A Girl Named Leney


Posts tagged Goals
Goals: Sprints vs. Marathons

i am an extremely goal, list and dream oriented and motivated person (see the goals tag here on the journal for proof). i have stated that i am a process junkie, but i am also addicted to getting.shit.done.
i am the kind of person who will almost-always make their bed as soon as they get out of it, but if for some reason the whole day goes by without it being made, i will make it right before i get in it at night.
i am also the kind of person who will add three things on the “to do” list that i’ve already accomplished just so i can check them off, who will use every last drop of shampoo before buying a new bottle and who will absolutely under no circumstances leave the house with only one errand to complete.

i like efficiency, progress, organization and accomplishing tasks. i have a really hard time not feeling like i am getting things done because, well, i always have a list of things to get done. 
i also have a hard time not wrapping up my worth in what it is i do and separating that from who i am (but i digress). 

i recently got back from a two month road trip and needless to say i have been flooded with inspiration and ideas and motivation ever since. more on that another time, but the point that’s relative to this post is that i have had a lot of ideas since that trip. a lot of project concepts, goals and endless tasks i want to complete. 

last night i texted a friend: 

“do you ever feel overwhelmed by all of the things you're passionate about and all of your ideas and goals and all of the things you want to do?"

this, is a common problem for me. i have zero problems generating ideas. i am the ideas (wo)man. i am easily intrigued, curious, interested and fascinated by a wide array of things and as such my brain gets fired more often then not by the endless sparks i am coming into contact with. so it’s not ideas i have a hard time with, but the choosing of which ideas to act on. i tend to get overwhelmed with all of my plans and projects often to the point where i don’t act on any of them. it’s that paradox of the world being your oyster but you get too caught up in trying to figure out which side of the oyster to start from.
(and before you say "just pick one and start” it’s not that easy... i mean, completely hypothetical example, but if you wanted to build a tiny house, convert a sprinter van, gut an airstream, live on a sail boat and buy a teardrop trailer how would you choose??)

after commiserating with a “yea me too” my friend reminded me that there are different kinds of goals. namely: sprints vs. marathons. 

sprint goals are the things you can accomplish quickly and without much long term effort. things you can get done with just a short concentrated amount of energy in a small amount of time. 

things like... 
making your bed in the morning
starting a new instagram account
send an email proposal
start a newsletter
have a yard sale
sign up for an art class you’ve been wanting to take

marathon goals take more long term planning, are often step and task oriented and take dedication over a longer and more steady period of time. they still enact progress and forward movement but in a slower manner than that of a sprint. 

guys, i don’t know why but this helped me so much last night. my brain had been on hyperactive overdrive mode since Monday, i’d spent a total of 13 hours in two days just sitting in front of my computer working and brainstorming at my local coffee shop. and being able to further organize my already long list of goals and new project ideas, into something that felt more manageable and digestible was such a relief. 

however, all of that to say, being the dreamer that i am...

i have a lot of marathon goals.

A New Direction

so i meant to post this the same day i announced the new website being up, but wouldn't you know it i blinked and it's already over a week later...
but then i ended up wanting to share my New Perspective post first anyway. which i'd love for you to read, if you haven't already, to grasp a better understanding of where A Girl Named Leney is heading and what my heart for it is.

but yes friends, superb news. the new website is up! 
i wrote and deleted twice (or maybe three times) the following words, but i truly don't know how else to say that: i could not be more excited to finally share this new direction with you guys! 

today i wanted to go over some notable changes within my business to help you better understand where it is i'm going and what all of these new changes mean! 


ventures are what i am calling the different components and pursuits that make up my business.
these will undoubtedly change and evolve as i too change and evolve as an artist.
(you can read about these on the ventures page here, but i wanted to give a little bit more in depth explanation of each one!)

FOLKLING — i have been a life-long thrifter. my mother took me when i was young and i remember the excitement of finding treasures of varying kinds to give a new home to.
she's truly the one who's taught me the value and beauty in giving things new life
it was also my first introduction to shopping and learning to spend my money wisely.

as i've found and made spaces of my own over the years, one of my favorite things has been curating their vignettes. i love photographing my home and the pieces of it i'm always rearranging. it's something i shied away from for a long time, as my space is something that's very sacred and private to me, but i found so much unexpected joy in sharing it.

in addition to vintage homewares, i have an affinity for vintage clothing.
do i risk sounding like a broken record by saying that they just don't make things like they used to? well, it's true. there was nothing that educated me on this front more than watching this film and reading this book.
again, i grew up thrifting, and so have always had a fairly unique and eclectic wardrobe because of it. however, in my early twenties, i started shying away from secondhand and got caught up in the fast fashion industry and excessively consumed and over-bought, until my closet door and dresser drawers weren't able to close.
it was sometime in 2015 that i finally recognized the problem and started getting back to my roots.

i've been exclusively buying secondhand and handmade clothing for two years now and i feel so proud and accomplished in being able to say that! 

and so, because of my passion for adopting and curating unique things to give them new life, i want to help educate and pass that love onto others.
shopping small, locally, secondhand, sustainably and ethically are all elements of consumption that are incredibly important to me.
for it's not necessarily consumption that's bad, it's how we consume and why.
so i want to encourage others to examine the ways in which they're doing that and give them more options and promptings for an alternative lifestyle.

you can follow Folkling on Instagram and Facebook.

SUSTAINABLE KNITWEAR — i've been knitting for about 17 years. i didn't fully understand patterns when i first learned, so i started making up my own and have essentially been designing ever since. i started my etsy shop in 2011 and have had 6 knitwear collections released and sold on that platform, with smaller batches of "unofficial" bodies of work sold on commission and an as-i-made-them basis, before that. if you'd like to take a stroll down memory lane with me those were:

Sartorially Inclined: A Mens Knit Lookbook
Sartorially Inclined: A Ladies Knit Lookbook
On The Road
Gypsy Soul
The Classics Collection
OOAK Knitwear

it's amazing for me to see how far i've come in my work and watching my style and aesthetics change over the years.
similar to Folkling, in 2015 i had a "come to God moment" in regards to how i was living, what i was putting value in, knowing the origins of what i bought, having more of an appreciation for the process of products and making things from scratch.
my knitwear didn't escape these revelations.
i realized that i had no idea how the yarn i used for my pieces was made or where it came from. was it made sustainably? were the animals used in making it raised ethically?
when i started looking into it, the things i found along the lines of factory pollution, harmful chemical usage and animal abuse were troubling. 

as i changed other aspects of my life in regards to how i ate, dressed and shopped, it was bothering me that this aspect of my business wasn't fully aligning with my values as well.
so after two years of studying and learning the art of processing, spinning, and naturally dyeing wool, i'm going full steam ahead with this new kind of knitwear!

from now on, all of my pieces will be made from yarn that i've either: 
1. fully, from start-to-finish, processed and then spun myself from fiber i've sourced from a farm that i've built a relationship with and, when possible, visited myself. 
2. spun myself from roving that's been made and processed by a trusted source. 
3. bought from another like-minded fiber artist locally or during my travels. 
4. recycled.

additionally, some pieces will incorporate natural dyeing (something i'm still learning the vast art of!), furthering each pieces story and one-of-a-kind-ness.

i'm really excited to fully pursue this path of creating. it feels really good to have this align fully with who i am as both an individual and an artist.

sustainable knitwear will be available through my Etsy shop as well as the Folkling instagram.
you can watch a video on how i process wool here.
p.s. i don't know how to shear sheep yet, but just know that element of sustainable knitwear is in the works. ;)

THE TRAVELING PHOTOGRAPHER — i've been "the traveling photographer" for some years now, but i want to refocus that aspect of my business in three ways.

but first and foremost i want to be honest with you all in saying that in over eight years of doing photography as a job, six of those full time, i have experienced some burnout.
the rush, stress, and keeping-up-with-the-joneses mentality that is in a significant part of the digital photography industry, has put me through the wringer on more than one occasion.
i want to be true to my heart and the passions i feel that i was given for a reason, and right now the below is how i feel pressed to chase after them.

1. to focus (no pun intended) on primarily, if not exclusively, doing travel related work, because that is where my heart and inspiration are most in sync.
2. i am not a smile-at-the-camera-and-point-and-shoot kind of photographer.
i need you to know this if you want to hire me to work with you. this isn't to say i will never take photos of people smiling at the camera! but the way i document is a little bit different than most.
you can read more about what that means here.
3. i have fallen in love with film over the past few years and am presently undergoing a more intensive pursuit in educating myself on this medium. i have both film and digital on my portfolio page, and you can see some other film work under the film tag on the journal, but until recently this has all been more or less for personal documentation.
i think at it's essence though, it's the "slow living" aspect of film that i've fallen in love with.
i would really love to start branching out into working with film more in my sessions and collaborations with people. so if that's something that appeals to you as well, say so in your inquiry!

TUMBLEHOME — those of you who have been long time followers are familiar at this point with my self identification as The Daughter of A Sailor. 
most often conveyed by way of my hashtag on instagram.
this story became one that a lot of people really loved reading about and were intrigued by. so i decided, along with my father, to share more of our adventures through a separate platform in the way of creating Tumblehome! in addition to sharing our adventures on the water, and our somewhat alternative lifestyle pursuits in the way of living more slowly, intentionally and mindfully, we both really love making things with our hands. after realizing a lot of people loved the things we make, we decided to start offering them to a wider audience.
which also feeds back to my aforementioned desire to surround myself with well-made things and cutting down on the need for over consumption by buying quality vs. quantity.

you can follow Tumblehome on Instagram and Facebook.

all of that being said, i am also pursuing writing more, which isn't officially listed under ventures right now, but that's something i might change.
i've been honored to be a part of several publications in the way of magazines, books and online articles over the past few years and conveying my heart through words has been such an amazing experience and way for me to connect with people. the conversations and various relationships i've had a chance to engage in as a result have been truly life giving at most, and thought provoking at least.

i'm pursuing refining my writing skills and being more consistent with putting out new content that is writing based, whether here on the journal or on instagram (a place i frequently share thoughts and musings).
if you want to learn more about this you can read Writings From A Would Be Beatnik.

in conclusion: all that i am pursuing is fueled by, what i call, the art of slow living.
you can read more about that here, and on posts on the journal under the slow living category

speaking of slow living, i'm starting a newsletter!
i technically have had the newsletter around for a while, but i think i used it... once? twice?
yea. not very much. 
i have some new ideas for it including a bi-weekly email that contains a sort of roundup of various slow living, mindful, and intentional things i've come across around the web and found value in.
what do you think?
it's still an idea in the works, and i haven't sent out the first one yet, but if you think you'd want to at least check it out sign up for it here!

we made it to the end friends! i know that was a lot all at once.
all of that has been inside of me for so so long, upwards of a year now, and being able to convey it to you now, fully as a whole, feels good.
i hope it all made sense! 

essentially: before now, i was primarily focusing on my knitwear and photography. now i have two new ventures i'm pursuing as well as a little bit of tweaking to my current ones with a few extra strings (or strands of yarn??) in between that tie everything together.

i appreciate you taking the time to read this. 
i've been having some wonderful and thought provoking conversations with you guys lately (over email/instsgram direct messaging especially) and i just want to say how grateful i am for you.
i'm grateful for your insightful comments, your encouragement, your engagement, your positivity, your beautiful minds, all of you.
thank you.
i wouldn't be anywhere close to getting all of this off of the ground if it weren't for you.

if i had the time and ability, i'd knit you all sweaters from 100% leney-processed-and-dyed wool. 
over all, i want to thank you for giving me grace as i pursue these new ventures and navigate their newness and working-out and chase after that every calling dream of living a fulfilling and passionate and purpose filled life using the gifts and abilities i was given.


i want to work with similar minded people who align with the values and lifestyle that i am working on pursuing! 
so if you feel like that's you, come say hey (even if it's just because, i love having conversations about all of these things).

A New Perspective

i wrote the following on January 1st 2016.

they were words i never ended up sharing. i think because i was still figuring out what they meant for me and what it would tangibly mean to live them out. looking back, i realize now that this is what most of my 2016 was about.
that discovery.

i think we are as a whole always becoming, we never arrive. if we have, it implies a staleness. a lack of growing. we should always be growing. we’re like trees in that way. even if we aren’t growing upwards, we’re growing outwards.

so last year was, indeed, a year of becoming.

as i announced the new website launch the other day, i now finally feel able to fully explain the reason i'm switching gears with my business.
because i have a renovated platform, in this website, that lays things out more clearly and genuinely and authentically to who i am and what i do.
i also am now finally on the other side of knowing what i want that to look like.
i'm going to share more specifics about this in a later post, but i think it's important to lay out the why first.

i’ve learned the importance of publicly sharing certain things after you are on the other side of them, after your healing and okay-ness and figuring-out no longer are dependent on others reactions to what you’re sharing. 

so, with all of that being said, please continue reading to understand where my heart has been at this past year.

this is extremely important.
something i want to discuss openly.
something i want to encourage others to seek out in their own lives, using their own experiences for perspective.

that being said, i also want to preface this with saying that this is a deeply personal post for me.

it's one i sort of all-at-once wrote and didn't even fully realize i was feeling and thinking as a whole until it all got out there. 
i’ve mentioned bits and pieces of the following to a couple of people in my life, but to have all of this out in once place for anyone and everyone to see is somewhat a scary thing. i am actually quite a private person in nature, despite my brand and business as a whole being a large part of who i am and therefor public. 

what's more, i have a horrible tendency to be rather prideful. to admit any sort of wrong, fault or lack is quite hard for me. 
however, i’ve felt something foreign in me, these last few months especially, that i wasn't able to put my finger on until now. until i wrote all of this. until i tried to put this all together as a cohesive thought and communicate it to you, as a reader. 
it ended up actually communicating something to me instead.

which is: i need a new perspective. 

i talk a lot about my love for list making, goal setting and generally being in a constant state of learning. 
this is possibly because i didn't go to college and so, with the exception of high school, i’ve never been made to learn things i didn't care about or have any interest in.
learning has rarely been a have-to or forced upon me.

as a result, i am constantly fascinated by new ideas, foreign cultures, different religions, involved hobbies, things and experiences i’ve never heard of/tried/seen/done. this amounts to an endless compilation of possibilities in the way of entertainment and wonder for me.

i truly am a person that is able and willing to talk about virtually anything because i’m genuinely fascinated by the things that people are passionate about. 
the passion part is the key for me though. 
if someone's excited about something, i want to know why and how.

also i find it's important, even if you don't agree with a certain idea or perspective, to learn about it. to understand why people believe what they do, where they're coming from, how they arrived at their conclusion.
what it is that a person ascribes to, whether it be thought, action or belief.
both to solidify your own understanding and conviction and to be open to a change of mind and new way of thinking when it's needed (remember what i said earlier about us being like trees).

and so after much thought today, on this first day of a new year, i’ve decided to make that a focus of mine in 2016.


in the aforementioned ways but also in a few newer ways that were revealed to me in 2015.

sustainable and ethical living.
slow living.
shopping small.

what’s more, i want to do something with my life to help people find those things.
because i think they're important.
i really do.
i am by no means an expert on any of those subjects, but i’m trying to be intentional about seeking what living in those ways looks like and in what ways i need to educate myself and grow as an individual and a business owner.

not to say what i’m currently doing with my photography and knitting can't teach or inspire some of those things for people, but i’ve been feeling this itching, restless, this-is-not-all-of-it sort of feeling for quite some time now that has me searching, moving, wanting to figure out what else there is that's missing from my life.

there's something more i was made to do.

i want to educate on the importance of living slow and sustainably. 
to practice finding "the art of the every day", which has been a mantra of mine for a few years now.

i want to do that in and with my business.

it's not to say that i’m not passionate about knitting and photography anymore. but i've slipped into a place of finding my identity in those parts of me and it's gotten to a point where i have a hard time seeing past those two pieces of my make-up to the other smaller, or maybe even just-as-big, parts. 

there's so much more to me than my business and what i do. 
and what i find my identity in.
because i believe in a creator who molded me with His own hands, by which i mean that my life is purposed. 
all of ours are.
but i need to walk in it.
knowing that regardless of my accomplishments, or lack thereof, my worth is pre-defined and outside of those things. 

which isn’t how i’ve been living.

my tastes, interests and passions are always evolving.
as an artist. as an individual. 
i want this space to be a place i can express and share that. 
for whatever reason i’ve had this stiff regimented you-can-do-this-but-not-this sort of attitude with this space. 

if i posted about a wedding, i had to post this many photos of it, if i wrote something it had to be on one of these topics, if i took photos i loved the day before, i couldn’t post them until i posted the ones from the week before. 
which is silly.
i don’t even know where i got these rules other than from my own perfectionist, semi OCD, overly organized brain. 
so in the new year i want to be more free with this space. 

i want to write. 
i want to share non work related photos. 
i want to share late night thoughts and lifestyle moments.
i want to share photos from all of my travels from this past year. because there have been so many. 
i want to urbex more.
i want to learn more about sustainable and slow living and do my best to pursue a lifestyle that reflects that.

these are things i'm passionate about. what's more is that i'm learning that that's okay to say. 
additionally: i’m passionate about passionate people.

odd as that may sound… i am. 

it's why i love working with other artists and shop owners. for there are fewer more passionate people than the artist, maker or small business owner. people who dedicate their lives to their craft, business or passions. 

there’s no surefire way for me to be turned off and disconnected from another than by their expressing overall apathy.

i see so much of this in our culture. we do so much mindlessly, routinely, just-because. because it’s easy. because we’ve been sold the lie of it not mattering and we shouldn’t care.

do something. stand for something. i might not completely agree with what you do and what you stand for but, bordering on outright lies and injustice, i sure as hell will respect you more for at least caring enough to be a part of something.

please don't fall into the entrapment of apathy that our society has been so good at cleverly and attractively disguising.

i sense a rant beginning so i'll end here...
overall i just want to express my own personal need for a change in direction and in perspective, in multiple areas of my life.

i hope that as i seek out these translations, in my business especially, that i am able to act them out effectively and with love. 
and i hope you will give me grace as i figure that out.

thank you for reading friends, as always.

Goodbye 2016
Cinemagraph by  Meagan Makes Gifs

Cinemagraph by Meagan Makes Gifs

so i know this isn’t a right-on-time New Year salutation, but as 2017 came to us on a Sunday, and i try to limit my screen time especially on Sunday’s, i wasn’t feeling up to writing this then.
plus i needed a little bit of time for sinking-in and mulling-over of some of the following.
this might get long, but such is the way of my heart, so bare with me.

i have felt more me this year than i ever have before.

a friend and i have this joke “you're more you than you've ever been” which comes about when we feel content, we’ve had revelations into our innermost workings, or breakthroughs in regards to external issues.

and that might sound trivial to you in a cliche millennial-generation-find-yourself sort of way, but honestly it’s how i feel. 

it’s the summation of what this year has been, and what i think will continue for me into 2017.
being more me now than i've ever been.

i think the following has a huge part in the making up of that whole...

my recognition of who my people are. who i can trust consistently in times of trouble, in times of joy, in times of in-between. who i can trust with the deeper and bigger pieces of my heart. having these people close and vocally stating to them, and myself, their value in my life did something to me this year in the way of my contentment and grounding that i’m not sure i’ve ever fully achieved or recognized in past years. having persons, a "tribe" if you will, is so essential to a healthy wellbeing.
i am so forward-and-backward-and-all-the-way-around grateful for mine.

my acceptance of who i am. quite a vague statement for a very in depth realization, but i am going to leave it at that.

my stepping out of a box i-and-others had built up around myself. in regards to my abilities, expectations, assumptions, limitations... all of which, imagined or not, smothered the person i was made to be. i'm still learning to shed the darkness of this box, but i'm seeing so much more light now than i ever have before.

my learning to practice mindfulness. recognizing how and when i was fixating too much on the past or the future and not being present---> the most important place of the three to be.

my intention and continuation of having a 'slow living' lifestyle. in so many new ways. which keep evolving and changing, but as a whole have made up so much of my mindset in regards to so many important pieces of my life this past year. which has only changed me for the better.

in addition to those key revelations and learnings, my vision for the year list (or goals/resolutions list if you will) was the shortest i think it’s ever been. 
i kept reaching to add more, tack on extra and additional, but it felt so forced that i kept erasing and deleting and cutting back again.
simplifying has been a theme of my year as well and it seems even subconsciously i've taken ahold of it in more ways than i originally had realized.
to give you some perspective, New Year’s lists of the past have had categories.
i’m talking headers with subtext, comments and sub-goals. which is all well and good but when it comes down to it, most intentions and desires can usually be summed up in a few words, if not one word.

and so, after looking at my humble little list, i realized the theme for my year (as mentioned on instagram the other night) is....

to create  s p a c e

to stop doing things out of obligation
to let go of things that weigh me down
to cease doing things that make unhappy

you would think that something of that sort would be glaringly obvious and not so hard to halt the doing of, and yet we get so caught up in routine and should do’s and the comparison game and obligation and, more often than not, downright fear that before we know it we’ve woven this tangled web that we aren’t sure how to get out of. 
it’s especially hard when those things have become habit. 
it’s maybe even harder when those things are related to money, as money is a necessity in this world we live in because, well, we have to eat... at the minimum.

and so the last quarter 2016, because i was starting to have somewhat of a quarter life crisis, involved me figuring out what those things were.
what i needed to change.
and, once i did, being brave and proactive about starting to let them go. 
again, i know that's quite vague, but more will probably come out about this as the year progresses and i figure things out.
however right now i'm not able to talk about it because i'm still somewhat in the midst of the figuring-out.
and if there is something i've learned time and time again (because for some reason i need to repeat mistakes excessively MULTIPLE times before i actually learn...) about a phase of this sort,  is that when i share something too soon, it can often change the once positive outcome into a negative one.
i've learned to share and be open once my healing and wellbeing isn't dependant on others reactions to what i've shared.
once i've moved past it.
once i've figured things out.
once i'm solid again, no longer shakable.

because when you share things too soon, even with the most well intending of parties, especially people who don't know you deep down all the way (see first point in list above), unwanted, unwarranted, confusing, misleading advice and opinion is often given in the midst of your journey. and if you invite too much of it, focus too much on it, and start listening to the outside voices more than that of your inner voice, you can step off the path and your journey becomes longer and harder.

all of that to say. 
i'm headed in a new direction.
i don't fully know what that looks like yet. it might not look that different to some of you. it might look radically different to the rest of you. but that's not really what matters because it's my journey and i'm the one who's a-walkin it.

so here's to all of our journeys this year.
i'm not going to hope that your paths are smooth and straight- for it's the wrong turns and bumps in the road that often make us into better versions of ourselves and we end up being the most grateful for- but i do hope that when you do encounter those unexpected and hard times, you have good people around you to help you through them.
and if you don't: go out and find them.

p.s. you're amazing if you read that whole entire thing.

p.p.s. i was contemplating summing up my year in a list.
a “year in review” if you will, as is my ritual
however, as i am one who’s always fighting against being defined by the things i do and people’s perception of that and being summed up in a list of accomplishments (or lack there of) i decided to refrain. and, also, because the value and whole and looking back on a year and all of it's trials and triumphs cannot be adequately expressed in a bulletpointed list.

What To Do When You're Overwhelmed & Spreading Yourself Too Thin: A 7 Part Guide by A Girl Who Used To Be The Queen Of Doing Too Much
Photo by Meagan Abell

Photo by Meagan Abell

A very dear friend of mine recently asked me:
"What do you do when you feel like you're spreading yourself too thin but have opportunities that are hard to say no to? There's a lot going on which is a good thing, but I'm feeling overwhelmed."

Oh boy did I have thoughts on this subject.
I used to be the queen of doing too much.
Over committing myself, trying to do it all... I worked myself to death (no really, I would literally get sick with how stressed and busy I always was).
And so when I was writing her a little note about it, I realized I had a lot more to say on the matter than would fit in a text. So I decided to make a list. A list I decided to also share with you. Just in case any of you lovely people also need a little prompting or inspiration as to how to get out from under the weight of all of the things you're trying to do all at once. 
Or maybe you're not doing too many things, but you don't feel content and you aren't doing the right things. This list speaks to that as well. 

We are not meant to overwork ourselves, to be stressed, to be always be running around like chickens with their heads cut off. If you're like this, something needs to change.
Ask for help.
Cut something out.
Take time away for yourself.
Put something on the back burner.
Say no. 

I would really love to hear your thoughts on this topic friends.
Let's help encourage one another to cultivate a healthier way of living!


What To Do When You're Overwhelmed & Spreading Yourself Too Thin: A 7 Part Guide by A Girl Who Used To Be The Queen Of Doing Too Much

1. Say no.
Just do it. Start saying no. To everything. Okay maybe not everything, but a lot of things. Because you might need to prune and pull back from more than is initially necessary so you have the clearest head possible to start evaluating your commitments. I've found its easiest to start with as clean and empty a slate as possible and add things back as is needed and called for. 

2. Make a list.
Write down every single thing you are committing your time and energy to activity/job/extracurricular/hobby wise. 

3. Pray over the list.
If praying isn't your thing, just get yourself nice and quiet and really and truly ask yourself what of these listed things you really need to do. Sometimes there are things you may want to do but you don't need to do. We can't do everything we want sometimes. Ask what it is You're supposed to do. What's priority. What's best for right now. What's best for later. What's best for never even. Also, sometimes it can seem like you're doing more than you are or stressed more than you need to be, but once you clearly write it down it can free up your mind and help you focus and discern what it is you need to get done. 

4. Trust your instinct/gut/intuition/discernment.
The more I practice this, the more I almost instantaneously know whether or not I should do something when an opportunity presents itself. Even for things as simple as someone asking me to get coffee. If I said yes to everyone who asked me to get coffee or to hang out or to go to an event, I would literally never be home.
And I love my home.
Having time to myself to recharge and rejuvenate is really essential for me so that I can be fully present in the other areas of my life when it's most important. 

5. When new opportunities come business wise- Again, trust your gut.
And say no to most things. I used to say yes to every interview, every feature, every photo opportunity, every collaboration, every shop, every meet up, every craft show and market... But it very quickly became way way way too much. And I realized that most of them weren't even as great as they promised to be, or were worth all of the time and work I put into them for what I got in return. Granted, you need a season of this perhaps to have some different learning experiences, figure out what it is you want and where you want to go. But once you've figured that out, stop saying yes to everything.
Say yes to things that make you want to get out of bed in the morning because you're so excited to be apart of them. Things that you want to do first before all the other things on your to-do list. Things that align with your vision of who you are, who you want to be, where you want to go.
Above all: Do not be afraid of missing out by saying no.
That's living in fear.
That's not who you are.
Opportunities will always be there.
Put the important things first. 

6. Figure out your important things. 
For me: Family, my own well being (health, mentally and physically which also encompasses my passions, dreams and goals) and my friends. Not always in that order but that's honestly what it comes down to for me. The people in my life. I will always put the important people in my life first and before activities and jobs (within reason of course).
This doesn't always look how you would think though. For instance: A great job opportunity that will cause me to miss a friends event will earn me enough extra money to work less the following week so I can take a day off to help my Dad with something important. Or, by skipping a family event because I need to have some alone time after an extra busy work week, which will allow for me to be present and better able to love and serve them at an important get together next time. You get the idea. Just figure out what the important things are in your life to you. Maybe even what your core values are. That honestly was the most helpful aspect for me in figuring out what it is I needed to do with my time and energy.

7. You do not have to explain yourself to people.
You do not have to go into an in depth explanation for everything and everyone you say no to. First of all, most people don't expect that (or a lot of the time even care). Second of all, the people who love and get you, are going to understand. And if they don't.... that's on them, not you.
As long as Your motives are out of love and doing what's best for you and those important people in your life... you're golden.

Don't over think it. 


To have a mantra, theme, idea, or even a single word to carry with you throughout the year is not a new or foreign concept to me. However, with the exception of perhaps last year when I determined that 2015 would be my year of travel, I've never really practiced this sort of intentionality in my own life.
Usually I have extensive lists of goals and resolutions that are a little all over the place in their content and theme. And though I do have a few specific goals for this year that I'd like to achieve, the idea of having a single word to carry with me while pursuing those goals, to direct my energy through the lens of this word or theme to obtain them, made a lot of sense to me. 

So I spent the majority of today thinking on what I would want my word to be.
A few came to mind...


All great words, but most were to broad and none were quite right.
And then I thought of it. 


It even spoke to the issue at hand of trying to choose a word... The irony.
Simplifying my life is something that I've been working on more, especially since the end of the summer. Pairing down my possessions, creating more efficient systems and processes for my business, eliminating stress by eliminating excess.
Not overcomplicating.
Not overthinking. 
Because of this truth as well as this one. 
Just having and doing the needed and necessary, whatever that looks like for me.
Because rest assured that action, simplifying, looks different for everyone. Becoming comfortable with my interpretation of it is part of this exercise as well.
It's not about the trend of minimalism that's been popping up, though there are aspects of that movement I'm all for getting behind, it's about doing less so that I can do more.
Which makes sense if you think about it. 
I don't want to spread myself thin. I want to focus on a few specific things at a time, or even just one specific thing at a time and do it really well, instead of doing a lot of things only half as well.
Quality over quantity.
A theme I've talked about before

So here's to 2016 being a year of simplicity. 
Do you have a word for this year?
I'd love to hear what it is if so. Feel free to comment below or shoot me an email.
Let's have some good conversations about it.

Goodbye 2015

So I started the morning of this last day of 2015 with reading my post from this time last year.
It was interesting to see both, how much I've grown since then but also how much I am the same. 

2015, as a whole, was amazing. I hadn't fully realized what a truly incredible year it really was until I sat down to evaluate and think about it. Which is such an odd thing to admit really, but I don't know this year went by so fast that it's taken me until now to realize how much has really happened just in one short year. 
Like, really guys, I went to five new countries this year. Five
That alone would make for a red letter year in my book. 
But there's so much more that happened that made this year one of the best yet. Some of it too personal to share, but other pieces I am more than happy to revel in with you. 

Let's review...

I rebranded.
Holy wow was this huge for me. I already have even more new ideas and changes that are going to be introduced in the upcoming year, but having this foundation for my brand and my business, was so very huge for me. I felt much clearer and more focused in regards to my brand and how I represent myself and what my goals are and what my mission is with what I do.
I can't wait to continue adding to it next year.

I introduced a new series on the blog, Thoughts, from the morning and late night (the latter is actually when most of these entries seem to come to me for some reason).
This came about because I rediscovered how much I really and truly love writing. I'm no shakespeare by any means, but I do so love expressing myself and my thoughts in this way. So I hope you won't mind that being more of a thing in 2016 because I think this is just the beginning of a rediscovered love.

Hello, can we talk about how insane this was? A dream come true to be sure. I still have a hard time believing this one. Wowee wow wow. 

Learned how to spin yarn.
Cannot wait to pursue the elemental aspects of various fiber arts this winter. Believe me, it's only becoming more of an obsession from here and I have some big plans for furthering this education. 
(No, I don't have a sheep in my backyard yet but....)

Freaking ran a whole 10k without stopping. Quite a feat for a person who's never run more than two miles max at a time. 

I was a model a time or two (I use the term model very loosely as Meagan is literally the only person who can take photos of me where I'm not portrayed as the true goof that I am 24/7) 

Started another new series I'm still working on sharing photos in from this year, The Urbexing Diaries. See more entries here.

Introduced Travel Dates.
Here's to some great new ones come 2016 yea?

I was featured in Whurk Magazine as their centerfold pinup girl. ;)

Started officially documenting Leney’s Airstream Dream
One day friends… One day…

Added heaps of new strips to The Travel Blanket, which is so ginormous now and getting quite heavy... kind of thinking I need to either start a second one, or just add teeny tiny bits of yarn in the future or something because I'm not sure how functional a blanket the size of my living room is really going to be at this rate...

Went to Iceland. ICELAND
This truly could be the only note worthy thing I did this year and I would have written off 2015 as the best year of my life I'm pretty sure. 
Planning on finally sharing real non iPhone photos and thoughts from that trip very very soon.

I also went to Ireland, Spain, France and Switzerland.
There are no words really to sum up this sentence. But there will be non iPhone photos forthcoming of those photos as well you can bet on that.

It was the year of travel actually, for I also revisited Maine, Florida, New York, North Carolina, and various places all over Virginia as well as went to Michigan for the first time.
(Detroit in February.... That's all I'm gonna say...)

Helped the sailor whose daughter I am bring home a new boat that I even helped name.

Established that mornings are, indeed, my favorite time of day.

Worked for some pretty cool people and got to stretch my creativity work wise as well as personally in so many various ways with my photography. Something that lapsed a bit more so at the end of the year, but something I'm looking forward to jump starting again at the start of a new one.

I also stretched my creativity with my fiber work in making this commissioned piece that I still really love.

I introduced One-Of-A-Kind Knitwear.
A project and concept I was so excited to finally make a reality. I'm excited to see where it goes this year.

I also released another new knitwear line, The Classics Collection.
A collection I am so very proud of and one that felt so good to share with you all.
It's still up in the shop for anyone who feels like they need some knitwear for the upcoming winter months. ;)

Hosted a pop up event with my knits at Madewell!
Such a cool opportunity. So many lovely girls who work over at that store. Grateful and humbled for the privilege and honor of being noticed and singled out to do that with them! 

Turned another year older (shocker) and summed up some overall things I've learned throughout the year.

Started working with a pretty cool dude at a pretty cool shop on some pretty cool things.
Maybe you’ll hear more about that in the new year…

Identified that slow living is something I want to make a point to live out as well as shopping small whenever possible, and overall living a more sustainable lifestyle. Definitely plan on touching on those subject matters more in the near future.  

Countless other things that didn't even make it to the blog/instagram.
But again, some things are just too personal and I'm going to keep just-for-me.
2015 was it man. It really was.
Last year I wrote: 

Goodbye 2014.
There are some parts of you I'm really going to miss, and some parts I very much will not.
But I am grateful for all of your parts. 

I find that sentiment still rings true for 2015 (though I have to admit I have a hard time remembering much of the bad from this year because I feel as though it was overwhelmingly and almost-all-the-way-through good). 

So, in closing, 2015... 
I am grateful for all of your parts.

Photo cred: Meagan Abell

A New Way To Set Goals
Via  Instagram

So I want to talk about this podcast I listened to this week.  
So revolutionary for me in the way of goal setting. I think many of you know how goal oriented I am, (let's just do a re cap of goal-centric 2014 shall we?) especially in the way of list making.
But this was a take on goal setting I hadn't heard before (and I've heard a lot of them) and it really opened my eyes to a lot in the way of how to not only set goals more effectively, but how you actually might be setting the wrong goals. Or maybe not the wrong goals per say, but how you might be trying to achieve them in the wrong order

I'm going to go more in depth about what I'm talking about but I definitely encourage you to give the actual podcast a listen! The best part is in the latter half, so it might feel long but hang in there and hear the whole thing!

I also just want to say that this post is 100% credited and attributed to Emily Thompson and Kathleen Shannon of Being Boss and their guest for this podcast episode, Chalene Johnson. Without whom I wouldn't have this content! So thanks heaps to them for sharing these awesome ideas. If you are your own boss, or want to be, I definitely recommend checking out their podcast.

So, because having things written out for reference is really nice, I decided to write down my version of what Chalene talked about. 
So grab a piece of paper and pen and keep reading!
Step 1 | 
Write down the following categories

1. Physical Health
2. Mental Well Being
3. Environment
4. Finances
5. Family + Friends
6. Significant Other / Love Interest
7. Career / Purpose
8. Growth / Getting Smarter
9. Pure Joy / Hobbies
10. Spirituality

Step 2 | 
Quickly go through and score your contentment in each of these areas from 1-10.
Ten being the most content.
Don't over analyze this too much, just do it as it comes to you.

Step 3 | 
Take a look at how you scored each category.
Which areas are your lowest?
Are you surprised by them?
The areas that you scored lowest in are main attributors to your unhappiness or lack of goal achievement. Pretty eye opening huh?

Step 4 |
Write your top goals in your lowest scored areas.
In other words make it a point to work first on where you're least content.
Next to each goal write, "what would it take to do this?" The answer is either accountability or money.
Keep that in mind when pursuing these various goals. 

Step 5 |
After evaluating all of the above, ask yourself "What could I do that would make most of these things happen?"
Make that answer your 11th goal.

The areas I scored lowest in were my physical health, finances and pure joy/hobbies. I'm going to go a little more in depth with each of these areas to further give an example of how they're affecting my goal achievement.

Finances: While I am pretty savvy when it comes to spending and I don't over indulge very often, I am not as organized as I would like to be when it comes to my finances. I am always behind in my accounting and expense reports and receipt filing which makes for extra stress come tax time. Or, let's be honest, all the time. Because I spend money on my business all the time, and my lack of organization in this area is a constant reminder. Every day. And it has effects on my mental well being more than I realize. Sometimes to the point where it hinders my productivity. 
Not only that, I also want to be more consistent in the amount of income I do make every month so I can save more and be smarter and more planned with bigger purchases and investments. Something I have a hard time evaluating when I can't quickly pull up the answer to what I made on any given month, expenses and costs of business aside. 
So there's that.

Physical health: Last winter and spring I was killing it with working out and eating well. Then came the warmer months, traveling, and... well.. things just sort of fell by the wayside. It's hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle when you don't make it a priority and I definitely was not making it a priority over the summer. This has led to some not-so-great feelings towards how I feel physically and, in turn, mentally as well.
So a few weeks ago I started to take action against that again and I've already been feeling better. So, hearing the podcast and reaffirming that health is one of my lower scores, made total sense to me and just re-motivated me to tackle the whole getting-my-butt-healthy-and-fit again plan that I've already been implementing. 
Which as a result has led to me feeling better and more motivated about my other goals and other areas of my life.
See? It really is all connected.
I think that was the biggest takeaway for me while listening to this honestly. Everything in your life is interconnected and one area will inevitably effect another at some point. 

Pure Joy / Hobbies: What? That makes no sense... I have hobbies.. sure I have hobbies...
Scoring lower in this area initially confused me but then the more I thought about it, the more I realized I really didn't have a ton of stuff I could easily think of that were just pure-joy, simply-for-the-pleasure-of-it, not-in-some-way-work related things.
Of course I have to preface the following with saying that I am extremely thankful that I get to do what I do for a living. Knitting, traveling, photography? I couldn't dream up a better dream job. It is my dream job. However, all of those things were once upon a time my hobbies. Things I did just for fun. And while I definitely still enjoy them, immensely, and can often do parts of them just for me, it's really hard for me to do them apart from a this-is-work mindset. 
And ultimately anything I do in those areas attribute to my growth and success work-wise anyways. 
What were the things I did that weren't fueled by work, a need for money, were just for fun or just for me? 
I had to think about that one for a little bit. 
So finding hobbies, activities and things I love to do, simply just to do them, productivity inducing or not, has been something that's really eye opening for me. 

So. What's my 11th goal? 
Work smarter.
Maybe I'll expand upon what I mean by that in another blog post, but I think this one's long enough for now so I'll end here.
I would love to hear your thoughts on all of this.
Was this in any way as eye opening for you as it was for me?
What are some of your goals?
Comment below and let's talk about it. 

More goal oriented things...
-Make sure your goals are oriented around, and pushing you towards these things.
-Paul Jarvis and Jason Zook of Invisible Office Hours, had a podcast episode this morning on Goals which is also a great listen-to on this topic.
-While dreams and goals are different, they are connected. Here are some thoughts on my dreams from the archives. 
-Elise also has a great podcast on this topic as well which you can listen to here.
(I am so about the podcast life these days... can you tell?