Thursday, November 24, 2011

i'm thankful for

Today I am thankful for my family. The family that is so giving that they have graciously allowed me to spend this holiday with the one I love and his family (I promise we'll be with you next year!) I'm also very thankful to have a partner in crime whose family is so welcoming and loving that they make me feel that I've been a member of the family for years.

I'm thankful for the cold weather of Atlanta that makes it perfectly acceptable to sport a rust-colored blazer and cozy plaid scarf (this is not so appropriate attire in the frustratingly-warm November weather of Florida.) I'm thankful for the vibrant colors of the fallen leaves that remind me of childhood Thanksgiving trips up to North Carolina. I am thankful for laughter and wine and dessert, and for the precious pup that has officially turned me into a "dog person."

But most of all this year, I'm thankful for the people around me that have encouraged me to consistently follow my dreams. I've certainly made some big moves in the past year, but life is simply too short not to take risks. It's also too short not to grab seconds, which is why I'm thankful for the comfy leather couches that will await me after what I expect to be a food-coma-inducing, pant-unbuttoning, deliriously scrumptious meal. (I'm also thankful for the Sadler women who are far more domestic than me and who manage to whip up the most delicious food I've ever tasted every time I eat with them. God bless them for their patience with my rudimentary entertaining skills.)

Lastly, I'm thankful for you all reading this, because your comments and words of support keep me writing - something that makes me infinitely happy, as it turns out. I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving with your family or friends, and let us all be mindful of the many things we are thankful for.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

the adventure begins

Remember that whole blog post about following happiness wherever it leads? Yeah... well low and behold, here I am, in the midst of its pesky grasp.

Today is an awesome day because I'm beginning a new adventure in my life. Again. (Yeah, when I told you I had life ADD, I really wasn't kidding.) It's a move that I've made with many weeks of careful consideration and contemplation, and one that many of you may not understand (or even agree with.) However, for those of you that have been reading this lil blog from the beginning, it's probably clear to you that I value happiness and creativity above all else, and this move is one that will allow me to maximize both.

As of today I will be joining to help manage client relations and marketing strategy in 2012.

Now you may be scratching your head. Yes, this is the company that my boyfriend, Jason Sadler, started in 2009. And yes, this is the same boyfriend that I live with. And yes, I'm aware that it is a scenario that has the potential to be absolutely disastrous.

But I don't think it will be, and here's why.

Before I ever knew Jason Sadler the person, I knew IWearYourShirt (IWYS) the company. You could even say I fell in love with the business long before I ever fell in love with the man behind the business. When I first heard of IWYS, I was president of our advertising club, Ad Society, at the University of Florida in early 2010. I've been passionate about advertising and marketing since my freshman year of college (though my parents could argue it's been longer as I was making up silly commercials and jingles from the time I was young.) I've also been passionate about social media since around that time. I think the constant evolution of both advertising and social media lends itself well to my restless attention span. Anyway, I remember hearing about Jason's idea and being completely intrigued. I truly believe he's pioneering a new form of advertising where it becomes less about what companies want to say about themselves, and more about what people want to tell their peers about a company.

As I became friends with Jason, somewhere along the line we began a personal relationship. Because of that relationship, I've been able to see first-hand what it takes to run IWYS behind the scenes. I've been lucky enough to help out on everything from strategy and brainstorming to even some design and administrative stuff. But honestly, I was always a little sad that I wasn't able to do more. Having a full-time job as a Social Media Manager took up quite a chunk of my time (as those things called "jobs" tend to do... ugh) so I never felt that I was able to help the business as much as I wanted to. Until now.

I feel a little bit like the luckiest girl in the world because I've always wanted to be a part of a company where every ounce of my hard work is being poured into something where I can see the benefits directly. I am so passionate about this idea, this company, and especially all of the community members and friends that Jason and his team have managed to acquire. While I've always felt a close connection to that community, now I finally get to spend the time interacting with it that I've always wanted. Like I said, luckiest girl in the world.

Jason and I both know that this is unknown territory. It's impossible to keep the line between personal and professional completely clear, but we are committed to doing our best. We both respect each other's opinions, and in this new professional capacity, I definitely respect him as the boss. At the end of the day it's his company and I just want to do everything I can to help it succeed. (Not gonna lie though, I'll make sure he remembers that when we're "at home" he most certainly is not the boss. :) )

Anyway, thank you to my family, Jason's family, my friends and the IWYS community members that have expressed their support. I'm the happiest I can be when I'm doing what I love, and this is proof of the fact that I truly do follow my heart wherever it takes me. It's simply who I am.

Now with that said, if you'll excuse me, I've got to get to work.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

copycraft: scrabble coasters

There was a time when I would have considered myself a formidable Scrabble opponent. I had this English teacher in 10th grade that would whip out her 12 or so Scrabble sets a few times a year and we'd all play instead of reading from whatever the archaic assigned novel was. And I'm here to tell you, when it came to Scrabble days, I whooped butt. I mean like, I seriously thought that Scrabble was my calling in life.

Now I realize that this is coming off a little full of myself (a substantial departure from my typical, and preferred  self-deprecating humor.) However, I find it important to mention just how hot to trot (yep, I just used that phrase) I thought I was because it proves more entertaining later in the story.

Enter one Jason Sadler.

When Jason and I first started dating, I can remember one specific night that we had gone out on a dinner date and returned back to his house to hang out. We sat on the couch and I asked him what he wanted to do, suggesting maybe a movie. To my surprise, instead he asked if I wanted to take him on in Scrabble.

Now, all you women out there, let me take you through what was going on in my head. My brain: "Scrabble? Why yes... I'd love to play a game where I can be playfully competitive while also demonstrating my expansive vocabulary. I must warn you though, I suspect that after I beat you, you'll simultaneously respect me for my intelligence and find yourself irresistibly attracted to me for my ability to challenge you on an intellectual level. Just know that you've been warned..." 

I'm just saying, this is legitimately what I thought. Okay, so maybe I didn't think this was my shot to win him forever, but at the very least I thought it was my chance to impress him. I mean, this was my calling. So you can imagine what happened next, right?

He kicked my ass.

And pretty much has been kicking my ass every time we've played since. Unknown to me, apparently it's been a family tradition for him since he was like five. His mom has been playing with him since he could read, and the whole family is seriously a group of Scrabble savants. They know all the two and three letter words, and every time I try to call Jason on one of his ridiculous plays, he retorts by spouting off the definition of the obscure word he's playing verbatim. (In case you were wondering, yes, "ixia" is a word, and it's a plant native to South Africa. And so is "qaid." One of the few q-letter words without a "u" in it. It's an alternate spelling for "caid." Which is a bird. Seriously, people, he could go on for days!)

Anyway, the point is that I thought I loved Scrabble, but I was wrong. The Sadlers LOVE Scrabble, and especially Jason. I've been wanting to make some Scrabble coasters for him forever, and this weekend I finally got the chance. Here's my inspiration photo:

It's an extremely simple project, and if you're a board game fan, I definitely recommend some version on this project. We bought two Scrabble sets for $10 each, and decided to do one set with letters and one set using the board itself. (Big shoutout to Kim for helping me cut the game board. Lord knows with my clumsy ways I could have easily hurt myself!)

With not alot of supplies, one might think
I'd keep the table relatively clean...
Quick cameo by Kim's hands. FYI, cutting the game board
is probably the hardest part of this craft.
For the tiled ones I simply hot-glued the tiles onto squares we pre-cut out of the game board. For the board ones, I hot glued them on top of some cork squares to give it some sturdiness. For both, I simply painted a layer of Paper Glaze over and it gives it a protective coat while also giving it a kind of shiny, finished look. I especially love the finish on the board coasters because they almost look like ceramic tiles.

We picked out our own letters clearly.

This is the one we did with a little space in between the letters.
 Looks less "perfect" but lays flatter. 

Ohhhh.... Shiny......

They look like little tiles. Love em! 

Two sets of four each!
I think the game board coasters are especially cute as a gift for someone using whatever their favorite board game is. My only recommendation is that you glue the letters down with a little space in between because we tried it both ways -- both with space and without -- and the ones without kind of bowed up a little bit once the glaze dried.

Hope you guys like them, and feel free to comment below with your favorite board game, or maybe your favorite obscure Scrabble word!

By the way, one would think I couldn't make a mess.
And one would be wrong.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

spreading the (blog) love

Funny story about starting this blog. I probably worked on the layout/look of it for over two weeks before I ever wrote a single word. (You have no idea how indicative this is of my personality.) When I finally sat down to write, I was so unsure of what I wanted to say that I think it took me like three days to publish the first post. THEN, it took me a couple posts after that to work up the courage to tell people I had even started a blog.

The point is, this is my little piece of the world. It's personal, it's important. So when it finally hit me that people were reading (and what's more, actually enjoying) what I had to say, it was incredible. I get so much joy from sharing my life with you guys and showing you what crafty little things I cook up. And I couldn't be more grateful for those of you that comment with your feedback and encouragement.

Which brings me to the purpose of this post. A friend of mine, Aubrey, that I worked with at my first job in Durham, North Carolina, has bestowed upon me and my little blog a wonderful honor called the Liebster Blog Award. For the meaning of the award, I'll take it straight from Aubrey herself. (Lord knows I'm an expert at getting things lost in translation.) 
"The Liebster Blog Award is given to an up and coming blogger who has less than 200 followers. Liebster is a German word meaning dear, sweet, kind, nice, good, beloved, lovely, kindly, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcomeTo keep this award going, pass the award along to 5 other new deserving bloggers who have less than 200 followers."

The rules for the Liebster Blog Award are:
1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
4. Have faith that your followers will spread the love, too!

I can't tell you what an awesome surprise it was to have Aubrey mention me as one of her 5 Liebster Blogs. Hopefully I can keep writing and keep this blog worthy of such an honor! That said, I'm now excited to pass this award on and tell you about some of my favorite blogs. But first I'd like to thank Aubrey and tell you about her little spot on the internet.

Aubrey is one of the few from NC that I have stayed in contact with (thanks mostly to Blogger and Twitter), and she's one of those people that just seems to enjoy life and live it to the fullest. She's got a great sense of humor and her home-making skillzz definitely have me taking notes. If you like food, crafts, and adorable slice-of-life posts filled with humor and charm, check out her blog, Those Darn Eckersons. Oh, and she's got a pretty hilarious husband too, and they are too cute for words. Thanks, again Aubrey!

Now on to my 5 Liebster Blogs!

Young Alumni / Sierra Kelly

Sierra and I went to school together at the University of Florida and were both in the advertising club there. She is AMAZINGLY creative and her blog is what mine wants to be when it grows up. She posts regularly (even daily, I think) and has a wistfully romantic and effortless writing style. I admire her discipline in continuing to exercise her creativity and I'm hoping I get to see her later this year when Jas and I head down to West Palm Beach. Check out her blog for amazing photographs, great recipes, and beautifully written posts you can get lost in.

Pink Kale / Margaret Kelsey

Margaret is one of my best friends from college. In fact, I would go as far to say that she's the one friend I met in college that I feel like "gets me" the most. She has an old soul at times like me and a thirst for adventure that I totally relate to. Her blog is mainly focused on delicious recipes (she treats food like an art form, which it totally is), but more recently it has been about her cross-country road trip with her equally adventurous boyfriend, Chet. She doesn't get to post all that often, but when she does, it's totally worth it. I love her to death and her blog is one that inspired me to start my own.

Carbohydrates and Conjugations / Allison Markow

I've actually never met Allison in person. Her husband and my boyfriend, Jason, met in the Austin airport two years ago and have become great friends. It's amazing how you can feel a friendship or connection with someone without ever really talking in real life. I think she started her blog around the same time I started mine, and I always enjoy reading her posts. The thing I love about her writing is that it is 100% real. She tells it like it is and pours her heart out honestly in her writing whether she's feeling worried, inspired, funny, (or hungry! The girl loves great food and I like that about her too!) Allison and her husband, Jason, are coming down to hang with us in December so I can't wait to chat her up and talk about bloggy things... and maybe have her teach me a thing or two in the kitchen!

Incantare / Bridget Kennedy

So... I technically haven't met Bridget in real life either. (I SWEAR I leave my house. Swear.) But again, she's one of those people that I feel like I know already. I pretty much enjoy anything she tweets about and I like to live vicariously through her adventures in advertising in Chicago (love that city.) One of these days Jas and I will head up to the Windy City and Bridget and I will talk celebrity gossip and ad strategy over a couple of cocktails, but until then I'll continue enjoying her blog.

Muses Fled / Aliera Peterson

Aliera and I work together at the Dalton Agency, both as Social Media Managers. Before ever meeting, we were casual Twitter friends, and after working together for almost a year, I can honestly say she's one of the most interesting people I know. She has so many different interests, bits of knowledge, stories to tell. Her blog is relatively new but I have no doubt it will soon be filled with an array of different things. She's a great writer and has super eclectic taste - social media, comics, anime, art, literature, science fiction, fantasy, video games, and crafts to name a few - so if you check out her blog there's no doubt you'll find something unexpected.

Well those are my five and I look forward to what each of these people have to say every time a post goes up. I hope all of you will check out their blogs, and I hope they continue to pass along this award to let their readers know about their favorite blogs! Enjoy!