May 15

Happy Retirement Mom!

After 38 years as a elementary teacher my mom FINALLY retired this year and her colleagues threw her (and two other teachers also retiring) a retirement party on May 22nd that we all attended. They served a meal and cake, performed a cute poem and played a sweet video of goodbye messages from their kids. It was touching to see how the kids described what their teachers meant to them. I’m glad we could be there to celebrate this big life change! :)

Happy Retirement Mom!

Sep 14

Financial Peace Junior

As a birthday gift when Kingston turned three, he received Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace Junior kit. Though he is on the low end of the age range for this kit (3 – 12 year olds), he loves using it.

Together we picked out chores he could earn 25 cents for if he completed them and added them to his chore chart. Each day if he completes a task, he gets a mark on his chart for that day, then at the end of the week we tally up all his marks and he gets his “paycheck”. We then divide all that week’s earning into three piles, one for savings, one for spending, and one for giving.  The giving pile goes into his Give envelope and he takes that to church. The other two piles go into Save and Spend piggy banks. The Save eventually gets transferred to his bank savings account, and every now and then the Spend gets put in his wallet and taken to the store to buy a fun treat. I think the directions say something like 10%, 10%, 80%, but that’s a little over his head and it’s just easier if we make three even piles at this age. And even that isn’t something we strictly enforce, sometimes he wants to put more in the Save piggy, and sometimes he wants to put more in the Give envelope, and I let him. We’re not caught up in the numbers part right now, so much as just introducing him to the idea of working to earn money and being generous.

In addition to the kit, there is also a book set or audio books with stories that teach lessons about money in an engaging way. The audio books are in our car and we listen to them often as we drive. We also have the books (which are the same stories as the audio books) that we read through at home too.

Overall we have loved using this set and it has been an easy and fun way for us to teach Kingston about how to earn and spend money wisely. If you need a birthday gift for a kid in the age range of 3 – 12 I would recommend this!

Jul 14

Life With A Designer

If you are married to a creative genius (like I am) or just spend a lot of time with one, this list from BuzzFeed on “21 Signs You’re Dating a Designer” will all sound very familiar to you.

Here are a few of my favorites from their list:

1. Every restaurant excursion starts with loud snarking on the menu’s typefaces.

2. They choose their dinner wines by label design.

4. Their furniture is uncomfortable.

5. It takes months to replace a broken lamp because none of the ones you can afford look good enough.

7. They inflict upon you a painful awareness of kerning.

8. They complain about new Adobe Suites the way other couples complain about their landlords.

9. Buying gifts for them is stressful. Nothing is cool enough.

10. If you’re buying books for them, you choose the cover designer carefully.

13. Your iPad app library consists entirely of sketching apps.

14. You put up with this because they make you thoughtful handcrafted gifts.

17. When you get married, you will have great looking invitations and programs!

Visit BuzzFeed’s 21 Signs You’re Dating a Designer for the rest.

Dec 11

Real Thread Christmas Party

One of Jeremy’s clients, a cool printing company in Winter Park, FL called Real Thread, invited us to their Christmas Party this year held at Downtown Credo Coffee. It is a quaint little shop that gave the party a very cozy feel. Real Thread had added a few touches of their own for the party, including some framed t-shirt art (a few of which were Jeremy’s), a photobooth (which I unfortunately have no pictures of), and a “make your own shirt” station where we all got to try our hands at pulling our own shirts (maybe I can get a side job working there now).

The conversations were great and the atmosphere relaxed, we had a fun time!

May 11

How To Balance The Checkbook

My accounting assistant. I’m just not sure I can trust his numbers.

In reality, a few months ago we left the “large money sucking bank on every corner” for a “small, no fees for letting us hold your money, bank” and we had some shredding to do. I don’t know for sure that the new bank won’t have its own issues, but so far I like what they offer and that they greet me by name whenever I go in. Because that’s really all that matters in a good bank, right?

Dec 10

Grab ‘N’ Go Art Show – Recap

On Saturday, December 11th, I was one of the artists in the Grab ‘N’ Go Group Exhibition down at the Neon Forest Gallery in Orlando. The thing that set this show apart from the others was that you could take the art with you as soon as you bought it, so throughout the night, many of the pieces disappeared.

I had nine pieces in the show, most of which were inspired by my camera-obsessed side project Cameraluv. I also worked up 3 pieces that that had nothing to do with cameras and I’m happy with how they turned out. As you’ll see below, Skeleton Coast, Anchors Away, and The Pride of Kauai fit more into the graphic work I do for my design studio KENEDIK (pronounced like kinetic). The Pride of Kauai was created as a tribute to Andy Irons, a really influential pro-surfer about my age who unexpectedly passed away on November 2, shocking the surfing world. After A.I.’s death I searched through my archive of surfing images and found my favorites of Andy and worked them into a collage with paint, stencils and transfers. My goal with the piece was to show that he’s gone, but not forgotten.

My favorite piece for the show and the one that immediately sold when the doors opened, was Skeleton Coast. I created the diver image a few years ago as part of a clothing line and for this show I reworked it for KENEDIK and collaged it to a wood box along with scraps of nautical maps, diving imagery and shots of the sea. After the collage was complete, I painted in the highlights, shadows and detail. Here’s a look at a sampling of the show:

We still have a few pieces left from the show, so let us know if you’re interested in any of them. The available Cameraluv art will be for sale on our Cameraluv Store.

Dec 10

The Grab ‘N’ Go Show

You should be at Neon Forest on December 11th sometime between 7 p.m. and midnight. Jeremy, along with some other talented artists, are participating in The Grab ‘N’ Go Show, where all art is selling for $100 or less. Bring a friend and pick up some Christmas presents!

Nov 10

Welcome Home

I made the drive to the place I have worked for the past three years, for the last time on Friday. When I told my boss two weeks ago that I was resigning to stay home with Kingston he asked if he could change my mind. When I left and then returned a few minutes later to give him my official letter, he was still sitting exactly how I’d left him. Not how he had planned his Monday morning to go.

As I packed up my belongings and said my goodbyes on Friday it was a weird feeling, more like I was going on vacation than giving up my desk for good. I have worked with some wonderful people over the years and will miss that part of the job. The last minute project, constant changes, and rushes, not so much ; )

The goodbyes both in person and through email were very kind and encouraging.

“It goes without saying that you have been both professional and a great pleasure to work with over the past few years.  All of us at JMJE and Granvia could not do what we do without great people providing all the details and information correctly to us and along these lines you are the best at what you do.  We will miss you, but are thrilled that Kingston will now have your undivided attention.. You will not ever regret this decision…  If there is ever anything we can do for you please let us know..” —Jon

“Sorry to hear that tomorrow will be your last day working for EOI. Kids should need their mother’s hands. I think your decision should be great for your boy and family as well. Thank you for your kind words noted below and we appreciated your support us for many years. We wish you and your family will be happy and healthy!” —Sam

“Wow, I could not possibly support your decision any more than I do but we will miss you terribly. Thank you so much for all of your hard work over these past years. We hope you will keep in touch and keep us updated on you and your family.” —Valerie

What can I say now, this is not good news for us but some great news for your family.  Jennifer, you must be taking care your son and he will grow up in your eyes I believe.  Thank you for your kind words below and we really must stress to you how much we appreciate your support to us for many years now.  I believe EOI will miss your hard work as we will also, I am feeling some sadness as I have been writing and receiving the e-mails from you for so long now so it will seem to strange to not send this anymore. Our staff wishes you and your family thanks and great wishes for a full life.” —David

(I’m really going to miss the Engrish emails from David and Sam, they always made me smile!)

Another vendor’s exact words after I told him I had quit were, “What the *&$%! I don’t trust anyone else over there.” Bill has always had a way with words ; P

I loved the card my colleague, Peter, gave me.

Rice Bowl Card from Peter

“It has been a true pleasure working with you for the past year and a half. I really appreciate all of your help, patience and teaching. You will be missed!” —Peter

I ended up staying an hour late at work trying to finish a project, but in the end I just ran out of time. When I got home my guys had been patiently waiting for me with a yummy cookie cake and balloons. Then we celebrated with dinner at Romano’s Macaroni Grill.

I know my new position will hold new changes, challenges, and stressors, but I’m looking forward to the change of pace for our family. A simpler time. Back to the basics.

Oct 10

Milk Den

A.K.A. Milk closet, Milk cubbie, Private Hideaway, Sample Closet, this is where Kingston’s meals are prepared on a daily basis.

I originially had been trying to “cook” out of my car, but that simply was not working out, so this has been where I spend part of my days. There’s no lock on the door so I hang a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the outside. There also isn’t an outlet, so I run my plug under the door to the outlet on the other side. I use two old reject tee samples on the floor, one to sit my supplies on and the other to sit my tush on. Glamerous isn’t it?

I’m thinking of redecorating, hanging some family photos on the wall, curtains in the doorway, plush rug on the floor, maybe a surround sound stereo, and a chandelier to top it off.

Aug 10

Hi Ho It's Back To Work I Go

My maternity leave has ended and last Monday I headed back to the office. My first day was better than I was expecting. Kingston slept well the night before, so I didn’t feel too exhausted, and he was asleep when I left so it wasn’t as hard to leave either.

While I was out they changed the software system we use so I spent my first week learning how to do my job again. It was like starting a new job all over. They only told a couple people outside of the office that I had returned so that I could focus on getting up to speed. It was such a huge help to not be constantly interrupted with phone calls and emails, I wish that I could always just focus on writing orders and not have to deal with the other junk! A couple of our vendors expressed how glad they were I was back and how they didn’t trust POs written by anyone other than me. Then a friend shared with me that she coincidentally met my main customer and he told her how lost EOI would be without me, that no one else knows what’s going on. It has been so nice to hear these words and know that even though I don’t always feel appreciated inside the office walls, the people on the outside that I work with on a day to day basis understand how hard I work to try to do my job perfectly, thus making their jobs easier and providing them with exactly what they want. I needed to hear that, I need to hear it more.

It’s been interesting to be pumping at work. The first four days I was able to pump in my boss’ office because he was out of town, but he returned on Friday. Since there isn’t anywhere else there that is a private area, my only option is to pump in my car. Not ideal since it’s so stinkin hot out right now, but thankfully my a/c is working and I have dark tinted windows. I did have an awkward moment when one of the times I was out there pumping a big truck pulled up behind my car and then the driver came over to my window. I had to stop, crack my window so that he could ask if I was going to be leaving soon, tell him no, roll the window back up, and continue with my task. So looking forward to more of these uncomfortable situations. Why is it only a law that companies with over 50 employees have to provide a place outside of a bathroom for mom’s to pump? Just because my company doesn’t have 50 employees doesn’t mean my kid doesn’t deserve fresh food. Maybe I can just hang some sheets from the ceiling and create my own little office.

As the week went on it became harder to leave in the mornings as sometimes Kingston was awake when I was leaving and a couple nights he didn’t sleep as well which made for sleepy days for me.

Working full time with a newborn is exhausting and doesn’t leave much time for anything else on a week night. What this means for you my dear readers is that my posts are probably going to get less frequent due to lack of time and well, I don’t think you are all coming to read about my boring work days. Hopefully, I’ll be able to still write about fun weekend adventures (that don’t include washing dishes and catching up on laundry : ).

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