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We Fell In Love With San Diego

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After New Orleans, we hopped on a plane and flew to San Diego! Adam and I had about three days to ourselves in between Death to Stock stops which would explain the lack of photos. I had been shooting so much prior that I mostly left my camera at our hotel.

If we weren’t at the beach or In N’ Out…we were hanging out with Vanessa and Aaron! I’ve known Vanessa for years through blogging and it was so amazing to hang out in real life!

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We could definitely see ourselves moving to San Diego someday.

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All The Details

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A couple months ago, I shared about our new couch from Interior Define. We got two other small couches that I hope to share later this year. We have one in our actual working office (enclosed) and one we plan to use in the warehouse.

We finally worked on the last few details in the main area of our studio once we were done traveling but after we conquered our own sinus infections. We set a budget of $300 to get the rest of the outstanding items finished before we stopped to save for the big ticket items for our warehouse.

Here’s what we got from Home Goods and Lowes:

  • A lamp
  • Standing plant hanger
  • A LOT of succulents, hanging plants (this really adds up)
  • Soil, a few planters + pots, and a watering can
  • Glass containers for coffee and snacks
  • A few wire baskets for miscellaneous stuff
  • A paper towel holder and a bronze soap dispenser
  • Two huge mirrors (framed in bronze) for above the double sink in our bathroom

My favorite new additions are the plants. Those two plant boxes will soon hang over the edge and we’ll slowly keep adding some to make a “plant wall” just like this. Someday I want to create one like this, but we’ll probably order a bulk amount of succulents on Etsy vs buying them at a store nearby.

Besides our seating (couches and chairs), everything has been handmade by those we love. Our tables and shelves are all made with random pieces of wood we’ve had or have been given. We wanted to continue with that theme and made our coffee bar shelf with a pallet. It’s not perfect. It’s not exactly level. But we love it.   

Our next challenge is just getting our warehouse to where it can be used by our project manager and intern(s). We have a lot of space but it’s not designed in a way that lets us spread out and have our own workspaces. Technically we do…but it feels like a dungeon back there. We hope to get the warehouse painted completely white (walls, ceiling, and floors) with some frosted garage doors. Perhaps next year.

If you haven’t, I hope you can visit someday!

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Recent Photo Work

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I was shooting non-stop last month for our Death to Stock trip. I got tired of lugging my DSLR around and haven’t really touched it in a few weeks besides full day client shoots. It makes me sad and am thinking about buying a smaller camera for everyday life with friends, family and at our studio. Something like this or this. Snapchat has made me realize I miss those “home videos” as documentation. PS my username is pallieaa (like paella but not).

Here’s a random assortment of shoots from the last month or so. Shoots for Allium, Earnest Home Co., The Cleaver Group, Core OhioEdna Valley and an impromptu morning shoot in San Diego with Vanessa!

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A New Orleans Trip

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New Orleans was the second stop on our Death to Stock road trip. We arrived last Tuesday after a time with family over Memorial Day weekend and headed straight to Satsuma for some healthy food. I had been awake since 5am and when I feel grimy, I want eggs and juice!

We spent the rest of the day catching up emails and then somehow got hungry again. We snagged burgers (it seems to be a tradition when we all travel together) and then finally slept.

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On Wednesday, we were able to duck into our Airbnb owner’s boutique right in front of the apartment. It’s called Neon Heart and it’s wonderful. A great assortment of sunglasses (as I’m modeling here) and hats.

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On Thursday, we explored more neighborhoods like the French Quarter and daaaaang was it hot. Highlights: Adam enjoyed a beignet and I stopped by Solange’s boutique! Later that night we attended (and sponsored) Ciera‘s Made in Mind Social event! Check out their amazing conference that’s happening this fall!

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We spent our last full day in the swamps of Louisiana and closed out the trip with some BBQ!

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How I Conquered My Allergies

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Okay, this image is a bit dramatic but if you know me…my allergies are were dramatic. I had really subtle allergies as a kid and into college. Nothing debilitating. But then I moved to Ohio. I don’t know if my body changed or if I’m allergic to every tree/plant in the midwest, but it’s been crazy. For the first few years here, I just didn’t have the money to invest into addressing my allergies so I never got tested or received shots.

As I got older, I didn’t want shots so I started to seek out alternate forms of treatment. Sure, you can avoid going outside, you can wear a face mask, keep the A/C running, eat local honey and take Zyrtec but it wasn’t working for me.

This (early) spring, I started doing a handful of new things that helped SO much. My allergies, in the past, have started around April and this year I’ve only had about 3 bad days. Here’s what I do:

  • Acupuncture and cupping: I go to my acupuncturist, Tessa, twice a week to get acupuncture/cupping. It takes about 1.5-2 hours. It doesn’t hurt. I often fall asleep. I will continue to do this for forever. I can’t thank Tessa enough for all that she’s done for me!
  • Chinese Herbal Supplement: I take Yu Ping Feng San twice a day (4 capsules) that I get from my acupuncturist and it keeps my sneezing to a minimum. Plus it tastes like toasted deliciousness.
  • Neti Pot: I use the squeeze bottle version of a Neti Pot a few times a week. I’ll use it on nights when I’m congested before bed.
  • Nettle Tea: Nettle Tea is one of those things where you Google it and it says it helps with like…everything. Kind of like Coconut oil ha. I try to drink it every night.
  • I try to sleep 8 hours a night (lately this hasn’t worked) and eat real food.

Again, this is what has worked for me. I love not sneezing every day. I love driving with the windows down. I love being able to take morning meetings. I LOVE THE ENERGY. I hope this helps someone else.

*PS I still take Zyrtec every night. I’m too scared to stop but can tell you that it didn’t help much in years past (besides preventing my eyes from itching). 

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We Loved Minneapolis

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We spent last week in Minneapolis/St. Paul (mostly Minneapolis) and really crushed hard on the Twin Cities (capitalized?). We stayed downtown with our awesome friend Grant, but the awesome weather didn’t really show up until the last afternoon.

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Besides a rooftop party and lots of Car2Go-ing, we hit up Wilson and Willy’s, Forage Modern Workshop, Filson/Shinola, The Bulldog, Spruce, Brasa, massages at Hush, Izzy’s, and Spyhouse (probably more but I’m blanking)!

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Ahem…Izzy’s isn’t even CLOSE to Jeni’s

 

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Studio Updates Pt. 1

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In between trips, we finally got our main couch delivered! When we first were planning to add a sitting area, we figured it’d be a regular couch against a different wall. When we saw this couch from Interior Define, we knew we had to have it. We just weren’t sure where. Our studio is sort of this weird “L” shape and we’re still working on updates to the warehouse so that it can be a space to work and create with natural light. After moving some stuff around, we realized we really loved it against this wall with the window.

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We pushed the main conference table up and now there’s an amazing area where clients can relax, sit on the couch or at our custom table. I don’t talk about our business as much as I’d like, but we work collaboratively with local clients (or clients who come to work with us from out of town) in really intense bursts. We’re together for a minimum of 4 hours together but usually up to 8-10 hours. A post coming soon all about how we made our business structure work for us and our strengths.

All that to say…sitting on those white chairs are great but after hour 5 you’d do about anything to sit on a couch. Now they can!! We have a TV mounted to the wall where all of us can get comfortable and work through revisions + concepts.

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So far, I’m really impressed with the couch. It doesn’t sink in after someone sits there and the chaise part it really wide (hello, afternoon naps). I’ve outlined some of the next things we’ll be adding below as a mood board. Once we’ve back in town, I’ll share the next round of updates!

WishList

teal rug, coffee table, new pendant light, outdoor seating, planters and custom pour over stands from our friend David!

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Staycations Are For Everyone

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This summer I will have lived in Columbus, Ohio for SIX years. The last few years have flown by and the more we travel, the more I appreciate this fine city. We started off in the suburbs (blech), lived close to campus (oye) but finally settled in the Grandview area almost four years ago. We’ve experienced blizzards, negative temps, crazy OSU fans and the Doo Dah Parade. We’ve considered moving somewhere warmer (or with fewer allergens) a million times. And yet here we are. It’s home.

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Last week we kicked off our four-city road trip here in Columbus. We took two days off to act like tourists in our own town. We visited new places for brunch (Zoe and Philco), Cherbourg for something sweet, we walked downtown, we bought everyone rounds of cocktails, wandered around a metro park and spent time with Brandon Rike as he re-designed our logo in a day.

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I’m glad we could rep home during this adventure. It forced me to look at this city in a new light (we distributed the 50 Columbus photos to our backers this week) and pick up my camera for fun again. After awhile, shooting can feel like a chore and I hate when that happens.

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Bottom line: it’s important to implement staycations often. It’s important to find peace amidst chaos. Don’t forget that you can sit on your front porch and leave your phone inside. You can find those pockets of rest in the day-to-day life. Tired of designing? Pick up a paint set. Tired of shooting commercial shoots? Pick up a 35mm camera. Tired of your laptop? SHUT THE DAMN THING!

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Upcoming Studio Updates

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We’ve been in our studio for over a year and I can honestly say it’s like a hybrid of having another business and another apartment. It’s this space that has quite an influence over your income and network while also being a relatively large investment that you don’t even own. It’s honestly incredible to see how our quarterly income increased after moving in. It works really well for us and our clients are constantly saying how they feel at peace when they visit.

Unfortunately, you can’t really take all the time in the world to make the space something special. You have to prioritize your list of wants and “must-haves.” For every day you take off to improve the space, it’s a day you aren’t working. We moved in and took about 4 days (and a bit over $1,000) to get it set up (biggest expenses were the floors + paint). About a month later, we had a working and neutral studio.

Fast forward another year and we finally turned our attention to some updates! Last month we painted the yellow kitchen and bathroom with a fresh coat of white paint and Adam’s parents helped us install baseboards. That weekend we spent another $400. Overall, we’ve kept our costs really low. That was important to us because it can quickly get out of hand. Our rent, which is our biggest expense besides our contractors, adds to our overhead (along with commercial wi-fi and utilities) so we can’t be constantly dropping cash on interior design. We plan!

Here’s what we have planned this month:

  1. Adding in a couch in our main meeting area. We work alongside clients for up to 8 hours at a time. Sometimes we have photoshoots that last even longer. You don’t know how much a soft, comfortable surface can feel rejuvenating and we need that. You can see in the photo below that there’s a perfect spot begging for a comfy couch! My desk used to be there, but we’ve moved it into the enclosed workspace so I can shut the door while working. I’ve been eyeing this one from Interior Define.
  2. A few rugs! I love the look of the bare wood floors but the enclosed office area is cozy and the spot in front of the couch could use a bright rug. I saw these rugs from Overstock in person and really loved them!
  3. Substantial floor + ceiling lighting. Our cool Ikea lamp is starting to sag quite a bit and we have a few other rooms that could use some light (we have ugly drop tile ceiling + fluorescent lights that we never turn on). Ikea, in general, has affordable lighting. We might head there on a random weeknight, but we’re car shopping now so it might prove to be difficult. Please let me know if you know of any great lamps that aren’t a million dollars!
  4. Mirrors for the bathroom. We have one large full-length mirror sitting in the bathroom, but we still need to find two oval or circular mirrors to hang over the sink. This shouldn’t be too difficult to accomplish.
  5. Complete our coffee bar! You can’t see it in the photo that I snapped of the kitchen, but Adam installed a large wooden bar opposite the kitchenette where we’ll set up a pour-over bar for coffee. Right now we have a random pegboard, extension cords + random coffee accessories sitting there.

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Our June/July studio plans will happen once we have time to save more money and recover from all our travels. But hint hint: they include glass garage doors, industrial-style shelving and upgrade the warehouse to feel more like a studio and less like a garage. Perhaps a couch? Wood laminate floors? A strobe? Well shit, I better get to work ($$$$)!

Later this month, I’ll share about these new additions! I’d love any fresh ideas, recs or tips in the meantime.

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The Wonder Jam is 2!

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When I was freelancing by myself out of our “dining room-meets-living-room-meets-office,” I met Matt on a web design project. He was the developer and it was honestly one of the first websites I ever created. After collaborating a couple more times, he gradually came on as The Wonder Jam’s developer! We were so excited when we found out his band (The Local Strangers…I designed their logo!) would be embarking on a house tour this spring!

A few weeks ago, we hosted a studio concert and invited all of our favorite people. Pro tip: snag an amazing mixologist, provide free alcohol + get great music. Then your party will be complete.

Without realizing it, this was sort of our “Happy 2nd birthday to The Wonder Jam” party. We had one two years ago when we launched and another last May. Eventually, we’ll just be in the business of throwing parties. Next up…summer barbecue!