Minneapolis Illustrator, Invitation Designer, + DIYer Blog

 

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

 
Posts in Life
Monday Muse: Jennifer Johnson
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This week’s muse is someone I’ve seen almost monthly (sometimes more) for the past 10+ years. It’s Jennifer Johnson, my acupuncturist. I started acupuncture over 10 years ago when I was at my wits end trying to recover from a recurring eye issue that’s usually linked to an autoimmune disorder. I was the 10% they couldn’t determine what the cause was, and I was having eye flare ups quite regularly that were forcing me to take some pretty strong steroids. I didn’t love being on the medicine, and had tried everything to prevent the flare ups from happening. And when I say everything, I mean everything. I gave up sugar for a year, went gluten free, only ate organic, did yoga 6 days a week, basically lived as clean as I could. When that still wasn’t helping, I turned to acupuncture on a whim. What did I have to lose? Well, to my surprise, it worked. It’s been the one thing that keeps me healthy, and if I do get a flare up, acupunture heals it faster than any of the medicines they give me. Jen has helped me in more ways than I can count. Not just for my eye issue, but anytime I’ve had any other ailments, she’s been able to help get me back on track. If you’ve ever wanted to try acupuncture, I can’t recommend Jen enough. So let’s learn a bit more about her!

Tell us a bit about what you do.

I have been in practice as an acupuncturist since 2003. I also teach pottery classes and have a home studio where I get to play with clay!


How did you get started? Did you study in college? Post College? Side Hustle?

After getting my degree in biochemistry, I was intending to go to medical school - instead took a break from that track and ended up studying Chinese medicine and acupuncture.  

Describe a typical day

Wake up around 830-9, workout, lunch, go to work (acupuncture), meet up with friends for dinner, hang out with my husband and 4 pets (2 dogs & 2 cats) before bed.  

What do you love most about what you do? least?

I love working with people one on one - getting to know them in an intimate and meaningful way.  I also love teaching pottery and inspiring people to tap into and express their creativity.

Least?  The business side of having my own business - accounting, marketing etc...

Common misconception about what you do?

That getting acupuncture is painful.

I can verify it’s not! It’s actually one of the most relaxing things I do. One hour and I feel like I rested for 6!

Rapid Fire Questions:

  • Early Riser or Night owl? - night owl for sure!!!

  • Caffeine asap or green juice? - green juice, my nervous system can't handle any caffeine

  • 3 words to describe you - compassionate, intuitive, resourceful

  • Sweat it out or zen zone? -sweat it out

Curious? Want to try acupuncture? You can find Jen at Sattva.

Monday Muse: Jamie Preuss, So Happy You Liked It
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Jamie Preuss, food photographer and blogger extraordinaire at So Happy You Liked It, is this week's Monday Muse. I’ve known Jamie for years, working with her many times over the course of my time at Target. In fact, one of my first experiences with her was at a party she was hosting for Stella and Dot (back in the days when I was a rep for them and before we worked together). It was a brunch party, and Jamie didn’t hold back. It was one of the most organized, beautiful, and most importantly delicious parties I had been to. Even back then, this girl knew what she was doing! As someone who also loves to entertain, I can appreciate the time and energy it takes to pull off events like this. Jamie does it with so much joy and makes it look completely effortless. Grab a cup of your favorite coffee (or glass of wine if you’re reading this at night ) and let’s get to know more about Jamie.

How did you start So Happy You Liked it (and how did you come up with the name)? Have you always been in to cooking and entertaining?

So Happy You Liked It was born from my innate desire to share food with others. I realized in my senior year of college that I should have gone to culinary school...I spent just as much time watching cooking shows and researching recipes as I did on my Marketing course load! Realizing that I didn’t need a degree to pursue this passion, I continued to share my creations in the kitchen with others. I soon found that when given a compliment on something I'd made, my response quickly became, “I’m so happy you liked it!”. When I decided to start my own food blog, the name was a no brainer.

Who is your biggest influence in the food? Why?

The home cook who’s looking to try new things, eat seasonally, indulge intelligently, and lead a balanced life. Truly, I find most of my inspiration from those that I’m actually writing and creating for! I love nothing more than hearing, “that one recipe you shared looked so good, but it seemed a little too complex for me”. Direct feedback! When I hear things like this I am so inspired to dig in further and learn more about what my readers are looking for.

Biggest failure you've made in the kitchen? What Happened?

I once made a birthday cake for a dear friend, who is partial to particular light beer. While I was pretty confident in my cake decorating skills, apparently my can-shaped cake vision was not executable AT ALL. Photos of this cake will still send my girlfriends and I in to a fit of hysterical, tear-inducing laughter. 

Favorite ingredient(s) to use ? And is there one ingredient you can't stand or don't like to cook?

I love cooking with fresh and seasonal ingredients...it’s hard to choose just one! With the approaching summer months, I’ll be using fresh veg in every meal. I also love adding citrus to everything. You’d be surprised what a splash of lime juice or zest of a lemon can do to a dish! 

How do you balance the blog, cooking, your corporate job, and all the events you attend ( I get tired just keeping up with your IG! HA)

GREAT QUESTION! I've always been a busy, on the go, schedule-packed-to-the-brim kind of person. But I’d be lying if I said that it doesn’t get exhausting! Pro tip: find something that sets your soul on fire, and keep at it. The “work” I do is far from just that. And of course, having a spouse who supports me, knows when to challenge me to slow down, and when to jump in and do a sink full of dishes (sometimes twice in one day…) - is incredibly helpful too :-)

  • Rapid Fire Questions:

  • Cake or pie? (whines at difficulty of question)....CAKE

  • Favorite Restaurant? My husband and I had an UNREAL experience at La Grolla recently. 

  • If you could eat at any restaurant in the world, what would it be? Lo scoglio la tommado- farm and sea to table restaurant Amalfi coast 

  • Cookbooks or Online recipes? Cookbooks! 

  • Go to food when you don't want to cook? Avocado toast (#basic I know), eggs, or pasta 

  • If you could only make one recipe from your blog, what would it be? My Parmesan Pancakes with Caramelized Corn and Bacon are becoming a weekend go to in my house!

Thanks Jamie for being this week’s Monday Muse. Pop on over to Jamie’s blog to try out all her amazing recipes!

Monday Muse: Kayd Roy
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This week’s Monday Muse is creative brand strategist Kayd Roy. She’s a force to be reckoned with when it comes to building out a brand and has more energy than the energizer bunny. No joke. She’s busy all the damn time and still finds time to have fun, a family, take time out of her day to mentor/guide/inspire others over coffee or drinks. Seriously. She will meet you to chat anytime!

You're truly a "Jane of all Trades" when it comes to a creative career! Can you share with us what it is you do and how you got started?
I help launch and organize businesses through strategic design and thoughtful experiences. On the daily I create trend concepts for Target, am the Director of Design for the boutique fitness studio Fly Feet Running, Co-Founder of a career-growth event series called The Catalyst Circle and run a full-service design studio with clients nation wide. Since a young age, I was always around art projects thanks to my parents and began teaching myself Photoshop in middle school. I’ve said yes to almost every opportunity and this is where it’s landed me!


How to you get it all done? What does a typical day look like?
First, whenever my toddler wakes up that’s when I also wake up (trying to squeeze in every last moment of possible sleep). I drop her at daycare and the majority of the day I’m at Target HQ working on design concepts for Beauty, Essentials, Electronics and Pets. Half the day is spent in meetings and the other is spent pinning ideas to a wall creating a design strategy to drive the businesses forward. In the evening we’ll do dinner, a small walk and then it’s off to bed for my daughter, which is when the real work begins. A small but mighty team of freelancers pitch in on the projects I create for clients so it’s a lot of organization, communication and prioritizing while also catching up on the latest Netflix show. 


You're a small business owner as well as a corporate employee. What made you decide to do both?
It’s not easy, and I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it to everyone. My small-biz experience is where I get my energy. It allows me to be nimble, try new strategies, swiftly adjust course if something is not working, lead a team and be a part of other peoples stories. My corporate gig allows me to focusing in on areas of career-growth I wouldn’t necessarily get by being independent. 


What have you worked on that you are the most proud of and why?
There’s been a lot of really great projects but the one that takes the cake is Fly Feet Running. In a corporate environment, or even at a design agency, you only get to be a small part of the puzzle, very rarely the full thing. So when Kristin & Ben brought me on I helped further develop their brand in design, naming, class structure, website, social, floor plans & environment design, apparel and basically anything else that need that needed some design thinking. Through their leadership and trust I was able to prove that what I had been doing for much smaller businesses could be scaled up and still successful.


What advice would you give to someone starting their own business?
Figure out the goal of your business. Is it something to keep you busy? Is there whitespace you can develop in? Is this your get rich quick solution? Is this a business you want to pass down to your family? Is it for more control? Once you can articulate why you are going into business it will help you make the right decisions.

Rapid Fire Questions:

  • Introvert or extrovert? Super extrovert. hiiiiiii

  • Coffee or tea? Coffee. Lots of cream

  • Early riser or burn the midnight oil? Party all night long

  • Paper or digital calendar and to do list? Todoist.com is how I can manage it all

  • Your design style in 3 words or less: All-in. Underestimated. Jazzed.

  • Favorite IG account to follow: For years and years and years it's been Kate over at Wit&Delight. Now that we've all grown up, it's fun to see what her kiddos are doing and how she's grown from her #ootd days.

Thanks so much Kayd! If you have a business that could benefit from Kayd’s work, you can find her at KaydRoy.com. Drop her a note and meet her for coffee!

Monday Muse: The Skin Sisters
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I’m super excited to share with you this week’s Monday Muse: The Skin Sisters. Meet Lauren and Brooke. Two Dermatology PAs that also have a blog that answers all your skincare questions. They have over a decade of experience in the skincare industry and use their expertise to give you the best information to help you make informed decisions when it comes to skin, hair, and nails.

How did the two of you get into dermatology? Were you always interested in skincare? 

B: I started my career in a different field (enterprise technology public relations in San Francisco) and transitioned to medicine after about five years. I completed my masters and public health and physician assistant degrees and was very lucky to find a job in dermatology right out of school. I was lucky to have Lauren’s influence, as she had been practicing for several years at that point and encouraged me to consider dermatology as a potential career choice. I have always been drawn to jobs that are fast paced, and give the opportunity to wear many ‘hats’ throughout the day. I love dermatology because in any given day I am seeing patients of all ages for things like skin checks, acne, botox, rashes, hair concerns, skincare consultations, biopsies and minor surgical procedures, etc.

L: Prior to going to PA school, I was always fascinated by dermatology and the uniqueness of the field. Once in grad school, I kept waiting to be equally interested in other fields, but ultimately my initial instinct was correct and I took a position in a private dermatology practice on the Upper East Side upon graduating. It’s been well over a decade, and I haven’t looked back since!

If you could only choose 3 skincare/beauty products what would they be and why?

B:

  • Sunscreen. This is the number one building block of any skincare routine. You can spend a million dollars on anti-aging products, moisturizers, eye creams and lip plumpers but if you don’t wear a daily SPF you are basically throwing your money away!

  • Retinoid. Although I am currently breastfeeding and unable to use retinoids, in a perfect world this is definitely in my top three. These products help to brighten and smooth the skin, lighten sun damage and minimize fine lines. It’s as close to a one stop shop as possible in the world of skincare. There are similar over the counter options available (called retinol) but I prefer prescription retinoid. 

  • A thick moisturizing cream. I love face creams with hyaluronic acid and/or ceramides. These creams feel thick and luxurious, and really soak into the skin without feeling heavy. 

L:

  • Skinceuticals Phloretin Antioxidant serum - such a workhorse. It protects against free radical damage, brightens dark spots, and improves skin texture; plus it’s great for acne prone skin.

  • Colorescience Powder Sunscreen - I keep one in my purse and one in my car. It’s the perfect way to touch up my SPF throughout the day without applying a cream.

  • Cerave PM lotion - I love this lightweight lotion. It’s so affordable, great for most skin types and contains niacinamide (a calming antioxidant.)

One myth about dermatology that you'd love to debunk?

B: That we are all just pimple poppers! We do SO much more than that in the world of dermatology. Acne happens to be a condition we treat commonly and enjoy treating; however, we commonly see skin conditions that are far more ‘serious’. Many times we have literally saved a life by diagnosing melanoma, which is a potentially deadly form of skin cancer, during a skin exam or spot check. Dermatology providers are many times the first to diagnose an illness such as lupus or other auto-immune disease because of a skin manifestation. 

L: That is all about beauty. We love helping you find the best skincare regimen and giving you a smooth, natural look with Botox, but don’t forget to schedule your yearly skin check with us to look for precancerous lesions and skin cancers.

An assumption people make about you because of your profession and is it true?

B: That I must use really expensive products on my skin. So not true!! My daily skincare routine is full of products I pick up at Target.

L: People assume that I always have clear skin, but the truth is that everyone gets breakouts from time to time! The key is knowing how to prevent and treat them quickly.

Newest technology in skincare you are excited about?

B: I am really excited about the new skin pH tracker from La Roche Posay, one of my favorite low-cost skincare lines.

L: Hyaluronic acid serums are newish and growing in popularity like crazy. They are such a great way to add hydration to your skin that lasts all day and improves your skin’s texture. I don’t ever skip using mine!


Rapid Fire with Brooke:

  • Product you never leave home without: La Roche Posay AOX SPF50

  • Skin rule you swear by: Don’t forget your neck!

  • Give me all the products or minimalist? Minimalist. 

  • My skin feels the best when: It’s freshly cleaned, toned, moisturized and ready for bed!

  • 3 words to describe your sister: Smart, beautiful, thoughtful.

Rapid Fire with Lauren:

  • Product you never leave home without: Colorescience Powder Sunscreen

  • Skin rule you swear by: Keep it simple. There’s no need for a million steps, just choose effective products that meet the needs of your skin and your goals for skincare.

  • Give me all the products or minimalist? Minimalist for sure. We test out tons of products, so lately I’m using way more than I otherwise would prefer to use. I have two young kids and not a lot of extra time to commit to my morning regimen; simple is key.

  • My skin feels the best when: After dermaplaning! This treatment gets rid of the dead skin cells and peach fuzz on your skin - and helps all of your products to work better. My skin feels as soft as can be in the weeks after this treatment.

  • 3 words to describe your sister: Generous, thoughtful, passionate

Thanks so much Lauren and Brooke! You can learn more on their blog, The Skin Sisters, and if you live in the Twin Cities, you can find them at Zel Skin.

Monday Muse: Lindsay Grabb, Up Yoga
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It’s MondayMuse time. This week’s muse is none other than Lindsay Grabb, co-owner and co-founder of Up Yoga in South Minneapolis. Lindsay has created a vibrant, empowering community with Up Yoga, let’s learn a bit more about her.

When did you start yoga and what lead you to it?

My first Yoga class was prenatal yoga at Blooma in 2009. I first found Baptiste Power Yoga in 2011 and was drawn to the combination of strength and ease.  It connected with the runner in me and also provided ease which I needed as a new mom with a full time job.

What inspired you to leave your corporate job and start Up Yoga?

In 2013 I left Target Corp and moved to Singapore with my husband for a few years.  I loved the community  where I taught at yogamovement in Singapore. When we returned home I was inspired to open Up Yoga because I felt something missing in the Minneapolis yoga community.  There were amazing classes to take, but not the close family style community I’d felt at my trainings or in Singapore.

How did you go about building the amazing community that exists at Up Yoga?

Honestly, I welcome students like they are walking in to my home. That’s what Up Yoga is to me, and my teachers, and now to our students as well.  It’s home.  People want to be seen and feel accepted.  Everything we do from cleaning the floors, to developing teacher training programs is about community.

What advice would you give your younger self?

I would tell my younger self that she is loved and that she belongs.  I would tell her she doesn’t have to try so hard, that she is everything and has everything she needs.

What is the most rewarding part of being a small business owner?

The most rewarding part of being a small business owner is creating something that makes a difference.  It is rewarding to see an idea of mine become real and see it impact others.  Also after a corporate job it is incredible the speed at which I can make things happen! 

What's the toughest?

The toughest part is that my personal life is wrapped up in the studio.  So when I make decisions for the business that others may not agree with, I often lose them from my entire life. It can be lonely at times.

Rapid Fire

  • Favorite Pose:  Handstand and Savasana

  • I feel empowered when: I’m in forward motion on an idea

  • Introvert or extrovert: Introvert with moments of extrovert

  • Favorite Quote:  We rise by lifting others

  • 3 words to describe you:  Strong, Resilient, Compassionate:

  • Thanks Lindsay! It was fun getting to know more about your journey. Check out Up Yoga if you’re in the Twin Cities. You won’t regret it.

Pond View Lodge
Had a blast @pvlodge on Saturday. If you are looking for a place to rent out for the weekend, look no further. This place is great! The barn lodge sleeps up to 14 and has a full kitchen. You could do a crafting weekend, girls weekend or just get the family together in one place. Did I mention they have miniature donkeys, sheep and the prettiest chickens ever?!? What are you waiting for?

Had a blast @pvlodge on Saturday. If you are looking for a place to rent out for the weekend, look no further. This place is great! The barn lodge sleeps up to 14 and has a full kitchen. You could do a crafting weekend, girls weekend or just get the family together in one place. Did I mention they have miniature donkeys, sheep and the prettiest chickens ever?!? What are you waiting for?

LifeErin O'LearyComment
There are places I run that suddenly evoke a memory or feeling. Today’s overcast and humid morning took me back to my college days when the marine layer hadn’t burned off yet.  I would run along the beach roads and admire the homes even back then. This home and today’s run brought that same feeling back. It was like I was back in Malibu, running into my thoughts and clearing my head. #scenesonmyrun

There are places I run that suddenly evoke a memory or feeling. Today’s overcast and humid morning took me back to my college days when the marine layer hadn’t burned off yet. I would run along the beach roads and admire the homes even back then. This home and today’s run brought that same feeling back. It was like I was back in Malibu, running into my thoughts and clearing my head. #scenesonmyrun