b*chic :: midday meeting

Lately I’m into dresses. Not sure why or what happened, but I think that my psyche is trying to compensate for my childhood years, where I ran around looking like a boy most of the time. Now, before you jump to conclusions, I must clarify. When I say dresses, I don’t want you to picture anything with ruffles or frills. I’m still me. Which means I wear mostly gray, black, navy or brown, and the details are simple, to the point, and not overly girly. That tomboyish streak will always be there, it seems.

For the January Style Guide, I’m thinking about dressing for meetings. Probably because I have a lot of them lately. I’m all about that snappy casual look. Pairing tall boots and a slouchy bag with a tailored, laid-back dress and a single, statement-making piece of jewelry is perfect for a midday powwow with a client. And the best part? Add some earrings, swap the tie for a chunky belt, grab a cardigan, and you’re ready for a dinner date downtown. Win, win!

Interview Advice Dress by ModCloth ($75) | Loose Change Necklace by Anthropologie ($48) | Brompton Hobo by J.Crew ($298) | Intyce Boots by Steve Madden at Piperlime ($149)


b*eats :: good, bad, ugly

It’s Monday. And for no particular reason, I’m in the mood to talk about food. Here is my philosophy of late.

THE GOOD :: I eat really, really well about 75% of the time. When I say really, really well, I mean totally clean. And when I say totally clean, I mean, no processed foods, no sugar, no alcohol, no caffeine, no dairy, no gluten (read more about the “Six to Skip” here). You’re probably wondering what’s left. Well, mostly fruits and vegetables. Also nuts and good saturated fats (like olive oil, olives, avocados). Eating this way didn’t happen overnight. It’s been a process, and I’ve learned a lot of lessons along the way. I’ve read some great books on clean eating, have researched a bunch, and of late am loosely following the Whole Living Action Plan, at least for a few weeks. At any rate, eating this way during the week feels really good. I am sitting at a desk for hours at a time, so I don’t crave heavy foods. Eating light and clean leaves me feeling fit and lean. Truth.

THE BAD :: Okay, so you all know I love food. Which is why I can’t eat clean 100% of the time. When the weekend comes around, I break rules. Lots of rules. I sip wine and eat an entire piece of chocolate cake at 11 p.m. I have french toast for lunch, drowned in a lake of maple syrup. I savor and relish every bite of a burger, remarking how much I LOVE FOOD. I know, I know. It’s ridiculous. But really great food is a profound delight for me. So I enjoy it. Thoroughly enjoy it. I don’t feel an ounce of guilt. Sure, most of the stuff is pretty bad for me, but ALL things in moderation! No harm, no foul.

THE UGLY :: The ugly is the totally decadent, over-the-top amazing sweets that I indulge in only occasionally. For instance, a client-turned-dear-friend sent me a box of Woodhouse Chocolates for Christmas. I’m not sure that I have words to describe the deliciousness of these dark, tasty morsels. Divine? Luscious? Yeah, really, I can’t plumb the depths of these chocolates. Each one I try is more luxurious than the last. With dark chocolate shells holding creamy ganaches, each chocolate is a tiny feast for the eyes and palate. These are the treats that are to be savored, one at a time with thoughtful consideration.

What’s your food philosophy? I’m curious.

b*loves :: date keeping

The new year is HERE. And I’m keeping track of the days as they go flying by. Just before Christmas, I was out with the hubby and we wandered into the lovely shop, Mara Mi, in Stillwater. If you are local, you must visit. Even if you’re not the designery type, you’ll love it. Promise.

I managed to leave with, um, a lot of stuff. Some Christmas presents for others. And some Christmas presents for me. Hubby insisted that I get the Stendig Calendar for the studio. I’d seen it before, and was immediately smitten. This calendar is EPIC. It was designed by Massimo Vignelli, and it’s the only calendar in The Design Collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Oh, and it’s now on my wall. The best part? Every other month is white text on black. Yum.

Speaking of calendars, I designed one for all my friendsies this year. It features twelve doodles from yours truly, all contained in a handy little CD calendar case (which doubles as a stand). I’ve thoroughly enjoyed handing them out, and have decided that I’ll keep doing this yearly. I have a few extras. I think I’ll give them away. Want one? Just leave a comment on this post. Tell me your favorite movie and your favorite healthy snack. I’ll pick a handful of winners next week.

Happy Friday, my dears! Be back Monday.

b*local :: BRASA

Time for another helping of good local grub. I was traveling for the holidays, so I only have one place to share this time. But it’s a good one. So I hope you’re hungry.

I went to BRASA on a Saturday night with a large group of friends, and it was packed. In my mind, this is always a good sign. We waited for a table, but let me just say now, the food was worth every minute we spent jammed into the entryway chatting and killing time.

BRASA is most known for their premium rotisserie chicken, but that’s just the beginning. There were eight of us around the table that night, and we decided to go family style so we could sample several things off their diverse menu. It was a good call. We ordered the whole-roasted rotisserie chicken with a Creole style dry rub, a helping of slow roasted pulled pork with garlic and lime, and a pile of smoked beef, braised and seasoned with sweet-spicy BBQ sauce. The sides were plentiful and unique. Fried plantains, rustic grits with cheddar, collard greens with smoked turkey, cornbread muffins with honey glaze, crispy yuca with citrus and garlic… each more tasty than the last.

Bottom line. The food is filling and hearty and soul-satisfying. Space is limited, but it’s a fun place to go with friends. There are a few locations (I went to the one on Hennepin in Minneapolis). Prices are good, especially if you go family style and share. Five stars in my book!!

BRASA :: 600 E. Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55414

b*designs :: photo blogs

Hello, lovelies. Happy new week. Happy new day. Happy new projects to share. It’s been awhile since I’ve shown you anything from the studio. Rest assured, I’ve been a busy girl, designing like mad. This fall was full to the brim with great projects, and I’m going to be sharing many of them in the coming weeks. Today, let’s kick it off with two blogs for two photogs.

My dear friend Emily contacted me in September about a blog refresh and a couple custom websites. Emily was in the midst of re-branding, and she wanted to extend her new look to her online presence. Using the brand created for her by the ladies of Making Things Happen, I went to town on designing a new blog for her, as well as a website for her photography and her newest venture, textile design. The fun of working with Emily is that we get each other so well. We effortlessly communicate, and our styles mesh incredibly well. Thus, designing for her is a TOTAL joy! Go take a peek at her new blog, photography site and textiles site. Check out the fun details, and leave her some love!

The next project I want to share with you is the Beautiful Moments Photography blog from down under. When Cathy Crawley, an award winning photographer from Australia, contacted me last summer, I knew right away that we would hit it off. Working with her was a complete joy. She had a clear vision for her new brand, and I had the privilege of putting it all together. Cathy wanted to use her existing logo, but cast a new light on it. Using soft, vintage elements, we transformed her look into something warm, delicate, and inviting. Check out her new blog, and lose a couple hours perusing her amazing work!

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