Monday, April 30, 2012

Fine Photos Final Logo & Other Such Things

Happy Monday!

Okay not really. For those of you who follow me on Twitter, you know that I absolutely don't mean that - Monday's make me want to work that much harder at martha.anne so that one day I can kick the day job... well at least a full-time one.

While I spent my Monday staring at a computer screen pumping out uncreative (well at least to me) pieces of marketing material, both online and offline... I dream of a beautiful home, cooking, being creative, making things... I dream of waking up and enjoying my work day at home in the most amazing office with my cat beside the computer and my dog at my feet... THEN, I realize I'm at work and reality hits me... and yet it's only 10am. UGH!

I know I'm not the only one that spends the work week dreaming away...


And, tonight I made a step in the right direction. The logo for Fine Photos has been completed and I have put the disc together... I will be dropping it off to one very happy client tomorrow after work! Here's what was decided on (after showing you the different logo designs presented):

And, that's my Monday. And of course, I had a very relaxing weekend, stayed in my pj's as much as possible and went for a second look at a very amazing stone home that we are looking at purchasing. Did I mention it was built in 1836? And, it's complete heaven.

Anyways, try and have an amazing work week! :D
I know I'll do my best.

Friday, April 27, 2012

It's "Favorite's Friday" | Banana Republic Style

I don't know if I've told you, but I'm absolutely in love with Banana Republic. Of course while I was away in Vegas and San Francisco, I was sure to stop by the nearest BR to get some new clothes. And, as I'm very excited to be back and writing another Favorite's Friday post, today I'm sharing my current five favorite items on the Banana Republic website - sale section (of course!). For those of you who know me well, I can always find a great deal and I usually only buy things that aren't full price. So, enjoy my style and take advantage of a great sale with these great items:

My fashion in a nutshell - or should I say the fashion I would love to purchase ASAP! Other than that, a busy weekend lies ahead. It turns out the old brick home we fell in love with before I left has been replaced with an even better old stone home. We go tomorrow for our second look, we've been pre-approved for the mortgage and we'll be switching to a realtor in the next couple of days to get our home sold. This is it, we've finally settled on the perfect home. Even better - there are absolutely no renovation musts when we move in! Can't wait to share more with you... in the meantime, have a great weekend out there!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Believe and It Will Happen


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Fine Photos Logo Design

I mentioned yesterday how excited I was to get back to work (martha.anne) and that is definitely what I did. Before I left for Vegas, I was approached to do a logo for a local photography company. After discussing my logo package, I had to put the design on hold until I got back. The deal was, they would get three designs to choose from and after choosing one, they would have five edits they could make. I had them answer a survey about what they were looking for, amongst their answers - colors: black & purple, adjectives that describe the logo: cool yet elegant, attracts your eye, modern, flowing, classic/classy, AND feeling it will portray: professional, established and very creative. Anyways, I've heard back already and they love the designs I came up with. Of course, they chose my favorite, the one with the tree but, tell me below which one is your favorite…

1. The Tree

2. The Owl

3. The Vintage Sign

I will definitely post the final results when I'm finished. But for now, I'm taking into account her edits and making way for the final logo.

For more information on logo designs and other services, please see my pricing.

Monday, April 23, 2012

11 Days Later... I'm Finally Home!

After waking from a 17 hour sleep this morning I realized I'm home! Finally. Most of you would say 11 days in Las Vegas would be amazing, but it wasn't all fun in games. Most days were spent working over 12 hours and it wasn't until the last two days that I finally got to relax. Anyways, I'm not going to complain about that, I'm actually really excited to get back to life and back to you guys on my blog.

It's back to concentrating on selling our house - we now have four houses we're looking at, two of which especially stand out. I'm excited to get back to martha.anne - that means Pinterest, writing, cooking and having fun. I also have a client who I have to make a logo for ASAP - on my to do list for today! I have missed this world that I have neglected for the past month or so.

Before I left, I told most of you that Ry's grandfather wasn't well, unfortunately he had passed away on Easter morning. It was hard to leave for Vegas with everything that was going on and he will truly be missed. We spent that last few weeks visiting him constantly and before that we always made a Sunday visit once or twice a month. Days fishing, him showing us his garden and listening to his stories will never be forgotten.

On to a lighter note, I have finally logged back onto Pinterest. I know I've been MIA for a while, so here is a great start back to what I hope is a week full of blog posts, a few of my favorite pins I have already pinned today:

DIY Felt Owl
(feelin' crafty.)
Steph Zerbe Design

White & Wood Kitchen
(dream home.)

Cheesy Baked Tomatoes
Laa Loosh

Name Prints
Jones Design Company

Dream Closed in Veranda

Thanks for holding in there while I have been away - here's to a great week ahead!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Pin Attempt - Pumpkin Cake Recipe

I must confess, I have made this Pumpkin Cake Recipe once before, but I made it with my very own homemade pumpkin and now I'm attempting it again with a can of pumpkin. The first time I made it my husband and his dad absolutely loved it. I had put a cream cheese frosting on it and they said to try it without next time, so I did:

Pumpkin Cake Recipe
(Courtesy of Real Mom Kitchen - Pumpkin Bars) 

6 eggs
1 1/2 cup oil
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 large can (29 oz) pumpkin (or fresh!)
3 1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp salt
Cream cheese frosting (optional)

Note: I made half the recipe and it filled a 13x9 glass baking dish!

 Mix together eggs, oil, sugar, vanilla, and pumpkin.

Mix together remaining dry ingredients.

Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture and mix well.

Pour into jelly roll pan (13 x 18 pan).  

Bake at 350 for 30 to 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 

Do not over bake.  It seems the longer you leave this cake sitting, the more moist it becomes. Of course, I cut a piece and gave it to my husband right away. Although he said last time to leave the icing off, he was looking for icing this time! Well, I did not have any cream cheese in the fridge, so I went searching for something light and whipped on Google.

Here's another great icing recipe you should try, The Best Whipped Frosting, it is just as great as the cream cheese one. Mmm... now go enjoy your cake, it's absolutely delicious and of course, another successful pin attempt!

Monday, April 9, 2012

I'm Dying for a Dream Home

If you follow me on Pinterest, you will notice quickly that most of my pins are in the Dream Home or For the Home boards. I am addicted to houses and can only hope to one day own something so amazing inside. Right now, we continue to push buyers through our home and hope for an offer! On the other hand, we have found the perfect country home, located on 1.6 acres, brick and a large outer shed (currently used for bands to put on shows) that my hubby wants for a wood shop and antique restoration area! Oh I'm in heaven. Inside the home boasts three sets of stairs! There are old original wood floors, at least 10 foot ceilings, original huge trim and more. Did I mention there is a clawfoot tub in the upstairs bathroom and built in cabinetry in the dining room? The character is endless and it is essentially the perfect property for us. And, even better, it comes in well under our next house budget! That means a dream kitchen will be going in shortly after purchase... Ahh... to dream. The bummer, we have to sell our house before they will accept an offer! So, now we play the waiting game and I continue to dream. So, here are a few of my latest pins that will work perfectly in this home we hope to soon call our own.

Bright, Bold & Beautiful

The brick wall in the house is red, but I absolutely love what they have done here with the brick. The way they have framed it, it looks like a piece of art. The house has the exact same character. I love the dining room table as well, and wouldn't mind having one!

Palm Design Group

The colors in this bathroom would be perfect for the upstairs bath. The floors could be updated up there so these would definitely work. It is a large bathroom so the lighter colors will make it seem huge! I would love to put in a large vanity in this color. The best part about this house is nothing has to be done right away, so we can take our time and find the perfect things to transform it into the house we've always wanted.

Jenny Steffens

Oh tray ceilings.... I'm in love. And guess what? No it doesn't have tray ceiling, but it does have beams running run way across the kitchen ceiling! Yay! That means we can either turn it into the ceilings in this picture, or into the ones in the first picture above. Either way, it would look fantastic. Oh and not to mention, this kitchen would look just fine. ;o)


If there's something I love about an old home, it's the mudroom. It seems that country homes know how to do it right and I would love to put some amazing storage like this in the house. Of course, that would be the main entrance we would use, so function is a must. I love how the shoes store behind the doors, it's functional and holds amazing character at the same time.

Pottery Barn
Furniture. I have a list already rolling out for the hubby and this would be a must. I originally wanted a dining room table that would be round like this one, but I think I'd love it for the coffee table instead. Along with a coffee table, a bed frame, dresser, dining room table and even the kitchen dining table are on the list of to do's for this woman's hubby! He is so excited to possible have this huge woodshop and I'm ready to give him a huge list of projects to enjoy it!

While I keep dreaming of the possibilities, keep your fingers crossed that it can one day be ours! The character is absolutely amazing, but I'm actually looking forward to concentrating on the blog, making the Etsy Shoppe products, finally having a garden again and picking up our antiquing love we once had! So, fingers crossed it will soon be ours. In the meantime, have a great week out there and be sure to follow me on Pinterest!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Best Whipped Frosting Recipe

Okay, this recipe gives complete kudos to "Can You Stay for Dinner?". I had made a cake the other night and had no icing. So, I went to Google to find the perfect one but I knew I didn't want the typical icing sugar recipe. So, I typed in whipped frosting hoping to get something lighter. This has a butter cream flavor, but I'll stick with it's original title:

The Best Whipped Frosting Recipe


1 cup milk
5 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup butter, at room temperature - I used Becel margarine!
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar (not powdered sugar)

In a saucepan, whisk the milk and flour together over medium heat until it begins to sputter (be sure to whisk constantly). Continue to stir as the mixture thickens, it will quickly become the consistency of thick cake batter. Stir in the vanilla and set as to cool completely.

While it cools, beat butter and sugar until light, fluffy and white in color. You can use a stand mixer or a hand held mixer on medium speed for 3 minutes. Make sure the sugar is completely incorporated into the butter.

When the milk/flour mixture has completely cooled, add it to the butter/sugar mixture. Beat all ingredients for about a minute on high speed, until everything is well blended. The frosting show be as light and fluffy as whipped cream.

And there you have it! I put it on a pumpkin cake and my husband loved it! I am putting it in my recipe book next to my favorite homemade cream cheese icing! It is absolutely delicious, light and not too sweet! I can't wait to make it again - I hope you enjoy it!

Friday, April 6, 2012

I'm a Terrible Blogger!!

Okay, I've got a few posts lined up that I've been wanting to write but I'm just a terrible blogger these days! Between looking at houses, people wanting to look at ours, Ryan's grandpa not doing well, our biggest tradeshow coming up for work and the holidays, I've been battling to even find sleep, let alone blog! So, I thought I'd at least pop on and say I'm sorry! I've been wanting to blog all week and haven't had the opportunity. We currently have four people wanting to see in our home, three of which called yesterday! It's been absolutely hectic, but I'm hoping it will all pay off and we'll get the home we've been looking at. Other than that, this week brings more chaos, I now attend the local fair meetings, putting in my year before being officially welcomed on to the board. Then, another stop to see family and grandpa, then it's off to Vegas. I've been trying to squeeze in some phone time with my bestie in BC, but I just can't seem to manage. As well, one of my good friends in town is looking for a girls day and I won't be able to squeeze it in. Err... I hope this is not signs of what to expect for the rest of my life! It seems that life gets crazier and crazier and there has been no time for martha.anne! Okay, so I've said my hi, filled you in on the super busy life and now I gotta go. But, I hope to blog this week... Actually, I need to - it's such a stress reliever and allows me to relax. In the meantime, happy Easter weekend... I hope you enjoy the time with the family, I know I will!