A Bit Off Track

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So, lets see…somehow it became August and no one told me. IMG_7667.JPG

But seriously, now it’s almost the end of August and I’m still confused. Where did this month/summer/year go? I’m scared to blink because then I’ll be wrapped up in a sweater choosing what bow to put on what present. I am so mad at myself because I have about 2 pages of blog prompts, ideas and things I want to accomplish with the blog. But right now my clients, work, the startup and my sanity have to come first. But I have some great posts lined up. I’m especially excited for my review of VinEdge, because it blows my mind and it’s pretty freakin’ awesome! What is it?! You’ll just have to visit their site or wait and read my post.

By the end of the day though my brain hurts…it literally hurts to think. I’ve been really strict with myself over the past month since I didn’t handle my anxiety well at all. A few things I put in place was earlier bed time (anything before midnight), No technology on the couch or bedroom, and in the morning I don’t check my work email until I get to work. IMG_7906.JPGThe other piece of my crazy puzzle is we move in less than 2 weeks. We actually just switched units and scored one with a yard for the pups! So now I’m double-pumped up about moving because they will finally have a place to run around and be happy! I’ve been mentally re-decorating and planning the new floor plan, as well using my early mornings to pin inspiration like crazy.

We’re getting the keys a few days before the movers bring everything in, so it gives me a chance to go a bit paint crazy, (because you know I can’t help myself) I just HATE standard apartment wall treatments. It might be the most tragic thing ever in the dwelling world. Why can’t they paint them all white? I always get stuck with the ambiguous taupey-sand color that looks good with….nothing.

In unrelated travel news, if you follow me on Instagram or are friends with me on the fB, you’ll know I took a spontaneous trip to Vegas for a night last week. And by night I mean I had 15 hours on the ground and bought my ticket at 8pm the night before I left. It was definitely an adventure and had been on my bucket list forever. I was straight up Dora The Explorer style. Everything I needed for a great night out in Vegas in my trust backpack, hair spray and mini deep eddy’s included.IMG_7844.JPG

I think I’ll do a blog post on how to survive Vegas with just a backpack because I survived and everything went according to plan. The only thing I didn’t plan for was how long my hangover would last. IMG_0279_2

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 We are notoriously bad of getting photos together. It’s on my list of things to get better at. This was the only picture we got all night and I was too busy dancing to play tourist. Next time Vegas, next time.

But seriously, about that hangover…it makes me think that this hilarious blog-post about Going Out in Your Early 20′s v Late 20′s is on to something,

Example, when choosing drinks: Early 20′s

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Late 20′s:

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(Just to clarify: while I love wine…I am also a cheerleader of Vodka, Rum, Gin and other assorted liquors and alcoholic beverages, I don’t discriminate) 

 

 

Enjoying the Weekend with Intel 2in1

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intel-wine-edge-15I’ve always been weary about moving into the Windows-sphere as I am fully immersed in the Mac world. But when it came time for a second device for work/play I kept finding myself battling with the urge to try something new. That’s when Intel reached out to me and asked if I’d be willing to try out their Intel 2in1 tablet, it must have been fate. (Or a very prophetic use of hashtags during my tablet debate I was having with myself on twitter, who knows!) But I was up to the challenge and challenge it has been!

The first few hours I felt pretty pathetic and had a good laugh! I could NOT figure out how to work this thing (disclaimer: I did NOT use the super useful how-to app that is right on the start screen….at first.) But as a very visual person I LOVED the tiles, especially the live-feed ones that flip every few seconds. The ability to touch the screen as well as type just made me giddy. I don’t know how many times I’ve jabbed at my Macbook screen, only to quickly whip my head around to make sure no one saw my flub. Once I began to get a handle on the operating system, I took a browse through all the great pre-loaded tiles and came across the cooking one. intel-wine-edge-7
We were having a casual date night in and my job was sweet potato fries, his was grilling out by the pool. This tile is fantastic! (tile…app? I’m still not quite sure what they are) Full of articles, recipes, how-to videos…and the best part is there is a ‘hands free’ mode! Using the camera you can simply swipe your hand across it to turn the page! (think automatic paper towel dispenser in the good ol’ ladies room) Genius. So I looked up my pre-heat and baking time via this little gem and then we headed outside to do some grilling. Well, he grilled and I sat and worked on my 2in1. intel-wine-edge-19Because it so much smaller and lighter than my macbook it was super easy to tote out to the pool and I was able to get a little work done! Facebook is right on the home page so I was able to easily check all of my client’s pages and then flip over to Evernote to take some notes for an upcoming meeting. intel-wine-edge-11The Intel 2 in 1 is about 2″ smaller than my Macbook and much lighter. The thing that really throws me for a loop is how perfectly it functions as a laptop with a full operating system. Yet I still get the easy of use of a touchscreen/tablet functionality for when I just want to flip through Pinterest or my Twitter feed.

I almost got distracted with organizing my home tiles and flipping through everything that I almost burnt the fries! So I had to race back in to save the poor little guys from burning to a crisp and they were just perfect! Grilled salmon burgers, sweet potato fries and wine dinner all thanks to my 2in1!intel-wine-edge-60

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#spon: I’m required to disclose a relationship between our site and Intel This could include Intel providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.

 

The Most Inspired Spaces

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I can’t believe it, but we’re moving again in just 3 weeks. We got more space (Ya!) and are heading back down to join civilization in South Austin. So of course I’m getting the an itch to redecorate and continue to define our living style. While I’ve already begun mourning the loss of the dalmatian wall that I will have to paint over when we move out, many projects are starting to creep into my day dreams. My home decorating Pinterest boards are definitely getting a work out. I figured it’d be nice of me to share a few of my favorite spaces that are making me drool. Call it design drool. sfgirlbybay

via SF Girl By The Bay

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via Design to Inspire

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via Smitten Studio Online

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via Style At Home

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via Ark Pad

Gimme, Gimme, Gimme!

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My Favorite Commissioned Illustrations

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My brain hurts from the work week. Bossman went on vacation and I’m left running the show. So naturally I’m unnecessarily stressing myself out over it. I’m having trouble switching my brain into blog-writing mode and my focus is elsewhere. So instead I decided I’d shared a few illustrations I found in my completed commission folder that I never posted…

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Custom Illustration for Lauren Callon

jessica stage ilustration

Custom Illustration for Jessica Stage

carolyne black illustration

Custom Illustration for Carolyne Black

glamour girl gourmetCustom Illustration for Glamour Girl Gourmet

Last week I mailed off 40 headshot sketches for the ladies at the Be Sage Wedding Conference in Chicago this past weekend. It was a whirlwind of sketching, painting and inking. Even J lent a hand in helping slice them down into perfect 4×6′s for me. I was on a SUPER tight timeframe so I didn’t get a chance to scan them all in :( But many of the lovely ladies posted them on Instagram! So I got to see a few of them again which is always a treat. I’m looking forward to a few of the blog posts I have scheduled. And by scheduled I mean floating around in my head…if we’re being honest. But still, I hope to carpe the fuck out of this weekend and actually get some stuff accomplished.

T.G.I.F amigos.

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No Bull$h*t Wine Review: Redux Zinfandel

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This wine review is long over due. It’s taken me a good week after getting back from vacation to get back into the swing of things. All my calendars are out of whack; work, blog, life…all are just a hot mess. But I took this weekend to regroup, relax and get my mind right. I have a lot of great blog posts lined up this month (let’s just hope I time manage and actually get them posted!) but today I have a great No Bull$h*t wine review for you guys. If you follow me on Instagram or have ever read my blog before you’ll know I love me some good wine. So of course once I discovered Club W I was hooked. It’s a great way to discover new wine. A few weeks ago my first box arrived with 3 curated bottles just for me! J and I decided to crack the Redux Zinfandel and pair it with some homemade cauliflower crusted pizzas! (Get the recipe here!)20140803-205303-75183199.jpg

The pizzas turned out great! And while I don’t think I would pair this wine with a pizza in the future…you can’t have a bad night on the couch with Netflix, food and wine! I picture us heading out to the beach back home in California with a big blanket and this bottle to keep us warm.

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I love the label! It’s beach-y, fun and super hipster. I dig it. So let’s review Redux, shall we: zinfandel-redux-no-bs-wine-review

I just received my second box and I’ve only had time to drink one…(sad) But so far I’m incredibly impressed with the service and quality. And I feel like they put a lot of energy and time into curating their wines. Grab your get FREE bottle of wine when you sign up here! And share with me what wines they curate for you!

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Lessons and Notes From Santa Barbara

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Santa Barbara was everything and more. Reconnecting and catching up with my childhood best friend was exactly what I needed. We haven’t been together in so many years, but it was as if no time had passed. It was hysterical to reminisce while comparing our lives now. The theme of the week was, “ewe we’re old now.” As we sipped our wine and decided to turn in early every night. 10559919_10154395496150532_7222650654628008613_n 

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I grew up in Northern California so whenever I get a chance to get back into my home state I embrace it. I just love it. I love my friends, the beach, the air and just the vibe. It will always be my home. I used to turn my nose up at Southern California like any true Nor Cal-er would, but it has most definitely grown on me and I could definitely picture myself there in a few years. 10384755_10154395495335532_31880826680235611_n

It’s so interesting how traveling gives you such a fresh perspective.

It’s almost indescribable how much I needed this trip, but I’ll do my best to elaborate. I left last week with a bad attitude about everything. I was just having one of those weeks. Stress, anxiety, tiredness, frustration it was all kicking in. Client work was kicking our butts (I almost missed my flight because I was so focused on getting a project done while waiting for my flight! They had to call my name over the loud-speaker…muy embarassanté!) But doing the course of my trip I got good sleep, laughed, relaxed on the beach, turned notifications off on my phone and allowed my mind & body to repair itself.DSCF0053
I also encouraged myself to try new things. For instance I sampled ceviche (and subsequently loved it). Hopped on a paddleboard tandem style with Tres…with a kayak paddle (don’t ask) to hang out with dolphins (life-changing). And tasted shrimp (not sold, but I gave it a go.) OH and went sailing (I have anxiety about the open sea). All of them produced a healthy dose of fear mixed with excitement and nervousness. I didn’t die, although if I was allergic to shrimp it would have been my first time going to anaphylactic shock and that would have been a story!

But I’m fine. I survived and I now have a new list of things I enjoy and can at least say that I’ve tried. I’m currently reading How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life by Scott Adams who created the Dilbert cartoons. I’m only a few chapters into it, but for someone like myself who puts a lot of pressure on themselves to be perfect or feels as though they have to do it ALL; it’s a great read. I used to be SO scared of failing or not being able to do something it was almost paralyzing. He talks about overcoming certain adversities he’s faced and how his failed ventures led him to where he is today. I was so overwhelmed and disappointed in myself before I left for the trip…

But by the end of the trip I was like, 10346205_10154395493920532_438816289977806594_n

Moral of my weekend vacation…try new things and drink good wine. (obviously.) 

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Can I Have That? ~ Travel Edition

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The rumors are true. I’m ditching work on Thursday to jet off to Santa Barbara for a MUCH needed extended weekend to catch up with my long lost best friend. August is going to be a crazy work month for me. I have a lot of exciting things pipelined, all of which will keep me uber busy, but they’ve got me doing red dress dance girl emoji all over the place. I love the anticipation and unpredictability when traveling. We can get so caught up in our daily dramas and stresses, it can be easy to forget how refreshing it is to step away from your routine to just go with the flow. And I can’t think of any better place to step towards than the beach in SB!

I snagged some new items for trip including this ah-mazing cloth & stone dress, a mini-mac bag from Rebecca Minkoff and these sandals that were on sale at Target. So comfy I might go get another pair (and they were only $13! Happy feet. Happy wallet) I also picked up a super affordable Panama Hat from TJmaxx, because I think I look bad in hats. Therefore, I’m scared to make a real investment in them. But I am crushing on this one from J.Crew! That lime green ribbon just makes my heart sing.can-i-have-that-7-23

Have you seen these Flash Tattoos yet?! I want to try and make it over to Everything But Water before I leave, but I don’t know if I’ll have enough time! They are just such a perfect glam treat for the beach! I’m obsessed.

This Kickstarter campaign for The Coolest Cooler…Not only is this guy a badass for raising $6.8 mil in a month, (he was originally trying to only raise $50k!), but his product is PERFECTION! I know first-hand how difficult designing a product ready for mass production and the complexities behind volume manufacturing. And this won’t be ready for a while. I will definitely be purchasing one when it hits the shelves, but until then this monogrammed sleek soft-wall ice cooler with speakers will have to do.

| SHOP THE POST |

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Follow me on my weekend romp around Santa Barbara via my Instagram!

Monday Motivation: Conquer Your Day

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Mondays can be rough for some people after a weekend of cheat meals, late nights, and too much dancing up in the club. (not that I would know as I spent my Saturday drinking boxed wine while building a website and watching Pretty Woman…alone. But my 21 year-old self remembers) So sadly I don’t think we give Mondays enough credit. They are our fresh start on the week. Monday brings an opportunity to press the reset button and begin the week a purpose; a clean slate. (unless you’re super hungover, then you need to clean sunglasses, advil and some of these remedies) Everyone’s will be different (Mondays purpose, not the hangovers), but for me it is working towards my long term financial goals and professional aspirations. This means I conscientiously work at becoming an expert at my job, while figuring out how to get my startup off the ground and building my personal brand. Those are just a few ways I set my intention for the day.

I’ll leave you with these words to consider as you go forth to kick Mondays butt! Click to Tweet this to inspire your followers!

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Rent The Runway Unlimited Beta

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I’m always a lover of a good entrepreneurial success story and Rent The Runway is definitely one of them. Talk about disrupting an industry. But that’s not what I’m posting about today. No, No. This morning I discovered via Twitter and this Fortune.com article that RTR is launching a new subscription service for designer accessories, bags, jewelry and more called Unlimited.

Jaw Drops. Rent The Runway Beta Unlimited

Yes, it’s true! And they are currently signing up Beta users for the sweet price of $75/month. ‘But Lauren, I’m a broke twenty-something that doesn’t have an extra $75/month to spend.’ False. You do, you just have to find it. I, for instance cancelled my yoga membership and will be combining my lunch and dinners for the next year. (just kidding on the last one, but I really did cancel my $40 yoga that i NEVER went to) This is WORTH it.

The average American buys 64 new garments each year, regardless of income, writes the author Elizabeth L. Cline in her book Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion. With Unlimited, Rent The Runway hopes to replace the wasteful consumption of low-quality goods with high-quality designer rentals.” 



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It’s super simple, think Netflix, but obviously way better. Let’s walk through it real quick shall we:

RTR unlimited beta

Oh this is fun! I went through and selected all my favorite pieces…RTR unlimited beta 2

Fancy shiny things, check.Screen Shot 2014-07-19 at 11.28.45 AM

New bags that I could NOT afford right now, check.Screen Shot 2014-07-19 at 11.30.42 AM

And accessories, check. So once I built my original queue, I had to actually sign up. Check. They aren’t charging anyone until they actually begin shipping out packages. This is so perfect for me as I’m constantly at war with my closet. Full of clothes with nothing to wear. Being my type-A self, I get bored easily. I often get mad at myself when I impulse shop and those items get either worn once or sit sad and lonely in my closet until its’ donation time. What a waste! I’m notorious for one-night stands with my accessories and clothes. RTR has now made it possible for me to have such one-nighters without all the guilt and shame.

Do yourself and your closet a favor by get on the waiting list for this fashion forward service by signing up here! I can’t wait for my first package to ship!

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A White Office Chair to Call My Own

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Found Media Group officially has a new home on the Eastside. But, as is the case with all new spaces, it is a blank canvas. And ya’ll know how much I love those. I immediately began rattling off decor that needed to be purchased ASAP: cowhide rug, throw pillows, baskets, fun prints….etc. You know, to spruce it up!

They. Were. Not. Amused.

They decided remote-controlled helicopters were more importanté to discuss and flat-out vetoed a cowhide rug…(aca-cuse me?!) But the one battle I am definitely winning is my white office chair and the rest of my corner. So I guess my cute/fancy/uber-chic office fantasies will be put on hold a little bit longer. And while I don’t have ‘the corner office’ yet, I have ‘A corner of an office’…and I think that’s good enough for now.

I’m all about proper energy, ambiance and comfort. Now that I have a dedicated work space, I want to be able to work efficiently while still allowing my creativity to do its thing. And for me to do those things…I NEED a white office chair!

NEED. not want.white-office-chair
My Top Picks: Clockwise from Top

Mina Armchair $279  via Joss & Main

Leather Chair $185 via Uline

Ethan Chair in White *on sale! $143 via World Market

The Executive Leather Chair $89 via Amazon

Skrunvsta Swivel Chair $89 via Ikea

I like them all for very different reasons. I’ve been trying to keep a super reasonable budget, but I think I’d be willing to splurge if I found the perfect one! But I just can’t decide! Help!

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Fitbit X Tory Burch

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I feel a little left out….the wireless fitness tracker, Fitbit, just announced a collaboration with Tory Burch! And you see the thing is, my lovely boyfriend bought me a Jawbone for my birthday two years ago, which was great. But now HE has a Fitbit. If you haven’t heard of these magical little devices yet, they are pretty rad. It’s pretty simple: you wear them, they vibrate and flash at you, then they sync up to your phone to show you all the stuff you did through out the day and night. Both have their own dedicated apps that track a variety of things, including sleep. You can also log your meals, calories, exercise, mood etc. It was great for my 24 day challenge as it really kept me disciplined and served as a good reminder. I’ve always been happy with my Jawbone, but now that this tech meets fashion situation has presented itself I might be looking for a trade sooner than later. I mean, this pendant is legit! They’re taking pre-orders now and I’m positive they will sell out fast. 

I think this is just the beginning of designer collab’s with wearables. So kudos to Tory and Fitbit for blazing the trail!

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5 Reasons Your Brand Needs a Cohesive Social Presence

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Where is the first place you go to look up information or try to contact a company, brand or product? The phone book right?! Just kidding, I’d say a majority hop on Google first, but that probably leads you to Facebook, Twitter or a handful of relevant social platforms. So why do you think social media and digital marketing doesn’t apply to your business or brand? If you’re putting off creating a home for your brand online, because it makes you feel uncomfortable or think it doesn’t apply to your industry, stop. You’re shooting yourself in the foot. If you don’t care about your feet, then DO care about the potential customers your losing to your competitors who ARE making an effort in social media space. I work with a variety of clients in a wide spread range of industries and when I introduce their brand to a new platform they always are hesitant. They qualify their reservations with, ‘well our customers don’t really use social media’ or ‘none of our competitors are on there’. A) yes they do B) yes they are and if they aren’t GREAT! You’re already beating them! Here are my 5 reasons why your brand needs a cohesive social presence now!
Cohesive Brand Presence is Crucial to Your Social Media Success

1. Your Current and Potential Customers Expect It

You’re in denial if you don’t think your customers use social media. 1.4 billion people are on Facebook. 98% of 18-24 yr olds use social media (your future customers) They are looking for you. And every time they don’t or can’t see you is a missed opportunity to make a connection, impression or potentially a sale.

2. Get Ahead Of Your Competitors

I had a client once say his company didn’t need a Facebook page because of the industry they were in (financial/investments) and that none of his competitors did either. Well, false. Because I quickly typed in the name of their main competitor on Facebook and they had a page full of community photos of recent projects they had funded, fun facts and a super engaged community. Now, millennials and active social media users (remember, 98% of people 18-24 and 1.4 billion on FB) are trending heavily towards using social media as their source for making buying decisions. Those buying decisions include which financial planning and investment firm to use. Example: If my friend Sally invests with Company B who is sharing all this great stuff on Facebook, she tags them in a status update about how great Frank at Company B is and says she’s made X dollars with them…I probably won’t even think about Company A.

3. Solve More Of Your Customers Problems Quickly And Efficiently

Twitter is my go-to for customer service (Pinterest, I’m looking at you and your LACK of customer service right now) and it’s quickly becoming a very useful tools for brands to quickly solve their customer problems. It’s a win-win It’s also more efficient. Instead of a lengthy, drawn out email about your customers life story, they get 140 characters to tell you whats wrong. Isn’t that nice! And customers aren’t waiting around for your lone CS rep to answer that email. It also greats a opportunity to show potential customers how awesome you are when your shit isn’t quite working. A win-win-win!

4. Instantly Makes You More Sharable

This goes back to what I said about Sally earlier tagging her Company B on Facebook. This goes for every single platform. Even if you aren’t super active on every platform, which you don’t need to be. Having a cohesive presence: same logo, voice, description, etc. helps build credibility, personality (which I’ll get to in a second) and makes it super easy for your customers to share your brand with your friends. Free marketing is the best marketing right?

5. Sets The Tone and Gives Your Brand a Voice and Personality

Maybe your website is out of date (if it is, you should hire us to get you into 2014 with a pretty responsive site, like this one) and doesn’t really reflect your operations, beliefs or mission. Maybe you are doing a brand refresh or moving in a completely new direction. Creating a strong cohesive brand identity across multiple platforms helps breathe life into your company. Social media provides a free and 24/7 direct line to your customers; to share and speak to them in a way your ‘traditional business’ methods could not. Being able to quickly share updates about a exciting new contract, upcoming product launches or simply just sharing worthy content helps build ethos while also creating a long-lasting digital footprint.

Like this? Why don’t you Tweet About It? Or tweet this handy cheat sheet just by clicking on it!

Cohesive Social Presence Marketing and Digital Medianew-signature

Style Illustration: Coffee Run w/ Roger the Westie

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girl-w_-a-westieWe move into our new office space today! So that means heavy-lifting, decorating, and bar cart stocking! So obviously I’m excited and a little busy. But this illustration is one of my recent favorites. I just love dogs and coffee so much. Speaking of dogs, have you guys ever seen Dancing Nathan?! I stumbled across him on Facebook one day, and as a lover of all dogs, especially awkward ones, he just melts my heart! He’s got moves! If you need some heartwarming giggles, this should do it.

Have an inspired and feel goodTuesday!

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