30 Before 30 // Goals Achieved

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. 

01 create an inspiring studio space at home. My space in Boston was really coming along but now I’m starting over again in New Orleans.

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!

25 try a “what I wore” post. Done. BBQ in January // Wandering the Big Easy // Leopard Print and Crochet // New Orleans Fashion Week // Sister Style

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…

29 throw a special bridal shower/bachelorette party for my BFF Done. You can see the details here: Inspiration Board // Invitations // Party Survival Kit, Food and Photobooth

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!

 

A Little Birthday Wish

Help Send Me To Alt

 

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!

 

Help Ciera Get To Alt

 

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!

Ciera Holzenthal Print Options

Slowing Down

SLOWING-DOWN

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.

(photo source)

Today I Am Thankful

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?