Create52 // DIY Gold Script Art

Does anybody else feel like January was just a trial month? Even though I love all the reflection, planning and goal setting January typically brings, starting off the year sick, stressed and running off very little sleep did not make for a very inspiring month. Instead, I’m declaring February my fresh start. It helps that my birthday is in February so I can really focus on what I want my 24th year to look like.

With 52 weeks before I turn 25, I decided to embark on another #create52 challenge, a year of dedicating time each week to a creative endeavor. The first time I did this, I was in my junior year of college. Even though I didn’t finish out the year (the fall of my senior year got so crazy busy), I loved the emphasis I was able to put on creative, just-for-fun projects.

I love that it’s not a challenge that requires me to do something every day. Life can get busy without totally throwing me off track. I also love that I don’t feel the need to commit to a certain type of project, like 30 days of hand lettering or 100 days of painting. I enjoy being a “Jill of all trades” so my weekly projects can include anything from trying out a new knitting pattern, sewing up something for myself, or making gifts for others. This challenge gives me room to both explore new ideas and finish up projects that have been sitting on the backburner.

For example, my first #create52 project was this DIY wall art that’s been floating around in my mind for well over a year. The inspiration came from this post by Elise Blaha Cripe. I loved the giant handwriting and the simple, but sentimental concept. While Elise’s black and white version is stunning, I wanted something with a little less contrast so I used gold paint instead. I used super basic gold paint from Michael’s for the first coat and then went back over everything with Martha Stewart liquid gilding.

I love the shimmery effect the gold paint has and how you can’t quite catch all the words from one angle alone. Every time I see it, I’m transported back to a sweet moment from when Eric and I were first dating.

And happily, I now already have one project checked off my bucket list!

Have you ever done a weekly or daily challenge? I’d love to know!

If you want to follow along with my #create52 projects, be sure to follow me on Instagram or look for the hashtag!

My One Little Word: A Reflection on 2016 and Goals for 2017

In 2016, I focused on being nimble.¬†Nimble was the perfect word for me this last year, and it’s a word I am nowhere near being done with.

Nimble was all about a mindset shift and learning how to bend without breaking. Nimble was about how I react and deal with the circumstances around me.

Being nimble meant embracing, rather than fighting against, the different seasons I was in throughout the year. There were seasons in which I focused almost exclusively on my health. There were seasons in which I prioritized my work. And there were seasons that focused on relationships and the people in my life.

Being nimble also challenged me on a daily basis. I tend to be rigid and stubborn when I think things should be a certain way. Reminding myself to be nimble helped get rid of the “shoulds” and alleviate the anxiety I felt in those situations without feeling as though I was giving up. It helped me focus on the bigger picture and recognize what was most important.

Learning to be nimble in my approach is by no means a simple process. It’s something that I hope to continue building upon this year. In fact, I’m certain that I will be working on being more nimble for the rest of my life.

This is my third year picking a guiding word to live out the next 12 months by. The first two years, my words seemed to pick me. They popped into my head sometime in the fall and felt like just what I needed in my life at that time. This year, there was no magic moment where my word came to me. Instead, I had to get a lot more intentional about picking my word based on the feelings I want to cultivate.

ENOUGH

Nimble pushed me more than I expected, and I am grateful for that, but this year I want to settle in. I want to let go. I want to not put so much pressure on myself and my current situation, whatever that may be.

While the word “enough” could feel like pulling back, I see it as an active word that will build on my intentions throughout 2016. I still want to make big things happen in this new year, but I want to approach those things from a place of enough.

I want to let go of the frantic hustle and have grace with the realities of my day-to-day life. While I want to work hard towards my goals and am starting out this year with a very full plate, I want to do so from a place of contentment. I want to grow and change while knowing that this, right here, is enough.

This year, I have three primary intentions for how I want “enough” to show up in my life:

  • I have enough. I have enough time for the things that are important. I have enough money to make changes in my life. I have enough stuff – more than enough.
  • I am enough. The person I am right now is exactly who I need to be. I can still grow and change, but do so knowing that I am enough just as I am.
  • This, right here, is enough. No more setting unrealistic expectations. I want to focus on being content with and appreciative of the moment I am in. I want to let go of the “shoulds” and just work on the things I want to achieve.

Along with that, a few of my more concrete goals are:

  • Moving more and making a habit of clean eating.
  • Creating and documenting more. Specifically, I want to complete my #create52 challenge (more on that later), get into the habit of daily journaling, and document the year with a combination of Project Life and Ali Edwards’ One Little Word class (which you can see in the images throughout this post).
  • Spend less. This year, I want to finish paying off my car loan and build up an emergency fund.

I’m so excited to find out what enough looks like for me this year.

Do you pick a word for the year? I’d love to know what words or goals are guiding you in 2017.

How to Create Your Own Style Uniform: College Edition

If there’s one thing college taught me about fashion, it was the importance of having a personal uniform of go-to outfits you can throw on in the morning with zero effort and without resorting to wearing sweatpants.

While I still loved pulling together the perfect outfit to wear to class or out with friends, I learned that having a go-to outfit is essential for those mornings where you really just want to hit that snooze button one more time. Throughout my time on campus, I built a repertoire of pieces I could mix and match to create a stylish outfit in less time than it takes me to brush my teeth.

Even though I’ve been out of school for over a year now, some of these combinations have continued to be staples for the office and the concept of having a style uniform has helped me transition into a new work wardrobe with ease.

Read on for some of my go-to on-campus (and now weekend) looks.

Field Jacket + Button Down + Ponte Pants

Ponte pants are the perfect base to any comfortable yet stylish look. Pair them with a utilitarian jacket, a chambray shirt, and a patterned scarf for a layered look that will get you through the day of shifting temperatures. Add a warm coat if it’s extra chilly out, then shed layers in a warm classroom.

Cardigan + Ponte Pants + Boots

I don’t think I could live without my cozy cardigans. They are my favorite pieces to wrap up in and can be warm enough to wear without a coat over top. The geometric print and pop of teal make add some fun and trendy touches to this ultra-comfy look.

Oversized Sweater + Scarf

A last-minute outfit doesn’t get any easier than comfy leggings, an oversized sweater, and a cute scarf. Switching up the sweater and scarf make for endless options with the same basic formula.

Here’s a breakdown of my college uniform essentials:

  • Ponte skinnies. Because they’re made with a ponte knit fabric, these feel just like a pair of comfy leggings, but function and look like a pair of pants. The best part? The super-thick material prevents the wardrobe malfunctions that are common with leggings that are too thin and too sheer.
  • Chambray shirt. I wear mine all the time with different scarves layered on top. It’s the perfect unassuming layer – no one will notice if you wear it constantly!
  • Oversized sweater. This is so easy to toss on with a pair of ponte paints or jeggings, and there are so many different styles out there that you’re bound to find the perfect one (or three!) for you. I like to buy sweaters a couple of sizes too big to make sure they’re perfectly slouchy.
  • Cozy cardigan. These cardigans can basically double as blankets and are the coziest thing you can wear during a long day on campus.
  • Infinity scarf. Nothing adds instant style and comfort like looping an infinity scarf around your neck. Just vary the color, pattern, or texture of your scarf and the same old outfit will feel new again.
  • Loose-fitting tee or tank. This is perfect for layering under one of those chunky cardigans without losing out on any of the coziness. You can also wear it under an unbuttoned chambray shirt for a different look.
  • Accessories. Make your go-to outfit a little more special by adding your favorite pair of boots, a colorful watch, or a fun headwrap.

By switching around these pieces within a few basic combinations, I had a seemingly endless number of outfits to pull from, even when working within a capsule wardrobe.

Stay tuned for my updated office style uniforms!

This post originally appeared on College Fashion.

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