Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Etsy Purchase - EeeBee & Jack: Happily Ever After

The kitchen is the last room in our condo that needs to be repainted.  Patches of the walls already have the new paint color on them, but with all the cabinets and nooks and crannies, we have put off completing the project.  Despite the work-in-progress paint job, I recently bought a cute print to hang on the wall.  I spotted it while browsing Sherry from Young House Love's Pinterest and had to have it... the saying, the color, and the font were just right.
from Eeebee & Jack's Etsy shop
This adorable print is from EeeBee & Jack on Etsy (you can customize the color, or pick out another fun quote).  The mix of vintage and modern works well, and I love how it complements the other turquoise-and-white items in our kitchen. Plus, it's a little bit cheesy but true... this is our happily ever after.

Our print in a white frame

How cute is the card enclosure?
Front: You are my happy.
Back: (give this card to someone you just adore.)
*sorry for the poor picture quality
Here's a little peek at some of the items in our kitchen... can't wait to hang up the new print!
Pardon the mess...
Decor above the kitchen cabinets/the soffit
(the lights and little tiles supporting the bowl aren't visible from the ground)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Happy Easter!

Have a blessed and happy Easter!  I'll be back with some fun posts next week...

Monday, April 18, 2011

Tickled Pink - Baby Shower Fun

Though this weekend was busy, I enjoyed every moment of it.  Friday night was lowkey, hanging out with my sister A who was in town, making dinner and catching up on some magazine reading.  Saturday included brunch with a college friend who was in town (so good to catch up!), errands, yoga, Mass, and a friend's birthday party (casino night!).  And Sunday consisted of a baby shower for Scott's cousin's wife and a long walk with a friend - and some homework.

Because babies, parties, and pink are all so fun, I wanted to share some of the party details.  Scott's mom hosted the shower (the theme was "Tickled Pink") and did a fantastic job.  Since you all know how much I love planning celebrations, I was happy to help out a bit.

I made this cute, easy-to-construct banner, following instructions from a post on Marta Writes.  All I needed was a quick trip to Michael's for scrapbook paper, cardstock, and ribbon. 

After cutting each piece of scrapbook paper in half to create 12x6 sheets, I drew letters on the back of cardstock, cut them out, and taped them to the paper with little rolls of tape.  (It's easier to print out the letters but since I need to hook up the printer to my computer, I just chose a font, enlarged it on screen and freehanded - in reverse since I was drawing on the back to prevent pencil marks.)

A few hole punches and one ribbon later, the banner was complete!

I also made a giant cupcake cake - like I did for our New Year's Eve party.  This time, I used white cake mix and raspberry filling and added pink food coloring and raspberry extract to the buttercream icing.  Easter-colored M&Ms were the final touch.

Scott's mom made a diaper "cake" as well as a lot of delicious food.

Bloody Mary or mimosa, anyone?

After spotting adorable pom-pom decorations online, I passed the idea along... she ordered them from Sweet & Savvy Designs.  (The large size was very big, so she hung a few smaller ones and used a big one as a centerpiece for the dessert table.)

And guests could doodle and decorate onesies of all sizes while the mom-to-be opened gifts.

Time for me to get some rest... another busy week ahead!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

It's a Balancing Act

We all have a lot going on in life.  I feel like the most common response to the question "How are things?" has to be "Good but BUSY!"  Besides the occasional moment here and there or the rare vacation escape, is life ever not busy?

In reading the blog Makeunder My Life, I have not only discovered a ton of inspiration for living a life of intention, but I have also had the chance to connect with a bunch of cool people recently.  Jess of Makeunder My Life has developed a community of "Midnight Hustlers" - people who are working full-time while pursuing other dreams in their free time. 

I feel like writing - whether it's through blogging, grad school assignments or freelance work - is (and always has been) what I truly enjoy. With the start of Melrose Street Custom Content, I joined the group of Midnight Hustlers and have really enjoyed exchanging emails with a few fellow writers.  We share a lot of the same fears and frustrations, as well as many of the same dreams for the future.  Even when it comes to people who have different goals (everything from graphic design to jewelry, owning a boutique to restoring furniture), it is inspiring to see how we can relate to and learn from one another.

This week, I could really understand where Bethany of She Writes and Rights is coming from (plus I was so happy to see her mention of my post on the book Writing Down the Bones!).  It is true, sometimes you face a couple different paths you can take but you come to realize that neither one is easy.  Failure is an ongoing fear.  Uncertainties and questions surface on a daily basis.  But as Bethany has learned:

"We have to keep in mind the journey and not just the destination. We have to be willing to ask, how will I get there? And we have to be willing to go the distance."

For me, being extremely busy can be stressful... but if I am doing what I love and spending time with people I love, maybe "busy" is a very good thing.

A snapshot from Vegas - September 2010
(a brief but relaxing vacation from the busyness of life!)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Inspiration for Your Friday

I'm heading out of town for the weekend... a girls' getaway in Lake Geneva with a few of my college girlfriends.  I think all four of us are in need of some relaxation, spa treatments, sleep, wine and catching up!

Just thought I would leave you with some inspiring words...  The cover of a journal I received recently featured this quote and it is a wonderful reminder to be present in each moment... enjoy, appreciate, live!

Journal from quotable cards

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Announcing... My Freelance Writing Business

As I mentioned in my recent post about risk-taking, I have had some plans in the works.  After completing my first couple quarters of graduate school, I felt called to make writing a larger part of my life.  To that end, I have big news to share with you all... scary, exciting, wonderful news.
I have started my own freelance writing business called Melrose Street Custom Content.  After going through the initial steps required to set up a business, things are still a bit of a work-in-progress.  I am now working to build my portfolio and start taking on projects.  I'm interested in writing all forms of content, everything from marketing copy to magazine articles, blog posts to press releases.

Right now, the support and encouragement of my friends and family mean so much to me.  Taking this leap is very exciting, but the process of starting my own business is intimidating too, especially while working full-time and going to graduate school part-time.  I'm ready to take on this new chapter in life... 

If you or anyone you know could use some help with any type of writing project, please keep Melrose Street Custom Content in mind and contact me for more information.

Website: melrosestreetcustomcontent.com
Email: melissa.melrosestreet [at] gmail [dot] com
Facebook: Melrose Street Custom Content

And if you are wondering about the name of the company... Melrose Street is where I lived for the first four years after I moved to Chicago.  My girlfriends and I shared a fabulous three-bedroom apartment where we made a bunch of memories... lots of fun parties (including two engagement celebrations!) as well as low-key nights hanging out together.  Now Scott and I live around the corner from my old residence, so Melrose Street still feels a little like home to me.

Here's to the next chapter!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Etsy Purchase - Honey Pie Design

What a week... and weekend!  Classes started up again, so I'm excited to find out what this quarter has in store for me.  I think it will be challenging, but in a strange way, I love taking on just a little too much (surprise, surprise).  Maybe it's the sense of accomplishment that comes after I complete a big project or a tough course.  At any rate, I'll be mastering grammar and style rules, as well as writing a novella-length story over the next several weeks!

In the midst of my busy week, a package arrived from Honey Pie Design.  I had recently ordered two throw pillows for our bed, one with a monogram letter and the other with a chevron pattern, and couldn't wait to receive them.  Lana, the talent behind Honey Pie Design, worked with me to modify the size of monogram pillow from the standard 12x12 to 15x15 in order to match the chevron one I wanted.  She was also nice enough to send multiple pictures of the color to show the true shade since the "teal" I chose was a tricky one to photograph and view digitally.  (Just saw Honey Pie Design was included in Inc. Magazine's cover story about Etsy too!)

A view of the back of one pillow
The pillows add a great modern touch with the brighter turquoise color that complements our bedding set.  I think I need one more larger pillow to round out the collection (Scott has a tough time understanding why we need decorative pillows... haha) and at that point, I will have to decide if the round roll pillow still works.

In other home improvement news, we painted the second bedroom last weekend so it is now the same color as our master bedroom.  It is unbelievable how much bigger and brighter the second bedroom looks now that it's not half dark green/half light brown (believe it or not, the trim was painted red... we'll be replacing it soon!).  Scott's parents also came to the condo today so his dad could add some trim to our kitchen cabinets to hide the under-cabinet lighting.  It's great to have the home updates moving again!

I want to think summer is not too far away after the warmer weather we had the past couple days.  Feeling the sun on my face while I hung out on the porch of my best friend's new apartment and while I walked along the lake path made me so ready for summer barbeques and warm sunshine.  Hope you all enjoyed the weekend... it always passes too quickly! 

P.S. Our book club meeting was postponed until next month since this book is a longer one and everyone was super busy the past couple weeks.  I am almost done with Cutting for Stone... a really interesting story and once you get into it, definitely a page-turner!


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