year of discovery 01: transformation

PhotoByMattLowden01all photos by matt lowden

i cannot put into words what a major month january has already been for me in terms of discovery and transformation. i’ve been thinking about just how much in the last few days, and i decided that instead of just looking back on my 2015 word at the end of the year, i wanted to talk about it, to share my journey throughout the year as it’s happening. so i thought i’d start this new column called year of discovery where i can share it all, good or bad.

i have this quirk about me that i’ve recently discovered ever since i started owning house plants. it sounds probably very strange and i can’t totally explain it, but maybe some of you relate. i absolutely love watching plants grow. i love seeing such a large transformation happen literally right before my eyes. now, i’m not saying i actually sit there and watch plants grow. no, i’m talking taking an observation in every time i go to water them or looking over at one randomly one day and seeing holy cow look how much that thing has grown. it’s something so small and probably insignificant to most, but i just think it’s the most interesting thing. this ability we have to see transformations happening all around us. not just physically (like a house plant), but mentally in ourselves.


recently, i had a series of events happen all in a row, all within about a week of each other that changed my mindset completely (let me know if you are interested in hearing specifically what they are in the comments below and i’ll share in a separate post). seeing this transformation happen in myself has been indescribable. previously, when it came to fitness (and sometimes healthy eating) my mindset has always been kind of “meh”. with being active, i never really enjoyed any type of sport and believe me i’ve tried a lot of different ones. i used to play soccer and figure skate when i was younger, but as i grew up those things kind of passed. i’ve been obsessed with snowboarding since i was 11 or 12, but to get out frequently nowadays becomes extremely expensive. i always thought to myself maybe i’m just not an active person – which, don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with not being active. i mostly struggled because i always expected instant results when it came to body transformation. if i didn’t see a work out working almost instantly i gave up. i didn’t love sweating and i made a ton of excuses that i never had time for any kind of workout. when it came to eating healthy, i also made a ton of excuses. “i’ll start next week” or “one day isn’t going to make a difference.” all of which were a bunch of BS.

at the start of january, i made the commitment to myself to start eating better. i didn’t want to put strings on it, i didn’t want it to be a failed new years resolution. i just wanted to. i had come to a point where all the not so great food just made me feel like crap. physically and mentally. let me tell you folks, food shaming is not a healthy thing. i decided, given my current working opportunities that have lead me to be lucky enough to work at home, i literally have no more excuses. i can make whatever i want, almost whenever i want. because of this, for the most part, i have complete control over what i eat. my main goal for this was a) to feel better about myself and b) for physical transformation – i’m talkin’ weight loss y’all! that is where my transformation first began.


then the series of fortunate events happened that surprisingly changed my mindset on the fitness side of things. i can’t say exactly why all of a sudden, because i have no idea, but i can say if those things didn’t happen in sequence, in the way they did, i’m not sure my thoughts would be changed this much. life is so funny like that sometimes, isn’t it?

i started pushing my body physically. it started with a small home-workout or two, then a few outings where i really had no choice but to push, to now, me carving out at minimum 30 minutes a day (except for sunday ; ) ) to do a workout at home. and i realized, our bodies are all capable of incredible things. somehow my mindset shifted from that “meh” to “hell yea let’s do this!” the funny thing is that now i actually like how it feels to push your body to new limits, to get sweaty and to wake up a bit sore but keep on going despite it. i’ve already seen such a change in what i am capable of – exercises that used to be near impossible and in only a short time i can do with less effort than before.

that drive for transformation has now become a passion. and again, i’m not just talking about a physical transformation. of course, i’d be lying if i said that wasn’t part of my end goals, but mental motivation is also my biggest motivation. realizing that i am the one that can make this happen, i am the one that has the ability to decide if i don’t like the way something makes me feel or the way i feel about myself or the way i look – i have every potential to change it. it can even just be in small steps, as long as i’m acknowledging an attitude adjustment and shifting openness for change.

forget my specific reasons for this transformation, maybe you don’t relate to them. i wanted to share these realizations, not for the specific health reasons i personally have, but for the general idea of transforming your mindset about anything. i am ecstatic that i’ve come to these realizations and i can take care of my body and mind in new ways, but the biggest thing i’m stoked about is seeing this change in myself. seeing myself let go of excuses and whatever was holding me back and letting my motivation drive me. letting my new found motivation for reaching these dreams get me taking steps towards achieving them. my biggest takeaway is that we all have this ability in us to let go of whatever it is that is holding us back from achieving something and to make goals and take steps towards our dreams. so i want to hear: what are your goals and what is holding you back?? i’d love to talk about it!

now if you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading this! i do hope that sharing my story has somehow helped or got you thinking in some way. i also want to share a video that i stumbled on this week with you guys because it is insanely motivational. it is a short talk by mike smith, who i find to be an amazing speaker and very inspirational and i really hope you guys enjoy it! happy friday y’all! may your weekend be inspiring!


recent work: park avenue communications

ParkAvenueCommunicationsBranding-3ParkAvenueCommunicationsBranding-coloursi’ve been wanting to share some completed projects from my design studio hatch & harbour, with you guys for some time now. i seem to have obtained quite a few in the last few months, so definitely look out for more coming soon!  you might remember this modern art deco moodboard that i was swooning over – well that was for this project!

this past summer, my sister and her business partner started their own communications firm called park avenue communications. i was thrilled to be part of their new venture by putting together their branding as well as some print material. i am super proud of her for taking this leap and i was more than happy to be a part of it.


their inspiration behind the name came straight from NYC. i really wanted to give their brand that new york inspired art deco, historical feel while still maintaining a modern, classic look. i had a lot of creative freedom to play with patterns and different typography styles. it was truly a blast to get to dig in to a historical style i find so inspirational and have always been heavily influenced by. this was definitely one of my favourite projects of 2014!

i used one of my favourite printers for the business cards – i chose the luxe business cards for their thick, heavy feel and the uncoated printing. with park ave being a high end firm, i wanted their promotional material to reflect that. something that is tangible and memorable. i also really enjoyed playing with the art deco pattern that’s used faintly on the business cards and throughout their promotional pieces. although the website was already underway when we were completing the brand, i had a blast putting together other pieces for them. all in all this project was a ton of fun!


 p.s. if you like what you see, moo is offering 10% off your first order by using this link!


music mondays: 03


i duno about you guys, but these past few weeks have been insanely busy for me. since coming back to work in the new year there’s been a ton of new projects and new opportunities to grow creatively. it has been amazing and stressful all at the same time, but i am loving every minute of it. i have been soaking up being wildly productive but also being aware not to burn out and trying to have some time away from the computer to refresh and immerse myself in the things that inspire me. it’s been a challenge, finding that balance between work, play, relationships, and community, but i’m definitely up for it. so in the spirit of finding inspiration and refreshment, i wanted to share some tunes that have been doing just that for me these past few weeks. i hope each song can do the same for you, here’s to a new day, a new week and a fresh start.

speaking of mondays, i have to share this quote with you all that came in an email newsletter from so worth loving about mundane mondays. forget mundane, let’s do manic… well what would make this year any different? YOU. you can make this year different. you can be the calming factor. you can bring the joy to any situation. now this is no easy task. you are fighting for it. so monday. it starts right now. get geared up for the next year and enjoy every last second of it. tomorrow you can’t get back what you were too afraid or too tired to do today. you got this, we know you do. go take this Monday. 

so go get em tiger – let’s face monday head on! you got this : )

vagabond  | MISTERWIVES
02+  pontoon | EMMA LOUISE
03+  think of england | BEAR’S DEN
05+  words as weapons | BIRDY  
06+  eyes on fire BLUE FOUNDATION
07+  only for you HEARTLESS BASTARDS
08+  hurricane | MS MR
09+  foolish love | ALLMAN BROWN
10+  blood bank | BON IVER

listen on rdio or 8tracks.


american made giveaway


today, i am thrilled to be teaming up with some amazing companies to bring you this american made giveaway! you might have heard about my love for tradlands, so collaborating with them and these other 3 amazing companies (appalatch, archival clothing and gamine co.) was a no brainer! all 4 of these companies have such honest missions. i absolutely love that you truly know where they are made and the quality and care they are made with. plus looking through each of their shops, i’ve already become obsessed with the products they offer!

so onto the giveaway: tradlands has teamed up with appalatch, archival Clothing, and gamine co. to offer an american-made giveaway package valued at $600. one winner will receive a purl scarf from appalatch, a waxed twill shoulder tote from archival clothing, a hemp & fleece raglan from gamine co., and a button-up shirt from tradlands.  make sure to stop by and check out these amazing shops and good luck to you all!

 get the deets:
+ giveaway runs from 01-20-15 until 01-31-15
+ open to international readers
+ the prize will be shipped for free to the winner

American-made Giveaway Package


decked out: 11


the start of january definitely kicked off with a bang. coming back to work felt great after being able to refresh and re-inspire for a few days. these first few weeks have gone by insanely fast for me with so much to think about and so much to get done. so, after feeling a little overwhelmed one day last week, i paused to take a little time to myself and write a little reminder. these lyrics are from a song that has been on repeat a lot lately (bear’s den – above the clouds of pompeii – warning this video will make you cry!). i decided, just for fun, to dive back into hand lettering with a brush and ink and oh my gosh it was amazingly therapeutic! i hadn’t done it for a very long time and i didn’t realize how it would calm my mind. something about feeling the letters form on a blank piece of paper under an ink filled brush and (oddly enough) writing the same phrase over and over until i was happy with it, just emptied my mind of all thoughts. i am definitely going to be doing more lettering in the near future, that’s for sure.

i got a lot of positive feedback when i posted this picture on instagram, so i figured i’d make y’all a free wallpaper to enjoy. there’s a white and black version, so feel free to download them all! sending positive thoughts your way for a relaxing and inspiring weekend!


download:  white for desktop  |  black for desktop  |  white for iphone  |  black for iphone


magazine junkie 06: read lagom


i am super excited to be bringing back one of my favourite columns to blog: magazine junkie. it’s been a while since the last one, and i’ve since built up a massive collection of inspiring and well designed mags to share with y’all – so stay tuned for much more!

in the last few months of 2014, i stumbled on lagom magazine and was instantly drawn to it, not only because of it’s beautiful, thought out design, but it’s engaging content. it’s rare that i find a magazine where every single article intrigues me to read the whole magazine in it’s entirety, but after receiving my copy of issue #1, i knew right away it was going to be hard to put down.


lagom is about finding a balance between work and play, and the people that are truly living their passions in every aspect of their lives. from making a career out of doing what they love, to pursuing their hobbies – each of the featured creatives have a drive to spend their time immersed in inspiration.


it’s always been a struggle of mine to calm my overactive mind that has a million and one things i want to do, if not at least try once. while i continue to pursue my greatest passion: forming a career in design – my passion does not lie in that alone. i’ve always been open to embracing anything i am interested in and i pretty much want to do it all! this magazine has totally inspired me to carve out the time to spend doing the hobbies i love, like drawing, painting, snowboarding, playing guitar, etc, etc (there’s seriously so many). i will gladly accept the challenge to find a balance in all that i love to pursue while maintaining my goals for my career.

within these pages lies hope, passions and inspiration. the words describe lives that are not settling for a life that is “just plain good enough”. instead, they strive to live in all senses of the word. lagom is littered with a beautiful intent to inspire and motivate a life that’s yours for the taking! anything is possible and everything is achievable.


read lagom  |  twitter  |  facebook  |  instagram

please note: this is not a sponsored post. i am truly passionate about this publication and desired nothing more than to share my love of print and fine design.


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