Category Archives: happy living

Tales of a Happy Designer : The Stand Up Desk

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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 »

 

 

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!

Studio Plants : A Gathered Guide to Happy Indoor Flora

creative-studio-plants-for-brown-thumbs

Woo! It’s been a while, yes? We’re house hunting, painting, completing phase 1 of our fab condo renovation, & social marathoning galore! Crazy days over here, so thanks for keeping in touch.
Lately, as spring grows near, I keep unearthing my love for plants – & all the new green fluffy leaves to come! I so enjoy the crisp, fresh neon, almost fluorescent green spring leaves around Colorado, that I wish I knew how to keep that magic alive all year in my sunny studio. Enter, a full-force of designerly indoor plant guides to help brown thumbs {like me} enjoy leafy terrain in their creative spaces throughout the seasons.
Side Note : Did you know, research suggests having plants in your workplace can give you magical powers? “Powers” of increased retention, productivity, concentration, + overall happiness! Check out this article from FastCompany »

1. All pictures above gathered from this article via the amazing Domaine’s THE BEST LOW LIGHT PLANTS FOR YOUR DESK » A guide including the ZZ Plant, Snake Plant, Pothos, Jade, & Peperomia. 

guide62. Another post I’ve loved lately is this guest post for DesignLoveFest on HOUSE PLANTS 101 » Including the Fern, Calathea, Rubber Tree, Succulent, & Fiddle Leaf Fig. Plant care guide by: mehreen qudosi – see more floral posts here! Photography by: sheila gim

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3. & lastly, a quick version from Justina Blakeney. An illustrated guide of happy plants, 9-ways to bring nature indoors for brown thumbs. Check out her quick synopsis on the Jade Plant, Eternity Plant, Spider Plant, Billy Balls, Bamboo, Snake Plant, Heartleaf Philodendron, Eucalyptus Branches, & A Fishhook Succulent. 

Enjoy & Cheers,
Court

5 Fave Hot Teas for Creatives

Design Wine Sunshine | 5 Fave Hot Teas for Creatives, Artists, Designers

I drink my weight in tea every day. Every new design starts with a new cup, it’s my ritual! So I wanted to quickly share 5 I’m loving right now, for all phases of my creative day. I won’t say they’re a cure-all, but they’re definitely a great companion for the happy artistic mind.
P.S. They’re also a great antioxidant for winos!

1. Tazo’s Cucumber White Tea is the most delicious, relaxing, luxurious tea! I love it when I’m cruising along on designs & crave a spa-like retreat of White Tea, Real Cucumber and Lime flavor to keep rollin’. It’s also great when you need to recover from bad vibes of some sort. It’s like teleportation tea! When I first discovered the tea, they had me by the box :
Where do cucumbers go to unwind? A spa carved in the crevice of an iceberg, with blue cooling pools, white tea saunas and a swim-up bar lined with lime peel mugs filled with piping hot tea.

2. Celestial Seasonings is Boulder, Colorado’s very own! Blaise and I have taken the tour of their tea factory, & love the story of their hippie roots picking herbs in the Boulder foothills during the 60’s. For days when creative ideas aren’t flowing as freely, I can’t LIVE without this green tea. It helps to keep me energized without going sky-high, & boosts happiness to help get me through a long day of designing.

3. Don’t let the crazy creative world get the best of you! Information overload? As a Pair of Pears says, does your brain have too many tabs open? Perhaps your latest design proposal was cut in half and burned at critique? This is a time for a loving, nurturing cup of Lavender and Chamomile Tea from Traditional Medicinals. It won’t put you to sleep, but it will calm + gently rock away the negativity & tension to usher in peaceful feelings. Great for meditation, too!

4. All out of creativity-whack? Creatives know the days in the studio where we’re simply “OFF”. I usually long for a cup of this Yogi Detox Tea when I can’t focus on my designs, I’m struggling with designer’s block, or if everything I design is looking like “designer doo-doo”. It’s my go-to, all-powerful cleanser when I need to start fresh, & think like a champion. It’s also wonderful when combined with yoga after too much wine the night before (wink, wink).

5. Most designers reading this will have had a cup of coffee {or two}  by now. Most of us also know there are days when morning & afternoon coffee just won’t cut it. That’s when black tea shall save us all! The high from black tea is a little more easy-going than strong coffee to me, but it’s very high-electricity. I love many bold black teas for that reason, but one of my faves lately has been Golden Chai by Numi Organic Teas. It’s very spicy and I LOVE that kick when I need a huge dose of get-up-&-go!

Which teas are your faves for creative energies? Lemme know, I’d love to try!
Cheers,
Court

February’s Wisdom via Jim Elliot

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During what I like to call the “dog days of winter,” along with my entire family visiting Blaise & me in Colorado, these words are ringing so true this month! I wish I could send you to the original artist, but all I can find is this…
Go forth, friends – laugh, love, listen, be allllll there.
Cheers!