layla…
    I came across your kitchen pic on Pinterest! LOVE the red cabinets! I also LOVE LOVE LOVE your pendant light hanging above the sink. Could you help a girl out and share where that is from or if you DIY’d, how you did it?

    Thanks so much and keep up the amazing work!!!

    • Layla says

      Hey Rachael!
      You’ll have to check with my friend, Kim, who owns that beautiful kitchen! :-D I’m sure she’ll be glad to share all the DIY deets with you!

  78. Jill says

    I love the pics. Can you tell me the brand of paint and the shade of red on the cabinets? Love them!! Thanks for sharing.

  79. Carrie Muchow says

    Hi! Could you tell me where that pendant light was purchased? It’s so cute and exactly what I have been looking for. Thank you

  80. Gwenetta says

    You have the red kitchen cabinets with the beadwork on them. I would really like to know the name of the red paint used in that photo. Could you provide that information, please?
    Thank you,

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