Monday, July 30, 2012

Weekend Adventures: Houseguests Edition

Is it really already Monday again? I feel like I ask myself that question a lot, but I really can't believe how quickly the days go by... and I don't want to even think about how fast summer is going. Ugh. I had a mini freakout last week when I realized that this week is August. AKA back to school season. AKA the final days of summer. I'm never quite ready for summer to be over, but it has definitely been a great season so far.

Arissa & Cory, illustrated by Jen Mackin

This weekend did not disappoint... my bff Arissa came for a visit with her boyfriend Cory! It had been over a year since I'd last seen her, and this was the first time Chris and I met Cory. We kept things pretty chill all weekend... caught up on life and shared college memories, feed the swans off our dock, consumed lots of grilled food and tasty pancakes, and rented Jeff, Who Lives at Home (which we thought was a comedy but turned out to be a poignant, quirky little film, if you're curious.) It was a pretty great weekend.

P.S. How awesome are the portraits of Arissa and Cory by Jen Mackin?!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Summer Reading 2012

If you visit gathered heart in your web browser instead of following along in a reader, you might have noticed that I've been "reading" Design*Sponge at Home for months now. Months. The truth? I was reading the Twilight series and was too ashamed to display it on the sidebar. I know, I know... ridiculous. Honestly, I didn't even like the series. It's not a guilty pleasure or anything. The books were slow, the characters were one dimensional and the final book was incredibly anticlimactic. Boooo.

Anyway, I'm more than ready to get into some reading with a little more value and interest. One of my summer to-do's is to read ten books, and these are my picks:
1-3. The Hunger Games Trilogy | Suzanne Collins I'm finally reading the Hunger Games. I finished up the first book last week and I have about 50 pages of Catching Fire left. I don't even know what to say. I had an idea of what was going to happen in the first book since I saw the movie ahead of time, but Catching Fire is so good and has me asking so many questions. What's the deal with Plutarch Heavensbee? And the whole Katniss-Peeta-Gail love triangle? And what's really going on in District 13??? GAH!

4. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? | Mindy Kaling This has been sitting in my stack of to-read books on my nightstand since Christmas, so I'm really excited to finally get to it. Mindy is hilarious and I'm excited to read all about her awkward prepubescent years. (Side note: I'm also really excited for her new show on Fox!)

5. On the Road | Jack Kerouack I'm trying to keep things light with this reading list (as all summer reading should be) but I couldn't resist throwing in some classic Kerouack, and his tales of a cross-country road trip in the 1950s seemed like a perfect summer pick.

6. Tell the Wolves I'm Home | Carol Rifka Brunt This one is a wildcard... being a designer, I judge books by their cover all the time. This is one of those books that I walked by in Barnes, spotted the cover and decided I wanted to read it. Bold color palette? Fun typography? Silhouettes?! I'm all over Tell the Wolves I'm Home and I don't even know what it's about.

7. Just My Type | Simon Garfield My friend Keitha gave me Just My Type as a belated birthday gift and it's another book that has been on my to-read list for a while now. It's a NYT bestseller all about typography. From the pages I've skimmed, Garfield pokes fun of comic sans and calls legendary typographer Jan Tschichold a douche bag. Fantastic.

8. Sewing in a Straight Line | Brett Bara This lovely little DIY book made the blog rounds last year and I've had my eyes on it since then. My in-laws gave me a wonderful sewing machine for Christmas but haven't really had a chance (or a reason) to use it. I'm definitely a novice when it comes to sewing, so I think Sewing in a Straight Line will be the perfect way to brush up on and improve my skills. If you're curious, author Brett Bara has a few free patterns from the book on her blog.

9. True Believers | Kurt Andersen True Believers is another summer wildcard... I heard an interview with the author on NPR and was intrigued by the story, which bounces back from present day and the political turmoil of the 1960s. Why not?

10. Sense and Sensibility | Jane Austen Even though I own and have read the complete works of Jane Austen many times over, I'm looking forward to ending the summer with Sense and Sensibility. Christopher gave me this hardcover copy because of the beautiful design (by Jessica Hisch, of course) and the bright green spine is begging to be cracked.

For a while after college, I went through a long period of hardly reading anything, so I'm happy to be reading again (although I was busy being a newlywed so I totally have a legit excuse.) Chris isn't as much of a reader as I am, but I love when he's into a book too (he read all the Hunger Game books months before I did.) It's so nice to read together before bed or on a lazy weekend afternoon.

Do you have a summer reading list? I think after I finish this one, I might pick a few books out from the Gilmore Girls themed list that Katie over at Hey Little Apple Blossom shared the other day. Such a great list, right?! I haven't ready the Harry Potter books, either, and I think those would be perfect fall reading. Any other suggestions?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

New from West Elm

West Elm has been cranking out a ton new products for summer and I'm in love with pretty much everything from their July line. If I could afford it, I think I would probably furnish most of my house in West Elm. Seriously, that store can do no wrong.

Monday, July 16, 2012


A beautiful bouquet of zinnia and statice from the wedding

This past Saturday, my big brother Martin finally tied the knot! The wedding was simple, traditional and so very sweet, with beautiful farmers market flowers, delicious poppy seed crusted chicken and lots of love. He couldn't stop smiling and I've never seen Mary, his new wife, happier. I know their life together will be wonderful.

Congratulations, Martin and Mary!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Inspiration: Mustard Yellow

Let's talk mustard. I absolutely love it (the color, specifically, although the condiment is pretty great, too.) It pops up in my design work all the time and it's all over my home and my closet. I'm not exactly sure when I started loving mustard yellow, but it's probably been a good six or seven years. In college I would go on shopping trips with my bff Arissa in search of the perfect mustard cardigan/bag/shoes/what have you. That's real life.

A few days ago I tried on a pair of skinny mustard crops over my lunch break. I equally loved and feared of them. As much as I love mustard, I'm still questioning the whole colored pants trend. I love wearing color and interesting pieces, but I usually play it pretty safe when it comes to fashion in general. Yellow pants are not safe... but they are awesome. In hopes of gathering the courage to buy the pants, I've gathered up some mustard outfits from the interwebs as inspiration. 

Clockwise from top: 1. A breezy mustard skirt like this one seems perfect for summer.  2. I don't think I could ever pull off this look, but these mustard ankle pants are downright classy and they're so dreamy paired with that minty top.  3. I think I'm going to write an entire post about Moonrise Kingdom because I loved it. Seriously. The main character, Suzy, was quirky and adorable and had a great 1960s wardrobe. I particularly loved this mini dress4. This velvety yellow headband has been on my wish list for a while now. I love the way mustard looks with dark hair.

L: The minute Abby pinned this photo from Girl and Closet, I was obsessed with this skirt. I actually found it at F21 on clearance, but it had a major snag running across the fabric. I think I'm going to bust out the sewing machine and make my own.  R: Suzannah's yellow crops are pretty similar to the pair I tried on and she totally rocks them. And who knew red pairs so well with mustard?

The more I think about it, mustard would probably be the easiest way to break into the colored pants trend... they're kind of like khaki pants on LSD, right? Neutral enough to pair with some color, although I'd probably start it off easy with gray/white/navy... playing it safe, you know me. Everyone on Instagram pretty much peer-pressured me into buying the pants (hey, thanks guys!) ... but at $50 I'm definitely going to wait for them to go on sale. Do you own any colored pants?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Summer To-Do

Happy Friday! It's actually hard to believe that it's only Friday... I've been living it up this week on a mini summer vacation since the fourth. This means sleeping in, lots of reading and getting a ton of work done around the house. I've also had some time to finish up some freelance work and a few personal projects. I just completed one of my projects for the summer... an illustrated summer to-do list:
  1. Stargaze. When Christopher and I first started dating, we did a lot of stargazing. There was this empty field across from his apartment in college, and we would trek out there with a blanket and some Arizona teas. We talked about everything and looked for shooting starts, and I tried to calm the butterflies in my stomach. I think I will always love stargazing because of this.
  2. Go canoeing. There is nothing more peaceful than a summer canoe ride down a river. The way the golden sunlight filters through the overhanging tree branches is my favorite. I didn't get a chance to canoe last summer, so I really hope we can fit it in this year.
  3. Eat lots of ice cream. I think this is one pretty self-explanatory. 
  4. Read ten books. I haven't finished formulating my summer reading list, but at the top of it is the Hunger Games trilogy and Just My Type by Simon Garfield. I'll probably thrown in a Jane Austen novel for old times sake, too. Does you have any other suggestions?
  5. Take a road trip around Michigan. I'm not sure when this will actually happen (August maybe?) but I'm really looking forward to visiting some great Michigan cities that I've never been to: Grand Rapids, Traverse City, Mackinac and Detroit, to name a few.
  6. Spend a weekend camping. You know, I've never actually been camping. Growing up, my family was always more museumsy than outdoorsy. Chris and I have a trip planned with a few friends for the end of this month that I'm really looking forward too. We'll see how I feel about it once I have to pee in the woods, though...
  7. Fly a kite. The last time the mister and I flew a kite, it involved running through sprinklers, an angry janitor, and three policemen. Hopefully history won't repeat itself this time around. 
  8. Swim once a week. So far, we've actually kept up with this goal. Living on a lake, having in-laws that live on a river, and having a sister-in-law with a pool makes it pretty easy. 
  9. Campfires. Lots of them. Which of course includes lots of hotdogs and s'mores.
  10. Treasure hunt at garage sales. I went to a couple this morning but they were pretty disappointing. I think it has something to do with the heat, but hopefully I'll find some great stuff this season. I tend to gravitate towards vintage linens and nicknacks. I am my mother's daughter.
And there you have it, my summer to-dos. I'm going to print out this little illustration and hang it on the bulletin board above our desk to help remind me to live it up this summer. I really enjoyed working on this design. Who knows, maybe I'll make one for each season. Do you have any summer to-dos? I'd love to hear them!

Unfortunately, I don't think we'll be crossing anything off the list this weekend (aside from swimming and ice cream) because of this crazy 100+ degree heatwave in the midwest. We've taken to hiding out indoors... tonight we're are off to see Moonrise Kingdom (which has finally arrived in southern Michigan!) and eat some wings. SUMMER!!! Have a great weekend, friends.

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Story of Jess & Russ

Screenshot from

One of my all-time favorite designers, Jessica Hische (the mastermind behind the Daily Drop Cap and the font Buttermilk, to name a few things) is getting married. To another designer. And we all know that when two designers fall in love, a beautiful wedding website is born: Complete with a relationship timeline and wonderful illustrations created by the couple's friends. Best wedding website ever.