Out and About in Columbus

My friend Catherine visited last weekend and it’s always fun to take out-of-town guests on a little tour of Columbus. We…

  • Spent some time at Goodale Park, read magazines and played with everyone else’s dogs. 82 degree on Saturday was a dream.
  • Ate at Jeni’s. Obviously.
  • Tried One Line – a new coffee shop specializing in hand poured coffee. Delicious.
  • Perused Flowerchild and I had to pass up those amazing $24 Stuart Weitzman teal heels (stupid spending freeze).
  • Brunched at Jury Room.

While I had a fabulous weekend, I learned my lesson and suffered a little bit too. I became too relaxed with my gluten-free diet and must have eaten something that did NOT agree with me. I had an awful headache on Saturday, felt extremely exhausted and some other unpleasant symptoms too. I don’t think it helped that my work week was a bit crazy and we ate out almost every night (due to the fact that we didn’t have any motivation to cook). I need to be better about eating at home this week and getting my workouts in! I embrace routine but with all the traveling that’s coming up…I need to be better and more aware.

Any tips for keeping some type of routine when travelling or juggling a hectic schedule?

Giveaway: Nourish Hand Wash – CLOSED

I’m really excited to be hosting this giveaway! Nourish approached me a few months ago about trying out their organic skincare products and then sharing it with my readers. It’s finally time! I was able to try their aluminum free deodorant (almond vanilla…yum!) and am so happy with the quality and scent. The consistency is a lot smoother than most deodorants and feel like the scent is a lot softer and subtle than most.

I love this company already and especially love that you can find their products at Whole Foods. Their products, which are all organic, are also all under $10! Perfect.

Now it’s time for you to try it out! I’m giving away a bottle of their Almond Vanilla organic hand wash to one of you lucky lovelies! This hand wash (which comes in a 7 fl oz bottle) is chemical free, gluten free, vegan, and organic. You can enter multiple times below and the giveaway will be open until Thursday at 11:59pm EST. The winner will be announced on Friday. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

THE WINNER OF THIS GIVEAWAY: KATHRYN CHAMBERLAIN!

Summer Enjoyment

[Essie’s Raise Awareness, family reunion shot with my sister and aunt, Beach House concert, after work drinks]

I’m enjoying this summer a lot. I’m also enjoying:

  1. Taco trucks
  2. Upgrading the RAM on my Macbook Pro
  3. Cold brew coffee
  4. Milo Greene’s new album
  5. Benefit they’re Real! Mascara
  6. Coconut oil
  7. All of your amazing support this week

I hope you all have a great weekend – any fun plans? My best pal Catherine is visiting us for the weekend and I get to celebrate TWO friends’ birthdays. 

The Future

I’ve been trying to visualize the future these past few weeks. Where do I see myself? Where do I see my business going? What are my plans? I have a lot of things that I want to try and experience now that I have a bit more freedom with my schedule and how I make money. I always make lists. Post-it note lists, Moleskine lists, printer paper lists, iPhone notes list…um this is a list? (I have problems.) Here’s a short list of a few things that I want to try now that I’m self-employed (as realistic or dream-like as they are):

  1. Explore the art of videomaking and experiment with cameras and software
  2. Grow my film photography business
  3. Have a home office (and then someday have my own office outside of our home)
  4. Open my eyes to UX/UI design + best practices
  5. Meet some of my blogger friends in real life
  6. Freelance from another city for a week
  7. Financially sponsor WMC Fest in Cleveland
  8. Utilize my design blog regularly
  9. Work with an accountant and pay taxes quarterly
  10. Pull an all-nighter (just kidding)

Anything that I should add to the list? Do you ever make professional goals? What about all you lovely self-employed readers? How do you keep it fresh and new?

Freelance Ain’t Free

Over the weekend, I told a lot of friends and family that I had quit my full-time job and was venturing into the self-employed world! I’m so extremely blessed to have the support and love from everyone that I told but I definitely get the typical question, “So what exactly do you do?” I don’t think I’ve ever been really clear because I’ve always been so busy juggling my full-time job and my freelance work.

Here are some of the services that I provide while collaborating with small businesses and non-profits:

  • Websites and blogs built in WordPress
  • Branding (implementing a unified message and look across every part of your business)
  • Logo development for smaller businesses that just want to get started
  • Print materials to better market your business and mission
  • Book and eBook design
  • Trade show displays
  • Lastly, you can check out my portfolio here!

While freelancing over the past years, I’ve realized that working on certain kind of projects (that pay well) allow me to work on more creative (smaller) projects. Passion projects are important and I like to keep a good balance.

I’m excited to explore, learn and improve my craft as time goes on…as well as learn NEW skills. If you’re interested in working together – feel free to reach out! If you’re in the Columbus area and just want to get together to chat or collaborate – send me a tweet!

Spending Freeze

If you didn’t see my news from yesterday, I’ll be venturing out on my own and freelancing full-time starting in August! I’m thankful to have a contract position with a phenomenal studio here in Columbus (until May) but Adam and I budgeted together and we realized we need to cut back on excessive spending. After we paid of debt, it was easy to feel like we could easily increase our living expenses but we still have financial goals to attain!

We’re taking various small trips in August, a big trip out to Philadelphia in September and then a tropical vacation in October so a lot of our extra cash will be used towards those expenses. I decided that I would go on a spending freeze until October 1st since I assumed that I would want to buy a few new outfits before our vacation. That’s two whole months and I’m about 85% sure that I can do it. The spending freeze includes things like clothes, jewelry, and just extra things I don’t need. Obviously we’ll still budget money to spend throughout the week on things like date night, occasional drinks with friends, and those unexpected trips to CVS for things like paper towels (ha).

I’ve come up with a few “workarounds” to ease the pain:

  • Host a small nail polish swap with my friends in September
  • Utilize my Birchbox points! (If you want to sign up through my referral link, be my guest!)
  • Sell a few clothing items to Plato’s Closet if I need to buy anything small
  • Actually read the books sitting on my bookshelf when I want to buy new ones (to only sit on my shelf)
  • Take advantage of free events here in Columbus!
  • Borrow/swap clothes with friends for special occassions

Have you ever gone on a spending freeze? Any tips or advice? 

Two Weeks Notice

For real. I quit my job last week and in about two weeks I’ll be 100% self employed. (!!!!!!!!!!!) 

It still feels surreal. Putting in my two weeks was a lot harder than I thought it would be. I love the people that I work with and after almost 2.5 years I began to depend on the routine and stability. BUT I couldn’t be more stoked about what the future holds.

I’m so blessed to have an amazing 9 month part-time contract position with a studio here in Columbus lined up to make this transition even more exciting. The rest of my time will be devoted to working with my (fabulous) existing clients and bringing on new ones too (ahem…contact me here if you’re interested in working together).

My mind is reeling with all the possibilities and I’m excited to share all that I learn along the way.

And…Break

If you follow me on Twitter, you might have noticed that I’ve been a bit more quiet and I’ve been cryptically tweeting about how lots of changes are taking place! I promise I’ll share more soon but for now…my tweets & blog posts will be a bit more light. This next full week at work is our busiest time of the year so I’m at work 10-11 hours a day and trying to be social, get sleep and work out with my spare few hours.

I thought I’d share some of my other photos from our weekend in Indianapolis last weekend. We met up with my best friend, her husband and their 15 month old. He’s my favorite kid of ALL TIME and I loved getting to spend so much time with them all.

I hope you all have a great weekend. I’m ready for a break. I’m going to the Beach House concert tonight, Toldeo tomorrow for a family reunion and hoping that Sunday involves a lot of laziness. What do you have planned?

A Day At The Museum

Last weekend we spent the day at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. It’s one of my favorite art museums. I frequented it often while in college and still enjoy visiting now. It’s larger than Columbus’ art museum and I feel it houses a variety of galleries and exhibits. The museum also includes 100 Acres: The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park. It’s one of the largest museum art parks in the country and it adds so much to your visit.

Do you have a favorite art museum? I loved visiting art museums in NYC and London but would love to add some more to my list. 

LowerManhattan

CITY GUIDE: Lower Manhattan

Today’s CITY GUIDE is brought to you by Jess of Curating Style of Columbus, Ohio. Enjoy this guide to Lower Manhattan!

When people tell me they’re heading on vacation to New York City, I encourage them to avoid the touristy madness of Midtown behind. Where do I suggest instead? Lower Manhattan. Greenwich Village, TriBeCa, SoHo, Little Italy, the Financial District—all of these areas are full of amazing eats, shops, and sights. Since it’s hard to encapsulate even a little part of Lower Manhattan, in this City Guide I highlight some of my favorite places.

Looking for the New York-style pizza that people are always talking about? You’re in the right place—Greenwich Village has what I consider to be some of the best pizza on the island. Pizza Mezzaluna (pictured) and Arturo’s have delicious, coal-fired pizza and cozy ambiences. They offer those pie-shaped slices that I adore. When they’re fresh out of the oven, the best way to eat them is to fold them!

Chelsea is a neat neighborhood that feels almost home-like to me. If you love food or perusing any kind of market, stop by Chelsea Market—you can find everything from whole steamed lobsters to a new book to amazing cold-brew iced coffee. Afterwards, check out the High Line, my new favorite thing in Manhattan. It’s the perfect way to get off the streets, away from the cars, and out of the subway. The High Line is basically a pedestrian experience above the streets, converted from an old rail line. With foliage, gardens, plenty of benches, the High Line offers a totally different perspective of the city.

Beyond pizza, you can find every imaginable cuisine under the sun in Manhattan. Minetta Tavern, featured on this past season of Mad Men for one of Peggy’s supper dates, offers an incredible, life-changing burger. You can find really great bagels on the Upper West Side and Upper East Side, but if you’re in Lower Manhattan, the place to try is Russ & Daughters. (As an added bonus, Russ & Daughters ships around the country, so you can get a fix when you’re back home too.)

While it’s nice to plan ahead in New York—especially if you’ve never been—sometimes you stumble across some perfect finds. Cool off and rest your feet at Morandi in the Village for some pastries and espresso. It’s a great place to recharge before heading back to the streets for shopping or sightseeing. For lunch, grab some piping hot fish and chips at A Salt and Battery.

The thing about Lower Manhattan is that the streets’ grid pattern changes and it becomes less predictable. Part of the fun is walking the streets a bit aimlessly—if you have an iPhone or other type of smartphone, you’ll invariably figure your way back—and taking in the sights and sounds. On weekdays, you’ll see moms and nannies pushing around strollers, bags, and more in Greenwich Village; the playgrounds are packed. Can you imagine trying to navigate New York with a stroller? It sounds so daunting to me!

If you have the time and the desire, go to the 9/11 Memorial. While a bit confusing to get from ticket pick-up to the actual site, it’s worth the trip. It’s a rather emotional trip—certainly if you suffered a loss from September 11th—but powerful and breathtaking. Right now, only the memorial pools are there, but the museum will be opening up soon as well. And just a glance around will show you the growth and construction of the new World Trade Center site just next door.

Thanks again to Jess for curating this post! Be sure to follow her on Twitter and say hi!

Featured image by Markusnl.