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The Evolution of East Coast Creative

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hey there! I'm monica 

I pride myself on making amazing style and design accessible for everyone, regardless of location, budget, or ability! My design philosophy is rooted in authenticity + attainability - If I can do it, you can too! My work has been featured in countless publications, but I take the most pride in homeowners that have been personally inspired by my DIY ideas and have tried something in their own homes!

learn more about ME + MY BIZ

 If you’ve been a follower of East Coast Creative for a while, you know that we’ve undergone quite the evolution over the past 3 years.  This post is probably the formal announcement of the biggest changes yet.  I thought a little trip down memory lane might explain it best.  Thanks for ALL of your support and encouragement from the start!
Evolution of EC2 JPEG
The next post will officially begin a new chapter for EC2.  This transition has been underway behind the scenes for about a year, but it will feel a lot more official now that it’s reflected on the blog.  We’ll be tweaking and refining and hopefully getting things “just right” over the next few weeks.  Thanks for taking this amazing journey with me!

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hey there! I'm monica 

I pride myself on making amazing style and design accessible for everyone, regardless of location, budget, or ability! My design philosophy is rooted in authenticity + attainability - If I can do it, you can too! My work has been featured in countless publications, but I take the most pride in homeowners that have been personally inspired by my DIY ideas and have tried something in their own homes!

learn more about ME + MY BIZ

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hey there! I'm monica 

I pride myself on making amazing style and design accessible for everyone, regardless of location, budget, or ability! My design philosophy is rooted in authenticity + attainability - If I can do it, you can too! My work has been featured in countless publications, but I take the most pride in homeowners that have been personally inspired by my DIY ideas and have tried something in their own homes!

learn more about ME + MY BIZ

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hey there! I'm monica 

I pride myself on making amazing style and design accessible for everyone, regardless of location, budget, or ability! My design philosophy is rooted in authenticity + attainability - If I can do it, you can too! My work has been featured in countless publications, but I take the most pride in homeowners that have been personally inspired by my DIY ideas and have tried something in their own homes!

learn more about ME + MY BIZ

That’s right. In honor of our trips to Disney this week, we are highlighting our favorite things about this magical place. We had two totally different experiences here- Monica had no kids which meant sleeping in and staying out late and taking in all the “adult” rides and activities. I was with my family and some extended family which included 5 kids, so we were up early, getting home early and hitting up all the kid-friendly attractions. So, don’t be jealous- just take some notes on things you do NOT want to miss next time you’re in Disney World. 🙂
Jessica’s Top Picks

1. Disney Photo Pass. This pass is ingenious! There are the usual photographers posted strategically around the parks (you know, in front of Cinderella’s castle, with the characters etc.), but instead of having to go to a booth to pay for a picture and take it home with you, they scan your pictures onto the photopass card. You’ll want to keep that card and have it handy any time you get your picture taken. When you get home, you can input the information into the photopass website, and all your pictures can be found in an album. From there, you can order and buy prints, or share the photos on facebook or through email, at no cost! We were told that if there are 9 or more prints that you love and want to have to use as you wish, ordering a CD of the prints is the easiest and cheapest way to go.

2. Disney Live Shows. Honestly, these shows

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hey there! I'm monica 

I pride myself on making amazing style and design accessible for everyone, regardless of location, budget, or ability! My design philosophy is rooted in authenticity + attainability - If I can do it, you can too! My work has been featured in countless publications, but I take the most pride in homeowners that have been personally inspired by my DIY ideas and have tried something in their own homes!

learn more about ME + MY BIZ

This is Eric, husband of the oh-so-talented Monica.  I got word that Jess and Monica would be having “guest bloggers” and I jokingly asked why I can’t be a guest blogger.  Well, she called my bluff and told me to put together a post. 
Now the conundrum, I am not housewife and as my WHOLE family can vouch for, I am NOT crafty.  So what can I post on?
Ah-ha… probably the most important thing (not living) in my whole house would be our photo books!  And this is one quasi-crafty thing that I am totally in charge of.  So here goes.
If all of you crazy blog-stalkers with kids are anything like my wife, you take thousands (if not millions) of pictures of your kids, your house, your family and really just your whole life.  These pictures sit on your camera or computer, occasionally they get dropped into a blog or facebook, but for all intents and purposes, they sit – lost and wasted. 
In 2007, I got tired of seeing Monica take so many awesome pictures without ever doing anything with them.  That’s when we discovered Blurb.  Ever heard of it?  http://www.blurb.com/  The beauty of Blurb is that they offer “book-store quality printing and binding” at incredibly reasonable prices. 
Everyone I’ve talked to seems to get overwhelmed with idea of doing a photo book.  But trust me, it’s not hard.  The longest, hardest, most time-consuming part is just sorting through the tens of thousands of pictures stored on your camera and computer and organizing a years worth of pictures.  But… and this is a big but… it’s so rewarding going through a full year, seeing all that you’ve done, re-living all the fun events, seeing how your family has grown over the course of a year. 
Ok, so what I do, (and this is just preference), is I go month-by-month, sorting pictures mainly by events.  I drop all pictures into folders on my desktop with a name of the even.  For example, I’ll have folders such as “snow fun,” “baking with mommy,” “bath-time,” “field trip to the farm,” “fun with playdough,” “Kenzie’s soccer,” etc., and then I always have a folder for each kid with all the best pictures that we have for them.  Then when it’s time to actually put the book together, it really just flies!
The great thing about doing a photo book like this versus just printing photos and putting them in an album is that you get to tell stories, explain the events, and actually add personality to your photos.  It’s a great place to remember some of the crazy things your kids have said or done.  With the craziness of moving over this summer, I got way behind on putting these books together.  I sat down to do a book for the 2nd half of 2009 a couple weeks ago and I was amazed at how much I forgot!  I saw all these pictures and couldn’t quite place where we were, or what we were doing, or some of the fun stories behind the pictures.  My goal is to do 2 books per year as soon as that year is finished.  There are so many types of books that you can do – Monica scanned all of Kenzie’s art work from a full year of school and made an art book, she made several small books documenting things such as birthday parties or Christmas.  We’ve even given a book to my parents after a week on vacation with them (yes, these books make great presents for the grandparents!)
Enough talk.  Here is what Blurb actually looks like (screen shot from our ancient desktop).  You log in and all the Blurb books you’ve created are listed. 
 
Once the book is created, I import all the pictures that I have from a given folder on my desktop (i.e. beach with the Motts).  There are dozens of picture/text layouts to choose from and all you have to do is drag-and-drop your pictures wherever you want them and then add the text.  The view below is during the editing process.
You can preview your book to see how it will actually look once published.
I mentioned in the beginning that it’s “book-store quality printing and binding” at incredibly reasonable prices.  For a 200 page book, with a hard-bound cover, it’s only $48.95.  A 200 page book can easily hold 600-800 pictures.
I know Blurb is not the only company doing this – it just happens to be the only one I’ve ever used.  I searched for photo-book reviews and this website seems pretty accurate.  It rated Blurb as 4 starts (out of 4) for quality, but lower scores for features and ease of use.  Other sites have higher scores for ease of use/features but slightly lower scores for quality.  I’m not looking for anything too crazy, so I’ll sacrifice a little on the crazy layouts and customizability for quality. 
That’s it.  Now if only I could find a way to do something similar to the hours upon hours of home-videos we have, I’d be all set!  Any suggestions?

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hey there! I'm monica 

I pride myself on making amazing style and design accessible for everyone, regardless of location, budget, or ability! My design philosophy is rooted in authenticity + attainability - If I can do it, you can too! My work has been featured in countless publications, but I take the most pride in homeowners that have been personally inspired by my DIY ideas and have tried something in their own homes!

learn more about ME + MY BIZ

Mini Portfolio Peek
Since we’re in the middle of the Design Challeng{ed} contest, we thought I should give you a peek into my experience as a homestager and designer.  My favorite part about staging was getting to work in so many amazing homes.  This home in Chestnut Hill was one of my favorites (and this was just one of the many “wings” of the house!)
 The majority of the homes that I worked in were vacant or semi-vacant.  I used a combination of the homeowners’ belongings and rental furniture.  Having a staged room makes a big impact on a potential buyer.
Another home looking Empty and Blah
Simple Staging and ready for buyers! 
The tricky part to staging is that you’re not designing the room based on your preferences, (or even mine as the designer) we worked off of the demographics of potential buyers and the feel of the space. 
 This room isn’t my personal style, but it was the right look for this high-end condo on the Main Line. 
We’re really excited to work with our Design Challeng{ed} winner.  I loved the design end of my business because of working together with homeowners to get just the look THEY want. 
Design Challeng{ed} Reminder
To enter our contest, email us a picture of the room that challenges your design skills.  Click on the tab in the menu for more details. 
I wish these homeowners would enter our contest, because they need some serious help!

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hey there! I'm monica 

I pride myself on making amazing style and design accessible for everyone, regardless of location, budget, or ability! My design philosophy is rooted in authenticity + attainability - If I can do it, you can too! My work has been featured in countless publications, but I take the most pride in homeowners that have been personally inspired by my DIY ideas and have tried something in their own homes!

learn more about ME + MY BIZ

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Pottery Barn knock off Coral

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hey there! I'm monica 

I pride myself on making amazing style and design accessible for everyone, regardless of location, budget, or ability! My design philosophy is rooted in authenticity + attainability - If I can do it, you can too! My work has been featured in countless publications, but I take the most pride in homeowners that have been personally inspired by my DIY ideas and have tried something in their own homes!

learn more about ME + MY BIZ

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hey there! I'm monica 

I pride myself on making amazing style and design accessible for everyone, regardless of location, budget, or ability! My design philosophy is rooted in authenticity + attainability - If I can do it, you can too! My work has been featured in countless publications, but I take the most pride in homeowners that have been personally inspired by my DIY ideas and have tried something in their own homes!

learn more about ME + MY BIZ

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hey there! I'm monica 

I pride myself on making amazing style and design accessible for everyone, regardless of location, budget, or ability! My design philosophy is rooted in authenticity + attainability - If I can do it, you can too! My work has been featured in countless publications, but I take the most pride in homeowners that have been personally inspired by my DIY ideas and have tried something in their own homes!

learn more about ME + MY BIZ

We’re excited to be taking part in Sew, Mama, Sew’s Annual Blog Giveaway Day! We had such positive feedback on this project that we decided to give you another chance to win one!
We’re excited to be taking part in Sew, Mama, Sew’s Annual Blog Giveaway Day! 

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hey there! I'm monica 

I pride myself on making amazing style and design accessible for everyone, regardless of location, budget, or ability! My design philosophy is rooted in authenticity + attainability - If I can do it, you can too! My work has been featured in countless publications, but I take the most pride in homeowners that have been personally inspired by my DIY ideas and have tried something in their own homes!

learn more about ME + MY BIZ

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Fab Find Friday: Pinterest Tutorial

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hey there! I'm monica 

I pride myself on making amazing style and design accessible for everyone, regardless of location, budget, or ability! My design philosophy is rooted in authenticity + attainability - If I can do it, you can too! My work has been featured in countless publications, but I take the most pride in homeowners that have been personally inspired by my DIY ideas and have tried something in their own homes!

learn more about ME + MY BIZ



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Jess’ gallery wall

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hey there! I'm monica 

I pride myself on making amazing style and design accessible for everyone, regardless of location, budget, or ability! My design philosophy is rooted in authenticity + attainability - If I can do it, you can too! My work has been featured in countless publications, but I take the most pride in homeowners that have been personally inspired by my DIY ideas and have tried something in their own homes!

learn more about ME + MY BIZ

My gallery wall is in process, but here’s what I have so far! Things to do: 1. Paint frames so they’re all the same color, 2. Change out mat and picture in the large frame, 3. Put something in empty frame at top.

My favorite picture from the gallery wall- a recent gift from my husband!

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hey there! I'm monica 

I pride myself on making amazing style and design accessible for everyone, regardless of location, budget, or ability! My design philosophy is rooted in authenticity + attainability - If I can do it, you can too! My work has been featured in countless publications, but I take the most pride in homeowners that have been personally inspired by my DIY ideas and have tried something in their own homes!

learn more about ME + MY BIZ

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hey there! I'm monica 

I pride myself on making amazing style and design accessible for everyone, regardless of location, budget, or ability! My design philosophy is rooted in authenticity + attainability - If I can do it, you can too! My work has been featured in countless publications, but I take the most pride in homeowners that have been personally inspired by my DIY ideas and have tried something in their own homes!

learn more about ME + MY BIZ

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Baby You’re a Firework!

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hey there! I'm monica 

I pride myself on making amazing style and design accessible for everyone, regardless of location, budget, or ability! My design philosophy is rooted in authenticity + attainability - If I can do it, you can too! My work has been featured in countless publications, but I take the most pride in homeowners that have been personally inspired by my DIY ideas and have tried something in their own homes!

learn more about ME + MY BIZ

I love the 4th of July! I love the food, the decorations, the firworks, and of course the patriotism.  Truth be told, I really love the Sunday after the 4th of July almost as much because that’s when the Perkasie, PA fireworks are and it may be a small town, but man they do an amazing fireworks display!

In honor of the fourth, I thought I’d share some cool ideas I’ve found if you’re planning or attending a party next weekend. 

Things that Sparkle

My kids LOVE sparklers.  Seriously, we go through about 500 over the weekend!  Since I’m a big fan of making things look cute and coordinated, I would love to make these from a free printable.  Click HERE for the printable and great directions. 

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