My Hood // Jamaica Plain [Boston Photo Tour]

It’s been a while, but the Boston Photo Tour is back! Today I’m giving you a peek into my hood! I feel that I’ve been able to capture such intimate details from my neighborhood, much more than other locations throughout my Boston Photo Tour. Sometimes you need time to explore and figure out what the area is all about. Sometimes you need to pass by a few times until the shot or light is right.

Afternoon Sun

Truck Window

Front Door

Alveston Terrace

and when I only have my iphone, that works too…

Jamaica Plain Instagrams

Follow me on Instagram for more every day photos and subscribe to the Ciera Design RSS feed or follow me on Twitter so you don’t miss out on the rest of the tour!

30 Before 30 // Three Month Update

It has been three months since I wrote my 30 before 30 list of professional and personal goals. Let’s see how I am doing so far!

green = done
yellow = in progress, there are lots of items that I will not mark as “done” until the end of the year
orange = hope to do soon or need to wait for a certain time of year
gray = probably not happening this year


01 create an inspiring studio space at home
I would say that my space is getting there. It’s kind of a mess right now because I have everything spread out on the floor to organize and put back away. You can see a snapshot of my desk and I’ll be posting some more workspace photos this month!

02 website/blog makeover
Some small updates have been made here and there. I’ll write a full blog post on the updates soon.

03 create a better home/work balance and learn to take real days off work
I have been taking most weekends off of work but finding it difficult to know when to stop working in the evenings, there is always something more to do! Anyone have a suggestion for this?

04 travel to Austin or San Francisco
I was home in New Orleans for almost all of January and am heading home again for a wedding. I think that may be all my travel budget allows this year, but you never know…

05 more tangible artwork
Need to combine this with number 14, kinda the same right?

06 learn to plan better for blog posts and focus on unique and meaningful content
Would you say I’m succeeding here? I have been writing more design based posts, personal adventures and unique content like recipes and DIYs.

07 read more books
Have not read a book yet this year, sad. Any suggestions?

08 create a stationery and art print line and online shop
I added a few things to my Etsy shop but have not created a new line yet.

09 use camera in manual mode more than auto
Have used in manual a few times but not totally into it yet, disappointing since I studied photography in college.

10 serious purge of closet and create a coherent wardrobe
Selling a few things on Ebay and donated a lot. I need to do a little more purging.

11 design and send out Christmas cards
I should probably start now

12 refinish living room table
I got used to it and not sure it is even worth refinishing

13 explore new places in Boston
Yep, I have explored some new places, mostly restaurants and bars, of course. Once the weather warms up for good I hope to explore more of the outdoors!

14 more DIY projects
I have done two DIY posts this year and have more coming!

15 week-long camping trip
Need warm weather, although it was unbearably hot the last trip. Need to find an island with shade.

16 visit Salem during October/Halloween

17 guest posts and/or collaborate with other bloggers
I had a guest post on Erin’s blog and have been submitting some ideas around the blogosphere…

18 buy another lens for my camera
I also want a Wacom Tablet now, I can’t decide which one to get first

19 visit Boston Harbor Islands
Once the Ferry is running, I’m there!

20 host a fabulous dinner party
We have friends over for dinner all of the time. While the meals are always wonderful, I want to throw a special dinner party.

21 create a regular exercise program
Have done a few random On Demand videos but that’s about it

22 update my design portfolio

23 take a self-portrait
Done. I have decided I don’t really like it though and want to do more.

24 go ice skating

25 try a “what I wore” post
Done! I have two “What I Wore” posts so far this year (BBQ in January // Wandering the Big Easy) and think they are really fun, have you guys enjoyed them?

26 learn Zander’s pizza recipe and work on cooking skills
Zander is pretty much just the master in the kitchen so I may just leave this one alone

27 leave the house more (easier said than done when working from home)
I have been walking to run errands, doing okay with this

28 one date night a month
Skipped January since we were not together for most of it. February went to Aquitaine and March went to a movie.

29 throw a special bridal shower/bachelorette party for my BFF
Done! You can see some detail here: Inspiration Board // Invitations // Party Survival Kit, Food and Photobooth

30 less online time
Totally failing on this one.

Not too much green on the list but what do y’all think??

Favorite Posts of March

Here are my favorite posts from March but I’d like to hear from you guys… do you have a favorite post or topic from the month? What would you like to see more of on the blog?

Ciera Design Favorite Posts of February 2012

1 Design Tips – Facebook Timeline for Pages – thanks to Katherine for mentioning this post here!
2 What I Wore // Wandering the Big Easy
3 Pinterest Picks – Tangerine and Mint
4 Happy Birthday Dad
5 Party Survival Kit and Photobooth DIY
6 Three Green Mojito Recipe
7 A Whimsical European Fairytale
8 These are a few of my favorite green things

thanks to Design Your Way for featuring my Rose Crescent Letterpress Business Card design here!

I have a lot planned for March but if you have any special requests just let me know! xo Ciera


I stopped in to Saloon the other night while in Davis Square and posted this photo to Instagram because I just LOVED the menu design. Actually, I noticed that everything in the bar was branded beautifully. The next day I searched the web to see who designed it and I should have know… it was the work of Somerville based, Oat Creative. I featured their work for Island Creek Oyster Bar a few months ago and they just keep pumping out spectacular work!

Saloon is inspired by the iconic New York City pre-prohibition establishment. With a focus on brown liquors and local beers, Saloon calls reference to a time when drinks were serious and uncomplicated. The menu is intended for sharing and combines American fare with contemporary favorites.

photos via Oat

Now Accepting Sponsors for April + Discount Code!

Hello lovely readers! I just wanted to stop by and let you know I am currently filling sponsor spots for April! I just implemented the new Passionfruit ad system to make it even easier and more beneficial for you to sponsor Ciera Design. It’ll be super easy for you guys… no more emailing back and forth, you get to do everything right from Passionfruit’s secure site!

I’m so excited about this new system that I have decided to offer $5 off for the first 10 people to purchase a spot of any size. Just enter the code SPRING2012 when you checkout.

If you’re interested in finding out more about how to become a sponsor and all the benefits which come along with sponsorship, click over to my sponsorship page. You can also purchase your ad right from that page.

 And some more good news: I have chosen to cover the processing fee for the use of Passionfruit instead of passing along the cost to the customer, so you will note that prices are staying the same!

Say Hello… [March]

I’ve teamed up with some lovely sponsors for the month, and I’m thrilled to introduce you to them! Take a couple of minutes to click on the links below so you can see for yourself how wonderful these guys are! 

Blog // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest // Instagram // Ciera Loves >> Jasmine’s Outfit Posts

“I am edgy but sweet, vintage yet modern, unconventional yet composed. I never think less is more when it comes to fashion, especially accessories! Sequin Crush is a blog about my personal style and my fashion crush’s of the moment. I hope to inspire others to explore their inner sequin crush and find as much love in fashion as I do.” -Jasmine


Blog // Flickr // Ciera Loves >> Zander’s street photography

Zander is a photo-journalistic chap with an eye forged from the likes of Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, and Josef Koudelka.

Blog // Twitter // Ciera Loves >> Megan’s Po-boy illustration

Daily Foodles is a project by designer and illustrator Megan Pendergrass documenting through illustrations and typography something or everything she eats in a day. Daily Foodles is a merging of food love and a passion for drawing/doodling/creating.

Want to take part in this post next month? Sponsors are an important part of this blog. They help it continue to exist and grow. The funds raised go back into promoting this blog. Ciera Design is now accepting sponsors for April! Click HERE for details!


A Whimsical European Fairytale

After working with Race and Religious (named after the intersecting streets) for over a year on their new identity and website, I finally got to visit the compound! I knew from all of the photos that it was a wonderful and unique place, but when I actually got to wander the halls I was blown away! There is art everywhere, exposed bricks, religious iconography, endless nooks and crannies and oriental rugs layered throughout the home. Race & Religious is a masterpiece of nostalgia, a love song to New Orleans, a whimsical European fairytale, a spectacle of design, and foremost, a family home steeped in history. I got to capture some of my favorite parts from the home but I probably need to visit a few more time to soak up all of the beautiful details!

Race and Religious 1

Race and Religious 2

Race and Religious 3

Race and Religious 4

Race and Religious 5

Race and Religious 6

Race and Religious 7

Race and Religious 8

Race and Religious 9

Race and Religious 10

Race and Religious 11

Race and Religious 12

Race and Religious 13

Race and Religious 14

Race and Religious 15

Race and Religious 16

Click here to view as a slideshow.

If you are interested, their website shares a great history of the compound and describes Granville Semmes’ thirty-year renovation project as a warden of history.

Three Green Mojito

There are plenty of whiskey drinks out there for St. Patrick’s Day, so today I want to share a mojito recipe with you! Since this drink features three green ingredients it is delicious and festive! It’s also perfect for this weather that seems to be warming up. Hope you enjoy!

1 Mojito Recipe

2 Mojito Recipe

Ingredients: mint, lime, cucumber, simple syrup, crushed ice, light rum, club soda

3 Mojito Recipe

4 Mojito Recipe

5 Mojito Recipe


Directions: (this recipe serves 1)

– Muddle 6 mint leaves in the bottom of a glass
– Cut lime into quarters
– Squeeze three quarters into glass and drop them in (save one quarter for garnish)
– Cut cucumber into thin slices and drop 3 slices into glass (save one slice for garnish)
– Add 2 tablespoons of simple syrup
– Fill the glass with crushed ice
– Add 1 (or 2) shots of light rum
– top off with club soda
– garnish glass with 1 lime quarter and 1 cucumber slice

You can also make a virgin mojito which is just as delicious, just leave out the rum!


7 Mojito Recipe

6 Mojito Recipe

Cucumber Mojito Recipe

Cucumber Mojito Recipe

Party Survival Kit and Photobooth DIY

My friend Megan and I had so much fun putting together this survival kit for our best friends bachelorette party. We wanted a funny little gift basket to give all of the girls and figured what better than a survival kit!

peacock party details 1 - party survival kit

peacock party details 2 - party survival kit

peacock party details 10 - personalized champagne glasses


Each bucket included:

Custom Champagne Glass
Cheez-Its (an inside joke that goes along with the “keep it cheezy” theme”)
Peacock Feather


peacock party details 4 - custom gatorade label

peacock party details 5 - party survival kit

peacock party details 3 - custom gatorade label

We made labels for most of the items and put them in plastic buckets with tissue paper.

peacock party details 6 - party survival kit

We also made a photo booth.

peacock party details 7

peacock party details 8 - photobooth

and my sis made these amazing treats… peacock inspired veggie tray with edemame hummus and butt cookies, hehe.

peacock party details 9

peacock party details 11

peacock party details 12

peacock party details 13 - butt cookies

And that wraps up all of the details from this party, it was a lot of work, but totally worth it! Check out my Inspiration Board and Invitations from this party.