Today's Top 3 - Surprises, Launches, and Events

Happy Thanksgiving Eve! It only seemed appropriate to round up a few things from this past year that I'm thankful for and share them in Today's Top 3. I have a feeling I'll look back on 2014 with a heart full of gratitude for all of the sweet surprises, Elle & Company launches, and fun events that have come our way, so that's exactly what I'm highlighting today. Here goes!

Top 3 sweet surprises

  • Working for Elle & Company full-time. When I started Elle & Company last January, I expected to be working a part-time job by day and designing/blogging by night. Thanks to my supportive husband and a little elbow grease, I was blessed to make the leap this summer and pursue my dream job full-time. Working for myself has it's own set of challenges, but I absolutely love my job. I wake up every morning and pinch myself! 
  • Adopting #heidithecalico. I have never, ever been a cat person. Ever. But when we saw a starving cat hanging around our church one Wednesday afternoon in August, I just couldn't bear to leave her hungry and abandoned. We took her home, gave her some food, searched for a loving home for 2 solid weeks, and in the end she adopted us. Jake likes to call me a "crazy cat lady" now and I continue to disagree; Heidi acts much more like a dog. She follows us on neighborhood walks, licks us when she's happy, tries to jump in the shower, and snuggles with us any second she can. I can't remember life without her and I am completely smitten with our newest member of our Suite (so much so that she has her very own hashtag on Instagram... but I'm totally not obsessed...)
  • Feeling right at home in Charlotte. Before we moved to Charlotte last January, I had never lived more than 30 minutes away from my hometown. I thought I would have the hardest time moving away from all my friends and family, so I was sweetly surprised at how much fun the whole transition was! The area is beautiful, we've made lots of new friends, and our church has been wonderful. Although I miss being a few minutes away from loved ones, Charlotte feels like home.

Top 3 Elle & Company launches

  • The Library. This was a fun solution to a problem I kept running into. I wanted to be able to allow customers instant access to my designs without having to run a retail shop. With the Library, subscribers have instant and unlimited access to all kinds of pretty paper goods and they don't have to pay or wait for shipping! It's been a fun addition to Elle & Company and I have many fun things in store for the printable collection (stay tuned - some fun additions are coming next week!)
  • Branding services. I fell in love with branding during design school. Being able to visually represent a company and account for every little detail has always been a fun challenge for me, especially after I saw how important it's been for the success of Elle & Company. When I went full-time this summer, I officially announced my new branding services and I have a blast designing logos, websites, and collateral material all day long. Not only do I love helping other creative entrepreneurs in a tangible way, but I've gained a lot of great friendships in the process.
  • The Ellebook Planner. As a type-A, detail-oriented designer, I've always had trouble finding a planner that perfectly fits my needs. After many years of not being able to find what I was looking for, I decided to design one myself! Last week I launched the second edition of my planner with a new name and a new method of access. The Ellebook Planner is in the Library for every subscriber to download instantly, and it has plenty of white space, clean lines, and to-do lists to keep me happy and organized. I'm a little biased, but I love my planner!


  • Beach trip with friends. This was our first beach trip with friends since we all got married, and it was a blast! We spent hours upon hours lounging around on the beach, playing poker, cooking meals, drinking coffee on the deck, and laughing until our sides hurt. I never wanted it to end!
  • Mom's surprise trip to Charlotte for my birthday. Since my birthday is in the summer, I've always been home to celebrate with my family. My sweet mom couldn't stand the thought of being apart this year, so she plotted with Jake and surprised me with a quick trip to Charlotte. She took me out for a birthday lunch and treated me to a shopping trip, but the best part was all of the thought that went into visiting me. Best gift ever!
  • Starting seminary. God has been so faithful in working everything out for us so that Jake can pursue his call to ministry. This past year has been one of big changes and rich blessings. We've both grown and changed, and our marriage has become much stronger in light of it all. We have so very much to be thankful for!

These posts are always more fun when you participate, too! What top 3 surprises and events are you most thankful for this year?