Archive for 'Blog Circle'

This time of year means one thing in our house: March Madness.

Over the next few weeks our tv will be endlessly tuned into basketball games. Our house will be full of bracketology and predictions as our favorite teams advance through postseason tournaments. Of course we have a few teams we’re rooting for… 😉

Parker has gotten into the thrill of the season as well. He begs to write out his own brackets, which of course have his favorite team making it pretty far into the tournament. (okay, he had the Cyclones winning it all!) We each fill out our own predictions as a family, stick them up on the fridge, and enjoy the full days of games over the next couple of weekends.

Of course, what’s better to watch the games with, than a few basketball-themed snacks?

Basketball sugar cookies! (source)

march madness cookies

Slam Dunk Treats (source)

March Madness

Basketball Cheese Snacks (source)

March Madness

And of course… popcorn! (source)

March Madness

Who are you rooting for in the tournament? Leave your comment below!

Continue this month’s blog circle with Nikki’s take on March Madness!




My years working in the print and advertising industry meant I spent a fair amount of time in pressrooms. Its scent of printing ink permeated my senses among stacks of paper, and the sound of the running presses filling my ears as I carefully inspected the creation coming alive before my eyes. It’s so much like seeing a photograph come to life on paper — there’s a magic and science to it, of which both the creative and geeky sides of me equally love.

In the pressroom, my assignment was to ensure the color on the paper was exactly as I’d envisioned. It is usually a part of the design process that I love, seeing the craft of my many hours of design as it meets the science of ink and paper. It’s where color is approached with the highest level of detail. Too much of a specific color on press can tip the balance into muddy murkiness instead of crisp, sharp richness. My eye and love for color runs so deep. I love the process of choosing just the right Pantone (or PMS) color for a client. These swatches are a designer’s bible, for which the creation of a design doesn’t come to life until it’s touched by a Pantone book. (I even have a Pinterest board dedicated to my love of Pantone…)

Some years I’ve chosen a word to help define my vision for the year. Sometimes I’ve chosen to share them with you, and others have been close to my heart and intention for the months ahead. This year feels like it deserves a color. So where did I turn in my search for the perfect one? My beloved, dog-eared book of Pantone swatches. It’s an oldie but a goodie. 🙂 2014 color of the year

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I came across a few colors that spoke to my heart and spent some time reflecting on them, drinking them in and basking in their warmth. And soon it became clear to me that I had landed on the perfect hue to define the year. Two years ago, it was Pantone’s color of the year, but this year, it feels right for me now. Tangerine Tango is a bright, vibrant orange-red. To me, it feels strong, energetic, and confident — qualities that I’m striving for this year.

When I looked back to the Pantone website about its release, it said: “Sophisticated but at the same time dramatic and seductive, Tangerine Tango is an orange with a lot of depth to it,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “Reminiscent of the radiant shadings of a sunset, Tangerine Tango marries the vivaciousness and adrenaline rush of red with the friendliness and warmth of yellow, to form a high-visibility, magnetic hue that emanates heat and energy.”

That’s exactly what I felt about it too. Where the orange in my business color has more of a yellowy warmth, Tangerine Tango feels more sophisticated and perhaps a little spicy. (but don’t look for a change in my branding anytime soon!) 🙂

The inspiration hit me to create a vision board surrounding it: Tangerine Tango inspirations

Tangerine Tango has even found its way into my meeting space, making a bold statement on the hearth.

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One of its qualities that I really love it is its ability to work with other colors. It can stand alone but paired with other hues, it’s a stunner. Like how beautifully it works with Pantone’s color for 2014, Radiant Orchid!


Continue the blog circle to hear about the color and words that Portland, Oregon teacher Beth Wendland chose for her year — or, how they chose her. What’s your color for the year? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

It is not joy that makes us grateful;

it is gratitude that makes us joyful.

David Steindl-Rast

 Being thankful goes such a long way in our daily life. It’s one of the easiest things we can practice with the biggest impact. I find myself offering gratitude in moments that you probably wouldn’t expect — times like when I’m folding the laundry, waking up super early to get a jump-start on the day, or stepping on another Matchbox car or Lego that litters the floor every so often.

I think it’s powerful and important to pause this time of year to give thanks. To put into words or to only single out a couple of things doesn’t seem possible, or fair — and when I began thinking of all the things I could post about for this month’s blog circle, I thought it would be fun to photograph my sketches as I thought about what to post. I feel like I didn’t even scratch the surface of what I’m thankful for, but seeing this image makes my heart flutter with gratitude that this truly is an amazing life. And that there is always, always something to be thankful for.

For these and so, many other things, I am truly grateful.

gratitude photography

I love Neyssa’s take on what she’s grateful for — click over to see her post and continue the circle!

Share what you’re grateful for in the comments below, or join the conversation on Facebook!