THE SEXIEST HEADBOARD YOU’VE EVER SEEN #tinykelphouse update

We bought the #tinykelphouse in November of 2016 & it’s now almost November of 2017 and we are just getting around to revealing a piece of the “final” (as final as houses can ever be) product – INSANE, right? We thought we would start things off with a bang and show you the sexiest headboard there ever was. I mean…look at her!

This sassy babe is from Erika Upholstered Platform bed in Navy Velvet from Joss & Main and it is maybe the most luxe thing about my whole house!

Here is the deal, our little lake house is small – it’s not itty bitty – but it is small enough for us to be smart about what pieces we bring in and how we use our space. That being said, I am a huge believer in making the bedroom a sacred place. We have a no phone rule in the bedroom (I know, I know, you guys are like, shut up Lauren we get ittt… but seriously, if you still need convincing read here), we indulge in really comfortable pillows, and we don’t clutter the bedroom with extra mess and junk.

Our goal (I say “ours” but really I mandate it and G is nice enough to follow along) is to make the bedroom as stress free and relaxing as possible. Your life is busy enough, why bring in added stress to a place that is supposed to be comfortable and safe?

So when we saw the Erika we both were like, yep. that’s the one.

With a small house, you have to be mindful of space (obviously) and this bed frame is space conscience without feeling tiny. She is tall, so it adds a bit of drama. She isn’t wide, so she doesn’t take up a lot of space, and her frame is low without feeling like you are sleeping on the floor.

The Navy Velvet is deep and gorgeous and gives the room a perfectly moody vibe without leaving the room feeling dark and brooding. Plus, in my opinion, navy is acts almost like a neutral because it is super easy to decorate alongside. There are so many complimentary colors, accents, and textures you can use when styling around navy to make it timeless and unique all at the same time.

Basically, all this to say – headboards are back and fabulous and if you are in the market, you probably need the Erika. Pluuuus, she comes in some good colors! It’s never to early to start that wishlist…and you’ll probably need a project this Fall, maybe redecorating your bedroom is it! Can’t wait to hear what you think!


this post was in partnership with Joss & Main, all opinions are my own

WHY THESE BLINDS MAKE OUR HOME MAGICAL #tinykelphouse update

First of all, this is the first #tinykelphouse post!! That is a big freaking deal. We bought our little 700-sq.ft loveshack in New Buffalo just before Thanksgiving and are just now, JUST NOW, able to sleep in their with running water, a functioning bathroom, no doors yet, but hey…it’s no longer yellow and it’s ours! We did about 80% of the renovations ourselves (which…plaster dust is not for the faint of heart or those looking to test their relationship) and while I now go shopping for power tools more than shoes, I can honestly say it was way more fun than not.

Besides the dramatic impact of the house no longer being yellow, these blinds are INSANE. They legit make the house.
First of all, they come with a magical remote control.

Okay, wait, wait, wait…let’s back up to the beginning.

When researching blinds I came across The Shade Store & feel in love. Fast. If you live in Chicago, you’ve probably heard of them or seen their showroom at the Merchandise Mart and let me tell you…it’s magical. I worked with Carol (or as I like to call her, the magical unicorn) at the showroom and she answered all of my questions. Like, “I feel like window treatments are an adult purchase?” Also, “how the eff do I get started?”

We walked around the showroom, talking about paint colors, I showed her pictures of the space, a general design plan for the house, and the overall vibe of the place. Ultimately, we decided on these gorgeous linen roller shades for the living room and kitchen french doors. Guys, they are magical. I mean….LOOK AT THEM.

They are a perfect “not aggressive white but calm white” shade of linen, they keep out the heat of the sun without blocking the light completely, and they roll up to almost nothing. Besides that narrow bar at the top, there isn’t anything to them. No cords or thick bars, just narrow little strip at the top that rolls up like nothing.

Best part? Besides making my house look finished, refined, and totally chic? EVERYTHING IS ON A REMOTE!

Our magical installer programmed all four roller blinds on to a combined channel, so now if I want to roll all of them up or down, all I do is hit “0” on the remote & magiiiic. They each have their own channel too, so if I wanted to roll the main front door shade up, but keep the rest down, I hit channel “2” – WIZARDRY I TELL YOU.

Here is the deal – if you are looking to update your window treatments or just want to give your home a refresh – hit up The Shade Store. They are beyond helpful, kind, and informative plus the shades are absolutle magic. If you are local, ask for Carol, she is a wizard.


thanks to the shade store for sponsoring this post

7 WAYS I AM SIMPLIFYING THINGS THIS WEEK wellness challenge

If I am being honest – and we are all friends here, so of course I am being honest – this end of winter/beginning of spring in between season always kind of gets me down. Call it the wacky weather or maybe because the skies tend to be more gray than blue, either way, I get bummed out. So, in an effort to simplify things, I am trying to make some small changes with big results. So…for this weeks challenge….

Here are several ways I am trying to simplify my life this week. Some of these might be up your alley, some maybe not so much, but I would love to hear your thoughts!

1 – No more falling asleep with the TV on

I know, I know, it’s a bad habit, but some nights my mind is racing so much that the only thing that will help me go to sleep is watching mindless TV shows (Arrow, anyone?) But, as we all know, falling asleep to the TV doesn’t exactly provide the foundation for rest, now does it? This week, I am putting down the remote and picking up a good book.

2 – No more waking up & checking emails

Do you do this? It’s the first thing I do when I turn the alarm off at 5 a.m. It’s like clockwork. I turn off the alarm, refresh my email, check the news (depressing), and Instagram. Immediately I feel stressed and rushed and it’s no bueno. This week I am putting my phone on airplane mode and giving myself a little extra time in the morning to ease into things.

Airplane mode keeps all your notifications from coming through (i.e. no emails, calls, texts, Instagram notifications, and all the other nonsense you get notified about). Here is to hoping this small change makes a BIG difference.

3 – No more chips and salsa for dinner

Tell me I am not alone in the weeknight meal struggle. Sometimes it’s hard to whip up a meal after a long day, you know what I mean? And once the pizza guy knows your name, that relationship has to end ASAP.

For those of you who meal plan, I envy you. While it’s not hard, it is just a bit time-consuming which is always the hurdle. This week, my goal is to meal plan for three dinners, nothing crazy, just something basic and easy to work into being a fully functioning adult.

4 – No more double booking

Scheduling every moment of every day is exhausting and a fool-proof way to set your plans up for failure. Happy hours and catching up with friends are meant to be fun, not stressful. Try limiting your hangouts and catch-ups to two days or swapping the happy hour for a walk outside or spin class. This week I am opting for a fewer hangouts of higher quality – you in?

5 – No more stuffing & cramming

By no means am I a hoarder, but there are just certain things that I can’t seem to organize. Random match books, receipts, random screws, you know, normal things. And don’t even get me started about the chair. You know when clothes aren’t dirty enough for the hamper, but not clean enough for the hamper — it’s the chair. So between the chair, the random junk drawer, and the other corner piles, something has got to go. This week, it’s time to tackle the chair…

6 – No more elaborate morning routines

When I was in college I was all about the elaborate morning routine. I woke up, stretched, journaled, had some quiet time, made breakfast, showered AND blow dired my hair, plus probably singing to the plants and talking to the birds because that is how much freaking free time I had. Who the eff has that kind of time now? Not I, said the over scheduled fly, not I.

While I am still a huge proponent of a morning routine (we talked all about it here), mine looks way, way different. It is all about waking up 10 minutes early, leaving my phone on DND, meditating for a few minutes, and giving myself a little extra love – maybe some mornings that means actually make a breakfast, or taking time to do my hair, or hey, here’s a big one, trying to make that morning meeting on time.

This goes for evening routines too! 

7 – No more multiple outfit changes per morning

I am notorious for changing multiple times in a morning, are you that way? Even if I think I know what I want to wear, majority of the time I spend half the morning picking out shoes or switching a top – it’s a nightmare. Your decision making skills begin to decline once you’ve made a certain amount of decisions in a day (it takes a lot of energy to make decisions all day and your brain gets tired), so spending a lot of time and energy on choosing an outfit takes away strong decision-making skills from something else.

This week I am giving my brain a hand and selecting outfits ahead of time, that way I don’t have to worry about it!

What about you? What changes have you made in your life to feel less stressed?


photography by Iron & Honey

IGNORE YOUR PHONE wellness challenge

Last week I met a girlfriend for lunch and as I sat there waiting for her, I couldn’t help but notice that someone at every table was on their phone. Everyone either had their phone face up on the table, in their lap, or they were endlessly scrolling away on it. Not just the majority of tables, but every single table had phones out, face up, ready to distract them from a fabulous lunch with someone they wanted to grab lunch with.

I watched as people felt the buzz of their phone, put down their silverware mid-conversation, and replied, scrolled, clicked, and ‘grammed. We are all guilty of this & I get it, it’s easy to multitask, but I had to wonder how, after being plugged in and available to everything/everyone all day, we are able to refill ourselves and…to a maybe larger question…how is it changing us? Is unplugging the new freedom?

You’ve read a million articles, heard a trillion podcasts, and I am sure have had several thousand conversations about digital detoxing, it’s benefits, it’s downfalls, and all the peaks and perils in between. And while I am a huge fan of putting boundaries on your tech use (no phones in the bedroom, shut your tv off by a certain time, etc.), I get that not everyone has that luxury, or that tech serves different uses for different people. But, here is what I want to challenge us to try this week…ignore your phone at meal time. That’s it.

Studies show that time away from technology

help improve posture and eye contact

improve short and long term memory

open up new perspectives

makes you seem more trustworthy

improves relationship quality and sense of closeness

makes people want to talk to you more

Don’t pull your phone out of your bag, or nestle it in your lap. Don’t allow yourself the temptation of looking at it every time you feel a buzz or a high pitched chime, turn it on silent. Hey, maybe go crazy and just leave it in another room while you eat at home. What could be the worst thing that happens?

This week, try thinking these three simple thoughts:

I put my phone on silent if I know I am going to be with other people in a social setting.

I leave my phone in my bag, rather than on the table, so it’s harder to access.

I look more open, trustworthy, and friendly without a phone in my hand.

photography by the fabulous Iron & Honey

sources Fast Company & Scientific American

TURMERIC IS THE NEW BLACK wellness challenge

Turmeric and ginger latte recipe via Lauren KelpI was at a swank little coffee shop in the West Loop the other day and saw “Golden Latte” on the menu, so naturally, I ordered it because it sounded weird and maybe magical and I have to say…I was very pleasantly surprised!

Little did I know that this fancy latte has a cult following. You’ve heard of matcha lattes, but have you heard of the latest wonder drink – turmeric lattes? From Sydney to San Fran, people are ditching their morning cups of joe for this healthy alternative and swearing by it’s many magical benefits.

What are the benefits you ask?

  • anti-inflammatory
  • potent antioxidant
  • boosts immunity and brain power
  • aids in muscle pain relief
  • helps with digestion
  • reduces cholesterol
  • lowers risk of diabetes
  • helps fight infection, depression, anxiety, and I am sure a bunch of other annoying ailments
  • PLUS it’s amazing for your skin and a great source of natural caffeine

Okay, so here is my health challenge for the week — I am going to swap out two of my weekly morning cups of coffee for turmeric lattes and see how it goes. Join me?

Ginger and Turmeric Lattee
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 cup
 
Soothing and delicious latte that is packed full of anti-inflammatory properties.
Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon of chopped ginger
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • 1 cup of almond milk
Instructions
  1. Combine turmeric, ginger, sugar, and coconut oil in a blender and wait to blend
  2. Heat almond milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until just simmering.
  3. Pour the hot almond milk into the blender and blitz everything until smooth and frothy.
  4. Serve, sip, & enjoy!

Turmeric and ginger latte recipe via Lauren Kelp

 

DEEP BREATHING TO MANAGE ANXIETY wellness challenge

Deep breathing for anxiety via Lauren Kelp

Maybe it is the season or the current state of affairs (can we just get one day without a CNN alert, puhhlease), but I have become increasingly more and more anxious. I have never considered myself someone who has anxiety but recently I find myself becoming stressed more easily and overwhelmed more quickly – which is gross and super not fun. So, this week I am trying to give myself a minute to take some deep breaths whenever I am feeling anxious and overwhelmed. Join me?

DEEP BREATHING FOR WHEN YOU ARE FEELING ANXIOUS

1. Close your eyes and take a deep inhale through your nose for five seconds

2. Exhale through your mouth for good five seconds

3. Now repeat and count to 10 (an inhale is “1” and exhale is “2” and so on)

4. If you need another go, count to 20 or until you feel more zen

I have started doing this when I get overwhelmed with work or in rush hour traffic (sans the closing eyes bit) and it has really helped take the edge of the situation. Do you find deep breathing to be helpful? Excited to be working towards a less anxious week with you!

Deep breathing for anxiety via Lauren Kelp

HOLD PLEASE, YOU NEED A DESERT VACATION we are going to Arizona, like ASAP

ultimate winter getaway via lauren kelpOoh we’ve got the winter blues baaaad. Remember all those happy pictures of cacti, fresh citrus, and magic cloud-less skies we posted a few weeks ago? Yeah, me neither. Now that Chicago has turned all rainy, cold, and icky, we are trying to figure out how we can become snowbirds and ditch this winter weather.

Have you ever been to Arizona? It’s oddly not a place many people think to visit, unless you are an actual snowbird, and then it’s probably at the top of your list. The hubs and I live in Phoenix for a quick year while he was going to graduate school & I can honestly say it was one of the best years of my life.ultimate winter getaway via lauren kelpBetween the weather (sure the summers are hot, but there is nothing better than having 75 degree Januarys), the rad landscape (read: cacti & mountains everywhere you look), the amazing food, & array of adventure activities – it was an absolute blast. Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of going back to the desert for a week with Visit Mesa & Visit Phoenix and it was nothing short of exactly what the doctor ordered.ultimate winter getaway via lauren kelp

For all you cold weather dwellers that go to Mexico, Florida, or Palm Springs to escape the weather, this is my note to you on why you should absolutely make Arizona your winter getaway.

#1 – THE SCENERY

Let me tell you, nothing shakes the dust off faster than waking up in the morning and going for a good hike. By the end, you have worked yourself out of that funk, kicked those winter blues, and accomplished something major all by 9am. It is the absolute best & both Mesa and Phoenix have amazing hikes.

Usery Mountain is gorgeous & so do-able if your hiking skills need a little work. The switchbacks aren’t steep & the scenery is absolutely breathtaking. I mean, just look, there are giant saguaros everywhere.

For those more advanced, you can’t visit Phoenix and not take a trip to Camelback Mountain. This is an absolute must for a sunrise hike. Watching the sunrise over the city is such a cool experience. Again, a little more challenging, but who says you have to make it to the very top? There are plenty of places to take in the scenery and watch the city wake up.

ultimate winter getaway via lauren kelp

#2 – THE FOOD

You think New York, LA, and Chicago have great food? Just wait until you’ve tried some of the local spots in Arizona. If farm to table is up your alley, Mesa has this great Fresh Foodie Trail that you can follow all along the Valley. From a local olive mill to urban gardens and back, the FFT allows you to eat your way across the desert while learning about why sustainable food is important and actually kind of cool.

Now if you consider yourself a bit of a foodie, downtown Phoenix is the stop for you. Sam Fox, owner of Fox Restaurant Concepts, is the king of the food scene in Arizona. From the most delicious local lunch spot, Flower Child (go, it’s amazing, you won’t want to eat anywhere else) to the swank, highly Instagram-able neighborhood spot, The Henry, you literally can’t go wrong. I recommend going on a self-guided tour of his spots – I promise, you won’t be disappointed!

ultimate winter getaway via lauren kelp

#3 – THE ACTIVITIES

Okay, now it really starts to get good. You’ve got great hikes, amazing food, now you just need stuff to fill in the gaps. Get ready for some of the most fun you’ve had in a long time.

Last week I did yoga with goats (read about my hysterical experience here), flew on a trapeze, and watched the sunrise in a hot air balloon. I did all of those things in the span of 24-hours. I mean, that’s insane!

If you are looking for something to get you out of your comfort zone, I could not recommend a flying trapeze class more. It is such a wild ride. Here is the thing; I am not a big heights person. My toes tend to go numb and I start swearing a lot and my palms get all hot & bothered, it’s really cute. But once you grab ahold of the trapeze bar and swing in the air for the first time, you are hooked. You are more than safe, hooked in at all times, and you’ve got like three nets under you at all time – so you can relax about that. You fall, you flip, you even do some fancy Cirque thing where someone catches you – it’s an absolute blast. We flew with iFly Trapeze at The Phoenician and it’s so easy to sign up. Just visit their website, show up, and have Marco & Robin teach you how to become trapeze masters. I am serious, go – you won’t regret it.

Have you ever taken a hot air balloon ride? If not, it really is a bucket list item. Again, not crazy about heights, but after riding with Hot Air Expeditions in Phoenix, I can honestly say there is nothing to worry about. The initial take off is super slow and smooth & you just kind of glide. There is nothing fast about the process and you don’t shake or swing, it’s just nice and steady. We flew over the Sonoran desert at 6,000-feet watching the sunrise along the Valley and it was truly breathtaking. After about an hour at varying different heights, you land in the middle of the desert to a champagne breakfast – very classy. Our guide, John, shared a brief history of hot air ballooning and we cheers-ed over a successful trip, a beautiful landscape, and amazing views. It was epic.

 

ultimate winter getaway via lauren kelp

#4 – THE AMENITIES

Half of the fun of visiting the desert is getting to stay at one of the many amazing hotels. We stayed at The Phoenician in Scottsdale and it was an absolute dream. Their rooms are so well designed & lux (between the marbled wallpaper and gigantic tub, I wanted to move in) and the property is stunning. You are tucked at the base of Camelback Mountain so no matter where you look, mountains surround you – it’s very cool. Plus their spa is a dream. Rumor has it that the spa is getting a major upgrade next year, so that alone is an excuse to book a stay.

With seven pools, several tennis courts, a fabulous gold course, and incredible restaurants, there is literally something for everyone. It is so serene and quiet; you can’t help but just melt on to a lounge chair and relax the day away. Can you tell I already want to go back?!

ultimate winter getaway via lauren kelp


This experience was in collaboration with Visit Mesa & Visit Phoenix.
As always, hosts have no editorial influence on articles.

IT’S LIKE YOUR NORMAL YOGA, BUT WITH GOATS the most hysterical workout of your life

goat yoga in arizona via lauren kelpLast week I got to gallivant around Mesa & Phoenix, Arizona going on hot air balloon rides, learning how to fly on a trapeze, and lots of other fabulous adventures that I can’t wait to tell you about. But maybe the most hysterical and unique experience of the week was a morning goat yoga class…

All you American Ninja Warrior fans, remember April Gould the “Goat Whisperer” from 2015 & 2016? Well she has partnered with long-time friend, Sarah Williams (who, if you ever visit Arizona, has one of the best SUP companies around – Desert Paddleboards) to bring you one of two goat yoga experiences in the country.goat yoga in arizona via lauren kelp

Truthfully, the experience is hysterical and unlike anything I have ever done. You drive out to April’s farm just outside Phoenix, let yourself into the gated field, and check your normal notions about yoga at the door.

It starts off normally enough, everyone doing some stretches and some basic poses to warm up, the only thing that might be different from your normal class at the gym, is that there are a bunch of goats running around in tiaras, feather boas, and crowns.
goat yoga in arizona via lauren kelpSarah leads the group in beginner yoga poses while April walks around with the goats. She places dried fig leaves in front of your mat so the goats will come over, hang out, and munch a little. They share their story, talk about why goats are awesome, and just encourage you to relax and have a little fun.

Between you and me, I was totally confused. I live in the city, I don’t casually interact with goats on a regular basis, and I think the last time I pet an animal outside of a dog was at my grade school field trip to the petting zoo. I had no idea what to expect. Don’t they bite? I think I am afraid of them jumping on me? What if I can’t hang? I had a series of questions…goat yoga in arizona via lauren kelpAbout 15 minutes in, Sarah leads us into a downward dog & that is when things start to get crazy. Starting at one end and working around the circle, April leads one of the smaller goats up on your back and the goat just kind of hangs out there. If you are close enough to your partner, the goat will hop from person to person quite happily.

It was a freaking riot! At the point, all intentions of practicing yoga go out the window, and all eyes are on the goat. Not to mention that there was a little kid (less than a week old) running around, so naturally all I cared about was snuggling the hell out of it.goat yoga in arizona via lauren kelpIf you are there with a group (which we had a birthday party & a bachelorette party in the group) April & Sarah will lead you in group poses and the goat joins right in. Hoping up on the top of the pyramid or right on top of you while doing a partner plank. Don’t worry, everyone is happy to take a picture and capture the hilarious scene.

When you visit Arizona (and you should absolutely visit) you’ve got to stop by Arizona Goat Yoga. The classes are basically free ($10) & you have to sign up in advance on their website, but I promise, it will be one of the most hysterical things you’ve done in a long time. Going with friends or a family vacation? This is an absolute must! Nothing says next years holiday card, like a human pyramid with a goat on top of dear old Dad.goat yoga in arizona via lauren kelp


photos by Kristen Carter Photography
This experience was in collaboration with Visit Mesa & Visit Phoenix. As always, hosts have no editorial influence on articles.

GETTING YOUR BUSINESS SH*T TOGETHER

get your business stuff together with lauren kelp

Friends! Let me introduce you to the fabulous Bianca Sansosti of Bianca Sansosti Artistry. She is here to help us kick off our latest series – Get Your Sh*t Together. If you are like me, constantly running around with a never ending to-do list, this series is all about helping you get your life together from business to beauty to health to career, it’s all in there & it’s going to be awesome!


After 10 years of working for other companies, both as a traditional employee and then management, and now starting & owning my own company, I’ve learned a ton about running a small business. I’m also a firm believer in learning from others’ mistakes, so I’ve also learned a lot of what NOT to do. I find that so many small business owners really have no idea what they are doing and are working blindly. Most don’t come from a business background, and that’s totally OK! So many don’t even know where to start, so I’m here to let you know that it’s time to Get Your Sh*t Together so you can start your journey to success.

1. HIRE YOUR CABINET

You are the president of your company, and every president needs their cabinet & trusted advisers. I’m talking about your lawyer and your accountant. These are imperative people in your business, especially if you don’t have a business background (and even if you do). Your lawyer is going to help you decide how to organize your business (sole proprietor, LLC, corporation) and draw up any documents you will use, like client contracts, and can go over your policies & procedures to ensure they’re legal in the state you’re operating. Your accountant is going to help you through the financial process of bookkeeping and filing your taxes. Don’t know which accounts to use to classify different expenses? Don’t know what a chart of accounts or a balance sheet is? Your accountant will tell you. It may not seem at first that these things matter when your business is small and operated solely by you, but they are crucial, no matter the size of your company, to protect you and your assets & success, especially as your company grows.

2. NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK

Go to local networking events for your industry, and even the networking events that aren’t specific to your industry (you never know who you will meet). 85% of my business comes from referrals, they are GOLD. The more people begin to know you, the more credibility you have. Credibility = Trust, Trust = $$$. There are also many events geared towards women entrepreneurs & women owned small businesses – women supporting women is a key to our success.

3. FIGURE OUT YOUR BRANDING

Your brand is more than just your logo. Your brand needs to be cohesive amongst everything you do and needs to be reflected in every way you run your business. It also needs to reflect your clientele and your mission. It is what you will be known by and associated with. Your branding needs to flow in every tiny corner of your business. The Ritz-Carlton is known for their chocolate chip cookies which welcome guests. This is all part of their branding and how branding applies to every facet of your business. A branding consultant can be an investment, but finding the right one will give you a large return in the end. I know I keep repeating the word “branding” a lot – because it’s really, really, important. When you have to make a decision about something, ask yourself which option reflects your branding best.

4. “FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION”

This was the most important principle they ingrained in us in design school. When we were designing rooms & buildings & furniture in school, it meant that the functionality of our design needed to come first before the aesthetic, basically. If it doesn’t work or make sense, it doesn’t matter what it looks like, because it’s useless. Guess what? That’s true for business, too. If you don’t have your internal systems, processes, and policies figured out, it doesn’t matter how good your product or service is. Those are the foundations of your business and what make up customer service. You don’t have to have it all figured out at first – it’s going to take some trial & error, and learning from mistakes that will happen. Have a beginning game plan, and go from there. It’s always going to be a work in progress, especially as your business grows and evolves. I still make changes to my policies and processes and contracts as new things happen. It’s never going to be 100% complete.

5. BE HUMBLE & KIND

Not to sound too much like Mr. Tim McGraw here, but it’s true. Your professionalism and the way you carry yourself leave a lasting impression on everyone you meet. Remember your manners, be gracious and nice to people. So many people I know in the creative world are amazing at what they do, but have egos bigger than they can manage, and just aren’t nice people to be around or work with. So guess what? I don’t refer clients to them, no matter how good their work is. Show your gratitude to clients and referral sources. An email is nice as an immediate follow up, but you’re a business owner now. Invest in beautiful stationary, with your branding, and take the time to write someone a thank you note and send it in the mail. That person took the time to think of you & your business. It will be remembered. Every time I see one of my biggest referral sources, she always brings up to me how much she loved the beautiful thank you card I sent her after our first meeting, a year later, and how she has it sitting on her desk. It left a lasting impression on her. Start with baby steps in your business. You don’t have to be perfect, and you won’t be. This advice doesn’t have to just apply to new businesses – if you already have your business, use it as guidance to re-evaluate what you’re doing, which we all need to do every so often. Like Steve Jobs said, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”


bianca-button

3 WAYS TO STAY HEALTHY DESPITE A BUSY SCHEDULE

three ways to stay well besides a busy schedule via lauren kelp
It’s easy to dream about keeping a schedule that’s perfectly balanced between self-care and being productive on a calm Sunday afternoon. However, as soon as the work week starts and things get a little crazy, all of that self-care and balance usually tends to go out the window. Most of us almost always fall back into old habits as soon as things become a little bit challenging. So how do you combat that? How do you set yourself up for a successful week even when you’re super busy? Here are three simple tips that can make a world of difference.

 

START YOUR MORNING IN A PEACEFUL WAY

Instead of waking up and immediately checking your email, pause and take a few deep breaths. This small change will make such a big difference in the way you feel throughout the day. If you want to take it a step further, try not to check your phone until you’ve gotten out of bed and stepped into the other room. Giving yourself space from the outside world and all of your responsibilities will help you feel more calm and grounded as you begin your day.

 

BE PREPARED WITH HEALTHY SNACKS

Eating well when you’re really busy can be challenging. That’s why it’s so important to have a little bit of foresight and to plan ahead, especially when you know you’re going to have a crazy week. Have your desk or bag stocked with a couple of healthy snack options at all times. This could be anything from fresh fruit to your favorite nut (preferably unsalted), or a minimally processed protein bar. Making sure you have healthy snacks allows you to make better choices when you get hungry in the middle of the day and you’re pressed for time. A little bit of planning can really go a long way here.

 

TAKE TIME TO REST

Amidst your busy schedule it can be really easy to forget the value of downtime, but don’t be mistaken, it’s incredibly important! Carving out a little bit of intentional downtime every night (yes, every night!) will absolutely help you be well and stay well. I say intentional downtime because it’s very different from mindlessly falling down an internet rabbit hole and staring at your phone for 30 minutes. When your resting time is intentional it allows your mind and body to get on board with one another which will help you really chill out. You can read, listen to music, even just spend time drinking a cup of tea and chatting with your partner or friend- the sky’s the limit as long as you feel relaxed.

 

There you have it! Three ways to be well even with a busy schedule. No matter how much you have going on, I’m confident you can make the time to take a deep breath in the morning, buy some healthy snacks, and take a few minutes to rest in the evening. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.