A Month in Review: June

As I said in my last blog, which was so long ago, June was a huge month for the Kleeb family, and will be every June probably since both of our birthdays and our anniversary is in that month. PARTY!

I turned 21 June 2, and had an awesome day with the hubs.

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After church, I got a relaxing mani-pedi.Photo Jun 02, 3 50 07 PM

That evening, we went to the famous Mooses Tooth and I got some delicious Apple Ale and a sampler of their marvelous locally brewed beers. We had a great evening!

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Nick got me a Banana Caramel Cheesecake for my birthday cake (my FAVE from our favorite sweetshop here in Anchorage called Sugarspoon). It was absolute heaven and a great end to a great night.Photo Jun 02, 11 42 03 PM

The next evening I went out to THE CUTEST Champagne and Oyster Bar, The Bubbly Mermaid, with my friend Tanya. We had a blast, and as designers we just swooned over that adorable, nautical place. Needless to say I will be going back.Photo Jun 03, 8 44 31 PM Photo Jun 03, 9 14 19 PMPhoto Jun 03, 8 16 01 PM Photo Jun 03, 9 05 58 PM

After my birthday it was off to Texas! I still can’t believe Zach graduated. That kid!

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Being in Texas was filled with lots of pool time.

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And of course coffee on the porch/The Deck Sports Bar and Grill.Photo Jun 08, 8 13 47 AM

Since I was 21, (YAY!) we went to a few places I couldn’t go before, too! Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar was so fun. And my crazy family made sure to let them know it was my birthday! They made sure I felt special :DPhoto Jun 13, 6 16 02 PMPhoto Jun 13, 6 17 20 PM

Then Nick, mom, dad, and me went to the classy Scat Jazz Lounge, where I’ve been dying to go since I knew of it. It was absolutely perfect and Ricky Derrik was so fun (Dad told him prior to it was my birthday, so I got a shoutout and he played a favorite of mine and dad’s! :) ) Great memories were made.Photo Jun 14, 5 36 04 PM

Mine and Nick’s 2nd anniversary was on the 11th and we spent in in Texas. We got a room at the Gaylord last minute and had a lovely time together. That evening my parents had gotten us Rangers tickets, and we had a fun night with family!Photo Jun 12, 9 12 42 AM

We hung out at the sports bar afterwards and ended the night with lots of laughs. In the morning went to the waterpark together before heading back to Paradise. Happy Anniversary, love. What an unforgettable 2 years it has been. I am so excited about what the next year has in store!Photo Jun 12, 8 36 21 AM

So much relaxing, hanging out with family, beautiful sunsets, thunderstorms, good food, and just being with people I love was wonderful. I always cherish going home!Photo Jun 18, 6 03 22 PM

At the end of the month, June 28, it was Nick’s 24th birthday. We went to the batting cages, ate yummy red velvet cupcakes (Yes, again, from Sugarspoon ;D), surprised him with balloons, and had a great day.

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Overall, I’d say June was a pretty great month :)

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Sweet Summertime

Last Saturday was simply a gorgeous day. It was definitely a summer day! So I headed over to the Spenard Farmer’s Market. It was really cute and had some pretty nifty stuff! I was content. And enjoyed all the Alaskan hippies ;)

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Homemade honey and jamsPhoto May 25, 10 16 44 AM

This lady was exceptionally colorful :)Photo May 25, 10 17 14 AM

Chalk and music!Photo May 25, 10 17 56 AM

Cupcake truckPhoto May 25, 10 18 37 AM

One of the cuter shops of which my inner design-nerdness came out.Photo May 25, 10 18 58 AM

 

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Homegrown Alaska.

 

 

The days continued to be beautiful, sunny, and upper-70s for the next several days. I was thanking God from the depths of my sun-lovin, made-for-the-outdoors heart. A couple days ago I was just itching to go swimming! (Did you know there are TWO lakes with beaches and swimming in Anchorage?!) So I called up my friend, Bridget, and we decided to go to the beach! There were so many people there, and we actually got in the water, which was cool, but we got used to it and thoroughly enjoyed the sweet summer day.

Photo May 29, 7 56 48 PM Photo May 29, 9 04 47 PMI’m loving the summer. Living here makes me love it so much more. Half because it’s so perfect and beautiful during this season, and half because the winter gets old…

…quick.

Now that it’s June, this is the beginning of an exciting month! I’m turning 21 tomorrow, which is beyond surreal, we leave for Texas on the 5th, my “little” brother is graduating on the 7th, Nick and I will be marred for 2 years on the 11th, AND Nick is turning 24 on the 28th! PHEW. I’m loving it! I plan to soak up every sweet sweet moment while we are in Texas, and I look forward to the rest of the summer.

Thank you Jesus!

Beauty Talk: Products I Use

So I’ve seen people do this on blogs and it’s always helpful for me in trying out new beauty products and see what I like, if something is worth buying, etc. So, I’m going to do that as well. The consistent products I use are as follows: 

(Side note: I didn’t include make-up because I don’t wear it very often, nor have I found anything to brag about that doesn’t send my eyeballs into misery for the rest of the day.)

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John Frieda Frizz-Ease Hair Serum ($6-$7): I I’ve tried a couple frizz serums, both expensive and inexpensive, and this one is the best one at a decent price. You use it when your hair is still moderately wet, so my hair never has that oily look, just no frizz! And–it smells good :)

The Body Shop Shea Body Butter ($20, but they always have great sales and deals so don’t expect to pay this much!): I have cracking, horrible, desperate dry skin. I always feel sorry for my poor hands and legs, as they look like a desert. I’ve tried lots of lotions, but they just feel like grease sitting on top of my skin, only giving the illusion that it’s doing its job–and they usually don’t smell good. But then I discovered this beautiful butter. It just sinks into my skin when I put it on and heals it throughout the day, while smelling lovely. My legs stay hydrated and things are good when I wear this stuff. I highly recommend.

Skintimate Vitamin E Shaving Cream ($4-$5): I haven’t used many shaving creams, but this one is cheap and does the job. It hydrates while I shave and does it’s job.

The Body Shop Vitamin E Face Cream ($16.50): Since moving to Alaska, my dry skin has just gone to the extreme, especially in my face. I use this after I get out of the shower and my face is hydrated throughout the day–and the best part, there’s no oiliness to it at ALL. It saves my face everyday. I have been told and believe that one of the best things you can do for your face is use a moisturizer every night and day, even if your face is oily. This stuff is amazing, using the wonderful Vitamin E. The Body Shop has some great products I’ve found, and this is one I’ll be buying for a long time.

EOS Lip Balm ($3): Again, with this Alaska/winter dryness, I was on the hunt for a good lip balm. My two main priorities are the taste/smell, and healing power. While there’s tons of lip balms out there that work, this one satisfied both my priorities and it’s cute! My lips absorb it and it lasts all day for me, maybe needing to reapply once during the day, more if it’s super dry out.

That’s all for now! If you have any questions about any of these or what else I use, let me know! I’d love to discuss and trade beauty advice and secrets! Hehe!

Life, Design, Elephants, and the Such

I need to stop starting posts with “Wow, it’s been a long time!”

…but it has, yet again. HOPEFULLY I’LL CHANGE THAT.

It’s almost getting to be “break-up time” here in Alaska. This means the snow finally begins its 3 week period of transition to summer! (I say summer and not spring because there’s really only two seasons here, winter and summer). I think this graphic about sums it up:

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So the process will go as such when the break-up begins: Snow begings to melt, brown snow and water will cover everything, everything looks nasty, flooding ensues, the amount of snow is down to the shady areas which get no sun, everything that was forgotten under the snow is now revealed (this includes lots of dog poop, trash, ugly lawn ornaments, trash, and…trash). Then, miraculously, the sun does beautiful things and the gorgeous summer reveals itself at last!

Nick and I have been great, and I think to myself everyday how much I love married life. I always knew I would love being a wife, but it’s just so much better than I thought. I obviously love the mister for lots of reasons, but right now I’m cherishing the most how he makes me laugh when I’ve had a long day, because I’ve had lots of those lately. He just reads me so well and gives me exactly what I need.

Now how precious is that??

Midterms have been going on this past week and I feel like I’ve had more midterms than the classes I have…is that possible? Oh wells. Such is college, right? RIGHT? I have found I can’t seem to get any work done at home, and all the better. I always enjoy hitting up new and old coffee spots to get the atmosphere my brain requires to do work. I have recently discovered Steam Dot Coffee Bar, which is a new favorite I think. I’m sad to say I fit into the designer stigma that I can be found designing in a coffee shop. But I don’t care :D

Speaking of designing, here’s some recent stuff I’ve been working on, either for school or work.

An ad for the paper I work at:

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Hotel Amenities branding and packaging concept (please excuse the poor photog):

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Self-portrait for the No Apologies show at UAA:

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Fletcher Family Cookbook cover (this made me happy!):

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“Understory” cover submission:

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Lastly, I’m sure you’re wondering about this elephant bit. I just love elephants, really. So look forward to an elephant-dedicated post in the near future :D And that’s all I got for this post!

 

Laterz, y’all.

Looking back at 2012

Yes, yes, it’s a little late I realize, but I was reflecting on 2012 today and looking at 2013. So here’s some highlights from the past year!

1. Visiting Texas in January, June, and December

 

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2. Celebrating our 1st anniversary!

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3. Zach visiting!

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4. Moving (and making our new home ours)Image

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5. Momma visiting (and taking a surprise trip to Homer!) while Nick was in Barrow

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6. Getting a Graphic Design job with the school paper–and designing the front page of a big issue!

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(Photo credit The Northern Light’s facebook page)

7. Dad coming to visit for Thanksgiving

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8. Spending Nick and I’s second Christmas together.

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I know there’s plenty more highlights, but looking back, it was a great year and God has yet again blessed us, watched over us, and challenged us in 2012. I cannot wait to see what is in store for the Kleebs in 2013. Happy [belated ;)] New Year!

 

Ruts

As a design student, I was always told that it’s inevitable that along the way, more than once, I’m bound to hit a creative wall, and get into a rut. I didn’t think much of it since it hadn’t happened yet. (But isn’t that how we tend to view everything?)

As you can guess, this is exactly what happened to me recently. For our current project, we are doing a package design redo. It’s even more humorous that I was looking forward to this more than any other project this year. I threw down my ideas and was ready to go, doing digital comps like no ones business. Then comes a mid-project critique from my professor. The design isn’t working. All my stuff–while good–has the same style. It needs to be more masculine. It needs to be more Alaskan. As I kept trying harder and harder to make it work, I was just, as my prof put it so well, trying to cram a square peg in a round hole.

So, the realization set in. A horrible one for my personality with a low stress tolerance, controlled schedule, and lists everywhere. I had to start completely over. Throw it out, moving on. Let me tell you, there was almost a girl seizing in that room.

So, after an evening of stress, my encouraging, honest husband set my mind at piece. I read an article by Promise Tangeman which was exactly what I needed to hear. She also brought to my attention a verse that is so empowering to me, that I thought I’d share it at the end of my post.

And now, onto my new package design!

Creative Best verse

So Let Us Come Boldly to the Throne

Ephesians 2:8-9 says: For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

This is such a beautiful verse. I remember memorizing it as our verse being a Chum in Awana. Ever since, this verse has graciously came to mind in many situations. As a girl who grew up in a Christian home and began following Jesus at the age of five, I have known what it means to “be a Christian” for a while. And although I know I haven’t been welcomed to the kingdom because of works, I tend to focus on this concept subconsciously. I think, “God is a God of grace to save an unworthy person like me! Now what can I do to repay Him?” And that very question is what my mind tends to settle on all too often. What works can I do to be worthy for such an amazing God?

Lately, I’ve been realizing something I’ve known all along, but never really fully surrendered. The bottom line is–I can never, ever, be worthy or adequate or sufficient enough for what God has done for me. And He knows this! But the beauty of it? He still wants me, loves me, and pursues me. His GRACE is what saved me when I was five, and it has saved me everyday since then. His grace. Not the offering I put in the bucket from my allowance, not the kid I played with on the mission trip, not even how often I read my bible! While these things are great and are a by-product of being a Christian, this isn’t my point. My point is, as His child, He doesn’t want to see me scurrying around frantically trying to repay him, bringing him all these gifts and checkmarks. All he wants is…me. Just me. And that right there is a realization that brings me so much peace, and makes me feel so desired as the daughter of a King. This is our God! He is a God of grace and mercy and unconditional love and sacrifice. How unfathomable is that? To know we don’t need to measure up to His love or repay Him. It is the gift of God. And that gift was given to this unworthy ragamuffin with more grace than I could ever imagine.

 

” What a stunning truth! ‘Justification by grace through faith’ is the theologian’s learned phrase for ‘the furious love of God.’ He is not moody or capricious; He knows no seasons of change. He has a single relentless stance toward us: He loves us.”

 

Momma Comes to Visit

So on September 1st, Nick left to go to Barrow (the northern most point of Alaska) for nearly a month, because of work. While I hadn’t started school yet, I was going to be at home all by my lonesome–that is, until the next day when my wonderful mother came to visit me for 10 days!!! And man oh man, we had a BLAST! We sampled lots of seafood chowder,

played many a game of gin rummy, saw some funny animals, watched great movies, played with Kaskae,

 

and had a SURPRISE trip to Homer at a B&B,

complete with a full day kayak trip!

We saw so many beautiful creatures and views,

 

and best of all had a great time together.

We took some amazing pictures that hold wonderful memories of our time together, and I’m so glad I have such a fun, giving, loving momma!

Maaaaail Time!

My mom and I were talking the other day about how much we love to get things in the mail! Not like bills, but like personal cards and letters from ANYONE. And we were wondering why we love it! And it’s simple. The fact that someone would go through the process of going to the store, picking out a card, OR making a card just for you, then taking the time to write you a note, get your address, buy a stamp, go put it in the mailbox, all just to let you know you’re loved is such an awesome thing. The action of sending someone mail is so underrated and so special. You can’t “save” it into your hard drive–there’s one and only one copy. You can’t personalize an email like you can with mail. It doesn’t take much effort to write a facebook message, whereas there is a process to sending mail.
Bottom line, mail is special and fun to get :)

Our trip to Texas

Recently Nick and I went to Texas for a visit! Nick hadn’t been home in nearly a YEAR! Anyway, we had a blast doing all sorts of fun stuff, so I figured I’d post a few pictures from our trip :)