Morning rituals and other summer life updates

Create, Explore, Lifestyle

As I get back to the flow of sharing things around here, summer is getting to an end. And I don’t say that easily. It’s breaking me to see myself already wearing my soft pullovers and zipper ups indoors while the beach is still calling me with warm waters. Still, I’ll try to ignore all of those who already share pumpkins and fall collections. Ain’t giving up on summer yet, even if my clothing says otherwise!

Now, let me share a bit of what is going on around here. Did I enjoy summer at its fullest? I’d had to say no. I did get to the beach quite a few times, though I think what I did most was running. And snorkelling. Freediving and apnea are a growing interest for me this year. Anyways, I’m not a big fan of going where the crowds are, the surf hasn’t been much convenient (if there was actually any) and, of course, life is always busy.

Maybe you recall me talking about reading that much early in the year. Well, I’m not keeping up very well as I’ve been shifting my focus on trying to staying on track with practising my drawing/painting skills as well as trying to work a bit on my body, aka doing some sport or activities. And summer is great for that. I’ve felt so much more active during these last couple of months!

So, let me tell you about my morning routine. Beware, I’m not another blogger talking about the importance of self-care, those who get to spend three hours in the morning doing what makes them feel good… I’m just trying my best to make the most of my days. The days in which I go to my full-time job.

So, what do I do? Firstly, I try to wake up as early as possible (trying to sleep around 7 hours during the week though) which means that luckily I’ll get up at 5.40 am – but which also means I can’t watch any series before sleep. While I start clearing my mind and pulling away from the sleep in my eyes I spend a good chunk of time having my breakfast, usually while scrolling Instagram. I sometimes even make a post or start preparing one.

After that, I’ll go for like a half an hour of stretching/yoga/plank exercises to wake up the rest of the body while I listen to some music. I totally need that, even if I’m too tired, just some stretching makes wonders for my body. Especially, if you consider I’ll be sitting for almost the rest of the day!  Then, it’s time for some art! For half an hour or so I’ll be sketching or painting, still with my music on and I use every minute available before I have to rush to get ready for work. And so here my secret revealed as to why I still get rushing to work when I get up so early.

Not all days go so perfectly, some days I’m too tired, some days I have something else to prepare or do, some days I exercise more and paint less, and otherwise. On lucky days though, I may even get 20 minutes of painting on my lunch break. And that, my friends, is why I’ve been able to paint these things below.



Oh, and this is me, trying to smile still sleepy, in those days when I could still go around with just a shirt in the early morning…





get rids of ads thumbnail

How to remove ads : the most effective way


Internet is a great place for businesses and for marketing. We all know it. But why? Basically, because the internet makes it a lot easier to find the right audience for any product. Also, everybody is consuming a lot of content, which means that our behaviour makes it even easier for companies to reach us. So, advertisers will look for and find you on the internet. But, can you avoid them? And if so, how?

Yes, you can. That’s the short answer. But you’ll have to take action. And they’ll try to put you back on the ads consuming wagon at every turn.

You should be conscious that most services track you so they can get the right ad in front of you. Every time you accept the cookies of a new site, you should take a good look at which cookies are those. The most basic ones and the reason why most websites need to warn you is because of the social media cookies. That website that you are visiting may not be tracking you but as they use social media widgets and other third parties (and those do track all your activity) they must warn you. But I’ve found that many sites will even specify which services and companies work with them, which might actually be many more than we are used to and will share your data for a wider range of purposes and to far many companies. Unfortunately, there are some of these cases when it is actually not possible to deny accepting those cookies and to navigate the site.

How to remove ads (some at least)?

First of all, start by getting some tools. Aka:

  • Adblock (for your favourite browser)
  • Use a browser that doesn’t track you and blocks most ads

Then, accept that you’ll have to say no. Every time you say you consent to have ads better suited to your interests, you are accepting ads and trackers.

a gratuitous picture of my cat, depicting privacy 😆


How to get more privacy using google

First, check this(!) It freaks me out to see it. They just have too much information. Imagine you could access that info about any person. Or every person. You could know much more than where they work and live (which is not little).

Then :

And now for the action that changes it all: go to these sites and turn off all the companies:

Last but not least, stay informed and keep trying to push off the ads. You may even find that you are not seeing ads on Youtube! I rarely see any and I can enjoy Youtube music for free without interruptions (most of the time).

And rest assured, the day you are actually on the internet looking for a product you want or need, you’ll be able to find it without the help of constant ads floating all over the sites.


Now, go surf the amazing web.

small ink flower



Things worth sharing #August2019


Here comes what used to be my “links of the month” post : Links and recommendations I found that (I think) are worth sharing along with some life updates.


The year started 8 months ago and I didn’t get to publish any post. So embarrassing and shameful. But here we are. So, let me tell you REAL quick what my intentions were when 2019 started. I decided not to focus on a list of goals for the year. Instead, I want to focus on the bigger picture and work on it slowly and steadily. That’s my only goal. To move forward. To lower my expectations over myself and all the things I should be doing and achieving and to acknowledge that I’m already working hard on balancing all the things on my plate and giving priority to building habits that will help me achieve my big dreams. And I encourage you to do the same. I can’t jump to a future life without being here right now and doing the things that need to be done right now. Taking care of oneself is not as social media lays it out to be (pink baths and cute pyjamas) but about being brutally honest with the self and starting to learn what those activities are that do you well but that you deny because, in your mind, you are not that sort of person. (I feel so mature now that I’m 26 yo LOL) Let me put better: I tend to avoid people and sports, not because I dislike them (maybe some people and some sports, but not in general), but because I don’t see them as a priority. As it happens, though, I do feel a lot more alive if I spend a good chunk of my free time engaged in both of them. And that’s hard to listen to, as I usually think I need to stay in when I most need to go out. You may understand this better if your personality type is 5 too. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check this. And you may also be interested in this (it seems I’m a logician). These are personality groups, with tests and information on every type. I’m not a fan of being put in a box like that but when it happens to be quite right and the texts become enlighting, I must admit it can be helpful. And I’m always up for some self-improvement.


Here comes a mix of links I found on the interwebs with no connection:

– This video: ” In “Dream”—a harrowing video by Zombie Studio—critically endangered animals poignantly sing “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Misérables.”

– Ever wondered about the beaches in South Africa? I did and I want to keep this article close for the day I get to go. You know, even though I’m not the cliché surfer who gets every surf break they can, I do like to travel to places where it is possible, so if I get the chance to surf the better.

– If you are a designer too, you may like this. How important do you think typography is for science fiction movies that picture the future? Well, quite a bit actually. You can see some case studies on this page.

– Here is a short guide to Instagram basics (characters related) that comes handy.

– Do you have all the new emojis?



I started doing so well with my reading this year… And rapidly went back to the old habits. I love reading but I have to do it squeezing the small chunks of time I have left in my day and that means being focused on reading, while I still want to be thinking about so many other things, my projects, designs, illustrations… Anyway, here’s a list of what I’ve been reading this year (yeah, there’s a theme around here – I’m always up for a business/ marketing/ self-improvement book):

The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson – This book sets the tone for the start of the year. The idea behind it is simple but that makes it just more powerful. I totally recommend it to anyone but to explain it in a sentence:  there lays a great power on every small action you take every day and it will change your future.

This is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn To See by Seth Godin.  You probably know Seth Godin as he’s a marketing guru on the internet and you have probably come across something he said already… Anyway, in this book he talks modern marketing in the era of online commerce and it’s a nice read, good to brush up on some ideas.

Company of One: Why Staying Small Is the Next Big Thing for Business by Paul Jarvis. I love how he talks about building and keeping a small business small and how that’s important. I totally buy into the idea that small businesses have a real future and the idea of not trying to grow bigger and bigger as a business should be pursued more broadly.

The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea  by Bob Burg, John David Mann. This is a fast read, very powerful, and I would give a copy of this book to everyone (with a slight interest in business). It teaches you values, it teaches relationships, it teaches business. Go for it!

The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter–And How to Make the Most of Them Now by Meg Jay. This one’s a bit off-topic, but I really enjoyed it. Not in the way I would enjoy a novel, but as a book that knows how to clearly break down what it means to be a 20-something, the worries we have, the problems we face, how we feel about our lives. And it gives solutions or at least it shows us the path. How to grow up and keep going forward in the way that better suits and benefits us. I wish I had this book when I entered the twenties but at least I had it 4 years to go before entering the so cursed 30’s. Anyone else has noticed that all benefits of being “young” or “under x” end at 30? Is there something that they don’t tell us, like that we will be dead inside or something when we reach that age?

As a man thinketh by James Allan. I had listened to/ watched videos with James Allen’s voice overs for a while and heard (actually read) about this book lots of times previously, so it was a matter of time I would read it eventually. It’s a short read and it teaches how to think, which is not a small feat.

Rich dad, poor dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki. Did you miss having financial classes or some kind of guidance while growing up about money issues? Well, here you’ll find what you wanted and what you need to start progressing. I enjoyed it, was motivated by it and have to keep digging in that field (I have a full course on financial studies ready to study).

When Coffee & Kale Compete: Become Great at Making Products People Will Buy by Alan Klement. How can you get a great idea for a business? How to prove it’s worth pursuing it? This book is full of good ideas, case studies and ideas on how to find a good idea, how we know it’s a good idea and how others have made it. Learn what you need to know to develop a good business idea – that what you can take from it. I loved the approaches taken in this.

And now I’m currently reading these :

I’ll tell you more when I’m finished. And probably the list will have grown longer, as my to-read list is endless (f***).

And here goes a video I enjoyed recently about this great surf artist and his path to it.

And lastly… A product that has saved me this year: glasses with a blue filter. I had my doubts they would actually work… But spending most of my day in front of a screen (retina screens and my Xiaomi’s) I had to try it, as I would have red eyes almost every day. And they do work. I still get red eyes from time to time and some days they even hurt, but it has now happened on occasion when it would be like this every day before. If you are thinking about taking the leap and trying them, go ahead!


red eyes portrait illustration

Because I don’t want to feel like the drawing above, I end up looking like below. A bit too geeky for my taste.


See ya soon (hopefully)🤙

x Lena x




Organise your digital life : minimal check


Did you ever find yourself lost in a sea of files and archives, the desktop full of things you don’t remember, the status bar showing 20 different icons, notifications every 10 minutes and a dock full of applications?

Maybe it’s time you strategize your digital life and organise your Mac. It will make your life so much easier. This way, you’ll know what you really need to save on your hard drive, you’ll need less space (meaning you’ll have to erase things less often) and your interface will look cleaner and nicer. Because there’s enough noise out there to have it on your computer too. Or phone. Nowadays, these devices are our second home.


A place for each thing and everything in its place


The best way to start is to organize your folders as you need, and have as many folders as you’d like. In a way, your mac (or pc) will probably help you a bit. Movies, Music, Documents and Pictures have their own folders already. Do you use them for that? Instead of saving your newest pictures to a document folder with the name of your camera you could try and use the pictures folders. If you download a book, movie or picture don’t let it rest in the downloads folder. Download it right away into the folder they belong to or move them without waiting.



For photos, I don’t use the Photos application. First of all, it uses far too space.  Also, I’d have to manually select the pictures I want to copy on my hard drive or move the whole library around. In addition, it makes me go through a long menu to be able to open them on Photoshop. I’d rather use Image Capture to load the pictures into the camera and choose where to store them. Then I just preview them or drop them into the app I need to.




The best way to have a clean desktop is to not store anything in there and keep everything organised. You should move it to the right folder or make a new one in the right category. I have this bad habit of leaving these things I think of “temporary” in there but they end being around for ages. The worst thing is that they could actually be in the trash right now or in their own folder.




Don’t store apps you don’t use. There was a time when I wouldn’t have internet at home and because of that I just downloaded everything. I still find myself storing things when I don’t need to. If it’s something that will stay online, don’t download it. If it’s valuable, you’ll know how to find it. In case you’re afraid you don’t, share it on one of your social networks or save it as a favourite. To erase apps I use Appcleaner, it will erase the files that are stored out of your sight so you don’t end eaten up by old useless apps files that you don’t see.


In order to have a clean menu bar, you’ll have to go to System Preferences and go from menu to menu to unmark the checked boxes that say “show in menu bar”. For example, you’ll have to go the network for the wifi icon, to energy saver for the battery one, to users – login options for the username etc. I like to only have the battery menu. Also, I don’t use the native battery status from the MacBook. Instead, I use Slim Battery Monitor, that lets me change the moment when the MacBook tells me I need to connect it to charge and I can change the looks of the icon.

For the clock and date, I prefer to use the ones on the dashboard. Same for wifi networks (when not connected automatically I can check them in 2 clicks – I keep the System Preferences app on the Dock bar).



Change your interface to help you to work better and smarter. You know most apps have shortcuts. Use them or change them or add some of them. They make life easier and you’ll be quicker at whatever you do. Invest a few minutes to learn them and you’ll save many more in the future. I promise.

Furthermore, you can change which tools show and how they are distributed on your screen in most applications. You could start by changing the position of your dock (if another one fits you best) and get to play with the reader option on safari. Or download a writing app that will block out everything else.

[bctt tweet=”The key to an organized life is thinking carefully and taking decisions upfront.” username=”lenasingla”] We are used to going by reaction instead of action but a little thought here and there can help a lot. Maybe just writing the things you wanna do at the start of the day will stop you from procrastinating and from mindlessly falling from activity to activity.



On your phone

Certainly, a place where we spend a lot of time. And most of it is not productive. In this case, you may not have to create folders and organize files, but probably you should do so with apps and crap. All those gifs and pictures from the messaging apps that are just silly? Cut the crap! The apps you don’t use, erase. The ones you shouldn’t use, keep them far from reach.

Need more advice? Take this.

Some more reading.


How do you keep track of all your digital stuff? Tell me in the comments!



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Last minute gifts! You are not too late!

Create, Lifestyle

Oh my girl, Oh my girl, Oh my girl. It’s already Christmas day!! Is everything ready? Got all the gifts? The decorations? Your outfits? Then, time to chill out and enjoy the champagne with some carols.

If not, well, we are here for that. So, you need to find a last minute gift. Whatever you did, you still left some work to do just before the C day. Worry not, we have some ideas to get you through this bit of a situation!

If you are still on budget

… You can buy a non-physical thing

– There are plenty of shops and services that offer gift cards and gift certificates. Use them! If you have no time left but a bit of cash… that’s a great way to get sorted out. (e.g.: netflix, most online shops, amazon, skillshare, spotify, dropbox,etc). Most of these services will mail the gift so you need to bring no gift (but you could still print this postcard and a message with a hint about their present).

– Buy them digital stuff. Ebooks, Cd’s , videogames… You can send them via e-mail or gift it with a usb (two presents in one!).


postcard digital gift


If you burnt your budget and you’re well over it…

It’s time for a DIY or

– Print this pack : Weekly planner + notes + to do list which is now only 3,95€ until Christmas Day is over.

– If you’re still on time to buy supplies (or you already own them)…

  – Sew a clutch, bag (bag 2) or pouch. You can reuse fabric from old t-shirts, napkins and whatever textile is no longer useful or loved.


Finally, you could always make art of your own or print a postcard (like this) or  make it yourself! they can be very easy! You can use your scraps of gifts wrapper to make one like a collage (see this).


And remember, the best gift may not be a thing! Give the gift of your company, love and care. You can do that with no (or very little) money!



I hope you have the best holidays of your life and I’ll see you around here next year! I won’t stop working but I’ll have to attend my social “obligations” (they are filled with amazing people!) and plan the year ahead. If I get spare moments, I’ll be hanging out on twitter. See you next year with lots of amazing stuff!

PS : please, excuse my love for gifs 😂


Let our hearts be full of thanks and giving

Create, Lifestyle

Happy Thanksgiving friends! I hope you’re all on the way to a great gathering and a full table.
You know, when I think of Thanksgiving my mind goes 🍲🥗🍖🍰🎃🍁🍂🎊👯‍♀️👯‍♂️ (food food people family friends more food ) and brings flashes of all the movies and series that show this celebration.

What a wonderful tradition, a day to be thankful and share the feeling (although practising gratitude every day is miraculous too). I find it a very nice thing to have a day devoted to gratitude, maybe because I don’t really celebrate it (it’s not a tradition around here). I do have my own day for gratitude BTW but I use the 31 of December instead. That day I sit down for a while and write a list of all the things I’m grateful for that year. And then I write another list of all the things I would be so grateful to happen the following year.

But there’s never too much gratitude to spread around so I wanted to share some of it already on time for Thanksgiving. And I think we are going to celebrate it this year. Only not Thursday as we all have to work today.


thanksgiving postcards free printable


I want to thank everyone who spends the time to read some of my words, who visit my site and watch my work. Without you my creations would only serve my need for creating but I make them to share them and touch others. Nonetheless, on a personal note, I’m humbled by the support I’m receiving and for the people who are part of my life. And I feel so lucky I am able to do what I love (and to discover what that is). I’m also healthy and strong. When I get my million bucks in the bank I’ll have everything. But there’s always room for growing! 💪


thanksgivinggratitude jar sticker free printable



I hope you all receive all you need to live a fulfilling life and let it grow bigger, fuller and richer with prosperity and love. And I hope we all get to appreciate every little thing that makes life so wonderful.

And for the giving thing, I’m bringing you some new printables! FREEBIES!! To keep the spirit thankful all year long.

You’ll find 4 gratitude jar stickers, since I’ve been seeing the gratitude jar all around and I wanted to do my own. Now we all can do it. If you don’t know about gratitude jars, it’s basically a jar or pot (or whatever you want) where you put all the good things you are grateful for in little pieces of paper: your blessings, the happy moments, etc. It’s a wonderful way to practice gratitude; you could add a thing every day or maybe once a week but also take a paper on a blue day to cheer you up and get you back to an attitude of appreciation.

There are also 12 gift tags, 6 with warm colors and 6 way cooler. You’ll be able to print them on both sides.

And finally, there’s a Thank You postcard in two different colors.  Please enjoy!



Ps. Wanna know what am I planning? Some hints may be these recipes I’ve been looking at 🤤 Stuffed roasted butternut squash , Vegan Mushroom Wellington, Vegan Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, Gobi Mussalam (roasted cauliflower) and One Bowl Vegan Chocolate Cake.


free thanksgiving printables

August Moodboard

Create, Explore, Lifestyle

holding my watercolor artwork

What’s my August moodboard ?

I like to start every month with a little challenge. This consists in finding a topic, elements and a color palette that could potentially inspire me for some of the works in the month ahead. So I never stop learning new things, adding different objects and developing new ideas.

For August’s month, it’s all about fruits. In the hottest month of the year (here in this side of the world) I can only thing about fresh food and fruits. Honestly, I’m not much of a fruit person, but I do eat some (more) during August. Be it watermelon, melon, strawberries or the good blackberries.

Once I had thought about the topic for the moodboard, of course I went deep into Pinterest. And instead of looking for nice pictures I just started browsing and pinning (into my to-do secret board) all kind of recipes.

I’ve just been eating a delicious chocolate cake with blackberries that my mom cooked with some of the fruits we collected just a couple of days ago. It’s so yummy!!

So I did some watercolor paintings of all that food stuff! And girl, I just can’t stop looking at that sheet of paper. Bright colors, nice contrast, sweet food. All very summery (is that a word??)

But, what’s in it for you? Of course, my theme could inspire you too. Although, you get to keep my illustration if you like it!

Go over here and you’ll be able to download it as a wallpaper, just ready for your desktop (and you can even choose from some different background colors! yay!).

Download now!

What things are inspiring you this month? You can tell me in the comments or reply anywhere in my social here: [do_widget id=wpcom_social_media_icons_widget-3]

7 things to uncover this July (monthly links to checkout)

Explore, Lifestyle
A movie

The last word

Here it is what Imdb says about it “Harriet is a retired businesswoman who tries to control everything around her. When she decides to write her own obituary, a young journalist takes up the task of finding out the truth resulting in a life-altering friendship.”

It’s a good movie, with special attention to female relationships, empowerment and speaking your mind. It’s drama and fun and a lot of good stuff packed for 2 hours of a good time on a Sunday night.

A book

Gidget by Frederick Kohner
Most Americans will know this book (or the series) just because of the popularity it had some decades back. Or maybe just because it became a pop icon. I had heard of it –well, actually read, as it’s mentioned quite a bit when talking about surf’s history.

It’s not the kind of reading I’m doing these days : it’s a teen novel really, but with that spirit and atmosphere of the surfing from the 60’s. A girl discovering the beach bums, surfing culture, surfing herself on Malibu beach and, of course, finding love.

5 new Instagram accounts I’m following
1 – @sguixs

Sara Guixs is a videographer and fellow catalan. She is living in New Zealand and has just released a documentary about where she is staying, Raglan. I discovered her through an article and has the kind of dreamy pictures that fuel my dreams of freedom, which are actually not so different from my own reality.

A post shared by Sara Guix (@sguixs) on

2 – @theanastasiaco

I love her photographs, full of greenery and quotes. When it comes to succulents and quotes I’m touched. Also the green and brown backgrounds make for a cozy feeling, always nice to pop up from time to time on my feed.


Sometimes I need to follow people who do different things from me and aren’t what I want to do either. That doesn’t make me less appreciative of their work. In this case, I love the vector cute illustrations, with their nice colors and characters!

A post shared by Meeta Panesar (@meeta_p) on

4 – @annadrivis

A letter and illustrator. (May I be getting back to my comfort zone in the Instagram following world?) Probably. What can I say? I like her style!

A post shared by Anna Drivis (@annadrivis) on

5 –

Last one for today. And I wanted it to be an account that will make you dream of your next adventure. Because we all need more motivation to go outside and live. Here you’ll find all you need to feed your wanderlust, or maybe just make you thirstier for a vacation. It may not be original, but it surely is inspiring.

One video

Wanna see a bunch of skater girls recreating “Stand by me”? If yes, follow along. If not… just move on.

It looks like this is a bit nostalgic post … And this is the skater life I didn’t have. I skated a bit, but only started when I was 19 and never did much more than carving in the pool and a poor ollie or two. I didn’t have the girl gang neither. But I now enjoy cruising around by the sea, with my boyfriend and/or my sister coming along.

It’s a very nice video!

One trailer

New Disney’s movie that will be on theaters next year. It’s based on the novel “A Wrinkle on Time” and it is for sure known as that movie starring Oprah Winfrey. I can’t tell you about the movie but I certainly like the trailer (and the music!).

An article

Are you ready to set out on your next adventure? Check this if you are also ready to document it appropriately.

There are many ways to immortalise your outdoors escape but not all of them are the right fit for you or your travel. What do you plan to do with the material? What do you want to bring back from the travel? Pictures to share with the family? Awesome shots? Natural references? A journal that will become the next “Eat, Pray, Love”? Have all that in mind before you depart so you can squeeze the trip and make gallons of lemonade.

How to document your Alaska Adventure 

Music album

Sorry about this. But I’m kind of a fan.

Lana del Rey new album is now available, and I’m so totally into it!

I don’t know exactly what it is, but I love her music. I’m a very positive and quite optimistic person but I love that nostalgic feeling of the 60’s in America… And the songs and their lyrics are to me that rock and roll life I will never live.  Also, it is the kind of music I like to listen to when I’m on the painting or drawing stage, between podcasts and firing up music. I must admit, Lana del Rey is not the music I’d listen to while driving at four in the afternoon with the sun on my eyes.

7 inspiring links to check out, from last month (JUNE)

Create, Explore, Lifestyle

Another month has gone, so fast. The more I do, the more it seems I have to do and the quicker the time goes by. But that didn’t take any fun of living the start of the summer, with some beach days, river days, climbing days and many movies. I can’t even remember all of the good stuff.

Though, I’ll make you a quick list of links to check. (psst, don’t worry, you don’t have to check all of them now, we’ll be waiting for you).

1. A newsletter : Lecture in progress

I have subscribed to many newsletter this month. And they look quite promising. Lecture in progress surprised with their emails, so I want to recommend it to you. If you’re after some good advice from creatives, interviews and have interest in the creative industry you’ve found an ally in them.

2. A song :

I love every single song by Lana del Rey. Just recently listened to it.

3. Additions to my following list on instagram

Loving is sharing! And today I want to share a few inspiring designers! Their images are so wonderful, modern and striking!  They just make me want to design more.


A post shared by BIRGIT PALMA (@birgitpalma) on


A color palette I couldn’t love more. Check her incredible patterns.


This one will take you into rainbow daydreaming.


Don’t ignore the signs. This is one to follow.


There’s something about her patterns that calls me.

A post shared by Jessica Jones (@howaboutorange) on

4. A book :

She means business. You know I’ve read quite a few books about the creative life, entrepreneurship and success. I’m still doing. Maybe a new post of Books for Girlbosses will come soon. Anyway, my point is, this is a good book on the topic. At least, one that resonated a lot with me. It packs practical tips and strategies with felt advice alongside visualization talk and the like. And her personal journey and those of her closest ones. But not only that, she also has a lot of resources for you to build your success journey. I’m totally diving into those, so be sure I’ll be shining in no time 😉

BTW, I got myself the audiobook, so it’s Carrie Green herself talking, so cool and nice to listen to while painting.

5. A place :

Siurana. We started June at full power. We got on the car for two days and didn’t stop for a minute (okay, maybe some, I just like to make things big!). We went for lots of exploring and climbing. Here some shots. Get inspired and go find your next adventure!

6. Do your to-do stuff while playing

Have you ever heard of gamification? In few words, it’s transforming some activities into a game. The example I want to share with you today is Habitica. It’s a game developed to help you get better habits and do your to-do list with a more engaging twist. My sister (Mariposas de papel) introduced me to this, and even I’m so behind her in the game, I’m still going there day after day.

What’s in it for you? If you ever played online games like Gaia online, wanted to have the nicest avatar or just liked pixel art you can be sure you’ll like it. Though, the funniest part is doing it with friends. You can even get into battles that you’ll only able to win doing a hell out of things from you list.

(Need a tip? Have lots of dailies and do as many as you can to keep healthy).

7. Surfing freely (online) : a safer anonymous Browser, Tor

Do you ever feel that google, or the internet knows you too well? Would you like to be able to browse the internet without it knowing all about you? Maybe just because you should be able to. Because you don’t have to be giving your info all the time.

I’ve started using it. No regrets. More freedom. Always strive for freedom.

Tor Project: anonymity online



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A present for you! (and Happy Birthday to me) 🎉🎈🎊

Create, Lifestyle

Let’s go strike to it. Today is my 24th birthday! I’m only taking the almost a quarter of century very positively because 24 is one of my favourite numbers 🙂 (the other one is 12, so double lucky here today). Well, and maybe also because life is good at me.

To celebrate I’m bringing you the whole pack of monthly wallpapers I designed for this year, in the hopes of having you motivated and inspired to go out outside after the hustle. Now you can download all of them for free in my sellfy shop, clicking the button below!

Have the nicest day!

Download now

PS :we (because I celebrate with my twin sister!) already kind of celebrated our birthday (in advance). That’s why the “soon to turn 24” poster. We had a great day cooking and decorating and of course celebrating!


8 relevant things of the month (MAY)

Create, Explore, Lifestyle
1. A festival :

Sitges Next

It’s all about communication and innovation. There were two days of conferences and a couple of workshops. I attended only Saturday’s conferences and my favourite take aways came from this talk :

Let’s see what they bring next year.

2. A song :

This song (Era)

3. Some additions to my following list on Instagram:

@katerina_chivil_art  (Watercolor)

@emilysanforddesign  (Surface pattern design)

@tinacrespo  (Watercolor)

@vanessavanderhaven (Illustrator and designer)

@south.elliott (Graphic design)

Go check their profiles and share some love!

4. Illustrated book :

Ernst Haeckel

He was a natural illustrator (well, actually he was a lot of things, see here). I find all the forms of underwater species so fascinating and inspiring. Take a look!

The book. – A pinterest board

5. Lettering book :

Lettering and type by Bruce Willen

Found it a little back looking for a lettering book that had lots of images and different types, so I could use it for reference and inspiration to try new things. And keep learning!

6. An article:

 Why you shouldn’t work set hours  

7. A sad story:

One of the world’s most polluted island is a remote island

8. Some good news:

Barcelona’s urban forest climate plan

I’m looking forward to seeing this!




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christmas tree

How to make and use the perfect wishlist


christmas tree


Christmas are coming, so quick and so close already. So I’ve found myself buying gifts, checking what I need and what I want to buy for my loved ones (and for me). For doing so, I like having a wishlist – and would be also very useful if other people did.

In my last post about books, I told how I find what to read next: using the amazon wishlist and goodreads want-to-read list. A quick way to save and have a list of items you won’t forget and need near where you use it.

In today’s post, I’m giving you 5 ways a whishlist can be useful and 5 ways to make them.


Why is it useful to have a wishlist?

1- Know what you like, want and need.

If tomorrow you’d win some extra bucks, how would you spend them? Well, you’d have a better idea of how to use them if you had a wishlist with all the things you may have needed or wanted recently. Think less, do more.


2- Know better what’s in the market… so you can find better gifts for your friends and family too.

If you’ve been wondering about buying that expensive gadget, surfed the web looking for the best opportunity, comparing opinions, etc. You may have a good knowledge. Even if you didn’t buy. Bring that to use with your next gift to the geek friend. Use your outdated wishlist and come up with the best present.

3- Learn about your style, preferences and dreamed lifestyle.

The things we like, we like for a reason. They may just be too expensive, they may be the things that people who live a life we “envy” have, something that just looks nice to us, etc. But because we like them, those things talk about us, about who we are or who we want to be. Maybe been conscious about that may not be so revelatory like a inner travel and hours of meditation and self-development work, but it can be a start.

4 – Be ready to find bargains.

If you don’t know how much something usually costs, you won’t know when it’s really discounted or on sale. Otherwise, if you keep an eye on prices and products you are interested in, more opportunities will appear to buy cheaper, better or faster. Having a wishlist makes it easier. And if you save them in the Amazon basket, you’ll see how much the price have changed every single day.

5- Be thoughtful about your choices with money and products.

If you think about what you want and need, have patience and are open to opportunities, you’ll learn to do better choices and buy smart. And you may even save a few.

How can you use a wishlist?

1- Have a written wishlist of things you need a want.

The old paper and pen technique always work for anything. Though, be mindful and save the paper somewhere you can find it easily or where it won’t go missing, like in a notebook, the fridge’s door or in the wallet.

2- Make wish lists in places you usually use that give you the possibility to do so. p.ex goodreads or amazon.

You could also make a bookmarks folder or just a plain note on the computer or mobile phone. Make sure you save everything you’ve been interesting on.

3- Make a board on pinterest.

This one is very fun, nice and may help you in many ways. To start with, you’ll have a pretty place to go see all of what you desire. You can try to use the law of attraction with it, but you can also search directly for the products on pinterest (that probably will link to the store) or share it with others.

4- Share links to that stuff in your social media.

The old trick of letting know your friends and family of what you’d like. Post it in social media and have more chances of somebody buying that for you. Even if they don’t, they’ll understand your taste better 😉

5- Tell people about what you like and your findings.

Letting know others what you like is ok, inspiring them is even better. When you tell people about the things you like, are interested in and want, you are showing them products that they may like, or be interested in, or even have bought and can give you an opinion. They may help you get it or come to you with new information. Sharing is caring!



Be ready for Christmas and the New Year. Celebrate with us :

5 Books I want to read before Christmas, for girlbosses

Create, Lifestyle
books for christmas

Have you ever read an article of books recommendations of books that the critic haven’t yet read?

Well, lucky me, I’m just a designer and not a critic!

A post on books again… just because they’re one of my loves!

Well, it is for a few reasons in fact:  I enjoyed reading and learning this way since my early school years and because I need to do something to relax and avoid loosing my mind on the internet in these cosy too-cold-for-my-taste winters. Also, my boyfriend likes to watch an episode before sleeping and not of one my favourite series… so it’s perfect to have an engaging book to read at the same time.

So, one afternoon I went to dive into the deepness of the Internet to make a selection of some books. I had just finished reading #Girlboss by Sophia Amouroso so I started from there to find similar products. To do so, I usually go to goodreads or just amazon. There I look up for similar titles and themes or make a new search. If I find something that sound interesting I’ll add the book to my wishlist or want-to read list. That way, when I feel like buying a book I just have to go to those lists and shop, knowing exactly what I want.

For today’s selection, I chose mainly books written by women who happen to be entrepreneurs too.


My So-Called Freelance Life

A few pages in and I’m completely hooked up on this. The author has a clear and engaging voice with a nice sense of humour. I’m devouring it. This book is written to help any freelancer or wannabe in any industry. Even though, Michelle Goodman is a freelance writer (a fact usually present on books about x, you know, because they have to be written by someone… who usually happens to write). But it looks good, very good.


Girl Code

As the title says, a book for women entrepreneurs. The author started out writing a blog and from there published several books and became a coach. This book is still in the business side but with a focus on the mindset that will be useful for women in business.

“ it will teach you how to build confidence in yourself, reconnect with your “why,” eradicate jealousy, and ultimately learn the power of connection”

What else can I say? I’ve only read the introduction 😅


Leave your mark

I don’t know if you’ve heard about #Girlboss or read it, but if you do, this one is kind of similar… To where I’ve read. In the fashion industry, very focused on techniques and advice to get a job. In Girlboss it seemed that Amouroso would teach about how to make your own empire, but she more accurately advise on how to be and apply to become part of Nasty Gal, her business. In Leave your mark, the goal is not to get into a business in particular but more about landing your job.

Though, there is more to it. The author got some amazing results from using social media and she will share her secrets with you. So I’m skipping some chapters of how to land the job of your life (because I prefer freelancing and I’ve read enough about the standard way to get a job) and jumping into social media. More I can’t tell you, I’m on it, but I promise to make a follow up post or just update this one.( So keep your eyes peeled for it! ).


Design is a job

I must confess, looking at the outside, this one seems kind of boring. The foreword is by Erik Spiekerman so it kind of gives me some reference and hope. From this early part of the book I would like to share the following sentences :

“Clients need to understand that they’ve hired us to do something they are not good at. And that they need to pay us for our knowledge, skills, experience and, yes: attitude. ”  Erik Spiekerman

Getting to the index, I notice that it may not be a boring book about the fundamentals of design at all. In fact, is the “formal” guide to being a graphic designer in freelance mode. Will it share some new perspective on my job? I do expect it to do so, and specially, what the author tells in the introduction:

“You will have more confidence in yourself and a deeper understanding of your craft.” Mike Monteiro


The power

I know I know… This recommendation doesn’t go much on line with the other books… But it’s always good to get some help that motivates you and not just gives you advice. So a bit of self-help to make the path to solopreneur sweeter.

I’m sure you’ve heard about The Secret. I saw the movie when it came out and have rewatched it several times. I have read the last book, Hero, which I love. But have pending the Power, which I’ll be reading right away, and The Magic, which I’ll try to get for Christmas! 😉🎄 This book comes to be an extension and progression of The Secret, adding stories and knowledge.

What are some books in your want-to-read list? Let me know in the comments!

Also, check out this post (and this one) for more book recommendations

And if you liked the post, let me send you a recap of all links at the end of every month.

Be yourself, Do your own and Let it be

Create, Explore, Lifestyle

be yourself, do your own and let it be

I’ve always felt a bit of curiosity about the Three Wise Monkeys. 🐵 They are the representation of “Don’t listen to evil 🙉, Don’t speak evil 🙊, Don’t look at evil 🙈”. They are even on emojis (how cool is that?)

Well, the thing is, they inspired me to create a story of my own. A story I would tell in the context of mass media and social media. I would change the saying for “Don’t listen to the mainstream, don’t follow the masses and don’t speak evil about them.”

I know, I don’t always follow my own advice, I do speak evil about social media from time to time and I even follow some trends and the mainstream. But that’s why I’ve written this mantra. To be conscious about it. To be able to reflect, to notice the pattern, to choose freely my actions. And that only comes with knowledge.

What it means to me (and to you, I hope)

These statements can relate quite well to being unique and finding your own voice. Specially the “Don’t follow the masses”. Have you ever heard about that saying, I think it was specially fashion-focused, but it went like “If you are following the trend, you are already late”. Being a good leader means going on the forefront, doing the strange thing that becomes the new best thing. And that cannot be faked. Nor copied. Most leaders have felt misunderstood at the beginning. But they kept on and finally were recognised. Good, hard work, always ends standing out (persistence is important!). Anyway, if they would have followed their dream and lived as they had chosen, even without finding a wide recognition, I find it would have been a successful life anyway.

Does the rest of the world care specifically for your happiness? Then, show the world that you do.

The other one: “Don’t listen to the mainstream”. Heard it but don’t listen to it. I find it useful to learn what you can about it, though, after that, move on. Focusing on what’s being said and the general opinion may hurt you and the things you do. Be self-assured. Don’t look for approval of the mainstream. You never know who is behind those ideas. It may not be as real as it seems, nor realistic. Follow your heart and listen to those you really care about or those who care about you. And be always open to improvement and change if you feel like this. Most of the time, there’s no one and only perfect solution.

However, that version doesn’t feel motivating. I don’t like negation. Maybe we could change the message in a more positive way.

What about Be yourself, Do your own and Let it be?

If today was your last day, what would you be doing?

Create, Explore, Lifestyle

if today was your last day

I’m listening to the song called like this, by Nickelback. The lyric strike me so I decided I should share it with you :

[…] leave your fears behind

And try to take the path less traveled by

That first step you take is the longest stride

If today was your last day

And tomorrow was too late

Could you say goodbye to yesterday?

Would you live each moment like your last?

Leave old pictures in the past

Donate every dime you have?

If today was your last day

Against the grain should be a way of life

What’s worth the prize is always worth the fight

Every second counts ’cause there’s no second try

So live like you’ll never live it twice

Don’t take the free ride in your own life

If you’d die today, would you be happy about what you’re leaving behind? What wouldn’t you like leave undone, unsaid? In front of death, everything gets clearer. So I’m not afraid of thinking about it. As many more days end with a feeling  of satisfaction I learn that I’m on the right path. When dying today wouldn’t be so sad, I start understanding what does it mean, to me, to live a fulfilling life. And no, it’s not all about living the millionaire beach life.