Category Archives: blogging

our grown up school supply list

Our Grown Up School Supply List

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Today marks an important day as I head back to school for the last time. It’s a very happy first day indeed! As I’ve grown older the back to school tradition has remained a great reason to maintain my gear, pick up a few great office essentials, and return to a routine with more structured hours. This list includes a great bag, office essentials, and some great camera gear to freshen and brighten up our office hours and work this year.

Keep reading for our grown up school supply list after the jump!

our grown up school supply list 2

1. Day Tote from Everlane: Everlane just released a phenomenal line of items for fall. Last week we shared with you their upcoming denim line and have fallen for this tote. I love the rich brown color and can’t wait to have this as my standard bag. (It perfectly holds my MacBook and all my cords, leaving room for all the essentials.)

2. Set the World on Fire foil pencils from Small Glow Shop: I absolutely love having writing instruments that keep me motivated throughout the day. These simply white pencils with a gold mantra “Set the World on Fire” are a great way to add personality and some motivation regardless of how the day may feel.

3. Key Metal Flash Drive from Kingston: As far as upgrades and essentials go, this in an absolute favorite of ours. We use this as a client gift and have one on our keychains as well. For every time you’ve thought, “Where’s my flashdrive?” now you’ll have it ready to go and use as quickly as possible.

4. Leather Mousepad from Appointed: We’ve been in the process of overhauling our workspace, part bedroom and part creative studio. It’s an interesting combination and something we’ve been working towards this summer. As we’ve sourced items, we’ve been sourcing minimal and beautiful products for the deskspace. We’ve fallen in love with the details of the items from Appointed and the way their items are stunningly beautiful.

5. Marble MacBook Case from Ohio Design Space: Ready to protect your MacBook and add a bit of style. We’ve fallen in love with the rich colors in this case and the bit of style it adds to an already gorgeous MacBook.

6. Wireless Camera Flash from Godox: Every year, I add camera gear for a variety of shoots and the specific needs of clients. Over the past year, I’ve gotten many requests for shoots requiring an on-camera flash. We love this one for it’s ease of use and compact nature.

7. Waxed Cotton and Leather Strap from ONA: When it’s time to upgrade from your existing camera strap, we can’t recommend ONA enough. We purchased our camera and laptop bag from them last year and love the smart nature of the strap. With a gray waxed cotton and contrast of brown leather, this strap is creative, chic, and is perfect for any shoot.

8. Leather Pencil Case from Appointed: We’re rounding out the list with this amazing leather pencil case. It’s refined, updated, and trades your Lisa Frank pencil case of the past with something that shows class in the best of ways. Our case is filled with Microns, Steadliner pencils, erasers, and drafting guides. It holds the best of our hand lettering and design tools for whatever our clients may need.

Sources:
Day Tote |  Gold Foil Pencils | Key Metal Flash Drive  | Marble MacBook Case
Leather Mousepad |  On Camera Flash | ONA Camera Strap | Leather Pencil Case

This post contains affiliate links. I will receive compensation for this post if products are purchased. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that support Glisten and Grace.

day in the life glisten and grace

Glisten and Grace: A Day in the Life

Over the years, there’s a question that I receive over and over again. It’s simple, “What does your day look like? How do you fit it all in?” Today we’re peeling back the curtain and letting you behind the scenes. Here’s what a day in the life looks like at Glisten and Grace.

Keep reading for the full post after the jump!

IMG_4962 6:00 AM While our heads are still resting on our pillow, we’re still working. We recently made the shift back to having posts and social media go live for the blog at 6:00 PST. Our reasoning was simple. Originally being from the east coast, we hoped that our readership would migrate to looking at the blog on their lunch hour, 9:00 AM PST. This didn’t happen. In hopes of regaining some ground, we’re making strides to post everyday at 6:00 AM by automating our posts and using Hootsuite to schedule our Facebook and Twitter posts. The good news? It’s been working! Welcome back, our dear friends from the east coast.

7:00 AM Rolling out of bed and head to the gym. I try to get a good half hour to hour workout in before the day starts. This gets my heartbeat going and reduces my coffee intake. Often times I’ll listen to a podcast, catch reruns on HGTV, or listen to an audiobook to past time and keep me entertained at the gym. (I get bored super easily on cardio machines at the gym, to be super honest.)

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8:00 AM Shower and get dressed for the day. I’ve shifted to a somewhat minimal wardrobe that always contains black either on the top, bottom, or both. While it’s a uniform of sorts it always looks nice, elevated, and can span errands, client meetings, or simply a day’s work.

8:30 AM Finish getting ready and head downstairs for breakfast. Breakfast is pretty quick with a bowl of scrambled egg whites (3 to be exact) and some diced chicken sausage. It’s delicious, healthy, and packs in the protein, giving me plenty of energy for the day. At this point, I’ll decide if I want to work from home for the day or work from a coffee shop. Every day is different and it keeps a bit of variety in my routine.

day in the life

9:00 AM: Social media content for clients goes live. We use scheduling options, but post for Instagram in real time. At 9:00 AM, we also post Instagram content for the blog.The rest of the morning is spent responding to client emails, completing revisions, and working in batches for existing clients. Our mind is most alert at the morning and late at night, so we find this gives us the ability to work in blocks of time. It’s hard to gain ground on any project without a 3-hour block of time. We schedule our days to have 3, 3 hour blocks of time with a few active breaks between.

Noon: Time for a lunch break! Today’s lunch consisted of a quick run to Chipotle. We saved the other half for dinner, with a side of chips it’s perfect and cost effective.

1:00 PM: Depending on our energy level, we take a 30 minute nap after lunch or plow through our list of errands. Most of our high level tasks are completed by the end of the morning. Our afternoon block of time is intended to keep us moving, when we’re starting to feel a bit more tired. (This is also when eye strain or a food coma is quicking in.) Today, we’re working on styling a few tabletops, sourcing food, foraging floral, and working on a few project launches. We’re plowing through the list of tasks this week, preparing for a full fall and winter season!


4:00 PM: Finish any deadlines for the day and respond to last minute emails. We turn off our email throughout the day, keeping focus on the task at hand. Opening our email at the end of the work day, allows us to tie up any loose ends for clients and set our task list for the next day.

Golden hour: It’s shooting time. With sunrise around 5:45 in the morning, we make sure to hit golden hour during the evening. It’s a great way to finish the day. Today we’re working on shooting some styled stock photos for an upcoming launch! We can’t wait to show you these collections because they’re absolutely stunning. (Imagine the kind of stock photography you would want as a creative, blogger, and entrepreneur. We’re creating the kind of stuff we wish was on the web, but seems to be absent.)


8:00 PM: Dinner and a walk. With long days of production under our belt, we love to take a break and sit down to a delicious meal or go for a walk with a friend. It’s a great way to be social with others, finding a bit of connection, and getting away from the desk. (It can get a bit lonely working from home or remotely on a team.)

9:00 PM: As much as we hate to admit it, we absolutely work best under pressure. We spend our last few hours of the evening, making sure blog posts and content are ready to go live the next morning, and any final deadlines are submitted for the night.

10:00 PM: Say goodbye to bluelight and screens. We spend our evening with a good book, roommates, and a bit of quiet to wind down. Setting the phone on the opposite side of the room, we give our eyes a break rather than scrolling through mind numbing feeds.

Thanks for joining us behind the scenes and spending the day with us.

How do you spend your days?

We’d love to hear from you! Let us know in the comments below.

my-wardrobe-is-a-black-hole

Help! My Wardrobe Is a Black Hole

When it comes to basics, capsule wardrobes, and fashion trends, it’s easy to steer towards black. After two years of living in Northern California, I’ve realized that my wardrobe has quickly shifted to stark neutrals and my closet has become a black hole. (I own 4 pairs of the same black Madewell skinny jeans and wear them almost every day of the week.) As summer is approaching, it’s time to ditch the all black outfits and add a bit of color and spice back into your wardrobe.

Keep reading for a few of our tips and tricks to add a bit of color back to your wardrobe.

Every outfit should have a bit of color, pattern, texture, and shine. 

This is our go-to recipe for a fantastic outfit. Play with completer pieces, a variety of neutrals, and a pop of color to add variety. Play with pattern and unexpected neutrals. I love the insertion of olives, blush tones, navy, and camel throughout the year. It compliments basics, while still keeping a palette tight and easy. Every woman has a color that is her color. Right now with my hair and skin tone, navy and emerald look amazing for the season, so we’re running with it. These will be the pops of color in our summer wardrobe and we’re totally okay with it.

Never underestimate the value of a good accessory.

For spring and summer of 2017, bandanas and bold earrings have come back with some staying power. Find a favorite silk bandana to play with as an accessory. We also love adding color through nail polishes, lip sticks, or an overall palette. It inserts an element of play.

Go to Pinterest to step outside of your box.

If you’re finding yourself in a rut, head to Pinterest for a styling edge. We love the basic outfits we’ve found, but also love the moments of the unexpected. Playing with pattern, print, and cuts are so fun. You should love what you wear and enjoy the compliments throughout the day. Getting dressed should be fun and add some pep to your step.

Find inspiration from high fashion.

Peruse the issues of fashion editorials, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and the catwalk. Note the themes in collections that are released and what you like. What is the wearable element of the editorial shoots. Avoid going costumey or too over the top, by picking one element to adapt.

Ready to branch out but still are thinking capsule wardrobe? 

Add a striped tee, bold floral pattern, window pane print, or sweet embroidery detail. Tassels, geometric shapes, and florals are perfectly on trend for the summer season. Choose smart editorial pieces to add in shades of blush, olive, navy, and camel. These are neutrals other than black that will add variety and an can still be used in any capsule wardrobe, paired in looks over and over again.

What are some ways you add variety to your wardrobe? Any ruts you’re currently finding yourself in?

We’d love to hear from you! Let us know in the comments below.

 

5 Ways to Reach Your Financial Goals

5 Ways to Reach Your Financial Goals

I’ve always been a goal oriented person. Over the years, goals have changed and evolved from health to fashion to business goals. As 2017 rolled around, it came great changes. The business and blog evolved. Partnerships closed and collaborations, new clients, and opportunities opened up. As an entrepreneur, I’m incredibly aware of my ability to increase or decrease my income. I determine my income ceiling. I’m 6 months from turning 30 and can’t tell you how amazing my finances have been in my 29th year. I set a goal to increase my sales and services by $20,000 this year. (It comes out to increasing service revenue by $5,000 a quarter which has proven to be very manageable.) Yes, that’s a significant increase and it’s strategic. I have a few pending major purchases and knew I wanted to make and save some serious money this year. As I have these purchasing long-term goals in mind, it’s been easy to save. Maybe for you, you’re hoping to pay down debt, build an emergency fund, or make a major purchase.

Here are 5 tips we’ve learned along the way to help reach our financial goals.

1. Be conscientious about your spending.

When it comes to credit and debit cards, it’s easy to lose track of your balance. Not ready to ditch the perks of credit cards and shift to the cash envelope system? Keep track of your expenses through the calculator app on your phone. Get into the habit, by making sure you enter the amount into the calculator right after checkout and prior to leaving the store. It takes around 10 seconds and you’ll create a great habit.

2. Live off one paycheck a month. 

For most of us, we get paid on a bi-weekly basis. As our income grows, we often allow our expenses to increase with our income. By keeping living expenses to one paycheck a month, it allows you to save the other check. With saving half of your monthly income, you can reach financial goals quickly and get past living paycheck to paycheck.

3. Cut the excess expenses in your budget.

It’s easy to spend hundreds of dollars on clothing, coffees, eating out, and entertainment throughout the month. Set a budget and choose to meal prep and make your cold brew at home. (We have an awesome recipe for cold brew right here. And teach you how to buy organic for $50 a week.)

4. Pursue multiple streams of income.

As an entrepreneur or career minded person, it’s always wise to diversify finances and pursue multiple streams of income at the same time. Whether a student, working multiple side jobs, or being self-employed, figure out ways to develop passive income or increase the money coming in through additional jobs. This is a great way to increase money coming in allowing you to reach your financial goals faster. Keep a spreadsheet of your income. This will track multiple streams, allowing for estimates in income growth for each quarter, allowing for ebb and flow throughout the year, knowing where hustle and rest need to find their natural rhythm.

5. Keep your goals in front of you.

Whether it’s a major purchase, paying down debt, or filling in a paper thermometer to track your income increase, set your long-term goals in front of you. It will keep you moving forward as you visualize the best option for your finances. We keep a mood board with all things financial goals in our Evernote app. It’s on our phone all the time and great for referencing when we need additional inspiration.

Looking for more resources on finances?

We love this blog. The Financial Diet is great and our go-to resource when it comes to being a creative entrepreneur and becoming financially savvy.

Dave Ramsey is a master and with good reason. If you’re looking for an intensive and needing to pay down debt quickly, we can’t recommend him enough.

This is a blog post on our past relationship with finances and one worth rereading. Getting Real: From Broke to $10K

Interested in a fun challenge? We spent one week living off of $0. Find the full series of posts, as we completed the No Money Challenge. Intro | 2 | 3 | 4

What are your current financial goals? Any tips that have worked for you?

We’d love to hear from you. Let us know in the comments below.

how to create margin

How to Create Margin

“Never mistake busyness for significance.”

I heard this statement made by Bill Johnson, our senior pastor, as the final address to our graduating class. It hit me straight between the eyes. It’s easy to fill our schedules and days with things. But are the tasks that fill our days significant? If they don’t happen, who will it effect? Will it affect anyone?

Margin. Breathing room. The work-life balance. It’s something we all desperately need and strive to have. It can feel proverbial in the life of an entrepreneur. When it comes to being in business for yourself, it’s easy to fill up your days, going from one thing to the next. You have emails to answer, invoices to send, content to create, and sales to increase. You’re the only one that can increase your income ceiling so you run at full speed. Maybe you’re running after your dreams, doing the self-employment thing and are finding yourself in the same place. It’s easy to glamorize our busyness by calling it hustle. There’s some strange form of value found in the 100 hour work week, but at the end of the day we’re hyped up on caffeine, with minimal food in our stomachs, and are absolutely exhausted.

What if life could be different? What if there were ways to create margin?

How to Create Margin

1. Acknowledge you can’t do it all.

It takes wisdom to know when to delegate and hire things out. Where are the moments where your drive and creativity needs to be handed off to someone else? Maybe you need to hire a part-time project manager, assistant, or virtual assistant for various tasks. Choose to have focus and streamline what you do throughout the day.

2. Schedule time off. Don’t put anything in that slot.

It’s one thing to state you have days off, it’s another thing to fill them up. During the past school year, my days off were far from it. They included homework, groceries, blog shoots, and laundry, usually within 5 hours of time. Protect your time off and follow through on the commitment to yourself. For me this means, scheduling spontaneity, adventures, and placing it in my Google Calendar. If it’s in my Google Calendar, it will happen.

3. Put your screens away.

Our life is filled with visual clutter and noise. We go from watching TV to minutes later watching mind-numbing Instagram Stories as we get ready for bed. Rather than connecting with others we go from screen to screen throughout our day. What would it look like to place your phone on the opposite side of the room, connect with your partner, or enjoy the physical pages of a good book? Find breathing room by choosing to consume less. It will be hard at first, but worth it.

4. Value rest and peace above anything else.

There is nothing worth your peace. Absolutely nothing. If you find your mornings filled with rush or regret that you slept in for 10 minutes, let this be your wake up call. Life should never be filled with so much that your mind is reeling before your feet hit the floor. It’s time to listen to your heart, body, and needs. Whether you’re working for someone else or yourself, cultivate ways to cope and bring a breath of fresh air to your day. Whether it’s finding solace in prayer, meditation, scripture, or a walk, cultivate peace in your life. It’s an invaluable practice.

5. Prioritize.

Often time margin isn’t created due to lack of priorities. Develop clear and top priorities for your days. Statistically you won’t get more than three major tasks accomplished in a single day. Give yourself grace and tackle projects accordingly. Once you set realistic expectations, you will find margin will begin to surface. Embrace it. Take a walk, make a good meal, find connection with a friend, or go for a run.

How do you create margin?

We’d love to hear from you! Let us know in the comments below.