Road Trip!

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This past week I've been a little MIA on all Social Mediums, and that's because Joe and I were making our way across the country on a Road Trip! As most of you know, Joe is moving out to Colorado for 6 months to pursue a career in professional snowboarding. It's such an amazing opportunity for him and I couldn't be more proud of excited. Even though I'm going to miss him like crazy. 

The past week we drove from Virginia to New Orleans to Corpus Christi to Roswell to Littleton and finally to our destination, Silverthorne, Colorado. It was quite the adventure, we saw and experienced so much over the past week, it's hard to recap everything other than with photos. But I am going to give you some of my tips for a road trip that helped get us through.

PODCASTS  |  Oh my gosh, we would have never made it through without good podcasts. We started with Homecoming, then moved to Limetown, and got through season 1 and half of season 2 of The Black Tapes. All three podcasts were awesome and I highly recommend. Previously, I've listened to Serial and S Town, so if you liked those, you'll love these. It made the drive go by so quickly and kept us awake. 

PACK SNACKS  |  We packed a nice bag of snacks for the road and lots of bottled water so we wouldn't have to stop as much. I chose trail mixes, protein bars, pretzels, and my favorite road trip snack: dill pickle flavored sunflower seeds. Sunflower seeds are great because they take time to eat, aren't a ton of calories and keep you occupied and awake. 

KEEP THE GAS TANK FULL |  If you're driving over any of those Midwest states, you'll have plenty of roads that go on forever and you don't see anyone or anything else out there. Some times we went hours without seeing anything, so every time we saw a gas station, we stopped and filled up. 

TAKE PHOTOS & STOP FOR COOL THINGS | We stopped at a few random places we saw along the way and any scenic stops for two reasons: one, its nice to get out of the car; and two, who knows when you'll come back to that same place again? If you don't do it then, when will you?

LANDSCAPES ARE COOL | One of the coolest/craziest things Joe and I found interesting was how different each landscape was. We went from our usual Virginia to the mountains of southwest VA to just trees after trees of what looks like Virginia but is really Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi. Then finally got to the swamps, bayous and cities of the dead of Louisiana, then to the plains of Texas to the dessert of New Mexico then back to beautiful snow capped mountains of Colorado. It's crazy how much it changes. See photos below!

10-12 HOURS IS A GOOD AMOUNT OF DRIVING TIME | Day 1 we were really ambitious and drove 16+ hours straight from Fredericksburg to New Orleans. It was doable, but it was really pushing it. We didn't get to NOLA until 2am. It seemed to take for-e-ver and by midnight we were going crazy. Every other travel day was between 8 and 12 hours and that seemed to be the perfect distance. Just long enough to be in the car, enough time for a few good stops, and 10-12 hours gets you to a different state typically, so you felt like you were moving.

BE GOOFY & RELAX | Don't take the trip too seriously! Have a tentative itinerary, but also be flexible to change things up in case you decide to stop somewhere extra or do something different. This was a little bit harder for my type A personality, but it was fun to just kind of go with the flow for a few days. 

PHOTO JOURNAL

DAY 1 | VIRGINIA TO NEW ORLEANS

with a stop at the Natural Bridge in Lexington, VA

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DAY 2 | NEW ORLEANS

the crepe cart in the french market

the crepe cart in the french market

gluten free crepes!

gluten free crepes!

the cathedral

the cathedral

charbroiled oysters at legacy

charbroiled oysters at legacy

bourbon street

bourbon street

found the ruby slippers! 

found the ruby slippers! 

DAY 3 | NEW ORLEANS, LA TO CORPUS CHRISTI, TX

with a quick stop at the Buckner Mansion from American Horror Story: Coven

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DAY 4 | CORPUS CHRISTI, TX

we stayed with joe's buddy, hank, while in corpus who owns a cool food truck, munchies, & restaurant, the exchange

breakfast by the marina

breakfast by the marina

beautiful beaches

beautiful beaches

gluten free burger at padre island burger company - it was incredible!

gluten free burger at padre island burger company - it was incredible!

joa & i at the munchies bus

joa & i at the munchies bus

joe & hank at the munchies bus

joe & hank at the munchies bus

DAY 5 | CORPUS CHRISTI, TX TO ROSWELL, NM

sunset over the desert

sunset over the desert

desert

desert

DAY 6 | ROSWELL, NM TOURS TO THE GARDEN OF THE GODS TO LITTLETON, CO

international ufo museum

international ufo museum

they took over the dominos!

they took over the dominos!

joe with a cheesy exhibit

joe with a cheesy exhibit

exhibit at the ufo museum 

exhibit at the ufo museum 

drive through the desert

drive through the desert

me at the garden of the gods

me at the garden of the gods

garden of the gods

garden of the gods

garden of the gods

garden of the gods

DAY 7 | LAST DAY! LITTLETON, CO TO SILVERTHORNE, CO 

with a stop at the loveland pass

joe and i at the loveland pass

joe and i at the loveland pass

the loveland pass

the loveland pass

the loveland pass

the loveland pass

MEANWHILE IN VIRGINIA...

grohl got to hang out with aunt tessa and all his buds all week, i think he's having a good time

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Skyline Sneak Peeks

Just 2 more days until the big day at Monkee's! I have to say, I'm starting to get a little bit nervous. I've been working really hard on everything, and while I think it's awesome, what if no one likes it? I suppose worst case scenario, I can just outfit my entire house in all things skyline and it would be fun :). 

I'm starting to put together last minute preparations for Saturday. You know, what do I wear; what shoes are going to comfortable; what behind the scenes items will I need (tape, scissors, string, paints, etc.). So many things going into what I hope will be a great day.

Last call to sign up for our emails before we send out the second and final one! If you plan on stopping by, it's a must!  We may or may not be doing a gift with purchase while supplies last...but how would I know? :D 

Soooo without further ado, here's a little sneak peek at some of the items (I still have a few surprises up my sleeve!) we've been working on for this Saturday's event! Hope to see you there!

*If you see something you want, but can't be there on Saturday, let us know by commenting on this blog post or emailing us at Johnna@TwilaCo.com.

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Ava Laurenne Window Design

This week is a BIG WEEK around here! Just a few more days until my trunk show at Monkee's featuring the Fredericksburg Skyline! I have been working for the past few weeks on new products and ideas to have available, and can't wait to share them. If you don't follow me on Instagram yet, you should as I'll be showing sneak peeks in my stories all week. And if you haven't signed up for our email newsletter but plan on coming on Saturday, do it now! We'll be sending out specials just for our subscribers.

But that's not entirely the point of today's blog. This weeks blogs and social media posts are going to be all about the skyline! Starting with today's post about the Window Design at Ava Laurenne Bride. 

Last week, I had the pleasure of getting to do Ava Laurenne's window design on Caroline Street in downtown Fredericksburg. As much work as it was, it was so much fun to do and a great way to step away from my computer and work with my hands a little bit. While I love graphic design and branding, etc., I truly feel like myself when I am doing more hands on projects. When I'm painting or assembling invitations or working with paper in different capacities. 

When I was asked to do the windows for fall and incorporate the Fredericksburg Skyline, I was a little nervous at first. One- I've never actually painted a window before. Two- it's been almost 8 years since I've done any window displays, and that was mostly just clothing at Monkee's. Three- How would I incorporate everything: wedding dresses, my wedding invitations, fall, and the skyline? Seemed like a tall order...

Well, I did a little research over the last few weeks and got a lot of inspiration from Anthropologie windows on Pinterest and put a few ideas together. The wedding dress part was easy because they would be in the windows. The skyline part was also easy (other than picking the right type of paint) because I would just paint the skyline along the bottom. The fall portion I wanted to represent with leaves, so I decided to tie in my wedding invitations with it by using old invitations. Unfortunately, I make way more mistakes than I'd like to admit and have a ton of random old invitation pieces in a big basket in my cupboard. So this was a great way to use those old invitations. I cut them into leaves, punched holes in them and fit them over christmas lights hanging down around the windows. 

Well, once that was finished, I still have a whole other window to fill. This one took a little more thought and research, but I saw a photo of a dress made out of invitations on Pinterest, and decided to copy the idea but put my own spin on it...so that's what I did! It's not perfect by any means (looking back now, there are a lot of things I would have done differently in the assembly and tools I used), but for the first run, I'd say it turned out pretty cool! And it incorporates my wedding invitations with the bridal dress industry. Sooo...win-win.

For some challenges and being my first window, I'm pretty proud of how it turned out! And I had a ton of fun doing it, so if nothing else, it was a great way to spend the afternoon. 

DAY TIME 

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NIGHT TIME

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THE DRESS

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So what goes on an RSVP card anyways?

It's Wedding Wednesday here on the blog! 

And today we're talking RSVPs. Did you know that RSVP stands for the French phrase Répondez s'il vous plaît meaning 'please respond.' Just a random little tidbit for you today. 

Anyways, so like the blog title says (because I was lazy and couldn't think of another title!) what goes on an RSVP card anyways? Other than the respond by date and yes I'm coming or no I'm not. RSVPs are probably the second most important part of an invitation suite, aside from the invitation itself. It's the one piece of information from the guest to the couple. It holds all of the information that the couple needs to know for their big day, so it's important to gather all of the information that they may need. 

That said, here is a list I've put together of items that can be put on an RSVP...if that information is needed. 

  • Allergy Questions  |  If you'd like to know if any guests have food allergies (gluten free, dairy free, nut free, etc.); Please list any dietary restrictions...
  • Entree Choices  |  If it's a sit down dinner and your guests need to choose their entrees; Please initial next to chosen entree.
  • Guest Attendance/Specific Counts Needed  |  If you have reserved a certain amount of seats per guest and want to ensure they know how many seats that is; We have reserved __ seats in your honor.
  • Song Requests  |  If you need help compiling a playlist for the DJ, asking your guests is a great idea and can ensure that they get up on the dance floor; I promise to dance if you play...
  • Transportation Needs  |  If you need to ask guests if they need transportation at certain points of your wedding events. This is mostly to and from the hotel that the bride and groom have blocked off for the wedding to the ceremony and reception. Don't forget to ask for the number of people to be using the provided transportation.
  • Other Weekend Events  |  For some destination weddings since everyone is traveling to be there, they could be invited to multiple events over the weekend: Rehearsal Dinner, Brunches, Activities, etc. If they need to RSVP to those event, please include. 

And just in case you're more of a visual person....

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Passion & Perspective

Friday was Joe and I's 'Negative One Year Anniversary.' Which basically just means that one year from Friday is when we are getting married! Hooray! I can't believe it. We celebrated by having a date night, making some wedding plans and having some great conversation about our future adventures, particularly his snowboarding.

I would be lying if I said that being okay with Joe moving to Colorado to be a pro snowboarder was an easy decision for me. I mean of course I want him to be happy and I want to support him no matter what, but there was a lot of doubt about what that meant for us and our relationship. 

As a creative and small business owner, I have to say I'm almost embarrassed by how long it took me to come around to understand this next part. I spent years working at desk jobs that I hated where I felt like I was suffocating (read more about this journey here) just trying to get out. It even took me a while to convince myself to run my own business after people told me it would never work. Now, every day I get up, I sit at my own desk in my office in my home, work for myself and chase after my dream of being a creative. It's incredible and more than I ever dreamed it could be.

And a big reason I am able to do this year after year is because of Joe. He has supported me in every way possible: emotionally, physically, financially, etc. He lets me cry on his shoulder when something goes wrong, complain and rant about emails, assemble invitations and gift boxes, and picks up where I can't on those slower months. If he can help, he's right there, no questions asked. 

So why did it take me so long to understand that the way he feels about snowboarding is the way I feel about my business? To support him not just verbally because I felt like I should but also emotionally and with my whole heart?

For a long time, I was selfishly worried about how it affected me. What it meant for my life and my business. I'm not really a fan of change. I like things the way I like them. 

At some point, Joe started talking more about how snowboarding made him feel. How excited he got when he put his board on, turned his music up, and hit the snow first thing in the morning; how he felt at home on the snow and like that was where he was meant to be; and how amazing it felt when he landed a new trick or technical riding style. It's the same way I feel when I send off a new design I've been tirelessly working on to a client and they come feeling just as excited as I am about it.

I am not a snowboarder. I can make my way down the mountain (hooray falling leaf!), but after one day and a ride or two down a green slope, I'm good for like a year. Hand me the spiked hot cocoa and I'm good to go in the lodge. I just didn't get it and didn't allow myself to see it from another perspective.

When I finally realized that the way he felt about snowboarding was the way I felt about my business, it was like something just clicked in my head. I totally got it. I understood how he felt and was able to support him completely, not just go thru the motions. And when I pointed it out to him, he did too. Despite the fact that our passions are incredibly different, we were able to understand each other better by relating with how we felt. 

Sometimes we get so stuck in our own ways and in our heads that it can be hard for us to understand where others come from. Just because someone is different from us, doesn't make them wrong. And it doesn't make us right. It just means that we all find passion in different things.

Finding your passion isn't always an easy road. Sometimes we find it on our own, and sometimes it finds us. It comes in all different ways. No one's passions are the same because it's not just what we do, but also the heart behind it. It comes from our own experiences and how we relate to others using those experiences. 

If you haven't found yours yet, don't stop looking! It doesn't matter how old you are or where you are in life, it's never too late. And if you have, don't let it go! You can absolutely make it happen! 

Happy Monday, ya'll!