Well, it’s happened again. I’ve been bitten by the travel bug. Recently I’ve been suffering from a severe case of wanderlust. Perhaps it’s the wintertime blues, but I’ve been dying to go somewhere new.. and warm. There’s something so rejuvenating about experiencing a new place, wouldn’t you agree? Discovering a different world outside of your own is so beautiful. In an attempt to cure my cabin fever, I’m reminiscing on some favorite snapshots from past travels. Oh, and I’m taking you with me! No packing needed ;) Enjoy.
It’s somewhat difficult to not be in a healthy mindset at the beginning of the year. It’s contagious! Messages advising us that we NEED to get in shape are everywhere. While this motivation is great, I think it’s important to make smaller efforts that are more likely to stick with our busy routines.
One of those small efforts could be simply adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet. The USDA recommends about five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, depending on who you are. You can find a handy little chart here. Breakfast is the perfect time to get a few of these servings out of the way. I absolutely love to enjoy a delish and nutrish smoothie in the morning – they’re perfect for on-the-go. This blueberry + avocado detox smoothie is packed full of powerful antioxidants to start your morning on a healthy and nourishing note.
- 1 avocado
- 1 banana
- 1 c. blueberries
- 1 cucumber
- 1 handful spinach
- coconut water
-makes 2 drinks
If you think about it, New Year’s is kind of a silly holiday – it’s no different than yesterday or the day before, yet the changing of the year has of way of sparking new hope and inspiration. As a constant goal-setter + list maker, the start of a new year is the freshest of fresh beginnings. It’s the perfect time to reflect and think about where you’d like to grow. I’ve noticed this year that the common mindset is to set small, realistic resolutions as the whole “new year, new you” trend is very much overrated. I love this idea, and I think it encourages self-improvement throughout the year instead of just January and February. It’s healthy to constantly push yourself to be just a little bit better in the areas that matter most. Here are a few of my main goals for 2014 –>
Running and I have a love/hate relationship. Although most days it feels like hate/hate. However, it is something that is extremely satisfying and gives me a huge sense of accomplishment. Last year, I participated in my first 5K. It was a total blast, and this year I plan to participate in at least four runs. (I may or may not regret this.)
My addiction to iEverything gets a little out of control sometimes. A lot of times. I am going to make much more of an effort to put down the phone, close the laptop, and turn off the TV. We’re talkin’ being fully emerged in real-life convos and activities that don’t involve a qwerty keyboard. Nothing drastic, but even hour or so of unplugged time is very much needed. In fact, this would be the perfect opportunity to…
Read. No chargers, no glaring screen.. just me and a good old fashioned book. (Maybe a glass of wine, too). I can’t remember the last time I read for fun. High school maybe? Call me crazy, but I love the smell of books and the feeling of turning the pages. I have a goal to read at least five books this year. Any suggestions?!
After learning about hand lettering + calligraphy from Nicolas and Erin.. it’s was impossible not to be extremely inspired. I have been dying to try my hand at lettering. I’m extremely nervous since my drawing talent is basically non-existant, buuuut it’s worth a shot. (Above is my first crack at it.. let’s just say I will need A LOT of practice). I would also love to pick up painting again.. digital creation has become such a default. Using materials to create something with your hands can really help break down those creative blocks.
It’s so easy to get caught up in life that we forget to step back and and say a few prayers. I do pray every single day, but I would love to add to this by praying the rosary at least twice a week. This is something that is near and dear to my heart, and there are many wonderful reasons to do so.
Wishing you a very happy 2014! Here’s a little gift to kick of the new year. I put together a simple, printable calendar for you to hang wherever you need a little reminder :)
Update: The 2019 calendar is here! The link below has been updated. Happy New Year!
T-minus three days until 2014! Can you believe it?! I’m not sure how that happened. To ring in the new year, I created a delicious raspberry + pomegranate concoction – two of my very favorite fruit flavors. This refreshing cocktail is perfect to serve at a New Year’s get together or if you’re looking to switch it up and try something different!
- 3 oz. champagne or white wine
- 1 oz. pomegranate vodka
- 5 oz. pomegranate juice
- 4 oz. raspberry lemonade
- 4 oz. Sprite
-makes 2 drinks
This year I am inspired by simplicity and the small, beautiful details of the winter season. Although Nebraska winters consist of bitter cold temps, there is something peaceful about fresh fallen snow, bare trees, and the smell of pine. I wanted to share this collection of images that captures the beauty of this time of year when you take away the stress and all of the hustle and bustle. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!
These DIY glitter ornaments are a super simple way to add a pop of ‘merry and bright’ glitz to your holiday decor. Easy to make, these floating pretties are sure to give an elegant sparkle.
What you’ll need:
- Clear ornaments
- Clear string or fishing line
1. Remove the metal hangers from the ornaments.
2. Using a funnel, pour glitter into each.
2. Replace the metal hangers, and use clear string to create hanging loops. Voila!
Find more holiday inspiration here!
No no, not the cheese – I’m talking about the paper. I absolutely love (okay, I’m obsessed with) the simple, natural beauty of kraft paper. It’s extremely versatile, and there are so many creative ways to jazz it up or play it down. It even looks beautiful tied up with a piece of twine or string. For Christmas this year, I wrapped each gift in kraft paper and added my own touch. Gifting should be an experience. There’s something magical about the element of surprise that comes along with unwrapping a special something. I thoroughly enjoyed making each gift one of a kind.
Here are some other inspiring ways to prettify your packages:
Very Merry via Artifact Uprising
French Inspired Gift Tags via lia griffith
Burlap Inspiration via Pretties and Posies
Creative Christmas Gift Wrap via The Idea Room
Vintage Mountain Gift Tags via fellow fellow
I had the opportunity to interview two very talented Omaha, NE graphic designers. Erin Pille and Nicolas Fredrickson have been making huge waves ever since graduating from Metropolitan Community College in the spring of 2013. Erin specializes in calligraphy, while Nicolas is a master at hand lettering.
The difference between hand lettering and calligraphy.
Wait, there’s a difference? Oh yes. These two terms are used interchangeably, but they are in fact very different. Hand lettering is custom illustration where each letter is one of a kind, while calligraphy has balanced, identical letterforms. Lettering allows you to stretch the rules of design, as each illustrated work is unique. Calligraphy on the other hand focuses on letterforms that work together as a whole. To put it simply, hand lettering = drawing, calligraphy = writing.
I asked Erin and Nicolas for insight on how they do what they do. Both stress the importance of practicing everyday, even if you don’t have a finished piece. Keep practicing, and keep creating. Erin advises, “Practice DOES NOT make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect. Look at the work of other letterers and figure out WHY it’s good, and WHY you like it, then incorporate that into your own work.” When pulling inspiration from the work of others however, Nicolas emphasizes that it is best to start from memory. Doing so allows your own organic style to develop. Nicolas explains, “If you start off by looking at someone else’s work, you may end up unintentionally mimicking their piece.”
How to get started.
Interested in trying your hand at lettering and calligraphy but not sure where to begin? Erin explains that the best way to get started is to just do it. There are no secrets. There are no shortcuts. You just have to do it. Draw words and draw a lot of them. Keep track of your sketches and you’ll be surprised at how quickly you improve.
About the artists.
After graduation, Erin interned at hayneedle.com where she designed beautiful artwork for promotional campaigns. She recently collaborated with Kat Tinkham at Lauritzen Gardens to create a holiday themed window display that features her stunning Victorian calligraphy. Erin also created the logo for Ellabella Photography, as well as the poster for Me, Myself & Design, an event hosted by AIGA.
What inspires you?
“Raindrops on roses, whiskers on kitte- wait. that’s a song. Never mind. But seriously. Inspiration can come from anywhere, it’s more about having a mindset of looking for it. Keep your eyes open and your mind thinking. Personally, I find the majority of inspiration in nature: especially color combinations, visual balance, symmetry, and asymmetry. But it can come from anywhere! Old books, architecture, fabric patterns… etc.”
What do you love about calligraphy?
“Three main reasons. First, how accessible it is. Pen and paper. Thats all you need. Virtually no cost, no commitment! Second, the possibilities are ENDLESS! Yes, you can use fancy inks and papers but really, you can make letters out of anything! Flowers, food, string, thumbtacks, the list is infinite. Lastly, I see it as a fascinating form of dual communication. Not only are you using words to say something, but the very shapes of the letters can also communicate mood, time period, appeal to specific demographics, and emphasize a point. I just love it all.”
Nicolas recently created an overlay pack for the Studio Design, a beautiful app that is described as Instagram for design. He has also been featured in several blogs, and he lettered for both Benjamin Shafer and John Waller’s album artwork.
What inspires you?
“Inspiration for design can come from less concrete things such as nature, or courage. Inspiration can also be drawn from a worn down barn, modern architecture, or simply encouragement from someone who appreciates my work.“
What do you love about hand lettering?
“What I love most about lettering is that I can show the world how something so ordinary can become so beautiful with a little effort put into it. A lot of times when I am explaining to someone what lettering is, I can tell they have no idea what I mean so it’s nice to be able to explain something visually. I hope to inspire others to follow their passions whether it is lettering, flying planes, or anything imaginable.”
Find more inspiration and examples of gorgeous design here!
The Christmas tree is the heart of the season. This iconic centerpiece holds many memories and traditions that are near and dear. If you’re lacking the time, space, or budget to set up the whole rigamarole, a DIY Christmas tree is the perfect solution. Unleash your creativity by using a collection of found items to create a tree that is truly unique!
Shelf Tree via minted
Wall Tree via Eline Pellinkhoff
Photo Tree via Stil Inspiration
Branch Tree via Free People
Advent Calendar via Martha Stewart
DIY Plywood Holiday Card Holder via Ambrosia Creative
Driftwood Tree via basic label Sweden
Lighted Tree via Atelier Rue Verte
Collected Tree via Apartment Therapy
Chalkboard Christmas Tree via House and Home
Holiday Tree via Style Me Pretty
Which is your favorite? Share in the comments below!