Monday, December 29, 2014

home sweet home...

I must say… I am REALLY loving me a few front porch shots lately… like ALOT.
There's just something so nostalgic about a family all crowded together on their front porch sharing a moment & a smile.

I even decided I needed one for myself… 
AND… it was while I was setting up the self-timer, that this happened… be still my heart.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

loving autumn...

A cold front just blew through Oklahoma overnight… leaving us with a major temp drop!!  We've been slowly awaiting the arrival of fall and all its pretties for awhile now, but of course it feels like we are skipping straight to winter!  So before the snow decides to start swirling in the skies, I thought I'd share a few of my favorites from our fairly warm autumn… easy to see why this time of year kicks off my happy place!  Lots of color, falling leaves, plus a few crisp days mixed in- perfect for walks with my Gracie girl!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

hello october...

Oh beautiful, wonderful, happy October!  You are finally here, yippee!!!  I am loving the phrase October is my favorite color by the way… -no really, it's pretty dang appropriate.  Living in Oklahoma has its weather challenges… for instance, the summers here are just WAY too hot.  So as a friend put it, I do lovingly look forward to the "ber" months the most.  But I mean come on Oklahoma, 90s in September?  It's gross.  Can we just get past this already?  Because fall is just that pretty time of year when I like to hop on my pumpkin obsession train, and deck out my home in all those gorgeous autumn colors, and let's face it… I am SO ready.  (side note: people may get confused when they come over in summer, because I tend to prefer these warmer, richer hues year round! -minus the pumpkins, I suppose)  Another fun fact I've recently learned… when it comes to fall, I've discovered I'm a basic white girl, and honestly… you guessed it, I'm perfectly okay with that.  Here's just a few of my favorite things that point out specifically why:
well basically anything pumpkin spice
plaid flannels & leggings & chunky knit scarves
black friday shopping

So hello, October.  Glad you are back.  You are my very favorite.  

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

day in the life...

I really love documenting moments.  The little ones.  The so seemingly ordinary- that we just skip through life not realizing how much they hold a place in our heart- moments.  As I look through these, I find that I was drawn to the quieter times… They tell our story.  I picked an ordinary August day & followed these two around.  And although I didn't quite get an entire day (more like an afternoon & evening- oh and lots of napping)- I now have the stills of some of my favorite happenings between the two loves in my world…
and that means everything.

Friday, August 22, 2014

forgotten, a lonely ghost town

On our way home from Santa Fe, we happened upon this little ghost town.  I honestly didn't even know these things really existed… When I think of ghost towns, I think of movie sets.  We didn't spend a lot of time here.  Rumor has it, there are still a few inhabitants.  And as much as I wanted to explore every corner, I also wanted to be respectful.  The vibes you get here… well let's just say you want to get in & get out… We almost got stuck on the first road we traveled down, literally had to back all the way out- thankfully without incident.  So here are a few snaps of Cuervo, New Mexico & all its abandoned, eerie charm…

Saturday, August 2, 2014

the 50 states » Santa Fe, New Mexico

So although we've visited a few states together already, we are hoping to visit each one with fresh eyes & a sense of adventure!  And what better way to start than with an impromptu vacation to visit family… Santa Fe, you say?  The halfway point between 2 houses… sounds perfect!  Plans were made, we arrived, and a few pictures were taken.

There was a wonderful farmer's market to visit… so many yummie aromas to fill the air, including fresh roasted green chiles!  Sadly, we wandered the market prior to purchasing anything, and by the time we made it back to the entrance, the green chiles were sold out.  The hubby was really disappointed to say the least…  So buy them first thing, folks!  In addition to the local flavor, there is also an artist market at the Santa Fe Railyard.  A few other shopping highlights included the Traditional Spanish Market and the Contemporary Hispanic Market, both of which were also happening during our stay there.  Sadly, not pictured are some of the jewelry & textiles I found… but I mean, really good.

While the majority of our snacking was done from our vacation rental… we were able to rest our weary legs during a few of our shopping extravaganzas.  The Coyote Cafe was perfection.  We were able to get out of the heat by visiting their rooftop cafe, where we promptly ordered a few cocktails.  We chatted about the sights as we awaited lunch, and oh boy… we were not disappointed.  The veggie tacos were my choice, and they were mouthwatering.  I may recommend sharing your plate if you still plan to wander the city, because I was really sad not to be able to finish my order (believe me, I tried!!).  Another yummie stop is The Pantry, where I ordered the huevos rancheros, Christmas style (that means covered in both red and green chile sauce) and yumtown.  Lastly, we ventured to Draft Station for a few local brews.  And although we didn't have any, the pizza there looked amazing!!!  The upstairs patio gave us a great view of the Santa Fe Plaza, which of course made for great people-watching.

Now if shopping and stuffing your face isn't your thing… the sights are breathtaking of course.  We did some running, biking, and even brought back the 90s with a little rollerblading on the nearby local trails.  PS, running in the desert is no joke.  Overall, we had a wonderful time in the little artsy town of Santa Fe.  We witnessed gorgeous sunsets and a storm that was something straight out of Oklahoma!!  Stop 1 of our 50 states = success!  And because I couldn't decide between filmstrip size (I'm a sucker for anything miniature, you see) or a little bit larger, here's a closer peek you won't need your glasses for… haha, enjoy!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

a few of my favorite grams...

So… I don't think I've mentioned that Instagram is one of my favorite & quickest go-to's for documenting and sharing our travels and day-to-day memories… or wait, maybe I have a few times, haha.  Now if you are a lover as much as me, then you MUST check out copygram -a company based in Sweden, with an eye for artistic perfection.  For my first purchase, I decided to go with the 4x4" matte 300 gram cardstock.  The best part? -they put all the pertinents on the backside.  Date, location, & even your written sentiments… perfect for recalling the memory of that special moment you captured, so when you feel like reminiscing… all the details are there!  They are so clever.  

Gracie's first ride in a convertible, complete with winding German roads. 
A few random chairs in… hmmmm, where was that again?  Oh wait, just flip over the card… and yep, there it is… those chairs were in lovely San Gimignano!!  
Cochem Castle silhouetted by the gorgeous sky, during our cruise along the Mosel River.
A few vintage street signs at a local Oklahoma salvage yard.
Bierre vom Faß :: translation- beer on tap, need I say more?
Oh & that time I went to Oktoberfest and did a jumpshot in front of a ferris wheel with my sis!

a handwritten menu, from an amazing little restaurant nestled next to the Mediterranean in the south of France… first time I ever tried mussels, and they were yumtown.
Sunflower fields (or "girasole" as they say) in the Tuscan countryside.
my sweet Gracie girl… Oklahoma sunsets… doorways in Siena… 
I even spy a piece of my alma mater… BOOMER.  Campus Corner, University of Oklahoma.

Oh just a few vintage CHAIRS that really wanted to come home with me… 
A handful of my all time favorite family snapshots atop our hand-stitched wedding quilt.
Grace snoozing… you know, the usual.
Visiting Volterra, one of the many hillside villages in Tuscany!!

Oklahoma ice storms, the Tuscan countryside, jumping & celebration, Deutschland castles, fests & more fests, good times with FRIENDS, walks with Grace, windows & shutters & doors- oh my!! beachside sunbrellas in France, springtime blooms & wandering butterflies, colorful little German villages, Florida starfish, naptime & playtime, FAMILY. College Graduation, Italian Cathedrals, sweater weather & the changing autumn leaves, Oktoberfest, those matchstick trees in Austria, HAPPY vintage finds, train rides thru Europe, parked vespas & pretty window boxes, wine tasting & olive picking, new business ventures, daytime exploring, the golden hour, farmer's markets in the piazzas of Italy… It's these treasured moments… looking back, experiencing & loving LIFE!!  I mean… so many pretty places I never even would have imagined visiting, and yet somehow we were able… And these little coffee table copygram gems make looking back so much fun & an even better conversation piece when sharing the memories with family & friends.  
So what are you waiting for?  Go get yours!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

"insta" small world after all...

oh the wonderful small world of Instagram…  I often find the way connections work to be completely fascinating.  And what a wonderful day it was to find a network of people in my own backyard.  It wasn't long ago that Instagram featured instameets around the world, and one such meet took place in small town Guthrie America.  I missed it… sad.  However, it was by searching these tags that I found a few images, which led me to one Darren Johnson - @darrenisreal.  I found his images intriguing & inspiring & refreshing…  And since the number of images I have with my favorite girl equaled almost zero, well I am just so glad he agreed to meet up on a pretty sunny morning.  And to say I'm thrilled with the results is an understatement.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.
and for all you curious cats out there… here's our six degrees of Kevin Bacon, haha:
Instagram » Guthrie » Darren » his swimming pool image » comment from my college classmate » me
Extra added small world factor: he also works at a location I worked at prior to our move to Germany, but we were never there at the same time.  Like I said, the way connections work… kinda mind blowing.

Friday, April 4, 2014

terms of endearment

oh you know… just a few nicknames along the way = adorable artwork.
so why do I feel like I left a few out?  haha.  happy friday friends!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

debbie's dozen

I'm having too much fun with these…
You know those crazy cat ladies?  Well… my mom is a crazy chicken lady.  Now we all know I get a little (a lot) excited about my dog.  Well let's just say she gets a little happy when she is talking about her chickens…  We really enjoy getting fresh eggs- right from her farm, so I decided to design a little fun for her packaging!

well and maybe a little fun for her wall or desktop too… wink wink.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

social media buttons: clean & simple.

So along with my new simpler, redesign… I am smiling ear to ear about my new, colorful social media buttons!  I know!  fun stuff.  Changing my layout and widening the right column allowed me to squeeze them together, so they could all be one big happy family!  And with just a little bit of Photoshop and HTML knowledge, you can customize them to your heart's content!  

which of course means my little share buttons needed some updating as well… 
a big thanks to the blog decorator for her great little tutorial on the subject!

we go together...

like frank & beans.
except, well… I'm nelou.  wink wink.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

moving forward.

Pretty new and exciting things have been happening over at {}…
Starting with a brand new name!

» n e l o u G R A C E «

plus a clean & simple new look:
I am so grateful that {} got me started on the world wide web, and has taken me as far as it has, however after realizing the web presence I wanted would not be achievable, I began turning my gears in search of something new I could love a little bit more.  I've always felt a very personal pull in my work & have always had the desire to somehow tie my name to my brand.  So in true college-style fashion, I began brainstorming with a few close friends (there may have been a few bubble diagrams in there somewhere).  One of which has an WONDERFUL talent for hand lettering!  Yeah… I'm pretty sure she doodled this on a napkin during one of our many phone chats- and in that moment, I knew I had a name.
Obviously, »nelou is my first name, but did you also know this?  As for the grace«, you can read a little of the backstory here.  Of course until the handwritten version is ready… I needed to come up with something similar so that I could keep moving forward with the rebrand.
I love the simplicity.

Perfect timing, really… fresh, just in time for spring.  I've had a year to settle, adjust to life back home, and tend to a few personal matters which required a bit of my time.

So a few things have changed (and a few more things are still in the works)… in the meantime, take a moment and have a look around, and as always… I hope you enjoy what you see!