Saturday Photo: Eyes

I love linking up with the Saturday Photo Challenges at The Paper Mama and my "green" submission from last week got a favorite mention - yay!

The Paper Mama Photo Challenge


This week's challenge is eyes:

I love this picture of Gordita.  She looks so old and wise {she is older - but not so wise:)}.  

Happy Weekend!

Finn wants to wish you all a very relaxing weekend :).


I will be back Monday with a fun giveaway to start off April.

 

5 things friday

This week was a busy + great one.  I worked like *last minute craziness* putting the finishing touches on my 2012 Bridal Line.  I am so happy with it and cannot wait to share all the pieces!


*Wednesday's photo shoot = a total success.  I am anxiously awaiting the photos....it should only take about two weeks - yay!


*I cannot stop drinking SkinnyGirl Margaritas.  I would blame it on the warmer weather but it really hasn't been that warm here. So, maybe it's just the alcohol =).


*Ummm, did anyone watch the Mad Men season premiere?  I finally got a chance to watch it on Tuesday - SO good!  Sunday at 7pm will now be my new favorite TV time of the week.


What's not to love?
{image via}

*I am normally not a big vegan eater, but Ashley of Suger Mama Bakeshop cooks up the most delicious looking vegan and gluten free products I have ever laid eyes on.   For the next four days she is doing an eversave deal and you can get $14 of product for just $7.  I will definitely have to buy a few goodies to see if they taste as good as they look.....


 YUM
{images via}

*Just two little sales away from 1,000 in my {Acute} etsy shop.  You lovely people can still get free shipping through the end of the day today!  Enter code FREESHIP1000 at checkout.


Happy Friday!

Thoughts on design + yesterday's photo shoot

Yesterday I had my 2012 Bridal Line shoot.  This time around I had the super talented Amanda of Thorne Artistry do my hair makeup.


As I was sitting in her chair, trying to make my eyes not water, I realized that I have never had my makeup done by another person.  Not even at my wedding.  {I kind of forgot about the makeup part and just had to do it myself...ha!}


Anyways, it was fun.  I am definitely enlisting Amanda's services again.  I felt so fancy and my skin was flawless. Basically, I felt like a blonde Kardashian.


During the shoot, Amanda would fix my hair and arrange the pieces *just so* on in my crazy hair.  Where all she been all my life??


She also took a bunch of pics with her iPhone.  I love them all and cannot wait to see the final photos.  


I really pushed myself this time around and was a bit nervous at first but now that the shoot is done and I can sit back and take a breath - I have to say I am really happy with the finished designs.


It is so easy to doubt yourself and what you're doing - do you know what I mean?


And then if your designs aren't well received/don't sell well, you will doubt yourself even more.


I have been designing and creating for over two years now and it has been a process.  I feel like I am finally getting in a groove and knowing exactly what I want - rather than flipping around trying to please potential customers.  


Pleasing potential customers has proven to be a futile exercise.  It constricts creativity and in the end - what's the point?  To simply make money?  


Yes, I want to make money but if that is all I wanted, then I would just go get a "job."


Designing becomes so personal.  More personal that I ever imagined it would be.  It's my idea - from beginning to end.  It is what I stay up late doing and what I spend my weekends making.  It's why I bounce out of bed every morning.  It's mine.  


I love that it's all mine, but that does make it hard to NOT attach emotion to everything I do.


Anyways, I am totally rambling.  But my point is - after these past few years and several collections, I am really getting to the point where I feel like I have a style I love.  I know it will continue to evolve and change {which is the fun part of this business} but I feel confident in what I have created.


Here are a few pics.  The dress I wore is from H & M.  I bought it last year and wore it in my last bridal shoot.  I think it was worth the $38!  The shoes I bought a few years ago at a Marshall's in Cleveland when I was visiting a friend. They were $8 and I still wear them all the time.






{All of these are iPhone photos taken by Amanda of Thorne Artistry}

March Sponsor Love

Say hello to a few of my lovely March sponsors.......





I really cannot say enough good stuff about Noon Designs.  It is one of my favorite places in San Diego.  Whenever I leave this lovely city, Noon is going to be one of the top places I will miss.

Not only are their designs and shops beautiful, they are just really great people.  

If you are in the San Diego area, check out the Noon blog for restaurant reviews and local happenings. 

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I had the pleasure of meeting Janneke a few weeks ago and she is so great in person.   I need to move back to Cincinnati so that we can collaborate some more =). 

Her blog is clean and simple and her photography is gorgeous.

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Emerg{in} is an Australian based online boutique that is all about showcasing emerging designers around the world.  The online shop carries a lovely selection of accessories, jewelry, prints, and more.

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Lish is the creative soul behind Imprintalish - a blog full of pretty photos and crafty projects.

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**Interested in sponsoring this Spring or Summer?  If so, I am offering discounted spots to help fund my BlogHer 2012 trip - get all the details here.

Chocolate Chip Corn Muffins


The other day it was chilly and rainy and I was craving carbs and something sweet.  So, I whipped up these simple corn muffins.

I just used the box of Jiffy corn muffin mix and added 1/4 cup of dark chocolate chips.




So good and so easy!

Just my opinion....but I think Jiffy or Trader Joe's cornbread mix is just as good as a recipe from scratch.




Enjoy!

Lace Obsession + Bridal Line Sneak Peek

Today I have a photo shoot for my 2012 bridal line.  I am excited/just want it to be over.  I have a love-hate relationship with photo shoots.


I love meeting new creative people and collaborating.
I love the end result {gorgeous photos that I could have never done myself!}.
I love looking done up and pretty.


I don't so much love smiling.


Ha!  As I wrote that I felt so dumb.  #champagneproblems.  Am I right or am I right?


Anyways, I realized as I was designing and creating that I was going a little overboard on lace.  I couldn't stop.  I think it's a full blown obsession.


I hope brides still love lace as much as I do or this entire line might be a bust :).


Here's a little sneak peek....







Edamame Salad



I have been eating a lot of junk lately.  And I am kind of a junk food addict....once I start I cannot stop.  So, I decided to be an adult and take control of my life.


I made this super healthy salad for my lunch today.


Feel free to leave out any of the veggies.  Or add in different ones.




Edamame Salad {makes about three servings}
-1 1/2 cup of shelled edamame
-1/2 cup roasted corn kernels {you can buy frozen roasted corn kernels at Trader Joes...or you can just use plain corn}
-1 orange bell pepper, diced
-a few radishes, sliced thin
-a big handful of fresh cilantro
-a few green onions
-the juice from one large lemon
-a tiny drizzle of olive oil
- a little bit of salt and some black pepper


Toss all together in a large bowl and serve.  Enjoy your healthy lunch :).

Weekend

Happy Monday friends!  How was your weekend?


On Saturday night, my husband and I went to see Hunger Games.  Neither of us read the books but we both really enjoyed the movie.  I definitely had to cover my eyes at some points and bite my nails...oh the stress!


I have heard nothing but good things about the books, so maybe I will read them.  Or listen to them.


Afterwards we went to Burger Lounge.  YUM.


Other than that, I spent the weekend putting the finishing touches on my new e-book and watching my husband's Gaelic football team {he coaches a group of little kids...they're so cute}.




Yesterday the weather was total crap.  So I made chocolate chip corn muffins.  I love corn bread/muffins.




And Gordita has officially decided that the couch is her favorite place to sleep.  She is so bad.  But also too cute to discipline.  So I guess the photo below is all my fault.




So, that was my uneventful weekend :).  Did you do anything fun and exciting?  



Noon Giveaway Winner!



Congratulations Linda!  You are the lucky winner.  And, you are extra lucky because the Noon L is one of my favorite necklaces :).

I will email you later today.

Green

Today I am linking up with The Paper Mama photo challenge.

The subject this week is "green."

Sweet Gordita with her green toy on our very green {and yes, very fake} grass.

~Happy Saturday~
♥♥

Facebook Follow

Hey, hey, hey Happy Friday!  


Today I am joining up with Aimee and a few other bloggers to host Follow Along Friday.  This is my first ever linky-follow-along-thingie I have done here....I hope you like it and that you link up your Facebook page.  I would love to check them all out.


There are lots of instructions below....basically you just link up your Facebook page and check out the others.  And have fun :).


We want to connect with YOU!
This week we're focusing on building & connecting on Facebook. every other Friday we want to connect with you on Social Media -- Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook...

Not on Facebook?  Go sign up!  Or stop by Aimee's blog over the next few weeks for different link-up parties.


We are featuring five fabulous blogs this week:

 

how to connect:

1: "like" my Facebook Page using your personal page AND THE FIVE lovely FEATURED HOSTS by clicking on their buttons above or the {hosts} linked up below! {using your personal page is great because then these awesome women will show up in your personal feed & they get the benefit of watching their fan numbers grow with new friends & connections.}


2: Link up by following two EASY steps!


Step #1: Fill out the "submission" form below & enter your FACEBOOK FAN PAGE URL into the "URL" section.


Step #2: On the next screen, select "Upload from Computer". Consider selecting your brand or logo to help build brand awareness of your blog or business. {Or your pretty face is fine too!}


3: go to as many links as you can {leave them some comment lovin' and i'm SURE they will return the follow-back favor.} come back in a few days & check out a couple more!


4. IF you want to share our little get together, please tweet: “follow along with  @AcuteDesigns today at www.acutedesigns.org." or you can always tell your lovely Facebook followers too!


5. And if you're up to it....come back and leave a comment at the end of the post telling me who your favorite page is... or the friendliest commenter... or the sweetest product offerings... or the loveliest timeline. I will join up with the other featured bloggers and pass out some blog badges on Wednesday!

Thanks for stopping by today. I look forward to following along with everyone that links up!

♥♥♥♥♥

Photoshop for Bloggers is here!



I am so so so excited about this.  It has been a lot of work and a lot of learning but also a lot of fun.


About two months ago, I enlisted Leonora of Yellow Heart Art to collaborate with me on a little project.


You see, Leonora is a graphic designer/Photoshop extraordinaire and I am.....well, neither.  Up until a few months ago I was actually a little afraid of Photoshop.  Yes, I feared a piece of software.


But you know what?  I found out that it really is not that intimidating.  You just need some patience and a good tutorial.


I cannot give or sell you patience {I have to keep any extra for my impatient self} but I can give you access to some amazing tutorials.


Leonora and I put together an e-book called Photoshop for Bloggers.


Our intention was to create a basic, beginner's guide that would help everyone get over their Photoshop anxiety and start taking advantage of all that this program can do.


In the e-book you will find tutorials on creating a vignette on your photos, making blog and shop banners/buttons, creating silhouettes, re-sizing photos, how to re-touch photos, and so much more!


Part of the tutorials were written by Leonora using Photoshop 5.  That's the real deal Photoshop and she breaks down some super basic techniques with thorough instructions and graphics.


In addition to the Photoshop 5 tutorials, I also share a few Photoshop Elements tutorials.  Elements is kind of like PS 5's little sister.  It can do a whole, whole lot....just not as much as PS 5.  Plus it's cheaper.


So, if you're looking to take the Photoshop plunge but are scared of the price tag - check out Elements.  Eighty percent of the tutorials in our book can be applied to both Elements and Photoshop 5.


We are officially releasing Photoshop for Bloggers this Monday, March 26th. If you are interested in getting your virtual little hands on it, you can pre-order your copy between now and Sunday night for a discounted price of $16!


Go here to pre-order your copy...
and have a very, very happy Friday!
♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Happy Things

I hope you all are enjoying the first week of spring!

A few things on my happy list:

*This low-fat spinach artichoke hummus I made is TDF.  One of the best things I have made in a looong time.  And I make a lot of good stuff.  So, try it, ok?


*The Photoshop for Bloggers e-book I created with Leonora of Yellow Heart Art will be available for pre-order tomorrow!  And it officially launches on Monday.  I am really excited to share it with you guys.


*My sweet little dogs were featured as part of The Freckled Nest Cute Club and I am such a proud mama!


*My husband playing with his band last Saturday in Cincinnati....wish we could do it all over again!


*The gorgeousness that is Over-the-Rhine, Cincinnati, Ohio.  I cannot wait for the day when that place is completely restored.  

What's making you happy this week?


Mrs Stephanie T

Low Fat Spinach + Artichoke Hummus



I am a big hummus fan...it is one of those things that is always in my refrigerator.  I went through a phase where I tried to make my own but no matter what, I could never get the right garbanzo bean//tahini//lemon juice//garlic ratio.  The taste was good, but the consistency was never that good.


In the words of my husband: "It tastes like paste."


So, I gave up.  


Then somewhere I saw a recipe that used non fat Greek yogurt - genius!  Tahini is delicious but this yogurt idea sounded promising.


So I threw together: 
*1/3 cup of non-fat Greek yogurt
*a can of garbanzo beans {rinsed and drained}
*the juice from one large lemon
*1/2 teaspoon garlic powder {or a clove of garlic}
*3/4 cup frozen chopped spinach that has been defrosted {or 2 cups of fresh leaves} 
*1 cup of artichoke hearts {either frozen and defrosted or canned....but not the kind that are packed in oil}
*a handful of fresh parsley
*a teaspoon of kosher salt and some black pepper.


Put everything in the food processor and whirl away.
  


I ate mine with one small piece of pita bread {I always look for pita bread that is 100 calories or less per entire piece} and some baby carrots.  This is a quick, healthy, and super delicious lunch or dinner.


Enjoy!


This recipe is 100% Love Food: Lose Weight eating approved.  If you want to lose a few pounds this Spring - get your copy here!

Weekend Wear: Pink Pants

I am aware that this is the third post in three days in which I have posted pictures of me in my pink/coral pants....but they are pretty awesome.


Never ever, ever, ever would I have believed you if you would have told me that I would one day buy pink pants and love them.


I actually stared at the piles of colored jeans at Target, Old Navy, H & M, Forever 21, etc and thought "I just cannot pull it off..."


Well, now I have these pink/coral ones and a pair in jade green.  And I love them both.  I think I have defied some sort of fashion insecurities and really stepped out of my usual neutral color box.





Pants and Tank: Old Navy // Necklace: Noon // Shoes: Aldo {from 2 years ago}

{Thanks to Janneke for taking these photos!}

I am linking up with What I Wore Wednesday at The Pleated Poppy.
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