daily habits & rituals


observant nomad | daily habits & rituals

When I posted about what my ideal day looked like, it really resonated with a lot of people. I realized how important our daily habits are to us. That cup of coffee you have every morning? how much does it bum you out when you can’t get it? These little small re-occurrences create pattern, structure, and a solid foundation for our days. And your true ideal day is just a series of ideal routines and habits.

For some of us that may be easier than others to create new habits. But I had one reader ask ‘how do you build routines into a schedule that’s not routine?’ Well, I have some ideas!

Exact time doesn’t matter Habits aren’t really always about making sure you have your cup of coffee at exactly 7:00am everyday. Routines and rituals are more about doing a series of acts in the same order. So for me, I always feed my cat and make coffee right when I wake up. Then I sit at my dining table enjoying the sunlight and pursue Instagram while I drink my coffee. This routine helps me feel a bit relaxed before everything gets hectic. At night I go to bed about 30 minutes before I need to sleep and read a book and drink some herbal tea. This helps my mind wind down and get away from technology for a bit. I may wake up or go to sleep at different times, but I try to do these rituals every time.

Find things you already do So my advice for building routines into a crazy schedule? Find things you already do everyday; coffee, breakfast, lunch, walk your dog, sleep, exercise, whatever. And then find ways to create small rituals around them. Do you get coffee every morning but envision your ideal day spending more time outside? Then find a nearby coffee shop and ride your bike or walk there instead. Remember that habits don’t have to be the same time, just follow the same series.

Doesn’t have to be everyday And don’t be afraid to break tradition. Routines don’t always have to be an everyday thing. I know people who meet up with their significant other every Friday for a lunch date. Or another person who treats themselves to a fancy coffee every Monday morning (because Mondays are the worst). So start small and see if you even like your new habit, by only going once a week at it.

Start small This is a good piece of advice that applies to most things in life, especially new behaviors. If your ideal day includes spending more time with loved ones but you struggle to clock-out half the time, then find small habits that can help build up to the bigger goal. Schedule a reoccurring date with your significant other. Or start calling your family member the same time every week. Then slowly you can build upon your new habit to a larger one.

I hope that helps you find ways to fit in meaningful and worthy habits into your daily routine. They’re important for our mental health, happiness and overall life. So I’m curious what’s one habit you enjoy the most?

photo by @observantnomad


going to austin


observant nomad | going to austin

Well its about that time again. I was getting a little burnt out from all the work I’ve been doing around the agency lately so I decided to book an impromptu solo trip! Looks like I scored some low-price tickets to Austin, TX for September!

I’ve never been to Austin, let alone Texas, so I’m super excited to check out the local food, “country” bars, shopping, and the swimming springs while I’m there. There are a few old college (and some DesignerVaca) gals I’ll be hitting up while in town – and I’m super excited to be going solo. I decided to take some of my own advice and try to go on more trips by myself, so I don’t lose my confidence in that particular skill set.

I’ve booked an Airbnb room from a couple of creative gals around my age, so that will be a fun/new experience. I’m hoping we hit it off and they end up showing me around town a bit. While I’m there, I’m also thinking about renting a vespa so I can hop around pretty quickly and don’t pay for cabs everywhere.

Do any of you have experience with renting scooters or the Austin area in general?
Any advice or must sees? I’d love to hear what you think.

watercolor cactus by banquet atelier & workshop




I’m pretty blessed to have been able to travel around the world as much as I have. I’ve been all over the US, lived abroad, as well as played tourist to plenty of countries, and I never get sick of it – good experiences or bad. So if you’re feeling a bit of wanderlust lately, then you’ve happened upon the right spot. I’ve rounded up my favorite travel posts today in hopes that you can feel a bit inspired to travel somewhere, either close or far.


observant nomad| wanderlust seattle One of my more recent trips to Seattle was such a pleasant surprise! The weather was beautiful and the city was such a unique little spot of fun. Foodies rejoice if you happen to visit, because you will be stuffed full of great seafood, bakeries, cafes, and drinks galore. Read about our trip to Seattle: Part One and Part Two. If you’re interested I also put together a quick city guide for Seattle.
Now a little further away of my journeys has to be Morocco. I visited a tiny surf town one week while I was living in Barcelona and fell in love with the people, culture, and harsh beauty of this country. I learned you have to experience some pretty foreign places to broaden your mind. Read about getting lost and stuck in sandstorms in Morocco. observant nomad | wanderlust morocco
observant nomad | wanderlust golden gate bridge Some of the best parts about traveling is witnessing the human element of accomplishment on a larger scale. The Statue of Liberty, the Gateway Arch, Independence Hall, and Mt. Rushmore are just a few examples of these testaments. So my visit to the Golden Gate Bridge became a special trip back in time. See this massive and impressive San Francisco structure, the Golden Gate Bridge.
Moab will always be one of my favorite trips just because I’m obsessed with desert beauty, and this place has tons of it. There are dunes, arches, shrubs, sand, and all kinds of lovely succulents and rocky formations. Hiking here never gets old. Check out one of my all-time favorite national parks in Moab: Day One and Day Two. observant nomad | wanderlust moab
observant nomad | wanderlust palm springs Last year I was lucky enough to be invited to DesignerVaca which is a retreat for creative ladies who are kicking ass and taking names.It was so inspiring to meet some of my online favorites in real life and get to know some new bloggers and creatives more closely. I learned a lot and took away motivation to follow my dreams. Plus the Ace at Palm Springs is a pretty special slice of heaven.
My last favorite post to share with you is from one a while back, when I visited the area of Quintana Roo in Mexico. Quintana Roo is an area that covers Tulum, Playa del Carmen, and more. We’re talking white sand beaches, palm trees, crystal clear blue waters and Corona for days. Take a look at some of the places we checked out in Quintana Roo. observant nomad | wanderlust quintana roo

progress : kristin vermilya


observant nomad | progress kristin vermilya logo

Do you guys love hand lettering? I really do. But I’ve got to add a disclaimer, I really love it when it truly makes sense for a client. And let me tell you, for a writer, photographer, and all around storyteller, it definitely makes sense.

When Kristin and I first started the branding process, there was a lot of fiddling, exploring, and discussion around the positioning of her brand. We knew we had to make her branding feel romantic, magical, yet mature and quirky. Trust me, that’s no easy feat!

Nailing down some colors was the first hurdle, but I’m so glad we really kept at it, because I think we’ve found a palette that can be film-like and feminine, yet reliable. I think we’re finally in a sweet spot where we’re pulling it off. Plus, it’s so much fun to work with rich greens!

For her logo we wanted to play with a more un-traditional handwriting style to really capture an approachable and quirky style. We knew a marker style was the way to go. I also threw in some script style to make it more feminine. Here are a few logo options that didn’t make the cut, but I really love the option she ended up with! It’s always great when that works out.


want to see more design work as it happens? follow along on dribbble @observantnomad


life lately


observant nomad | life lately 04

observant nomad | life lately 04



Here are just three little windows into my life lately…

01 I’ve been either B) working a lot at my day job… like an unbelievable amount B) thinking about my career and the direction of my future or C) working on some really great freelance projects. So it feels like all I’ve been doing is working. But for the first time in a long time, I’ve been working towards a goal in mind. Having a plan in motion makes me feel much more excited about my day-to-day.

02 Even though I’m working a crazy ton, I am managing to get outside and actually do things this summer! Last  summer, I was indoors every. single. day. which was no fun and quickly burned me out. This summer I’ve done a much better job at spreading out freelance work and that means more weekends actually relaxing and enjoying myself. Last weekend I took my mom to the Chihuly Exhibit at the Denver Botanic Gardens and it was amazing. I was so inspired from his artwork in Seattle, I just had to see how he put this one together in Denver.

03 I’m a cocktail girl through and through. So when Rus asked me to meet up for a cocktail date at the newly remodeled Union Station I had to say yes! They’ve remodeling the entire station and added new bars, hotels, and restaurants to the space. I’m obsessed with the modern meets art-deco train station vibe. Think white everywhere, swanky black tiling, hard wood, blue leather, industrial metal, and two giant shuffleboards smack-dab in the middle. It’s my new favorite spot.

if you’d like to see more of my life as it happens, follow me @observantnomad