How We Live + Work // 6.15.16

Hey there! Deana here...

When Moses and I started working together as a business team earlier this year, we were like two paint colors.

I appreciated his color and he loved mine. But we didn't want to mix our colors all that much. Sometimes we'd dip the brush into his his strengths and skills and other times we'd dip into mine.

If you've ever seen someone combine watercolors to get the perfect shade, you know it takes dipping and mixing. Dipping and mixing. Dip, dip. Mix, mix, mix.

That's what our journey has felt like for the past six and a half months; like we've been combining our colors to create a business mixture that feels just right.

Just the right tone, direction, and work/life balance—as a married couple forging a creative path to experience an intentional lifestyle. A lifestyle that is all about loving being together—actively engaging with our kids, pets, and creativity on a daily basis.

TAKING TIME TO LIVE YOUR LIFE WILL ONLY INSPIRE YOUR WORK.

 

To align around those values, we've been feeling the pull to break free from some of our self-imposed margins in terms of what we write about and share. Our goal has always been to be super helpful—which is why you'll find a wide array of tutorials and skill-building posts on our blog. But we also think it's important to be real.

And interesting.

How can we be real or interesting if we keep the things that we love about ourselves and others privately tucked away. (Do you do this too?)

As this blog evolves (and it will because we're forever dipping and mixing) you'll see more of us. More of what we're curious about. More of what we're up to. More of what we're into.

We'll be more relaxed. More real. More generous with what happens behind the scenes around here.

Because how we live and work is essentially who we are.

We used to think we had to box up our daily adventures and keep them out of site because we're not a lifestyle blog (and don't desire to be). 

But we're tired of trying to juggle the separation of life and work for the sake of "professional content marketing." It's particularly exhausting because everything about our lives and work are absolutely intertwined.

We just want the freedom to bring our whole selves into our writing on this blog. 

We were sipping our coffees on the porch before taking our morning walk earlier and Moses said, "This may not be the right way to do things—from a traditional business perspective—but think how much fun we'll have and how happy we'll be."

I couldn't agree more:)

So with that, we hope you enjoy...

Things we're doing + loving this week at Simple + Soulful Creative:

I'm enjoying learning brush calligraphy. I'm really bad at it. Like really super bad at it. Here are some gals who are beyond good at it: Hello Brio Studio, The Postman's Knock, Pieces Calligraphy, and Poppy & Mint Design. I learn, as best I can, from them:)

I have no expectations of this new hobby. It doesn't need to pay my bills. It doesn't need to make sense or be perfect. I love the ritual of practicing pen pressure as I make shape after shape after shape. With brush calligraphy it's not so much about thinking. Instead, I find it to be an exercise in awareness (light stroke up...heavy stroke down) and meditative repetition (to create muscle memory).

I told Moses this morning. "You know...I don't care if I ever get good at it. I just like it. That's all."


The next thing I'm adoring is getting up at 5am and front-loading my day so I can spend my afternoons enjoying our Midwest summer.

I love the quiet. I love the focus. I love getting a lot done without devoting my entire day to work.


Moses is quite fond of our newest addition to the family...an ominous fake owl he's calling Dickbird.

In case you missed it, we've been transfixed by some bird families that have become our immediate neighbors. We've watched babies hatch and squawk for food and fly away...and then return to visit us on a daily basis.

The robins? They're ideal guests. Their visits are brief. Their kids are well-behaved. They chirp in cute musical notes.

The starlings? OBNOXIOUS. They're always yelling, their kids throw tantrums on the regs, and they have taken to using our swimming pool as the neighborhood toilet. 

Dickbird's job is to look like an asshole and scare them off. We shall see. We shall see...


Yesterday evening it rained. One of those delightful soft storms where the thunder sounds like the bass section of a symphony. Moses and I took a walk in it. I'm sure people driving by thought us nuts because we weren't in any rush for cover. We just strolled along, soaked and chatting. And then we saw this...

And a few other things we're enjoying this week:

+ I loved this interview with Marianne Williamson where she shared her thoughts about depression, sadness, and grief.

+ Moses thought this was about the most brilliant (and yummy) thing he's ever seen.

+ Have you ever watched someone paint on water? Me either until today.

+ This post explains how to properly light yourself when you create videos for your business.

+ And speaking of videos...we purchased a new camera (will be arriving any day now) because we sooo loved creating our last one and are looking forward to creating more. This post pointed us in the right direction as we researched camera options within our budget.

+ And finally, many of our clients want to start creating videos but have no idea how to get going—scared they need expensive software and skills. Since we teach this beginner video lesson to our clients (to help them create momentum toward eventually getting in front of the camera) we thought we'd share it on our blog. It's a short tutorial video to teach you how to create your own screen cap tutorial videos. 

We hope you enjoy the rest of your week...

Deana Ward

Simple & Soulful Creative, Lincoln, Nebraska

Simple & Soulful Creative is a Squarespace design studio that helps solopreneurs + small businesses clean up their messaging + launch gorgeous (easy-to-manage) websites.

About The Author

Deana Ward is a Squarespace website designer, copywriter, and consultant who helps soulful entrepreneurs align their brands and set up efficient business systems—while guiding them to take simple, tangible steps toward their professional goals. Her warm, personal approach goes beyond website design. It includes one-on-one training, accountability, and idea decluttering—which empowers her clients to get up and running so much faster than going it alone.

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