A few of years ago, I started a blog tradition of interviewing myself every year on my birthday. These posts are mostly for me to be able to look back at what’s changed and what’s stayed the same as the years go by. I missed writing one last year, but so far I’ve written them at 24, 25, 26 and now 28…Read More
If you’ve ever been curious about what life looks like for a work-from-home mom of an 8 month old baby, this post is for you! This is my first time writing a post like this (it was suggested when I surveyed readers via Instagram about topics they’d like to read about in the new year) and I’m already looking forward to reading it in a few years. With small business and motherhood, everything changes so fast…Read More
For the last 4 years or so, I have loved listening to podcasts while I drive, cook, clean, paint… pretty much anything! I listen to podcasts just about every day…Read More
This is the third year I’ve chosen a word to summarize my goals for the new year. At this point, I have developed a method for choosing a word so I wanted to share a little more about mine and also share my tips for how to choose a word of the year for yourself. I first heard about this idea on one of my favorite podcasts, Happier with Gretchen Rubin…Read More
This Christmas was special because it was Sage’s first. I’m sharing my first (and only) Christmas blog post today and it’s New Years Eve! While it’s a bit late to share any inspiration for this year, I still wanted to document what this Christmas looked like for our family, from simple decorating to establishing some new traditions…Read More
You may have seen this term coming from me, or popping up elsewhere on the internet. But what does “intentional living” really mean? Living intentionally is giving thought and care to the things you do day-to-day and making sure they are aligned with your values. “The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life”…Read More
This past Friday, Anthony and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary. FIVE WHOLE YEARS being married to my best friend. Man, has it been a wild five years! We moved home from Pittsburgh to York County, I started a business, we bought our first house, adopted our first dog and welcomed our first baby! A lot of firsts and so much learning and growing together in between…Read More
The day Anthony went back to work after Sage was born, I wanted to do everything I could to pump myself up for my first day of solo parenting. I took a shower, put on a pair of real (maternity) pants, and downloaded a new inspirational desktop background for my laptop. Actually, I couldn't decide on just one background so what I did was create a slideshow of positive quotes to use as a screensaver. I figured there would be plenty of times in my new mom life where I would be doing on something on my laptop and have to stop to nurse, change a diaper, or soothe a crying baby so my screensaver would be getting plenty of action. Now that I'm 2 months in, I can say that I was right! I'm so glad I thought to do that on my first day at home alone with Sage. Seeing these pretty wallpapers flash across my screen add a little extra brightness to my day, so I decided to team up with artist/illustrator/designer, Jamie Bee to create some beautiful, inspirational wallpapers to share with all of you!
Whether you are facing a new challenge/adventure in your life like motherhood, or you just need a little inspiration for your day-to-day, I hope these wallpapers inspire you to keep a positive mindset! Use them individually as desktop wallpapers or all together as a screensaver slideshow like I do.
Click the buttons below to download the desktop wallpaper(s) of your choice. I’m providing these completely free, no email sign up required.
But if you like what we’ve created here and want to see more, I encourage you to check out my new free workbook, “My Secret to Inspired Productivity”, available as a free download exclusively for SSDC email list subscribers. Click here to learn more.
More about Jamie Bee
Jamie Bee is a college friend of mine and a local artist, illustrator and designer here in York, PA. And she's currently accepting new freelance work and collaborations! If you're in need of great web graphics for your blog or small business, a killer book cover design or illustration for your latest article, hit her up! You can see her portfolio and get in touch with Jamie through her website. Or, if you love corgis and cool, funny, irreverant art, you should probably follow her on Instagram too. She just started a 100 Day Challenge she's calling #100daysofinfluence.
Yup, that's exactly what you think it is.
Anthony and I are expecting our first child this May and we couldn't be more excited! It feels so good that the news is finally out. If you're a longtime reader, you'll know that every year around our anniversary we get new family portraits taken and I write a little about our year together. We had these taken back in October, just a week after our first ultrasound. It was so fun to surprise our friend-tographer Savannah with the news! She's been our photographer since our wedding, and we love our yearly tradition of getting updated portraits with her. See our past years' family portraits here: 2016 | 2015 | 2014.
So far everything is going great and baby Storck is making their presence known more and more each day. We can already tell that Chloe will be great big sister - I think she knew about the baby before we did! I'm planning to write a little post about my first trimester, so stay tuned if you're into that sort of thing. If not, don't worry. I'll still be writing about interior design and home stuff! Just maybe with a few cute baby photos sprinkled in. I mean, I have you seen a baby lately? HOW CAN YOU NOT.
While finding out about our little babe was definitely the most exciting thing that happened this year, we did some other cool stuff too! I celebrated my first year working for myself full-time, we officially joined a church we both have grown to love, and Anthony just finished his last final for his last semester of school EVER! Well maybe not ever, but now he's earned his Bachelor's and he's just waiting on the piece of paper. I couldn't be more proud of him! Finishing a degree while working full-time, especially a job with as much overtime as his, is no small task. When I grow up, I want to be as patient, determined, steadfast and gracious as he is. And I'm going to stop with the sappiness now before I embarrass him. But seriously, I could go on and on. HE'S GOING TO MAKE THE BEST DAD.
Enjoy the rest of our portraits from Savannah Smith Photography! And if you're local and looking for a family or wedding photographer, hit her up! She's the best of the best and she travels!
All Images by Savannah Smith Photography
A couple of years ago, I started a blog tradition of interviewing myself every year on my birthday. If you're curious, you can read 25th birthday post, here & my 24th birthday post here. I'm a little behind on posting this year, actually a LOT behind. My birthday was March 25th, but to be honest, I just wasn't in the mood to write that day. But thinking to the future, I didn't want to let this opportunity for reflection pass me by, so I'm back, 26 years old + 2 months old to share my thoughts with you guys.
What are my defining personality traits?
This year, I think I'm getting comfortable with all of my contradictions. I'm a very ambitious and driven person but I also value a slow and simple life. I can be very brave when I need to be, but I still experience what I call "vulnerability hangovers" as a small business owner, creative and just as a person trying to live life and "put herself out there". I think and feel emotions very deeply (introvert, reporting for duty!) but those who know me best get to see my wicked & dry sense of humor. I consider myself to be very independent, but I'm noticing a more nurturing side evolving in me. I'm keeping houseplants alive for the first time and I secretly wish all of my friends would move into my house so I could just take care of everybody and solve all their problems.
What are my favorite design trends?
The return of brown, taupes, beiges and creams after nearly a decade of everything grey and bright white! I love the warmer, cozy and lived-in look that is filling up my Instagram feed. I'm loving simple materials, layered neutral color schemes, and design philosophy that's more about how you make your home versus just decorating a room.
What would I tell my younger self?
In 2015, I said "to learn to trust my instincts". In 2016, I said "to slow down and enjoy the things you've worked for". This year, I'm coming up a little blank. They say you get wiser as you get older, but lately the only thing I feel wise about is how little wisdom I actually have. But maybe that's a kind of wisdom in and of itself?
What do I want to be better at?
Home organization! I've done a pretty good job of getting rid of excess stuff and being more thoughtful about the things I bring into our home. It's helped a lot, but now I need to focus on finding/creating organizational solutions that function well for us and prevent us from letting clutter build up. The biggest struggle for us with this house has been clothes storage! Because we've been renovating the master bedroom, our clothes have been spread throughout 3 different rooms. I've tried so many different methods but since there's not one good place to put them all away, they often end up just staying baskets in the laundry room which makes finding things in the morning a huge pain! This year, I want to beat this problem once and for all by figuring out new closet systems and drawer dividers as we finish our master bedroom project.
What's been the biggest challenge for me this year?
Dealing with some heavy personal/family issues that hit hard just a month or so after I left my day job to pursue my interior design business full-time. Last spring and summer was such a roller coaster of emotions, from feeling super energized and excited to just totally overwhelmed and shut down. It wasn't just one thing, it was a lot of things and sometimes it felt like they were coming at us from every angle. There's a lot I'd rather not get into but one thing I will share, for anyone out there who may be experiencing the same thing, is that my parents are divorcing after 26 years of marriage. There's not a lot of talk out there about adult children of divorce, but a family separating is rough business, no matter how old you are. These articles helped me through some harder moments, so I'm sharing them for anyone who might need them. 1 | 2
What things did I try for the first time this year?
Who makes life fun for me?
Anthony and Chloe make every day feel like a party, but this year I've gotten a lot closer with my three siblings and I really enjoy when we can all be together. My older brother and sister each live about 30 minutes from us, but my little sister moved from NYC to Los Angeles last month. Before she made the cross country trip, we all got together to get matching sibling tattoos and for them to make fun of me for my excitement about "being edgy now".
What is my favorite memory from this year?
Spending 5 days in Pittsburgh leading up to my best friend Rachel's wedding! All of my best friends from college are scattered across the country but whenever we get together, we pick up like we've never been apart. It was an absolute honor to stand up with her as a bridesmaid as she married her true love in her perfect, mountainside winter wedding.