kelsey & brad's wedding invitations

Am I the only person that tends to prolong blog posts just to hold onto them a little bit longer? Yes? Well, for whatever reason - perhaps a combination of laziness, ADD and wanting to save this sweet little post - I finally got around to posting this lovely wedding invitation suite I designed a little over a year ago.

Kelsey and I used to work together and have since both moved on to new jobs, and for Kelsey, a new state to call home. She's blogging about her new life in the South at North Living South, offering up southern style decor tips, DIYs, places to visit and more. Rewind to February/March of last year when Kelsey and I kicked off our first meeting to discuss save the dates, and eventually wedding invitation design. Armed with a color palette and design inspiration, we landed on a casual yet elegant bohemian vibe in a navy and mint palette.


A map was drawn on the back of the accommodation card, showing guests the location of the wedding venue and hotel.


Watercolor flowers were hand-painted in coral, mint, mustard and ivory to complement the navy and mint palette. A kraft paper belly band with white polka dots tied all of the wedding invitation pieces together, presenting a romantic bohemian package for lucky soon-to-be wedding guests.

I'm so glad I got to work with Kelsey to bring her ideas to life!

before & after / our guest bedroom

Back in the spring, I pulled together inspiration to re-do our guest bedroom on a tight budget and a tight timeline. I went all HGTV on myself, got 80% of it done in the timeline, then a failed DIY headboard attempt slowed me down and I decided to focus on our front porch re-do instead. Nothing like a classic case of design ADD!

The guest bedroom has sat untouched since May, so I figured until I finish the last 20% of the project, I'll share what it looks like now. Here is a little recap of where I started:

The room was dark and heavy, the walls were textured like sandpaper (why do people do this?!), the decor was recycled from our rental days and felt pretty masculine. It didn't fit the overall aesthetic in the rest of the house and was begging for white walls. White paint = game-changer, always.

I set a budget of < $300 and pulled together this inspiration:

Overall, I wanted the room to be light, bright and calming with minimal color... various tones of blue and white to blend the room in with the rest of the house, with little pops of color here and there. With < $300 to work with, I am pretty pleased that the room is 80% complete and I still have $90 to work with, thanks to IKEA, CB2 and Target for their affordable decor!

I saved money by DIY-ing a lamp that we already owned - see the Rebecca Atwood-inspired DIY here - and used the furniture that was already in the bedroom, that was my moms as a child (and the rocking chair she used when I was a baby!). With the remaining $90, I will make a headboard and shelf that will go above the bed to hold art and plants.

Here is what the guest bedroom looks like today:


Check out the abstract artwork courtesy of my talented nephew... one for me, and one for Uncle Tim! I can't wait to hang these.


I painted the walls in White Dove by Benjamin Moore and straight-off-the-shelf high gloss ultra bright white paint for the trim. It was the most rewarding, refreshing paint job ever to cover up the hideous brown and I learned how to properly caulk and paint trim for the first time. I even bought a trio of special paint brushes that I will reserve for trim only... I'm taking my new skill very seriously! I haven't painted the doors yet, and I'm still debating between the ultra bright white or a pop of color... thoughts?

The headboard and shelf still need to be made and will fill the void above the bed. Art will hang on the wall opposite the mirror, and it will finally feel like a calming, cozy retreat - and a finished space! I have issues finalizing rooms in our house as they're always evolving, but since the guest bedroom is rarely used, I'm hoping that once it's complete I'll be happy to leave it alone. That would be a first ;)

And since I'm such a sucker for a classic before & after (or, 80% complete rather than "after"), here it is:

Although I didn't stick to my original HGTV-style timeline, I really enjoyed the challenge of keeping everything within a tight budget and focusing on one room at a time. Now that the guest room is almost complete, we're deciding among the master bedroom, the kitchen or our dreaded post-flood basement to tackle next. While the basement requires the most attention, it's also the most out of sight, out of mind room. I'll be sure to share what's next!

In the meantime, how do you stay focused and avoid design ADD? I need some tips!

colin & mary's birthday invitations!

A few weeks ago, we celebrated Colin and Mary's 5th and 2nd birthdays. As two bright and spunky little kids who have summer birthdays, the color scheme was easy - bright! - just like last year's invitations. Since they share a birthday and birthday party, for now, it's an interesting challenge to come up with an appropriate theme for both kids. Last year's theme was celebratory - balloons! This year, we went with watercolor. It's summery, colorful, and easy to customize with Colin and Mary's favorite colors.


After playing around with different geometric shapes and patterns, I went with a simple and sweet design: watercolor "confetti". Colin's bedroom is a jungle theme so I used shades of green, blue and yellow. Mary's bedroom is full of pink and gold (and girlfriend loves to accessorize), so I used shades of pink, orange and yellow. In order to keep the design sweet and simple, both sides of the invitation were the same look and feel with one side for Mary, and one side for Colin. The invitations were printed on a heavy uncoated cover stock that mimicked the look of watercolor paper, making each invitation look hand-painted.

Their birthday party was a gorgeous summer day and we decorated with crepe paper streamers, balloons, and the most ridiculously beautiful watercolor garland that was handmade by my sister. She hand-painted all of the paper, punched out the garland circles, and sewed them together... she is the most patient, crafty, adorable mama. We helped decorate before guests arrived, and Uncle Tim made Colin the coolest Michelangelo crepe paper headband. So, of course, Mary needed one, too :) like I said, she loves to accessorize! Who can blame her.


I can't wait to see their personal styles evolve over the next year, helping to determine what their 6th and 3rd invitations will look like! In the meantime, I would seriously like to stunt their growth and keep them this age forever. Colin still tolerates me smothering him in kisses and hugs, holding him like a little baby in my arms, and thinks I'm cool (even though Uncle Tim is and always will be 10x cooler). He's so sweet, so brilliant, and becomes more independent every day, breaking my heart and making me so proud of him. Mary is quite possibly the cutest little lady, full of spunk and attitude in the most hilarious way. She has the funniest giggle/cackle and sense of humor, and can totally hold her own with her big brother. She calls Tim "Tim", not Uncle Tim, which is so funny because I imagine her thinking he's just her (really) big friend she hangs out with. She loves a good hair bow, lets me hold her all of the time when I'm around, and is also tolerant of my smothering hugs and kisses - for now.


Happy birthday, you little peanuts! I love you so much!

artist spotlight / pantone smoothies

Happy Monday! I hope you had a great weekend, enjoying the last few weeks of summer. While it's starting to feel like fall, we won't be done with summer until late September and I'm holding on tight until the season is officially over.

Nothing says summer like bright colors, ripe fruit and refreshing smoothies, so I was excited to discover the Pantone Smoothies series by Hedvig Astrom Kushner, a "delicious color experiment" that matches smoothies to Pantone swatches. Kushner, a Swedish art director working in NYC, realized that making smoothies was similar to mixing paint and wanted to see if it was possible to color-match smoothies to any particular Pantone swatch.


Pantone Smoothie 7520

½ cup fresh strawberries
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
½ cup milk
¼ pineapple slice
1 tbsp creamy peanut butter
1 tsp honey

INSTRUCTIONS: Place the strawberries, yogurt, milk, pineapple chunk, peanut butter and honey in a blender. Puree until very smooth. Serve with ice. 


Pantone Smoothie 610U

1/3 avocado
1/3 mango
1/3 cucumber
Juice from ½ lime
½ cup coconut water
1 tsp honey

INSTRUCTIONS: Ultra fresh summer flavor. Mix and enjoy. 


Pantone Smoothie 644

2/3 cup of almond milk
½ cup blueberries
½  bananas
1/3 tsp spirulina

INSTRUCTIONS: Mix it all together, add ice. Spare a few berries for garnish.  


As a huge lover of color and Pantone swatches myself (see my Color Profile posts on blush, citron, fuchsia and indigo), I love how experimental and playful this series is. It reminds me of another really strong Pantone series from last year; Food Art Pairings from Dschwen.

While summer is still here and the weather is warm, experiment with your own smoothies! Think you can color match to your favorite Pantone color?