Posters for Sale


I recently got inspired to design a new Welcome Home Mid-Century Modern Poster (maybe because I’ve been longing for “home” so much?) I ordered a few extra so I could restock my Etsy shop. They’re 11×17 and cost $12 plus shipping if you’re interested.

Also, because I get requests for it every year I’ve added the Wishing You a Shiny Brite Christmas poster back to my Etsy shop as well. Same as the Welcome Home poster – 11×17 and $12 plus shipping.

I’m trying something new this year. I also turned two color variations of the Shiny Brite Christmas poster into downloadable PDFs that can be printed at home on 8.5″ x 11″ paper. They’re $2 a piece and free shipping, of course.

Shiny Brite Poster – Green Print-at-Home   /  Shiny Brite Poster – Brown Print-at-Home

I’ll probably mention these again as Christmas gets closer—I know, I know, Christmas decorations on October 1st—but I wanted to get them into my shop early this year so I’m ready to go.

American Sign Museum


A few weeks ago while we were up in Cincinnati visiting friends, we went to the American Sign Museum. There were lots of signs and it was very cool, especially for this graphic designer. That’s about all I need to say about it.

Look The Erie Enameling Company from Erie, PA! That’s where we’re from.

Phone Photo Friday


Most of my Phone Photo Friday pictures are from my Instagram feed. Follow me @mahlbrandt if you’d life!

Front Elevation Photoshop Mock Up


We’re waiting for our architect to finish up the construction documents so we can find the perfect contractor and get started on our new house. In the meantime, I decided I’d take Ryan’s front elevation drawing into Photoshop and have some fun with it. I used a photo of the property from October (when the trees had leaves) and then added colors, textures and landscaping.

I don’t know how accurate this mock up will end up being but it sure does get Jason and me excited!

Phone Photo Friday


Beautiful Cereal Box


I know it’s silly but for the past 36 hours, since I first saw it at Kroger, I’ve been in love with Mom’s Best Naturals cereal. Now I’m not typically a cereal lover. Lucky Charms was the only cereal I would eat growing up. My breakfast of choice in high school was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. But I’m a graphic designer by trade and what-can-I-say, I was sold by the packaging. I walked 3 steps past the end cap in Kroger, pulled out my camera and went back to take a picture. As I walked away, posting it on Instagram, I decided I should buy a box and try it. Back at the display for the third time, I was pleasantly surprised that it was only $1.50 a box. I  found raisin bran to try. I’m happy to report that it tastes as good as any raisin bran I’ve ever had, though I’m admittedly not a cereal connoisseur.

Wishing You a Shiny Brite Christmas


I brought this poster design back into my etsy shop for a couple that wouldn’t leave me alone about it. (Sorry it took me so long!) Anyone else want one? The shipping is higher price to make sure it gets to you more quickly.

Banking Better


We switched banks. That seems like a blog-worthy topic, right? Have you been or will you be affect by the recent increase in checking account fees among the major US banks? Jason and I had three checking accounts at one of the big corporate banks (I don’t want to slam them as it’s been industry-wide policy) and with the increased fees that are starting next month we were going to be paying around $45 a month just to have three checking accounts with debit cards. Whoa! So not worth it. I suggested we start carrying cash only and get pistols but Jason found a better solution. We have a small local bank chain called Avenue. We have been so pleased with their great customer service and of course, the lack of fees! They have a really cool vibe since they started out as a musicians’ bank. Beyond the pretty hummingbird logo, they have a city loft style lobby with free snacks and drinks and a guitar set up, ready to be played while we wait. But we never have to wait because their customer service is that good.

A great company is worthy of a blog post, I say. If you’re in Nashville, we highly recommend Avenue Bank. Switching banks is a big ole’ pain in the butt—it took us 6 weeks to get everything migrated to the next account—but worth it.

IKEA 2012


Have you looked through the IKEA 2012 catalog yet? I’ve skimmed but I haven’t had a chance to give it a thorough inspection yet. (I do that when I get the paper copy.) If you have, are you excited about any of the new products? I was intrigued and challenged by the Small Spaces video series.

I noticed that our SOMNAT crib went down $20 in price.

I’d love to have this poster…

Other than that nothing jumped out at me but I really enjoy browsing through the catalog every year. In several places IKEA succeeded in making these spaces look real and lived in. I love this. It’s a nice change from staged, perfect catalog images.

House Rules


It wasn’t a requirement for us but I thought it would be a good idea to come up with some solid House Rules before we have any kiddos bouncing around in our house. I took some inspiration from others’ house rules (K&D and Meg from whatever…though I can’t find the specific posts) and some design inspiration from here, and came up with 6 House Rules for our home.

When our home study writer asked me on the spot if we had any house rules, all I could say was “no hitting, no breaking things, no throwing toys across the room…you know, normal parenting stuff.” All of that seems like a given to me and falls under the umbrella of  “show love,” because really part of showing love is respecting other people and property. “Take risks” could be twisted, I suppose. Running out in front of a car is taking a risk. Standing on the dining room table is taking a risk. But, taking risks is an important value in our household and what I’m really thinking of is … Take a risk and try the brussel sprouts even though they look gross. Take a risk and trust us to love and parent you even though you’ve had your heart broken by adults in the past.

We have little L with us now and she’s too young to really understand the rules much. She’s great at showing love, taking risks, doing her best and having fun. Work together needs a little tweaking, especially when it comes to diaper changes and snotty nose wiping. But she is already learning so much. Yesterday papa taught her how to blow her nose in a tissue and how to say please. And tell the truth? Well, she’s 1. It’s hard to tell sometime whether she’s lying or mistaken, especially with yes or no questions.

You can download a free printable (8.5×11) PDF of these house rules if you’d like.