My design studio Branch just wrapped up a big project for beauty line Olivine Atelier and we’ve partnered up to do a year-end giveaway! One winner will receive their choice of a full-size Eau de Parfum from their collection and two runners-up will take home their sample pack. The giveaway is open until December 31st. Sorry, U.S. residents only. Learn more and enter here!
It took 5 years to have an official gathering at my house but Friday night, it finally happened! As a perfectionist with annoyingly high standards, I’d put too much pressure on myself to have our house perfect before we had more than just close friends and family over and I now realize how silly that was.
Houses are meant to be lived in — not perfectly pinnable, artfully decorated masterpieces. And I have Joey to thank for kicking me in gear, setting the date and inviting all our friends and family before I had a chance to backtrack!
With a Spotify playlist of soft rock hits of the 70s playing and our Christmas tree twinkling, Rocky slipped into his holiday sweater, I threw on some sequins and Joey whipped up some (very intoxicating) punch. And with that, our guests flowed in.
After the party started, I barely took another photo — I just wanted to soak up everyone’s company. As usual, my grandparents, Betty and Sharky were the life of the party. No surprise there! I had more than one friend pull me aside, completely blown away that my grandpa was 86! For the record, his secret to a long life is chopping wood all day (in cowboy boots), crisp mountain air and the occasional cold beer. Nice and simple.
I spent part of the night having the best conversations with Alexandra about the merits of new Country music, Hawaii, David Duchovny, Marilyn Manson and cheese. Though, not quite in that order. I am so glad she’s in Portland!
I had pulled up some punch recipes on Pinterest but Joey rejected them for his own mix. One sip later and I was glad he did his own thing!
Me: “Would you like some punch?”
Grandma: “Is it spiked?”
Me: “Yes, with Everclear.”
Grandma: “I’ll take some!”
As all the guests filed out into the darkness, I glanced at our table and thanks to hostess gifts, counted a total of 15 bottles of wine…and I’m not a very big drinker. So, it’s time to plan another party! I’m on a total roll now. Happy holidays, everyone!
What a week! Ahhhh! Do you feel that year-end rush of holiday parties, last minute gift buying and wrapping up loose ends on work projects all hitting at once? I sure do! I feel like the last few weeks have been on fast forward and admittedly, I’m barely keeping up.
I expected the end of the year to be quiet (what was I thinking?!!) but things at Branch have been picking up steam much faster than expected. I can’t complain on that end — it makes me happy that things are shaping up quickly since we’ve only been around three months now. Bring on the busy!
In other news, we’ve been trying to get our house together for our party but of course, nothing ever quite goes as planned! While some rooms of our place tend to look picture perfect, there are a few I’ve never shown (and for good reason.) The worst by far is the bathroom on the main floor which probably hadn’t been upgraded since 1928. Cue leaky pipes, terribly wallpapered shelves and layers of peeling paint. Joey just demolished it yesterday and it’s a pretty shocking sight. Hearing a crowbar go through the wall directly below my office freaked me out! Rome wasn’t built in a day and for my dream bathroom to happen, it had to be taken down to the rafters. Thankfully for our party revelers, we have two more bathrooms.
Tonight, I’m looking forward to catching up with family and friends and being a legit gown-up for once. I’ve never been great at party planning or entertaining and it’s time to start changing that.
Have an awesome weekend, everyone. I’ll see you back here on Monday with party photos!
I know a lot of you run small businesses so I wanted to share the article that I just wrote all about media kits with you. It covers what media kits are, why they’re especially helpful for small businesses and the top 10 things to consider including in yours. Check it all out here and let me know if you have any questions!
• A provocative piece addressing the so-called the death of blogging.
• The pro designer’s guide to working from home.
• Here’s how to charge more for your services without leaving your clients in the dust!
• This is one of the best free icon sets I’ve seen.
• When does the constant reassurance of “I deserve it” go astray?
• 50 DIY gift ideas.
• The 3 major flavors of writer’s block and how to get over them!
• Teenage girls, as imagined by an 8 year old in 1991.
• Do your parents keep guilting you about visiting for Christmas?
• 100 Photoshop tutorials to level up your skills.
• The Verge gathered up the the 50 most influential people of the moment.
• The golden era of spam comments has ended!
• I loved reading Kate’s post on love, marriage and second chances.
• If you need a cheat sheet for character codes on your keyboard, this website is for you.
• Who goes to work to have fun?
When you’re traveling for weeks at a time with a just a small suitcase and carry-on in tow, space becomes sacred. Each little thing you buy could be the point of no return when it comes to zipping your suitcase closed. One of my vices when I travel are local magazines but as you know, they get heavy and bulky!
One afternoon, Gala’s parents took us to a cute little coffee shop in Wellington and I spotted Denizen. It was amazingly good — the styling, the fonts and the layouts were all pitch perfect. One flip through and I was asking Gala’s mom where the nearest newsagent was! It was one of only two magazines I hauled back.
Launched in 2010, Denizen is an Auckland-based publication that focuses on the art of living well. It’s not just about a singular subject but more about a lifestyle filled with great food, beautiful spaces and a killer wardrobe. Learn more and subscribe here.
Designers have been using Dribbble for a few years now to share snippets of their works in progress. Even though I’ve been a big fan of the platform for quite some time, I only joined very recently because like many of you, I didn’t think I could possibly take on another social media platform — managing another account on top of everything else stressed me out. But every time I clicked through and checked out the amazing work others were sharing, I felt the pull of wanting to be a part of the community and finally joined in the fun.
For creatives, one of the highlights of Dribbble is that it provides an environment to get constructive feedback on your in-progress projects — it reminds me of the absolute best parts of design school. Engaging in an immediate critique with your design peers is so valuable.
There are a few other benefits of Dribbble as well:
• They have a job board that employers have to pay to post on so the offerings are really high quality.
• It’s a great place to make connections. I’ve already engaged with so many designers I never knew existed before I joined. The community is a friendly, welcoming bunch.
• If you upgrade to a pro account, you can have an icon next to your name that shows you’re available for hire.
• Businesses looking for a reputable designer can search and see who’s active and shares a style that meshes with theirs.
• A lot of work that gets shared on Dribbble inevitably makes its way to Pinterest and opens up a much larger audience for the designer.
Are any of you on Dribbble? Let us know in the comments so we can check out your work!