Routines Revisited

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Today is my first full day back in Minneapolis after being gone for over 2 weeks! Other than feeling like a jet lag zombie I’m trying to reconnect with my morning routine and daily rituals. Progress is slow getting things back to normal. I did a lot of laundry and ran the dishwasher yesterday which helped tremendously but I still have a lot to do including but not limited to…editing photos, grocery shopping, starting up a new freelance project and getting my card making factory turned back on. I have a feeling that this week will go by quickly and not everything will get done. As I’m writing this right now my eyes are feeling heavy and the thought of going grocery shopping feels like a nightmare… I’m trying to take it all in stride. It seems that coming home from vacation stresses me out even more than before I leave for vacation. Sad, but true.

On the bright side, everything on the travel front went as good as we could have all hoped for, all planes, trains and busses were on time and no one forgot anything important or got lost. The wedding was beautiful, my cousin and her new husband rocked out their first dance to ‘Time of My Life’ from the movie Dirty Dancing and Oxford was such a charming city. London was filled with contrasts of very old and very new. I had some of my favorite food experience while traveling, which I will describe later :) We went to 4 very different museums while we were away, my favorite was probably the Victoria & Albert museum.

I hope everyone has been enjoying July so far! Just a few more days until August! eep!

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June Favorites!

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Hello! June has treated me so well this year! I will go on record to say that June is my favorite month of the year. This is because June is the beginning of summer, the days are extra long and it really seems like everyone is finally more relaxed and happy (myself included). Finally, June is my favorite because it is the month of the wedding anniversary of Christopher and I! This June did not disappoint and here’s why…

1. The Butcher and the Boar
This is the restaurant that Christopher and I decided to dine at to celebrate our 3 year wedding anniversary. We heard nothing but praise reviews about their menu AND it is located across the street from where we live. I had the pork chop and it was the best I’ve ever had, it was glazed with a spicy maple syrup sauce topped with blueberry compote and goat cheese. I couldn’t believe how amazing and enormous it was! I had it for leftovers the next day.

This restaurant is perfect for those who are passionate about good cuts of well prepared meat. The concepts for the dishes are traditional and sway to a more German meat and potatoes feeling but there is always a twist that sets each dish apart. It can be a rather spendy place to dine at but if you go for a happy hour in their beer garden you can get a beer and sausage plate for a very reasonable price. Since it was our anniversary, we decided to indulge a bit.

2. Fossil Sydney Satchel Bag
While my mom was visiting we visited the Mall of American because when in Minneapolis… I have on almost every occasion of visiting this humongous mall stepped into the fossil store. I was looking at a completely different purse when this one caught my attention and I realized that it would be the perfect bag to be an all day, I need to bring my water bottle and external phone battery and camera, and kindle and etc etc etc… basically this bag is the a medium size bag that holds a lot of stuff but doesn’t feel too visually large. It’s all leather and had a perfect quick access phone pouch in the back. The cross body strap and handles make it the easiest purse to transition from car, to walking around to chilling at dinner. Also, it’s gorgeous. This purse is bae.

3. Pride Parade
When marriage equality was announced last week our city was just about to celebrate its annual Pride festival. Everyone was in an awesome mood everywhere you looked. Minnesota legalized gay marriage a couple of years ago but you could still feel the energy of everyone’s happiness. I was so excited to see our first parade from our balcony too! We are right along the parade route and Christopher and I had some friends over to enjoy the spectacle. We had snacks, drinks and our folding chairs out to enjoy this super long and cheerful parade. Normally, I’m not a parade going person, but now with where we live I really hope more parades will be rolling down our street. It is so enjoyable to have the overhead view, quick access to the bathroom and AC, if needed.

4. Sofa
Christopher and I had waited for ‘Sofa Day’ for over a month until the delivery day was set. We ordered our sofa from Macy’s and they told us it should arrive in 4 weeks. We were kind of bummed because that meant our living room would go almost unused until it arrived. What’s a living room without a sofa, anyway? Before it arrived, it also meant that nothing would be decorated or put in a more permanent place because so much of the layout would be determined when the sofa was actually in the space. Once the beautiful grey sofa arrived, we finally set up the living room TV, got a few stacking cubes to divide the living and dining areas and got a small dining room table and chairs. It took some time and a few cute new lamps from HomeGoods to make the space come alive, but now I’m in love with our living room. All we have to do is hang artwork on our walls.

5. Tame Impala
Grooving to this psychedelic rock group has been an addiction for my ears this past month. The Current (89.3 or thecurrent.org) introduced me to this band and a slew of other amazing acts including local music groups like Hippo Campus and Caroline Smith. Tame Impala played in the Twin Cities area just as we were moving in but I wish I could go back in time and buy tickets to see them. I love the song Let It Happen in all of its 7+ minute goodness as well as Eventually and Cuz I’m A Man. There is something so retro and 60’s about their sound, I just want to put on bell bottoms and chill out. Next time they are in the area I will do whatever I can to see them on stage.

I hope you had a great June and July will treat you warmly. I’m heading out for a long vacation to see my cousin get married in the UK! I am so excited to explore a new country and see my family <3 I also hope to share some of my trip when I return.

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Drawn & Delivered

Who likes getting a card in the mail?

Who thinks it’s even better when the card is handmade?

I love both, especially sending cards that I’ve made. So I am starting a new project just for you and your mailbox.

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I pledge to draw and send one greeting card per week for the next year and I want to send a card to you! Either to your home address or your email inbox.

I know what you’re thinking…

“But we haven’t spoken since high school and I thought you were a huge jerk.”
Sorry to hear that, maybe this cat card will smooth things over?

OR

“I don’t even really know you…”
Fine by me! Have this card with a few words of encouragement on it!

OR

“We’re already friends, you don’t need to send one to me.”
BS! I want to send you a card real bad!

Now that I’ve eased your mind, please fill out the form below to sign up. There are only 52 spots available so do it now!

SIGN UP HERE! (No longer accepting submissions, thank you to all who signed-up!)

Important things to know:

  1. I will not distribute your information to anyone, you will not be added to any lists. The NSA is not involved.
  2. The list will be private and will be used only for the one occasion.
    (unless you want to be my pen pal, then bring it!)
  3. I will share drawings on my blog and/or social media accounts sans your name, address or any identifying information because I believe in a thing called privacy.
  4. Limit of one per person, I would love to send cards to others in a household, but just one per individual, please.
  5. I will send items that can be delivered by means of ‘forever stamp’ or less to keep costs reasonable. However! if you live in another country, that’s fine, whatever it takes to get a card to you is what I’m willing to spend.
  6. I take requests! Much like a DJ. Do you love Star Wars? Have a brother with a birthday coming up that you need a card for? I can make that happen.
  7. You will not be alerted when your card is on the way, it will be a good old fashioned surprise.
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Mini Golf in Minne

After a particularly lazy start to Memorial Day, Christopher and I decided to leave the apartment and go on a walk, before we knew it, we were golfing.

Because we live near the Walker Art Center we thought it would be nice to walk to their sculpture garden, give Claes Oldenburg’s spoon bridge a high five and look at info for the Artist Designed mini golf course. We hadn’t planned on playing but there was no wait, the weather was holding up and we had the whole afternoon in front of us!

I enjoyed the course a lot. Give the video a watch to get a preview of some of the holes.

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Bee Favorites

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Since elementary school I’ve had the nickname of ‘Bee’ or just ‘B’. I wouldn’t say this was a widely used nickname but my family picked up on it and to this day use it allllll the time. With a nickname that is so closely linked to a living creature you are bound to amass a collection of items associated with it.

Hence this post!

It’s not just my family who gets these items for me, but I often seek them out. I love using bee products in my skin care regime because, raw honey is a natural healer. It aids in acne prevention and treatment, gives aging skin a boost and improves overall complexion condition. This is all possible because of the anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties found in natural honey. I also love the sweet yet floral scent and taste of honey. If it’s in a product, I’m usually all over it.

With that, here are my favorite honey bee items:

Bee Snug ‘Butter Me Up’ Body Butter
Body butter is a great product that I love to use on my cuticles and as a lip balm before going to sleep. This product came from the Kalamazoo Farmers Market and makes a great alternative to body lotion. I’ve seen products like this come in a bar which would be perfect to massage into the skin. It leaves my skin feeling hydrated but not sticky which happens quite a bit for me and the majority of lotions I’ve used.

LUSH ‘Brazened Honey’ Fresh Face Mask
First of all, I’m a huge fan girl for LUSH products and this product lives up to the quality I’m use to experiencing. At $7, the price point is very reasonable and provides around 6 applications. This face mask is excellent at gently exfoliating tired looking skin and giving it a polished hydrated look. It also smells amazing and is made fresh. You only need to keep it in your refrigerator because it doesn’t contain preservatives.

Medicine Mama’s ‘Sweet Bee Magic’ Skin Cream
This skin cream is a new favorite of my face! If you like really simple products without additives or fragrances this products is what you’ve always dreamed of. It only has 6 ingredients and it makes your skin feel like brand new. I use it primarily at night before going to bed because it doesn’t have any SPF and I always wear a moisturizer with SPF during the day. This cream is also a little on the thick side so at night it soaks into your skin and heals you right up. I even use this product on any scratches, burns or dry patches on my skin and it does an excellent job taking care of any skin that’s in need. It has excellent staying power, I use it daily and I barely made a dent in it.

Marc Jacob’s ‘Honey’ perfume
My dad and his wife got this for me as a birthday gift a few years back and around this time of year it’s in heavy rotation. I love the light sweet somewhat floral scent. A little goes a long way so I think this perfume will last me for a while to come.

‘Bee Happy’ wish stone
I’m not 100% sure when I got this little guy. If I were to guess I’d say it was from my mom because she gets me a huge chunk of the bee items I own. On the reverse side it says the word ‘happy’. I leave this in my wallet or on my bedside table and it reminds me of my family and all that I have to ‘bee happy’ about.

Burt’s Bees ‘Hibiscus’ Tinted Lip Balm
I love when a product can multi-task well. For a long time Burt’s Bees has been a favorite for lip treatment (right next to ChapStick Classic) but I absolutely LOVE their tinted lip balm range. I use it on days when I want to spice up my lip game but still keep them comfortable and happy.

Cherry Republic Cherry Honey Bear
I couldn’t have this list NOT include some actual honey! This little honey bear is filled to the brim with Michigan cherry goodness which reminds me of home. It’s a perfect treat to add to your tea, or oatmeal, or spoon…

Do you tend to collect items in a theme, either intentionally or unintentionally? Please share if you have one, I’d love to read about it :)

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Design File: icons

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Icons, graphic forms, tiny little pictures, all little characters with their own with personalities.

I love to look at these forms and almost create a story behind them or envision what kind of faux digital family they are from. All icons sets have a voice and if you look and l suppose, ‘listen’ you can hear it!

One of my recent freelance projects gave me the chance to develop these breakfast icons in order to promote my favorite meal of the week, brunch. More specifically, they were used to promote bridal shower brunches, hence the softer color palette and flowers. While I was creating these I kept thinking of a really happy bride, a younger gal that is filled with life and playfulness. The arrangement of this set helps to create a fun environment, almost as if the food and flowers are confetti raining down in celebration.

Things I considered:

  • Keeping the outlines about the same thickness, this is a great way to create unity in all of the shapes.
  • Edges, I made sure to make all of the edges slightly rounded, again to create unity within this little icon family.
  • Placement, I didn’t want to stick all of the large things together and create an unbalanced look. I fiddled with the placement of each item for a while. Certain items, like the croissant I felt needed to be placed with the open end pointing downward and to the right so your eye is pulled into the body of the work so I basically build the rest around that item.

Things I learned:

  • Improvisation, I intended to just use the breakfast icons but it started looking too food focused and not so much for a bride so I gave these little flowers a go and wound up loving how well they complimented each other.
  • Finding my groove with this color palette, breakfast foods aren’t always the most colorful, lots of browns and beiges happening (with the happy exception of fruit) so I used a neutral/pastel set of colors with a small showing of a bright color to make these guys and gals come to life.

Things I loved:

  • Dat bagel schmear tho! While I was creating the form for the schmear in my head, I went through this dialogue with myself…”Yay! It’s bagel time! I love cream cheese too. Basically my two favorite things! Oh, whatever, it doesn’t have to look perfect…screw it, in my mouth it goes!” At least, that’s how I top my bagel, I try to keep it neat in the beginning of cream cheese application and then quickly abandon all expectations of that a few seconds later. I think little weird thoughts like that during creating give it some soul.
  • The blueberry muffin looks a little bit angry at the world. At first this bugged me but then I thought, every family has a grump and that is who the muffin is, a lovable delicious grump.

Breakfast family profile:

  • Blueberry Muffin: the adorable grump (as described above).
  • Coffee cup and saucer: the austere aunt who has her shizz together.
  • Coffee beans: her kids that she can’t quite keep in line.
  • Snozberry: the teen, always trying to be the center of attention and wearing some bright ass color.
  • Croissant: The guy or gal/dad or mom who keeps things together for everyone, the pillar of the family, if you will.
  • Bagel and schmear: the best friend who will always be in your corner.

 

Info Cited:
Type Faces used – TW Cen bold, Didot italic, Mrs. Eaves
Flowers – Dollar Photo Club
Personal branding type – Bariol

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See Change EDC & Vlog

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Last week I attended the annual See Change conference put on by the folks at AIGA Minnesota! I was so excited (and nervous) to attend. This was the first step I took in getting a lay-of-the-land of the design scene, so I wanted to be prepared. The above is what I brought with me. I though strategically on this one because I didn’t want to carry too much but I knew I would need more than normal. Overall, I was very satisfied with what I slung on my arm. Feeling prepared made me way less nervous.

Here’s what I’ve got:
Banana Republic leather tote bag, several years old (this year’s version)
Joby Gorilla Pod
Fruit bar
Vintage wallet
Thrifted pouch with Mophie Powerstation
53 stylus
iPad mini
Klean Kanteen Insulated 12oz bottle
Pilot Percise V5 rollerball pen
Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm in Hibiscus
Trident Tropical Twist gum
Business cards
Glasses
Gwen Frostic notebook
Apartment keys and pocket knife

I vlogged the day I had as well, including getting some chow at the Cossetta Italian Market and Bakery in St. Paul after meeting up with some guys to play kubb.

Hope everyone had a glorious weekend!

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Tigers vs Twins, a montage

You tell me, who doesn’t love a good montage?

I mean, I feel like if a movie has a solid montage it transcends the ranks. And in case you need a little refresher, let’s have Team America remind you.

A favorite movie with pure gold montages is Mrs. Doubtfire. All of them are awesome. Bring on more montages, Hollywood! PLEASE!

Anyway, this post is more than a love letter to the montage as a cinematic device, it was my excuse to create my own while I documented going to my first Detroit Tigers baseball game.

Going to a Tigers game was on my Michigan Bucket List for this summer before I knew we would be moving to Minneapolis. Thankfully my wish came true and last Tuesday Christopher and some friends of ours saw the Tigers play the Twins.

We drank beer, ate corn dogs and before I knew it the game was done (I blame the beer).

It was a blast. America’s favorite pastime, indeed!

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EDC – freelancing

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I have always been fascinated by what people decide to carry with them on a regular basis and what that says about their life. One of my favorite video tags on YouTube is the ‘what’s in your bag’ tag and a website that has become another source of obsession is called Everyday Carry.

Right now, my life is mostly consists of walking to the corner coffee shop in the morning, firing up the computer, turning on some tunes and freelancing. This is the collection of things I bring with me. All of these items have a very distinct purpose. Nothing fancy. Everything fits in the computer bag (that I’ve had since college) or in my coat pocket.

Here’s a breakdown:
incase brand computer bag
15″ MacBook Pro (mid 2010)
fleck moleskine notebook
Pilot Precise V5 pen (the best pen on the planet)
ChapStick Classic
Coffee card, bank card & credit card
iPhone 6
Apartment Keys & pocket knife
power cords
Ear buds

I’d like to document other kinds of ‘every day carry’ experiences that I use. I try to vary what I carry based on what I’m doing that day so I’m not carrying too much extra baggage.

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Unpacking – vlog

Here’s a little recounting of the events of a week and a half ago.

My sanity was shaken a few times and we are by no means done with getting settled in, but everything is now unpacked from the towers of boxes and we excitedly await the arrival of our couch. I think once that arrives we will have a better direction on what to do with everything else and the amount of space we have.

These days, when I’m not diving into a new area of our apartment, I’m freelancing and trying to make time to take myself out to explore the city. Getting out of the house is a HUGE must when homesickness settles in.

I know it will take time to settle in and feel normal. Everything worth having takes time.

Enjoy your day!



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