in one month i will be driving across the country

in one month i will be driving across the country

Exciting news! My little sister is moving to Portland, Oregon next month and I am going to drive with her to get there.  Of course, I am a little sad that she is moving so far away to the west coast, but I am so excited for this new adventure for her.

I have always wanted to drive all the way across the country.  Definitely an item on my bucket list. I have been to the Southern California many times and a few cities in between, but have barely seen the mid-west/north-west.  Little did I know my sister would bust out the news a few months ago that she was moving across the country!   I quickly jumped on the opportunity to make the trip with her.  And did I mention her sweet one-eyed “Jack” is going to make the trip with us… he is the cutest!

One Eyed Jack

We have planned our trek, booked our hotels, booked my flight back home and we are ready to explore!  Last month we spent the morning at a coffee shop with maps, a computer and calendar.  We used my favorite road trip planning guide – Road Trippers.  You can set your destinations and search on the interactive map for extraordinary places, unique hotels and sightseeing must-sees.   Then, you can pin your stop to keep up with milage, timing, etc.  To keep a 3,000+ mile trip interesting, you want to see some cool stuff for sure!  Here is our planned trek as of now…

Road Trip Map from Charlotte NC to Portland OR

Some of the highlights we are planning to see along the way…

St Louis Arch

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St. Louis Arch.  Showing you this at night because that is how we will see it when we roll into town.  Trying to drive all the way the first day here from Charlotte.  That’s over 700 miles.  Wish us luck….and no traffic.

Corn Palace South Dakota

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The Corniest Stop we will make goes to the Corn Palace in South Dakota. Because, why not.  I mean, I’m sort of excited about it.

Prairie Dog Town USA

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Prairie Dog Town USA.  Can you believe their is such a thing?  I can’t wait.  According to this website, they will eat peanuts out of your hand!  Cue cuteness overload!!

Mount Rushmore South Dakota

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Mount Rushmore.  How can you not take a trip through South Dakota without seeing this magnificent rock sculpture!

Dinosaur Park South Dakota

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Dinosaur Park in Rapid City, South Dakota.  This vintage road side attraction is a must for some great photo ops!

Beautiful Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park.  This is definitely one we are really looking forward to. Driving through Yellowstone is going to be a dream!   Hoping to see this amazingly beautiful Grand Prismatic Spring.  Mandi’s sister has been traveling through Yellowstone this past week (on her way to Alaska!) and has shared some crazy cool photos. I need to chat with her and get some road trip tips for sure.

Road Trip Across North West

Yellowstone National Park

From Yellowstone, we are pretty close to Oregon.  We will stay over one more night and see some cool roadside sights like this giant red wagon slide….

Giant Red Wagon Slide

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Can’t wait to see Portland too!  I have never been and neither has my sister.  Pretty exciting and brave of her to move to a city she has never been to, right?  Love it!  I am so proud of her. She rules.

Portland Oregon Sign

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Portland Orgeon at Sunset over Mt Hood

And you had better believe we are planning some sweet road trip tunes and lots of entertaining activities for the car trip….


 

So in just about a month, my sister and I will hit the road for this very exciting trip!  More details to come on how you can follow our adventure on Instagram.  And if you aren’t already, be sure to follow Sunny Slide Up on Instagram so you don’t miss the photos!

Have any travel tips or places not to miss to share?  Please comment below and let us know!

On top of Chimney Rock overlooking Lake Lure NC

Cheers to our adventure sister!

Heather Johnson - The Creative Stack

wedding pictures are worth it

wedding pictures are worth it

If you have read the blog for a while, you will know that I have a strong opinion on photography.  Engagement, Wedding, Maternity, Child Births and Milestones.  I have even gone as far as encouraging you to hire a videographer.

Well,  I knew that photography was going to be one of the main “must haves” for my wedding.  After all of the planning, all of the details, all of the check lists, phone calls, and decisions, the day comes and goes.  It is almost like you blink and then it is gone.

We recently celebrated 2 years and I can honestly say that am so thankful for my photos and my video.  Except for our memories, that is all we have left!

My wedding photographer, Crystal Stokes, is one of a kind – she made us feel so comfortable in both our engagement photos as well as our wedding photos.  I wouldn’t have traded our experience with her for anything!  The pictures below speak for themselves…  Every moment, every detail – all captured perfectly!  Below are a few photos from our special day.

This wedding was filled with special moments.  I hand designed and hand painted (with the help of my sister) my invitations, my mom and sister made the butters as party favors, instead of one wedding cake our aunts made their favorite cake or desert, and I hand wrote all of the signage and party favor tags.  It was filled with love to every inch!

To our surprise over the years a few blogs have picked it up and featured us as a “DIY Bride“, a “Vintage DIY Wedding” , “Shabby Chic Colorful Wedding“, and a “Crafty Floral Wedding”  I would say that those words definitely describe it!  I wanted bright, fun, vintage, and hand made to show through and I guess it did!.

Thank you to the amazing blogs that all have our wedding featured on it.  I was honored with some of the large names that chose our wedding.

I can’t end this post without thinking my amazing photographer, Crystal Stokes.  All of the photos used in this post are a thank you to her!

The amazing flowers are by Springvine Design, planning by Magnolia Events, and the wedding was at the beautiful Brawley Estate.

live healthy – finding local support

live healthy – finding local support

As you know, we love healthy meals and try to keep a healthy lifestyle for our families.  Well recently I had a baby and I will tell you that gym time and healthy living were both put on hold.  More important to me was finding time to spend with my little guy and my big guy – the gym had to wait.  While breast feeding, food wasn’t about me, it was about what I needed to eat to make sure I could feed my son, and the bad habits started there…and just didn’t quit.

Fast forward a few months, I knew it was time for a change.  My husband and I strongly believe in showing our son a very active healthy life and guess where that starts… me!  We officially gave up sugar in January (my husband immediately dropped 20 lbs) but I needed another push… I needed a gym I can love and truly get behind!  ENTER – Burn Boot Camp.  This place is dedicated to women and especially moms.  They have dedicated childcare and they are so motivating!  For the first time in a LONG time I felt a sense of community!  The work outs are 45 min long, you are in and out in an hour and trust me… they make it worth it!  I felt like I may die some days ha!!!

I started with a month groupon and then moved on to a 30 day challenge.  This was so the way to go and get myself motivated!  But, I will say that if you are there, you can’t help but be motivated…  all of the locations are full of energy, women working their hardest, before and afters, and motivational posters everywhere!  Below are a few that I designed incase this community would like to download full size and put up in their homes!

Full sizes are available for download here or by clicking the images below:  Strong Women, Machines, Fit Life

If you find a place near you, you will want to have some cute clothes to work out in… and no one likes a deal better than us!  Below are some fab finds we found that will not break the bank!

  1.  Work it out Tank – 2. Swell water bottle – 3. Pink Running Shorts – 4. Workout Pants – 5. Striped Sports Bra – 6. Gym Hair Tank

And don’t forget…you can’t workout and just eat whatever you want!

Some of our favorite healthy meals are below!

  1. Home Made fruit roll ups by Seasonally Jane
  2. Greek Turkey Burgers – a reader (and crowd) favorite
  3. Cheesy Balsamic Cucumber Tomato Salad
  4. Ah-Mazing Paleo Granola
  5. You Won’t Be Single Long – Sweet Potato Fries
family, work and slowing down

family, work and slowing down

First, hello.  I have missed the Sunny Slide Up blog!  It has always been a fun, creative outlet for me. I’m so happy to be back.

What have I been up to?  Wow.  Where do I start?  I can’t believe it has been a year since posting last here!  And at the same time – it seems like time has flown by.  My dad got very sick at the end of last year.  It was very scary and I dropped everything to help him.  I was happy to do so.  That’s what you do when your family needs you.  Especially your parents that helped you through so much of your life. I am happy to report that my dad is doing amazingly well now.   The whole experience brought us so much closer together.  Love you Dad!

family quote

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Can you believe that is it already November? The holidays last year were a complete blur with everything going on.  Then before you know it the new year was here.  Unfortunately, I found less and less time for my creative outlets like this blog and I was working nonstop.  My business was going really well, so I can’t complain…but I needed to slow down.  I sometimes think I am superwoman and I can do it all.  Don’t we all, ha.  Well I am trying to be more realistic these days and stop over-commiting!  It is a fault of mine. I stopped saying yes to everything and started adding more turnaround time to by work projects.  I schedule my downtime.  I need a lazy Sunday every once in a while…or every week.  It is amazing how refreshing a day at home with no project deadlines and plans can be!

 

slow down life quote(source)

 

This past summer flew by without enough beach vacations.  That is what I always end up saying.  I love the beach and will totally live by one someday.  Talk about slowing down.  I could sit on a beach everyday soaking up the sun.  It is one of my favorite things ever.

And now fall is here with its beautiful leaves.  It has been raining here in Charlotte this week which has been kind of blah, but I welcome the cooler weather when I can wear my fuzzy sweaters and have my fireplace on every evening.

 

Fall Favorites

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Halloween is over and the countdown to the holidays begins.  Only 22 days until Thanksgiving!  Need some turkey day ideas?  Here are some from when I  hosted Thanksgiving a couple of years ago.  Gobble!  Gobble!

I’m super excited for this holiday season.  I just love buying/making gifts for people.  I gather gifts all year long and stuff them in a box in a closet – then it is so exciting when I open the box to see what I have collected all year and start the wrapping!  And the decorating – I would leave my Christmas tree up all year long if my husband would let me.

I’m going to try to remember my “slow down” motto through the rest of this year.  The holidays can get so rushed.  I’m going to sit back a bit and enjoy.  And I am really looking forward to sharing some of my favorite finds from this past year with you and playing a bit of catch up here on the blog.  More to come.  Cheers!

(P.S. – have you entered our giveaway this week yet?  There is still time!)

 

Heather Johnson - The Creative Stack

 

 

new shops, baby, and life… oh my

new shops, baby, and life… oh my

Hey guys!

It’s Mandi… We are so excited to be back here on Sunny Slide Up!  We took a little time away, but I will tell you it was for good reason.  We all had a full plate and today I am happy to be able to share with you what I had going on.

As you all know, I have been running my own graphic design business, Dry Ink Designs, for almost 4 years now!  It has been an amazing journey that continues to grow.  I love design, I love everything logo and brand, and I love working with clients of all shapes and sizes to communicate their best selves graphically.

However, in my free time (we all have plenty of that, right) I caught myself drawing, experimenting with new pens, ink and paint.  I continued to push my hand lettering and calligraphy. I wanted an outlet to be able to share these with others and Etsy felt like the right fit!  It is a platform that allows me to easily sell world wide and I have had the most amazing luck so far!  Please go and like my page for all new items that I put up there!

hand lettered water color

baby stats nautical theme

baby quote for nursery with watercolor

As we get closer to the holiday season, I have had many people ordering these custom gifts for babies with first christmas, for loved ones with quotes and as gifts!  They turn out great who doesn’t love custom, one-of-a-kind items!

custom christmas ornament

 

I love packing off things to ship to their new homes, I love getting custom orders and work with people on making something special for their home!

I have also partnered with Little Ornery to do custom shirts for mamas and babies!  These are just to cute and you are going to want to snatch up one of everything!  How cute is this little one for Thanksgiving?

baby thanksgiving onesie

Here are a few more – I literally could live in these sweatshirts!

little ornery clothing

With all of this, you wouldn’t think it could get more exciting, but I tell you…  I have had the most amazing year not because of shirts or business, but this one special amazing little boy.

I didn’t know my heart had this capacity to love.  I didn’t know a smile so small could be so big and warm me to my core.  I didn’t understand that I no longer did for myself, but that I would do everything I do, with every ounce of my soul, for another person.  I love who I have become, I have fallen in love with my husband in a new, unexperienced way, and I live for each moment I get to see his special face.  I live now to see him live, see him grow grow and watch him learn.  He has all of our heart!

102815_hudson

102815_hudson2

How can he not with that face, right!

It is great to be back and I look forward to sharing more of our crazy journey and things that are happening!

In the meantime – follow my personal journey on Instagram and Facebook through Dry Ink Designs.

Mandi Heilig - Dry Ink Designs