Friendship and Faux-lligraphy

Jackie Cooper Photography


A few weeks ago, right as the winter weather took an early turn for what felt like spring, I had a desire do something, something fun, something with my girlfriends. I pictured food, and wine, and lots of laughter…all the usual ingredients that make up a good girl’s night, but I was unenthused when thinking of our options that narrowed down to:

  1. Wine Bar (blah)
  2. Happy Hour (meh)
  3. Restaurant (ughhhh)

I was so sick of catching up in public places and thought back to a little tradition that I shared with a girlfriend back home in Saint Louis, Homemade Happy Hour. Going out is fun, but so is staying in and it offers an intimacy and comfort that can’t be captured in a busy restaurant.  Some days you desire a loud and lively environment and other days you want leggings, candles, and your closest friends.

I met May Englestad of POCO POST a few months ago at a Faux-lligraphy workshop at Denver Style Magazine’s Holiday Market and Mingle. I think it’s safe to say that I’m not alone in the fact that with the world of Instagram and Pinterest, we’re all a little more in touch with our creative desires and curiosities. It was like DSM had read my mind when they told me they would have Faux-lligraphy AND floral workshops at their event, for free?! These were two things I recently had been looking into and was more than willing to pay for instruction and I get them both, in the same night, for free?! Unfortunately the floral ladies didn’t pan out, but Mrs. May came through and was a little ray of sunshine in the form of an ex-kindergarten teacher turned creative entrepreneur and instructor of handwriting. We clicked immediately due to her desire and enthusiasm towards instruction and handwriting and mine towards learning and pretty things.  When our tutorial ended, I pulled her aside to ask if she ever considered teaching workshops and when she said she did, I knew she and I would be meeting again,  I just needed to figure out how and when.

Fast forward two months and I reached out to see if she was interested in being a part of a little party I had envisioned that was going to be all things girly, and pretty, and fun….and that’s where Friendship and Faux-lligraphy was born. I put together sent out an invite to a few of my friends and asked them to join me in my “teeny, tiny apartment around my teeny, tiny coffee table for an evening of wine, lady talk, and a tutorial on the art of faux-lligraphy”. Side Note: I invited a few more ladies than my 550 sq. ft. apartment would comfortably hold accounting for 5 not making it, but when only 2 said they were unable to attend and I had an extra girl join, we were maxed, I mean MAXED out. I kept getting texts from the girls saying how excited they were for the class and a few who said they’d been interested in Faux-lligraphy prior to my invitation. The enthusiasm that each of the girls expressed was enough make me confident that no square footage, or lack-there-of, was going to ruin the evening, I just needed more wine and I figured out that wine does fix space problems, it actually fixes all problems.

On a Thursday night just a couple weeks ago I put together a  spread of food, opened several bottles of wine, and invited 11  ladies  into my home for an evening of learning and laughter.

The night started with food, wine, and casual conversation and about an hour in we took seats and turned to the front of the room to Mrs. May who told us all about herself and the art of handwriting and then we got right into our two handwriting lessons of the night, H I P S T E R & Calligraphy. May not only taught us two fun lessons, BUT we also got to work on a project for our bride-to-be in the group, Erin. Each girl was handed a blank card and a colored envelope from May and selected a month of the year and our task at hand was to write down a special date in the card for Erin and her future husband to enjoy the first year of their marriage. At the end of the night we sealed up our envelopes and handed all twelve to the future Mrs. Levy….we also drank more wine.

Prior to the party I asked May to bring some of the cards to sell, because, hello, cards are the new Tupperware, and they were a hit. They sold. Every single card. If I‘m being totally honest, which is really try hard to do, I will let you in on a little secret, I didn’t truly think more than one or two of my friends would buy a card, I wasn’t even sure if anyone would! Not because May isn’t incredibly talented, but you know how people are…well not my friends and NOT May’s cards. They were gone. Every single one of them. In five minutes. Bye.

My favorite? A little drawing of a loaf of bread saying, “I loaf you”. Sold. Not to me though, to the betch next to me who I used to call a friend, until she took my card. It’s an ugly world out there, you guys.

I couldn’t have been more pleased with how the evening turned out and what I realized was something that was thrown together as a means to catch up with my girlfriends outside of another restaurant or bar, turned into a fun gathering and a bridal activity for a sweet friend. If you’re struggling to think of something a little extra special for a bridal or baby shower, bachelorette or birthday party, or if you just want to get some fun girls together, POCO POST is your answer. How many showers have you gone to where you play the game, guess the baby photo? Guess the future baby’s name? How many parties have you been to where you are taught a skill that you’ve been wanting to learn AND you can use in the future?

 If you know another calligrapher, that’s great, but what makes May so good and what made my event such a success was not only her skills at handwriting, but her talent for wrangling up a bunch of wine buzzed, giddy girls, keeping our attention and making us laugh. It’s hard to describe May without using some cliché and overused adjectives, genuine, magnetic, and like a ray of sunshine, but I won’t try to come up with synonyms or new terms because that’s what she is, that’s May.















If you’re interested in hearing more about May Englestad behind POCO POST, I’ll be featuring an interview with her where we discuss all of the ups and downs and ins and outs of starting a business and being a part of the ever-evolving and exciting creative industry.

Send me pictures of your event with POCO POST and don’t forget Rustic + Refined for all of your upcoming events, big and small, social and ceremonial. Cheers you guys, Soiree and Rose season is upon us! Let the parties begin.

Brittany | Vodka and Birthday Cake | Rustic + Refined Events

**Special thanks to our lovely photographer, Jackie Cooper who not only beautifully captured the evening, but is always a treat to work with!

Neo Nudism

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Pre flight, look, no pants!

I went to the airport naked today. Okay, not really, I had leggings on, but I couldn’t feel them. I love leggings and if you read this blog regularly or know me well, you know this about me. I started out wearing these terrible Xhilaration leggings from Target that cost me $9.99 and offered zero support;  they didn’t squeeze in my tummy, and didn’t grab and lift my butt, which needs a lot of grab and a little lift. I cringe at the thought of myself in those cheap leggings, but thankful that I was wearing them at 21 and not 31 (I’m so relieved that the legging game is still going strong).

I went to Lululemon yesterday because today I flew to Tokyo and we all know it’s important to not only feel cute, but feel equally comfortable on those lengthy flights. I stopped in because I was on an annoying run to Kinkos, felt I needed to reward myself with a Starbucks, and then realized I had 4 minutes left on my meter and being the wasteful lady that I am not, felt I needed to use the time I’d worked hard to pay for and so Lululemon was an obvious choice. That’s the real story. After I walked in I then realized I had that lengthy flight ahead and thought I should take a look around….see what’s new in the Lu. Harmless….

That’s when my life changed. This a public service announcement ladies, so listen up. I have found the best leggings on Earth. The best leggings in the entire WORLD.

My girlfriend who was with me had told me about these leggings and I was certain I’d tried them on in the past, so brushed off her dramatic remarks of how comfortable the leggings were. I mean, all good leggings are comfortable. And then….I put them on….and I swear to you, I most definitely had never tried those leggings on before, because I’d never felt anything like that in my life.

I walked out of the dressing room and said, “I feel like I’m naked. I feel like there is just air. I feel like I am just, I feel….nothing.” I couldn’t stop talking with my girlfriend and the shop girls about these leggings and I assure you the way I was trying to describe all the feelings and how blown my mind was, well if an outsider were watching, I’m sure someone would have thought I was tripping.

Okay, so the scoop. What I did find out is that Lululemon created their OWN fabric and it’s called Nulu and it’s changing everything. You know those girls who are really into fashion and kind of talk like Rachel Zoe and say that everything feels like butter? I find that term (and those girls) kind of annoying. These pants. They’re butter. I get what that term means now. I get it. Butter. My leggings feel like butter, and air, and nakedness.

This morning I sent my mom and sister my PSA text advising them that it was in their best interest to purchase naked leggings before they go away or sell out or before the world ends and they never get to feel naked in public. That’s when my sister asked me to send a photo of the tag and so I did and guess what the tag read?

I    W A N T   T O   F E E L   N A K E D

What?! Can you believe it?! Never once yesterday did the ladies at the store mention to me that these were designed to make a person feel naked! The description tag on the clothing bullets out, “Naked Sensation”. Sensation? These leggings are a sensation! Lululemon, congrats, you nailed it. You’ve allowed me to be naked in public and for that, I am forever yours. Now, go get these leggings before the rest of the world catches on and if I’m late to the Nulu fabric game, thanks a lot for sharing…no one told me. If you didn’t know, now you do. Go to Lululemon and get the Align pant.

Yours in Responsible Nudity,

Brittany xo



Who slept with Leo?

This is how I would have positioned myself if I were at the VF Oscar Party and I knew Leo was about to ETR (enter the room). How would you have positioned? Photo Credit: Noah Berg

I went to a movie today. By myself. It was glorious.

I have nothing against doing things alone. I used to travel all the time for work which meant I was often not only dining and exploring alone, I did everything alone. I can not relate to those people who like to travel solo, at all. Oh, a beautiful sunset! No one to share it with. The Taj Mahal! Stranger, take my photo? Expensive wine over handmade pasta in the most charming restaurant in Florence. I’ll have another bottle sir….for myself. I don’t get it.

On a scale of one to ten, this week comes in at a five. I came off of a month that included a big European adventure, my birthday, ski trips, family visits, and solid time at home and next week I head to Tokyo on business and with that travel came a grueling week of deadlines and deliverables, and more of them next week. I needed to get out of my house, but couldn’t muster the desire to put on makeup and socialize. There’s a small independent movie theater about five blocks from my house, so I thought, what better way to totally decompress than to walk those five charming blocks and go to a 4:30pm showing of Carol.

I’ve been meaning to catch up on all the Oscar films and this didn’t disappoint. Nor did my medium salted (with butter) popcorn and large Diet Coke and the ability to take my retainer out to enjoy a show about a love affair between two women in the 1950’s, toothless. God bless dark theaters. I used to love dark theaters so I could make out with my boyfriends, but now I love them because I can eat without my retainer in the dark and not be seen. Yes, you read that right, my front tooth is gone (as of  seventeen days ago | my wrist is also fractured, unrelated), but more to come at a later date, because this is not about me, it’s about something much bigger.

So there I was, in the dark theater watching Carol and right in the middle of the scene where Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara’s characters make love for the first time, I wondered (almost out loud), WHO SLEPT WITH LEO ON THE NIGHT HE WON HIS OSCAR?

Are you guys wondering this as well? I don’t follow celebrity gossip, I gave it up in my mid-twenties after a ton of pressure from my mother (thank you mom), but this, this I want to know. Have there been any guesses? Do you think actresses and models who showed up at the VF Oscar Party were dressed extra sexy in a bold attempt to take the man of the night home? Did he even go there? Where was he and who was there?  It’s not like just because someone wins an Oscar that everyone wants to have sex with them. I mean, sure, it helps, but this is Leonardo DiCaprio, and he’s famous for sleeping with women who aren’t really human…or at least, they don’t look like the women who roam my brunch spots in Denver. And there was SO much hype. And he took it home. So who did he take home? Will we ever know?

Someone keep me posted. Please. I need to know who slept with Leonardo on the night he won his Oscar.