Category: DESIGN YOUR LIFE

Good Morning, world! Caitlin here, back with another Design Your Life interview. When I started helping Jess with this series, I knew right away that I’d want to interview Lauren of Stylized Existence, one of my favorite style blogs. I’m always inspired by Lauren’s commitment to Crossfit, eating well, maintaining her relationship and a full time job, managing her wardrobe consulting business, and looking stunning while doing it all. I’m delighted that she agreed to share her intentions today. Just reading over them gave me a little extra pep in my step this morning. Enjoy!

DESIGN YOUR LIFE: lauren of stylized existence

My boyfriend and I have been together for five years now.  Our relationship has not been perfect, but he has loved me unconditionally from day 1.  I can be difficult, moody, a bad communicator, the list goes on; but all the while, he has treated me with love and respect.  I want to marry this man, and the best thing I can do to prepare myself for an eventual marriage is to respect him through communicating well and as fully as possible, laughing with him, supporting him, and loving him unconditionally.

I am really hard on myself and hold others to similar standards.  I correct people, I judge people, and I expect perfection.  I am aware that these are the worst of my personality traits, so I am actively working on them.  Over the last year I have made the intention to be kinder to myself and others.  Judge less, listen more, critique less, accept more.  The earth would be such a horrible place if everyone did everything how I thought it should be done.  People are unique, and that is what makes this world a lovely place.

Two years ago I discovered CrossFit and Clean-Eating, and my life has never been the same.  On Saturday, I embarked on a 30 day journey (the Whole30) to restore my body.  Though my eating habits are already pretty clean, we’ve had pizza and soft-serve a few too many times lately, and it was time to hit the RESET button.  I intend to treat my body as a temple, including doing Bikram Yoga and other self-healing things on my off days from CrossFit, while fueling my body as cleanly as possible.  I am a more balanced, relaxed, and happy person when I treat my body well.

I have a pretty darn good life.  A great boyfriend, a beautiful home, good friends and family, a good job, and growing side-business, the list goes on.  Yet, too often, I tend to focus on the things I don’t have (an engagement ring, Louboutin heels,  10k blog followers).  This is silly and ridiculous.  I know I have a full life, I just have to remind myself of it more often.

I want my wardrobe consulting business to continue to grow, so I want to continue to focus on creative marketing strategies, unique service offerings, and great results for my customers.  I know I have it in me to grow this business, I  just need to push myself more.  I’ll admit that I get a little lazy – with a full-time job, the gym, and lots of cooking – I am tired by the time I sit down in the evening.  But that’s the wrong attitude – that should be “party time” – time to kick it into full gear and work my butt off.

Check out past DESIGN YOUR LIFE interviews.

Hey guys! It’s Caitlin again, and today I’m bringing you a Design Your Life Interview from a new blogger on the block: Miss Jessica of The State Street Edit. Looking back, I’m not entirely sure how I stumbled across Jessica’s blog but I’m sure glad that I did! Between her adorable outfit posts, strong graphics, pretty photos, and genuine personality, she’s got all the makings of the perfect lifestyle blog. I loved reading about her intentions (there are a couple here that I’d like to add to my own list!) and I hope you enjoy them as well! Have a wonderful day, and I’ll see you next week!

DESIGN YOUR LIFE: Jessica of The State Street Edit

I’m a stereotypical plan-aholic – I like to know exactly what I’ll be doing tomorrow,next week, next year, and in five years! Being spontaneous helps me experience things that aren’t “in the plan.” Those adventures usually end up being the most fun! One day, instead of heading home after grabbing lunch with a friend, I decided to walk around downtown D.C. and see where the streets took me. I ended up exploring the National Portrait Gallery and scored a deal on some adorable shoes that I never would have found had I not been a little spontaneous!

Saying thank you is such a simple and powerful thing. I try to show my gratitude for every small kindness people show me throughout the day – for the baristas at Starbucks, that can be a few times in one morning! By giving thanks I’m able to brighten up someone else’s day and notice all of the little things people do for me, like strangers who hold the elevator door or how my roomie took out the trash again because she knows I hate to. There’s really no faster way to feel appreciative!

I always have to remind myself of this one! In the past, whenever one of my friends had a bad attitude about something or a stranger was being rude, I took it personally and ruined my own experience in the process. Truthfully, as much as someone chatting loudly on their cell in public might bother me, that person’s actions won’t have any effect on my happiness if I don’t want them to. It’s definitely a challenge, but I’ve reduced my stress level tenfold by letting go of what I can’t control about other people’s feelings and actions. Life looks a whole lot sweeter this way!

Lately I’ve been trying to do one thing every week that makes me uncomfortable. Since I’m naturally shy, chatting up a cute guy that lives in my building is usually enough to fill my “totally freaking out” quota for a month! But doing little things that scare you is the best way to grow. When I first joined the staff of my school’s fashion magazine, I was terrified of how I’d measure up to the rest of the super creative and talented people I’d be working with. The first meeting was uncomfortable for sure, but it got easier each week. Next semester I’ll be the editor – that’s a position I never would have stepped up to had I not been gutsy enough to move past my discomfort at that first meeting.

If left to my own devices, I will always wait to do something until the perfect moment arises (and guess what? It never does.) This was especially true when it came to launching my blog – I waited 2+ years to start The State Street Edit because I thought everything needed to be just right if it was going to be successful. But if you wait for the circumstances of your life to be perfect before you do anything, you’ll spend your whole life waiting and coming up with excuses. From now on I’m trying to just jump in – the hiccups along the way only stand to make me better!

Check out past DESIGN YOUR LIFE interviews.

Good morning, everyone! Caitlin here, and I’m back once again with today’s Design Your Life Interview.

You know this lovely lady as the blogger behind Breakfast at Toast, co-founder and editor of that little website for women that people can’t stop talking about (The Everygirl), and loving mother to Buddy (the rescue pup that is always popping up on your instagram feed). I’m so glad that she carved a little time into her constantly busy schedule to share her intentions with us today, and I know you will be too.

DESIGN YOUR LIFE: Danielle of Breakfast at Toast and The Everygirl

It has never been a secret that prior to moving to Chicago I was living at my mom’s house in LA because I couldn’t afford an apartment and a car, was in a relationship that wasn’t moving forward, and had grown apart from most of my friends. I was so unhappy. I shared my story here, but long story short, I decided t o start over in Chicago. I woke up in tears for a week or two before the move and was terrified of making such a big change, but it was the best thing I ever did. I have since started a new business (The Everygirl), have made lots of wonderful friends, and I’ve even had time to figure out who I am and what I want out of life.

One night in January 2011, I found myself sitting in Alaina Kaczmarski’s living room with Alaina and Jess (Constable). The concept of The Everygirl was brought up, but it was not until Alaina and I had our first meeting In August 2011 that things started happening. The mission was clear for both of us, but figuring out the design, name, content, and how the site would run wasn’t easy! I have never put so much of myself into anything, but it has been so worth working late nights and weekends. I have met some amazing women, made a new best friend, and am behind a site that is inspiring girls everyday.

I used to spend way too much time working (and I still do), but I have been much better about giving myself some down time. Delegating (to our interns) and asking for help have done wonders for my mental health. And taking time to relax/unwind on the weekends has changed my life. Everyone needs a little down time.

Make what you love a part of your daily life. I enjoy decorating my apartment, photography, and pretty much any aspect of design. If there is something you’re interested in, find a way to make it a part of your life.

Being healthy is very important to me. I’ve tried it all (boxing, yoga, spinning, plain old cardio, rowing, etc.). Seven weeks ago, I started CrossFit and I have never felt better. Having an outlet where I am able to take an hour to do something for me, connect with great people, and feel better about myself is so crucial for my physical and mental health.

Appreciate the small things. It is the little things (puppies, someone saying hello on the street, living in a beautiful city, good friends, etc. that make life worth living. It is so easy to focus on the negative, but as cheesy as this may sound, taking time to look at the kindness and beauty that surrounds you will do wonders for your soul.

First photo by Stoffer Photography. All other photos by Danielle Moss.

Happy Fourth of July, everyone! It’s Caitlin again, and I’m back with a familiar face for today’s DESIGN YOUR LIFE interview: the wonderful and talented Maggie of Maggie Rose Interiors. A little while back, Maggie was a dream reporter here on MML, chronicling the launch of her interior decorating business in Seattle, so I thought it would be fun to check back in and have her share her intentions today. Hope you all enjoy! Have a safe holiday!
As an entrepreneur, it’s easy to feel at though I must be constantly working in order to be successful. But whenever I get into that cycle, I end up frazzled, forgetful, stressed, and I don’t do my best work. I take most evenings off, which means I don’t schedule meetings for that time, I don’t blog, I don’t reply to emails. Of course, some evenings end up being work evenings, but I try to make them the exception. On weekends, I try to make one day a get-out-of-the-apartment day and get away from the computer and spend time with friends or Ryan. During the week, I don’t hesitate to schedule coffee or lunch dates with girlfriends (some of whom are also entrepreneurs, others have wacky work schedules). After a morning of slogging through email or getting frustrated with a floor plan, a break with a good friend, fresh air, and good food are often fuel for a productive afternoon!
Ryan and I have been a couple for six and a half years and have lived together for three years. It could be easy to take him for granted but I try hard not to do that. Of course I’m not the perfect girlfriend – I whine, and I get crabby, the apartment gets (and stays) messy, and he sees me in pjs during daylight hours more that I care to admit. But I like to spend time doing things that I think he’ll appreciate. I cook dinner most weeknights even though I don’t really like to cook. I like to put his laundry away. I ask him about his work. I send him pictures and links throughout the day that I think he’d enjoy. We hug and kiss and say “I love you” multiple times a day. I try to let him know that I support what he wants to do career-wise and life-wise. I make it a point to not bad-mouth him to anyone, ever. I’m never going to be perfect at any of these things (he’s reading this I’m sure saying, “There are unfolded clothes in the bedroom right now!”, but it’s something I’m always working on because I cherish him and want him to feel loved the way I do.
This is something that I feel is currently lacking in my life – a healthy attitude toward food and exercise. I have a major sweet tooth, and a taste for cheese. I’ve put on weight that I’m not comfortable with (I don’t feel like ME, you know?) but I am not a good dieter. Diets make me feel deprived! The few times I’ve managed to lose weight with a diet I always gain it back. I think the key for me is moderation. Eating cake and cheese but just LESS. More fruits and veggies. More water. Smaller portions of pasta. And the real challenge – adding exercise. I’ve never been athletic and I hate running. But I’ve enjoyed some gym machines and I’ve enjoyed yoga and (very non-competitive) tennis. So I’ve decided that I’m going to suck it up and join a cheap basic gym near us that I can walk to, and schedule time to exercise in my planner. I’m tired of feeling like the image of who I am doesn’t match the physical reality, and I miss a lot of my cute clothes (yes, I have skinny jeans and they will be my marker for getting back to my old self). But I want this to be a LIFESTYLE, not a diet, not an overnight change. Eating better and being fit are things that I want to become habit.
I’m a timid person. I’m shy, I worry. I’m mostly risk-adverse. But I’m learning to take chances. The good things in life come from stepping outside my comfort zone – I met Ryan when a friend of mine made it impossible for me to say no to a trip to Canada with a bunch of people I didn’t know (something I definitely would not have done). I started a blog. I quit my day job! From small risks (emailing a magazine editor with a story idea) to large risks (getting married, moving to a new city!) I want to embrace change and the unknown. Yes, bad things might happen, but the alternative is staying stagnant, never accomplishing anything, and settling only for what is offered to me? No thanks. And when I do take a chance, I celebrate no matter what the outcome. Even just stretching my comfort zone is worthy of a celebratory manicure.
I don’t like to admit it, but I’m pretty impatient. I am always looking ahead to the future. Once I joked that I think I was born as a 35 year old soul and have just been waiting to catch up to myself. But instead of enjoying the “future” once I get there, I’m already looking ahead to the next thing. I’ve made a point recently to try to slow down and be present in the joy of the NOW. The easiest way for me to do this is to pay attention to details and simple moments. The smell of coffee brewing. The sound of waves rolling in from the ocean. My cat Thisbe purring. Holding hands with Ryan. Zeroing in on the little things helps me to realize how wonderful every day is and how much I really do enjoy my life. And the more I can do that, the more I think my other intentions will start to fall into place too.

Good morning! Caitlin from Reverie to Reality here, reporting as Jess’ summer intern! When Jess asked me if I would be interested in reprising the very loved Design Your Life series here on MML, I responded with a resounding “YES!”. Each Wednesday I’ll be sharing inspiring interviews with people sharing how they are designing their lives around their intentions. We’ll even be including some people who have been interviewed before to see where their intentions have grown or even changed altogether. 

I’m kicking things off this week with my own DYL interview, and couldn’t be happier about it.

Enjoy! 

 DESIGN YOUR LIFE: Caitlin of Reverie to Reality 

In a world where newer is always better and products are constantly being improved and updated, I try to remember that the simple joys in life are the ones that I’ll remember most. There will always be a new iPhone model or the latest J. Crew Collection, but the thrill of rainbow sprinkles, a fresh cup of coffee, or the first trip to the beach in the summer is eternal.

Nothing makes me happier than connecting with people and being creative through my environment. I intend to use my passion for interiors to create and grow my own business.  I recently started offering decorating services through my blog, and I will to continue to evolve this aspect of my career into a full-time position. 

Whether it’s a new coffee shop, a new neighborhood, a new city, or a new country, I choose to spend the majority of my life exploring new places. There is so much to see, take in, and learn in this lifetime.

With so many dreams and aspirations, I’ve learned that I have to prioritize the things I truly want most in order to accomplish things effectively without becoming overwhelmed. Instead of eating a whole buffet of dessert, I choose to select my favorite dishes so I can truly enjoy each bite without getting miserably full.

I can’t pretend to be a health nut, but I do believe in staying active for the benefits it offers my mind, body and spirit. At the end of the day, I wouldn’t want to live in a world without chocolate and beer, but I also don’t want my body or health to hold me back in life. Finding a comfortable balance keeps me feeling happy and confident.

 

Check out past DESIGN YOUR LIFE interviews.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been sharing my life intentions. For me, this is one of the foundational aspects of designing a life with intention. When people ask me how to live intentionally, I usually go back to this core concept.

There is a good chance if we don’t consciously choose the direction we want our lives to head, life will end up taking us in a different direction. And if we aren’t careful, we can find ourselves climbing a ladder leaning against one building; wishing we had climbed a different ladder on a different building (thanks, Mr. Covey).

Deciding what intentions I want to have for my life is the way I create the lifestyle I want to live. None of my intentions are extremely “big goal” oriented. Each one is focused on my daily habits, actions, and choices.

I leave my “big goal” thinking to my Future Letters.

In case you are interested in the first four intentions, can find them here:

Work in a balanced way

Am in a committed relationship

Listen to and honor my body

Connect to my spirit

Okay, now it’s time to wrap it up with how I’ve designed my life to help other people.

The urge to help other people is pretty self-explanatory. It’s part of the purpose equation and has a big place in my understanding of my own life’s meaning.

I am meant to help people design lives with intention. And this aspect of my principals highlights this aim.

For me to help people daily, I spend my time helping friends with difficult situations when they need it. I also try to help Mr. Lively (perhaps too much, at times). So I’m learning to keep this intention in check in our relationship.

I also of course, spend my time writing daily here on MML! It is the first thing beyond email reading that I usually do for work. I love coming here, hoping to serve.

In addition, I am now consulting and holding our BWI workshops which are immensely rewarding. I feel so “in the zone” when I’m helping people with their businesses. It’s a true blessing and gift I am so incredibly thankful for.

And even Jess LC helps people as well. I love that the prints we design inspire people to be brave. Or that our jewelry can be a part of a wedding for a new bride. What’s more, I love the ability to teach our interns how to run a small business.

So there you have it. People often ask me “how I do what I do” and the honest truth is that I think a lot about what I want my life to be like. And then I design my life around that vision or intention. 

It’s a slow, stumbling process. Sometimes changes take years to really sink in. Sometimes I question everything and go in a new direction. Sometimes I feel lost. But then I listen to my gut and do the best that I can.

It’s not easy, but it’s always worth it.

Today I’d like to return to my intentions for my life. Over the past few weeks I’ve covered how I work in a balanced way, am in a committed relationship, and listen to and honor my body.

Now, it’s time to share my intention for connecting with my spirit in my everyday life.

To be honest, though I was raised Catholic, spirituality was never a big deal in my life. Sure, I had a lot of ‘religious’ beliefs back when I was younger. But after going through what  I can only call a quarter-life crisis (lame, but true) in college, I emerged without a religious affiliation, but rather a curiosity about what might be possible.

Once I started Jess LC full-time after college, I recognized quickly that there was absolutely no way of ‘knowing’ that my business was going to succeed week to week. Budgeting was a nauseating roller coaster of highs and lows for the first few years.

And the only thing that got me through that time was the faith that it was meant to work and that I was meant to help people design lives with intention.

My faith that it was possible to succeed in business over time became a spiritual journey.

There was no boss to tell me what the “right” thing to do with my business was at any given time. And there still isn’t someone in charge of me today calling the shots.

I’ve learned that by looking within and reflecting on my spiritual beliefs, I’ve found a sense of intuition and direction that always points north. It has helped me take detours, big risks, and persevere through tough times.

Then, a few years ago during a breakup with a boyfriend my spirituality took an even bigger role in my life. After living together for three years, we decided that we needed to go our separate ways… in six months once our shared lease ended.

Yep, I stayed in a relationship with someone while knowing that we were going to break up the day our lease ended, half a year later.

Being happy in that phase of my life involved an insane amount of prayer and self-reflection.

During that season spirituality wasn’t just something that I “thought” about sometimes.

It became my lifeline. 

Since that period of my life, I have grown an extreme appreciation for God/Life/the Universe/whatever you’d like to call it.

To help myself stay connected to my spirit daily now, I start my weekdays by reading some pages from a spiritual text (this can be Christian, Buddhist, you name it). Then, I spend five or ten minutes in a hybrid of meditation and prayer while sitting on the floor.

Later in the morning as I get dressed, I turn on Enjoying Everyday Life with Joyce Meyer. Though I am not Christian and I don’t believe in many of the same things as Joyce, I find a tremendous amount of wisdom from her teachings. I know that she has helped me be a better person. And for that, I am deeply thankful.

So there you have it. Now you are caught up on how spirituality has directed my life as well as what I do daily to continue to grow in this way.

I have to say, though all of my intentions for my life are important, I think this one enables me to succeed in the other intentions.

 

 

I’m now on my third intention in my DESIGN MY LIFE, To Listen to and Honor My Body. Over the past few days I’ve also talked about my intention to Work in a More Balanced Way and To Be in a Committed Relationship.

Of course it goes without saying that these are my personal intentions and are in no way supposed to be seen as “advice.” They are simply the lessons and guiding principals for my life and I encourage everyone to reflect in their own lives on what works for them!

Listen to and honor my body

Whenever I thought about intentions for my life in the past, one of the first tasks that popped up was to eat and exercise “better.” But to be honest, all of that really was really just a masked way of saying that I wanted to be skinnier or lose weight.

I know I’ve linked back to these posts many times, but I really did struggle for nine years with extreme dieting and binge eating. It was a nasty mindset that ruled my thoughts more than anything else in my life.

Thankfully, I finally found my way out of that obsession and I’ve come to a much more peaceful and natural way of eating and working out. And the miraculous outcome has been that I’ve (very slowly) floated down to almost exactly my goal weight without having to stress, measure, dwell, or struggle.

For anyone else out there who might be caught in a similar struggle, I suggest reading Women, Food, and God by Geneen Roth. It was the gateway that led me to an immense amount of peace and understanding.

Anyways, back to my intentions.

Now that I’ve got a new relationship with food and working out, my new guiding principal is to listen to my body and eat what it wants to eat. But once I feel full, I don’t eat anymore.

In the same light, I workout a handful of times a week with a combination of running and lifting. It’s now become more about keeping my heart and body strong. And I recognize that my anxiety melts away with a good run, so it’s also become a mental health decision as well.

So to sum it all, up: I eat what I want, when I am physically hungry, and as much as I need to feel satisfied. I work out in a similar way: I work out when I want, for as long as I want.

 

Today I’d like to continue sharing my intentions for my life in my more extended DESIGN MY LIFE series. Yesterday I explained how I work in a balanced way and today is about my relationship.

Be in a committed relationship.

I would love to say that my relationship with Mr. Lively has been a bed of thorn-free roses, but that’s a lie.

It’s not that surprising, since no relationship is perfect.

But still, I was a bit shocked to find out that someone who is as amazing as Mr. Lively didn’t leave me feeling completed, whole, and perfect.

From all that I had heard about “knowing,” I was downright confused as to what “knowing” really meant.

If things felt perfect, then I would “know,” right?

I pretty much expected that I’d hear some Charlton Heston voice announce to me one day “Mr. Lively is your guy.” Then the angels would pop out of the clouds and I would be whisked away to some magical place were reality, cellulite, and student loans didn’t exist.

But that never happened.

Disappointing as that fact might be, it was nothing compared to the time that someone looked me in the eye and said that he wasn’t the one for me. That I was supposed to be with someone five years older than myself. This person was someone I looked up to considerably but did not know Mr. Lively. That blanket statement shook me to my core and made me question everything.

What if this person was right? What if there was someone else out there named Mr. Older that was supposed to make me perfect and would then cause those angel clouds to part so I could live in Never Never Land?

It was a confusing time, for sure.

But through all of my fears, Mr. Lively stood by my side. Instead of feeling offended or angry or sad about what that person told me, he felt empathy for me because he knew that was a lot of pressure and expectation from someone who didn’t know us very well.

(Yeah, he might not be perfect, but sometimes he’s pretty darn close.)

Anyways, I say this all so that it hopefully helps someone out there. I’m not sure how, but I pray that this situation in my life is going to be used for good.

So now it’s time to come to the point: I had a lot of sorting out to do about the whole concept of “knowing.” And I have finally come to a spiritual a-ha moment which has brought me a tremendous amount of peace, joy, and even more love.

I have finally recognized that what I want more than anything is to be in a committed relationship that lasts a very, very long time. And in the past, I was approaching everything backwards.

Before, I used to think that I would find “Mr. Right” and that he would be so amazing that I would suddenly be a perfect girlfriend/partner that was ready for a more serious commitment. That by falling “in love” with someone was going to be so amazing that I would be ready for forever, amen, and “I do.”

But all that did was leave me feeling a bit empty inside. All of that expectation left me feeling like I binge ate icing rather than eating a satisfying piece of cake. It clouded all the things that were amazing about our relationship and left me scanning our life for holes, leaks, and cracks.

Ugh. You are lucky you weren’t in a relationship with me at the time.*

However, I’ve since made a discovery that has literally changed my life: I’ve finally fessed up to the fact that I really do want to be in a committed relationship. That comes first. I want to learn what that relationship will have to teach me about myself, what it will teach me about others, what it will teach me about love, and what it will teach me about having a family someday.

This also means that I have to be realistic in what a committed relationship means: unconditional, acceptance, joy, peace, mercy, forgiveness, and real love.

It doesn’t mean perfect and it doesn’t mean “Mr. Right.” 

Then, once I owned up to that fact and I accepted what that kind of relationship would be like (both good and bad), it was up to me to pick out who I wanted to be in a partnership like that.

And the obvious answer was Mr. Lively.

By allowing myself to put the spiritual side of the relationship before the humanity of myself and Mr. Lively, I stopped weighing myself down with a bunch of expectation and illusion. It allowed me to fully enjoy all the amazing traits and love we have to offer one another. It stops me from looking for flaws to indicate that we aren’t perfect.

It let’s me see all that is good without a veil of ugly selfish expectation.

So now, whether we are cuddling or arguing I have my priorities set.

It’s not about him “meeting my every whim and expectation” it’s about choosing to be together through whatever comes our way.

Though that might sound disheartening or sad, it’s actually been the most freeing and loving experience of my life.

 

* Except you, Mr. Lively! I love you.

Once upon a time on MML there used to be a beloved series called DESIGN YOUR LIFE which allowed interviewees to share their intentions for their lives along with the specific, tangible ways they “designed their life” to make the intentions become reality.

After a while it became too much for me to run alongside the rest of my commitments, so I put in on hold. But I’m excited to announce that it will be back soon.

I also think it’s time that I updated my own interview from 2009.

A lot has changed in the last three years and it’s time to share my current intentions.

Since I would like to go in depth which each of my intentions, I will share only the first intention today and the rest throughout the week.

Enjoy!

Work in a balanced way.

As I take on more and more responsibility with Jess LC, MML, and BWI, I find myself more and more ferociously defending my time off and life balance. If I don’t, I begin to resent work very quickly.

So to keep a “normal” life as much as possible, I am learning that I need to do a few things to stay sane and highly effective at the same time.

First of all, I am learning how to delegate more than ever before. In Jess LC that means I have the amazing and wonderful Susie to make our jewelry orders and a new trio of Lauren, Kiley, (and soon-to-be) Caitlin to intern and manage the online shop. This frees me up to do the high level activities like finance, product development, and social media needed to keep the company growing and maintaining the brand’s DNA.

In MML that means that I am working towards allowing our amazing intern/managers also help with a few labor intensive, but not me-specific tasks. One of which will be to resurrect the DESIGN YOUR LIFE series.

And in BWI, I am working with Clara, my totally awesome, talented, and capable event planner to help execute our travelling workshops. Handing event specific details to her allows me to stay focused on content and making sure the participants are getting the best advice and information.

In addition to delegating, I’m also learning how to ‘hustle’ more during my workdays so that I can accomplish more from 9:30a to 6:00p. I make detailed weekly and daily to-do lists which keep me moving along and accomplishing all the major tasks. I also just work harder. I’m usually wiped by the end of the workday.

And to make sure that my off hours stay “off” I am now cutting Twitter, business Facebook, and email out of my nights and weekends. I’m doing pretty good so far. Right now I’m 98% free of them all and the more that I honor those boundaries, the more I enjoy work and feel more present in my home life.

However, all of this goes without saying that there are a few days where I work until 7:30 or 8. And on our workshops I work during the weekend. But those overtime hours are rare and encourage me to honor the regular off hours all the more.

Because after all, “off hours” aren’t really “off.” They are the times that I’m honoring my personal life. 

 

Tomorrow I’ll share what my intention to be in a committed relationship means to me.

Here are June’s DIY DESIGN YOUR LIFE interviews! As a reminder, you are welcome to participate in this series by posting your DESIGN YOUR LIFE on your blog and sharing the link with me (jess @ jesslc.com).

Enjoy!

Caroline’s post is on Treat Yourself Well.

Emilie’s post is on One Foot On Shore.

Jessica’s post is on Jessica Hannon Photography.

Want to find out more about the DIY DESIGN YOUR LIFE monthly feature? Keep reading.

PS – On a very sad (but proud) note, our very dear Kat of Jess LC, who has faithfully illustrated and designed many of our graphics as well as manned our Facebook Page, has graduated from Northwestern University! She is now headed off to California to start an incredible life journey. I am so thankful to have had her wonderful support and help for nine months. And I still cannot thank her enough for helping us get our online USPS shipping figured out! Tonight we will celebrate her graduation with Mexican food, sangria, and sombreros. Plus, Melissa says she’s bringing a mustache. Can’t wait.

Here are May’s DIY DESIGN YOUR LIFE interviews! As a reminder, you are welcome to participate in this series by posting your DESIGN YOUR LIFE on your blog and sharing the link with me (jess @ jesslc.com). It will be posted on that month’s DIY DYL post as seen below with Megan and Jennifer.

Enjoy!

Megan’s post is on Studio M.M.E.

Jennifer’s post is on Queen’s Voice.

Want to find out more about the DIY DESIGN YOUR LIFE monthly feature? Keep reading.


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