So, I had every intention of writing about my recent trip to Cancun, Mexico but somehow California swooped in and stole all of the attention. Upon returning from one of the most relaxing and visually stimulating trips ever, I fit in a short week of work and started making my way to Los Angeles. Nothing special was on the agenda – just your standard exploring, eating, and sun-soaking! But you guys, something happened. I don’t know if it was the constant smell of sun-screen, the cooler of cold beers on the beach, or the warm evenings filled with happy-go-lucky story telling… but summer has officially stollen my heart. My computer has become my worst enemy and all I want to do is run around in sandals and hats, singing oldies and eating cold grapes. ha… I hope you guys are having a killer summer! I refuse to accept that July is almost over…
A few favorite moments /
- Hitting up one of my favorite beaches, El Matador
- Taking my new CRAP sunglasses out for a spin
- Visiting LACMA for the first time
- Rocking my new Citizens of Humanity shorts
- Watching skaters at Venice beach
- oh, and listening to this July playlist!
Hope you guys are having a killer week! Turns out vacation is awesome and it’s hard coming back to real life? Who would have guessed!? There were two things I loved most about being in Dream-Land-Mexico and away from my normal routine. 01 – I wasn’t sitting down in a chair all day. I was on my feet, running around, moving…!! My body was almost instantaneously happier. If only I could design a logo while exploring? 02. My head was so much more clear. I’m pretty ocd so when it’s time to work ( which is basically all the time ) my brain is on hyper-active / list-making / goal-achieving / self-improving / etc etc mode… I’ve only been back for a few days and I’m already exhausted again. Come on life…?? Mexico, where you at?
…some favs that helped get me back into the groove this morning!
01. Melissa Sonico – CA based writer
02. Stacy Longenecker – Founder of LEIF
03. Liz Gardner – Design Director for Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine
04. Justina Blakeney – Los Angeles based Designer, Author, and Mama
I’m gunna go ahead and check out early this week!! Monday = Friday for me ladies & gents. I’m headed to Cancun and nobody can stop me! My beautiful twin cousins are celebrating their birthday and invited me along for the ride. It’s my first time to experience an all-inclusive resort so you can imagine my excitement and curiosity! The last time I went to Mexico, I hit up Cabo San Lucas with a few Los Angeles friends. Needless to say, it was a memorable trip that has left me with high hopes for Mexico-Round-Dos!! Hope everyone is having a great summer. More soon!
Three things that have made me happy as of late:
01. I recently wrapped up a branding project with one of the coolest shops around, Oakland Surf Club! We created a mark for the “mini” addition to their shop. They have an adorable display that houses tiny clothing for tiny people, aka: kiddos! All of the printed collateral is making it’s way into their hands so I stopped by to check it out, starting with these tiny little stickers. Ohhh so fun!
02. Every once in a while, when I am alone at my studio, I will go check out my mates corners to see what they are working on. They never fail to have all sorts of eye candy laying around for me to drool over. This week, it’s Cortney’s wall & her purple mini zines. Yum.
03. Oh and I got a new rug! I can’t decide if it will stay on the floor or be hung on the wall. You can hang rugs right? Either way, I sense a new addiction starting.
In case you missed it on Instagram, I got engaged this weekend! I’m so excited to share a few snapshots from the special day. In a nut-shell, Bubba & I planned our “engagement day” together, which basically consisted of us rolling out of bed and putting our rings on at the same time. Then we bopped around San Francisco all day, eating, drinking, shopping, and playing with our big white balloon. ( Note: We did not elope – Bubba’s ring confused a lot of friends and family. Although, we did highly consider running away to France & saying “I DO” along the Seine ) Let the planning ( and dress hunting ) begin!
I have to brag a tiny bit about Bubba’s ring(s) because I am just sooo excited about them! Yes, them. As soon as we made the decision to get married, we went to Kate Ellen’s shop here in Oakland. I wanted Bubba to explore the variety of handmade pieces she carries, in an attempt to hone in on his jewelry preferences! We discussed materials, finishes, shapes, concepts… It was awesome! He totally got into it.
We landed on this: 4 thin gold rings that he will receive at different times in his life! They were designed to sit flush next to each other, creating a flat surface, as each one is added. He received the first one this Saturday, on engagement day! The 2nd one will come on our actual wedding day! and #03 and #04 will be a surprise – pretty awesome huh? I thought so :) xoxo
Raise your hand if you’re excited for summer?? I spent this past Sunday at the Alameda Flea Market getting a major sunburn ( …and sadly, I kind of loved it ) Being from Texas, I enjoy nothing more than feeling the hot hot sun on my skin – warm days feel like home! That being said, I’m super stoked to kick off summer with my friends over at BC Footwear. They are hosting the #BCSummerRoadTrip, where they will be “visiting” 8 bloggers in 8 different cities across the country. It started with Cali Vintage in Los Angeles and Chelsea Lane in Minneapolis – I’m up next, representing the Bay Area!
I decided to rock the Every Night sandal for a morning in Oakland. I grabbed some iced coffee at Subrosa, the tiniest coffee shop around, then ran over to Temescal Alley – a super cool spot a couple blocks from my apartment. This is definitely a must-stop area, it has so many unique shops packed into one little block.
A Few Oakland Favs –
Esqueleto: A rotating assortment of artists, objects and jewelry in a desert-like shop – I want just about everything in here. Crimson: Looking for some horticultural rarities? You’ve found the place – I stocked up on air plants and candles during my last visit. Donut Dolly: Need a sugar-fed energy boost? Why not get some donut holes stuffed with filling? Book/Shop: A light filled, meticulously curated, incredibly inspiring book shop. I could sit in here for hours. And last but not least, my new favorite, The Homestead Apothecary: This is where I get my sleepy time tea and remind myself to take a deep breath every once in a while.
Around The Corner –
Bakesale Betty’s: The best fried chicken sandwich you will ever eat. The line is consistently around the block, every single day! Pizzaiolo: Insane food with a cozy atmosphere. Dona Tomas: Modern Mexican with killer margaritas! I’m obsessed with their logo and even more obsessed with their back patio area ( …do you like bocce ball? )
What I’m Wearing –
Levis Jeans | BC Sandals | Steven Alan Purse | CAMP jacket | Vintage tank | Lookmatic Shades
>> A now for the most amazing GIVEAWAY ever!!
One lucky winner will receive 6 pairs of BC shoes ( yes – you heard me, SIX ) – alongside a super fun Summer Survival Kit. Hint Hint: You can enter with all 8 bloggers to increase your chances of winning. To enter with me: Leave a comment below mentioning which pairs you have your eye on. Also, follow BC Footwear either on Facebook or Twitter. Wishing you lots of luck! ( you have until June 11th to enter with me and you must be a US resident to win )
→ Photos by Ashley Batz
Last month, I had the opportunity to chat with Ashley Neese, a Los Angeles based holistic nutrition consultant. We first crossed paths when I asked her to be a Lovely Lady. She is beautiful, positive, and encouraging in every way. She is passionate about holistic living and wants to inspire from a heart, mind, and body perspective.
During our sixty minute one-on-one session ( via video-chat ), we examined my current life status, discussed healthy improvements to my overall diet, and considered removing obstacles that leave me feeling unbalanced. You’d think it would be hard to fit all of that into 60 minutes but honestly, it was the perfect amount of time! Also, since finishing the consultation, she has consistently encouraged and challenged me to meet the goals we set and to stay positive through any difficult changes I am working through.
Although, I have to say it has been a lot harder to tackle my “weaknesses” than I thought it would be ( I’m trying not to view them as weaknesses but more as unhealthy habits ) – mainly because I am so busy but also because deeply rooted habits are hard to break, right?? One of my top concerns when starting out was how to add MORE to my schedule and mental head-space while keeping my stress level down. Ashley claimed that if I have awareness and a desire to see change ( which I’d like to think I do ), that it would all fall into place more naturally than I probably anticipated. We decided that I should focus on these three areas: Food, Sleep, and Breaks/Meditation.
I won’t go into too much detail about each but I will say this – having one intentional conversation with Ashley has completely turned things around for me – for the better, of coarse! I have found focus and in turn, am seeing improvements in all areas mentioned above. I feel very lucky for the insight and encouragement I’ve received from her – as it’s given me a new found appreciation for myself and my body.
…and guess what!!? Ashley has kindly offered up one 60 minute Holistic Consultation & Recipe eBook for a giveaway! ( this giveaway has ended ) To enter, leave a comment below telling us a bit about your favorite way to take care of yourself. Then either follow Ashley on Instagram or sign up for her newsletter.
She has also put together this delicious juice, just for us. Bubba and I tried it out this past weekend during a trip to our neighborhood park. We stored them in mason jars and brought along my favorite giant boba straws for sippin* It was the perfect cool treat while lounging in the sun.
Apple Fennel Cleanse Juice
Ingredients ( serves 1 ) –
2 small apples, cut, seeds removed
1 fennel bulb with stalks and fronds
1 medium cucumber
1 large bunch of spinach
Handful of fresh mint
Run everything except the lime through the juicer.
Squeeze the lime juice in at the end to taste.
Juice will keep 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge!
Glass jars are the best.
I’m so excited to be apart of this new video that was created for Los Angeles based shop, Individual Medley. They teamed up with my favorite video-super-star, Wade Koch of Sharkpig, to create what I like to consider, a mini-anthem for all of the makers that they carry in their shop.
This video makes me so happy, as Individual Medley was a little safe-haven for me during my time in Los Angeles! Monica and her husband are probably two of the kindest people I have ever met. I would consistently pop in for a chat because they always left me feeling uplifted. I also truly enjoyed seeing the products and makers that they would invest in carrying. A lot of the creatives in this video are friends – it makes me so happy to see everyone thriving, succeeding, and growing.
Oh, also – Sharkpig has the sickest studio ever – I mean, who has a secret entrance to their office! See that bookshelf-door below? Really!!? It’s a great representation of their work and all of their personalities, there is no denying that! Check it out in it’s entirety here!
A couple of months ago, Erin from Apartment 34 reached out to me about hosting a mini Graphic Design 101 class for her and her team. I’m a huge fan of spreading design-love to those who welcome it so I happily agreed to entertain and teach in my studio.
With so many incredible blogs out there, it’s important that we have thoughtful and original designs to help us stand out! Erin said that while she loves graphic design, she never took it in school, never even really dabbled in it and quite honestly, has found that it doesn’t come as naturally to her as she wish it did. I’m sure a lot of people feel this way?
I sat down with the Apt34 team for a couple of hours ( accompanied by lots of coffee & treats ) to discuss a range of topics! I created a custom presentation laying out everything that I wanted to cover with them. This included what I think to be the very basic building blocks of graphic design, a few critiques of their current blog posts, lists of helpful resources, and encouraging questions to help inspire growth within their layouts. Note: Erin’s blog is beautiful and I made sure she knew that. Everything I shared with them was purely positive-feedback based on my own personal opinion. The class had great energy that fed off of our intention to improve, not fix.
Everyone on the team came into the class with a different level of understanding – so it was interesting to receive feedback. Below are my two favorites! Erin provided lots of great content within her post about the morning – you can read her take on it here.
“I came away more in awe of all the considerations (or components) that go into good design. It takes an incredible amount of work to make things look clean and simple. Now I always try to remember to give images space to breathe and be really thoughtful about how the text relates to the images. Just like accessorizing, I feel like it’s better to take things out than clutter the page!”
“I was really excited to learn general rules about layout balance and typography. I was intrigued by the concept of Leading (space between text on a page – turns out more space is better) and Kerning (space between letters in a word). I also learned that unless you are in fact a graphic designer, it takes a lot of trial and error to really learn what works and what doesn’t. At least it’s a fun learning process!”
I want to thank Erin for inviting me to be apart of her teams growth. Her appreciation for design was… well, wildly appreciated! I love her parting words about the class: “If you’re serious about growing your blog, investing in what will help you stand out from the crowd is critical. If you want your blog to be your business, you have to treat it like one!”
…and thank you – Ashley Batz – for taking the lovely photos!
Guess what? I should be launching my new portfolio/blog within the next week or so?? Can you believe it? I am so damn close, I can taste it :) I wanted to share a few projects that will be included before the whole shebang goes live. Over the last few years, I have pumped out a lot of work that I’m super proud of but was horrible at sharing it with anyone! I can finally say that I will be up-to-date and accurately represented online, yay! I can’t wait to hear what you guys think.
When I was pulling all of my favorite projects for the update, I quickly noticed that the majority of my work has some sort of illustrated/hand-drawn element. In college, I almost majored in illustration but quickly changed paths and focused on Graphic Design – it felt more monetary and safe at the time. I’m realizing that it has always been a natural and comfortable part of designing for me. I’m excited to see how I implement that skill within future projects.
Below is one of my absolute favorite logos from this year so far. This is just a part of it – you’ll be able to see the whole thing when the site is up. The client is: The Happy Sleeper! It’s made up of Julie Wright & Heather Turgeon – both psychotherapists that work with and write about child development and parenting. They requested a logo for the face of their new website & book. We focused on the youthful, calming, and constantly-changing variables of their profession. The final logo emphasizes the earths rotation as it interacts with the sun and moon – confronting different parts of the day that we all cycle through – children and adults alike.
p.s. I hate writing about my projects, ha. It’s so hard for me. It’s taken me like a billion hours to write the copy for the new site, ha. I guess I should just suck it up and deal with it because being able to talk about the concepts behind my projects it’s crucial.
I just finished designing a huge piece for bay area photographer, Eva Kolenko ( see below ). I haven’t had the opportunity to print a lot of my work so I was incredibly pumped to step away from my usual routine and think about paper, user-experience, etc! We created a perfect-bound promo book, with a perforated recipe insert ( she shot her favorite family recipe and shared the process for a personal touch ). The finishing detail is a poster that’s folded and inserted into the back – it houses her year in instagrams and one of her favorite photos – super large & in charge! I guarantee you I’ll be showing this one off when it’s in my hands, stay tuned! We sent it to the printer this week :)
I was inspired to snap a few details of my studio this afternoon to show you what it looks like on a normal working day. I’m pretty bad about keeping this place clean and clutter free. It’s my studio – it’s supposed to be messy right? This morning, I had all of my birthday remnants thrown around on the table – flowers, pictures, & treats! ( I turned 27 yesterday, ah** ) Bubba and I took these photo-booth shots last night at this little record store by our apartment. Then we proceeded to eat more sushi than I thought was humanly possible! p.s. That blue silk scarf is my new favorite hair accessory!
My inspiration wall keeps growing and growing! I feel like I’ve become this crazy-collector lady that is always picking up random things off the ground, ha. It is officially the #1 thing that people instagram when they come in here ( see: 1 / 2 / 3 ) I added a few new pieces to it this past month that I am seriously in love with. I only have about a foot at the top left blank – I’m so close to covering the entire wall.
This is what my desk usually looks like – lots of cords and that’s about it. Oh, and my foam core sun shield-tent because I’m blinded by glare without it… I sold my desktop a couple of months back and have just been working from my laptop & this rotating stand. It’s been a nice set up but I plan to get a monitor soon – I’m wanting to work on a larger scale again!
Below are some random things that are always lying around – small knick-knacks that keep me happy! Books ( looks like I’m really drawn to pinks & reds ) tape, jewelry, my new leather pouch from my knitting buddy, Karen! All good stuff.
I’m so flattered to be featured by Bunch Magazine this week. BUNCH is a limited print publication that highlights influencers across creative communities! The aim is to cultivate a like-minded collective through interviews, photographs, and film that are both inspirational and motivational to the reader.
+ Loren Crosier took my portrait & Chloe Roth wrote the interview
+ You can read the entire feature here