As you may have noticed, Turquoise Violets got a little bit of a face lift! This was something that I have been wanting to do for quite sometime now. And I finally found the perfect design and designer!!! I found Chelsea, of Bella Lulu Ink, on Etsy and she came to my rescue and gave my ho-hum blog and kick in the butt! Not only is she creative and talented, but quite frankly one of the nicest people that I have meet through blogging. She walked me through my indecisiveness and together we came up with something really special! I am so honored to have her work displayed in my bloggy home! Chelsea also writes a blog of her own, Bella Lulu Ink, where you can grab free printables every Sunday! They are all to die for, but this is my favorite so far:
You can subscribe to her blog, Bella Lulu Ink, and never miss a freebie sunday! And if all of that wasn't enough she was cool enough for a little interview! SO with no further ado....Here She is!
Everyone, Meet Chelsea!
ET: How long have you been doing blog design?
Chelsea: Well, on Etsy, a whopping month! :) I've been manipulating blogs for about six years now, but didn't really start getting serious until about two years ago. I've always loved changing my own blog design, and at some point it occurred to me that I could put all this creative energy to good use and make templates for other people rather than change my blog up every single month!
ET: Where do you find your inspiration?
Chelsea: I am almost obsessive about visiting new blogs. When I find a blog, I try to check out the sidebars and visit all the blogs linked to on said blog. Sometimes I get lost for hours just hopping from one blog to the next. I also follow some amazing graphic designers on Pinterest and I get daily inspiration that way.
ET: Why offer Sunday free printables?
Chelsea: I started it because I had some printables I'd designed and figured I might as well put them out there in bloggy land. Now it forces me to be creative in a different vein than I'm used to doing with all the current blog work I have. I've been very gratefully busy since opening up shop, so I'm started to actually dream about designing blogs...every single night. True story. Being able to work on something a little different from time-to-time is fun! It keeps me a little sharper than I'd otherwise be.
ET: What could you be found doing when you are not blogging and designing?
Chelsea: Well, I have three children four and under, so most of my time not blogging or designing is spent loving on them, cleaning up spills, changing diapers and blowing on tummies. And spending time with my geek of a hubby (he's a software engineer) who has inspired me and taught me so much! Life is pretty crazy and totally busy, but I love it.
ET: Who or what are your style icons?
Chelsea: Oh man, I don't know where to start. First things first, I'm really into minimalism. It's hard to sometimes break out of that box when designing for people who may not be so minimal. I love lots of white space. Bold black and white are my favorite. But then I am totally crushing on all the watercolor that has filled the design world lately.
I used to work at a newspaper as an account manager. Basically, I was the go-between for the client and graphic designer. I went to school for Public Relations and Advertising, but had no idea I'd end up falling so in love with the graphic design side of things. Anyway, I could ramble forever here, but one of my favorite graphic artists that I worked with, Mary, is probably my biggest inspiration. I love everything she does! She inspired me to branch out and actually try the graphic design side of things.
SO here I sit, one day into my "30's".
The hubs, who is a a few years my elder, was poking fun at my no longer being a "spring chicken".
It used to be that woman shared an unspoken anxiety about switching age boxes, but now we have much more to worry about...now it's all about jumping to a different animal. I am no longer a spring chicken, I am a Cougar...hear me Roar!
But here's the thing....I don't really want to be a cougar. I feel like there is some sex kitten connotation that goes along with representing that over grown smelly house cat. When's the last time you were at the zoo and saw a cougar and said to yourself: "self...that's one smoking hot cat?" NO? Me neither.
Why can't I be something cooler? I am not that much for cats anyway.
I want to be something more alluring. More intriguing. More magical.
I want to be a Unicorn! A mystical Unicorn.
If it's about the sex appeal, come on let's face it, what's sexier than a silky white unicorn with it's long flowing locks dawning a giant falic symbol strapped to the front of it's face? I mean really? There is no competition here.
That's it. I proclaim myself a Unicorn. You can keep your roaring cougars! I am a Unicorn....hear me shoot magic rainbows out my ass!
This post is dedicated to one of my oldest and dearest friends. Amanda Proctor.
My sweet friend Amanda posted on Facebook about how she was finding herself drawn to fried chicken. Being a strict veggie, this seemed weird.
Let me tell you a little story...
I was a vegetarian in college.
It wasn't one of those radical 'I saw this animal cruelty video and now I can't ever eat another face" things. It was more of a "hey? I wonder if I could go a whole day/week/month/year with out meat?" thing. A personal challenge if you will. And I would call myself a vegetarian. Really only because it sounded much hipper than "I am broke and double dog dared myself to not eat meat so that I can save more money for all the PBR I plan to consume." Ah yes, Vegetarian.
Well this little charade went on for about two years, when I started having the strangest, reoccurring dreams. Every night for weeks I was chased all night long buy a giant, human sized Hot Dog. It wasn't as if the giant wiener was trying to attack or capture me. It was a happy dog. A happy dream. Running through a giant lush field. That steamy little link had his arms spread wide open as if to say that he loved me and had missed me so.
Like I said, this went on for a couple weeks. The same thing. Over. And over.
Finally I couldn't take it any longer, and I called my mother. I explained the sequence of Hot Dog fantasies that I had been having. And before I could even finish explaining she interjected without a blip of hesitation.....
"Erin, You either need to EAT MEAT or GET LAID!"
As a side note, this was also that defining moment when my mother and I had crossed into being able to freely talk about sex without if being weird....Friend Zone.
While trying to roll my jaw back up to my face and fanning my increasingly reddened checks, I was trying to wrap my brain around what I was supposed to say about that.
She was right. I had been a bit of a dry spell. And I was starving...from malnutrition. There was only one this to do. A little bit of bar stool science, some deductive reasoning. I took all that extra money I had saved up and PBR'ed myself into a situation that lead me to believe it wasn't the lack of sex. I was still having the dreams and needed to eat meat.
Needless to say, I am back on the meat wagon. And have been for quite some time. I am actually hovering over a whole roasted chicken with a fork in hand as I type.
But back to Amanda and her cravings for Fried Chicken. Go call your mom. She'll have the answer.
So, I sort of have this "thing" about me. I take a slight pride in my chameleon like abilities. It brings me a little bit of cynical joy to remind people that we have met before, followed by them making that funny 'where do I know you from?' face. What can I say. I like to change my look. Somedays I am feeling very retro, others days I just want to feel like a rock star. Somedays I feel like a hot momma, and well, others I don't even get out of my pj's.
You guys are all well aware how much I love a good #thriftyfind, because let's face it... all this changing can get a little pricey. Which is why I am over the moon to tell you guys about my new partnership with Firmoo.com
Firmoo.com is one of the world's largest online optical retailers. They offer prescription and non-prescription glasses and sunglasses, and since they do not offer "name brands" they retail at an extremely affordable price! And you know that makes this girl happy! Do you guys want to be happy too? Well guess what... Firmoo.com just launched their 'First Pair Free' program. So why wouldn't you try them?
These are my new specs! I have had the best experience with this company. I love that the website is so stream lined and there are not 5 billion frame options. There are plenty of quality frames that are trendy, classic, funky, or a little bit of all three. While oohing! and ahhhing! over some of the best options, I was instantly drawn to this pair. The split in color with the bold and daring yellow paired with the classic retro feel of the tortoise shell...these glasses had my name all over them. Like actually screaming my name. And I don't know about you but wearing yellow just always makes me smile. They are super light weight and comfortable, yet extremely durable - as I can attest to after stepping on them today...no worries...they survived! Like a champ!
How do you know the glasses will fit? I know that's what you're thinking. Well here's my tip: If you already have glasses, look on the inside arm to find a set of numbers that you can match up to the sizes Firmoo offers. If you still need more assurance that the style is right for you, you can upload a picture of yourself and try them on...virtually. Go here to get your first pair free. All you pay is shipping - what a deal! Seriously, what are you waiting for!
I have even more exciting news about my new friends at Firmoo that I will be sharing with you tomorrow... So don't go anywhere!