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Design Your Life

The most important thing you’ll choose is how to live your life.

Design Your Life

Social Media Babes: Don’t Fall for These Scams

08/27/2021

I just want to make sure you know about the main scams that have been going around the last few years (or more!) that are specifically designed to catch social media users. I’m going to tell you about the big 3 of them just in case you don’t know — I’m tired of hearing of you superstars getting snagged by some low life~

The Collab or Influencer Offer

Imagine this, you’ve just posted a photo of yourself and you look amazing. You get a comment from an account asking if you’d like to collaborate and asking you to DM another account, the same account, or reply! DON’T. If this is a legit company you will be able to tell immediately by visiting their profile. Companies do not tend to find influencers by commenting — they will email you. (Pro Tip: Always have your email on your bio if you want work!) This is generally a company that will charge you money (not a large amount) to send you a bunch of cheap knock-off clothes or accessories so that you can be one of their “Instagram Influencers.” Sadly however, you are just paying them for cheaply produced clothing and accessories. They may even promote your photo but no one pays attention to these spammy accounts.

The Sugar Daddy Offer

Let’s say you posted a cute photo only you get a message request in your DMs. It’s a random older man and he’s offering to be your “sugar daddy” or pay you an allowance for your attention via chat… as in, you don’t even have to meet! He may offer to Cash App you OR offer to transfer the money to your bank (by asking for your bank info and stealing YOUR money).

They rarely try PayPal but if they do, they will send a FAKE PayPal email to you about a deposit, assuming you will believe it without checking your balance. The same kind of action happens with any online payment app, you will receive a fake notification that money has been deposited and you may even be asked to pay a fee to access it.

It’s all an illusion. There is no money. They are trying to steal your hard earned cash in return for a big fat waste of your time.

The Job, Purchase, or Service Request

They aren’t always “too good to be true” offers. Sometimes it looks like a potential client is contacting you to offer you a job (depending on what you do — I’m a designer so I get offered fake design jobs) and you only need to accept their PayPal payment of X amount of thousands and send back $100 for their partner, fees, or whatever lie they are spitting.

They may also offer to buy something of yours you have listed on some other site, like Craigslist.

After you send the payment they will revoke the former payment, as PayPal often sides with buyers. They will get their illusionary money back and you will be stuck without your “fee.”

Now get back out there and ignore them. x

Design Your Life

Staycations and the Cutest Above Ground Pools

07/08/2021

Listen — I know above ground pools are pretty ugly. They can be a mega eyesore from the siding to the filter. However everyone does not live in the suburbs (I don’t) nor do they have the budget to covert their entire yard into a pool paradise.

These days, especially thanks to quarantine, (dare this be a positive of lockdown?) many people in cities are converting yards into urban gardens, fire pits, eating areas, paradise escapes, playgrounds, and chicken coops! I selected all of the above and so I do not have the space nor desire to evacuate my garden or my massive chicken run. Thus, the above ground pool it is.

The only question is… how can we make it cute?

Enjoy this pool eye candy and please let me know what sort of design techniques you adopted if you also took on this project! I will also say DO NOT assume an above ground pool is less work. In fact managing the water safety, cleaning, and maintaining chemicals in them is a daily task.

Above Ground & Stock Tank Pools

Inflatable Pools

If you’re looking for something a little less intense, try a cute blow up pool and float for the day. In fact, the current kiddie pool options are ADORABLE and perfect for a projected movie at night, snacks, candles, and a close friend.

The Fundamentals

Design Your Life

Me to Me: Stop Stifling Yourself To Make Others Happy

07/15/2020

It’s been quite a long while that I’ve been on this journey of self acceptance. Long ago there was an anonymous submission area on my blog and I got the sweetest message from a reader who said, “I wish you would be yourself and embrace it instead of hiding behind _____.”

I did hide. I hid behind my mom as a child, I hid behind Ben (my first love) as a teen/young adult, and I even hid behind Audrey Kitching and some other friends I did design for (I wasn’t as codependent with them) online and played with offline. I gave Audrey my illustrations and original artwork, I sent her inspirations daily, I blogged for her, I designed for her. We were close then, but I was always in the shadows. She would sometimes copy other designs from other artists and I didn’t want to promote any of my work because I was afraid if I took credit for my Tokyolux cats, designs, and pop art that it would be assumed I was taking credit for ALL of the copies as well.

Let’s get to know each other again.

That often happens to people who were traumatized in their youth. I was happy to create amazing things that everyone loved as long as I got to be in the background and no one really knew me.

When going through divorce or trauma it’s easy to do whatever you can to forget your memories and the pain. Embarrassingly enough, I imploded and “acted a fool.” I even pushed a lot of those friends in that community away back then. I met them all one last time at a Sanrio VIP party right near the end of my shadow self life. I was tired of being in the box I allowed myself to be placed in and I just freaked out and ran away.

I closed my store and I stopped updating my website. I fell off the online world to hide from it and isolated myself.

I’m super into SELKIE right now.

Now I’m 35 and I feel like I’ve been starting all over the last few years. I started traveling again and participating in shows in LA and NYC again (prior to the CORONAVIRUS of course). I started reconnecting with my old friends again. Like actually connecting. As myself.

I also started, 3 years ago, doing work for myself and I’m learning how to be comfortable promoting ME and MY WORK. IT’S HARD. It’s hard everyday. I often slink away and still struggle with quieting myself because I’m afraid. I’m afraid of what you will think of me or what you will say if I’m not who you expect or want me to be…

… but I’m done with that! I’m pushing myself harder each day to be MYSELF for ME. Not anyone else. I’m set on not becoming anything for anyone else. Except of course a loving mom who encourages her daughters to be powerful and NEVER stifle theirselves for ANYONE.

Thanks for coming along. I hope you brought snacks. xx

I haven’t released this anywhere else yet! The new Deericorn pendant at long last!!!
Design Your Life

Staycation: Create a Hotel At Home During Coronavirus Season

03/15/2020

Does the COVID-19 Coronavirus social distancing have you down about missing your spring break vacation or plans?

Bring them to you.

Decorate. And please bring some flowers in and have a tray of muffins in the kitchen for a bed and breakfast feel. Or have a tray of special snacks on your coffee table and decorate your living room like a motel. You can also pretend your living room hotel is anywhere: the beach, Disney World, France, space, Japan, decorate it accordingly.

Get these coasters and more at bando.
Beverly Hills Hotel Pillow By Floral Inferno

There must be a limit to how much Netflix and snacks a person can handle, which are reasons we all can enjoy a few fun activities to make our staycation even more splendid (and memorable).

This article is about actually blocking out a few days or a week of time to “be on vacation” at home. It’s not a list of things to do on regular days of social distancing.

1. Splurge on Meals

Often times when we’re on vacation we eat meals out but on this staycation we may need to order in if places are looking too busy. Look up your favorite restaurants on DoorDash or UberEats and order dinner or takeout.

You could also make a cooking date night and subscribe to Hello Fresh or Marly and Spoon for the week you plan your vacation.

Orange Juice vase from bando.

2. Host a Fancy Cocktail Party Or Themed Gathering for Housemates

Your vacation at home is probably one of the best times to have a fancy gathering with your best friends or family members. Why not go all out and make a whole decadent meal?

If you’re worried about this being a lot of work on your end, try a pot luck and invite others to help prep.

3. Be a Tourist

Most staycations are a great time to act like a tourist and go on an adventure exploring your hometown. If you are having your staycation during the period (now) of distance restrictions it would be best to go to the forest, nature parks, walks around non-crowded areas, etc. Pack a picnic, enjoy your time, take everything in. You may find new favorite spots!

Picnic in your own backyard, the forest, a meadow.

4. Break out the Games

Grab some cards or board games and sit at a table inside or outside and play. If you live alone, download a card game app (Uno, Exploding Kittens), or play a board game online. They even have board games on most gaming consoles. Play a few different types of games, nostalgic games that you’ve been missing or didn’t even know you liked!

5. Make Your Own Spa Day

Create your own Spa Day and make sure you have some epsom salts, essential oils, and candles. Treat yourself to a bubble bath with a cold glass of champagne or green tea and a book. Try a face mask. Exfoliate.

After your bath, turn the shower on hot and fill the room with steam. Breathe deep and relax.

If you’re living with someone you feel comfortable asking, ask to swap massages.

6. Get in the Holiday Spirit

Pretend it’s Christmas for a day and that you’re snowed in. Make hot chocolate, light some candles, decorate cookies. Cut snowflakes out of a few squares of white paper. Sing Christmas carols and watch a Christmas movie on tv. You could even have a holiday-staycation where each day is a holiday theme: New Year, Halloween (ex: swap the hot cocoa with cider, bob for apples, wear costumes, watch scary movies, spooky); Valentine’s day (make valentines and cookies, make strawberry sodas with strawberry ice cream, sprite and strawberry jam, hearts); Easter/Spring (hide eggs with either scavenger hunt notes OR treats, boil eggs and dye with food coloring, pastel colors)

Drinks and doodles while listening to records?

7. Camp In Your Backyard

Want to go camping but don’t want to be in a campground? Do it in your own backyard! You also have access to necessities and snacks. And bathrooms. Make a fire pit and roast marshmallows. Tell spooky stories. Count the stars.

Lounge outside and make it an event.

8. Go For a Crawl

If the travel restrictions lift, get together with a friend or your partner and explore your city by going on a crawl. Choose a theme for your crawl such as sampling the best tacos, donuts, beer, or pizza.

If you’re stuck inside, try a bunch of the candy, chips or teas in your house and rate them.

9. Get your DIY on

Try to learn to do a new craft or project you’ve been wanting to do. Make it a group effort and invite everyone over to work on the same type of project such as knitting, cooking, painting, even digital creations (laptop party!).

You could also plan to learn to do a project together such as friendship bracelets, painting wine glasses, making dream catchers, creating vision boards, etc.

10. Take an Online Class

Have something you’ve had on your to-do list to learn for quite awhile? Something you’ve been wanting to learn, do, create, or experience? There are all sorts of classes online where you can join with others and achieve your goals right from the comfort of your own bed!

A few great places to try:

“Vacation is a state of mind – you don’t have to actually leave your house to get that same relaxed, never-leaving-this-room-again feeling you get in a hotel room. These products will help you recreate that feeling, whether you’re on your way to paradise or bringing paradise to you.”

ban.do?
Design Your Life Diary

Show Me How to Be

01/09/2020

There are some people who look at themselves and don’t see the need to work on anything. They’re awesome just they way they are. I’m not one of those people.

I’m a person who is always searching myself to see what I need to work on to make myself a more loving, compassionate, caring human being. I’m pretty sure that started when I was 15.

That year, I prayed and asked God to show me how others saw me. And I hated what I saw as a result of that prayer. I was harsh and extremely judgmental. I was defensive and quick to bite back. I wasn’t well liked (probably even by my fiends) and it wasn’t hard to see why.

There were hurts and wounds that had caused that behavior, but I was responsible for how I allowed those hurts to effect how I treated others. Hurting people Tend to hurt other people. I didn’t want to be a source of that kind of hurt towards another person.

I’ve prayed that same prayer many times over the years. I’ve been surprised that I didn’t really have anything revealed to me. I’ve been listening and searching and couldn’t see the specific areas I felt I needed to work on.

This past week, I’ve had a couple people tell me some very sweet things. That I deal gently with others feelings. That I am knowledgeable but not pushy in how I share the things I’ve learned. That my stories I share are full of love. The past few days I just kept thinking, “Wow! I really wish those things about me were true! I’m going to try hard this year to live into those things. Try to really be THAT person!”

Bumbling around my mess of a Christmas break house, thinking on these things, trying to live into them so that I don’t allow the anxiety of mess to make me snappy at the family that has to live with me, I felt God ever so sweetly nudging me with thoughts. Thoughts that said, “You asked how others see you. Why do you think that has to be that they see hard things?” And my response is, of course, “because I too am beautifully flawed!! There is always something to improve on!!”

For the second time in as many weeks, He pressed on me that I only see him as a God who corrects when He is a God who loves us just as we are. That He sees me as uniquely and wonderfully created. That as my father he sees me with pride at who I’ve grown to be. Loving me just as I am. And that I have to accept that sometimes that’s a gentle, loving space.

It’s so much easier for me to see the good things in other people. Because I know my own thoughts and heart!! And y’all, sometimes loving people is HAAAARD!!

But today, I’m going to be gentle with my words to myself. Learn to accept the fact, that for 27 years, I’ve worked hard to bust up the hardness of my heart and let love win. To choose forgiveness over anger even when it offended my own sense of justice. I’m going to follow my own advice and let sweet words flow over me and balm my own bruised spirit.

I’m going to take those things and make them as true for my little family as they often still live with my rough edges.

Thanks for letting me share a sweet space this morning if you’re still reading my novella.

Namaste, Friends. Thank you for letting me share.

Design Your Life Diary

I’m Not Telling You About Miseducated Monday

01/02/2020

I’m not. I’m also not going to tell you about how I made a promise to myself to blog more. That if anything I should just choose a day and devote that day to blogging. Because then, at least on that day, I would be continually making new content.

No, I’m not going to tell you because I started this plan WAY BEFORE New Year and I already didn’t follow through. I don’t want you to look at me as a lazy blogger, you see. Especially because I am a very lazy blogger and I intend to change.

What is your New Years resolution? Don’t give yourself a lot. Don’t make a list. Nothing is more off-putting than an endless list of ways you expect yourself to change. No. Choose 1-3 things you plan to focus on improving about yourself or your life this year. Do that. Don’t “Lose 20 lbs eating healthy and exercising at least 5 times a week” yourself. Don’t “Stop eating sugar, drinking wine, and smoking” yourself.

Personally, that is one sure way I will not succeed. We have to make it easier. You can always add another goal after you achieve the first one. You don’t need an endless list of things you must do to accept yourself or feel accomplished. No.

My 2020 Resolutions:

  1. Blog on Mondays
  2. Make a gratitude list of at least 5 items each day.
  3. Be more open hearted. Tell people what they mean to you more often. Love more. Judge less.

What is on your list? What is your main focus of self-growth this year?

Happy New Year!

All of the cute diner food is from Baby’s which used to be Talbott Street, our favorite club! Check it out this year!

Baby’s Indy

2147 N Talbott Street
Indianapolis, Indiana 46202

Design Your Life

You’re Using Self-Help Gurus and Happiness on Social Media to Hurt Yourself

11/25/2018

I’ve been through a lot in my life and have experienced a lot of pain. I got so low when I hit rock bottom that I knew it was the end of my life if I didn’t get help. I had to do a lot of work to heal myself and make a new life. I have never again felt as low as I did then. Not even close. I have an amazing life. I’m grateful. I’m truly happy and excited for each day.

But.

I’d be lying if I didn’t say I still get sad. Everyone still gets sad. This movement going on in print and on social media is dangerous.

What movement, you ask?

You’ll notice online there is no shortage of self-help books and blogs. Positive, motivational, and personal self-help, social media accounts, even. The quotes, the promises.

You also may notice in your own social media feed that your friends are also posting the great times, the special moments. However is it still acceptable to be honest about being sad? About feeling vulnerable? About heart break or failures?

I can’t tell you how many readers have contacted me about how I gave them hope with some of my brutally honest, personal articles. Hope that things can totally change. That they can be happy. That’s AMAZING! I’m so grateful for that every day.

I do wonder though, when they get sad or have a hard day do they feel like a failure? When their house is not as perfect as a picture do they feel like giving up? When their vacations and events aren’t Pinterest-worthy do they feel less-than? How about if they spend the day arguing with their partner because they wake up feeling “not good enough” and sad?

I have also been contacted about similar sad situations by readers. About people that eat this motivational stuff up just knowing that one day they will be enlightened like that woman but keep on feeling discouraged because they aren’t. They have hope that their wildest dreams will all be manifested and they will never have an emotional day. They will not have bad days.

The problem I have with some life coaches is that they sell their life, disguised as a coaching product. Perhaps a result of the growing popularity of the lifestyle design industry, these life coaches spend more time trying to live and sell a lifestyle that suits them, rather than investing in the service they are allegedly providing to others. – Medium

Do you know that woman‘s personal life? She does have bad days. She wakes up feeling bad about herself. She recognizes her own failures. She posts another quote and completes a recommended self care regimen and feels better but she still makes mistakes. She still feels blue sometimes.

I know some of the top female gurus and I’ll let you in on a secret:
The positivity and perfection are an illusion and I know that you’ve used it to make yourself feel worse.

That woman does not exist. You are looking through a rose colored lens because you cannot see her behind closed doors. You don’t see her personal life.

Am I saying she is a fraud? No, she’s probably a good motivational speaker and writes inspiring, best-selling books. However, she also has bad days that you don’t see. You can’t use the illusion of perfection to make yourself feel less-than.

You do exist. And you are amazingly and perfectly imperfect. You will have bad days. You will wake up feeling less than. You’re not. We all feel that way sometimes and it’s ok.

Pst, Here’s More Proof

Design Your Life

Breakup Rehab: How to Get Over a Break-Up and Impress Your Ex

11/22/2018


I’ve finally started writing more self-help based articles and books again. Please enjoy my first official Kindle ebook, Breakup Rehab!

Because I’ve been through it first hand, discussed it with friends over tea and researched the hell out of the current material out there, I feel I have a lot of advice to offer you that actually works. If it works for my obsessive mind, it can for sure help you.

I deeply wish someone would have written this for me many years ago so that I didn’t have to learn things the hard way. However, I am thankful I can provide you with some insight.

The value in this for you is that I know exactly what you need to do to be successful in your endeavor of heartbreak and I know just as well how to ruin your chances. This was once a long article posted here but I have since published it into an ebook for the Kindle to make it easier to read and take along with you during hard times when you’re expected to play it cool, calm and creative.

Please feel so inspired to purchase the inexpensive (it’s only $.99 for a limited time!) ebook and come along aboard the love train with me, keep your hands inside and your rings on tight. This is going to be bumpy ride. I appreciate all of the support I can get and I know my long-term readers will appreciate it.

This article is geared towards those of us in a serious relationship with, or married to, a man. If you’re interested in getting a woman back you’ll obviously need to go about things quite a bit differently but this advice could loosely be used to get a girl back as well since it’s mostly about helping yourself progress to attract your mate so feel free to replace all the ‘he and hims’ to ‘shes and hers.’ If you’re interested in revisiting a friendship just remove all of the romantic parts. This majority of the advice is great for getting over any break-up in a positive and successful way so feel free to make use of it as you please.

Want more advice?

If you’re looking for more ideas to save your relationship or marriage stay tuned for an actual relationship course (that you can take alone but it would be best to take with your significant other). I promise to first subject my friends and eventually my significant other to the course so I can include helpful hints and extra valuable information along the way. You might say we’re still collecting inspiration so if you have a story about parting ways with or reconciling with your ex be sure to let me know all about it! Don’t worry, you can always remain anonymous.

Design Your Life DIY Recipes

The Beauty Benefits of Bathing in Tea [Part 2]

11/11/2018

Bathing in tea is not only beautiful and extravagant, it feels good. I’m a big tea and coffee lover in general and I can’t often use scented bath products as they aren’t the best for my skin or feminine health due to the chemicals they have. Bathing in herbs and teas is certainly a much better relaxing, decadent choice for most of us than sitting in bubble bath!

I still get messages from readers about our “The Beauty Benefits of Bathing in Tea [in Australia]” post by Michelle Walker and I decided it was finally time to do a beauty update! For one, many of you explained that you don’t have access to take baths so I’ve given you some more options for “bathing in tea.” Enjoy!

Great Teas to Bathe In

  • Chamomile: A great choice if you suffer from break outs or just want a glowing complexion. It’s no surprise that chamomile is also stress-relieving and relaxing, as it is commonly enjoyed to calm down before bedtime, so also try it as a relaxing bath before going to sleep.
  • Peppermint: A great refresher after a long day and a great choice to get you going. I even love simmering peppermint leaves on the stove as a winter blues pick-me-up and it’s a great scent to clear your sinuses if you’re feeling under the weather. I have also found peppermint is is very helpful if you’re feeling nauseated or sick to your stomach.
  • Green Tea: Green tea is also great for your skin as it contains antioxidants and a high amount of vitamin B, It’s a great choice for relaxing muscles and sweating out toxins. Also, as it has caffeine, it’s a good morning ritual.
  • Lavender: The most relaxing aroma (in my opinion) that helps you destress and will even improve a migraine. I keep a sachet of dried lavender beside my bed for just those reasons alone.
  • Jasmine: Jasmine is moisturizing and is said to improve stretch marks. The scent, to me, is intoxicating and one of my favorites to bathe in at the start of my day.
  • Rose: One of the prettiest teas to bathe in, of course you can toss in rose hips, rose buds and rose petals and feel like Marie Antoinette herself. What’s even better is this makeshift rose water tightens pores without drying them out and is also full of antioxidants. Rose water is a great toner–your skin will certainly thank you for this one!

Cream or Sugar?

Of course you can’t add sugar to your relaxing bath (a yeast infection waiting to happen!) but milk is a great addition to bath teas.

  • Milk Tea Bath: Milk contains a lot of fat and protein that leaves skin feeling supple. Lactic acid in milk helps to exfoliate and soften the skin leaving you with a glowing complexion. Add teas for more benefits.

Only Have a Shower?

You can still “bathe in tea!” Shut the bathroom door and let a steamy shower run for a few minutes on some teas and herbs placed within muslin, cheesecloth or pantyhose prior to getting in. Leave the tea bags in the shower while you bathe.

Steam Treatment

Another option is to heat the herbs in a simmer pot on the stove and do a steam treatment on your face. You’ll simmer the herbs in the pot, remove it from the stove and then cover your head in a towel while you hold your face over the steaming pot — be careful the steam is not hot enough to burn! Make sure you stay far enough from the simmering water or it will harm your skin (or mood!) more than improve it.