hello, autumn

09.01.2014

observant nomad | hello autumn

With Labor Day weekend coming to a close, it’s the official non-official ending of summer. Which means autumn is about to grace us with its lovely, cool, presence.

And I personally can’t wait. I love the colder air, changing foliage, all the holidays and the tasty foods that come with it. Here are some other moments I’m looking forward to this upcoming season:

cool air | sweater weather | wool socks | pies: pumpkin, apple, and more | hot mugs of coffee | fall decor | squash dishes | hayrides | the pumpkin patch | costumes | halloween parties | baking | cozy nights at home | apple cider | cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves | oversized sweaters | apple picking | autumn candles | thanksgiving | reading a lot more |
fall hiking | changing leaves | boots + scarves |  autumn cocktails

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LINKS
Are you’re interested in more autumn inspiration? follow my autumn pinterest board
river in autumn by laura dempsey / deep-dish pumpkin meringue pie via martha stewart / reading in bed by eyeswideopened / ghost family from hidden tensions by von pariah / autumn squash and pumpkins via forty-six at grace / cozy asymmetric-hem sweater by zara

 

storyboard wedding

08.26.2014

observant nomad | storyboard wedding

I know I can’t shut up with how busy I seem to be, but I realized you might be wondering, on what exactly? So I decided it’s about to time to start unveiling some new work around here. So here’s one; a blog called Storyboard Wedding. And this is a project I completed last summer. I know, I know… last summer – it’s been a while. But that was the summer that I basically didn’t exist, and after that I just never seemed to get around to showcasing it.

When Jess approached me to help with her website design, I knew we had to evolve her blog into a more robust and versatile tool for her readers. Being a wedding blogger, we knew exactly what her audience was about… the pinning. Every woman planning her big day uses wedding blogs to collect images and inspiration. So we knew that the new website design had to have lots of ways to sort, search, filter, and explore weddings.

observant nomad | storyboard wedding

After brainstorming and building several tools to help sort posts, we tackled how to condense all the gorgeous images for each post. Before the redesign, every post went on for miles and lowered her comments and click throughs. So we solved that by condensing the posts to a few key images and then previewing a few additional images in a mini gallery at the bottom so readers could get a feel for the style of wedding before clicking through.

We also added plenty of categories, vendors, and color category links below each post, so that users could click on to find more weddings in the same style. At the bottom of each page we also added a footer of posts so readers could find more inspiration to read through.

observant nomad | storyboard weddingWebsites with this wealth of posts like this, need lots of ways for users to search the content. So we created custom widgets where brides could sort all kinds and styles and details. We also added a custom slider in the header to showcase weddings far after they’ve had their 15 minutes of fame on the home page.

This was such a unique challenge for me as a designer. I don’t usually work on websites with existing branding, but I’m glad Jess was open to my more simplified and clean design style – which is not usually associated with weddings. On top of that, organizing the content was a lot of work that we happily tackled together.

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Check out the live website at Storyboard Wedding
If you’re interested in taking your website to the next level, let’s get in touch.

 

daily habits & rituals

08.21.2014

observant nomad | daily habits & rituals

When I posted about what my ideal day looked like, it really resonated with a lot of people. I realized how important our daily habits are to us. That cup of coffee you have every morning? how much does it bum you out when you can’t get it? These little small re-occurrences create pattern, structure, and a solid foundation for our days. And your true ideal day is just a series of ideal routines and habits.

For some of us that may be easier than others to create new habits. But I had one reader ask ‘how do you build routines into a schedule that’s not routine?’ Well, I have some ideas!

Exact time doesn’t matter Habits aren’t really always about making sure you have your cup of coffee at exactly 7:00am everyday. Routines and rituals are more about doing a series of acts in the same order. So for me, I always feed my cat and make coffee right when I wake up. Then I sit at my dining table enjoying the sunlight and pursue Instagram while I drink my coffee. This routine helps me feel a bit relaxed before everything gets hectic. At night I go to bed about 30 minutes before I need to sleep and read a book and drink some herbal tea. This helps my mind wind down and get away from technology for a bit. I may wake up or go to sleep at different times, but I try to do these rituals every time.

Find things you already do So my advice for building routines into a crazy schedule? Find things you already do everyday; coffee, breakfast, lunch, walk your dog, sleep, exercise, whatever. And then find ways to create small rituals around them. Do you get coffee every morning but envision your ideal day spending more time outside? Then find a nearby coffee shop and ride your bike or walk there instead. Remember that habits don’t have to be the same time, just follow the same series.

Doesn’t have to be everyday And don’t be afraid to break tradition. Routines don’t always have to be an everyday thing. I know people who meet up with their significant other every Friday for a lunch date. Or another person who treats themselves to a fancy coffee every Monday morning (because Mondays are the worst). So start small and see if you even like your new habit, by only going once a week at it.

Start small This is a good piece of advice that applies to most things in life, especially new behaviors. If your ideal day includes spending more time with loved ones but you struggle to clock-out half the time, then find small habits that can help build up to the bigger goal. Schedule a reoccurring date with your significant other. Or start calling your family member the same time every week. Then slowly you can build upon your new habit to a larger one.

I hope that helps you find ways to fit in meaningful and worthy habits into your daily routine. They’re important for our mental health, happiness and overall life. So I’m curious what’s one habit you enjoy the most?

photo by @observantnomad

 

going to austin

08.18.2014

observant nomad | going to austin

Well its about that time again. I was getting a little burnt out from all the work I’ve been doing around the agency lately so I decided to book an impromptu solo trip! Looks like I scored some low-price tickets to Austin, TX for September!

I’ve never been to Austin, let alone Texas, so I’m super excited to check out the local food, “country” bars, shopping, and the swimming springs while I’m there. There are a few old college (and some DesignerVaca) gals I’ll be hitting up while in town – and I’m super excited to be going solo. I decided to take some of my own advice and try to go on more trips by myself, so I don’t lose my confidence in that particular skill set.

I’ve booked an Airbnb room from a couple of creative gals around my age, so that will be a fun/new experience. I’m hoping we hit it off and they end up showing me around town a bit. While I’m there, I’m also thinking about renting a vespa so I can hop around pretty quickly and don’t pay for cabs everywhere.

Do any of you have experience with renting scooters or the Austin area in general?
Any advice or must sees? I’d love to hear what you think.

watercolor cactus by banquet atelier & workshop

 

wanderlust

08.15.2014

I’m pretty blessed to have been able to travel around the world as much as I have. I’ve been all over the US, lived abroad, as well as played tourist to plenty of countries, and I never get sick of it – good experiences or bad. So if you’re feeling a bit of wanderlust lately, then you’ve happened upon the right spot. I’ve rounded up my favorite travel posts today in hopes that you can feel a bit inspired to travel somewhere, either close or far.

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observant nomad| wanderlust seattle One of my more recent trips to Seattle was such a pleasant surprise! The weather was beautiful and the city was such a unique little spot of fun. Foodies rejoice if you happen to visit, because you will be stuffed full of great seafood, bakeries, cafes, and drinks galore. Read about our trip to Seattle: Part One and Part Two. If you’re interested I also put together a quick city guide for Seattle.
Now a little further away of my journeys has to be Morocco. I visited a tiny surf town one week while I was living in Barcelona and fell in love with the people, culture, and harsh beauty of this country. I learned you have to experience some pretty foreign places to broaden your mind. Read about getting lost and stuck in sandstorms in Morocco. observant nomad | wanderlust morocco
observant nomad | wanderlust golden gate bridge Some of the best parts about traveling is witnessing the human element of accomplishment on a larger scale. The Statue of Liberty, the Gateway Arch, Independence Hall, and Mt. Rushmore are just a few examples of these testaments. So my visit to the Golden Gate Bridge became a special trip back in time. See this massive and impressive San Francisco structure, the Golden Gate Bridge.
Moab will always be one of my favorite trips just because I’m obsessed with desert beauty, and this place has tons of it. There are dunes, arches, shrubs, sand, and all kinds of lovely succulents and rocky formations. Hiking here never gets old. Check out one of my all-time favorite national parks in Moab: Day One and Day Two. observant nomad | wanderlust moab
observant nomad | wanderlust palm springs Last year I was lucky enough to be invited to DesignerVaca which is a retreat for creative ladies who are kicking ass and taking names.It was so inspiring to meet some of my online favorites in real life and get to know some new bloggers and creatives more closely. I learned a lot and took away motivation to follow my dreams. Plus the Ace at Palm Springs is a pretty special slice of heaven.
My last favorite post to share with you is from one a while back, when I visited the area of Quintana Roo in Mexico. Quintana Roo is an area that covers Tulum, Playa del Carmen, and more. We’re talking white sand beaches, palm trees, crystal clear blue waters and Corona for days. Take a look at some of the places we checked out in Quintana Roo. observant nomad | wanderlust quintana roo