July Favorites in Design, Biz, and Motherhood

Another month gone! It's funny how, as I evolve as a person, it manifests in all the different areas of my life. For example, I resolved not too long ago to go through life with a more grateful spirit, really taking stock of my blessings & victories, big & small. At the top of the year I'd even started a gratitude & happiness board (although I haven't kept up as I should) where at the end of each day, I'd write down on a post thought 1 thing that happened that day that made me happy or that I was thankful for -- everything from a new amazon package to a new client. I've decided to take it a step further, and now, at the end of every month, I'm going to share with you a round up of things that brought me happiness, clariity, and peace -- one for each day of the month -- in hopes that they'll do the same for you.

So let's kick this off...

Albie Knows July Favorites

31 Things That Made Me Happy In July

Albie Knows Mukilteo Lighthouse Park & Beach
  1. 70° Days: It’s my first West Coast summer and it hasn’t disappointed. To go an entire July without needing an a/c and being able to relax my hair without worrying about humidity... this is what dreams are made of!
  2. Mukilteo Lighthouse Park & Beach: The view is reason enough. But this past week, I decided to take a drive with my daughter (usually we go as a family & my husband drives) and it was glorious. The sun was shining. I could smell the salt water. She was happy. I was happy. It was a good day. 
  3. NYX Butter Gloss “Angel Food Cake” “Ginger Snap” and “Creme Brulee”: Makeup and I have only become recently acquainted so it’s definitely still too early for me to say “I wear makeup”... unless these butter glosses count because I've been throwing one on almost daily, and I immediately start feel all sexy & like a girl. 
  4. Audible: I don’t know why I didn’t do this sooner! For some reason, I had just completely written off the idea of listening to books, even though I had no problem listening to podcasts. That's so much money spent on hard copies I can never get to! Now, I can put my daughter to sleep & “read” a book. Genius! At the rate I’m going I can easily listen to a book a day. Maybe I should...
  5. The Magnolia Story: This ended up being the first book I listened to on Audible and yes, I listened to it in a day! What a glorious listen! Their voices (Chip & Joanna Gaines) made me almost as happy as their story. By the time I finished listening, I'd felt so inspired & revived, like "YES, I can do this!"
  6. Do I Look Skinny In This House: by Kelli Ellis... this is one of the many books I purchased pre Audible, but I’m not complaining because it’s nice to know someone’s into the power of design therapy as much as I am. I found myself reading a couple of pages with a glass of Moscato, and breaking out my highlighter to note amazing little nuggets of info. 
  7. Grace Not Perfection: by Emily Ley... I finally treated myself to this book & now the only question I've been asking myself is whether or not I should read it through, so I can savor all of Emily’s nuggets of grace or if I should just get the audiobook so I can listen every & anywhere. 
  8. Talkspace: I’d absolutely be lying if I said that the past couple of months haven’t been hard. My anxiety & just general stress went from being manageable to overwhelming. My talkspace therapist has been really amazing in helping me just talk about some of what I’ve been feeling & working through it without shame, judgment, or pants. 
  9. The Read: I haven't just started listening to this podcast, but lately, if all I have in this world is Kid Fury & Chriselle, I’d know all I need to about what’s happening in the world around me. Every episode I'm never disappointed & as I entered more into a season of peace & happiness, having this weekly laugh has been so dope! BUT the real reason July was so dope, is because they sat down with LeVar Burton of Reading Rainbow and talk about an amazing interview. It was just so amazing to hear him speak & now I have to check out HIS new podcast
  10. All Up in Your Lady Business: I heart this podcast with every fiber of my being & their July theme was all about email list building. Your girl needed these bits of knowledge in her life! I was listening to every podcast episode like I was sitting in on a master class because between you & me, my email list is quite "lean". 
  11. Creative Empire: yes, I did A LOT of podcast listening this past month -- I guess a bi product of not being on social media. Their interviews are always so inspiring but legit, their last episode was with Shanna Skidmore, who was the final catalyst for my decision to go social media free for a year. Hearing her was such a treat especially entering my 4th month of living off of social media. 
  12. Hannah Lowe Corman: so one of the co-hosts of the Creative Empire podcast, Reina Pomeroy has a FB group (Heart Centered Biz Bosses) and that's where I met Hannah. It's crazy to me that I had to move clear across the country to connect with Hannah, who lives stones throw from my old NYC apartment, but after chatting a bit, we decided to partner up, where I'll be sourcing her artwork for clients. Talk about everything happens for a reason!
  13. Launching my Design Intensive: Talk about being scared out of my wits but to actually pull the trigger was such a huge moment of accomplishment for me as a designer & entrepreneur. Sometimes I just live in my head with my thoughts & ideas and seeing this one come to fruition, even if only one person enrolls, was monumental for me. 
  14. Uploading 3 Videos to YouTube: To be honest, I didn’t think I’d even get around to uploading one much less 3. I filmed a lot more but I’m more than happy with my baby steps. In August, I'm shooting for 4! 
  15. Suits: the summer premiere was SO worth the wait, but who am I kidding...Mike Ross & Harvey Specter are always worth the wait & never EVER disappoint! This is probably the only show II actively watch live & the fact that it airs smack in the middle of the week is perfect.
  16. I’m Blessed by Charlie Wilson: This song “randomly” came across the radio while in the car but I know it wasn't actually random. God was talking to me and giving me a much needed gentle reminder that day that I am so very blessed!  
  17. New Audi A4: July 15th marked our 2 year wedding anniversary, and to be honest we didn't celebrate -- it was another Saturday (aka my husband was working) and we were just glad to be here. But then a few days later my husband took me to "look" at a car that, as it turns out, he'd already started the paperwork on to surprise me with. Talk about surprised?! And blessed!
  18. Care.com: The site itself stressed me out to no end -- they do not make finding care all that easy or affordable but I digress because the young lady we found on care.com was a God send. We went on our first solo date in TWO STANKING YEARS thanks to her. Granted, the date was mostly trying to remember what we even talked about before having our daughter & getting married, but once we figured that out, it was like falling in love all over again. 
  19. Nexgadget WiFi IP Camera: The only reason I can even get about half of what I get done taken care of is that I have this camera now. When my daughter is napping, I don't have to keep the doors open to keep a watchful eye on her. Instead, I just open the app & watch her on camera. It's given me such peace of mind, and also a good giggle when I use the audio to mess with her or my husband. 
  20. Stamina In-Motion Elliptical Trainer: I’ve always struggled with my weight. Even as a kid. If I allow for it, I could easily gain weight but when I commit, I could also almost as easily lose it; so for most of my life, I’ve swung from one end of the pendulum to the next. But now that I’m home way more than I’ve ever been, I’ve been hanging out on one side of the pendulum for way longer than usual, so this has been so great for me to sneak in some cardio without having to think about it. 
  21. Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Water Bottle: I don’t drink much water. At least not the way I should. But when I do, this bottle just makes me feel all grown up about it. I clip it to my bag, toss it in the car... whatever. Even when I'm working out in the house. I'm pretty sure all the water I've drunk this month is thanks to this bottle. P.S. It’s gold. 
  22. But First Coffee Hot Stuff Thermal Mug: None of my pre noon errands have been complete this month without this mug. It speaks for itself & has gotten a ton of compliments everywhere I've been. I love adulting & looking good.
  23. Apple Watch: My husband gifted me his Apple Watch because he decided I needed it more. I disagreed. I was wrong. Who knew I needed someone to remind me to just breathe. Amaze balls!
  24. Activity App: So right along with not knowing I needed breathing reminders, I also didn’t know the sense of accomplishment I’d feel entering an activity & actually completing it. Mind. Blown. 
  25. iOS 11 beta: For that past 3 iOS releases, I've always downloaded the beta months ahead of time because I can’t help myself. I need to know & I need to know first, no matter the risk. This beta hasn’t disappointed. Two words: screen record!
  26. Squarespace: I definitely dragged my feet with switching hosting platforms for my site but man am I glad I finally did. So. Frigging. Easy. But here's where the real happy kicks in -- I got a whole FIFTY PERCENT OFF because I switched to my school email. They were gracious enough to honor their student discount even though I'd missed the window. Winning!
  27. Image 2 Icon App: I’m an organizational freak! When it comes to my desktop, especially, I want everything to be easy to find & pretty to look at. So when I found this app... it was like gold! Now all my desktop folders match the Albie Knows brand & really make it so much easier to just get around. 
  28. Unroll Me: The more I sign up for things, the more cluttered my inbox gets... especially during the summer, since I'm out of school. Yet I haven't noticed because my unroll.me has been working overtime this summer. I did a quick audit of my inboxes and def realized how much scrolling unroll.me has saved me & my brain cells 
  29. Over: As I continue my revamp, my graphics have become a HUGE part of that -- fonts, colors, graphics, icons, and so much more.Over has become so clutch in helping me brainstorm & create... all from my phone!
  30. Weekly To Do Whiteboard From HomeGoods: Any day my husband volunteers to go to HomeGoods so we can buy something organizational, it’s a good day. In my office, I have a white board decal set that features a monthly calendar & an area for notes, but that's more so for my reference. He wanted a "command center" that would be in the front of the apartment, like near the kitchen, for immediate things could be top of mind. We weren't in HomeGoods for maybe 10 minutes before finding our new “family” whiteboard, at nearly half the price at one we almost purchased. It even has him excited. PS. It’s framed in gold. 
  31. 2017-2018 Mead Planner: Don't you just love when you go to Target for one thing & stumble upon something else awesome & amazing that you weren't even shopping for?! That's exactly the case with my new planner that beautifully started with the month of July. It’s nice & big and will work perfectly in tandem with my Trello and whiteboards.

I'd Love To Know...

What do you do for self-care? Is it something that's top of mind for you, or do you just take it as it comes? How often do you celebrate those small wins & blessings?

XO Albie