Be Happy.

One thing I’ve learned as the years have passed is I am 100% control of my happiness. Such a cliche thing to say, but it couldn’t be more true. If I could’ve learned this as a angsty teenager I can only imagine how much that would’ve helped me through those years.

I have a million things I could complain about every day (exaggeration), but I have two million things to be excited and thankful for. Today for example, I could have complained about anything from not having enough time to get everything done before leaving town, feeling bloated, etc. but instead I’m choosing to be happy that I’m lucky enough to go out of town regularly and that I’m bloated from eating a little too much good food.

You may not be in complete control of your day, but you are in control of how you see it and feel it. Be happy, it’s up to you.

You know you’re a freelancer when…


The other day I hit gold card status on my Starbucks app. I immediately felt shame because I liked to pride myself on the fact that I was too cheap to go there enough to get anywhere near gold. Over the last few months things have changed and I’ve been heading to Starbucks to get work done, meet with co-workers, etc. Now I hang my head in shame and confess that I’m now gold card status at Starbucks.

On a brighter note, that lead to some funny realizations about freelancing that I wanted to share.

You know you’re a freelancer when…

  1. You end up at Starbucks half a dozen (a dozen? more?) times a month to get work done/get out of the house/get out or your pajamas/collaborate with other freelancers/interact with human beings.
  2. One month you’re making way more than you planned and the next you’re trying to figure out which is more important: groceries or gas.
  3. You’re constantly trying to convince people you don’t just sit at home in your pajamas all day watching Real Housewives reruns on Bravo.
  4. Sometimes you sit at home in your pajamas all day watching Real Hosuewives reruns on Bravo. Or Teen Mom. Or Rich Kids of Beverly Hills.
  5. Tax season is twice as terrible because not only are you doing taxes, you usually get to send a check instead of getting a refund.
  6. You wear yoga pants/sweat pants to work almost everyday (ok, everyday. oh, just me?)
  7. The only thing that makes you happier than a landing a big project is when a client pays an invoice on time.
  8. Paid vacation? Paid sick time? HA! No one cares if you’re in the Bahamas or stuck in bed. You don’t work, you don’t get paid.
  9. Sometimes you think about getting a regular job with regular hours, job stability and a bi-monthly paycheck.
  10. You wonder what you were thinking when you considered getting a “regular job” because freelance life, while challenging, pretty awesome.

Bonus: You like to pretend Friday’s are exciting like everyone else, but you know you’ll at least check your email over the weekend.

Happy Friday! Turn off your phones and enjoy a few days off whether you’re a freelancer or not!


Create New Habits // April


March’s new habit was kind of combined with my Sugar Strike Challenge which I’ll post my final thoughts on very soon. I know we’re a few days into April, but I wanted to talk about my new habit. It’s kind of a weird sounding one, but I’ll explain!

April: no shower unless I’ve moved for 30 minutes that day

I completely realize how odd and almost gross that sounds, but it’s to help motivate me to just get moving on a regular basis! I’m going to be honest here, I often shower every other day. Sometimes I’ll shower daily if I’ve been out and feel like I need a shower, but often times I’m an every other day kind of girl since I spend most of my time at home, on the computer. Am I the only one?

I’m hoping this will help me get in the habit of working out again. I stopped going to Pilates a few months ago and I still haven’t been able to motivate myself to go again. Part of the problem is I now work on Monday when the class is going and then on Wednesday the class is at 8am. I’m definitely up by 8am, but to get myself out of the house and to a class by 8am? Good luck.

So I’m starting small. Walking the dogs, working out at home (I love Blogilates!), or any other simple way to get active. I’m seriously considering cancelling my gym membership and spending time outdoors instead now that I have several months of Spring and Summer in front of me.

Would you like to join me on creating a new habit this month? What is your new habit?

recent design work & personal design

aileenbarkerdesignstudio boiledeggsandsoldiers riseandenergize

First off — how do you like the new design around here? I’m still working on the finishing touches, but after writing this post today I had to give in to my urge to do a redesign. I’m loving it so far!

It’s been quite a while since I shared any of my work, so I thought today would be a good day to share just a few recent designs. I’m also excited to share my new design site,! I know I mentioned working on it in the past, but haven’t actually shared the finished result here. I went back and forth about having a design site that is separate from this blog and ultimately decided to go for it.

With the new site I’ve also revamped and simplified my design packages. I also now offer WordPress websites for small businesses, graphic design and blog management services.

In celebration of launching my new design site I want to offer you all a little discount as a thank you for following along on this blog. Contact me anytime during the month of April 2014 and get 10% off any design package. Just make sure you mention it when you contact me about your design.