Monday, April 29, 2013

Weekend Wrap-Up

Happy Monday, everyone!

Hope you're all staying dry out there. This is the time of year when the "season of frizz" descends upon us, and keeping my hair straight and manageable becomes basically impossible; but alas, April showers bring May flowers, right? I'm ready for the rain to end!

This weekend was crazy productive and crazy fun (when does that happen?), with lots of events happening around town, and a huge yardwork overhaul starting over at our house.


Friday night I got to check out the launch of Cleveland's own Georgie + Elaine line at Banyan Tree with miss Maria, and it was a blast. The line brands itself as "Romantic American Luxury," which is reflected in the sugary pastel palette and the high-quality materials — the fabrics are all silk or silk-blend with only natural fibers. 


The lighting is a little harsh here, but you can see how nice all of the colors look together.


This rose-gold lace mini skirt was probably my favorite piece — the color and execution were so spot on. We tried on a few other pieces, and sadly I left without the skirt, but I'm sure I'll be back to say hello to it, like visiting an old friend..;)


After a little wine and desserts (okay, a lot of desserts) we headed for a nightcap at Ginkgo, which is the modern little sushi lounge tucked underground, below Dante in Tremont. The sushi was great, and the cocktails were amazing (this is the ginger martini, and there was another one I had that reminded me of a mojito, with a Japanese twist).

Saturday was backyard-makeover day — we took advantage of the gorgeous weather and finally started whipping our yard into shape. I took a few photos, but since we are planting grass where an old concrete patio used to be, our yard is mostly just a dirt pit for the time being! That's definitely a post for a different day. Hopefully we'll be seeing some progress with the grass soon, and we can begin planting just in time for summer.

Tomorrow I'll be sharing photos from Sunday's launch party for the style letters at Madewell, that I mentioned last week. It was so much fun, and I got some great stuff! Can't wait to share!

How did you use the awesome weekend weather?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Blog Design: The Style Letters

A project many months in the making, this week was the official launch of my dear friend Maria's blog, the style letters. Back in January, Maria and I had a conversation about giving her blog a little facelift, and after hearing some of her ideas and inspiration for the look, I was in! I got an instant visual from hearing her explain what she wanted — pretty, boutique-y, blush and coral, touch of sparkle — so I couldn't wait to get started making her blog dreams come true (yes, blog dreams are a thing)!


Maria and I met over many working happy hours (at Beer Engine, and Pier W to name a few) and decided on a logo, business card, and finalized a style guide (above) for her blog and branding. With the need for a web and print presence, we pored over Pantone books to give her a perfectly tailored color palette for online use and printed brand materials.

I dove into the blog template to extend the columns for larger, more impactful photos, and to add in a specialty typeface (Josephin Slab) to make her words shine. For her branding typography, we went with two beautiful classics: Bodoni Bold, and Futura Light.


The entire blog was rebuilt over a fun (and delicious) working session at my house, with more candy than any person should ever consume, a mac and cheese pizza, and some spicy grapefruit margaritas.


The project came together without a hitch (so far!) and I'm so proud to have played a part in Maria's brand new look. You can read more about the process, photographers, and upcoming features on the style letters right here.

We'll be celebrating the launch with a Madewell shopping party at Beachwood Place this Sunday, from 3–6pm. Anyone is welcome to stop by and say hello! Perhaps I'll see you there, and if not, I'll be sharing plenty of photos here, and on Instagram. Cheers to fresh starts!

If you have a blog project of you're own you'd like to discuss, you can email me at novak.rachael@gmail.com.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Nauti Style: The Ropes Maine


The second I first learned about The Ropes Maine, the anchor in my heart doubled in size and almost exploded, kind of like the Grinch's heart in, you know, that Christmas movie. It was loveThe Ropes was founded by designer Shana Aldrich Ready, a Maine native, who uses Maine ropes and hardware to construct her bracelets. They're so sturdy and well-made, and come in so many colors that stopping at one seems impossible.


The Ropes recently partnered with Baublebar to create a few exclusive designs, and I was able to get my hands on one before they started selling out (I think there are only a few styles left).


This one was my favorite because 1) stripes 2) stripes (deserves repeating) and 3) neon! It makes for the perfect summer accessory, and will be even more appropriate during our Maine trip this August. Not to mention, a little Lake Erie summer boating..! You can find The Ropes online, or check out their vendor list to see if they are carried at a store near you. 

*This post was not sponsored by The Ropes, and is my own opinion

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter Weekend Snaps

Happy April, friends! How was your Easter? My pants feel super tight today, so my Easter = success. I had Friday off, so I was able to enjoy a nice long weekend with friends visiting, and family get-togethers. 

Banana walnut muffins for breakfast

Hooked on this flowery dress from Madewell — it was perfect for Easter brunch

New additions to my tape collection, in springy bright colors

Spent Sunday afternoon cuddling with the little fur monster!

Now that I'm coming down from my sugar high, it's time to get ready for our spring house projects—which are now focused on the outside. With the bulk of our indoor work completed last fall, we hibernated through winter and are now ready to give the house the curb appeal it so desperately needs. We also have a big front porch, and a second floor rooftop porch to furnish and design, so it feels like we're dealing with two new 'rooms' in the house. It's a lot to think about, but so fun. Stay tuned for a post on our design—can't wait to share more!