August 14, 2015



One of my next trips? Vegas baby. I travel to Vegas often for work- and most are surprised to hear that I don’t ever gamble when in town. This year, I went to help a client with some buying and I took up residence in the cosmopolitan’s suite. (think hangover size room). Here are some favorite photos from the trip!











{ shop my looks below}



{ Chicago w Babybel }

August 10, 2015

Before I officially begin work on the book ( see previous post! Hooray!), I had a few work trips already on the schedule. Wait- how in the heck am I going to add a 300 page book to this already-too-crazy schedule? I’ll stress about that later. Chicago time.
The first of three projects brought me to Chicago with Babybel. In all of my travels I’ve never actually been to Chicago so I was looking fwd to this one. Babybel was bringing me out to be a part of their Big Dreamers campaign- more specifically to surprise 8 yr old finalist and aspiring artist, Ella and her dad for a day full of fun.

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I also had some fun travel partners on this trip. In addition To Ella and her dad, my husband came along for the ride this time. And I was meeting up with the other two ambassadors for the campaign: Julianne Hough and AJ McCarron. I was really looking fwd to joining these two because it’s always fun to take on projects with others in another profession. After meeting them and delivering specific and always-embarrassing messages from my parents to both ( “my dream is to dance w your brother”- from my mom, and “roll tide”- from my dad”) the project went off without a hitch. I spent a day teaching art-finalist, Ella,  some figure drawing and then we got into painting dresses for the cameras. We also inevitably got into an unforgettable glitter fight- b/c 8yrs olds. Then I joined Julianne, AJ and the other 3 finalists for a press conference and for photos.
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After the project I got to see a little bit of Chicago which I LOVED. Can’t figure out just yet why everyone doesn’t live in Chicago, including myself. I really can’t wait to get back and see more of the city.
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You’ll be able to see more of our fun from Chicago soon, AND you’ll be able to vote for your favorite dreamers soon via the BabybelUS facebook page. I’ll provide more info as we go. For now, hope you enjoy the photos above. A special thank you to Babybel for including me in this amazing project.
{ see more travel adventures in real time on instagram }

{ You’re invited, NY. And I’m bringing pencils }

June 30, 2015

I’m in NYC this week for meetings and before I leave I’m headed to Williamsburg, Brooklyn – to the McCarren Hotel- to host a little party!    And you’re invited!!!

I’d like to invite everyone who follows and is in the Brooklyn area to come out on July 1st for a cocktail, some conversation and a little fashion illustration from yours truly.  From 6-9, at the McCarren Hotel and you can rsvp Here: Please come to see me! We’ll snap up some instagram gems together.

madereal { rsvp : }

{ Vienna-wear, Pt.1 }

May 19, 2015

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My first day in Vienna was spent at a few Life Ball events, and with very little sleep the night before- yes, everything you’ve heard about the life ball plane is true- so I started off my look with shades. I brought along a one-piece black strapless jumper from TopShop, and my new favorite shoes- also Topshop. I consider snakeskin (any animal print actually) a neutral so these strappy Gillian Ghille Court shoes are my newest addition to the closet. (Don’t worry, after my luncheon I switched into converse so that I could hit the cobblestone streets for a few hours). I piled on the accessories- bracelets x infinity and my moti “mohawk” bag by Ted Baker. When it got chilly at night I added a vegan leather jacket from anthro and it worked well with both the heels and my sneaks. Think I’ll be wearing this jumper a lot in the next year, it feels MUCH more expensive than any other jumpsuit I own, and that’s due to the top which is high waisted, very fitted and wired inside to hold form. Pair it with a blazer over it for meetings, with a denim jacket a sneakers for hopping about town and just like the photos above for a stylish ladies luncheon. Links below so you can buy the look for yourself. Happy shopping.





May 8, 2015

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Happy weekend everyone! ALERT: Philadelphia now has a -wait for it- subscription flower service (and I honestly can’t decide what I like better: the service, or the logo)! Check out their website here and what you need to know here.

You know I’m all in.

{ photo by alison conklin }

{ the Maryland goods }

April 6, 2015

I have been working on designing my own line, and sometimes I get overwhelmed with my own thoughts and ideas. The best thing I can do when this happens? Take a break, walk around, see new things and the ideas kind of sort themselves out for me. I hit Annapolis MD and all of the above happened. Along with some shopping. Here’s what I brought home.

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A new notepad that I think will serve as inspiration for the new line. I love the mix of paper it holds.

Alpaca finger puppets. They are adorable. Here are some on Etsy.

A red necklace w the smallest beads I’ve seen since my last visit to abc carpet.


{ Dallas Shaw picks- Koza Cara backpack }

February 23, 2015

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If you aren’t yet familiar with Koza, it’s probably time you get acquainted with the name. Tassles, creamy leather, contrasting patterns- I know it’s called the Cara backpack but come on Koza, this one should be renamed the Dallas and you know it. I have been traveling nonstop these days and getting on and off trains and planes with my luggage, sketchbook, coffee…I needed a backpack. But I wanted something that felt like me whether on an island or at a meeting in nyc. A “statement backpack” if you will, and I wasn’t finding what I wanted. Until Koza introduced me to it’s Cara backpack.

While traveling last week I got asked three times in one day if I got my bag somewhere on island and if so, where. Maybe Koza should have sent me with business cards? Long story short- it’s my new favorite “practical” accessory. Go get familiar: koza.

{ you can get yours at the dreslyn. Or use the widget below! }

top photo by alison conklin

{ asking you for a favor }

February 21, 2015

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Hi. Instead of talking about art or fashion, I’m asking you for a favor today.

A few years ago I set out on a mission to become an illustrator. Since then, this job has taken me on an entirely new path in life. I am now equal parts illustrator-blogger/tastmaker-creativedirector-pr rep and photographer. Through it all I have made a decision to remain to myself and to try to bring a little bit of me and my personal style to every project. Staying genuine in the industry has not been easy and now that social media has become such a large part of my job I’m working to to share my story around the clock in hopes to inspire someone else to do what they love.

I’m asking for a favor because so many of you who follow have helped to shape and create my job in more ways than you’ll ever know. Because of the followers I’ve been able to do what I have always dreamed and now I hope that I can inspire someone else to do the same. I’m asking you to share what I do with someone who might like it. It could be the website, or the instagram page you might tell someone about. A tweet or a share or maybe just sending an email to a creative and stylish friend. I have some fun things on the horizon and I’ll need some additional support to keep going. I was only able to begin with your support, and I know that I’ll only be able to grow with your continued support. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading, commenting, making me laugh, sending nice notes…everything. I really feel like I have a support system behind me at the drawing board.

I’m heading to nyc today to work for the weekend on a fun oscars project with neutrogena. Feel free to tag along here or here or both. x



{ Nude Glads from Joanna Paige }

February 20, 2015

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In honor of everything being closed here in DE today due to windchill of -18 degrees, I thought I’d start talking about Spring Shopping. Because what else do we have to do in Feb-March that’s better than shopping online and dreaming of sun. I got a head start on my spring dreams during of my vacation last week and thought I’d begin with my favorite purchase: The nude Schutz cyby sandals I got from Joanna Paige. ( great little boutique. check them out.)

Whenever I wear these- with a dress, or with oversized denim shorts I get a compliment that is almost always followed by: “I wouldn’t know how to wear those. Help.” The answer? “Go with nude an try them with just about anything but pants.”

Hope you like your as much as I enjoy mine. Now just waiting for the snow to melt so I can try them again in the spring. 4 days of wear was just not long enough.

{ joanna paige }

{ JetBlue Getaways – Grand Cayman }

February 13, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-02-10 at 9.41.21 AM Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset Processed with VSCOcam with s4 preset cayman1I’m about to take on a two-week long art project that is pretty challenging, even for me.
Which left me only one valid option last week: take a relaxing getaway to an island. Cue
JetBlue Getaways. Travel inspires me, and my artwork so when my friends at JetBlue
offered me the opportunity to experience one of their JetBlue Getaways Vacations I
couldn’t get on the plane fast enough.

I arrived at the airport early and expected a bit of a longer time at the JetBlue gate since I
was leaving from JFK, but I was wrong. Check in at JetBlue was less than 5 minutes at a
self-service kiosk and before we knew it we were sipping bloody mary’s at the airport bar
in prep for Grand Cayman!!!

My in-flight experience was fantastic. Complimentary drinks, snacks and Fly-Fi (which I,
the workaholic, didn’t use b/c I was too busy getting sucked into Gone Girl- the movie I
chose in flight. Also complimentary.) This trip was off to a solid start.
The hubs and I arrived on the island and walked off of the plane to the sound of steel
drums, and after taking a moment to dance with the band we hopped in a cab to head for
the hotel- The Ritz Carlton, Grand Cayman.

The room was spectacular. Large, clean, and well decorated but we walked right past all
of it upon arrival and b/c we were transfixed with what was at the end of the room: The
balcony of all balconies. We stood high up above the Ritz and overlooked the beach, the
pool, the palm trees…I have never in all of my travels had such a breathtaking view. At
that moment we vowed to never leave the balcony for the entire trip.

Ten minutes later we grabbed our bathing suits and ran for the sand.

One of the highlights of our trip was dinner at Blue, by Eric Ripert. I asked followers on
social media what I should do while on the island and an overwhelming number of
people responded with one word: “Blue”. When our waiter found out I worked in the
lifestyle biz he made me go with him to see the rug (inspired by the Milky Way) and then
the wallpaper up close (which had actual chalk paintings). The people dining around us
laughed at us as we walked around touching the walls while they were trying to dine.
Blue is pricey but worth every penny. Do not, I repeat do not be shy of anything on this
menu. I am not the biggest seafood person but decided to trust chef with my 4-course
meal. I tried fish after fish and just shook my head with a single “wow” after each plate.
All that and they sent me back to my room with macaroons. Blue knows the way to my
The rest of the trip was spent doing exactly what needed to be done, relaxing on the
beach. Days of listing to the waves, enjoying the treats that the staff brought to everyone
relaxing beachside: sliced watermelon, and little cups of french fries. We took some time
to sip on the hotels’ signature drink (bartender Michael proudly introduced us) a tall,
swirly, cold pina colada. Don’t miss this – it tastes like heaven.

When it was time to come home we spent one last morning with our coffees on that
dream balcony, until JetBlue flew us home safe and sound. A huge thank you to the
JetBlue Getaways team and the staff at Ritz Carlton for adding some inspiration to my
hectic schedule. And you’ve inspired me. The moment I wrap this next project I am
planning my next adventure.

{ Looking to book a trip? Check out JetBlue Getaways Grand Cayman vacation packages
or visit JetBlue Getaways to learn more. }


Thank you to JetBlue Getaways for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.

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