New Year's Goals: Home + Travel

One big topic for 2018 New Year's Goals is Home and Travel.  It's a super important pillar that gives us a beautiful balance between the comfort of our roots and the thrill of adventure.

At different stages in life, we may be more inclined to hop around from city to city exploring the great, big world or more inclined to find that dream home, a place where we can relax and raise a family. 

Both inclinations, to settle and to explore, are totally valid human instincts.  Personally, I believe we need a good balance of both.

A home base is a necessary foundation where we can really settle down and grow some roots, be an active part of a community, and develop deep friendships with people we can easily hang out with in-person.

An active travel schedule is just as essential!  We need to spread our wings, experience other cultures, meet new people, and gain the personal development that, let's face it, we only get from stepping outside of our familiar comfort zones.

Check out the vision board I made for my dream home.  In 2017, I was really tired of feeling unsettled and constantly renting.  

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And guess what!  By May, I bought the most perfect little bungalow.  <3

My boyfriend and I conquered some much needed renovations upfront and for now this little old lady is being rented on Air BNB to offset the reno costs. 

If you're staying in the ATL area any time soon be sure to check it out!

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To wrap up, I created a list with all the major pillars of life to guide your goals in 2018. 

It really helps you think through the important things and understand how you're going to make it happen. 

It comes with 32 different avatars so you're bound to find a graphic that looks like you!  Or you can totally leave it off.

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That concludes our last pillar of our 2018 New Year's Goals so that you can be ready to have your best year ever.

Wishing you the very BEST 2018. 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

-Lauren

New Year's Vision Board: Relationships, Friends & Family

Lauren Lesley Studio offers the hottest designs for your workout schedule planner. Our planner gives you access to over 45 beautifully-designed, gym-proven fitness plans prints.  The Workout Planner Printable is the best way to schedule your workout, manage your exercises, creating fitness routines, planning your workouts and recording your progress.

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New Year's Goals: Health + Spiritual Wellness

Why is it that New Year's resolutions always make me think I have to GIVE UP something?  For years, when people asked me, "What is your New Year's resolution?" I would just shrug.  Not interested, dude.  I like my life. 

But it can always be better, right? :)  Duh.  That's why for 2017 I decided to create New Year's Goals instead.  That made me feel like I was ADDING something great to my life.  I love this approach and am excited to double down on my goals for 2018!

The next main pillar of life is Health and Spiritual Wellness.

Health tends to be a big focus for New Year's in general.  In 2017, my boyfriend and I decided to join a gym and meet each other in the morning before work to exercise 2-3 times per week.

Truth is, working out regularly is not easy for me.  And no, it's not the exercising part that I find to be so difficult.  Once I'm there, I'm good.  It's the GOING to the gym/yoga class/pilates that I can't seem to hammer out into a steady habit. 

In the morning, I'm tired.  After work, I don't feel like it.  During lunch, there's not enough time and I don't want to get sweaty.  Wah, wah, wah!  You gotta do it.  It's just something you have to do if you want to live a happy, fulfilled, productive long life.

I give a lot of credit to my boyfriend who is motivated and creates a gym schedule for us.  We started out 2017 strong working out 2-3 times per week.  Then work travel happened and we t-o-t-a-l-l-y fell off the wagon. 

After a few months he suggested that we create a schedule with a trainer at L.A. Fitness.  As painful as it was for my wallet...  and as intimidating as it seemed at the time (I imagined a scary football coach yelling at me and shattering my emotional wellbeing)...  it was the best decision ever. 

Now that it's on the calendar, we're on a regular schedule!  Even through winter.  And our trainer is super sweet and encouraging.

Check out the vision board I made in 2017 for Health + Spiritual Wellness.  I had more of a yoga focus, but hey that's okay. 

Put it out there and somehow the Universe will make sure it happens!


I've created a few printable products to help you achieve your health and spiritual goals for 2018.  Yasss!

Body Goals provides a template for your work out plan Monday through Friday.  Keep up with your plan throughout the year and see how much you improve!

 Flat lay, top view office table desk. feminine desk workspace mock up with clipboard, twine, pencils, floral bouquet, craft diary and clips on white background.

The Meal Planner is a great tool for eating healthy throughout the week.  It's not that you don't like healthy food, right?! 

It's just hard when everything is so last minute.  The meal planner will keep your belly AND your wallet on track.

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The Spiritual Journal provides a guide for your daily practices such as prayer, meditation, mindfulness, and reading. 

It includes a section to write down what you're thankful for and which books/podcasts are feeding your spirit.

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New Year's Vision Board: Career + Finance

I have been reflecting on my vision boards that I created last year around New Year's.  It's certainly interesting to see all kinds of crazy progress in each area of my life.  Setting your intention and being really clear about what you want is certainly a powerful thing to do.

Each vision board represents one of the main pillars of life.

  • Career + Finance
  • Health + Spiritual Wellness
  • Relationships, Friends, and Family
  • Home

The first one is Career + Finance.  

Let's be honest.  We spend the majority of our lives at work.  If you hate your job or feel like you're wasting time doing something that isn't your longterm vision it can be pretty depressing.

I made this vision board last year by collecting images of artists and designers that deeply inspired me.  Making the collage gave me unlimited energy, an excitement in my bones.  I got clear about my vision.  And you know what?  This past year I've been very intentional about working towards that vision and have seen LOADS of progress. 

I signed up with MailChimp, for one thing!  In the past, I worked with customers who happened to find me on Etsy.  Now, I am being proactive about staying in-touch with clients, because I want to be the go-to designer.  I want to create digital products that will make your life easier and prettier!  

The Universe cannot give you what you want unless you tell it exactly what you want.  I told the Universe what I wanted.  I made my vision board, I scripted about it, and I talked about it nonstop.  And it has manifested in amazing ways.

So what do you want?

Do you want to be debt free?  *Raises hand!*  If money wasn't an obstacle, what would you be?  (Are you looking at me??)  Yes, right at ya. ;)   

What are your financial goals?  Do you want to create passive income or achieve financial freedom so that you can give ALL of your time to the things that really matter?  It's absolutely possible.

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I've created a product to help you achieve your financial goals for 2018.  It's called The Ultimate Financial Planner and it includes a Printable (if you prefer to plan your finances on paper) and an excel spreadsheet that is pre-formatted as a budgeting balance sheet.  Hurray!  Setting your financial goals couldn't be easier.

Plus, it includes 32 PNG avatars to play with.  Yeahh. :)

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My Christmas Circa 1980-Something

I recently came across this hilariously cute picture from my childhood where I'm intensely focused on my coloring book (which is also on My Story page).  It's Christmas morning circa 1980-something.  My little sister is patiently waiting for me to play with her, but I'm determined to color the best damn picture ever.  Haha!

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I have to say, not much has changed since then.  When I'm not working my nine-to-five as a textile designer, I'm spending pretty much ALL of my free time drawing, designing, and creating new products that will hopefully make your life a bit prettier and easier.

That's why I created the Christmas Portrait Builder where you can create a family portrait illustration for your Christmas/Holiday cards.  It's a Powerpoint file pre-prepared with avatars - you simply copy and paste, drag and drop.  My little sister (yep, the same one above) sampled the product and said it's realllly fun and easy to use.  :)

I'm a little bit proud that I recently learned how to make GIFS.  Check out the one below, which is a great way to see how you can use the different options:

Especially, if you don't have a good family photo this year or if you want to do something different.. the Christmas Portrait Builder is perfect for you.  It's a quick and dirty tool that ends up looking like you made the extra effort of hiring an artist. 

Here are some more family templates to browse:

With each family template, there are over 75 different avatars so you are almost guaranteed to find matches for your family.  There are also options with glasses, facial hair, etc.  Check out all of the faces below:

As a small gesture of thankfulness for being here and reading my blog, I'd love to offer you a FREE SAMPLE of the DIY Christmas Card Portrait Builder.    I've been an artist ever since I was a little girl and YOU help turn my creative dreams into a reality.  So, seriously, thank you. :)  Just sign up below to get your free sample!

 
 

The free sample is a Powerpoint file that you can download from my Google Drive folder once you sign up above.  Feel free to play with it and see how easy it is to use! 

Please note:  the sample file has a limited number of options.  If you try it and love it, and want to buy the full versionplease click the link here.

Now you have the ability to design your own DIY Christmas Cards!  I usually like printing online with Overnight Prints because it's so easy, but UPS or FedEx are great local options.

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Additionally, you can delete the Holiday background and use it for family prints (or however you want)!  Which, by the way, makes really special and inexpensive gifts. Just sayin'.  :)   With this tool, you get to be the designer so your creativity is limitless.

And if you don't see a good option for your family, but you are interested in buying this product, please email me at LaurenLesleyStudio@gmail.com.  I also take custom orders and would love your feedback.

Love + Light,

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Germany Trip + my latest digital product

I just returned to Atlanta after an amazing trip to Germany with my boyfriend and his family.  We visited towns in former East Germany such as Wittenberg, Weimar, and Wartburg.  We saw where Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses, where Kandinsky taught modern art, explored a castle, and visited a concentration camp.  It was life changing to say the least.

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Shoezzzz!!

My friend, Jenelle, just recently launched a new brand of shoes!  The company is called Alayah Noelle and is local to Atlanta.  She worked with a factory in India and has an adorable Spring collection that's totally affordable.  Her hubby, Sahile, gets complete photo credit @traveling.grammer.  I'll definitely be posting more from this shoot.

DC Trip

My very first trip to Washington D.C. in October 2016 was filled with love and excitement.  Mark invited me to a wedding, we stayed with my cousin John and his family, and of course I was able to see a few monuments while we were there.  I saw the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence at the National Archives Museum.  I saw the White House and waived with pride at President Obama.  I met many of Mark's best friends and we danced the night away. 

Lovebirds at the Farm

Back in September 2016, we took a day trip to Serenbe, which I'd highly recommend to anyone in the Atlanta area.  Serenbe is a very well planned community that includes a 25 acre organic farm, a seasonal Farmer's Market, beautiful multi-million dollar homes, horseback riding, art galleries, etc.  We spent the morning touring the organic farm and learned so much about natural farming techniques and the importance of eating clean.  We even got to feed the chickens and collect their eggs from the hen house!  For lunch, we ate at the farm-to-table restaurant which was amazing, healthy, and delicious.  After lunch, we toured an art gallery and enjoyed a splendid wine tasting!  Mark would love to move out there and while I could easily spend a weekend every year, I think I'll be sticking to city life.  :) 

Easter Throwback

Today marks a very special day - I joined the Universalist Unitarian Congregation of Atlanta.  Mark and I first visited on Easter 2016 and the community resonated with both of us more than any church has in recent years.  My interest in a Unitarian church has been brewing in my mind and spirit for years and I finally took the plunge.  It was everything I expected and more!  The Easter message educated us on the origins of the Easter bunny (German fertility goddess involved), universal cross-cultural stories of resurrection from all over the world, and the speaker even referenced a scholar from Yale's Forestry program, the same program from which Mark graduated.  We've been back several times since and love it so much!  It's a place where intelligence and curiosity is valued, tolerance and acceptance is preached, balance and meditation is practiced, and social justice is of utmost importance.  I'm so thankful for finding this community and for a partner I'm so compatible with!

Yoga in the Park

King of Pops hosted Yoga in the Park for FREE all summer.  How fun it was to walk the BeltLine with friends and enjoy a social activity while getting healthy!  Thanks, King of Pops. <3

Yoga at the W in Buckhead

Sometimes it's hard to get motivated to work out.  But not when there's a free yoga class at the W in Buckhead with all of your friends!  Taught by Carly Grace, the class was the perfect balance of toning, stretching, and relaxation.  She teaches at Thunderbolt Power Yoga and your first class is free!  I highly recommend taking classes from her.  She's great.

Source: http://www.thunderboltpoweryoga.com

I'm a Fresh Harvest girl

Back in December, the universe brought me the most amazing gift in the entire world.  I learned about Fresh Harvest, a company that delivers fresh organic produce straight to your door on a weekly or biweekly basis, and it is literally the best thing that has ever happened to me in terms of food.  Can I please just list out how wonderful they are?

  1. Fresh, organic fruits & veggies.  This means your food hasn't traveled half way across the world to sit in a grocery store for a week before you buy it.
  2. So understanding.  Unlike so many companies who try to "get you" with ridiculous fees, Fresh Harvest does not charge a delivery fee, nor a sign up fee, and if you need to skip a delivery one week they totally understand!
  3. Minimal waste.  Because Fresh Harvest delivers your veggies in a rubbermaid bin there is almost zero waste.  You just put your empty bin outside and they retrieve it and replace it with a full bin on your next delivery day.
  4. Very social.  They are super responsive and have a wonderful social media presence.  Check them out on Instagram or Facebook.  You can see exactly where your food is coming from!
  5. Local farms.  We all want to support our local farmers, but we can't always make it to the Farmer's Market.  Fresh Harvest makes it unbelievably easy on us by selecting seasonal produce, coordinating with local farmers, and delivering it straight to our doors.
  6. Variety + Surprise.  I'm not one to venture out too far when it comes to choosing produce, but because Fresh Harvest selects most of the produce for me it ends up being a fun surprise.  On top of that, I'm receiving foods I wouldn't normally pick out at the grocery store, and it's actually wonderful, because I am learning so much more about real food and how to prepare it.  (You do have the chance to tell them 3 things that you never want for those select items that you find simply revolting.)  And beyond produce, they sell organic eggs, bread, bakery items, milk, you name it!
  7. Discounts.  If someone signs up through you Fresh Harvest generously gives you both $15 off!  Since my biweekly order is only around $39 this is nearly a 50% discount.  That's amazing!  So sign up through me (Lauren Poole) and we will both greatly benefit.  ;)