Thursday
Aug222013

A Taste of Portland

I just returned from a 2 week trip to Portland. I was there visiting my family and doing some work for Verily Magazine. It was a great break from the heat here in Dallas. I love going to Portland to visit friends and family but one of the things I love most about Portland is all of the great places to eat! I think Portland sort of has the corner on great restaurant! Have you seen the latest issue of Bon Appetite? Well, the country's #5 hottest restaurant according to BA is Ava Genes - I wanted to go - but it was a dinner spot and getting there with Henry just wasn't logistical possible while I was there. So, my sister, mom, all the kids and I did the next best thing and went to Roman Candle Bakery for brunch. It's right next door and owned and operated by the same people (the same geniuses behind Stumptown). It was great and pretty kid friendly. I highly recommend it. 

I'm going to try to post more about my travels to Portland but for now I am playing catch up on work and getting the house back in order. While I was gone Conor swapped our nursery and our office and carpeted our "new" nursery. So the house looks a little like a bomb went off! I've been waiting to make the switch for months though so I can't complain! 

Friday
Aug092013

Model for Verily

I'm so excited about this new campaign we just launched over at Verily and wanted to spread the word. At Verily we never airbrush our models. We also strive to use many different body types - not just the typical size 2 model. We are calling for real women to model for our November/December issue and want you to nominate your friends! The model chosen will be featured in our "Runway to Realway" section - one of my personal favorites. Runway to Realway is where we highlight popular trends from the runway and show readers how they can pull it off in real life. Click HERE to read all of the details on how to apply. 

Monday
Jul222013

Family Brunch

While in San Diego a couple of weeks ago we ate at one of my favorite restuarants - Eclipse Chocolate. I love this place! Practically every dish is infused with chocolate or carmel or something sweet. They even put vanilla bean in their water... it is delicious! We met up with some friends from Hawaii who so kindly took these sweet family pictures! You can check out more here. I love the idea of having simple mornings like this frozen in time. These are the times that I want to remember. Thanks Amy Elizabeth! 

Friday
Jul122013

Thinking I'm Worth It

Things have been fast paced and hectic around here. Working on Verily has been a tremendous learning experience. It has forced me to learn and stretch and grow in more ways than one. My communication style is different, my time management strategies have changed and over the course of the last 4 months I have gotten a little better at my job (if I do say so myself!). I have failed a few times. I have stressed out to the max. I have cried and gotten angry, but the satisfaction of working with this team has been really rewarding and I wouldn't change it for anything.

While in design school I thought the hieght of my career would be when a stranger asked me to design their wedding invitation. I thought that if someone I didn't even know wanted me to do their wedding announcement that meant that I had really made it. Out of school and a few "stranger" wedding invites later I decided my new dream job was to create logos and brand indentities for small creative businesses... once that came and went my goal was to do some design work for a magazine. After doing some design work for Kinfolk magazine I saw the oppertunity to help build Verily's visual identity from the ground up. When Verily eventually asked me to be their full time art director I was shocked. How did I get here? In school I never would have admitted this - but working for a magazine like Bon Appetite was my wildest dream job. I would never have said that out loud to anyone because I didn't think I was good enough to even dream of that. Instead I set my eyes on wedding invites. Not that there is anything wrong with wedding invites! I still love doing them from time to time but I think I vastly underestimated myself. Now I look at myself and think, "Hey! I'm a lot closer to my wildest dreams than I ever thought I would come! How did that happen?" Now, I know that Bon Appetite is not beating down my door or anything but I don't feel as foolish day dreaming of that occupation anymore. I did hesitate divulging that dream here on my blog just now but maybe it's not as ridiculous as I think it is? Maybe I should give myself a little more credit? Maybe we all should? I have been reading Lean In by Sheryl Sandburg (don't sell yourself short, go all the way to the top of your field and don't look back, be a leader!) while simultaniously gobbling up everything Brené Brown says (you know? be vulnerable? dare greatly? take risks? bla bla bla?) The combination of the two women has made me think maybe we all sell ourselves a little a lot short. Maybe I am a lot more capable and worthy and powerful than I give myself credit for. I like looking at my life that way. 

Things with Verily are sometimes up in the air. It is a new magazine and just getting started. I have a baby on the way and I wonder how I am going to get my work done or if I will even have work to do. I've taken some big risks - freelancing, working for a new magazine, having kids young and in the middle of navigating my career path, encouraging my husband to leave a secure job to persue something he loves... It's all a huge crap shoot and I worry endlessly about it. But for the first time in a while I'm actually really excited about what might happen. I am aware that there could be failure along the way... no, scratch that... I fully expect failure, but I'm not as afriad of it as I used to be. I'm embracing it. So, all of this just to say that I am happy with where I'm at right now. I'm excited for Verily Magazine and hope that it continues to do well. I can't wait for baby #2 and the mess that comes with being a new mom all over again. I'm happy to just be me. Even with all of my imperfections and short comings. And I'm totally not afraid to admit that I day dream of bigger and better things than I have right now. And I think I might actually be worthy of "it". All of it

And guess what? I think you are probably worthy of it all too! What are your goals? Dreams? If you knew you could do anything and not fail what would it be? 

(Above photos taken by friend Cassie Pyle. She did all of the watercolor spreads that seperate each section in this issue and I just loved how they turned out!)

Thursday
Jul112013

New Series*: Recipe Confessional 

The year was 2001, I was at the height of my collegiate running career when onto the scene walked Liam Patrick O’Sullivan. Let me paint you a picture here: tall, Irish (obviously), privately educated, endurance and adventure athlete. Sure, there was the skinniness and red hair too, but gosh, that’s just the way I liked them then.  He was older, at least 2 years. Seeing him on campus made me burst into nervous giggles and elevated my pulse straight into my target heart rate.  I NEVER played it cool. NEVER.  I carried my heart around like a puppy with a toy in its mouth and that beggy look in its eyes. I followed him home from a party one night and awkwardly made him give me a piggy back ride. It was awkward because I was as tall as him and probably weighed more. Patterns in his daily activities started to emerge, including his panache for weekend breakfasts in the student cafeteria. Suddenly, I could not get enough of the weekend waffle bar at the cafeteria clear on the other side of campus from where I lived.  After a couple months of waffle/Liam stalking I found myself in a group of runners from my university talking between the men and women’s races at a cross-country meet.  I was proudly sporting my blue and white uniform (it was the standard short top and underwear like bottom) when Liam Patrick O’sullivan seized the opportunity to tell me I looked pregnant....  I guess the waffles had finally caught up to me.  Weirdly, my love for that narcissistic skinny mountain goat did not dwindle and my mind began plotting out how I could accidentally run into him while he was guiding on Mt Rainier that summer.

To this day when I see a waffle iron and all the fixins, i can;t help but pour one on for Liam Patrick O’Sullivan.

Recipe: Old Fashioned Raised waffles (like the Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie might make) I prefer to make these the night before and in the morning pretend like a waffle fairy left me the gift of a work free-amazing breakfast! (Recipe adapted from Vegan Brunch) Yields 6 Belgian style waffles -

Ingredients:

 2 cups warm milk (non-dairy for vegan waffles)

2 teaspoons dry active yeast

¼ granulated sugar

1/3 cup oil (I use canola, but any flavorless oil will work)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

½ cup warm water (not over 105 degrees F)

¾ teaspoon salt

Cooking spray for waffle iron

Method: 1. In a large glass, plastic, or ceramic mixing bowl, pour in milk and sprinkle yeast over milk. Let sit for 5 minutes in order for yeast to dissolve. 2. After 5 minutes stir in sugar, oil, and vanilla. Stir in flour until batter is relatively smooth, though a few lumps are okay. Add water to activate the yeast and stir just until incorporated. For the third step, you can choose your own adventure! (First option) 3. Cover bowl with a damp cloth and let batter rise in a warm spot for an hour. (Second option) 3. Uncovered, let batter rise at room temperature for 30 minutes and then place bowl in refrigerator to let batter sit overnight. 4. Preheat waffle iron to a higher setting than usual. These particular waffles are amazing with a more crispy exterior. Cook waffles according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Serve waffles immediately, or freeze, up to a month, and toast as needed.

*This new series is a fun little project between my sister and I. All posts are written by either my sister or myself and art is done by me. We love how food can conjure the most vivid memories. We thought it would be fun to share a sneak peek into our lives with a recipe to accompany it. We are not going to say who is writing each post but some will probably be pretty obvious... like the one above... definitley my sister! Oh how I adore her! 

Friday
Jun282013

hello summer

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

Just a mini summer wishlist... just because. 

Tuesday
Jun252013

Fox & Anchor + Blogshop

 

Excuse the silence around here.... I knew that working for a magazine there would be times where work got a little crazy. Especially around press time. Well this last week and half have been one of those times. Working at Verily is exciting and stressful... and then when the dust settles you see all of your hard work come together into one beautifully printed piece and it is so rewarding. We are going to print tomorrow and I am still on the stressed side of things but looking forward to the reward side.

My parents have been in town enjoying the hot Texas sun, swimming with Henry in the backyard all morning and afternoon while I work. It's been nice having them around. I like those guys. 

I was too busy to mention this earlier but Fox and Anchor was featured in two of Blogshop's goodie bags this last month - Brooklyn and Chicago. I was excited because DesignLoveFest is a favorite blog of mine so to see something I designed on there is a huge compliment. See all of the cute goodies given at Blogshop here

Tuesday
May212013

You Guessed it!

We are expecting! Yup, that's the big Riley family news. I'm 18 weeks and feeling great! Due October 22. We have been sitting on the news for a while because we had a misscarriage this last October (another blog post entirely) but things seem to be going really well and baby is healthy and kicking! We have been trying to tell Henry about the new baby but so far he is just really interested in belly buttons and not babies. I can't wait to see him interact with a sibling. He is going to make this very interesting for sure! We are over the moon excited to be a family of four!  

Wednesday
May152013

when it rains, it pours

You know how they always say, "When it rains, it pours!" and you always think, "Shoot! How do they always know!?" Because they are always right. Things come in waves and we are just little people standing on the shore. The good comes rushing in and knocks you to the ground and the bad sucks everything out from under you including the sand under your feet. Either way...you find yourself falling down. 

At Verily we just wrapped up our first full issue and started work on our second! The first magazines came back from the printer today and let's just say the whole team was in a dreamy state of pride for what we had accomplished. We are very excited to share the first issue with you - I am particularly excited to show off some of the hard work I have been toiling away on. I couldn't have done it with out some serious help - my graphic designer Loren, my design intern Haruka and a handful of other seriously talented photographers and designers helped put the visual side of the magazine together. I am so thankful to them and happy with what we came up with!

While starting in on the second issue I have also decided to take on another exciting side project. I have been turning down a lot of freelance projects lately to focus on Verily full time but a project came along that I just couldn't say no to. It's one of those projects that you just know you want to be part of because it is fun and happy and makes you feel good about yourself - hence the romantic, girly yet very bold moodboard above. I can't wait to share more about it but for now here is a visual sneak peek of what it will feel like.

On top of the excitement going on at Verily (we are talking dinner parties and editorial shoots galore!) and this new fun project, we have even more excitement coming our way! Big changes are on the horizon for the Riley family and we couldn't be more thrilled. Can't wait to share that news with you either! But let's just say for now, I am that awkward kid on the beach, with goggles on bigger than my head, just laughing as each new wave comes and grinds me into the sand. And I keep on taking wave after wave with a smile. Because when it rains it really does pour!

Thursday
May092013

Caught my eye

1 / 2 / 3 

Have you seen the blog Montreal Bobo yet? These sisters are making some pretty cool stuff and I love their blog. I got a cute little package in the mail the other day... needless to say my camera is looking a whole lot prettier these days with that blue camera strap on it! And as someone who spent many, many... many of her college days in a ceramic studio I appreciate these simple moon plates with imperfect edges quite a bit. They are beautiful! Just thought I would share this gem of a shop with y'all. Perhaps you can find a last minute mother's day present here. (and yes, that's right, I've only lived in Texas for 6 months and I already say y'all... actually whenever I talk to anyone with any sort of accent I sort of adopt it. It's really annoying to me, I'm always worried the person I'm talking to is going to think I am mocking them, but I'm not, I just can't help myself! The other day I answered the phone and immediately started speaking with the heaviest southern accent upon hearing the woman's voice on the other end... I about dropped out of my chair I was so embarassed.)