A Girl Named Leney


Posts tagged lists
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.

Revisting Core Values
film photo by Meagan Abell

film photo by Meagan Abell

i happened to re-visit my list of core values today (which can be found here on my website. but for the sake of this post i’m going to list them below).
they’re something i wrote three years ago. 

and if there’s one thing i’ve learned about the power of words, it’s that writing-saying-proclaiming them out loud in one of those ways, is so powerful.
even if we don’t constantly come back to their original documentation, putting them out there in the world intentionally is often enough for us to end up embodying their message subconsciously.

i think this because i have to say that despite the fact that this list has been on my website for over a year, it’s on a card that i stick into each and every order i ship out from the shop, and i’ve shared it a few times here and there on social media when i first wrote them, i haven’t especially meditated on them or kept them in the forefront of my mind.

and yet, reading them today, i realized that my life embodies these values.
this is what i live out.
this is my life.

and the pride i have in that, in myself, for bettering my world which includes myself and the people i have the opportunity to come into contact with, is such an incredible thing.
it's so important to think on these things.
to live with an intentionality.

what are your core values?

1. Do everything with Passion
Do my best in whatever situation I'm presented with. 
Stay tremendously interested in things. 
Above all point back to my creator in all that I do because He's the source of all things good. 

2. Be in a state of constant Exploration. 
Seek adventure not just in traveling. 
Challenge myself. 
Always be willing to learn new things. 
Observe the world around me. 

3. Love.
Fall in love with people. Their stories. Their uniqueness and individuality. Love them where they're at, wherever that might be. 
Fall in love with work. With what I get to do for work. With the process of things. 
Be in love with my life. 
And above all: Remember what love is

4. Enjoy the art of the every day
The simple. The routine. The ordinary. Because there's beauty in all of it. 
Live in a state of thankfulness. Have it be a part of my lifestyle, not just a list. 
Collect moments not things.

5. Create. 
Whether that's knitting a sweater, taking a photo, building a new relationship, or learning how to make really amazing guacamole. 
Make more. 
And in the making, don't be afraid of failure. 
Remember that no great thing is created suddenly. 

6. Dream fearlessly. 
Do not let the world's standards or definitions of what's possible define who I am, what I want to be or where I want to go.
Have vision and drive for doing and being better. 

Never settle. Aim high. Go confidently. 

7. Inspire. 
Help others discover their dreams and passions by simply pursuing my own. 
Pursue excellence. 
Encourage and motivate others to be the best that they can be. 

8. Be Leney.
Authentic. Confident. Unique. Genuine.
Whether that's the donut obsessed Leney, the avid picture taking Leney, the never not knitting Leney, the Leney who likes to dance to cheesy pop music or the Leney who likes getting on buses alone to find a new adventure at the other end. 

Remember that comparison is the thief of joy and to not let my vision of who I want to be obscure my view of who I actually am. 

At Twenty Five

i felt as though my twenty fourth year was one filled with more growth than i've ever experienced.
i know i felt similarly about twenty three, though not necessarily so in regards to my earlier twenties. 
in comparison, having reached the first mark of the "mid twenties", i feel like I can truly say that this past year has been even more so immensely stretching and challenging in ways i wasn't aware were possible. i wrote about a lot of those things on here which, in past years, i would never even have come close to sharing or being vulnerable about.
however, i've learned the opposite of pride is vulnerability.
essentially saying: t h i s   i s   w h o   i   a m
which, in it's essence, is a lesson that ties together all of the others i've learned.
it's one i've become braver and louder about proclaiming.
in contemplating the things i'm bringing into twenty five, the list was very very long... but most of what came to mind was actually referenced in past blog posts. 
so, i decided to essentially sum up the majority of the biggest and most important posts from my thoughts category here on the blog and summarize my year's growth that way.
if you care to read more on the below thoughts, just click the links to read the original posts.

a t   t w e n t y   f i v e

the importance of small just-right things.

the importance of shopping small --- a topic that has taken root in my heart so deeply, especially this past year. please read this post if you read any. another related thought is to grow in what it looks like to not stand above reaching down to those less fortunate, but stand beside them hand in hand.

that voice will call you home when you realize no other will truly lead you there.

the art of slow living --- which has been such a huge aspect and shift in not only my business but my lifestyle day-to-day. i'm very excited for the related topics that i will be sharing more in line with this in the upcoming year. (also read my article that was published in this issue of somerset life magazine to learn more)


creativity is often in the presence of fear. and sometimes constraints bring about creativity.

to never forget who you are and where you came from.

really and truly in the most real way imaginable for the first time ever, how valuable home is. and that sometimes there's more than one. and how even in their familiarity, there are constantly new revelations about them.

there will always be hurt. but you were born with a light in you that no darkness can extinguish.


small resolves speak volumes.


what to do when you're overwhelmed and spreading yourself too thin.

books will always be one of the most important things to me. making time for reading should always remain a priority.

the extreme importance of solitude. another post i strongly encourage you to read if you read any at all....

you don't tell the ocean to behave. #dontbehave

how to just be.

identify who they are and why it is that the opinion of one is masked as that of many in our minds. 

what perfectionism truly is and the lies it tells us when we choose to listen to it. and that imperfections are not inadequacies

to practice courage.

a conscious practicing of awareness and appreciation is in order to not take that which is comfortable and familiar for granted. it's a kind of latitude. where you orient yourself in relation to your experiences and how you choose to let them affect you.


how to make it.


how to begin getting past a block.


some unfinished thoughts can often help complete others.

howl at the moon.


what acceptance looks like. and how i feel most beautiful in the morning.


i am uncomfortable with other women degrading their beauty in the wake of my own.

how valuable it is to find and hold onto the people who feel like us. and recognizing it. a kind of recognition.

oh, and also how to do a headstand.


At Twenty Four
At Twenty Three
At Twenty Two
At Twenty One

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. 

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

Slow Living

Slow Living.

It's a term that's been on my mind often over this past year.
It's part of the dream I am working on.
What does it mean?
For me it's...

Having the ability to naturally wake up early in the morning and going about my morning routine unrushed

Taking the time to make myself meals from whole and fresh foods that come from the ground and not packages

Reading a book while I eat lunch instead of looking at a screen

Reading a book while waiting somewhere

Reading a book before bed

Reading books  

Walking or biking to the grocery store instead of driving

Caring for plants (and crossing my black thumbs while doing so)

Lighting candles

Taking time for myself

Taking time for others

Writing letters instead of texting

Dropping everything to go sailing if the weather, and the sailor who's daughter I am, calls for it

Taking a bath instead of a shower

Going on a walk with no destination in mind

Spending time with those I care about in more spontaneous and unscheduled ways

Doing things on purpose

Spending less

Owning Less

Turning over that record instead of hitting the next button on Spotify

Delegating and not having to wear so many hats

Taking time to meditate and pray

Lying in the grass and enjoying the weather

Running in the rain and enjoying the weather

Enjoying the weather


Essentially, it's taking the time to enjoy life's gifts in the various, often over looked, forms they take. Even when they require extra steps. Even when they require more time. Even when there's a to do list hanging over my head. 
Because it's a healthier way of living.

What does slow living mean for you?

Symbols of Home

Magnolia blossoms 
NPR playing in opened door garages 
The feel of oriental rugs beneath my toes
Well worn t-shirts
The smell of sawdust
A certain someones laugh
The color blue
Late nights of read-a-loud stories
Waking up to the sun
The open water
Hardwood floors
The smell of rosemary
Fuzzy boy heads filled with cowlicks and bits of sunshine
The sound of coffee brewing
Gold rings

Theses are all, for me, symbols of home

I Feel Most Beautiful In The Morning

Erica shot for Rosewood Clothing Co.

The minimalist lifestyle so appeals to me, but I'm afraid I'm much too sentimental to truly live that way.

I feel most beautiful in the morning.

Contrary to the social norm, I more often than not rather like Mondays.

Nocturnal is one of my favorite words.

I've read four books in the last week and I feel like myself in a way I haven't in quite some time. 

Blue is my favorite color, perhaps because you can use it's name to describe a feeling and not just a color.

I am still learning that feelings are temporary.

See more on
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The Wind In Your Sails
Oxford Maryland by A Girl Named Leney

What puts the wind in your sails?
For me it's...

Rainy mornings
Handwritten letters
1 hour genuine what's-going-on-in-your-life calls with people I love
Unspun fiber
Plane ticket purchase confirmation emails
Well worn leather goods
Late night walks
Things handmade from wood 
Tacos and margaritas (together or separate)
The sound of film camera shutters
That I'm on-top-of-the-world feeling
Being somewhere I've never been
The color blue
Father daughter dances at weddings

Lists Take Two

Came across this post recently, and realized I'd been making similar ones again so I decided to share some. 
Because I can't stop making them. And they should at least be good enough for some sort of amusement other than my own.

Talents I Want To Acquire
Running more than 3 miles
Running 3 miles without feeling like I'm dying
(^I wrote that before I ran the 10k in March. So we can cross this off. Although, maybe not the feeling like I'm dying part. Still actually kinda working on that.)
Picking better things to add to my Netflix cue
Picking out good bath mats
Being able to tell someone it's going to be okay without discrediting their feelings or situation
Loving people more unconditionally 
Be able to pack more efficiently/completely in a carry on
The ability to cook chicken
Packing for a trip not 4 hours before I have to leave for it

Talents I Have Acquired
Being able to laugh at myself
Buying plane tickets for a good deal
Being somewhere once and being able to get back to it from memory
Sticking up for myself and not taking peoples shennanigans
Making really good fried eggs
Screen shotting maps and navigating accordingly
Liking Mushrooms
Being unaplogetically myself
The ability to consistently drink coffee black
Disregarding no trespassing signs.

Things I Wish I Liked But Don't Really Until I'm Actually Doing Them
Talking on the phone
Keeping up with my accounting
Listening to 

Weird Things I Do In Public/Things I Do That Are Maybe Not Really Socially Acceptable 
Grocery shopping with my head phones in and dancing in the produce section 
Lying in the grass in random places
Talk to myself
Wear overalls 
Walk around barefoot
Say mean things to cats
Ignore 98% of my Facebook friend requests
Dancing spontaneously when there's not music playing
Dancing spontaneously when there's music playing

Things I Kind of Don't Really Care About
Being able to taste the difference between a $4 bottle of wine and a $30 bottle of wine
Viral youtube videos
Spending more than 10 minutes on my hair
Nice cars 
Keeping up with the Kardashians 

Things I Want To Make More Time For
Playing ukulele
Learning french
Reading non online things
Watching 90s shows
Spontaneous coffee dates

*these lists are also subject to change