Tales of a Happy Designer : The Stand Up Desk


The first few years of designing full time I sat at a traditional desk. And sat, and sat, and sat.
8+ hours a day sitting with terrible posture while staring intensely at a bright screen. I’d come home feeling exhausted, crumpled, and with lots of back and neck pain. In my third year of sitting at my full-time design job, I was lucky enough to run across an article about how sitting all day was slowly killing office workers (something like this). AND MY WORLD CHANGED.

My boss had an old medical office desk that could adjust to standing or sitting height, so I gave it a whirl. It took almost a month, but I finally found myself standing up, stretching, and moving for around 6ish hours a work day – which left me feeling more wonderful than ever at work. I felt more creative, vibrant, and healthy. Here’s my non-medical advice if you’re interested in trying it out :

Quick tips for using a standing desk :
1. Start in small increments. Something like 15 minutes standing, 45 minutes sitting could be a nice place to begin.
2. Train your legs! It’s important to keep them active and to not lock out your knees, or lean on the desk.
3. A standing mat (anti-fatigue mat) is a solid investment. A mat like this one is a great choice to keep your legs, feet, and knees on a comfortable plane. If you can, take your shoes off, too!
4. Take breaks. Grab a stool and sit (yes, sit!) while eating, taking notes, answering emails – or any tasks where you’d like to feel more at ease. Even with all the healthy benefits of standing – everything in moderation! This will help break up your day and add little boosts of concentration.

Benefits I’ve found from my standing desk :
1. My legs, feet, neck, and back feel wonderful – no more crumply pain! Plus, I swear my legs are stronger than they ever have been. In the beginning they were sore, but the endurance increased every day.
2. I’m energized! I’m up and about pretty much all day, and I rarely ever get the sleepy put-my-head-down-on-my-desk feeling around 3pm.
3. I’m more actively inspired and have more of what I like to call “brain energy”. When I sat for hours I began to feel stuck – and that physical feeling translated to my creativity. Standing up just feels free and open to me – more space and movement translates to trying and feeling new things.
4. My circulation has improved incredibly. Before my standing days if I got up too fast I’d feel dizzy, but those days are long gone!

Please note, I’m definitely not a medical professional. Feel free to talk to your doc about trying a standing regimen, as it does come with rave reviews, and some necessary limitations! Here are some handy articles for more research :
This article from The Smithsonian explains 5 huge health benefits backed by studies, including reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, and cancer – woohoo!
Everything Science Knows Right Now About Standing Desks from Fast Co »
And 5 ways you can actually screw up the standing desk from US News »



It’s Going Down For Real – This Gun’s for Hire

It's Going Down For Real - I Just Went Freelance! This gun's for hire - Design Wine Sunshine

I just went freelance.

Even as I typed those four words I’m like, whaaat? But it’s true! After 7 years of full-time fun working as an in-house graphic designer I’ve spread my wings and joined the DIY boss community. Crazy? YES. But I had it coming as soon as I unwrapped this tea fortune one very wintry Colorado day. In the future, I hope to document my journey into the deep abyss of freelancing on this blog. Stay tuned!

Looking for a happy graphic designer? I’d LOVE to hear about your project! Catch my contact page right here & send your details.  I have a very small, succinct portfolio here, which is serving as a placeholder while I set up my studio – hurray!

Cheers to independence!

5’s : Quirky Mid Mod Tropicalia

Design Wine Sunshine -- Quirky {Mid Mod} Tropicalia

Blaise and I just closed on our first home together! A fun, mid century home with lots of character. In the spirit of all fab things modern – Here are 5 pieces I’m digging for our new mid mod living room. Shop ’em here : One, Two, Three, Four, Five

Cheers, Court

We Eloped! The Tale of Our Elopement to Mexico (With a Video!)

Court & Blaise Eloped to Mexico! : Design Wine SunshineBig news! Blaise & I eloped!!!
Here’s a little elopement video we took with our iPhone:

We hopped around the Yucatan exploring Playa del Carmen, Tulum, & Cozumel. After an absolutely marvelous trip, we finally landed on a secluded beach where we said our vows. We eloped ultimately to save money so we can buy a home together, but after we built this little video and took our own incredible wedding pictures on the beach, we couldn’t imagine a better way for us to have gone with the whole wedding thing. It was intimate, magical, hilarious, and above all – perfectly peaceful!

Here are some of my favorite shots we took while using a selfie stick buried in the sand + our iPhone on a self-timer…
Court & Blaise's Mexico Elopement : Design Wine Sunshine

Simply put, eloping (for us) was a dream come true. Just the two of us, so happy, free, and in love. It’s really all we needed to commemorate such an enormous decision to spend the rest of our lives together. In our vows, we made sure to include the importance of humoring each other, limitless time for playing with our pups, along with unconditional love & support through whatever life may bring us (especially during football season). Seriously! …and, not so seriously – we wanted this to be a lot of fun to share with our friends and family back home. Cheers to a life full of laughter and love!

Court & Blaise Play in the Agave Plants - Elopement to Mexico : Design Wine Sunshine

PS – Blaise’s amazing black Tungsten ring was created {& engraved!} by Etsy shop Rogue River Jewelry. I loved working with an Etsy artist for something so sentimental, and they shipped within 1 day! Wonderful service, highly recommended.

TULUM : 5 Luxe Travel Guides

tulum-travel-guide-round-up-xo-design-wine-sunshineBlaise and I are planning a trip to {oh} Mexico for our honeymoon!
Much to his dismay, I’ve convinced him to dare the trifecta of Yucatán towns : Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, and free spirited Tulum. You may have noticed I kinda have a thing for the beach, so I’ve gathered a round-up of my favorite Tulum travel guides from foodies, creatives, and travel savants. Enjoy!
{Image Via}

Kitchy Kitchen | TULUM  Travel Guide
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The Kitchy Kitchen’s Tulum travel guide is one of the best I’ve found! She’s created an 19 page pdf with a hand illustrated map that explains Tulum like an insider – complete with dry shampoo reasoning, toilet paper ditching, customary tipping, and driving like a local. Here are a few notes I’ll take with us :
Bring : A flashlight, surge protector, tennis shoes, and a mini umbrella – see why…
Stay : Nueva Vida de Ramiro, Coqui Coqui, Be Tulum
Dine : She describes that there are two Tulums. Tulum on the beach = fancy $100 dinners, Tulum the town = $10 hole in the wall delish bar/street food. Her faves : Posada Margherita, La Chiapaneca, Pan Del Carmen, Flor de Michoacan, and many more!
Explore : Tulum Ruins, Coba Ruins, Gran Cenote, Sian Ka’an
Seriously – if you’re interested in taking a well-informed, beautifully designed trip to Tulum, check this guide out! »

The Weekender | TulumScreen Shot 2014-12-30 at 11.01.54 PM

Great insider tips! This guide from The Weekender also included a chic packing list and naturally, a weekend itinerary.
Stay: Ana y JoseBe Tulum, & Casa Violeta
Dine + Drink : Be TulumCasa VioletaCasa Banana
Explore:  Gran CenoteDos OjosTulum Ruins, Yoga ShalaMayan Clay Spa

Design Love Fest | Tulum Travel Guide : tulum41

How about a girl’s weekend in Tulum? Bri from Design Love Fest took a quick/fun vacay with her favorite ladies. Check out the gorgeous sun-soaked shots as she winds through her recap of the experience right here » 
Stay : The Beach Tulum
Dine : Posada Margherita, Casa Jaguar, El Tábano, Hartwood
Drink : Gitano
Explore : Coqui Coqui‘s 3 hour bath/massage ritual

A House in the Hills | Tulum, Where the Jungle Meets the Sea:ahau_tulum_a_house_in_the_hills_sarah_yates_15

Simple and lovely, with many of the same recommendations from above – catch the stunning shots from pro photographer Sarah Yates of A House in The Hills »

Entouriste | The Less Traveled Tulum
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This guide
was uniquely relaxed. It was like venturing through a Tulum no one else is talking about. Quite refreshing…
Do : Travel two hours inland to Valladolid
Stay : The eco friendly Zamas Hotel
Dine : Any street taco stand along the way!

Oh, hai…


This has been on of my most-loved pins lately, and it kinda speaks to how I’m feeling these days – ideas hopping all around, and my hair has been NUTS due to Florida’s humidity. But endless mind+city traveling & bad hair days aside… I’ve been finally able to come back around to creating content for this little project.
See you soon, {although not in a few days sorta soon}…

Wink, wink.

Moving & Shaking – The Wearing of Too Many Hats


Y’all. . .
Have you heard the crickets chirping on this little blog? Simply put, I’ve been wearing way too many hats lately. Between my full-time career, home renovations / home searching, spending lovely time with my lovelies, & sketching a few plans for dreams & big things to come, blogging’s been on the back burner. I just wanted to keep y’all in the loop : the post-roll might be on a hiatus, but I’ll be back soon.

‘Til I can get back on a roll, here are a few posts to hop around to :
1. Top 5 Hot Teas for Creativity »
2. Scratch & Sniff Wine Guide by Richard Betts »
3. Gift Ideas for Wine Lovers » 
4. Studio Plants : A Gathered Guide for Happy Indoor Flora »
5. Getaway : Sail from Athens to Santorini »