This summer is flying by in a whirlwind of beautiful events, beach trips, and homeowner adventures.

indigocoastalshanty

Our trip to Amelia Island, Florida, was so wonderfully relaxing. I disconnected almost completely from my phone and the internet and read the entire book Empty Mansions in four days. That’s what I used to do before I had a smartphone glued to my hand – read instead of bounce back and forth between social media outlets. I’m making a concerted effort to get back to picking up a book instead of my phone after our trip because it reminded me how much I love to be engrossed in a story. And by the way, Empty Mansions is a fascinating read.

beach-amelia-island

All spring and summer we’ve been diving in to various fun homeowner projects – well, not all fun ;-) Yesterday I finally found the perfect placemats and centerpiece for our new dining room table. I feel so oddly grown up to walk by this beautiful dining room and know that it’s ours. I’m not sure my cooking can live up to it – I think my decorating is probably better than my kitchen skills!

As enter the somewhat slower season for Charleston weddings, we have had quite a few fun events around town for us vendors. Cindy from Engaging Events through a wonderful 10 year anniversary party. Just look at that beautiful chandelier and draping in the tent!

engagingeventsparty

And the Southern Protocol girls threw an all out bash to celebrate the launch of their new space on Market Street. This is going to be fabulous. I had fun getting dressed up for the party and trying to figure out what “construction chic” meant, hehe.

me-soproparty

(photo by Jen Bearden)

I’m looking forward to the long 4th of July weekend, a baby shower I’m throwing the next weekend, and all the other good and wonderful things about summer. Not the least of which is the delicious produce. I bought 4 pounds of strawberries yesterday and I am quite sure I’ll eat them all. Better than 4 pounds of bread or chocolate, right?

How is summer treating you, friends?

We have really settled into homeowner life and I must say, it agrees with me. I’ve always been someone who much prefers a good book and a bowl of popcorn or a movie night at home to being out on the town, so having a little more space all to ourselves is just the thing.

With this wonderful warm weather, it’s also been a lot of fun to dive into “yard work.” I know it seems weird to call that fun, but isn’t it funny how as you grow up, tasks like that become so much less of an issue? I remember how, as a kid, it was the worst thing ever for my mom to tell me I had to vacuum the stairs or help in the yard,. While it may not always be my first choice of activity, I take a lot of pleasure in taking care of my life and home nowadays.

hydrangea

My green thumb is still developing. Batting 50% on these little vincas. Hopefully the beautiful blue hydrangeas and lorepedalum (I’m learning the names of all sorts of flowers and shrubs all of a sudden) will do better in the front yard.

vinca

The other fantastical thing about having a house is the grill. We got one a few weeks ago and we’ve had all kinds of fun with it already. Over Memorial Day weekend, we even tried out grilling pizza which, in my view, was a smashing success. There was something so nice and smoky it added to the crust, and it was so quick to make which was fantastic too. But my all time favorite grilling item: zucchini. It’s delicious. Try it.

Things are quiet around the blog, I know, but that’s because they are so busy in the studio. My previous estimate of program fans was grossly wrong – we will make closer to 2,000 during May and June. Coupled with all the awesome Fall weddings we are gearing up to make invitations for, it’s one giant paper party around here. Stay tuned for many sneak peeks and follow on Instagram for the on-the-go updates.

How was your Memorial Day weekend?

As I’ve said before, one of the very best parts of my job is the amazing array of new people I meet each day. Almost always, they are people embarking on something new – whether it’s a wedding or a new baby or a new business – and all the excitement and enthusiasm that comes with that brightens up my day every time.

doodleline

In one such meeting a new client mentioned that he thought the name “dodeline” was cool because it was like “doodle.” Somehow I had never thought of that. But if you know anything about me, you know I like to doodle! It makes perfect sense.

My major task the last week or so has been trying to get a new computer up and running. It is such a big job to move the huge files I end up accruing every year, not to mention the 300+ fonts that have to get installed. This is where minions would come in handy, but alas, I haven’t found any of those yet.

I have some other fun secret projects in the works I can’t wait to share, and otherwise wedding season is in full swing and the pretty suites are piling up. I sense a photo shoot on the horizon!

Happy Wednesday friends – what’s going on in your world?

…has a lot of these…

creativebusiness

…and very few normal office staples, like highlighters, I realized. Last week as I was trudging through Q1 bookkeeping tasks, I searched high and low for a highlighter, which I always had when I worked in any sort of clerical/office job.

We have Sharpies in every color, pens in various widths, special scissors, corner rounders, Popsicle sticks, every adhesive ever made, extra long staples, and you-name-it, but no regular ole highlighters. It kind of made me laugh to realize how different we are than your average office!

Luckily, I was able to complete the task sans highlighter but still in colorful fashion with the help of my Sharpie rainbow.

Happy Tuesday friends!

I was tagged by my fellow blogger Tiffany of Tiffany Lane Handmade last week to answer a little questionnaire and nominate a few fellow bloggers to do the same. These always remind me a bit of when we used to do those email questionnaire chains when I was like 12 and the internet was relatively new and we all sat around playing with our AOL profiles – did anyone else do those? But I love a good little survey, so here goes nothin’!

q-a-photo

1. Why do you blog?
I enjoy it and it supports my business endeavors in a small way. When I was little, I thought I wanted to be a writer, and maybe one day I’ll go that way. For now, it’s mostly for fun and dodeline and for staying in touch with all the awesome bloggers I’ve met.

2. What’s your favorite past time?
Hanging out with the hubs. Does that count? Otherwise – reading, riding my bike, making something.

3. Do you have any pets? If so, tell me a little about them!
No pets. I have newly refinished hardwood floors and a white shag rug instead for now. :-)

4. If you had the option of going to the desert, ocean, or mountains, which would you choose hands down and what time of year?
I think I would pick the mountains in the summer actually. I am spoiled because I am used to having the ocean all the time, so heading up to the mountains seems appealing and different.

5. Is blogging your full time gig? If not, what is?
Nope, it’s part of my full time gig though! I’m an entrepreneur, designer, stationer, blogger and variety of other things depending on the moment.

6. Sweet or savory?
Sweet. Very sweet.

7. Where did you grow up?
Here! Charleston, SC, one of the best cities in the whole world.

8. What is or would be number one on your bucket list?
I would have to say more travel. I haven’t been out west or seen the Pacific Ocean!

9. What kind of music do you normally listen to?
Right now I am on a country kick, but I have a very random assortment of music and I like it that way.

10. Bright colors or neutral tones?
Usually neutrals, but it depends on what we’re talking about.

11. Tell us one thing about yourself your readers don’t already know.
I am terrified of bees. Spend 10 minutes with me in the springtime and you’ll see.

Now comes the part where I pass the task on to some of my fellow bloggers. Here are a few of my favorites, whose blogs you should definitely visit if you haven’t already!
Carly Is Inspired | Why Girls are Weird | Style for a Happy Home | Kate Neale Cooper | Hello Hue | Mad Hearts Blog | Sea Island Drive

{{ photo by Seastar Arts | unrelated to the topic except for the fact that I love cupcakes and being enthusiastic }}

Growing up, Mr. Jack was always around. He taught my dad a whole lot of what he knew about building and carpentry – knowledge he subsequently used to help us on our new house.

2014-02-26 17.21.15

Mr. Jack came over one night after work to help us with the challenge of crown molding around the awesome fireplace Dad had built. I hadn’t seen him in awhile and it was nice to catch up with an old friend and introduce him to my husband and MIL.

Mr. Jack, you will be very missed, and every time I look at the beautiful crown molding in my living room, I’ll think of you.

Happy weekend, friends…

There is no rhyme or reason to today’s post, just some random things I like or thought of and wanted to share.

humans of new york

Have you ever seen the Humans of New York Facebook page?

humansofnewyork

It’s one of my favorites – the photographer uses it almost like a blog. Basically, he takes photos of people on the streets of New York and asks them a random question. Some of the stories are interesting, some funny, some sad. But I especially love “today in microfashion,” like the little Miss above.

the terrible tragedy of healthy eating.

kale

This post made me laugh – I stumbled across it somehow in my internet wanderings. I strongly relate. I feel like no matter what I try to eat to do the “right” and “healthy” thing, somehow it’s wrong. And as a matter of fact, I do eat a lot of kale, although I don’t know if it was grown responsibly….down the rabbit hole we go :-)

5K repeat.

runforadela

I am doing another 5K on April 12th and I am excited (?) about it. I still don’t love running – I like how I feel after I go running. But as goal oriented as I am, having something to “stay in shape for” is really important for my exercise routine I’ve found. Otherwise I feel a bit like I’m spinning my wheels. I really fell off the wagon with all the renovations and stuff, so I’m getting back on and really loving have a bigger neighborhood to stretch my legs in.

there was totally something else I wanted to say.

As with most conversations, there is definitely something I’m forgetting to mention. Oh well, another post another day I suppose?

Happy Thursday!

It has been a very strange and very busy week.

First of all, we had two more “snow days” that weren’t snow days at all. They hardly even qualified as ice days. Since we had that scare a few weeks ago with ice falling from the Ravenel Bridge, they are being extra careful and have had it closed. Let me tell you, that wreaks havoc on this little city, especially for us Mount Pleasant-ers.

IMG_5491

Anyway, between that and my second job – er, house renovation – and then just normal life, I feel a bit out of sorts. Isn’t it funny how you don’t realize how used you are to a routine until it gets thoroughly destroyed?

So Thursday afternoon I miraculously managed to get ahead of my emails and caught up on projects. With a little time on my hands, I broke out the vacuum and organized the office a bit, which is the only space belonging to me that isn’t in transition. Thank goodness. We’ve been so busy though that there were lots of stacks of papers, samples, and odds and ends everywhere.

Something as simple as a clean surface with everything put away can just make you feel lighter somehow. Like it’s all under control. It will be a little while before I can get to that place in the apartment & home spaces, but I’m having a great time getting to know our little home and making it ours. It’s a project but no one likes projects more than I do :-) Well, maybe my dad does. It might be a tie.

Seeing as how it’s Valentine’s Day, the hubs and I are taking the night off though to dress in nice clothes, avoid any dust / dirt / insulation, etc., and eat really good food. I can’t wait. Then it will be back to making our house a home! What are your plans? Happy V-Day + Valentine’s Day!

Photo Credit: Olivia Rae James | my bulletin board that’s been in every office since the start (given to me by my MIL – thanks M!)

Thursday looked like this:

bluebicycle1

Sunny and 74. With the sunroof down and music playing all the way home, I was all set to run upstairs, throw on my running shoes, and soak up some sunshine and fresh air. I grabbed my water bottle and made my way downstairs to leave it in my bicycle basket during my run, after which I would retrieve it for my cool down walk.

Ponytail bobbing and humming away, I tripped energetically out of the apartment, down the three flights of stairs, and around the corner to where my bicycle lives in the corridor.

My bicycle was gone. My beautiful blue bicycle with the brown leather seat.

bluebicycle

I swear I stared at it for a few minutes because, with the week I’ve had, I was sure it was much more likely I’d lost my mind than that it was stolen. Let’s just say I literally had a 20 minute conversation with the wrong Monica this week. So anyway, I finally realized it was in fact gone and I hadn’t lost my mind.

I scouted around our apartment complex and didn’t come across it in any of the other bike racks. So, to the office I went, where one of the girls in the leasing office promptly exclaimed, “I saw something about that on Facebook!”

Huh?

Apparently someone (whom I must not be friends with because I didn’t see it) posted something about coming across a blue bicycle abandoned in the woods a few days ago. We reached out but didn’t get an answer, and since I knew it was apparently in the area, I decided to turn my run into a recon mission. We have a few trails in and around the road on which we live, so I traipsed around for a good 45 minutes trying to spot my lovely blue bicycle, to no avail.

As I dejectedly walked back home, I passed by my former apartment complex (which is literally a mile from my new one) and I decided it was worth a try to walk into the clubhouse and ask them if they’d seen it. Upon telling my story, the maintenance man there said, “yeah, with a brown leather seat? I saw it this morning in the woods and leaned it up against a tree!”

“Perfect!” I said. “Take me there to rescue her!”

…to which he promptly replied it had disappeared not an hour later. Really?

Jason the maintenance man was kind enough to show me where he had seen my bike, and then we walked down the trail to see if perhaps it was there somewhere. During our walk, Jason told me all about the unruly teenage boys causing trouble in my former apartment complex. He seemed confident that they had something to do with it. It seems teenage boys are still picking on me even at 26.

We ventured over to where they hang out – under a bridge on the interstate, I mean what is it with boys? – no bicycle. At this point, I figured I’d done my due diligence, and Jason promised to let me know if he happened to find it.

Walking home with my dead I-phone, I was most annoyed. I love riding my bike and I was so looking forward to moving into a neighborhood soon where I would be able to ride it more. It was my graduation present from college and it seemed like such a shame to lose it in literally my last month of apartment living after all this time.

As I pondered all the woes of bicycle ownership, guess who should come cruising up the road on the most beautiful blue bicycle I’ve ever seen? Jason, the world’s best maintenance guy! Apparently, some well meaning resident at the complex had recovered the bike and placed it in the breezeway with a sticky note that read, “put your bike away.” I will, thank you.

And thus ended my Nancy Drew adventure for the week, and the case of the blue bicycle was resolved with a mostly happy ending. She’s a bit worse for the wear, but I got her back and that’s all that matters.

Happy Friday, friends!

Filling holiday orders and listening to Christmas music all day pretty much since Thanksgiving definitely has my holiday spirit in full swing.

prettybox-blogsize

There are so many cool Etsy shops and fun crafts I’ve found I’d like to share, but alas, it would be pretty counter productive to do that before the holiday presents are unwrapped. So instead I’ll ramble a bit.

Over the weekend my brother and I got busy making holiday cookies. That’s one of my favorite traditions – nothing beats a regular old sugar cookie all decked out like a Christmas tree in my book. Throw in some Charlie Brown Christmas and it was a great evening. What are some of your holiday traditions?

Yesterday Liv from Terra Locale stopped by and we had a great brainstorming meeting about some of her exciting projects. She was sweet enough to bring me a piece of her work – these awesome little ceramic boxes – with a sprig of berries in it. I couldn’t resist taking a photo of that.

Speaking of photos, I got a GorillaPod a few weeks ago and I also finally figured out how to deal with shutter speed and aperture on my camera. I mean, duh, what a dummy I can be sometimes :-) I don’t have a particularly steady hand when it comes to these detail shots, so being able to set up the tripod and step away I think is helping out a bit with my photos. I am determined to take pretty Christmas light photos in NYC!

What have you been up to lately?