Jon and I have some exciting news to share with all of you!

Hope you enjoy the vid as much as we enjoyed making it!

Grateful for this blessing – J + V

Instagram is my little social networking buddy and it’s been my creative outlet since my absence from this blog and since taking a design hiatus from invitation work. I really think it’s an amazing app and besides getting to follow great amateur and professional photographers alike via their camera phones, I get to catalogue little visual tidbits of my days, marriage, foodie searches, Dallas adventures and that dapper canine we call Hoosier. It’s really fun to look back through my photos and recall what we’ve been up to. Unfortunately, Instagram is only available on the iPhone, but you can follow my feed here or discover some photo feeds you’ll really love (also check out Webstagram and Followgram if you don’t have an iPhone)!

Without further ado, here are my three favorite food-related photos. I couldn’t blog for the second time this year and not include food!

Made my first two layered cake! Super simple coconut cake I found on All Recipes, but I replaced the Cool Whip icing (gross, I strongly dislike Cool Whip)  for a homemade whipped frosting topped with toasted coconut.  I also followed some revisions reviewers suggested: used yellow cake mix, nix the condensed milk, and don’t allow cream of coconut to touch the bottom of the cake. It was a hit and I’d highly suggest making it.

Hynpotic Donuts! Dallas finally has a fun donut shop that’s completely worth the trip. We were eager to try this place out after discovering the Donut Vault and Donut Plant this summer. That bacon one is called Canadian Health Care and I’m currently salivating just thinking about it. Excuse me.

Lastly, I leave you with the photo of the dinner Jon cooked for me on Valentine’s – pasta carbonara. Yes, it looks as good as it tastes and yes, I do feel overwhelmingly fortunate to have him as a husband. No, I don’t know really know how he loves me. Yes, I am slightly offended you asked that question, but I’m over it so let’s be friends again. Pasta carbonara is a rich entrée that melds the flavors of broccoli, bacon, egg noodles, and an egg over easy on top that you break as soon as you begin eating because the yoke serves as the creamy sauce for the noodles. It was delightful to say the least.

All photos here were taken in Instagram via the iPhone 4s camera. Amazing what mobile technology is capable of these days, huh? Well, if you’re on Instagram, definitely let me know what your screen name so I can check out your IG photo feed!

2011 has been a tremendous year. I wasn’t always willing to admit that during the year itself (ask Jon, he’ll tell you), while other times I was overwhelmed with gratitude and contentment. It was too much to post all the photos and write about it so here are some of the highlights:

  • a spontaneous overnight stay in Denver with four incredible friends
  • getting a free ticket to Alt Summit a week before the conference (Jon won the husband of the year award for pushing me to go despite my reluctance and intimidation whilst sacrificing work time and enduring the 40 hour round trip drive)
  • watching our niece Gianna turn one and watching so many friends welcome their beautiful babies into the world including my sweet cousin’s second baby, Cody
  • We moved into a charming duplex just 10 minutes from down town and we love it. Hoosier adores it as well!
  • craft nights with Rach & Mols
  • discovering the awesomeness that is my favorite store in Dallas – We Are 1976 (if you are a Dallasite, you MUST go!)
  • having four days off of work with Jon during Dallas’ “Snowpocalypse,” and cooking fun meals and baking cookies
  • two Austin trips and one San Fran trip with college friends
  • traveling to Salt Lake, Denver, Iowa, Chicago, Kansas City, New York, LA, and San Francisco
  • a four-hour picnic in Central Park (this still warms my heart)
  • Jon and I did a 10 day detox diet (shocking considering I am a girl who likes her meat, and third helpings)
  • saying goodbye to some dear, dear friends (and quite possibly some of the best people we’ll ever know) as they moved to Ohio (Molly come back!)
  • we attended a Mad Men welcome party, a casino night birthday party, two of Kyle Steed’s many fantastic art shows, and Molly, Jon, Jordan and I hosted a little 30th shindig for our favorite Rachel
  • Jon will always be a highlight of my year. Not only did he plan some unbelievably stellar dates and thoughtful evenings for us, he also chose to uphold his commitment to love me unconditionally everyday as Christ loves the church, whether I deserved it or not. On a side note, he also started wearing bow ties this year. Score!

Obviously there were lows. Obviously there were struggles, insecurities, arguments and tears. But without hardships, how can we enjoy times of abundance in their entirety? I definitely went through what felt like a long season of discontentment and I can say with joy how grateful I am that the Lord has pulled me out of that and how utterly thankful I am for this year. It is, after all, a year that brings me one step closer to accepting adulthood (did I mention a cable guy came to the door and asked if my parents were home?).

So enough about me, what were some of your highlights in 2011? Struggles? What are you looking forward to in 2012?

This year has had its share of ups and downs as far as creativity goes for me, so I wanted to ensure that our Christmas cards were really something special and a good reflection of our marriage (think really fun and cool and then subtract the cool part) and what the Lord’s done in our life this year. Admittedly, we have two versions of this card because this lovely trifold print doesn’t come too cheaply but please know that we wish we could have mailed it out to everyone (the other version is just our photo and update)!

My two inspirations came from the ever-brilliant Amanda Jane’sA Year in Review” and Lande and Maze’s chevron save -the-dates. I decided on a bright color palette after receiving comments from friends who enjoyed our colorful Christmas cards from last year. Jon’s favorite part of the card is the map and my favorite part is the “Jon + Viv Heart Food” and the key below the cities we traveled to that show where we drove, flew and danced (walking until you can’t feel your feet is considered dancing right). And I naturally had my theologian husband choose a wonderful quote as the intro to our card:

Praise be to God, and all glory and honor to Him who sent his Son to be our light and our ultimate joy! Hope your Christmas was wonderful!

I am obsessed with this newlywed Christmas photo shoot by Haley Sheffield. I’m talking “Look-at-everyday-make-my-husband-admire-it-yes-I’m-still-drooling” obsessed. It doesn’t hurt that the couple is oozing adorability, and they’ve got a great sense of style. I’ll definitely be using these photos as an inspiration for our Christmas card photo next year (raise your hand if you want to be wrapped in Christmas lights).

You don’t want to miss out on the rest of this awesome shoot. Go here to see the rest. (via Pinterest)

My vision is good enough that I’ve never needed glasses, but I’ve been obsessed with them since owning my first vanity pair in high school. And clearly, I’m still obsessed. Enjoy.

 GWG photo by Trevor Hoehne


 warby parker


 source unknown source


gentle pure space

 Sporting my own spectacles (my souvenir from San Francisco) while preparing for the Halloween party we attended Saturday night. I’m a nerd if you can’t tell. Isn’t my husband awesome at tying a bow tie?

8 years ago, a boy had a crush on me.

8 years ago, I had never dated. I never had a boyfriend up until that point. I had never been kissed.

8 years ago I decided I liked said boy as well.

8 years ago today, that boy asked me to be his girlfriend. It wasn’t smooth the way he did it, trust me, but four and a half years later he’d ask me to be his wife and every day since we were freshman in college, I’d be grateful he called me his.

{a favorite photo in our home from when we were “little” 18 and 19 year olds}

Ya know when you walk into a house and you think “wow, this space has such a ‘homey’ feel to it,” meaning the home looks cozy and lived in well? This awesome Copenhagen home featured on Ikea’s home site called Live definitely evoked a “homey” sense to me. What caught my eye immediately was the fantastic settee, and the wall of frames with the pops of blue and citrus in the living room. When I saw the rest of the home (small space, big impact!) I simply had to share. Don’t you love how vibrant the mixed wallpaper prints are? And considering we have an exposed pantry in our current place, I’m inspired by the simple idea of using clear glass jars to make an ordinary pantry look slightly more refined.

What  home idea would you steal from this Denmark home?

Brook Farm General Store in Brooklyn has a beautifully curated online shop that’s totally ringing my hostess bell. Serve guests bread and cheese on a quintessential wooden bread board as they enter, then seat guests in front of a linen placemat with coordinating napkin while I serve the entrees on classic white plates. Even the wooden dog bowl set looks sophisticated, sophisticated enough for Sir Hoosier the Third that is.

What hostess finds are ringing your bell these days?

So after sharing just a few blog posts ago that I’m attempting to jump back in the swing of things (blogging-wise), I’m still finding it hard to find my footing (creatively speaking). Jon and I had dinner with our friend Kyle, who is an accomplished illustrator and Instagram celebrity (seriously, 13k followers, but seriously you want to follow him), and I can’t tell you how refreshing it was to be in the company of another creative, especially one that loves the Lord whole heartedly. I picked his brain on what designing and creating art looks like for him these days and explained the current drought I’m going through. He was encouraging to say the least and I couldn’t help but be inspired by how Kyle sees the world (artistic goggles are so much cooler than beer goggles).

So, I’m searching for my niche. Maybe I could call it my passion? Or maybe, staying to true to this blog’s name, I’m searching to do a variety of things I’ve been excited at trying but too intimidated to jump into. Until I know something more definitive (I’m still really good at eating) I’ll certainly keep you updated.

The above photo was taken on Alcatraz Island during our San Fran trip. My clever husband decided he’d make an invisible doppelganger of himself and I couldn’t resist jumping in. Isn’t he creative? I think so too! Happy Friday y’all!



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