MORE PANCAKES, I SAY

strawberry-walnut-pancakes My resolution to have more fun has already taken me to some surprising places. Like... THE KITCHEN. Guys. I'm not a good cook. Normally the only thing I make in the kitchen is oatmeal... and several small fires. So you can imagine my excitement when I seamlessly pulled off strawberry walnut pancakes on the fly last weekend. Like a BOSS.

It made me wonder why I haven't been eating waaaay more pancakes... They're quick, easy, and you can fill them with a variety of tasty additions like strawberries and walnuts. Or chocolate chips. Or bacon. (I've also been making A LOT of green juices and smoothies, so increasing my pancake intake is totally ok, right? All about balance.)

Since I've been taking illustrator classes lately, and eating some bombass pancakes, I thought I'd share my recipe as a little graphic - what what!

Psst - sometimes I just use pancake mix, making these devils even easier to make... nothing wrong with shortcuts.

I declare 2014 the year of more cake... cup, pan, and every cake in between. (AND green juices on the regular. BALANCE.)

Image by artsocial. Recipe by Betty Crocker & yours truly.

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.

TIME FOR FUN + CHAMPAGNE

take a break I LOVE the week in between Christmas and New Year's. So much to celebrate, and within one week! Holidays should always come in pairs... or in Paris, which is what I accidentally typed at first. I hear ya, subconscious. I'll consider a trip to Europe in 2014.

I've officially decided to take this week off. I don't even know what I'll do with myself! Get over the moon / giddy / butterflies excited about the new year? Or go rollerskating? Not out of the question.

Have a wonderful holiday, everyone! Cheers! (Cuz there will be plenty of champagne drinking obvs).

How will you be ringing in the new year?

Image found here.

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.

HAPPY, HAPPY

happy-thanksgiving Happy Thanksgiving to youuu! I hope you're warm & cozy today with your fam, eating well and celebrating like whoa.

This year has brought so many wonderful things to be grateful for. Exciting business things. Fun travel things. Great friendship things. I feel like this year has gone by at 800 miles an hour, so it feels good to devote a whole day to giving thanks... and eating pie.

What are you grateful for today? Raise your hand if it's pie with extra whipped cream... awww yeeeah.

P.S. The Be Happy linkup will resume next week! So get that happiness post ready, girrrl.

P.S.S. Are you ready for my ultimate holiday gift guide?! More deets coming soon. Get excited.

Image: ginger pumpkin pie with graham cracker crust. I know. Classic.

 

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.

MY WORK UNIFORM

work uniform Whenever I encounter another work-at-home rockstar like myself, I immediately have to ask: what time do YOU get up? Do you stay in pajamas way too long, too? How about showering? Does it happen before noon? Yep. That happens. Just the life of an entrepreneur doing thangs solo dolo.

Needless to say my work attire has changed quite a bit since my museum days. Now it's about comfort, warmth (my office is always arctic cold), and cuteness (obvs, there might be 'gramming opportunities). My go-to outfit usually consists of long button-ups, leggings, socks, and some ban.do flair.

P.S. since the weather officially dipped below 70 degrees, I've been a big fan of socks. You could totally get me socks for Christmas and I would LOVE it... but, ya know, cute socks with fun patterns.

Do you work from home? What's your go-to outfit?

ban.do twist scarf | studio buttondownleggings | thigh high socks

WEEKEND TIME

get-away Lately I'm trying my best to take real weekends. Ya know, like for reals no working for two whole days. To recharge and connect with my peeps, my homies, my dawgs (Kevin and Meowmers). It's not always easy, especially when my phone is always within arm's reach in case there's an instagram opportunity... you never know when it'll happen, you must be prepared.

Well this weekend, we're going to the mountains with some friends so I'll definitely get a work break (instagrams will still be happening, obvs). The colorful aspens, some good food, some dranks! I'm really looking forward to it. Even if you love what you do, it's good to take a break. Balance is so important... and I definitely haven't mastered it yet! If you have any tips, help a sista out.

Wishing you a truly relaxing weekend away from those glowing screens!

What's your favorite way to relax and recharge on the weekends?

Image by Madewell, found here.