Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Alt Summit 2015 Follow-Up: Was it Worth It?

How do you sum up such an incredible event in a simple blogpost? It just doesn't seem right! I want to dedicate as much time to the post as I spent at Alt, but a three-day post just doesn't seem like the best use of my time, ya know? But let me give you my personal 5 highlights...




1. The designer/illustrator speakers
Since I am a graphic designer, there were a few speakers that had me on the edge of my seat the entire time, because I could relate to them on a design-business-inspiration level. Listening to the wisdom from these inspirational ladies (and one guy), alone, made the entire conference worth it. It was so nice to hear that these ladies, who seem so accomplished and put together, really are just normal peers looking to find their way in this big world. But the fact that they shared their trials and triumphs with us was really rewarding.



2. Feeling spoiled
During the entire conference we were surrounded by beautiful floral arrangements, decadent snacks, Victorian decor, and extravagant 4-course meals. Like, the entire time. I think that's what it feels like to be famous. I know that may sound silly, but it felt really wonderful to be spoiled for a few days by luxurious tidbits the entire event. The Grand America did an incredible time hosting the conference, and all the other vendors made the event even more spectacular, which brings me to my next point:



3. Amazing Companies
I had the chance to speak to some incredible companies during the conference, some that I may have never had the chance to speak to otherwise. All of their "booths" were mind-numbingly put together, in all the best ways. I didn't expect to walk into a room and see the place decorated like a full-on kitchen (there were two of them!) plus, every corner of the booths literally looked like we had sliced into an actual home with full on couches, chairs, wall-hangings, knick-knacks, frames, etc. I could go on, but let it suffice that the sponsors did an unbelievable time making the event look stunning. Although that was a really great part of having the companies there, I also loved chatting with each brand to figure out what they were at Alt for, some were reasons that I could see potential relationships with in the future. Which, again, leads me to my next point:



4. The Turning Point
Alt, for me, was a huge turning point for my future, because it opened my eyes to possibilities. Possibilities (like working with brands in the future) which I never would have seen otherwise as a true option for my career. I've only honestly seen myself as a graphic designer, but after listening to the other speakers at Alt, it opened my eyes to new avenues that I could try (at the right time).  I'm a planner, but you can't really make a 5-year plan unless you've considered all the options. So who knows where my future lies, but we could say in 10 years that maybe Alt was that turning point for me.



5. Lastly, the Relationships
I never would have imagined to make such strong bonds with the girls at Alt. Somehow, it seemed like fate pulled a group of us together, and before we knew it, we were saving seats for each other, talking about meaningful life goals, about huge secrets, sharing notes with each other, and lifting each other up. Before we knew it, it was time to go home, and we had to scramble to share phone numbers with each other. One girl said "It feels like we are leaving girls camp and we have to just shrug and say 'See you next summer?!'" Thankfully, we have better technology than we did back in "those days" so we can keep in touch lots of ways via Instagram, our blogs, phone calls, and email.


Thank you, Alt!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Resolutions Follow-Up

I may regret this later on, but I'm going to write some posts to keep myself in check when it comes to the resolutions I've set. It's more just for me, because I know I'm only a small blog, but being accountable somewhere always helps a ton. 

How have I done so far? Actually, I feel really satisfied with how I've done. I was nowhere near "perfect" but I was dead happy about the choices I made! First off, I have started and finished a book!! I can't believe I'm only a few days into my resolutions and I've done that already. Really proud of myself, even if it was kind of disturbing. I'll tell you more about the book soon, haha. And let's talk about food, shall we? Because let's be honest, food is my biggest weakness; I LOVE it so much! Saturday, I made myself dinner, yes, on a Saturday night! And at lunch I made really heathy choices too. And you know what? At the movie theater that night, I ate buttered popcorn and it was amazing, and I let myself enjoy that treat because it made me happy! Then on Sunday, when I made brownies, instead of licking the whole bowl, I only licked the spoon and didn't even eat a brownie (because come on, the batter is the best anyway)! That was a real win for me. 

I think you have to be realistic with goals and the most important thing is to not beat yourself up when you aren't perfect. Love yourself, accept your choices, and make better ones tomorrow. 

Today? It was rainy and cold, so I got myself some chicken noodle soup, a breadstick, and a sandwich, and daaang, that bread was good. I'm trying to limit my breads to only once a day, and even though I let the bread in that meal get a little out of hand, I made up for it with my other meals where I finished off 7 servings of vegetables. And you know what? They were incredibly simple and delicious! I'll post the recipe soon. 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Resolutions

I'm a resolutions kind of girl. It really motivates me to be a better person throughout the year, not just in July and February. I had a really tough time coming up with a solid resolution this year. What DO I want? I mean, really. And then I started thinking about where I am in my life right now. I have a career that I love, married to the man of my dreams, we are continually working through the toughness of what is life, and then we have a big ol' future in front of us when it comes to raising a family. (No, this is not an announcement. We aren't even trying yet!) BUT, I am mindful that our time "alone" is short-lived. Motherhood is just around the corner, which means that "me-time" is just about to end, too.haha I don't mean that to sound morbid, but I'm trying to be honest with myself and where I am in my life. I know that there are big, huge, wonderful changes when you're a mom. And from what all my friends say (because trust me, it feels like everyone I know has kids now), their me-time is limited once they start raising children.

So, back to resolutions, I promise there's a conclusion with all those jumbled thoughts. This year, I want to focus on me. Not in a selfish, I'm-the-only-one-that-matters way, or in a depressed the-last-good-year-of-my-life way, either. Trust me when I say that. I also don't want to dismiss my marriage either, of COURSE I want to work on "us" and not just "me." But sometimes, I think you need to spend a little "me-time" to re-find yourself. And for me, this year, that means re-finding what makes me happy. I obviously know lots of things that make me happy, but I want to find MORE of what brings that true-happiness.

So this year, I'm going to purge myself of things that don't bring true happiness, and focus my energy on positive things. Which means I'll have to say "no" to some things that I really enjoy, but don't benefit me any (like maple donuts, wasted TV time, some design projects, etc.). And then exchange the items I get rid of with meaningful, healthy, positive replacements. So here it is, these are my resolutions:

This year I will create the healthiest me I can create, which has to do with what I put into my body physically, spiritually and mentally. As well as what actions I do with my body, such as exercise, enough sleep at night, meditation, yoga, stretching, walking, loving, and serving. I will feed my mind with books, art museums, and beautiful scenery. Which means I will need to do some light traveling, photography and hiking. I will create more meaningful relationships with those that I love (absolutely including my spouse and family members). And I will spend time with my hands creating beautiful things that make me happy, like flower arrangements, fresh bread, or hand-written designs. I will treat myself kindly by only allowing loving, positive thoughts about myself. And I will let go of what is out of my control.

Phew! I guess, when you're trying to make a better "you," it's hard to make a cut-and-dry list. This year I need more flexibility, I need full sentences of suggested ideas to create a better me. Loose resolutions that I can allow to morph as time goes on and I figure out what brings me true happiness.