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Things are looking VERY gorgeous around here. the leaves, the air, the smell – It’s my absolute favorite month.

Hope everyone is having a lovely weekend!

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Hi all! Go like The Financial Diet on Facebook if you can! It’s a passion project that my friend Chelsea and I started and it would mean a lot =)

Everyone have a fantastic weekend!

-Lauren

Hope everyone is having a lovely first week of November!

The temperatures are dipping slightly and every morning the trees look a little bit different as the colors change ever so slightly. Below is a quote I designed, that was featured on The Fiancial Diet. I love turning meaningful quotes into beautiful visuals through the use of mixed typefaces that compliment one another + simple color palettes.TFD_Truism_V3

The hardest part about designing typographic quotes is finding that perfect balance within the layout and making sure that the whole quote has a sense of lightness to it. After quickly sketching out the general idea of how I want the page to look, I decide which words should have greater emphasis. Then I go on an EPIC TYPEFACE HUNT to try and find beautiful typefaces that make sense for each of the words or phrases. I like to mix thin sans serifs with heavier stylized scripts, that pair nicely together. The background is a photograph that my friend Chelsea took, which I adjusted in Photoshop to be black and white, so that it would provide a rick dark colored background for the knock-out white type to sit on.

My friend Chelsea who writes the blog The Financial Diet, created a list of 7 daily affirmations to live by. This quote is the first one in the series that I’ll turn into a typographic visual. Stay tuned for the rest!!! Have a great weekend

-Lauren

Hello all!

I can FINALLY share a project with you all that has been in the works for a few months now. I recently collaborated on a website redesign with Chelsea Fagan an enormously talented writer, blogger, style guru and all-around awesome person. I present the new & improved, The Financial Diet!

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A screenshot of The Financial Diet homepage.

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Monogram lock up for The Financial Diet.


TFD is a space where we all can talk honestly about finances and the art of saving $$$ where we can, in a humorous yet informative manner. Chelsea describes it in a nutshell by saying, “when you become smarter about money, everything gets better.”

The design of the site had to be clean, minimalist and stately while still feeling warm and inclusive. We chose a gender neutral palette that incorporated a crisp dark blue, light grey and white. For the logo up top, we paired a fancy script typeface with a very thin sans serif, which mixes nicely and balances out the header. Finally, we added decorative page borders to ground it all in a pretty embellished package. The site is a really neat platform to discuss everything from cooking at home on a budget, to fashion staples and DIY nails tips.

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Workin’ all day getting the blog ready to launch

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Workin’ all night. (with champagne & macaroons to toast our triumphs, of course)


Hope you enjoy the site! We have a Facebook page and a Pinterest page! Go check it out!

Thanks for reading,

-Lauren

CONFESSION TIME ~*ALERT*~  I returned from a trip to Portugal 3.5 weeks ago, and have yet to do a full on, detailed post about how amazing the country, people, food, weather, architecture etc. etc, is. I know it’s terrible considering how much joy that trip brought me and how much I chewed everyone’s ear off back home about it. BUT, I had a lot to catch up on at work and some personal freelance projects that are taking up nearly every minute of my “spare” time… Check out some picture below!

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I traveled with 3 other lovely ladies who I was reunited with after having originally met while studying abroad in college. In short I can say that it was a trip for the books. We laughed and talked a lot, ate A CHEESEBOARD IN EVERY ESTABLISHMENT, no joke. We drank port and wine and sipped lots of espressos and devoured Portuguese custard pastries, called Pastéis de Nata, which I will be recreating in the kitchen come winter. We spent 5 days in the south of the country visiting the Algarve, which is lovely because it’s all beaches, cliffs and winding roads through the countryside. Then we trekked back up North to Lisbon, where we spent the remaining 4 days.

Lisbon is easily one of my favorite cities in the world, that I have seen thus far. The concentration of bars is one of the highest in the world, which made for memorable nights running bar hoping in the trendy Barrio Alto neighborhood. The city is a mix of old and new and feels quintessentially shabby chic European. We sat outside as the sun went down, over a table full of wine, cheese and bread and watched the orangey red roofs of the city glow and fade out with the last light of day. I have plenty more pictures to share for my Part 2, so stay tuned!

Thanks for reading, as always.

Lauren

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Today we welcomed a 5lb welsh corgi named Sierra (after Sierra Nevada beer), into the family. Damn she is cute. No happiness quite like puppy happiness ❤️🐶

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it was difficult to get crisp photos that weren’t blurry:/ She moves a lot

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Hi all!

I did a guest post on a friend’s blog this AM, on The Financial Diet – go check it out to read the full post! I make this stuff all the time and you should too. It’s that good.

Lauren

It was a groggy Wednesday morning at the office and I was just finishing up the last dregs of my XL coffee before I could even think about tackling my inbox or opening up Illustrator, when suddenly I STUMBLED UPON THE MOST INCREDIBLE PORTFOLIO OF A CUT PAPER ARTIST. And just like that, I was wide awake. You see, I had the privilege of looking at the portfolio of Elsa Mora (here & here) and at her vast library of mixed-media work, which is breathtaking. Take a gander.

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6a00e3981de7fa88330167678a2d2e970b-800wia cut paper RING.

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6a00e3981de7fa883301630696971d970d-800widrawings too!

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I’ve always had an affinity for cut paper work. I once completed an 8 page cut paper book in a college design class, that had to center around key scenes from a movie we liked (ahem, Breakfast at Tiffany’s for me). After pulling all nighters in the week leading up to the due date and cutting paper details so tiny I thought I would A.) go blind or B.) slice my finger off as a result of my compromised state, I have a HUGE appreciation for the level of skill, dedication and fastidiousness it takes to complete a work like Elsa’s.

Her work is very singular and her cut paper illustrations have a hint of the macabre, animals and fairy tales. As you let your eyes wander across each piece, you’ll discover more detail within the layers, which is what I love most about her work. Scenes within scenes. Animal parts morphing into human bodies. Girls coiled up within the shapes of rabbits. It’s not only perfectly executed but interesting to view. She really uses the negative space within the illustrations – not only to show the cut paper technique with her silhouettes, but as an additional canvas for the scene she builds, where she adds even more detail.

I hope that looking at Elsa’s work brings you as much wonder and joy as it did for me this morning as I sat in a tiny cube, in a tiny corner of this state, completely bursting with inspiration to go home and create something beautiful.

-Lauren

bootiessuede booties make their first appearance

Homemade ganolagranola action shot! with cinnamon + almond milk + honey

apple picking applesbounty from the first apple picking of the season, compliments of my sister

fall outfitall black everything + a WNYC tote + a floral scarf

With the temperature clocking in a cool 58 degrees this morning (yikes), the first true feels of Autumn hit me hard. As my favorite season approaches, I’m embracing darker palettes for my wardrobe and cooking with my favorite things: oats, nuts, cinnamon, brown sugar, apples & pumpkin.

I whipped up a super sized batch of Minimalist Baker’s Nut And Honey Coconut Granola, which I have now eaten for the 5th consecutive morning, with almond milk and ahem, more honey on top. Fall usually slips away far too quickly and I’m left scratching my head come December, looking around at the snow and my freezing chapped hands, thinking sad thoughts of crisp mornings and vibrant leaves that have all but disappeared.

Here’s to taking it one day at a time, reaching end-of-the-indian-summer goals, and planning out some October challenges, which I will be finalizing plans for and posting next week! Stay tuned! -Lauren

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Well howdy. I seem to have inflicted another LONG pause in blogging upon everyone. It was completely unintended but, there it is. This summer I wanted to focus on after-hours personal design work and really enjoy all the things that the Spring and Summer season brought: picnics, weekend trips, gardening, vacations, dinners with friends, and time away from the computer where I could find it. I longed for paperback books and conversations over cocktails, uninterrupted by texts, tweets and uploads. This Summer saw a promotion at work, a best friend engaged, an trip to Aruba with friends & family, the tending of my very first box bed garden, training for runs and devouring cookbooks.

Truth be told, I have struggled in what I envision for this blog and of the surety of my own voice. Sometimes I want a space to post recipes, sometimes I want a space to post informative design critiques and sometimes I want to post about accessible, everyday fashion. I don’t want to limit myself or the themes of any post by slapping on any one identity for the sake of creating a succinct Design Spell “brand”, and having to adhere to it. However, it sometimes seems that an open direction can feel like no direction and I do not wish this blog to become visual stream of consciousness, (only my pre-morning coffee brain should be subject to that!)

So instead, I am recommitted to focusing on sharing in a visual way, my outlook on everyday life and the way I respond to it. I want to strengthen a mentality where I look out on this world with a sense of gratitude and awe, and not take any of the beautiful little things around me for granted. Of this, I am sure and am fully committed. I want people to come into this space and expect to see an assortment of topics, laid out and presented beautifully, with my own personal voice ringing clear through all of it.

So please, bear with me and let’s do this thing right! Expect consistent, visual, delightful and engaging content from here on out! Thanks everyone =)

-Lauren

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