Back in ACTION

I am proud to announce that I have officially landed back on earth and will soon be getting back into the natural swing of things.

Turns out I had no routine, or plan of management for taking three classes last semester, on top of a full-time job and freelance work. So lessons learned, I will be working over the next month to develop a routine and way of maintaining a healthy body, both mentally and physically. My hope with this is that once classes start up again, I will already be so set in my routine that extreme chaos can be avoided.

One of the aspects of this plan is to be cooking more – and healthy foods. So tonight I made Kathleen’s (of Jeremy and Kathleen) Cauliflower Rice. It was delightful and one of those meals you actually feel great about eating. Up until today most meals have mostly been followed with self-loathing and guilty-tears.

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I am also going to get up and go running in the morning. I know, right? I am a BAMF.

More posts coming this week. For realzies.

Home.

We have returned. We are sleepy and recovering. But the world hasn’t stopped so we are zombie-ing our way through for the time being. I have much to share, lots to say and do really miss blogging. But the time is not now, so I will leave you with this short/fun-fact post:

Europe’s equivalent of Diet Coke, Coca-Cola Light, is not for me. It is yucky and just, ew. That being said, having mostly consumed coffee on the trip to meet my caffeine needs, I have somehow managed to not yet run right back into the loving arms of DC Cola and may just be (attempting to, at least) quit the stuff.

This may seem uninteresting and boring, but for anyone who knows me closely, this is kinda big HUGE news, so in that sense please feel privileged that I have shared it with you as well. For funzies here is a video of me, in highschool, at Red Robin, drinking a Diet Coke really quickly (and yes, that guy has a neck brace on, that’s Bryan).

 

Hope you have a wonderful week and I very much look forward to sharing more with you soon.

Also:

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Hold Music

I am not dead. Life just has me by the balls. In a good way. I have been really busy with school, an awesome creative woman’s conference, MERGE 2013 (watch for 2014 because it was amazing and everyone lady should go,) and the whole working-much-more-than-full-time-thing – all of which is super boring and you don’t want to hear about, but it is really all I have to report. Apologies. Forgiveness?

Unfortunately certain priorities have moved up in the ranks and shifted the blog a bit lower on the list. This will probably be my last post until after I get back. So sorry, my dearies.

Wait, back? Back from where? Oh yeah, that is right. Next week I will be hopping on a plane to Germany. Itinerary includes:

/// 2 nights in Brussels

/// 2 nights in Antwerp

/// 2 nights in Paris

/// 2 nights in Heidelberg

/// 2 nights in Cologne

Don’t give up on me while I am gone, as I DO actually have some very fun projects in the works:

///////////// Sweet Sally Bakery and Catering Logo and Stationary Design

//////// Bread, Bread, & More Bread Logo and Stationary Design

///////////////// Finally making that hamper I mentioned in my 2013 top DIY plans

//// Phone cover re-visited (the smarter DIY)

// Wool &What-not Brand Identity and Packaging Design

////// Ryann Moore Design Website – say whaaa? Yup, I am stoked too.

Hope March kicks major arse for all of you. Until I return, please enjoy this little Spotify playlist I put together for you, entitled “Hold Music.

Oh and I can’t leave without talking about how incredible this portrait of my brother is, done by his good friend Brandon Vosika. He doesn’t have a website for his art up yet – I am promised that it is in the works, but in the meantime here is his Etsy shop. I don’t know him (really at all) but if I know any artist, I am sure he wouldn’t mind a direct contact for a custom piece or what-else-ish-ness, give it a shot.

Taylor, portrait by Brandon Vosika

While I won’t share with you the source image – it isn’t too flattering of my lil bro – just trust me in that this portrait is pretty right on. It makes me laugh and I think it’s pretty brilliant. That being said, I do feel like I need to share some photos of Taylor, because he can actually be quite handsome. He does have Carroll genes, after all.

Taylor

PAINTINGS

I don’t get nostalgic often. Sure, I appreciate and will mildly indulge in a sweet passing memory, but I don’t spend much time focusing around those thoughts as I find it occasionally leads to, for me, anyway, a shift in thinking – away from forward movement, to wishing some things were how they used to be. Or worse even, sometimes regret will enter the picture. And we all know regret loves to keep depression as close company. Then the next thing you know I am in the fetal position on the bathroom floor feeling sorry for myself for reasons I have already forgotten because all I can possibly do now is just be extremely sad. I probably (read: definitely) am exaggerating here, but my point is, I find myself looking forward, and only forward so much that I actually having created this false fear of looking back on things. It is so bad that I will often forget that it is also important to take an occasional step back to realize your accomplishments, remind yourself of where you came from and use that for wind in your sails. Gas in your tank. Pep in your step. Scoot in your boot.

This week I did some file organizing and found some pieces I hadn’t thought about in a while. Today, my primary focus when it comes to creating art has been graphic design, however, there was a time that I would spend my days/evenings/what is now considered my sleeping hours, in the painting studio. Over the last several years, I have done a painting or two, here and there, for friends or gifts mostly, but I can’t recall the time that I just painted because I felt like it or had a grand idea I wanted to see realized. Not to say my “commissioned” projects haven’t been fun, quite the contrary, actually, as I have greatly appreciated the excuse to get out my painting supplies. Yet today – as I look through some of my these aged files I am reminded of those wine nights with my fellow art students, listening to David Bowie or Iron and Wine or the latest band we were certain no one else in the universe but us knew about, and discussing the stress of the deadlines or our Art Professor’s passion for Tarot cards – I realize I should really revisit this practice. Maybe sans the deadlines.

To share a bit of this nostalgia with all of you, here are a few of the paintings I have done, once upon a time. (Are they great? No. Am I still proud/happy with them? You bet. Are they available for purchase or a gallery showing? Absolutely! Anytime! If fact, my studio is on wheels these days and ran out of my car due to the size of my current apartment – I can come to you! Home delivery, the latest in art collection convenience!)

wrath

taylor

thekaratestudio

angryalex

gluttony

Also, don’t ask me about my hair yet. It is still in the process…. patience my dears.

HAIR

I am greatly considering having this happen to my hair this weekend:Blond Streak Christina Perri

(photo source)

Maybe, maybe not. Not sure I can pull it off, but I kinda want to be the person that just goes for it anyway. Then again, I am not sure I have the ballz. Clearly I am indecisive, so stay tuned, we will see if I have some ballz or no ballz.

I find comfort in the fact that if I went for it, and it was terrible, it certainly still wouldn’t/couldn’t be the worst hair mistake I’ve ever made – trust me, it’s some tough competition. And it’s not like I am pulling a Miley Cyrus or anything (which is kind of an unfair comparison because I think she is kinda pulling it off.)

BALLZ.

Working for the Weekend

Although the week has started and I am already well into my crazy schedule, my mind is stuck on my weekend. In my mind I am still bike riding along the strand or sipping mimosas with a good friend after finishing our 10K.

Only a few more days before we get to enjoy another little life break.

weekend

For some extra fun-timez, here are a few great things the internet has introduced to me today:

  1. I just can’t quit watching the NPR tiny desk concerts, here is a great one of Swell Season.
  2. While I was considering just making some myself, these coasters may have changed my mind.
  3. Last chance to vote for Homies on Apartment Therapy – everyone should vote! (If you are dying to know who I voted for, here is a hint: rhymes with Ranhattan Fest)
  4. I think I could literally listen to Amy Winehouse singing Valerie for the rest of the week, straight.
  5. Booked our flights and our rental care for our spring break, Europe trip. Countries will include Belgium, Germany, and France. Send any must-see’s my way. (So far I have taken about 20 pages of notes from Oh Happy Day’s Paris posts)
  6. My type-friends will appreciate this: Kern Ring Set. I also appreciate and want to own them.
  7. Two favorite recent (crazy stylish and beautiful) blogs I have found: Sweet Thing and JASPR.
  8. My web design class meets for the second time tonight and I can already tell this is going to be one of my favorite classes of all time. Big plans, huge goals, and exciting future – here I come.
  9. This Design Sponge, Bri Emery of Design Love Fest and Blogshop feature is so inspiring and motivating. Repeat – big plans, huge goals, and exciting future – here I come.
  10. This vegan paleo recipe posted by Jeremy and Kathleen has me wanting to go vegan paleo.

What are your weekend plans? What are your huge goals?

**Don’t forget to immortalize your favorite pet or loved one in a DIY cell-phone cover, either for the Hallmark holiday around the corner, or just because.**

OMG, Shoes

I tend to be the type of person that wears the same earrings every day, maybe rotates two different necklaces, and lets my shoes (and purses) go on and on until I am either stapling or taping them together (both of which, I ACTUALLY have done – not some of my finer moments.) It is also for this reason that I don’t own any bright pink platforms, flower flats, or blue suede shoes. I keep my arsinal small and simple. In fact, I wish I could get away with wearing the same “uniform” every day. It would just remove that whole “challenge” out of the equation. But alas, this is not socially acceptable, and while I do love styling my home, have a great appreciation for fashion, and even pin clothes (including shoes) all day on Pinterest, when it comes down to how I actually dress and shop, I want each piece to be as versatile as possible. I hate the idea of owning a pair of shoes that I can only wear with ONE outfit. I can’t say that this wouldn’t change if I won the lottery, but for now, as an apartment dweller with no space and a wife on a budget, I want my shoes cheap and to get much more than my moneys worth before I need to be super-gluing the heel back into place.

Right now, I am about at the point where my husband is embarassed to see me in my work shoes. They are in rough shape. So when my good friend, Chelsea (who runs her own, very cute, fashion blog, She Said He Said) tweeted a link about how cheap and surprisingly adorable Forever 21’s shoe line was, I quickly browsed and subsequently made a long list of shoes that I desperately wanted. I will admit, I only shop at Forever 21 on occasion, but their clothes are too affordable making it almost hard to avoid. Not to mention they seem to be the Starbucks of women’s clothing and are popping up everywhere. More-or-less, I would say my style isn’t consistantly lined up with theirs, but my goodness the shoes.

Like my apartment, I keep my clothing color palette pretty neutral and unchanged. My walls will forever be painted black and/or white and/or grey, and my shoes will either be black or brown. At least, until my budget greatly increases due to aforementioned lottery winnings. For now, my Forever 21 shoe wishlist is no different. I do have some concerns over the quality of the shoes based on their price, but with the rave reviews, on at least most of my favorites – I imagine I would pretty easily get at least their $20-35 price tag worth of wear out of them.

Here are the seven (yikes) I have narrowed it down to:

Shoes

1. Ankle Strap Platform Wedges, $24.80 – These would be a great option for my work shoes replacement.

2. Basket Woven Oxfords, $26.80 – I love the idea of these with some rolled up jeans or leggings or shorts or even a summer dress. Maybe I should also buy a summer dress(?)…

3. Tassle Zip Canvas Booties, $32.80 – These ones might be my favorite. I love the look of the shoes, my only concern is my kankle situation – a trip to the actual store may be needed to try these on before committing.

4.  Faux Leather Cowboy Booties, $32.80 – There may be a repeat-ing kankle issue here, but if not, I love how these look. I’m thinking skinny jeans, skirts, leggings, etc.

5.  Faux Leather Moto Booties, $34.80 – Number four and five are really like brothers from different mothers. The same pros and cons really exist with both – but I need the two color options, naturally.

6.Metal Trim Oxfords, $24.80 – If number three doesn’t work out, I want these in their place. Actually even if number three works out I still kind of love these. Also, they pretty much go with everything.

7.  Lace Up Booties, $34.80 – As much as I often feel like I am trying too hard when I wear heels, they do (normally) help make my disproportionally large, tree-stump legs look a bit better/slimmer. I gladly take any help I can get. And these heels feel a bit more approachable to me.  

Let’s take a poll – which ones need to end up on my feet? All of them, right? That’s what I thought. All of them.

But really, I appreciate any thoughts. Are these just way too cheap that they must be junk-shoes? Am I seeing things and are these actually all fuzzy Hell0-Kitty slippers? Does anyone have any unwanted Forever 21 gift cards they would like to share so I don’t actually have to make any decisions? Do you hate shoes and think I should go back to not ever talking about them? This is a safe space.. bring on the commentary..

** this post was not sponsored by Forever 21, they just have some nice lookin’ shoes. 

Words for 2013

I am not usually the type to hold onto motivational quotes, however, today I read the below quote on Design Sponge’s interview with Victoria Smith from sfgirlbybay, a quote she mentioned that had first been shared with her by Jordan Ferney from Oh Happy Day! Design Spongesfgirlbybay, and Oh Happy Day! all have been blogs I have cherished now for quite some time, and the ladies behind them remain constant inspirations to me. After the last couple days, as I explained in yesterdays post, I was really needing some words like this and I plan to take this one with me to help keep me going this week and throughout all of 2013.

zig ziglar

The universe (and Twitter) didn’t only assist me today in stumbling upon the above quote, but also the video below. It really is worth sharing and watching. Not only is it adorable, but simple and true, and something I plan to come back to from time to time when I am needing a bit of a pep talk.

This video is by Soul Pancake, an amazing organization headed up by Rainn Wilson and friends (the one celebrity that used to come into the Starbucks I worked at that through college, that I was always simply too nervous to say anything to.) Anyway, I could spend hours on here watching non-stop beautiful and moving videos about art, compassion, and basically anything/everything hilarious.

I needed these today. If you know someone who might need these too, please forward along.

And with that, goodnight, Poopsikins.

Miscellaneous Things I Wish I Owned, Volume Two

I spent a couple of days this week in downtown LA, which is a bit out of the ordinary for me, considering us South Bay-folk like to stay in our little bubble. While it was a wonderful experience with a few great friends, I left the city feeling young and re-inspired, yet super old and mundane at the same time. Needless to say, I ended up having a mild mental breakdown upon return to normal daily life, full of “who am I?”s, “what am I doing with my life,” or “how did I get HERE and where am I heading towards?” I don’t think I was able to fully answer any of those questions, after hours of self-pity-partying, but today I finally woke up remembering I don’t need to know or even ever fully figure out the solutions to these life problems. Sure it is great to have a plan and sense of direction, but I won’t get that time back that I spent feeling sorry for myself and overwhelmed. Maybe it is because I am turning 25 this year and it feels like this weird milestone that as kids we only looked to thinking “I wonder what awesome things I will be doing at age 25?,” and I am just not being honest enough with myself over what great things I have ACTUALLY already accomplished and what even more incredible things lie in my future. I am certainly a horrible pessimist most of the time, entirely cynical and self-deprecating, but every once in a while the positive and extremely motivated personality of my husband rubs off on me, bringing light to those gloomy days where I am simply giving in far too much to my negative thoughts. Maybe I am bipolar (probably shouldn’t joke about this sort of thing..) but just yesterday I was feeling terrible/depressed/confused, and suddenly today it clicked and I am feeling loved/grateful/hopeful. I know I am not the first to experience downer days like this, and I know it wont be my last, but I hope that if you ever have a few moments or thoughts of this variety, you do have someone wonderful in your life, like my husband, to help you power through it. And if not, I just want to extend the offer, for now and for always, that you can reach out to me and we can be sad little monkeys together and hopefully get past these sort of unmotivated and defeating moments.

I am not sure what any of this has to do with today’s post – nothing really, so how about we switch gears and put on those materialistic-hats, shall we? Here are five things that are super pretty and I want them. I want them and then I will Vine my doggie on or around or above or below them. And you will be very happy because you have yet another super adorable dog video for your viewing pleasure. Win-win-Jenny-win.

4 misc

1. Suck UK, Cloud Key Holder via Emmo home

2. West Elm, White Enamel Teapot

3. Mr. Perswall, White Marble Wall Paper

4. Urban Outfitters, Gold Gumball Desk Lamp

Semester’s Passed

As the next semester fast approaches, I am trying to keep calm as I imagine my already busy schedule getting … well, nearly impossible. As an attempt to subdue my extreme anxiety, I have spent some time today looking back on projects from previous semesters and it made me realize there are a few of my favorites that I haven’t shared on here. While I know it will be great to be generating more work again, even these fun pieces aren’t battling the anxious-butterfly-monster party-ing it up in my stomach regions, too well.

Would love some extremely encouraging comments (stay away you poo-poo-ers!) and/or a care package of mountains of coffee, no-doz, tissues – for late night homework-induced sobbing fits and two of these lamps from One Forty Three (not because they have anything to do with doing homework, combating stress, or staying awake, but just because they are beautiful and I would like to own them and I can only assume the happiness they would bring me would distract me – at least briefly – from the undoubtably huge list of to-do’s I will have).

You guys are DA-BES.

“SATURATE,” Typography and Graphic Design Magazine

SATURATE CoverSATURATE Magazine Spread“Save a dog, save a friend,” PSA

Save a Friend

“Cocoa Coffee Company,” Logo and Stationary Design Business_Card_Front_Coffee

  Business Card

Envelope_Back_Coffee Envelope_Front_Coffee_Flap_Down

Letterhead_Coffee 

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