February 18, 2010

Hello Thirty!

Wow, that's the first time I have typed that out today but it's true, folks, today is the day I turned 30. For real, I am thirty today. Well, actually this morning was the official time I entered the world back in the day in 1980 (on a frigid Monday morning). I can’t really believe it. Still, though, I must say that if my day since waking up is anything how the rest of the year will be, I am more than okay with that.

It started when Matt joined me on my annual “birthday run” (don’t worry, it wasn’t done in my “birthday suit” - it is way too cold and I am way too against public nakedness). I should say that I am a runner but I make certain that a run is scheduled specifically for my birthday. Ad above from Asics (my running shoe and running ad of choice).

Next for the day was having both of my parents call and sing a happy birthday to me as well as a call from INDIA from Kathy (how great is she?) followed by many texts/emails from friends and family here in New York to California to Virginia to New Hampshire and more phone calls from my best gals here in the city, Sari and Caitlin, and Katie home in Massachusetts. And my favorite people whom I share a desk with gave me some beautiful (and totally Spring-y!) tulips as shown above. I even think the guy who made my egg white omelet this morning made it with extra love. It really was extra puffy. Though I did have to do work all day, February 18th is ending with a (hopefully) delicious meal with Matt in a cozy Brooklyn restaurant.

As every year on my birthday, but more and more as I get older, I realize how good life is. I have the most wonderful friends and family and boyfriend and what could I want more than going into 30 with them by my side? I just feel truly blessed. This is a complete opposite to how I was thinking/feeling over the weekend when I was lamenting on my lack of permanent job position, not owning property, having no ring on my finger and no brood of children in my home. You know what though? My new manner of thinking is now, “All in good time”. Because as of now, I have everything I want.

I couldn't end this posting on a sappy note hence this following paragraph. Not only calls and emails and texts and hugs were given today, but I asked around for some advice for 30 from those who have already turned this lovely age. I thought I would share with you the humor and wisdom of some friends and loved ones:

"Are you happy? Then keep doing what you’re doing."

"It’s now officially okay to fall asleep early on a Saturday night."

"Its time to be a role model."

"Starting lying about your age. Today."

"Life only gets better. Live it intentionally."

Cupcake photo from none other than the Queen of party decor, Martha

February 17, 2010

Just A Little Something for the Summer...

Ahh, how my mind is going in a hundred places these days. Work has been crazy busy, I am about to hit a new decade (20? No dears, you are SO sweet to think that, however) tomorrow AND it's snowing almost every other day here in this northeastern city of NYC that I ponder why we shouldn't just pack it up and move someplace warmer. This last one has been on my mind all week. Well, not the moving so much but the wanting to go somewhere warm for a quick trip. Or perhaps ending this winter-coat-wearing. I just can't take it anymore! I can't leave the apartment these days without scarf, mittens, boots, winter coat and sanity. I just can't.

I believe that my mind escaped to thinking about the beach because this is the time of year (this WEEK exactly) when my family and I would head to the airport and fly to Florida to visit with my grandparents. I have many fond memories of building the best sandcastles on the beach, getting a sun-kissed glow, spending as much time at the pool as possible and looking for seashells. Not only that but I also got to celebrate my birthday in the warm weather. Being a February baby doesn't have many perks (your birthday party is canceled because of a snowstorm, etc), but when that date falls over school vacation and your Grandparents live in Florida, the world is your oyster (err, seashell).

That is what prompted me to start looking at fun summer clothes online. I just needed to catch sight of one bathing suit to remind that we do, fortunately, live in a region that gets seasons and soon enough (4 months!) it will be time to hit the beach or the lake or even just the park in just one layer. My first trip online took me to Old Navy and that's where I stopped (for now) as I found some cute little suits and fun dresses and accessories. A sample of what I wish I could wear this weekend to the beach and afterwards. How cute!

February 15, 2010

Genius, Green & Gourmet.

I love to cook, in case you didn't know. What I don't love is having my herbs go bad after a few days, cooking too much pasta (though Matt is fine with that and thinks there is nothing wrong with pasta for leftovers three days in a row. My threshold is once every two weeks), and cooking accessories that take up way too much room in our small kitchen.

Enter this fabulous new find, A + R, from Venice, CA as well as an online mecca of goodness for the home. Their motto says it all: Global Design. Edited. The products shown above (as well as many, many more) help all of my situations above.

February 12, 2010

Something Smells Good...

Pure by Donna Karan
Versense by Versace


Whenever I start a new packaging or 3D assignment, I always look to perfumes. I don't know why, but there is something to be said for the minimalist beauty of most scents these days. Just take a stroll down the aisle in Sephora and you'll see why. Seeing an ad for the latest Versace fragrance in Elle prompted me to take a gander at some others out there. They all seem so clean and serene and luxurious. Here are three that I most recently was lulled by.

February 10, 2010

5 Babies in the Next 5 Months!

I've seen more sonograms in the past few months than I have in my entire life. No, no, no. Not my own. Three of my best girl friends from home plus one of Matt's best friends from home plus Matt's sister (I'm going to be an "Aunt" to a third lil' one!) are all due in the next 5 months. That equals 5 babies being born to friends & family near and dear to us.

I am so excited for all of them but even MORE excited to put together sweet lil' baby gifts. I have an automatic "awww" and "ahhh" and "ohhh" when looking at baby clothes and gifts. Call it a girl thing, but the BabyGap just has that effect on me. In fact, I just went to their site to see what's selling these days and came across a line for the girls and the boys called "POP SHOP" which is for bebes under 24 months old who love patterned perfection. Oh. My. Cute. Little pears, fish, seahorses and strawberries plus lots of stripes and polka-dots for the girls in pretty colors. Tiny airplanes, monsters (cute ones, not scary ones), monkeys and stars also with their own color-combo-ed stripes for the boys.

So far the gender count is 2 for the boys and 2 for the girls (one more to be found out this weekend) which means I can have fun with all sorts of colors.

February 9, 2010

Craig Cutler and IBM.

Taking a small break between projects today I decided to check out the latest from Stockland Martel's uber-talented group of photographers. I don't know if this really qualifies as a creative, but hey, for me looking at beautiful photos is something I wish I could do a lot more than I already do. After their book arrived on my desk in the mail yesterday it's all I have been wanting to do. The book shows a few samples of each of their talented artists and of course is printed on some delicious paper with a most compelling cover and back art.

So this is what prompted me to check out their pick out a photographer and go with it. The first one I clicked on was a talent named Craig Cutler whose recently photographed an IBM campaign which I fell for. Fast. I haven't seen it in any mags recently but that doesn't mean it's not out there right now. It just means I am most likely not reading PC Magazine or INC or another business magazine for PC-users. It's okay because discovering it on Cutler's site was fine by me! I love the campaign as a whole for its simplicity and great photos, of course. And the fun little black lines. How could I forget about those!

February 8, 2010

Béatrice Coron's Papercuts.

When I'm on the subway I am usually reading. Or watching people. Or listening to 20 year-olds who think they are the next Chris Brown belt out song lyrics with their headphones on for the ENTIRETY of my trip to work this morning. Just an example. Anyhow, another thing that I do is look at the art and the ads. Arts for Transit is a division through the Metropolitan Transit Authority that promotes local visual and performing artists in the subway and rail system.

One of my favorite series are the horizontal posters that they have in the subway cars. About once a year, I notice a new one and after checking out their website, I see they have a new one every year featuring a different artist. The one I saw most recently was a papercut print of Béatrice Coron which was pretty spectacular (first image shown above). This of course led me to some Googling and checking out the rest of her papercut work. All so intricate and with great contrast, here are a few samples above from this French-born artist who has been living in NYC for over 25 years.

February 5, 2010

Kate's Lookin' Good This Spring.

Love these new stylings for Kate Spade's spring collection. Actually, I love the copy writing that goes with each of the outfits AND that they picked one main piece and dressed it three different ways with fantastic pops of color and accessories. Cute, right?

The gray and white striped jacket above (which I love!) has been titled:

"Gave it a Fresh Spin"
"Took A Chance on the Convertible"
"Stepped Right up to the Raffle"

And the white dress with black polka dots has been titled:

"Got Carried Away Selecting Her Next Read"
"No Wallflowers Here"
"Loved Salty Snacks and Sweet Surprises"

February 4, 2010

Vanderbyl Design.

Stumbled upon this studio, Vanderbyl Design (located in California) today. They specialize in print and environmental design and there site is VERY clean. Looking through their 2D portfolio I came across these three logos above. Of course I was drawn to them because they are food and wine related. The first is a winery, how clever is that?!

February 3, 2010

A Toast to My Favorites.

Thanks to Design*Sponge I am sure that these will be all over the blogosphere this morning via other blogs but I just had to personalize what I would get as my own set of these lovely JHill designs. She has a way of making you want to share what you love – in print design! Long live print design! Her latest series is "A Toast To..." and picks out various states and countries and showcases the year they were incorporated and a few things that are unique to them. Though she has a wide selection I can't believe New York isn't on there! Oh well, my chosen three are above and these are the reasons why:

...because I was born and raised in the great Bay State in New England
...because it is the place that my parents still live in, in the home that I was brought home from the hospital to
...because though I have lived in NYC for 7 years
I still root for the Boston sports teams
...because Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and it's always been spent here
...because the Boston accent (that I no longer have) cracks me up in movies when people try to copy it totally unsuccessfully

...because I spent three blissful/educational/trying/enlightening months there in the fall of 2008
...because the architecture and design there made me take notice of everything, everywhere I went
...because it took me out of my comfort zone of the English-speaking, friend-filled, work-filled, hectic wonderful craziness that is NYC
...because it had me back in a classroom for the first time since college
...because I was on my own in a foreign country and I made it back in one piece
...because I fell in love with jamón after not eating meat for 10 years

...because I spent 7 weeks there the summer after sophomore year and before junior year of college taking classes (ceramics wheel-throwing and nutrition science. And yes, I got my credits for both despite the fact I went to the beach everyday)
...because the people there really are SO nice
...because the sun shines all day long, the beaches are amazing, the ocean water really IS the color of the postcards and you can wear flip-flops all day
...because I ate fresh pineapple almost everyday
...because I met people from all over the country who also fell in love with this tiny island that makes you feel like you are no longer IN the United States

February 2, 2010

The Day You Love to Hate and Hate to Love.

Book from Urban Outfitters (how "love" is said around the world)

I've always been a person who has loved Valentine's Day. I swear it's not because I am a gushy romantic, but it's because my birthday is four days later. I guess I feel the need to harbor love for holidays within a 5-day proximity? I see why people can't stand it – the pressure, the Hallmark quality of it all, the marketing/candy hearts-driven aura about it. I get it, I do. I also see why people like it. It's that day out of the year to celebrate love! Not dressing up in costume (ala Halloween), not celebrating the first feast (Thanksgiving), not celebrating oil lasting 8 days (Hanukkah) or the birth of Jesus (Christmas). Actually, just celebrating love. It's sweet. Matt and I didn't do anything crazy last year and won't be doing much anything crazy this year. We'll be having a nice Sunday night dinner at home (long weekend! yeah!). I'll be cooking - making a meal that's extra delicious –and I couldn't think of anything I would rather do.

However, in case I wanted to celebrate V-Day in a cute/funny way, these items seemed quite fitting for that love-to-hate and hate-to-love holiday in mid-February!

February 1, 2010

7 Years Ago Today.

I remember that day 7 years ago today like it was, well, today! There I was, in the car with my Mom while my Dad trailed behind in the rented van full of almost all of my belongings (the remainder was in my Mom's car with us) driving south to New Jersey from Massachusetts. I bet when I was first born that my parents had never had moments where they looked at their baby daughter and thought "One day, we'll move her into her first apartment in New Jersey.". Well, whether they thought about it or not, that's what they were doing that first day in February in 2003 with me. Moving me into my 4th floor walk-up apartment with bright blue-painted stairs that were "steeper than you told us!" as my Mom first exclaimed when we walked into the small building on the main street in the one-square mile town.

The apartment my friend Jim (a good friend from school who shared the same Communication Design major and same love for college basketball) and I had found was surprisingly bright, surprisingly large, and a close walk to the PATH train that would take us into NYC (a short 10 minute ride under the Hudson River). Since it was our first apartment post-college, we didn't have much in the way of furniture or in the way of a budget, and so our first furnishings has to be modest. We first painted the place and then decided it was time to buy some seating for the living room (we had been eating dinner seated on milk crates). Scouring Craigslist we found a steal located just a block away from a guy who was moving out and looking to GIVE his couch to whomever would take it out of the place. Free? Yes, free. So ,Jim and I decided to check it out and after about a 5 minute discussion while looking at it in all it's emerald green velour gloriousness, (a slipcover was the way we would go) we decided we would take it off the guy's hands (literally) and carry it across the street. Well, it wasn't as easy as we thought and I ended up directing traffic as they barely made it out the door and down the stairs. The couch was a beast and the guy was so happy to have it out of his apartment that he even helped Jim bring it up our steeper than steep and windy stairs to the top and fourth floor that we lived on. It barely made it past the second floor landing and with some coaxing they got it up to four. But that, my friends, is where the couch stopped because it is there that we realized that the size of our door frame was too narrow to accommodate such a beast of an emerald green velour couch. And so there that couch story ends for a few weeks. Until my parents came back to visit and brought with them my Dad's saw so we could cut the legs off the couch and a few more tools so we could remove the door frame and get the couch inside and then replace the wood of the frame. I moved out a year later, and Jim a year after that. We always joked that no matter who moved in and out of that apartment, that that couch would always remain.

Moving to the city area was a bit risky at the time because I had no job. Yes, that's right. No employment. It wasn't as hard to find a job as it is for this past year's recent grads but considering it was just a year after 9/11, it definitely wasn't a time of "jobs for everyone!" being chanted on the streets of Manhattan. While shuttling my design portfolio to any and all companies that would look at it was my choice of work during the day, that didn't pay the bills so the day after I moved, I went to a neighborhood restaurant to get a job as a waitress. I figured I could pass the time waiting tables and making some good money before being hired as low woman on the totem pole and being paid peanuts. The restaurant was a favorite in the tiny 1-square mile town. The food was good, the service was great (I'm not just saying that since I worked there) and the atmosphere inside was just a place that you wanted to be at. The colors that went around in the decor were mostly golds and yellows with deep, rich browns. I must say that of the three places I have spent time delivering food and drink for tips, this one was by far my favorite.

It's hard to believe that just 7 years ago I came to this fair city without a job, any furniture, and knowing only my close friends from college. I can't believe that this is the city I officially call "home" when I go away on vacation and someone asks me where I'm from. "New York City" is always my answer, unlike years ago when it was "well, I come by way of NYC but I'm really from Boston". I like to think in life we are in control of our actions and decisions, and I must say, that my move here 7 years ago was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. Whereas that emerald green couch might be at the bottom of the list.

all photographs are
beautiful wares from Anthropologie

January 29, 2010

"We Are All Mad Here"

How great is that quote for the movie poster of the remake of Alice in Wonderland?! I can't wait to see it. It was definitely one of my favorite stories when I was a little girl and one of my favorite movies to watch. The tea party cracked me up every time as did Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. Maybe I was a little scared by the Queen of Hearts but that didn't stop me from hitting rewind on the VHS tape and watching it again.

Now as an adult, I haven't thought much about the story but the SECOND I saw a teaser for the movie in the theater and then these posters up in my subway station near work the other day.
And seriously, these posters are styled to a tee. The colors and patterns and placement. Oh my! Plus it's a Tim Burton film. In 3D!I am taking Matt along for the ride come March when the movie premieres. Love the copy writing for the premiere date. So VERY Alice in Wonderland:

"You are invited to a very important date 3/5/10"

January 26, 2010

Tobie Giddio: Illustrator

Ahhh, if I could be a gal in this amazing illustrator's, Tobie Giddio, paintings I would be so purposefully decorated. Alerted to her incredible portfolio from our art buyer at work I immediately fell in love with these paintings – the colors, the energy, the silo-ed background. It's all fabulous and something I would love to have on my walls. Checking out her biography, I see she has a beyond well-respected client list (Bergdorf's, Apple, Tiffany's, Neiman Marcus, Amy Sedaris' hysterical and helpful book "I Like You, Hospitality Under the Influence") and actually sort of looks like the ladies she is painting. As they say, there is a piece of yourself in all of your art.

I wonder if she sells prints...

And I think she has inspired me to do double-time on my Mac-based work tonight so I can break out the paintbrushes tomorrow night.

January 25, 2010

It's Raining, It's Pouring. I Needed a New Umbrella This Morning.

I know, it's crazy. Talk about global warming. It's 56 degrees outside and raining and it's the end of January. Go figure! The rain this morning did remind me I need to purchase a new umbrella since my 4 year-old wonderfully pink one (never mistaken for the omnipresent black umbrellas that grace the hands of all New Yorkers and all bodega owners) died in a horrible windstorm back in the summer. Sad? Yes. Belated replacement? Much needed. Of course in the winter in the northeast one needn't think about umbrellas since it is always snowing when it is precipitating but alas, Mother Nature had something else in store for us today. And unfortunately Matt's umbrella that I have been borrowing just isn't cutting it. It was tossed backwards at least thrice on my 6 minute walk to the subway and by the last 10 yards of my trek, I gave up.

Alas, my posting about these adorably patterned Marimekko rain stoppers. I am thinking I am going to have to decide on my favorite and make a purchase either at their Upper East Side concept store or via Amazon.