Wednesday, October 30, 2013

sometimes i just need a little sunshine.






This morning, I'm thankful for the bright bouquets of flowers filling our home, thanks to the new Trader Joe's down the street from our house. The bright blooms are making the chilly house feel a little cozier this week (we've had some lows in the 30s already!). 

Halfway to the weekend, friends! 

Monday, October 28, 2013

breaking news.




glasses:: {c/o firmoo}
blazer:: o'neill (similar)
navy blue fleece lined tights:: {francesca's collections}
boots:: {rack room shoes}
ring:: {charlotte russe}



So, remember last week when I mentioned how I wanted some fleece-lined leggings for this fall/winter? Oh-mah-gawsh, you guys. My legs are in heaven. 

On Thursday afternoon, when Chris got home from school, I threw Silas at him and booked it out the door. Turned up the radio (NPR, my friends, that's my jam.) and actually made it to the mall without the GPS for the first time ( if you're in the military or move a lot--you know that's a big deal). As soon as I stepped foot in the mall, I breathed in the soft-pretzel-new shoes-fake plants aroma and basically heard the sound of angels singing. Something about being in the mall by myself, sans stroller, made me want to do a jig. I almost grabbed the shoulder of the stranger standing behind on the escalator and exclaimed, "No baby! No baby! I can go wherever I want!" 

Long story short, I bought two pairs of fleece-lined tights and a pair of fleece-lined leggings and they are oh-so-soft and may not leave my body until May. 

Hello Hue, covering only the most important topics on the blogosphere. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

links.

I know I just did a pretty link heavy post yesterday, but I have just a few more fun things to share today. If you're in a 'clicking around the internet' mood today-- this post's for you. You might find some new friends and you'll definitely find some creative inspiration.

image from my post over on Annie's blog today!



We just bought this rug for our living room from SchoolHouse Electric a few weeks ago and it should arrive Monday. I feel like I'm going on a blind date-- giddy and nervous at the same time. I hope we're a good match!

I recently got the sweetest email from Katie, and she mentioned her new Etsy shop. Isn't it simply gorgeous, you guys? I want all the things. 

When I met sweet Annie at Influence, she asked me to be a part of her Passionate Faith series. I'm honored to be on her blog today talking about my faith and creativity. 

I loved this post by Merrick on 10 ways to wear ankle boots. 

Simply dying over Heather's new box paintings. The details!! The colors!!

Your heart will leap out of your chest at the beauty of these engagement pictures by Yes Dear Studio. The surfer dude is Chris' best buddy and we're so excited that he's found such a sweet girl and wife-to-be in Kelsey. 

Happy Friday! This weekend, we're excited to be staying home, enjoying the autumn chill and inviting friends over for pizzas on the grill and a firepit! 


Thursday, October 24, 2013

my winter wardrobe essentials.






Today, Chris is getting home a bit earlier than usual and I've already warned him. I'm hopping in the car to head to the mall. My current winter wardrobe consists of sweaters from four years ago (before we lived in Hawaii and Florida!) and a few hand-me-downs from my sister. So, I've been thinking about which essentials I'd like to purchase to beef up my wardrobe and help me survive our first Boston winter. (Can you hear me whimpering over here? My blood has definitely thinned out.)

coral cardigan / Old Navy || pink cableknit sweater / SheInside || cozy patterned socks  /H + M 
olive green parka / J. Crew || striped boatneck tee / J. Crew Factory || fleece lined leggings / Anthro 
gray raglan / Old Navy || taupe combat boots / Lulus || handmade infinity scarf / FountainTop Creations

I'm going for lots of cozy layers this winter and hope to add some chunky cableknit sweaters to my closet. I've been practically living in leggings so far this fall, so these ($18!!) fleece lined leggings from Anthropologie will be perfect. Gray, coral and olive green is a color combo I can see myself wearing no matter the season, so many of these items would transition perfectly into spring. In my dreams, I would be wearing a fancy flared peacoat around town, but in all honesty, I'll probably end up in a puffy coat reminiscent of the kiddo in The Christmas Story (a movie I can't stand, by the way). 

Got any winter wardrobe pieces you'd add to the list?

PS. No idea why the colors are funky in that collage. That coral sweater is not quite the eye-burning laser red color it appears to be. 

(affiliate links used)






Tuesday, October 22, 2013

just a quick blurb.


Just two quick things before I hop off the computer and spend some time packaging orders and sipping microwaved coffee while Si naps.

First, I listed a bunch of new mini canvas magnets in the shop yesterday! All of those above, plus more, are awaiting your perusal. If you're searching for a great gift for a Secret Santa swap (yes, Christmas is coming up!), stocking stuffer, teacher gift, or just need to add some personality to your fridge front-- these are perfect! 

Also, as I mentioned previously, starting November 1, sponsorship prices will be rising by just a few dollars. If you'd like to advertise with Hello Hue this fall, now's your last chance to hop on board with the low pricing. You can do that by following this link to my sponsorship info page. I love blogging and offering things like sponsorships, product reviews, and affiliate links allow it to makes sense for my family. Thanks for supporting Hello Hue, whether it's through paid sponsorships, supporting my sponsors and their brands, or just stopping by to say hello every now and then. 

Alright, I'm outta here. 





Monday, October 21, 2013

a weekend outfit.

sweater:: {nordstrom rack} (similar)
dress:: {c/o lulus}
necklace:: {amy cornwell}
tights:: {target} (similar)
ring:: {charlotte russe}
blowfish tugo wedges:: {c/o lulus}
nail polish:: {smokin' hot by essie}



This outfit (or a rendition of it) is something I've been looking forward to for months. Why?

First of all, the fact that it's chilly enough outside for tights, boots and sweaters. I practically sang out loud when I pulled my collection of colored tights out of storage. Just to warn you, you'll be seeing my legs in all different hues again this fall and winter.  

Also, a dress. Without a front zipper, and definitely not of the stretchy variety. Nursing mamas, you get me. I honestly miss nursing Silas like I'm missing my left arm (I don't NEED it, but I sure like having it), but the freedom to wear whatever I want sure is nice. I'm wearing this dress into the ground-- it's perfect for dressing up or dressing down and I'm all about the geometrics this year. It's on sale-- run over to Lulus to snag one

And finally, see that little turquoise purse? It's barely big enough to hold one diaper, let alone 4 of them, plus a pacifier, snacks, burp cloths, and an extra onesie. I'm not done with diaper bags yet, but we're at the stage where I can just throw an extra diaper and some wipes in the car and go. Having a low-maintenance toddler leaves room for a fun purse every once in awhile, and gosh, that's freeing! This Volcom crossbody sent to me by Surfdome is the perfect anti-diaper bag. 

And now that the weekend is over, I'm slipping back into leggings, oversized sweaters, and big fluffy slippers. 

So what pieces have you been excited to pull out of your closet lately? Any fall staples (like colored tights) that you just can't live without? 

PS. I've recently started working with RewardStyle, a company that helps bloggers earn money by linking to products we love. This post contains several affiliate links, meaning that I may earn a small commission if you click on, or purchase through these links. 



Thursday, October 17, 2013

fits, giggles, and new shoes.

Si and I went to the mall yesterday in search of a pair of bonafide walking shoes. He's had plenty of hand-me-down slippers and even a pretty sweet pair of Crocs, but this kid needed something he could run around in without tripping. 





After a quick stop in Stride Rite, where I practically choked at the price of toddler shoes, we made a beeline for Payless. I plucked a pair of brown shoes from the top shelf, slipped them on his little feet, and he took off down the women's shoes aisle. He toddled through each corridor of the mall, and then he decided that he wanted to push the stroller, but I was not allowed to touch it. After a few rounds of bumping into people and walls, I quickly nixed that game. 

Oh, the drama. 

Carrying a kicking, screaming, flailing child through the mall for the first time felt a little bit like a rite of  passage. I got a wink from a grandma and plenty of stares, and I just had to laugh. 

Watching him become a real live talking boy has been fascinating. I love seeing him stop to trail his hand along the bumpy chain link fence, or drive his toy truck on the sidewalk. He giggles at the most random things, which of course, makes me giggle too. Yesterday, he very clearly said "thank you" and he is smarter than I ever realized a 15 month old could be. But I think we've got a stubborn one on our hands. It shouldn't surprise me-- he is, of course, a product of both Chris and me, and we are definitely not passive people. He's currently upstairs in his crib-- growling when he should be napping-- and I'm praying myself through the rest of the day, in which I'm sure we'll have plenty of more fits. I'm praying for more grace, more patience, and definitely more coffee. 



Tuesday, October 8, 2013

new 2014 calendars and a special deal for TONIGHT only!



New calendars are in the shop and tonight ONLY, they're $20 instead of the full price of $24. Tomorrow, they'll be full price, so if you're in the shopping mood, go ahead and snag one or two for holiday gifts (or prep for the New Year a little early!). 

The unique (and fun) thing about any of my prints (calendars included) is that the original has been hand-painted and hand-lettered in acrylic paints and fine art pens. I love digital design as much as the next girl, but there's something about my hands touching the paper and the way the paint strokes leave my brush that makes m feel connected to my artwork, and in turn connected to each of you who buy it.  

pretty pictures from my little brother's wedding.








Saturday afternoon was pretty monumental for my family-- we married off the last of us seven kids. My little brother, Adam, married his gorgeous red-haired bride, Sarah. The wedding was filed with so many details that Sarah worked tremendously to put together. Scratch-off seating tickets, real maple syrup favors (she's from Vermont!), vintage books in the centerpieces (my brother is a poet!) and a beautiful mint and peach color palette. And the flower girl dresses worn by my sweet nieces? My sister-in-law and new sister-in-law spent many hours making those from scratch! I got to help a little when Sarah asked me to do the hand-lettering for the ceremony and the menu chalkboards. 
The really beautiful moment of the day came when Adam and Sarah take communion together as husband and wife as 'Lead Me to the Cross' by Francesca Battestelli played. The richness of that moment encapsulated what the whole day was about.
After such a busy day, the only pictures I got of me and Chris together are those goofy Instagram selfies. We had such a fun time dancing and celebrating Adam and Sarah's marriage and I'm so glad we're all in the 'old marrieds' club together now!


Thursday, October 3, 2013

good words:: you are chosen

I was reading in Ephesians the other day and the words I saw in chapter 1, verses 1-14 stuck out to me as if they were already highlighted. I quickly did my own underlining and sketched the words out one by one, so I could remember them. 








Let these words wash over you today, sisters. As women, we so easily place our worth in things that hold no weight. The cleanliness of our homes or children, the success we have or don't have, the number of comments on our blog posts or Instagram feeds. You know what these words say? They call BULL to all that. You and I are blessed, chosen, predestined, marked, adopted, included, purposed and redeemed by a Father who did all these things long before we could ever earn them. And that period at the end? That means His work is done and there is nothing we can do to change that. Soak in that today. 

Yesterday, Silas fell off our bed, facefirst. I called my mom in hysterics and she could barely hear me above Si's own hysterics. His mouth was filled with blood and I was terrified that he had knocked a tooth out or worse. I knew things couldn't be too bad when he started begging for grapes that he saw on the counter. Thankfully, even though he has a fat lip today and a few bruises on his noggin, he seems to be just fine. But all day long, I felt like the worst mom ever. I literally dropped my kid on his head, and that fat lip was a harsh reminder of my failure. Until I came across this sketch again last night and these words reminded me that before the world even began, God chose me to be Silas' mom. He chose me, he blessed me, and my worth is not found in how perfect of a job I can do as a mom, artist, wife or blogger. My worth is found only in God's steady, unfailing love for me. 

Freeing, isn't it?


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

what I wish I had said during the #influenceconf panel.

While on the plane on my way to Influence Conference last Thursday morning, I pulled out my little notebook and began penning a few thoughts that I might want to share while sitting on the "Accessible Experts" panel. I got to share a little bit about my experience with rebranding and also my tips on getting beautiful IG pictures. These were two topics that I was definitely excited to share on and I hope my thoughts were helpful to those listening.

But time was short, of course, and some of these things that I have written in my notebook are now singeing a hole through the paper, waiting to be said. It's a random assortment, but here ya go. A few things I wish I could have said during the Influence Conference panel.







Branding:: think beyond the logo

I was asked to share a bit about branding and here's something I most firmly believe about branding.

It's not just a logo. 

When most think of the word 'branding' what comes to mind is the physical aspect of a great logo. But if you're thinking about your branding, think beyond the logo. Everything you do online builds your brand. Your interactions on social media, the voice you write with on your blog, the Instagram filter you use (or don't use!), your product photography. Each one of these things is a small brick that builds the brand that reflects who you are. Be true to who you are throughout all your interactions, and that will be a bigger reflection on your brand than your logo ever could be.

(If I can take that a little further, I'll also say that if you are a follower of Jesus, everything you do and say online reflects on Him, even if you rarely say His name. Convicting for me, that's for sure.) 

My resources. 

I also wanted to share a few of the resources that I use to make my online life a little easier. 

Picture editing-- PicMonkey Royale 

I'd love to learn Photoshop or Lightroom, but for the time being, I'm using PicMonkey Royale and it works really well for me. I do very little editing on my photos, but I usually send them through PicMonkey first to touch them up just a tiny bit. 

Business Cards-- Moo

I love Moo. The quality is great and it's one of the few things that I'm okay spending a little money on. Often times, a business card is someone's first impression of you and I'm happy with spending a little ''moolah" (ha), to get a great card. 

Sponsorship management-- PassionFruit Ads

For years, the managerial aspect of sponsorships was a headache for me. Setting up the HTML, sending invoices-- ugh. Using Passionfruit Ads frees me up to spend more time blogging or hanging out with Si and Chris. I also just learned this weekend of Adproval and I'll be checking out their services as well. 

Blog reading-- Feedly

I have the Feedly app on my phone, which makes it so easy to read all of my favorite blogs and see their daily posts in one spot. The only downside to reading in a reader is that I truly believe it contributes to the low number of blog comments so many of us are seeing lately. I'm trying my best to click over and leave a comment on my favorite posts.


Quiet seasons are okay. 

This is the thing that is weighing most heavily on my heart to share. I want you to hear this. 

 The four of us were touted as bloggers who make real money. Can I let you in on a little secret? I have made very little money in the past year and half. Between moving twice, being pregnant, settling into new homes and balancing motherhood, wife-hood and being a small business owner, my priorities have been rearranged completely. I shared a few weeks ago about a conversation that Chris and I had where we determined that my shop and blog had to be put on the back burner for a bit and they shifted from 'job' to 'hobby' status. 

Sometimes I get discouraged when I see other small biz owners doing their thing and obtaining amazing opportunities. But then God quietly reminds me that my personal calling right now is to be a mom and wife first and business owner second. If I compare my success to others, then I'm guaranteed to feel less than. That's why I have to create my own personal definition of what success looks like to me. (For me right now, it is that I get to create and share my artwork with you, and sometimes sell it and send it out into the world. That's it!) 

So, if you're in a slow season right now, or it's just not the right time for you to be running full tilt towards a dream, that's ok. Quiet seasons are okay, and just because you're not making much money or aren't able to pursue your business full-time does not devalue your art or creativity one bit. Hear this--you can still be a legitimate member of the creative community without making loads of money, being well-known by all, or snagging fancy magazine features. 

I'm an open book, friends. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask in the comments or shoot me an email. I'm still processing all that I soaked in this past weekend, but I will surely be sharing that with you soon!

PS. Starting November 1st, my sponsorship pricing will increase. If you'd like to slip in as an advertiser before that happens, now's your chance! Find all the info you need here.  I'd love to have you!