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2012 Year in Review

January 31, 2013

2013 Let's Do This
{Image Credit : Nancy Ray Photography}

I took a break for a while to get settled into the new year and contemplate what I want to accomplish in 2013. I’ve been busy with a new position at my day job, so this is the first chance I’ve had to write. I decided to follow a theme for my 2013 resolutions and I’ll write more about my theme and the individual goals in the next post. For now I want to review the past year, so I can see what I accomplished and what I want to continue working on.

I don’t remember where I wrote down my resolutions for 2012, so I’m going off of my 2012 goals list from 43Things. Here they are in the order they appear on the website, but not necessarily in priority order.

1. Get more sleep
I made a point to go to bed at a decent hour and succeeded on most weeknights. However, my husband and I are both night owls, so we stay up later on the weekends and when he is at home during the week. This is something I need to keep working on. I started using the iHome Sleep app to track how many hours of sleep I am getting. I naturally wake after 8.5 hours, and my current average is 7 hours according to the app. I want make that average go up so I have more energy and feel more rested during the day.

2. Eat healthier
I’m not sure that we ate healthier, but I made a lot of progress with meal planning. For the first half of the year I tried eMeals, which is a great subscription service that sends you weekly meal plans and shopping lists. I found that it didn’t work for us since Will is out of town 3-4 nights a week and I unsubscribed after 6 months. I started compiling all of my recipes on Springpad and saving ones that I want to try on Pinterest. Then I set up a calendar on Google for my meal plan rotations. This has worked really well so far and I will continue and see how it goes this year.

3. Launch my creative business
I still haven’t officially launched my business, but I am almost there with the boutique. I finally realized that my perfectionism was holding me back from making any progress. I did a better job of scheduling time to work on my creative business, but I ended up spending a lot more time on a non-profit client than anticipated. Lesson learned, I will limit the amount of non-profit work that I take on in 2013, so I have more time to focus on building a sustainable business.

4. Make more time for God and church
Went to church some, but want to go more this year. I like the church we have visited some, which is conveniently across the street from our condo. I’m still not sure that it’s the right one and I want to find a church where we feel comfortable. Toward the end of the year I finally started a reading the Bible more and I want to continue this.

5. Declutter my life
Made good progress, but still a long way to go! We have a junk closet in our guest room that never seems to improve, so I want to get it organized to where it is just storage for seasonal clothing and decorations that we use and love. I bought FlyLady’s Declutter Kit, which I love! It is much more fun than using boxes to sort things and motivates me to actually clean up.

6. Exercise regularly
I wouldn’t say that it was regularly, but more than in 2011! In the spring, even while it was still cold, I went on runs with my dog. I love being outdoors and it really helped after being cooped up in the office all day. In June, I ran the Color Me Rad 5K with a group of friends and loved every minute. I’m proud to say that this is my second 5K run and I hope to do at least one race in 2013, possibly The Color Run in August. It’s just so much fun to throw colored powered on people, so I’m going back for more! In the fall I was really embarrassed when I realized I had been going to Latin Heat class at L.A. Fitness for two weeks in a row, when I thought I was attending Zumba class! Luckily, I was the only one who knew this bit… so keep this between you and me. During the winter, I started doing workout DVDs so I didn’t have to go out in the cold. Yoga Booty Ballet and Gaiam’s Fit Body Yoga are both great! I’ll probably be following the DVDs and going to the gym until it gets just warm enough to run outside again.

7. Read 35 books in 2012
This wasn’t on my 43Things resolution list, but it was on the life list and I participated in the Goodreads Challenge, so I have to include it. I set my goal too high this year and was too busy to read as much as I would have liked. I read 21 books in 2012, which is 9 more books than the previous year! I read some interesting fiction and learned a lot from a few business and lifestyle books. I joined the 2013 challenge and made a goal for 25 books, so you can follow my progress as I go.

Other accomplishments:

  • Officially started Creative Seeker in the summer, after kicking out the perfectionist in me and understanding that I can improve as the blog grows
  • Scheduled my first interview about Mare Boutique with Etsy Conversations Podcast
  • Scheduled my first guest post, due to publish in the spring
  • After several meetings and months of waiting, I am finally a designer on the creative team at my day job. Now that I’m happy with the direction my career is going, I can focus more on side projects.
  • Traveling is a always a goal for me, and we visited Mackinac Island for the second time and traveled to Jacksonville, FL twice for family events.

2012 was a fantastic year and I know 2013 will be even better!

Your turn: What were your biggest accomplishments and disappointments in 2012? How do you plan to follow your dreams in 2013? Let me know in the comments!


Wednesday Sketches and a Brief Hiatus

August 15, 2012

Kitty and his Flower Pot and Kite

I want to start a new series where I post one of my drawings each week. I sketched this during one particularly long meeting at work, where half of the team was discussing something that didn’t really apply to me. So this little kitty and his flower pot and kite emerged. Sketching weekly is something that will help keep my skills sharp. I haven’t done any drawings for a while and I want to get back into it because I think it makes me a better designer.

I have some exciting projects in the works and I need to focus more on those, so I will be taking a break from the blog for a bit and putting my shop on vacation. Here’s some of what I’ll be doing while I’m away:

  • We are in the Holiday rush at Frontgate, trying to get all the products ready for the web go-live date September 1st. I have so much to work on, I am just mentally exhausted at the end of the day! But, yay for Christmas in August!
  • This week I’m designing a marketing flier for Will’s company Germane Solutions, to use at one of the trade shows they will attend.
  • The Pi Beta Phi Alum Club in my area is hosting a fundraising event called Floral Fantasy on November 13, and I am designing the entire event package! I’ve already finished the letterhead, but I still need to create the save the date, invitations, tickets, etc. I can’t wait to share the illustration with you – I am very happy with the way it turned out! If you happen to live in the Dayton or Cincinnati area, this is a fun event to attend – more details in the future!
  • I’m also working on a new website for my design portfolio and I will definitely share, whenever it is that I finish!

As you can see, I am super busy right now! Whenever I get some of these things cleared off my plate, I will be back to share some fun new designs and post my next treasury list at the very least. Have a great week!


The Best Two Years of My Life So Far!

June 5, 2012

Mary and Will Wedding

{Photo credit : Megan Forehand Photography}

Today marks two years that Will and I have been married! It seems like just yesterday we were in the middle of planning and we couldn’t wait to finally live in the same state, since we were 8-12 hours away from each other for most of our engagement. We were so excited when this day finally arrived.

In honor of our anniversary, I thought I’d share our wedding video trailer!! While I am off having a candlelight dinner with my man, go ahead and catch a glimpse of our happy day – full of Southern charm, vintage-inspired decor, Bama pride, and of course love and the friends that we got to spend it with.

We have had an amazing two years together and I’m looking forward to what the future holds for us. As Will and I like to say, the best is yet to come!

Mary & Will: Roll Tide from Capture Creativ on Vimeo.


My Sweet Home Alabama Needs Your Help

April 29, 2011

Tuscaloosa Storm Damage{Image source: Megan Forehand Photography}

I usually want to focus on the positive things in life, but there are times when you can’t ignore the bad things when they are standing on your doorstep.

I am in shock of what has happened to my city, Tuscaloosa, Alabama. I feel like it is my hometown and I have very many friends and loved ones who were affected. What would have happened if I still lived there? Where would I have been during the storm? I am usually the person who isn’t afraid of storms, so would my ignorance have gotten me killed? It’s scary to think about. There are other people who are probably just like me and they didn’t even know it was coming.

My family is safe and I am very glad that I have not lost any friends in Tuscaloosa that I know of. We had a big scare, because we thought we had lost a dear friend, who lived right in the path of the storm. Thankfully he is ok. Others were not so lucky. It hit very close to home and it makes me value life so much more. I pray that God will be with everyone in the South who has suffered a loss from this terrible storm.

Storm Damage{Image source: Megan Forehand Photography}

Please keep these people in your thoughts and prayers. There are many ways to help out even if you do not live in this area of the country. Please give blood at your local blood bank. You can also send clothing, especially for kids and men, shoes, food, and other necessities. If you live in the Alabama area, “like” Give Back Alabama on Facebook for ways to help out.

One great way to donate money is to purchase a tshirt at one of these links:

stand a*wear

screen name: tuscaloosa
password: alabama

Riverwood Presbyterian Church

I <3 Alabama. Roll Tide, we will get through this.