To me this is the very definition of sublime. It was beautiful and free. My 27th orbit around the sun was difficult, but it taught me one big important lesson: it’s worth it to pursue finding your own life beautiful.
Since Chelsea Laine Francis dot com will be getting a revamp in early January, I thought it might be a good time to start pressing publish on some of my thoughts again. Looking back through this year I’m a little bummed to not have it immortalized somewhere, though my therapist says I don’t have to do that with everything and she’s right.
Earlier this morning, as I was sitting at my kitchen table (today's workspace) I was thinking through the past few weeks, and decided to just write it all out. It's yet to be seen whether I'll press post on this blog or not, but I know getting it all out will feel good.
March is one of my favorite months, because Austin, TX gets flipped, turned upside down into a big party with SXSW! With that in mind, I like to set goals that are both business and self care oriented! Before I get into that, let's check in with last months goals!
My idea was very simple: I wanted to represent as many New Year's resolutions as I possibly could with booths at the mixer. Whether it's 'Try bangs' or 'Hire a business coach' or 'Eat more vegetables' or 'Define my personal style' or anything in between, I wanted the attendees to be able to talk to someone they could learn from!
Trusting my intuition means going through a process of learning to make decisions apart from doubt and insecurity. It means going into an ice cream shop, and not worrying about all the flavors you aren't going to get to try in favor of just asking yourself what you want, right now. For me that answer is usually chocolate, but on occasion something vanilla based but also swirled with a baked good (coconut creme pie, for example.) Trusting my intuition, for me, is like asking an inner part of me who is connected to God to clarify the decision I need to make or the piece of information I need.
I saw a tweet that said "Today is January 78th" and I don't think I've ever related to anything more! What a month! What a long, long month! I spent the month planning a fantastic #ATXconnectionmixer, getting ready for the year ahead, and trying my best to finish a whole 30 strong (I did!) Looking forward to February, I plan on getting a lot of fun yearly goals out of the way, celebrating Valentine's day with Tucker in a way that is very us, and preparing myself for SxSW!
...In July I had a few conversations with a money coach and my therapist about how important to me spontaneity is, even though at the time it was not a part of my life at all because of my great desire to just stay home. So I did the best thing I knew to do! We already had a trip to Charleston planned with no agenda. Just Tucker and I, and a few dinner reservations. But I made no plans. I didn't take any photos. I stepped out of myself and we had a blast. We talked to strangers who became friends, and we went to catch crabs and fish on a pier with them. We cooked dinner at their house. We stayed out late at night and tried new places. The owner of a coffee shop offered to get us into the South Carolina Aquarium for free, so we walked a mile a half with him and he walked us in and left us with the loggerhead turtles. And I learned that I get more joy out of saying yes to things more often than not.
With the beginning of every new year I choose a word to act as a driving force for the months ahead. Right now I'm working with a business coach, and she is always asking me why things are important to me. I love being held accountable to having an answer to that question. The truth is, choosing a word every year is important to me because it helps me be in charge of the trajectory of the year ahead, even if that path isn't what I had hoped it would be. In 2016 I choose the word quality and it revolutionized what I bought, how I consumed fashion, food and media, and how I viewed myself. All around it was a great word, and I enjoyed nearly every aspect of it. It helped me get to know myself and my new city in a way I wouldn't have otherwise. As for 2017's word, I ended up in a different place than I expected with it.
My 26th year of life was, as you know, all over the place. I changed a lot as a person, as a wife, as a business owner, and as a human being. And I was lucky enough to be surrounded by a community of people who loved me and encouraged me to continue doing self work, even when it was messy and difficult. What I accomplished in my 26th year of life was actually a great deal now that I'm reflecting on it. But, with that being said, a few of the items from my '27 before 27' list didn't get accomplished and I'm 100000% okay with that. Here's what I did accomplish.
When I first heard about the concept of choosing one word to encapsulate an entire year of your life I was skeptical. How could that do anything for you? What's the point? A good friend sat me down and explained that's it's less about trying to decided what the year is going to be like, and more about deciding what you're going to work on for the year.
Growing up, my stockings were always full of socks, oranges, and candy. It was in no way a highlight of the Christmas season for me. My mom always made me open my stocking first, and I'd have to feign excitement about each and every candy cane and mandarin.
When I spent my first Christmas with my now husband, Tucker, I was shocked at how big of a deal stockings were in his home.
Tis the season to be shopping small-la-la-la-la... you get my point! That's right! You guessed it! This year my gift guide is all about shopping small! It's no surprise to you if you've been around here for a little while, that I am a huge fan of small businesses. Living here in Austin, and choosing the word 'QUALITY' as my word of the year for 2016 made me examine the root of each and everything that I purchase. I'm not perfect, but I always try to shop small when I can, and that is especially so during the holiday season. Many of my good friends own small businesses so this roundup seemed to be a long time coming. In this guide I'm hoping to introduce you to some brands that I really love, that maybe you haven't heard of yet and give you a few gift ideas in the meantime. So sit back, relax, and grab a cup of hot cocoa in your favorite reindeer mug!
Happy December! We made it! And this is a good one, you guys! December is my favorite month of the year and it's finally finally here! December is full of friends, celebrating, gratefulness, baking, and general happiness-- all things that I'm very into. November was a whirlwind of happiness. I started the month in Minneapolis, Minnesota enjoying the cold and some wonderful company. Then my sweet mother-in-law came to visit for a few months! I saw a ton of great movies, and completed projects for some amazing and fun businesses and publications. November was great and December is going to be even better. Here are November's Small Goals, all of which I completed! Woohoo!
On one of my first days alone in New York I ended up at Jack’s Wife Freda for lunch. I requested a table outside and struck up a conversation with the waitress about the area I was in. At the end of the meal she poured me a glass of champagne on the house. She had also drawn me a map of nearby stores and attractions. She told me she wanted me to really enjoy myself and she sent me on my way. I had such a wonderful day. I went everywhere on her list. While shopping I bought myself a wallet and a beautiful pair of earrings on recommendation of my mother who told me to always buy a little something to commemorate travel.
While we're on the topic of things I'm having trouble believing: I also can't believe that it's almost November already. We're almost done with 2017! Can you believe that? Y'all... I'm so ready for 2018. 2017 was a year of learning a lot + growing a lot, and I'm sure 2018 will be too... but I do hope it will be a little kinder to me.
I was recently involved in a technologically driven conversation with someone about not doing things that we love. I say technological to make it sound cooler than it is. The conversation was on Twitter.
It was a few tweets back and forth.
My friend is a baker in Virginia. She bakes things. It’s what she truly loves to do. She also loves to write. And cook. But she doesn’t do those things. I offered up a new book I’ve been reading, this one, that’s been offered up to me so many times that it got annoying, and then it got frustrating, and then I got curious and now I’m in love. Now I’m the person recommending it to people even though I’m less than 100 pages in. This book as about so much, but it touches on catching your subconscious up to your consciousness + channeling that energy to accomplish what you really want in life.
I am writing to you from a beautiful 68 degree morning here in Austin. I wore a sweater this morning. I ate breakfast outside. I'm drinking coffee outside right now. It is blissful. It's getting to be the most wonderful time of the year... you know... October-November-December.
As far as August goes, I was right to make easier goals. The whole month was basically busy busy busy. I booked a ton of work (YAY!) and I worked through a ton of things on a personal + creative level. As some of you've noticed (and emailed me about, thank you for that gentle push!) I've all but given up on writing lately. I never show up here, even though I thoroughly enjoy it when I do. I