Archive of ‘Goals’ category

Looking forward to 2017: Reflect

I am a big fan of a new year. It feels like a fresh start and a new opportunity to focus on something particular in my life. I don’t really like to set resolutions, per say, but I love to set some goals as well as an overall area of focus. As the end of 2016 approached, I began to set my thoughts on what intentions I would set for the upcoming new year. I really had no idea. With a new baby on the way, that seemed all-consuming so what else would I have time for?

Being pregnant I am starting to get into a habit of doing a yoga session at home then relaxing in a bath after. It has always been a struggle for my to take the time for myself and do stuff like that. I usually put my own health, body, and self low on my priorities list, sadly. But as I get further along in my pregnancy, my body physically craves stuff like yoga and baths, so it has become impossible to ignore. Of course, as you may be able to relate, overtime I actually do stuff like that, I really do love it. I always compare things like that to eating a salad. You never really want to choose to eat a salad, but you almost always enjoy it and feel really good once you do. Same with working out or most other things that are good for you. Still it’s so hard to make the decision to do those things, for me, at least. Anyway, the point I’m really getting at is that it was a day or two before New Year’s Day and I was relaxing in my bath and I began to think again about my intentions for the coming year. Ultimately one word popped into my head: REFLECT.

It felt so right. Over the past year, I’ve gone through a whirlwind of emotions. I feel like I am finally starting to overcome certain things that have been damaging to my mental health. I’ve recognized that this really only happens when I allow myself time to really think about things and unpack whatever it is that is really going on. With myself, with my relationships. Plus this next year is going to contain SO MUCH. Our daughter will be here in only 2 months. I get to watch her grow and watch her and Bear’s relationship develop. Our family will become complete. I want to, as much as possible, allow myself time to slow down and absorb all that is happening and all that I am experiencing. I want to take in the memories that are being made. I want to look inward. I want to think about myself, and ponder the “why’s” in my life. What makes me truly happy and WHY. I want to explore the reasons I am who am, and accept them or make changes if that seems like the right thing to do.

My husband and I keep a very busy life, I don’t feel like that will change too much as time goes on. We can never seem to help it, we always find ways to squeeze in something else. But I do want to intentionally make time to do nothing. I do want to reduce the amount of time I spend mindlessly scrolling on my phone or my computer and use that toward just being alone and thinking. Letting there be quietness. Paying attention to my surroundings. Just taking deep breaths. Or spending time talking with Geoff and re-living and re-visitng what is going on in our lives. I hope this might result in more writing and journaling. Or expression though art.

The longer I lay in that bath thinking about my intention of reflection, the more at peace I felt. It really is going to be a good year.

30 for 30: a collaboration

I’m excited to (finally) share my first report on my 30 for 30 goals. If you head over to my wedding photography blog, The Goodness, you can read a little about the event I just participated in, FRESHbash. I was so excited to be a part of it because, a) it sounded really rad, and b) one of my goals this year was to do a collaboration. Normally, I very much keep to myself when I work on anything creative. I have this weird thing about letting people see my work before I want them too. I feel like if someone sees my work in an unfinished (imperfect, inferior) state, they will think I am no good. So I put my head down and only surface when I have a perfect (to me), finished piece. Only then will I share. I am also very introverted and find it hard to connect with other people, especially on creative projects. Of course I also know that collaboration is absolutely crucial to innovation and creativity. So many creative things (music, art, technology, etc) come out of densely populated cities because of the close proximity of individuals of diverse backgrounds. So I knew doing a collaboration this year would be very important for me to push myself out of my comfort zone.

My team consisted of an event designer (Roots Reclaimed), a florist (Seascape Flowers), a baker (Enchanté Macarons Français), and a stationer — me (The Goodness). We had a color scheme and a list of current wedding trends to work with when designing our booth, which could be a wedding tablescape, lounge area, or ceremony setup, etc. The group communication began through email, then a secret Pinterest board where we could all post inspiration and ideas. We met in person just once during the time leading up to the event. This meeting was at the studio of our event designer, Roots Reclaimed. We all got to meet, we talk about our ideas, and we lay out some furniture to get an idea of the space we were working with. 

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I was nervous to go to this meeting, as I always am afraid to speak up in conversations, or share ideas for fear of looking dumb. But I think I did pretty good at the meeting. I was vocal about my ideas and I felt like I contributed.

At the meeting we created a Facebook group where we could communicate about progress and ideas. I used this to share my work in progress and design ideas (aka face my fear). For the work I contributed,  was really pushing myself to try techniques I have never used before. The invitation set I designed involved all of the following: a scanner, a laser cutter, and a laminator. I used materials I’ve never used in invitations: fake flowers, gold foil, wood, glitter paper, and glitter spray paint. Here is my initial sketch of the laser cut wood part of the invitation.

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This is an early draft of the invitation. It was my first time trying the gold foil technique I was in love.

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Hand lettering for the invitation.

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The first mockup of my design that I showed to the group.

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Pre-stained laser-cut wood.

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And the final suite. More pictures of the suite can be seen here.

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The escort cards and dessert signs I made from acrylic sign holders from Staples and spray paint.

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I cut, built, glued, stained, and painted a business card holding-sign from scratch.

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In the weeks leading up to the event I know we were all working super hard to get things ready. We ALL experienced some sort of “catastrophe”. Did you know that if you don’t get enough sleep for over a week and push yourself to the point of exhaustion you can vomit on your bathroom floor in the middle of the night? Yeeeeeaaaah. Note to self: sleep is important. Setup the day of the event, had it’s own misadventures, and I know we all had our doubts about how or even IF it would all come together. For example, the amazing geometric backdrop Roots Reclaimed built would not fit throughout the door and we had to cut it in HALF!

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In the end we chose to look at the bright side: at least it is super portable now!Fresh Bash Setup 012

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But as our 3:00 pm setup deadline approached things were really coming together. Our setup was looking damn good. When it was all done and everything was in place it seriously looked amazing! Our team really pulled it off. We all felt super proud.

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Again, you should definitely check out my post on The Goodness Blog. There are a ton more photos of our booth and the event. It was really fun and rejuvenating to work on a collaboration and I hope there are more of them in my future. The next step would be to be more active with it and be the one organizing the group. Although, when I am planning things I sometimes tend to take on too much myself and not delegate, so NOT being the leader for this collaboration felt really good too. Go Team Collective!

So what is Lisa up to right now?

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I know a lot of people think that wedding vendors have an “off season”. Total myth. It is true we shoot less weddings this time of year, but we are entrepreneurs and business owners. The work never stops. Every October or so I start to get wistful about all the (mostly personal) things I’m going to accomplish during the winter “when I have the time”. And now, here we are, almost at the end of February and certainly do not “have the time”. I never do. Right now, things are insane. I really am excited about everything I have going on right now, but to say that I am feeling a bit overwhelmed would be an understatement. The photo (above) I created for a trip I have coming up (mentioned below) and I thought it was very fitting of this post. Let me give you a little peek into what I am working on right now.

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We are in the middle of a re-brand for The Goodness. We launched our new website about a month or so ago and with that comes new business cards, pricing guides, marketing materials, contracts, thank you cards, rubber stamps for shipping, signs, etc. etc. etc…. The pricing guide is a big one for me right now. I am taking new product photos, writing new copy and basically designing an entire new guide from the ground up x2 because I am designing them optimized both for print and digital.

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I am collaborating with my team for FRESHbash. FRESHbash is a wedding showcase-type event and party where I am working with three other wedding vendors to put together a super-creative, very original wedding display. I am contributing stationery. This has been great, not just because it is one of my 30 for 30 goals (yay!) but it is pushing me creatively and I have been having a ton of fun with it. I am creating some really unique stuff that I am super proud of and cannot wait to share in a future post. Right now it is top secret, but you should definitely come to the event and check it out. I also designed a set of 5 art prints for the swag bags — that’s one of them above!

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In about two weeks, Geoff and I will be attending Photo Field Trip, a four-day long artist’s camping retreat in El Capitan Canyon near Santa Barbara. There will be tons of classes and speakers, meeting tons of awesome like-minded people, campfires, llamma petting, crafts, a dance party and more. Geoff went last year and I am stoked to be going this year. As a fun little side project, I am organizing a ukulele campfire singalong and I have been practicing like crazy to get ready for it. I practice while Bear plays, I practice in the car on long drives, I practice when I can no longer stand to look at a computer screen. I am also putting together and printing songbooks for everyone else which is a big undertaking in of itself.

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I have been back to work on “The Books”. My main hurdle right now is designing the covers and it has been HARD. This is one of my first projects that is not just me, or a couple of other people (i.e..clients), but a much, much broader audience and I want it to be juuuuuust right. I also need to design a few more inner pages, a map and an explanation page for each book. I am on a deadline of only a few more days, because I want to get a couple first copies printed to take with with us to Photo Field Trip. We would love to get some feedback from other artists.

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I have been working really hard on a day-of stationery suite for a client getting married in Palm Springs in a couple weeks. This month I designed table numbers, escort cards, about 10 different signs, thank you cards, and two different welcome bag inserts. I am also designing save the date concepts for two different clients.

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Little Goodness is my newborn photography business that has been gestating (pun intended) for a couple of years now. I am sooooo close to launching. I am in the “creating the website” phase and my developer has sent me the current site version and I have just not had the time to sit down and write out revision notes. I just photographed a baby about a week ago and I need to finish processing the photos.

Then there is general “work”, keeping up on client emails, doing consultations, sending out contracts and receipts, random mini-design jobs, ordering needed supplies, etc.

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And squeezed in there I am trying to be a good mama.

Oh yeah, and this blog….

Things I am not working on right now

Keeping my house from looking like a disaster
Anything personal-craft related
Hanging up all those framed art prints I have in a giant box
Any house projects, really
Keeping active (although Geoff and I did decide we would do yoga before every engagement session)
About a million other things…wish me luck…

Back on the horse

It is SO easy to not follow through on things. Especially when the only person holding you accountable is yourself. I haven’t blogged in over a week. Truthfully, after Little Dog died, I wanted to turn inward for a little while, so I let myself take a break. But I think the hardest part about starting a new habit is letting one day slip by, and that one day turns into two, and into three, and the new days pile on effortlessly. But blogging is definitely something I do not want to give up so easily. I have loved blogging this past month. Getting my thoughts out of my head and onto something “permanent” and public has made them feel so much more…solid. Sharing has made me feel more connected to others. I feel myself becoming more confident. I am really proud of myself for keeping up with it as much as I have so far. In 2015 I have written 29 posts. In 2014 I wrote 26 posts the entire year.

Speaking of goals and following through, I set a ton of goals for myself this year. A TON. This is good and bad, but mostly good, I think. I set the bar high for myself, but at least I have direction. The thing is, I am constantly setting new goals for myself in my head. What I really need is focus. Focus is one thing I am really bad at. I have my wedding business, The Goodness, my newborn photography business Little Goodness (coming soon, but actively taking up my time) “the books”, my Etsy shop You and Me Club, being a mama, writing this blog, illustration, instagram, keeping house, trying to spend time with friends and family, random projects, and all my 30 for 30 goals and resolutions, just to name a few. Then I think about all the things I want to do on top of that and my mind goes a little crazy sometimes. But I can’t help it. I love coming up with new ideas. Yeeeeahhh, so if anyone has some tips on how to stay focused, I’d love to hear them!

Well, you can expect to hear more from me from now on (at least I will try). I don’t really know how many people actually are out there reading, but thanks to those of you who are. I really appreciate your support!

Letting Go

Lately I have been determined to purge my belongings. I literally want to go through every room cabinet and drawer and get rid of anything I can. On Sunday, Geoff and I spent the entire day cleaning out the garage. It was well overdue. I was going through a box of old things and I came across my CD wallet. My first thought was to get rid of it, then it immediately switched to KEEP it once I opened it up. So many memories!!! What if I want to look through it again sometime for MEMORIES!?? It was like flipping through an album of old photos. Ultimately I decided to rely on a little trick I learned a while back about decluttering, and that is to take a picture. Once you have a photo of the physical thing, you no longer “need” it. You can conjure up that memory again just by looking at the photo. 

So, here in memoriam of my CD wallet which will be going into the yard sale, is my photographic archive of the object. You can get a glimpse into my musical tastes circa 2002-2006, the, now seemingly brief, period of my life that I bought or used CDs. There is a lot of Dixie Chicks and Dashboard Confessional. An obscene amount of mix CDs. I am exceedingly embarrassed by what I apparently chose for the first “page”. Napoleon Dynamite and A Walk to Remember soundtracks? Really? 

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I missed one (and that’s okay)

We’ll it happened already. I set a goal to post something to my blog everyday in 2015 and yesterday, I didn’t. But you know what? It’s okay. This weekend, the Bardot family drove to Nevada to visit the other Bardot family, Geoff’s brother and his wife. They live in a pretty small town and it is pretty far away from a lot to do. We stayed in and wore pajamas all day and watched a ton of HGTV and movies, and lounged on the couch, and laughed with each other, and ate home-cooked meals, and played video games. It was an awesome weekend. It is very, very, rare that Geoff and I spend any extended amount of time doing nothing. Sometimes you just have to go to Cold Springs, Nevada to force yourself to do just that.

When I set the goal to blog everyday, the real goal was to blog more and blog often. To form a habit. I wanted to keep up with my every-day goal, and then after a while, I knew I would NOT be posting everyday. Eventually I will want to post for quality and not focus so much on quantity. So if a day goes by and I really don’t have anything worthwhile to say, It is not a big deal. In fact, it would be good that I didn’t post. That being said, I AM posting twice today. Not to make up for yesterday, but because I simply have two things to say!

Goals aren’t rigid. It’s okay for a goal to evolve so long as the purpose behind it is kept in perspective.