All posts in Personal

Slow Weekends


Last month we decided to take Sundays off. Sundays have become this little life boat that I end up hurling myself onto and holding onto for dear life. Well, that’s dramatic. My week isn’t a sinking ship but by Sunday I’m in need of a quiet inbox and a day where I don’t have to wear shoes.

Slowly but surely, our Sundays have slowly seeped (retroactively) into Saturday and a real weekend formed. The adjustment reminds me of our trip to Jamaica in 2012. I had a mini panic attack because I didn’t know how to be still or what to do without my laptop. There are times where Adam and I feel the need to defend ourselves if we still want to work a bit during the weekend. It’s still odd to look at my bookshelf filled with unread adventures and know that I could jump in at that very moment.

How do you treat weekday nights and weekends? Do you adhere to a traditional work schedule and use that time to relax/work on personal projects? Do you find yourself working during the weekend to “get ahead?”

*PS If I DO work during the weekend, I schedule my emails to go out Monday morning. It helps keep those two days pretty quiet and sacred. 

In Search of the Perfect Couch


If you came over to my house, I’d tell you to take a seat. On my lumpy, uncomfortable couch. So sweet of me, right? We bought our couch when we moved into our townhouse in 2012 and it’s seen better days. We snagged it from World Market for a mere $650. We’re high rollers, obviously.

Here’s the deal, I work a lot. I’m not far from being 30 years old. I need an adult couch. And I’m willing to drop some mad cash. One that I can sink into. One where you could cuddle comfortably with another person (aka Adam). One where my dog won’t smash the back cushions down because he is strangely cat-like.

So I’m asking you! Do you have a couch that you love? I need recommendations.

*Couch doodle by me. It doesn’t look that comfortable. The font is Core Circus.


Crazy face.


Happy Friday! It’s been one of those weeks. I’m running towards the weekend with full force. Adam took this picture of me and um….it’s amazing. You can see my molars.

What are you up to this weekend?


Spring Uniform

Spring Wardrobe

The weather forecast is looking promising: temps in the 50s and 60s for the next 10 days so I’m hoping that I can bust out my spring wardrobe soon! Last year I shared exactly how I pared down my wardrobe and as the weather started turning warmer, I realized that I pretty much got rid of everything in the purge.

Using the same methodology, I finally nailed down my warmer-weather-wardrobe vibe. Here it is:


Colors: navy, white, grey, black, tan, light pink, grey. Prints: polka dots, stripes.

We are on a legit budget right now so I sold about $200 worth of my old clothing via Instagram to jump start my warmer weather wardrobe. I ended up using Everlane credit, traded services for clothes with a local boutique + intense online shopping session with ASOS’ sale section (you have to sort through A LOT of crop tops and boxy t-shirts to get what you want) to get a great base. I’ll round it all out next month for my birthday at the outlet mall.

I always aim for timeless, not trendy. It took a lot of willpower to not pick up some crazy printed dress or a kimono. It has also taken me awhile to discern what I’m seeing online (usually a 5′ 10″ model who wears an XS) but now I’m able to look for cuts and fabric that I personally love.

Where do you shop? How to approach shopping? What styles are you loving this season?


Essentials: Daily


I’m going to start a new “series” called Essentials here on Be Up & Doing. But it’s not going to be heavily influenced by affiliate marketing or sponsored in any way. You’ll be getting a list of things I honestly consider an essential (and get a little cranky when I don’t have access to them).  The first list will be a DAILY essentials list. Things I use every day (besides my computer and iPhone). Whether I’m in the office, traveling or working in bed…I must have them.

Daily Essentials

  1. After an extremely dry winter, I discovered that Aquaphor’s Lip Repair is the only thing that truly keeps my lips hydrated. It’s not glamorous and it’s like $4 a tube.
  2. Even if I only have 5 minutes to get ready, I utilize these three items: Cils Booster XL Mascara to add a ton of length to my short lashes (it’s a base so you apply mascara on top once it’s dry), Maybelline’s Instant Age Rewind concealer for dark circles and Benefit’s BAD Gal mascara.
  3. Every night I take a Fermented Cod Liver Oil/Butter Oil blend. I only trust Green Pastures. It’s a superfood for your skin.
  4. I always have some kind of Moleskine on me. I just filled a small AND a large one so I need to replenish. I also need to figure out a system to keep my Google calendar, notebooks, paper planner + digital note taking all synced up. More on that later.
  5. I’ve searched high and low for a really good grain-free snack for when I’m running around to different meetings and don’t want that nausea/hungry feeling. These Simple Square organic bars are amazing. Not too nutty, not too sweet. I ordered a huge box!

Honestly that’s about it. Essentials aren’t really supposed to be frivolous though…

Sin City. More like sleep city.

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I spent a few days in Vegas last week and while it might be a city that never sleeps…I pretty much squashed that concept with my shoe. We really didn’t do anything too adventurous. I went to bed early, slept 8 hours, woke up and went to the pool, ate well and spent time with my dad/sister.

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We stayed at the Trump and I was so blown away at their amazing staff and customer service. Not only was it a gorgeous space but it always smelled like flowers.

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Trips like this remind me of why I need more siestas in my life.

I Don’t Care What You Call Me


Real talk today.

I read an article last week about how asking someone, “What are you?” is a rude way to ask about their ethnicity. Then I read an article called, “How to piss off an introvert.” THEN I read about how Lean In and Girl Scouts are teaming up to ban the word bossy. After reading these articles, I found myself a bit torn. I get where they’re coming from but the negativity that oozes from these articles feels unnecessarily passive aggressive.

This also stems from a little mantra that I tend to repeat to myself as an adult: “No one owes me anything.” While I would hope that someone would owe me a bit of respect, I can’t live my life assuming that people really care all that much.

Before I start coming off like a huge jerk, I’ll give you a few instances of how I’ve experienced these three situations:

I am many, many things.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked, “What are you?” Sure, it’s annoying. But every single person who has asked me that question earnestly wants to know. It’s actually a lot more offensive than when people start speaking Spanish (assuming I also speak Spanish) or cut right to the guessing game and ask, “Are you Hawiian?” “Are you Japanese?” “Are you Mexican?”

What am I? A human, a woman, the boss, a designer, a wife, a sister, a child, half-Filipino, half-German, short…

Also, this topic makes me think of this line from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (my favorite movie): “Too many guys think I’m a concept, or I complete them, or I’m gonna make them alive. But I’m just a fucked-up girl who’s lookin’ for my own peace of mind; don’t assign me yours.”

You don’t have to tiptoe around me. I’m not the Queen of England.

I am most definitely an introvert but I don’t expect people to accommodate travel plans or “try to not piss me off” while spending time to me. I mean, really? We’re human beings and we co-exist. If I need time for myself, I’ll make time.

The entire notion that the world needs to “get on my level as an introvert” is kind of hilarious. My friends and family know how I operate and how I feel by asking me intimately while getting to know me over time.

Don’t tell me I can’t say “bossy!” Fine, I’ll ban the word “ban!” Oh wait…

As far as “bossy” goes…I get it. I really do. And then the next minute I’m rolling my eyes. First of all, telling me that I can’t use the word “bossy” feels a little bossy. I have been bossy my whole life. I used to boss my little brother around like it was my full-time job. When I’m at my worst, I can be a know-it-all. While dating Adam, I would never let him choose the music.

And so while the word “bossy” might have been thrown around from time to time, other words felt even more influential. Words like:

  • Leader
  • Strong
  • Smart
  • Talented
  • Creative
  • Genuine


Women, men, dogs…and cats: we need to be confident in who we are apart from trivial names, words and stereotypes. Sure, be proud of who you are but realize that you’re not just one thing. You can be a sweet, bossy, introverted, half-Filipino, goofy designer like me. And you can be okay with it.



  1. We’ve been trying to get into a process when it comes to our business. We’re asking a lot of questions. How do we track projects? How do we track invoicing? How do we handle our retainer clients? Do we need to hire soon? Do we need to charge more? What’s my time worth? We build websites, we design logos, we do consulting, we do photography, video, social marketing. It’s a lot!
  2. Yesterday on our day off (we take Sundays off now) we did a little work. But it felt like fun! We mopped the floors, hung things on the walls and finished staining the table at the new studio.
  3. You can see a sneak peek of my desk up above! I’m twiddling my thumbs until I can upgrade to a 27″ iMac!
  4. Sweet treats and a beautiful photoshoot happened last Thursday at Cherbourg Bakery. I’m extremely excited about sharing their site re-design!

This week I’m off to Las Vegas and then hopping over to San Diego! I can’t even WAIT for the warm weather. I’m tired of tensing up every time I go outside in order to brace myself for a cold gust of wind…

Things I’ve Learned Since Simplifying My Wardrobe


Since I posted about simplifying my wardrobe, I’ve learned a lot more about my style. When I first started paring down my clothes, I had an idea of who I wanted to be in my mind. On my mood board I had lots of sweaters, blazers, blouses, animal print pants (?), and heels.

Maybe it’s this brutal weather but this winter I learned that I do not like:

  • Oxfords (My feet are child-sized and look clunky)
  • Blazers (I like feeling restricted)
  • Anything lighter than a dark, dark denim.
  • HEELS.

But for real on the heels. I have practically lived in my knee-high boots since November. I keep them anyway thinking that I’ll someday wear them.

As spring nears (gosh I hope spring is near) I’m starting to think through my warmer-weather-style. I’m taking a trip to Las Vegas and San Diego this month and I realized I don’t really have anything to wear for that climate. When I purged my closet, a lot of those clothes didn’t make the cut. I want a little more personality than my winter wardrobe…while still making it easy to get dressed in the morning.

While I figure this out, follow along on my Warmer Weather Uniform Pinterest board! Next week I’ll share how I prep for my west coast trip while keeping a budget!

A blog post…mostly about me


When you write a blog, you know you’re obviously talking about yourself a bit more than someone who doesn’t blog. I mean…it’s weird when you think about it. This post felt specifically Allie-y. But I’m excited about some things and thought they’d be worth sharing:

  • We just launched Liz’s new site this AM! Check it out. She’s giving away thousands of dollars worth of healthy-living-goodies and her book launched TODAY! It’s called Eat The Yolks. And it’s wonderful.
  • In my last post, I told you about how I’m taking a trip to Vegas. Well I decided to prolong the trip for another four days and am heading to San Diego and then a resort in Carlsbad. Guess who I get to hang out with?
  • I manage the social media accounts for Ecco Domani wines and we’re collaborating with some amazing bloggers this year. Follow along on Facebook.
  • We, Death to the Stock Photo, hosted a party this past weekend and it was packed! We brought on Jared Mahone to perform and we were able to shoot a music-themed pack for March 1st. Oh and David snapped that photo of me. ^  Sign up if you haven’t yet.
  • If you just started blogging or have been for awhile – you might be interested in our next venture. Our company, The Wonder Jam, will be launching an ongoing online class for those that want to hit certain goals, grow + even monetize their online space. Fill out the form here if you’re interested.

Okay that’s enough self-promotion for one post. I might gag if I continue on much longer. In exchange for all of that – tell me about things in your life! Projects, cool things at work, your dog did something awesome, you’re hooked on an iPhone game?

Tell me 5 things that are awesome in YOUR life right now.