Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018

2017 : YEAR IN REVIEW

Early this morning with coffee in hand, staring out my window to an unusually cold and gloomy day I finally have time to reflect on 2017 and begin working on my goals and ‘to do’ list for 2018.  Naturally, a few days behind due to the hustle and bustle of the past few weeks.  With Christmas, family being in town, all the holiday parties, and traveling to photograph my friends wedding on New Years Eve (plus keeping up with client work) it’s been hard to find time for myself…prioritizing is obvi a goal for the new year.  If I’m being honest I didn’t feel ready and refreshed for a new year like in years past. This year was hard and exhausting to say the least. And while I achieved some professional successes in 2017 personally I felt a little down and all the terrible things that have happened in the world this past year haven’t helped.  I lost my grandfather in October and up until then I’ve had all four grandparents in my life, this was a hard realization of getting older. It’s also just tough to see your family struggle through sadness.  A month before we were evacuated for hurricane Irma which was just crazy (I wrote about it here). With successes there is also disappointment and the hard fact that you are just not going to please everyone or get every job you wanted.  I, unfortunately, am one to dwell on things and wonder what I could have done better / why I didn’t do better…This is one thing I understand I need to let go of to move forward into a new year of happiness and success.  I did my best. That’s all I can do and now it’s time to press on and remember what exciting things await me (us).   Not trying to be a negative nancy, I’m just feeling like it’s more important, in these days of the perfect social media photo, to let you all know it’s not just painted sunshine and rainbows over here.  Running my creative business is the hardest thing in my life. But it’s also been the most rewarding. We’ve come so far and I couldn’t have done it without the love and support of family, friends, and you all that follow along on this journey.  That all being said, there certainly were many things to celebrate and many happy times too! Let’s take a stroll down memory lane and revisit the fun stuff…

At the beginning of 2017 I developed the biggest collection of stationery yet, so many designs that I feel really proud of and that feel very ‘me’ 

Early in the year I worked on an exciting project for Saks! My floral illustrations were featured in their online bridal shop (also on Bay and Lord & Taylor!)

In February we showed at NY Now for the first time. It was a huge show, we had a huge booth, it was a lot of work but so much fun and the payoff has been amazing. See my full post here

Also while in NYC we enjoyed a few days off and got stuck in the blizzard which we honestly LOVED. It was so much fun and absolutely gorgeous (remember Hunter and I both grew up in Florida, ha). Definite highlight of the year.  See more pics in this post

We renovated our kitchen and it was featured on Apartment Therapy! More here

I moved into a new (& bigger) studio which has been so much fun to decorate and create in.  We also did an open house all last month so it was pretty awesome to have guests and friends come enjoy the space and shop my collection!

In April we went to Puerto Rico to photograph my friends wedding (sharing more on the invites soon). We of course did some sight seeing which you can revisit here

After Puerto Rico we hopped over to Dominican Republic for Hunters birthday.  We literally did nothing and just relaxed which I’ve never done before on vacation. It was nice. lol. More here

Then we had my friends Molly & Austins wedding in Boca Grande. We photographed and did all the stationery (more pics to come). It was recently featured on Southern Weddings here

The next week we jumped back on a plane for NYC for the National Stationery Show.  NSS is my FAVE! Such a good energy at the show and always fun to catch up with industry peers, see buyers of our stores, and hustle stationery of course.  This year was extra special because Stationery Trends named me a designer to watch in 2017.  We were invited to a dinner with the other 9 designers to watch sponsored by Mohawk paper. It was fun to meet everyone and enjoy a lovely evening after the craziness of the show. We also went to Minted’s party and did some exploring per usual. More here

Above & Below are two of my favorite custom wedding suites from the year.  I have so many favorites and so many wonderful clients it’s too hard to chose.  These two stand out, both couples and their wedding teams (Gold Leaf Event Design and Laurel & Rose) were the sweetest and had such a fun vision for the day.  It’s really such a joy to work with my creative couples on their invitations.  I am so thankful for each and every client that chose to work with me on their wedding this past year. You guys keep me on my toes and help push my creativity!  Y’all are the seriously the best! 

I can’t do a ‘best of’ post without including Blade since he’s a big part of our life (& photo shoots!).  He turned one in June, yay! Which hopefully means he will leave his toddler stage and start behaving soon. ha. Love this guy a little too much. Below we’re matching c/o Tail Wag

Re-released Hallmark cards out in stores and below a new holiday collection I designed for them this year! 

And finally, by far the most exciting thing this year was the release of my collaboration with Anthropologie! Cue Confetti!  This project meant so much to me being a long time fan of Anthro.  It has always been a goal of mine to work with them. Dreams do come true, guys. Shop my collection on Anthropologie here (it’s also in stores).

 

There you have it.  My highs and lows of 2017.  From the bottom of my heart, thank you. For supporting this business, shopping on etsy, reading this blog, following on instagram, etc.  I appreciate you all and hope you know you contribute to making this dream work.  I’m beyond grateful to wake up everyday to something I love and that fulfills me.  I can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store.  I am taking the rest of the week to finish projects and get the house and studio organized. See you back here soon with some exciting new things.

Wishing you the happiest & most full, best year yet! 

XO

 

 

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Friday, December 29th, 2017

STRAWBERRY ALMOND SCONES

I made two batches of these last week for Christmas breakfast and my gift exchange with my girls.  They were so good and quick / easy to make.  I’ve had a few failed attempts at scone making but these were just perfect.  You could substitute the strawberries and almonds for pretty much anything…blueberries, cranberries, any kind of berry. Or ya know, chocolate chips 🙂

For the scones:

2 cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar 
1 tablespoon baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
6 tablespoons butter 
1 cup heavy cream, plus another 1-2 tablespoons for brushing 
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract 
1/2 cup sliced almonds 
1 cup diced strawberries 

For the lemon glaze: 

1 cup powdered sugar 
4-5 tablespoons milk 
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract 
1/4 cup sliced almonds to garnish 

Preheat the oven to 400. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour with baking powder, sugar, and salt.  Cut the butter into small cubes and work into the mixture with your hands to form a coarse meal, lumps of butter within this mixture are okay.  Add 1 cup of heavy cream and the lemon extract.  Stir with a flat spatula until dough starts to form but don’t over mix it! Stir in the almond slices and strawberries.  Transfer dough to a floured cutting board or counter top and knead it by hand into a ball.  Pat down the dough into a thick circle.  Then cut the dough into 8 even triangles.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and transfer scones to the sheet.  Lightly brush the tops with the additional heavy cream.  Baking for approximately 15-18 minutes and let cool completely.  To make the glaze, add all ingredients to a bowl and whisk until it is creamy.  I wanted to be able to drizzle it across my scones so I added more milk.  Top with the additional almond slices and serve! Scones are typically best served the day they are made but will keep for about 2-3 days in an air tight container. 

Happy Baking! 

XO

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Wednesday, December 27th, 2017

MY ARTIST COLLABORATION WITH ANTHROPOLOGIE PART II

I’m so excited to share part two of my collaboration with Anthropologie!  This planner is so insanely cute with gold foil and floral prints on the inside.  I’m obsessed!  The gift wrap book was so fun to use for the holidays. I also framed one of the pages from it in an 18×24 frame for our living room.  It’s been so fun to have these products in Anthro stores. It is especially exciting to have friends and family sending me photos and enjoying using them!  They are available online and in most Anthropologie stores, click below to shop. 

XO

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Friday, December 22nd, 2017

EGGNOG CAKE WITH BUTTERCREAM & BOURBON CUSTARD

OMG this cake is insane.  The perfect combination of eggnog spice in the actual cake and sweetness in the eggnog buttercream frosting.  Not too mentioned stuffed with a bourbon custard!  This was quite an advanced recipe for my beginner skill level in the kitchen but I saw it in Southern Living this month and knew I needed to try to create a masterpiece for Christmas dinner.  

I’m linking to the recipe because there are a lot of steps and ingredients.  I made a few minor changes like adding 1/2 teaspoon more cinnamon into the cake and I added more frosting between each layer and used a little less custard filling.  Finally, I did not pipe it as beautifully shown in the magazine but instead went for a naked cake feel lightly frosting the sides with the buttercream and added the rest on top.  I used a mesh sifter to dust confectioner sugar and cinnamon on the top for a ‘snowy’ feel and added these little tiny bottle brush trees I got from Michaels craft store.  Click here for the original recipe!  

This one took a while to get together but totally worth it! Happy baking! 

XO

 

 

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Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

US (+ OUR CHRISTMAS CARDS)

Us. In all our goofiness.  I love these photos captured by Mari Sabra Photography (she’s so talented!) I take a million photos a week but never really of us so these are so fun to have, especially since our photos from last year Blade was small enough to carry still!  Him and his big personality clearly make these complete.  The usual floral print + pink win for my holiday colors, I fell in love with this dress from Anthro and used it as inspiration.

Dress: Anthropologie // Boots: Free People // Earrings: Bauble bar // On Him: J.Crew & Herschel Supply x UO boots // On Blade: Copper Leaf Leather (it’s stamped with his name)

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