Around My Town, Indianapolis

Planning for Summer In Indianapolis

March 24, 2016

Planning for Summer in Indianapolis | happyapple.us

Spring is finally here! Which means sunny days, more outdoor activities, and longer days. Already, with the few nice days we have had, I’ve been killing it on my step count. Working for yourself has some wonderful perks like, taking walks in the middle of the day and working at a coffee shop or having a working lunch out! 
I’m really looking forward to spending the summer in Indianapolis, when we moved it was late summer and the wedding season was in full swing. So we weren’t around to enjoy much of the warm weather. I’ve been working on a list of things to enjoy this summer in Indianapolis (besides just eating, lol)

Planning for Summer in Indianapolis | happyapple.us

Visit The Indiana Museum of Art
Visit The Indianapolis Zoo
Take in MANY Indians Games
Walk the Canal
Visit the Indianapolis Children’s Museum
Take Sunset Photos on Evening Walks
Ride our Bikes on the Cultural Trail
Visit Eagle Creek
Do An Art Walk of the Murals
Check out Garfield Park Conservatory

Some of these activities we have already done but during a different time of the year. I’m looking forward to spending our free time this summer exploring more of our new city! I think that Indianapolis has some real hidden gems and I’m looking forward to finding them!

Do you have any favorite summer activities or any anything new you are planning for summer in Indianapolis?

Life

10 Self-Care Tips I’ve Started

March 9, 2016

10 Self-Care Tips | happyapple.us
Unintentionally this year I started on a self-care path. It wasn’t what I had intended to focus on in 2016 but it seems to be put in front of me again and again. I used to think self-care involved a lot of manicures, which I wouldn’t be mad about. But over the course of the last 3 years, I’ve found out that it means a whole lot more than that. And I should take it seriously. I don’t have kids right now but when I do I want to be with them for as long as possible and one of the ways I can do that is making sure to practice good self-care principles.

Here are some of the ways I’ve started caring for myself on a daily basis

  1. Drink more water. I’ve upped my water intake quite a bit over the last couple of months I’m still not getting the daily recommended amount but I just keep working on it. One of the ways I get the most out of my water is by keeping a water bottle with me when we go places where before I wouldn’t have anything unless we went to specifically get a drink. I also use the Fitbit app to help me keep track of how many bottles I’ve had, you would think it would be easy to remember how many times you’ve filled up your bottle but your mind starts thinking about other things and you forget.
  2. Yoga & meditation. I started yoga to be more flexible and to help reduce anxiety but with regular practice it has turned into something more. I wish I could explain it but there is some sort of mind shift I’ve experienced now that I don’t have words for. I take the time to check in with how my body is really feeling and really listen.
  3. Activity. I’ve only got one body and I really want it to be the best it can. And I’m getting there slowly, being stronger and having more endurance each week is my main goal for my activity.
  4. Mindset. This one is the most surprising to me. I never thought that my mindset could really help me in the long run while taking care of myself.
  5. Taking a Break. Taking a break mentally or physically from some of the day to day activities that drain me has been huge. I’m very fortunate to work for myself so that when I need a break I can go out and take a walk around the city, grab a cup of coffee or just explore in a different direction.
  6. Trying something for creativity’s sake. Sometimes I’ll just want to work on a for fun personal project by stretching myself creatively. This helps me mentally get in the zone for working on creative projects of coming up with blog topics to share with you!
  7. Letting go. This has probably been the hardest for me. I’m a type A personality I want, no need things to be perfect. I make plans and lists and am not very spontaneous. But I’m working on it. I try not to let myself worry over every word in an email that I send out to clients. I try to let go when we are out on a walk and get hungry before we make it to our original destination. I try to step back from my concerns and say is this something that I really want to spend my energy and brain power on? Does it really matter if we leave the house by the arbitrary time I set in my head? Usually, these answers are no and it feels really good and life feels more simple when I’ve let some of these things go.
  8. Close my Inbox & turn off email notifications. Going along with being a type A personality I am also a people pleaser. I would check my inbox for emails all day long which is exhausting in and of itself. Then I would jump on any email that needed my attention trying to solve the problem immediately. While quick communication is important for me when working with clients there hasn’t been an emergency that needed addressed that quickly. I’ve decided to start looking at my email only three times a day. Once in the morning, once at the end of my work day and once in the evening. Not only does this help me stay focused on what I’m working on it helps with my efficiency as well since I’m not using up precious minutes a day checking my email over and over.
  9. Setting boundaries. As a freelancer, it sometimes is hard to turn off the work part of my mind or my day and it is even worse sometimes because I really love what I do. Sometimes, I start working at 7 am and will still be working before I go to sleep at night. I’ve made a conscious decision to set some work boundaries for myself.  When I’m done working for the day I spend a few minutes planning out my tasks for the next day then I clean off my desk. It helps me mentally realize I’m off work. If I do plan on working in the evenings, which sometimes I do when Gunnar has meetings or we are planning on working on a project together, I shift my hours instead of working the whole time. I’ll sometimes get my house chores done during this time or read a book go for a walk. I’m still working my “hours” they are just split up.
  10. Nurturing relationships. One thing that I didn’t even originally think of as self-care was my relationships. My friends are important to me and if I get busy and don’t nurture them they then become old friends and acquaintances. I don’t want that to happen so I take a little time each week to send out some snail mail, text, call or email my friends to let them know I’m thinking about them even if we can’t get together to hang out in person.

In general, I feel much better physically and mentally after working on these areas of my life. The biggest change overall was changing my mindset on what Self-Care was all about. It isn’t something selfish or something that has to cost money, although who is going to argue about the value of a massage or facial when it comes to self-care… not me! I hope that you find these 10 Self-care tips helpful when planning your own self-care strategy.

10 Self Care Tips | happyapple.us

Do you have any favorite self-care tips to share? Comment below I’d love to hear how you take care of yourself!

Photography

Idaho & Montana Snaps

March 4, 2016

Idaho & Montana Snaps | happyapple.us

After an unintentional blogging hiatus, I’m ready to get back into the swing of things. It surprised me how much time was required to prepare for a wedding that was on the other side of the country. I spent the beginning of last week getting ready then we spent 4 wonderful days running around Northern Idaho and Western Montana making new friends and enjoying the landscape.

Idaho & Montana Snaps | happyapple.us

I hope to get back into the grove and am looking forward to getting back to crafting soon especially since we have some downtime now. Anyway here are some of my pictures from the trip. The landscape was gorgeous and it was really rejuvenating to spend some time next to a lake and mountains. It was our first trip to Idaho and I’m ready to go back out west. Although I hope the next time we go the sun comes out for more then sunset only one day of our trip.

Idaho & Montana Snaps | happyapple.us

PNW-9 PNW-10 PNW-11 Idaho & Montana Snaps | happyapple.us Idaho & Montana Snaps | happyapple.us Idaho & Montana Snaps | happyapple.us

Idaho & Montana Snaps | happyapple.us

P.S. Congratulations John & Zoe! I’m so lucky to have you both as part of my life! I’m looking forward to our next adventure!

Life, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Make It A Great Day…Or Not, the Choice is Yours

February 19, 2016

Choice | happyapple.us

I heard these words every day in high school. At the end of morning announcements, our principal would wrap up with this simple phrase. I don’t know how many other people took these words to heart but I did and still do.

Choice is such a big part of our day. Many big and small choices are put in front of us from the moment we get up till the moment we go to bed. The biggest impact high school had on me was this simple phrase. I internalized the fact that the choice to have a great day was mine. Even in the face of negative events, I still had the choice, it wasn’t taken away from me nor could anyone else make it for me. It was mine and mine alone.

This led to me making really conscious decisions to choose. Choose things like taking a little time for self-care. Choosing to make a healthier eating decisions. Choosing to leave half the sandwich on my plate when I am full. Choosing to give myself a break when I need one. Choosing to make myself a cup of tea rather than putting it off.

Somedays I wake up and really have to choose to have a good day because not all days are good or even ok. Someday’s I’ve chosen to give in to the not so good days and then I just feel really crummy and my mood spills over to the next day. Again, it was my choice. I chose to make my day what it was.

If you sometimes get stuck and choose to have a crummy day, don’t worry it happens to all of us, I have some tips that have worked for me in helping me break out of my funk.

  1. Take a walk outside, I know it isn’t the most fun thing to do in the winter but it still helps me mix things up and get my head and mindset in a better place!
  2. Try something new. Sometimes it helps me to give myself a break from my to-do list try a new recipe or new skill like calligraphy.
  3. Make a cup of tea and watch a movie. I’m not being really productive anyway so taking a mini vacation by curling up on the couch to a good movie can do wonders.
  4. Write. Sometimes writing out my feelings or my thoughts can really help me shift my mindset.
  5. Exercise. I used to absolutely avoid exercise but now I’ve gotten to the point where it helps my body feel better and helps me focus my mind.

What do you to get out of a funk?

 

Graphic Design

Recent Web Work

February 17, 2016

Aurora Public Library District Website Redesign | happyapple.us

In January, I helped the Aurora Public Library District launch their new website! I was so thankful to be a part of this project and give them a website with many new features including a blog! They now have the ability to really connect with their patrons and get more information about library services and programs in front of the people they are reaching.

The AutoOracle Website Design & Development | happyapple.us

We launched a website landing page for the AutoOracle app we also launched in January. Which also makes me so excited to say that I know have apps in the App Store and Google Play Store! If you are like me and want to get a second opinion or expert advice on all matters dealing with your automobile then you should definitely check out this app.

You can read more about both of these projects on my web design site.