in review | FEBRUARY 2015

Back to the one-monthers…and seriously lacking on the amount of instragram photos I had to share. Progress, not perfection.

Happy March everyone! I first off want to share a little something that I was able to work on to start this month off right. A few days late…but, see that last sentence above. Head on over to the Card Store blog to celebrate March with me.

Soooo February. It was a pretty intense and awesome month. I went on my first week-long vacation that wasn’t over a regularly scheduled holiday. Boy is the amount of work you have to prep for different when you do this! The weeks surrounding my vacation were packed to the max, and I spent every waking minute making sure that I wasn’t letting anything slide. Everything went smoothly, but I need to remember to prep a little better when this happens again.

That vacation I’m talking about? I went to Hilton Head for a health retreat with my mom. My dad was also on the island, but he was doing his own thing while I was there. I did sneak away to enjoy a night of fresh-caught oysters, and ooooh man was it worth it. Since Christmas, I’ve been trying to live a healthier lifestyle and get back to feeling good again. I went through so many emotional ups and downs over the past couple years, and I have just been ready to stop making excuses, and learn how to live a balanced life. This doesn’t mean I’m giving up everything, hitting the gym every day, and making ‘no excuses’ to having any fun. It just means that I’ve taken the time to make health and wellness a priority, and that I’m making way more ‘good’ decisions than I am ‘bad’ ones. I still have taco bell after dance practice on Fridays, and I’ll have a beer before volleyball on Wednesdays. I just don’t go crazy, and I’m eating tons of veggies and healthy foods that actually make me feel great. I’ve still got a long way to go, but I’m so happy with how I’ve been progressing while still living a happy moderate life. Oh, and I’ve lost 11 pounds!! This vacation was so needed in the midst of this winter, and I have a feeling I’ll be trying to head back next year just to keep on track. Last year I spent the majority of February having 1PM sadness in my office. I’m happy to report that this year I’ve had a relatively cry-free February.


Other than the vacation, we launched two new brand identities through Pinegate Road. We’re in the midst of web design for both — one to launch at the end of the month, and another to launch in May. Also! Finalizations have been made on this space right here, and Pinegate Road will be getting a new look within a month. Crossing my fingers I don’t decide to change things up again last minute and that all pulls through.

Hope you’re having a great start to your month, and as always you can follow along with my month, day by day, here.

IN REVIEW | december and january 2014 – 2105

IN REVIEW | december and january 2014 - 2105

Just sitting down to write this, I’ve overwhelmingly proud of myself for doing this before the middle of the month. Patting myself on the back and celebrating the small wins ;)

December: Much less crazy than the December before! I was on top of work, and spent a lot of time just catching up with the year and getting ready for Christmas. I really need to start getting back to doing these monthly, as December has been lost on my at this point. One of the most fun things was heading to Ft. Lauderdale to visit with Todd’s family! We went out on the boat, ate some of the best sushi I’ve ever had, and had such a nice time relaxing and getting to know each other. Straight from Florida I went to Pennsylvania to celebrate the holidays with my family. We also spent a lot of time relaxing and having fun in our hometown. I went back to Cleveland for a week of work during the quietest time. Most of the building takes the two weeks off for Christmas and New Years, so it was nice to get back into the flow of work and work on a few fun projects for the department while deadlines were a few weeks away.

January: This month was super productive. While I didn’t set goals, I felt this urge to kind of tighten up some things that has been had been a little willy nilly last year. I took the Be Free Lance course over the last few weeks, and it was great to learn about tools and practices to integrate into this part of my life. I’m so happy where I am right now with my career, but I knew that I had a lot of room to grow when it came to running this side business of mine. I’ve never been to business school, and I’ve been mostly just learning as I go. Having this course, as well as a facebook group of other creatives who are all over the spectrum as far as creative goals go has been amazing to glean information from. I knew I was on the right track with certain things, but sometimes it’s learning how to properly write that contract, or finding out about that app to help with bookkeeping that will help me run this facet of my life a little more smoothly. Other than that, I’ve been trying to soak in this winter life as much as possible. A bunch of us went tobogganing one Saturday, and I’ve been trying to fit in as many winter wonderland walks as Eaton can take. All in all, January was a month of refinement and learning to live life a little more presently than before. I’m really hoping for a similar February as I jump into Life With Intention Online.

As a fun little note: Eaton was photographed at work about a week or two after she came home with me. She ended up making it onto a Valentine’s day card!! Cue the hugest stage-mom moment ever. If you’re up for it, you can find the card above at any store that carries American Greetings products that isn’t a Target or Walmart (check Rite Aid, CVS, or your local grocery store).

Cheers to an awesome February friends!

IN REVIEW | october + november 2014

 in review | october and november 2014

Hello friends! Happy almost Christmas. Am I the only one who doesn’t feel it yet? This is the first year that I just haven’t seem to catch on to the full Christmas spirit. Gah. I have my radio set to Christmas music on my drive to and from work, and I’ve even made my list of gifts and purchased half! Maybe I need a good Saturday spent baking cookies, a night of holiday movies, and at least a strand of lights up. Last year my garland didn’t come down to April, which I felt all sorts of lazy about. With the launch of the Pinegate Road Shop, my apartment is in no state to be decorated. I’ll be heading to Florida on the 19th, and then will head straight to Pennsylvania for Christmas with my family. Hoping those vibes set in before then!

October and November were very productive months for me! I spent a lot of time getting prepped for the shop, and I feel like I generally got back on track with freelance after my computer was down for a month. I went to South Dakota for Thanksgiving, and my entire Dad’s side of the family came in too. We spent three days hunting, driving around the farm, and catching up on all that is new in our lives. My entire family is so spread out across the country so it’s pretty rare that we are all together in one place for an extended amount of time. This was the perfect amount of relaxation and family time that I was craving. In October, my very first designs have begun to pop up at Target — there was definitely an ugly cry on the drive home one day. I sit at my desk every day, designing, planning, making fun things, and then it’s entirely something else to see what you have worked on finally show up in stores after over a year of last seeing the product. This is the biggest design-girl moment I’ve ever had! Yay October!

I know this is a review post, but seeing as how that’s about all I’ve been able to manage the past six months or so, this has me wanting to share what I’ve been thinking about the new year. This past year I set a goal to edit in most areas of my life. I don’t know if I’d say that I failed, but I don’t think that I lived up to the expectations that I set for myself (story of my life, hah!). This whole year I spent my spare time jumping from one project to the next, one activity to the other, and I feel like I lost a little bit of the reflection time that really helped me get through the year before. I’m realizing I need to take a step back and look at my whole picture and figure out where to move from there. In a weird way, this next year I want to be a selfish year. I want to take ‘me’ time, and set a good foundation for my future. So much of the past couple years have been just working on the next best thing to get me to where I’m standing right now. I’m so thankful for where I’m at, and I don’t want to crumble under my need to keep chasing the next big thing.

While I don’t have any outcomes that I’m hoping for in particular, I have three big things that I’ll be working on early this next year that I hope can help my foundation-building.

ONE: Over the past few months I have been devouring everything that Jess Lively has been putting out there. I spend all my time lettering listening to The Lively Show, and I’ve been so inspired by what she has to share. She has personally gone through and successfully worked towards changing many of the struggles I feel are still in front of me. She teaches about living an intentional life, and focusing on honing in on your values so that you can apply them to all aspects of your life instead of working towards goals. I’ve struggled my entire life with focusing on goals so intently, then achieving them. I’m left feeling the same amount of fulfillment shortly after so I start working towards my next goal. When does it end? Where I’m I trying to go? Achieving is not making me any happier, and it’s making me a whole lot more stressed than I think anyone should feel by supposedly chasing their happy. I’m hoping to work on this by taking Jess’ course, Life with Intention.

TWO: As far as my freelance goes, I’ve been feeling pretty scattered! I’m just going to repeat what I’ve said above about jumping from one thing to the next, but I’m hoping to get things a little more organized when it comes to this little side business of mine. I’ll be taking the Be Free Lance course in January, and can’t wait to learn tips and tricks from two of my favorite designers: Bre + Jen.

THREE: Lastly, I’ll be heading back to Hilton Head for health retreat. I did a ten-day retreat here three years ago, paired with an intense natural health overhaul the couple of months before with Vaughn Integrative. I’ve been SO BAD. And getting into an awesome relationship where I want to have fun and eat and drink and all that jazz all the time hasn’t helped my motivation. If I want to live an awesome life, the foundation of all foundations is my health. I’m hoping that this will propel me back into some better habits that I have lost over the past few years. I’m in the most stable of places that I have been in over the past couple years, and if I don’t make changes now, I don’t know when they will happen. The past few weeks I’ve been making some headway on healthier habits, and I’m hoping that by the time I head south in February I’ll be rearing to go for this week of focus.

That seems like a lot now that I write it all down, but I’m thinking this is my year for subtle big changes. No moves across the country, no starting new careers, just some time to make big changes in small steps in my somewhat stable life.

How have you all been doing on last years resolutions — did you make any big life changes that you stuck to? Any plans for this year?

IN REVIEW | september and october 2014

September and October in review 2014 | PINEGATE ROAD

I’m thankful to share that the birthday transition this year was far less emotionally turbulent than the last. Early September I turned 26, and it’s been pretty smooth sailing into this fall. I always get super excited to get back into the swing of things when the weather starts turning, and this year was no exception. The print shop is still on it’s way, and I’ve been working a little more on my health. Let’s say I’ve packed more lunches these past two months than the last year combined, and I’m trying to make healthier choices when they’re available. It’s going along slow, but it’s going and I’m not giving up.

After this summer of always having plans, it was nice to relax a little bit more these past two months. When my computer was down for a month, that really forced me to take some time to focus on creating in the ways I had available to me, and to just go out and have fun on the weekends. A handful of us went to a friend’s cabin for a weekend to celebrate Todd’s birthday. We hiked, made fires, played card games, and ditched technology. It was amazing. I think I need one of those weekends every month now ;)

A pretty exciting thing: these past two months have been a dream when heading to retail. I picked up my first lettered design at Target a couple weekends ago, and I could barely believe it. We work over a year in advance, and there is only a small percent of what we create and present to buyers that ends up in stores. These past two months I’ve finally been able to see some of the designs I worked on end up places in real life, and that feeling was just…surreal.

September and October have also been setting a stage for a lot of self-discovery. I’ve been obsessively listening to The Lively Show, and have been having long creative and faith-based talks with my friend Katie. (Psst: if you’re looking for a great read on infusing your life with creative possibilities, check out her book! It’s full of amazing inspiration and supportive words that definitely helped me out when I was in a tough life spot earlier this year jumping back in to dating and feeling all the feels. I passed it along to my friend Megan, and it inspired her in different but equally amazing ways. Also, she’s been sharing such heartfelt content on her instagram lately, and even has me in on a few of them with some lettering. Go follow her!) I’ve also been stocking my ipad with creative reads, and have been dedicating an hour each night to dive in. It’s been feeling so good to keep inspired, and to keep pushing forward with creative dreams. I can take too much on and get really bogged down sometimes, but living in this creative excitement seriously fuels me. Taking small bits of time to take this stuff in, instead of always saying that I’ll get to it later, has been exactly what I’ve been needing lately.

And now…who’s ready to get that She & Him Christmas album going on repeat? Too soon? ;)

Cheers to fall enjoyment!

IN REVIEW | july + august 2014


JULY: Celebrations, cool summer nights, and finding my freelance groove. Todd and I went to my parent’s home for the Fourth, and then came back to celebrate with friends on the fifth. Rowing was in full swing, and I spent more nights than I can count out grabbing dinner and drinks al fresco with friends. My dear friend from Iowa came to visit for a long weekend, and it was so nice to jump right back to where we left off when last seeing eachother. It was also interesting to see how we have been growing in the same direction with so many aspects in our lives — homes, boyfriends, jobs, faith — just so cool. I did a couple freelance projects over the month, and also solidified the direction for Pinegate Road’s new refresh. Crossing my fingers I get my butt in gear to get it for real done by 2015!

AUGUST: Looking within, lowering expectations, finding a balance. This month was all about finding an internal balance. For the first time I came to some realizations about myself and the way I go about life that had me switching things up. I faced that perfectionism issue head on, and it’s something that I have brought with me every single day to work on. September always marks a kind of new beginning for me. My birthday is on the 2nd, and I really take a look at my goals that I set in January to see what still needs to be taken into consideration for the remainder of the year. August was about setting the foundation for some serious growing up. Along with all of that jazz, Todd and I took a trip to visit my grandparents in Chicago, went to a handful of German dancing events, and squeezed in a few Sunday night cookouts and puppy snuggles along the way. I’m not saying growing up has to be not-fun (!). If this month had a theme, it would be that I focused on reassessing where I was at in life, and what small steps I could take to live out my happy.

Oh, and I made some art prints! I’ve been working on a hand-stamped lettering collection aimed at giving creatives motivation and inspiration in their workspace. I have three of them in, and I used them for a poster series that was featured at Weapons of Mass Creation Fest a couple weeks ago. All that I need to do now is get the supplies I need to be able to ship them out to buyers (you!?), photograph them, and get them up in the new partially-done Pinegate Road Shop. I don’t know why this all seems harder to do in my head than it sounds typing it out here. My goal is to have this all prepped to start selling by October! Crossing my fingers I find all that motivation ;)

Cheers to crisp weather, creative pursuits, and taking some much-deserved lazy Saturdays.

As always, you can follow along with my creative process on a more regular basis here. Happy September!