Happy Monday

Happy Monday! Here‘s a mix to enjoy over your second cup of coffee at your desk (you can just pretend it’s still Sunday).

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I spent a lot of time last week and this weekend  thinking about the internet. About the way I am and am not genuine here, and how you might see me, and how I see you. It makes me really anxious. I had an impromptu conversation with a college friend last week about how we base our perceptions of people off how they appear online versus getting to know them in real life. I feel connected to so many people, when really, I haven’t seen any of them in-person in years. I don’t really know what’s going on in their lives or how they’re truly feeling, whether the happiness they express in their Facebook profile picture is truly indicative of their every day life. It’s too much for me. Does anyone else feel this way? I am exhausted from keeping up with the hundreds of people in my life, many of whom I don’t even really know (or need to know).

I miss the days when a telephone call once a week was enough, when it sustained you until the next call. Those calls, those connections, were so much more meaningful. I miss having just a handful of people to love and know.

My  birthday is next Monday. As a gift to myself, I’m going to take a week away from the internet. I’d like to read some books, listen to music, go outside. I’d like to see human beings in person, over a cup of coffee. I’d like to sleep-in and snuggle my cats instead of waking up and looking at all the new photos that appeared on my Instagram feed over night. I’d like to stop comparing myself to people I don’t even know based off how they appear on the internet.

So, I’ll be back on my birthday next Monday. It will be meaningful, because I’ll have so much to tell you.

Until then, have a beautiful, beautiful week.

 

Inspiration Lately | 1-14-15

copper pots

Copper pots, wooden spoons, and lovely (functional) kitchens.

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These Free People flats. Is it spring yet?

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This paleo donut recipe. It’s a keeper! (P.S. Did I mention I’m trying to make a long-term switch to eating paleo? It’s going almost as well as my plan to run once a week.)

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Un-Fancy’s tips for building a capsule wardrobe. Perfect for my commitment to own less clothes this year.

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Above-the-bed shelves for books and things.

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A rug I would sacrifice an arm for.

A new site design that makes it easier for you to comment. Huzzah!

Kory Woodward. If you are interested in blogging or design and you’re not following her, you should be.

#WeAreFireworkPeople‘s free downloadable workbook for figuring out where you heart is for 2015. Super cheesy, super emotional, super great.

And finally, lots of long talks, late night cries, and all the almost 24 feelings. Life is hard and good and I am grateful.

What’s keeping you inspired lately?

Lists, books, scarves, happiness.

Bookstore Flowers. www.thislittlespace.com

Yesterday I visited Park Hill Community Bookstore, Denver’s most lovely co-op of used books. It was just the sunny adventure I needed on a day that is usually very hard for me. January 6th marks the passing of my father, and this year marked the ninth year I’ve been without the man who would tape ALIAS for me when I was grounded, make me stun and skin my own fish, and pretend he didn’t know I was the one who let the rabbits out of their cage the night before they were due to be butchered.

Park Hill Bookstore. www.thislittlespace.com

The basement of the bookstore had hundreds of treasures, forgotten and dusty, smelling slightly of mildew, with inscriptions of past owners in lingering ink jotted on the inside covers. I spent hours here, dirtying the knees of my jeans on the concrete, reading every title. I found a beautiful copy of Wuthering Heights, as well as The Buccaneers by Edith Wharton (#78 on my list of 101 Things). Purchasing them ($4 total) helped fulfill #69 – Buy 20 new books and #43 – Visit 10 local businesses and purchase something.

Inspired by all the things I was already crossing off my list only six days into the new year, I spent half the night finishing #87 – Knit a scarf and give it to someone.

Scarf. www.thislittlespace.com

While I was wrapping up the scarf (that I may or may not have started knitting last summer), I felt a deep sense of gratitude for the way these things led to each other. My list of things led me to stop in a bookstore I normally wouldn’t, on a day I normally spend sad and alone, and brought me two beautiful books that inspired me to go home and finish a project I’d been neglecting a long time. The finished product – the scarf – will be sent to someone I care so much about, and hopefully fill their day with light. The thought of making that person happy makes me happy.

This is the magic of 101 Things.

 

 

 

Tips for 101 Things

I’ve been getting a lot of questions on my list of 101 Things. Questions like: “I only have 56 things, how do I get to 101?” and “How do I remember to do all of this stuff?” so I thought it might be helpful to create some tips. Here is the wisdom I’ve gained from doing 101 Things four times:

1. It’s supposed to be a stretch. If you get to 22 or 56 or 87 things and think “I really don’t have anything else I want to do this year,” then you’re doing it right. The point is to dream BIG and not limit yourself. Everyone has at least twenty things they want to do, right? When you get stuck, that’s when you get creative and expand. And that’s the point.

2. Look in unexpected places for inspiration. When I make my list, I go through everything: my Pinterest page, past blog posts, things I’ve emailed myself as reminders, recipes/websites/songs I’ve bookmarked, etc. to find ideas. I think this is fun. I love stumbling upon something from the year (or five) before that I forgot to do or see or make. Another way to find good inspiration is to borrow from other people’s lists – just Google “bucket list ideas” or “things to do in your twenties” or “101 in 1001″ (This is another version of 101 things that people do…in 1001 days. It’s less hardcore. Don’t go that route, be hardcore!).

3. Cultivate your list throughout the year. I keep a Word document on my desktop and when I see cool things that I want to remember to do that aren’t until next year (concerts, magazine submission deadlines, really big things that I need to save for), I put them there. I usually start really working on my list the week before the New Year. By that time, I have at least 40 things saved from throughout the year, which makes getting to 101 much easier.

4. Create a system for remembering. There are a lot of things on my list this year that I need to do daily, weekly, or monthly. Or within a specific month. I don’t want to miss any of them, so I put reminders on my calendar like this:

Calendar. www.thislittlespace.com

Go through your list of 101 Things and put everything that has a tight deadline on your calendar or in your planner (or both, if you’re crazy like me).

Another way to remind yourself of the 101 Things you have to accomplish this year is to print your list and post it where you’ll see it every day. I love crossing items off and reviewing what I have left.

Or, you can blog about it or share it on your favorite social media channel to keep yourself accountable and inspired.

5. Be brave. Put things on your list that terrify you. If you’re making your list and you think “I could do that, but it’d be really hard” PUT IT ON YOUR LIST.  It’s the things that are hard that make us grow the most, and that’s really what 101 Things is all about. Growth, progress, being brave.

Here are just a few things on my list that terrify me: printing a collection of poems; getting a professional head shot taken; having business cards printed; re-designing this site; buying a new laptop; finishing a hard hike; running once a week; participating in an athletic game; starting freelancing for writing and communications; starting to believe in myself vehemently.

What I’ve found, for me, is that most of the things that are really hard to do are things that are things that require me to believe in myself wholeheartedly. Secret: I have a hard time believing in myself and believing I’m good at things. I’m not sure what that is, but I’m excited to cut that shit out in 2015.

 

Here’s to the best year ever. I hope these tips help!

101 Things I’m Doing in 2015

You guys, it’s already 2015.

Where did 2014 go? It was a tough, but good, year for me. I started out living in a little, shitty apartment in Grand Rapids, MI, on my own after a really bad break up. It was a cold time. I watched a lot of Grey’s Anatomy and drank a lot of boxed wine. I also started this blog. I did a lot of house projects that taught me some good and not so good things about myself. I watched as people I didn’t know followed this little blog, and commented nice things, and it made me feel less cold.

Then, as spring started, I settled into a happy routine of work, friends, and family, and like most post-grads, realized I wasn’t pursuing any of my dreams. Even though I felt happy, I wasn’t being the type of creative I wanted to be. I’ve realized that, in a way, I was hiding behind this little blog – using it to make me feel like I was “writing” and growing, when really, I wasn’t.

So I took a trip to Denver, fell in love with the mountains, and moved here in August. I thought it was going to be magical and easy and fun, but in the words of some great someone: “wherever you go, there you are.” It’s been really hard, but worth it. It made me brave, and brought me some really great things I never expected.

Now, here I am. 2015. I need this year to be great. Not just an average, coping year. I want to write, and create, and learn new things about myself. I want to stay close to the people I love, and learn to love some new people too. Above all, I want to have a good time.

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” -Maya Angelou

So here it is. My list of 101 Things I’m Doing in 2015:

1. Read Tolkien’s Silmarillion.
2. Submit at least one piece of work for publication each month.(1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10/11/12)
3. Print Stepping Into the Sun (a collection of poems).
4. Take a painting class.
5. Take a sculpting/pottery class.
6. Subscribe to Writer’s Digest.
7. Get a professional head shot.
8. Travel out of the country.
9. Spend a week without social media.
10. Buy art and hang it.
11. Bake a loaf of bread [2014].
12. Go canoeing or kayaking [2014].
13. Go horseback riding [2014].
14. Get wet in a waterfall [2014].
15. Read something in print once a day.
16. Get business cards printed.
17. See a play, opera, or other theatrical production.
18. See the Atlantic Ocean.
19. Have This Little Space professionally designed or make customize-able and do yourself.
20. Have an address/birthday book.
21. Grow herbs.
22. Pay off credit card in full.
23. Host a dinner party.
24. Go skinny dipping.
25. Know how to make a fancy cocktail.
26. Collaborate with another writer or artist on a project.
27. Develop a minimalist wardrobe.
28. Get a record player.
29. Go camping for a weekend.
30. Buy a watch.
31. Get a tattoo.
32. Go dancing.
33. Make Denver friends.
34. Write a kickass MOH speech for Olivia’s wedding.
35. Sleep in a hammock.
36. Buy a new laptop.
37. Take good care of your vehicle.
38. Knit a wearable hat.
39. Hand-make valentines.
40. Get a professional massage.
41. Start a collection of records.
42. Dive off something.
43. Visit 10 local businesses and purchase something. (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10)
44. Open a savings account.
45. Get glasses repaired.
46. Spend a weekend unplugged (no phone, no computer/internet).
47. Rent a beach house.
48. Make art you are proud of.
49. Travel to 3 new cities in America (Portland, Seattle, Vancouver?).
50. Finish a hard hike.
51. Send 12 handwritten notes/letters. (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10/11/12)
52. Leave a poem on someone’s car.
53. Visit Denver Art Museum.
54. Donate money to a charity you care about.
55. Try a new recipe.
56. Start a recipe book.
57. Give five “just because” gifts. (1/2/3/4/5)
58. Have professional family photos taken.
59. Make amends.
60. Send someone flowers.
61. Spend a night at The Cove.
62. Get/build a new bookshelf.
63. Look into graduate school.
64. Ride a bicycle.
65. Buy a power tool.
66. Sign up for yoga classes (and go to them).
67. Get a yearly physical.
68. Get a yearly dental checkup.
69. Buy 20 new books. (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10/11/12/13/14/15/16/17/18/19/20)
70. Stay up/out all night.
71. Play some sort of athletic game.
72. Run once a week.
73. Make an effort to become closer to family.
74. Volunteer (often).
75. See a band you love live.
76. Sleep under the stars.
77. Read your work out loud somewhere at least once.
78. Read a book by Edith Wharton.
79. Attend a literary or art event once a month. (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10/11/12)
80. Get a job you love.
81. Pursue handlettering.
82. Start freelancing for writing and communications.
83. Go swimming.
84. Stay at a bed and breakfast.
85. Support local artists and creators.
86. Go wine tasting [2014].
87. Knit a scarf for someone [2014].
88. See Katy, Cassie, and Tara all together.
89. Cook a fancy dinner for someone.
90. Go to an outdoor farmer’s market.
91. Make homemade ice cream.
92. Buy a new pair of blue jeans.
93. Make homemade pickles.
94. Organize writing files into folders that make logical sense.
95. Sew something.
96. Start vehemently believing in yourself.
97. Knit a pair of socks.
98. Complete a cross stitch project.
99. Have a tea party [2014].
100. Interrupt other people less.
101. Finish this list.

Harder, tougher, stronger.

Last weekend I drove home to Michigan from Colorado to visit my family and friends for the holidays. During the seventeen hour drive there I was so full of excitement that I never once got tired. I drove straight though. I couldn’t wait to spend a whole week with all of the people I’d been missing since August, getting coffees at my favorite shop, doughnuts from my favorite baker, and the best damn tacos in the whole world.

Then I got to Michigan and got horribly sick. I spent most of my trip blowing my nose and laying in bed with a fever while my beautiful friends and family drank spiked eggnog in the hot tub and opened gifts without me.

And then, at the end of the trip, I got some unexpected news which ultimately negatively effects my income. While contemplating finding new/additional work and possibly moving to a new little space (yes…that noise is my heart breaking into a billion little pieces), I decided to leave my best pup Mugs in my mom’s care for the time being.

So I’m driving back to Colorado dog-less, sobbing so hard that my eyeballs actually hurt. Because, besides loving my dog what is probably an unhealthy amount, I’m also in a hard place.  It’s a time of so many transitions and so much change, hard work, and general suffering. I don’t like when things change, and feeling like a failure is hard impossible for me. 

I was somewhere in Iowa, scanning radio stations, when this song came on and was exactly what I needed to hear. “You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold, you gotta be wiser,” … it was like divine intervention on the Iowa plains.

It was the gentle reminder that I needed that I moved halfway across the country for change. To be bad, bold, and maybe, just maybe, so that I could learn how to be a little wiser. Not so everything could be easy and magical and wonderful. Life was already basically like that in Michigan. I decided to move to Colorado to shake myself up. Because although life was basically wonderful in Michigan, I wasn’t writing anything, and for me, that means that something isn’t right.

But here’s the thing. Since I’ve been in Denver, I still haven’t written a lot. Because I’ve been really focused on making life perfect, and wonderful, and secure. I haven’t been as bad and as bold as I’d planned to be. I haven’t gotten harder, tougher, or stronger.

So here’s to 2015 being a year of all the changes. A snow/ice storm in Nebraska on my way home gave me a much needed night by myself in a Super 8 hotel room, and all the time I’d been craving to think about what it is that I really want to do. I’ve got a lot of ideas, and I can’t wait to share them with you.

Thank you for sticking with me in 2014, and for helping me learn to be brave.

Danielle

 

Inspiration Lately | 12-9-14

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Bold wall choices for little spaces. Also, Deuce Cities Henhouse (don’t start reading unless you have lots of time).

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These mercury glass bulb lights.

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Copper measuring cups.

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Mixed prints. All the mixed prints.

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Dark walls and corner reading chairs.

First adventures in handlettering.

New boots and good neighborhood kids that remind me to keep exploring.

Not dying, and learning to ask for help (and for all the help…thank you.)

101 Things for 2015 in t-minus 22 days.

And the opportunity to have ample time to think and decide direction these last few weeks.

What’s keeping you inspired?