I've never picked a word to represent my year before. I always love hearing about other people's words for the year, but for some reason I've never tried it. I'm more of a resolutions and goal-setting gal, I suppose.

This year, I thought I'd give it a try. After coming across and completing Susannah Conway's brilliant Find Your Word email course, one word was definitely coming to mind: open.

A few days after completing Susannah's course, I came across something that made me realize just how important my new word could be for me. I read a book that explained worrying in a way I'd never thought of before. It said that when we worry about something, we're basically saying NO to any success or happiness that's trying to emerge in that moment.

WHAT. I know, right?? Of course I want more success and happiness. We all do! Reading that made me realize that worrying isn't about caring too much or analyzing a situation, like I thought. Instead worrying is just fear in disguise. And whenever I worry, I'm closing myself off from good things. No more, bro. Knowing that makes me want to stop immediately.

So by declaring open as my word for 2015, I'm promising myself I will do my best to release the worry, fear, doubt, social media comparing ;) Because I want to be open to all of the good that surrounds me and the good that's trying to emerge, in all its forms: love, success, creativity, inspiration, health, happiness, a free chai... whatevs.

I'm sure I'll have some slip ups, going cold turkey on worrying won't be easy. But that's okay. I'll start over. As many times as I have to.

I can't wait to see how this year unfolds with open at the forefront of my thoughts and decisions...! Did you pick a word for 2015? I'd love to hear what it is!



Photo by Sugar Photography.


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!


Original image found here.


a year of happiness // artsocial Wow it's been a whole year of the Be Happy linkup and my blog happiness project has officially come to an end. I collaborated, I grew my numbers, I hosted events (!), I worked with brands, I launched services (!!)... crazy how much can happen in a year, huh?

You may be wondering, am I happier? Happier in life? With my blog? With my career? I can wholeheartedly say that I AM. Not in an annoying Susie-Sunshine-every-second-is-rainbows kind of way, but in an I'm-genuinely-excited-and-fulfilled way. Last year at this time I knew I had a lot of growing to do and, more importantly, a lot of soul-searching to do where my career was concerned. This project has helped me immensely. It took a major commitment on my part, but it was SO worth it. Having goals and focusing on them one at a time for a year? Amazingly effective and satisfying.

If you're trying to figure out the next steps in your career, make some serious long-term goals. Take the time to make plans. I know it can feel frustrating and even silly to plan out an entire year in advance, but I'm tellin' ya, friends, really thinking about the future and where you want to be is KEY. The more clarity, the better.

Now the question is: do I start a new happiness project? With new goals and even BIGGER dreams? What do you think? Have you enjoyed hearing about my happiness project and reading the Be Happy linkup posts each week? I wanna know!

Also, I've been thinking - the best part of this linkup is community, right? Right. So guess what? I'm passing the Be Happy linkup baton to Louise of Laid Off Mom for the entire month of October! So starting next week, grab your happiness posts and linkup over on her uhmazing, gorgeous blog. Wahoo! High five to Louise and to everyone in the Be Happy crew! xoxo


Image by artsocial.


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!



that shit cray The other day I asked the Be Happy facebook group about impossibility journals. Have you guys ever heard of them? It's based off of the line in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland about believing at least six impossible things before breakfast. That's basically the gist, you write down six "impossible" things you'd like to achieve.

I love this idea so much. I must admit, with most of my goal lists I'm striving to achieve something but it's usually something I'm pretty sure I can accomplish. So I can work towards it and eventually put a deliciously satisfying check mark next to it. Maybe this is a subconscious thing, so I don't set myself up to fail. Well that's very safe... and BORING.

What's the point of creating life lists and vision boards if you're not really dreaming, really pushing yourself, really going for it. Who cares if it doesn't happen. Would you like to do it, have it, be it? Well then it's a legit and valuable goal. Whatever "it" may be. Even if it seems cray.

I love the idea behind impossibility journals because it trains your mind to think bigger and let go of limitations. I'm starting one, fo sho. This is really going to stretch my self-reflective and creative muscles... plus I'll call out all of my limited/limiting thoughts in the process.

Want to join me?

It's Thursday and that means a whole gang of rad bloggers are talking about happiness! Join the movement below and on facebook.


Image by artsocial. Awesome backdrop by The High Five Factory.


blog-life-artsocial I've spent the last couple weeks reassessing my bloggy goals. I first started the Be Happy linkup and my blog happiness project to help me stay on track, stay accountable, and, honestly, to help me dream bigger. It's definitely helped me grow. I feel like I've climbed up a couple rungs on the dream ladder recently and now it's time to reevaluate. Thank you for all of your support and encouragement by the way... gah, you're so awesome.

It's time to put all of the tips and advice I've collected to work and be really honest with myself about where I want to invest my energy. Cuz there are a bajillion options and I've learned I (unfortunately) can't do everything. I apparently have to sleep and stuff... so annoying.

Here's what's in the works for the second half of my happiness project:

MARCH Take artsocial offline. That’s right, folks. An event has been in the works for a while now! March 28th at West Elm in Cherry Creek. That’s all I’m sayin'... for now. I'm so excited I can hardly contain myself.

APRIL Create a media kit I'm really proud of. I need to get my media kit ducks in order, ya know? I gots to be ready. I recently had a thought - what if my dream sponsor reached out and asked for my media kit? Omigosh, I'd have to scramble like cray to put something better together. So my goal is to create a media kit I'd be comfortable sending my dream sponsor.

MAY Research and join an ad network. It’s time. I’m comin’ for ya, ad networks. What do you guys think of ad networks? Are you part of an ad network? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

JUNE Explore new avenues. Product, ecourse, ebook? Oh I’ll keep you posted. This one is incredibly exciting and daunting at the same time. I love the idea because it means the opportunity to grow and create and help people, which is my ultimate goal. But the HOW and WHAT is the tricky part. It's time to figure that out.

So that's what coming up for artsocial. I still have two more months to fill for my blog happiness project, but I think I'll hold off on filling those spots. I have a feeling they'll fill themselves over the next few months...


Check out the posts from the Be Happy linkup crew and join the conversation on facebook!


Image by artsocial.


Dots by  Kate Donaldson The first Be Happy linkup of 2013 - can I get a HOO-RAY?

So. Did you make some resolutions? I have ongoing resolutions/goals/commandments from my blog happiness project... but there is one commandment I'm really focusing on in the new year. To listen. I know, you may be thinking boo, lame! Out of all the cool action words I could pick from, why listen?

I don't mean listen to other people. In fact, most of the time you should probably ignore other people. That's right, I said it. Realizing your creative dreams often means following your intuition and ignoring the concerned looks your friends and family give you. I think following your passion and enthusiasm requires your attention. What do you really want? What makes that heart of yours sing? Only you can figure that out.

So, this year, I'm listening to myself. I'm vowing to get quiet, check in with myself, and make my decisions - big and small - based off of my intuitive feelings/gut reactions/ultimate truths. No more saying yes to be agreeable... gah still haven't mastered that one. I'll get it this year, guys.

And guess what? The Be Happy linkup now has a facebook group! Join this awesome crew to talk about happiness and get inspired on the daily... oh yeah, 2013 is gonna be amaazing.

link up. be happy.

Image: Dots by Kate Donaldson.