Let’s Connect

Now that I’m freelancing full-time, I decided to reassess and improve the ways in which I can connect with others. It’s easy to join every social network but it’s harder to be intentional (and use your accounts for different/unique purposes). I’ve listed the different places that I connect with others and how exactly I like to use them:

1. Twitter // @alliepal

I use Twitter daily (sometimes even hourly). Half of the people I interact with are local and the other half are designers/creatives. I schedule 6-9 tweets to go out throughout the day via Timely.is. Scheduled tweets can feel a bit impersonal but since I’m always around to respond…I don’t feel as bad. Half of the tweets that get sent out are links to interesting articles that I’ve come across recently and the other half are links to my own blog posts. I feel that Twitter is a great way to stay relevant and personal. I find and meet great bloggers, designers, and local entrepreneurs every day! While I do follow over 1,000 people, I keep everyone in private lists and focus on keeping tabs on them that way. For example: I have a list of close friends and so I can check that easily in the morning and throughout the day focus on my blogger list, designer list, client list, etc.

2. Instagram // @alliepal

Instagram is by far my favorite online community. I decided to be really picky and specific when deciding who to follow and follow back. I wanted to keep it visually stimulating and inspiring and so when I launch the app on my iPhone, I’m usually smiling while I scroll. I often feel that the Instagram community that I’ve curated is a positive one and I love being a part of it. There are some people that I follow on Instagram that I don’t necessarily follow on Twitter because their images (in my opinion) resonate with me more than their tweets! Simple as that.

3. Facebook // allisonlehmandesign

I’ve really dropped the ball when it comes to my Facebook page. I used to update it a lot with recent designs but as I got sucked into my office job, it really became scarce. I’m excited to bring the page back to life and focus on freelance living snapshots from my iPhone, tips, and blurbs from current books that are challenging me. Facebook and I have a weird relationship and I’ve cut my personal account down to about 45 close friends and family.

4. Pinterest // @alliepal

I’m most excited to start using Pinterest more intentionally! To me, Pinterest always seemed a bit pointless (while simultaneously sucking me in). I’ve decided to use it as a place to share a few specific things:

  1. Gluten-free recipes + products
  2. My own blog posts (sporadically)
  3. Design resources
  4. Mood boards with clients

Also, I started a new Instagram account (@glutenfreepal) and Tumblr yesterday that will focus on my healthy + gluten-free lifestyle. I’m hoping to add more random recipes and tips to the Tumblr as time goes on. Feel free to follow and ask questions!

How do you handle your social media accounts? Any accounts that you’ve really enjoyed that I’m not currently a part of? What’s your pet peeve when it comes to these sites? I’d love to hear from you all!

Renting vs. Owning

Adam and I have been renting for a little over 3 years now. We love the apartment we live in now. It’s close to the grocery store, coffee shops, restaurants and just a few miles from downtown. Lately we’ve started talking about BUYING. It’s a scary thought and I’m pretty 50/50 as of late. Quitting my stable, full-time job definitely contributes to my doubts but I also really love sending in our (cheap) rent check and calling it good. Leaky roof? Meh. Broken A/C? Buy a new window unit. Scratch the wood floor? Eh.

But then my thoughts drift towards a bigger space (our one bedroom apartment isn’t exactly spacious), an office, an area to spend outside, and accommodating guests! The idea of renovating can go from sounding adventurous to downright terrifying. Decisions, decisions.

What has your experience been like? Do you rent or own? Pros and cons for either? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Office photo found here. Bedroom photo found here.

3 New Things: August Edition

For the past few months, I try to attempt 3 new things that I’ve never done! So far, my track record hasn’t been so hot but I have high hopes. I’ve actually learned a lot. I’m learning just how much you can do in a month (the answer: not as much as I thought). Here’s what I’ve done so far: made popsicles, created my own necklace, planted herbs, and took a class on terrarium making!

So what’s up for August? Well I’m working around my spending freeze so I needed to do things that won’t break that vow:

  1. Design postcards and send to friends and family. Be creative, practice calligraphy and use lots of color.
  2. Go skinny dipping. It just has to happen.
  3. Actually record a video with my iPhone and edit with Photoshop.

If you keep track, you might notice that #3 is the same as last months. I was able to research a lot more and purchase a membership through Lynda.com (for tutorials). I’m excited to record a video during our time at our family’s lakehouse later this month!

I have high hopes for August. This month I’ll begin freelancing full-time, joining an amazing studio here in Columbus, travelling to Chicago, relaxing in Michigan, and (hopefully) accomplishing these three things!

1 | 2 | 3

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


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.