Friday, July 31, 2015

Fashion Illustration Friday

love this illustration? Get your own print here!


Im calling her my Casual Chic "It" Girl. Easy and put-together... with no fuss French inspired style. Wishing I looked like her today!

Looking for a similar outfit?! Try these: Scarf, Tee, Skirt, handbag, and loafers!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

xo
Michelle

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Shopaholic's Wish List: My "fall is coming and I can't wait" picks from Zara's AW15 Collection

Some of my favorite Zara AW15 Collection picks: Cropped Top, Navy Wide-leg Studio Trousers, Faux Leather Dress,
  Dress with necklace neckline, Top gathered at the side, And Cotton Trousers


I know I know it's still July, what am I even doing posting this?! But I am loving Zara's AW15 Collection and couldn't wait to share.

Fall is probably my favorite fashion season and since it's basically August, with only two more days left in July, it means September is right around the corner. So I feel like it really isn't that early... at least that's what I'm going to keep telling myself!

Above are some of my favorite picks from Zara's AW15 Collection. I love the silhouettes of each of these items and how comfortable and yet still polished they look.

Are you as excited for Fall as I am? What looks are you loving for the coming season?

xo
Michelle

Monday, July 20, 2015

Diary of a Freelancer: Nursery Tour, Wrapping up my Freelance Jobs, and Preparing for Maternity Leave

View from the doorway to the nursery, pretty wardrobe and decor!


Entering the nursery! (And please don't worry I know I can't keep the pillow or blanket in the crib, it's just in there for decoration for now.) The pillow will actually move to the glider once that arrives and the blanket will be put away/stored.
Continuing around the room, the space for reading and where the glider will go. We ordered it From Buy Buy Baby and it should be in late August/September. It's a grey tweed and the white heart pillow (see above) will look perfect sitting on it. 
Dresser/changing table with pretty decor and my custom illustrations. I still need to add two more, but it's almost ready!
Some of my favorite details, Gorgeous Classic Books, French Bulldog bookends, and a pretty dress for display.
I spent a long time writing this post. Work/life/baby balance is something I have been thinking about a lot over the last few months. Should I feel guilty that I still want a career post-baby or should I feel strong and proud that I will be showing my daughter that she can do both? And it's something that I thought about not sharing, and wrote and rewrote and thought about deleting this post... and then ultimately I decided that I would share in hopes that fellow freelancers, pregnant ladies, and working moms going through similar feelings about this balance could relate and maybe could even share some advice.

It's been a crazy month and I thought I'd take today to share a little about where I'm at and what I've been up to since somehow July 2 to July 20th went by without a post! I've been working hard on illustration jobs and home "nesting" type work and it's literally been a blur. This week I'm hoping to show you some of the jobs I've been working on, Wrap up all of my outstanding freelance work, and, in addition to that, I really wanted to share pictures of my nursery as it currently looks. So those pictures are above and overall I'm SO happy with it. I can't wait to see it completely finished, and show you the finished pictures, which will probably be sometime in September.

So those pictures are my life update and then for work update, I have a goal for myself to finish up all of my freelance work by this Friday. My reason for this is that if baby chooses to come early (which seriously I would love but I'm not counting on it I'm just being cautious) then it leaves me in a tricky situation work wise. I'm left with having to potentially let clients down. If this happens my options become; finishing work/jobs while I have a brand new baby, have clients wait two months for their work, or have to stop their work in the middle and send them to a new illustrator/designer and then all of the work I already did becomes a waste / I don't get paid for it and my clients have to start over and loose time on their jobs. All options just seemed like "no way" to me and I can't let that happen. And while I am over-the-moon excited for baby I do still want to keep my clients happy and get them a product they love on time.

This brings me to my inner battle and future goals. I love being a freelancer. I love working from home, the variety of jobs I get to work on and the amazing and interesting clients I've been able to work with, it's literally a dream. It's been fun and challenging to learn how to be an artist, a business manager, an assistant, a CFO, etc., all rolled into one person. And so knowing what I have done, and what I do (and what all people who work from home/for themselves/freelance do) it's been really frustrating that I've had numerous people tell me it's easier for me, to get ready for maternity leave, then if I was working at an actual office for someone else. This comment upsets me because it makes me feel like the people who said it don't think I work as hard as someone in an office and that it's no big deal to just let my career go for a little bit. And I know, I know, who cares what other people think, but sometimes I do and I can't help it. I'm hoping maybe my fellow freelancers and work-from-homers understand, while yes there are some amazing perks to working from home (like I can take a nap in the middle of the day when being pregnant makes me really sleepy) the other side is that I do have to make up that time. If I don't work I don't get paid and my client relations would suffer. And just like people who work in an office I need to make sure I get every single job done and every client is happy before I go on leave. And since I have done both... worked for myself and in an office... I can truly say it's not any easier working from home. Basically, I feel that, no matter where you work or who you work for, it is hard prepping to take a pause from your career.

And it's funny... I start to feel guilty... like I'm being selfish for even thinking about this when I'm expecting a baby. So I'd love to hear from mom's how they balance and make it work. How do they continue to push forward in their careers and still are amazing moms. Please share your tips and advice! I'd really love to hear it.

xoxo

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Fashion Illustration... Thursday?!?... Fourth of July Edition



I'm signing off early this week just as I'm sure many of you are and wanted to take this time to say I hope you have a wonderful fourth and that your weekend is filled with good friends, family, camp fires and s'more roasting... or any other activity that makes you happy (I think the girls above will be sailing with lots of champagne.. but that's just me!)!

See you next week!

xo

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Shopaholic's Wish List: Sale Picks

I love how around any major holiday stores have great sales! Here are a few of the items on my wish list from my favorite stores:

BANANA REPUBLIC
BANANA REPUBLIC PICKS!!! My current stop for bold prints and texture!! Loving this Striped Crossover-Hem Tank, Black Crossover Hem Tank with the Floral Jacquard Shorts, Amirah Flats, and Drapey Swing Tee with lace shorts! Don't forget code BRGOBIG at checkout for 50% off all of these awesome items and many more! With the sale the total for these six items is right around $155! 
ANTHROPOLOGIE
ANTHROPOLOGIE - one of my favorites for really unique and beautiful pieces - Here are my Summer Tag sale picks! Don't forget code SALEAWAY at checkout for an extra 20% off! Shadow Pane Tank, Lacework Tank, Eyelet Empire Blouse, Pearl Front Barrette, Netherlands Scarf, Mitered Stripe Peplum Tank, Miura Silk Blouse, Livnah Gown, and Lucite Bangles!
LOFT
MY LOFT PICKS!! Lou & Grey Catalina Dress (I have this one and it is seriously SO comfortable!) currently 50% offLou & Grey Strapped Dress 50% offLoft Beach Swing Dress extra 60% off, Lou & Grey Perforated Tee 50% off (I basically want this entire outfit including the necklace although the necklace is not listed on the site...boo),  Lou & Grey Whisperknit Cardigan 50% off, and Loft Floral Stripe Square Scarf extra 60% off
And here are some highlights of sales going on right now:

Loft Extra 60% off sale styles and styles for the fourth start at $7 no codes needed

Anthropologie is having their summer tag sale with an extra 20% off sale styles with code SALEAWAY

Kate Spade is giving an extra 25% off sale items with code SETSALE

Banana Republic is having an extra 50% off sale styles with code BRGOBIG

J.Crew is offering 30% off select wear-now styles and an additional 30% off sale items use code SUMMERSTYLE

Old Navy is having a "red, White, & blue sale with items starting at $2, $4, $6, & $8! no codes needed. This has become one of my favorite place for easy and comfortable maternity pieces. I can shop here with zero guilt since the prices are great and I will be wearing the maternity items for such a short amount of time. My favorite includes this dress at $13)

What are you looking for/shopping for right now? What stores do you always shop at when they are having a sale? I'd love to know.

xoxo