Blog

33 - The Jesus Year (and figuring out life) July 06, 2017 05:00

I'm turning 33 tomorrow.  33 might not seem like a milestone birthday like 16, 18, 21, 25, and 30 are, but I've always referred to 33 as the Jesus year.  Jesus was 33 when he was crucified, and man did He do a lot in those 33 years... kind of makes my birthday feel even weightier with the comparison because spoiler alert: Jesus was a way better person than me.

I've always thought that I would have my life figured out by the time I turned 33, and used this as my goal year to know what I was actually doing with my life.  For a long time this was totally attainable because 33 was so far off.  But now, it's tomorrow, and as I sit here and reflect, here is what I've learned.

I don't think I'll ever fully have my life figured out, and maybe that's ok.  Most of the time, I'm Type A and need to feel in control and have a plan, but, maybe being flexible is part of figuring out life (actually, I think this is definitely the case, it's just hard to realize sometimes).  I'm pretty good with most of the things in my life - I have the best husband, and some really awesome kids.  My day job has recently narrowed it's focus with a concentration on K-12 work, which is something I feel invested in.  Mary Beth and I are working in stride and growing UPstudio.  My youngest daughter is now old enough that we are in a routine as a family instead of constantly floundering with newborns.  I've been studying minimalism and how to simplify my life, and am taking steps in that direction.  So on the surface, everything is great.  There is one thing that I feel is lacking though, and it's really within myself.

My husband and I were talking recently, and the only way I could describe what I was feeling is that I want to do more good.  We had been reflecting a lot recently on the life of someone that we admired so much for her goodness.  She was real, and not perfect, but she was the type of person who would drop everything to help a friend, was always volunteering to help where needed, and never let anything that was going on in her life hold her back.  I want to be more like her - to be an example for my daughters and feel like I'm making a difference with all aspects of my life, and maybe even let go of some control to just be available as needed.  

I thought about trying to task myself with doing something for a year.. daily, weekly, monthly.. but ultimately decided that if I failed even once then the whole project would feel like a fail.  My goal isn't to put more pressure or stress on myself, but to live my life more intentionally.  My mind went back to some basic principles that were instilled in my early Christian days: the fruits of the spirit.  If I can live my life with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, then everything else should fall into place.  Easier said than done, I know, but something to strive for.  

When I thought more on this, I could easily see ways that I could apply each of these "fruits" to my every day life.  I've been trying to put it in to practice these past few days, and have felt and seen a difference in the interaction with my daughters, and even that difference alone is worth it.  So, here in my Jesus year is a reminder to try to live each day more like Jesus, and let life take it's course.  

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control..." Galatians 5:22-23


Day Jobs March 09, 2017 05:00

If it seems like we've been a little absent lately, well, it's because we have been.  Usually there is a huge advantage to working as a pair, because majority of the time if one of us has too much on our plate, the other can pick up the slack (see: babies, moving, life in general).  Since before the end of 2016, our day jobs have been taking up most of our time.  You may remember from our FAQ page that we work as an architect and engineer, and we generally try to maintain a good work/life balance.  Right now though?  Deadlines.  Fire drills.  Survival mode.  (But, good projects, and good employees)

We're still working hard on UPstudio projects, we just haven't been around on social media as much lately. We promise we're going to be more present.  Let us just go put out this fire real quick first, brb...


Sometimes Taking a Risk... Is Worth the Risk July 28, 2016 05:00

Here's the thing... taking a risk is scary. No matter what the risk is, you're putting yourself out there, maybe making a big decision, but you're not sure that the outcome will be what you want.

For Mary Beth and me, forming UPstudio was a big risk. We both had full time jobs and families - in other words, we had plenty of responsibility, but not a lot of free time. However, we also had numerous of conversations through our years of friendship about each wanting to do something on our own. Neither one of us felt quite satisfied with our careers, feeling an urge to do something more personal, more tangible, more on our own terms. So, one day when we were comparing our planners for the new year, talking about what we did and didn't like about each one, it made perfect sense that we could create our own. And then it was a brilliant idea that we create an entire business around this one shared interest. That was it - we were going to do it!

Taking a step back, we knew that this was a risky move, and we needed to think about it individually before committing. For one, neither of us had any experience with business minus the occasional lemonade stand of our respective childhoods. We had no experience with marketing, limited knowledge of product fabrication, limited knowledge of website design, no contacts in the field to help us, and knew we would have to spend our own money to invest in a start up. On the other hand, we are both designers, and knew that we worked well together. We knew each other's strengths and our own weaknesses, and knew that we would be able to fill in the gaps for each other. In our discussions we discovered that what we each wanted to do for our business perfectly balanced out. More than anything, we both had drive, and knew we could trust each other. So many things were working in our favor, but there were so many other things that made this way too scary. MB was newly pregnant and about to start on a whole new adventure by becoming a mom. This project would take up most of our free time.  Was this something that we were really willing to take a risk on?

With the support of our husbands, we decided that it was. And now, a year and a day after initially launching our website, we know that all our hard work has been worth it. Let's not get carried away, it hasn't been a cakewalk, and we aren't exactly rolling in the dough, but we have learned a lot. We've taken countless risks along the way, some leading to better results than others. Through our Lessons Learned posts, we're sharing this information with you all.  Goodness knows we've scoured resources as we embarked on each new step of this journey (and we're still going!), so we're now excited to be able to give back and be a resource for others.

In the coming weeks you'll see some of the results of the efforts we've made: the 2017 UPstudio Planner is in production (and we are SO excited about some changes we're making), we're a part of The Makers Mercantile, and we're featured in some really fantastic stores:  Ramble Supply Co., Stitch by Holly Aiken, and West Elm (coming very very soon in the Local section at Southpoint in Durham!). None of these things would be happening without the risks that we've taken over the past few months. 

The best part though? Knowing that we've done this on our own, survived, and feeling that the risk is worth the ongoing reward. So if you're on the fence about a risk, think about what it might be like on the other side, and don't be afraid to go for it.


Raleigh A-Z July 21, 2016 09:08

UPstudio is based out of Raleigh, North Carolina. To share more about our hometown we decided to challenge ourselves to think of a list that followed the alphabet, A-Z. (So limiting ourselves to only 26!) To meet the challenge we had to think outside of the box a bit. Fun facts, amazing people, and places all made the cut.

 Raleigh A-Z, An introduction to our city. - UPstudio

A Ashley Christensen: An award winning chef who now has 6 restaurants downtown that are all amazing!
B Breweries: Raleigh is home to more than 12 breweries.
C Capital Area Greenway Trail System: A network of public open spaces and recreational trails connecting the city.
D Development Beat: Learn about all of the development going on in Raleigh via this blog (yea, we know we are nerds, and we own it!).
E Education: Raleigh is home to 11 traditional universities and colleges and numerous satellite campuses for higher education.
F Farmers Market30,000 square feet for North Carolina farmers to sell fresh produce, plants, and other specialty items produced on local farms. Open 7 days a week.
G Goodnight Raleigh: A blog/online magazine that shares awesome fun facts and pictures about the history of Raleigh.
H Hall, Michael C: Most commonly known as Dexter Morgan was born and grew up right here in Raleigh, attending Ravenscroft High School.
I Ira David Wood III: A local actor that has raised the bar for theatrical excellence in Raleigh. Many know him as Scrooge. He is also the founder and executive director of the Theater in the Park.
J J.S. Dorton Arena: This 1952 iconic structure associated with the state fair is actually a National Historic Monument and boasts the world's first cable supported roof system.
K Kingston Upon Hull, England: Is one of our sister cities, the mission: “To promote peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation - one individual, one community at a time.”
L Libraries: Wake County Public Libraries have come a long way since we were kids. Example: I now check out new releases via my kindle. Our system has over 21 locations, 10 of which are in Raleigh.
M Mordecai Historic Park: One of the historic outbuildings includes the birthplace of the 17th president, Andrew Johnson.
N North Carolina Museum of ArtIt was the first art museum in the country to be established using state funds.
O Oak View: Where the typical 4th grader goes to pick cotton and learn about about North Carolina's agricultural development from colonial times to the present. (Also just learned that Gregory Poole owned and lived at the estate for 3 years.)
P Parks: Our city park system boasts over 200 parks total over 9,000 acres of parkland.
Q Quality of Life: Raleigh consistently ranks in the top 20 best US cities in regards to overall quality of life.
R Red Hat Amphitheater: "Bringin' the get down to downtown"
S Sir Walter Raleigh: Our namesake.
T Triangle Glides Segway Tours: The best part is that the tours are narrated, so you learn tons of cool facts about the city as you ride around. 
U Umstead State Park: In 1934 the state purchased the roughly 5,000 acres that we now call William B. Umstead State Park for $1.
V Vance Sykes: Class of 1907 alumni of North Carolina State University credited with the idea of constructing the iconic Belltower, a 115 ft granite monument to honor NC State alumni killed in WWI.
W Walter Magazine: "Raleigh's Life and Soul" (We highly recommend the in-depth profiles.)
X X-Files: The thirteenth episode of the first season, "Beyond the Sea" was set in Raleigh, NC. 
Y YMCA: The first permanent building was erected in 1913 on the corner of Wilmington and Edenton Streets. The downtown location moved to it's current home on Hillsborough Street in 1959. The YMCA used to have living quarters where Barney Fife from The Andy Griffith Show once stayed.
Z Zip Codes: Per USPS, Raleigh touches 44 zip codes. #cray

 

 (Photo Credits: A: ac-restaurants, B: Big Boss Brewing, C: City of Raleigh, D: Development Beat, E: NCpedia, F: State Farmers Market G: Ian F. G. Dunn, H: IMDb, I: Nick Pironio, J: NCDA&CS, K: Wikitravel, L: The News & Observer, M: STRAYTHERE, N: NCSU Libraries, O: Historic Oak View County Park, P: City of Raleigh, Q: A Breath of Fresh Air, R: Jason Moore Photography, S: 919Raleigh, T: ME!, U: stateparks.com, V: NCSU Libraries, W: Walter Magazine, X: Den of Geek, Y: State Archives of North Carolina, Z: Popular Raleigh Neighborhoods)


Inspiration: Everyday Cards - It's Been Too Long July 14, 2016 08:00

We've talked before about how we've come up with a few of our different products and designs (like the Sticky Pads, and the NC Toast Everyday Cards, as well as lots of posts about the 2016 Planner). Today's post talks about another product inspiration, specifically the It's Been Too Long Everyday Cards.  

MB and I are both dog lovers and have dogs of our own, as you may have read on the FAQ page of our website.  I never had dogs growing up, but whenever we would visit with my grandmother, her little dog Lucy was in tow.  Lucy was a dachshund and my sister and I loved to play with (read: torture) her by dressing her up, toting her around the house and yard, and teaching her to sing and howl.  When my husband and I were a year into our marriage, we decided it was time to get a dog.  We looked at local shelters and almost took home a medium sized mutt, but with our small condo, lack of yard, and non-commitment to the daily walks she would need, it wasn't the right fit.  In the end we agreed that a smaller dog would be better for our circumstances, and looked into adopting a dachshund.  We finally ended up finding our sweet puppy Penny from a doberman rescue (her full name is Penny Pinscher... I know I know, it's such a good name).  A year later we adopted her sister Gretta from a dachshund rescue.  They have been the best of friends since day one, and provided us a ridiculous amount of entertainment and love.

Before our first round of Everyday Cards came out last summer, we came up with countless designs, but in the end chose just 4 of them to feature.  In those designs were a few fun dachshund patterns, but they didn't quite make the cut.

             

Fastforward to this past winter and the release of the 4 new Everyday Card designs.  We knew we wanted to open up options for a card with a dog on it.  A dachshund paired with the phrase It's Been Too Long was developed (because dachshunds are long, get it!) and voila, a new fun card inspired by our furry friends.

These knuckleheads are pretty cute too though :)

          


Maternity vs. 'Meternity' June 16, 2016 08:00

Recently an article was published proposing the idea that people who do not have children should have the equivalent of maternity leave, a twelve week 'vacation' of introspective opportunities. The author cleverly called this 'meternity'. I'm all about this idea, with a catch: this should be offered to everyone regardless of if they have children and take maternity leave or not, because the idea that this could in any way relate to what maternity leave is, or that a woman taking maternity leave really has a 3 month vacation, is laughable. 

Now, I really don't blame her for having this thought. She hasn't experienced maternity leave, and she must not know anyone who has taken it, or else she would never be able to compare the two. From an outsiders perspective, it does seem like a vacation - 12 weeks away from work is a good break. In the article she notes that some of her friends made life changes such as ending or switching their careers after taking maternity leave, but this could be for any number of reasons, money being a huge factor.  In all honesty - kids are expensive!  Newborns go through approximately 47 diapers a day, and don't even get me started on the cost of daycare.  I thought college tuition prices were supposed to wait until college!  No wonder some of these women made changes... maybe they had to!  Back on track, let's talk about what the differences between a vacation and maternity leave actually are. We're all familiar with a vacation, but what is maternity leave? 

First, let's clear up a discrepancy. We all call the time taken after giving birth maternity leave, when the fact is that most companies don't offer a true maternity leave... In reality what most new mothers take is FMLA or short term disability, and the terms of these vary. Pay varies as well, but there is only a certain amount of time that pay is accrued, and only at a percentage of full pay. Some people do not have the opportunity to take 12 weeks, and have to go back to work much earlier, while they are still recovering, and while their baby is still very young. And, there is often no leave offered for fathers, who are usually just as sleep deprived as the mother.

But, let's not get caught up in the weeds of how things could be better, let's shift gears to the highlights of a day in the life of a mom home with her new baby (as experienced by me, on any given day these past 4 weeks):

  • Wake up at 6:00am after an interrupted night of sleep between hour-long feedings every 3 hours, which means 2 hours of sleep at a time.
  • Think about what is going on that day and determine which level of black leggings I should put on (level 1: fresh and clean, level 2: worn for a couple of days, or level 3: worn for several days and nights with several milk stains).  Locate a maternity size shirt to wear with black leggings (don't even think about trying to wear your pre-pregnancy clothes again yet, trust me)
  • Relocate everything that lives on my nightstand at night (pump and pump supplies, bottle, giant water bottle, phone, diapers, wipes, etc) to set up in the living room for the day. Who would've thought this much stuff would be required to get through one night?
  •  (unedited photo of my disaster of a nightstand)
  • Clean up 2 dog accidents within 15 minutes of each other (Ok not everyday, but this is just to say that regular life still happens with things to be dealt with!)
  • Clean up and redress an explosive diaper (Again not everyday, but more often than anyone should have to deal with)
  • Help my toddler get ready for school while nursing the newborn (Epitomizing the generation of multitasking!  I've learned to hold a nursing baby with one hand while dressing my daughter with the other.)
  • Kiss my husband and toddler goodbye for the day.
  • (7:00am) Settle in on the couch after another diaper change for an endless nursing session... eat breakfast, and binge watch tv shows that my husband would hate (but that I love!!! Recommendations: Grey's Anatomy, Hart of Dixie, UnREAL, Jane the Virgin) After the baby nurses, I pump breastmilk to make sure she has a good supplement of hind milk if she falls asleep too fast. Sometimes these milk cannons are more than she can handle (Sidebar: breastfeeding is not easy!  The first few weeks are especially hard as you and your baby are both learning how to work with each other.  Again, I won't go into detail with this, but just think about the sacrifices that moms make next time you see someone nursing their child.  My first was a hybrid with breastmilk and formula which worked great for us, and so far we're exclusively nursing with this one, but may have to use formula in the future.  There are drawbacks and benefits to each, but bottom line, here's the thing - sometimes one just works better than the other, and that is perfectly fine. In other words, don't judge a fellow mama, she's making her choice for a reason!)
  • Do an insane amount of laundry every day.  How does one baby go through so many outfits in one day?!  (answer: see note above about diapers)
  •  (the never-ending circle of laundry)
  • Lather, rinse, repeat with the possibility of a nap thrown in there. Eat lunch (time varies, but lunch is typically dry Honey Nut Cheerios that I have to fend my dogs off of) then repeat diaper, nurse and if I'm lucky, a nap.

Some days we do get out of the house - the older that she gets (and the more I recover), the more we can handle. We go to Costco (my favorite place ever, but that's another blog post!), Trader Joes, out for long walks, but not all in the same day and not without frequent breaks and sometimes, a lot of tears (from both of us).  

And, let's not get too into this, but recovery is hard. I can't be too far from the house for too long until my body can get itself together and stop leaking from every single orifice. Milk, sweat, tears, etc. The female body after giving birth is a hot mess for quite a while.  A new mom's center of gravity has changed so quickly that she is often left with extreme back pain from essentially re-learning how to walk.  And, sleep.  Precious, fleeting sleep.  It's amazing how a person can function on so little sleep.  I can do the basics - take care of the baby, shower, get groceries, etc.  But ask me to have an adult conversation and I'm a fumbling idiot.  I can't think of words, can't get sentences out, hear things incorrectly, and sometimes just don't even know what to say.  My daily conversations are with a baby, my TV, and in the evenings my husband and my 2 year old.  My husband struggles with the same problem and we often laugh about attempted conversations with others.  So, that leaves my 2 year old leaving the most impression on my daily speech, so please excuse me if in a conversation I manage to slip in a change of topic to 'talk about snowmans'.

You know though, the author of that article isn't entirely wrong... In the past 4 weeks I have had time to think more, and grow.  Even with all of the above wreaking havoc on my ability to be a 'normal' person, I'm evolving to love another human being more than I ever thought I could, with my love increasing for my toddler and husband as well as we spend time together as a family of 4.  And that is better than any true vacation.

 

(Disclaimer - I wrote this post several weeks ago, so now with my youngest at 8 weeks old, things are getting much easier.  For all those mama's out there struggling in your first few weeks of having a newborn - and especially if it's your first - just hold on.  I promise it gets better!  It's a tough journey, but the reward is worth it.)


Just Breathe April 28, 2016 08:00

Mary Beth here... 

The season of life I'm in right now = "chaos". I have so many mixed emotions right now regarding how my time is spent. It is hard to find time to be a full-time believer, full-time wife, full-time mom, full-time career woman, full-time entrepreneur, full-time everything else. I feel like everyday I'm just checking things off my list that need to get done, just rushing around to accomplish everything. Going to work, making baby food, vacuuming up after the dog, washing bottles, washing clothes, vacuuming, putting away clothes, vacuuming, writing this blog post, going to the grocery store, vacuuming, all things essential to our family making it through everyday (minus the blog post).  Living each day as a means to get to the next. I struggle with this, because I feel like I'm not completely "living". I'm not enjoying every precious moment with my son as he is learning and figuring things out. But the torn side of me knows myself well enough to know that if I'm not constantly checking off my to-do list everything will pile up and I'll have a mini melt-down and be frustrated with myself and probably end up taking it out on the people I love most. So, I struggle with finding a balance. A balance where I am enjoying and living life, but also getting the essentials done. I have found a better balance over the last 8 months by learning to let some things go. I know that my family and my faith are my top priorities, everything else has to take a back seat. So our floors aren't always clean, our baby doesn't always eat homemade organic baby food, and clean clothes pile up before getting put away (and I end up writing blog posts at the last minute). I am still working on the perfect balance, it is a daily struggle. It is all a mindset, but that's a hard thing to retrain. The clean, put together, organized, on top of everything person I've been the past 29 years is hard to turn off. But I'm prayerfully searching and working on it. Please share with me what works for you!

I talk about this balance with my husband a lot (my struggles = his struggles, because he is an amazing compassionate man). One morning after one of these conversations as I was really down on the way to work thinking about the rushed life we live, I heard a new song on the radio, Breathe, by Jonny Diaz. It was one of those moments that really put everything in perspective. 1. I'm not the only one struggling with this, and 2. All I really need to do is breathe, and rest at His feet... lay down what's good and find what's best...

(For those of you who receive out blog via e-mail, click over to our blog or click on the link below to listen.)

Alarm clock screaming bare feet hit the floor
It’s off to the races everybody out the door
I’m feeling like I’m falling behind, it’s a crazy life
Ninety miles an hour going fast as I can
Trying to push a little harder trying to get the upper hand
So much to do in so little time, it’s a crazy life
It’s ready, set, go it’s another wild day
When the stress is on the rise in my heart I feel you say just

Breathe, just breathe
Come and rest at my feet
And be, just be
Chaos calls but all you really need
Is to just breathe

Third cup of joe just to get me through the day
Want to make the most of time but I feel it slip away
I wonder if there’s something more to this crazy life
I’m busy, busy, busy, and it’s no surprise to see
That I only have time for me, me, me
There’s gotta be something more to this crazy life
I’m hanging on tight to another wild day
When it starts to fall apart in my heart I hear you say just

Breathe, just breathe
Come and rest at my feet
And be, just be
Chaos calls but all you really need

Is to take it in fill your lungs
The peace of God that overcomes
Just breathe
So let your weary spirit rest
Lay down what’s good and find what’s best
Just breathe

Just breathe, just breathe
Come and rest at my feet
And be, just be
Chaos calls but all you really need
Is to just breathe
Just breathe

Apps we can't LIVE without! March 31, 2016 08:00

Everyone has those apps on their phone (or other device) that they just can't live without. The ones that when you stumble upon them, you can't imagine going back to doing things the hard way!

To aid you in stumbling across that perfect app, we've included our "made our life so much easier" app list below. We are both cheap people, so all of these are FREE!

Just a forewarning, we are both iPhone users, so for you Android and Window's phone users out there, we aren't sure if all of these are offered (but we hope they are for your sake).

Repost App for Instagram - UPstudio  Repost for Instagram App- UPstudio

Repost for Instagram
Prior to starting UPstudio we didn't really have too many instances where we needed to repost pictures on instagram from other's accounts. But now, we run into that need pretty frequently. We have found that Repost is the best free app to handle this. You can move the source banner and change its color to not interfere with aesthetics of the picture. It also opens the image in instagram automatically and it generates automatic text you can copy and paste if you so desire. 

 Wunderlist App - UPstudio Wunderlist App has Sublists - UPstudio Wunderlist App - UPstudio  

Wunderlist
We've mentioned on multiple occasions how much we love lists! List of all kinds. I use my planner for most of my lists but I also use Wunderlist. There are times that I don't have my planner with me, or I'm out on the go and I have a great idea I want to jot down. I find inspiration everywhere and if I don't write it down in the moment, it will escape me. Within Wunderlist you can categorize your lists, you can make sub-lists, and you can even share your lists with other users. I find new amazing features everyday. 

Gmail App can use alias e-mails - UPstudio  Gmail App uses your signatures - UPstudio  Gmail app can log into multiple accounts - UPstudio

Gmail
Most phones have their own interface where you can set up your e-mail. For my personal Gmail I typically use the default iPhone e-mail app, but for UPstudio the Gmail app is clutch, we can still look professional on the go. Google Domains hosts our domain for our website, through that we can have alias e-mail address. So our hello@upstudionc.com is just a cover that really sends e-mails to our upstudio.nc@gmail.com account. (Makes us look more professional though, right?) From the iPhone default e-mail app we can only send e-mails from our actual e-mail account whereas through the Gmail app we can send an e-mail directly from hello@upstudionc.com or any other alias we have set up. Another great benefit is that our signature comes through when using the app (note you can't see it when transcribing an e-mail, but it is there, see image above). Also, not sure if you all are as folder crazy as we are, but sometimes you label an e-mail multiple things, so you can find it in multiple folders, well you can do this with the "label" feature in the app. Lastly, you can be logged into multiple accounts at the same time.

Google Drive App - UPstudio  Google Drive App - UPstudio

Google Drive
Not sure how many of you out there are Google Drive users but if you haven't gotten on the bandwagon you should. It is similar to Dropbox. Today we aren't focusing on all the #awesomeness of Google Drive, (we'll let you discover that on your own) but when you start using it, the app on your phone is pretty awesome. The app lets you view all of the documents in your drive. It allows you to have multiple accounts logged in as well, so I can view my personal documents and UPstudio documents without logging in and out. You can't edit your documents in this app, you will have to get the corresponding app based on your document type in order to do that (like Docs, Sheets, etc).

Goodreads App - UPstudio

Goodreads
Goodreads is one of the best ways to keep track of books you've read and books you want to read. It is also a great way to discover books because you can see what friends are reading. The app has all the functionalities as the website making it easy to quickly add a book to your "to-read" list that a friend tells you about over lunch. One other cool feature is that you can scan books to search for them. So if said friend had the book with them you could just swipe the barcode instead of typing it all in.

 Solid Joys Daily Devotional John Piper- UPstudio

Solid Joys
With our lives pretty hectic right now, it is hard to spend time in the word. Solid Joys is a daily devotional app from the ministry of John Piper. They are short but substantive.

Candy Crush App - UPstudio

Candy Crush
Don't judge me, I'm on level 508 and still haven't tired of this game.

Bloglovin App - UPstudio  Bloglovin App - UPstudio

Bloglovin'
If you're a blog reader, I recommend Bloglovin'. The app has almost all the same functionality as the website. I personally group blogs together so I can easily read in specific genres. You can create and edit groups from the app. In order to read full posts or to comment you will have to follow links to open the blog post in your internet browser, but that is pretty standard with mobile blog reading.

Dirty Dozen App - UPstudio   Dirty Dozen App - UPstudio

Dirty Dozen
This is the app version of the report and study done by the Environmental Working Group which talks about pesticides in foods. We're not afraid of a little bit of 'unclean' food in moderation, but we do like to be aware of what we're eating. This app is a quick reference guide to help you decide whether you need to buy organic or not (because let's face it: that can get expensive!)  The guide lists the 'dirty dozen', or the top 12 fruits and vegetables that commonly have the most pesticides found on them, and the 'clean fifteen', or the top fifteen cleanest (least pesticides) fruits and vegetables.

What apps do you use? We are always looking for new recommendations! 


Our Favorite (and not so favorite) Books March 24, 2016 08:00

I've recently seen a graphic which states that 'successful' people read every day, and 'unsuccessful' people watch TV everyday.  I must be somewhere in the middle because I love to read, but I also appreciate a good TV show (who doesn't need that mental break sometimes!).  But for today, we'll all pretend that we're on the 'successful' side of things (because, you're reading this right now so you fit right in!) and talk about books.  

At UPstudio we are avid readers... so much so that we have to limit what books we read and when so that we can focus on other things, because once you're in to a book, it's hard to take a break to get out - you have to finish!  MB is in a book club so she's in a slightly different boat, with deadlines for reading some books where as I read mainly for pleasure with no deadlines. We both are local library supporters, MB checking them out on her kindle and I go more old school and check out the real books. (Luckily we have an express library right across the street from our office, makes it super easy.)  These are just our personal preferences, but it boils down to the same thing:  we read a lot.  From guilty pleasures to chick lit, fiction and non fiction (and sometimes, science fiction), theory and silly, we love them all.  

There's just something beautiful about books and bindings and stacks in bookstores or libraries.  My husband will tell you that the first thing I did when we moved into our house 5 years ago was organize our books by color.  I would argue it wasn't the first thing I did, but it was done pretty quickly.  (worth it though, right?):

Especially as the weather is getting warmer, books seem to fit in to life a little more easily.  Who goes to the beach without a book to keep them company?  To help you prepare for your upcoming vacations, or maybe to add to your already established book list, here are a few of our favorites:

  • The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins / The Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth - let's put it right out there.  Both of us are fans of a good teen fantasy series.  We read the Divergent series at the same time so could discuss all the good and bad (book 3, we're looking at you) together.  Confession: we were both known to stay in the parking garage an extra 5 minutes to finish a chapter before coming in to work.  Worth the read for both of them, but in my mind, The Hunger Games wins. (I also read The Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld and would put this one nearer to the bottom of the list... still entertaining but written on a much younger level) (If you want to commit to a lengthier series and are okay with a little bit more sci-fi, The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare was also a great read, but 6 books strong.)
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald - Such a classic that can either be read purely for pleasure or with a lot of insight of a failed American Dream.
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury - Another classic about a man who goes against society with his stash of books in a time where books are outlawed.  Instead of reading, people watch television that they are so engrossed in, they forget to have actual relationships with people outside of television.  A tale of human errors on a large scale.
  • The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand - Give yourself some time with this one, but it's worth the long read.  The story of an individual who chooses not to compromise to fit into societal conformance, and stays true to himself.  (Plus, he's an architect, so, admittedly biased.)
  • Say Goodnight Gracie by Julie Reece Deaver - I've read this book more times than any other in my life, mostly in middle and high school, but it's one of those nostalgic books that really struck a chord.  A story of love and loss and life.  Bring your tissues.
  • Bitter is the New Black by Jen Lancaster - I genuinely thought I was funnier after reading this book.  I LOVE Lancaster's point of view and her snarky comments in this autobiography of her life affected by the economic crash.  Her older autobiographies are all worth a read, while her newer ones are slightly less enjoyable (maybe it's the fact that you know she's doing things just to write another book?)  She's also recently written a few fiction novels which are fun and light reads.  
  • Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet - This book has everything from history to drama to romance, all in the setting of building a cathedral.  This is another long book, but definitely worth the time to read.
  • If you want to read some good historical fiction we would recommend All The Light You Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Such a good book set in the WWII era. On that same note Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay, another great book also during WWII. Both are beautifully written, but bring your tissues.
  • If you love a good thriller you should try Gillian Flynn's other books (because everyone has read Gone Girl already), Sharp Objects, and Dark Places. Where does Gillian come up with these stories? #crazy. They suck you in so quick and you're hooked. Personally I liked Dark Places the best.
  • A couple books we aren't huge fans of: Wild by Cheryl Strayed ended up being a great story, but not a lot of substance, she didn't really have a revelation on her journey, she didn't change. Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver was written well (I had to look up words constantly) but lets be honest, its essentially all just a big global warming argument. Lastly, Me Before You by Jojo Moyes left us conflicted, it was a good story, but morally we are torn on the ending, wish we had avoided that one. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, loved the book, but it could of easily been 300 pages shorter, things just drug out.

(A quick sidenote:  some of the books listed above have since turned in to Hollywood productions.  We strongly recommend reading books before seeing movies or watching a TV series - this way your mind can explore and imagine characters as it wants to without having a preconceived notion.  Plus, the books are just usually better!)

We would love to hear what's on your list of favorites too! 


I am Not in Control March 10, 2016 08:00 2 Comments

Just a forewarning... this post is about to get really personal.  (Becky here, and you may or may not know these things about me.  They're things that a lot of people have struggled with - job loss, struggles of giving birth - but are sometimes not easy to talk about.  I get through these things by support as you'll read below, so hopefully someone reading this will find it a helpful reminder.)

Do you ever have times in your life where you feel completely and utterly overwhelmed?  Times when there are circumstances outside of your control that have the power to make you feel so small and insignificant because you can do nothing about them?  I absolutely do.  There have been things happening in my life that really just get the better of me, and I let myself get caught up in them.  I feel sorry for myself and dwell on the situation, even though I can't do anything about it.

I graduated from college in 2007 and was fortunate enough to have multiple job offers.  I followed my Dad's advice (which I do now anytime I'm faced with a tough decision) and made an old fashioned list of pros and cons for each architecture firm, making my final decision based on the cons.  In the end I chose to work at a firm where I would be making less money.  It was smaller, so I would get a ton of experience, I would work on great projects with great people, and there were a lot of perks built in.  I loved working for this firm, but unfortunately the timing was just not right as far as the economy was concerned.  In 2008 there was a major crash that affected architecture significantly.  Many firms did not survive.  Those that did made a lot of cut backs.  The firm that I was working for had about 20 staff members total.  I remember a lot of closed-door meetings occurring for numerous weeks, and a lot of speculation going around between the people that were not in those meetings.  We knew what was coming, but we continued to work our hardest anyway.  I had several conversations with my husband about what we would do if I were to be laid off.  We discussed where we could make cuts on things that were luxuries, and knew we would be ok, but it was still daunting.  We were used to our situation and our income, and losing any of that would be a major change.  I left work on a Friday afternoon feeling so overwhelmed about the burden of what may come.  I was fighting tears in the car when I made a turn and suddenly the sky took my breath away.  The sunset was incredible and everything was a bright shade of pink.  It made my mind stop in it's tracks, and I felt a calm settle around me.  It was as if God took his paint brush and spread it out over the sky to remind me that I needed to stop worrying.  He said to me, 'I've got this, I am in control'.  I'd be lying if I said I completely stopped worrying, but I did stop obsessing.  I had a more constant thought in my head - the comfort of knowing that I wouldn't be alone in whatever may unfold.  The following Monday, 15 of us were laid off.  I am not bitter about the situation at all.  I thought I understood the circumstances, but come to find out our boss had been paying most of us out of his pocket for weeks.  This was just the type of guy that he was - selfless and caring.  I learned a lot working there and gained some invaluable mentors that I still reach out to (Jared, Becky and Jeremy, you guys taught me more than you know.)  I had surgery to remove my tonsils scheduled for a few days after the layoffs, but I had insurance, and I had built in time to recover.  I started working for my current company a few weeks after the surgery.  Lesson learned:  everything was ok.  My obsessive worrying was for nothing, and there was a better plan for me.

Today I'm facing a new overwhelming circumstance.  As I write this, I am less than 6 weeks out from having my second baby.  I'm excited, terrified, and on the edge of my seat waiting for this little one to arrive.  There's a big difference this time though, as I know that my little girl's delivery will take place on a certain date and time instead of waiting for her to decide when to come on her own.  My first delivery was traumatic and ended in an emergency c-section with a bigger than average (but very very perfect) baby.  This pregnancy is trending the same way, and I do not want another emergency situation, so with my doctor's advice, I have chosen to schedule the c-section.  Because the first time around was so traumatic, I can't get it out of my head that this time will be the same, even though my rational side knows that it will not.  Major surgery was nowhere on my mind when I went to the hospital to deliver my first daughter.  Recovery from labor and everything that goes with it in addition to recovery from major surgery was even further from my mind.  In the end we had a healthy baby girl and that is all that matters.  Nothing has changed about that this time around - a healthy baby girl is my number one priority.  But I am scared.  I am scared of willingly having surgery, scared of the recovery, scared of having to care for a newborn and toddler while recovering.  I have an incredible husband who will of course be there 100% and fantastic family members who will be there to help, but I am still scared.  Sometimes I let these thoughts creep into my mind until they grow and grow and I feel alone even though I'm surrounded by a support system.  Last week I was driving home from work, these thoughts turning over in my mind, and again, I turned a corner and the sky was all shades of low purples and pinks through the clouds.  Once again, my entire body and mind calmed itself after seeing these and I had the feeling of peace, knowing that God is in control and will take care of me. 

I'm not alone, I'm never alone, but sometimes I need a reminder.  God is there to give me those reminders when situations become too much for me.  I'm not in control, and I'm ok with that.  I'd rather be in His hands than take my chances on my own.


Here's to 2016 December 31, 2015 08:00

Happy New Year's Eve everyone!  We can't help taking a look back at 2015 and feeling pretty good about our accomplishments here at UPstudio.  It makes us even more excited to see what 2016 has in store.  We have a lot of plans, both in business and our personal lives, and it'll be a busy but fun year.  Keep an eye out for new products, giveaways, and involvement from you guys!

A new year always feels like a new start, so let's talk resolutions.  Actually, let's not talk resolutions, because they are rarely met after the first week of the year, right?  Instead, let's set goals, but not beat ourselves up if we don't quite make it there.  I for one (Becky), miss the mark constantly, and hit my reset button almost weekly.  Here are a few of the goals that we're setting for 2016:

  • Spend time with a daily devotional (Becky and Mary Beth)
  • Get as organized as we can with the 2016 Planner and Typeface Calendar (Becky and Mary Beth and UPstudio and everything else)  Have we convinced you yet that you need one of these?  They are still on sale now!!!
  • Create new additions for the Everyday Card line (UPstudio)
  • Spend quality time with family (Becky and Mary Beth)
  • Read more books (Becky and Mary Beth)
  • Get nursery ready for new baby girl this Spring (Becky)
  • Meet lots of awesome makers in Raleigh (UPstudio)
  • Document firsts and fun things as Walt grows up (Mary Beth)
  • Eat more cupcakes (Becky and Mary Beth)
  • Figure out how to avoid vacuuming the stairs - seriously the worst (Mary Beth)
  • Avoid changing out of pajamas (Becky)
  • Finally make a toast to creating UPstudio... between pregnancies, newborns, schedules, and more pregnancies, we have still not officially toasted the launch of UPstudio.  This will absolutely be remedied in 2016 with some champagne goodness (Becky and Mary Beth)

What are your goals?  Will 2016 be the best year yet?  I'm thinking that it will be.  Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go set my alarm to go off at 11:55 so I will wake up for the ball drop after inevitably falling asleep on the couch.  Cheers!


Thankfulness and a Free Download November 26, 2015 08:38

It's that time of year again: time for cooler weather, college football rivalry week, and eating as much turkey and pumpkin pie as you possibly can.  It's also time to take a few minutes to think about what you are truly thankful for.  We recommend that you do this more often than once a year, but when a day is dedicated to it and you're off from work (we hope you are!), then you should make the effort to do it.  To get you in the spirit, here is a list of a few of the things we're thankful for at UPstudio:

  • Turkey
  • Family
  • Trader Joe's Cranberry Sauce
  • Friends
  • Hart of Dixie
  • Hot Chocolate
  • #shopsmall (Small Business Saturday)
  • The reason for the season!
  • Our Favorite Customers (we're looking at you)
  • Free Downloads

Wait - you're thankful for free downloads too?  Well then you're in luck - there is a brand new free download on the UPstudio website today!  If you've been wanting some hands on experience with the 2016 UPstudio Planner layout, then download this Weekly Layout for free!  We're personally using these to finish out the year for 2015 before using the 2016 UPstudio Planner full time.  This is a great way to figure out the best way that the design can work for you and give it a test run before committing to purchase.  We hope you'll take advantage of this, but there's no rush, it'll stay on the site.

Look out for some sales coming up too - UPstudio is celebrating Small Business Saturday through Cyber Monday with 15% off everything in the store!  Use code THANKFUL at checkout. (11/28 12:00am to 11/30 at 11:59pm)

 


Q&A Part II October 29, 2015 08:00 2 Comments

Well, another Thursday has rolled around and we bet you're anxiously waiting to hear about our planner release, and the couple of other products that are rolling out soon.  Honestly we'd love to give you all of that information, but at least for now it'll have to remain a secret.  We've got a couple of behind the scenes things going on that are pushing this back, but we are beyond ready to get these babies out to the public.

In the meantime, we'll distract you with more useless facts about ourselves.  Drumroll please:

Who is your celebrity doppleganger/ who would play you in a movie?
Mary Beth: Sofia Vergara (wishful thinking)

Becky: Amy Adams. Some very nice people told me I reminded them of her, which I am happy to have them think.

What was your first and/or worst job?
Mary Beth: My first job was at the YMCA when I was 16. Worked as a camp counselor. Definitely a fun summer time job that turned into a year around after school gig. Helped with gas money. I've only ever worked for 3 companies in my life, none of them fall on the "worst" scale.

Becky: I've had some crazy jobs. My first job was when I was 15, working at a donut factory- to make some extra dough- ok I couldn't help myself on that one. (That job sounds much more glamorous than it was, trust me. Hairnets are not cool.) I also worked at Nauticus, leading shows like Shark Feed and Shark Touch (like shark week all year long). Before getting architecture internships in college I worked at a trucking company, routing 18-wheelers, and sat next to a woman named Tiajuana, whose husband, Mr. Bear used to bring in blonde brownies for month end. You can't make this stuff up.

What is one of your biggest accomplishments?
Mary Beth: Depends on what area of my life you are talking about... Conquering the physical and mental challenges of having a baby seems like a pretty big accomplishment. Might be because I'm still at home on maternity leave, having a newborn is no joke. Work-wise, passing my PE (Professional Engineer) licensing exam was a pretty big one for me. Being a speaker at Autodesk University was also a highlight. The list could go on, I feel like each chapter in your life has a highlight that falls under "big accomplishment".

Becky: Having a baby, becoming a licensed architect, running a half marathon, hiking a glacier, getting my 2 year old ready for school every morning (can I get an amen from some other toddler moms out there?)

What is your favorite Skittles flavor?
Mary Beth: Purple for sure!

Becky: Red. 100%.

What is your best corny joke?
Mary Beth: Why did the bicycle fall Over? (Because it was two tired.) Being honest, I'm not a joke teller, isn't my kind of humor, I just googled corny jokes.

Becky: How do you throw a space party? You planet!

What did you eat for dinner last night?
Mary Beth: Fajitas (courtesy of the mother-in-law). 

Becky: Shake Shack fries and a chocolate milkshake at the JFK airport. That's healthy, right?

What was your favorite vacation destination?
Mary Beth: Since it says "was", I assume it would be a place you've already been. Our Honeymoon in Moorea and Bora Bora was pretty epic!

Becky: Iceland was amazing and I'm ready to go back!

Now here's one for YOU!
What's the best thing about 2015 so far?

 


A Little Inspiration August 20, 2015 08:00

A little inspiration... but first, a little background.  As you may or may not know, UPstudio is not our full time job.  We both work for the same company during the day, Becky as an architect, and Mary Beth as a structural engineer.  Did you know that out of all registered architects associated with the American Institute of Architects, only 17% are women, and out of all licensed Structural Engineers, once again, only 17% are women.  Not to get all 'Sheryl Sandberg' on you, but I think that's pretty significant and says something about the two of us.  We've worked hard to accomplish where we are in our careers, and that's on top of being wives and mothers, which are full time jobs in themselves.  It's easy to get bogged down in everything on our already full plates, so why would we ever want to start our own side business?

The answer to that is tough to define.  Here are a few reasons: we wanted a new challenge, we wanted to see what it would be like to work for ourselves, we wanted to create quality products that would be versatile enough to be great for us but also be fit for people in all walks of life, and finally, we've been inspired by others who make us believe that we can do it.

There are too many people in the design world to give credit to as inspiration, so for today we'll just mention a few.  Charles and Ray Eames broke the mold during their time by designing quality furniture that was affordable to the masses.  Not only did they manufacture furniture, but they designed graphic textiles, built houses, created films, developed company logos, etc.  We love their theory of 'the best for the most for the least', and as we develop products at UPstudio, that is in the forefront of our mind:  how can we create the best product that would be functional and pleasing to the most people, and sell if for the least amount.  Their influence and strong sense of design is still apparent in homes all over the world (including Becky's!) with their Herman Miller line of furniture.  You may see a nod toward them and mid century modern design in some of our products, including the sunburst everyday cards.  As for the best inspiration when we start to feel doubts about ourselves and our abilities, Charles is quoted, 'I don’t believe in this “gifted few” concept, just in people doing things they are really interested in doing. They have a way of getting good at whatever it is.' 

 image from amazon.com

Another inspiration is modern day designer Emily Henderson.  Emily is a stylist and TV host (you may have seen her on HGTV), with a love for shopping thrift stores and flea markets for vintage finds (also a love of Mary Beth's).  She's quirky and fun and isn't afraid to share how she balances her home life with her career.  She's a mom of a toddler with another on the way and she still is perfectly adorable for every instagram photo.  She is REAL.  She inspires us to know that there is a time for work and a time for play, and to enjoy both to their full extent.  We relate to her love of vintage flair, which you can see in our staging of product photos on our website.  

image from stylebyemilyhenderson.com

Now it's your turn - we would love to know who inspires you!  Share your thoughts and comments below.

-- Mary Beth and Becky

Don't forget to sign up for our Newsletter to stay in the know regarding things on the horizon.

(You can follow this link to add our blog to almost any reader that you use. Or you can click on the RSS icon at the bottom of the page, found in the "Follow Us" section. If you'd like to receive our posts via e-mail use this link.)


Final Installment on The Morning Stir August 19, 2015 08:28

On this rainy Raleigh morning we are enjoying our morning coffee inside while listening to the third and final installment of our discussion with Cristina Wilson from The Morning Stir podcast. We conclude our conversation talking about the origin of our branding, risks we've taken, and some goals for the future. Thank you so much for listening in and hearing more about our story thus far. 

Part I: UPstudio: The Origin Story

Part II: UPstudio: Surprising Changes From The Focus Group

Part III: UPstudio: What's the Biggest Risk You've Take so Far?

The Morning Stir on social media: Facebook, Instagram (#themorningstir), Twitter (#themorningstir).

 

Don't forget to sign up for our Newsletter to stay in the know regarding things on the horizon.

-- Mary Beth and Becky

(You can follow this link to add our blog to almost any reader that you use. Or you can click on the RSS icon at the bottom of the page, found in the "Follow Us" section. If you'd like to receive our posts via e-mail use this link.)


The Morning Stir Podcast August 17, 2015 08:30

Over the weekend we set down with Cristina Wilson from The Morning Stir podcast and shared a little about how we got started, what sparked some of our ideas, and some of what we have learned thus far. 

The first segment went live today. You can listen to it here.

The second installment will go live tomorrow, you can listen to it now by clicking here.

The Morning Stir on social media: Facebook, Instagram (#themorningstir), Twitter (#themorningstir).

 

Don't forget to sign up for our Newsletter to stay in the know regarding things on the horizon.

-- Mary Beth and Becky

(You can follow this link to add our blog to almost any reader that you use. Or you can click on the RSS icon at the bottom of the page, found in the "Follow Us" section. If you'd like to receive our posts via e-mail follow this link.)

 


Q&A with Mary Beth and Becky August 13, 2015 08:00

We've shared a little about ourselves on our About Us page and our FAQ page. But we thought we'd get a little more personal with a Q&A session:

When someone asked you where you are from, what do you say?
Mary Beth: RALEIGH, NC! Born and raised.  I was actually born, went to high school, and college all on the same road, #cray!

Becky: Born in New Bern, NC but lived in the Hampton Roads area of VA for over 20 years.  I miss the beach but not the tunnel traffic.  (And white sauce!  Only Hampton Roads has this liquid gold)

If you had to pick a song to sing for American Idol, what would it be?
Mary Beth: A long time ago while listening to the radio I told one of my best friends that American Honey by Lady Antebellum would be the big winner for my American Idol debut, so I'll stick with that one.

Becky: It's not typical American Idol style, but I'm pretty sure I'd crush it with Gangsta's Paradise (my go-to for karaoke)

How would you describe "home"?
Mary Beth: My hubby is definitely my home. Wherever he and our sweet Bauer Bear are is where I always want to be. I know... mushy and sentimental, but so true.

Becky: What MB said.  Where my husband and my daughter are... that is home to me.

What is your favorite color? (Come on, every kid is interested in this one!)
Mary Beth: I love lavender! That is why I thought for sure that the grapesicle envelopes would fly off the shelf. Obviously I'm alone in my affections.

Becky:  Tricky question for me.  I'm bad at decision making.  Orange and maroon in the fall, but otherwise I like yellow.

What is your favorite food?
Mary Beth: Cheese by far is my favorite 'food group'. I'd have to go with Macaroni as my actual favorite food. (I also love me some squash, stir-fried with some onions and zuchinni, YUM!)

Becky: Taco salad!  Always my birthday meal request.

What is your favorite past time? (Other than being sidepreneurs with UPstudio.)
Mary Beth: I'm a big fan of vintage everything. So I think shopping vintage or going to estate sales are some of my favorite pass times (although I haven't had a lot of time lately to indulge in these). (I also am slightly addicted to candy crush!)

Becky: Reading (for education and guilty pleasures both!) and watching college football.

What do you do in the car when you know no one else is looking?
Mary Beth: I love to sing in the car. I also am not ashamed to say that I make sure there isn't anything in my nose that would be embarrassing once I arrive at my destination.

Becky: Singing, for sure.  And dancing.  (Do motions to wheels on the bus with a 2 year old count too?)

Where did you go to college and what did you study?
Mary Beth: I went to North Carolina State University. I technically have a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineer. Civil Engineer is slightly confusing though because it is a really big umbrella with many sub-disciplines (water, environment, soils, etc.). I practice as a Structural Engineer, we essentially design the skeleton of a building that no one else sees (or knows is there) that keeps it standing up in wind and seismic events.

Becky: I am a proud Virginia Tech Hokie. My major was architecture (shout out to c/o '07) and my minor was French.  Mais oui, je parle français, et tu?

What is your favorite 90s jam?
Mary Beth: So, I really wanted to say NSYNC "Bye Bye Bye" but I just googled it and it was released in 2000. So maybe NSYNC "Tearin Up My Heart" (1998) or  Wannabe by Spice Girls (I still know every word to the rap part).

Becky: I CANNOT PICK JUST ONE! Zombie by the Cranberries, everything 311, Cannonball by the Breeders, No Diggity by Blackstreet, and anything that comes on the Pandora station Hip Hop BBQ (you're welcome - best station ever).

What is your favorite Disney Princess?
Mary Beth: I'm definitely a Little Mermaid girl. As a kid I set our cassette tape recorder in front of the TV to make my own soundtrack. 

Becky: Belle from Beauty and the Beast.  This movie was equivalent to a modern day Frozen for me.

What is your go to dinner for your family?
Mary Beth: Chicken casserole, steamed green beans, and yeast rolls (Sister Schubert for the win). (During the summer time though it is anything that goes on the grill.)

Becky: Summer salads: greens with all types of veggies on a bed of cold spaghetti noodles,  topped with breaded chicken and honey mustard.  Or, frozen pizza.  Dessert: s'mores, which my husband and I make frequently over our gas stove (we're classy).

What is your biggest pet peeve?
Mary Beth: I can't stand when people rub their hands or feet on carpet. I don't know what it is, but it makes me cringe. Maybe the texture?

Becky: Fingernail clipping at work!

Any other questions you'd like to ask us? If so, comment below.. 

Don't forget to sign up for our Newsletter to stay in the know regarding things on the horizon.

-- Mary Beth and Becky

(You can follow this link to add our blog to almost any reader that you use. Or you can click on the RSS icon at the bottom of the page, found in the "Follow Us" section. If you'd like to receive our posts via e-mail follow this link.)

 


Who Are We? June 11, 2015 16:05

Hi,

We are Mary Beth and Becky. Engineer and architect by day, type A list lovers and planners by night (ok, and by day. all day, every day). We work and live in Raleigh, North Carolina. 

December 2014 we were showing off our new planners for the upcoming year and quickly realized that we both struggle every year with finding one that has everything that we want. We hated that we always had to sacrifice something. This founded UPstudio. Since then we have been working diligently to create a planner that incorporates everything we desire (we aren't too selfish, we also solicited a lot of input from family, friends, and a focus group). Our goal is to create a planner that is affordable, attractive, versatile, and fit for people in all walks of life. 

Throughout this process we realized that we had a lot of other great ideas to offer outside of just planners. So, we decided to not limit ourselves. Currently we have a collection of every day cards and a calendar, but we have tons of new ideas in the works that we are really excited about.

Our planner will be available this fall for purchase with the calendar starting January 2016.

You can follow us on our journey by following our blog, signing up for our newsletter, or checking out our social media (Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram).