This isn’t a post where I apologize for not blogging in three days. Or where I say that I’m so busy. (Even though I essentially did just say both of those things). I will say, however, that life is moving at a pace that leaves me feeling a bit out of breath // wanting to cry // super blessed all at the same time. Tomorrow I’ll be sharing some lovely photos of our new townhouse before it gets super messy (because I’m a slob) and dusty. In a way, I’m ready for a slower pace to return. Tropical vacation countdown: 11 days!!! Here’s what I’ve been up to:
- We moved (as you saw from my brief post on Monday) and it left us feeling utterly exhausted and behind on work. I didn’t realize how much I depend on Internet + weekends before this move. We love, love, love our new place. It’s huge and spacious and beautiful.
- I just spoke at the Ohio Union yesterday and shared about telling a story through Instagram. I will be posting my presentation via a blog post on Friday! It went really well but I was definitely nervous.
- I got new glasses! Nerdin’ it up! My eyesight is getting worse (and has been continually since I was 7) and so I upgraded my frames from Warby Parker. I love them and look exactly like my mom now.
- I saw Fiona Apple in concert on Sunday night and she is FLIPPIN’ insane. So amazing and entertaining but dang she is skinny.
- A new Mexican restaurant opened a few blocks from our place and it’s everything I’ve been wanting. Shrimp tacos, coconut margaritas and free self-serve chips. We have been there 4 times in the past 7 days!
- I’ll be speaking at The Influence Conference this weekend (Saturday morning to be exact) and I leave on Thursday night for Indy. I’ll be speaking about branding and design for small businesses/blogs. I’m excited, nervous and totally need to practice my presentation a million more times. I’ll be sharing that presentation next Tuesday here on my blog!
Phew – so that’s what I’ve been up to. What about you? Anything exciting going on? If you’re going to Influence – let me know and we can meet up!!
*Oh and the title of this post is just a nice little reminder that I just have to keep on keepin’ on. And that Finding Nemo is awesome.
In a week I’ll be heading to Indianapolis to speak at The Influence Conference! I can’t believe how time has flown by and now I’m putting the final touches on my presentation. I’ll be addressing the issues of designing for your online space (which can take many forms: your blog, online shop, website, etc) and how to communicate effectively through your visual brand. I want to share as much as I can within that hour but I also want to address real issues and questions that people have. This blog post is essentially going to help me do that! How can you help? Think of it as a virtual Q&A.
Post your question(s) regarding blog design, branding, or technical website issues below. Maybe you just want recommendations on where to find resources, fonts, or software! Maybe you want tips on how to hire a designer? ASK AWAY. I will then be able to incorporate these questions and answers into my presentation. Once my presentation is finalized, I’ll be sharing a free PDF download with all my tips, resources and advice here on my blog on Tuesday, October 16th!
I appreciate your help in advance – you all are fabulous.
Today’s city guide is brought to you by Cammie Sorensen!
Madison is a wonderfully unique town – in many ways because we are a fusion town – both the capitol of the state, and home to a Big Ten university. We are also situated on an isthmus, which simply refers to the fact that we are a city between two picturesque lakes. Boasting a variety of wonderful local eateries, plenty of activities for outdoor enthusiasts, the university and all its glorious sporting and other events, and two pristine lakes, which frame our state’s capitol, Madison is simply outstanding.
I LOVE playing tour guide to friends and family who are enjoying their first visit to Madison. There is such fun to be had, sights to see. Let’s take a virtual tour, today, shall we? It’s Saturday in Madison. Let’s get started!
We’ll start in the heart of Madison’s downtown – on the Capitol Square. Madison is one of the United States’ most bike-friendly towns, so it’s fitting we’re also one of the country’s super-cool cities to adopt an Urban Bike Share program. Madison BCycle, with its 32 stations and 300 bikes scattered throughout the downtown area make two-wheeled downtown-transport a cinch. So fun, right?
Each Saturday morning – Spring + Summer + Fall – enjoy the colorful bounty at Madison’s on-the-Capitol-square Farmer’s Market. At the farmer’s market, you’ll find a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, such that you may choose to skip the produce section during your next trip to your local grocery store. You’ll also find LOTS of local cheeses (hello dairy state!) fresh meats, and baked goods. When I visit the farmers market, my standby vendors are Stella’s Bakery (try the fresh-out-of-the-oven hot & spicy cheese bread!), and Brunkow Cheese (make sure to sample the fried mozarella). Madison’s a really unique town, and that uniqueness attracts equally unique people. On your trip around the square, you’re likely to see plenty of talented musicians and artists, whose wares are for sale to passersby.
Following a stroll through the market, I suggest breakfast on Pinckney Street (an arm off the Capitol Square) at Marigold Kitchen. I usually go for one of their savory scramblers, made with local organic eggs, but if you feel the need to carb-load, the fresh berry-topped french toast is out of this world. If you’d like to take something to go, choose from dozens of scones and muffins, along with a steaming espresso drink from the espresso bar. Marigold Kitchen is a super hot spot, though, so word to the wise – get there early. Seating is first-come, first-served, and a table-for-two can be hard to come by come ten o’clock on Saturday morning.
Since you’re stuffed from all that french toast at Marigold’s, we’ll let the food settle until dinner, which you’ll enjoy at Marigold Kitchen’s sister eatery, Sardine. One of Madison’s most-loved spots, Sardine is situated on the shore of Lake Monona. Although the restaurant itself doesn’t have a beachy-feel, the beauty of the view (and patio seating, if you want) is just lovely and so perfectly accents Sardine’s wonderful menu items. Sardine has managed to find a just-right feel that makes it a favorite for classy birthday parties and date-night dinners alike. My all-time favorite item on the menu is the Roasted Half Chicken with Balsamic Butter Sauce. It’s just delectable. When you make your reservation (which you should), though, reserve one of those half-chickens, because everybody loves ’em, and they go quick on a busy Saturday evening. Pair it with the Parmesan polenta instead of the frites, and you’ll be in out-to-dinner heaven.
Save a little room for dessert, because we’re headed to the University of Wisconsin’s Memorial (student) Union, and the outdoor terrace, which overlooks the larger of our two lakes, Mendota. On Saturday nights during the summer, the stage on the Terrace boasts local and well-known musicians, who provide a soundtrack to the beautiful summer. Get some chocolate peanut butter ice cream in a waffle cone inside the Union at the Babcock Hall Dairy ice cream counter. Thank me later for the recommendation on the chocolate peanut butter ice cream.
Sit back and relax; this is Madison – one of our country’s finest.
*Featured photo by Ann Althouse
So back in August, I vowed to take on a 60-day spending freeze. I cheated once and then again on day 50. I figure, “Eh whatever. I lasted 50 days.” Since then, I have shopped but I’ve been focusing on investing in pieces (vs impulsively shopping). During the freeze, I started slowly making a list of things that I want so that I can start saving little by little:
- Black pants: I bought a pair of J.Crew’s black toothpick pants and really love how comfortable they are!
- Blazers: I found a few that I love and would love to pair them with simple tanks.
- A gold watch: I’m eye a Marc Jacobs watch and think I’m going to make the purchase after our vacation.
- Black coat: I love a simple, black coat for the winter but I need to figure out the best length for me.
- Nude/brown pumps: I have a pair of nude heels that I absolutely love. I thought these brown ones were great too.
- A lace dress: I bought this one from F21 for a wedding (picture) and absolutely love it. Cheaper but fits well.
I’ll hopefully be updating my wardrobe list as the months go on. Less frivolous shopping and more investing. *Repeat*
Have you invested in any quality wardrobe additions lately? How has your style changed over the past few years?
I really cannot believe that it’s already October. My goals this month are simple because I’m only at home for 17 of the 31 days. I’ll be speaking Influence in a couple weeks and than taking a tropical week-long vacation with Adam (!!!!!). We’re also be moving this week so my mind is whirling. My three new things:
- Master making grain-free bread.
- Turn our old bookcase into a cute bar.
- Swim in the ocean.
Obviously #3 is a bit obvious but I had to make one easy! I’m excited to decorate our new townhouse and travel but this month you’ll see a bit more guest posts since I’m also going to be juggling the whole “self-employed” thing.
What do you have going on this month? Can you believe next month is NOVEMBER? Ah, 2012, what happened??
I hosted a swap party with my friend Halle on Wednesday night at a local bar called Double Happiness. They have the coolest lounge up top, serve great drinks and you can even score some Japanese street food (which was oh.my.gosh delicious). We set everything up in certain areas and let all the ladies browse for the first half hour. It was fun seeing what everyone brought and then decided to take! SO many adorable scarves, jewelry and bottles of polish.
I scored four books (The Girl Who Played with Fire, the first Hunger Games, Player Piano, and Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates) and bottle of navy polish! I would highly suggest hosting a swap if you’re on a spending freeze (even though I cheated again on day 50 of 60…oops). I also know that a lot of women loved attending because they could also get rid of stuff they never used! I’ll be donating all of the extra stuff to Godman Guild and Goodwill!
I only have one more thing to accomplish this month and it’s to put together a short video on my new Canon T2i! Let’s see if I can crank that out this weekend.
One of my 3 new things to try in September was to buy all my produce from farmer’s markets! It’s one of the best new things I’ve decided to do. For the past five years of my life, I would just buy all my produce from the grocery store because it was easier (which isn’t necessarily true). I was only in town for two weekends in September but hit the local Grandview Farmer’s Market each Saturday morning. Not only did it encourage me to wake up a little earlier but I was able to get a nice little walk in + grab a cup of coffee from a local shop.
Here’s what I bought:
We eat dinner at home about 3-4 times a week. I made sure to get green beans, garlic and zucchini both weekends. The tomatoes and the peppers were always the first to get too ripe. I’m excited to continue into October and then I’m going to probably subscribe to a service like Green Bean Delivery during the winter months. My favorite buys were the local, fresh flowers and the unsweetened apple butter.
What do you do during the colder months? Do you have a year-round market? Do you grow your own/preserve?
We just spent four days in Pennsylvania/Delaware and I’m a bit sad to be back! Our good friends (and fellow Columbus pals) got married on Sunday in Delaware. We celebrated by dancing the night away alongside them and our other close friends. We also made it to Philadelphia to see my friend Kellyn (who I visited in Nantucket last September) and her best guys, Clay + Ribeye.
Hello again, friends! So, in case you missed them, thus far in our Meaningful Art series, we’ve talked about how to remember your first home, and some DIY projects that will instantly make your house feel more like a home. Today, I wanted to share one of the most overlooked forms of art for your home: textiles.
Textiles are one of the simplest ways to incorporate art into your home. Patterns, textures, color… they utilize all of these elements to create powerful visuals that can make any wall, corner, floor beautiful. Don’t want to buy a large piece of art to hang in the bathroom? Choose some patterned towels and a set of colorful curtains instead. Want to keep large pieces of art neutral but aching for some color? Pillows are the perfect for adding interest and color to living rooms and bedrooms. And because they come with such a small price tag, you can easily (and guiltlessly!) switch them out as preferences and trends change.
I’ll be covering a few more overlooked art forms in the coming months so stay tuned to see simple ways you can incorporate meaningful art into your home.