POSTCARD: Vacation Shot

Greetings from a week full of waves, brunch, drinks and mountains! If you've been following me on instagram, you've seen how over the board exited I was about staying at The W in Vieques. Most colorful + relaxing vacations I've ever taken. Can't wait to share a recap over here! Meanwhile, I'm eating some tacos and realizing that today is my last day of the #vacaychronicles. I miss it already. 

BRB: Vacation time!

It's finally here! I'm on vacation time. A week full of relaxation ahead and I can't wait! Last time I took time off, I was moving to my new apartment. Let's just say it was less of a joyful moment and more of a back pain situation. This time around, I made sure to create a whole vacation plan. Spa? Check. Bestie meet-ups with endless mimosas? Check! Getaway? Check! Check! I even included a pre-vacation day! I mean, I had to be prepared. So, like Essie's nailpolish, that just happens to be on my toes, meet me at sunset. Kay? I'll be back in a week. Meanwhile, follow me on Instagram.

image | brian james

IN THE MAIL: Stitch Fix

I'm one of those people. The kind that needs to try out every new thing. When I first heard about Stitch Fix, I didn't even understand it and I was like, "count me in!". I saw it somewhere I can't recall. I filled out a massive questionnaire about my style and figure. I jumped for joy when they mentioned they carried xl. But, not until I got the items I was able to fully grasp how AWESOME Stitch Fix is. 

Here's how it works. You sign up and fill out a questionnaire. It's long. But, so worth it. It even asked for my Pinterest page! Then, you set up the date that you want your next "Fix". If you're like me, scheduling them closer to Pay Day is best as you'll only have 3 days to try everything they select on and return anything you don't want. Yes, return! After all the questions, you get a special stylist assigned to you that even browses your Pinterest to make sure every piece is perfect for you. You get the box, try everything on and return what you don't like. PROS: You can try stuff on with other items in your closet. No more pairing up outfits in your mind only to come home and find that they look horrible. CONS: I wanted everything! 

My Fix was perfect. A Flowy Top, a Striped Top, a Polka Dot Chambray Button Up, Black Pants and a gorgeous Golden Necklace. Honestly, I wanted to keep everything. What I returned was because it didn't fit well. So, what happens next? You return the pieces and fill out a survey about each item. This will help the next Fix to get even better. I just got an email that my next Fix got shipped. Can't wait to see what's in store! 

If you're like me and work or lack of time gets in between your shopping, Stitch Fix is the way to go. 

To see what else I've been getting IN THE MAIL, click here.

COFFEE WITH: Alicia Carvalho

Coffee with is a monthly sit down where I have the chance to get to know what inspires some of my favorite creatives from all around. This time we have Alicia Carvalho. A designer, developer + photographer. She's a very talented lady! I'm specially smitten with her travel posts and the work she did for #TheCoffeeProject. I mean, coffee watercolour? That's a girl after my own heart. So, sit down. Let's have some coffee + find out what inspires all her creations below.

WHY/WHO: Hi :) My name is Alicia Carvalho and I am a freelance graphic designer, with a big passion for typography and editorial design. I do a lot of contract work for a variety of local companies and occasionally branding for start-ups. I love collaborating with fellow creatives; something truly magical happens when people from different artistic backgrounds come together and work on creating something.

FAVORITE ARTISTS: I have so many favorite artists but if I had to narrow it down to only one it would be Frida Kahlo. I got a chance to see her paintings at an exhibit whenI was in was sixteen. I was immediately drawn to her personality and work. I was so inspired by her that as part of my high school graduation I wrote a thesis about her life and work and compared her pain and passion in life to fellow female creative, the sculptor Camille Claudel. 

FAVORITE MUSIC: I like a little bit of everything and go through different phases.I recently came across The XX and am really liking them. However I do also enjoy a little bit of Nirvana or The Shins every so often. 

FAVORITE SHOPS: I really love book and stationary stores, art supplies galore! I also enjoy going to artisan fairs and shopping handmade goods.

FAVORITE FOOD: Definitely pizza. Last year my boyfriend and I went to Dubrovnik, Croatia. The food there has a ton of italian influence and I swear they had the best pizzas I have ever devoured!

COFFEE WITH: A tiny bit of sugar and a little bit of cream. Just enough to add a little bit of a lighter tint to it. Mornings are my most productive time of the day so right after a bowl of oatmeal I get down to it. I like taking a quick break shortly before lunch time to fuel up on coffee and either do some Pinterest-ing or, now that spring has arrived, take a few minutes and go outside for fresh air and sun rays.

INSPIRED BY: I am a print designer by heart so anything that comes in a paper format I will drool all over. Other then that I am 100% solar powered and love the sun and salty air by the sea. I really appreciate getting away from the computer to be creative and have explored letterpress, silk screening, calligraphy and pottery over the past year. Next I hope to further expand on my lettering skills and get down and dirty with some mixed media collage work!!

Learn more about Alicia through her sitetwitter and instagram feed. If you'd like to sit down for coffee, shoot me an email! Would love to have you. Past creatives who have sat down for coffee can be found here. Alicia, thanks so much for stopping by! 

NEW: Journal Makeover

The new blog (journal) design is finally here! This was a long time coming and I am so glad it's up and running. If you've been around these parts a couple weeks ago, I implemented the first change. I wanted something that was more open in terms of space and that also resonated with my new logo. I also wanted for the tags of the posts to be more visible. Since I have recurring features, like 'Coffee With' + 'On The Table', I wanted to be able to categorize them properly and have it play out in the design. I actually went all the way back to the first post and categorized each accordingly. Something I had not done since mid 2012! It was a great way to see how this blog has grown, shifted + changed. It's been with me when I started fashion merchandising and now it's still here for my design ventures. It's been my digital journal through every bump in the road but, it was due for a little lovin'. So, I hope you all like it.

To celebrate the launch, here's a wallpaper freebie! To keep with the newness theme going, it reads 'always moving forward'. A great reminder to embrace the new and move on. Only good will come of it! 

Desktop | Phone

Posts should show up automatically on the readers just like before. But, just in case:

Feedly + Bloglovin

ON THE TABLE: Garlic Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Lime

Let's talk frozen. As with everything, fresh is best. But, in my case, there's a whole lot of greens that I can never find fresh at the supermarket. I can find all the mangos and pineapples, yet not one brussels sprout. So, to please my cravings, I go for the frozen aisle. 

Now, something that you might not know is that Cruciferous foods such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower and others are to be avoided when dealing with thyroid issues. They've been known to decrease thyroid function but, can definitely be enjoyed once in a while. Keep in mind, that everyone's condition is different and in my particular case, I eat these in moderation and always roasted or boiled. I've noticed once they're cooked they're less likely to cause inflammation. Want to read more about this? World's Healthiest Foods has a great explanation

WHAT: As many brussels sprouts as you might need; frozen or fresh [I used 8 and cut them in half] + Half a bulb of garlic [I'm a garlic lover, I can't help it!] + A table spoon of sea salt + Half a Lime + 1 tablespoon of Coconut Oil or Grape Seed Oil.

HOW: Easiest meal ever! Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle 1 table spoon of coconut oil on the baking pan and place the brussels sprouts halves side up. Peel the garlic cloves and cut them in half. Place in between the sprouts on the pan. Drizzle the remaining oil on top. Then, add the salt. Roast for 15 minutes or until they reach the crispness you like. Once they're done, squirt the lime on top and mix. Easy peasy!