What Does it Take to be a Woman?

A dear friend of mine wrote this beautiful piece asking the question, “What Does it Take to be a Woman?”
I hope it blesses, encourages, and inspires you today. You have what it takes!

Photo by Epic Imagery - http://www.epicimagery.com/

Photo by Epic Imagery – http://www.epicimagery.com/

What Does it Take to be a Woman?

By Angie Merrill

Are you ready to be,
From the time you’re two or three,
Commended when you are being good
And acting like you should
With dollies, books, and blocks
Colorful bows and ruffle socks
Hushed when you become too wild and loud
Warned about the dangers in a big crowd
Because you are delicate and small
And they don’t want anything to happen to you at all?

Are you ready to fix,
From the time you are six,
Your hair in a pony tail or bun
So you can run and have fun
Without anything getting in the way.
To say “Okay,”
When told not to get messy or hurt
If you play in the dirt
Or while trying to climb a tree
When your spirit longs to explore and be free
Can you be sweet and kind and never abrupt
Control your emotions and not interrupt
Try your best not to act bossy or crazy
Since that wouldn’t be fitting of a young lady?

Are you ready to shelve
From the time you’re eleven or twelve
Uterine aches and irritability
And opt for civility
Even when cramps are too much to bear
To carry on with a smile
Though it feels like a trial
To continue work and school at the top of your game
As if everything is exactly the same
When Aunt Flow is ruining your week somehow
Knowing she’ll be back about 28 days from now?

Are you able to glean
From the time you’re thirteen
wisdom and grace
As you inevitably face
Competitiveness, cattiness, and such
And pretend cyber bullying doesn’t bother you that much
Setting your insecurities aside
When you want to hide
From those who were once your friends…
To hold your head high in the halls
And have the gall
Not to believe the things they’ve said.
To dominate on the field or court
Whatever your sport
Or your dance or art or song
And prove them all wrong?

Are you able to battle—
younger than you should ever have to battle—
The images on computer, television, and movie screens
That tell you to be tall and lean
With a certain bust size
Or waist size
Or butt size
Or nose size
Or lip size
Or thigh size
If you want to be noticed or valued by guys
Or considered beautiful.
And if you fall short this standard, you must be dutiful
To go under the knife
So you can obtain the perfect image and life.
Or will you instinctively know it’s all superficial fluff
And that you are in fact good enough
When you look in the mirror and see
You are exactly as you ought to be?

And on the flipside…
Are you prepared to take in stride
The catcalls and hollers
From players and ballers
Or be ogled as you walk down the street
And just because you seem sweet
They take license to call you “baby” or “honey”
And isn’t it funny
That they’ll never know how it feels
To walk a mile in your four-inch heels
Or the courage you muster strolling alone to your car
Looking over your shoulder wherever you are
Gripping your phone and your keys tight
Just in case someone is lurking in the night?

Are you ready to strive,
Between eighteen and twenty five,
(Or whatever age, of course,
you decide to enter the workforce)
To be merited on your talents and brain
Yet get overlooked or underestimated time and again
Can you press on and persevere
When the challenges become severe
To show them that you’re immovable
That your intellect and worth is most certainly provable
Will you work hard and pursue your dream
And consider it more possible than others might deem
To finally get to the top based on your ability and smarts
And still earn 23 percent less than your male counterparts?

Are you able to endure
A love that is selfless and pure
If you embark on the journey of motherhood
To suffer miscarriage when you never thought you would
To put your heart on the line and continue to try
And feel the ecstasy of seeing that glorious line
Displayed on the pregnancy test… Read the rest of the poem here.

Shalena Smith Touted as the Top Kids’ Space Designer

Wow!! What a huge blessing to be recognized by Mommy Nearest as one of the top 5 kids’ space designers. This is proof that anything is possible if you have a passion for your work and a love for the people that you’re working for! I started my company when my first daughter was only 3 months old. I didn’t have an official business plan, I didn’t know where the start up money was going to come from and I had more naysayers then I had supporters. I literally only had a vision and a desire to create amazing spaces for expecting parents.

Now 14 years later and all I can say is, “Look at God!!” It’s God that I credit for all of my success and for sending me all the amazing clients that I’ve had throughout the years. It’s been an amazing journey with many ups and downs, but I’m so thankful that I’ve persevered and that I continue to pursue my ultimate dreams. I’m excited about the future of my business, I look forward to growing my brand, but mostly I look forward to developing new relationships and creating fabulous spaces with you!!

Please share this post with your friends and family that might be looking for an interior designer. We do everything from whole house design projects to our favorite specialty, designing kids’ spaces. We are also on social media, follow us, all the links are below. Thank you and God bless you!! SS

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Here is a snippet of the article that named us as one of the top five nursery designers in Los Angeles.

5 Great Interior Designers For Kids’ Spaces in LA


Top Nursery Designer


National and International Nursery Designer

Tamera Mowry-Housley’s Sweet Baby Shower!

Hello everyone!

A few weeks ago, I celebrated the upcoming arrival of Tamera and Adam Housley’s daughter at their “Pretty in Pink” baby shower, held at the Casa del Mar Hotel in Malibu. It was beautiful! I was greeted with such love and warmth, as all her closest friends and family gathered to celebrate such a special occasion. They hired the talented Mindy Weiss to create the sweetest girly environment. Everything was perfect, from the flowers to the favors, and of course the glowing mommy couldn’t have been more radiant.

Be sure to pick up this weeks US Weekly magazine for the entire scoop and visit Tamera’s website for more pinterest worthy photos. I was able to capture a few images of my own and I thought I would share.

Enjoy, Shalena

Pretty in pink baby shower goodies at Tamera Mowry-Housley Baby Shower

Nursery and kids room designer Shalena Smith with event planner Mindy Weiss

Nursery designer Shalena Smith and event planner Mindy Weiss take a selfie at Tamera and Adam Housley’s baby shower.

Tamera and Adam Housley, photo by Shalena Smith

A special moment captured between Adam and Tamera Housley.

Tamera Mowry-Housley and her nursery designer Shalena Smith at the baby shower.

It's a girl Tamera's has a bun in the oven cake!

Gaga Designs gift basket with Lucky Jade Cashmere blanket and Romper, plus a Yikes Twins Princess Hooded Towel.

Gaga Designs gift basket with Lucky Jade Cashmere blanket and Romper, plus a Yikes Twins Princess Hooded Towel.

Happy March!!

I hope 2015 is off to a great start for you, I can’t believe March is already here!

I just wanted to hop online to say hello and that I hope to blog more in the near future to update you on the amazing things going on in the world of Baby Concierge and Interior Design.

I also wanted to encourage you to use this year to pursue your dreams without hesitation. Enjoy life by doing what you love, while serving and giving to others! Be undaunted, without fear of the future!!

God bless you!!


Wait on God! :)

Waiting on God is sometimes the hardest part…

Trust me, I know… But there is strengthening in the waiting period. Trust God without any boundaries or hesitation. The process produces perseverance and brings you to a place where you’re at your fullest potential. It’s difficult but this is the most important transition of your life. When you are in a season of hopelessness, if you hold on, supernaturally you’ll arrive to your season of prosperity. You have to go through some things to arrive at that place that God specifically designed for you. Don’t move too fast or get ahead of God, TRUST His plan! Ignore the distractions, ignore the negativity and get to a quiet place and God will bring you restoration! Don’t forget, He is your Rear Guard, your Redeemer!!
I can’t just talk about design & baby concierge without talking about Who and why I exist!
I woke up today with this message in my heart and I wanted to share it with you. Somebody out there must need it…

God bless you!


Modernized Circus Themed Nursery

“Lion, and tigers and bears! Oh my!…”

I couldn’t be more pleased with how this nursery came out! You have to be careful to not overdo it when creating a circus themed nursery. To accomplish a modernize look we stayed away from the traditional primary colors and used soft neutral tones. I customized the furniture with a grey paint blended with a carmel stain to tie in the clients windows. The roman shades I designed also tied in with the accent color. I love how the rug by Surya added a pop of color with the orange stripe. We personalized it with a custom canvas centered with the crib, adding a monkey and elephant on each size to complement the subtle theme. Last but not least, we went over the top with the life size giraffe!! Mr. Giraffe was a total hit at the baby shower by the way when I delivered it. (Ask us about our exclusive Baby Registry Concierge.) So much fun!!!

There was also an unexpected little nook in the corner of this nursery. I used that space to put our Gaga Designs custom chair, side table and sconces. Oh, and did you see the navy blue trim out on the ceiling? It highlights the chandelier and it adds a nice surprise without having to paint the entire ceiling.

I loved creating this space. Email us at info@gagadesigns.com or call us at 818-366-8787 to purchase any of the items you see in this awesome nursery.

I love my job!! xoxo


Really, I need to do a Vlog now?

How on earth are we suppose to keep up with all this social media?

More and more things are added to my plate daily 🙁 I finally started blogging after years of fighting it and NOW I have to start a “Vlog”! I can’t pretend to be fancy and act like I really know what I’m getting myself into but I guess I’ll give it a try. Over the next few months hopefully I’ll figure this “video blogging” stuff out!

With all that being said, I would like to officially introduce you to my YouTube Channel. Please share and subscribe. 

Here’s a look at two of my most recent videos… Let the fun begin!!! HA! xo SS



A heart to serve- philanthropy & charity

Can you believe the holidays are almost here? Hasn’t the year just flown by? I know we live busy lives and unintentionally we get so caught up in our day-to-day that we don’t stop to serve or give back. At times, I think it’s that we don’t realize our gifts and the potential we have to bless others with them. Maybe, it’s just as simple as not knowing how to get plugged in and connected to a group of people that can use your time, talents and treasures. If that’s the case, I hope one of the organizations below will spark your interest and encourage you to reach out to them. I look forward to getting more involved in the future with each of them and seeing how God will use my gifts to bless these organizations.

Over the last few weeks I have attended several philanthropic or charity events. I want to share with you the ones that greatly spoke to my heart. The holidays are quickly approaching and this is a great time to give and share with others.

The Bogart Pediatric Cancer Research Program 

The Bogart Pediatric Cancer Research Program raises vital funds to support early stage pediatric cancer research at the Bogart laboratories located at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles. These funds are matched many times over by government and private dollars to allow the maximum support for this important research. The Bogart Program is dedicated to supporting “bench to bedside” research to find cures and treatments for these diseases and to enhancing the quality of life of the children who survive them.

The Westside Pregnancy Clinic (WPC)

The Westside Pregnancy Clinic (WPC) was established in 1977 as a counseling and support center with the purpose of bringing resources to those wanting to make informed decisions regarding unexpected pregnancies. While this mission has remained the same, the center has evolved in many ways. Most recently, the WPC converted to a licensed medical clinic in 2004, offering medical services to our clients.

ACT Today! (Introduced to me at the Denim & Diamonds Fundraising Event)

ACT Today! stands for Autism Care and Treatment Today! Mission is to raise awareness and provide treatment services and support to families to help their children with autism achieve their full potential. Our goal is to introduce and help facilitate early and on-going treatment by providing the necessary resources (including referrals, funding and guidance) to individuals with autism and their families. Studies demonstrate that early and intense intervention is important when treating individuals with autism, yet sadly very few of the effective treatments are covered by medical insurance and families are often delegated to piece together a treatment program for their child via multiple funding sources. Often, the child with autism must go without vital interventions due to financial restraints. ACT Today! strives to provide necessary services so that each child with autism can reach his or her highest potential.

Lastly, there are two other non-profits that would love your help & contributions before Christmas. A simple donation of a toy would bless them tremendously! Hope Gardens & Rays of Light !

I’ll share fun pictures that I took at these events in my next blog. I didn’t want to take away from the importance of these causes. I’ll end this blog with a scripture that speaks to me about service.

We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. (NIV, Romans 12:6-8)

Spread your love, it’s your greatest gift!

Shalena xo