Parks & Recreation: RIP

We're going to watch the Parks and Recreation finale tonight. (Well, the 2nd finale, cause they pretty much ended it last season, am I right? That's another story.)

I have a hard time dealing with endings of series I'm fond of. I get attached and can't deal with it all going away. My solution in the past has been to put off watching the last episode, or reading the last chapter, as long as humanly possible.  Denial-Procrastinating. One epic incident involved Harry Potter and oh, 8 months, which drove my husband crazy. Needless to say, I'm not allowed anymore to hold the endings hostage of any form of entertainment we watch together.

So, it must be done. Two days after the fact we're gonna watch it right. Meaning, with waffles and whipped cream. And bacon.

Oh rest in peace, Parks & Rec. You will be missed.

First Father's Day

I can't quite wrap my brain around it, but this is just the beginning. Time is flying. IMG_1818





Happy 1st Father's Day, my Dear. IMG_3017

And happy Father's Day to our Papas as well!




Oh hey, look it's a post not about my print for West Elm (that's available right here!! Gah!) haha. Anyways...  Who has seen the Divergent movie? We haven't yet-- and I'm blaming that on a certain drooling monster who seems to be demanding an awful lot of attention lately. (The cutest kind of monster, I assure you.) We were huge fans of the books and as each still came out from the movie, I found myself frowning-- She doesn't look like that! Where are all his tattoos? Why is he so pretty? Blah blah. Now I totally relate to the angst Hunger Games fans felt. Anyways, what did you all think? Still fun even though the protagonists are way too attractive? I'm guessing, probably.


I remember years ago taking one of my babysitting charges to the second Harry Potter movie. He was in fourth grade and spent the entire movie furiously whispering (and sometimes not whispering) to me about what was wrong with xyz. It was not fun. He was upset and crushed by the end of it. No amount of explaining how movies are different than books, and, they can't possibly include every scene from the book, made him feel better. I understood then, and of course I still do now. I can whisper furiously through a Lord of the Rings movie with the best of them.

I guess what I'm saying is, I really hope this is one of those times where it's just a fun viewing experience, as opposed to a three-hour-righteous-outrage fest.

P.S. Oh hey there's a Divergent summer camp. That's cool, I guess? Better than a Hunger Games one.

Oh yeah: We have a baby now!

Remember that baby I was talking about a while ago? Well, he made it! (Two and half weeks late-- such a flair for the dramatics, that one.) On December 5th, at 9:16 pm, our little baby celebrated his first official birthday! He was 48 cm long and 7lbs 10 oz. Good job Mama and Papa and amazing doula! We four all worked hard to make it happen.

And now it is a month and a few odd days later. Since then we figured out his name is Rowan and he has started babbling and smiling on purpose. His eye color seems to change daily and is he blonde or a ginger? Time will tell...

Oh gosh, I love our little Ro so much.

We're Having A Baby!

Um... any day now! I kept meaning to officially announce it, or something, on the wee blog here, but clearly that never happened. (Though if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you might have seen the above photo from a couple weeks ago.) Anyways, now that I'm officially on self-imposed (forced) maternity leave, and past our due date (or "guess date" as they say in the wonderful Hypno Babies class we took,) I feel like I have time to post such things...

I've rounded up some fun things that will automatically post, so this space will stay active even while we're hibernating with our new little chicken.  I'll try to pop in with a baby update as soon as there is one:)

Wish us luck on our latest adventure!


If you haven't heard, it's snowing here. A lot. This is pretty much how we all deal with it:

Seriously. I went grocery shopping this morning and everything looked normal except for the missing milk and the empty bread shelves. Ha!

Stay safe and have fun in the snow everyone! It sure is pretty...

PS. Thanks so much to everybody who already signed up for my NESCBWI workshop7 Animation Concepts Every Illustrator Should Steal, in May! (Now I don't have to worry about that nightmare I had recently of teaching a class of um, no one. Oh, nightmares...) I really can't wait! I promise, I'm totally gonna bring it. If you'd like to sign up, I believe there are still spaces left, so click here. I'd love to see you!

Conference Survival Tips


I know a bunch of you are off to the SCBWI conference in NY today so I thought I'd share some conference tips I find helpful!

I have a love/hate relationship with conferences.

I love meeting new people and learning new things-- and soaking in all that good energy from being around a crowd of like minded individuals feels so good. It can be a heady experience.

However, I do not like feeling stressed out by the constant go-go atmosphere and barrage of information. Add a few critique sessions on top of that and it can get overwhelming fast--especially for the wee introvert who is used to happily working alone at her desk.

So besides the basics-- bringing your business cards, looking good, and honing your elevator pitch--here are my top 6 conference survival tips:

  1. Stay hydrated and remember to eat!  It seems pretty standard to have a speaker during meal times and it's just so easy to get so absorbed that you forget about your lunch. Don't make this mistake! Eat, eat. I would even stash a few snacks in your bag, just in case you need them later. And yes, a water bottle can be a pain to carry around, but you'll feel so much better if you drink water throughout the day. I find hotel air to be dry, and don't forget your brain needs to be hydrated to work at tip-top shape. Extra bonus: bathroom lines are among the best places to meet people, right up there with cocktail parties. I promise.
  2. Wear Layers.  Inevitably you will be too cold or too hot in one room or another. I find a big scarf and/or light sweater is helpful.
  3. Remember to sleep. So this is a controversial one. Lots of people advocate staying up to all hours of the night networking (aka partying) because that is what you're there to do. But if you're like me, that's really not the best move. Especially if you're there for the whole three days-- you're absorbing a ton of information, and I'm so much more on top of my game after a good night's sleep. Obviously, I would make an exception for something really fabulous, but in general don't underestimate the power of shut-eye. 
  4. Take Breaks. Last year at a conference, I mentioned feeling a bit strung out and someone replied that they always skip one workshop for some alone-time. I'm sure some of you are cringing at the thought, but I decided it was genius. You don't have to actually skip a whole workshop, but scheduling in breaks for yourself is a smart move.
  5. Take advantage of "unofficial" networking events.  As someone who has a hard time walking into a room of hundreds of people to go "network," I've realized I can seek out similar opportunities, but with smaller groups. Go to that dinner you got invited to. Is someone in your chapter having a party? Don't skip it. Often these unofficial gatherings are just as, if not more, rewarding than the conference-planned ones. 
  6. Plan to meet up with people you know from online.  A week or so before you go, reach out to people on twitter or Facebook and let them know you're attending. I hate that feeling when you walk into the hotel and there are hundreds of people and you don't know anyone. It can feel daunting. But this way, especially if you're going alone, you'll recognize a few faces.  And it's always great to meet an online friend in person.

So that's my list. Did I miss anything? Got any other tips to share?

Have fun everybody!

Taking Pretty Pictures...

Did you know I'm on Instagram? I admit I haven't totally gotten the hang of the "social media" aspect of it yet, but it sure is fun to take pretty pictures. Right? If ya wanna, come say hi. Though be warned: 98% of all the photos are of my animals. So yeah... it's good stuff.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I had an illustrated turkey recipe planned for today, but in the flurry of pre holiday prep, I didn't quite finish it. Rain check.  Anyways, here's Miss Luna planning her Thanksgiving meal on last Sunday's walk. Just kidding! She actually wasn't very interested in those swans. Smart lady. Squirrels on the other hand...

I hope everyone has a cozy day with loved ones today. I sure have a lot to be thankful for...

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everybody!

It feels like the first time...:

Obama wins! Woo!

I was thinking we could all take our post-election vigor and channel it into helping folks still effected by Sandy-- especially with the incoming nor'easter. Here in RI, you can donate food, clothing and household items to The Jonnycake Center. They are doing an amazing job of distributing goods to those who need them in Southern RI. And for NY/NJ, check out this Amazon Registry list set up by Occupy Sandy.  You can shop for goods that will get shipped directly to volunteers helping with the recovery. Pretty genius.

Edit: My friend Sarah pointed out that it would also be helpful to donate goods specifically for people with food allergies. (This should have been obvious to me as I can't eat gluten!) She pointed me towards this post on Allergy Girl blog. It has a ton of info and resource information. Thanks Sarah!

Note: I know Red Cross is an obvious choice for donations and I certainly wouldn't dissuade anyone from giving their dollars to them. But the general consensus on the ground is that local organizations are the ones moving quickly and being the most effective. 


Life is for Living

In Maine...My dad said something to me this summer that I've found myself repeating over and over again: "Life is for living."  It's become sort of a mantra as G and I navigate this particularly busy season in our life.

And then, when I start thinking about how we are inevitably at the beginning of this "season" that will likely last decades as it keeps ramping up, I can feel something similar to a panic attack coming on.  But if I catch myself and say "life is for living!" it somehow snaps everything into perspective, and instead of impending insanity, it just feels like we're on the right track.

I ran across this earlier today. I'm enjoying the similar sentiment.

“Life is an opportunity, benefit from it. Life is beauty, admire it. Life is a dream, realize it. Life is a challenge, meet it. Life is a duty, complete it. Life is a game, play it. Life is a promise, fulfill it. Life is sorrow, overcome it. Life is a song, sing it. Life is a struggle, accept it. Life is a tragedy, confront it. Life is an adventure, dare it. Life is luck, make it. Life is too precious, do not destroy it. Life is life, fight for it.” ~Mother Teresa

Happy 5th of July!

Our family celebrated in Vermont a few days early.  As well as some extended family, all six of us were all there-- for the first time since last year-- and we all brought our significant others-- a total first! It was a wonderful weekend, though over much too quickly. Lots of grilling, hikes in the woods, catching up on reading, walks to town for ice cream, and of course my dad and his friend's fireworks-- which seem to be bigger and crazier each year.

My brother Sam took the photo of the bonfire on our last night there. (Go check out his photos of those fireworks here. Be sure to click on the image to see them larger. They're awesome! )

Happy belated 4th of July!  I hope everyone had a good time.

Sylvia Boorstein on "On Being"

[vimeo w=400&h=300]

...your measuring stick for how clearly you're thinking, is if you're able to be kind.

I listened to this yesterday and found the conversation so inspiring.  (Audio is available for download as well. But I think it's edited down.)

"On Being" is one of my favorite podcasts. Do you listen?

I'm looking forward to reading Boorstein's books.

Happy Friday the 13th!

Morning Walk Morning Walk Now that we take G to the train every morning, Luna and I get to walk in the grounds at the State House across the street. We love it:

Morning Walk

Here's a collection of entertaining links to brighten your doomed Friday the 13th:

  • The best Pinterest board ever. Am I right, or what?
  • 10% off your next Moo Cards order. I just ordered business cards and am excited to get them. So tempted to get some stickers, but I resisted!
  • Today's the last day to use code TYLER34 to receive 34% off everything in the Perideau Designs shop! Personalized plates, stationary--great gifts for kids and teachers-- Go get it!
  • Loving this t-shirt.
  • Looking forward to this book coming out via Kickstarter. (Thanks Sam!)
  • And if we had cable, we'd be watching this show on Sunday:


Next week I'll post some of the new work I'm bringing to the conference...

Happy weekend everybody!


Sorry for the radio-silence folks. I've been busy here working on my site overhaul! I'm knee-deep in Wordpress, Headway and Simpleviewer Pro at the moment, but the finish line (of this stage anyways,) is now a glimmer and I'm getting excited.

Do you have something fun planned for tonight or this weekend?  G and I are headed out for a belated birthday dinner. I can't wait...

Image from Life Magazine's tumblr! Who knew?