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!


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