Goodbye 2013

Posted by Shayla LaFreniere on Tuesday, January 7, 2014.

So my holiday was not as work free as I had planned but that’s okay because I spent it working on new laLa Grace card designs which is always really fun for me; and taking a break from everything else work related really allowed me to immerse myself in the creative side of my business in a way that I haven’t been able to in awhile.

I am really happy to be back blogging though especially because during my time off I spent some time thinking about what I would like to blog about in 2014 and I’m really looking forward to sharing it all with you over the next 12 months.

I also spent a little time tweaking the design of this blog just a little bit, the changes are so small many of you may not even notice them. I like to keep the design pretty simple but I wanted to clean things up a bit and I think I’ve accomplished that.

Before I dive fully into 2014 I wanted to take a moment to look back on 2013 and the moments that along with the previous years have helped shape who I am today.

At the end of January (January 29th to be exact) I opened the laLa Grace Etsy Shop and other than marrying my husband it just may be the best decision I have ever made. I have learned more about my creative style in the (almost) year since opening my shop than I did in the 10 or so previous years working as a graphic designer. I have SO MANY goals for laLa Grace for 2014 I can’t wait to see how things unfold and how much more I learn. The nice thing is, now when I do work on a design project I am able to bring my newly discovered style to my client work and give them something really unique. In fact I will be sharing a logo design project that I completed just before the holidays with you soon.

January through May I ran a series called Why Do You Blog? and though I’m not always the biggest fan of series like this I did it because I was genuinely curious to learn why people blog and was fascinated by all the different responses.

I’m actually planning to do another series this year though I am not tying myself down to running it weekly; I’ll just run it when new ones are ready. I hadn’t planned to do another series but a question has been coming up for me recently and I am really excited to see how other creatives will answer it.

In May we took a vacation to Myrtle Beach which was not enjoyable for me but it helped me to understand the kind of vacations and life experiences I long for that only travel can bring. I very much long to go abroad but there is so much in this country that I also want to see. What I learned on our Myrtle vacation is that I long for more culture based and exploratory travel. I don’t really want to go on vacation to sit on a beach unless it’s in some exotic country like Bali. When I travel the U.S.A I don’t want to go to “tourist” spots I want to explore towns and cities so I can get to know them and what they’re all about.

We are already in the midst of planning a trip to the Northwest and I can’t wait!

We spent a lot of time over the summer working on our new home, I shared some pictures of the Great Room with you and will be sharing more pictures of the other rooms as we finish them up. We are close to being mostly done (though I think design is a continual process) but the other rooms are not quite ready to be shared just yet.

In August I received my first laLa Grace wholesale order and we celebrated our 1year Anniversary in PhiladelphiaWe had a great time exploring the city and all the amazing local vegan restaurants Philly has to offer; if you’re a vegan you really must go there and try Hip City Veg and Vedge restaurant; actually you should try them; especially Vedge even if you’re not a vegan.

Speaking of Vegan I really enjoyed researching the content and creating the illustrations for the Vegan Living Blogs.

I also shared two (Botanical Gardens | Harpers Ferry) mini little local excursions that I hope to do much more of this year. I think it’s some times easy to forget how much the places we live have to offer so I hope to spend a lot more time being a tourist in my own city this year.

But the thing that shaped me the most in 2013 was definitely the two miscarriages that Christopher and I went through. It took me awhile to share our story but I decided too because I know reading a story like mine would have been very helpful to me when I was going through it. I was beyond touched by the emails I received from all of you and felt so blessed to be able to share life experiences (the good and the bad) through this blog with such an amazing group of people.

We have not tried since the last miscarriage in August but we are going to start trying again this month, so if you pray we’d be honored if you’d include us in your prayers.

Speaking of prayer I think we may have finally found the right Church for us here in Virginia. I loved my church in Arizona and though we’ve been going to one here for awhile it never really resonated with me but a friend of mine invited us to her church on Sunday and I felt almost immediately at home there. Spirituality has been a major part of my life since I was a teenager but that has really been lacking in my life recently because of not having a church that I like so it’s nice to find a church that will help bring more spirituality back into my life. I don’t believe you have to go to church to be with God but I do think that life is really busy and when you don’t have a weekly reminder it’s easy to let God take a back seat to other things that are far less important.

So anyway, that is my 2013 in review, I hope you all had a truly magical holiday and a wonderful new year; here’s to an amazing 2014!

Photo by my husband Christopher, Font by me.

{ Miranti Kayess } January 7, 2014 at 11:59 PM
I think it's such a great idea to celebrate and release the previous year before diving into the new. You've accomplished some amazing things in 2013, Shayla! And I hope you're really proud. I'm very much looking forward to continuing to follow your journey this year xo
{ Shayla LaFreniere } January 8, 2014 at 11:22 AM
Thanks Miranti! I look forward to continue to follow your journey this year as well. :)
{ Audrey } January 10, 2014 at 4:59 PM
I haven't prayed in a long time, but I'll say a special one for you.
{ Shayla LaFreniere } January 10, 2014 at 5:01 PM
Thanks Audrey. <3

Holiday Break!

Posted by Shayla LaFreniere on Friday, December 20, 2013.

It’s that time of year folks, time to unplug, unwind and be present with the ones we love during all our joyous holiday moments.

I’ll be back to blogging January 6th but the shop will stay open and orders will be shipped out daily as usual.

For now I thought I’d leave you with a few photos I snapped recently on one of our snowy days, winter is really so beautiful; but then again every season has it’s own unique beauty which is one of the reasons I love living in a 4 season climate.

Wishing you all a truly wonderful holiday and a very Happy New Year!


Photos, font & illustration by me.

Enjoying Fall at Harpers Ferry

Posted by Shayla LaFreniere on Monday, October 28, 2013.

Yesterday we decided to take a short drive over to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia to enjoy the beautiful fall whether. We’ve been talking about going there for awhile and just haven’t made the time for it until now. Harpers Ferry is a pretty little Historic town just 45 minutes NW of us. I was hoping to see some beautiful fall foliage and there was some but oddly enough we have more fall colors right now than they did. But fall foliage or not we had a lovely time meandering around the old streets and taking in the history.

I love seeing all the old stores, but my two favorite things were the old Watch Repair shop (all the old tools were so cool) and the old building that was gutted so you could see how buildings were made 100 years ago (it’s crazy how much stone was used).

So anyway, I thought I’d share a few pics from our day.
Wherever you live, I hope you are enjoying fall which is just the start of the most wonderful time of the year!


Font by me.
Photos by me & Christopher.

{ Miranti Kayess } October 29, 2013 at 2:03 AM
What beautiful autumnal colours! All your photos look so cosy and nostalgic. Wishing it was autumn here :)
{ Angel Y. } October 29, 2013 at 12:26 PM
Lovely photos! You both look great!
{ HYEMI } October 31, 2013 at 12:51 PM
Photos are so beautiful! I love going old/historic stores too Rich colors of bricks and rustic equipment are so inspiring.
{ amber } November 1, 2013 at 5:27 PM
Such beautiful photos! That old wagon is so cool, too! :) Looks like you had fun!
{ Shayla LaFreniere } November 5, 2013 at 1:33 PM
Thanks all, we had such a lovely day! :)
{ Rebecca } December 11, 2013 at 9:55 PM
I just love autumn. I also love your hand-lettering! Wonderful job!
{ Shayla LaFreniere } December 11, 2013 at 10:08 PM
Thanks so much Rebecca!