26 January 2011

It's Just Indie

It took everything in me to come to work today. I pulled every trick in my book to make work more appealing. Wear something cute, drive instead of taking the train, get one of those amazing little croissants from the cafe downstairs once you're there. Well, I made it. Barely though. Everything in me wants to go home and sleep, but I've got one more trick up my sleeve to keep me here. And of course, I'm going to share it with you. I'd like all of you to meet one of my favorite tumblr accounts: It's Just Indie. A new indie artist/song is posted everyday or so. It's like a tiny little musical present waiting for me everyday. I hope you enjoy it & maybe it will give you something to look forward to. Listen now!

25 January 2011

The Miseducation of the Doodle

I've doodled my way through life. It started back in elementary school, continued through college and has now made it's way to my workplace. I've always been a visual note taker. The doodles have often gotten me into trouble when people pass by and think I'm not paying attention. However, pictures have always been easier for me to remember, and as it turns out I am not alone. A List Apart has a fabulous article titled The Miseducation of the Doodle. I don't want to spoil the article for you, but as a teaser, doodles help you to:

  • increase our ability to focus (especially when handling dull or complex subject matter),
  • increase information retention and recall,
  • activate the “mind’s eye,” or the portions of the visual cortex that allow us to see mental imagery and manipulate concepts,
  • enhance access to the creative, problem-solving, and subconscious parts of the brain, while allowing the conscious mind to keep working, and
  • unify three major learning modalities: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic

Read the article here and do your best today to brainstorm and solve problems the best way- by drawing them out.

24 January 2011

Check It: Surf Photos

Since the Bears lost, it's Monday and winter just wont seem to go away, I need to think happy thoughts. Happy, warm, new football season thoughts. It just so happens I found a new Etsy shop that's helping me out in this regard. Take a look at Elgarbo Art's surf photos. If these don't warm you up, I don't know what else to do. Hey man, I tried.

Get it!

Get it!

Get it!

19 January 2011

New She & Him Video

They are my favorite.

She & Him - Don't Look Back from Merge Records on Vimeo.

How To: Get Yourself to the Gym in the Morning

One of my goals this year is to start going to the gym in the morning. I'm not a fan of the after work gym rush, and I'm a busy gal with things to do. There isn't always time later in the day. It just makes sense to go in the morning. The only thing standing in the way of my plan is me. I am not a morning person. I'm not fully cognitive till I've been up for about an hour and have had at least one cup of coffee. Thing is, if I want to make it to work relatively on time and be able to get in a decent work out I need to adapt new morning habits. 

It all comes down to having a plan. When in doubt, I make lists. I made a list of everything that potentially keeps me from going to the gym in the morning:
  1. I'm too tired
  2. I need time to make lunch for work in the morning
  3. When I come back from the gym, I'm too tired to pick out something decent to wear for work and I end up looking crazy
  4. It's really cold in the morning- my bed is warmer
  5. I have to eat something before I go- I don't want to make breakfast
  6. I have to find my gym clothes

The Remedy
  1. Go to bed at a decent hour
  2. Make lunch the night before
  3. Pick out work clothes the night before
  4. Make sure the heat is on when you wake up, and find your favorite hoodie to wear to the gym
  5. Have a protein bar or something small- no cooking required
  6. Again, lay those suckers out the night before
Basically, if I do massive preparation the night before, I set myself to auto pilot in the morning and coast my way to the gym. I am happy to report, it's working so far. I could be missing something though. What's your secret? Do you do anything special to get yourself up and moving in the morning?

18 January 2011

House 8810

I've confessed my tea towel obsession before, it continues. I found a new online store with lots of goodies. Take a gander at House 8810. They've got items for the kitchen, around the house and for the kids. Go for the tea towels, stay for the children's alphabet sippy cup and office picnic box.

17 January 2011

Mmm, Bakelab

Friends, meet Bakelab. Bakelab, meet friends.

Bakelab is a retail and wholesale bakeshop working out of a licensed commercial kitchen. That means no storefront, you buy all the goodies online. I could go on with elaborate descriptions, but instead I'm just going to tempt your sweet tooth with some sugar coma inducing photos. Check out their shop and start drooling.

14 January 2011

Friday Link Party

Happy Friday, my friends! Another week comes to a close and I survived. This week was pretty great. I managed to catch a show at Lincoln Hall on Wednesday, and I'm going to check out a new restaurant pub tomorrow. I'm gearing up for some good times, and I hope you are too. See you on Monday, and enjoy my weekly Internet findings.

Geometry post it notes
The Noun Project
Quinoa for breakfast?
Sweet Black Keys poster
Soap flakes
How to jump from a moving train
Hot type
Best in advertising
This blog always makes me happy
Letterpress for every occasion

13 January 2011

Project Bathroom Makeover

Misson: Redo my bathroom for under $100 without straying too far from the current orange color scheme. I want a vintage beauty shop feel.

Check out what I've found so far. Everything is pretty on theme, except for last item. However, the last item is just so fun, I don't care. What do you think of my finds? Feel free to suggest some more in the comments section.

Get it!

Get it!

Get it!

Get it!

Get it!

Get it!

Get it!

12 January 2011

Brand New Classroom

I really wish this site existed when I was in school. The good people at Under Consideration launched Brand New Classroom. The site provides "a space where the work of talented students from around the world can be showcased and critiqued." Just like the original Brand New site entries are posted, background is given and comments are provided. You get to vote and "grade" submissions too. This is a great tool for students to show off their work to peers and those in the industry. Plus it will really help develop a thick design skin for critique and feed back. Well done, Brand New!

11 January 2011

Thinking Yellow

It's so, so cold outside. I am combating this with some sunny online window shopping. What do you think? Cheerier already, right?

ClutchCuff  |  Cardigan Gloves

10 January 2011

06 January 2011

How To Guide: Have A Great Vacation

I just got back from an amazing vacation. I went skiing in Vail! I've never skied before, but boy did I have a great time. Now, you don't have to Vail to have a fabulous trip. Using the findings from my vacation, I've put together a simple guide to use wherever your travels may lead you.

05 January 2011

Order of the Mug

I believe in the power of vintage, do you? If you do and like surprises, you should check out Order of the Mug. According to their site, the Order of the Mug: advocates the glorified wielding of reusable beverage receptacles, shunning the feckless use of disposable cups (i.e. reusable mug = good; disposable cup = bad). MUG encourages coffee establishments globally to adopt a responsible code of conduct to discontinue the mass distribution of wasteful to-go cups; offering reusable mugs as the only option to thirsty patrons.

How can you not love that? The rules are simple. You send them $20, and they send you a sweet vintage mug. Check out their archives for some mug shots (ha!) and if you so desire request your mug today.

04 January 2011

Color Theory Infographic

Things are starting to pick up at work again, and the design gears in my brain are slowly staring to move. This is quite the fun refresher:

Color Theory Infographic from Sean Ferguson on Vimeo.

03 January 2011

Check It: Nice Cream

One of the things I want to do more of this year is buy local. My neighborhood co-op the Dill Pickle makes that pretty easy. I took a trip there Friday and found the most amazing ice cream- Nice Cream! Nice Cream makes seasonal, handcrafted ice cream right here in Chicago. They only use fresh & organic ingredients from local farms, and you can taste the difference. I bought some of the gingersnap cookie ice cream, and it rocked my world. Seriously, tiny bits cookies mixed together with bits of candied ginger. It doesn't get much better than that. The packaging retains the small batch mentality with handwritten fonts, and on the bottom of every package the expiration date is written. That's right- written. As in someone had human contact with the package and it wasn't made by factory robots. If you're in the Chicagoland area and want to try Nice Cream check out their site for where you can purchase the deliciousness. If you're not in the Chicagoland area, find your own local creamery and tell me about it!


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