Circles Conference 2013

Jasmine and I have been busy planning Made In Mind’s October Social (which is tomorrow, come if you can!) so it somehow took me a month to get this post up, oops!

Design Your Life Hand Drawn Type

Last month I got to attend Circles Conference in Grapevine, Texas. As described by the founder, it’s a place to learn from world-changing thinkers and innovators for the creative community. It was amazing. So inspiring. The main message I took away was to design my own life. Figure out what will make me feel satisfied and happy and create that life for myself. You can’t see someone else’s life and say “Hey, I want that life” you have to make it for yourself!

Circles A Creative Conference Inspire Create Repeat by Bethany Marie

Two days packed with meeting new people and listening to inspiring talks from amazing creatives across multiple disciplines. It was great to meet people who were previously only Twitter friends, as well as make plenty of wonderful new friends.

Circles Conference Megan Gilger Create Wildly by Bethany Marie

It turned out that Justin Shiels, a fellow New Orleanian, was attending so we got to know each other better! Blog buddy and fellow graphic designer Patti was nice enough to let me crash in her room. It was really fun hanging out and sharing stories of running our own businesses. I also got to meet Ismael Burciaga (the event coordinator) who has been an online friend for a few years now. It was wonderful to meet him in person, he is so talented and generous and was a great host! And then I met the lovely Joanna Waterfall who happened to be on my flight home for a vacation in New Orleans for a few days!

Josh Hensley at Circles Conference by Bethany Marie

The thing I loved most was that the speakers told their personal stories. It was very honest and genuine and no one was scared to share their struggles which was very refreshing to hear. It was great to hear so many talented people talking about their personal journey and not just telling us their design process. It was nice to take it all in and learn from their experiences. The intimacy was something you don’t get at larger conferences.

Circles Conference Program Mug Sticker by Bethany Marie

The after party was also a blast, we got some good Texas BBQ and it was great to mingle outside of the conference setting.

Do What You Love - Jeff Sheldon of Ugmonk - Circles Conference by Bethany Marie

Another plus is that Circles is very affordable compared to a lot of conference and since it’s in Texas the travel was affordable for me too! I definitely recommend attending next year! I’ll also be sharing some of my favorite quotes from different speakers on the blog in the future!

Crowd at Circles Conference by Bethany Marie

All photos courtesy of Bethany Marie Photography, a very talented lady who I got to have lunch with one of the days at the conference!

Four Years of Blogging!

When I started my blog, I could have never imagined where it would be today! Since I’m celebrating four years of blogging this month, I thought I’d give y’all a little history of how it all got started. Then for the rest of the month I will have some other special posts and surprises for y’all!

Ciera Design Four Year Blogiversary

In 2009, I had been at my agency job for a few years and I wasn’t really feeling satisfied by the design work I was doing anymore. I decided to start a blog to get some of my ideas out. It started as a photo dump. I would post my random iPhone pictures with a little caption and might expand a little here and there. I had no plan and no organization. Soon after, I left my job to start my own business and I knew that I needed to create a portfolio site that potential clients could check out. So in 2010 I decided to take my site and blog to the next level. I started posting on a regular basis with relevant and consistent content. It has been growing ever since into what you see today!

I love networking and meeting new people who I probably would have never had contact with if not for blogging. In January, blog friend and contributor, Mariah and I roomed together at Alt Summit and at Circles Conference last month I got to be roomies and hang out with another blog buddy, Patti! I love hearing about adventures of other bloggers who work for themselves and love following along with other creatives!

One of my favorite opportunities that has come from starting this blog was being able to attend Alt Summit this year! It was SO inspiring! When I walked into the Bing It To Life Lounge at Alt Summit the LAST thing I expected to see was my travel map pin board, but there it was, and it was huge! Bing took submissions of ideas to showcase and my DIY creation was chosen to come to life! It was really special to see bloggers from all over interacting with my idea and pinning their business cards to the map! It was so surreal to see it all over Instagram and it was such a cool way to see where everyone was from.

I’m always trying to take this blog to the next level and I can’t wait to see where it takes me in the next four years! Thank you so much to all of my readers for encouraging me, challenging me to keep creating unique content and for all of your comments over the years, it really means the world to me!

Jasmine took these photos for me.

The Made In Mind Social – Launch Party Recap

Two weeks ago Jasmine and I threw our first Made In Mind Social event! After months of planning it was so amazing to see it come to life and to meet so many new people! Now that we have our first successful event behind us, I want to share some information on how you can start your own local event! After writing a content outline, I realized that I’d like to get pretty detailed and that an e-course may be a more appropriate format for all of this information. After all, I don’t want this one topic to completely take over my blog! But I’d love to know what you think. Would you be interested in purchasing an e-course about starting an event? I’d really appreciate if you’d take this very quick survey below!

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Here are a few of my favorite photos from the launch party and you can see the full recap over on The Made In Mind Social site!

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Tiny Buffalo Clothing Bags

The Made In Mind Social Swag Bag

Loa hosted our event and was such a gorgeous spot to hold our launch party! They even made a specialty cocktail called “In Your Dreams” for us! Tiny Buffalo Clothing printed our canvas bags which we filled full of goodies from Graffiti GraphicsTattly, CourseCraft, Cake Face Soaping, Eef Etc and  Rifle Paper Co. for our first 30 guests! Our amazing chalkboards were done by our good friend Ashlee of Smallchalk. 

Be sure to follow The Made In Mind Social on Facebook and Twitter or sign up for the newsletter so you don’t miss out on upcoming events! Interested in sponsoring an event or our blog? Details here.

Palm Springs To Los Angeles Road Trip

Okay guys, this is my final post from my June vacation, I hope you have enjoyed! The Palm Springs area was amazing with so much to do and see. I can’t believe it took me over a month to edit a weeks worth of photos! After spending the majority of our time in Palm Springs we decided to venture out on a little road trip. The same day we went to Salvation Mountain we also decided to head to LA for a few hours. So after leaving Salvation Mountain we stopped along the Salton Sea, it was very eerie, huge campgrounds with no one around for miles and miles! Everything seemed abandon.

The Salton Sea California 1

The Salton Sea California 2

The Salton Sea California 3

We took a pit stop to see the Cabazon Dinosaurs and drove past all of the windmill farms (I could barely keep my eyes on the road they were so mesmerizing).

Cabazon Dinosaurs California

Then we had lunch in LA at Lamill Coffee Boutique, did a little window shopping, walked around the Ivanhoe Reservoir (much longer walk than we anticipated) and headed up to the Griffith Observatory to watch the sunset. We didn’t want to get back to Palm Springs too late, so we had dinner at Feed Body + Soul and hit the road! We definitely got a lot of sightseeing done that day!

Los Angeles Griffith Observatory View

Silver Lake Los Angeles Stairs

Silver Lake Los Angeles Plants

Overlooking Ivanhoe Reservoir Los Angeles

Griffith Observatory Los Angeles

Griffith Observatory Los Angeles Path

Griffith Observatory Los Angeles Mountain Sunset

Griffith Observatory Los Angeles Hollywood Sign

There’s the Hollywood sign, can you see it?! I can’t wait to go back to LA again and actually spend some time there! This week in California was such a fun vacation with my two best friends full of great memories!

Palm Springs Vacation Memories

If you missed any of the posts along the way you can check them out here: ACE Hotel & King’s Highway Diner, Salvation Mountain, The Saguaro, Parker Palm Springs, architecture tour, Aerial Tramway – Mount San Jacinto State Park. Did you have a favorite?

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway – Mount San Jacinto State Park

While in Palm Springs we had a gorgeous view of the San Jacinto mountains. We were totally surrounded by them the whole time so we decided to get up close and personal to see what they were all about. We heard the best way to do this was to take the tramway to the top! The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is the largest rotating aerial tramway in the world. It was opened in September 1963 as a way of getting from the floor of the Coachella Valley to relatively near the top of San Jacinto Peak. San Jacinto Peak, 10,834 feet, is the highest peak of the San Jacinto Mountains and is within Mount San Jacinto State Park.

I’m not gonna lie, the tramway was kinda scary, it was so steep! But the view made it totally worth it! At the top of the mountain we did a short little hike and then had lunch before heading back down. It was a nice little break from the Palm Springs desert heat. The temperature dropped quite a bit up in the mountains!

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway - Mount San Jacinto State Park

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway - Mount San Jacinto State Park Gif

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway - Mount San Jacinto State Park

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway - Mount San Jacinto State Park

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway - Mount San Jacinto State Park

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway - Mount San Jacinto State Park

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway - Mount San Jacinto State Park

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway - Mount San Jacinto State Park

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway - Mount San Jacinto State Park

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway - Mount San Jacinto State Park

Y’all, this Jeffrey pine smelled exactly like butterscotch candy, it was crazy!

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway - Mount San Jacinto State Park

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway - Mount San Jacinto State Park

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway - Mount San Jacinto State Park

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway - Mount San Jacinto State Park

Check out the rest of our trip: ACE Hotel & King’s Highway Diner, Salvation Mountain, The Saguaro, Parker Palm Springs, our architecture tour and our instagrams here.