Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year's Vision Board for 2015

I've had minimal success when deciding on new year's resolutions. It works better for me to identify larger, overall concepts and trajectories that I'd like to focus on in upcoming seasons. Instead of the pressure of specific goals, I can try to gently lean toward doing better every day.

Inspired by Light by Coco's vision board, I created my own vision board poster for 2015. First, I made a list of main goal topics. Nothing too specific. I know they say it's better to create concrete, measurable goals if you want any chance of actually reaching them. But for this poster, I wanted it to just be inspirational. An overall picture of my ideal life. Then I found pictures that visualize each goal topic and that inspire me.


A bit about each picture [sources are linked]:

  1. Either you run the day, or the day runs you - a reminder to take control of my daily life and to-dos, otherwise I'm at the mercy of everyone around me.
  2. Minimalist clothes on hooks - continue to minimize my wardrobe and home. Simple outfits with well-loved items are better than an overflowing closet!
  3. Girl on bike - bicycle around the city more.
  4. Emma Watson beauty - take care of my skin.
  5. Tattoo girl smelling flowers - a reminder to tap into my hippie side once in awhile. Free spirited and earthy and full of love for everyone around me.
  6. Ballerina stretching - work on my flexibility.
  7. Healthy green salad bowl - eat healthfully and abundantly with colorful fruits & veggies!
  8. Buff girl dancing - work out to become strong and fit.
  9. Berries - remember how delicious plain ol' nature is and indulge!
  10. Dirty hand - get my hands messy doing creative projects.
  11. Sadie Nardini yogi - practice yoga.
  12. Motivation quote - when I'm feeling unmotivated, remember that motivation never lasts and I just have to remind myself of my goals daily.
  13. MK&A laptop - stay in touch with family and friends through technology.
  14. Colorful office - keep work and graphic design fun and colorful to remind myself that I have a pretty cool job!
  15. Nice butt - work out to get toned (I never knew this until recently, but Pinterest has convinced me that anyone can have an amazing rear-end if you do your squats!)
  16. Exploring couple - travel and explore places with Rob.
  17. Wine glasses - make every night a special occasion. The best time to celebrate is whenever you can.
  18. White minimalist bedroom - continue to minimize and simplify our home.
  19. Vegan runner - quit being a couch potato so I can be a kick-ass role model for the vegan lifestyle.
  20. Your life is your message - reminder to also practice the creativity, positivity, and healthy lifestyle I love to promote.


I found the pictures online (combing through my Pinterest boards first), then used InDesign to create the layout. I printed the 11x17" poster through <--that's a referral link btw, tacking it on to my holiday card order. It was like $3 after coupons. When it arrived, I realized that it didn't fit on my closet wall very well. The place I wanted to hang it was too narrow. So I cut the left column of rectangles off, and rearranged them on the top. It fits next to my mirror now, and still looks good!


I hung it up in my closet for me to see every day when I get dressed and get ready for bed, and every time I pass through the closet to the bathroom. My hope is it will remind me of what I want my life to look like - all aspects of it. Then every time I make a decision, I can lean toward my vision. Eventually, this poster will be more of a reflection of my current life and less of a far-off dream!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Freebie! 2015 Calendar Printables

Last year I shared a pack of freebie Project Life cards for 2014. I haven't really been tracking it, but this pin of the cards has over 600 repins - awesome!

I've been using them in every digital Project Life spread I create; they're a staple in my upper-left hand corner each week. This is how I've been using them:


I knew I'd want to use them throughout 2015, so I updated the pack for the new year. I changed the font for the month name and year. Everything else stayed exactly the same. Whether you use them for scrapbooking or other calendar planning, I hope you find these useful!

{ Download PDF } Easy-to-print-and-cut-out 3x4" cards 5-up on 8.5x11" paper
{ Download JPEG singles } zip file of individual 3x4" cards in JPEG format, 300dpi

Happy 2015!

Attribution/credit is NOT required. (Although appreciated so that others can enjoy, too!) If you have a freebie round-up blog or something and want to share these, please link to my blog post instead of hosting them yourself. Thanks!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Project Life 2014 : Weeks 19 - 49 Update

Wowzas, I haven't been updating about my Project Life pages at all! My last post was up to week 18, way back in May. I got a little bit behind on actually creating the spreads for a couple of months this summer, but one day I powered through and got completely caught up. Since then, I haven't gotten more than a couple of weeks behind. Proof I've still been doing this project:

Project Life update: weeks 19-49

Digital Project Life has been a lot easier this year since I have been using the exact same template all year. Remembering that I have pages to fill helps remind me to take pictures: take more photos than you think you need, snap photos of anything and everything. The worst weeks are the ones where I don't take enough pictures and the slots are hard to fill.

Looking back on these spreads is always a treat, and by having this record of our life, I remember more things. I guess that's why I keep doing it. I'm pretty good at abandoning/failing projects that I start, but this simple form of memory keeping is now like an extension of my brain. I don't want to lose it!

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Happy World Vegan Day!

I've been putting off writing this post: I kept thinking that I want to do something big, something super inspiring and educational, something heartfelt and that can encompass all the feelings I have about eating and being vegan.

Too much pressure!

So let me just keep it simple and say what I really think: I wish everyone in the world would eat a vegan diet. I wish everyone knew about the horrors of animal abuse in the meat and dairy industries, and that everyone had the resources they need to make the switch. I wish eating a peaceful plant-based diet was a topic wide open to discussion, and I wish everyone would ask more questions and be willing to make changes in their lives to avoid suffering.

cook girl 1
This is me holding a huge bowl of salad! I look like one of those uber-healthy vegans, right?! Truth is, I don't care for this much salad. Give me vegan pizza or a bowl of oatmeal with peanut butter and I'm happy.

My Veganniversary is April 6, 2013. I gave up meat right after Halloween in 2010. So it's been 4 years since I last ate a piece of animal flesh, and 1.5 years since I quit eating animal secretions (cheese, eggs, milk).

Honestly, it feels like way longer. It blows my mind that I never made the connection earlier that cows have to be pregnant in order to make milk. I'm astonished that I knew meat comes from animals in factory farms, but never stopped to ask myself, "Am I OK with that? Am I cool with participating in this system and paying another person to do my killing for me? Does this align with my values?"


It's way too easy to go along with the crowd. To push aside your conscience whispering feelings of unease. To justify your choices with illogical reasons and lies. Making changes can be hard, yes. But my perspective is that once you know better, you have the moral obligation to do better. And making difficult choices is much easier when they at least align with your values.

For me, it's no question if I want dairy cheese on my sandwich. I will NOT eat it; it's from an animal and the animal that made it suffered. I will not consume that suffering and the inequality, violence, and speciesism that accompanies it. Oops, you accidentally put cream in this dish? Take it back, I requested no cream. If you can't accommodate my dietary preferences, I will leave.

Truths that remind me why I'm vegan:
  • Humans are the only species who drink another species' breast milk.
  • Dairy cows are forced against her will to be pregnant in order to keep producing milk.
  • Eggs are a hen's period. Her reproductive cycle is altered and exploited for the sake of more eggs and more profit.
  • Just because you did not kill it yourself doesn't mean you are less guilty. By buying meat, you are paying other people to do the killing for you.
  • All animals killed for their meat are murdered before they reach their natural life expectancy age. Every piece of meat you eat is from a baby.
  • There is no difference between your pet dog and the chicken that was slaughtered for your lunch. If you can't stomach killing and eating a dog, you shouldn't eat a chicken.
  • Humans do not need to eat animal flesh or secretions to live a long, healthy life. In fact, eating a plant-based diet is proven to reduce dietary diseases.

My advice: Quit eating animals. Don't know where to start? Start here.

Or start where I started: Vegan Podcast by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. Or check out her short videos over on YouTube.

I make a point to not write too many posts about veganism on RubyBows, since that's not my focus here. I have a totally separate blog for that! It's called DirtyStove, and it's a tumblr blog. Check it out!

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