The Year of Habits

Paintings _ Collage

I’ve decided that this year is the year of forming habits. I turn 29 years old in four days so it seems fitting. I’ve been on the candida diet for 118 days now and I’ve been painting every day for the past 17 days. When #the100dayproject is over on July 27, what will I choose next? Actually blog?

I’ve learned a few things while trying to become a habitual badass and thought I’d share some advice:

  1. It gets better after day 12 (for me, at least).
  2. Have a close support system.
  3. Share! I created a Candida-specific Instagram account to learn, share and connect with others. I’m also sharing every painting I create during this 100 Day Project.
  4. Plan. I plan out my meals and I have food prepped constantly. I have my painting supplies out and ready for me to dive right in. Don’t make it harder for yourself!
  5. Understand why you’re doing it. I’m on this diet so I can live a fuller (less painful) life. I don’t want to sabotage all the work I’ve put forth so I don’t cheat! Someday I won’t have to eat this way but right now I’m pushing through.
  6. Allow yourself to change (even if it’s uncomfortable). While painting, I’ll need to challenge myself or be okay with hating something I create. When I first started this diet, I HATED eggs. Now I love them. My tastes change. We evolve.
  7. If you love it, it’s not difficult. I look forward to painting every. single. day. Sure, sometimes I have no idea what to paint but it’s still fun.

Thoughts? Complaints? Just kidding, I don’t give a crap about your complaints!


We’re 60 days into 2016. For me, the year has been about creating and kicking habits. Doing things every day until it becomes second nature. Here are a few ways I’ve changed:

  • I cook every meal at home since being on the candida diet. And yes! I am so anti-social! I need to start hosting more dinner parties I suppose.
  • I seek out podcasts while I run errands in the car, clean our house or get ready. I don’t mind listening to them a few minutes at a time.
  • No more caffeine or alcohol. Oddly, I don’t miss either.

Habits that I’m hoping to create this month:

  • Go to sleep earlier. I’m typing this at 1am while watching Law & Order: SVU. Tomorrow is a new day. I need to figure out HOW to start falling asleep earlier. Slowly work towards it? Melatonin?
  • Create something every day. Even if it’s a sketch, a doodle, a painting or a vector in Illustrator or a client website.

*PS: If you are interested in the candida diet – I created an Instagram just to log meals, share tips or advice! Follow along.

Thank You, But I’ll Pass

Two things sparked this post.

  1. A video of Lady Gaga talking about how she almost quit music two years ago. But she took a step back and decided to stop doing things she didn’t want to do. Not more selling perfume. No more rubbing shoulders with people she didn’t like. Creativity was getting the backseat while she felt overworked. You can watch it here.
  2. Paul Jarvis’ tweet : “my answer to most requests: that sounds like an amazing opportunity, but I’m a hermit and am passing on it right now”

Both of these things soaked into my brain and I started following their lead. I started passing on things that our (very connected) society says are great opportunities. But are the opportunities really that great if you don’t enjoy doing them? Probably not.

So this winter I’ve passed on being a mentor. That was difficult as I’ve participated as a mentor at both OSU and CCAD for the past few years.

I’ve passed on a lot of photography opportunities with amazing companies. Sadly, I’ve fallen out of love with photography. But I hope it doesn’t last too much longer. I believe that passing on these shoots will actually help rekindle the flame.

I’m passing on sponsorship/brand relationships here in this space because it feels weird. I have never been paid money to post my opinion about anything on the internet. Free product? Yes. I like free things.

But it’s not all about saying no. Like they say, for every no…there is a yes! (And vice versa.) Here’s what I’ve been saying “yes” to:

  • When Adam says, “Let’s set up an area in the warehouse for you to start painting again!”
  • When I get an idea or inspired to get people gifts (for no reason)
  • When The Wonder Jam is asked to sponsor amazing events this winter
  • When I have the chance to collaborate with my friend Kelli on UX
  • When we have the chance to take more than two weeks off for the holidays and see our families!
  • When the Columbus community wants to use our studio space to spread the love

So all-in-all, I totally dig passing on stuff that doesn’t wake me up in the morning. Or passing on the things that make me say, “Hmmmm.” Cause as my friend Val says to me…

It should be a “HELL YES!”

My Odd Fear of Intense or Interesting Fiction

I’ve had this weird fear lately. I fear movies, new tv shows, and fiction literature. I know, right? I told you it was weird. Most people assume it’s because I think it’s stupid, silly or a waste of time. I started to believe them! But that’s false because I finally figured out it.

Like you read in my previous post, I’m in the market for some hobbies. The reality is is that I do have free time (most nights and weekends) but I fill it with shows and movies that I’ve already seen a million times. For example:

  • Gilmore Girls: Not only have I watched that show in real time back in the early 2000’s, but I’ve owned the DVDs as they got released and have since watched the entire series probably 20 times.
  • Seinfeld: I bought the DVD set on Amazon two years ago and now that it’s on Hulu, my DVDs just sit on a shelf. But damn I love that show.
  • You’ve Got Mail: Why haven’t I bought this movie yet? I always rent it on Amazon Prime. I rented it last weekend and watched it twice in 24 hours. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? I am something really depressing, like a Baby Gap.
  • That Thing You Do: Again, I always rent it. I know the entire movie line by line.
  • My Best Friend’s Wedding: Cry every time. PS the only thing that repulses me about my husband is that he doesn’t think Julia Roberts is beautiful.
  • Arrested Development: Currently watching through the series, again. 100th time.

As you can see, this isn’t riveting cinematography. Nothing dramatic. Nothing epic. Nothing new.

And that’s why I think I love it. I know what’s coming. I’m in control. It sounds messed up, but I actually fear losing control and getting sucked into an entire tv series or book. Or the opposite scares me. What if I go to a movie and I hate it? Two hours lost. I mean, c’mon Allie. GET A GRIP. THIS IS FOR FUN!

To be fair, I did watch the entire Game of Thrones series (so far) on HBO Go earlier this summer. Like, 50 episodes in three weeks. This is why I fear great storytelling. It’s hard to have a life, see the light of day and work when you’re consumed with a fictional world.

Perhaps I should be grateful that I can be swept up into these worlds. Books were my best friends in grade school. I sobbed when my mom finished reading the Little House on the Prairie novels. But I’m going to start embracing the gift. Being consumed by the art of storytelling is pretty awesome. No more resisting.

PS: I still won’t watch shows like Breaking Bad or Sons of Anarchy. To me, there’s a difference between a thrilling book and a show that causes excessive sweating and anxiety. I just can’t do it.

Where do you like to live, fictionally? How has film + literature affected your adult life? Any movie or book recommendations? 

Desperately Seeking Hobbies

I haven’t blogged in over three months. That might be the longest stretch yet! A lot has happened since my last post (we’ll expand on that later and no…I’m not pregnant) but for now, I thought I’d share about my newest adventure.

I’m earnestly seeking a hobby. Or three.

Rewind about two decades and you’d find an 8-year-old obsessed with hobbies. I am her. She is me. The term hobbies meant a lot of different things back then:

  • I collected things like rocks, stamps, pencils, Pokemon cards and stickers
  • I painted
  • I played the piano
  • I experimented with the camcorder
  • I shot 35 film

Things I didn’t do twenty years ago: work 24/7.

Last weekend, I spent a few hours transforming a few faces for a Halloween party. I had a blast and proclaimed to Adam that maybe I had found my new career. He looked at me and said, “NO. You found a new hobby. You don’t need to work more.” And it hit me. I really do need a hobby or two. Hilariously, I’m looking to 8-year-old Allie for inspiration. I can play the piano pretty well. I can paint even better. I haven’t touched my film cameras in years. I still dream of vlogging.

For awhile now I’ve been trying to cram my own version of self-care into a life without space. Sprinkling a trip to Whole Foods and an hour of acupuncture into a work-dominated week isn’t really self-care, is it? It’s self-preservation. I’m much more interested in self-expansion.

That’s why this space got a facelift (again). I’m over the hustle. I’m over the promotions. I’m over the launches. My sidebar’s gone. No more opt-in collecting emails I’ll never use. Business shmisness.

I’m ready to play.

What’s In My Bag


This is the most typical post of the blogging world. But IDGAF. I always think it’s interesting to see what’s in people’s houses, purses + studios. Who doesn’t?

I bought this backpack at Nordstrom Rack earlier this year because I hate carrying all the weight on one shoulder. It’s big enough to carry my large camera but not big enough to carry my 13″ Macbook Pro. Pro and con. When we were traveling a lot, it was nice that I didn’t have the choice.

So here’s what was in my backpack. Truth time: I didn’t include all the dirty tissues.


  • Wallet
  • Current book
  • Business cards
  • Bite lipsticks (the only brand I wear), Gerard Cosmetics lipgloss and Burt’s Bees
  • Mobile phone charger
  • Memory card
  • Total Babe mirror
  • Coconut oil spray instead of lotion
  • Sunscreen
  • Keys
  • Nail file

Riveting, I know. I’m pretty sure that Adam had recently went through my bag and threw away all the trash. What a sweet husband. Not pictured (but often in there): headphones and notebook.

Our Marriage Is In First Grade!


Our marriage turned six this summer. I’ve known Adam for ten. Time flies when you’re having fun, running a business, traveling and more. Somehow marriage is the easiest and the hardest thing. I don’t know how it’s possible to be both. But it is.

Adam is so much of what I want to be. Patient, thoughtful and self-sacrificing. I sometimes am baffled that 18-year-old-me knew he would be such a great partner a decade later.

Read More

Kit + Ace in Columbus


Kit and Ace recently came to Columbus (the Short North, specifically) and while I couldn’t attend their launch party, I did recently get to visit! The instant I walked in I knew this was my type of place. The interior is minimal and they use copper as an accent. Helllooooo! Yes, please!

Read More



It’s already mid-July and I don’t even feel like we’ve had a summer yet. It’s rained for almost a month straight and so on the days we do see the sun, we’re always scrambling to sit outside on a patio, our front porch or open the windows.

Since it’s been raining a lot, I’ve been eating lots of tacos and french fries. And re-watching The Office on Netflix. My daily uniform consists of black tees and my Birks. And I’ve been drinking bourbon lately.

Read More

Let’s Get Coffee


I do these posts every few months because after awhile I feel like I’m blogging (or lack thereof) to faceless ghosts. I like to share some random things and updates and then ask you to do the same. I have some fun content coming up this month including a series on doing a few upgrades around our studio, buying things like cars + computers when you work for yourself and lots of travel! The photo above is of me that Adam took. At first I hated it but then I was like, dude that’s me. We all have to love ourselves a bit more.

Answer any (or all) of the questions in the comment section! I respond to everyone so let’s be friends!

  1. What’s the weirdest thing(s) about you?
  2. Are you traveling at all this summer?
  3. Are you a nail polish-less person? Gels? Acrylics? Tell me your nail routine!
  4. Staple item in your life right now? Could be clothing, tech, paper, etc.
  5. Cats or dogs?

My answers below:

The weirdest thing about me is probably that I make up words 24/7. Not words that sound like real words but words that sound like babies or aliens made them up.

I am! Chicago, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Los Angeles and DC! Maybe we can meet up? Along with your travel plans + answers, share recs! OR your email if you want to meet up.

Lately I’ve been applying regular polish but hate the way it chips so quickly. I got gel manis consistently back in 2013 but stopped because they were making my nailbeds so weak. I get nail envy when I see a good acrylic manicure but 1) I would poke out my eye and 2) I would want to rip them off while I was on my computer or shooting photos.

I can’t get enough of this black vegan leather backpack that I picked up at Nordstrom Rack! I seriously will get home and wear it around the house because I forget it’s on. HA!

DOGS ALL THE WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!


Can’t wait to read your answers!