Dec 29, 2012


A few weeks ago, my friends Phil and I asked me to snap some photos of them for their Christmas cards and of course I said yes! We took a quick stroll through the Fred G. Bond Metro Park in Cary before heading off to a Christmas party and for me, a night downtown.

Are they not one of the most good looking couples... ever? Yeah, my friends are pretty cute. Plus, they have an awesome puppy named Angel! All three, I mean four, of us are on the hunt for a house to rent in the next couple months! I just can't wait to live with these three knuckleheads.

Oh, and they chose the last one for their Christmas card, where Angel looks like she is actually behaving ;) Angel refused to wear her holiday dress. Oh well. There is next year's card :)

In other photography news, I recently got hired to shoot a wedding next September! I couldn't be more nervous and excited... more so excited. I have high hopes for expanding my camera collection and invest in some lenses. Do you have any SLR camera recommendations? I am thinking of switching to Canon, but I have been a Nikon D60 kind of lady for so long now. Any advice is welcomed!

If you are in or near the Raleigh are and interested in a photo session, do not hesitate to contact me!
My email is m.ashleyvega{at} I'd love to work with you :)

Dec 27, 2012


If you didn't see on instagram, here is the wonderful Christmas card my little younger sister and I mailed out this year. I say younger because she is not little anyyyyyyyy more! If you can't read the card due to the instagram quality of this photo, it says "Merry Christmas from our dorky hearts to yours." We ordered them through CardStore using this template. I seriously love this card company! This card was not glossy and really good quality. They have a HUGE selection of cards and I can't get enough of them. We got lots of compliments ;)

The photos on the card are from this blog post last Thanksgiving. They were too great not to share to all our family and friends...again. Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas break! Before we know it, it will be New Year's Eve and we will welcome 2013. I haven't thought past 2012, so 2013 should be interesting, but I wouldn't ask for anything less :)

*This post was not sponsored and/or affiliated with CardStore. I just love the cards I got and wanted to share :)

Dec 24, 2012


I am posting Tuesday Tunes early so we can enjoy two full days of holiday music before we have to wait another 12 months to whip out the holiday playlists and vinyl. I truly hope all of you have a wonderful holiday whether it's Christmas or another tradition. Savior this time you have with your family and friends.

Here are 34 songs I have come to enjoy this holiday season. Artists include Andrew Belle, Amy Stroup, Trent Dapps, Ben Rector, The Civil Wars, KT Tunstall, Fiona Apple, The Owl City, Coldplay, Ingrid Michaelson, She & Him, Lenka, Michael Bublé, Sufjan Stevens, and much more. I apologize in advance for the one Bieber song I have on here (guilty pleasure!) Enjoy the mix and enjoy this holiday season.

This mix is better served with hot chocolate, warm embraces, reunions and fireplaces.
listen on 8tracks
For more holiday music, check out this Tuesday Tunes post.

Dec 21, 2012


Happy Holidays and Merry almost Christmas!

Since I don't live with my two wonderful college roommates anymore who spoiled me with Christmas decoration, it was about time that I started my official collection. I was inspired by this pin to create those Christmas trees and inspired by all those mason jar crafts to create my version of a mason jar centerpiece. I didn't make nearly as many crafts as I have planned, but my pinterest boards will definitely keep me inspired for next season :)

I hope everyone has a fun-filled, relaxing and sentimental holiday season. I'm filling mine up with relaxing, hot chocolate, annual Gingerbread House Making competition with high school best friends, funky Christmas hats and just all around good cheer.

Any crafts that you recommend? I'd love to hear and pin them for next year! :)

Dec 18, 2012



01 Hazy - Rosi Golan feat. William Fitzsimmons
02 Duet - Rachael Yamagata feat. Ray LaMontagne
03 Static Waves - Andrew Belle feat. Katie Herzig
04 You Got Growin' Up To Do - Joshua Radin feat. Patty Griffin
05 Keep You Here With Me - Jillian Edwards feat. Johnny Stimson
06 Set The Fire To The Third Bar - Snow Patrol feat. Martha Wainwright
07 Paperweight - Schuyler Fisk + Joshua Radin
08 Poison & Wine - The Civil Wars
09 In My Veins - Andrew Belle
10 Wintersong - Sara Bareilles + Ingrid Michaelson
11 You & I - Ingrid Michaelson
12 The Saltwater Room - Owl City
13 Somebody That I Used To Know - Walk Off The Earth
14 Home - Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
15 I Will Wait For You - Us
16 9 Crimes - Damien Rice
17 Want U Back - Boyce Avenue feat. Hannah Trigwell

Some times, it is just better with two.
A compilation of duets that I have come to love, and hope you do too.

Look for a part two soon!

Inspired by Danielle's DUET playlist.

listen on 8tracks 

Album design + photography (c) Melissa Vega 

Dec 15, 2012

Featured Artist + Shop Owner: Katia of Solé

Welcome to another installment of the Featured Artist + Shop Owner series, where I hand pick artists that have inspired me through their art and businesses. Today I am honored to showcase Katia of Solé and blogger behind Kitty Snooks.

1. Tell us about the artist behind the shop! A little background about your favorite things, inspirations or quirks!
My name is Katia and I'm a goofball of an art student working towards my B.Des. in Illustration! Illustration may be what I'm aiming to do in my career, but my fascination with the creative world doesn't end there. I basically love... well.... everything that can be considered art - and I love participating in it too, even if just for fun! I'm talking music, literature, writing, fashion, film, photography, design, painting, sculpting, textile work, etc. etc. etc. etcetera. I also have an inexplicable affinity towards pugs and Star Wars (ok, it's not inexplicable - it's because they're freakin' awesome) I also really like to play Tetris battle, but I'm a sore loser and quit the application every time I lose. If I am not doing any of the aforementioned things, I can be found trying to convince myself to do some yogalates, working at a local patisserie serving up lattes and French buttery goodness or spending time with my room mate and friends and family.

2. How did Solé first start? What is the story behind the name?
As I mentioned in my last answer I have a keen interest in a lot of everything. So I guess Solé was an attempt at combining at least a few of these things and making them wearable. From this initial thought and after many prototypes and scrapped concepts, I finally landed on the designs I am now selling through Solé! I've also, as long as I can remember, been interested in selling my creations. When I was about 9 or 10 I made and sold friendship bracelets to my classmates to fundraise for MS. I made a good couple hundred of dollars and took many custom orders for colours and designs daily. I still remember my little 'orders' page at the back of my agenda! The name Solé comes from the french 'Soleil' meaning sun. Those of you who know me or read my blog know I have a sun tattoo, and that the sun is powerfully symbolic to me. (Do I sound like a crazy hippie artist yet? Yes? GOOD.) It has so much to do with happiness and the power of positivity, and I wanted a name for my business to be something that would remain important to me forever.

3. What is your inspiration for using wood as your media?
I love nature, and living in a big, concrete city, it's often overwhelming to have so little nature around me (though we do have a lot of parks here, but they're not exactly in my day-to-day commute or routine with school downtown.) I love working with wood as a medium in general (painting on, carving, building, etc.) and so finding a way to make it wearable was such an obvious decision to me. All my necklaces/rings/products are made of natural, untreated wood. I literally find a branch of the appropriate diameter, slice it into little medallions, and work from that. Don't worry, I'm not tearing branches off trees, I always use already-trimmed branches or ones off the ground. One of my sets of medallions is made from a branch I snatched when my mom's neighbour's silver maple tree died and they needed to take it down. Another was from my parents' backyard when they had to trim half of an Acadia tree that was growing into our house. It's fun to know exactly which tree and what story my materials are from.

4. You had wonderful jewelry pieces! Have you thought about making other kinds of products?
Perhaps... yes! I'm super interested in the world of up-cycled, eco-friendly fashion that helps reduce the amount of material waste we create every year. Did you know each individual wastes about 68 pounds of fabric/material every year? I don't know where this statistic is from (I assume North America as I heard it in a video regarding Value Village) but it's a scary one. I'd love to branch into that part of the fashion world and work on new products. I have a few ideas up my sleeve, and I definitely intend on working on them soon!

5. Having a handmade shop is a huge responsibility in itself, how do you balance that with work and school?
Yeesh. I don't even know. I guess I've made most of my Solé work enjoyable. I can take 'a break' from school work and make a few pieces. Or I can put together my necklaces while I'm watching a tv show in my spare time. I'm still getting the hang of it all, but I've been maintaining good grades in school, am working a new job, and keeping up with Solé somehow! So I must be doing something right. I keep myself as organized as possible with to-do lists, a binder with all my receipts and expenses, a spreadsheet with my spending vs. income, etc. etc.

6. What is your favorite part about owning your own company? Other tips for those who want to start?
The satisfaction that comes from seeing someone wear my product. It's honestly amazing. And I get all dorky about it still, like a friend walks in and is wearing it and I can't help but say "Oh hey, nice necklace ya got there." I wonder if I'll ever grow out of this habit, haha! I was also interviewed by a local university's news team for an article about student entrepreneurs - it was SO cool to read, and they referred to me by my last name, which was totally rad and professional feeling.
Tips for starters would be to not be discouraged by business starting out slow. The amount of blogger comments you get exclaiming their love for their product (for example) do not equal to sales, as much as we wish they did. And that's ok! It means you've generated interest, that's what matters. Same goes for craft shows. My first craft show was SOO not the right audience for my products, but I still got a lot of great feedback, met some fascinating people, and felt great about myself after! I like to look at it, for the moment, as an experience as opposed to a money maker. Though of course, it'd be nice to do both ;)

7. This is just the beginning for Solé! What can we expect in the future?
Wonderful wonderful things. I really hope to expand it bit by bit, and to really explore my options in terms of designs. I've kept it simple so far, but I definitely want to add to it and branch away from just jewellery (As I mentioned before!). I'm excited!
So guess what! As readers of Melissa's blog, you guys can get 10% off any Solé purchase you make in December, January, or February using the code MELISSA10. The best part? My prices are already current reduced for the holiday season, so if you're looking for a one of a kind present and are interested in handmade - I hope you'll take a peek at Solé!

Thank you for featuring me on your lovely lovely blog, Melissa!

Isn't she the absolute precious?
Thank you Katia for the interview and I can't wait to see what's in store for you and your art! Readers, be sure to snag some unique pieces for you or your friends. I am picking out mine as we speak! :) Check out more artists I have featured here.

Dec 11, 2012

TUESDAY TUNES | Silent Ways Mix


01 I Don't Want Love - The Antlers
02 Silent Way - Milo Greene
03 Youth - Daughter
04 Each Coming Night - Iron & Wine
05 Sink In - The Paper Kites
06 A Good Man is Hard to Find - Sufjan Stevens
07 Calgary - Bon Iver
08 Don't Wait for Me - Josh Garrels
09 Hazy - Rosi Golan feat. William Fitzsimmons
10 Orion & Dog - Sea Wolf
11 Any Day - Down Like Silver
12 For The Widows in Paradise, For the Fatherless in Ypsilanti - Sufjan Stevens

We speak the loudest in our silent ways.
I love these songs and I hope you do, too.

listen here: 8tracks

Dec 10, 2012


Can you believe it is nearly mid December?
At times (and by at times I mean all the time) I feel as though life is FLYING right by me. I think "Oh, that's not for another few weeks" and bam, that few weeks turns into tomorrow. I always have mixed things about the month of December...and what do I do when I have mixed feelings?

I write letters.

Dear December,

You are the perfect ending before the perfect beginning. It is almost as simple as that. Aside from your holiday swag (yes, I just said swag), there is something much more deeper to you than holiday sales, higher electricity bills, ornaments, gift wrap, tacky sweater parties and Santa. Underneath the petty stresses of finding the perfect gift, finding the perfect tree or sending out your Christmas cards on time, you are the month where we want to show people how much we care about them and give them a little something for being a part of our lives this past year. You bring warmth to the colder months and you really do bring joy.

I love that you're the season of hot chocolate, snow globes, multiple family dinners, Elf, peppermint, red, Christmas cards, wrapping presents, days off, knitted everything, family time and nights by the fireplace, but I love you the most because you're the month of true reflection. When you roll around, I look back at everything that has happened these past twelve months and ask myself some important questions. It is amazing how much can happen in just one year... I reflect on the person I have become and what will become of me. Have I changed? What changed me? What have I accomplished this year? Did I say I love you to the right people enough? What are the mistakes I have made? What are the moments I need to hold on to forever? Am I where I want to be? Am I where I need to be?

You always urge me to grow, grow, grow... to give back, to love unconditionally and learn to relax. You are one heck of a month and know how to end a great year in style. For now, I am soaking up in your holiday sun and loving every moment of whipping out my Christmas music and having an excuse to spend some money on loved ones. I am always torn with whether I want you to speed up or slow down.

For now, slow down :]

It is sure starting to look a lot like Christmas.