Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Design Design Design

I have a few of design projects I'm starting!! All 3 of them are invitations, and since it's my dream to make a living from design wedding and occasional invitations, I'm very excited to take on these projects.

First on my to do list, are two open house invitations. One for my little brother, I can hardly believe he's graduating this year. The other is for a the daughter of a close family friend. I'm very excited to work on both of them. I've started sketching and think I have a concept for both :) I'll give you all a sneak peek when they're finished!

My third project (and the one I'm MOST excited about) are my littlest sister's wedding invitations. Her and her prince (this is what she calls him) are getting married in August. I've done a few rough sketches, but I'm still waiting for the "ah ha" moment. So far, my sketches are looking way too similar to the inspiration pieces. And we can't have any of that. Below are three invites we're using as inspiration, pulling one or two things from each of them.

The wording is going to be a lot like #1. Loving the line "almost as thrilling is the opportunity to invite those we love, like and patiently tolerate"

I'll be mixing typefaces and using lines, shapes and glyphs like in #1 and #2

The RSVP card, or should I say cards will be similar to #3

Her colors are very different from the ones above - yellow (think sunshine and marigolds, not baby chicks and Easter eggs) red (think candied apples) and blue (I think this is more of a turquoise/aqua blue, but I should probably check with her on that one).

invite links here

Sunday, March 27, 2011

#1 thing I should NOT do while pregnant

Normally, I love Facebook. But I'm beginning to think that while I'm pregnant I shouldn't be on there. Why? Because it seems that a TON of my female FB friends are also pregnant, and their statuses usually have to do with their pregnancies, and then I inevitably find myself comparing mine to theirs.

This has already lead to me having one nightmare. You see there is one girl, who is a few weeks behind me, who has already heard her baby's heart beat. I haven't heard our belly monster's heart beat yet, in fact at my last appointment a could of weeks (11/12 weeks) when the doctor tried to find it, she couldn't. I wasn't freaked out about this, until I read that the above mentioned girl had heard hers.

I wasn't freaked out because, before my doctor even tried to find the it she said, "It's still pretty early, you're right on the cusp, but since you're on the skinny side, we might be able to hear it." and when she couldn't find it she said, "Don't worry, I'm not concerned. But since this is your first baby, I'm sure you're nervous, so you can either come back in two weeks and we can try with the doppler again, or we can order you an ultrasound."

I went with the ultrasound, we go on Tuesday! I'm excited to get to see our little love bean. Lesson learned, #1 thing I should NOT do while pregnant is compare my pregnancy to others. It's not worth the nerves, and if my doctor isn't worried, says I'm completely healthy and that everything is looking good, I should trust her.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Le Jazz Hot

Le Jazz Hot is this year's theme for The Soiree at my bosses' son's school. It's this huge fancy fundraiser event, where different vacation packages, spa treatments, babysitters, gift certificates etc. are sold to the highest bidder. It's a private French school, hence the theme and calling it a Soiree.

What does this have to do with me? In the fall of last year, my boss volunteered to store the images donors and advertisers were sending in for the program. Some how storing the photos, became cropping, resizing and placing each of the images into the catalog. Still what does this have to do with me? Well, my boss, not knowing how to do all of this, asked me to help. So for much of January and February, producing the Le Jazz Hot program was consuming most of my time at work.

I didn't really mind it that much, except for I didn't get to do any of the fun part—designing it—I just had to drop in ads and photos. I did get to design a few of the ads though, including one for the people I work for. And if I do say so myself, it was one of the best looking ads in the thing.

You'll have to forgive the quality of the photos I'm about to share. I took them with PhotoBooth, I'm way to lazy tonight to take the time to take decent pictures.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

3rd Birthday Invite

Sometimes, I don't know where the week goes. Here is Thursday already and I haven't blogged since Monday. It's not like I really do anything after work either...I usually just come home, lay on the couch and wait for Timmy to get home from work. And then, we just lay on the couch so more. Real productive uh? I keep telling myself it's because of the weather. I think it was, because today it was beautiful out and it made me really happy, and we're planning on going for a walk when Tim gets home. Speak of the devil...he just walked in the door.

I'm going to visit the mitten this weekend. I'm really excited! We're celebrating my niece's 3rd birthday, and my littlest sister just got engaged, so we'll get to chat about her wedding and do some planning! Plus, I think I'll get to see my besties from high school, who I haven't seen in AGES!

Wanna see the invite I designed for Andi's party? It turned out kinda fun. It was a quicky, it took me about 15 minutes.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Love Bean

I have a special announcement. Timmy and I are expecting a little love bean, our first child. I'm 12 weeks along and due end of September. We found on January 25th and have been waiting for to hit 12 weeks, which is when we agreed we'd share the news with extended family and the rest of the world (our parents, siblings and a couple of our closest friends have known for awhile now) I'm pretty sure this is one of the hardest secrets they've ever had to keep, as they are all very excited. Our love bean has us excited and scarred, and came as a little bit of a surprise. Meaning, we weren't trying, but we weren't preventing and were totally okay if it did happen.

Needless to say, my blog will may take a turn to more baby related material. I'm already working on putting together a little book documenting the pregnancy. It's called "Letters To Our Love Bean" I've been writing letters periodically, which will go in the book along with photos, so we can have something to look back at to remember this exciting 9 month journey.

So far, I'm really not one of those women who, love to be pregnant. Fingers crossed that changes after I'm completely through my first trimester, and I actually look and feel more pregnant. Otherwise it's going to be a long, hot, summer with a very cranky Jamie.

*Note to my friends on Facebook: I don't plan on posting a lot about the pregnancy on my Facebook. If you want to know about it or see pictures, you'll have to follow my blog ;)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

This Week on Pinterest

Here's a little treat for you. Six of my favorite pins I came across on Pinterest today.

I love the idea of using letters as gift tags. Typography and gift wrapping, two things I adore

Doesn't this just ooze romance? It's beautiful and unexpected. I could see some beautiful photos being taken here.

I love this ring. It would be so special to collect a few rings that belonged to your mother, grandmother or another special person and have them soldered together in one cool vintage heirloom piece.

Cool way to display photographs. I'll keep this in mind for a future home.

This would pretty much be the best patio ever! I really really really really want this someday. It's definitely something you could DIY.

This looks so comfy and a perfect look for a warm Spring day in Chi City. I'm obessed with cardigans right now. I wear one like every-other-day. They're the BEST layering piece a girl could have. They can be worn over anything, a t-shirt, tank or dress.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Cage the Elephant

Last Sunday, Tim and I went to see Cage the Elephant at The Vic. Generally, Timmy and I have very different taste in music, but these guys are one of the few bands that be both really really like and can listen to with out arguing. If you're not sure who they are, they're probably most famous for their hit "Ain't No Rest For The Wicked" or you may have heard their newest single "Shake Me Down". In case that doesn't ring any bells, Tim says they could be compared to the White Stripes, just faster.

I freaked out a little bit while waiting in line, because they were making a big deal about not bringing cameras in, and of course I had mine. They didn't let the first 8 people in the door because they had them. So of course I was freaking out, because you know goody goody me, I don't like to break the rules, and they were checking bags so I wasn't extra nervous. Tim was laughing at me. Luckily, it's winter and I had a bulky coat on so, I just stuffed my camera in my coat pocket and all was fine. I got in without any problems, but I still never took any pics once I was in there. I'm totally kicking myself in the butt for that.

It was probably one of the most energetic shows I've ever been to. No props, just super rambunctious performers. The lead singer (second from the right in the above pic) did his first of many stage dives during the first song. He didn't let up the whole show, and he didn't get any breaks during slow songs, because well they don't really have any slow songs. The show ended with him climbing to the top of the speakers, which were about 15 feet high, and then diving into a sea of fans. It was epic! And it was really cool to see how much he trusted in his fans, or maybe it was that he was so high/drunk that he thought he was superman or something. Either way, it was totally awesome.

If you like alternative rock, they're a fun show to see. I just found out they're playing with The Black Keys and Florence + The Machine (one of my faves) at the Milwaukee Summerfest on July 6th. If we hadn't just start that darn budget I'd totally buy a couple of tickets.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Financial Peace

Financial Peace, that's where Tim and I hope we're headed. A couple of weekends ago, when I went to visit my parents in The Great Lakes State, my momma let me borrow her book, Financial Peace Revisited by Dave Ramsey. I pretty much read the entire book on my train ride home. So yes, it's a very easy and fast read, and it's filled with lot's of good tid bits on making the most of your money now, getting out of debt and saving for your future.

Timmy and I both agreed it would be amazing to get out of debt (damn those student loans) faster than the like 15 year payment plan the government sets you up on. The cherry on top is that by doing so, you actually pay less, because you're not paying as much interest.  So on February 26th, I took the first stab at creating our monthly budget, I used a combination of the worksheet Dave Ramsey provides in his book and an Excel spreadsheet I found online. On the 27th, Tim and I sat down and looked over it together, changed some things around, and started living by it on March 1st.

We've been following our budget for 5 days now, and so far so good. Tim even went out with some guys he works with and did a good job of only using his blow money (this is CASH ONLY that was budgeted to be spent on something not in the budget) in Tim's case beer and pool. I haven't spent mine yet, it's only the 5th and it has to last me the whole month! Today for the first time in a very very very long time while getting groceries, I will carry a calculator (to add prices up as I go, so I don't go over budget) and I'll pay in cash. I'm actually kind of excited for the challenge.

I'm already getting obsessed with looking at our plan trying to figure out how to make it even better. And we've already learned, when you realize you over budgeted for something, that it's a great feeling. But let's say gas jump up to over $4 a gallon and you realize that's going to break your budget, that stinks.

Every so often I'll give ya an update on how we're doing, and pass along any money saving/budgeting tips that I stumble upon.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

March Love List

Happy March 1st! It's time for my monthly love list.

  • My adorable niece Andi Jo turns 3 this month. I can't believe how fast she's growing up.
  • Her birthday means I'll have a good excuse to drag Timmy to Michigan
  • St. Patricks Day, college gave me a new found love for this day ;)
  • The dying of the Chicago River, it's disgustingly cool
  • Spring is almost here and man am I ready for it
  • The new Anthropologie catalog, it's lovely
  • We're on our way to financial peace (Tim and I started living on a budget today—more on this later this week)
  • I'm really loving the women's Bible study I've been going to
  • I don't know what I did before the internet