Friday, December 30, 2011


I'm a pretty average length for a girl. about 5'4" give or take some days and shoes and TOMS. I really can't reach much? and tell the tall co-workers that the only reason why we hired them is to get cases down for me from high high places. I like to make people feel needed. Ya know.

My mom and I paid a visit to my grandmother's house a couple weeks ago when she exclaimed, "Have you gotten taller?!" and I sheepishly replied, "No, Grandma... I think you're getting smaller..." It's a real thing, guys. Your grandma's are SHRINKING. How else does the term "tiny old people" apply?? After we went home I asked my mom, "um... HAVE i grown?" to which she pointed out that she used to be taller than I am pretty recently and now I'm taller than her.

But get this. My mother hasn't shrunk.

I grew. Two whole inches. I'm 25. 

I'm part of the crazy small percentage of people that can actually say they grew well into their 20's. Like when one boob is smaller than the other and it totally catches up in college, or you've always had that weird instep but now your feet are no longer 8 and 8.5 in shoe size.

It's pretty weird... but also, PRETTY COOL.

(I still need the tall people I work with to get cases down for me, though. So it's a pretty weak victory in the grand scheme of things. womp womp.)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

life according to my iPhone

herro! it's almost Christmastime around these parts (actually around ALL parts it's almost Christmastime haha) which means things just get busier. Thank goodness my iPhone 4 has a sweet awesome camera so I can capture moments otherwise I'd just be... babbling. Like normal.

top: the sun through the trees at my sisters apartment was so pretty it stopped me in my tracks, and my fancy new Starbucks water bottle to make me want to drink water super fancy this new year. In reality I have to trick my lazy brain. Right now it thinks this is a treat. Don't. tell it. anything!

middle: I made a couple shortbreads ready tonight. I combined a few recipes, including Tracy Shutterbean's Earl Grey Tea cookies, my mother's traditional shortbread and the 5 million other shortbread recipes we have laying around. ALSO I totally tweeted Tracy because I didn't have an ingredient and she responded with an addendum! Blog-lebrities on Twitter are a GODSEND. You can't tweet Martha Stewart and be like "What up girl!? I'm out of all-purpose flour for these cookies can I use Swan's Down Cake Flour?" she's off being indicted or decorating the entire White House with only twine and paper clips on hand. But I CAN tweet Joy the Baker (squee!) and Tracy knowing they'll help me out. It's like we're friends, which is really my only dream.
I chose those charms at Renegade Holiday for a 'defining' necklace. I like having jewelry that kind of accents my personality, you know? The ball of yarn is obvi, my love of crafty things (next is a muffin pan!) and the key is to remind me God is the only one that holds my heart. After a slew of heartbreaks this year I really need to hold onto that fact.

bottom: my bokeh-ed Christmas tree. I literally go in my living room, take off my glasses and stare at my tree. It twinkles and sparkles in my astigmatismed eyes : ). On the right is my freezer. We stockpile butter like it's going out of STYLE during the holidays. We have no less than 20 pounds of butter in my freezer at any given time from the month of October clear thru February. I'm seriously thinking about buying stock in Land O' Lakes. We're serious cooks/bakers up in this house y'all. WHAT UUUP.

If I don't post beforehand, Merry Christmas to you! Take this time to relax for at LEAST three seconds and remember why we celebrate.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

D.I.Y not?

hey! i like long hiatuses between posting! with no information about what's going on in my life! no big! let it go! Okay but for real I've been in a deep creative rut. I have no one to talk about creative stuff with! Most of my friends have equally creative husbands to bounce ideas off of and while amazingly awesome for them, I've just kind of sunk into complacency. It isn't good and I'm not sure what to do about it. I really miss having creative conversations about... anything! anyways...

I was wrapping presents today, which is one of my very favorite things to do around Christmas, besides watching overdose amounts of White Christmas. I love making things pretty and nice and I always cut out brown paper bags to make the "to:/from:" tags because SERIOUSLY why would you buy them?! It always gives a nice handmade touch. Trader Joe's bags actually has cut out to/from tags, which got my brain a-chuggin - why can't I make my OWN to:/from: tags? Duh! Designer. Illustrator. Mouse. BRAIN! COME ON! I'll be printing these out on brown paper bags I'll cut down to letter size. I'm sore excited!!

I also love wrapping my presents with yarn and other bits I find around my house. Seriously. Who needs wrapping paper anymore?! If you make your own totally post them so I can see!

Also if any of you are free after the holidays just to chat over coffee? Please let me know! I gotta get out of this rut. It is sincerely cramping my STYLE.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

{about life}: you've been poked!

via Swissmiss (love her!)

Somehow I made a mental decision to take a hiatus from blogging but didn't tell myself and coasted RIGHT into December! Right past black people Thanksgiving (because, yeah, it's different!). Right past, yet somehow making it through the horror that is Black. Friday. (African American Friday?! no...) Well hi! I had a whole bunch of post ideas that have gone RIGHT out the winder (as my grandma pronounces 'window') and I've decided to post when I feel I need to. Hopefully that's sooner rather than later. I'll also post more photos so that in the in between times I don't take a break for something like two whole silent WEEKS.

well i'm gonna leave you with a quote from my late boss. he's the best. : )

Monday, November 14, 2011

dressing a salad

It's weird to post about salad dressing and be serious about it but in all honesty this post is for Kate. She visited me a few weeks ago and we baked tasty good things like quiche and pumpkin bread buuuut somehow we also had fried chicken and salad. I don't even... anyway. The salad dressing is pretty quintessential "Gail" if you know my mom at all. It's a basic lemon vinaigrette that happens to taste good on EVERYTHING you put it on. I haven't tried it on cereal... but I would. It's THAT good.

Well, Kate texted me for instructions/ingredients and I told her what I thought it was. When I reported back to my MOM what I texted KATE she... told me it was correct and incorrect all at the same time. Then she let it go. Then she brought it up the next day some ingredients I forgot. Then she dropped it. Then she admitted, finally, THE NEXT DAY, that I needed to give Kate CORRECT ingredients for the vinaigrette.... and THEN said it really didn't matter to be honest. She's miiiildly obsessive. And I pretty much love the stuffing out of her. 

So... even though I am acting on command from my mother this is seriously the most simple and amazing salad dressing ever. My favorite salad is romaine hearts, finely chopped, dried cranberries, walnuts and radishes. on a good fall day I'll add a tart, crispy green apple. and add this simple yet effective vinaigrette? this salad SINGS. 

this... coming from a girl who thinks french fries are hardcore vegetables. (kidding! mostly...)

Ah! addendum. already haha... My mom likes to see little flecks of green in the dressing, it gives her subtle satisfaction of sorts. She will put either dried parsley (which you cannot taste) or dried cilantro (which gives it a very, VERY subtle boost in flavor) in the dressing. Also that "sqwidge" is more like a teaspoon or less. Dijon can be very overpowering so you have to make it a team player. Actually all the flavors threaten to overpower one another which is why it's so brilliant in it's simplicity. You can definitely leave out the onion powder if that isn't your cup of tea but don't leave out the garlic powder. Just sayin'. You'll want it present. 

This is the ONE dressing that makes me CRAVE salads and saves me money because I will never buy vinaigrette again. It's perfect for in between the constant carb loading holidays and a good reminder that good food doesn't have to have golden arches on it. : )

Happy eating!

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Villafuerte Wedding (finally! tang cups!)

So you know my love of hipster friend weddings right? Please refer to Katherine's amazing wedding for proof. All my friends keep getting married and having babies! For the most part I'm cool with that cuz a) i like to dance and b) i love babies! it just... works out.

Well I have yet another insider scoop on an awesome wedding. Can I share something with you? (read: "...with you, Sarah?") I was wary of this wedding. Sarah had a VISION... like no joke this girl is brilliant because to talk about it I was confused. It seemed like a lot of cool elements that made me really happy and then really sad cuz I didn't understand how they were coming together. Guess what?! Didn't matter cuz I wasn't the one getting married! And they did come together! it was GORGEOUS and totally Sarah.

The wedding was AMAZING! Take... equal parts fabric from all walks of life, plates from everyone you know's house, lyrics from hipster love songs, Hollowine (oh yes.), a secret chapel hidden in the trees, and the most beautiful custom made dress you've ever seen (for real this is a beautiful dress Sarah literally DREAMT up. I can't even...)and WA-BAM. Sarah and Manuel twenty-eleven. Sarah took "do it yourself" to a whole other level. There was handmade bunting, wood burned tree (with the ink pads so you put your finger print on it?! so cool!), her cake stands were tree stumps! Gah. It's hard to explain. I feel like I can't do it justice.

Her ceremony was at Funks Grove and it was the most idyllic place I've ever been. There were leaves falling slowly the whole time, it felt like a dream. And of course while I was there I tried to justify my place in the world and how life in general functions and tuuuurns... but the place makes you do that! It's all golden trees and white picket fences and love! WHY. It wears off after a few days. Don't worry.

Also I was "in" the wedding and had no idea. Like I had a little corsage made for me! Her Aunt Chris walks up to me and hands it to me and I'm like 'oh! um... no?' and she looks at me and goes, "You know your name is Abby right? You're the only Abby here." *crickets* sometimes... I'm kind of slow... hahaha

My camera was my iPhone and I did all the editing/photo framing on Camera + and Photo Frame (both $0.99 in the App Store. WORTH IT) I think it turned out pretty cool! The video is still a work in progress but it's almost dooone yaaay! I'll be putting all the photos you see smashed together up in a Facebook album too... unsmashed. let us move on : )

Sarah looked so beautiful it almost didn't make sense. She looked like Adele meets someone way more awesome that I can't think of haha... and I'm still HARDCORE in love with her dress.

Oh wait! That's not all. I didn't even get to the DANCING. First of all Get Me Bodied by Beyonce is... probably the best dance song ever made. There's instructions! You can't NOT dance. It's like... a commandment to dance. Love it SO HARD. Annie and Brent are probably THE MOST coordinated white people I've ever met. Okay... confession? I'm not a good dancer! I'm all shoulders and hips and booty bumpin'. Sometimes that gets you no where. But I DO bring da noise. Sometimes I bring da funk just to keep it interesting. But they... brought the house down. Highlight? Me and Katherine changing into pajamas before leaving... theeen hopping onto the dance floor for Ms. New Booty. Cuz you can't not dance to that. So much fun.

Quick letter to all my friends, I friggin love you. I love you and your amazing weddings. Please keep having parties in the future. Please don't forget to invite me. I will show up with my iPhone ready to party.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

blast from the past!

I'm not a girl who saves things for ever and ever. It's possible I throw away birthday and Christmas cards a week after getting them. I mean, please, can someone tell me what exactly you're supposed to do with those? Look at them with longing and nostalgia? Ack. Well somehow something stood the test of time...


yeah. i said it. not only is it a Caboodle is a KIDZ Caboodle. When I was little my sister had this amazing black and turquoise one with so many compartments! when you opened it there was a mirror and then the sides stacked THREE HIGH on EACH SIDE to reveal tiny drawers, little compartments, and areas of imminent surprise. and then the BOTTOM was CAVERNOUS... filled with anything you could DREAM of! Make-up, hair accessories, more hair accessories and old bobby pins! *wipes tear* man. you never know how good you have it til you don't have a Caboodle anymore. Luckily I still have mine. It's pink and orange with a yellow handle. A 90's girl's DREAM. No joke I still use it to hold hair stuff but I think the last time I cleaned it out was circa... 1994. because I got my Caboodle in 1994. yeah.

Since deciding to go natural I picked up a few things at the store and realized most of the stuff in my Caboodle (man, it's ridiculous that I still use that word AT ALL) is pretty outdated. I had no idea.

BEHOLD. figures 1-7.
1. the category of the butterflies. this was right around 7th to 8th grade for me. I got butterfly hair accessories as birthday presents, I had a butterfly that changed from clear to purple in sunlight, they were in my barrettes i mean they were EVERYWHERE. and i friggin LOVED IT. What I would do is put my hair in a bun then stick a winged butterfly at the top of the ponytail/bun and it would flutter... all day. in my hair. people would compliment me. I no joke started hair trends in grammar school. Private school kids are NUTS.
2. Ribbons. i don't even understand why I have these and then I remembered high school band. *shakes head slowly* I mean I know where I'm going with this but man do i NOT wanna go there! I was super into pig tails and two pony tails. When we had games I would wrap the ribbons all up in my hair and feel amazing. People would marvel. People would MARVEL. (in a good way! for shiz!)
3. Headbands part 1 - people still wear headbands today. I still wear headbands all the time because of my CRAZY HAIR but these in particular made me look like I was trying out for a coveted part in EVERY EXERCISE VIDEO EVER MADE. Look at your life. Look at your choices.
4. Tiny trinket trends - here lie three things that were made to make your hair look awesome and cool but I never used. Those little jeweled pony holders there? Okay somehow I must have forgot about being black but those things NEVER held my hair. I couldn't get them around a ponytail not even once. Why. When did I forget that my hair is NUTS. The flowers... omg those flowers. They came in a pack of 400 I swear to bob I maybe used one. They were supposed to hang at different points in your hair and like... i honestly don't know. I don't even remember or understand what the little "u" shaped things are. I made no sense!

5. a torture tool - this handy dandy thing is supposed to help you learn how to french braid. also I really wanted the Topsy Tail. this was the next best thing. I used it on my dolls all the time but never on myself. I just... figured out how to french braid my own hair without pulling out my own hair because of this thing. that counts for something right?!
6. SCRUNCHIES - they DOMINATED the 90's. this is only a sampling of the amazing selection I had. I used to layer them, I perfected the sock bun WITHOUT USING A SOCK (heck yes). Side bun? SCRUNCHIE. Low ponytail? SCRUNCHIE. Naked wrist?? PUT A SCRUNCHIE ON THAT WRIST.
7. Headbands part 2 - this one is made from a bra strap. i bought this with that knowledge. this was a paid for product. i can't say anymore about this cuz it hurts too much. it hurts. too. much.

not pictured:
clips! i used to LINE the pockets of my school uniform of clips of all shapes and sizes. no joke this started a trend. girls everywhere at Calvary Academy were wearing clips on the pockets of the skirts and the pockets of their shirts. I was the REAL DEAL y'all.

For a girl that really never holds onto things from her past, this was a hilarious journey I went on. Turns out, I was pretty awesome back then. w00t!

p.s. - Happy 300th post to me! aaah! haha

Monday, October 31, 2011

color head-to-head

I saw these two rooms on Design*Sponge today and I absolutely swooned over them. As soon as I saw the picture on the left I was like, "THAT'S how I wanna design my home!" then I saw the picture on the right and said "THAT! is how I need to design my HOME!" arg. dilemma.

What would you choose? Like colors to make a cohesive, rich and deep color palette? Or would you choose colors to compliment each other for a quirky, fun, but lived in feel? I love them both because they both have unique statements and personalities. The outside porch looks inviting like you just NEED to cuddle in all those blankets and read a book with a cup of milky tea. The living room looks like lots of Scrabble is played there, impromptu dance parties are had and love is present. Seriously. Love is totes there. So hard to choose!!

Well the good thing is... this is the same house! Whoever this is? Please make room. I'm coming to live with you. Obvi.

What's your preference? Analogous? Complimentary? Do you just enjoy saying the word "tertiary" like I do (often)? or do you take it to a neutral level and work within those limits? There's so much you can do! I can't wait to own my own home... be too daunted to do anything and eventually run to IKEA for help. YAAY! Thank God for Design*Sponge.

Friday, October 28, 2011

haiku for the single girl

Hope I never need
To get me through life 

it's good for a laugh
i might cry afterwards though
Geez... penguin classics.

Thank you, Cup of Jo,
for recommending this book,
but it's not out yet.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

what to love.

I have probably already mentioned this a billion times but I need to make sure you're heading over to Gathered Heart. I took a gander over there and realized she is on the verge of exploding. For shiz, the girl has flawless taste, a detailed eye for design and she's hilarious so obviously... best combo ever. Add her to your Google Reader, Reading List, Top Sites and what have you. You won't be disappointed! And you'll get to say you read her before she became ridiculously popular. Cuz that's happening very soon-like.

You'll thank me later. All 15 of you.

Also if you aren't listening to Oh Land right now, you need to do so. She is like Kate Havnevik, Imogen Heap, a hint of Regina Spektor and a tiny sprinkle of Ingrid Michaelson. You'll totes like her.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

this is the remix

There is something about this fall in particular that has me wanting to buy new things. Sweaters, tights, cardigans, BOOTS, which I NEVER buy EVER. I had to really stop myself because I have a closet full of clothes that are considered "summer clothes" but it's now cooler. What to do? Well my girl over and d+sj knows how to work a closet without thinking about it. I got to see her last week and she was wearing a shirt dress with a sweater over it and though I never SAID anything my mind started going through my closet to see what I could wear to be THAT AWESOME. *mind scenario* Do I have a long shirt tunic? Oo! I do! I could put a sweater over it and it becomes a shirt dress/skirt combo. What about my black dress? throw some sweater tights under it and throw some boots on. Brilliant!

It's made me want to remix my whole closet! I have a purple baby doll-type dress that I plan on pairing with my new charcoal cardigan from Old Navy (it was on sale. best purchase EVER), grey cabled tights and my kick-awesome brown lace up boots. Watch for that at the quarterly meeting : ) My black summer dress is getting a make over with a thin striped sweater from Gap, hunter green opaque tights and city flats (also. from Gap. go figure!). That same dress is also going to be paired with my striped cardigan, burgundy sweater tights and my grey knit boots. AND! i found a long grey shirt tunic I usually wear with skinny jeans (turns out it's long enough to be a dress) that is going to meet my mustard cardigan and purple opaque tights! I. am too. excited! There's so many possible combinations! My brain. It's wrinkled.
I'm pretty pumped about fall and winter. Should be pretty awesome style-wise.

p.s. Sorry for the delay of Sarah's wedding post... i'm actually working out the video portion of the day (aka my whole JOB in the wedding) and I want it to be awesome... yet effortless. It's coming soon! Hoorays! I'll keep feeding you with previews on Facebook.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

my two halves

I PROMISE the next post will be Sarah's wedding! puh-romise.

I'm sure you've heard me talk about being an introvert before (see: Renegade Adventures, or How I'm Awkward) and how it hinders and helps some things. Well, I think I'm realizing how much of an EXTROVERT I am now. I have both personalities on the inside. It comes from my mom who is both extroverted and introverted at the same time as well. How is that possible? Shouldn't they cancel each other out and you just end up... "normal?" Yeah it's not the case.

I'm extroverted when it's BUSY. I work at a place that launches a new, high demand, state of the art products approximately every 6 months to a year give or take and when that happens our store is just wall to wall PEOPLE. I call busy "when i can't see the front of the store" that was the last couple days. Turns out? I LOVE IT. It feeds whatever extroverted nature is inside me. I end up running circles around co-workers who are invested in "slowing down the conversation." Secret? I still suck at slowing down a conversation! I'm all hit it and quit it (way less derogatory though), get you what you need, i WILL hug you, and get out. Works the BEST on busy days. I'm excited, YOU'RE excited, all God's children be EXCITED.

I NETWORKED at work on Saturday. Okay networking for me is a scary, sometimes stupid thing in my mind. You essentially walk up to a stranger to use them for their services and vice versa and really never develop a relationship with them. I'm opposite. I'd rather walk up to you tell you look nice and or strike up some kind of intelligent conversation (cuz otherwise I won't say anything to you - i'm so bad at chit chat!) and THEN make a barter deal of some sort. Back to Saturday. I talk to a million people, turns out he's a designer, we exchanged info (business intro ZING!) and he asked if I knew Photoshop. The end! And I didn't even REALIZE that's what I did until he left and i was like 'WHAAAAAAAT' *own mind blown* then I had to take a break and process things out haha and THAT is where the introverted side of me comes into play.

In situations where people would react in an excited way, say meeting a celebrity or getting engaged, I react the opposite. I shut down. Literally, shut. down. because my brain has to make sure everything's okay. It's not necessarily a BAD thing but if you're not used to dealing with introverts it can be... really confusing. I met Taye Diggs last Saturday. Yeah. You heard me. TAYE DIGGS. In the real... chocolatey... holy crap... flesh. My mother decided to tell me before she completely surprised me because she KNEW i'd need to time to pretty much cope - bless her heart. I did. My eyes glazed over and I stopped talking. Then I just started shaking my head no saying I couldn't go. Yeah! that happened! (TAYE DIGGS.) but eventually I pulled it together (it took like an HOUR) and we went to see him. It. was. AWESOME. and THIS happened:

wa-BAM. stare at THAT. holy sheet.

It has taken me a long time to even accept myself for who God made me to be. I'm awkward AND loud. Quiet AND energetic. I mean what am I a walking oxymoron?! But I'm slowly learning how to be the best version of myself (isn't everyone?). annnnd meeting Taye Diggs was like a best life moment EVER. aaaargh! haha

p.s. - this is not a journey into self discovery in any way - cuz that's stupid. I'm defined by God and not people but for a long time i wasn't vocal and had NO idea i was outgoing at all. i had a good chance of becoming a recluse when i was younger so this is good!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

more interwebz musings

I met a blogger in the store yesterday named Tiffany, she was pretty awesome, and we got to talk about the ins and outs of having a blog - her blog being about fashion, mine being... respectfully ambiguous. She had gone to a fashion show for Akira (read: the devil) and said she never posts where she is until AFTER she goes cuz there's some creepers on the internet. So true. Stranger interwebz danger is real life y'all. 

It got me thinking about comments. I have had more than a few run ins with bloggers taking me for creepy because if I feel a connection with a blogger I am overzealous about letting that blogger know. I always feel scorned if my comment is taken the wrong way or worse, deleted. That actually happened the other day when I told a blogger I knew of an awesome knit shop I'd love to show her and then get coffee if she was ever in Chicago. She seemed awesome! =\ i always feel like a 5 year old when i get shunned online. Like, "why don't you wanna be my friend? I'm a nice person." 

Another time happened with Smitten Kitchen (who I stopped following after I got shunned). She had a pizza dough recipe that Joy the Baker used on her blog. I asked her if she doubled the recipe (as Joy had done) would it still turn out thin and crispy? I mean I'm sure she had doubled her own recipe on occasion. She responded snippily, "Well I wouldn't know because I'm not Joy." Slightly confused... I told her the recipe Joy used WAS HERS but never got a response to my question. 

Blogging is like having an open relationship with everyone who reads. There's a subtle dynamic, a push and pull, between blogger and reader/commenter. I feel like I cross that line too often because of my bubbly personality. I love communicating through text and writing so I'm usually very eager and willing to say, "hey! you should come to Chicago!" but apparently that's extra creepy. I don't know these people! They have no idea that by nature I'm happy and zealous and secretly a 5 year old. It's one thing to do it on a friends blog but for the people I don't know (but still feel a connection with, obviously because I read their blogs) I have to be careful. In my brain, I'm best friends with Joy the Baker and Tracy Shutterbean but in real life they live across the country and wouldn't recognize me on the street. *shrugs*

the internet is so weird and interesting. What are your thoughts on commenting? (lol essentially i'm telling you to comment. GAH INTERWEBZ.)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

5 minutes to bliss

Don't you have those days (every month) when you just NEED a brownie and ice cream? Or something really chocolatey? Guess. What. I found your solution!

Adapted from Babble's "Two Minute Mug Brownies" I made a few minor changes to it... it's sincerely amazing. and? made in the frickin MICROWAVE. shut up. shut the front door.

These brownies are AMAZING! It's really not a brownie it's more like a flourless cake (with flour haha).  Best of all it's low calorie, pretty low in fat and if you put in a ramekin (you'll see) you can definitely share this with two people to cut down on the calories even MORE! It's pretty chocolatey so you'll have your fix in a few bites. When the ice cream hits the hot cake they... pretty much just get on down with their bad selves and things become melty and beautiful.

enjoy the noms! don't get too crazy cuz it takes a literal second to make. you'll want it after every meal. why did Duncan Hines ever make those "warm gooey cake" things when you have THIS. way better. Sorry Duncan.

color inspiration from the Villafuerte wedding

I love weddings. Can I just say that? There's like palpable love in the AIR. I also love checking out the how a bride puts things together. By the way this is not my official wedding post (that is coming soon - when I'm not doing quadruple overnights at work - yeah i said it. FOUR.) but I did want to highlight one of my favorite things: patterns. Sarah's wedding was a patchwork of patterns that only worked because Sarah did them. For her reception she layered sheets on top of sheets on top of sheets in varying patterns, florals and stripes. The "uglier" it was the more AMAZING it turned out! This was my favorite.

to see them it makes no sense but on the table it looked BEAUTIFUL! I'd wear an outfit with these colors, with these PATTERNS, in them any time, anywhere. I thought it was BRILLIANT.

I don't really do 'color inspirations' but I couldn't help myself.

Stay tuned for the rest of the wedding photos (as soon as I edit the pics in Camera+ lol - thank you iPhone) and blog post soon!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

here's to you

"The Crazy Ones" - narrated by Steve Jobs (never aired)

My boss passed away today, but he left one of the most well built legacies ever established. The amazing thing is I get to tell my children that I worked for the man that invented the iPod touch they're holding, the iPhone they're calling on, the computer they're using - their whole world of technology. 

Rallying with my work family makes me appreciate them that much more. Steve was not only a (clear) visionary in the technological world but socially as well. His stores are filled with employees who couldn't get jobs anywhere else because they're thought of as weird, who only dreamed of working for Apple, who are awkward and socially unaccepted, some quiet, some loud, and some that don't fit in. They're the ones that are told, "I see potential in you. You are brilliant." and go on to do great things. 

Steve truly had a gift for seeing the world as it could be and not as it was. 

Rest in peace, Steve, and thank you for your gift. 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

my rainy day

i love when it's gloomy outside. it feeds my quiet nature, i guess. it makes me want to knit and drink tea and cuddle... all day. somehow i always find myself in the living room in my chair next to the window staring at how the wind gently blows my curtains. it's the most peaceful thing ever. today i decided to shoot them. it's not awesome (i'm no De La Rosa) i left it blurry on purpose but i like it. and i got the middle of the rainstorm we had today. w00t!


okay this is something i would never do, but today i'm going to do it. i'm going to tell you about my dream cuz it was INSANE! no joke. not kidding!

you enter my dream state... and the scene starts...

so i was going to work but there was an airborne toxin and everyone had like... gone away. it was like airborne toxin meets zombie apocalypse. anyway somehow a group of my coworkers, Magali, Scott W., James M., and Rossie were still left and broke into the mall so we could get back my two Macbook Airs (11 and 13 inches respectively) that were in for repair. yeah. this happened.

wait. there's more.

The COOL thing was we had a corner store in the mall. If you haven't seen our store it is not very wide! but relatively long. and we're surrounded by a Helzberg Diamond store. well in my DREAM our store was our store, plus the jewelry store next door PLUS! the jewelry store ABOVE US AND! the Charlotte Russe next to them. so it was a TWO STORY corner of the mall encased in curved glass that you can only get from our company because we OWN IT. It was a seriously awesome store. Also there was a car dealership in the mall because cars had like crashed into the glass front and tables were all flipped over.

So our rag tag team gets in there and it's like a LABYRINTH. there's an ELEVATOR that we couldn't take but there was a bunch of twisty hallways we went down, our BREAKROOM was like 16 tables DEEP and on the far wall it was just a wall of glass panes. it was kind of bad ass. so i located where they were doing repairs but my computers were GONE. the only thing that was there was an 11" air with a failing hard drive (omg i'm at work too much!) and a 15" Macbook Pro. So naturally I swiped the Macbook Pro and put it in my purse! Cue some more twisty hallways and enter the graphic designer's ward. Yes. Inside the Apple Store in my dream there was a whole WING for the graphic designers. It was filled with twinkle lights and couches and low ceilings. we ended up there and i swiped some guys white iPad that had font names engraved all over it. naturally!

so the dream ended up with us just trying to find leftover inventory so we could HAVE it (hahaha!) and then we found 2 of our managers that were still alive and 1 of them was gonna let us take like... EVERYTHING! but the other one wouldn't. so i ended up hiding under a bed and trying to take iPads... turns out they were cases of paper in iPad boxes.

seriously this was the most intricate crazy dream i've ever had. also i like how it combined graphic design in there HAHA. i'm so weird!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

beautiful books

I'm an avid reader. If I don't have a book in my hands every couple days I start to itch and twitch. It's like verbal crack. I just love reading. It's part of who I am and influences a lot of my designs oddly enough. (I wonder if typographic designers were very early readers like I was)

I added the "Whatcha Readin?" section to my blog finally. It seemed normal to do because I'm ALWAYS reading and people are always looking for a good read.

I stumbled upon Night Circus at the library yesterday and picked it solely because of its cover design. It is a GORGEOUS. BOOK! Like it makes me excited to read it. The book, so far, is amazing. It's playing like a movie in my head, which, to me, is a sign of a VERY well told book. I have a visual mind so if a book can get that going it's like... magic.

Jessica Hische, I love her. She's just... it for me haha but she redesigned a few covers like Pride and Prejudice and they make me want to read it over and over again. If everyone redesigned classic book covers into something detailed and pretty... War & Peace would be a much easier undertaking don't you think?

Take a look at how amazing this book looks! It's full of sripes and tiny little stars and swirly things. aka things that make my mouth salivate and my fingers tingle. simple things guys. simple things haha

i wish everyone took the time to put this much detail into everything. so pretty!

everything was taken with Camera+

morning hair

I decided to keep my hair curly for an indefinite period of time, or until I figure out how to be all natural all the time. so this is a new thing for me, having morning hair. dare to knock on any black woman's door after midnight and after she curses you out you'll find she's wearing her hair wrapped up usually. since deciding to go natural (very recently) I do still wrap my hair but it sliiiides right out of it's confines because it's wild in nature. It can't handle being cooped up in it's natural state. 

the Al Sharpton, the Don King, and the Kramer. 

kind of like the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria. but with hair. 

intense right?

i kind of love it.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

i love autumn!

Autumn is my 15 year old niece. It's also my favorite season. I mean it's a win/win here because I love them both. But seriously. I love fall. More importantly I love the FASHION that comes with fall. Like I said I don't do shorts or swimsuits or sleeveless things so fall fashion falls right in line with things i lurrrve. 

I finally found a pair of boots that fits my calves and are AMAZING! those puppies right up there from Modcloth are. legit. They're amazing. I would take them out on a date. Meaning THEY would be my date. It's that serious! I really wish rainboots agreed with me. They don't. My calves. They suck. I AM, however, totally going to invest in some classic cardy Uggs (omg i know. I think i wrote a whole post about how they're the devil. they make boots well! they're durable! *shakes fist* whyyyy!) and lots of tights for under dresses. I mean peacock tights?! AMAZING! Also I totally own those multicolored brown socks. They're super cool.

Cardigans, obvi, are a year-round staple but during the fall they just SHINE. There's so many varieties! The boyfriend cardigan, the dolman sleeve, the three-quarter sleeve, the shirred front, the VEST-IGAN (guuuuurl). Get every variety. You canNOT have too many. 

Now... onto coats. If it were possible I'd have no clothes and only own AMAZING coats. That's right. Nekkid. Only coats. Swing coats, pea coats, trench coats, toggle coats, ALL THE COATS EVER. I have 4 good coats - 1 red trench (classic staple), 1 long pea coat in black, 1 amazingly pink, long, belted pea coat for special occasions and generally looking like a BAMF. and 1 ghetto, but tasteful, grey puffy coat (also called the dead of winter in Chicago coat). The puffy coat has fur on the hood. It's like my pass for people to know I'm really black. word up. But I'm in the business of getting a grey pea coat-ish type coat. I feel it'll round out my coat selections. Grey or teal. I thought about mustard yellow but I have a lot of mustard accessories so I need a common colored staple. These are the things you have to think about guys. Think about how to make your wardrobe awesome. Also if you're married being naked in a coat is like... the epitome of sexiness. These are just rumors I heard though. Only rumors. Television rumors though cuz like think for a second. All your good parts are all like sweaty in this coat and sitting on cold things. Not ideal! Now being naked under a SNOW suit... ow OW! that rant was too long. and i apologize. but i'm not gonna erase it! cuz i just gave some married folks some ideas. and you're welcome. 

Not mentioned but HEAVILY worn by yours truly is TOMS. Something about their academic seasonal line of shoes just makes me ACHE for school! Most people know my Emily Dickinson shoes and this year's tweed and plaid just... oh man. so pretty. I also swear a LOT OF KNIT SCARVES. You guys know I knit right? mmmduh. Drop stitch scarves are one of my favorite fall accessories. Also H&M comes out with a heavier fashion scarf (that could double as a table cloth it's so large) that is perfect for coats. I think I own... 6 of them. They're reasonably priced, too! My favorite places to hit up cheap scarves are Old Navy (hit or miss but when they're on they're AWESOME), H&M, Target, and Forever 21. 

The great thing about all of this is that it transitions RIGHT into winter and you still look super hot. see?? win/win. : )

my lesson learned

oh man. life. have i got a story for you guys.

So every Saturday I usually get gas from Speedway after my 10pm close at the store. I drive to Speedway, totally get an $0.89 slushie (cherry limeade/sour apple = SO. GROOD.), and gas up. Today I decided that I was hungry except that I wasn't. I go inside and walk past all the chippy goodness and sweet confectionary evil to the PIZZA. That's right, folks. I got GAS STATION PIZZA. I'm so ashamed of myself. It looked and smelled so good! It's in there... turning round and round... showing it's naughty bits and cheesy awesomeness and all of a sudden you're nodding like the idea is new! *nods* "yeahhh! yeah i'm gonna get PIZZA! this is gonna be AMAZING!!! look at it! look at the pepperonis!" and then it's in your hand.

if this ever happens to you JUST THROW IT AWAY! the gas station employee's totes know! they know it's HORRIBLE!

I get the pizza (and my slushie... my choices just were not. sound tonight.) and get in line. except everyone in FRONT of me decides that they need to buy cigarette's so it takes like a billion years. While waiting I'm looking at my so-greasy-it's-soaking-through-the-SIX-napkins-on-top-of-it pizza and wondering which habit is ACTUALLY worse, what I'm eating or what they're smoking. I mean seriously it's a toss up. Then my mind's like, "oh man. you got gas station pizza." and finally I pay and my mind is like, "oh man. you just PAID FOR gas station pizza." and then i get in my car and take a bite and my mind is like, "OH MY GOSH. THAT TASTES LIKE CRAP." and you know why? cuz it's gas station pizza. you don't get gas station pizza. you get prepackaged, homogenized, preservatived, SAFE. FOOD. preferably with the suffix of -eetos or -itos at the end of it.

*hangs head in shame*

my stomach heartily thanked me with a quick one, two, down for the count punch and a trip to the bathroom as SOON as i got home. it's what i get. a well deserved punishment.

gas station pizza. it should be a phrase. like, "do you like this dress??" response: "it looks like gas station pizza." it works!

on another note an entire part of my life just ended. which. is. nuts. i'm qualifying what happened as a break up with accompanying break up mix-tape. it's possible i just wanted to make a mix tape. i made it on Spotify! so if you haz you can totally listen to it here. It has a little She & Him, a little Adele (queen of heartbreak. dang that girl just GETS IT), a little BeyoncĂ©, and some dubstep. cuz who doesn't need dubstep in their life?! It doesn't have ALL the break up songs ever made but the ones that have helped me when I need a musical remedy. but for real i'm in the process of healing from a bunch of things that happened that i'm not comfortable talking about. I can truly say I feel myself getting back to the joyful person I am. I like it.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

a new read

Thanks AGAIN to other Abbey for being generally awesome and posting my new favorite blogger, Elephantine! upon reading her blog and seeing her videos I immediately added her to my google reader. the highest honor haha

From reading her blog she seems like the most gentle natured person in the world but intuitive and bright. and naturally i wanna be her best friend. obvi. no surprise there.

check out her cooking videos - not too short, not too long (which is the BUZZKILL of the interwebz) and  very tastefully done. her video for salsa, chips and a mojito is so simple... and then it makes me hungry. brilliant.

add her to your google reader!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


 this just... rocked ALL of my world. thanks to Keila for sharing it! it's a good reminder. and a confirmation.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Renegade Adventures! or How I'm Awkward

this will be my own version of the Daybook's "awkward and awesome Thursday" except the Sunday edition.

- going to Renegade! my yearly indulgence of everything crafty, handmade, homemade, and awesome
- seeing Maggie, Kate, Katherine, Sarah and Annie. Renegade is HUGE and somehow I either met up with or bumped into everyone awesome there! oh and Sofia. I got to see her cute CUTE cheeks too. She wasn't too happy cuz it was really hot. I understand. I would have cried too. but as a 25 year old adult that is frowned upon in social situations.
- eating pistachio gelato. a serious. highlight. I'm not really sure where Black Dog Gelato is but if they're in Chicago... well I just found my new favorite place in the world.
- people watching. oh. MAN. if you are ever at a loss for personal style and are in need of some inspiration I guarantee you that Renegade will provide you with AMPLE amounts. AMPLE. so many tights and flats and combat boots and dresses and scarves and general hipsterdom. So glorious.
- getting the coolest pair of earrings evers, and a print from Nathan Duval. I like him. I'm going to pretend he's super attractive in real life even though I've never met him.
- Seeing Kaelah Bee from Little Chief Honeybee and Elsie, Emma and Rachel from Red Velvet*

- the comedian at our store meeting last night. that's all i'm gonna say. he was turrible.
- *Seeing Kaelah Bee from Little Chief Honeybee and Elsie, Emma and Rachel from Red Velvet. so... ugh. this is a shameful story haha. So I was EXCITED to see the Red Velvet ladies. I walked into their booth! I said hello! I turned around! I walked back out without introducing myself.  >.< whyyyy!? so i went back! I walked into their booth! there were people there! i milled! i waited! i was gonna do it! i freaked out and left. *thunks head* YOU'RE LAME ABBY. YOU'RE KIND OF LAME. so i told myself. "well i haven't seen all of Renegade yet. they're here all day! walk around! come back! say hello with that certain 'je ne sais quois' you know is in there" so i did! i came back around! iiii WALKED into their booth! it was empty. they'd gone to scope out other booths. i failed. *hangs head* it was a sad day.

Same thing happened with Kaelah. I was walkin... miiiinding my own business when a cute girl with red hair and the deepest dimples (equipped with dimple studs) comes meandering by. My head pops up in recognition. "IS THAT KAELAH BEE?!" the people i'm with have NO idea who i'm talking about! but i do! I totes magotes know! and then i follow (read: stalk) her for a little bit and almost get the nerve to introduce myself. then my sneaky little awkward brain chimes in and goes "uhhhhh maybe it isn't her?! maybeeee you don't know a distinctly southern girl with vintage style and dimple studs!? uhhhh maybe you keep walking and pretend like this didn't happen." fail number 2. WHY?! *sigh*

I gotta really work on my awkwardness y'all. It's intense. It hinders things. It's cuz I'm an introvert! my innerds get the best of me! it's not anything i can really CHANGE (being introverted that is) but i can learn how to use it to my advantage. guh. LIFE LESSONS.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

time to wake up!

freya art and design - decor8
time to wake up, abbyblujay, you've got a world to see. 

Friday, September 9, 2011

true friends

I'm not sure if you're familiar with Superchic[k] but their name is Superchic-bracket-k-bracket. kind of like how 15 years later you still write *N S Y N C with an asterisk and the spaces and yell at people who don't put the asterisk or the spaces in. It's part of the charm.

Well Superchic[k] (lol this is gonna get old quick) is a Christian rock/girl band who DOMINATED my teen years with their amazing songs about high school and it's drama, being a one girl revolution, random stuff like being a 'big huge star machine' and things that only made sense to my 14 year old self. I encourage you to listen to them for a blast from your formative years or! if you've never heard of them... they're just good stuff to listen to. Just do it. Your teen self will thank you. Your adult self will learn some good lessons.

"Well I'm sorry. that. I'm getting on your case, but true friends they stab you in the face!"

If you've ever been backstabbed by who you thought was a friend then you understand how true this lyric is. I feel like this is a motto or lyric I've tried to live by as a friend. If I'm gonna talk about you? then I'm probably not your friend, but if I have some truth to tell you and it might hurt? You're gonna hear it from my mouth to your ears and not from any one else's mouth. Friendship is such a CRAZY thing. You find a PERSON that holds your secrets and loves you through all your horrible ugly cries and chubby phases in life. How... is that a real thing?! haha

I've always appreciated the friend who is honest but not brutally so. Most people cushion brutal harsh frank RUDENESS with "I'm just being honest." I'm sorry but my life is not an Outkast song and you're a horrible person. I can get behind someone I know that has my best interests at heart and truly wants to see me succeed in life, it makes reciprocating it effortless and easy and reWARDING.

People get hurt a lot. I get hurt a LOT. But the ability to be transparent in a friendship is so amazing. I used to pray... DAILY for God to send me friends. I just... thought I was the most destitute, alone person on the planet. As it turns out... I was completely wrong haha and in reality I'm just extra AWKWARD. But! I was shown that I had all these people who are GREAT friends! I'm working on the awkwardness. It's possible I googled how to be less awkward. It happened. It did. Don't judge too hard. But I think being transparent is really key. Don't yell at me to tell you stuff if you don't tell me ANYTHING about your life! Hey pot? this is the kettle. YOU'RE BLACK!

soooo the point of this was really just to get you to listen to Superchic[k] and to remember the good friends you have in your life. Appreciate them. They're truly a gift and don't take them for granted. Maybe you should finish the knits you promised them 18 years ago. *looks away* yeah. i'm talking about myself. i might be a knitting slacker.

Random: how awesome is the song Roll to Me by Del Amitri? I mean seriously when did that song come out like 1998?! but i swear to bob when it comes on the radio i'm all "rooooll to meeeeeeeOOOOOOOOOOOO!" at the end. EVERY TIME! i know I'm not alone in this haha - sorry. it's like 90's pandora day at work haha

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Easy Cooking: Recipes from a Hipster Housewife.

A while back my friends and I were twittering it up about food and our love of it. Literally. We were on Twitter. I said that we should have a collaboration blog named Hipster Housewives where we talk about food we'd make as married ladies and just having a general love of food, cooking and baking. I love that while the rest of the world is pretty much breaking away from so called "domestication" there is a resurgence of "hey. i'm gonna make a good meal for my family." or in my case "i'm gonna know how to JAM in the kitchen so when i HAVE a family they'll pretty much kiss my feet." The collaboration blog never happened but the name Hipster Housewife has lived on in hashtags whenever someone makes something amazerful and tasty.

for example... *lifts an eyebrow* today!

I made baked chicken, mashed potatoes from scratch, peas, and walnut brownies with ice cream. As far as weeknight dinners it's pretty standard nothing out of the ordinary. CEPT IT'S AWESOME.

If you're a novice cook baked chicken is a GREAT starter! Mostly because... you do absolutely NOTHING and it tastes AMAZING. I mean how fantastic is THAT. Take some chicken bewbs, or legs, or thighs, or wings. WHATEVER. Put it in a pan, open your spice cabinet, close your eyes, grab random spices and FLING. whatever lands on said chicken will taste not only well thought out but absolutely tasty. I kid you not. Chicken is pretty flexible like that. Works for marinades too, which is what I did today. Low-fat Italian dressing? sure! Homemade leftover oriental salad dressing from Sunday? okay yeah they can come party too. Kosher salt? Cracked black pepper? duh! founding fathers of taste. Honestly you can't go wrong with chicken. Just make sure not to over bake otherwise you'll have a perfectly flavorful rubber ball.

Mashed potatoes... *nostalgic* mmm. They're an art. Truly. You can follow Rachel Ray, Paula Deen, Rachel Deen AND Paula Ray's recipe for them and they will turn out different every time you make them. I found out there are three secrets in making mashed potatoes from scratch. 1) Yukon Gold potatoes. Everyone brags about how Yukon Gold's are the quintessential mashed potatoes potato. They're the foundation to a mouth watering meal. They're not lying!! I used them for the first time today and HOLY. BU-FREAKING. CRAP. It changed my whole life. They have this undertone of sweetness that you wouldn't expect in a savory dish. Ugh. Shut the front door. Secret 2) Butter. If you're making mashed potatoes from scratch please do not worry about calories. The minute you deCIDED to make mashed potatoes you threw all worry out the window. Do not substitute cauliflower, butter buds, spray butter, um... please get away from me with that crap. If you're going to make mashed potatoes it better be LEGIT and it better be RIGHT. You BETTER use butter! Just don't make them every week. Mashed potatoes is a 3 times a year dish. 1 random time when it gets a little chilly (like today), Thanksgiving and Easter. That's it! There is nothing better than butter. If there is there's probably butter in that recipe so... shut up. Butter adds a sheen to the potatoes and adds to the overall creamy texture of the dish. Secret 3 and the most important) hot water. Confused? Don't be. Before you drain the potatoes get a cup and siphon off some of that liquid gold hot starchy potato water and put it to the side. It will turn your whole dish around. Use a few splashes in conjunction to the milk and it transFORMS the potatoes. You can't ever get that kind of creaminess with heavy cream or milk alone. Trust me.

Honestly do whatever you like best in terms of potatoes because no one is wrong, but can I just tell you whatever I did tonight was ground breaking in the potato world. I'd like to think that somewhere in the food world is a potato section. Right?

Lastly, peas. I truly thought I hated peas until my mother decided I didn't anymore. Whenever she'd add them to a recipe I'd yell, "I HATE PEAS!" and she'd go, "uh-huh. *nods*" and add them anyway. Then all of a sudden I didn't hate them anymore. My mother is an evil wizard. I don't like overcooked peas so I boil water, add the peas, leave them in for approximately 78 seconds (i really don't count the seconds. for realz guys. come on.)  and drain them. Add a pat of butter, a little bit of season salt (whoever Lawry is... thank you.) and you're done! Dinner is SERVED. Also mashed potatoes and peas have been secret lovers since peanut butter and jelly were announced as a couple. Their union is SO GOOD. When they get together they just... make out. I don't even pretend to understand but somehow the peas always gravitate towards the potatoes. you don't ask questions. you just eat the amazingness.

Sorry there were no pictures. My mom and I mmm'd and oooh'd at our food til we licked our fingers. I'll make sure to take a picture of my Thanksgiving mashed potatoes. If you have any recipes you love label them with Hipster Housewife if you'd like to join in my endeavor of being an awesome lady.

It's time for brownies and Project Runway. I feel like a real housewife of New Jersey. with less spray tan... and more standards.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

getting wrapped up in "why"

from happydeliveries on 
Hello, dear readers and generally empty intersphere. This is the time of night where I talk about the most important unimportant things because sometimes it's needed. Joy the Baker bases an entire podcast series on importantly unimportant things. It's possible that I'm mentioned in not one but TWO podcasts. It's possible. You should listen to them. Today. All 16 of them.

I always end up thinking about design late at night because that's when those synapses decide to really fire. It's like a little design party happens around my hypothalamus and they get all happy. and then She & Him's "Why do you let me stay here?" plays too. You know which part I'm talking about right? At the end when you can't help but belt out, "WHYYYYYYYYYYYYY" while dancing like a fool at the wheel of your car or in your underwears in your room? Tell me I'm not the only one that does that!

Today I'm stuck on the why's of design. First, a story. I failed SO HARD the other day on this t-shirt design! I had this glorious envisioning of what I wanted and it ended up being this random bag of CRAP like they do on Seriously it's like 6 bucks and you get this bag that could either be filled with awesomeness or ACTUAL crap. The t-shirt that I did was LEGIT crap. I got super bummed about it and stopped designing it for a day or two but it's always in the back of my mind like, "what made you even come to that conCLUSION?!" That's what made me start thinking about the 'why' of designs.

I interned for my church of all places before working for Eden for this woman named Amanda Fico. Amanda is... for reals. She can design her butt off. Thanks to her my church has like this kick-butt modern design. Church designs are all crosses and doves! trees and wheat! Lucida Handwriting! Apple Chancery! omg i just threw up a little bit. But she really understands the design decisions she makes. Also her previous job before church was THE FIELD MUSEUM. Nbd right?! I mean I moonlight there on weeknights. *shrugs* doesn't everyone get a job at the largest, most well-known museum in Chicago? (yeah the answer you're looking for? is no.)

While interning for her whenever I would do something she'd ask me why. 9 times out of 10 I'd have NO answer for her. Lame sauce Abby! But that little bit of time there trained me to think about what steps I was taking and what I was trying to convey. Geez, professors in COLLEGE didn't go THAT far! Taaang cups!* It made me think twice about what I was designing and why I just put that RANDOM splash of color there and ultimately made my process that much quicker. The girl's a genius.

Fast forward 2 years to last week. The scene is a young girl sitting at her work station thinking she's brilliant but actually designing a shirt full of random things that have NO relation to one another. *lots of explosion sounds* If I had thought ANY at ALL about why I was putting a live trace of a chair on a shirt (i... really don't wanna go into it. it's just so painful guys.) I probably would have woken up that much quicker and nixed that whole idea much. quicker.

Ya know... I know everything in life is a learning experience. But I just WISH sometimes I'd get the picture before that whole "you're better for the experience" speech comes. It gets old! Get wrapped up in the why's of your art, even if your answer is, "I just had to see what it'd look like!"

Sometimes those moments are the most brilliant.

*Tang Cups is a place in Chicago that sells frozen yogurt. Somehow my friend, Brian, use it as every day jargon. it's for shiz catching on. say it with me... taaaaang cups! (said like "daaaang gurl!" you get it right?! i know! we so SMART.)

Coming soon, a fall blog header revamp and fall fashion for the curvy girl! : ) I figure I'd make it kind of a series. whatcha think?

Monday, September 5, 2011

it's the most wonderful time of the year

with the kids jingle-belling and everyone telling you, "be of good cheer!"


what-what-whaaat? BE THERE. or you can't actually call yourself a HIPSTER. (actually it's not hipster to call yourself a hipster. makes you obvious and there for... unhipsterish. lesson #5928 of the Hidden-Very-Secret-Well-Known Hipster Handbook <--- i need to make that a reality! or at least design a sweetawesome COVER for that)

see you Sunday!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

late bloomer

I am what you call... methodical. I think things through... process things out over very long periods of time. If i could have ruminated in the womb for an extra 9 months just to make sure i was COMPLETELY ready to come out i probably would have.

there are something i never had to think about, for instance, my major in college, graphic design. That was probably the easiest decision i've ever made. it was like breathing in and out. for the longest time when i was little i said i wanted to do something with art and computers and *SMACK!* thus graphic design was born out of that need for many creative types like myself. i thought everyone had it that easy until i talked to my peers. choosing a major was hard! who knew. secretly i wanted it to be difficult for myself too but... i couldn't make it. graphic design chose me. i thank God for that clarity.

art aside everything else has always come late. i was literally the LAST girl in my 8th grade class to get her period. i didn't get my ears pierced til 13. I didn't stop loving American Girl dolls til 15. I didn't develop a remote sense of style til 19. I shopped at FASHION BUG for Pete's sake. Pete was very ashamed of me back then. Even when i go in there today I get PIPING mad. it is the worst store ever created. Making a decision can come quick but my version of quick is god-awful long for most everyone else. I am introverted so when I process it's internally. My thought process is sporadic and not always connected but it's there... steady like gears in a clock. job development has always been slow because you can't just push me into a role. i just don't go. i gotta process it then go.

unfortunately it takes a toll on the relationships i have. it takes me a long time to know a person and from there i make a decision to either be all in or know you aren't worth it. isn't that HORRIBLE?! every person is WORTH it but not every person needs to be in your life. things don't work that way. somehow in my life i know that i take a long time to process and get to know a person but in relationships i want to rush EVERYTHING. i always end up feeling like a little kid seeing all her toys and wanting to pick them ALL up and when i do everything falls out of my arms and I'm left holding one toy. I want to know everyone and everyone should be my friend and you're awesome! hey I'M awesome lets be friends and before you know it i've overloaded my arms and overstuffed my steady-geared brain and everything falls apart.

some relationships are so easy that i don't HAVE to think. it's like that with Anisha (in Florida). i can pick up with her like I just saw her yesterday. and if i think you're worth it i'm ALL in! i'm so in that i'll change myself just so i STAY in. I'll think of ways to make you smile and make you happy and things i can bake for you and tweet just so you giggle and.... then i overload grow distant and remember i need to slow down and... that sudden shift makes everything crumble. it's like when you press on the brakes a little too hard with that cup of hot coffee in your hand. it's weird cuz i wait for that shift; it always happens, i always wake up. but that's when the real test comes... if you push BACK at me when i grow distant then i know you're made of something other than fluff. I. am so. WEIRD! haha

it's frustrating! i literally WATCH relationships crumble like they're not mine. i stand on the sidelines and watch... picking at the grass... humming to myself while my actual self is self destructing from the inside.

why'd i even write this at 1AM? haha... i'm tired of watching my relationships crumble and after processing for a bit i just needed to write. thanks for reading. (for the record i would have left mid sentence on the third paragraph. haha)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

my getaway weekend (lots o' photos!)

This weekend was AWESOME. I visited Katherine and her husband in Sturgis, Michigan, and while Sturgis is the equivalent of a trailer park as far as quality of life it boasts a quiet little lake on which their house sits. It's literally its only redeeming quality, ask Katherine haha. The lake is BEAUTIFUL! They have a family of swans and little swan babies that come and visit and the sunsets don't even make sense! I could have stayed in their living room forever but that's lame. and creepy! here's a brief breakdown of the days

Friday: unintentionally slept in, ran around like a CRAZY person, got my oil changed, did laundry, baked cheesecake brownies for my hosts, packed and somehow left right on time ALSO getting gas and monies. yeah! I realize that 2.5 hours is my favorite drive time... it's the IDEAL drive time. anything over that is excessive and why do you live that far?! why am i driving?! i'd rather have someone pull me in a wagon the whole way if it's over 2.5 hours. I made it! Thought i was in a "Deliverance" situation for a second with their creepy neighbors but crisis averted. We ate a rich dinner of creamy pesto chicken pasta (and fell into heavy pasta coma's and stomach aches) and cheesecake brownies followed by Scrubs on Netflix. These people get me. They really do. Scrubs is my FAVORITE.

Saturday: made coffee cake from scratch (oh, streusel... i love you.) and tooled around until meeting up with Sharon and going to the botanical gardens. we ditched the hot HOT gardens and went to the Southside Soda Shop instead where i got a Blue Moon ice cream milk shake. heck YES. it was kind of pure heaven. I got a first class tour of downtown Goshen and introduced to Better World Books where I found WAY TOO MANY GOOD BOOKS. What a crime right? lol It was perfection. i could have lived there if it was legal. Even if it wasn't. We briefly visited Ten Thousand Villages (woo!) and got a something to drink at Constant Springs before heading to the most Americanized Mexican place in the world, La Hacienda. You dip the tortilla chips in ranch and salsa. Indiana in a nutshell everyone. Indiana. Buuuuut it was probably the most tasty thing ever I can't lie. We finally saw One Day and cried like small school girls and headed home to watch I Love You, Man (which i'd never seen before) and laughed hysterically. Seriously funny movie! Must. OWN! Also I randomly looked up to see the most stars i've ever seen in my entire life. I almost cried but that would have been lame so I just said "awwweeesoooome" and went inside their house. Turns out I'm kind of a sap! Huh!

Sunday: I slept in hardcore. It was pretty great. Lounged around on their couch and watched the lake folk and the baby swans learn how to fly (pretty amazing sight) then headed out. Quickest drive home EVER helped by the fact that i gain an hour back so 2.5 hours was like 1 hour cuz of the time change. LOVES IT.

all in all it was one of the most relaxing weekends EVER fueled by food and a love for prettily designed things. Sharon was awesome too! I kind of wish I knew her before now!

Thank you Katherine and Chris : )




1 & 2 - the view from their living room windows 3 - the botanical gardens 4, 5, 6 & 7 - Better World books. Seriously!? perfection. 8 - Sharon and her amazingness pointing at the fleur de lis wall 9 - some good coffee and a GIANT slice of coffee cake. perfect sunday morning fare. 

all photos were taken with the Camera+ app for iPhone. one of the best photo apps EVER. kid you not. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

{about art} and other things

Thank you to other Abbey for posting a summary of this dudes blog post! this was my summary. I like this whole {about...} quote thing that has come to life. Thoughts on it? How's that novel you've been working on?

There has been a lot going on lately but I've been conflicted about sharing it on the blog, which is why I've been absent. The concept of blogging is weird when you think about it. You let people in on a slice of your life. The art slice, the home slice (hilarious.), the work slice, but you can say or not say what you want. From the readers perspective everything could be awesome and in reality things might be crumbling around you. I'm starting to think letting a little of the negative things that happen in alongside the positive is a good thing. It makes the happy stuff so much sweeter, since you can only reach SO many levels of happiness and it starts to lose it's genuine feeling. It's also weird when you choose to put something on here that people may not necessarily agree with and you have to defend what you CHOSE to publicly discuss. Internet culture is really interesting. That should definitely be part of theory courses, don't you think? I could discuss the double standards of the internet/sharing all. day. ok not really all day my head would explode and i'd kill you. but over Starbucks? TOTES.

Michigan via gathered heart

But first, a good thing. Miracle of miracles, I kid you not, somehow I shouted a time off request to the scheduling angel and SOMEONE HEARD ME. I have a couple days off! I realized that I haven't had more than a day off Apple in 18 months (aka when i started). I took some days off for the wedding but... that was actually more stressful than work haha so it definitely does NOT count. It was too short notice to go down to St. Louis where Jayme and Jon live but I'll be in Michigan with Mrs. Gathered Heart herself for a couple days. I'm happy to get out of Orland Park! I just... again things have happened (are happening) that I may share with you when I get back but I'm glad for a small getaway. See you all on the flip side... the flip side being Monday. Obvi.

Monday, August 15, 2011

{about life}

this book. was so good. i'm going to buy it on Friday. please read it.


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