link love: october 24 2014

Welcome to our first “Link Love” post. I’ve been wanting to do this for awhile because I tend to share awesome finds with my Twitter friends, but not everyone is on Twitter, and sometimes tweets get missed. I’m going to try and post a “Link Love” post once a week.
Yellow Hair
First I wanted to share some hair tips. Hair color, styles, and care has been on my mind a lot lately. In August, before my birthday, I got my bangs trimmed by someone that had never done my hair (my normal stylist was on maternity leave). I showed the guy a head-on pic of me with how my bangs normally look. I told him how I like it, and he started cutting. Then he said, “I think we should layer your bangs, it will be so great!”. Before I could ask questions, or say no, SNIP! SNIP! Too late! I’ve never had my bangs layered, the rest of my hair, yes; often, in fact, but my bangs?!? No. I was horrified when I saw the finished results. I looked like Joan Jett, which is not a bad look, just not a good look for me. It’s now almost November, and my bangs are still trying to recover from what he did. When I went back to get them cleaned up, another stylist did my hair, and I had to explain what happened, and let her know I knew there was only so much she could do to clean them up. She was so sweet, you could tell she felt bad that she couldn’t wave a magic wand and heal my bangs. I recently went back for another trim, and we chatted about how close my bangs are getting to normal, and started discussing color. As you may know, I love to color the bottom two inches of my hair fun colors. I was going to do it before my birthday, but after the bangs mess, I didn’t want to spend money on color, when I wouldn’t be happy with all my hair. The stylist complimented me on my hair, and asked how I kept it so healthy. I get asked this a lot, and I thought I should share “my secrets”…

1. I don’t wash my hair everyday. I wash it every other day, and once a month I don’t wash it for 3 days. It takes careful planning to make sure that third day is a day I can stay home and hide my greasy hair.
2. I get trims often. I’m at the hair salon every three months for hair maintenance, and every three to four weeks for a bang trim. It’s so important to keep your hair split-end free.
3. I wash and condition my hair with warm water, and do a cool water rinse out. This helps my hair shine.
4. I try not to blow dry my hair. I gently towel dry and then try to air dry. If I have to blow dry my hair, I hold the blow dryer so it is facing down my hair shaft. If I’m blow drying and in a hurry, I use this brush to help soak up some of the water from my hair.
5. I try not to stress my hair too much with ponytail holders or with braids. That said, I do love to style my hair for fun occasions. Check out this milkmaid braid tutorial from Roxy.

Enough about hair, let’s talk jewelry — jewelry and dogs! Have you followed the hashtag on Instagram of #dogsinjewelry yet? So far it’s mostly Sierra posting pics of Faye in Manic Trout, but there are others adding pics, too. If you have a dog that would totally rock some jewelry, you should add a pic!

Do you need some uplifting encouragement (presented in amazing art, mind you)? Then you should follow Adrienne’s blog. This recent print is my current fave of hers. I like to say “Resilient is my middle name”.

Are you trying to save money, and don’t know how? Words of Williams offers such great advice, and I really liked this recent post, on categories in your budget where you can cut costs. As I’ve mentioned before, I used to eat out a lot, until a fro-yo date with Sierra chatting about grocery bills led to the realization that I could save $400 a month by eating at home more. $400 a month! You better believe I changed my lifestyle real quick for that amount.

I loved this tour of my friend Kristen’s candle making studio. She moved from Austin to California a few years ago, and this town certainly misses her. Her candle making biz has skyrocketed and can be found all over the place. I’m particularly fond of the candle scent Laundry Day.

motivational monday: how we rise

how we rise
Someone recently told me “I’m not lucky like you, things don’t always go my way” which was surprising to hear. My mom can be considered “lucky” when gambling, nine times out of ten she’ll at least break even, but most of the time, she comes out ahead. However, her health is not the best, so I wouldn’t consider her a “lucky” person. I feel like social media trends are working so hard to paint these perfect lives, and some people are falling for it to the point of thinking their lives “suck”.

Yes, I am pretty happy with my life, but it’s all about perspective. Let’s start with the cons in my life right now:
Unruly eyebrows
Recently received the WORST bang trim of my life, only thing I can do is wait for them to grow out, I can’t even just pin them back. Sigh.
Very little sleep all month.
House is a complete wreck.
Gained lots of weight this year (I seriously need to return to derby, I haven’t even been off skates a year.)
Super busy and overwhelmed.
Need a tooth implant (thanks to an almond breaking 1/2 a tooth).
On a tight budget.

How I view the cons in my life:
Eyebrows and hair are cosmetic issues, who cares if I look like crap for a month? I’m too busy to let it depress me.
I’m trying to catch up on sleep, all I can do right now is try, and know that this is a temporary thing.
The house can be cleaned, it won’t be this way forever.
I got a treadmill to help me get active until I can skate again. Starting tomorrow I have a set workout time everyday.
I’m super busy and overwhelmed thanks to needing to submit new works to our agent and some licensees, that’s a good thing.
Tooth is another cosmetic issue right now, and will be fixed when I have time/money.
Tight budget is due to needing to have funds for multiple trade/art shows a year that are not less than 2k (upcoming post about that!).

Nobody’s life is perfect, let’s get that straight. We all have our problems, some are just better at hiding it, some completely focus on hiding it. People don’t want to read blogs or social media feeds of people that are constantly complaining, and always focusing on the negatives in life. How we rise after falling is the same as how we view the cons in our life. It’s all about perspective. I think I’m happy not because I’m “lucky”, but because I don’t let the cons in my life drag me down. There will always be good days and bad days, the trick is to find gratitude for the many good things in your life that are easy to overlook on a crummy day. Here’s to silver linings!

motivational monday: do one thing…

Do One Thing
I love this quote, and think it is so important to live by it. Recently a friend of mine chuckled at a big goal I have, Josh thought it was rude until I reminded him that even last year he would have done the same thing. My goals and aspirations often bring about laughter or lead to people calling me crazy, and sadly, I’m used to that reaction. I used to get confused by people giggling at my goals, Josh used to do it a lot, so I started asking him why he was laughing. It took him awhile to really understand why he was laughing, and then he explained to me he just found my goals surprising, and hard to wrap his head around, so he’d laugh. That’s when it clicked!

People weren’t really laughing at me, they were just taken aback. If you talk to me long enough, you’ll see that I live out loud, and don’t let my fears or insecurities get in my way (for very long, at least). Everyone is afraid of something, we all have insecurities we have to deal with every single day. Our lives are just way too short for us to let our doubts keep us from trying to live a free life. A “free life” to me means a life free from fear of failing, fear of trying, fear of taking control of our lives. We all have responsibilities, but we can’t forget that our greatest responsibility is to take care of ourselves. If we sacrifice our happiness out of fear, then we are shells of ourselves. The best thing we can do is be ourselves, out loud, and inspire others to do the same. We all have something to offer, something the world needs, we just cant let fear keep us from sharing our best selves. Life should be about trying anything and everything you want.

I have met so many amazing people in my life, and it always saddens me when I see them hiding their light. I think there would be more happiness in the world if more people would stand tall and say “this is me, take it or leave it” and just be who they are. Sometimes when I tell people this they respond with “you’re lucky”, or “you have it easy”, or “things just always work out for you”, but the thing is, I’m not lucky, I certainly don’t have it easy, and things absolutely don’t always work out for me. It can seem like things always work out me, only because when things don’t go the way I planned, I adapt. I don’t focus on what went wrong, I focus on what I can do better for next time, because as long as I’m still breathing, there will be a next time, and I will be ready for it. I have no deadline on my big dreams because I know they take time, so I just keep working toward them every day. As long as I don’t give up, there’s always hope. Just remember that and don’t give up. Keep trying every day and you’ll make it happen.


motivational monday: effort makes all the difference


Last night my friend Brandon and Josh went to do a Star Wars pub trivia, they invited me to go with them, but I declined with the reason “I know we’re going to lose, so I’d rather stay home and work”. Brandon and I camped out for a week for Phantom Menace, and during that week one of the things we did was play Star Wars Trivial Pursuit. Between that history and having done Buffy and Doctor Who pub trivia (two of my strongest subjects) I had a rough idea of what types of questions could come up.

Brandon was adamant that they would win, but he didn’t prep for the quiz. An hour before they were going to leave I started asking him random questions I thought could come up, and he didn’t have the answers. I told him to study up on anything music related because they always ask music related questions. Josh looked up some stuff, and then Brandon did after I harassed him about it, but he was very confident that he would win. I kept telling him that the type of people that win the themed quizzes heavily study all things related. He still continued to boast his knowledge, saying he couldn’t wait to count his winnings. This is what he posted on Facebook after the quiz:

“Finished the Star Wars quiz. 7th place out of 64. Why didn’t I study?! F$@k!! Sure, I know that “Hammerheads” are Ithorians from the planet Ithor, that the one in the Wookie owned cantina was named Momaw Nadon, and he was a vegetarian with 2 mouths, but I couldn’t spend 5 minutes to learn the name of the Mynok infested space slug in Empire… This is why I’m not more successful in life. I know I’m good, but I never put the effort in to be great. Typical.”

His post caused me to redo my planned post for today, particularly this part:
“This is why I’m not more successful in life. I know I’m good, but I never put the effort in to be great. Typical.”

There are a lot of talented people that create amazing things, but not all of them put in the effort to make a living off their talents. There’s nothing wrong with not wanting to make a living off your talents, but if it’s something you really want, you’ll need to put in the effort. As the saying goes…

“If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.”

― Jim Rohn

I miss derby a lot, my “excuse” for not doing derby is that Robo Roku work is what I love most, and this year Robo Roku is taking up more of my time. Given the choice between Robo Roku and pretty much anything else, Robo Roku wins every time. When you truly love doing something, it’s all you want to do.

Sometimes what keeps us from putting in the effort is fear of not succeeding, but don’t we owe it to ourselves to try as many things as possible? We should always be trying new foods, new places, new workouts, learning new skills, new languages, and honoring the life we’ve been given by exploring as much as we can. Isn’t this why we have Pinterest addictions? Every day is a new day to start fresh. What are those dreams you have? Write them down, hang them up, and get moving on them! Put in the effort, because no one is just going to hand you your dreams, and isn’t the reward so much sweeter when you’ve worked for it?

motivational monday: who do you want to be?

Art by Pat Pitingolo

I learned this lesson in 2009 from Laura Roeder. When I hung out with people that weren’t goal orientated, I started to be more lackadaisical about my goals. I worked much slower, and was not as invested in pursuing my dreams on a daily basis. Taking the Creating Fame course from Laura Roeder grouped me in a class with so many people working hard and excitedly on what they love. The passion I was around (even if it was only online) was so contagious! After it ended many of us stayed connected online, but I craved the environment Laura created. I then started looking at the people I was spending the most time with and shifted to spend more time with people that would keep me in an energized environment.

As much as I hate Facebook, it allows me to be in online groups of people working toward similar goals. My friend Meredith and I text each other almost daily sharing (and venting) about our work lifestyle (we both do original illustrations). As I’ve mentioned before, Sierra and I often run opportunities by each other for feedback. She’s currently helping me break my habit of turning down offers all the time. I have meet ups with a group of girls every month to talk biz and support each other in this self-employed lifestyle. They say you need to find your tribe, and I believe that is so key to living a happy, and productive life. If you’re interested in a challenge, try making a vision board of the lifestyle you want, and surround yourself with people that will help you get (and stay) there. Happy Monday, everyone!


art by Pat Pitingolo

motivational monday: love yourself

This Creative Life - Love Yourself First

I love this saying. When I was in high school a friend of mine said “We die alone, so why put other people first?”. It was a confusing idea to me at the time. His real point was he wasn’t going to change who he was to please “some girl”, because this was his life. That’s an idea I can get behind. It’s hard to not want approval from family and loved ones, but the approval we truly need is our own. No one is perfect, we are all works in progress (ideally, we’re evolving everyday). There’s so much in this world to take in, to learn, to love, but we need to love ourselves first. We need to be able to take care of our minds, bodies, and passions. We need to approach life with excitement for the gift of being able to experience so much.

Josh was recently complaining about a client that always has rush jobs, and sometimes complains about pricing, even though he’s giving them a discount. After a week I checked in with him on how he was handling the client, he said “It’s a non-issue” I asked if he had a talk with them, and he said “No, I just changed the way I think about it. They are always going to have rush jobs, and sometimes complain, but I’m choosing to not care about it, so that problem is over.” Just like that, he changed his outlook, and it improved his happiness. We can all do that! (just don’t ever spill water on Josh – that’s his kryptonite)

We don’t know how long we have in this life, so it seems to me that I need to make the most of each day and pour my heart into all I do. I really do the dishes with a full heart. I get excited that I’m going to have clean dishes! If your day job sucks the life out of you, and you truly have no way out, just have something to look forward to after work. Remind yourself that this crappy day job is affording you the money to paint, sew, do roller derby, play video games, whatever it is that you love to do. Take care of you, be kind to others, and everything else will fall in place.

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