142 : caprese

The bf took me to a lovely Italian dinner tonight, where we ordered one of my all time favorite food combinations. Caprese, which is fresh mozzarella, tomato & basil. The flavors are so fresh and delicious, especially when drizzled with olive oil and topped with fresh ground pepper. Pure heaven.

141 : new beginnings

Endings can be hard. I must admit, change can sometimes freak me out. With 2010 bringing so much of it, I have learned to embrace the idea that change isn't always a bad thing...and in fact, can be necessary. So with one of the biggest changes of my life going on right now, I find myself comforted by the thought that tomorrow brings a new day...and life is far too short to be unhappy.

140 : moma

Last summer while in New York, I fell head over heels. Hands down the most amazing museum I have ever been to (yes, I've been to the Louvre), MOMA now holds my heart. I could wander around there for days, and frequently wish I could hop on a plane just so I could lose myself among Picasso, Pollock, Mondrian, Klee and many others.

The bf and I at MOMA last year... <3

139 : writegirl

Today we attended the season end celebration of WriteGirl's in-schools program. WriteGirl is a nonprofit organization for high school girls centered on writing and empowerment through self-expression.

A month ago, we had the honor of designing their newest anthology (featuring writing from students at LACOE schools) that released during today's celebration. We really feel so privileged to be able to work on a project for such an amazing cause.

138 : friends & family

This week has been an emotional roller coaster for me. With everything that has been happening, it's been nice to have the loving support of family and friends. It makes me feel so blessed to have such amazing people in my life. I love you all, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

137 : ecospheres

For those of you unfamiliar, Ecospheres are a self-contained, self-sustaining ecosystem encased in glass. They're filled with filtered sea water, small shrimp, algae & bacteria. Not only are they super simple and beautiful looking, but it just baffles me that they can live like this for years, just on the elements found inside the glass. Simply amazing.

After recent developments, I was considering one of these beautiful little things. But last night when the bf and I were looking at them, he laughed saying I would get bored with it in a week and all my shrimp would die in less than six months (they can live up to 5 years or more)... And as much as I hate to admit it, he's probably right.

And although an Ecosphere is probably not in my near future, you have to admit, that they're pretty freaking cool.

136 : this face

After a particularly difficult day, I pulled up to the office and saw this...

it reminded me just how happy one little guy can make me...and that it'd be nice if someone would clean the windows. <3

135 : scoops

One of the best places we've found for ice cream in LA is Scoops. The tiny little place is usually pretty packed, and sometimes features some strange and interesting flavors. Combinations you wouldn't necessarily expect or see anywhere else. Things like: Pear Merlot, Strawberry Balsamic, Ricotta Blueberry, Goat Cheese Lavender, Bacon Caramel...and wait for it...Foie Gras & Onion. Umm...really?

While I have yet to try some of the more interesting flavors, my favorite so far has been the Guinness Tiramisu. So super yummy.

Sunday's flavors weren't all that interesting. Maybe because we went an hour before closing. Another good thing about Scoops, is that you can get two different flavors and it counts as one scoop. My choice... Almond Coconut & Red Velvet Cake. Almond Coconut was ok, but seemed more almondy than coconuty. And they gave me chocolate instead of Red Velvet Cake so I ended up with ice cream overload.

134 : the drive-in

Think Drive-in Movie Theaters are a thing of the past? Think again. Pacific Theater's very first theater is still actively running in the City of Industry. Our movies of choice: Iron Man 2 with Nightmare on Elm Street.

Having never been to a drive-in before, the bf and I had quite an experience last night. The theater has 4 screens, each playing a different movie. Each screen plays 3 movies back-to-back (the first movie is repeated after the second). So for the price of one admission, you actually get a double, or even triple-feature (if you switch screens). But after about 6 hours in the car, and it being past midnight, I was done.

Photo by Mark P. on yelp.com

133 : mints

I love the mints you get at restaurants after your meal. My favorite are the sweet red and white striped mint balls.

These mints even bring back the memory of a time the Monique and I had dinner at Rockin' Crawfish in Westminster. First of all it was a Friday night and second of all...it was a Friday night, so we waited over an hour and a half to even sit down! The so called "reservations" we made on the way seemed non existent along with the customer service, whole long story, but we had driven too far and weren't about to leave without eating dinner. While we waited there were heaping piles of these mints at the counter. The restaurant is Cajun style seafood with whole crawfish, crab and shrimp (with eyes, heads, etc still attached...yuck!) by the pound (no plates or utensils...NOT my friend) so mints after the spicy marinade filled dinner is a must.

132 : the new clan

We're sorry to report that our dear little Lulu went to fish heaven earlier this week.

That being said, we couldn't just let that big ol' aquarium of ours sit empty, now could we? So what did we do today, you ask?

Yup, we now have 4 new members of our designhappy team.

131 : handwritten notes

In the digital age of email and texting, it's so nice to get a handwritten sentiment from time to time. Be it a love note from the bf or one of appreciation from a client, they always bring a smile to my face.

130 : the teaching of love

In 2001 on a study abroad our class took a trip to the Château de Chenonceau. This was probably the second or third château we had been to on the weekend long trip, and although they are beautiful, even after the first you start to get pretty numb with everything there is to see. Wandering around the rooms in a fog from visual overload, I ended up in one of the bedrooms where I saw a painting that woke me up. It's called "The Teaching of Love" by Correggio. I'm pretty much a cheeseball so the subject of the painting really hit me. In the painting Cupid is being given a lesson by his parents Venus and Mercury. Just the idea of young love being taught in order to grow/mature was inspiring. What can I say, hopeless romantic here.

129 : book covers

We have a confession to make, we know you're not supposed to "judge a book by it's cover", but we do it all the time. We're not talking people here, we literally mean books. We're visual people who appreciate good design. And more and more of the world is embracing good design, including book publishers. While browsing at Borders, we can't help but pick up a book with a nice cover and take a peek.

Here's a few that we've purchased (with only two actually read) based solely on the covers and at least a slightly interesting story line.

128 : bottega louie

We had been hearing quite a bit about a new restaurant in downtown, Bottega Louie. So in early January before going to the Disney Concert Hall, we stopped in for dinner. The space is incredibly beautiful. Tons of huge windows, simple, elegant style. We were in love. And the food was amazing. We shared the Portobello fries (slices of portobello mushrooms, fried like french fries), the Modena salad (butter lettuce, candied walnuts, goat cheese, shallots & creamy balsamic vinaigrette), and the Chicken Carcioffi (artichokes, capers, garlic, herbs & white wine). Soooo good.

It's a good thing we don't live closer, or we'd be there ALL the time. Dying to go for breakfast to try the Lemon Ricotta pancakes with blueberries. Yum. Can't wait.

Photos from bottegalouie.blogspot.com

127 : hulu

I don't watch much tv the conventional way. It seems like it's only when the bf and I are together that we'll sit on the couch in front of the tube.

The majority of the time, all of my tv watching is done at hulu.com. Hulu offers both tv shows, as well as movies (although I never actually see any movies I want to watch on there), all for free. While you could go to each networks website to watch the episodes you missed, hulu offers everything in one place. Miss the last episode of Desperate Housewives? How about Family Guy? Yup. Hulu has you covered.

126 : groupon

If you haven't heard of Groupon yet... now you have, and chances are you will be seeing it again soon. A cool new online coupon service, it serves up some of the best deals you can find in your area. It was a happy surprise when I received a Groupon Gift Certificate this past Christmas, and even happier when I logged on today and saw that my purchase hadn't expired yet! Lol, time flies and luckily I have until July to use my Groupon. With my certificate I got a great deal and the chance at a cool little adventure. Guess what we are going to be doing sometime between now and July....

Yep, at some point in the next couple months you might see us whizzing around Long Beach Segway style. Hooray! Let us know if you want to join!

125 : postsecret

A world of secrets come together at once on the blog Postsecret. While there are many so called "Postsecret" blogs, the original was started by Frank Warren on January 1, 2005. The actual secrets that appear on the blog aren't the part that makes me happy, although some make me burst out loud laughing, its what the blog means to people that makes me happy. Such a unique concept, Warren meant for secrets to bring people together. Even though the submissions are anonymous Warren "claims that the postcards are inspirational to those who read them, have healing powers for those who write them, give hope to people who identify with a stranger's secret, and create an anonymous community of acceptance." Beautiful. I was even so lucky to hear Warren speak at our local Borders in Torrance and bought another book while I was there. Was truly inspired when I left.

124 : o olive oil

For years I have admired the sleek sophisticated bottle of O Olive Oil products. I remember being in high school and in awe when I'd walk down the aisle while grocery shopping with my dad. That awe still exists almost 10 years later.

This past weekend I was in charge of making the mother's day lunch for the fam. I made a few different side salads (roasted eggplant, israeli couscous, quinoa, caprese) and realized I needed some vinegar. Low and behold, the amazingly beautiful bottle of O's Citrus Champagne Vinegar was there to greet me at the store. And I'm very happy to report that the product is as amazing as it's design. I love it when that happens.

123 : tangled alphabets

Last summer, while vacationing in NY, I had the privileged of seeing, Tangled Alphabets at MOMA. One word. Ah-maze-ing.

From the minute I was about to enter to exhibit I knew I wouldn't be disappointed. To say that my breath was taken away, is truly an understatement. This exhibit spoke to me in ways only one other has. But I am a type-junkie, so I guess it's not really a surprise.

Many of the pieces were on plexiglass, and hung suspended from the ceiling, so you could not only walk around them, but the light would also go through the pieces.

Simply amazing. You can still check out the exhibit online by clicking here.

122 : target

Do we really need an explanation here? Didn't think so.

Hands down one of the best places ever.

Who knew that a place that was so uncool when we were young, would do a complete 180 and become so hip. From the limited edition designer jewelry and clothing, to their commercials, there's really nothing we don't like about this place.

121 : notcot.org

Whenever I'm feeling the need for some visual eye candy (which is often) I check out notcot.org. It's a website for "ideas + aesthetics + amusement" and boy is it. Updated various times daily, the site currently features over 30,000 different items. From product design and painting, to exhibit graphics and concept design, I can no longer imagine life without a notcot fix. Yes, I am addicted.

Also part of their site, for all you fashionista's out there, notcouture, and we definitely have to mention, liqurious...an alcoholics dream...which currently tops at 96 pages of amazing photos of booze.

120 : moms

It's already the second Sunday in May... Mother's Day. It's no doubt that our moms make us happy. After all, where would we be without them? Words pale in comparison to what they mean to us. Cheers to all the mothers out there, this is your day.

A Wikipedia tidbit..."The proverbial "first word" of an infant often sounds like "ma" or "mama". This strong association of that sound with "mother" has persisted in nearly every language on earth, countering the natural localization of language."

119 : jamba juice

My newest food obsession is steel-cut oatmeal from Jamba Juice. That and a chai latte is just the right start to a Saturday morning. What's more, is that while I'm waiting for my order I get to glance around at all the nice design Jamba Juice has to offer. I love the latest posters & signage with the hand drawn fonts, painted edge textures and bursts of color.

Their website carries over the same hand drawn look with some nice flash animations. Love it.

118 : lulu

We got into the office yesterday to a disheartening site. Our little goldfish Lulu was very sick all of a sudden and we didn't think she was going to make it. The state she was in took us by surprise and we didn't have much hope by the looks of things. Walking into the studio this morning, you would have never guessed that less than 24 hrs before she was barely breathing. It was a happy site to see her having bounced back completely, swimming around and on top of that having had wiped the bowl clean of the fish food! She used to be called little Lulu because when we first got her, she was a little runt of a thing. She is over a couple years old now and one tough cookie.

117 : olive garden

At the studio we have lunch together nearly every single day. Lately we've been heading over to the Olive Garden on Thursdays for soup, salad & breadsticks. Yum! It's always the same order but thats what we seem to do with the restaurants we go to. If we went downstairs to Giorgio's, they know what order to put in even before we say hello. At Creme de la Crepe, we always get the same crepes.

For Thursday lunches it's now Zuppa Toscanna, breadsticks and salad every time. We are creatures of habit! It helps that the location near us comes along with its own entertainment too. Just outside is a small pond with loads of ducks. We have yet to steal some breadsticks and head over to the pond for feeding time, but we will soon. And today we had another little visitor during lunch when we ended up face to face with a squirrel that happened to mozy on up to the window sill next to our booth mid-meal. Too cute.

116 : surprises

I've been a bit obsessed with scouring Etsy lately. My objects of desire: vintage ampersands. In the past few weeks I've found a variety of new additions: a plaster one from the 40's that was originally used to spell out movie titles, old wooden and metal letterpress blocks, an oxidized stencil from the 40s, and today I received my latest...a zinc ampersand that was originally part of some sort of signage.

When I opened the envelope, I saw a little bag of goodies in addition to my purchase.

This amazing package was full of all this:

From old playing cards, to dictionary pages and a torn music sheet...there's even a page from a ledger from April 1920. Forget the ampersand (just for a minute, of course) this is what brought the smile to my face.

She even put in my initials. Someone else who gets that it's all in the details.

 You can get your own package of goodies by visiting her store on Etsy, Panache Paper Goods.

 Thanks, Debra. You made my day.

115 : office candy jar


On our little white Ikea meeting table usually always sits our business card holder, a flower vase, and our office candy jar. The candy jar is the lethal one of the three! Always filled with jelly beans, m&m's, werther's... Who can resist a candy jar? Not us, I'll tell you that much. It's hard to walk by the table without a handful of whatever is in the jar coming with you. And our clients love it too. One of our clients would always leave with a handful of candies in his pocket for the road even after having a couple during the actual meeting, lol.

114 : kapitza

Years ago, while looking through an issue of Communication Arts we landed upon a beautiful little font from kapitza.  In '07 we purchased "Blossomy" and "Victoria Park" and still after a little over 3 years I'll check back and see what new font they've come up with.

They have a passion for what they do and it shows. The graphic shapes, beautiful colors, and detailed silhouette fonts are exquisite. You can even purchase some of the image fonts as stickers to place on your wall. Lovely.

113 : hollywood bowl

One of the best things about the summer is that the concerts and performances at the Hollywood Bowl start up again. What's better than listening to some live music, on a warm summer night having a picnic and drinking some wine? Not much.

112 : where's george?

I was in line last night waiting to pay for a couple items, and while I was waiting for the person in front of me to finish I started to look at one of the 4 $1 bills in my hand. One of them had an edge that was stamped with the words "Currency Tracking Project". That was all I could see. I separated that bill from the rest and noticed more stamps on all edges and on both sides of the bill. Another stamp read the name of a website that lead me to "www.WheresGeorge.com". Granted the site design is not so hot but the concept behind the project is amazing. Apparently it has been around for some time. I registered my $1 bill and will soon use it and place it back out there to see where it ends up next! The cool thing is that when the next person receives it, I'll get an email letting me know it was registered and be able to see where its travels have been. Strange and amazing.

My bill is at its 4th "noticed" pitstop. Still a young George. From "Where's George?" it reads "This bill has traveled 252 Miles in 2 Yrs, 83 Days, 22 Hrs, 52 Mins at an average of 0.31 Miles per day. It is now 242 Miles from its starting location." Apparently my George started out as a gamblin' man since it was first registered in Vegas and has been to Skyforest/CA, Santa Ana/CA, and now here. The first user wrote "Thank You for entering this GAMBLIN GEORGE. This bill will start its recorded journey across the USA in "FABULOUS" Las Vegas Nv at the FLAMINGO CASINO. I will be shootin craps, or playing video poker with it. WHEN, and WHERE, will it turn up next ?". Now I have it! It will probably start back on its journey today. I wrote "dmmh" in a small corner too.

The top noted bill has traveled "4,191 Miles in 3 Yrs, 12 Days, 17 Hrs, 25 Mins at an average of 3.8 Miles per day" and started in Ohio and went to Kentucky, Tennessee, Florida, Texas, Lousiana, back to Texas, then Utah and Michigan.

This is what Wikipedia had to say about it: "Where's George? is a website that tracks the natural geographic circulation of American paper money. Its popularity has led to the establishment of a number of other currency tracking websites, sites that track other objects—such as used books—and it has been used in at least one research paper to provide statistical patterns of human travel in the United States. The site was established in December 1998 by Hank Eskin, a database consultant in Brookline, Massachusetts. Where's George? refers to George Washington, whose portrait appears on the one-dollar bill. In addition to the one-dollar bill, 2-, 5-, 10-, 20-, 50- and 100-dollar denominations can be tracked. The one-dollar bill is by far the most popular denomination, followed by 20-dollar bills."