Category Archives: life

casual friday

Casual Friday | Vol. 6

Happy Friday everyone!

It’s been the first week without a major holiday or trip thus far this year for us. While I’ve been loving getting back into a routine, there’s something about the rainy weather and cloudy days that has made motivation and knocking out to-do lists challenging. You’ll find me spending these days with a warm drink in hand and rocking my coziest layers. (Today it consisted of oversized denim, sweatshirt, scarf, and messiest of top knots.) 

As the year has come in full force, I’m excited about the fresh projects to tackle, the ability to focus on copy and write better stories, and building out stunning campaigns for clients.

Keep reading for the full post after the jump

casual friday casual friday

Here are a few things I’ve been loving on the Internet lately:

Have you been dreaming of a creative sabbatical? Walking the stone cobbled streets of Europe, perusing cafes and delighting in the best bread you’ve ever tasted? Here’s how to take one while working full time.

Sometimes in life, awesome things happen to the people around you. Your life not so much. Here’s how to avoid envy and celebrate others when life is tough.

What would you pay for wellness in life? Would you be willing to pay the cost? This 5 minute read from Wit & Delight will bring about reflection and clarity in your own life.

This 10 minute tomato soup from A Beautiful Mess is the perfect weeknight meal on the go. With smart substitutions, it remains veggie based and creamy.

Late nights mean great reads. We’ve been reading Play by Dr. Stuart Brown and The Ultimate Guide to Facebook Advertising

Need another healthy soup recipe to have on deck? We love this Vegetarian Black Bean Sweet Potato Chili from What’s Gaby Cookin’.

Instagram announced another rollout of changes to features, the algorithm, and expected decrease in engagement. These 18 hacks for Instagram Stories will set your stories apart and create margin for stronger Instagram engagement.

Just in case you missed it, here are this week’s posts:

5 Ways to Stay Motivated (With Daylight Savings Time)
Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Buttercream
Everything You Need To Know About Hygge 

What are you up to this weekend?

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


30 lessons I've learned before 30

30 Lessons I’ve Learned Before 30

It’s the time of year where hiatus, hibernation, and goal setting. While it is the start of the new year for everyone else, for myself it’s also marks the start of a new decade. My twenties were full. Full of cross-country moves, rebuilding of community, and choosing to find home whether with two 50 lb bags in tow or in apartments. Inspired by the work of Stefan Sagmeister, (you can check out his video here), today this post is a reflection on the past decade. It’s been wild and a crazy adventure beyond my furthest imagination.

As I started my 20s, I was wrapping up my college career. While college was by far one of the most phenomenal community and full of dear souls, it was a roller coaster ride. With crazy health scares, I started my 20th year, thankful for life and beyond excited for another day. As I finished my college career I graduated into one of the most challenging economies the United States had ever seen. I was venturing out into the real world hoping my costly, six figure degree would be worth something and move me past that of my fellow peers working in a coffee shop.

As I neared my mid twenties the dream job had come and gone. I would spend hours hoping, praying for the next thing to come. Late nights of study and 8 years of work had come to a crashing halt within 14 months. I was desperate for something new. I was creative, loved hard work, knew what I was called to, and was navigating a new world (from the courtesy of my parent’s home.)

If there was one word that would describe the past decade, it is simply resilience. It’s looking toward a goal and running hard after it. This isn’t for anyone else, it truly is for yourself, your family, and the legacy you leave for others. It’s about being willing to ask the hard questions, being content with doubt and grappling with calling, and not settling for the status quo. It is possible to do it with grace and embrace the process you’re currently in.

More than any lesson I’ve learned, I’ve learned that the cost of living a wholehearted life is worth it. No matter the challenges, disappointments, or upsets, there hasn’t been a moment of regret.

Here are 30 Lessons I’ve Learned in Life Thus Far:

1. Choose happiness everyday.
2. Your smile (regardless of the coffee-stained or less than perfect teeth) lights up a room.
3. Light is light wherever it goes.
4. Failure is never fatal.
5. Sometimes messes happen. Know how to own your part, clean up the mess, and move forward.
6. Learn how to receive feedback from others. You will grow as a person and as a leader, showing you new ways to thrive.
7. Embrace seasons.
8. Love always wins.
9. Live with legacy in mind.
10. Experiences are always more valuable than stuff.
11. Time is a precious resource.
12. Nothing is worth your peace.
13. Understand the grace that can come in a moment.
14. Technology is a gift. It brings the world to your doorstep. Navigate it with grace and truth, realizing the impact your voice has. Own it.
15. Choose to be a slave to nothing. Fear, rejection, the phone and phantom buzz in your back pocket.
16. Find everyday moments to celebrate.
17. Champion the place where you live. It will serve your city, others, and yourself well.
18. There is enough courage to dream.
19. Some battles aren’t worth fighting. Others are worth it. Pick and choose.
20. Find a way to merge your passion and purpose with profit.
21. Self-care isn’t selfish. It is for the benefit of everyone else.
22. Creativity is a process and a journey. Champion others in their creativity and stepping out.
23. Choose to live a life and story that compels, inspires, and gives life to others.
24. For she loved much. May this be my legacy.
25. Discipline brings margin and breathing room for spontaneity, adventure, and fun.
26. Work hard and be kind.
27. Gratitude and thankfulness move us from one season to the next.
28. Resilience and tenacity of the human spirit are phenomenal.
29. Beauty comes in a stunning spectrum of sights, colors, shapes, and sizes.
30. People are worth investing in. Love deep, love well, and watch transformation happen.

What are some of the life lessons you have learned thus far?

10 Books on Our Reading List for 2018

10 Books on Our Reading List for 2018

There’s nothing quite like a cozy night in with a good book. If you’re looking for a bit of inspiration and moving past the norm, do yourself a favor, turn off Netflix, and open up good book, enjoying every stroke and word cover to cover. Over the next few months I’m wrapping up school (after a three-year stint) and excited for the margin to read more books, rather than the stack assigned. With that in mind we put together this reading list. There are books in here that serve as the perfect resources for small business, creating a better world in 2018, and to breathe a bit more inspiration into life this year.

Keep reading for our 10 Books after the jump!

10 Books on Our Reading List for 2018

Essentialism by Greg McKeown

If you’re longing to go back to rediscovering your why, finding the essence of your daily routine, and minimizing your tasks back to what is most important, we can’t stress the importance of this book enough. It takes a mindful edit at how you fill your days. We recommend reading this one with a business partner or significant other, providing an invaluable feedback loop as you process through this book.

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell

When it comes to writing on leadership, Maxwell is one of the best. Serving as the follow up book to Developing the Leader Within, this book provides timeless principles of leadership and self-growth. (We’re admittedly self-growth junkies.)

Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown

When it comes to pioneering things and paying the cost for belief, Brene Brown has provided a new anthem and depth of meaning for the seasons of disappointment, the moments of challenge, and resilience of human spirit.

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

As a creative, it’s easy to give into writer’s block or the inner struggle. It’s the challenge every artist faces and must surpass to tap into sheer brilliance. In The War of Art, Pressfield identifies the point of client within each artist and pushes creatives past the point, bringing vulnerability to the surface of their craft.

Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss

Compiling his experience and expertise in the business world, Tim Ferriss (also the author of the 4-Hour Workweek), sits down with those at the top of their field getting quick advice through quick interviews and Q&A sessions. This is the perfect book to digest in bite-sizes at a time and a great way to decompress in the evening.

Play by Dr Stuart Brown

Anchored on the idea that play is equally essential to an adult’s happiness as it is essential to a child’s development, Brown has spent much of his life uncovering the statistical analysis and research behind play. We started reading this book simply as research for a client but have come to love it, developing a greater understanding for the human heart for adventure and the common needs of the soul.

Capital Gaines by Chip Gaines

We absolutely love the Gaines. (Their impact and influence is inspiring.) After completing The Magnolia Story, it was only time to start on Chip’s book. With simple life lessons and business advice scattered throughout, this book is an easy read, fun, and much like Chip, offers simple advice to help those starting in business find their way.

Chasing Slow by Erin Loechner

What happens when you’ve achieved it all, have the TV show, won the blogging awards, and have all the fame a 30 year old lifestyle blogger and interior designer can manage? In Chasing Slow, Erin Loechner strips things down and invites a new form of living. One where constant content and hustles subside, where slow living is embraced and new meaning is formed. We can’t wait to start this read after closing out school.

Liturgy of the Ordinary

Stumbling across this book on a friend’s Instagram Story, the Book of Common Prayer has become a favorite. However, what is the suited liturgy for the common moments of life. The moments where things are seemingly ordinary, routine, and normal. Not found in a church service, but rather “the in-betweens.” Meet the Liturgy of the Ordinary. (We have a feeling we’ll use this book over and over again.

Dance, Stand, Run by Jess Connolly

WHat happens when grace no longer has standards? Jess Connolly reintroduces these ideas inspiring holiness and movement back into a faith conversation. We couldn’t think of a better time for this book to come out and can’t wait to dive in, cover to cover.

What’s on your reading list for 2018?

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

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Word of the Year 2018

Word of the Year: Abide

As I gaze into my Christmas tree, I know the holiday season will soon come to a close. I’ve returned back to my California home on Friday and the fresh beginning of a new year is upon us. Past the glitter, party horns, and popping of champagne, I love the idea of a fresh start. I’m obsessed with them. Whether you’re someone who loves making resolutions or someone who has resolved to no longer make resolutions, I love the hope and optimism, the dreaming of dreams that comes to the surface. Rather than being called a dreamer, everyone seems to allow vulnerability of heart and desire come to the surface.

Every year, I choose a word to look to as a single worded mission statement. In 2017, I chose the word focus. In 2016, I chose Risk. This word serves as the driving line for my year, bringing about a fixed gaze and a simple reminder as to the purpose of my daily choices. Last year, I took my word and placed in on a leather key chain and providing a beautiful daily reminder. (Feel free to order yours from my friend Christine at Twin Sparrow Co.) 2017 was a year of focus. It brought so much breakthrough and resilience, I’m continually reminded of the beauty of redemption and restoration God’s promises bring. Sometimes it simply isn’t over until it’s over. This year I chose the word Abide. As an achiever and go-getter I rarely know how to sit still. There’s simply a restlessness within. I always desire for more and run after it hard. This year, I’m revisiting the idea of what it truly means to abide, to run after wholeheartedness, and finding that His nearness is always for my good.

As the temperatures drop outside and we enter a winter season, I’m finding a different form of beauty that comes with this implicit hibernation. Much as the season requires it, it is bringing back a rhythm of much needed stillness. Over the past three mornings, I haven’t set my alarm. I’ve woken up when my body desired. I didn’t touch my phone, proceeded to drink a warm mug of water, and spend 10 minutes doing stretches. Crawling back into bed with my mug of water, I read a few chapters in my Bible. The bringing back of a morning routine and time with the one who knows me most deeply, is exactly what my heart needed. I’m relearning that abiding is truly the best for the soul. May you find me there every day.

What’s your word for the year?

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

How To Set Intentional Goals and Crush Them

How to Set Intentional Goals (And Crush Them)

Increasing my revenue by $20,000. Buying my dream car in cash. Saving for a house. Landing a dream internship. Funding a site redesign. Hiring subcontractors. Having dream clients. I’m a dream chaser and goal getter with the best of them. For me, it’s easy to set a goal and plow a path toward it. For others, I know the road is far more challenging. The idea of imagining a life past the current circumstance seems daunting, as the daily tasks of adulting are far more than anyone can handle.

Want to know how to crush your goals for the year? These 5 Tips will get you there.

Find a word for the year. Let this be the driving line for what you do.

Every year I look for a word to simply describe what will serve as the bottom line for my year. For 2017, I chose the word focus. The year before it was risk. This year, my word is abide. Being rooted in faith, it will serve as the driving line for healthy routines, mindfulness, and making sure it’s aligned to the core values for life.

Set goals that are realistic, measurable, and for the long-term investment.

While it’s great to tell yourself you’re going to run in a half-marathon in three months, if you haven’t set foot at the gym and it’s 16 degrees outside, make goals and small wins to serve the purpose of a longer goal. Let’s say your aging and desire to do so gracefully. This could look like rejuvenation of your skin, getting rid of a few excess pounds, or growing in the stamina for hiking with little ones. Look at a big goal and make it specific, measurable, and something that you can run after throughout the year.

Know when you say “Yes,” you’re simultaneously saying “No.”

Here’s the thing about growth and improvement. In order to crush goals and reach intentions, they take time and drive. Your life will need margin and space to see traction. If you’re already battling overwhelm, it’s time to ask what will give. Allow your “Yeses” to be equally as powerful as your “Nos.”

Re-evaluate every few months.

This isn’t intended to be a downward spiral or a moment to be overly introverted. However, there’s beauty in looking back at your goals set at the beginning of the year and see how far you’ve come. This year, I’ve set both personal and professional goals. It’s going to involve a bit of risk. But that’s become the norm around here. By using a simple bulletin board, we allow blank space for growth and evaluate how we’re moving forward each month and quarter.

Know thyself, your creative process, and where you get energy.

When it comes to setting goals, learn things about yourself and the way you operate. For example, with the multiple hates I wear as a one-women design studio, I struggle when sitting still at a desk for hours on end. If it’s a day where I’m able to dedicate the whole day to work, I typically get most of my top three tasks completed in the morning over a good cup of coffee. After lunch (typically when the food coma hits) I decide to spend the afternoon with errands, sourcing, shoots, styling, or a project where I can be up and a bit more active. When it comes to onboarding projects and clients, I’ve automated my client experience where I can guarantee a 48 hour turnaround time for proposals after an initial 30 minute conference call. When a proposal is approved, I find loads of life and spend a substantial amount of time collecting inspiration, ideating, and doing initial sketches. Here is where I get most excited in the project phase and am able to push through the final revisions and close out a project. All this to say, when it comes to intentional goals and crushing them, know where you find energy and know the moments where you’ll need to push through for a final outcome.

How do you set goals? Do you make resolutions or intentions for the next year?

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