That’s A Wrap: August + September

I know, I know I totally missed August’s recap post, oops, so I am combining both months here! September has been quite a month, trying my hardest to get back into a normal schedule and my computer decides to totally crap out on me. Can’t get much done without a computer for two weeks… but luckily I have awesome friends, and friends with extra computers, yay! On a fun note, I got to show the lovely Joanna Waterfall and her hubby some of New Orleans when they were in town! Zander got to stop home in between Iceland and South Korea and now on the way to Mexico so that’s exciting, even if it is only for a week at a time, I’ll take it! AND lot’s of great stuff happened in the studio, on the blog and around the web:

That's A Wrap August and September

On The Blog

– I wrapped up my Spain photos including Madrid, Barcelona and Segovia, France coming soon!
– Updated my portfolio with the packaging for local cosmetics company, Kismet
– Shared a new favorite font, Garden
– Shared a recap of Made In Mind’s Letterpress demo event
– Getting back on track with new fitness goals
– Photographs of styled mementos from each of the main cities I traveled to
– Dreaming about a bathroom upgrade
– Shared some of my favorite stock photo sites

In The Studio

– New client alert! I’m now the art director for a business magazine that just launched in New Orleans, got the first issue in the mail today!
– I’m hiring a local, part-time designer! Find details here.
– Designed the marketing materials for The Green Project’s Salvations for the 4th year, wow!
– Launched my second Darby Smart DIY kit, Gold Animal Toppers
– If you missed my first kit (the studded tote) you can vote it back!
– Updated my shop page, what do you think?
– Customizing tons of these bad boys from my Etsy shop

Salvations Gala Invitation


– Honored to be included in Regina’s The 5 (Blog Reader) Love Languages post!
– Backyard Tin Can Fence Garden was featured on Good Housekeeping
– Humbled to be mentioned along side these awesome Inspiring Designers
– Designed a desktop freebie for Lovely Indeed, go brab it!
– Listed as one of Autumn Leaves Useful Sites for New and Established Blogger
– Friendship Bracelet DIY featured on Brit + Co

Favorite Fonts

– Galea Display (50% off through Oct. 3)
– Magma II (50% off through Oct. 3)
– Benito Family (50% off through Oct. 3)
– Aina (75% off through Oct. 5)
– Festivo Letters (80% off through Oct. 6)


Free and Affordable Stock Photo Sites That Don’t Suck

Free and Affordable Stock Photo Sites Great For Bloggers

I think by now we all know the importance of using great imagery, whether it be for blog posts, design projects, social media or anything else where you are trying to look professional as well as capture your audience’s attention.

While I’m a huge fan of completely custom imagery, we don’t always have the skill set, time or budget to do that. But that shouldn’t stop us from having great photographs. For me, those classic cheesy stock photos are not an option, I like stock photos that don’t really feel like stock photos! While I’ve been searching for the perfect, affordable image time and time again, I’ve also been bookmarking those image source sites, and today I’m sharing my favorites!

Free Options

Affordable Options

Any other ones that I missed out there? I’d love to hear about them!

Please check the licenses before using photos from any of these sites.

Fitness: Getting Back On Track with Healthy Choices

This story about making healthy choices has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. But as always, all opinions are mine alone. #BalanceRewards #CollectiveBias

sports bra, apple, wedding magazine for fitness

A few months ago I was finally back into a good health and wellness routine, I was going to the gym at least twice a week (better than nothing) and doing pretty good at eating healthy. All of that went right out the window when I started traveling, oy! We did a ton of walking, but we also did a ton of eating! So now that I am home, settling back in, it’s time for me to get back on track. I’m in the process of planning my wedding and besides the venue, music, flowers, invitations, etc, I want my health to be a priority on that list as well. When I’m eating bad and not exercising I feel sluggish, I want planning my wedding to be an enjoyable experience and I want to be in great shape and healthy for the big day! It’s time for me to start making healthy choices again.

healthy food, new fitness gear and iphone app

I don’t know about you, but being able to track my health goals and getting a little reward every now and then really helps to keep me going. This is where the Walgreens app comes into play. I have always been a Walgreens customer for my toiletries and use their app to refill my prescriptions. I also have a Balance Rewards card. For every 5,000 points you earn $5 to spend at Walgreens. If I’m going to be buying stuff, I might as well get rewards for it right?!

sports bra, tennis shoes, capris, iphone, water bottle

But what I didn’t know until recently is that you can also earn rewards just by making healthy choices throughout the day with their Balance Rewards for healthy choices feature. You can track your steps, weight and blood pressure each day. Every time you track one of those items you earn Balance Rewards. You can even sync some devices (like a Fitbit) straight to your account so go register today and start tracking your progress!

wedding magazine apple and sports bra

Another way I like to reward myself is with some new workout gear every once in a while! I just got these Victoria’s Secret Sport items and adore them, I want to go get more in all of their fun patterns!

sports bra, tennis shoes, capris and walgreens app

Thank you for supporting this blog by allowing me to post occasional sponsored content. All sponsored posts feature products or services that I truly feel would be of interest to you. #BalanceRewards #CollectiveBias

Garden Font by Los Andes

It’s been a while since I shared a favorite font but I want to get back into it so today I’m sharing a font designed by Mendoza Vergara, from the Los Andes foundry. Garden is a serif display handmade font with a playful and spontaneous feel inspired by Brazil’s cheerful and warm people. The Garden family offers a font with a set of original catchwords (‘Garden Catchwords’, based on brush calligraphy), floral dingbats and botanical ornaments. It’s well-suited for text composition, posters, headlines, label design and handmade-style items. Garden has a special 60% off introductory offer right now through September 25, so if you like it, grab it now!

Garden Font by Los Andes


Type samples from Affiliate links used.

Barcelona Spain


Continuing the sprancing recaps with Barcelona! We stayed at this apartment in the historic El Barri Gòtic area. The streets were tiny alleyways and our building looked like it was going to collapse at any moment, but it was an amazing location and experience. The last photo is a view from our window, the one morning we woke up earlier enough to see the street cleaning patrol. I really didn’t know what to expect from Barcelona but it ended up being one of my favorite cities! There are so many different areas, the mountains, the port, the beach, the parks, the old squares and gothic quarter and I loved it all! Use this link for $25 off your first Airbnb booking!


Food + Drink in Barcelona

La Deliciosa (on the beach)
Kiosko BurgerInstagrammed
Rosa del Raval
Restaurant Elche for paella • Instagrammed

Things to do in Barcelona

Playa Sant Sebastia – Barceloneta
Santa Maria del Mar Church • Instagrammed
Barcelona Cathedral • Instagrammed 1 • Instagrammed 2
Plaça Reial
Casa Batlló • Instagrammed
Montjuïc Mountain (gondola ride, Montjuïc Castle, Piscina olimpica)
La Sagrada Familia
Picasso Museum
Port Vell
Arco de Triunfo de Barcelona
La Rambla
Gothic Quarter























Gold Animal Topper DIY Kit + Giveaway


Remember the gold safari themed shower that I had for my bestie back in May? I showed you guys the invitations, the mimosa bar and even how to DIY some of the decor! And now, I’m excited to announce that this party inspired me to create another DIY kit with Darby Smart, Gold Animal Toppers! I originally made them as drink stirrers, but they can also be used as cake toppers. The kit includes everything you need, and is only $9 including shipping, so go grab one nowDarby Smart was also nice enough to offer a kit giveaway! It closes in 7 days so go enter!  ended.




P.S. My studded tote DIY kit is still also available!

Grove Street Letterpress Demo Recap

As plans for the next New Orleans Made In Mind are in full swing I’m realizing I never shared a recap of our last event, a letterpress demo from the wonderful ladies of Grove Street Press! Owners, cousins Kate and Anna, blew us away with not only graciously hosting us in their crush-worthy space, but also taught us a bit about letterpress. They led us through a demo then gave everyone a chance to crank the press and leave with a print.

Made In Mind Social - Grove Street Press - New Orleans - 1 Made In Mind Social - Grove Street Press - New Orleans - 2 Made In Mind Social - Grove Street Press - New Orleans - 3 Made In Mind Social - Grove Street Press - New Orleans - 4 Made In Mind Social - Grove Street Press - New Orleans - 5

St. Clair Pizza rolled up to the event with their charming wood fire pizza food truck. And we made some delicious sangria to wash it down!

Made In Mind Social - Grove Street Press - New Orleans - 6 Made In Mind Social - Grove Street Press - New Orleans - 7

Photos by Kaylynn Marie Photography | Chalk boards by Small Chalk | Head over to Made In Mind for the full recap and more photos!

The Made in Mind Social is a local group of creative types that gather every other month to meet other like minded creatives, learn about other local businesses and collaborate on future projects. If this sounds like you, we’d love for you to come to our next event on September 18. Interested in sponsoring an event? Find details hereNot in New Orleans but want to hold awesome events like this one? Start a Made In Mind chapter in your city!

Travel Memorabilia

Memorabilia from Marseille France

Today is the day that I head home from seven weeks of travel. I don’t really know how to feel. I’m totally ready for my own bed, washing machine, comfort food, friends and family, but I’m going to miss getting to explore something new everyday. I’m going to miss Zander (who is still traveling for work through November) and my best friend (who lives in NYC).

Memorabilia from Paris France

I didn’t really know what to expect when I left for these adventures. I had a flight scheduled home for about three weeks in but decided to ride the trip out with my friends and THEN meet up with Zander since we hadn’t seen each other for the two months after our engagement. This spontaneity is NOT like me at all. A million things ran through my mind, I should be saving up for the wedding, my clients will hate my weird schedule, I really want to renovate the bathroom, what are you thinking?! But in my heart, I felt like it was something I couldn’t pass up.

Memorabilia from Barcelona Spain

Before we left on our trip, Megan and I knew we wanted to collaborate on an ongoing creative project while we traveled together. We decided to photograph mementos from each of the main cities we traveled to, Marseille, Paris, Barcelona, Nice and Madrid.

Memorabilia from Nice France

I am SO glad we did it, it was sort of like a meditation at the end of each city to remember what was important during our time there. It also meant we could capture these items in a photo and didn’t have to be weighed down by them for the rest of our journey (of course we still kept a few favorites). These photos will help me to remember this amazing trip forever! Much better than a bathroom renovation, eh?

Memorabilia from Madrid Spain

I’ve already shared a travel guide for Madrid and some photos from Segovia, would you guys be interested in seeing recaps from each city in a separate post? Or would that be travel overload?

Dreaming of a Bathroom Renovation

A bathroom renovation has been in the back of my mind for a while now. It’s the room in my house that needs it the most, unfortunately it will have to wait a while longer but a girl can dream can’t she?

White and Gold Subway Tile Bathroom

My bathroom tiles were originally blue but a previous owner decided to paint them rather than replace them, yikes! Years later, the paint is starting to chip and it is not pretty. Not to mention, the floor tiles still contain blue, so it’s hard to choose a new color scheme with those still intact. I’m really digging white subway tiles with a darker grout and gold faucets and accessories.

Dream Bathroom Roundup: Decor, Faucets & Skin Care

brass prism | luxury spa towels | skin essentials | candle | edison pendant light | gold classic razor | soap dispenser | mirror | vanity | faucet | photo via Domino

This post is sponsored by The Towel Depot who carries everything from salon towelswholesale towelswholesale beach towels and shop rags. Thank you for supporting this blog by allowing me to post occasional sponsored content. All sponsored posts feature products or services that I truly feel would be of interest to you. Contains affiliate links.

Design Portfolio: Kismet Cosmetics Lipstick Packaging

One of my favorite things as a designer is being able to help out small businesses and local companies. When Louisiana local, Caitlin of Kismet Cosmetics, came to me asking if I’d be interested in creating the packaging for a lipstick line she was releasing, I was pumped. I have always wanted to get into packaging design and this amazing local company was the perfect chance. Kismet already had an art deco influence and we needed to build a cohesive brand with the already established packaging and website.

Kismet Cosmetics Lipstick Packaging by Ciera Design

The box design needed to be used across various lipstick colors, stand out on a boutique shelf by itself or with multiple shades and Caitlin also wanted a package that  created a pattern when they were lined up next to one another. It was a challenge to meet all of the criteria but I’m so happy with how it turned out. It’s been so fun seeing the packaging on Style Me Pretty, fashion blogs and Instagram. It makes me really proud that I can help a local business, even if it’s in a small way.

Kismet Cosmetics Lipstick Packaging by Ciera Design 1Kismet Cosmetics Lipstick Packaging by Ciera Design 4Kismet Cosmetics Lipstick Packaging by Ciera Design 3 Kismet Cosmetics Lipstick Packaging by Ciera Design 7

Fellow LSU graphic design alum, Krystal of A Pinch of Lovely, designed the bronzing lotion bottle and I did the lipstick boxes. Kismet is set to release some new shaded this Fall and I can’t wait to try them out! Photos via Southern Flair BlogKaela Rodehorst Photography for Haute Off The Rack and Kismet Cosmetics.