Free Holiday Gift Tag Download

Download your set of 4 holiday gift tags here! I pretty much never want to spend money on wrapping paper, bows, or tags so I figured if you felt the same, you could download this PDF, print and cut them out a few minutes before the family or kiddos open their presents. Enjoy!

MEET : Liz Franco

MEET Liz. I’ve been a longtime fan of Liz’s blog Srslyliz.com and I am so excited to feature her in the MEET series. She has lovely taste, shares such amazing finds, and truly inspires me to be a better blogger! Here’s a little more information about Liz pulled from her blog:

Liz Franco is a freelance web + graphic designer born & raised a California girl. She currently holds a full-time job related to politics but after finding herself consistently dabbling in all things design-related decided to upgrade her hobby into what she hopes to soon establish as her main squeeze, also known as Operation: Flee the cubicle.

Liz resides in a victorian era downtown home with her boyish beau Glenn & their ewokian pooch sir Walter. She enjoys playing dress up, vintage treasures, being a social butterfly and probably couldn’t live without her iPhone, Kindle or Asiago cheese.

1. I loved finding your blog because I could really resonate with holding a day job and juggling freelance, creative hobbies, and everything else that interests you. What does your day-to-day schedule look like? Do you designate certain days to work or play? It’s really, really, REALLY draining most days. You have to work super hard in order to get a big pay-off but I truly believe its possible. With the help of my Erin Condren Life Planner I’m able to stay organized and on top of things for both my personal and online life. On an average day I work from 8-5, come home, eat dinner, block out a few hours for design work/blogging/emails & then curl up on the couch or in bed with my laptop watching movies or have a date night with the boyfriend. Some days, however. I just know that creatively I’m drained and nothing productive will come about so on those days I just try to relax and focus on doing something nice for myself like painting my nails or downloading a new Kindle book.

2. Lately, what helps you feel balanced? Lately I’ve found that unplugging does wonders for my sanity. No tweeting/blogging/checking emails brings my stress level WAY down when I’m feeling overwhelmed. A glass {or 3} of wine & catching up on American Horror Story are my ideal relaxing nights in.

3. What are three things you must do every day, no matter what? Drink water // Wear mascara // Call my mama

4. Where and when did you get Walter, your cutie pie pup? We got Walter almost 3 years ago, from a breeder. He’s a Brussels Griffon and Glenn’s dream dog so we actually traded services–a re-designed website for a puppy :)

5. Share a movie, book and song that you are currently loving. Puncture {such an eye-opening film} // Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) {hilarious must-read} // My World {oh hello, girl crush}

6. Any tips for those about to jump into the blogging world? Be committed, hire a blog designer, make friends, develop your own voice & be nice to everyone.

To learn more about Liz you can subscribe to her blog, follow her on Twitter, Dribbble or Tumblr,

Seasonal Photography

Whether it’s analog, digital or iPhone photography…I’ve been shooting in “color” a lot lately. I’d love to create a seasonal set with some Kodak Ektar 100 film based on color. Now only if there was more daylight throughout the day. Maybe it’s because I’m shooting more film this year but the whole “shorter days” thing has really affected me a lot more this year than past years. (all photos taken on my iPhone4S) Oh also, I’m taking a break from Monday Link Love for awhile. I find that since I tweet all of my favorite Internet finds all week long, I run out of ideas. Follow me on Twitter if you want in on all my cool finds!

Vardagen Giveaway Winner

Congrats, Becca! You’ve won yourself one of these red ugly Christmas sweater shirts from Vardagen! I hope you can wear it to a million festive Christmas parties this year. I’ll be emailing you to get your size and mailing address! Thanks to ALL who entered. I wish I could give all 65 of you a shirt. Maybe someday when I’m a gazillionaire. But seriously, you should still support Vardagen and order your own shirt today!

Collaboration Sensation

We recently wrapped up a project for Betty’s Columbus 10th Anniversary where I was able to work with some AMAZINGLY talented people. Because of so many peoples’ effort, talents, and generosity we created this amazing calendar. I recently realized that I don’t post a lot about design here on my blog as much. I want that to change!

Styling by Elizabeth Solinger. Photography by Ryan Monroe. Art direction by Barbara Eicke. All models are employees of Betty’s.

#NOPHO Winner!

I’m happy to announce that Jon Schelander-Pugh is the winner of the November Photo Challenge! Congrats, Jon! I thought I would share a few words from our judge, Dabito, about his choice:

My oh my was it tough to choose. Well, my favorite is definitely from Jon Week 4. I love the quiet, fleeting moment of those dainty ducks swimming across the pond. The tones are perfect. It’s a beautiful photo and great use of negative space.

Personally, I loved all of Jon’s photos (which were all shot in film) and am very excited to be sending him a Diana+ camera as his well deserved prize. Overall, I thought this photo contest was extremely fun and do-able compared to a 30 Day Photo Challenge. Below are a few stats from the challenge that I hope you enjoy! Be on the look out for another photo challenge after the new year.

LIFE!

Life has been busy. Last night I literally said, “I NEED MORE HOURS IN THE DAY!” and I even woke up with my alarm. What the heck? The great thing is that I’ve been trying to be more balanced. I’ve been making time to work out (until I got sick for a whole week!), seeing friends, being romanced by Adam, enjoying the Christmas season and visiting family. So at the end of the day, I don’t really regret anything.

Things I’ve been loving lately:

  • Mindy Kaling’s new book. IT FINALLY CAME!
  • My new iPhone4s Case. Seriously, it’s awesome. And I love white cases.
  • Every restaurant in the Columbus Food League.
  • Teamlab for my project management system.
  • My newest giveaway. UGLY CHRISTMAS SWEATER SHIRTS!
  • All the AMAZING series and features that I’m scheduling for the blog. Interviews, city guides, wedding features, and MORE.
Check back tomorrow for the announcement of the November Photo Challenge winner (chosen by the amazing Dabito from Old Brand New!)

Vardagen Ugly Christmas Shirt Giveaway

Ugly Christmas sweaters are always in high demand this time of the year. They itch, hold in your stinky sweat, and don’t look THAT great on you (just being honest). What to do? That’s where Vardagen comes in!

Vardagen is a clothing company in Indianapolis that specializes in design and hand-printed apparel. The company is passionate about helping others, working with local artists, and providing quality products. The name Vardagen is the Swedish word for “everyday.”

Their amazingly clever and comfortable ugly Christmas sweater tees are your alternative this season. And guess what? You can win one of their ugly Christmas sweater shirts here on my blog!

In order to enter, please head on over and LIKE their Facebook page. Then come back here and comment and tell me which ugly Christmas sweater shirt is your favorite (there are 5 to choose from here on their site). You have until this Thursday at 11:59 PM EST to enter. I will announce the winner on Friday, December 9th! Good luck!

Feel Like Shopping?

It’s easy in the “blog world” to get overwhelmed or put off by the amount of materialistic posts. I never want my readers to feel like that but I DO love sharing deals, fun shops, and supporting companies that I trust. I hate malls but I do love to go shopping. Adam and I budget every month and are on track towards becoming debt-free so I’m not indulging myself every time I get the itch to shop. Here are a few ways in which I curb that desire to drop my hard earned cash:

  1. Online window shop. Seriously. I’ll fill up my cart after I carefully peruse my favorite online shops. Once I’m done…I click out of the tab. Nothing bought but yet I sort of feel like I did. Yes I am a dork.
  2. BLOG! Seriously, blogging about all the stuff I want actually helps. I’m able to share what’s currently caught my eye and hopefully you all will buy the stuff so I can’t!
  3. Fab.com! With Fab, you can gain enough credits that you don’t really need to pay for anything besides shipping. Through referrals and my referrals actually buying things, I’ve accumulated $185 and purchased over 16 different things including tshirts, prints, gifts, and magazine subscriptions.
  4. When I do finally save up for something on my wishlist, I usually turn to Amazon or Etsy. Amazon is great for things like books, 35 mm film, or household appliances. For everything else, Etsy has my #1 vote. Shops like SheTigerVintage and Pamplemouss offer vintage and handmade loveliness to set you apart from everyone else. Shopping local is also key. Support your community.
Other tips on overcoming that shopping desire?
  • Avoid Target. Okay…I literally spend $100 every time I go into that store!
  • Keep wishlists. It helps you sit on it for awhile and not impulse buy.
  • Know someone that can knit? Make home decor? Consider trading during the holidays.
  • Unsubscribe to all those “deal” site emails. Seriously. It’s just temptation you don’t need.
  • SAVE. Want that awesome shirt? Save for it. It makes you a better person. I don’t have proof, but it does.

More Ektar 100

Some other shots from my roll of Kodak Ektar 100. I love the top picture of my grandpa and the bottom picture of Adam. I know some handsome men. You can see more on Flickr here.