PARTY WITH THE ALISON SHOW

awesomewithbing.denver2014-5 A few months ago, I had the honor of going to the Search for Your Awesome par-tay hosted by The Alison Show and Bing. Did I tell you about it?? Well since it's throwback Thursday, here's the scoop. Get ready for some serious party inspiration...

party placeawesomewithbing.denver2014-23the best party peopleparty tableAWESOME place settingballoons and fringeaiko popsflorals to die forto be interesting

Holy moly, guys. They had a superstar crew working on this shindig. Melanie Blodgett from You Are My Fave was in charge of the decor and the activities for the night. Needless to say, SHE NAILED IT.

Outside, there were drinks, a food truck (I'm obsessed), Aiko Pops (also obsessed), and ice cream from Em's a.k.a the best coconut ice cream of my life. Plus there were adorable and instagram-worthy details EVERYWHERE. The cuteness was almost too much to handle. It was basically a blogger's paradise.

How gorgeous are those floral arrangements by Rebecca Caridad?? SO much talent, that one.

wall hangingswall hanging detailslearning to weave with smile and wavepractice practice

After all of the deliciousness and photo-taking, we headed inside for an evening of DIYing. Rachel Denbow of Smile and Wave taught us how to do her beautiful wall hangings. AND we all got our very own weaving starter kits. I was in DIY heaven.

colorful yarngorgeous detailsawesomest party favorsweaving with the alison show

Enough show and tell, there's also a video!! It captured the evening and all of the fun details so well...

http://youtu.be/Ul5btYHyu68

I'm beyond thrilled I got to spend an evening with this group of amazing ladies. There's something about being around a group of like-minded creatives that always makes me feel so inspired. I felt especially inspired after this evening. Alison is one of the most genuine peeps you'll ever meet AND the most fun. My proof? This party + her How to Be Awesome series. It's a life-changer. Watch immediately, k?

Happy Thursday, everyone!

Photos by the beautiful and talented Heather Gray. Awesome video by Modern Atelier.

EAT DRINK CREATE HOLIDAY RECAP!

EDC holiday It's official. The Eat Drink Create holiday party was amaaazing and we have the photos and video to prove it.

I want to start with a major shout out to our sponsors. Seriously, without them we would've been crafting in my living room. Thanks to Yoked, Happy Cakes, Minted, Zevia, and the awesome crew at West Elm in Cherry Creek, we partied and we partied in style. I think I speak for everyone at EDC when I say: THANK YOU!!

EAT

EDC holiday

EDC holiday

EDC holiday

"These are the best cookies I've ever had in my life." I heard that several times that night. Happy Cakes knows how to make a damn good sugar cookie. And the cupcakes?! Omg I could've had 50. If you haven't been to this bakery, GO NOW. Seriously, leave work. It's that good.

DRINK

EDC holiday

EDC holiday

EDC holiday

EDC holiday

Zevia is such a favorite of mine. It's rare to find a drink company you truly love and believe in, don't cha think?! Right when we started planning our holiday event I knew I wanted Zevia at the party. When they agreed to donate super adorbs bottled soda for everyone, I KNEW this was going to be our best party yet.

HUGE thank you to Zevia, not only for the bottled soda, but for letting us get creative with our holiday mocktail! The Merry Berry mocktail is made with equal parts Lemon Lime Twist Zevia, orange juice, and cranberry juice... oh and love. Get the full scoop on the Merry Berry mocktail here!

CREATE

What's cooler than a holiday diy station? TWO holiday diy stations! We teamed up with the amazing and talented ladies from Whimseybox to bring our party people even more crafting fun. Thank you, Whimseybox!

DIY STATION ONE

EDC holiday

EDC holiday

EDC holiday

EDC holiday

Whimseybox rocked the house with their wrapping paper diy. Seriously, it was every blogger and instagrammer's dream scenario. Kraft paper, stamps, paints, ribbon, and your imagination. YES.

DIY STATION TWO:

EDC holiday

EDC holiday

EDC holiday

My incredibly talented EDC partner in crime, Lexy of the Proper Pinwheel, created possibly the cutest and easiet diy ever (that's why I love her), jingle bell stir sticks! Glue your choice of bells and other wintery accessories on a drink stirrer - it can't NOT look adorable.

GOODIE BAGS

EDC holiday

EDC holiday

It just ain't a party without a goodie bag. SO of course we had one. Well actually we had two because we're crazy like that. Crazy awesome.

How cute is that card from Sugar & Type?! She donated a variety of cuteness for our guests - this one is my fave!

My girl L of Design Stitch Go donated the cutest measuring tapes in the entire world. Fact. She's the best. Also fact.

And of course, I added some disco ball ornaments and tinsel... cuz that's just what you do.

How rad are those bags and custom labels from Pinhole Press?! Super adorable + super legit, right?? P.S. Pinhole Press lets you customize way more than just goodie bag labels... I was on their site for hours.

EDC holiday

EDC holiday

EDC holiday

Goodie bag numero dos included these adorable little gable boxes from D & P Celebrations! Their store is FULL of cuteness. You've been warned.

Guess what was inside... HOT CHOCOLATE ON A STICK from Ticket Chocolate!! Even more cuteness in their store. Warned again.

Speaking of all things cute - Minted donated so many party goodies for us I about screamed when I got the package. Ok, maybe I did scream... like an excited blogger squeal. Their party supplies are definitely my go-to. Check out the cute Silver and Gold party supplies we got here!

EDC holiday

EDC holiday

EDC holiday

The food, the drinks, the diys, everything looked amazing. And I think that's because we had the best location: West Elm. It's the perfect backdrop for a party AND they gave away the cutest throw and a gift card to two of our lucky guests! Many, many thanks to everyone at the Cherry Creek store (Edward, Sean, you guys are the BEST!).

Also, we could never have captured the amazingness without our rockstar photographer, Katie Hellinger, and videographer, Annabelle Mintz of Evergreen Lane Productions. Thank you, ladies! Mwah!

Speaking of, it's video time!!! Get excited.

SO much love to everyone who came and everyone who made this night possible!! I had such a blast and it's all thanks to YOU. xoxo

See Lexy's recap for even more photos and don’t forget to check out the hashtag #eatdrinkcreate!

The hosts: artsocial, The Proper Pinwheel, West Elm Photos by: Katie Hellinger Video by: Evergreen Lane Productions

Thanks to:

+ D & P Celebrations + Design Stitch Go + Happy Cakes + Minted + Pinhole Press + Sugar & Type + Ticket Chocolate + Whimseybox + Zevia

Special thank you to Yoked: Where bloggers & businesses meet. They had such a huge hand in making this party bigger than we imagined!

2014: LEARN & HAVE FUN

keep-learning

Happy New Year, friends!!

I've never been a new year's resolutions gal. BUT I am always working on various goals and projects. As we move into the new year, the biggest goals on my agenda are to learn more and have more FUN. Like way more fun, all the time, in everything I do. Even whilst reading emails. How? Well I'll probs be listening to this for starters... but srsly, it's time to let go of stress and enjoy errthang a little more. This is the year.

And then there's LEARN. I want to learn as much as I can about this entrepreneurial journey I'm on.

There's so much to learn when running your own biz. Logistically - like what to say in your contracts, in your bio, on your sales page, on social media, oh and how do you want to get paid (old school checks, paypal, chocolate?). There's a lot to consider.

While 2013 took me soooo much farther than I ever thought possible and I've learned A TON, I'm now at a crossroads where more learning is necessary. I'm ready to take things by to the next level of creativity and professionalism, y'all.

Specifically, I think it's time to master illustrator and indesign. While I'm able to do an insane amount of work in photoshop alone - and I'm sure I'll always use photoshop, my first true love - I know it's time to learn the ins and outs of these legit design programs. LEGIT. That's officially one of my words this year.

I already started taking illustrator classes last month and I'm loooving it. I feel more legit by the second. Feels good to invest time and energy into getting better. Because we can ALWAYS be better... oh, and we can always have more fun, yes?

What are some of your goals for 2014?

Original photo by Simon PAPE via Unsplash.

JUST KEEP CREATING.

just keep creating My goal for December is to build up my graphic design portfolio. Collect my faves from the past few months and maybe create a few new amaaaazing graphics specifically for the 'folio.

Well here's the thing, creating with the portfolio in mind - the collection of your VERY BEST work ever - totally trips me up. I can't work that way. Thinking about the end result before a project even starts is, clearly, not the way to get the creative juju flowing.

I've been reading Austin Kleon's Steal Like an Artist (I know, I think I'm the last creative person on the planet to read this). SUCH a great read. As soon as I finished the last page, it hit me:

Everything you're feeling is okay... and valid... and others have felt this way, too.

Just keep going.

All the doubt (do I really have what it takes...), all the frustration (it seemed so much cooler in my head, now what?)... all the insecurity (does anyone else do it this way?) - it's all okay, it's all valid, and every creative person experiences these thoughts in some form or another.

The key is to keep creating. Everyday. Accept that those thoughts and feelings will be there - and, honestly, who cares if they are? We're in the arena, livin' our dream. And that's way more important than whether or not something is portfolio-worthy.

P.S. I do about 95% of my creative work in that beanie :)

Image by artsocial.

BE HAPPY LINKUP, YEAR TWO

be-happy-year-deux That's right, baby! I'm starting another happiness project and the Be Happy linkup will continue. Can I get an hells yeeeah?

After taking last month off to reflect on my happiness project, the blog, my sanity - I decided that my very favorite posts have ALL been on Thursdays. They've all been for the Be Happy linkup. Those posts made me think, they connected me with amazing people, they made me get shit done. Starting another happiness project became an obvious choice.

So I updated the Be Happy page and planned out the next 6 months with new goals and even bigger dreams. I hope you're ready for another adventure! I couldn't have come this far without you.

Here's what I have planned for my happiness project, year deux!

01 NOVEMBER Clients. Get super clear about who I want to work with. Who is my ideal graphic design client? The clearer I am, the better. For reals.

02 DECEMBER Portfolio. Build up an amazeballs portfolio and create a portfolio page on my blog.

03 JANUARY Learn more skillz. Because I learned graphic design through experience (and on photoshop), I want to take some classes to expand my knowledge of design programs like Illustrator. I love you photoshop, but I gots to keep learnin.

04 FEBRUARY Set some serious and mind-blowing financial goals. Hmm is this late to be focusing on financial goals? Anyhoo, I want to set some goals that will blow me away if – nay when! – I reach them. A plan will be devised and followed, yo.

05 MARCH Take Eat Drink Create to the next level of awesome. This month I’ll be co-hosting our 4th event!! Each EDC has been bigger and better than the last. I have some dream locations & dream sponsors, I think this is the month to call on those dreams!

06 APRIL Expand my services. I always love branching out and going bigger. I’d love to start offering full website design. Or open a shop full of awesome blog graphics + templates! That would be BOSS. This is the month I take things up a notch.

Let's do this! Ya with me?

It’s Thursday and that means a whole gang of rad bloggers are talking about happiness. Join the movement below and on twitter with #BeHappylinkup!

be-happy-banner

Original image found here.

TOGETHER IS BETTER. FACT.

cheers Hi, friends! I feel like I haven't checked in with ya in FOREVER. I've been designing my buns off, yo. I've been putting A LOT of energy into growing the graphic design part of my business. Maybe all of my energy. In fact, towards the end of the summer I took a step back from all of my collaborations. Blog sponsorships, collabs with friends, everything. I wanted to launch these services and nothin' was gonna stop me, ya hear!

Now that everything has officially launched - woot woot! - I'm able to take a step back and take a breath. Phew. I've also been able to reserve a little bit of energy for collaborations. Cuz I love a good collab. Working with people I love and contributing to something I truly believe in is one of the major reasons I started doing this blog thang to begin with. If a project is awesome and exciting, I always want to have enough energy (and time) to say YES.

That said, I recently started doing a little collabin'. I'm so thrilled to be featured on Starr Struck earlier this week. Mary Catherine Starr is an amazing artist and blogger, y'all. Plus she had some great questions for me :) check out the interview here!

Next, I'm SO honored to be over on The Artful Desperado today. Gab is truly one of my favorite bloggers out there. So pop over to his blog for a visit and check out my latest art crush, k? Oh it's a goodie. I definitely put on my art history hat for this one... check it.

Aaand. Last but not least. I'm participating in a crazy awesome project with ban.do. Isn't everything the ban.do gals do crazy awesome? I love them. Anyhoo, stay tuned for more deets about this project. All I can say right now is they sent me a box FULL of goodies. Dudes. There was a mini disco ball. I mean, come on.

Cheers to working together to create amazing things. And big hugs to everyone I work with through blogging and designing. Without you I'd be one sad little worker bee.

Image found here.

SOMETHING NEW. JUST FOR YOU.

artsocial-studio Since leaving my "real" job last November, I feel like I've been in figuring it all out mode. That can be a stressful mode, y'all. Lots of doubt and questions and what ifs. But there's also something really great about that mode... if you follow your instincts, it will ALWAYS lead you to the right thing. Promise.

Ever since I started working for Tiffany Han as her blog manager - designing graphics for her blog, banners for her new programs, and doing the occasional glitter photo shoot (obvi) - I found myself thinking: Omigosh this is freaking awesome. Could I do this full-time? For a living??

My answer: hells to the yeah! I'm SO excited to announce I'm officially offering graphic design services. If you're a small business owner or blogger looking for a graphic designer to help with your biz - on projects big and small - well here I am! Let's get started. It'll be like having your very own graphic designer on staff... awesome, right?

So take a look-see at my new work with me page and portfolio... then contact me asap, k? Because my services often turn into ongoing / long-term projects, I only have a couple spots open!

Hooray for new adventures, eh?

It’s Thursday and that means a whole gang of rad bloggers are talking about happiness. Join the movement below, on facebook, and on twitter with #BeHappylinkup!

be-happy-banner

Image by artsocial.

VISIONBOARDING

visionboard The first time I made a vision board was in middle school. I sat down with my Teen magazine and cut out words and images I loved; things that represented who I wanted to become. I put everything into a collage and framed it (this was serious bidness).

Since then I've made a few attempts at visionboarding, nothing quite that hardcore... I do have a folder in my office that I fill with things I want... and if it's something I reeeally want, I'll tape it somewhere I'll see it all the time. Is that cray?! Well I don't care, it works...

Anyhoo, I've been thinking about making a vision board for a while now. While I'm surrounded by inspiration (via Pinterest) everyday, lately I don't take the time to print things out and truly focus on what I want to bring into my life... so I decided to make one and print it out. This is a peek at just a few of the things on my board... things that remind me where I want to go, who I want to be, and what I want to wear (hey, nothing is too big or too small for the vision board).

You should make one, too! Here's why:

+ They keep your goals literally right in front of you and act as constant reminders of the bigger picture. Next time you're feeling stressed and overwhelmed with to-dos and emails, spend a couple minutes looking at your vision board and boom. All of those to-dos and emails seem A LOT less important.

+ Vision boards encourage daydreaming on the reg. Who doesn't want more daydream breaks?

+ They're fun to make and arguably the best decorations ever.

Happy visionboarding, friends.

It’s Thursday and that means a whole gang of rad bloggers are talking about happiness! Join the movement below, on facebook, and on twitter with #BeHappylinkup!

be-happy-banner

IT'S OKAY TO LET GO

reading by Kelly Nicolaisen I'm not one to shy away from hard work. I'm usually always willing to go above and beyond, and do what needs to be done to reach my goal.

But that mentality can also make me supremely cray and stressed out.

With blogging, planning Eat Drink Create events, and doing more and more graphic design work (yay!), my weeks are pretty full lately. Throw moving into the equation and holy craziness... I'll admit, there were definitely some tears this month.

Believe it or not I'm actually really grateful for this supremely stressful month. I realized something pretty major - BIG thank you to the Glitterbomb Your Biz crew! I realized that I need to give myself permission to let go...

Let go of my crazy high standards. Let go of posting x number of blog posts each week. Let go of tweeting and facebooking and instagramming everyday to keep up my "online presence." Let go of feeling like I have to attend that big blogger conference in January... you know the one.

Release it all. Cuz at the end of the day? It's okay. Better than okay. Everything is unbelievably amazing. Why would I add unnecessary stress to all this amazingness?

We're settled into the new casa. It's almost a new season. It's time to start fresh, yes? Okay. Starting fresh... NOW!

Shout out to artist Kelly Nicolaisen by the way. I'm obsessed with her photos! Seriously, I want them all.

It’s Thursday and that means a whole gang of rad bloggers are talking about happiness! Join the movement below, on facebook, and on twitter with #BeHappylinkup!

be-happy-banner

Reading by Kelly Nicolaisen.

WE BE MOVIN

hangers via designlovefest Moving day is almost upon us! I'll keep this short, as I've only packed 3 boxes and we move in 2 days...

August has been a wild ride, y'all. I'm so grateful for this community. All of you have kept me sane, offered me much-needed encouragement, and kept me focused on what really matters - the happiness! Oh and a home filled with lots of natural light. Damn straight.

You're all amazing. I can't wait to catch up on your comments and posts when I get settled in my new office! Woot woot! Margaritas for everyone.

I'm hoping September is calm and boring... yes, I welcome more boring.

P.S. how great are these spray-painted hangers from designlovefest? That Bri is so dang creative. Love that girl.

P.P.S. it’s Thursday and that means a whole gang of rad bloggers are talking about happiness! Join the movement below, on facebook, and on twitter with #BeHappylinkup!

be-happy-banner

Image via designlovefest.