Thursday, July 17, 2014

Bits & Pieces

Leftover flowers from the baby shower last weekend!

Sneak-peek at an illustration that will be in next year's calendar

Sooo, sorry about that extended absence. I'm not quite sure where time has gone recently. Each week, I briefly think "hmm, I should blog," and then I forget that thought again until the next week. Life is busy and good! I'm up to my waist in planning new holiday things for my shop, while simultaneously trying to put together a nursery (and other rooms of the house...slowly...), and trying to have a little fun too. With baby girl due soon (9 weeks to go, eep!) it feels like every weekend is spent on one project or another. September is usually the start of the holiday season for my shop, so it will be interesting to see how that will go this year. I plan to shut down my shop for 3-4 weeks when she is born, to get our bearings, and will hopefully be able to open again sometime in October. That's the plan anyways! 

I've weirdly had zero regrets about moving so far. It's definitely a different change of pace in upstate NY compared to Brooklyn, but we've adjusted pretty quickly. The only thing that really makes me sad-faced is not being able to just walk anywhere at anytime. There really isn't anything walkable from my house, in terms of coffee shops or restaurants, just residential neighborhoods. But hey, everything is a pretty quick 10-20 minute drive, so it isn't that bad. 

My family threw me a baby shower this past weekend and a fun time was had. I'm usually one to shy away from events that put me at the center of attention, but it was a pretty laid back picnic with close family. NO STUPID GAMES! Hehe. 

Okay, promise to share more tidbits soon. xoxo. -Michelle

Dill Flowers from my little deck garden.

The start of the nursery...

Monday, June 2, 2014

Ambition Panda



Let's talk about ambition. Diving in. Shooting for the stars. I'm well past my college years, but I've always found it important to still have a big goal in mind to achieve, even though it gets a bit harder when you need to figure that out by yourself (rather than achieve a certain grade or pass certain tests to graduate.) Moving to NYC, finding a job that had SOMETHING to do with my degree in Illustration, starting my own business, getting into certain big craft fairs, traveling to foreign lands, expanding my business, starting a family, saving for a house. These are many of the things that I have strived for and for the most part, succeeded in! People have different levels of importance in their lives, whether it be job or family or friends or seeing the world, and there is no one way to live a life. I think balance is key, but others throw themselves into one area of their life. So what are the goals that are currently taking up space in the back of my head everyday? Mine are mostly family-oriented, for obvious pregnant reasons, but expanding my business even further is taking up a big chunk too. The National Stationery Show (NSS) just happened in NYC and it has been a huge goal of mine to show at it for years now. I admit, I'm a little disappointed in myself that I haven't made it happen yet, but that only fuels me to make sure it happens next year. What are some of your big (or little! I want to crochet an afghan this year too!) goals? How do you go about making them happen? I have one big mega-list of life goals that I keep near my desk to remind me.

My pal Jenipher Lyn wrote a book recently, called How Being Stubborn, Depressed, and Unpopular Saved My Life, and this my contribution to her book launch blog party! We're already on week 5, Ambition a.k.a. Diving In, but you can catch up on her blog!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

New Father's Day Cards!


No, I Will NOT Pull Your Finger Dad

To the Coolest Dad

Father's Day is coming soon! June 15th to be exact. I have two new cards up in my shop, along with a few others from year's past, to choose from. No procrastinating! 

Monday, May 19, 2014

New Chapter


So, if you follow me over on twitter or instagram, you might have already gathered that Nik and I have picked up and left Brooklyn for good! We have lived there for over a decade now, so it was a not an easy decision. It was a really long drawn-out process over the last few years of deciding where to move to (we considered Portland, Maine and Hudson, NY as the other top contenders), but in the end we both went back to our roots in Rochester, NY. I grew up in a small town 30ish minutes from there, and we both went to college at RIT (and that's where we met!)  My family still lives here and Nik's parents are only two hours away (soo much closer than from NYC,) and with a baby on the way, we knew we wanted to be closer to everyone. So! Rochester it is! We came up here one weekend in March, looked at a million houses, and found "the one." Definitely luck that we managed to find a house we loved in one weekend, and that our offer was accepted. These past few months have been a bit of a whirlwind with house/mortgage stuff, but we finally made the move up here last week. Still unpacking/organizing, but I will share photos soon! It's a biiiig change going from the hustle-bustle of Brooklyn and the tiny apartment living, to a much smaller city with a big house to fill. I imagine the adjustment period is going to last awhile as we try to get back into some sort of normal routine. We're both working from home now too, which isn't a change for me, but definitely one for Nik. So far so good! 

A few days ago, I escaped from unpacking and trying to organize things, and went out to Highland Park with my camera. Lilacs are my favorite and the Lilac Festival was always my favorite growing up and in college, so I had to go see them! They are *almost* in full bloom, but still so pretty!!








No color correction used! Mega pink!





Sunday, April 13, 2014

Birthday Adventures




Hello! Nik and I went on a little adventure yesterday, birthday adventures to be exact! We took the tram (!) over to Roosevelt Island, and spent a few hours wandering the island. It's mostly residential with parks, and an abandoned, kinda-spooky old smallpox hospital. Fun! Spring finally showed it's face, so it was nice soaking up some sunshine. 

Nik took me to Hangawi for dinner afterwards, and we splurged for the Emperor's Tasting Menu. Insanity! Course after course came out and it was so fun. It's not a super-fancy place, but they have so many subtle, nice touches to everything and the food was just so PRETTY (and super-delicious!) He, of course, embarrassed me by having the staff come out and sing "happy birthday" to me, complete with a big gong. My face was bright red and the whole restaurant was singing, clapping, and staring. Just wait until his birthday, I say...



Queens
Obligatory selfie on the tram crossing over to the island.

Pretty floating candles outside Hangawi


Pretty chocolate-y things from Lagusta's Luscious that Nik got me. Berry box is ceramic!


Birthday brunch. 







Thursday, March 27, 2014

Honeymooning: Koh Lipe, Part 6



So, we had ourselves a little adventure on Koh Lipe. It took a plane ride, a filled-to-the-brim van ride, a long choppy speedboat ride, and a little golf cart ride to get there, but we were rewarded with paradise. Koh Lipe is a tiny island in the Southwest of Thailand, in the Andaman Sea, close to the Malaysian border. We had ourselves a cute little beach bungalow that was about 100 feet from the ocean. Crystal teal water and the dark shadows of coral in the distance. We were so excited to explore this little island and snorkle/kayak to surrounding ones, but the weather was not on our side in the slightest bit. It was the end of the rainy season there, but one last mega-storm reared it's head the entire time we were there. Seriously, we had one sunny afternoon, and saw the hardest downpours I have ever experienced. I thought our little bungalow was going to wash away into the ocean one night during a raging thunder/lightning storm. We still managed to swim a bit (the ocean was so nice and warm!) when it was only lightly raining, but didn't get to do any snorkling or kayaking. Super-bummer! Most of our time was spent at our cute little bungalow and their cafe (which was actually pretty tasty and vegan-friendly!) Lots of reading and sketching and eating. Nik and I are definitely more of the adventure-let's-do-stuff vacation types, so it was hard to just relax and do very little, but it turned out to be a nice contrast from the packed schedules we had in Chiang Mai and Bangkok.

Things I don't recommend: Leaving Koh Lipe at 9am, taking that speedboat, that packed van, and that plane back to Bangkok, arriving around 5pm, and then having time to kill with all your luggage before your plane departed later that evening (morning?) at 1:40am to head back home on a 21 hour flight. Definitely a scheduling oversight on my part, and we were in rough shape when we finally landed in NYC.

Worth it!

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Hammock time!


Sunrise with all the stray beach pups. 

I made a friend.

Our little bungalow. Ocean is behind me. 

Massaman Curry and Rambutan smoothie.

Green Curry and another Rambutan Smoothie

Breakfast Congee and coffee

Tom Kha Soup

Where we spent most of our time. Downpour of course.

View from bed!

Sketching.



The walking street in the middle of the island was flooded from the rain. 

Our one moment of sun.

Such a great trip. 


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Honeymooning: Chiang Mai, Part 5

Doi Suthep Temple

So where were we? Chiang Mai still! This is my last big photo dump of Chiang Mai and then I have one more post on the little island of Koh Lipe that we visited, to round out my Honeymooning posts. Thanks for sticking with me here!

So what else did we do in Chiang Mai, outside of the Lantern fest? Night markets, lots of yummy food, walking everywhere, drank a million fruit smoothies, and visited some more temples (though we did get templed-out after a certain point.) We also went on two different excursions outside of the city! One day we randomly signed ourselves up for a kayaking trip, neither of us having any sort of experience in a kayak before. They put us in some kayaks on a slow-moving river, and let us go! It was about 4-ish hours I think? Most of the time I was drifting by myself in silence, although I did slow down and wait for Nik a few times (slowpoke.) It was a small group of us and it was mega-fun! 

The second out-of-town was the popular Flight of the Gibbon zip-line excursion. They picked us up bright and early, and before we knew it, we were flying through the forest. Even saw an actual Gibbon Monkey from afar! Don't have many photos from this or from the kayaking, since we left all camera's and phones in lockers. 

Chiang Mai was definitely my favorite place of the three that we visited. Loved the more laid-back atmosphere, the more outdoorsy things that we could do there, and the Lantern fest was such a special event that I'm so glad we could be there for. 


Hi!

Hello pollution! View from top of Doi Suthep.

tuk-tuk ride.

Adorable. 

My breakfast at our little hotel everyday. They even had coconut milk for me! 

Fruit plate at Blue Diamond.

My eyes popped out of their sockets when this vegan mango pancake was brought to me at Blue Diamond. Highly recommend!


Fruit smoothies for life. 


Zip-line time!

Weird funghi in the jungle. 


After zip-lining, they led us a short hike through the jungle.


The river we kayaked down. It's brown because of the clay, not because it is dirty. I loved the section that was kinda jungle-y. 

Nik's a pro.

...Until he lost his flip-flop in the silt bottom of the river and couldn't get it out. 

Bright sun selfies. 


Puffy little clouds!