1. February 3, 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!

  2. January 30, 2014
    COLOR STUDY | 75 | valentine’s day color palette

    Color Study | 75 | PINEGATE ROAD

    We’re in the midsts of Valentine’s Day planning for next year at work, and this is one Valentine’s Day color palette I’ve fallen in love with. It’s traditionally lovey with the pinks and reds, but that pop of light teal is what really sets it apart. Mix in a dark neutral that has notes of the teal, and you have yourself a not too traditional, but on point palette for the season. But really, I’d use it year round. I feel like I’m practically bleeding that icy pink lately! hah. I’d love to see how this translates to a quirky dinner party, or even in Valentine’s Day decorations around the home.


  3. January 24, 2014
    and then there was a puppy

    Eaton Phillips | a new addition | Pinegate Road

    If you’ve been anywhere near my instagram, I’m sure you’ve found out that this little bundle has arrived! I’m a ridiculously excited puppy mama. While I’m a tid bit sleep deprived from the bi-hourly ‘take me to the bathroom’ whines, it really has all been a labor of love. I went down to just outside of Columbus this past Friday to pick her up, and we made our trek back to Cleveland through some pretty crazy snow, a lot of crying, and bunches of puppy kisses. She’s adjusting pretty well, and is just a little snuggle bug. Although, she’s just like one of these guys with the snow. She just can’t. Shivery baby weighed in at 1lb, 7oz! I do feel like she’s growing in front of my eyes though. I took these pictures on Saturday, and the amount of fluff she’s grown since then is quite impressive.

    Eaton Phillips | new puppy | Pinegate Road

    So yeah, the weird name: The only place I have truly called home was on the corner of Pinegate and Eaton Roads — with Pinegate being the actual address. You would continue on to Eaton Road to head out to start the journey to wherever you were to head next. Getting a puppy was something I have been passionately waiting for for the past five years or so. I love that her name signifies this next step in my life and still has roots in looking back to my past. I didn’t realize until after I’d ordered a monogrammed puppy tote that Eaton was also the name of an upscale shopping center on the other side of Cleveland. Anyone from here probably thinks I’m nutso, but I’m so glad to have found a name that really resonates with something so cherished in my life.

    This is sure to be the first of many mentions of this little girl, and I’m happy to be able to show her off to you all.

    PS: she’s heading to her first photo shoot today! Cue the perks of working for a greeting card company and all the teddy bear outfits and mugs we’ll stuff her in to. Serious weirdo googly eyes happening over here.

    Hope you all have a lovely weekend! I’m going to spend some time soaking in this little girl and catching up on all the things I left to the wayside this past week. Yay laundry! Hah.

  4. January 16, 2014
    DIY | mossy monogram wall art

    mossy monogram wall art | PINEGATE ROAD

    Took a teensie break from binge-watching Scandal over winter vacation. Ever since finding these gold frames at an estate sale a couple months ago, I’ve been wondering about what to put in them. I’m not a huge collector of prints or art, as I have that DIY mentality and always think I can do something myself. Note to self: get over it and buy an art print already! Falling back on my habits, I tried creating a modern monogram out of natural material to pair with one of these new-old gold frames. I love the mix of natural, modern, and classic so this DIY fits right with the style I have going on in my apartment. Follow along if you’d like to make your own! Also, if you’re ever bored, hanging out in Cleveland, and it’s a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday: your welcome. I don’t think my fellow Clevelanders realize how good we have it in the estate sale realm!

    mossy monogram wall art | choose a monogram | PINEGATE ROAD

    Print out your favorite monogram, however large you’d like. This will be your base for the moss. I used Futura Bold for my “K” as I liked how clean and simple it would look paired with the natural fibers of the moss. I challenge you to explore what kind of letter fits your frame, your living space, and your personal style! As a side note, I believe I got this moss at Joann Fabric — it was left over from a project. Look in the area in any store where they have the fake flowers. This is usually sold in packets and people use it to cover up the floral foam when making arrangements. I…well, I use it to letter of course ;)

    mossy monogram wall art | place the moss | PINEGATE ROAD mossy monogram wall art | cover the monogram | PINEGATE ROAD mossy monogram wall art | cut around the monogram | PINEGATE ROAD mossy monogram wall art | finish cutting out the monogram | PINEGATE ROAD mossy monogram wall art | place mossy monogram in a frame and hang | PINEGATE ROAD

    I’m pretty pumped this wasn’t a catastrophe. Also, using frames that have space in-between the glass and the back is key. If you don’t have a place to get something like this, try searching for shadowboxes on amazon. A classic monogram or a script one would look great paired in a minimal white frame as another option.

    Happy crafting!

  5. January 14, 2014
    grateful for the here and now

    Wedding photography packaging for Amanda Lenhadt

    Hi everyone. A quick post today. There’s a couple things that have been happening this week, big and small, that just have me sincerely grateful to be where I am for now. Victoria’s post certainly got me in the mood to keep the here and the now in mind over the past few days, or like she says to bloom where you’re planted. In that spirit, I thought a little gratitude show and tell was in order.

    Above Amanda tagged me in this photo of her new packaging and it seriously made my day. She has such a great eye for that natural yet modern look that just has me crazy right now. It’s amazing to see the branding that we worked on together and how she expanded upon it with her own vision. It’s a magical feeling seeing a brand leave your hands and have it flourish out in the real world. Amanda’s clients are in for a treat, I think!

    This is going to sound silly, but for the past couple months I’ve been in a clothing funk. Each day, I’d throw on black jeans, a big sweater, and call it a day before heading to work—whatever I had to just cover up and kind of feel ok walking out of my apartment in. I hadn’t been feeling comfortable in my own skin, and it was something that affected how I went about each and every day. I’m one week in to my health transformation, and it’s refreshing too see again how healthier choices have affected my attitude. Today I woke up feeling great. For the first time in a long while I decided to dig into my closet, past the oversized sweaters and stretchy jeans, and put on a dress. Paired with tights and high heels, I was off to work with confidence and a happy spirit that I haven’t felt in months. Green smoothies man.

    I’m really grateful for where I am career-wise. Some great business things have been happening in and out of work. As a team, we’ve been working on a new brand and line of stationery cards for one of our big clients. Today, all the cards came up from getting comped, and wow! Seeing them in their full glittery glory is just amazing to me. Paper lovers unite: fingers crossed the client takes it! Outside of work, freelance life has been pretty hectic, but oh so rewarding. There are some dream projects I’ll be working on in the next couple months that I’m just floored by. I’m grateful that I get to balance working on little pieces and parts for one brand during the day, and that I get to help creatives and passionate people build out their brands by night. The best of both worlds, really.

    And lastly, on Friday I’ll pick up my pup! That just has me all kinds of crazy and happy. I’m seriously sitting here making googly eyes at my computer just thinking about it, hah. I’m glad I’m finally at a place in my life where I can take on this new responsibility and embrace it wholeheartedly.

    All in all, I’m in a pretty good place right now. Past that December hump, and just relishing in all the little things that are putting me in a good mood. I’m grateful for all of these moments, and it’s always nice to stop and appreciate the here and now in midst of the crazy.

    Now it’s your turn. What are you grateful for, right here, right now?

  6. January 8, 2014
    MOODBOARD | fitness guru

    moodboard | for a fitness client | PINEGATE ROAD

    Well here’s something bright and cheery to welcome you in to the new year! Working on this brand has been such a refreshing thing for me. Not only because of the vision my client has, but by how we’ve all been working together. While I rarely take on exchanges for design, I knew in my gut I had to take this opportunity and run with it — quite literally! My client will be working with me this next year to help me meet my health goals, and in return I’m helping her build out her online presence. She has a talented friend on board who is also going through her own personal health transformation, and it’s been pretty awesome combining our three visions so far. This project is for the mind, body, and soul and I couldn’t be happier about kicking it off at the start of this new year.

    core brand values | for a fitness client | PINEGATE ROAD

    This is the first time that I’ve shared keywords with you all. They are such an important part of how design decisions are made throughout the process. They are gleaned from the core of the client’s vision for the overall brand. This is where I’m so glad that I hunkered down and finished that communications minor in undergrad! hah. Having words and their associated meaning to transcend into design aspects is incredibly valuable. That’s what can transform a brand that’s not bad to a brand people genuinely want to connect with.

    Throughout all of our conversations, I noted themes and picked out words that kept popping up. After some final exploration, they were placed in three different categories and the strongest keyword was picked for each to stand as a core value for the project. Certain aspects about the project were introduced at the very beginning of our collaboration, but it’s in this process that the design decisions start to have something to lean on. If a design element is created, it better be for a reason that falls back to one of these core brand values, or it’s watering down the brand experience.

    For this moodboard, we have a mix of bright colors that play with the idea of empowerment. You can’t shy away from these hues. Using sans-serif typography as well as geometric shapes will keep things clean, simple, and relatable. Using these same shapes and lines to possibly create a larger design element would add to the feeling of connection. My client is trying to build community with her ventures, so showing this visually would be a fun addition! Elements will be used in a way that flow, change perspective, or have an essence of moving through eachother. This relates to the transformative nature of fitness, and how my client uses her talents to help others transform their lives.

    Oooh man am I excited about this one!

  7. January 6, 2014
    2014 GOAL | embrace editing

    2014 goal | embrace editing | PINEGATE ROAD

    Here’s a pleasant surprise: four of my five goals for 2013 were a slam-dunk! About midway through the year when I was engrossed in moving across the country, I kind of let this list slide from my mind. I was worried about what I would find there come this turn of the year. The only one that wasn’t a success was the health aspect — and that’s being handled. 2013 was a huge year for me, and in many ways, it was the year that is paving the way for the majority of my future goals. I graduated with my MFA from the school of my dreams, wrote a thesis on self-curation, rebranded Pinegate Road, attended Alt Summit, landed my dream job and moved closer to my hometown than I ever could have imagined ending up. It’s been full of transitions and hardships, but all-in-all it’s been a solid year of change for the better. I believe that all that happened this year is what is really making my 2014 goal a plausibility.

    Instead of listing out a series of goals, I thought that this year I would have one focus word that could relate to many aspects of my life. This year, I’m going to embrace editing. I’m settled in my apartment, I’m half a year through my job, and I know what I want to work towards in the next couple years in that aspect. I feel like heading to grad school in 2010 was a huge change in perspective for me. It completely turned around what I thought was possible in the design world and how I could go about approaching the future. There is so much opportunity out there, it’s all about editing down the possibilities to get at the core of what makes your journey the best one for you. We can’t do it all, and using time and experimentation to figure out what makes you the most happy is key. The first couple years, I took everything I could in. I played with every aesthetic, good and bad. I experimented with career possibilities through freelance projects and internships. I started this blog, and boy was the start of that rocky! I found out what made me happiest and where I thrived, and now I’m here. I live in a world where I get to play with lettering, where I make products that reach the world in a way that spreads gratitude and connection with others, and I get to experiment with all different kinds of design medium and unique people both in and out of work. I get to connect with you! While I’m where I’m meant to be for now, that doesn’t mean the future is clear to me. It’s still foggy, and I’m hoping that by embracing editing, I’ll be able to get even closer to that core of what I’m meant to do long-term.

    Editing for design: I’m at the very tip of discovering my personal aesthetic. Since the rebrand at the beginning of last year, and after attending Alt, I really focused on making this space representative of who I was as a designer. For the first time in my design career I feel happy about what I’m putting out into the world. I’m hoping to use the foundations of what I’ve learned about my design aesthetic on the blog and to integrate them into all the visual and organizational aspects of my life. A couple weeks ago I wrote down a few words that Pinegate Road embodies as a brand: modern classicism with a natural influence. I hope to continue editing my practice and my design to embody this and define what that means further. I don’t have to be everything.

    Editing for health: Like anything else in life, how we treat ourselves now in the health department will impact how we live in the future ten-fold. For some reason the prospects of getting a puppy—picking out food, figuring out an exercise and health schedule—started me thinking on how determined I was to help her have the best life possible, and how I seem to fail on that aspect in my own life. What?! I want to take this year to reprogram my lifestyle, and to create healthy habits that I can take into many years to come — for both me and my pup. I’m teamed up with an amazing fitness coach, and I’m determined to make this the year I finally get this down. No excuses!

    Editing for financial stability: Week one of the financial peace university is underway! While I’m ahead of the curve in many respects, I need to stop acting like a budget isn’t important and start editing my financial life. This year I start to hope setting the foundation to making home-ownership a reality for next year.

    Editing expectations: Last year I had the goal of learning to say no. This is kind of that. I slipped up a few times, but in general I stood my ground and was able to say no to things that just weren’t necessary in my life. I hope to continue to say no, and to keep space in my life for free afternoons and fun time and puppy snuggles. For as long as I can remember I’ve had this aching thing inside of me that made me join almost any kind of club or activity I was slightly nudged into. These served their purpose at the time, but now that I’m feeling that feeling to join things again, I need to really evaluate whether they will impact me in a positive manner down the road. When in school, I wanted to make sure that I had enough experience in any aspect to be able to move forward in any career. I wanted to taste test it all. I have, I did. I think I’m good. For now. Now I need to keep room open for opportunities that make me happy and work towards more defined goals than I had when I was in school.

    Well, that seems to be about it! Who knew one word could pack such a punch, huh? How about you — are you making goals or resolutions this year? Sending you lots of encouragement if so!


  8. January 1, 2014
    IN REVIEW | december 2013


    December was a pretty hard month for me. I’m an optimistic person by nature and I love to keep things in a positive tone. On the other side, I don’t want to leave out when things get a little shaky, to an extent. It’s never all sunshine, but I hate to dwell on negative things. With change, both positive and negative, come new beginnings. This year-end is really setting the stage for some pretty big changes in the future.

    William and I decided to end our relationship a couple weeks ago. The details aren’t meant for here, but it’s all been amicable. Sometimes, two people’s paths just aren’t made to last, you know? I’m glad he was in my life, and I’ll take all the lessons I’ve learned from this relationship in to my next. I guess that’s what dating really is all about — finding out what you truly need in a life-long cohort.

    Over Christmas, a coworker of mine passed away from a long battle with cancer. If you could or are capable, I know her family would appreciate all the thoughts and prayers sent her way. She had been on leave since before I started, but I did get to meet her at a few team get-togethers. While I didn’t know her very well personally, she was a big part of our team, and she will be very missed. Just around this same time, my grandmother was put into the hospital. We spent the majority of our time in Chicago prepping for her recovery and future well-being. Family stuff is hard, and navigating sick parents, daughters, and how to help them breeds a lot of stress. All seems to be positive on this aspect for now, and I’m so glad that my family and I were able to be there when this all was happening to do what we could.

    Surrounded by these hardships, some exciting things have been happening around here this month as well. I’ve paired up with a new client who will be helping me with my fitness and well-being this upcoming year. Through all the weirdness, thesis writing, moving, long-distance relationshiping this year, I let my health slide a little a lot and I’m ready to get back on it. I know how good it feels to be treating my body right, and I have no excuses now that things in my life are finally settling down. This time around I’ll take it in baby steps. My new client and I had a long talk a couple weeks ago, and she is such an inspiration. I can’t wait to let you in on more of the fun we have going on this year. She helped me feel empowered to make changes at my own pace and to still have fun with the process. Does anyone else do the thing where they make a goal or lifestyle change too quickly or make too many changes all at once and can’t keep up with it? I definitely have that issue, and it’s time to make this stick, one step at a time.

    On a pretty life-changing note, yesterday I put down a deposit for a new addition in the Pinegate Road household — a baby girl pup! She’ll be coming home with me in a couple weeks, and I’ll be using this week to puppy-proof my apartment and get up to speed on all there is to know before bringing her home. I’ve been wanting to get a little lady of my own since graduating high school, and after this move, I knew it was just the right timing for me. It was an amazing feeling to do this on the very last day of 2013! Tips and advice on bringing home a new puppy are appreciated, especially if you know about cockapoo puppies. This month I also was able to enjoy the snowy weather, and had lots of family time. We even made it to Alinea for dinner one night while in Chicago, which has been a dream restaurant venture of mine for years. Spending time to take all of this in and cherish each moment this month was well worth it.

    Cheers to wrapping up 2013 friends! Hoping you all had a year of learning experiences and have your goals all sorted out. I know I’m ready to make 2014 a solid year! As always, you can follow along on more of the moments here if you wish. I’ll be back in a few days with a reflection on my goals from last year and a list of new ones for this year. Planning seriously makes me giddy.

  9. December 21, 2013
    happy holidays

    Happy holidays from Pinegate Road

    Hi friends, wishing you all a happy holiday break and a merry new year. I’m off on a baby plane to South Dakota for Christmas, and then to spend some post-holiday time with extended family in the Chicago area. Crossing my fingers the weather cooperates for us all! It’s funny how this year, the biggest gift I’m being given is to spend some quality time with family. I really couldn’t ask for more, and I guess this kind of feeling is something I’m glad to have. Makes me feel a little more adult, hah.

    Some changes have been happening around here, and there are some pretty big plans being made for this year. I think 2014 is really going to be a turning point for me. I’ll be back in the new year with updates and plans and goals, and all that good stuff. Hope that you all get to relax and really experience soaking in those holiday moments. Cheers friends!

    As always, you can follow along on the traveling adventures as I make my way to the west.


  10. December 16, 2013
    DIY | monogrammed gold sharpie mugs

    DIY monogrammed gold sharpie mugs | PINEGATE ROAD

    You’ve probably seen this pin floating around, right? It’s been in my head from the moment I saw it, and I knew it would come in handy come Christmas time. Thinking about what to get my co-workers for Christmas was daunting. You don’t want to over-spend and make them feel like you’re trying too hard, and you don’t want to give them something meaning-less just because. You want to do it right, and give them a little something to show them you care. In my case, I wanted to thank them for all the help they’ve been giving me as I started this new position, and the support they continue to give me as I learn my new job. Thankfully I work with a small team of five, and since our jobs involve picking out shiny adornments for stationery items we’ve all established gold and white as a favorite color combination. While I had thought about these for a little bit, these monogrammed gold sharpie mugs would make the perfect last-minute office gift to whip up this week if you’re stuck on what to do. Filled with matching Ferrero Rochers and tied up in cellophane with a golden ribbon, these are sure to spread some holiday cheer.

    DIY monogrammed gold sharpie mugs | the ingredients | PINEGATE ROAD DIY monogrammed gold sharpie mugs | draw on the monogram | PINEGATE ROAD DIY monogrammed gold sharpie mugs | prepping the mugs | PINEGATE ROAD

    Here, you’re going to want to thicken the letters where you would naturally make thicker strokes when doing calligraphy. Here’s a handy little guide to show you how if this is something you haven’t done before. I added polka dots as a simple accent around the top and bottom of the mugs, but the decoration is up to you! Pre-heat your oven to 425° and bake the mugs for 30 minutes. Turn off your oven, without opening the door, and let these sit in there until they are completely cool. After reading a couple posts about sharpie plates, this last step is key! And that’s a wrap:

    DIY monogrammed gold sharpie mugs | how to wrap it | PINEGATE ROAD


















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