what i now know about success.

Over the past summer until now, I’ve been much too distracted to read. I’d open a book, read the first chapter, get hooked on it, put it down for three weeks, and then get a notice from the library saying my time was up. This happened way too many times. Now that I’m working from home every day, I’m finally making time to expand my mind with the joy of books again. So far I’m halfway through a book that was recommended in a previous issue of This Girl Means Business called What I Now Know About Success: Letters from Extraordinary Women to Their Younger Selves by Ellyn Spragins. I thought this was such an awesome concept – successful women writing letters to themselves during times when they didn’t believe in themselves, and with chapters about Kate Spade, Barbara Walters, Bobbi Brown, Cynthia Rowley, Diane Von Furstenberg, and a ton of other inspiring women, I knew there would definitely be some interesting lessons to learn.

Here are some other great quotes from the book I’ve saved so far:

>> If these previously doubtful women have been able to grow their businesses to such humongous heights, I think I can probably manage to finish this book! Interested in giving it a read, too? Get it on Amazon here or your library.

inspired by: house beautiful (again!)

I was planning on featuring a different magazine today, but then the new House Beautiful came in the mail and it just couldn’t wait! I really like the overall essence of this magazine – how it’s laid out, the creative articles, and of course, the incredible homes. This issue has inspired me to be a bit bolder with color in all areas of life, collect as many strange house plants as possible, and to dream of living in some crazy unaffordable studio loft with amazing puke green walls and books stacked inside the staircase (not to mention that epic gallery wall!). This issue is definitely worth a deeper look if you find yourself near a shelf of magazines for sale. Here are a couple of my favorite scans:

>> Now all I need to do is find a way to take my new-found inspiration and apply it to my real-life (not in my head) house…

this girl means business #1.

I have some really exciting news! This Girl Means Business, a new magazine to inspire and aid female entrepreneurs in becoming their very best, has launched! The whole thing was designed and illustrated by yours truly, and the editor-in-chief, Carrie Green, put together some amazing interviews and articles including lots of fascinating stories about successful women who are already out there doing it big. There are also some incredible articles where experts weigh in on things like writing a book to promote yourself and your business, programming your mind for success, avoiding excessive stress, living life to the fullest, and staying motivated. I had so much fun working with Carrie on this project, so go check it out here and let me know what you think!

new blog love.

Let me tell you about one of my favorite parts of my new job. On top of graphic design duties, I’m charged with the task of discovering new blogs and reaching out to them to help spread the word and put on giveaways from time to time. In my search, I’ve not only found a few great blogs for them, but also for me! Even though I already had about 6 zillion blog posts to catch up on, I decided to add a round of new blogs to my Google Reader and I’m loving the new zing of inspiration I get now that I wouldn’t have normally encountered on a day-to-day basis. Here are some of my new favorites:

  1. Chevrons & Stripes – This is a beautifully designed blog by Sarah, a freelance stylist and interior designer. Love the clean, white space and fancy graphics.
  2. Selective Potential – This is the personal blog of a girl named Tieka – such a cute name! She’s a graphic designer in Michigan and I love her quirky outfits.
  3. The Neo-Traditionalist – Katie Armour is one of the lovely ladies behind the online magazine Matchbook. Her blog is smart and well-designed, just like Matchbook and just like her!
  4. Skunkboy Blog – Another Katie, but this one is a maker of plush animals and often blogs about outfits, DIY projects, and her adorable family.
  5. Gadabout – Hanna is a stationery designer by trade, so naturally her blog is designed gorgeously with pretty little features on everything she loves.
  6. A Thought is the Blossom – This is the blog of a cool girl from Arkansas named Starr. She documents interesting found treasures and unique outfits.
  7. Kendi Everyday - Kendi is a clothing shop owner in Dallas who mainly blogs about her cute outfits. Love her shop, Bloom, too!
  8. Coco + Kelley – This is Cassandra’s blog where she shares all kinds of gorgeous things related to interior design & fashion.
  9. Audrey Jeanne – I can barely understand a word she writes as it is all in French (despite 4 years of French classes, oy vey), but her pictures of everyday life are really charming!
  10. Pink Wallpaper – This is Shannon Darby’s interior design inspiration blog – she always posts pictures of such beautiful homes.

>> What are some of your favorite blogs to read?

reading stuff: 6 month review.

At the beginning of this year, I set a goal for myself to read at least 12 books – one for each month. Don’t get me wrong, I love to read and if I had my choice I would be reading at least twice that, but I don’t always have very much free time to do so, so this is my way of making sure I at least get a bit of reading in each month. It’s June now, month 6, so I thought it would be appropriate to go over what I’ve read so far and make some plans for books I might like to read in the coming months. I’m mostly interested in art/design books, fiction, or books that make me rethink something.

  1. Magic Hours: Essays on Creators & Creation by Tom Bissell: I love learning about creative people & their motivation to create. This is a compilation of 12 years’ worth of magazine essays and it has mixed reviews, but I’m sure there are a few goodies in there.
  2. Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer: I saw this movie a long time ago and remember thinking it would be a really good book to read. I’ve read a few of Foer’s other novels including Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close which was turned into a movie within the past year as well, and think the man has a great, imaginative mind!
  3. 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami: I reserved this book from the library as soon as it was available, and 8 months later I was first in line to pick it up. The problem is that this book is as big as a cinder block, and with only 3 weeks to get through it, I had to return it after only grazing through the first couple of chapters. But what I was able to read was really intriguing! Murakami is my favorite author and I’m on a mission to read all of his books eventually.
  4. No One is Here Except All of Us by Ramona Ausubel: This book sounds really good!  It’s a fiction story about runaway Jews who decide to reinvent their own little world in Romania in the early 40’s as a way to protect themselves from the war – only problem is that reality catches up with them.
  5. Discardia by Dinah Sanders: Dinah Sanders is a productivity and happiness coach who wrote this book to help people deal with material & emotional baggage in their homes and in their minds to make life less stressful and more engaging.
  6. Where They Create by Paul Barbera & Alexandra Onderwater: This a book based off a blog of pictures taken by Paul Barbera of various creative studios around the world. I’m really intrigued by getting a peek into the working spaces of other people.

(You may even see one or more of these being reviewed here on the blog over the next 6 months.)

(Click the links to see my reviews)

>> What are you reading right now? Have any good recommendations to share?