Aug
19
The Table Diaries: Jump On the Green Smoothie Train!

I jumped in that bandwagon myself, I must confess. Back in the beginning of summer when I had just come back to my little small town of Ames, Iowa from a truly decadent (in all respects of the word!) vacation time in my sunny Island of Puerto Rico. As you can imagine, said vacations involved something like…excessive voracity and some of this, this, and this.

I’m not helping, aren’t I? Point established, once I got back to Ames I went back to my usual: pretty clean diet, active lifestyle, and beauty sleep. However, I had yet to try detoxifying with a good ol’ smoothie; a problem easily resolved when I bought Candice Kumai’s Clean Green Drinks book. And boy (girl?), let me tell you! Umm, this is what I’ve been doing all summer. Forget my usual hobby of rock climbing, or dancing salsa! All summer long I’ve been blending smoothies.

Alright, maybe I’m exaggerating a little.

In light of that, however, I can say that I’ve tried tons of recipes: most of them leaving me with my mouth open and wondering why I haven’t been blending my whole life. Here are some of my favorites!

1. The Green Warrior Protein Smoothie by Oh She Glows

Oh She Glows

Oh She Glows is the epitome of healthy and clean eating. And as her motto implies “Glow from the inside out”, this smoothie will have you radiating beams. Let’s just start with how amazing it is to consume 17g of protein and 12g of fiber for breakfast. Move over McGriddle! And if you’re a little bit reluctant about kale, I’d say this one is the perfect one to start planting your love for cheap iron and protein.

2. The Bright Morning Apple Lime Leafy Green Smoothie by Boulder Locavore

Boulder Locavore

If you’re already leading the green life and just want to give that old smoothie a facelift, this one would do! Blending a couple of different greens together (kale, arugula, parsley, and baby spinach) this one may seem a daunting hill to climb, but actually marries the flavors together perfectly! Am I the only one who’s sometimes afraid of what kale can do a smoothie? It’s not many that get it right!

3. The Favorite Green Smoothie by Minimalist Baker

Minimalist Baker

Now, if you like things more decadent and just can’t get away from that jar of peanut butter, this green smoothie just brings it home! A perfect one for beginners, this smoothie keeps it simple with just spinach, flaxseed, peanut butter, berries, and bananas. Things you most likely eat on your own so, get blending! It’s definitely bound to make your usual morning routine feel new.

4. The Green Smoothie by Marshalls Abroad

Marshalls Abroad

Bringing a more tropical palate to the table is Marshalls Abroad! I completely understand it might take a little while for those of us who are new to the green life to warm up to our smoothies looking green and well, just having so many vegetables in it. So to your rescue comes Marshalls Abroadcombining more fruits, while still adding some “veggies” to keep things green. You can bet this one’s the one you want to have in leu of that piña colada.

5. The Green Vanilla-Almost Post-Workout Shake by Candice Kumai for Shape

Candice Kumai

And now, from my favorite homegirl Candice Kumai comes one of my personal favorites: the green smoothie combining protein powder for after the sweat session. What could feel better than going out for a run and then coming home to this? She says it takes like a vanilla milkshake, and I can definitely second that thought.

Today I’m waking up to that green warrior smoothie. Which one will you be blending?

Do share your favorites!

Xo,

Mellanie

Images: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

Aug
14
Meet Andrea, Our New Design Intern!

spitfiregirl-team-andreaWell, my team is complete guys…our new design intern Andrea, or Drea as I like to call her – just started today. I’m extra excited because she’s local, so now I can finally talk to someone (other than the radio). Please welcome her to Team Spitfiregirl!
~ Heidi

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Hello! I’m Andrea, or Drea for short. As a recent college graduate and new resident to Denver, I am very excited to work as a design intern for Heidi and the Spitfiregirl team!

Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio I grew up with a strong interest in the arts. This eventually led to my path in graphic design and now I spend my days drawing inspiration from handwritten typography, experimental design with non-traditional materials, and more recently app design and development. I am always trying to find ways to merge my interests together and I am all for a new learning experience. I think this internship opportunity will be just that as well as a much-needed challenge to get me started in this wonderful creative field!

Other loves and what makes me, me:

-Bold patterns and the color yellow
-Weiner dogs and teacup pigs (my best friend is the cutest dachshund around, Martini the Cocktail Weenie)!
-Strong coffee (weak coffee is essentially just dirty water)
-Friends will forever be the best TV show. Ever
-Traveling, exploring, and eating my way around the world

For me, inspiration is found through my daily wanderings; whether it be in the architecture I walk past, the ice cream shop I am hanging out in, or in the work by favorite designers and artists. I am drawn to color, hand lettering, illustrations and watercolors and I try to incorporate these into my designs daily! Thanks for taking the time to get to know me! If you want to know more or view my work, please visit my portfolio and instagram. I look forward to the next few months and am thrilled to be apart of the Spitfiregirl team!

Nice to meet you all!
xo, Drea

 

Images  1  /  2  /  3  /  4  /  5

Aug
12
Staving Off Those End-Of-Summer Blues

Today is just a day like no other. Except that it’s not. Except that today when I woke up and looked at my cute Ban.do agenda I almost had a hyperventilation “sess” (that’s short for session; that extra ‘ion’ will be the death of me), because as I flipped a couple of pages ahead I noticed I have officially two weeks left of summer. And fine, so summer doesn’t officially end until the 23rd of September (I googled that), but is it just me or does everyone else also mourn the end of 15-hour daylight and impromptu bbq’s when classes start back up and trips to the devastated aisles of Target turn into a ludicrous feat? Tell me I’m not alone!

3-Template-2But as hard as it can be to sometimes transition into another glorious autumn from the depths of sun-laden days and Stage Four sleeping, I do think there’s activities you can engage in to make the transition a little easier, and make yourself actually start craving the pumpkin lattes and apple cider binges to come. #IfyouknowwhatImean.

4-Template-2

1. Start planning ahead. Have you ever felt you needed a vacation from your vacation? That’s what I’m hinting at here. I’ve always felt the best way to prevent an unpleasant case of the end-of-summer blues is to actually have things to look forward to once the summer ends. Whether that is a fun conference you’ll be attending in October, or a family reunion in September, or the release of the next book in your favorite series, planning ahead can actually find you making your happy dance for what’s to come. And what’s better than to write it all out in a cute agenda?

Shop my favorites: Kate Spade  Lilly Pulitzer  Vera Bradley

2. Host an End-Of-Summer soiree. What better way than to bade farewell to summer than by having all your loved together for a fun night of grilling smores, or a pool party? Anything goes. From a cozy movie night in your patio, to a fancy dinner party, you can get creative and bring some closure to your favorite season. Or is it just mine?

Browse some ideas: Smores  Dinner  /  Camping

3. Take yourself shopping for some new work/school clothes. There’s something infinitely exciting about getting things together to start your first day back to (insert here) with new clothes in tow. It’s not a new year yet, but reinventing yourself and your wardrobe can start any day you decide it’s a new beginning. For me, it’s always been a matter of it being a new school year, or taking on a new job.

Shop my favorites: Paper Crown  Anthropologie  Free People

4. Make a list of goals. In accordance with idea number #3 above, making a list of things you want to accomplish for what’s left of the year is not something that needs to be left for a new year. A new season looming means a new chance to get yourself together for all you left up in the air when you new year’s resolution started falling through. And if they didn’t, I totally commend you! Then it’s the perfect time to make new ones. For me it’s all about finalizing a portfolio, applying to graduate schools, and learning more photoshop.

Browse some ideas: Notebook  Bucket List  Postcard Calendar

Now tell me, which of these will you be trying? I honestly can’t wait for number three!

Xo,
Mellanie

Images: 1 / 2 / 3 and 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Aug
07
Search For Your Awesome

Weeks before I departed for Alt Summit I received an email inviting me to something called “Search for Your Awesome”. Curious, right? I was too. So the night after I returned from Salt Lake, I headed to the RINO district of Denver for what turned out to be a very, very fun and somewhat momentous evening.

The evening’s festivities was held at Blanc, an innovative event space I’ve wanted to check out. Inside were about 15 “influencers” that Bing had determined should be here to drink, eat, mingle and craft. There I ran into my new friend from Alt, Jessica, finally connected in person with Melanie of You Are My Fave and met some other generally awesome, creative women.

MCs for the evening were none other than Alison of The Alison Show – an absolute BOLT of energy, and her counterpart, Raphael from Bing. Photographer Heather Gray and videographers Modern Atelier were on hand to document the night:

Here’s some pictures of the creative stylings Melanie did for the event (almost 9 months pregnant at the time no less!). I mean…seriously…I was in crafty heaven.

What’s that I said? Crafty Heaven? Oh yes. The highlight of the evening was led by local artist Rachel Denbow, of Smile And Wave. Rachel taught us how to weave – which is something I’ve been itching to learn. Beyond her instruction, we got our own loom kit! Want to start weaving too? check out Rachel’s instructional posts on A Beautiful Mess.

So I mentioned it was momentous…you see, after having moved to Denver a year ago (we left a year ago this week!), getting settled, having Noe, getting back to work, dealing with sleep deprivation and all that newborn stuff…this was one of the first times I’d been out socially amongst fellow creatives. And I really, really missed it. I said to Lexy of Proper Pinwheel that I was finally feeling “alive” again. In part because of this event, and the nudging of my dear friend Kara we are actually co-hosting an event for creatives and bloggers THIS monday. Follow us on instagram (@thespitfiregirl) for more details.

HeatherGrayPhotography.awesomewithbing.denver2014-199

So Thank you ladies, Thank you Alison and Thank you Bing for bringing the party and the creative juices back! As you can see, we clearly all had a HORRIBLE time (opposite).

XO,

Heidi

 

 

 

Aug
05
Meet the Girl That’ll Color Your World: Mellanie

1Hi guys, today I’m very excited to introduce you to our new Editorial Intern, Mellanie. Mel hails from Puerto Rico but is currently residing and studying in the good ole’ midwest  – and I couldn’t be happier to have her as on Team Spitfiregirl. She’s a lively and sweet lady, and fits in so well – please welcome her with open arms!
~ Heidi

ps: We are still on the hunt for just the right design intern for Team Spitfiregirl – could that be you?

++++

This is what I’m picturing in my head right now: silly Mellanie, complete with wobbly knees, making her way to the front of the room, hesitantly holding the mic and muttering under her breath “well here it goes…”, while altogether keeping the ever threatening urge to break out into a dance, because she’s so excited, under control. It seriously hard, let me tell you! And I’ve been here before: trying to tell the difference between introducing myself and just letting the moves do all the talking. Hah!

And although I’m not a fan of small talk, I do realize that it just needs to be done. It just has to happen at some point, very much like those dishes you got piling up in the kitchen sink (get up, get up, get up!). But wait! Before you go, let me introduce myself.

I am Mellanie, a native from Bayamon, Puerto Rico, just finishing my undergraduate degree in Psychology and Design Studies at Iowa State University. Why psychology you ask? I don’t know either. Sometimes I wish I could just get one of those time-turners Hermione has in Harry Potter. My true passion resides in the power of words, and concepts, and stories. I think that’s why I majored in psychology: because I like people, and people are stories. Except that later I realized I don’t just want to listen to them, I want to make some, too. Therefore, to make peace with the girl in me who spent her childhood writing sappy songs and poems, I will be going to graduate school for a MFA in Advertising. I’ve spent most of my college career exploring new things, from rock-climbing to stage performing, to dancing, to photography, and I think I can finally say I like it right here. Of course, second to the dance floor!

Gosh, but all silliness aside, I don’t think there’s a better way to get to know one another than to take each other to the places we feel most like ourselves. You know that quote about walking a mile in another man’s shoes?

 

But this world is big, and our time is short, and if I could spend the rest of my life inspired by the all the little things, this is where you’d find me:

Curled up in a porch somewhere, overlooking the ocean, reading the latest Darling Magazine, and the promise of a day well spent up ahead.

Rhyming words in my head and thinking of the next poem to write, complete with a good Tumblr perusal.

Unassumingly scouting bookstores across the nation, starting with a quick glance at the Young Adult section, then quickly making it to the cookbooks. Almost never buying anything. Almost always leaving inspired.

Very much wanting to color your world all kinds of shade of pink.

Walking around my neighborhood carrying my camera around, planning photo shoots with friends, letting my imagination run it’s course.

Popping my headphones in and jammin’ hard to Ben Howard.

Spilling food on the floor, grunting as I try to open a can of (insert food item), and busting out my Rachel Ray skills on that recipe I saw on Minimalist Baker.

Having the kinds of conversations you wait eons for; the ones full of confessions and honesty and life-changing epiphanies, and almost always a little embarrassment.

And of course, breaking out a couple of moves in the dance floor.

Will you join me? We’re more than acquaintances now. ;)

I can’t wait to start tickling my brain for some things fancy in this little (which has nothing of “little”!) blog of Spitfiregirl, with the hopes of tickling yours too in the process! And if you’d like to be better friends, you can follow me in Tumblr, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Let’s be friends, shall we? And how about that salsa dance?

 

Images: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

Jul
25
What didn’t I learn at Spitfiregirl? — A Lesson from Cynthia, Design Intern

What Heidi probably didn’t know when she asked if I wanted to do a “What I Learned” post, was that I had already written up half of it and was waiting for her to ask. Ha! And because I’m having a Potterhead geek out, prepare for lots of Harry Potter quotes.

When I originally applied for Spitfiregirl’s design internship, I was still in school and looking for an opportunity that would be a stepping stone in not only my career but my overall future. A year later, beat down by the challenging post-grad job hunt, I was hoping for the same opportunity when Heidi connected with me again.

At the time, I had an unrealistic perspective—I was chasing a dream instead of living the life and so when things didn’t work out as I had envisioned, I was forced to face the reality of many recent graduates: You don’t get the dream job right out of school, or let alone a job using your degree. What I’ve learned over the past year and continually reminded is that we can never anticipate the kind of challenges we will face. So even though Spitfiregirl was unpaid internship, I knew that in that point of my life, I needed to keep a working hand in design or face losing faith in me as a designer.

cyn-lessons-quote-1

I had one internship prior to working with Spitfiregirl. And describing it as “the complete opposite” isn’t an overstatement at all. I feel that it’s important for all entry-level designers to get a little taste of every design environment. (Otherwise how are you going to know what’s right for you? Learning from our mistakes is part of living.) The biggest project working with Spitfiregirl was the branding of Spitfiremom. Sketching, drafting, bringing a concept to live application, that’s what I went to school for and it’s what I thrived on—that sense of completion. Though the same happens in agencies, the experience isn’t quite as intimate.

Design aside, being a part of the Spitfiremom brand development taught me so much about the back end of the design business. But I think most significantly, it introduced me to the impact of the blogging community. Though I’m years away from being a mom, I was blown by all the mommy content and the women behind these incredible words. I learned about the power of content, consistency of it, and building a community. I wasn’t a blog junkie before, but I am now.

But of course, all of this wouldn’t have happened without Heidi. All of that good stuff above is the just the tip of the iceberg. In the short period of four months, I left Louisiana to move to California, dealt with headaches and tears of boy/job troubles, and finally moving back from California to Georgia. With all of that mess, Heidi has never been short of supportive and kind words. Heidi is a well of knowledge, from design, to business, career, motherhood and life.

cyn-lessons-quote-2

Working remotely wasn’t too difficult either, because Heidi was always so communicative. Because of time differences I wouldn’t always work on her time but we always got the work done. Communication was key. Heidi has set the bar high when it comes to working remotely. She was available, patient, and thorough when I had questions or needed clarification. Her personality is so welcoming and bright that talking with her was a joy. You’d think having never really met this person, it would be a difficult to connect. But that was not the case with Heidi, I felt comfortable talking with her. I felt open to seek advice in my own career. In some aspects, I saw Heidi as my mentor too.

I could rave on about how much I learned and how great this entire experience has been, but I think you get the picture. When applying and accepting this internship, I knew the design work I going to be exposed to and the behind the scenes business acumen of running a design studio. And after I spoke to Heidi for the first time, I knew almost immediately I was going to learn a lot from her not just about design but also what my own next steps would be. This time with Spitfiregirl has been more than I had hoped for. Heidi has been such an inspiration and influence.

Though I would wish luck to the next kickass Spitfiregirl design intern, no luck is needed. You’ll do amazing. So what did we learn here today? No opportunity is small if you make the best of it. And come on, we all know it and if didn’t already, you do now. Spitfiregirl is force to reckoned with! Thank you Heidi for all that you’ve shared with me.

All the best,
Cynthia

Image sources: 1 / 2

 

Jul
23
Spitfiregirl goes to Alt Summit

Ok, so it’s been awhile. I’m sorry!!! But honestly, I have the BEST excuse. Last month I attended and spoke at Alt Summit – A blogging and design conference in Salt Lake City. While I’m still processing all that I learned…I wanted to share a little bit about what I experienced, and how I intend to grow from it.

alt summit ©justinhackworthAlt-SummitAlt Summit © justin hackworth

I came as an expert, and left as a novice (sort of)
I was chosen to speak at Alt on the topic of “Becoming A Designer Without Going to Design School”. With 20 years of experience in design, I felt pretty confident on this topic and was excited to share what I’ve learned. While I know a lot of the information I shared during my roundtable presentations was helpful, I won’t lie in saying I probably didn’t get the ideal participant. Perhaps if it’d been the annual ALT in the winter (which is 2x the size) I may have reached more budding graphic designers. However, this foray into public speaking solidified two things: I want to do more, and I can share my skills with others. In the coming month I’ll be expanding my consulting services to help more businesses, and maybe…just maybe…start a little shop. Stay tuned!

alt summit ©justinhackworth

I say I left as a novice because I learned so much about blogging, and where I see myself as a blogger. I realized that first and for most, I’m a designer. It’s what I’m the most skilled at, enjoy and where I earn my living. My Spitfiregirl blog is really to extend my brand voice and have some fun.  Now, SpitfireMom on the other hand, is another story. I have every intention of growing it into something big. Going to Alt really gave me the tips I need to get my editorial calender in gear, grow a community, work with brands, increase my stats, and (hopefully, eventually) make money!

I met some amazing, talented women (here’s just a few)
On the first night I arrived, I attended the MailChimp sponsored dinner. At the end of my table was a quirky blonde named Christine. Turns out, she was a designer too. We instantly bonded over design, California, crazy clients and our kids. I dubbed us “The Elder Stateswomen”. The next day, I introduced myself to Megan Gilger of The Fresh Exchange. I’d been of fan of her work for awhile now, and we actually had a few Michigan friends in common. I was so glad I did, because I learned some of the most valuable social media tips from Megan and Taylor over cocktails in the lounge. And the glue that binds us all together? All. Self. Taught. BAM!

Inspiration was everywhere
As you would expect, a lot of attention was paid to the details. From the fashion, to the flowers, the parties, to the Bing Lounge (great job Raphael!) – it made this creative feel right at home.

Mormons are crafty people
It’s no secret that Utah is Mormon country. The founders of Alt are Mormon, and I would take a guess that a majority of the participants were also Mormon. As someone who’s not religious (ie: recovering catholic), I would normally get a little uncomfortable by all this. But Alt was different. All I can say is (and yes, this is a screaming generalization) Hot Damn!… Mormons are super creative, crafty people. For example, get to know The Alison Show and Melissa Esplin. Color me impressed.

Closing Thoughts…
I’m looking forward to attending another Altitude Summit, and if asked, I’d jump at the opportunity to speak again. I loved the community of creative, crafty and successful people and I’m excited to put all that I learned from Alt to good use.

 

If you attended Alt (present or past) what were your key takeaways?

xo,
Heidi

 

 

 

  • Hello There!
    Oh hello there!
    Thanks for stopping by the blog! Here we’ll be sharing bits about design, living, fashion, business, motherhood and anything else that tickles our fancy. Hope you enjoy!
    Heidi

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