Thursday, May 31, 2012

Awesome (Mitten) prints

Remember that blog that featured NotDesign I posted about a while back? The Awesome Mitten. Well, I was recently contact by Alex, CEO of the company, if I would be willing to donate anything for her to give away as door prizes for a large company meeting they were having a few days later. This group of writers, editors, photographers, all work for free, donating their time to helping build this great little internet start-up. Naturally I said yes and one long night (and very early 5:30 am morning) later these were born.

The great lakes were hand-painted, white on a thick, brown stock. While the words were all letterpress; "Michigan" printed in a semi-gloss varnish and "awesome" in a metallic gold. 


Only five of the prints were created so I hope whomever won them were pleased!

Photo by Michael Kent

Check out the article about their "Team Awesome Meet-Up" here.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Candles, sun porches, and dancing.

Tonight he danced with me, candle lit, on a sun porch. I swear it wasn't as cheesy as it sounds, but then again if it was, who cares? Certainly not I.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


It's not that late even. Just past midnight, I could hardly call that insomniac mode, especially because I'm used to this by now, this functioning on no sleep bit. Not sure if perhaps my inability to fall asleep is coming from the two cups of coffee and sweet cream I had sometime after 9 PM or due to a mind full of wandering thoughts. Most likely the former.

It's funny to me that some people must attempt to go to bed, lie there for a while, and hope to fall asleep after a significant amount of time. I quite honestly am out within 5 minutes of lying down (if I haven't just fallen asleep while in the middle of something first). Tonight however, sleep doesn't feel as if it's going to come as easily. It's these nights that I ponder whether or not to try and hope dream mode comes eventually or get up and embrace the longer waking hours. It's funny to me how creative you can be on lack of sleep. It's as if you somehow see the world differently, as if everything is shown in a new light; or in the night's case, lack thereof. For me I can at least muster the energy to pull out the computer and type words on a digital page; wondering if the musings of journal writing, tonight specifically, will perk me up or settle me down.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Brunch and Brooklyn.

Ah Sundays, my favorite day of the week. While I don't have many photos to post of the Sunday I spent in New York I can say it was a good one. Brunch? A gorgeous day? and a plan to go to an outdoor flea market? Yep, I was a happy girl.

We had the best dang donuts I've ever tasted, checked out some pretty awesome furniture at the Brooklyn Flea Market, and even had a little race against time and traffic to get Megan to her bus before it left for Boston without her. Kelly and I ended up finishing out the day checking out Bryant Park and eating chinese food we had delivered right up to her apartment door.

Brooklyn street art.

Outside the Brooklyn Flea Market.

I have to say, it was an awesome trip. It seems crazy to me sometimes that I have been friends with these girls through thick and thin. They are both incredible people and I am so proud and happy for both of them and the places their lives have taken them. While I was gone it marked the one-year anniversary of my college graduation. It seems almost surreal that one year ago I was being shuffled across a stage celebrating the work I had done for four years and the future that laid before me. While I have my days where I struggle (don't we all) I felt a small twinge of excitement that day, similar to the one felt last year when I shook the President of GVSU's hand and accepted my diploma.  I almost couldn't believe that here I was, a year later and about to celebrate my 23rd birthday in New York City with my two high school best friends. I know I'm not 100% happy with where I am at in my life right now but this trip helped put a bit of that at ease. It reminded me that no matter how you grow and change some things never do, like the talks you have about your boyfriend or your crappy job, to your girlfriends over bottomless cups of coffee. It may be in Queens, it may be downriver when you're home for the holidays, it may be in Boston, or Grand Rapids, or Europe next, who knows. Either way an adventure is an adventure and whether it's a vacation for the weekend or the bigger, scary one we call life, it's nice to know we aren't in it alone.

Day in the City.

Saturday morning we slept in, sort of. Maybe it was the sun shining through Kel's windows or the excitement to spend the day in the city but we all woke up on our own fairly early. Eventually we headed out and had breakfast at a small restaurant that reminded us all of one we grew up frequenting back in Trenton. Once again, no real agenda ahead, we spent the day wandering through the city, chatting about a million and one things and stopping whenever we saw something that caught our eye. Eventually we made it to the Chelsea Market where we basically ate our way through every little shop in there, everything from baked goods to salt tasting and pretzel filled caramels. 

We just had to try for ourselves (let's just say, we weren't disappointed)

Pop-up shop at the Chelsea Market!

Amy's Bread. Home of the cinnamon challah knot: delicious.

Then! We finally made it to the one place on our "agenda" which was the High Line, an amazing park built above the city on an old freight rail line. I've got to admit it would be hard for me sometimes to live in a city surrounded by steel and brick but little parks like this one would definitely make it bearable. It was not only a beautiful view of the city but also fun to people watch, kids and adults alike enjoying the sunshine.

Entrance to the High Line.

The rest of the day included a dinner of burgers and beers with Pinkberry for dessert (along with the Argo Tea, this I am still craving as well. Grand Rapids, let's get on board with this one). And eventually we took the subway back to the apartment to get ready for a night out on the town. We got all dressed up, had drinks at an Irish pub in SoHo and even did a little dancing. Our feet paid the price in the heels we all insisted on wearing but even at close to 3 AM we were entertained on the subway, oh New York, always adventures to be had!

Yogurt's never looked so good.

Shake shack! Love the string lights right as the sun was setting.

Weekend getaway

So two weekends ago I went on a little adventure to a very big city.

It was intended to be a birthday trip for both my friend Megan and I, getting to finally see each other and to see Kelly in her new city! Needless to say upon booking my trip over a month ago I was very excited it was finally here. I treated this trip differently than any other traveling I've done before, basically winging it, no real plan as far as what we wanted to do or things we wanted to see. I knew I wanted to spend time with two of my best friends (that I never get to see enough now that we're all states away) and that was enough for me. So after arriving at LaGuardia late Thursday night there was a short cab ride followed by a pizza and soy banana milkshake waiting for me, and a hug from Kel; exactly what I needed. 

The next day started with a subway ride into the city and Argo Tea...which I am still craving. Since it was a Friday and Kelly had to work I wandered about the city, walking from the Flatiron building through Washington Square Park and back. I can't quite explain how nice it felt, stopping to take photos every once in a while, window-shopping, sketching in coffee shops, having no agenda. Gave me time alone, time to think, time to wonder about new cities and places. 

View from the Flatiron Building.

 New sketchbook in Washington Square Park.

Union Square during the market.

 Danielle's favorite coffee shop, on her list of must-dos for me.

The day ended with happy hour drink specials, even more catching up, a lot of laughs, and bundling up to go pick up Megan from the bus stop very late. Can't even explain how happy I was to fall asleep watching Friends with these two. 

More to come!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Oh twenty three.

It's 7 am the morning after my 23rd birthday. It's funny that I'm awake so early, considering I fell asleep only 6 hours ago. Though I'm not complaining, I love waking up early without an alarm, the day feels like it has so many unlimited possibilities that way. Yesterday however, I didn't quite feel the same. I woke up excited, woohoo today was my day, my day to get to do whatever I wanted! Though I never try to make a big deal out of my birthday it's still fun to enjoy a day where any decisions you make can be slightly swayed toward over indulgence. However, as the day continued something seemed off. Last year, though still not happy to get older, I felt on top of the world. I had just graduated college, summer was here, I was finally living in a city, I had the whole day to run around and feel young and stupid just a little longer. This year the day felt exhausting, I wanted to just go back to bed and hide. I wanted to shut out this idea of getting older. I didn't want a day to feel selfish, I didn't want to celebrate me. And why was that? I'm sitting here wondering even now why I let the negative thoughts fill my head.

Now looking back on it I feel more selfish than I would have had I just been happy. I cried about things that were out of my control. I felt like I wasn't thankful enough for the people who tried so hard to make my day so wonderful for me. And they did, oh they succeeded! I was serenaded on the street to one of my favorite Beatles songs, ate an amazing dinner (with dessert!) and had cupcakes and singing. I got to enjoy a night that was 70 degrees and sunny, outside, on an upstairs deck, in a pretty new dress. I got to see my wonderful friends who I haven't seen in months and get showered with love just because I had been born. In fact typing this right now just makes me tear up because I realize just how lucky I am.

A few of my favorite Instagram moments.

In the last year a lot of growing has happened in my life. I may be in the same place in a lot of ways but who I am as a person and my understanding of that person has come leaps and bounds. Perhaps that's why yesterday was hard. It's hard realizing I'm not exactly the same as I was a year ago, much less two or five. But with that there is the idea that I am growing into the person I am and if so many other people love that person than she must be worth loving. With all my flaws and wonderful qualities. All my passion and drive, and all my insecurities and doubt. They're all a part of what makes me the only person I'll ever be, myself.
So here is a post to me, 23-year-old me!

Go have fun! Go enjoy the summer! Paint more, draw more, worry less. Sleep in sometimes. Shut off your phone on a Sunday morning. Eat breakfast in bed. Finally watch Madmen. Go get your dream job, or get one step closer to attaining it. Travel to a new city or a new state or a new country. Give more hugs. Let less people hurt you. Take more photos, start filming things! Realize, for the millionth time, it's OK to cry. Start running again. Go dancing if you want to. Go home early and read on the couch for hours. Realize that there is no picture perfect life, there is no prescription, this is what you make it. And you only have one.

So enjoy it you ridiculous, beautiful, 23-year-old you.

With that being said. Re-read this when you're almost 24...
Goals for next year's birthday:
-Don't be late for your own party.
-Put on your fun birthday dress earlier, who says you don't get to be fancy all day.
-Don't cry about getting older, its one of the only things in life that is constantly happening and that we have absolutely no control over.
-If you've met a great guy who wants to take you out to dinner and hold your hand and be the one who gets to sit there at your birthday party with you, let him. Don't over think everything, don't wonder why you don't deserve this and therefore wind up acting like a crazy girl, because you do.
-And for crying out loud, stop biting your damn nails, seriously.