1. April 14, 2014
    IN REVIEW | march 2014

    IN REVIEW - MARCH 2014

    March, you were pretty cool.

    March taught me a lot about where I’m at now, and where I’m hoping to head next. While I never like to make definitive decisions about my future (I change my mind all the time!), I definitely like to make decisions about the direction things are heading. One of the most remarkable moments of March was when I went out to Nebraska for my first ever styling and photography project. If you told me a year ago that I’d be flying across the country to style and photograph product for a client that wasn’t part of my day job, I’m sure I would have given you a huge “yeah right lady friend!” This trip taught me so much about where my heart lies as far as design and branding goes. It also taught me the importance of open communication, and how a genuine connection with your creative cohorts can bring amazing things to the table. I’ll be writing up a post about what we’ve been working on, and how everything happened to be later on, but I thought I’d share how special this particular weekend was to my creative journey.

    In the middle of the month, my family dog Gumbo passed away. She had been through so much in her fourteen years: surviving diabetes, two types of cancer, eventually complete blindness, and having one eye removed. She was a champ. I went home to spend the weekend with my parents after it happened, and little Eaton filled the house with lots of laughs. Gumbo will certainly never be replaced, but we know she’s in a happier place. A place where she has two eyeballs again :)

    Other than the above, March was filled with chaotic weather — getting our first tastes of spring — and exploration. My good friend in town closed on a house this month, so I spend some weekend time celebrating this. We both got pups about a month a part, and we have decided they are future husband and wife pups. Eaton is about a fifth the size of Finnegan, but she’s totally the boss. These two make me so happy.

    Cheers to April, and to a new season. I know I’m ready to have a cocktail — or three — on a patio.


  2. March 12, 2014
    IN REVIEW | february 2014

    IN REVIEW - FEBRUARY 2014

    Time. It’s been on my mind.

    What’s the right time for this, why did the time come for that?

    I think February was for realizing that there is a time for everything, and it’s time that I realize that I don’t have control over it in the slightest. Good things take time, and there is good in the time spent getting there. And therein lies the challenge: living in the moment while taking steps towards your future.

    February has been a lesson in patience, in letting go, in faith, and in focusing. That’s a lot to handle for the tiniest month of the year, and that’s part of the reason this space has been a little neglected. I’ve just been immersed elsewhere. Time has been taken to step back and asses how I’m living and working now so that I can grow in to the future I hope is waiting for me. There’s been new adventures, and creative insights galore, and I can’t wait to start growing in to all that I’ve been gleaning this past month.

    Cheers to March, keeping focus, and figuring things out. I know we certainly are all trying our very best, so let’s keep at it, ok?


  3. February 3, 2014
    IN REVIEW | january 2014

    IN REVIEW - JANUARY 2014

    January was a pretty simple month for me. Lots of getting back to the basics and finding my personal balance. Eaton came into my life. While having a new puppy is all kinds of stressful, having her has also forced me to stay on a regular schedule. She wakes me up, well, dark and early at 4:45. That’s something I never thought I’d welcome, but my day has just shifted. At nine, I’m ready to get to bed, and I do. My fitness journey is off to a great start. Things aren’t going perfect, but that’s not what we’re aiming for. Balance is key. My mom said she could see my cheekbones again, and that was pretty much all I could ask for during this first month! I’m feeling good, and I’m still indulging. Hello queso and margarita night.

    I know some of you have asked me to share more details about what I’m doing for my fitness journey, so I thought these monthly recaps would be a great way to share about that. Right now, I skype with Ange every Sunday night, and we go over our plan for the week. We set attainable goals, and add them only when I’m ready to take more on. My first two weeks, I had four goals:

    ONE: Get eight hours of physical activity a week. I spent my lunches walking around my building in my work clothes and my headphones, which I just had to get over! Hah. One of Ange’s key phrases is “get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” I’m trying to embrace that, because this is where the big long-term changes come from. I also spent my weekends taking longer walks around the river trails when I could get in some sunlight.

    TWO: Three high-intensity interval sessions a week. These are sessions that I can do outside on a trail, or at the gym on any cardio equipment. I go as hard as I can for one minute, and then have two minutes of low intensity, eight times. With a warm up, cool down, and stretch, these are about 45 minutes of work that have really been pushing me .

    THREE: Drink 3L of water/coffee/tea a day. At first I spent the majority of my days taking visits to the bathroom! It was crazy, but I never realized how dehydrated I was. I wasn’t even experiencing thirst because I’d deprived my body of the hydration it needed. After a couple days, I started to actually feel thirsty when I’d go an hour or two without a sip. I’ve been going through some medical things lately, and when I went to get my blood taken, I automatically told the nurse that I had bad veins. I’ve always had to get pricked a couple times, and I thought this was just how it was going to be for me. After one successful try, she just told me I was healthy and hydrated! You always hear how important water is, but to actually experience these benefits from doing it right was amazing.

    FOUR: Get five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Guys, I’m not on a diet! Instead, so many of my calories are being replaced with fruits and veggies just by trying to fit them in to my meals. I’ve been going crazy with green smoothies, and making salads for a meal or two a day. I snack on apples, and make avocado toast for meals. Switching from a deprivation mind-set to this anything-goes mind-set has really been helping me.

    After the first two weeks, we started adding in weight training. I am starting to see my arms in a whole new way — baby amounts of definition happening over here! I still have a long way to go, but I’m excited about the progress I’ve been making. At a much slower pace than I normally take this stuff, I’m able to take it in strides and not feel like I’m turning my life upside down all at once.

    Thaaat was pretty much my whole January. Simple living, huh? I’m really liking this new pace of life. I feel like I have a little control over how things are going, and when they go weird, I’m equipped to handle that too.

    Have any fun clean recipes that pack a bunch of fruits/veggies you want to send my way? I’d love some new things to try! Cheers to taking on February and making all your goals come true!


  4. December 2, 2013
    IN REVIEW | november 2013

    IN REVIEW - NOVEMBER 2013

    I didn’t realize it until I sat down to write this, but November was jam-packed. The one weekend I did stay in Cleveland, William came to town. The down-side of all the fun is how run down I get, and I spent the week before Thanksgiving and most of the holiday weekend downing cough syrup and trying to not let the sickness get to me too bad. I hung in there, but that’s a definite sign that I need to start really slowing down on weekends and take a couple here and there to rest up to be my optimal self.

    Early November I was off to St. Louis to visit my friend Megan. She spent so many weekends visiting me down in Savannah, and I really needed to make a point and visit her is St. Louis now that the tropical location wasn’t an option. We had the best weather when we were there. Really, I couldn’t get over it. It was in the sixties in the day and the fifties at night and perfect for walking around outside and enjoying that slightly crisp air and those fresh fall leaves. It wasn’t intentional, but this month really did turn into a month of gratitude. There were so many points during this month that I just had to say out loud to those around me how happy and thankful I was for the small things going right. Taking time to acknowledge these moments really did pump up my mood — like when the plants at Home Depot were 75% off and we did a little happy sing/dance in the car on the way to the parking lot after seeing that sign. This is how St. Louis went: I was around college friends, there was perfect weather, we didn’t plan one darn thing after getting there, and we just had a really great time making things happen in a time that could have been pretty stressful. If you’re in a situation where you’re especially happy or thankful, try talking out your feelings to those around you. It sounds pretty silly, but you’ll be surprised how these talks pep other people up and it makes the happy moments spread.

    Also, Snow! This month there were two snowfalls, one of which had me heading to Erie to visit friends from high school. I was the one with four-wheel drive, so I braved the storm to get three of us together who haven’t hung out as a group in over three years. We spent the weekend at my parents house, and just had a nice night catching up with some Christmas ale in-hand. I’m in love with all the weather that this month has brought — I haven’t been around all these changes in a couple years, and this time is really pretty magical.

    Lastly I was off to South Dakota to see my parents new house for the first time. They’ll be living in South Dakota for the majority of the year have already took up residency there, so it was really nice to see what there new life has been like. Extended family came out, and twelve of us spent the holiday weekend bundled up, watching football, drinking beer, and generally getting one with the wild. One pretty exciting moment: After over a decade of being a vegetarian I started to eat meat about two years ago. This trip marked a new time in my life, and was something that my dad probably never thought he’d live to see. He taught me how to shoot a rifle, and I went out pheasant hunting with him this weekend (!!).  I’m at the point where I’m wanting to try new things and I want to indulge in experiences I’m lucky enough to be around. I eat poultry, so why not hunt it off the land and really experience the whole process? After being out for about two hours, I hadn’t even taken a shot. There is so much to think about — not falling over, making sure you’re not aiming at anyone, having the safety on, not shooting the female pheasants — it was just a lot to think about on top of three hyper dogs running around at your feet. After finally taking my first shot, I felt comfortable to really aim and get into it after seeing birds. On my second shot, I got my first bird. Is it weird talking about hunting on a design blog? hah. I had a great time, and I’m glad that I was able to have a really neat father/daughter moment this weekend.

    Now, we’re all probably off to a whirlwind of a December! Needing something festive for your desktop?

    As always, you can follow along with my monthly adventures here. Cheers to staying healthy and getting all that holiday prep in!


  5. November 4, 2013
    IN REVIEW | october 2013

    IN REVIEW | october 2013 | PINEGATEROAD

    Markedly what was great about October was getting to share it with some very special people. William came in to experience Cleveland for the first time, and it was so nice to take in the little things we’ve missed so much. It also made it that much harder when he was back off to Savannah again. We were able to sleep in, drink coffee, read, and make breakfast. We went bowling, visited Erie, met up with friends, and even took a last-minute trip to Niagara Falls! When we were passing through Buffalo we stopped by the the birthplace of the buffalo wing and feasted on some buffalo goodness. Anchor Bar is seriously a fun stop if you’re ever in the area! With a weird mishap in scheduling, William will be coming back in two weeks to take the flight back that was accidentally scheduled a month later. Two for one trips? I’ll take it!

    Another good friend from undergrad drove in from DC for halloween weekend (bringing Georgetown Cupcakes in tow! <3), and we had a blast planning a little get-together and experiencing more of what Cleveland has to offer in the food department. Yum. I don’t have too many graphic design friends here to gab with outside of work, and it was nice to have her here with me to talk about our careers and the lives we’re leading as design ladies. I think out of all my design friends from undergrad, it’s with Jessica that I was really on the same page with the most. We can just have designy conversations and get what the other one means, and we’re equally passionate to make big things happen with our love for design. It’s nice to have those people, that’s for sure.

    Other than that, October was spent getting my apartment more settled in to — even tackling two estate sales! I took a couple trips back home, once on my own, and once with William. It was nice to get away from it all and relax with the view of the lake and the house to myself/ourselves. With work, I’m finally at a point where I’m really in it. At first things were slow as I was learning, but from here on out, I’m working at full capacity. There was even a couple late nights and weekend days spent in the office — which I weirdly love sometimes. I feel like I’m finally able to work towards some pretty awesome things here in the stationery department, and that really excites me.

    Cheers to November, and the crisp air that’s heading our ways! If you want a November play-by-play, you can always follow along. xo.


  6. October 7, 2013
    IN REVIEW | september 2013

    IN REVIEW - SEPTEMBER 2013

    September is my favorite — it all-around signifies a new start. My birthday is on the second, and it was in this month that the long process of becoming as Ohio resident became a reality (!!!!!!!!). You have don’t want to know how many roadblocks I ran into along the process and how many times I cried in the DMV parking lot. Hah. It’s behind me now, and I’m so glad to move on. I can certainly be a drama queen when it comes to forms.

    I rang in my year of being 25 with a bang at the end of August with a visit from my best friend, and throughout September I’ve been thinking a lot about what being 25 really means. It’s kind of silly, but turning 25 really felt different for me. I finally felt like I truly had to start focusing on striking that balance between being an adult and still being young at heart. Making decisions that will help me in the long-run without only living for the future. These thoughts are still a work in progress, but I can tell you that it’s been an uneasy transition. You can giggle at me now, but 25 means the wrinkles are coming, scientifically. I’ll get over it :)

    One big highlight from my month was heading to Georgia on my first vacation since starting work to see William. I flew in to Savannah, and then we went a little north to Athens for a wedding. It was amazing to explore UGA and see what his college life was like and to spend lots of quality time with him. This long-distance thing is hard.

    Lastly, some friends and I rang in fall on the last day of summer with a delicious fall feast. I know I’m not alone when I say that this changing weather makes me want to stuff my face with everything pumpkin and apple. Yum.

    Happy fall transition everyone! And, as always, you can keep up with more happenings throughout the month by following along. Did you all have nice Septembers?

    xo


  7. September 6, 2013
    IN REVIEW | august 2013

    IN REVIEW - AUGUST 2013

    Welp, I’ve really transitioned! I’m still dealing with the last bits of final paperwork to become an actual Ohio resident, but I’m getting around places without a map, and it seems that I’ve been being social just as much as my time permits. I allllmost wanted to share the dumbest picture of myself with mascara tears running down my face from one of my first days here. It was refreshing to look back at that photo and realize how far I’ve come in just two months in this new life of mine. I’m a pretty emotional person, but this first month here I was an exceptionally tear-filled lady. Hah. Maybe I’ll have to share that with you all one day. For now it’s reserved for my mom, boyfriend, and Megs.

    Speaking of Megs, she once again was able to come visit me for my birthday weekend! We were able to meet up with a new friend of mine, get brunch, watch the Iowa game, see a movie, and even jump into lake Erie from a boat in the wee hours of the morning. I might be stating this too much, but it is so nice to have a weekend like this after all the uncertainty I had about being able to settle down in a new town. It’s been amazing to meet new friends and start to make a place for myself here in Cleveland. I do do do have a long way to go still, but if it keeps going at even a fraction of how this month has gone, I’ll be one settled girl in no time. My good friend from undergrad, Gianna, was also able to visit another weekend in August. I was so grateful to see her and to explore Cleveland with her by my side. We went to the West Side Market, and gathered flowers and feasting materials for that night. Pretty dreamy if you ask me ;)

    Other August highlights: Going to see a Browns game with a new friend (!), rowing my first regatta in over five years, and enjoying all the produce that these late summer months have to offer. Also, if you’re an architecture buff, Cleveland seems to have some pretty great untapped resources for exploration. On our way home from the Browns game, we walked through this wonderful — and mostly empty — building that seemed like it was out of a dream. It would be neat to take a day to explore downtown for the architecture alone. Does anyone know anything about Cleveland architecture? I’d love to be informed!

    Cheers to the fall transition. xoxo


  8. August 16, 2013
    IN REVIEW | july 2013

    IN REVIEW - JULY 2013

    The transition thing is still happening, and while It’s far from July, I think I finally got over the hump this past week.

    In July, I traveled three weekends out of the four. Crazy time! First I went home so my mom could stock me up on cheese groceries, and I could catch up with with a good friend from high school. I love being so close to home again, it’s definitely been missed over the past seven or so years! The next weekend I was able to visit William, which was very needed. We both drove around seven hours to meet in the middle, between Cleveland and Savannah, to spend the weekend in a little town in Virginia. We found a farm on Airbnb that had a furnished apartment underneath the main living area. We were able to hike, cook, and explore around the area, and the weather held up wonderfully for our little excursions. There was a little sprinkle on one of our hikes, but who doesn’t love that when you’re getting a work out in? I certainly did. The second night we were there we drove to the nearest town to grab some dinner. When we got downtown, there was a festival going on throughout the main street. We parked and decided to do a little exploring—weekend trips are made for this, right? So as soon as we walk in, there is a giant roasted pig that had been set out onto a table in the middle of the street. Then we see someone handing out rubber gloves, and one by one everyone starts digging in to this pig. William was all “oh! Pig picking!” Hah. I’ve never heard of this, have you? I decided to dig in, and it was undeniably the best pulled pork I have ever tasted. When in…Virginia.

    The next weekend I headed West to Chicago for my Grandpa’s 80th birthday. I was only there for one night, but it was great to see him, and the rest of my family that came in town to celebrate. Being with family is something that I find myself cherishing more and more as I get older. I’m so grateful to have such a supportive one that I’m able to see as much as I do, despite the distances. This move is bringing me a lot closer to my family in a lot of ways, which was unexpected but really nice.

    In other news: I got a light table at work! I’ve been eyeing them ever since I laid my hands on a calligraphy pen, and I’m getting used to all the new work I’m able to create by having actual lines and guides to keep things aligned. Can’t wait to keep practicing! Other than that, July was spent exploring new places in Cleveland, joining my mom at the hospital as she recovered from a leg surgery, and generally trying to get my life a little settled. Does anyone think that settling is a myth? I’m beginning to think that.

    Happy mid-way through August AND Friday! Although I’m spending infrequent time around these parts, you can always catch me on instagram. xo


  9. July 4, 2013
    IN REVIEW | june 2013

    IN REVIEW - JUNE 2013

    There have only been a couple of posts since the last monthly review, eek!

    June has been one of the hardest months for me. Making a transition across the country, to a place where you don’t even know a handful of people has been rough. Missing my boyfriend and starting a long-distance relationship is an entirely different thing that I can’t even begin to touch on here. I thankfully have had such a strong support group figuratively holding my hand through this whole process, and I can’t thank them enough. I’m not all the way through, but I’ve been trying to focus on all the positive aspects and good things that have been going on in light of the weirdness. I’m about two weeks through my job, and that couldn’t be more fantastic. There are amazing people that I’m being introduced to daily, and my team and boss seem like such supportive and great people to work with. I can tell that I’m going to learn a ton. It’s amazing that the environment has really been about collaboration and building each other up in positive ways rather than focusing on competition. I was looking for a place where I could be truly happy with what I’m doing day in and day out, and I know I’ve found that. It’s the big reason and thing I need to focus on when I’m dealing with those little irritants moving and acclimating bring on. Like how within 24 hours of moving here my car got towed.

    June was this weird wonderland of graduating with my MFA, and then a complete relaxation. I finally got to meet Ciara when she made a spontaneous trip down to Savannah to explore before I left. I know it’s said a lot, but yes, blog world, I love you. Meeting kindred spirits like her really make all of these weirdly spent hours very much worth it. Hours and hours were spent on Tybee trying to soak in as much beach and summer and boyfriend time as possible. Megan came to visit, and we ate ourselves silly trying to take in our last Savannah experience (at least for a long while). We even went to get her a little tattoo that I lettered in celebration of both of our graduations. She’s a fancy French teacher and graduated with her MEd around the same time I did. Go Megan! And then, then there was the move. There’s not much to say other than it’s been a complete turn around, and not for the worst. It’s just a transition, and I’m stepping slowly through it day by day.

    Have any of you moved far away from home or a place you were really familiar with? It’s been nice hearing people’s stories of struggles and happy endings as I’m going through the process myself. The perfectionist part of me is all “why haven’t you made one million friends and have figured out how to drive everywhere without a map, and have your apartment completely decorated?” Crazy me, right? The other side of me is so proud that I’ve potted three whole plants, and have caught up with all the new episodes of Pretty Little Liars. Go Kelsey! This month’s in review is in celebration of the little things. When life is in flux, and you don’t have a solid footing, sometimes the best thing you can do is celebrate living in the moment.

    Happy Fourth of July friends.


  10. June 10, 2013
    IN REVIEW | may 2013

    IN REVIEW - May 2013

    It’s been the month of all months, really, and it’s mostly been about hanging in there. It’s been about tying up loose ends at school and at work, and solidifying plans for the future. Eep! I finished writing my thesis, created the visual, and I officially became an MFA! I still feel like I’m in a flurry of emotions, but I’m so proud to know that I stuck through grad school, and I couldn’t be happier about where I’m heading. This month was really just the icing on the cake. In June I get to eat the cake ;) I really love cake. Annnnd I might have had more than one pina colada in celebration of the end of this month. Just maybe.

    Cheers to a whole new adventure in June. It will really be something, and I can’t wait to take you on this journey with me. xo













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A GIRL WHO MAKES
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