Hey Sept

Hey, September!

After dropping my little duckling off at preschool this morning, I parked the car, and took in a bit breath of cool air! (!!!!!) … You guys, it’s been the hottest summer ever in Portland. That’s not just hyperbole, it really was the hottest. There were night when the boob sweat (yeah, I’m going there) was relentless, and days we just got carryout for dinner, because turning the oven on was a nightmare. So yeah, you could say I’m pretty pumped that Autumn is just around the corner. September is my spirit animal!

With each month, I have lots to share, and some goals to accomplish. Here are some little bits of goodness for you:

  • This month, I’ll be testing the waters of a new, faster project timeline. I have an amazing client who’s agreed to go in at hyper-speed to have a super-focused project. If this works out (which I know it will), things will be a changin’ around here. Three week projects?! YES, PLEASE!
  • Have you mamas checked of Coffee + Crumbs? It’s an amazing collective of stories from women, who reflect on many different aspects of parenting and motherhood. We are a tribe. Go here to fill your heart. Even more exciting?! My friend, Vanessa of Noirve, just did their new brand identity & blog. So lovely. Check it out!
  • Among the 6,924 things I loveeee about Autumn, is FOOD. It’s CHILI WEATHER!!!! I’m one of those crazy vegans, but I seriously love cooking & food. To see all of the soups and chilis we’re making (also bbq chick’n pizza – !!!), be sure to follow my personal Instagram. I’m also making a rainbow quilt, that’s already been photographed like 300 times.
  • When I was pregnant, I was seriously zen … all day, every day. I did prental yoga a few days a week, and meditated each day. Now that baby (she’s almost 2, baby? yes!) is here, I totally left all of that practice behind. I’d say I need it most now. I love this guide to meditation!
  • I have a new podcast obsession: You Made with Weird with Pete Holmes. This podcast is totally not safe for work, but that’s what headphones are for! I love his long conversations with artists, actors, activists, and comedians. There are some major “oldie but goodie” episodes in there.
  • While we were at the airport waiting for our flight, I found this gem: Socality Barbie. Living in the PNW, I know I’ve been guilty of sharing insightful thoughts alongside a photo of pine trees. If you can’t laugh at yourself … Anyway, this is cute and made me laugh.
  • This weekend, we go on our big Labor Day camping trip at the coast. I fully plan to bring a jacket, a beanie, and a thermos for coffee. There’s just nothing better. I hope you have something amazing planned too!!!

Adios

Hey lovelies! Hope you’re having a rad week. Popping in to announce a little summer vacation.

My family & I are leaving tomorrow morning, and will be traveling until the first of September. The blog is on official break until then too!

If you’re interested in working together, by all means, send me the loveliest inquiry via my contact form. I’ll be responding to inquiries every few days.

Thanks so much for supporting me and my business. I’m celebrating this first real vacation with my family, and so very thankful to be doing what I love.

See you in September!

01-Logo

Hey lovelies! Soooo … sometimes I do a project THAT. I. LOVE, but then I take 836 months to share it on the blog. Yeah, I’m not sure what that’s about, but either way, I have been so very excited to share this project with With Love & Embers.

When Ryan & Jill first contacted me, we talked about a project that was deeper than just a logo. They had honed in on their unique style, but desired a cohesive branding experience (logo, brand statements, packaging, etc.) that spoke their message loud & clear. This project was full of love and depth … I seriously let their images and craft inspire me every step of the way.

Adventurous hearts. Real moments.

The suite included a modern logo with classic touches. We wanted the logo to have space, but feel inviting & warm. I was so proud of their brand mark. I mean, c’mon, could they have picked a better business name (that eventually would translate into the little L&E icon)?!?! They chose premium letterpress printing, by my favorite of favorite printers, Czar Press, to really nail down that message of quality. Beyond my services, they worked with an amazing wordsmith and built their new site on the Sqaurespace platform. All in all … it’s all perfection, and it’s because they know their brand so well.

To connect with Jill & Ryan, be sure to follow them on Facebook.
You can find their work, and more about them on their website.

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WL&E-Packaging06-Photo-by-With-Love-&-Embers07-Brand-Mark-by-Three-Fifteen-DesignWeb-209-StationeryWeb-311-Stationery

Wedding photography by With Love & Embers // Stationery photography by Three Fifteen Design

Child-Care-Blues

You did it!!! You had your baby. Let’s assume you’ve changed more diapers than you can count, and you’re not quite sure what that stain on your shirt is. Yep, you’re totally in it. It is the wonderful world of parenting. And, whether you just had that sweet baby, or you’ve been in the game for years, chances are that as a business owner, you’ll face the following issue: child care! This is the follow-up to my intro of the Creative Procreative series.

Once the initial “OH MY GOSH, WE HAD A FREAKING BABY!!!” starts to wear off (okay, who am I kidding? I still feel like this!), you know it’s time to think about setting boundaries and finding balance for your business.

Personally, I was so unprepared for the toll that parenting would take on my business. I assumed I could work during naps. LOLOLOL to pre-kid Ravyn! You were so funny!! Really though, at the beginning, a 90 minute nap consisted of 30 minutes getting the baby to actually sleep, 20 minutes of using my breastpump, 15 minutes of email, and like 20 minutes of real work time. Surprise … baby girl didn’t get the memo that mama really needed to work. At 4 months, we hired a nanny. It was absolutely glorious. While paying so much for childcare was a bit of a blow at first, it was an expense we looked at as a cost of doing business. After Al turned a year old, we knew we were ready to explore different care options. While we loved our nanny, I was starting to wonder about interaction with other babes, and if another environment might be best. Plus, at this time, I was only getting about 15 hours to devote to work each week, and I was on the verge of a breakdown.

At 13 months, we transitioned Alba to a daycare … it’s a little school in our neighborhood, and it’s turned out to be such an amazing choice, investment, and opportunity. Again, the additional monthly cost made me want to cry, but it meant double the work time!!

It took about 2-3 months for me to find my groove, and now I just look back at pre-kid Ravyn, and pat her on the head. You sure were cute. Work during naps. HA!

I popped into my favorite group for creative entrepreneurs to ask other creative mamas and papas to weigh in on this topic. Here’s what they had to say:

Phyllis said: “Be open minded about your options! You will literally have no idea what the best option is for you until that baby is here and you’ve lived it. What works for me might not work for you but there are definitely more ways to integrate childcare into the equation than you think. And be open to the fact that it’s going to be an adjustment for you and for your child…so be kind to yourself about that.” 

Katie said: “I love the flexibility of having a creative job and having 2 days a week of spending extra time playing with them and 3 full days of work. I’ve had to give up the idea that I could completely compartmentalize specific workdays and momdays, so everything sorta blends together….which some days is nice and some days is just overwhelming and exhausting (and makes client meeting scheduling incredibly difficult). I don’t think anyone has it exactly right, but I think with a little tweaking and constant reminders that I’m doing the best I can this is a pretty good fit for me.”

Renae said: I wake up early every day (well, try to every day) to get in 2-3 hours of work before the girls get up and my store is open. I take the girls with me to the shop but try to leave tasks I can do with them there and customer service as the only thing to handle while they are with me. I usually get in another 1-2 hours of work at night after they are in bed and my hubby falls asleep too. It makes for long days but part of the reason I decided to open my own business was so I don’t have to have childcare so as of now I’m ok with working late and early.”

Abigail said: I’ll be honest, my first two months back to working was really rough. I had overcommitted to assignments and quickly realized how much LESS actual work time i had. The days of working till 2 am and cranking out more at 6 am were over. I could only work so much because I had to be there for my baby. I didn’t miss any deadlines, but I sure stressed a lot. It’s much better to say no and have less stress. Anyway, after the first few months, I got more efficient, took on a manageable load and when naps started evening out, we really got rolling. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Also, learn your limits and know how much you can take on. We don’t have a typical childcare situation, but I hope that is at least helpful!”

Ashlyn said: “Something I was worried about before putting him in is all of the scary things that could happen while he was in day care. I signed him up for daycare … and I am 100% glad that I did. He is one and a half now and he is sooo smart. He has gotten to experience so much.”

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Oh, and logistically, here are a few things I considered when making our decision for child care:

  • When choosing a nanny, we considered if I’d be able to actually distance myself from the action. We did have a dedicated space in our home where I worked, but it was also in the main living area. I changed gears, swallowed my pride, and setup shop in our basement. It meant I had my own space, away from the baby. I think that separation allowed both of us to thrive. And now, I actually really love my studio space!
  • Did you know that child care (if your provider qualifies) is a tax write-off? When considering full time care for our little one, I was fa-reaking out over the cost. Because of the ability to setup an FSA account through my husband’s work, we were able to set aside the first $5,000 per year for school, and not be taxed on that money. Ask your CPA for more information!!
  • Besides finding a provider that fit our needs, money was seriously the biggest piece. I had to break it all down … hours per month, cost per month, hours per week, determine if the hours/cost would allow me to add one more project per month, factor in additional time/additional profit, etc. It was a grid of problem solving, but it was doable. I realized I really needed to pay more to make more.

What about you?! What works for your family? Do you laugh at your pre-kid self too? I’d love to hear how you’ve found balance, or how you’re working to achieve it now.

Related: I cannot wait for Kindergarten. Public school is like my reward for paying for years of child care. Can I get an AMEN!?

Dribbble Favorites

Oh, Dribbble, how I love theeee. Lately, there’s been some major goodness happening over there.

Here are a few shots that have caught my eye in recent weeks:

1 / How cute are the details here? So thoughtful!

2 / I love me some super-classic type & layouts.

3 / Yep, I’m a total sucker for maps, and vintage treatments.

4 / Because Minna So is my spirit animal. I love her simple, lovley work.

5 / I think I just will! The line work, and details are amazing.

6 / I just felt so happy looking at this. A reminder that simplicity can be super effective.

Are you on Dribbble? Be sure to hop over and connect! Find me here.