5 Things I Love – May 16

image for weekly list of five things I'm currently loving in life, music, art, etc.

1. Fenton Winery & Brewery

I had never even heard of this place until my friend Natalie suggested that we meet up there to catch up and transact some lia sophia business over wine while enjoying the musical talent of her fiance Mike Vial. It’s not an overly large venue, settled unobtrusively in a strip mall, but it has a great vibe to it. They also won my tastebuds over with their Autumn Breeze Pomegranate Riesling and warm brie with green apple and water crackers. It definitely proved itself worthy of a second trip despite being a bit of a drive away.

2. Jensen’s Orchard Spinach & Artichoke Chips

I have utterly failed to find a link to the site of the actual producers of these very tasty chips. Nevermind, it was on the bag. Sure chips aren’t the healthiest of snacks, but at least these have spinach as the third ingredient on the list (potatoes are first followed by vegetable oil). They’ve also got a lower calorie and carb count per serving than your average bag of chips. I may just have to stop back in at Big Lots and get a second bag this week.

3. Jon Kolko’s Thoughts on Interaction Design

Reading is one of those things that, if you’re like me, you always want to do more of than you have time for, but if you have any interest in Interaction Design this book is well worth carving out the time. There is so much that can be pulled from it that I’m planning to read it twice – the first time to just absorb and then again to actually take notes on it for work.

4. Orange Roses

This past Friday I received a lovely bouquet and thank you note from the Kiams for the lia sophia spot Mom and I did on Fox 2 Detroit week before last and it reminded me how much I love orange roses. Actually, I love any flowers in that particular vibrant orange darkening to almost red at the tips color. Poppies. Tiger Lilies. Orange Roses. Also, a little tidbit for those interested in the meaning imbibed into certain flowers, orange roses stand for enthusiasm, desire and fascination.

5. Photowalks Detroit

This is one of those awesome groups whose events I wish I could make it to more often, like their upcoming DIA photowalk on June 4th. I’m already booked that day or I would definitely put myself on the wait list to take part. It was a blast shooting with them when I went last summer. You can find them online on Facebook and flickr.

6 Steps to Awesome Office Decor

1) Find something that inspires you.

In the example I’ll be using the inspiration came from a little prank performed by the developers which involved turning the alpha of our new website entirely into Papyrus font from Helvetica. They were being very naive if they didn’t expect retribution.

2) Working off of your inspiration, select a specific thematic element you wish to focus on.

In this case we chose flowers. After all, as their note said, by expression their deep affection for Papyrus they were already half way to being 5 year old girls. We just thought we’d help them in this endeavor.

3) Shop around a bit to find the best price on your decor.

In a great moment of serendipity, we discovered that another co-worker was having a yard sale the day we were shopping for our cubicle face lift which included some gorgeous hot pink flowers from their wedding. Not only did they have the flower bundles, but they also had rose petals, bead strands and tealight holders to match. It was glorious.

4) Check your calendar for the best, least disruptive time to institute your decor changes.

It just so happened that entire development team was on vacation for two consecutive days leaving their side of the cubicle completely open to our decorating choices. They may never do such a thing again.

5) Decorate, tweaking to get the absolute best effect.

We chose a Friday, post 5 pm to enact our choices. Strangely, there were a number of folks still in the office at that time, but they were all supportive of the updated decor. We also found that the bouquets of flowers had lovely yellow ribbon on them that we were able to re-purpose in our efforts. Here are some images of the finished product:

An overall look at the finished product

It just makes the picture, doesn't it?

Need a vase, try a paper towel roll (they won't even realize what it is).

Each dev got their own name tag - in Papyrus

See the lovely bead draping

6) Wow your friends and colleagues.

Being the non-morning person that I am, I missed the first two gents initial reactions, but the third was quite entertaining as he came to a complete stop upon entering. Interestingly, he noticed the name tags before even realizing that the profusion of hot pink. They did admit, at least in hushed whispers to each other, that they had been owned.

Two days later

As for the decor, if has stood the test thus far remaining up for the past four days. We are not entirely certain if they don’t mind the pink or are just unwilling to spend the energy required to remove it all. Time will tell.