business

home office tour + photos

Working from home has its benefits and its low points. I love having a home office that allows me to work from home and still be close to the family. My office is right off of the kitchen and front room of the house - this allows me to be close to the center of the home and also look out the front windows to see what’s going on in our world.

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My office is home to my photography work, my oils work and also a space for kids to do homework if needed. Lots of natural light and everyone keeps telling me to rip down the wallpaper, but it doesn’t bother me too much…

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This office space has evolved over the years but I love where I’ve ended up. Check out this old post about finding inspiration for your home office on the Carrie Owens Photography blog. And if you want to see what it used to look like check out my old home office when I was more of a scrapbooker and photographer, things have slowly changed and I’m loving where my space is now.

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I love my oily station in my office - so accessible to anyone in the family and the perfect spot to mix up some rollers or sprays or other fun stuff.

Do you have a home office? I would love to see! What are your biggest struggles with your home office space?

xo,
c

my 10 best monthly planning tips

Happy February! I love a new month and all of the possibility that it brings.

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At the end of each month I go through and look back over my calendar from the previous month to see where I was successful and where I struggled. I then develop my strategy for the new month and look for as many areas that I can be successful and what potential roadblocks I can move before they even become an issue. Read on for my best monthly planning tips.

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HOW TO PLAN FOR YOUR BEST MONTH

  1. Find some quiet time without distractions to work out your month…taking the time to plan out your month well allows for you to give yourself the best shot at being as successful and productive as you can be.

  2. Take some time to review your previous month…look for wins and areas of struggle. Were you hoping to get up early every morning and work out? How did that go? Is there a better time in your day for some of the things that you want to do but can’t figure out how to fit them in? What can - or should - you let go of?

  3. Make note of all of the “must do” items for the month - birthdays, sporting events, school obligations, appointments, bills or other deadlines. These need to go in your planner first.

  4. Think about recurring items, note these and make sure these have time to get done - think working out, work obligations, time for yourself etc…

  5. Take some time to meal plan - you don’t have to figure it all out if that isn’t your style, but take note of the days that will be late nights (practices or mom-taxi time) that make figuring out dinner a pain. If you can schedule some of those meals ahead of time, you will thank yourself later!

  6. Look at your finances, what big expenses are coming up? A birthday to plan for? Perhaps a vacation or extra sports expenses? Taking these things into consideration at the beginning of the month helps ensure you’ve got the funds to finish out the month as well.

  7. Are there any house projects that you need to consider? Spring cleaning or prepping the pipes for the colder temps? What about furnace filter replacements and other little tasks that often get pushed aside. Thinking about these items and making time for them helps your house run smoothly. While you’re at it - check on your vehicles as well. Oil changes and other routine maintenance.

  8. Your personal growth, self care and wellness. Like working out, hair cuts, reading, learning and other things that help you become your best you…see #9 as well.

  9. Review your goals for the year and really think about your big goals…the big scary ones that you dream about. What are you doing to make those reality? What little steps do you need to be taking every day to get yourself closer? I don’t know what your big dreams are…but write them down and start making progress. Time passes by so don’t just wait for these dreams, you need to do the work.

  10. Plan for some fun - just for you and for the entire family and friends. Make an effort to reach out to friends and family. This time is so important so that you don’t get worn down.

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What do you do to ensure that your month is set up for success and that you aren’t letting things fall through the cracks? Are you a paper planner person or a digital planner expert? Paper all the way here with my Get To Work Book planner. It’s really the best planner

xo,
c

girl wash your face | review

I had noticed a lot of the people that I looked up to in business and social media had posted photos of this book…how they were so happy that they had grabbed a copy and how it was life changing. I’m all about life changing books -it’s what I’m always looking for when I grab a new book to read. I want something that is going to change me, allow me to see something differently than I had in the past, speak to me in a way I hadn’t been ready to hear before…

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And this book delivered. And not only that…Rachel Hollis speaks to me and encourages me in a way that I need to hear. So I listen and I read and I watch all of the things that she puts out there.

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When I read a personal development/self help/business book I often do it with highlighter in hand and notebook nearby. I read these types of books quickly, often skimming though the parts that might leave me less than inspired but making sure that I get all the good stuff down so I can revisit those thoughts that really resonated with me.

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Have your read the book? Maybe listened to her podcast? Watched her Made For More documentary? I’d love to hear your thoughts…and have you pre-ordered her next book? I’m so ready to read it.

xo,
c

how to create a vision board

Many people (myself included) believe that a great way to help you visualize your dreams daily and work towards making them a reality is to create a vision board. These can be done in several ways and can be beneficial to working some of the things that you want in your life.

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This is the second year in a row that I’ve made a physical vision board. I love having it out in the open and in a spot that I can see every day.

Why to create a vision board

  1. Creates a visual reminder of the goals + dreams that you have set for yourself

  2. A creative way to express yourself

  3. Selecting the images and arranging them helps solidify your goals

  4. Consistent visualization of your goals realized

  5. It’s just fun…trust me

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how to create a vision board

  1. Use your Pinterest account and make a secret or public board and start saving images you love (you can check mine out here: 2019 vision board on pinterest)

  2. Go grab a bunch of your favorite magazine and start cutting out images that speak to your dreams

  3. Use some of your own photos that you’ve taken for more inspiration

  4. Use drawings or sketches or handwritten/hand drawn quotes

  5. Create your board using a combination of all of the above

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what to do with your vision board

  1. Hang it somewhere in your office so that you can see it everyday

  2. Hang it in your walk in closet so you see it every morning + night

  3. Take a photo of it and use it as your wallpaper on your phone

  4. Hang it in a spot in your home that you pass by often

  5. Revisit it throughout the year, don’t just walk by it everyday. Take a moment and look closely at these images that meant something to you when you created the vision board…getting closer to your dreams yet? If not, step up your game.

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HOW I MADE MINE

For my vision board I started compiling images on a pinterest board late last year - things that went along with my One Little Word, anything that struck me as visually appealing. Clothing that I liked, hair cuts that I love, food that I enjoy, quotes and other visual reminders of some of my big goals. I added all of these to a board in pinterest and then started weeding through them. I saved the images (some of them are mine from my instagram account) and printed them out on photo paper in varying sizes. I accidentally printed the photos on the back of the photo paper and I loved the matte finish, so I kept going with that - happy accident :) After I printed them out I laid them all out and sorted into categories and started arranging. Once I was mostly happy I started securing them to a poster board and hung it up in my office to see every day.

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Have you thought about creating your own vision board? I would love to see it! Most importantly have fun - there’s no wrong way to do this!

xo,
c

planner love + happy new year

It’s that time of year - I love it! I love all of the things about the new year. People always say that there’s nothing special about January 1st, that you can make a change any time and any day. They are 100% correct - but for me, there is still something magical about the first of the year.

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It’s amazing to me to thing that the things that I’m going to be doing at the end of this same year may look nothing like what I imagine today. That’s ok, life is full of changes. But I like to plan and prepare the best that I can. So much so, in fact, that I often over plan…or intend to over plan. I have always looked for that perfect planner, that perfect idea on how to set and achieve goals that I often find myself in a continuous planning loop without actually doing the work that I’m planning. Of course soon comes disappointment or discouragement or thoughts that maybe my idea isn’t good enough when it’s really just that perhaps I gave up before it got really good. But still…I plan. Because some planning and hoping and trying is better than nothing in my book. I also really love to highlight tasks once they are finished. Even if I write them in just to cross them out.

My planner of choice is the Get To Work Book by Elise Cripe (one of my favorite bloggers and instagrammers and overall super creative talented types) and you can see from my post about planners back in 2017 I’ve been using it for a few years.

How I use the planner

Once I get my new planner, I take some time and write down all of the things that are a “given” in my little world with a good pen and some alone time. I use the Sharpie pen in fine or medium (I prefer fine) and sometimes I will add in other colors for certain things (like blog calendar info). Then I start filling in all that I know on the monthly pages:

  1. Things that happen every year like birthdays and anniversaries that I need to make sure to remember.

  2. Dates of things like vacations and school days off (and start and end dates)

  3. Any sporting events that I know ahead of time (sometimes I know these things, sometimes I don’t and then I’ll just add when they become available).

  4. My blog posts that I have planned out using my blog planner (this keeps me accountable and also reminds me of things that I need to get photographed or purchased for upcoming posts).

After those items are entered in I will often go to the the weekly pages for January (or the upcoming month) and start filling in certain things that I know that I need to do daily (water, vitamins, instagram posts, blog posts, etc). I like having these on the actual days so that it gives me something to highlight when they are done and also keeps me on track. I will also go in and enter dates from the monthly calendar now so that I can write down any tasks/to do lists that coordinate with those events.

There are also some awesome project pages and reflection pages in the planner that I use every month as well. These are perfect for mapping out a big project you’re working on into smaller, bite sized pieces so that you can actually start tackling your to do list without being completely overwhelmed.

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As I mentioned above I love crossing things off my list, but it wasn’t until I saw someone else’s planner that used a yellow highlighter to run through each item that they had finished that I tried that method. I love it and think that it’s such a great way to get a quick reminder of the things that you’ve accomplished in your day.

Do you use a planner? Digital or paper? What is your favorite and why? If you’re looking for a little inspiration for your Get To Work Book, check out the instagram #gettoworkbook for some great ideas.

xo,
c

what I'm reading | business

Business books and self improvement books are my very favorite kinds of books. I used to be a huge fiction reader - especially mysteries - but the last several years have me reaching for goal driven books that give me something to work towards. Some of the latest books on my shelf...

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The You Are a Badass books are next up on my reading list - there's both the regular one and You Are a Badass at Making Money - how could I pass that one up?? I've loved The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod and The 5 Sencond Rule by Mel Robbins...perhaps two of my very favorites. Have you read Elise Cripe's book on 100 Pep Talks - a book she wrote from an instagram series she did a while back. It's a great quick read with a ton of really awesome nuggets of goal driven advice.

What business and goal books are your favorite? Are you a physical book reader, a kindle reader or do you love the audio books?

Happy Reading!
xo,
c

on my shelf

I'm a bit of an information junkie. I love to learn and I also really love books. Especially if they're pretty.

When I was younger and all through college and before kids I was a big fiction reader. Usually mysteries or crime stories, but once kids came along my reading time seemed to go away. I found other ways to fill my time and usually didn't need a book to put me to sleep at night - the kids tired me out enough!

These days my shelves have business books, home books and pretty books. I don't get to read everyday so I need something that can sit on the shelf for a while and I can easily pick up where I left off. Are you a reader? What kind of books do you like to read? Any great suggestions to pass along?

xo, c

welcome

Hi there - thank you so much for stopping by! I've been looking to create this blog for some time and I'm happy that I've finally got it up and going...hopefully there won't be too many bumps in the road. Over the years I've blogged for many different reasons, most recently for my photography business which I love doing and will continue to do at Carrie Owens Photography. I had been incorporating more posts there about my other interests and just general life and I thought it might be a good idea to create an online home for just those things. So if you are interested in sneak peeks or other photography related tidbits, head over to the Carrie Owens Photography blog to see what I've been up to.


To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.
— Joseph Chilton Pearce

I hope that you stick around and find posts and information of value here. If there is something that you'd like to learn more about, be sure to let me know. If you are wanting to know more about the topics that I'll be writing about, check out the topics here.

Wanting to connect with me on social media? Do you love instagram as much as I do?  Check out my about me tab above for how to connect with me on the various social media platforms.

xo, c

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