Archive for ‘just newlywed life.’

June 5, 2011

A feature and a contest

My company has been featured in a local magazine (full story here), so we decided to throw a little contest for potential and new clients. We’re offering three free styling sessions for engagement, bridal, and love photo shoots. All you have to do is enter is like us on Facebook, easy enough! Get all the details here.

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February 2, 2011

Odds and ends

You’ll have to forgive me for not posting as much in January (a trend which will probably continue through March). Things at my publishing company have gotten crazy, and I’ve been given the opportunity to design a book cover on top of my usual responsibilities, so I’m swamped from 9 to 5 (only to come home and work tirelessly on another project!).  Whew! So if my posts are few and far between for the next couple of months, I’m so sorry!

Now on to the good stuff.

Hooray for Kelaine and Paul’s wedding on the Minnesota Bride blog! Check out their super fun wedding here. Congrats, you two!

Kelaine and Paul

Graddy Photography

Meanwhile, a local TV station here  in North Carolina is having a cutest couple contest. I submitted our photo as kind of a joke, but then I discovered that there’s actually a prize. ($100 gift card to a fancy restaurant? Sign me up!) So if you feel up to it, hop over to WXII and view our photo (that’s apparently how they determine the winner; the one with the most views). Then enter yourself! Or your dog, kids, and so on. Anna, I’m thinking Moxie and her friend should be entered?

January 11, 2011

Our wedding featured in the NC knot magazine

On news stands now. The “how we met” story is wrong, but it’s still pretty cool. Check it out!

January 11, 2011

101 in 1001

I’m jumping on the blogger bandwagon: This year, instead of doing New Year’s resolutions, I’m doing the 101 in 1001. Here’s the scoop, borrowed from Peach and Pearl–

The Mission:
Complete 101 preset tasks/goals/challenges in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria:
Tasks must be specific (i.e. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and represent “stretching.”

Why 1001 Days?
It’s all about a realistic deadline. 1001 days (about 2.75 years) allows you several seasons to complete tasks, which is better for organizing and timing things like overseas trips or outdoor activities.

Start Date: January 1, 2011
End Date: September 27, 2013
Goals Complete: 0/101
Goals in Progress: 0/101
Last Updated: January 10, 2010

So you want to see my list? I wrote it in December but haven’t had a chance to post it until now, while snow and ice are holding my car hostage. The fun thing about that is I’ve already completed some of these goals! But I’m still short a bunch of challenges, so if you have any suggestions, let me know! Here we go…

Create things.

  1. Design or order two large wall prints for dining room.
  2. Order, frame, and display photos from Italy in hallway.
  3. Create a stop-motion video.
  4. Design or order art for above the bed.
  5. Take a photography course.
  6. Design desktop wallpaper calendar art and have it selected on smashingmagazine.com.
  7. Set up an Etsy store.
  8. Sell something on Etsy.
  9. Create wedding albums for Jon and me.
  10. Create and display wall prints in kitchen.
  11. Craft something with my nieces.
  12. Get published in print again (a magazine, an op-ed, etc.)

Get cultured.

  1. Join a local choir or be cast in a local musical/opera.
  2. Read 10 books of my own choosing.
  3. Take my nieces to the ballet or a musical.
  4. Make my nieces watch and appreciate a Jeannette MacDonald/Nelson Eddy or Gene Kelly film.
  5. Convince Jon to eat some sort of foreign food.
  6. Go to an opera at the Met.

Try something new.

  1. Use the breadmaker to make gluten-free bread.
  2. Make successful gluten-free puff pastry.
  3. Plant a mini garden on the balcony.
  4. Make French macarons.
  5. Make croque monsieur.
  6. Cook something with lavender or other unusual flavors.
  7. Host a party for friends.
  8. Try 30 new recipes.
  9. Decorate a cake (or cupcakes) for a loved one’s birthday.
  10. Plant fresh herbs to use in cooking.

Be a computer nerd.

  1. Redesign personal blog—or abandon personal blog for a killer business blog.
  2. Get computer store to pull off old files from college computer.
  3. Backup all files on computer.
  4. Buy Senuto so I can update my iPod again.
  5. Set up an appropriate linkedin account.

Be healthy.

  1. Lose 10 pounds (or enough to tone).
  2. Take a dance class.
  3. Get back into yoga weekly.
  4. Replace all sodas with water for a year.
  5. Eat fresh fruit and yogurt three mornings a week for a year.
  6. Go to the gym three times a week for a year.
  7. Floss every day.
  8. Get a bike and ride in the MS Race for the cure.
  9. Go vegetarian (again).

Get organized.

  1. Organize all files on computer.
  2. Clean and vacuum inside of car.
  3. Organize vacations, plans, and family and friend’s birthdays in one calendar.
  4. Make birthday cards and greeting cards to have on-hand and send.
  5. Organize jewelry with a new storage system.
  6. Organize bathroom cabinet.
  7. Organize the kitchen and find a place for all our appliances.
  8. De-clutter the entire house.

Plan ahead.

  1. Check credit reports; cancel any dormant accounts.
  2. Set up monthly draft into my IRA.
  3. Create a financial plan with the hubby
  4. Update paypal account for Etsy store.
  5. Put money in savings each month.
  6. Put away enough for a down payment on a house.
  7. Pay off all credit card bills and cars.
  8. Write a will (and make Jon write one, too).
  9. Get a new passport with a changed name.
  10. Explore new places to find a city we can call home.

Be generous.

  1. Pay 10 strangers compliments
  2. Purge and donate old clothes from closets at least three times.
  3. Volunteer.
  4. Pay for the person behind me at a toll or drive thru.
  5. Send 12 cards or letters for no reason at all.

Be social.

  1. Mail Christmas cards before Christmas every year.
  2. Make plans with a new friend.
  3. Call one faraway friend a week for 6 weeks.
  4. Have a girl’s night once every other month.
  5. Plan a surprise birthday party.
  6. Have a dinner date with my husband once a month.
  7. Have a double-date with friends once every other month.

Find adventure.

  1. Go to the West Coast.
  2. Go to a taping of a television show (the Daily Show, Colbert, Conan, etc.)
  3. Take a beach vacation.
  4. Take a vacation outside the U.S.
  5. Take a girls-only trip.
  6. Take a completely impulsive, spur of the moment road trip with Jon.
January 3, 2011

A recap of where I’ve been and where I’m going.

I usually try to keep my blog light and friendly, with a little art and inspiration thrown in. I don’t like to use it as a soapbox to complain (who wants to read that?), and I try not to get too personal. But with 2010—one big, lifechanging year—coming to a close and so many new projects on the horizon, I can’t help but find myself thinking about where I’ve been and where I’m going. And I know I’m not the only one who’s doing this. So although this post was suited better for December, I thought that I’d share some of my own stories on where I’ve been and where I’m going to help get your wheels turning. Hopefully you’ll share your own thoughts in the comments section or on your own blogs (as long as you send me a link, please!)

So without further ado, my life lessons, told via cities in which I’ve lived:

Winston-Salem, N.C.: Where I first learned how to think, how to speak French and Arabic, how much I love post-colonial literature, and the power of friendship.  It gave me the confidence to sing opera and art song and a chance to perform both. It [literally] introduced me to Maya Angelou, Colin Powell, Donald Johanson,  and Isabel Bayrakdarian. It taught me some roommates will be friends for life and some friends make terrible roommates. I learned that religion is not for me, and that’s okay.

Edinburgh, Scotland: This is where I put into place Mark Twain’s famous quote: “I never let schooling get in the way of my education.” True, I skipped a lot of classes. But this was the first time I was out on my own, in a place completely new and full of discovery. I spent a semester with British comedians I called flatmates and said ridiculous things like, “but everyone has a dryer!” Oh dear. I stumbled a lot in the beginning, but by my last couple of weeks, British folks would stop me and ask for directions. I loved seeing their faces after my American accent helped them find where they were going.

Lille, France: I thought living in France would be like living in Scotland. Whoops. This is where I learned that foreign countries don’t like America, but they love Americans. Teenagers are teenagers no matter what nation, and they all want to know more about Brad, Angelina, and Beyonce.  My appearance in Lille’s neighboring villages prompted kebab shop workers to say “Vous êtes les premieres americaines que j’ai jamais rencontré [you are the first Americans I’ve ever met]!” It surprised me to see how big of an impact the United States made on France, and how little of France ever made its way back to America. I also saw my first real display of anti-Semitism on public transportation and watched French teachers become fools over how “America is run by the Jews!” But once I could shake that off, France is where I discovered that I can’t live without art, music, or history. (And where I thought I could never live without pastry—how that’s changed! I’m so thankful I went to France before I learned I couldn’t eat gluten.)

Washington, D.C.: Taught me that dreams can be rewritten, and it’s not so bad. It taught me road rage (an unfortunate lesson) and never to depend on public transportation to get me anywhere on time (something I never had a problem with in France). D.C. surprised me with the state of the nation’s capital and the many, many homeless people wandering the streets. But it also showed me that I’m driven and can make a plan worth sticking to, and that I’m incredibly suited for creative environments. I learned that long distances really do strengthen a relationship, and I think we’re better off for that.

Winston-Salem, N.C….AGAIN: Returning to Winston-Salem made me question my path. You make a plan for yourself, and 3 years later, you couldn’t be further from where you thought you’d be. I’m still working this one out. But beyond that, this place taught me that in marriage (and life), it’s okay to depend on someone. I’d been so set on taking care of myself for so long that I forgot what it was like to have someone there to HELP. And let me tell you—it’s wonderful. I’ve also learned to once I’m out of that creative work environment, I crave it, and that it will find a way to surface, even if it means starting my own business.

And that’s where my story ends, so far. What happens next? And more importantly, where have you been that’s put you where you are today? I’d love to hear your stories.