Friday, April 29, 2011

Weekend Reads

I'm spending some much needed quality time with these three loves this weekend. I think there is going to be some bike shopping (yay for tax returns!), bathroom painting, lots of movie watching (Toy Story 3 is now on Netflix demand! Drew is already watching it as I write this....), and some napping. I can't wait!

What are you up to this weekend?

. . .

Here are a few links for your weekend downtime:

+I love these stripes and also love that it is the same color as my office. Sage Gray is the way to go.

+ Did I ever show you this before & after? I LOVE both of the items. Love them.

+ I think this is a super cute decorating idea for any party or shower.

+ I have a serious addiction to this lady, especially this post (maybe because it involves an invitation, a party, and decorations!) and I stumbled upon this too that is just a perfect and absolutely ingenious idea for little ones.

+ This branding is amazing. The final product perfectly communicates the business.

+ This is a great idea. Who is up for a design party? I need some critiquing!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend! See you Monday.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Inside Look: DIY Projects

The past few weeks have been CRAZY around here, as noted in my weekend wardrobe post yesterday. I have learned over the years that I seem to handle the craziness better if I have at least one project that I can be working on in those down moments that is just for fun. For some of you that just stressed you out. Down time needs to be down time right? Haha... for me, those 'just for fun' projects re-energize my creativity and give me time to turn my brain off to that endless to do list.... and to create something fun and beautiful. Below are just a couple of the projects I have been tackling!

{Drawer Hangers}
I made this originally to go in my entry way to hang purses, bags, and coats on
but I am now thinking it may be perfect in our master bathroom as a jewelry holder.
What would you do with it?

. . .
{posted here via Design Sponge}

{Yarn Wreath}
I finally finished this wreath and I love it... now where to hang it?
. . .
{posted here via Mrs. Priss}

What do you think this?
. . .
Are you working on any 'just for fun' projects? I hope so!
Let me know... I love finding new projects.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Weekend Wardrobe: Zebra, Tangerine, & A Twirly Skirt

To say this weekend was crazy would be an understatement... of the year. To give you a sneak peak inside this crazy weekend I'm showing you a few of the wardrobe changes that took place.

We attended a beautiful, intimate wedding on the beach. Typically my husband is performing the ceremony but this time he only opened the ceremony with a welcome and prayer; that meant we got to spend the rest of the wedding and reception together. Sort of a date night?

The wedding was beautiful and the bride even more so. (I will be sharing a couple shots from the wedding later this week.) Praying for God to bless this beautiful couple with a marriage that glorifies Him.

I wore a sweet little (discontinued - I tried to find it for you!) Express zebra print tube dress that I found at Plato's Closet for about $10.00. Yay! All the accessories, including the shoes (Nine West from Ross) were gifts except the bangles (from Forever 21).

{take note of the windblown hair}

Our church put on the biggest outreach activity we have ever put on before: Eggstravaganza. This was our first time ever doing anything like this and it was a huge success! Tons of people showed up for hours of Easter carnival fun; games, moon bounces, egg scrambles (our version of a hunt since there is no where to really hide eggs....) and prizes!

I wore a bright tangerine shirt sporting the title of the event with a pair of self-made bermuda shorts. I also sported a ponytail, sunglasses, sunblock, flat black sandals (from Tilly's, listed below), a baby b'jorn and a sweet little thing I like to call Asher. We were twirling in this picture... he loves that! (I seem to also be wearing a tiny bag of popcorn on my right hand.)

{Easter Sunday}
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." -John 3.16

"Now the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb...." -John 20.1

There is a really, really long story about what took place at Aletheia yesterday, in regards to our Easter service that I will save for another day (or for my other blog). I will summarize the events with: God is in control and His plans are always better than what we have planned ourselves.

Just to give you an idea though, we had planned an outdoor Easter service and the below photo (please note Drew's crazy face) was taken about 5 minutes before the heavens opened. My sweet husband, along with all the Aletheia leaders, musicians, and volunteers spent the rest of the evening serving in clothes that were soaking wet. (Imagine: jumping in the shower with all of your clothes on and then having to go work for the next 3 hours.) Only a crazy love for Jesus will drive you to keep going after an experience like that.

So, on a far less important level here is my Easter 'dress.' I wore a twirly chiffon skirt with an wide elastic waist from Forever 21 but I scored it from Plato's closet for less than $5.00. I paired it with a lacy racerback tanktop that I have had so long I have no idea where it came from. I wore flat black sandals from Tilly's (best little sandals ever, I have them in white too.) For jewelry I chose my go to silver dangly earrings, black beaded bracelet and bangles. Again, all the jewelry was gifted. (Just a side note, almost all of my accessories, including my cute handbags come from my mama. She always finds the cutest things and they arrive in the sweetest packages! Thanks mom. You are the best and I love you!)
Flat Black Sandal

. . .
What do you think? Which outfit is your favorite?
More importantly did you have a great Easter weekend?!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Font Love: Archer

May I introduce you to my lovely friend, Archer. How I love the super thin lines of this slab-serif and those wonderfully tiny droplets that dangle so effortlessly. Beautiful.
Not that long ago I had the privilege of working on the branding for Alisandra Photography. I do love working with photographers. They are creative, they are passionate, and they are artists... so the relationship is founded upon mutual loves. Together we came up with what is one of my favorite identity creations to date. During the last rounds of revisions Ali came to me with this font as a suggestion for her branding. It was the perfect choice. The beautiful lines of the font bring cohesion from the text to the icon.

Take some time to check out Alisandra Photography's amazing work. While there you can read (and see) more about her branding.

The goal throughout the creation process was for the branding to communicate Alisandra Photography's motto:
Relaxed, Romantic, & Real.

What do you think?
Does the branding effectively communicate 'relaxed, romantic, & real'?

Yes, I think so.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Inside Look: Inspiration


I recently added an inspiration board to my office. I tend to accumulate pieces that I love (pictures from magazines, quotes, photographs, napkins... you name it and I probably have a well designed version of that thing glued in my sketchbook) and I needed a place that was in view (i.e. once it goes in my sketchbook I may forget about how lovely that certain little piece of inspiration is...) to display all these wonderful finds as I am working on new designs.

I picked up a cork board on clearance, tacked ribbon onto the top and hung it on the back of my office door. There is not a whole lot of wall space in my office and when I am working the door is shut, so the back of the door was a great solution.

The idea is that this board will serve as inspiration for new designs that I am working on. Once those new designs are complete the inspiration will go live in the sketchbook, making room for new inspiration (however, the pictures of my sweet boys will stay... forever. ;)). The board cannot become a clutter catch-all without purpose... I am not an artist who works well with clutter. I need clean lines and clean spaces. So, hold me to it... if you see that board getting out of control, make me clean it out!

Currently Inspired by:
+ A Candy Party
+ The most adorable postcard ever (this one may stay forever too)
+ Bright Colors
+ These chairs from Anthropologie (the color, the lines, everything!)
+ Sweet & Thoughtful Packaging

{Sneak Peek Inspiration}
The below photograph is serving as inspiration for a new line of designs/product that I am working on.
Any guesses at what it might be?

Do you have an inspiration board? What is inspiring you right now?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Weekend Wardrobe: Loungewear

{Women's Retreat}

My weekend entailed hours of in-depth biblical study, intense conversation, and no sleep due to an amazing and unbelievable women's retreat. Our church brought in two ladies (from the first Aletheia Church in Virginia) who are pursuing hard after God. I love these ladies so much, they are such great examples and it was incredible being able to spend so much quality time with them. They led us in a powerful study of pride versus humility; it was beautiful and so very challenging.

... and like any sleepover there was not a great amount of sleep that actually occurred. So, not only did I wear something similar to the below ensemble for the retreat... I am wearing something similar even now on what was a very early Monday morning.

+ p.j. pants, tank, & hoodie by gap
+ super soft, chenille blanket by restoration hardware
(and everyone needs a blanky for a sleepover right?)

Thursday, April 14, 2011


The winners were chosen at random but both of their answers were pretty much correct. At the actual restaurant there was a sign adjacent to the one pictured that spelled it out:
"Too many drinks? See a hostess for a ride home."
However, we all agreed that hostess was not super clear... so I'll take the above answers as pretty much dead on.

. . .
Molly & M.J. - please send your mailing address and your choice of notecard set (see choices here)

my way so I can get your prize on its way to you!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Inside Look: Weddings, Showers, & Babies

{Mess of an Office}
I need a better system. I currently do all my finishing/assembly work on the floor. ugh. I am open for suggestions. Remember, my desk is tiny.

Picture description from left to right:
1. Drew's toy garage that he pretends is a pirate ship. Apparently he thought the semi-truck hanging out the door was treasure because it looks as though he tried to bury it.
2. Fishing line?
3. Scraps from one the wedding projects below. If you buy handmade you are supporting less waste. I try to get as much out of one piece of paper as humanly possible. Ask my Bible study girls what they write their prayer requests on each week... haha.
4. (top left) NECESSARY tools of the trade: 2" circle punch, scissors, double-sided adhesive (this stuff saved my life when I realized its existence), 1/4" hole punch, a heavy duty rotary cutter and on the far right you see my double puncher
5. The wedding placecards on the assembly line
6. And more scraps.

{Pretty Wedding Compliments}
Table Numbers & Place Cards
The place cards will be used with straws! Isn't that an adorable idea?
The bride came up with that one, so ingenius.

{Bridal Shower Accessories}
I tried my hand at this tutorial. I made one large one and two small ones. I LOVE them.
(and secretly want to hang them in my house.)

{Sweet Baby Announcement}
I love this very sweet and so dear-to-us family and was beyond happy to work on their baby announcements.
What a joy!

. . .
What are you working on? Any DIY projects keeping you busy?

Stay tuned, my little winner from here (*it's not too late to take a guess!) will be announced tomorrow!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Weekend Wardrobe: New Blog Feature

Welcome to a new blog feature: Weekend Wardrobe.

Deep down inside I am a tshirt and jeans (ripped up, faded, and worn to be exact) kind-of girl. However, I do love fashion or rather, I love experimenting with fashion. I say, you be the trendsetter. So, this new little blog feature will give you some insight into my weekend and my weekend wardrobe. The weekends are my one opportunity to actually feel somewhat fashionable as most days are spent (like right at this very moment) with a simple tshirt/tank and jeans/shorts on.

This past weekend my husband and I were invited to a dinner party that was an interest meeting of sorts for a ministry that a couple in our church are involved with. The ensemble below is very close (not exact) to what I wore for our fancy little outing.

A classic black dress (mine was from Target awhile ago) accented with yellow pumps (thanks Johanna), a yellow bag (from my mom via Charlotte Russe awhile ago), black dangly earrings and an armful of bangles.

What did you do this weekend? Did you get all dressed up? Or did you have more fun sporting the tshirt and jeans?

+ Accordian Dress by J.CREW
+ Earrings & Bangles by Forever 21
+ Yellow Clutch by Jennifer Ladd
+ Yellow Peep Toe Pumps by Nine West

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Restaurant Review: Taco Boy & Giveaway!

{photo courtesy of Taco Boy}

After the race we went to Taco Boy. Apparently you don't order the tacos there, just the nachos.
And they were to die for. Really.
I wish I had a picture of them, they would make you drool.
Instead here is a picture of us ladies with our matching Cooper River Bridge Run tshirts.
Aren't we cute? ha.
This restaurant was super cute and the interior design, like that of Wet Hen,
was thought out and carried their branding beyond just a sign on the door.
The vibe was eclectic and rustic, with no shortage of visual interest.
Below are a few photos from inside the restaurant.
I love the collection of multi-colored pendent lights.

So, the graphic designer in me thought this was hilarious.
Take a stab at guessing what it is supposed to read and you will be entered to win a set of notecards.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Restaurant Review: Fat Hen

{photos courtesy of Fat Hen}

If you are ever in Charleston you have to find Fat Hen and go there. For sure. It was amazing.
The menu offers authentic French Lowcountry cuisine. The environment is wonderful and it is decorated absolutely adorable (of course I would notice that and take pictures of their super creative wall art!). I could go on and on about the details because every little thing was thought out and purposeful; the branding was perfect and all those details just brought it all together. For example, the drinking glasses were mason jars and the wall art was collections of cooking utensils like whisks or measuring spoons. (The photos are not exactly amazing but they give you an idea....)

{On the Menu for the Evening}
We started with Escargot (yes, very fancy indeed) served with garlic butter and grilled bread. We also tried the Fried Green Tomatoes with goat cheese, pepper relish and tomato jam.
For the main dish I ordered the Shrimp & Grits. My mouth is watering now...

. . .
Below is a recipe for you to try! Let me know how it turns out.

recipe from here


  • 1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled, halved lengthwise, and deveined if you wish
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Tabasco or other hot pepper sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt or more to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups stone-ground grits, not instant or quick-cooking
  • 6 thick slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (about 1/4 pound) grated medium to sharp Cheddar cheese
  • Tabasco or other hot pepper sauce


Combine the shrimp with the lemon juice and a couple of generous splashes of hot pepper sauce. Let sit while you begin the grits and gravy.

Make the grits in a large heavy saucepan, first bringing 6 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of the salt to a boil. Whisk in the grits a few handfuls at a time. (They will bubble up initially.) When you have added all the grits, reduce the heat to a very low simmer and cook over low heat for 35 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally at first and more frequently toward the end.

While the grits simmer, get the gravy under way. Fry the bacon in a medium skillet over medium heat until brown but still limp. Stir in the onion, green pepper, and garlic and continue cooking until the onion and pepper are limp, about 5 minutes. Add the scallions, sprinkle the flour over the mixture, and continue sauteing for 5 minutes longer. Stir in the stock and remaining salt and cook for 5 minutes longer. Remove from the heat while you finish the grits.

When the grits are thick and creamy, stir in as much of the butter as you wish, followed by the cheese. Add a splash of hot pepper sauce and additional salt if you like. Cover the grits while you finish the gravy.

Return the gravy to medium heat and stir in the shrimp. Cook until the shrimp are opaque throughout, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately, mounding the grits in large shallow bowls or on plates and covering them with shrimp and gravy.

. . .

{The Ladies}
Me + Jessi + Brooke + Andy + Christina + Stephanie + Elizabeth
= Super Cute & Super Fun

Monday, April 4, 2011

wiped out.

Mug from Daily Grinder

Happy Monday to you friends.

I had a crazy weekend! It was so much fun but I am utterly exhausted today and feel as though I am running on empty. That coffee mug pretty says it all. Imagine my dismay though when I went to make my coffee this morning and realized we were out... oops.

The weekend was fabulous. I had an amazing time catching up with sweet friends I had not seen in so long. The race was pretty amazing as well and quite addicting. I am thinking I need to run another soon. I finished in 1 hour 5 min. I didn't meet my goal time of 1 hour but I was pretty close and I'll blame that additional 5 minutes on the 44,000 people who were in my way. ha. :)

Unfortunately I did not carry my heavy camera with me through the race and my little point and shoot is out of commission so I don't have any pictures of the race itself, but here are a few before and afters.

Elizabeth & I at our 5:00am wake up call.
I definitely walked down the street hoping that Starbucks was open... sadly, they were not.

Me, Elizabeth, & Jessi post race. I think we still look pretty cute considering we just ran a 10k. :)

LUNCH at Taco Boy. Don't get tacos though, go for the nachos. They are to die for. Really.

Proof that I ran. In case you had your doubts. :)

And lastly, we clean up pretty good, don't you think?

I have some fun inspiration photos from around Charleston, along with a couple restaurant recommendations, should you be visiting anytime soon, that I will hopefully share later this week. Until then... go get yourself a cup of coffee. It might take forever.

Friday, April 1, 2011

run ashlee run.

I am spending the weekend with my best friends from high school. We are running in Charleston's Cooper River Bridge Run and seeing as how the race is sold out, we will not be alone. We will be running with about 44,994 of our closest friends.

I have never been to Charleston but have always wanted to go. I am pretty excited (and a little nervous, my goal is to finish that race in an hour or under)... better get finished packing and hit the road!


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