Join #2030make

Hello!

Want to join a really fun creative challenge? Last year, I launched the #2030make challenge and we’re celebrating with a new updated workbook and emails to encourage you on your journey. Check out the video below + the history behind #2030make.You’re going to love it!

By signing up below, you’ll also gain access to my weekly sketchbook letters that I write to encourage you in your creative journey. Hope you have an amazing day!

Love, Jennie

2030make Challenge
I don’t have a lot of TIME to create these days. And I’m guessing you don’t either. I know, I know, I’m a craft blogger so I’m supposed to be making things all the time, right? But the truth is, even though I love to work on creative projects, life is busy. I’ll make things for this blog but struggle to get past the idea stage for myself. Case in point: I bought yarn last October for a scarf that is still only half-way finished. I wish I could say that it is because it is a complicated pattern but the truth is, I keep forgetting about it. And let’s not even talk about my daughter’s photo book. She is a year younger in photo album years.

Do you relate?

  • You want to make things but the days seem too short.
  • When you do have time, you usually procrastinate and end up doing a load of laundry (or something like that.)
  • You wait until the end of the day to work on your projects and then find you’re too tired.

You’re a creative person who has a lot of ideas of projects you want to make, skills you want to learn, and techniques you want to try. But you don’t have the time. I hear you.

So what’s a creative to do?

That was exactly my question last year when I launched #2030make for the first time. I decided to set aside 20 minutes a day for the next 30 days to work on my projects. And thousands of you decided to join me. It was AMAZING.

In that month, we…

  • Wrote eBooks
  • Finished quilts
  • Stitched up cute gifts
  • Finally finished the baby book
    And basically, got back into our creative grooves

This mindset ended up becoming the driving force behind my concept of creating personal retreats for ourselves. (Yay for The Creative Retreat workbook!) It also completely changed the way I look at my creative life. Instead of being driven by guilt and feeling like I’m always behind and never have enough time, I’ve learned (and am learning) to take each day at a time and to carve out micro-moments for myself to create.

It’s amazing.

So in honor of the one year anniversary of the #2030make challenge, I updated the workbook with a new way to track the days (if you like to color, you’ll love this!) I also added some more information and will be adding a video or two to YouTube throughout the month to talk about creative projects and to encourage you on your #2030make journey.

What I love most about this challenge is it’s all about grace. Your age, skill level, and income don’t matter. All you have to do is set aside 20 minutes each day for the next month to work on your creative projects, whatever they may be.

When you sign up, you’ll receive a FREE workbook that you can use to get inspired and to track your project through the month. You’ll also receive an email each week with some thoughts on the creative process (as well as encouragement to keep going!)

I’d love to see and hear about what you’re working on, so use the hashtag #2030make on Instagram and Twitter so I can cheer you on. You’ve got this!

Hi, I’m Jennie.

I write about simple crafts and living a creative life on my blog, Little Girl Designs. I believe that we’re all creative and that taking time to hone our these abilities truly matters.  When I’m not working on a creative project, you can probably find me chasing my toddler and going on walks with my husband in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Oh, and probably eating some chocolate. :)

Some posts from Little Girl Designs you might enjoy:

I’m Writing a Book . . . Want to Join Me?

At the beginning of the year, I began writing a book. Except, instead of writing said book the normal way, I jumped into this project with three blank sketchbooks and began illustrating and hand-writing it.

Every day for months, I wrote four pages a day. I wrote until I had those three sketchbooks filled to the brim.

And then I stopped.

My initial thought had been I would scan all of those pages and add color spots to them as I had done for some of the pages in The Creative Retreat. The problem was, have you ever scanned hundreds of non-related pages? And the thought of color-correcting each and every one of them . . . Oh. My. Goodness.

Turns out, there’s something to be said about things like outlining. Or market research. Or typing a book out.

What I now had was a lot of pages of rambling information. (I literally changed the subject back and forth nearly every day. Ah me.) It was such a mess, I couldn’t find my way out of it.

I'm writing this post to be accountable and share that I'm writing a book (or two) at the moment. Would you like to join me? :)

My husband suggested outlining.

Ugh, I hate outlining.

But after months of sitting on this book, I decided to pull it out and try again. In the meantime, another book idea had popped into my head, and I began sketching out ideas for that one.

Does anyone else do this? Simultaneous projects? I do this with reading too. Anywho . . .

I’m sharing all of this because I recently took the plunge and enrolled in an online school for self-publishing. And one of the exercises they have you do is to tell everyone you know what your goals are for the class.

As succinctly as possible, my goal is to finish one of these books by December 2017.

I have my writing plan down, and I’m mind-mapping these books like crazy. The shorter book is looking like it will be finished by the end of this month. Whoohoo!

My question for YOU is, would you like to join me? Is there a book inside of you that needs to be written? Have you always wanted to be an author? What would it be like to see your name on Amazon or to begin making a passive income from YOUR book?

Gulp.

I can tell you, it’s pretty amazing!

I’ve self-published a paperback and several eBooks so far with minimal training. It can be done. The internet is a vast treasure trove of resources.

But like the first draft of the book I started earlier this year, it also takes A LOT of TIME to research and troubleshoot your way through the self-publishing world.

But this time, I chatted with my husband and said, “Let’s try something new.” We did a lot of research on this particular course, read reviews from others who had taken it, and learned a bunch from the free webinar they offer.

My kiddo is back in school which will give me more time to dedicate to writing. I decided to take the plunge, and do the thing.

This is when I insert a sob story about how much I’ve learned so far and I haven’t even finished the course.

I called my husband and started sharing . . .

  • How I’m refining the ideas I have using a method that I wished I used for The Creative Retreat. (I will for new editions!)
  • The method I’m using to writing 1,000+ words a day within an hour.
  • How I haven’t had a writer’s block moment so far (which used to be regular occurrence.)
  • And how this community is so amazingly smart and supportive.

I could go on and on.

I particularly like how this course is very action-oriented and how it doesn’t spend huge amounts of time sharing a single point. I’ve passed on other courses similar to this one because I don’t have time for hour-long videos on how to outline a book. #momlife

Anyway, I’ll stop rambling because I need to be writing my book. If you’d like to join me, feel free to comment below. The more, the merrier!

And even if you’re not ready to commit to Self-Publishing School, you’d really benefit from the free webinar. I have three typed pages of notes I took from it. It’s definitely worth your time.

You can sign up by clicking the image below:

Hope you all have a wonderful {and creative} day!

How to Be Mentored by Anyone

Wouldn’t it be amazing to be mentored by your hero? It might not be as difficult as you think. Here’s how to be mentored from the best in your industry.

Years ago, I began noticing how leaders across niches and work spaces were talking more and more about mentoring. I wanted to be mentored too, but when I looked around, I wasn’t sure who to ask. Or what a mentoring relationship would look like.

I imagined sitting in a cafe with a seasoned writer, talking about our creative careers, and hashing out what was holding me back. I imagined homework, because my personality type loves homework.

The problem was, I’m a bit of an introvert (okay, a lot of an introvert), and randomly asking someone I admired to mentor me was not happening. In my mind, it happened several times. Unfortunately, it didn’t play out in real life.

So, how was I supposed to find a mentor?

 . . . Read More

13 Bullet Journal Layouts For Students

Get inspired by 13 bullet journal layouts for students! LOVE these ideas!

How I wish the idea of a bullet journal had popped into my head when I was in school. I used and decorated the standbys that everyone bought at the store. Kind of boring. Knowing my lifelong adoration for stationery supplies, I can imagine I would have spent quality time writing out my notes and schedule in a blank book.

I love how creative these students are . . . Hope they inspire you!

Related Posts:

How to Start a Dot Journal + Book Review

Bullet Journaling the Easy (And Probably, Lazy) Way

Pretty Headers for Subjects

Source: @sprouhtstudies

Note taking + Post-it Notes

Source: @sprouhtstudies

Simple Note Taking

Source: @mekanikkalemm

Weekly Layout with Washi Tape

this week's spread 🎀 a little incomplete as it was all pre-planned so 🙊

A post shared by s t u d y l e x (@ig.studylex) on

Source: @studylex

Art Journal-Esque Layout

SWIPE FOR MORE. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR 10K. I AM SO LUCKY TO HAVE YOU ALL IN MY LIFE. Love every single one of you from the bottom of my heart. I'M SO SO THANKFUL FOR YOU ALL AHHH. You've all been so supportive and full of good vibes. It's all because of you!!Anyway you guys, here I'm showing you this week's spread and i hope you like it. Also SOON THERE'LL BE A GIVEAWAY SO STAY TUNED! * * * * * #bulletjournal #bujo #bujojunkies #bulletjournaljunkies #bujoinspire #bujoaddicts #bujoaddicts #bujoinspo #studyblr #studyblrsquad #studygram #studyspo #studying #study #stationery #stationeryaddict #planning #planneraddict #brushlettering #stickers #mildliner #staedtler #muji #crayola #calligraphy #booklover #collegestudent #desk #workspace #bulletjournalss

A post shared by Abby 🍕| Studygram (@abby.studies) on

Source: @abby.studies

Monthly Spread with Doodles and Hand Lettering

Source: @time.to.journal

Travel Journal Spread

Source: @studybear_

Note Taking

Source: @thecoffeedesk

Biology Notes Made Pretty

Source: @instastudy_lover

Learning a New Language Notes

Source: @studymilk

Weekly Spread

Source: @unknown.notes

Notes, Notes, and More Notes!

👨🏻‍🔬

A post shared by Studygram (@studyjournals_) on

Source: @studyjournals_

Weekly Schedule

Source: @emmastudiess

I love how each student takes the basic bullet journal premise and makes it their own. That’s my favorite part about this system.

Be as creative as you want and get to bullet journaling!

How to Start a Dot Journal

I received a complimentary copy of the book, Dot Journaling: A Practical Guide to review. All comments and opinions are my own.

Are you a planner girl? A list writer? A journalista? I am all the above but when I saw the dot journal movement start up a couple of years ago, I kind of, um, rolled my eyes. I LOVE to create and make things so you would think that creating layouts for my planner would be super fun.

But when I scrolled through the bullet journaling (also called dot journaling) images on Instagram and Pinterest, all I could conjur up was feelings of overwhelm. I have to use a ruler? These pages are PERFECT and GORGEOUS and wow, I don’t have time for that.

So I put it off.

I kept on buying fancy planners a couple of times a year plus a regular journal. I also continued my bad habit of writing really important things on teeny tiny scraps of paper. When was my dentist appointment again? I know I wrote it on the corner of a pink piece of paper, so if I could find that . . .

But something happened last year. I was using a ginormous planner at the time that came with cute stickers and tabs but for some reason, was NOT working for me. I loved that planner, but it didn’t love me back. I needed a place to jot down information from a parent-teacher meeting. And a place to write my grocery list. And I didn’t want all of those budget sheets because I do that in Excel. Argh.

Here's a simple monthly days spread from Dot Journaling: A Practical Guide

I mentioned above that I would buy planners a couple of times a year because what usually would happen is I would get really excited about one brand and then halfway through the year, I would hit this frustrated place. And around that time, I would be at Target and a new planner would call out to me. I will solve all your problems! Look! I have lots of empty spaces for you to write in!

Anyway, there came a day when I decided to just go for it and try a dot journal. I had a blank composition book handy, and I figured if I absolutely hated it, I could just go back to my big planner. (Oh, the other problem about my aforementioned awesome planner was it was huge! Didn’t fit in any purse or bag. :()

I started bullet journaling and shared my experience here. It evolved back into a planner at the beginning of this year. That still wasn’t flexible enough for me so I was incredibly grateful when the publishers of Dot Journaling: A Practical Guide reached out to me. Talk about perfect timing!

When I first glanced through the book, I felt that feeling of perfectionism and overwhelm hit me again. Not gonna lie. Her layouts are so neat and wonderful. My dot journal was ashamed to sit next to this book. At first.

I love this book list idea from Dot Journaling: a Practical Guide

Then I began reading and was grateful as the author assured us that dot journaling is whatever you want it to be, that her layouts are guidelines and ideas. She even admitted that everything looked perfect in this book because it’s her job to make it look nice. Which makes sense.

I’ve been slowly incorporating her methods into my current bullet journal and have been really pleased. I like how she shares SO MANY different ideas of what you can do in a dot journal. And I appreciate how she has spreads that are very minimalist all the way to more detailed versions. If anything, looking through this book got me dreaming of what I want to do in my dot journal.

Um, yes. I need this debt tracker in my bullet journal. (Courtesy of Dot Journaling: A Practical Guide)

My hands-down favorite thing about dot journaling is how it is completely mine. I love that I have quotes on one page, notes from a webinar on the next, and my to-do list on the next page. It is a better representation of what is really going on in my life, that’s for sure. I also love that I can easily see how I’m progressing on different goals and how I’m incorporating my values into my life and business. All of these things are housed under the same cover (whereas they used to all be in separate places, usually never to be seen again! :/)

I still haven’t broken my habit of writing on tiny slips of paper, but now I washi tape them straight into my dot journal (if I still need them.) It adds some color and I can find the note again.

I appreciate how the author carefully explains all the ins and outs of dot journaling so you can literally get a blank book and start immediately. That’s my kind of book.

You can pick up your copy of Dot Journaling: A Practical Guide on Amazon or in any bookstore.

Want to win a copy?

This contest is open to all US and Canadian residents ages 18 and older. All you need to do is leave a comment with your email address, and we’ll choose a winner on August 21st. Only one entry per family, please. :)

10 Natural Ways to Make Your Home Smell Like Fall

Learn how to make your home smell like fall using natural ingredients. No need to use chemicals to make your home smell delicious, warm, and inviting!

There’s nothing quite like the smell of fall—cinnamon, pumpkin spice, and baking apples are among my favorite scents in the world. In the past, I would have stocked up on a bunch of candles and air fresheners during the fall to keep my home smelling cozy and delicious, but after learning that those options aren’t the best for you, I decided to go au natural and learn how to make my home smell like fall minus the chemicals.

And oh my goodness.

So much yumminess! Now that I think about it, my mom used to have a pot of cloves and cinnamon simmering on the stove throughout the fall. How could I forget this?

 . . . Read More

Summer Reading List for Your Business

If you’re an entrepreneur, you’ve probably heard this before but it bears repeating: “Leaders are readers.”

In this digital age, this pithy statement could be amended to “Leaders are listeners to podcasts and audiobooks” as well, but you get the point.

In order to lead, you need to know where other people are coming from. It’s vital that you are aware of current trends in the marketplace. You need to be curious and consistently learning and stretching yourself.

I love to read and am constantly adding to my “books to read” list, often as I’m reading other books! If I love a book and the author references another book, I’m very likely to grab my pen and jot down the book title referenced. Doing so has led me to a lot of different books I would have normally passed by.

Many of the following books were recommended by other bloggers and authors. I had heard of some of them and never heard of others. This summer I decided to check them all out and see what they were about.

Feel free to add your favorite business books to the comment section. I’m grateful we live in a world where we can exchange different ideas and learn from each other. :)

Eight Books for Your Summer Reading List

 

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind

Synopsis: The author writes about how our mindset is the key to becoming rich since it influences our actions. If you’ve ever struggled with a “poverty mindset”, found yourself jealous of rich people, or think being rich is bad, you just might want to read this book. There are a few woo-woo points in it when he talks about ” reaching out to the universe” for guidance. I just substitute those sentences with God. :) Overall, I’ve enjoyed this book since I definitely have had some of these mentalities!

How it relates to your business: Your mindset re: wealth building directly relates to your business. If you’re embarrassed to do well in life or share your products (because it’s “tacky” or “prideful”), you will subconsciously do all you can to sabotage your success.

The Greatest Salesman in the World

Synopsis: This book is written as an allegory, and it greatly reminded me of The Alchemist. A rich salesman shares the “ancient wisdom” in a set of scrolls that have been the key to his success. I thought the book’s story line was a bit contrived, but there were several gems within the pages that made the other parts worth it for me.

How it relates to your business: Read the chapter about love and use it daily in your work. Loving others and adding value to their lives is absolutely integral.

How to Win Friends and Influence People

Synopsis: Carnegie’s famous book has been read by probably everyone in the world except me until now. It contains bite-sized nuggets of truth to apply to your relationships, many of which are timeless. I think the title is a little misleading since I used to think it sounded manipulative, like you’re tricking people into liking you or something.

How it relates to your business: People skills should be taught in school—real people skills like learning how to be a great listener and why arguing with someone is the worst idea ever (if you want them to see your point of view.) This book is a quick read and applying its principles will help you as you lead your team or work with people throughout your life.

The Power of Full Engagement

Synopsis: There are many, many books on time management out there. And several on the power of focusing on one thing at a time for maximum success. This is the first book I’ve read that talks about how we only have a certain amount of energy so it’s important that we create habits in order to be successful. This book is a business book, but the ideas are easily applied to all areas of life.

How it relates to your business: All of us are wired differently. If you’re feeling downtrodden because you’re not Type A but still want to be successful, you’ll probably appreciate this book. I liked how he worked with people to overcome their obstacles in ways that were very logical and fairly simple to follow. I also found the section on values and how integral they are to your habits becoming a reality really, really good. The appendix has several charts so you can map your own progress.

The Happiness Advantage

Synopsis: I’m still in the midst of reading this book, but I saw Shawn speak at a convention this summer which led me to his Ted Talk, which led me to this book. His contention is happiness is a choice. But he doesn’t stop there, he shares how happiness hugely affects our entire worldview and lives. I particularly like how Achor isn’t a bubbly “just be happy already!” person. He admits to struggling with depression even in the midst of his research at Harvard. His insight and integrity make this book all the more worth the read. (Also check out his follow up book, Before Happiness. I’m in the beginning pages of that one too. :))

How it relates to your business: Your happiness factor greatly affects your ability to bounce back from failures and mistakes. It also gives you the resilience to take risks and to push yourself towards growth—all vital aspects of being a business owner.

(Cliff Notes version: Shawn Achor’s Ted Talk)

The Calorie Myth

Synopsis: What we’ve been told about eating less and exercising more is not the truth. The kinds of calories we consume actually greatly matter to our weight and overall health. I’m not going to lie. This book really got me upset. I’ve been in the eat less/exercise more camp for my entire life. I’ve tried to faithfully eat via the food pyramid and drink lots of water. So it’s been frustrating (for me) that I’ve been feeling more and more bleh in the past few years. I thought I was eating decently, but upon further examination, um, I needed an overhaul. (We’re all a work in progress, right?) Learning how to eat more “SANE” has been ah-mazing to say the least. No, I’m not perfect, but I’m feeling so much better. The only thing I don’t completely follow from this book is his minimal exercise—I need to MOVE every day. :)

How it relates to your business: If you don’t take care of YOU, who will? Your health matters greatly in your business, though many of us ignore it while we’re pursuing “the dream.” Being your own health advocate empowers you and will make you feel so much better. Believe me, I know. :)

The Listening Life

Synopsis: Our world is go-go-go and if you’re an online business owner, I’m sure you can relate to the constant influx of information you’re faced with on a daily basis. How does one learn to slow down in the midst of all of that? How can we learn to truly listen to what God and others have to say in our lives when we’re so busy and distracted? I’ve been slowly, slowly reading this book throughout this summer because it’s one that you read and then need time to think about. (Or maybe that’s just me!) Still, it’s been a powerful read. I’ll likely add this one to our collection.

How it relates to your business: Learning to truly listen is a lifelong skill. It’s also a non-negotiable if you’re in business. You’ve got to be able to listen to your associates, coworkers, partners, family, etc. etc. in order to build strong relationships. This would make a great group study, though, phew, it is convicting!

Real Artists Don’t Starve

Synopsis: For too long, many artists have bought into the myth that in order to be a “real” artist, they have to forego the world’s goods and barely subsist. I know I bought into this! I thought it would be really romantic to live in a tiny flat in New York and eat only ramen as I pursued my dream. #notevenkidding Goins debunks this myth and goes several steps further by giving us a guide to thriving.

How it relates to your business: If you’re a creative person, chances are you’ve faced many of the thought patterns addressed in this book. I appreciate the author’s candor and the stories he shares, but I really appreciate his action points. He teaches you how to stop the “starving” mentality and create an awesome business. LOVE this book.

(Go one step deeper and check out his community called TribeWriters. It’s only offered once a year, but I’ve heard it is an awesome course and networking opportunity for creatives.)

Okay, guys, that’s the summer reading list for you! I hope you enjoyed this post. As I said earlier, I’d love to hear what your favorite business books are, so let me know in the comments.

Hope you have a great {and creative} day!

Join the #2030make challenge! I'm busy, you're busy, we're all busy...BUT that shouldn't keep us from creating, should it? Join me on this 30 day challenge where we take 20 minutes a day to work on our projects. Free *updated* workbook and a weekly email on creativity to encourage you included!

20 minutes, 30 days, what will you make?

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