September 30, 2011

Five for Friday: Twenty-nine was divine

In a few hours, my Birthday Weekend will commence. The fiance and I will be on a plane to Colorado, ready to kick off my next year. I admit, turning 30 is a little scary. But the plan is to rock it out and embrace the gift of another year.

It's a little hard to leave 29 behind because it was an amazing year. I felt settled in Arizona, started my own business, traveled around the country, saw my family a lot more, started getting healthy and became involved in my college's alumni association. 

It's incredible the difference a year makes. Twenty-eight was full of transition and uncertainty, but it built a foundation for how great 29 was. So here's to 30 being even better and another 365 days of growing, loving, experiencing, laughing and learning.

1. Open for business

I really never intended to start my own studio, but it's been such a joy. Using my design skills in a different medium has been an incredible creative experience. The blog also celebrated its first Birthday this past year.

2. Adventure is calling

Working on a newspaper copy desk didn't allow me the opportunity to travel much, so I'm making up for lost time. Exploring the country (and world) is one of the best things a person can do for themselves, and I was blessed to visit California, Colorado, Connecticut, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Texas and Washington this year, crossing off a few more from my 50 states checklist.

3. Family ties

I traveled home to Washington a few times this year, and even though the trips always seem short, I cherish the moments I do have with my family. Celebrating my nephew's first year of life and being home for Christmas for the first time in five years were some of the highlights of 29.

4.  Workin' on my fitness

One of the best decisions I made this year was getting back in the gym and eating better. I'm not big on the 30-before-30 types of things, but I am proud to say I've lost about 30 pounds just in time to turn 30. Continuing to make my health a priority definitely isn't going to stop at 30.

5. School spirit

Anyone who knows me knows I'm a little obsessed with my college. And through the Washington State University Alumni Association, I've had the opportunity to channel that love into organizing events for our local chapter and beyond and meeting fellow alumni. October will see me represent our Arizona group at the fall meeting in Pullman and attend college fairs here in the AZ to recruit out-of-state students to WSU.

Revisit Fridays of the past here.

September 29, 2011

Fashion to furnishings: Birthday bliss

It's hard to believe it's time to blow out Birthday candles. What's even harder to fathom is I'm turning the Big 3-0 on Saturday.

It's been a low-key Birthday Week, which has been nice, considering it's about to get outta control this weekend. The fiance and I are heading to Denver on Friday for the Great American Beer Festival. Then we're making the short trip to Boulder to watch our college's football team play the University of Colorado on my Birthday (Cougar Football + my Day of Birth = Meant to be).

It hasn't been all chill, though. I kicked off Birthday Week by completing my first mud run. And I'm happy to report I was 35th out of 183 individual female finishers! Yay! We've also attended two really fun D'backs games, including a 10-inning thriller Tuesday night. Today, I'm getting my hair did and treating myself to a mani/pedi.

In lieu of 108 Birthday Week posts, I put together this fun Fashion to furnishings: Birthday edition. I was completely inspired by this gorgeous dress. And even though I'll be rocking game-day gear and not sparkles, this would be my dream 30th Birthday if I was having a traditional party. But seeing my college play in person on the same weekend as one of the biggest brew festivals in the world is a gift made just for me.

Get your party on: dress / cake / garland / confetti / balloons / invite / candles

Delve into the fashion to furnishings archives.

September 28, 2011

I heart art: The Summer Project

Want summer nostalgia without the sunburn and sand in hard-to-reach-places? Then feast your eyes on the dreamy art of Samantha R. Sano. The Dallas-based graphic designer returned to painting this summer and appropriately named her effort The Summer Project. Through the venture, she wanted to "escape the hustle and bustle for a while to take a deep breath, get reinspired before fall, drink lots of iced tea and jump feet first into the deep end."

So if you're not living in Phoenix where it's pretty much summer year-round (Yeah, it's still 100 at the end of September), then you should probably snatch up one of these incredible pieces.

Check out more lust-worthy art here.

September 27, 2011

In the studio: The Notebook

I'm so thrilled to share the latest project from my design studio, a complete revamp for The Notebook. Meaghan, a DC-based interior designer, is inspired by geometric patterns and a color palate consisting of blues, greens and grays, so there were ample jumping off points for a fresh and fun layout. I think we achieved a more cohesive and organized look that will allow readers to navigate the site with ease while incorporating Meaghan's design criteria.

Check out past projects in my portfolio here or on the blog here.

September 26, 2011

A healthier me: Mission accomplished

Sometimes all it takes is getting off the couch. Three months ago, I set a goal of getting healthy. And Saturday, I completed my first mud run, a three-mile course with mud pits, balance beams, hills and a lot of fun.

I felt a great sense of accomplishment, making all those times I forced myself to make a gym appearance worth it. I won't lie. Some days I didn't want to go. And some days I didn't (even though I felt super guilty). But the aches, hours of cardio and pushing myself to the limit culminated in crossing the finish line at the Dirty 6 Mud Run

It was publicly announced yesterday that former WSU and New Orleans Saints football player Steve Gleason has ALS, a terminal disease that damages the nerves that control voluntary muscle movement. The Times-Picayune ran an incredible story on Gleason and one of his quotes has resonated with me.

By no means am I comparing my fitness journey to Gleason's courageous battle. But what he said is so true. I was fearful of putting all of this on the blog because what if I failed?! I was fearful in signing up for the mud run because what if I couldn't complete the training?! Well, I'm here to say that once you let go, anything is possible.

A childhood spent playing in dirt piles and my natural clumsiness combined to lead up to this defining moment.

Find out more about my journey to a healthier me here.

September 23, 2011

Five for Friday + A healthier me: The moment of truth

Well, friends, the time has arrived for my first mud run. Tomorrow morning you can find me at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler getting dirty with a few hundred crazies. This journey to a healthier me is far from finished, but I can't wait to put the hard work of the past few months to the test.

I wanted to share my fave posts from the past few months in this edition of Five for Friday. Future topics will include fun playlists, nutrition and potentially training for a half effin' marathon! Thanks for all of the encouragement I've received via your wonderful comments and emails. They mean so much!

Find out more about my resolve to get fit then delve deeper into the Five for Friday archives.

September 22, 2011

Said it best: Assignment accepted

Things are quite busy around these parts, but in a completely good way. I'm gearing up for my first mud run and an alumni event at the D'backs/Giants game Saturday, finishing up a client's blog redesign, working on my letter of intent to take over our Arizona and Nevada alumni chapter group and finalizing plans for my 30th Birthday adventure in Colorado.

So when I came across these beautiful words (and amazing typography treatment), they really hit home. My world is anything but what I expected it to be at this point in my life, but everything I'm throwing myself into.

More inspirational words await here and here.

September 21, 2011

In the kitchen: Mediterranean basil salad

It's been super busy around these parts, hence the reason for my absence the past few days. The fiance and I had a blast in San Diego last weekend, complete with a successful alumni tailgate. We had a few hundred people show up. If only our Cougs would've won ... But staying at a rad beach house, a pub crawl in Gaslamp and making new homies and reconnecting with old ones definitely made up for it.

This week has been spent preparing for my mud run Saturday. And after the not-so-healthy eats and drinks that were consumed in San Diego, we needed a fresh and wholesome dish. Enter the Mediterranean basil pasta salad from our go-to pasta cookbook.

I left the dressing off to make it more low-cal and low-fat. If you decide to omit the dressing, a nice substitute would be skim milk ricotta cheese.

Still hungry? Check out more yummy recipes here.

September 15, 2011

Five (plus two) for Friday (on a Thursday): Technicolor sky

I'm peacing out early this week hence the Five for Friday today. But it's with good reason. The fiance and I are road tripping it to San Diego this weekend to cheer on our alma mater at their football game at Qualcomm Stadium. 

We're staying in a sick beach house with a bunch of our alumni group homies, and it's going to be one fun-filled weekend. We have a pub crawl in the Gaslamp Quarter on Friday, a huge tailgate before the game Saturday and Sunday will be spent searching for our livers, I'm sure.

In the spirit of travel and because I've been kind of a slacker around these parts (I'm working on a client's blog redesign), I wanted to share a few pictures from my plane ride back to Phoenix from my Montana adventure. (And I totally will post photos from that experience. It was everything I hoped it would be, and I basically want to move there, now).

I always carry my point-and-shoot in my purse because you never know when the opportunity to capture an image will present itself. And if you couldn't tell, I heart taking sky pictures, which is maybe why some of my fave photos ever were taken from an airplane.

I let my imagination take over while editing these. Hope your weekend is just as colorful!

Get your Friday fix here. Or check out more of my travel photography here. Or be rad and do both.
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