A New Venture: Saying Goodbye to Ann Written Notes.

House & Host Hey there!  So, you have probably noticed I have been MIA as of late.  Well, it’s not that I have been sitting around, eating bonbons wasting the days away.  I have been coming down the home stretch of my new venture, my new blog project, House & Host! And, you are the first to know so go on, check it out!

It’s been a work in progress in my head for over a year and tangibly for the last five months.  I found an amazing designer, Joy Laforme and she did an incredible job bringing my concept to life.  It’s been a super-duper creative outlet, a challenge and just so fun to see something from start to sort-of-finished (it’s never really finished, right?!).

So to that.  Goodbye Ann Written Notes.  The last 2+ years has been fun sharing my crazy stories, my love of all things beautiful, my travel adventures and a lot in between.  Thank you for being on this ride with me and I hope you will join me on this new, slightly modified, a bit more passionate, more colorful and a little more in my zone ride.

A couple of housekeeping notes:

  1. Will Ann Written Notes go away?  Sadly, yes.  But, after a few tears, I am actually excited because I think House & Host will be that much better, more creative and more storytelling.  After months of brainstorming and ideating and getting my creative juices flowing, God make it clear this was the right move.  And I’ve learned a ton along the way which I am SO thankful for!
  2. Will you need to subscribe to House & Host to receive the blog updates?  Yes!  You just need to go to the blog and scroll down slightly and on the right there is an email sign up box.  It takes 20 seconds.  Sign on up…first post goes live tomorrow!
  3. Have you enjoyed reading Ann Written Notes?  Have I made you laugh?  Cry?  Have I inspired you?  Well, I hope I have done something to make even the tiniest impact in your life.  And to that, I have a personal favor.  I would be SO grateful if you would share out House & Host to your friends and family!

Here’s to pursuing passion, closing chapters and opening new ones.  Here’s to creating, to trying, to learning, to growing.  Here’s to taking risks.  And to finding something you are passionate about and staying tremendously interested in it.  #livelikejulia


Happy Blogaversary + New Ventures

blogaversary signI can’t beleive Ann Written Notes has been around for two years!  What a blast it has been.  I’ve learned a ton, I’ve received so many encouraging words from all of you and I’ve been able to give myself the space to write, to share, to be vulnerable and to laugh a little along the way.  I truly love this blog and love blogging.

And pretty soon I will be sharing what is next for AWR, what is next for my love for blogs.  I have been a bit MIA lately and partially that’s because life is crazy in general (I’m sorry, but where did summer go?!), but also because I have been working on my next blogging adventure which I am so excited about.  Hint – it’s channeling my passions a bit further with an all new look + feel.  Ahhh, it’s going to be so. much. fun!

Also, I was recently asked to help design an office space for a non-for-profit in Chicago which I am HONORED to be a part of.  It’s going to be a great challenge and one that I am up for and one that I want to put all my heart into.  More to come on that, too!

It’s been a privilege writing for all of you these last two years.  THANK YOU for your continued support, kind words and affirmation.  You guys are the best. readers. ever.  And here’s to many more years of inspiration, storytelling and sharing all the little things in life that I love 🙂

Happy Blogaversary, Ann Written Notes!


Shop Feature: MadeByGirl + 15% Off!

madebygirlEvery day I come across a new blog.  Some days I am impressed, sign up and follow, pronto.  Other days I don’t.  MadeByGirl falls into the former bucket and it’s one of those blogs that I get a little giddy when I see a new email in my inbox from her (her being Jen Ramos, blog and shop owner).  Here are a few reasons I love MadeByGirl:

Her content hits right on my passion points – design, color, fashion, food, art.  It’s a little slice of what I hope heaven is like one day.

She has some great contributors and does pretty cool collaborations and in this world of social media, collaborations are it.  Period.

She’s a Christian and open about her faith which is so admirable and inspiring to me.  She even shares her testimony for her readers to read.

She has a ridiculously cute online shop of her graphic design work-turned-prints-for-the-home that are simply irresistible.  Great gifts for a wedding shower, a wedding, a best friend, a colleague, um, ahem, yourself.  They are chic, colorful, glittery and she is having 15% off right now!  You just need to use code JULY15OFF at check out.

Last, if all that wasn’t enough, she has beautiful, original paintings featured on her other store called Cocoa and Hearts.  These paintings are all the rage right now (so much so that most, if not all, are sold out…but don’t give up, I am sure more will be available soon).  #love

So there you have it.  I have a little crush on MadeByGirl!

{All photos were taken from MadeByGirl website and Cocoa and Hearts website and are property of Jen Ramos}

Ann Written Notes Gets a Makeover!

ann-written-notes-ann-uenoAfter some time, research and anecdotal feedback from my readers and opinionated savvy and smart friends, I am excited to share the first phase of re-branding of Ann Written Notes!  As a marketer, I know the importance of branding and I could offer all kinds of advice and expertise on how to market products, hotels, etc.  When it came to my own brand and blog, it wasn’t as easy.  When it’s your own, inevitably you spend more time, you over think and have more emotional connection to the project.  But eventually, I had to think like the business person I am and just make a move already! I’m not saving lives here.  Come on, Ann, just go.  Take the first step.  It will be okay. Some things I knew I wanted and tackled:

  1. Just. something. new.  I created my blog over a year and a half of ago and it hadn’t been updated or changed at all.  It was time.  Just like you know when it’s time to dump change your boyfriend, change your job or change your home,  I knew it was time for a change to Ann Written Notes.
  2. Fresh and clean color scheme: I went with white, black and a soft green accent color.  That’s it, for now.
  3. New navigation on the top of the page: I hated this about my old blog and so this was critical to change.  I am only scratching the surface here, but you can see now my categories are aligned well and easy to navigate at the top of the page.
  4. An advanced theme in WordPress: I ended up using the Elemin Theme which offers a lot more than my previous theme (a lot of those details are tech and back-end related which will put you to sleep so I won’t go into detail there). But, a few things that drew me to this theme were the symmetrical foundation, clean template and flexibility with colors and fonts.
  5. Engaging an agency: I have narrowed a list down of agencies that I will be engaging this year to take this even further.  More on that to come.
  6. Updated copy:  It was important to ensure my readers and non-readers alike knew what kind of blog this was.  That’s now more concise and up front and I am still in the midst of figuring out the metadata (which is essentially the behind the scenes copy that is critical in the search engine space).  Credit to Jess at With Intention for her advice on this!
  7. More about Ann Ueno on homepage: As this is a lifestyle blog, it’s important to have a face to the blog (literally and figuratively).  It adds credibility, personal touch and an insight into what to expect of the blog.

Those are just some of the changes so far.  More importantly, I am excited about what’s to come.  More partnerships (and sneak peak – we have a great philanthropy partner lined up for 2013!), more visuals, more content in the design space and a reveal of an Etsy Shop!

Thanks for reading, thanks for your feedback and I’m excited about sharing my love of interior design. Creative projects. My photography. Tips on travel.  And a few personal stories along the way.

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