The 4th of July is fast upon us, and like many of you, we’re hosting a big BBQ at our house. I both love and loathe this holiday – I love all the festivities, fireworks – and let’s face it – hot dogs (mildly obsessed). But the red, white and blue can get a little garrish in my opinion. Like Christmas, this holiday can get out of control quickly in the home decor department. So I’ve gathered up several easy and inexpensive ideas to bring some patriotism to your party, while keeping it part of your modern aesthetic.
God Bless America (and the Dollar Store)
Quick and Easy Vase & Votive Wrap
Download this free coaster design here
A simple patriotic label for your wine bottles
Who doesn’t love sparklers?
Have a happy holiday!
Are you an outdoorsy type? Certain aspects of the great outdoors appeal to me – the fresh mountain air, the quietness of a forrest, or even the surprise of seeing wildlife. What does not appeal to me? Days without showering, bears eating my breakfast, and sleeping on hard ground.
I remember being a kid: I was so excited to run outside into the darkness with a passel of grade school friends, wet grass under our feet, and pile into a tent pitched in my backyard to tell ghost stories. We passed a flashlight (and scary tales) around until we scared ourselves and came back inside.
Now, I still want a little adventure from a camping experience – but still with the comforts of home and maybe even the luxury of wine and spa treatments.
Glamping – or glamorous camping – is the perfect meeting of wilderness and convenience. We rounded up some of the most gorgeously designed tents, cabins, and glamp sites you could ever set your eyes on.
1. Shelter-co – Modern meets rustic under these amazing, canvas tents.
2. Fireside Resort – These architectural cabins in Jackson Hole are contemporary and way cool.
3. Dunton River Camp – If you want to truly flashback to the wild west, these renovated 1800s cabins are the way to go.
4. Pampered Wilderness – You can cozy up next to hiking trails, a winery, and all the amenities you need. But if we’re honest, these tents are so beautiful you many never want to leave.
Would you ever go glamping? Have you been? Tell us in the comments!
I have this dress that I got at a clothing swap about in San Francisco, and for several years, it lay dormant in my closet. Fast forward, it’s now my favorite dress and one I consistently get compliments on every time I wear it. The fitted yet comfy shape, plus the bold pattern seem to appeal to just about everybody. Since the dress is vintage (I think!) I’ve been on the hunt for similar silhouettes and patterns. Take a look at some of my favorites:
What’s your favorite summer attire??
Like most entrepreneurs, I’m constantly juggling a million balls in the air. I have a corporate 9-5 gig as a communications and public relations professional, and a side hustle as a writer for small businesses and publications. A normal day can mean 17 hours, thousands of words, and a handful of deadlines.
At times, I’ve felt overbooked, underpaid, and really close to a full-on burn out. It’s taken a few years and lots of lessons learned to hit my stride. Today, I’m happily balancing my passions, projects, and opportunities in a way that gives me energy instead of depleting it.
Below are my five non-negotiable mantras and tips I want every super busy, crazy creative to remember when chasing the dreams and hustling hard at what you love.
1. Manage your managers (and editors, and bosses, and clients….)
The biggest misconception about entrepreneurship is that you’re “your own boss.” That is sort of true: you decide what work you take, when you work, and what your day looks like. Still, if you’re in the business of making money as an entrepreneur, you will always have bosses. They’re called clients.
On a typical day, I’m working with about 7 or 8 managers across multiple blogs, online magazines, and small businesses. Not to mention the two bosses I answer to at my 9-5. I have managers, editors, and clients that need things from me and most believe they are the only ones. This is why it’s important to manage your managers. I am incredibly honest with each of them about my workload, and set boundaries that keep them from driving me absolutely insane. Those boundaries may be making it clear that I will not answer email after a certain time,won’t be responding to late-night “emergencies,” and lots of saying “I can’t do that, but this is what I can do…” and being consistently clear and concise about what I need and when I need it by.
In the end, the 80 percent rule applies: if you can accomplish 80 percent of your day’s to-do list, you’re doing pretty damn good. If you feel overwhelmed, under-accomplished, and at your wit’s end with editors, bosses, and clients: you need to start managing your managers.
2. Write it down.
Or type it out. Whatever you need to do to organize, prioritize, and remember your tasks: do that. I make a daily to-do list in a composition notebook. I also have the Whitney English Day Designer for mapping out long-term goals, to-dos, travel, and other important information. Obviously, I’m a writer at heart: typing away into an app or Google calendar doesn’t work for me (I’ve tried).
Experiment with your process and find what works best for you.
3. “I’ll get back to you.”
Okay, I’m kind of bad about this one. When someone pitches a project, assignment, or invitation to travel to a blogger conference or writer meet-up, I typically say “Yes! Absolutely!”
This is not the right answer, guys.
The right answer is, “I’m super interested! Can I get back to you with an answer in a couple of days?”
I usually do not have the attention span or mental bandwidth to fully understand what I’m committing myself to in the moment I’m being asked to commit. I also haven’t had the time to evaluate if the project aligns with my personal brand, how it meets my short-term or long-term goals, and what it means for my husband or family or free time. I’ve over committed, overbooked, and overstressed from saying “Yes!” when I should have said “I’ll get back to you.”
4. Eat right.
For the love of all that is good in this world, put down the sugar-laden frappuccinos and Red Bulls and candy and Arby’s fast-food and pick up food that fuels your body, mind, and motivation. I eat a fat-filled and protein-packed diet, usually following the Whole30 guidelines. I credit it for my energy to work a full day and hit the gym to lift weights afterward.
I know how shitty it feels to pound Red Bulls in the hopes you can keep your eyelids open for another meeting. Sugar enslaves you and definitely isn’t good for your creativity, mental clarity, or sanity. Cut it out and you will see amazing things happen.
5. Go to bed.
I used to stay up all night writing, designing, and working on client projects. It was a raging party of one, complete with lots of snacks and background-noise Netflixing and, in my mind’s eye, complete productivity.
That was all sort of true.
In reality, I was being undisciplined and it resulted in lots of cranky mornings and afternoon naps – time I could have spent working out or taking a break or grabbing a beer with my husband. Now, I am in bed by 9:30 pm.
Sleep is a non-negotiable.
What are some of your nonnegotiables? Tips for productivity? Leave them in the comments!
P.S. Want to know what my work looks like? You can check out all my latest projects here.
P.S.S. I divvy out words, advice, and tips for working creatives in my newsletters, called The Wild Series. Sign up here!
It’s been a hot couple of days here in the midwest! I’m not about to start complaining, anyway! Days like these only serve as the excuse for a couple of summer picnics, grill-outs, and the chance to crank out the perfect summer cocktail recipe. It was difficult to choose from ones we really, really liked. After careful consideration, however, we figured there’s no going wrong with these ones!
1. Coconut Margarita by Gimme Some Oven
2. Blueberry Mojito by The Novice Chef
3. Strawberry Gin Smash by The Kitchn
4. Raspberry Moscato Sangria by One Sweet Mess
5. Bourbon Cocktail by A Spicy Perspective
Which one will you be giving a try?
Our current intern Ashley is leaving us for much more important reasons – like raising a new human being – so we are on the hunt for a new Graphic Design Intern for our summer program. If you’re looking for real world experience (ie: actually designing cool shit, not running to get coffee), have a strong work ethic and love design – we want to talk!
We are looking for one smart, creative, and energetic graphic design intern to join our studio for our 2015 Summer Internship Program. Our clients are primarily in the wedding, hospitality, event & fashion industries, so a LOVE of pretty pictures and fun content is a must! These are 4-month, unpaid internships. School credit is preferred but not a requirement. Paid freelance work upon completion of the internship will definitely be considered for qualified candidates. Think this could be you? then please read below for all the details…
You will work on a variety of design projects (identity, print and mostly web) with an emphasis on marketing to help build a brand. I am looking for strong concepts, good typography, a strong understanding of the web, good use of grids and color, and appropriate styles for respective projects. There should be some thought behind your work. You will get hands-on experience how a design studio works, including various stages of projects from concept to completion along with participating in office duties in our creative shop. This position is a great opportunity for someone to learn the ins and outs of running a professional design business in a casual work environment.
Skills you’ll utilize and learn:
• research and concepting
• creation of mood boards and photoshop templates
• file organization
• print collateral design
• website wireframes & design
• designing email & promotional materials
• web & print production
** Bonus points if you’ve got video skills!
• Portfolio of design work that includes web, print, and identity projects
• DEMONSTRATED PROFICIENCY in PHOTOSHOP (masking, brushes, layers) is a must! Illustrator, and InDesign also requires proficiency
• Understanding of HTML is a plus
• Proactive, good at multi-tasking and crazy about the details
• Strong verbal and written communication skills
• Available to work 10-20 hours per week
• On-site intern given top priority but the right candidate will be considered if remote
• Ideally a design student but also not a steadfast requirement
Interested? Please send your resume and portfolio (please link to your website and/or client work) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please list “DESIGN INTERN” in your subject line and mention why you’d like to work at Spitfiregirl.
** LOOKING TO FILL BY MID JUNE, 2015 **
Due to the overwhelming response, we regret we cannot respond to every applicant. We will reply back in more detail to those we are interested in interviewing.
Epic Image Found Here
Summer 2015 will go down in history as the summer of braids – every celebrity from Blake Lively to Nina Dobrev is rocking the style, even on the red carpet. Braids are perfect for a dinner out or the beach, but mastering the looks can be hard! Luckily, it’s nothing a little YouTube tutorial bingeing and Pinterest-searching can’t solve. I especially love this tutorial for making a faux hawk braid.
Beach waves swept back into a braid is the most romantic, adventure-ready look you can do this summer. We rounded up some of our favorite inspirations – from side buns to fancy fishtails – and how to achieve the look. We hope these inspire!