Currently: It's March?!



Watching: In my spare time I've been devouring HGTV like no one's business. Fixer Upper, Love it or List it, and House Hunters have been on constant rotation (thanks Netflix). All I've wanted to do lately is renovate a house, pick paint colors, and use words like "open floor plan."

Reading: Wanting to really start Jack Kerouac's On The Road. I'm one chapter in so far and it's been collecting dust on my shelves for the past few weeks. It's time to commit to reading for fun again.

Listening To: Everything You Are by Ed Sheeran, Black Sun by Death Cab for Cutie, and Make Me Wanna by Thomas Rhett.

Wearing: Double layers, chunky scarves, boots, and beanies because it's been snowing!

Eating: I've been trying to eat healthier this month! I cleaned out my kitchen cabinets and my fridge and did an entire food makeover. I've been taking a lot of inspiration from Vegan/Paleo bloggers and though I could never give up meat/cheese entirely, I feel more compelled to eat all the fruits/veggies! I'm still very much in the exploratory stage of making over my day to day food intake. However, I'm trying little by little to make this a lifestyle change that's forever.

Working On; Lots of work projects, getting my personal portfolio site up to par, and attempting to keep myself accountable and active in every other area of life (blogging, health, family, relationships, personal growth, etc).

Wanting: a road trip, warmer weather/longer days, more hours in a day, and to keep working on my apartment.

Loving: fresh flowers, rose gold creme eyeshadow, the idea of spring, little traditions, and this blog.


What've you been up to? Let me know!

Designer Toolbox - Tools I Use to Create (UPDATED)


With an internship and a major centered around design, it's no wonder why I feel like I'm constantly designing. I wrote the first version of the post awhile ago, but I thought it was high time for an update. As time has passed I've equipped my toolbox with a ton of new resources (yay) and thought I'd share them with you. I know I love finding new resources, so hopefully you will too.

I tried to include only resources I've tried personally or have heard really great things about from trusted sources. I also tried to include mostly free resources and mention any student discounts/benefits. Design CAN be affordable if you're resourceful!

So, without further ado, here's what's in my 'designer toolbox.'


Programs
Adobe Creative Cloud - I pay monthly to have every program I need at my finger tips! All the programs are the most up-to-date versions and are continuously updated as needed. Also, the student pricing makes life easier for those people like me who are on a budget.

Inspiration
Blank Notebook - Sketching out ideas is always a great place to sort out what's working and not working. Plus, it's a great place to cull the craziest of ideas that may not seem possible on the computer.

Behance - A perfect place to showcase your work and discover amazing artists/photographers/creators and their work. It's also a great place to find the occasional freebie (I've found some awesome font freebies here!)
Dribbble - Looking at other people's work is always great inspiration! Looking to fellow artists and past artists in history is also a great way to wrap your mind around new ideas and ways to execute them.

Pinterest - these boards are my go-to's for some quick inspo (one|two|three|four)
The Die Line - Another great resource for seeing other people's awesome work.

Design Inspiration - Exactly what the name entails!

Free Fonts
Lost Type
Fonts of Chaos
Free Typography
Dafont

Fontshop - not free, but still a great compilation of fonts.

Stock Photos
Unsplash - 10 new high quality stock photos uploaded every 10 days. Totally free. Random assortment, but always something useful.

Death to Stock Photography - Sign up for a free monthly pack of high quality stock images. There's also a premium option if you'd like an extra pack per month. Also, you get a free pack just for signing up!
Little Visuals - 7 new high quality stock photos uploaded every 7 days. Totally free. Has a very similar vibe to Unsplash. Usually all of the new images revolve around the same theme (ex: landscape). 
Flickr Creative Commons - Utilize a whole library of images/textures/etc for personal use and with attribution

Backgrounds/Icons
Subtle Patterns - I used this when constructing my current blog design. Has tons of seamless and subtle pattern options.
The Noun Project - grab vector icons of almost anything you can imagine. Use most icons for free with attribution. If you choose a paid account, you don't have to attribute. I use this one tons!
Free Vector Maps - an unexpected, but surprisingly useful resource.

Other Resources
Creative Market - great place to gather tons of web goods. There's everything from fonts to textures to icons to whatever else you can think of!

Pixden - linking you to free stuff (tons of mockups and other graphic resources)
Graphic Burger - again, linking you to the freebies (mockups, icons, photos, etc).
Designer Toolbox - great for finding out standard sizes for things like business cards and envelopes. It even has a Lorem Ipsum generator.
Mood Boards - These from Betty Red Designs are wonderful!

Mockups - affordable, professional looking, and awesome for a cohesive looking project presentation for your portfolio.
Guide Guide - Photoshop extension that helps easily create grids.
Websta.me - Create instagram galleries for mockups or to add to your blog/site.
ColourLovers - Compile/create awesome and cohesive color palettes for all you needs
Color CC - The perfect online color wheel 

Website Building
Virb - Intuitive to use, nice themes, highly customizable, and free to student for an entire year with a valid .edu email address ($10 a month normally)! Perfect for soon to be grads looking create the perfect portfolio site and land that job!
Squarespace - Intuitive building platform with a bevy of gorgeous themes make this a great option for just about anyone to build a professional looking website.
Wordpress - Timeless and highly customizable. So many of my favorite websites, blogs, and portfolio sites are built on Wordpress. 

Productivity/Time Keeping
To-Doist 

Teux Deux
Any.do
Wunderlist
Trello
Toggl
Tomato Timer

Learn Something
Skillshare
Lynda
A Beautiful Mess E-Courses


Do you have any specific websites/tools/apps you use to do your best work (no matter what your field of interest)? Please share!

Friday Links on a Wednesday (Because Who Couldn't Use Some Mid-week Inspiration?)

It's Wednesday. I feel motivated today, which is awesome. Maybe one of you needs some mid-week inspiration too?


P.S. - planning out lots of posts! Be back super soon!

Where I'm At Today





I'm somewhere between waking up and work, work and school, school and the gym, the gym and homework. I'm somewhere between starving and full, happily content and crazily dissatisfied, having nothing to do and having everything to do. I'm somewhere between one deadline and the next, one weekend and the next, one exam and the next, one project and the next, one break and the next. I'm somewhere a FaceTime with Jack and a visit home to see him and squeeze him. I'm somewhere between high school grad and college grad and soon I'll be somewhere between college grad and fully functioning, employed adult. Then there will be that endless stretching time where I will be somewhere between employed and dead. I'm somewhere between one paycheck and the next, one bill and the next, and one week or month and the next. I'm somewhere between caring and asleep, inspired and bored. I'm somewhere between single and married. I'm somewhere between exhausted sleep and somewhat less exhausted waking, late night tea and a hurried morning breakfast.

I'm somewhere between an idea and a blog post. I never quite make it. I guess today I did, but even so, I'm still only just between this blog post and the next.

Life happens in the magical middle, the mundane in-between.