Friday, March 27, 2015

The Friday Five: Blog Design Links Love

The Friday Five: Blog Design Links Love | Pennies & Paper Blog

This past week, I did a full blog makeover--new colors, new fonts, new format. I opened up Photoshop and InDesign (although my computer hated me for it), whipped up some designs, sent them out for critques, and picked the header you see now. I've even put together my own branding packet, to try and make my posts more cohesive. And while I was able to put my newly-learned HTML skills to use (thanks, electronic publishing class!), I certainly needed some help along the way. Here are the sources I used to bring my blog a little more up to speed!

// Free Brushes.
Photoshop Brush Set by Matt Heath Illustration

// Linked Headers.

// Free Fonts.

// Social Media Tips & Tutorials.


*There are other free font websites out there, but Font Squirrel is ideal--it shows you exactly what this free font can legally be used for (print, web, ebook, etc. are all different permissions)
**JooJoo Azad is one of my favorite blogs. Seriously, Hoda is amazing. Go check her out!

The Friday Five: Blog Design Links Love | Pennies & Paper Blog

Something I've been considering for a little while now is a "Friday Five" link up. How do you guys feel about this? I was planning on rules that encourage engagement, such as posting a comment on the link before yours. I would feature one or two of the posts and bloggers from the previous week's link up. While each post would have to involve some sort of "Friday Five" or "Friday Favorites" list, they could also include other topics in the same post. Let me know your thoughts!

Do you design your own blog? What resources do you use?
Looking for some blog design help? Check out this #linkslove from Pennies & Paper for some of the best (Click to Tweet)
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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wintry Spring + Kazuo Ishiguro

Wintry Spring Outfit & Kazuo Ishiguro Reading | Pennies & Paper Blog

Technically, it's spring. 

Effectively, it's winter. 

After weeks of #snowpocalypse, missed classes, and malfunctioning public transportation, I'm very ready for sun and warmth...but Saturday, it snowed. Again. Snow in spring. Cue fist shaking at Mother Nature--I think she has a personal vendetta against us Bostonians.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Ode to My Final Finals

Ode to My Final Finals | Pennies & Paper Blog

I graduate in eight weeks assuming I finish all of my work. My only reaction to that is...stunned silence. It feels like just yesterday I was moving into my freshman year dorm and attending Orientation, and now I'm sitting on my bed in an apartment, I'm a commuter, I've had two internships, and I'm the president of a wonderful and large publishing club.

Thanks to #snowpocalypse (and the snow hasn't even stopped!), Boston colleges have been all out of whack, mine included. We ended up adding in another week for makeup classes and finals. But I'm still in the middle of midterms--I have two papers and a project due next week! Although midterms aren't over, it's already time to think about the impending doom that is finals week.

Thinking of finals makes me sad. And happy. And anxious. Especially this year's batch, because they are the end. That's it. No more finals, because no more college. It's a tough thing to express, and yet I will try, by channeling my inner (casual) Keats and Wordsworth!
Ode to My Final Finals
These tests, signposts for the end of each of four years,
Result in freedom, relaxation, and summer sun.
Yet you, you are the sign of gathering graduation tears,
Applications, interviews, the desire to run
And escape from my sudden, true, responsibility.
For all that, you, week of two-hour tests and lengthy essays,
Cannot bring yourself to release
Our hopes for summer, thought of blissfully;
Our longing for imagined time-filled days; 
Our feelings of conclusion and progress. 
Certainly, a rough ode, but an ode nonetheless (I even tried ABABCDECDE rhyme scheme!). I truly cannot escape the conflict between my excitement to graduate, and my fear of it. By acknowledging those contrasting emotions, I hope to come to accept and integrate both of them in my mind.

Are you graduating this year? Soon? Are you as undecided on your emotions as I am?
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Friday, March 20, 2015

The Friday Five: Pantone Color Report Spring 2015 + Links Love

The Friday Five: Pantone Color Report Spring 2015 + Links Love | Pennies & Paper Blog

As someone in the publishing industry with even a (tiny) background in design, I cannot help but love Pantone. Luckily for me, Pantone has extended their reach past books and into other beautiful realms--like fashion!

The Friday Five: Pantone Color Report Spring 2015 + Links Love | Pennies & Paper Blog
This spring, those colors are: Aquamarine, Scuba Blue, Lucite Green, Classic Blue, Toasted Almond, Strawberry Ice, Tangerine, Custard, Marsala, Glacier Grey, Dusk Blue, Treetop, Woodbine, Sandstone, Titanium, & Lavender Herb. (Check out the full Spring 2015 color report for endless inspiration!)

I've been seeing lots of gorgeous pastel color coats on lookbook--I want them all! I don't usually go for pastels so this is a strange sensation for me. I have to say, of the above colors, I have a pleated skirt in "glacier grey" and a pleather coat in "classic blue," and that's about it. Here are the five colors I would love to add to my wardrobe, whether they be in coat, dress, pants, or accessory form:

// Scuba Blue - I can't resist blue! And this one is so bright :)
// Lucite Green - I lack greens, and this one is a nice calm, almost mint color.
// Tangerine - As I've said before, I love blacks and brights--this would be spectacular as an accent.
// Toasted Almond - Neutrals, especially beiges and tans, are also nonexistent in my closet.
// Dusk Blue - This is just such a beautiful color!

There are so many fun possibilities here...the trick is in actually matching the Pantone!

To top off this post of lovely colors, here are five links to things that made me happy this week:

// Ruth Negga Cast as Tulip in Preacher Pilot First of all, Preacher is my favorite comic (well...tied with Sandman). Second, I've been waiting for this to actually be made since they announced it about four years ago. Third, I am ecstatic that Tulip--a white, blonde woman in the comics--will be played by a woman of color!

// I may be a few episodes behind on The Walking Dead, but that doesn't stop me from wanting to buy everything in this Buzzfeed post.

// "The CW's First Post-Apocalypse Bisezual: How 'The 100' Treats Gender and Sexuality" If you're at all frustrated with the lack of proper non-heterosexual characters in media (and you should be), you need to be watching The 100. They treat gender and race and sexuality how we all should--as a non-issue, as something that is just one part of one's character.

// "Exhaustion is Not a Status Symbol" This post is three years old but still rings true--and I need to work much harder to remember it.

// "No one could see the color blue until modern times" In the wake of #blueandblack vs. #whiteandgold, and in light of the fact that blue is my favorite color, this article is fascinating. (By the's white and gold xD)

What made you happy this week? What are your favorites of the spring Pantone colors?

See if you agree with @jedom23's Pantone spring color picks! Which are your favorite? (Click to Tweet)

Linked with: Friday Favorites 
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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Saint Patrick's Day Outfits: Day & Night

In my opinion, the best thing about St. Patrick's Day is the fact that we are celebrating a man who rid Ireland of snakes. (Sadly, I couldn't figure out a way to work my epic snake shoes into an outfit.)

I'm not a big fan of going out for this holiday. I think Americans are more than over-obsessed with their green beer and Irish drinking songs. Let me be clear--I love Irish drinking songs, but not in the context of uncontrolled bars stuffed with Americans.

I am quite proud of be of Irish descent, but I am also proud of my Italian heritage. But I don't claim to know anything of either culture, nor do I love stereotyped clothes about them. For that reason, you won't find any "Kiss Me I'm Irish" shirts in these outfits (my Mom found a snarky "Kiss Me I'm Irish-Ish" shirt at Target, which I appreciated, but still).

Saint Patrick's Day Outfits: Day & Night | Pennies & Paper Blog

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Wedding Season: #marriedinmodcloth

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Spring has sprung and, with it, weddings. I've always admired the beautiful wedding gowns and DIY tips and fun new takes on old traditions that appear Internet-wide this time of year. And this year, I have even more reason to be excited--I will be a bridesmaid in August!

It's a very casual wedding, and my roommate, who is the one getting married, wants a beautiful, summery dress for under $300. It has not been an easy task shopping around with her--some of the stores even flat-out scoffed when she named her budget! Luckily, there are tons of amazing, affordable options on Modcloth. Check out the entire wedding collection, or look below for my top five options in affordable wedding dresses.

#marriedinmodcloth | Pennies & Paper Blog

// Lacy In Love Dress in Mint or Blush--$79.99
This elegant, wallet-friendly dress comes in two soft colors, perfect for the bride who isn't sold on the all-white traditional look.

// All Eyes and Cheers Dress--$127.99
This is a white dress for the modern, non-traditional bride. Another plus--easily worn to other fun and fancy parties!

// This Blissful Moment Dress--$149.99
With simple lines, lacy details, and a short price tag, what's not to love?

// Deco My Golly Dress--$99.99
As someone who harbors a desire for a time-traveling wedding, this '20s inspired dress, both gorgeous and affordable, instantly makes my short list.

// BB Dakota Adrift on a Cloud Dress in Ivory--$99.99
A shortened version of a traditional wedding dress, this BB Dakota creation leave you looking a vision in white.

// Bonus: Cherish Celebration Dress in Black--$58.99 (on sale!)
Personally, I love a black wedding dress. This one has tulle, lace, a touch of white, and an incredible deep V back :)

Modcloth also offers shoes and accessories galore--truly a one-stop wedding shop, with something for all styles.

P.S. Yes, I know it's Saint Patrick's Day and these dresses are anything but green--little post on that coming tomorrow!
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Monday, March 16, 2015

GNU Terry Pratchett: Remembering an Ineffable Man

A few days ago, on March 12th, one of my favorite authors passed away.

GNU Terry Pratchett: Remembering an Ineffable Man | Pennies & Paper Blog

Terry Pratchett was an amazing writer, and I don't have anything to say about him that hasn't already been said. I remember reading Good Omens in one day, crying with laughter but also new thoughts. That was my introduction to both Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. I remember my best friend, Ellen, handing me The Amazing Maurice and telling me I had to read it that day (she was right). In London, I bought two books, because I wanted British-published books by these authors: one my Neil Gaiman and one by Terry Pratchett. Going Postal continues to be a go-to comfort book. Whenever I see a turtle, I cannot help but imagine a flat, thriving world on its back.

When I saw today that internet users are ensuring his name goes on forever (a la Going Postal) and there is a petition to Death to bring him back (yes, I signed), I nearly cried. Both are such perfect, beautiful tributes.

His story also comes close to home because of his struggle with Alzheimer's. I have several family members who have or do suffer from this disease, and seeing how Terry Pratchett handled it is heartening. My favorite quote about it, from May of last year, is “It is possible to live well with dementia and write best-sellers ‘like wot I do.”

In that vein, here are some more of my favorite quotes:

“If you don't turn your life into a story, you just become a part of someone else's story.”
The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents

“Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?”
Going Postal

“God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players [i.e. everybody], to being involved in an obscure and complex variant of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.”
Good Omens (co-written with Neil Gaiman)

Rest in peace, you ineffable man.

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Friday, March 13, 2015 has been my fashion go-to for ages. I use it to fan looks I like, see how a particular product looks when worn, and just generally spend hours exploring fashion worldwide. And finally, I added some looks to my account! 
As I move forward with my blog I plan on adding more fashion-based posts--I've been instagramming my outfits for long enough. Time to take proper photos of them and pretend I know how fashion works :) And now they can go on lookbook as well!
If you have a lookbook, I would love to know. Check out my page and drop me a line!
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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Outfit: Scalloped & Gold

Scalloped & Gold | Pennies & Paper Blog

I came home for spring break with all of my dirty laundry--my comfiest sweaters and jeans, which I have been living in for all of #snowpocalypse. I desperately needed something new to wear, clothes I had never seen before.
Enter, my mother's second closet. I found this beautiful dress while looking for an orange one Mom thought she had, but apparently had gotten rid of. (I need a warm color for a casual summer wedding, which I am a bridesmaid in, eeeeeek!)

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Feelin' 22

It's my birthday! And while I did have a very busy day (complete with two classes and an extra-long, super important club meeting) I found time to have fun and celebrate, too :)
Feelin' 22 | Pennies & Paper Blog