Home Ownership Chapter 1: I’m a South Philly Home Owner

DIY, Uncategorized

“Insert quote about life being busy and getting in the way, work draing and consuming my life, etc…” Now that that is out of the way…

But seriously, I’ve been on a little bit of a hiatus, no excuses but life just got busy. And its about to get busier, but this time I’m going to document it. I officially became a home owner last month and well, I took on a little bit of a fixer upper; not a Chip and Jo fixer upper but it needs a little love and care to make it into my home. So that’s why I’m back, I want to be able to look back myself but I also want to share some of my progress with you.


So a little bit of background on my homeownership.. I started looking at houses in Philadelphia over the summer. I must have looked at 50 houses; which to some may seem like nothing and to other might seem like a whole lot. I didn’t limit myself to location so I was all over the place. I saw houses that were recent renos, which some people would have fallen in love with, and I saw some just terrible, terrible places, that if I were in Waco, I may have let Chip and Jo handle for me, but never would have taken on myself. My main goal was I didn’t want a cookie cutter house, and I wanted something with character and charm something that I could make my own without feeling guilty about pulling down brand new cookie cutter tile that was just put up. And that’s when I found my cute little house, with just enough charm but not too much work that my dad would tell me I was on my own. See, I’m lucky enough to have family in all the different trades and a dad, who I still think can do anything.

I put an offer in the week before Thanksgiving and made settlement the week before Christmas, which if you don’t know anything about buying a house, is an incredibly fast closing, especially when you take into account the holidays. I didn’t know a lot myself about the process but I had to learn quickly along the way.

Tip #1 for the new homeowner: Pay for the online home buyer course. BEFORE you even start looking at houses.

With the mortgage I went with, I ended up having to take an online course anyway, and boy, did I wish I had taken it sooner. The course started with looking for a house and covered everything to even after buying it. It was extremely helpful, I just wish I had taken it sooner.

The process from offer to settlement was so extremely long but so extremely short at the same time. I was stressed out one day and then anxious for it to move faster the next. I had some hiccups throughout the process but everything turned out great in the end.

Tip #2: Read the Do’s and Don’ts letter you receive from the mortgage company and don’t make large purchases before you settle. #blackfridaydeal

Tip #3: Try to not schedule your settlement 9am the morning after your company holiday party. #justonemorechildishnight

Regardless of my hiccups, I’m a homeowner; and super excited to see what comes of my cute little house. So stayed tuned for some of the projects I have coming up, there’s a lot.

For now, here are a few before shots, see all the charm..?!?

My livingroom/diningroom with structural archway and awesome wrought iron railing.


My larger than most South Philly homes kitchen. I’ve got big plans for this room. Expect many posts on this one.

I’ve got 3 bedrooms and 2 full baths (very unusual for South Philly).


You’ll notice that super old carpet, which will be coming up and the not so great asbestos tile, which is also under that super old carpet.

And then my half good attempt at a modern bathroom #1 and the love-it-or-hate-it bathroom #2. I hate it.



Super excited about the road ahead but also slightly unsettling when its all laid out.

Stayed tuned for many posts to come, I promise you. There will be many DIY projects in my future.


The Urban Dictionary of Design Slang

Graphic Design, Humor, Interior Design, Life, Photography, Selling Yourself, Typography, Uncategorized

I had a call the other day with a potential client, where I used the words “wordmark” and “logo”. As a designer, we all know that these are 2 different things and we can define each one separately. As a client, not so much. After a short period of time discussing it, he let me know he was currently googling the difference because he didn’t know what I was talking about.

We sometimes assume that others know what we know. Not everything of course because well, we all know how “not smart” some clients are. For example, we all know not to assume that a client knows the difference between an image on their computer screen and an image that can be printed or the difference between a image pulled from facebook verses the original image. See the first and last pictures on “What Not to Say to a Graphic Designer”.

It’s all design speak, right..? And how we see things as designers. Like when you (the client) wants to be trendy *designers across the world shiver*. Trendy is not a good thing; trendy is ‘a dirty word in the design world, referring to a solution that appeals to the short-lasting whims of society. The opposite of timeless.’ We want timeless

And then there are the things that our clients say that they hope is covering up what they really mean. For example, “I showed this to my (insert important person in client’s life) and he/she said…”. Which we all know means “I don’t like the concept, but would rather attribute the criticism to someone else, so you don’t think I’m the one who thinks this is shit.”

We’ve all heard them all… and this person put together a dictionary of them some really funny ones. Its a little lengthy but its definitely a good read if you have some time.

The Urban Dictionary of Design Slang

Free Font Friday


Happy Free Font Friday!

Redressed - Designed by Astigmatic

Redressed – Designed by Astigmatic


Chase -  Designed by Anthony James

Chase – Designed by Anthony James


Biko - Designed by Marco Ugolini

Biko – Designed by Marco Ugolini


Mohave -  Designed by Absolut Foundry

Mohave – Designed by Absolut Foundry


Adam -  Designed by Shrenik Ganatra

Adam – Designed by Shrenik Ganatra

Find more fonts here. Enjoy!

But everyones doing it…

Dinners, Life, Recipes, Uncategorized

Didn’t your momma always ask you, “If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you do it too”?

You’re supposed to answer no, by the way…

Well you know what, sometimes following the lead is good. I’m jumping on the crock pot bandwagon.. well, to be clear, I’ve always been on the crockpot bandwagon but I’m going to do the crockpot frozen meal challenge. Actually I think I just made that up, but that’s how all great things start, isn’t it?


I’m going to do a series of posts over the next month or so, starting with this one, which we’ll dub the “Proposal Post” and over the next month I’m going to plan, buy, prepare, cook and (the best part) taste 4 different prepared ahead frozen crockpot meals. Pinterest is my go-to and I’ve found a few recipes I want to try, but if any of my followers want to throw out some suggestions or take votes on the ones I listed below, I’m up for it. Who knows, if I get enough recipes maybe I’ll make more. I’m trying to stick to the healthy side so don’t give me any creamy, cheesy goodness to make, because I might just cave.

Some recipes I’ve found so far that are on my maybe list are;

  • Lemon Chicken
  • Chicken and Spinach
  • Chicken and Sweet Potato stew
  • Pineapple Salsa Chicken
  • Beef and Broccoli
  • BBQ Chicken
  • Chicken Fajitas
  • Tex Mex Shredded Chicken
  • Teriyaki Chicken
  • Meatball stew
  • Sticky BBQ Meatballs
  • Chicken and Rice
  • Italian Chicken
  • Veggie and Beef stew
  • Beef Chili
  • Pulled Pork

So I guess that was more than I was initially going for but I’ll narrow it down and once I figure out all the logistics maybe I’ll bump it up to 6 meals, we’ll see… I’m only cooking for one so I’m hoping one pot will be leftovers for a week. So in the coming weeks you can expect the following posts from me, its a promise;

  • The Proposal Post (that’s this one)
  • The Plan Post (where I tell you all the meals I’m going to make and my shopping list)
  • The Prepare Post (this will be the crazy part where I share my shopping trip, all the food that I know have in my house and the preparing and separating)
  • The Pot 1-? Posts (Recipe and evaluation of meal 1-?)
  • The Post-Pots Posts (the final eval)

Like all my P’s? Let the crockpot challenge begin! Make sure you leave me some suggestions or votes! And maybe I’ll pass on this challenge and make it an actual thing!

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Humor, Uncategorized

Christmas is my most favorite time of the year. I love the season, the holidays, the holiday cheer the traditions (big and small) and the snow.. I love the snow! As a kid I used to think it was a law that it had to snow on Christmas, I guess every year when it didn’t snow I just forgot and always assumed it had snowed the previous year. So you can image that I hate that last week the ground was covered in white and it was in the 20’s and this week it shot up to 60, which of course melted everything on the ground and is now holding at a steady 40. So much for a white Christmas…

It doesn’t feel all that much like Christmas this year. I think its because I’ve moved out and all that I have to remind me of the season are a few decorations I stole from my dad and a sad Charlie Brown Christmas tree sitting on a shelf. I honestly feel like I haven’t even heard that much Christmas music and that stuff is drilled into your head earlier and earlier every year.

So tonight I tried breaking out some movies that were Christmasy, but I ended up crying to a movie I have only seen once and forgot was actually one of those sad Christmas movies. And then somehow out of the blue I remembered an oldie but a goodie. It’s one of those movies that I’m not even sure if it was popular among other people or if I and my childhood best friend just loved! “Babes in Toyland.” Anyone? Someone please tell me they loved this movie as a child as well.

But considering nobody owns a DVR player anymore, and I only owned it on VHS. I had to resort to more modern means. Thank you, Youtube!

So for any of you “Babes in Toyland” fans, or any of those people who’s childhood wasn’t as wonderful as mine.. Enjoy! And Merry Christmas!

Spot the Designer

Graphic Design, Humor, Uncategorized

This is so true. I can see myself doing every one of these.. Except maybe the trash can one, I don’t go through people’s trash… Unless they tell me I can 😉

Spot the Designer

Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

Influential Design Monday: Get Dirty!

Graphic Design, Uncategorized

Like my “Free Font Friday” posts, I’m going to start doing “Influential Design Monday” (sorry, I couldn’t come up with a great alliteration for this one.) For Influential Design Mondays I’m going to share with you some design work and advice I find influential and insightful. It may be an entire project, or just a quote it could come from an artist/designer you all known or someone maybe you’ve never heard of.

So to kick off Influential Design Monday…

This is a genius interactive poster designed by Roland Tianco–yes, it’s physically interactive, and you get your hands dirty with ink and dirt! As you handle the poster and open it from the envelope, you can’t help but get your hands dirty. That’s what makes it more fun! Smear the paper with the ink and dirt and you get the real message of the poster: ‘The future belongs to the few of us still willing to get our hands dirty’. Genius!

Dirt Poster by Rolando Tiangco

tianco-interactive-poster-brilliant Dirt Poster by Rolando Tiangco

9 Surprising Things About How Your Brain Works

Life, Uncategorized

Stumbled upon this article the other day that I found extremely interesting, it reminded me of a book that a teacher from art school suggested that I never actually got around to reading. The book was called “A Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey” by Jill Bolte Taylor. The book is JIll’s personal experience of having a stroke. The amazing part is that because she is a brain scientist she was able to analyze what was actually going on in her brain at the time and during recovery. My teacher suggested it because it’s a great way to understand how the brain works which can really help in designing. So after reading the article below the other day I may decide to make this purchase. I’ll let you know. The article I read was called:

9 Surprising Things About How Your Brain Works
and here are some of the topics it covers:

  1. Your brain does creative work better when you’re tired.
  2. Stress can change the size of your brain (and make it smaller).
  3. It is literally impossible for our brains to multitask.
  4. Naps improve your brain’s day-to-day performance.
  5. Your vision trumps all other senses.
  6. Introversion and extroversion come from different wiring in the brain.
  7. We tend to like people who make mistakes more.
  8. Meditation can rewire your brain for the better.
  9. Exercise can reorganize the brain and boost your willpower.

Some of them may be obvious or you think you understand but the actual medical and technical reasoning behind it will surprise you. My favorite part that I found really interesting was the part of the wine tasters (little teaser..)

Creative Bedroom Lighting

DIY, Interior Design, Uncategorized

Some of you may have noticed the blue (its actually gray, at least that’s what the paint store told me..) door behind my nightstand in Industrial Love and wondered what it was doing there. Well this was another project I found on pinterest that I fell in love with.

I discovered this cool store Restore by me. Its a thrift store that donates proceeds to Habitat for Humanity. They have anything you can image. Of course, like all thrift stores, they are a hit or miss but I found exactly what I was looking for there. What I needed: two doors and 2 sconces. Perfect! I found 2 door panels from those sliding closet doors- $10. And 2 gold outdoor sconces- $5. I picked up a pint of paint at Ace Hardware one day they were giving it away for free and some black spray paint- $4. Some lamp shades (which are impossible to find for sconces) from my cousin- thanks Jenn, for free =) Then I put my pops to work again… I painted the doors and sconces, he did the installing.

Creative Bedroom Lighting via Sara Pomykacz's BlogCreative Bedroom Lighting via Sara Pomykacz's BlogCreative Bedroom Lighting via Sara Pomykacz's Blog

I don’t like the look of brand new furniture, so I wasn’t too concerned about the handle holes or the hinge indents. They give it character. And I literally just layed them against the wall behind my nightstands and hooked them up to one of those extension cords with the on/off switch.

Now, for awhile I just had bulbs with no shades, because like I said sconce shades are impossible to find. Especially for sconces with the bulb hanging down but I bent some wire and cut some clamps and tada… Lampshades for hanging sconces..

Creative Bedroom Lighting via Sara Pomykacz's Blog

Waitress Yesterday. Designer Today.

Graphic Design, Humor, Uncategorized

Mostly everyone at one point in their life; the high school days, the college days, their “I can’t find a grown up job” days, served food to a bunch of grouchy, hungry and selfish people. AKA everyones been a waitress/waiter at some point.The plus side to serving these unappreciative people (okay, I might be being a little unfair not every customer is unappreciative, or was I referring to the employers.. umm anyway…), the plus side is that you can apply a lot of things you’ve learned from being a server to many other jobs you’ll have in your life and more specifically to jobs where you have to deal with clients. If you just stop and think about it you can imagine the similarities. I found this  cool article about what you can learn from waiting tables that you can apply to working with clients. 5 Invaluable Tips Designers Can Learn From Waiting Tables.

From someone who’s served both the hungry and the impatient I can relate and understand. Hope you get something out of it.