I am excited to bring Random Love Letter back! It was a project started by Sarah Shotts @sarahdshotts and Olivia @randomolive and the premise is to create positive notes and leave them in random public places for strangers to find! What a sweet idea right? I participated the first year they hosted this challenge and I went on to carry the torch and created an Instagram account for it and continued to host it with my friends from the lettering community, Jackie and Mandy!
We’ve all gotten so busy and it’s been awhile since we hosted one and I felt really inspired to bring this back–even for a month–and February seemed like the perfect time to do it! The goal is to put 14 positive notes in random places for people to find!
We used to hand write and decorate notes on post-its–and you can totally do that as well–but I created a set of 14 notes you can print out to make that part a little easier :)
2. Leave the notes in random public places throughout the month (you can use washi tape to attach them in needed–be sure you are not damaging any surfaces!) such as mirrors in public restrooms, pockets of clothing, in between book pages at the library or bookstore, on a park bench, etc.
3. Take a picture of it, share it Instagram stories or create a post, and use the hashtag #randomloveletter. This is a fun way for the person who finds it to see who posted it as well as to share with others who are leaving notes as well!
I left my first random love letter today at a coffee shop :)
I hope you love this idea as much as I do and join me this month in adding a little fun and positivity into our communities!
One of the reasons I picked this word is because I have had an alarm on my phone that has gone off at 10:30PM every night that says “get ready for bed” and I have just turned it off and NOT gotten ready for bed about 100% of the time! I realized I keep my promises and am true to my word on all other areas of my life except when it comes to myself. I make exceptions to stay up late for whatever reason, break habits, don’t follow schedules I set for myself, and I don’t want to do that anymore! Most importantly I want to have a morning and bedtime routine that I follow and stick to because I think it’ll have a positive affect on both my personal and professional life! It’s important to me that when I say to myself I’m gonna do something that I do it–so I’m putting this word up on my bulletin board (maybe I need to make copies for the bathroom mirror, fridge, and everywhere else I look everyday lol) and keeping it in my mind, front and center!
I also picked a phrase for the year–I have known about this quote and loved it for some time now, but I have been feeling a very strong connection with it lately. I just think it’s so true–the words we speak become the lives we live. This is a reminder to myself to choose my thoughts and words carefully so I create the positive and abundant life I want to live!
Do you have a word or phrase for the new year? I’d love to hear what it is and the story behind it!
Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays and I think it’s such a great reason to celebrate love–ALL the different kinds of love and relationships that exist! I have created these free Valentine’s Day gift tags for you to top your presents with this month! There’s something for everyone including your Galentine and several of these can be used the rest of the year as well.
The designs included are:
Be Mine Galentine
Happy Valentine’s Day
You can download them instantly by clicking on the links below.
There are 3 versions–black text, pink text, and red text:
If you’d like some more tag designs as well as a few other Valentine’s Day printables including the Love List and Mini Love Notes, subscribe to my newsletter by clicking below and you will receive the links to download those as well!
I came up with the Love List while cooking dinner one night and thinking about how much I love the sound of a sizzling pan and the smell of garlic and onions being cooked! That moment made me want to create something simple and fun to remind us of the random things that we love whether they are big or little or mundane or exciting. It’s easy to focus on the negative or the one bad thing that happened in a day and I hope this list helps us focus on the good things we experience in life :)
The Mini Love Notes are just that–mini notes that you can cut out and leave for friends, family, co-workers, or even strangers to find! You can also try stringing them together to create a cute little banner for someone special in your life!
To receive these additional PDFs plus more gift tags,sign up for Atiliay’s newsletter and you’ll continue to get new freebies and be automatically entered to win a free card every month!
I hope you enjoy these PDFs!
Wishing you a Happy February and Happy Valentine’s Day!
I have had a lot of thoughts about this past year and I really wanted to write about them for 2 reasons: 1- so I don’t forget these lessons I have learned/to remind myself of them in case my future self needs it which I think she will and 2- in case it can help you! In this post I am listing the top 6 things I learned in 2018 as a creative entrepreneur as well as sharing my favorite podcasts and podcast episodes that have really impacted my life this year. Although a lot of these lessons were discovered because of Atiliay and having a creative business, I think they also apply to life in general and can be relevant regardless of what your profession is. It’s not the shortest post and it’s literally taken me all day (and then some!) to write it so thank you for reading and I hope it helps you as much as it has helped me! :)
This post will cover:
The Top 6 Things I Learned in 2018 As A Creative Entrepreneur
Mindset Matters…SO FREAKING MUCH!
Remember Your WHY, INTENTION, and PHILOSOPHY
SUPPORT / Mastermind
Make Social Media A Positive and Happy Place For YOU
Make a NO LIST
Anything Is STILL Possible
Bonus: Celebrate Your WINS and Acknowledge Your STRENGTHS
Podcasts That Have Impacted My Life This Year
New Year Wishes To You!
Free PDFs for 2019
1. Mindset Matters…SO FREAKING MUCH!
I feel like I read and hear about mindset all the time, but it wasn’t until this past July that I feel like I TRULY understood its importance and power. It seems like every single summer (and during other times of the year too!) I get super slumpy and begin to question EVERYTHING. I lose motivation, I feel super uninspired and creatively blocked, and I start to wonder–did I make the right decisions? Is this the right path for me? Do I need a day job? Can I make a living from being creative? Will I ever feel secure if I am a creativepreneur? Do I need to pivot? What if I am not pivoting fast enough? WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE?
Somewhere in my own endless line of questioning myself, I stopped long enough to take a breath and put on a podcast to try to quiet my mind. I am a huge fan of podcasts! If at anytime you feel like you physically don’t want to do something (ie: I don’t want to get off the couch) or you are feeling sluggish or unmotivated mentally, stay where you are, put one on, and you’ll instantly be doing something productive (keeping in mind what you choose to listen to.)
I started listening The School of Greatness with Lewis Howes, Episode 635: High Performance Habits from Master Coaches,and it completely changed how I was thinking and feeling! By the end of the episode, my mood and attitude had switched gears. It got me curious again, I started feeling inspired, hopeful, and motivated, and it really helped me to begin to get out of that slump.
I think the most helpful thing was that there were actionable tips that I could actually implement. Even if I didn’t do something exactly as they were being described, it still gave me the basic principles so that I was able to create a version of it that worked for me. I also think it helped me to start DOING again instead of just wallowing and doing nothing. And I just don’t think you can stay in a slump when your mind is learning and growing.
At the end of the day, being a solo creativepreneur means having just one person to motivate, push forward, stay organized, and do the work–myself. If I start questioning everything and going in a downward spiral, I need to be able to pull myself back up and stop it (and the ideal situation is to not even go down that path to begin with!) If my mind isn’t strong, it’s easy to drown in that way of thinking. This is something I am still working on (I don’t think I’ll ever be done!) and while I think it’s normal and healthy to have doubts and question things, instead of just feeling slumpy, giving up, and being unproductive, I am trying to keep going, doing, and believing in myself and my pursuits.
2. Remember Your WHY, INTENTION, and PHILOSOPHY
This was also another big game changer for me during my summer slump. I was reminded of these concepts from the podcast I just talked about and this podcast episode as well.
Here is my why, intention, and philosophy I initially came up with:
I started making cards because I wanted a way to get people to help me feed kids at the EEC Preschool in South Africa! My intention has been to create a fun and easy way for others to give back with me. My philosophy is that we can all create small ways to make an impact. (I shared a little more about this over at this Instagram post.)
It’s been about 5 months since I wrote the above, and it’s still pretty accurate! I do think it will probably change and go through different iterations, but the most important thing is for me to not lose sight of it. It’s easy to in the daily hustle and bustle and grind but if there’s something I can do daily, weekly, or monthly, to center myself back to this, I think it can make all the difference.
3. SUPPORT / Mastermind
This past year I was lucky to continue my friendship with Susan of Rae + Lily (we met on Instagram almost 2 years ago) and for the past several months, we started meeting up every other Fridays and having one-on-one Mastermind meetings (or “MM” as we call it when we are texting :)). If you haven’t heard of a Mastermind or weren’t sure what they are, it’s basically a group of people who get together to brainstorm, hold each other accountable, and provide support. For us, it’s dedicated time to talk about our creative and entrepreneurial endeavors, goals, highs and lows, get advice, and bounce ideas off one another (during this time we make sure we don’t talk about other things, like Terrace House lol). It’s about an hour long and at the start of it each of us has 10 minutes of uninterrupted time to speak followed by a response from the other person and then the rest of the time we discuss whatever topics we need to.
Having these meetings have helped me SO much in SO many ways. It has kept me accountable, helped me come up with new ideas, given me answers, are fun, and I always leave each meeting with new ideas and excited to get started on them!
Besides that Susan is amazing and I just think she is so wise and I enjoy her company, I think our MM has worked for us because of a couple of reasons: we truly care about the other person and want to see them succeed, we take our MM seriously, we are able to meet up and have face-to-face time consistently, and we are in the same type of industry but have taken different paths/had different experiences/do different things (we can relate yet provide a different perspective).
If there’s someone you think would be a good fit for you and vice versa to do this with, I think you should reach out to them and schedule your first meeting! I’ve learned that having support like this is invaluable.
PS: Your MM doesn’t have to be the same as ours–you can definitely structure it differently/however you’d like!
4. Make Social Media A Positive and Happy Place For YOU
If that means unfollowing people or muting posts and stories, do it! We have all experienced the negative side of social media and what an unhealthy life-sucking black hole it can be! If people you follow are making you feel bad about yourself, making you compare, or anything that isn’t good for your mental and emotional health, stop looking at it by removing it from your feed. It’s not to say that these people are doing anything wrong or intentionally making you feel that way–it’s more about us. For example, it’s weird but there are some people I am genuinely SO happy for and then with other people, their wins make me feel so bad about myself! Stopping myself from looking at their posts has not just made me feel better but helped me focus on my own path instead of worrying about what everyone else was doing. I fully support community over competition and I also genuinely believe there is enough success for all of us, but at the same time, I don’t ever want my support for someone else to come from a place that is not genuine or fake in any way.
On the flip side of things, I try very hard not to post things that I think may make others feel badly. It’s important to celebrate our successes but I also think it’s important to pick which ones we share and how we share it.
With ALL of that said, I know I am very lucky to have found a wonderful community on Instagram! Many internet friends have become real life friends and social media has been a huge part of my journey so I am very grateful for all the positives that have come from it!
I heard about the No List on another episode of The School of Greatness with Lewis Howes, Episode 670: Building An Influential Personal Brand with Rory Vaden. A No List is exactly what it sounds like–it’s what you ‘re going to say NO to! We won’t be able to do it all and saying no to something gives us the chance to say yes to something else. I can have a hard time saying no (anyone else?), so this was a really good exercise for me that has eliminated a lot of stress and helped me stay on track.
I only had one thing on my No List in 2018 and it was to say NO TO CUSTOM PROJECTS. This might sound surprising but I decided that I want to be product and workshop based and in order to do that, I needed to stop working on custom projects (such as addressing envelopes or creating invitations or signs). Although I have loved aspects of every project I have worked on, they’d be more stress, time, and work than I had anticipated–EVERY SINGLE TIME! And accepting those jobs and sharing photos of them would only lead to more of the same work that I was trying to stay away from. This had nothing to do with my clients (who have all been amazing!) but more to do with me and what my own strengths and weaknesses are. I have found that I am much happier working this way. There are exceptions–if a dream job or custom project I was really excited about came my way, I am allowed to say “yes” to them but only because they made me super excited and not because I feel like I had to.
6. Anything Is STILL Possible
When I was younger and throughout my 20s, I completely believed that anything was possible. Like if a friend told me they were going to become an astronaut but had no previous education or training in this area, I would completely believe that it was 100% possible if they were willing to put in the work and make it happen! I also believed deep down that I had it in me to lead a different life, one that I wanted to live and to do things that would be special and leave an impact. As I got older (I am 34 now), without me realizing, that part of me slipped away and the reality of life and paying bills and being an adult set in. It’s not that I didn’t believe this anymore, but I just kind of forgot about the magic of possibility I had believed in so strongly before. I recently remembered this and realized that I shouldn’t let that part of me/way of thinking slip away! I truly do believe that no matter how young or old we are or how whatever, anything is still possible if we really want it! This also goes back to mindset and truly believing in yourself!
I think this quote sums up pretty well how I feel: “Can you remember who you were, before the world told you who you should be?” — Charles Bukowski
BONUS: Celebrate your WINS and acknowledge your STRENGTHS
Most people don’t do this enough, myself included! I am sure there were SO many things we all accomplished these past 365 days but the things that pop into mind is what we HAVEN’T done. So this is a reminder to celebrate all the amazing things you have achieved and all the things you are capable of doing in the days to come. In the same vein, don’t forget to acknowledge your strengths. Instead of thinking “I wasn’t this” or “I wasn’t that”, acknowledge and celebrate the strengths you possess that have helped you get through tough times and allowed you to be where you are today!
A few of my wins for the year was teaching almost 50 workshops and I am really proud of some of the freebie PDFs I have included in my newsletter this year. And because of the workshops, I’ve realized that one of my strengths is being able to make people feel welcome and comfortable and it’s something I’d like to do more of in the future!
PODCASTS THAT HAVE IMPACTED MY LIFE THIS YEAR
Here are my favorite podcasts and episodes that have helped shape my year:
How has the past year been for you? What are some lessons you have learned? What are your dreams and aspirations for 2019? I’d love to hear! I also wanted to take this time to thank you for being here, for your time, and for your support–it really means so much to me. I am excited for what the new year holds and wish you lots of happiness, love, laughter, and success in the days to come! Happy New Year!
FREE PDFS FOR 2019
I have created 3 different PDFs to use for the new year and I wanted to share them with you! I have found in addition to everything that I mentioned above that writing things down and getting my thoughts on paper help me stay organized and help me keep my eye on the prize, whatever that may be! The 3 freebie downloads I have created are:
The Hello 2019 is a PDF is an overview and outline of your year
The Habit Tracker is a tool to be used daily to create new habits or maintain the ones you have
The Mindset and Goals PDF is for you to organize your thoughts and goals on a monthly basis
If you’d like to use one or all of them, all of these PDFs (along with an entire library of free downloads) are available to my newsletter subscribers. I know how many emails we all get so I try to send just 1-2 emails each month to keep in touch and share things I think may be helpful! If you’d like to get on the list and receive these along with new PDFs every month as well as news and more, sign up for my newsletter by clicking here:
These Love PDFs are now available with 100% of profits supporting ACLU, American Civil Liberties Union, and the very important work they do! I was planning on releasing this collection when all the pieces were complete but really felt the call to act now.
We are all human beings and I strongly believe we need to act from a place of compassion and understanding and not from a place of fear, greed, prejudice, or hate.
These designs were inspired by love and the belief that everyone should be free to love who they love.
Each design is available for $5 as a downloadable PDF and all profits will be donated to ACLU to support their work in LGBT rights, immigrants’ rights, women’s rights, human rights, and more. Once you purchase the item, you will automatically be emailed a link for the PDF which you can print and use immediately. They are formatted to fit on a regular piece of paper so you can easily print from your home or office.
In the next few weeks I hope to release more designs for this collection.
Thank you for your support!
Here is a list of other artists and makers who are supporting ACLU and other important organizations with their talents (if you know of anyone I should add to this list, please comment here or email me at hello(at)atiliay.com):
April is National Letter Writing Month and I am very excited to be celebrating by participating in the Write_On campaign!
Created and hosted by Egg Press & Hello!Lucky, Write_On promotes joy, creativity, and connection through snail mail. The goal is to write 30 letters in 30 days during the month of April. It’s such a lovely idea, isn’t it? We are already on day 10 of April but you can start now or write a letter a week or whatever feels comfortable for you!
I have had SO much fun joining in on this challenge and I encourage you to do it as well! It’s been awesome creating things to send and practicing lettering on envelopes but one of my favorite parts is that people don’t expect to get mail anymore (unless it’s a bill or ad) so it’s fun to surprise your friends and family with a hand written letter. In the days of texts and emails, let’s celebrate the thought and love that goes into hand-written correspondence!
Need some inspiration? Below is a list of 30 ideas to help you get started! You can also see what I have been sending over on my Instagram @atiliay / #write_on_atiliay. And be sure to check out the#write_on hashtag–I am positive you will think of all kinds of ideas to mail to your loved ones after looking through the feed!
Happy National Letter Writing Month!
30 Ideas For Happy Mail:
1. Send mail to Egg Press and Hello!Lucky to thank them for this awesome campaign they have created!
2. Send mail to the last person who mailed you something.
3. Send a birthday card instead of texting / emailing / facebooking. Get ahead of the game–see who else has birthdays coming up and get cards written for them and ready to send.
4. Send Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants inspired mail. It’s a fun way to mail a birthday message / gift or care package to someone who is away and your group of friends is scattered in different places. Start it off with a card and send it to the next person to sign. Have each person save and include each envelope so the final recipient can see all the places the card has been. Along the way you can add different gifts and treats. The recipient should have an awesome package to open up by the end of this!
5. Leave a letter for a loved one to find in the pockets of their jacket, taped to the bathroom mirror, in their car, in their lunch, etc.
6. Send someone 30 reasons why they are awesome. Use mini envelopes and put a reason in each one. Seal them and have your recipient open one a day.
7. Write an encouraging or inspiring note or quote for someone to find. Place your note in an envelope and address it to, “You! (Yeah, you!)”. Leave it at a doctor’s waiting room, a grocery or drug store, inside your favorite book at the library, at a bus stop, stationery store, etc. Bonus: add an envelope and notecard and ask them to do the same.
8. Did you read a magazine or newspaper article and it reminded you of someone in your life? Cut it out and send it to them. You can even write them a letter directly onto the article you are sending them in the margins or backside.
9. Make plans via snail mail! Send an invitation to a friend you’ve been meaning to catch up with. List different dates for them to choose from. You can also include an RSVP card and stamped envelope so they can mail you their response.
10. Are you a stationery hoarder? Put your pretty paper finds to good use! Match pieces of stationery with people they remind you of and pen them a note.
11. For someone who loves reading–send them a copy of one of your favorite books you think they would like! Leave notes, pressed flowers, photos, and mementos for the reader to find as they read the book. You can do this for someone who loves comics, zines, etc. Another idea is to write them a letter in several different parts and hide it throughout the book.
12. Have someone write a letter to their future self. Take the letter and mail it back to them in 5 years (or more or less)! I am doing this with my boyfriend’s niece and nephew who are 11 and 14 and am planning on mailing them their letters when they graduate high school. I created prompts for them to make it a little easier–you can download The Dear Future Self sheet in PDF form here if you’d like to use it!
13. Send a recipe to someone. (Don’t forget if they have any dietary preferences or allergies). For extra points, add a shopping list too.
14. Send mail to someone living in the same house as you.
15. Send letters to your childhood / high school / college friends with a picture of you guys from back in the day and write about a fun memory that has stayed with you all these years later.
16. Don’t forget that Mother’s Day is coming up on May 8th–put a card or package in the mail for your mom at the end of April to make sure she receives it by the 8th.
17. Write to your social media friends. This is such a fun one–not sure where to start? Create a post asking who would like to exchange mail!)
18. See if anyone else you know is participating in #write_on and send them a letter!
19. Send a thank you letter to your groomer to thank them for caring for your pets and making them so fresh and so clean!
20. Send a letter to a teacher who has influenced you.
21. Create a new generation of snail mail lovers! Send a letter to kids in your life telling them about National Letter Writing Month. Include an envelope with a stamp and encourage them to write back to you so they know how much fun both receiving and sending mail can be!
22. Write a letter to a co-worker or cubicle buddy–let them know how much you enjoy working with them.
23. Is there someone in your life who could use a little bit of motivation or inspiration? Send them post it notes with positive quotes and sayings on them so they can put stick them up in their space.
24. Find a program that sends mail to folks in the military or children in hospitals and help brighten up their day with a letter.
25. Send someone a fun activity such as a coloring page, crossword puzzle, brain teasers, etc.
26. Send a letter to a blogger, author, or podcast host to tell them how much you enjoy their work and how it has affected you.
27. Send a letter from your pet to one of their pet friends!
28. Go on Instagram and / or Pinterest to get envelope art ideas then try some of your own. Be creative and have fun–don’t worry about being perfect. Send it to your artistic friend who you know will appreciate and love it.
29. Pick up some local postcards and send them to your out-of-state and country friends or someone who is temporarily away (for school or a job).
30. If you know someone who loves nature, gardening, flowers, send them a letter on seed paper they can plant! Finish off the letter with beautiful floral stampsthat are currently available at USPS.
All work featured on Atiliay is copyright Olivia Lin and created by me unless otherwise noted. Feel free to use any of the photos or excerpts from this blog but please give proper credit and link back accordingly. It'd also be great if you'd email me and let me know what you've shared, I'd love to meet you, say thanks, and check out your space!