Featured on: Pinegate Road and Show & Tell

I’m so excited to share that I was featured on TWO awesome blogs yesterday! Pinegate Road and Show & Tell, both blogs of fellow graphic designers!

Ciera Design Featured

On Pinegate Road you can read about where I find inspiration and what gets me jazzed. On Show & Tell I share some advice on getting started in the design and blogging world!

In addition to that, I’m giving away a medium sponsor spot over on Bubby and Bean AND I have an awesome giveaway coming up tomorrow so be sure to check back for that! What an exciting start to the week!

Managing an Active and Healthy Online Life

How To Manage an Active and Healthy Online Life

One of my 30 before 30 goals was to spend less time online. This has proven to be much harder than expected! I have been struggling for a balance. I want to stay connected and inspired without getting totally overwhelmed. While trying to grow my blog and get myself out there in the design world, I feel like it is hard to get away from my computer. I am constantly looking to make new connections, and well, that involves a lot of online time!

There is a fine line between being productive online and getting sucked into the procrastination circle of the internet. Everyday I struggle with this, as I’m sure some of you do as well. So to try and create a better balance, I have come up with a few tips to having a fun, active online world without having it take over your life.

Make a list

I am huge on planning and list making so of course that is going to be my first suggestion. Make a to-do list of your top online priorities each day so you don’t get distracted.

Schedule

Come up with a realistic schedule of the time you need online daily. When that time is up then move on! I like to check all my social media while I drink my coffee in the morning. But if you know that starting your day online is only going to lead to major procrastination, save that until the end of the day. Setting your email to only check every hour also helps to minimize wasted time.

Just Say No

If you are using social media to procrastinate, just say no! You should use it for the reasons on your list and then get outta there!

Do it for you

Don’t feel the need to prove yourself. You know that you’re having a busy day but don’t need to update your networks each time you send an email. Share the inspiring and important parts of your day, when you publish a blog post, list an item to your Etsy shop or receive a new piece of artwork that you ordered!

Weed out the negative

Hide or unfollow people and blogs that are negative or make you feel jealous or frustrated, for whatever the reason may be. This is a good way to keep your online world positive. If you are not sure, opt out of these blogs for a few days and see how you feel.

Interact

Interact with people instead of just following. I love being able to connect with all types of people all over the world, that is what excites me about social media. Trust me, most people out there would love to have a little twitter convo or go back and forth for a while on Facebook! Leaving comments on a blog is also a great way to connect. It lets the author know the time they devote to their content is appreciated.

It’s not an easy balance and I have to concentrate on these approaches daily. I hope that these tips can help you to create a fulfilling online space with out getting stuck in an online procrastination loop! If you have any other advice or comments, please share!

Blog Love [Friday Favorites]

Today is a special edition of Friday Favorites because I’m sharing a few of my favorite blogs! My google reader has gotten a little out of control lately but these are the blogs that I never skim over. They all have amazing content and are passionate about what they do!

 

Skunkboy Creatures » Katie makes a living sewing the cutest plush animals. She hopes to always leave people feeling inspired and encouraged when they pop by her corner of the internet. Oh, and her adorable little girls make an appearance every once in a while too! Handmade, Fashion, Vintage, Hair Tutorials, Music

 

SillyGrrl » Sarah is a web designer & aerialist living in metro-Detroit. On SillyGrrl she shares her adventures as a circus performer (how cool is that?!), design inspiration and web design & blogging advice. Blogging, Circus, Design, DIY Projects, Detroit, Recipes

 

Sincerely, Kinsey » Kinsey is an awesome photographer, works at Red Velvet Art, and is a DIY contributor for A Beautiful Mess. She loves sharing her favorite parts of every day life on her blog. Photography, DIY, Fashion, Current Obsessions

 

Emmadime » Emma is a graphic designer, paper shop owner, knitter and blogger and she rocks them all! Emma shares all of her inspirations on her blog and feels it has become an extension of  her creative career. Design, Food and Drink, Inspiration, Home and Interiors

 

Life as an Artistpreneur » Becka is an artist, photographer and writer. On her blog, she chronicles the ups and downs of life as a creative business owner. This is a lifestyle blog focused on inspiration for young creatives, digging deeper into issues that we all face while being self employed. Business Life, Coffee Cup Chats, Family Life, Inspiring Quotes

 

Bubby and Bean » Melissa is a Chicago-based sustainable fashion designer and illustrator. Her blog focuses on what she likes to call “all the wonderful things.” fashion, home decor, travel, music, photography

Now I’m not gonna tell you TOO much about them because I want you to go check them out for yourself. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do! Now it’s your turn… not like I need anymore blogs to add to my reader, but what are some of your favorites?

Say Hello… [May]

I’m so happy to introduce you guys to my sponsors this month! I absolutely adore all of their blogs and shops and highly recommend taking a minute to click around and pay them a visit!

Blog // Twitter // Portfolio // Ciera Loves >> Here We Go: Time Saving Techniques

Hello! I’m Allison and am a designer/blogger living in Columbus Ohio. When I’m not freelance designing, I’m blogging over at Show + Tell where I discuss blogging tips, photography, post reviews and host photography challenges! Be sure to stop by!

Blog // Paper Shop // Vintage Shop // Ciera Loves >> DIY: Moss Toadstool Wreath

Hi, friends! My name is Elizabeth and I run two Etsy shops as well as a little blog called Please Note where I share my favorite recipes and DIYs. I hope you’ll stop by and say hello!

Blog // Facebook // Twitter // Ciera Loves >> DIY: Flowerchild Fest Headdress

Hi, I’m Jasmine. My blog, Sequin Crush, is a blog about my personal style and my fashion crush’s of the moment. I never think less is more when it comes to fashion, especially accessories! I hope to inspire others to explore their inner sequin crush and find as much love in fashion as I do.  

Blog // Portfolio // Flickr // Ciera Loves >> Time Trap

Zander is a Boston based photographer with an eye forged from the likes of Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, and Josef Koudelka.

Blog // Twitter // Ciera Loves >> Darling Clementines

Daily Foodles is a project by designer and illustrator Megan Pendergrass documenting through illustrations and typography something or everything she eats in a day. Daily Foodles is a merging of food love and a passion for drawing/doodling/creating.

>> Want to take part in this post next month? Click HERE for details! And don’t forget that you can become a sponsor at any time, you don’t have to wait til a new month! >> Awesome giveaway coming up next week so be sure to check back for that!

Edge Painted Business Cards [Friday Favorites]

I’ve been thinking about getting some new business cards just because I like the look of these edge painted cards so much. I have been seeing this technique around a lot lately, here are a few of my favorites.

Moo.com has even come out with a new Luxe business card, with a rich seam of color running through the paper (not the same technique as edge painting, but the same effect). If you follow this Moo link you get 10% off your first order!

Photos click through to their sources. This post is not sponsored by Moo, I just really like their products.

Our Carolina Avenue Home

We’ve been living in our second Boston apartment for about nine months now and it’s better than I imagined it would be! I realized that it is never going to be complete or as perfect as I would like for sharing photos so I decided to just go for it! 

Apartment Tour Jamaica Plain, Boston, Ma 1

I love our sun-filled windows, back deck and space for both Zander and I to have an office… yep, a totally different story than our last mini apartment.

Apartment Tour Jamaica Plain, Boston, Ma 2

I really like the black & white and green color scheme we accidentally got going on the shelf below, including a Ramones album that my uncle gave Zander.

Apartment Tour Jamaica Plain, Boston, Ma 3

Apartment Tour Jamaica Plain, Boston, Ma 4

We finally got our Ork posters framed (we have New Orleans & Boston) and they look great in the living room!

Apartment Tour Jamaica Plain, Boston, Ma 5

The fact that we have a dining room is pretty amazing, even though we only seem to use it for playing ring hook!

Apartment Tour Jamaica Plain, Boston, Ma 6

I like having plants around but was sure to get low maintenance ones like succulents and air plants because I can’t seem to remember to water plants.

Apartment Tour Jamaica Plain, Boston, Ma 7

You can see some photos of my office here and I’ll be sharing some details from other rooms soon! Hope you enjoyed this little mini tour of our Jamaica Plain apartment!

A NOLA Recap

Well, it took me a little longer than expected to recover from my trip home to New Orleans, but I’m back with a little recap of the trip!

My BFFs wedding, second lines, pool side, best friends, daiquiris, relaxing by the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain, the best weather I have ever felt for a New Orleans April, Jazz Fest, snowballs, po-boys, Rebirth Brass Band, family time, crawfish boils, casino… oh yea, and I broke my toe, so I was doing most of this while limping around! I was not going to let a fractured pinky toe get in my way of having fun in New Orleans! When I write it all out I can see why I am still so exhausted!

And a new month brings a new lovely group of sponsors, so check them out over in my sidebar!

Festing

Happy Friday! I’ll be at Jazz Fest, today, Saturday and Sunday, sooo excited! Hope everyone has a great weekend! What do you have planned?

Photo by Zander White of My Morning Jacket Live at Jazz Fest 2010 at the Gentilly Stage in New Orleans, LA.