Minneapolis Illustrator, Invitation Designer, + DIYer Blog

 

Art, Inspiration, and Life. Sharing all the inspires me to create.

 
Monday Muse: Sara of ThisFem and The Merry Hour

I look forward to Mondays so I can share with you some of the bad ass women that inspire me on a daily basis. These women continue to motivate me to follow my dreams, and show that with a lot of hard work, you can make your dreams a reality. This week’s Monday Muse is no exception. It’s Sara Schultz and she is the epitome of chasing your dreams.

I’ve known Sara for years and not a day goes by that she isn’t cheering you on to accomplish whatever it is you’re chasing. She’s an inspiration herself too, though. She left the corporate rat race to travel the world with her husband for over 2 years. Experiencing life to the fullest and helping shape the values she brings to everything she does.

While on the road, she started her own paper company. Remotely designing invitations and cards from whatever destination she was in, with spotty wi-fi to boot! When she returned to the states, she co-founded The Merry Hour. The Merry Hour is this cool community of women that come together to help each other succeed with their small businesses. Whether they are full time careers or side hustles, Sara believes strongly in community over competition and that we are all better together. It’s a great way to have support while navigating all the struggles of running your own business.

Lastly, Sara founded ThisFem with the goal of changing the face and dialogue of Feminism. It’s all about equality for all, and everyone can be a feminist. And we should all be femists, because essentially it’s about equality. And everyone wins with equality.

Are you exhausted reading all that? She really does do it all. Oh, and on top of all the above, she and her husband just invested in a triplex that they are renovating themselves. They will be renting out two of the units and living in the 3rd. She never stops!

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Monday Muse: Catherine of The Life Styled

It’s Monday! Time for another Monday Muse. This week its Catherine of The life Styled. I’ve followed Catherine for years and have loved watching her career and style evolution. Catherine has the ability to make anything she puts on look edgier, cooler, and quite frankly, effortlessly fantastic. Whether it’s a boho girly dress she’s toughened up with boots or leather to a sequin blazer with a rocker tee and jeans to a bright yellow jumpsuit with gold sneakers. She knows how to dress for who she is, and better yet, can help you do the same.

This past year she revamped her business model and has started of focus on personal styling! She launched Fashion Feng Shui and uses that along with a few other tactics to get to the root of who you are and what you style is. I love that she understands you never fit into one box when it comes to style. It can all depend on what’s going on in your life, you career, personal life, family, etc. And she embraces this and helps you understand how to make it all work for you. It doesn’t always mean a full closet overhaul - sometimes you just need the guidance of someone who really knows what they are doing and is able to sift through all the noise. It can get overwhelming with all the options out there. Catherine can help you be true to you and still look great doing it! So check out her website or get inspiration from her instagram. You won’t regret it.

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Teddy Bear

Raise your hand if you’ve jumped on the teddy bear coat trend. Whats not to love about being wrapped in cozy goodness? The fact that you can find them at just about any price point doesn’t hurt either. I haven’t pulled the trigger yet, but have my eye on this one, this one, and this one. But the ultimate is this one from Max Mara! I mean, could you even imagine? So gorgeous.

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Monday Muse: Karen of Where Did U Get That

Do you have a style spirit animal? A style spirit animal is that person who embodies your idea of fashion, style, and personality with clothes. When you see them, it’s like they just get what you love about style and you want what they are wearing. Karen Blanchard is my style spirit animal. Everything. I mean everything she puts on I lust after. She does a phenomenal job mixing vintage, high, and low styles. And her personality. Gah! She’s hilarious and so passionate about fashion. She gets excited about the same things I do and it’s fun to see someone else go just as bananas for a sweater, coat, bag, shoes, you name it. You’ve got to watch her Friday videos. So good. I could go on and on about how fab she is, but find out for yourself. Check out her blog, instagram, and youtube.

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Winter Layers

Woke up to a winter wonderland this morning and I’m not mad about it. The first snow is always the prettiest. Although, technically this isn’t our first snowfall. That happened back in Oct for a hot minute! I love the way it blankets the city like a fresh coat of paint. Everything looks magical and has that wintery glow. Time to break out all the layers and pile them on. The trick is not to look like the abominable snowman in the process. Keep your layers thin and make sure you show off your shape. The Michelin man is not a good look.

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Power to the People

You have the power. You have the voice. Use it. Vote. It’s important. More so than ever. Don’t let your voice go unheard. And, if you feel so inclined, you can wear your beliefs on your clothes. I know I’ve waxed poetic about Lingua Franca before. I just can’t help it, they’re that amazing. This is one brand that has done a phenomenal job using their platform to drive and inspire change. In addition to making some of the most badass embroidered sweaters on the market (the original I might add, that many have copied!), they also have ethical labor practices, committed to fair trade, and have high environmental standards. Oh, and did you know they donate some of their proceeds to organizations that give a damn.

Which brings back to your vote. You should give a damn too. Know who’s representing you and your beliefs and vote for them. You’ve got two days to make your voice heard.

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Get out and vote!

Election Day is only 4 days away and I want to encourage you to get out and vote (if you haven’t already). I’m not getting on my soapbox to tell you who you should vote for or what causes you should be concerned about. I’m simply asking you to do your civic duty. Cast your vote. It matters. Really. It does. It affects everything from healthcare, LGBTQ rights, abortion rights, financial impacts, international relationships, and the list goes on and on. If it wasn’t so important, people and groups wouldn’t be trying to stop you from voting. Numbers matter. Your vote matters. Make it count! Get out there and #rockthevote.

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Halloween Entertaining: The Devil is in the Details

This past weekend we hosted our 5th Annual Halloween Party and it was a huge success! I’ve learned a lot hosting these every year and am here to help you pull off a flawless party that your guests will LOVE.

It all starts with a plan. I can’t stress this enough. You don’t need to be as aggressive as I am with the timing (I start planning in August!), but a successful party is not pulled together in a day or two. You need to dedicate time to all the details. Giorgio Armani once said “To create something exceptional, your mindset must be relentlessly focused on the smallest detail”.

The first thing I always begin with is a theme. Choosing a theme for your party provides your guests with direction. It sets expectations if you will. Costumes are always a requirement at my party (it is Halloween!), and by sharing a theme, it helps my guests narrow in on a costume and allows for them to still be as creative as they want. This years theme was TV Characters. To set the tone of the party, I created this invite:

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Since the theme was TV Characters, I made the invite to look like a TV Guide. I scoured eBay for TV guides and then adhered my hand drawn invitations to them. The illustrations I chose to draw reflected the various directions my guests could go in terms of TV. I also included those details in the Contents page, where I highlighted the details of the party. It’s details like this that help guide your guests to what the party will entail.

Once invitations have been sent out, I start planning the food. Again, having a theme helps so much with this part. Continuing with the TV theme, I researched shows with food having strong presence or silent character if you will. For example, when you think of House of Cards, BBQ plays a big role in the show. Or Big Bang Theory. Food is a key component for the group - Mondays is Thai, Tuesday Cheesecake Factory, Friday Chinese Take out, etc. I like to have a balance of savory and sweet. After narrowing down my options, this is what I created for the menu and then correlated it back to the show it’s know for:

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Logistics is also key! When setting up the food and drink stations, think about how your guests will mingle, move and interact. We’ve done a lot of trial and error with this one and I think we finally found a set up that works for us. This year we put all the food in the kitchen on our island that you can walk all the way around and then had the drink station in the living room. In years past we’ve had both in the kitchen (which caused a TON of congestion) or food on the dining room table and drinks at our bar (also causing congestion and didn’t give people a lot of seating room). With the food on the island, it freed up our other island (attached to a wall so you can’t walk around it) as well as the dining room table for seating. This allowed people to easily move between rooms for food and drink. I was having such a good time at the party, I didn’t capture photos of either of the set ups! #fail But, my friend Ted snapped this one so you can get an idea of how I set up my food table.

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Lastly, I always do a photo booth of some sort. It doesn’t need to be fancy. In years past, I’ve simply hung a sheet up in front of a wall and set my camera up on a tripod for everyone to snap a photo of themselves. This year I used a photo backdrop stand and set my tripod up so everyone could mount their phones and get photos on their own devices. I still took a bunch with my phone, edited them, and then shared them with all the guests. It’s a great way to have a collective set of photos from the party for all to have.

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It’s that easy to pull of a fabulous party. Just remember the details and plan, plan, plan. Clearly I didn’t plan well for the photos part for this post. If I’d been smart, I would have allocated time before the party began to snap all the photos I’d need to show off each step, something for next year I guess. It’s always a learning process with ways to improve. We’re so geeky about this party, we actually have a discussion the day after on the wins and opportunities of the party and what we would make better next year! HA! Just remember to plan and everything will turn out great.