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.

WHO DO YOU LOVE?

ideal-client When I first started offering graphic design services, a good friend suggested before I get started, I should really think about who my ideal client would be. Visualize this person. Write down their traits. YES I thought, that's so smart. Then did I do it? Nope. Sure didn't.

I was so excited about the inquiries that were coming in that I put this important exercise on hold... to get to work! Cuz just diving in is so much easier when you're excited!

BUT. By not having a clear idea in my mind of who I'd like to work with, I was more impulsive, reactive, and less intentional when it came to accepting clients.

Now that I'm a couple months in, I realize how important it is to take this exercise seriously. To get crystal clear about who I want to work with. While I've REALLY lucked out and worked with some amazing people, there have been a few instances where I've had to say no. The project didn't feel right, the client didn't feel like my kind of client.

SO now I'm asking: who do I want to work with? I'll start there... and then I'll narrow, refine, and get specific. Right as I was contemplating this, I received an email from Amanda Genther's Power Play program talking about this EXACT TOPIC. Ok, universe, I hear ya. I'll start figuring all this out...

blogger

Ideal client numero uno: The Blogger

So you have a blog and you're totally kicking ASS. You love your site design, it's your brand + style all the way... but what about social media? Facebook cover photo + tabs? Twitter background + cover? Okay, they need a serious update. And those new series & programs you're offering soon? They could definitely use some graphics infused with your style.

Hmm and in a few months, an updated logo would be RAD...

Dudes. I've been there. I am there. I totally get the bloggers, yo. I can help.

solopreneur

02 Ideal client numero dos: The Solopreneur

Your business is boomin' like whoa... but it's just you and like that quote floating around on pinterest - you can do anything but you can't do everything. SO buttons + banners + headers for your programs, eye-catching & pinnable images for your blog posts, customized thank you cards to go with your products - yep. You need to hire out.

Contributing to the success of a fellow entrepreneur is THE BEST part of what I do. Double hooray for working together to achieve something amazing.

growing-business

03 Ideal client numero tres: The Growing Bidness

You're kicking major ass in the business world and you've hired a few employees - whaaaat, high five. Even with your crew, there are still SO many day-to-day graphic design projects, there's no way you can keep up. Daily facebook posts specifically marketing your brand, new visuals for promos, pinnable graphics to help drive traffic back to your site. OH yeah, time to get a graphic designer on board.

Hooray for some client clarity! And guys, this is just the beginning. I'm planning to get even MORE specific about clients. There will be questionnaires. Maybe even a mad lib or two... stay tuned, you know I'll share everything with ya.

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

Image found: one by artsocial | two | three | four

ARTSOCIAL TURNS TWO! LET'S EAT CAKE.

woot woot Guys, it's my 2nd blogiversary! Clearly a giant cake is in order.

I cannot believe it's been two years. I've learned so dang much, it blows my mind how much can happen and change in such a short amount of time. I have so many goals and dreams for this site, it's easy to forget how much I've already done simply because there's still so much I want to do.

In honor of the blogiversary - and in honor of slowing down to celebrate accomplishments instead of blowing past them - I thought we'd revisit some of my very favorite posts / moments from the past two years...

+ My very first Art Crush post! Still crushin' on that rad work... I mean, it's art you can walk on! How awesome is that?

+ The first Shoes & Views, arguably the coolest series ever. High five, Kate.

+ Going to blogshop in Seattle. Wow that was such a turning point. My confidence, skills, and excitement all got a major boost that weekend. I'm forever grateful for blogshop.

+ The post that inspired the Be Happy linkup... and my decision to leave the museum world for reals. P.S. another major milestone? It's been a whole year since I left my museum job! That means 12 months of solopreneurship. 365 days of blind faith that my passion would turn into a profitable career. I'm SO glad I made that leap.

+ Ab Ex Halloween! That costume was so fun to put together... I still have the painting, too.

+ Going to Alt Summit. Omigosh talk about another pivotal event. I don't want to start tearing up, but this was life changing. It's where I met the Tiffany Han after all! Things started to get real - and real awesome - after this conference.

+ Our first Eat Drink Create party! Oh man, seriously one of the best decisions I've made as a blogger. Real life is where it's at, I tell ya. I can't wait to go back to West Elm for our holiday party next month. So excited to celebrate the holidays with you guys!

It's been an amazing ride so far. To everyone I've connected with because of this blog: thank you for being so freaking awesome. I wish I could give all of you a slice of this cake I bought to celebrate the occasion. Ok, me and Kevs will each have an extra piece in your honor.

woot woot

HUGE shout out and thank you to Lila of Lingering Daydreams for making me this custom cake banner!! I'm in love with it. I want to put it on all my food. Pizza, pancakes, everything. Thanks, Lila! :)

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

Images 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.

OFF I GO!

portland-bound Traveling is one of my very favorite things. I'm always planning my next adventure. In fact, I planned this trip way back in July! I am super excited to explore Portland. I've never been there before. I'm told I'll love it... and I bet Portlandia will be even funnier after visiting.

But the main reason I'm going is because one of my very favorite people in the world lives there. I cannot wait to mix some drinks and have many, many dance parties. I think I'm finally going to perfect my dougie...

But I must know! Where should I go while I'm in Portland? Restaurants, shops, drinkeries - I'd love your tips + recommendations!

Wait - would you want to come to Portland with me? You totally should. Oh okay, if you can't there's always instagram :) see ya soon, friends.

Image by Victor Blackman 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.

MAKING ROOM FOR THE NEW

be happy Each Thursday for the past year, I've written a post about happiness and hosted the Be Happy linkup. While it's been truly amazing and I've fallen in love with the whole Be Happy crew, lately I've been feeling the need to take a step back and make room for the new. Do you ever feel that way? Even if you have the best routine ever, it helps to shake things up a bit every now and then, right? After all, if we don't try new things, our senses can dull and we can lose our sparkle... and THE WORST thing you can do is lose your sparkle.

This community is so important to me, I've been reeeaally hesitant to take a break from the linkup. I know, I'm sure I'm being silly. Everyone will do just fine without this linkup each week. But it's become important to me and everyone who links up has become important to me. SO what to do?

Well... ask for help. I'm learning I don't have to carry it all on my own, in life or in bidness. While I'm traveling a bit this month, setting some new goals, and exploring new sparkly ideas, I've asked Louise of Laid Off Mom to host the linkup. Because she's the best ever, she said yes.

So head on over to Laid Off Mom, link up with Louise, and then pour yourself a drink for being so damn awesome. Cuz you are. At the end of the day, the Be Happy linkup really is about this community. Lots of love to all of you!

Image found here.

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

WORDS TO LIVE BY

makingstuffanddoingthings Remember my Be Happy Commandments that went along with my happiness project?? I wrote them almost a year ago exactly. They still bring me so much inspiration... but I think it's time to add a few more to the list. These gems are definitely commandment-worthy.

01 Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together. (when something unexpected happens, trust that it's for the very best of reasons...)

02 Say yes and you'll figure it out afterwards. (wise words from Tina Fey.  A reminder for me to follow my excitement and not over-think the hows)

03 There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. (a quote by Anaïs Nin that will always encourage me to step out of my comfort zone and blossom like cray)

04 To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong. (work like nobody's watching, right? Quote by Joseph Chilton Pearce)

05 If I embrace who I am it will open doors not shut them. (quote by Devon Franklin. Honoring your values and going for what you really want will only lead to more opportunities, not less)

Bonus quote: Let's get down to some serious partying. I LOVE that photo by Nicole Lavelle. Genius. Plus there's always room for more celebrations in this life...

Which quote resonates with you the most??

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: Too Much by Nicole Lavelle.