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// The Perpetual Student


It's hard for me to believe that I graduated college 4 years ago already (!!!). While I didn't care too much for my foundation classes (English, Math, etc), I really loved all of the creative courses I was able to take during my 4 years in art school. Even still today, I really miss the freedom to learn and create at the same time. I love teaching myself how to do things, but I also really crave a certain amount of structure and guidance when trying to pick up something new. Rather than resort to Googling everything under the sun, I often find myself perusing the class listings over at Skillshare. Both Mike and I have taken classes on Skillshare and we've really loved our respective experiences. I thought I'd round up a few of my current favorite classes to share with y'all, just in case you're looking to learn something new, too!

Just a quick note on the class fees: You can sign up for these classes one of two ways... A monthly Skillshare membership fee of $9.95 (cancel anytime), or pay-per-class. I always did pay-per-class in the past since that used to be the only option, but now you really can't beat the <$10/month option. Many of the classes are around $20, but some are $49 or more. It's totally worth skipping a coffee or two each month to have access to these awesome classes! (Psst! If you use my referral link, you'll get a free month to try out Skillshare! And I'll get a free month, if you decide to stick with it, too! Win/win!)



THE FIRST STEPS OF HAND LETTERING

This class has been on my radar for a while now as I'm a huge fan of Mary Kate's handlettering work. I own a few journals and books with her work on/in them, and I'm constantly inspired by the new projects she takes on. I had hesitated on enrolling in this class simply because I thought it'd be took time consuming and "mathematical" (not to mention the fact I'm not overly confident in my lettering skills), but I was pleasantly surprised (and inspired!) by the student project gallery. Seeing so many great projects makes me feel like it's probably not as intimidating as I've made it out to be. /////////////////////////// $20 (Try it for free!)


GET STUFF DONE LIKE A BOSS:
Design Your Workflow + Double Your Productivity in 21 Days

This class is exactly what I need right now. Trying to juggle so much while working at home... I'm starting to get a bit drained! I'm always looking for ways to be more efficient with my time and this is just the ticket. Tiago uses some pretty in-depth strategies for showing you how to plan and implement these time-saving tips. He puts it better than I ever could: "In this class, I will show you how to adopt productivity behaviors that bring you automatically, day by day, toward your goals. Grand, heroic efforts are great for the movies, but in real life it is the small habits you've built into your life that make the biggest difference in the end." /////////////////////////// $49 (Try it for free!)


BASICS OF PHOTOSHOP:
Fundamentals for Beginners

When I design layouts for fellow bloggers, many of them are stumped on how to create matching graphics to help strengthen their personal brand. Whether you're a blogger, photographer, or small business owner, Photoshop knowledge is so incredibly valuable. You could pay $750+ to learn it in 2 days at a workshop, or you could try this Skillshare class and have lifetime access to it, with the ability to learn at your own pace. Just pop over to the class page and watch Meg's introductory video because I promise you'll fall in love with her and want to take the class immediately! /////////////////////////// $29 (Try it for free!)


THE ART OF MODERN CALLIGRAPHY

Calligraphy is one of the biggest trends in the design world right now, and who doesn't want to know how to write with such style?! Molly's Skillshare class promises to help you understand things like letterforms, flourishes, pens and nibs, just to name a few. This is definitely one of the classes I'm most excited about! /////////////////////////// $20 (Try it for free!)


BECOME A BETTER BLOGGER:
Content Planning

I will sing the praises of an editorial calendar until the end of time. I am so much more on otp of things when I have it all written out, even if I change things up fifteen times before the end of the month. I use an editorial calendar every single day and I plan it out around one month in advance. Andrea's class will help you plan three months out in order to meet your goals and create the best content you can. I'm excited to see what she has to say!  /////////////////////////// (Try it for free!)


BUILD AN HTML + CSS WEBSITE FROM SCRATCH

Mike took this class last year and loved it. It's very "no frills" but he learned skills that he's been able to use in the real world. He's actually taken over the coding and development of all the websites I've worked on since. (Thank goodness, because it's my least favorite part!) There is over 11 hours worth of video content in this class so it's not for the faint of heart. Luckily it's easy to digest since he walks you through each and every step. Mike learned things in this Skillshare class that I didn't even learn in two years of web classes in college! Seriously. /////////////////////////// $40 (Try it for free!)

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These are only six of the hundreds (!!!) of class options on the Skillshare site. There's everything from illustration classes or entrepreneurship courses, as well as technology, film and video, marketing, and blogging classes. Feel free to take advantage of the free month and see if any of the classes tickle your fancy. I'm going to try and carve out some time in my own schedule and get in on that calligraphy class ASAP!

Have you ever taken any Skillshare classes? 
If so, which ones and what did you think? 
If not, do they appeal to you at all? xo

// Park Dates







Yesterday we decided to take advantage of the bright blue skies and the nice breeze by heading over to the park after Toby came home from school. I was experiencing some major cabin fever and wanted some fresh air, and this gave Mike an opportunity to read part of a book for school. Toby ran around the playground and made all sorts of new friends in the 45 minutes we were there. Seriously, the picture above of Toby's back is the only (non-blurry) one I was able to snap. He was running around non-stop. I tried swinging with him for a little while but he totally dismissed the idea as soon as three older boys showed up to the park. Guess I should get used to the ol' parental shaft, right? Linden was a total angel and slept the whole time. He's slowly but surely warming up to his stroller bassinet. At first he hated to lay on his back but lately he's been eating it up. 

Watching Toby play with the older kids made me both excited and nervous. He's grown so much in the short 2.5 years he's been with us. From this timid little 3 year old who needed us for everything, to an almost 6 year old who is so incredibly independent and free spirited. I know it's just part of the growing process, but part of me misses when he couldn't do anything without us. I guess it's a blessing though, because I'm not sure what I'd do juggling 2 dependent children haha Seeing him interact with the boys at the park was just a small glimpse into what life will be like when he's 8, or 10, or 15. I can't imagine him being that "grown up" but I guess I should prepare myself... It is coming, after all.

Right now I just want to soak up the snoozing baby in the stroller, and the 5 year old who can't quite hop into the "big kid" swings on his own. They can't stay little forever, can they?

// Things I Love Thursday v.198

This week's selection of links is probably one of my all time favorites... I know I'm biased, but there are some really great reads down there! Be sure to check them out! And you know, enjoy these fun photos, too! xo
this sweet mama and baby hippo ♥
this is breathtaking ♥
♥ this is why bill murray wins at life ♥
♥ this is a cute puppy ♥
this dress from Ashish #AW14 is !!!! ♥
this homer simpson street art ♥
this! i want to go here. ♥
these adorable wedding photos ♥

// 17 people who got brilliantly shamed for parking like an a-hole. I'm going to start carrying chalk in my car!


// Ariana Grande, girl, what are you even talking about? I died laughing at the lyric interpretations at the bottom!


// If you're born in the sky, what is your nationality? An airplane puzzler. I totally asked Mike this question a few weeks ago, so I was elated to see this article on NPR!













What are you loving this week?

// Linden Atlas - One Month





















Linden turned one month old on Saturday... wow. It's so hard to believe the first month has come and gone. I'm constantly saying to myself "The days are long, but the years are short" because it's so very true. Time really flew by with Toby these past 2.5 years, but I think it feels so much faster with a baby so much smaller. I should probably apologize for the insane amount of photos included in this post, but I'm not going to. I could stare at these photos all day and never grow tired of them.

The first couple of weeks were incredibly hard, but I think we're finally starting to find our groove. I feel more confident being at home with him by myself each day, and we've managed to toggle around Toby's transportation to and from school to help. Last week I caught a nasty little cold that Toby brought home from school. Of course it didn't take long for Linden to get it, too. The poor little guy was coughing and sneezing like crazy. Luckily it's almost completely gone. It was stressful, but I'm glad to have the first cold out of the way. Those snuggles sure were sweet though.

This month Linden:
+ is still too small for most of his newborn clothing.
+ is starting to become so alert during the day!
+ loves to be worn all around the house and out in public.
+ spent his first mama-less day with grandma and pawpaw.
+ experienced his first sickness.
+ gained 1 pounds and 13 ounces (8lb 12oz now!)
+ grew 2.5 inches (currently 21.5")

I can't wait to see what Month Two holds for us! xo