Saturday, October 11, 2014

There's always enough time for something special

Many of you know that in January I began an MBA program partially out of gaining focus on what I wanted to create with my career and partly out of simple boredom. With Jason at school/doing homework most weeknights, I was left to my own devices for entertainment. And since my degree wasn't at-all related to my career goals, I decided an MBA would be a great way to do something useful with this extra time of mine before more "grown-up" responsibilities (i.e. kids) came into Jason and my life.

All of this is said to indicate why I haven't posted ANYTHING on this site in nearly EIGHT MONTHS! Now my nights and weekends are filled with reading case studies and editing papers, but throughout this time I've made sure to carve out moments for creative work whenever I've been asked to help with something truly special. One of these moments happened (much) earlier this year when my cousin Kathryn asked if I could create the programs for her wedding to her now-groom Jason (yes, both the cousins whose names start with K's married Jasons lol).

If you don't know by now, I consider the details to be some of the most important parts to any event. The fonts, textures, and colors you use in your paper products play a huge role in setting the tone. And these days with the amazing resources available through the internet, I think it's common for brides to see something uniquely special and know that they have to have something similarly perfect for their big day.

Kathryn mentioned that she loved programs where different, but complimentary, fonts were used. And the design we finalized matched the familiar but elegant tone of her wedding day.

Kathryn is definitely another woman cut from the Hoyt family cloth - the rustic details of her wedding day were absolutely perfect (enough to make a bride wish she had done some of the same things herself lol) and I couldn't have been happier to see another beloved cousin of mine marry someone who I know understands and loves her exactly for the reasons that make her who she is.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Another Hoyt Cousin is Getting Married!

It's been an undoubtedly joyful season for my grandparents as the last two years have already been filled with my cousin Derek and my own wedding celebrations and we get to keep the party going with my cousin Kathryn marrying her wonderful fiancee Jason (yes, there will be two of them now) this April! The larger family had the chance to meet Jason for the first time back in 2012 when he joined Kathryn in Boston for Derek's wedding and we all loved him from day one. It's been really touching to see my cousins find partners who I know will be sources of support, fun and love throughout their lives together.

The women on both sides of Kathryn's family decided to take advantage of having so many family members in town this past November, due to the holidays, and throw her a bridal shower in upstate New York. My cousin Amanda, the maid of honor, spent a lot of time creating a fun and festive shower for Kathryn with a champagne theme (The two even visited the Korbel cellars in California to buy all the bubbly for the event). And with so much excitement and love in the room it was a great way to spend the weekend up in the chilly weather.

Above are the women of the Hoyt side: my cousin Amanda, Grandma,
Aunt Nancy, Bride-to-Be Kathryn, her mom Martha and myself.

The champagne glasses my Aunt Nancy made for all the guests as favors and the awesome
Bride glass Amanda got for Kathryn.

I was honored to help with designing the invitations and putting together some games for the guests to help them learn some fun facts about the couple. When I asked Amanda what we were going for with the theme she told me that the colors were purples and silvers, and knowing Amanda I knew there was an understood excitement around including any kind of glitter or gems possible:

With so many women, from all of Kathryn's walks of life it was fun to have a game that everyone could participate in and laugh throughout to help bring the crowd together and know some of the couple's cute qualities:

The weather was freezing but the homemade sweets and champagne were delicious and it was such a beautiful afternoon to be sitting in a warm lodge with snow surrounding us outside. It's really special to have family around you as you go through these big life moments and we're all so excited for Kathryn & Jason! 

Monday, December 30, 2013

Creating a Year of Gratefulness

Over the years I've slowly let go of the tradition of making new year's resolutions, largely because I am someone who tries to challenge myself in all areas of my life throughout the year - as soon as I am enticed by some new activity or goal, I like beginning the journey towards it immediately rather than waiting until some artificially "perfect" start date.

This year has been huge for me in accomplishing some of my biggest life goals - including adopting a compassionate diet, making yoga a regular part of each day/week and coming more in-tune to my true self's voice and desires. But one of the largest transformations I've noticed in myself over the last few years has been my attitude. I will admit that while growing up, almost any activity felt like a chore, and even the idea of having to do something made it that much less appealing. I wouldn't say I always saw the glass as half-empty, but it wasn't until these middle-twenties that I learned how to "do what you love and love what you do".
I've learned that a large part of doing what you love and loving what you do is deliberately changing your attitude and perspective to realize the beauty and joy that can come from the simplest blessings in life. Whether it's an unexpected compliment from your boss, or a friendly conversation with your check-out clerk at the grocery store, these little joys will transform your day and perspective if you let them.

I am proud of Jason and I for already establishing gratitude for these moments as a cornerstone of our family and life together, but I also think that it is something (similar to marriage) that takes daily effort and practice. So I decided to borrow and idea I've seen circulating on Pinterest and Facebook about a gratitude jar for 2014 (sadly I wasn't able to find the actual address where this image below came from so I can't give the original creator due credit):

The idea is to write down little blessings, funny memories or momentous occasions that happen throughout the year, and then go back on the following New Years to read-through and remember all the amazing things that the previous year held.

Step-by-Step How To:
First I went into Microsoft Word and changed my page size to match a 3x5 index card, then created a little sign that would remind us of the little things to document in this jar. I chose to indicate "LOL moments", "God's Presence in our Everyday Lives", "Exciting News", "Unexpected Blessings", "Accomplishments", and "Surprise Gifts":

After looking through our left-over wedding decorations I found a great fishbowl shaped jar that we had used with our candy buffet along with some other supplies: double-sided tape, colored index cards for the blessing notes, my paper cutter and a little votive candle holder to hold the blank blessing notes:

I used the double-sided tape to attach the sign to the jar, cut the colored note cards in half, and then wrote "date:" on each one so that we would remember to put the date onto the cards as we filled up our jar throughout the year:

Then I just place all the little note cards into the votive holder and Voila!

I would always roll my eyes when I heard others say things like, "Life is what you make it" or "It's all what you make of it" but now I see how much happier, exciting and peaceful life can be when you constantly remind yourself of the good things in life. Plus I think this will be a fun tradition to add to our annual new years get together with Jason's family (or even a cute way to collect memories to make a fun scrapbook page for each year with all of our memories and blessings).

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Our Big Day! (and the night before) Part I

No one could have prepared me for the chaos and busyness that the last 4 months created in Jason and my lives between some family health scares, the passing of a beloved family pet, our bachelor and bachelorette parties, my 26th birthday, both Jason and my acceptances into the next steps of our professional educations...oh yeah and our wedding!

Not having a wedding planner really worked for us as I prefer to take on the added stress of being in charge if it means that I get to be aware of all the decisions, plans, etc. that are involved in an event. But the time and effort that pulling those final details together took were much more than I expected. I still don't regret doing it by myself, and had some of the best months of my life leading up to the wedding; but that kind of commitment also meant letting some of my free-time activities sit on the back-burner (one of those obviously being this blog!).

But true-to-form I continued to document every creative project and task leading up to our wedding - so now that I have a nice break before my MBA program begins in January, I have an arsenal full of stories, details and crafts to post about :)


Our Big Day! (and the night before) Part I

Truly one of my and Jason's favorite parts of our wedding celebration was the rehearsal dinner his parent's hosted on the night before our ceremony. There was this amazing peace that settled over me on that day where I realized that everything was done - sure there were still details and questions that could be worried over and talked about - but when it came down to it, I was finally (after 18 months of planning) at a place that I could safely relinquish all control and just enjoy myself!

It also didn't hurt that after our rehearsal were greeted by sixty of our closest family members, friends and out-of-town guests at one of the coziest restaurants in downtown Rome, GA. There was so much anticipation and excitement in the dining room, I don't think anyone could help but join in on the celebration...

While I had zero free-time to spare in those last few weeks before our big day, I decided a few weeks before the rehearsal dinner that I wanted to carve out an evening to design the invitation for this as well. The last year and a half has been filled with reasons to continue my graphic-design projects for various parties, showers and celebrations related to our wedding, but the reality was that these events were soon coming to an end and with the encouragement of my family and friends I realized how special it would be to look back on Jason and my wedding weekend and see that every invitation, insert and special touch was something that I created (I admit it also helped that the perfectionist in me wasn't 100% satisfied with any of the rehearsal dinner invite options available for us to simply order from another designer online).

I've said many times before on this blog that I believe there in a unique opportunity that sending formal invitations out for events has - not only does it excite the recipient by receiving something other than a bill in their mailbox, but it also allows the hosts to set the tone for the celebration. We definitely wanted our rehearsal dinner to be classy and romantic, but more-than-anything we wanted to have a kick-off that would get everyone relaxed for the weekend, provide an opportunity for long-distance friends and family to reconnect and to show everyone on a more personal level how excited we were to have them in town to celebrate with us.

We let the restaurant and delicious food take care of the romance and classiness of the evening, so I took some time to include some personal touches to remind everyone of why we were all there to celebrate, and how they had all been involved and important in our lives up to that point.

We used the sign that my mom had painted for us as a shower gift earlier in the year near the entrance of the restaurant with all of our seating cards. I thought it was a cute touch that hinted at our rustic-theme for the following day (the below picture is from the shower in June - we were a little too busy at the dinner to remember and take pictures of every detail :P ).

The other personal touch (and I know most people's favorite) was the table numbers that I crafted together, using side-by-side pictures of Jason and I at the ages of the table's number (seen below in the middle of my cousins' table):

It was too fun pouring over both my mom and Jason's mom's collections of photos of us growing up, seeing silly similarities between us as kids (like how we both have the crazy three-year-old eyes haha). 

Many people asked about how I found the time, and reminded me of how crazy I was to do it, to create all of these small details for our big day but I tried to remember to tell them all that it never felt like cramming it in, or another to-do item on my list. I have always loved crafting, photos, blogging/writing so it was really such a wonderful excuse to give myself the time to actually do these things again. 

Jason and I both begin classes during the first few weeks in January so I know that life will inevitably become hectic again soon, but I'm hoping today's impulse to post some of our rehearsal dinner details will serve as a reminder to me of how much I enjoy sharing these fun projects with my family, friends and maybe even some random internet surfers via the blogosphere. That's all for today - but keep your eyes out for many more posts as I still have a lot of fun little crafts and projects to go back and share on here :)

And Happy New Year from Jason, Kelly and Mya Mincey! xoxo

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Where in the World Have I Been??

This has been an exciting few months to put it lightly. 

First, the wonderful women on the Hoyt side of my family threw me a fun tea-party themed Bridal Shower back in June – complete with big hats and a very memorable life-size picture of me all dressed up at a birthday party I had ages ago.

As a thank-you present to these wonderful ladies, I decided to make each of the women responsible a set of personalized note cards – which I was especially excited about doing for one of my cousins who is getting married next Spring (and I’m sure will need some new stationary to reflect her new married name) :)

After the shower I took a much-needed beach trip with some of my friends, began (and finished) some online business courses to help with some future career goals, and worked on finalizing all of those hairy last-minute details of wedding planning.

Jason and I are very excited and happy with the final invitations we put together (I got to put my first batch of them in the mail today!) and I’ve gotten to spend some time making fun papery for the events related to the big day, along with others we’ll use to keep things personal and fun at the ceremony and reception.

True to form, I of course won’t be posting any pics of those things until after the big day :) but I’m excited to share them with our loved ones and the online world soon!

Under the advice of my cousins, I also decided to up my branding and start putting my mark on the designs I’ve been making via a simple stamp with my website’s name. 

It's been a crazy few months and I'm so excited for so many of my long-term projects coming together! More to come as I "release" my other designs :)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Some fun designs along the way...

One of the great joys of having a long engagement, especially as a creative person, is the ability to change your mind as your wedding vision shifts and changes with each season’s latest and greatest trends and design schemes. I have mentioned in previous blog posts that my love for stationary design first began with embarking on creating a funky insert for Jason and my Save the Date magnets, and our upcoming wedding has served as a never-ending source of inspiration and motivation for my design ventures.

While we have shown our immediate families a few of our favorite designs that I’ve created for our wedding invitation thus far, we have kept our final wedding invitation design to ourselves as one of the many surprises we hope to excite our wedding guests with during the build-up to our big day. Since Jason and I have made our final decision on which design elements to keep within our final invitation design, I thought it would be fun to show some of you a few of the other ideas I had along the way.

Each of the below was a labor of love, teaching me its own lessons on the wonders of Photoshop and how to stretch my creative eye to fit with elements I had found on others sites that I liked but did not love. Hope you enjoy! 

To check out my online portfolio visit Online Portfolio

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Let Wedding Season Begin!

If you haven’t noticed by the countless facebook statuses and photo albums, wedding season is upon us! And with wedding season comes wedding showers!

Wedding showers are a fun chance for the friends and families of the future married couple to take the scheduling reigns over and treat the happy couple to some parties hosted for them rather than by them.
Whether it’s a small and rowdy get together of close friends, or a large and sophisticated society fete, a wedding shower is all about kicking off the wedding festivities and getting everyone into the spirit of the upcoming nuptials.

 We threw my beautiful friend Alex a fun and festive Monograms & Margaritas shower a few weekends ago, which gave me the fun opportunity to design a loud and bright invitation (something I hadn’t had the chance to do yet) of course in her Alma mater's (UF) colors.

And I was also asked by my aunt to design a tea party shower themed invite for a shower she is hosting for a friend’s daughter later this summer.

I always believe the invite sets the tone for the upcoming celebration, so I was happy to design both of the above to get the excitement of the season of celebrations started!

** If you have an upcoming event you would love to have invitations designed for, please message me at to discuss rates and services; you can check out my growing portfolio of designs at Nothing Like Paper - Online Portfolio