For the love of GOLD

I have been looking to my work to inspire me.  I want everything I do to inspire me, my client and all that see it.  With that in mind, I have been thinking through things that I am inspired by… lately – GOLD.  Is that strange?  I have used a lot of gold in our little guys Nursery, I bought a few gold frames for a gallery wall in my house, and have been doing a lot of hand lettering in gold.  I even bought some gold foil to try and use!  We will see.

Here is a sneak peak of some gold feathers I painted and added some touches with pencil… I promise anyone can do this!

gold feathers home decor

When I see these pictures below, I loved the pop of excitement that the gold adds…  A little sparkle without the glitter…. no need for that stuff to get everywhere #amiright?

gold inspiration

“You Had Me at Hello” cards, gold prints by whitney blake, Emily McCarthy’s use of gold in everything, baby moccasins on freshly picked, gold desk accessories from bright and bold.

With that in mind, I have a friend that is an interior designer with an amazing sense of style.  You can follow her on instagram…  Amazing Home Design. Period. Some funk, some spark and when I was doodling today, I starting playing with her family initial and her family names… I think next I will do some to actually print in my house.

Here are a few options I did with their last name.

family logo

What is inspiring you?  Do you love gold?


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My life is about to change…forever

Well, I have been a little MIA over the past few months, but hopefully this blog will explain that a little bit!  I have been busy… very busy… with my greatest life challenge so far.  I am about to have our first baby boy!  We knew right away that we wanted to be parents and were quickly blessed with getting pregnant.  When I say quickly, we were two months in to being newlyweds and got the exciting news.  Talk about a shock!

Being pregnant was not quite what I expected…  It took me a while to wrap my head around the idea.  I was sick… very sick for about 5 months.  Then had about 2 months of the “bliss” and now as I round up being 3 weeks from our due date, I have hit the “point” as my doctor told me I would.  The point of just being ready to meet this little one and get my body back.

With all of that said, I have been so supported by my amazing husband.  Pregnancy hormones and pains are real and he has been by my side through it all.  I have been showered with love by friends and family and we are so excited to know that this special little one is already so loved!

As with any new chapter in your life, comes meeting new people and I have had the opportunity to meet some new amazing, creative people.  That is what brings me back to my blog!  To once again share.  These folks have inspired me, pushed me without knowing, and supported me as I transition into becoming a mommy.  You will see more on all of these creative amazing people, but today…I share a new friend, creative soul and inspirer…  Emily Chidester.  I met her along the way and worked with her to do our Maternity Shoot.  UGH you guys!  I can’t being to express how much I love these and thank her for capturing this time in our lives!!!

Maternity Photo

We did a few of just me and the babe.  I didn’t know if I would love the ones of me staring down at my belly… it seemed very, strange (although I do it all the time).  But turns out… I do!

Maternity Shoot

Lake Maternity Shoot

I also loved that she included our “out-takes”.  She and the hubs were always making me laugh when I was trying to keep this straight, serious face.

Lake Maternity Shoot

She even made me look a little “sassy” at times.  If you know me, especially know me 37 weeks pregnant, I am in full waddle stage and the last thing I feel is sassy… so I just love these next few shots…It gave me a sense of self again!

Lake Maternity Shoot

Lake Maternity Shoot

And then, there is this man…. This man I love.  He makes me laugh when I am on an emotional roller coaster.  He rubs my feet when they look like swollen muffins.  He holds my hand and helps pull me out of seats when I am trying to stand up.  He walks slowly with me when I can’t walk fast.  He is my comfort, my support, and my strength through all of this.

Lake Maternity Shoot

Lake Maternity Shoot

Lake Maternity Shoot

Lake Maternity Shoot

He was such a trooper, always making us laugh, dancing and helping us enjoy the shoot.  I just smile when I look at him!

Lake Maternity Shoot

We went into the woods for a few shots near the end.   I believe this is one of my favorites.  This is my happy place.

Wooded Maternity Shoot

Wooded Maternity ShootI asked to sit down for a bit…  Good idea, good picture, don’t recommend it in a thin dress 🙂   That tree bark hurt – luckily that didn’t come through in the picture.

Wooded Maternity Shoot

And finally, she brought out her tilt-shift.  I love a good tilt-shift.  I love the blur.  I love the look it gives… a sense of wonder and movement.

Wooded Maternity ShootLadies… if I can tell you anything…do a maternity shoot.  Your body is in this crazy, amazing phase.  You will want to be able to look back and remember what it felt like to carry that sweet baby!

And Finally – I wanted to share a few things about what I have learned and maternity and clothes.  It is hard to find good clothes, like really hard to find.  I even thought about starting a line about 5 months in – haha yeah right.

Gap does not know me, but Gap Maternity has been my GO-TO for clothes during this process.  I knew the look I wanted for this shoot, and they saved the day with this great wrap dress.

Also…. accessories have become my new best friends.  Fun scarfs and especially fun necklaces.  I even got into making my own necklaces at this great bead shop here in Charlotte, NC… Beads, Inc.  I made the necklace that I am wearing in this shoot there.  They are so helpful and it felt so much more special to have a hand made, hand picked item that day!

xoxo mandi

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HAPPY 2015

It has been a….. WHILE.

Turns out 2014 was quite a year with much more happening than I ever thought (more on that coming soon).

In the mean time, I wish you all a HAPPY NEW YEAR and a 2015 full of big dreams!

new year


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words for the wise

For a while there, I was posting a quote a week on my Facebook page.  When did that stop?    Not sure, but as I was looking through them, I really enjoyed reading over them again and wanted to share a collection here today.

But to begin… here is a new one to start off.  Every time I think of this quote, I think of how happy I am to have her in my life and how I can make each day special for her!

dog quote

Happy Reading!

baseball quote

worth it quote trust your gut quote sleep later quote she's on fire quote set goals quote read quote look for quote graphic design quote devote yourself quote dance quote keb mo create sparks quote believe you can quote beach quote start today quote look again quote make mistakes quote nature quote baseball quote

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get out there: 10 camping locations in the US

This week I wrote about the top 10 locations to go camping in the US.  Read the full post here.

10 best places to camp



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there is good art and there is bad art

Be warned… I write this post today out of anger.

You may have seen the photo I use for a lot of my branding.  I love how I just fit right in 😉

dry ink with mural

dry ink salisbury mural

Well someone has decided to deface the 1980 mural in my hometown of Salisbury by adding mustaches and chin beards to a number of the men in the image.  Read more here.

The mural, called “Crossroads — Past into Present,” represents many men and women of the town in an 18th Century setting.

The original artist has promised that she will come to town from DC to see how she can help restore the painting.

vandals mar salisbury mural vandals mar salisbury mural vandals mar salisbury mural

There is good art, and there is bad art people!  Good art does not deface, mar, vandalize or harm previous art in anyway.  It respects and admires.

Please choose the type of art you wish to participate in.


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marketing vs. advertising vs. brand vs. PR

Great graphic to show the difference between marketing, pr, advertising and brand.  Enjoy!

marketing differences

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why you should hire a videographer

This week on Sunny Slide Up, I wrote about why I hired a videographer for my wedding and why it was such a good choice! wedding videographer Read the full post here! mandi

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clean graffiti

I have been following The Savage Way for quite a while now.  I love their approach to design and marketing.  Green Design, Positive Influence, amazing.

In particular I love their green graffiti.  It’s just water folks!  Using the dirt that is already around our city, Charlotte, NC, and power washing it away to create art!  It’s just awesome!

clean graffiti clean graffiti clean graffiti

How cool?

Well done ladies!  Love this!

Be sure to follow them on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram for all the latest!


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