All posts in Tell

5 Years, Babe

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Five years ago I wore a really expensive dress (hmm, I should try to sell that), danced until I dropped and then everyone started calling me Allie Lehman. To celebrate, I’m getting a tattoo to match his and we’re going to go hang out with Beyonce and Jay.

Life’s good.

NYC, The Fourth Day

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Our last full day in New York City was good for my soul. We slept in (it was a Sunday) and rushed off to the Williamsburg flea to meet up with Kathryn to shoot photos. We spent the rest of the morning walking around Williamsburg, shopping and shooting photos.

My best friend Kellyn and her boyfriend made their way to Brooklyn from Philly for brunch + to spend the day with us. I have missed her so!

After an amazing brunch at Cafe Moto, we found a spot in Prospect Park with a bottle of rosé and spent time with old and new friends until the sun set.

Tomorrow: the fifth and final day of our trip with photos of our Airbnb!

When It’s Super Cold…

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When it’s below zero (and -30 wind chill) you find yourself doing + experiencing new things. Here are just a few:

  • Your dog just won’t poop. He just won’t.
  • You see ice forming on the inside of your 100 year old apartment’s windows.
  • You starting seeing your curtains as shields.
  • Your husband braves the cold to get groceries and says earnestly, “Let’s make crockpot stuff this week!”
  • You carry around the space heater with you like a purse.
  • You put on chapstick 24/7 and coat yourself in lotion.
  • You throw a bucket of boiling water into the air…BECAUSE IT’S AWESOME.
  • You simultaneously want to take a bath but never get out.
  • You become amazed at the community surrounding you + everyones’ motivation to help those in need of shelter, food + warm clothes.
  • You get awesome photos texted to you from your family because they bought a coat + mittens for their dog.
  • You become a hermit + hunker down to finish the entire series of Seinfeld (we watched the whole thing in like a month). THESE PRETZELS ARE MAKIN’ ME THIRSTY!

But really, I have nothing to complain about. I have warmth, food + way to make money even if it’s colder than the north pole. I’m wishing you all the same blessings!

Is it cold where you are? Ohio can’t decide WHO she wants to be so it will be 50 degrees and raining on Saturday.

 

Chicago Trip

Chicago

I grew up in Illinois (2 hours of south of Chicago) but frequented the city/suburbs frequently. Most of my family lives in the Chicago area and so does my best friend. We try to visit as many times as we can but our time in the city neighborhoods are always cut short. We did manage to visit a few great spots this trip and are excited to browse Airbnb soon to find a place in a city neighborhood for spring.

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$5 Bloody Marys at Chez Moi, Meat and veggies at BeeZzee, the best vanilla latte at Intelligenstia, melt-in-your-mouth gluten-free cupcakes at Swirlz, a funky stay at Hotel Monaco, and a donut ice cream sandwich for Adam at Firecakes.

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We love spending time in new places but equally enjoyed seeing my family and friends. I was able to hug my grandpa, laugh with my sister and play with my best friend’s kids. My heart is full and now I’m home. Happy October!

Let’s Get Coffee

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Happy Friday the 13th! I’m not superstitious but I like saying it to people in hopes that they kind of freak out. Anyways, I think we all loved the last “Let’s Get Coffee” post so I’m going to bring it back every month! This month I’m asking 5 new questions. Answer below in the comment section:

  1. Do you wear jewelry? If so, what are your daily wears?
  2. What’s one autumn tradition that you look forward to? 
  3. Do you listen to podcasts? If so, what are your favorites?
  4. What do you do when you’re stressed?
  5. Favorite childhood movie?

Here are my answers!

I really only wear my wedding band and engagement ring (out of focus but pictured above). I sometimes will add rings to my right hand if I’m going to a meeting but I can’t work at my computer while wearing jewelry. I also wear my gold Michael Kors watch when I’m out. 

Bonfires! In high school and college, I was always in the country at a friends’ farm or at a cabin with roommates. We live in a pretty urban area so there aren’t a lot of those but maybe I can convince my father-in-law to build one at their place in Indiana this fall. 

I used to listen to podcasts ALL THE TIME but stopped once I started working with Adam full-time. I like to keep conversation going and sometimes putting on headphones feels like I’m disrupting communication. Also, the connector in our car broke so I can’t play anything on my iPhone while I take trips. Major bummer.

When I’m stressed, I shop. It’s a horrible habit and I haven’t even been that great at my spending freeze. More on that later.

Favorite childhood movie? That’s tough. Definitely E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. One time, as a kid, I watched it 3 times in one day. Don’t tell my mom.

Looking forward to hearing from YOU!

Here We Go: Canva

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I know I haven’t done many Here We Go posts lately but I figured if I were to resurrect the series, it should be for Canva. I’ve been chatting with Hannah from Canva (oh a rhyme!) for months now. We’re partnering with them for our Haute Blog workshops this fall (in Chicago and Indianapolis) and they just launched their beta! I received access to it awhile ago and have been SOOO impressed.

I am always saying, “Blogging doesn’t have to break the bank,” and Canva is that solution. It’s a free design platform that is perfect for blogging. I made the graphic up at the top in like…2 minutes. No lie. I also thought I’d share a few screenshots of the process too:

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I decided to choose the photo collage option and kind of wing it. I liked the circular type element and so I clicked on it (over on the left) and it appeared on my workspace.

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I clicked over to the backgrounds option and clicked on the pink texture. I deleted the photo placeholders and bingo! Very intuitive.

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I changed the color of the circle, the fonts and could arrange any part wherever I wanted.

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When you choose to publish (or you can share a public link), it asks you if you want a PNG or a PDF. I saved to my desktop and used it above!

It’s really that easy and Canva did not ask me to write this post. I wanted to share the love and encourage you bloggers to request a username! Also, if you attend our Chicago or Indianapolis Haute Blog workshop – you will receive your own account! No wait list for you!

*Also, the colors do seem a bit off after I exported it but I’m going to follow up to see where the issue is coming from! Gotta love beta!

Keeping Up With Blogs

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I fell in love with Bloglovin’ last night. I’m seriously always late to the party. I spent a better portion of my evening catching up on all my old favorite blogs. Many of them were literally the first blogs that I regularly read. Many inspired me to get back into photography. They were blogs about beauty. No giveaways. No hype. Nothing but beauty, really. Here are just a few:

I had imported my Google Reader feed into Bloglovin’ years ago and am so impressed with how it has evolved since I last logged on. I also realized that I had my blog listed under the wrong (old) name and was following blogs from a different account entirely. Oy.

So follow my blog with Bloglovin and leave a link to yours below so I can follow YOU!

*PS: Links in comments sometimes keep them in moderation but I’ll be sure to approve them all asap!

Madrid

CITY GUIDE: Madrid

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Today’s CITY GUIDE is brought to you by Laura!

It only took a day for me to fall in love with Madrid. Against all odds, I didn’t miss the ocean or the beach but was intrigued by the small streets, huge buildings, and the art community. The capital of Spain has so much to offer and I am happy that Allie gave me the chance to share some of my favorite places with you.

When I lived in Madrid I lived right on Calle Fuencarral. Next to Gran Vìa, Calle Fuencarral is the biggest shopping street, with an indoor mall, the Mercado Fuencarral, small boutiques and Spanish retailers such as Custo, Pull & Bear, Oisho, and Desigual as well as restaurants, bars, and pubs. Some of my favorite boutiques and bars are a few streets away from the main street in a small barrio called Malasaña.

Malasañas heart is the Plaza del 2 de mayo. A little square that turns to a flea market on the weekend and that is just far enough from the main streets to let you enjoy a sunny day in Madrid in one of the little cafes located around the square. I usually get a caña at Café de Mahón, a bar that display art by locals, before strolling up Calle Veladere to visit my favorite vintage stores and little boutiques. La Mona Checa, La Cierva Vintage, and Moskitas Muertas. Also located in Malasaña are two of my favorite bars/clubs: The Via Lactea and the Tupperware. Both play amazing music, and while the Via Lactea is a place to listen to music, grab a beer, and play a round of pool, the Tupperware is a funky club to get your groove on.

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If you are looking for more main stream places, the Puerta del Sol is the perfect meeting place. Not only is Sol the heart of Madrid and Spain, it is also the point where all the main streets from the city center meet, the place to start a great night out, and to catch a metro to almost anywhere in the city. If you are at Sol, watch out for ‘El Oso y el Madroño’, one of Madrid’s most known statues. If you take Calle Mayor from Sol, you will walk down a big street, hosting two places that captivate the spirit of Spanish food the Museo del Jamón and the Chocolatería San Ginés. Museo Del Jamón, is a typical Spanish bar and restaurant that serves all kinds of Spanish food, with emphasis on ham iberico. Everybody loves the churros con chocolate at the Chocolatería San Ginés. After you get out of a club or bar, you can stop here to get a snack before taking the metro home- If you walk a little further, you will end up at the Royal Palace, the Palacio Real.

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The Retiro is the Central Park of Madrid, a huge park with a lake in the middle. It is the perfect place to go and relax, no matter what time of year it is. There are always musicians, dancers, and other artist to entertain the crowds. Make sure to check out the Palacio de Cristal, a building entirely made out of glass, that is used as an exhibition space for El Prado museum. No matter if you feel like taking a walk, renting a paddleboat, or just laying in the afternoon sun, the Retiro is the perfect place to go. Especially, after a Sunday at the local flea market: El Rastro. Located in the more bohemian parts of Madrid, Lavapiés and La Latina, the flea market offers a lot of great Spanish flavor. Go early to shop for antiques, or a little later to enjoy bargaining with the vendors and have lunch at one of the many Moroccan restaurants around.

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 *Featured image by DavidHT

louisville

CITY GUIDE: Louisville

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Today’s CITY GUIDE is brought to you by Anne of Modern Mrs. Darcy!

Louisville has been called “Portland of the East” and “Austin of the North,” but this quirky, compact town shines in its own right. Locals aren’t surprised when their city is named among the “most livable” in the country, or picked as a top travel destination.

Let’t start with what you already know: Louisville hosts the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday of May each year, and it’s fabulous and fun and worthy of a spot on your bucket list. Louisville is also the traditional gateway to rural bourbon country. Launch your trip from here, or stay right in town and hit the Urban Bourbon Trail–a DIY tour of the best bourbon bars in the city.

But there’s far more to Louisville than horses and bourbon.

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Louisville is a foodie town: the city is packed with community gardens, farmers’ markets, and independent restaurants. The East Market district (also known as NuLu, for New Louisville) packs many diverse choices into a few short blocks. Popular picks here include fast and fresh Taco Punk and La Coop, the swanky French place next door.

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If you’re looking for a good cup of coffee, try Please and Thank You–a combination coffee shop/restaurant/record shop in the next block–that serves coffee from local roaster Argo Sons. This is a coffee town: Louisville boasts an unusual number of shops (and more importantly, roasters) for a city its size. Local favorites that roast their own are Sunergos, Quills, and Vint, where you can get a Vint Julep: an improbably delicious latté sweetened with smoked bourbon and mint julep sugars from Bourbon Barrel Foods.

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NuLu is within easy walking distance of central downtown. If you time your visit right, you can see groundbreaking theater before anyone else does at the annual Humana Festival of New American Plays. The gleaming Muhammad Ali Center is right around the corner, and sports fans will want to visit the Louisville Slugger Museum, impossible to miss because of the 120 foot baseball bat displayed out front.

(If you’re staying in town, the place to go is 21c Museum Hotel, known it by its distinctive red penguins, bejeweled limo, and replica statue of David. Make sure you visit the bathrooms in the lobby.)

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Downtown is flanked by Waterfront Park, a fairly recent addition to Louisville’s vast park system. Louisville loves its parks, which were thoughtfully woven through the city more than 100 years ago: famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted designed Louisville’s park network, and these parks are heavily used today.

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Visit the Cherokee Triangle’s Willow Park, lovingly known as the most popular park per square foot, and home to weddings, summer concert series, art fairs, and everyday lounging. The park is overlooked by a series of stunning homes, one of which is speculated to be the model for Daisy’s house in The Great Gatsby.

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The park sits in Louisville’s charmingly quirky Highlands neighborhood, which is home to “restaurant row.” Favorites include the former speakeasy Jack Fry’s and Seviché, which serves award-winning Nuevo Latino fare. Hipsters flock to the neighborhood for its unique shops and thriving farmers’ markets.

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Louisville’s a great place to live, and a great place to visit. You may come for the horses and bourbon, but you’ll stay for everything else. Enjoy your visit!

*Skyline photo by peacemel

June’s 3 New Things

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Happy June! I had a great weekend catching up on some personal projects + being somewhat lazy. This month is one that I’ve been looking forward to for awhile. It’s also a lighter month when it comes to work which allows us to dive into some experimental projects + focus on a few other things that usually get pushed back due to client work. We’re also going to Brooklyn for 6 days and I am so excited. When it comes to trying 3 new things, I decided to:

  1. Draw in a sketchbook daily. Whether it’s before bed, to take a break from the computer or while we’re traveling – I am to make it a daily habit. Last month I made a point to use my Wacom Intuos tablet often and now I remember why they say, “Practice makes perfect.”
  2. Organize all my makeup. I’ve never been to The Container Store before and I think it’s time I ended that streak.
  3. Track my time! I actually have no idea how many hours I work each week. I know that some weeks are insanely crazier than others but I started tracking my time before I started drafting this post and I’m up to 10 minutes already (creating the graphics, writing everything up). I use Toggl to track my time.

Do you have any fun plans this month? Are you going to try anything new? I didn’t include this in my list but I plan to celebrate summer on June 22nd and hold my own Summer Retreat for myself. I got the idea from the book The Way of the Happy Woman. It focuses on disconnecting from technology, walking, relaxing and ending the day with a big cookout. I can’t wait!

*Also, did you see my updated sidebar?