Life, Lately: May Flowers

Hello, friends! I think the first rule of being a blogger is that you’re not supposed to call attention to your gaps in posting, but c’mon, it’s been a year. I couldn’t possibly catch you up on everything, but here’s a glimpse of what my life has been like for the past little while.


Wearing:

Birkenstock season is in full swing here, and I currently have four pairs of Mayaris in rotation: a pair for around the house, a pair for yardwork (read: a retired old pair that I can’t bring myself to throw away), an everyday pair, and a pair I keep nice for dressing up a bit.

Before the weather changed, I was really obsessed with my Prairie Underground cloak hoodie. Yes, I did spend $280 on a hoodie, and yes it was worth it.

Otherwise – I recently got a Style Pass to Stitch Fix, which means I get Fixes for a year for only $49 (no styling fee). That’s been pretty fun.

Watching:

I’m super into Splitting Up Together. I don’t watch a lot of current TV – I’m a slow adopter in this way – but it’s my favorite since This is Us, and I hope it sticks around. (Getting into a show in its first season is risky!)

On the binge watching/streaming front, the last several months, I’ve really enjoyed Friends from College (even though every character is the actual worst), Amazing Mrs. Maisel (obviously), Atypical, Fleabag, and most recently, The Mortified Guide on Netflix, which my friend Kerstyne is in! (Episode 5.)

Reading:

I really enjoyed All These Wonders. Currently reading some fiction for a change – Stay with Me by Ayobami Adebayo. (A recommendation at my local so-beloved Tacoma bookstore, King Books.)

I also recently read Designer Relationships, which is a worthwhile read for anyone newly interested in exploring alternative relationship structures.

Smitten with:

Concentrated watercolors. These are a new discovery for me, and I am obsessed with them. There are a lot of similarities to the acrylic inks that were my favorite medium for a year prior, but they come in more colors and I find them easier to mix as well.

I remain obsessed with Chic Sparrow traveler’s notebooks. My favorite one (an Outlander Deluxe Time Traveler) has been discontinued, but I’m currently using and loving the Mr. Darcy Buttered Rum.

R.T. and I got this record player for ourselves for Christmas, and it’s… the best. I’ve never been into vinyl before this, and I’m super digging it. R.T. recently told me that I had to stop buying only Paul Simon records, though. What a buzzkill.

Indulging in:

As much time as I can possibly get in my hammock. I. Love. This. Thing. I just bought an umbrella to go over it, too, so now I can read in the hammock without the sun in my face. It’s a beautiful thing.

Creating:

I’m doing the 100 Day Challenge for the second time. I’m really inconsistent with posting updates, but I have been painting every day, both in my little sketchbooks and elsewhere. I’m obsessed with honing my style and making this a bigger part of my life.

I’ve also enrolled in this mentorship program with Annamieka Hopps Davidson, and really excited to see how my work evolves over the next year.

Celebrating:

Since it’s been a hundred years since I posted anything here, some highlights: I had a breast reduction in August, and I don’t think I could over-exaggerate what a profound difference it has made in my life. I paid out of pocket and the recovery was a couple of months long, but even with those details – totally, 100% worth it.

I also had my first powerlifting meet at the end of March. Training for the meet meant 8-10 hours/week in the gym for two months. It was a really incredible feeling to dedicate myself to an extreme stretch goal and see it through to the end. I went 8/9, failed one lift on a technicality (I made the lift but missed the command). I’m planning to compete again, but probably not until early next year.

Looking forward to:

Can I just say summertime? I’m also looking forward to the Womxn’s Strength Summit that my powerlifting coach Maria organized.

What’s life been like on your end? What are you looking forward to this summer? Tell me in the comments. If we haven’t already, let’s connect on Instagram.

Coffee Break #2

coffeebreak2

You’re really not supposed to point out when you’ve neglected your blog (lame!) buuuut, since my last post was Coffee Break two weeks ago, you probably noticed. Crap. [Insert whatever excuse makes it okay for me to be a slackass over here.] Anyway! Here are some links to things I think you might like.


What to do when you get off track. (Note: I’ve been reading Nicole’s blog obsessively lately. That girl knows how to get shit done.)

The Short, Slightly Sarcastic Answer to (At Least Eleven) Things You’ve Always Wanted to Know About Selling Yourself. Featuring: A Strong Opinion. Despite my business being successful (by my own standards, at least), I’m not a strong salesperson. For the most part, I’m good with that. BUT, this straight-shooting advice is A+.

5 Pointers for Developing Freedom-based Creativity & Work Habits by the always-brilliant Danielle Laporte. I’ve been working from coffeeshops on Saturdays lately, and I’ll own up to the guilt of working when I’m “not supposed to”. Tsk, tsk.

I tried shrub soda when I was in Michigan a few months back – it seems like it’s trendy there now? But it hasn’t made its way east, so perhaps I’ll give this recipe for drinking vinegar a shot.

How to be a Grown-Ass Woman: Romantic Relationships. I wish someone had written this to me when I was in my twenties. I learned it all the hard way eventually, but not without doing some damage to my own heart and others’ in the process.

How I Failed my way to Success. I love a realistic take on what it’s like to build a business from nothing. Refreshing.

I totally adore SuperLoveTees. I have this Wild Spirit hoodie (didn’t take it off for two weeks after it arrived!) but I really want this Likers Gonna Like shirt in the flowy or poncho style. (Haven’t seen it on offer yet. Hopefully soon!)


& that’s all folks!

One last thing before I go. Last week I launched a new website for the beautiful Sas Petherick. I’d love for you to take a look & show Sas some love!

Let’s stay connected! Let’s chat on Twitter or you can follow me on Instagram.

Coffee Break

coffeebreak

This is my first-ever links roundup! I’ve been meaning to do one for ages (having spent years in love with Gala Darling’s Carousel feature), but when I read this post, I knew it was time. I was going to call it something really snappy that involved rhyming my name with the number seven, but instead… Coffee Break. On Wednesdays, because we’re only halfway to the weekend, and you deserve a little break.


Of all of the articles I read about depression in the days following Robin Williams’ death, Not Everyone Feels This Way was the one that hit me the hardest. Do you see those trees? There are leaves. There are leaves.

I keep meaning to try stamping with rubber bands. Love this look.

How we do anything is how we do everything. Smarts from Sas in this post.

I am a woman reclaiming body trust is a lovely read – I have it pinned to my A Self-Love Story Pinterest board and have revisited it several times.

The other day, Sarah tweeted about this project that my fellow code nerds will especially appreciate: A Single Div, in which Lynn Fisher makes remarkable illustrations using only CSS. (I’m so seriously in awe of this.)

Have you ever considered polyamory? Either way, this article from The Atlantic is an interesting read.

Summer is typically quiet on the work front — if that’s true for you, too, here are 8 things you can and should do when business is slow. I recently revamped my services page so it’s ready for business as things pick up in the coming weeks.

The cooler weather lately has me thinking about fall clothing. Hannah is one of my style crushes, & as a fellow HSP, I’ve been coveting many of the things in this post (namely this).


Keep up with what I’m digging in real-time! Follow me on Pinterest or Twitter.

A letter to myself after five years of self employment

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Dear Me on July 16th, 2009:

I am not you anymore, but I remember what it was like. I still see you so clearly. You are laying on the sofa with a cold rag on your forehead, sobbing. Hyperventilating. You have just rather unceremoniously quit your stable, well-paying job to start your own business. You have $1600 in savings, and that’s not enough to take care of your responsibilities for any length of time. You have no backup plan.

There’s so much I want to tell you. So much I wish someone had told me.

The first thing is this: It’s still hard. You’ll still get exhausted and cry and feel like you’re doing everything wrong, even when you’re not. Other people will often make it look easy, and you’ll always admire that but never relate. On the other hand, people will sometimes tell you that you make it look easy, and you’ll love those people, but suspect they are a little crazy, or just being polite. (Still, say ‘thank you’ and offer something encouraging.)

The second, and perhaps most important thing: It gets easier. It gets so much easier. Eventually you will stop thinking that quitting your job was stupid-brave and come to believe that it was the absolute smartest decision. You’ll learn so much the next few years, and every single thing about your life will be different as a result.

You will initially supplement your income by nannying, by taking a (fortunately short-lived) shady website maintenance gig, and with a part-time development job. Don’t feel ashamed to not be standing on your own yet. You’ll get there. No use starving in the meantime.

You will come to understand the ebb and flow, and not only plan for it, but embrace it. Then the ebbs will cease — because what you worry about will find you, but what you trust will find you, too. I wish you would learn that lesson early. Don’t be afraid. All fear has ever done is hinder your progress. State your goals, believe in them, make them happen. That’s never failed you – not once.

Make your goals big for that reason.

You will find yourself on track to earn your first six-figure year, but as that December ends, you’ll fall $3,000 short and you will grieve. Heavily. As though $97,000 makes you a complete failure.

You will think in black and white this way often. It’s not good for you. Stop doing it.

You will far surpass your income goal the following year, partially just to prove to yourself that you can. But you will be tired and you’ll re-evaluate, and that’s the smart thing to do.

You’ll discover that there is more than one way to be successful.

You will find out firsthand that there are a few things that you can’t just “wing”, and one of those is taxes. Before that, you’ll underestimate one year and have to start a payment plan with the IRS. After months of torturing yourself with shame, you’ll learn that almost every business owner you admire has done the same thing. You’ll caution others not to do the same thing.

You will recognize the value of being vulnerable in business. You will see that we’re all in this together, and there’s no need to keep your cards close to your chest.

You’ll understand the importance of community, and that there is no such thing as competition.

You will make mistakes and be better for them. You will experience the difference a heartfelt apology can make from either side. Be humble when you mess up, and gracious when someone else does.

Don’t get me started on boundaries. (Okay, just this one thing: figure out what yours are. Soon. Stick to them. Be kind about it.)

You will work with truly, truly amazing people and many of them will remain good friends long after their initial projects end. They will change your life, and they will tell you that you have changed theirs. You will rejoice together when they land that contract, and cry together when they get divorced or lose a loved one. You will often feel that the process of creating something together is more than the sum of its parts, and that will fuel you. That will be the stuff that gets you through the patches of 15-hour days (which will almost always hit in April, for some reason). You will start to cultivate those relationships. Clients will tell you they hired you because they felt it in their gut, and those will be the best connections. (I know that sounds a little kooky now, but you’ll see.)

You will realize that any knowledge you possess today is just the foundation for everything you’ll need to learn tomorrow.

You will spend the first two years learning how to be a small business owner, the next two years basing all of your priorities on being a small business owner, and the year after that learning how to be more than just a small business owner.

You’ll start making art again, exercising again, and going on retreats. You will learn to take weekends off, but it will take a long time. You may not ever learn how to take a vacation. You haven’t yet, anyway. Get your shit together. (I didn’t say this was a love letter.)

It will always be hard, but in truth, you will love it more than anything. It will be the best thing you’ve ever done — the most challenging, the scariest, but definitely the most fulfilling.

And, you know something? Five years later, that $1600 will have never left your savings account. You will have never missed a rent payment. That cold rag was for nothing.

I hope you’ll pause to celebrate before moving on to the next thing on your to-do list. You’ve done a great job. Keep going.

Love,
Me on July 16th, 2014

Being my own beloved

byob

I decided on a whim last night to sign on for Vivienne’s Be Your Own Beloved e-course. I’ve taken another of her courses, You Are Your Own Muse in the past, and it was marvelous, so I’m really excited for what’s in store these next few weeks. After spending some time with Viv at SoulSisters last weekend (more on that soon), I was really feeling like I wanted to be more immersed in her teachings.

The course started today, so if you missed it, keep it on your radar for next time. In the meantime, keep your eye on all of the lovely things Vivienne is offering. Her blog is one of my favorites, so check that out, too.

If you want to track my Be Your Own Beloved journey, follow me on Instagram.

PS. These are not affiliate links. I just think Vivienne is really rad. We painted words on each other last weekend! I’ll show you photos next week.

Showing up gratefully

Frozen. #morningwalk

Thanksgiving has been my favorite holiday since I was a little girl. There’s no pressure (for those of us who don’t cook) – you just show up, be thankful, and eat a lot of food. That works for me.

I’m feeling especially grateful this year, being a newlywed and having the luxury of having my mom and my siblings nearby. It’s been many years since I had a Thanksgiving with my own family and I’m so looking forward to it.

So, I thought I would take a minute to make a list of all that I am thankful for and share it with all of you.

I am thankful for…

The big stuff

My amazing husband, Randall Tyler, and our incredible life together
Our crazy dog, the world’s sweetest chinchilla, two lovable-asshole cats, two crazy rats, and one gangster gerbil
LCWS and all of our fantastic clients – the people who show up and do astounding, world-changing things and give me the honor of helping them share their work with the world (and paying me to do it!) – I love you guys so much.
My mom, my sisters Kristina and Micayla, and my little brother Mathew. Spending this year in geographic proximity to them and getting to be a part of their actual lives has healed my soul in a big, big way
The remarkable people I am lucky enough to call friends – in Michigan, New Hampshire, and throughout the rest of the country and the world. I am so fortunate. Thank you.
Dad’s deployment nearing it’s end – he is healthy and safe and coming home soon.

Life’s little delights (a random list of stuff that’s brought me joy this year)

Long walks My Filofax Trek mountain bikes World domination summit Evernote Slacker Radio red wine my iPhone5 Fossil and Epiphanie bags Jen Saunders & Amanda Farough and their endless guidance + support Wild by Cheryl Strayed photography e-courses by Darrah and Vivienne knitting yoga Modcloth this etsy seller (who made both my engagement ring & wedding band) Instagram & Flickr Parenthood Brené Brown colored tights Intimacy bra stylists Zoloft (this one is only a little tongue-in-cheek) The Weepies & The Weakerthans Charity:Water gluten-free crepes President Obama’s re-election green smoothies MyFitnessPal TOMS peppermint soy lattes & dirty chai the coasts of Oregon and Maine Makeup Forever’s HD Foundation Sephora in general Whole Foods! Stratejoy (Molly! The guest bloggers! The rebrand launching SO SOON!) and, finally, ME – the love I feel for my goofy, dorky, imperfect self. (Self love is a total game-changer.)

Mmmm! That was so much fun. I could go on for hours, but instead I have to tackle the day’s work so I can spend tomorrow blissed out in a pecan pie coma. (I live for pecan pie.)

see this film: craigslist joe

Last night, I had the absolute please of watching Joe Garner’s documentary Craigslist Joe.

I’m really fascinated by the way we’re changing from a sociological perspective. I personally spend much of my life online – even when I’m not at my desk. (Thanks, iPhone. Sorry, friends.) It’s easy to get caught up in broadcasting instead of communicating.

If you ever find yourself disheartened or feeling disconnected — if spending so much time online gives you that lonely-in-a-crowded room feeling, I highly recommend taking a couple of hours to watch this film.

It’s available to rent on Amazon. A bit expensive for a rental, but totally worth it.

PS. Have a tissue handy. I cried more than once.