Minneapolis Illustrator, Invitation Designer, + DIYer Blog

 

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

 
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.

Designer Crush: Monse

If I had to chose a favorite designer at the moment, I think it would be Monse. I don’t think there is a piece from their Fall ‘18 collection (seen here) that I am not lusting after. Love. Love. Love.

Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia incorporate unexpected elements that make all their collection stand out and in a great way. This off the shoulder blazer is a classic, but they’ve turned it into a showstopper that can be dressed up or down. It’s stunning. I’m also drooling over this Book Pattern tunic. We all know how much I love a tunic shirt over jeans. Gah! And don’t get me started on their pants. Heaven!

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Atlantic-Pacific x Nordstrom

I haven’t been this excited about a fashion collaboration in a LONG time. When Blair of Atlantic-Pacific announced this week that she had developed a collection with Nordstrom, I couldn’t wait to see what it. I’ve been a follower/fan of Blair since she started blogging way back in 2010 (when she lived in San Francisco). I’ve watched her effortlessly mix styles to create what is uniquely her her own. And while her style has evolved through the years, the one thing that’s been a constant is her love of color and patterns. Blair doesn’t shy away from color and definitely isn’t afraid to mix prints. Which is what I love so much about her collection. It is a true reflection of her style, but she’s made it approachable for everyone. It launches on October 22, and is a one and done release. You can catch sneak peeks of the collection over on Blair’s blog all week. I know I’ll be setting my alarm for 10/22 hoping to snag a piece or two (especially the shoes and this look right here)

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