Valentine’s Boards

Valentine’s Boards

heartgarland2heartgarlandSince Valentine’s day is next week, I thought I’d share this cute felt heart garland hanging in my kitchen (thank you Target), and I’d also like to repost my valentine’s day boards from last year, since I still find them cute and relevant! Also, don’t forget to check out my Pinterest board hearts + arrows, which I have continuously updated whenever I found anything relevant to the theme. :)

 Sweet Baby Valentine


Valentine’s day board

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  1.  Heart Shaped Balloons from Mignon Kitchen Co.
  2. I Love You Valentine by Rifle Paper Co.
  3. Striped Stick-on Bow Tie for the little man in your life. From Bushel and Peck Paper.
  4. Be my Baby glittering fringe banner by Nice on Etsy.
  5. You’re my fav♥rite work of art poster by Love Sugar on Etsy. This is absolutely how I feel about Laelia. :)
  6. Cupid’s Arrow Cupcakes by Bakerella.
  7. Valentine Straw kit: a free download from {papermash}!
  8. Aqua frosted cake by Sprinkle Bakes. Click for (cherry vanilla cake) recipe !
  9. Aqua soda bottles w/ stripey straws! (photo: the ever amazing Hello Naomi)
  10. Kissing Booth! Cute idea for a photo booth! (Poster by I love Retro on Culture Label).
  11. A Perfect Desert Table (Photo: Lee Bird Photography)
  12. Heart plushies! From Wonder Forest on Etsy.
  13. Felt  Heart Headband (Photo: katie did)
  14. I ♥ Mom, I ♥ Dad bowls; parental love reciprocated! From Hideminy. :)

 Shot Through the Heart


Valentine’s day board

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  1. Mr. Boddington Bullseye Valentine from catbird.
  2. Valentine’s Day Balloon by Geronimo Balloons. Balloon delivery! How cute! And we all know how much I love giant balloons and glittering fringe. I lurve.
  3. DIY VintageArrow Valentine by Halligan. Via Design*Sponge. Alternately, you could buy  some handmade arrows from quivver, or Native on etsy.
  4.  Wild Heart Glittering Fringe Banner by nice (on etsy).
    I brightened the color of the fringe on this banner to pop a little more)
  5. A Romantic Setting: Considering I live in Southern California, I think it would be totally normal to set up a bohemian picnic outside on Valentine’s Day. In February. Our weather has been particularly awesome lately. But you could easily do something romantic like this in your bedroom or living room! :)
    (This photo has been credited to Jessica Claire, but I can’t find it on her website. Any further info would be appreciated! UPDATE 3/24/12 I found a direct link on Style Me Pretty! I updated my pinterest board as well.)
  6. Fiesta headband in chiffon, with arrow featherby avaraylondon.
  7. Oreo chocolate cake with chocolate ganache and gold flecks by desserts for breakfast
  8. Love Poems by Pablo Neruda. (image via New Directions Cover Library.) To read to your hunny.
  9. For the Wind Dress from ModCloth.
  10. Pierced Heart Truffle Plate from BHLDN. The plate from which to eat your cake!
  11. Arrow Cuff from catbird.
  12. Sequined Heart Shoe Clips from ban.dō.
  13.  Hello. Also, I love youby The Big Harumph on Etsy. Perhaps you could consider a poster a valentine over the more traditional card?
  14. Debrah Lippman “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?” nail polish from Fred Flare.
  15.  Arrow Valentine by AmyMarcella on Etsy.
  16. Marquee Arrow Light from Urban Outfitters.
200th Post!

200th Post!

When I made my 100th post, I made 100 goals I’d like to accomplish by my 200th post. I checked in at 150 posts, with comments in blue. Strikethrough means I completed a goal, or it was negated in someway, and underline means that progress has been made, but the goal has not been satisfied. Text in blue are comments from my check in at 150 posts, and text in pink are comments from today!



What can I say, I certainty failed a lot of the goals I set for myself here. When I wrote these goals over a year ago, I certainly didn’t expect it to take more than a few months to execute my blogging goals! The good news is, I am slowly working on getting my new blog together (potentially including a new domain!), so most of these goals have been addressed behind the scenes, they just haven’t been made live yet. I expect 30 days of blogging to motivate me to get over the hump of the design issues I’m facing. 

  1. double my posting rate: I’d like to hit my 200th post by July 21, 2012. I would need to have 2-3 posts a week in order to meet that goal. I’ve been capable of doing that in the past, so I’m feeling good about being able to achieve this goal.
    (3/19 update) I’ve been doing well here, but I need to bump it up a little to make July 21–right now I’m at a pace for August. Too many days between posts lately!
    (2/7 update) Nope. I suck. Sporadic/hiatus like posting for months. Hopefully my 30 days of blogging will help me get back in blogging shape! (*flexes a weak blogging muscle*)
  2. add a prints/patterns portfolio
  3. add an apparel graphics portfolio
  4. add a wood toys portfolio
  5. add a web graphics portfolio
  6. add a general graphics portfolio 
  7. add an invitations portfolio
  8. add a photography/photo editing portfolio (?): I don’t exactly consider myself a photographer, but I sure do plan, take, and edit a lot of photos! Maybe I need to include this in my portfolios…
  9. add an illustrations portfolio
  10. add a painting portfolio
  11. redesign my portfolio section; add some neat functionality: Hubs would have to get on board for this; his new career goal is to get into interaction design, and I want him to apply what he’s been learning to my website in general, but I think my portfolio is a great place to start!
     (3/19 update) I can safely say that I haven’t done ANYTHING in regards to revamping my portfolio yet; except some very vague ideas of how I might want it to look. Major sadface. 
  12. start a recipes category: I’ve been thinking about this for a while! I don’t think it would be a super regular feature, but there are a few recipes I’d love to document.
    (3/19 update) I will be getting to this soon! I have a list of recipes I’d love to share! But it might not happen until after we finish up the kitchen. Lots of stuff is happening in there soon!
  13. consider a tips category
  14. add more tutorials
  15. change the features section (I hate it)
  16. update about section (add photos)
    (2/7 update) I’ve done this, I just haven’t made it live yet–it will go live when I update the WHOLE site. :)
  17. increase readership in an authentic way
    (3/19 update) I suppose I have done this, even if it is mainly traffic from pinterest! What I meant by “an authentic way” was that I wouldn’t make posts that were deliberately controversial or something just to increase traffic.  I currently have 400-700 page views a day. 
  18. categorize more efficiently
  19. add tags to posts that have no tags
  20. make graphics for categories
  21. finish my header/logo already!
  22. consider featuring what I wear (might help with the “get back in shape” goal): I already feature Laelia’s outfits, but I have a passion for and a lot to say about women’s fashion as well.  My first blog I briefly authored in 2007 focused on women’s fashion a bit more, as I was so inspired by other fashion blogs out there. I’d love to get back in touch with that part of myself. :)
  23. complete room tours
    (3/19 update) Well, I’m working on finishing up some of these rooms, and when that happens I can do the room tours, so there is a lot of progress happening here. Many other goals must be met before I can satisfy this one.
  24. birthday boards category: Laelia’s first birthday board is very popular, and I loved making it. I would love to make more boards for general inspiration purposes! I think I’ll also take suggestions for boards, or perhaps make custom boards for a small fee.
    (3/19 update) I’ve done a few of these! :) And more in the works.
  25. become more active in the blogsphere: I should totally be cultivating friendships with other bloggers across the land, but I’m not. I don’t think I’m doing my part. Mostly, it’s because I can barely time find to blog myself, let alone read other’s blogs. Also, although I am a confident person, I don’t say something unless I think it needs to be said (this is internet comments only), and I’m pretty reserved when it comes to self promotion, so I find myself reluctant to comment on things often (which is ironic, considering how much I write here). But following other bloggers is something I really want to and should do, and I should make time for it. I also think I should participate in more events.
    (3/19 update) I feel as if I have made some friends in the blogging community! Now I want to go to some conventions, blog meet ups, and read some of their blogs from start to finish! 

Score: 15/25



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My Bathroom: Before

My Bathroom: Before

Sometime in the last couple of months, I decided to give our bathroom a little lift. It was necessary for a few reasons; 1) The shower doors were becoming a danger to giving Laelia a bath… she thought it was quite funny to hide in the corner past the point where you could reach her to help bathe her, and I have been terrified she’d slip if I pulled her arm too hard trying to get her back to the part of the bath where I could reach her more readily; the shower doors had to go. 2) I spilled nail polish all over the floor and the cabinets. It came off the floor readily, but it clung to the cabinets, and any attempt to remove with acetone removed far more cabinet paint than nail polish… and finally, 3) The bathroom was the same “smokers wall” color as the kitchen, and it was just depressing.


The photos above represent the second or third iteration of this bathroom! I’ve just never been able to really get it to a point where I like it. It always comes down to the tile–it’s hard to work with. Anytime I see something this particular shade of blue, I tend to just buy it and see if it works, without any sort of direction! So, this time around, I decided to try to have a little more direction, and pulled a few pieces that I already had or were on sale at anthro:

Bathroom-Board1/Bath Mat – Anthropologie 2/Butter Dish (for soap!)- Anthropologie 3/SAVERN hook – IKEA 4) Festival Knob – Anthro 5) Sarah Campbell Decoupage Tray in White Flower Tile – West Elm 6) Shower Curtain – Anthro 7) The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai

While I wouldn’t call this direction my “dream”, I think it works well with the tile.  Some people suggest to ignore the tile, but I tried that, and it just doesn’t work for me! It also works for a child’s and an adult’s bathroom. It’s playful without being kiddish.

Most of the work has already been done, so I’ll be posting my progress next week! It still isn’t exactly how I’d like it, so I’d love some feedback!


A Laelia Outfit #41

A Laelia Outfit #41

Top: Sweet Ivy (via Nordstrom Rack
Polka-Dot Jeans: Old Navy
Sandals: Health Tex

So, I’m working on a blog schedule right now! I have at least two weeks planned. So exciting!

30 day blogging challenge and a tea box makeover

30 day blogging challenge and a tea box makeover

30-day-bloggingI’m happy to say that hubs and I just finished the Whole30. Thirty days sounds intimidating, but, really, it’s over before you know it. I knew I wanted to try going gluten free for a few weeks after Christmas, but I decided to just do something really regimented with a strong community so I could just nix a lot of bad habits at the same time (late night grilled cheeses and overloading on sugar!). Tyler did it with me, which I am very grateful for–it is so important for your partner to adopt a change in eating habits with you! I know the reason that the Whole30 was pretty much a breeze for me because he did it with me. Also, major credit to him for completing it! He’s never had a dietary restriction before in his life, so it was a major accomplishment! Together we discovered some new foods, and Tyler has a newfound appreciation for fruits and clean eating! We definitely ate more fruit than is recommended, but I’m still proud of us and I think the next time we do it, we’ll probably be more strict. We’re going to mostly adopt the Paleo lifestyle moving forward — I love the idea of clean eating, but I’m not going to deny myself a cupcake for the rest of my life. Anyone else familiar with Paleo and have suggestions on books to read?

So, with our surprise at how quickly our Whole30 seemed to go by, we started to think about other 30 day challenges we could do. Tyler is considering a fitness challenge (we signed up for our first 5k!). And, despite being bed-ridden for five. whole. days. last week (!!!) due to my first sinus infection, and the fact that my house continues to be littered with fall out, used tissues, and empty boxes of congestion medicine, I’m just going to dive into my next 30 day challenge — thirty days of blogging!

I’ve been really lax around here for too long, and I have post ideas piled up! I’ve got my 200th post coming up, and parties from last MAY I need to share! I don’t think I could ever keep up a daily blog, but I do think I need a kick start to get me back in the mode, and I think it will significantly help me to write shorter, less bulky posts! Some posts will have tons of content, and others will just be short and sweet. I don’t have a plan yet, I’m just diving into it so I will commit to it! (Maybe that should be my next post–a plan). I’m unsure if I’ll be posting on the weekends yet–I’m leaning towards a yes on that, but I don’t want to over-exert myself and take too much time away from my family, so Tyler suggested to see how my first week goes, and then decided based on that. I like the idea of doing the weekends, however, because it will become a part of my daily routine, which I think is crucial.

Anyway, because I do think every post needs a some eye candy, here is a little before and after I did recently!


I bought this old tea box from the bazzar section of Target when I was in college (anyone else remember that section?). I didn’t use it as a tea box until the current kitchen makeover! But the old and battered faux-wood and flower knobs just weren’t doing it for me. I’ve been meaning to paint it for years, but I didn’t exactly know what I wanted to do! I decided just to go for it, and see what happened. painting_teabox

First, I removed the handles, and primed and spray painted it with Rustoleum’s Blossom White. I used q-tips to make dots, which was quite easy and turned out to be something Laelia also enjoyed doing–but she didn’t exactly understand my vision, so I gave her some scrap watercolor paper to paint on, which she really enjoyed. I just did layers of dots that were more concentrated on the bottom than on the top, and I used some IKEA knobs that we weren’t using from our expedit (I think), for a finishing touch. I think it came out great! Such an easy and fun project!



Welcome to Visual Vocabularie! My name is Jesyka, and I am a designer, artist, mom to Laelia and Luca, wife to software engineer and UX designer Tyler, coffee lover, and all around enthused person. This is my blog; here I share my personal projects, whether it's a furniture makeover, a new painting, a birthday party, an invitation I designed, or a favorite outfit for my little. You’ll also catch a glimpse into our family life in Los Angeles.

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You are free to pin to pinterest, or post my photos on your blog, but please give proper credit to my full name Jesyka D’Itri Marés (I know, I know, it's not the easiest name!), and you link back either the home page of this website, or the permalink of the original post (although, I'm sure your followers will thank you for the permalink!). I would LOVE to know if you enjoy my work enough to share it, so please don’t be shy and drop me an email!