Monday, May 30, 2011

just bee yourself

i'm struggling to find inspiration lately. i bounce all over the place like the 5 year old i really am. this gave me a little bit of grounding and some reassurance as to what i'm already doing. : )


right now i am definitely taking lucky number 14 head on (it's my favorite number. did you guys know that?) whatever the heck i try my hand at... i won't give up.  well i mean i'm doing a plethora of others but for real. 14. and 25. yes.

this week i am definitely gonna take a photo for The Burning House along with Katherine. and next week? i get to be a hipster. (psh. like i'm not everyDAY.)

also i cut my hair!

hope you all are doing well : )

Sunday, May 22, 2011

twue wuuv

after witnessing a love story unfold every day at work for the past year it gives me a tiny glimmer of hope for my own future. i'm not in the best of places right now and i don't want to give up. it is frustrating though i won't lie... 

“above all else guard your heart, from it flows wellspring of life." - proverbs 4:23 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

guys. i am BEYOND excited to show you my work station. it. is. amazerful. (amazing+wonderful)

turns out Kate and I are practically the same and had similar IKEA adventures so you will see bits and pieces up here in the next few days.

I wish I could put it up now but it just so happens I'm about to work twelve hours... OVERNIGHT. so for the sake of my sanity and the credibility of this blog (it's building! however slooowly) let's just save this post for another day.

but i just wanted to wave to your pretty faces.

story of my life. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

dream big

hurry up! get to dreamin'!


i'm preparing my IKEA findings woo!

so far I have successfully mounted my dark grey curtains (a feat that included a near meltdown), put on my bedding/duvet cover (it is VERY pretty) and put together my rolling-under-the-desk-bin-file-cabinet-thingy (my thumbs hurt. no joke.).

tomorrow is the big "putting my desk together" day and moving my old desk out. I will miss this desk on which I'm currently writing this post. I put it together ten years ago. Wooo... that's crazy! but it's been 10 years and while it has a lot of character and great storage I can't stretch my legs, which makes me never want to design another thing ever again. In order to create I literally need to stretch my legs so the whole sitting with my legs bent for hours on end doesn't quite work. I'm definitely sad to see this one go but am sooo ready for the new desk! the grown up big girl work table. yaaay

I was cleaning out all the STUFF i've piled on here over the years and stumbled upon something little that made me smile:
i got it from Shutter Sisters at Blogher '09 (when I totally met Design Mom) in a little inspirational photography packet. It also came with a little business card that only says "dream big" and an 8x10 AND 4x6 photo of a street named "Hope" How sweet is that?! I could spin a whole bunch of philosophical jargon about me being myself but the photo says everything so... hooray! I hope it makes your day better : )

the IKEA post is coming soon! I could totes magotes live there.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

raise your glass

I'm not what you call an adventurous person. I love plans of actions, to-do lists, playing it safe, having "adventures" where at least I know where I'M going if no one else does. It's... it's pretty boring. But! in the last... say year I've been pushing the boundaries of me being comfortable. I could easily be categorized as a 'home body' but i kind of DON'T want to be a home body. The very inside of me is spontaneous and wants to travel and just... LIVE! but i know that years of being timid, not knowing what people would think of me and say just have held me back to the point where it changed who i was.

that's bad!

My instinct, when asked to do something on the spot is, "YES! LET'S GO!" immediately followed by, "nooooo... *random valid excuse inserted here*" so when my friend Sarah asked me to go to the city two days ago I said, "YES! WHEN where what time now are we going now yes!" and then I responded with, "NO!" cuz I had to make dinner, which was the truth, but I also go scared! And secretly wanted to stay home and watch Grey's, Parks & Rec and Community. But I sucked it up and went anyway because as much as I GRIPE about not having a social life and lamenting over the lack of friends, lo and behold Jesus sends Sarah to invite me DOWNTOWN to the House of Blues. And I say no?! IDIOT!

I ended up having the COOLEST night of my life. We went to see friends of Sarah's that happen to be in a band named Emerson (if you don't love their music you don't have EARS.) and it was at the Foundation Room in House of Blues. Now, I've actually never been to House of Blues at ALL so I had no idea what to expect. Turns out the Foundation Room is very v.i.p.-ish in it's nature. The room had it's own bar and restaurant and legit v.i.p. room and awesome high backed plush couches and giant ottoman's. It was something out of a movie I swear to bob. It was more of an industry breakout artist party (psh! yeah i just... go to industry parties now.) and Sarah and I people watched hardcore. There was a guy who was the spitting image of Michael McDonald and made us laugh hysterically, there was ALSO a guy who looked like the cross between someone who would fit in the movie 10 Things I Hate About You and the Social Network... all at the same time. here's his genius bar description. Khaki trench, flooding pants, no socks, tied loafers, sweater, long hair - looks like the son of "Michael McDonald"epic. We met the band The Future Laureates (Danny, Nick & James were super cute. and obviously macking. but their band is pretty sweet!) and cue the super buff semi-famous industry dudes. It. was. AWESOME.
from Suzanne (an amazing illustrator) via Oh Happy Day (please someone do this for me when I'm 30!)
I kind of hate new year's resolutions. They're super cliche. Lose weight! Eat healthier! Start a hobby! Break a habit! yeah we get it. I'm a fan of birthday resolutions. They are the ACTUAL new year's resolutions. This year I'm resolving to be more myself! I miss who I was and I'm sad that she got a little lost this last year. I want to go places in Chicago I've never been and there's TONS of places, I also want to MOVE OUT because it is about THAT time yes it is. I really want to take a vacation, too. I haven't been on one in at least seven years. I want to just up and DRIVE somewhere and find a random hotel and stay there and then drive back! And if you guys see any of the "timids" coming back feel free to call me on it (in a good, honest, encouraging way not in a frank "i'm just being honest" way yeah that's... not being a friend) and shake me out of it. I could resolve to lose weight... and I do but I'd rather resolve to not drink pop (cuz it suuuucks) and stop putting junk into the thing that is supposed to keep me alive eh? Those are attainable goals. I also promise to start creating art again. Create anything... just do what makes me happy! Also if #loansforlife gets off the ground I will the MOST happy. (that will be a later post)
via this guy from this blog mentioned here : )

Thank you for all the well wishes on my 25th birthday! Totally feelin' the lurve today. Lots. o'. lurve. also i want that cake. rainbows+cake = two of abby's favorite things in a nutshell. amazerful! but i got a birthday breakfast lunch AND dinner today! and tomorrow?! IKEA!! i'll share what i got! even if it's just a hot dog haha : )

the curvy girl's guide to summer

Let's face it guys, not counting today the last three days have been SO DANG HOT. as much as i love Chicago and it's unpredictable weather... I thought this summer preview we're having was gonna be more like... uh NOT SO HOT.

Let's also face another truth. I am not a size 2. I'm not even a size 12. And while I am working on myself I still embrace the size I am. I also have learned to a) dress for my size and b) dress STYLISHLY (win!) If I were to pinpoint my style it would be "artsy hipster chic" I love scarves and cardigans and good crossbody bag. But I also have an obsession with Guess purses and TOMS shoes and jewel tones. I have meshed all that together and it works very well! I would define my friend Sarah's style as kind of a elegant boho-vintage-hippy, and if you know Sarah that about sums her up. She finds the coolest stuff and then wears it to an office meeting : )

The point is dress for the size you ARE not the size you want to be and never lose WHO you are along the way. People know when you feel and look good - it just oozes out of your pores.

In the summer I don't wear shorts, I don't go sleeveless, there is no "swimsuit season" for me - I don't think I've worn a swimsuit since I was 14 but I still feel good! I've prepared a short list of my favorite things to wear for the coming summer for all you curvy girls out there that will keep you cool and not so covered that you might as well be wearing a burkha.

1. Maxi dresses - these are a hidden gem! whoever said that short curvy girls COULDN'T wear maxi dresses... probably has no friends. I usually refresh my stock each summer because styles change but one thing is universal - empire waists. Empire waists keep the girls high and the focus on the tiniest part of your waist (channeling Stacey London here and some personal experience lol). Maxi dresses are also buh-FREAKING comfortable! Strap on a pair of gladiator sandals and a cardigan and you're good to go.

2. Bermuda shorts - I'd like to thank Bermuda and it's mysterious triangle for the invention of these shorts. They are a breath of fresh air to the strip of fabric and pockets people call shorts nowadays. Buy lots of these in plaid and dark washed denim and many colors of khaki. The AMAZING thing is you can wear these just as easily with TOMS as you can with flip flops. love. you. bermuda.

3. Summer cardigans - now I don't claim to be an aficionado in much (hugs, sensory cues, how girls work - true story!) but i am an aficionado of CARDIGANS. all of them. all... the whole... everything. Now cardigans are usually pretty light anyway but you don't want long sleeves and a long waist. Enter the summer cardigan. short waisted (conveniently stopping underneath the bust) half sleeves and light as air. you don't even know you have it on! i have 4. Did i also mention I'm obsessed with cardigans? but honestly you can't have too many. they are the outfit saver : )

4. Summer dresses - there is an art to buying a good summer dress. all of them look so cute hanging in the store but beWARE! Some of them will KILL you! Things to look for: again empire waist is always a go, a deep v-neck - if you are as... blessed as i am in that area then you get the ultimate privilege of USING THEM TO YOUR ADVANTAGE - if God hated cleavage he would have made all of us DUDES. *shrugs* hey #justsayin. It should ultimately hit at the area of right above the knees to right below the knees. Things to avoid: tiers - they are usually split to cut off your wait and make you look bigger than you are, midwaisted elastic bands - oh! yes i'd LOVE to wear something highlighting my stomach and makes my boobs look dumpy! awesome.

5. Swimsuits - DANGER ZONE! like i said - i don't wear swim suits everrrr but for the amazing curvy girls who do (that i'm completely jealous of) here are things to look for: ruching at the waist, a mid hip length. I love this one from Modcloth. Charcoal grey? Yes please! If you're going for a two-piece, first of all YOU'RE AMAZING, second of all go for a top with underwire and a full coverage bottom. That goes for all you skinnier girls too. We don't wanna see all that! Dang!

6. Scarves - like cardigans, you really can't have too many scarves. They are a great transition piece from day to evening. If I'm wearing a cardigan and it's blazing but I'll be out late I keep one in my purse for when it does get cooler. Plus it highlights the face, they're breezy and versatile... hidden tip: i wear them as shirts sometimes. I know! they're that amazing. This one also from Modcloth is too cute to resist!

so rock on curvy girl. my style is not everyone's but this totally works for me. be who you are and don't settle for anything less.

*most of this stuff came from Old Navy, eShakti - thanks Sarah! - and Modcloth. my favorite places to shop are OBVS Old Navy, H&M for scarves and occasionally Gap for their WAMAZING tank tops. oy!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

let's kern

"When designers sleep next to each other it's called kerning"

that made me lulz.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Momma's Day!

As an appreciation for all mom's do (and my mom seriously does like... infinitely above what she needs to do. she's a front runner for the imaginary mom awards in my head. like... the tippy top front runner) I'm counting down my favorite blogs written by mom's! : ) clarification... mommy blogs are completely different than mommy's who write blogs. Don't get it twisted. These mom's are AMAZING and I kiiiind of really a lot of wish they were my best friends. So! Settle in with a cup of tea and let's get started:

5. Joanna Goddard of A Cup of Jo - she is the coolest person. She has an adorable son named Toby and a TWIN. SISTER. (jelz!) and loves riding bikes with her husband in New York. She also has a babysitter I kind of want to be best friends with - but really she looks awesome. Also! she posts the coolest giveaways for you momma's out there and hair tutorials for people with newly found long hair. (me.)

4. Cole Marshall of Pacing the Panic Room - Honestly I would have Cole be my number 5 through 1 if it were possible. She. is. GORGEOUS. She has an impeccable sense of style and her husband happens to have the coolest blog on the planet. He started the maternity series that so many people have blatantly ripped off and TRIED to make look just as good. (it's just not possible) Technically Cole doesn't have a blog YET but! She IS starting a sweet awesome hair blog because her hair looks just that good all the dang time and she's a hair stylist. I would let her do whatever the heck she wanted to my mane. I'm just gonna throw it out there you can throw it right back? She is my girl crush. I wanna have a cup of organically grown coffee with her. or a milkshake. ya know whichever...

3. Jordan Ferney of Oh Happy Day - Confession: I started reading her blog a while ago and then STOPPED. *gasp!!* i knoooow. I'm a horrible person. I think I had just started my giant blog reading list and it was a little bit of an overload. But then I came back and remembered how amazing she is as a fashion icon and a mother and an artist who gives LETTERPRESS CLASSES! (if you love me... if you REALLY love me you will send me to San Francisco so I can take her letterpress classes. do you love me? please say you love me! or just come with me. just do that. we'll go together) She's also living in Paris (i just peed my pants a little bit) and you can see the Eiffel Tower from her apartment - no sweat! just a Paris apartment with her awesome husband and two children. Oh what's that? she plans amazing parties for people by the Golden Gate Bride and is generally awesome. Psh! I do that in my SLEEP!

2. Kate Votta-De la Rosa of Diapers+Skinnyjeans - you guys remember my excitement over her finally launching her blog and she did not disappoint. It's a fledgling blog but I'm pretty sure it'll gain momentum over the next few months with the arrival of her cute baby and hipster marriage to her perfection personified boyfriend. Another girl with impeccable taste and hipster don't-give-a-care style which incidentally makes her look awesome all the time. Also she's a friend of mine! so i can ACTUALLY attest to her awesomeness. I made her mint chocolate chip ice cream once... it was pretty great.

1. Gabrielle Blair of Design Mom - Gabby is the end all be all of mom's who blog. She was the FIRST blog I ever started following and coincidentally started my love of design blogs, mom's who blog and blogging in general. She is a graphic designer with six children who used to live in New York and moved to Colorado and NOW LIVES IN NORMANDY, FRANCE. I just... is your mouth open? I actually MET her at Blogher '09 when it was in Chicago... we screen printed bags together and I was super sweaty and didn't speak and forgot to tell her I was a graphic designer. Epic fail for Abby. I love her as a designer and as a mom. She handles her children well and just KNOWS what she likes. She's amazing. Read her blog. You'll be better off for it!

I know I'm not a mother yet but these interwebz momma's are great examples of staying true to themselves and raising a family successfully. I'm a fan of strong women. Happy Mother's Day to all you blogging and non-blogging mom's who do so much for their families and still stay true to the AMAZING women they are!

*all photos belong to the originators of the blogs mentioned here and I claim no ownership of them. all pictures were used for tantalizing enticing purposes only in hopes that you will immediately read their blogs and save them to your Google reader. 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

1am ramblings

good morning my nintendo's!

I'm gonna need ALL of you to go over to Joy the Baker's site and read her blog post for the day. i think i just fell in love with it. know what?! better yet just click right MEOW

did i mention i think we should be friends? you should know that i think we should be friends, joy and i. we'd get along FAMOUSLY. 

also... i think you all are highly attractive. i'm not sayin. i'm #justsayin

and with that? goodnight : )

Thursday, May 5, 2011

morning joy

a little bit of inspiration on this surprisingly gorgeous day.

don't worry about the ending haha it's still awesome. just watch it!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

anisha saris

i have a friend named Anisha, she's more my best friend than anything. I've known her since freshman year of high school and is by far the oldest friend I've ever had. She's Indian and AMAZING and her mother makes the most amazing samosas EVER. No joke. I see her maybe once a year and when we see each other it's like we just saw each other yesterday... just with more catching up to do (like maybe we did a LOT yesterday haha).

Also she gave me these:

not one but two saris from her last trip to India. These are to wear at her wedding which isn't being planned haha... she doesn't actually have a boyfriend or anything but these are them. I stumbled upon them while cleaning my room today and it just made me think a) how awesome Anisha is b) how lucky i am to have her as a friend and c) how AMAZING these saris are and d) all. the way. from India.

sometimes i feel like i have like... NOTHING. No friends, no one wants to willingly hang out with me, nothing cool, I'M not cool but that's not true at all. Even if no one wanted to ever hang out with me or think I'm cool it doesn't matter. Having a few good true people in my life makes it okay.

soon i'll introduce you to Maggie... who is the same person as i am... just caucasian. that's just logistics though.

stages of recuperation

How do you successfully recuperate after the most stressful 5 days EVER??

make homemade Reese's Peanut Butter Cup ice cream! mmmduh!

It is sincerely as amazing as Baskin Robbin's R.P.B.C. ice cream and infinitely cheaper seeing as how I didn't have to go to the grocery store for a THING. Yeah! I had Reese's on hand! By the way do you call them REE-SEES or REE-says or plain and simple Reese's? It really depends on the day for me. If in conjunction with Piece's it's totally Ree-sees Pee-sees and NEVER Ree-says Pee-says (lulz!). I think it stems from childhood though... interesting thought hmm?

Seriously guys you need to start making ice cream. I've become the type of girl that will literally whip up a batch of ice cream before she goes to work (prime example? YESTERDAY!) because it's THAT easy.

Start off with vanilla - it takes virtually no time AND no cooking over the stove. Granted I totally started with double dark chocolate sorbet from joy the baker but i don't make any sense in real life.

To make vanilla ice cream you literally need 6 super cheap ingredients:
via Label Box and Pudding Camera (a free awesome camera tip from d+s)
I also used a pinch of salt (I measure with my hand... make sure it fills the tiny inside of your hand which is about 1/8th of a teaspoon) and then whatever mix-in you want! chocolate chips, reese's, cut up snickers, nuts anything!
  • 2 cups of heavy cream
  • 1 cup of whole milk
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
combine in a large bowl until the sugar and vanilla are fully incorporated and pour into your ice cream maker while it is turned on. add mix-in's the last 5 minutes of churning process (so the 25 minute mark out of 30). and VOILA! ice cream for the eatin'

all you need is an ice cream maker and i have a confession to make... i got mine at ALDI. If you've ever been to aldi you KNOW they have seasonal crazy stuff. like, "oh yeah i financed my house through aldi they had a broker there for a week and a half." or, "yeah this swing-set AND kitchen set came from aldi during thanksgiving!" they just have awesome stuff that appears and disappears haha. So you don't have to use a Cuisinart (but if you do more power to you!) or a Kitchenaid just obtain. ice cream. maker. and start whippin' up the treats!

So far I have made Butter Pecan (three times!), double dark chocolate sorbet, vanilla, reese's and mint chocolate chip. um ALL of them were frickin amazing. If marriage had resume requirements this would TOTALLY go on it. "makes homemade ice cream" i might make a marriage resume HAHA you never know with this blog i just DO stuff.

p.s. - i made a little video out of jon and jayme opening their wedding presents to each other before the wedding. it is SO super cute. also this is totally a RINGING endorsement for iMovie. love it SO bad.

Monday, May 2, 2011

m.o.h. behind the scenes

Being a bride is like a marathon runner with a sprint to the finish at the end. Being a maid of honor is like the bride getting on your shoulders and having YOU run the last 200 yards. It's all about being selfless and literally NOT THINKING just acting, which is what I did all weekend. Quick decisions (which, I found out I am the queen of), wrap, go, run, get, be, here, NOW.

*sigh* I can't recount every detail because there were a LOT of details. Jayme was a gorgeous bride. Like ridiculously gorgeous. She had model collar bones and the tiniest waist made by not being able to keep anything down the week of the wedding LOL and a wonderful husband waiting for her at the end of what seems like the longest aisle in the world.

I almost didn't make it in my heels. Really, I can't stand heels. They HATE me and made that really clear at the ceremony when I stood in them for an hour. I sincerely thought I was gonna die... I kept mumbling to Jen next to me, "Today is it... Jesus is gonna take me today... I'm goin today..."by the grace of God himself I made it haha.

The photo session was amazing and I truly can't wait to see the photos done by Jake & Jen of Two Birds Photography. I think I creeped them out... I was SOOO excited to finally meet them that it just... became too dang much. So much for trying to get them to be my eventual bffs. But for real. Fail.

The reception was a good success... her dad's speech made me tear up and their first dance made me cry. The food was AWESOME and I got to dance the cupid shuffle (my secret favorite) so all in all it was a successful wedding! I even got complimented on being a good maid of honor. I mean come on... that's awesome.

the gorgeous bride
their ADORBZ custom cake topper via Etsy
ok can I be real with you guys? after I got on the bus to go home to Chicago I burst into tears and didn't stop for a good 10 minutes. It was... stress compacted onto stress compacted onto stress that i buried and smiled through because, like I said, i wasn't there for ME. I actually still feel like crap! It felt like 5 days of 'do this, do this, do this, do this. done? NOW GO HOME.' It wasn't anyone's fault it was just a whirlwind week and I kinda needed to hold it together for everyone's sake. I think once I stopped moving my brain instantly processed 5 days of CRAZY and it just like BURST out of me. To be honest I really did want to spend time relaxing with my friend (somewhere in there) and get away from the stress of being HERE but, DUH Abby, weddings aren't PEACEFUL EVENTS. Maybe i didn't prepare myself (but in the back of my mind i knew) for what to expect stress level wise. My face is currently broken out in like some sort of stress hive pattern? It's awesome haha. i have a couple days off this week and I think I need to just recuperate and SERIOUSLY de-stress. i hope to meet up with Maggie too.

sorry this wasn't the glamorous "Royal Wedding" post you were hoping for and that's cuz i was on the inside and NOT the bride. If you're a good m.o.h. you probably won't be refreshed and rested. but you'll have done a DANG good job at the role you were picked for... and i did. i should have majored in multitasking in college.

also i have about 16 thousand more stories for you if I ever tell you in person. Including Aunt Ru... I might actually do a post about her. two words: SHE CRAZY. like for real i was sufficiently scared of her. another time... another time
blurry as it may... at least i look dang cute in that dress. it will be worn again : )


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