A White Thanksgiving

If you follow me on Instagram you already know that I went to Maine again this Thanksgiving. It was a White Thanksgiving in more ways than one. It was Zander’s family, The White’s and it was super snowy! (I’m just realizing this, but next Thanksgiving I’ll officially be a White too since we are getting married in October, whoa!) The snow was actually so heavy that it caused the power to go out for two days while we were there! Luckily the house is set up with a generator because I guess it happens a lot. Although we had some power from that, we had to be careful and couldn’t run too many things at one time. We attempted to cook a few things in a makeshift oven over the fire but luckily the normal oven didn’t fail us, we somehow managed a perfect Thanksgiving dinner, even on generator power. We did turn it off at night and curled up to sleep by the fire to stay warm! Of course we had to take advantage of the snow as it was falling, then came right back in the stay warm!

Snowy Maine Woodpile
Snowy Maine Banks and Sailboat
Snowy Tree Maine
Family Maine Home Covered in Snow
Sun shinning through snowy trees in Maine
Snowy Maine Outhouse
Sheepscot River Banks Covered in Snow
Playing in Maine Snow
baking biscuits over the fire
Sun Setting Over Sheepscot River Banks Covered in Snow
Snowy Maine Dock Light
Snowy Maine Dock and Sailboat
Snowy Tree in Maine

P.S. I tag all photos on Instagram from Zander’s Grandma’s house with #GramsHouseMaine and have tons of Maine posts if you want to check them out!

That’s A Wrap: November

Lot’s of great stuff happened in the studio, on the blog and around the web in November with a nice little break for Thanksgiving which I spent in Maine, those photos are coming to the blog later this week!

Ciera-Design-Blog-Posts-NOV

 

On The Blog & In The Studio

P.S. My Gold Animal Toppers DIY kit is coming to an end, so grab one while you can!

 

Elsewhere

 

Sponsor the Ciera Design Blog

Nexa Rust Font by Fontfabric

I love a good, thick, script font, don’t you? What’s even better is that Nexa Rust from Fontfabric Type Foundry is SO versatile and has SO many variations. It’s multifaceted font system consisting of sub-families of sans, slab, script, handmade AND extras. Each of these sub-families contains a number of font weights which have a characteristic warm, rough look. Nexa Rust is a rough version of the already popular Nexa and Nexa Slab families with added new matching Nexa Script and Nexa Handmade fonts. Along with all of this, you will also discover added groups of extras which could serve as a foundation or add that extra “cherry on the top” to your designs.

Nexa Rust Font by Fontfabric

Some other current font favorites are Adorn (a modern and sometimes quirky script perfect for invitations) and Harman (includes seven fonts and their inline forms that have different styles from each other but at the same time compatible when used together).

 

 

My Favorite Gift Ideas for the Hostess

I find that right after Thanksgiving the holiday party invites start rolling in, so I decided to tackle the host/hostess gift guide first this year. If you’ve ever hosted a dinner or party of any kind, you know how much work it takes. Here are a few good gift ideas to let the host know that you appreciate their efforts!

Favorite Gifts for the Hostess

salt and pepper grinder setboxes gold ornamentcaptain wood server | paz treesjoya composition no. 1 white soap | measuring spoons | golden triangle pillowchick candleholderbud vases

All of these items are available from CB2 along with tons of other amazing gift ideas! Is there anything you’d like to receive as a party host/hostess? See all of my gift guides here!

DIY Marshmallow S’more Pops

DIY Smore Pops Recipe

I’m always looking for easy, yummy, and festive party treats when the holidays roll around and s’more pops are just that! While regular s’mores are delicious, they are quite messy, so these are a perfect individual serving alternative!

Recipe

Marshmallows
1 package of semi-sweet chocolate chips
Graham cracker crumbs (or make your own)
Lollipop sticks (you can find them at some kitchen or craft stores)
Wax Paper
Styrofoam

insert the lollipop sticks into the marshmallows

Steps

1) First insert the lollipop sticks into the marshmallows. Make sure not to go all the way through or the marshmallow will fall off into the chocolate when dipping.

melting chocolate on the stove

2) Melt your chocolate  - either in a microwave or a double boiler (a makeshift one in my case). Have your graham cracker crumbs in a bowl nearby.

Festive S'more Pops

3) Gently dip each marshmallow into the chocolate and rotate until all sides are covered then dip directly into the graham cracker crumbs while the chocolate is still wet. 

Ciera-Design-Smore-Pop-Recipe-4

4) Place on wax paper, or stick into your styrofoam, to let cool and dry. I placed my piece of styrofoam directly into the decorative box I was using to display them in, and covered it with crinkled paper to be more presentable.

Ciera-Design-Smore-Pop-Recipe-5

These s’more pops were a huge hit at the party I brought them to and I’ll definite be making them for future holiday events! If you’re hosting a holiday party, know that you don’t need to spend your entire paycheck on entertaining everyone. Try to incorporate lots of finger foods. Fun appetizers and easy desserts like this one usually do the trick. If you want to give everyone small parting gifts or stocking stuffers, check out Pinterest for neat DIY ideas for the season. Shutterfly has general photo gifts and an actual holiday section for things like personalized gift tags and Christmas cards. Or visit Etsy to check out holiday cards designed by yours truly!

Ciera Design Holiday Cards + Black Friday Sales

For those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you had a wonderful day with family and friends! I’m up in Maine for the week and while I’m skipping out on the Black Friday madness I wanted to share some special deals with y’all! The Ciera Design 2014 holiday collection is now up in my Etsy shop and I’m offering my lovely readers 30% off through cyber monday with code “CYBER14″! Also get 50% off my ebook, The Meetup Guide!

Holiday Card Prep

 

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales

  • AMAZONSpecial lightning deals updated every 10 minutes at Amazon.com (11/26-11/28)
  • BLURB: 20% off print book orders with code: CYBER20
  • CREATIVE MARKET: 20% off of everything!
  • CRICUT$5 Off Orders $50+ with code: CRICUTBF5
  • EXPRESS: 50% off of everything.
  • FOSSIL: $25 off of $150, $50 off of $200, plus free shipping and returns on all orders
  • FREE PEOPLEFree shipping on all orders
  • GAP: Take 50% off sitewide at the Gap with code BLKFRIDAY
  • HONEST: 25% off sitewide
  • J.CREW: Take 30% off select full-price styles and additional 40% off sale + free shipping, no minimum, with code HOLIDAY (11/26-11/30).
  • KATE SPADE SATURDAY: Take 30% off sitewide + free shipping with code DEALME (11/26-11/30).
  • LORD & TAYLOR: Take an extra 20% off everything + 25% off jewelry with code THANKS (11/25-11/30).
  • MADEWELL: Take 25% off site wide with code GIFTON (11/25-11/30).
  • MODCLOTH: 50% off hundred of new arrivals (11/26-11/30).
  • MINTED25% off your order (excludes holiday cards)20% off your holiday card order of $150+ or 15% off your holiday card order of $100+
  • MY FONTS: Tons of fonts on sale up to 90% off
  • NINE WEST: 20% off of purchase of $125 or more
  • POPPIN: $10 off $85 with the code POPHOLIDAY1085 and $25 off $100 with the code POPHOLIDAY25
  • RUCHE: Take 30% off sitewide with code BLKFRDY (11/27-11/28). Take 30% off full-priced items – plus, an extra 50% off will automatically be applied at check out with code BLKFRDY (12/1-12/2).
  • SHOES.COM: Black Friday sale, 30% off of all sale items with the code BLACK
  • SHOPBOP: Tiered promotion:15% off $250, 20% off $500, 25% off $1000 with code GOBIG14 (11/26-12/1)
  • SKILL SHARE: 40% off an entire year with discount code BLACK14
  • TARGET: Women’s Boots BOGO 50% off and hundreds of deals site wide (11/27-12/1)
  • TINYPRINTS: 30% off any order using the code BLACKFRIDAY plus an extra 10% off using the code 1128DEAL at checkout
  • URBAN OUTFITTERS: Take an additional 25% off all sale online and an additional 50% off all sale in-stores (11/28)
  • WARBY PARKERbuying glasses is a cinch with the FREE Home-Try-On program, 5 Days, 5 Pairs, 100% FREE!
  • WEST ELM: Take up to 25% off with code SUPERSALE (11/26-12/1)
  • WP ENGINEsign up for an annual plan and get 4 months of free hosting with code “CyberHosting14″ when signing up.

I hope this list saves you all a little time and money this weekend! I’m trying to keep this list as up to date as possible, but I can’t gaurantee any of these deals. xoxo

Design Portfolio: White Swan Personal Training Website

Personal Trainer Photo Based Web Design

Happy Monday! I’m trying to get better at sharing completed projects on a more steady basis around here, so here we go! The first time I worked with Vesta was in 2010 on the Race + Religious rebranding and website. I’ve worked with Vesta on a few different things over the years and I’m so excited to be able to help with her latest venture.  I just launched Vesta’s site for White Swan Personal Training, her new personal training company! Vesta knew she wanted a very simple and clean look. I knew that I wanted to showcase the true passion that she has for exercise and ballet! I wanted the gorgeous photographs to shine so I kept the color palette and design elements to a minimum. What do you think?

P.S. I’ve just about wrapped up all of my 2014 client projects and I’m now booking for 2015. If you need anything design related, get in touch!

Moodboard: Rose Gold

I’m so excited to show y’all this moodboard I designed inspired by Brian Gavin Diamonds’s new Rose Gold Collection. The collection is so romantic and soft I wanted the moodboard to express the same feelings. I am adoring this color combo so much, I feel like I need to throw a party using it! Hmmm, wedding colors?

Rose Gold Inspired Moodboard

Diamond / Sequins / Glitter / Champagne / Make It Count / Girl In Hat

Introducing the Italian Rose Gold Collection from Brian Gavin Diamonds. Each unique piece of jewelry is crafted from 14k Italian Rose Gold with white gold, diamond cut beads. Available in earrings, necklaces and bracelets – this affordable collection provides ultra romantic accessories for the fall.

With five generations of diamond expertise, artistry and integrity, Brian Gavin Diamonds sells exquisite loose diamonds and hand-crafted, customized diamond engagement rings and jewelry. Since 1999, thousands of satisfied local, national and global clients have enjoyed Brian Gavin Diamonds’ personalized diamond experience — both online and off. Follow Brian Gavin Diamonds on Twitter, Pinterest and don’t miss them on Instagram, they have some really awesome videos! Thanks to Brian Gavin Diamonds for sponsoring this post!

Upcycled + Restyled Home Office Bookshelf

Upcycled-Home-Office-Bookshelf-6

Who has a to-do list a mile long of home projects and updates? I know I do! My dad is a bit of a dumpster diver so there’s never a shortage of furniture in our family, while abundant, it’s not always pretty. A while back he gave me a bookshelf that’s been really useful, but an eyesore in my office, see below. I just shoved a bunch of stuff on it and that was that. I’ve been meaning to give it an upgrade but just couldn’t get around to it.

Upcycled-Home-Office-Bookshelf-1

Well, BLACK+DECKER contacted me with a challenge to finish a project that I had been putting off as part of their Your Big Finish campaign. Through this campaign, BLACK+DECKER is encouraging homeowners and renters to finish neglected projects around their homes for a chance to win $10,000 and other prize packages. I knew immediately I wanted to tackle this bookshelf!

Upcycled-Home-Office-Bookshelf-2

Lucky for me it was easy to deconstruct. I cleared off the junk, took it apart, taped up the ends of the legs and got out my white spray paint! I needed to do a few coats since the original color was so dark. Once the paint was dry I reassembled the shelf. When I was putting items back on the shelf I kept it to a minimum instead of just cramming everything back on. I moved some of the extra books and boxes to a shelf that wasn’t so front and center in my office and focused on making this shelf both pretty and functional. It was so easy, I can’t believe I procrastinated for so long! It’s amazing that a little white spray paint can make such a huge difference.

A little white spray paint can make a huge difference!

Now it’s your turn to finish a project! BLACK+DECKER has launched this movement to get all the unfinished home projects moving again. Join them for the opportunity to win $10,000 cash and products. Plus, they might put you and your finished project on a billboard right in the middle of Times Square. So while your family may never notice that you finished hanging the crown molding, millions of others will!

 

Click Here To Enter Your Project

 

There are weekly BLACK+DECKER prize packages (valued at approximately $440), and one Grand Prize of $10,000. Check out the finished project gallery to browse other entries and get inspiration for your own project then submit your own entry for a chance to win!

finish those incomplete projects

Many thanks to BLACK+DECKER for sponsoring today’s story and inspiring me to FINALLY finish this project!

Hammitt Handbags Giveaway

Hammitt Los Angeles Designer Handbags

I’m so excited to be able to share this giveaway with y’all today! For those of you who aren’t familiar, Hammitt is an American maker of designer handbags. Every Hammitt bag is made by hand in Los Angeles, California by skilled artisans with years of experience working with some of the biggest handbag names in the world of fashion. Skilled leather artisans curate every detail, from suede lining and polished rivets, to discreet cell-phone pockets and smart reversible straps. Hammitt embodies youthfulness, self-confidence, and effortless style. Every made-to-order piece is a timeless staple with each bag becoming a personal reflection of its individual collector.

Hammitt-Lockland-Handbag

Now for the fun part! I’ve teamed up with Hammit Handbags to help spread the word about an amazing giveaway. You can enter for a chance to win a limited edition handbag by Hammitt worth $760, courtesy of Stearns & Foster (shown above). One lucky winner will also receive their very own hand-stitched Stearns & Foster Lux Estate mattress. Hammitt has created this exclusive bag for Stearns & Foster, one which embodies their values of American-made, timeless styling, superior craftsmanship and the world’s finest materials. Called, “The Lockland” after the birthplace of Stearns & Foster, the bag is a highly versatile, go-anywhere, carryall satchel handcrafted in a timeless silhouette with Hammitt signature rivets and rough-edge. Stearns & Foster is giving away 20 of these bags through their Facebook page, so go check it out!
 

Enter To Win By Clicking Here

 

Abbreviated Rules: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited by law. Open to legal US residents (incl. DC), 18 years or older (19 years old in AL and NE, 21 in MS) at start of Sweepstakes. Promotion consists of 4 separate Sweepstakes the first of which begins at 12:00 a.m. ET on 8/13/14, and the last of which ends on 12/14/14, at 11:59 p.m. ET. To enter, click here, “like” the page, and complete and submit the registration form. 20 prize winners will receive a limited edition Hammitt® Handbag. Approximate Retail Value (ARV) of each: $760. One winner will receive a Stearns & Foster® mattress set (ARV: $1499). Limit one (1) prize per person/per household. Odds of winning are based on the number of eligible entries received per sweepstakes. For complete rules and eligibility requirements, visit www.stearnsandfoster.com Sponsor: Tempur Sealy International, Inc. Thank you for supporting this blog by allowing me to post occasional sponsored content. Photo via Hammitt.