It is so hard to believe that one-year ago I was in frantic wedding-planning mode, exhausting all of my energy to planning and coordinating every last detail for our big day.  What a year it has been!  From getting married, to buying our first house together, so many exciting life events.

I feel like there is a small amount of pressure for a first anniversary.  I mean, you don’t want to do something so extravagant that it is a lot of work (oh yeah, that was the WEDDING), but you don’t want to discount the occasion and set the bar low for future anniversaries either.  Keeping in mind that Matt & I have found that we are totally guilty if we are at home of so often either working on projects (a majority of the time), or engulfed in some type of technology, we wanted to do a mini destination.

So we decided to plan a trip with our camper and do our own little getaway to the northern Minnesota  Brainerd/Nisswa area.  Our plans = No plans.  It was great.  We left home when we were ready, took our time driving up, and hung out with my brother and his wife at their amazing cabin.  Pontoon rides, seafood dinner, and bonfire, yep it was perfect and so relaxing.

My request?  A one-year anniversary photoshoot, of course.  I want to keep doing (something) like this every year (I know all the parents out there are chuckling saying “good luck!”) but even if not as coordinated as this, still I think it’d be special to take photos every year reflecting where we are at that point in our lives.

This first year’s theme ended up being our Vintage Camper, which I had been wanting to get photos with anyway.  This is a good representation of our lives with no kids, carefree travelers and cray DIY/project lifestyle.

I did use a few “tokens” from our wedding day that are special to us and that we can maybe use from year to year when doing these photos.  The headband, bracelet, and necklace are all the jewelry I wore on our wedding day.  The wooden “the Kiesows”, the knot, and the chalkboard easel also all made appearances.  We even tried to recreate a few wedding pose photos we really liked.

(Of course we did get some photos of us enjoying the camper & cooking breakfast too :)

















Let me just preface this post by explaining how much of my life is supported by Target.  As a full-time working individual with a zillion projects, how often do you think I get to a fabric store?  The answer: never.  A mall or clothing store?  Puh-leeze. Even my wardrobe is starting to freakishly mimic the Target Sunday ad.  Good thing Target has EVERYTHING.  I digress, the curtains….

Have you ever seen something in a store over and over again that catches your eye, you may even go out of your way to look at it for the 25th time, but you say “that doesn’t go with my house” or “that isn’t quite my style, but I love it.”  Well, that was this shower curtain for me at Target.  I was drawn to the pattern from the second I saw it.  I loved the colorful, geographic, chevron pattern, but it was a little on the modern side for me and seeing as how I’m not in the market to re-do my bathroom, I just swooned over it at my regular Target visits.

What spurred on this project in a week (weird how that ALWAYS seems to happen), all of a sudden Matt & I were going camping, and our camper had no curtains!  Eek!  No privacy= an issue when it comes to camping.  I just couldn’t stand the impromptu curtains we had before (black fleece with sticky velcro that would not stick to the walls = curtain fail.  And super ugly).  So I dove in and bought two of these adorable Target shower curtains to make all of my interior curtains for the vintage camper.

The process?  Well, let me tell you, I am not a sewer.  I would certainly love to be, but I just haven’t done much of it at all.  But, curtains are a great beginner project because all you do is sew straight(ish) lines.  :)  I did a ¼” hem on all the sides and a ½” fold-over hem for the curtain rod to fit in.  The rods are also from Target, and were $4 each (win!).  Secret:  I didn’t pin, but I did iron the shower curtain first to get out all the wrinkles.  As for measuring, I added 1 foot to the width of each camper window to allow “bunching”, and added 2” to the height to make sure my curtains covered the frame plus a little.  This overage also was fine for taking into account my hems.



The result?  Love!  I was initially a little nervous about pulling in the green and orange in the print, but I think that really forced me outside my comfort zone and the teal/mint green in the chevron really pulls in the cabinet colors too (only giving you a sneak peek of those right now!).  I’m really excited to accessorize the camper once it is done.  The curtains are somewhat white, so are they 100% light blocking?  No.  Which is OK, I mean I would say who really SLEEPS IN when you are in a camper, but Matt & I have actually formed a Sunday habit of camping and sleeping in till 10AM :)  We can always line the curtains if we feel this is a need down the road.  I am also considering cutting the curtains right down the middle (and hemming of course) so we can “open them” and tie them up on either side when we don’t want them closed (however, thus far, we haven’t disliked having them closed all the time, especially since they still let light in).


{Ignore the lack of cushion covers and paint on the walls, oh so more to come with the Vintage Camper remodel, but lots in the works!}

I hope I maybe inspired some non-sewers like me to take on some curtain projects, so easy!  And try to keep you eye out for some non-traditional fabric material, like a shower curtain!



Layout Reveal!

Since moving into our new house this past January, we have thus far turned one bedroom into a closet, which is totally amazing and functional for our current lives.  Our house has three bedrooms on the main floor (a big selling feature and something to look for, future home buyers.  It’s very appealing to have the parents room with 2 kids rooms on the same floor!  Future state, future state).  The third bedroom on the main floor is going to be our home office.  Now, is this going to be the forever layout of our home?  Nope.  Is it what we need right NOW and is conducive to our current lifestyle?  Yep.

If there is one thing (ok there may be a few) that drives me nuts, it is having stacks of papers all over the kitchen/living room.  It. Drives. Me. Bonkers.  You can never find anything and it’s a vicious cycle of making piles, moving piles, losing piles, repeat.  Ugh!  Ok, that was my rant.  Anywho, the soon-to-be “office” has become the “dumping ground” (for lack of a better term) for the papers what finally make it out of the whirlwind of the main living area of the house.

When we started to sit down and visualize/plan our office (for the record, this was me on Pinterest + daydreaming, not Matt & I actually sitting down and planning), I decided a few things:

His & Her’s
For Matt & I, his and hers workstations are a must.  We felt like if we had one desk, we would never hang out with each other because one of us would be stuck in the office and the other one in the living room.  When you spend 40-60 hours a week away from home, when you’re here, it’s nice to be together.  Also, Matt works in IT and therefore has a desktop computer with dual monitors, so he takes up a lot of space.  I also JUST got a desktop Mac computer with a HUGE screen (can you tell I’m excited?!) so I need ample desk space as well.

Here is an example from one of my favorite blogs, Young House Love, showing the two separate workstations that helped to sell me on this layout:


Island Fever
Knowing that we will both be predominately working on our computers at our workstations, we also wanted some desk space that didn’t fight with the keyboard. We designed the island to be a little wider than the desk where our computers will sit and are still considering our options for storage underneath.  I’m excited to be able to have things out on the desk without feeling overcrowded.

Here is a great example of the “island” effect we are going for (think “T-shaped” desk):


Nice Legs
I fell in love with this photo of a home office desk with bold, character-filled legs (and really, just an overall beautiful home office).  *Swoon!  Now, of course, I found a gross old table on Craigslist (that came from a smoker, no scratch that, a chain smokers home) that had similar legs.  This turned into a beastly project that deserves it’s own post.  But summary is that I knew we would be going for an open, airy design with bold desk legs.  This design also requires us to get creative with storage since we are building the desk like a table, with no real storage built in (rebels!).


Things we are still considering:
Built-in-Desk top – wood or white?!  Ahhh I’m going to have to figure this one out soon.  I can’t decide if I should paint the wood table top of the desk white to match the legs, or poly/stain it to give it the wood look.

Desk Chairs – Ok well, we know we need these, but it’s a matter of what we end up with.  Comfort is important, I mean, we don’t want to build this amazing office and then not want to sit here!  I dream of these white desk chairs, but they may be out of our ‘immediate budgetary constraints’.  Boo. We do have some spare chairs (shocking, right?) that I have been wanting to re-do, so those may be an interim solution… stay tuned.

Carpet – Pulling up the carpet (there is hardwood underneath, not sure of the condition though- nothing a rug couldn’t hide, I’m sure- *Can you tell I’m on the “let’s pull it up” team?!).  It’s a gamble, but would be really nice to have hard floors with desk chairs vs. carpet (plus the carpet isn’t in pristine condition).

File Cabinet – We have a hideous (ok that may have been harsh) “regular old” black file cabinet.  Blech.  I need to find some way to spruce it up since we functionally need it (initial thoughts include washi tape or gold spray paint).  Realistically we really need more filing storage, maybe this one could end up hidden in the closet.

Additional Storage – When we moved we realized we have a lot of office stuff (which is SO ironic, because we for sure did not have an office back in the tiny house.  We must have just known in our hearts-of-hearts that we would eventually have one and therefore hoarded office supplies like it was our job.) I foresee us needing a bookcase as well as some shelving above our workstations.  Our printer is wireless so I’m thinking that will go behind us or in the closet.  As I mentioned above with the legs, we will have to see how it looks once it is up to find the most functional and aesthetically pleasing places for storage.

The good news is we are well on our way to another office update soon, the custom T-shaped desk is making progress in the garage!  I’ll keep ya posted as to next steps :)




Baby Mollie was so adorable.  At a mere 7 weeks old, I was so excited to get her in front of the camera.  While newborn shots are typically within the first 10 days, Mommy had a slower recovery time, so of course that came first!  What was really fun about shooting her at 7 weeks was that her eyes were open, and she was totally aware of the camera :)

Congrats Mommy, Daddy, and big brother Collin on the newest addition to your family!










Enjoy this adorable beautiful baby preview!  7 week-old baby Mollie –  More to come :)



Rachel & Marc are set to be married this October and are such a fun couple.  Their wedding concept/theme is “vintage circus” and I just know it will be fabulous.  I actually work(ed) with Rachel (we shared a cube wall) so I got to spend LOTS of time with her at work, and it was so fun to meet Marc after hearing so much about him!  Marc and Rachel were so fun to shoot and Rachel had so many fun prop ideas!!  Rachel was so organized, literally my first time having a “shot list” – loved it!  We shot at some awesome locations, an abandoned theater in Northeast Minneapolis followed by the Franconia Sculpture Park in Shafer, MN.  A beautiful day with an awesome couple!












R+M_Engagement-Photos_13 R+M_Engagement-Photos_14



Enjoy! :)



More to come, check out this adorable vintage inspired couple and their Engagement photoshoot preview!  :)




This Corporate Dress is Makin’ a Change

Per the blog name (and if anyone has perused the “About Me” section), you probably know that along with my “Creative Mess” side that insipired the blog, also comes my “Corporate Dress” side, consisting of my 8-5 (give or take)  full time Marketing job.  Well, watch out world, this corporate dress is makin’ a career change.

Three and a half years ago, I was a ‘fresh outta college grad’, eager to find a job in Marketing.  Knowing little to nothing about what the real workforce would be like, I landed a Marketing position at a Fortune 1000 company in the Twin Cities area.  On top of being my first “real” job out of college, I was eager and excited that the industry was was salons and haircare, a niche that has grown near and dear to my heart over the past 3.5 years.  I am a passionate person.  What I work with each and every day, I need to be passionate about or else I think I would be miserable.  The salon industry has given me the perfect combination of the exciting haircare environment, while being able to support salon brands with strategic Marketing efforts.

Now was it all sunshine and rainbows?  No.  I don’t think any job will ever be.  I can say with certainty that I have literally endured blood, sweat, and tears at this job (ok, the blood may have been cutting boxes of hair products open, but hey, that counts).  The company has been under major transition in my years there, with multiple rounds of layoffs and organizational changes.  While this brought about hardships in workload and emotional strains, seeing fond co workers come and go, it has definitely taught me a lot in the process.

Here is my thank you to all whom I have worked with.  It is you, the people is who I will miss most.  The coworkers who made the good days fun, and the bad days easier.  I have been so fortunate to work with such amazing people who have taught me so much in my career.  From the coffee-runs to the happy hours, to the typical 8:00-5:00 (ok, maybe later than 5:00)  I have truly felt so supported by the people around me.  While it is time to move onto a new opportunity, I know that over the last 3.5 years, I have come across some of the best in the biz, or maybe just the best people out there.

My new endeavor will be quite a change from where I am now.  My current fortune 1000 company employs hundreds of people at their home office alone (not counting the employees stretching over the 11,000 salons it supports).  My new “corporate dress” job will be with a small Marketing company with 15 employees.  I am so excited to be a part of an intimate, small team of people and to help collaborate and drive strategic Marketing initiatives for their business.  What’s even better?  A lot of their clients are- salons!  Yes, I get to stay within the industry of which I hold so dear to my heart.

I walk away from my fortune 1,000 “corporate dress” job with connections I will keep for life, and experience that is second to none.  As I prepare for my new career endeavor, I am humbled with gratitude and appreciation for where I am now, and the experiences over the last 3.5 years.  Cheers to change and growth!

(This post needed a photo, an uplifting quote, and just a darn good Minnesota summer photo welcoming us into lake weather.  Check, check, and check!)




Like all aspects of weddings, each component is given a certain amount of detail/attention per every bride/couple’’s list of “priorities” and what matters most to them.  Some brides put flowers high on their priority list, while others choose to spend their wedding budget elsewhere.  Personally, I love the beautiful and organic touch that real flowers have and I had fun coordinating the flowers for our wedding, which turned out gorgeous and totally complimented the design I was seeking.

If you do hire a florist and don’t quite know where to start, I hope this will help to guide you in the right direction to start to envision your flowers and how they will fit in to the overall esthetic of your wedding.  By providing all of this detail up front, this will help you to send all of your requested information out to multiple florists for them to estimate your wedding, so you can make the best choice (financially/logistically/creatively) for your big day.

The basics.  Is your florist available on your wedding date, and do they deliver to your venue (or do you want to arrange to pickup)

This can vary so widely across weddings.  By listing out all the items you would like the florist to “bid” for you, you can ensure that you are seeing the overall package and cost of what you are looking for.  This will help your florist to appropriately estimate your cost.  I would also suggest requesting that the estimate is broken out by piece (aka:  The bride’s bouquet is $XX, each boutonniere is $XX, etc.) so you can see where you may be able to find some cost savings.

Here are the items I had my florist bid out:
Bride Bouquet
Bridesmaid Bouquets
Flower girl petals (or bouquets)
Groom/Groomsmen/Usher Boutonnieres
Dad’s Boutonnieres
Grandpa’s Boutonniere
Grandma’s Wrist Corsage
Mom’s Wrist Corsage
Personal Attendant(s) Wrist Corsage
Ceremony Aisle Décor

(Additional Pieces to Consider:)
Miscellaneous decor flowers throughout reception
Head Table decor

Wedding party/size matters when it comes to estimating.  Your florist won’t be able to read your mind as to how many bridesmaids/groomsmen you have, how many grandparents are coming, or how many tables you need centerpieces for, so give all that info upfront to avoid back and forth confusion.

Links to Visuals/Inspiration:
Chances are you have pinned some flowers that you like for your wedding, so don’t withhold that valuable “vision”!  Share it with the florist upfront in your initial request, it will help them by quoting you will the appropriate flowers you are looking for.  Seasonality and type of flowers will impact costs, so its great to throw out your “dream” looks initially (shoot for the stars) and then discuss how you can find cost savings after seeing the quote (and come back to earth :).

*For example, I really loved the look of succulents, which are fairly expensive flowers.  In my initial request some of my inspiration pieces were predominantly succulents.  After seeing the quote, we opted to do more “filler” flowers like baby’s breath in the centerpieces to keep them looking full but saving on cost as well.

Download my free wedding flower worksheet to provide your florist all of your information in an organized and detailed format!
Download:  Wedding Flowers_Worksheet

For more floral inspiration, check out my Pinterest board feast your eyes on my lovely wedding photos showcasing the fabulous flowers!









Florist:  E.L. Design – Event Floral Design (Ellsworth, WI)
Photo Credit:  Erin Jean Photography (Green Bay, WI)

Enjoy! xo



Crazy how things change. I’m sure everyone saw on Facebook back in February, to commemorate Facebook’s 10 year anniversary, they gave their users the opportunity with 1-click to view their little 1 minute video of their “Facebook history”. The video shows photos in a heartwarming slideshow with your top posts and photos throughout the years. I thought it was super lame till I watched one, then got goosebumps like a total wimp when seeing people’s wedding, kids, and engagements paired with piano music. Well done, FB, well done.

The point of change is that 7-10 years ago, I was an avid Archiver’s customer and a total scrapbook nerd. (For you out-of-towners, Archiver’s was a Minnesota-based scrapbook store that recently went Bankrupt). Back then it was all about paper, cutting, gluing, printing out photos and putting them into book with lots of fun embellishments. Well, those days are long gone. I don’t know one person (including myself) that could actually keep up with scrapbooking (as in, the Mom next to me at Archiver’s would be scrapbooking their current 25 year old’s 2nd birthday party). But it was so time consuming! Fast forward to today. When you see something you need to take an impromptu picture of, what do you reach for? Your phone. The Marketing nerd in me totally loves the Apple commercial that communicates this to a T:

Yep, that is our reality. Our everyday documentation of our lives is stuck in the palm of our hand, our phones. The furthest most these photos reach is our social media outlets of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. But how many of you print out photos from your iphones, and file them in photo books to keep as memories? I’m guessing few (myself included).

I think I saw a variation of this initially on one of my favorite blogs, Young House Love here, but wanted to start the same tradition for our family. I took all the photos from my iphone and combined them with the photos from my cameras to create our first “Year Book”. It was so fun and shocking to see all that we had done in 2013! It was so busy! It was hard to not get carried away with the wedding or honeymoon pages (OK, the wedding photobooth pics just HAD to make it!), but I kept reminding myself that this book was about covering everything that happened in the year, not going in-depth into one thing or another (wedding and honeymoon get their own books).

I used Shutterfly to create an 8×8 book (you can check them out at Shutterfly here!).  I wanted to keep it the smaller size so we could put it on a bookshelf and create our collection of “year books”. Also, since I was incorporating lots of iPhone photos, I wasn’t so concerned with the photo quality but wanted it to be more “lifestyle” -real shots of the things that we did day-in-day out for the 365 days of 2013 (which ranged from trips, to wedding projects, to lounging around with Lewis- all equally important in different ways).  Also, I would totally recommend Shutterfly, they have great coupons if you sign up for their emails and the quality, price, and customer service are all superior. I look forward to being able to look back on all of our year books someday in the future and be able to see at a glimpse what our lives were like in that specific year and how our story evolves. (awww..)





{p.s. - Don’t worry, Lewis was legitimately supervising this photoshoot as always.}




Cheers to memories and getting all of your everyday life photos off of your phones so that 10 years from now we can actually look at them!




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