snow

Sometimes , you just need to hit the reset button. This past weekend spent up in Vermont, was just the thing I needed after a couple of very wintry & stressful weeks in NJ. During our travels throughout Vermont, we hit up the towns of Waterbury, Burlington, Essex, Stowe & Greensboro. Yes, I know. A ton of driving. We logged about 18 hrs of it in total. Although, looking out the window at the surrounding farmland, old stone barns, the ice topped beauty of Lake Champlain & rolling green and blue mountains – it’s hard to complain. It was 3 days spent trying out the fare at local restaurants, like lunch at The Prohibition Pig, brunch at the Gables Inn, dinner at Farmhouse Tap and Grill, drinks at the Hourglass bar at Stowe Mountain Lodge and brunch at Sneakers Bistro (i’m still dreaming about the divine Veggie Hash & Eggs I ordered!) We sampled local cheese at the Cabot Creamery and beer at the Hill Farmstead Brewery (tastiest beer in the world!) We popped into general stores to sneak away with bags of sweets weighed in antique iron scales and marveled at toys with old fashioned retro packaging. We slept on our friend’s couch in Burlington, in true college-days fashion & loved every minute spent trekking around this gorgeous state. Oh yeah, AND our car got stuck in the snow going uphill. But fear not! Friendly passers-by equipped with man power & bags of sand, helped us break free. Or rather, roll backwards, free.

Stowe VT

Stowe mountainGazing skyward at the skiers on the Stowe Mountain trails

Stowe church

photo 5Stowe Mountain Lodge at the mountain’s base.

photo 5-4Bear ice sculpture!

trees covered

ridley's spring toy

photo 4-3Love the fun retro packaging of Ridley’s toys

photo 5-3Beautiful vintage French inspired bathroom goodies by Barr-Co.

Black cap coffee cafeI love the red houses + white trim theme, all throughout the state of VT/upstate NY.

photo 1-7Rose de Gambrinus beer from Cantillon Brewery in Belgium, flavored with raspberries!

apple sausage cheese omeletteThe apple + sharp cheddar + maple sausage omelette from the Gables Inn. holy yum.

Overall, the scenery and relaxed atmosphere of the town &  people was refreshing and surprisingly, the extra snow we got while we were up there, didn’t bother me one. little. bit. Probably because I didn’t have to shovel it!

Until next time! =)

The weather this month on the East Coast has been brutal and we’ve been pummeled with a couple of pretty bad snow storms. The storms have already dumped more snow in these last two months, than we normally get in an entire season. Multiple snow days have left me stuck inside the house and itching to get into the kitchen to prepare healthy & simple meals, that keep me fueled for working at home and shoveling out massive amounts of snow. Some of my favorites have been homemade greek fries, spinach, chickpea, & feta parcels and  green monster smoothies. Take a peek below!

snow day copybeautiful post-snow storm, morning drive

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snow day

snowed in carmy car buried under a TON of ice and snow =(  2+ hours of shoveling

photo 1-5healthy bowl of sautéed broccoli, garlic, cannellini beans and cooked wheat berries

breakfastsimple breakfast. avocado + salt & pepper + latte

smoothie

Green monster smoothie. Spinach, almond milk, banana, chia seeds, almond butter & ginger

photo 3-5Homemade greek food feast! the baked french fries I made, were to die for.
Here’s the recipe: http://www.self.com/fooddiet/recipes/2011/05/no-fry-fries

spinach pieWe also made Jamie Oliver’s spinach, chickpea & feta parcels.
Recipe can be found here http://www.hellomagazine.com/cuisine/recipes/2013022711322/jamie-oliver-greek-salad-parcels-recipe/

snow day latte

bailee 1Bailee snoozing the afternoon away as usual

Thanks for stopping by everyone! Have a warm and safe night! See you back here soon =)

It’s NEVER too early to think about Valentine’s Day, especially when you’ve got someone special in mind. While surfing the wondrous site of Etsy I came across this featured shop, Little Low, that makes some of the sweetest illustrated Valentine’s Day cards i’ve ever seen. Check it out!

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageI’ll do a full Valentine’s Day gift guide post soon, but for now I’ll leave you with just a taste! Happy hump day lovies!

Happy Monday to all you guys! I had a wonderfully relaxing weekend – reading, salt baths, a visit to Trader Joe’s and some much needed time spent at the gym, and it helped reset myself mentally and physically.

This year I promised to myself that one thing (in addition to many) I would focus on, would be to become more organized all around – at work, at home and with personal endeavors/projects. In the past I haven’t fully appreciated the lengths to which organization can soothe one’s mental state. I’ve come to understand that for me personally, a messy and unorganized surrounding, contributes to an unproductive mental state. As a creative professional I constantly have a ton of ideas, half-baked project concepts and rules of composition and typography, floating around in my head, but it’s important to take control of what you are able to and to organize yourself.

I’ve complied 3 things, ahem a short list of tips, which is by no means finished or comprehensive but has really helped me keep myself neat while at work and at home.

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1. Clean out old junk folders
One thing I’ve been terrible with is throwing a ton of files into general folders, just to keep up the appearance of a clean desktop. But rather than throwing everything into general folders, I now like to create sub-folders that are super specific. This way when I’m searching for something, I can find it quickly and easily. There’s nothing worse than trying to find that picture of a pattern you need to retrace and you can’t figure out if your ass threw it into the “work”, “side projects”, “patterns” or the “work in progress” folder. For example, I have vacation photos sorted into folders by place and day of the trip. I keep old design work from college organized by the classname and the specific week of the assignment and I keep inspiration in “food”, “style”, “interiors”, “seasonal”, etc.

2. Use proper naming conventions for files
Rainboots_edit.psd is about as helpful as a porcupine in a balloon factory, and i’ve learned that the hard way. I used to save files very sloppily, but I’ve been working on ironing out these bad habits since I graduated school. You see, I’m no longer designing with just myself in mind. I work in an art department where it’s essential for anyone to be able to locate your file in case they need to make changes to it. Now I save files with the name of the job, the version of the file and sometimes the date, if appropriate. Then the files get shuffled away in proper folders for maximum organization. C’mon peeps, get on this level! It feels good.

3. Finish things you start
While this might not seem like physical organizing, it’s another important aspect of staying organized mentally. It’s important to finish things that you start. Yes I realize this is opening up a can of worms because for some creatives, having a multitude of projects/assignments going on simultaneously is essential to keeping them on their toes and creatively stimulated. However, for me I prefer to begin a project and see it through even it it takes awhile before I can truly focus my attention on another long term project. If I have a bunch of things that are half finished and sit for awhile, I lose the momentum I once had, as well as the drive to finish them. However, there will always be those projects you just fall into a rut with and it’s okay to put those ones to bed if you feel like they are no longer working. Think of it as just another creative exercise rather than a failure. Design in subjective, we hardly FAIL or WIN in this arena people, it depends on who you ask and the day you ask it.

I hope this is a lll helpful to whoever is out there reading this. I derived inspiration from my own experience, fellow designers at work, as well as this awesome article http://www.fastcocreate.com/user/rae-ann-fera

Now go out into the world and keep being your awesome selves!Image

BOLD JEWELS

Ever  since I received the above necklace for Christmas, which I thought I’d NEVER be able to pull off – I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it worked with a number of outfits and how it added just the right amount of sparkle. My style is low-key, lots of patterns and color, but nothing too flashy. This chunky jewel necklace is a way to lively up an outfit any day of the feel week, without feeling like I’m trying too hard or look too “blinged out.” That being said, I been trolling the internet for more jewel inspired looks and pops of tasteful sparkle to incorporate my daily wardrobe. Take a look!

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tumblr_mxee9phCkM1ru00c7o1_1280All images via www.stripesandsarcasm.tumblr.com & www.cupcakesandcashmere.com

Imagedrinking good wine, with gusto

It feels like yesterday I was stepping out of my car to unpack for college at 18. LIke only a few months ago that I was facing a semester abroad in London at 19, scared and excited and in over my head. I turned 20, and then 21, 22 and 23. Now today, on my 24th birthday I can say that I am really proud of the person I have become over these last crucial years, as i’ve transitioned from late teen/young adult, and have finally rounded the symbolic corner and accepted adulthood. I have a full-time job and a steady income. I have a wonderful relationship with a guy I adore and a solid group of friends, whom I respect and admire and whom I chose. In my eyes, 24 is a turning point in that I can no longer say I “just graduated college”, the way I could when I was 23. I’m no longer stumbling around for work and hoarding quarters in a jar on my desk. I feel secure with myself and able to deal with tougher issues that I used to think I’d crumble under. I’ve got an understanding of what I want for my future and what’s even more…a plan of how to get there. Life’s short and I want to make the most of being 24. This may all sound sappy but birthdays demand reflection and this is mine. Thanks for listening xxx

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Tonight’s celebrations will involve pizza, wine, family & friends.

Happy holidays and merry Christmas Eve to all of you! Hope you’re sharing this time with love ones and winding down the end of the year with good food, warmth, twinkle lights and wine

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ImageI can’t believe that today marks the last day of October as well as HALLOWEEN. Where did this month go?!? Last Friday, a bunch of my friends and I celebrated the holiday down in Hoboken. My boyfriend and I dressed up as Sam & Suzy from Moonrise Kingdom. It was a costume pulled together in less than 48 hours and I think we did a pretty decently convincing job. I bought plain Keds from Payless and turned them into saddle shoes and poked around Forever 21 for the pink dress and Peter Pan collared shirt. For my boyfriend’s costume details I grabbed felt and went to town on making some patches for his boy scout costume.

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I hope everyone enjoys their day and indulges in way more candy/chocolate than is necessary. =)

MoonRise_Blog

suzybishop

moonriseAfter some thinking, my boyfriend and I decided on dressing up as Sam Shakusky & Suzy bishop from Moonrise Kingdom this Halloween. (Pssst – The gorgeous font created for the movie was designed by non other than the talented Jessica Hische ) The movie follows Sam & Suzy on an eccentric adolescent love story. The movie is sweet and  beautifully shot. I actually love Suzy’s get-up, so it will l be a thrill to don the 60s mod look a few times, for this years Halloween celebrations, without attracting too much attention from those who would otherwise think I was caught in a time warp.

suzu bishop costume

This weekend the boyfriend and I made our 2nd annual trek up to Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Pocantico Hills, NY. The place is so beautiful and an essential on my Autumn to-do list. I adore walking around the trails that weave throughout the 80 acre farm, pastures and woodland. My favorite part might be the simple fresh fare from the Blue Hill Cafe and stopping into the charming farm store.

colors of Fall

farm store

inside the Farm storefresh flowers

fresh cut flower bouqets
herbs

inside farm store

a wall full of jams and preservesflatbread

goat cheese, corn and onion flat breadplate of farm goodies

From top left – Flatbread, egg/potato frittata, wheat berry salad and Kale & cheddar scone.

After having the Kale and Cheddar scone from the cafe (see picture above),  I was compelled to make a version in my own kitchen, using fresh Kale from my boyfriend’s garden. I followed this recipe and introduced very finely chopped fresh broccoli to bolster the veggie goodness. I paired these savory scones with fresh vegetable soup for yesterday’s dinner, and it was divine!

sauteeVeggies are sautéed to soften before being folded into the batter

mix in

Veggies flour and cheese prepare for Buttermilk!
kale sconesThe finished product, ta dah!!!!

Thanks for stopping by everyone! =)