Friday, April 30, 2010

Au revoir! Adios! I'm taking a vacation

For those of you who don't know, I'm heading off on a European adventure.  I'm going back to my second home, Paris, for a few days, then heading to Malaga for visit one of my favorites, Chris.  Me and my travel buddy, Amanda, have some fun plans in store for our trip.  So, look forward to some good pictures...and even better stories, when I get back!

I won't be able to blog while I'm away, so I hope that you all have a wonderful week!

Live Sweetly :)

Creative Crush: Oh So Beautiful Paper

For those of you who don't know, I'm a bit of a design jack of all trades.  I'm an architect full time.  I do interior design consulting on the side (new website to come soon...).  I design and create invitations (check out the ink.jar blog for some pictures of my work).  I refinish furniture.  I'm super crafty and always have a creative to do list of things I want to change and/or make for my apartment.  I always try to make handmade things as gifts if time allows.

I've been following the blog Oh So Beautiful Paper for a while now.  There are some wonderful ideas for invitations on this blog, and I just wanted to highlight a few, in case you are in need of inspiration.

I love the soft colors and use of silhouettes on this invite:

image originally from Seesaw

The photostrip that's included with this invite is adroable...and so fun! :

image originally from the blog, Jeremy & Kathleen

I love, love, love the use of turquoise and green on these surprise, I know ;) :

image originally from Sycamore Street Press

All of the pieces of this invite are coordinate and yet unique.  I love it. :

image from regis ny

Please take some time to browse more of the beautiful things on the blog, Oh So Beautiful Paper.  And while you do that...I am going to start playing around in photoshop.

Live Sweetly :)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Design Inspiration: 3D Stenciling

When I was younger, I did my fair share of experimenting with stencils.  I did my first big stenciling project while I was in elementary school.  I decided to stencil flowers along the baseboards of the bedroom I shared with my younger sister.  I don't know where the idea came from, but I imagine that I saw it on some show on HGTV (which I usually chose to watch over Nickelodeon as a child).  I even experimented with using different colors to create shadows and depth.  I don't know if I ever finished the project, to be quite honest.  It was an awfully ambitious and time consuming thing for a child to complete, but my attempt definitely shows that you are who you are from the time you're a kid.  True to form, I always have a project in the works.

Recently, I was reintroduced to stenciling with a twist.  3D stenciling using plaster or putty can give a wall more interest and depth.  Here are some examples:

Click here for some easy to follow instructions.

Since I'm a renter, I can't adorn my walls with 3D stencils since it's too permanent.  But, I do have some ideas about using this technique on my furniture.  I'll keep you posted!

Live Sweetly :)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Heart in a Bible
Originally uploaded by cullum, heather
"Love is not an affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person's ultimate good as far as it can be obtained."
-C.S. Lewis

Live Sweetly :)

Creative Crush: Decorator in a Box

I have a crush on this week's feature creative for a few reasons:

1) The website is super cute.  It's welcoming, informative, and makes me want to hire them instantly.
2) This business idea is genius!  What a great way to easily expand your customer base beyond city limits.
3) The brand identity and packaging is so well thought out.

Decorator in a Box helps brings the often expensive services offered by professional interior designers down to a more affordable level for those who need some extra help and guidance, but aren't afraid to do some of the work themselves.  It's a perfect idea...and I wish I had thought of it myself!

Please check out their genius website by clicking here.

Originally featured on one of my blog crushes, Design Sponge

I'm certainly inspired by this business model.  It just shows that with a simple idea that is presented nicely and well thought out, we could all start our own business.  My wheels are spinning after seeing this, and I hope yours are, too!

Live Sweetly :)


Monday, April 26, 2010


"If you have faith as small as a mustard seed...Nothing will be impossible for you."
Matthew 17:20

Live Sweetly :)

Music Monday 04-26-10

This week the concerts continue with the Owl City show on Friday April 30th.  Owl City is probably my favorite artist that I've stumbled upon in the last year, and I couldn't be more excited to see him in concert.  His songs have great lyrics and you can't help but feel happy when you listen to his music.  Click here to read an interesting interview with Owl City's front man and creator, Adam Young.  He's also playing at the Riviera Theatre, which is a venue I've been wanting to check out for a long time...and I'm being joined by a few of my favorites, too!

Lucky for us, Owl City has some songs from his latest album streaming on his website.  Please click here to listen.


Live Sweetly :)

P.S. If any of you have some music recommendations, I would love to hear them.  Leave a comment below.  Thanks!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Unique Finds: A Ring A Day

I recently stumbled upon a year long project dedicated to making a ring a day for 2010.  Some of the rings are temporary and made of fragile materials, while others are more permanent and could be worn everyday.  The ring maker, ColleenBaran, has her work cut out for her, but as shown by her designs so far this year, she has the creative genes to pull this off.  I'm inspired to try and make some of my own, too!

Aren't these amazing?  I'm starting to see some of my normal household things in a totally different way.  So, the next time I need some new accessories, I'll head to the kitchen...or my desk drawer...or even the bathroom!

Live Sweetly :)

I'll light the sky with my heart.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Creative Crush: JordanQuinn Photography

This is the beginning of a new series featuring the work of creative people who I happen to stumble upon.  Well, I'm lucky to call my first creative crush a friend.  Her name is Jordan Lukianuk.  She is an aspiring professional photographer and owner of JordanQuinn Photography.  Over the weekend, some friends and I were her subjects for some very dramatic, high fashion type shoots.  We each had our own looks that were designed by Jordan herself.  With her direction and creative eye, she helped us each portray a character in some unique settings around Chicago. 

Please check out her website here.  She does weddings, engagement shoots, special events, and more.

Please view more of her work on flickr by clicking here.

And here are a few of my favorite shots:

Meet Kate, the vintage beauty.

Meet Karen, the hot rock star (and most improved model of the day!).

Meet Emily, the American classic.

And here's me, the American Apparel model wanna be.

One more just for fun.

Please take the time to look through my talented friend's website and just live in her work for a few moments.  It's truly amazing.  Enjoy!

Live Sweetly :) 

Music Monday 04-19-10

This week's artist is a new and up and coming singer songwriter, Andrew Ripp. He opened for Dave Barnes last night. I always feel so lucky whenever the opening act is as good, if not better, than the artist I'm actually there to see. Andrew Ripp left a big impression on me and my concert buddies for the night, Courtney and Jason (thanks for going with me!). His song's lyrics are relevant, meaningful, and poignant, and his voice is incredible.  Please have a listen to one of my favorite songs that he played.

Andrew Ripp - It's All Good

Fifty miles to Chicago, there's no fight

She don't care if I'm wrong or right
Hittin' songs on the freedom shelter well I
I don't know if I can reach her cuz
She loves, she loves like a marigold
Never feelin' like I'm growin' old
Come on, come on you give me peace of mind
Every day and all the time

It's all good when you think about it
Well you can laugh about it
It's all good, It's all good

I fell in love with the daughter of Daniel
She took me up to the peak of an aireole
I ain't holdin' on to nothing or no one
When freedom rings with the song made for everyone
But she loves, she loves like a marigold
Never feelin' like I'm growin' old
Come on, come on you give me peace of mind
Every day and all the time

It's all good when you think about it
Well you can laugh about it
It's all good, It's all good

Ooh knock me down, and mama get back up
I feel my heart beatin' with your love
Sunny days, rainy nights
I know and you know and we know
Baby it's alright, it's alright

Fifty miles to Chicago, there's no fight
She don't care if I'm wrong or right
Hittin' songs on the freedom shelter well I
I don't know if I can reach her cuz
She loves, she loves like a marigold
Never thinkin', never feelin' like I'm growin' old
Come on, come on you give me peace of mind
Every day and all the time

It's all good when you think about it
Well you can laugh about it
It's all good, It's all good (x3)

Live Sweetly :)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Sleeping Beauties

Random Fact #51: I love babies.

If these don't make you smile, then I don't know what will...

You can find a whole slide show here.  Aren't they sweet?  I wish I could sleep as peacefully as they are every night.  I wonder what they are dreaming about.

Live Sweetly :)

To Live A Creative Life...

Originally uploaded by beverly.13

Live Sweetly :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

50 Things

50 Random Facts:

1) I love turquoise/teal/blue-green.
2) I drive a red Ford Focus.
3) I have a cat named Babs.
4) I'm 5' 10".
5) I wear a size 11 shoe (except for when I love a pair and try to squeeze into something smaller)
6) I've had 3 nicknames in my life: Rachie, RachD, and Rach. 
7) I wear contacts and I'm practically blind without them.
8) I'm running the Chicago marathon on 10/10/10 for the Special Olympics team (Donations appreciated.  Please click here.)
9) I used to play piano and wish I still did.
10) I lived in Versailles, France for my junior year in college.
11) Je parle francais.
12) I've worked as an architect for Crate & Barrel for almost 3 years.
13) I live in the cutest one bedroom apartment in Roscoe Village.  I'm a little biased.
14) White Christmas is my favorite Christmas movie.
15) I love going to concerts.
16) When I'm hungry, stay away.  It's about the only time I'm ever in a bad mood or dead to the world.
17) I love to travel.
18) I was really quiet and shy as a child.
19) I donated my hair to Locks of Love a year ago.
20) I ran cross country in high school.
21) I have two sisters, who are 26 and 23, and a brother, who is 17.
22) I was born in Tampa, Florida.
23) I love doing interior design.
24) I design invitations for fun.
25) I'm crafty.
26) I straighten my hair every morning.
27) I have a jewelry closet full of fun costume jewelry.
28) I like jeans from the Gap the best.
29) I love wearing drapey tops.
30) I like wearing heels even though I'm already tall.
31) I've never dated a guy under 6' 3".
32) Red wine and dark chocolate are my two weaknesses.
33) Breakfast is my favorite meal.
34) I've been to Greece.
35) My birthday is May 15, 1985.
36) I go to Park Community Church.
37) Lilacs are my favorite flower.
38) I love to bike ride along Lake Michigan.
39) Kingston Mines is my favorite place to go out in Chicago.
40) I tried out for America's Next Top Model, but didn't make it.
41) I really like Italian sausage.
42) I'm becoming a real golfer this summer.
43) I love to cook, but prefer recipes that involve 5 ingredients or less.
44) I've been skiing twice in my life.
45) I love going for long walks with friends.  More for the great conversations, than the exercise.
46) I love Michigan.
47) I'm really good with kids.
48) I own all of the Harry Potter movies.
49) I took Latin dance lessons two summers ago.
50) I love to eat peanut butter straight from the jar.

Live Sweetly :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Music Monday 04-12-10

Well, it's official.  Spring is here!  After a couple weekends of sunshine and warmish weather, Chicagoans are coming out of hibernation.  In case you aren't in the mood yet, here's a little mix to help put that extra skip in your step:

1) Mungo Jerry - In The Summertime
2) Johnny Nash - I Can See Clearly Now
3) The Beatles - Here Comes the Sun
4) Curtis King - Sweet Home Chicago
5) Nick Gilder - Hot Child in the City


Live Sweetly :)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Unique Finds: Miniature Modern

My favorite exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago has always been the Miniature Rooms.  For those who haven't been, this exhibit is full of the most intricately designed and detailed doll houses that you'll ever see.  Each room comes from a different time period and the colors, fabrics, materials, and even the scenery outside the windows matches the era so perfectly.  My mind immediately begins to imagine what it would be like to be a princess living in Louis XIV's chateau, or a young lady of the Victorian era wearing a corset and a gown on my way to an extravagant ball.

The other day I stumbled upon some photographs of miniatures from the modern age.  Some day I'm sure I'll look at these and rather than imagine how things could have been in a different time and place....I'll remember how great things were and always have been.

Originally uploaded by annina

Aren't these mini rooms just adorable?  I can totally picture my 5th grade self sitting at that tiny desk working on homework, or my current self putting on jewelry in front of the mirror of the sea foam green bedroom.  And this got me thinking....since I can't have my dream house right now, maybe I should make my mini dream house?  We'll see about that one...

Live Sweetly :)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Design Inspiration: Telephone Table

Even though I'm a child of the technology age, I've always dreamed of having a telephone table with an old fashioned rotary phone sitting atop it. Wouldn't that just be adorable?

I came across the following before and after pictures on the blog Live, Lush & Laugh ...



I love how this DIY-er repainted the wood and recovered the seat with some fabric that pops.  These images inspired me to start scouring the internet for more telephone tables, and here's what I've found...

...and this one is for sale on craig's list:

If only I had an entryway large enough for one of these adorable tables...or seats...whatever you want to call it.  So, yet again I have found another thing that will be saved for my dream house.

Live Sweetly :)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Turquoise and Green

Two of my favorite colors are featured in this lovely mosaic. It makes me smile on this rainy day.

Live Sweetly :)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Music Monday 04-05-10

Over the weekend I was lucky to see Passion Pit in concert.  They are currently in the middle of their first tour as a headliner, so this was probably the first and last time that I'll ever get to see them in a small venue and standing about 10 feet away from the stage.  They put on a really great show, and ended with my favorite song titled Sleepyhead.  Please have a listen...

Passion Pit - Sleepyhead

Live Sweetly :)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Romans 1: 4-5

And Jesus Christ our Lord was shown to be the Son of God when God powerfully raised him from the dead by means of the Holy Spirit. Through Christ, God has given us the privilege and authority to tell Gentiles everywhere what God has done for them, so that they will believe and obey him, bringing glory to his name. (NLT)

Originally uploaded by David Gunter 

Happy Easter!  Have a blessed day.

Live Sweetly :)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A Golden Afternoon

Remember the scene in Disney's Alice in Wonderland when Alice is singing along with the flowers?  If you don't, at this point in the movie Alice is no more than a few inches tall.  Alice stumbles upon a bed of flowers, and they welcome her to the garden with a song.  Unfortunately, the scene doesn't end well once they realize that Alice isn't a flower and might actually be a...WEED!  But, the song is lovely and it's one of my favorite parts of the movie.

I always think of this song on days like today...and lucky for us, I think we'll be having a golden morning, afternoon and night! Please have a listen. The song is sure to bring a smile to your face if the sun hasn't already done so.

If you'd like to listen to the song, click here.

If you'd like to watch the cartoon version, click here.


Live Sweetly :)
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