Category Archives: What I Love

Finding Fresh Valentine’s Day Visuals

Check out what iStock (a leading stock photography site) has discovered about the trends + fresh Valentine’s Day visuals. To see more photography trends, check out their site.

Hearts. Flowers. Chocolates. Happy, young couples holding hands and splashing through puddles of rain together. You know the drill. The lead-up to February 14th trots out the same visual clichés to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Although the media is saturated with traditional iconography surrounding the holiday, people’s attitudes towards Valentine’s Day are changing and there is a growing shift in the status quo of imagery used to represent love.

From a creative perspective, art often imitates life. And in life, love takes many forms. Love isn’t relegated solely to the pink and red hues associated with Valentine’s Day. There are many more shades in the color palette of love. From the unconditional love a parent has for their child, the platonic feelings a person has for their best friend, to decades of romance shared between an older couple, there are a number of ways love can be visualized.

While classic Valentine’s imagery is no less iconic, consider departing from tradition this Valentine’s Day and tap into visuals that express a more modern, more inclusive sentiment. Here are a few Valentine’s Day image ideas to serve as inspiration.

A Refreshing Take on Love In Bloom Valentine's Day
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A young couple surrounded by wildflowers and truly enjoying each other’s company trumps store bought blooms and sitting across from one another at a table. Opt for a fresh take on romance that focuses on joyful, relaxed expressions of affection instead of imagery that feels staged.

Love Ages Well
Valentine's Day
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Young lovers eventually grow old. Although the body ages, a true and eternal bond lasts. Images that show an older couple still deeply in love are equally as sweet and poignant as those depicting younger couples – and offer a refreshing, unexpected look at love.

Embracing Same Sex Couples
Valentine's Day
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In the U.S. alone, the Census Bureau estimates 168,000 same sex married couples and 646,464 same-sex households. That number does not even account the number of LGBT individuals on the dating scene in the United States, let alone the world. Despite these numbers, there is a sore lack of Valentine’s images depicting same sex couples. Photographs of loving partners of the same sex show that love knows no gender lines.

Romance, Schmoemance: A Focus on Friendship — including Four-Legged Friends

Valentine's DAY
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Who says that Valentine’s Day is just for lovers? Many people are now including friends in the celebration of love. While Singles Awareness Day on February 15th (aka – Half-Priced Candy Day) hints at an air of cynicism towards Valentine’s Day by those without a partner, many singles choose to celebrate the day by pampering themselves or by letting their friends know how much they mean to them.

While friends of the two-legged variety are becoming an important part of the new Valentine’s Day landscape, let’s not forget about our four-legged friends, either. In 2013, of the $18.6 billion Americans spent on Valentine’s Day, $815 million was spent on pets. From adorable kitty sweaters in sweet shades of pink and crimson, to heart-shaped boxes of doggie treats, pets are now part of the new Valentine’s Day equation.
Valentine's Day

Photos depicting an unbreakable bond between gal pals or a rock steady bromance showcase that Valentine’s Day has meaning for best friends, too.

Love takes many forms, but is best expressed honestly, openly, and (when it comes to creative imagery) as realistically as possible.

Join the conversation about how to #RePictureLove on social media!

This post was written as part of a partnership with iStock and From Rain to Shine. Use code VDAY10 + get 10% off any credit pack available now until Feb 20, 2015. Check out their site for tons of stock image options!

Festive Winter Cocktails

Festive Winter Cocktails
Just in time for New Years Eve! Here are several festive winter cocktails inspired by the season!
Special thanks to ONEHope Wines + Beth for their help and assistance!
festive holiday cocktails
festive winter cocktails
festive winter cocktails
festive winter cocktails
Ingredients Needed:
• 2 parts ONEHope Sparkling Brut Wine
• 1.5 parts St. Germaine
• 2 parts Club Soda
• Ice

Directions:
1. Fill cup with ice
2. Add sparkling wine, St. Germaine + club soda (in that order)
3. Cheers to a new year!
festive winter cocktails
festive winter cocktails
festive winter cocktails
festive winter cocktails
Ingredients:
 ONEHope Sparkling Brut Wine
• Cranberry Syrup (see directions below)
• Club Soda

Directions
Cranberry Syrup:

1. Combine 1 cup sugar + 1 cup water in a sauce pan + bring to boil
2. Add in 1 cup of fresh cranberries
3. Stir for 1-2 minutes while boiling
4. Remove from heat + pour mixture through a strainer into a glass to remove cranberries
5. Set syrup aside until mixing in drink.

Drink:
1. Pour 2 parts sparkling wine with 1 part club soda
2. Add in cranberry syrup till appropriate tartness is achieved

festive winter cocktails
festive winter cocktails
from-rain-to-shine-winter-cocktails16
festive winter cocktails
festive winter cocktails
Ingredients:
• Hot cocoa
• Milk/Soy Milk
• Peppermint Schnapps

Directions:
1. Prepare hot chocolate as preferred using either milk or water (up to you!)
2. Add in 2-3 tablespoons of peppermint schnapps
3. Garnish with whipped cream or candy cane

Enjoy these festive winter cocktails, and let me know how you like them!

[All photos by Samantha Zachrich for From Rain to Shine. Special thanks to Beth Phillips and ONEHope Wine.]

Holiday Gift Guides: Part 1

Holiday season is in full swing! Still looking for the perfect gift for all those on your list?  I’ve created several Holiday Gift Guides containing some of my favorite items, to help you find something for everyone. The best part? All gifts are under $50. Kicking off this week of holiday gift guides, I present presents for the hostess/entertainer + designer. Enjoy!
Hostess Entertainer Gift
1. ILLUME Candle
2. Cocktail Napkins
3. The Social Type Matchboxes
4. Black, White + Gold Coasters
5
Gold Ice Bucket
6. Champagne Gummy Bears

graphic designer gift guide
1. Ampersand cheese + crackers board
2. Pantone mug + to go thermos
3. Well designed temporary tattoos
4. Typographic coasters
5. Mac + iPad sleeves
6. Moleskine journal

Fall Cocktails

Fall Cocktails
Even though it is still 75+ degrees in Los Angeles, fall cocktails always sound good. Today I have three cocktails inspired by fall, and an awesome, no mess way to decorate your pumpkins! A huge thank you to ONEHope Wines + Beth for her help and the recipes! Enjoy! Fall Cocktails
Fall Cocktails

Fall Cocktails
Fall Cocktails
Fall Cocktails

Ingredients needed:
• 4 cups apple cider
• 1 (750 ml) ONEHOPE Cabernet
• 1/4 cup honey
• 1 orange zested and juiced
• cinnamon sticks
• cloves
• star anise
• 2 oranges peeled for garnish

Directions:
1.  Combine the cider, wine, honey, orange juice, zest, 2 cinnamon sticks, cloves and star anise in a large sauce pan.
2.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
3.  Pour into mugs and garnish with orange peels and cinnamon sticks.


Fall Cocktails
Fall Cocktails

Fall Cocktails
Fall Cocktails

Ingredients needed:
• 1 cups chilled vodka
• 1 pint pumpkin gelato (if you can’t find, vanilla gelato with a dash of pumpkin pie spice is a great substitute)
• 1/2 bottle ONEHOPE Sparkling Wine
• 1 cup ice
• Ground Cinnamon (for garnish)
• Ground honey graham cracker crumbs (for rimmer)

Directions:
1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and frothy
2. Rim chilled martini glasses with graham cracker crumbs
3. Pour mixture into glasses and top with a sprinkle of cinnamon


Check out these PUMPKINS! All I did to decorate was use Jewel Tattoos metallic tattoos and placed on the pumpkins. So easy, so cute and a fun addition to any party table or decor!
Fall Cocktails
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Fall Cocktail
Fall Cocktails

Fall Cocktails
Fall Cocktails

Ingredients needed:
2 cups pomegranate seeds
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
3/4 cup bourbon/whiskey
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lime juiceDirections:
1. Heat pomegranate seeds, water, sugar + cinnamon sticks in a medium sized pot over medium heat + bring to boil.
2. Reduce heat + let simmer for 10 minutes

3. Let syrup cool and use strainer to get rid of seed skin
4. Combine whiskey, lemon juice, orange juice, lime juice, ice + shake.

Enjoy, and let me know if you decorate your pumpkins with metallic tattoos!

[All photos by Samantha Zachrich for From Rain to Shine. Calligraphy by Beth Phillips. Special thanks to ONEHope Wine.]

 

Backyard S’mores Bar

Backyard S'mores Bar
As we near the end of August [and summer], I decided to gather some friends for a summer send off  reminicent of one of my favorite childhood memories: S’MORES. I’m sure many of you also grew up going to the beach and making these delicious summer sandwiches, but for this party, I wanted to do it sans-sand, and throw a twist on the traditional method. Enter, S’mores Galore S’mores Bar.

THE INVITATIONS
Backyard Smores Bar
I wanted to set the mood for this party as being bright, happy and full of color. Tiny Prints has SO MANY different stationery options that made customizing this party a total breeze. I selected this geometric printed invitation that became the theme for the rest of the party. Not only was it simple to design and customize for my party, Tiny Prints is so easy + wonderful to work with.
Backyard Smores Bar
THE SET-UP
Since I chose to set up s’mores in a yard rather than the beach, we stayed cleaner, and ate s’mores without the added crunch of sand. I wanted my guests to be comfortable, relaxed and in close range to the food. I set up a short table, colorful blankets and pillows in a semi-circle. I don’t have a fire pit, so I used a mini-BBQ to roast the marshmallows. It worked perfectly, and fit right in to where we were sitting. It is an awesome option to bring your s’mores to your backyard if you don’t have a built in fire pit in your yard, or don’t feel like building a camp fire. Instant “glamping.”
Backyard S'mores Bar
Backyard S'mores Bar
Backyard S'mores Bar
These pillows were awesome to have. Tiny Prints just started selling customizable pillows that not only make excellent seat padding, they are also oh so cute! Even better, the outside cover comes off and is easily washable. I was concerned that chocolate/grass/dirt could ruin the pillow, but the removable cover makes cleaning a non-issue. They now offer a wide range of colors, designs and customization options to fit any party, decor or gifting need.
Backyard S'mores Bar

THE BAR
For this party, the traditional honey graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate bars were not going to be enough. I decided to take that idea, and add tons of customization options (because who doesn’t love a full range of chocolate or toppings?). I had milk, dark and white chocolate, chocolate + peanut butter, chocolate + caramel, chocolate + mint, just to name a few. Want to elevate your s’mores game? Use cookies. Thank me later, you’re never going to eat s’mores the same way again.
from-rain-to-shine-smores-galore9 from-rain-to-shine-smores-galore6 Backyard Smores Bar
from-rain-to-shine-backyard-snores
Here is a full list of all the s’mores options and toppings I had.

Outside/Shell of S’more:
• Honey Graham Crackers
• Chocolate Graham Crackers
• Ritz Crackers
• Gluten Free Cookies

Marshmallows:
• 
Plain, simple, original marshmallows

Chocolate:
• Milk Chocolate Bars
• Dark Chocolate Bars
• Cookies n’ Cream White Chocolate Bars
• Reeses Peanut Butter Cups
• Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate + Caramel Bars
• Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate + Mint Bars

Extras:
• Peanut Butter
• Caramel Sauce
• Strawberries

THE ROASTING + CREATING
Backyard S'mores Bar
No pit, no problem. Using a mini-BBQ was easy to light, clean and move. I know what I will be doing next time I need some s’mores.
Backyard S'mores Bar
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Backyard Smores Bar
from-rain-to-shine-smores-galore25 Backyard Smores Bar
from-rain-to-shine-smores-galore26 Backyard S'mores Bar
from-rain-to-shine-smores-galore29 Backyard S'mores Bar
Y U M.

THE DRINKS
Next to the s’mores bar, I had the drink station. I offered, water, juice and sangria. Instead of using overly sweet Moscato for the wine, I opted for Chardonnay, and added more tart fruit to offset the sweetness of the s’mores goodness. Big hit!
Backyard S'mores Bar
Backyard S'mores Bar Backyard S'mores Bar
To label each drink cup, I used Tiny Prints return address labels, but left them blank while ordering. They became perfect labels for everyones drink’s and their goodie bags.
Backyard S'mores Bar

THE RECIPES + GOODIE BAGS
I thought it would be fun to have everyone write down their s’mores creations. People came up with some amazing ideas. Tiny Prints personalized stationery cards were the perfect size, and come in so many customizable options. I selected these cards, and made some customizations to totally fit the colorful, geometric theme I had. Check back tomorrow to see some of the delicious s’mores recipes we came up with!
Backyard Smores Bar
Backyard S'mores Bar
Since I knew there would be left overs, everyone got a bag and made some s’mores to go!
Backyard S'mores Bar
Backyard Smores Bar
Don’t forget to check back tomorrow for the mind-glowingly delicious recipes!
Backyard Smores Bar

All photos by Sam Zachrich

[This post was generously sponsored by Tiny Prints, however, all ideas, opinions and concepts are my own. Thank you Tiny Prints!]

Alt Summit!

Speaking at Alt

Currently Reading

Currently Reading
I love finding new books to read. Recently, I have been splitting my time between reading books, magazines (and of course blogs). Here are a few I’m currently loving:
1. The Lost Girls: A true story about three girls in their late 20’s who quit their jobs and opt for a year of traveling around the globe. Their adventures, and self-discovery make this book enjoyable and mentally relatable.
2. Creative Confidence: Written by the founder of IDEO and his brother, this book raises the point that we are all creative, we just have to exercise those muscles. Talk about inspiring!
3. Where’d You Go, Bernadette: Based in Seattle, a young girl looks for her mother once she goes missing.
4. June Vogue: Gotta stay up to date!

The Art of Blending

Art Of Tea | From Rain to Shine
Recently, I was invited to Art of Tea, an LA based tea company that creates and blends their own custom tea. Their products are organic, fair trade, and sourced directly from the growers. We got a tour of the facility + warehouse, did a tea tasting, and concluded with getting to blend our own teas. As an avid tea drinker myself, it was so interesting to learn all about this awesome company, and the many benefits that tea possesses.
Art Of Tea | From Rain to Shine
The set up
Art Of Tea | From Rain to Shine
Art Of Tea | From Rain to Shine
Steve, the founder, and master tea blender, giving us a demonstration on blending custom tea.
Art Of Tea | From Rain to Shine
How beautiful is this tea!
Art Of Tea | From Rain to Shine
The six teas that we tasted, varying from white, green and oolong.
Art Of Tea | From Rain to Shine
Steve’s custom blend
Art Of Tea | From Rain to Shine
My custom tea blend: earl grey, pacific mint, coconut nibs, cornflower. Looks like Seattle in a bowl!
Art Of Tea | From Rain to Shine
Another blogger’s blend
Art Of Tea | From Rain to Shine
Art Of Tea | From Rain to Shine
At the end, we tasted our tea, named it, and bagged the left overs to take home. Because mine was blue + green, with a strong, fresh mint taste, I named my blend Seattle Rain.

Thanks again to Art of Tea for inviting me to participate in this awesome event. Their tea is top notch, unique and oh so flavorful. I’m definitely savoring my special Seattle Rain blend!

From Rain to Shine Turns ONE!

From Rain to Shine
One year ago today, I decided to start a blog. I had no idea really what to do, or what to expect, but after meeting Oh Joy! and reading Blog Inc,, I knew blogging was something I wanted to do. I’m SO glad that I did. I have met and made so many new friends, kept my design skills  f r e s h and been to places I wouldn’t have otherwise gone to. I’m so excited that my little blog turns one today, and can’t wait to see what good things come in this next year. Here’s a look back at some of my favorite + popular posts from this past year. (Click on the image to go to the post!)
From Rain to Shine Turns One!

From Rain to Shine Turns One! From Rain to Shine Turns One!
From Rain to Shine Turns One!
From Rain to Shine Turns One!
From Rain to Shine Turns One!
FR2S-1YrAnniversary-7 From Rain to Shine Turns One!
FR2S-1YrAnniversary-9 FR2S-1YrAnniversary-10 FR2S-1YrAnniversary-11 FR2S-1YrAnniversary-12 FR2S-1YrAnniversary-13 From Rain to Shine Turns One!
Thank you to all who stop by + read my little positive space! I have some exciting things planned over the next few months that I can’t wait to share. Happy Wednesday to all, and thanks for coming on this awesome journey with me!

Exciting News!

Alt SLC Summer
Hi guys! Super excited to announce that I will be speaking at Alt Summit this SUMMER! Going in January was one of the best experiences, and I am just over the moon excited to be going back in June. Some of the speakers were released yesterday, and boy are there some awesome and talented folks on there! I’ll be sharing more deets as they come, but for now, let me know if you’re going to Alt in June! Can’t wait to see ya there!!