All posts by Allison

Sanity Regained

As we’re nearing the end of May, I wanted to recap the #30DaysToSanity challenge. I can honestly say that I regained my sanity this month. April left me feeling exhausted and frustrated. I had taken on way too many freelance projects, I was working every night, and I just felt unhealthy. Taking on the sanity  challenge wasn’t really about following each and every guideline but rather taking on a new frame of mind. Choosing three new things to try really set the tone of my month. It allowed me to set non-work related goals and freed me to use my weekends for fun and not work. We joined a gym down the street and carved out time during our evenings to get our heart rates up! It makes sitting at a desk not so bad after all.

I spent Memorial Day weekend with friends and family. I made strawberry mojitos, painted my nails, relaxed and enjoyed myself. I’m ready for June and all the new things it will hold. I’ll be sharing my “Try 3 New Things” on Friday. I’m going to make it a monthly tradition. I’ll be sharing some fun, big changes coming to Show + Tell on Friday. It has me excited about blogging again–I have a feeling you’ll all enjoy what’s to come.

*all photos taken on my iPhone with random filters (because I can)

I just want to feel everything

I have a special place in my heart for a handful of musicians. It’s the kind of special where they release a new album and you feel like you’ve heard it a million times already. Or where you’d drop everything to see them perform live and you get butterflies in your stomach before they come on stage. Fiona Apple is one of them. My college roommate and best friend introduced her to me back when I was 18 and I still get excited listening to any of her three albums. She recently released a single titled Every Single Night and is her album comes out June 26th. The title? The Idler Wheel is wiser than the Driver of the Screw, and Whipping Cords will serve you more than Ropes will ever do. Um, awesome. I’ve included a video of her live performance at SXSW earlier this year. Her vocal range, energy and facial expressions are wonderful. If you’re not familiar with any of her albums, check her out on Rdio. (Sorry if you don’t have an Rdio account…but you should.)

Timeless Skin Solutions Giveaway

Timeless Skin Solutions, one of my May sponsors, is generously giving away some Obagi products! Their tote from Obagi contains travel sizes of Healthy Skin Protection SPF 35, Gentle Cleanser and Toner. Obagi is recognized worldwide as one of the leading skin care lines that delivers results and not just promises. The tote, a coated canvas bag, has a roomy interior pocket as well as a ring to hang keys. An Obagi medallion adorns one side of the tote. Since it’s waterproof, it’s the perfect bag to bring to the pool or beach when you’re traveling. The total value of the tote and the Obagi travel sizes is more than $100. The best part? They’re giving away FOUR totes filled with Obagi products. In order the enter the giveaway, you can log in through Facebook or sign in with your email address below. It will allow you to get in 6 entries, max! The giveaway ends Friday, June 1st at 12:01am EST. I’ll choose 4 winners and announce them all on Friday morning. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Friday, xoxo

I created this print for a friend recently. She commissioned me to create seven unique and original prints for her and her boyfriend’s living room. I can’t wait to see a photo of them all framed and arranged! This print is what inspired me to create this free wallpaper for download. I printed extras so if you want one, comment below! The first five comments requesting one will receive it via snail mail! Or if you’re in the Columbus area, let’s get Jeni’s and make the exchange!

I’m pretty excited for the 3-day weekend! My family will be visiting (I haven’t seen my parents since Christmas!) and we have a few cookouts as well. I have a feeling it will be a lot of fun and a little work. What are your plans for the weekend?

Sydney

CITY GUIDE: Sydney

Today’s City Guide is brought to you by Hannah DeMilta who lives in Sydney, Australia! Enjoy!

Sydney is made up of the best of two different worlds in my mind – a modern gorgeous city paired with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. I spend most of my time caught up in that busy city life, but still enjoy that short escape on weekends to be by the ocean. It makes me feel lucky to live here.

One of my favourite (and free) things to do on a weekend is the Coastal Walk from Bondi Beach to Coogeee. If you take your time, and stop for pictures on your iPhone it’s about a 90 minute walk. You’ll see Bondi, Tamarama, Bronte, Clovelly, and Coogee beaches. You can see whales off the coast depending on the season, and sometimes dolphins too.

A great time for the coastal walk is every spring (October through November) when they have the annual Sculpture by the Sea exhibit. They bring in more than 100 funky sculptures and incorporate them into the landscape and walk. It’s a fantastic reason for the coastal walk and recommend it if you’re in town.

One of my favourite places for food adventures is Sydney’s Chinatown. Perhaps to those who have traveled and lived throughout Asia this wouldn’t be such a novelty. However, for this Midwest gal hailing from Cleveland – discovering things like late night Korean BBQ and trying my first laksa are memories I won’t soon forget. Head over to one of my favourite spots, Mamak for dinner. This Malaysian restaurant has some of the best fried chicken in Sydney, in my opinion, and the Roti is amazing.

You can also stroll through the night markets every Friday in Chinatown. Markets of every variety can be found around Sydney. Some of my favourite include the Paddington Markets (Oxford Street in Paddington) and the weekend markets in The Rocks – theses ones are great for less “touristy” tourist items. There are booths with lots of handmade crafts and jewelry. My cousin got a stitched photobook with a kangaroo on the cover to keep all of the photos from her trip. I’m also a fan of the Finders Keepers markets, held bi-annually at Carriage Works. They feature local art, designers and cool creative projects.

A really beautiful thing about living in Sydney is that you don’t have to struggle to support local business when it comes to dining out. Locally owned is the norm and you often come to know the people working at your local café or pub. One of my current locals is Robocog Café in Surry Hills. They know how to put on a wicked brunch. The Breakfast ‘Berrito’ and Eggs Rusky are my favouirte at the moment, but honestly I’m a fan of most everything I’ve tried so far. I’ve also come to love Robocog for their quirky decor and fabulous customer service, which helps shape the experience.

I’d be steering you wrong if I didn’t recommend at least one venue to grab a cheeky pint while you’re in town. There are many bars, clubs and pubs waiting to be discovered on your visit to Sydney. Some of my favourite small bars to have recently opened include Tio’s, Darlie Laudromatic, and The Baxter Inn, a mysterious whiskey bar hidden in the city. However, for a casual pub with great views, I’d say visit the rooftop bar of the Glenmore in the Rocks. It’s a beautiful spot overlooking the harbour without the touristy crowd (or prices) to accompany it. Enjoy, and cheers mate!

Hannah works in digital marketing and also has fun curating the Sydney edition of The Fetch, a local ‘What’s on’ guide across businesses, digital and creative in your city. Say “hello” on Twitter @HannahDeMilta or follow her ramblings on her blog hannahdemilta.com.

Featured image by xiquinhosilva.

Apartment Living: Light DIY

I often read home/DIY blogs (like Young House Love) and want to do everrrry single project. Then I look around at my little one bedroom apartment and realize that I cannot knock down walls or replace the hardwood flooring with something a bit more snazzy (and less scratched). This month while taking on Sarah’s 30 Days to Sanity Challenge, I’ve forced myself to get off my butt and actually try new things. I’ve planted my own herbs and vegetables, I’m creating my own jewelry, I made my first terrarium and now I’m going to tackle more apartment DIY projects. Inspired by some of my favorite bloggers (Delicious Duds and Design Curiosities) I hope to be posting more APARTMENT LIVING DIY posts this summer! I’ve been bored lately with some of my content and I want to get excited about blogging again.

So, with all that said, here is my first DIY! It’s a blatant rip off of Young House Love’s BUT I feel proud that I did it myself and give them total credit for being awesome. This project, in particular, really stuck out to me because it didn’t require me to rewire crap or knock things out. I just unscrewed the ugly, pre-existing fixture and gathered the following supplies:

Adam helped me with a lot of it and said you’ll probably need the appropriate bolts/washers and tools in order to remove your pre-existing fixture and then later attach the lampshade. Below is a BRIEF overview of how it went for me. Please head over to Young House Love to get better instructions and photos (what, you don’t love my yellow tinted iPhone pictures?).

After having created it, I wish our lampshade hung lower so that I didn’t have to glue the second half of the fabric AFTER it was hung. Young House Love explained in their comment section that theirs hung low enough from the ceiling that they were able to glue the entire piece of fabric while on the ground and then screw in the piece afterwards. Oh well! It’s the beauty of apartment living. I will have to rip it down in a year anyways.

Hope you enjoyed my first APARTMENT LIVING DIY! If you have any DIY recommendations or tips when you see my sad attempts…feel free to comment below! 

Terrariums!

My friend Heather took me to EcoFlora last night for a belated birthday present/terrarium building class! Located in Clintonville (a neighborhood in Columbus), this little shop stole my heart! So many gorgeous flowers, succulents, and jars. My terrarium turned out differently than I had anticipated but I love it. I chose a little succulent and an air plant to top it off. Don’t you like my little bird? Adam and I decided that we’re going to go back for our three year anniversary and make a terrarium together however…I have a feeling I’ll be back multiple times before late June.

Weekend Recap

I had a great weekend filled with music, friends, film portrait sessions and gardening! I didn’t get to work on my necklaces but I’m going to pick up supplies this week on my lunch break. I got a pedicure (which is such a fun treat) and Adam and I got free tickets to see the Avett Brothers on Saturday night! I also figured I should show you a little preview of the two shoots (both shoots were taking in 85+ degree heat so I commend my clients for looking amazing).

If you’re in or near Columbus and want some film portraits taken, let me know!

Sponsor Spotlight: Ciera Holzenthal

I’m excited to introduce you all to Ciera today! She is one of my May sponsors and is incredibly talented. I love her work, chatting with her on Twitter and her blog

  1. Name: Ciera Holzenthal
  2. Age: 29
  3. Location: Born and raised in New Orleans but have been living in Boston for the past year.

Q. When did you start designing?

A. In high school, I was excepted into the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA). I went to my normal high school for half of each day and NOCCA for the other half to study visual arts. During my time at NOCCA I realized that I could not see myself as a fine artist but I also found that I was very organized and systematic while working on projects. We had a few computer/design sessions and although I was not exactly sure what it was, I knew that I wanted to be a graphic designer! When I went to college, I switched back and forth between design and photography and finally decided to focus on design.

I got a job right out of college at a great advertising agency and gained a lot of experience in my four years there. A time came when I was not learning anything else from being there and rather than looking for a position at another company, I decided to give freelance a go! I have been working for myself full time for almost two years and love it!

Q. What type of work do you get most excited about?

A: I love branding small businesses. Some of my favorite projects are when I design a logo and then get to expand the identity from business cards and websites to posters and invitations. Applying my concept to multiple items in order to create a cohesive brand for a company is really rewarding.

Q. What are your essential tools? What do you love to create with? 

A: I always have a sketchbook for brainstorming ideas. I use In Design on my MacBook Pro for almost every design that I create. I am obsessed with my Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2. I use it to take photos of my work for my portfolio and all of the photographs on my blog. I use Lightroom and Photoshop for editing photos.

Q. Any advice for those looking to start a career in the design world?

A: I definitely recommend gaining in-house or agency experience. Being surrounded by a group of people that you can learn from is great and can really push your boundaries. I would not be where I am today if I would have gone straight to freelancing from college. I learned so much about organization, client relations, presentations, print production and multitasking at my first job!

Q. When did you start your blog (which I love by the way)! Any advice to those looking to start their own blog?

In 2009 I started blogging as basically a photo dump. I would post my iphone photos with a little caption and might expand a little here and there. I knew I wanted to create a portfolio and site that potential clients could check out, so in 2010 I decided to take my blog to the next level. I switched to a self hosted WordPress site and started posting on a regular basis with consistent content. It has been growing ever since into what you see today!

I think the most important advice I can offer for someone wanting to start a blog is to write about what you love and not what you think people want to hear. Blog because you love doing it.

Be sure to connect with Ciera by visiting her blog and following her on Twitter! If you’re interested in sponsoring Show + Tell in June, contact me and we can chat!

Link Love + Weekend List

It’s Friday! Hurray! Here are a few links to some of my favorite internet finds this week:

Weekend goals:

  • Re-evaluate what I’m doing with this blog. I have a few series (City Guides, Here We Go, Photo Challenges) that I love but I’m getting bored. Any tips or suggestions?
  • Shoot a roll of film on this camera and this camera. I have TWO photoshoots booked this weekend!
  • Watch the Bachelorette on DVR with one of my best friends and eat cheese/wine. Don’t judge.
  • Go to garage sales!
  • Go to the gym (yeah I do that now…crazy).
  • Find some basic tools and materials and make my necklaces! My Japanese vintage beads are amazing.

What are you doing this weekend? SHARE! 

*Photo taken on my Canon A-1 – B&W film