Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life

I recently finished reading Bill Burnett and Dave Evans' book Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life. It's been awhile since I last shared a book, but this was a good one. As someone who went through design school, this book made total sense. I love the idea of approaching the way you life your life with the same lens and tools used in design thinking. The authors believe that:

A well-designed life is a life that is generative – it is constantly creative, productive, changing, evolving, and there is always the possibility of a surprise.
— Bill Burnett & Dave Evans

Each chapter of the book ends with actionable steps and exercises you can complete to make real changes in your life. They truly embrace finding problems and deciding upon actionable solutions, not ones that are impossible due to the realities of life. One thing you can always change is your thinking. 

Life designers don’t fight reality. They become tremendously empowered by designing their way forward no matter what. In life design, there are no wrong choices; there are no regrets. There are just prototypes, some that succeed and some that fail.
— Bill Burnett & Dave Evans

I won't go into too many details about the exercises, but at one point you are tasked with defining your life view and your work view. The most interesting part of this exercise is seeing where the two overlap. Ultimately, I found that this book opened me up to a completely new way of thinking in regards to goals and long-term dreams in life. By considering different realities, I was able to see that mindset and perception really are the concepts that define how we view our lives. If you are in a period of transition (like I am this year), or pondering your career path, or even happy with your current state of affairs I still recommend this book for the insights it gives into using design thinking and theory to embrace the joy and enjoy the process of life. Happy reading!

Block Printing for #My5Days

Last Thursday I spent the last of #My5Days at a block printing workshop led by Marisol Ortega. She spent the morning teaching us how she uses block printing in her illustration and lettering work, and then we were let loose to create patterns and other lettering or illustration focused pieces. I loved the freedom of creating one small square and seeing the different ways it could be printed to create patterns. In the afternoon I played around with an illustrated letter "A." I would love to incorporate this technique into future lettering pieces! Thanks, Hallmark, for five days this year to explore and spend time making!

Letters Are Lovely | Block Printing for #My5Days
Letters Are Lovely | Block Printing for #My5Days

August Around The Web

Happy Wednesday, friends! This August was pretty work-focused as my team had a big deadline for Mother's Day cards and Dale spent his month on a time-consuming rotation in his last year of medical school. We enjoyed a few lazy weekends at home in St. Louis, and I was lucky to have a visit from my mom last week. Dale and I also traveled to Ohio for our friends' wedding, which was the perfect way to end the month!

This month was full of inspiration around the web – my favorite discovery was the work of Tom Abbiss Smith. I have been really inspired by his abstract collages, and this is one of my favorites. I would love to order one of his prints! Here are a few of my other favorite finds: 

Letters Are Lovely | August Around The Web: Artwork by Tom Abbiss Smith

Enjoy the last few weeks of Summer!


Cake Decorating for Think.Make.Share.

Today on Think.Make.Share. you can learn all about different ways to decorate cakes! I took Kelly and Bernard's workshop for one of #My5Days and as someone with very little experience in baking or frosting cakes I definitely learned a lot! This was the workshop that inspired me to bake a cake for our Fourth of July celebration, and I know I will be using my new skills for many parties and events in the future. Below you can see everyone's ombre-style cakes, as well as my petal cake and an action shot of me learning how to even out the layers. Head over to Think.Make.Share. for lots more inspiration!  

Letters Are Lovely | Cake Decorating for Think.Make.Share.
Letters Are Lovely | Cake Decorating for Think.Make.Share.
Letters Are Lovely | Cake Decorating for Think.Make.Share.

This Week

After all the events in the news this week I have been having difficult time feeling inspired to post. Luckily I follow some wonderful people online and I now feel empowered to speak up, educate myself and most importantly still believe that love always wins.

Letters Are Lovely | This Week

Back-to-School (Nine to Five Style)

Hello, friends! Here is my second annual "Back-to-School" wish list as a working adult. This year my littlest sister is headed to middle school (!) and I am trying my best to enjoy some of the same back-to-school excitement she is feeling even thought I am just headed to work per usual. Here are a few things I would love this Fall:

Letters Are Lovely | Back-to-School (Nine to Five Style)