If you've been keeping up with me, you probably already know that I've wandered over to my local library this week. I took a few shots of another book that I liked, but didn't really feel like checking out considering it weighed about 50 pounds. I don't remember the name of it, but it was basically a textbook of early American design. I'm a nerd, I know. But don't you love the spreads above? I was keen on the second one because it reminded me of my blog design.

The other day I also meandered over to the local asian supermarket. My family and I have been going to this place for years but I still get a kick at looking at all of the foods they sell, particularly the sweets. They are just so colorful and inviting. Yan Yan, Hello Panda cookies, and the fruit gummies are some of my favorites. But the pyramid of Pocky they had going was also very tempting. Its a shame none of that sugar ended up in our basket. Perhaps another trip will have to be arranged in the near future...



READ / If you're like me and can't finish a book to save your life.
LOOK / I got invited to Dribble!
LISTEN / Someone told me he's the male Adele.
WATCH / Package delivery...in space?

(P.S. Like the new look for this feature? I wanted to spice it up a bit. The image is from here.)



Lately I've seen more and more stir around the debate as to whether or not seeking out inspiration actually yields good results. With sites such as Dribble, Behance, Designspiration, Tumblr and even Pinterest throwing image after image in your face, it has become easier to get lost in whats already out there and increasingly more difficult to cultivate your own thoughts or ideas. But behold! A source of inspiration that I think is largely put on the back burner, simply because its not as instantaneous as opening up your browser and sifting through Google Images. I'm talking about good old fashioned books.

When I'm at school, my favorite place to hide is in the library. Not in a strange peek-a-boo creeper kind of way, more like in the sitting in a cubicle with a pile of pretty books kind of way. This week I finally got to do just that, except in a local library where I found this selection of eye candy. I've taken an interest in lettering, thus the couple of books at the top, but perhaps my favorite find was the Compendium. Its filled with what is basically man's early clip art. Ah, I could reminisce all day about decorating my little essays in elementary school with nonsensical cartoons and flashy borders in Word. But these illustrations are seriously no joke. While they might be a little old school, everything is articulated with such detail and craft. It really made me appreciate the way things used to be done by hand, before all of this computerized vector nonsense came to be.

Overall, 'The Picture Reference File' has images from a variety of subjects, ranging from Architectural Elements to Xmas. The best part is that you can use any of the pictures for free and without permission, similar to the drawings found in A Treasury of Design for Artists and Craftsmen, another goodie I scored. This edition however says that you can only use up to ten images without permission. But no matter how many things I can steal, I'm a happy and inspired camper and can't wait to get the ball rolling on some new projects.



Whenever I make an official playlist (like the ones set in stone on a CD for a friend, or the ones that I publish here for all you lovely people) I cringe when I double up songs from the same artist or album. I don't know why, but this happens a lot and sometimes I purposefully search for other songs to replace the doubles just for the sake of diversity. But for this month, my search ran short. I included two songs from Kings of Convenience AND two songs from the Palo Alto soundtrack. Sorry, but it couldn't be helped. Your ears will thank me later. ;)

You can listen here on Spotify.



So here's part two of my illustrated things. These are ten pieces in my closet that I probably couldn't live without. After poking through what clothes I owned, I realized that I have a lot of black, a lot of white, and a lot of jeans. How exciting! Time to time I will go for a brightly colored top and I do have a small range of colored pants, but I could really just survive in the basics if I wanted.

11 / Yellow Peplum Top
12 / (Super Comfy) High-Waisted Black Shorts
13 / Oversized Grey Sweater
14 / White Button Down Shirt
15 / Cuffed Jean Shorts
16 / Striped Shirt
17 / Black Skinny Jeans
18 / Black Tank
19 / Pleated Midi Skirt
20 / Polka Dot Dress

Like this post? Click here for part one of 50 Things In My Room


10 things on my mind:

  1. I am in desperate need of a haircut.
  2. Just accidentally typed haircut as 'haircute'. Wouldn't that be funny if that's what they were actually called. Then conversations would be more like..."Did you get a haircute? Because you look adorable." 
  3. So many clothes. On my floor.
  4. Why is it that people, including myself, hate talking on the phone?
  5. I should probably get into Game of Thrones already.
  6. Building a portfolio for something you're not going to school for is difficult and time-consuming.
  7. A bowl of quinoa salad for dinner isn't going to cut it. 
  8. The book on my night stand is taunting me. Why are you 500 pages long!?
  9. Big and Carrie. Forever.
  10. Are you there God? Its me, Taylor. Please send a miracle. The summer is nearly halfway over and I am still unemployed.
(Image from here. Design by me.)



Since being away from school I've missed the luxury of being able to swing by Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks, swipe my magical ID with what feels like fake money, and continue on my way to class with caffeine in hand. So for now, this super quick and easy recipe has been a substitute in my daily routine. While it definitely can't compare to my personal favorite, the heavenly vanilla macchiato, I'll gladly sip this anyway because we've got the ingredients in my house and therefore it won't cost me a dime. 

What you'll need: 
  • ice
  • chocolate syrup
  • milk
  • 2 shots espresso (I cheat and use an instant espresso. Sorry, die hard coffee lovers. I usually just heat up a tiny glass of water and stir in a teaspoon of the espresso crystals.)
First start with a cup full of ice. Then, swirl as much chocolate syrup over it as you want. The more you add the more it'll taste like chocolate milk as opposed to coffee. Its really a choice between bitter or sweet too. Some days I prefer to leave the chocolate out all together for just a plain refreshing latte. I also like to add the chocolate before the milk because it adds a nice marbling effect to your cup. Next, add your milk so it fills a little more than 3/4 of the glass. Finally, slowly pour the espresso over all the goodness. And voila! You're ready to go!


READ / How to be lucky.
LOOK / Need a critique on your latest project?
LISTEN / To soothe the soul.
WATCH / They've come a long way from the treadmill video.

(image source)



Welp, its official. I've had this little corner of the internet for approximately six months now. I can hardly believe it. It feels like it was only yesterday when I was frantically googling HTML and CSS coding to better improve this site. Oh wait, that was yesterday.. But even if I am new and have just landed in the blogosphere, I have learned a few things here and there. These are my first impressions.

Who started this blog? Who is posting on this blog? Who is reading this blog? Me, me, and for the most part me. Right now you're probably thinking, wow you narcissistic pig, and I apologize. But if you think about it, when you go out on a limb to start a blog on your own, its a creative endeavor for the individual. Nobody is going to tell you to keep creating content, to post on a schedule, or to take meaningful photos. You really need buckets full of self motivation to be a blogger, especially in the beginning when there's nothing like sponsors, money, or an audience holding you accountable. Heck, I could drop this thing like its hot tomorrow if I really wanted. But I won't. Because I want to keep going. 

Today I got an email from bloglovin' saying that I reached a milestone. I got 5 whole followers baby! Well, excluding myself that's only four. But who is counting really? And honestly, why should I care? The other day I popped into a Barnes & Noble and whilst browsing I found Austin Kleon's book, Steal Like an Artist. Inside there a bunch of tips and advice for young creatives, including a bit about not being well known. His response made a really good point, that we should enjoy the fact that nobody else is watching. Because you don't have anyone else to answer to, you are more flexible in creating whatever you want. There is a certain freedom in not having an image to uphold.

Before going into high school, I remember thinking something along the lines of "Here we go again. I'm just a tiny guppy in this giant fish tank." The same can definitely apply when it comes to blogging, except I feel more like a baby plankton stuck in a gargantuan ocean. Everyday I find more blogs that are out there from fashion and beauty to design or tech. It can be very overwhelming knowing that I'm just one of a million, even in my own niche. If I even have a niche..

How many times have you seen something on Pinterest that says something like "Top ten things every blogger should know" or "How to increase your blog traffic in three easy steps!"? The answer is TOO MANY! These things are kind of addictive, like those darn buzz feed articles. They make everything seem so easy and just within reach. But in reality they are just words. Don't get me wrong, I love me a good motivational quote or article every now and then. But I always feel like the outcome is better after I just sit down, figure it out, and get to work myself.

To me the comments section was always just some weird other universe that got a bad rep for negativity and hate. It wasn't until recently that I started to comment on other blogs and realized that boy was I wrong. Some people really have something nice to say or to contribute to the conversation. It makes blogging feel a little less one sided too. Plus, I really don't mind if someone drops a line to their own site, as long as what they say is worthwhile. Its a good way to get to know and discover other people in the blogosphere.

I follow a BUNCH of blogs. Each one has a unique perspective and content that I sometimes envy a little too much. But as much as I would like to be this SUPER blog jam packed with every kind of thing you could ever want or need, I know that I can't. This space is only capable of being so much and its no fun trying to be the best combination of all of my favorite blogs out there. As cheesy as this sounds, you can only be yourself. And that is enough.

(Image via Death to the Stock Photo)



If you're not familiar with Katie Stratton, then you must be living underneath a rock. Katie is the painter and mother behind the illustrious blog Katie's Pencil Box. I first came across her blog quite some time ago but it wasn't until recently that I took notice of her amazing work. Something about these paintings just makes everything feel calm and serene. I mean, if there were such thing as art that could give you the same feeling of comfort and ease as when you throw on your favorite over sized sweater, I think these paintings would be it. 

Katie Stratton is a self-taught painter living in Ohio and her work has been featured consistently in Kinfolk magazine. These paintings are available on her online shop.



This morning I woke up knowing that I needed to sort myself out and to start crossing some things off on my to do list. The solution? This dress. Whenever I wear it, I feel like I'm at least somewhat put together. Plus, I love how it looks like a plain white dress, but if you gaze a little closer there are actually little skulls with cross bones instead of the usual eyelets. So, just in case someone ever doubts that you're a badass, just ask them to look a little closer. And then punch them in the face.

*I'm only kidding. Please don't hurt anyone.

Jean Jacket: Forever21
Dress: TJ Maxx
Black Tote: Target
Sandals: PayLess



On YouTube there's a pretty old tag where people play show and tell with 50 items in their room. While it might seem a little mundane, I've found that you can actually learn a lot about people from just the things they surround themselves with. So as a way to share a little about myself, in addition to me practicing my illustration skills, I thought I would show you 50 things in my own room. It's a win win, right?

The first ten things are from my makeup drawer.
*What I learned: Replicating type on packaging is difficult. Please ignore the missing 2 on the NAKED palette. ;)

1 / e.l.f. Powder Brush
2 / Sonia Kashuk Brush
3 / Revlon Lip Butter in Juicy Papaya
4 / Milani Brow Shaping Clear Gel
5 / Revlon Eyelash Curler
6 / Urban Decay NAKED 2 palette
7 / Flower Beauty Ready, Set, Glow! Blush/Bronzer Duo
8 / Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser
9 / Rimmel Stay Matte Powder
10 / Covergirl Lash Blast Mascara



I'm not sure what spurred this trend, but succulents and cacti seem to be the latest craze. They are everywhere. Instagram, pinterest, tumblr, you name it. Its been attack of the plants! You can run, but you certainly can't hide from these little suckers. Oh man. I wrote that without even thinking. Nevertheless, pun intended.

Image source: 1 (mine), 2, 3, 4, 5



I may or may not have just watched all of James Victore's burning questions videos.


The other day I whipped out my watercolor set and painted a bunch of polka dots for no good reason, scanned the pattern into my computer and then started playing around in Photoshop, because after all the Creative Suite is my favorite playground. After a few edits here and there, I became way too excited when I started to use the hue/saturation adjustment layer. It transformed my sad little dots into magical little neon lights. Now being the nerd that I am, I wanted to share this on the interwebs.

I have been contemplating starting up a series of short tutorials to help navigate the daunting Adobe waters for a while, but I was afraid that I wouldn't be a good teacher since I am by no means a professional when it comes to using these programs. I have only taken a class here and there, both in college and online, and have earned my degree via Google after several years of hard work and dedicated searches. Nevertheless, I do know a thing or two about how to use Photoshop, Illustrator, and (my old favorite, despite popular opinion) InDesign. So I'm just going to dive right in and show you all what I know and what you're capable of. These tutorials are ideally for beginners but I'm sure anyone looking to review their design savvy could get a kick out of them.

Today I want to introduce the hue/saturation adjustment layer. Reader, meet Hue. Hue, this is reader.
The hue/saturation layer is pretty straightforward. In fact, you probably already guessed that it changes the color of your image. Who would have thought, right? By simply moving the slider or entering your own value in the box just above it, your image can be transformed. Hue has values ranging from -180 to +180 while saturation and lightness range from -100 to 100. The image below shows the values I used to change the colors of the polka dots.

As you can see, the possibilities are endless with this guy. I even found myself taking my mouse and dragging the cursor back and forth, watching every color imaginable flash before my eyes. It may have been a bit childish, but it was surprisingly fun and I wasn't going to deny myself that pleasure for the sake of maturity.

Other things to note:
  • Automatic effects such as sepia or oldstyle can be found using the preset drop down menu just above the sliders. 
  • Only want to change certain color ranges? Click where it says 'Master' and an additional drop down menu will appear where you can select reds, yellows, greens, cyans, blues, or magentas.
  • Is colorize even a word? This option washes over your image with a flat color. You know when you change an image to black and white? Think of it like changing it to blue and white or green and white instead. You can choose the color you want it to be with the hue slider after selecting this option.
  • Be warned! You can use this adjustment layer to make your image completely black and white, however I would suggest using alternative methods for this, like the black and white adjustment layer. See this article for more details.


READ / What's it like in your neck of the woods?
LOOK / Out of this world.
LISTEN / Can't get enough of this movie or its soundtrack.
WATCH / J. Law and J. Fal plot to dance with J. Lo.

(image source)



Thoughts I have while taking a selfie:

  • Resting bitch face.
  • Should I look in the mirror or casually glance down at my phone?
  • How can I crop out the towels so it doesn't look like I'm in the bathroom..
  • Hair in face.
  • Seriously? My hand looks like a claw. *dinosaur impersonation*
  • Now if I just stand on my toes and tilt my head...
  • Oops, this is a video.
  • Oh, that VSCO filter is gonna make this look real niiice.
  • How many selfies does it take to reach the center of a tootsie pop? 1, 2, 3?

Sorry, this post is dull and meaningless. Its a whole lot of me trying to pull an "I just woke up like dis." I haven't been up to much lately to fulfill a worthy 'life lately' post, so I thought I would just ask a thought provoking question that every hopeless romantic out there wants to know the answer to. How many selfies do you take before you find the one


I first came across Debbie Carlos after reading this post from Pugly Pixel. Katrina had one of these enormous prints and I thought what a great statement piece to throw up on the wall. These bad boys can measure up to 36" by 48" which I'd say is pretty hefty for a print. (And this is coming from an architecture student who is used to plotting gigantic sheets.) But even if bigger is better, their size isn't the only thing to gawk at. I'd buy a print of these halftone (you know the millions of tiny dots?) printed photos even if they were scaled down a bit.

Debbie Carlos sells these prints as well as a selection of other photos on her etsy shop.



Currently I have a pile notebooks sitting on my desk that haven't received the love they deserve. It consists of one planner, a sketchbook, two moleskines, and a spiral bound. Some have more writing than others. I'd like to believe that I jot down notes in my planner pretty consistently but I'm afraid the sketchbook has especially been neglected despite being my usual travel companion. The good architecture student in me still believes that I will actually take the time to sit and draw something with my trusty V5. But since departing from my representation class the first semester of college, this endeavor has been put on the back burner. Oops?

This bad habit of not being able to keep a steady notebook still doesn't stop me from occasionally browsing through the wonderful world of stationary. There's just something about a bound stack of paper that gets me every time, even though I am well aware that my inventory is already well stocked. Unfortunately, I've convinced myself that I need these guys in my life too. Don't worry. I'm not a hoarder. At least I don't think so..

1 / Rifle Paper Co. Legal Pad
2 / Muji Recycled Paper Ring Dot Notebook A6 
3 / ArcTop 01 Notebook
4 / Poketo Agenda Planner



Just a few snaps from this past weekend. Its become sort of an annual thing for me and my friend to head over to the beach this time of year. Technically I have been on vacation for a good month, but I haven't really been on vacation if you know what I mean. So it was nice being able to soak up some sun and get a slight tan. (Even though I think its more of a slight burn. Grrrr.)



If you follow me on Pinterest, you'll find a board called 'apartment' that I have become quite akin to lately. After a while I noticed a trend between all of the images that I was collecting and as it turns out their common denominator is the gallery wall. Frames, on frames, on MORE frames. It's basically visual vomit (in the best way of course) and I love how you can make a life size collage with just about anything that you can slap on the wall.  

Thus, the new feature 'Framed' is born! Every so often I will feature a collection of prints from a certain artist/illustrator/designer/etc. that I am dying to get my hands on for my own gallery in waiting, considering I don't have the means or heck even the wall yet to get the party started. This week's prints come from Karolin Schnoor.

Karolin Schnoor is an illustrator and designer based in London. She's worked with some notable clients including The New York Times, Nokia, and Pocketo. Overall, I love the raw quality of her work. With her select use of color or sometimes even no color at all, its easy to get lost and stare at the little intricate patterns and geometries that weave her pieces together. I'm particularly gravitating towards this print, but you can take a gander through her Etsy shop for even more beautiful prints, cards, envelopes, and even tote bags! Karolin can also be found on her website at karolinschnoor.co.uk


(img src)

READ / Feelin' inspired by this creative lady from just up the road.
LOOK / Attack of the peonies! here AND here too!
LISTEN / I love when artists experiment and switch up their sound a bit.
WATCH / Not gonna lie. I shed some tears.



Coming out of yet another semester of college, I knew that all I really needed was a nice relaxing break. But flash forward a month later, with barely any job prospects, and most days spent either going to the same old places around town or curled up in a blanket watching YouTube videos, I feel like my brain has turned to mush. I miss always having some place to be and something to do, no matter the stress level that usually entailed.

So to keep myself occupied, I have been experimenting with new recipes while also inhaling old family food favorites. Hence the pictures of a smoothie and my family's super secret potato salad that is just so damn refreshing and delicious. I could literally down buckets of that stuff and recall threatening to eat it all if the barbecue wasn't ready in time on Memorial Day. Yes, I am a malicious monster when I'm hungry. (Especially when there is potato salad with bacon bits. I don't joke about my bacon, people.)