Hello! I've missed you!
Life has been just BANANAS these past few weeks. The good kind of bananas, though. Work has been jam packed! I'm styling the first catalog for 55 Downing Street, and it's been a few weeks of constant shooting, running around prop shopping, and coordinating the logistics of shooting on location. We spent two days last week shooting at the home above - isn't it insanely gorgeous?
My apologies for the blog silence, but after a looong work day when the choice is between spending time with Nate and Ford, resting, or blogging, you can probably guess what takes priority. Family and self-care first, y'all.
The catalog shoot is still happening for the next couple of weeks, so until things quiet down I'm not sure how often I'll be able to pop back in here with links, great art, quotes, and other goodies. So please be patient with me!
In the meantime, here's a quick snapshot of what's going on with yours truly...
Watching: The Grand Budapest Hotel. Nate and I had a stay-home movie date on Saturday night, and it was lovely. Such a great flick - I love Wes Anderson movies.
Listening to: Podcasts. I drive a lot. Both Sawbones and My Brother My Brother and Me are hilarious and I can't get enough lately.
Eating: Cupcakes. Too many cupcakes. There were leftovers from a couple of photo shoots, and I'm powerless to resist...
Loving: My sweet little Ford. He's sitting up, bouncing, giggling, and just generally being adorable. This mom thing is pretty alright.
Dreaming of: New products for my Etsy shop. A friend gave me an idea last week and it's been cooking in my brain ever since.
What's been keeping you busy lately? Tweet me @lesleymyrick and let me know.
Hope you have a wonderful week!
It's Friday! And let's be real, after an awesomely productive week at work you want some fun stuff to keep you entertained over the weekend, right? Well somehow there are no indie business or productivity links in today's Lovely Web Links - just dinosaurs. And babies. And Photoshopped celebrities. You're welcome, internet.
+ Could you throw out 100 things?
+ Oh how I miss New York City.
+ I hired an assistant! (Kidding. But he's cute, isn't he?)
+ I wish I were savvy enough to Photoshop celebrities into my party photos.
+ This new photo app looks like lots of fun!
+ 4 great babysitting tips. (Sidenote: we really need to get a sitter and have a grown-up date night.)
+ I would be so happy if Inspirational Cat showed up in my office.
+ #5 is TOTALLY ME. 13 things homebodies say.
+ Yes. Yum.
+ This cracked me up. Hipster Dinosaurs.
Last week's Lovely Web Links didn't happen due to a gnarly head cold that unexpectedly knocked me off my feet just in time for the long weekend. I'm here to make it up to you - so why don't you grab a cup of tea and get clicking?
+ Are you guilty of any of these bad email habits?
+ If you bill clients hourly, here's how to better estimate your time for a freelance project.
+ How would you behave if you were the best in the world at what you do?
+ Interesting for graphic designers! How to easily find major brands' style guidelines on the web.
+ What makes up a brand identity?
+ Did you see this free printable yesterday with great leadership tips?
+ How to find your voice and brand yourself on social media.
+ Do you struggle with a scarcity mentality?
+ Check out my friend Cori's gorgeous black and white home.
+ How to practice self-love (without all the glitter and sparkles and rah-rah-rah).
+ Oh, selfies.
+ SO MUCH YUM.
+ Love this simple braided updo! Not that I have enough hair to pull it off, but still...
+ What would you choose - a baby, or a PhD?
+ My baby wearing a hat. Arguably the cutest baby picture EVER. I just want to smooch that little mouth!
+ I love the sarcasm in this article: How to Breastfeed Appropriately.
+ YES TO #5. 10 surprises from the first days after delivery.
Happy Thursday! Hope you're having a wonderful week.
Every summer, my church Mosaic hosts the SHE WKND - an inspiring weekend retreat for women. I wasn't able to attend this year; however, my friend Hillary did, and I loved the information she shared in her recap. Each of the women in attendance was given a handout with the 17 hard things you have to do to be a great leader. I'm not sure of the original source of these tips (if anyone knows where it's from I'd love to give proper credit), but ooooh boy, this is an inspiring, kick-your-ass-into-gear list:
+ You have to make the call you’re afraid to make.
+ You have to get up earlier than you want to get up.
+ You have to give more than you get in return right away.
+ You have to care more about others than they care about you.
+ You have to feel unsure and insecure when playing it safe seems smarter.
+ You have to lead when no one else is following you yet.
+ You have to invest in yourself even though no one else is.
+ You have to grind out the details when it’s easier to shrug them off.
+ You have to deliver results when making excuses is an option.
+ You have to search for your own explanations even when you’re told to accept the “facts.”
+ You have to make mistakes and look like an idiot.
+ You have to try and fail and try again.
+ You have to run faster even though you’re out of breath.
+ You have to be kind to people who have been cruel to you.
+ You have to meet deadlines that are unreasonable and deliver results that are unparalleled.
+ You have to be accountable for your actions even when things go wrong.
+ You have to keep moving towards where you want to be no matter what’s in front of you.
Not only are these great leadership principles, they're just 17 things you have to do to be an awesomely successful human being. Print these inspiring words as a reminder and hang them somewhere you'll see them every day. Download a free hi-res printable here.
PS. If these leadership tips speak to you, I'd so appreciate if you would pin the graphic above to Pinterest and share the love with other creatives who might need to hear these words! If you're on the blog, simply hover over the image and a Pinterest button will appear. If you're viewing this post in a reader, click here to visit the post.
Top image: Death to the Stock Photo
6 months ago, I declared 2014 to be The Year of Getting It Done. My goal? To think less and do more. To take action instead of just pondering/planning/procrastinating/list-making.
So how's it going?
Keeping this goal in my mental "back pocket" has proven to be a good motivator, especially in the first few months. Early in the year I felt like I was totally kicking butt and getting 'er done - even with a newborn! As of late I'm realizing that I've started to slip back into old habits, and my to-do list now has quite a few lingering tasks. This little check-in halfway through they year has been a gentle reminder to get back on track.
What's been working well?
If a task can get done immediately, I try to do it right away. Not putting things on my to-do list is the best strategy. However, having a functional to-do list is a great tool since I can "brain dump" and get all of the little tasks out of my head which allows me to focus on more important things.
What hasn't been working?
Ignoring tasks I've made a priority, usually because I don't have all the information required to get started and quickly feel overwhelmed and unsure how to proceed. These are things that aren't life or death (obviously), but need to get done. I'll usually put a star next to them, or schedule a reminder, but I'm very good at ignoring those things if it's a task I just don't want to deal with and it's not time-sensitive.
What will you change in the next 6 months?
If a task can't get done right away, my plan is to break it down into actionable chunks instead of writing down a vague goal. Example: one lingering, not-urgent-but-needs-to-get-done task on my list for the past couple of weeks has been "Take Madewell flats in to get stretched". (Hello, #firstworldproblems.) And I keep putting it off. New strategy? Break it down. Then check it off:
[ ] Look up shoe repair store hours on Yelp
[ ] Put shoes in tote bag after work on Tuesday (set reminder)
[ ] Drive to shoe repair store Wednesday at 3:45pm (put in calendar)
This example is definitely small potatoes - but you get the idea. By putting in the effort in advance to create actionable steps, the mental barriers have been removed and I'm making it easier to avoid excuses and GET IT DONE. Plus, checking off a box when you've completed a task is perhaps the most satisfying thing ever.
Did you make a New Year's Resolution, goal, or perhaps choose a "word of the year"? I'd love to hear how it's been going.