BEARS EAT BERRIES

BEARS EAT BERRIES | coloregraceSomehow, a few years ago on instagram, I found Bears Eat Berries. I was immediately captivated by the cute, nature-lovin’, minimalist designs and the lovely quality of her Letterpress cards. Laura Wentzel is a graphic designer who taught herself how to work the letterpress too. Impressive! Her Instagram is consistently one of my favorites because of her beautiful photos of the places she visits (most recently Vietnam!) while traveling or exploring, and her design sketches that will soon be hot off the press. You can find more of Laura’s recent work, and a little more about her Southwest life, on her blog, Happy Camper.

BEARS EAT BERRIES | coloregraceletter writing | coloregraceCelebrating April’s National Card and Letter writing gave me the perfect reason to stock up on all of the Bears Eat Berries stationery I’ve always adored. Almost all of the cards I ordered are on their way to new and old friends and family this week. I managed to stash a few away for future letters, but I may have to order a few extra packs soon!

If you’re like me and used all of your stationery this month sending letters, or you find Bears Eat Berries as wonderful as I do, you’re in luck! Laura was kind enough to team up with me to give you a 15% off coupon code. See all of the lovely options on the Bears Eat Berries Etsy shop, I bet you’ll have a hard time limiting yourself to just one. (I know I couldn’t!)

Use the code ‘coloregrace’ when you check out to receive your 15% off through the end of April!

BEARS EAT BERRIES | coloregrace

march review

coloregrace March 2015March is over already!? Geez. While I’m sad the year is going by so fast already, I’m happy to welcome the warm spring weather. Bluebonnets line the Texas highways; they make me smile at least once every morning on my commute. The ability to wear dresses and sandals definitely excites me too.

This month was full of wonderful things for the blog- here’s what my hands have been up to:

  • March began with the idea “luck is the residue of design” for my monthly desktop download post for Jojotastic. You can also view past ‘a little extra grace’ downloads here!
  • B shared his everyday carry, which inspired me to clean out my Madewell tote and be more intentional about what’s inside. In my Everyday Carry I listed the items I can’t go a day without.
  • I had the pleasure of sitting down with Laura Uhlir of Olive to interview her about her love of vintage and new modern designed clothing. It was so nice to get to know Laura a little better, and find this comfy dress too.
  • SXSW is one of two giant events that happen in Austin, my new home. I was incredibly lucky to be invited by Creative Market to Lettering and Lattes at Tom’s Roasting Co, to sit beside a group of Austin hand-letters, and honestly a bunch of my friends, to spend a morning making a mess and having fun.
  • The sun has started to shine in Austin, so I shared a few songs on my sunshine song playlist to go along with the warmer days.
  • I had the privilege to meet some wonderful girls at Camp TXSC! The camp was for bloggers and small business owners to connect, get re-inspired, and have some fun while taking a break too.
  • After coming home from camp, I was in serious need of rest . Last week I tried my best to slow down and really do what best for me. Over the weekend, I barely got any work done, but now I’m feeling recharged to tackle the weeks ahead.
  • Calligraphy has been a big part of my life the past year, and I still enjoy growing with it and playing with new tools. After a lot of practice, I’ve found my go-to basic calligraphy supplies that I love to work with.

Oh yeah, and I was able to catch up with these two (Kelly Beall and Joanna Hawley) and take silly photos with them.

coloregrace March 2015 - image by Tagspire Image by Jacque Managua Photography for Tagspire.

REST

restingI’m resting today because I’ve had cold symptoms the past few days and my mind is a mess full of projects that are competing for top priority. Over the weekend, I heard a wonderful talk with Jess Lively and Caroline Rector about living with intention, lessons they’ve learned, and what they’re hoping to learn. A big part of the message was the importance of rest. As creatives, we hustle so hard we end up exhausted, stressed, and not producing our best content because we are not our best selves. Instead, Jess urged us to not make the same mistake she did and take the rest when we truly need it.

I do most of my work for my blog and projects at night, which means I’m staying up late and not getting the best quality or enough sleep. I typically have a “go-go-go” kind of attitude (working as much as I possibly can with the time I have) when it comes to working, which is truly unhealthy for me. B tries to warn me that I need rest, but instead of leaving the responsibility for him, I’d like to take control of my work/rest balance for myself. I would like to avoid the breakdowns, downward spirals, and sickness as much as I can and I know at the rate I’m going I’m bound to have a little breakdown every month or two. Un-acceptable.

So today, I’m choosing to rest, with green tea and blankets, with the best intention of taking better care of myself starting now. I'm going to clean my desk, clean my calendar and to-do list, and start fresh tomorrow.

CAMP TXSC

coloregrace goes to TxSCjojotastic at camp, coloregrace goes to Camp TxSC

Last weekend I attended Texas Style Council CAMP, where over a hundred bloggers and brands got together right outside of Austin at a Girl Scout Camp to hangout, listen to some inspiring speakers, learn from discussion groups, and have a little fun in the mud.

Friday afternoon my designer and blogger friend, Joanna Hawley, flew into Austin, and we met for the first time in real life after being internet friends for months. I was able to show her around Austin a bit despite the SXSW traffic, and get her some tacos and queso before heading out to camp. It was her first time in Texas, so we had some priorities (queso was number one).

friday night fun, coloregrace goes to Camp TxSC coloregrace goes to Camp TxSC-crafts

As soon as we arrived and found our cabins, we heard our first speaker then headed to a night full of crafting and learning about some of the sponsors and brands represented over the weekend.

Jess Lively and Caroline Rector | coloregrace goes to Camp TxSC

I woke up extra early to sip some Tom’s Roasting Co. coffee, and then learn from many wonderful speakers and discussion leaders including: photographer Shalyn Nelson, Bethany Joy Clark of Tom’s, Carli of Inked Fingers, Tieka of Selective Potential, Becky Murphy of Chipper Things, Indiana Adams the fearless Camp leader, Jess Lively of The Lively Show podcast, and Caroline Rector of Un-fancy.

After dinner, we got into our ‘khaki cool’ attire for a jamboree! (My only khaki was a pair of shorts, so I decided to stay warm in my jeans instead.)

coloregrace goes to Camp TxSC

There was A LOT of photo-booth fun. Each sponsor had more crafts, temporary tattoos, and desserts tables too! In the photos above, you’ll find my OKC friend Kelly Beall of Design Crush, Chloe Mitchell, a representative of Hello Society, and my new friend Ana, who blogs at The Iron Pearl!

coloregrace goes to Camp TxSC

coloregrace goes to Camp TxSC

By the end of the evening, putting my tired Converse up in this Kammok was necessary! These Converse were the best shoe options I packed with me for Camp so I wore these all weekend through the rain and mud, and the sunshine that came out Sunday morning.

coloregrace goes to Camp TxSC

We enjoyed all of the sun we could Sunday morning after out last speaker and goodbyes. It was nice to spend some extra time chatting with Randle Browning of Week of Plenty, my kindhearted friend from Waco, TX! This girl’s recipes are beautiful looking; I cannot wait to start trying each one.

OH! and I can’t forget to say how much fun it was to make a cool necklace with Hello Society. So much fun that I won this amazing Lomography camera! I’m so excited to buy some film and capture some amazing days coming up.

Most of all, I came back to Austin with a head full of new ideas and fresh passion for my work. I feel refreshed to be vulnerable and authentic, and hoping work on some fun collaborations with my new Camp friends.

coloregrace goes to Camp TxSC

sunshine playlist

A Spotify playlist for soaking in the spring sun.Tomorrow I’m excited to pick up Joanna Hawley from the airport, show her a few of my favorite Austin shops, and then drive out to camp! This weekend I’ll be joining about a hundred ladies just outside of Austin to attend Texas Style Council’s CAMP! I’m beyond excited to get away from the city for a few days, connect with creative ladies, and learn from them too. It should be a great chance to get reinspired and well-rested, even if we do stay up late watching movies and/or giggling. The sun has started to shine in Austin; the weather is warming up. With a few of our warmer days lately, I’ve been in the mood to cruise around with windows down, sunglasses on, and the happiest music playing loud. This is what inspired me to create the ‘sunshine song’ playlist. It’s a mix of songs, old and new, that ensure a smile on my face.

You can play the songs on the widget, or find the playlist here on Spotify!

https://open.spotify.com/user/122583093/playlist/4nBMv7MmioMukOBm7nR4XP

february review

coloregrace february review February leaves me with a happy and full heart. I simply love Valentine’s Day, it may even be my favorite holiday of the year. Plus, it’s B’s birthday month. Needless to say we’ve been a bit busy and I love it. Slowly, I’m finding a new stride and balancing act for new and old responsibilities. It gets tough to find the energy to constantly go-go-go, but thankfully I am finding inspiration from working. Here are all of the posts that have been keeping us busy in February.

coloregrace love B

Now, onto March!

B

2015-02-02-20150202-Capture0015 I find it extremely difficult to write anything that is fitting for the best man I know. The amount of love and care I share with him is immeasurable. A year ago, I was shy (and admittedly shaking) when I gave him his birthday card I had made the night before. The card was a simple gesture of friendship, but little did I know, I would be receiving a card on our first date several weeks later. Each day since, I've grown more smitten than the day before. Everyday I am excited to share in conversations about our interests, passions, wonders, fears, and day dreams (and silly singing duets and have dance-offs too) Every day I am proud of how strong, brilliant, and meaningful he is. And everyday we smile at each other with hearts in our eyes, never ceasing. Celebrating B this week will be the greatest joy, but it will not come close to expressing how much joy I am filled with to call him my best friend.

Happy 25th Birthday, B. I love you more.

(Oh yeah, and he puts up with my ideas like this thumbs up photo which is also really amazing.)

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january review

coloregrace january reviewThere were many posts I was excited about this January; here is a quick review of all of them just in case you missed it.

  • The year began, like most, with me reflecting on the excitement that filled the past year, and looking forward to what is to come in the next. In wholly happy, I described why I’ve grown into pretty consistent state of happiness in the last year, how I got there, and how I plan to stay happy for as long as I can.
  • I kicked off my 52 week Instagram project for 2015, #coloregraceletters. Each Monday I post a new quote, phrase, or any thing in calligraphy or other styles of lettering I’m exploring. It’s been so fun, and I’m so excited for the encourage I’ve received from it. Follow along @coloregrace!
  • My montly guest post for Jojotastic sent the message of ‘simply start’! It’s a new year. What have you got to lose?
  • Baron Fig Confidants are the perfect pair for the new year. I’m still in love with the quality of paper and golden cover.
  • A staple to my winter wardrobe this year is my new Chelsea boots. I practically wear them every day of the week!
  • I showed you how I organized my 2014 with planners and many notebooks.
  • I let my recent crush on the color pink shine!
  • My secret for replacing my multiple paper to-do list was revealed when I explained my Omnifocus 2 workflow.
  • SHOUT-OUT to any creative couples: I want to hear about your story. Find more details here.
  • Weekends lately have been busy but blissful. Full of lettering practice, photo shoots for blog posts, running errands, and eating the occasion donut too.
  • B and I shared a few photos of our home! It’s always a work-in- progress, but I love how it has evoled.
  • Here’s a list of some of our calligraphy supplies we’ve been using lately for projects.
  • Finally, here are the two ‘grace notes’ from the month (January 11th and January 25th). I always love finding inspiration and sharing it with you.

It has been an excellent start to the year! Cheers!

omnifocus 2 love

coloregrace omnifocus loves I take pride in the way I organize. Last week I shared how I organized 2014, but today I’d love to show you a few ways I’m keeping organized in 2015. Gosh, the first month is practically over already! I have a few tricks and tips for staying on top of things, but instead of showing photos of my iPad and Confidant laid out on my desktop with a side of coffee, I want to dig deeper into the apps I constantly use. I’m not quite a productivity app junkie, (although I get crazy excited to discuss them with B), but I am a genuine fan of a few. The app I could not function without is Omnifocus 2. I cannot stress enough how learning and using this app has been a productivity game-changer in my life. I wrote a short review of Omnifocus last June, but since I’ve been able to expand how I use the app. This is perfect for people who have multiple things going on in life.

coloregrace loves omnifocus 2

To start the process, I break my life into categories of my main responsibilities. Next, on a big white blank sheet of paper I write the folder on the top of the page, then go crazy writing down everything I can think of that I need or want to do within that responsibility. And I mean everything. For example, I’ll write ‘BLOG’ at the top of the page then write all of the ideas I have for content, which may include each action I’ll need to complete the project like taking photos or writing the first draft, plus anything extra I want to do for my blog like updating my headshot.

After flushing out every task you can think of for every category, I type each action into the Inbox. I revisit the list one at time and slowly define what is a project with multiple actions, or single actions task lists. This is the biggest time investment of organizing Omnifocus because you have to clearly define each item and place it accordingly. Then I view the ‘projects’ and decided when each project needs to be due. Every action can be assigned a start date and/or a due date. By thinking through each project individually and coordinating with my calendar, I’m able spread out my work load. This means I can complete the tasks over a few days, instead of piling all of the work onto one day which can be very stressful. Working this way allows me to do a lot of work in advance so I’m prepared.

coloregrace loves omnifocus 2

Once I’ve done this for each category, view the Forecast. This view is my favorite because it is where I find my daily to-do list. Making to-do lists is a horrible habit of mine. I spend time trying to rewrite to-do lists multiple times, so instead of working I’m busy thinking about working. Not productive! With forecast I always have an up-to-date version of my list where I can check things off easily or push them to a more suitable date. I love being able to complete multiple tasks from a variety of projects in one day. Little wins, like checking off tasks, make me incredibly happy!

coloregrace loves omnifocus 2

I typically like to review my Forecast in the morning so I’m prepared for the tasks I need to get done, or figure out which are most important for the day. As I work, I check-in throughout the day to make sure I’m completing tasks, or add new things in too. Each night before I go to sleep I make sure every item is checked off my list from the day, or I reschedule for tomorrow.

I’ve been using Omnifocus for almost a year and I am still learning new ways that Omnifocus works for me. It takes time to understand and build the way you utilize this tool, but the way it impacts my productivity is immeasurable. I highly recommend trying Omnifocus here if you’re like me and juggle multiple projects throughout the day. I’ll admit that I have the app for all of my devices, and it’s worth it because they all sync seamlessly. If you’d like to nerd out with me, here are some more articles about how other people use Omnifocus in their lives that gave me a deeper understanding of how it works.

CONFIDANT

I-love-my-Confidant A few months ago I started to think about which notebook I’d keep as my sidekick for 2015. As you may have read in my pen-to-paper series, I journal a lot. I love to keep pen and paper with me wherever I go to take notes, write ideas, write quick journal entries, or map out an idea for a blog post. I kicked around the idea of finding a new Compendium (the notebook I kept for the last half of 2014), or purchasing a Rhodia notebook or a large stack of Field Notes to fill. Since B is a pen and paper addict and knows of all the coolest companies, he introduced me to Baron Fig while I was searching for the next killer notebook for me.

My ideal notebook was bigger than Field Note size, bigger than the compendium I was carrying, but still small enough it could be kept in an oversized clutch, say to carry to coffee for a Saturday morning date if needed. I definitely wanted the paper to be a fine quality to handle a wide range of writing tools. I wanted paper with a dot grid to allow me to cleanly write a lot of text or sketch if needed. With all of these specific needs, I had very limited options. But when I started researching, (yes, I do a lot of research before I chose a new notebook), the Baron Fig Confidant was/is the perfect fit.

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Last Friday, B and I were overjoyed to rip open a package from Baron Fig. Unboxing the Confidant was almost as fun as starting a new notebook. First, there was a personalized hand-written note from Adam, one of Baron Fig’s founders, on the inside of the package thanking us for the order. B ordered the standard light grey Confidant, but I ordered the Three Legged Juggler limited edition Confidant. The Juggler is a collaboration with The Half and Half. It’s beautiful, golden cover made me fall in love instantly, but when I discovered the message of the Three-legged juggler I knew it was meant to be — a tale of expectation, perception, and inner strength — the perfect journal to start my 2015. Another unexpected treat was reading the charming quotes along the outside of the box and reading the quirky poem about the three-legged juggler.

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I’m happy to report that after a week of use I’m already filling pages with notes from reading and writing. The book lays flat so it is very easy to write on both sides of the spine. The paper is a nice off-white, but not too yellow like some of its competitors. The dot grid is fitting for my tiny clean print, or my admittedly sometimes messy half-print half-cursive handwriting. I tested all of the writing tools I keep around my desk and everything from the Hi-Tec C 0.3 to the regular sharpie worked perfect. The fine sharpie and regular sharpie is visible from the opposite side of the paper, but didn’t bleed through. I’m eager to carry this book with me through out the year, fill all 192 pages, and see where these notes will lead me.

Baron Fig’s mission “to champion thinkers in their journey to create and inspire the world.” Their story evolved from a group of three creative friends who dreamt of a comfortable notebook with a lot of space to work. Baron Fig started less than a year ago, and they’re already a hit! I love finding businesses like this with great products, methods, people, and an excellent purpose.

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WHOLLY HAPPY

Colore Grace 2015 2014 inspired and motivated me. For many reasons, I was consistently happy, and even happier when my happiness it glowed through my work. In the past several years, I had lost my ambition. I wandered through life unsure of my direction until about two years ago when I realized I just wanted to write and create. Blogging was a way to journal for about a year before I truly found my love for it.

The first three years of college I switched my major back and forth, searching for an outlet for my creativity. After my former “eat, sleep, dance” lifestyle, I was completely lost. Several days during my freshman year, I remember journaling and crying because I thought I would never be as fulfilled as I felt when I danced, but luckily I had friends, and other bloggers, to inspire and help guide me. As soon as I decided to go all in, I became a sponge for learning. Although it took time and a lot of patience, writing and creating content grew to consume me and fill my heart with more joy than ever.

Somewhere in the midst of juggling school, a part-time job, blogging, and being asked “what are your plans for after graduation?” I decided that I am a blogger, a writer, and nothing would stop me. Quickly, I grew tired of lying to people by saying, “Oh, I may look for a job at the local paper, but I’d love to write for a magazine.” I’d still love to write for a magazine someday, but for now I enjoy writing my own thoughts and my own stories for myself and for you that I can be proud of.

After deciding to be a blogger, I would sit at the coffee shop irritated because I knew I had to complete my schoolwork and attend class before I could focus all of my energy on my blogging passion. I impatiently wished the days would speed up so I could graduate and then throw myself into my work. I relentlessly dreamed, and now I am lucky to be living the dream.

I’ve been a blogger for three years now. After noticing my ‘bloggiversary’ notification a few weeks ago, I started thinking about my purpose. Without thinking too hard, I jotted down a few thoughts, but knew something this important needed more time and thought to develop. While hustling to complete projects before the new year, delirium set in after a productive evening of work and, of course, I broke down crying. After B did what he does best, encourage me and make me laugh, I began to clearly talk with him about my purpose.

This haven is where I confidently share my work as a calligrapher; how I make things; tell stories about beautiful people and businesses; talk about my lifestyle choices and sometimes my wardrobe choices too; and write words that have helped me grow. I’ve learned to accept that it will never be perfect, but I know for a fact I will never stop working hard to be proud of it. It will not always be easy, but with courage I want to challenge myself, take risks, conquer my fear of the unknown, and dream about future projects. My intention for this blog is to share my loves, thoughts, ideas, inspiration, fears, and lessons with you. With this, I hope to inspire you to create and share too.

I have dangerously struggled with self-confidence since middle school. I deemed my thoughts invaluable for a long time, and some days I still struggling to know I am enough. But with your support, in addition to a lot of self-discovery/help, I can proudly be myself. In the last few months, I’ve been grateful to have such overwhelming encouragement from you, my friends. Please accept this mighty big virtual hug to each of you! I am extremely pleased to write for you and know there is the possibility to inspire you in any way. This is what sets a bright fire in my heart and drives me to keep working. Although blogging is my still a side hustle, I hope to grow and share even bigger ideas with you in the future.

While I can think of a few minor habits I’d like to change or places I dream of traveling to with B in 2015, I want nothing more than this consistently, wholly happy heart I’ve gained from passionately working.

2014, you will forever be remembered as a life changing gem of a year, but I can’t wait for the adventures of 2015.

A LOT HAPPENS IN A YEAR

Snocone I kicked off my 2014 in bed with the nasty flu, but the year has greatly made it up to me. After I got well, I wrote about my 2014 ideas here. Call me crazy, but I feel confident in saying I think I nailed it. The top generalized goals were to travel more (so I moved to Austin), sell at least 20 products (so I did at Sara Kate Studios), and to say YES to experiences and opportunities (and oh man, did I do just that.) I look at 2014 with giant hearts in my eyes because it has been such a splendid year, and I’d like to share my favorite highlights now.

I love my tote cg for SKS

My favorite blog posts

Colore Grace graduation Work Hard and be Nice

My favorite moments

  • I was lucky to learn calligraphy from the wonderful Lauren Essl, and make a friend in class who is now my boyfriend, B.
  • I traveled to Austin for the first time and saw Ellie Goulding live.
  • I joined friends to cheer for B in the OKC Memorial run.
  • I graduated from college!
  • I was asked to not only move in with B, but to move with him to Austin, TX. We made the move in July and couldn’t be happier!
  • I made new friends in Austin that constantly keep me inspired and laughing.
  • I gained even more titanium in my legs with another surgery. (fingers crossed for no surgeries in 2015!)

Colore Grace read Darling

Things I recommend for 2015

  • Start reading Seth Godin daily!
  • Start and keep a journal, even if it’s not everyday or complete thoughts! In my pen-to-paper series I shared how I journal.
  • “Work hard and be nice to people,” which was some of the greatest advice I was given in 2014.
  • Pick up a Darling Magazine and soak in all of its beauty.
  • Listen to The Lively Show while you’re commuting or hanging around your home!
  • Constantly and humbly seek joy.
  • Follow adorable frenchie’s on Instagram. Even if you don’t plan on getting a dog, these faces ensure a smile.

Tonight I’ll not only be toasting the New Year, but celebrating all that I have achieved in 2014. The year was full of exciting changes and a healthy mix of big and little wins, and I’m so eager to enjoy 2015 the same way. I will be sharing more about what I’m looking forward to in 2015 tomorrow, but until then I hope we can all celebrate ourselves and our year.

Colore Grace 2014