Monday, July 31, 2017

Recipe: Croissant Breakfast Bake

I recently spent the weekend in Asheville, North Carolina with nine ladies from the Alpha Omega Alumni Chapter. We had our first ever Alumni Retreat. It went so well and we had a fantastic time! We stayed in a cabin which allowed us to cook a few of our meals. For breakfast, I made a variety of muffins, but I also wanted something savory. I searched Pinterst and was originally going to make an egg casserole. Then I stumbled upon a recipe using croissants. Automatic winner! It was easy to make and everyone loved it! The original recipe is from Just a Pinch Recipes.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Design: Membership Drive

The first event of the social year for the Spouses' Club will be our Membership Drive. Initially, because there isn't a theme, I was trying to decide what route to go with the design of the flier. I played around with a version of the Uncle Sam "I want you for the..." poster as inspiration. However, with our new logo we decided it would be best to highlight it.

I had already designed a newsletter with a color scheme that coordinated with the new logo, so I decided to use that design for the Membership Drive fliers, too. I pitched the idea of making a little campaign to include a couple graphics that highlighted who is able to join the club. The final image below is part of this campaign. We are not allowed to use the Army and Air Force logos, so I had to be creative and find something that represented each.

Fonts used:
Milasian Circa Personal
Franklin Gothic Book
Franklin Gothic Heavy


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Logo Design

When the idea of our base's Officers' Spouses' Club merging with the Enlisted Spouses' Club, one of my first thoughts was that we could use a new logo. Being that my position is PR, coming up with a new logo fell on my shoulders. I have never really created a logo before, so this gave me a great chance to try my hand at it.

My initial thought was to do something a little similar to their current logo. Since our base is located in South Carolina, the current logo uses the South Carolina state and the palmetto moon. Both are really popular images here. But I wanted to branch out just a bit and make it more personalized to our town. My idea was to use an iris. Our town has a park that is known for their irises.

After some feedback from the president, I ended up creating several different options for the board to choose between. This led me to fifteen options.

My very first idea is shown in Option #1 below. I replaced the top of the palmetto tree with the iris flower. This is commonly done for car decals and such in South Carolina. You can find ones with the Clemson paw, South Carolina Gamecocks, etc.

I also wanted to try one without the palm tree base and an iris stem base, like in Option #2. To make sure we had all our bases covered, the President wanted me to include the palmetto moon, as well. And finally for Options #4 and #5, I was inspired by a few car decals I saw while driving down I-95 one weekend. 
We shared the 15 options with the board and narrowed it down to four. We decided on blue for some continuity with the current logo. I happen to think it is a great shade of Carolina blue!

In the end, the majority chose #3. This was actually my favorite one! I was secretly hoping for it to win. How often does that work out? It does make me feel validated in my amateur graphic design abilities. 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Recipe: Bacon wrapped pimento cheese stuffed okra

I grew up mainly in the lowcountry of South Carolina. But because neither of my parents are Southern, I did not eat a lot of Southern cuisine when I was a kid. I probably would not have enjoyed much of it anyway because I was such a picky eater. I'm a quarter Italian and I did not even like spaghetti sauce for the longest time!

Over the years my palette has expanded greatly. One food item that I did not give a chance until a couple years ago was okra. It took living in California and having dinner with a friend from Washington state for me to try it. And it was delicious! Of course, it was the fried variety so how could that not taste good?

Fast forward to moving back to the South... We have planted our vegetable garden and I included okra. It has been growing quite nicely lately and I have amassed a lot of okra from it. I did not realize okra has such beautiful, delicate flowers.

Having never cooked it before, I searched Pinterest for some recipes. I found one that sounded perfect... bacon wrapped stuffed okra! The actual recipe calls for a shrimp filling. I'm still a picky eater; I don't eat seafood. But I was planning on making pimento cheese with our homegrown pimento peppers. Wouldn't that taste amazing stuffed inside a bacon wrapped piece of okra? I think so!

Fourth of July gave me the perfect opportunity to try this dish. It was easy to assemble and tasted FANTASTIC! It is just as good as fried okra...if not better.

For the pimento cheese, I kind of followed the recipe from Eleven Magnolia Lane. It's OK, but I've had better. I just have to find the recipe! Feel free to use your own favorite recipe or store bought (if you have to).

For the Okra, I followed the instructions from I Heart Publix. The recipe suggests using regular bacon and not thick cut bacon. I happened to have thick cut and it worked out just fine.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Design: Play Date

One of the "unofficial" socials of the summer for our base's spouses' club is a play date. From listening to parents, I have learned that play dates are popular. They seem like a fantastic way for parents to get some grown up time while the kids run around and burn off some energy. Sounds like a win-win!
Fonts Used
Play Date (how appropriate, right?)
Franklin Gothic Book
Milasian Circa Personal

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Design: Summer Dinner

Do you ever feel stressed out and tense and you're not entirely sure why? I have been feeling that way lately. My jaw has been really tight and I have to keep reminding myself to relax. The worst part is that I do not really have that much to be stressed about. I have a few events coming up, but nothing I really need to be overly stressed about. On the plus side, it has made me get down and do some yoga. I have been so slack about working out lately (hmm...that probably has something to do with my stress level). I found a new yoga channel through a Pinterest post; it's called Yoga with Kassandra. She has a lot of Yin Yoga videos which focuses on holding poses for a few minutes so you get a nice, deep stretch. I thought these videos would help me de-stress a little bit. I've been enjoying them so far.

One of the events I have coming up is a dinner with my Alumni Chapter. Really it's an excuse to have dinner with my friend, Cheryl. She might be the only one RSVPed so far, anyway. But that's OK! I used to stress out about lack of participation from people in the group. But I have learned (and still have to remind myself of this from time to time) that it doesn't matter who actually comes. All that matters is that I give them the opportunity to build and develop relationships. Only they can choose to use the opportunity.

For the dinner, I created a simple invitation. It follows the template I've been using for these types of events. But I do love the background I found on Shutterstock. It's perfect for summer!

Fonts Used
KG Hard Candy Solid
Bell MT

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Design: Coffee

I am having a blast creating fliers for our base spouses' club. We recently voted to merge with the Enlisted Spouses' Club which means I will have many additional projects to work on. Yay!!! I have started to prep a few items such as a newsletter and trifold. The project I have had the most fun with so far has been creating some new logo options. I cannot wait to see which one is chosen! I have a favorite, but I will share more about them soon.

An event we have coming up is a coffee meet up. The summer is really casual and we do not have an "official" socials, but I'm glad they have a couple events planned. A lot of people move in the summer, so it is beneficial to have an event for people to get their "feet wet" with our group.

Fonts used:
Rhumba Script NF
Bodoni MT
Milasian Circa Personal