Ready for the future. Photo by Bianca Alexis.
Looking back, 2011 has undoubtedly been one of the best years of my life. I got to pursue my passions full-on (graphic design and traveling), spent quality time with great friends and family, made a ton of progress revamping Wolfgang Manor and managed to cross quite a few items off my business to-do list. I’ve always found year in review posts to be refreshing because they remind you of all the great moments sandwiched between the struggles. These are some of my favorite events and memories of 2011.
The Magic of Paris: Winter 2011
Photo by Juliane Berry.
Ever since I was a child flipping through my parent’s photo albums of Paris in the 80s, I felt a connection to the city. I wanted to visit Europe before I turned 30 and Gala was my perfect travel partner. Paris was everything I’d imagined it would be and more. We stayed in the Le Marais neighborhood and soaked up every moment of the grandeur that surrounded us.
In part because of the neighborhood and the boutique hotel we chose, I felt like I was in a fairytale (yes, that sounds clichÃ©â€¦but it’s true). Magic was around every corner, from the cafÃ©s to the shop window displays to the beautiful florists. Contrary to the general American consensus, everyone was polite and helpful (even to non-French speaking me). I can’t wait to go back.
Hotel du Petit Moulin: Winter 2011
Photo by Juliane Berry.
A Christian Lacroix designed boutique hotel in the heart of the Marais? Yes, please! Each room in the Hotel du Petit Moulin is completely different but I knew which one I wanted to stay in. Gala repeatedly called poor Olivier who worked at the front desk, making sure we secured the perfect room. Complete with a wall-sized Lacroix illustration and a blood red bathroom with a heart mirror, it was love at first sight!
Shooting With Juliane Berry in Paris: Winter 2011
Photo by Juliane Berry.
When you’re taking the trip of a lifetime with one of your best friends who also happens to be a blogger, it only makes sense to get some professional photographs to remember the occasion! Wedding photographer Juliane Berry was so gracious and since she’s originally form LA, there were no language barriers. Some of my favorite photos were captured in between bouts of bed jumping!
The Blue Lagoon: Winter 2011
As if visiting Paris wasn’t enough, Gala and I stopped in Iceland for a few day stay on our way back to New York. Neither of us could quite come down from the high that was Paris but on our last day, that all shifted when we boarded a Mercedes tour bus to the famous Blue Lagoon in a snow storm! As we ran towards the lagoon in our bikinis, getting pelted with icy snowflakes, the whole scene seemed slightly crazy but I’m glad we got to experience floating through the glowing blue waters (while wearing sequined mouse ears).
New York: Winter 2011
Planning a European vacation with Gala meant that I had to book a ticket from Portland to New York first. Conveniently enough, New York is my home away from home and I got to live it up with Bianca for a few action-packed days of clubbing, dance parties and one extra memorable champagne-filled brunch.
Nigel The Llama: Spring 2011
I’d fallen in love with Nigel the second I met him in downtown Portland one fateful night in 2008 and again in Eastern Oregon in 2009. When I heard that he’d be visiting Portland early 2011, I hung out with him on two separate nights. What a handsome fella.
Seattle: Spring 2011
Since Seattle is so close to Portland, I make a point to visit at least once a year. It’s even more fun now because Joey lived there for 10 years and always gives me the best tours. Just like any tourist, my favorite stop is always Pike Place Market.
Wallpapering Wolfgang Manor: Spring 2011
Joey and I had never wallpapered before but three hours later, The Woods had creeped across our dining room wall. Next up: the living room.
Rocky, The Perfect Pet: Summer 2011
Before Rocky came along, I’d never had a pet. In my entire life. At all. When I met Joey two years ago, he made it clear that him and Rocky were a package deal and it didn’t take me long to fall in love with this snow white, temperamental little creature known in the dog world as a Chinese Crested. I love this photo taken over the summer with his ‘bed head.’
There’s a First Time For Everything: Summer 2011
I never imagined that I’d ever try golfing but when I got an invite over the summer, it was way too entertaining to pass up. Truthfully, I sucked. But when I was finished, I was glad I’d tried something outside of my comfort zone.
Girl’s Trip to LA: Summer 2011
Gala and I always have the best time in LA due in part to staying at The Palihouse. Oh, and the unparalleled vintage shopping. And the palm trees. And the fresh, veggie-friendly food around every corner (gotta break up those In-N-Out visits). And Disneyland. And Jazzi and Mary Bee. And Amy and Kevin hauling us down Melrose for even more shopping.
Letterpress Business Cards: Summer 2011
I’d always admired letterpress cards from afar but let’s face it, they’re very expensive to produce! 2011 was the year that I decided to step it up and invest in the visuals of my business. I love the cards soooo much.
Elf Girl: Fall 2011
My elf shoe covered feet ended up on a book when my friend Anna, a designer for Simon & Schuster needed some original art for a cover she was designing. The outcome was beyond awesome.
iPhone Leads To Instagram: Fall 2011
The little details in life were amplified once I got ahold of an iPhone and joined Instagram. Being on Instagram made me notice everything around me with a newfound excitement and gave me an excuse to share things that made me smile but weren’t necessarily meaty enough to make a blog post out of. Needless to say, I’m smitten! If you’d like to add me, my username is nubbytwiglet (surprise)!
Print Portfolio Revamp: Fall 2011
Between running my own business and freelancing for a number of agencies, I never seemed to have the time to gather up the work I’d completed. The longer I waited, the more overwhelming it became. Finally, inspired by the custom covers I had made, I finished my print portfolio by early Fall. And it felt so good!
The Big 3-0: Fall 2011
Turning 30 is not something that should be taken lightly! I knew that I wanted to celebrate it surrounded by friends in New York and since my birthday is just one day after Gala’s, we combined our parties into a low-key gathering at Bedlam. Joey flew in just in time for my party and joined our eclectic mix of hyper-creative friends for a party we’ll never forget.
The Wondertwins: Fall 2011
For years, Bianca and I have jokingly referred to ourselves as The Wondertwins and we decided it was time to do a joint shoot (in matching dresses) in her living room. At midnight. Can you tell that we were having the time of our lives?!
Shooting With Lydia Hudgens: Fall 2011
I’d only known Lydia from brief online encounters but the second we met in person, we clicked (it doesn’t hurt that she’s also a Virgo!) She has a fantastic editorial sense and three shoots later, I’ve not only found a great photographer, I’ve also made a great friend.
Web Portfolio Revamp: Winter 2011
Perhaps even more daunting than completing my print portfolio was the web version I had in mind. Designed to be a sort of retrospective with projects ordered from the beginning of my career to the present time, it took a solid week to complete but getting that personal to-do item crossed off my list was a small victory.
My Cross To Bear: Winter 2011
For 2012, I have a fairly clear vision (or list) of what I want to achieve. Remember, 2012 can be as big and as bright as you want it to be. Here’s to new dreams, resolutions and goals! Thanks for joining me on this journey.