inspired by: camilla engman.

I can't remember now where I first saw Camilla Engman's work (I just remember it was recent!) but I know that I felt then and now that it has a really special and playful feel that I enjoy.  Plus, she doesn't stick to one medium, which makes looking at her work quite exciting.  Enjoy!


curiousity + appreciation = imagination (michael wolff).

Thank you for your well wishes yesterday.  They are & were very meaningful to me!  My really dear friend Lindsey introduced me to the Intel Visual Life series through this video, called, "The Expressionist" about designer Michael Wolff.  It was beautiful and wonderful and inspiring. Certainly worth 6 minutes of your time.  Thanks Linds :)


life lately.

Ohhh where to begin!  I am writing feeling a bit out of sorts (which is how I think I feel often/in general lately).  I feel like there have been many different personal and emotional developments and discoveries going on which at times overwhelm me.  Lately I sit down at our table in front of my computer to work and just feel unable to produce or give myself to my work. I am okay, most of the time, but I am certainly feeling stunted in a lot of areas right now.  Just...needing to share that today.  Hope you understand :) Here are some random photos and a video taken recently:

job :)
 happy puppy?  he has mad contortion skills.

my favorite shoes.
 my favorite shoes.

 a new job nightmare video.  makes me giggle.


fun (mini) commercials.

I might be WAY late on this but we don't have a TV, so, I found out about them through THIS!  This guy Ely Kim is awesome.  And hysterical.  He was the art director for these:

And yes, I do like Target...still.


milano in cincinnati...

SO...my amazingly talented Chicago friends are headed to our hometown Cincinnati on August 4th to kick off their summer tour!!  I am thrilled to see our two worlds collide a little bit :) I would LOVE for you to take this time to watch this incredible acoustic video from Cornerstone (a recent festival they played) and if you'd like to know a little bit more about them here is an article/interview from Filter Magazine that featured them as a "Discover the Undiscovered" band.  Find out more about show dates/the tour (and lisssten to music!) HERE.

photos by Derik Strattan


weekend fun!

First: saw Harry Potter for date night on Sunday.  And...boy did I cry.  I just can't help but feel like it is over!  Ohhh my.  I know I will still listen to the audiobooks and watch the movies, but...there is definitely some lingering sadness (not because I didn't like the movie, because, I did!  For the most part :D).  Onto a happier note: I am obsessed with succulents and air plants.  I even made a pinterest board devoted solely to them!!  Well, after hearing about a great seller (acorn design source) of said plants from my sweet sweet friend, Kelly, I decided to check them out at the Wilmette French Market with another sweet friend, Alissa!  We also stopped by a church rummage sale that I passed on the way to the market and I got a sweet floor lamp for $10!  And a lamp shade (for $2) with scalloped edges to someday to this kind of thing with.  Here are some photos from the days events:

acorn design source booth

my tillandsia (air plant)!

liss & the living stones!

my tillandsia (air plant) & grapevine!

new floor lamp for $10.  yessss.

living stones.  SO crazy/cool
these are crazy, right?  they're called lithops or living stones.
I'm getting these baby's NEXT time!  and a fly trap!

my tillandsia (air plants)!

my tillandsia (air plant) & fox horn!

I know.  I'm kind of crazy.  like a "plant lady" rather than a "cat lady".
I am just so happy with my little plants!!  they make me smile :)


kristen & pat's custom invitation suite.

Yay!!  I'm so excited to be able to share this suite with you.  Kristen and Pat are getting married this September and I am SO very happy with how they turned out (and now, we have day-of paper goods to make!  WOO!).  Kristen and Pat have known each other since they were kids (they are childhood sweethearts!!) and they are both Irish to the core, so I had a lot of fun chatting with Kristen about what the possibilities for their invites could be.  We went with an Irish braid and included an Irish blessing (that talks about past, future and present) on the back of the formal invite.  I hope that you like them as much as I do ;)  SO excited for you Pat and Kristen!!!  The day is fast approaching...

kristen pat suite

kristen & pat

kristen pat invite

kristen & pat 3

kristen pat suite (no save the d)



Mostly this magazine is all about inspiring one another to share out tables
more often, to open our doors and hearts to family and friends-our Kinfolk.

I cannot even begin to express how excited I am about Kinfolk Magazine issue 1 (it just launched today)!!  It is so so beautiful.  Truly a work of art.  In the past 6 months or so I have stumbled upon the blogs of Andrew & Carissa, Amanda Jane, Julie, and Anna Emilia Laitinen (and others!!) and have been blown away, inspired and encouraged.  I admire very much this group of artists/designers. Their network of talent and love is just wonderful to see snippets of through the blog world.  But Kinfolk, it just opens up their worlds to you even more.  You get bigger glimpses of the love and talent and you are invited to be a part of it.  It's wonderful-so wonderful!  Thank you for sharing!! The imagery, intent, teaching and videos inspire such goodness and beauty.  I have hardly begun to sift through the beautiful words in this magazine, but am looking forward to diving in deeper...here are a few spreads that I really liked:

happy Friday.  ENJOY!



OH. MY. GOODNEWS (or goodness).

Such good news from Asthmatic Kitty.  SUCH good news.
A new Shara album (All Things Will Unwind) is coming out on October 18th!
AND.......there is a FREE mp3 from the album HERE (at the bottom).



inspired by: stoffer photography in the salton sea.

I have recently been finding more photographers in the two cities closest to my heart (Chicago & Cincinnati!!) whose work I really admire and enjoy.  These two make up Stoffer Photography.  This work in particular was particularly striking and impacting.  And...it's not from a wedding!  Which is what I most often find myself enjoying and looking at.  Please head HERE to read the story about their trip to the Salton Sea to get some background/understanding of the glimpse of eerie and beautiful you see here.  You will not be disappointed.

this is the video that inspired their trip.  it's beautiful!


a fox horn & harry potter.

fox horn

Well, if you didn't know, HARRY POTTER 7 part 2 comes out this week!!!  AHH!  So crazy.  So so crazy.  Dan and I were talking about Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling yesterday (after he had read a couple of different articles pertaining to this big event) and after throwing out some stats he read, we reflected on the impact these books and this story have had.  He then said something that struck me: "J.K. Rowling has changed the world".  It felt like a bold and scary thing to say, however, it is totally true.  She has brought something into the world that has created such large ripples...so large that I think this story will penetrate many generations to come.  I really really love these books and was getting teary-eyed watching the cast, crew and Rowling give their speeches at Trafalgar (I actually had NO idea the premiere was going on live when I randomly searched "harry potter premiere" and found it!  But I was happy I did!).  I know, I know....teary-eyed?!  Really!  Yes.  Oh yes. I will not deny it.  In fact, I will embrace it by letting you know that I have already created the main couples names in my cursive script for wedding templates to come.  Lame?!  Sure!  But I don't care. They keep me company so often as the audiobooks are very regularly my background noise while I work.

Dan and I did decide though, that we didn't want to go to the midnight showing.  I'm a little sad about it, but I think in the end we will be much happier and much more able to enjoy it seeing it during our date night on Sunday :)

The photo above is a "fox horn" or "hunting horn" I found at an antique shop this weekend.  I really like it.  I think it will look lovely in my studio space (that I hopefully have some day in the future. Sooner rather than later).  Hope you had a lovely weekend!!


d*s at home.

I am not a big "book" person.  The last coffee table book I received was "Influence" by Mary-Kate and Ashley (yes...it's true.  I have loved those two for as long as I can remember.  I still think they are beautiful.  Not sure I want to be influenced by too many of the people they are influenced by/admire, but still...I like them!  Probably always will!!).  Anywho-there is finally a book called DESIGN*SPONGE at HOME that I am pretty sure I am going to have to get...and I don't even follow Design*Sponge closely!  After watching THIS video though, it's been decided.  I WILL be getting this one :)

I do have a question for you though.  I am feeling a bit of internal turmoil/ethical conflict thinking about this...if purchasing the book through B&N, Amazon, Borders, or Book-a-Million it is %41 off the list price.  Through Indiebound or Powells it is regular price.  Of course the discount sounds appealing.  However, when I think about my struggles with people not receiving/being paid what they deserve I question my urge to buy cheaper.  Hmm...How is it that these larger sellers are discounting it so much?!  I always try to bargain and get a better deal.  Is that what this would be? Or would it be stealing in a sense?  Thoughts?!  HELP!


july desktop calendar (from shanna murray).

I swear, they just keep getting better!  This one from Shanna and Shari Altman is so pretty and beachy and calming.  Yep.  It looks so great on my computer (and...will probably look the same on yours!).  Get different sizes HERE.


a neat video.

I was an intern at Target HQ for a summer a while back and was fortunately on the team that had THE coolest Design Director (in the whole company).  Saw this on her FB and got so excited for the collection!  And, just loved seeing her beautiful little face in the video.  Sometimes, the life of a designer in a corporate company sounds preeeeeetty good...


a cincinnati weekend.

We have been overdue for a while with a visit to Cincinnati.  So, we headed back!  Spent some much needed time with family, by the pool (my skin is finally showing signs of summer....it took a while!), with friends, and eating our favorite foods.  Here's some evidence of it all:

Dan giving me sideballs on the drive down.

typical Job!

jenny & theo
Jenny & baby Theo :)

tree frog!
tree frog :) :) :)

the weirdest bug i have EVER seen.
a bug.  a very strange, fuzzy, white bug.  that I accidentally killed :(

boca (cincinnati)
an AMAZING restaurant called Boca.  my in-laws treated us to a VERY special dinner!!

boca (cincinnati)
our friend Chase was our server & he sent a treat from the kitchen...
watermelon & avocado gazpacho!

boca (cincinnati)
my first course.  sweet corn & mascarpone filled house made pasta.

boca (cincinnati)
my pork.  so tender & juicy.

boca (cincinnati)
mama-in-law's sea bass....beautiful!

boca (cincinnati)
and my favorite part...DESSERT!  blueberry almond cake...

boca (cincinnati)
a lovely creme brulee!

boca (cincinnati)
my cheesecake.  SO creamy.  the best I've ever had!

hydrating job.
and...this is how we hydrate Job on our road trips.  ice in a cup!

Can't wait to be back in Cinci a month from today to have our two worlds collide!!
THESE GUYS are playing at one of our favorite places in the Nati!  YAY :)