A little bit of my life lately…
01 Since last month, my pottery class has been really amazing. The class just ended and I managed to make about 4 pots in total – which is hilarious because I’m really proud of that! Above is my first successful pot, and I love him quite a bit. It’s been really fun, interesting, relaxing, inspiring, and yet really hard. Pottery something that I’m growing more and more interested in, so I already signed up to continue for the next 6 weeks. I’ve only just started and I want to continue building upon what I’ve learned. If you like this stuff, I’ve started a pottery pinterest board to gather ideas and inspiration. I’d love to know, do you know of any great pottery artists you like?
02 I’ve also tried lately to cross-off some items on my fall bucket list. We’ve picked some pumpkins at the pumpkin patch, lifted some steins at Oktoberfest, and have been watching a good amount of football. But there’s still some time left and I have a few more things to enjoy, like wearing a fun costume, watching halloween movies, try knitting, and making some spicy apple cider. Yup, fall is my happy place.
03 I recently returned from a weekend solo trip to Austin, Tx and what a whirlwind. After my wallet was stolen and I had a mini freak-out, my friends rallied around me and I managed to still have a great time. It’s definitely a place I’d like to visit again, but maybe next time with more of a plan and a bunch of pals in tow.
if you’d like to see more of my life as it happens, follow me @observantnomad
With October almost half-way over (nooo!) autumn is fully underway around here. And it’s been a really nice one this year. The leaves are still on the trees and full of lively reds, vivid yellows, burnt oranges and plenty of green still around to set it off nicely.
It’s even been a little cloudy and rainy lately – which makes me crave all things warm and cozy for my home, to compliment the weather. I’ve been burning my warm and tasty smelling candles like mad, wrapping myself in layers of blankets and scarves, and drinking a ton of this organic baked cinnamon apple tea from Tazo (it isn’t fruity at all – I hate it when my tea is too flavorful).
Here are some of my other warm and cozy must-haves for your home and the season.
WARM AND COZY LINKS
Stripe Scarf in Chocolate by Mango | Overnight Cinnamon Buns by mbakes | Organic Baked Cinnamon Apple Tea by Tazo | Jerilyn Virden Cup from Huzza | Lapels Wool-Blend Coat in Light Gray by Mango | Soy Candle in Citrus & Ginger from Ville Marie | Essie Nail Polish in Wicked | Skull Vase from West Elm
I am so pleased to share a new column on the blog today with you - adventurous accounts! With each of my journeys across the globe, I’ve taken away lessons and viewpoints that have helped shape my life and who I am. So I thought, let’s ask some other travelers about their experiences what travel has meant to them as well. So for the first installment, I asked my friend Corina, a talented graphic designer living in Greece, to share with us a little bit about her travel experiences and how seeing the world has shaped her.
First off, thanks for doing this! This is a great opportunity to show other creatives & adventurers alike how people get out there and explore our big world. Can you tell me a little bit about what adventure & travel means to you?
Even if it’s just taking a different route home, or exploring new place in town. Adventure is something I try to experience everyday. The thrill of seeing something I haven’t before makes me more than excited. Now when it comes to traveling, I’m like a child in a candy store.
So, what is your all-time favorite trip? why?
That would be my daily trip on Mountain Ainos. That’s the highest mountain in the Ionian Islands. Even though I enjoy the sea very much, snow and big trees hold a special place in my heart. I feel in peace when I’m up there with our husky, running happy in the snow, everything’s quiet and we’re just walking.
How much planning do you do before you go?
Not a lot. Probably just a couple of days for my luggage. Other than that I like some adventure and leaving things to luck.
What’s the most memorable meal you’ve had in your travels?
Snails. And since then it’s one of my favorite dishes.
How do you pick places to eat when traveling?
Driving, asking locals, and by how they look from the outside.
Your favorite home away from home: hostel, hotel, airbnb, or something else?
Sofitel Hotel in Athens, next to the airport. Dream bed, dream shower, great experience!
What are some ways you balance touristy things with an ‘authentic’ feeling trip?
Visiting neighborhoods that are not on the “map” or eating in restaurants that are probably hidden on small tight roads. And I try to visit at least one local celebration, gathering while I’m there.
What lessons has traveling taught you?
To respect and embrace the differences between people. To respect and love each other, nature and literally everything on the planet.
How has traveling shaped you as a person?
I think I’ve become more loving and peaceful. It has also definitely made me adventurous, brave and more of an adrenaline junkie.
What made you decide to travel somewhere outside your comfort zone?
My love for that place. How I’ve dreamt visiting it for my whole life. And when I was there it was everything I had dreamt and much better.
Do you ever get nervous when traveling? when? and how do you try to cope with it?
Not really. Although lately I’ve been experiencing some nervousness while being on a plane and traveling by bus. You never know what’s going to happen right? But I’m definitely trying to be the strongest version of myself and push my fears away. There’s no reason of living a life if it’s in fear.
How did it feel, being outside the US (or your hometown) for the first time?
Thrilling! Since then, I’ve been dreaming of living in a different country for 6 months. And then changed my mind. Being freelancer, I’m not sure that it is something that I could afford doing right now. So who knows, maybe someday.
Doesn’t this moodboard just make you lose your breath a bit? Every time I see it not only do I get a little jolt of joy to be working on such a sophisticated brand, but it also relaxes and refreshes me too.
This gorgeous moodboard is for a photography client who’s looking to really define her brand. When we were going through the strategy process, it was completely clear that her style is elegant, artful, and timeless. I can’t wait to translate this beauty and her strategy into both her branding as well as a new website.
It might be a while before we can show off the final pieces here, but I can’t wait to see how everything evolves and reveals itself.
It’s that time again and I can’t believe it’s already been a year for me. Some talented and awesome women are packing up, getting ready, and heading down to Palm Springs, CA for a little retreat called Designer Vaca.
At Designer Vaca last year, I was able to strengthen existing online relationships, meet some bloggie crushes, as well as discover new creative gals and their talents. It was a great opportunity to listen, learn, and nurture my own dreams & goals.
I’m so happy that I was lucky enough to go last year, and sad that I won’t make it this time. But I thought it would be (hopefully) useful to write about my advice for those who are going this year. So here it is:
Don’t worry about ‘fitting in’
When I first arrived at the retreat (alone), I didn’t really know anyone that well. I either followed their blogs or had glanced at their sites once. But honestly, I wasn’t sure I’d meet someone who got me. Well, I was wrong. I met all different kinds of personalities and made some true friends there. From geeky creatives, to quirky fun types, budding entrepreneurial mammas, and even sophisticated city gals. There’s a little bit of everyone there – which made the experience that much more enriching. So don’t worry about ‘fitting in’, you’ll find your tribe!
Everyone has a story
But what was truly amazing about the variety of women there, was the breadth of experience that came with it. It didn’t matter how similar or different someone’s story was from mine, I was thoroughly inspired or learned something from each and every one. You’d be surprised, the most shy and reserved girl there can sometimes be your creative soulmate, or inspire you to shake things up in your life. So reach out and…
Try to mingle
Don’t be afraid to reach out! I’m a bit of an introvert in large groups and do better with smaller ones, so retreats can sometimes leave me feeling uneasy or awkward. But I was always rewarded when I forced myself outside my comfort zone or relieved when someone else would reach out to me to get to know me better. I’m so glad I spent my time with different ladies. It allowed me to get to know a lot of people and be inspired in ways I wouldn’t have expected.
Come with a purpose
Ask yourself ‘What do I want to receive from this experience?‘ For me I wanted to learn more about full-time freelancing. How these women did it? What it took? Was it worth it? And ultimately if it would be something I could be interested in. And going into that experience with a mindset really helped me soak up the most pertinent information I needed. It also helped fuel my questions and thoughts on the panels and in discussions with other creative gals, so no awkward silences.
Remember, everyone’s just a regular gal
Confession time: When I went to Designer Vaca I was a little star struck the first night. I mean some of these women were bloggers I’d followed online before I even started thinking about a blog. So I was unsure at how to approach some people at first. But after I got settled in, I just reminded myself “Hey, they’re all just regular gals like me.” That allowed me to find the courage to have brunch with Kathleen, hang out with Sarah at the pool, and ask Megan questions about how she built her ideal life (and she provided this great response above) - and guess what, we all hit it off, like real people.
I hope this helps you settle in and feel ready for this awesome weekend! Oh, I almost forgot the best piece of advice I had…
Get a tasty slushy cocktail. Delish.
If you’re interested in my experience, you can read about my post from last year.