Make Time To Create – Desktop and iPhone Wallpaper Freebie

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July yesterday! I went to a BBQ at my parents house for lunch and then Zander made pizza for dinner! I’m here today with a new design to freshen up your desktop and iphone! I know sometimes during the summer it’s easy to get distracted with fun in the sun, so I just want to give you a little reminder to make time to create! The new designs are available for download over on WhimseyBox’s blog! Hope y’all enjoy this new design!

Make Time To Create via CieraDesign.com

Whimseybox is the original subscription for DIY and craft lovers. Each month WhimseyBox sends subscribers a box full of craft projects along with a project idea. If you sign up through this link, you’ll get $5 off!

Summer Office Renovation Inspiration

I’m so excited to introduce Corina as today’s guest blogger! Corina is a graphic designer, and blogs at Cocorrina about her work, inspiration, travels and fashion. She also loves to design jewelry, which I am kind of obsessed with!

Summer Office Renovation Inspiration

Both my husband and I, are freelance designers and we get to work from the comfort of our home. Even though we feel privileged, working from your home might have some downs. One of the most important things, is to have your own office. A space where you can be inspired and create. A few months ago we moved to our new house and never actually got the time to arrange it as we wanted. My dear hubby gave me his office and he worked from the dinning table. How sweet is he?

Finally, after all those months, we decided it was time we both had offices, exactly as we imagined them. So, you can imagine how excited I was to start planning my new office from scratch! In the summer I tend to adore lots of color but always with a touch of simplicity. I broke down into 5 categories that describe the perfect office for me. White, color, plants, brass and patterns. I want every inch of my office to be cheerful and inspiring, but balanced with minimalism and not overloaded. Like a blank canvas. A few pops of color here and there, happy patterns, touch of brass and gold for light and a few plants for freshness.

Summer Office Renovation Inspiration Categories

I don’t know if there is a specific name for this style, but i have seen it a lot lately in interior design and in graphic design as well, and obviously I’m really into it! As a last touch, a couple of vintage items to give my office some character and because i just love everything vintage!

Summer Office Renovation Inspiration - Corina's Picks

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7

In my furniture, random items hunt, i complete fell in love with white desks. I’m not sure how easy it is to keep them clean, but I have this idea for them that dust doesn’t show! Hehe that would really suit anyone! The Ikea wooden chair, was love at first sight, and since I have already used it, it might not look like it is, but it’s very comfortable, for me! My best friend who owns it, doesn’t agree!

One of my office obsessions, and probably yours too, are the Hay trays! I mean is there anything to say about them? They are so handy, good-looking and overall super cute! I will probably get too crazy with gold / brass because i just love how royal and clean it looks when combined with white, not to mention it makes your office glow!

The fun part is, that when redecorating an office, you can get a bit crafty too! Many of the things i loved, where.. well just a bit out of budget! But you can always find a perfect DIY, or put a few creative touches here and there. I found a few good DIYs, that I will definitely put in use for my new office!

Summer Office Renovation Inspiration DIYS

1. Besides all the office essential, it’s relaxing to have some fun decorations! I feel for this simple paper wreath, that would look just perfectly on any wall, or desk!

2. Who need post its when you can have your own mini chalkboard! And how sweet and rustic it looks on wood?

3. Putting washi tape in a good use! Cords don’t always need to be messy and white!

4. Watercolor, with bright colors paper tags, as color swatches to add some pop into your desk.

5. One of my favorite coasters probably. And so easy to make. Leather silver and leather gold.

6. Probably the most easy and fun DIY for an office. All you need to use is nail polish to give a new “breath” to your office tacks.

7. I would say yes to color dipped everything, especially a plant pot!

Shell’s Instagram Inspiration

Hello, friends of Ciera. My name is Shell, I normally blog over at Kitty & Buck, and I’m so pleased to be here today. When I was trying to decide on the topic I’d write about today, I kept coming back to the idea of inspiration. As a fellow designer, I appreciate finding it in the most unlikely places. So today, I’m going to share with you nine of my favorite instagram accounts, where you will find beautiful images and everyday inspiration. I love checking out color and composition, especially.

The images above link directly to their instagram accounts! @honeydue / @stephanie_somebody / @amandajanejones / @trishpapadakos / @emilieristevski / @mimiochun / @dschwen / @nonalimmen / @deercircus

I’m not a huge instagrammer, myself, though I just inherited a slightly better phone, with a better camera, so I’m hoping I’ll feel more motivated to share everyday moments that aren’t so grainy! I’d love to hear about any instagrammers who you find inspiring too, if you leave a comment, I’ll be sure to check them out. You can peek into my daily life on instagram @KittyAndBuck.

Thank you so much Shell, I love finding new instagrammers so I can’t wait to check these guys out when I return home! I think this has also inspired me to do a post of some of my favorite instagrammers too! – Ciera

Step Away from The Screen and Make Something – Desktop and iPhone Wallpaper Freebie

All too often, I find myself procrastinating on my computer when I’m supposed to be doing something else. I’m sure this happens to y’all sometimes too! So this month, I wanted a reminder to step away from the screen and make something! May’s desktop and iPhone wallpaper freebie is available for download over on WhimseyBox’s blog! Click here to tweet this quote.

Step Away from The Screen and Make Something Quote

Whimseybox is the original subscription for DIY and craft lovers. Each month WhimseyBox sends subscribers a box full of craft projects along with a project idea. If you sign up through this link, you’ll get $5 off!

Planning & Accomplishing Your Goals

Hey guys, I’m here today with a special post and giveaway from Jesse of NeuYear. I ordered their dry erase wall calendar from a Fab sale a while back and love it!

Planning and Accomplishing Your Goals

3 Steps to Planning & Accomplishing Your Goals

There is a reason why gyms and fitness centers see a huge uptick in memberships after the first of the year. Whether it’s wanting to lose those last few pounds, or a desire to live a more healthy lifestyle, “joining a gym” has become the quintessential New Year’s Resolution. The aspirations, however, don’t last very long. On average, most would-be fitness buffs back out of their commitment by March. Oops.

Resolutions, or goals, are powerful motivators–if you stick with them. Unfortunately, so many of us fail to set appropriate goals, or stick with them for such a short time, we never see the results. Books remain half-written, vacations never get planned, and new ideas die on the vine of mind, all because the goal-setting process gets short-circuited.

If you have ever felt the pain of a good goal gone bad, here is a three-step process you can follow to easily plan and accomplish virtually anything.

1. Pick Smart Goals

One of the most common reasons people or organizations fail at goals is because they aren’t smart. SMART goals look like this:

Specific. Smart goals have a specific end-game in mind. “Save the world,” and “cure cancer,” are all great goals, but they lack specificity. How do you want to save the world? “I want to reduce litter and pollution on the coastline by my house.” Awesome. What kind of cancer do you want to cure? “I want to help focus on children’s Leukemia at the Mayo Clinic in St. Paul, MN.” Now we’re talking. You need to have something to aim at. Being specific with your goals sharpens your sights and increases your chances at success.

Measurable. If your goal is to create buzz for an event, you’ll want to have a way to measure “buzz.” For instance, let’s say last year’s event drew 100 participants. A measurable goal would be, “We want to increase participation by 20 percent.” This, of course, gives you a number to measure your success with. Make it concrete. Quantify it. Make it measurable.

Attainable. Are you really going to lose 100 lbs. in 24 hours? Good grief, I hope not! Can you quadruple the size of your organization over night? Double your earnings with one tweet? The correct answer, barring an appearance on Oprah, is “no.” These goals are not attainable–they’re unrealistic and out of reach. Setting smart goals means that you keep your head in the clouds and your feet on the ground. Setting too high of a goal (i.e., unattainable) is a recipe for disappointment.

Relevant. Does your goal matter? Is it relevant to you, your organization, or business? The Guinness Book of World Records is filled with people doing extraordinary things…that don’t matter. Longest competitive handshake? Most chainsaws juggled at once? Longest time standing still? Interesting, but ultimately unhelpful to just about everyone. Make sure your goals are helpful and relevant to you and those around you.

Time-bound. Last but not least, your goals need to have an end date on them. Something like, “We’re going to complete the parking lot refinishing project by September 30, 2013.” We know what you want to accomplish and by when. Parkinson’s Law states that a task will expand to the time allotted to it. Giving yourself a timeframe eliminates procrastination and what I call “the weasel clause.” Put a time frame on your goals. Keep everyone accountable and informed.

2. How Do You Eat an Elephant?

Once you’ve got your SMART goals defined, it’s time to start taking action. I should warn you, the Land of Action is where goals go to die. I know, it’s heartbreaking and sad, but it’s reality and sometimes you need to tie Old Yeller up to the tree and, well, you know, end it. You’re going to be different, though. You’re going to move from goal creation to goal action. How? By eating the elephant, one bite at a time.

A friend of mine used to paint houses for a living. As you’d imagine, the task of covering 3,500 sq. ft. with latex paint, by yourself, was a bit daunting. But he did it each summer, sometimes knocking out a dozen houses in three months (for the record, that’s really fast). You don’t eat an elephant in one bite (figuratively speaking, of course) and you don’t paint a house in one brush stroke. The key to his productivity was taking one section at a time. First the west side, then the east side, followed by the south and then the north. The system worked by keeping his stress levels down and productivity up.

You’re going to approach your goals the same way. You may have some lofty aspirations for yourself or your organization. Let’s say you want to run a marathon. Even those unfamiliar to the world of running know you don’t just go and run 26.2 miles without training. Even if you’ve never laced up jogging shoes before, running a marathon is possible if you start early enough and pace yourself.

Walk one block. Then walk a mile. Now jog a mile. Then another. Gradually add tenths of a mile as you get more comfortable. Before you know it, you’re crossing the finish line with enough miles for a 25-minute car ride in the bag.

3. Practically Achieving Your Goals

Practically speaking, you’re going to need some help along the way. Setting goals and keeping a rhythm to achieve them is one thing, grinding through the day-to-day is another.

Here are some tools that will help in your quest for goal domination:

Pomodoro App. You’d be amazed at what you can accomplish in 25 minutes. That’s the driving concept behind the Pomodoro technique: focus for 25 minutes, take a five minute breather, repeat until the task is complete. It’s so simple, but this helpful timer keeps you on track when your mind wants to wander. Use it in an individual or team setting.

NeuYear Wall Calendar. Something near and dear to my heart is this full-wall calendar our team at NeuYear has created. It shows you the whole year at once, making it easier to layout long-term goals, set future deadlines, and quickly get a flow for the year. Added bonus? This beautifully-designed calendar has bigger squares so you can write more. Get 10% off when you use this link!

Basecamp. Out of the hundreds of project management software platforms out there, Basecamp remains one of the best. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles countless other platforms try and cram into their offering, but what it does have, it does well. Keep your entire team focused on the project-at-hand with message boards, file uploads, and document collaboration.

Conclusion

Like anything else in life, you get out of goal-planning what you put in. Give your goals the respect they deserve by making them SMART, actionable, and ensuring they make progress. How much different could your life be a year from now if you started on one of your goals today?

GIVEAWAY TIME! CLOSED

I wanted to share the NeuYear love, so Jesse was nice enough to offer THREE calendars to give away to three lucky readers! This calendar is seriously so awesome! It can be hung vertically or horizontally and gives you a view of the entire year. I am using mine for blog planning!

a Rafflecopter giveaway