Golden Tote May Sneak Peek

I mentioned Golden Tote to y’all a few months back and I’m still in love! I’ve purchased a few and am seriously excited for the May tote which goes live on Monday. Here are just some of the items available, I don’t know how I’m going to narrow it down to two! What do you think?

Visit my site and roll over the images for details.

That’s A Wrap: April

Ok guys, I feel like sooooo much happened this month! Even one big thing that I can’t tell y’all yet! April felt like it was only three days long, anyone else?

Ciera Design Blog Posts April

 

In The Studio

– You have probably noticed that the site got a facelift! What do you think?
– In addition to the aesthetics, I also updated my services and added consulting to my packages! You get to pick my brain and I’ll help you nail down a plan for whatever it is you’re working towards. We can cover anything from a new design direction to finding a focus for your blog and social media strategies.
– My ebook on hosting local events is in the works! The content is almost complete so I’m starting on the design now. If you want to stay in the loop make sure to sign up for my newsletter.
– I posted the 2013 design for the Touro Infirmary Foundation and started working on the 2014 invite as well as the 2104 YLC Role Model’s gala invite.
– I also gave my Etsy shop a facelift and added a print-yourself Mother’s Day card.

Mother’s Day Printable Card

 

Elsewhere

– I am now a contributor for the Creative Market blog and my first post, 5 Hand Lettering Artists To Follow On Instagramwas published this month!
– Want to read all about my journey as a designer? My profile is now live on the Women in Business site!
– Designed desktop freebies for Whimsey Box and Bunny & Dolly

 

On the blog

– I started a new column called Inspiring Instagrammer and first up was Zachary Smith
– I wrote about working out and eating healthy
– Shared some Twitter tips for small businesses and bloggers
– Recapped the photo walk that I hosted
– Announced that I joined the Minted designer community and need your help – voting will close Monday, May 5 at 9am PT so you still have time!
– Photos from Record Store Day
- I hosted a baby shower for my best friend. I posted the invitation and I’ll be posting more photos from the party soon!

 

Favorite Fonts

Enyo Serif Font by Antipixel
Daft Brush Font by Pintassilgo Prints

 

From the Archives

How to Protect Your Skin This Summer
4 Ways to Stand Out from the Rest
DIY Ombre Cluster Necklace
Crawfish Boil Fun

Minted Eye of the Beholder Art Challenge

I recently joined the Minted design community and submitted a few designs to their Eye of the Beholder Art Challenge! For those of you who are not familiar, Minted crowd-sources design and art from a global community of independent designers, then sells their best designs as products such as stationery, wall art, and décor for the home and holidays. If you’d like to see Minted sell my designs as art prints, just head over to vote and give them a 5 for me! If they get enough votes, Minted will add them to their shop, and with multiple color variations as well! Just click on the photos below to bring you right to the listing on Minted. You’ll have to quickly sign up for a Minted.com account before you can vote but it’s super easy. Please pass this along and share away on social media if you’d like to support my designs! Thank you so much – as always, I appreciate your support!

Minted-Eye-Of-The-Beholder-1-Make-Time

Minted-Eye-Of-The-Beholder-2-Do-More

Minted-Eye-Of-The-Beholder-3-Summer-Days

Made In Mind April Photo Walk

For those of you who don’t know, I host a Made In Mind meet up every other month and for April we did an Intameet! The weather was absolutely perfect, it was SO gorgeous! One fun thing about New Orleans is that you can drink on the street so we met up at Tivoli and Lee for a to-go mimosas and then got to walking! We chatted and snapped photos together as we walked around the Warehouse District. Along the route, we stopped at the Before I Die wall, then HARO for some amazing sweets and coffee and ended at Bellocq for a few cocktails, yummy cheese and great conversation! It was an awesome day and I definitely want to plan another instameet soon! I was taking photos with my camera which you can see here and also with my iPhone to post to Instagram.

The Made In Mind Social Instameet New Orleans-1 The Made In Mind Social Instameet New Orleans-2 The Made In Mind Social Instameet New Orleans-4 The Made In Mind Social Instameet New Orleans-5 The Made In Mind Social Instameet New Orleans-6

The Made In Mind Social Instameet New Orleans-10 The Made In Mind Social Instameet New Orleans-8 The Made In Mind Social Instameet New Orleans-9 The Made In Mind Social Instameet New Orleans-10 The Made In Mind Social Instameet New Orleans-12 The Made In Mind Social Instameet New Orleans-13 The Made In Mind Social Instameet New Orleans-14 The Made In Mind Social Instameet New Orleans-16 The Made In Mind Social Instameet New Orleans-17 The Made In Mind Social Instameet New Orleans-19

Head over to Made In Mind for the full recap and more photos! Not in New Orleans but want to hold awesome events like this one? Start a Made In Mind chapter in your city! Interested in sponsoring an event? Find details here.

Enyo Serif Font by Antipixel

Hi friends, a new favorite font for y’all this Friday! Enyo is a decorative, display, serif handwritten font designed by Antipixel. This font is great for providing a more informal look to your work! It can be used for small amounts of text but especially for display usage because of its glyph quality. Enyo offers OpenType features, including ligatures, alternates, smallcaps, scientific superior/inferior figures, oldstyle figures, fractions, slashed zero, and kerning. I love that is looks professional with a touch of personality! Enyo Serif Font by Antipixel

Type samples from MyFonts.com. Affiliate links used.

Twitter Tips For Bloggers

Twitter Tips For Blogging

I joined Twitter in 2009 shortly after I started blogging and I’ve been tweeting away ever since! Back then features such as retweets and hashtags were created by the user base, not the developers and could be a bit confusing for a newbie to figure out. They have come a long way since then, lists and built-in retweets were introduced and they have made their features even easier to understand and use!

Twitter is a great way to promote your content whether it be the services you offer through your business or new blog content. It’s also a great way to share your expertise and connect with like-minded people. Here are a few easy Twitter tips from what I have learned over the years:

Fill Out Your Profile

First things first. Make sure you write a clear description in the section for your bio and don’t forget to include a link back to your blog! I can’t tell you how many super vague profiles I see on Twitter. This should be similar to your elevator pitch, let me know why I should stick around!

Be Yourself

Keep your tweets fun and interesting. People want to connect with a real person and your readers will love you for being yourself. When tweeting, use the same voice and tone that you use on your blog.

Tweet Regularly

Since content flows so quickly on Twitter, it’s okay to post multiple tweets about the same thing. Just make sure you are not posting the exact same tweet over and over. Switching up the intro to a link helps to keep your followers engaged and interested in your content.

Schedule

Tweeting regularly is time-consuming so using a service like HootSuite can help. I don’t recommend scheduling ALL of your tweets, but it can help push out some content while you are working on something else. There are also some WordPress plugins that will automatically tweet posts from your blog archives for you, I use Tweetily.

Explain Your Links

Be sure to give a short description that’s intriguing and will entice your readers to click on the link. Your followers should trust your twitter content, so give accurate information.

Interact

Interact with people instead of just following. I love being able to connect with all types of people all over the world! Trust me, most people out there would love to have a little twitter convo! Make sure you are asking your followers questions, and try to answer questions as well. This helps build your reputation and credibility, which can lead to more followers and retweets.

Share the Love

Don’t only promote yourself. In addition to tweeting your own blog posts, post articles from other sources with similar content. If you mention someone on Twitter or in a blog post, make sure to tag them so they know.

Create and Follow Lists

A list is a curated group of Twitter users. You can create your own lists or subscribe to lists created by others. This is a great way to keep up with your favorite users, or people who have content you may want to share in the future.

Pictures

Twitter is becoming more and more visual so take advantage of this! They recently added inline images to tweets which is a great opportunity to tease a photo of your new content.

Find Relevant Hashtag Streams OR Tweetups

Hashtags categorize tweets and automatically group keywords or topics and help to get your tweets out to a larger audience than just your followers. Hashtags are an excellent way to track conversations about a specific topic and to take part in those conversations. Look for active hashtag streams relevant to what you blog about. For example, I love to participate in the #altchat every Tuesday and occasionally check out the #design and #fonts hashtags.

 Have Fun

While I do use Twitter to promote my biz, I also use it for fun! Hashtags and Twitter in general can be quite entertaining! I love to follow along with TV shows that I’m addicted to and sporting events. I also use Twitter for advice, like if I’m looking for a place to eat or need a suggestion for a photographer etc.

Twitter has been very helpful to me in promoting my blog and I hope these tips help to make it work for you too! If you have any questions or tips feel free to comment here or tweet me!

Inspiring Instagrammer: Zachary Smith

As a designer myself, I love to follow others who inspire me on Instagram. And I want to start sharing them with you here! First up is @zacharysmithh. You’ve probably seen some of his work floating around Pinterest and not even realized it, but wow, this dude is talented. He’s a hand lettering artist and designer, based in Savannah, GA and creates beautiful images combined of hand painted type, textures and beautiful photography that leaves me longing for adventure. Seriously, go check out Zachary Smith and let me know what you think. Then head over to my guest post on Creative Market to see some other hand lettering artists that I’m loving on Instagram!

Hand Lettered Designs by Zachary Smith

P.S. The winner for the fitness giveaway was announced, was it you?

Choosing Healthier Options

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #TENways  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Last week I shared how I get motivated to work out including fun fitness programs and sprucing up my gym wardrobe. Today, I’m going to share a few things I’ve been switching up in my daily meals for a healthier diet!

Kitchen Prep

I used to eat cereal for breakfast and a sandwich consisting of bread, turkey, cheese and mustard for lunch. Hello Ciera, where the heck are the fruits and veggies?! That was just no good and I’m determined to live a healthier lifestyle so I’m being proactive and changing what I eat! The cool thing about the meals I suggest below is that you start with the basics but customize them with different fruits and vegetables so that it doesn’t get boring!

 

Breakfast

Now I eat greek yogurt with fruit and granola. I stick to plain greek yogurt and use vanilla almond granola to sweeten it up some. My favorite fruits to add are pears, blueberries, strawberries and bananas.

Yogurt Blueberries Granola Coffee Breakfast

Lunch

Now I eat quinoa with veggies. I like to cook a bunch of quinoa at the beginning of the week and then switch up the ingredients each day. My favorite things to add are spinach, carrots, broccoli, red onions, garlic and garbonzo beans. I really just throw in whatever we have in the fridge. I just drizzle a little olive oil on top then I usually top it with avocado, salt and pepper.

Quinoa Carrot Spinach Veggie Bowl

Beverages

Now I swap regular high calorie soda with the TEN sodas product line. I know that water is always your best bet but I just can’t completely give up my occasional soda. The TEN sodas come in four flavors, 7-up, Sunkist, Canada Dry & A&W, and I found them at Walmart. They only have ten calories a serving but with the same full flavor of their regular counterparts! I also tried the 7-up with a splash of cranberry juice and it was really good!

Ten Calorie Soda Option

What do you like to eat for a healthier diet?

You can save $0.50 at Walmart when you buy TWO 2 Liter bottles or TWO 4-pack cans of 7UP TEN, A&W TEN, Canada Dry TEN, RC TEN or Sunkist TEN soda. If you share that digital coupon via email, Facebook or Twitter (there is a click to share button) the coupon will save you $1.50 off that purchase instead of just $0.50! Offer available while supplies last, from 3/27-4/17. Click here for coupon and visit DPSG on Facebook and Twitter.

Gold and White Safari Animal Baby Shower Invitation

I hosted a baby shower for my best friend yesterday and it was so much fun! I’ll share some photos of the party soon but here are the invitations that I designed for it. Her nursery is going to be safari themed so we had a modern, gold and white color scheme with some cute gold animal details to tie it together. P.S. This design is now available in my Etsy shop!

Gold and White Safari Animal Baby Shower Invitation

Gold and White Safari Animal Baby Shower Invitation

Gold and White Safari Animal Baby Shower Invitation