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

Scratch & Sniff Guide to Wine by Richard Betts

“Wine is a grocery, not a luxury.” —Richard Betts

One of my amazing friends gave me this Scratch & Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert and I can’t put it down! I have happily read & sampled wines with it about 10 times since, so I thought it could be ‘wine-derful’ to share it with y’all. The most important thing I adore about this book is that Richard Betts completely eliminates the snooty feeling of wine tasting. I’ve been on this wine discovery hitch for about a year now, & it’s amazing to me that so many wine lovers are so damn serious. It’s wine – relax! The best part about the relaxed feel is that he’s actually from my very own Boulder, Colorado. I can definitely grasp our Boulder-esque vibes all the way through his non-technical wine lingo.
Here’s me, absolutely amazed (ha!) by my detection of blackberry notes (btw – I’m trying to find a perfect blue/teal for our dining room, hence the swatches & more on our home renovation later…)!

Design Wine Sunshine loves Scratch Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert

& here’s a look at the inside of the book. It’s full of fun, perky illustrative spreads that take you through each sip, scratch, & sniff to help develop your palate:

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As a surprise in the back of the book, he’s tucked in The Whole Wine World! OOooooh, AAaaaaaahh…

Design Wine Sunshine loves Scratch Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert World of Wine

Here’s a glowing review :

Richard Betts is one of fewer than two hundred master sommeliers in the world, but he’s no wine snob and he hates wine-speak. In the first book of its kind, he helps readers scratch and sniff their way to expertise by introducing the basic components of wine—the fruits, the wood, the earth—enabling anyone to discover the difference between a Syrah and a Sangiovese and get the glass they love every time. Humorously illustrated, with 16 scents, this irresistible gift puts the fun back in wine fundamentals.

My beloved friend found this playful book at Urban Outfitters, but you can also find it at Indie Bound! If you love the idea of a refreshing non-snobbery take on wine, you’ll probably love his perfect concoctions, my ESSENTIAL Red my ESSENTIAL Rosé, too! He also has a trio of Saint Glinglin wines for you french white lovers as well. You can find more fun info right here »
Enjoy, & cheers!

Design Wine Sunshine loves My Essential Red My Essential Rose Saint Glinglin

Designer Loves : Antiquaria Modern Calligraphy

One of my most-loved resolutions this year was to write more beautifully packaged, calligraphed letters.

I love to write, love to send little hellos, & most of all, love the design of the letterforms, envelope, & stamp combinations – is that the crazy designer in me? Yep, I’m mesmerized by calligraphy & was just recently overjoyed to find that my hand-written world will be forever changed. Enter, Antiquaria Design Studio. A beautiful collective that is dedicated to fine stationery, modern calligraphy, & beautifully designed tutorials stroke by stroke. In other words, the exact resource I’ve been dreaming of during my swashy-letter excursion. Speaking of which, here’s their post on getting started with calligraphy »

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Below you’ll find a beautiful video of these lowercase letterforms being calligraphed by one of the founders. Isn’t this stunnnnnning? Check out their blog for more details and tutorials. They’re currently cycling through capital letters!

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If you’re in love with them (as much as I am) by this point in the post, check out their shop for calligraphy supplies, stationery, & more. Enjoy & cheers!

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Happy Weekend from a Happy Beach : How to Pick Your Caribbean Island

how-to-pick-your-caribbean-islandRecently, I received word of this dreamy Tablet article Islands in the Sun : How to Pick Your Caribbean Island. My whole world stopped for a moment while I planned my ‘bbean vacay, dreaming I was kicked back in a hammock, sipping a crisp white wine, polka dot bikini clad. Thank you Tablet, for my weekly imaginative getaway. Here are my favorite highlights from the article, click here to read the entire piece if you like to daydream as well.

FOR A LOW-KEY ESCAPE: NEVIS
If you want to feel about as far as possible from the bright lights and noise of the city, Nevis is the place. There’s basically just one road of any consequence, making a circle around the island, and the drive takes all of two hours at a tropical pace. As for nightlife, think tree frogs calling to each other in the dark. The luxury on offer here is all about what’s absent — no noise, no light pollution, and above all no real cause for stress. What Nevis does have in abundance is natural beauty, with its vivid green slopes rising from the Caribbean. Read the full article here »

FOR GETTING OUTDOORS: PUERTO RICO
Puerto Rico has a little bit of everything, from Americanized mega-resorts crammed onto overdeveloped coastlines to elegant little hideaways in the middle of nowhere, with some fine Colonial-style hotels in Old San Juan in between. One aspect of the island that’s sometimes overlooked, however, is its more adventurous, outdoorsy side. Beyond the beaches, one can go horseback riding in the hills, biking in the mountains, hiking along rivers and lakes, even spelunking in the island’s extensive cave network.

FOR THE WEEKEND: BERMUDA
This time of year, the weather’s a whole lot better in Bermuda. Technically that warm, crystalline water lapping against the beach is Atlantic rather than Caribbean, but the palm trees, blazing sun and soft pink sand don’t seem to have gotten the memo; choose the right beachside hotel and Bermuda still feels like a tropical island idyll. And the right hotel is the local outpost of the Mandarin Oriental. Despite the marooned-at-sea setting, the level of luxury on offer is perfectly up to standard, and each room comes with a breezy balcony or patio — a vantage point from which “real life” feels quite far away after all. Read the full article here »

FOR FINDING NEMO (I.E. DIVING): AMBERGRIS CAYE
There are more traditional Caribbean island destinations for diving (Turks & Caicos, for one), but few with quite the same bucket-list appeal as Ambergris Caye, off the coast of Belize. Second only to Australia’s, the Belizean Barrier Reef is home to a panoply of colorful fish, a couple sunken pirate ships, and a few underwater seascapes that look like pages of National Geographic come to life.

I JUST WANT TO LIE ON THE BEACH: ANGUILLA
Somehow in Anguilla the sand just feels a little softer, the water a shade more crystalline than on the other Caribbean islands. There are beaches so perfect that even the palm trees seem to sway a bit more gently. It’s got more than just beaches, too. Anguilla is stylish but not blindingly glitzy; low-key but with just enough beach bars and barbecue shacks to keep the boredom at bay; with a music and art scene that never crosses the line into self-parody. And some of the hotels are stunners. The smartly designed Viceroy Anguilla, with its driftwood-inspired furnishings and eye-catching objets d’art, sits on thirty-five acres, alongside a private beach that spans the better part of a mile. Read the full article here »

All words a succinct version of the full article found on Tablet, right here »
Image above by Jim Covert aka LoudGazelle via Flickr »

100 Beautiful Engagement Rings on a Happy Budget

Blaise & I have been tossing around the idea of our engagement ring.

It’s a happy, bright moment around here! But when he talks about the thousands of dollars he wants to invest in a diamond, I’m jolted by a slight shock that runs through every nerve in my body. This little ring, a big symbol of our love & commitment, could potentially be a trip across the world, a kitchen remodel, an investment portfolio, or heck, even a nice portion of a down payment for a house we could share with our friends & family. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE a beautiful diamond as much as the next girl, but I definitely love the beauty of the memories we could make more! So I’ve done some extensive research, & here’s my little {ha!} round up of classy, alternative rings for a unique bride-to-be, that fits every tier of a budget under $1,000 with grace. You’ll find gemstones, alternative natural stones, & options that I’ve never even thought of, mostly curated from Etsy artists. Don’t forget, there’s always the opportunity to replace the center stone with a diamond when you hit the jackpot. Enjoy!

Hop over to my Engagement Rings on a Budget pinboard to find the links for them all, & more.
Cheers! Court

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A Designer’s At Home Try-On Marathon with Warby Parker, Rivet & Sway, & Fetch Eyewear

“The main thing is to
have personal integrity.

Oh, & traditional graphic design
ruined my 
eyesight.”
— Neville Brody in How to be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul

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My “designer eyes” are burning! Any other designer out there who leaves work at the end of the day & feels like your contacts have affixed to your eyes with a permanent, stinging, toxic glue? That’s this girl. This designer. Especially living in Colorado, the dry air mixed with staring intensely (on a teeny pixel-grid level) at a 27 inch iMac for 8+ hours is really tough on the eyes.
Enter, the quest to find the perfect pair of !designer approved! specs. 
I’ve recently endured a whirlwind of a marathon trying on 17 different pairs of frames from three different stylishly hipster eyewear companies. Warby Parker, Rivet & Sway, & Fetch Eyewear.
Here’s a quick glance and synopsis of my trial with each company :

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Warby Parker has this at home try-on packaging, shipping, & style thing down. I love their site’s design, even their cart & email design, as well as their perfectly packaged shipping box. The frames all fit wonderfully, I was thrilled! Next to wonderful eyeglass designs, I love that they support sight & proper vision care in communities around the world who can’t afford prescription glasses. A win-win!

I love that Rivet & Sway has a direct sense of design for women, a beautiful site & package design, plus a discount program. However, it was hard for me to get excited to shop with them over the other two companies who give back to charity. When I received my at home try on, the frames weren’t labeled, so I had to go back to my online order to decipher which frames carried which names, a little frustrating, but not too bad. The fit wasn’t for me either, but I also have a very unusual face – & that’s most certainly not their fault, ha!.

I was initially super, super excited about Fetch. Since animals are my heart, I was really hoping to be able to find my perfect pair & help support the Pixie Project. I also love their design, and friendliness! Awesome logo, btw. Unfortunately, 6 of the 8 frames I took interest in on their site weren’t available for an at home try-on. I went ahead and ordered some not-so loved frames to see if I could wiggle my way into a pair I never would’ve known I liked – but to no success. Some of the frames were a little thicker than I prefer, and the proportions felt a little awkward for my awkward face (wink, wink). I still love everything about them! Maybe after a while I’ll check back in to see if I can snag my fave frames for a try on after all.

So which won the battle? Dadadadrrrrumroll please … after 17 pairs….
Here’s the winner below… it’s Begley, from Warby Parker! I love the ginormous round shape – perfect for scanning all areas of my gigantic computer screens without the confines of tightly built frames. Plus, they somehow work with my huge cheeks. See how excited I am? Woo!

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Phew! Hope this helps other designers with burning eyes – a little insider info. Are there any other eyewear companies out there that designers love?
Cheers! Court

Pantone Home Colors : Navy & Indigo

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Ever since I discovered the Pantone Universe at Lowe’s, I’ve been thinking of the rest of my world in coated and uncoated swatches. What’s that? You do too!!? Let’s party sometime.

Recently, Blaise and I have made the {somewhat happy, somewhat melancholy} decision to stay in our Boulder condo for a little longer before moving into our dream home in Denver. I’m making the most of it, and tossing some color around to give the place a few accents & polish (SO excited!). My first hue I’ve been dreaming of while creating our home’s color palette is navy, more so indigo – but of a very rich night-skyish hue.
The first image is my absolute favorite, somewhere between navy and purple – the perfect energetic indigo.  The middle is a little wacky, but bright and crisp. You gotta love the pop of hot pink and coral orange against the deep blue. The last is a warmer navy accented with gold, and {hooray} chi mirrors! I’m thinking that exact thing, to bring my chi mirrors in for a glow against the blue to keep it light and prismatic.

You can find all these images and many more on my Pinterest board Pantone Home : Home Color Palettes »
Enjoy, & cheers!

Designer Loves : Links Lately

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Here’s a collection of recent links I’ve adored :

ART & DESIGN
Unsplash from Ooomf has just released a new set of their fabulous royalty free photos (as seen above) »
Paperless Post is killin’ it this Valentine’s Day. So Many fly greeting card designs »
Take a thrill ride with Jody Mac Donald’s photographic journey and interview. Under the ocean, over the ocean, so stunning »
A pigeon color palette you won’t want to miss »
Swim Club Bath Salts on Etsy are rocking my minimalist lovin’ deisgn world »
Joe Cruz. Enough said. »

WINE
10 Best Wine Destinations in 2014 »
My favorite wine of January 2014 »
Travel with Food and Wine’s Ray Isle through 35 years of Cabernet»
Identifying Fruit Flavors in Wine from my faves at Wine Folly »
My fave Valentine gift for wine lovers? Still standing strong from last year »

HAPPY LIVING & SUNSHINE
One of our friends Alex, a bartender at Boulder’s Acorn, is competing against two other Denver mixologists for Colorado’s State Cocktail »
If you have a brown thumb (like me), you might find these simple winter plant care tips useful »
Clementine’s speaking with kindness, & waking up with peace »
For my resolution of wanting to write more letters, here are some simple ideas on penning the perfect thank you note »
If you have too many dogs per home square footage like us, stock up on these amazing pet odor eliminator candles, pronto! »
The perfect rucksack for travelers »
And on that note, 24 Best Travel Blogs of 2014»
I’ve been thinking of trying out green smoothies for breakfast lately. Lovin’ this recipe for a “Green Smoothie (That Doesn’t Taste Like Grass”. »

Enjoy, & cheers!