Posts in Lifestyle

Favorite productivity tools for small business owners

October 13th, 2017 Posted by Business, Goals, Lifestyle No Comment yet

 “Work with all your heart, because-I promise-if you show up for your work day after day after day after day, you just might get lucky enough some random morning to burst right into bloom.” 

Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic

I’m on maternity leave right now, and it’s been a rare break in my entrepreneurial career. Never have I taken this much time off before, and it feels needed, indulgent, and a little scary. I find myself with anxious thoughts like: Will my clients be there when I return? Will I have time to work with a newborn? What if it just all goes to hell in a hand basket?


mood boards for 2017 in life and business

Create a mood board for 2017

December 21st, 2016 Posted by Design, Goals, Lifestyle No Comment yet

Goals are great, I totally love goals. But sometimes articulating my goals is  a little hard and a little too specific. A mood board for the year is like a baby step towards a goal. As a graphic designer, I build mood boards for my clients often – it’s usually one of the first things I send to them before we fully get going on a project. 


It's back to school time! This year I've got boots, books and poufs on my list. What's on yours?

Back to School 2016

August 11th, 2016 Posted by Lifestyle, Lists, Shopping No Comment yet

It’s getting to be that time again! So soon! This summer went by faster then ever. I’ve been hiking, biking, swimming and generally just ticking things off on my Summer Bucket list. It’s been a summer that I’ve actually enjoyed for the first time in years, largely due to living in Central Oregon (no more humidity! YAY!). I am one with my Teva sandals and shorts. Yep, it’s my summer adventuring uniform these days.

But I am beyond excited for fall. Here’s a couple things on my back to school list: 

Winter boots. Slipping on snowy sidewalks is not cute. Good thing these are on sale right now, and they are adorable! 

Pouf for my office. Technically I bought this long before back to school time, but I am loving it and including it here as a great suggestion for dorm room decor or just to add to that comfy corner of your room. 

New PENS. Because opening up a pack of new pens is the best, right? I love these Pilot Precise v5 pens for my everyday writing. When I’m feeling fancy or arty, I use my color set of Micron 05’s or my Copic Multiliner Brush pen. 

And we can’t talk about pens without talking about pencils. These are my favorite mechanical pencils. I’m VERY particular about my writing utensils. I like these because they are easy to hold onto, colorful, and the lead is a little thicker like a regular pencil. The eraser works great too! I do love the smell of a freshly sharpened pencil, however. 

When I bought my new winter boots I also got a Hydro Flask. Gotta stay hydrated, even in those cold, dry winter months. I’ve heard so many good things about these babies! They have a growler size too, OMG. That would be perfect for all the breweries here. 

There are always books involved when it comes to back to school time, isn’t there? Whether you are in college and you have to buy all your text books, or you are covering new books, they didn’t invent the term “time to hit the books” for nothing. Now that I’m out of school, I love getting a couple new cookbooks or business books (or any books I can learn something from!) around this time of year. A couple I’ve got my eye on: 

  1. Martha Stewart’s Vegetables
  2. Creative Lettering and Beyond by Gabri Joy Kirkendall and others. 
  3. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk (I already own this one, but it’s next on my list to read this fall!)

I love finding new ways to expand my mind, feed my belly and rock some personal (and warmer) style in the fall. Back to school time feels like the time of year when we all kinda get more focused, get a little busy in the kitchen again. The words cozy and home come to mind. I can’t wait for that special chill in the air! 

So what’s on your list for back to school 2016? 

Need more ideas? Check out my Pinterest board: Back To School for Adults

summer 2016 bucket list

Summer Bucket List!

July 14th, 2016 Posted by Goals, Lifestyle, Lists No Comment yet

I’ve been so inspired by all the summer bucket list posts I’ve seen on the internet these days–and just people out there on social media doing some quintessential summery things–I had to make my own list! 


How I'm upping my game this year

PJS Musings: Upping My Game

June 28th, 2016 Posted by Goals, Lifestyle No Comment yet

It seems like even though my 2016 “words for the year” are focus and grace (yes, I had to pick two!) since moving to Redmond, OR it’s clear that my words for the year have shifted. I keep telling myself in my head over and over again to just up my game! 

With this move, it feels more like my phrase for the year is now: “up your game!”


Vanilla Cinnamon Almonds

June 3rd, 2016 Posted by DIY, Food, Snacks, Travel 1 comment

If you invite me to go on a road trip with you, anything that is an hour or longer, I will bring snacks. I will also bring extra water, sunscreen and music.

This is what happened on a recent trip to Medford, OR with a couple of girlfriends. Nothing makes driving more enjoyable then munching on some homemade almonds! This recipe was also inspired by a hiking trip with my cousin. We were eating some snacks during a hike and she brought up the idea of cinnamon almonds. “Mmm” I thought, “What a great combination!” Thus, this recipe was born. These spiced nuts are also EGG FREE! (yep, some spiced nut recipes use egg-white to bind the seasonings to the nuts, but since I’m egg intolerant, I like to find better ways…)


Back to School — for Adults

September 13th, 2015 Posted by Lifestyle, Shopping, Style 1 comment

I absolutely love this time of year. Back to school shopping is my personal favorite kind of shopping. I realize now I may be a little old for that hot pink Trapper Keeper, and I have little use for all the pencil erasers in my basket, so I relinquish school supplies (well, sorta) and move on to the things I would buy as a full-fledged adult. So the back to school list I made for this year is all about things I want for fall, for the year and just to start the year off strong! 

back to school for adults list 2015

The List:

  1. Adorable ModCloth Skirt. Why it made the list: I can wear it now, while the weather is still kinda warm, but in the winter it will be adorable with boots and a sweater. 
  2. Because I just want to have school lunches again. Why? I don’t know. It was my favorite time of the day. Even though I work from home, I still want to buy this because those individual compartments bring me so much joy. If you are looking for awesome school lunch ideas, beyond the basic sandwich, check out this article by The Kitchn!
  3. I love a good necklace! This one gives back to! My bestie is working on this company and has an awesome selection of handmade jewelry and other fun things from Haiti. This would be so cute with jeans and a knit top or a dress. Read more on Empower Haiti Together at their website
  4. It seems like my social calendar starts filling up in the fall and it’s so nice to have some fun new pieces to entertain with. There are a lot of fall and winter birthdays in my family as well as the holidays, so investing in these now will get me a lot of mileage this season. 
  5. Every one needs a good pair of jeans. They are essential! This pair from Madewell has a higher rise too, so maybe my muffin top will be made more scarce. Or maybe I should hit the gym. Either way, I need jeans! 
  6. The equivalent of a new backpack for adults…. a new tote. This is a vegan leather one from Nordstrom’s in Congnac/Aqua, and I love that it’s reversible. In the spring, I could just flip out the aqua side and boom! Two-in-one handbag fun. 
  7. Tea is essential. We drink it all year, but especially in the fall. I need it to keep my designing fingers warmed up. I love this one with the infuser basket set
  8. Speaking of warming up, how about a nice big pot of soup? Or braised chicken? Or pot roast? I need this book for easy, and effortless fall meals that are full of comfort. I am also in love with the title font! 
  9. And how about a warm blanket to snuggle up in? I love Pendleton blankets, and especially in a fun color palette like this one
  10. Finally, because I know right around January I’ll wish I could grill something, I’ve got my eye on this new grill pan from Le Creuset. I especially love the French Grey and Ocean colors. 

So that’s it! I hope you enjoyed this little round up of fun things for fall. If you want to see what was on my list last year, you can check it out here: Back to School for Adults 2014



Images from sites where products link to (except #2, which is from this article on The Kitchn that you should totally check out. No affiliation or kickbacks of any kind have been collected, this is just a fun list of stuff I think is awesome for back to school lovers… who are a little old for the roll call. 

My Favorite Things: Trays

July 27th, 2015 Posted by My Favorite Things No Comment yet

My favorite things trays sugar pickles

I have some funny collections. Funny because I don’t intend for them to be collections until I realize I have about 10 of something and then I realize… “Oh. I must like that!” Trays are one of them. It all started with this one: 

my favorite things- trays-7

I found it at Goodwill, when I was going through my “orange phase” (now I’m on a gray phase, having gone through red and white) and I had to have it. It is funky and some what modern, a bright spot to my coffee table and eclectic living room at the time.

I was happy with that one for awhile. I didn’t really buy any trays for a couple years until I found a small one at Michaels Craft Store and a couple others that are more baking pans then trays.

my favorite things- trays-14

Then I found this white one from Target: 

my favorite things- trays-17

I LOVE thrift shopping, and one of the places I go to a lot is Goodwill. I usually find awesome stuff and there are Goodwills everywhere, so you never know what will be in the ones in Portland vs. the ones in Corvallis. It’s a fun way to treasure hunt for stuff. That’s where I found this giant beauty. I have it on display in my kitchen right now. 

my favorite things- trays-13

I just wanted to share some great finds with you, and encourage you to fill out collections of your own! Look around… what do you have two or three of? Maybe it’s time to call it a collection! 




Podcast Round Up!

July 23rd, 2015 Posted by Lifestyle, My Favorite Things No Comment yet

favorite podcasts

Since I told you all how much I looooove podcasts, here’s what I’m putting in my ears! 


Design Matters with Debbie Millman

Love. Can’t say enough good about Debbie. She’s a woman, she’s a designer, she’s an amazing interviewer. She’s the one I answer all those fake questions to in the shower when I pretend like I’m being interviewed for “designer of the year” or some other made up award. She’s the one I imagine is asking me the tough questions, the ones that get to the heart. And laughs with me and my obsession with cat photoshop art. Have I said too much? I don’t think so. You’ll see, she’ll have you giving an interview in the shower by the (1st) Steven Heller episode. 


Splendid table

A classic. Lynne Rossetto Kasper is like that old friend I can call for a good recipe or idea. She calms me in a way and makes me feel inspired about food when I’m burned out on cooking. It happens, and Lynne is there to commiserate with. Not only is it awesome cooking ideas, but this show covers current events in food, hot topics like agriculture and GMO’s and interviews with chefs and other food notables. You’ll learn something, and walk away with a hunger growl.

Burnt Toast

From the editors at Food52 this is a fun podcast with people I totally admire. Get on this one, it’s elegant yet silly and an inside look at what the founders of this popular site are talking about — and eating. 

Spilled Milk

Totally silly, totally relatable hosts Molly Wizenberg and Matthew Amster-Burton talk food. All. Kinds. From indian snack foods to cured meats, these guys are hilarious every bite along the way. 


The Table Set

These guys are so fun and have awesome ideas for fabulous parties! 


Being Boss

These two ladies: Kathleen and Emily are so boss-some it’s hard to even tell you without using all caps and a million exclamation points!!! (okay, I’ll use some.) THEY ROCK. They give me great ideas for my business, they are my people, my women. When I’m working from home and need someone to give me advice or just a kick in the pants to get shit done, it’s these ladies I turn on. And can I just say… AMEN! 

Elise Gets Crafty

What a sweet, insightful gal. Elise is totally inspirational and another awesome boss lady. She’s a mom too and so creative. I bought her Get to Work book and I’m loving it. Her podcast ranges from insights from other creatives, to practical business-y stuff, to musings about her own business and what she’s learned. She’s rad, no doubt. 

Other randomness:


You need to get on this! It’s been blowing up the podcast world since last year. It’s sorta like mystery meets drama… and it’s peppered with some really interesting insights into how murder cases are tried in our society.

Joy the Baker

This is sorta food, sorta random, but I love these ladies and I wish they would podcast more! I go through and listen to the archives ALL THE TIME when I need a JTB and Shutz fix. 

Girl Next Door

Kelsey and Erika are SO cute. I just started listening to them and they already referenced a couple recipes from Joy The Baker and Shutterbean, so I know I’m going to like them. And a cocktail recipe every episode?? What’s not to like? They are both moms too, so I’m filing away all kinds of ideas for whenever it’s my turn for motherhood. It’s great to hear things from their perspective. 

Now that we know WHAT I’m listening to, here’s what I’m using to listen (see resources section at the bottom for links).

My favorite ear buds are my yurbuds. They stay in my tiny earholes while I’m running (or doing flash dance in the kitchen, with a sink full of dirty dishes). I love the color, I can spot them in the bottom of my bag or in the drawer instantly. 

My bluetooth speaker is pretty awesome. Not just for when I’m taking a shower (which is my prime podcast listening time) but we also use it to play music through our phones when entertaining or hanging out. Thanks, Kristina! We use it all the time.


I just bought this Minty green iphone case. For two years I used a matte black one I bought at the Sprint store the same night I got my phone, and I loved it. It’s (really) scratched up, so I thought time for an upgrade. Little did I know, I would go back to the black one 2 months later. Basic black all the way, babe. 

I have an iphone 5 and I use the podcasts app via itunes. 

Now! For the WHEN! My prime time for listening to podcasts: 

  1. Shower. All. The. Time. I can’t shower without a podcast or music playing now. Seriously, we went on vacation and the speaker wasn’t charged… shower ruined. Sometimes I wonder if this cuts down on all those great ideas that usually come in the shower… hmm. I don’t know, I still have my fair share of great shower ideas. Favorite podcasts to listen to while in the shower: Joy the Baker and Elise Gets Crafty. Please don’t be creeped out, Ladies, you just give me fuel for all those great ideas! 
  2. While doing dishes. There are so many dishes around here. It’s the truth. But all I need is something to listen to and suddenly, the time spent with my arms in the suds isn’t so bad. Favs to listen to while doing dishes: Girl Next Door, Serial, Splendid Table and all food related ones. It kinda keeps me from hating cooking if I’m being inspired while I’m cleaning. 
  3. Commuting. I don’t have to commute so much anymore (yay!) and I plan on keeping it that way, but when I was I relied HEAVILY on podcasts to make it feel like I wasn’t just “wasting time” in traffic. My favorites for morning commutes: Design Matters, Being Boss, Elise Gets Crafty and general business type podcasts. I show up to work feeling awesome and full of great ideas to share with co-workers. For the commute home, my brain is usually fried and I unwind (sipping an imaginary cocktail) with Joy the Baker or just music.
  4. Folding laundry. Blech. We all have this to deal with, yes? I love to listen to We’re About to Be Friends and The Table Set… because they make me feel more fabulous then I really am in those moments of sock matching and underwear folding. 

I hope this helps inspire you to find some awesome podcasts to listen to! 



Merkury Innovations Bluetooth wireless speaker, for shower and home. From groupon as a gift from my cousin, Kristina!

Minty green iphone case 

Find a similar black case as my favorite one here. 

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

May 2nd, 2015 Posted by Holidays, Lifestyle, My Favorite Things, Shopping 1 comment

   mother's day gift guide 2015

My Mom is such an inspiration! She’s an athlete, and business woman and a regular gal pal. She just recently became a grandma too! So I think this Mother’s Day is extra special. I have so many ideas in my head, I don’t know what to do! But here’s a TON of ideas for original stuff to get your Ma this year. 

Etsy lovers: 

If you love the unique, or if your Mom does, check out Etsy. Just make sure you allow time for delivery. 

My Mom likes astrology and the moon, and she loved this poster. If your Mom is into that, get her this! It’s beautiful. I got this one for Joel too. 

Little Low has AH-dorable cards, art prints, and more. I especially love the “what’s in bloom” posters, the flowers version, and the garden version. (photo from Little Low’s shop)

Little Low poster

For the NEW Mom in my life, I’ve got my eye on this custom monogram letter for the baby’s room. I also love these stylish baby headbands. So cute! 

Artistic Moms and those who love texture (and tea or coffee) would love one of these mugs. So pretty and detailed. 

Athletic Moms:

You can never have too many yoga pants! Since I work from the comfort of my own home, I have been buying more and more. But my Mom actually DOES work out, so I think she would put these to good use!

I love anything made by Lucy. I have a basic black pair from 10 years ago and I swear to god, they haven’t worn a bit! I even gained weight and they have enough stretch to still fit. I love these pants! 

I just got this workout top from Old Navy, and I love it! It’s modern and comfortable.

Moms who love to help a cause:

Check out this online store that works with artisans in Haiti and imports delicious coffee! I have to say, I’m biased, because it’s run by my bestie. 


For those interested in something more recent they can help out with, you can send a donation to Nepal in the name of your Mom. There are several sites that do this, but here’s one through Crowdrise

And last, but not least… Foodie Moms! 

These are so everywhere… Weck jars. You can get the best deal if you go to the Weck website. Fill them with fancy flours (see what I did there?) or your special biscuit mix or in my Mom’s case, some gluten-free flour mix and Mom will have something delicious to eat AND look at. I think I just figured out my own Mother’s Day game plan! My Mom also loves my Almond Milk, so maybe I’ll give her some of that too.

almond milk-18

Spiralizers are also everywhere! If your Mom has one of those already, check out some of these cookbooks just for this of-the-moment tool. 

I’m kinda a spice junkie and I love to share new ones with my Mom too. If your Mama is the same, check out or get her a gift card to The Spice and Tea Exchange or Penzeys

If your Mom loves going out, see what restaurants in your area would be interesting to her. A couple I know my Mom likes are Prasad in the Portland Pearl District, Mother’s Bistro and I think she would really like Kiva which is a spa AND a restaurant. Such a smart idea! Instagram shot below of a co-worker lunch I had there.

kiva cafe portland oregon

For more ideas, crafts, recipes and downloads for Mother’s Day, check out my Pinterest board

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 5.55.54 PM

I hope you and YO’ MAMMA have a super happy Mother’s Day! 

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