Okay, so today is my 30th birthday (gulp) and it’s time for my 30 before 30 review! I feel like I fell off towards the end of the year, especially with the move back to New Orleans. That was pretty distracting and made some of the items on my list impossible. But over all I am proud of myself and think I accomplished a lot during my last year in my 20′s.
02 website/blog makeover Done. However I have more updates planned for 2013!
03 create a better home/work balance and learn to take real days off work. I have been taking most weekends off and taking vacations when needed but still finding it difficult to know when to stop working in the evenings, there is always something more to do! Kind of done.
04 travel to Austin or San Francisco. I was home in New Orleans for almost all of January and then again in April for a wedding and then moved back in August so I didn’t make it to either of these places. BUT my two best friends and I are planning a road trip in 2013 from San Fransisco to Seattle!
05 more tangible artwork. Combined this with number 14, kinda the same right?
06 learn to plan better for blog posts and focus on unique and meaningful content. Done. I have been writing more design based posts, personal adventures and unique content like recipes and DIYs and Advice.
07 read more books. Fail.
08 create a stationery and art print line and online shop. I added a few things to my Etsy shop but have not created a full line yet.
09 use camera in manual mode more than auto. A bit but not as much as I wanted.
10 serious purge of closet and create a coherent wardrobe. I sold on Ebay, had a garage sale and donated a lot. I also purchased some things I am really happy with!
11 design and send out Christmas cards. Done!
12 refinish living room table. Decided not to do this. It is in the “man cave” now and doesn’t need to be redone.
13 explore new places in Boston Done. I explored some new places, mostly restaurants and bars, of course.
14 more DIY projects. Done.
15 week-long camping trip. Nope, this one will have to do for 2012.
16 visit Salem during October/Halloween. Moved back to New Orleans before October = fail.
17 guest posts and/or collaborate with other bloggers. Totally rocked this one! Among many guest post this year I did a 4 part series for Alt’s blog and now have some lovely contributors here on my blog! Can’t wait to continue collaborating on 2013!
18 buy another lens for my camera. I bought a Wacom Tablet instead. New lens is on the list again for 2013.
19 visit Boston Harbor Islands. I am really sad about this one and can’t believe I never made it. Fail.
20 host a fabulous dinner party. We have friends over for dinner all of the time. While the meals are always wonderful, I still want to throw a special dinner party.
21 create a regular exercise program. Fail
22 update my design portfolio. I did add a few new projects but in 2013 I am doing a full overhaul.
23 take a self-portrait. Done. I have decided I don’t really like it though and want to do more.
24 go ice skating. Moved back to New Orleans = fail. I have been before but wanted to go again!
26 learn Zander’s pizza recipe and work on cooking skills. Zander is pretty much just the master in the kitchen so I’m just leave this one alone.
27 leave the house more. (easier said than done when working from home) I am somehow not sure if I have accomplished this one or not.
28 one date night a month. JAN skipped, FEB Aquitaine, MAR The Hunger Games, APR wedding, MAY Rancid & Radiohead, JUNE Cooking Show, JULY Red Sox game & Aquarium, AUG Moonrise Kingdom… so we did pretty good until we moved home…
30 less online time. Fail.
What you think, I did pretty good huh? I don’t think I am going to create such an extensive list for 2013. I feel like too many things change throughout the year and it is better to adapt a list as things progress. My main focus for 2013 is going to be my business; refining my process, working with the perfect clients, designing products for my Etsy shop, working with an accountant, producing an e-course and lots of other things to get my business where I want it!
My birthday is tomorrow and I received the best present ever today! I just found out that Bing got me a ticket to Alt Summit!!! This is one of the best blogging & design conferences around and I am SOOOO excited! However, I was not expecting to go this year so have not saved up travel money! It’s in 24 days so I’m kinda freaking out! I have been a crazy person since I found out this morning thinking about plane tickets, hotel reservations, new business cards, party outfits, ahh!
So here is where I ask for your help! I’ve put together a funding page with some awesome rewards, including sponsor spaces on this blog! If you have ever thought about sponsoring this blog, now is the time! Depending on which level you choose, you will also get some extra goodies along with your ad space! If you can not donate at this time, I would really appreciate if you share my funding page with your friends, on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook etc!
I also just added an extra bonus to all levels that get a snail mail card! ! I’ll include a 4×4″ Ciera Holzenthal original photograph printed on archival grade Kodak Professional Endura Paper. You get to pick from one of these 28 options or any of my Instagram’s if you don’t see anything here that you like!
Things are going to be slowing down a little bit on the blog through January. I decided to set some time aside to evaluate my blog and my business. I will be putting up a survey in January and would really appreciate your feedback about the blog. I’ll also be updating my portfolio and design service options and lots of other business related things that I haven’t totally wrapped my head around yet. In 2012 I focused on growing my blog and in 2013 I want to put more of my efforts into my business. Because of my wonderful contributors, you may not even notice my absence! Sometimes I feel so obligated to post new things to the blog. But I really need some time for my family around the holidays and my business in the new year! I’d love to hear if you have any tips for slowing down and not feeling guilty for taking a little blogging break.
Today is all about remembering what we are thankful for and boy do I have a lot to be thankful for. I wanted to take some time to write down the things I am most thankful for right now in my life.
My Boyfriend, Family and Friends // They are constantly encouraging me and helping me where they can. They are loving and supportive and are so proud of me. My friends make me laugh until my stomach hurts. My sister and I collaborate together. My parents are my role models and I have great respect for everyone in my family.
My Home // I love New Orleans. There’s so much going on and so much opportunity. I love my house and the fact that I have a roof over my head and a space to invite people into at all is something to be thankful for.
A Creative Career // To have the ability to be creative on a daily basis, to be able to make a living doing what I love is really a dream. For the past 2 years I’ve been supporting myself as a freelance graphic designer. I’m my own boss, setting my own hours and choosing the projects I want to work on. I am super thankful for all the opportunities that have come my way so far and I’m really excited for what lies ahead for 2013!
The Blogging Community // I’m grateful for all of my readers. You inspire me to take more photographs, make projects, learn new things and have this creative outlet. I enjoy sharing my passions and obsessions with you and I love connecting with new people all over the world!
What are some things you are thankful for?
Hey guys! I’m popping in with a little update because I want to be completely transparent with my readers and because my blog integrity means a lot to me.
I blog because I love it. Blogging inspires me to take photographs, make projects, learn new recipes and to document my life in an organized and creative way. I enjoy sharing my passions and obsessions with my readers and I have been blown away by the community around blogging. I love connecting with new people all over the world that I wouldn’t be able to otherwise.
But remember, my ‘real job’ is a freelance graphic designer and while I LOVE blogging, it takes a lot of time away from paid opportunities. For my first two years of blogging I held off on accepting advertisers, sponsors and affiliates because it was important to me that these things didn’t influence my content. I wanted to concentrate on creating unique ideas and giving the blog time to develop. Once the blog was on a steady track I opened it up to sponsorships. For me, this was less about making a few dollars and more about building great relationships in the web world and allowing me to share these new friends with you!
You may have noticed that, in addition to my sponsor spotlight posts, I have joined some advertising networks. This means occasional sponsored posts. Sponsored posts allow me to dedicate more time towards this blog and create original and unique content for you guys! I always have and always will continue to post things I can honestly stand behind. I will never post about something that is not relevant to me or my readers or let compensation influence my special space.
I know there are a lot of people who don’t think blogs should accept compensation and I have so much respect for bloggers who put their time and energy into creating content without having advertisers. I did that for years, but now that I am transforming this blog from a hobby into a part of my business, I now understand the value of these types of opportunities.
Huge news today friends! Zander and I have decided it’s time to move back to New Orleans! I’ve had an amazing year and a half living in Boston. I’ve made some amazing friends and explored more of the North East than I ever imagined I would! But our hearts are in New Orleans.
Everyone in New Orleans has a special connection and shows it through eye contact when passing on the street. I miss that. I miss the warm, friendly and happy people. I miss hard rains, hidden courtyards, wonderful food, Oak trees, great music, the unique gumbo of people, southern hospitality and dive bars.
“If there was ever a town to have a reason to be full of sorrow and pain it is New Orleans. And although the damages of Katrina, poverty and crime are all around, it does not stop people from living to the fullest. Every day is a new day and more reason to celebrate.” -The Hungry Nomad
It’s hard to explain, but New Orleans just has something special. It is not fast or efficient. It’s slow, sweaty and lazy, but it’s home. Every inch of this city has something beautiful in it’s own special way. I’ll miss the North East tremendously, but I’m ready to be back in the city that stole my heart!
Okay, I know Maxi skirts and dresses have been on trend for quite some time now, but for some reason I’m just getting into them. I’m kinda short so I just never thought I could pull one off, but I’m gonna try it out… as soon as I can decide which to buy first! Here are some that I am looking at. Do you have a favorite maxi style that I should try out?
If you were wondering… here is what I have been up to recently!
1 Love to stop in Portland for dinner whenever we are on our way to visit Zander’s grandmother in Maine // 2 Weekends on Martha’s Vineyard // 3 I love German food! Stopped at this place for lunch and brought back sauerkraut, sausage, senf and spaetzle! // 4 I had the opportunity to attend a cooking demo with Chef Ming Tsai, as a part of Macy’s Great American Chefs Tour! // 5 Spent some time at the New England Aquarium // 6 Free weekends exploring Boston // 7 I made non microwavable popcorn for the first time ever // 8 Sunny afternoons on the back deck // 9 This game is amazing! It is like the dirty version of Apples to Apples // 10 Loving bright summer colors // 11 Beach days are my absolute favorite // 12 Zander and I started an exercise routine and are trying to eat healthier for the summer