The other night I was in bed with the computer, my husband beside me watching the Olympics, at the commercial he looked over my shoulder and asked if I was going to ‘Pin’ that, that being some image that was on the screen.  I looked over at him and asked him how he knew what pinning was.  He said that he heard me explain it before and that it was proof that he listens to me, then he proceeded to ask me to pin a tennis racket that he thought was cool.  I explained to him that my pins were highly curated and there wouldn’t be a good place on my boards for his racket, “ok”, was his answer. It seems that my secret pinning passion is no longer secret, since the cat is out of the bag I figured that I would just be honest and let you know that I spend an inordinate amount of time that I could use sleeping on pinning, it’s both mindless and mindful, a relaxing pastime that I find infinitely more enjoyable than some of the other social media outlets.  I am very visual and therefore this medium works very well to satiate my need for constant visual stimulation. I am also an organization freak which Pinterest is able to sate that need as well.  I am sure a lot of you are pinning already, but for those starting out here are a couple tips–
  • You don’t need 8 million boards, it’s more manageable to have less and add to one category/board that makes sense.
  • If you pin a photo or artwork try to add the name of the artist and link in your description so they get full credit, don’t worry if you re-pin it will let the pinner know you re-pinned and others know where you re-pinned from.
  • If you re-pin one pinners pins a lot, give them some love by leaving a comment, it’s nice to know people appreciate your great taste.
  • If there’s a diy you like and you click and it takes you to the blog instead of directly to the blog post, maybe you can help a pinner out and pin to the exact post that way people lazy like me won’t give up and leave, your fellow pinner can find the diy right away.
  • When you find someone’s pins you can’t get enough of why not follow them? I love feeling like I discovered a great new ‘curator’ like my pal Michelle P. she’s fairly new to pinning on a regular basis but her pins never disappoint.

I hope this helps and please feel free to ask me questions if you have any confusion about the above.  I included a link below that goes into more detail on getting started–

Pinterst::Getting Started


Pretty much for as long as I have been writing a blog, I have been on the perfect bang/fringe quest, each time failing miserably.  It has been nearly a decade that I have been in search of good thick Bardot-esque bangs and I have not been able to achieve them.  I gave up on Bardot and would have been happy with just straight bangs like the kind my mom cut for me in elementary school, but again it has been elusive.  I only cut my hair about once a year because it seems I always have a mishap and it takes me a full 365 days to dust myself off and gather enough gumption to get myself to a salon. The last time I went I shared that the stylist basically gave me square hair and I looked like Peppermint Pattie’s best pal Marcie Johnson for ages.  What I neglected to mention to you, (out of sheer shame), was that my haircut was $300!  Yes, I paid $300 for hair that made me look like the least attractive animated character ever. In my defense I did not know it was going to be that amount, it had been $100 for years and even that seemed outrageous but since I only went once a year I figured it wasn’t that bad.  The stylist it seemed had changed his prices and the bad haircut had already been done and I knew I was never coming back; I paid and am still miserable with my decision.  I wish I had enough confidence to have told them to pay me $300 for the bad haircut.  Yes, I tipped, I am such a haircut push-over. Now that I am living in what can only be kindly referred to as the sticks I knew that I would have to take charge of my own hair situation.  I went through all 4 billion bang/fringe videos, read every blog on the interwebs regarding this subject matter and have a winner-Sam Villa, How To Cut Fringe.  This man knows his stuff!  I actually started with Sam’s technique and after having some success thought I knew what the heck I was doing and added my own technique to the mix, which gave me horrible Cher bangs and then I had to go in and try to fix, that is why my bangs aren’t as long on the side as I usually like.  For 30 minutes of complete neurosis (I was actually sweating profusely when I was doing this and I never sweat) and saving $300, I am pretty happy with the results.  This diy isn’t for everyone and if you live in a city where you can actually see people on the street, my suggestion is to stop the girl with the cutest cut that you wish you had and get her hairstylists info–STAT.  If you are like me and are living in the middle of nowhere and on the budget of all budgets I suggest checking Sam Villa out. If you have any questions let me know, I am no expert, but I can share my experience with you.

P.S. I have a NEW mascara love! I know, I know!  And on my lips is my own lip balm/gloss, yes for the future Besotted Brand apothecary!

P.P.S. If I look like I am not breathing, I am not.  I have not learned (yet) how to be comfortable behind the camera ask my husband who took 6,000 photos yesterday and then gave up. Even he was surprised that we got one photo out of our ‘shoot’.

P.P.P.S. I am doing a giveaway over at a sweet girls blog, the best part is that there is a super duper Besotted Brand discount code at the bottom of her post good for anything in the shop!


 I can’t get over these photographs by Jamie Simon of Intertwyned Photography. The company name may be familiar as I showed off her custom logo stamp this week, but I feel I would be remiss to not share her latest trip to Alaska with you.  Jamie was in our Souvenir Foto School classes and I would love to take full credit for her talent, but alas the girl has a naturally good eye.  Jamie is special in that she has done what most people only dream of doing and that is quit her corporate job (as a lawyer) and follow her heart to become a photographer. She has thrown herself into learning and honing her craft just as meticulously as she studied for the bar; she takes classes on an on going basis, she reads everything she can get her hands on about photography, takes workshops and interns. I always let our students know that the only way to get better at photography (this is true for most things for that matter) is to do them. Yes, just go out there and do them. You want to be a florist?  Volunteer your time with a florist you admire. How about a fashion designer?  I got my former intern a job this summer in NYC with a big time designer as what else? An intern. You need to be open to doing and then go do it.  I am a big believer in continuing education and you will always find me taking classes, reading or researching subjects that I have an interest in.  If you have been wanting to do something for a while and been stalling on getting started maybe this weekend you can take a few minutes and get started on making your dreams a reality. The journey of a million miles starts with one step.  Happy weekend to you!


I am a huge fan of hand lettering, I actually think huge is too subtle a word.  If I met one of the hand letterer’s that I admire in person I just might get woozy + faint.  My appreciation and taste is wide, I don’t discriminate between fine or casual, I think they are all equally as interesting and inspiring. Like a fingerprint they are so unique.  When I introduced you to Magpie Paperworks people emailed me like crazy and wanted more, I am happy to oblige and will be introducing you to new letterer’s each week.  If you can’t wait you can follow my ‘Handlettering Love’ Pinterest board; I generally try to get a few new pins up each day.  Today please visit the wonderful & whimsical portfolio of Chris Silas Neal. You are welcome.


Yesterday I worked through multiple power outages losing the files I was working on innumerable times. I stopped and started too many times to count because of a storm so strong it blew our hundred pound gas grill off our deck, down the stairs and onto the back lawn. It now has a giant dent down the middle like it was punched in its grill ‘nose’–bummer. I asked my husband if it was a hurricane but he just rolled his eyes and asked for help with the grill. It rained so hard that the mailman was going to drive right past my house but I had packages that needed to go to clients so I ran down the road like a crazy person and then scowled at him for not stopping; my mascara running down my face, not a pretty picture.  What does this have to do with an old timey elephant and The Memory Palace?  Nothing, I was just on a rant.
Back to the topic at hand. I rarely listen to music when I work anymore. When I am working I want to be entertained, I want to learn something new, I want this new technology that is the interwebs to titillate me. I had mentioned to a friend that I was addicted to a history podcast, I thought she would continue with her conversation as history is not exactly the most exciting topic in casual conversation but she excitedly said that her friend did a podcast called The Memory Palace. As a branding person the name itself was already a winner, would the podcast disappoint?  Oh, no.  The host Nick Di Meo has a very calm & soothing voice and is able to take history and spin it into wonderful tales in usually less than 5 minutes. My only gripe would be that I would want these snippets to last longer, I don’t want them to end but as in all good things, I suppose they must.  I highly recommend both of these podcasts, they are interesting, informative, entertaining and enlightening. Do you listen to any podcasts that I should know of?  I am pretty new to the podcasts realm, but I love having them on while I am packing parcels or working on the computer.