Birthday Scotch

I had been scheming knock-his-socks-off birthday gift ideas for Garrett since December, when while on my usual Pinterest perusal, I noticed myself pinning lots of packaging designs for spirits. Vodka, scotch, gin – I love that there are so many possibilities with design involving all the different, delicious libations and I knew that Garrett loved it too. But it wasn’t until I saw the Migrant whiskey label design and read the story behind it (here), that the idea struck on designing a personalized birthday label for him. Obviously, huge amounts of inspiration were taken from the Migrant design – I just added some fun icons and cheesy puns.

Here are some examples of cool label designs and the final design for Garrett:

Irenekly - Garrett's-Whiskey2

I found this really awesome bottle in some random shop on Piedmont and I’m so glad the end result turned out okay! Printing labels is tricky business, but sticking them on is even trickier. I gave up any notions of perfect smoothness and decided that the wrinkles were intentional to create a more “vintage” effect.

Irenekly - Garrett's Birthday Scotch

Happy birthday, Garrett! I love you and may this next year be filled with lotsa whiskey.

1., 2., 3. 


Satsuma Rosemary Salt



Basically everything that Local Milk posts, I am drooling and having those heart eye emojis over. But as much as I would like to try out Beth’s recipes, I don’t have the luxury of time/ingredients too often…except for when I’m on holiday vacay at home where my parents gloriously stock up on a slew of food! And have a crazy overrun herb garden to boot!

The recipe on Local Milk has many more herbs in the salt, but I only used rosemary, as distinguishing weeds/herbs in the garden got a little tricky. Satsumas are also my favorite, and I can eat way too many in one sitting, so basically this salt is the best and super easy to make. Find the recipe here ! I’ve already added this salt to everything and anything (i.e. mostly just veggies and chicken), but methinks sprinkling some on top of shortbread cookies would be delicious. Happy salting!


Looking Back and Forward


2013 was a huge year.

I graduated college, set foot in new countries, and got my first “big girl” job. Last January, I remember marveling at all the milestones to be had this year and being equal parts frightened and excited. How could a year hold so much? Was it possible for everything to even happen? And yet, by the sheer grace of God, it has and more.

I learned that everything that happened at Berkeley was truly invaluable,  that my lens has been altered to ask hard questions and learn how to grapple with hard truth, but that the asking and grappling can and should never stop.

I learned that loving people is really difficult, especially when the vehicle through which my love is transmitted (my selfish, wimpy heart) needs a lot of working on.

I learned that traveling gives you unshakeable wanderlust in your feet and eyes, and that your hand will forevermore be writing new cities onto the “Must Visit” list. But even more so, I learned that planting roots in a new city, a new home, actually means more adventure and exploration.

I learned that fear–of failure, of loss–is crippling, but that there is love and freedom to be had in embracing inevitable imperfection. There is grace enough, and there will always be grace enough.

I learned that admitting weakness is asking for strength, and I learned the sweetness of having a strong hand to hold in prayer and encouragement.

And I learned that being in a posture of humble need, not petulant neediness, is how I must constantly step into the new and the old.

I’m so thankful that my wistfulness over this year already being over can actually surge into hope and expectation for what 2014 will bring, and that there will always be new life to be found. So, in the coming year, I have some small and big hopes. One of those is to balance out the levels in which I consume and produce, and to not just be sedately inspired all the time, but proactively create, too! And hopefully this blog will be a tool through which I can push myself to tackle some new projects.

I’m excited! It’s definitely an excitement that took some watering, but now it is growing and I trust that this year will be good, even if that “good” is not how I would exactly define it (read: lots of cookies, no conflict, and pretty stuff). Here’s to a full, blessed year!