The Friendly Toast

Finding the world’s greatest breakfast place is usually my husband’s job when we are on vacation. Breakfast is very important to him, and since we often skip lunch, he wants something substantial and good. This sometimes means an uncomfortably long early morning walk or a dead end when we find the perfect place opens too late. (We’re early risers.) In New Hampshire, we found this nifty place in Portsmouth, The Friendly Toast. It turns out the Portsmouth location is the mother ship as this is a chain now has outposts in Boston (Back Bay) and Cambridge. The menu was eclectic and vegetarian friendly, which is important for us. I had veggie biscuits and gravy for the first time ever.  The decor is pure kitsch to match the menu and the groovy staff. You can check out their decor on their website under “Our Gallery of Goodness.” Highly recommended.

Table Decoration Kitsch galore at The Friendly Toast

The Press Hotel

I just returned from a trip to New England that started in Portland, ME. My husband and I did some quick math and figured out it had been 8 years since we stayed in Portland. The Press Hotel was our first stop. This hotel did not exist on our last visit, and I found it utterly charming. It was housed in the former home of the Portland Press Herald, the largest newspaper in Maine. It operated here until 2009. The decorators included some completely wonderful type and print references throughout the building to reference its history. Highly recommended. Tips: Use the valet parking. It really is cheaper and easier than parking your own ride. They sell the lovely cup pictured below, but at $30, I wasn’t willing to risk it breaking in my luggage on the flight home.

Press Hotel Mug
Custom made cups in the room was a beautiful touch.
Accent wallpaper with type
This accent wallpaper in the hall referenced Portland and Maine.
Type on a carpet
That’s not an optical illusion. The type falls off the wall and onto custom made carpet.
Hotel room number
Hotel room numbers were projected via a clever light fixture. ADA compliant signs are underneath.
Type embroidered on a chair
A bit of filler text embroidered on the back of the office chair.

A Little Spray Paint

This little seating area was in Portland, ME. Someone took a can of spray paint to some inexpensive chairs and created a lovely little outdoor space on a budget.

Gold chairs
Someone spray painted these chairs for a rather lovely effect.

Custom t-shirts

In leu of the “Cher’s Awesome T-Shirt collection” post that I did not yet write, here is a t-shirt I made with Uber Prints. Full disclosure: I cribbed this design after seeing it in Teen Vogue. I’m not exactly in their demographic, but I’m a Lauren Duca fan. I subscribe.  I pulled this image into Illustrator and matched the font. Take advantage of all the font tools in Illustrator to match any font. The font I started with was Blair TT Medium. I changed the tracking to 200 and the vertical scale to 150%. I changed the horizontal scale to 105%. Finally, I changed the font to a path and added a 2.5 pt stroke.  It’s a near perfect match.  If you’re really stuck, use the Font Identifier tool in Font Squirrel. Since I have hundreds of fonts, I prefer to match them whenever possible and avoid buying new ones.

I’ve also used Cafe Press for t-shirts. I can recommend both sites, but I’ll probably be back at Uber Prints in the near future to make some gifts.  This is a Bella Canvas t-shirt. It is very soft fitted t-shirt of nice quality. It’s a digital print, and the white t-shirt was slightly cheaper than a black or gray one.

The Future is Female


I’m a huge Project Runway fan. I’ve watched every season, and I think there are lessons in there for life. First off – don’t complain or argue. I’m a creative and the vast majority of my work is collaborative. Negative feedback is inevitable, so take it with grace and find the nugget you can use. Those who do that on the runway always make it. This week’s episode told another story. In a team challenge, one member didn’t speak up enough and was bullied by the other two into accepting their ideas and doing most of the work for a collection that failed. It was infuriating to watch, but the lesson is in there too. Speak up. Your future depends on it.

Casper reigns at Penn Station

Mon mari and I spent last weekend in NY and traveled there via our preferred method of travel, Amtrak. Casper Mattress dominated the advertising space at Penn Station this month, and I had to admire their branding. Soothing shades of blue remind me of sleep and the font was playful yet modern. The original illustrations are just lovely and sometimes cheeky like a pile of bears sleeping with the tagline, “Hibernate.” Plus, a mail order mattress company seems like the perfect fit for urban dwelling New Yorkers.

A lovely illustration from Casper mattress. Source: their blog.
A lovely illustration from Casper mattress. Source: their blog.