Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Bloom : Part 2

As promised, I'm back today with my swag bag from Bloom!  There was so much goodness inside, I decided it was worthy of it's own blog post.  

Take a peek at what all the Bloom participants went home with!  (Sources for each item at the bottom.)
Let's start with the bag itself.  I cannot get enough of this one.  I might be ordering more from the company.  And my favorite part?  The quote is Mumford and Sons.  #bestillmybeatingheart

I was also really, really in love with everything the personalized notebook and pencil case.  I mean, seriously, how adorable.  And all those hand drawn cards/photos/amazingness will soon be gracing the wall of my office.  Along with several of the business cards you'll see below because, hello, how adorable are they? 
There was a candle in the bag that seriously smelled like heaven.  Mine was Brandied Pear, but I think there were several other flavors given out at the conference too.

Another item I was super stoked about is my Elle & Company planner.  I actually found them through the first Bloom conference when I was stalking their Facebook page.  Our planner is for 2015, so I have plenty of time to find the perfect binder for it and download all the extras from Elle that I want to go with it.

Some of the other smaller items that were included were a temporary tattoo, a chain link bracelet, a bookmark, hand lotion, bloom pencils, and a flower stamp.

My very, very favorite item (despite the fact that I really was in love with everything) was the Ashley & Malone mug that said "Love what you do."  It was so stinkin' adorable I could not wait to take it work.  I may have shed an actual tear when I washed it for the first time and the design came completely off.  I was genuinely heartbroken.  (But I guess I did get some photos to remember it by.)  I might scope out somewhere to grab a similar item because I really was over the moon about that mug.

Anyway, as I mentioned, my pencil case came stuffed with some gorgeous business cards and several awesome coupons to use:
I don't think anyone here meant for their business cards to become wall art, but several definitely will because I whole heart love them.  And that "love deeply" square up there?  A coaster.  I know, how brilliant!

Despite the heartbreak over my mug, I was really thrilled with my Swag Bag.  So much cuteness in one bag.  It was a great collection of some awesome vendors!  A huge thanks to everyone who gave me something lovely - it's currently being cherished!  ;)

Swag Bag | Dream State
Planner | Elle & Company
Art Print | Evelyn Henson
Pencils | A Blissful Nest
Coaster | Brittany Douglas
Candle | Bash Events
Mini Desk Prints | Skoope Home
Stamp | Paper Sushi
Lotion | Midwest Bride
Bracelet | The Way We Are
Calligraphy Notebook | Graceline Calligraphy
Clutches | This Loves That

Monday, September 29, 2014

Bloom : Part 1

Almost two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend my first ever conference!  I was so, so excited to attend Bloom!  Just by looking at Michaela and Ashley's work, I knew that this conference was going to be gorgeous and one that I definitely would not want to miss out on.

This most recent Bloom conference was the 2nd workshop held.  Bloom will be in Atlanta later this year and I think the girls mentioned they are doing some next year out on the west coast.  I'm glad I jumped on this conference when I did - it's hard telling when they will be back in my area!

Bloom was held just north of Grand Rapids in Rockford at the Hydrangea Blu Barn.  This location was SO beautiful it almost made me want to get married all over again.
 I definitely forgot to get photos of the inside, but it looked almost identical to the first conference held there:
We spent the morning learning the ins and outs of blogging and social media, enjoyed an amazingly delicious lunch, and then the afternoon was spent on design and photography!  The outdoor event styling was definitely my favorite part of the day.  The table scape was drool worthy and I loved every last detail!
Don't all those photos just make you want to throw a party?  Gor-ge-ous.  I wish I had the opportunity to do things like this all the time.  I have no idea what I can do with this photos, but I'm so tempted to just hang them all over my house.  (Would that be weird??)  I just love how amazing everything looks!!

There were also models there for those that wanted to work on live subject photography skills, but that wasn't really up my alley.  So I just enjoyed the table scape a little longer.

After taking some ah-mazing photos, we also got head shots taken by Ashley and then regathered for a blogger Q&A Panel.  This was by far the best part of the day.  The ladies on the panel had so much experience and knowledge.  I wish this portion of the day had been longer.

And, of course, we rounded out the day with a fabulous swag bag to take home with us - but I thought I would save that for tomorrow.  ;)

If you haven't noticed, I am already implementing some of the things I learned at Bloom.  My blog, website, business, and social media all got facelifts to make the branding between everything more cohesive.  I'm working on rejuvenating my content and figuring out how to up my photography skills as well.  I have all these ideas swirling around my head.  I can't wait to see the blog in, oh, six months or so.  I'm hoping everything I learned is really going to turn this place (and G Designs!)  into something new and fabulous!  We shall seeeee....

Anyone else been to Bloom?  Or another blogging conference?  I've got the bug and I feel like I need to find more to check out!

Friday, September 26, 2014

High Five for Friday: September 26th

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Happy, Happy Fridayyyyy! Woo!

one // My parents are coming! My parents are coming!  This weekend is family weekend at Grand Valley (where my brother goes), so my parents are coming into town today to stay with me for the weekend while we run all over the place with my brother playing tour guide.  I'm pretty excited!
two // ArtPrize started this week!  (PS - those photos are from last year.)  I am so, so excited to be living in town this year.  I plan to go - oh, a million times.  Or at least a handful over the next three weeks.  Cannot wait.  (No worries, I'll tell you allllll about it very soon!)

three // Josh is officiating a wedding ceremony today.  One of his very good Army buddies is tying the knot and he and his wife asked Josh to be the officiant.  So he went online and got ordained!  It was a crazy easy process, which made both of us a tiny bit uncomfortable.  So, literally, anyone can do this, huh?  But he's excited and it should be a really great ceremony.

four // Today is homecoming at my district.  We're having a little potluck and everyone is donning school colors.  I'm pretty stoked for my first homecoming.  Who knew "going back to school" would be so fun? (Actually, it's way more fun when you work there as opposed to attend there, IMHO.)  I made party favors for my co-workers which I *think* they're going to love.  Koozies, anyone?

five // My golden birthday was very uneventful, Josh left early for the aforementioned wedding's rehearsal dinner, so I had the night to myself making Koozies, cleaning, and playing with my Copics catching up on class.  It was an alright night in my book!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

My Golden Birthday

Today is my golden birthday... it's the 25th and I'm turning 25!  Somehow, it's always looked much more glamorous in my head.  (Maybe it's that word golden that made me think that.)

I have to admit I'm not where I thought I would be at 25.  I don't own a house.  I don't have children.  I'm not debt free and sitting on a squishy bank account.  It's funny how we have all these ideas in our head about what a certain age will look like and once you get there you're like, "hmm.  So that's not happening is it?"  

But despite these things I always thought I would have, there have been just as many things in my life I never expected at 25.  I didn't anticipate leaving my old job - and on top of that I never thought it would lead me to finding a job I love going to each day. I never would have dreamed we would move across the state - or that I would love our new home as much as I do.  I wasn't expecting to own my own business, much less consider it to be a successful one - or that my husband would want to run it with me as his full time job.  And I also never expected to be going on year four of this baby blog.  (I guess it's a toddler now, right?)

It's funny how I had all these plans and next to none of them happened.  But it's funnier that the plans that did unfold for me are even better than any I had made myself.  I guess there is some truth in the adage, "life is what happens when you're busy making other plans."

Through it all, I have to say I am very happy to be where I am today.  There's so much that has changed my outlook on life and so much to be thankful for.  If 25 wasn't half way to 30, I might even say it's not so bad.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Fall Capsule Wardrobe: Outfits 10-13

I'm hoping these photos show up in a decent quality.  I loaded all my clothing into the Stylebook App, so I'm attempting to use that to share my capsule outfits as I wear them.  I really did not want to have to create these outfits in two places!  So if the quality isn't awesome, I apologize.  (And that would be why I don't usually do these kinds of posts!)

Here's four more outfits from my work wardrobe last week!  (I have a day off - woop!)  I did, inadvertently, duplicate a previous outfit.  I guess I really like it, because I hadn't even noticed.  Oops.

And I'm trying to be better about documenting my accessories.  I tend to forget to add those.

Here's a breakdown of the outfits:
Shirt: The Limited
Pants: Banana Republic Factory Store*
Shoes: Target*
Scarf: Unknown (it's really old)

Shirt: Express
Pants: Banana Republic Factory Store*
Shoes: Target*

Top: The Limited
Pants: Banana Republic Factory Store*
Shoes: Target*
Necklace: White House Black Market

Top: The Limited
Pants: Banana Republic Factory Store
Shoes: Target*
Necklace: White House Black Market

* = Items purchased for this capsule (aka you can most likely still find them in the stores).  All other items are previously owned and probably cannot be purchased at the store anymore.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


I am a total child at heart.  I think coloring is one of my favorite things to do.  On more than one occasion I have made my husband stop at the store for crayons and a coloring book. (Don't judge me.)

I don't know why, but for whatever reason, I've never considered using adult mediums to color.  There are so many different kinds of pencils, markers, oils, paints, you name it out there that I finally decided I could probably upgrade my crayolas (which I do love) to something of a little higher quality.

Several years back, I was HUGE into card making.  And I had seen people using Copic markers to make the most beautiful cards.  When I decided I wanted to up the ante on my coloring, this was the first thing I thought of.  Getting back into card making seemed to make a whole lot of sense - I loved it and it gave me an excuse to start a Copic collection.  Plus, then I would be coloring with a purpose.  Win-win, right?

So I decided for my birthday (which is still two days away), I was starting my collection of supplies with Copics.  I usually get a few checks in the mail and Josh always lets me pick out my own gift (bless him), so I pooled my resources and bought myself some Copic markers.

Copics are single-handedly the best and most ridiculous items ever.  The best because, well, they're awesome markers.  The most ridiculous because they're $8 each.  But the pros outweigh the price tag, so to me, it's worth it.  I am completely in love with the art you can create with these babies, so I'm so excited to own my own set.  These aren't something I owned before in my card making adventures, so I feel better restarting my supply stash with these because I'm not replacing what I sold off.  However, I did need to pick some new stamps and ink (and acrylic blocks and... you get it).   I ended up just subscribing to Simon Says Stamp's monthly card kit, so I can slowly build up my stash of papers and stamps to use with my new Copics.

I was tempted to buy a starter set of Copics, but I sort of knew what I wanted my set to have, so I ended up building my own stash of 45 individual pens. (Which I found for just $5 a piece thanks to a sale AND coupon code.  I love a bargain.)  There's something like 350 color options, so I'd love to grow my collection over time, but clearly, it's not happening all at once!  I also learned my favorite card artist everrrr (Kristina from K Werner Design, whom I actually found through her nail polish blog eons ago.  Man this women gets me!) offers an online Copics class at Online Card Classes.com, so I rounded out my birthday gift by signing up for that.
This post is obviously a tiny bit belated - I got my birthday gift a couple weeks early, so you already saw that I made some cards for my brother's birthday earlier this week (although, I didn't have a chance to use my Copics for that).  I didn't really have time to be very creative with those though, so it's time to up the ante a bit I think.  ;)

I super excited to learn how to use my Copics!  I cannot wait to see what this class has in store.  And I'm also super excited I can start making cards again because, honestly, there is nothing better than a homecard for a holiday!  

Anyone else big into coloring?!  What's your go-to medium?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Turning 21!

Last week, my brother turned 21.  A while back, we agreed on no gifts because we'd rather see shows like Wicked and Cirque du Soleil together, so instead of spending our money on things we don't need, we just buy tickets when the shows we want to see come to town.  

However, 21 is kind of a big deal.  So I couldn't let it pass without doing something for him.  So I got him a card.  For every year he's been alive.  

Yes,  I got him 21 cards.
Or, more accurately, I made him 21 cards.  Certifiable?  Probably.
But it was a really fun project.  I thought of this idea less than a week before his birthday (and the same week I was trying to get everything done for my housewarming party), so I was really crunched for time and even though I'm not immensely proud of all of the cards, I think it turned out pretty cool. 
I wasn't really sure what to write in 21 cards, so I settled for funny quotes about alcohol (appropriate, right?) and stuck a someecard inside each one.  I even went so far as to make sure they were all birthday related.

Side Story if you aren't familiar: My brother and I have a thing for someecards.  It started when he mailed me a couple here and there in 2012 just to be funny.  Then last year, I sent him hundreds over the course of the year.  Then they all came back to me via wrapping on my Christmas gift.  It's become a fun gag gift we keep passing back and forth.  And it's hilarious because we have so many that by the time we get them again, we've forgotten half of them.  And we both got a 2014 desk calendar, so there's 365 more (x2) to add to the collection.

The gift was a hit.  He thought I was a pretty funny person, so I'll consider that a win!  ;)